Sunny Day Real Estate

views updated May 11 2018

Sunny Day Real Estate

Rock band

For the Record

Selected discography


The re-formation of Sunny Day Real Estate in 1997 was regarded as one of the most unlikely reunions in the history of modern rock. After a furious split in late 1994, the bands bass guitarist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith joined the Foo Fighters, lead vocalist and guitarist Jeremy Enigk (who left Sunny Day Real Estate for religious beliefs) released a solo album, and guitarist Dan Hoerner left the recording industry all together. However, when Goldsmith left the Foo Fighters in 1997, Enigk and Hoerner, who had already made peace, persuaded the drummer to help resurrect Sunny Day Real Estate. Although Mendel chose to stay with the Foo Fighters, the remaining members, with bassist Jeff Palmer replacing Mendel, recorded their third and most highly anticipated album, How It Feels to Be Something On, in 1998.

Sunny Day Real Estate began to take shape around 1992 in Seattle, Washington, when Hoerner (also the groups initial lead singer), Goldsmith, and Mendel decided to form a melodic, punk-metal band. The group changed its name frequently, once dubbing themselves Chewbacca

For the Record

Members Jeremy Enigk (joined band, 1993), vocals, guitar; William Goldsmith (joined Foo Fighters in 1995, left Foo Fighters in 1997 to reunite with Sunny Day Real Estate), drums; Dan Hoerner, guitar; Nate Mendel (joined Foo Fighters in 1995), bass; Jeff Palmer (joined band in 1997 to replace Mendel), bass.

Goldsmith, Hoerner, and Mendel formed band in Seattle, WA, 1992; band enlisted lead vocalist Enigk, 1993; signed with Sub Pop Records, released debut album, Diary, 1994; group disbanded, late 1994; Sunny Day Real Estate reunited (minus Mendel), 1997; released How It Feels to Be Something On, 1998.

Addresses: Record company Sub Pop Records, 1932 1st Ave, Ste. 1103, Seattle, WA 98101, phone (206) 441-8441, fax (206) 441-8245. Website Sunny Day Real Estate Official Website,

Kaboom as well as Thief, Steal Me a Peach, then finally Sunny Day Real Estate. In 1992, the trio released their first seven-inch single, Flatland Spider, on their own label called One Day I Stopped Breathing Records. Two of the records songs, Flatland Spider and The Onlies, included driving guitars and tortured vocals set to turbulent drumming. While the precise drums and guitars brought forth the sound that the band desired, Hoerners vocals failed to provide Sunny Day Real Estate with an appropriate balance. Thus, the band enlisted a young, yet talented 18-year-old musician named Jeremy Enigk to soften the groups edges with his introspective and distinctive vocalization. Critics compared Enigks mystic voice and guitar technique to that of the legendary Van Morrison, as well as an emotive cross between Paul McCartney and Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon. Though not considered as skilled as Morrison, Enigk nonetheless paid tribute to the latter musicians phrasing and repetition of key couplets.

With a new singer, Sunny Day Real Estate released a second seven-inch single in 1993 entitled Thief Steal Me a Peach, which the bands official website dubbed a masterpiece of post-hardcore melodic adventure. The eye-catching record cover, designed by Hoerner, featured a scene of ant-like humanoids standing on the brink of disaster, and the package included prints by Seattle artist Christopher Thompson to enhance a poem written by Hoerner called A Non-Musical Accompaniment. Subsequently, Sunny Day Real Estate caught the attention of local audiences and the influential Sub Pop Records, also home to Nirvana and Mudhoney.

After signing with Sub Pop, Sunny Day Real Estate released their first full-length album, Diary, in 1994, which fared well in sales and included guitar-driven anthems such as Seven and In Circles. Years later, the aforementioned singles remained two of the most popular audience requests during Sunny Day Real Estate concerts. Another highlight included Grendel, while tracks such as Song About an Angel drew attention to Enigks growing interest in spirituality.

Considering the bands acclaimed debut, their affiliation with Sub Pop, and Sunny Day Real Estates rising popularity, commercial success seemed unavoidable. However, just as the quartet were on the verge of breaking through, Sunny Day Real Estate came to an end. The sudden success, combined with extensive touring, internal conflict, and Enigks new devotion to Christianity led to a fallout among band members. In late winter, 1994, following a long, exhausting tour with Shudder to Think and Soul Coughing, Sunny Day Real Estate thought it best to dissolve the band.

