American Men Are Getting Less Marriageable — Here’s Why.

  • We’re in the middle of a great marriage decline in the US.
  • This phenomenon is partially explained by economic forces that are making men less appealing partners.
  • Traditional gender roles are also to blame.

If it seems like the number of complaints from your female friends about not being able to find a man is growing, we may finally know why. Somewhere between 1979 and 2008, Americans decided it was much less worth it to get hitched: the share of 25- to 39-year-old women who were currently married fell 10% among those with college degrees, 15% for those with some college, and a full 20% for women with a high-school education or less.

This great American marriage decline — a drop from 72% of US adults being wed in 1960 to half in 2014 — is usually chalked up to gains in women’s rights, the normalization of divorce, and the like. But it also a lot to do with men. Namely, economic forces are making them less appealing partners, and it ties into everything from China to opioids.

The most revealing data comes from University of Zurich economist David Dorn. In a 2017 paper with an ominous title (“When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Men”), Dorn and his colleagues crunched the numbers from 1990 to 2014. They found that employability and marriageability are deeply intertwined.

The flashpoint is a sector of the economy that politicians love to talk about: manufacturing. It used to be a huge slice of the employment pie: In 1990, 21.8% of employed men and 12.9% of employed women worked in manufacturingBy 2007, it had shrunk to 14.1 and 6.8%. These blue-collar gigs were and are special: they pay more than comparable jobs at that education level in the service sector, and they deliver way more than just a paycheck. The jobs are often dangerous and physically demanding, giving a sense of solidarity with coworkers. Not coincidentally, these jobs are also incredibly male-dominated —becoming even more so between 1990 and 2010. But since 1980, a full third of all manufacturing jobs — 5 million since 2000 — have evaporated, making guys less appealing as husbands.

Dorn and his colleagues find that when towns and counties lose manufacturing jobs, fertility and marriage rates among young adults go down, too. Unmarried births and the share of children living in single-parent homes go up. Meanwhile, places with higher manufacturing employment have a bigger wage gap between men and women, and a higher marriage rate.

“On simple financial grounds, the males are more attractive partners in those locations because they benefit disproportionately from having those manufacturing jobs around,” he told Thrive Global.

It underscores how in the US, the norms around money, marriage, and gender remain — perhaps surprisingly — traditional. Marianne Bertrand, an economist at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, has found a “cliff” in relative income in American marriages at the 50-50 split mark. While there are lots of couples where he earns 55% of their combined income, there are relatively few where she makes more than he does.

While the pay gap is certainly a factor here, Bertrand and her colleagues argue that the asymmetry owes more to traditionalist gender roles and remains a class issue. They reference recent results from the World Values Survey, where respondents were asked how much they agreed with the claim that, ”If a woman earns more money than her husband, it’s almost certain to cause problems.” The results broke along socioeconomic lines: 28% of couples where both parties went to at least some college agreed, while 45% of couples where neither partner went beyond high school agreed. Spouses tend to be less happy, more likely to think the marriage is in trouble, and more likely to discuss separation if the wife out earns her husband, as well.

“Either men don’t like their female partners earning more than they do,” Dorn said, or women feel like “if the man doesn’t bring in more money, then he’s an underachiever.”

As manufacturing jobs are lost, there are also increases to mortality in men aged 18 to 39, Dorn said, with more deaths from liver disease, indicative of alcohol abuse; more deaths from diabetes, related to obesity; and lung cancer, related to smoking — not to mention drug overdoses. (These “deaths of despair” have taken over a million American lives in the past decade.) Ofer Sharone, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts, has found that while Israelis blame the system when they can’t find a job, Americans see themselves as flawed when they can’t find work, which sounds a lot like perfectionism. And remarkably, half of unemployed men in the US are on some sort of painkiller. Unremarkably, all that makes long-term monogamy less appealing. “This is consistent with the notion that males become less attractive partners because they have less money and start doing drugs,” Dorn said.

The precarious situation that American men face has a lot to do with the nature of the jobs they’re doing. Germany and Switzerland, which are bleeding manufacturing at a much slower rate, do more precision work (read: watches and cars), which is harder to ship overseas to hand over to robots and algorithms. Traditionally masculine, American blue collar jobs tend toward repetitive tasks, making them easier to replace. (One British estimate predicted that 35% of traditionally male jobs in the UK are at high risk of being automated, compared with 26% of traditionally female jobs.) There’s a race to automate trucking, a traditionally male role, but not so much nursing.

