CINDERELLA

Feature from Blast! Magazine May 1987

Whenever anybody tells you a Cinderella story, you know there’s a happy ending coming. This Cinderella story has a happy beginning, but the happy ending is nowhere in sight! Tom Keifer, frontlips and persona of this two-million-plus-selling band is the type of guy you need to unpuzzle in order to get a clear picture of him.

To his right, pretty blond bass player Eric Brittingham (blonds have more fun, and men don’t deserve that much hair.., ); to his left, Jeff LaBar, a Eurasian Jake E. Lee-type- looking guitarist, and behind him, stickslugger Fred Coury. That’s the picture you get when the band is on stage. Off stage, the scene is pretty quiet, especially when you leave it up to Tom. Tom likes peace and quiet and misses his home, he says. March 2, 1987 – who on earth would leave California to go to freezing cold Indianapolis… if it weren’t to see the hottest show touring the country right now?!

The Bon Jovi/Cinderella tour is selling out like hotcakes everywhere, but today is special for the fans, as well as for Jon Bon Jovi, who celebrates his 25th birthday!

Officially, Cinderella has been around for four years; in reality, the band, as we know them now, for about two years. Tom Keifer formed and guided the band through various lineups, along with Eric Brittingham. About two years ago, when Jeff LaBar joined Tom and Eric, things started looking up. The last necessary amendment took place last year when Fred Coury joined them on drums – all major changes for a new band that was scheduled to record a first album, and a scary prospect for four guys who hadn’t really played together that long.

Call it luck, call it timing, call it whatever you want. Very few bands make it as big as Cinderella has right from the beginning, and this band is definitely going places. I’ve seen the band perform six times so far, and I’m impressed, They have improved so much since the first time I saw them on the DLR tour. It spells “success…


Tom, Jeff, Fred and yours truly squeezed together in the time of arrival of the pizza delivery boy!

Tom speaks softly (as in, shove the tape recorder under his mouth!), and although he realizes that interviews are dreadful things that need to be done, I’m sure, while he was talking to me, he was fantasizing about a king-size bed, blinds closed shut, phones off the hook and a never ending sleep.

Sorry, Tom, That happens only in “Cinderella-land”!

The band is thrilled with their newfound success. They love playing live, but all three admit to having a hard time adjusting to life on the road and living out of a suitcase for seven months.

Tom has Cinderella’s career well planned out, and nothing is left to chance. That’s why he says the band waited to tour until an offer came along that would give them the opportunity to cover as much ground as quickly as possible. That offer came from DLR, and who’s more road-wise than David Lee Roth?

Despite the band’s huge following, they’re not striking out on their own on a headlining tour yet. “It’s still not the right time,” Tom explains. “You can sell a lot of records really quickly because of exposure on TV and radio, but that only means that you’ve entertained the listeners and viewers for a mere three minutes, When it comes down to concerts, you’re talking about entertaining them for an hour, and it takes a little more time to prove yourself.”

Their new video clip for “Somebody Save Me,” the one where Tom demonstrates some superb wolf-howling, features Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, and they’re getting the girls. Neither Jon nor Richie is in need of extra exposure. That means there’s more to it than meets the eye. “That’s true,” admits Tom. Usually our manager comes up with the video concepts, but we really got heavily involved in the ‘Save Me’ video. We were supposed to have a guest star, Sam Kinison, a comedian, but it all fell through when Sam called up 20 minutes before the shoot and said he didn’t want to do it. Needless to say, we had to figure out something else to do fast.”

Was that when it occurred to them that Jon and Richie had a day off, maybe; therefore, they should be ordered on the set, without auditioning them first, I want to know? “Sort of…laughs Jeff.

How would Tom describe his fellow band members? “A***holes!… Oops! Strike that from the record!” he laughs. “Well, since they’re sitting here next to me, let’s see… Fred is the one who keeps things always light and on a humorous note. He’s the comedian in the band. He will speak up immediately whenever there is anything wrong. He’s a good guy…

“Jeff is an observer. He comes up with some great stuff when you least expect it. In the studio, he would pick up on things that were going by everybody else. He’d say, ‘No, you stupid idiots! Not that… this!’.., after we were looking to correct something for three hours! He’s real good that way.

