Doug Khazzam is the songwriter and leader of
the 1980's Power Pop group Buddy Love. The group reformed in 2006 with
all of it's original members and have been recording and appearing in the New York City
area ever since. But who is Doug Khazzam?
Doug grew up in the
1960's in the Long Island town of Baldwin, NY.
As a kid he was always a huge fan of music and at a young age was blessed with a singing voice which
impressed his first grade teacher. So much in fact, that she took him to every class
in the school to sing! His father Joe was not so impressed and made a
point of not allowing any musical instruments in the house saying,
"musicians have a terrible life and no son of mine will have that kind of
By the time he turned sixteen
Joe could not stop him from picking up a guitar and learning how to
play it and by the age of twenty (1977) he was co-founder of two of Americas
The Alan Milman Sect (one of whos songs was
later covered by Urge Overkill)
and later (1978)
During that two year period
Doug and Alan appeared at many of the New York City punk rock Clubs (CBGB's,
Max's Kansas City, The 80's, Great Gildersleeves) as The Alan
Milman Sect or Man-Ka-zaM, where he innocently
played his guitar all the while getting a Pop
music education of all eras and genres
from Alan (who was and still is a walking encyclopedia of music). During that time Doug became heavily influenced by
60's music and especially British Invasion and late 70's
"New Wave" like Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson.
By 1979 Doug and Alan began
to tire of their "punk rock parodies" and began writing the songs that would eventually be used for their Power POP! Project
- They moved their base of operation from
Long Island to New York City, placed an ad in The Village Voice Musician's
Classified section and eventually found charismatic lead vocalist Joey Kelly,
drummer extraordinaire Rich "Starr" Stirrat and bassist Scott Nevin
"Killer" Schiller, and in 1980 recorded and released the
single "Sheila b/w Party Girl" which enjoyed much airplay on the New York radio
station WNEW-FM by DJ Vince Scelsa.
- Tensions rose within the group during 1980
and soon vocalist Joey Kelly left the group due to these internal pressures.
Doug took over lead vocals but by 1981 both Scott and Rich followed suit. Undaunted, Doug and Alan reformed with their Man-Ka-zaM
rhythm section; Brett Rizzo on bass and Rob Wise on drums, and in 1982 recorded
the self titled album "Buddy
- This lp received
rave reviews in Power Pop circles in and around New York and
Los Angeles. It helped set the tone for "DIY" musicians of the era and was mentioned in John Borack's book "Shake Some Action,
The Ultimate Power Pop Guide".
- After the artistic success but financial
failure of that album, Buddy Love (again!) broke up and this time so did
the songwriting partnership of Doug and Alan. Doug (again!)
reformed the band, this time with bassist and vocalist extraordinaire Hugh
Carroll and original! drummer Rich "Starr" Stirrat from the Sheila era
version of Buddy Love, who together brought the band closer to Doug's vision of a "Post Modern
- By the mid 80's the lure of suburbia called and Doug joined the married, mortgaged and settled
life of a working guy on Long Island. Music however was never far from his
thoughts and eventually he began writing and recording songs in his
basement studio for his own amusement. A collection of these songs recorded between 1989 and 1995
was eventually assembled on the home produced CD called
- Doug Khazzam TODAY!
Building on his time alone in his home
studio, Doug and long time friend Gary
Feldman began writing and recording songs and in 1977 formed "Radio Flyer" with Doug's Buddy Love band mate Rich
"Starr" Stirrat contributing drum tracks. They soon had to change their name to RC Flyers
when the Radio Flyer Corporation threatened to sue! but that didn't stop
them from making some great jangly, Byrds-y, Beatle-y POP!
Doug spent the beginning of the
new millennium working on his dream project, that of resurrecting Buddy Love.
He finally convinced Rich and Hugh to reform and play around the Long Island
area during 2003 and 2004.
Eventually Doug decided to go back
to the source, finding and convincing all of the ORIGINAL Buddy Love members
from 1980 (Joey, Rich and Scott) to reform in 2006. More recently the
group added Keyboard player Dave Stoler to help round out their sound.
They are currently appearing in the New York Area.
Since their reunion they have
released two CD's, 2007's "Now... and Then"
and their latest, Buddy Love (2011).
Doug Khazzam NOW!
complete Doug Khazzam discography click here!
©2012 Doug Khazzam