Posts Tagged ‘Kevin DuBrow’

sladestToday I am giving Slade’s 1973 record ‘Sladest’ a thorough inspection – and damn it’s good. Actually it’s extraordinary ! What you are in fact all looking at folks – is the very first record I ever bought. See, me and the Cowboy used to spend many Saturday mornings as kids – perusing local school fetes, and it was on once such occasion, when I – at around 10 years old – shelled out around 50 cents for this guitar-charged classic. Suffice to say, when I got the wax home and spun it, I was addicted for life. The quality of hook-laden songs contained here is incredible – and I spent many hours as a kid – greedily drinking from the Slade well, whilst simultaneously reading over the booklet contained in this gatefold album.  Funnily enough, I have a distant memory of one of my sisters – (the one who let the side down when it came to rock cred) – mocking Dave Hill’s haircut. This misguided slur – made by someone who had dodgy albums by the likes of Bony M and Hall & Oates wedged in her K-tel Record Selector (not to mention sporting a do not unlike that of John Oates) – was most unwelcome. All hail Dave Hill – he has penned some of the most recognisable riffs of all time and is waaaaaay underrated. But where was I?  Oh yeah – just get a load of some of the tracks on Sladest: Cum on Feel the Noize, Look Wot You Dun, Gudbuy T’Jane, Skweeze Me Pleeze Me, Take Me Bak ‘Ome, Coz I Luv You, Get Down and Get With It, Mama Weer All Crazee Now. I mean, I know this was a Greatest Hits’ album, but sheesh – all tracks really are wonderful rock n roll songs, good time tunes, party tunes – a couple of them are bonafide anthems. No wonder that Slade were hugely influential on Simmons and Stanley from Kiss (not to mention helping themselves to the ‘Alive !’ title for their err live opus from 75 – Slade Alive ! was released three years earlier).  And as we would see some two decades later – Noel from Oasis would display his love of Slade through his music and songwriting.

In the 80’s – LA’s Quiet Riot would have massive success with a couple of Slade songs – main man Kevin Du Brow’s  vocals eerily like Noddy Holder. Not that I cared – I loved QR as much as Slade – and if you don’t own 1983’s Metal Health and 1984’s Condition Critical may the “Man With The Metal Mask” track you down. Fun fact: Quiet Riot form in 1973 – same year as ‘Sladest’ was issued. This record went to number one in both UK and here in Australia – and justifiably sat there for some time. Apart from Quiet Riot – I know of a couple of other bands to have tackled Slade tunage such as the aforementioned Oasis with Cum on Feel the Noize (which rivals the original) – and the horrendous Britny Fox who butchered ‘Goodbye T Jane’ back in 1988.

So there you have it folks – ‘Sladest’ – the first record I bought which ultimately has led me on an incredible rock n roll journey – which continues to this day. Go buy this and start your own   journey now !

I can’t exactly recall where I bought this, a record store in the city of Sydney, early 1984, though it was printed in 83.  I used to have it pinned up on the wall for years, and then Rockbrat laminated it to preserve it. It’s very cool poster. It’s simple, yet strikingly effective. My three 3 favourite guitarists have always been Randy Rhoads, Ron Wood and Johnny Thunders – all for different reasons. Anyway, I found this the other day and thought I’d share it. 25 is far too young to die, yet Rhoads crammed more into those years than most. One wonders what kind of musical output he would have given us had he lived? You can guarantee that he is somewhere right now playing ‘Slick Black Cadillac’ alongside Kev DuBrow.

Another album I played to death in the mid-80’s which still kicks ass. Sure the Rhoads-era material is superb, no doubt, but this album and its predecessor Metal Health are both fun, rock records with tons of great tunes. The aging old hippies at Rolling Stone magazine gave this a two-word review in back then which read  ‘Condition terminal. Fun-nee. A big f@#k you to whatever pop-wimp wrote that. DuBrow, Cavazo, Sarzo and Banali are on form here and this is one of my all time favorites. Ten killer cuts like Sign of the Times, Party All Night, Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet….what a FUN album. If you ain’t heard this – head to iTunes or Amazon etc and buy the thing now !