“Eric’s definitely the nit-picker of the band. Eric could find fault with one million dollars. You could give him a briefcase with one million dollars in it, and they would be the wrong size bills, He looks for very small details as opposed to the general whole picture of the situation.” Now Tom had his fun… how do the others feel about Tom? “He’s a leader that you wouldn’t think of as a leader,” states Fred. “You can ask him questions anytime, and he’ll always give you a straight answer. He always knows exactly the direction he’s going and doesn’t screw around with the stupid stuff. He’s the Leonard Nimoy of the band. In search of….! He’s smart!”

“He’s the smartest motherf***er I’ve ever met in my life,” adds Jeff. “He knows what he’s doing!”

Say no more.., these little quotes have secured their jobs for at least another year!

The immediate future plans include another video shoot, for “Nightsongs,” and after the American tour ends on July 15, Tom will have his long-overdue and well-deserved sleep in his own bed in his own house. When August rolls around, the band will again join Bon Jovi on the European leg of the tour, starting with the Castle Donnington Festival, followed by the Monsters of Rock tour throughout Europe. In the fall, the band will go back in the studio to record their follow-up album for an early 1988 release.

OZZY OSBOURNE

LIVE REVIEW JANUARY 1983

OZZY OSBOURNE, Birmingham NEC


This being virtually a home gig for the Ozz, a fact brought home dramatically by the sudden appearance of Tony lommi, there’s a high degree of tension in and around the dressing room as support band Budgie quit the stage.

Brandishing an evil-looking elbow-spike and silly ‘torpedo’ hat, finally and wisely given over to his young son, the chainmailed one paces away relentlessly while Pete ‘Angel Of Death’ Way, having to play two new basses and short on rehearsal time, finds himself similarly on edge. There’s a point to be proved tonight; namely that behind the stunts and the sensationalism there lurks a genuine rock ‘n’ roll outfit capable of delivering without the trimmings but, on this occasion, poor sound, scold venue (there’s a blizzard raging outside too) and a somewhat jaded Ozz leave the band initially unconvincing.

‘Over The Mountain’, ‘Mr Crowley’, ‘Crazy Train’, ‘Revelation Mother Earth’, all come and go devoid of the usual clenched passion and it isn’t until ‘Goodbye To Romance’, delivered sadly without ‘Ronnie’s’ pendulous support, that Ozzy strikes up an arm-swaying rapport with the 6,000-plus assembled.

From here on in it’s emotional event, climaxing with the traditional lapse into Sabbath oldies, Ozzy by this time beaming ear-to-ear, ‘Sweet Leaf’, a new addition to the set, having already been dispensed, the end spot is reserved as per usual for ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Children Of The Grave’, the latter coming across even better than on ‘Talk…’ with Tommy Aldridge, quite possibly the world’s best hard rock drummer, locked into double-bass drive and the fast-burgeoning Brad Gillis still managing to hold his guitar on the brink of feedback and roll two riffs into one, a feat that must have left the on-looking lommi considerably perplexed.

Pete Way, though not really on a par with the Americans, follows his pre-gig brief (“GO MENTAL!”) to the letter and provides some welcome onstage camaraderie for the Ozz. The ex-UFO-er is now a fully fledged, fully initiated Blizzard member, though how long Gillis and Aldridge will remain in the band is uncertain-the former has commitments to Night Ranger the latter to Hughes/Thrall.

If they do go then Ozzy will certainly have a tough time finding replacements of equal stature but this pensive note shouldn’t really cloud the fact that the show, complete with giant metallic hand cradling the On high above the stage before the encore ‘Paranoid’, was a success-in the end, at least.
DANTE BONUTTO

AUGUST REDMOON

KERRANG! ISSUE 33 JANUARY 1983

Singles reviewed by Xavier Russell

AUGUST REDMOON: ‘Fools Are Never Alone’ (Metalworks Records)


Yet another tacky masterpiece from an LA copy band. August Redmoon (doncha just luv the name?) seem to draw inspiration from early Rush, throwing in a little something of their own. It’s a blend that makes this five-track EP a must – no holds barred. OTT Metal and fairly catchy too. My own personal faves are ‘Bump In The Night’ (even the ‘oohs’ are in the right place). ‘We Know What You Want’, which boasts a catchy riff. One for the Metal charts.

