Monday, January 02, 2012


A Happy New Year to you all!
Here's hoping that 2012 brings us all good health, wisdom and happiness.
I done got me a new fangled computer for my Xmas, and have been trying to get all my old shit onto my new hd ever since. Hence the delay in bringing you this latest post.
Think of it as a belated Xmas present.
Up first, formed in Manchester in 1981, Hard Rock/NWOBHM band SAM THUNDER were a five piece band formed by Guitarists Steve Ferguson and Nick Bennett and Bass player Rob Naylor.
After numerous personnel changes the band stabilised their line up in early 1982 with the arrival of ex-ARAGORN drummer Chris Dadson and recorded a 3 song demo tape.
The tape brought them positive reviews in the music press and helped create a strong buzz about the band.
Kerrang! magazine were enthusiastic, describing Sam Thunder in their "Armed & Ready" section as purveyors of "Hard-edged class Rock’n'Roll."
After time spent gigging, more personnel changes saw Will Glover arrive on Vocals and Andy Chemney on Drums.
Chemney replaced Chris Dadson, who left to join CHATEAUX, appearing on their "Fire Power" and "Highly Strung" albums.
The French based Bullet Records (home of GEDDES AXE, LE GRIFFE & TRAITOR'S GATE), approached the band in 1983 to record an EP for the label.
The three song EP, "Don't Take Forever", was released in early 1984, and sold well enough for Bullet to opt to fund a full album.
Before recording on the LP began Mike Hepplestone was added to the band as Keyboard player.
The resulting album, the ten song "Manoeuvres", was released later that same year, in the picture disc format only.
The addition of prominent keyboards give many of the songs a Pomp/Prog/AOR flavour, but the underlying Hard Rock feel remains the same under all the window dressing.
Unfortunately, Bullet Records went belly up soon after, and unable to secure a new deal, Sam Thunder followed suit in 1985.

SAM THUNDER - Manoeuvres (1984) UK

Mid '70s Los Angeles Hard Rock quartet THE BOYZ were managed by the notorious maverick figure of Kim Fowley.
A three song demo was recorded in 1975 with producer Paul Ratajack.
The tape brought the band to the attention of KISS bassist Gene Simmons who auditioned the band with a view to managing them, but in the end passed on The Boyz.
The group were constant fixtures on the L.A. club circuit, being supported by both VAN HALEN and QUIET RIOT and conversely supporting THE RUNAWAYS amongst others.
With no record deal for The Boyz forthcoming, guitarist George Lynch, bass player Monte Zufelt and drummer Mick Brown left to form XCITER in 1977.
Ex-The Boyz singer MICHAEL WHITE later went on to form LA ROX with future W.A.S.P. man Randy Piper, THE WHITE with guitarist Lanny Cordola, then fronted LONDON for a stint, before going solo for a 1987 album.
After recruiting talented singer Gregg "Greeg" Sanford, XCiter recorded a four song demo tape at Orion Studios with producer Phil Bateman.
The material showed a talented band who sounded like a cross between early JUDAS PRIEST and VAN HALEN if you can imagine such a thing.
The demo led the band onto the Sunset Strip venue merry-go-round, with XCiter regular performers at clubs such as The Starwood, The Whiskey-A-Go-Go and The Troubador.
Singer Sanford departed in early 1979, and was replaced by a female vocalist, the extraordinarily named Lisa Furspanker.
The new material written with Furspanker saw XCiter move in a slightly more commercial direction than before, but Lynch's incendiary guitarwork kept things sounding tough.
Lynch's fretboard skills then brought him to the attention of the newly solo OZZY OSBOURNE.
Auditioning for Ozzy's band, Lynch lost out ultimately to former Quiet Riot axe man Randy Rhoads.
Xciter then recorded a further four song demo with producer Tony Eubanks, recorded this time at Phallanx Studios.
In late '79, Furspanker was shown the door and replaced by the returning Sanford.
However, fate intervened in 1980, when Don Dokken extended an invitation to Lynch and Brown to join DOKKEN who had just secured a record deal thanks to a demo which they had both guested on.
Both felt they'd given XCiter their best shot, and so split the band in order to join forces with Dokken.
Xciter didn't officially release any material during their lifetime, but in 2006 Wounded Bird Records combined the band's demos to issue a self-titled album.
It's a fascinating snap-shot of that period of time before Brown and Lynch hit the big time with Dokken, and includes a 1977 take on "Paris Is Burning", which Dokken later re-recorded.

