Candy O (A Tribute to the Cars)
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Candy O (A Tribute to the Cars)


Band Pop Rock


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Still working on that hot first release.



Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Darryl Battaglia formed Candy-O late in 2000 after he was told he should go check out the Van Halen tribute the Atomic Punks at the Whiskey in Los Angeles. Never having seen a tribute act and initially skeptical, he expected some sort of Elvis impersonator type show but was completely blown away by “the Punks” including the overwhelming audience response, and soon after decided to form Candy-O.

Born and raised in Switzerland, drummer Pierre Leemann is an original member of Candy-O, and he helped get the band going from the start. Pierre had his first taste of playing with the pros when he was able to jam with Judas Priest in England in 1979. In the early 80's, Pierre who was known as "Pete Leeman" in those days, recorded on vinyl and toured in Europe with EMI recording artist "Steve Whitney Band". He then studied at the Swiss Jazz School in Berne, and later at the Berklee Music College in Boston after emigrating to the USA in 1984. His dreams of moving to Los Angeles and turning professional became reality, and he made a living playing Top 40. In the 90's, Pierre recorded CD's and performed all over California with original bands like "Frog Hair" and "Syrva". During that time, he also joined Darryl and McCrea in the Top 40 band "Sunset Hounds". In 2000, Pierre and Darryl decided the best name for a Cars tribute would be "Candy-O", named after the band’s second album.

Keyboardist McCrea Adams joined soon after Candy-O’s inception but not very willingly. He had little interest in The Cars much less tribute bands so it took several phone calls and single malt scotch whiskeys from Darryl to finally convince him to join. It was part of the process for Mac to pull his vintage 80’s keyboard gear, an M1 and a Prophet, out of the garage and get them dialed in and functional so they could be used to recreate the unique Greg Hawkes sounds so important to The Cars sound.

Bassist Brenton Worthy played his first show with Candy-O New Years eve, 2002/ 2003 as lead guitarist. He was then asked to move over to the bass guitar after bassist Chris Nolan left to pursue his original music. Reluctant at first, he only agreed to take the position if he could do more lead singing and better fulfill the roll of Cars bassist Ben Orr. As it turned out this worked great and as mentioned above, Brenton now sings all the Ben songs and plays a mean bass on top of it, all the while maintaining a very cool look and charismatic vibe on stage.

Lead guitarist Don E. Sachs played several shows sharing the bill with Candy-O in the Cheap Trick tribute The Dream Police. He had mentioned to Brenton he’d like fill in for the lead guitar job if ever needed. As the summer of 2004 began, Darryl got a surprise call from then lead guitarist Martin Verry saying he regretfully had to leave Candy-O as he had to make his living as a street performer and his weekend nights were his bread and butter cash time, so off he went. Don E. (pronounced Donny) got the next call and having left the Dream Police a few months earlier, stepped up and learned all 18 songs note for note including vocals in just 3 weeks. Considering the difficulty of most of Elliot Easton’s guitar licks this was no small task!