The Legendary Bands That Were Formed Because Of Ads

The Legendary Bands That Were Formed Because Of Ads | Society Of Rock Videos

via Guns N' Roses / Youtube

Classified ads serve as a platform for posting and discovering various items for sale, job opportunities, lost pets, and even unconventional romantic encounters. It’s fascinating to contemplate how something as seemingly ordinary as a want ad could have a profound impact on the course of music history.

Several bands owe their formation to the humble newspaper advertisement, with some becoming legendary acts that might never have come into existence if not for a simple black-and-white box reading, “Musician Wanted.” Let’s delve into six notable instances where these classified ads played a crucial role.

1. Mötley Crüe
The story of Mötley Crüe’s beginnings starts with bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee. Sixx had previously been a member of the well-known band London in the Los Angeles area but decided to leave and form his own band. Eventually, he connected with Lee and guitarist Greg Leon, whom Lee had previously played with in a band called Suite 19.

However, Leon didn’t stay with the band for long, leaving Sixx and Lee in need of a new guitarist. It didn’t take them much time to come across an intriguing advertisement in a local publication called The Recycler. The ad stated, “Loud, rude, aggressive guitar player available.” This caught their attention, and it turned out that the person behind the ad was guitarist Mick Mars, who fully lived up to the description. After auditioning, he was immediately invited to join the band.

2. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Following the breakup of her all-women rock group, the Runaways, Joan Jett embarked on a quest for “looking for three good men.” This was stated in her advertisement published in LA Weekly: “seeking three competent men.” Consequently, Jett crossed paths with Eric Ambel, a guitarist, Gary Ryan, a bassist, and Danny Furious, a drummer, who would form the initial lineup of Jett’s renowned supporting band, known as the Blackhearts.

3. The Bangles
The Bangles, a beloved ’80s pop rock band, came together when Vicki and Debbi Peterson, who were siblings and musicians, responded to an advertisement placed by a young Susanna Hoffs in the aforementioned LA newspaper, The Recycler.

Hoffs’ ad, titled “Am Forming a Boss All Girl Group,” mentioned her musical inspirations, primarily consisting of well-known groups from the 1960s. However, during the year 1980, there was not much interest in ’60s bands, particularly the more obscure ones, as Hoffs explained in a conversation with Medium.

When Hoffs met the Peterson sisters, she was immediately impressed by their shared love for oldies music, and their connection sparked from that point forward.

4. Guns N’ Roses
The Recycler magazine also played a role in uniting musicians who later formed the band Guns N’ Roses. Guitarist Slash and drummer Steven Adler posted an advertisement in the magazine stating, “Bass player needed for band influenced by Aerosmith, Alice Cooper. Call Slash.” The ad caught the attention of Duff McKagan.

According to McKagan, he contacted Slash, and they had a pleasant conversation over the phone. McKagan shared his recollection of the meeting with authors Tom Beaujour and Richard Bienstock for their book, Nöthin’ but a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the ’80s Hard Rock Explosion (excerpt via Rolling Stone).

McKagan mentioned that he then went to meet Slash and Adler at Canter’s Deli, where Slash had told him they would be sitting in the left booth at the end. When he looked over, he saw a group of people with a lot of long hair.

However, McKagan stood out with his distinctive appearance, wearing a long red-and-black jacket adorned with an anarchy symbol on the back and sporting short blue hair. He imagined that Slash and Adler must have been taken aback by his unconventional look. The rest, as they say, is rock and roll history.

When KISS, the famous arena rock band, was still in its early stages, rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley took out an advertisement in the classifieds section of the Village Voice. In the ad, he specifically sought a lead guitarist with “Flash and Ability” and added “Album Out Shortly. No time wasters please.”

During the auditions, Ace Frehley arrived and demonstrated that he was the perfect fit for the lead guitarist position. “As soon as he started playing, both Paul and I looked at each other when Ace started soloing,” shared bassist Gene Simmons in the KISS biography, Nothin’ to Lose. “We finally heard the sound. There was a dangerous volatility about him but also glorious playing.”

6. Metallica
Once more, The Recycler emerges! In 1981, the drummer Lars Ulrich placed an advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper, “Drummer looking for other metal musicians to jam with.” His ad specifically mentioned bands like Tygers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head, and Iron Maiden. James Hetfield responded to this appeal, marking the inception of a remarkable musical journey.

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