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

ROCK ANTHEMS! WHERE ARE THE NEW ONES?

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Who remembers the Rock anthems of the past? The songs that made your heart pound, sing at the top of your lungs, and pound your fist to the sky? The songs of legend, the songs that were sent down from the Gods? I’m gonna   look at a few of those anthems. And ponder…where are the NEW anthems?

 

“We Will Rock You” – Queen

This song is so strong that I believe it will never fade into obscurity. Used at sporting events and the like it is a true rock anthem. I cherish this song and always have.

 

“Rock and Roll All Nite” – KISS

Some say this is the worldwide Rock N’ Roll anthem. I know it is said that Kiss wrote this exactly to be that. Another classic that will live forever.

 

“Denim And Leather” – Saxon

This perhaps is my favorite of all of the Rock anthems I present here. I lived it and it has a special place in my soul.

 

“Breaking The Law” – Judas Priest

This is another anthem that was part of my youth. I can identify with this on so many levels.

 

“Highway To Hell” – AC/DC

I will always love this song, even though it was the song I was listening to right before a horrible auto accident. Those first notes…..

 

“Born In The USA” – Bruce Springsteen

Originally written in the protest song format it was reworked into the anthem that EVERYONE knows. Not particularly fond of it but it was iconic enough to be included.

 

“We’re An American Band” – Grand Funk Railroad

What can I say does it get anymore anthemic than this? Just one of the songs that gets in and sticks with you.

 

“We’re Not Gonna Take It” – Twisted Sister

Everyone from the MTV (when they played music videos) remembers this video. A true fist pumping anthem.

 

“Youth Gone Wild” – Skid Row

One of the newer Rock anthems that is worthy of mention. Skid Row came on the scene like gangbusters and this is the song that did it.

 

“Nothing But A Good Time” – Poison

Ahhh the 80’s this was a good time. Poison was a true party and live like there;s no tomorrow band. Thanks for that.

 

So, there’s a few anthems for ya. Anyone have any others to talk about? Let’s make this post a truly interactive one, tell me your thoughts!

the Hellion

 

 

 

 

 

 

How important is the image of a band?

Does a bands image really matter? Do people really care what the band looks like? Let’s look into it.

KISS:

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Would anyone have ever given them a second look without the makeup and bombastic shows? Was it the image that made them or their music? I am a “Classic Kiss” fan. I admit it was the makeup that led to the Kiss Army. I learned to appreciate the music later on, and even later on realized they really weren’t stellar musicians but at that point it no longer mattered. Kiss carries on performing their classics in full makeup to sold out crowds.So with Kiss I say yes, image is predominant.

WINGER:

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Here is a band of outstanding musicians whose image caused them some grief. Winger was often dismissed as “Pretty Boys” and never given a chance to show they ROCKED! Beavis and Butthead even poked fun at Winger. I was appreciative of the playing skills of Kip Winger – bass guitar, string arrangements, vocals Reb Beach – guitars, vocals Rod Morgenstein – drums, vocals Paul Taylor – keyboards, vocals. If you put aside the macho insecurity and just listened you will find Winger is an outstanding band.

the BEATLES:

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Mop Tops, to Hippies the Beatles kept their image current to the happenings around them. They were groomed for most of their early career and set the standard for young bands of the time.A lot of bands based their own image upon that of the Beatles. Towards the later years, however, they found their own individuality which I feel reflected upon their music.

Judas Priest: 

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We have all seen the progression of the “image” of Judas Priest. When they first hit the scene they were almost hippiesque in their appearance. Then they set the bar for metalheads. Leather, spikes, motorcycles…little did we know it was Rob Halford’s way of coming out to the world. Did it matter when he finally came out publicly? HELL NO because the Priest ROCKED! In my opinion they still have one of the great “looks” for a band.

BLACK VEIL BRIDES:

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The Black Veil Brides hit my radar in 2009. I told my self with a total image makeover there could be something. 2012, I was right, BVB are everywhere. While not on my regular listening rotation this band is making a name for itself. Paying homage to Kiss/Motley Crue/Glam Rock, BVB catches the eye for sure.

Does imagery affect a band? I was recently at a local show and saw several people just hanging out at the venue. I didn’t know they were a band, they got on stage played and got off. No show, no unity as band. I think that a stage performance should be just that, a performance.

Part two coming soon featuring: Twisted Sister, Slipknot, Glam bands, Death/Black metal bands, Mudvayne, Ghost,  and more!!!

Update: Looks like a three part topic: Lordi, Gwar and more to be included! Thanks Aj!