Who doesn’t know “Eye of the Tiger” that iconic song of Rocky 3? Today I had the privilege to talk with one of the co-writers Jim Peterick.
Jim’s home base has always been The Ides Of March, where Jim wrote and sang the evergreen hit “Vehicle”. The Ides began their journey in 1964, and continue today as a vital, touring act; featuring all the original members. In the seventies, Jim combined his love for melody and driving rock with the band Survivor. Their phenomenal rise to the top was borne on the back of the amazing songs Jim co-wrote. “The Eye Of The Tiger” from the film “Rocky III” has become an indelible classic, and garnered Jim Grammy and People’s Choice awards; as well as an Oscar nomination. Other Billboard chart-toppers followed, including “The Search Is Over,” “High On You,” and “I Can’t Hold Back.” Further hits from films followed, “Burning Heart” from “Rocky IV” topped the charts and Jim co-wrote the theme of the seminal animation classic “Heavy Metal” with Sammy Hagar.
A long-lasting and fruitful relationship started in 1980 between Jim and the Southern-rock group, .38 Special. Jim co-wrote their platinum hits “Hold On Loosely,” “Caught Up In You,” “Wild-Eyed Southern Boys,” “Fantasy Girl,” and “Rockin’ Into The Night.” Jim has also written with the beloved Lynyrd Skynyrd, and their collaboration continues to this day.
Dedicated to Patrick Westerink, many hours did we listen to Jim’s music.
Blue Murder were an English rock band led by guitarist-vocalist John Sykes. The group was formed in 1987 following Sykes’s dismissal from Whitesnake. The initial line-up was rounded out by bassist Tony Franklin and drummer Carmine Appice. In its nascent stage, vocalist Ray Gillen and drummer Cozy Powell were attached to the project. In 1989, Blue Murder released their self-titled debut album, which cracked the Billboard 200 chart and spawned a minor hit with “Jelly Roll”. By the early 1990s, however, Blue Murder’s music had fallen out of fashion with the popularity of grunge. Franklin and Appice left the band, while Sykes put together a new line-up and released Nothin’ But Trouble in 1993. After a live album the following year, Blue Murder were dropped by their record label and broke-up. Since then there have been numerous attempts to reunite the band to no avail.
It truly was a super band with great pedigree rock musicians. There best song was by far “Valley of the Kings”
Papa Roach are celebrating 23 years of their legendary album Infest, which was released April 25, 2000. One of the many songs on the album is “Last Resort,”
Papa Roach vocalist Jacoby Shaddix described the song as a “cry for help”. He also said “That song was about one of my best friends, and then 12–13 years later, that song was about me. I found myself in that place, where I was like, ‘I can’t go on this way. I can’t do it anymore.'” Shaddix said that “Last Resort” is about a roommate he had who tried to commit suicide. Shaddix then said: “We caught him and took him to the hospital and he went into a mental facility and then he came out the other side better. He actually found God through the process, which was kind of crazy. So he’s on a whole different path of his life now, which is cool. I’m really proud of him for the changes he’s made in his life.
You probably think this is going to be a bout Finland’s finest ,Lordi, but you’d be wrong. It is going to be Denmark’s mega band ‘Mabel’ , ok mega band might be a bit of an exaggeration.
Mabel entered the Eurovision in 1978,in Paris, with the song ‘Boom Boom’ where they received a well deserved 13 points, earning them the 16th place out of 20.
The band name Mabel changed a few times. In 1978 Mabel moved to Spain and became ‘Studs’, releasing a debut self-titled album in 1981 and then moved to New York City and became Danish Lions in 1982. After recording demos, the band returned home to Denmark, however, Leader singer Michael Trempenau, who had changed his name to Michael Tramp, decided to remain in the USA. He met guitarist Vito Bratta and the pair decided to form a band named ‘White Lion’
Mike Tramp clearly wanted to put the Eurovision embarrassment behind him, and decided to go a different musical direction.
