Archive for Perkin’s Palace

Pasadena Openers…Odin

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

ODIN
Perkin’s Palace
March 16, 1984

***
Part three 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.
***

Odin was fairly new to the L.A. rock scene, but they rapidly built a strong and legitimate following around the rock circuit. Their street cred became undeniable, quickly getting the band added to the big shows – like this one at Perkin’s Palace. At this point, Odin had just recorded their first 7” single, Caution (which I bought that night at the show for $2.00). Despite the homemade artwork and misspellings on the single, Odin looked like a band on the verge.

From 1983 through 1985, Odin’s sound was heavy and fast – pulling influences from bands like Armored Saint and Metallica, but adding the Blues elements of Aerosmith and Van Halen. Odin’s opening act days were numbered, and the band soon found themselves headlining most of the rock venues in Los Angeles.

I was a big fan of this band, their early material was the perfect combination of chuggy guitar riffs and melodic metal hooks mixed with raw, punk rock production. Their 7” sounded like it was recorded in a basement for $10, but this was the perfect sound for this band.

After their first full release, Don’t Take No For An Answer in 1985, I – along with many others – lost interest in Odin as the the band became influenced by the early stages of “hair metal.” Odin drastically changed their sound, their live show, their clothes, their hair, and their overall outlook on music. I was pretty bummed out that a solid, quality band would give in so quickly and jump on the “hair metal” bus, especially after working so hard to gain the respect that they had built. But, for every one of me that they lost, I am sure they gained two or three “hair metal” fans…but that was not my thing.

Legendary club owner,Bill Gazarri, proclaimed that Odin would be bigger than Van Halen, but Odin’s potential remained unfulfilled. A major label deal failed to come their way. But it would be their appearance in The Decline Of Western Civilization Part 2: The Metal Years, that would turn the band into cult metal heroes or the laughing stock of rock, depending on how you look at things.

Photographed with one eye on the camera and one eye looking over my shoulder on 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

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

Amazing Screams…Axl Rose

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Axl Rose
Guns N’ Roses
December 28, 1987
Perkin’s Palace : Pasadena, Ca

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(This photo and many others now available for sale.  Email: IamKevin@fairwarning.com)

***
Part five of a five part series I am doing this week that captures Amazing Screams.
***

When Axl would scream, he looked like a baby bird wanting to eat. His whole body would convulse, he’d stomp his feet, squeeze the mic with both hands and get so totally into it, you thought he might spontaneously combust. His voice was so powerful it was like a new instrument that could carry its own melody and create its own little hook. This shot is from a four-night run they did at Perkins Palace just as Appetite For Destruction was beginning to take off. Right after this GNR went on a big arena tours, opening for Aerosmith and The Cult. This was the last time we got to see them in a theater,they soon became huge and were headlining the big stadiums themselves.

Photographed with trusty, smuggled in Canon AE-1 Program, a cheap, no name 70mm-210mm f5.6 lens. Shot on Fujichrome film.

March Of The Saint

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

Armored Saint
March 16, 1984
Perkin’s Palace: Pasadena, CA

This was a big show. Not only because the bill was loaded with four of L.A.’s hottest local bands (Malice, Odin, Sin, and of course Armored Saint), but also because it was Armored Saint’s first gig as a major label band with an LP in the can. The band had been in the studio making their debut full-length LP for Chrysalis Records, so it was many months since Armored Saint had been on stage. They were buzzing – big time. The word was that they were about to be the next big thing out of L.A., and they should have been. This was a huge homecoming for the band and their fans. Armored Saint really wanted to make this an event and have this show stand out.

They put together a very elaborate opening. As the band ripped into March Of The Saint, John Bush came cruising out wearing an entire suit of armor. It looked spectacular. I was so captivated by this stunt that I nearly shot off all of my film right away. Bush could hardly walk in that suit, but he tried his best. Not even one full song into the set, he had to climb out. I was never sure if it was because he was having difficulty walking or if it was the heat inside. Regardless, their once of a lifetime intro sure paid off, at least for my friends and me. This photo holds a very special spot in my heart, as a fan of Armored Saint and as a fan of hard music. It was one of the best shows I ever attended as a teen.

I smuggled my camera in that night – taped to my back, and I am pretty sure my friend Erik smuggled my lens in for me in his massive metal hair-do. I had my system down for shooting at Perkin’s Palace. We would get there early and my buddy Andy would rush in and grab a few seat in the first 5 or 6 rows.   Once the show started, I would stand on the arms of the chairs (they had those old movie theatre style seats) so I could be a bit above the heads in front of me. My best-friend Rob (who was also recording the shows) would keep an eye out for security and subtly lean against me to keep me balanced. I would pop up and down, snapping away when the guards weren’t looking. I could never use a flash, that would be a dead give-away that I was snapping photos from the seat, so I could only shoot when the light was just right on the stage. This is how I really learned to read light and to master working a camera manually.


Photographed with my trusty, smuggled in Canon AE1 Program and a cheap, no name 70mm-210mm f5.6 lens. Shot on Kodak Negative Film.