Blues-based, Led Zeppelin inspired metal made Tora Tora a household name and are one of the best-unknown bands in the hard rock genre.
Formed in Memphis, Tennessee, by Anthony Corder (vocals), Keith Douglas (guitar), Patrick Francis (bass) and John Patterson (drums), they quickly beat out sixty other groups in a Battle of the Bands contest and received some free studio time. They cut one track in Memphis before using the prize money they had won to record an entire independent EP called To Rock To Roll. The studio was so impressed with the recordings that they offered to help shop the demo and gave them even more free recording time. Tora Tora eventually singed with A&M and the debut album made the Billboard Top 100, and hovered on the brink of breaking wide open. Later that same year “Dancing With A Gypsy” would appear on the soundtrack for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. They followed up with Wild America, which produced two more singles. A third album, Revolution Day, was recorded but never released due to label restructuring. Due to the onset of the grunge era, Tora Tora, much like many other bands of their genre, called it quits in 1994.
In 2008, in honor or their 20th anniversary, the band reunited for a sold-out show in their hometown, then played the rock festival Rocklahoma that summer. They’re still together now, and will be playing another show in Memphis on March 7 at the New Daisy Theater on Beale Street, the club where they started their career.