Archive for September, 2020

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Stryper- To Hell With the Devil

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2020 by 80smetalman

“Soldiers Under Command” put Stryper and Christian metal on the map so the question was when their next album, “To Hell With the Devil,” came out, would it be as good? The short answer is almost. While “To Hell With the Devil,” would go on to be one of the biggest selling Christian rock albums of any kind, it’s not quite as good as its predecessor. Still, it’s a good album, complete with all the hooks, great guitar riffs from Oz Fox and Michael Sweet’s fantastic voice. Of course, there’s the Jesus lyrics.

Stryper knew they had the right formula when they made “Soldiers Under Command” so they rather smartly stuck to that formula when they made this one. On the other hand, I don’t think the title track should have been the opener on the album nor when I would see them live on tour for the album in 1987. After the opening intro, “Abyss,” I mean. A better opening song would have been the one two tracks on, “Free.” It grabs your attention straight away with the lead guitar intro and then goes into a crunchy rhythm. Furthermore, the members of the band harmonize as well as any band and do so particularly on the chorus before, Fox shreds his way to the end of the song. Yes, that’s a better opener.

Not being afraid to put a ballad or two on their album, Styper give you “Honestly” and honestly, (yep, pun intended), it’s a pretty good one. It does show that Michael Sweet does have a versatile range with his voice. It turns out, it was released as a single but being in the UK, it didn’t seem to be the case. The metal club I went to was happy to play the title track a lot.

Christian speed metal comes in the form of “The Way.” Some very fast notes but with the obvious religious message in the lyrics. While, it doesn’t make me want to get on my knees and pray for forgiveness, (I’d be there for the next month), it does show that the Lord can manifest himself through any form and his presence could be felt in between the chords here. It gets my vote for best song on the album.

More clunking power chords and beautiful harmonizing come in the form of “Sing Along Song.” If I could carry a tune in a bucket, I’d sing right along with them on this one. The second best song on the album. Therefore, you get a one two punch with “The Way” and “Sing Along Song.” In fact, the second half of the album is the better half.

One thing I wonder is that while Michael Sweet gets the accolades as a singer he so richly deserves and he shows why throughout the album, does Oz Fox get the same praise as a guitarist? He shows he can pound the rhythm chords and then shred away on the album as he did on the previous one. While I’m at it, I don’t think that the rhythm section of Tim Gaines and Robert Sweet get enough respect either. Let’s just say that Stryper certainly debunk the myth the Christian rockers are second rate musicians.

Track Listing:

  1. Abyss
  2. To Hell With the Devil
  3. Calling On You
  4. Free
  5. Honestly
  6. The Way
  7. Sing Along
  8. Holding On
  9. Rockin’ the World
  10. All of Me
  11. More Than a Man

Michael Sweet- lead vocals

Oz Fox- guitar, backing vocals

Tin Gaines- bass, backing vocals

Robert Sweet- drums

With two solid albums under their belts, Stryper were being taken seriously by the metal world. Maybe it was part of God’s plan, I don’t know. What I do know is that whether they are singing about Jesus or doing terrible things to dogs with a fork, Styper are the real metal deal.

Next post: Voi Vod- Rrroooaaarrr

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: Lizzy Borden- The Murderess Metal Roadshow

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2020 by 80smetalman

Actually, I should have mentioned this six posts ago. That will teach me to pay more attention to my stats. This is my 1006th post here on 80smetalman and I have all of you to thank.

Lizzy Borden’s live album, “The Murderess Metal Roadshow” came out before the studio album I posted about a few months ago, “Menace to Society.” I guess after three albums plus and EP, the band thought it was time to put out a live album. After all, while it wasn’t until 1986 they finally got my attention through the mentioned studio album, they were already doing well on the West Coast.

