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  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
TEN YEARS ON TOTAL ROCK
February 2013


chris dale

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chris dale

I've spent ten years spinning the discs on Total Rock Radio, or Bloodstock Radio as its now known. It's been great fun.

My career as a DJ started while quietly having a pint with the landlord, John McKibbin and some friends at the old Kings Head in Fulham (now sadly demised as a rock venue). Total Rock was an internet radio station that broadcast from a studio, above the pub.

One of the DJs, the legendary Krusher Joule (he's one of the top rock DJs in the country who's compered Donington and Ozzfest as well as being the artist behind the original Kerrang! logo and the evil runes on Ozzy's 'Diary Of A Madman' album sleeve), had just finished his show and popped downstairs for refreshment and to share his thoughts on the day.

"Arse Chickens!" he shouted. "They're a bunch of arse chickens!"

It seems Total Rock had offended him (or perhaps his dog). They were both easily offended.

"Nipple donkeys!" he exclaimed "I'll show them where they can shove their show. I tell you, I'm not doing it tomorrow. They can stick it up their....."

Article continues below...

 
 


I never found out how they'd offended him as his words were so mingled with expletives that there was precious little of the actual tale buried among them.

"I'll do it then!" I said. It sounded like fun. Well, not the arse chickens bit but being a radio DJ in general.

Memories of listening to the late great Tommy Vance's Friday Rock Show on the BBC as a teenager came flooding back. Total Rock's producer was (and in fact still is at Bloodstock Radio) the equally legendary Tony Wilson who had produced Tommy Vance's show back in the day.

The other main man at Total Rock/Bloodstock Radio is Malcolm Dome, the Professor of Heavy Metal and one of the original Kerrang! team that helped popularise Heavy Metal to a generation of kids in the 1980s including myself.

Without Malcolm and Tony, Kerrang! and the Friday Rock show I would have had no word of the outside World of Heavy Metal from my little bedroom in a Welsh village as a teenager. We had no internet or MetalTalk back then. There was only Kerrang! and the Friday Rock Show.

If it wasn't for them I would probably be a street sweeper right now. Without boasting too much, I reckon I'd have been quite good at it.

So anyway there I was a decade ago, pint in hand, volunteering to Krusher to do a show in his place for Malcolm and Tony. Maybe I'm a bit out of my depth in the legend status here?

"You f*cking do it then!" Krusher ranted. "Those spunk spiders don't deserve the hair off my....."

So that was it settled then. I was a radio DJ. Next question was, "Errr... what do I do then?"

Krusher told me that he'd come in the next day and do the first half hour to show me the ropes and then he'd leave me to it for the rest of the three hour slot. That sounded reasonable.

As it happened, Krusher's idea of doing the first half hour was to stick Led Zeppelin's 25 minute live version of 'Dazed And Confused' on while roughly gesturing at the mixing desk and mumbling to himself (or perhaps in hindsight it was to me)...

"That does the music, those are the adverts, that's your mike... I'm off." And true to his word, he was gone.

I've been there ever since.

I was right about my first suspicions, being a radio DJ is in fact very good fun.

For starters you get to play all your favourite songs at people. The listeners can message you back via the chatroom, saying they liked the songs (or not) and they request more songs themselves.

Then I judge if I deem their requests worthy of airplay. Sometimes they suggest cool tunes I'd never have thought of. Recent examples include Trapeze's 'Black Cloud' requested by T-Bone in Baltimore, Judas Priest's 'The Ripper' suggested by Sasquatch Bob and Gary Moore's 'Back On The Streets' requested by my good friend Mr Jef Streatfield.

Getting a request like that can make my day.

Other times they request things that I don't really want to sit in a small room listening to. One listener requested Rammstein once. So I played the Scorpions as a compromise. That's fair isn't it?

As a bonus I get to interview loads of Heavy Metal heroes on air (sometimes face to face and other times on the phone). I get to ask them all the questions I ever wanted the answers to. Here's my favourite ten questions I've got to ask people:

1 Bob Kulick, which Kiss tracks exactly did you play on and if you had joined Kiss in the 70s what would your make up design have been?

