The Romeo Flynns
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The Romeo Flynns

Detroit, Michigan, United States | INDIE

Detroit, Michigan, United States | INDIE
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"O’Mara’s Restaurant in Berkley offers music and comedy to dine by"

If the walls in O’Mara’s Restaurant could talk, they would be bursting with laughter on Wednesday nights, for even the musicians want to be comedians at O’Mara’s Comedy Night.

On a recent evening, the Romeo Flynns — a local band from Detroit — is on stage at Comedy Night at O’Mara’s Restaurant. With years of experience and three hot CDs, their music warms up the audience and rocks the place. As the last note plays, the audience begins to applaud and guitarist Dorian Lee engages the audience, asking, “Is there an audience out there? We want to point out it is comedy night.”

He gets a chuckle out of them, and much appreciated applause.
- The Oakland Press


"The Romeo Flynns "Masque Of Anarchy""

The Romeo Flynns, Detroit’s premier local rock group, have released their sophomore effort, and it's partially a concept album. "Masque of Anarchy" is named after poem from famous 17th Century author Percy Shelly. It starts with a timely British radio address mentioning the country's huge financial defcit and launches into the title track with rocking precision similar to Cheap Trick or Off Broadway. The themes are darker and harder edged than their first release, and are more consciously aware they are a power pop trio, as evidenced by a cover of Badfinger's "Baby Blue." Guitarist, Dorian Lee and bassist, Jimmy Moroney, are joined by drummer John Sarkisian as they rip through the hard rocking "Not Your Style." Lee's guitar riffs give the band a nice edge and things get very patriotic with "That Ain't The Motor City" which could be a theme for the revived US auto industry. Several gems include "I Got My Eye On You" and the acoustic ballad "Annie" that showcase the band's improved songwriting abilities. And the band continues it's mix of British Invasion and Detroit-sytle rock. The theme of economic collapse is also continued in "Poor Man's Paradise" and the Badfinger-like closer "Don't Leave Me Now." Like a breath of fresh air, you’ll certainly enjoy this latest collection from The Flynns. - Powerpopaholic


"CD Review: Romeo Flynns “Masque of Anarchy”"

We last heard from Detroit’s power pop trio, The Romeo Flynns, back in 2008 (see our review of “Pictures of You” here). “Pictures of You” was a concept album of sorts that focused on a relationship that went south. Now the Flynns are back with another concept album of sorts, “Masque of Anarchy”, one that focuses on an economy gone south. Like concept albums tend to do, they beat a dead horse, but “Masque of Anarchy” (named after the famous 17th century poem by Percy Shelly) shows some big strides in the band’s growth both musically and lyrically. The sophomore effort is wider in scope, deeper in its meaning, and a more dynamic, entertaining listen.

If there is one thing you can’t knock the Flynns for…it is STYLE. Just like “Pictures of You”, “Masque of Anarchy” is so rock star in its artwork and packaging. These guys got the look and attitude that just screams “we’re ready for the big time”. But this time the boys show they not only have style, but they got substance. While there is still some room for improvement, “Masque of Anarchy” towers above the debut in that the melodies are stronger, the band is tighter, and the singer has found his comfort zone.

The Romeo Flynns continue to write songs that merge classic 60s British Invasion songwriting structure with the signature rock sound of the Motor City. All of the songs are generally good, but there are some that really stand out as potential hits…if not of today, they surely would have been back in the 80s. The title track is the best track and this ultra catchy number gets things moving quick on a high note. “Dance The White Line” and “That Ain’t The Motor City” both have an early Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers feel. The band shows some new strong suits in the Byrds-like “Falling Down” and the aching acoustic ballad “Annie”, but prove they can still bring the house down with crunchy rockers like “Not Your Style” and “I Got My Eye On You”, which is one of a few tracks that incorporate some blazing sax that sounds surprisingly at home among these pop rock nuggets. The CD closes strong with the powerful “Poor Man’s Paradise” and epic “Don’t Leave Me Now”. Finally, there’s two covers thrown in for good measure this time around, “Baby Blue” by Badfinger and “Lucifer”, a deep track from the Bob Seger catalogue.

Check out Romeo Flynns if you like The Knack, Cheap Trick, or 80s-era Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. - Rock and Roll Report


"Hello, Goodbye"

By Mike Megerian

We came, we saw, we conquered. Then we were fingerprinted, photographed and told to get the fuck out of England.

The story you are about to read is true. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent. In fact, we want you to know who we are. We just wish the British government didn't!

"We" are the Romeo Flynns, a rock group from Detroit, who were invited to play two May dates at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, by the International Pop Overthrow, which sponsored the weekend music event. This is where it all began, as far as we're concerned — "it" being the birth of the Beatles, the beginning of the '60s (from a cultural standpoint) and the origin of a counterculture movement that has yet to be eclipsed by any other "next big thing" that has since come to pass.

It also marked the beginning of our deportation from the UK.

