“Fergie” Frederiksen went on to play for TOTO.
Fergie Frederiksen was born Dennis Hardy Frederiksen May 15 th. 1951 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. His familiy emigrated from Denmark to the states more than 100 years ago. Even though Fergie is most known for being a former vocalist in TOTO, he has done a lot of other stuff too. Trillion, LeRoux, Frederiksen/Philips, Mecca and David London (solo album, under pseudonym) are some to mention. In 1999 he released his solo album Equilibrium to great reviews.
Fergie with his high pitching voice made his debut as a singer at an early age. Fergie started his musical career at the age of 13, and he played clubs and pubs at the age of 15 with musicians three times his own age! Fergie remembers those days as a great time of his life, and he tells us that he really learned a lot from his older playmates. Fergie realised by coinsidence that he could sing, and he therefore decided that he would try to make a living out of it…
Frederiksen moved to Chicago in 1975 and replaced Tommy Shaw in the band MS Funk. Tommy and Fergie had been friends and Shaw suggested Fergie as his replacement when he moved on to join Styx. Shortly after Fergie met Patrick Leonard and together they formed Trillion who was shortly picked up by Epic Records. After one record Fergie left the band and joined LeRoux, which he released an album with in 1983 (So fired up). In the meantime Fergie decided to move out to Los Angeles in 1980 and started to get involved in a lot of session work, through this he met bassplayer and producer Ricky Phillips. They build up a close friendship and they are still the best of friends. LeRoux totally cracked up as a band, and after this Fergie started a band with Phillips, drummer Pat Torpey, guitarist Tim Pierce, guitarist Scott Sheets and keboardplayer John Purdell. The band was called Abandon Shame.
Thats when Ricky Phillips gave a video to his friend Jeff Porcaro.
”And the next thing I know was that I was asked to join Toto who were looking for a new singer after the demise of Bobby Kimball” says Fergie and continues, ”Ricky and the other guys in Abandon Shame was very understanding as it was a huge chance to join Toto”. Fergie recorded ”Isolation” with Toto, ”It was a adventurous album” Fergie recalls, ” It was a band who took a chance of doing a album not in any way as commercial as their previous album, it was a album heavier and more progressive. But still to this day a great album.” Due to various reasons Fergie left Toto only after one album. Today Fergie feels nothing bad about his former playmates in TOTO, life is good for him anyway, so why should he? Fergie have made friends with his former bandmates again, and he joined them on stage to sing a few songs in the US in early May 2007.
Fergie decided to put away the microphone for awhile. ” I was basically burnt out , not so much as for the music but more as for how the whole industry works and all this hassle and bullshit you have to deal with apart from doing good music”. After some years in the restaurant business, Fergie felt the passion for music again, and he recorded an album with his all time buddy Ricky Phillips (Frederiksen / Phillips), released in 1994. After this Fergie felt that he wanted to live for and by the music again, and he released his brilliant solo album ”Equilibrium” in 1999. Fergie is also a member of the ”The World Classic Rockers”, a band that plays a lot of hits from different musicians from former great bands, names to mention: Nick St. Nicholas (Steppenwolf), Michael Monarch (Steppenwolf), Alex Ligertwood (Santana), Randall Hall (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Aynsley Dunbar (Journey) and bandmembers Dave Coyle (guitar and vocals) and Steve Stewart (keyboard and vocals), and of course Fergie himself.
Fergie was also in the exciting band Mecca that recieved raving reviews worldwide for their first album released in 2002 entitled Mecca. He was a part of the band with his good friend Joe Vana, and David Hungate, the former bassplayer of Toto, to name a few. What will happen with Mecca is unsure, but Fergie will not continue his work with them.
Fergie is also working more and more with his great friend Tommy Denander, and an interesting project between the two of them was released in June 2007. Frederiksen-Denander with title name “Baptism By Fire” have recieved great reviews, order it online now! Fergie have been a part of all 3 Radioactive album that Tommy Denander have released, and they enjoyed it so much that it ended up with a complete album.
