Archive for Keel

Pasadena Openers…Witch

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Witch
Perkin’s Palace
April 7, 1984

***
Part five of a five-part series that I am doing this week on local L.A. bands in the ‘80s that were opening acts on some big gigs at my favorite venue as a kid – Perkin’s Palace in Pasadena California.
***

Witch was another credible metal act from Los Angeles. Formed in 1982, they had instant street cred thanks to their drummer, Punky Peru, who was great friends with Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee and was also asked to join W.A.S.P. At some shows, Punky would slice and punch his face until it was dripping blood – compare that to Blackie Lawless who was still drinking fake blood from a skull.

Not only did Witch have a loose canon for a drummer, but their singer, Peter Wabitt, was also a bit of a madman on stage. Wabitt’s vocals were dark, eerie and powerful. Another aspect that I thought was really cool about Witch’s live show was their guitarist, Ronny Too. I love Flying V Guitars, they just look so metal, and Ronny would always bust them out.

Witch played some big gigs in their career, headlining over such local majors as Slayer and Lizzy Bordon. But this show at Perkin’s Palace proved to be a huge show for Witch. Witch was direct support for the debut performance of Ron Keel’s Keel, following the breakup of Steeler. Ron Keel was the hottest unsigned name in Metal in L.A. at the time and needless to say, there was a lot of hype on this show and it was packed to the rim.

Witch was just about to release their EP, The Hex Is On, and the Los Angeles rock radio station, KLOS, had just premiered a few of their songs, including the show-stopper, Damnation, on The Local Music Show a few nights before the show. KLOS had also premiered a few of Ron Keel’s new solo songs – the L.A. Metal Community was thirsty to hear more from all of the bands on the bill.

I remember looking up at the balcony that night and seeing hands, arms and bodies hanging over the edge. It was definitely an oversold show. Here is one for the fans: this show at Perkin’s Palace was produced by DeeDee Lewis, who would later marry Ron Keel…kinda’ cool how things work out sometimes.

Photographed with my trusty, smuggled in Canon AE-1 and a cheap, no name 70mm-210mm lens. Shot on Kodak negative film.

Help to save and preserve The Raymond Theatre (aka Perkin’s Palace):
http://www.raymondtheatre.com
RaymondTheatre@aol.com
http://www.myspace.com/raymondtheatre

Pasadena Openers…Leather Angel – 1983

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Leather Angel
November 25, 1983
Perkin’s Palace : Pasadena, CA

***
Part one of a five-part series that I am doing this week on local L.A. bands in the ‘80s that were opening acts on some big gigs at my favorite venue as a kid – Perkin’s Palace in Pasadena California.
***

First, a little background on the venue. The Raymond Theatre was a beautiful 2000 capacity theatre built in the 1920’s. Vaudeville shows, movie screenings and live plays were the original uses of the theatre. In 1979, the venue broke into the live concert market and the theatre became known as a live venue named Perkin’s Palace. An incredible list of artists have performed on the Perkin’s Palace stage : The Cure, Motley Crue, Phil Collins, Black Flag, Bad Religion, Depeche Mode, The Ramones, and many, many more.

Growing up as a teen, I went to a lot of amazing shows at Perkin’s Palace. Luckily for me it was only about 20 minutes from my home and I could usually talk my Mother or my pal Erik into driving to some of the early shows. The ticket prices were low and you always got a handful of L.A.’s best bands – handpicked by Gina Zamparelli, who had to be the greatest promoter in L.A. in the 80’s. When Gina’s name was on the flyer or on the ticket, my pals and I knew that every band, whether we had heard of them or not, were worth getting to the show early for.

Steeler was super-buzzing at the time. They had an incredible LP out on Shrapnel Records and the band was filled with talent. The openers for that night – Leather Angel, Rough Cutt and SIN were three of the coolest up and comers in town. SIN was the brainchild of bassist Rik Fox, who had just left Steeler to form his own band – there was some competitive energy that night. Rough Cutt had just been picked up by Wendy Dio (Ronnie’s wife) for management. Leather Angel was an all female heavy metal band, they really stood out in terms of Local Metal Bands in Los Angeles.

I first saw them as Obsession when they opened for Motley Crue at Perkin’s Palace the previous year. Motley had taken a liking to them and that helped to build their street cred in L.A. Soon after, legalities arose with another band using the same name and the girls were forced to rename the band to Leather Angel. The band was fantastic both live and on record. They kept up and played with the best of L.A.’s Metal acts – Ratt, Motley Crue, Steeler, Black & Blue, etc. Their EP, We Came To Kill, was a solid release with some local radio airplay. The record proved that this band was just not a bunch of good looking chicks, these girls could rock and they were serious about it.

[On a personal note – their manager, Keith Dyson, once tried to extort photos that I had taken of the band and threatened to take my mother’s home. I was barely 15 years years old when Keith Dyson threatened me, and I didn’t really know any better, I was intimidated and terrified. What kind of manager threatens a little kid with a camera? Keith, if are reading this…call me, call me collect…I am not a little kid anymore.]

Leather Angel later went through a handful of lineup changes and changed their name to Jaded Lady. Jaded Lady’s claim to fame was their appearance in Penelope Spheeris’ 1988 film, The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years.

Photographed with my trusty, smuggled in Canon AE-1 and a cheap, no name 70mm-210mm lens. Shot on Kodak negative film.

Help to save and preserve The Raymond Theatre:
http://www.raymondtheatre.com
RaymondTheatre@aol.com
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=74238887

Wngwie Who?

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , on May 21, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force
January 10, 1985
Country Club
Reseda, CA

This was Yngwie’s debut solo show in Southern California, and it was big news in the metal community. My buddy Rob and I were huge fans of Yngwie from his days with local heroes Steeler, and we were pretty bummed when he left the band. The domestic release of his first solo album was still a few weeks away, so Rob bought the LP as an import. We always had to have the record and know the songs before the show. The import cost more, but it was worth having the music early.

I managed to smuggle my camera into yet another big show at The Country Club and I was psyched to take photos. This time I could afford to buy two rolls of film for the show, but that meant I could not afford to buy a T-shirt that night. It was a hard decision, and one that I agonized over, but I decided that photos were more important than a T-shirt.

We got to the venue early so we could grab a spot up front. I wanted to make sure that I got great shots of our new guitar hero. This show sold out immediately and was packed – you can see some hands in the shot. Sometimes having a few hands in the shot is not a bad thing – it adds a sense of energy and excitement to the image.

The show was amazing and furious. The set consisted of 90% instrumentals showcasing Yngwie’s six-string magic. The rest of the show was made up of a handful of originals featuring vocalist Jeff Scott Soto. His kinky hair-do was so big that I could have smuggled in a whole camera store in his head. Sadly, Yngwie did not rip into any of his old Steeler tunes – that would have been a nice surprise for the L.A. fans.

I still get a kick out of the ticket stub – check out how they spelled Yngwie’s name…classic. And at $7.50…a bargain!


Photographed with my trusty, smuggled in Canon AE1 Program and a cheap, no name 70-200mm lens. Shot on Kodak Negative Film.

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