Chapter 9 – Love Affair Returns (R.I.P.)

Cast & crew of the movie Mischief onstage with LA 1984
Cast & crew of the movie Mischief onstage with Love Affair – 1984.

Though somewhat insecure about charting their own course, the self-managed Love Affair started 1984 with some success. The switch back to their more marketable moniker meant that bookings, guarantees and attendance at shows were all on the rise. Of course, by this time the drinking age had changed in virtually all of the states they toured in. With the 21-year-old minimum in effect everywhere, the group saw clubs where they used to play to a thousand or more fall like dominos and clubs that held 300-500 take their place. Economically, that meant that if you weren’t a concert venue act, you were seeing your income drop considerably and musical acts everywhere were struggling to adapt to the loss of business. Clearly, the salad days were over.

Throwing guitars accross the stage - 1984
Love Affair tossing guitars accross the stage

Along with the group playing fewer dates for less money, Richard found an increasing restlessness harder to ignore. To adjust financially, Richard began playing one date each week as a solo in a small club. When not touring, he was able to use that night each week as a fun release by playing piano and singing pop songs he’d always loved and original material he’d written that was too mellow for Love Affair. Out of this situation, Richard began to see that he was writing a lot of material that wasn’t suited for a rock band and that playing solo was helping his piano playing skills and strengthening his vocals. Things were ripe for a change.

Richard had discussed with drummer Mike Hudak the fact that he was tiring of the band and that if Mike (to whom Richard felt a strong connection) wanted to leave Love Affair that Richard would dissolve the band. Meanwhile, things went ahead as planned and the band toured Canada that summer in their most successful trip to date.

At the conclusion of the Canadian outing, Mike Hudak told Richard that he wanted to stop playing music altogether. The band had a meeting and decided that Love Affair would end. Two months of dates were played and it was set that the final date would be at The Galaxy in Canton, Ohio), where the band was the all-time top draw. When that date rolled around (October 1984), everyone decided that the first set would be played by the current line-up and that the last set would be performed by the original members.

Love Affair - 1984
Love Affair – 1984

“The moment the original line-up took the stage, all of the magic was back and the audience went crazy. But I also knew that John and Wayne weren’t coming back, so we just enjoyed the moment. I knew it was time to move on,” Richard said.

By this time Richard had already announced that he was planning on recording a solo album and that the name of the act was to be Richard & The Heartbeats. And although Richard would have loved to have Mike Hudak play drums; Mike wanted out of the business. (He wouldn’t stay out for too long though.) So, Richard set out to rebuild his career and update his image.