CRASH COURSE IN METAL: MY HEAVY METAL JOURNEY

     For most of you that know me…Metal Music is a passion for me.  As a 37 Year Old, I have pretty much lived through every Heavy Metal genre besides the very beginning.  Its funny because in my current career…I see many young kids that have once again chose Metal as their passion.  For awhile, it may have seemed that Metal was on its decline…but any sort of thought has been blown up like a bomb in Baghdad.  Heavy Metal is once again on a DRAMATIC rise and there is no sign of this phenomenon going away.  In Fact, although Metal may never reach the peak that it did during the mid eighties to early nineties when different forms of the music grew offspring.

     During the mid seventies to the early eighties, Heavy Metal began to form a pillar of Iron.  Beginning with Black Sabbath, the “God Father’s of Metal” in just about anyone’s opinion…Heavy Metal began to branch out with light speed.  During the late seventies and early eighties…the British wave of Heavy Metal was taking the world by storm.  I was only four years old in 1980…but I can still remember when AC/DC released “Back in Black.”  My father made such a big deal about buying that album.  It marked the return of the band, after parting ways with Bon Scott and the emergence of Brian Johnson as it’s frontman.  At that time, I didn’t know what Heavy Metal was or even had a clue what the different styles of music were.  Bands such as Iron Maiden, KISS, Judas Priest, DIO Motorhead,Van Halen, Def Leppard and many more began to make waves in America as well as Europe.  

     For the sake of not making this a boring drawn out history lesson, I am not going to get anymore into the definition or roots of metal.  All that I know is, my first Metal album was “Appetite For Destruction” by Guns N Roses in 1987.  I was merely an eleven year old kid trying to find my way through this ever changing world.  Guns N Roses quickly became my first “favorite” band.  I quickly began to build a collection of audio cassette tapes, as CD’s were not out yet.  My catalog spread like a disease and I soon had over Forty Tapes.  At that time, I was still in Christian School, so this type of music was frowned upon.  Pretty soon, my mom stumbled upon my collection, and soon my set morphed into a measly five tapes, as my mom threw the other thirty-five out.  I couldn’t believe it…it was like I lost my new best friend.  I would liken it to someone today being an avid face book junkie and then having it stripped away from them like a tornado.

     Anyways, as the years went by, CD’s were invented and became the popular choice for music fans.  Not only did my CD Catalog increase, my tastes in Metal Music filtered out and I was finding all of the traditional sub-genres of metal…British Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Glam Metal, Stoner Metal, Speed Metal, Power Metal, Alternative Metal, Industrial Metal, ETC.  The Sub-Genres continue to evolve to this day and I would not be able to tell you every one nor do I care.  I just know what I like.

     My first love was Glam Rock…beginning with Motley Crue, Poison, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, Warrant, RATT, Cinderella, Queensryche, WASP, Winger, Autograph, White Snake, Bon Jovi…the list is too long.  These were the bands that I could not get enough of.  I was mostly a Motley Crue and Poison fan but I developed a natural love for all of these bands as well as their CD’s.  During the same time, I was heavy into Van Halen, Def Leppard, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and AC/DC, Skid Row.  

     Then it happened…my neighborhood buddy introduced me to a band that I had never heard of and from there it was all over.  The band was Anthrax.  The CD was an EP “I’m the Man.”  And the song was “Im the Man”.  I can remember it like it was yesterday in his back yard.  We blared that CD over and over again.  After this, I became a THRASH METAL MANIAC.  I went out and bought every CD I could get my hands on.  I started with Megadeth “Countdown to Extinction.” and Metallica “Black Album.”  After this it was every Thrash Band…Testament, Slayer, Metal Church, OverKill, and like wise this list began to grow.  Then as the music continued to evolve…so did I.  Now I was listening to Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Faith No More, Slipknot, Seven Dust.  I loved “everything” metal.  YES… I am and always will be a METAL HEAD as my friend Cheryl always reminds me.  However, this does not mean that I do not like other music.  I enjoy all types, including RAP, Classic, Blues, Country, basically anything that I can jam to.  But it always goes back to Metal.

