Friday, December 26, 2008

Max Havoc are the Show - 1983

One record I always loved in the 80's, but never seemed to hear mentioned anywhere, was the little known gem by Max Havoc. Released in 1983 on non-self-fulfulling prophecy of a label Triple Platinum Records, the record was produced by lead sword carrier Pat McKeon and "Associate Produced" by Black Sabbath's Bill Ward, who allegedly also did some time behind the kit for Havoc. Also credited as an "additional musician" was Carlos Cavazo of Quiet Riot, although its unclear as to what track he played on. Let's see, what other useless information can I share with you about this record? Well, drummer Khurt Maier and guitarist Scott Lane went on to start Salty Dog, owner's of possibly the worst lyric to open a record with "Sweet little baby, she's my hot dog bun". Lane also did time in Stryper, but don't hold that against him. Now on to the record, which to me always sounded like a cross between the party rock of Van Halen and the shirtless sorcery metal of Saxon. Record opener "I'm the Show" could've fit easily on Van Halen's first record, and the rest is more macho party metal which still brings a smile to this sullen face. I don't know how many of these were pressed, and I feel pretty safe in assuming this baby will never see the light of day on CD, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have it in your collection. Get the record here....

Track List:
I'm the Show
Bound for Hell
Angel of Passion
Midnight Machine
Won't Be the Fool
Bad Influence
Certain Woman
My Babe (Homicidal)
True Blue
Dalilah's Fire

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sharks with Claus - 1983

Continuing and concluding Shark Island week here on the Hair Up There, our initial week on the world wide wad I'll point out, and just in time for the holidays, this is my gift to you. In 1983, Sharks released the quintessential heavy metal Christmas song. Yes, more important than Spinal Tap's "Christmas with the Devil" I'll profess, among cries of blasphemy I'm sure. One side of the self-released record had Sharks rendition of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", done to the music of Judas Priest's "Heading Out to the Highway". Pure fucking genius. So good it'll make you angry you didn't think of it first. And the flip side, a Sharks original that never appeared on any of their LP's, "I'm Electric", the best song Gene Simmon's didn't write for the last 20 years, but wished he'd did had he ever heard it.

Download the single here:

Don't say I never got ya nothin'. And to all a good night.
Happy @#$%^% Holidays.

Shark Island get on the S'cool Bus - 1986

Fast forward to 1986 and Sharks are still without a major label deal, like most of their contemporaries have snagged. Throw in some legal issues with previous bands called Sharks and a name change and another indie release were on the horizon. According to their Wikipedia entry, things went something like this...

"In 1985, they changed their name to Shark Island and released another independent album titled, S'cool Buss the next year. Not much is remembered about this album as there were only 1,200 copies ever made (200 in a red cover and 1,000 in a turquoise color). One song that might have been the single from this album is "Palace Of Pleasure". It is impossible to verify this since this album is not available anywhere and was only available at that time from the band members themselves."

Track List:
Deja Vu
Sex Drive
Excess Marks the Spot
Here Comes Trouble
Puss 'n' Boots
Read My Lips
Automatic Girls
New York, New York
Palace of Pleasure

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Into the Wheel with Shark Island -1982

Before they were Shark Island, they were known simply as Sharks and were ahead of their time.  They didn't sound like any other band in LA at the time, and were often cited as "The Cars meets Aerosmith" if you can wrap your head around that.  Singer Richard Black, aka Rick Czerny, was the quintessential rock frontman, and many claim a young man new to LA named Bill Bailey, aka W. Axl Rose, stole his stage moves from the Sharks singer.  Not available on CD and tough to find on vinyl these days, Sharks debut LP "Altar Ego" still sounds fresh and urgent today, and is tragically overshadowed by so many other hard rock records of the time, and place.