Theresa Robertson - lead vocals; Maggie Connell - keyboards, vocals; Missy Connell - bass, vocals; James Demeter - guitar; Phil Cohen - drums
There are those who believe the Heaters were one of the great club bands to emerge from L.A. in the late-'70s, when acts like L.A. Guns, Hollywood Rose (later to become Guns N' Roses), Van Halen, the Knack, the Motels, Fear, Wall of Voodoo, X and many others often played together or across the street from each other.
They were thrown into the "new wave/ punk" bin of aspiring rock bands, but in reality, the Heaters were a group of musicians in love with the huge, classic sound of the '60s, and simply wanted to update that. They never became a commercial success, but they had a very loyal following of fans who even today remain dedicated to the music the band made.
The lack of success that the Heaters suffered through is a classic rock 'n' roll behind-the-scenes story. The band, which gained its notoriety by sporting three distinct female members who all sang, was being managed by a couple of friends with limited music industry experience. One night early in their career, the band was heard by top Brit producer Mike Chapman, who with partner Nicky Chinn, had become one of the biggest production/management teams in the world. At the time, they were behind the success of Blondie, Suzi Quatro, Nick Gilder, the Sweet, Mud, and others.
Chapman saw the Heaters, fell in love with their sound, and wanted to both manage and produce them. He assured them a big deal with Chrysalis Records, where nearly all of his acts were signed. The band, however, decided to stay loyal to its current management who, despite getting them a deal on BMG's Ariola Records, was unable to get them any real national recognition. (Ironically, Chapman would take one of the Heaters songs, "I've Never Been In Love," and make it a worldwide hit for Suzi Quatro).
Despite its huge international presence, Ariola was not well situated to break acts in America. They did get the Heaters some attention, but were unable to make a breakthrough on radio with the band. (Some feel the lack of success was a result of the fact that the band was pressured into working with a producer they disliked and who refused to let the band be involved in the making of the LP.) Most critics panned the band's debut, but the success of their live club shows led to a deal with Columbia Records. The band released a second LP, Energy Transfer, this time replacing both Cohen and Demeter with Steve Barbato from Mr. Lucky and future Los Lobos drummer Victor Bisetti. Energy Transfer also stiffed, but the band stayed together for another disc. By 1981, the Heaters were history.
In 1982 Missy, Theresa and Maggie formed the Commotions, who eventually became the Notorious Barbies. That name was dropped when they learned of a Nazi group with the same moniker, and they again resurfaced in the early-'80s as Mr. Girl. Eventually, they all went solo, with Theresa becoming one of the last artists produced by the infamous Phil Spector.
In 1998, an album of out-takes and demos was released on an indie label, entitled Living In A Sitcom, a name which the former members thought was appropriate for the LP.