“Hard To Find”
Okay, so if you’re a regular listener to the podcast, you’ve heard me talk endlessly about Starclub. The song you just heard Hard To Get is, in my opinion, the best pop song of the ’90s, and the band’s self-titled debut album from 1994 is just perfect and it seemed the band was positioned for a long and decorated career. But that career never happened and although they signed the biggest contract for a debut album in Island Records history, the label lost interest after the album didn’t scale the heights they expected and they dropped the band from their roster.I’ve been obsessed with the Starclub story for years–I never got how a band this good, a band shot through with so much talent and promise, could just fade away with only one record under their belts. We’ve done several episodes with the band–the singer Owen Vyse was on, then Owen and bassist Julian Taylor did an episode, and then guitarist Steve French did one as well and slowly the picture of the band’s demise started to really come into focus. Now, Owen is a friend of mine and has been for years. We used to talk all the time and he’s one of the smartest, funniest and sweetest guys around. And he’s what a lead singer should be: confident, brash, charismatic and absurdly talented. But about a year ago, he kind of vanished. Social media went dark, calls and texts were never returned and the silence was not only deafening, but troubling as well. I still don’t know where he is or if he’s okay. Several people have contacted me to see if I’ve heard from him and the fact is, I haven’t. This episode serves several purposes: for starters, Starclub is an unfairly undocumented band–I can’t find any live footage, there are barely any photos and almost no additional audio, with the exception for what’s on the record. So this episode serves as a way to document them further and to remind people about how great they were. Secondly, Owen told me he had nothing from the band’s time together and not only that,he hadn’t thought about their tenure in years and was thinking there was so much he had forgotten. Remember, Starclub got together when they were in school and they were 12 and 13 years old, so it was a while ago. He wanted to have a series of conversations where his memory would get toggled and in chatting he’d dust off memories that hadn’t occurred to him for a while. These guys were signed to the same label as U2and Bob Marley, they toured the country, and they had a video on MTV and VH-1: they were in it and when you’re in it, things happen and those things are fun to hear about.And finally, this is just a great chat with a great friend about a life that very few of us get to live. After Starclub, Owen played guitar for years with Echo and the Bunnymen, so he covers that as well….