Just weeks earlier, Enigk had completely devoted his life to Christ, believing that religion would help relieve his personal conflicts and the bands inner turmoil. I watched myself slowly shrivel up into a hopeless, bitter and lonely person, he wrote in a letter sent by e-mail to close friends in December, as quoted by Magnet magazines David Daley. I could not take it anymore, so I took a shot on calling upon God. He answered me. All the hope that was squeezed out of me was replaced 10 times. Moreover, Enigk wanted the other members of the band to find the same sense of hope in religion he had. However, Hoerner, Goldsmith, and Mendel failed to understand, and Enigk opted to sacrifice his band for his beliefs. Gradually, communication almost ceased to exist within the band and on their small tour bus, as Enigks band mates harbored feelings of betrayal and shattered dreams.

The strained relationships of Sunny Day Real Estate came to a boiling point during a show at the Black Cat club in Washington, D.C., shortly before the breakup. Everyone but the audience realized that this cold winter night would most likely mark Sunny Day Real Estates last performance. (Michael) Doughty, Enigk started quietly praying. This was exactly the big huge rift that made everybody feel so uncomfortable, Doughty told Daley. Nate just threw his hands up, put his bass down and left the stage. Dan just started drowning everything in feedback. The club got so hot theyd opened a door behind the stage, and Willie, who had worked so hard during the showas the cold air poured in, steam is pouring off his body. He was so pissed off, just venting this incredible rage, staring at Jeremy, the steam exploding off him. Despite the groups stormy ending, the members of Sunny Day Real Estate agreed to finish their self-titled second LP, unofficially known as The Pink Album because of the color of the album cover. Issued in 1995 by Sub Pop, the record turned out to be a poorly-produced, miscellaneous collection of B-sides and demos for new songs. Although fans welcomed another release from Sunny Day Real Estate, The Pink Album made less of an impact on critics. David Sprague and Ira A. Robbins in the Trouser Press Guide to 90s Rock described the record as vexing for a band this dramatically inclined.

Shortly after Sunny Day Real Estate disbanded, Mendel and Goldsmith joined one of the most successful rock and roll bands of the 1990s, the Foo Fighters, led by former Nirvana drummer David Grohl. However, during the recording of the Foo Fighters second album, 1997s The Colour and the Shape, in 1997. Goldsmith discovered that Grohl had recorded new drum lines without consulting him first. Irritated by the situation, Goldsmith decided to quit drumming for the Foo Fighters. He [Goldsmith] got all his drum tracks recorded over after he worked his ass off to put them down, Hoerner revealed to Kevin Murphy in the Arizona Republic. He made the choice and walked away from it and I am extremely grateful. Also during the three years Sunny Day Real Estate were apart, Hoerner left the music business all together, fleeing to his farm in eastern Washington state with his wife, while Enigk pursued a solo career. On his own, Enigk recorded one album, the ornate Return of the Frog Queen (issued in 1996 by Sub Pop), a collection of songs he composed which earned critical praise. His songs, according to Stephen Thompson of the Wisconsin State Journal, have a stately, classical quality that somehow complements his passionate, strained-but-gorgeous vocals. And despite his transition into a born again Christian, Enigk, backed by a 21-piece orchestra, revealed few insights into his personal beliefs with Return of the Frog Queen.

Around 1997, Enigk and Hoerner began to mend their friendship and collaborate together. Because of Goldsmiths departure from the Foo Fighters, rumors circulated that the members of Sunny Day Real Estate were contemplating a reunion. At first, the band agreed to come together to record another odds and ends and B-sides album. However, driven by their fans desire for a complete reunion, Sunny Day Real Estate resolved their differences and announced that they would officially regroup in August of 1997. When we played, it felt like this weight being lifted off my shoulders, Goldsmith, who retreated back to Washington state and started playing with various friends since leaving Grohls band, admitted to Daley. Thats when I knew this is where I belong. According to Hoerner, Mendel also wished to play with Sunny Day Real Estate again, but ultimately decided to stay with the Foo Fighters. As Mendel commented to Daley, That was an extremely difficult choice for me. I didnt know if the band would last. I really do love playing in the Foo Fighters. I think were making great music, and I love the people involved.

