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Lover's Lane

Cleveland, 1975-77

When Lover's Lane was formed by some top veteran Cleveland musicians, there was a lot of hope they would hit it big. One member did, but let's not jump ahead yet. 

The band was formed from the demise of Bluestone with singer A.J. Robey, one of Cleveland's best front men, joined with guitarist (later bassist) Neil Giraldo (from Parma) and drummer Tommy Amato. It wasn't long before they were getting top club gig, including the Viking Saloon, and writeups in the paper. The band lasted for about a year and a half, during which they had talks with several labels and management companies, but nothing ever happened. Lover's Lane recorded a couple songs with the goal of making a 45 but that was never released. 

Neil Giraldo tried out, and won, the job to play with Rick Derringer, who was pretty popular in Cleveland and played there fairly often. It's not clear if Lover's Lane was still active when this happened. Giraldo and Derringer clashed, supposedly because Giraldo was upstaging him, and so he was let go after about a year. He was playing a New York club, Catch A Rising Star, where he was seen by producer Mike Chapman and asked to work with Pat Benatar, a singer that Chapman had signed and was trying to assemble a band around. The chemistry between Giraldo and Benatar was immediate and they have been together, and married, ever since. 

A. J. Robey is deceased. Some attempts to make the Lovers Lane recordings available have been repeatedly rejected. Prior Lover's Lane, Robey and Giraldo had been in a short lived band that was formed by Ray Benich of Damnation of Adam Blessing, with Jim Printer on drums. This band made a home recording of a song called "Punk Loose in Gangland" that has been circulating.