Live ( , rhymes with "five", often typeset as LĪVE) was an American United States rock Rock music band from York, Pennsylvania, composed of Ed Kowalczyk (lead vocals vocalist and guitar), Chad Taylor (lead guitar), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass bass guitar ), and Chad Gracey (drums drum kit ). Touring members have included Ed's younger brother Adam Kowalczyk as a rhythm guitarist rhythm guitar , British keyboard Keyboard instrument player Michael "Railo" Railton, and guitarist Christopher Thorn of Blind Melon.
Live achieved worldwide success with their 1994 album, Throwing Copper, which has sold eight million copies in the US. The band had a string of hit singles in the mid 1990s including "Lightning Crashes", which stayed at the top of the Billboard Billboard (magazine) Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for 10 consecutive weeks and the Modern Rock Tracks (now Alternative Songs) Alternative Songs chart for nine weeks from February 25 to April 22, 1995.
The band has sold over 20 million albums worldwide. Their last three studio albums fared only moderately well in the US, but they continued to enjoy success in The Netherlands Netherlands , South Africa and Australasia.
On November 30, 2009 Chad Taylor's personal blog revealed that what had initially been termed a "two-year hiatus" was more likely a permanent break-up, due to what he felt were inappropriate actions by Ed Kowalczyk.
Early history and Mental Jewelry: 1988–1992
Kowalczyk, Taylor, Dahlheimer and Gracey first played together at a middle-school talent show in York, Pennsylvania. They remained together throughout high school, playing new wave New Wave music covers under band names such as First Aid, Club Fungus, Paisley Blues, Action Front and Body Odor Boys. Eventually they settled on the name Public Affection and recorded a self-released cassette compact cassette of original songs, The Death of a Dictionary, in 1989. In 1990 they released an EP Extended play of demos produced by Jay Healy, titled Divided Mind, Divided Planet, via their Black Coffee mailing list. The band played regular concerts at CBGB in New York City, which helped earn them a contract with Radioactive Records in 1991.
Under the new name Live, the band entered the studio with producer Jerry Harrison (of Talking Heads) and recorded the EP Four Songs Four Songs (Live EP) . The single "Operation Spirit (The Tyranny of Tradition)" went to number nine on the Modern Rock Alternative Songs chart and was followed by their debut album, 1991's Mental Jewelry, which Harrison again produced. Given the band's inexperience, Harrison's input was invaluable. Pat Dalheimer said that it was, "So important to have somebody else in the room to help us, especially with arrangements. I mean, we were still learning how to write songs...Jerry just seemed to know everything...this guy's a wizard!" Some of the album's lyrics, written by Kowalczyk, were inspired by Indian philosopher and writer Jiddu Krishnamurti. On August 2, 2008, Daughtry and Live performed Live's interpretation of "I Walk the Line" together at the Toms River Fest in Toms River, New Jersey.
On September 14, 2007, the band released Radiant Sea: A Collection of Bootleg Rarities and Two New Songs, their first album since 1989 on their own Action Front Records label. The new songs were "Beautiful Invisible" and "Radiant Sea". Live recorded their first concert DVD in the Netherlands during two shows at the Paradiso Paradiso (Amsterdam) on June 30 and July 1, 2008. Live at the Paradiso - Amsterdam was released on November 11, 2008 on DVD and CD. Also in 2008 the band headlined a US tour which also featured Blues Traveler and Collective Soul.
An unreleased Live song, "Hold Me Up", features in the 2008 Kevin Smith film Zack and Miri Make a ***. Smith said, "I first heard (the song) in ‘95 when we were putting together the Mallrats soundtrack. It was actually in the film for the first test screening, but Live decided they wanted to hold onto it as a potential single off their next album...When I was editing Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back...I put in a request for it...again, I was denied. Third time, apparently, was the charm. Needed a song for that sequence in Zack and Miri and remembered the Live track. This time, the band signed off on us using the track. Took 13 years, but was worth the wait!" In spite of Smith's endorsement, the song does not appear on the movie's soundtrack album.
Hiatus and break-up
After a concert at The Palazzo in Las Vegas Las Vegas Strip in June 2009, Live announced that the band would take a two-year "hiatus" to work on other projects. Kowalczyk recorded his solo album Alive Alive (Ed Kowalczyk album) and the other band members formed a group with Kevin Martin and Sean Hennessy of Candlebox called The Gracious Few. That band proceeded to record a self-titled debut album The Gracious Few (album) in California for release in September 2010.
On November 30, 2009, Taylor revealed that the "hiatus" was more likely a permanent split. He alleged that Kowalczyk demanded a $100,000 "lead singer bonus" at the 2009 Pinkpop Festival and that a 2005 contract made Kowalczyk the sole signatory of Live's Black Coffee Publishing company without the knowledge of the rest of the band as reasons for the break-up.
At the end of May 2010, the other three members of Live filed a lawsuit against Kowalczyk and their former business manager in the New York State Supreme Court. Kowalczyk was asked about the lawsuit in a September 2010 interview but declined to elaborate, saying, "There is a (court) case that is pending, which is why I really don't want to get into it."*Mental Jewelry (1991)
*Throwing Copper (1994)
*Secret Samadhi (1997)
*The Distance to Here (1999)
*V V (Live album) (2001)
*Birds of Pray (2003)
*Songs from Black Mountain (2006)
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