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House Of Lords - Biography



Highly respected but ill fated melodic Hard Rock outfit. House Of Lords was created in late 1987 evolving directly from keyboard maestro Gregg Giuffria's previous band, the relatively successful Giuffria. The former Angel keyboard player formed the band alongside Giuffria guitarist Lanny Cordola, ex-Fifth Angel and Alice Cooper drummer Ken Mary and former L.A. Rocks vocalist James Christian, who had also worked with Arcangel's Jeff Cannata in a Progressive Rock outfit back on the East Coast years previously. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the addition of bassist Chuck Wright to the band. Wright had played on the first Giuffria album and had toured with the band until departing on reportedly bad terms to re-join Quiet Riot.

The band appeared to be under the watchful eye of Kiss' Gene Simmons who came up with the band name, allegedly owning the rights to it as a result, and made the quintet the first signing to his BMG distributed custom record label. Giuffria had intended to record a third album with the band that bore his name, but a meeting with Simmons at the 40th Anniversary bash for Atlantic Records in New York, where Giuffria played keyboards for Vanilla Fudge, led to him giving Gene the group's latest demo. Simmons, according to Giuffria, liked the material but not David Glen Eisley's voice.

Needless to say, Eisley would depart and James Christian was suggested by Chuck Wright who he'd worked with in L.A. Rocks. The House Of Lords' was considerably heavier than Giuffria with more emphasis on the grandiose keyboard work of Giuffria. A few of the songs had already been slated for use on the third Giuffria album that had Greg had begun work on (using the tentative title of 'Pleasure Palace') before the meeting with Gene, including 'Slip Of The Tongue' and 'Pleasure Palace' itself. With the debut album greeted with a great deal of enthuisiazm by fans and critics alike, House Of Lords toured the States with Cheap Trick and visited Britain opening for the Scorpions in early 1989.

Lanny Cordola quit the band in 1990 due to musical and personal differences with Giuffria. As the ex-guitarist set about recording a Christian themed solo album, 'Electric Warrior Acoustic Saint', former Shark Island guitarist Michael Guy was drafted in to take his place in House Of Lords. Although Guy is pictured on the cover of second album 'Sahara', his guitar playing is supplemented with contributions from Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, Impellitteri's Chris Impellitteri, ex-Hurricane and Lion man Doug Aldrich and former Krokus, Asia and Cobra axeman Mandy Meyer.

The album, produced by Andy Johns, also features a veritable star studded backing choir, including the likes of former Giuffria vocalist David Glenn Eisley, White Lion's Mike Tramp, Autograph's Steve Plunkett and Steve Isham, Keel's Ron Keel, D'Molls men SS Priest and Billy Dior and Cheap Trick's Robin Zander. Christian's girlfriend the Finnish diva AINA also adds backing vocals. The album was deliberately more guitar oriented than the debut record and featured a cover of Blind Faith's bluesy 'Can't Find My Way Home', which seemed tailor made for Christian's rich vocals. House Of Lords briefly toured with Nelson until terminating their role as opening act claiming that they were not a Pop band and would not play in front of arenas full of screaming girls for much longer. Strangely, Wright and Mary quit the band soon afterwards.

Re-grouping for a third album, the first on new label Victory, founded by ex-Atlantic Records employee Phil Carson, the group basically comprised the nucleus of Giuffria and Christian. The duo were joined by ex-Quiet Riot bassist Sean McNabb, veteran drummer Tommy Aldridge (Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, etc) and erstwhile V.V.S.I. guitarist Dennis Chick. The album credits once 'Demons Down' was released show additional recording performed by such session musicians as guitarists Danny Jacobs (ex-Signal) and Tim Pierce. Fiona, Aina, ex-Giuffria vocalist David Glen and Kiss' Paul Stanley appear on backing vocals

The band fell apart soon after the album was released, James Christian going forward to work on a solo album in addition to producing bands like Rumble Tribe and Anxiety. The vocalist was also originally involved with Manic Eden with Tommy Aldridge, Adrian Vandenberg and Rudy Sarzo. He quit the project after three months of writing for the band's debut album feeling that the whole thing was just going to be too close to Whitesnake without David Coverdale for comfort.

Following delays caused by the ownership of the House Of Lords trademark with Gene Simmons the band finally returned in 2000 with a bona fide classic line up of Christian, Giuffria, Wright, Cordola, Guy and Mary. Recordings took place produced by Foreigner keyboard player John Purdell. However, before long Guy was out of the picture and ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. LEE was enlisted to put down guitar in the studio.

Both Cordola and Wright also featured on the American Cancer Society charity track 'Believe' fronted by Cherie Currie. McNabb meantime, after a stint with 7% Solution and Great White figured in the 2000 rankings of Rough Cutt. In yet another offshoot Lee, Guy and Mary all featured on the all star Bougeois Pigs album 'Calamity Of Vanities' fronted by ex-Shark Island man Richard Black.

A David Glen Eisley solo record of 2001, 'The Lost Tapes', would include three House Of Lords demo tracks, 'Jealous Heart', 'Slip Of The Tongue' and 'Pleasure Palace', all with original Eisley vocal takes.

A full blown House Of Lords was announced during 2002 with a line-up comprising vocalist James Christian, guitarist Lanny Cordola, bass player Chuck Wright, keyboard player Gregg Giuffria and Ken Mary on the drums. An album, 'The Power And The Myth', was projected for the same year but then anticipation died down as all apparently went quiet. Some two years later it was learned the record had been completed and slated for release by the Italian Frontiers label. However, Giuffria had backed out and keyboard contributions on the album came courtesy of Alice Cooper, Planet X, Dream Theater And Yngwie Malmsteen veteran Derek Sherinan.

Following the less than positive response to 'The Power And The Myth' James Christian crafted an all new solo album 'Meet The Man' for October 2004 release. Contributing would be House Of Lords colleagues Chuck Wright and Lanny Cordola. The singer also donated guerst lead vocals to the track 'Beggar Of Love' on the Italian all-star Moonstone Project album 'Time To Take A Stand' assembled by Matteo Filippini.

As word arrived that Gregg Giuffria was back in the fold, the band put in an appearance at the November 2005 'Firefest 2' festival held at Nottingham's Rock City, their first UK showing since 1988, alongside Harem Scarem, Power Quest, Saracen, Balance Of Power, Blue Tears and Danger Danger. This event would pull the band members back together again after fifteen years, as 'The Power And The Myth' had been recorded in separate studios. House Of Lords followed the UK event with a one off gig in Greece.

In January 2006 the House Of Lords line-up underwent a shift of personnel, inducting guitarist Jimi Bell, bassist Jeff Kent and the Yngwie Malmsteen, Driver, Thunderhead and Wayne credited B.J Zampa on drums. Bell held prior experience with the Joined Forces, Geezer Butler Band, Thunderhead, Mvp, Bird Of Prey and Wayne.

House Of Lords conducted European dates, in Spain, Holland and Belgium and an appearance at the 'United Forces Of Rock' festival in Germany, throughout September and October. New man on bass guitar would be the X-Factor-X, Obsession and Jeff Scott Soto credited Chris McCarvill.

The concert album 'Live In The Uk', recorded at the November 2005 'Firefest 2' festival and released in January 2007, included a new studio track 'Havana'. Three Italian shows in February were supported by Moonstone Project.

Renewed House Of Lords songwriting sessions commenced in January 2009. UK concerts in September, supporting the 'Cartesian Dreams' opus, saw support from Wolverhampton's Eden.