The Metal Files

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Archive for June 2011

Classic Buttons

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I was never much of a button collector but I bought a few.  Here are 2 of the 3 I know that I had.  The other was a Stryper button from 1985 (my first metal show) that I lost a few years back.

The Yngwie one came from Triumph/Yngwie 1986.  Thomas’ dad took us to the show.  He sat in the rafters while we stayed close to the front.  Triumph was on the Sport of Kings tour and Yngwie was on the Trilogy tour.  Jeff Scott Soto had come back into the band for the tour.  Don’t really know why Boals left but we were all happy to see JSS on stage.  Both bands were great.  I couldn’t afford a shirt so a button was my souvenir.

The other is from Iron Maiden/Anthrax in 1991.  I am pretty sure that I bought a Maiden shirt that likely disintegrated shortly after the show.

Yngwie and Anthrax buttons (click to enlarge)


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June 18, 2011 at 7:46 pm

I’ve seen Poison 3 times? What the hell is wrong with me?!

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As I’ve been digging through all of my old ticket stubs recently I noticed one thing that has not left me at ease.  Yes.  I’ve been to 3 Poison shows.  I mean, what the hell?  I detest that band.  I find their style of music to be of the utmost poseur category.  I have a lot of friends who like them and that’s fine, but I don’t.  Looking up who they were on tour with, it all starts to make a little sense.

The first time was in 2002 and they had Cinderella, Winger and Faster Pussycat as openers.  Prior to this I had only seen Winger once in the late 80s and they were great live.  I hated Cinderella back when they came out but over the years grew to appreciate them a little more.  Faster Pussycat always sat well with me, even though they did some silly stuff too.  But Poison?  Blech!  I will admit that they are entertaining live to a degree, I only wish I could have just turned their sound off completely.  Their music and Brett Michael’s voice annoys me to no end.  The other three bands put on a great show.  It was worth the $10.

Poison Hollyweird World Tour 2002

Next up was 2003.  Wait…what?  I saw them 2 years in a row even?  Shoot me now!  At least I got free tix to this one.  Vince Neil and the Bach-less Skid Row opened up.  Awful.  When I saw Skid Row in 1991, they were great but then again they had a great frontman at the time.

Poson Harder, Louder, Faster Tour 2003

Finally I saw them again in 2006.  What is my f’ing problem?  Ah, Cinderella opened up.  Since seeing them a few years prior, I knew they were likely to put on another great show…and they did even though Kiefer’s voice was having troubles.  Poison?  Blah…again.  My ticket says $10, but I think I got these for free.

Poison 20th Anniversary Tour 2006

If any of you ever see or hear me inclined to go see Poison again, please berate me and talk me out of it.  I promise it wouldn’t take much to do.  :)

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June 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm

King Diamond – August 16, 2000

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In 2000, I still had my online music store (Acacia Music) and was still getting into shows free that had bands on Century Media and Metal Blade Records as they were my 2 main wholesale distributors.  Lucky me.  This King Diamond show at famed Jaxx Nightclub was certainly one of them.  Shdaows Fall, Deep and Babylon Whores opened up this show.

After the show I was hanging out behind the venue hoping to meet the King.  I did get to speak with Andy LaRocque for a little bit and had him sign a few CDs for me, including my Death CD that he played on.  He saw that both Chuck Schuldiner had signed it and asked me where I got his signature.  Cool dude.

Someone tapped me on the should and said, “There’s King!”  He was getting in a car, no makeup on and I just put my hand out and said, “King, thanks for all the great music over the years!”  He shook my hand as he was getting in the car and said, “Thanks!  Gotta run, man.  Thanks for coming.”  Perfect.  I was totally happy with that.


