With their scads of one-shot ’80s wonders, compilations like Rhino’s Just Can’t Get Enough got us going on the age-old question ”Where are they now?” So we tracked down a few of the era’s more familiar faces and had them fill us in:
Greg Kihn Band
*Big Hit: ”Jeopardy,” No. 2 in 1983
*Lasting Contribution: Using album titles (Next of Kihn, Kihnspiracy, Kihntagious, RocKihnroll) to revive the lost art of punning.
*Current Activities: After an extended crash (”I got divorced, went crazy, had a drug problem, I was broke, the band broke up — man, it was a bummer!”), Kihn, 41, has taken a page from the Henry Rollins handbook and diversified: Tour Books will publish two Kihn horror novels (the first, Song of the Banshee, will be available through Apple’s E-World on-line service this fall). After the re-formed Kihn band records its 15th album next month, they’ll tour India. ”I wanna go to the Taj Mahal,” says Kihn. ”In fact, I’d like to record in there.”
*Big Hit: ”Mickey,” No. 1 in 1982
*Lasting Contribution: Pioneering the MTV formula of young women in short skirts singing ditzy pop (”’Mickey’ was a song created with the video in mind,” says Basil).
*Current Activities: Before her fleeting pop success, Basil, 45, had a career as an actress (Easy Rider) and choreographer (David Bowie’s 1975 tour). So her post-”Mickey” resume includes movies (Eating), TV (Baywatch), directing (videos for David Byrne and Linda Ronstadt), and choreography (for tours by Tina Turner and Bette Midler). After Midler’s tour wraps up, Basil intends to restage her performance piece on the history of street dance, Shockin’ the House. So does she mind being pegged a one-hit wonder? ”Oh, no. I love it. I love it. I love it.”
*Big Hit: ”Everybody Have Fun Tonight,” No. 2 in 1986
*Lasting Contribution: ”Everybody have fun tonight/Everybody wang chung tonight.”
*Current Activities: After the duo broke up in 1989, lead singer Jack Hues, 38, wrote music for an album of poems by a former Kraft General Foods VP and scores to a 1994 HBO movie A Body to Die For: The Aaron Henry Story and William Friedkin’s 1990 film The Guardian. Bassist-keyboardist Nick Feldman worked at a dance label and formed a band with another ’80s leftover, Culture Club drummer Jon Moss. Today Feldman, 32, is producing music for a CD-ROM company and has a new group, the Altered States of America (”the Cars meet the Crash Test Dummies”). His advice for ’90s video stars? ”Make sure that however you look, you won’t find it too excruciating in 10 years’ time.”