And the working-class jobs that are being added tend toward what’s traditionally taken to be “women’s work.” Care-oriented jobs like home-care aides continue to go up — a trend that’s only going to continue as America gets older and boomers move into retirement. These are not trends that add to the marketability of guys. “The lack of good jobs for these men is making them less and less attractive to women in the marriage market, and women, with their greater earnings, can do fine remaining single,” says Bertrand, the Chicago economist. “For gender identity reasons, these men may not want to enter into marriages with women who are dominating them economically, even if this would make economic sense to them.”

So what’s a man to do within change like this? Dorn recommends, if one is able, to specialize in areas that are harder to automate — jobs that require problem-solving and creativity. But those jobs also often require more education. Then comes the much woolier, complex issue of gender norms. There are individual choices to be made at a personal level for men to take on traditionally feminine work, or for heterosexual couples to settle on a situation where the wife brings home the bacon. But these individual choices don’t happen in a vacuum — they’re necessarily informed by the broader culture.

“Traditional masculinity is standing in the way of working-class men’s employment,” Johns Hopkins sociologist Andrew Cherlin said in an interview. “We have a cultural lag where our views of masculinity have not caught up to the change in the job market.” (This was captured in a recent New York Times headline: “Men Don’t Want to Be Nurses. Their Wives Agree.”) Parents and educators will play the biggest role in teaching more gender neutral attitudes regarding who belongs in the home and who belongs in the marketplace, Bertrand said. And eventually, she adds, gender norms “will adjust to the new realities” that are already present in the economy: women are getting better educations and are more employable, and the work opportunities that are growing are — for now — thought to be feminine.


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Growing Up Sexually Repressed Can Have Long-Lasting Effects, Well Into Adulthood

Something by one of my female followers worth reading…

I am a 27-year-old, unmarried woman, which, by the religious attitudes of my youth, should mean that I’m not yet a sexual being. Except, of course, I am. I’ve been a sexual being for most of my life, whether I embraced that reality or not. I wasn’t really taught to.

I grew up as an evangelical Christian in the shadow of Purity Culture. The “True Love Waits” movement was not new, but still popular; young stars of similar age, like the Jonas Brothers and Selena Gomez, were spotted with purity rings. It was a few years after the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye became a smash hit, advocating for no sex before marriage and outright dismissing the concept of dating as a means to find a spouse who might be compatible for the long haul.

I absorbed the “dangers” of lust, premarital sex, and sexual fluidity through in the lens of weekly Christian teachings — conveyed in black and white, before I knew the million shades of grey through which those lessons could actually be interpreted. But even after I’d outright rejected these ideologies, the repercussions have seemed to follow me anyway.

It took me years to stop policing my sexuality, and all the shades of it that turned up in my day-to-day life — from minimizing the appearance of my breasts in form-fitting clothes to accepting the high sex drive I once completely buried. After nearly a decade of issues with my pelvic floor, which affected both my enjoyment of sex and urination, my OB/GYN told me that my the muscles were too tight and not relaxing properly; I was prescribed pelvic floor physical therapy.

The term “vaginismus” is going out of style in the medical community, but this involuntary contraction of the vaginal walls, causing pain and discomfort, has frequently been linked to religious upbringings. I’ll never really know how much of my pelvic floor dysfunction was caused by sexual repression and internalized beliefs that I was trying to untangle and shed.

What It Means to Be Repressed

The phrase “sexual repression” is fairly self-explanatory. “It means repressed sexuality — but the ways it can manifest itself are varied, and it can result from a fair number of different experiences or backgrounds,” Carol Queen, PhD, a sociologist, sexologist and founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture, tells Bustle.

Queen says you can also think of sexual repression as a “powerfully-felt restriction, often inculcated by family or community, and based in shame, disgust, or fear of one’s own sexual interests” and potential. “This could mean that a person might otherwise enjoy a sex act that, because of repression, they will not consider,” she says. “It might mean that certain kinds of sex — or sometimes all sex — evoke negative feelings, even if the circumstances surrounding the sex are not problematic.” Think: A partner, who you love, may bring it up in a respectful atmosphere and only want to do it in a consent-based way, but you feel guilt, shame or anxiety. “If the “No!” a person feels in an otherwise positive context is strongly colored by shame, disgust, or fear, repression might be the culprit,” Queen says.

