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Categories: Hard Rock, Melodic Rock

Biography

Previously known as THE SHARKS, issuing the 'Alter Ego' album on which vocalist Richard Black (a.k.a. Richard Czerny) was then known under the pseudonym of Race Revol. THE SHARKS, realising there were numerous acts of the same name, evolved into SHARK ISLAND in 1984 with the addition of a new bassist in Tom Rucci and drums from erstwhile RACHEL and AMERICADE drummer Walt Woodward III. To mark the change over, the band released a five track demo tape, comprising of 'Excess Marks The Spot','Dangerous', 'Read My Lips', 'Sex Drive' and 'Grapevine'.

The band progressed to releasing a full blown album and 'S'cool Buss' gave SHARK ISLAND an immediate hit on the underground scene. 'S'cool Bus' was made up mainly of demo material, the odd track produced by RICK DERRINGER ('Deja-Vu) or BERLIN keyboard player David Diamond ('Read My Lips'). The album (the first pressing of which comes in a mainly pink sleeve, whilst the second is blue), nevertheless achieved it's purpose in giving the band worldwide exposure and prompted a deal with major label A&M Records.

SHARK ISLAND, who had been augmented on second guitar by ex-HURRICANE man Michael Guy, was then dealt a huge blow when A&M decided that they wanted Black but not the rest of the band. Political manouveres ensued apace now as Black was briefly to liaise with SKID ROW. Black co-wrote a song with SKID ROW guitarist Dave Sabo ('Somebody Falling') and A&M also engineered songwriting with SURGIN's Jack Ponti, best known for his songwriting work with BON JOVI ('Shot Through The Heart').

Black was seemingly forced to look for new musicians, although Black claims that A&M had signed SHARK ISLAND to a demo deal, as oposed to giving him a solo deal, and that the shedding of members was a natural process every band goes through. Whatever, still teamed with Spencer Sercombe, with Woodward long gone and Rucci and Guy joining FIRE with ex KARMA members and former ACTOR vocalist Jessie. Guy would later join HOUSE OF LORDS.

Still teamed with Spencer Sercombe, with Woodward long gone SHARK ISLAND auditions followed for a fresh rhythm section and former A=440 bassist Matt Bissonette and erstwhile DAVID & DAVID drummer Greg Ellis were duly enrolled. Two tracks recorded for A&M turned up on the soundtrack album for the popular 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure' movie.

Bisonette would depart, later joining DAVID LEE ROTH, and SHARK ISLAND enlisted former BERNIE TORMÉ man Chris Heilmann as stand in. Unhappy with A&M, the band broke away to ink a deal with another major Epic Records.

The 'Law Of The Order' album, produced by Randy Nicklaus, featured the Black / Sabo composition 'Somebody Falling' plus three tunes co-written with Ponti. A cover of FLEETWOOD MAC's 'The Chain' was also added for good measure, the original having been popularised by its use as the theme tune to BBC TV's coverage of Grand Prix Formula 1 motor racing.

Black was later to form part of the "supergroup" CONTRABAND together with Spencer Sercombe UFO guitarist Michael Schenker, L.A. GUNS guitarist Tracii Guns, VIXEN bassist Share Pederson and RATT drummer Bobby Blotser. After a handful of live dates Black departed. Sercombe would unsuccessfully audition for the OZZY OSBOURNE band and join the RIVERDOGS for a term. By 1997 he was a member of ex-BLACK SABBATH drummer BILL WARD's solo band. A later act, the RICHARD BLACK PROJECT, would include SAMSON guitarist Paul Samson.

Black duly aligned himself with another ill fated venture. BOURGEOIS PIGS was an all star union forged in late 2000 and included Black in the roll call for the 'Calamity Of Vanities' album alongside former OZZY OSBOURNE and BADLANDS guitarist JAKE E. LEE, ex-HOUSE OF LORDS guitarist Michael Guy and bassist TONY FRANKLIN, veteran of BLUE MURDER and THE FIRM. Drums were in the capable hands of FIFTH ANGEL, ALICE COOPER and HOUSE OF LORDS man Ken Mary and Matt Sorum renowned for his work in GUNS N' ROSES and THE CULT. Keyboards came courtesy of Linsday Vannoy of ALICE COOPER. Strangely, this high profile project floundered.

Rumours surfaced in mid 2005 that the classic SHARK ISLAND quartet of vocalist Richard Black, guitarist Spencer Sercombe, bassist Chris Heilmann together with new drummer Glen Sobel, a veteran of IMPELLITERRI, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, CRUSADE and TAMPLIN, were set to reform for a new album entitled 'Gathering Of The Faithful'.

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