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Was (Not Was)
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Musicians
    Formed in 1979 in Detroit
    Core members:
    Donald Fagenson (aka Don Was) - composer, instrumentalist, producer
    David Weiss (aka David Was) - instrumentalist, lyricist
    Sweet Pea Atkinson - vocals
    Sir Harry Bowens - vocals
    Recorded 'Walk the Dinosaur' and 'Spy in the House of Love'
    They are a two hit wonder.
    The band name came from Fagenson's son who liked to contradict words with 'not.'
    They are hard to categorize as they play a fusion of rock, pop, r&b, funk and dance.
    Don Was explained of their style - 'We would like to sound like the Motown revue on acid.'
    Other than the core members they've used session musicians throughout their career.
    They disbanded in 1992, only to reform in 2004.
    When their 1983 album 'Born to Laugh at Tornadoes' failed to ignite, their record label (Geffen) told them to be more marketable, they needed to be one color and to 'get rid of the black guys.' (they refused and switched labels)
    Diverse guest stars on their records have included Ozzy Osbourne, Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Iggy Pop and Kris Kristofferson.
    Elvis Costello wrote a song for them and Bob Dylan co-wrote another.
    'Walk the Dinosaur' hit #7 on Billboard's Singles chart (1987) and 'Spy in the House of Love' hit #1 on Billboard's Club Play chart (1988).
    'Dinosaur' contains the wonderfully absurd line 'Elvis landed in a (rock, rock) rocket ship, healed a couple of lepers, and disappeared.'
    Steve Winwood released 'Spy in the House of Love' in 1997 without giving them credit, but they let it go rather than bring about a 'frivolous' lawsuit.
    Don Was is a much sought after producer who has worked with Bonnie Raitt, Paula Abdul, Bob Seger and produced the B-52's multi-platinum album 'Cosmic Thing.'
    Rob Tannenbaum of Rolling Stone magazine says of them, 'Don and David Was want nothing less than to weave together the multiple discrete strands of American culture. Not since Talking Heads' heyday has there been such a wonderfully contrary dance band.'

Credit: Scar Tactics


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