When Charm Farm co-founder Tommy Onyx approached frontman Dennis White about re-forming the band, which broke up in 1997, for this year’s DIY Street Fair in Ferndale, White’s first response was “no (expletive) way!”
But he changed his mind after visiting Detroit over the July 4 weekend and sitting down with all of group’s members over dinner at the Rugby Grill in Birmingham’s Townsend Hotel.
“I said ‘no’ based on the idea the other dudes would not be into it,” explains White, 44, who’s now based in Los Angeles and has seven No. 1 Billboard club hits under the moniker Static Revenger. “It turned out the other guys wouldn’t mind that much. So we went for dinner and drinks and ended up five hours later, at 2 in the morning after clearing everybody else out of the Rugby Grill ’cause we were so obnoxious. ...
“I decided that if a reunion gig means I can hang out with these dudes for a week to rehearse and play, it’s on.”
White, who attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston with Onyx, adopted the Charm Farm name in 1989 after a tenure with the techno group Inner City. A local hit, “Superstar,” led to a national recording contract and the album “Pervert” in 1997. Since the group broke up, most of its members have stayed active in music to varying degrees; Onyx runs the Ferndale-based marketing company Loudbaby.com, keyboardist Ken Roberts runs the Trig Media recording studio and production company, and drummer Eric Hoegemeyer is a producer and engineer and a member of the group Giant Brain. Bassist Dino Zoyes, meanwhile, is an architect, and guitarist Steve Zuccaro owns the local Lunchbox Deli chain.
“We’ve remained the best of friends the entire time,” White says. As to whether the reunion might reactivate Charm Farm, he adds, “I doubt that very much. There’s no new record, nothing to sell, no sort of business motive for this whatsoever. But we all know better than to ever say never.”
Charm Farm performs at 9:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, at the DIY Street Fair in Ferndale, on E. Troy St. off Woodward Avenue, south of Nine Mile Road in Ferndale. For details visit www.diystreetfair.com.
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