Archive for 80s rock music

Arresting Glam Metal: Life and Times of Warrant

Posted in 80s rock music, Glam Rock, Metal Rock, Poison with tags , , , , , , , on November 1, 2018 by glamrock4ever

     Warrant is a Glam Metal band formed in 1984 by guitarist Erik Turner, lead vocalist Adam Shore, drummer Max Asher, guitarist Josh Lewis, and bassist Chris Vincent, (then replaced by Jerry Dixon). The band played a lot of gigs in California, opening for Ted Nugent, Stryper, and Black N Blue. In 1986, Shore and Asher quit to form another group. Later, Erik saw a band playing the L.A. club scene, and being impressed with their performance, invited lead singer Jani Lane and drummer Steven Sweet to jam with him, and some of his band. Thus, Warrant was born.

 

     The band recorded a demo tape in 1987 for Paisley Park records, a label owned by rock star Prince. Shortly thereafter, Warrant was signed by Columbia records, and the band began touring with the release of their first album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. From this debut were four hit singles:

“Heaven,” “Sometimes She Cries,” “Down Boys,” and “Big Talk.” Warrant fit right into the Glam Metal West coast scene of the 1980s with their long hair, leather jackets, pretty boy looks, and killer riffs. Warrant toured with Poison, Motley Crue, Queensryche, Cinderella, and Kingdom Come.

     Warrant’s second album was Cherry Pie, and featured Jani Lane’s girlfriend (and later wife) Bobbi Brown. The oft repeated story about the song “Cherry Pie” is that Jani Lane hated it since it was so commercial; however, Lane had written the anthem after a record company executive from Columbia ran into Lane and said he wanted the band to record something along the lines of Aerosmith’s hit “Love in an Elevator.” Cherry Pie debuted at Number 7 on the Billboard Top 200, and featured guest appearances by Poison’s CC Deville, and Danger Danger’s Bruno Ravel and Steve West.  Other singles off the album were “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (with its very creepy video), “Blind Faith,” and “I Saw Red.” There are many Warrant super-fans who have gotten tattoos with the phrase “I Saw Red.”

     Cherry Pie went on to sell 3 million copies, and Warrant went on tour with Poison, which ended in 1991 due to conflict between the bands. 1992 saw the release of Dog Eat Dog, which many die-hard fans believe is Warrant’s best album. This album only achieved gold status, followed by a tour with Iron Maiden, featuring singles “Machine Gun,” “Bitter Pill,” and “Hole in My Wall.”

     The band’s history is much more extensive, but the day that the classic Glam Rock and Glam Metal sound of Warrant ended was with the death of lead singer Jani Lane in 2011.  To this author, GlamRock4Ever, Warrant is no longer Warrant, because Jani Lane made the band what it was.  Here’s the deal on what occurred. On September 10, 2008 Rock Report informed the entertainment world that Jani Lane was out of the band due to song-writing disagreements. Lane was replaced by Robert Mason of Lynch Mob. Fast forward to August 11, 2011, where it was reported by the L.A.P.D. that Jani Lane had been found dead in a Comfort Inn motel room off Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills, California. Janie Lane was notorious for his alcohol problems and several DUIs, but WTF? How does a major rock star die alone in a nondescript motel room with only a bottle of vodka? Judge for yourself from these reports at the time:

”Members of Jani Lane’s family are furious that a “friend” did not offer proper help to the 47 year old when aware of his substance abuse problems, according to TMZ. TMZ also claim that the musician’s Comfort Inn room was not purchased by him.”  From: “I am Jani Lane” Bizarre note found in dead Warrant singer’s pocket” DailyMail.com 8.23.11

“We never thought that when the song “Heaven” was written that we would be playing it someday in memory of Jani’s untimely death,” guitarist Erik Turner said.  From: “Warrant Singer Jani Lane died from alcohol poisoning” Fox News 10.5.11

                         Sebastian Bach of Skid Row said, “Its all too typical of what a rock musician’s life actually is; for some, the bottle of vodka or whatever becomes the friend that’s always there for you, while others come and go.” From: “Lane ‘killed by only friend’” Rock News Desk 8.14.11.

