Willow Glen, California, 1978
China Cat: left to right: Michael Rizzolo, Robin Gilligan, Ken Rattenne. Jon Nystedt, Tim Larkin


China Cat, made up of veteran musicians from the Southbay music scene, has been together over eight years in one form or another. Formed in 1971 by Michael Rizzolo and Ken Rattenne, the band opened for such as acts as Elvin Bishop and Juice Newton before reforming in 1977. Since then, China Cat has kept fairly isolated, making few personal appearances. Co-producer and bassist Ken Rattenne explains: "The band decided it was time to stop worrying about making a living playing the clubs; release ourselves from the ball-and-chain that copy material places on you. Instead, we concentrated on writing and recording, polishing our act..."

China Catís current exposure actually began via radio in 1978, when South Bay rock station KSJO and ABC Records sponsored the Tom Petty Songwriting Contest. China Catís entry "Everybody's Mother", written by Michael Rizzolo, was selected winner, and the song was added to the stationís playlist.

Extensive studio work has given China Cat a clean, polished approach to rock'n roll. Their music has been described as a "blending of vocals recalling the San Francisco Rock scene with the tight instrumentation of the 80's."

    China Cat: "A small part of Bay Area music history."

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