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


chris dale

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Chris Dale is a Heavy Metal bassist. He is currently the bass player in TANK whose recent live DVD, 'WAR MACHINE' is out now. He has previously played with lots of Metal bands and projects, most notably a two year stint in Bruce Dickinson's solo band.

Chris fronts the pop-group Sack Trick, DJs occasionally on Bloodstock Radio and in his spare time works on tour as a roady for anyone going to a hot climate...

***********************************

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...

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
February 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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ufo UFO ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM DETAILS AND 2015 TOUR DATES
"A Conspiracy Of Stars is another successful combination of those typical UFO elements with fresh, contemporary ideas..."

battle beast BATTLE BEAST RELEASE NEW TRACK 'TOUCH IN THE NIGHT' - LISTEN HERE
"'Touch In The Night' is probably the farthest away from typical Battle Beast sound we've ever gone..."

sebastien SEBASTIEN RELEASE NEW LIVE VIDEO FROM MASTERS OF ROCK FESTIVAL
The track is a version of Black Sabbath's 'Headless Cross', recorded earlier this year...

napalm death NAPALM DEATH DEBUT FIRST SONG FROM 'APEX PREDATOR - EASY MEAT' ALBUM
A first online teaser from the new album is now available. Napalm Death are currently on tour in Europe...

audrey horne AUDREY HORNE ARE NOW ON TOUR
'Pure Heavy' comes to Europe with an extensive run of dates..."

peckham cowboys THE PECKHAM COWBOYS UNWRAP VIDEO FOR 'BROMLEY GIRLS'
The song is a tale of "a young aristocratic lady of high breeding, led astray by a terrible man. Only the names have been changed, because we forgot them..."

abgott ABGOTT PLAY ONLY UK SHOW OF 2014 IN DECEMBER
The Black Metal heroes will play the Boston Music Rooms on December 5th...

fear factory FEAR FACTORY CANCEL EUROPEAN TOUR
Fear Factory will be concentrating on finishing their new studio album and will return in the Summer of 2015...

download KISS AND MUSE ANNOUNCED AS DOWNLOAD 2015 HEADLINERS
British rock trio Muse will headline the Saturday night of next year's event, which runs between June 12th and 14th...

magnum MAGNUM RELEASE NEW SINGLE 'ON CHRISTMAS DAY' ON DECEMBER 1ST
The poignant song is based on a true life incident in the WW1 trenches...

sonata arctica SONATA ARCTICA DANCE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA IN HILARIOUS NEW VIDEO FOR GENESIS COVER 'I CAN'T DANCE'
"The experience ranged from no one even paid too much attention to us to people looking a little scared..."

manowar MANOWAR ANNOUNCE GERMAN DATES FOR 2016 WORLD TOUR
The German dates are just the first of many live appearances, with plenty more to be announced. "And for 2016, we will have more surprises and an even bigger production..."

ensiferum ENSIFERUM ANNOUNCE ALBUM TITLE AND RELEASE DATE FOR 2015
"Kippo kicked our asses to make us do the very best, and you can hear that in this album. It's a killer album with killer sound. I'm very proud to a part of this masterpiece..."

hellfest BREAKING NEWS: HELLFEST ANNOUNCE MOTORHEAD, SCORPIONS, ALESTORM, SLASH, ZZ TOP, VENOM AND MANY, MANY MORE FOR 2015
Hellfest have announced a stellar line-up for the 2015 edition of the festival which will take place at on June 19th to 21st 2015...

download BREAKING NEWS: JUDAS PRIEST, SLIPKNOT AND MORE ANNOUNCED FOR DOWNLOAD 2015
Slipknot will play the main stage at Donington on Friday June 12th, following Judas Priest...

chris appleton CHRIS APPLETON ANNOUNCES ACOUSTIC ALBUM & TOUR
In the downtime between Absolva projects, Chris Appleton applies his skills to solo album 'Restless'...

out and loud NAPALM RECORDS ANNOUNCE LABEL NIGHT AT OUT & LOUD FESTIVAL 2015
The German festival gets off to a quality start with the warm up night on July 3rd featuring a fine cross-section of the label repertoire...

jeff loomis ARCH ENEMY WELCOME JEFF LOOMIS AS NEW GUITARIST
The ex-Nevermore guitarist will debut for Arch Enemy on the European tour starting November 26th as Nick Cordle's replacement...

wildfire WILDFIRE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2014 CHRISTMAS SHOWCASE
The two day showcase promises to give Glasgow a Rock and Metal party to remember...

periphery PERIPHERY ANNOUNCE DUAL ALBUMS FOR 2015
There will also be plenty of touring in next year, including a stint on the road with Devin Townsend Project...

anathema ANATHEMA ANNOUNCE 'RESONANCE' SHOW AT SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE IN APRIL 2015
This special show will be a celebration of the entire history of Anathema music...

cradle of filth CRADLE OF FILTH SIGN WORLDWIDE DEAL WITH NUCLEAR BLAST
"For the full frontal assault we have planned for the awesome new album, Nuclear Blast are the perfect war stallion to carry us screaming into the heart of the next chapter of COF's dark, enigmatic history..."

yardbirds THE YARDBIRDS RETURN TO LONDON WITH SPECIAL GUESTS SOME VELVET MORNING
The Yardbirds will play Bush Hall on November 21st, fifty years after the release of the seminal 'Five Live Yardbirds'...

marilyn manson NEW MARILYN MANSON ALBUM 'THE PALE EMPEROR' COMING JANUARY 19th
The album is available for pre-orders now...

udo UDO, ONE OF GERMAN CLASSIC ROCK'S GREATEST, ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
'Decadent' is mastered and due for release in January 2015...

fozzy FOZZY LAUNCH VIDEO CLIP FOR 'DO YOU WANNA START A WAR'
"Fog, slow motion camera shots, and chicks in military uniforms. Touchdown!..."

phil rudd 'PROCURE TO KILL' CHARGE AGAINST AC/DC DRUMMER PHIL RUDD DROPPED BUT OTHER CHARGES REMAIN
Rudd is on bail and is scheduled to reappear in court on November 27th and still faces one charge of threatening to kill...

blind guardian BLIND GUARDIAN TO RELEASE 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR' IN FEBRUARY 2015
"A story between science fiction and fantasy. While there used to be several passages between the worlds, there is only one gate left now: The Red Mirror. It has to be found at any cost..."

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