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Posts tagged “Glam Metal Music

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.

 

 


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

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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.”

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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.


Glam Rock Riot in the Girls’ School with Britny Fox

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Britny Fox were an American glam metal band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who are best known for their hits “Girlschool” and “Long Way to Love.” The band’s name came from lead vocalist “Dizzy” Dean Davidson, who commissioned the name “Britny Fox” after a Welsh ancestor of his. The band formed in 1986 and also featured Billy Childs on bass, Michael Kelly Smith on lead guitar, and Tony Destra on drums. {For this and more information see Wikipedia.}  Both Michael Smith and Tony Destra had had prior stints with glam rockers Cinderella prior to the formation of Britny Fox.  It was their connections to Cinderella that helped Britny Fox secure a recording contract. (CBS Records) However, their future prospects dimmed somewhat due to the untimely death of Tony Destra in a car accident. His replacement was Johnny Dee, formerly of the band Waysted. B.Fox released two demos, one in 1986 (“In America”) and the other in 1987 (“Rock is Gonna Fight”); this then resulted in the band’s eminent debut album, of their same name, entitled simply Britny Fox.

Britny Fox was one of the most striking debut albums in 1988, selling more than one million records, and bringing many fans to their tour with Poison and Warrant. In 1988, Britny Fox also won Metal Edge magazine’s award for “Best New Band”. After the release of the band’s second album Boys in Heat, Davidson departed to start another band, Blackeyed Susan. Britny Fox’ third album, Bite Down Hard, was less of a grand slam due to the overall decline of glam metal in the late 80s for the grunge rock movement that was evolving at the time.

The band recorded one final studio album Springboard Motorshark in 2003 after the original band reunited in 2000. They toured the US and Europe in 2007 and 2008. The band separated once more, and in spite of Dean Davidson’s pursuit to bring the band back together in 2010, the endeavor failed.

For those of you who cannot get enough of Britny Fox, read Tommy Paris’ interview on Sleazeroxx. [Tommy Paris was the lead singer who replaced Dean Davidson during the 1990s and was lead vocalist during the 2007 & 2008 tours]. Here is the link: http://www.sleazeroxx.com/interviews/paris.shtml


Rockin’ It Glam with Dokken

Dokken1Dokken5Dokken4Dokken are an American glam metal band formed in 1978 in Los Angeles, California. The original members of Dokken are: Don Dokken (vocals), George Lynch (lead guitar), Juan Crocier (bass guitar), Mick Brown (drums). The singles/songs that are best known by Dokken are “Just Got Lucky”, “Into the Fire”, “In My Dreams”, and “Its Not Love.” The best known albums by Dokken are:  Breaking the Chains (1981), Tooth and Nail (1984), Under Lock and Key (1985), and Back for the Attack (1987). According to Blabbermouth.net, Frontiers Records signed a recording contract with Dokken for their most recent studio album, which was recorded in 2012, Breaking Bones.

     In the beginning Don Dokken had a band playing gigs in the L.A. area (around 1976) with the name “Airborn” but name change ensued after it was discovered there was already a band with that name recording. In 1981, Don Dokken flew to Germany to sing background vocals for Scorpions vocalist Klaus Meine who was having vocal issues. [For this and more band history, see Wikipedia.]  While in Germany, Don Dokken secured a recording contract with Carrere Records, releasing an initial version of Breaking the Chains under the name Don Dokken.

     The band Dokken toured with Blue Oyster Cult in 1983 and also Scorpions in 1986. Juan Crocier left Dokken in 1983 to join RATT and was replaced by Jeff Pilson. Dokken also opened for these major headliners: Judas Priest, AC/DC, Aerosmith, and Dio. Dokken finally got several “big breaks” on two occasions:  recording “Dream Warriors” for Nightmare on Elm Street 3, as well as the Monsters of Rock tour in 1988 with Van Halen, Scorpions and Metallica.

     The band has endured years of fighting and criticism over not only George Lynch’s departure in 1989 (to form Lynch Mob) but also due to the fact that Dokken band members refused to allow George Lynch to rejoin the band in 1990 just prior to a major world tour! Lynch sued the band for $1 million but the band prevailed. For more on each side of this story go to either http://www.dokkencentral.com or http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/lynch-my-problem-with-don-dokken-has-always-been-that-he-was-not-an-honest-trustful-person/.*

   *The shortened link for this is http://2020.fm/ov