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Biographies: Britny Fox

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Reviewer: Iluvthe80s

Britny Fox formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1985 when founder "Dizzy" Dean Davidson hooked up with ex-Cinderella guitarist Michael Kelly Smith. With the addition of bassist Billy Childs and original drummer Tony "Stix" Destra, the band was complete.

They named themselves "Britny Fox" because Dean had a family tree from Wales England and one of his relatives was named Brittney Fox. "Dizzy" Dean got his name because he went totally nuts in the shows when BF played clubs before they became famous. Brian Kushner nicknamed him after a pro baseball player.

They immediately hit the road, playing up and down the East Coast in clubs and bars. As their following began to increase, and their demo recording In America began to get noticed, they were signed by Columbia Records.

Drummer Tony Destra was killed in a car accident, and was replaced by Johnny Dee (formerly John DeTiodoro). Dee had been in a band called "Waysted," the brainchild of UFO bassist Pete Way. The band put out three albums before adding Johnny Dee for their fourth, Save Your Prayers, which came out two years before Britny Fox's debut album.

Britny Fox's self-titled debut was one of the most successful premieres of the 1988-89 season, selling about one million copies and bringing more than 625,000 fans to their 130+ shows. They also won Metal Edge Magazine's 1988 Reader's Choice Award for Best New Band.

Boys In Heat, the band's second album was released in 1989. "The intent of this album was to keep the style and sound the same, but slicken up the production and explore more emotional topics," explained Michael Kelly Smith. "We were able to do all that with the help of [producer} Neil Kernon."

Although it was a great album, it sold roughly half as many as it's predecessor. Soon after, singer and principal songwriter "Dizzy" Dean Davidson left the band to form Blackeyed Susan, leaving the rest of the band searching for a new lead singer.

After listening to hundreds of demos, the band finally selected Tommy Paris. With the help of famous names like Poison's Rikki Rockett and Ozzy's Zakk Wylde, they released the hard rockin' Bite Down Hard. Although it sold only about half as much as its predecessor, it was an album of tremendous growth. Unfortunately, the band broke up after the album ran its course.

In 1998, drummer Johnny Dee teamed up with singer Tommy Paris to form a new band, Uncle Edna. They released a self-titled EP which is currently up for sale on the band's web site.

Dean Davidson, on the other hand, recorded his own solo demo album under the name Jarod Dean. His album, A Weekend Soul Massage, helped get him signed to a record deal; soon after he dropped the stage name of Jarod Dean and started the band Love Saves the Day. Look for a new album to be released in 2001.

In mid 2000, Britny Fox reunited under lead singer Tommy Paris for a mini-tour of some east coast clubs. They recorded these shows for a live album, Long Way to LIVE, released in February of 2001.


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