Friday, May 15, 2015

Kara's Flowers aka Maroon 5




Adam Levine, Ryan Dusick, Mickey Madden, and Jesse Carmichael were high school students in Los Angeles when they met. They put together a band and called themselves "Kara's Flowers", named from a groupie that the boys all had a crush on. They played pop music.

In 1997, they were playing at a beach party when an indie producer offered to manage them and record a complete record with his partner, songwriter John DeNicola (known for Dirty Dancing's "(I've Had) The Time of My Life"). This record got them a deal with Reprise Records.

The band's music style morphed into something reminiscent of 1960s Britpop. The album didn't catch on. The band was very much disappointment and almost led to a breakup in 1998. They were dropped from Reprise Records after only one month.

Dusick and Madden began attending college at UCLA, while Levine and Carmichael relocated to the East Coast to attend Five Towns College in New York.  While they were in New York, they took notice of the urban music surrounding them and let that style influence the songs they wrote.

The band returned to the music industry again in 2000. They produced three tracks for MCA Records, but MCA declined to pick them up and the songs were never released.  They were rejected by several other labels, before they gained the attention of Octone Records.  The record executives there had heard the demo for "Sunday Morning" and were surprised the song was credited to Kara's Flowers, as they sounded so different from their original sound.

The executives flew out to Los Angeles to watch a showcase gig at The Viper Room for the four-piece Kara's Flowers. They were impressed with Adam Levine's stage presence and were convinced that the band needed a fifth member so that Levine could focus on being the front man. They also insisted the band change their name to break with it's pop past.

James Valentine (from the L.A. band Square) was recruited for the fifth position in the band. He states:
"I became friends with them and we sort of started jamming together, it was very much like I was cheating on my band, we were having sort of an affair and I eventually quit my other band to join up with them."

Valentine had attended Berklee College of Music with John Mayer in 1996. Mayer had listened to the album "Songs About Jane" and was impressed and invited the band to open for him during his early 2003 tour. By early 2004, the album had garnered attention and was getting more airplay and sales.  In 2004, Mayer invited them to tour with him again. The band toured non-stop for the next three years, alongside many other artists. On June 9, 2005, the band performed at the American Film Institute's tribute to filmmaker George Lucas. Lucas himself had selected Maroon 5 for the event, as they were his children's favorite band at the time.

Over the years of touring with the band their drummer, percussionist and backing vocalist Ryan Dusick had been suffering from the touring life. The strains of non-stop touring aggravated an old sports injury. After several absences from the tour with Ryland Steen and Josh Day taking his place, Dusick officially left Maroon 5 in September 2006. Matt Flynn, the former drummer of Gavin DeGraw and the B-52's, joined the band as Dusick's replacement.

On March 9, 2012, Maroon 5 announced that Jesse Carmichael would take a break from performing with the group for an undetermined amount of time to focus more on his studies of "music and the healing arts" (spiritual healing).

On April 15, 2014, Jesse Carmichael confirmed that his hiatus from the band was complete and he reunited with the band in time to record for the album, V.

The band continues to tour and produce songs today. Do you have a favorite Maroon 5 song?

Here is the song that finally got the ball rolling for them:

https://youtu.be/S2Cti12XBw4




What does tomorrow bring?


Tune in to find out! 




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