Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Old Men Talking

The following is the transcript of a conversation between Umlaut and some of his buddies from back in the S.F. Metal Days of the 80's. Although we now live all over the globe (from S.F. to L.A. to the Czech Republic), modern technology enables us to be like old men sitting on the porch, talking about crap that happened over 20 years ago that no one else cares about...

Umlaut: Anvil Chorus Reunion. Next Friday at Annie’s Social Club (formerly CW Saloon)...

Tour Manager Doug: Opening for Yngwie.

Umlaut: Actually opening for Stone Vengeance... Same vintage. It's Rampage Radio's 24th Anniversary gig. The ghost of Baloff is rumored to be making an appearance to scream and then fall over.

Tour Manager Doug: What about Ruffians?

Umlaut: Perhaps in spirit... Erik? Any insight ;) But if Laaz Rockit shows up I'm walking right out the door and back to the 21st Century..

Tour Manager Doug: I vote for Violation.

Umlaut: I'm throwing in Steele and raising you a Griffin. Trivia: The only time I've been handcuffed by cops was in Danville on the way to a Violation show - Summer 1982... Also in cuffs that night: Andy Anderson and Chris Scaparro. As John M. will agree.. Violation shoulda had a hit single with "Fellatio"... and a hit live video of that song when the guitarist would perform said word on his Flying-V.. I actually have pics of him doing that. Need to climb into that attic and find 'em.

Tour Manager Doug: The Violation pix don't sound nearly as much fun as those of the Terrible Trio in cuffs...

Old Metal Erik: Can I get a Head On? Hari Kari, Trauma, Tyrant, Roadrunner, Dammaj??!! C'mon, old men...there hafta be a few more honorable mentions. I like this game. It's like Metal Monday Poker. I fold. I remember the Violation guy (Paul Harris??) with the 'Flying-V' cunnilingus! Ha! Anyone remember Hans Naughty's box of stage props? Like the book of nursery rhymes for 'Little Bo Creep'. Who knows, maybe they inspired the 'Dice Man'. I also remember a Steele song that had a middle section that went 'tick, tock, tick, tock'. Too funny. I will be asking Scaparro about the Danville PD later today! Metal Geritol.

Rich Hellhound: I had completely erased the memory of Hans Naughty from my mind. It took years of intense and expensive therapy to do so. Now, I'm remembering the boa constrictor, and the time I ran into the guitarist at a house party, immediately following a gig where my friends and I were at the front of the stage, heckling them (they were opening for a real band, can't remember who).

Umlaut: I'll be surprised if Scaparro remembers that night.. but it involved open beers in a car and underage drinkers. Walt Rogers was also cuffed that night. In hindsight I can't believe we went through all of that because of Violation (we didn't make it to the show). Of course, Hans Naughty's biggest claim to fame is opening for Metallica at The Stone and having all of us down front turn our backs on them while they played.... An event that Hetfield recounted in the Metallica: Behind The Music episode..

Old Metal Erik: Ha! You refer to the night they replaced Cirith Ungol (or was it Pandemonium) on the 'Metal Blade' show, headlined by Bitch. I remember it well. Same treatment we gave Steeler at the Old Waldorf when Yngwie wasn't doing a solo. Same treatment we gave Ranger when they opened Motorhead's first S.F. show. My friend John actually tossed a half-eaten bologna through the mic hole in the bass drum, and the real entertainment was watching the bologna flap with each kick of the drum. Good times.

Rich Hellhound: It's all coming back now; we went to a house party at Jenny Raisler's after the show. Hans Naughty's guitarist was there, looked at us and said, "Oh look, Van Halen fans", then walked away. James and Lars destroyed Jenny's bathroom later that night. A good time was had by all. It's funny how, over the years, I'll run into people who were at that show. After recounting the part about Hans Naughty's zero audience response, and the Metallica fans with their backs turned at the front of the stage, they say, "That was you?!" I'm proud to respond, "Yes, it was".

Umlaut: I remember now too! WTF.... Jenny Raisler... Egads.... Another Y&T fanatic... Egads. I need to interact with something from the 21st Century right now...

Tour Manager Doug: Didn't Jenny end up working for Dio as a photog? Where is Walt Rogers?

Old Metal Erik: A good friend reminds me that besides Jenny's bathroom, the 'Tallica boys also burned some of her original Y&T photos. Oooooo, so metal!

Rich Hellhound: I remember she was crying, but then she always was. Like the time she tried to get into Dio's tour bus in Antioch, 1983. She cried until someone felt sorry for her, and let her see him.

John: To all the back-turners at The Stone: your status in my eyes has been elevated to even greater heights! I had NO idea that was you. Awesome.

