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Unearthing the Metal Underground: NOLA, Part 2

Just one Unearthing for my fair city of New Orleans wouldn’t work. We have so many bands here, they’re breaking the levees! Here’s three more incredible bands to give you a NOLA fix. There is an amendment to the previous Unearthing the Metal Underground: New Orleans; Tire Fire is not crustpunk. “We hate crusties,” vocalist Matt Muscle told me at the Pentagram show. But whatever they are, it’s fierce and Matt is a madman on stage. More...

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Sunday Old School: Remembering Bon Scott

Close your eyes and think of AC/DC. If you're like most people, the first thing that enters your mind is the image of Angus Young in his schoolboy suit doing his Chuck Berry on speed duckwalk across the stage. The second thing for most is the image of singer Brian Johnson, cap pulled down nearly to his eyes, letting loose with a powerdrill wail.

For 30 years, that's been the case — but it wasn't always so. There was a time when AC/DC's vocalist was every bit as outrageous and unpredictable as its pint-sized guitar god. With a boozy strut, and a wicked glint in his eye that bespoke propensities for violence when provoked and sex whenever (and wherever), Bon Scott commanded the stage in ways that only a few frontmen — Jagger, Plant and (just maybe) David Lee Roth — could match.

Scott is often spoken of as being “AC/DC's first singer,” but that's not the case. The band's first vocalist was Dave Evans, a much more glam-inspired singer. Of course, the band during Evans' tenure behind the microphone was a much more glam-inspired bunch, as the video clip for the first single “Can I Sit Next To You Girl” below shows (and dig Angus and Malcolm Young trading licks in a way you don't normally see in this band). But Angus Young and Evans didn't get along, and the band was looking for a new, rawer singer.

They didn't have to look far. At the time, Bon Scott was working for the band as its driver. Before that, though, Scott had been well-known in Australia as one of two lead vocalists in the bubblegum pop band the Valentines, and as the singer of the hippy-dippy outfit Fraternity (dig that recorder). Several accounts point to Scott being much more interested in singing hard rock in the bars after the gigs than he was in performing either of these types of music.

That, of course, made AC/DC the perfect fit for him. And if you thought Angus Young's schoolboy outfit was outrageous, check out Bon's schoolGIRL outfit in this early television appearance, in which the band plays its cover of “Baby Please Don't Go.”

Scott's first two albums with AC/DC, “High Voltage” and, especially “TNT” still form a big chunk of the modern AC/DC setlist. Tunes like “The Jack” allowed Bon to show off his talent for clever wordplay and his ability to quickly learn new instruments (he was also a fairly adept guitarist and an excellent drummer) came in handy on the bagpipe-enhanced “It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N Roll).”

Next up was 1976's “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” which emphasized boogie over blazing guitar work on tracks like “There's Gonna Be Some Rockin'.” The title track is a classic, but for me, the heart of the album is the slower, surprisingly introspective “Ride On,” which hints at the loneliness of life on the road.

“Let There Be Rock,” the band's 1977 classic album is, as Angus Young put it, “a fucking great guitar album.” It's the other Scott album that has taken up big chunks of the band's setlist to the present day, with songs like the title track and Scott's ode to a large Tasmanian woman he had the pleasure of knowing, “Whole Lotta Rosie.” With such blazing fretwork, it's small wonder that Angus' guitar amp once caught fire during the recording sessions.

The next year came “Powerage,” which is arguably the most underrated album of the Scott era, despite having fans that included Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. It's a surprisingly dark affair, with “What's Next to the Moon?” having not-so-veiled threats of murder against the object of the singer's affections. “Riff Raff” and “Sin City” both have gotten a fair amount of play on stage, and, more recently, the band resurrected “Rock 'n' Roll Damnation” on the “Live at the Circus Krone” DVD. The chief criticism of the album was that it seemed to be too much a continuation of “Let There Be Rock.” I say, what's wrong with that?

After 1978's live “If You Want Blood, You've Got It” came the high point, in terms of sales and recognition, of Scott's tenure with the band, 1979's “Highway to Hell.” The title track wasn't — as some would later claim — an ode to Satan, but rather a colorful description of life on the road, which had its origins in a quote from Angus Young to a reporter. “Shot Down in Flames” and “Girls Got Rhythm” have stayed in the AC/DC setlist, off and on, as has “Highway to Hell.”

And then, in 1980, it ended all too soon. Scott died of acute alcohol poisoning in a friend's car 30 years ago this week.

