Our Metal Sludge Extravaganza 10 (MSEX) is over and done with, but the memories will live on and on! Well, considering how much alcohol most of the Sludgeaholics consumed last weekend in Cleveland, some of those memories might be a bit hazy. And if you weren’t there, you obviously missed out. But never fear, we’re here to help! Here’s a collection of various recaps and photos from our MSEX party over New Years Weekend!
Here to start us off is a short and succinct recap from our host over the course of the weekened, our very own April 2004 Sludgeaholic of the Month, Mr. Nate S. Axel!
Well, 2004 came and went, and so did the Metal Sludge Extravaganza 10, better known as MSEX. I had no idea I was going to host this until the day BEFORE the event, and that’s after I saw the post up on the main page. It was an honor and a pleasure to host the longest MSE in history (lasted parts of TWO YEARS!!!), so thank you to Metal Sludge, Billy Morris and the HiFi Club, Wendell Neeley and Chris Akin of the Classic Metal Show, and everybody else. Here’s what I remember…
First of all, for the "select few" that thought we’d be freezing our asses off in Cleveland and regretting this whole weekend, it was more like springtime than it was winter! In fact, on Friday, Cleveland was warmer than Las Vegas and L.A.! I’m sure it was hopping more than Memphis was (heh heh). It was comfortable enough to wear short sleeves outside, at least for this native Minnesotan!
I arrived on Thursday and met up with Stevie Rachelle shortly afterwards. We went out for pizza, talked business, music, life and more and then headed out to Billy’s club to set-up and meet with everybody before the show. We then drove around in his rental car chatting about shit and ended up somewhere close to the ghetto. So what does he do? He makes a u-turn right in the middle of a busy intersection! I’m still alive. Woooooo…
After we got everything down, Thursday’s show began with the opening band Evick. I really ended up digging their music. They reached into the past and had the energy and loud guitars of the 80s heavy metal scene. When I was reading the websites of all of the MSEX bands the weeks up to the show, I read Evick’s bio about how they make friends (NOT fans) and I thought that was just a cliche, but the whole night, whenever they went to the bar for drinks, they dragged me along AGAINST MY WILL (yeah, that’s it!) to drink with them. They’re sponsored by Jagermeister, so obviously these guys know how to party. In fact, I took a picture of their drummer Chuck Fanslau, passed out at the wheel of their SUV after he threw up all over himself! BWAHAHAHAHA!
Ground Zero came and played, but I was running all over meeting people, so I don’t remember much of their stuff. One Sludger who crashed with me this weekend, DisturbedMOL (D-MOL for short), better send in a recap! Then American Dog came up and tore the place up (musically, not as an act of violence). I didn’t get to check them out before I came to MSEX, but when Jimmi Bleacher got up on stage to tell some stories and do old Salty Dog songs, people were really digging that. My first reaction to him was that he could really wail up there. He had an awesome voice and his presence made me think of Mandy Lion of WWIII at MSE9.
Then Donnie Vie came up for the first of his two (and almost three) nights in a row at MSEX. I’ve been getting into Enuff Z’Nuff stuff (heh) for awhile now, and I thought his set was cool too. Unfortunately, the crowd kind of dropped off or headed to the bar toward the end of his set. A couple of people told me they were "falling asleep" and were kind of pissed at all the "slow stuff" he played. Later, after Donnie played the second night, we were down in the sound room telling stories, shooting the shit, and he was pissed off (and/or slightly hurt) at the crowd response. He said that he was thinking of just saying "Fuck it!" and not doing "the third night" (Saturday night) after he said he felt like nobody wanted to see him. Unfortunately, he didn’t play the third night, and I can’t completely blame him. It was a chaotic weekend though, and people were running everywhere, back and forth, so I know quite a few people went to see him there. We were bouncing questions off of him for a half hour or 45 minutes down there in the sound room, and he was cool about it, just chatting with all of us. His wife Joni was there too, although she was very tired. They kind of remind me of Ozzy and Sharon! September 2001 SOTM Jason Satterfield had Donnie sign an MSEX flyer for "Jap Bastard" Soichi Masuda and Donnie ended up drawing a picture on the back of it! Billy told him that he had to sit down at the controls in a "couple of minutes" to record something, but Donnie just kept drawing and drawing. Finally, Joni chimed in a a few times trying to get Donnie’s attention, "Donnie, do you want your colored pen?" and he finished off with his colored pen. (The colored pen is mightier than the sword!) We asked him if he had any New Years resolutions, but he doesn’t do that. His wish though is to find some good musicians who want to make some good music. He hasn’t been able to find them, apparently. We didn’t ask much about EZN (unfortunately, Chip cancelled at the last minute this weekend, so he wasn’t there), but I did make the mistake of asking if the new single "Joni Woni Likes To Ride The Pony" had any "special meaning" and Donnie just said "Let’s not go there!"
