Benny Mardones - lead vocals; John Moranea - keyboards; Joe Borey - guitar; Steve Missle - drums; Lee Fox - bass; Derek Fomey - guitar
Benny Mardones emerged from Baltimore, Maryland after moving there from Cleveland, and he has the distinction of hitting the Top 20 charts two different times with the same song nearly a decade apart. His recording of "Into The Night," originally a hit in 1980, was re-released in 1989 after an Arizona radio station started playing it again when they rediscovered Mardones during a "Where Are They Now?" segment. In reality, although Mardones could essentially be considered a one-hit wonder, he never stopped playing contemporary music—he just sort of went underground.
This recording was made in 1978, and is the second of three shows recorded at the Bottom Line in New York City during his first U.S. tour. The shows were cut for the King Biscuit Flower Hour and remain one of the few professional live recordings of Mardones' early career.
Mardones was signed to a record deal in the late 1970s, after the widespread success of Bruce Springsteen, Warren Zevon, and Meatloaf. Record labels other than Columbia were all looking for the next "Boss" and many thought Mardones could be the one. His passionate vocals and dramatic urban tales made for some great songs, and critics gave him rave reviews after seeing his live shows.
This show includes early originals and two covers: a quirky version of The Bee Gees' "I Started A Joke" and a raucous play of the Elvis standard "Jailhouse Rock." In between, there are several Mardones songs from his first LP, including "Your Own Man," "All For A Reason," "American Bandstand" (which was his radio hit at the time), and "Thank God For Girls." Shortly after the success of "Into The Night" in 1980, Mardones got into a fight with a record executive at his label, and nearly destroyed his office during the altercation. The result was an almost industry-wide 'blacklisting," that essentially killed his career that year. Mardones, who still believes he was right, has attempted many comebacks and maintained a respectable fanbase in certain cities such as Syracuse, N.Y. His last album was in 2006, which was also the year he discovered he had Parkinson's Disease. Despite his affliction, he continues to tour and record.