Enigk, Hoerner, and Goldsmith recruited Jeff Palmer, a former member of San Franciscos Mommyheads, to play bass in Mendels place. In March of 1998, the new lineup recorded an album entitled How It Feels to Be Something On, released in September of the same year. Daley described the album as a beautiful, sprawling, life-affirming mess of power and prog rock that should make more than a few top-10 lists this year. Other reviewers commented on the groups evident maturity with tracks like the R.E.M.- influenced Roses in Water and the Beatles-inspired Two Promises.

Because of Sunny Day Real Estates unstable past, many fans as well as the music press questioned whether or not the reunion would endure. But Sunny Day Real Estate insisted that the collaboration was permanent. Were totally going for it, Hoerner said to Murphy with enthusiasm. We just really want to make music. I think were all looking forward to getting into the studio and making the next record.

Selected discography

Diary, Sub Pop, 1994.

Sunny Day Real Estate, (unofficially known as The Pink Album ), Sub Pop, 1995.

How It Feels to Be Something On, Sub Pop, 1998.



Robbins, Ira A., editor, Trouser Press Guide to 90s Rock, Fireside/Simon and Schuster, 1997.


Arizona Republic, November 19, 1998, p. 39.

Dallas Morning News, November 13, 1998, p. 67.

Magnet, November/December 1998, pp. 49-91.

Wisconsin State Journal, March 13, 1997, p. 10.


Sunny Day Real Estate Official Website, (December 24, 1999).

Laura Hightower

Trump, Donald John

views updated May 14 2018


Billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump (1946) showed the world that millions could be made in developing expensive commercial and residential properties. His intuitive sense of business and sharp eye for spotting a deal made Trump one of the most respectedand most hatedbusinesspersons of the 1980s. Without question, Trump became one of the most famous poster boys of an era known for its big-time financial wheeling and dealing and consumption.

Born Donald John Trump in 1946, he was the fourth of Frederick C. and Mary MacLeod Trump's five cildren. Trump was raised in Queens, New York, where his father was a builder and real estate developer who later specialized in constructing and operating middle-income apartments in Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn. Trump was a bright, energetic, and assertive child who grew up in a 23-room house with his siblings. By age 13 it was evident to his parents that he lacked discipline, so they sent him to the New York Military Academy. Trump did well there both socially and academically, and became a star athlete and student leader by the time he graduated in 1964.

While at the Academy Trump spent his spare time looking around at construction sites and renovating old houses. It seemed he would follow in his father's footsteps but on a much grander scale. He attended Fordham University, but later transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained an undergraduate degree in finance from its Wharton School of Business in 1968. Following graduation he worked in his father's business, the Trump Organization. Soon Trump began putting his newly acquired business training to use; he was able to finance an expansion of the company's holdings by convincing his father to be more liberal in the use of loans based on the equity in the Trump apartment complexes. Eventually Trump bypassed his older brother and became president of his father's company, which concentrated on building houses and apartments. Though this was an important position it was not really fulfilling for Trump. He had bigger dreams of putting his signature on the Manhattan skyline.

Yearning for bigger, more profitable projects, Trump used $200,000 to move his residence to a small studio apartment in Manhattan in 1971. There he was closer to the affluent and influential set whom he felt could make dreams come true. "If I ever wanted to be known as more than Fred Trump's son, I was eventually going to have to go out and make my own mark," Trump once said. In 1973, Trump persuaded his father to invest in the Manhattan real estate market. By then the company's worth had grown from $40 million when Donald Trump had joined the firm to a whopping $200 million.

Four years later Trump married New York fashion model Ivana Zelnickova Winklmayr, who had been an alternate on the 1968 Czech Ski Team. After their first child was born Trump named his wife vice president in charge of design for the Trump Organization. Ivana, an attractive and stylish woman, had a flair for design, and played a major role in supervising the renovation of the Commodore Hotel. She nicknamed her husband "The Donald," and added a touch of style that he appreciated and welcomed. But later, as Trump's empire began to crumble, so too did his marriage.

In the mid-1990s Trump and Ivana, who had three children, divorced, and Trump married his second wife, Marla Maples, in 1994. The media lavished attention on Trump's second wedding, but for all the pomp and circumstance, the marriage was brief and ended in divorce. Trump and his second wife had a daughter together before their marriage ended.

