Metal Evolution (2011) s01e02 Episode Script

Early Metal US

Sam Dunn: When people
talk about the birth of
heavy metal they generally talk
about the great British bands
like Black Sabbath and Led
Zeppelin and Deep Purple
but America also played a
really important role in
the origins of this music
and you can't talk about
American metal without
talking about Kiss.
But the question for this
episode is, what are the
origins of American metal
and how do we get to KISS?
The evolution of heavy music
in America goes back much
further than the explosion of
Kiss in the 1970's and if there
is one style of early American
music that was heavy for its
time it's surf music especially
the sound of the surf guitar.
Sam Dunn: And I've been thinking
back to the first guitar riff
my Dad ever played for me and
it was a surf guitar song
by the legendary Dick Dale
and I remember loving it
because it had this real intense
sort of shredding vibe to it.
So I'm wondering
what place does
surf music have in the
history of metal?
Sam: read the little write-up on
Dick Dale here at the museum
and one of the first things it
says, 'father of heavy metal'
Dick Dale: That's what they
called me, critics would say,
this music sounds like the
metallic galloping of two trains
coming and just crashing.
I didn't consider myself
a guitar player, I don't
know what an augmented
ninth or thirteenth
is and I don't care.
I just bang on that thing and
I make it scream with pain or
pleasure and I get sounds
of Mother Nature.
Dick: I heard about a man called
Leo Fender, he said well how
come you got to play so
loud, you're blowing up
my amplifiers, and I said, well,
because I'm playing at a place
called the Rendezvous Ballroom
and I want my guitar and
speaker to sound
like Gene Krupa.
Dick: So the Stratocaster
was built with a thick
body so that it would give
it that fat sound and I put
thick strings on it to gave it
a fatter sound then Leo created
the first 100-watt output
transformer peaking 180 watts.
To this day that's
never been matched and
people's ears started,
whoa what is this?
Don Branker: He took the
guitar and turned it into
a instrument not just a
small part of the music,
he was able to do
things on the guitar
that nobody had seen before.
Now had he been playing on a
wall of amps like Van Halen had,
heavy metal may have
been twenty years earlier.
Along with surf
music another genre that
was a distinctly American
contribution to early heavy
metal was garage rock and it
doesn't get much more American
than Ted Nugent who long before
he became the Motor City Madman
he was the guitarist for 60's
garage rockers the Amboy Dukes.
Sam Dunn: I've come all the
way to his Spirit Wild Ranch
deep in the heart of Texas and
I think the real challenge is
to not have Ted talk about
hunting and politics
and actually try and
focus on the music.
Ted Nugent: Barack,
Barack Obama. (burping)
Ted: You get that?
Sam Dunn: Got it.
Ted Nugent: Open the show with
that (beep).
Sam: Take 3.
Ted Nugent: It's the
only decent use
I found for those
syllables, gas release.
Sam Dunn: You heard
it here at the ranch.
Sam Dunn: Hang on, hang on,
hang on, hang on, hang on.
The Amboy Dukes, were you
guys called garage rock?
Ted: Sure the Amboy dukes were
the quintessential garage band.
We had all the flailing kerrang
outrage, the uninhibitedness,
the ferociousness of my
Chuck Berry Bo Diddley
dreams was as raw and
unrefined as possible.
All of us garage bands,
all of us kids taught
every band okay we can't
play like (beep) anymore.
John Drake: It was a bad boy
attitude, you know just
like a swaggering attitude,
this is what we do.
The volume kept going up that
was another thing you know,
you just happen to notice it,
now you're really starting
to get this feeling.
Lenny Kaye: When the English
bands came over here
all brandishing guitars
of some form or another,
it was like, oh we have to
get back to where we started
and that's when you have all
these garage bands in America
suddenly taking root in every
town all across the USA
that would certainly
lay the ground work
for the next stage of what
the music would become.
The American
garage rock movement created
fertile ground for bands to
experiment with heavy sounds
in the mid 60's and it
was the Steppenwolf song
"Born To Be Wild" that not only
pushed music in a heavier
direction but also featured
the phrase, "heavy metal".
