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4 Non Blondes

4 Non Blondes were an American rock band formed in 1989. They consisted of bassist Christa Hillhouse, guitarist Shaunna Hall, drummer Wanda Day and vocalist Linda Perry. Prior to the release of their first album, Roger Rocha replaced Hall on guitar, and Dawn Richardson replaced Day on drums. They hit the charts in 1993 with "What's Up", their only hit. Perry left the band in 1995 to begin a solo career, and the remaining members disbanded soon thereafter. They represented American alternative rock genre of music.

Founding of the group

Bassist Christa Hillhouse knew guitarist Shaunna Hall for many years in San Francisco. They met drummer Wanda Day, and after witnessing Linda Perry sing solo at a club they convinced her to join the band. In an interesting coincidence, October 17, 1989 was the day of the Loma Prieta earthquake that hit San Francisco and was supposed to be their first day of rehearsal.

The band picked the name, 4 Non Blondes, after an incident in a San Francisco park where the band members were having pizza. Apparently, a family was walking by, and their little boy wanted to grab some left over pizza to feed the birds. He was told by his parents, "No, don't touch that, that's dirty from all the birds and people around here,” and they proceeded to give the band members a dirty look. The family was supposedly "very blonde", so they decided to call themselves 4 Non Blondes. There are also some who believe the name was inspired by the band Concrete Blonde who is an influence to the band's sound.

Wanda Day was fired from 4 Non Blondes because of drug use shortly before the making of the album Bigger, Better, Faster, More! (she died in 1997). While promoting the song "What's Up", lead singer Linda Perry, who wrote the song and had recently come out as a lesbian, displayed a "dyke" sticker prominently plastered on her guitar for a performance on Late Night with David Letterman.

Dawn Richardson replaced Day, after being introduced to the group by mutual friend Cherie Lovedog; but as the recording of their first album progressed, producer David Tickle replaced Hall with a session guitarist. Roger joined after the recording was completed.

Musical success

Lead vocalist Perry went solo in 1995 and the group disbanded after recording, but not releasing, their second album. Perry has since released solo work, and produced songs on hit albums by Alicia Keys, Pink, Christina Aguilera, and Kelly Clarkson.

In 1995, 4 Non Blondes contributed the song "Misty Mountain Hop" to the Encomium tribute album to Led Zeppelin.

In 2007, Kitty Rose and Christa Hillhouse started working with Carolyn Gage on a five-woman rock musical called How to Write a Country-Western Song.

Guitarist Roger Rocha recorded an unreleased record with the hard rocking Dolorosa in 1995 and then in 1997, joined psychedelic pop group, Mockingbirds on Guitar. Rocha then recorded two CDs with El Destroyo, the Latest Drag 1999 and Power of my Mind released in 2002. The latter was produced and featured the bass guitar of founding member of the Violent Femmes, Brian Ritchie. Rocha recorded Roger Rocha has..."the Blues!" in 2006. Roger is currently living, singing, writing and performing in the San Francisco Bay Area with the group Roger Rocha & The Goldenhearts.

Founding guitarist, Shaunna Hall, became an official member of George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic in 2007, making her the first female band member in the bands' 35 + year history. Shaunna has been touring with P-Funk since 2002. Shaunna Hall released a producer project CD/DVD set in 2006 entitled Electrofunkadelica: e3+FUNKnth = music for the body, mind & soul, which features members of Parliament Funkadelic, Sativa Diva, Christa Hillhouse, Eric McFadden, Lisa Cash and many others. Shaunna has been a touring member of George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic since 2002. She has also recorded and performed with The Alcohol of Fame (1993-1995); The Eric McFadden Experience (1995-2002) Our Revels Now are Ended (1998 NMX Records); Tribe 8 (producer & guest guitarist) Role Models For Amerika (1998 Alternative Tentacles Records); Storm, Inc. (1999-2001) The Calm Years (2000 Taylor Made Records/ Gender Nectar); 420 Funk Mob Alive in Spain (2004 WeFUNK ad2k Records).

Discography

Albums

Singles

  • "Dear Mr. President" (1993)
  • "What's Up" (1993) #1 Germany, #1 The Netherlands, #2 Australia, #2 Israel, #2 United Kingdom, #14 The Billboard Hot 100, #29 Modern rock, #16 Mainstream rock
  • "Spaceman" (1993) #39 US Mainstream Rock, #28 Germany
  • "Superfly" (1993)

External links

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