Glamour Rock Classic Music

Posts tagged “Entertainment

Glam Metal Fans Can’t Get Enough of Winger

 

 

 

 

 

The band Winger is an American glam metal and progressive metal rock band that achieved success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Named after the lead vocalist and primary founder Kip Winger, the band had some insane success in those days, due to heavy rotation by MTV (back when MTV really was “Music Television,” not the garbage on that channel these days) of three hits by the band: “Madalaine,” “Seventeen,” and “Headed for Heartbreak.” Other major hits include “Can’t Get Enuff” and “Easy Come, Easy Go.” The indisputable fact is that the camera loves Kip Winger; watch more than one of their videos and you will see all the hair, the glam, the postering, not to mention the virtuoso guitarists Reb Beach and Paul Taylor trading riffs that are emulous and street-wise. So, is it any wonder that what loused up Winger’s meteoric rise to fame was ridiculous mid-90s entertainment scene jealousies? Yeah, believe me, Kip could tell you all about it. Here was a newcomer band that had hits on the Billboard 200 for 63 weeks, were nominated on the American Music Awards show for “Best New Heavy Metal Band” and yet they were ultimately stymied by,”Beavis and Butt-head!” Okay, stop laughing everyone–stop laughing! Yeah, it’s too good, but it’s true! And the Winger band did not deserve what followed.

  Before we get to that, let’s lay out the essentials for the Winger band: they were formed in 1987 by Kip Winger, having left the Alice Cooper band, which Kip had joined in 1985. The four original members are: Kip Winger-lead vocals and bass guitar; Reb Beach-lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards; Rod Morgenstein-drums; Paul Taylor, rhythm guitar, keyboards; and they also had a touring guitarist on rhythm, lead and bass guitar, John Roth. The Winger discography is this: Winger (1988); In the Heart of the Young (1990); Pull (1993); IV (2006); Karma (2009): Better Days Comin’ (2014); In addition, Kip Winger has written classical music scores played by different symphonies and has a current broadway musical based on the legacy of Jack the Ripper.

So what was the deal with “Beavis and Butt-head”, which was a smart-ass cartoon series run by MTV in the 1990s, and how did it impact Winger’s successes?  For this you have to look at the fan page for Reb Beach, which is an amazing compilation, and Reb, who has also played extensively with Whitesnake (as well as gigs with Alice Cooper and Dokken) should be given one’s due for the phantasmagorical website for all the Winger (and Whitesnake) fans of his: http://www.rebbeach.com/history_faq_2005_interview.htm

     Here is how Reb described what happened with the “Beavis and butt-head” debachle:

“The experience was very sudden. I had just bought a house on the lake in Florida and life was good. We spent years on one record that was by far our best, and I figured it had to at least go gold, since our last one went platinum, and this one was better. If the record went gold I would have gotten like a $200,000 publishing advance. Life was good.

“So we released the record and went out on the road and that’s when the floor fell out from under us practically overnight. Some guy came to the bus with a copy of Beavis and Butthead and in it they hung a nerd up by his underwear while he wore his Winger t-shirt. They went to his house, and his loser family (including the dog) were all wearing Winger t-shirts. That week people stopped coming to our shows and record sales came to a screeching halt. “Down incognito” was taking off at radio when DJ’s just dropped it from their playlists because they were too embarrassed to have their station associated with it. A month later I called Atlantic records and they had never heard of Winger.

“So, how did it change me? When you are just going up and up and all of the sudden you go straight down, it changes you for the better… eventually. I am sure I was getting a little cocky. That went right out the window. I had lived the perfect life up until then, so I was due for some kind of disaster. It changed me very much by making me have to grow up fast.”  (Excerpt from: Reb Beach’s website http://www.rebbeach.com)  

Now let’s hear from frontman Kip Winger, and this is the best way to give any band’s true history, from verbal descriptions of the group members themselves. This is from an interview in “Grantland” in 2014 by Steven Hyden:

  Steven:  How old were you when you first started playing in bands?

