In the 1980s, Kevin DuBrow was the voice that powered a pair of iconic albums to platinum status.
“Mental Health” (1983) was the first hard rock/metal record to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts and went on to sell more than six million copies. “Condition Critical,” which was released the next year, was not nearly as successful, but still sold more than three million copies.
From that point on, Quiet Riot never enjoyed anywhere near that level of commercial success again.
Dubrow, however, did appear on another album that went platinum.
In 1985, Mickey Thomas and his band Starship were recording tracks at the Music Grinder in Los Angeles. The singer struck up a friendship with Dubrow and the pair spent many nights throwing back drinks on the Sunset Strip.
“Kevin and I met at the Rainbow,” Thomas said after a performance in Lexington in 2017. “So, we just started hanging out and drinking together. I just said, ‘Hey man. Why don’t you come on down to the studio and sing something with us?’ So, he said OK.”
Dubrow ended up playing a very small part on one track that appeared on the Starship album “Knee Deep In The Hoopla.”
The four-second long somewhat muted screaming YEAH at the beginning of the song “Rock Myself To Sleep” — a less-than-memorable April Wine cover with Grace Slick on lead vocals — is DuBrow.
“He came down to the studio. We drank some tequila and that was it,” Thomas said.
Dubrow is credited on the album’s liner notes as an additional vocalist on the song. Still, even the most dire-hard fan might not be aware of this small contribution.
“Knee Deep In The Hoopla” reached No. 7 on the Billboard charts and featured a pair of No. 1 singles that became quintessential 1980s anthems — “We Built This City” and “Sara.” The album would sell more than one million copies.
Dubrow never appeared on another Starship song. He would eventually reunite with Quiet Riot after being fired from the band he formed, but died of a drug overdose in 2007.
While Dubrow is gone, Thomas remains the voice of Starship more than 30 years after the release of “Knee Deep In The Hoopla.”
At 71, he has the band back out on tour after COVID-19 kept them off the road for more than a year.
Starship, featuring Mickey Thomas, will be the featured act in the final concert of the inaugural Town Center Summer Concert Series on Friday, Sept. 3 in London.
The free event is set for 7 p.m. at Town Center Park — 500 N. Main Street in London, Ky.
The 2021 version of Starship has no remaining members from the “Knee Deep In The Hoopla” era, except of course for Thomas, but plays a collection of songs from across the band’s entire catalogue, including the Jefferson Airplane era.
The setlist regularly includes “Fouled Around and Fell in Love,” a song Thomas sang with the Elvin Bishop Band in 1975, “Jane,” “Find Your Way Back,” “White Rabbit,” “Somebody To Love,” “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” and “Layin’ It On The Line,” but not “Rock Myself To Sleep.”
The current line-up of the band features vocalist Stephanie Calvert, guitarist John Roth (Winger, Survivor and Giant), bassist Jeff Adams, (Survivor and Joe Lynn Turner), drummer Darrell Verdusco and keyboardist Phil Bennett, who has been on stage with many artists, including Yngwie J. Malmsteen and Dubrow.
Quiet Riot continues to tour as well, even without any original members following the passing of drummer Frankie Banali in 2020.
The band has shows scheduled in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and all across the country this summer.
Thomas recently had spinal surgery, but is excited to get back out of the road and share the band’s music with fans.
“I’ve been feeling so much love from you all over the last few days,” Thomas tweeted. “I just wanna say thanks so much. I can’t wait to be out there singing again and giving you back some of the love you’ve shown me!”
Dangerous Dan & The Funktown Horns will headline the next Towncenter Summer Concert Series, which is set for Aug. 6.
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