One might not immediately equate the late, great David Bowie with heavy metal, but to dismiss his influence on the genre would be remiss. Between the years of 1988-1992, the Thin White Duke teamed up with guitarist Reeves Gabrels and a rhythm section consisting of brothers Hunt and Tony Sales (sons of famous TV funnyman Soupy Sales) to form a metallic edged hard rock collective known as Tin Machine.
The project only saw the release of two studio albums (both of which were produced by my friend Tim Palmer) and one live record, but in that short span the band would produce some of the heaviest, angriest music of Bowie’s storied career.
One must also consider the substantial influence that Bowie exerted upon the style, image, and sound of metallic bands as far flung as KISS, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister, Nine Inch Nails, and pretty much every glam metal band from the 1970s on.
So, while Tin Machine may not strictly fit the definition of a metal band, I have chosen to broaden the scope of the column on this somber day to honor one of the hardest rocking moments in the career of an irreplaceable legend whose influence reaches across all musical boundaries and who will forever stand as a monument to the very spirit of rock itself. From their 1989 debut album, Tin Machine, this is “Under the God.”
Godspeed, Ziggy Stardust: “… the stars look very different today.”
When I was growing up in rural Indiana in the early â€™80s, there was very limited access to heavy music. These were the days before MTV blew up with the whole hair metal, Headbangers Ball phenomenon. But on Sunday nights, there was a two-hour radio show that came from WOXY, just across the state line in Oxford, Ohio (home of Miami University of Ohio). It was called Massive Metal for the Masses, and I would wait all week for it to air. It was through this show that I was introduced to bands like Venom, Bathory, WASP, Michael Schenker Group, Slayer, and countless others. This Monday weekly column is my tip of the hat to that show. I call it Massive Metal Monday. Every week, I pay tribute to defining moments by the artists that laid the groundwork for heavy metal to become the worldwide cultural bond for all of us metal heads.