Tag Archives: Billy Idol

Honeymoon Suite Rocked The Eighties

In his book about the now defunct  Music Express magazine, writer Keith Sharp talks about being a judge for the 1983 Q107 Homegrown contest.  Entries from regional bands were adjudicated in a three-hour listening session.  About the fourth or fifth track into the process they heard Honeymoon Suite’s “New Girl Now” and fell off their chairs. One of the judges was Warner Canada’s new A & R chief Bob Roper“It was like, ‘Wow! Who are these guys?’”

Honeymoon Suite had taken its name from its home town, Niagara Falls where it was founded with the help of producer Tom Pendergast.  He brought lead singer Johnnie Dee together with guitarist Derry Grehan to form the group which with the later addition of drummer Dave Betts, Ray Coburn on keys and Gary Lalonde on bass, became Honeymoon Suite.  He’d already scared up some interest in the UK and was in the process of pitching the band to Warner when Bob Roper was scribbling in his notebook at the Q107 Homegrown judging.  So it didn’t take long for things to happen.

“New Girl Now” peaked at #57 on the Billboard Hot 100, the video was a mainstay on MTV and three hit singles followed in Canada.  By 1985 the album was selling platinum in Canada and the band toured the world with bands like Billy Idol, Jethro Tull, The Kinks.  Their 1986 album went platinum out of the box. (By now those sales have tripled).