Hotlix lives!: Legendary Toledo band reunites for benefit show.Written by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Come back in time to the 1980s, the era of big hair, big shoulders and big rock ’n’ roll. In Toledo, if you were partying, there was only one band you were banging your head to: Hotlix, baby!
Formed from the ashes of a short-lived ’60s cover band, Hotlix — the best known line-up featured keyboardist Tim Tiderman, guitarist AJ Tscherne, bassist Steve Super and drummer Mike Lamb — rocked local nightclubs (including their own) with their brand of loud-playing, dirty-joke-loving fun. For 17 years, Hotlix was the premier party band in the city.
Then, in 1996, the band found itself at odds with the new wave of music that was coming to dominate the market. An ill-fated move to a new location only hastened the inevitable — the members of Hotlix went their separate ways. They would still get together for reunion shows once a year or so, reliving the good old days. Then, when Lamb died in 2003 after a battle with cancer, it seemed the group had officially played its last lick.
But sometimes, little show business miracles happen. On Nov. 27, the surviving members of Hotlix will come together one more time for a reunion show at Forrester’s on the River, 26 Main Street. The proceeds from the gig will benefit Hospice of Northwest Ohio.
“Ten years ago, October, our drummer passed away,” Tim Tiderman said in an interview with Toledo Free Press Star. “And we just all kind of decided that it was a four-piece deal, and if everybody wasn’t going to be there, we wouldn’t play. So, the drummer’s wife called, and this was back in September, and said, ‘You know, it’s been 10 years, and I think Hotlix should play.’
“Prior to that, I hadn’t really thought much about that, and I would have thought that we wouldn’t do it. I just thought we were done with it. It was a place in our lives musically, and as people, that we’re all older than that now, and passed it by. I would have said that we would not do it. But then, she called with this particular request, and I thought, ‘Well, OK, we’ll do it.”
Tiderman has moved on with his life in the decade-plus since he last took the stage with his former band mates. Not only is he a successful commercial pilot, he has put together numerous other bands — a 10-piece swing band, a four-piece jazz quartet, a gospel quartet — but because of his demanding work schedule, none of them get to play much. And certainly none of them scratch the anarchic, sophomoric, joyous itch that Hotlix did back in the day.
“And the really odd thing was, during the 10 years from the last time we played, you know, if I saw these guys once a year — if we see each other once a year, it’d be a surprise,” Tiderman said. “So we haven’t kept too much in touch, because we’ve all been busy doing other things. But as soon as we decided to do this, we all fell in just like it was last weekend.”
It’s amazing what you remember when you’re put in the right circumstances. Tiderman said that even though it’s been ages since the group saw each other, to say nothing of playing together, they have fallen back into their old patter with little effort.
“Obviously, it’s been a long time, and some of the things require a bit of reminding of how they go. Fortunately, we taped a lot. I have tape of lots and lots of nights, and I was able to
reassemble most of the stuff for us to listen to and get an idea of how it’s supposed to go.”
That documentation means Lamb’s memory will come along for the ride, too — Tiderman noted that they will be playing video of during the show, as a tribute to their missing friend.
Still, don’t expect the group to get too sentimental — anyone who ever attended a Hotlix gig back in the day knows damn well that this group thrives on irreverence, lewd jokes and raunchy interplay between members of the band, and the band and the audience. Tiderman said to expect nothing less from the Nov. 27 gig.
“The content of the show was always very risqué, and a whole lot of — let’s just call it what it is — a whole lot of dirty jokes and songs, not meant to embarrass anybody,” Tiderman said. “And it turned out that it was funny, people thought it was funny, and they laughed at it and responded to it.”
As for the future — well, Tiderman said not to hold your breath for a full-fledged Hotlix revival. That whole being a grown-up with responsibilities thing really can be a drag on party time. Still, for one night, he and his cohorts can take to the stage and take their audience back to an era where the music was loud, the bar was rocking and Hotlix ruled the Glass City. Tiderman will even have family there — including his 22-year-old granddaughter.
“I’m pretty sure when this is all over, she’s probably never gonna think about her grandpa in quite the same way,” Tiderman said, a wry grin in his voice.