Berlin, one of the most successful and influential bands to emerge out of the Orange County music scene, will headline at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on Friday night, Nov. 28.
Terri Nunn, lead singer of the techno-pop group that formed in Orange County in the late 1970s and rose to international fame in the early 1980s, reflected in a recent e-mail interview how much she enjoys returning here to perform.
"Orange County had a very open ear to new music and still does," noted Nunn, who now lives in the Los Angeles area.
"The people there were situated in an area that could get two extremely influential stations, KROQ in Pasadena and 91X in San Diego; both amazing stations for new, cutting-edge music. So we had an audience and two radio stations willing to take a chance on us. Without you guys, we would never have happened. There is nothing like playing your hometown and I am honored to get the opportunity to play for the people of Orange County especially."
Berlin's first release with Nunn on vocals was 1982's "Pleasure Victim," a seven-song disc that featured a number of groundbreaking new wave tracks, including "The Metro," "Masquerade" and the controversial "Sex (I'm A …)."
"Sonically, we were inspired by the European synthesizer bands Kraftwerk and Ultravox, and found other musicians to work with who felt like we did," Nunn explained. "It took writing and arranging a lot of songs to find the right balance of sounds that became the Berlin sound. I would have to say it was 'The Metro' that finally defined it for us. When we finished that, all of us were literally, "Wow! That's what we want the rest of this record to be like!'"
When Berlin hits the stage in San Juan Capistrano on Nov. 28, fans can expect to hear many of the tracks off "Pleasure Victim," as well as subsequent hits such as "No More Words" and "Take My Breath Away," the latter from the 1986 movie "Top Gun."
Although Berlin disbanded in 1987, Nunn reformed the group in 1999 and since has seen acclaim and recognition for the important musical outfit only grow. In addition of 2002's "Voyeur" focusing on new material, Berlin's full-length 2005 effort "4play" featured the band delivering a number of energetic covers of tracks such as Prince's "Erotic City" and David Bowie's "Fashion."
Nunn says fans of Berlin can look forward to several new projects she is working on that should see the light of day in 2009.
"A new album is happening, and it doesn't have a title yet. But I am very excited by the new writers I am working with now. It is still very electronic, with a little goth edge at times. There is also a concert event I'm putting together called 'Girls Night Out.' I am bringing together the best women artists in music today to sing not just on the same bill, but sing together. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event and I am thrilled," Nunn said.
Nunn said she is thrilled to still be performing with Berlin, almost 30 years after bassist John Crawford saw her ad placed in the Musician's Contact Service in Hollywood in which she said she was looking to sing in a "unique" band.
"I am very fortunate to still be able to do this as my job," Nunn acknowledged.
"I enjoy it more now than I ever did. Someone asked me the other day, when in my career did I finally feel I could sing? God, it took me 10 years just to feel like I had a tiny handle on it. … Now I feel like back at the beginning when I sang for fun, without an agenda. I can create whatever I want, and now I get to do it without being so freaked out all the time. It pays to stick with something."