 

LE GRIFFE

KERRANG ISSUE 33 JANUARY 1983

Singles reviewed by Xavier Russell

LE GRIFFE: ‘Fast Bikes’ (Distribution through Neon/Bullet Records)


Not bad for a bunch of Frogs. Fast boogie similar to blighty’s own Spider, the only difference being Le Grille don’t rip-off Status Quid quite as much. ‘Fast Bikes’ rocks along at a nice pace, and at least LeGriffe have the decency to sing in English. In fact they bring it off quite well, unlike Trust, who just croak.

 

 

 

 

ANVIL CHORUS

KERRANG! ISSUE 33 JANUARY 1983

Singles reviewed by Xavier Russell

ANVIL CHORUS: ‘Blondes In Black’/’Once Again’ (Leviathan Records)

I was lucky enough to see Anvil Chorus headline a ‘Metal Monday’ in San Francisco recently, and I can safely say they’re up there with the best of the NWOSFHM’ bands. It makes a welcome change to hear a US outfit churning out an original sound and not simply ripping off Van Halen and Co.

This double A-side single is a worthy purchase for the connoisseur as both ‘Blondes In Black’ and ‘Once Again’ are fine songs, redolent of Rush and Saga crossed. And hats off to Doug Peircy and Thaen Rassmussen who are a fine pair of axemen, not forgetting Aaron Zimpel whose voice has to be heard to be believed!


Links:
1. Anvil Chorus @ Myspace
2. Anvil Chorus  @ Metal Archives
3. Anvil Chorus @ Facebook

BENATAR, PAT

KERRANG! ISSUE 33 JANUARY 1983

‘IT’S GREAT.’ Uh…. what can l say, except it’s really great!!!’

Even the crackly, bacon ‘n’ eggs, transatlantic line which connected the Big Apple to the home of smaller apples – Covent Garden, couldn’t – dampen the enthusiastic • response of Pat Benatar who was literally left almost speechless at the news of winning the Kerrang! top female vocalist award for the second year running.

I spoke to the lady a matter of days before she was about to embark on a tour of Europe which comes after a successful sell out US tour which culminated with her first headline performance-at the prestigious Madison Square Gardens.

With the latest album ‘Get Nervous’ and single ‘Shadows Of The Night’ flying high in the charts Benatar seems to be going from strength to strength which is more than I can say about her musical direction.

With her first two stunning albums and some killer live shows, Pat paved the way, and was almost the sacrificial lamb, for the dozens of ladies in rock who have appeared since. People like Tane Caine and suchlike who thrive between the true rock thrash of tomcats like Chrissie Hynde and pure syrup of Olive Newton John, the new breed who now dominate the AOR circuit.

But sadly as Pat’s following has expanded she seems to have fallen into a succession of self created pitfalls, displaying acute bouts of insecurity and having an almost schizophrenic attitude towards her musical aspirations. Benatar has always stood on the shakey ground between rock and roll and cabaret and now judging from the few restrained comments she made in our short conversation I feel we could have lost her to the realms of wimpdom – although the stage appearance at the Hammy Odeon will be the final confirmation.

“Our show now”, she revealed, “is much closer to the album. We still do some of the dinosaur HM although overall there’s a lot less headbanging.”

I asked her how she felt about the album which overall I felt was a bit of a let down after the impressive ‘Promises In The Dark.

“I like the album a lot, unfortunately I didn’t have enough time and circumstances didn’t permit me to write much material. But l think the album’s a lot of fun, it’s more danceable than the rest, not so much crunch rock.”

Crunch rock! Jesus…

The title, although basically tongue in cheek, reflects a period which Benatar herself describes as being ‘fucked-up’.

It saw the group go under a lot of pressure due to rigorous touring schedules and almost marked the end of a relationship between Benatar and her old man guitarist Neal ‘Spider’ Geraldo. The couple are now happily married and the only reminder of that torturous time is the departure of rivvum-guitarist Scott St Sheets who has been replaced by Charlie; a keyboard player snatched from the ex Doll David Johansens band.

“Scott wanted more involvement than the situation would allow”, Benatar said ominously, “and we had been planning to add keyboards for quite a while. It’s worked out really well”.

One of Benatar’s ambitions at the moment is to record an EP of rock and roll standards under a pseudonym, although she’s putting aside any prospective projects, TV scripts, film offers etc, etc in favour of another ambition yet unfulfilled. “I really want to have a baby, that’s the next thing on the agenda.”

I suggested that she kept on practising.

“Oh no, I’ve done enough practising, l’ve got that part down to a tee”, she chuckled away merrily.

