Riot's Mark Reale Issues Update On 20th Anniversary Thundersteel Reunion

By Newsferatu, Writer
Friday, January 23, 2009 @ 7:33 AM

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Original Riot guitarist, Mark Reale has issued the following update:

"Hey everyone:

Welcome to the new Riot website and official MySpace. These are the two sites where you will be able to find out the latest news and updates on the band so check back regularly.

As you may have heard by now Riot is gearing up for the 20th Anniversary Thundersteel Reunion. It's been almost two decades since I last played with Tony Moore, Don Van Stavern, Bobby Jarzombek, and Mike Flyntz and we are really looking forward to getting out there and playing live in 2009. We are confirmed to make an appearance at the prestigious Sweden Rock Festival in early June and are in the process of looking into other shows. This will be the first time ever this particular line-up has played anywhere in Europe so this is very special to all of us. We have already begun writing some new 'Thundersteel' inspired material and plan to debut a couple of the new songs during Sweden Rock.

Unbeknownst to us, Bobby (Jarzombek) has been quite the Riot archivist and has unearthed a bunch of stuff we'd all forgotten about. While digging through boxes of band memorabilia, he happened to find a cassette with several songs that were demoed before we entered the studio to record The Privilege Of Power in 1989/90. Of course, this was long before the days of recording digitally - and it was even before the days of ADATs! This was back when a home studio meant that you had a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder and a few microphones. We demoed about 15 songs and at the time wanted to include a cover song on Privilege. We couldn't decide on one song so we demoed three instead - 'Race With The Devil.....' by Al DiMeola (which was re-cut in the studio and made the album), 'Smoke On The Water' by DEEP PURPLE (which was also re-recorded and appears as the studio bonus track on Riot In Japan - Live!!) , and JUDAS PRIEST's 'Exciter'.

For whatever reason we didn't re-record 'Exciter' in the studio and had forgotten that we demoed it until Bobby dug up this 4-track version. The basic rhythm tracks and lead vocals are there but we hadn't gotten around to recording guitar solos. And, of course, the quality is not very good considering what those Tascam machines sounded like in those days. But, this rare recording is a great example of where we were at musically at that time. Also very interesting is our demoed version of the TPOP track, 'Metal Soldiers', which shows the band's humor (like Tony yelling, "drop and give me 20!" drill sergeant style at the end) and includes torpedo sounds, courtesy of a cheap Casio keyboard, and background vocals by the band and road crew guys, Corky, Damon, and Panic-y Guy.

We thought some of you might get a kick out of hearing these rough versions so we've uploaded both demos on our MySpace player for your listening pleasure. Who knows, we might even revisit 'Exciter' in the studio when we start tracking the new album.

On a more somber note, we would like to wish our friend and most recent Riot live vocalist, Mike Tirelli, a speedy and complete recovery as he battles stomach cancer. Hearing of his cancer diagnosis came as a shock to us, especially in light of the fact that we lost Guy (Speranza) to the same disease only a couple years ago. The good news is that Mike has responded well to all the treatments so far and will undergo one last treatment that includes a surgery of the stomach in March. A benefit to help cover Mike's medical bills is scheduled for Sunday, February 8th, at Mulcahy's, 1702 Middle Country Road, Centereach, NY 11720. You can e-mail mtbenefit09@gmail.com for more info and/or send donations to:

Mike Tirelli
c/o Franklin Wayne Music
1 Cedarfield Terrace
St. James, NY 11780

Make all checks payable to 'Michael Tirelli'.

That's all for now - be sure to visit our sites for all the news as it happens. Your continued faith and support has gone a long way to making this reunion possible, and we're hoping to see as as many of our dedicated fans as we can in our upcoming travels.

Shine On! Mark Reale."

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