KIX (band)

KIX (band)

Infobox musical artist
Name = KIX
Img_capt =
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = group_or_band
Alias = Fraction|4|5 KIX
The Shooze
The Generators
The Baltimore Cocks
Origin = Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Genre = Hard rock
Glam metal
Years_active = 1978–1995
Label = Atlantic (1981–1988, 1993)
East West (1991)
CMC International (1995)
Associated_acts = Funny Money
The Blues Vultures
The Snakehandlers
Rhino Bucket
Jeremy and the Suicides
Deep Six Holiday
Jeremy L. White
Souls at Zero
Wrathchild America
Current_members = Steve Whiteman
Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant
Brian "Damage" Forsythe
Ronnie "10/10" Younkins
Mark Schenker
Past_members = See: Former members

KIX is an American hard rock band who achieved popularity in the 1980s.



KIX was founded in 1978 in Hagerstown, Maryland, in the basement of Brian "Damage" Forsythe as the Shooze. The original lineup consisted of Steve Whiteman (drums), Brian "Damage" Forsythe (guitar), and later, Donnie Purnell (bass). KIX now needed a lead vocalist. At the urging of others, drummer Steve Whiteman quickly became the band's lead vocalist. Drummer Donnie Spence and guitarist David "Stargazer" Bumbalough joined the band soon afterward. Around mid 1979, local drummer Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant was asked to join the Shooze by Steve Whiteman due to the departure of Donnie Spence. He accepted the offer to join. Soon after this, guitarist David "Stargazer" Bumbalough left and was replaced by Ronnie "10/10" Younkins.

By late 1979, the classic KIX lineup of Steve Whiteman (lead vocals), Ronnie "10/10" Younkins (guitars), Brian "Damage" Forsythe (guitars), Donnie Purnell (bass, keyboards, backing vocals), and Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant (drums, backing vocals) was complete.

They then changed their name to the Generators, then the Baltimore Cocks, before eventually settling on KIX. They were considered one of Maryland's top cover bands prior to their signing with Atlantic in 1981. Though considered glam metal by many, the band's pop-metal stylings drew inspiration from bubblegum pop and new wave as well as hard rock.

Early years

In 1981, they released their self-titled debut album, "KIX", featuring "Atomic Bombs", "Heartache", "Contrary Mary", "The Itch", and "The Kid". "Love at First Sight" instantly became a concert favorite. "KIX Are for Kids" creatively merged the name of the band with two popular cereals of the 1960s and 1970s, Kix (that featured an atomic bomb commercial) and the Trix Rabbit ("Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!"). "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" became the band's most popular concert song, always with a unique ad-lib performance by lead vocalist Steve Whiteman. With this album, the tongue-in-cheek rock & roll style of KIX was established.

Commercial success

In 1982, guitarist Ronnie "10/10" Younkins departed KIX to spend time in rehabilitation for drug problems, and was replaced by Brad Divens (Souls at Zero/Wrathchild America/Wrathchild), later front of house sound engineer for acts such as Linkin Park, Cyndi Lauper, and Slayer. Their 1983 followup, "Cool Kids", showcased a slightly more commercial side of the band, featuring the title song, and the single "Body Talk".

Somewhat overlooked, but a favorite with female-fans, was the ballad "For Shame". In 1983, having been gone for slightly less than a year, a now sober Ronnie "10/10" Younkins returned to KIX, reuniting the "classic" lineup.

KIX then partnered up with RATT and future Warrant producer, Beau Hill, and in 1985, released the album "Midnite Dynamite", featuring a hard rock single by the same name and funk rock songs "Cold Shower" and "Sex". The album also included the song "Bang Bang (Balls of Fire)", which was co-written by then-unknown Kip Winger, just before he joined Alice Cooper's band. Acclaimed session drummer Anton Fig performed drums on two tracks, as Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant experienced neck injuries. Jimmy was back in the studio days later, drumming and recording backing vocals. Also, Mike Slamer (Streets/City Boy/Warrant) receives a credit on one song for additional guitars.

The band then headed west to begin to make a name for themselves, in such places as the Sunset Strip, where Mötley Crüe and other glam metal bands rose to stardom. However, while building a name for themselves in L.A., and at a gig opening for fellow rockers Poison at the L.A.'s Country Club, the band thought that much of their stage show had been stolen by that band [ [ Kix Biography on Yahoo! Music ] ] , who, themselves, went on to become one of glam metal's biggest successes.

In 1987, lead vocalist Steve Whiteman was one of many musicians heard on Twisted Sister's album "Love Is for Suckers". Others included Winger bassist/lead vocalist Kip Winger and guitarist Reb Beach.

