Platinum Weird is the new indie rock band with an interesting difference. This is the second time Dave Stewart, the male half of 80’s super group Eurythmics, has formed this particular band. Or, maybe not.
Dave Stewart and Kara DioGaurdi (go-to hit song writer for PCD, Celine Dion, Anastacia, Kyle Minogue, Santana, and many others) have joined forces to form the rock super-duo, Platinum Weird. Together they have achieved a sound that evokes images of Fleetwood Mac with vocals every bit as soulful and melancholy as Annie Lennox and lyrics that are all at once wistful and hopeful, romantic and unsentimental. They are obviously destined for legend status – although some would argue Stewart has already achieved that. And that makes the next part of this story all the more mystifying.
The Story So Far(?)
The background story behind Platinum Weird goes like this:
In 1973 Stewart met his soul mate/muse in the form of Erin Grace and together with Noel Chambers, Brian Parfitt and Matthew Sugarman they formed Platinum Weird the next British super-group. They were then discovered by none other than Elton John and Mick Jaggar while playing a gig at Jaggar’s birthday party. Together Jaggar and John signed the group to John’s own record label.
Then, with just a few performances under their belt and a handful of songs recorded for their debut album, Erin Grace disappeared. She was apparently distraught over the death of Nick Drake and, in what can only be called grief hysteria, ran off with Elton John’s boyfriend sometime in late 1974. Re-emerging shortly afterwards in LA, just in time to inspire up-and-coming American/British super-group Fleetwood Mac – and apparently also inspiring Stevie Nicks’ iconic fashion sense.
Stewart, despondent over the loss of his soul mate/ muse/ partner disbanded the group and fell into a long depression, becoming both homeless and a drug addict at one point. This was the end of Platinum Weird, the only evidence of their existence, some very old grey footage of their one appearance on the 1970’s BBC music television show The Old Grey Whistle Test, a few lost PR photos and t-shirts.
Fast forward a few years. Kara DioGaurdi, growing up in NY City, befriends her neighbour, an enigmatic, eclectic woman with an amazing ability to write fabulous songs. She becomes DioGaurdi’s mentor and inspires her to become the song writing phenomenon she has now become.
Cut to 15 years later. Having never met, DioGaurdi and Stewart are each asked by a record company to write songs together for its new burlesque-pop group The Pussycat Dolls. One day, while writing the songs, Stewart strums an old song on his guitar and DioGaurdi realizes she knows all the lyrics to this previously unreleased song.
That’s right! Her mentor turns out to have been, Erin Grace.
Stewart and DioGuardi immediately form a close bond and Stewart decides it’s time to reform Platinum Weird and release those classic songs – updated of course – with DioGuardi as the vocalist.
It’s a beautiful story. It’s all bullshit, but it’s beautiful nonetheless.
It’s Bullshit? I Hear You Ask!
With a half hour rockumentary on VH1 all about the amazing, intellect defying story, numerous fan sites dedicated to the fictious early group and more media hype than you could throw a Pussycat Doll at, the whole thing is… well… so much hot shite.
Many want to know why attempt an elaborate hoax. Yes, many artist have done it before but few have gone to these lengths and most were unknown at the time – case in point, Dylan pretending to be the son of Woody Guthrie. Why would a rock legend and an acknowledged music writing genius go to such lengths?
Dave Stewart still swears the story is about 80 – 85% true. DioGuardi, for her part, is much more guarded. Whatever the reasons, Platinum Weird are going to be hot; back-story or not, they do have what it takes to be a mega-star band.
I was lucky enough to get a chance to chat with both Dave and Kara. Read the interview on Blogcritics, next week.
To hear Platinum Weird’s music you can visit their MySpace site. You can even hear a couple of the '74 versions.