Gary Cherone

Last updated

Gary Cherone
Gary Cherone-Extreme-2.jpg
Cherone in 2008
Background information
Born (1961-07-26) July 26, 1961 (age 59)
Malden, Massachusetts, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1975–present
Labels A&M
Associated acts
WebsiteN/A

Gary Francis Caine Cherone ( /ʃəˈrn/ shə-ROHN; born July 26, 1961) is an American rock singer and songwriter. Cherone is known for his work as the lead vocalist of the Boston rock group Extreme and for his short stint as the lead vocalist for Van Halen. He has also released solo recordings. In 2007, he reunited with Extreme.

Contents

Early years

Cherone grew up in Malden, Massachusetts, and attended Malden High School, the third of five brothers and the younger fraternal twin of Greg Cherone.

In his teenage years, Cherone turned to singing in local bands and was heavily influenced by the reigning rock frontmen of the day, most notably Roger Daltrey of The Who, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, and Queen's Freddie Mercury. In 1979 Cherone and drummer friend Paul Geary along with guitarist Matt McKay, formed a hard-rock band called Adrenalin, which performed locally. In 1981, they changed the band's name to The Dream and recorded a six-song independent vinyl EP.

A few years later, Cherone and The Dream appeared in a music video produced by David Horgan, on the early MTV program, Basement Tapes, a show in which the viewing audience "voted" (via a toll-free telephone number) for one of two competing amateur music videos submitted by unsigned artists. The Dream's video for "Mutha, Don't Wanna Go to School Today," won their contest, beating a then-unknown Henry Lee Summer by just 1% of the total vote. [1]

With Extreme

In 1985, Cherone and Geary met guitarist Nuno Bettencourt and bassist Pat Badger in an altercation over a dressing room, but the rivals soon became collaborators and shortly after the combined foursome took the name Extreme , and began writing their own material. The name Extreme came from a play on the words "Ex-Dream". By the late 1980s, the group had attracted a large regional following; in 1987, the band signed with A&M Records, which released their self-titled debut album in 1989. Selling over 250,000 copies, the band's debut album justified a second, and in 1990 the band recorded the critically acclaimed Extreme II: Pornograffiti , a mix of hard rock, funk, and pop propelled by Bettencourt's guitar playing. The album's lyrical content, mostly written by Cherone, was loosely based on the concept of a fictional young boy named "Francis" and his observations of a decadent, corrupt, and misogynistic society.

Although well received by the rock world in the press, initial sales and chart success for the album were sluggish until A&M released the acoustic ballad "More Than Words" in the early spring of 1991. The song was picked up by mainstream radio and became a huge smash, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 that summer. Extreme II: Pornograffiti was eventually certified double platinum. Also in 1991, Extreme toured in support of David Lee Roth.

Cherone's career came full circle in April 1992 when he performed "Hammer to Fall" onstage with the three surviving members of Queen at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium. Extreme also performed a medley of Queen hits during the first half of the concert. Later that year, Extreme released III Sides To Every Story , a concept album.

Extreme's 1995 recording, Waiting for the Punchline, was a stripped-down affair that was only modestly successful. After the supporting tour, Bettencourt became dissatisfied and left the group to launch a solo career. Extreme officially folded soon afterward.

With Van Halen

In 1996, rock band Van Halen had a falling out with their second lead singer, Sammy Hagar, who had been with the band since 1985. After a failed reunion attempt with original lead vocalist David Lee Roth, who had been with Van Halen from 1974 to 1985, Van Halen was once again without a lead vocalist. At the urging of Van Halen's manager, Ray Danniels (who also managed Extreme), Cherone was called for an audition. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen liked Cherone's lyrics, as well as his work ethic, and in November 1996 Cherone became Van Halen's third lead vocalist. That year, Cherone took up residence in Eddie's guest house and spent the next year writing and recording a new studio album.

Released on March 17, 1998, Van Halen III debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart, selling 197,000 copies in its first week then 500,000 by summer (RIAA gold certified in the United States) and over 700,000 copies as of 2011. [2] The album featured an eclectic and diverse set of songs, marking a departure from the straightforward arena rock that Van Halen had played with Hagar and contrasting with the tongue-in-cheek bombast that originally attracted Van Halen fans to Roth. Van Halen III's songs were often longer and more lyrically intricate than earlier Van Halen material, giving it a progressive influence. The album only produced a sole No. 1 Billboard Mainstream Rock hit in "Without You". [3]

By most band standards the album would be considered an unmitigated commercial success but by Van Halen's standards it was considered a flop. Neither the album nor the supporting tour performed to financial expectations since Van Halen III was the first album in the band's career to not achieve at least double platinum status. However, the tour was well received by fans. [4] The tour brought back many older Van Halen songs that fans had wanted to hear since Roth's initial departure in 1984. This was largely because Hagar refused to play all but the most famous of Roth-era songs. Unlike the band's subsequent 2004 and 2007–08 tours, Van Halen toured outside of North America in 1998, playing dates in Japan, Europe and for the first time, Australia and New Zealand. One date in Australia was filmed and aired on MTV.

Plans progressed for a follow-up album, rumoured to be called Love Again, to be released at the end of 1999. Releasing a new studio album only a year after the previous one had not been done by Van Halen since 1982, when the band released Diver Down . Reportedly, Van Halen's then-record company Warner Bros. sent back the new album twice because they did not hear a "hit" pop single on it. [5] Frustrated by the rejections from the record label, Cherone left Van Halen amicably. Since then, he has remained on good terms with his former bandmates, going on record numerous times with his thoughts about why the collaboration failed to work. [6] [7]

Years later, when reflecting on his time in the band, Cherone stated "I was one of the three singers in the mighty Van Halen. You can't take that away from me." [8]

Post-Van Halen

After his departure from Van Halen, Cherone returned to Boston and put together a new project, Tribe of Judah. The band played several shows in the Boston area and released a CD on Spitfire Records entitled Exit Elvis.

He has on occasion guested with Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony during their The Other Half performances, and Nuno Bettencourt's recent projects, as well as with the Boston Rock Opera.

In February 2003, just one week after The Station nightclub fire, Gary and his brother Markus performed "More Than Words" during a memorial service for the victims. The memorial was broadcast live on WHJY in Providence, RI.

In 2005, Cherone released a four-song sampler CD, Need I Say More, that was written and produced by Steve Catizone and Leo Mellace. This album was recorded by Jeff Yurek at Sanctum Sound in Boston, Massachusetts, and mixed by Carl Nappa in New York City. Musicians including Dave DiCenso (drums), Baron Browne (bass) and Steve Hunt (keyboards) are also featured on the record.

In May 2006, Cherone sang in three shows as part of Amazing Journey, a tribute to The Who created by ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, featuring Paul Gilbert on guitar and Billy Sheehan on bass. Not long after, Gary and his brother Markus Cherone created their own tribute to The Who, Slip Kid. Presently the band continues to perform regularly in the Greater Boston area.

Later that year, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cherone's three-year stint with the group did not establish him as a band member eligible for induction. However, at the televised induction ceremony, the group's former bassist Michael Anthony thanked Cherone for his contributions.

Back to Extreme

Since 2004 Extreme have re-united with Cherone on several occasions for "one off" shows in their home town and in New England, but in November 2007 they announced plans to do another world tour along with a new album.

The album Saudades de Rock was released in August 2008.

In 2016, the band released Pornograffitti Live 25: Metal Meltdown, an audio/video presentation of its 2015 concert at Las Vegas' Hard Rock Casino. [9]

SlipKid

Cherone has toured with SlipKid, a tribute to The Who. Cherone's former Extreme bandmate, Paul Mangone, is the bassist, and his brother, Markus Cherone, is the guitarist.

Hurtsmile

Cherone has formed a new band with his brother Markus on guitar, Joe Pessia on bass/mandolin and Dana Spellman on drums. They have released a self-titled debut album in early 2011 and have toured to promote it.

Their follow-up album, "Retro Grenade", was released in 2014.

Discography

with Extreme

with Van Halen

with Tribe of Judah

with Cherone

with Hurtsmile

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Van Halen American hard rock/heavy metal band

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Michael Anthony (musician) American musician

Michael Anthony Sobolewski is an American musician who is currently the bassist and backing vocalist for the rock supergroups Chickenfoot and Sammy Hagar and the Circle. Anthony was previously the bassist and backing vocalist for Van Halen from 1974 to 2006. In addition to his musical career, Anthony markets a line of hot sauces and related products named Mad Anthony.

Extreme (band) American rock band

Extreme is an American rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1985, currently headed by frontman Gary Cherone and guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. The band reached the height of their popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s with original line-up Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt, Paul Geary and Patrick Badger.

David Lee Roth American musician best known as the lead singer of Van Halen

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<i>5150</i> (album) 1986 studio album by Van Halen

5150 is the seventh studio album by American rock band Van Halen. It was released on March 24, 1986 by Warner Bros. Records and was the first of four albums to be recorded with lead singer Sammy Hagar, who replaced David Lee Roth. The album was named after Eddie Van Halen's home studio, 5150, in turn named after a California law enforcement term for a mentally disturbed person. The 5150 name has been used several times by Van Halen. The album hit number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, surpassing the band's previous album, 1984, which had peaked at number 2 behind Michael Jackson's Thriller album, on which Eddie made a guest appearance.

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Samuel Roy Hagar, also known as The Red Rocker, is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and entrepreneur. Hagar came to prominence in the 1970s with the hard rock band Montrose. He then launched a successful solo career, scoring an enduring hit in 1984 with "I Can't Drive 55". He enjoyed commercial success when he replaced David Lee Roth as the lead singer of Van Halen in 1985, but left in 1996. He returned to the band for a two-year reunion from 2003 to 2005. On March 12, 2007, Hagar was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Van Halen. His musical style primarily consists of hard rock and heavy metal.

<i>Extreme II: Pornograffitti</i> 1990 studio album by Extreme

Extreme II: Pornograffitti is the second studio album by the rock band Extreme, released on August 7, 1990 through A&M Records. The album title is a portmanteau of pornography and graffiti.

<i>Van Halen III</i> 1998 studio album by Van Halen

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Pat Badger

Patrick John “Pat” Badger is a musician, singer, and songwriter, best known as the bassist in the band Extreme. He is also a former member of Daemon, In The Pink, Super Trans Atlantic, and Tribe of Judah.

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<i>III Sides to Every Story</i> 1992 studio album by Extreme

III Sides to Every Story is the third album by the Boston funk-metal band Extreme, released in 1992. It was the follow-up to the very successful Pornograffitti album. It was the last album that fully featured the band's original line-up: Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt, Pat Badger and Paul Geary; Geary later left, and was replaced by Mike Mangini.

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Extreme is the first studio album by the rock band Extreme, released in 1989 by A&M Records. The album sold modestly well at around 300,000 units and produced four singles: "Little Girls", "Kid Ego", "Mutha " and the radio-only "Play with Me". It was not until their next album, Extreme II: Pornograffitti, that the band become well known.

<i>Waiting for the Punchline</i> 1995 studio album by Extreme

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References

Footnotes
  1. Chilvers, C.J. (1999) "The Dream." The Van Halen Encyclopedia. Malpractice Publishing, Oak Lawn, IL. ISBN   0-9667539-0-9
  2. "Van Halen lights up Henson Studios with an hour of rock". Los Angeles Times. February 1, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  3. "Van Halen III – Van Halen | Awards". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  4. George-Warren, Holly et al. (2001). The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll. "Van Halen." Third Edition. Fireside Publishing, 1163 p. ISBN   0-7432-0120-5
  5. Uhelszki, Jaan (November 5, 1999). "Gary Cherone Out of Van Halen". Rolling Stone . Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  6. Classic Rock Revisited-Gary Cherone Interview, archived from the original on April 6, 2005, retrieved July 16, 2006
  7. "Gary Cherone's Extreme Viewpoint." Kay Handley. The Phoenix. June 30, 2006 – retrieved on July 17, 2006 Archived November 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  8. Andy Greene (February 10, 2012). "Gary Cherone Reflects on his Three-Year Stint in Van Halen". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  9. "Extreme – Biography | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
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