More Press CLips
". . . the fast-rising ADAM WEST, who puts the conviction but not the convention back into three-chord rock; 'I Get a Sensation' is a playlist pick."
". . . Things started off pretty mellow. Then ADAM WEST hit the stage. ADAM WEST has been around for about three years but suffered a break-up in November 1994. The band hasn't played DC since August last year, so I was excited to see the new guys and the new material. With the new line-up and a different direction, they went past everybody's expectations and delivered a great show.
After an introduction curiously reminiscent of the intro to MC5's "Kick Out the Jams," the band launched into a nonstop, energetic set. Lead singer Jake Starr is still screaming his head off in his best Jim Morrison/Iggy Pop and writhing around on the stage, while drummer Tom Barrick is still bashing away at his poor drum kit. The new members, guitarist Johnny Epiphone and bassist Steve (no last name available), pushed the sound into hard rock/punk territory. The only older songs they did, "I Get a Sensation" and "Little Sister" from their debut single, sound even harder. New songs like "Perfect Deal" and the killer "Beauty" hint at the Stooges. The crowd ate up the showmanship, especially when Starr fell off the stage and wiggled on the floor. Ending with the Misfits tune "She," ADAM WEST unabashedly showed their influences and their talent. Check 'em out!"
--Erica Wissolik, Scene, Vol. 1 #29, March 24-30, 1995
"The show to get to tonight is at Planet Fred. Local rockers ADAM WEST, whose lead singer Jake Starr pulls out all the rock-god stops onstage . . ."
--Scene, Vol. 1 #30, March 31-April 6, 1995
". . . we go to the Black Cat and who do we see, but the superstar coverboys, ADAM WEST. They were glowing; they ate up the fame! I love it!"
--Letters Page, Scene, Vol. 1 #7, October 14-20, 1994
"BUZZ. BUZZ. BUZZ.
Tonight at Republic Gardens you can see a couple of much-talked about bands [ADAM WEST and Our Lady Peace] that have at least a few people convinced that they'll be B-I-G, and soon. If you want to hear some music that you're sure to hear on WHFS-99.1FM in the near future before they become inaccessible due to fame, fortune, etc., now's your chance.
DC's ADAM WEST has been around since December 1991 and since then they've been given the seal of approval of just about every Washington media institution. ADAM WEST's music has such a dead-on groove to it that it would be easy to look right past it and concentrate on the band's superstar presence, but let me tell you a little something about it anyway. Their songs are straight-on hits recalling '70s rock radio-Kiss, Big Star, even Led Zep-a novel approach for a band shooting tor the top of the rock pile and feeling no shame about it. The theme carries over to the beautiful rock god presence of lead singer Jake Starr and an equally dreamy (and fashionable!) band, which accounts for probably as many drooling fans as does the music. Sure, I was skeptical at first. Pretty boys don't have the drive to make good rock. But ADAM WEST puts enough of a '90s spin into its retro-rock to make it worth listening to, not just watching . . ."
--Paige Connor, Scene, Vol. 1 #32, April 14-20, 1995
". . . Named after the star of the old Batman series, ADAM WEST has undergone major changes in the last few months. Like, say, a breakup in November of 1994. But frontman Jake Starr is back in the spotlight with new members Johnny Epiphone (guitar) and Steve (bass) as well as original drummer Tom Barrick. This new incarnation however, packs more POW and BLAM than in its former state. Formerly compared to '60s garage bands, ADAM WEST has taken on a harder edge. Now, says Starr, they are more akin to the Stooges, Misfits, and MC5 than the Yardbirds. And although their style has been revamped and their members have changed, they have managed to build up a bunch of great tunes. Turns out Epiphone had lots of guitar tracks laid down already so 'things happened very quickly,' Starr says.
The last time ADAM WEST played DC was in August  at The Black Cat, and the [Free DC] Peace Party will be their first time out with all new stuff. The band plans to release a CD in late spring or early summer and might even get a 7-inch out before that time. Australians have already caught onto ADAM WEST's sound-the Aussie magazine Drum Media hails ADAM WEST as a combination of Soundgarden, Radio Birdman (a seminal Australian punk group), and 'the snarling angst-ridden best bits of '60s punk.'"
