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Billboard Bits: 1910 Fruitgum Co., Herman Brood, T. Rex
News on 1910 Fruitgum Co., Herman Brood, T. RexLate '60s bubblegum group 1910 Fruitgum Company has reformed around two of its original members, drummer Floyd Marcus and guitarist Frank Jeckell (the latter of whom, in the spirit of full disclosure, is a cousin of Billboard.com senior editor Barry A. Jeckell). The reunited New Jersey-based group -- rounded out by vocalists Mickey Mansueto and Mike Manna, bassist Glenn Lewis, and keyboardists Bobby Brescher and Mike Edell -- will make its first live appearance tomorrow night (July 13) at the oldies-themed Soda Pop Shop in Montclair, N.J.
"For a long time we resisted offers to do any kind of reunion," Jeckell tells Billboard.com. "But the time finally seemed right." The group plans to continue to rehearse with hopes of hitting the oldies circuit later this year.
The Fruitgum Co. was part of a stable of acts under Buddah Records' in-house producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz (which also included the Ohio Express and the Music Explosion, among others). The band scored top-5 hits on The Billboard Hot 100 with its singles "Simon Says" (No. 4, 1968), "1-2-3 Red Light" (No. 5, 1968; at one time covered in concert by the Talking Heads), and "Indian Giver" (No. 5, 1969), and also notched showings with "Goody Goody Gumdrops" (No. 37, 1968) and "May I Take a Giant Step (Into Your Heart)" (No. 63, 1968).
Herman Brood, one of Holland's best-known rock personalities, committed suicide yesterday (July 11), Billboard Bulletin reports. He was 54. The singer/pianist/painter jumped from the roof of the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel. On his body, police found a note saying people should make "a party out of it all," according to reports. The note went on to say that Brood "didn't feel like it anymore," apparently in reference to his recent attempts to kick drugs and drinking.
Brood -- who was signed to BMG -- was one of the few Dutch artists to have enjoyed U.S. chart success; he had a No. 35 hit on The Billboard Hot 100, "Saturdaynight," with his band Wild Romance. Previously, Brood was a member of Dutch blues band Cuby & the Blizzards. In recent years, he had focused on painting. BMG would not comment.
-- Robert Heeg, Amsterdam
Universal will mark the 30th anniversary of the release of U.K. glam rock outfit T. Rex's "Electric Warrior" with a digitally remastered, expanded reissue. The new edition, due Sept. 3 in the U.K., includes eight alternate versions of songs from the original album. Original producer Tony Visconti took time out from mixing David Bowie's new album to remaster "Electric Warrior" and pen new liner notes.
The album includes T. Rex's most enduring track, "Bang a Gong (Get it On)," which peaked at No. 10 on The Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. "Electric Warrior," released in North America via Reprise, peaked at No. 34 on The Billboard 200. As of yet, there are no plans to release the remastered album in North America.
T. Rex was led by vocalist/guitarist Marc Bolan, who died in an automobile accident in September 1977.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.