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All-Night Newsboys


Mark Dawson’s band Dreamer had booked the gig of its existence, an August 23rd, 1982, opening slot for Heart and John Cougar Mellencamp at a Hoffman Estates, Illinois mega-venue. Dreamer was peaking after their appearance on WLUP's 1980 sampler LP Chicago Rocks. For the big show, RSVPs had been tendered to A&R reps from Epic and Polydor. "Our equipment truck never showed up," said Dawson. "An announcement was made that Dreamer wouldn't be playing. Mellencamp went onstage, and we slithered off into a corner, wanting to die."

According to Dawson, a member of a rival act had paid a roadie $500 to ditch, rendering Dreamer the butt of a Chicago music industry practical joke. For eight weeks, Dawson pondered the band’s future, finally deciding to make wholesale changes. Rather than duke it out on the competitive club circuit, the newly christened All-Night Newsboys took a series of steady Holiday Inn gigs. Between Rick Springfield covers, the band slipped in original "She's Gone Hollywood," propelled by crunchy, Springfield-ish chords.

Recorded by Chuck Piper (who also handled the track's strictly '80s keys) at The Studio in Chicago late in 1982, "She's Gone Hollywood," and its fitting flipside "American Band Stand," made up the lone release for the Newsboys’ acronymic ANNB label. The single received minor airplay on Arlington Heights' WCBR and Triton College's WGGR, but by then, the majors had written the band off entirely. The Newsboys spent the next 15 years on the franchise motel circuit, never digging themselves out of the hole Dreamer had been tossed into.


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