Archive for Donington Festival

1980 Ends In Tragedy

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2013 by 80smetalman
John Lennon

John Lennon

In spite of all of the great rock and metal happenings, the kick ass albums from the likes of Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and AC/DC to name just a tiny few, triumphant events like the first ever Donington Festival and even tragic departures in the form of John Bonham and Bon Scott; all of them were over shadowed by an event that not only shocked the music world but the world in general, the murder of John Lennon. Like other infamous tragedies such as Pearl Harbour, the assassination of JFK and 911, many people can remember exactly where they were when they first heard the news that John Lennon and been shot and killed. Personally, I was on the USS Saipan and we had just returned through the Suez Canal and was on our way to Italy when the ship news service told us of the murder. Naturally, we were all shocked and some of my comrades in arms thought it was a joke. However, when we realised the truth, there was much mourning and sympathy, even from those who would have not listened to Lennon’s music and it caused what had been a landmark year in music to end on a tearful note.

John Lennon’s murder was as unnecessary as it was tragic. If it had been any ordinary Joe or Josephine, I would still say that the way in which he was shot down was completely wrong. Even after all these years, I still fail to see any reasoning behind Mark Chapman’s actions other than he simply wanted his fifteen minutes. Now, I am one of the biggest hippy liberals going but I have always maintained that if anyone callously and maliciously takes the life of another human being, then they should forfeit their own. Originally, Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison and I do feel a slight touch of relief after reading that he has been denied parole seven times.

The Fab Four

The Fab Four

I know I’m once again preaching to the choir and stating the obvious, but influence that John Lennon and The Beatles had on music, even heavy metal,  lives on over thirty years after his death. For proof, listen to the Beatles song “Helter Skelter” and then look up the hard rock and metal bands who have recorded covers of said song. I know of at least one metal artist whose album I’ll be visiting in the tour of 1981 had a song in tribute to Lennon. I’m sure I’ll find others and more will re-emerge from the wastelands of my distant memories. So, in conclusion, as this coming Sunday marks the thirty-third anniversary of the tragedy, take a moment to remember this superstar. But also, as I close the door on the rock and metal of 1980, also remember the great musical triumphs from the year too. I’m not a psychic, but I think that’s what John would have wanted us to do.

Next post: Tribute to Blues Guitarists

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

1980: Tragedies and Triumphs- Part 2

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2013 by 80smetalman

First of all, I owe a debt of gratitude to KramerTunes for saving me from committing a very fatal error in my first post of Tragedies and Triumphs. How stupid would I have looked if I had gone through 1980 and not mentioned the death of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. His death from asphyxiation caused by too much alcohol intake would shock the rock world to its foundations and resulted in the band calling it a day on the grounds they couldn’t continue without him.

John Bonham

John Bonham

Bonham would serve to be a major influence on not only drummers who were around at the time like Joey Krammer, Roger Taylor and Peter Criss, he continues to influence many a rock drummer to this very day. Drummers like Tommy Lee, Dave Lombardo and Dave Grohl all site John Bonham as their biggest influence as well. He created a legacy for rock drummers that will never die and I feel slightly sick that I won’t be going to see Led Zeppelin tribute band Whole Lotta Led when they come to Stroud this Friday night.

don-1980-Cover

 

Now the triumph. In 1980, the first of what was to be a line of great metal festivals took place at Donington Park near Derby in England on August 16 of said year. Rainbow would be the headliners for this mammoth event and supporting were the likes of Judas Priest, The Scorpions,  April Wine, Saxon and Riot. From what I’ve read and heard from people who were at the event, there were a lot of near mishaps including a pyrotechnics explosion the night before. Plus the rainfall on the previous days cause a quagmire on the actual day. Still, as can be expected, metal won the day and it turned out to be the start of a legacy that would go on for over a decade. (Although it can be argued that it still goes on under the name of Download.)

 

Shot of the first Donington

Shot of the first Donington

If you want to read more about this historic event, click this link:

http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/donington-1980.html

Many years have their own triumphs and tragedies and in 1980, the rock/metal world had more than its share. Especially as one more was yet to happen. Still, we can reflect back to the good times and raise a glass to those who left us.

R.IP. John Bonham

Next Post: Thin Lizzy- Chinatown

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London