Sam Dunn: Was Steppenwolf the
first band to use the term
"heavy metal"?
John Kay: To be honest with you
it doesn't really matter very
much, I do know that
from that time on there
were people who thought
of Steppenwolf as being
the band that was perhaps kind
of a prototype for other bands
to come which eventually
became heavy metal.
Corky Laing: The drums are
there pulsing away kicking
ass you know, you get shivers
when you hear the organ,
the guitar is rolling, John Kay
had that leadership voice of
the generation, he didn't just
tell you about it he made
a point of it you know, it
wasn't just a lecture.
He beat people up in terms of
telling them how they're gonna
live their life now and
how things are gonna change.
John Kay: When we started
playing some of the tunes
that we kicking around we
realized that our sound was not
only more aggressive and rocking
heavier but also we were
not stretching out into these
kind of ethereal sounding,
you know eight minute songs
that had long sweeping solos
that you know etc. we were more
like, make your statement and
do it in a compact fashion and
hit hard and then move on.
Sam Dunn: In the late sixties
rock music in America
was becoming increasingly
heavy and aggressive and loud
and one of the bands
that often get cited as
the loudest of all time is
California's Blue Cheer.
Sam: And so I'm meeting with
guitarist Randy Holden
because I want to ask him,
what was the attraction
to playing at such
punishing volume?
Sam: Tell me about San
Francisco at the time and
to what extent you guys
were breaking free
from the typical San
Francisco scene.
Randy Holden: The psychedelic
vibe kind of co-mingled with
folk music and rock and that
was you know, had it's place I
suppose, for myself I was always
attracted to minor key and
powerful notes, I was tuning my
guitar to "D", a whole step note
down from the time I was playing
surf music and I did it because
I just love the
sound of that thunder.
Dickie Peterson: When
Blue Cheer started,
in San Francisco at the time the
music scene was so wide open,
I mean there were no rules
and it was the only way
a band like Blue Cheer could
have surfaced was in that
environment because we were
going against all the grains,
we were too loud, we were,
our music was too simple,
we weren't sophisticated
enough, we were rowdy,
we were obnoxious little punks.
Geddy Lee: In many ways they
were the first metal band
but they didn't think
in terms of metal,
it was volume that they
were all about and fury.
Sam Dunn: What was the appeal
to you of playing so loud?
Randy Holden: I don't know
I'm born with that, that's just
something that
totally takes me away.
There's something,
there's beauty in that.
I would sit and imagine what
would it sound like if you were
right there when a nuclear
explosion went off and I thought
if you had enough amplifiers you
could come close to that maybe.
Perhaps the most
important city in the
development of early metal
in the U.S. is Detroit.
So I've come to the motor
city to meet with Wayne Kramer
guitarist for the legendary
Detroit band the MC5
to find out why this city
became the epicenter
of heavy music back
in the late sixties.
Sam Dunn: Can you describe
what things were like back then?
Wayne Kramer: There was a
sense of urgency in finding
a militant position to take
to oppose the disastrous
direction things were going
in. Every day there were
developments on the national
and international scene,
political developments that
poured gasoline on the fire.
Flower power was nice but
that wasn't enough power,
my generation was in agreement
that the way our parents were
doing things completely
was a disaster and
the only chance we got is to
say something about it and
say it as loud as we
can and we found that
electric guitars were a
good way to do that.
Wayne Kramer: There was an
esthetic that developed in
Detroit unique in the world
and it kind of gave me the sense
that you know I don't have to
live in New York, I don't have
to live in London you know,
I don't have to live in
San Francisco, we've got
something going on here and
we were all influenced by the
industrial base of Detroit.
This idea of metal and the
noise showed up in the music.
James Williamson: I think the
music really more than anything
else was a reaction to the
industrial nature of Detroit.
You were either working
on cars or selling cars
or thinking about cars.
Scott Asheton:
Or stealing cars.
James Williamson:
Or stealing cars.
