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Prettyboys


Prettyboys may’ve had a throwback pop sound, but it also had Ross Ario, himself a throwback who’d been a garage band lifer since the Beatles first landed at JFK, wanting to hold America’s hand. In high school, while pop went psychedelic, Ario entered Parrot Jungle; he was with Haystack as rock went rural. A 1974 graduate of Loyola University, Ario tried to leave the rock lifestyle behind and focus on a new discipline: teaching science. But four years into his time on the Bunsen burner scene, music arts called again and Ario took up composition classes at Roosevelt University in Chicago’s South Loop.

Eventually, Ario answered an ad in Chicago’s Reader daily, placed by lounge duo Two Four The Road. Drummer Randy Antlept also auditioned and joined, prompting the new quartet to tack on the pun-fortunate moniker Fourplay. With opportunities for a working songwriter in Chicago thinning out, he put in a mail-forwarding order for Los Angeles. “Where’s your band?” was the question and the invisible wall Ario kept smacking into…but his LA address book lacked depth, and he eventually blew back to The Windy City.

Toting an armful of professionally crafted songs, Ario again hooked up with Antlept. Youthful guitar-slinger Art Tianis came to them through friends of friends, and the trio hit the studio. Ario handled bass and rhythm and produced the session at Paul Serrano’s P.S. facility on the south side. “'I'm Falling” was the a-side of their first and only single, issued by the band’s own Bow Tie label, with Cars-y “I Wanna Make You Mine” on the flip.


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