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It’s the 33rd Anniversary of The US Festival ‘Heavy Metal Day’ – I was there…a recap

by on May.29, 2016, under INTERVIEWS, ROCK NEWS, ROCK TOUR DATES, VIDEO

It’s the 33rd Anniversary of The US Festival ‘Heavy Metal Day’ – I was there…a recap

Today is the 32nd Anniversary of the 1983 US Festival. The US Festivals (US pronounced like the pronoun, not as initials) were two early 1980s music and culture festivals sponsored by Steve Wozniak, formerly of Apple Computer. The first was held Labor Day weekend in September 1982 and the second was Memorial Day weekend in May 1983. The 1982 US Festival was the first major festival since Cal Jam II that was not a charity concert—it was intended to be celebration of evolving technologies; a marriage of music, computers, television and people. That continued in 1983, even though Wozniak had lost millions on the first US Festival. The festival also had large air-conditioned tents featuring the US Festival Technology Exposition— a dazzling display of then-cutting edge computers, software, and electronic music devices. Also making a debut were installations of "out-door rain" - perforated pvc nozzles that sprayed water to fight the fierce hundred degree heat.

I attended Heavy Metal Day in 1983 with my friend Robert and arrived on Saturday May 28 during New Wave Day. There was a sea of cars, miles of them, and thousands of people milling around everywhere. School buses would take you back and forth to the entrance to this new make-shift venue. I do remember shortly after finding a spot to park some guys in a panel truck backed in asking if the spot was taken opposite of us. We said "no", they parked and then opened up the back of the truck, loaded with two kegs and the party was on.

There was small creek within walking distance near by, and we walked over there to cool off since it was close to 100 degrees that day. There was a hillside with a sharp incline on the other side of the creek, and many people scaled (or tried to scale) it during the day and in the time we were there. There was plenty of poison ivy around so you weren't going to catch me scaling anything. I saw a few people walk right through or fall onto poison ivy, I could imagine that probably made the concert the next day really fun. I also remember hearing Oingo Boingo, English Beat and Flock Of Seagulls during the day when we were within the vicinity of the venue.

Steve Wozniak paid for the bulldozing and construction of this new open-air field venue as well as the construction of an enormous state-of-the-art temporary stage at Glen Helen Regional Park near Devore, San Bernardino, California. This site was later to become home to Blockbuster Pavilion—now San Manuel Amphitheater. Apparently the festival stage has resided at the Disneyland theme park in California since 1985 and had operated under various names and functions as the Videopolis dance club, the Videopolis Theatre, and the Fantasyland Theatre. On that day it was soon to have some of the best rockers of the era on it.

As darkness fell and more and more people arrived for Heavy Metal Day, one big night-time Rock Festival within itself started. KMET and KLOS blared from car stereos, as well as music from the cassette decks and boom boxes of the bands we would be hearing the next day. The smell of BBQ's and marijuana billowed into the air. We walked around in this small city of rockers that seemingly extended forever. It definitely was one huge party, with bonfires everywhere and virtually no supervision. We partied that night, and went to sleep in the car eagerly anticipating what was to come the next morning.

We woke up, stretched out from sleeping in odd positions in the car, and made our way the few miles to the entrance to the venue. It was early in the morning, probably 8am or so, and there was already thousands of people waiting to get inside, looking to get as close to the stage as possible. Once we got inside concert goers had layed blankets down, taking claim to their spots. Somehow a few got in, considering there was no coolers, outside food, chairs or towels being allowed. Those with blankets, etc., lasted for awhile, but slowly but surely, as the day progressed, so did the intensity of the crowd. Needless to say, no one was sitting down or laying on a blanket and all of that was swallowed up in this mass of people.

