Category Archives: Sunday Old School

Sunday Old School: Izzy Stradlin

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Izzy Stradlin was the member (and co-founder) of Guns N’ Roses that presumably could handle his heroin use. He left Guns N’ Roses in 1991 and has led his own band or solo efforts since.

Izzy was born and grew up in Lafayette, Indiana where he was friends with William Bailey, later known as Axl Rose. In 1980 Stradlin moved to Los Angeles and joined the punk band Naughty Women. After a brief stint with Naughty Women, Stradlin would play with The Atoms and Shire before forming Hollywood Rose with his childhood friend Axl Rose. In 1984 the band recorded a five-song demo and also during this time (Stradlin) formed the short-lived band Stalin. In 1985 Stradlin, founded Guns N’ Roses with Rose and several members of L.A. Guns. The band released the epic ‘Appetite for Destruction’ album in 1987. Stradlin wrote or co-wrote most of the songs as well as “Patience” off the follow-up album ‘Lies.’ The band blue up as did tensions around drug use. Around 1989 Stradlin took some time off and sobered up. In 1991 Guns N’ Roses released the ‘Use Your Illusion’ albums. Stradlin co-wrote many of the songs, but now sober, was not happy with the band shenanigans and left the band in 1991.

Stradlin went home and formed Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds, which included Rick Richards (guitar), Jimmy Ashhurst (bass) and Charlie Quintana (drums). They released their first album in 1992 and toured Europe, Australia and North America. After the tour Stradlin put music off, instead focused on motor racing. They released a video for “Shuffle It All”, putting Stradlin’s bluesy rock and love of post boy hats, vests and trains on full display.

In 1995 Izzy returned, and in 1998 released his second solo album. It took over two years to record and featured former band mates Duff McKagan and Rick Richards. His third album was titled ‘Ride On’ and to promote the release Stradlin played shows in Japan. Stradlin’s solo band would go on to release two more albums, ‘River’ (2001) and ‘On Down the Road’ released in 2002. After his fifth solo release Stradlin was approached by his former Guns N’ Roses band mates to join a new super group named Velvet Revolver. Stradlin assisted with some initial song writing, but ultimately did not want to work with a lead singer, instead suggesting that he and Stradlin could share vocal duties. It was as if Stradlin could see into the future. Regardless, he did share the stage for a few shows with Scott Weiland and Velvet Revolver before leaving the super group life behind.

In 2005, Izzy released ‘Like a Dog’ as well as re-released his previous music through iTunes. In May 2006, thirteen years after his last performance with Guns N’ Roses, Stradlin made a guest appearance with the new Guns, ending up playing 13 shows during the band’s summer European tour that year. In 2007, his seventh album, ‘Miami’ was released through iTunes and in 2008 released an iTunes-only albums titled ‘Fire, the Acoustic Album’ and ‘Concrete.’ McKagan also played on some of the tracks and continued to play on the 2009 ‘Smoke’ and ‘Wave of Heat’ which followed in 2010. In 2010 Stradlin also appeared as a guest guitarist on his former band mate Slash’s first solo album.

In 2012 Stradlin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Guns N’ Roses. He did not attend, but did join the new Guns on stage a month later, performing songs that had not been performed live since his departure in 1991. Also, in 2012 Stradlin released the iTunes-only single and video for “Baby-Rann.” The video is gritty, with a classic Stradlin guitar slide, sunglasses, and a kick-ass hat. Over the years Izzy has straddled (pun intended) the line between punk and blues; “Baby-Rann” is that perfect blend, a straight up rocker with Stradlin’s “fuck you” uncompromising sound. While enjoying the groovy guitar solo at 1:35 my mind wanders…did Joey Huffman (on organ) forget his sunglasses? “My baby ran away to Vietnam…” No frills. No filler. Just ROCK and ROLL!

Izzy Stradlin is a true punk rocker at heart. It hasn’t always been glamorous for Stradlin; however, leaving Guns N’ Roses in 1991 at their height, and instead lead an under-the-radar no bullshit solo career is about as punk as it gets…

Read the full post and check out the videos at MetalUnderground.com

 

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Sunday Old School: KISS

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This week is a special week for Sunday Old School because it’s the 250th column. One of the genres covered has been the glam and hair bands of the eighties. No band provided more of an influence in this area then KISS. Known for over-the-top antics, make-up, merchandising and farewell tours the boys from KISS have ruled since the seventies. Still, there is the question: Which came first, the music or the makeup? Spoiler Alert: We can’t prove either only that success followed. So without further ado, your 250th Sunday Old School post from the biggest band of all time: KISS. (Note: If you don’t believe this is the biggest band of all time just ask Gene Simmons.)

