#500: Hungry Eyes by Platinum Blonde
Mark Holmes was born in the UK and lived in Manchester until the family moved to Toronto. He met several other musicians and formed a punk band that played covers to The Police and other new wave bands. After a lineup change, Holmes was playing guitar and the lead vocalist, Chris Steffler was the drummer and Sergio Galli was a second guitarist. The trio became Platinum Blonde. They got a record deal with CBS in 1983. Their debut album, Standing In The Dark, earned them two Video Of The Year nominations at the 1984 Juno Awards. But it was their second album, Alien Shores, which included “Crying Over You”, a #1 single on the Canadian RPM charts in 1985, and in Vancouver.
Another Top Ten hit in Canada from Alien Shores was “Situation Critical”. A third single, “Hungry Eyes”, also made the Top Ten in Vancouver, peaking at #5.
“Hungry Eyes” was co-written by Platinum Blonde lead singer Mark Holmes and bandmate Sergio Galli. The song concerns that “danger zone” of shared mutual attraction resulting in ‘hungry eyes’ for each other. The pull is so strong it is as if each person falls inside the other. The lyrics contemplate a world where there are no taboos, no right or wrong, when we encounter hungry eyes in another person. It seems that many people second guess the look of another person’s hungry eyes. They rely not on first hand experience, but what television teaches. The lyrics advise that once we follow the lure of the hungry eyes, the falling inside the other will last “forever.” There are others in society who will judge paying attention to what our hungry eyes indicate to us as something that is “wrong.” Platinum Blonde assures us that people with those viewpoints will “never steal our song.”
“Hungry Eyes” also climbed into the Top Ten in Edmonton, to #13 in Saskatoon (SK), the Top 20 in Medicine Hat (AB), and the Top 30 in Hamilton (ON).
With the release of Alien Shores, Platinum Blonde featured a fourth band member named Kenny McLean. He played the keyboards and bass guitar. Chris Steffler left the band and was replaced by Alexander Tukatsch, who went by the name Sascha. A third album was released in 1987 titled Contact. The title track was a Top Ten hit in Vancouver, as was “Fire”. Another single from Contact, “If You Go This Time”, made the Top 20 in Vancouver.
Platinum Blonde released another album in 1990, but soon parted ways. They reunited in 2012 and released an album titled Now And Never. With the release, they mounted a reunion tour.
After the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States of America, Mark Holmes told a reporter for the Calgary Herald: “People need to become hippies again.” Eric Volmers of the Calgary Herald finds the statement ironic, given Platinum Blonde were “the epitome of Canada’s fledgling video age of the 1980s, where successful acts understood that a carefully constructed, video-friendly image was key to burrowing into Canada’s pop-culture consciousness.” So, not exactly hippies.
In 2017, Platinum Blonde did a show in White Rock, BC, another at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver that summer, and at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver in November. In 2018, the band appeared in only a handful of concert venues. This included a concert on September 8, 2018, in Vernon, BC, with Loverboy. They currently have no upcoming tour dates scheduled.
October 25, 2019
Eric Volmers, It Does Really Matter: Platinum Blonde’s Mark Holmes Says World Ready For a Musical Revolution, Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB, January 27, 2017.
History, Platinum Blonde.com
Simon Rideout, Interview with Platinum Blond Frontman Mark Holmes, Things Nanaimo.com, July 7, 2015
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