Despite turmoil in his personal life, Trump's business ventures continued to thrive. His strategy was to buy dilapidated properties when prices were cheap, fix them up, and then make a huge profit when the economy picked up. He would either sell the real estate for a higher price than he paid or, more often than not, lease out space at steep prices. He made his first major deal in 1975, when he acquired the bankrupt Penn Central Railroad's Commodore Hotel and rail yards near the Hudson River. Trump then sold the rail yards to the city for a hefty commission, and won an unprecedented $120 million, 46-year tax abatement to tear down the Commodore and build the new Grand Hyatt Hotel in partnership with the Hyatt Corporation. To that amount he added $70 million in loans to construct the hotel. The deal incensed a number of community and political people in New York, who claimed that he used political connections to broker a deal with the city. Urban analysts, however, credit Trump with helping to ignite a building renaissance in a deteriorating part of town.

Ignoring naysayers and supporters alike, Trump continued to negotiate complex deals that made him the best-known and most controversial developer in New York. Against the wishes of New York City, Trump was able to convince the courts that he was entitled to a large amount of tax abatements, which the city was forced to pay. Trump used the abatements to help finance his flagship building, the posh Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue at Fifty-sixth Street, completed in 1980. The 58-story building featured a six-story atrium lined with pink marble and included an 80-foot waterfall. The luxurious building attracted well-known retail stores and celebrity renters. Residential condominiums sold for a pricey $10 million and higher. Of course all this overt show of opulence and wealth attracted national attention for Trump, and the Trump Tower became a major tourist attraction. As quoted in the New York Times, Trump dubbed the project "the finest apartments in the top building in the best location in the hottest city in the world."

Trump had a penchant for glitzy, controversial deals, and he maintained this interest throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 1978 he bought the site of the Bonwit Teller department store and built a 68-story tower on Fifth Avenue, complete with a $2 million marble indoor waterfall. In the early 1980s he purchased a team in the upstart United States Football League, the New Jersey Generals, which sparked the league's antitrust lawsuit against the National Football League. Yet even Donald Trump could not make every deal golden. He once offered to construct a project, on the site that was later occupied by the Jacob Javits Convention Center, if New York City would name the building after Trump's father; the city declined. City officials also balked at Trump's plan to build a $5 billion complex on a strip of land running along the Hudson River from Fifty-ninth to Seventy-second streets.

Trump continued moving from one deal to another. He opened casinos and entered other real estate ventures. At times he ventured beyond the real estate market in hopes of making a mark in the high-stakes game of corporate raiding.

Early in his career Trump earned significant notoriety for artificially driving up real estate prices, and he drew similar criticism as he sought to acquire companies that were not looking for suitors. Beginning in 1986 he engaged in stock market deals that made him look like a corporate raider. He bought large stakes in a series of publicly traded companies, including MCI and Pillsbury, fueling takeover speculation that raised stock prices and allowed him to sell at a handsome profit. Though many criticized Trump's deals he was playing the game much like other speculators did. Extravagant speculation was rampant at that time and created a high-stakes climate. The process was simple: he would identify a company whose stock was undervalued, buy enough shares to take a noticeable position in the company, and make overtures of buying it. This would immediately attract the attention of other stock traders and drive the stock price higher. Trump, of course, was never really interested in buying, nor was the company interested in selling; but his actions prompted a significant increase in the value of his shares and enabled him to sell at a huge profit.

Some acquisitions, however, really did occur. In 1989 Trump acquired Eastern Airlines' shuttle operation for $365 million and renamed it the Trump Shuttle. In 1990 he was interested in acquiring American Airlines, bidding $7.5 billion for it, but the parent company was not interested in selling. Nonetheless, it seemed Trump was on a roll that would never end.

A genius at self-promotion, Trump named several huge projects after himselfmaking his name a household word by the end of the 1980s. He built or bought a succession of hotels and apartment houses in Manhattan, including the Plaza Hotel, Trump Plaza, and Trump Parc. He also became a major hotel and casino operator in Atlantic City, having astutely purchased property in the New Jersey seaside resort before the passage of a 1976 referendum legalizing gambling. This was where the Trump Princess Yacht was docked and where the Trump Shuttle airplane landed. Trump's Castle and the Trump Plaza and Taj Mahal casinos quickly became big moneymakers and helped raise Trump's profile nationally by sponsoring boxing championships. "The first time I did it, with Trump Tower, maybe it was ego," he once said. "But now it's economics. If somebody tells you you'll do a hundred million dollars more business if you call a building Trump Parc than if you call it Tower on the Park or some other name, you'd have to be some kind of masochist not to do it."