Donnie Vie and Nate S. Axel
The partying between Thursday and Friday night was insane. I heard that some people got kicked out because of the noise violations, and where did everybody else end up after the others got kicked out? In my room, of course. From the variety of the craziest conversations (DisturbedMOL and some bald guy believe the world will really end in 2014) to a few rockers (names withheld!) doing lines of fucking cocaine off of the toilet seat to putting beer cans in front of every hotel room, and waking almost everybody else up, it was some night. I didn’t even try to keep it under control, because there was no chance of that happening. We wanted to go to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, but after everybody finally left at 6 or 7 AM, we just had no time after we slept the night off.
New Years Eve gave us The Cherry Pops from Milwaukee, Motortramp from Rochester (NY), and Bombshell Crush from Nashville before Billy, Stevie Rachelle, Drew Hannah of Wildside, and Donnie jammed on stage. The Cherry Pops went over really well, and Billy invited them back to play the last night too. They’re described as ultrapopsuperdragypsychoplasticgogopunk, so make of that what you will! Bombshell Crush and Motortramp went over really well too. They had to travel quite a distance for who knows how much cash, but they were having just as good of a time as the rest of us. It was New Years Eve too, so obviously the place was packed. I was looking for Jackie from the Cherry Pops to give him their merch money, and I couldn’t find him until three hours later after the show. The funny part of the night was when they were waiting for Donnie Vie to take the stage after Stevie and Billy jammed on "American Hair Band". For whatever reason, Donnie was "a little" late, so to stall, Stevie Rachelle pretty much told the whole story of every damn line of AHB. I told him next time just to bring a book on stage and read the whole thing to the crowd. It would have gone by faster!
In between all of the bands, I handed shit out (not feces, but shirts, CDs, stickers, etc). Everything from Monster Energy shirts and hats to Metal Sludge CDs and beanies and shirts to CDs by tons of other bands. The "highlights" were throwing a CD to this girl who pulled her hands down too soon and got hit in the face with the CD (oops!). Then I threw one of the Metal Sludge 3/4 sleeve jerseys in the air and watched for it to come down and get caught… but nobody caught it, because it didn’t come down. I accidentally threw it on top of one of the lights, so nobody got it.
The last night was my favorite night. Aside from the fact that we all made a vow to party our hardest on the last night, the bands absolutely blew me away. Aftershok, Subtones, Amps II Eleven, and Mad Margritt were great. I think A LOT of people really dug Amps II Eleven, me included. I noticed that aside from when Billy, Stevie, Drew, Donnie, etc jammed on stage, the stage floor was the fullest when Amps II Eleven was playing. Whatever they were drinking just fueled to their aggression. Keith (the door guy at the HiFi) just raved about these guys, namely the bassist Tony Erba and his onstage banter (WHATEVER came to his mind). The lead singer Matt Wroth was just insane on Saturday night. At one point, he dove/lunged into the ground and was headbanging like a maniac and it was funny watching him try to unwrap himself from the mic cord when he was drunk up there. D-MOL said they sounded like a cross between Motorhead and Corrosion of Conformity, so if you like that, check them out.
Nate and Stevie Rachelle
Mad Margritt from Atlanta would end up playing the rest of the night, from their own set (cover songs!) to jamming with Stevie and Billy the rest of the night. Their lead singer, Eddie Smith, looked like the lovechild of Sebastian Bach and Jani Lane (pre frog-looking days), but he really had one hell of a voice! The funniest thing Saturday night was when Stevie and Billy got on stage and were taking requests for songs to do (most of the jamming was impromtu and kicked ass). When they asked Danni if he knew the drumming to "Down Boys", the puzzled look on his face was priceless, so he learned the main parts in about two minutes, and they just went for it. Everything from Warrant to Poison to GnR to Motley to Judas Priest was played, and the crowd was naturally the wildest on the last night. All of us in the front row got pushed up to the stage, had beer spilled on us (I hope it was beer!) and everything else. The show would end well after midnight and we hung out at the club until past 5 AM!
