John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band was formed in Narragansett, Rhode Island in 1972 taking their name from the color of their first recording studio. They began by playing covers in local colleges like the University of Rhode Island, performing at the beach, and amassing a local following at clubs in the area. They started to go on the road more playing on Cape Cod, the Jersey Shore, ski-resort country and in Boston proper. In 1977, Antunes joins the group and the band tours all of New England. They also spent some time in the D.C. area playing The Bayou and smaller clubs in Northwest Washington.
In 1980, the band records their first single, Tender Years/Wild Summer Nights. It became a local – Eastern seaboard – radio hit, sold 10,000 copies, and got the group a showcase gig at New York’s prestigious Bottom Line Club.
Cafferty remembers the band playing at The Bitter End on Bleeker Street in New York one night in 1981 when the fairy godmother of lucky breaks apparently waved her wand. There was a producer in the audience that night, “but we never knew he was there”, stated Cafferty.
Veteran producer Kenny Vance (who sang with Jay & the Americans during the sixties) apparently took movie director Martin Davidson to see one of their shows. Two years later, in 1983, Davidson called the band and asked them to do some songs for the soundtrack for the film “Eddie and the Cruisers”. The groups first single was added to the film. (Cafferty is the voice (singing) of ‘Eddie Wilson’, the fictional band leader in both films).
This produced several national hits for John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, including “On the Dark Side”, which Cafferty notes went triple platinum.
“Eddie and the Cruisers” was released by Scottie Brothers in May 1983, but didn’t do that well at the box office, although the soundtrack sold 175,000 copies. (“On The Dark Side” released as a single in 1984 reaching #7 on the charts) The film became popular when later released on cable, selling more than two million copies.
The group was then offered a contract with Scotti Brothers Records. Their album, “Tough All Over”, was released by Scotti Bros. in May 1985, reaching #40 in the US. It was followed by “Roadhouse”, released by Scotti Brothers in 1987.
It was instant success, but it was double-edged “because of the uniqueness of our situation, sort of being the voice behind screen actors … it was like we were a fabricated band. Our music got to be known with someone else’s face and someone else’s name. So to some extent, our music was known more than we were”, said Cafferty.
Because of this, Scotti Brothers re-released the “Tough All Over” and “Roadhouse” albums under the name “Eddie and the Cruisers”.
John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band has also recorded songs for film favorites like Rocky IV – “Hearts On Fire”; Cobra – “Voice Of America’s Sons” and Jersey Girl – “Ku Ku Ka Chu (Baby I Want U)”, “For A Heart That’s True”, and “Nobody But Me”.
John is married to Terry Lee and has two sons.