It’s that time of year, and I have compiled a list of items to get for the metalhead who has too much space in their apartment and not enough good sense in their brain. Continue reading
Today’s From The Vault is dedicated to a drummer who was taken away way too soon, Paul Charles Caravello, better known as KISS drummer Eric Carr, who passed away 22 years ago yesterday (November 24) in 1991 from cancer. Continue reading
Today (11/11) is National Metal Day and for today’s From The Vault here are my top 11 choices from the 80′s: Continue reading
Today we take a trip back in time to 1981 to the ninth studio album by KISS titled Music From “The Elder”. This was the last album to mark the appearance of guitarist Ace Frehely and the first time that KISS did not tour to support the album. Continue reading
In today’s From The Vault, it’s time to wish some of our favorite metal gods a very Happy Birthday. The metal world was full of birthday this past weekend and the roll call is as follows: Continue reading
Photo credit: (c) 1986 Michael Richard Sneeberger
Former original founding member of W.A.S.P., as well as bassist for the seminal 1980’s heavy metal band STEELER, SIN, SURGICAL STEEL, BURN and others, Rik Fox will be among the featured all-star jam performers at “A Fight For Life – Rockin’ For Dave Brown – A Cancer Benefit” tonight (August 16th) in Los Angeles.
Fox confirmed that he will perform two songs with BITCH lead vocalist, Betsy as well as amazing guitarist Chris Cardenas and drummer, Scandall West. Fox most recently performed as a featured guest with his former STEELER bandmate, Ron Keel and the band KEEL at the legendary Whisky a Go-Go club in Hollywood, this past June, to a roaring crowd which devoured the two classic Steeler songs ‘Cold Day in Hell’ and an acoustic version of the ballad ‘Serenade.’ This was the first time the two STEELER band mates shared the stage together in thirty years, making it a heavy metal night of record. Among those also slated to perform at the benefit, are Roy Z. (Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford), Mandy Lion (World War III), Armored Saint, and L.A. favorites DC4.
Drummer Dave Brown, (who is known for his work with Sound Barrier, another 1980’s metal band) is currently battling colon cancer. While Fox was a member of STEELER, both bands headlined the Los Angeles rock club and metal rock circuit together. Sound Barrier, was a break-though, all-black heavy metal band, that stormed the Los Angeles music scene in 1980 after signing with MCA Records. The band was dropped by their label after low album sales and insufficient radio airplay. Some of the members of Sound Barrier later went on to perform with such notable bands as Fishbone and Mother’s Finest.
“To me,” Fox stated, “ it seems that it didn’t matter that Sound Barrier was a black metal band; the crowds still seemed to rock like crazy right along with them, especially when I was with them headlining the same larger venues STEELER headlined at such as The Country Club, in Reseda, California.”
“It’s just a shame that they weren’t able to push that envelope beyond the local level scene and break through to the big time; they certainly had what it took amongst all the other bands competing for the same brass ring” Fox said. Yet, during that time, there was still a problem with racism for black rock musicians until bands like Living Color began to change the face of racism in rock music. Nowadays multi-cultural tolerance has become the mandatory norm as it should be, no matter what ethnicity you are, everyone should have an equal shot at the dream(s) of their life and goal(s).
Fox also echoed a statement from fellow rocker Ann Boleyn of the legendary band HELLION:
“We all know someone who has been stricken or affected by cancer and those of us in the metal and hard rock community should give of ourselves when one of our fellow rockers is down and in need of help, and support and honor those with cancer, and those that have passed from it.”
Fox is featured in several books including well-known writer-author Ken Sharp’s upcoming coffee table book “KISS, Nothing to Lose; KISS, The Early Years” for his association with the band from its inceptive days before Ace Frehley was even a member; Fox knew KISS drummer Peter Criss, before he joined KISS. Fox is also an in-demand interview subject and was featured in NPR’s Charlie Schroeder’s best-seller “Man of War; My Adventures in the World of Re-enacting” with regard to Fox’s passion for and representation in America, of his Polish noble ancestry and being the first officially recognized portrayal and representation of the legendary Polish winged knights cavalry of the 17th century central Europe. “Cross blending both, the Polish Heritage and metal rock is a concept that is only very large in Europe and in Poland itself; it hasn’t yet caught on here in America yet, however, I receive an amazing amount of praiseworthy accolades for doing so from all my fans,” stated Fox. “They all think it’s a very unique and noble thing to do, blending and celebrating ones’ ancestry, and wrapping it in a rock package.”
Fox was also one of the featured interview subject in author Darren P. Upton’s famous tell-all unofficial Bio: “W.A.S.P.; A Sting in the Tale”, in which Fox was tapped for his small, yet integral part of the bands’ early history, and revealed some missing puzzle pieces to the early memory of the bands’ history for the fans. “At first,” Fox stated, many W.A.S.P. fans didn’t believe me, especially the part about that it was me who created the band’s name, and before the internet, it was hard to prove my story, but, once I was able to produce the evidence; the first W.A.S.P. demo on which I recorded and co-wrote one song, and also all the photos from the bands’ first photo session with Motley Crue photographer Don Adkins Jr., suddenly, many of the former hating W.A.S.P. fans began to turn around and now embrace my part of the bands’ history”, although it is still disavowed and dismissed by bandleader Lawless himself.