XCITER - XCiter (1977-1979) USA

And now, i'm happy to bring you two vintage BBC live sets courtesy of the redoubtable Weaselkin1. Thanks again for your generosity in sharing these!
Southern Rockers THE OUTLAWS, known to their fans as 'The Guitar Army', were formed by former DAVE & THE DIAMONDS, ROGUE and FOUR LETTER WORDS vocalist/guitarist Hughie Thomasson.
Prior to the band's first album the OUTLAWS had been led by Frank Guidry and included ex-DAVE & THE DIAMONDS personnel Dave Dix and Herbie Pino.
The band recruited Thomasson and drummer Billy Jones but shortly after fell apart when Guidry opted out of the music business.
Thomasson decided to keep the name with Guidry's approval.
The new unit saw Jones switch instruments to become a guitar player, Thomasson took vocals and guitar, bass was in the hands of Frank O'Keefe, Monte Yoho became the drummer and ex-SIENNA man Henry Paul came in on vocals.
Soon the new look band was under the business guidance of ex-LYNYRD SKYNYRD manager Alan Walden.
A showcase gig as guests to LYNYRD SKYNYRD secured the OUTLAWS a deal with major label Arista Records.
Arista was a brand new label and interest in their first signing was high.
Their self-titled debut 1975 album, produced by Paul A. Rothchild, and accompanying single "There Goes Another Love Song", were both hits.
In 1976 the OUTLAWS hit the road with a vengeance as the opening act on LYNYRD SKYNYRD's American tour.
The band also toured in the States as guests to THE ROLLING STONES, (on their "Black And Blue" tour), LITTLE FEAT, MARSHALL TUCKER BAND and also made their first foray into Europe as support to THE WHO.
The band remained stable until 1977's Bill Szymczyk produced "Hurry Sundown", which saw O'Keefe's departure, his place being filled by Harvey Dalton Arnold.
The OUTLAWS were by now evolving their sound, combining a distinctive Southern guitar flavour with vocal harmonies.
Paul opted out following this release, creating the HENRY PAUL BAND, releasing four albums for Atlantic Records, gradually moving in a more AOR vein.
Their "Bring It Back Alive", live album, recorded on the band's 1977 American tour at shows in Chicago, Miami, San Diego and Santa Monica heralded further new members in guitarist/vocalist Freddie Salem, formerly with THE CHAMBERS BROTHERS, and returning drummer David Dix.
The OUTLAWS first live album gave the band a hard earned gold record.
The 1978 album "Playin' To Win", was produced by Mutt Lange, although by now the band was struggling to maintain sales despite still being a concert draw nationwide.
Arnold was to leave to join THE HENRY PAUL BAND following the 1979 Johnny Sandlin produced "In The Eye Of The Storm", album and the OUTLAWS drafted in Rick Cua as substitute.
The record included the ELVIS COSTELLO written 'Miracle Man' and sales started to pick up once again.
Gary Lyons took the production reins for the next Outlaws album, 1980's "Ghost Riders".
The record revitalized the band's career with both single and album charting.
1982's "Los Hombres Malo" renewed the production partnership with Lyons and saw songwriting contributions from SURVIVOR's Jim Peterik and SAMMY HAGAR.
The album saw the departure of Jones who took to a career in medicine, (sadly committing suicide some years later).
Cua also quit the band after this effort to pursue what would be a rather successful career as a Christian Rock artist.
Jones also left at the same juncture.
Salem hooked up with the legendary Ohio biker band THE GODZ following a lone album as FREDDIE SALEM AND THE WILDCATS.
The OUTLAWS reformed in 1986 for a new recording, the "Soldiers Of Fortune" album.
The line-up saw Thomasson and Dix reunited with Henry Paul and with new members bassist Chuck Glass and guitarist Steve Grisham.
Guitarist JON BUTCHER added backing vocals and keyboards came courtesy of Randy Bishop.
Grisham was succeeded by Chris Hicks after the album was released.
Prior to the tour ex-MOTHER'S FINEST, MOLLY HATCHET and ILLUSION man Barry "B.B." Borden joined on drums
The group appeared at the Reading Festival that year, the group's first gig in Britain since 1977.
The band persevered but only Thomasson, Borden and Hicks remained.
For the 1993 live "Hittin' The Road", record they were joined by Timothy Cabe on guitar & Jeff Howell on bass.
Cabe left before the 1994 studio album "Diablo Canyon", which saw guest sessions from LYNYRD SKYNYRD's Gary Rossington and Billy Powell.
Thomasson joined LYNYRD SKYNYRD during 1996 and stayed with the band until his premature death on the 9th of September 2007 at just 55 years old.
During his time with Skynyrd, Thomasson played on 4 studio albums, ("Twenty", "Edge Of Forever", "Christmas Time Again" and "Vicious Cycle"), and on 3 live albums.
Chris Hicks teamed up with THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND in 1997 and released a solo album "Funky Broadway", the following year which featured Borden on drums.
Barry Borden was to drum on THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND's 1998 record "Face Down In The Blues", and their 1999 "Gospel", outing.
During early 2004 Henry Paul formed the SOUTHERN ROCK RENEGADES, an all-star celebration of Southern Rock featuring an elite cast of players.
Fronted by Paul and WET WILLIE vocalist Jimmy Hall, guitars were supplied by an illustrious trio of LYNYRD SKYNYRD veteran Ed King, 38 SPECIAL's Jeff Carlisi and the MARSHALL TUCKER BAND's George McCorkle.
Guest vocals came courtesy of Alison Heafner whilst ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION's Robert Nix delivered the drums.