Some people have been taught that abstinence is the answer. Karla Ivankovich, PhD, a clinical counselor in Chicago, tells Bustle that “saving yourself” has historically been seen as best way to keep yourself physically and emotionally safe, even if few people actually practice it. (According to statistics from the Guttmacher Institute, some 90-95% of people report having sex before marriage these days.) As Ivankovich says, even for those who are trying to abstain, sexual thoughts may lead to guilt and fear. “These emotions have been linked to depressed mood,” she says.

As I determined on my own journey toward dating, sex and (eventually) long-term love, it is harder than ever to justify abstaining from determining long-term compatibility through sex and dating — especially among a generation delaying marriage in favor of playing the field, discovering who you are and who you want to be as a partner. Ivankovich says that even if a person does abstain successfully, they may experience guilt even from just questioning their beliefs.

It’s hard to ignore the importance of embracing your sexuality in a healthy and ethical way. Testing those core facets of a relationship can only strengthen your choice of a marital partner; one can only speculate, but it appears Joshua Harris, the author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye — the uber-popular evangelical romantic manual that shunned the idea of trying on different partners via sex and dating, as well as condemned non-straight sexual orientation — may have learned this the hard way. He separated from his wife earlier this summer; he said he’d had a radical change of beliefs. (Bustle reached out to Harris for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.)

What Happens After You Abstained?

Linda Kay Klein, author of PURE: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free, says Purity Culture reinforced some incomprehensible practices about waiting. “The rules abruptly change as soon as you get married,” she tells Bustle. “Suddenly, women who have been told their whole lives that they will never be loved by a good Christian man if they don’t shut their sexuality off are now told that if they want to keep the love of that good Christian man, they have to turn every part of their sexuality on like a light switch.”

Many are disappointed when this does not happen, because “bodies and brains don’t work this way,” she says. “Sexual repression sometimes leads to a physical inability to have sex when the person wants to,” Klein says. “Men struggle with erections; women experience a physical tightening of the vaginal muscles that makes entry impossible.”

Meanwhile, men who have been told their whole lives that it’s wrong to have sexual thoughts about a woman are now told that in order to be “real men,” they have to be the sexual leader, says Klein. “Hungry, and somehow knowledgeable about something they were told to never think about,” she says. “It’s presented as a formula: If you repress your sexuality before marriage, you will have a hot, wild sex life after marriage… If my 12 years of interviews are any indication, this is very unlikely to lead to a hot, wild sex life.” It’s also detrimental to link someone’s sexuality to concepts of self-worth. It is the root of shame.

Earlier this summer, Harris issued an apology for that which he used to advocate. “I have lived in repentance for the past several years, repenting of my self-righteousness, my fear-based approach to life, the teaching of my books, my views of women in the church, and my approach to parenting to name a few,” Harris said in an Instagram post dated July 26. “But I specifically want to add to this list now: to the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality. I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry. I hope you can forgive me.”

Queen says these sorts of beliefs can manifest as a result of sexual repression. “A repressed person may seem and feel out of place in many contemporary communities and subcultures that value sexual exploration or enjoyment,” she says. “Repression can be linked to traits like homophobia or transphobia, or extremely rigid gender ideologies. When repression is widespread, sexual and gender minorities can be treated badly.”

In terms of other toxic beliefs, sexual-shaming cultures often place a woman’s value on her purity instead of placing value on her personhood, Klein says. Men have reported struggles with “moral confusion,” which can lead to “immoral, and even illegal” action, Klein says. “Having repressed all physical desire, uniformly categorizing it as ‘sin,’ they can’t — or don’t — differentiate between healthy sexuality and sexual harassment, assault or even rape,” Klein says. “So when the repression dam breaks, any one of these things can come spilling forth.”

Religion’s Role In Repression

Queen says that religion can play an “enormous” role in sexual repression; saving oneself is not unique to evangelical Christianity either. It is a facet of virtually all “conservative religions,” like Muslim, Catholic, Jewish faiths, among others, says Queen. “But it doesn’t always have to [shame],” says Queen. “And I want to be careful to differentiate conservative religious teaching about sex from the kind of repression that instills shame.” Queen says it’s not believing certain groups are “ungodly” or “unholy,” but rather a person believing one’s self is not OK because of sexual desire.

