Theme Switcher
Switch to:

Notes about GDM Themes
Click to learn more about GDM themes


Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
Site Stats
Album Reviews: 6825
Comments: 16465
Ratings: 4520
Forum Posts: 21582
Latest Comments
Same here, forgotten abou...
Both albums are really go...
Great band had forgotten ...
This debut is chocked ful...
The band really broadens ...
I've seen this many times...
A classic indeed and thei...
I hoped more from this al...
It was Heather Thomas in ...
Actually, 'Find The Lady'...
Cheers Dave, looking to g...
Great, Malcolm! I can hel...
Dave, it's already set up...
Great list, Jeffrey. The ...
Maybe an interview with G...
Finally got a copy of thi...
Thanks for the download y...
Yes Dave, I agree New Yor...
Very cool. I've always ha...
As a musician and avid li...
You must login to post a message.

22-01-2018 21:32
Wonderful recent interview with Gary Numan.

21-01-2018 21:04
Lucky and now skint, judging by the winning bid!!

21-01-2018 20:47
Some lucky Jeff Lynne fan got a real rarity!

21-01-2018 09:43
Yep in Argent, especially as Rod Argent and Jim we’re cousins.

21-01-2018 07:43
Didn't Rodford also play in Argent and Charlie too?

20-01-2018 22:04
Jim Rodford, bass player, The Kinks, Phoenix (I think?), but I remember him with The Zombies, saw live a while back. RIP

17-01-2018 21:50
In response to Cyrille Regis, BBC 2 repeat the Adrian Chiles documentary, Whites v Blacks, How Football Changed A Nation, unbelievable true story, worth watching

17-01-2018 18:44
Review of the rather splendid `Hornal` album is in the works too.

17-01-2018 01:57
Dave and Jeff's best of 2017 wrap-up's just around the corner too.. computer work

17-01-2018 01:56
There is a three-part article coming up for E.L.O (Eldorado, A New World Record and Out Of The Blue). Look out for it soon.

Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 1985 Articles » DC Star - 1985 Rockin' In The Classroom
DC Star - 1985 Rockin' In The Classroom

ALBUM: Rockin' In The Classroom
LABEL: Mirage
SERIAL: 90251-1
YEAR: 1985


LINEUP: Kenn Taylor - vocals * Dave Simmons - guitars * Jeff Avery - guitars, keyboards * Henry Farmer - bass * Glenn Jones - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Wanna Rock Tonight * 02 Rockin' The Classroom (Smokin' In The Boys Room) * 03 Do You Know What I Mean * 04 Feeling Good To Me * 05 Fortune Teller * 06 Come Back To Me * 07 Tell Me Like It Is * 08 They Call Her The Wild * 09 The Miller Song * 10 Livin' In A Rock & Roll Whirl


The late 70's scene in Baltimore might have been prominent for the likes of Face Dancer and The Shooz (who would late go on to become Kix), but there's one other band that deserve a mention from this era: DC Star. Formed as far back as the early 70's, the band were a popular draw all over the Eastern Seaboard. So the story goes - the band were in fact called Starz, but a certain other band from New Jersey 'stole the name', according to lead singer Kenn Taylor. They've actually released a ton of indie material during the early 80's on cassette and vinyl, but it wasn't until 1984 that the DC boyz secured a deal with Atlantic subsidiary Mirage, that a full blown LP became available. The image of DC Star might conjure up visions of sleaze and glam, but no, these boys put down their own variation of melodic party metal. The International Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal described them as being similar to Def Leppard. I'd go along with that comparison for part of the way. Singer Kenny Taylor is the glue to this outfit, his Tony Mills like warbling piercing the soundscape like a pin-prick through a balloon.

The Songs
'Rockin' In The Classroom' is one part studio tracks, the second part live tracks. It makes for an inconsistent listen all round, but you can see what direction they are headed in. The opener 'I Wanna Rock Tonite' is a tight affair, sort of like Billy The Kid and Agentz, but without the same sort of power. The title track 'Rockin' In The Classroom' is a re-hash of the Brownsville Station staple 'Smokin' In The Boys Room', a track that Motley Crue would garner success with a few years later. 'Do You Know What I Mean' has a riff/motif that also sounds familiar but I just can't place it. The party/anthem rock is continued however. 'Feeling Good To Me' starts out like a Rick Springfield number, and stays within that pop/rock zone for the duration. DC Star get a bit more expansive with 'Fortune Teller', one of the better tracks here, Taylor sounds a lot like Tony Mills on this one, with his vocal heading off into the stratosphere.

