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The year was 1987. A wide variety of established artists were dominating the Billboard charts, from established solo male artists including Michael Jackson, George Michael, Sting, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Bruce Springsteen to rock legends including Aerosmith, INXS, REM, and U2 to newcomers Whitney Houston and Debbie Gibson to the genre some call hair metal with records from Poison, KISS, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Great White, and Guns N’ Roses.


In the midst of these multi-faceted genres arrived a quartet from Los Angeles by the name of Lions & Ghosts. Frontman Rick Parker, guitarist Michael Lockwood, Todd Hoffman (bass), and Micheal Murphy (drums). The band took its influences from The Beatles, glam rockers T.Rex, classic songwriters The Byrds, and more. Their love of memorable choruses and lyrics with a psychedelic twist shone through on their debut album, Velvet Kiss, Lick of The Lime. The record received a good amount of airplay for its first single, “Mary Goes Round,” and “Contradiction” from Southern California alternative rock radio institution KROQ. The band toured a good deal, supporting acts as varied as Gene Loves Jezebel, Love and Rockets, The Church, The Alarm, Dramarama, Guns N’ Roses, amongst others. Chances are, if you were at a cool show in the late 80s in L.A. at the Hollywood Palladium or the Palace, you saw Lions & Ghosts opening for someone. And more than likely, you fell in love with this band.

Now Velvet Kiss, Lick of the Lime has been remastered with bonus tracks and is being released through Sparkle Plenty Records/Deko Entertainment. Also watch out for the first new music in over 30 years with the release of the single “Gurl I Luv You”!


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