Tag: Metal Health
"Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years", a new book from QUIET RIOT's personal photographer/lighting director Ron Sobol, will be released later this year via Red Match Productions. As a bonus, this book comes with a 90-minute DVD documentary with multiple bonus features. Among those features are highlights from a never-before-heard Randy Rhoads guitar lesson.
Rock photo books are a dime a dozen with a parade of shutterbugs presenting images of iconic performers caught in their prime. But photographer Ron Sobol is one of the rare few who captured that elusive lightning in a bottle magic. As a perennial fifth member of hard rock band QUIET RIOT since their inception, Sobol's involvement lasted beyond the success of their multi-platinum masterpiece, "Metal Health". Intuitively aware of capturing the band's striking visual appeal, on and off stage, Ron quickly became a part of the group's trusted inner circle. Ron was not only QUIET RIOT's personal photographer, lighting director, and co-writer, he was also their dearest friend.
There's no such thing as an overnight success. To achieve musical respect and international stardom, aspiring rockers must be tireless in their quest, endlessly perfecting their craft as musicians, songwriters and performers. Even then, there's no guarantee of grabbing the brass ring and succeeding in the music business. Still a truism today, making it in the music business is a "one-in-a-million" crapshoot. It's a chosen few, inspired by a passionate love of rock and roll music and driven by an unyielding passion to strike a chord in the hearts of music fans, who stay in the game. Los Angeles-based rockers QUIET RIOT had hard rock music coursing through their veins. After seven long years of banging their heads on the local club circuit, recording two albums released only in Japan, and ultimately replacing three of its four original members, QUIET RIOT eventually achieved world domination.
In 1975, lead vocalist Kevin DuBrow and a young guitarist named Randy Rhoads served as the nucleus of the lineup, forged in a tight bond of friendship and aligned with a burning desire to make it. QUIET RIOT made their mark playing parties and small local venues before being transformed into the premier rock band on the Sunset Strip. By 1977, they were anointed reigning local rock icons, routinely selling out Hollywood's hottest clubs, The Starwood and The Whisky-A-Go-Go. Bound on a fast track to fame, the rising stars were foiled at every turn by the grinding corporate machinery of a mercurial record business.
Disco, punk and new wave were soaring, leaving passé hard rock purveyors in their wake. With record labels regularly passing on signing the band, the group's prospects grew dim. QUIET RIOT ditched their first manager and were on the brink of replacing their second, when they inked a deal for two albums with the Japanese division of CBS-Sony. Signed to the record label on the saleable visual merits of a promotional live photograph, shot by Ron Sobol, the band's two albums, "Quiet Riot" and "Quiet Riot II", met with moderate success in Japan. Back in their homeland, prospects for a breakthrough were even bleaker.
At the apex of their frustration, the band staged a coup. Along with a group of their most loyal fans, QUIET RIOT raced through the streets of Los Angeles on a flatbed truck, picketing every record company. Unfortunately, this proactive measure elicited minimal media coverage, prompting one key member of the band to declare it was time for a radical change.
In October 1979, Randy Rhoads was given the break of a lifetime. Packing his trusty Gibson Les Paul, he moved to England to form a new band with former BLACK SABBATH vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. Randy's new band, BLIZZARD OF OZZ, went on to achieve massive worldwide success leaving behind his old friend Kevin DuBrow and their beloved QUIET RIOT. Kevin made several half-hearted attempts at replacing Randy and even temporarily changed the name of the band to DUBROW. Fronting this new incarnation, DuBrow stubbornly continued to follow his dream of rock stardom.
Finally, in 1982 Kevin DuBrow's luck changed when he signed a deal with Pasha Records, and resurrected the name QUIET RIOT. "Metal Health", the group's American debut, was released on March 11, 1983. This album signaled the first warning shot; a new brigade of brash heavy metal warriors were born. An explosive cover of SLADE's '70s classic "Cum on Feel the Noize" became a hit, rocketing to #5 on the Billboard chart. The fist-pumping title track served as the defining metal anthem of the fledgling '80s generation. Also included on the album was "Slick Black Cadillac", which held honors as the most requested song from their early club days. A somber ballad, "Thunderbird", featured a dedication to original guitarist Randy Rhoads who tragically perished in a plane crash on March 19, 1982.
