Category: New Wave


Roman Holliday

Roman HollidayRoman Holliday was a British pop\new wave band from the ’80s.

It originally consisted of singer Steve Lambert (born on March 14, 1962 in Mile End, London), guitarist\vocalist Brian Bonhomme (born on September 30, 1962 in Harlow, Essex), drummer Simon Cohen (born on January 11, 1963 in Kings Cross, London), pianist Adrian York (born on July 11, 1961 in Chiswick, London), bass player Jon Durno (born on March 4, 1962 in Enfield, England), trumpet player John Eacott (born on December 19, 1961 in Reading, Berkshire) and saxophone player Rob Lambert (born on February 22, 1963 in Epping, Essex).

The band was formed in November of 1980 by Brian, Steve, Simon and Peter Noone (who would later leave the band after its formation). They were later joined by Rob and Jon followed by John Eacott. By the end of 1982, Adrian joined the band.
cookinIn 1983, Roman Holliday released their debut album “Cookin’ on the Roof” which peaked at #31 on the U.K. Albums chart in the United Kingdom.
RHIn the U.S., the album peaked at #116 on the Billboard 200 and a self-titled mini-album was released during that same year (which managed to peak at #142 on the Billboard 200).
standbyTheir first single “Stand By” peaked at #61 on the U.K. Singles chart and #54 on the Billboard Hot 100 (making it the band’s only highest chart appearance on the Hot 100 to date). It also topped the Canadian Adult Contempory chart as well.

The music video for “Stand By” received airplay on MTV in the United States which helped the band gain exposure.
dont try to stop itThe second single from the album “Don’t Try to Stop It” peaked at #14 on the U.K. Singles chart (making it their highest charting song in the United Kingdom to date). It also peaked at #68 on the Billboard Hot 100.
motormaniaThe last single from the album “Motomania” peaked at #40 on the U.K. Singles chart, but didn’t make any impact in the United States.
fire me upIn 1984, Roman Holliday released their sophomore and last album to date “Fire Me Up” which didn’t appear to make any album charts at all. During that same year, Rob Lambert and John Eacott left the band.
one footThe lead single from the album “One Foot Back in Your Door” peaked at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100, but failed to chart in the United States.
hear it in the nightAnother song from the album “Hear It In the Night” was released as a single in Japan, but it’s unknown how it charted there. By 1985, Roman Holliday disbanded, but they briefly reunited in 2001 for a show at the Borderline in London.

After the band broke up, Steve Lambert formed a band with ex-Culture Club member John Moss called Heartbeat UK, but the band didn’t achieve a lot of success.

Steve later moved to New York where he worked as a design consultant. In 2001, he moved to Lewisberg, Pennsylvania where he lives with his wife, Sue. These days, it appears as if he is back to writing, performing and recording music again.

Simon Cohen performed in a couple of bands after Roman Holliday broke up. He works as a taxi driver in London and looking for a band to manage for a new record label created by ex-Duran Duran member Nick Rhodes.

Brian Bonhomme formed music projects with Adrian York and Jon Durno, but none of them achieved the same success as Roman Holliday. These days, he works as a history professor at Youngstown State University.

Adrian York went on to work with various artists such as Lisa Stansfield, Jimmy Ruffin, Mari Wilson, Michael Bolton, Paul Young, Seal and Shirley Bassey. He has also written music for various corporate videos & presentations and worked on commercial jingles too.

These days, he works as a Senior Lecturer in Commercial Music Performance at the University of Westminster in London.

Jon Durno continued to be active in the music business, writing songs for Samantha Fox and worked as a keyboard\guitar technician for artists such as the Alan Parsons Project & Chris de Burg. These days, he has his own engineering business.

After John Eacott left Roman Holliday, he became the co-founder and composer for British jazz group Loose Tubes. He was also the orchestral director for the test department for their major multimedia shows in Glascow, Paddington, Vancouver and Valladolid.

