The Hoodoo Gurus don't find their magic in the hype

Sound check

September 26, 1991|By Nestor Aparicio | Nestor Aparicio,Evening Sun Staff

The best part of the Hoodoo Gurus is the worst part of the Hoodoo Gurus.

According to the band's guitarist Brad Shepherd, it's that mysterious name and the warped sense of logic that has kept the band's audience to a "limited, but growing" status.

"It's hard for people to get a grip on the Hoodoo Gurus," said Shepherd, whose band appears at Hammerjacks Sunday night. "Maybe it's the name. Some people don't even get that much, let alone the musical part of it."

It's rather easy, he said.

"Some people say voodoo, but that's only in Haiti," Shepherd said. "In Louisiana, it's called 'hoodoo' -- like black magic. And the 'guru' part is about being a spiritual master of the whammy. We used to say it was about darkness and light, but I think that was just a cop out, an easy way of explaining it to people."

Add to their unique rock 'n' roll mix another twist -- all four members were born and raised in Australia -- and you can begin to understand why fans and critics alike are perplexed by this underground phenomenon known as the Hoodoo Gurus.

"It's weird because I think that most people that hear the band like the band," he said. "We have tons of energy. But there's something that is still left of center, something genetically inherent, that is to our commercial detriment.

"We certainly don't have videos with big hair, scantily clad women, and wet warehouse floors," Shepherd said. "We can't buy into that."

Six months ago the band released its fifth album, "Kinky," which has spawned one college/alternative hit, "Miss Freelove '69."

The album comes on the heels of a poorly received 1989 work, "Magnum Cum Louder," which was preceded by the very successful "Blow Your Cool," a 1987 release that had the band's biggest hit, "What's My Scene."

"By the time our third album was released we started getting beefed up by everyone," Shepherd said. "The record company, the management, the promoters. They were all telling us how great we were. It didn't help the album to sell any better. You can't start believing the hype.

"We've just resigned to making albums specifically and only for ourselves," Shepherd said. "We give very little consideration to what anyone thinks. At the end of the day we love our records. We love them and we love playing our stuff on stage for anyone who wants to hear it.

"I don't ever think we'll become millionaires."


The latest surge of canceled shows at Steeltown has caused quite a stir among the local concert scene.

Four shows -- The Radiators, The Mighty Lemon Drops, The Village People and XL -- have been knocked off the schedule in what general manager Larry Milburn says are financial maneuvers to help get Steeltown into a better financial position. The club filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S Bankruptcy Code five weeks ago.

"We didn't even have deposits out on the shows so we didn't lose any money." said Milburn, whose club opened May 1. "We're just trying to be a little more prudent in what we book, especially with the national acts."

Milburn said he will continue providing local entertainment at the facility and expects to begin booking nationally known acts again sometime in November.


The concert calendar:

Coming to the Capital Centre, Van Halen and Alice In Chains (Oct. 17), George Michael (Oct. 31) and Paula Abdul (Nov. 17).

Hammerjacks also welcomes House Of Freaks and School Of Fish (Saturday), White Trash (Oct. 4) and L.A. Guns (Oct. 12).

Max's On Broadway has David Cassidy and Danny Bonaduce (Oct. 7), The Brand New Heavies (Oct. 24) and Buddy Guy (Nov. 7).

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