In recent days, Fox has been featured on the History Channel’s cable show ‘Museum Secrets’ with regard to his education about the subject of the Polish winged hussar knights, marking a milestone, due to it’s being the first time the subject was covered respectfully in the English language. Fox says: “Poland is a country who has never received its due credit for its vast contributions to world history and is continually subject to insensitive and propaganda-filled misinformation, incorrectly perpetuated by an anti-Polish agenda in the world. I see it and experience it all the time, so I educate those people in an attempt to make it better.”
Fox is also very proud to have been a part of the ‘classic’ STEELER line-up, not only for paving the way for many of the bands who followed their format in both appearance and sound, but also for being on the first and largest selling independently- released heavy metal album of all time. “Although the RIAA never officially certified it, I’m told and we believe, that it surpassed the Gold Album status some years ago,” Fox states. “I also recorded a debut album with the Phoenix, Arizona metal band SURGICAL STEEL, but it never got finished and it should be released for posterity; I got to record with guest drummer Mick Brown of DOKKEN and we just worked together like a well-oiled machine. It was a high-point in my career, but so was also being invited onstage to perform with the late Ronnie James Dio, who succumbed to stomach cancer in May of 2010, for a live rendition of the Hear n Aid hit song ‘We’re Stars’, twice. I believe it was recorded on video and hopefully should be released soon. I also got to perform ‘Wild Thing’ with the late Sam Kinison and his all-star band back in the beginning of the 1990’s.” “Currently I’m writing my Biography of my years in rock from the 1970’s New York Max’s Kansas City/ C.B.G.B.’s scene through the 1980’s to today…it promises to be a real eye-opener.”
Bringing it all home, Fox stated that ‘it’s a privilege and an honor to be attached and associated with this benefit for Dave Brown, I’m only too glad to be invited to perform and be involved in my small part in helping his cause. I hope all the talent involved will help make it a smashing success for Dave.”
If you are in the Los Angeles area stop by and support a great cause and enjoy some great music. $15.00 to get in and doors open at 7:00 p.m. Paladino’s is located at: 6101 Reseda Blvd., Reseda, California 91356. (818) 342-1563 or visit their website You can also read more about Dave and his battle with cancer, here
Today we take a trip back to 1989, to the self titled first album by Badlands released on Atlantic Records and the track, Dreams In The Dark.
The album which features Ray Gillen – vocals, Eric Singer – drums, Jake E. Lee – guitars and Greg Chaisson – bass was one of the best breakout albums selling 400,000 copies by 1990 and landed them on the Billboard Chart at number 57. The video for Dreams In The Dark, was also played in heavy rotation on MTV.
The band released their second album Voodoo Highway in 1991 but the band lineup had changed due to Eric Singer leaving to join Paul Stanley on his solo tour, which led to his future role in KISS, after the death of Eric Carr. Gillen and Lee’s friendship began to fall apart and Gillen was eventually fired. Although Lee tried to keep the band going, they eventually disbanded.
Gillen who had been diagnosed with HIV, passed away in 1993. Jake E. Lee continues to be involved in metal, including an appearance on the June 22nd, 2013 episode of That Metal Show. Greg Chaisson still plays with original and cover bands every so often and is currently an assistant baseball coach at Arizona Christian University.
KISS co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have partnered with author Ken Sharp on a new KISS memoir, that will chronicle the band’s early years, between 1972-1975. The book titled Nothin’ To Lose will cover the band’s early days and their experiences through the release of their 4th album, Alive!
The book will contain interviews with former KISS members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, as well as interviews with many of the people who saw the magic first hand. Legendary bassist, Rik Fox has also contributed pictures for the book from his personal collection and shares some anecdotes on the band during their early days.
Nothin’ To Lose named after the second track off their debut album, KISS, is slated to be released this coming September.
Visit Amazon to pre-order your copy today!
Vicious Rumors who have been on the metal scene since 1979 are back with their new album, Electric Punishment which will be released via Steamhammer/SPV records this April/May, following up their recent, Live You To Death album released this past November.
The album contains 10 tracks of straight ahead metal that Vicious Rumors is famous for. Throughout the album I could hear so many different influences including Testament and Judas Priest to name a few and they did a great job of capturing the “anthem” and “ballad” sounding songs that became a staple in the 80′s. Some of my favorites off Electric Punishment include D-Block, Dime Store Prophet, Eternally and the album’s title track, Electric Punishment. The album ends with a great cover of Strange Ways by KISS.
The lineup for Electric Punishment includes Brian Allen – vocals, Geoff Thorpe and Thean Rasmussen – guitars, Stephen Goodwin – bass and Larry Howe – drums and the band will be touring in support of the album internationally with more dates to be added in the future, along with an appearance at The Headbanger’s Open Air Festival in July.
Today we take a trip back to 1984 to the self titled debut album by Black ‘n Blue and the song Hold on to 18. Continue reading