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Gene Eugene

Name:Gene Eugene
Birth Name:Gene Andrusco
Born:April 6, 1961 in Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada
Died:March 20, 2000 (aged 38) in Huntington Beach, California, U.S.
Instruments:Voice, Guitar, Keyboards
Occupation:Record producer, Singer-songwriter
Years Active:1982–2000
Associated Acts:Adam Again, Lost Dogs, The Swirling Eddies

Gene “Eugene” Andrusco (April 6, 1961–March 20, 2000) was a Canadian born actor, record producer, engineer, composer and musician. Andrusco was best known as the leader of the funk/rock band Adam Again, a member of The Swirling Eddies (credited as Prickly Disco) and as a founding member of the roots music super-group Lost Dogs.

Acting

Andrusco was a child actor who appeared in such programs as Bewitched (where he played young “Darrin Stevens”), The Screaming Woman (TV Movie), Gidget Gets Married (TV Movie), Jake and the Fatman, The Bold Ones and Cannon. Eugene was also a voice actor, lending his voice to several animated series, including Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, The Barkleys and The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan (1972-1974). (Ironically, he is quoted in the liner notes to the Terry Scott Taylor/Daniel Amos/The Swirling Eddies compilation Miracle Faith Telethon as saying, “Sorry guys, I don't do voices.”)

Music

Many years later, Gene would form a funk/rock band called Adam Again and become the owner of The Green Room recording studios in Huntington Beach, California. Gene recorded and produced hundreds of albums at The Green Room including albums by the Aunt Bettys, The Choir, Daniel Amos, Michael Knott, The Waiting, Crystal Lewis, Plankeye, Starflyer 59, and others.

In 1987, Eugene, Ojo Taylor and another investor formed Brainstorm Artists International (B.A.I.), which became an important label in the development of the West Coast alternative music scene. Though the record label focused primarily on modern rock artists, B.A.I also released significant contributions from early rap and hip-hop artists like Dynamic Twins and Freedom of Soul. It was also at this time that Eugene discovered future Myrrh Records artist Anointed and went on to produce their first few albums.

In 1990, Eugene joined the rock band The Swirling Eddies, where he was known as “Prickly Disco”. The following year, Gene, along with Terry Scott Taylor, Derri Daugherty, and Michael Roe, formed the alt-country super-group, the Lost Dogs. He also produced for soul/R&B pioneer Jon Gibson on the album Love Education.

Gene Andrusco died in his sleep on March 20, 2000 in his studio. Friends said that Eugene hadn't been feeling well in recent weeks and complained of headaches the day before his death. Eugene divorced singer Riki Michele in 1994, but the two remained close until the time of his death.

Various Production/Recording Credits

  • Everything Is Now, The Holidays, 1988, Producer
  • Outdoor Elvis, The Swirling Eddies, 1989, Mixing, Engineer, Vocals, Guitars and Keyboards
  • World Theatre, World Theatre, 1989, Producer, Mixing
  • Live Bootleg '82, Daniel Amos, 1990, Final Mix Engineer
  • Wonderama, Randy Stonehill, 1991, Executive Producer
  • Grieve, Sincerely Paul, 1991, Mixing
  • Kalhöun, Daniel Amos, 1992, Engineer
  • MotorCycle, Daniel Amos, 1993, Piano & Engineer
  • Forum, Undercover, 1994, Engineer, Mixing, Executive Producer
  • Drowning with Land in Sight, The 77s, 1994, Executive Producer
  • Bibleland, Daniel Amos, 1994, Piano, Mixing, Engineer, Executive Producer
  • Eve, Over the Rhine, 1994, various recording and mixing
  • Zoom Daddy, The Swirling Eddies, 1994, Mixing, Engineer, Guitar, Vocals and Keyboards
  • Tom Tom Blues, The 77s, 1995, Executive Producer
  • Songs of the Heart, Daniel Amos, 1995, Keyboards, Mixing, Engineer, Executive Producer
  • Sacred Cows, The Swirling Eddies, 1996, Mixing, Engineer, Guitars, Vocals and Keyboards
  • Aunt Bettys, Aunt Bettys, 1996, Producer, Engineer
  • Missile Toe, Pspazz, 1996, Producer, Engineer, Mixing
  • Americana, Starflyer 59, 1997, Producer, vibraphone, organ
  • The Fashion Focus, Starflyer 59, 1998, Producer, keyboards, bass guitar
  • John Wayne, Terry Scott Taylor, 1998, Mixing, Keyboards
  • Simulcast, Kosmos Express, 1998, Producer
  • Everybody Makes Mistakes, Starflyer 59, 1999, Producer, keyboards
  • Cush, Cush, 2000
  • When Worlds Collide: A Tribute to Daniel Amos, Various Artists, 2000, Engineer
  • Imaginarium: Songs from the Neverhood, Terry Scott Taylor, 2002/2004, Recording and Mixing, Bass, Keyboards, WahWah, Percussion

Influence and Tributes

  • In July 2000, several artists joined together with Eugene's old band Adam Again, to pay tribute to the artist at the Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell, Illinois. Performers including The Choir's Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong, The 77s' Michael Roe, Michael Knott, Riki Michele and others performed over two hours of Eugene's music. The show was recorded and released as a 2 CD set the following year.
  • Also in 2000, The Choir recorded “Hey Gene,” a song written about their friend, for their Flap Your Wings album.
  • In 2001, Daniel Amos released their 2 CD album, Mr. Buechner's Dream, which included a song written about Eugene entitled “Flash In Your Eyes.”
  • Also in 2001, Northern Records released a tribute album called A Live Tribute Recording For Gene Eugene, which featured artists like Starflyer 59, Dead Artist Syndrome, The Violet Burning, Undercover, Michael Knott, Steve Hindalong, The Altar Boys and The Prayer Chain.
  • Additionally in 2001, Hip-Hop artist Peace 586 dedicated his album 586 to Gene Eugene, with the song “You Here”, featuring Sup the Chemist, as a tribute. Peace 586 considered Mr. Eugene a great friend and mentor.
  • In 2002, the rock band Jars of Clay recorded one of Eugene's songs, entitled “Dig”, for their Furthermore - From The Studio: From The Stage album (included on their 2007 Sony 2CD-release The Essential Jars of Clay as well),
  • Also, in 2002, singer-songwriter and session-musician Richard Swiftrecorded Eugene's song “Jimmy” for his 7“ entitled Buildings in America. “Jimmy” was originally featured at Lost Dogs second album Little Red Riding Hood.
  • “Jimmy” was also recorded by Jesse Sprinkle (Poor Old Lu) on his 2006 solo release The Corner of an Unlit World (Blind Record).
  • In 2004, for the 20th anniversary of the Cornerstone Festival, a DVD was released entitled 20 Years and Counting, which includes a tribute to several artists that regularly performed at Cornerstone and had recently died, including Eugene, Mark Heard, Vince Ebo and Rich Mullins.
  • In 2005, Daniel Amos released their DVD documentary, The Making of Mr. Buechner's Dream. The video, shot mostly in Eugene's Green Room studio during the recording of the band's Mr. Buechner's Dream CD, includes a tribute to the late friend and engineer. Archive footage of Eugene in the studio is also shown.
  • In 2007, Daniel Amos released a second documentary DVD chronicling the band's history entitled Instruction Through Film. At one point in the film, during the band's time with Brainstorm Artists International, a short clip of Eugene mixing a Riki Michele song in at the Green Room is seen.