Jimmy Stafford, Rob Hotchkiss and Pat Monahan formed the original version of the group in 1994 in San Francisco. At the time, they would trade off on lead vocals and Monahan was the drummer. They mostly played acoustic sets at small venues, and it quickly became clear that Monahan was better suited as a singer - and songwriter - than a drummer, so he became their frontman.
Before they got big comfy tour buses, Train toured in a van that caught on fire twice. After the second time, in 1998, they had to rent a Ryder truck to finish their tour.
They were formed in San Francisco, but Monahan came there from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he had been in a band that specialized in Led Zeppelin covers.
Columbia Records - like every other label they approached - rejected Train in 1996 but signed them in 1998 after they released their first album on their own. Columbia re-released the album that year, and in 1999 issued "Meet Virginia" as a single, giving the band their first hit.
After years of struggle, they were more than happy to take some corporate cash when it came their way in 1999. That year, they embarked on the DKNY Jeans Tour with two other acts that each had a minor hit: Splender ("Yeah, Whatever") and Shooter "Life's a Bitch." At each stop, the bands had to take turns performing in-store gigs at department stores on behalf of DKNY before the show that night. Train ended up playing Macy's in New York City and Marshall Field's in Chicago.
The Blue Front Cafe on Haight Street in San Francisco was the first coffeehouse to give Train a regular gig.
After signing their record deal, Train was managed by Jon Landau, the same man who took care of Bruce Springsteen and Shania Twain.
They had some down years after their third album, My Private Nation, was released in 2003. Monahan, who got married when he was 19, went through a divorce a short time later and lost one of his best friends to suicide in 2005. Their next album, For Me, It's You, reflects his mindset and didn't have any hits. The band went on hiatus, but when they returned to make their 2009 album Save Me, San Francisco, they were back in pop form and returned to the charts with feel-good songs like "Hey Soul Sister" and "Marry Me."
That scar on Pat Monahan's chin came from when he was in a car accident at 17 years old. He wasn't wearing a seat belt.
Monahan cites an Aerosmith show he saw at 14 as his influence as a musician. At that show, he caught a drumstick in the chest. He's also cited guitarist Robbie Robertson from The Band as a major influence.
Train's self-titled debut album features Counting Crows keyboardist Charlie Gillingham.
Patrick from Humboldt, Iathe new album is pretty good.
It really was so easy for Linda Ronstadt to score a hit with her Buddy Holly cover of "It's So Easy." She would sometimes change the lyric to: "It's so easy to have a hit, all you have to do is recycle it."
His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."