When I was ready to start directing Comboland music videos (1980), the one band I decided to focus on was Arrogance. They were THE band in Raleigh and had a great Pop sensibility. But they were signed to a major record label and out of my league, as well as touring the US. But I kept watching them and tried to figure a way to work with them. Instead I had to prove myself with videos for other artists. By the end of 1981 I had become friends with Arrogance and was trying to figure a way to shoot some sort of video on the band.
Arrogance formed at the height of the Hippie era (1969) in the dorms of UNC at Chapel Hill. By 1975 they had released two albums (Give Us A Break and Prolepsis) and had caught the attention of the major labels, which brought about the album Rumors for Vanguard Records.
Their fourth album Suddenly came out in 1980 on another major label, Curb/Warner Bros. as well as adding Rod Abernethy to the line-up. This album was being played to death on WQDR, to the point where I thought their song TAXI was a national hit. It wasn't but it should have been!
By the end of 1981 I had directed videos for The Fabulous Knobs and a Robert Kirkland protégé band, Luky Owens & Revolver. I had now become a member of the Comboland 'in crowd' as well as getting the attention of Arrogance. Unfortunately by this time, they had left their label and next released a Live album on local record label, Moonlight Records. Entitled Lively, this album meant there was no possibility for me to produce a video.
1981 and 1982 found singles released from the band and that is where I finally discovered my opportunity. December 1982 Tony Madejczyk and I were able to schedule Arrogance on the WPTF-TV kids show, Barney's Army. By the following autumn I started production on the B-side of their single, for the song WHERE ARE YOU BABY?. Sadly, it took a while to finish the video due to the small budget and lack of beggable post production favors on my part. By the time the video was finished, so was Arrogance. SOUTHSIDE GIRL and WHERE ARE YOU BABY? were to be released on their next album, which never happened. The tracks for this final album became scattered throughout solo efforts. It would later come out ten years later on CD as the album 5'11".
As much as the band had broken up, Don Dixon had worked his way into becoming a top-notch record Producer. He and Mitch Easter's teamwork in promoting their love of Jangle-Pop changed the sound of the Pop charts nationally and internationally. Don and Mitch would produce R.E.M., as well as Don handling production for artists such as Richard Barone, Kim Carnes, the Connells, Marshall Crenshaw, Guadalcanal Diary, Hootie & the Blowfish, In Tua Nua, Marti Jones, Tommy Keene, Let's Active, James McMurtry, the Reivers, the Smithereens, Chris Stamey, and Matthew Sweet, among many, many others. Don has also released a long list of great solo albums. I remember an excited phone call from Tony Madejczyk in 1985, "Dixon's PRAYING MANTIS is a hit in Sweden!" I wound up spending some time with Don again in 2004 while he was with The Hanging Chad (story below).
Meanwhile, Rod has taken over the old Audiofonics studios were he has been creating some wonderful soundtracks for Hollywood movies, network and cable television programs and has really made a mark in soundtracks for video games, in particular, the Star Trek series.
Arrogance still keep in friendly contact with each other and will get together once a year. We can hope for a reunion summer 2008.