I have to give a shoutout to the sound-guy Zack (or Zach, Zakk, Zackqkc, whatever) at the HiFi and then of course… POOP! Zack wasn’t really a metal-head, but he pretty much kept everything running downstairs in the soundroom all three days. Usually when I popped downstairs, nobody was really hanging out there much with him, so we talked about old-school and new-school stuff, "selling out", and more. Donnie Vie referred to him as "the Osmond boy" this weekend when he needed something hooked up in the sound room, because I guess he looked like one of the Osmonds!
"Poop" was the nickname of one of the tech guys who did everything on stage and helped me out with planning shit. He’s been around forever and he told us great stories about everybody from Sebastian Bach to C.C. Deville to Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Lita Ford and more for almost two hours after the show had ended. We could have stayed there three more days just hearing his stories. It was a great time just the few of us sitting there after everybody left and reminiscing. Of course, he moved to Cleveland from L.A. when I was just born (1982), so he had a lot better stories than me. We finally headed back to the hotel, stayed up all night to catch our midday flights, and just reminisced on our weekend.
Some guy named ‘Poop’
This was my first time going to Cleveland and the HiFi Club, but I guarantee it will not be my last. Some people told me that Cleveland is still the "rock music capital" of the world, and others (like Poop) said that it died long ago. I don’t know which is true and don’t have much expertise to offer on that, but I can say that for these three days this weekend, there’s no place I’d rather have been. We had warmer weather than L.A. and Vegas, VERY BEAUTIFUL women, a lot to drink, and loud kickass music, so what more could you ask for on New Years?
Maybe a better host? THE HOST SUCKED! Oops… never mind. I appreciate everybody who was there, everybody who listened online in the Classic Metal Show and Metal Sludge chat rooms, and all of the bands. After this weekend, saying "I spent my New Years in Cleveland, Ohio" sounds pretty damn good.
NATE S. AXEL
SOTM April 2004
Here’s a collection of MSEX thoughts from frequent Gossip Board contributor XiolabluX:
MSEX was a blast. I’m glad I made my boyfriend go. Despite the simplest directions I’ve ever had on a road trip we managed to get lost Thursday on the way there…three times. The trip that should have taken about 5.5 hours ended up taking about 7. This resulted in us not getting to Hi Fi until about 11:30, thus missing most of the bands. We ran into Nate and then finally Motleigh and Frog showed up who were also late. I didn’t see anyone else from the board, because well I don’t know what they look like. The bar was packed wall to wall.
XiolaBluX, Laurie, Frog, and Motleigh
Friday afternoon Frog, Nate, my man, and I headed to Alice Cooper’s restaurant Cooperstown for lunch and then did some shopping. We then found poor disturbedmol loitering at the hotel. NYE at Hi Fi was a blast. It wasn’t as crowded as Thursday but there were still a lot of people there. It was much more comfortable.
The bands on NYE rocked. Big big thumbs up for The Cherrypops who are awesome! Bombshell Crush were good too. I don’t remember much after that other than Stevie and Billy being on stage at some point. The beer started to kick in. It was awesome to meet Monty610, yellowfin, chiefs45177, and CrueDawg. You guys all rocked. Nicko, FOON, Longhair, echo, DougO, KYZMYAZ, and Bankky…I never figured out who you guys were.
After the club closed we headed back to the hotel. Everyone had to sign a waiver earlier that day that we would not have any parties. "It is a hotel and not party central" after all. Of course we didn’t listen. Yellowfin’s room got busted by the hotel police so we crashed Nate’s room. Thanks boys!
Thanks Stevie for a memorable New Year. Billy your club is awesome. The staff was great and it was just a really comfortable place. Nate you were a great host, even if you did take out a few people with the CD’s you were throwing.
Wow, I rambled much longer than I intended (but not as long as Nate). Looking forward to the next MSE!