Fergie is involved in bringing awareness of Hepatitis C, a disease he has been struggling with himself. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States. Fergie have arranged benefit shows for the American Liver Foundation, with the cause of fighting Hep C. He went thru a succesful treatment in 2005, which he is fighting for other patients to recieve too.
Well, the future is once again bright and shiny for Fergie, so keep coming back to this site for all the action!
Fergie’s Official Website: http://fergiefrederiksen.com/
Dennis Hardy “Fergie” Frederiksen (born May 15, 1951, Grand Rapids, Michigan) is an American singer who was the lead vocalist for AOR bands Angel, Le Roux, and Toto in the 1980s. He got his start in the mid to late ’70s fronting Chicago pomp-rock bands MSFunk and Trillion and was also the background vocalist for Survivor. He contributed to hit singles in three consecutive years all with different bands: Survivor’s “American Heartbeat” in 1982, Le Roux’s “Carrie’s Gone” in 1983, and Toto’s “Stranger in Town” in 1984.
Frederiksen started his musical career at the age of 13, and he played clubs and pubs at the age of 15 with a group called the Common People in Grand Rapids, MI. In 1975, while he was still attending college at Central Michigan, Frederiksen was asked by his friend Tommy Shaw to replace him as the lead vocalist for the band MSFunk, formerly The Smoke Ring, as Shaw was leaving to join Styx. Frederiksen was with MSFunk for a year before disbanding in 1976. While living in Chicago, he joined another local band called Trillion, which included keyboardist Patrick Leonard. Trillion’s debut album was released in 1978 and was produced by Gary Lyons (co-producer of Foreigner’s debut album). The band went on to tour with Styx briefly, and Frederiksen left the band soon after. In later interviews, Frederiksen cited his having to commute back and forth between college and recording as the main reason for the departure.
After completing school, Frederiksen started focusing mainly on session work; primarily movie soundtracks. He sang two tracks – Samantha and Sound Of The City – on the Village People musical Can’t Stop The Music. He also recorded a solo album in 1981 with his friend Mark Christian under the alias of David London. The album landed in the hands of Angel keyboardist Greg Giuffria, and Frederiksen became the band’s new lead singer. It was in this line-up of Angel where Frederiksen met bassist Ricky Phillips. The two became long-time friends and have collaborated on many projects. This line-up never completed an official album, recording only three songs during band sessions. These tracks can be found on the Angel Rarities collection.
Frederiksen tried out for Kansas auditions in early part of 1982, but John Elefante eventually took over the lead vocal spot. It was around this time that Frederiksen was also considered as the new lead vocalist for the band Survivor by its founder Jim Peterik. Ultimately, the band stuck with original lead vocalist Dave Bickler, and Frederiksen provided background vocals. The band’s third album Eye of the Tiger was released in 1982, with Frederiksen credited simply as “Fergie”. It jumped to #2 on the Billboard charts and contained the #1 hit title song that was also the theme song to Rocky III. The album’s second single “American Heartbeat” also charted in the top 20.
Frederiksen eventually received a call from manager Budd Carr, who let Frederiksen know that Jeff Pollard had recently left Le Roux and a lead vocal spot had opened up. Frederiksen became Le Roux’s new front-man. “So Fired Up”, the band’s fifth album (recorded at Studio In The Country in Bogalusa, LA) was released in 1983. It included the hit song “Carrie’s Gone”, which Frederiksen wrote shortly after breaking up with then girlfriend Carrie Hamilton (Carol Burnett’s daughter). The band was dropped from RCA Records, but are still together and touring, and were recently inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, Frederiksen reunited with Ricky Phillips to start a brand new band called Abandon Shame. The band worked primarily on unreleased songs written by Greg Giuffria during the Angel sessions.
Phillips, who was friends with Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro, gave him a Frederiksen demo. The band invited Frederiksen to come audition for the lead spot. After edging out Eric Martin, he got the job, and the band recorded and released their fifth album Isolation in 1984. It included the hit song Stranger in Town and went Gold. After touring with Toto through 1985, Frederiksen left the band, mainly due to tensions with lead guitarist Steve Lukather.
