The Metal Files

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Posts Tagged ‘norfolk

Paul Dianno is coming back the the USA?!

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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.

Buzzard – Churp!!! (1993)

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Here’s another rarity for you fine readers out there.  Buzzard’s debut album Churp!!! on Hellhound Records.

I remember back in the early 90s going to see these guys at Kings Head Inn (RIP) on Hampton Blvd in Norfolk, VA.  A buddy of mine said, “Dude you have to see this band.  They are insane.  Their drummer is phenomenal and he’s only got one leg!”  So I went.  I was completely floored by everything that this band was doing.  They were tight.  They were erratic.  They were brilliant.  They were ugly.  Dudes that looked like street urchin gutter punks with beards and dreads.  Never got close enough to see if they smelled badly.  Didn’t matter.  They were a machine.  A force to be reckoned with.  I went to see them whenever I knew that they had a show.  With that original era of the band I think I saw them 4 or 5 times within a year or 2.  Every time I was blown away.  Never really tried to speak to the guys as they all pretty much looked like they didn’t wan to be spoken to.

Buzzard was on Hellhound Records which was primarily a doom metal label…but Buzzard was anything but a doom band.  They mixed metal with jazz, punk, Miles Davis, Zappa, Yes, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever…

Their live show was pretty mind-numbing.  Odd times signatures, stops and starts, no real cues given to each other.  They all knew what they had to do and when.  At that time they consisted of Patrick Walsh (Guitars), AJ Long (Vocals), John Finney (Horns), Andy Brown (Bass) and Joey Rudacil (Drums).  Just insane I tell you.

Several years later I am hanging out with some friends and see Patrick Walsh from Buzzard come in the bar I was in.  I was there with his sister and didn’t realize that they were related.  Buzzard was reformed at this point as a 3-piece with Kevin Anderson on bass and Mark Henry on Drums.  Patrick and I quickly connected and started hanging out a lot.  Ultimately he became one of my best friends.  Brilliant guy.  Phenomenal guitarist.  Helluva a nice guy.  We jammed together briefly with Joey Rudacil and Todd Owens.  It only lasted about 3 or 4 practices but it was fun.  I ended up in another band with Joey a few months later and had a blast but we could never secure a singer.

Anyway, I was working the door at the Taphouse in Norfolk and Buzzard was scheduled to play their first show in 7 years.  I was fortunate enough to get to sit in on several of their practices and was blown away even more by how much their sound had progressed.  It went from the Mahavishnu-esque psychojazz to a math metal thing like Watchtower on meth. people came from up and down the east coast for this show and the place was over capacity with a line of people out the door and wrapped around the building trying to get in.  It was an incredible show.  They have done some subsequent shows but I think the last one may have been in 2007.  It’s time for more!

I keep praying that they put out a new record with the newer songs on it.  They recorded a 2nd album several years ago that never really saw the light of day.  You can listen to some of it on their website.

Churp!!! is one of the toughest releases of Hellhound’s to find nowadays.  I fortunately have 2 copies that I cherish.  The album is an incredible piece of music…of art…an experience.  AJ’s vocals are simply incredible.  If you download this, please listen to the album as a whole.  Don’t skip any of the 16 tracks.  You’d be doing yourself a great disservice.

Download it here.

Tracks:

1. Cyclops 02:28
2. Shadows Without Substance 03:03
3. The Fellowship (varieties) 04:45
4. The Given/Grinding Wheel (including, but not limited to the following) 08:38
5. Ear To The Ground 03:44
6. His Descent 01:35
7. Carpetbaggers 05:13
8. Fluorescent Orange Bag O’Goodness 02:09
9. Thirteen o’clock (frumpy smokes a fattie) 05:21
10. Escape From The Island Of Misfit Toys 06:01
11. The Secret Doctrine According To Simon 03:36
12. Grand Poo-Bah 00:48
13. The Return Of Frumpy And The Scrubby Jazz Hippies 01:55
14. Musica d’Apocryphonica (no. I adagio) 00:48
15. Savage Paisley Vortex (part I) 00:59
16. Savage Paisley Vortex (pert II) The Ritual Dance And Initiation Of Chicky Boy 07:01

Check out the vids from back in the day…

Written by The Metal Files

December 16, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Quiet Riot – Metal Health (1983)

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Let’s just be straight here, I love this album.  I have since it was released.  1983.  I was 13.  It was a tough year for me…I MetalHealthQuietRiotguess 83-85 were a little difficult.  Not necessarily because of going through the typical teenage bullshit, but there were other things going on that really made those some tough years.  But hey, I got through it.  I spent a lot of days and nights listening to this album.  I used to have this little one speaker GE boombox that I would put under my pillow at night to keep listening to music as I went to sleep and so my parents wouldn’t hear it.  Not that they had a problem with QR, they just had a problem with my obsession with music.  haha  It was a thin cassette player so I only needed to remove my bottom pillow to make it fit and not kink my neck.  Usually sometime in the middle of the night the player ended up on the floor and the second pillow was back in its proper place.

I picked this up right after hearing Metal Health on the radio.  “huhuhuhuhuh, the song says bang your head.”  It was catchy.  I never cared for Cum On Feel The Noize.  It was goofy…still is.  I was never a Slade fan, but I don’t dislike them, just never really got exposed to them beyond the 2 songs that QR did, which are goofy.  Beyond the goofiness of COFTN, this album is pretty great.  Especially songs like Breathless, Run for Cover, Don’t Wanna Let You Go…the whole damned thing.  When I pop in the CD I never skip any tracks, not even COFTN, it’s just part of the flow of the record.

In 1999 I got to see them with this lineup.  They did an autograph signing earlier in the day at Mars Music and of course I went.  They were all in good spirits except for Frankie Banali who seemed to have his ass on his shoulders a bit that day.  I brought a few things to get signed like some odd QR EPs, a few CD covers and a few WASP CD covers.  Apparently Frankie didn’t have one of the WASP CDs that I brought and asked if he could have mine.  I told him no and he got a little peeved about it.  “Well I’m not signing anything else.”  “Fine, dude, no biggie,” and I finished out my time with the rest of the band who were gracious.  Cavazo gave a head nod towards Frankie and just shook his head at him in disapproval.  They had about 200 people show up to meet them which I thought was a decent showing for a concert that was getting no promotion and was at a shitty venue.

I came home after the signing to chill out for a while before the show and realized that I had 2 of the WASP CD/EPs so I brought it to the show.  We got to the Riverview Theater and I swear it looked closed.  This place was trying to get revitalized and they were bringing some decent bands there but it never seemed to take off for them.  For this show only about about 40 people showed up…FORTY PEOPLE.  I felt really bad for them.  They came out and played like there were 20,000 people there.  Kevin never once commented on the size of the crowd.  They were awesome.  After watching Cavazo play I gained a lot more respect for him as a guitarist.  That guy is really friggin’ good.

After the show the band came back out to hang out with everybody.  I was talking with Rudy Sarzo about his days with Whitesnake and such Frankie came up to me and said, “Hey, come here a second.”  “Sorry I was such a dick earlier.  I was having a bad day.”  I told him it was no big deal and pulled out the spare  copy of the WASP EP that I had and handed it to him.  He was shocked and gave me a big sweaty hug.  haha.  “Until today I didn’t even know that this EP existed.”  I ended up talking with him quite a bit for the time they hung out.  I told him that his first 2 albums with QR were big influences on me when I was learning how to play drums.  All of them were nice and Kevin seeked out every person in the room and thanked them personally for coming out.  That wasn’t the asshole Kevin Dubrow that I had read about in the ‘zines, this guy was actually nice.

It was a fun day and night and I finally got to meet a band that I had loved for 16 years.  The news of Kevin’s death in 2007 really brought me down.  I had read just prior to that that he had gotten himself clean and sober.  It was too bad that those demons continued to haunt him and that he wasn’t able to continue down that path to recovery.

RIP Kevin.

Dokken – Up From The Ashes

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I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was living in Western Branch off of Taylor Rd with my cousin.  I don’t remember album-up-from-the-ashesexactly what day it was on but it was Jan/Feb 1991 only weeks before my 21st birthday.  I believe it was a Saturday and I was driving home from somewhere listening to Z-Rock and the local affiliate comes on the air to interview Don Dokken and Mikkey Dee about their concert that night at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA.  A former friend from high school and I had tickets and were pretty excited about the show.  I had been listening to Up From The Ashes since it came out a few months prior.

So as I am listening to them interview Don and Mikkey, I pull over to a gas station a few miles from my house and try to call the station to see if I could talk to them.  I was so damned excited that I kept fat fingering push buttons on the pay phone.  After about 3 or 4 tries I got through off air and got to talk to Don and Mikkey.  I asked if there was a way to meet Mikkey prior to the show and he told me what time to be at the Boathouse (super early).  I told him that I was a huge fan of his from the King Diamond days.  He said make sure I don’t have more than one person with me and everything would be cool.

So at this point I am flipping out (of course not on the phone but internally).  I get home a few minutes later and told my buddy what the plan was and that he had better be ready when I came by to get him.  He was notoriously slow at everything.  I told him if he wasn’t ready when I got there that I was leaving his ass behind.  Fortunately he was ready when I got there and we headed to Norfolk to the Boathouse.

We’re the first people in the lot along with the staff cars and Dokken’s bus.  Some dude came to the door of the bus and said they were coming from the hotel in a few minutes and to wait.  So we waited only a short amount of time and a minivan with Don, Mikkey Dee, John Norum and Billy White in it.  Mikkey gets out of the van and asks, “Are you Sean?”  I acknowledged and we were instantly escorted onto the bus.  So Don hands me a band photo which was already signed by Baltes (who was inside the Boathouse already).  So Don and the rest of the band sign it along with some other stuff like cassette covers and such (I hadn’t gotten into CDs yet).  He stood with us for a few minutes then hightailed it to the back of the bus to take care of stuff.  At this point I am freaking out because one of my all time favorite drummers and musical influences and standing next to me.  I don’t get start struck easily as I’ve met a lot of musicians over the years but this one was different.  This was Mikkey Dee…the guy who played drums on King Diamond’s Abigail.

We hung out for what seemed like an hour but was likely a lot less.  Talking with John Norum and Billy White was pretty neat.  Unfortunately in my giddy starstruck state I had forgotten that Billy White played on Watchtower’s debut.  To this day in my head I still hear my inner voice say, “You’re an idiot.”  Kelz reminds me of this regularly and he pointed out after the show, “Dude, how was it to meet Billy from Watchtower?”  Ummm…D’oh!  I am a Watchtower fanatic as well.  What a doofus.

But all in all, I was there to hang out with Mikkey which was the first of 3 times that I got to spend time with him, the other 2 being with Motorhead in 1993 and 2000.  Will post about those meetings some other time.

In my conversation with Mikkey, I noticed he was wearing an Abigail backstage pass.  It had one of the heavenly aura’s around it.  haha.  So being the fanboy that I was that night, we talked about drums and about some certain aspects of his playing that I tried to emulate.  I asked him if he was going to do a drum solo and he said there would be one.  I asked him if he could incorporate the intro to Welcome Home from the Them album.  He said, “That’s a good idea, we’ll see.”

So the opening act was on the stage at this point and it was time for us to get off the bus so they could get ready.  I can’t overstate how accommodating these guys were.  I honestly didn’t even need to see the show after that!  But we went in and caught the 2nd half of the set by The Blonz.  Wow.  They were just awful.  One of the worst bands I have ever seen.

So we make our way towards the front of the stage and got on the barricade at stage left which ultimately was in plain view of Mikkey when he was on the kit.  Perfect!

So out comes the band and they rip into their set.  They were absolutely incredible and it was one of the tightest sets I have ever seen by any band.  Watching Mikkey slay the drums and both Norum and White manhandling their guitars with such precision was pretty incredible.  Definitely one of the best shows I have ever seen.  Don’s vocals were clean and clear and he was an excellent frontman.

So I guess this blog is really about an album review, eh?  I’ve seen this one get trashed in many a metal review and I could never understand why.  It’s easily Don’s second best album behind Tooth and Nail and pretty much the last album that he actually sounded really good on.  Initially the main reason I bought the album was because I had read that Mikkey Dee was drumming on it.

Even with some of the slightly cheesier songs like Mirror Mirror and Stay, it’s an album of which I don’t ever feel the need to skip any of the tracks.  Good production as well.

This one gets 10/10.

Tyton – Mind Over Metal

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So back in the day there was this great music store at Military Circle Mall called The Music Man.  That’s pretty much tytonwhere we spent our allowances and paychecks in the 80s as thy typically had the coolest selection of metal.  The Music Man was pretty cool and had a really cool staff.  They also offered a replacement guarantee on their cassettes and CDs if they became defective.  We knew the staff there pretty well and if we bought something we didn’t like, they would typically let us trade it in for something else.  I was fortunate to work there for a year or so, an experience that I will never forget.

One of the cassettes I bought in 1987 was Tyton’s Mind Over Metal.  I didn’t know anything about them but they were on an Enigma sub-label which usually meant you had a pretty good chance of buying something listenable.  I played this cassette quite a bit.  They weren’t over the top awesome but this album had some pretty good songs on it like Destiny Calls, Will You Follow Me (wimpy ballad but not too bad), and the title track.  They were sort of mid-paced swords and shields style metal.  I listen to it about once or twice a year still.  It takes me back to some fun times with some former friends riding around Churchland trying to find a party or someone to buy us beer.  Those were fun days and I am amazed that the 3 of us are even still alive.   Come to find out years later that they hailed from Houston, TX and some people I know here in Austin knew those guys and even did a show or 2 with them.  Living here in Austin and getting to spend time with guys that are metal legends (to me) is pretty incredible.  Our metal round table discussions are pretty amazing.

I’ve attached the download to the album.  It was never officially released on CD but some Euro label bootlegged it a few years back and I ripped the tracks from the CD.

Download.

Written by The Metal Files

July 11, 2009 at 11:52 pm