This was a really interesting talk with English musician and actor Tony “Demolition” Dolan of Venom Inc. and Atomkraft (M-Pire Of Evil, ex-Venom) about his first record (he stole it), Garry Glitter, BBC’s rock show with Tommy Vance, a light bulb for the bathroom and Kim from Girlschool.
What are your earliest memories of heavy metal – was it love at first sight/hearing?
In the Early 1970’s my family emigrated to Canada and from a musical point of view I went from, Slade, Sweet, T Rex and the like to, Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, Foreigner, Queen, KISS etc… Then late in the 70’s we returned to the Uk and the middle of the Punk Rock revolution, Sex Pistols, Ruts, UK Subs, Angelic Upstarts etc…and one of the bands stood out to me and became a favourite, they were called The Dickies, from the USA strangely enough and what I loved about them most was their speed. They’d even take classic songs and play them at 1000miles an hour. I heard Paranoid and then later someone asked had I heard the original…original and so I discovered Black Sabbath…at first I thought, wow this is slow but then the heaviness became all inspiring..I …I was hooked on it. I started a punk band and tried to make us sound heavy too..hahaha…but then at a chance meeting at a show I heard and saw Motorhead…that bass sound blew me away…that voice…it kind of all came together for me right at that moment. I renamed the band and so the love from all things truly heavy began.
What was the first metal album you bought with your own cash?
Bought? I ask because the first, Heavy (well then lol ) albums I got were, Queen’s New of the World, which I stole on it’s day of release at a store in Windsor, Ontario..hahahaha, the second was a birthday gift on it’s release year….KISS-ALIVE.
Are there any bands you loved as a youngster that cause you to wince now and ask ‘what was I thinking?
Ahahaha, great question…mmmm…maybe not a band but Gary Glitter…I liked his stuff way back then but then in the last 20 or so years all the garbage he was hiding came out about children, so fuck him. I liked Showaddywaddy but then I was raised on Rock N Roll by my parents so…I guess that’s not so embarassing as I think..more, logical I would.
Who were the first band you saw live – please feel free to include no-name local bands if that was your first interaction with live metal.
First live Metal band? Well they were more Rock N Roll now…but kind of classed as Metal and that was KISS in the mid 70’s in Detroit.
How hard was it growing up to get info on the bands you loved – was there much mainstream media coverage where you lived?
Not much at all but then Kerrang magazine launched in the UK and then you have access…until then I guess Sounds and the NME newspapers were dedicated to music here..As I rarely however had any money hahahaha…if I couldn’t steal one then I’d just go without and watch a show called Top of The Pops hoping for new bands in Metal to appear and listen to the BBC radio’s Friday Rock show with Tommy Vance as well as a local rock/metal radio show..Apart from all that, I traded tapes and discovered everyone from Hell Hammer to Death to Metallica , Carnivore, Destruction and Exodus that way….to name a few.
Do you think the internet has taken away the mystique of being in a big band for young people today? Do we know too much about our heroes in 2016?
YES. I also think in some ways it is great though and I say that because as a huge fan of Lemmy, if I could have got up every day and messaged him on a facebook, even just saying , Hey Lemmy, ok? And get a …yeah good and you? from him…I’d be on cloud So I try to keep in contact with fans because I am one and realise how important that can be to people. On the other side it has taken some magic away because you can’t play rock star and lie to fans..unless you simply do not use the social media to chat. I see lots of, ”icons” not using or hiding under a false name to go look…ahahahahaha….to see if the fans are still convinced they are rich and living by swimming pools are really as ”cool” as they try to make out…instead of the reality that they are in the local DIY stores looking for a light bulb for the bathroom.
Were you a big festival goer as a junior headbanger?
I did go to the Donnington festival and Knebworth also but I never really enjoyed the shit overpriced beer and the smell of piss everywhere as well as the fucking rain and mud…spending everything you saved to be cold and covered in shit for days was not my idea of fun…NOW there are amazing festivals and if I was young again, I be at them all if I could.
How hard/easy was it for you to get to big gigs growing up? Would you have hitched hundreds of miles to see your favourite bands if necessary?
There was always someone who drove or hired a bus for festivals but in Newcastle the main venues…I could get a regular bus into town and at a push, walk to town to go to shows. In Canada, I simply got driven across the border to Detroit where there were all kind of venues from Harpos to Cobo Hall.
What five albums have stayed with you since your formative metal years?
What 5? Oh, wow…well…..there are so many but ones I always love to hear that take me back.
Ace of Spades – Motorhead Rose Tattoo – Rose Tattoo Highway to Hell – ACDC Unleashed in The East – Judas Priest Sabbath Bloody Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Did you have a metal crush? I had lifesize posters of Lita Ford and Lee Aaron on my ceiling in 1985…
Ahahahahaha….Mmmmmmmmmmmm…..not sure a Crush…but…the drummer from Vixen always had me more interested than I should be hahahahaha….Kim from Girlschool I liked too.
Anything else you’d like to reveal about your metal upbringing?
Nothing….hahahaha…Well what I always loved and still do, is the community feeling, that you are not odd, not strange, not alone, the music made everyone come together…as it always does..Metal/Rock has the loyalist fans and always has…and they judge no one because they accept each other so they too are accepted. It is an incredible scene to be a part of and I am honoured by it as a musician and pleased to be a part of it as a fan. ALL HAIL!
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