Their debut album Fight to Survive in 1985. The band achieved success with their No. 8 hit “Wait” and No. 3 hit “When the Children Cry” from their second album, the double platinum selling Pride. The band continued their success with their third album, Big Game which achieved Gold status and their fourth album Mane Attraction which included a supporting tour.
One of my favourite songs of all time is “When the Children cry” .However there is another of their songs I want to focus on.
“Cry for Freedom” is a political song about apartheid in South Africa and was one of many songs from the band that addressed social or political issues such as uprising to oppression. It is from the 1989 album ‘Big Game’
“Still Loving You” is a power ballad by the German hard rock band Scorpions. It was released in June 1984 as the second single from their ninth studio album, Love at First Sting (1984). The song reached number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was most successful in Europe, reaching the top 5 in several countries.
In an interview with Songfacts, Rudolf Schenker explained, “It’s a story about a love affair, where they recognized it may be over, but let’s try again”
“I came up with the composition’s melody and everything. It took about six years of trying to get the song somehow on the album. Matthias Jabs came in with the guitar part, and the feeling was immediately right, so Klaus (Meine) noticed it was right. Therefore, he wanted to write something very special. He told me about how one day he went out into the fields in the snow, and it was then that he came up with the lyrics. He came back home and threw them down, and here we are. It’s a story about a love affair where they recognized it may be over, but let’s try again. It’s the old story; always the old story. I mean, what can we use? We can’t reinvent the wheel. What we always do, is say something which has already been said many times, in our own way.”
Once I had a discussion with a friend. She told me that she didn’t like Heavy Metal, she only liked classical music. I asked her if she had ever listened to Heavy Metal? Because if she had , she would probably would have heard that Metal and Classical are really not that different, The only difference is the choice of instruments and the number of musicians.
I advised her to listen to Yngwie J Malmsteen. A Swedish Heavy Metal Guitarist who is a classically trained musician.
Concerto for Group and Orchestra is a live album by Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Malcolm Arnold, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in September 1969. It consists of a concerto composed by Jon Lord, with lyrics written by Ian Gillan. This is the first full length album to feature Ian Gillan on vocals and Roger Glover on bass. It was released on vinyl in December 1969.
These were just 2 examples, there are a great number of Metal bands whose basis lie in Classical music.
When it comes to heavy metal it probably doesn’t get better then this. It is the forgotten Live Aid project.
Hear ‘n Aid was a charity record recorded by a large ensemble of 40 heavy metal musicians and released in 1986. The project was organized by Ronnie James Dio, Jimmy Bain, and Vivian Campbell, all from the band Dio. Proceeds from the album were used to raise money for famine relief in Africa.
The 40 musicians were gathered together by Dio and recorded the single “Stars” together; the rest of the album was filled out with eight other tracks, several of which were contributed by artists who were on tour and unable to attend and participate in the mass recording session. A music video was released as well, produced during the recording sessions.
The credits list for “Stars,” which was spearheaded by the late Ronnie James Dio, reads like a who’s-who of ‘80s metal.
Eric Bloom (Blue Öyster Cult) Ronnie James Dio (Dio) Don Dokken (Dokken) Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot) Rob Halford (Judas Priest) Dave Meniketti (Y&T) Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt) Geoff Tate (Queensrÿche)
Tommy Aldridge (Ozzy Osbourne) Dave Alford (Rough Cutt) Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge/King Kobra) Vinny Appice (Dio) Jimmy Bain (Dio) Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot) Mick Brown (Dokken) Vivian Campbell (Dio) Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot) Amir Derakh (Rough Cutt) Buck Dharma (Blue Öyster Cult) Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) Craig Goldy (Giuffria) Chris Hager (Rough Cutt) Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P.) Blackie Lawless (W.A.S.P.) George Lynch (Dokken) Yngwie Malmsteen Mick Mars (Mötley Crüe) Michael McKean (in character, and credited as David St. Hubbins of Spinal Tap) Vince Neil (Mötley Crüe) Ted Nugent Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister) Jeff Pilson (Dokken) Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot) Claude Schnell (Dio) Neal Schon (Journey) Harry Shearer (in character, and credited as Derek Smalls of Spinal Tap) Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge) Matt Thorr (Rough Cutt)
Lead guitar solos 1st solo:
Craig Goldy (Giuffria) Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister) 2nd solo:
Dave Murray (Iron Maiden) Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) Bass
Jimmy Bain (Dio) Drums
Vinny Appice (Dio) Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot)
Claude Schnell (Dio)
Enjoy the full 10 minutes.
