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.