After starting as the New York City band Wicked Lester, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley abandoned the name and teamed up with Peter Criss and Ace Frehley to form KISS in 1973. The name was a spin on Criss’ band Lips and not an acronym for “Kids In Satan’s Service”, a bummer for sure. In 1973 the band decided to dress up and wear make-up, becoming comic book characters on stage. They also recorded a five-song demo and recorded their self-titled debut in 1974. In addition to touring the band performed on ABC’s Dick Clark’s in Concert. Album sales were slow so the band got to work on their second album, ‘Hotter Than Hell’, another album that failed to chart. Next up, the band recorded and released ‘Dressed to Kill’ which did a little better in sales and contained the song “Rock and Roll All Nite.” It was 1975 and although the band was not commercially big in album sales they were beginning to gain a “have to see this band live” reputation. Fun Fact: The blood Gene Simmons spit out was often made up of raw eggs and food coloring. In 1975 their label (Casablanca) and band were nearly broke. A desperate move was made – KISS released a double live album.

In 1975 KISS released ‘Alive’ and achieved gold status as well as their first top 40 single, a live version of “Rock and Roll All Nite.” The live album kept KISS and their label alive (pun intended) so they went to work on their next album, ‘Destroyer.’ Released in 1976, the album sold better than previous albums, going gold and then continuing strong once the ballad “Beth” was released, eventually pushing sales to platinum. The success continued with ‘Rock and Roll Over’ in 1976 and ‘Love Gun’ in 1977, a year in which the band also released ‘Alive II.’ In 1977 a Gallup poll named KISS the most popular band in America. In 1978 the band released a greatest hits double album titled ‘Double Platinum.’ Had there been a Gallop poll in 1978 related to which band had put out the most material KISS would have won that too!

This was also the period when KISS merchandising started to become a major thing. Products included comic books, makeup kits, masks, board games, trading cards and membership in the KISS Army. If the egos weren’t big enough already, what happened in 1978 would solidify KISS as (at least in their minds) the biggest band in the world. In 1978 each member simultaneously released a solo album. Four solo records, same day – all reached platinum status. Then they appeared in the NBC movie made for TV Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. Apparently at the time this was a good idea. Apparently the band was surprised they were made out to be more clowns than superheroes.

In 1979 KISS released ‘Dynasty’, another platinum album with the disco influenced “I Was Made for Lovin’ You.” Despite another platinum album, concert attendance started to decrease and something called KISS WORLD – an amusement park idea was eventually scrapped. After the tour the band started to fight and Criss left KISS. In 1980 the band released ‘Unmasked’, again seeing declining sales as their audience grew older. Eric Carr joined soon after and played drums on the 1981 concept album ‘Music from “The Elder.”’ In 1982 Frehley departed the band. Fun Fact: Per Gene Simmons, Eddie Van Halen wanted to take Ace Frehley’s spot.

In 1982 KISS released ‘Killers’ and ‘Creatures of the Night.’ In Frehley’s absence a lot of guitar players were used including Bruce Kulick and Vinnie Vincent. Vincent would eventually be the full time guitarist and then later replaced by Mark St. John although Vincent would make appearances and participate in a lot of the future KISS material. In case you were wondering, 1983 was the year KISS took off their make-up.

In an MTV appearance the band appeared without their makeup, promoting their new album ‘Lick It Up.’ KISS followed up this album with ‘Animalize’ in 1984 as well as a video for “Heaven’s on Fire” which received heavy airplay on MTV. The video was very KISS (see: Gene Simmons tongue scenes), very eighties (see: Paul Stanley’s white gloves) and again very KISS (see: at least three “orgy” type situations).
St. John was replaced again by Kulick (due to health issues) as the band toured to support ‘Animalize’ and it’s major success, their biggest in the eighties. The band didn’t slow down, releasing ‘Asylum’ in 1985, ‘Crazy Nights’ in 1987 and ‘Smashes, Thrashes & Hits’ in 1988. The latter containing the very entertaining “Let’s Put the X in Sex” single. The decade ended with the release of ‘Hot in the Shade’ in 1989. Two years later tragedy struck. In 1991 Eric Carr had tumors removed from his heart, but more tumors were later discovered. Despite treatment, Carr passed away in November of 1991 at the age of 41.

Eric Singer would go on to replace Carr on drums. In 1992 the band released ‘Revenge’ a heavier sounding album with Vinnie Vincent once again helping with songwriting. If you love Gene’s dry sense of humor you really need to watch the video for “Domino”, also the lyrics “it’s a sticky situation…she ain’t old enough to vote”…oh, Gene you are too much! The album went gold, leading to a tour and release of ‘Alive III’ in 1993. In 1995 KISS performed on MTV Unplugged, both Criss and Frehley joined the band on stage for several songs at the end of the set. Rumors swirled around a possible reunion.

In 1996 Tupac Shakur introduced the original KISS lineup at the Grammy Awards. A tour followed, lasting 192 shows, earning over 43 million dollars, making KISS the top-drawing concert act of 1996. ‘Psycho Circus’ was released in 1998 and in 2000 announced a U.S. Farewell Tour. They also released a video game titled Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child. In 2001 a lot happened, Criss left the band, a box set was released and most shockingly, KISS merchandising reached a new high (or low) when the Kiss Kasket was introduced.

Read the full post and check out the videos at MetalUnderground.com


Sunday Old School: Vince Neil

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Vince Neil has performed as the lead singer for Motley Crue, a solo artist after being fired/quitting Motley Crue and continues to perform shows in between Crue gigs. In addition to his vocal career, Neil has also invested in tattoos, tequila and even an airline. Oh, and of course, a strip club.

Neil’s career started when he was the lead singer for Rockandi. He had been friends with Tommy Lee and by 1980 had joined Motley Crue, releasing their debut album, ‘Too Fast for Love’ the same year. After many years of success, the band split. In 1992, Vince Neil and Motley Crue parted ways, opening the door for Neil’s solo career. That same year Vince released the single “You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come)” and was featured on the Encino Man soundtrack. In 1993 Neil released his first solo album, ‘Exposed’, debuting at #13 on the Billboard charts. The band toured with Van Halen. The video for “You’re Invited…” was geared toward glam Vince Neil, wearing nylon-like leggings and Theatre of Pain period eye-liner. Pauly Shore had a cameo in the video, so, well you know.

After the success of ‘Exposed’, Neil recorded his follow-up, ‘Carved in Stone’, an industrial sounding album produced by the infamous Dust Brothers. The album bombed, selling fewer than 100,000 copies in the US. Part of the problem was Neil preoccupied with his daughter (age 4 at the time) who was dying of cancer. (Neil would go on to create the Skylar Neil Memorial Fund in his daughter’s honor. The fund has raised awareness and millions of dollars that have been donated to the T.J. Martell Foundation.) There is also a case to be made the album was very much ahead of its time, mixing classic rock with hip hop beats and an industrial backdrop. After a brief tour Neil left the spotlight for a couple of years, only turning up to do embarrassing chicken dances and to star in the 2002 reality TV series The Surreal Life.

Motley Crue eventually reunited and Vince continued to also tour as a solo artist, playing a majority of Crue songs in his solo set. In 2003 Neil released a live album titled ‘Live at the Whisky: One Night Only’ and in 2010 Neil released his third album, ‘Tattoos & Tequila’, a soundtrack to his book (Tattoos & Tequila: To Hell and Back with One of Rock’s Most Notorious Frontmen) released the same year. Each song corresponds with a chapter in the book. There was a also a video for “Tattoos & Tequila” which begins with a blond, covered in tattoos, walking along the side of a pool. There is a quick shot of Vince chilling in a club; a big bottle of tequila is sitting in front of him. Judging from the look we are in either L.A. or Vegas. Cut to Vince screaming into a microphone and a young (relatively speaking) and intense band jamming in black and white. Back at the pool the blond comes out of the pool. Instead of handing her a towel, Neil hands her a glass of tequila. If we are counting “moves that only work in rock videos.” Back to Vince and the tattooed girl. Predictably, we find that they are in Vegas and they are walking into Vince Neil Ink, Neil’s tattoo parlor on the Vegas strip. Both get a new tattoo and leave in a Z.Z. Top like car to go party at presumably, Feelgoods Rock Bar (also owned by Vince Neil). Oh, Gene Simmons must be jealous of this cross-advertising. The video finishes up with Vince, a booth full of girls, and a lot of tequila.

Off stage trouble has followed Neil most of his life, the worst coming in 1984 when driving drunk with Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley and losing control of his car, killing Dingley and seriously injuring two others. Somehow Neil, despite being charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence, only served 15 days in jail. Over the years Neil has been involved in countless assault cases and drinking/driving violations. Too many to list or even try to understand. (Apparently 15 days in jail didn’t fully rehabilitate Neil.)

In addition to his singing career, Neil (Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of RockStar Investment Group) has his hands in many other ventures including:

– Owner of Las Vegas tattoo parlor Vince Neil Ink
– Founder of Vince Vineyards, a winemaking venture that produced a 2004 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2003 Sonoma County Chardonnay
– Creator of the “Off The Strip Poker Tournament” in Las Vegas
– Neil has own brand of tequila called Tres Rios
– Neil opened Dr. Feelgood’s Bar and Grill in West Palm Beach; he has also opened locations in Miami Beach and Las Vegas
– Continued his reality TV career, appearing in ABC’s Dancing with The Stars
– Vince Neil ventured into the Gentlemen’s Club business, opening Deja Vu Presents: Vince Neil’s Girls Girls Girls in Las Vegas
– This year, Neil acquired part ownership of AFL football team, the Jacksonville Sharks

Since 1979 Vince Neil has been performing as a lead singer and my guess is he will continue long after Motley Crue wrap up their final tour. Neil has given a lot of ammunition to his critics and (also) my guess is he will continue to do so. Regardless, Neil has millions of fans and will always be the voice of Motley Crue and an aging rock star you can count on as the face of sleazy Las Vegas venues and events for many years to come.

Check out the videos and more at MetalUnderground.com


Sunday Old School: Methods of Mayhem

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With the final Motley Crue tour underway what is next for the band members? For drummer, Tommy Lee, some of his time may be spent with his band, Methods of Mayhem, a unique formation in terms of both structure and sound. The band has had two rounds, will Lee and Co. try a third one?

Methods of Mayhem were formed by Lee and their self-titled album was released in 1999. The original band was made up of Lee, TiLo, Stephen Perkins, Chris Chaney, Kai Marcus, Kevin “Doc” Sullivan and Mix Master Mike. The debut featured Fred Durst, Crystal Method, U-God, Kid Rock, Snoop Dogg and Lil’ Kim. The album, fueled with songs of hate and sex, went platinum and received kudos from Entertainment Weekly, Alternative Press and Vibe. A video was made for “Get Naked” and the song “Crash” would be featured in the video game Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec and the movie trailer for Driven. Just over one year after the album was released the band disbanded.

The video for “Get Naked” has Lee, naked on his bed (except for a hat he is wearing) watching his own adult movie. The movie he made with Pamela Anderson. Strange, yes, and then more strange when Fred Durst appears for the chorus, (sigh), looking very Durst-like. The good news is that Lil’ Kim follows. She doesn’t wear many clothes, likes to rap and rides a cock (rooster). This video captured the unconventional methods and process from the first album: some good, some not so good, and Fred Durst.

In 2009 Lee reformed Methods of Mayhem with himself, John “J3” Allen III, DJ Aero, Marty O’Brien and Morgan Rose. The band released ‘A Public Disservice Announcement’ in 2010. In addition to the rap metal style on the debut album, genres such as rap rock, nu metal and dance rock were included. The album was composed of parts submitted by fans from around the world. The band and producer, Scott Humphrey, listened to the recordings (over 10,000) and chose the best for the album. In addition to the album, the band also released a music video for the song “Time Bomb.”

The “Time Bomb” video starts with Lee in a hospital bed and doctors are trying to revive him. Not sure what ills him, but then we see him running from guys dressed like bank robbers and then he is getting dipped into the water. Come to think of it, the hospital looks suspiciously like a tattoo parlor. Still doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Whether Lee pursues a third album once Motley Crue ends is up in the air. One thing is for sure, the music from the debut like it/or not stands out and Lee will never forget about his band. After all, MAYHEM is tattooed on his abs…

Check out the videos and more at MetalUnderground.com


Sunday Old School: Lita Ford

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If you grew up in the eighties you knew Lita Ford as the hard rock girl with credentials. She could play guitar and mix it up vocally with Ozzy Osbourne. Eventually you find out she was part of The Runaways and that’s when you really begin to appreciate how important she has been to rock and roll.

Lita Ford was only sixteen when she joined the all-female rock band The Runaways. In 1976 the band released their first album, with Ford on lead guitar; the band would record three more albums and tour throughout the seventies. The Runaways were never a huge success in the U.S., but did reach number one with their single “Cherry Bomb” in Japan. By 1979 there were a lot of problems and band members leaving. Joan Jett (vocals, guitar) wanted The Runaways to be more punk while Ford wanted to continue on with their hard rock ways the band was known for. No compromise was reached and The Runaways broke up.