A public memorial concert was held on 8.29.11 at the Key Club in Hollywood, with Great White, Quiet Riot, and L.A. Guns performing in tribute to the Warrant lead singer.  Warrant continues to record and tour these days, but the sound without Lane is very different, more hard rock, and not as unique as the band’s heydays of the L.A. scene.

 

 

Cats in Boots Kicked and Clawed Glam Rock 80s Style

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Heavy Metal Music, Music, RATT, Skidrow with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2018 by glamrock4ever

In the vacant music scene of the 21st century, where Glam Rock and Glam Metal Music fans continue to be ignored, pushed aside, and altogether ABANDONED by the BIG MUSIC CORPORATIONS, it defies all logic that bands like Cats in Boots are not only no longer around but never actually made it in the US music scene! These BIG MUSIC CORPORATIONS seem to only know how to push the genres of Rap, Country, or the other MAINSTREAM CRAP that people call “music” these days! Do I sound bitter? Well, yes, slightly, because Cats In Boots are amazingly awesome and should have made it, man. So what follows is a brief bio, discography, and excerpt from an interview with lead singer Joel Ellis, first published on March 7, 2006 by Sleazeroxx.com. You gotta witness it to believe it.  And you WILL, I double dog dare ya, yeah.

Cats in Boots (aka CIB) were formed in 1988 by two Americans: Joel Ellis, vocals and Randy Meers, Drums, along with two Japanese: Takashi O’Hashi, lead guitar, and Yasuhiro Hatae, bass guitar. Joel Ellis was part of the Cleveland (as in: Ohio) music scene with a band called Merry Hoax, with Randy Meers, who was from Texas.  Despite the electric (as in: NOT) music scene in Cleveland, Merry Hoax moved to L.A. There Takashi ‘Jam’ Ohashi and bass player Yasuhiro ‘Butch’ Hatae of the Tokyo band Seiki Matsu recruited Ellis and Meers for CIB. Of that move, Ellis told Sleazeroxx.com, “There was never any question if we would leave Cleveland or not. Cleveland was a great place to come from, but we always knew as kids we’d end up rockin’ in LA.”  Ellis said that Merry Hoax had influences “from Sabbath to Zep to Metallica and early Motley.”

Cats in Boots3

The American member Ellis and Meers relocated to Tokyo, Japan with O’Hashi and Hatae to record demos which shot to #1 on the Indie Japanese music charts. The band caught the attention of New York based music giant EMI, and had CIB fly back to New York to record “Kicked and Klawed.” Although, Kicked and Klawed garnered solid popularity in Japan and the U.K.—including 60 sold-out shows in Japan– their modest Gold status on the American scene cost them a continued recording contract and Ellis said, on Sleazeroxx.com, that there was “confrontation with management [EMI] and some short-sighted decisions on both ends.” Ellis also said this to Sleazeroxx.com, “People need to try to understand how big an impact CIB made on the Japan music scene….In the U.K. we were also bigger with Top 10 selling rock record together with Motley, Faith No More, Skid Row, etc.”

The Discography: Demonstration: East Meets West (Demo); Kicked and Klawed (1989); Last Works 1993-1995 (1999); The original band toured Japan one last time in 2003.

The rock blog Heavy Harmonies summarized it best when they wrote, “Amidst the other hair bands of the late 80s, Cats in Boots were gravely overlooked. They were, perhaps, the most underrated metal band of the late 80s. Ellis had a killer rock n roll voice and the riffs on this CD (Kicked and Klawed) are incredible.”

And last, but not least, is this thrilling fact: Joel Ellis of Cats in Boots was a roommate with Stephen Pearcy of RATT. Read the Sleazeroxx.com interview for more. 

Addendum: many apologies for the “oze toni rock the nights” tag do not know the dude but the video is ELECTRIC GLAM.

