I asked Bob Nalbandian, host of the Shockwave Skullsessions podcast, who have you featured on previous shows ? ‘I’ve had tons of guests from classic rock and metal, icons like Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) Bob Daisley (Ozzy) Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy) to record industry vets like Monte Conner and Brian Slagel to new metal artists’.
Bob remembers being a 16 year old American kid reading Kerrang and the ‘Armed n Ready’ section which highlighted emerging bands, Raven, Venom, Diamond Head and Def Leppard, and being introduced to a new punky metal sound labelled the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
So for the new episode he has lined up a Heavy Metal special with two of the big players from the NWOBHM.
Raven’s Chief Headbanger, John Gallagher said ‘It was 1979 and in the music papers you start seeing stories about Iron Maiden, Sansom, Neal Kaye and New Wave of British Heavy Metal and think what’s all this about’.
‘Most of the bands had been plugging away forever because we loved the music. We were just playing the music we liked and all of a sudden we got swept up in it’.
Jaguars Garry Pepperd added ‘There was very few rock and metal bands from our part of England. The only people who didn’t have a job in Bristol were us musicians who didn’t want one’.
Nalbandian also invited Night Demon’s Jarvis Leatherby to the table.
‘I’m a bit younger than you guys and I was introduced to NWOBHM by listening to the NWOBHM ’79 Revisited album. It done it for me because I heard everybody in one shot’.
‘It had on ‘Back Street Woman’ by Jaguar and ‘Don’t Need Your Money’ by Raven. Coming from a thrash metal kid who listened to the Big Four of Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeath, it was great to hear how melodic these bands were’.
The heavy mob chew the fat about early days of NWOBHM, Sounds newspaper, Kerrang, the Marquee and being studio virgins.
‘In 1979 when Jaguar started we done a demo and sent it off to a Battle of the Bands competition and got through. We played three songs but were beaten by a funk band from Swindon’.
‘Then we linked up to the Heavy Metal label and done ‘Stormchild’, a track for the ‘Heavy Metal Heroes’ compilation album’ remembers Pepperd.
Gallagher added ‘Famously we played a show in Newcastle with Tygers of Pan Tang and their manager Tom Noble loved the show and came up to us and said do you want to make a single with Neat ? Err, no (laughs).
They talk about touring and how they persisted in dragging their bands over the music biz obstacles to still be a force today.
Leatherby said ‘Raven took us on our first ever tour and we played more than 60 dates on the shows around the world and on festivals, so we’re forever connected. I was able to fill in as guest vocalist for Jaguar so I got to pinch myself for how much we’ve done together’.
Pepperd added ‘We played anywhere in those days but like most places now they are long gone. We were going to support Spider at Bristol Colston Hall but in the afternoon the lighting rig collapsed so we never got to play’.
Gallagher chipped in ‘We once done a show with the Tygers at the Guildhall in Newcastle and in the dressing room there was some girls brushing someone’s hair and we thought who’s she, she looks hot. They turned round and it was Jess Cox’ (Tygers vocalist)
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You can check out all the Shockwaves Skullsessions podcasts at ShockwavesSkullsessions.com
Gary Alikivi July 2021.