News & Updates — metal
Freddie Mercury / Sept 5, 1946 - Nov 24, 1991
Happy birthday to our biggest Parsi rock star, Farrokh Bulsara aka Freddie Mercury. One of the great front-men of rock, Queen was always a favorite of mine for their heavy layers of sound, unique theatricality they humored the masses with and awesome songs and albums.
Joe Yamanaka / Sept 2, 1946 - Aug 7, 2011
Here's a birthday shout-out to the Japan's Yamanaka Joe, actor, singer, activist & humanitarian. Born Akira Yamanaka to a Japanese prostitute mother and a Caribbean-American soldier father he never met, whom he believed to be either Cuban or Jamaican. He grew up in an orphanage and got TB as a kid. He started boxing at 16 and became a well-known "tough guy" actor in several Japanese flicks. After singing in blues band Mystic Morning he joined Flower Travellin' Band in 1970. FTB were one of the earliest (and best!) of the bands who were greatly influenced by Black Sabbath. They...
Dave Brockie / Aug 30, 1963 - March 23, 2014
Here's a shout-out to the original scumdog of the universe, Dave Brockie, better known as Oderus Urungus of the heavy metal/comedy/theatre/shock troupe GWAR. A Canadian, Brockie played bass, guitar or sang in the bands Death Piggy, X-Cops and DBX. For GWAR he reinvented himself as the 50 billion-year old caresser of his cuddlefish, dubbing himself Oderus Urungus, spewing fluids all over his audiences in outrageous costumes with equally outrageous storylines, attracting both positive and negative mainstream attention. As Oderus, he also had a character in the nutty TV sitcom Holliston. Happy birthday Dave Brockie, RIP.
Sonny Sharrock / Aug 27, 1940 - May 25, 1994
Sonny Sharrock came around 'bout the same time as Jimi Hendrix and brought a fast & heavy string-shaking style into free jazz, with massive chords and rock energy. His sound & style contained elements of hard rock, doo-wop, funk, bop and soul, and he claims to model his playing after jazz saxophonists and John Coltrane in particular. (He claimed that asthma prevented him from playing a horn and that he thought himself "a horn player with a really fucked up axe".) Warren Sharrock hailed from Westchester County NY and sang doo-wop as a teenager. He got into jazz and made...
Phil Lynott / Aug 20, 1949 - Jan 4, 1986
Thin Lizzy are one of my favorite classic rock bands and bassist/vocalist/songwriter Phil Lynott is a big reason. A black Irishmen, he was a composer, singer and poet who grew up in Dublin. He started singing in bands in '65. In the late '60s he learned rhythm guitar and bass, forming Thin Lizzy with ex-members of Them. Thin Lizzy recorded several great albums with their twin lead guitars and Phil's poetic street-wise, yet romantic lyrics. The band mixed hard rock, heavy metal, blues, Irish folk and funk and yielded several lasting hits. Ravaged by drugs, the band called it a...