Cutout Bin: Novo Combo's Animation Generation

Novo Combo Animation Generation (Polydor, 1982) The 1980s: everything was changing. A new generation was taking over the musical and cultural landscape. Heavy Metal showed that even animated boobs could be a turn-on. Tron told us that even crappy, monochromatic animation made by crappy, low-powered computers could entertain for an hour or two. It was the Animation Generation. This was a generation that no longer needed to tie its shoes - thanks to a fellow by the name of Mr. Velcro.* The droopy-shouldered man need not suffer ridicule for his affliction; male shoulder pads became acceptable accoutrements for the fashionably bold. The video screen blurred the line between what was real and what was just a beautiful woman twiddling your joystick. Truly, it was a great time to be alive, and a great time to be in a new wave/Police-ripoff band. The Novo Combo took full advantage. Lead singer Stephen Dees played with Hall & Oates. Guitarist and singer Pete Hewlett was in Billy Joel's band. Drummer Michael Shrieve was in Santana. I'm guessing he's the guy with the retro moustache and lace-up booties.

Where Are They Now?

Guitarist Jack Griffith teaches guitar in west Virginia, and is very satisfied with his service from Speaker Exchange. Pete Hewlett still plays around in Pittsburgh in his new group, and can be seen every Monday at Wright's Seafood Inn in Heidelberg, Pa. Steven Dees and his wife are in a decent band with a crappy Web site called the Bandees.

Michael Shrieve was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and now plays in a Seattle fusion jazz band called Spellbinder. Truly, a band as animated as the generation it so proudly represented.

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