Friday, August 26, 2011


(M. Finnigan/S. Finnigan/Royer) Okay, enough with all this nuisance good taste. Time to get a little raucous. Boys was a bluesy idea I had been working with for quite a while when I showed it to Mike Finnigan. This was about 1990 and I had been working with the Finnigans, Mike and Sean, in one combination or another, since the late 70s. For the historians among you, here’s some background…

In 1978 I was producing a band called Tracks which kept morphing members and names. It started in 1976 as Baby Grand with Mike Boddicker, a keyboardist-singer, Eric Nelson on bass and Pat Mostelato on drums. Baby Grand had a lot of label interest at the time, however it was decided that the band needed a guitar player and Chuck Cochran was added. There was immediate tension between Chuck and Boddicker and when the split came I broke on Chuck’s side.

Okay so now we needed a keyboardist. All-world pianist Larry Knechtel joined the band (which was renamed Bandit) but he decided he needed to move back to Washington and once again, we needed a keyboard player. Mike Finnigan was a legend around LA and I decided to go for the best. I chased him down at the Saddle Peak lodge. He was just out of a couple of record deals, one on Columbia, the other on Warner Brothers, disgusted with the pop scene and resolved to play only the blues.

Here I am trying to talk him into another pop band. I said I was thinking about the audience. His reply: I’m an audient.

I could see he was going to be a handful, but he was an unbelievable player and singer so we combined him with Chuck, uber-bassist David Miner, drummer Rick ‘Snacks’ Jaeger and percussionist-singer Harry Stinson. This was Tracks’ final line-up.

I worked with Tracks for four years, we had interest at A&M but could never get them to pull the trigger so I finally turned the project over to producer Freddie Pirot to see if he could have any better luck. He didn’t.

Okay, here’s where it gets weird. During our last days together in Tracks, Mike kept telling these hilarious jail stories about his brother Sean, who in a momentary lapse of judgment had robbed thirty one banks. I was veering off into writing screenplays at the time, partially because of frustration with the music scene (we were in the throes of Disco) ended up telling Sean’s story to a studio, they loved it and, after parting company with Tracks, my next years were occupied with trying, along with his family, to get Sean out of jail so we could write this movie. Quick summary: Sean got out in 1986, screenplay was written in three weeks, sold to producers at Fox, major director was brought in, Spielberg swooped on the director and, after writing and selling several more screenplays, it was back to the music business.

Clear? Good. Cut back to early ‘90s and, at this point, I am working with both Finnigans. One day while messing around with Boys, Mike activates, starts throwing around ideas, new riffs and rhythms, he and Sean write a bridge, Sean ends up on Bass, I get assigned lead guitar and… well this is the result.


1 comment:

  1. LOL - great overview Robb. I'm tuning in for the tales almost as much as the music at present - keep the stories comin' ! (particularly as I've already got this one ... and I encourage EVERYONE to get The Finnigan Bros CD).