KIP:  “ About 7. My brothers and I played in a band. It was me and my two older brothers and one other guy from the neighborhood, this guy Pete Fletcher. We started getting gigs when I was about 8 or 9. We were getting paid to play very, very early. I could play anything by the time I was 15. Anything rock, anyway. I was playing 2112 and shit like that when I was fucking 14 years old. But, I mean, I’m not so interested in bass. It’s just the instrument I played, and I was good at it. Writing is really my thing.”

Steven:  I read that you started studying classical music when you were a teenager. Did you see metal and classical as being interconnected?

KIP: “It’s not true. I was a self-taught musician. I took piano lessons and I studied classical guitar when I was 16, so I guess that is true, but that was, like, just baroque music and stuff. That’s where I learned to play really fast and complicated. That kind of led me down the path to classical. But I dropped out of high school, man. I wanted to get a record deal. So I got a GED when I was 15, and then toured with my band and all that shit. I didn’t really start studying classical music until I was 35. There was the Beavis and Butt-Head thing, which took the band out. Metallica fucking threw darts at our poster, and fucking told their fans to put a curse on us and hate us. I don’t really understand what that was about.”

“I couldn’t get a gig, so it was like, ‘Cool, I’m going to go back and start studying the way I’ve always wanted to study, because now I’ve got the time, basically.’ It’s kind of a weird, backward way to do it, but it turned out great, I think.

“See, my brain works like a classical musician. I’m more interested in the really complex stuff. Like, when I hear really complicated counterpoint, a fugue, or something like that, it turns my brain on. Like, ‘Wow, what the fuck is that?’ I latch onto it and I can track it really well. “  (From: “Conversation with Kip Winger about Being Taken Seriously, Prog-Rock, and Metallica’s Scorn,” Grantland, April 24, 2014)

There you have it, Glam Metal and Glam Rock fans! You want your kid to become an incredible rock star? Hand him a guitar at age 7, but you have to get him off of the computer first.

Meanwhile, Winger is on tour in 2019, check out their website for details, including the Monsters of Rock cruise departing Miami, February 24 through March 1sthttp://www.wingertheband.com/


Arresting Glam Metal: Life and Times of Warrant

     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.

 

 


Glam Rocks: Roxx Gang Florida Rich

     Hello, fantabulous, freaking awesome, and zero cool (as in ‘super-cool’) Glam Rock and Glam Metal fans, here is another fearsome, formidable and mind-blowing post for you. This one is on Tampa Bay, Florida glam rock artists Roxx Gang.  As yours truly aka GlamRock4Ever was perusing and prowling the internet, I came across this item, and almost fell off my damn chair: Roxx Gang has a net worth of $2.5 million! Wow, that’s majestic for a band that last recorded an album in 2001 ( titled Bodacious Ta Tas). FNA records put out two re-issues of Roxx Gang’s music:  Boxx of Roxx (2011) and Last Laugh: Lost Roxx Gang Demos (2014). Of course, that $2.5 mil is a paltry sum compared to artists still out there, entertaining the masses: Guns N Roses guitarist Slash reportedly made $45 million last year, and the net worth of rock legend Paul McCartney is now at $1.2 billion. (See the website www.celebritynetworth.com)

Roxx Gang1Roxx Gang2Roxx Gang3

     Roxx Gang were an American Glam Metal band formed in 1982 by Kevin Steele and guitarist Eric Carrell in Saint Petersburg, Florida. After numerous gigs with a prodigious following in the Tampa Bay area, the band scored a record deal with Virgin Records in 1988 with two singles: “No Easy Way Out,” and “Scratch My Back.” After the unfortunate death of Eric, the band’s line-up was Kevin Steele (vocals), Jeff Taylor Blanchard (guitar), Wade Hayes (guitar), Roby Strine (bass), and David Blackshire (drums).  The record Things You’ve Never Done Before sold over a quarter million copies.