After the breakup, Ford went solo and in 1983 released ‘Out for Blood’, that did not do well. She tried again in 1984 with ‘Dancin’ On the Edge’ and received some success behind the singles “Fire In My Heart” and “Gotta Let Go.” In addition to the music, Ford was developing into quite the sex symbol for eighties head bangers. This makes sense given most of the glam front men looked a lot like Lita. (Note: Just because this is true does not mean it makes sense.) What happened next is a mystery to this day. For her third album, Ford worked with Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) as producer on an album titled ‘The Bride Wore Black’, but was never released (and still has not to this day) due to record label issues.

After the mess of an unreleased studio album Ford signed with RCA Records and hired Sharon Osbourne Management. She also softened her hardened music to make more glam-eighties friendly. In 1988 she released ‘Lita’, a very successful album that included the singles “Kiss Me Deadly”, “Back To The Cave”, and “Falling In And Out Of Love”, a song co-written by Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue, Sixx:AM). The album also included the song “Close My Eyes Forever”, a duet with Ozzy that peaked to number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Ford was always sexy and used this to her advantage, but the video for “Kiss Me Deadly” took this to another level. Pre-Production meeting discussions centered on how much leather, top five stripper moves and more leather. Question asked: Do we want to bring in fire, fans or ice? Answer: Yes. In the end I believe Ford looked at Tawny Kitaen fucking a car and decided, you know what, I’m going to fuck a guitar in my video. Thankfully, the video for “Close My Eyes Forever” was more focused on hair, not Lita’s hair, but Ozzy’s blown-out hairdo.

In 1990 Ford release ‘Stiletto’, featuring the singles “Hungry” and “Lisa”, but the album didn’t do as well as the previous. In 1991 she released ‘Dangerous Curves’ and also ‘Black’ prior to taking a break. After a long hiatus, Ford released ‘Wicked Wonderland’ in 2009. In 2012 Ford released what she has called her “real comeback album” titled ‘Living Like a Runaway.’

Ford has since patched things up with her band mates from The Runaways and continues to tour, promote rock and roll and be a sex symbol for aging metal heads. Thankfully, she has aged much better than the eighties front men.

Check out the videos and more at MetalUnderground.com

 


Sunday Old School: Killer Dwarfs

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Band members changing their surname as a show of solidarity is one thing, when the name is “Dwarf” that means two things: you have a sense of humor and are part of the Killer Dwarfs.

The Killer Dwarfs were formed in 1981 in Toronto, Canada. The same year the band released their self-titled debut, featuring Russ “Dwarf” Graham on vocals, Darrell “Dwarf” Millar on drums, Bryce “Dwarf” Trewin on guitar, and Ange “Dwarf” Fodero on bass. Commercially the self-titled debut went nowhere; however, it did have the single “Heavy Mental Breakdown” which received some airplay in Canada.

The video for “Heavy Mental Breakdown” begins with stripes and straight jackets (by the way, just thought how Straight Jackets would be a great band name, Googled and guess what, I’m not alone) and then introduces us to a band that possesses a sense of humor, leather jackets, and lots of hair. I can’t stress how important the leather jackets and hair was for bands in the eighties.

It was three years before the follow-up due to Trewin and Fodero leaving the band, replaced in 1984 by Mike “Dwarf” Hall and Bad Ronbo “Dwarf” Mayer. The album ‘Stand Tall’ featured the videos “Stand Tall” and “Keep The Spirit Alive.” The video for “Keep The Spirit Alive” was another comedy filled flick with the singer (Russ Dwarf) traveling in a crate (like freight – get it – because he’s small). The trip turns into an adventure of flying, skateboarding, and gratuitous bikini shots. If this video was released today there would probably be a group of people that say this is wrong. (Author Note: People Suck.) The video for “Stand Tall” showcased the band’s tight jeans and a DIY class on how to make records. For those not familiar with records (or LPs as we called them) it is exactly as documented in the video. Especially the microwaving and girls in black leather, exactly.

After MTV airplay and tours in the United States the band signed with the major label Epic Records. In 1988 the band released ‘Big Deal’, featuring the single “We Stand Alone.” Killer Dwarfs opened for Iron Maiden and then less than two years later (1990) the band released ‘Dirty Weapons.’ For the Killer Dwarfs, “Dirty Weapons” was a serious song with a serious video. There are doors opening to “other places” and not a lot of humor except for the running-in-place scenes (1:18 is an example of this). Probably not meant to be funny; instead, meaningful and tough issues faced. I guess this would be the Killer Dwarfs version of a deep cut.

