K.K. Downing, Glenn Tipton, and Mike Araiza

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You ever have one of those friends where your conversations end up very cerebral? Mine is my good friend Mike Araiza. We were talking on the phone the other day and right out of left field Mike brought up the classic Judas Priest record British Steel. We then proceeded to discuss the twin guitar assault that was K. K. Downing and Glenn Tipton.

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If you were a metal head and a guitar geek in 1980 British Steel was your wet dream. From the opening notes of “Breaking The Law” to the closing of “Steeler” K.K. and Glenn killed it. Mike and I discussed the merits of other twin guitar bands like Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy and such and came to the conclusion that no other band completely nailed it like Judas Priest. I remember when my guitar playing metalheads would play Priest records for hours upon hours trying to learn and replicate these guitar gods. We all even tried to emulate the look of these two heroes. K.K. and Glenn each had their own distinct style of playing each unique in their own way, and yet they complimented each other perfectly.

Mike and I discussed the depth and structure of British Steel as an album. If one takes the time and truly listens to the construction of this classic record you can hear and feel the music they were trying to share with us. Mind you this record was made in analog so careful thought and planning was executed in order to develop this sonic masterpiece. I still have a vinyl copy in my collection.

When you have some free time grab a decent pair of headphones, shut off the world, and get yourself lost in the guitar work of K.K. and Glen on British Steel. It’s a headtrip worth taking. As usual thanks Mike for the friendship and conversations. I look forward to seeing more of them right here on the Hellion Rocks.

 

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s Rock N’ Roll!

-the Hellion

The bassists of Metallica, my thoughts and opinions

A conversation arose today at work about Metallica. This lead to talking about the various bassists that have been in the band. This conversation got me thinking and has led me to write my thoughts and opinions down.

Ron McGovney – 1982: Ron was the original bassist for Metallica. There are very few recordings of Ron with the band. It is said he left the band due to conflicts with band members. You can hear Ron if you are lucky enough to have Metal Massacre Volume 1. This, by the way, is a great record.  Ron left the band and closed his chapter with Metallica.

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Cliff Burton – 1982 to 1986: Cliff Burton will always be my favorite Metallica bassist. It is my opinion that Cliff brought a sense of heaviness to the band. He was that “cool guy” that everyone wanted to be or that guy that we all wanted to hang out with, and the one that your parents wouldn’t approve of. The records Cliff made with Metallica remain my favorites. Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets, are Metallica at its finest. Cliff had such a presence and skill about him. He inspired a lot of musicians in his time. Unfortunately the world lost Cliff on 09/27/86 (my 22nd birthday by the way). Thank you Cliff for the music you left with us.

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Jason Newsted – 1986 to 2001:  Jason had some pretty big shoes to fill, and grieving band members to contend with.   The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited, …And Justice For All, Metallica, Load, and Reload are the studio albums Jason made with the band. In my opinion after …And Justice For All the band headed in a direction that began to alienate their hardcore fans. I feel Jason was grossly under appreciated during his time with Metallica. I was familiar with Jason from his previous band  Flotsam And Jetsam and was impressed with his playing. Unfortunately things didn’t work out with Jason and Metallica and they parted ways. Jason is currently killing it with his new band Newsted which showcases his talents.

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Robert Trujillo – 2003 to present: Robert has always been one of my favorite bassists. However, not for Metallica (I know, I know, a bold statement.) Rob has only recorded one studio album, Death Magnetic. Rob is a seasoned bassist, I first heard of him with Suicidal Tendencies. Wow! I was hooked instantly by his style and stage presence. Infectious Grooves, Jerry Cantrell, Black Label Society,Glenn Tipton, Mass Mental? Ozzy, Robert got around. I was, however, disappointed when I heard of his joining Metallica. I just feel that his style and presence does not lend anything to Metallica (again, this is just my opinion).

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Well, there you have it. My opinions on the bassists of Metallica. Not dragging anyone through the mud just voicing my thoughts. I think that Metallica has evolved as the members have grown and experienced life changes. While there is nothing wrong with this, they have grown into a band that no longer interests me. Their new music does not attract me in the least.

I am interested in your thoughts, please chime in and leave some feedback!

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!

– the Hellion