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Virginia Living Magazine – Sept. 2006

Photo of Wrenn Mangum and Sean McClain

Wrenn Mangum and Sean McClain: The Nuclear Teddy Boys

Wrenn Mangum and Sean McClain may grease up their hair and evoke the '50s' rockabilly sound, but this ain't your mama's Sha Na Na. Individually, and with their respective bands, these two exciting performers consistently remind today's club crowds that early rock 'n' roll music was once a "dangerous" concept and still has relevance to contemporary ears.

The frenetic Mangum, formerly of the band Frog Legs and now lead singer of Boneanchor, is renowned for his whirling dervish antics and passionate, often humorous, vocal style. For his own solo performances, the former VCU art student steers Elvis worship away from mere camp or tribute into something akin to a passionate mission statement.

Also a revivalist who exchews simple-minded nostalgia, Norfolk native McClain, formerly of the late, great Chrome Daddy Disco and now the vocalist and lead songwriter for Gorgeous, has been delighting (and unnerving) audiences for years, with a mesmerizing stage demeanor pitched somewhere between his hometown hero Gene Vincent and a punk Don Rickles. He once declared that he was "the lost square root of rock 'n' roll," and it's hard not to agree after witnessing one of his devastating live appearances. The notorious wild man is also the owner of one of Richmond's most popular Mexican eateries, Banditos. Like his ego-driven math, it all adds up — everything McClain touches is spicy and hot. Mercy!

Article by Don Harrison / Photograph by Tyler Darden for Virginia Living Magazine, 2006.