Archive for Country Club

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.

Curse Of The Photos

Posted in music with tags , , , on May 5, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Mercyful Fate – Country Club : October 25, 1984

This had to be the most anticipated show that my buddy Rob and I ever attended. We waited almost 2 years for Mercyful Fate to come to America. We had the infamous E.P., (with the virgin sacrifice artwork), the records, the bootlegs. We read every European magazine that these Copenhagen, Denmark based Satan lovers appeared in – Kerrang!, Metal Forces and ones I can’t even remember. This was the band we had to see. Not only would it be our first lesson in Black Metal, but the show was just a few days before Halloween – almost perfect. My buddy Rob and I were so fired up for this show, that as soon as they hit the stage, we were holding onto each other like a couple of sissies. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I smuggled my camera in to this show. These photos are some of my all-time favorites. In 2005, a handful of them were used in the CD re-issue of Melissa. It’s great to know that shots I took as a teenager are part of one of the most influential Metal CDs of all time.

Shot up front in the evil with my trusty, smuggled in Canon AE-1 Program and an 80-300mm zoom lens.


Hell Awaited

Posted in music with tags , , , on May 3, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Slayer – Country Club : September 7, 1985

This two-night stand at The Country Club in Reseda was a turning point for Slayer. They had just returned from Europe, and now the band no longer belonged to just the fans in L.A. It was time to see what happens after a band like Slayer played night after night to screaming European metal fans. Adding more fuel to the fire was the fact many of the most notorious gangs in Los Angeles came out to this show – not only to take part in the violence that comes with a Slayer show – but also to support Venice’s own D.R.I, who were added as main support that night (Abbatoir opened the show that evening). Excluding the South Of Heaven show at the Hollywood Palladium (which ended in overturned police cars and shootings in and outside of the venue), this Country Club gig was arguably the most brutal and dangerous show that Slayer ever played in Los Angeles (multiple stabbings and gang fights throughout the show).

It was hard as hell to shoot bands like Slayer because the pits were extremely violent and I always found myself jumping in the middle of these ferocious pits to get the shots I wanted. That was the only way to truly capture the feeling of a Slayer show.

Shot up front in the mayhem with my trusty, smuggled in Canon AE-1 Program and an 80-300mm zoom lens.