Frijid Pink returns to ToledoWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
After more than four decades, Rick Stevers still recalls the first time he heard his song on the radio.
“I just got back from a date with [a local disc jockey’s] daughter,” Stevers said. “We were in the driveway making out and I hear a little knock on the window. I look up and it’s her dad standing there and he says, ‘I’d like to see you in the house.’”
While sitting on the couch in trouble, he heard his song come through the radio on the fireplace mantel. The song he heard was Frijid Pink’s “House of the Rising Sun.”
“That’s how it all started,” he said.
The song was an unintentional hit, recorded only because the band had extra time allotted in the studio.
“It turned out to be the one that did it for us even though we hadn’t planned on doing it,” Stevers said. “Three weeks later it was being played on the radio.”
The song was originally recorded by Kentucky singer Georgia Bell Turner in 1937, according to frijidpink.com. After Frijid Pink’s version, it was covered by The Animals, Dolly Parton and Bob Dylan.
In 2006, Stevers, the drummer of Frijid Pink, revived his band after its breakup in 1971. With four new members, the band is recording again.
“We had a lot of fans,” Stevers said. “[And] it’s a great name. I decided I wanted to put a band back together and do what I had the opportunity to do the first time, which was make some really, really good music,” Stevers said. He has worked at the Toledo Jeep plant since the 1980s and said he missed music each day.
Stevers and the new lineup rerecorded old tracks for a CD, “Frijid Pink Frijid Pink Frijid Pink,” released last year. The band also recorded some covers, which Stevers said it doesn’t usually do. Tracks include “Stormy Monday,” a blues tune reaching almost 10 minutes, and “Tobacco Road,” a crowd favorite.
“That song is older than Frijid Pink is,” Stevers said.
A new EP, “Frijid Pieces,” includes four new songs, including “Detroit Rock N Roll” and “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.” The E.P. is an attempt to attract recognition again, which is hard, Stevers said.
“The ultimate goal for everyone in this band is to play music and write music for the rest of their lives,” he said. “If we could just get the airtime, the songs will take care of us.”
Stevers said the new music is hard to describe.
“We’re doing Frijid Pink genre,” Stevers said. “We’ve come up with a new genre, we call it new classic. It’s new music with a classic sound to it.”
Stevers said he wanted to put the band back together with the “best of the best.” Guitarist and lead vocalist Rick “Z” Zeithaml said he was thrilled when he received a call for an audition.
“I owned their first album on vinyl,” Z said. “I collect albums from that time. I’m thrilled to be a part of their continued history. I thought their version of ‘House of the Rising Sun’ was the best.”
The band is working on a full-length album of original music, which will be released in 2013.
“Everyone is working as a team for a common goal,” Z said. “There’s no ego involved.”
Frijid Pink will be at the Rocket Bar, 135 S. Byrne Road, Dec. 1. Tickets are on sale now at Rocket Bar, Studio 14 and Culture Clash Records. The Mikel-Shutters Band will open, taking the stage at 9 p.m.