What follows is a harrowing account of our pilgrimage to pop music's ground zero for anyone even remotely acquainted with the British Invasion and its legions of pop groups that changed the American music scene forever. It began as the trip of a lifetime and ended up as a pile of deportation documents and procedural miscues by the authorities that landed us briefly in a bureaucratic limbo. Can't stay because we have no work permits. Can't go until we convince the airline to rebook us because of the emergency at hand. We have been officially classified as illegal aliens.


Friday, May 22, 9:35 a.m. (BST)

Arrive at Liverpool John Lennon Airport in Speke, just outside the city limits. There are five of us — guitarist Dorian Lee, bassist Jimmy Moroney and drummer John Sarkisian, along with Joe and me, two roadies who have come along to help transport the equipment. The airport is small. We are the only ones at customs.

We tell customs what we are doing in Liverpool. They document everything we say and then disappear with our passports. Return 10 minutes later and tell us there's a "slight problem." We need either work permits or official sponsorship to gain entry to the country. We tell them we are doing the show for free. They tell us it doesn't matter.


Friday, May 22, 11:48 a.m. (BST)

Customs officials return and inform us that, due to changes in British Immigration law, we will be detained until they can arrange our transport out of England. Hand us documents explaining our predicament as defined by article this and paragraph that and section whatever in accordance with Immigration Act 1971 and the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. Tell us we will be photographed and fingerprinted for the Home Office central files, as required for all visitors denied access to the UK for any reason.


Friday, May 22, 2:07 p.m. (BST)

Customs officer appears again and offers to allow us to stay in the country for 24 hours but warns us not to perform anywhere, for free or otherwise. Confiscates our passports and warns us to be back at the airport promptly at 4 a.m. the following morning or risk criminal prosecution!

We board a bus for the hotel. Have a message waiting for us at the hotel desk from British Immigration — just checking to see if we followed orders. Proceed to rebook our return flights and discover that KLM has loused up the arrangements. Straighten it all out and stumble all over each other trying to unpack in a hotel room no larger than the average Extended Stay America kitchenette. Hail a cab for Mathew Street and pay two pounds, eighty pence plus tip (about $7) before realizing that we were already so close that we could have walked there.


Friday, May 22, 3:36 p.m. (BST)

Arrive at Mathew Street, where the refurbished Cavern Club sits just off the main thoroughfares of Victoria and North John streets. Unassuming as it may seem, this is the spot where the Beatles played 282 times before fame swept them from Liverpool forever. Inside the Cavern, the smell of cheese rinds, mildew and sweat has been replaced by the fragrance of disinfectant and a strictly enforced "No Smoking" policy.

Run down the street to the Grapes pub, where the Beatles used to hold court after their shows at the Cavern. We meet up and have our picture taken with Sam Leach, who managed the Beatles before Brian Epstein took over, and was the promoter of Operation Big Beat in the early 1960s. Sam points to a booth a few feet from where we are sitting to show us where he once sat with John, Paul, George and Pete Best.


Friday, May 22, 4:35 p.m. (BST)

Find the International Pop Overthrow reps and explain our situation to them (we later discovered we should have read the invitation letter they originally sent to us in which we American bands were advised it probably wasn't a "good idea" to inform British customs what we were there for ... though customs officials did tell us that lying about such things is a serious crime and we would've been jailed if they'd discovered the truth wasn't told). The Cavern Club owner immediately rings Immigration to again plead our case, but the Home Office won't budge. We debate whether to accede to the rule of law or say "bollocks" and risk suffering the consequences. Like Samuel Beckett, who preferred Paris at war to England at peace, we decide we prefer detention in Britain to freedom in Detroit.

And so we do the show anyway.

We try to be professional about what we do, so despite the thrill of playing the Cavern, we strive to keep our excitement in check. The challenge grows harder as the applause gets louder. The audience is getting curious. Who are these guys from Detroit? Can we dance? There isn't enough room, so several patrons settle for moving their chairs closer to the stage. Soon our photographer is competing for space. The owner of the club, in attendance, personally invites us back later this summer — not to be deported, we hope.


Friday, May 22, 8 p.m. (BST)

Drag ourselves back to the hotel desk to explain why we have to shorten our stay. We have already been up for 32 hours straight, and, other than some airplane food (which shouldn't count), we've had nothing to eat. Find an Italian restaurant 10 minutes from the hotel and eat what seems to be the most delicious meal we've ever consumed. Dorian is reticent. Jim is reserved. Joe and Mike are exhausted. Johnny wants dessert.


Saturday, May 23, 3:30 a.m. (BST)

Two cabs arrive to escort us back to the airport in the cover of darkness. Liverpool is still asleep. We arrive just before our 4 a.m. deadline and are greeted by the watchful eyes and stern expressions of airport personnel. They know who we are and have been waiting for us.

The reservationists process our rebooked flight arrangements and tell us we will receive our passports at the gate. The gate tells us that the passports are in the custody of the pilot, and we will get them once we land in Amsterdam. This is to prevent us from attempting to "pull a runner" by darting off the tarmac and disappearing back into Liverpool. After we land in Holland, the flight attendant hands each of us an official-looking packet containing our passports — which now include a big black cross against our original stamps! — and all deportation papers. We leave for Detroit and arrive eight hours and 53 minutes later, having traveled a total of 9,000 miles in a 48-hour period to perform a 30-minute show.