Wayne Kramer: Every weeknight
clubs would be full of
workers that were working
days or working afternoons
and they could stay in
the bars till 2 in
the morning and so
bands could play.
So there was a lot
going on for a musician.
Jaan Uhelzski: We had all
the California bands like the
Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin
and Big Brother but
the Summer of Love never
made it to Detroit.
We liked things that
really got us off,
you know, simple direct
over the top make you move,
make you want to dance stuff.
The MC5 especially Wayne Kramer,
they would go, "Kick out the
jams (beep), or get off the
stage", meaning this is a
weak performance, just get
out of here and that just
became kind of their tag
phrase, their motto.
Sam Dunn: So why does
The MC5 get included
in the conversation
about heavy metal?
Wayne Kramer: Well The MC5
gets the credit or the blame,
and I'll take both,
for what came to be known
as metal and punk rock,
wasn't my plan (laughs).
Guys like Townshend, Jeff
Beck, Jimmy Page, I was heavily
influenced by these guys and
when I combined that with what
I was hearing from the free jazz
movement, I thought well this
is clearly the next step.
I can do things with the
guitar to make it sound
very unguitar like.
Ted Nugent: I thought I was a
bad (beep) on the guitar,
I thought the Amboy Dukes
were bad (beep)
they had that James Brown Wilson
Pickett Sammy Davis shake
going on and then I saw The
MC5, it was stupifying.
Lenny Kaye: My life
changed by The MC5,
a great show band,
beyond politics,
beyond anything,
a great loud roar of high
energy, complimented on the
other side by the
complete simplicity
and directness of The Stooges.
While The MC5
created a sound that hadn't
been heard before in America,
another Detroit band that
took music to new levels of
rawness and intensity in
the late sixties was
Iggy and the Stooges.
Iggy Pop: When we were forming
our group The Stooges before we
were ever on stage, we'd all
liked heavier rock, that just
made me feel like it had
an inner unstated message.
To assert myself in a primal
way, to take the sex when
I wanted it, to take
money when I wanted it,
to be somebody not to have
a job and to be somebody.
Iggy Pop: When we first played
those songs, people would
do this, I mean literally, if
there was any room to get back
most people got back but didn't
want to leave and some people,
the type that later became
called "stoners" or "sluts",
those are our two big fan bases
and then a few "intellectuals",
they'd come forward and the
others would peek in horror from
the back of the place and
the (beep) sounded heavy.
That's what it was desperately
important to me to be.
Iggy Pop: I think the one
thing that allows people to
find all sorts of stuff
in our music is that we
never really stuck it out
in your face too much.
It was in your face in one way
but in another way it had
kind of a sullen, an inward
quality that you also find in
goth music, grunge
music, in metal music.
The Detroit bands
established a new direction
in heavy music in the late
sixties but Detroit's reign as
the epicenter of American
hard rock was short lived.
By the early seventies the
legendary Grande Ballroom
had closed and The MC5
and Iggy and the Stooges
had fallen apart due
to drug problems.
But there would be one
Detroit musician who would
eventually drag American
hard rock out of
the underground and
into the mainstream.
The story of American
heavy metal would not
be complete without the
Alice Cooper Band.
They're one of the most extreme
live acts of all time and
they've also written some of
heavy metal's most memorable
radio anthems. So how did
this outrageous underground
band from Detroit
get their start?
Alice Cooper: Every weekend at
the Grande or the Eastown or
these great rock dungeons, it
was like, you know, The MC5,
Iggy and Alice. Iggy was
the king of the punks
and I was this other thing,
I was this sort of,
you know, Phantom of the
Opera kind of character.
We loved it, you know, we could
go as far as we wanted to go on
stage, and I mean, it was always
who's crazier Iggy or Alice?
Sam Dunn: What do you think
enabled you guys to achieve
that marriage between a
harder sound and yet
also be accessible on
radio at the same time?
Alice Cooper: It was time and we
had a producer named Bob Ezrin
who got it, he heard us at Max's
Kansas City, he heard Eighteen
and he went ohh, he said,
"what's that song I'm Edgey"?
and I said there's
no, you mean Eighteen?
And he goes, yah yah yah.
He says that song is
so dumb, it's a hit.
We would play it and he would
go no no no no, dumb it down,
the song is about a guy that's
I'm eighteen, I'm a boy,
I'm a man ahh and I dig it.
Bob Ezrin: Mike Bruce was
writing great pop stuff
that then the band would take
and make into hard rock
and then Alice had these
you know strange ideas
and sensibilities that he
would inject into the lyrics.
The job that I had was
to take all of those
elements and to organize
them in a way that
brought a kind of spine
to each of the songs.
Alice Cooper: Bob knew how to
take our insanity and make it
into a real palatable package.
Song's like "Eighteen" and
"School's Out", even if you
hate Alice Cooper you have
to like those records because
they're fun to listen to.
Sam Dunn: Did radio
have a significant role
in catapulting Alice?
Bob Ezrin: The Alice Cooper
group owe their career to radio,
it was actually Rosalie Trombley
who was at CKLW "The Big 8" in
Windsor, Ontario, the other side
of the river from Detroit who
heard our sad little
rendition of "I'm Eighteen".
Alice Cooper: She heard this
record and her son liked it,
her teenage son, her son said
that's the coolest record,
so she added it and the next
thing you know, it got
request, request, request
and it was a major hit.
Now if you were to hit
on CKLW that means you,
that was the biggest station
in the Midwest, if you got
a hit on CKLW you
had a national hit.
Radio wise we were
a bit of an oddity.
The hardest rock thing on
the radio at that time
probably was The Guess Who.
To crack the Top 40 you were up
against Motown, Burt Bacharach.
In order to get into that Top 40
you had to have a record really
made a dent, that made
people go, 'what was that?'
You know and that's
what "Eighteen" did.
Bob Ezrin: Then after that we
were looked at like a radio act.
It was kind of expected, it
wasn't a matter of trying
to get radio anymore, it
was radio was waiting for
the next thing we
were going to do.
With "I'm Eighteen" on the
charts and "School's Out"
hitting number one in the
UK, Alice Cooper was now
a household name. But radio
success was an anomaly for
hard rock bands during the
1970's. For most bands, touring
was the only way to reach
audiences and there's no better
example than the successful
touring act than Kiss.
Sam Dunn: I wanted to get
you perspective on how
touring became so critical
during the seventies.
Ace Frehley: In the early days I
remember playing certain places
where I knew the people weren't
huge fans when we walked in.
People in the audience after
you know the first couple songs,
some of them would be sitting
like this going, all right
prove it. Half way through
the show you know people
were up and you know by the
time the drums levitated and
everything blew up, they walked
out of the club you know, fans.
Peter Criss: You know we do
these shows, sell it out,
there were cheering and smiling,
we got a lot of girls at night,
had a great party and
then go back and go,
why aren't we on the radio?
Next day we would read the
papers, it said we sucked,
we were loud, we were
boisterous, we were
out of control,
they don't understand us,
this band should be killed
or shot or hung.
What's wrong here?
Christopher Knowles: If you're
not getting played on the radio
you have to play it to
the people directly.
This is before MTV, this is
before YouTube, touring was
really the only way that they
could get their music out
to the people. So these guys
are touring incessantly.
Sammy Hagar: There was a cult
thing to where a band would
come to town and you had 500
or 600 people that were
saying, I'm gonna see this band
but even Kiss didn't explode
on their first record, you
know they went out and worked
and opened for people and busted
their balls out on the road.
Larry Harris: Here's a band who
was only played on FM radio, got
very little Top 40 airplay which
is what most bands in those days
had to get to explode, and we
had left Warner Brothers who was
our distributor and we had none
of our own money and we couldn't
afford to put them back into the
studio so what we did was do a
live album because we
really had no other choice.
Sam Dunn: Why do a live
record at that point?
Peter Criss: Desperation, and
yah, we were like at the
end of our rope, we were so
frustrated that we could not
get our sound on vinyl.
We hear a lot of other
English bands, you hear
from Zeppelin to The Who,
all these other bands,
a few bands by then did
do live albums and
they sounded phenomenal,
why can't we do this?
