Vivian Campbell hates Metal.


DEF LEPPARD continue to hit the press trail in support of their latest covers album, Yeah!, with a full feature article in the latest Entertainment Weekly Magazine. A few (laughable/metal unfriendly) excerpts follows:

Guitarist Vivian Campbell: “It’s so weird, man. I meet people and they’re all like, ‘Dude, Holy Diver, metal! And I hate metal music. It’s true that in the ’80s I wanted to play like [metal fret-meisters] YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and PAUL GILBERT and all those cats. But that stuff does not endure. It’s really impressive for the first 20 seconds. But I can still go back and listen to [DAVID BOWIE’s late guitarist] Mick Ronson and be totally blown away every time.”

This has been making the rounds the last few days and it just bothers me. I have never understood why musicians/bands from the ’70s and ’80s get embarrassed by their previous work. You here it all the time, bands get upset when their previous sound, or image, or mentality is brought up. This same past that made them money, helped them tour the world, and made them famous.

Is it the music? The hair? The outfits? Maybe they are embarrassed by their behavior, too many skeletons on the closet from years past?

When Holy Diver came out, the guitar work was blazing. Who was this guy Vivian Campbell? Much like Viv is blown away by Mick Ronson, there are fans out there blown away by his work. It’s as if he just tosses it aside, his ’80s output is outcast. IMO, when a guy like Viv puts his previous work down, it’s a slap in the face to the fans who made him what he is today. He should appreciate that people come up to him and talk about the Dio albums. He should appreciate whatever compliments he gets from fans. That goes for all bands, etc.

I’m not saying the guy has to live, eat, and breathe Heavy Metal…..if he wants to listen to ’70s glam, so be it. You like what you like. If he wants to focus on recent history/albums, that’s great, let’s hear about the new stuff too. Just don’t be so harsh to something that many of us hold so dear.

Reunion rumors again…..

Metal Sludge has an inside “source” that is confirming a BIG reunion of a popular ’80s band. Read the updates here.

So which band is it?

When I read the article I immeadiately thought of RATT. They have the most “action” right now: Stephen Pearcy is still very active while his former bandmates aren’t, the VH-1 Behind The Music just aired, and Jizzy Pearl, John Corabi, and Robbie Crane are all focusing on other projects. Are the stars aligned? If so, it’s too little too late. I saw RATT open for the Poison reunion tour in 1999. They were signed to Portrait and released a self-titled album AND they scored the number two slot on what became a major tour (eventually an annual Summer tour). They dissolved again and lost major momentum. IMO, I think they could have scored a few more opening slots for Poison on future tours and made decent cash…..almost every ’80s second-tier band has opened for Poison.

How about Skid Row? Not happening. Sebastian Bach is is busy promoting VH-1’s SuperGroup and recording a new album. Skid Row bassist Rachel Bolan had something to say (as posted on

“Once and for all we are not getting him (SEBASTIAN BACH) back in the band. EVER!!! Sludge does not what theyre talking about. Snake (Dave Sabo – guitar) is playing when his arm is OK. We are in Nashville, TN recording the new CD with Michael Wagener at the helm, that will be out on SPV later this year. We are 3/4 of the way through recording and plan on starting the mix in 2 weeks. In the future please disregard any rumors about any kind of reunion.”

I’ll take that as a “NO” to a reunion! It’s interesting to note that the post was pulled from Bravewords the next day, fueling the rumors further.

The usual names have been thrown around the Net: Van Halen/Diamond Dave or Sammy Hagar, Guns’n Roses, Journey/Steve Perry, and Rainbow/Joe Lynn Turner.

So who is it? Anyone else you’d like to see?

RATT – Behind The Music

Thanks to the my cable company offering a built-in DVR (digital video recorder) with their digital cable box, I was able to record the VH-1 Behind The Music special on RATT. I’ve had the opportunity to watch it a couple of times and I found it to be disappointing.

All VH-1 BTMs follow the same formula: rise to success, addiction/money problems, personnel changes, fall from grace, current situation. A career summed up in 60 minutes and the focus is always on the darker side of Rock stardom. I always find myself watching these documentaries, feeling good about the nostalgia, but coming away with disappointment. The story is never about the success, it’s always about the failure. It’s not about the platinum albums, it’s the studio clashes. The excesses of life on the road vs. the actual live gig. Name the dysfunctional problem and VH-1 exploits it rather than highlight a success story. It always seems like these producers put these bands out there, ridicule them, expose them, and basically make light of it all.

So the RATT story followed the same pattern and I came away disappointed. Whether you like RATT or not, this band had a lot of success between 1983-1990. In that time, they had 5 platinum (some multi-platinum) albums, worldwide tours, and were plastered all over radio and MTV. They made music, made money, and saw the world. What is most important, at least for me, is that they made music that meant something special to their fans.

VH-1 seems to forget this in favor of the fall. RATT did in fact fall, some would say that their downward spiral started with 1985’s Invasion Of Your Privacy, the follow-up to the multi-platinum smash, Out Of The Cellar. Rather than focus on the band as a whole, the documentary focused mainly on vocalist Stephen Pearcy’s personality clashes and the addiction/death of guitarist Robbin Crosby. While these two things were major factors in the RATT demise, there was more they could have focused on: keeping up with the competition, in-studio clashes with producer Beau Hill, the RATT pack on the road. They touched on these but too briefly. I understand that a six hour mini-series on RATT isn’t realistic but an extra half hour of other band moments aside from heroin and Jack Daniels is all I’m askling for.

All in all, if you want to review RATT’s heyday, this will do the trick. If you want to really get into RATT, listen to the albums and watch a live bootleg.