Umlaut: I'm not going to post anything until Mr. Schmidt and his photographic memory contributes to this from the Czech Republic...

Tour Manager Doug: His memory is quite amazing, isn't it?

Umlaut: Yah... she ended up doing official photography for Dio.. For some reason I had a flashback to talking to her at the Girlschool show at The Old Waldorf and how she was raving about Motley Crue, who she’d seen at The Waldorf a week or so before. I was like, uhhh, they suck.

Brad: Dang!!! Ya'll have been busy bees on this thread. Thanks for the memory props, though in this case it won't help much as I was not at the famous "backs turned" to Hawns Noddy event. I did however hear the story told many times by different people, some on this thread, a few not, and a couple no longer with us.(Rich Birch and a guy once in a band called Insanity c. 1985, Joe DeZuniga)

I can toss out a couple names for the "poker" game to conjure an Old Waldorf memory or two.. how about the Mike Varney led Cinema "Rockin the USA"; I remember the beleagured Tourist opening for Raven/Metallica at the Stone. The keyboards did little to win the audience over. Then they began playing and the the crowds staggering indifference was a stark juxtaposition to the buzz in the room that night. Someone mentioned Griffin already, so all I got left is Wild Dogs from Portland. Wasn't there an all-black group called Harvey too?

Guitarmony, Blue Flames in Hell, and if Doug Piercy is in the mix maybe a morphed Anvil Chorus into Control song from the Turk Street demos. Long before it was "Death by Hanging" on a Heathen record, that song was on the last Control demo recorded in 1985 when Mr. Piercy had joined the band.

Seeing these names brings back memories of looking in the Pink Section first thing Sunday morning (sometimes while still winding down from the night before) for the new show listings. I can almost smell the newsprint and two hour old coffee on the burner.

Tour Manager Doug: Harvey! I saw them the same night I saw Winterhawk. Winterhawk were great! I don't want to go where there is no rock n' roll - chanted over an indian (like cowboys and indians) beat. And what was the all black trio that opened at Day in the Dirt? Black Metal? They played before the doors opened, did Venom covers and a couple originals if I remember correctly. Wild Dogs. Opened for Slayer and Metal Church in Portland on my first 'tour'. What a night that was. Slayer spent the night at my parents and at KJ's parents on our way north. No destruction at either residence. Those were the days, I'm not sure if I prefer the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne over The Doughton residence in Roseburg, although the private jet to DC was more comfortable than Kerry's van to Olympia.

Umlaut: I saw Winterhawk open for Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush at The Kabuki.... one of THE worst shows I've ever seen only because Marino played SO LOUD you couldn't appreciate him at all. Wild Dogs.. After all these years I will now admit that I claimed to like them only because they were friends with K.J.. When the balding chunky singer came onstage wearing eyeliner..... Egads.

Rich Hellhound: Stone Vengeance. My band Hellhound played with them a couple of times at Ruthie's. They loved it when we played "Killers", and used to bug us to play it.

Umlaut: Stone Vengeance.. Which brings this whole thread full circle!

Old Metal Erik: Harvey! All brothers, literally, if I remember correctly. Donnie Harvey used to be in Automatic Man with Pat Thrall and Michael Shrieve.

On the subject of brothers, Stone Vengeance was genius for covering 'Black Metal'. Most people never got the joke. Mike Coffee is a great guy, and I'm glad they are still going. Maybe I'll suggest that they cover 'Black Coffee'.

How about Togetherness? Not exactly metal, but a great Hendrix tribute from those days.

Nobody has brought up Thunderhead, Jon Torres' pre-Warning band from the Sunset District with my favorite W.P.O.D. Carl Stevens on lead vox. On that note, anyone remember gigs at the Boston Pizzeria? Once saw a band there called Blitzkrieg, and we heckled them mercilessly for not knowing of Brian Ross and co.

Control! There were actually two, one from the city and the other an AC/DC-type thing from the East Bay with Craig Behrhorst on guitar. Back to Ruffians! Did somone say "full circle"? The former was fronted by the maniacal Ed Bull, who left rock for law, and is now a partner at Banning Micklow. I work for the U.S. Courts and recently came across his name on some legal pleadings. I made contact and he has promised me a CD of old Control stuff. 'Impact', 'God Of War', 'Lay Down The Law', and the classic 'Die Ricky Die' - about Rick Condran (ex-Metal Church?? JM, can you confirm?) who is still a bike messenger and comes into my office on occassion.

Man, we could go on forever. You all rock! Priceless memories!!!!

Brad: Ed Bull made partner!! Good on him, I always wondered how that would work out. Last time I saw him was about 10 years ago looking haggard on CalTrain drinking a beer out of a brown bag -- which is actually allowed and pretty usual on CalTrain. At least it used to be. He got out in Burlingame and I never approached him because he looked legitimately beat and not up for the extra stimulus.

