||STARS OUT IN FORCE FOR INAUGURAL HALL OF HEAVY METAL HISTORY INDUCTIONS
2017 Hall Of Heavy Metal History Inductions
Anaheim Expo Center, Anaheim, California
18th January 2017
Words: Steve Göldby, Pictures: Ron Lyon
The stars were out in force at the inaugural Hall Of Heavy Metal History induction ceremony in a gala night that was a celebration of the music we love.
CEO/Founder Pat Gesualdo brimmed with enthusiasm as he expounded the virtues of his organisation and it was rousing to hear. Pat is doing a great thing for Metal and for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund which Wendy Dio spoke vibrantly and passionately about. You can check out, and donate to, the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund right here.
Rudy Sarzo's speech was pure excellence as he threaded together every inductee with a narrative that linked every one of them and Ross The Boss told the story of how he was introduced to Joey DeMaio by Ronnie James Dio on Black Sabbath's 1980 'Heaven And Hell' tour and how the two would rehearse an embryonic Manowar set while Sabbath listened on downstairs, enthralled by the black wind, fire and steel emanating from the pair's practice space.
Ross told MetalTalk afterwards that speaking in public like that is not really his thing and not what he does but you would never have thought so as he carried off the task professionally and with style.
Don Airey gave a moving speech with his heart firmly on his sleeve as his clear appreciation at receiving his honour shone through. Don was delighted to have his family in attendance and gave very special mention to the man whose boots he stepped into after his retirement, the late, great Jon Lord.
Vinny Appice brought the house down when he further confused the issue of the pronunciation of the family name by revealing that his and Carmine's brother, Frank Appice, also has his own way of saying the name and it's different to the way Vinny and Carmine pronounce it. And then there were three, indeed.
Motörhead and Scorpions drummer Mikkey Dee accepted two awards, on behalf of Lemmy and also the Scorps, and gave further insight into Lemmy's character when he told the tale of requesting some time with the iconic frontman as an urgent and pressing issue needed resolving. Lemmy was playing a video game at the time and refused to be interrupted.
"Shut up," growled Motörhead's founder and leader and Mikkey was forced to wait until the game was completed before dealing with the business matter.
The Swedish beatkeeper was not afraid to show his emotions and clearly misses Lemmy every day and loved the man dearly, as did Motörhead manager Todd Singerman who accepted the award on behalf of Lemmy's favourite watering hole, The Rainbow Bar And Grill.
Kelle and Kathy Rhoads spoke eloquently about their late sibling Randy while Metal Blade Records boss Brian Slagel showed his heart really is made of Metal by delivering some rousing words after he was introduced by Slayer's Kerry King.
Andy Zildjian and Frankie Banali were both entertaining and appreciative and the audience really lapped up the speeches in what will almost certainly be the Heavy Metal event of the year.
With three former Dio members, Simon Wright, Craig Goldy and Scott Warren, and an extraordinary back catalogue of the very highest quality to choose from, you are pretty much guaranteed a great show from Dio Disciples and so it proved after Ethan Brosh and Diamond Lane had warmed the audience up nicely.
Ripper Owen really smashed it up in a display of sheer power and might. It's taken two vocalists to step into the huge gap Ronnie left behind and there's no Toby Jepson any more, instead it's the superb Joe Retta sharing vocal duties with the former Judas Priest and Iced Earth frontman and this combination works tremendously well.
Dio Disciples are an essential band who deliver these classic Dio hymns through top quality musicianship and performance. Straight through the heart in fact.
The performance of the night was by the Ross The Boss Band who completely stole the show with an exquisite set of Manowar classics that were executed to near perfection. Ross and his colleagues were playing together for only the fourth ever time tonight yet they made good on Ross' pledge to deliver these battle hymns as close to the way they were written and meant to be played as possible.
Marc Lopes has totally nailed these Metal masterpieces and Ross is currently on the form of his life and with Rhino providing the beat, you need to be prepared when you catch them this year on the 'Discipline Of Steel' world tour. Ross The Boss is on fire and is gonna keep on burnin'.
Budderside, one of the first bands signed to Motörhead Music, finished off proceedings with a memorable set that demonstrated jusy why the label has big faith in and big expectations for them. Much more on Budderside to come, that much is certain.
To say this was a special night is to put it mildly and Pat told us afterwards that this is just the beginning and we can expect much more in years to come.
I've already said the Pat is doing a great thing for Metal and for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund but it's worth saying again. You can check out, and donate to, the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund right here.
Pat Gesualdo is featured on Steve Göldby Talks Metal this Wednesday, 25th January at 4.00pm UK time, 8.00am LA time. You can listen right here. The show is repeated on TotalRock several times between Thursday and Tuesday and will appear on our On Demand page from late Wednesday right here.
Ross The Boss
Kelle and Kathy Rhoads
Official Hall Of Heavy Metal History Awards photographs are exclusive to MetalTalk, courtesy of Ron Lyon.