Archive for the ‘Ratt’ Category

Z Z Top Rocking the Castle, Donington 17th August 1985

Z Z Top Rocking the Castle, Donington 17th August 1985
zztopdoningtontixLine-up: ZZ Top; Marillion; Bon Jovi; Metallica; Ratt; Magnum; Tommy Vance (DJ)
Donington 1985 became “Rocking the Castle” rather than “Monsters of Rock”, presumably because the line-up was a little more mixed than the usual heavy metal fare. Z Z Top returned to the festival after playing third on the bill a couple of years earlier. They were joined by a strong clutch of bands including Bon Jovi and Metallica, both of whom who would go on to be headliners in their own right. It was a beautiful hot day; one of the best Donington festivals I attended, in terms of the weather. Don’t remember much about Magnum or Ratt, although I have always been a fan of Magnum. Metallica seemed very thrash metal to me at the time; they hadn’t yet developed the subtlety that was to come later. Bon Jovi were amazing; you could just tell that they were going to be massive. ZZ-Top-RockingCastleAt some point during the afternoon the Z Z Top car flew over the crowd, carried by a helicopter; this resulted in a massive cheer, and a hail of bottles and cans, none of which (luckily) managed to get high enough to touch the limo. This was the era of the can fight…. Marillion were the hit of the day, and went down really well with the crowd. They were at the tipping point of their career, having just released “Misplaced Childhood” and with major chart hits “Lavender” and “Kayleigh”. But the day belonged to boogie kings Z Z Top who were one of the biggest acts on the planet at the time, and effortlessly tore the place up with those classic songs, tongue in cheek humour, and unique style. Classic.
Z Z Top setlist: Got Me Under Pressure; I Got The Six; Gimme All Your Lovin’; Waiting For The Bus; Jesus Just Left Chicago; Sharp Dressed Man; Ten Foot Pole; TV Dinner; Manic Mechanic; Heard It On The X; I Need You Tonight; Pearl Necklace; Cheap Sunglasses; Arrested For Driving While Blind/Hit It Quit It; Party On The Patio; Legs; Tube Snake Boogie; Can’t Stop Rockin’; Jailhouse Rock; La Grange; Tush.
Two days to go ……

Ratt Invasion of Your Privacy World Tour ’85/’86

Ratt Invasion of Your Privacy World Tour ’85/’86
rattI found a programme for Ratt’s “Invasion of Your Privacy” ’86/’86 world tour in my collection, but I couldn’t find a ticket stub to match. My conundrum was soon solved however, when I realised that I’d seen Ratt down the bill at Donington Monsters of Rock in 1985 and as support for Ozzy Osbourne on 12th February 1986 at Newcastle City Hall. Ratt were very much on their way upward at the time, and must have had their own tour programme, either at Donginton or alongside Ozzy’s merchandise. I have already written about the Ozzy gig, but I didn’t say much about Ratt. As I have a programme to feature here, I figured I should write a little about the band.
Ratt are an American hard rocking band, and were instrumental in the formation of the early ’80s Los Angeles glam metal scene, often referred to as the ‘Sunset Strip’ sound. Like their friendly rivals Mötley Crüe, Ratt’s sound fused pop hooks with the metal ethos along with big hair, and over the top on-stage performances and (on- and off-stage) behaviour. Ratt continue to tour and record today despite several hiatuses and many lineup changes. They were formed and led by vocalist Stephen Pearcy; at the time I saw them the line-up included Warren De Martini and Robbin Crosby on guitars, Bobby Blotzer on drums and Juan Croucier on bass. The tour programme describes Ratt as having “wiry energy”, “desperate rightness” and an attitude which guitarist Crosby calls “gladiator land-gyspies; cement pirates” [whatever that might be 🙂 ]. It tells me that the band went from “sleeping on the floor of a converted garage in Los Angeles, their pillows nestled against their Marshall amps” to massive success with their debut album “Out of the Cellar” and that “we’re finally out of the cellar and into your living rooms. Ratt cannot be exterminated”.
Ratt are little mentioned these days, with much of the publicity and credit for the scene going to Mötley Crüe, who perhaps did out-do them in terms of outrageousness. However, Ratt were without doubt a formidable force at the time, and their shows were glorious celebrations of what is possible if you take pop and glam sensibilities and align them with the values, volume, approach and craziness of heavy metal. Their concerts were something to be experienced, and Ozzy must have found it difficult to follow them on that stage some nights.
Ratt’s line-up has changed a lot over the years; however they are now back to more or less their classic formation with Stephen Pearcy, Warren De Martini, Bobby Blotzer and Juan Croucier all once again in the fold. They are joined by Carlos Cavazo on guitar.
Setlist from 1986: Dangerous but Worth the Risk; Give It All; Wanted Man; In Your Direction; Never Use Love; Walkin’ the Dog; You Think You’re Tough; Lay It Down; You’re in Love; Sweet Cheater; Round and Round
PS Ratt made a big noise and had big hair, so I figured I’d use a bigger than usual image of their tour programme for my post today. Rock on.