2 Scott Rockenfield, is that your real name and did Queensryche really play Iron Maiden covers in clubs in the early days?

3 Scott Ian, are Armoured Saint like a substitute's bench for Anthrax?

4 Geezer Butler, how does it feel to have influenced every Heavy Metal band ever?

5 Steve Lukather, how did you end up playing on the 1978 Peter Criss solo album?

6 Geoff Tate, did you ever regret putting the umlaut two dots above the Y in Queensryche, being as we can't write it on a standard keyboard?

7 Nick Oliveri, which is the best of the 1978 Kiss solo albums?

That one seemed like a reasonable question to me for any guest and frequently cropped up out of the blue and mid-conversation. Often it went down well.

One interview went a little sour with a band (who I won't name) when I opened their promotional opportunity on air by asking if they thought 'Sonic Boom' was a leap forward or backward for Kiss?

They looked a bit blank for a horrible pause. A second of silence is the worst thing on radio.

Then they foolishly admitted they didn't listen to Kiss. Odd folk. We never really hit it off after that.

8 George Lynch, weren't you nearly in the Ozzy Osbourne band?

9 Dave Wilson, did you roady for Led Zeppelin in the 1970s?

10 Kee Marcello, you played Hammersmith Odeon and Milton Keynes Bowl with Europe. Tonight you're headlining your first solo show in London but the UK hasn't always been so welcoming for you, has it? Tell us how your first ever visit here ended?

The answers to those questions are at the bottom of this feature.

I've also got to interview loads of other heroes and friends. The highlights have been Bruce Kulick (Kiss), Biff Byford (Saxon), Rick Parfit (Status Quo), Rowan Robertson (Dio), Doogie White (Rainbow/Tank), John5 (Marilyn Manson), Gary Moore (Gary Moore of course), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Albert Lee (Blues guitarist who also played on 'Spinal Tap'), Dan Reed (Dan Reed Network), Kiko Loureiro (Angra), Joey Vera (Armored Saint), John Keeble (Spandau Ballet), Bob Catley (Magnum), Roy Z (Bruce Dickinson Band), Luke Morley (Thunder), Pete Franklin (Chariot), Matt Backer (Glen Ponder's Chalet), Michael McKeegan (Therapy?) Rudy Sarzo (Whitesnake/Ozzy/Quiet Riot/Dio) and pretty much everyone from Sack Trick at one time or another.

Once I interviewed Bruce Dickinson. Well, first he interviewed me on his BBC radio show, then we switched roles and popped round the corner to Total Rock where I interviewed him on my show. Later we went to a bar and interviewed each other off air at length.

Another time the late great Tommy Vance himself came in to do a show straight after me. It was like supporting your favourite band ever.

I learned a thing or two watching his show. He started the show with Dio's 'Rainbow In The Dark', then introduced himself with "Hello kids, Grandad's back!"

What I learned from that is that playing Dio on the radio is always a good thing.

I've made some good friends through Total Rock both in the other DJs there and among the listeners too. The listeners really make or break the show with their comments and requests. I love my regular listeners. You're all top!

That's one thing that I think puts Bloodstock Radio head and shoulders above most of their competitors. It's that live interaction between the DJ and the listeners. The fact that the show can be up to the minute and personalised for listeners is its great strength.

Recently my regular showtime of 3.00-6.00pm on Thursdays has been axed in some of the reforms of the station involved in the changeover to Bloodstock Radio. I was offered another slightly altered slot which unfortunately I couldn't commit to regularly.

It's a shame to lose the old slot but not to worry, I'm going to still do the odd show here and there when I can. Check out my Facebook and the Bloodstock Radio website for updates.

In the meantime my last regular show will be next Thursday 7th February at 4.00-6.00pm UK time. Tune in, log into the chatroom and say hello.

We've had ten years of fun there, this week will probably be the best ever!

Oh, before I forget, the answers to those questions were-

1 Just the new 'Killers' tracks and the studio side of 'Alive 2' excepting Ace's 'Rocket Ride' of course. He denied playing any of the 'Creatures Of The Night' album or on the final version of 'Naked City', which he co-wrote with Gene. The second answer was Ming The Merciless.

2 Yes and yes, with the classic line up. It must have been awesome!

3 That was quite an emphatic "no". In retrospect he might have been slightly offended by that one and some other Kiss related questions I asked him. Oh well, you can't win them all I'm told.

4 He said he didn't know as he hadn't had time to listen to them all yet.

5 It turned out it was one of the first sessions he'd ever recorded. It was before he made a name for himself in Toto or as a regular session player (did you know that he played on Michael Jackson's 'Thriller', Lionel Ritchie's 'Can't Slow Down' and Alice Cooper's 'Trash' to name but three?).

He said for Peter's album he was a youngster and happened to know Vini Poncia who was producing the album and got the call. I'd always thought he was one of the big names on the album as a special guest but no, it turned out he got famous later.

He also told me some hilarious stories off air about the crazy stuff he'd got up to with various artists on and off stage. I wouldn't want to offend you, dear reader by repeating them here.

6 Yes, many times.

7 Gene Simmons. It's a surprising answer. Most people go for Ace or Paul, but he went into a long critique of the album and its genius to back up his argument. He almost had me convinced for a minute there!

8 Yes, he was that close... but it all went suddenly pear shaped. He told me all about it at great length. Actually he had such a rant about the whole thing and various people involved that our producer Tony told me to take him off air in case law suits followed. I'll tell you all about that one another time. It was priceless!

9 Dave also known as AKA, has been one of the most regular of regular listeners and his input has frequently made my day. On his birthday once, I got him to call the show and put him live on air for a surprise to ask about his misspent youth and yes he was a part of Led Zeppelin's legendary road crew.

Another time there was Steve, a barman at the Kings Head who always used to go on and on to me about the 'St Anger' album by Metallica, as if I cared. Really, he was a bit obsessed.

So I dragged him onto the show and let him get it off his chest to the listeners. He seemed a bit nervous but I think it was probably very therapeutic all round. He's never mentioned it to me since.

10 This was a slightly loaded question to which I already knew the answer. Kee was good though and laughingly admitted that he had been deported from the UK for vagrancy as a teenager. He went on to score more bonus points by playing a cover of 'Parasite' by Kiss in his set that night.

You see? Everyone loves Kiss!

Tune into Bloodstock Radio this Thursday 4.00-6.00pm UK time at www.bloodstockradio.com




MORE CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN COLUMNS HERE...

March 2015: Matthew Trippe RIP - The strange case of the man who would be Nikki Sixx
November 2014: Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) RIP
October 2014: Mr. Big – Live Review at Koko, London
September 2014: Mr. Big: 'The Stories We Could Tell' album review
September 2013: Intensive Bass Course with Billy Sheehan
August 2013: Booking Agents vs Promoters
July 2013: Rock and Metal Pub Quiz
June 2013: Communication Tips For European Festivals, Or How To Learn A Language In An Evening
May 2013: Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) RIP
April 2013: Daily Mail Columnist Richard Littlejohn Sinks To New Low With Anti-Heavy Metal Article
April 2013: The Future Of Classic Bands
March 2013: Smashing Pumpkins Video Shoot
Febuary 2013: Ten Years On Total Rock
January 2013: Kiss Follow Up To Monster 2013
December 2012: Kiss Reformation Magick
November 2012: Exclusive Interview With Geoff Tate
November 2012: Morally Worrying Session
October 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Review
October 2012: The Best Invention Of All Time
September 2012: A Conversation With Rudy Sarzo
August 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 3
July 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 2
June 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 1
May 2012: Managers v Producers
April 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Album Preview
March 2012: London Venue's Nazi Past?
February 2012: How Not to Join the Ozzy Osbourne Band
January 2012: Metal Evilution
December 2011: Take Your Pick Competition
November 2011: The Pandora's Box Of Pop
October 2011: Tank Tour Diary 2011
September 2011: Festival Stage Collapses
August 2011: Bruce Air, The Early Days
July 2011: European Festival Round-Up
June 2011: Bernie Torme Proud To Be Part Of MT Ozzy Article
June 2011: Who's Your Favourite Ozzy Guitarist?
May 2011: Japanese Tsunami Disaster
April 2011: 10,000 Tank Albums!
March 2011: Death Metal Session!
6th February 2011: Gary Moore (4th April 1952 - 6th February 2011)
February 2011: Recording Bass at Steve Harris'
January 2011: A Column About Columns



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hrh 9 UFO AND MORE ACTS CONFIRMED FOR HARD ROCK HELL 9
UFO, Toseland, The Screaming Eagles and Trucker Diablo are just some of the acts in today's announcement, joining Saxon this November in Wales...

hackett stolt STEVE HACKETT REVEALS NEW BASS/12 STRING PLAYER FOR UPCOMING TOURO
Multi-talented guitarist Roine Stolt joins the line-up. "It's marvellous to have both Swedish talents Roine Stolt and Nad Sylvan as part of the band for these Hackett solo/Genesis Revisited shows..."

hammerfall HAMMERFALL ANNOUNCE ONE OFF LONDON SHOW IN MAY
"We're pulling out all the stops to make this a triumphant return to British shores and this time there will be no restrictions on lights, sound or production..."

krokus KROKUS ANNOUNCE FIRST US TOUR IN OVER 25 YEARS
Following the Monsters Of Rock cruise the tour continues through several US cities, ending at the legendary Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles...

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2015 ANNOUNCES SUNDAY NIGHT SPECIAL GUESTS, ACOUSTIC LOUNGE AND MORE
For 2015 the Acoustic Lounge is back, bigger and better than ever....

the darkness BREAKING NEWS: THE DARKNESS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM AND UNVEIL NEW VIDEO - WATCH IT HERE
Summer 2015 sees the return of multi-award winning music band The Darkness....

jim cregan JIM CREGAN POSTPONES MARCH CREGAN & CO TOUR FOLLOWING CANCER NEWS
Soon I'll start treatment which I'm hopeful will lead to a full recovery and I'll be back doing what I enjoy most, performing with this great band in May and on tour in October..."

hang the bastard HANG THE BASTARD ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES WITH CORROSION OF CONFORMITY & UK HEADLINE DATES
"It's gonna be heavy and it's gonna be loud!!! Bang your heads, we are coming for you!..."

aaron keylock 17 YEAR OLD GUITAR HERO AARON KEYLOCK SIGNS TO MASCOT LABEL GROUP
One of the most exciting and brightest young talents in the UK, Aaron is a mesmerising live performer with over 200 shows to his name...

bruce dickinson BREAKING NEWS: IRON MAIDEN SINGER BRUCE DICKINSON UNDERGOES CANCER TREATMENT
Sometimes a news item breaks that shakes you to your foundations...

rock goddess ROCK GODDESS ANNOUNCE FIRST LONDON DATE IN OVER THIRTY YEARS
The waiting is over. The reformed South London hard rock trio have announced details of their first London concert in over 30 years...

nigel glockler BREAKING NEWS: SAXON DRUMMER NIGEL GLOCKLER PRONOUNCED 100% RECOVERED WITH ZERO DAMAGE
"This means that I am okay to get back to work, but I am told to ease back into it and on my own timeframe..."

turbowolf TURBOWOLF RELEASE BLISTERING NEW SINGLE 'NINE LIVES'
"Nine Lives is a song about making the most of our limited time; about living with no regrets; about changing our attitudes towards death and about life..."

arch enemy ARCH ENEMY ANNOUNCE NEW LIVE DATES FOR 2015
European fans will see Arch Enemy again in late April. The band are coming back with support from US Metal force Unearth and Drone from Germany...

motley crue EXCLUSIVE: MOTLEY CRUE PAY TRIBUTE TO GARY GLITTER ON THE FINAL TOUR
Debauched rockers Motley Crue are currently in Japan performing their last Asian dates on their much publicised Final Tour...

music for nations LEGENDARY HEAVY METAL LABEL MUSIC FOR NATIONS IS BACK
As well as reissues, the label will be signing new artists for the first time in over a decade...

satyricon SATYRICON SIGNS WITH NAPALM RECORDS FOR RELEASE OF SPECTACULAR LIVE DVD
"It's not a live album. It's a celebration of what Satyricon stands for as a band..."

