W.A.S.P. "30 Years of Thunder" World Tour starts 2012
W.A.S.P. = We Are Scarry People
Twenty Nine years ago today, on September 21st 1982, W.A.S.P. played their first show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.
On September 21st 2012 W.A.S.P. will begin the “30 Years of Thunder” anniversary Tour starting in the United Kingdom and continue Worldwide!!
This World Tour will be the biggest spectacle W.A.S.P. have ever created. The two hour show will consist of three parts. A one hour set contain songs from the first four albums. The second set will be a 25 minute shortened version of “The Crimson Idol” complete with the movie accompaniment. A third set will consist of material from the New Studio Album, older material and everything in between. This show will see multiple video screens, pyrotechnics, and elements from the early W.A.S.P. shows (maybe even an exploding cod piece) and Blackie’s moving microphone stand “Elvis”!
The “30 Years of Thunder” World Tour – This promises to be the Greatest W.A.S.P. Show Ever !!!
W.A.S.P. "30 Years Of Thunder – Part One
This is the first monthly installment of fifteen in total to chronicle the real events of this Band and give you all a little better insight to the last thirty years in our history. A lot has been written over the years, some true, some not. These monthly installments will give you a snapshot of what really happened.
The First W.A.S.P. Show
It was early June 1982 when I met with Chris Holmes to discuss working together again. It had been over 4 years since the two of us had played together in the band Sister. Sister was the group where we both learned the type of Rock-Theatre that we would later do in this new band. Originally we had no intention of playing live shows. I had written about 10 songs that we were only going to record and then shop them around trying to get a record deal. Many of those early recordings were songs that would be re-recorded for the first album. The problem was, we got no offers from any of the major labels. They all turned us down. So after impatiently waiting around for 2
months for a response (that never came), we decided to go out and try these new songs live. We didn’t know if they would be accepted by a very jaded L. A. audience but we thought they were pretty good. Love Machine, Hellion, Sleeping in the Fire, On Your Knees, these were songs that NO RECORD COMPANY wanted. Seems funny now!
Anyway, in our haste to make something happen we decided to go out and play live, something we said we would not do. First we needed a direction. The four of us were, Chris, Tony Richards (drums), Don Costa (bass) and myself. Don was the last to join. If we were going to do this, we did not want to just stand still and play songs. We wanted to entertain ourselves. This is where the idea of the “show” really came from.
For the record, the first show was played in August of 82’ but I was still playing guitar. Don Costa was playing bass. Don was a fantastic player and performer and was a real star. He used to do a routine where he nailed a metal cheese greater to the back of his bass. In the middle of the show he turned the bass over and started grating his knuckles on it. Blood was streaming down his arms – it was quite a spectacle! Chris had a major problem with this. Not that the visual of it bothered him. It was the idea that Don stopped playing the bass to do it. There were actually a number of times during the show that he stopped playing for one thing or another. The next day Chris gave me an ultimatum, either he or Don was leaving the band. I tried for an hour to get Chris to reconsider but he didn’t want to know about it. I would not leave Chris so I was elected to break the news to Don. This was tough, as I had actively courted both Don and Tony to leave the band they were in at the time. That band was called Dante Fox. They would later change their name to Great White.
Now we have no bass player! I had known Randy Piper from a couple of bands that he and I had played in before. An early incarnation that had Tony, Randy and myself could never get off the ground. The missing ingredient was Holmes and I knew it. So I called Randy and asked him to come down. I felt the chemistry was there but there was only one problem – no bass player. Randy could sing and I needed another voice to do all those harmonies with. I had sent copies of the demo tape to both Ace Frehley and former Kiss manager, the late Bill Aucoin. They had agreed to come out to L. A. to see our first show at the Troubadour that was quickly approaching. Now we have one of two options, find a bass player and rehearse him in 3 weeks and I just sing lead, OR I play bass. The other two would not even discuss the idea of them doing it. Holmes said, “we’ve already got 4 very volatile personalities, we don’t need a fifth guy to make it even worse”. So it’s off to Guitar Center (there was only one back then and this was the original on Sunset Blvd.) to buy myself what I would eventually refer to as “the tool of ignorance”. That description was unfair but it described my anxiety and frustration toward that instrument at the time.
There were two shows that were booked for us to play the Troubadour. The first was September 21st and the next week on the 28th. Both were Tuesday nights at 8 PM. Considering the Troubadour was closed on Monday, these were the worst time slots in the week. There were 63 people in attendance at that first show. Humble beginnings !!
More Next Month!!
30 Years of Sludge (Starts in 2028)