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....
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.
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."
Excess Marks the Spot
Here Comes Trouble
Puss 'n' Boots
Read My Lips
New York, New York
Palace of Pleasure
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.
...used to stand for "The Sleazy Rock Manager", but these days you can just go with the Sleaze Rock Man I reckon. As a companion to my blog "The Hair Up There", where I post rare records and demos of the most obscure 80's hair metal I have, I present "Walk the Strip", featuring scans of original band flyers from Hollywood's 80's hairday...I mean heyday. Growing up in LA, my friends and I used to walk the Sunset Strip every weekend, the hallowed sidewalks between the Whiskey and the Roxy (but not as far as Gazarri's, that's where the Warrant fans hung out). You couldn't walk two feet without a band member shoving a flyer in your hand, and luckily for you, one of my friends saved some great ones. In addition I'll be adding scans of band ads from local rags such as BAM magazine and L.A. Rocker fanzine. Click on the flyers for high-res versions to print out. Enjoy your walk down the Sunset Strip...
As for "The Hair Up There", I only post records that I believe to be so obscure they're not commercially available. If you are the legal copyright holder and wish to have the content removed, please contact me and I'll remove it immediately if that's your wish.