The band soldiered on with Brian Johnson taking his place on “Back In Black,” some of which had been written before Scott's passing. There exist demo recordings of a couple tracks (most notably “Have a Drink on Me”) with Scott on drums, but, to my knowledge, they've never been released even in bootleg form.

The band has paid tribute to Scott several times over the years, releasing the “'74 Jailbreak” EP in 1984 with some previously Australian-only releases, and the expansive “Bonfire” box set in 1997, which included studio rarities, the soundtrack to the “Let There Be Rock” concert film and more.

Last year, the band put out “Backtracks,” a box set that essentially cleared the decks of all the rest of the B-sides and Aussie-only tracks that had built up over the years. It's well worth buying for tracks like “Stick Around” and the itchy ode to body lice, “Crabsody In Blue.” But be prepared to shiver a little when Scott eerily foretells his own death in “Carry Me Home.”

So, let's raise our glass to one of rock's greatest. “Let There Be Rock,” shouted Bon Scott, and there was. And it was much more than good.

AC/DC — "Can I Sit Next To You Girl"
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The Rockstar Ramblings: Bon Jovi Roulette

In an interview this week Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi) leaked out that the band will play the album "Slippery When Wet" in its entirety during their next tour. He then went on to say that when they don’t play this album they will play "Lost Highway" or "The Circle" from start to finish. For those holding tickets to a Bon Jovi show, this is referred to as Bon Jovi Roulette… More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground in the Bay Area

Each week in "Unearthing the Metal Underground," we'll be putting a few quality underground bands in the spotlight in an attempt to get the word out about them. This week I am spreading the word from the San Francisco Bay Area metal scene.

The Bay Area's metal legacy began with the '80s thrash scene, which gave birth to Metallica, Exodus, Testament, and Death Angel. Neurosis entered the scene with their experimental metal, and Primus and Faith No More turned heads in what could only be referred to as alternative metal. Starting in the '90s, Machine Head evolved the thrash sound into groove metal. Currently, Ludicra, whose black metal has been in the scene since the late '90s, is generating a lot of excitement about their soon to release album, "The Tenant." Today, the Bay Area houses up and coming metal bands who not only reflect the heritage of the region, but filter in influences from a variety of genres. More...

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Sunday Old School: 25 Years of Deliverance

In the mid-1980s, Jimmy P. Brown had a question: Could the style then being perfected by thrashers like Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer be made to do the Lord's work? Brown provided a definitive answer of “yes,” forming Deliverance.

Sure, Christian metal had been done before — most notably by the yellow-and-black-bedecked Stryper, but never quite as heavy. Deliverance's sound was righteously angry, as were the song titles and lyrics. Thanks in part to a video that got MTV play, the band was able to cross over and gain fans in the mainstream metal crowd.

The band's great influence on the Christian metal scene will be celebrated this year with “Temporary Insanity: A Salute To Deliverance,” a two-disc tribute album featuring contributions from members of bands including The Crucified, Vengeance Rising and Darkness Falls. The album will also include a new Deliverance recording.

Deliverance first made its appearance on a compilation album called “California Metal.” Their debut album didn't make many waves, but their second, 1990's “Weapons Of Our Warfare” did — even spawning a video that appeared on MTV.

The band's third album, “What A Joke,” was less successful, and the band then underwent a musical overhaul, becoming less of a thrash band and moving more toward a progressive direction. The result was the album “Stay Of Execution.” The band kept the progressive bent on their next disc, “Learn.”

Deliverance released “River Disturbance” in 1994 and “Camelot In Smithereens” in 1995.

“Assimilation” came out in 2001, followed by another long break. Brown, the group's only constant member, reformed Deliverance in 2006, with the result being 2007's “As Above – So Below.”

This year, the band will release “The Annals Of Subterfuge” through Retroactive Records.

Weapons Of Our Warfare
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The Rockstar Ramblings: Grammy Edition

Thoughts while watching the Grammy’s and wondering if Lady Gaga’s performance was influenced by Poison’s first album Look What The Cat Dragged In…

Congratulations to Rob Halford and Judas Priest for their Grammy win. Anyone else disappointed Halford wasn’t draped in leather when he accepted the award?...

Speaking of leather, despite matching leather jackets and pants it is difficult to listen to Bon Jovi and not think, so are these guys Country for good?...

