Black 'N Blue is a glam metal band from Portland, Oregon. The current members are singer Jaime St. James, guitarist Shawn Sonnenschein, guitarist Jeff Warner, bassist Patrick Young, and drummer Pete Holmes. They were expected by many to be "the next big thing", but, despite having a loyal fan base, they never broke through commercially.
The band formed in 1981 out of Portland, Oregon and were originally known as Movie Star. They moved to Los Angeles in 1982, and that same year made their first recorded appearance on Metal Massacre — an independent compilation album that also introduced newcomers Metallica, Ratt, and Malice.
In 1984, they released their self-titled debut album on Geffen Records. This album included what is perhaps their best known hit to date, "Hold On to 18," and the album became a moderate success. A follow-up album, entitled Without Love was released the following year. This album saw the band modify their original rougher, hard-edge sound in favor of a more polished, radio-friendly pop-metal approach, a move that alienated many fans. Although the tracks "Without Love" and "Miss Mystery" were both released as singles, neither of them saw chart success, and the album was somewhat of a disappointment. A third track from this album, "Nature of the Beach" appeared in the film Vision Quest (also known as Crazy for You) and also appeared as the B-side to the Madonna single "Gambler" from the same movie, although it was not included on the soundtrack LP. The band would go on to release two more albums under the label, both of which saw them making a conscious effort to return to the original raw power that characterized the music on their debut. Both albums were produced by Gene Simmons, but neither could recapture the Black 'N Blue sound of old, and the band broke up in 1989.
All five original members would reunite on Halloween of 1997 for a live performance, which was recorded and released the following year as a live album, One Night Only: Live. This reunion was a one-time affair, and no further touring followed.
The band reunited again in 2003 (this time, without Thayer, who was performing lead guitar duties for Kiss at the time) to tour and record a new album, entitled Hell Yeah!. Shawn Sonnenschein is the new lead guitarist to be featured on the album. The album was initially scheduled to be released in September 2003, but it has been pushed back several times. The most recent projected date for the release of the album is sometime in 2008.
Jaime St. James later became the lead singer for Warrant, while Tommy Thayer continues to play lead guitar for Kiss. Pete Holmes is currently playing with Malice and Mandy Lion's WWIII. He was formerly playing with Michael Schenker, Peter Gabriel and Ted Nugent.
Guitarist Jeff "Woop" Warner for a short time played with Kneel Cohn in an early line-up of the band The Dead Stars On Hollywood which is now based in NYC.
Black 'N Blue, including Tommy Thayer, made a reunion appearance in their home town Portland, Oregon December 8, 2007 at Berbati's Pan. The concert benefited the band's long-time friend Kenny Nordone in his struggle with cancer.
Following Jaime St. James' departure from Warrant due to Jani Lane's return to that band, St. James has reunited Black 'N Blue with Shawn Sonnenschein replacing Tommy Thayer who is currently contracted to Kiss. The band performed at Rocklahoma in summer 2008.