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VH1's Metal Mania Stripped Live in los Angeles

By Charlie Steffens aka Gnarly Charlie, Writer/Photographer
Wednesday, March 30, 2005 @ 11:00 PM


From VH1's Metal Mania Stri

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The perils of rock and roll decadence …
Though the hairlines may wane, and youth will pass away -- a real rocker never dies. True greatness transcends fads and pop fashion. Good music is eternal, and so are many of the songs that came from the bands who were “’80s Metal.”

Hey youngster! Here’s a point to ponder: The music that was playing in your illegitimate Daddy’s Camaro while you were conceived some seventeen-odd years ago might be the reason why you have a soft skull and chronic flatulence. Ask your Ma if it was White Lion’s “When the Children Cry” that was playing on the dreamy night that you were made -- when the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true. Maybe she was too Zima’d that night to recall.

So, it was an evening in an unprecedented acoustic collaboration in celebration of Sidewinder Music’s February release of VH1 Classic Metal Mania STRIPPED.

Some of the artists from the STRIPPED compilation who played that night were Freddy Curci (Alias, accompanied by Jason Hook), LA Guns, Kip Winger, Great White, Jani Lane, Slaughter and Night Ranger.

I hung in for the first four acts, which were Freddie Curci, LA Guns, Kip Winger and Great White.

Freddy Curci wasn’t the guy who the crowd came for, and it was evident in the way he was received. The guy has a lot of kishkes, and is a real showman. A drunk, mulletized guy in front of me was really heckling Freddy as he crooned, “When I’m With You.” Freddy took the tomatoes in the face and kept singing.

Please note: The heckler was seen after the show sideswiping a whole line of cars down Sunset driving his gray-primered ’79 Berlinetta, while the stool-softening sounds of White Lion blared out of the battered Chevy love machine. No one was hurt. Who’s your Daddy?

I lost my set list from the evening, but here goes …

LA Guns, sans Tracii Guns, played a great set performing “The Ballad of Jayne,” “Sex Action” and a tune from their upcoming release. Phil Lewis was out there being the usual charismatic dude he is, singing his ass off. He’s aging well, and is undeniably, a real rock singer and survivor. Steve Riley was playing tambourine. Stacey Blades and Adam Hamilton were tastefully handling guitar.

Kip Winger, who went on solo, played an amazing set on his twelve-string. What a fine specimen of manhood he is. Girl, lemme tell you what, mmm. Kip kept it fun, goofing around with his audience: “Come on, this is a rock show …” His set included “Miles Away,” “Madalaine” and “Seventeen.” Mr. Winger did these numbers smartly. He broke for a moment while he was doing “Seventeen” and said, “She’s thirty-five now but she still f_#ks great!” Have mercy.

Great White came on to do a three-song set. Two of the songs were from their Can’t Get There From Here, on which Jack Blades from Night Ranger helped write the lyrics to. Appropriately, Blades came out to sing “In the Tradition” with Jack Russell, Mark Kendall and Tyler Nelson. “Save Your Love” and “Too Rollin’ Stoned” were the other pleasers, but it would have been cool if they had done a longer set and played something like “Stick It” in acoustic fashion. Great White have always ripped and Jack Russell is one of rock’s best vocalists. It was good to see them smiling, giving us a good little show.

It’s scary to think that our everlasting summer passed, but it’s a new day, filled with new possibilities. Will it be denim and leather, or spandex and VO5 today?

Rock on kids. And remember… If you aren’t metal now you never were.
















(Photos by Gnarly Charlie/ KNAC.COM)


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