april_fool_album_cover“April Fool” was formed in early 1988 by drummer Walt “Wiggy” Kaye who enlisted guitarist Chris Rocus, bassist Chris Mock and vocalist Dave Stradling. First order of business was a four song demo recorded at Dave Ivory’s studio “Iris Sound”. April Fool then hit the club circuit hard while the song “Bad Boy Willie” was receiving local Philadelphia airplay, resulting in the bands live concert following starting to grow.

By the fall of 1988 Chris Mock decided to leave the band and was replaced by bassist Roberto Lombardi. At this point the band enjoyed interest from several major labels. During the negotiations in early 1989, Chris Rocus was replaced by guitarist George Smith. Three weeks after the lineup changes, “April Fool” was back out playing live to even bigger crowds up and down the east coast. The band also added dancers/sisters Samantha & Shannon Stiles to the show during the crowd favorite “Cover Girls”.”Bad Boy Willie” was still on the radio and management companies also began showing interest in the band. In the summer of 1989 work began on an 11 song recording at the “Galaxy” studios with engineer Robert Leese. Produced by Roberto Lombardi, the album “Playin’ to Win” was released in the fall of 1989, sold out, and a second pressing followed. Opening shows for bands like “Heaven”, “Britny Fox”, “TT Quick”, “Bang Tango” & “Heaven’s Edge”, plus headlining their own shows at venues from New York to Baltimore, pushed sales even further. Videos for the singles “Cover Girls” & “Next Time Around” were produced and the band appeared on New York City cable television with the two videos/singles gaining airplay on mainstream & indie radio alike.
When Dave Stradling decided to leave, the band hired vocalist Jay Regan, got right back out playing and began writing for the 2nd album, but the audience started to dwindle with the advent of grunge. This led to the departure of Roberto Lombardi who wanted to front his own band “The Rage”.
After Jay Regan left in 1991, Dave Stradling rejoined the band with Joe Bisbing joining on bass, but they played sporadically until mid 1993 when Dave Stradling again left. Joe Bisbing then followed suit to join Michael Kelly Smith in “Razamanaz”. In mid 1994 the band again regrouped with a returning Lombardi joining Kaye, Smith and new vocalist Jerry Mihalcik. They played only one show before the band ended for good later that summer.
The classic “April Fool” lineup of Lombardi, Smith, Kaye and Stradling and the music they made continues to draw interest from fans.
1. Cover Girls
2. Playin’ To Win
3. Take Away The Heartache
4. Bahama Mama
5. Help Me Understand
6. Next Time Around
7. Steppin’ Out
8. Borderline
9. Sleepless Nights
10. Bad Boy Willie
11. Can’t Stop Rockin’
12. Hey Molly
13. Chain Of Love
Roberto Lombardi: Bass, Background Vocals, Percussion
George Smith: Guitar, Background Vocals
Walt “Wiggy” Kaye: Drums, PercussionDave Stradling: Lead and Background Vocals, Keyboards
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April Fool – Playin’ To Win (2014)

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