KIX went back into the studio to write more songs. In 1988, they released "Blow My Fuse", and finally achieved fame as it went platinum. The slow ballad "Don't Close Your Eyes"—containing anti-suicide lyrics—led the way as their only Top 40 single (peaking at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100) and other popular cuts followed. The album featured the popular singles "Cold Blood" and "Blow My Fuse", along with popular videos showing the band in concert at Hammerjack's. In 1989, the band released "Blow My Fuse: The Videos", with their now-popular videos and behind-the-scenes footage. As KIX finally graduated to arenas, they opened for such popular artists as Aerosmith.

KIX took time out in late 1988 to visit Britain for a three-show trek, which included a gig at Birmingham's Edwards No 8 club, a support slot to Yngwie Malmsteen at the Dominion Theatre in London, and a headlining slot in the capital's legendary Marquee Club.

Returning to the U.S., Ronnie "10/10" Younkins spent a period of time in rehabilitation for a drug problem, but rejoined the group in the new year. KIX successfully toured with RATT and Britny Fox in early 1989, allowed a step-up on the bill in a gentlemanly gesture by Britny Fox in Landover, Maryland. The band performed an absolute blinder in front of their adoring home-state audience.

Later years

Unfortunately, financial disaster happened by way of their original deal with Atlantic. Unbeknownst to them, they had agreed to a contract that gave them relatively nothing. Contract disputes and changes delayed their next album for three years.

The album "Hot Wire" finally arrived in 1991, with the single "Girl Money". But it was too late; grunge arrived out of Seattle, replacing hair and glam bands. In 1992, guitarist Jimi K. Bones briefly played in KIX in lieu of Brian "Damage" Forsythe. While on tour in 1992, they made a live album, titled "Live" at the University of Maryland, College Park. This album, internally referred to as "Contractual Obligation Live", was released in 1993. Around this time in 1993, guitarist Brian "Damage" Forsythe officially departed KIX, venturing off into other projects. However, it wasn't long before he rejoined in 1994. By agreement with Atlantic they were released from their contract with that label. In 1995, the band released their final album, "$how Bu$ine$$", on CMC International. This album featured drummer Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant's relative Paul Chalfant on viola. The album tanked. As Steve Whiteman says, "the music industry started a new party and KIX was not invited." In 1995, guitarist Pat DeMent briefly played in KIX in lieu of Brian "Damage" Forsythe. Shortly after, KIX disbanded in late 1995, and Hammerjack's Concert Hall was torn down on June 12, 1997, to make way for a parking lot for the Baltimore Ravens' stadium.

ide projects

In 1996, Steve Whiteman formed a band called Funny Money in Hagerstown with former Ghost and Burning Starr bassist Ned Meloni and guitarist Billy Andrews, rounded out by guitarist Dean Cramer and drummer Bobby George, with whom he continues to work.

In 1998, Brian "Damage" Forsythe teamed up with ex-White Sister and Tattoo Rodeo drummer Rick Wright, and erstwhile Rhino Bucket members rhythm guitarist/lead vocalist Georg Dolivo (George Dolivo) and bassist Reeve Downes to forge Deep Six Holiday. This band managed one solitary gig, opening for L.A. Guns, before folding.

Ronnie "10/10" Younkins relocated to Baltimore City, and would be located in rock 'n' roll act Jeremy and the Suicides.

In 2001, guitarist Brian "Damage" Forsythe joined Rhino Bucket, being announced as so in early 2002.

Internet reports in early 2004 that drummer Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant had died in a car crash near Smithsburg, Maryland proved mistaken. Tragically for the KIX drummer, the actual victim was his elder brother, John Stewart.

In 2000, Whiteman would turn up as guest vocalist on a version of "Foolin'" on the Def Leppard tribute album "Leppardmania: A Tribute to Def Leppard". Ironically, Whiteman has always had a voice considerably similar to Def Leppard lead vocalist Joe Elliott, as well as the late Bon Scott of AC/DC, and Brian Johnson of AC/DC.

Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant joined Funny Money as their drummer in 2003. Whiteman also teaches voice at the Musician's Institute in Baltimore, and Triple R Guitar in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania. Ronnie "10/10" Younkins moved to L.A., then wrote, recorded, and released the album "The Slimmer Twins: Lack of Luxury", as a collaboration with vocalist Jeremy L. White in 2000. Back on the East Coast, he founded the Blues Vultures in 2002, maturing into the lead vocalist and primary songwriter, and in 2005, released the album "The Blues Vultures: Cheap Guitars & Honky Tonk Bars". Brian "Damage" Forsythe plays in the Snakehandlers, and has recently been on tour as the lead guitarist of Rhino Bucket, joining the band in 2001. Brian performs lead guitar on Rhino Bucket's 2005 release "And Then It Got Ugly".