--Bethany Matsko/Angela Baggetta, Scene, Vol. 1 #27, March 10-16, 1995
"ADAM WEST-i get a sensation b/w little sister 7" - The first side's tune is an absolute gem! Hard, groovin' music with powerful vocals that make you want to move! The B-side is somewhat slower, but packs just as much punch. No let-downs on this 45. Seeing them live would be just sooo intense! The raw energy just pulsates through every note that they pull from their instruments. Jeez, this is a great record!"
"ADAM WEST-cough/cool 7"(one-sided) - Anyone out there besides me a Misfits fan? If you are, you need this record! An incredible version of the A-side of the Misfits' first single; it does the band justice. Any group who covers this song deserves a big commendation! . . . Yee ha! My dreams come true!!!"
--Thomas Wells, New Brand Fanzine, #4, January 1994"
"West by Northwest - Combining the bluesy swagger prominent in '70s Washington rock with the scraping, surging post-punk guitar that's common today, ADAM WEST's 'Little Sister' sounds a bit like Razz updated for a Dischord career. The other side of the quintet's recent 45, 'I Get a Sensation,' is more '60s: Tuneful blues-pop-rock in the mode of the Yardbirds or Them, this one deserves its A-side status - even if the band does hedge the designation by declaring 'Sister' the 'AA' side . . ."
--Mark Jenkins, Washington City Paper, Vol. 13 #31, August 6, 1993
"ADAM WEST-i get a sensation b/w little sister 7" - Well, whaddya know . . . a lead singer who doesn't sound like a manure salesman with a mouthful of samples. He actually knows how to project to get the song across. Of course, having a driving rhythm section with a two guitar buzz helps immensely. Powerful with well-crafted tunes and melodies. Check it out!"
--Foster Child Fanzine, #15, Winter 1993
"Mon. Nov. 29 - boasts two of our best local bands! ADAM WEST opens for Velocity Girl with door proceeds going to doingsomething. . . . Early Who- and Stooges-inspired ADAM WEST have been busy releasing their '60s-'70s pop-rock feel on a single in Australia, while maintaining their own Fandango Records . . ."
--Nightclub Nine-Thirty Volume, November 1993
". . . rising Starr post-Ramonists ADAM WEST opens at the 9:30 Club."
--Eve Zibart, Washington Post, June 4, 1993
". . . Hack happy ROCK, complete with riffs and a SEXY macho vocalist . . ."
--Flipside, #86, October/November 1993
"Road Trip with Macho Swagger: ADAM WEST - I've never been so happy to get to know a band that's so full of shit. Walking into ADAM WEST's headquarters in Adams Morgan, one is immediately sucked into a world of Shaft posters, comic books, Jayne Mansfield pin-ups, and shelves of black exploitation novels. The gentlemen in this band comfortably straddle the fence of arrogant cocksureness and self-effacement. "We're the hunkiest band in DC," they've been heard to say.
The foursome has been together since last summer, but have experienced a surge of attention recently and have responded with several releases, including the Dance Session EP (Messiah Complex), and 'i get a sensation/little sister' 7" single (Fandango). Cyclops Records is scheduled to include 'love like a stone' on its upcoming Capitol Crisis compilation disc. 'Heavenly' has also been getting local airplay on WHFS-99.1FM.
The band is considering a move to NYC in the near future, because there's 'just a lot of interest up there.' They've already got gigs booked at CBGB's and possibly the Grand. I caught their August 29th show at Brownie's in Manhattan's Lower East side, which is quickly becoming the hippest small club in NY to feature up-and-coming bands. (Even the legendary CBGB's is having to step aside.) ADAM WEST had a good taste of this new hipness, slaying the room with a solid performance that from the first downbeat filled the room with pure drive and pop energy. Andy Rapoport's thunderbass and Tom Barrick's amazing drum sound locked into slinky grooves and edgy rock that fell right into the pocket of melody created by Bill Crandall's Les Paul and Jake Starr's powerful vox. Highlights of the evening for me included tunes like 'oscar the grouch' and 'love like a stone.' Highlights for the band included 'light traffic, good response from the audience, decent dough, and a lot of good-looking chicks.'"
