Around late 1974 the
name of "The Quick" was picked, the Young Republicans was never used
until a song was licensed many years later and Steven Hufsteter
wanted to separate the 2 bands.
The Quick is another example of how fast
things can happen. And how quickly they can get bogged down again.
The quintet, mostly graduates of Van Nuys High School, had been
together just a few weeks when Kim Fowley (also working with
stablemates The Runaways) spotted them. Fowley, son of actor Douglas
Fowley, has been as much a part of the Los Angeles rock scene over
the years as the Whisky. Like Rodney Bingenheimer, he has been
friend and confidant of the stars, but he has also written songs for
such bands as Kiss and Blue Oyster Cult.
In 1975, Hufsteter, Benair, Ainsworth
and Bizeau cut a demo with Leonard Phillips (later with The Dickies) on
keyboards, then the band fell apart until Steven met Danny (Thomas)
Wilde who was fronting his band "The Kixs" with Chuck Wagon (later
Dickies), "The Kixs" were doing some Bowie covers. Danny joined the band
and Steven tested his limits. James Lowe who had engineered Sparks
and produced their second LP
was called but he was not really committed, so next pick had
to be Earle Mankey, who had left Sparks for
engineering / producing records with the Beach Boys. Earle produced the
Quick's excellent first album "Mondo Deco"
(Mercury 1976). Their lineup included guitarist/songwriter Steve
Hufsteter, vocalist Danny Wilde, drummer Danny Benair, keyboardist
Billy Bizeau, and bassist Ian Ainsworth. They gathered a following
among critics for their progressive, yet still classic power pop
sound influenced by some powerful packages of British late 60's art
pop in the tradition of Move, Idle Race, John's Children, as well as
audiences amused at their good-natured habit of inviting spectators
on stage made them one of the first L.A. bands to record for
a major label (Mercury), but it proved to be the only such release.
If Steven was the
songwriter, Danny was the arranger, he had some strong ties with
Elektra and he wanted to secure a deal, this is when "The Quick" landed in the San Fernando Valley Elektra studio "The Annex", at
this place were recorded some terrific songs : "Pretty Please Me", "You,
Yeah You", "You Give Me Heat"....and more. The demo
tapes were produced by David Campbell, ace arranger and
father of the now famous Beck (Hansen , nee Campbell), between
September 1977 and February 1978. One session was even engineered by
the legendary Emitt Rhodes, the superlative neo-Beatles songwriter
and the ex-The Merry Go-Round leader. The results of the "Elektra"
sessions were released to the band's fan club as a 7" EP : "Alpha-Beta"
and a 10" EP called "In Tune With Our Times".
The Quick's songs,
written by Steven Hufsteter, had the wry humor and melodic charm of
Sparks. On stage, lead singer Danny Wilde had a slight David Bowie
aura about him that added an extra dimension. Most of the group's
themes had a teasingly naughty tinge to them. "No No Girl". , for
instance, is about a young girl's questionable inclinations. Besides
its own tunes, the band included stylish versions of such varied
material as "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", "Twist and Shout" and the
Beatles' "It Won't Be Long" - the arrangements of that Beatles cover
would later be used by Redd Kross.
In April 1978,
with no manager to call a meeting, the band broke up without sitting
in the same room. Danny Wilde
and Ian Ainsworth joined Great Buildings (Apart From the Crowd 1980) and later,
success with Phil Solem as the Rembrandts (with Friends' Theme) ;
Steve Hufsteter became a member of the Dickies covering his own Quick powerpop masterpiece "Pretty Please Me" (Stukas Over Disneyland -
1983), and also covered by Redd Kross, he then joined the Cruzados
on their first and best album, wrote film music for Alex Cox's
midnight movie perennial "Repo Man" and for Nick Cassevetes among
others. Danny Benair joined the Weirdos and later
played with Three O'Clock (another band produced by Earle Mankey).
In 2003, british
label Rev-Ola, with the help of drummer Danny Benair, released "Untold
Rock Stories" compiling all the Mercury and Elektra demos recorded
between May 1976 and March 1978, plus 2 live songs.
In 2005, the reissue of the classic 1978 7" EP that
was made after they were dropped from Mercury and contained some of
their best songs, included the truly amazing "Pretty Please Me" which
features some of the most ripping lead guitar work in a power pop
song ever and two other songs " You Yeah You" and "Jimmy Too Bad".
alas confusing thing for fans familiar with the original, the cover of "Over
The Rainbow" on the original was not included.