Friday, October 7, 2011

Shane Champagne Band - Stepped On

A. Stepped On

B. Love My Baby Like A Car

Stepped On b/w Love My Baby Like A Car
Pure And Easy (PE-010), 1979

Gary Shane and David Champagne met in New York after they both moved there from Massachusetts in the early 70s due to their parents new jobs. Both in their early teens, they started playing together as a folk-inspried duo covering Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young, Steven Stills, etc. They originally called themselves the Gary Shane and Dick Champagne Revue. After finding a bass player named Chip Dundee who was into the same sort of music as them, they all moved up to Plum Island and went on a song writing binge.

Jimmy Williams was their first drummer. Though he was a funny guy with a handlebar mustache who could sing the covers they still had in their set, he didn't last long in the band. Next they had "Rockin" Billy Wells in the drummers seat, but he quit after having to get a full time job to pay for his new car. Finally they enticed Ricky "Rocket" Rothchild to quit the cover band he was playing in and join the Shane Champagne Band where they would work on originals.

"Stepped On" was the first release for the band. The single was put out on the local Pure & Easy label and the catchy, pop-driven song became a marginal hit on the radio. The B-Side, "Love My Baby Like A Car, " which was a bit more of a straight forward punker, drawing to mind anything from Lou Reed to Jonathan Richman. The song became a staple in their live set and the record caused a bit of a stir, hinting towards success.

They followed that up with a six-song 10" EP which featured their biggest hit, "Shadow World," a song written in the same vein as Elvis Costello's "Watching The Detectives." It received major airplay and skyrocketed their notoriety, which secured them gigs. But alas, the major labels never came calling. Also noteworthy on that record are the songs "Hold On To The Mystery" and "Lonely Next To You," which will appeal to power pop lovers.

After that, they gave it one more shot with their next single, "You're Leaving," which was written in the same style as "Shadow World" in an attempt to duplicate its success. Unfortunately the song went nowhere and the members started going their separate ways.

Ricky became a very desirable drummer, touring with Willie Loco and playing with Wayne Kramer amongst many others. Gary went on to form Gary Shane and Detour, followed by Alan Ladd & The Abashed, The Silvertones, and other groups. While they became popular, none of his bands ever got signed.

David met Mark Sandman and they started Treat Her Right, who quickly got a record deal. Eventually Mark left that band to form Morphine and David had a band with his wife called Hey Goods.

Recently, the old line-up of David, Gary, Chip and Billy reunited to play a couple old Shane Champagne songs at a benefit for Japan following the tsunami. All in all, 15 bands including Robin Lane & the Chartbusters, Willie Loco, the Fools and others raised a substantial amount of money for the cause.


  1. Nice post,I really like this single. I have the 10", maybe I'll post it; it's got a couple of cool songs on it, thanks!

  2. I heard these guys when I was a college student in Boston in the late 70s. I found this 45 in my garage this weekend!

    Over the years I have had Stepped on and Shadow World in my head from time to time, and would love to find an MP3 of them.