Yahoo Entertainment spoke to Mark Weiss, Ronnie James Dio’s widow Wendy Dio, and publicist Sharon Weisz, who oversaw the project. “Stars” is clearly the metal gift that keeps on giving.
Sharon: The [Los Angeles radio station] KLOS event that sparked all of this was a radiothon for African famine relief over the weekend of Feb. 22, 1985. That’s when [Dio band members] Vivian [Campbell] and Jimmy [Bain] decided that the metal community could do something as well. … Everyone was talking about “We Are the World” and raising money for Africa, and they started talking about how were no metal people on that record.
Wendy: I think that they wanted to get together with “We Are the World,” but as musicians with “dirty nasty heavy metal people,” they didn’t want us to do anything with them. So we decided to do our own thing.
Mark: I think at that period of time, 1985 — I went to the PMRC hearings with Dee Snider, [protesting] against the stickers that PMRC did with the records labels. And so that period right there was really like, we were shunned upon. There was the thing with Judas Priest, a suicide that people tried to blame on the music. So I think [other charity singles] made a conscious decision just to stay away from us because they felt that lyrically, some of [the artists] were a little dark. And, you know, they really weren’t. …Like Ozzy’s “Suicide “Solution” wasn’t about killing yourself, it was a reference to the alcohol-related death of his friend Bon Scott. But anyway, I think because of all the press, all the tabloid shows, all the court cases, I don’t think they wanted [metal acts] to be attached.
Wendy: I think hard rock and heavy metal have always been stigmatized by the other people. They’re like, “Oh no, we don’t anything to do you!”
Mark: We just wanted to help. Don’t let us not help because of what we write about! Everyone talked about how we want people to know that we’re not bad guys and we really do want to help. I mean, there was no reason not to.
Sharon: So the three of us [Dio, Campbell, and Bain] just started talking and I said, “So, what — you wanna make a record?” We all went our separate ways that night, and they apparently called a few friends in the metal community and said, “What do you think?” And then they called me and said, “OK, we think we could get a bunch of people together and make a record. What do we do now?” … And they sat down that night and started writing a song, the three of them, which was cool.
Wendy: Ronnie was very intent. He had a lot on his head. He was the producer, the arranger, the writer, everything. So he was kind of really steeped into his business mode. … Ronnie being Ronnie, he was a control freak and he just took over, took off with it.
Sharon: Jimmy wanted to call it “Hearing Aid.” Wendy thought we were calling it “Hear in Aid,” which sounded more serious, but we settled on “Hear ‘N Aid,” like “rock ’n’ roll.”
Mark: If anyone were to pull it off, I don’t think anyone else was going to but Ronnie. … Ronnie was like the godfather of rock, pretty much. He was like a big brother, maybe even like a father figure, to a lot of these artists.
