Stephen Pearcy Joins The Line-Up For Rock The Square 2016
In case you missed the announcement, this year Rock The Square in downtown Tyler will feature Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat and Stephen Pearcy, formerly of Ratt.
It's set to be an outstanding show overall on Saturday, October 15th and you can get your tickets right here.
To get you psyched for a full-on day of Rock, here's a look back at some of Stephen's biggest hits with Ratt, most of which you're sure to hear at the show!
"Round and Round" was the song that launched Ratt to mainstream success. The track just barely missed the Billboard Top 10 (topping out at a respectable #12) and helped propel it's parent album, Out Of The Cellar, to multi-platinum status.
Most of us remember (quite fondly, if you're male), Tawnee Kitaen's iconic appearances in Whitesnake's 1980s videos. But before she became David Coverdale's main squeeze, she was Stephen Pearcy's girl. Tawnee's legs graced the cover of Ratt's debut EP and she's seen crawling along the basement floor on the cover of Out Of The Cellar. Additionally, Tawnee appears in a video from another cut from the band's raucous debut, "Back For More"...
One more from Out Of The Cellar. The video for "Wanted Man" features Ratt at the peak of their newfound powers. In the clip, the band is surprised on stage with the presentation of their platinum certification, girls swoon over the band and then, in true 1980s fashion, the guys morph into a western-era gang of rogue cowboys...for some reason...
Ratt followed up the wildly successful Out Of The Cellar with 1985's Invasion Of Your Privacy, also a million seller. Unlike many bands that find themselves cursed with a sophomore slump, Ratt actually surprised critics by stepping up the quality of their songwriting. Even those who derided the "pop metal" genre as a whole in the 1980s, conceded that Ratt combined catchy hooks, guitar pyrotechnics and a tough veneer that owed as much to blues as it did Top 40 radio. "You're In Love" was the album's first single:
By 1986, it was practically impossible to avoid Ratt on the radio and, particularly, MTV. "Lay It Down" was another Top 40 hit for the band, complete with a video featuring a creepy clown and even creepier "child" Stephen Pearcy...
The band didn't rest and kept up a gruelling pace of releasing an album per year, followed by another whirlwind tour. In 1986, Ratt released their third multi-platinum album, Dancing Undercover. Unfortunately, the record didn't wow the critics. Many noted a glossier, slicker production quality that appeared to water down Ratt's generally blistering attack on record. Nevertheless, the band scored yet another big MTV hit with the track "Dance".
Following appearances at the Monsters of Rock Festival and a world tour with Poison (one of the highest grossing tours of 1987), the band returned to the studio to complete Reach For The Sky. Although the album continued the band's platinum streak, critics once again, panned the record. "Formulaic" and "sophomoric" were common terms used to describe the album. Given the band's break-neck pace of the prior 10 years, it should probably have come as no surprise that they would, eventually, begin to run out of stream creatively.
By the time the new album hit shelves, alt-rock and grunge, while still in their infancy, were beginning to made inroads toward the mainstream. While Reach For The Sky eeked out platinum status once again, the writing was on the wall. Glam-metal was on its way out the door. If they weren't careful, Ratt would be tossed aside along with it.
Still, Reach For The Sky yielded one big hit on both radio and MTV. "Way Cool, Jr." would go on to become one of the band's signature songs.
Remember the part up above there...about Ratt being careful? The whole thing about them being mindful to stay in touch with trends in the music industry? Yeah. Ratt didn't do that. Instead, they released 1990's Detonator.
This would be a career low for the band in terms of sales. Furthermore, the group was falling apart. Years of non-stop touring and recording had given way to addictions.
Detonator features one distinction in their catelogue: the only "power ballad" the band ever recorded: a track called "Givin' Yourself Away", co-written by Stephen and power-ballad song doctor Diane Warren. Hey, everyone else was doing it, so why not?
Yeah. No. Stephen's voice was not suited to this sort of love-sappy balladry. The record all but stiffed.
Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden loomed...and Ratt was falling apart.
Ratt did an early episode of MTV Unplugged but then wisely disbanded. While it was a shame that the band went out with a fizzle, they knew enough to call it a day and step aside for a new breed of rockers.
Thereafter, Stephen went on to enjoy the fact the he now had money. And lots of it. He could now experiment with different genres of music without concern for commercial success.
First, he formed a new band with Cinderella's Fred Coury, Arcade. It wasn't quite glam-metal, wasn't quite grunge but it certainly showcased the fact that Stephen could still hang with the likes of Guns N Roses. Quite honestly, it was good stuff.
But the band's two albums didn't really sell all that well and they split in 1995.
Stephen then formed a band called Vicious Delite (cleverly abbreviated as "VD"). Essentially, an experiment in full-on sleeze rock, it didn't take off either.
Finally, in 1999, Ratt reunited. And this surprised everyone because woah...whatever happened to Ratt?
Also surprising to pretty much everyone was that the resulting self-titled album was actually really great. Even Rock critics that had long since made the band a joke, took notice and ate a bit of crow.
While the record didn't match the band's 1980s status of multi-platinum sales (no one expected it to), it outsold expectations. And the Rock world gave a solid thumbs up to the band's commendable return. "Over The Edge" became a hit at Rock radio:
Unfortunately, tensions within the band proved too difficult for the band to weather and they split again. All of this was documented quite famously on an episode of VH1's "Behind The Music".
However, nine years later, the band would reunite once more with Carlos Cavazo of Quiet Riot taking over for the late Robin Crosby. The result was Infestation which immediately debuted in the Billboard Album Top 40. It was a solid effort too. Not quite the critical darling of its predecessor but it garnered welcome reviews across the board.
Especially worth noting are the duelling guitars of virtuosos Cavazo and Warren DeMartini. Stephen was also, of course, back in fine form.
Ratt split once again in 2014. Today, Stephen spends his time between various musical projects and is married to model Melissa Pearcy. They have a young daughter and the family resides in Los Angeles. Stephen tours when he damn well feels like it.
We're lucky enough that he damn well feels like coming to Texas to join us for Rock The Square on October 15th alongside Blue Oyster Cult and Foghat. It's worth pointing out that this is a "one off" date for Stephen. Meaning, he's actually going to pack up the band, jump on plane, hang with us and then go back home and play video games or something. So, it's a special gig in that sense.
For Stephen, it just sounded like a cool show in a cool place that he hasn't visited in a long time. We asked and he said, "OK. Sure!"
Also, we gave him money.
Got your tickets yet? Come join us. It should be a great time.