The Story - Out Of The Shadows

The Band
A Fan Tribute Site
Robert Vaughn
Out Of The Shadows
Go to content

The Story

The material below is just part of the story, from former  executive producer Randy Layton, who kindly agreed to let me reproduce this from his old website. An expanded story is on the way from Anthony Daluz (ex- Shadows guitarist)


ROBERT VAUGHN'S SONGS & STORIES
(adapted from Randy Layton's Alternative Records website)  NB This information only goes up to the mid 1990's

Robert  Vaughn, in my opinion, is a songwriter and performer of great ability,  depth, and a lot of charisma tossed in.
 
My association with RV goes back to the Island/Exit days when I was promoting their product to college radio. Love and War was  what I used to call "passionately anthemic"- music that was similar to  that of the Alarm, U2, and Simple Minds, with a little more guitar in  the mix. Radio jumped all over the single "Justice" but by the time RV  and band performed it on American Bandstand it had already died - the  retail division of Island had dropped the ball and this chain of events  led to Exit severing it's ties.
 
Robert  kept writing and shopping material around, but not much happened until  late 1990. I had called him up, with the idea of doing an album of some  new material. Telling me it looked like he had a deal with Atlantic, he  passed but we had a good conversation. I was then suprised (not for the  last time) when he called 2 months later, informing me he'd been working  on "our album". And off I went on the RV rollercoaster ride!
 
The Riverhouse album  is detailed elsewhere....but there were always projects and ideas  flying about. We started work on a video album for Riverhouse (RV always  had been into video, and even documented the making of the Island album  back in 1987) and five videos were completed. "Gypsy Girl", "You Could  Be Mine", "Heartbreak and Ecstacy", "Golden Slippers", and "Velvet Tattoo"  were to be included along with some comic bits, a look through the past  history of the band, and other stuff. I sank a bit of money into this,  but like a lot of projects of RV's, it was never completed.
 
After  shopping Riverhouse around, Priority and Sony both wanted RV on board.  Priority wanted Riverhouse as I conceived it, packaging, songs, and all  with AR's continued association. Sony wanted some of the songs, wanted  some remixing and new material, and me out of the way. Eventually, Sony  was chosen because they offered more long-term support in terms of tour  and radio promotion. In the end, Sony spent over $140,000 on  recording songs and remixes and still chose not to release it. I  remember some executive from the East Coast showed up and heard the  album and said that he thought 1992 was "not going to be the year of the  singer-songwriter"- and it was shelved.
 
It  was also a less than ideal album - not so much in terms of the songs, but the  production - incredibly over-produced, over-wrought arrangements. "Say", a  gentle little song from Riverhouse was turned into a 5 minute power  ballad. The best example of producers gone amok was with the track  "Gypsy Girl"- we had used "fake drums" on that track (although most people  couldn't tell). Studio drummer legend, the late Jeff Porcaro, was  brought in to add "real drums"- but couldn't match the part we'd  programmed! So they sampled Jeff's sound and programmed that - amazing  stuff.
 
The  Sony experience virtually ruined AR for a long time - I lost an album,  about $25,000 and not much to show for it. I did steer him over to  Miramar, who took the same approach as Sony - half Riverhouse tracks and  some new stuff - and released that album as Robert Vaughn & The Dead  River Angels in 1994. Miramar never paid me a dime for the Riverhouse  tracks, as they were supposed to, and never did do any accounting. On  the other hand, Miramar couldn't get RV to cooperate on promotion,  touring, and other things, and eventually they parted ways quite  viciously. Since then, RV has done some producing, the occasional demo,  and is hanging out somewhere in LA as of this writing. His band has  finally gone their own way - Randy and Scott LaRocco are now in a band  with ex-Beat Farmer members, and John Nau has his own band, Zoo People,  and sees a lot of work as a session musician (he's all over the new  Hootie album).

There's more, much more to the story! Here's a short quote that I saw just this week: "It was a good ride from an AC/DC cover band with Raymond Tejadas on drums, to a Stevie Ray Vaughn Blues vibe, to what you saw on American Bandstand! And a lot in between!!"
Another site by GRAPHE Art & Design New Zealand
www.smashthatcomputer.com
Back to content