With "Metal Health" going on to rack up more than six million copies in sales, QUIET RIOT had finally arrived. QUIET RIOT became the first heavy metal band to land a number one album on the Billboard chart. By this time, Kevin DuBrow's larger-than-life personality landed him on the covers of rock magazines worldwide, earning notoriety for his outlandish and bratty behavior. Naturally verbose and outspoken, DuBrow's "shoot-from-the-hip" attitude eventually soured relations with the press and drove a wedge among his bandmates who fired him from QUIET RIOT in February 1987. Half-heartedly assembling a few solo projects, DuBrow repaired his relationship with the band and was reinstated among the ranks of QUIET RIOT in 1991.
Throughout the '90s and into the new millennium, QUIET RIOT continued to record albums and play small clubs and theaters, sadly, they never recaptured their early whirlwind success.
Tragedy struck the QUIET RIOT family on November 26, 2007 with the untimely death of Kevin DuBrow. Working in partnership with Ron Sobol, Kevin envisioned chronicling the colorful history of QUIET RIOT with either a film or book. Unfortunately, he never had the opportunity to fulfill his vision.
Enhanced by a rich collection of Ron Sobol's evocative photographs, rare video footage and moving personal memories, coupled with a raft of Kevin DuBrow's original memorabilia, this is the captivating story of QUIET RIOT's near-impossible journey to superstardom, a story that first began on March 3, 1975 with legendary guitar icon Randy Rhoads in tow. Rocked by adversity at every turn, refusing to give up, resolute that it was their way or the highway, QUIET RIOT truly epitomize the word survivor, by eventually becoming one of the most popular bands in heavy metal history.
Narrated by Sobol, the accompanying 90-minute film offers a gripping behind-the-scenes portrait of two close friends, Rhoads and DuBrow, as they embark on an uphill quest for stardom . Using previously unseen images, rare video footage and period music, along with new and classic interviews, the movie chronicles the five year period (1975-1980) that Sobol was in the trenches with the band. This in-depth examination documents in photos and on celluloid, the gradual rise of a Hollywood club band into international superstars.
Sobol's unfettered access renders an intimate window into QUIET RIOT's meteoric transformation from club band to national sensation. You'll witness the group in rehearsals, performing live onstage and revel in a bounty of behind-the-scenes clips capturing the bandmates at play. It's a tale littered with all the earmarkings of a classic Hollywood epic — formidable struggles, triumph and heartbreak, world domination and unfathomable tragedy. Revealing interviews with bandmates, close friends and family lend profound insight into this captivating story.
A trailer for "Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years" can be seen below.
For more information, visit www.redmatchproductions.com.
Another book on the life of Randy Rhoads is already available. "Randy Rhoads", written by Steven Rosen and Andrew Klien documents Randy's life and career with hundreds of rare photographs and memorabilia. Here's a full description of the book:
Before his tragic death at the age of 25, Randy Rhoads was on a fast track to being hailed by critics and public alike as the greatest rock guitar player of all time. Over a short two-year period, Randy recorded two seminal multi-platinum albums with Ozzy Osbourne, which are heralded today as among the most noteworthy recordings in hard rock music history. Through his jaw-dropping six-string work on songs such as “Crazy Train,” “Mr. Crowley,” and “Flying High Again,” Randy Rhoads achieved legendary status as a guitar icon and his artistic legacy continues to grow with each passing year.
A brilliant guitar virtuoso, Randy’s masterful ability of bridging rock and classical techniques, helped him forge a groundbreaking style of guitar playing. In 1981, Guitar Player magazine honored Randy by selecting him as best new talent of the year. Humble and self-effacing, Randy refused to rest on his laurels. Instead, being bestowed with this prestigious award motivated him to strive for greater creative heights. Tragically, Randy’s life ended much too soon when on the morning of March 19th 1982 he was killed in a small private plane that careened into the garage of a plantation home in Leesburg, Florida.
