WASHED

Country USA

Style Hard Rock
PhotobucketTaking there cues from a striving local underground metal scene in the LEHIGH VALLEY (ALLENTOWN-BETHLEHEM-EASTON) area the band WASHED clearly set a course all there own playing their style of catchy EUROPEAN influenced Hard Rock! Born to a an Irish father & Italian mother JJ BELLEW formed the band in September 1986 with PHIL MAHR & JOHN ROEBUCK (his brother Hollywood actor Daniel Roebuck).

In January 1987 MIKE WHITMORE completed the line up for 1 demo and 6 months of gigs opening with “I NEED AN ANGEL” led the band to be thought of as Christian Metal. November of 87 brought change to the line up DANNY BROWN was recruited from NASTY NASTY replacing WHITMORE who joined OMYNUS. Locally the band was widely considered the first of the AIRPORT MUSIC HALL bands to break the mold buy performing strictly original music & within a year from its first gig (Apr-88) WASHED was the most popular local hard rock band. Sam Younes & (Pat Lenover who now works for LIVE NATION) booked the band in the NORTHEAST USA, networked with regional bands “SCREAMER/JIM DOFKA-Ohio/WV” “BACK TALK/Swizzles-York, Pa” and “SHOUTS manager booked/Club Narcissus-Boston” where brought to Allentown to perform at the Airport Music Hall buy Lenover/Younes & they reciprocated with WASHED going to there home turf.

Stops included the “Empire Rock Room/Trocadero-Philadelphia” “The Silo/Hugo’s-Reading, Pa” “Metron-Harrisburg” “Hammerjacks-Baltimore” “Cat Club/Sanctuary-NYC” and select clubs through out Pennsylvania/New Jersey with artists such as SKID ROW, WHITE LION, JOAN JETT, KIX, TT QUICK, ZEBRA, PAT TRAVERS BAND, GREG HOWE, DIRTY LOOKS, TRIXTER, BRITNY FOX, CHILDS PLAY, BAD ENGLISH & HEAVENS EDGE.

The band recorded the Power Ballad “ALONE” with producer KURT SHORE at Kajem Studios in Philadelphia the track received airplay locally from WZZO/RICK STRAUSS-WAEB 104.1/LAURA ST. JAMES! College stations WMUH/WLVR and specifically WXLV’s-MATT METAL-KAMAKIZE CRAIG-HEAVY METAL HEATHER gave the band an incredable amount of exposure!

Concrete Marketing & Promotions Convention sampler in 1988 & 90 included “ALONE” and “TURN IT AROUND” respectively garnering the band international exposure in countries that included CANADA, AUSTRALIA, ITALY, UK, GERMANY, FRANCE, SWEDEN, GREECE & SPAIN. In early 1989 the lead vocal duties where offered to singer Robert Mason at the time fronting a local cover band but deided to stick with steady paycheck! Several years later he made his way west landing in “Lynch Mob” recording several albums but none ever made an impact like the George Lynch’s latter band DOKKEN.
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“Sept. of 89” on the strength of local support WASHED was voted by record company reps “WZZO Z-95’s 1st BACKYARD BANDS” winner to SRO crowd during the Allentown Fair. It was followed buy additional airplay from Philadelphia radio stations WMMR/CINDY DRUE and WYSP/RAY KOOB as the band performed for the Philadelphia Music Foundation at the Arch Street Empire. RICK STATKUS who engineered and co produced various tracks for WASHED came aboard in 1990 replacing JOHN ROEBUCK.

With almost 3 years of intense rehearsing, gigging, and recording WASHED released the 13 track BLUE album in October 1991 selling several thousand copies worldwide with very little promotion that got the attention of ATCO, GEFFEN, WARNER BROS and ELEKTRA. But a record deal never came with the rise of “Seattle Grunge” in the early 90’s. The landscape musically was changing & it was not to long after that the Major Record Companies stopped supporting hard rock music of the 70/80’s all together as MTV dropped HEADBANGERS BALL officially marking the end of hard rock/metal in main stream America for the time being, does anybody remember the album sales & the arena’s filled??

In January 1992 with possble gigs to perform at the legendary Brooklyn, NY club “L’AMOUR/KEN KREITE” where turned down starting with an opening slot with ZEBRA at the old Mystic Lounge/Thanksgiving Eve!  The guys dispersed never performing ever again as BROWN went on to front IRON BOTTOM SOUND 1994-98 producing 2 CD’s & continues working to this day at MARTIN GUITAR’S in NAZERITH, PA.  STATKUS kept up his studio production work with the area musicians and is still very active with various project’s at SIGNAL SOUND STUDIOS in QUAKERTOWN, Pa.

PHIL MAHR has performed in several local bands and JJ BELLEW continued his song writing, recently performing with SARAH AYERS (Oct/2004-June/05 non metal). .. The bands song’s speak for themself, putting forth a great effort laying the path for record companies to sign area talent in the 90’s most notably FUEL!.

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– Blue [1991]

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WASHED, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings