Corey Feldman returns to music: Actor to play The Art Theater in Hobart | Music

When one thinks of pop culture in the 1980s, odds are good the grinning face of one time teen idol Corey Feldman will pop into mind.

After all, Feldman has appeared in over 100 films and is best known for his screen roles in such 1980s cult classic films as “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter” and “Gremlins” (both in 1984), “The Goonies” (1985), “Stand by Me” (1986), “The Lost Boys” (1987), “License To Drive” (1988), and “Dream A Little Dream” (1989).

Feldman is also a successful voice actor, having done the character voice of Donatello in the original 1990 live action film, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” among other animation projects. He later became a reality TV star in a variety of projects that include the 2015 fourth season of ABC-TV’s “Celebrity Wife Swap,” and two seasons of the 2007 A&E Network series “The Two Coreys.”

Feldman’s revealing and best-selling memoir, “Coreyography,” published in 2013 by St. Martin’s Press, was later the basis of Feldman’s independently produced 2020 documentary film, “My Truth: The Rape of 2 Coreys,” cementing his reputation as a very vocal activist against child abuse. Feldman has further used his celebrity to advocate for animal welfare and animal rights.

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While Feldman has appeared in a variety of music videos by such notable pop and rock artists as Neon Trees, Katy Perry, Five Seconds To Mars, and Mac Miller, many people do not realize he is a longtime songwriter, recording artist and touring musician in his own right, having released seven albums since 1999.

DNA could have some part in Feldman’s involvement in music over the years, given his dad was once a member of the ’60s psychedelic rock band The Strawberry Alarm Clock (known for the hit single, “Incense & Peppermints”), but the entertainer can recall a means of remembering his lines as a young child doing TV commercials by singing them to himself. “I’ve been singing as long as I can remember,” said Feldman. “Music has always been a part of my life and really was my first love.”

Now, he is back with a new collection of songs. His latest album — “Love Left 2: Arm Me With Love” — has Corey back on the road touring with a Northwest Indiana stop this Saturday at Hobart Art Theater. The material for the new album was recorded in Jamaica while Corey and his wife Courtney were stranded on the island nation for a long period during the height of the global pandemic.

“We couldn’t leave, so I figured what else is there to do but write some new songs,” he said of setting up a makeshift studio in the house they were renting and recording. The newly recorded material is currently only available via his official web site (coreyfeldman.net) as part of “Love Left 2.1,” a new limited edition, career spanning box set comprised of 4 CDs and 2 DVDs, along with an assortment of cool Corey collectibles like a 50-page book chock full of photos, guitar picks, Corey-esque sunglasses, stickers and more.

“It all comes in a heart shaped box with cool psychedelic artwork, and a little hologram that pops up, so you get a little Corey dancing across your heart,” laughed Feldman. “It really is a very cool and creatively packaged collection, with a lot of cool stuff never before released, included some demos that had never seen the light of day, new remixes of songs from the original tapes, live video stuff, and a bunch of photos spanning decades that have been lost in my closet. Some of them even I had never seen before, like shots of me in the studio working with different people, live performance shots, and candid stuff.”

Among the unique things unearthed for the collection is a never before released interview with veteran actor Jason Robards, along with a mini concert both taped on the set of the film “Dream A Little Dream.” “Nobody even knew that existed, so it was a pretty fascinating find,” said Feldman. “There’s also a tiny little bit of private home video footage of Michael Jackson and I, and video of a 1989 concert where I brought Corey Haim out on stage to surprise the audience and you can hear the place just erupt like Beatlemania.”

Only 250 copies of the box set were made according to Feldman, who will be selling copies of it at his merchandise booth this Saturday. “We were originally going to do a run of 500, but then realized how expensive it was to make these boxes,” he said. “It’s a very, very limited edition collection and yes, it has a high price, but it became a collector’s item right out of the gate.”

As for later issuing his brand new songs independently from the all inclusive and pricey box set, Feldman said he is working on some sort of a campaign to do that, but for now the full album is available in a physical format only on the box set, while selected songs are available digitally online for streaming and downloading.

Among the best new songs are the digitally released singles “Without You,” “Rockin’ Revolution,” and a moving ballad titled, “The Beautiful Soul.” The latter was inspired by the tragic 2020 suicide of 27-year-old Ben Keough, the only son of Lisa Marie Presley.

“It’s a very personal song for me and as the song says, (Ben) was a fantastically beautiful soul,” said Feldman. “He’d come over and spend time together and he would share things. My take was that he didn’t want all the limelight and just wanted to be loved and accepted for who he was, but unfortunately the world wanted him to be some kind of rock star. When I heard what happened, I was away and isolated. It was all so tragic and profound. I thought, here we go again, another loss of innocence, another loss of a beautiful soul who had such great potential and such a promising future.”

As for undertaking the huge task of curating such a massive box set of material, Feldman laughed and said — “I blame (’80s heavy metal singer) Don Dokken. Feldman said he was talking with the MTV metal god and learned Dokken was re-mastering and re-releasing much of his own original recordings. Feldman mentioned he would like to do the same with his early recordings, which were originally made when both time and money were limited.

“Don told me I’ve got just the guy for you,” laughed Feldman. “Once we got started on the older tapes, I figured it’d be a good idea to add a couple of new songs to show where I’m at now. We started that, then the pandemic hit and we were locked out of the country for awhile with a lot of time on our hands. So we just kept writing and recording a bunch of songs.”

While clearly proud of his new music, Feldman said he believes his best overall album is 2009’s “Technology Analogy” credited to his band, Truth Movement. “Artistically and creatively speaking that is probably my best work to date, because I was lucky enough to work with a couple of the guys from Pink Floyd (John Carin and Scott Paige) and Mark Karan, who is a member of Ratdog and The Grateful Band, offshoot bands from Grateful Dead co-founder Bob Weir. Storm Thorgerson (Pink Floyd’s album art creator) did all the artwork for that project for me. I was so lucky to work with such an amazing team of creative people.”

Feldman said his live show tends to be open-ended and will run as long as people want to hear him perform. The set list will feature some new songs of course, but also plenty of fan favorites from his deep collection of past releases, including the 2016 album “Angelic 2 The Core,” which was recorded with his wife Courtney providing her keyboard and DJ skills on the sessions.

“Courtney is part of my band on this tour and it’s great having her up on stage with me,” said Feldman, who added his touring band is top shelf. Playing bass in the band is fellow actor and musician Bentley Mitchum, grandson of silver screen legend Robert Mitchum. “Yeah, we’ve some Hollywood royalty up there with us every night,” he said.

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