BIOGRAPHIES

AL JACQUEZ

 

(VOCALS, GUITAR, HARMONICA)Al image

Al was born in New York City, but grew up just outside of Detroit. At an early age his French-born parents and grandparents exposed him to many forms of "proper" music; classical, opera, and jazz. Popular radio fed his curiosity for more when he discovered blues, soul and rock. This eclectic beginning echoes in Al's writing and performing today.

Throughout his teens he was a lead singer and guitarist playing mostly Stax, Motown and R & B covers, (think Otis Redding swinging a Gibson Firebird) until his big break at 18 when he switched to bass and was best known as the voice of SAVAGE GRACE, precursor to progressive heavy metal rock, releasing two albums on Reprise Records.

Spending 2 years on the west coast with SAVAGE GRACE, Al returned to the Detroit area to join forces with Scott Morgan and Terry Trabandt (both of THE RATIONALS fame) to create GUARDIAN ANGEL. Guardian Angel released one single, "Hijackin' Love" but never lived up to its "supergroup" status. After the departure of Morgan and Trabandt, the band shifted gears and became LIGHTNIN' with the addition of bass player and singer Mark Gougeon. LIGHTNIN' released a self titled EP that has since become a collector's item. After Lightnin's untimely demise in the face of the disco phenomenon, Al began a musical partnership with guitarist Mark Tomorsky. Together they co-wrote a catalog of songs, toured Europe and co-produced musical fund raising events for the US OLYMPIC COMMITTEE.

In the early 80's Jacquez moved back to Los Angeles from Detroit. Tomorsky soon followed him to L.A. where they continued to write and perform as CUSTOM EYES for several years.

Desiring a less hectic pace to raise a family, Al relocated back to the Detroit area. He stepped in as the front man for THE SUSPECTS, a popular Detroit area horn band.

Upon re-releasing the complete SAVAGE GRACE catalog in the early 90's, he teamed up with former SG guitarist Ron Koss and former Lightnin' bassist Mark Gougeon to write and record a third SAVAGE GRACE album, entitled "One Night In America" on 33 1/3 Records.

By the mid 90's Al was doing commercial work and concentrating on his writing. You can hear his signature vocal contributions for the big three automakers and on recordings by SAVAGE GRACE, LIGHTNIN', BURNING CIRCLE, THE SUSPECTS, and THE MILLER BROTHERS BAND.

MARK TOMORSKY

 

(GUITAR, VOCALS)

Mark began his musical journey in Michigan as an aspiring actor, working in many local productions with Al Jacquez's brother, Nick. It was through Nick, that he met Al and became a fan of LIGHTNIN'. Choosing music over acting he emulated that group with one of his own called THE AFTER HOURS BAND that included Mark Gougeon's brother Don on keyboards, Scott Morgan's brother John on drums and Tommy Miller of THE MILLER BROTHERS BAND on bass.

When THE AFTER HOURS BAND had run its course, Mark left performing and assembled a small demo studio. He also began his unofficial residency as the "house guitarist" for the SECOND CHANCE, a tri-level show bar with a national stage in Ann Arbor, MI, sitting in with any and every band that would let him.

Around the time he began his musical partnership with Al, he started playing guitar in a jazz-rock fusion group called VANTAGE POINT! Tommy Miller was the bassist and brought Mark into the band. Band mate Stephen Bray was the drummer on VP!'s first European tour. He left shortly after to write and produce in New York with MADONNA.

Tomorsky then toured Europe a second time with VANTAGE POINT! including a performance at the MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL with WEATHER REPORT. That second tour brought Al Jacquez aboard to add vocals to VP!'s previously instrumental compositions. Once back in the states the duo produced fund raising musical events for the U.S.O.C. that culminated in performances for the 1980 WINTER OLYMPICS in Lake Placid, NY.

VANTAGE POINT! released one single, "All Night" and Mark left after their subsequent recordings failed to realize their potential. He followed Al to Los Angeles to continue working together. They formed CUSTOM EYES and hit the LA club scene, wrote and recorded a couple of albums worth of material, but were unable to land a major record deal. Mark stayed on the west coast after Jacquez returned to Detroit. He found some success touring the United States extensively as a supporting player and along the way played with MARK LINDSAY (PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS,) THE GRASS ROOTS, THE TURTLES, SPENCER DAVIS, GENE CLARK (The BYRDS,) IKE TURNER, DREW ABBOTT (SILVER BULLET BAND.)

He left playing on the road in the late 80's, but continued to write and produce. He released a CD with COOL ROOM (featuring DAVE MEROS - ERIC BURDON, SPOCK'S BEARD,) in the early 90's. Mark also wrote and recorded for film and television with LITTLE RICHARD, BILLY PRESTON and composers CHRIS "Whitey" ANDERSON and CARL SCHURTZ. The late 90's found him producing an annual music festival in the mountains of Southern California, as well as producing songwriter demos and playing clubs in various disguises.

Tomorsky and Jacquez reconnected in Los Angeles in 2001 and their collaboration began anew with possibilities of Mark joining Al in Michigan to fill in for Ron Koss for some post SAVAGE GRACE gigs. Those early gigs were the beginning of MEASURED CHAOS.

Still active in Los Angeles, Tomorsky recorded & produced a disc by punk rockers DEAD LAZLO'S PLACE, "Twelve Ounce Inspiration" on BURNING TREE RECORDS in 2005.

In 2006 he also recorded, produced, co-wrote, played guitar and bass on "Tales From Foundry Town" by former Detroiters, THE MILLER BROTHERS BAND. The disc was well received by critics in the US and Europe and Mark is currently co-writing and arranging new material for their sophomore release.

 

MARK GOUGEON

 

(BASS, VOCALS)

Mark fronted several popular Detroit area bands before connecting with former SAVAGE GRACE front man Al Jacquez to form LIGHTNIN'. It was during this period that he also met Mark Tomorsky who had become a regular fixture around the scene with his group, THE AFTER HOURS BAND, that featured his brother Don (later of THE ASSOCIATION) on keyboards. When LIGHTNIN' ran it's course, Mark went on to play and record with MITCH RYDER for over a decade, releasing many of Mitch's best post-DETROIT WHEELS records, including "Never Kick A Sleeping Dog" produced by JOHN MELLENCAMP. Along the way he found himself rubbing elbows and working with musicians like MARK FARNER, STEVIE RAY VAUHGAN and JAMIE JAMES of THE KINGBEES. He toured the States and Europe extensively during his tenure with Mitch and still retains many fans there as a result.

He left the road in the late 80's to concentrate on writing. It was then that the third SAVAGE GRACE project appeared and he was back in the saddle, again. After "SAVAGE GRACE - One Night In America" Mark semi-retired until the call came for MEASURED CHAOS in 2002.

 

 

(photos:Julian Konwinski)