By 1990 many wondered how much Trump was really worth behind his complex financing schemes. His net worth had been estimated by some at as much as $3 billion, which Trump never confirmed or denied. But Forbes magazine decided to take a closer look, concluding that his property was worth just under $3.7 billion but his debts totaled $3.2 billion, for a net worth of only $1.5 billion. The magazine went on to predict that Trump could expect difficult times ahead.

This bleak prognosis proved accurate when the real estate market soured in 1990, and property values began to plummet. Trump's casinos suffered from over-saturation. Moreover, the credit market tightened, making it difficult for Trump to borrow additional money to cover his debts. Consequently, he missed $73 million in payments that were due in June 1990, and was extended an emergency $65 million loan, which the banks granted in order to save him from default and to protect their own investment. But that loan came at a hefty price: in return, Trump lost his freedom and was forced to relinquish much of his income and clear important business decisions with his creditors.

Trump was bitter about friends who turned on him during the bleak days. "I view these people as being born with garbage in their genes," he once said. But somehow Trump bounced back and was reported to be worth more than $2 billion by 1997. He also found some Chinese investors to help him build huge housing projects on Manhattan's West Side rail yards, a site which he had been trying fruitlessly to develop for years.

Donald Trump was noted in the business world primarily for his impact on the real estate and casino industries, yet he was perhaps best known to the public as a wealthy and eccentric celebrity. His businesses were major developing of real estate during the 1980s and he contributed to the rapid growth (and later, decline) of the real estate market. More recently, he focused on amassing a large entertainment and gambling concern that ranked as one of the largest in the United States in the late 1990s.


Byers, Paula K., and Suzanne M. Bourgoin, eds. Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998, s.v. "Trump, Donald."

Contemporary Authors. Detroit: Gale Research, 1990.

"I Am Donald, Hear Me Whine." Forbes, December 18, 1995.

"Married, Donald Trump and Marla Maples." Time, January 3, 1994.

Trump, Donald. Surviving at the Top. New York: Random House, 1990.

. The Art of the Deal. New York: Random House, 1988.

Real Estate

views updated May 29 2018


Land, buildings, and things permanently attached to land and buildings. Also called realty and real property.

Real estate is the modern term for land and anything that is permanently affixed to it. Fixtures include buildings, fences, and things attached to buildings, such as plumbing, heating, and light fixtures. Property that is not affixed is regarded as personal property. For example, furniture and draperies are items of personal property.

The sale and lease of real estate in the United States are major economic activities and are regulated by state and federal laws. The two major types of real estate are commercial and residential real estate. Commercial real estate involves the sale and lease of property for business purposes. Residential real estate involves the sale and rental of land and houses to individuals and families for daily living.

The sale of residential property is heavily regulated. All states require real estate agents and brokers, who earn a commission from the owner of real estate for selling the property, to be licensed. To get a license, a person must have a high school diploma, be at least eighteen years old, and pass a written test on real estate principles and law.

Since the 1970s, home buyers have been given additional protection under the law. Many states and municipalities require a seller of real estate to file a truth-in-housing statement. A seller must disclose any problems with the home, such as a wet basement or the presence of termites, on the form. Failure to disclose this information can result in the revocation of the purchase agreement or a lawsuit by the buyers against the seller for fraud. In addition, some laws require an inspector to visit the property to determine if there are any problems.

Most purchases of residential real estate require the buyer to obtain a mortgage from a bank or other lending institution. The lending institution receives a security interest on the real estate, which means that if the borrower defaults in paying back the mortgage, the institution can obtain title to the property and resell it to pay off the mortgage debt.

The federal government enacted the Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act of 1974 (RESPA) (12 U.S.C.A. § 2601 et seq.) to ensure that the buyer of residential real estate is made aware of the many costs associated with the sale. RESPA mandates that a federally insured lending institution give the buyer advance notice of all the costs to be paid on the date of closing the transactions. These costs typically include the cost of property surveys, appraisals, title searches, brokers' fees, and administrative and processing charges.


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