Ozzy Osbourne live 1982 to 1986

Ozzy Osbourne live 1982 to 1986
ozzytixOn 19 March 1982 a light aircraft piloted by Andrew Aycock (Ozzy’s band’s tour bus driver) carrying guitarist Randy Rhoads and Rachel Youngblood, the band’s make up designer, crashed while performing low passes over the band’s tour bus. In a prank turned deadly, the left wing of the plane clipped the bus, causing it to crash, killing Rhoads, Aycock, and Youngblood. Randy was only 26, and although he played for only a short period, he has been an immense influence on a whole generation of musicians in heavy rock and metal. Guitar World proclaimed that the guitarist “could have been the greatest”.
The Ozzy band were shocked and crushed by the tragedy, but regrouped with a new line-up (Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake had left the band). By the time I saw Ozzy again on the Speak of the Devil tour when it called at Newcastle City Hall on 18th December 1982 the band was: Ozzy, Brad Gillis (from San Francisco band Ranger) on guitar, Tommy Alridge (from Black Oak Arkanas, and the Pat Travers Band), Pete Way (UFO) on bass. They were also joined by actor John Allen who was executed in a mock hanging as part of the now highly theatrical stage show. ozzyprog1Support once again came from Budgie. From the 1982 tour programme: ” Tragedy struck, and rock lost a great guitar hero and a friend in Randy Rhoads. And yet in the midst of the quiet that followed our loss, there was movement. When the music stopped there was silence. However, it wasn’t a simple silence. It was a silence that would whip itself into a greater sound – a sound that would Speak of the Devil. As time changed me, as time has no doubt changed you, my infatuation with horror made things move faster. The tracks you’ll hear capsulize a real life story that helped cleanse my soul of the 13th anniversary of my career. I am Ozzy Osbourne…and sometimes we all Speak of the Devil”.
Setlist: Over the Mountain; Mr. Crowley; Crazy Train; Revelation (Mother Earth); Steal Away (The Night); Suicide Solution; Goodbye to Romance; Flying High Again; Believer; Sweet Leaf; Children of the Grave; Iron Man. Encore: Paranoid.
ozzyprog2Ozzy was back in Newcastle on 18th November 1983 at the Mayfair for the Bark at the Moon tour with support from Heavy Petting. The line-up had changed again and was Ozzy, Jek E Lee on guitar, the return of Bob Daisley on bass, Don Airey on keyboards, and the legend Carmine Appice (Beck, Bogert and Appice; Vanilla Fudge) on drums. Ozzy had morphed into a werewolf, and the show was even more theatrical. I saw the show again as part of the 1984 Monsters of Rock festival at Donington where Ozzy joined a bill headed by AC/DC and also featuring Van Halen; Gary Moore; Y&T; Accept; and Mötley Crüe.
Ozzy setlist from Donington 1984: I Don’t Know; Mr. Crowley; Over the Mountain; Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebel; Bark at the Moon; Revelation (Mother Earth); Steal Away (The Night); Suicide Solution; Centre of Eternity; Flying High Again; Iron Man; Crazy Train; Paranoid
ozzyprog3Two years later I saw Ozzy again; back at Newcastle City Hall on 12th February 1986. Support came from US rockers Ratt. A new tour and yet another line-up: Ozzy; Jake E Lee remaining on guitar; Phil Soussan on bass; the late Randy Castillo on drums (who went on to join Motley Crue) and John Sinclair on keyboards. The tour was in support of The Ultimate Sin album. From the programme: “”Ozzy Osbourne is still the reigning madman of rock’n’roll. He’s still an intense performer who often pushes himself too far……The music’s great, the band is hot and we’re ready to take on the world”.
Setlist: O Fortuna; Bark at the Moon; Suicide Solution; Never Know Why; Mr. Crowley; Shot in the Dark; I Don’t Know; Killer of Giants; Thank God for the Bomb; Flying High Again; Secret Loser; Iron Man; Crazy Train; Paranoid.
This was the last time I saw Ozzy live until the current Black Sabbath tour. Ozzy’s visits to the UK became less and less frequent as he concentrated on the US. I did have a ticket to see him at Newcastle Arena 10 years or so ago, but the concert was cancelled as Ozzy was not well at the time. Ozzy is a great heavy rock singer, and a crazy and compelling front man whose stage presence is as powerful today as it ever was.