It’s almost 3 years since Quiet Riot’s irrepressible front man died. Mr. Rockbrat and Cowboy Col were big fans of QR in the early to mid 80’s, and QR were the FIRST LA metal band to break out of the West Coast in a massive way in 1983 with ‘Mama Were All Crazee Now’. Whilst other LA bands like the musically limited Motleys went on to surpass QR in terms of success, it needs to be remembered that QR were groundbreakers of that scene.  I still have great memories of hearing ‘Cum On Feel the Noise’ on the radio back in 1984. Along with Twisted Sister, these were the only metal bands that were breaking into the commercial radio scene in a big way in Australia, but unlike Twisted Sister, QR never toured here. I remember back in 1984 when Mr. Rockbrat purchased a QR tee shirt at Odeon Records at Narrabeen, I think he’s still got it. If there’s ever been a cooler name for a rock band than Quiet Riot I’d sure like to know what it is. Born Kevin DuBrow on October 29, 1955 DuBrow grew up in Los Angeles, California, and eventually settled in the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Van Nuys at age 13. He learned to play guitar, and by the time he was in his mid-teens he had developed an appreciation for a number of British rock acts including the Small Faces, Slade, Spooky Tooth, Rod Stewart and Humble Pie. It was the latter of those influences that would leave the biggest impact on DuBrow and act as a compass in his musical career. Quiet Riot was formed by Randy Rhoads and bassist Kelly Garni (who would be replaced by Rudy Sarzo) in 1973, who recruited DuBrow and drummer Drew Forsyth. This lineup disbanded in 1980 when Rhoads went on to join Ozzy Osbourne’s band, with Rhoads personally enlisting Greg Leon as his replacement. For a time the band’s name was changed to DuBrow, which had a rotating lineup of members including Leon, Chuck Wright, Frankie Banali, and brothers Tony and Carlos Cavazo. After Rhoads’ death in a plane crash in 1982 while on tour with Osbourne, DuBrow changed the name of the band back to Quiet Riot. Rudy Sarzo left Osbourne’s band and rejoined Quiet Riot shortly before the release of Metal Health, which went to the top of the charts, making Quiet Riot the first metal band to achieve number one status on their (U.S. release) debut album. Think about that for a moment. That is quite an achievement. Shortly after his February 1987 departure from Quiet Riot, (which was decided during a Japanese tour in December 1986), DuBrow formed and began recording with a new band named “Pretty Women.”  In 1991, DuBrow regrouped with his Quiet Riot bandmate Carlos Cavazo in a new band called Heat. (Quiet Riot had continued on in 1988 with new singer Paul Shortino of Rough Cutt but by this time were disbanded.) By 1993, Heat had renamed themselves Quiet Riot and rejoined with Frankie Banali on drums. Quiet Riot continued through the 90s in several different incarnations. They released several albums including Terrified, Down to the Bone, Alive and Well and Guilty Pleasures. In 2004, DuBrow recorded a collection of cover versions for his first solo album, In for the Kill. The album was recorded in DuBrow’s hometown Las Vegas, Nevada. DuBrow also worked as a DJ for the Rock Station in Las Vegas, KOMP 92.3. During 2006, Quiet Riot worked on a new studio album that was expected to be released in either 2006 or 2007. The band stated that they had set no timetable for the release of the album, that they were financing the project themselves, and that it would be released when they saw fit and on their terms. That album, Rehab, was released on October 3, 2006. The lineup on the album was DuBrow, Frankie Banali, Tony Franklin, and Neil Citron. Singer Glenn Hughes also made a guest vocal appearance on the album. Kevin DuBrow was  52 years when he died  at his home in Las Vegas. The cause of death was determined to be an accidental overdose of cocaine. Go listen to ‘Thunderbird’ off the Metal health album, or watch a video of QR at the US Festival 83 and pay your respects. Today we honour the memory of the late, great Kevin Dubrow. May his memory and music live on. Fly on, thunderbird fly. (click here to read a previous post on DuBrow’s sacking from Quiet Riot, with Australia’s Craig Csongrady in the running to replace him!)

