"It was so interesting exploring Joel's original work, and as a singer it was great having him ask, 'What do you hear, Sherry? What do you want to do with this?' rather than just, 'Do this and sing this.' Joel was really driven, completely dedicated to the music, and once the group came together, to us. He really inspired us. So we jumped on the carpet and took a ride with him and it was wonderful. I felt totally safe musically and creative. I felt when I was with those guys I could do no wrong. They pushed me and pushed me. It was such a wonderful beginning for that part of my career. It gave me a tremendous amount of confidence. And they were like my brothers. They still are; I love them both."
"When we formed the R.J. Fox," Joel adds, "we were a bar band for close to two years. We played at this club out in the suburbs and that's where we honed our chops, performing four or five nights week. We were starting to do our own material, but also a lot of the typical rock 'n' roll of the time. At some bars if people demanded you play a certain tune, you had to play it, or they'd threaten to kick your ass," he says with a smile. "But we were always more interested in playing our own songs." Also instrumental in the R.J. Fox sound from the beginning were guitarist John Garlack and bassist extraordinaire Marty Lewis.
"At a certain point, after the band had gotten pretty good, we wanted to leave Michigan because we just thought it wasn't going to happen for us there," Joel notes. "Motown was pretty much the only game in town, and though we did some demos in Detroit, we knew we weren't meant to be in that zone, so we basically flew to California on our own with no plan."
And he means no plan. "I was really just a kid then," Sherry says. "I was only 18 when we went to California. I look back on it, and especially having kids now, and I think, 'Oh my gosh, I can't believe my mother didn't bar the door!'" she laughs. "I'm shocked nobody said, 'How are you going to support yourself?' 'Where are you going to go?' But nobody stood in my way. I think they knew it was part of my destiny, because they'd seen me performing for years and years."
"What happened," says Joel, picking up the story, "is we flew out to L.A. and we went to David Geffen's house, hoping to be the group that was going to launch his new label, Asylum Records. He was an up-and-coming guy in the business and we thought he would be a good person to hook up with. But it ended up not working out. He told us we could go down and play music by the pool for a minute, but he wasn't really interested."
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