Bassist, singer, songwriter and producer who fronted the wildly popular 1980's rock band Night Ranger. Jack Martin Blades was born in Palm Springs, California on 24 April, 1954. He started music lessons at the age of eight after being inspired by hearing the Beatles. His original musical instrument of choice was the guitar, but he later switched to the bass.
Blades studied pre-med at San Diego State University. While there, he was one of the founding members of a dance-rock band called Rubicon, along with Jerry Martini, who had played horns with Sly and the Family Stone. Rubicon moved up the coast to San Francisco in the late '70's and the band made two albums: Rubicon (1978) and American Dreams (1980).
In the band, Blades worked with drummer Kelly Keagy and guitarist Brad Gillis. After Rubicon waned, these three wanted to form a new band with a much harder-rock sound. After a brief stint performing under the name Stereo, the band added keyboardist Alan Fitzgerald (late of Montrose and Gamma) and guitarist Jeff Watson, and thus was Night Ranger born.
Night Ranger had five best-selling albums: Dawn Patrol (1982), Midnight Madness (1983), 7 Wishes (1985), Big Life (1987) and Man in Motion (1988). They were a favourite on MTV and radio station playlists all over the United States (and abroad as well) with hits such as Don't Tell Me You Love Me and Sister Christian.
Their star began to fade and 1989 saw the breakup of Night Ranger. When the dust had settled, this band had sold more than 10 million albums throughout the world.
That same year, Blades wanted to return to a more Rhythm and Blues feel. He joined with Tommy Shaw, Ted Nugent and Michael Cartellone and formed the band Damn Yankees. Their first, self-titled album was a colossal success. Their second, Don’t Tread, while solid, did not achieve that same level of popularity. Damn Yankees went on hiatus in 1994.
After the dissolution of Damn Yankees, Blades and Shaw wanted to continue working together. In 1995, they released an album under the name Shaw Blades. The album, entitled Hallucination, is blues-influenced rock with very clever lyrics and exceptional musicianship. The album was not a huge commercial success, but many critics and fans consider it to be some of the best work that either man has ever produced.
In 1997, Night Ranger reunited for two albums Neverland and Seven. In 2000, Damn Yankees regrouped to make their third album, although that project never reached fruition.
More recently, Blades has written songs for such varied artists as Journey, Roger Daltrey, Cher and Ozzy Osbourne. He has produced albums for the bands Samantha 7 and Great White and has created his first solo album in the Spring of 2004. He has also recently worked with the Tak Matsumoto Group on the album TMG1.
Jack Blades lives on a ranch in Sonoma County, California with his wife Mollie and his two sons James and Collin. He has built a small recording studio there which he has named "the Cock and Bottle Studio." His son Collin, who has been singing and writing songs since early childhood, has worked with Jack before and has just signed his first recording contract.
Mr. Blades' own site: www.jackblades.net
Wikipedia: Jack Blades, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Blades
Allmusic bio: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:5efjzfhheh2k~T1