PETE MAKOWSKI

HELLCATS

KERRANG ISSUE 33 JANUARY 1983

Ever wonder what happened to Starz?

Here’s a conundrum for ya! When do superstars fail to make it big in the world of rock ‘n’ roll? When the guys are members of that super New York five-piece Starz, of course. A band tipped for big, BIG things by the all-knowing critical ball-points of many a respected rock critic, but which fell apart in the year of 1979. Not a peep was heard of any of Starz’ members – until earlier this year that is.

Enter Hellcats, a new four-piece signed to the American Indie Radio Records and distributed through Atlantic. It was decidedly delighting to find two ex-Starz persons, guitarist Richie Ranno and vocalist par excellence Michael Lee Smith, nestling within the ‘Cats’ ranks and, in view of the quality of Starz’ output on those almighty albums ‘Violation’ and ‘Coliseum Rock’, it was hardly surprising to find Hellcats’ first five-track mini LP was a gloriously rowdy selection of hard rock tunes. Individual – yes, heavy -but tuneful, That goes without saying!

Ranno and Smith are the hard core (more or these two words later!) of Hellcats, just as they were with Starz. But the band have more to offer through Peter Scance’s expressive bass play and Doug Madick’s highly competent drum backbeat. Numbers such as ‘Rock & Roll Man’ and ‘Auto Erotica’ provide ample proof that the tour have gelled remarkably well. There’s no hanging about here. Hellcats are taking up where Starz left off.

“That’s exactly how we’re viewing Hellcats,” states Ranno, “because it wasn’t really musical problems that instigated the Starz split. At the time we wanted out of our record and also our management deals but the management kept us in a stranglehold and wouldn’t relent, which meant we were kept in limbo. The pressure of living and also keeping a band going with its hands tied behind back became too much, so the only thing we could do was split. It was a real pity because we did pretty well in Starz – another two albums and I reckon we could have broken.”

That, of course, was not to be and the band went their separate ways.

“Michael stayed out in California where we’d been working and got involved with various bar bands, one of which included Doug. I went back to New York and formed a band by the name of Hard Core (see what I was getting at?!) With Peter and Dube, the drummer who played in Starz. That was a good band too, but the longer it went on the more we could see that we weren’t really going to get anywhere.

“The next plan we had was to re-form Starz, because after the split we had a constant flow of letters from fans of the band asking us to get back together. Dube, Brendon Harkin, Orville Davis, Michael and myself gave it a go but we had the same problems that Hard Core had experienced and again things fell through.”

Persistent burgers that these guys are, they decided to give it another shot with Hellcats and this third time, everything fell into place.

“It’s a strange situation that we’re in now, because on paper you’d think this would be the hardest band to keep together. Mike and Doug still live in California whereas Peter and myself are based in New York, which is different to say the least

“There are good and bad aspects of this distance, though. On the one hand, it means we don’t see enough of each other to fall out but on the other it means we don’t really get the opportunity to play together enough. We have to play in bursts, but that’ll be rectified soon because we’re going to start some heavy touring in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut areas.

This touring schedule has, of course, been organised to promote the first Hellcats product. It strikes me as rather strange that it should be no more than a five-track mini album, judging from the high quality of all the featured songs, ranging from the fiery, up-front rock ‘n’ roll of ‘It’s Alright’ to the smooth, polished, even funky ‘Auto Erotica’. Was it, as l would guess, lack of finance that dictated the relatively short playing time?

“That’s right. We recorded the songs at the Record Plant before we had a deal proper. We had what is known as a ‘Spec. deal’ whereby we took on the expense of recording knowing that the label was very close to signing us. It was an act of faith on our behalf and proof to Radio that we could deliver.”

Creative juices are apparently oozing out of every Hellcat pore (paw?) and new numbers are being written all the time and at great speed…

“We don’t decide on our set for the evening until the very last minute because we have so many songs to choose from, We have well over an album’s worth of unrecorded numbers that are real killers. We do retain some of our Starz heritage, though, with our opening number, ‘The Take Me Intro. Song’, which features some guitar parts from the Starz tune ‘Take Me’. That aside, we have numbers whose titles should show you what we’re about.

“We perform an anthemic kind of tune called ‘Sludge Rock/We Are The Hellcats’ and then we include the likes of ‘Dreaming’ My Life Away’, ‘Miss You Tonight’ and ‘Restless Underwear’ (which has got to be one of the best titles since ‘Wang Dang Sweet Poontang’!). We’ve stuck to our roots – we’re still pretty gross!!”