And finally Eddie Kramer
came into the picture,
we went out on the road
with Eddie with a bunch of
trucks and we recorded
every night live.
When we went and listened every
night in the trailer, that it
was so exciting, what we were
missing was the audience,
the screaming, the kids involved
in the energy of the music,
we thought now this is what
kids will bring home to their
living room and get partied out
and get crazed and stoned,
and put it on and
party all night long.
Larry Harris: We never thought
it would explode the way
it exploded, nobody did, the
live album gave this energy
that no studio album could
capture with this band.
It was for fans who saw them
and wanted to relive it
and it was for fans who
didn't see them and got off
on what was going
on, the excitement.
Ace Frehley: It was the right
record at the right time and it
gave the band a shot in the arm
because prior to that the first
3 albums did ok, we weren't a
million album selling group, if
the live would have failed you
know, I don't know what would
have happened. You know, but
Kisstory is Kisstory (laughs).
Alive was Kiss' first
album to reach the top 10
and is still the bands longest
charting record of all time,
so now that Kiss and Alice
Cooper were selling millions of
records, what did it take to
bring the entire American
hard rock genre into
main stream culture?
In the early seventies Kiss
wasn't the only American hard
rock band building a devoted
fan base through their
live show. Kiss' main competitor
was Boston's Aerosmith.
Aerosmith has sold
150 million albums
and holds the record for
the most gold and platinum
albums by an American group.
But Aerosmith's musical
contribution to the evolution of
heavy metal
remains largely untold.
So I'm meeting with bassist and
founding member Tom Hamilton
to find out where the
Areosmith sound came from and
why it made such a big impact
back in the early 70's.
Tom Hamilton: Joe and I had
been playing together in bands
before Aerosmith when
we were teenagers.
We loved Fleetwood Mac, Led
Zeppelin, we technically weren't
great musicians, we just got
the loudest amps we could.
Turn them up and play
it as fast as we could.
Steven was sort of on a parallel
route with his bands but they
were very professional, very
polished, more towards pop.
Joey was way into funk
bands, Kool and the
Gang and James Brown.
When we finally met up and
got together, those elements
developed into the
sound of the band.
Christopher Knowles: Aerosmith
to me is a swing band,
all their riffs are basically
horn charts transposed to the
I mean Aerosmith are really
taking the Rolling Stones
and combining it with Led
Zeppelin, talk about a
sure fire formula for success.
Slash: They had a certain
kind of swagger that sort of
developed and progressed
from record to record.
I just love the sort of misfit
almost hopeless screw up sort of
sounded like on record but with
this great back beat and this
sort of like
anxiety-ridden kind of delivery.
Tom Hamilton: When we first
came out, Rolling Stone
just said these guys are just
a second rate Stones rip off
basically you know, oh I get
it, you know Jagger/Richards.
The rock press wanted to hear
a little bit more, you know,
of an intellectual component
from their bands and
we were just about, you
know, rocking out.
David Krebs: Aerosmith was, a
sore thumb because I think at
that point in time Columbia
looked at Aerosmith as being in
their eyes déclassé, like the
difference between where Havard
and you belong at some
local school kind of thinking.
Tom Hamilton: We just had to
go out on the road and now
you would call it viral
marketing, get on the best
we could opening for whatever
band. We opened for some
weird people back then but it
was a crowd, we didn't care.
And so eventually you
know we just built that
up to a critical mass.
Sam Dunn: As you know I mean,
the band really started
to hit big with the album
"Toys in the Attic".
David Krebs: Toys in the
Attic had "Sweet Emotion"
and "Walk This Way".
"Dream On" was a single
that came out, off of the first
album and I think may
have cleared the high seventies
and fell off the charts.
After we had success I convinced
Columbia to re-release
"Dream On" and it
went to Number 6.
Tom Hamilton: I remember the
first time hearing one of our
songs on the radio, that's
when "Dream On" became a hit.
I realized, oh my god if I'm
hearing it, that means there's
like thousands of other people
listening to it right now for
the first time and it
was such an amazing rush.
