Lizzy Borden may not be the most famous band to emerge from L.A.’s Sunset Strip glam metal scene in the ’80s, but it is certainly one of the longest-running and most influential. Starting out in 1983 and first gaining notoriety when their track “Rod of Iron” appeared on Metal Blade Records’ Metal Massacre IV compilation, the shock rockers would go on to create some of the greatest and most influential and enduring metal of the era.
Despite numerous lineup changes (including those brought on by the deaths of two members in separate traffic accidents), the singer and mainstay who also happens to be named Lizzy Borden (after the notorious 1800’s figure Lizzie Borden who was accused and later acquitted of killing her parents with an axe) continues to write, record, and tour to this day.
Anyone who’s ever watched a rockumentary on hair metal in the mid 80’s probably has a pretty good idea of what the night life was like up on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles… the spandex and leather… the drunken debauchery… But let’s back up a few years to a time when the hair was not quite so high, and the eyeliner was not quite so thick.
To start at the beginning would be to tell the tale of so many other 16-year-old kids with a rock n’ roll dream — rehearsing in their parent’s garage and playing the Hollywood High Battle of The Bands. Singer David Anthony and guitarist Alan Santalesa were getting frustrated after spending a year looking for a perfect rhythm section, and soon settled on some kids from the South Bay… and so Shire was born.
Lots of times, the stuff on one’s newsfeed doesn’t warrant a second (or even a first) glance. But sometimes scrolling pays off and you thank whatever gods or nothing you believe in that you have really cool Facebook friends that find awesome shit.
Allow me to share this awesome shit…. Please watch the videos here below. You will thank me. You may even want to give me an award or something for sharing.
A band named Tragedy: All Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees & Beyond (Squeee!!) has covered “You’re the One That I Want” from the 1978 iconic movie musical, Grease, first sung by pre-weird John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. THAT was a good song accompanied by a good scene. What Tragedy does far outperforms the original and I LOVE the original to this day.
If you grew up during the 1980s, you know that metal was pretty much divided into two camps: the good time, party metal that dominated MTV with bands like Motley Crue, Dokken, Scorpions, and Van Halen, and the no-frills, extreme artists that were pushing the boundaries of what “heavy” meant like Metallica, Slayer, Venom, Sepultura, and Bathory.
While I generally considered myself to be of the latter camp, I also liked girls and girls liked Bon Jovi, who fell squarely in the first camp. And so it was that I found myself at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis on the night of July 19th, 1985. I was just shy of 15 and my girlfriend’s mom drove us the 60 miles from our hometown to see Bon Jovi opening for Ratt. In the interest of full disclosure, I was a pretty big Ratt fan and actively hated Bon Jovi (in part, no doubt, due to the fact that my girlfriend was obsessed with singer Jon Bon Jovi).