Who the hell is Piper? My guess is most people reading this have never heard of this band. But Piper was the band that Billy Squier played in before there was a….well….Billy Squier. After kicking around for several years in various bands, Squier formed Piper and for the first time in his career was the central figure of the band. The band itself was short lived as they would release just 2 albums before Billy left the band effectively ending the Piper experiment.
As I’ve alluded to earlier in this blog, growing up in the pre-internet 1980’s was a different time to acquire information. As you may have noticed if you had perused my blog for very long, I’m a bit of a Billy Squier fan. But even by the time of the release of “Don’t Say No”…the 2 Piper albums were long out of print. I had read about Squier being in this band, but had never heard a single note. In December of 1984 I was 16 years old and got a job as a dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant in Northtown Mall (via my friend Jeff Koolmo who was already cleaning Rice Bowls when he helped get me the gig). I was hired on at a mind boggling $3.05/hr. When I cashed my very first check I went straight down the hall and around the corner to Musicland and special ordered the 2 Piper albums. I honestly don’t remember how long it took for those albums to be delivered but I do remember going to Musicland every time I had a shift and bugging them about it until the day they finally arrived. The day they finally came in I had to put them in my 1976 Ford Pinto until my shift was over. The anticipation was painful and the excitement of getting to listen to these records dulled the harassment and screaming of our asshole manager Mike (at least that’s what I think that drunken prick’s name was). When I got home and put that wax on my turntable I was not disappointed. Although a little poppy (especially the bubble gum sounding “Telephone Relation” in comparisons to Billy’s first few solo albums is was still guitar driven rock and roll with Squiers voice. Even the original “Who’s Your Boyfriend” sounds much more pop than the version he put on Tale Of The Tape. But there is some rocking to be had here like the scorching cover of The Rolling Stones “The Last Time” or heavy guitar riffs of “42nd Street”. The highlights for me is the mid tempo rock sounds of “Out of Control” and “Whatcha Gonna Do”.
Other Billy Squier on this blog: