News Head

February 6, 1999:

MISSING IN ACTION - As many of you may have noticed, who have seen Hepcat live recently, saxophonist Raul Talavara and Alex Desert haven't been playing with the group. Well, Raul Talavara has officially left the group. We're not sure of the specifics, except that he is gone from the group and no replacement, if there will even be one, has been anncounced. We wish the best of luck to Raul wherever he may end up! However, Alex Desert has NOT left the band, but is only taking a break from the group to work on his "Becker" TV show, but he'll certainly be back...

A TASTE OF HEPCAT - Thanks to Steve Roth of Colorado, for informing us that Hepcat's "I Can't Wait" song can be heard on a new Heineken beer commercial. Some people are crying that Hepcat are sell-outs, however, in our opinion this couldn't be farther from the truth. For a lesser known musical group like Hepcat to have one of their songs appear on a commercial for a major brand, this could be just the thing that could give them an even wider audience. So, congratulations to them and look out for the commercial for yourself. Steve also let us know that "Becker" has been in the top-20 in Neilsen ratings for quite a while now. You can see the show for yourself every Monday at 9:30 pm Eastern/Pacific on CBS.

Eddy GrantGROOVIN' - Rolling Stone online is reporting that Hepcat is slated to record with reggae legend Eddy Grant on a cover of the Rascals' "Groovin'". The song is tentatively part of a new disc in the Red Hot series, called "Red Hot & Rude". However, Eddy Grant has said he didn't know anything of the project, so it might be Let's Go Bowling and former General Public singer Dave Wakeling on that same song. The Red Hot foundation provides money for the prevention of AIDS, and has released many albums in the past few years featuring classic collaborations of all types of music.. Eddy Grant is most famous for his 1980's hit "Electric Avenue" and he also owns his own record company, Ice Records, in Barbados. Other proposed collaborations for "Red Hot & Rude", might include Ernest Ranglin and Metro Sylee on Millie Small's "My Boy Lollypop", Pato Banton and Ranking Roger on a dub version of the O'Kaysions' "Girl Watcher" and Mephiskapheles doing Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell On You", possibly with Deborah Harry. The album is scheduled to be released in June on Gypsy Records and more concrete information should follow soon.

Hepcat LiveHEPCAT IN ACTION - Thanks to Jhon Russell of Australia, we have our first set of photos in the "pictures" section. The excellent photos were taken on January 4th of this year's Warped Tour in Gold Coast, Australia. To accompany these photos, Paul Williams, also from Australia, has written a great review of Hepcat's performance at this show, as well as their January 2nd performance in Noosa, Australia, including mention of another up-and-coming ska band, Area 7. You can read the review by clicking HERE! We really appreciate both of them taking the time to send us this information, so make sure you check it all out! Coming soom to the pictures section, are Rudith's Hepcat photos from Spain, so watch for them as well.

AROUND THE WORLD - Good news for east coast USA fans of Hepcat, because they are scheduled to play some select dates at the end of March and early April there. This goes along with the already full list of dates they have planned from late February through late March all throughout Europe. For the complete itineary, be sure to check out the "tour" dates section. We also want everyone to know that we update the "tour" dates page often (at least a few times a month), so be sure to check back every now and then, because we don't send out mailings to let everyone know that they've been updated everytime we update.

January 5, 1999:

RIGHT IN TIME -The people at Time magazine have ranked Hepcat's "Right On Time" album as the 7th best album for 1998. The December 21, 1998 article had the following to say about Hepcat: "This nine-member band, based in LA, plays old-school ska with sweet vocals and warm, gentle horns. The songs, many of them genial ballads and jazzy instrumentals, breeze by, carefree but never insubstantial. This is an album that makes you dream of the Caribbean, or of dancing under starlight, or perhaps both." It's quite an accomplishment but us fans have realized their greatness all along. Thanks to James Z and Podo for this news story!

