Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Anything Anything" by Dramarama - March 25th 80's Quest Song/Band of the Day

This song was really popular in 1988 in San Diego when I attended college there on exchange. It was played all over the radio stations there, although I’ve never heard it played at all on New England stations. It is a great song!
Dramarama was co-founded by singer John Easdale and bassist Chris Carter in the basement of Carter’s Wayne, New Jersey record store, Looney Tunez Records. The members consisted of Easdale (vocals), Carter and Mark Englert (guitars – and later Peter Wood joined), and Ron Machuga (drums – soon replaced by Ken Moutinout, and later Jesse Farbman). Later Ted Ellenis joined the band on keyboards.
In 1984 they released a self-funded EP called Comedy which turned out to be a big success in France. As a result French record label, New Rose released the band’s first album 1985’s Cinema Verite. Influential Los Angeles DJ, Rodney Bingenheimer, began playing the track "Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)" on his show on KROQ-FM, originally thinking that the band was French. The song became a local hit in Los Angeles and the band received a large advance from Chameleon records and decided to leave New Jersey and move permanently to Los Angeles. "Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)" was included in the American horror movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.
To thank Rodney Bingenheimer for all he had done to advance their career; Dramarama included a track called "Private World" on a 1987 compilation album called The Best of Rodney on the ROQ. It was later re-released by Rhino Records in 1992.
In 1987 the band released their second album Box Office Bomb which was well-reviewed by critics, but did not sell well.
When the band went into the studio to record their next album, 1989’s Stuck in Wonderamaland and came out with enough material for 3 albums. They used some of the extra tracks for a European album release called Looking Through…under the band name The Bent-Backed Tulips. The name was taken from a lyric in The Beatles song "Glass Onion".
 During the making of their next album, Dramarama’s record label, Chameleon Records went bankrupt. The band was scrambling to find money to complete their album, and as luck would have it, they were finally signed by a major record label, Elektra Records. Elektra released Dramarama’s next album, 1991’s Vinyl and the band began receiving national airplay in the U.S. with the album’s singles "Haven’t Got a Clue" and "What Are We Gonna Do?". Drummer Jesse Farbman left Dramarama to pursue mind/body purity and spiritual awareness and was replaced on the tour by Clem Burke of Blondie (see January 30th 80’s Quest post)
A limited edition 17-song CD was released to members of the Dramarama fanclub entitled, The Days of Wayne and Roses (The Trash Tapes) consisting of the bands earliest recordings, some live performances, and songs that were not used on other albums.
The band released another album on Elektra Records in 1993 called Hi-Fi Sci-Fi. It was a hit with critics and fans. Burke stayed on as drummer and played on this new album. Other guest appearances were made by Dwight Twilley of the Dwight Twilley Band and Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls.
Dramarama had been on the verge of a major breakthrough at various times in their career, but it never came. Hi-Fi Sci-Fi only sold well with their devoted cult following but did not sell well nationally. The band broke up in 1994 and performed a farewell show in Asbury Park, New Jersey in 1994.
Lead singer Easdale started The John Easdale Band and began performing shows again in 1996. In 1998 he released a solo album called Bright Side.
In 2004 Dramarama was featured on the popular American television program on VH1, Bands Reunited. The premise of the show is to find out where the members of much loved bands were and what they were doing and to prompt them to reunite and do a one-time reunion show. The reception following this program was so positive that Dramarama reformed and used some material from Easdale’s solo album Bright Side for a new Dramarama release, Everybody Dies which was released in October 2005. In 2008 the band appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The show’s DJ, Ted Stryker arranged the appearance as Ellen’s 50th birthday present.
Dramarama’s co-founder and bassist, Chris Carter currently works as a radio DJ in Los Angeles and hosts America’s longest running Beatles show, "Breakfast With the Beatles" where he plays all-Beatles songs. Carter also wrote and produced the documentary about Rodney Bingenheimer called The Mayor of the Sunset Strip which nominated for a 1983 best documentary award by the Independent Spirit Film Awards. He also formed QM Management, which manages Los Angeles pop band, The Wondermints who toured as the backing band for former Beach Boy Brian Wilson. Dramarama continues reunite to perform many shows each year.


Okay, what is it tonight?
Please just tell me what the hell is wrong!
Do you wanna eat?
Do you wanna sleep?
Do you wanna drown?

Just settle down, settle down, settle down!

I'll give you candy, give you diamonds, give you pills
give you anything you want--
hundred-dollar bills
I'll even let you watch the shows you wanna see
just marry me marry me marry me!

I'm so sick of you tonight
You never stay awake when I get home
Is something wrong with me?
Is something wrong with you?
I really wish I knew wish I knew wish I knew!

I'll give you candy, give you diamonds, give you pills
I'll give you anything you want--
hundred-dollar bills
I'll even let you watch the shows you wanna see
Because you marry me marry me marry me!
Marry me marry me marry me!

I was young, I learned a game
And love and happiness were the same
Now I'm older and I don't play--
I found out the hardest way.

I got wasted she got mad
Called me names and she called her dad
He got crazy and I did too
Wondered what I did to you.

I gave you candy, gave you diamonds, gave you pills
Gave you anything you want--
Hundred-dollar bills!
I even let you hear the songs I want to sing
I'll give you anything anything anything
I'll give you anything anything anything
I'll give you anything anything anything

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