News Flash: Nina Gordon Quits Veruca Salt

Nina Gordon, singer, songwriter and guitarist for the hard-rock quartet Veruca

Salt, has split with the band she co-founded, leaving the future of the

Chicago-based outfit up in the air.

"She left to pursue other opportunities," said Gayle Fine, spokeswoman for

Q Prime, Veruca Salt's management company.

Whether those plans include

work on a solo album or a new band is not yet clear. In the wake of

Gordon's departure, Veruca Salt's label, DGC Records, issued a brief

statement confirming the split. "At this point, the future of the group

remains uncertain," the announcement said.

Gordon, 30, first joined forces with partner Louise Post in 1991. For

six months, the pair forged a pop-rock sound in Post's living room,

teaching one another songs they had each been working on separately for

years and eventually coming to describe themselves as "musical soulmates."

Soon they were joined by Gordon's brother Jim Shapiro (later replaced by

Stacy Jones) on drums and bassist Steve Lack.

Veruca Salt (named for a character in the children's classic Charlie and

the Chocolate Factory) first climbed onto the national stage in late

1994, after word-of-mouth adulation for their hard-pop, Brad Wood-produced (Liz Phair) debut,

American Thighs, prompted DGC to sign the band and re-release the

album. They took full flight after the Gordon-penned "Seether" gained wide

exposure on MTV.

Eight Arms To Hold You, the band's 1997 follow-up, was produced by

Bob Rock (Metallica), whose pedal-to-the-metal hard-rock style contrasted

with the more lo-fi approach taken by producer Wood on

American Thighs. The more polished metallic sound failed to catch on

with listeners. Without a hit single or video as captivating as "Seether" to drive it, Eight

Arms moved more than 400,000 copies, nearly equaling the gold (more than 500,000 copies sold) status of its predecessor.

Gordon has remained busy following the release of Eight Arms To Hold

You. The group toured and, most recently, Gordon lent backing vocals to the song "Beauty" on

Let It Come Down, the solo debut from Smashing Pumpkins guitarist

James Iha. -- Chris Nelson [Mon., March 2, 1998, 9 a.m. PST]