Rockbrat Remembers: When W.A.S.P Ruled The World !

Back in 1984/85, Blackie Lawless and his band of shock rockers ruled each day of my life ! Along with the likes of Kiss, Twisted Sister and Dio, that debut W.A.S.P album got heavy rotation on the Rockbrat stereo. I devoured everything I could on the band – courtesy of over-prices U.S Rock Magazines like Hit Parader and Circus (the Australian dollar was 50c at one stage !) Nevertheless, my hard earned cash was spent on finding out recent news and info on my favourite Metal Masters. In this era of instant information, where 10 minutes on an Internet connection can provide you with news and updates – locating information back then on rock bands was sourced from magazines or books. Also word of mouth ! Being a Kiss devotee, I was clearly taken by the look of W.A.S.P and when a fellow HM buddy bought the debut album, I headed to his house and listened in awe. ‘On Your Knees’, ‘The Flame’, ‘B.A.D’, ‘Sleeping In The Fire’, ‘Hellion’ – all anthemic masterpieces which blew my mind. I looked over the covert-art and the inner sleeve. Man ! THIS was a rock band ! 
Whilst others in school were taking in the wimpish sounds of INXS, and radio stations played Prince, Michael Jackson and lame keyboard bands from the UK – I was absorbed in the almighty W.A.S.P ! and what a salvation it was my friends. A local TV music show aired the single ‘I Wanna Be Somebody’ and I could not get a tape into the VCR fast enough. I had gold ! Blackie Lawless, Chris Holmes and Co. soon adorned by bedroom wall, taking up all available space. Looking back, 1984 was a freaking great year for album releases….whilst my brother had Iron Maiden’s ‘Powerslave‘ cranking from down the hall, I was overdosing on a rock feast of W.A.S.P, ‘Animalize‘ by Kiss, Dio and the mighty ‘Stay Hungry’ by Twisted Sister. Kids of today – you missed out ! Don’t tell me it’s the same thing today cause it ain’t. My denim jacket was adorned in W.A.S.P and Kiss patches. These two bands had passed on the torch and it suited me fine. I splurged big dollars on the ‘Live At The Lyceum’ video cassette and sat mesmerized by their coolness.
Australia was starved of international touring Metal bands – (sure Deep Purple toured that year – but I didn’t want dinosaurs – I wanted cutting-edge, dangerous heavy
rock bands!) – and you can imagine the excitement when W.A.S.P leader Blackie Lawless announced a promotional tour downunder in November of 1985. He was my Sammi Curr, a hero, a salvation from the tedious bullshit of High School ! (I painted a Kiss logo on a school wall during my final days – to signal my departure – giving the finger to a place I hated). I met Lawless in November of 1985 at an in-store appearance in Sydney and when I came face-to-face with him I was all but speechless. I was at the alter and here was the Rock Lord. He signed my red vinyl copy of ‘Animal’ – and I still have it. I’ll keep it forever. If I show it to a kid of today it would mean nothing. They wouldn’t understand. Back then many kids didn’t understand and never would. I did understand. I got the message loud and clear. You wanna know something ? That debut W.A.S.P album still sounds f**king great. I don’t think they ever topped that release. I purchased ‘The Last Command’ – which had just been released before Blackie came to town and I wore the grooves out on that record too. He promised a 1986 tour which never eventuated. They would tour Australia 22 years later. In 1986/87 Lawless and W.A.S.P started wearing spandex, American Football Jerseys and had aperoxide blond named Johnny Rod in the band. They even did a video for ‘Forever Free’ sitting by a camp fire ! This was a far cry from the blood and screaming of the first album, from Mr

Lawless roaring down the highway on the ‘Wild Child’ video…and I lost interest. Angus and Malcolm never altered the course and it shows. Nevertheless, those first two W.A.S.P albums are very special – top to bottom, truly great records from a long ago time when a shock rock band from Los Angeles ruled my world !

One thought on “Rockbrat Remembers: When W.A.S.P Ruled The World !

  1. I’m now 48 and the early to mid 80’s and that music ruled my world as well.It was “The Shit”.Still like to listen to old Kiss,Early Motley Crüe and W.A.S.P.I was into anything with a little grease paint .

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