Should Anthony Kiedis every leave Red Hot Chile Peppers I believe Taboo from Black Eyed Peas could probably make a seamless transition…

No surprise here when Slash (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) jointed T-Pain, Jamie Foxx and friends on stage. We are months away from a press release stating Slash is the fourth Jonas brother…

All dressed up and only the Grammy’s to attend, Alice Cooper presented the Grammy for best rock album. There should be a rule that Cooper can only dress as stage “Alice” or be wearing a golf polo shirt…

Watching Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) accepting a Grammy solidified him as the only rocker with a head three times the size of his body…

Non Grammy Thoughts of the week…

Steven Tyler is threatening to sue Aerosmith in an attempt to block the band from hiring a new lead singer. Leaked rumors indicate that Billy Idol has been approached by the band. Two questions: 1. Does Idol get to play Rebel Yell with the band? 2. Generally speaking, does the band feel they have to replace Tyler with someone the exact same age?...

D.J. Ashba (Guns N’ Rosses, Sixx A.M.) was recently kicked out of a Canadian hotel for smoking cigarettes. In an interview this week Ashba went on to say he was shocked by the attitude and anger expressed from “An old woman with Tina Turner like hair”. D.J., it is Canada, eleven months out of the year it is winter. It is cold. These are angry people. Step away from the hotel, and button up, it is going to be okay…

The line-up for Slash’s new album officially includes Fergie (Black Eyed Peas), Ozzy Osbourne, Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Kid Rock, and many others. Given the wide range of talent I have to wonder why Slash neglected to give this up and comer I keep hearing about named Billy Idol a shot…

Finally, VH1 has a reality show titled Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp in production. The cast includes many rock and pop stars including Lemmy, Ace Frehley (Kiss), and of course, Bret Michaels. Anyone interested? Episodes to include segments on picking out bandanas, writing multiple hooks with the word “party”, and learning how to use the word “Awesome” as a noun, verb, adjective, and adverb – all in the same sentence…

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Tales From The Pit: Pint Glasses And Shoes

Every week we talk with bands all over the world as they share some of their favourite stories involving metal's answer to line dancing, the mosh pit. This week, Seregon frontman James Moore told us of a new use for shoes.

"We played a show in Bristol and everyone was going apeshit, broken glass, faces, bodies and shoes flying around etc. I see one guy who gets shoved so hard he flys into the wall and his arm smashes through several pint glasses and heads straight back into the pit fist in the air with blood pissing out of his arm. The same pit with shoes flying around, one guy who is walking around pumping his fist in the air catches a shoe, then starts hitting people with the shoe all around him and then concentrates on the bloodied thrasher, quite simply the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!"

Seregon recently released a new seven track EP entitled, "Disposable Suffering" and will be touring all over Europe this year to support the record. You can purchase the CD by heading here.

Check back every Tuesday for more tales from the pit.

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Unearthing The Metal Underground In Sri Lanka Pt 2

Each week in "Unearthing the Metal Underground," we'll be putting a few quality underground bands in the spotlight in an attempt to get the word out about them. The column has returned for the new year to expose three more great projects from the Sri Lankan metal scene. Today I'll be introducing three more bands from Colombo, Sri Lanka, where the metal scene is the most active.

Back in the 90’s, metal was practically unheard of in Sri Lanka. Very few people were into rock music, which is what almost every Sri Lankan non-Metal fan calls any type of music with distorted guitar parts. At a time when the Internet was only available to the public very few places in Colombo and file sharing programs were unheard of, a very small, underground community existed who shared CD-R’s of videos and mp3 albums in a country which is known for its fairly conservative views that lead to society labeling rock music as the Devil’s music and the usual bullshit. This is, of course, nothing new in the realm of metal and its origins.

Stigmata

Then came 1999, the year which gave birth to a project who today are known as one of most significant metal bands in Sri Lanka, Stigmata. Responsible for Sri Lankan metal anthems such as "Andura" and "Jazz Theory" and after 1 EP and 2 Full Lengths titled "Morbid Indiscretion," "Hollow Dreams" and "Silent Chaos Serpentine" respectively, Stigmata is currently recording their third and yet untitled full length, which will hopefully be released this year. They are also one of the two bands (the other being psychadelic grunge unit Paranoid Earthling) who have performed outside Sri Lanka in countries such as Malaysia, Maldives and India.

Check out Stigmata on their MySpace page and the live video of "My Malice" below.

