Bursting onto the Philadelphia music scene in 1980, The Hooters quickly became a huge success along their native East Coast. Their unique blend of ska, reggae and rock n roll was a fresh and powerful sound and in 1983 The Hooters released their first independent album “Amore”, which sold over 100,000 copies. “Amore” introduced the original versions of songs like “All You Zombies”, “Hanging On A Heartbeat”, “Fightin’ On The Same Side” and “Blood From A Stone”, all songs which would reappear in different versions on later albums.
It was also during this time that Rob (Hyman) and Eric (Bazilian), along with producer Rick Chertoff, wrote and played on Cyndi Lauper’s debut album “She’s So Unusual”. Rob and Cyndi co-wrote the now classic hit song “Time After Time”. The Hooters’ strong and powerful presence, as performers and as songwriters, led to their first major record deal in 1984 with Columbia Records. Their 1985 debut release “Nervous Night” quickly achieved gold and platinum status all over the world. Rolling Stone magazine named The Hooters the “Best New Band of the Year” in 1985. That year just kept getting better as The Hooters were chosen as the very first band to perform at LIVE AID in Philadelphia. With unforgettable songs such as “Day By Day”, “And We Danced”, “Where Do The Children Go” and “All You Zombies” The Hooters quickly became a household name.
By 1986 The Hooters had four hit singles under their belts and had been touring almost non-stop for a year promoting “Nervous Night.” A highlight of that year, the band was honored to be asked to play at the Amnesty International Concert at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. Relatively unknown only a year before, The Hooters were now sharing the stage with acts such as U2, The Police, Bryan Adams, Lou Reed and Peter Gabriel.
In 1987 The Hooters released “One Way Home”, again achieving gold and platinum status in several territories across the globe; with songs like “Johnny B”, “Satellite” and “Karla With A K”, “One Way Home”. David Fricke, from Rolling Stone magazine said, “The Hooters have made airwave magic with unconventional ingredients”. In 1989 The Hooters released their third major label album. “Zig Zag” which introduced the world to a slightly more mature Hooters sound, while still maintaining those infectious pop hooks for which The Hooters are so well known. With Peter, Paul and Mary on backing vocals, “500 Miles” became a worldwide hit that lead to another double-platinum success for the band.
It was also during this time that the band was asked to participate in Roger Waters’ multimedia extravaganza “The Wall” in Berlin. The Hooters joined music legends such as Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, The Band, Sinead O’Connor and Bryan Adams for an unforgettable musical experience. Also during this time the band left Columbia, signed with MCA and welcomed a new band member Mindy Jostyn. An instrumentalist and vocalist extraordinaire, Mindy’s energy and talents took The Hooters to yet another level of musical excellence. In 1993 they released “Out Of Body”. Recorded in Memphis, “Out Of Body” included a duet with Cyndi Lauper entitled “Boys Will Be Boys” and resulted in yet another world tour, their first as a six piece band.
It was during the “Out Of Body” tour that the band recorded their “Live In Germany” album (1995). Soon after this, Sony released the long awaited compilation album entitled “Hooterization – A Retrospective” in recognition of their greatest hits.
Following the completion of these albums and many years of touring, The Hooters decided to take a much needed break and concentrate on various solo projects as well as spending some much deserved time with their families.
Rob and Eric continued to contribute their musical and songwriting talents to other artists, including Taj Mahal, Mick Jagger, Willie Nelson, John Bon Jovi and many others. Most notably, in 1985, their work with producer Rick Chertoff again rocketed another relatively unknown female artist into superstardom, contributing much of the material and instrumentation for Joan Osborne’s debut album “Relish”. Eric’s masterfully penned “One Of Us”, shot up the charts. Once again, just as “Time After Time” was nominated for numerous Grammy Awards, including “Song Of The Year 1984”, Eric achieved the same prestigious nomination for “One Of Us” in 1996. “Relish” was nominated for a total of 6 Grammys, largely due to Eric and Rob’s strong songwriting contributions. The original production team reunited with Joan Osborne in 2004 to write, produce and play on her album “Little Wild One” released in September 2008.
In 2000, The Hooters were honored to have Ricky Martin cover the English version of “Private Emotion” on his Grammy-nominated self-titled debut album.
The Hooters live shows often feature their own versions of both “Time After Time” and “One Of Us”, and appreciative audiences in Germany sometimes hear “Private Emotion” and “One Of Us” in their native language.
Over the last few years, in addition to Rob’s work with Dar Williams, Eric has also continued to work with artists such as Jonatha Brooke, JC Chasez and most recently The Scorpions. Eric has 6 co-writes on their new release “Humanity-Hour 1”, released earlier this year.
In 2001 the right opportunity arose for Rob and Eric to reunite with their band mates and revive their first love and worldwide success, The Hooters. Since then they have been hard at work again touring and completing a new studio album and a new two-disc live album.
The Hooters played extensively in Europe in ’03, ’04, and ’05 and it was also during this time they wrote many of the songs for what would become their first new studio album in 14 years. In 2006 “Time Stand Still” finally became a reality. With songs written primarily by Rob and Eric, and a beautiful cover version of Don Henley’s “Boys Of Summer”, “Time Stand Still” was recorded in Philadelphia and mastered in New York. Sold exclusively at shows throughout the 2007 Summer tour, the CD was officially released on September 14, 2007 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria through Neo/Sony BMG Distribution.
Europe has blessed the band with rave reviews on the CD and the band has recently returned from Europe where they performed and promoted the new CD with live shows and radio and TV appearances.
Philadelphia fans were treated to two sold out shows at the Electric Factory over Thanksgiving 2007. As a special thank you to all the Philly fans, everyone attending received a free advance copy of The Hooters new CD “Time Stand Still” later officially released in the United States on February 5, 2008.
At the end of February 2008, the band was joined by violinist Ann Marie Calhoun for two live-in-the-studio performances of acoustic arrangements in front of a small audience. These performances were recorded and along with live recordings of the two 2007 Thanksgiving shows at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, became the basis for “Both Sides Live”, a new live double album showing both the electric and acoustic sides of the band.
The tradition of playing Thanksgiving holiday shows in Philadelphia continued again in 2008, and those fortunate enough to attend received advance copies of “Both Sides Live.
As Rob said in a recent interview:
“Well, a key line in the title song is ‘if I had a way to make time stand still’ and in many ways, it really describes our efforts to make music and keep this little band of ours alive all this time. Though time and miles have separated us over the years, whenever we all get in the same room, pick up our instruments, and start to jam, something magical instantly happens – we “become” The Hooters, and I suppose that IS our way of making time stand still. Being in a band with such great players and friends, over 25 years now, has been quite a blessing and fortunate experience.”
And this is just the beginning of the latest chapter in the lives of these “great players and friends”.
In early 2010 the band recorded the five song EP “Five By Five” then headed out for the summer 2010 30th Anniversary Tour. Guest musician Tommy Williams joined the band, initially filling in on guitar, mandolin, and backing vocals while Eric was recovering from a broken shoulder that allowed him to sing, play harmonica, recorder, but only a little guitar. After Eric’s complete recovery, Tommy remained as a valued contributor to the exciting live show through the end of the 2011 Silver Lining Tour and a long series of shows in Germany with the legendary Status Quo.