The Young Adults were one of the most successful and influential acts on the Rhode Island original music scene of the 1980s
In the 1970s, the Rhode Island original rock music scene was defined by two bands, The Fabulous Motels and The Young Adults. Both groups featured singer/songwriter Bruce “Rudy Cheeks” McCrae, singer/songwriter/drummer Dave “Sport Fisher” Hansen and songwriter/pianist Jeff Shore. Formed in 1970, the Motels, which also featured actor Charles Rocket on vocals and accordian and artist Dan Gosch on toy drums and other visual embellishments, performed their unique blend of music and comedy at colleges and underground clubs throughout the Northeast and in Manhattan.
When no record deal materialized, the group disbanded in 1973. McCrae, Hansen and Shore reconvened in 1975 to form The Young Adults. They mined similar territory to the Motels, but there was a new focus on the musical aspects with some of Rhode Island’s finest players passing through the ranks until their 1979 breakup including guitarist Ed Vallee and bassist/guitarist Thom Enright. The Adults were enormously popular and successful. They enjoyed a regional hit with their indie single “Complex World;” they were featured in two nationally released motion pictures by director Jim Wolpaw, the documentary Cobra Snake For A Necktie and the musical comedy/action picture (It’s A) Complex World for which they reunited in 1987; and had one national album release, the Complex World soundtrack Helping Others.
The true legacy of the two bands, however, is their far-flung influence on the Rhode Island arts scene – they have been cited as an inspiration by dozens of musicians including the Talking Heads and The Probers and by film makers Peter and Bobby Farrelly. Since 1980, Rudy Cheeks has enjoyed a diverse career in media working as a newspaper columnist, a radio talk show personality, host of a musical comedy television show and a nightclub entertainer and is highly regarded as a champion of the arts. He continues to pursue his musical vision.