Cats In Boots Vocalist To Release Merri Hoaxx Material


November 22, 2009

Femme Fatale To Release Long Lost Second Album Lady In WaitingSuncity Records ( will be releasing Merri Hoaxx’ ‘The Hoaxx Never Jokes’ CD, featuring Cats In Boots and Heavy Bones vocalist Joel Ellis.

Before Cats In Boots, Heavy Bones or Ellis Island there was The Hoaxx. Merri Hoaxx was forged out of the mid 1970s Rock and Roll melting pot of Cleveland, Ohio, the birthplace of “Rock and Roll”. Its members; Joel Ellis, Denny Holan, Chris “Grizz” Gryzbowski and Kenny Delaro were weaned on the greatest rock era in history as the music blazed like a volcano from FM radio giants WMMS “The Home of the Buzzard” and M105. Cleveland, Ohio was a huge pivotal stop on every major bands tour schedule with endless sold out crowds flocking to enormous events like the 100,000 in attendance “World Series of Rock” concerts at the Cleveland Browns football stadium and the 30,000 capacity Richfield Coliseum where Cleveland fans rushed in record numbers to see frequent historical shows by The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, The J. Giels Band, Peter Frampton, RUSH, Bob Segar, BOC, Ted Nugent, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Yes, KISS and on and on and on it went through their high school years of the late `70s and into the 80s. First as concert goers and then as the favorite local garage band and party band and then into the concert club scene, the band finally began drawing from their experiences to create their own sound and write their own music. Then in 1981 when their lead singer Joel Ellis decided the band needed to head for the higher ground, he led the way to Los Angeles, California and the Hollywood Sunset Strip Rock scene. Merri Hoaxx had ambitions to join their Rock counter parts of Motley Crue, Ratt, London, Dokken, Great White, L.A. Guns, Metallica, etc. to be in the thick-of-it-all and find their place in Hollywood Rock history, which is eventually what they did.

After re-uniting in Los Angeles, all 4 original members of Merri Hoaxx moved into Joel’s 1 bedroom luxury flat in SoCal and enjoyed reaping the debauch lifestyle benefits that Southern California had to offer. They also decided to take a very serious approach to their writing, song crafting, performing and recording skills to compete with the best of the L.A. Rock Scene. They became extremely resourceful on a shoe-string budget and rented a small office space where they sound proofed the walls, crafted songs by day at the swimming pool and showed up for work to record each night as all the other offices were closing up and heading out for Happy Hour. In those late night hours the band worked on a Tascam 4-Track tape machine to capture these early 1980s classic demo recordings.

The band hung out nightly in the notorious Rainbow Bar and Grill in the heart of Sunset Strip during its heyday, stepping out from time to time to play the Sunset Strip club scene in clubs like The Whiskey A Go-Go, The Roxy, Gazzarri’s, The Troubadour, The FM Station, The Country Club in Reseda, Palominos’ and other undisclosed spots in the L.A. underground and after hour parties. This is where they began to melt into the scene gaining immediate recognition from their peers. Merri Hoaxx also started attracting major record label interest from Atlantic Records, who brought the band onto the label for development through Kenny Ostin where the band worked with production greats like George Tutko and Richie Podlar at American Studios. The band began getting calls from helpful guys like Gene Simmons and Dweezil Zappa off of the cassette tape demos they handed out everywhere. They eventually found themselves becoming major Rock debut contenders in the mid-1980s. Before signing with Atlantic Records, Kenny was replaced on drums by Houston, Texas drummer Randy Meers of Black Oak Arkansas fame.

The 1980s Sunset Strip scene was, to say the least, wild!! The boys became deeply entrenched in the wild side of Hollywood. Unfortunately the record label dragged its feet due to the band’s A&R staff at Atlantic being even farther gone into the void of Hollywood’s wild side. Joel recalls: “I remember going up to the Atlantic Records offices on Sunset to meet with Kenny (Ostin) or Nick (Loft) to discuss the record’s mastering or art work, ya know, the band’s business and there would be more cocaine on Kenny’s desk than contracts. There was always music playing on his stereo from some new band they were signing but I never heard any of those great new bands make it into the mainstream,”.

The tracks that the band recorded between 1983-1987 in Southern California will be released on one CD called Merri Hoaxx The Hoaxx Never Jokes and you can hear one of the songs off the album entitled “The Last Days Of Autumn” at this location.

Courtesy of and