"Die Rickey Die" was about Rick Condran according to what I heard back then. The legend of that tale of jealousy had better shelf life than the jealousy itself though. I think within a year or so they'd put that feud to rest, or at least called a truce. The song was renamed "Trap is Set" later on, though the "Die Rickey die!" refrain remained. The Mab show recording I have of Control is actually much better sound quality then the two demos. Tom Christie still is in search of the masters which probably don't exist.

In my Metal Vault back in the Bay I still have the set list off the amp from Control's opening for "Kill 'Em All", a "Metal for Mondale and the Homeless" flyer from a concert at Vailencourt Plaza during the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 1984, and of course the t-shirt of Control in clown garb with the caption "it's lots of fun.. till the blood starts to run." Pranks!

Big Wayne: With all the band talk, I'm reminded of some of the personalities that were fixtures back then. Anyone know what happened to the woman who brought a sketchpad to shows and draw the band as they were playing. I swear she was at every Mab, Berkeley Square and Ruthies event. Then there was the dancing caveman at the stadium shows....

Old Metal Erik: The "sketch-pad chick" was Diane Sciaca (sp? pronounced "Schocka"), and she was a nice person, who I met through the Jetboy guys. I always wondered what her handicap was. I actually looked through her sketchpad one night...weird stuff. She also used to dress up like Gene Simmons, and actually looked like him, only a hundred pounds heavier. The "dancing caveman" was about the best! I would love a sighting of that freak. Does anyone remember a strange little troll of a metal chick who used to go by "Snap"? I actually still see her strolling Market Street.

Umlaut: Wow... I'd completely forgotten about the sketchpad chick... BUT I've seen the Dancing Caveman as recently as 2004 at Metallica @ The Shark Tank in San Jose!! I couldn't believe it... Same fur shorts and fur boots (no shirt) and everything.. It was like a time machine.

The Old Metal HQ: Ruthie's Inn, Berkeley, CA
(Pic by Big Wayne)

Note: Click HERE to find out what all of that babbling was about.

ADDED 4/17/06

Craig: I can't recall how I originally found your site, but I found it in the bookmarks of the Firefox browser I rarely use (I'm on Maxthon). Anyway, I enjoyed the "Old Men Talking" thread. Why? Because I was "in the scene" back in the '80s - deep into the underground 'zine and tape scene. I'm 37 now, and back from around late '86 - '90 I ran a college radio show on 89.7 WEOS-FM in Geneva, NY (upstate in the Finger Lakes region). I started a few months before Exodus released "Pleasures." And then came the fantastic Bay Area onslught: Heathen, Vio-lence, Testament, Forbidden (Evil), Death Angel, Sadus, and even the first Mordred album. I received several demos, such as Wasted Morality, Potential Threat, Mercenary, and the Violence demo right before they signed with Mechanic. Through tape trading I got the Legacy demo, and by also writing to bands I got the albums (vinyl) from Tyrannicide, Sadus (when Chemical Exposure was Illusions), and Attitude (Adjustment).

My show was every Saturday from 9:00 pm until 1:00 or 2:00 and was a mix of thrash, death, speed and, eventually, grind. The Bay Area bands were played every week. I think I played "Raging Waters," "COTLOD," "Eternal Nightmare," "Bodies On Bodies," "Fabulous Disaster," "And Then There Were None," "Goblin's Blade," dozens upon dozens of times. Still own most of the CDs up to around 1990 when I went away to college. Unfortunately, I sold most of my records, but I may still have Tyrannicide somewhere, as well as Attitude. My buddy Joe took over the show and still does it to this day. I gave him my demo collection and he burned most of them to CD. Imagine hearing Legacy on an upstate NY college station in 2004. But Zet's voice ruled, though I did (do) like Chuck's guttural vocals quite a bit (e.g., the end of COTLOD). Played vinyl, too, and had the Ruthie's Inn record. Gutter Slut was a mess, but fun to play next to the well-produced Eternal Nightmare album.

Saw many of 'em in concert, too, in either Syracuse or Rochester (Testament on both First Tour Is Deadly and New Order, Violence for Eternal Nightmare where they'd lost one of their bass drums, Exodus on the Pleasures tour with M.O.D., etc.)

Anyway, thanks for the mosh down memory lane. Man, now I need me some Raging Waters.

Here's a random topic for discussion: New Renaissance Records.


Umlaut says: Thanks Craig! Too bad we didn't meet back in The Day, but better late than never, brutha. As Exodus and Baloff once said "Bonded by blood!"