The Sharks were formed in 1981 by Doug Phillips, Sam Lugar, Dave Sheaffer and Steve Zero. After years of performing in cover rock , funk and disco bands, the boys knew they were going nowhere fast. During a happy hour performance with an audience of three, (two which were passed out on the bar,) the boys decided “enough is enough” and decided to do what they wanted. The boys listened to the likes of Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, The Clash, Jim Carroll, Talk Talk, Devo, Talking Heads and were inspired to try out their song writing skills. Six months later, The Sharks released their first 45 rpm single called "You'd Better Watch Her" b/w "Watching Me Die". The single became a local hit. One year later, (Dave Sheaffer leaves the band ... enter bassist / vocalist / songwriter Shea Quinn), the Sharks release "Live At The Village" a scorching 13 song LP recorded at a local nightclub in The Sharks hometown of Lancaster, Pa. During the next year, The Sharks begin to build an impressive fan base by touring virtually non-stop in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York. Shows were booked at the infamous CBGB, Trax, and The Ritz in New York City where major recording labels began "courting" The Sharks. During that time, The Sharks stopped touring long enough to release a 4 song EP simply called "Sharks". Sales were strong for the EP, but the fans wanted more, so The Sharks began to perform on average, 28 days a month up and down the East Coast as well as six weeks in Hamilton, Bermuda.
In late 1986, the Sharks win MTV's Basement Tape Competition by the largest margin in the history of the MTV Basement Tape Competition. The Sharks win a video to be entered into MTV rotation, an Elektra /Asylum Recording Contract and recording gear. The Sharks decided to embark on one of the most grueling tour schedules to date, performing for the thousands of fans that voted for them in the competition. Elektra Records immediately put The Sharks in RPM Studios and The Power Station in NYC. to record "In A Black and White World" which featured "On My Own" and "Only Time Will Tell". Videos for both songs were shot on location in Times Square in NYC. "Only Time Will Tell" would become the second most requested song during MTV's Top 10 Countdown for 2 weeks in a row in 1988. With the success of the Elektra release and the MTV support, the Sharks toured and shared the stage for the next two years with The Go Go's, A Flock of Seagulls, Robert Palmer, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, The Romantics, Night Ranger, The Fixx and The Stray Cats.
In 1990, The Sharks realized that the promised support of Elektra Records was non-existent and were forced to finance the promotion of the ep themselves. With the increased financial burden of promoting their ep and the increasing cost of touring coupled with decreasing live venues to perform, The Sharks began to assess their future. With 12 successful years and a lifetime of great memories, The Sharks decided to call it quits in 1992 with a farewell performance at The Village Niteclub, Lancaster, Pa. ... where it all started.