Posts Tagged ‘battlezone’
So Paul Dianno played last night at the Red Eyed Fly in Austin, TX. I had expectations but they weren’t set too high as I know of enough about Dianno these days to not expect miracles. As noted before, I’ve been to 2 other Dianno shows but never saw either of them. Last night was different.
A few weeks back I went to the Red Eyed Fly to get an advanced ticket. When I asked the booking guy for the club about it, he said they weren’t on sale yet and he didn’t know the price. So he created his ticket list and I just handed him $20 and said let me know if it’s more or less. The guy knows me so he had no worries of me paying if it ended up being more than $20. Ultimately it was $12. $12!
There really wasn’t that much buzz around town about the show but I tried telling everyone as much as I could. I’m moving in a block away from the venue so after taking a load of stuff to the new place, I decided to walk over to the venue and see if they were hanging out. Icarus Witch was the opening act and they also served as Paul’s backup band. Paul was back at the hotel. Jason McMaster and I hung around for a bit and watched the soundcheck. Jason and Paul’s tour manager are old pals so they got to catch up for a bit. We left to grab a bite to eat and came back right before Icarus Witch was about to take the stage.
Now…I think the club had only sold about 15 pre-sale tickets and I didn’t think many more would show up. i think they ended up with about 100 or so which was cool.
Icarus Witch hit the stage and while I am not a fan of theirs, they are competent players. I think they would be better served with 2 guitar players but that’s just my opinion. They were tight and did a good set.
About 30 minutes after the IW set, the lights dim a little and the music for the Godfather starts playing. Paul is led through the crowd. He was in pretty bad shape as apparently he fell on the ice a few times in the last few days, not to mention that he’s always been a bit stiff and gimpy. To be honest he looked like hell. He looked old and beaten. It actually saddened me a bit.
The band opened with Wrathchild and Paul’s voice was obviously worn out from the rigorous touring schedule and from his still very apparent rock and roll lifestyle. Hey, good on ‘im if he can still do it! I had seen the setlist a few days earlier so I knew what to expect. I was happy that one Battlezone song was in there as I really loved the first 2 albums. I was also surprised when he played Alex Harvey’s Faith Healer. I forgot that he covered that on the Murder One album. It was a cool version. I didn’t know any of the other songs but Marshall Lockjaw was pretty damned good.
His voice improved a bit throughout the night but he was very open about his voice sounding “like bullocks”. I didn’t think it was that bad in general. He sounded better on his solo stuff than he did on the Maiden songs, all of which were played waaaaaay too fast.
After the show most of the crowd left and there were a few of us left who wanted to meet Paul. They were letting people in 2 at a time to meet Paul and get stuff signed. All of my CDs were still packed up and I didn’t feel like digging out the Maiden and Battlezone ones. So I brought “the book”. Paul signed it in the Battlezone section instead of maiden at my request. Don’t get me wrong, those 2 Maiden records are some of the greatest records ever, but those 2 Battlezone albums are pretty special to me as well. I mentioned seeing him with Obsession back in 87 in Norfolk, VA and his face lit up…”Oh wow, Vescera and I are still good pals and talk often.” Then I mentioned seeing the Murder One tour in Va Beach, VA with Solitude Aeturnus and he remember the show well…”More people here tonight than showed up there at the beach, eh?” I mentioned that we hung out and shot pool together for a few hours and how grateful I was for that experience.
Paul seemed pretty humble throughout the night. It was a bit tough seeing one of the “originals” sketching by on a low-dough tour but I’m glad I got to see it. Paul is still all about the party and I am sure he is doing his share of it on the road again. He mentioned since he can get a visa with no problem now that he wanted to tour again next year. I’d surely go.
Murders In The Rue Morgue
The Beast Arises
Children Of Madness (Battlezone)
Faith Healer (Alex Harvey Band)
A Song For You
The Ides Of March
Phantom of the Opera
He had been closing with the Ramones’ Blitzkrieg Bop…I’m so glad we didn’t get to see/hear that.
Here’s the vid for Wrathchild that I shot. I’ll try and get Children of Madness and Faith Healer posted soon. I’m using a new camera and am not figuring out how to get really good shots with it yet.
According to published reports, Paul got his visa cleared to do a US tour. I guess I will try to go since he will be playng a few blocks from my apartment.
My history with seeing Paul live is pretty interesting, well to me it is.
The first time was Battlezone/Obsession in 1987 at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA. I loved the Battlezone records and got stoked on seeing 2 bands that I loved. The whole time Battlezone was on stage, we were hanging out with Obsession and I never really got to check them out. Pity.
The second time was in 1993. The bill was Paul Dianno’s Killers and Solitude Aeturnus at the original Peppermint Beach Club in Virginia Beach, VA. At this point, I was a HUGE Solitude fan and was more stoked on seeing them than seeing Paul. I thought his Killers stuff was terrible. I get to the venue early that afternoon as I was always prone to do to get some stuff signed and Solitude was inside hanging out. I had them sign both of my cassettes(!!!). Super cool guys. Shortly thereafter Paul and his band came in and I had him sign my Battlezone LPs, Iron Maiden’s Live +1 (Greek pressing) and a compilation called The Best of British Rock which featured Dianno’s first post-Maiden band “Dianno” doing Antigua which was a great song. That album also had Persian Risk on it which featured some of the guys that were in Battlezone/Killers. Paul called his bandmates over and they all signed it and we hung out for a while. Paul asked me if I played pool and drank beer. Yes! We shot pool together and drank a few pitchers of beer and just talked about stuff. I never talked about Maiden with him other than to say that I was a big fan. He was pretty cool. Now, if you’ve read his book “Beast”, you’d see the other side of Paul that it seems most people saw and I got to see later than evening.
After Solitude Aeturnus played to a crowd of a whopping 30 people or so, I helped them get their gear offstage and ended up hanging out backstage with them during Dianno’s set, missing him play one more time. About ¾ through the set we hear the music stop suddenly and one of the Solitude guys opens the backstage door. On stage you see Graham Bath holding his jaw and Dianno says, “We’ll start playing again as soon as my guitar player stops playing like a c*nt!” I remember looking at John Perez of Solitude and thinking WTF? John said it was a common occurrence. Paul talks about his habit of fighting people over stupid stuff quite a bit in his book. I feel lucky to have survived my few hours with him unscathed!
So…2 times I’ve gone to see Paul play and missed him both time. Hopefully in February I’ll actually get to see him play.