Here was the lineup and times:
Sunday May 29th:
Quiet Riot [12:10 - 12:50 pm]
Motley Crue [1:20 - 2:20]
Ozzy Osbourne [2:50 - 4:00]
Judas Priest [4:30 - 5:40]
Triumph [6:10 - 7:20]
Scorpions [7:55 - 9:10]
Van Halen [10:00 - midnight]

Finally the time had arrived with the first rock act hitting the stage: Quiet Riot. Randy Rhoads (who left to play with Ozzy in 1979) had passed away by now, and Quiet Riot had long since found Carlos Cavazo to play guitar. The Los Angeles metal scene was taking over, and Quiet Riot as well as Motley Crue were the two biggest new bands to come out of L.A. at this time. Quiet Riot was raring up the charts with the "Metal Health" album, which ultimately became the first metal album to go #1 on the Billboard charts. The late Kevin DuBrow instantly got the crowd fired up, and it didn't stop for hours! Heat exhaustion to go around!


"It was the day new wave died and rock n' roll took over" - Vince Neil, in a famous quote regarding the overwhelming attendance on Sunday, "Heavy Metal Day", at the '83 US Festival. It set the single-day concert attendance record for the US with an estimated 375,000 people. Showtime recorded the event and aired a 90-minute special for each day of
the festival, which is where most of this footage comes from. Motley Crue had not yet released "Shout At The Devil", but it was due out soon, and the band performed songs from the album. Motley really was coming into their own at this point and their following was growing and growing nation and worldwide.

Ozzy Osbourne rocked the US Festival with the first live performance with guitarist Jake E. Lee, who shined in this huge first gig. The head dress Ozzy wore during the show was well publicized and photographed, even though it only lasted for a few seconds before he tore it off. Ozzy's band at this time included Jake E. Lee, Bob Daisley on Bass, Tommy Aldridge on drums and Don Airey on keyboards. Ozzy released "Bark At The Moon" later that year.
It was blazing hot during his set, with the crowd looking for the "out-door rain" stations to cool off, before heading back into the madness! The concert organizers actually gave away water to the crowd, something that we would be charged $5 bucks for these days.



Judas Priest hit the stage next and thankfully near the end of it, the temperature started to cool down a bit. The Metal God and the rest of the band were at their peak in 1983, a fully confident unit, effortlessly rocking everyone and everywhere they played. The "Screaming For Vengeance" album was just huge, and when the band played "You've Got Another Thing Coming" the crowd went absolutely fucking nuts!

As Canadian trio Triumph got ready to hit the stage next, the crowd got a second wind, as the temperatures dropped and the rock kept on coming. Rik Emmett, Gil Moore and Mike Levine were ready to put on the show of their life, and they didn't disappoint. The band had a great core of material to work with at this point, and had released the album "Never Surrender" earlier in 1983. Great set as the sun set! The band released a live DVD of the US Festival set back in 2003, so there is all of their full set here. They were smart to retain the rights to the video for their set. Awesome footage:








The Scorpions were up next and just fucking blew doors! They were another band who I really felt were at or close to their peak of impact. Sure, they still released "Love At First Sting" a year later, but played the US Festival with a full arsenal of rock from the "Blackout" album and their past catalog. Just an awesome set!!


Before Van Halen hit the stage, there was a fake UFO flying around. It looked so fake, it just seemed stupid and I didn't really see the point in it, somebody was trying to be creative I guess?

Van Halen received an upfront sum of $1 million to headline the 1983 US Festival. It was then upped to $1.5 million after it was discovered that David Bowie was to be paid $1 million. Van Halen had a clause in their contract that they would be paid more than any other act performing at the festival. In contrast, on New Wave Day, The Clash refused to play unless some donations were made to charities or other such noble causes by Wozniak and some of the other major bands. Before the Clash began their set they made angry comments about the barrio conditions in Los Angeles. After The Clash performed, the DJ began speaking right away and Clash guitarist Mick Jones attacked the DJ, believing he was trying to prevent an encore.