He was also a writer for the show “Gorgengast” which played in the West End, London and toured worldwide from 1991 to 1997. He also wrote various compositions for television and film. These days, John works as a lecturer in Commercial Music at the University of Westminster.

As for Rob Lambert, he is currently working in the banking industry.

To see the music video for “Stand By,” go to:

To see the music video for “Don’t Try to Stop It,” go to:

To see the music video for “Motormania,” go to:

To see the music video for “One Foot Back in Your Door,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Hear it In the Night,” go to:

Advertisements

The Vapors

the vaporsThe Vapors are a new wave\power pop band from Guildford, Surrey, England who were known in the United States for being a “one-hit wonder.” The line-up consisted of lead singer-songwriter & rhythm guitarist David Fenton, drummer Howard Smith, lead guitarist Edward Bazalgette (born in London, England) and bass guitarist & vocalist Steve Smith.

The band formed in 1978 when an early version of the band was discovered by Bruce Foxton (from punk rock band The Jam) playing at the Three Lions pub in Farncombe (located in Waverley, Surrey, England) and offered the band a few gigs & agreed to jointly manage them with John Weller (the father of English musician Paul Weller). After that, they were offered a slot supporting The Jam on the “Settling Sons” tour in 1979.
prisonersAt the end of 1979, the Vapors signed a record deal with the United Artists record label and released their first single “Prisoners” which flopped on the charts.
new clear daysIn 1980, the band released their debut album “New Clear Days” which peaked at #44 on the U.K. Albums chart and #62 on the Billboard 200 chart.
turning japaneseTheir second single “Turning Japanese” became a hit, peaking at #3 on the U.K. Singles chart and topping the music charts in Australia & Canada. In the United States, the song peaked at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #34 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart.

The song’s lyric content was believed to euphemistically refer to masturbation, but Dave Fenton (who wrote the song) denied that claim in an interview on VH1, but however, he said wished to thank whoever first came up with that interpretation.

The follow-up single “News at Ten” peaked at #44 on the U.K. Singles chart. The last single released from the album “Waiting for the Weekend” failed to chart.
magnetsIn 1981, the Vapors released their second (and current to date) album “Magnets” which peaked at #109 on the Billboard Hot 100, #39 on the Canadian Albums chart, but missed the U.K. Albums chart.
jimmie jonesSales for the band’s follow-up album were poor and the only single to chart from the album was “Jimmie Jones” (which name-checked cult leader Jim Jones) which peaked at #44 on the U.K. Singles chart and managed to peak at #39 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

In 1982, the Vapors disbanded. According to Dave Fenton, he alleged in an interview with “Record Collector” magazine that the lack of support from their record label was the reason for the band’s break-up and that their seventh single “Red Flag” was cancelled without any explanation.

After the band broke up, Dave Fenton released a solo single in 1983 called “Fresh Air” on Razor Records, but it’s unknown how successful it was. In the early 1990s, he returned to the legal profession and spent the next 17 years in London as a in-house solicitor for the Musicians’ Union.

Meanwhile, Edward Bazalgette became a TV director, directing TV programs for the BBC such as “Doctor Who” and two BBC documentaries: “Genghis Khan” (in 2005) and “Hannibal: Rome’s Worst Nightmare” (in 2006).

Howard Smith ran an independent record shop called People Records in Guildford, Surrey, England which closed in 2016.

Steve Smith formed a music act called Shoot!Dispute in 1984. Later on, he began working in sound engineering and was even the resident engineer at venues such as The Barfly. He later became a member of music trio The Shakespearos.

In April of 2016, Dave Fenton, Ed Bazelgette & Steve Smith performed at the Half Moon in Putney, London, England and since then, it appears as if the band has reunited, but with Michael Bowes now playing drums instead of Howard Smith.

To follow the Vapors on Facebook, go to:
https://www.facebook.com/TheVaporsOfficial/

To see the music video for “Turning Japanese,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Prisoners,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “News at Ten,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Waiting For the Weekend,” go to:

To see the music video for “Jimmie Jones,” go to: