Mark Andersen - Guitars
Bradley Mangrum - Vocals
Tony Ross - Drums
Jeff Rey - Bass
Decades ago, when California was still a musical Avalon, a very young Mark Andersen [guitar] met South Bay rock n roll figure, Don Dokken. Don had recorded for Dieter Dierks with The Scorpions. He was signed to Elektra. His debut album was building a base for a platinum career.
Mark asked Don to produce an e.p, for his fledgling band, Letchen Grey. For dubious reasons Don was not available, but he introduced Mark to Alan Niven. Niven had signed Motley Crue to their first label contract, guided them onto Elektra, and subsequently launched Enigma, an independent label [signing Berlin]. He had moved on to manage Great White and Guns n Roses.
Niven agreed to produce a recording with then partner Wyn Davis.
"Wyn left the preproduction to me," recalls Niven. "We were at square one - teaching song construction and arrangement - it was a starter e.p. At that time indy records were cool. Motley, Berlin and Great White had all skipped around the stolid established record companies with independent releases."
Party Politics was released in 1986 and the band began to attract a following at Los Angeles venues such as The Troubadour, built on KNAC and Pirate Radio airplay.
On Niven's suggestion Mark sought out a second guitar player, Frank Surber. The band developed a more powerful sound.
At this point, The Hand of Fate dealt a mean and devastating blow. Frank was stricken with late stage cancer and he passed away with Mark and Alan at his side. Original bassist Eric Asevo left the band and it too passed into memory. The band reformed for an invitation to play Rocklahoma in 2009, afterwhich original singer Robert Sykes went on to front an INXS tribute band, but early promise dissolved into the demands of family life.
Thirty six years later, on a whim, Mark called Alan. "Hey, what if I flew you to LA and we went into the studio together?"
Niven did not want to travel to LA or use the same old studio, so he suggested that Mark, together with Eric again, drive out across the desert to Phoenix. "Think of it as a road trip adventure with musical benefits."
Three days of recording produced Burn, Castaway and Rocks Off - co-produced with monster bass player Chris Catero [Marty Freidman, Razer].
It's a strange little story, but if there is any moral to the tale it is this - rock n roll is like malaria - if you have it in your bloodstream it's always there - even thirty six years later. Just wait for the burn of the fever.