This and The Clash's ironic criticism of the festival in the press conferences and in interviews prior to the event caused an argument backstage between Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth and The Clash singer Joe Strummer. This may have also been started by a comment guitarist Eddie Van Halen made in Rolling Stone magazine one month prior regarding the punk movement ("...that's like what I played in my garage when I was a kid, man."). A clearly intoxicated Roth compounded this rivalry by insulting The Clash on stage early during Van Halen's headlining set with his comment, "I wanna take this time to say that this is real whiskey here... the only people who put iced tea in Jack Daniel's bottles is The Clash, baby!" This was Roth's only mention of The Clash on stage that night. Many people in the audience thought Roth was way too drunk and the show suffered because of it. I stayed longer than most however, as it had been a long, long day. We heard "Happy Trails" as we were heading out. Looking back on the video, I wouldn't really change anything about their performance though, because it was Van Halen history!

Here's the band's full set and some better quality clips of some of the individual song performances:




We after we made our way back to our vehicle, partied a bit and mellowed out while recollecting about what an amazing day it had been we crashed and got ready for the trek back home. My one last memory of US Festival '83 goes like this: I became separted from my friend Rob after hopping out of his vehicle to retrieve something from someone while in line to exit. I then couldn't find his car in the sea of vehicles. Don't ask me why I got out of the car..anyway, I was lucky enough to find a couple of guys who I had met before that lived in Pismo Beach, near my hometown. Yeah, I had to ride in the back seat for hours in a Trans Am with virtually no leg room (my knees were up in my face), and couldn't walk when I got out, but these guys gave me a ride to my front door. Looking back, I can't believe my parents let me go to this show, since I was a sophmore in high school, but I am glad they did. My daughter would certainly not be going away to a music festival as decadent as this one, although they don't do festivals like this in the U.S. anymore. It was insane fun and it was my Woodstock and I'll never forget it!

Here's an Artisan News Report from June of 2010 about that years Ozzfest, where Ozzy, Judas Priest's Rob Halford and Motley Crue reflected on the last time they had all played together...it was at the US Festival:


Fast Tube



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‘Inside Metal: Pioneers of L.A. Hard Rock & Metal’ documentary creators kick off fundraising campaign

by on Sep.06, 2014, under CD/DVD RELEASES, LINKS, ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

‘Inside Metal: Pioneers of L.A. Hard Rock & Metal’ documentary creators kick off fundraising campaign

The creators of 'Inside Metal: The Pioneers Of L.A. Hard Rock And Metal' Documentary Film Series, which features the biggest names of '80's Metal, offers Metal fans a chance to be included in these historical movies!

The early '80s metal scene in Los Angeles has become legendary, as it spawned such worldwide headliners as Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Dokken, W.A.S.P., and originally, Metallica (before the latter relocated to San Francisco). And the new documentary, 'Inside Metal: Pioneers of L.A. Hard Rock & Metal,' chronicles the entire scene.

Directed by Bob Nalbandian and produced by Metalrock Films, 'Inside Metal' features all-new interviews with countless bands and artists that thrived on the scene, and tell its story, first hand. To ensure that this killer documentary receives the attention it deserves, a fundraising campaign has been set up at WWW.METALROCKFILMS.COM - which will help strengthen the film's distribution, marketing and promotion.

This groundbreaking movie features exclusive and candid interviews with members of Metallica (Lars Ulrich), Ratt (Stephen Pearcy), Dokken (Don Dokken), Quiet Riot (Carlos Cavazo), W.A.S.P. (Chris Holmes), Megadeth (David Ellefson), Great White, (Jack Russel), Y&T, (Dave Meniketti), Stryper (Michael Sweet) and Armored Saint (Joey Vera).

'Inside Metal' is about giving fans the real inside story from the behind the scenes world of metal and hard rock with in-depth interviews, ultra-rare concert footage and photographs, and an original music score from that era; in this no-holds-barred, never before seen, recollection of untold stories.

To check out some sneak previews, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlzWl795u0E

Early feedback has been exceptional, including renowned video director Jonas Åkerlund (who has worked with the likes of Metallica and Ozzy) raving, "This film captures an era that catapulted metal into the spotlight and takes the audience on a wild ride down memory lane. After watching it I wanted to get in my time machine and experience those days for the first time. You’re hit with a potent nostalgia, a time I thought we couldn’t get back, not until I saw this film. I can’t get enough of this shit, what an amazing film to watch over and over again, well done!"