--Cole Quinn, Scene, Vol. 1 #3, September 16-22, 1994
"ADAM WEST is a fine example of DC's up and coming performing bands. ADAM WEST has released the 7" single 'I Get A Sensation' b/w 'Little Sister.' Of the two, 'Little Sister' offers a strong, hard-hitting get-out-of-your-seat jam! This is good-time fun rock! The band often performs in noted clubs including 15 Minutes, 9:30 Club, and The Bayou. Look for a CD in stores soon (also listen for the song 'Oscar the Grouch' which is another sure-fire hit!). Hats off to ADAM WEST as they continue to unleash their mega talent on vinyl. If there are any major distributors reading, I recommend sampling ADAM WEST's sound! . . ."
--Flattery Fanzine, Vol.1 #2, July 1993
"Batman? No, ADAM WEST - ADAM WEST visited the Tavern Friday night, but he was not a middle-aged, has-been comic book hero, but a young, attractive, alternative rock band. The audience didn't seem disappointed. The band describes its music as 'impossible to pigeonhole,' since it stems from various influences, 'Everything you hear nowadays is recycled,' said Andy, the bass player. 'I think we recycle things better.' Added Ray, the guitarist: 'We're not a shoe band,' a reference to the band's particular distaste for grunge musicians who stare at their shoes throughout a performance. . . . ADAM WEST gave a rock show full of energetic tunes that both the band and the audience seemed to enjoy. Offstage, they said, they are all friends and hang out. 'I once gave Bill a fat lip,' Andy proudly said. 'It wasn't a real fight, but one of those things that sounds good to tell a reporter.' Their name reflects their attitude. (For those of you lacking television trivia, Adam West is the actor who portrayed the original Batman.) 'It's tongue-in-cheek,' Andy said. 'We're named after this guy who wore tights, and no one took him seriously then or now, even though he was supposed to be all serious.' Band members list their career goals as 'fame' and 'for people to know that we were in a band.' The audience they said they wish to appeal to is 'girls.' This band offers quality alternative music in a spirit of fun. They deserve success. . . ."
--Rebeca Gonzalez, American University Eagle, September 20, 1993
"Brand new 4-track/EP on the great Messiah Complex label (responsible for the first Australian releases by Superchunk, Big Chief, Sugar Shack, and Casualty) is the 'Dance Session' EP by Washington, D.C.'s ADAM WEST. Now who the fuck are they, I hear you say? Well, if you take any notice, you might recall us going on about their first 7" a while back. Did we say it was an absolutely essential slice of muthacreamin' melodic grungebeat which reminded us of a cross between Radio Birdman, Soundgarden, and all the snarling angst-ridden best bits of 60's punk? We didn't? Well we meant to. First 100 copies of this one are on purple vinyl, there's only 500 in total, and the band are taking a damn shitload to appease their hoards of malingering fans Stateside. The band are currently being wined and dined by members of the major label (& some cool indie) A&R chequebook brigades, with a view to givin' them heaps o' dosh so everyone east of friggin' Shanghai can get a handle on them at their local Brash's counterpart [i.e. Tower Records]. So get in here quick and grab yerself a treat before all the hoo-ha hits!"
--Drum Media (Australian Music Magazine), June 1994
"The name of Adam West, the band, was inspired by one of lead singer Jake Starr's most prized possessions, an autographed photo of "Batman" TV show star Adam West that still has a place of hono on Starr's bedroom wall. 'When I was 8 years old, my dad took me to a car show to see Adam West and the Batmobile,' Starr says. West signed the photo 'To Jake, from one crimefighter to another, Adam West.'