Ivankovich says there can be lifelong impact of holding onto reinforced beliefs of who your “Ideal Self” should be — sexless, only liking certain types of sex, only liking certain sexes, etc. Sometimes, this shift comes to a head at marriage, per many conservative cultures. Sometimes, it’s a shift a single person wants to make, but can’t figure out how. “For a person to achieve that state of self-actualization or becoming your best, truest self, your Ideal Self and your Real Self need to meet and fall in love,” she says. “They must be in a state of congruence.” But if a person has been taught to reject their Real Self, it’ll be hard to ever get to ever feel fulfilled — not just romantically, but personally.

Overcoming Sexual Shame

Repressed shame was a somewhat strange entity for me. I didn’t realize the impact it was having on my relationships at first, attributing my slow-warmup to sex and dating during my teens and early college years as indifference, not the avoidance it actually was. Deep down, I was dealing with an existential crisis about whether my faith could coexist with my sexuality.

Sometimes, the volcano of feeling and (over)thinking that would occur after intimacy felt like an out-of-body experience; I analyzed it externally, as I experienced it internally. I’d sought to avoid guilt and shame, so prevalent during my childhood, for most of my adult life —but there it was, arising after getting physical, even though it did not jibe with my evolved belief system. Eventually, a therapist helped me ask the right questions of myself, and I developed a healthier view of sexuality, as well as healthier relationships; I finally had the building blocks for them.

The number one most important thing a repressed person can do is recognize the signs and learn that there are alternatives, Queen says. She says being part of a sex-positive community can matter to some, or an LGBTQ community. Exploration through books, blogs, and so forth, or changing from a conservative house of worship to a more sex-friendly or progressive one may help. And if you’re able to, seek a therapist. “Many sex therapists are familiar with this set of issues and the effects they have on peoples’ happiness and satisfaction,” Queen says.

Klein suggests repressed men and women explore their sexuality on their own using the medium that most inspires them — any medium. For example, a visual artist recently came to Klein and told me that she can’t kiss somebody without intense anxiety. “Channeling the healing work of Rev. Lacette Cross, founder of Will You Be Whole Ministries, my ‘homework’ for her was to create a series of art pieces, such as a collage, answering the question ‘What does sexy mean to me?’”

The artist just reported the results to Klein. “She told me that she has been doing her homework,” she says, “and just had her first kiss without a panic attack.” A tiny step for most; leaps and bounds for someone who’s finally getting to experience the smallest slivers of sex positivity.


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Tales of Rock – The Best Band You Never Heard – Shark Island

Every time…..


1979–1982: Early History and Sharks formation[edit]

Shark Island was started in 1979 by singer Richard Black, whose name then was Rick Czerny, and lead guitarist Spencer Sercombe, under the name of ‘Sharks’. Czerny and Sercombe met in high school and began writing original material and began playing music together. Sercombe, played and worked for B.C. Rich guitars. While working at B.C. Rich, Spencer has a hand in the designing of one their most popular guitars, The Warlock. The band practiced out of a small home in a commercial area in Arcadia on Santa Clara Street. The walls of the studio were lined with empty Mickey’s Big Mouth bottles (the official Shark beer) and the inspiration behind the band’s original logo.[2] The band was completed by drummer Dave Bishop and bassist Jim Volpicelli.

The original band of Czerny, Sercombe, Volpicelli and Bishop released an independent album called Altar Ego in 1982. This album was produced by Jerry Tolman, and featured organist Mike “The Fin” Finnegan. Both had done work with Stephen Stills. Executive producer was Jeff Willmitt. It was recorded at That Studio in North Hollywood.

As well as Altar Ego, Sharks released three singles. The first was a unique “triple fin” shaped 45, that when inserted into the jacket, cut through the ocean image on the cover. Side A was “Kid Sister” and side B was “Your Car or Mine”. Both were recorded at Mystic Studios in Hollywood. “Hey” was a live single recorded on May 10, 1981 at The Ice House in Pasadena, Sharks’ home town. On the flip side was Mark Bolan‘s “Bang a Gong (Get It On)“. Executive producer for both 45s was Jeff Willmitt. The artwork of “Hey” featured a black 45 rpm sleeve with ‘Live Sharks’ across the top in bold red letters with three USDA stamps saying, “Guaranteed Live” on the top of the stamp. “Packed in Its Own Juice” was on the bottom of the stamp. In the middle of the stamp it said, “U.S.D.A. Shark Meat choice” looking like an actual stamp from the U.S.D.A. The other single was “I’m Electric” which featured a drum machine rather than Bishop playing the real drums. On the backside of that single is “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town“. The lyrics are substituted and recorded to the tune of the Judas Priest song, “Heading Out to the Highway“. No artwork was created for this second single. This was considered a souvenir and was given out to the fans when Sharks headlined. Oftentimes Sharks made themselves available after their performances to the many fans wanted and somewhat demanded autographs to these same “souvenirs”.

