Steve Brown

Trixter, Stereo Fallout
Original Floyd Rose

This heavy-hitting electric guitarist is best known for his recordings with the band Trixter. A later unit he led on his own, 40 Ft. Ringo, seems to have been lost in the shuffle of bands with names in which measurements play an important part. Trixter got something of a reputation in the late '80s and early '90s with radio hits such as the demanding "Give It to me Good," the unusual "One in a Million," and the highly accommodating "Surrender." Originally formed in 1983, the New Jersey-based band enjoyed a period of heavy video rotation on MTV. Then, however, there was something of a change in rock fashion. New, heavier yet more naturalistic bands such as Pearl Jam and especially Nirvana made the entire concept of groups such as Trixter irrelevant.

This shift in rock styles, lamented by many listeners as the beginning of the end of non-commercial punk, was the end of the end for bands of the Trixter ilk, considered as hopelessly unfashionable as a Rod Stewart shag -- the haircut, that is. Within a couple of years the Trixter band would trick no more, its second major label album released with scant hype or promo. Brown and former band partner P.J. Farley put together 40 Ft. Ringo as an attempt at re-establishing themselves in the new, hardly improved music industry. The guitarist has described the new group in various interviews as hard pop, heavy melody, and melodic hard rock. Naming the Beatles as an important influence, Brown also admits the band name came from a chance comment at a screening of one of the Fab Four's films, when the charismatic drummer filled the wide screen with a close-up. The guitarist dabbles with producing unsigned artists in his studio and also does both commercial jingle and film soundtrack work. He is quite adept at slide guitar and has adopted this style along with its acoustic variants such as dobro into a style of music more associated with the string-bending whammy bar.