‘You got your mind on something, You wish your hands were there, ‘Cos you never, never ever seen, Such a perfect pair!’ (from ‘It’s Alright’).

The band are desperately keen to play in the UK, especially if they can get a licensing deal for their next release, a single of ‘Auto Erotica’ backed with alive version of ’Rock And Roll Man’. They’d like to do some kind of co-headlining club tour, and you’d be crazy to miss them if they come, After all, they’re born again super Starz, right?
HOWARD JOHNSON

PICTURE

KERRANG ISSUE 33 JANUARY 1983 Feature by Malcolm Dome


Well, in contrast to the frugal humility of most Dutch people, this quintet (thank heaven) proved to be a right rare bundle of loveable loonies.

For a kick-off, during an intense two hour photo session, they managed to anger a director of Phonogram by harking about on his push-bike, consume about 70 crates of bottled Heineken, smoke their way through 100 packets of Marlboro and pour tomato ketchup all over the floor in a real blood-letting exercise.
All of which meant that by the time vocalist Shmoulik Avigal, guitarists Jan Bechtum and Chriz van Jaarsfeld, bassist Rinus Vreugdenhil and drummer Laurens ‘Bakky’ Bakker, were corralled into an ‘interview situation’ none of them was in a fit state to talk seriously about the band.

Still, at least their command of English was fair, so some semblance of sense did eventually vomit forth from certain of these Netherlands nutters. What follows, then, is a combination of their more printable quotes plus info gleaned from other sources about their past.

The story really began in the Autumn of 1979, when the rhythm section of Vreugdenhil and Bakker decided to form a hard rocking’ band because, in the immortal words of the latter, “normally we had to pay for our drinks. But when we are in a band, we knew we could get a contract that stated we were entitled to FREE DRINKS!”

So, the gormless duo teamed up with original vocalist Ronald van Prooien plus the aforementioned Bechtum in search of alcohol. “It was really terrible in the beginning,” quipped the half-drunk, totally-crazed Bakker. “Jan was a good guy, but couldn’t play guitar at all. Within a couple of months, though, we made him into a very good musician. Now, he’s better than Blackmore”

Are you keeping up with this nonsense? Anyway, after a very short time, Picture were discovered by Henk van Antwerpen, a man whose managerial pedigree included work with semi-successful Dutch new wavers the Nits (never really up to scratch on the international circuit, one might say!)

“Henk was one of the biggest problems in Holland,” asserted Bakker. “Since we’re a bunch of trouble-makers and he is one also, it was a perfect match. He’s not really up to much as a manager. But since he is smoking…we are smoking..and we like the brand he buys, Henk does have his uses. Look at the money he saves us on fags – we always nick his!”

With van Antwerpen on the case, the band were rapidly snapped up by WEA Records in Holland. However this union was never consummated vinyl-wise and the band soon split with the label. “They wanted us to sound like Kiss and become really commercial, even do a modern version of ‘Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheap, Cheap’, you know,” explained Bechtum.

Undaunted by such an experience, Picture were soon back in the frame with Back Door Records (a subsidiary of Phonogram in Holland). This deal led to the band, still in their original quartet format recording two LPs in 1981, viz ’Picture I’ and ‘Heavy Metal Ears’.

Now, neither album can really be classed as outstanding. Indeed, both have as much appeal as, say. Krokus in their pre- ‘Metal Rendezvous’ days. In other words, perfect bargain-bin fodder. However, the lads did manage to garner a surprisingly large following not only in Holland (where they’ve supported the likes of Saxon, Ted Nugent, April Wine and AC/DC on major tours) but also in Italy, Germany, and Mexico.

“In Mexico, particularly, they go mad for us,” revealed Bechtum in all seriousness. “Kiss are the most popular band there, followed by Black Sabbath – and then comes Picture.”
On top of that, the band were last year voted the top domestic act in two of the leading rock magazines in Holland – a positive pointer that at last true heavy rock is beginning to make a home-produced impact on the docile Dutch.

“We are the first really heavy band to come from Holland,” boasted Bakker with good reason. “Golden Earring and their like are very good people, but they’ve never been HM, more just pop/rock. We have been fortunate enough to get the support of the rock press in Holland and to have built up a good number of fans. But, there’s a long way for us to go yet. Neither the radio stations nor the television people want to know about heavy music at the moment.”