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June 8, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Meeting UDO/Raven – June 17, 2000

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My good friend Nyk invited me to stay the weekend with him in Northern Virginia the same weekend that UDO and Raven were playing Jaxx Nightclub in Springfield.  While I’m not the biggest Accept or Raven fan, I knew that we would be on the guestlist because at the time, Nyk was friends with John Gallagher of Raven.  It would also be a good opportunity to get some more sigs in The Book.  Raven’s drummer at the time was Hasselvander from Pentagram, a band that I am a HUGE fan of, so the chance to meet him is worth the trip in itself.  And to be clear, I love Restless and Wild and Balls to the Wall but I’m not as familiar with their other albums.  I owned Metal Heart and Russian Roulette at some point but I really don’t remember either one of them.  And Raven?  I’m not a fan…at all.  There, I said it.  Talented dudes, but not my thing.

The day of the show we have dinner with the Gallagher brothers and they were super nice guys. If memory serves me well, dinner was at an Asian place.  A few Raven fans spotted them and came over to say hello.  Honestly, prior to that day I wouldn’t know those dudes if they were standing next to me.

They take off for the show and we bum around for a bit then head there ourselves.  We’re on the list and get to go in the “upper room” above the bar while one of the opening bands was on.  Hasselvander was up there and let me tell you, he is one of the coolest dudes around.  We talked about Pentagram quite a bit as he was still involved at the time and his connection with Blue Cheer and his new band, Hounds of Hasselvander.  He was putting on some eyeliner and with it he can really pass for Ozzy.  Fun dude.  He signed the book as well the Gallagher brothers and I went back to put it in the car.  It’s a bit of a pain to lug around all night.

Right as Raven was going on, we were just standing a ways back from the front and I turn to go get a drink or something and bump into this little stocky dude.  I said, “Oh, sorry man. ” and he replied with “No problem.”  And instantly it hit me.  It was Udo!  He must be about 5’1″ or so.   I shook his hand and asked him to sign my ticket (see below).

Both bands put on great shows, no matter if I liked the music or not.  The musicianship was top notch for sure.

Ticket signed by Udo...flip it over and you can almost make out his name.

Raven sigs in The Book on their page. (click to enlarge)

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June 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Slayer – Seasons In The Abyss Concert Ticket And More…

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Since today is the International Day of Slayer, I thought I’d post this Slayer memory.

February 17, 1991, 10 days prior to my 21st birthday.  Slayer and Testament invaded The Boathouse in Norfolk, VA.  Slayer was promoting Seasons In The Abyss and testament was on The Souls of Black Tour.  I had seen testament at least once before and they were awesome.  To this day they are one of the best bands I have ever seen and I try to catch them every chance I get.  I had never seen Slayer before this night and I wasn’t much of a fan of the Seasons album but liked everything before it.  I remember going to buy my ticket and complaining that it was $15.  Hell, I was only making about $6.50/hr or so at the time.

It was an awesome show though.  Both bands delivered.  Testament was phenomenal and Slayer was probably more intense than any band I had ever seen.  There were mosh pits everywhere during Slayer.  Like a fool I decided to get into one at the back of the venue.  I may have gone around the circle once or twice when I fell over some dude who hit the floor in front of me.  My face lands square on his back and I thought I broke my nose.  Luckily there was no blood but my nose has been slightly off center ever since.  Damn that hurt.

On the wall in various parts of the venue were printouts as seen below with the band’s photocopied autographs.  I snagged one immediately when we walked in.  After the show the staff was trying to clear the parking lot and a few of use were trying to ditch them and see if we could meet some of Slayer.  I was able to get about 30 seconds with Kerry King who walked out with a towel around his neck.  I asked him to sign the back of this piece of paper and he asked what I thought of the show.  I told him I thought it was great.  He signed it, shook my hand, thanked me and got on the bus after a few other folks got to talk with him for a moment.  Total class act that night.  Jeff Hanneman came out and had a group of guards around him.  No one got close so we bailed.

It was a pretty cool night and overall an awesome show.  I got to meet Lombardo several years later and will talk about that meeting some other time.

Slayer sign (click to enlarge)

Kerry King's autograph

Written by The Metal Files

June 6, 2011 at 8:29 pm


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This year was probably one of the most influential years for me as far as music goes.  One big reason is that I got my driver’s license that year and my first job (bagging groceries).  Not that I was making much money at it for a summer job, but it kept gas in my car and allowed me to buy records and tapes a little more freely.  It also afforded me a way to continue to add to my drum set.

