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Country USA

Style AOR

During the 1980’s, Vital Signs were considered one of the hottest unsigned bands on the West Coast. They were an opening act on tours by some of the top rock acts of the period, including Y&T, Tesla, Tina Turner, Eddie Money, Joe Cocker, Journey, Eric Martin, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and many others. Vital Signs headlined clubs and concert halls throughout California and the Western U.S. They drew the attention of a number of major record labels, including Atlantic Records and A&M Records.

Vital Signs finally gained international exposure when they recorded “The Boys and Girls Are Doin’ It” for the 1989 hit movie, “Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure”. The song ( produced by David Sieff) was the featured track on the A&M Records soundtrack album and was released as a CD single. The big budget music video for the song debuted on NBC TV’s “Friday Night Videos” (the first and only video by an unsigned band to be aired by the show). It played in medium rotation on MTV, VH1 and other US music video channels. In Europe and Japan, the video was well received (hitting the Top 10 in Japan) and the single received heavy radio airplay for several months. Unfortunately, the record industry had turned its attention to “alternative” sounds and Vital Signs were lost in the shuffle. Good songwriting and musicianship took a backseat to “image”. The handwriting was on the wall and the message was not encouraging. The members of Vital Signs agreed to put the band “on hold” and pursue their individual careers. As it turned out, the “hold” lasted for almost ten years.

All the members of the Vital Signs team prospered during the decade long hiatus. Lead guitarist Jimmy Z was in constant demand for studio sessions by some of the Bay Area’s top artists. Dan Pasternak (keyboards) produced numerous soundtracks for TV and has released several critically acclaimed CD’s on his Cambia Records label. Vocalist David Notary performed with a number of Bay Area bands and has recently teamed up with songwriter John Nyman and Y&T bassist Phil Kennemore for a new project. Drummer Doug Freedman has played with a number of popular West Coast acts. Co-manager/Producer David Sieff continued his career as producer for many California acts. Co-manager Scoop Sweeney works as Production Manager/Promoter’s Rep for concert promoters throughout the Western U.S.

With all of the success they found away from Vital Signs, you might think it would have been difficult to get these guys back together. Unknown to the members of Vital Signs, a long-time fan, who just happened to be a successful A&R rep in Europe, played some of their demos for AOR Heaven owner Georg Siegl. The rest, as they say, is history. The band quickly called a meeting and agreed to take the act “off hold” and go back into the studio.

On Saturday, October 13th, 2001 they gathered at a local recording studio to sign a recording contract with AOR Heaven, one of Europe’s top independent labels. The studio gathering was more than just a contract signing, since Vital Signs picked up their instruments as soon as the contract was signed and proceeded to record the final track for the CD. The final track, “Bang Bang”, a hard-rock anthem, convinced all in attendance that Vital Signs has not lost any of it’s talent or edge during their long hiatus.

From first phone call to final mix, only two months had passed and, finally, Vital Signs’ CD was finished and winging it’s way to Germany in a Fed-Ex cargo plane. We all gathered at the Vital Signs office and sat looking at each other, waiting for someone to say something. Finally, someone spoke up. “Remember that A&R guy who came into the studio at A&M Records and introduced us to his friends as ‘Vital Signs..a true overnight success story'”. After a short silence, someone giggled, then someone else laughed. Then we all laughed, really, really hard. We laughed until tears were streaming down our faces. We laughed until we were sick! Overnight success… what a concept! If that’s what overnight success is like, we are all thankful Vital Signs didn’t have to do it the hard way!



– Vital Signs [2002]



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VITAL SIGNS, 10.0 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
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