If you haven't heard the name Aldo Nova in a while, don't feel bad. You're probably in the majority.
It seems the only time his name has popped up since 1982 is when his rock radio staple, "Fantasy," gets some well-deserved airplay.
But a six-year recording hiatus, in an attempt to break a recording contract with Epic Records, has paid off. Nova is back recording on Jon Bon Jovi's Jambco label, a subsidiary of Mercury Records, and the album and first single are called "Blood on the Bricks." Nova and his band will be in Baltimore tomorrow afternoon at the Brokerage for a lunch-time concert.
Nova said he got the urge to begin recording and performing again after joining his old pal Bon Jovi on stage in his hometown of Montreal two summers ago.
"I thought it was amazing because they remembered me," Nova said. "I walked off stage and Jon said 'Why don't you give it another shot?' Epic released me from the original contract, and Jon and I started writing songs immediately."
The new album brings Nova's sound back to his early material, when such songs as "Ball and Chain" and "Monkey on Your Back" were radio and MTV regulars.
"We tried to do the best rock and roll album we could," Nova said. "I feel like after six years, I've got something to say. Now I'm leaving the business end up to the business people and just making the music I want to make."
Another band making a comeback of sorts is Simple Minds.
Led by singer Jim Kerr, the group had several big hits during the mid-1980s, including "Don't You (Forget About Me)," "Sanctify Yourself" and "Alive and Kicking."
But Kerr said the growing popularity and the whirlwind touring began to take its toll on the band.
"When we went off of the road in 1987 we were totally spent, mentally and physically," Kerr said. "I don't think it would have been fair to the fans or to ourselves to continue at that pace. It wouldn't have been our best work."
So after releasing a live package, "Live -- in the City of Light," the band did another studio album in 1989 called "Street Fighting Years," which went unsupported by touring and consequently sold poorly.
Now the band is taking to the road again in hopes that its latest album, "Real Life," will bring it back to the pop music forefront.
"We kind of like the underdog role," Kerr said. "Some people have forgotten about us and we have to win people all over again. We like that challenge. There's real motivation for us now and we're not intimidated one bit."
Simple Minds appears at Lisner Auditorium in D.C. tomorrow night.
Hammerjacks welcomes Winger (tomorrow) and Billy Squier (June 11).
Guns 'n' Roses and Skid Row perform a pair of shows at the Capital Centre (June 19 and 20).
Merriweather Post Pavilion has Poison, Slaughter and Bulletboys (Saturday), Julio Iglesias (Monday) and Elvis Costello and The Replacements (June 16).
Hank Williams Jr. and Sawyer Brown appear the Baltimore Arena on Saturday.
Steppenwolf performs at Steeltown on Monday.
At Wolf Trap Farm Park in Vienna, Va., Indigo Girls do their only local show next Wednesday.
Tower Of Power perform at Max's On Broadway Monday night.