THE OUTLAWS - BBC In Concert - Reading Festival (1986) USA

DUMPY'S RUSTY NUTS were an infamous London based band formed in 1981 by ardent biker "Dumpy" Dunnell, a character who had previously been a member of THE RIVVITS. Renowned over the years for their many appearances at biker festivals, the group was originally titled DUMPY'S DIRT BAND and the transition to DUMPY'S RUSTY NUTS came in 1981 when the frontman was joined by Mac McKenzie on bass and drummer Chris Hussey, both previously members of NUTHIN' FANCY.
Unbelievably the band had to change its name to DUMPY'S RUSTY BOLTS to secure airplay for the debut 1982 'Just For Kicks' single when DJ's deemed the original band name too lewd. Sometime afterwards, Mac McKenzie left to rejoin NUTHIN' FANCY (much later ending up as manager of THUNDER) and was replaced by Jeff Brown, although he lasted for only a short period of time before making way in 1983 for Kerry Langford.
The band suffered a severe setback in 1984 when their record label folded. The advertised 'Rock The Nation' EP never surfaced commercially although mysteriously copies came to light much later.
By 1984 the band included former TANK drummer Mark Brabbs, and this was the line up responsible for the "Somewhere In England" album, a 16-track 2-LP vinyl set recorded live at the London Marquee Club, where they were a regular and popular attraction. Brabbs quit and left the fold with Langford in early 1986 and the pair were promptly replaced by bassist Alan Fish and drummer Mick Kirton, both ex-GROUNDHOGS. Fish was also a veteran of NWoBHM band ZORRO, a founder member of TREDEGAR and involved with AUTOLAND COMMAND.
The band's line-up remained ever fluid, even at one point seeing bassist Alan Davey and drummer Danny Thompson on temporary leave from HAWKWIND with Fish having departed to form EGYPT. Ex CLOVEN HOOF guitarist Mick Grafton also enlisted for a short stint, whilst yet another bassist, Graham Le Mon, joined in 1987 , the same year that the 'Get Out On The Road' album was issued. The record featured HAWKWIND mainman DAVE BROCK as a guest. Kirton was later to leave to join HAWKWIND.
In 1991 the band released a cover version of JO JO GUNNE's 'Run, Run' Run' as a single, but while DUMPYS RUSTY NUTS are still a going concern, no further product has surfaced. Dumpy is also now a sometime member of the venerable psychedelic institution we know as HAWKWIND.
"Here he is playing with his nuts at a holiday camp at the Kerrang! Wooargh! Weekender Festival, held in Caister, Great Yarmouth, in October 1984.
Organised by Kerrang and featuring bands such as Motorhead, Spider, Nazareth, Phil Lynott's Grand Slam, Waysted and prog band Twelfth Night.
The Hawkwind connection is alive and well here too with Nik Turner guesting with the band on 'Cross Keys'. Enjoy!" Weaselkin1

