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The Rave-Ups are a roots rock group hailing originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but is best known as being from Los Angeles, California. They are best known for their alternative rock hit songs "Respectfully King of Rain" and "Positively Lost Me" as well as their appearances in Pretty in Pink and Beverly Hills 90210.

Band history

The Rave-Ups were originally founded at Carnegie-Mellon University in the fall of 1979 by Jimmer Podrasky (guitar/vocals), with Michael Kaniecki (guitar/vocals), George Carter (bass, violin, vocals), and Tony Junko (drums). The original group lasted only through that fall when Tony Junko left the band. Rich Slevin (drums) joined the group in January 1980 and helped the band develop through the year, and though the group was considered part of Pittsburgh's early punk/new wave scene along with its sister group The Shakes/Combo Tactic, with a somewhat more polished style The Rave-Ups were considered less of the Punk genre. The band performed mostly original songs written by Podrasky and Kaniecki, some songs contributed by Carter, and a few covers. Early performances in Pittsburgh were at The Electric Banana, The Decade Lounge, functions at Carnegie-Mellon, as well as regular gigs at Fat City in Swissvale. During the summer of 1980 the band made 4-track and 16-track studio recordings including the later popular "Class Tramp" and "Gremlin", along with the the usual live recordings of club dates. Slevin left the band in late 1980 to return to his native New York City and was briefly replaced while the band relocated to Los Angeles, California. The original members broke up less than a year after the move to LA.

The second incarnation of the band followed after Podrasky met drummer Tim Jimenez, guitarist Chuck Wada & bassist Douglas Leonard. That line-up released a six song EP entitled Class Tramp on Fun Stuff Records in 1984. The EP sold all 3,000 copies produced. Terry Wilson (guitar) and Tommy Blatnik (bass guitar) joined the band on a permanent basis. In 1985, the band released their first album, Town and Country, which sold 40,000 copies. Actress Molly Ringwald, a friend and fan of the band, invited director John Hughes to see the band at a club date where the band informally auditioned for an appearance in the movie Pretty in Pink. Hughes cast the band in the movie. In the movie, the song "Rave-Up, Shut-Up" is heard in the scene where Duckie (John Cryer) talks with the club bouncer (Andrew Dice Clay) outside the club. Duckie finally gets into the club with Iona (Annie Potts). Andie (Ringwald) and Blane (Andrew McCarthy) then enter the club as The Rave-Ups play "Positively Lost Me" on stage. The band also appeared on the MTV "Pretty In Pink" Movie Premier Special performing "Positively Lost Me". That song became a cult hit big enough that Rhino Records included the song on Rhino's "Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of The 80's - Vol. 12". About this time the band was getting major critical acclaim from critics including Robert Christgau and Robert Hilburn. Several record labels entered talks with the band.

In 1987, the band signed to Epic Records and released their major label debut The Book of Your Regrets to high critical expectations, despite being only promoted to the college radio scene (albeit a burgeoning one). The album failed to sell many copies, due to Epic's corporate restructuring and lack of promotion. The label almost dropped the band but a few believers from Epic insisted that the band get another opportunity. 1990 saw the release of the album Chance (named after Podrasky's son with Beth Ringwald) to slightly more commercial success. The single "Respectfully King of Rain" became a modest alternative rock hit, garnering some video airplay on MTV and peaking at #12 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. The second single "(She Says) Come Around" was readied for distribution (including a music video) by Epic who then decided that they would not promote the single or video and, soon after, dropped the band from the label. The band continued working for a few months including an appearance was on an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 ("Spring Dance"). However, after much frustration, the band broke up in 1992.

Podrasky formed the band Lovin' Miserys with Concrete Blonde drummer Harry Rushakoff, but was unable to sign a deal with a music label. In 2000, the band reformed, recording a CD entitled The Salmon In The Woods. However, the album is yet to be released because the band has not been able to find a label to sign with.

Podrasky and Wilson continued to maintain a musical partnership writing and performing occasionally over the following years. In August 2007, with Jimenez and Blatnik back in the rhythm section, the band re-grouped to play and work on new material that they hope will find the ears of their original audience as well as many who only know the band from hearing about them from others.

Town And Country is finally available again at and will be available on iTunes shortly.


  • "Class Tramp", Fun Stuff Records, 1984.
  • "These Wishes"/"Big Wide River" Fun Stuff Records, 1985

(Very Limited Edition 12" Single)

(Limited edition of 2000 CDs. Contained "Respectfully King Of Rain" from 'Chance' and two non-album tracks: "Train To Nowhere" and "The Night Before Christmas (Hey Baby)")

  • Chance, Epic Records, 1990.
  • "Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits Of The 80's, Volume 12, Various Artists", 1995.

(contains the song "Positvely Lost Me")


In the movie "Sixteen Candles", Molly Ringwald's character has scratched "The Rave-Ups" with a ball point pen into her three-ring binder.

Jimmer Podrasky is a first cousin of the Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts.



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