Jeffrey Salen guitarist on Sparks Big Beat album

Jeffrey Salen guitar player with Sparks and Tuff Darts
Guitarist Jeffrey "Jeff" Salen in 1976
Sparks "Big Beat" Album
Jeffrey Salen, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter was present at the earliest inception of the "new wave" scene in NYC. Jeffrey was 18 years old-going to the school of "Art & Design" in New York City. He found himself in the "Mercer Arts Center" scene playing guitar with Wayne (Jayne) County & The Backstreet Boys (with Marky Ramone on drums) on Mainman label. At time Jeffrey Salen completely admired the New York Dolls and he patterned his guitar playing after Johnny Thunders.
Jeff Salen was also a founding member of New York legendary band Tuff Darts and he penned the classic anthem “All For The Love Of Rock ‘n’ Roll” which has been recorded by metal legends Lemmy Kilminster's Motorhead.

In July 1976 Ron & Russell Mael with bassist Sal Maida and drummer Hilly Boy Michaels did pre-production work for "Big Beat" with guitarist Mick Ronson. Mick Ronson was considered for the album but he finally declined so Sal Maida brought in Tuff Darts Jeff Salen to play guitar on what became the "Big Beat" Lp on Columbia Records.
After the album release Jeff Salen didn't toured North America with the band and was replaced by guitarists Jimmy McAllister & Luke Zamperini. Those can be seen alongside The Maels in the "Rollercoaster" movie. -
read more about the movie...

Active in many studio sessions, Jeff Salen was featured on many projects and has appeared on numerous recordings alongside such luminaries as Robert Gordon, Rockin’ Rob Stoner (Bob Dylan), Bobby Chouinard (Billy Squier), guitarist Chris Spedding, producer Bob Clearmountain (The Pretenders, Rolling Stones), Eric Weisberg, Ralph Shucket (Todd Rundgren's Utopia), Lew DelGatto (Saturday Night Live Band), Danny Gatton, Anton Fig, Gary Tallent (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band), Michael Shrieve (Carlos Santana), Jon Paris, Tony Garnier (Bob Dylan), John Morelli (Cyndi Lauper), Ian Hunter (Mott the Hoople), Kenny Ashby (Herbie Hancock, Rick Derringer), Tommy Mandel (Tina Turner, Dire Straits, Bryan Adams) and many more...

Jeffrey Salen is a punk pioneer who plays the blues brilliantly. Today he still performs with the Tuff Darts, and also solo with the Tuff Jeff Salen band. Jeffrey Salen has recently released a solo album which is called "The Endless Road" and Thomas "Tommy Ramone" Erdelyi (previously Ramones drummer) plays lead guitar on it ! Jeff Salen's "The Endless Road" Cd is available on Fountainbleu Entertainment Records. Jeff Salen also appears in the new book “On the Road With the Ramones” by Monte Melnick and Frank Meyer as well as “The Rise and Fall of Blondie” by Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Victor Bockris.

Jeff Salen - Tuff Darts Cd album reissue
Tuff Darts Cd album reissue
Jeffrey Salen's first band

Tuff Darts Story : While the Ramones, Patti Smith, Television, and the Dead Boys were the biggest names to emerge from the first wave of New York's punk rock explosion in the mid- to late '70s, dozens of other bands were also making the scene at CBGB's and Max's Kansas City at the time, and Tuff Darts were among the first to make their mark.
Playing tough-minded rock with pop hooks, hard rock riffs, and more than a little retro style, Tuff Darts first began making a noise on the New York club scene in the early '70s, where their punchy sound and suit-and-tie image earned them gigs opening for the New York Dolls.
The band's original lineup was Robert Gordon on vocals, Jeffrey Salen & Bob Butant on guitars, John DeSalvo on bass, and James Morrison on drums; this edition of the band made its recording debut with three tracks on the 1976 compilation album "Live at CBGB's", though before long vocalist Robert Gordon would move on to a well-respected solo career as a rockabilly revivalist.

Tuff Jeff Salen "The Endless Road" - Salen's new release
Jeffrey Salen "The Endless Road"
Tuff Jeff Salen's new release

Robert Gordon's departure was soon followed by drummer Jim Morrison, who was replaced by John Morelli who recruited a new singer for the group, Tommy Frenzy. With Frenzy at the helm, Tuff Darts scored a deal with Sire Records and released their self-titled debut album in 1978, which was produced by Bob Clearmountain and Tony Bongiovi and featured guest appearances from Ian Hunter and Eric Weissberg. A nationwide tour followed the album's release, but after returning to New York, Tommy Frenzy announced he was leaving the band and it wasn't long before Tuff Darts broke up.
In November 2002 when the Tuff Darts' album with Jeffrey Salen was re-released on Sire/Wounded Bird Records. Tommy Frenzy, Jeff Salen, John DeSalvo & Jim Morrison celebrated the occasion by reuniting for a handful of shows; Tommy Frenzy continues to perform with this Tuff Darts lineup, as well as recording and gigging as a solo act. (main source : Mark Deming, All Music Guide)
Tuff Jeff Salen's Official site

Sparks Live at The Bottom Line NYC

Sparks Live At The Bottom Line. After the release of the "Big Beat" album Sparks toured North America with a slightly change of the line-up - David Swanson on bass guitar, Luke Zamperini & Jimmy McAllister on guitars and Hilly Boy Michaels still on drums. During winter '76 Sparks played a memorable gig at "The Bottom Line" club, NYC. Sparks played two evenings at Greenwitch Village. The Sparks performance was recorded December 21st 1976. Later this tape from the sound board turned up on a scarce live bootleg. Eleven songs were recorded, mainly tracks from "Big Beat", so on this album "real" live versions of "Big Boy" & "Fill'er Up" can be heard... - read more...

Sparks became a British band
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Sparks Propaganda album

Most informations regarding Jeffrey Salen
were obtained from Jeff's official website :

Informations regarding Tuff Darts
were obtained from Mark Deming and Jim Morrison : /

Additional infos from Peter Greenwitch, photo courtesy of Jim Morrison

©2006 by XAVIER LORENTE-DARRACQ / GRAPHIK DESIGNS - FRANCE duplication strictly prohibited