Nate and Frog somewhere in Cleveland
Our old pals Wendell Neeley and Chris Akin were broadcasting live on the Web from the Hi-Fi Club, so all the Sludgeaholics who didn’t come out to Cleveland could sit at home and pretend they were there. Speaking of Chris, here’s an e-mail we got from him with his recap!
Just wanted to make a few points about the Metal Sludge Extravaganza 10 that some people may have missed in Nate’s War & Peace version of the recap (since most people will not read that much of anything… especially about a show they weren’t at!)
Some quick highlights:
1. Watching Stevie, Neeley, Billy and everyone else do their best to ignore the 3-day stalker chick in hopes that she would go away…only to find that she would talk about anything from why socks are uncomfortable to why snow is cold. Newsflash honey – we were all thinking in our loudest voice – SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GO AWAY!
2. Learning that after all these years of dishing the sludge to musicians, Stevie’s #1 FU Award goes not to a musician, but to Joe Theismann! That’s funny.
3. Hearing Stevie say on Thursday, "I’m not afraid of anything or anybody, my friend", yet seeing the slightest gleem of fear in his eyes when the bohemeth vocalist of Aftershok charged the stage when Stevie "forgot" the lyrics to a Judas Priest song. Admit it, Stevie – he scared ya!!
4. The wounded wail of Donnie Vie Friday night. I wasn’t in the club but was listening from home, and he sounded like he broke his neck or something when he let loose that "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" over and over again.
5. Getting a call from Billy Morris on Wednesday asking me if I could send him some Wildside music, and a day later hearing him play it near flawlessly. He may be gay, but Billy can flat out play guitar! (just kidding. He’s not gay…I think).
Overall, the Sludge Extravaganza 10 was great. All the bands tore the place up over and over, which was cool because there’s nothing worse than broadcasting a band for 45 minutes that sucks and then coming out of it saying, "weren’t they great?" Off all the band, Bombshell Crush was probably the best I heard. The musical jams at the end of each night were great! "I like butter on my muffin" – classic!
Thanks to Nate S. Axel for pumping the crowds up with his high-energy delivery between bands! Thanks to the great Billy Morris for the space, going way out of his way to make sure the club was ready for the broadcast, and for taking care of Neeley and I with drinks. Thanks to all the bands, and to all at the Hifi for being as cool as they always are. Finally, thanks to Stevie Rachelle for hanging with us for 3 days by the broadcast booth. I learned 2 important things over those three days. 1. you can get the coolest metal sludge hat in exchange for a worthless radio station hat. 2. If I’m ever selling my house, I’m flying Mr. Rachelle in to make the transaction happen! After watching him hock CDs for 3 days, I believe he spent his days in Ohio selling snow to the homeless!
We’ll see you Sludgers at the next Ohio based Extravaganza!
THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW
Saturdays 9p-3a EST www.theclassicmetalshow.com
Chris Akin from the Classic Metal Show
The Classic Metal Show’s Wendell Neeley!
We also heard from a few of the bands that played at MSEX. Here’s a few disjointed thoughts from Amps II Eleven singer Matt, who played on New Years Day at our party.
Hey-It’s Matt from Amps II Eleven. I just wanted to thank Nate for the kind words and to say that it was hands down the best way to usher in the new year for us. I was a mess on stage but somehow we pulled it all off and the only lingering injury is another chipped tooth.
That last jam session was intense. I’ve never seen a bunch of Cleveland scumbags go so nuts for ‘Downboys’ before in my entire life. There was a full on circle pit at one point. A perfect end to a drunken black out of a night.
F’n Metal Sludge…..we love you.
Matt from Amps II Eleven scams on some chick
This is Eddie from Mad Margritt. Thanks for inviting us to Cleveland to be part of the MSEX show. We had a blast!! Didn’t get much sleep but we definitely had a lot of fun and met a ton of cool people. Jamming with Stevie & Billy at the end of our set was the highlight of the weekend for me, definitely something I will never forget. Looking forward to the next one!!!!!
Eddie from Mad Margritt and Stevie Rachelle, with Billy Morris hiding in the background
Stevie and Eddie
Billy Morris rocks out like he owns the place
The crowds flock to the stage!
