This is the story of a real great heavy / hard drock band from the Seventies:
Angel was an American rock band from Washington, D.C., United States, formed in the mid-1970s by Punky Meadows and Mickie Jones. They were signed to Casablanca Records, and had the image of dressing in white.
Angel was discovered by Kiss bass player Gene Simmons performing at a nightclub and was eventually signed to the same label as Kiss, Casablanca.
Angel’s image of dressing in all white was a deliberate contrast to Kiss, which wore black. Angel sported an androgynous image and elaborate stage sets. They were slammed by rock critics, and Frank Zappa ridiculed the all-male band’s feminine appearance in the song “Punky’s Whips”. Angel never achieved mass commercial success but acquired a following as a cult band.
Their first album was the self-titled Angel (1975) and consisted of guitarist Punky Meadows, bassist Mickie Jones, vocalist Frank DiMino, keyboardist Gregg Giuffria, and drummer Barry Brandt. This lineup would hold for the following two albums, Helluva Band (1976) and On Earth as It Is in Heaven (1977), after which Jones would be replaced by Felix Robinson.
They made an appearance in the film Foxes (1980) and Frank DiMino sang “Seduce Me Tonight” on the Flashdance (1983) soundtrack.
DiMino and Meadows departed the band in 1981, and the remaining members brought in vocalist Fergie Frederiksen (later of Toto) and guitarist Ricky Phillips (later of The Babys, then Bad English, then Styx), but this lineup dissolved shortly thereafter.
The former members of Angel went on to other things following the release of their live album. Lead vocalist Frank DiMino joined UFO guitarist Paul Raymond in the Paul Raymond Project in which he sang lead vocals. Bassist Felix Robinson played on the debut album of the band White Lion, Fight to Survive (1985/1986).
Angel’s keyboardist Gregg Giuffria had modest success as the leader of the band Giuffria during the 1980s as well as with the band House of Lords, who – sans Giuffria – reunited in 2002 and released a new album, The Power and the Myth on Frontiers Records. In 2006, Giuffria appeared as a guest keyboardist on House of Lords’ LP World Upside Down, and they released Come to My Kingdom in 2008 without Giuffria.
In the late 1990s, Angel reformed with a new line-up. Keyboardist Gordon G.G. Gebert joined the band in 1999 but left in 2002. Currently, the band members are Frank DiMino, vocals; Barry Brandt, drums; Randy Gregg, bass; Steve Blaze, guitars; and Michael T. Ross, keyboards. The band’s 1999 release In the Beginning also features guest appearances by original guitarist Punky Meadows, as well as Robinson. In 2000 came the release of Angel: The Collection, making it the most extensive Angel greatest hits compilation, including 16 songs.
In 2006, two compilations of career-spanning singles were released. “Better Days” from the White Hot (1977) album was notably replaced with “The Winter Song”. It had only been previously released on a rare 7″ single.
Bassist and founding member Mickie Jones (born Donald Eugene Jones on December 17, 1952), later changed to Michael David Jones in 1967, died in San Dimas, California on September 5, 2009, at the age of 56, after a long battle with liver cancer. Jones performed on four Angel albums (Angel, Helluva Band, On Earth as It Is in Heaven and An Anthology). He toured extensively with the band in the United States for several years. Before Angel, he played in the rock group BUX, which included guitarist Punky Meadows (Angel) and singer Ralph Morman (Joe Perry Project, and Savoy Brown). BUX released one album on Capitol Records, We Came to Play in 1976 (recorded in 1973). Both Jones and Meadows were asked to join the New York Dolls but declined. After leaving Angel, he formed the Los Angeles band EMPIRE and was the lead singer. Empire included drummer Steve Riley (L.A. Guns). Over the years, he became interested in film production and would later work in the film industry.
Singer Frank DiMino now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada and plays in classic rock tribute bands. Recently, he appeared on the Sin City Sinners Christmas album, singing lead vocals on the holiday classic “Winter Wonderland”. In 2015 he released his solo album “Old Habits Die Hard”.
Punky Meadows issued his first-ever solo album in 2016, Fallen Angel.
DiMino and Meadows are currently touring together performing a set of classic Angel songs and solo cuts. They are backed by a band featuring Danny Farrow on rhythm guitar, Charlie Calv on keyboards, Steve Ojane on bass and Billy Orrico on drums.
Angel’s logo is ambigrammatic; it reads the same when turned upside-down as when viewed normally. (by wikipedia)
This show was recorded at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium (Santa Monica, CA) in 1976 for the King Biscuit Flower Hour while the band was promoting its second LP, Helluva Band. Angel innovated a hard-rock sound that, with a healthy dose of androgyny, found a niche in between 70s hard prog rock and 80s hair metal. The group had released its debut LP, Angel, the year prior on Neil Bogart’s Casablanca Records.
Only three tracks but … hear the power of Angel !
Barry Brandt (drums)
Gregg Giuffria (keyboards)
Punky Meadows (guitar)
Frank DiMino (vocals)
Felix Robinson (bass)
01. Chicken Soup (DiMino/Giuffria/Meadows) 5.54
02. The Fortune (DiMino/Giuffria/Meadows) 8.07
03. White Lightning (Meadows/Morman) 6.58