During these years, the Sharks became one of the most popular bands to emerge from the Los Angeles rock scene. American Heroes/Mondo Cane was an act that either opened for Sharks or had Sharks opening for them during the numerous performances. There were multiple occasions when both bands played in the same venues such as The Whiskey, The Icehouse, The Roxy or The Troubadour. It was at that time that Lanny Cordola, American Heroes/Mondo Cane’s guitarist and songwriter, began noticing the unique and riveting stage persona of Sharks vocalist, Richard Czerny. Lanny seriously entertained the idea of Czerny being the frontman for American Heroes/Mondo Cane but both bands continued to perform separately never discussing the idea. Richard Black’s (Czerny later changed his name to Black) signature stage moves and dancing were influential to Axl Rose.[citation needed] When Axl Rose has been asked about this “influence”, Rose either avoids answering those questions altogether or immediately changes the subject.[3]

Dave Bishop was the drummer of Sharks while they were enjoying the height of their popularity in Hollywood. Bishop used various shapes of cowbell-like instruments in his drumming giving him his unique sound and along with his unusual style of playing. His drum kit had a shark’s jaws permanently fastened to the outer drum head of his bass drum facing the crowd.

Jim Volcipelli was handling the duties of the bass guitar for Sharks. One of Volcipelli’s bass guitars was custom-designed and had an air-brushed shark’s head and teeth painted at the end near the volume/tone knobs. Much like Michael Anthony of Van Halen, Volcipelli’s vocals were strong and melodic bringing a very different sound to Hollywood’s rock scene. Many bands, at that time, only had the vocals of the lead singer with no background vocals. Clearly, this set Sharks apart from almost all of the current-playing rock bands at that time.

1985–1986: Name change and S’cool Buss[edit]

In 1985, Sharks changed their name to Shark Island. In the tradition of Van Halen, Mötley Crüe and other Los Angeles bands, Shark Island became the house band at Gazzari’s on the Sunset Strip. Owner Bill Gazzari helped produce a cover of the Frank Sinatra song “New York, New York”[3] which appeared on the band’s independently released album, S’cool Buss, in 1986. The line-up now included Richard Black on lead vocals, Spencer “Burner” Sercombe on guitar/vocals, Walt Woodward III (ex-Rachel, Americade) on drums/vocals, Tom Rucci on bass/vocals/keyboards and Michael Guy on guitar/bass. Rick Derringer produced most of the album and there were 1,200 copies made (200 in a red cover and 1,000 in a turquoise color). “Palace of Pleasure” was the unofficial single of this album. The former Sharks’ rhythm section, Jim Volpicelli (bass) and Dave Bishop (drums) are credited with co-writing four of its nine songs.

Sharks Island were able to secure a record development deal. They were signed by A&M Records for one year with no promise of being permanently signed to an official record contract. During this time, the line-up continued to shift with drummer Walt Woodward III leaving to join The Scream and on-and-off guitarist K.K. Martin parting ways due to “artistic differences”. Rob Pace, from Chicago, filled in on drums during this time. Sercombe also did studio work with Sparks, playing guitar on the band’s 1988 Interior Design album.[4]

1989–1994: Law of the OrderBill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Point Break[edit]

Chris Heilman and drummer Greg Ellis joined in 1989 to record and release the band’s only official album, at that time, entitled, Law of the Order.[5] The official single of that “debut” album, “Paris Calling” had an elaborate music video. Randy Nicklaus was the producer for Shark Island on that album on Epic Records.[6] It’s generally speculated that Randy was not familiar enough with Sharks/Shark Island’s high-energy and bombastic live performances, and therefore not being able to fully capture Shark Island as they truly performed live.[3]

With the disappointing CD sales of the album and no promotion from Epic Records, the band vanished from the scene with most of its members joining other projects. Law of the Order was re-issued in 2004 by French independent label, Bad Reputation, as a double CD. That included bonus tracks culled from the July 14, 1989 Bastille Day – Alive At The Whiskey EP, “Father Time” and “Dangerous” from the 1989 Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure[7] soundtrack, “My City” from the 1991 Point Break soundtrack, and LOTO era live cuts, “Spellbound’ and “Sanctuary”.[8]

In 1994, the band attempted to re-form with the new line-up of Ricky Ricardo on bass, Eric Ragno (TakaraSeven Witches) – keyboards, Richard Black – vocals, Simon Wright (AC/DCDio) – drums and Damir Simic Shine on guitar.

