The band that eventually came to be known as Everyday Housewives was founded in the summer of 1980 by vocalist Dean Backlund and guitarist Dana Chandler. Dean and Dana had grown up together in the rural suburbs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula in California. But given the fact that Dean was a “surfer” and Dana was a “jock”, and given the typical politics of the average American high school campus that prevent the intermingling of different cliques, they were not friends before the formation of the band.
Back at Miraleste High School in the late 1970s, there was also a kid by the name of Dan McKee, who could play every Led Zeppelin song on the guitar. One day Dean went up to Dan and said “Hey, I hear you can play every Zep song on guitar. Well, I know the words to every Zep song. Why don’t you come over and play them, and I’ll sing them?” Dan agreed, and a friendship ensued.
After graduation, the three future amigos drifted off to college. Dan attended UC San Diego, where he performed in various bands on and around campus. Dean went off to Santa Barbara, where he learned his first chords on his roommate’s acoustic guitar. Dana toted his Les Paul copy off to USC, and became involved in fraternity life.
Then came that fateful summer day in 1980, when Dan invited his friend Dana over to Dean’s house for a cacophonous jam session. (These early Miraleste High School alumni jam sessions also occasionally included future keyboard player, Paul).
Immediately following that first jam, Dean and Dana decided to get serious about playing real gigs. The original lineup was known as Inconsiderate Gentlemen, and consisted of Dean on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Dana on bass and vocals, Dan on lead guitar and vocals, and Terry Pike on drums. The band played several parties, clubs, and USC fraternity functions during the early 1980s.
Concurrently during this time, Dean was also a member of a successful San Pedro-based band, first called Drama and then The Flat Earth Society, which also included talented bass player and fellow Miraleste alumni Rob Ivon.
As the early 80s swiftly became the mid 80s, Dean, Dana, and Dan started to grow weary of playing only covers. They began to write original songs and record them on a four-track, then rehearse them in a professional studio with drummer Terry. This was an exciting and creative period for the band, as they were now planning gigs that would consist of original material, and rock ‘n’ roll success now seemed to be an actual possibility.
Unfortunately, it was at this time that tragedy struck the band, when in December 1987 founding member and gifted musician Dan McKee died of an apparent suicide. Dean and Dana were both devastated, and since the band had always been more about friendship than anything else, this marked the beginning of a long hiatus from playing gigs. At the time, no consideration was given to finding a replacement for Dan. He was irreplaceable, both as a friend and as a guitarist. That, it seemed, was that.
Over the ensuing years Dean and Dana continued to write, record, and jam together, but soon they were both married with children. So the idea of playing gigs with a full band seemed to be a thing of the past.
The band’s story then fast-forwards to early 1997, when longtime friend and keyboard player Paul B was organizing a jam session at his sister’s house in San Pedro that included his brother-in-law and great guitar player Ricardo Cestero. Paul decided to invite his old friends Dean and Dana to join them.
This jam turned out to be very successful and fun for all those in attendance, and the seeds for a rebirth of the band were sown. Several backyard parties featuring the new lineup ensued. Alexia Haidos, a high school friend of Dana and Paul, invited the band to play at the opening of a new art gallery in Marina Del Rey in 1998. Rob Ivon, who had recently reconnected with Dean after more than 10 years, was invited to play bass, with Dana permanently switching back to guitar.
Several drummers were employed during this late 1990s regrouping period, with the band finally and luckily discovering transplanted New York drummer Craig Szymanski through Paul’s networking efforts.
The new lineup was now set. The band, re-christened Everyday Housewives (tongue-in-cheek-ly named after the Glen Campbell song “Dreams of the Everyday Housewife”), rang in the new century with a bunch of backyard blowouts, birthday parties, club gigs, and semi-regular Saturday afternoon shows at the world-famous Lighthouse Café in Hermosa Beach in 2004. The Wives made their triumphant return to The Lighthouse on Saturday, May 23rd, 2009.
Winter 2010 saw The Wives make their first lineup change in over a decade, when longtime bassist Rob Ivon left the band and was replaced by multi-instrumentalist and great bass player Tommy Bele. The talented Mr. Bele brings with him a long resume of membership in several successful rock, 80s, and Croatian bands throughout Southern California. Tommy’s addition to the Everyday Housewives signaled a renaissance of top-notch gigs for the band, with five spectacular outdoor Summer 2011 thru 2013 shows at gorgeous Terranea Resort on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Everyday Housewives have always been adamant about putting on a genuine rock ‘n’ roll show, rather than “just standing there” and playing tunes. The Wives employ several seminal rock traditions – a rabble-rousing frontman, a classic two-guitar attack, a tight earth-shaking rhythm section, and atmospheric keyboards. Their set list runs from 60s Beatles, Stones, Who, and Doors; to 70s Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Neil Young; to 80s Tom Petty and The Cure; to 90s Radiohead and Lenny Kravitz; to 00s Foo Fighters and White Stripes. They can play everything from blistering hard rock, to energetic dance music, to mellow acoustic sets. They are available for any function - - birthday parties, weddings, reunions, clubs, corporate events.
Shouldn’t your next event include a great performance by Everyday Housewives?