Next | Previous
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

The album was a major hit at college stations (a market then still largely below the radar of major labels) and garnered commercial airplay in some markets, such as WXRT in Chicago and WHFS, located in Annapolis but heard in Baltimore and Washington. Although R.E.M. was far outselling The dB’s, the tour demonstrated that, at least in some markets, the two bands were running neck and neck in audience response, both at the shows and at radio.

However, the lack of support at Warner Brothers meant that other markets were unlikely to be cracked. A brief West Coast trip in late fall was met with total indifference (and lack of promotion) on the part of the parent company. The dB’s had put out an album at the tail end of the Bearsville/Warner relationship, and the strength of the album at college radio was outweighed by the fact that the big company no longer had any ties with Bearsville, who owned the masters.

The video for "Amplifier" was sent to MTV, then well into its rise as an essential marketing outlet. The song deals in a rather lighthearted way with suicide and the video features Peter singing with a noose around his neck, and just about the time it was made available there was a rash of high-profile teenage suicides and subsequent public handwringing. MTV’s knee-jerk reaction was that the video was inappropriate in such an environment. Walter Williams quickly added an introduction by Mr. Bill telling kids not to really kill themselves, but the channel still refused to air it more than once or twice late at night.

Promotional copies of an extended remix of "A Spy in the House of Love" (also including "Amplifier") were sent to radio, without noticeable success.

Commercial airplay in Chicago made that city the biggest market for The dB’s, who sold out and were broadcast live from the Metro, a club holding over a thousand patrons, in December. Chicago remained a frequently visited dB’s stronghold thereafter, thanks to WXRT and various area college stations.

Furthermore, as 1984 ended both The dB’s and their booking agent were in the process of extracting themselves from involvement with Bob Singerman (then manager of the band and business partner of agent Frank Riley), which left The dB’s temporarily without access to Riley’s services. December saw the band playing shows booked by another agency, leading to some very strange gigs (capped by playing a former strip club in Cleveland).

1984’s last show was at Irving Plaza, with Alex Chilton opening and joining The dB’s for an encore of his "Jesus Christ" for seasonal purposes. Rick Wagner was let go after this show.

Next | Previous
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Biography | Discography | Scrapbook | Multimedia
Message Board | Links | Store | Home

© 2001 The dB's
Site Design by Exploded View