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The Kids in America

When the working day is done, Molly & the Ringwalds just want to have fun

But while the life of this band so far has been almost paradise, more recently the Ringwald Family members have not been such shiny, happy people. A few weeks ago, in the culmination of long-standing disagreements about band policies and direction, mixed with intertwining past personal and family histories, original bassist Daniello was told "Goodbye to You." His dismissal didn't come as a shock to anyone.

"No, it wasn't a total surprise, but I was so angry I could barely express it. And I was sad," Daniello says via e-mail. "Most of them wouldn't even look at me, and Carrie had Sam do her dirty work…she's really rather spineless."

The ax fell just before a lucrative gig at AstroWorld. "We were having personal differences and there was an element of professionalism on his part, and we let him go," Carter says bluntly. Davis adds, "It was something that was building over time, it wasn't just one thing…you just reach a point where it's no more."

By his own admission, Daniello was not the easiest person to get along with, but felt it was a "slimy move" to do it just before the gig at AstroWorld, of all places. (Daniello is an amusement park junkie.) Carter and Davis counter that Daniello's bizarre playing and stage antics at recent shows had disgusted the group, and that they didn't want to run the risk of a repeat performance at such a high-profile venue.

The aggro spilled over into cyberspace on Daniello's blog (www.fiercepancake.com) and the bulletin board on the band's site ( www.mollyandtheringwalds.com), where Daniello posted and has since removed a bitter and scathing account of the band's history.

"That shows the world how he really is," Davis says. "We're not going to play those games."

Since Daniello owns the Ringwalds site, the band has been forced to create a new one (www.theringwalds.com), wherein for a while, the band ran an old group photo with Daniello airbrushed out in Stalinist enemy-of-the-people style. Daniello has offered to sell his domain at a price the band turned down, and he declined their counteroffer. The band has said they would take legal action to get it back, a murky and likely expensive legal proposition. There are even accusations of hacking.

Meanwhile, on stage, Dekan and Cannariato are switching off on bass while the band seeks Daniello's replacement. For his part, Daniello is forming a pop group with KPFT DJ Jeffrey "The King of Grief" Thames. (And the rock and roll life goes on for Carter and Cannariato, who want to get their kiss on a few lists. They plan to throw down a "Makeout Challenge" at some future gig, to prove once and for all which of them is the better snogger.)

And what of the real Ms. Ringwald? Her people could render all these cybersquabbles moot, one supposes, by slapping a cease-and-desist on the lot of them. A little modestly or disingenuously, Davis says that he doesn't think she knows about the band, but that she is aware that others including the New Orleans-based Molly Ringwalds are using her name. But just in case the red-headed Belle of John Hughes's Ball ever does show up at Ringwald Karaoke, the band already knows "Pretty in Pink."

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