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Sunday Old School: BulletBoys

Love the BulletBoys. Hate the BulletBoys. Never heard of the BulletBoys. There are only three options here. MAYBE, a fourth option: being a fan of Marq Torien’s hair. Nah, if you were a fan of Torien’s hair then admit it: You loved the BulletBoys!

The band was formed in 1987 in Los Angeles. The original lineup included Marq Torien (vocals), Mick Sweda (guitar), Lonnie Vencent (bass), and Jimmy D’Anda (drums). Over the years it would be easier to list who was not part of the band then list former members. The group was strongly influenced by AC/DC and Van Halen (the latter to the point of Torien using the video medium to attempt to morph into David Lee Roth – more on this shortly).

In 1988 the group released their self titled debut album. The first single from the album was a cover of the O’Jays “For the Love of Money.” The video featured a lot of hair, twirling microphones, and the curious choice of one guitar player to wear only half a shirt (inside the pre-video dressing room: “You know what, I think I’ll just wear the half-shirt, yeah, that cool ass half-shit over there”). Their other single from the debut album, “Smooth Up In Ya” again showcased the glam template of big hair, tight pants, and half shirts. (Bonus: The use of the wall during the guitar playing.) “Smooth Up In Ya” was released at the height of the glam eighties. The video was an example of everything that was great during these years and also an example of why it had to come crashing down.

The BulletBoys followed their successful debut with ‘Freakshow’ in 1991; however, the album didn’t have the same success as their first. The videos for “THC Groove” and “Talk To Your Daughter” were eye opening for Marq Torien fans, unsure if this was the second coming of David Lee Roth, or not… The video for “THC Groove” begins with a “Nightmare on Elm Street” type stroller tumbling down a staircase. At :20 Torien is wearing a hat that may have been borrowed from David Lee Roth, ten seconds later, he’s wearing the same glasses worn by Roth. At 1:03 the impression is complete and this now feels like a full on tribute to Diamond Dave. The song and video for “Talk to Your Daughter” completes the transformation.

Their third album was titled ‘Za-Za’, based on a character from The Godfather III. Again, the album failed to chart. Sweda and D’Anda left the band soon after. The album ‘Acid Monkey’ was released in 1995, shortly prior to the band breaking up. This is the part where 30+ band members were in and out of the band. Over the years Steven Adler (ex-Guns N’ Roses) and DJ Ashba (Sixx:A.M., Guns N’ Roses) were among the numerous drummers and guitar players to pass through the BulletBoys virtual revolving door. The remaining members Torien and Vencent released ‘Sophie’ in 2003, which featured Sebastian Bach (Skid Row). In 2006 rumors of a reunion surfaced, but they were premature. In 2009 the band released their sixth album, ‘10c Billionaire.’ The original lineup is now rumored to be back together.

The BulletBoys rose up quickly and crashed just as fast. Their debut was a classic for the glam genre. Now who’s ready for some obscure Sunday Old School BulletBoys trivia? Which BulletBoys song appears briefly in the 2003 movie “Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of ‘Three’s Company’”? Answer: The O’Jays cover “For the Love of Money.” Is it coincidence that people either love, hate, or have never heard of the television show ‘Three’s Company?’ I think not…

Smooth Up In Ya

For The Love Of Money

THC Groove

Talk To Your Daughter


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David S. Grant (aka Rockstar_Scribbler) is the author of several books including Rock Stars, Happy Hour, and Corporate Porn. For more information please go to www.rockstarbooks.net or www.davidsgrant.com. You can also follow David on Twitter @david_S_grant.

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3 Comments on "Sunday Old School: BulletBoys"

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Anonymous Reader
1. Son of a Binch writes:

Nice article on one of the bands that I worshiped back in 1989. I didn't know they're still together.

# Aug 26, 2012 @ 10:13 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. I'm not Jesus Christ writes:

Um, yeah, Son of a Binch, they are still together. They just haven't put out anything good since either the first album or Freak Show.

# Aug 27, 2012 @ 11:20 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
KREDD's avatar


3. KREDD writes:

i could never get into these guys. lead singer looked to much like commandant lassard from police academy.

# Aug 28, 2012 @ 9:42 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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