b. San Francisco, California, USA. Forsaking an early experience as an actor, Loney turned to music during the folk boom of the early 60s. Impressed by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, he later formed the Chosen Few, a high school band which evolved into the Flamin’ Groovies. Loney’s voice and compositions provided the focal point for this cult-favourite act during its early history, but internal tension led to his departure in 1971. Roy then retired from professional music until 1977 when various ex-colleagues backed him on Artistic As Hell, an EP invoking the artist’s love of classic rockabilly. The following year he formed the Phantom Movers with James Ferrell (guitar) and Danny Mihm (drums), plus two further ex-Groovies’ alumni, Larry Lea (guitar) and Maurice Tani (bass). Out After Dark fully captured the spirit and style of the singer’s former group and was the subject of critical acclaim. Despite innumerable changes in personnel, Loney continued to pursue his unique blend of 50s rock ‘n’ roll and tongue-in-cheek humour through successive, often excellent albums and a powerful stage show. The singer disbanded his backing group in 1981 following the artistic failure of Contents Under Pressure, a flawed ‘power pop’ experiment. A second period of retirement ended with the release of Scientific Bombs Away, which also marked the reinstatement of the ‘Phantom Movers’ name. Although denied widespread popularity, Loney has nonetheless retained a small, but highly loyal, following.
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