The thing about a live album is that it could make or break one’s decision as to whether or not to see them live. This criteria might not be fair to a band. For example, if I hadn’t previously seen Dio four times, the “Intermission” album might have put me off doing so. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case because Dio were always phenomenal live. In the case of Lizzy Borden, this live album makes me regret not having seen them live because I get the impression that they would have put on a fun show.

Things go streaking very by so rapidly with the first few songs that you have to be really attentive or you might miss them. The first four songs are just one massive headbang. Then things really go up couple of gears with “Rod of Iron.” “Save Me” reminds me a little bit of the Iron Maiden classic, “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” I’m talking about the live version from “Live After Death.” It has the same level of foreboding and intensity at the same time, although “Save Me” does have a killer guitar solo.

Those two songs start a string of really good songs. Some like “Godiva” verge on speed metal while “Love You to Pieces is more on the power ballad side. Somewhere between those to is “Pyschopath,” which has some rather impressive guitar work at the intro. Then there’s the very interesting cover of the Paul McCartney and Wings James Bond classic, “Live and Let Die.” I never imagined that song metalized but Lizzy Borden do a fantastic job on it. The catchy melody combined with hard power chords of “Kiss of Death” just do it for me. It’s my vote for best song on the album. “Red Rum” is very good too with an interesting build up in the middle before a cool guitar solo trade off.

With an album consisting of seventeen songs, it would be easy to get bored with the album. However, all of the songs are good enough individually to hold your interest throughout each of them. It could be because most are under four minutes and pack a lot of energy into them in that short length of time. Therefore, full marks must be given to the band for playing so well. After hearing the two albums, I ask why Lizzy Borden isn’t mentioned more among metal singers or Gene Allen and Alex Nelson among guitarists. They all do a good job here.

Track Listing:

  1. Council for the Caldron
  2. Flesheater
  3. Warfare
  4. No Time to Lose
  5. Rod of Iron
  6. Save Me
  7. Godiva
  8. Psychopath
  9. Love You to Pieces
  10. Live and Let Die
  11. Kiss of Death
  12. Red Rum
  13. American Metal
  14. Give Them The Axe
  15. Finale
  16. Dead Serious
  17. Wake Up, Time to Die
Lizzy Borden

Lizzy Borden- lead vocals

Gene Allen- guitars

Alex Nelson- guitars

Joey Scott- drums

Mikey Davis- bass

So after hearing “Menace to Society” and at HMO’s suggestion, the 1989 “Masters of Disguise” albums plus this live album, I can say that I am now a Lizzy Borden fan. On another note, I would like to thank all of you, my readers, for coming along for the ride of metal history. If it hadn’t been for all of you, I would never have gotten to 1000 posts.

Next post: Stryper- To Hell With the Devil

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: Great White- Shot in the Dark

Posted in Uncategorized on September 21, 2020 by 80smetalman

Before 1983, I could blame being in the service for missing out on a classic album. Therefore, it could be said that after coming out of it, I had no excuse. Saying that, I shouldn’t have any excuse for missing out on Great White’s second album, “Shot in the Dark,” but I do. Actually, I have two. First, there was so much great music going around in that year that it was easy to miss an album. However, my better excuse was that midway through the year, I moved countries and Great White were one of those American bands who didn’t get attention in the UK they should have. The shame of it all was that for years I missed out on an absolute firecracker of an album.

Great White’s album which succeeds “Shot in the Dark,” the 1987 “Once Bitten” album is the one which gets the most attention. Let me boldly declare that “Shot in the Dark” was the blue print for that later great album. It was on this album where they switched from the traditional metal sound to a more bluesier sound ala Led Zeppelin and for me, the change has paid off big time.

There is a definite swagger to many of the songs here starting off with “What Do You Do.” The opener is more of a traditional metal song and though it’s okay, it is this second track which has me bopping along. That leads directly to “Face the Day,” a cover of a song by The Angels which Great White put their own spin on. Now, normally I find songs on albums which are better than the single but in this case, they chose the right song to be the single. “Face the Day” has that blues swagger with some great power chords and a killer guitar solo. Definitely gets my vote for song of the album.

