- Suze DeMarchi returns to her native Australia
from London, where she had been recording/writing under EMI Records. She
is unhappy with the record company's attempt to slide her into a pop career.
- Fellow Perth-ite Frank Celenza recommends his best friend, Eddie Parise, as bassist to Suze, who is on her way to Sydney to form a hard rock band.
- In Sydney, Suze approaches Dave Leslie to play guitar, after a referral from manager John Woodruff. Dave was then in Swingshift, another band being managed by John.
- Eddie and Suze had been continuously encouraging Frank to join the band as drummer. He finally does.
- In November, at the Kardomah Cafe, Kings Cross (Sydney), the band presently named WOODY'S HEROES, play their first gig.
- Frank suggests BABY ANIMALS as the band name, after seeing an advertisement (Kerrang! version). Another version elsewhere, suggests the name came from a calendar in a mall. In a RTR Sounz (New Zealand) interview, Suze mentioned they change the origins of the name in different interviews, as it got boring answering the same thing over and over.
- Australian band, the Angels are so impressed
by BABY ANIMALS, that they add one of their demos ("Break My Heart")
as a B-side to their own single: "Dogs Are Talking". They showcase
nationally with two other bands, who were also included on the B-side.
- SBK Songs (now EMI Songs), sign the band with a publishing deal in August.
- Terry Ellis (president of the just-formed Imago Records, New York) attends one of their gigs, and signs them to his label. He sees a solid band, and star quality in Suze.
- The band members go to New York to record their debut album with Mike Chapman (Sweet, Pat Benatar, Blondie, Suzi Quatro) and Kevin Shirley (more recently: Aerosmith, Nuno, Silverchair). The band is initially hesitant to work with Mike for fear they would be received as a female artist and her band. These fears are alleviated as they find him easy to work with, and very song-oriented.
- April: "Early Warning" is released,
reaching the Top 20 in Australia.
- The band flies to the US to showcase for Imago, to promote an earlier American album release date.
- "Rush You" is released in August.
- Their self-titled debut album is released in Australia. It debuts on the National Charts at #6.
- Canada's Bryan Adams invites the BABY ANIMALS on his European "Waking Up The Neighbours" tour as special guests, after listening to their album in his kitchen.
- The band receives "Best New Artist" honors at the Australian Music Awards.
- November also sees the BABY ANIMALS showcasing at the hard rock industry's Foundations Forum in the US, and Kerrang! magazine gloatingly reminding its readers that they discovered Ms DeMarchi's in-your-face talent back in '86. Other music magazines across the globe begin picking up on the potential of the band.
- The "Let Go Of My Ears" tour brings the band back to Australia around Christmas, playing to sellout crowds across the country.
- The group joins the Black Crowes on a tour that
includes New Zealand.
- BABY ANIMALS make a guest appearance on the David Letterman Show. Suze sings "Painless" with Eddie and Dave in the background, and Frank nowhere in sight. David Letterman's band plays alongside them.
- The band picks up more honors at the ARIAs. This time they receive: "Best Debut Album", "Best Single", and "Best Album". Suze is also nominated for "Best Female Vocalist".
- They tour in the opening slot for Van Halen's "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge Tour" across America, again playing to arena-size audiences. Eddie requests their presence after his wife Valerie heard their album, and suggested them.
- Sales of their album reach quadruple platinum in Australia, and topping half a million worldwide. They have played over 500 shows when they stop touring in August.
- The end of the year finds the band writing new material for their second album.
- January sees the band in New York (Bearsville
Studio, where they also recorded their first album). Two weeks of pre-production
later, they go to the Bahamas, where they spend two months recording at
Compass Point Studio (AC/DC). This time around, they experiment with a more
mature sound, at the hands of producer Ed Stasium (Ramones, Living Colour).
- Next, it's on to Los Angeles, where Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) meets up with the band, after having previously admired their music and calling them up. He contributes his songwriting/guitar skills ("Because I Can") and produces "Life From A Distance" and "Be My Friend".
- "Shaved And Dangerous" is released in August, to positive reviews that applaud the maturation of their music from their simpler, high energy debut to their new-found emotional depth and daring.
- The band embarks on a 27-date tour in Australia (Stupid Place For Hair Tour?).
- Touring gets cut short when Suze experiences throat problems.
- August: BABY ANIMALS shares the stage with Extreme
in a concert on the Azores island of Sao Miguel. Suze and Nuno's wedding
ceremony is also being performed here.
- Songwriting/recording for the third record is anticipated for November.
- The band maintains a low profile.
- Suze gives birth to a baby girl (Bebe Orleans) in February, and returns to the recording studio with Bebe.
- Suze is reportedly working with Anthony J Resta
(Duran Duran, Nuno, Letters To Cleo) for songwriting.
- Recording continues for a possible release date in 1998.
- Nuno Bettencourt and Anthony J Resta are producing the BABY ANIMALS new album for Mushroom/Sony Records.
Written By Cheryl Tom
If you know of any errors, please email Cheryl with the corrections! If you have any additional information/contributions, please send it along too!