'So when we started this band, it sounded like the Kinks circa '64-'65, and we wanted a name that gave a hint of the '60s influences. We went through all the cartoons and TV shows we grew up with, like Speed Racer and Marine Boy and stuff like that. Suddenly, we just looked up and there was that picture, and it was the perfect name.' It's hip to deny the pleasures of fame, but Adam West is refreshingly frank about its pursuit of stardom. 'Hey, bring it on,' Starr says. 'We take ourselves seriously . . . but we're not all hung up on trying to change the world. We're definitely all on the phone the night before a show asking,'What are you gonna wear?'"
--Joe Brown, Washington Post, January 14, 1994
". . . Kathryn Lauren from WHFS has again featured ADAM WEST on her Local Licks show with 'I Get A Sensation' from the new tape, so please call her up and request it! They should be playing 15 Minutes and 9:30 Club regularly when this is printed."
--University Reporter, May 1993
"A '60s feel permeates'Oscar the Grouch,' as ADAM WEST launches a brand of post-Mersey music reminiscent of the Animals and the Yardbirds. Jake Starr's delivery closely resembles that of Eric Burdon, and the catchy guitar tandem of Bill Crandall and Ray Wiley is right on the mark.'Overboard,' too, has that taste. The tone and lyrics begin calmly ('no more anger'), then eventually build, until finally being pushed over the edge (as 'the song goes on in my head'). Their '60s skin is shed somewhat by 'Why Is It Dark Today?' It's a straight ahead effort, as ADAM WEST conveys their 'bitter sound' quite tastefully."
--Mark Bounds, Maryland Musician, November 1992
Interview with Jake Starr and Andy Rapoport in the American University Eagle
"In this stage of political correctness and reluctant rock stars, it is unusual to find a band as vain glorius as ADAM WEST. They take their inspiration from the very foundations of Rock-N-Roll, like the Rolling Stones, whose music reviews undoubtedly included a full paragraph describing what the band was wearing. Image on stage is indeed a major part of ADAM WEST. The Eagle listened to lead singer Jake Starr and bass player Andy Rapoport discuss the finer points of being a Rock-N-Roll idol.
Rapoport: I had this notion that ADAM WEST should be the kind of band where girls are going to come to the show just to see what we're gonna wear on stage. We're gonna be that fashionable!
Starr: That tension before the show starts . . .
Rapoport: And the taking off of the shirts. Really though, women have always played an important role in Rock-N-Roll. Rock started out very sexual. Elvis Presley singing love songs. Dressing the way you do because you want to look cool for the girls who will be looking at you at the show. There is nothing sexist or chauvinistic about it. The concept is just age old. Like with the Beatles or KISS. It also says something about how not-so-seriously we take the content of our songs. It's all just fun. We're not trying to deliver a new code of ethics, and we're not gonna whine about being twenty-something. It's not our bag.
Starr: I write about love; love gone bad or wrong. This can be based on what I've experienced or what I visualize. A lot of it is about pure full-on sex. But others are more heartfelt. I just don't feel the need to preach about black and white or Russia. I'd rather sing about a man and a woman getting together. Or a man and a man. Or a woman and a woman. I don't want to discriminate.
Rapoport: We are very open that way. I mean, the Beatles said, 'She's was just seventeen, you know what I mean.' That can only mean one thing!
Starr: What about Winger; 'She's only seventeen. Daddy says she's too young, but she's old enough for me.' It's definitely something just a part of Rock-N-Roll.
Rapoport: Jake buying a new 'Shaft' jacket is all the reason in the world for him to call me in the morning and tell me about it. It's part of the presentation. It's a theater on stage with music. Part of it is looking cool. Having people say, 'Oh my God! Look at those tight leather pants Jake and Andy are wearing! How do they get into those?'
Starr: Or better yet, how do we get them out of those?
Rapoport: But they never say that.
The cocksureness or male arrogance mixed with just the right self-effacement helped me see how tongue-in-cheek the band really is. They are admittedly lazy when it comes to rehearsals, getting together on average once a month to practice. And a good percentage of that rehearsal time is spent discussing outfits for upcoming concert appearances. But the product that is produced on stage is bursting with 'male energy.'
Rapoport: We've grown into a real strong live band, that's definitely our thing. We record well, but you need to capture our live energy.