“To some extent, we’re in the same position now as the Scorpions were originally in Germany,” continued Avigal “It was only after they made it in England that they were accepted at home. I think to make it BIG in Holland. Picture is first of all gonna have to build an international reputation.”

All the signs are currently pointing towards Picture being able to do just that. And, as I’ve already said, much of this is due to the undoubted dynamism of ‘Diamond Dreamer’.

With Avigal being railed in for the departed van Prooien (a vital change as the former is a top-class Dio-like hard rock singer, in a different league to his predecessor), ‘DD’ could (in the potentially prophetic words of Bechtum) prove to be “as important for us as ‘In Rock’ was for Deep Purple.”

Already the LP has established Picture as the premier heavy band in Holland, ahead of pretenders such as Vandenberg, and provided them with the possibility of true global clout. Certainly the drafting in of Peter Hinton to co-produce the ‘Diamond….‘ sessions with local lad Ton van der Bremen (who was responsible for the sound on the first brace of Picture LP5) has drawn forth richly melodic and fruitfully powerhouse performances scarcely hinted at before.

“We got on swell with Pete, he’s such a colourful character,” laughed Avigal. ‘We only had 10 days to work on the songs in the studio, and considering all of that, it came out very well. Hopefully, the next album will be even better.

“But, whether or not we’ll still be with Phonogram in Holland by then is doubtful. As far as hard rock bands go, they’ve done very well in promoting us. But we’re an ambitious group, and we don’t think the company can really help us to make it in the wider context.”

Yet, if their Dutch label situation is a little murky, one thing is for certain – ’Diamond Dreamer’ will get a long-overdue UK release next month on Carrere, and the band hope to follow this up with a support slot on the upcoming Motorhead UK tour.

“We’re looking forward to playing England,” admitted Avigal with obvious relish. “Our music is basically English. Our influences are the heroes we grew up with Hendrix. Purple and Zeppelin. So the best place for us to go is England.”

HELLION

MUSIC FOR NATIONS MAGAZINE 1984

Despite the apparent connotations of the name, Hellion are not just another band carrying a demonic message, look it up and you’ll find that it actually means ‘a troublesome or mischievous child’, the band drawing the name from an insult thrown at them by an evidently literate neighbour. At the time any misunderstanding over their chosen name could be understood, since they were living in a locally notorious haunted house, which became known as the Annieville Horror House after vocalist Ann Boleyn and her cohorts moved in.

The band originally came together as a fun affair to entertain the huge crowds the band began to draw to their parties in the grounds of their haunted home, with Ray Schenk taking lead guitar duties, Sean Kelly drumming and Peyton Tuthill on bass. Ann Boleyn was a keyboard’s player versed in the Jon Lord school of organ thrashing, and had never sung in her life, but the band soon found that she was the only one amongst them able to handle the material they were playing. So it was that she began her vocal career at full throttle with covers from the likes of AC/DC, The Scorpions, Rush, Krokus, UFO, Rainbow and Uriah Heep, developing a snarling rock power that owes nothing to any female vocalist before her.

As the parties grew larger and larger the complaints from neighbours grew louder and louder. Finally the police arrived to break up one of their party/ gigs, meeting with no little resistance from the irate revellers, and it was doubtless no coincidence that a demolition order on the house was promptly brought to bear.

At that point the band faced the alternatives of either giving up or getting serious, and chose the latter course, with the cover numbers being replaced by a series of originals in a similarly crushing vein. ‘The West Coast Stumble’ ensued, a six week tour up the Pacific coast of America from Los Angeles to Seattle, an endurance test that more than earned its name. The band went down a storm though, despite being booked into a number of clubs that expected the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Heart thanks to the presence of a female vocalist in the line-up.

Upon their return the band set to work on the LA club circuit, with no small degree of success. They currently hold the house record for the highest number of paying customers at the city’s top rock club, The Troubador, and won a return booking at the thousand seat Country Club after their first gig their recently

Recent changes in the line-up have served to consolidate the strength of the band, with eighteen year old Bill Sweet taking the bass slot, and Alan Barlam coming in as second lead guitarist to add that extra bite.