The other cover on “Shot in the Dark” comes in the form of the Steve Winwood penned classic, “Gimme Some Lovin” which was also covered by the Blues Brothers in their movie and later by Thunder. To be frank, Great White’s cover is decent and its a good party song but I won’t go as far as saying that it’s better than other covers of this iconic song.

With all the talk of blues swagger, the band don’t totally abandon their metal roots. The title track bears witness to this. It’s sort of a power ballad but in this case, power is the key word. It also hosts a rather impressive bass line and I should use this song as an opportunity to sing the praiseds of vocalist Jack Russell, no he’s human, and guitarist Mark Kendall. They shine here and throughout the album.

Keyboards are very effectively used on “Is Anybody There,” especially at the intro before going into a more foreboding feel. This is one of those songs if played live, would have me flashing the horns and headbanging away to the beat. Even I can keep in time with it on that song.

On “Run Away,” we carry on with a more metal sound but there is some of that blues swagger on it. Hearing this track confirms by thoughts that Lorne Black has been a very underrated bass player over the years and we mustn’t forget drummer, Audie Desbrow as he does deliver a good beat throughout. All of this is punctuated on the closer, “Waiting for Love,” which is another power ballad delivered very well with some good use of keyboards and a great guitar solo. In short, this is one album I truly regret missing out on in 1986.

Track Listing:

  1. She Shakes Me
  2. What Do You Do
  3. Face The Day
  4. Gimme Some Lovin
  5. Shot in the Dark
  6. Is Anybody There
  7. Run Away
  8. Waiting for Love

Jack Russell- lead vocals

Mark Kendall- guitar, backing vocals

Lorne Black- bass

Audie Desbrow- drums

These days, whenever anyone mentions Great White, people’s first thoughts go back to the tragic Station Club fire in 2003 and all the great music the band has made over the years forgotten. While I am not asking anyone to forget that terrible tragedy, I am asking people to focus more on their music and less on that. The “Shot in the Dark” album is a great place to start.

Next post: Lizzy Borden- The Murderess Metal Road Show

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Rest in Peace Lee Kerslake

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20, 2020 by 80smetalman
Lee Kerslake

Once again, we have another reason to say that 2020 sucks as the year claimed another great musician to the great gig in the sky. Lee Kerslake was the long time drummer of prog rock band Uriah Heep and played on what many consider to be Ozzy’s best albums. His first two albums, “Blizzard of Oz” and “Diary of a Madman.” Lee was 73 and died of prostate cancer.

Rest in peace Lee! 😦

Great Metal Albums of 1986: RATT- Dancing Undercover

Posted in Uncategorized on September 17, 2020 by 80smetalman

When “Dancing Undercover” from RATT came out, my sister stated that they should change their name to RUTT. Her point being that the album sounded exactly like their first two. Actually, she may be right in this case, there is a bit of a ‘been there, done that’ feel to the album but at least they didn’t resort to synthesizers like some other bands were doing at the time.

What the album doesn’t have which the first two had was a big single. Debut album “Outta the Cellar” brought the world, “Round and Round” and “Invasion of Your Privacy” gave us the phenomenal “You’re in Love.” Both songs got me listening to those albums without any hesitation. The single from “Dancing Undercover,” “Dance,” wasn’t a chart sensation. In fact, I think there are better songs on the album, actually practically all of them.

As far as I’m concerned, the album doesn’t get into full swing until the third track, “Drive Me Crazy.” That one is an uptempo metal jam where Stephen Pearcy’s voice doesn’t sound tired and hosts a cool guitar solo. I assume it was Warren DeMartini who played it but Wikipedia isn’t forthcoming on it.

