Yesterday (January 9th) was my birthday. I turned 67.
Thing about it is, right behind that, on the 12th, it will be what would have been my brother Larry's 70th birthday, had he lived to see it. Instead, he left this earthly plane in July of 2012.
I'm not here to get overly personal regarding the wide variety of feelings these facts bring up in me. Rather, I'm here to lend some context to thevideo we just posted to YouTube of his last public appearance ... on July 13, 2012, at Boston's on the Beach in Delray Beach, FL, just 11 days before he passed.
Thankfully, this was captured by our long-time fan/friends .........
For us, the 70s were about the rise of Orleans ... 1972 through 1977, when John left the band for the first time. That threw a monkey wrench into things but, after some drama during a 2-year process of regrouping, "Orleans Mach 2" ... Larry, Lance and Wells, along with new bandmates Bob Leinbach and RA Martin, re-emerged in 1979 with the "Forever" album and a #11 hit in "Love Takes Time". On the strength of that success, 1980 was a very strong touring year. Rise #2!
Home ... new song video (with special guest Cindy Cashdollar)
This week’s offering is not just anew video, but a new recording of a song never before cut by Orleans.
“Home” first appeared on my solo CD "Love Doesn't Ask", but only began being performed live by the band recently. Written with Johanna Hall and Don Schlitz, it tells a story of family; childhood, adolescence, marriage, parenthood, childhood again.
In the late 1980s, following the release of our Grownup Children album, Orleans did lots of work in Nashville and collaborated with different country musicians. Johanna and I (John Hall) were signed.........
Although there have been MANY high watermarks along our almost 50-year path, one could argue that the summer of 1976 was the pinnacle of Orleans' impact on the pop/rock music landscape. The top-5 radio success of Dance With Me in 1975 and the resultant Melissa Manchester tour moved the ball well downfield, but it was the success of Still the One in mid-1976 and the summer tour opening for Asylum label-mate, Jackson Browne, that carried it into the end zone.
This footage comes from one such gig on that tour ... October 15th, 1976 at The Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ.
What an early club gig looked like ... The Jabberwocky, 1974
When John Hall, Wells Kelly and Larry Hoppen first played publicly in February 1972, it marked the start of what would become known as Orleans. It would be 9 months later, in October, that I (Lance Hoppen) would be invited to join their work-in-progress. By the spring of 1973, we had landed a recording contract with ABC/Dunhill and, come June, we were in Muscle Shoals Sound Studio making our first album.
In these early days, the band played a relentless stream of gigs on the club and college concert circuit, up and down the northeast ......
For this week's historical video we visit Japan! But first, let's start connecting some of the dots between the recent series of video posts ...
In 1986, we taped the TNN (Nashville Network) "New Country" TV show in Nashville, as a result of the reunion of the Hoppens with John Hall after a 7-year separation. The "Grown Up Children" album was our foray into the concept of "Country Crossover." That version of the band included Bob Leinbach on keys.
The experiment was rather short-lived and we took a break near the end of 1987.
It was maybe 2004(?). John Hall was living in Nashville part-time, as was I (Lance Hoppen) full-time since 1989. John had a big head start on a certain song he had hoped to interest Michael McDonald in finishing with him. Alas, that was not to be, so he did the next best thing --- he got someone who kinda looks like Michael ... ME! :-) John and I then finished Mission of Mercy, each putting our own big stamps on it.
Sorry ... this has been a running joke for many years, so I .........
Once again, it's "Video Thursday" at Orleans' Facebook page, powered by a new video post at our YouTube Channel.Last week we looked at1996. This week we look at yet another time period to see what was happening for us at that particular point in time.
By September of 1984, after several years of diminishing returns for our endless best efforts, Larry and I (Lance), the only 2 remaining members of the original 4, had had enough. Clearly, we were no longer "still havin' fun". And so, we decided to pack it in.
John Hall had left the band in the fall of 1977 and, for the 7 years ......
Just last week, we began a new Facebook event series, aptly called "Video Thursdays". The intent is to create a regular release of some of the more obscure performances and interviews scattered across YouTube that we've collected over time ... as well as any new song videos ... consolidating the content into our one, official OrleansOnline YouTube channel.
(Note: If you have not yet read the "backstory" to this post,2012 Revisited, you might want to)
Today is Sunday, June 21st, 2020. On the eve of publicly releasing our virus-induced "in isolation" video of "No More Than You Can Handle", I'm compelled to reflect on the meaning of the song in relation to the past 8 years of this "long and winding road" journey for both Orleans as a band and for me, personally. Read on, if you care to. I'll try to keep it concise.
In 2010, Larry and I were at the helm. ............