December 20, 2021

The Hollywood Stars go back to 1973 and were put together by impresario Kim Fowley, who would later go on to unleash the Runaways onto an unsuspecting world, in what was his idea of the West Coast’s answer to the New York Dolls. For sure, there was a lot of hype about the band and this still exists today and, for a period, the star shone rather brightly but, in truth, the hype outshone the band and time has very much diminished the glow.

The original line-up featured Scott Phares on vocals, Mark Anthony on guitar and vocals, Ruben de Fuentes on lead guitar, Terry Rae on drums and vocals and Gary van Dyke on bass and Fowley brought in just about every record executive he could think of for the band’s debut performance. The band soon became regulars at the celebrated Whisky A-go-go with Kevin Barnhill soon replacing van Dyke. They recorded two difficult to find albums in the ’70s but the material now seems to be available through various re-releases and re-recordings and it helped that two of their tracks were covered by major acts with Alex Cooper including Escape on Welcome To My Nightmare and Kiss covering King Of The Nighttime World on their Destroyer record. They broke for a while then reformed in the later ’70s with an amended line up but it all fell apart again and there have been a couple of resurgences of the band from 2015 onwards and now have a line-up that still includes several original members with Scott Phares on vocals and keyboards, Terry Rae on drums and Ruben de Fuentes on lead guitar plus John Schayer on bass and vocals and Chez Monroe on guitar and vocals.

No real new material has been produced yet so this live gig recorded on 18th July, 2019 at the Whisky A-go-go features all of the early material and the band are really up for the gig and give a hard working rock and roll performance that calls to mind the sound of Rolling Stones and the ease with which they play. There is plenty of banter from the band as they introduce the songs and the years literally fall away as they go through their paces with some fine rock songs and all are delivered with panache and integrity. If you remember the band for the ’70s then you will certainly recall the songs they play on this all too short set and any expecting a cash in or a last pay day outing will be surprised as there is life in the old dogs yet and they still can party with the best of them.

Live On The Sunset Strip

  1. King Of The Night Time World 3:37)
  2. Escape (3:48)
  3. Sunrise On Sunset (4:48)
  4. Band Introductions (0.55)
  5. All The Kids On The Street (3:31)
  6. Supermen Are Always Gentlemen (3:38)
  7. Modern Romance (4:50)
  8. Tough Guys Never Cry (3:20)
  9. Shine Like A Radio (3:27)
  10. Too Hot To Handle (2:40)
  11. I Can’t Help It (4:11)
  12. Make It To The Party (4:19)
  13. Habits (3:54)