“Slip of the Lip” progresses things along even further. This is one powerful tune where the guitars pound at the catchy chorus, “Loose lips sink ships, the way you move, you don’t mess.” This one gets my vote for hidden gem. But if I were to choose a better song for the single, it would be “Body Talk.” This song sounds more like the two big singles from the previous albums which made RATT a sensation. I love that guitar solo. It was released as a single in Japan so the question is: why not anywhere else?

Talking about songs more suited to be a better single than “Dance,” then the first song on side two, “Looking for Love” is a definite candidate. It has that catchy melody but at the same time, no less hard rock. Gee, if I had a time machine, I would go back and advise the band on this. It could have made the album more successful.

“7th Avenue” is a good stomper but not one I would call single material. Still, it earns its place on the album. It is the beginning of the end for the album as the other songs, while not filler, they’re not spectacular either. They serve to take the album out on a steady ride.

Track Listing:

  1. Dance
  2. One Good Lover
  3. Drive Me Crazy
  4. Slip of the Lip
  5. Body Talk
  6. Looking for Love
  7. 7th Avenue
  8. Doesn’t Matter
  9. Take a Chance
  10. Enough is Enough

Stephen Pearcy- lead vocals

Warren DeMartini- guitar, backing vocals

Robbin Crosby- guitar, backing vocals

Juan Crocier- bass, backing vocals

Bobby Blotzer- drums, percussion

Another happening pertaining to RATT from 1986 is that in said year, Stephen Pearcy posed for Playgirl Magazine. I know of some ladies who stated that the crotch area looked a bit ‘deflated,’ thus fueling the suspicion that Stephen stuffed a pair of socks down his trousers before going on stage.

Stephen Pearcy in Playgirl

The big question is, was RATT in a rut as a result of “Dancing Undercover?” My answer is not really as there are a couple of fresh sounding songs on it. However, it’s not nearly as good as the first two album. Recently, I listened to the 2010 “Infestation” album and thought that was better. Still, this album isn’t bad.

Next post: Great White- Shot in the Dark

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Mike Ledano has just received his in the post so there are no worries there.

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Quiet Riot- QRIII

Posted in Uncategorized on September 14, 2020 by 80smetalman

When I first heard Quiet Riot’s fifth album, (3rd album released mainstream), I literally thought, “What the hell?” Like several other metal bands in 1986, Quiet Riot believed they would have more commercial success if they added a bit of synthesizer to their music. This could have been pressure from the record label or a knee jerk reaction to the fact that their previous album, “Condition Critical,” didn’t do as well as the stellar “Metal Health.” In any case, I have always thought “QRIII” was a step in the wrong direction for the band.

The pressure to achieve commercial success through the adding of synthesizers took away the power that took Quiet Riot to stardom. I’m not saying that the album is a total stinker, the songs are at least listenable, even to a metalhead like me, who in 1986, was looking for more power chords. That’s the thing, I believe that if they hadn’t used the synths and just relied on the kick ass metal that got them to where they were, “QRIII” would have been a far superior album.

Let me give an example and the perfect one is “Down and Dirty.” It starts with a Carlos Cavazo guitar solo which makes you think, “That’s more like it!” but then the guitar goes to more of a reggae sound. Normally, I don’t have a problem with this but in the case of “Down and Dirty,” it takes away the power this song could have provided. Saying that, Carlos does deliver a cool solo in the middle. That’s the theme of most of the album, many of the songs start like their going to be pure metal mania, only for the synths to take over and they lose that power. Even the synth-less “Put Up Or Shut Up” isn’t powerful enough to make a significant dent. The one thing that saves the album for me is Carlos Cavazo. When allowed, the power chords on the intro of some songs whet the appetite before the synths dampen it and his solos are as good as any.

While the particular song doesn’t do much for me, I did love the video for the single, “The Wild and the Young.” The theme of the video was very important in 1986 as it was a strike back against holier than thou types war against heavy metal. The video depicts an oppressive society where music is banned and musicians are rounded up and sent to camps. At the time, many metalheads, me included, actually worried that something like this could happen. So, full kudos to Quiet Riot there!