Another thing that was a big musical influence that year was a guy I went to high school with that I met later in 1986 (junior year).  Through him and his friends I found a lot more stuff that I may have overlooked otherwise.  For that guy and a small group of his friends, I am eternally grateful.  That dude and I were best friends for our last 2 years of school and for a few years after.  But over time we lost touch and began to run in different circles.  And that’s ok, it happens.

Thankfully we did a lot of tape trading back then.  No way could I afford buying all of these making $3.35/hr!

So much music in that year though, so many great releases.  Let’s just cover a few (not in order of importance).

  • Slayer – Reign in Blood.  Quite possibly one of the biggest albums for me and definitely the biggest one for me in 1986.  I didn’t really care for Slayer that much until I heard this one.  Truly a game changer in thrash/speed metal.  No one other than maybe Gene Hoglan was playing drums to that level in metal.
  • Metallica – Master of Puppets.  I loved this when it came out, but not as much as Ride the Lightning.  I went years upon years without listening to it and finally spun it again recently.  Lots of good memories sitting in the parking lot before church with my pals jamming to this.
  • Megadeth – Peace Sells.  My oh my.  This one may be bigger for me than Reign in Blood.  I’ve lamented more than once on this website how much I love this album.  It still gets plenty of airtime with me.
  • Iron Maiden – Somewhere In Time.  Thanks to Unicorn Records I got this a few days before it came out officially.  I remember calling my friend Chris and playing it for him over the phone.  Good times.  Great album and the last of their run of great albums in my opinion.
  • Dark Angel – Darkness Descends.  Raw…Brutal…Power.  Gene Hoglan’s under-produced drums still powered through.
  • Fates Warning – Awaken the Guardian.  Oh my.  Another of the big ones for me that year.  I had been into Fates since first hearing Night on Brocken but this album was…erm…is such a masterpiece.  Arch’s vocal melodies and harmonies, the songwriting in general, the production…it is a perfect record from front to back.  When I met Frank Aresti a few months ago, he stated that the new album with Arch will be a good follow-up to Guardian.  Let’s hope!
  • Crimson Glory – S/T.  A prog classic.  Not too many folks were singing like Midnight nor had many bands starting trying to emulate early Queensryche like these guys did.
  • Metal Church – The Dark.  This is an album that kicked me in the teeth from the first note.  I love Metal Church and can never place which of the first 3 is my favorite.
  • Flotsam & Jetsam – Doomsday for the Deceiver.  Another thrash classic.  I highly recommend the reissue that came out a few years ago.  The sound is amazing.
  • Queensryche – Rage for Order.  While this album was not as great as Warning, it’s a worthwhile release, and for me the last one I like.  Sorry Mindcrime fans, I’m out.
  • Fifth Angel – S/T.  One of the most underrated albums in metal.  Not too fast, not too slow.  Great vocals and guitar work.  tastefully written and played metal.
  • Omen – The Curse.  Omen releases another perfect album.  Period.  Sure, Battle Cry and Warning of Danger may have been better, but this one stayed on course for them.  Teeth of the Hydra!
  • Nuclear Assault – Game Over.  This was my introduction to Nuclear Assault.  While I didn’t play it a lot, it got some rotation.  I’m pretty sure I got this as a dubbed tape from a friend as I don’t remember actually owning it.
  • Sword – Metalized.  Great effort from these Canadians.  Their follow-up?  Not so much.
  • Hallows Eve – Death and Insanity.  I love this album.  It’s thrash in its simplest form.  It wasn’t until a week ago that I realized they were and east coast band (GA).  It’s a fun album.
  • Damien – Every Dog Has Its Day.  Another great record that never got its due.
  • Cinderella – Night Songs.  Bought it by recommendation right when it came out.  Sold it a week later.  WTF was this trash?  About 10 years ago I gave it another spin and now I like it.  I didn’t care much for the hairband phase of the 80s.
  • Yngwie Malmsteen – Trilogy.  I saw this tour when they opened for Triumph.  I was already a fan but didn’t care much for this album.  Going from Jeff Scott Soto to Mark Boals was a huge change, plus the production value on the album is lacking.  It took some years, but I finally got to where it’s one of my favorites by Yngwie.
  • Loudness – Lightning Strikes.  Man oh man I have listened to this album 100s of times since 1986.  It’s my favorite by Loudness by far.  Just great all the way through.
  • Ozzy – The Ultimate Sin.  I like this album a lot, even with the primarily goofy Ozzy lyrics.  Jake was great even though the production of this album sucked.
  • Zebra – 3.V.  My favorite by these NOLA/NYC rockers.  I still listen to it quite often and was fortunate enough to catch this tour with Alcatrazz (post Yngie/Vai) and Rough Cutt.
  • Lizzy Borden – Menace to Society.  Again, terrible production of a great album.  This one gets more play than any of their others.
  • Battlezone – Fighting Back.  Dianno’s solo band.  Their first 2 releases  are wonderful and I’m so glad I got to see them live.
  • Angus – Track of Doom.  One of the guys from my school gave this to me as a birthday gift.  Thanks Duane!  Great Swedish power metal.
  • Damien Thorne – Sign of the Jackal.  Just find it and buy it.  You won;t be disappointed.
  • Obsession – Scarred for Life.  This is another one of those albums that sits on top for me.  Countless days and nights spent listening to this and playing drums to it.  It’s a perfect album.
  • Triumph – Sport of Kings.  Easily in my top 2 favorite Triumph albums.  Sure it was a little more poppy, but it’s a great record.  Another great tour that I caught.
  • Cerebus – Too Late To Pray.  While I loved this back then, it leaves me flat now.
  • Purgatory – Tied to the Trax.  Heard this one through a friend.  Awesome album.
  • CJSS – Praise the Loud.  Some of Chastain’s finest work.
  • TT Quick – Metal of Honor.  Another great and underrated record.  Buy it.