Hello. Goodbye. It was that quick. And like Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, we were sorry that it was time to go. - Metro Times


"Cocked & Loaded"

Romeo Flynns

Members: D. Lawrence Lee (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Moroney (bass), John Sarkisian (drums)

Motto: "We came to play." —D. Lawrence Lee

"We're kinda worried about the gun-toters," Romeo Flynns frontman D. Lawrence Lee says. "I'm probably going to invest in a bulletproof vest. Maybe a bulletproof guitar too."

Lee is talking of the recent debate and vote by the Royal Oak City Commission that eventually resulted in festival attendees being permitted to carry licensed weapons at the event. Not that the Flynns, a full-on power-pop band in the classic Cheap Trick mold, have anything to be worried about. Their catchy-as-fuck, every-song-a-single ditties surely offend no one. Rather, they're quite capable of being the surprise package of the entire fest. The musicians are tighter than their own trousers, and, in Lee, they've a singer, guitarist and songwriter who more than knows his way around a melody.

"This is our first time playing this festival, and we're really looking forward to it," Lee says. "When we were first starting out as a band, this seemed to be the premier urban festival. We're sure that we can bring something different to the event."

Well, different and yet the same. See, Lee and his band have a very definite, welcome retro appeal. "We definitely have a sound that's rooted in the '80s and early '90s," Lee says. "It always amazes me that a lot of bands from past eras come to Detroit, to venues like Pine Knob (now DTE Energy Music Theatre), and they just seem to play the old favorites. If people love that music as much as they seem to, I don't understand why many of these bands don't release new product. That's where we come in. We give folks familiar-sounding music, but it's all new stuff."

The Flynns, you'll note, were once called the Shake, and they actually attempted changing their name to the Errol Flynns but were denied permission by the late actor's estate.

Anyway, the singer is, um, all popped up to see how Royal Oak will pick up where Pontiac left off with Arts, Beats & Eats. "It's going to be interesting," Lee says with a grin.

So what does Lee see in other bands at the Labor Day blowout?

Lee says he's "heard great things about the Orbitsuns. I've never seen them before, though, so I'll try to catch their set. I think there are a couple of Beatles tribute bands playing too, so I'll try to see them. I'm a huge Beatles fan."

Overall though, the songwriter hopes folks leave their shooters in the closet. "Let's forget about that gun nonsense," Lee laughs. "Let's just enjoy the party instead. The Flynns all love a drink, so we'll see you at the bar." —BC

- Metro Times


Discography

2008 Pictures of You
2010 Masque of Anarchy

Photos

Bio

Like a cup of sugar in a mug of oil, like banana pudding with broken glass, Detroit’s Romeo Flynns will rock you till your ears bleed, and you’ll thank them for the pleasure. These Motor City purveyors of candy-coated hard rock mayhem entice you into their world with promises of nicey-nice song-smithery, then turn their guitars up to 11, no 12, and play harder than their boyish looks of innocence would have suggested.

The Romeo Flynns have stamped their Detroit signature on a blend of British Invasion bands like the Kinks and the Who, and the arena rock power pop of Cheap Trick and Big Star. This melting pot approach to their influences has enabled them to create a sound that is entirely their own. They have unleashed two self-produced albums on an unsuspecting rock scene, consisting of shake-your-mane songs that will make Mommy and Daddy dance while the kids rock out from their poster-decorated bedrooms.

Formed in 2006, Frontman/Guitarist Dorian Lee, Bassist Jimmy Moroney and Drummer John Sarkisian have shared the stage with the likes of Grand Funk Railroad’s Mark Farner, Rhino Bucket, The Look and Scott Morgan and the Irrationals. They have played a string of festivals locally, nationally and internationally including the International Pop Overthrow Festivals in Detroit, New York, Chicago and Liverpool, England.

When arriving at the John Lennon Airport en route to the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, in order to play the Pop Overthrow Festival in 2009, the band members ran into a glitch at customs and were deported. By sheer luck, they were permitted to stay in the country for 24 hours and managed to find their way to the Cavern where they were able to play a set before returning home.

Their 2008 debut album, Pictures of You, earned them a Grindie award from www.radioindy.com and was named one of the top releases of the year by Detroit’s Metro Times newspaper. Using “thick beats, big choruses and an arena mentality,” this concept album paints the all-to-familiar story of love gone awry. Composer Dorian Lee leaves no stone unturned in the well-trodden journey of joy, grief and acceptance when it comes to matters of the heart.

Their 2010 follow-up, Masque of Anarchy, features 13 well crafted and impeccably produced songs that include covers of Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” and Bob Seger’s “Lucifer.” Darker and more introspective than their debut CD, Pictures of You, their subject matter covers a variety of topics including love, their deportation from England and, most importantly, the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll.

Adopting the mantra of the Tuff Darts’ “It’s all for the Love of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the Romeo Flynns capture the very reasons we fell in love with rock ‘n’ roll in the first place.

For more information, please contact Toni Callwood of What’s Left Records and Stiv Deville Productions at (310) 210-0922 or stivdevilleproductions@yahoo.com.