A change of location brought singer/songwriter Ryan Downe to the attention of one of the ‘70s biggest pop stars. When he moved from Los Angeles to London in 1993, Downe met a new fan: Elton John. It was actually John's manager John Reid who saw Downe first at an acoustic gig for the Roxbury in L.A. Reid introduced Downe to John, but Downe wasn't confident about his musical skills yet. John became a mentor figure to Downe, providing him with advice about writing lyrics and coping with being a rock musician under the media spotlight. He eventually signed with John's label Rocket and released The Hypocrite in 1996. Critics loved the album; however, it received hardly any radio exposure in the U.S. The dark-humored video of "Where Am I Gonna Run To" – featuring Downe trying various methods of suicide – landed him airplay on MTV's alternative powerhouse 120 Minutes, but it didn't translate into record sales. Downe then toured with the Who and Iggy Pop. Wanting to help underground musicians in the San Francisco area, Downe and his guitarist Johannes Luley opened Freudenhaus Recording Studio. Downe received a Grammy nomination for engineering Los Amigos Invisibles' Arepa 3000: A Venezuelan Journey Into Space in 2000.
Share this page