Archive for the ‘1989’ Category
Geoff Tate’s Queensrÿche Facebook page announced today that he was doing a bottle signing for his Insania wine nearby. So I ran home, grabbed The Book, a photo I took of him at a signing in 1989 and headed up to Spec’s. Small crowd but it was cool meeting him again. He took special interest in The Book and asked how to get one. After the signing, his wife was giving out samples and I tried the red. I also bought some for myself. Good wine, pretty expensive though.
Let’s be clear…I fucking hate Warrant…always have. I hated 99% of all that sissy hairband bullshit. I saw Warrant open for Crue on the Dr. Feelgood Tour. Crue wasn’t that great live but it was the only time I ever saw them and it was enjoyable at least. But Warrant? Fuck ’em. At that show all I really remember is Jani Lane talking a bunch of retarded bullshit between songs. It was annoying as hell. There were a lot of folks in the crowd that were yelling at him and flipping him off. Someone even threw a shoe at him *cough*. They blew.
Crue, again, did alright, but Vince kind of ruined it. No surprise there. The one great thing about that show was this little redhead who wanted up on my shoulders. Of course I put her up there for a few songs and she even got topless. Nikki Sixx threw 2 bass picks our way, I caught them both, I don’t think the girl even noticed them. After I let her down my buddy put her up. Or maybe she was on his shoulders first. Doesn’t matter. I scored 2 picks! I ran into the girl in the hallway after the show and gave her one of the picks. “One of these belongs to you.” She gave me a quick kiss and a hug and we parted ways.
Damn she was cute.
So Lane was 47? No secret he had been spiraling for years but I never quite saw this coming. Hopefully there’s a decent story with some hookers attached to it. RIP dude. Sending good vibes to your family and friends.
Warrant? Really? Sheesh.
As you have read before, I got to see Metal Church and Meliah Rage on the Blessing in Disguise Tour in 1989. I found the banner that I had made for the show that I thought was long gone. Signed by both bands!
That was such a wonderful show. Still, I wish Mike Howe would do another record with someone.
Enjoy the tattered banner.
This was a great show even though Death didn’t play. Apparently their van broke down. It was my first time seeing Gene Hoglan live. Other than seeing OTT, a local band that I loved, seeing Dark Angel was pretty huge. I wasn’t really a Death fan at the time, that didn’t really happen until Hoglan joined the band. After that I decided to delve into their older material. Good stuff. After Darkness Descends, I lost interest in Dark Angel. This was on the Leave Scars tour and I didn’t really care for that album at all…except for the drumming. Gene rules. This show also featured Brett Eriksen from Viking on guitar to replace Jim Durkin. It was a great night made even more special by it being at the old Atlantic Beach Club. I loved that place and saw some really cool shows there. I also missed some really cool shows there!
I love Metal Church. Well, I love the David Wayne/Mike Howe eras. Seeing them in 89 was an awesome experience. When Mike Howe left the band, only the return of David Wayne could have kept me interested in them. Well, he rejoined the band and they put out Masterpeace which
unfortunately did not have Craig Wells on it. Fortunately though, Craig did play on David Wayne’s solo album which was called Metal Church. It was a good album overall!
Thanks to the internetz, I was able to catch up with Craig and he graciously agreed to answer some questions.
What/who was your main inspiration to pick up a guitar and what was your first guitar?
“When I was about ten my Father bought me a semi hollow body red Sears Silvertone guitar at a pawn shop in Seattle. I asked for it because I listened to records all the time, mostly Beatles songs..I just liked anything really, Smokey Robinson , Temptations, anything on the radio and available on vinyl…”
How did you end up in Metal Church? Did you know those guys beforehand and just decided to put a band together?
“Metal Church coming together is kind of complicated…We were school friends but I had moved away from the home town to Kent, which was not far from Seattle so to get together I had to drive 100 miles to rehearse. I knew everyone from school bands and after being a band then not being a band a few times, eventually it all came together. I saw Dave Wayne’s phone number on the wall in Guitar Center of Seattle, it was an ad he posted claiming he was the best singer in the North West! It said “I can sing Whole Lotta Love and hold the end note longer than any living being”.
Sounded good to me…. I called Dave and soon met up with him and we began writing some music in my families home. We wanted to get a band going but he was in work release from jail so every weekend he had to go back in or violate his parole so everything took a while to get going….soon Dave’s time was over and I convinced him to go with me to a rehearsal with the rest of the future MC members and it became MC soon after that. That was with David, Duke , Kirk , Kurdt and myself…David and I lived in the Kent area and the band was 100 miles away in Aberdeen so rehearsal was minimal in the beginning till the rest of the band came to the Kent area [or closer] and we then rehearsed in my Grandmothers garage, we rehearsed there for about five years, coming and going on tour …”
What are some of your favorite memories of those early days in the northwest metal scene?
“Many memories but we never had a whole lot of a club scene or metal scene, all of us in the band lived and worked far from the city in the early days, I drove delivery, Duke and Kirk worked in a shake mill, Dave was a nurse, and Kurdt still lived a hundred miles away in Aberdeen. We played our first Seattle gig at the Moore Theater it was the Headbangers Ball and not till after we had toured a couple years did anybody in Seattle even really know us…then we had many friends in our home base of Kent, they all lived close and they were the Kent Bangers, they were awesome friends, and of course we had a great time..We were outsiders all growing up in a logging town on the coast of Washington state called Aberdeen and Hoquiam.. so nobody in Seattle knew us.”
What Metal Church album are you most proud of?