Here’s yet another short, snappy and paragraph-free recap. This time it’s from a post on our Metal Sludge Extravaganza Board by a Sludgeaholic called DisturbedMOL:
Alright….Here is my recap…..finally. Now Nate can shut up (kidding,Nate is the Motha Fucking MAN!) Anyway Here goes……Okay I was gonna go up the first night but I had shit to do and was having second thoughts. I was going to sleep on it I decided at some point Friday morning that I might as well go….I mean I didn’t have anything else to do and it would have been the first time I spent NYE at home since High School.FUCK THAT! So at last minute I balled up and got a ride up to Lakewood.I’m so glad I did I gave Nate a call and told him I’d be up there around 5 – 530 depending on traffic.They were spending the afternoon (Nate Froggy,Mistress Blu,and her man)in Cleveland sight seeingSo they weren’t there when I got to the hotel…So I called Nate and told him I would be waiting in front door of the Hotel.No problems until the hotel security guy and front counter guy Told me to step inside to talk with him for a moment (man my stomach sank into my sack at that point)So I’m like ‘Shit….this mother fucker is gonna call the cops on me.’ He didn’t (thank God) and sent me along on my merry way.So I meet up with this tall dude with a beard(Nate) and go up to the room. I don’t remember if I saw Frog or Xiola first….I’m retarded. But they seemed cool as hell.Anyway we hang around the room for a while….a couple photo ops…a little shooting the shit and we leave. Nate goes on his way to the Hifi with Mr.Stevie and I get a ride to the gig with Froggy Mistress Blu and her boyfriend.First We went to a room downstairs and met a wacky French Canadian by the name of Crue Dawg (well mabe not Wacky….but French Canadian…..a cool guy nonetheless) and some blond chick with him (I woulda nailed the blond chick so she was decent looking….ah wishful thinking)Anyway,Flash forward to the Hifi.It was like 15 to get in. And first thing I did was order two double shots of Jager and a Killians. So I sit down at a table (or around one) With Frog,Xiola,her dude,and some other girls.One of the chicks (I feel sooo bad for forgetting her name) ended up crashing with us that night (she was actually kinda cute). More pictures including one with the aformentioned girl on my lap. And then the first band came on. They were the Cherry Pops…Basically they were punk….but they totally didn’t suck. And they were funny guys. They were really high energy and high tempo (and this drunk bald dude kept getting in their guitarists way, so he hit him with his guitar! METAL!!!!! ) After their set I went and drank another Killians and 3 shots of Jager and sat down, I watched the TV that was on….They had put on a TurboNegro dvd on and I was meserized with it for some reason (I probably drank to fast and my drinking tolerance has waned to the point that a fucking girlscout could probably drink my sorry ass under a table.) I had a talk about metal and metal shows with this really cool dude (I don’t recall his name either…sorry) and went through 3 more Killians. Then I got up and went to the stage and kinda scoped out the place a little more before going up to the bar and ordering a Long island Iced tea….then another…..and then a water. I went back up to the front of the stage and I believe Donnie Vie was playing at this point. I went back and sat down,wondering how so little to drink could have beat the shit outta me? So I did what any man in doubt would do! I GOT ANOTHER BEER! Some blond chick bought me this one (not cause she thought I was hot….I think more of a feeling sorry for me type of shit. I was waiting so long to be served at the bar….) Then I go sit back down in the throne looking seat. Some chick tries to sit her drink on my head.She was actually pretty cute….I probably could of nailed her (wishful thinking).Anyway…Around this time the man we all love (in a non gay way for us male sludgers) Mr. Sludge himself…Stevie Fucking Rachelle got onstage.It was around 11:45. He performed (he was fucking awesome) and he covered some shit including Priest. In fact during You’ve got another thing coming we did the New Years Countdown and At New Years I got to kiss some cute blond chick (nothing long or lingering or romantic though ) Anyway sat around for a while longer and took more pics…Left at 230 and went back to the hotel….Went to some room where some of the band members were chilling( and doing lines of Coke) there were like 15 people in there. We got kicked out of the room by hotel security. They basically treated us like fucking kindergarteners.(I guess all us sludgers only had a 1 warning before we got kicked from trhe hotel…..Fuck Days Inn)Anyway we go back to our room….which turns into Party cantral.Even if we don’t want to. and for like another 2-2 1/2 hours there are people in our room band members….People from the bar….people whom I have no idea where the fuck they came from.Anyway, a few people decide it would be a bright idea to go into our bathroom and snort coke off the toilet seat (the same toilet seat that only hours earlier I sat on to take a shit) Anyway long story short….they sit and talk our ears off…When they finally leave We (me Froggy,Frogs friend, and Nate) go to sleep around 630 We all snored except Nate.HAHAHA!!!!!We wake up at 230 the next day. Froggy had to leave on Saturday .So we all go out Me Nate and Frog to get a bite to eat…Pink Panther tags along with us (thats all I will say)We go to Mc Donalds. Watch a wiggery dude and some little 16 year old girl sit and argue like like an old 80 year old couple therefore holding our food up.The people at Mc Donald’s were Mc stupid (that sucked) Anyway we ate….we shot the shit and we left. At this point we went back to the hotel and Froggy had to leave. I wish her ass would have stayed the extra night. Froggy you are a cool ass mother fucker and I’m glad to say that I’ve met ya (that sounded all pussy like) anyway. Then we went to someones house and watched a dvd of Sabastian Bach whwere he was acting like typical spazzed out Baz and wearing a big bird outfit on stage….went back to the hotel got ready for The last night….WE had to kick someone out who should remain nameless (well not kick out) to get ready…..We went down and went with Stevie…(cool guy) Got in for free the last night. I drank more than I did the night before but payed more attention to the bands on this night once again……Cherrypops opened…..A band called the Subtones played (I remember their Singer looked like a taller more built version of Sully Erna from Godsmack) Then next up Was Amps 2 Eleven…These mother fuckers were BADASS!!!!!!!!!!! They had some riffs and shit that reminded me of COC!!!!! And they did a short cover of Kick Out the Jams!! These Mother Fuckers KILLED PEOPLE!!!! They were fucking AWESOME…Next up was some band with a Really fat lead singer (nothing wrong with that)Fat boys rule!!!!Next up was Mad Margritt (from Atlanta GA) and during their set Stevie went up and performed with them a bit….He covered a bunch of old school Crue and Priest and other shit and it was just a great Time!!!! When everyone had finally left. Stevie Billy Morris, and Donnie Vie were down stairs (getting shit cleaned up is my guess and shooting the shit) I stayed up stairs with Nate,Panther was there, The hot bar tender, she left, and this dude poop,who had some GREAAAAAT stories.I just had a blast sitting back with Nate and listening to this cool mother fucker speak. Poop if you are reading this….you are awesome! Anyway….Poop left with his girl and that left me Nate,Panther, upstairs. It was like 430 before we left the club. Also I got my first Sludge swag this night! A skully and of course the all important Sludge shirt! We laughed and joked in the car on the way back to the hotel….Said our goodbyes to Stevie (a cool motherfucker) And went up to the room got a few things out of the vending machines (which led to the *ahem* incident) We went up stairs waited for the continental breakfast at 630 (no way we were going to be able to sleep and be out by like 1030) So we went down at around 630 ate muffins and donuts and watched Major League on the Tv in the Breakfast Room. Went back up to the room for a few hours and went down.Said our goodbyes to a GREAT fucking weekend. I am thankful I met some cool ass Sludgers that were willing to let my ass Crash in the room and the only regret that I MIGHT have for the weekend is that So many of you Sludgers that I have wanted to meet didn’t show. I wish peeps like RPB, SLSD, Elise, Mags, Tina, Stoner, Meanie (only seen you while you were wrestling bro) Ette, Rhiann, Dick, Poogie, KDD Razzy, IGSH, Nubs, and even you Carman and so many others of you could have shown up but Oh well Some of you had previous engagements but I had fun so that’s all that really matters isn’t it? Ahhhhhhhhhhh…. Maybe one day.
Alrighty then! If we get any more recaps or photos sent in, we’ll probably post them here. Thanks to Billy Morris and the staff of the Hi-Fi Club, Wendell and Chris from the Classic Metal Show, all the bands that played, our host Nate S. Axel, and of course, to everyone who came out to enjoy themselves over the weekend at MSEX.
We’ll probably have another Metal Sludge Extravaganza sooner or later. Stay tuned!
The Sludge That Ate Cleveland