Ex-BURNING ROME guitarist Steve Dougherty's AOR act EYES was previously known as L.A. ROCKS prior to the recording of a 1989 demo tape. Previous members included HOUSE OF LORDS vocalist JAMES CHRISTIAN and LOVE/HATE and JOSHUA singer Jizzy Pearl (then using the name Jim Wilkinson). Dougherty himself and previously put down guitar on BERLIN's smash 1986 album 'Count Three & Pray'.
L.A. ROCKS became EYES in 1988, just prior to Christian joining HOUSE OF LORDS, leaving the door open for ex-PANTHER, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and KUNI vocalist JEFF SCOTT SOTO (a former L.A. ROCKS front man) to make a return. With Christian in the ranks, EYES recorded an impressive demo tape that also found ex-RATT and ROUGH CUTT bassist Matt Thorr involved. Keyboards, at that point, were courtesy of former BERLIN man Todd Jasmin.
Fronted by Soto, EYES signed to Curb Records, a label normally associated with Country music after originally recording an album's worth of material for Capitol. The band's debut album was released through in 1990 and was the first to feature an album recording of the L.A. ROCKS classic 'Nobody Said It Was Easy', a number that must have been recorded by every singer who has ever rehearsed with Aldy Damien. All but two of the tracks on the first album featured YNGWIE MALMSTEEN man Marcel Jacob on bass.
The group toured with NAZARETH, SLAUGHTER, KANSAS, GREAT WHITE, BAD COMPANY and CHEAP TRICK as well as headlining club dates. A proposed co-headlining tour with SAIGON KICK and county fair shows with REO SPEEDWAGON and KANSAS never got past the starting gate after Curb refused financial support.
Soto would quit the group after the 'Windows Of The Soul' album, featuring the recordings done for Capitol back in 1989, was eventually released. EYES hooked up with Mark Weitz (having once auditioned him in the L.A. ROCKS days), but the singer failed to last the distance and the two parties parted company in 1993.
Windows of your Soul
Whilst searching for a replacement vocalist, EYES auditioned the likes of Kelly Hansen of HURRICANE and Robert Mason from LYNCH MOB, even talking to ex-BUSTER BROWN, KING KOBRA and FOREIGNER singer Johnny Edwards. Eventually the search led them to Boston and erstwhile SHOUT and WILD HORSES vocalist John Levesque. He had been working on an abortive project with ex-WHITE LION guitarist Vito Bratta around that period.
The Swedish Empire label released a collection of demos entitled 'Full Moon (The Lost Studio Sessions). The material had been recorded whilst Mark Weitz was fronting EYES. Incidentally, original keyboard player Michael Dorian played keyboards on LILLIAN AXE's first two albums.
Sorry Girls but the guys of this record were:
Mark Weitz - Steve Dougherty - Aldy Damien - Jimmy O´Shea
J only sang some backgroundon it
In case of doubt J himself added this comment in Melodic Rock website's forum:
Don't get too excited, I'm not on this album....it was the 3rd release from the band & I was long gone by then, a guy named Mark Weitz was the one of the 'mooners' on this cover
and later you can find a couple of records: 24U
were you can find some extra traxx
November Mass / Full Moon (The Lost Studio Sessions)
CD Singles and promos
Bonus Info James Christian
talks about EyesJames, Tell us about your first beginnings. If I´m not wrong you were a member of the band Eyes a Pomp AOR band and recorded an album called "We´re in it together" in 1978. And you participated in Arc Angel with Jeff Cannata.
From the ashes of Jasper Wrath, came a group called "EYES". Eyes started out being an original group where we were able to attract a good audience each night who wanted to come and hear our original songs. We wanted to pick up where Jasper Wrath left off. For a couple of years, things went quite well. We even recorded our first album "We're In It Together" with a Label called "Quiet Cannon Records" We had developed quite a following. Yes i did background vocals for the Arc Angel Album as well as work for Jeff Cannata's solo work. You were in another band called LA Rocks with wich you recorded a few demos. LA Rocks should be the Jeff Scott Soto's Eyes?
I had received a call from Aldy Damien, who at the time had a group called LA Rocks. He asked me if I would be interested in coming to LA to sing on a few tracks to see how the chemistry would be. My answer was a resounding YES. I only had a few days to learn the material, so the on the Flight back to LA, I had on my headphones and really honed the songs i was to sing. I really like to memorize my lyrics before I sing them so that I am not looking at a paper while I am trying to get a heartfelt performance.
This was not of of my favorite bands and really thought that the material was a little weak. I never thought LA Rocks would be the band I would make it with. Talking of Jeff Scott Soto again, he was responsible for backing vocals on the House Of Lords debut, how did that come about?
Jeff Soto was good friends with Chuck and also Jeff has a nice clear high voice which was a good blend for the backgrounds we were looking for.