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Sunday Old School: Destruction

When thinking about the history of thrash metal, one usually always thinks of the Bay Area in the United States first, followed quickly by the thrash scene on the East Coast. But there was another scene in the 1980s that was just as important, namely the one in Germany. Much like America has it's "Big Four" of thrash (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer), Germany has it's "Three Kings" who consist of Sodom, Kreator and our featured band of the day, Destruction. Destruction were formed in the town of Weil am Rhein under the name of Knight Of Demon in 1982 but (wisely) decided to change their name to Destruction two years later. During this year they were able to release an EP entitled, "Sentance Of Death" through Steamhammer Records before releasing their debut full length album, "Infernal Overkill" in 1985. The band was originally a trio but added a second guitarist in the form of Harry Wilkens, with whom they recorded another two albums, a live record and an EP before lead singer and bass player Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer was asked to leave the band due to creative differences. He would respond by forming the band Headhunter.

After splitting with Schmier, the band found themselves going through a terrible period commercially, having lost their record label support in favour of grunge music, the band had to self- finance and self-release their new albums. Eventually, Schmier was asked back into the band and the reunited team of Schmier and guitarist Mike Hilfiger, along with drummer Sven Vormann, were able to secure a deal with Germany's Nuclear Blast Records, releasing several highly acclaimed studio albums ever since such as "All Hell Breaks Loose," "The Antichrist" and most recently, "D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N." Destruction still tour the world today, appearing at many of the big European festivals and heading out on headlining tours of their own. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Video Marathon

Today’s column takes us through another marathon of 80’s glam metal videos. This special presentation is sponsored by Stella beer and Patron tequila. More...

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Tales From The Pit: Wall of Death FAIL

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week, Eddie from All Shall Perish shares quite a different wall of death experience from their previous one.

“Wuddup, Eddie from All Shall Perish here and I can recall one time we were in Dallas, TX and I called out a wall of death. Everyone immediately spread like wildfire and I was thinking that it was going to be incredible. Sadly though when shit went off I only saw maybe ten kids run at eachother. The saving grace to these kids being too scared to run at each other was watching this one guy clothesline another guy and seeing the kid who got hit do a complete backflip. He layed on the floor for the rest of the breakdown and I was too taken back to keep singing I just pointed and laughed at how incredible watching some WWF type shit go down was. I'm happy to say the guy was more than stoked and actually came and gave me a hug later! Thank you Dallas!”

All Shall Perish was recently confirmed for a European tour with Caliban as well as an appearance at Graspop 2010.

Check back every Tuesday for more tales from the pit.

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Sunday Old School: Scorpions

Given the sad news earlier today that the Scorpions would be breaking up, it seemed the most fitting time to take a look at one of the greatest bands that Germany ever produced. The Scorpions formed way back in 1965 by guitarist Rudolf Schenker as a band which had more of a beat influence until 1969 when Rudolf's brother Michael joined the band on lead guitar and they recruited lead singer Klause Meine. The band released their first album, "Lonesome Crow" in 1972 and promoted the release by touring as support to British hard rockers UFO. The band would split up briefly after this tour, due to Michael Schenker leaving to join UFO. Rudolf Schenker would join the band Dawn's Road with Uli Jon Roth afterwards and convinced Meine to join him. After a while, the band decided to resurrect the Scorpions name as it was well known in the German rock scene.

The new lineup recorded several successful albums such as "Fly To The Rainbow," "In Trance" and "Virgin Killer," the latter of which caused considerable controversy due to it's album cover. The band began to hit their critical peak when they released "Lovedrive" in 1979 which contained the excellent title track as well as "Is There Anybody There?" and "Holiday," which are considered classics of the band's catalogue. The band released two more albums, "Animal Magnetism" and "Blackout" before cementing their place as hard rock superstars with the "Love At First Sting" album, which featured "Rock You Like A Hurricane," perhaps the band's most well known song.

Since then, the Scorpions has released several more acclaimed albums and gone on to sell over 75 million records worldwide. Their song "Winds Of Change" was hailed as an anthem during the end of the Cold War and were the second hard rock band to perform in Russia under Soviet rule (the first being Uriah Heep.) They are regarded as one of the best live groups from the so-called "classic" heavy metal bands and are also considered pioneers of the heavy metal ballad style. They will be releasing their final studio album, "Sting In The Tail" later this year with a worldwide farewell tour to follow.