Randy Rhoads’ ascendancy to super-stardom was inevitable. Tirelessly honing his craft, he was a devoted student of his instrument, endlessly practicing and perfecting his skills. His days were spent as a guitar teacher and by night he solidified his rising reputation as the “next big thing” on the Hollywood club scene. His big break arrived when he assumed the lead guitar slot in Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band. Soon the entire music world would be dazzled by his spectacular flights of fiery fretboard sizzle, swiftly recognizing the merits of this burgeoning guitar genius.
With his dynamic six-string wizardry, Randy Rhoads invented an exciting and technically advanced style of explosive hard rock guitar playing that dominated the ‘80s music scene. Decades later, his massive influence continues to shape, educate and inspire first, second and third generation players and music fans that marvel at his extraordinary musicality and stunning instrumental prowess. Today, Randy’s legendary status as a guitar hero is assured, joining the pantheon of rock’s Mt. Olympus where he stands proudly alongside such revered guitar heroes as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and Ritchie Blackmore.
No one trick pony, Randy was well versed in a multitude of musical genres seamlessly cross-navigating rock, blues and classical. In fact, his immense love of classical music continued to be a driving force in his life. Until his untimely death, he continued to take classical guitar lessons in an effort to break new ground as a player.
Today, mythologized and immortalized, Randy Rhoads has become a veritable pop culture institution. Paying homage to his pioneering ability, Marshall Amplifiers created a custom amplifier that bears Randy’s name and signature sound. Action figures and sculptures with Randy’s likeness have become highly sought after collector’s items, while Jackson Guitars have sold millions of Randy Rhoads model guitars, pleasing the late guitarist’s loyal legion of dedicated followers. His image graces innumerable music magazine covers annually.
Finally, after years of anticipation, comes the release of this biography written by Steven Rosen and Andrew Klein, which vividly documents Randy’s life and career. Teeming with hundreds of rare photographs and memorabilia, the book chronicles an oral history of Randy’s remarkable life through those who knew him best. Packed with countless emotional and poignant stories about the guitar icon, the book weaves a powerful tapestry of colorful memories about his life, which help provide deeper insight into Randy, the man, the myth, the legend. His life is a lasting testament to his supernatural talent and quiet humility.
To order the book go to velocitybooks.org
I just came across this version of Quiet Riot's 'Metal Health' by a band I am a fan of: Omaha, Nebraska's Emphatic. The band cut this track for the soundtrack of the 'Footloose' movie remake soundtrack, but it was only on extended versions of the album. Current artists covered each of the songs that were featured in the original movie. 'Bounce' and 'Get Paid' are the first two singles released from Emphatic's debut album, and both have been featured on my Rock Picks of the Week.
Emphatic have some show coming up this summer
Apr. 21 - Harleys and Horses - Kansas City, MO
May 8 - First Council Casino - Newkirk, OK
May 19 - Rock On the Range - Columbus Crew Stadium - Columbus, OH
Jun. 23 - Rockapalooza - Jackson, MI
Jun. 26 - Austins Fuel Room - Libertyville, IL
Today is the 28th 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 plently 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 blarred 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 postions 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, ect., lasted for awhile, but slowly but surely, as the day progressed, so did the intensity of the crowd. Needess 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 would never happen these days.
"Paranoid" & "Mr. Crowley"
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 dissapoint. 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 semed 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 tto 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 an interview with David Lee Roth from MTV with Mark Goodman:
Here's another with Richard Blade
Here's Paraquat Kelly from KMET backstage before the show. I remeber watching this and just getting pumped up for the Van Halen party!
The set kicked off with "Romeo's Delight". Here's the whole set except for "I'm So Glad", the Cream cover and "Happy Trails" (Roy Rogers) which wrapped up the show, which they didn't get video release for.
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: