The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Posts Tagged ‘portsmouth catholic high school

DC4 and Warrior – 11/7/09 – Whisky A-Go-Go

with 6 comments

When I was still in high school there was this dude that everyone called Big Bill.  He was the other metalhead in the Catholic school that I was stuck in for 4 years.  That dude and I were the best of friends, inseparable for the 2 years he went there and for the few years after we graduated.  We traded a lot of music over those years and he really turned me on to quite a bit of metal that I probably wouldn’t have heard.  I’m thankful for those years.  As mentioned previously, Bill turned me on to Odin.  I in turn “discovered” Warrior.  Both Odin’s debut and Warrior’s debut stayed in heavy rotation throughout the late 80s.  Both of them still get played quite often around here.

Earlier this year during the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, TX I had the pure pleasure of playing tour guide, roadie, chauffeur etc for LA’s DC4.  This band is comprised of Jeff Duncan (Odin, Armored Saint), Shawn Duncan (Odin), Matt Duncan (Odin) and Rowan Robertson (DIO).  They were the coolest dudes and we had a blast for the few days they were here.  Shawn and I have been in contact on and off for a few years and I was glad to offer them assistance while they were in my wonderful city.

I saw a few months ago where DC4 was playing with Warrior at the famous Whisky in Hollywood.  It was a weekend show and I decided that I might as well go.  Why not?  I totally dig DC4’s music and of course I love Warrior.  Shawn was gracious enough to open his home to me for the quick weekend trip.

I hadn’t been to LA since 1997 and had a blast.  I was looking to move there and even had 2 job offers from the 2 biggest metal labels in the area.  Unfortunately with 2 days left on my trip, I received a call from my Mom saying that my Dad had cancer again and that I needed to get back home.  Unfortunately Pops died a few months later and my thought of moving to LA went away as I figured I needed to stick around town.  I ended up sticking around until 2006!

I took Friday off from work to get ready for my 2PM flight.  I got to LA (Burbank) around 5PM Cali time and grabbed my rental car and headed north to Monrovia.  The sun had already gone down and I didn’t get to see any of the scenery on the drive.  With traffic I got to Shawn’s around 6:30.  After hanging out for a bit and waiting for his significant other to get home from work, we ll went to downtown Monrovia for sushi.  I swear it was some of the best I have ever had.  We went back to the house, jibber jabbered for a while then I hit the sack.  I was beat from the trip.

The next morning I went up the street to get some Diet Mt Dew.  When I walked out of the 7-11 all I saw was a mountain…literally…a mountain.  It was gorgeous with the sun shining on it.   Shawn and I ran some errands and I got to see and remember how beautiful California can be.  We went by the Santa Anita Raceway.  It was busy there for the Breeder’s Cup.  I only saw the outside of the place but it was gorgeous.

After returning back to the house, we got the drums packed up and loaded into his truck.  He had a wedding to attend that afternoon and I offered my services to get his gear to the Whisky.  It was a gorgeous drive into Hollywood and I saw many familiar sites from my last trip there.  Rolling up on the Whisky I got parking right out front and got the gear loaded in.  It was a bit brutal as I had to lug it upstairs.  Damn!  No worries, got it done.

After load-in, I mulled around Sunset for a while.  I met up with an old pal of mine who had just moved back to LA.  It was awesome seeing him.  We went to the Rainbow for some pizza and I got to hang out with some of his LA crowd.  Good times.  I was in there earlier that evening for a few beers and played on Lemmy’s video game machine.  That dude has the high score on every game.  It was funny.  It was getting closer to showtime so I walked back down to the Whisky.  My dogs were tired so I just found a spot upstairs and rested for a bit until DC4 showed up to the club.  It was great seeing the dudes in the band before they went on.  I sat with Rowan and friends for a while.  He’s such a cool dude.  Great guitar player as well.  Jeff was pretty happy to see me as well.  We talked outside for quite a while.  New Armored Saint album is finished!

The opening bands for the show were all pretty awful.  Seriously.  Awful.  It was DC4’s turn to hit the stage so we got the drums down the stairs and on the riser ASAP.  shortly thereafter they started up.  Because of some rockstar BS their set got cut by about 4 songs.  Didn’t matter.  They kicked ass and the crowd was really into it.  It was a pleasure to see.

By the time that Warrior was about to hit the stage we had just finished packing the drums back up and loading th em in the truck.  I was getting really tired but wanted to catch some of Warrior’s set.  Fortunately I got to hear 3 songs, the last being my favorite from their debut, Mind Over Matter.  McCarty’s voice sound GREAT and Joe Floyd was playing very well.  I was fading fast though.  It was already 12:30 Cali time, 2:30 my time and I had been running around all day.  Shawn’s fiance was going to leave so I left with her.  Said goodbye to some of my pals there and headed back to Monrovia.  I had to be up early for my flight out as well.

All in all it was a great trip albeit brief.  After the first of the year I think I’ll make another venture out there and have a few more days to screw around.

On my flights there and back, I got to see some parts of the country that I really hadn’t seen from the air.  The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and the beautiful deserts between Texas and California really took my breath away.  We really take for granted how pretty this place is.  I will also say that California has some of the most beautiful scenery on earth.  I will also add that LA has some of the most fake people I have ever come across.  I noticed it in 97 as well.  I also met some really great people as well.  I guess both types are everywhere.

Looking back I really am glad I didn’t end up out there although I know I would have made my way just fine.  Austin is incredible and I think we have much better looking Latinas here!

Already I am looking forward to my next trip out there.

Odin Odin Odin Monrovia The Rainbow Lemmy's Machine The Whisky The Rainbow and the Roxy Pizza at the Rainbow DC4 Jeff Duncan and Rowan Robertson DC4 Warrior

Written by The Metal Files

November 9, 2009 at 9:36 pm

I Won’t Dance…The Elder’s Orient

with 7 comments

My introduction to the mighty Celtic Frost was through some knucklehead pal of ours named Chris Shelton. He had the cassette for The Emperor’s Return and I checked it out for a few days. I thought it was absolutely horrible. Total shit even. What was wrong with this singer? Was he trying to pinch one out or something?

Then after reading several glowing reviews of Into the Pandemonium in Aardschok America or Circus or whatever, I decided to give it a shot. I’m glad I did. This album is incredible. Very different than Emperor’s Return, which in later years was deemed to be neither a good nor bad thing.

Pandemonium came out in my senior year of high school.  A former friend from high school and I sat next to each other in Mr. Gordon’s english class and constantly caught hell for talking (about music) during class. I really wish I had kept my english book from that year as just about every page was covered in band names and song quotes, many of which came from this particular Frost LP.

A few years later I started backtracking into the older Frost albums and I am glad I did. I “got it”. Tom G. Warrior was a great songsmith. Sure a lot of the riffs were simple, but he was creating music that no one had created at the time.

I always respected Frost for trying something new with every album, even Cold Lake. Although I will say this…One In Their Pride…WTF? Just plain awful.

As for Cold lake, it’s not a great album by anyone’s standards, but I don’t consider it to be a total wash. I liked Downtown Hanoi, Juices Like Wine and Once They Were Eagles. When I met Frost back in 2006, Tom G. signed my Cold Lake CD with the word “ABOMINATION”. I told him that I liked some of it and he responded, “You’re the only fucking one who did.” haha…Tom G. Ugh!

Now back to Pandemonuim. Other than that stupid “Pride” song, this album is great. I even dug the cover of Mexican Radio (Wall of Voodoo). My favorites would be Babylon Fell, Mesmerized, Rex Irae, Inner Sanctum and I Won’t Dance.

Definitely an album that brought me a lot of joy during such a shitty year. I hated school and didn’t want to be there.

Funny thing…there was this girl we kenw named Theresa(?) that looked EXACTLY like Tom G. Poor girl. She was also such a sleaze bucket…of course we dubbed her “The Bucket”.

ha! The Bucket!

The torture never stops!

with 4 comments

This album can do no wrong.  Seriously.  This was another one that I first heard through a former friend from high school.  I was 16 (1986) and drove my ’66 Nova 4dr to his house to hang out.  I believe this was the first time that we hung out and I was in awe of his record collection and his bedroom walls filled with cool metal posters.

I’m flipping through his crate of records and see the WASP S/T album and asked him to play it.  I’d seena nd read about them in the ‘zines but hadn’t put ears to it yet.



Being blown away doesn’t really even mildly describe how hard this album hit me upon my first listen.  WASP was different, especially coming from the LA scene where lipstick and hairspray was ruling the scene.  I never really got into that look or sound that came along with it except for the early Crue stuff.

Sure WASP had hairspray and makeup, but it wasn’t the same.  There’s not a bad song on this album at all.  Sure, School Daze had some goofy lyrics, but it is still a great jam.

Blackie Lawless has a very haunting quality to his voice.  It’s vicious at times.  These guys were the perfect combination of power, dark tones and tasteful metal.

When I put this CD in my car, it generally stays in there for a few weeks.  I never grow tired of listening to it.  If I have to pick my favorite cuts on this they would have to be Hellion, Sleeping in the Fire, Tormentor and L.O.V.E. Machine.


And let’s not forget what W.A.S.P. stands for.  If you look on the inner ring of the actual album, it’s spelled out as “We are sexual perverts”.

That rules.

My current guitarist saw their first 2 shows in LA…@ the Troubador I believe.  There’s some footage of these shows on YouTube I believe.

Tear down the walls! 66 Crush!

with 5 comments

Fall of 1986.  Rob Saunders and I were out running around town on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and saw that Trick or Treat was playing at the Suffolk Plaza Theater in downtown Suffolk.  We got there just in time to see the previews and such before the movie started.  I knew the guy who was the weekend manager and he gave us free popcorn and drinks which was very cool.