There are a lot more great albums that came out that year that I didn’t hear until later like King Diamond’s Fatal Portrait and Anthem’s Tightrope.  That’s why they aren’t mentioned above.  Many in the list up there still get played on a regular basis and with good cause.  I guess it can be said that in some ways, I am stuck in 1986…and I make no apologies for it!

Written by The Metal Files

June 4, 2011 at 8:49 am

Posted in 1986, heavy metal

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Motorhead – March or Die Concert Ticket

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This was my first Motorhead show and the only reason I even cared to go was because Mikkey Dee was in the band.  At this time I really didn’t give 2 hoots about Motorhead although I did like the 1916 album.  Daniel and I got to the show a little early and got to spend time with Mikkey and Phil Campbell (aka Zoom at the time for what he stated as legal issues with an ex).  It was cool because Mikkey remembered me from the year prior when we hung out on the Don Dokken solo tour.  I remember Wurzel being there and he signed my ticket stub, but he was really quiet and didn’t hang out with us.  This was also my first time meeting Lemmy.  It lasted all of about 9 seconds.  I handed him my 1916 cassette (!!!) cover and asked him to sign it.  He mumbled something unintelligible to me, shook my hand and I thanked him and walked away.

I didn’t notice until the other day that we had free tickets.  I’m not sure how that came about but I think Steve from Skinnies Records.  If so, thanks Steve!

Local band Sea of Souls opened up.  I will admit that I liked them the first time I saw them (not sure which show it was), but they seemingly opened up for every band that came through town and I quickly got sick of them.  When Motorhead hit the stage, it was pretty intense.  Mikkey brings a high level of energy to any band he is in.  Since this show, I haven’t missed a chance to see them live.  Mainly because of the drums but over time I became a fan of the band as well.   I’ve met Mikkey a few times since then and he’s always a class act.

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June 2, 2011 at 8:54 am