Scorpions - "Rock You Like A Hurricane"
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The Rockstar Ramblings: Howling and Smoking Hash

This week Axl Rose (Guns N Roses) and Slash traded tweets via Twitter related to getting the band back together. Slash started with a post related to putting together a concert to help the effort in Haiti. Axl took this to mean to put back the original GNR lineup and blasted Slash for using this tragedy as an excuse. Slash responded, clarifying his intent of raising money with a concert of many bands, not reuniting GNR. Always needing the last word it is rumored that Axl then followed up with a tweet that said simply: OK… More...

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Tales From The Pit: Sea-Sick w/o the Cruise Ship

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week’s story is from Henri Sattler of God Dethroned:

"We played Quito (Ecuador) on the South American part of our War Propaganda World Tour 2009 and there we had a slamming pit in which the whole crowd was participating. I felt like we were playing on a floating island since the whole stage was moving from its place! Even the sound desk moved from one place to another in the venue. Amps tumbling over, etc. I was the biggest madness I’ve ever experienced in my life on stage, and i was happy to leave the stage with all my teeth being in my mouth still..."

God Dethroned was recently confirmed for Austria's Kaltenbach Open Air 2010 festival and has an extensive US tour planned with Overkill, Vader, Evile, Warbringer and Woe of Tyrants early this year as well.

Check back every Tuesday for more tales from the pit.

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Sunday Old School: Bolt Thrower

Bolt Thrower is seemingly one of the more forgotten bands when it comes to looking at the history of the British death metal and grindcore scene. They were formed in the city of Coventry in September 1986 and went on to release their debut album, "In Battle There Is No Law," in 1988 through Vinyl Solution Records. Unsatisfied with their record deal, the band moved over to Earache Records, which housed many of their contemporaries such as Napalm Death and Cathedral. Bolt Thrower struck up a deal with British model store Games Workshop and the chain store's main artist, with the band giving away a free record with the store's magazine, White Dwarf. In return, Games Workshop did the band's artwork for free for their next album, "Realm Of Chaos."

Since then, Bolt Thrower has continued to perform live and record new albums, although some speculate that the band may never record another album again, given how satisfied they were with their latest album, "Those Once Loyal." The band stated that they always planned to stop releasing albums once they felt they had recorded the "perfect Bolt Thrower album," a feeling they seemed to have secured with "Those Once Loyal." Bolt Thrower remains a big influence on modern death metal and deathcore, with German deathcore act Heaven Shall Burn naming their debut EP "In Battle There Is No Law" after the band's first album.

Bolt Thrower - "The IVth Crusade"
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The Rockstar Ramblings: Too Tired to Row?

Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) will be co-hosting (with Kerri Kasem ) “The Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx”, a radio show that will play rock music and promises a look inside the life of a rock star. No word yet on how “Tattoo Corner, a Look at Nikki’s tats” will play out on the radio…Ramon Sampson beat out Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), and John Tempestra (The Cult) in the Guitar Center DRUM OFF in L.A. this past week, answering the age old question: What do drummers do in the winter months when not on tour?... More...

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Tales From The Pit: Primordial On Pit Justice

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week’s story is from Alan Averill Nemtheanga, frontman of Primordial:

"During the last show of the Paganfest Tour in LA in the pit some fucker was giving me the finger for the whole first half of the show, why you would go pay into a band to do that is beyond me. He was wearing a Dimmu shirt if I remember correctly so no doubt that says something about his taste in music. Maybe I fucked his girlfriend, sister or mother or something when she was on holidays in Ireland who knows? So I called him out on it and told him it was no problem to meet after the show and I would kick his fucking head in. 18 hole gettagrips got to be used for something right? Well I didn't need to as, as soon as the next track started he got hauled into the pit by some Irish boys and they kicked his ass big time. That made me smile, and here's me thinking Metal had lost it's edge o)..."

Primordial recently posted a new trailer online for their forthcoming new DVD release, "All Empires Fall." Meanwhile, the extreme metal side project Blood Revolt that Nemtheanga handles vocals for will enter the studio to record their debut album this winter.

Check back every Tuesday for more tales from the pit.

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Sunday Old School: Thin Lizzy

On January 4th 1986, the world of hard rock lost one of it's greatest figures and heavy metal lost one of it's biggest influences in the form of Phillip Parris Lynott, the lead vocalist and bass player of Thin Lizzy, when he passed away from multiple organ failure at the age of thirty six. Lynott has since been remembered for being one of, if not the best, lyricist in heavy music, drawing much inspiration from poetry and Irish folklore and is constantly mentioned as one of the best frontmen of all time, easily contending for the title along with Bon Scott, Freddie Mercury and Mick Jagger. You only have to listen to "Live And Dangerous", a classic in the field of live albums, to hear how well Lynott could work the audience. The line "Is there anybody here with a bit of Irish in them? ... Is there any girls out there who'd like a bit more Irish in them?" from this record has gone down as one of the most memorable quotes in music history. He was well known for living the rock and roll lifestyle which included drink, drugs and sex as main ingredients, so much so that after he passed away, a doctor reportedly said "He died from a lifestyle." Sex and Drugs and Rock & Roll may have been a song by Ian Dury, but no-one personified it quite like Phil Lynott.