DUMPY'S RUSTY NUTS - BBC In Concert : Live At The Kerrang! Wooargh! Weekender Festival (1984) UK

The "Friday Rock Show" was a radio show in the United Kingdom that was broadcast on BBC Radio 1 from 10pm to midnight on Friday nights from 1978 to 1993.
Throughout most of its run it was hosted by DJ Tommy Vance.
Ostensibly for the genre of rock in general, it was most closely associated with heavy metal.
In the early 1980's it was the only nationally available outlet for this genre of music, and Vance's enthusiasm for showcasing new bands and his rapport with fans made the show essential listening for rockers.
For most of its run, its intro and closing theme tune was the DIXIE DREGS instrumental "Take It Off The Top", and the quiz in the show "the Friday Night Connection" used the VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR track "Theme One", other jingles were written and performed by ROSE TATTOO, SAMSON and VOW WOW.
The show generally included a studio session or live performance each week, arguably being the main reason fans tuned in.
Many of these studio sessions were engineered, mixed and produced by Dave Dade, who worked closely with show producer Tony Wilson.
Also featured were recordings from the BBC radio archives, both live and studio-sessions, from as far back as the late 1960s.
This material included bands such as LED ZEPPELIN, DEEP PURPLE, JETHRO TULL, URIAH HEEP, RUSH & GENESIS, among others.
At the time the majority of this material was not available on general release and even today, some remains unavailable to the general public, mainly because Tony Wilson took the tapes with him when he left the BBC.
Other features included "The Friday Night Connection", a quiz in which listeners had to identify three pieces of music and the connection between them, and the "Rock War" (later renamed "Rock Challenge" during the 1991 Gulf War), in which listeners were asked to vote for the best of three demo tapes sent in by aspiring bands.
Another feature was the listeners' all-time chart, which took place once a year on the show's anniversary/birthday (Now We Are 1, Now We Are 2, etc.), during which were played the most popular rock tracks, as voted for by the listeners.
(This invariably finished with Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" at #1.)
The show played a significant role in the rise of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal.
It had the additional good fortune of being able to "borrow" the 88-91 MHz FM transmitters of BBC Radio 2, allowing listeners to enjoy the music in the best available quality for the time, before Radio 1 finally acquired its own FM frequency in 1988.
Before this happened, the show was temporarily given an extra hour from 2100 to 2200.
This was heard on mediumwave only except in London and parts of the south east, where it was relayed by BBC Radio London's FM transmitter.
After Radio 1's move to 24-hour FM broadcasting, the show's time slot was put back half an hour to 2230 to 0030.
By 1993 the introduction into Britain of a much wider choice of television and radio channels had made heavy metal more accessible and the show less important, and Tommy Vance left Radio 1 to join the original line-up of Virgin Radio.
The show was taken over by Claire Sturgess, but ceased soon after.
The die-hard fans saw the appointment of Sturgess to front the programme as 'cancellation by the back-door'.
The format of the programme fundamentally changed when she took over, firmly setting out its stall in the 'contemporary thrash' genre and ignoring the programme's strengths, which lay in a balance between the classic and the contemporary.
The death knells of the Friday Rock Show were already sounding prior to the programme being moved to a slot on Sunday afternoon.
Recently there has been a comeback with Bruce Dickinson of IRON MAIDEN, who fronts the new Friday Rock Show on BBC 6 Music between 9 pm and 12 midnight.
In 1982 Polydor Records released an EP entitled "Radio 1 Rock Show Themes", featuring (as the title suggests), the theme music from the various rock shows on Radio 1.
It featured the themes from "The Friday Rock Show" (by Dixie Dregs), "Rock On" (by Whitesnake), and "The John Peel Show" (by Grinderswitch).
For this post, i've bolstered the original 3 song EP with 2 further bonus tracks from the Friday Rock Show, "Theme One", by Van Der Graaf Generator and the "T.V., Play That Rock'n'Roll" jingle by Rose Tattoo.

