Sunday Old School: Arcade
A short-lived “super band” from the eighties, Arcade, was also very under-the-radar. After two great albums, proving the artists could make great music on their own, the band broke up to (ironically) rejoin their previous bands.
Arcade was a hard rock and glam influenced band formed in 1991 by ex-Ratt lead man, Stephen Pearcy. Guitarist Frankie Wilsex, guitarist Donny Syracuse, and Cinderella drummer Fred Coury rounded out the group that was initially to be named Taboo.
Their first album, the self-titled album featuring the face of porn star Mimi Miyagi, was released in June 1993. The album kicked off with “Dancin’ With The Angels” and featured singles “Nothin’ To Lose”, “Cry No More”, and “Messed Up World.” The band created a video for the song “Nothin’ To Lose.”
The video begins with a card shark who is chewing a Twizzler licorice rope. Clearly this dude has NOTHING TO LOSE! The band is on stage, pretty much what you would expect: Lots of guitars and a lot of lead singer/guitarist closeness. In the backroom, the card game is escalating because now there is a guy chewing on a toothpick. We are shown a table of poker chips and toothpick guy is pulling out more cash. Looks like someone is going all in, but wait… This is clearly a card game and now there is a pair of dice in the center. My assumption is that this guy has such a good hand he bet all of his chips, all of his money, deed to his house, and then reached into his pockets to see if he had anything else – pulled out the pair of dice and threw them on the table too because why not? Then we cut back to the band for a very long time, even during the guitar solo the cameras stay on the band. Did production run out of money and decide to cut out the back room poker scenes, how much did that save, ten dollars? Anyway, in the closing seconds we are led back to the card table where toothpick guy apparently won, but wait; was there ever a Twizzler guy and a toothpick guy or is it the same guy and he is just insane? If he is insane than this really is a guy with NOTHING TO LOSE!
The debut album went on to sell over 100,000 copies, helped in part with their 1993 tour with Bon Jovi. Their second album, recorded and released in 1994, was titled ‘A/2’ and had a heavier sound. Singles for “Angry” and “So What” were released; however, the band only sold 20,000 records in the United States. The band ended in 1994 when Stephen Pearcy moved onto his VD and Vertex projects. With glam metal beginning to return in the late nineties, Pearcy and Wilsex got back together again and went on the road as Nitronic. This was the same time Arcade would release a third album titled ‘A/3: Live and Unreleased.’ The album contained many of the same songs from the first album plus some previously unreleased tunes. In 2006 there were rumors of an Arcade reunion, but nothing materialized, instead Pearcy rejoined Ratt.
In 2011 Pearcy released an Arcade compilation for iTunes titled ‘Angry A/4.’ Again, most of the tracks were from the first two albums, but this was the first time offered digitally.
With the exception of die-hard fans, Arcade has been largely forgotten. Both Pearcy and Coury have recently completed tours and new material with their original bands (Ratt, Cinderella) and the Arcade rumorville has been quiet. Still, for fans of old-school Ratt (or hard-edge-eighties-blues-infused glam), Arcade is a band that holds up fairly well despite being short lived.
Nuthin' To Lose (Video)
Cry No More (Live)
Angry (Lyrics Only)
Dancing With The Angels (Lyrics Only)
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