1998 – present (19 years)
1. The Yo-Yo’s were a British rock 'n' roll influenced punk rock band.
Formed in 1998 by ex-The Wildhearts bassist, Danny McCormack and singer / guitarist Tom Spencer (ex-Sugarsnatch / The Lurkers) after the two met at a Toy Dolls recording session. The Yo-Yo's recruited Andy Selway (aka. Bladz) (ex- Sugarsnatch) on drums & guitarist Neil Phillips (B-Movie Heroes) to the band.
The Yo-Yo's recorded their first single, entitled "Out Of My Mind" and then joined The Backyard Babies for a UK tour. Another single was then recorded, entitled "Rumble(d)". The Yo-Yo's continued to tour the UK and were then signed by US label Sub Pop.
On the Sub Pop label, the Yo-Yo's released their debut album, Uppers & Downers on CD and LP in 2000. Despite gaining a cult following as well favourable coverage from the rock and indie press, they split up do to infighting among members.
In 2005 the group reformed with a new lineup that included McCormack and Spencer, along with Rich Jones (Amen, The Black Halos) on guitar the band recorded a new EP entitled "Given Up Giving Up" and successfully toured the UK supporting 3 Colours Red. The EP was initially due for release on Mighty Atom Records but was put out on Undergroove records at the last minute.
Ex-Wildhearts drummer Stidi originally took up drumming duties for the band but was replaced last minute before recording began, the job went to Craig Herdman (The Cherrykicks). The band finally walked out on McCormack half way through a tour with AntiProduct due to further drug problems. However, Danny completed the tour in defiance, with support band 'Any Given Day' providing a backing band for him to front.
Tom Spencer is currently fronting London based 'The Loyalties' which includes Rich Jones, Craig Herdman and Lee Jones (ex-Deadline). Rich Jones also plays with Bassknives. Danny McCormack is working on his first solo album in South Shields. Neil Phillips continues to play with B-Movie Heroes.
2. The Yo Yo's (which last fm makes too The yo-yo's)
The Yo Yo's were all from Brooklyn, NY, becoming one of the biggest groups in the city by 1967. They cut one great 45 on the Coral label, an original song Crack in My Wall and a fine adaption of Poe's The Raven on the b-side. I love the thunderous opening chords and drum roll on The Raven, ominous and fantastic!
They began when bassist Alan Aaron formed a group called the Starfires. The original singer, Frankie Vee (Nick) brought in Larry Elliott on lead guitar and Tommy Zumba on rhythm in 1965. Tommy Zumba's friend Jeff Miller became the drummer, and then Pepe Cardona took over from Frankie on vocals.
The band changed their name to the Yo Yo's when Lou Sudano and Barry Flickstein became their managers, forming Louba Productions. They met the band through Lou's son Bruce, who was a friend of Jeff Miller. Lou and Barry encouraged the band to replace Pepe with a better singer named Ray Sabatis, who took on the stage name "Christopher Shane". Pepe remained friends with the band and went on to form Alive N' Kickin'.
The band won a number of local battle-of-the-bands, played at clubs like Steve Paul's the Scene, Joel Heller's Eighth Wonder and the Cheetah, appeared on the John Zacherley TV show Disc-O-Teen, and even toured with the Lester Lanin Orchestra as the 'rock' portion of the act.
Larry Elliott and Alan composed the music for both The Raven and Crack In My Wall and Ray Sabatis (Shane) wrote the words to Crack In My Wall. Barry Flickstein's name appears on the credits to Crack in My Wall, but Alan maintains Barry had nothing to do with the songwriting.
Crack In My Wall and The Raven both received "B+" ratings in Billboard, but Coral didn't put any promotional effort behind the band.
The band broke up in 1969 due to a combination of having their equipment stolen and a general feeling that they wouldn't find success. Sadly, Ray Sabatis (Christopher Shane) committed suicide shortly after the group broke up. Photos of the band were taken, but none have surfaced that I know of.
These Yo Yo's have nothing to do with the Memphis Yo Yo's who recorded two 45s for Goldwax.
The main source for this story is a detailed interview of Alan Aaron by Mike Dugo.
3. The Yo Yo's - 60's garage from Memphis Tn, USA
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