Recent events

KIX reformed in late 2003, and released the compilation "Thunderground" in 2004. KIX then lined-up reunion shows for September 2004, the lineup consisting of Steve Whiteman (lead vocals), Ronnie "10/10" Younkins (guitars), Brian "Damage" Forsythe (guitars), Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant (drums, backing vocals), and Funny Money bassist Mark Schenker (bass, backing vocals) in place of Donnie Purnell. This lineup has teamed up a few times a year for the last few years to do KIX reunion shows in the Maryland/Pennsylvania area that have been very well-received. To date, Donnie Purnell has refused to participate in any of the KIX reunion shows.

With Donnie Purnell not being in KIX, there is an absence of keyboards, especially in songs such as "Don't Close Your Eyes". During live performances, they are sequenced, with drummer Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant using a click track metronome.

A stripped-down, acoustic-version of "Don't Close Your Eyes" was contributed to the "VH1 Metal Mania Stripped Volume 3" compilation album, issued through Sidewinder Music in March 2007.

On March 5, 2008, it was announced that KIX would participate in the Rocklahoma festival. They performed on Saturday, July 12, 2008, and it was a very successful show, with an audience of over 10,000 people, including a torrential downpour lasting exactly the duration of their set.

Band members

Current members

*Steve Whiteman – lead vocals, harmonica, saxophone, percussion (1978–1995, 2003–present)
drums, percussion (1978)
*Ronnie "10/10" Younkins – guitars, talk box, backing vocals (1979–1982, 1983–1995, 2003–present)
*Brian "Damage" Forsythe – guitars, guitar synthesizer (1978–1993, 1994–1995, 2003–present)
*Mark Schenker – bass, backing vocals (2003–present)
*Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1979–1995, 2003–present)

Former members

*Donnie Purnell – bass, keyboards, backing vocals (1978–1995)
*Brad Divens – guitars, talk box, backing vocals (1982–1983)
*Pat DeMent – guitars (1995)
*Jimi K. Bones – guitars (1992)
*David "Stargazer" Bumbalough – guitars (1978–1979)
*Donnie Spence – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1978–1979)

Note: Contrary to rumors, Aaron Isaacs of the Blues Vultures did not play drums briefly for KIX in 2008.

ession members

*Anton Fig – drums, percussion on "Midnite Dynamite" (1985 — 2 tracks)
*Mike Slamer – guitars on "Midnite Dynamite" (1985 — 1 track)
*Kip Winger – backing vocals on "Midnite Dynamite" (1985 — track "Bang Bang (Balls of Fire)")
*Paul Chalfant – viola on "$how Bu$ine$$" (1995 — multiple tracks)


tudio albums

*"KIX" (1981) in some places 1980, but really 1981
*"Cool Kids" (1983) in some places 1982, but really 1983
*"Midnite Dynamite" (1985) in some places 1984, but really 1985
*"Blow My Fuse" (1988) in some places 1987, but really 1988
*"Hot Wire" (1991)
*"$how Bu$ine$$" (1995)

Live albums

*"Live" (1993) also known as "Contractual Obligation Live"


*"The Essentials" (2002) (12 songs compilation)
*"Thunderground" (2004) (80 demo songs compilation)
*"Rhino Hi-Five" (2006) (5 songs compilation)

Guest appearances

*"Monster Metal Power Ballads" (2006 — track "Still Loving You" (Scorpions cover), credited as "Still Lovin' You" by Steve Whitman)
*"" (2006, retail version — track "Don't Close Your Eyes")
*"" (2005, exclusive version — track "Don't Close Your Eyes")
*"Leppardmania: A Tribute to Def Leppard" (2000 — track "Foolin'" (Def Leppard cover), credited as "Foolin'" by Steve Whiteman)
*"Monster Ballads" (1999 — track "Don't Close Your Eyes")




*"Blow My Fuse: The Videos" (1989)


External links

* [ KIX website]
* [ KIX bio at]
* [ Funny Money website]
* [ Brian "Damage" Forsythe's website]
* [ Brian "Damage" Forsythe's band Rhino Bucket website]
* [ Brian "Damage" Forsythe's band the Snakehandlers website]
* [ Ronnie "10/10" Younkins' band the Blues Vultures website]
* [ 2008 Ronnie Younkins Interview at Sleaze Roxx]

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