     Two events happened that lead to Roxx Gang never truly hitting the big time, which makes their global worth that much more remarkable. The first was the inauspicious death of Eric Carrell in 1986 under -according to band members ,‘mysterious circumstances.’ Eric died in a drowning death off a fishing pier. Was he pushed? Was he intoxicated and fell in? GlamRock4Ever searched death records in all the Tampa Bay newspapers and could not find anything about it. The second event was the ill-timed entry of Roxx Gang onto the Glam Rock scene. As Kevin Steele explained it, the record executives that had signed the original members to CBS/Epic records departed all at once. Steele said, “That’s when grunge hit, and all of a sudden it was like murder for us, and we eventually got this independent deal and released it, but that’s how long it took us.”  (You can find this interview on ‘The Pure Rock Shop’ http://www.tprs.com/interviews.) So Roxx Gang got their record deal in the late 80s just as Glam Rock glory days were ending, replaced by Kurt Cobain’s grunge movement as what was ‘hot’ at the time.

     Steele also commented to The Pure Rock Shop about Glam Rockers in the 80s saying this, “In the eighties, all the metal bands used to say to me ‘oh, Roxx Gang is all image’ right. That’s another thing ‘Glam Rockers, they’re all show and no go.’ Well first of all, bull shit, I’ve always had good musicians in my band.  And second of all, I feel so sorry for anybody who can’t appreciate the image side of rock n roll-that’s half of it! That’s the way it’s been, why do you think Elvis was so huge? If he had looked like Buddy Holly, he wouldn’t have been.”

     Here is the Discography for Roxx Gang:  Things You’ve Never Done Before (1988), The Voodoo You Love (1995), Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em (1997), Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue (1998), Drinkin’ TNT and Smoking Dynamite (2000), Bodacious Ta Tas (2001). “Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em earned stellar reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and got Roxx Gang a spot on the Top Ten Heavy Metal Albums of the Year in Tower Records’ Pulse.”  (Hard Rock Heaven 5.13.14 http://www.hrheaven.wordpress.com)

“FNA records has released a regular version, autographed version, and super fan pack version with a t-shirt featuring the Roxx Gang skull and cross bones logo.” See http://www.fnarecords.net.

    So how did front man Kevin Steele get the job he so desired and when did it start? He told Suits and the Platform Boots this:  “When I was about 8 years old, I saw an episode of ‘The Monkees’, where Davy Jones was being chased all over the Eiffel Tower by a group of rabid, screaming girls who tore off his shirt when they caught him. I knew right then that that was what I wanted to do.” And why choose vocalist instead of guitarist? “I always wanted to be up front,” Steele said. “I started writing songs before I ever had a band. Plus singers have no gear to carry, and let’s face it, they get the best-looking girls.” As for the Roxx Gang’s musical influences, Steele gave this answer:  T. Rex, New York Dolls, Mott the Hoople, Iggy and the Stooges, and surprisingly, Jim Dandy of Black Oak Arkansas.

 

 


Heartthrobs: Glam City Central with Skid Row and Shotgun Messiah

    

 

So what’s up, Glam Metal Fans? You are the most phenomenal fans in the freaking world! Check this out: posting here on two great Glam Metal bands, which feature two ultra-blonde male lead singers, with ultra-Glam rock and heavy metal music: Skid Row, featuring lead singer Sebastian Bach, and Shotgun Messiah. First off, lets take a look at Skid Row, the Glam Rock Metal band with an unparalleled sound, mainly due to the prodigious windpipes of lead singer Sebastian Bach. However, since Skid Row split with Sebastian (back in 1996), the overall fan experience has not yet been the same. To me Skid Row is just not Skid Row without Sebastian.  Still, here is the new Skid Row band write-up from their website “The first rebellion started in 1986. New Jersey kids, punk and metal attitude, determined to conquer the world. All for one, banded together with single-minded purpose. The battlefield was the stage, the songs their arsenal in an us-against-them musical coup d’état. Top Ten singles. Gold and multi-platinum sales. No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. The world was theirs, the rebellion won, until there was nothing left to fight for — so they fought each other. Following an ill-advised South American tour in 1996, the band was finished. But the core camaraderie never died.” http://www.skidrow.com. Can’t help but notice no mention of Sebastian, eh?