     Then it was Nirvana, Pantera, God Smack, Hate Breed, Rage Against the Machine, Limp Bizkit, Machine Head, Typonegative, Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, Disturbed, Death Angel, and Linkin Park.  Every year, I have developed new likes and dislikes as far as Metal Music.  However, I still traditionally am pulled to the Eighties/Nineties Glam/Speed/Thrash/Alternative categories.  Like today, I really enjoy the band VOLBEAT.  I also like Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, Hell Yeah, Lacuna Coil, Black Label Society and many others.  However, its not a secret that “Early” metal is back on the rise.  I mean, Black Sabbath just released a brand new studio album “Thirteen” with three of the original members Ozzy, Geezer, and Iommi.  WOW!!! In case you have not heard this album…go get it now!  AWESOME!  KICK ASS!  BAD ASS!  These would be the adjectives I use to describe this new album.

     As of today, my CD collection stands at 545 CD’s and Counting.  I have another 3,000 songs on my IPOD/IPHONE.  Yes, I am a music junkie.  Although music is available at the touch of a button, I still enjoy purchasing CD’s because I like the artwork and reading the lyrics and credits…call me old fashioned.  I have started sets consisting of my favorite bands.  Right now, today I own every CD for the following bands: Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Slipknot, Testament, Iron Maiden, Alice In Chains, Anthrax, Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, Skid Row, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, and Lamb of God.  I am always continuing to build on my sets.  The next set that I will have complete is Black Sabbath including all Ozzy and Dio releases.  I always forget bands when mentioning my favorites.  My all time favorite band is Megadeth for my own personal reasons.  However, I am a huge fan of all The Big Four Bands, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Guns N Roses.  I hold these bands at my highest standard.  The next would be on a step down.  I am loving all of these comeback tours and new studio albums.  Metal is alive and well Folks!  I see it out in the neighborhood.  I see it in the workplace.  Its showing in the schools.  Its everywhere!!!!!!  I also attribute the re emergence to Guitar Hero…the popular video game…MTV, VH1, Facebook, Pandora and all of the other music social media outlets.  Well, this was a quick path through my Heavy Metal journey.  I am sure we all have our own tales and war stories.  All of the albums, concerts, tours, festivals, etc.  Heavy Metal will always be one of my passions and music is one of my defining attributes.  Besides listening to music, I have this blog which I write about metal, I read all kinds of books, and I am even currently taking Guitar lessons.  I also write Lyrics.  Maybe I did miss my passion……..ImageImageImage

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Halloween 1989: WES CRAVEN’S SHOCKER…..THE FORGOTTEN HORROR FILM WITH AN AWESOME SOUNDTRACK

When Wes Craven released his horror thriller SHOCKER in 1989, I was just Thirteen Years Old.  I remember the day the movie was released though like it was yesterday.  It was a cold October day when the movie was released and I can remember all of the hype leading up to it’s path to the Theater.  Wes Craven had done horror films before, most notably the Friday The 13th Series with Freddy Krueger.  Shocker had an awesome plot as the main character Horace Pinker, a convicted felon was set to be put to death.  He was sentenced to die by way of the electric chair….except for when he was going through the execution he did not die.  But he came back to life as an evil spirit to torment those people good and bad in his life.  Wes Craven did an awesome job producing the thriller, the movie starred Michael Murphy, Peter Berg, Cami Cooper, and Mitch Pileggi as Horace Pinker.  Not only was the movie a hit, but Wes was able to assemble one of the greatest movie soundtracks ever produced.  

In order for Wes to get the right balance of Sound for his movie, it was agreed that a Heavy Metal based musical soundtrack would be the best sound.  Wes hired William Goldberg, famous for numerous other famous soundtracks.  Upon getting the nod, William teamed up with Metal Producer Desmond Child, Rock Star Michael Anthony, and Goldberg’s brother Sheldon Goldberg.  These three producers brought together some of the most influential talent of the day to make, as I said, one of the greatest soundtracks ever released.