Phil Lynott joined Thin Lizzy in December 1969, along with his friend Brian Downey. The two performed together as part of the band Orphanage and were spotted by organ player Eric Wrixon and guitarist Eric Bell, who were previously members of the famous band Them, fronted by the legendary Van Morrison. Bell and Wrixon approached Lynott and Downey after Orphanage finished playing their set and suggested they form a band together, which was agreed on the condition that Lynott also play bass guitar and that they would perform some of his own compositions. This lineup would release only one record, a single entitled "The Farmer" through EMI. The single only sold 283 copies and has since become a rare collectors item. Following from this commercial failure, Wrixon left Thin lizzy to return to Them, leaving the band as a three piece. Thin Lizzy soldiered on and signed to Decca Records in 1970, releasing their self-titled debut album the next year. The album sold fairly well and the band followed with the much more Celtic orientated album, "Shades Of A Blue Orphanage" in March of 1972. Neither of the bands first two albums found a place in the charts but they received a high profile support slot when they were invited to tour with the hugely popular Slade and Suzi Quatro later that year.

The band tasted their first chart success soon afterwards when Decca Records, against the band's wishes, released their cover of the Irish ballad "Whiskey In The Jar." The single topped the Irish charts and entered the U.K. charts at number six, leading to their first appearance on the revered show, Top Of The Pops. The band were not quite as succesful with their next singles which only entered the Irish charts. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Cartoon Rock Network

Taking a page out of the KISS “How to Market Your Band” book, Def Lepard is moving into the world of cartoons. Here’s a look at a few others that may be in productions soon…

SUPER NINJA VAN HALEN BROTHERS: They eat pizza with M&M’s (no brown ones allowed) and solve crimes. Each with their own super powers: Eddie plays his guitar and bad dudes become distracted by the sound, Alex uses his drum sticks to perform beat downs, Michael strokes his beard to gain super strength, and David, of course, conquers his enemies with karate kicks. A cartoon of good vs. evil with a lesson taught at the end. The lesson is always we may not like each other, but damn we are good when we work together. More...

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Tales From The Pit: Korpiklaani Averts Disaster

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week’s story is from Finnish folk metal band Korpiklaani:

"Generally, an audience has been very positive and in good mood at our shows, likely because of the fact that our music is pretty enjoyable and lively. For this reason, we have barely experienced anything serious because of moshpits during the concerts. Usually we would remember if something negative occurred and unfortunately something like that has happened for a couple of times. The only time, when our playing was interrupted during the song took place in London, while playing there for our first time.

"The venue was entirely filled with crowd. A lack of security barrier was another difficulty. In addition there were not any kind of security personnel between the audience and the stage. Immediately after starting the gig, I noticed that the front line of the audience was seriously suffering. The behaviour of some of the persons in the front row was too aggressive, as well. For the violent behaviour, I was forced to give a short notice to the audience, without any effect.
While a particular period of time during the concert, I recognized a woman falling to the ground, being under a pressure of others peoples' legs. This occurrence was followed by a really aggressive attack towards the surrounding people, made by this woman's partner.

"We stopped playing. I grasped the woman in the hand in order to pull her onto the stage and finally to the backstage. The woman was absolutely shocked and she had hurt herself severely. The security personnel still didn't lift a finger and were not interested in having control of the front line. Subsequently, the band started trying to get the violent fight stopped in the frontline. The fight wasn't stopped until bringing the partner of that woman from the audience through the stage to the backstage.

"After our concert, the couple was already drinking beer at our backstage, with pleasure. They were extremely grateful for what we had done to save them from a disturbing situation. Sometimes we were told that people have been hospitalized because of the moshpits. Broken
legs, etc. have been occurred. Fortunately we have succeeded in avoiding bigger dangers throughout the years."

Korpiklaani will be touring the US on the latest installment of Paganfest and plans to record a new album in 2010.

Check back every Tuesday for more tales from the pit.

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