Articles Observations and Musings 

Metallica Damage Inc. Tour – Jason Newsted’s Second Gig

The rise of You Tube has allowed unprecedented access to bootleg concert footage. Once the sole domain of grainy VHS tapes, fans can now watch virtually any recorded performance online. Occasionally, a unique moment is captured on film. Such is the case with Metallica’s 1986 Anaheim, California show at the now defunct Jezebel’s. Jason Newsted touring behind Master of Puppets gives the concert historical significance. It had been barely over a month since Cliff passed away and Anaheim was Jason’s second appearance with the band. Metallica are back on the…

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Articles Observations and Musings 

Kryst the Conqueror – Post Misfits Christian Metal

After the demise of The Misfits, Glenn Danzig promptly formed Samhain. Jerry Only and Doyle seemingly disappeared from public view. What had become of the Caiafa brothers in the long gap between Misfits eras? They formed a Christian metal band! Kryst the Conqueror, pronounced CHRIST the Conqueror, was not a band in the traditional sense. The group never performed live and did not have an “official” singer. They DID, however, write a series of songs that mixed positive Christian messages with fantasy-themed lyrics. The Doyle Fan Club was formed in…

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Articles Observations and Musings 

Bobby Steele: Undead Misfit

Bobby Steele has gotten a raw deal. Before forming The Undead, Steele played on legendary recordings that laid the groundwork for The Misfits ascent to icon status. By 1980, Steele was fired and replaced with Jerry Only’s little brother. Doyle may get mainstream recognition as Misfits ax-slinger, but Bobby Steele deserves equal credit. Barring the few that were around to witness the original line-up, fans largely discovered the classic Misfits recordings through compilations lovingly known as Collection 1 and 2. In the post-vinyl/pre-internet age, Bobby Steele’s contributions went largely un-credited….

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Articles Observations and Musings 

The Black Sabbath Cartoon – “Lost” Clip from 1974

Imagine Black Sabbath as stars of their own Saturday morning cartoon. One clip floating around You Tube purports to be just that. Set in 1974, the show would have aired during the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath era. In the roughly three minute segment, Black Sabbath appear as animated caricatures of themselves. Bill Ward guzzles booze and talks incoherently. Ozzy is the ever-present clown, continually getting into hijinks, often without clothes. Tony and Geezer are depicted as stately rock stars that counteract the antics of their drug-addled singer and boozed up drummer….

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Articles Observations and Musings 

Don’t Look Back: Bob Dylan vs. Donovan

D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary, Don’t Look Back, captures Bob Dylan during his 1965 tour of England. Bringing It All Back Home had peaked at number 1 in the UK. Teenage girls stalk his hotel, fans chase his limousine, and newspapers feed the frenzy with endless Bob Dylan articles. Pop singer Donovan was also enjoying a surge of popularity in 1965. Throughout the film, Dylan is preoccupied with the local press. Seemingly every time he opened the paper, Donovan’s name appeared. Our first hint of jealousy arrives early on. Dylan reads a…

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Articles Observations and Musings 

Heavy Metal Parking Lot: Judas Priest 1986

Judas Priest released the divisive Turbo in 1986. Despite alienating core fans with synthesizers and pop hooks, Turbo became the band’s highest charting album to date. The subsequent “Fuel For Life” tour was equally successful. Fans turned out in droves to see Priest live. Although Judas Priest filmed the tour for home video, two filmmakers provided documentation of a different sort. Armed with equipment borrowed from a cable access studio, John Heyn and Jeff Krulik interviewed tailgating fans outside the Capital Centre in Largo, Maryland. Aptly titled, Heavy Metal Parking Lot, the…

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Album Art Exploration Articles Observations and Musings 

Iron Maiden: The Legend of the Black Cat

Eddie has been the face of Iron Maiden since day one. From seedy underworlds of urban decay to Egyptian pyramids and hostile ice planets, creator Derek Riggs has famously buried jokes and messages in the landscapes that Eddie called home. One particularly murky legend is that a black cat is hidden in each Iron Maiden album. The black cat legend is rarely discussed. I wondered if the concept was some half-invented figment of my imagination. A Google search yielded no conclusive evidence. If not for fruitless inquires posed by random…

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Album Reviews Articles Observations and Musings 

Hardwired…to Self-Destruct: Reconciling with Metallica

Full disclosure. I was one of the fans that felt alienated by the “Black Album.” Those feelings only intensified with the release of Load and Reload. I hated their new image, the haircuts, the music, but most of all, I resented that they had turned their backs on metal. In short, I disconnected from all things Metallica. Please don’t be angry with me. I know many fans stayed with the band every step of the way. Millions came on board during the era that caused me to flee. I don’t…

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Articles Observations and Musings 

Blue Oyster Cult: Don’t Fear the Reaper in Movies and Television

Blue Oyster Cult scored their biggest hit with “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” The macabre love song quickly transcended the music world to appear in movies and television. With a creepy riff that highlighted a lyrical embrace of death, it’s little wonder that “Reaper” first appeared in a horror film. John Carpenter set quite a precedent when using “Don’t Fear the Reaper” in Halloween. Expertly combining the song’s fixation on death with marijuana culture, he touched on two themes that future filmmakers would revisit. Even in the seventies, “Don’t Fear the…

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Articles Observations and Musings 

All The World’s A Stage: Shakespeare Through the Lens of Rush

Rush have a long history of using literary themes in their songs. Songs like “Tom Sawyer” have obvious sources. Other adaptations are less clear. If not for the liner notes explicitly giving thanks “To the genius of Ann Rand,” the author’s influence in “2112” may have been missed entirely. Yet, when the band invokes Shakespeare, the public immediately recognizes the immortal bard. Rush has utilized the line “All the world’s a stage” twice in their career. Taken from Shakespeare’s comedic play, As You Like It, the connection between theater and music…

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