VARIOUS - Radio 1 Rock Show Themes EP (1982) Various

After Seattle Hard Rock/Heavy Metal cult legends TKO broke up in 1987, Vocalist Brad Sinsel recorded an album's worth of demos in Hawaii as "Native Tongues", with producer Rick Keefer.
Dissatisfied with the more commercial direction of "Native Tongues", Sinsel then teamed up with his former MOJO HAND & TKO band mate, Q5 guitarist Rick Pierce.
This liason resulted in the formation of a short-lived new band which was eventually christened SUICIDE SQUAD.
Rounding out the band's line up were bassist Rick Bradley and former FASTBACKS drummer Richard Stuverud.
The bands demos led to a deal with the European Music For Nations record label who had previously released albums by TKO and Q5.
Suicide Squad's lone release turned out to be the 4 song 1988 "Live It While You Can" EP.
After the record's release Sinsel relocated to Los Angeles, joining a band featuring Suicide Squad drummer Richard Stuverud, which became WAR BABIES.
War Babies signed a deal with Columbia Records, recording a lone self-titled album which finally emerged in 1992.
War Babies lost their deal in 1993, and split up soon afterwards.
Sinsel now fronts AMERICAN STANDARD.
Post-Suicide Squad, Rick Pierce formed NIGHTSHADE with fellow ex Q5 member, vocalist Jonathan K.
An album, "Dead Of Night" surfaced in 1991 through Music For Nations, before personnel problems forced the band to take a long hiatus.
With a new rhythm section on board, a second Nightshade album, "Men Of Iron", was released through Hellion Records in 2001.
Suicide Squad's drummer, Richard Stuverud, went on to a short stint with FIFTH ANGEL, before joining LUV Co., which featured former War Babies and MOTHER LOVE BONE members.
He later teamed up with PEARL JAM bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Robbi Robb of TRIBE AFTER TRIBE in the experimental project THREE FISH.
To date Three Fish have released two albums, a self titled 1996 debut and 1999's "The Quiet Table", as well as a single, "Laced".