Metalrock Films ask - and want - real and serious metal fans to be a part of this historic documentary and spread the word that this was the scene where it all began, ground zero.

"Our Fanbacked campaign will raise the direly needed financial support to bring this film to one and all in the US and Internationally in order to pay for the marketing and promotion to get it noticed by the general public. We want to bring this film to your theatre, town, bar, club and living room! Unite and support us. We have created some one of a kind opportunities for our friends and fans to participate with us in birth of this film. Get your name on the screen and let the world know that you support metal and the bands that create it. Help us tell the story of the music you love and let the world know you love it. Join in the festivities of our, and your, accomplishments by being at the premiere of the movie and interact with the artist that participated in its creation. Commemorate your participation with a plaque, t-shirt, poster or other limited edition merchandise items that says 'Metal Rules.' Keep checking back as we add more tasty premiums."

And thanks to you and your donation, 'Inside Metal' will finally get the true story of the scene heard - worldwide!

Inside LA Metal movie poster

To make a donation, go to:
WWW.METALROCKFILMS.COM
www.fanbacked.com

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Quiet Riot replace their replacement singer

by on Jan.12, 2012, under ROCK NEWS, ROCK TOUR DATES

Quiet Riot replace their replacement singer

Quiet Riot have parted ways with their frontman of a little over a year, San Diego, California-based vocalist Mark Huff, and he isn't too happy about it. Huff posted this statement on his facebook page:

That prompted Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali to post his own message on facebook about Huff. Banali wrote, "With regards to Mark Huff: My policy has always been not to air out the dirty laundry in public. That policy remains the same even in light of those who chose to make accusations. The fact is that Mr. Huff's medical condition had nothing to do with the decision that was made, though it is unfortunate that it comes at such a time. His wife assured me that Mark would be home this week, and as legal protocol dictated, a certified letter was sent informing Mark of the decision that was made and why it was made. This was days ago. The content of that letter is a private matter unless Mr. Huff decides to make the reason for his dismissal made public, which I believe would be counterproductive for him. I will not go tit for tat with this issue. If certain persons wish to villainize me, that is their prerogative."

I'm curious for 'the real' reason Huff was let go, maybe tomorrow that will come out. LOL- Seriously Frankie, get Paul Shortino, Carlos Cavazo and Rudy Sarzo together as a version of Quiet Riot. That may have some legitimacy to it.

The band has recruited ex-Montrose singer Keith St. John for the following shows:
Feb. 1 - B.B. Blues Club & Grill - New York, NY
Feb. 3 - Bergen Performing Arts Center - Englewood, NJ
Feb. 4 - The Rock Junction - West Greenwich, RI

Huff, who succeeded the late Kevin DuBrow, stated in a September 2010 interview, shortly after he joined Quiet Riot, "I am honored and very excited to be Quiet Riot's new singer. I am also humbled and feel a bit of pressure. Who wouldn't feel pressure? Kevin DuBrow was a one-of-a-kind songwriter, musician and a consummate performer. He had an incredible vocal range; I have mass respect for Kevin."

Regarding what fans should expect to see from his live appearances with Quiet Riot, Huff said at the time, "I don't think trying to duplicate Kevin's every sound or movement is what honors Kevin DuBrow or Quiet Riot. It's important for me to stay true to the songs as they were written, as the fans remember them, and to bring the live show to full strength. I am not here to replace Kevin DuBrow."

He continued, "Frankie [Banali, drums] summed it up best when he said, 'Kevin DuBrow was one of a kind and cannot be replaced.' I am here to help Quiet Riot continue to keep the music alive in the most flattering way possible." Huff ain't feeling flattered now, get better brother!