All at once the whole thing
just gave way and we were this
big band and we were
playing stadiums,
playing in front of 50,
60 thousand people.
We had reached a creative
pinnacle and we were starting to
become successful doing
something like what we idolized,
boy were we having a
fun time at that point.
With Aerosmith cracking AM
radio on "Toys in the Attic",
they opened the door for
other American hard rock
bands to hit it big on radio but
there's no seventies hard rock
song more radio friendly
than Kiss' power ballad "Beth".
Sam Dunn: Tell me the
story of how you came to
work on "Destroyer" and
specifically "Beth".
Bob Ezrin: The first thing that
happened was that I saw them
play live in, I believe it was
Saginaw, MI in a 9000 seater and
what was remarkable about it
was that, from the moment they
started playing people were up
on their feet and they never sat
down they just stayed on their
feet through the whole concert
and yelled and screamed and
pumped their arms in the air
and they left and they
were very happy,
but the whole crowd was made up
of 15-year-old boys so then
I met them and I said we got
to expand your horizons here
and your fan base. What
we have to do is make
you more attractive, a little
more romantic so in looking
through Peter's material he
had this thing called "Beck".
Peter Criss: And I said, "I got
a great song man, and I know we
don't do ballads, god forbid the
band don't do, because the band,
that was the rules we'll never
ever do a ballad as long as we
live and so I spruced it up and
I upped the beat and I sang it
to Gene, he goes, "that's not so
bad" and finally when Ezrin got
to rehearsals I sang it for
Bobby and he said no I hear it
much lower and I think
we should call it "Beth".
Bob Ezrin: It was almost like a
country song was sort of folky,
you know it had a kind of little
bounce to beck (sings) "I hear
you calling" so I said to Peter,
do you mind if I take this home
and play around with it a little
bit and he said, no go ahead.
Once I hit that little riff in
the piano, I suddenly heard a
lush you know orchestral
approach to this thing and
I heard a lush ballad.
Bob Ezrin: And then the job
was to go back and sell Kiss
you know the (beep) and balls
masters of the universe on the
idea of doing a song with
a piano and an orchestra.
Peter Criss: Gene and Paul,
they hated it so they knew
I had to go in and sing
it, the two of them were
sitting there in the console
as I was out of the room and
they're doing this and
they're doing this to me,
so Ezrin threw them out and sure
enough by throwing them out
we got it maybe on the fifth
take and it came out beautiful.
Peter Criss: The album went
out and they wound up
putting it on the b-side
of "Detroit Rock City".
And sure enough a DJ in Georgia
flipped it over one day
for the hell of it and put
it on and then the phones
starting ringing and it
was like, you know, play
that song again. Once "Beth"
got on, everything got on,
everything went gold, everything
started being played.
Ace Frehley: "Beth" was a
big shot in the arm for us,
it gave us exposure
to people that
wouldn't even know
who Kiss was.
That album sold twice as many
copies because of that one song.
We all got houses and
cars out of it too, you
know that didn't hurt.
people over here, I would
appreciate it if you'd stand up
again and move to your rear,
please, ladies and
gentlemen Mr. Ted Nugent.
By 1978 American hard
rock was peaking and there
was no bigger celebration of
this music than Cal Jam 2, a
massive two-day festival in the
heart of Southern California.
Four years earlier Cal Jam 1
featured British metal bands
Black Sabbath and Deep
Purple but by '78
the focus had shifted
to American bands.
Sam Dunn: What happens
between '74 and '78?
Don Branker: Well you started
seeing a transition, all of a
sudden American bands started
doing a sound that attracted a
wider base audience and that
was Nugent, Heart, Foreigner
and Aerosmith of course and we
drew a 100,000 more people
with that show than we
did the show in '74.
Ted Nugent: It was a great great
day, the audience was awesome,
it was perfect, it was just a
sea of unified celebration.
Sam Dunn: What are your
memories of Cal Jam 2?
Tom Hamilton: We were staying
at the Beverly Hills Hotel
and every half an hour somebody
was coming in and saying,
my God there's a 175,000
people, no there's 250,000,
there's 300,00 until there was
350,000 people there.
The thought that way out in the
darkness people were just going
all the way to this invisible
horizon, it was really cool.
David Krebs: Strategically
we were at a point where I'm
beginning to see cracks in
Aerosmith and part of my
thinking was to try and
do these giant events
to build sort of a canopy over
them while they were covered
because it was not fun by then.
Tom Hamilton: We were starting
to make money and were
starting to buy instead of
just little packets of stuff,
we could buy bags of it,
it was so decadent.
One of the sad things about our
history is that you know moments
like that are inspiring and
really exciting but they're
also, it brings out a lot of
intensity that somehow got the
better of us. Talk about
monkeys with guns you know,
you give these guys this
situation and what do they do,
they get burnt out and
(beep) up and blow it.
In the wake of Cal
Jam 2 Aerosmith started to
freefall and their record sales
were declining. So given that
the biggest band in American
hard rock was struggling,
what was the state of the
rest of the hard rock genre?
Christopher Knowles: The record
industry is hurting badly,
sales are way down and a lot
of the big groups that made
the seventies the seventies
are really starting
to either break up or
burn out or sell out.
Don Branker: Hard rock became
kind of irrelevant to a whole
new crop of people
interested in music.
You started seeing music
dissect and diversify
as the beginning of
disco even started.
Jaan Uhelzski: Disco, disco
killed so much in its wake.
Sam Dunn: I Was Made
For Loving You baby.
Jaan Uhelzski: I
know, but you know,
yah, I have no excuse for that.
Peter Criss: A disco
song (laughs).
They bitched about a ballad,
we're doing disco now.
It was like to me Black
Sabbath doing a disco song,
I could not see Ozzy
singing a disco song.
Larry Harris: There were a lot
of bands who weren't disco
doing disco songs, Kiss saw
what was happening with
Donna Summer and the Village
People and Cher and
they saw the sales and how
huge this was becoming.
Knowing Gene and Ace and
everybody they probably said,
well if we can sell
more records and
make more money we'll
give it a shot.
Ace Frehley: "I Was Made For
Lovin' You" was a huge departure
and it was something that I
wasn't really happy about
either because it started
to get into the disco vein
but somehow it happened
then, it was a big hit.
Do we want to be remembered
for it, is the big question.
Kiss doing disco put
the nail in the coffin for
American heavy metal and by the
late seventies Creem magazine
had declared it officially dead.
But it was California newcomers
Van Halen that helped
reinvigorate metal in America.
So what exactly was new about
the sound of Van Halen?
Slash: When I first heard Van
Halen it was just like, wow,
the overall vibe of Van
Halen was very energetic
and very new sounding,
very fresh sounding and
it had a ton of attitude,
it was just in your face.
Kevin Estrada: It was time to
give up on Styx, you know it was
time to give up on Foghat even
though those guys might have
been 20 or 25, they look like
they're 40 with those mustaches.
When the first Van Halen album
came out it just blew me away
and we never heard anything like
that put together in that kind
of way with the
hooks and the hard edge.
Michael Anthony: When we came on
the scene we didn't want to be
pigeon holed into one kind of
genre so we would always tell
everybody, no we're big rock
because it was just something
that was different you know,
Van Halen plays big rock.
David Lee Roth: We got
everything, we got enough food
and booze for about 500/700
people here this evening you
Originally what we were gonna to
do, is we were gonna turn all
the equipment around backwards
and show our behind to
the audience and that way
everybody be backstage you know.
Chris Knowles: Van Halen
recaptured what I think hard
lost in the seventies and that's
sort of a Dionysian celebration.
Partically with the rise of more
distinct heavy metal, they lost
that feeling of celebration and
Van Halen are all about that.
Sammy Hagar: They came on crazy
drinking friggin' straight out
of the bottle and doing
drugs and got the chicks.
Just opened it up for Poison,
opened it up for Motley Crue.
Van Halen were the next
generation in my opinion
of reinventing metal.
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