The Atomic Fireballs

The Atomic Fireballs is a Detroit band led by vocalist/songwriter John Bunkley. The group was formed during 1996 with Bunkley on vocals, James Bostek on trumpet, Tony Buccilli on trombone, Duke Kingins on guitar, Shawn Scaggs on double bass, Eric Schabo on tenor sax, Geoff Kinde on drums, and Randy Sly on piano. Scaggs was replaced by Seán E. Harris on double bass and Bostek was replaced by Kenneth Ferry Jr. on trumpet. The band was discovered by former Kid Rock manager Michael Rand. After booking the band nearly 60 concerts Rand began the process of introducing the band to major record labels. The band was signed to Lava by A&R executives Rick Goetz and Jason Flom.

The Atomic Fireballs
OriginDetroit, Michigan, U.S.
GenresSwing revival, jump blues, rock & roll
LabelsOrbital, Atlantic
Past members
  • John Bunkley
  • James Bostek
  • Tony Buccilli
  • Geoff Kinde
  • Duke Kingins
  • Shawn Scaggs
  • Eric Schabo
  • Randy Sly

The Atomic Fireballs released two albums: Birth of the Swerve, which was released independently in 1998,[1] produced at Tanglewood Studio in Brookfield, Illinois, and Torch This Place, which was released by Atlantic in 1999. Torch This Place was recorded at Armoury Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, and was produced by Bruce Fairbairn[2] along with engineers Mike Plotnikoff and Paul Silveira.

Though they are jump blues inspired, some listeners have placed them in the swing revival genre. The band's biggest hit, "Man with the Hex", was included on the soundtracks of American Pie, Scooby Doo and The Haunted Mansion, was used in several TV shows, most notably Dawson's Creek, and was featured on both Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance as a quickstep. Visuals of the band performing "Swing Sweet Pussycat" are shown in the closing credits of the 1999 film Three to Tango.

Geoff Kinde performs solo as Roland Remington. Eric Schabo teaches history at Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Randy Sly performs with The Verve Pipe.[3]



  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. Swing. Hal Leonard. pp. 461–. ISBN 978-1-61774-476-1. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  2. ^ "News Flash: Producer Bruce Fairbairn Dead At 49". MTV News. 18 May 1999. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-02. Retrieved 2014-08-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)