The First Track on the album was the Title Track, “Shocker.”  Shocker was written by Desmond Child, Guy-Man Dude, and Jean Beuvour.  It was performed by “The Dudes of Wrath which was compromised of Paul Stanley (KISS) and Desmond Child alternating lead vocals, Guy-Man Dude and Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard) on guitars, Rudy Sarzo (Whitesnake) on Bass, and Tommy Lee (Motley Crue) on Drums.  The song also had Desmond Child, Kane Roberts (Queensryche) and Michael Anthony (Van Halen) singing background vocals.  Shocker is the title track of the movie and basically chronicles how Shocker is born and is “man’s creation” that we as humans by putting an innocent man to death created a “Monster.”  The first line goes, “See the Shadow of a Stranger….Turn Around and your life’s in Danger…This Crazy World’s in a Grave Situation…Check the Children are they sleeping…Will they wake from the sirens screaming…Don’t blame the Heaven’s this is Man’s Creation…..Ahhhh.  The tune was a huge hit and received significant radio airplay.

The second track was performed by Iggy Pop.  The track was called “Love Transfusion,” and was written by Desmond Child, Alice Cooper, and Vladimir Matesek.  Iggy Pop was featureed on Vocals with John McMurry and Ron Mancuso on Guitar, Guy-Man Dude on Lead Guitar (Solos), Hugh McDonald on Bass, and Bobby Chouinard on Drums.  Desmond Child and Louis Merlino sang background vocals.  The song was about the execution of Horace Pinker.

The Third track was the famous “No More Mister Nice Guy,” an Alice Cooper Greatest Hit.  The song was performed by Megadeth with Dave Mustaine on Lead Vocals, Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman on Guitar, David Elleffson on Bass Guitar, and Nick Menza on Drums.  Desmond Child and Michael Anthony sang background vocals.  The track was actually featured on a VH1 Documentary: The Decline of Western Civilization: Heavy Metal.  Dave Mustaine was so high on drugs during the taping of the video, the song almost had to be left off the Soundtrack.  Megadeth pulled off a great rendition at the end of the day and No More MR. Nice Guy became the theme song for Horace “Shocker”. 

The Fourth Track was “Sword and Stone.”  This track was written by Desmond Child and Paul Stanley (KISS), and performed by VoodooX.  Claus Lessmann was on Lead Vocals, Angel Sheifer on Guitar, George Dessinger on Bass, and Edgar Patrick on Drums.

“Timeless Love” was the fifth track which was performed by Saraya.  The song which was solely written by Desmond Child, and Sandi Saraya was on Lead Vocals, Steve Lukather on Guitar, Myron Ghrombacker on Bass, and John Pierce was on Drums.  Saraya did an excellent job with this song, which probably was the high point for this underrated band.

“ShockDance” was written by Desmond Child, Guy-Man Dude and Vivian Campbell.  The song was performed by The Dudes of Wrath with Alice Cooper rapping (Horace Pinker), Guy-Man Dude and Vivian Campbell on Guitar, Cornelius Mims and Rudy Sarzo on Bass with Paul Stanley, Desmond Child and Michael Anthony on Background Vocals and a host of other guests.  This son was sung from the perspective of Horace Pinker as Shocker.

The sixth track was performed by Dangerous Toys and was called “Demon Bell” The Ballad of Horace Pinker.  Pretty Boy Floyd also made a guest appearance on this track.

The final two tracks were “The Awakening,” performed by Voodoo X and “Different Breed'” performed by Dead On.  As mentioned earlier…this was a forgotten movie and anyone who cares to relieve the experience should surely rent it some time.  In my opinion it was a great horror flick and an even better Soundtrack.  Desmond Child was brilliant and they picked a wide assortment of talent that brought the soundtrack together in an artistic way.  I highly suggest the movie and soundtrack for all of those classic 80’s fans.  And I Honor it’s memory on Halloween 2012, 23 Years Later!!!!!!!!

LONG LIVE METAL>>>>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reminder National Metal Day 11/11/12*********************Image