[Home] [Photo Archives] [The Store] [Message Board]
in the pilot program at New York State's
Experimental College at Old Westbury. Admitted on the basis of her poetry,
she received her BA in 1971. By the New York City punk era, Wheels,
a longtime East Village resident and leather costume designer, accelerated rapidly from
fan to lyricist to performer. From 1976-1986, Wheels wrote lyrics on five Blue Oyster
Cult LP's all released on CBS. She received two gold and one platinum album from RIAA
for this work. From 1977-1987, Wheels performed extensively with Helen Wheels Band in
the tri-state and northeastern US, managing and booking the band, making promotional
appearances on college radio stations and cable TV.
1978, Wheels won the ASCAP award for Best New Writer and Publisher
and HWB released their debut single "Room to Rage"/ "Destinations Unknown"
on Go-Go Records. 1981 HWB self-released a six-song EP Postmodern Living,
produced by Blue Oyster Cult's Joe Bouchard. Without distribution,
Postmodern Living scored a pick-hit in Billboard and received airplay in 43 states
and five countries.
In the early 80's, Wheels made a stunning debut in the new sport of women's
bodybuilding, winning three Regional First Place Lightweight titles and The Atlantic
States Women's Masters Championship, never going home without a trophy. Wheels was featured
on Newsweek's syndicated news show "Today's Woman" and in several popular bodybuilding magazines.
She lectured in New York City and starred in WHTZ FM radio's Z-100 television commercial. 1985 HWB produced
and released the picture flexi-disk "Carry My Own Weight".
1986 Helen Wheels Band was nominated for "Best Heavy Metal Band" in the first
ever New York City Music Awards. Wheels made her theatrical stage debut in New York City's
Mirror Repertory Company production of William Saroyan's "The Time Of Your Life," directed
by John Strasberg. (Oscar winner, Geraldine Page, was the Artist-in-Residence). Between 1987-1989,
Wheels played feature roles and contributed soundtrack performances to three films, an unreleased
musical "Rock 'n Roll Vampire, and two action-adventure movies: "Toxic Avenger II" and "Toxic Avenger III,"
distributed by Warner Brothers. Wheels made feature appearances on Geraldo, Mort Downey, numerous cable TV shows,
Italian Network TV, two WNBC AM national radio shows and was a lecturer and panel-speaker in New York City.
With various incarnations of the Helen Wheels Band, Ms. Wheels released several original,
independent records, including "Carry My Own Weight," "Post-Modern Living," and "Room to Rage."
For the last several years, Wheels has returned exclusively to her first love, writing.
She formed Fort Tryon Press Ltd. 1995 and the debut 1996 release, Writing From The Exterior
Dramatic Perspective by Laurine Ark, won finalist in the national 1997 Small Press Awards.
Current attention is focused on a new book in progress: We Took Dawn For Granted. Wheels' text
and photographs by Mariah Aguiar combine to form a scintillating insider photo documentary on the
original New York City punk rock scene.
Wheels is now performing with The Skeleton Crew. Her current CD, Archetype, is a
compilation of this multi-talented artist's recordings and includes two new bonus tracks,
with guest appearances by The Brain Surgeons and The X Brothers. Ms. Wheels' is hard at work
on another CD with her band, The Skeleton Crew. The Skeleton Crew consists of guitarist and
vocalist, Kim Draheim; Cathi Lee Otis sings back up vocals and plays percussion and conga
drums; Bob Birmingham on drums; and Ron Shayler on bass guitar. Soon to be released on CellSum Records,
this recording features many outstanding guest musicians, including Glenn Phillips, Albert Bouchard,