Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Waitresses

I Know What Guys Like

Sometimes, small bits of brilliance emerge from the background noise of mainstream music. This is the case with the following band. They had two well known songs, both of which helped define the genre that they each were targeted towards.

The Waitresses were an experimental New Wave band in the early 1980s from Kent, Ohio, United States. The group was led by Chris Butler, although lead vocals were performed by Patty Donahue, who died of lung cancer on 9 December 1996.

They were best known for the above video "I Know What Boys Like", featured on countless new wave compilation albums, the theme song to the cult TV show Square Pegs, and their new wave Christmas standard "Christmas Wrapping." The latter was originally available on the Ze Records original collection A Christmas Record, and has been covered by Save Ferris and the Spice Girls.

Butler's diverse musical interests are apparent from the use of prepared piano on "No Guilt", microtonal background vocals on the chorus of "Wise Up", tape loops and short wave receiver on "Jimmy Tomorrow", and the title of "Make the Weather", taken from Hugo Ball's autobiography Flight out of Time. Saxophonist and reed player Mars Williams had also worked as Anthony Braxton's copyist.

They released two albums: Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful and Bruiseology. Both titles have been out of print for many years and neither has ever been available on CD; but their music is now available on compilations. The Best of the Waitresses (Polydor 1990) is available on CD.

Official albums
I Could Rule The World If I Could Only Get The Parts
Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful
Make the Weather EP
The Best of the Waitresses
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents The Waitresses
20th Century Masters - The Best of the Waitresses

1978 - "Clones"
1981 - "Christmas Wrapping"
1982 - "I Know What Boys Like" (#23 on Mainstream Rock Tracks, #62 on Billboard Hot 100)
Principal band members
Patty Donahue (lead vocals)
Chris Butler (guitars)
Mars Williams (saxophone, reed instruments)
Billy Ficca (drums)
Dan Klayman (keyboards)
Tracy Wormworth (bass, background vocals) (mid-1982-83)
David Hofstra (bass) (1981-82)
Ariel Warner (background vocals) (1981-82)

In 2001, Colleen Fitzpatrick, better known as Vitamin C, re-recorded the song, "I Know What Boys Like" for her second album entitled, More. The song is not only from The Waitresses' second album, but it was also their sixth track, just like it is for Vitamin C.

External links
Unofficial Biography of The Waitresses
The Waitresses at Trouser Press
Hard Rock Cafe
How They Made Their Mark in History

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