SUICIDE SQUAD - Live It While You Can EP (1988) USA

Irishman Bernie Tormé is a hugely talented guitarist renowned for some particularly wild axework and theatrics.
Such showmanship brought him close to 'guitar hero' status whilst in GILLAN in the late '70's & early '80's.
Tormé relocated to London from Ireland, forming SCRAPYARD in 1976.
A Hard Rock trio of Tormé, bassist Bernie Hagley, and drummer Roger Hunt, Scrapyard gigged solidly throughout the London area.
Hagley was to depart and the band were swiftly brought back up to strength with the addition of former ZZEBRA bassist John McCoy.
However, this union lasted only a matter of months with Tormé striking out on his own as THE BERNIE TORMÉ BAND.
McCoy meanwhile soldiered on with Paul Samson on guitar as Scrapyard became McCOY.
The Bernie Torme Band managed to release two singles and contributed tracks to the Punk compilation album "Live At The Vortex".
The Bernie Torme Band, still a trio, then put in some British supports to Gillan, the headline act now featuring McCoy on bass.
An album was recorded for Jet Records but remains unreleased.
Disillusioned, Tormé took up his old colleague John McCoy's offer to hook up with Gillan.
After leaving Gillan in 1981, Tormé joined ATOMIC ROOSTER, appearing on their "Headline News", album and undertaking two tours of Germany and Italy.
Whilst trying to assemble another solo band, Tormé was asked to fill in for Randy Rhoads in OZZY OSBOURNE's band following the American guitarist's tragic death.
Torme's stint on Ozzy's American tour lasted but two weeks, with the pressure being too much for the Irishman.
Returning to London with Osbourne's blessing, Tormé, set back to work on his own band ELECTRIC GYPSIES.
The "Turn Out The Lights" album, released under the "Bernie Torme" name, featured future SAXON drummer Nigel Glockler, bassist Phil Spalding and Bernie's ex-Gillan partner Colin Towns on keyboards.
For live work Electric Gypsies consisted of Tormé handling both vocals and guitar, Everton Williams on bass and drummer Frank Noon, the latter being on temporary loan from STAMPEDE.
In 1982 Tormé appeared on ex-Gillan keyboard player Colin Towns' solo LP 'Making Faces', which only saw a Japanese release.
The "Live", album, (released during 1984), featured original IRON MAIDEN member Ron "Rebel" Matthews on drums.
A later British tour saw the addition of bassist Chris Heilmann, later to turn up in US act SHARK ISLAND, and ex-FRAMED drummer Ian Whitewood with vocalist Kef.
In 1984 former GIRL vocalist Phil Lewis joined the band on a temporary basis following vocalist Kef's sudden departure before joining on a full time basis.
Two albums (using the TORMÉ handle rather than Electric Gypsies) and successive British touring kept the band in the press, but momentum seemed to be waning.
Lewis then relocated to Los Angeles to join American act L.A. GUNS.
Tormé formed the shortlived RUSSIAN HIPPIES in 1988 with Bennet, vocalist Gary Owens and ex-BOMBSHELLS bassist Marc Russell.
However, progress was minimal so Tormé and Russell travelled to America at the request of former TWISTED SISTER vocalist DEE SNIDER to join the vocalist's DESPERADOS outfit.
The DESPERADO project of Tormé, Snider, Russell and ex-IRON MAIDEN drummer Clive Burr initially scored a huge deal with Atlantic Records.
However, after more than two years the band had switched to Elektra and, having laid down an album, discovered the label had no intention of releasing it.
The DESPERADO album was finally released posthumously on an independent label at a much later date.
Although Snider offered Tormé a position in a new act he was putting together, WIDOWMAKER, the Irishman opted to return to London.
Upon his return Tormé put in a guest guitar appearance on guitarist RENE BERG's "The Leather, The Loneliness & Your Dark Eyes", album in 1991.
Another project band was titled MUTANT with Blacken and Magpie of MOURNBLADE.
The year 1994 saw another solo album release, "Demolition Ball".
Early 1997 found the guitarist involved in Mick Underwood's reformation of the cult act QUATERMASS.
Although Tormé wrote material for the album, "Long Road", he was to opt out before recording of the album.
The guitarist's own solo album of that year, "Wild Irish", recorded with Pearce and Jones, came out limited to merely 500 numbered copies.
Maintaining this renewed momentum a further studio album was issued in 1999, one track including lead vocal from Dee Snider.
Torme returned to the band format for the 'all star' SILVER project.
The band also witnessed a welcome return to action by former MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP vocalist Gary Barden.
Joining Torme and Barden would be H-BLOCKX drummer Marco Minnemann and MAD MAX, CASANOVA and DEMON DRIVE bassist Michael Voss.
Keyboards were in the hands of as true veteran, Don Airey of RAINBOW, OZZY OSBOURNE and DEEP PURPLE fame.
in 2007 Torme formed GMT with his former Gillan colleague bassist John McCoy with drums handled by Robin Guy of RACHEL STAMP and the BRUCE DICKINSON band.

BERNIE TORMÉ BAND - I'm Not Ready 7" (1978) UK

So that's yer lot for tonight.
Hope there's something amongst tonight's selection to get your 2012 off to a good start.
Keep the comments, requests, remembrances, praise and hate mail coming, it's the food and drink which keeps the blog going, just use that "comments" button and let yer fingers do the talkin'.
Much love to ma homiez,