Sometimes the best way to make it is to work for an established act, or at least somebody a record label is already interested in. The Hooters formed around the nucleus of Rob Hyman (vocals/keyboards) and Eric Bazilian (vocals/guitar). The two had been in the Philly-based Baby Grand and released two albums. John Lilley (rhythm guitar), Andy King (bass) and David Uosikkinen (drums) were added to create the Hooters, a nickname for the melodica (keyboard harmonica) the group used.
While the Hooters were early '80s local heroes (they opened the U.S. portion of the Live Aid show in Philadelphia) it was Hyman and Bazilian's work on Cyndi Lauper's "She's So Unusual" album (Hyman wrote the hit "Time After Time") that helped get them signed by Columbia Records.
The Hooters' debut "Nervous Night" ('85) had the ominous, churning Rocker "All You Zombies." The song had a brilliant-threatening swagger to it. It was texturally dense and spooky. On a lighter note, there was the upbeat Rocker "And We Danced." With a Folk/Rock 'n' Roll feeling the song just missed the Top 20 but "Day By Day" did make it, just barely.
The group toured, mostly as a supporting act. They produced two more CDs, "One Way Home" with "Satellite," a sharp criticism of tele-evangelists, and "Zig Zag." Neither made much of a dent. Also, Fred Smith Jr. replaced King on bass. Nearly a decade later the Hooters recorded another CD "Out Of Body."
Hyman and Bazilian worked as songwriters and session musicians for Joan Osborne, Willie Nelson and Billie Myers, among others, through the '90s.
1985 Nervous Night
1987 One Way Home
1989 Zig Zag
1993 Out Of Body
2007 Time Stand Still
2010 Five By Five: EP
Before their name became synonymous with the hot-wing restaurant chain the Hooters were a progressively dark Rock group. "Nervous Night" is the CD to get. After that, "Zig Zag."