Posts Tagged ‘Quiet Riot’

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 was driving the rockbratmobile recently and the Cure came on the radio. Naturally enough I slammed some Twisted Sister in the tape deck and killed off that depressing whining of Robert Smith. But then the ol’ brain flash-backed to the 80’s, and a time I recalled when some ultra-hip university students started a ‘we want a  Cure tour’ campaign. Then I started pondering about all bands who’ve never toured downunder and there are quite a few (oh and the granddaddy Goth used to  regale me of the time he once met vocalist Smith – so that means they must’ve toured here a couple of time – but alas, that is not a world I understand).

Bangles Australia 1989

they may’ve gone down to Liverpool – but not Australia – thanks to an airline strike

Sometimes it took years for an act to hit our shores – like the Eagles – who finally flew our way in the mid-90s – though surely a tour was warranted in  their 70’s heyday ? What about Klaus Meine and the Scorps ?! Their big ballad from 1990 ‘Wind Of Change’ would hit #7 here, yet they’ve never toured  Australia’.  Which leads to me to the legendary Michael Schenker….nope, he too has never brought his Flying V our way (happy to say I saw him live in Tokyo  in 2012 – he ripped !). Which indeed leads me to the equally legendary UFO. I don’t think they’ve toured here either. I know Girlschool never jetted  downunder – though their was a club tour locked in sometime in 1986 – which never happened. How is it that the Nuge – the motorcity madman – Ted Nugent has  never been here ? Plenty of Nugent pinball machines made it to milk bars here in the late 70’s but never the great man himself ?! Did Nazareth ever make it here ? Melanie Safka (who I have  been devoted to for years – what, not ‘rock n roll’ enough for you, dude ? Can’t I like the Carpenters AND Venom ? Keep on truckin there friend) toured  Australia in 1973 and also 76 and 77 – and in fact – she was one of the first artists to perform at the Sydney Opera House, but I digress. I’ve given up on her touring here.

I  know Rush have never been here – nor Bob Segar. The King – Wally…err Elvis Presley never toured Australia – though I think he never performed out of his homeland. Fear of flying ? Why oh why the great Lynyrd Skynyrd have never announced an Aussie tour is beyond me. What about the Pistols ? Ahhh who needed ya – we had Birdman which woulda wiped you little London boys off the

ms

the great Michael Schenker – yet to jet downunder

stage anyway. Ringo Starr only recently toured, yet it had been nearly five  decades since his last stage performance – as a Beatle – get off my stool Jimmy Nicol. Guitarist Ross The Boss would finally tour with The Dictators – though  his former outfit Manowar are yet to tour. They have a loyal following and you would think they woulda been here once in thirty odd years of existence.  Britain’s perennial prog favourites Marillion have toured the world, but again, not Australia. Rockbrat-faves The Bangles were locked in for a tour in 1989 but it fell through from memory – due to a domestic arline related strike ! They would eventually make it here in 2005. The list is endless – and what about bands who pretty much ignored the Australian live circuit for some time. I mean, Def Leppard were huge in the 80’s – Hysteria sold bucket-loads of records right ? But, although gracing us with a quicky club tour in early 1984 (one gig at Selina’s, The Venue in Melbourne and at the Narara Festival (!)  – they would not return until 1992 in suport of the overblown Adrenalize album. It made no sense. Favourite sons AC/DC would last perform in 81 – and return in 1988. Was it the low Aussie dollar ? Maybe. Kiss build up a  solid fan base of non-makeup believers in the 80’s, yet would not tour here for fifteen years (1980 – 1995). Blackie Lawless made a quick promotional visit  to Sydney and Melbourne in late 1985 – yet his band W.A.S.P failed to make good his promise of a tour which he mentioned during the press interviews. He  would tour about two decades later and play shitty clubs. How long is it since Macca toured ? 1975 with Wings – and then 1993 as part of a massive world  tour. I saw him a couple of times and all but nodded off. Play Beatles and Wings and nothing else – definitely avoid the temptation to self-indulge by avoiding  latter day material. To think I shelled out big dollars from my small pay packet to hear Hope of Deliverance belted out. Anyway, time for another tour Paul. Not time for another Beach Boys tour by the way – seems we can not keep the evil ginger wizard and his band of faceless beach boys away from here. Enough already. Van Halen never toured back in the day – their first visit was with Cherone which is an event to forget. Ozzy, Krokus, Dokken, Quiet Riot, Cinderella, Ratt – all of these acts never toured here back in their hey-day and they would’ve attacted an audience ….even the plump Swedish meat ball managed to tour here in the early 1990’s – and he had no hits to tour on either ! Looking back – someone like Judas Priest really should’ve toured before their first visit in 2001 – and that was with Ripper Owens and not Halford. As you can see, the list is never-ending…. Australia is a long way to fly if you ain’t gonna make a profit – though Stryper toured here twice in three short years and pretty much played to half-empty concert halls. But I digress. Mr Rockbrat is seldom wrong – well, at least when it comes to all things rock n roll – so please send amendments if my recollections are indeed wr…wr..wr – see, it wasn’t only Fonzie who had trouble with that word. Your memories of bands who’ve never made it here are most welcome. I wonder if those self-important, university-educated, now late 30-something – (and no doubt) wealthy, executive-types still pine for a Cure tour ?!

ImageFrom memory, I purchased this around 85 and it rules. Double LP, gate-fold sleeve, pressed locally via Concept Records. Around this time period, heavy metal was all I knew. Money earnt from my menial factory job was spent on metal records….and I’ve never regretted it. Actually this compilation really is a sneak peek at the barren musical landscape that was Australia in the mid-80’s. Hard rock and heavy metal was indeed – underground. Mr Rockbrat laughs when, nowadays, you run into people – straights, who tell you they went and saw Slayer on the weekend, or they have the new Sabbath CD ! Alas, metal maniacs, it was not always like this. Anyway, I found this gem whilst rummaging through my wax recently and as I cast my eyes over it, it got me thinking how much I learnt from it. Who needed school text books when the ‘istory of ‘eavy metal had to be learned, right ?!  The collection is pretty much a snap-shot of 83-84 heavy metal releases. WASP, AC/DC, Quiet Riot, Scorps, Sabbath, Twisted Sister, Ozzy, Motorhead, Dio, Motley, Priest, Kiss – big guns of the genre at that time, who all have tracks on here. But it was the inclusion of bands like Warlock, Y & T, Titan and Coney Hatch which had me in a spin. Often, the first place you would hear new bands was on compilations, and such was the case with Metal Madness. The Rock Goddess tune ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ – tuned me on to this kick-ass chick three-piece and I still listen to them today. Girlschool got a start – as did Lita Ford ! A rickapoodie and a fandooglie !  The Sabbath tune ‘Trashed’ was with Gillan up front – it confirms what I said before that the comp in fact pieced together some of the most recent releases from this time period (never could stomach Ian Gillan’s shrilling vocals). Points to the compiler – Grand Wizard Glenn A Baker – for doing that. The inclusion of local acts Titan, Boss and Melbourne’s Bengal Tigers showed Baker – or an assistant, had their ear to the ground, but the inclusion of Spinal Tap was not funny – or was it ? Is this a joke ? Is this a joke ? How the hell did Canned Heat get a look in ? Including the Kiss plodder ‘Get All You Can Take’ from their then-released Animalize opus, was a masterstroke in absurdity. ‘Heaven’s On Fire’ or ‘Thrills In The Night’ woulda been my Kiss cuts from that rekkid – but it mattered not. Adelaide’s Titan, as you may or may not know, released ‘Head Scare’ on Raven Records. I think some of those members ended up in Almost Human, did they not ? This release was followed-up by the equally rockin’ ‘Headbanger’s Heaven’ double LP a short while later. Again, the record introduced me to some great HM bands, many of which still get spun on the rockbrat turntable. As the wacky Baker states in the liner notes ‘ if you can’t get off on this brain-bending compilation, you’re beyond all hope’. Comments from the Super Coach.

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.