absolva ABSOLVA RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'IN SOME WILD UNIVERSE' PLUS TOUR UPDATE
This video features the touring line-up of the band for 2015...

rival sons RIVAL SONS WITHDRAW FROM SOUNDWAVE 2015
Australia will have to wait a little longer to see Rival Sons in the flesh as family matters take priority...

the answer THE ANSWER RELEASE BRAND NEW LYRIC VIDEO FOR TRACK 'LONG LIVE THE RENEGADES'
"The song is about just doing what you do best and having a bit of a bunker mentality..."

dead kennedys DEAD KENNEDYS ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPE HEADLINE TOUR FOR JUNE 2015
US punk pioneers will bring their distincitve sound to four countries over ten dates...

carl sentance BREAKING NEWS: CARL SENTANCE ANNOUNCED AS NEW VOCALIST FOR NAZARETH
Persian Risk vocalist Carl Sentance replaces Linton Osbourne to start the next chapter for the Scottish hard rockers...

rockingham firefest BREAKING NEWS: ROCKINGHAM RELIGHTS THE FIREFEST; GOTTHARD, DAN REED, STAN BUSH AND MORE ANNOUNCED
The AOR flag will be raised high yet again over Nottingham Rock City...

pentagram PENTAGRAM RE-SIGNS WITH PEACEVILLE RECORDS - ALBUM RECORDING UNDERWAY
Through four decades of adversity and triumph, Pentagram have become a legendary international act...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP 2015 UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
This tour follows on from the release of the band's acclaimed album 'Outsider' which enjoyed excellent reviews...

godsmack GODSMACK VOCALIST SULLY ERNA TO MAKE AN ONLINE POKER COMEBACK
For Godsmack fans this could be disheartening as Erna shifts his attention from music to poker...

quo convention FIRST EVER STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION ANNOUNCED
There will be live music, very special guests and a packed programme this October for this very special celebration...

queensryche THUNDER CONFIRMED AS VERY SPECIAL GUESTS TO ZZ TOP AT WEMBLEY ARENA PLUS MINI UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
The group's first studio album in six years, 'Wonder Days', reminds us why Thunder are now more revered than ever before...

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE TO TOUR EUROPE AND RELEASE NEW ALBUM IN 2015
It's a busy year for Queensrÿche with headline shows and festival appearances before the new album release...

dir en grey dir en grey RETURN FOR TWO EXCLUSIVE SHOWS
The Islington O2 Academy will be the scene for Japanese avant-garde Metal in May...

unleashed SWEDISH LEGENDS UNLEASHED REVEAL ALBUM TITLE AND ARTWORK
The founders of the Viking Death Metal movement are back and as brutal as ever...

santa cruz SANTA CRUZ REVEAL LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'MY REMEDY'
Get a taste of the new album with 'My Remedy', the third single to be released...

Shattered sun LEGENDARY BRITISH MELODIC ROCKERS FM RETURN WITH 'HEROES & VILLAINS' ON APRIL 17TH
"We're on a roll! Some of the tracks on this album are better than anything that the band has ever produced, and Steve's voice is as good as ever..."

nightwish NIGHTWISH ANNOUNCE ONLY UK DATE THIS YEAR WITH ARCH ENEMY SUPPORTING
"Who would have thought about headlining at Wembley Arena one day when we were starting our UK touring history..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS GO UNPLUGGED AND PERSONAL: ACOUSTIC DATES ANNOUNCED
After last year's highly acclaimed unplugged tour, The Quireboys are pleased to announce a very intimate string of evenings early 2015...

killit KILLIT UNLEASH DEBUT VIDEO AND ANNOUNCE FIRST EVER LIVE SHOW
'Shut It Down' is the first single from the album and is out now and available...

state villains STATE VILLAINS TO RELEASE SECOND EP IN SPRING
State Villains have an honesty that harkens back to an era of integrity and a distinct lack of gimmicks...

chris slade BREAKING NEWS: CHRIS SLADE IS BACK IN AC/DC
Chris will rejoin the legendary hard rockers for their appearance at the 57th annual Grammy Awards as well as the band's upcoming tour...

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