“It is very hard to say I am most proud of one album over the other but I can say that the first album period was the most fun time in MC because we were making music as a band effort with us writing stuff that was inspiring to us and we worked together and everybody had input. I guess I pick the first MC album…It was recorded in only a couple weeks of overnight sessions.”
How did you end up on Sir Mix*A*Lot’s song Iron Man? (see video below)
“I ended up on playing Iron Man for Sir Mixalot solely because of Terry Date our joint producer…it was his idea and he asked me to track the guitar so I said sure, pay me with a bag of Dicks Cheese Burgers, and he said yes, so we did it! That`s all…nothing more to it than that, just a great time at the studio.”
What led to your departure from the band?
“The main thing that lead to my departure from MC was a lack of vision and the desire to choose to solder on from everybody…my opinion was if we are going to agree to make a new album then we are going to do it and continue making albums and not stop, We agree to make the band again and it be our livelihood, I can not go back and forth…. no matter what happens we are not turning back and we will expect to tour and live it out. Nobody else wanted to see it that way…they wanted to make a test album and just throw something out and see if it gets some bites and maybe do something later…I realized that I was at a cross road it was either music and touring or stay with my family and the band members were not concrete in choosing the band, so I chose to go my own way…”
Did you join another band after?
“I have never been with any other band…why should I?… I did not need anything beyond that…because MC was my blessing, all we had to do was SHOW UP and we could make music and we rocked…who would want anything else?”
Do you miss touring?
“Sure, I miss touring, who wouldn’t? fortunately now I have a life with my family that I value very dearly so I can just look back and smile at the old days..It was great!”
Losing David Wayne was a pretty devastating blow to the fans and especially to his family and former bandmates. What impact did his sudden death have on you?
“Dave’s passing was very sudden as you said…we had some rocky times, we kicked him out of the band and then years later I became friends with him again and he was back with us all again so all I can say is that I am glad that we became friends again prior to him leaving but I am sad I did not get to say good bye.”
Are you still playing music? What’s going on with Craig Wells these days?
“Yes I still play music at home in my free time purely for enjoyment…I work as a broadcast engineer for FOX and that keeps me busy and my plate is full with my family. Maybe we will jam again sometime and if we don’t, I will always look back on the day with a smile!”
Thanks Craig for taking the time to do this. Metal Church helped provide the soundtrack to my life and I’ll always regard them as one of the best metal bands ever. I’ve asked Mike Howe and Kirk Arrington to do interviews, but to date they have not responded to my requests.
So there we were, some former friends from high school I heading to Tracks at Ward’s Corner in Norfolk, VA to do the free meet and greet with Queensryche. It was a nice warm afternoon in March. Kirshon brought something to get signed but I don’t remember what exactly. One of my friends brought his copy of their first EP and I had nothing. I couldn’t find my Warning cassette so when we were getting out of Kirshon’s truck, I just grabbed a piece of notebook paper.
It was a remarkably small crowd if memory serves me correctly and the line moved quickly. I snapped a few photos and had them sign my sheet of paper, of which each one of them joked on. When they got to my friend’s EP, Tate said, “Where have you been keeping this, in your back pocket?” He laughed and replied with, “Pretty much.” They were all really nice guys and some of the nicest I’ve met in situations like this. They were having fun with the people there and were constantly talking trash to each other.
Queensryche was touring with Metallica on their …And Justice For All/Operation Mindcrime tours, respectively. By this time I was already done with Metallica. I thought AJFA was a shitty album (still do!) and didn’t even really care for Mindcrime (still don’t!), but I figured I’d get to hear enough stuff from the previous 2 albums and the EP to satisfy me. They did several from Mindcrime but it was fine. They kicked ass and made Metallica look like amateurs. Even Metallica’s older songs sounded like they came from AJFA. Blech!
My girlfriend’s little brother Ryan came with us to the show and I think he may have been 14 at the time. He loved Queensryche so we took him. We were all 4 on the barricade for Queensryche but during Metallica we moved back towards the sound board area and a big mosh pit broke out in front of us. Ryan got sucked in and I could see the look of fear in his eyes so I ran into the pit and extracted him as quickly as I could. To this day he still says, “thanks for saving my life that night!” hahaha
Enjoy the photos.
I’m pretty sure it was spring 1987 and I was down on Atlantic Ave at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront hanging out for whatever reason. There was a little record store there that I can’t remember the name of. I’m pretty sure it was an independent store and don’t hink it lasted more than a few years. I can’t even remember if anyone was with me…maybe Robert S. Anyhoo, we were browsing the cassettes and I saw Dark Angel’s Darkness Descends. I immediately knew that this would be my purchase. I had seen the ads for this in various metal mags and it was on Combat Records which had a pretty good track record of bands so far.
I remember getting in my 66′ Nova 4dr and heading back home while the tape started. I was immediately blown away. The drums. Holy shit, the drums! I remember seeing fotos in magazines of the band and the big huge drummer in shades looming over them in every foto. I was fortunate enough to meet him earlier this decade and he was the coolest mofo in the world.
But back to this massive album. There’s not a stinker in the bunch but my faves are Burning of Sodom, Black Prophecies and Perish In Flames. Sure it’s a tad sloppy and severely underproduced, but it set a/the standard for early thrash and death metal in my opinion, especially for drummers.
When I finally saw them live in 1989, I got to help sing Merciless Death as the new singer said he didn’t know the lyrics that well. I was the happiest acne-faced, bad-haired kid in Virginia Beach that night!
If you’re into classic metal and especially early thrash, you NEED this album.
I finally found the foto of Gene and me from 2001.
Written by The Metal Files
June 21, 2009 at 11:24 am