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Album: Nervous NightReleased: 1985Charted:
Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman are the founding members of The Hooters. They played most of the instruments on Cyndi Lauper's 1983 debut album She's So Unusual
, and Hyman co-wrote "Time After Time
." The same year, The Hooters released their first album on an independent label and grew their following in the Philadelphia area. When Lauper's album became a huge hit, it got the attention of Columbia Records, who signed the band.
Rob Hyman told us: "Eric and I would take road trips to do writing. We would get away and especially since the band was playing so much, we would just kind of hole ourselves up. In this instance, we went into the Poconos outside the Philadelphia region and we rented a couple little cabins, brought some recording gear, set up a 4-track studio and threw around a lot of ideas. As is often the case for me, I think we did 10 or 12 tracks, and the last thing we did, probably on our last day, was write the chorus to 'And We Danced.' It had a slightly different feel, but materially it was there. That was the strongest bit we brought back from that writing trip. We had that flash - this is something really great, we'll finish it another day. Had we just stayed with it that moment more, maybe we would have done it, but it ended up taking a lot more time. We threw around a lot of verses and rhythmic ideas. It was a different feel, and then it got into more of a rock and roll feel."
The Hooters played this at Live Aid in 1985. They were the first band to perform on the Philadelphia stage, going on after an introduction ceremony that included Joan Baez singing "Amazing Grace
." Eric Bazilian told us how they got there: "That was a stroke of genius on the part of our manager, Steve Mountain. He managed to finagle that with Bill Graham and Larry Magid to get us on that stage. Our first record was just coming out, and it was the perfect time. That was our moment in destiny."
The distinctive sound that leads off the song and plays throughout is a Melodica, a combination keyboard/harmonica instrument they played. The band called it a "Hooter," which is where they got their name.
Regarding the images he came up with in the lyrics, Hyman told us: "The Bop Baby on a hard day's night, the union hall - we just felt it was kind of a basic, workingman's rock and roll record. In a sense, a bit of territory that maybe Springsteen or somebody would cover, a little of that nostalgia, a little of the no-frills kind of straight ahead lyrics. I think the ornamentation and the embellishments that the band did with the melodica and the mandolins and the sounds that we were dabbling in put a different flavor to it. But at its heart, it's a simple rock and roll song that evokes some of those same feelings that Chuck Berry or The Beatles had. I think those images were just straight-ahead pictures for us."
In addition to their work with The Hooters, Hyman and Bazilian have written and produced songs for many artists, including Joan Osborne, Ricky Martin, Dar Williams
and Jon Bon Jovi. Bazilian wrote Osborne's hit "One Of Us
." (Thanks to Rob and Eric for speaking with us. To learn more, check out their websites at www.robhyman.com and www.ericbazilian.com.)