Back up, what’s the backstory there? Yeah, well, here it is:  Skid Row formed in 1986 in Toms River, New Jersey, and their main commercial success was with their debut album, Skid Row (1989), and Slave to the Grind (1991). The original members were bassist Rachel Bolans, guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo, guitarist Scotti Hill, drummer Rob Affuso, and lead singer Sebastian Bach. Dave “Snake” Sabo and John Bongiovi (Jon Bon Jovi) were teenage friends, and Sabo was briefly a member of the Bon Jovi band, until replaced by guitarist Richie Sambora. Skid Row went 5x platinum featuring singles “18 and Life,” and “I Remember You.” Skid Row supported Bon Jovi on their New Jersey tour, after Sabo and Jon Bon Jovi had promised each other that if either one ever made it in the music business they would help the other out. The first to achieve success was Jon Bon Jovi, and true to his word, helped Skid Row get their first record deal.

It was pretty surprising to me to read exactly why Sebastian Bach and Skid Row split up. I thought it was the “bottle incident” that you Glam Rock fans have heard me describe in an earlier podcast, but NO! It was due to Bach and Bolan disagreeing on whether to open for KISS in 1996. Sebastian had booked the gig, but the other band members thought that was beneath them to open for KISS. So the group and Sebastian parted ways, even though later Skid Row opened for KISS in 1998, 1999, and 2000, especially in 2000 for KISS “Farewell Tour.” Well, yours truly saw KISS in concert in 2007, so that was not really a “Farewell Tour” for KISS. True to form, Sebastian left the message on the bands answering machine in 1996 that Skid Row was never too big to open for KISS, sparing none of the choice words and attitude that he is famous for.

Skid Row, without Bach, continues to shoot down any ideas or possibilities of having Sebastian come back, telling Blabbermouth.net:

“Lastly, amidst all of the rumors and speculation, there has been no talk of a reunion [with former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach] nor are we opening for GUNS N’ ROSES. That’s it for now. We’ll keep you updated as best we can.”

 

Skid Row will be releasing “United World Rebellion” record in 2019. Sebastian Bach’s most recent record was with the 2014 release of “Give ‘Em Hell” and is currently on tour, with upcoming July concert dates in Poughkeepsie, NY, Cleveland, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Finally, check out the latest from Shotgun Messiah, a Sleaze Metal band from Sweden, recently re-united in 2012, with live album released in 2016. Sweden Rock Magazine named Shotgun Messiah #38 on “Best Rock Bands of Sweden Ever.”

And of course, the only true Messiah is J.C.: Jesus Christ, our Lord. That’s obvious.

 

 


KIX Band Struts Their Stuff in Amazing Glam and Hard Rock Groove

KixBand1KixBand4KixBand3

 

KIX is an American hard rock and glam metal band that was formed in Hagerstown, Maryland in 1977. KIX has earned the indisputable title of Baltimore’s most exciting live rock band, which is why KIX is a constant headliner at the M3 concert series in Maryland each year. KIX are vocalist Steve Whiteman; drummer Jimmy “Chocolate” Chalfant; guitarists Brian “Damage” Forsythe; Ronnie “10/10” Younkins; and bass guitarist Mark Schenker.  KIX has earned the reputation as one of the hardest-working bands all up and down the East coast, playing almost every club or bar six days a week for three solid years before they were “discovered” by Atlantic records. Or as lead singer Steve Whiteman often would say in a classic taunt: “We are coming to a dump near you!”  KIX band released their self-entitled album in 1981, featuring crowd favorites “Atomic Bomb,” “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” and “The Itch.”