Track Listing:

  1. Main Attraction
  2. The Wild and the Young
  3. Twilight Hotel
  4. Down and Dirty
  5. Rise or Full
  6. Put Up or Shut Up
  7. Still of the Night
  8. Bass Case
  9. The Pump
  10. Slave to Love
  11. Helping Hands
Quiet Riot

Kevin DuBrow- lead vocals

Carlos Cavazo- guitar, backing vocals

Chuck Wright- bass, backing vocals

Frankie Banali- drums, percussion

Additional Musicians:

John Purdell- keyboards

Bobby Kimball- backing vocals on “Still of the Night”

Debra Raye, Michelle Rohl- backing vocals on “the Pump”

James Whitney and the Bible Chorus Choir- backing vocals on “Slave to Love”

“QRIII” was a valiant attempt by Quiet Riot to be more commercially appealing. Unfortunately, it failed on two fronts. It didn’t regain them the stardom they once enjoyed and it alienated their loyal metal following. Still, the album isn’t terrible.

Next post: RATT- Dancing Undercover

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Things That Prove My Insanity

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11, 2020 by 80smetalman
Karate Kid was probably the second most popular film in 1984

Some might call me a ‘saddo’ but I have found myself watching the series, “Cobra Kai,” on Netflix and actually enjoying it. If you haven’t heard of it, the series is basically the 1984 film, “The Karate Kid” but now in present day. The characters are now all grown up but the rivalry between the protagonist and antagonist in the film carries on. But that’s not what I found most interesting about the show.

What I like about “Cobra Kai” is the music! There are lots of flashbacks to the film and because it was made in the 1980s, there are lots of songs from the decade. Here’s the thing, I’ve heard songs from AC/DC , Twisted Sister, Ratt, REO Speedwagon and I think I heard a Night Ranger song. Furthermore, in a brief flashback to 1979, the song featured was “Don’t Look Back” by Boston. Basically, when the play an 80s tune, it’s a great rock or metal track. I haven’t heard any Culture Club, Duran Duran or Frankie Goes to Hollywood. All this makes me conclude that the 1980s was a great decade for music.

Saying that, maybe if the series had been on a mainstream UK network, then Culture Club or Frankie songs would probably have been used as mainstream music media in the UK wants to erase heavy metal from the decade. Fortunately, there are too many British metalheads around to let that happen.

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Kick Axe- Rock the World

Posted in Uncategorized on September 9, 2020 by 80smetalman

Probably said this in the past but one pleasant benefit I get from writing this blog is that not only do I get to go back in time and reminisce about the great albums I listened to in the golden decade of heavy metal, but I also get the chance to listen to some of the albums I missed back in the day. “Rock the World,” the third album from Canadian metallers Kick Axe was one of those albums. I remember hearing the name Kick Axe in the 1980s, it is an amusing name, but because there was so much other great music around, I never got around to listening to any of their stuff. Now, I get to chance to hear what I missed in 1986.

“Rock the World” is an album of two parts. The first four songs of the album are what I call straight ahead heavy metal. The title cut opens things well but the second song is a surprise for me. Before this, I thought the only cover of the Fleetwood Mac classic, “The Chain,” came from Shark Island in 1989. However, listening to Kick Axe’s take on the song, I think they might give Shark Island a run for their money here. It gets my vote for song of the album. The two tracks following that track continue in the traditional metal vein. I do like Larry Gillstrom’s guitar solo on “Red Line” and “Devechan” is the most powerful track on the album and again, Larry’s guitar shines.

Things take a change to the progressive side starting with the fifth track, “Warrior.” With this song, if I needed a song to relax and sail away with while partaking of the magic dragon, I would use “Warrior” provided I didn’t have any Pink Floyd available. It’s one of those songs I would describe as being a bit ‘out there.’ Saying that, the way the guitars are used is rather impressive.

