Sunday, February 24, 2013

Now Hear This: GOGMAGOG

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     In 1985 infamous British record producer Jonathon King, the guy behind George Harrison getting sued, decided to assemble a heavy metal supergroup to record a heavy metal opera. Sounds like an idea. He somehow managed to recruit two former members of Iron Maiden, singer Paul Dianno and drummer Clive Burr, one future member of Iron Maiden, guitarist Janick Gers, who had previously been in White Spirit and Gillan, former Def Leppard guitarist Pete Willis, and former Whitesnake bassist Neil Murray. "Wow!" you say? I agree! King christened the group GOGMAGOG after a legendary giant from British folklore. The opera idea didn't exactly pan out but the band did manage to record three songs in as many hours and release them as an EP. "I Will Be There," written by Russ Ballard, formerly of Argent, the guy who wrote "New York Groove," is really good, heavy guitars with a pop melody, similar to some of Thin Lizzy's eighties work.



     The next song on the EP, written by Jonathon King, is called "Living in a Fucking Time Warp." Hmm. Another good song, but it seems like Mr. King did not have radio airplay in mind when he wrote this one.




     The last song, also written by Jonathon King, was given the even more unwieldy title "It's Illegal, It's Immoral, It's Unhealthy, But It's Fun." This is my least favorite of the three songs, not great but I still enjoy it.



     When I first found out that Paul Dianno and Pete Willis had collaborated in a heavy metal supergroup my jaw hit the floor. Those two guys from those two albums by those two bands! Killers and High n Dry! Two of my favorite albums ever, and probably my two favorite metal albums, period. Those two guys! Holy shit! It has to be great, right? Unfortunately neither gent seems to have contributed much of anything, creatively speaking, to the three Gogmagog songs. It wasn't much of a band at all, I don't think they ever even took a picture together. Sure, the Gogmagog EP is fine for a dork like me, I'll listen to any goddamn thing, but what a colossal waste of talent! It's a tragedy, it really is. Pete Willis' contributions to those first three Def Leppard albums were monumental, I freakin' worship the guy, and he went on to do virtually zilch. If memory serves his only other attempt was a band named after an awful Patrick Swayze movie.




What happened, Pete? Chris, please get him on the show!



1 comment:

billyhardaway said...

Yeah i heard about this but sadly it never came to be. Pete Willis, one of my favorite guitar players ever, what the hell happened to him? High N Dry is my fave Def Leppartd album, fuck Hysteria, saw them with Willis when they opened for Ozzy on the Blizzard of Oz tour. Pete totally blew me away. Dont know why everyone always talked up Steve Clark. He was a great rythym guy, but Willis blew him away with his lead work.

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