Talas, a power trio with Dave Constantino on guitar and Paul Varga on drums. The band played a mixture of cover songs and original material, and all three instrumentalists alternated on lead vocals. Talas was one of Buffalo's most popular local bands for over a decade, arguably attaining cult status which spread into the northeast US and into Canada. In 1978, Talas released their eponymous debut album, which generated the regional hit single, "See Saw".
Talas was one of Buffalo's most popular local bands for over a decade, arguably attaining cult status which spread into the northeast US and into Canada. In 1978, Talas released their eponymous debut album, which generated the regional hit single, "See Saw". It was during this time that Sheehan wrote some of his most famous songs, namely "Shy Boy" (later re-recorded with David Lee Roth), and the complex and frenetic "Addicted to that Rush" (later re-recorded with Mr Big).
Talas' first national exposure happened in 1980, when they opened thirty shows for Van Halen. However, success was elusive, and even as their brand of what came to be known as "glam metal" gained popularity over the next few years, Talas remained an unsigned act, due largely to poor management. They independently released their debut eponymous "Talas" LP on Evenfall Records (reissued by Metal Blade) and then "Sink Your Teeth Into That" on Relativity Records.
Seeking to take Talas further than just regional success, Sheehan reformed Talas with another drummer (Mark Miller), guitarist (Mitch Perry, also later of Heaven), and a dedicated vocalist, Phil Naro, with whom in the late 1970s Sheehan had previously worked in his side project (the Billy Sheehan Band). Talas would release only one more album, Live Speed on Ice. After Mitch Perry left the band, he was replaced by Johnny Angel, who played guitar with them for their 1985/86 US tour opening for Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force. There was a fourth Talas record, tentatively titled "Lights, Camera, Action" to be issued on Gold Mountain/A&M, but it never got past the demo stage due to Sheehan leaving to join David Lee Roth's solo band. Talas did briefly continue on under Phil Naro sans Sheehan, enlisting Jimmy Degrasso on drums, Al Pitrelli on guitar and Bruno Ravel on bass, but by this time Talas was dead.
Sheehan has recently reunited the original Talas trio for a few shows here and there as well as the live CD If We Only Knew Then, issued on Metal Blade. ("Sink Your Teeth Into That" and "Live Speed On Ice" were combined and re-released as the CD Billy Sheehan: The Talas Years on Relativity Records.)
On 2006 December 23, Sheehan sat in with the Dave Constantino Band at Club Impact in Buffalo. Johnny Angel was the solo opening act for the evening.