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’.