   Ultimately, what makes KIX unique? Check out the reviews by some in the rock music press: Stereogum writes, “Historically, KIX were a total footnote, and their one real national hit “Don’t Close Your Eyes” was a B-level power ballad. At their commercial peak, they were opening for RATT on tour.  In their hometown, though, KIX were total gods, rulers of the legendary downtown Baltimore white-trash rock club Hammerjacks.”   Loud and Proud records owner Tom Lipsky adds, “What I have always loved about KIX is they make rock ‘n’ roll fun.”  And All Music writes, “The truth is, KIX were different. They were different because they were much better—they had better hooks, rocked harder, and they could write songs” -later adding their “albums sounded like a constant party.” So yeah of course, it’s a bitchin’ great time, always, with KIX!

     KIX achieved significant commercial success with the release of Midnite Dynamite in 1985 (“Midnite Dynamite,” “Cold Shower”); but Midnite Dynamite did not come close to the ascendancy of 1989’s Blow My Fuse (“Get it While its Hot,” “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “She Dropped the Bomb”) which went Platinum.  The single “Don’t Close Your Eyes” with lyrics attempting to stop suicide (of a girlfriend?) entered the Hot 100 at number 11. In 1989, KIX released Blow My Fuse: The Videos which had the band’s official videos and behind-the-scenes footage. Also, KIX release a live album from -where else- Baltimore in 1993, which at first was entitled Contractual Obligation Live.  When KIX were touring arenas, they opened for AC/DC, Aerosmith, David Lee Roth, as well as RATT.  (See Wikipedia and AllMusic.com for this band history.)

     Fast forward 19 years to 2014 when KIX released their newest CD, Rock Your Face Off after signing with Loud and Proud Records.  What makes this all so truly astonishing, according to the press release from Loud and Proud, is that the group still consists of the original members! Witness just how dynamic and HOT this band still is. The video in HD is intoxicating, and the DVD set “Can’t Stop the Show: The Return of KIX” entered Billboard Top Music Video Sales at # 3 on October 26, 2016.  KIX tested the waters in 2008, according to Loud and Proud, at “two of the biggest rock festivals in the U.S.: Rocklahoma in Oklahoma and Rock the Bayou in Texas, where they earned ‘Best Performance’ among the fans there, playing alongside Alice Cooper, Tesla, Queensryche, RATT, and more.” Check it out, and watch these kick-ass dudes bring the house down at M3 in Maryland this coming May.


Cats in Boots Kicked and Clawed Glam Rock 80s Style

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.


Loudness: Japanese Taste of Glam Metal

Loudness1Loudness4Alive and kicking today, Loudness–a Japanese heavy metal and glam metal band–has a stellar thirty-five year history having been formed in 1981 by guitarist Akira Takasaki and drummer Munetaka Higuchi.  They are the first Japanese glam metal music band signed to a major U.S. label, and have produced 26 studio albums, along with nine live albums.  Loudness rocked their audiences hard throughout the 80s and 90s, garnered by their breakout hit “Crazy Nights”. According to Wikipedia, the original line-up reunited in 2001, producing seven more albums until drummer M. Higuchi’s untimely death from liver cancer on November 30, 2008.  Higuchi died in an Osaka hospital at age 49 and was mourned throughout Japan. 

 Loudness claimed as their roots other Japanese glam rock and shock rock acts such as Bow Wow, and Anthem. Other acts linked with them are Lazy, Sly, Ezo and X Japan. After forming the essence of the group, Loudness signed with record label Nippon-Columbia in 1980 and released The Birthday Eve.  Most would agree, however, that the absolute metal star in this band is the astounding shred-guitar virtuosity of Akira Takasaki: the trademark sound of Loudness for decades. And the album that all metal fans recognize from this band as a “must-have” is Thunder in the East. It was in 1985 through the Twisted Sister co-manager Joe Gerber that Loudness signed a record deal with Atco, and made history as the first Japanese heavy metal band to have a major recording contract. Thunder in the East was recorded in the USA and was quite notable, receiving heavy rotation on MTV with “Crazy NIghts”. These albums followed:  Lightning Strikes (1986), Hurricane Eyes (1987), Soldier of Fortune (1989), and On the Prowl (1991). More recent strong releases include Metal Mad (2008) and King of Pain (2010).  One more thing: glam metal and heavy metal music fans still debate the meaning of “MZA” in that video! Some say it has a secret meaning; others say it is just filler. What do you say? MZA! What??