Sharon:so, I happened to represent Lindsey Buckingham, who was managed by a man named Michael Brokaw who worked for [music manager] Ken Kragen [who had worked on “We Are the World”]. So I called Michael to set up a meeting for us. I thought I wanted to meet with Ken. But Michael said, “No, you want to meet with Marty Rogol,” who actually was the head of USA for Africa. So he set up the meeting, and [Marty] explained how difficult it would be to make this record. And then he showed us the rough, rough video of “We Are the World,” sitting there in the office. We were looking at the TV, then looking at each other. And we left saying, “OK, I think we can do this.” And basically Marty gave us all of the vendors he gave us. Everybody that helped make the USA for Africa record, he gave us access to, otherwise we never could have done it. Marty really helped us structure the foundation and steered us toward people that had donated goods. We ended up with a half a million dollars in donated goods and services. … And by the way, the black backdrop used in the studio during the recording and filming of chorus on the first night was the black velvet stage curtains from Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage tour — borrowed by me.
I also thought we should reach out to Bob Geldof I reached out to Bob Geldof via “telex” — remember those? — which was how we reached out to a lot of people back then. And one morning I came in to the office, the phone rang, and it was Bob Geldof. He was asking a lot of questions about what we were doing and gave us his blessing, which was absolutely shocking. … When I told him what we were doing, he said “F***ing great!”… I remember he told me that he was about to make a big announcement about an event that was tied to Band Aid, which of course was the Live Aid concert.
This Hear ‘N Aid project then became my life for essentially about 18 months. I kept a diary of that entire time and used a lot of it to create the written promotional materials. The overarching vibe of my writing is that we weren’t being taken very seriously, but once we committed to making the record, there was no thought of going back. … The tracking session took place on April 1, 1985 at the late, great Sound City. In addition to having two drummers — Vinny Appice and Frankie Banali — there was also supposed to be another bass player besides Jimmy Bain and another guitarist besides Vivian Campbell. The two other musicians, Nikki Sixx and Brian May, were no-shows — in the not-taking-us-very-seriously vein.
Mark: Wendy gave me a call and said, “You’ve got to come out!” [for the May 20-21 sessions at Hollywood’s A&M Studios], because I was on the East Coast. I said, “Sure, it’d be an honor. Whatever you want to do with the photos, so it can help raise awareness and also rid this heavy metal stigma of the black sheep of the rock ‘n’ roll family, that would be nice too.” So they flew me out.
Sharon: Guitar solos were scheduled to be recorded at regular intervals during the first day of recording, May 20 — Neal Schon being first, around 12 noon. He called me at 6:30 a.m. to tell me he had the flu, and I apparently told him to go back to sleep and we would book him on a later flight — back when you could do that at will. When he did arrive much later that day, he entertained the troops with his impression of Bruce Springsteen singing on “We Are the World.”
Mark: For me as a photographer, I was like a kid in the candy store. It was like, anywhere I turned, I would have a photograph. Looking at the pictures now in the book, it’s amazing that I was able to capture those moments. It was a moment caught in time, as Ronnie James Dio would once say.
Sharon: Everyone was shockingly punctual. Dedicated! Virtually everyone arrived on time, some brought from the Holiday Inn by a Hollywood Fantasy Tours double-decker bus. Only Michael McKean was late, because he was shooting the film Clue at Paramount. He changed into Spinal Tap gear in the men’s room.
Wendy: I liked the Spinal Tap guys. I thought that was crazy that they came.
Mark: Spinal Tap were like the real stars there, you know. Everyone was swapping stories, because everything that happened in that movie has probably happened to at least half of those bands in real life.
Sharon: We thought they were perfect … How they got involved was, a woman named Harriet Sternberg managed them — and she worked for Ken Kragen.
Mark: I first met Spinal Tap when they did their first walk-on interview at MTV [a few months earlier]. They just said they were in this band from England and everyone went with the whole thing, and I thought they were a real band. I kind of schmoozed up to then, trying to, like, get a gig out of it! And then later on, I found out Michael was guy on Laverne & Shirley. So you know, they knew how to play the part. And when they walked into [A&M Studios], they were in character. They had their wigs on. I remember them being interviewed and I think one of his lines was, “This is like one big black leather metallic family,” when they asked him how he felt about being there.
