Vocalist, songwriter, guitarist Eric Bazilian met his musical soul mate Rob Hyman when they were both attending the University of Pennsylvania. Hyman and Bazilian first teamed in the group Baby Grand, which also included future producer Rick Chertoff; after a pair of LPs for Arista, the band dissolved in 1978, and formed the Hooters soon after. Also including guitarist John Lilley, bassist Rob Miller, and drummer David Uosikkinen, the Hooters honed an eclectic blend of rock, folk, and ska, taking their name from the melodica, or “hooter,” which lent their sound its distinctive edge; while the Hooters earned a devoted cult following at home in Philadelphia, Hyman and Bazilian also enjoyed busy careers as composers and session players, most notably contributing extensively to Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 blockbuster She’s So Unusual.
The Hooters’ debut LP, Amore, appeared on the tiny local imprint Antenna in 1983 and sold 100,000 copies. The group issued its major label debut, Nervous Night, in 1985 upon signing to Columbia. The record fell just shy of the Top Ten on the strength of a series of chart hits including “All You Zombies,” “And We Danced,” “Day by Day,” and “Where Do the Children Go”; the follow-up, 1987’s One Way Home, also went gold, and the single “Satellite” was a smash overseas.
Hooters touring highlights include opening the 1985 Live-Aid concert in Philadelphia, Amnesty International at Giants Stadium in 1986, the Tokyo Dome (1987), Concert for World Hunger at Carnegie Hall (1989) and Roger Waters’ extravaganza at the Wall in Berlin (1990).
After 1989’s Zig Zag failed to reach the Hot 100, Columbia dropped the group. In 1993 did the Hooters released Out of Body on MCA. The following year’s The Hooters Live remains their final effort to date, although Hyman and Bazilian continued their busy writing and arranging careers. Bazilian has performed on albums for Jennifer Love Hewitt, Willie Nelson, Jon Bon Jovi and Carly Simon. He wrote the unique and provocative hit for Joan Osborne, “One of Us,” which gave him his first solo GRAMMY nomination for Song of the Year in 1997. “One of Us” was also recorded by Prince, one of only a few covers he has ever recorded. Bazilian also penned the hit “Kiss the Rain” for Billie Myers and co-wrote Ricky Martin’s “Private Emotion” with Rob Hyman.
Bazilian released his first solo recording, The Optimist, in 2000, and followed up in 2002 with A Very Dull Boy. He continues working with veteran and up and coming artists alike. Eric’s talents can be heard as co-writer of tracks on the Leann Rimes album, Twisted Angel, the Sweet Home Alabama 2002 film soundtrack and the latest General Motors 2003 TV ad campaign.
Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide (allmusic.com)