Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Robert Hazard - Escalator of Life

Robert Hazard (born Robert Rimato) was a mainstay of the Philadelphia music scene during the late 1970's and early 1980's.  With his band, the Heroes, he performed David Bowie-influenced new wave material that was modern and catchy, and generated a sizable local following.

In 1982, Kurt Loder (then writing for Rolling Stone) caught a performance and wrote a positive article for the magazine, which led to a recording contract with RCA.  The 1982 EP (simply called Robert Hazard) won critical acclaim and reached #102 on the album charts, while the single "Escalator of Life" peaked at #58, helped by the video (which was played on your favorite video music channel).

Unfortunately, things went downhill from there, with personnel changes in the band, weaker material and problems with the label.  When Hazard's 1984 LP (Wings of Fire) did not sell well, RCA dropped the band.  However, Hazard remained active in the industry, and gradually migrated to roots rock and country music over the years.  Sadly, he passed away (pancreatic cancer) in 2008.

video

Cool trivia fact:  As long time readers of ERV will know, Hazard wrote Cyndi Lauper's breakout hit "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."  (Click on the link for more info, including both the Lauper and Hazard versions of the song.)

4 comments:

  1. Now That Is Eighties Rare Video
    Love This Site
    Rawk On
    -Sam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sam and glad that you liked it. We try to have a mix of songs in terms of styles and rareness (the rarer songs tend to draw less traffic; by having a mix it is our hope that viewers might explore the site and discover some cool, rare old videos).

      Rock on.

      Delete
  2. For the... er, record, Robert was signed to RCA, not MCA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the correction (and the pun!) I appreciate having such well-informed readers and I have fixed the the post.

      Delete