Birthday: Hothouse Flowers' Peter O'Toole

To those who have never heard of Irish cult rock band

COLOR="#003163">Hothouse Flowers, the name

COLOR="#003163">Peter O'Toole might bring visions of the

veteran British actor. But a man with the same name has been playing bass

and guitar for the Celtic rock band since 1986.

O'Toole was born April 1, 1965, in Dublin, Ireland. He joined Hothouse Flowers

as a bassist in 1986, one year after the band started as a duo

(singer/keyboardist Liam

O'Maonlai and guitarist

COLOR="#003163">Fiachna O'Braonain) called the

Incomparable Benzini

Brothers.

U2's Bono liked Hothouse

Flowers' rootsy hybrid of pop and traditional Irish folk music. He helped the

group sign with U2's Mother Records label, which helped them get a deal with

Polygram's London label.

People (1988) went to #2 in the UK and #88 in the U.S., the highest any

of Hothouse's albums would chart in the States. It featured tracks such as

"Don't Go" and "It'll Be Easier in the Morning."

Home (1990) and Songs From the Rain (1993) followed. Original

members Jerry Fehily

(drums) and Leo Barnes

(sax) then quit, leaving the band a trio on Born (1998). O'Toole switched

to guitar on that LP.

Hothouse Flowers are planning a new album.

Other birthdays Saturday: Alan

Blakeley (

COLOR="#003163">Tremeloes), 58;

COLOR="#003163">John Barbata (

COLOR="#003163">Turtles,

COLOR="#003163">Jefferson Starship), 54;

COLOR="#003163">Simon Crowe (

COLOR="#003163">Boomtown Rats), 52;

COLOR="#003163">Billy Currie (

COLOR="#003163">Ultravox), 48;

COLOR="#003163">Mark White (

COLOR="#003163">ABC), 39;

COLOR="#003163">Ronnie Lane (

COLOR="#003163">Small Faces), 1946–1997;

Jeff Porcaro (

COLOR="#003163">Toto), 1954–1992.