From here on in (tracks 6-10), the material is all live. Admittedly DC Star sound great, and much of these tracks can be found on their Vol1 and Vol2 CD's which have recently been reissued by Retrospect Records. 'Come Back To Me' is a fiery number, lots of guitar noodling and OTT vocals. I enjoyed the rather excellent 'Tell Me Like It Is', though I think I would've preferred to hear a studio version of this. 'They Call Her The Wild' is the highlight of the LP for me, with some glorious guitar work amid the big party metal sound. 'The Miller Song' is a brief excuse to play what was an obvious commercial for the big U.S beer brand. The finale 'Living In A Rock & Roll Whirl' is another party romp, which just goes to show what an impressive live band these guys must've been!

In Summary
During 1985, Taylor was involved in a serious car accident which prevented him from performing. Steve Whiteman from Kix stood in as cover, but when Taylor returned, he only stayed on for a short term, and left the band before the year was up. DC Star have reconvened for the odd reunion show, the last being back in 2002. Good on Retrospect Records for locating those earlier DC Star releases and putting them out as digital CD's. You can find them on the Retrospect site. A good band worth investigating.

All written content on this website is copyrighted.
Copying of material without permission is not permitted.

#1 | reyno-roxx on January 24 2010 17:57:12
I used to own this and a couple of the vinyl Eps...didn't impress me that much over time, so they went in my 90s purge. Sure I have a version of the band covering 'Dear Prudence' on tape somewhere. Now that was impressive.
#2 | gdazegod on January 24 2010 23:16:30
What about that STARZ reference Reyno? Any truth to that story I wonder?
#3 | Nick C on January 26 2010 12:30:14
I grabbed this from Shades back in the day and it popped thru the post on a miserable wet day....I remember because the card packing was damp on one corner and I thought the sleeve might have been soaked wasn't.
But it didn't brighten my day any I'm afraid...and as Dave did above, I sold it but way before the 90's kicked in heh!
Just found it boring and nothing really out of the ordinary even back then.
#4 | reyno-roxx on January 26 2010 19:30:17
George, I must admit to not having heard that Starz story..I reckon that's more spin on Mr Taylor's part. Bill Trainor from Face Dancer might know. He knows everyone in DC from that period!
#5 | super80boy on November 01 2015 00:00:09
I'm based in the Baltimore/Washington DC area, so I see this record a bunch in the local stores. Personally, I have the Escape Records version of it, which doesn't have the Brownsville Station cover. 'I Wanna Rock Tonite' has a fairly catchy chorus that keeps things interesting. The standout is 'Fortune Teller', the guitar riffs and operatic vocals are killer. Side B's live versions are good, but studio versions would have definitely had better listening impact. 'Come Back To Me' and 'Tell Me Like It Is' are top cuts with fiery guitar work, but again, I can only imagine what a fully produced studio version would have sounded like. It's disappointing DC Star split this with live and studio versions…should have been all studio versions.
Post Comment
Please Login to Post a Comment.
Rating is available to Members only.

Please login or register to vote.

No Ratings have been Posted.
Articles Cloud
Scrounger - 1976 Snap, Danzi, Danny - 2003 Danziland, Brock, Terry - 2010 Diamond Blue, Koslen, Jonah (And The Heroes) - 1983 Aces, Bourgeois Tagg - 1987 Yoyo, Midnight Oil - 2002 Capricornia, Beitthemeans - 2011 Head Held High, Worrall - 1991 Worrall, Saxon - 2004 Lionheart, Shadow King - 1991 Shadow King, Hammer - 1979 Hammer, Restless - 1998 Alone In The Dark, Bobbies, The - 1993 Supersongs, Rozetta - 1980 Where's My Hero, Tremeloes, The - 1974 Shiner
Rose Tattoo Robby Valentine Rock Candy Records Coney Hatch Queen City Kids Bijelo Dugme Balance Rock Candy Records Le Roux Big Mouth Clocks Last Autumns Dream Osukaru Nathan Shaffer Roq Royale Eddie And The Tide Pink Cream 69 Tranquility Blue Ruin Missouri Lynx Drive She Said Firecracker Passion Street Henry Paul Band Wounded Bird DeBarge Nightblade Jim Jidhed Kix Firefall Jock Bartley Patty Weaver Actors And Actresses Dionysus Wounded Bird Robbie Dupree
All Tags
Search DDG