With “Warrior” and the remainder of the songs, I sense the influence of Uriah Heep or possibly Hawkwind. Example: the very cool closer, “Magic Man” bears some resemblance to the Heep classic, “The Wizard.” There are still power chords a plenty but it is done in a more progressive or even space rock fashion. This brings me to wonder if maybe Kick Axe were early pioneers in what we today call, prog-metal or stoner metal. The power chords, harmonizing choruses and the progressive sounding melody all point that way. I can’t fault the musicianship of Kick Axe either, they are all masters of their craft when it comes to singing and playing. The best example of what I mean is found on the track, “We Still Remember” though I won’t take anything from any of the other tracks, they’re good too.

Track Listing:

  1. Rock the World
  2. The Chain
  3. Red Line
  4. Devachan
  5. Warrior
  6. We Still Remember
  7. The Great Escape
  8. Medusa
  9. The Dark Crusade
  10. Magic Man
Kick Axe

George Criston- lead vocals

Larry Gillstrom- guitars, backing vocals, keyboards

Victor Langen- bass, backing vocals, keyboards

Brian Gillstrom- drums, backing vocals

I know there are five in the photo but only four band members listed. This photo was obviously taken when guitarist Raymond Harvey was still in the band.

To be honest, I don’t feel that I missed some history changing moment by not listening to “Rock the World” or any Kick Axe material. However, I do wish I had this album back in the day as it would have been a fine addition to my collection. I will check out the two Kick Axe albums which preceded this one.

Next post: Quiet Riot- QRIII

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: Triumph- The Sport of Kings

Posted in Uncategorized on September 5, 2020 by 80smetalman

Theory: Triumph is the best Canadian band not to have made a big impression in the UK. Support for my theory comes in the form of the 1986 album, “The Sport of Kings.” The album came out just a few weeks before I departed for the UK and for some unknown reason, I never got around to getting it before I left. When I did get to Britain, there was no talk of the album, even by some of the fellow metalheads I would eventually befriend at college. The album was on sale at a few good record shops but you had to dig to find it. Therefore, I get the feeling that Triumph never really made a huge impact in the UK.

From what I have read, Triumph, Rik Emmett especially, have pretty much disowned this album. It could be the fact that there was a lot of tension between the band and their record label, MCA, or it could be the fact that it appears that the album has a more commercial friendly sound. The more hard rocking edge which I came to love Triumph for seems to have been noticeably turned down here. The first three songs are a prime example. While only, “Somebody’s Out There” was the only track officially released as a single, all three of those tracks could have been. They all seemed to have been toned down to appear more radio friendly. In the case of “What Rules the Heart,” it is a bit of a shame because if the guitars had been turned up a little, it would have made a good song great! I love the way Rik solos through the entire song.

“If Only” is more of a return to Triumph’s more traditional territory. However, it’s more towards their creative side than a rock out. Not a criticism, just an observation. This song reminds me a little of the classic “World of Fantasy,” so that’s not a bad thing. On the other hand, the next track, “Hooked On You,” is more of a return to the hard rock which made Triumph famous in my eyes. Each time, I hear the song on the album, I find myself saying, “Let’s have more of this.” Therefore, it gets my vote for hidden gem.

If listening to “The Sport of Kings” on cassette or vinyl, “Hooked on You” ends the first side. This whets the appetite giving hope that side two provides more of the same. “Take a Stand” delivers on that hope. It is a rocker with power chords and some cool harmonizing on the chorus and a pretty cool guitar solo from Emmett. Then when you think things are rocking along, the ballad, “Just One Night,” pops up. It’s okay as far as ballads go but I can’t shake the belief that it would have been better placed earlier on the album, before “Hooked on You.”