Their first demo, recorded at Fiddlers in Hollywood, is ample evidence of the band’s collective firepower and Ann Boleyn’s threatening vocal talent from the raucous ‘Looking For A Good Time’ to the anthemic ‘Don’t Take No’. Alter selling countless cassette copies of the demo the group began pressing their own records. In january ‘84 Music For Nations released the demo as a mini LP which subsequently climbed to No.6 in the H.M. Charts and remained in the Top 40 for twenty-two weeks. Due to this success Hellion made a promo trip to the UK where they also performed to a packed Marquee Club.

Hellion are managed by Wendy Dio and Curt Lorraine of Niji Productions, Niji also manages Warner Bros. recording artists Ronnie James Dio and Rough Cuff.

An album and single are currently being recorded by the band and produced by Ronnie Dio.

METALLICA

MUSIC FOR NATIONS MAGAZINE 1984

n October of 1981 came the collaboration of Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield in Norwalk, CA (near LA) that today has grown into such a phenomenon they have become cult heroes to the vast hordes of “headbangers” throughout the world known as “Metallica”.

With Ulrich’s powerful drumming and Hetfield’s extraordinary vocals and brilliant rhythm guitar work people took notice right away. The duo were invited to appear on the first “Metal Massacre” album where they recorded the now legendary track “Hit The Lights”. The fact that it was poorly engineered didn’t stop it from reaching the top of the worldwide “Underground” HM Charts.

In February of 1982 Dave Mustaine (lead guitar) and Ron McGovney (bass) joined the group. Immediately the band were put to work opening from Saxon in L.A. They received tremendous press from the L.A. Times. When Krokus cancelled their show (Metallica was to have opened) Metallica was asked to go on and play in front of a mob of angry “headbangers” who had just found out Krokus would not be appearing. That evening became the “Night of Metallica”. They received rave-reviews and were acclaimed to be the Heavy Metal Heroes of L.A. Fans swelled in numbers as they continued to play their “Balls Out” performances at such local clubs as the “Whiskey A Go. Go”, “Troubador”, “Roxy” and “The Country Club”.

In an attempt to reach even more people Metallica went into the studio to record their “No Life ‘Till Leather” demo. This seven song demo became the widest circulated tape throughout the world via the “Underground Metal Exchange”. Letters from fans came pouring in from all over Europe and the Far East. Songs like “Jump In The Fire” and “Seek and Destroy” had become HM anthems on both sides of the Atlantic.

In November of 1982 the band headed north to San Francisco to do a headliner at Bill Graham’s Old Waldorf. They themselves were surprised to seethe place packed with headbangers who showed an even greater appreciation for the band than the crowds in L.A. After playing the “Stone” twice and a final show at the “Waldorf” they left the Bay Area with much dismay, and returned to L.A. to open for Y&T in a sold out performance at the Orange County Country Club. They had left San Francisco as the most popular band there unsigned to any label and had created a frenzy amongst the “Bay Area Bangers” that even surpassed that of Motorhead and Girlschool.

Still striving for perfection they recruited Cliff Burton from Trauma as their new bassist. Burton had already been written up in the press as one of the best bass players in California. Exodus axeman Kirk Hammett was called upon next to replace lead guitarist Dave Mustaine. Ulrich, Hetfield, Burton and Hammett, known to us as Metallica had achieved the first level of their plan. The Creme de la Creme of California’s heaviest and finest musicians under one roof.

Shortly afterwards Metallica were rushed to New York to open for the Rods and Vandenberg, and in just 5 short weeks they became the heroes of the East Coast Metal Movement. They left New York with excellent reviews for their historic show with England’s’ Venom at the Paramount and ended their visit in true “Metallikill” style with some amazing headlining shows.

The band’s debut album “Kill ‘Em All” was released in the UK and Europe by Music For Nations and Megaforce in the US during July ‘83. They followed this release with a coast to coast US tour.

Music For Nations released a 12” single, “Jump ln The Fire” in January l984, this featured live versions of “Seek And Destroy” and “Phantom Lord”. During February they toured Europe as ‘Special Guest’ to Venom. They then visited the U.K. and played two sell-out shows at the Marquee.

In June the band returned to Europe for dates in Holland and Germany, finishing with the Heavy Sound Festival in Poperinge.

In May the band went to Sweet Silence Studios in Denmark to record their long awaited second album ‘Ride The Lightning’.

The album was released on July 27th and instantly entered the UK National album chart.

Metallica have recently released their second single ‘Creeping Death’ which features two previously unreleased tracks ‘Blitzkrieg’ and ‘Am I Evil’.