Archive for April, 2011

Metal’s Founding Fathers- Pt 1 Jimi Hendrix

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2011 by 80smetalman

Although the roots of heavy metal can most likely be traced back to the1950s, I thought it would be appropriate to start with this man, Jimi Hendrix. While the great artists of the late 60s, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors to name a few had an influence on metal, it was Hendrix who in my humble opinion took music to a new direction.

Hendrix revolutionised Rock as we know it. His hard rock sound set the standard for many of the acts that would follow him. It is him I attribute the standard form of first verse, chorus, second verse, chorus, bridge, guitar solo, third verse or bridge, chorus method that is found in so many of today’s, metal songs. The great part is that this format still works!

Not only did Hendrix set the format for much of today’s metal (and that of the80s), many of his songs are still rocked out to today. On my own MP3, I have the classics “Purple Haze,” “All Along the Watchtower” “Foxy Lady” and my all time favourite “Hey Joe.” Of course there are many more classic Hendrix anthems and he more than likely would have created many more had his life not been so tragically shortened. So everyone, raise a glass and think of this founding father of heavy metal, I regret not making more mention of him in Rock And Roll Children.

Next post: Black Sabbath

To buy Rock And Roll Children visit

Take a Trip Through Heavy Metal History

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2011 by 80smetalman

I have come to the conclusion that over the past few months I have been writing this blog, that I have been nothing more than a glorified newspaper columnist. While I will continue to comment on things relating to heavy metal,  I have nearly forgotten that the main point of the blog is to promote my book Rock And Roll Children and have finally figured out a way on how to do this properly.

There are many great heavy metal blogs on the net, including some right here on WordPress. They cover metal both old and new alerting readers to great heavy metal releases and news as well as the occasional trip back in history. My blog will now take you through the history of heavy metal in the 1980s, thus keeping in line with the name of the blog. I will mention great albums of the decade and the artists who made them. I will also revisit many of the events from the 80s which helped to shape the music and I will do all I can to post twice a week.

Let us start by paying tribute to a great concert venue from the era. The Spectrum in Philadelphia was the sight of many a great event from when it was built in 1967 to it’s demolition in 2009.  During its 42 years, it hosted many great happenings in sports and music. It was the place where the Philadelphia Flyers lifted their first Stanley Cup in 1974 and where the 76ers won at least one of teir NBA Crowns. However, for me, it was the scene of some fantasitc metal concerts from 1983 -86. I rocked and partied to great shows by Twisted Sister, Dio, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath and many more to name a few. There were many other great shows both before and after as well.

I am sure many an old metalhead like myself shed a silent tear when this great monument to heavy metal was demolished. I look back in time and still immagine metalheads all partying under the Rocky statue swapping stories, having pre concert parties and even being accosted by Jesus freaks. So when you travel down metal memory lane with me, take a second to pay homage to the venue that gave thousands some great metal memories.

Great Britain, The USA and History

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s with tags , , , , , , on April 20, 2011 by 80smetalman

When I first began writing “Rock And Roll Children,” I did so with the intention of writing about heavy metal music back in the 80s. While the book is fiction, there are many historical facts both relating to music and not and I went through great pains to insure the historical accuracy of the events mentioned in the book. However, as an American who has lived in the UK for nearly half of his life, I have discovered that the British and Americans view historical work such as books and films in a totally different light from one another.

First, let me address the belief by many British people that all Americans believe that films such as “Saving Private Ryan” is 100% historical fact. They don’t. I know the BBC likes to find one redneck who lives in Backwater USA and who believes that the film is actual history to draw the erroneous conclusion that all 280 million Americans think the same, but the truth is, the great majority of Americans don’t. Many Americans already know that Hollywood does tend to over romanticise things in films and adhere to the formula that the film or book is 10% fact and 90% fiction. Therefore, when most Americans go to view a “historical” film or read a fictional historical book, they do so with this in mind.

The British, on the other hand, are a totally different kettle of fish. It appears that many British people want the film or book to be in accordance with historical fact and get very upset when Hollywood doesn’t do this in films. Their beef with “Saving Private Ryan” was that it was full of historical inaccuarcies such as ignoring the mistakes that lead to the slaughter of so many American soldiers on Omaha Beach and it gave the impression that Britain wasn’t involved in the D-Day landings at all. Of course, in the minds of many Britons, the worse atrocity was the film “U571” which shows Americans conducting a raid that was actually carried out by the British. Which is why I won’t ever watch that film. In view of the above, most Americans think, “It’s only a film, so what’s all the fuss?”  and will apply the 10-90 formula.  Many can not see why so many British people got so het up about it and don’t realise Britain’s love for historical fact.

This brings me to “Rock And Roll Children.” Americans will immediately use the 10-90 formula when reading it and early feedback seems to indicate this. The blog who gave me the bad review last month balked when I referred to the book as “an accrate account of heavy metal in the 1980s.” He stated that it wasn’t a book about heavy metal but a fictional story with heavy metal in it. In many ways, he’s right, but what he fails to appreciate is that I went through great pains to ensure accuracy in items such as: when albums were released, concerts- when and how they happened and other events such as the PMRC Congressional Hearings in 1985 and the US bombing of Libya in 1986. Feedback from British readers seems to be more appreciative of my efforts. I remember the reaction of when British reader when I confirmed that my account of a lead singer accepting a canabis joint from someone in the crowd and taking a sly puff on it before handing it back actually happened, his face lit up and he thought that was really cool.

The point of my blog here is that the USA and Great Britain view history and fiction in totally different lights.  Americans accept that a peice of fiction based in a period of history is going to be more fiction than fact and will view or read with such mindset. British people on the other hand, want the producer or writer to “get their facts right” and will not like it if they don’t. When I wrote Rock And Roll Children, I was leaning more to the British side and maybe went too far that way in the eyes of many Americans.

So to all Americans who might read “Rock And Roll Children,” forget the 10-90 equation as there is much true historical fact in it. Appreciate that the concerts actually took place and all the metal albums are in existance. I hope that all metal heads, American and British will one day accept “Rock And Roll Children” as a testament of heavy metal history.

Two Great UK Clubs

Posted in Heavy Metal with tags , , , , , , on April 6, 2011 by 80smetalman

I was hoping to post my interview with Kerrang Radio on the blog, but my computer is just not letting me. Modern technology is in full conspiracy against me. If you want to hear it, email me at and I will send it to you.

In the meantime, as a result of my booksigning tour, I have had the opportunity to visit two great metal pubs in the UK. One was The Gryphon in Bristol and the other was Scruffy Murphy’s in Birmingham. The management and staff at both of these places are just brilliant and if you want to sip your pint to some great metal, there are few places better.