Following the ballad is an instrumental, mainly acoustic but there is a brief solo at the beginning and some keyboards. Only a minute and a half long, it does provide a brief break before things go back to more rock with “Play With Fire.” Yes, more of this please! And you get more of that with “Don’t Love Anyone Else but Me.” That song has a killer intro and though I still class it as a rocker, it does seem to be toned down a little. It does have a catchy rhythm to it. In fact, I think it would be a better closer than “In the Middle of the Night.” The actual closer sounds like, a ‘let’s do some experimenting’ type song with the different flavours which a appear on it. All of which are done very well, mind you but it’s not what a call a ‘closer’ song.

Track Listing:

  1. Tears in the Rain
  2. Somebody’s Out There
  3. What Rules My Heart
  4. If Only
  5. Hooked On You
  6. Take a Stand
  7. Just One Night
  8. Embrujo
  9. Play With Fire
  10. Don’t Love Anyone Else But Me
  11. In the Middle of the Night

Rik Emmett- guitars, lead and backing vocals, Fairlight CMI

Mike Levine- bass, synthesizers, backing vocals

Gil Moore- drums, lead and backing vocals, percussion

Additional Musicians:

Lou Pomanti, Michael Boddicker, Scott Humphrey- additional synthesizers, keyboards

Johnny Rutledge, David Blamires, Neil Donnell- backing vocals

While “The Sport of Kings” doesn’t make me want to put other classic albums like “Thunder Seven,” “Allied Forces” and “Never Surrender” on the shelf, the musicianship of Triumph still shines through. It is on account of this that they are able to make what many call a lackluster album, still sound good.

Next post: Kick Axe- Rock the World

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1986: Unions and Splits

Posted in Uncategorized on September 1, 2020 by 80smetalman

First of all, I must apologize for the fact that I’m slipping in my old age. I never gave the answer to my riddle on the Yngwie Malmsteen post, not that anyone came forward with a guess. So here it is:

Q. How many Yngwie Malmsteens does it take to change a light bulb?

A. Twenty-one. One to change the light bulb and the other twenty to find out how Ritchie Blackmore would have done it. Note, that riddle came courtesy of a die hard Blackmore fan.

Tommy Lee and Heather Locklear

For most people on both sides of the Atlantic, the big wedding in 1986 was the one between Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. If only we knew back then what we know now about old Andy. However, for most metalheads, the big wedding of that year was the one between Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and actress Heather Locklear.

What astounded me was all the animosity towards this union by all the mainstream media. The non-metal world was deeply resentful of the fact that a Hollywood beauty such as Heather was marrying a heavy metal musician. Some supposed know it alls claimed that Heather was being a rebel and trying to create more publicity for herself by marrying Tommy and many stated the marriage wouldn’t last a year. Even my favourite talk show host, David Letterman, poked fun at the couple by having a Heather Locklear- Tommy Lee marriage calendar of days one to fifty. Sorry Dave, their marriage lasted seven years, longer than a lot of celebrity marriages.

Tommy and Heather’s marriage wasn’t the only one involving a heavy metal musician to attract negative publicity. It seemed every other week in People Magazine, Eddie Van Halen’s marriage to actress Valerie Bertinelli was heading for the divorce courts. If not that, it was commenting on Val’s supposed heartache over not having a child. Of course, the ignorant blamed it on Eddie being some drug fueled metal musician which was preventing Valerie from conceiving, utter nonsense. Those idiots were proved wrong too.

Tony Iommi

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all happy times for metal musicians in 1986. The year also saw the engagement of Tony Iommi and Lita Ford come to an end. Remembering articles in metal mags at the time, Lita was quite reserved about things, stating that it was just one of those things. Since then, there have been reports that Tommy used to slap Lita around which makes me look at him in a whole different light. I still love his guitar skills but I don’t like the man so much anymore.

Even with all the open hostility towards heavy metal that was circulating throughout 1986, there were some happy moments where metalheads got to stick one to the anti-metal establishment. One thought, if news of Tommy’s treatment of Lita had made this news, the media would have used it to say that all heavy metal men are woman beaters, that was the sad case of things back then.

Next post: Triumph- The Sport of Kings

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