Sharon: At 10 p.m., Ronnie prepared to rehearse the choir and appointed [Quiet Riot frontman] Kevin DuBrow to keep order, because he had “the loudest voice.”
Mark: I remember when they were doing the chorus and it was like 40 of them there, and Kevin was front and center, taking the stage, kidding around. He was a good guy, and a good friend of mine. Kevin at the time — and probably till the day he died, God rest his soul — people didn’t like him, because he always spoke his mind. He was the nicest guy, but he was the loudest guy. And to see him with all of these artists… not that he had any qualms with any of them, but you know, he always thought he was the best and that everyone didn’t give him credit for what he had done — which was really pave the way for a lot of rock bands as the first heavy metal band to go to No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. Credit where credit’s due, but he never got it.
Sharon: Ronnie was shocked that the choir actually sounded like one – remember, many of them were not singers — but he was concerned about the enunciation of “We’re stars”: “It’s not ‘we’re studs!’ It’s sounding more like ‘weird stars,’ which is probably true.” Rob Halford sang a full octave above everyone else.
Wendy: It was a real exciting time and there were no egos involved — everybody just wanted to do it to raise money for Africa. There was no rivalry. Everybody was there with their heart — as I find most musicians I know are, always there giving their heart with all of my charity work, and their time and their talent too.
Mark: That’s the beauty of this kind of music. There isn’t any rivalry. We didn’t need any [“Check your ego at the door”] signs [like the “We Are the World” session had], because everyone loved everyone. I mean, maybe once in a while one of them stole another person’s girlfriend or something, but that’s about it.
Sharon: Ken Kragen surprisingly showed up, because he felt like this was a continuation of something he had started, in a way. … When Ken arrived, everyone started singing “We Are the World” to him.
Mark: Everyone was there for hours and hours and hours. They stayed around even if they weren’t going to be playing, just to watch the other artists. It was a remarkable couple days. … Ronnie and Don Dokken, they went back a while, and I remember them playing off other, joking around. I think Don made some kind of a joke about one of Ronnie’s lyrics, like “Rainbow in the Dark,” because that’s so Ronnie James Dio — he always talks about rainbows. So Don put the lyric in there [“We all want to touch a rainbow”], just for a rainbow reference. And then Ronnie chuckled and said, “Hey, GQ is waiting for your photo shoot,” because Don was dressed up in a white suit, like really a GQ look. That was a good laugh there.
Sharon: “Stars” was finished and mastered in the following weeks, before Dio left on tour in early August 1985. … There were a couple of reasons [for its delayed release]. First of all, we were still hoping to add some additional people to the record. Like, the manager of Iron Maiden realized that he had probably made a mistake by not committing them to be part of the project. So members of Iron Maiden ended up doing one of the guitar parts, but they weren’t there for the chorus recording.
One of the people that we wanted to get was Jimmy Page. … A recording session in Philadelphia was set up for July 14 because Jimmy Page said he would record a guitar solo on the record the day after Live Aid. … [Led Zeppelin] was playing at Live Aid, and we’d gotten a commitment from his manager that he would do a guitar part if we could record it in Philadelphia. I found a recording studio to donate their staff to do this recording, and Ronnie and Wendy flew in. Then Jimmy decided not to do it. … He canceled that afternoon, after we all had arrived in Philadelphia. No reason given.
Wendy: Also, for all the people that were involved, you had to get releases from their record labels, from their management, from all that. That’s what takes time. It’s not the artists — the artists give their arm and leg for you. But you’ve got to deal with the business aspect of it.
Sharon: Wendy brought the project PolyGram and they wanted it, but they decided that it would do better if it was an album. And so then the process began of getting donated tracks, which in a funny way was a precursor to the Dio tribute album [This Is Your Life, which Wendy put together in 2014 to benefit Dio’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund]. We spent six months getting donated tracks to make the Hear ‘N Aid album, with the “Stars” track as the single. I don’t know if there had been another album like this, with donated tracks, at that point. … Phonogram/PolyGram was originally going to release it in September, but were going to re-release [Band Aid’s] “Do They Know it’s Christmas” at pretty much the same time, so they decided to delay.