After 11 years in the music industry, Frederiksen unofficially retired and started focusing on the restaurant business with his father. He returned to music in the mid-90s and released a solo album in 1999, later explaining, “I tried to do without it but I was miserable.” In 2002 he toured with Voices of Classic Rock.
In June 2010, Frederiksen announced he had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer.
- 1976: MSFunk: MSFunk**
- 1978: Trillion: Trillion
- 1980: David London: Can’t Stop the Music (sings on “Samantha” and “Sound of the City”)
- 1981: David London: David London
- 1981: Angel: Whips, Troubleshooter, and Should Have Known Better**(later songs appeared on White Sister’s albums)
- 1982: Survivor: Eye of the Tiger*
- 1983: Le Roux: So Fired Up
- 198?: Le Roux: AOR Live (Not released until 2000)
- 1983: Le Roux: Live 1983**
- 1984: Abandon Shame: Abandon Shame**
- 1984: Toto: Isolation
- 1984: Toto: Dune Soundtrack*
- 1985: Toto: Live at Castle Hall, Osaka, Japan**
- 1985: Toto: Live at Budokan, Tokyo, Japan**
- 1986: Toto: Fahrenheit* (sings on “Could This Be Love”)
- 1987: RTZ: RTZ**
- 1988: Karo: Heavy Birthday* (sings on “Ball of Fire”)
- 1995: Frederiksen/Phillips: Frederiksen/Phillips
- 1997: Joseph Williams: 3* (sings on “Goin’ Home”)
- 1999: Fergie Frederiksen: Equilibrium
- 1999: Fergie Frederiksen: Stockholm, SE**
- 2000: World Classic Rockers: World Classic Rockers Vol. 1
- 2001: Radioactive: Ceremony of Innocence
- 2002: Mecca: Mecca+1
- 2002: Voices of Classic Rock: Yongsan US Army Garrison, Seoul, KR**
- 2003: Radioactive: Yeah
- 2003: World Classic Rockers: World Classic Rockers Vol. 2
- 2004: AOR: Nothing But the Best
- 2005: Radioactive: Taken
- 2005: Northern Light: Northern Light
- 2007: Frederiksen/Denander: Baptism By Fire+1
- 2008: WCR: Toronto, CAN**
- 2009: Myland: No Man’s Land(Japanese bonus track)
- 2009: AOR: Journey to L.A.
- 2009: Scott LeDoux ALS Benefit: Elko New Market, MN**
-**indicates bootlegs or demos, *indicates background vocals
- ^ Endless Dreams Words “Interview with Japanese press in 1985 (in Japanese language)”, Retrieved on April 22, 2010.
- ^ Louisiana Music Hall of Fame “INDUCTEES-VIDEOS LeRoux #47 interviews Fergie-Jim-Leon-Rod 1982 “, Retrieved on April 25, 2010.
- ^ a b Louisiana Music Hall of Fame “INDUCTEES-VIDEOS LeRoux #48 LIVE performance and interview Fergie-Jim-Leon-Rod”, Retrieved on May 3, 2010.
- ^ “American Heartbeat” chart history, Billboard.com. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- ^ myspace Studio in the Country “Studio In The Country’s Photos”, Retrieved on April 28, 2010.
- ^ stevelukather.net “Todd Seely – Steve Lukather Monday 07 February 2005 09:20 by Arend In February 2005 Todd Seely of The Fuze, an online rock journal, talked to Lukather about the new Toto album, the good old session years, the music industry and more. Here are some striking quotes from that extra-ordinary interview., Retrieved on April 26, 2010.
- ^ Equilibrium overview, Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
- ^ a b Ritchie, Jason (2002). 10 Questions With…: Fergie Frederiksen, Get Ready to Rock!: The Website for Classic, Metal, & Progressive Rock.
- ^ antimusic.com Former Toto/Survivor Singer Diagnosed With Inoperable Cancer, Retrieved on June 22, 2010