In 1986, the Sydney metal scene was abuzz with news that Boss front man Craig Csongrady would be replacing Kevin Dubrow in Quiet Riot, kings of the LA metal scene in the first half of the 1980s. Kev Dubrow (may he rest in peace) was sacked by his QR band mates because he had a habit of bad mouthing his peers in the metal scene. The wigged up Kev took a swipe at everyone, and whilst he may have had some justification in verbally knocking down the like of Poison and other LA second wavers, this kind of activity distanced him from his band mates and record label, and so it was that by 1986 Kev found himself kicked out of the band he formed, and QR minus a front man. Whether it was a great PR exercise on Csongrady’s part of not, the Rockbrat is of the opinion that Csongrady would have made a great choice as front man for QR. His vocal work on Boss’ debut album ‘Step On It’ is amazing. His voice is distinctive, he has a great range, and a great metal voice. (Go listen! to ‘Dancin Queen’ and prove me wrong). The ‘Step On It’ album is one of THE BEST hard rock or metal albums to come out of Australia in the 1980s, certainly the best metal album from an Australian band in the first part of the 80s. It had a very international sound, catchy songs, and sold well overseas. Csongrady always had his eyes firmly set on the overseas market. Boss clearly had the songs to make it, but for whatever reason, they never did. So by 1986, he jumped at the chance to join Quiet Riot. There was paper talk of him flying out to LA to audition, but nothing ever came of it. Paul Shortino of LA second stringers Rough Cutt ultimately got the gig (“he’s got this much talent, this much talent”) but by 1987 (and after the flop of QRIII album), the interest in Quiet Riot had waned significantly. Still, the Rockbrat feels that with Csongrady at the helm, things may have taken a turn for the better.

The other day I was selling off my Saxon albums, and as I went through the jackets and inserts to make sure there were no freebie inserts / flyers etc for the buyer, I came across this gem. Have a look at these guys! This is Saxon circa 1985, the inner sleeve of the ‘Innocence Is No Excuse Album’. More commonly, its known as a fashion faux pas. Dear me, what the hell is going on here ? These guys look absolutely ridiculous! How did the photographer manage to keep a straight face throughout this session ? For cryin’ out loud, Spinal Tap had been out for at least 6 months when this album was released, but our NWOBHM heroes (who incidentally never made it in the States), obviously hadn’t seen it. I find that hard to believe, for Saxon bass player Steve ”Dobby’ Dawson was a key inspiration for Derek Smalls after all. One look at this photo will tell you why. Is he wearing a NIKE sports sweat shirt ? With a white jacket ? As for his folically challenged mate Paul Quinn ? Dear me. Is that a plastic sun visor he’s wearing ? Note the sweat bands too. Did he just come off the tennis court ? Ina few years Paul would be seen wearing a dead animal on his bonce, and looked scarier (but just as ridiculous) as Kev DuBrow in QR’s ‘Wild and the Young’ video, rest in peace Kev. What the hell is a glammed up Biff wearing ? Did someone forget to tell him that ‘Crusader’ was the album and tour from the pervious year? Is he wearing a Matador’s jacket ? Go easy with the make up Biff. Just let me rock! He looks just plain silly. About as silly as Phil Cohen and those white naval stripes he used to don. As for the drummer Nigel Glockler?  Well, he’s the drummer. You expect this kind of thing from drummers. Guitarist Graham Oliver is clad head to toe in Quo approved denim. A safe option. More to come soon!