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Greensleeves 03:36




Donnie Barren played lead guitar for the Los Angeles rock band "City Lights" in the late 1970's and early 1980's, writing and singing songs for the group's single ("Action/Back Off Babe") and EP ("Blackout"). Some of the more fun gigs were at the Whiskey a Go-Go, Starwood, Gazzarri's, and the Troubadour, where City Lights shared the stage with bands like Dokken, Ratt, Snow, X, Oingo Boingo, Joshua, and Dubrow (formerly Quiet Riot). 

Donnie ventured out on his own in 1982, releasing the single "I Love My Cat's Meow/Falling In Love" in March 1983 (acting as musician, singer/songwriter, producer and promo-man). The tune was well received, being played on over 15 Southern California radio stations during its 1st month and garnering college radio coverage across the USA and in Germany. 

"Cat's Meow" hit # 1 on LA's KXLU & KCLU, and then entered KROQ's "Rodney on the Roq's" Top 10 in April (at # 7), and moved to # 1 for all of May and June. At the time, KROQ (FM 106.7 in Pasadena, CA) was the # 1 Album Oriented Rock (AOR) station in LA and was regarded as the new music trend-setter across the US. For perspective, Nena's "99 Balloons" (CBS Records) held the #1 position on "Rodney on the Roq's" Top 10 the following month, July of 1983. This was long before other AOR stations added the German song to their play lists, ultimately making "99 Balloons" a national Top 40 Hit. 

Unfortunately, just as Cat's Meow was climbing the charts, Donnie's distribution partner (Faulty Products, a division of IRS/A&M Records) ran out of money and stopped promoting its stable of artists (groups like the Bangles, Dead Kennedys & DOA). Looking back, it's ironic that Donnie signed up with a label called "Faulty Products", but they were considered one of the best "new music" distributors at the time. If they had put some promotion support behind the single, the song could have had a strong national showing. 

Donnie went back into the studio and recorded several more tracks in 1983, planning to create an album to accompany the Cat's Meow single. While he was shopping this album package to record companies, he became even more intrigued with the business side of the music industry and opted to take a break to finish his education. Donnie ended up earning an MBA from Harvard and then diving into the business world (albeit not the music biz), working for Procter & Gamble and Microsoft. 

As a result, these songs sat on a shelf for more than two decades. Realizing that his kids were old enough to understand a bit about music, he re-released "Cat's Meow/Falling in Love" as well as nine previously unreleased tunes in 2005 with the hope that the CD would spur a musical interest his two children. If nothing else, he figured maybe he'd have two new fans. 

Lately, using his full name (Donnie Barren Holtzinger), he’s been playing/recording lead guitar with various Seattle groups. He’s also released an original collection of rock instrumentals (“Freedom”), a collection of southern rock tracks ("Southern Comfort"), some previously unreleased 80's tracks ("Garage Tapes 1983-86"), and a collection of new tracks - some of which are collaborations with artists from around the world.

Most recently, Donnie's "Can't You See The World Through My Eyes" was used in Season 2 of the Netflix hit show “GLOW.”

Drop Donnie a line by heading to Facebook (www.facebook.com/don.holtzinger) and sending him a message. I know he'd like to hear from you. 


"dB" Productions 


released November 12, 2011


all rights reserved



donnie barren holtzinger Seattle, Washington

Thanks for stopping by and listening to my music. I hope you like it. Feel free to message me on Facebook (@donholtzinger) or Instagram (@donniebarren) and let me know what you think.

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