Wednesday, March 25, 2009
In the beginning…
There was Mickey Waller, Ronnie Thomas, Keith Boyce, Gary Holton and Danny Peyronel…a gang of boisterous boys from South London and the East End. Danny completed the initial two-guitar line-up when Barry Paul left the band. It was 1973…
After a grueling apprenticeship at the legendary Speakeasy Club, THE musicians' watering hole run by co-manager Laurie O'Leary, the boys were spotted by 60's icon Dave Dee, then head of A&R at the new London branch of Atlantic Records.
Armed with a world-wide record contract with the home of Led Zeppelin and Aretha Franklin, in January '74 they went into London's Olympic Studios to record their first album, HEAVY METAL KIDS, with Dave Dee as producer.
They toured Britain and the continent to exhaustion, establishing their brand of rebellious, raucous rock 'n' roll… inspiring a generation of other rebels and setting the stage for an all-out revolution that would change the face of popular music only three years later.
They appeared in 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' on the BBC, broke every record there was to break at London's Marquee, did Reading Festival (as they did every single year they were around) and just played, played, played… In January '75, the lads went in to Island's Basing Street Studios, to record ANVIL CHORUS, this time with producer Andy Johns.
After working together on most of the new songs, Mickey stepped down just before going in the studio and Cosmo took his place.The lads finally hit the US on a whirlwind tour with the likes of Alice Cooper, KISS and Rush.True to form, the tour was full of adventure! They got kicked off the KISS portion, after Gary and Danny were spotted rolling with laughter on the side of the stage at the sight of Gene Simmon's hair catching fire while doing his 'fire-swallowing' routine. Then Gary broke his leg falling off stage and had to end the tour in a cast.
Back in the UK, and after a tour of France, Germany and Scotland, Danny left to join UFO. Before going, he recommended John Sinclair, from The Jackie Lynton Band, to take his place. In an age of few truly rockin' keyboard players, he'd made an impression when Jackie played the Speakeasy.Manager Ricki Farr then took the band away from Atlantic and had them sign to Mickie Most's RAK Records.
Produced by the legendary Mickie himself, they recorded a third album, KITSCH. Cosmo was gone and Barry Paul, a good mate of the boys who had played with them in the early days, joined the band.
More of the usual grueling touring followed, peppered with a ton of TV appearances both in Britain and the continent. The RAK period was coming to a close and John would be the next to go, on his way to Uriah Heep. Guitarist Jay Williams was brought in to complete what was to be the last formation and record the single 'Delirious', before the Heavy Metal Kids' long tea-break started... Their cult status has grown over the years, around the undeniable influence they had on the birth of the punk movement and the new wave of british heavy metal… many claim they were the trigger for so much that came in their wake. A good look at today's bands from both sides of the Atlantic is enough to support this claim.
2 Chelsea Kids
3 From Heaven to Hell & Back Again
4 Cry For Me
5 She's no Angel
6 Jackie the Lad
7 Docking In
8 Squalliday Inn
9 Hey little girl(single b-side 1977)
10 Delirious (single 1976)
The Heavy Metal Kids Are
Gary Holton - Lead Vocals
John Sinclair - Keyboards,Vocals
Keith Boyce - Drums
Barry Paul - Guitar,Vocals
Ron Thomas - Bass,Vocals
Produced By Mickie Most