Artist Name: Steam | On Tour:No Listener Count: 68,432 | Spins: 257,572
About Steam: There are at least two bands and a DJ known as "Steam":
1. Steam (band) was a pop-rock music group best known for the 1969 number one hit song and perennial favorite "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye". The song was written and recorded by studio musicians Garrett Scott, Dale Frashuer, and producer/writer Paul Leka at Mercury studios in New York City. The single was attributed to the band "Steam," although at the time there was actually no group of that name. When "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" topped the pop charts, Paul Leka quickly assembled a band to send out on tour as "Steam." When that band broke up almost immediately, a second group was signed and toured as “Steam.” Paul Leka and the studio group recorded the first album and two additional singles. The second Steam group recorded the band’s final two-sided release and, after a year-long national tour, disbanded in 1970.
DeCarlo, Frashuer and Leka were members of a Bridgeport, Connecticut band called the Chateaus. As the Chateaus, they recorded some failed 45s in the early 1960s for Coral and Warner Bros. The trio separated but kept in touch. Leka became a tunesmith with Circle Five Productions and, in 1967, he wrote and produced the Lemon Pipers' "Green Tambourine" and other Pipers' numbers with Shelley Pinz.
In 1969, Leka, who was working at Mercury Records, convinced the label's A & R man, Bob Reno, to sign on his old Chateaus' bandmate and solo artist, Gary DeCarlo. With Leka producing, DeCarlo recorded four singles, all of which Reno thought would do well issued as an A-side. To fill up the B-side of the first single, DeCarlo and Leka were asked to cut a throwaway flip side. Their former bandmate from the Chateaus, Dale Frashuer, stopped by the studio the night of the recording and inspired Leka to dig up a song the three had written in 1961 during their Chateau days but had never recorded. The song was "Kiss Him Goodbye". With Scott as lead vocalist, the trio recorded the song in a single night without the back-up of studio musicians. Leka used the drum track from one of DeCarlo's singles and played the keyboard himself. To make the song less palatable to DJs, they lengthened the song with a repetitive chorus of "na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye".
Much to the musicians' chagrin, Mercury's A&R man, Bob Reno, liked "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" so much that he decided to have it released as an A-side single. Since neither Leka or DeCarlo wanted to have their names on the song, the song was attributed to a non-existent band, "Steam". (One story of the name’s origin is that Leka was inspired by steam pouring out of a manhole outside the recording studio; another that it was steam hissing in a radiator inside the old Manhattan building.)
DeCarlo's solo singles (which Leka, Reno and the singer himself had preferred to "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye") were released under his pseudonym, Garrett Scott. None of DeCarlo's preferred singles charted, but Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" sold millions of copies around the world, and hit number one in the United States for two weeks in December of 1969.
DeCarlo was approached to record a Steam album, but he turned down the project in favor of his own career. Leka produced the LP of his songs under the Steam banner using a variety of local musicians. Eventually three more singles were released, but only one, "I Gotta Make You Love Me" (#46, 1970), made the charts.
Meanwhile, Mercury Records was booking a national tour for Steam to promote the hit single and the follow-up recordings. Leka quickly assembled a band to be Steam: Jay Babina (guitar), Ray Corriea (drums), Mike Daniels (bass), Hank Schorz (keyboard), Bill Steer (vocals), and Tom Zuke (guitar). All were from Leka's hometown of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
However, the first Steam band never did go on the road. Personality conflicts split up the fledgling group just as the national tour was about to begin. This left Leka desperate for a group to fulfill the booking obligations. A business associate at Mercury, Joe Messina, suggested a talent that he managed, Tor Pinney, formerly of the group, “Chains.” The Chains had enjoyed a series of regional hit records in the Southwest, but had recently split up. Pinney was available and, when offered the opportunity to assemble and rehearse a touring Steam group and go on the road in just 10 days, he accepted.
The Steam band Tor Pinney put together included himself on lead guitar, Don Bosson on bass, Chris Robison on keyboard, and Peter (Burger) Cross on drums. All of the band members sang leads and harmonies on various songs. In their concerts, they performed the requisite Na Na Hey Ney song, sounding “just like the record,” plus a couple of other “Steam” songs. All the rest of their material was original and more underground than the bubblegum Steam hits.
Tor Pinney’s “Steam” recorded Paul Leka’s last two Steam songs at Mercury studios in New York. Don Bosson sang the lead on the “A” side titled “Don’t Stop Loving Me,” and Tor sang the B side, “Do Unto Others,” both recordings showcasing the groups powerful vocal harmonies.
2. Steam (band) -- A little-known Auckland, New Zealand band not further described here.
3. Steam (DJ) -- Also known as "Dr Steam," this artist is an aggressive drum'n'bass and drumstep DJ hailing from the Southeastern United States. http://www.last.fm/music/Dr+Steam
4. Steam (band) -- A free/avant-garde jazz band based in Chicago featuring the following musicians: Ken Vandermark (reeds), Kent Kessler (bass), Tim Mulvenna (drums), Jim Baker (piano).