JANUARY 18th 2017


Review/Photos by: Char Tupper
Gallery: http://www.metaltitans.com/concertpics/hall-of-heavy-metal-history-2017/

This evening wasn’t just another “concert” in the books of MetalTitans, it was a historical event of inducting numerous artists, companies, and more into the first annual, Hall of Heavy Metal History. We all know, that the heavy metal scene has been impacted by countless different aspects in the industry. Whether it be record labels, infamous bars, even companies that supply the instruments to the legends themselves, it may be overlooked at times, but tonight, no one was getting overlooked. Host Eddie Trunk welcomed us all this evening, and we were anxious to see who and what was being inducted into the hall of heavy metal history, to light the path to the future of this wonderful music scene.

To start off the night, there was a press conference where media of the event could ask all the inductees questions about either their bands, or metal music in general. It was a great 30 minutes of getting to see and hear how these artists feel each other’s presence in the scene has impacted one another, and how they truly all worked together as a heavy force to bring metal to life.  From what the panel was saying overall, a lot of music today is nowhere near like the music of the 70’s or 80’s, but thanks to the influence of these artists (and more), the scene has grown substantially. Do I dare say, metal heads are a family, a group of people who all come together to support the love of music.

It is time to start the night of inductees, but first, a performance by the band, Butterside. Performance wise, the band was ok, sadly I felt that the vocals for this kind of music was necessary as constant solos and intricate guitar work didn’t cut it for me, at least not after 15minutes of it. Then again, I personally don’t play any instruments, and my musical taste doesn’t venture into “instrumental” bands very often.  After their performance, Eddie started to announce the inductees into the Hall of Heavy Metal History. First inductee was the man so many know, so many loved, his name is Ronnie James Dio. He was the real deal, as many of the inductees mentioned through various speeches, Ronnie had opportunities to work alongside so many other talented musicians in this industry, and he continues to impact the metal scene today. Hell, he is even known for popularizing the classic “metal horns” sign, which we are all guilty of using once or twice, or even thousands of times, we all honour him in one way or another. Dio’s wife, Wendy, came to the podium to accept the award in his honour for his 50-year career in music, and his tireless contribution to metal.  The evening continued announcing inductees into the Hall, including a special introduction for Brian Slagel, the CEO and founder of Metal Blade Records. The record label was founded in 1982 and opened up a lot of doors for up and coming bands, like introducing Metallica to the music scene on a “compilation album”, but Brian and his team also released numerous other albums for other acts, (now well known in metal) Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Cannibal Corpse, and countless others. That being said, who better to introduce him, then Kerry King. He walked on stage and of course, a few shouts of “SLAAAYER” attempted to reach the depths of hell, Kerry looked back on some of the history him and Brian shared together over the years.  Brian was awarded for his help in the scene of recording and distribution for bands around the world.

One of the inductees I enjoyed, was Andy Zildjian of Sabian Cymbals, which Eddie gave us some history on the infamous cymbal brand. I found it quite sweet to learn that the name “Sabian” came from the first 2 letters of his 3 children’s names, Sally, Billy, and Andy, that to me was really touching. After the brief history, Andy came to the podium and he was a humorous character, always had a witty comment for either Eddie, Pat, or anyone side stage waiting for awards. It was nice to see the event overall, everyone enjoyed and had a little fun between the speeches and serious discussions. The inductee however, I feel impacted the room the most, was none other than Randy Rhoads.  The legendary guitarist may have passed away 35 years ago, but to a lot of musicians in the room, it still feels like yesterday. Randy’s sister and brother came to the podium to receive the award in honour of their brother, a guitar player who was unlike any other. It was quite emotional over the course of the night to hear memories everyone had of Randy Rhoads and hear them choke up, or even stop to catch their breath, he was a man who was taken from this world far too soon. Randy Rhoads at the young age of 16 already knew guitar was what coursed through his veins, teaching guitar by day, and playing live gigs by night for his band, “Little Women”, which later became the band we all know, (and also one of the inductees) Quiet Riot, and also later on becoming the guitarist of Ozzy Osbourne. Rhoads was a humble, amazing human being, and watching his brother and sister still get deeply emotional, surrounded by Rhoads’s fellow tour mates, friends, and all around, “metal family”, it brought a tear to my eye to see how truly, metal is a family, no doubt about it. It may be a dysfunctional family, but a family none the less, and I’m sure I speak for most of us metal heads when I say, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The list of inductees was as followed:

Ronnie James Dio
Metal Blade Records
Rainbow Bar and Grill
Rudy Sarzo
Lemmy Kilmister
Don Airey
Frankie Banali
Ross “The Boss” Friedman
Vinnie Appice
Andy Zildjian
Randy Rhoads

The night of awards had come to an end; however, it was time for the live entertainment, which included performances by Diamond Lane, Dio Disciples, and Ross “The Boss”. The bands put on a great performance all around, hadn’t seen any of them before, so it was a rare treat to go into the next half of the event , not knowing what to expect. I must be honest, the opening band, Diamond Lane totally blew me away, they gave 110% throughout their entire performance, not saying the others didn’t do well, but this band stood out for me. Sadly, the event had a meet and greet, which normally is a good thing, but to do the VIP event during a band performance, terrible timing, which resulted in the band only having 20-30 people in the room, versus 100+, hopefully next time, that is considered. Though, this band still gave so much energy, amazing rhythm followed by a strong vocal presence. All I could say, “wow!”, I hope to see them again next time I am in the LA area, both musically and photographically, they were a joy to see.

The overall evening was quite a unique experience, to be able to be part of the media team, and be a part of this historical night, it was unlike any other. Hope the success of this event continues through the years to recognize more companies, record labels, establishments, and of course, the bands/artists that make this scene so memorable. It will be interesting to see the future inductees, but to also one day, 20 years from now, look back on this day and see how the future inductees, reflect on and continue to be inspired by the past influences of Heavy Metal History.