After performing a number of shows together throughout 2018 for the first time in over 35 years, Punky Meadows and Frank DiMino from the legendary ’70s rock band ANGEL have decided to resurrect the group under the banner ANGEL FEATURING PUNKY MEADOWS AND FRANK DIMINO. Joining them in the revamped ANGEL will be the four musicians that backed the duo on tour last year: Danny Farrow on rhythm guitar, Charlie Calv on keyboards, Steve Ojane on bass and Billy Orrico on drums.
DiMino broke the news of ANGEL’s reactivation in a Facebook post earlier today. He wrote: “Having our own solo projects and performing on each other’s records led to a natural progression to assemble the side project, PUNKY MEADOWS & FRANK DIMINO OF ANGEL. This led to a very successful 2018 tour. The great chemistry we experienced has led us to our next journey of writing and performing together and to enter the New Year as ANGEL FEATURING PUNKY MEADOWS AND FRANK DIMINO.
“The band consisting of Punky, Frank, Danny, Charlie, Billy and Steve will return wearing white and performing a full ANGEL set.
“We will be recording a brand new album and begin touring April 2019. We are very excited to announce that STARZ will be joining us for many shows!!!
“Looking forward to rocking with all of you in 2019!”
ANGEL was discovered in a nightclub by none other than Gene Simmons of KISS, a man who had (and still has) a knack for finding and nurturing talent. ANGEL was also known for their androgynous look and dressing all in white, a pure yin-yang contrast to KISS’s own all-black clothing and elaborate stage outfits. In 1975, the glam-rockers were signed to the home label for KISS, Casablanca Records, ultimately releasing six albums (five studio, one live) uninterrupted between 1975-80 that mixed the best elements of glam, hard rock, and pure unadulterated fist-pumping melodic singalongs.
While ANGEL never quite achieved success as their labelmates KISS did, they left their mark on in-the-know rock fans of the era with tracks like the hard-driving “Rock & Rollers”, “Tower”, the perennial holiday favorite “The Winter Song”, and their key contribution to the soundtrack of the Jodie Foster-starring 1980 teen drama “Foxes”, “20th Century Foxes”. The lineup for their self-titled 1975 debut, “Angel”, consisted of guitarist Punky Meadows, bassist Mickie Jones, vocalist Frank DiMino, keyboardist Gregg Giuffria, and drummer Barry Brandt. This lineup recorded two more albums, 1976’s “Helluva Band” and 1977’s “On Earth As It Is In Heaven”, after which Jones would be replaced on bass by Felix Robinson. Two more solid studio efforts, 1978’s “White Hot” and 1979’s “Sinful”, ensued before the release of a stellar live set, 1980’s “Live Without A Net”.
ANGEL started to fall apart in the early 1980s after Casablanca pulled the plug on the group due in part to disappointing album sales. In 1981, Robinson and DiMino left to pursue other projects. Meadows and Giuffria tried to keep ANGEL going and came close to landing a record deal with CBS. But it didn’t pan out, and ANGEL finally disbanded.
This past August, Caroline/UMe saluted the core output of ANGEL with “Angel: The Casablanca Years”. This ascendant, band-approved seven-CD box set featured the Washington, D.C.-bred glam/rock outfit’s six albums that were released on Neil Bogart’s legendary Casablanca Records label, in addition to a seventh disc that contains mono mixes, single edits, soundtrack contributions, and other rarities. ANGEL expert Dave Reynolds contributed insightful liner notes to the box set’s included 28-page booklet, which also featured rare photos and other memorabilia.