Night Ranger- Dawn Patrol 40th anniversary- Jack Blades

“We made our first video for the song ‘Don’t Tell Me You Love Me’ for $10,000,” Night Ranger singer/songwriter/bass player Jack Blades confesses in this classic rock interview, which starts at the beginning for the California band’s Dawn Patrol  debut album four decades ago (Billboard #38 sales). Now to you and me, ten grand sounds like a lot of money, but in the MTV Eighties, entire albums were being recorded for less than $50K, while a single song video price tag easily could top twice that much.

In 1982-83 Night Ranger was the first American band to break out simultaneously on rock radio as well as the new 24 hour music video channel in America, and Blades, singing drummer Kelly Keagy, and lead guitar player Brad Gillis (all from the band Rubicon) meshed seamlessly with Montrose veteran keyboard player Alan Fitzgerald and guitarist Jeff Watson in the studio, on stage, and on screen. Songs “Sing Me Away”from Dawn Patrol; the anthem “You Can Still Rock in America”,”When You Close Your Eyes”,”Four in the Morning” all from Midnight Madness (#15 Billboard Album Sales chart); and the touching true story “Goodbye” are all chronicled here by Jack Blades, those last two from 7 Wishes  in May 1985. (Flanked backstage in Dallas Summer 2014 by two of the sweetest guys in rock, Night Ranger’s Kelly Keagy (l) and Jack Blades (r).)

But it was the song “Sister Christian” (Billboard #5 on their Hot 100), written by Keagy about his sister Christie which Night Ranger demo’d but decided to leave off of their Dawn Patrol  debut, which could not be denied in 1984 on the follow up Midnight Madness, becoming the high school prom/ graduation song that year for millions.  – Redbeard