Hall left the band prior to the 1992 album ‘Method to the Madness’, replaced by Gerry “Dwarf” Finn. The album bombed and they were dropped by Epic.

In 2001 the original lineup got back together and released a live album titled ‘Reunion of Scribes: Live 2001.’ In 2003 Mayer left the band, replaced by Stan Miczek who ended up going by Smokin’ Stan Dwarf. Eventually, they took a break and Michael Hall went on to form the band Balls Deep with Stan Miczek on bass. Graham joined Moxy and released an acoustic album of Killer Dwarf tunes titled ‘Wireless.’

In 2013 the Killer Dwarfs announced a reunion to support the release of their lost album ‘Start @ One.’ The band spent the latter part of the year touring and are planning to perform on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise 2014.

The Killer Dwarfs were as good as many of the bands of their genre, but for whatever reason never had made it big time. It could be the lack of power ballad which is really a reason to be glad the eighties are over. When the band first broke there was a rumor that you had to be a certain height to join, but that wasn’t true (only Russ was actually short, the rest rather tall), but you had to take “Dwarf” as a surname. Some rules are meant to be broken, but not the “Dwarf” name rule, that shit is sacred.

Check out the videos and more at MetalUnderground.com


Sunday Old School: Dangerous Toys

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Before Steel Panther was Dangerous Toys, a hard rock band with a sense of humor that loved sex and melody.

Dangerous Toys was a Texas band formed in 1987 (initially called Onyxx then changed to Dangerous Toys in 1988) with the members Jason McMaster (vocals), Tim Trembly (guitar), Scott Dalhover (guitar), Mike Watson (bass), and Mark Geary (drums). Once the band got signed Trembly left and was replaced by Danny Aaron. In 1988 they released their self-titled debut album, a release that eventually went Gold.

In 1991 the band released their second album, ‘Hellacious Acres’ which featured “Sticks and Stones” and “Line ‘Em Up.” Neither single was a hit and their tour was cancelled. After, Aaron left the band and was replaced by Kevin Fowler who was then replaced by Paul Lidel.

In addition to their first album going Gold, Dangerous Toys also released lots of videos from their first two releases. If there is ever a college course Crotch Thrusting 101 then Dangerous Toys’ “Teas’n Pleas’n “ video must be required viewing. “Gimme’ No Lip” was a low budget feature with McMaster doing his best Axl Rose impression along with scenes of a distressed hooker using a payphone (bonus crotch thrusting against the microphone stand). Another video, “Line’Em Up”, showed a band with the ability to write heavy and catchy songs full of energy and a fuck you attitude. It wasn’t often that Dangerous Toys first two albums were in the conversation with Skid Row, Faster Pussycat, etc…, but maybe they should have (at least been considered).

Their third album was a major change in attitude. Released in 1994, ‘Pissed’ was an angry and dark album that most fans turned away from. Where was the fun loving group that wanted to fuck every girl they saw? Apparently that band had been murdered by Kurt Cobain and his following. After ‘Pissed’, Watson was replaced by Michael Hannon who also left shortly after. They should have changed their name given the change in direction, but stuck with it and released a fourth album in 1995 titled ‘The R-tist 4-merely Known as Dangerous Toys.’ The fans had already lost their sense of humor (Kurt Cobain and his following squashed that as well) and the album hardly sold any copies. In 1999 the band released ‘Vitamins and Crash Helmets Tour – Live Greatest Hits’, after that the band was no longer a full-time project.

Today Jason McMaster is part of several Austin, Texas rock bands including Sad Wings, Capricorn USA, Gahdzilla Motor Company, the Kiss tribute band SSIK, and Broken Teeth, a band formed in 1999 with Paul Lidel. Lidel would leave Broken Teeth and is now part of Adrenaline Factor as well as a music instructor. Mark Geary and Mike Watson are part of the Austin band named Proof Of Life.

Dangerous Toys still do get together and play at least one live show a year. In 2008 the band played a 20th Anniversary show in Austin, TX with all the original band members.

Were Dangerous Toys underrated or overrated? Regardless, a lot of their music is fun to listen to and is rock and roll that still holds up, more than can be said for others from the hair band genre.

Read more and check out the videos at MetalUnderground.com