The only thing I really knew about this movie was that it was a horror flick and that it had a heavy metal soundtrack.  That was enough for me to want to see it.  So the movie starts and I see Skippy Handelman from Family Ties as “the metalhead”.  OK, not very fitting but whatever.  I was tripping out in the movie because of the various posters and albums he had.  Great stuff!  Lizzy Borden!

Gene Simmons played a good role as a DJ who gets killed by Sammi Curr.  Ozzy played a TV preacher and gets killed too.  I really do love this movie.  The guy who played Sammi Curr, Tony Fields, died on my birthday in 1995.  Up until recently most websites said it was complications due to AIDS, but now I see on the IMDB site that it’s listed as “cancer secondary to the AIDS virus”.  The dude was a Solid Gold dancer before doing this movie.  Apparently he was in the Thriller video and Lionel Richie’s Running With The Night.  So yeah, AIDS most likely.  Whatever, he did a fine job in this movie.

Sure, the acting is pretty bad but the story line always hit home for me a little bit.  Being practically the only metalhead in my school for a few years, I suffered some of the same silly taunting from the jocks and preppies like Eddie Weinbauer (Skippy!) did in the movie.  Unfortunately I didn’t have a dead rock star to conjure up and reak my revenge during a school dance.  hahahaha…lucky bastards!

Oh…the soundtrack.  Fastway.   Not their greatest effort but listenable just the same.

I bought it on DVD a few years back but it is not a quality version.  I’ll have to check to see if a better version was ever put out.  One can only hope.  I think I’ll watch this movie again tonight.  It’s been about a year or so.

Tell me why I have to be a Powerslave…

with 2 comments

Before I get too deep into reviewing old badass metal albums, I am going to start with THE most badass metal album of all time.Powerslave

Yes, by Iron Maiden…like that needed to be said. I guess there are some folks out there who don’t know. Well you do now.

I’ll never forget when I first bought this. It was 1984 and my mom and I were flying into Pittsburgh to visit family for a week. The airport there had a little music store so with some of the spending money I had I bought Powerslave and Bark at the Moon. I had heard some of the Ozzy album on the radio and at that time, Ozzy was still making quality records. Prior to buying Powerslave, Run To the Hills was the only Iron Maiden that I had ever heard. I always loved their album covers but never checked ‘em out. I even remember having the old Hit Parader special edition “Iron Maiden vs. Quiet Riot.” Of course I covered my walls with the QR posters that came with it. Duh. Children!

OK, back to Pittsburgh. For whatever reason, NO ONE in my large family up there had a working cassette player and I didn’t bring my Sony Walkman. Of course their record players and 8-track players worked fine. D’oh. So I ended up having to wait a whole week before I actually heard the damned thing. But once I got back to Virginia, oh man, it was on.

I remember calling Kelz and saying, “Dude, I just got the new Iron Maiden…it’s so fast!” It was also one of the inspirations for me to want to play drums which I started later that year. Now realize that I already considered myself a metalhead and was already into KISS, Crue, Metallica, Sabbath, DIO, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, RUSH, Triumph and a slew of other heavy bands, but Maiden was my missing link.

I wore out at least 6 copies on cassette. A few vinyl copies and have owned 3 versions on CD. The OCD in my head turns on sometimes and says, “Doofus, you must go and find every version of this on CD and have one whole rack dedicated to Powerslave.” You know, it really doesn’t sound that silly, does it? Hmmm…

The album is just brilliant, beginning to end. Every time I play it, I still get goose bumps when I hear the opening riff to Aces High. The transition in to 2 Minutes to Midnight is perfect. I’m not even bothered by the instrumental…and I rarely like Maiden’s instrumentals. I always found it odd that there were 2 songs on there about swords. Sure, Bruce Bruce was a fencer and all, but whatever. Both songs are great. I guess when Dickinson wrote Flash of the Blade, Harris had to get his say and write The Duellists. OK, side 2. I can remember flipping it over in my old tiny boombox that had one 4” speaker. Good times. So now, Back In the Village. Great tune…duh. I’m not sure why I am even mentioning each of these songs since we all know that the album is perfect. But since I am near the end, Powerslave is one of my faves on this record. Just a great groove. Nicko is god. Finally we get to the epic Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Simply brilliant and very well done.

I’ll never forget Mr. Gordon’s 11th grade English class. We were studying Rime in its entirety and of course I was already very familiar with it. When we were starting to break the long ass poem down, I mentioned that I had a shorter version that still captured the essence of the story and asked me to read it to the class. Read it? Shit, g, I had that junk memorized. So I stood up and recited the entire song to the class. I’d pause now and then and Mr. Gordon would ask if I was done. “No sir, just getting through a guitar solo.” So after I completed it, Mr. G thought it was pretty cool. he said something to the effect of “Wow Sean. Good job. But how is it that you can memorize that entire song but you can’t seem to remember to do your homework?” My reply was simple…”That’s easy, Mr. Gordon. I have my priorities.” He just shook his head and the class laughed. Ha! I ruled the wasteland that day.

1984 was a good year. A damned good year.

I filmed this video in San Antonio, May 2008.