Breaking into the largest English-speaking music market meant the native Japanese members had to learn English! Here is how Akira Takasaki described it in an interview with MyGlobalMind.com heavy metal online magazine:

     Shadow Editor:  “How much of a challenge was it to make a complete record in English for the first time?”

Takasaki:  “I think it was difficult for a Japanese speaker to master. It took us over a month to record a song. Even if the song performance was good, the pronunciation wasn’t right or vice versa. It was tough.”

Akira Takasaki also briefed MyGlobalMind about Loudness’ seasoning in the infamous Los Angeles Glam Metal Scene. Here is how Takasaki described it: 

Takasaki: “At that time LA metal was in its prime when we were there. Every night after recording at Sound City we would go to drink at the Rainbow. Drink every night, party dude style like a typical living in that scene.
I also went to the beach and to music stores a lot. When it comes to playing live, wherever we go it’s not that much different even now. The reaction from American fans is easier to read compared to fan from other countries.  “

Despite the loss of drummer Higuchi, Loudness announced in 2009 the release of The Everlasting, which included drum tracks by Higuchi before his death. The new drummer, Masayuki Suzuki, is featured on King of Pain and subsequent albums (See Wikipedia) Loudness is on tour in 2016.  Go to: http://www.loudnessjp.com.

ROCK ON 

Japanese:  生きていると蹴る今日は、ラウドネス – 日本の重金属やグラム・メタルバンドは – 恒星三〇から五年の歴史は、ギタリスト高崎晃、ドラマー樋口宗孝により1981年に形成されたました。彼らは主要な米国のラベルに署名した日本初のグラム・メタルの音楽バンドであり、9ライブ・アルバムと一緒に、26のスタジオ・アルバムを生産しています。ラウドネスは「クレイジー・ナイツ」をヒット彼らのブレイクアウトによって集め、80年代と90年代、全体にハード彼らの観客を揺るがしました。ウィキペディアによると、元のラインアップは11月30日に肝臓癌からのドラマーM.樋口さんの早すぎる死まで7枚のアルバムを生産、2001年に再会し、2008年樋口は49歳で大阪の病院で死亡し、日本全国嘆きました。

More Japanese translation: ラウドネスは、バウワウ、及び国歌としてのルーツ他の日本のグラムロックとショック岩行為として主張しました。彼らと一緒にリンクされているその他の行為は、レイジー、スライ、蝦夷とX日本です。グループの本質を形成した後、ラウドネスは、1980年にレコードレーベル日本コロンビアで署名し、誕生日イブをリリースしました。何十年もラウドネスの商標音:ほとんどは、このバンドにおける絶対的な金属スターは高崎晃の驚異的なシュレッド・ギター妙技であること、しかし、同意するだろう。そして、すべての金属製のファンは「なくてはならない」として、このバンドから認識したアルバムは、東でサンダーです。これは、ラウドネスがAtcoのとレコード契約を締結し、主要なレコーディング契約を持っている日本初のヘビーメタルバンドとしての歴史を作ったことトゥイステッド・シスター共同マネージャージョー・ガーバーを通じて1985年にありました。東サンダーは、米国で記録され、「クレイジー・ナイツ」とMTVでヘビーローテーションを受け、非常に顕著でした。これらのアルバムは続く:落雷(1986)、ハリケーン・アイズ(1987)、フォーチュン(1989)の兵士、およびプロール(1991)で。より最近の強力なリリースでは、メタルマッド(2008)と痛みの王(2010)が挙げられます。もう一つ:グラム・メタルやヘビーメタルの音楽ファンはまだその映像で「MZA」の意味を議論します!いくつかは、それが秘密の意味を持っていると言います。他の人はそれだけで充填剤であると言います。あなたは何を言っていますか? MZA!何??