We had the chance to talk with American rock musician Patrick Kennison of Heaven Below and Lita Ford‘s band about being the youngest of seven kids, his first concert ever, the Ozzfest and the famous DJ Joe Anthony (RIP).
Can you tell us your earliest memories of rock/heavy metal and was it love from the beginning?
Being the youngest of seven kids, I heard heavy metal right out of the crib. It was love at first listen. I remember hearing albums like Hell Bent For Leather and 2112 blasting through our house. It changed me.
Which is the most important rock/metal album you bought with your own cash back in the day?
Shout At The Devil
Any bands you loved as teenager and today you would think about “My God, What Have I Done”?
Not really. I stand by all music I loved back then even if the image was questionable. I loved Vinnie Vincent Invasion for example.
Who did you see at your first concert – what was your first experience with live rock/metal?
My first concert was Iron Maiden on the World Slavery Tour. WASP opened. It was another life changing experience. I still have the ticket stub. My mom gave me money to buy a shirt. I chose the WASP one so I’d be different from all my Maiden friends.
Was it hard to get info on the bands you loved as youngster – was there any big media coverage in your home area?
Not to bad for me as I grew up in San Antonio TX. It was as called The Heavy Metal capitol. The local radio station kicked ass. My mom would buy me Hit Parader, Circus Magazine etc. I’d stay up let to watch metal videos on MTV.
Do you think the digital age has taken down the secret of being in a big band for young people & musicians these days? Do we know everything about our musical heroes in 2016?
Yes, sometimes it makes our heroes look like the man behind the Wizard of Oz curtain. Other times it’s really cool, like the Pantera home videos back in the day.
Did you go to many festivals as a young rocker/headbanger?
Yes, I loved going to the Ozzfest in the late ’90’s. In 2001 I was lucky enough to play the tour with my band Union Underground.
Was it easy or hard for you to grow up with big gigs/festivals? Would you have travel long distances to see your fave bands?
No, I was spoiled living in San Antonio. If you played metal, your band toured through there. I would travel to Austin, Dallas, or Houston sometimes.
What are the five most important albums since you fall in love with rock/metal?
1. Number of the Beast 2. Screaming for Vengeance 3. Restless & Wild 4. Dirt 5. Master of Puppets
Did you had have a rock/metal big bang? I had big posters of Lita Ford and Lee Aaron on the wall of my children’s in 1979 …
Like you, I loved Lita Ford. I also had a crush on Jan (RIP) from Vixen.
Anything more you’d like to give us insight about your good rock/metal breeding?
I owe a lot of my upbringing to a famous DJ Joe Anthony (RIP) in San Antonio. He broke Judas Priest, Rush and others on the air before the rest of the country heard them. I remember hearing Fast As A Shark on his show. Talk about a game changer. Thank you Joe!!!
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