Editor's note: Niki D'Andrea's January 8 story on Hollywood Heartthrob drew a ton of response from foes and fans (most of whom didn't sign their real or full names). A smattering of the comments follows.
All strut, no gut: Your article about a band that's all show and no go is an interesting read. And it proves where we've come to that a bunch of so-called pretty boys (that fat one ain't purty!) with little talent can hope to make it [on] bedazzle alone.
I'm sure I'll be shouted down by fans who love the band (that's always the case with dissenters). But I've seen Hollywood Heartthrob, and all they do is strut around, trying to look sexy. Their music blows.
The sad thing is, they probably will be one of those groups that make it nationally — because more and more, the music business is about fluff.
Leigh Marvin, Phoenix
Indie bands, take notice . . .: Great read, as always, from Niki D'Andrea. I wanted to give props to my team and to clarify what was done for the Hollywood Heartthrob shoot.
My team and I made the band's image. Valdese Jones did all the fashion styling, shopping for clothing for days, Dayvid Lemmon did the retouching, and Jenney Benson did the makeup. Plus I had an additional two assistants for a total of six, plus the crew at Synthetic Human. The album design is a 16-page masterpiece by Matt Fischer at Provoke Creative, who worked closely with me on art direction.
My experience with Teddy Myers and the guys brought me to a new appreciation of working with other talented artists who know what it takes to be big.
Indie bands take notice. It's not about the music anymore; it's about the image. Hollywood Heartthrob has everything they need to make it huge, but (like you said) the missing piece is distribution. That will come.
Giulio Sciorio, Phoenix
It's all about the image: Since when was the indie scene about anything but image? Angular hair, eyeliner, flannel, tight jeans over skinny bodies, piercings, tattoos; you can tell indie rockers by their look. And there certainly isn't much indie music that stands out as memorable.
With this renewed focus on image, maybe the next big indie band will be lip-synchers, à la Milli Vanilli. Maybe they won't even have to play instruments. They could just stand there onstage, projecting their "image" while the adoring fans ooohh and aaahhh!
No thanks, I'll take an over-the-hill Neil Young or a criminally undiscovered Bill Mallonee or a vastly underrated Anne McCue or a woefully underappreciated Jackie Greene or . . . anything but another slacker band built on "image."
Moon Dawg, Black Canyon City
A New Times prank? Hmmm . . .: I almost suspect that this is one of New Times' prank articles. Isn't the reader supposed to come away feeling sorry for these guys because of how intent they are on buying fame and popularity?
Lucky Teddy: Best of luck to you, Teddy!! Winning the raffle couldn't have happened to a better (nicer) person.
Good yarn, lame band: Too bad the band sucks ass. Cool story, though.
Drake Northpine, Tempe
Pretty boys who rock: This band is soooo sick! They have a pretty-boy image, but they rock so hard, and their music is well thought up.
Learn music theory, boys: Interesting story, but the more I read, the less I thought of the band. More power to them, but shouldn't a band concentrate on music more than all the image stuff? Shouldn't they pay for music lessons and theory classes instead of makeup artists and hair stylists?
Even Flea from the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers realizes he needs to know more and is in music school. Oh, well, it's just another cock-rock pop band that's sure to have plenty of fans around Phoenix. I'm sure they'll have plenty of write-ups, too.
Working Musician, Tempe
Hard rockers, hard partiers: These guys are unreal! I know these guys can rock the hell out of a stage and party just as hard after.
I went to one of their concerts about a month ago. They have an amazing presence onstage and can really perform. I have their CD, and I hope the success continues. They definitely have rock star in their blood.
It's the music that will keep you alive: I might like Hollywood Hearththrob if they thought more about their music instead of the way they look swinging their guitars around. It gets annoying. The music is what will keep you alive, not theatrical jumps, exaggerated singing, and all that man-liner.
The haters can suck it: This article is a wonderful portrait of a dangerous man, the artist-entrepreneur.
For years, Teddy has shown a tirelessness and courage as a bandleader unlike anyone I've seen. For some, success is just a matter of time because [they] make their own luck. Still, you might have wondered what a smart and endlessly ambitious young guy like Teddy would do with a load of money the way you wonder what the Hulk would do with Thor's hammer.
So the haters can suck it. Teddy's an extraordinary leader. I'd wish him luck but I think he drew his wild card already. The rest is, has been, and will be the fruit of his prodigious skill.
They've come a long way since Faucet: Wow! These boys are all so amazing. As for those who say all they care about is the image, and that's not what indie music is all about, well then . . . Image does count for a lot in the music industry.
You wouldn't want to go see a band with five guys that looked like a bunch of bums or crackheads, would you? I didn't think so. Not only are these boys absolutely gorgeous, their sound is amazing! Hollywood Heartthrob has come a long way since the Faucet days!
Teddy got very lucky with his winnings and wasn't stupid about how to spend them.
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Not so hot, says a gay man: Everybody raves about how good-looking Hollywood Heartthrob is. Well, I'm gay and I wouldn't do any of them, especially that fat fuck, though he's the only one who doesn't look nasty. With the rest of them, you know you'd catch something.
Jealousy and spite: It's a shame that people can be so jealous and spiteful. They are intimidated by such good-looking, talented artists. If I were doing nothing and dreamed of being a rock star, I'd be jealous, too.
Take note. It's 2009, and the world is in need of something new. These guys are the next big thing.
TGR Agency, Scottsdale
Wasted fortune: This band is horrible. I viewed this piece as instilling more pity in the reader than interest or envy. I'm glad that Teddy will waste his good fortune on such a venture.