Known primarily for their biggest hit single “Turn Up The Radio”, Autograph released three major albums for RCA Records including “Sign In Please”, “That’s The Stuff” and “Loud and Clear”.
The original lineup of Autograph got together in 1983. The band consisted of vocalist Steve Plunkett, guitarist Steve Lynch, Randy Rand on Bass, Keni Richards on Drums and Steve Isham on Keyboards. Known primarily for their biggest hit single “Turn Up The Radio”, Autograph released three major albums for RCA Records with this lineup including “Sign In Please”, “That’s The Stuff” and “Loud and Clear”.
“Turn Up The Radio” was one of the last songs that the band had recorded for the “Sign In Please album. Apparently the band thought it was just okay and didn’t feel as strongly about it as some of the other songs on the album. Luck for them that the included it. It took the album to Gold record status and made it into the top 30 songs chart. The band went back into the studio and recorded the followup album “That’s The Stuff” in a rather quick fashion. While it didn’t sell as well as the first album, it came close to achieving the Gold album level as well. The band gained exposure by touring with bands like Motley Crue, Aerosmith, KISS, and Whitesnake and having songs featured in various movies of the era including Secret Admirer, Fright Night, Youngblood and Like Father, Like Son.
The band’s video for “Turn Up The Radio” was a huge hit on MTV and was played in heavy rotation.
However, by the time the band released their third album “Loud And Clear,” their sales were falling off drastically. The band left RCA in 1988. The original lineup finally broke up in 1988.
The band has also release compilations of leftover material called Missing Pieces and More Missing Pieces as well as an Anthology Album. Plunkett also released an Autograph album entitled “Buzz” in 2003 of which he was the only original member.
…So Where Are They Now?
Vocalist Steve Plunkett became a staff writer and producer for All Nations Music and had close to 200 of his songs released from various recording artists and in TV and feature films. Plunkett’s songs have been featured in Beverly Hills 90210, The Simpsons, Melrose Place, Sex And The City and he wrote the theme for 7th Heaven.
Guitarist Steve Lynch became a guitar teacher and has published several instructional books for learning guitar. He rejoined Autograph in their new formation in 2013 and recorded an EP with the band before leaving again in 2019.
Bass Player Randy Rand started a side career in Leather crafting and worked for the Harly Davidson Motorcycle Company for awhile employing his leather skills. Rand rejoined the band in 2013 for and remains in the band today as the only original member.
Drummer Keni Richards, unfortunately, died of what appeared to be a drug-related homicide in 2017.
Keyboardist Steve Isham toured with Motley Crue vocalist Vince Neil’s solo band and remained in the music business for many years. Isham died on December 9, 2008, at the age of 56 of complications from liver cancer.
Today, Autograph is alive and well with a new lineup featuring vocalist Simon Daniels, who also plays guitar, Randy Rand on bass, Jimi Bell on Guitar and Marc Wieland on drums. Most of the bands members played in other groups from the 80’s hair metal era. The band states the following about their reunion:
Photo by Joe Schaeffer / Joe Schaeffer Photography
In 2011, founders bassist Randy Rand and guitarist Steve Lynch decided to meet up at the NAMM show in Anaheim. They rekindled their friendship first. With the relationship rebuilt, they made a collective decision to play again. “We approached our original singer Steve Plunkett about a reunion,” recalls Rand. “He didn’t have the time to join the band again due to his busy schedule. He did give us his blessing to move forward though, and that was important. We missed our fans. This is for them.” Fully embracing the future, the remaining members caught some videos of Singer/Guitarist/Songwriter Simon Daniels of Jailhouse, Flood, 1RKO on YouTube. Instantly, they sensed a connection and knew that he was meant for the open spot in the center stage. “He was perfect to front Autograph” smiles Rand. His hard-edged, bluesy voice and massive riffing sharpen our edge. He’s given us new energy, and he impressed us immediately.” “We all had a euphoric feeling after the first rehearsal,” Rand adds. With the lineup solidified, Autograph stand poised to shake Rock ‘n’ Roll up yet again. It’s as if every element has been enhanced from the guitars to the bass and vocals as well as drums with the addition of hard hitter and dynamic Drummer Marc Wieland. Rand says that during his long-lived carrier he only loved playing with two drummers; one is the great late Randy Castillo, and then there is Marc Wieland.
As the band puts it, “We’re heavier than before. At the same time, the |melodic vocals and catchy hooks are still an integral part of our sound.” Successfully touring again since the beginning of 2014 Autograph has strived and shined at Arenas, Casinos, major Music Festivals as M3, Monsters of Rock Cruises, The Moondance Jam, 80’s in the Park, Grand Rock Tember, Cat Club Festival at Irvine Meadows, Firefest UK, among others reaching the 4 corners of the USA along with Canada and Europe as well as releasing 2 new anthem singles with one of them, “I Lost My Mind in America” making the TOP 10 ITUNES Charts and a crowd favorite ” You Are Us, We Are You” receiving great reviews and airplay as well. In 2017 Autograph released a new full-length Album on Megadeth’s David Ellefson’s EMP Label Group hitting# 21 on the Billboard Classic Rock Sales Chart as well as placing 2 new singles on the top 10 Hard Rock Media base Radio Chart. In 2019 Lynch decided to leave the group to pursue different musical styles and was replaced by international Monster Shredder Guitarist Jimi Bell formally from the band House of Lords from RCA Records, 1st runner for Ozzy Osbourne in 1986 and featured in the classic movie “Light of Day” starring Joan Jett and Michael J Fox as Joan Jetts band guitarist in the movie and playing on the soundtrack. The band delivers an undeniably bombastic live performance and was featured on the USA TODAY news website. The Timeless iconic Classic Rock Anthem Top 40 HIT Single “Turn up the Radio” continues to receive constant and permanent Radio Airplay on all Major Rock Radio stations around the World as the line up is praised by the fans and the critics for their powerful live performances.