|FORMED: 1984, Waukesha, WI
The BoDeans are a rock & roll band formed in Waukesha, Wisconsin, by singer/songwriters/guitarists Sammy Llanas and Kurt Neumann, who had played together since high school, along with a rhythm section of bassist Bob Griffin and drummer Guy Hoffman. The quartet signed to Slash Records (manufactured and distributed by Warner Bros.) and released its first album, the critically well-accepted Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams (the title comes from a line in the Rolling Stones song "Shattered") in 1986.
Outside Looking In (1987), produced by Talking Head and Wisconsin native Jerry Harrison, saw the band reduced to a trio with the departure of Hoffman. It broke into the Top 100 best-sellers, as the BoDeans toured with U2, appeared on Robbie Robertson's self-titled debut solo album, and were named "Best New Band" in Rolling Stone magazine. By the time of the release of the third album, Home (1989), Michael Ramos (keyboards) and Danny Gayol (drums) had joined. This lineup stayed intact for the release of Black and White (1991), but the BoDeans were drummerless again as of the release of Go Slow Down (1993).
Following the release of the 1995 live double-album Joe Dirt Car, the BoDeans returned in 1996 with Blend. Around the time of Blend's release, "Closer to Free," a song taken from Go Slow Down, became a hit, thanks to its exposure as the theme song for the popular television show, Party of Five. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide