On September 16, 1988 before a team of judges that included Peter Asher, Paul Atkinson (Zombies), Jon Bon Jovi, Walter Becker, Larry Carlton, Quincy Jones, David Paich, Tom Werman, and Brian Wilson among others, the Yamaha International Souncheck hosted the country’s best unsigned bands in a concert at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles. There were some substantial cash prizes and the winning band went on to Japan for the World Final, the international leg of the competition. OHO played “Breaking Away” and “Til Death Do Us Part,” the songs responsible for their participation in this competition.

The finalists’ performances in front of an audience of 5000 were followed by a Cheap Trick concert. Their incendiary hit “The Flame” was burning up the charts. The evening concluded with a jam session featuring an array of hair-sprayed guest stars, Whitesnake’s Tommy Aldridge, Vivian Campbell, and Rudy Sarzo, as well as Bon Jovi’s David Bryan, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. 

The big winner was Kevin Gilbert, fronting his band, Giraffe. It is my understanding that his acclaimed album with Toy Matinee, subsequent solo career, and membership in the Tuesday Night Music Club came about as a direct result of his exposure here. One may review partial scans of the event’s program by clicking on the “Soundcheck” hyperlink at Kevin’s official 

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