Necessity Is The Mother Of Re-Invention

Two Artists Try To Get A Second Chance At A First Impression By 86'ing Their Previous Guises.

Flash And The Pan

If Caller I.D. existed in 1979, the 3 AM drunk dial by Harry Vanda and George Young would have started by dialing *67. But instead of the
display reading "Unknown Caller", the incoming transmission was titled "Flash And The Pan".

Vanda and Young got their careers started with "The Easybeats" in the '60's. Then they went on to writing and producing other acts, the most noteworthy of which was the Bon Scott fronted AC/DC records (George being the older brother of Malcom and Angus Young). So when on break from making some of the toughest, loudest rock records ever pressed, Vanda and Young decide to write, play and record a very cool, distant and mysterious
New Wave album.

This was the prototype of the faceless studio records that became a big part of the early 1980's New Wave scene. The record sleeve gave nothing away about the band. There was no tour or live performances. The vocals were produced to sound as if they were broadcasting immediately after Roosevelt's State Of The Union Address. "Flash And The Pan" did not do cuddly... but what they did do was haunting. "Walking In The Rain"
 was the 2nd stab at American rock radio following the moderate success of "Hey Saint Peter". A simple bass line underlining a rough Australian accent, gives this song the sonic feel of digging into your jeans for your last wet dollar. Most of America did not know what to make of this record so they were written off as a novelty act. Not being most of America, Grace Jones covered "Walking In The Rain" on her 1981 LP "Nightclubbing".

Listen to "Walking In The Rain"


Evolution can be a strange thing. For every fish that walked out of the ocean to become the next phase of the eventual Human Race, there is another fish that grows pockets. Great for storing plankton, but they slow you down in the water.

Ronnie Montrose is a brilliant guitar player and was the namesake for one of the absolute pillars of stadium rock, the band "Montrose". When "Montrose's" front man Sammy Hagar left the band after the 2nd album for his own career, Ronnie put out a few more albums as "Montrose" then went solo himself. Then in 1979 he formed the band "Gamma" with Davey Pattison (who was recommended by Bill Graham). This seemed like a perfect setup, Montrose, a name guitarist in need of a solid front man. This fish had legs and was going to kick your ass! Unfortunately the fish grew pockets again.

s a band "Gamma" kept evolving, that gave them an identity problem. The fist album sold fairly well but the single ("I'm Alive") was a cover. "Gamma 2" was more straight ahead rock, but more lineup changes (including former "Montrose" drummer Denny Carmassi) did not do the trick. "Gamma 3" went to more of a synth/keyboard sound. Not having the guitar driving the sound of the band hurt album sales somewhat, but this album produced their biggest rock radio song ,the ironically titled "Right The First TimeRonnie Montrose went solo again in 1986. Gamma reformed for 1 album in 2000.

Listen to "Right The First Time"