Cinderella Defy the Odds with Legendary Glam Metal Music

Posted in Cinderella band, Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Heavy Metal Music, Metal Rock, Music, Rock Music with tags , , on April 27, 2017 by glamrock4ever

     Lead singer, composer, guitarist, and front man for Glam Metal rock group Cinderella, Tom Keifer, has a theme running through his press interviews where he takes issue with the group being labelled under Glam Rock or Glam Metal, but with a name like Cinderella, along with the huge hair, glitter costumes, and onstage posturing, how could it not be that? For the record, Tom Keifer has said many times to rock mag interviewers this statement, (as captured by Classic Rock magazine in 2013), “Some people listen with their eyes, and not their ears.” It’s hard not to hear the sarcasm and/or irritation behind that statement. But get this: even die-hard Cinderella bloggers and fans, such as www.nolifetilmetal said that Cinderella has often been “lumped into the hair bands of the 80s due to their glam look, especially on their first album.”

Here are the key elements to Cinderella’s history, which have been repeated so many times within the metal community, one wishes band members would give more details on the group’s amazing backstory:

Cinderella was formed in 1983 by Tom Keifer, and bassist Eric Brittingham. The initial make-up of the band included guitarist Michael Smerick and the late Tony Destra. Smerick and Destra left in 1985 to form another Glam Metal band, Britny Fox. As legend has it, Jon Bon Jovi saw Cinderella perform at the Empire Rock Club in Philadelphia, which in the 1980s held a metal music night every Sunday. Bon Jovi convinced one of his contacts in the industry, Scottish-born record executive Derek Shulman to go and hear the band. Shulman was not convinced of the band’s selling potential at first, but after much negotiating signed them. The result was Cinderella’s first album Night Songs (1986) which achieved triple platinum status and at one point sold 50K copies per week. (Record Industry RIAA states Platinum equals one million in sales.) Cinderella’s second album, Long Cold Winter, was released in 1988 and was accompanied by a 254-show tour, one of which was in Moscow, Russia, alongside other metal bands such as the Scorpions, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, and Skid Row. The core members of Cinderella remain Tom Keifer, lead vocalist, composer, keyboardist and guitarist; Eric Brittingham, bass guitar; Jeff LaBar, lead and rhythm guitars; Fred Coury, drums. (For more information see Wikipedia and the band’s website www.cinderella.net.) Overall, the band has sold over 20 million albums. The other studio albums are: Heartbreak Station (1990) and Still Climbing (1994).  Given the fact that most music albums/CDs/ in the 21st century do not exceed the one million mark in sales, that is quite astonishing. It’s why metal fans almost always harken back to the era of the 1980s as the “gold standard”  -the music then was exemplary by today’s standards. What’s that? Don’t like that comment? Uh, well, it’s my blog (GlamRock4Ever), so screw off! Cinderella1Cinderella2Cinderella3

The preceding begs the question: why hasn’t Cinderella recorded any more albums since Still Climbing? Tom Keifer gave an answer to that to Classic Rock magazine (2013), “We toured hard in the past three years so we decided to take a break. We’ll still tour but as for new music, every time we’ve tried there’s been a roadblock.” He may be alluding to legal troubles between the band and the mega music giant Sony corporation that was an ongoing headache to the band in years past and an obstacle to recording. The band has toured ferociously since 1986, including the 1990-1991 Big Joint tour (with Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Quireboys), the 20 Years of Rock tour in 2006 with Poison, and the 25th anniversary tour in 2011. You can also usually always catch Cinderella on the Monsters of Rock cruise, including 2017’s show.

     The biggest complication to the band’s recording was the dilemma of Tom Keifer’s vocal cord issue. In 1991, Tom Keifer lost his voice due to paresis of his vocal cords and underwent corrective surgeries. Then in the year 2008, just before Cinderella was to start another tour with Warrant, Lynch Mob, and Lynam, Cinderella’s lead man woke up one morning to the unimaginable discovery that he could not sing! In a press release at the time, the band’s manager Tim Heyne said: “It is with unbelievably deep regret that I must announce Tom Keifer’s left vocal cord has hemorrhaged, thereby making it impossible for him to sing in the immediate future.” It wasn’t until 2009 after enduring more vocal cord surgery (total of six) that Keifer’s voice returned to normal. Here is what Keifer told Classic Rock magazine (2013): “My left vocal cord is partially paralyzed. But the bottom line is I was told I would never sing again, and I’ve done seven successful tours with Cinderella and made this record.” He’s referring to the 2013 release of his solo album “The Way Life Goes.” Check it out.