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Copyrightę 2000
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by The Great
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Nancy Deedrick

Our 9th Year!

 

Shady Lady Bio
(written by Stephen Shady)

Shady Lady started being put together in New York in '69. I met Gerhard who was from Austria while working together in a hip clothing store in the east village. Gerhard and his wife at the time had a loft in what now is known as Soho. We started jamming with this jazz drummer who was a friend of Gert's. This drummer whose name escapes me was this black dude who kept his drums at the loft so he had a place to practice between gigs. He loved too jam with us but his heart was with jazz and wasn't long term for us as Gert and I were rock n roll all the way. I then introduced John who was already a friend of mine and a extraordinary guitar player. The three of us fit perfectly for what I had in mind. What I had in mind was a different type of rock n roll band. One where the sound, look and attitude would begin to shape a new era and style of rock n roll. John was from Queens, NY. John moved in with us as well. I mean after all this was an ideal situation to start this band. The loft was huge and no neighbors to bother as there were factories on the other floors. Anyway, due to some difficulties with some previous dealings John and I had with some Mafia dudes which I won't go into here we had to leave NY. We had intended on going to England to find the other two band members as we just couldn't find them there. The problem was monies were low so we headed out for Los Angeles. Gerhard left his wife behind who wasn't going along with this band thing that Gerhard was head over heels for. We hit Los Angeles in early '70 and created quite a stir with our looks and style. We soon found Leonard who was from Toronto and Billy who was from West Virginia and the band was together. We were picked up by a manager and were opening for Redbone who he also managed. I didn't like being second billed to Redbone as we were very different style of music and didn't care for the type crowds they drew. I liked their band though. I talked it over with the other band members and we dropped that manager. We then were approached by The Robert Stigwood organization. They wanted to sign us but were involved in the Jesus Christ Superstar thing and asked us to wait 6 months. I said no we are ready to roll now. Then Robert Fitzpatrick had gotten wind of us and was Stigwood's ex-partner with the BeeGees and some other known groups. He sent his people over to hear us and signed us on the spot.  We then started playing local gigs such as the Whisky, Oop Poo Pah Doo's, outdoor concerts, concert halls, etc. all under Fitzpatrick's guidance. We created quite a following over a short period of time due to our music, outrageous clothes, pretty boy looks and wild antics on and off stage. We had a look and sound that one writer in the trades described as; "this English looking, long haired, bare chested, pouty lipped band comes on with a barrage of sound that is as if The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Led Zeppelin, The Who and Alice Cooper were all rolled into one. This band should go far". We also received a lot of negative press because we were bad boys who got into brawls and trouble easily. The later was largely due to our looks and guys were jealous because we attracted the girls. We looked femine but that was only our looks, our attitude stated something else and we didn't take crap from anyone. We were kind of early glam and kind of pre-punk, if you know what I mean. We had many offers from major record companies but our management was asking what was considered then an outrageous amount to sign us. Mainly what we wanted was a lot of money in distribution to assure that our music was heard. We got something else instead though.....we signed with Scepter Records out of New York with promises of the world. However Scepter Records had problems we didn't know about and went belly up while we were finishing up the first of three albums that John and I had ready to go, each album stronger and more sophisticated than the other as by design. By then egos and drugs were starting to take their toll on the band though along with the hangers on with everyone seemingly wanting something from you. The bottom line is we were too young and grew too popular too fast and just weren't able to handle it all. The band broke up in summer of '73 after being written up in the trades as the most promising new act of the year. John and I writing under Shady Christian were being compared to Jagger Richards at the time. The management called me in and asked me to go solo after the band broke up but I declined as I did several other offers around that time. My heart just wasn't in it anymore.

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