An "Idol" AlternativeWhile all of America and most of the rest of the civilized world is tuned in to see who is the next “American Idol,” I thought I’d offer up an alternative. Especially since if I really would have seen Joe Perry perform alongside Sanjaya, I might now be blind. Joe effin’ Perry. Un-effin’-believable.
Quiet Riot. Oh yeah!
If these guys aren’t the original hair metal band, they’re damned close. I don’t want to bore you with QR’s long, involved history, especially when I can bore you with my own story about the band, but briefly, here’s some background, from Wiki:
Quiet Riot is an American heavy metal band, whose 1983 and 1984 success contributed to launching the 1980s' glam metal scene. They were founded in 1975 by guitarist Randy Rhoads, and the original lineup featured lead vocalist Kevin DuBrow, bassist Kelly Garni and drummer Drew Forsyth.I thought I’d toss that in because I found it interesting. For the gory “break-up and make-up” full Quiet Riot story, check out the above-referenced Wikipedia page.
Some have guessed that the name “Quiet Riot” comes from a phrase in John Barth's 1960s novel “Giles Goat-Boy” and/or to be a pun on the title of “White Riot” by The Clash. However, in a radio interview given by the band in 1979 … DuBrow said the band's name was born of a conversation with Rick Parfitt of British band Status Quo in which Parfitt said he'd like to name a band “Quite Right.” They are ranked at number 100 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.”
Quiet Riot also has one of the most famous and iconic heavy metal mascots in history. Their mascot resembles a man (sometimes lead singer Kevin DuBrow) in a metal facial mask and in a straightjacket (somewhat similar to Hannibal Lecter), which has appeared on almost every single Quiet Riot album. This mascot has been considered along-side Megadeth’s Vic Rattlehead, Iron Maiden’s Eddie the Head and Motörhead’s “Snaggletooth” as the all-time most familiar heavy metal symbols.
For my part, when Metal Health hit in 1983, it was love at first listen. I swear I wore the grooves down playing this album over and over. My buddies and I saw these guys three times over the next year, starting at a club in Memphis. I’ve got some great pictures from that show, but unfortunately they’re in storage somewhere north of here. (Apartment 104 isn’t as large as you may think!) It was at this show I had my first run in with real rock and roll groupies.
Myself and three or four of my friends got to the club early and started in with the beverages, getting tuned up. After awhile, we noticed a small handful of girls on the opposite side of the club. It was a pretty small place and still early, so there weren’t too many people there yet and we had a clear range of vision. These girls were decked out in black spandex, leather corset tops, teased hair; they had the whole 80s metal thing going on.
We were thinking, Wow! these girls might be fun to party with. On his next round past our table, we laid into the waiter. This was in the days when rock clubs had waiters. He gave us sort of a squinty-eyed look and said, “Um, yeah…. Those girls are with the band. They’re groupies.”
Oh. Groupies. Like that’s going to even slightly faze a bunch of drunken 20-year-old military guys. Let me tell you the only thing that slowed us down was when the girls asked if we wanted to do some coke. Unfortunately, that wasn’t really in compliance with military standards.
On that note, I’m going to give you four songs by a band that’s not appearing on “American Idol” tonight. They did actually release a new album last year (Rehab, on Chavis Records), but I do not think Quiet Riot is even currently touring. These songs come two from the six-times platinum Metal Health album, and two from its follow-up, 1984’s Condition Critical.
Metal Health.mp3 from Metal Health
Cum On Feel The Noize.mp3 from Metal Health
Mama Weer All Crazee Now.mp3 from Conditional Critical
Condition Critical.mp3 from Conditional Critical