The Windsor Star - September 10, 1994

Lee Aaron's life has taken new spin

Everybody, even Lee Aaron, has to get serious and grow up at some point.

Aaron, who spent a decade as Canada's hard-rock pin-up girl, has shed her image as the busty, chrome-plated Metal Queen.

She started her own record label to launch Emotional Rain, her first new album in three years.

She put together a new band with former members of the Sons of Freedom and the Psychedelic Furs.

She made it through a rough divorce.

She dumped the big hair and even picks up a guitar and plays a bit on stage.

"I really like the sort of wave that music is taking here in the '90s,'' Aaron, sniffling from allergies, said in a recent phone interview.

"I THINK everybody started to get fed up with the late '80s, because everything was sort of sounding like one big Bon Jovi record.

"Music is becoming a lot less contrived and a lot more emotional. You don't have to be the greatest guitar player in the world to make a neat noise or write a good melody.''

Aaron now has the full creative control that eluded her during her 10 years with Attic Records, where she had success with 1984's Metal Queen LP, 1989's Bodyrock and her last studio album, 1991's Some Girls Do.

EMOTIONAL Rain is her first release for her own record company, Hipchic Music Inc., which is distributed by major label A & M.

Becoming a label owner, she laughed, has been "one big headache.''

"It's a drag in a way, because the whole purpose for doing it in the first place is, obviously, you want more creative control because the music is what is important to you.''

With that in mind, Aaron put together a new band. Guitarist John Albani remains from the old days, joined by newcomers Knox Chandler (formerly of the Psychedelic Furs) on guitar, and bassist Don Binns and drummer Don Short, the rhythm section from Vancouver's defunct Sons of Freedom.

Emotional Rain also includes guitar work by Reeves Gabrels from David Bowie's short-lived side project, Tin Machine.

Aaron has kicked off the album with the typically aggressive Odds of Love and a decidedly commercial form of promotion.

She is one of several Canadian performers featured in ads for -- and have free CDs included in cases of -- Labatt's beer.

"Labatt's approached me about this,'' she said, "and to be honest with you -- and they wouldn't be very happy with me for saying this -- I was very leery of taking on a corporate sponsor like Labatt's. The reality is, this is Canada.''

Her next single, Baby Go Round is about a woman in an abusive relationship who has "still got her pride'' and decides to go her own way.

"The song is about a woman who's a survivor, who rises above it and gets on with her life.

"Gee,'' said Aaron, suddenly recognizing herself. "Go figure.''

* Lee Aaron performs at California's, 911 Walker Rd., Oct. 21. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

Sean Condon
The Windsor Star ©