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BANG TANGO

Current Members

Past Members

Live Session Members

Biography

Amidst the onslaught of eighties hair Metal bands BANG TANGO came into the fray rather late, yet managed to distinguish themselves from the pack with a clutch of classy, sassy albums. Ultimately their timing would be off though, pitched when the genre had already peaked. The San Diego act arrived with a live album entitled 'Live Injection' featuring a spin on HANOI ROCKS 'Futurama', their brand of Gothic infused Glam immediately making waves, particularly in Europe. BANG TANGO had actually first appeared on the 'Black Roses' movie soundtrack album in 1988 with the inclusion of 'I'm A Stranger'. The quintet followed that up with another track, a live version of 'Love Injection', on the Metal Blade issued 'Street Survivors' compilation, by which time the MCA affiliated Mechanic Records headed by Steve Sinclair had signed the band.

In advance of debut album 'Psycho Café', Mechanic stuck the 'Live Injection' affair out on the 'independent' World Of Hurt imprint, thus creating a buzz about the group that held sway for the full blown studio album a few months later. Prior to the formation of the band vocalist Joe Lesté (a.k.a. Joe McElyea) had almost joined ROUGH CUTT, but instead linked up with the CITY SLICK and MICKY KNIGHT duo of bassist Kyle Kyle (a.k.a. Kyle Keiderling) and guitarist Mark Knight, second guitarist Kyle Stevens plus drummer Tigg Ketler (Robert Ketler) to do his own thing with BANG TANGO. Having been caught at a ten band Gazzari's showcase by Mechanic A&R rep Steve Sinclair the band was soon on its way.

Howard Benson, a man who would become a hot ticket as a Metal producer over the next few years, produced 'Psycho Café', recording the band's studio debut in Austin, Texas. As the album entered the US Billboard charts, peaking at no. 158, the band subsequently toured America in 1991 opening for L.A. GUNS, RATT, CHEAP TRICK and BADLANDS as well as putting in valuable Japanese shows.

BANG TANGO followed up with 'Dancin' On Coals'. However, this effort took a full five months to craft as opposed to to 'Psycho Café's three weeks. The investment in time failed to pay off as the record failed to make the Billboard top 100. 1992's mini-album 'Ain't No Jive Live' was recorded at The Marquee Club in Los Angeles and produced by Mark Dearnley. Reuniting with Howard Benson BANG TANGO cut the 'Love After Death' album but, although a European release was granted, MCA refused to sanction US distribution.

The band spent a period on hold whilst Lesté and Kyle Kyle involved themselves in other projects, with the bassist forming FLOOR 13 with former FASTER PUSSYCAT frontman Taime Downe. FLOOR 13 became THE NEWLY DEADS by the time an album surfaced during 1997 on their own Bubble Records.

A drastically altered line-up of BANG TANGO toured during the summer featuring Leste, Kyle and new members Dan Aon, also a NEWLY DEADS member, guitar player Mark Tremalgia of VAGABONDS and drummer Rob Jones. After being involved in a serious road accident Kyle Kyle left THE NEWLY DEADS following recuperation in an amicable parting and rejoined BANG TANGO full time in a revised line-up that retained Tremalgia and added new drummer Walter Earl. A subsequent show at the Cathouse in Los Angeles, now at the city's Key Club, on 9th April 1998 was recorded for a live album 'Untied And Live'. Of note is that the French release of this record features a bonus cut in BANG TANGO's cover of the KISS classic 'Strutter'.

Former BANG TANGO men Mark Knight and Tigg Ketler turned up in WORRY BEADS, releasing an EP titled 'Broke n' Down' in 1998. Stevens joined WORRY BEADS in 2000.

Lesté quit the band to join L.A. GUNS but within weeks would rejoin BANG TANGO. However, he was soon out again forging a new band with ex-L.A. GUNS bassist Chuck Garrick, former BULLETBOYS guitarist D.J. Ashba, FASTER PUSSYCAT's Brent Muscat and ex-SHAKE THE FAITH drummer Danny Parker. This unit collapsed when Garrick joined DIO and duly reinvented itself as BEAUTIFUL CREATURES.