BAM MagazineAND THE NOMINEES ARE... -Hepcat has been nominated for a total of three Bammies, for BAM magazine's California Music Awards ceremony. They were nominated as part of the statewide nominations for "Outstanding Punk/Ska Album" for "Right On Time" and as part of the Southern California nominations for "Outstanding Independent Album" and "Outstanding Ska Artist." The 22nd annual Bammies awards will be held on March 13th, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Franciso, California. Congratulations and good luck! For more information visit Music Universe's Bammies site.

No WorriesREAL HEPCAT - Since our last update, we purchased the import CD single of "No Worries", which was about $13! Because it's hard to find, we've decided to put up some RealAudio sound clips for each of the four tracks from the single, to give people a listen.

 Three of the four tracks are live recordings from April 1998 in Portland, Oregon. To listen to the sound clips click the picture at the left. Hopefully Hellcat Records will come to their senses and release it to a wider market, because it is such a great CD.

Dr. Ring Ding'TIS THE SEASON - The lyrical battle continues as to who is the best deejay on the ska scene today. Dr. Ring-Ding & The Senior Allstars have recently released "No Reason For Season" on the Moon Records label to show that there's no reason to argue because according to Dr. Ring-Ding, he is the best. The battle began with the Stubborn Allstars' "Open Season", to which Hepcat came back with with "Open Season...Is Closed", which was followed by King Django's "Hepcat Season," and now Dr. Ring-Ding's single. The single "No Reason For Season" with the flip side "Your Sympathy" is available at most good music stores so check for it, or you can find info on ordering it straight from the MoonSka Records website.

 Everyone has their own opinion as to who is the best deejay in this battle, but one thing is for sure, it definitely ensures that the music stays fresh and creative. The lyrical saga continues...

November 22, 1998:

Roland AlphonsoEVERLASTING SOUND! - The music world lost one of its finest this week when the great Roland Alphonso left our world, at the age of 67.

 If you've never heard of him, then you need to stop everything else and purchase a Skatalites album or two! Roland Alphonso played tenor saxophone for over 50 years, and had worked with everyone from The Wailers, The Maytals, The Skatalites (of course) to Jump With Joey.

 To read more about the incredible history of Roland Alphonso, click the picture at the left! His music and genius will be tremendously missed!

Generic MagazineIT'S NO GENERIC INTERVIEW - Thanks to Jared McGrath, editor of Generic magazine, an entertainment zine based out of Ohio, we are able to present an excellent interview with Kincaid Smith, trumpet player for Hepcat. The interview gives a rare look into one of the unsung members of the group, and is not just your average interview. You can order the latest issue, #9 of Generic magazine (which features this interview as well as many other articles), or any other issue, by sending $2 per issue to:

Generic Magazine
P.O. Box 3214
Cuyahoga Falls, OH  44223

 To accompany the Kincaid Smith interview, there are several great exclusive live pictures of Hepcat, taken by Jared himself. You can read the interview portion of the zine in the "press" section or by clicking the picture of the front cover, at the right. It's definitely worth ordering a copy of the zine for yourself!

NO WORRIES NOW! - Hepcat has a new single out for their latest album, "Right On Time", however, you'll only be able to order it from import stores. The single, released on Hellcat Records, is for the song "No Worries" and the CD version of the single, distributed by Digipak, features four songs, three of which were recorded live on April 8th, 1998 at the Schnitzer Auditorium in Portland, Oregon. The tracklisting is as follows:

Nigel (live) No Worries (album version) Positive (live) The Secret (live)
 There's also a 7" record for the single, that is also only available as an import. You can order the CD version online at

SEE HEPCAT FOR FREE! - If you're going to be in the California area on November 28th, you might be able to attend a Hepcat performance for free! and are co-sponsoring a contest, where you can enter to win one of three pairs of tickets to Hepcat's concert at The Barn in Riverside. All you have to do to enter is answer a question found on their web site. For more information click HERE!

PRESENTING ALEX DESERT - Alex Desert, if you don't know yet, is on the new show on CBS called "Becker". He plays Jake, a blind man who works in a diner, who Ted Danson's Becker character often interacts with. You can find out more about the show (which is actually pretty good!), including upcoming episodes as well as cast bios on the site. Did you know that Alex Desert collects animation cels? Well you can find this tidbit as well as others about him on the site, by following this link for the show "Becker".

October 16, 1998:

LA Live - We missed putting up the initial broadcast of LA Live's presentation of Hepcat live in concert on the internet. However, they have it archived, so you can tune in and watch the show anytime you please, with the help of RealVideo technology. The show was recorded on October 8th, 1998 at the Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, California, and also featured the Pietasters and the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. The entire broadcast is over 3 hours long, with Hepcat performing about 40 minutes of that!

 Hepcat's set featured a lot of new material for them, such as "Ba-Bing, Bam, Boom", "The Answer Is You", and an excellent cover of the Maytals' "John & James". See and hear it for yourself at LA Live by clicking the picture at the right.

TotallyLA Hepcat Pics - If you want to see some excellent photos from Hepcat's performance at the Hollywood Palladium on October 8th, TotallyLA has a wide assortment for your viewing pleasure. There's shots of each member of Hepcat, and a lot of group shots as well. Make sure to give them a look by following the picture at the left, which happens to be one of the many found on the site.

- On our RealAudio internet radio show, entitled Hallelujah Time, our monthly spotlight band for October is none other than Hepcat. You can hear a song from each of their three albums, starting with "Hooligans", "The Fool", and finally "The Secret". Our radio show is a monthly event with the best in all types of music, reggae, ska, R&B, jazz, and much more. Be sure to tune in every month for an all new show!

September 16, 1998:

- Former Hepcat saxophonist, Dave Hillyard, who played on their first album, is set to release his first solo album, entitled "Hillyard Street". The album is due to hit stores on the Hellcat Records label, on November 10th, under the heading of Dave Hillyard & The Rocksteady 7. The album might be delayed until sometime in early 1999.

- Hepcat's latest album "Right On Time" is at number 8 on Billboard's Reggae Charts. That makes it 31 weeks in a row for this album on the charts.

August 17, 1998:

- Bryan Kremkau who does the excellent Ska, Punk and Other Junk website, now has some great pictures of Hepcat from their August 1st Vans Warped Tour performance in New York City. You can view the pictures by following the "pictures" link on his site, but be sure to check out all of the other features on his site.

- We finally saw Hepcat's new video for "No Worries" on MTV's 120 Minutes, so be on the lookout yourself. It's a really cool and colorful video, complete with a Hepcat Brady Bunch-esque ending!

- We've added a few new Hepcat tour dates below, and we're sure that there's more, so if you know of any, please send them to us!

August 3, 1998:

- Alex Desert will be starring in a new CBS television show with Ted Danson (of Cheers fame), called "Becker", reportedly starting in September. Desert told Westword magazine out of Denver, Colorado, that, "I'll be playing a blind man who runs a newsstand, and basically he's a foil to Danson's character, who's a doctor." Because of this he might miss some of Hepcat's future tour dates.

- Be sure to check out the updated Hepcat "discography" with even more collaborations that the Hepcat crew has performed on (these additions come via some very irie people!), and also some new articles in the "press" section.

July 23, 1998:

- Hepcat's second video, "No Worries" is out and should start airing on MTV and other music stations soon. If you're anxious to see it now, has it ready to view in its entirety with Real Audio/Video.

Hepcat Live! - JamTV will air a live broadcast of Hepcat's performance at the Metro in Chicago, Illinois on July 24th. You'll need Real Audio capabilities to view/hear the show. Click on the picture to be directly linked to the performance. The show will probably be archived, so if you miss it, no worries, it should be available later!

- Since this page is new, we need your help! If you have any photos, interviews, articles, discography additions, or other any Hepcat related items, please let us know. We will be happy to put them up, and give full credit to all contributors, to make this a truly complete Hepcat page!

If you want to catch up on all of the Hepcat news that you missed, follow this link.

E-mail us with any questions, comments, and additions. They are greatly appreciated!