Mark: It probably comes down to radio. … Let’s face it, a lot of the metal bands that got on the radio, it was with either a ballad or some more pop and commercial. “Stars” was just this really just a heavy metal song. Maybe it was just wasn’t meant to be a commercial song. … But I’m surprised it didn’t do well, to be honest with you. Why wouldn’t it, with all those people on it? Today it would have done good because of social media. Everyone would be blasting it out. But back then we just relied on a company to do it, and that company wasn’t behind it.
Sharon: It’s certainly possible that [the delay, with “Stars” not coming out until January 1986] took the momentum away. There was a lot of publicity going on around the recording. We had a press conference when we were done with it, and there was a big story in the L. A. Times. A lot of the music magazines had covered it too. … But there was probably a fundraising record every two or three months at that point.
Wendy: But we raised money, and we actually did a clever thing because I think “We Are the World” sent the money and a lot of money got eaten up by the government. We bought [farm] machinery and sent it to [Africa].
Sharon: Hear ‘N Aid raised $1.2 million, from record, video, and merch sales and direct donations.
(Kiss’s ‘Heaven’s on Fire’ is track 5 on the Hear ‘N’ Aid album)
Mark: I felt these photographs needed to be part of my book, because the book is a visual history of how hard rock and heavy metal kind of changed: Sabbath and Priest at Live Aid, Hear ‘N Aid, Farm Aid where Bon Jovi was at, the Moscow Peace Festival, the PMRC hearings.
Wendy: But that is the way of the metal world, isn’t it? We always get left behind, and it’s only the real true fans that are there, that are buying it or listening to it. If you ask any true metal fan, they know about Hear ‘N Aid. If you ask the mainstream, no, they don’t know about it. Because we’re not mainstream.
AC/DC will celebrate their 50th anniversary later this year. I was surprised to find out that their first singer wasn’t Bon Scott but, Dave Evans, Although he only recorded one song with the band.
He was the original lead singer for AC/DC in 1973–1974 and sang on their debut single and one other single shortly ,before being replaced by Bon Scott. Evans then went on to join the band Rabbit who were active into the early 1980s. He resumed a solo career shortly after the year 2000.
Dave recorded AC/DC’s first two singles, “Can I Sit Next To You Girl” and “Baby, Please Don’t Go”. But in October 1974, less than a year after AC/DC’s first gig, Evans was out of the band.
There you are minding your own business, enjoying a concert by a legendary rock band, Then suddenly some stupid with a flare gun burns the place to the ground. “Wait a minute” I can hear you all think “This and the title sounds very much like a song” and you would be right.
Deep Purple wrote a song inspired by an event which took place on December 4,1971 in Montreux, Switzerland. On December 4, 1971, Montreux Casino burned down during a concert by The Mothers of Invention after a fan had set the venue on fire with a flare gun. A recording of the outbreak and fire announcement can be found on a Frank Zappa Bootleg album titled Swiss Cheese/Fire!
Deep Purple, who had planned to record Machine Head at the venue were forced to find another recording location. They wrote the Rock classic ‘Smoke on the Water’ about the eventful day.
Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Inventions were performing “King Kong”, about 80 minutes into the show , when, during Don Preston’s synthesizer solo, someone shot off a flare gun. The flare hit the wooden roof and quickly spread.
“They were very organized,” Zappa said in an interview shortly after the fire. “I was just lucky that many of the fans]were able to speak English, because I didn’t know what to say to them in French.”
In an ironic coincidence, Zappa died on Dec. 4, 1993, the 22nd anniversary of the fire.
You must be logged in to post a comment.