Luky Owens & Revolver came from the tobacco town of Wilson, North Carolina. To experience a LO&R performance in 1981 was similar to watching some of the bands out of the late-70's NYC Punk scene - a hard rockin' band with a Pop flavor. What truly set LO&R apart was lead singer and songwriter, Luky Owens [pronounced LOO-key - not lucky]. Luky had an unbridled intensity to his performance that was rare and amazing.
Every music scene has its reason for being a "scene." One of the reasons for the early-80's Comboland scene was Gayle Livingstone. Gayle owned and operated The Pier nightclub. Acting as a rock n' roll diplomat, she was always introducing one person to another, networking everyone with everyone else in town. LO&R was no exception. Gayle took LO&R under her wing and tried to figure a way to further the band. The best way, she thought, was to get them together with the most successful band of 1981. And so Gayle started booking LO&R as the warm-up act to Arrogance. Both bands quickly became friends, at which time Arrogance manager, Harry Simmons and Robert Kirkland (Arrogance) introduced LO&R to Randy Schumacher and the Audiofonics studios where both Kirkland and Schumacher produced a collection of songs as a demo.
Robert and Harry asked me to create a video for LO&R as a marketing tool to get LO&R a major label record deal. I was extremely happy to receive the offer. I had seen LO&R play a number of those gigs with Arrogance and felt right at home with the band. Of course the twist to the story was the request. Kirkland along with Don Dixon (Arrogance) had produced The Fabulous Knobs for local label, Moonlight Records. I had a budget of $100 to produce, direct, shoot and edit The Fabulous Knobs video. I pulled it off and I kicked in a few bucks of my own to finish the job. In this case, manager Harry Simmons dug deep in to his pockets to personally fund two LO&R videos for a grand budget of $240. Wow, an increase in budget! I prayed I wouldn't have to pay for the privilege to finish this video too.
Since there was some drama incorporated into the production of LIKE A REVOLVER, I thought the video should follow in concept. We shot for three days, two days in Raleigh and one in Fayetteville. (The Fayetteville shoot almost found the crew and me doing jail time, which helped add to the excitement of the video!) And I was able to "throw in" a second video by shooting a straight performance video for IT'S NOT FOREVER while we were shooting the performance segment to LIKE A REVOLVER. So in a way, the budget of $240 was really spent on one video with the second only costing some extra videotape . . . and editing, and studio time, and gear rental. . . and yes, I kicked in a few bucks to finish the job.
As strong as I felt the band was, and as well received as the video was with the local crowd, the record companies passed on the band. The LO&R videos only public performance was at a series of video shows Tony Madejczyk and I produced at The Pier. We would set-up a large screen on stage, rent a projection system and play about three hours of music videos I had recorded off the air at WPTF-TV and edited for this special viewing (which played on a Betamax!!). Music videos were new and rare in 1981 and Raleigh, as most of the U.S., didn't have MTV. So driving to a club and paying to watch three hours of music videos was a sell-out sensation. The money went to charity and it gave me a chance to do some audience testing by including my videos along with the video hits of the day. The LO&R videos had a great audience response - and was repeated as an encore for the first show (there were four of these shows within seven months, after that, music video programming was more common place).
Without a label deal, Luky Owens & Revolver continued best they could. Revamping themselves in 1983 with a new name, Luky Owens & Revolver became the Sparrows and released a self-pressed EP. But without the support of a record company, the band found they couldn't go on. Like so many other bands of the first phase of the Comboland era, Luky Owens & Revolver disbanded in 1985.