1991–2012: Break-up and solo projects[edit]

  • Richard Black went on to join short-lived supergroup Contraband in 1991, with Michael Schenker and Bobby Blotzer (Ratt), Share Pedersen (Vixen) and Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns). Black started a band called Black 13 in the mid-1990s but never released any albums. In late 2000, it was announced that Black would front Bourgeois Pigs, a band put together by guitarist Michael Guy (ex-Shark Island, Fire, House of Lords) and also featuring Jake E. Lee (ex-Ozzy OsbourneBadlands) on lead guitar and Tony Franklin (ex-The FirmBlue Murder) on bass. Ultimately, the band disbanded without releasing an album.
  • Spencer Sercombe teamed up with German guitar legend Michael Schenker and appeared on the 1992 MSG acoustic album Unplugged Live. In 1993, he recorded the Love Revolution EP with Jamie Rio And Newmatic Slam. He joined the Riverdogs for a European tour in 1994 and collaborated with the band’s vocalist Rob Lamothe on his 1996 debut solo album, Gravity. Sercombe and Riverdogs drummer Ronnie Ciago both joined former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward‘s solo band although only Ciago appears on the 1997 When the Bough Breaks album. Sercombe also played in a ZZ Top tribute band called Fandango. He later moved to Germany, guesting on Gigantor’s 2001 album, ‘Back to the Rockets, and singer/guitarist Eddie St. James’ 2013 release, Streets Cry Freedom, with whom he has also done shows as an acoustic guitar duo.
  • Greg Ellis left the band and played in Michael Monroe‘s band and in Jerusalem Slim, featuring Monroe and guitarist Steve Stevens. They released one self-titled album in 1992. Ellis went on to form world music duo Vas with Iranian born vocalist Azam Ali, releasing a total of 4 albums between 1997 and 2004. He guested on Steve Stevens’ 1999 solo album, Flamenco A Go-Go. Ellis has also recorded with Psytrance act Juno Reactor and his own ambient group, Biomusique, who issued 10,000 Steps in 2008.
  • Chris Heilman has previously been in Tormé and went on to play guitar with Chromosapien with Doni Castello from Burning Tree on vocals, bassist Dan Rothchild, formerly of Tonic, guitarist Craig McCloskey, and LA session drummer Dan Potruch.
  • Walt Woodward III joined The Scream and appeared on their Let It Scream debut album before doing a stint with surf guitar legend Dick Dale. Returning to his native New Jersey, he played in various local bands, including The Painkillers. Woodward died June 8, 2010 from liver failure.

2005–2013: Gathering of the Faithful and new line-up[edit]

In 2005, Shark Island reunited to re-record various previously-written and demoed songs for the album Gathering of the Faithful, produced by guitarist Spencer Sercombe with additional production from German Villacorta and vocalist Richard Black. The line-up featured Black on vocals, Sercombe on guitars, piano, synthesizer and vocals, Christian Heilman on bass and new drummer, Glen Sobel, now with Alice Cooper. The album was released in Europe on Frontiers Records in 2006[9] and via Manifest Music in the U.S. in 2007.

In 2013, Black put together a new line-up of Shark Island and played classic era material in Europe including a show in Zagreb, Croatia [10]

2019–present: New studio album[edit]

In 2019, the band released a new studio album, Bloodline. The album was limited to a worldwide print of only 1111 copies.[1] The Shark Island family now consists of Richard Black (vocals), Damir Simic (guitar), Alen Frjlak (drums) and returning Shark Island member Christian Heilmann (bass). Credit is also given to Marko Karacic (bass). Bloodline was produced by Alex Kane mixed by Sylvia Massy. The collection has ten original songs and one cover of “Policy of Truth” by Depeche Mode.



Studio albums[edit]

  • S’cool Buss (1986)[11]
  • Law of the Order (1989)[1]
  • Gathering of the Faithful (2006)[1]
  • Bloodline (2019)[1]

Promotional EPs[edit]

  • July 14, 1989 Bastille Day – Alive at the Whiskey (1989)[11]


  • “Kid Sister” b/w “Your Car or Mine” (1980)
  • “Hey” b/w “Get It On” (1981)
  • “Altar Ego” (1982)
  • “I’m Electric” b/w “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” (1983)


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