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Remembering Randy Rhoads and Dimebag Darrell

by on Dec.07, 2011, under LINKS, ROCK B-DAYS/TODAY IN ROCK, ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

Remembering Randy Rhoads and Dimebag Darrell

Randy Rhoads was born this week (Dec. 6) in 1956. He would have been 55 years old if not tragically taken from us 29 years ago.

These quotes were in a 1984 issue of Hit Parader Magazine on the 2nd anniversary of his death. I thought it was interesting looking back to see the complete reverence his contemporaries had for him, just two years since he died. His legacy has, does, and will continue to grow. R.I.P. Randy!

Edward Van Halen (Van Halen)
I have an immense amount of respect for what he did. Some people say I may have had an infIuence on his playing, but I never was able to ask him that. If it's true, I'm very honored, because I thought he was very, very good. He was also very dedicated to his playing. I think that showed in his work.

Brad Gillis (Night Ranger)
It was every guitarist's dream to replace Randy Rhoads, and I'll never forget the thrill of having that opportunity. I always considered Randy to be the best guitarist around. I followed his career for a long time even when he was playing around L.A. with Quiet Riot, and I was always amazed by what he could do. I used to get really annoyed after watching him, because he was doing things that I hadn't even thought of trying. He was in a class by himself.

Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot)
Of course I had known Randy a long time. I was playing in some other L.A. area bands when he was playing the club scene with Quiet Riot. He was a big influence on everyone who saw him. ,He had so much talent and so much charisma - it was just unbelievable! He was one of the few guitarist I've ever seen who could literally mesmerize you on-stage. You'd find yourself watching him and just forgetting about everyone and everything else.

Angus Young (AC/DC)
I've heard him play on the radio and he sounded very good. I admire anyone who can play the guitar with a style that is easily identifiable, and that's what he was able to do. Everybody says there's nothing new that can be done with a guitar, but when people like Randy come along, they realize they're wrong.

"Fast" Eddie Clarke (Fastway)
I was lucky enough to see Randy perform many times while I was in Motorhead. We toured the country with Ozzy when Randy was still alive, and I used to go out and watch him quite often. It's a shame that his talent wasn't fully appreciated until after his death. But that's the way it is in rock and roll, sometimes. He was very special - he had "star quality" written all over him. If you're able to go on stage with someone like Ozzy and hold your own, you know you’re special.

Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden)
To me, Randy Rhoads had a classic "American" guitar sound. There's a difference between the way a British guitarist plays and the way an American plays. They're both equally good, it's just that people like Blackmore and Page have had the biggest impact on English guitarists while perhaps Eddie Van Halen has had the biggest impact on the guys in the States. Randy Rhoads seemed to pick up on some of Van Halen's ideas and expand them. He was absolutely terrific, and his work with Osbourne is astounding at times.

Neal Schon (Journey)
He was very interesting. I make it a habit to watch other guitarists and listen to their work. I'm not that big on Ozzy's music, so I don't often put his albums on at home, but I recognize Rhoads as a very talented guitarist.

Paul Stanley (Kiss)
I've seen just about everybody who's come down the pike over the last ten years, and quite honestly, most of 'em weren't worth remembering. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see Rhoads that many times, but he was a very impressive guitarist. He obviously had studied the instrument, and he had a natural feel that separated him from most other players. To me, that's the key - if you have a feel, a quality that nobody can teach you, that's when you're special.

Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
Obviously, I've always had a bit of interest in the guitarists Ozzy has worked with. After having worked with somebody for so long, you can't dismiss their musical activities very easily. Ozzy once told me that one of the things which first attracted him to Randy was that he was the exact opposite of me. He looked different, and his style was very unique. I favor certain chord structures, while Randy had his own way of expressing himself. I admire what he did, though I wish Ozzy had given him a little more freedom to express himself on his albums.

Rik Emmett (Triumph)
I'm a big guitar fan. I love listening to everything from jazz to heavy metal, and one of the guys who really caught my ear was Randy. he just stood out head and shoulders above other young guitarists. I don't know exactly what he did that was so special, but he was able to mix together a number of styles and influences, and emerge with a special sound. Most guitarists are clones of other famous musicians. Randy had a bit of that element in him, but because of his talent, he was able to rise above that.

