||LOVE FOR MAGNUM FROM AMERICA
Growing up as a teenager in Brooklyn, NY there was a record shop that I used to go to as well as hang out in. It was called It's Only Rock and Roll.
It was the pride of West 8th Street and more of a museum than simply a record shop. The place was geared towards Metal and classic rock and it was a marvelous store right smack dab in the heart of Greenwich Village.
From 1988 to 1992, Greenwich Village was my oasis to the rest of the world. The store was across the street from Electric Lady Studios, the house that Hendrix built. During this period, I became friends with two gentlemen of the store whose names were Shock and Roman. Shock was a big heavy set man with bulging muscles. Roman was an intelligent person with a long pony-tail and a goatee.
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Shock, Roman and I were tight. They supplied me with the good stuff, especially a two CD Disc of Ritchie Blackmore's Volume 1 and Volume 2 on Connoisseur Records. I remember it like it was yesterday. Roman showed me both CDS and he told me that on Volume 1 the "first 13 tracks virtually kick ass" and Shock said that "if you get Volume 1 you are going to want to get Volume 2 as well." He was right.
Shock and Roman turned me on to a band, not just any band, but a band called Magnum. They told me that I should check this band out and that I would not be disappointed. The first album that I purchased was 'Wings Of Heaven'.
I remember purchasing it because of the longest track on it which was 'Don't Wake The Lion'. It was good and I liked it, but I was not sold on them yet.
The 'Rock Art' album was my second and I liked it a lot as there were some good solid tracks on it. I personally liked 'Love Is A Stranger' and 'On Christmas Day' but the album, that did it for me was 'Chase The Dragon'.
Magnum's Tony Clarkin with MetalTalk's Roger Berzerk Fauske
'Chase The Dragon' was a game changer. When I first heard the album, I felt that it was solid and strong. I also felt very strongly moved by an album. The last albums that moved me deeply were Iron Maiden's 'Piece Of Mind', Rush's 'Farewell To Kings' and Kate Bush's '50 Words Of Snow'. Those three albums were also game changers.
There was one track on chase that was a game changer and a spiritual mover and that track was 'Sacred Hour'. I never heard a song like that before. It moved me like no other.
The lyrics are very majestic, it describes hope, strength, love, and endurance. It describes an individual's fight for freedom while hearing echoes of the voices and the people around him, but it is also a song about group and fans and about having a good time, and when I heard that song, I was forever hooked on Magnum and from that point on, I bought every Magnum album.
I have never seen Magnum live, although listening to several live recordings,they pretty much deliver the goods. Magnum only toured America once and it was in April and May of 1982 with Ozzy Osborne. Ozzy was coming back to live performance after the tragic death of Randy Rhoads. For Magnum, this was a golden opportunity.
They did an eight week tour in April and May of 1982 which covered the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region, they even played my favorite city, Nashville, Tennessee. This was the first and only Magnum tour ever in the US. They would never tour the US again after the Ozzy tour.
During the 1984 and 85 period, every British Metal band tried to crack America. Some succeeded and some didn't and some came back with a vengeance.
During this period the band would release their landmark album, 'On A Storyteller's Night'. Once again, an opportunity was lost when it came to touring America.
Since 2001, the band have come back with Al Barrow on bass and Harry James on drums. A lot of bands have come back strong and toured the states.
Saxon are coming back to America in the fall with a tour of the East Coast, Midwest, Texas, California, and Pacific North West. Click here for full dates.
Diamond Head are going to begin the second part of their US Tour in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, October 8th. The tour will cover the western part of the United States and includes stops in Las Vegas, Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Dallas. Click here for full dates.
A Magnum tour in the US could work if the band and their management would make an attempt and try. Otherwise, the band is missing out on some great devoted fans.
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