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Three Alarm Fire was an American rock quartet from Los Angeles that recorded and toured with John Taylor during his solo career. The band featured singer Melanie Friedman, guitarist Mick McCarthy, ( both formerly of Medicine Rattle, Unbottled, Cargo Records) keyboardist Arlan Scheirbaum, bassist Tad Dery, and drummer D.J. Bonebrake.[1]

In the late 1990s, Three Alarm Fire was the first (and only) act to be signed to the nascent B5 Records, a label co-founded by John Taylor and Hein Hoven. While the band recorded many songs at the label's studio, Taylor and Hoven ended up dissolving B5 before the band's career could be developed further, and they broke up after the release of their 1999 album.

The band took its name from firefighter lingo: when three fire stations receive the call to go to an emergency, it usually means its a very large fire.

John Taylor connections

Three Alarm Fire contributed a cover of Roxy Music's "Angel Eyes" to the 1995 B5 tribute album Dream Home Heartaches....Remaking/Remodeling Roxy Music, produced by John Taylor.

Two years later at the CMJ Music Festival in New York on 4 September 1997 Melanie Friedman joined Taylor on stage during his solo show to perform Lou Reed's "Pale Blue Eyes", which appears (listed as "Linger On") on the bootleg John Taylor - Live 1997. The following year in 1998 Three Alarm Fire toured the USA as an opening act for John Taylor Terroristen's Baby Steps Tour, and later Melanie Friedman contributed to John Taylor's Japan Album released in 1999.

On 3 September 1999 the band released the album Sub Acid Sweet Songs on B5 Records. Taylor was listed as "executive producer" and Hoven as "producer".

Band members

Melanie Friedman is now performing under the name Ruby Friedman. She and Arlan Scheirbaum still work together as part of the band Ruby Friedman Orchestra;other members are bassist Dorian Heartsong, guitarist Adam Zimmon, trombonist Ulf Bjorlin and drummer Alex Elena.

Scheirbaum lists other bands he's played with as: Arlan's Organism, B Side Players, Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Boneshakers, The Cannibus Healers, Crouton Telephone, The Dead Beats, Desert Eskimo, The Dirty Janks, The Family Rock, Fact Or Fiction, The Funk Pioneers, Gardan, Gene Day and the Day Tones, The Greasy Spoon Brothers, Jackpot, Jimsonweed, Jupiter Hollow, MamaSutra, Mandrill, Modereko, Mother Blues Band, Mysetery Groove Machine, Nectar Way, Jemimah Puddleduck, Heaven and Earth, Native Vibe, The Pointer Sisters, The Purple Blues Band, Real, Red Starr, Rio, Seven League Boots, The Shout, Smello and The Flu, South Side Hero, Jupiter Hollow, Nectar Way, Psydecar, Mama Sutra, Rumbling Fish, Vibe Tribe, The Woodpeckers[2]

D.J. Bonebrake is best known for drumming with the band X; he has also played for The Knitters and The Flesheaters, and performed as a live and sessions musician for numerous other acts. He also heads two jazz groups: the Bonebrake Syncopaters and the Orchestra Superstring.

Tad Dery has gone on to play with the bands Raylius, Bubble, and others.

Mick McCarthy founding member and guitarist successfully dropped out of the music biz and now works as an interactive art director and serves as President of Surfers United Recovery Foundation.



  1. Sub Acid Sweet Songs liner notes
  2. Musicians and Bands

External links