Are Corey Feldman & the Angels for Real?
Corey Feldman & the Angels
Maggie St. Thomas
Back in September, Corey Feldman went on the Today show and sang a song called “Go 4 It,” accompanied by an all-female band called the Angels. Up until that point, it was relatively well-known that the star of The Goonies, The ’Burbs, Gremlins and The Lost Boys liked to dabble with music, but as with Keanu Reeves, Johnny Depp and Lost Boys co-star Kiefer Sutherland, the rest of the world seldom took the dalliances seriously.
But then the Today show thing happened, and the internet all but exploded. Much of the focus was on the dancing, something that Feldman is particularly proud of, claiming it to be Michael Jackson–influenced. But his performance, dancing included, was roundly ridiculed.
If that first appearance was unexpected, nobody was expecting Feldman and his Angels to go back on the same show just one month later and perform a slower number called “Take a Stand.” The Today talent bookers must have thought all of their Christmases had come at once.
Corey Feldman in concert at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach on March 11
The outcry was deafening. People were questioning the nature of Feldman’s relationship with the Angels, implying something sleazy. Others were genuinely concerned about his physical and mental health. Many just had a good laugh about the whole thing, shared the YouTube video on social media, and moved on.
But something weird was happening. The buzz was such that Feldman’s new album, Angelic 2 the Core, sold out of the first pressing within months. Not only that but his previous (largely ignored) albums sold out, in some cases two decades after their original release. Feldman's tour dates are attracting decent numbers, selling out more than one theater.
That’s no mystery to Feldman himself. The man might have an inflated ego (not unusual for a former child star), but he’s also completely aware of the fact that people are laughing and that there’s an element of novelty about the whole thing. He’s not delusional but rather embracing the tongue-in-cheek vibe surrounding his latest musical venture.
Still, the level of vitriol that came his way after the first Today appearance left him flabbergasted. Reflecting on the response, he gets a little conspiracy theorist.
“I actually believe it was a bit of a conspired and organized attack among the media,” Feldman says. “I think it’s a little bit too coincidental that, within minutes of us walking off the stage, every major media outlet had the exact same header, which is ‘Corey Feldman’s Bizarre Performance.’ It’s like, come on. That doesn’t happen accidentally. There’s no way that every single writer could come out with the same exact thing at the same time. It was obviously very negative, it was very derogatory, and it was obviously aimed to hurt me. I think the intention was, let’s show him why he should never do this again so we can end this once and for all.”
If there was a grand meeting between media outlets, L.A. Weekly wasn't invited. But Feldman has what he believes is a reasonable explanation for why the press would collude to destroy his musical career. “I’m not part of the Clear Channel world," he explains. "I’m not part of the big corporation world, I’m not in the big major-label world, which I’ve stayed away from intentionally for all these years. I think the fact that I’m beating them at their own game probably pisses a few people off.”
After the flood of jokes came an outpouring of support — the backlash to the backlash, if you will. Feldman might be exaggerating the numbers somewhat (it’s honestly tough to tell), but many people did respond in a positive way.
“Instead of agreeing with the bloggers and the nasty people on Twitter, in 24 hours that all changed,” Feldman says. “Then for several months, all I got was thousands of messages, everybody saying the same thing, which was, ‘Thank you so much for what you’re doing.’ The words ‘Go 4 It’ really became a bit of anthem amongst this internet society, which went, ‘You know what? He’s right. We do need to go for it.'”
Feldman has been making music for some years, forming the hard-rock band Truth Movement in the early 1990s. He refers to his work with his current Angels band as the realization of the pop half of his persona, while the Truth Movement reveals his rock & roll side. Both stemmed from the fact that, as a child actor auditioning for parts, he would regularly be asked to sing and dance, something that he didn’t hate.
“As I got older and tried to actually have a singing career, kind of professionally, I lost the confidence because I didn’t have a good upbringing,” he says. “I didn’t have a lot of support from my parents. When I saw Michael Jackson do 'Billie Jean,' I went, ‘Oh, I can do that,’ and I did it. That became a popular party trick. Every time I would show up (at a party), somebody would throw me a fedora. That’s where I decided, OK, what if I create a real band that makes real music where it’s not about dancing? Create a theater for the mind. That’s where the idea of Truth Movement came from. I wanted to create something that tells a story, is very genuine and organic, and doesn’t feel contrived. Creating a movement of telling the truth.”
Angelic 2 the Core is the current, very vivid incarnation of Feldman’s pop side. The music, as anyone who saw the Today appearances knows, isn't as memorable as Feldman's dance moves. That said, a Feldman live show has to be entertaining. He’s pulling out some of those old Michael Jackson jams again, and he’s even singing songs from the soundtracks to his movies, including The Goonies, Dream a Little Dream and Stand by Me.
Behind him will be his Angels, some of whom live at his house. According to the actor-singer, the relationship is perfectly healthy — not at all sleazy, simply a mentor-type deal (except for his first Angel, Courtney Anne, whom he married in November).
“People have vivid imaginations and they always want to take something positive and turn it into a negative,” he says. “Go back to Michael Jackson. It’s the same thing. Everybody wanted to criticize him and say that he was a pedophile, although it was never proven. With the Angel project, it’s something that I’ve been working on for five years. I decided to start a business. ... I said that I’m going to help multiple girls, not just my girlfriend. I felt like a lot of these girls wanted to have careers but they were going down the wrong road. My philosophy was, instead of demeaning them or demoralizing them by telling them that they’re only as good as their pictures, I wanted to find out what their talent is and help them harness it.”
Corey Feldman & the Angels perform at Saint Rocke.
As for the sets on this tour, Feldman mixes up the old with the new, the fresh with the nostalgia. As a result, he says he’s getting crowds ranging from 7 to 70.
“There’s a strong buzz, and the reviews from the first show have been fairly tremendous,” Feldman says. “It’s not rocket science. We’re not The Beatles. But there’s an importance to what we’re doing. It’s tongue-in-cheek and we’re all having fun with it, but it’s also an important and positive message: Don’t ever think that your day is done. As long as you have the fight and fire in you, you can achieve anything.”
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