K. K. Downing (Judas Priest)
I listened to his playing on Osbourne's albums. He had the potential to become one of the best guitarists ever. Considering he was so young, it's amazing to consider what he accomplished.

Phil Collin (Def Leppard)
When I was getting into the guitar, there were people like Ritchie Blackmore who were so good that when you saw them on-stage they inspired you to go out and buy a guitar. That's what I imagine Randy Rhoads was like for a lot of younger kids. He had such presence on-stage, and he was so talented, that when you saw him you naturally had to be totally impressed by his talent.

Billy Squier
I know I have many limitations as a guitarist. That's why I admire somebody like Rhoads so much. He was the type of player that a guitarist like me would like to be. I keep dreaming someday ... someday ...

Here's a great article from KPCC, making a trip to Randy's gravesite: www.scpr.org



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Tomorrow (Dec. 8 ) will mark seven years since Pantera and Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell was killed onstage. Revolvermagazine.com will be posting remembrances of him over the next few days. Today, Anthrax bassist Frank Bello looks back fondly on his time with Dimebag.

Dimebag recorded solos for Anthrax’s 'Stomp 442, Volume 8', and 'We’ve Come for You All' albums. Anthrax's latest album 'Worship Music,' also features the song “In the End,” paying tribute to Dimebag and Ronnie James Dio. The 100th issue of Revolver, available here and on newsstands on December 13, features a free pull-out poster of Dimebag.

“We were so close to him. He was one of us. Dimebag was the sixth member of Anthrax, because he played on the last few records. I thought paying tribute to him in song was a great idea.

“I lost a brother 13 years ago. He was murdered. And then to have Dimebag go in such a bad, traumatic way—he’s one of our brothers. Dimebag was like a brother to me.

“We had a lot of good times. That Anthrax-Pantera tour [in 1997], that was a scary tour. The shows were great. But on that tour, I brought a parasite home with me from Mexico in my stomach. So I couldn’t hold anything in my stomach including liquor. Now imagine being on a Pantera tour without drinking liquor. At one point, it was so bad because everything I put in my body, it was like a funnel–it came right out of my body. So I would have to run from these guys and hide. Because Dime’s chasing me with this Black Tooth [Grin, Dime’s signature drink, which was a shot of Crown Royal or Seagrams 7 with a splash of Coke]. He’d be yelling, ‘Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!’ So I’m shooting this thing with a beer right after it.

“Dude, I swear to God, as soon as it went in my system, I was right on the bowl. So I laugh at that now, because I remember Dime laughing at me. As soon as I shot the Black Tooth, he’d go, ‘You’ve gotta go now, right?’ And he’d laugh. It was a great time. Of course it was painful for me, but it was a great thing for Dimebag. Those are the things you remember. It’s a time in your life I’ll never forget. I love them and I miss them. Only the good die young.”

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Salty Dog back to Rock the Key Club!

by on Nov.01, 2011, under LINKS, ROCK TOUR DATES, VIDEO

Salty Dog back to Rock the Key Club!

The original members of Salty Dog will reuniting for an December 10th show at the Key Club in Hollywood, California. Jimmi Bleacher (vocals), Pete Reveen (guitar), Michael Hannon (bass) and Khurt Maier (drums) will be performing their 1990 Geffen album 'Every Dog Has Its Day' in it's entirety plus some other surprises.

Joining Salty Dog at the Key Club show will be Snow, featuring guitarist Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot, Ratt), bassist Tony Cavazo (Quiet Riot, Hurricane) and drummer Stephen Quadros. Tickets for the show are available at www.keyclub.com.

Michael Hannon's current outfit American Dog will be entering the studio with producer Joe Viers at the the end of November to record the follow-up to their 2010 release 'Mean'.
Here's some old school Salty Dog...really? no better version of "Come Along" than this on youtube? I better dig up my VHS tapes of Headbangers Ball and upload a better version!


Fast Tube


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