Archive for Ron 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…SIN (featuring Rik Fox)

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

***
Part two 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.
***

It isn’t often that a bass player is the body and soul of a band…but like the band Talas, this was an exception. Bassist Rik Fox had just been let go from L.A. “should have beens”, Steeler. Fox, who was also in the first generation of WASP (which he also penned the band name) knew just about every big name in the Hollywood rock scene. With Steeler and WASP now behind him, it was time for Fox to form his own band – SIN. Musically, SIN’s approach was a cross between Angel and Judas Priest.

The line-up was made up of relatively unknown L.A. players: Carl James (drums); Howard Drossin (guitar); Vince Gilbert (keyboards); and Art Deresh (vocals). Art Deresh was a pretty good singer, but there was a big rumor going around that he was hygienically challenged. In other words, this guy was ‘stinky! People complained and talked about it all the time. Unfortunately, I discovered this for myself first hand one night at an after party at his home…that was some wicked B.O.!!

SIN quickly became one of the fastest rising new bands on the L.A. rock scene, playing a handful of gigs at Perkin’s Palace. Having Rik Fox and SIN open for his former band Steeler that night at Perkin’s Palace was a bold move by the promoter. There was a lot of tension and a lot of curiosity in the audience – this could have opened up a huge can of worms. All the bands killed that night. It was another amazing lineup and quite a bargain at only $7.00.

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):
www.raymondtheatre.com
RaymondTheatre@aol.com
MySpace – Official Raymond Theatre Site

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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.