Starr: We really deliver live and that's one thing you can't say about a lot of bands. Yeah we record well, but we're absolutely amazing live. There's something electric on stage when our sound really comes off . . . especially for the women.
You can see how easy it was for this band to come together. After just one rehearsal, they knew they had something special. Something cool. Their sexy macho rock spans over many musical tastes. From Kinks '60s-inspired 'i get a sensation,' to the cheesy '70s pop in 'vehicle.'
Starr: I've always considered myself a victim of the '70s. I've never been able to get out of it. I've got a couple of people living inside me; I can't get them out. Like Jim Morrison, Debbie Harry, Paul Rodgers, and Tom Jones. It's all inside me and they come out when I'm on stage. You're going to see them all.
Rapoport: That's one of the great things about this band. We can do all kinds of stuff: straight '60s garage sound or '70s funkadelic groovy stuff.
Starr: We take some of the best things about music in the past twenty years coming together.
What does the future hold for this up and coming band? Their first CD release 'five the hard way!' (featuring a cover photo of Shaft's Richard Roundtree) will soon be released in Australia. The songs such as 'little sister' and the Misfits cover 'cough/cool' can be found on 7" singles. They have quite a cult following here in our fair city, but we all know Washington, DC is a tough town to break into.
Rapoport: People will not recognize Washington, DC as any kind of music capital. I think we should move to Australia, make it really big there, and then the States will say, 'Give us ADAM WEST back!!'
Starr: I got a letter in the mail today from the country of Latvia. A DJ at the first underground, independent radio station has a tape of two of our songs. Some DJ in Los Angeles sent our singles to a Latvian DJ! He loved it. He wants us to send him more and stock the local record store with our singles. ADAM WEST is big in Latvia.
Rapoport: I'll move to Latvia.
Before these boys start jetting around the world, you can still see them in our area. On November 29th, they opened for another set of local favorites, Sub Pop recording artists Velocity Girl, at the 9:30 Club. They will also be headlining at the 15 Minutes Club on December 8th.
Concert Review - The fashion event of the season for ADAM WEST fans occured last Monday night when the band named after the Batman TV star played at the 9:30 Club in downtown DC. The show's proceeds went to the organization doingsomething and the band did their best and put on an energetic performance. The boys in the band went with a suit and tie theme that was reminiscent of early Beatles or Rolling Stones. Tom Barrick sat down behind his drums in the classic black jeans, non-pressed white shirt, and black tie look. Guitarist and back-up singer Bill Crandall coordinated his short, dirty blonde hair with a green-blue suit and thin black tie. Baby-faced guitar player Ray Wiley looked like the cute boy-next-door in his clean cut black suit and tie. His psychedelic-swirled guitar straps attested to his link with the Rock-N-Roll band. Bass player Andy Rapoport looked impeccable in a fitted waist coat with a velvet collar that was as black as his instrument and his rockabilly hair. Last arrived the man of the hour: Jake 'I wish I were a six-foot-tall black man in 1971' Starr graced the stage in a black velvet Nehru jacket and sleek black shades. It may seem image is everything with ADAM WEST. But behind the hair and flashy clothes lies a driving beat and twin guitars that wrangle their way to good Rock-N-Roll. They opened up with one of their most popular singles to date, 'i get a sensation;' and by the third song, jackets and shirts were being stripped, if not for the hot lights, for the pure element of a fervent rock show. The band took care in their stripping, of course, continuing to primp by the rolling of sleeves and flipping collars. The audience is charmed by such an enigmatic band and responds to the groovy jam with tapping feet and rocking heads. It is the combined effort of image and sound that make ADAM WEST such an exciting element to the new rock scene. And the details they offer give an audience a feeling that they are in the presence of something special. Those moments when Jake Starr staggers around the stage, or the way Andy Rapoport effortlessly flips his bass pick into the audience at the end of a song, or the funky breaks in 'little sister' are what sets ADAM WEST apart. These are boys who would be thrilled to be on the cover of Time Magazine. They would take pride in their overwhelming male egos. Fame is what they aspire to."
--A.D. Gullo, American University Eagle, December 6, 1993
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