LETTERS TO CLEO will reunite in November to perform four shows in three cities, their first performances since they disbanded in 2000. The group behind hits including "Awake" and "Here & Now" will play November 8 at The Roxy in Los Angeles, then December 8 and 9 at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston (where the band formed two decades ago). A New York date in December will be added soon. Original band members Kay Hanley (vocals), Greg McKenna and Michael Eisenstein (guitarists), and Stacy Jones (drums) will be joined for the reunion by bassist Joe Klompus (who plays in Hanley's solo band and has accompanied Tracy Bonham and Nina Gordon), replacing original bassist Scott Riebling.
Letters To Cleo emerged from the Boston college rock scene in the early 1990s, releasing two independent recordings, the SISTER EP in 1991 and AURORA GORY ALICE in 1993. The band signed with major label Giant Records, who re-released AURORA GORY ALICE in 1994 as the band enjoyed their first Billboard Hot 100 hit "Here & Now." Sophomore album WHOLESALE MEATS AND FISH was released in 1995, featuring another hit single, "Awake." The band's third and final LP was GO, released in 1997 by Giant subsidiary Revolution Records, followed by a reissue SISTER with new bonus tracks in 1998. Along the way, Letters To Cleo performed songs that were featured on the soundtracks to successful films The Craft and Jawbreaker, as well as 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, in which the band appears on-screen performing their covers of Nick Lowe's "Cruel To Be Kind" and Cheap Trick's "I Want You To Want Me."
Following the breakup of Letters To Cleo, Hanley released two solo albums. She provided the singing voice for Josie in the JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS movie, and has also made forays into children's entertainment, singing songs for the Disney Channel TV program " My Friends Tigger & Pooh" and the animated film Care Bears: Oopsy Does It! Eisenstein, who is married to Hanley, has recorded and performed on her solo albums, as well as backing Our Lady Peace and Lisa Loeb. Jones went on to play drums for Veruca Salt, and front the alternative rock band American Hi-Fi. Hanley and Jones recently took the stage together again as members of teen pop star Miley Cyrus's touring band -- Hanley as backing vocalist, Jones as drummer and musical director.
Eisenstein says of the band's unusual legacy: "The funniest thing about running our Myspace page is that the majority of our 'friends' were in preschool for the band's heyday. We played maybe 10 shows or so between the release of 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU and the breakup of the band, but that film has been a DVD/cable sleeper. There are tons of kids out there who think 'I Want You To Want Me' is our song! Most of them have no idea that we broke up nearly ten years ago."
The idea to reunite came after an impromptu reunion last winter at a benefit concert for an ill bartender at Boston night club T.T. The Bear's Place. Hanley, Eisenstein, McKenna and Jones were all in attendance, as was Klompus, who knew several Letters To Cleo songs from his performances with Hanley's solo band. Says Eisenstein, "As we took the stage, we could see people on their cell phones texting about what was about to happen -- it was a thrill. We busted through unrehearsed versions of 'Here & Now' and 'Awake.' We were excited, the crowd was excited, and from that point on, it just seemed like we should try to find a time to do it for real."