About Us – BIO

Barely Pink Promo Photo
Few things are without precedent, and rock ‘n’ roll bands are no exception. Initially inspired by the masterful pop sounds of Cheap Trick, Brian Wilson, and Todd Rundgren, Barely Pink — named after a lipstick color referenced in that touchstone of kitsch, Valley of the Dolls — plays exceedingly tuneful irony-free power pop rock ‘n’ roll that compels the listener to sing along at the top of their lungs, whether alone in the car or at a standing-room-only concert. Vocalist Brian Merrill, bassist Michael Hoag, guitarists Dan LaJoy and Mark Warren are now joined by a long-time friend of the band on drums and vocals. You may know him as a Ninja Turtle, a Colonial scientist, a Sharknado chaser, or maybe even a cousin to the Bradys. Robbie Rist and Barely Pink first crossed paths more than 20 years ago via the then-burgeoning late ‘90s/early 2000s power pop scene, sharing bills at festivals around the US. Now a Tampa Bay resident, multi-instrumentalist Robbie brings a seasoned perspective and infectious enthusiasm to rehearsal, recording, and performances.

Starduster, Barely Pink’s five-song EP (with three, count ’em, three bonus tracks!), was self-released in 1995, quickly attracting the attention of regional and national media. “One of the punchiest, hookiest, grooviest combos that these pop-lovin’ ears have heard in, oh, the last decade or so,“ raved Goldmine, tome of all things recorded and collectible. “(The songs are) great from start to finish, packed with lotsa fiery guitar, swell harmonies, and streamlined melodies. Barely Pink currently stands poised at the brink of power pop greatness.” Two full-length CDs followed, 1997’s numberonefan and Elli’s Suitcase the following year, available stateside through noted pop purveyor Not Lame Recordings and in Japan by JVC/Victor, at the time record label of power pop legends Cheap Trick. Concurrent compilation appearances included Full Circle: A Tribute to Gene Clark (Not Lame/USA), What The World Needs Now: A Tribute To Burt Bacharach (Big Deal/USA), and Pop Gun 2000 (Screaming Apple/Germany) along with many other salutes to artists such as Cheap Trick, Elvis Costello, and Enuf Z’nuff. Barely Pink’s songs have been featured in broadcasts by such diverse outlets as the XGames on ESPN, the Disney Channel, and the Tokyo Broadcasting System. In the summer of 2000, the band made their third consecutive appearance at the International Pop Overthrow, the prestigious pop-oriented music festival held annually in Los Angeles, New York City, Nashville, and the UK. Last Day Of Summer, the band’s third full-length release, was partly recorded at Tampa’s Morrisound Studios with Tom Morris (Seven Mary Three, Steve Morse Band, The Crow soundtrack, among many other credits) co-producing with the band.

Some nice things people have said …

“The band makes catchy pop-rock, rich in grabby hooks, woo woo harmonies and chiming guitars that capture a wide-eyed innocence of bygone days … bright harmonies on top and gritty rock ‘n’ roll underneath … the Bay’s own pop colossus … kinda like Big Star meets Urge Overkill by way of ELO with a little Ramones on top.”

- Weekly Planet

(now Creative Loafing)

“Barely Pink pays homage to Alex Chilton/Big Star and other pure pop icons by merging melodic, wide-open chord changes with soulful vocals and lead fills.”

- Focus Magazine

“Barely Pink is one of the punchiest, hookiest, grooviest combos that these pop-lovin’ ears have heard in, oh, the last decade or so.”

- Goldmine Magazine

“If my body has stopped moving to Barely Pink’s tunes, I’d only have had to assume that I’d been struck by sudden paralysis.”

- Ink 19


536 25th avenue north
st. petersburg, florida 33704

Call Us

(727) 686-1916