Doug Khazzam

Today

 

 

 

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?

 

 

Yesterday

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 career!" 

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 America’s earliest Punk Rock bands, The Alan Milman Sect (one of who’s songs was later covered by Urge Overkill)

and later (1978) Man-Ka-zaM.

 

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 "Buddy Love".

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 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 Love".
 
 
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 Beatles".

 

 
 
 
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
 
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    Building on his time alone in his home studio, Doug and long time friend Gary Feldman began writing and recording songs and in 1997 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!

     

  • Reviewed on Listen.com

    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 saxophone/guitar/keyboard player Sam Powell to help round out their sound and continue to appear at clubs in New York City and vicinity.

    Since their reunion they have released two CD's, 2007's "Now... and Then"

     

    and their latest, Buddy Love (2011).

     

     

    Doug Khazzam with Buddy Love NOW!

    and then...

     
     
     
     
     
     

    For a complete Doug Khazzam discography click here!

    2012 Doug Khazzam

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