COMBO AUDIO

Promotion Shots

click
Collection of promotional photos that were taken at various times and locations - mostly by Della Perrone and Kim Weinstein (Keck), including the band's official promotional photo used by EMI.

Black & White Live Shots - with Angus Thomas

click
Perhaps above anything else, Combo Audio was a great live band; often described as "three guys who sound like five". Collection of black and white photos of the band performing live with Angus Thomas on bass guitar during early gigs at Mabels in Champaign, IL around the time Angus joined the band.

Color Live Shots - with Angus Thomas

click
This was somewhat of a triumphant home town gig for Combo Audio. Live at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall in the fall of '83 to a sold out small arena playing on the bill with a new large version of the Talking Heads. The star was rising, they were selling out clubs, had a top single pick in Billboard, launching an MTV video in power rotation, were getting play rotation on radio stations across the U.S., had signed with EMI and become Champaign Urbana home town heroes. It was a very good night.

Black & White Live Shots - with Rocky Maffit and Tom Broeske

click
These shots are from a very early Combo Audio show. Tom Broeske had only recently joined the group as a full time member. During that time percussionist, vocalist and writer Rocky Maffit regularly appeared with Combo Audio in the status as a "part time full time" fourth member. Rocky played a number of early shows like this with Combo Audio but later was usurped by his other projects, particularly R&B pop outfit "Champaign" where he was also a full time member and writer. Shortly after, Combo Audio officially became a power trio.

Black & White Live Shots - with Tom Broeske

click
These early shots of the band live were taken sometime around 1980-81. Tom Broeske was bassist and backing vocalist in Combo Audio at this time. These were early heady days at Mabels - a newly emerging club and destination in Champaign Illinois that began as a folk and fern bar and rapidly became one of the quintessential concert clubs catering to the 80's punk and new wave movement in the midwest. Combo Audio was fortunate enough to be one of the local "house" bands.

These shots were likely taken by Della Perrone.

Black & White Live Shots - with Angus Thomas

click
Live Shots of the band by Della Perrone at a theater at the University of Illinois with U2 on their first American tour

Black & White Live Shots - Scotty's

click
Part 2 of shots of the band performing at Scotty's in Champaign, IL.

"Romanticide" - video shoot - 1st version - part 1

click
These photos were taken by Kim Weinstein (Keck) and Della Perrone during the band's first video shoot of their single, "Romanticide". Combo Audio released a 45 single of "Romanticide with their local indie label, Secret Records. They were already enjoying local airplay with it along with a number of their other songs. Much to everyone's surprise, "Romanticide" was picked up and featured in Billboard as "Top Single Pick" twice. This immediately led to interest in the band from major labels. To enhance this interest and have something to show the band's visage, they made this early music video of Romanticide based on the single. Shot late on a very deeply cold January night on the outskirts of Champaign, the band and Secret Records set up and taped the video in a large badly heated photo studio set up to photograph cars. The resulting video was picked up and aired on pre-MTV "Rock America" and a few European music video channels.

"Romanticide" - video shoot - 1st version - part 2

click
These photos were taken by Della Perrone during the band's first video shoot of their single, "Romanticide".

"Romanticide" - video shoot - EMI / MTV version

click
These photos were shot during the 24 hour marathon shoot of the EMI for MTV version 2 of "Romanticide" in a number of locations in Chicago.

Studio Shots - with Rich Denhart

click
John and Rick in the studio with producer and engineer Rich Denhart. This was just prior to Tom Broeske joining the group. Rich Denhart worked with Combo Audio for a number of years, first as front of house mixer for their live shows, and later in the studio. He later went on to become Sr. VP of A&R at Narada Records.

In the Studio - with Ian Taylor

click
These photos, faded as they are, document John, Rick and Angus at Pierce Arrow Recorders in Evanston, Illinois recording their album for EMI. The record was co-produced by long time collaborator Dana Walden (of the group "Champaign") and British producer engineer Ian Taylor. Also on the project was second engineer Paul Klingberg who later went on to a stellar career producing and engineering Earth, Wind & Fire, Cheap Trick, Chicago and many other rock, jazz and classical artists in Los Angeles. While the EMI record was intended as a full Combo Audio album, EMI elected to rush an EP version of it that included "Romanticide" into the market first to capitalize on the airplay and success of the "Romanticide" single.

Rehearsal

click
Casual shots of the band in their rehearsal hall.

Passes & Covers

click
Miscellaneous shots of show passes, graphics, the "Living in Oblivion" greatest hits of the 80's CD, and the cover of the first "Romanticide" single.