In its new guise Lesté's band retained Ashba and Parker with another ex-SHAKE THE FAITH man bassist Kenny Kweens and former TOMMI GUNN and ALICE COOPER drummer Anthony Focx switching instruments to rhythm guitar. The band re-titled itself HELLSTAR in late 2000 but would score a deal with major label Warner Bros. Re-billed as BEAUTIFUL CREATURES.

Tremalgia would form a duo with WAR vocalist Mia Dunn titled DUX HAUS MOB. The pair would go on to create Blues Rockers BLUE MOON FEVER. In late 2002 news arrived that the erstwhile BANG TANGO duo of Mark Knight and Mark Tremaglia were touting a fresh project, fronted by singer Joe Roncetti, by the name of GUVNOR. Another BANG TANGO member, bassist Kyle Kyle, was back in the limelight in March of 2003 with a new band SINS OF A DIVINE MOTHER.

A reformulated BANG TANGO rose up but new personnel drummer Robert Gibb, Brian Saunders and guitarist Michael Thomas, the latter previously with TUFF and also sharing duties with BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, all vacated en masse in April of 2003. US gigs throughout mid 2004, dubbed the 'Bad Boys Of Metal', saw the band hooked up with former QUIET RIOT singer KEVIN DUBROW, ex-WARRANT frontman JANI LANE and erstwhile GUNS N' ROSES drummer Steven Adler's band ADLER'S APPETITE.

BANG TANGO issued the 'Ready To Go' album in September 2004. The group of musicians that put these tracks together comprised Lesté, guitarists Alex Grossi and Anthony Focx, FASTMASTER bassist Curtis Roach and drummer Matt Starr. Both Alex Grossi and Matt Starr would also working with HOOKERS 'N' BLOW, the live side act of GUNS N' ROSES keyboard player Dizzy Reed also including Curtis Roach along with drummer Troy Patrick Farrell of the GILBY CLARKE band and MIKE TRAMP's touring act.

Joe Lesté acted as substitute singer for ADLER'S APPETITE's Japanese dates in March 2005. BANG TANGO scheduled UK dates ranked alongside PRETTY BOY FLOYD and ENUFF Z' NUFF for April. The band teamed up with PRETTY BOY FLOYD and STEPHEN PEARCY for the 'Metal In America Tour 2006' beginning in early February. Perris Records scheduled the album 'From The Hip', engineered Scott Goodwine, for September issue. However, the album was delayed until late October.For this effort Lesté was joined by guitarist Mark Simpson, bassist Lance Eric and drummer Timmy Russell.

That July the band appeared at a once in a lifetime gathering of 80s Rock acts dubbed 'Rocklahoma', a three-day outdoor festival held in Pryor, Oklahoma, sharing the billing with RATT, VINCE NEIL, WARRANT, SLAUGHTER, QUIET RIOT, WINGER, DOKKEN, JACKYL, FASTER PUSSYCAT, ENUFF Z'NUFF, STEELHEART, 36 INCHES, Y&T, FIREHOUSE, BULLETBOYS, POISON and GREAT WHITE.

Alex Grossi rejoined the band in December 2008 for announced European shows flanking FASTER PUSSYCAT in 2009. The Taime Downe fronted FASTER PUSSYCAT, together with BULLETBOYS and BANG TANGO teamed up for the 'Summer Rock Fest' tour in July and August 2009. David Michael Phillips (a.k.a. David Henzerling), of KING KOBRA, KEEL and BIG COCK, sessioned for these shows before Alex Grossi returned for the 'Rocklahoma' festival. Drums were delegated to Troy Patrick Farrell, of HOOKERS 'N' BLOW and TRAMP'S WHITE LION.

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