If you consider yourself an 80’s “hair band” lover, then the band Winger is DEFINITELY a name you’ve heard.
Born Charles Frederick Kip Winger, Kip gained notability by playing bass and back up vocals for Alice Cooper on 2 of his albums, “Constrictor” & “Raise Your Fist & Yell”. Winger (band) was formed in 1986 in New York City. The band’s namesake & lead vocalist, Kip also played bass. Reb Beach on lead guitar, Paul Taylor on guitar & keyboard, rounded out with Rod Morgenstein on drums.
The band's first album, “Winger” was released in late summer of 1988. This album went platinum and produced some of their most memorable songs such as,
“Madalaine”, “Headed for a Heartbreak”, “Seventeen” & “Hungry” (ladies, pull up the song “Hungry” on YouTube and go to the time spot 2:38...you’re welcome. lol). They toured with this album alongside some other great bands from that era, such as Bad Company, Bon Jovi, Tesla & Skid Row.
In 1990, the band was nominated for an American Music Award for their debut album, under the category
“Best New Heavy Metal Band” which they lost to Skid Row.
August 1990, the band’s 2nd album, “In the Heart of the Young” was released. This album was also certified platinum and had 3 singles “Can’t Get Enough”, “Miles Away” & “Easy Come, Easy Go”. This album was heavily promoted as the band played 230 shows all over the world over a course of 13 months.
Three years later, their album “Pull” was released. This album was not received as good as their previous albums. From this, they only had one single, “Down Incognito”. Like we have seen with so many metal bands, the rise of grunge had a hand in it not being as well received as they would have liked. This album was originally going to be named, “Blind Revolution Mad” but for fear the critics would dismiss the album “out of hand”, he renamed it “Pull” as a flippant innuendo to the critics using the cd as a skeet shooting target.
In 1994, Winger disbanded. Kip went on to have a solo career while Reb Beach went off working with some other greats, Dokken, Whitesnake & Alice Cooper. The other members pursued or resumed their roles as session musicians.
Part II will be about Kip's solo career
Part III will be about the Winger reunion and the 2000s