The 69 Eyes, Rock City News Report & Vain

Finland is actually a major producer of great rockbands within the genres that this magazine usually focus on. The most evident is perhaps Hanoi Rocks, the legendary glamtrash band that has been so influential. They were followed by others such as sleazy Smack and rollin' Havana Black. All good bands that unfortunately failed to make any huge impact.

In the early nineties when glam was way underground all over the world, it was still pretty hot in Finland. Plastic Tears and Deadlock were carrying the torch. The most impressing of the bunch,however, was the 69 Eyes. Formed in Sörkkä, a part of Helsinki. Loud as hell and sleazy as a gutter, Kerrang described them as "Helsinki sleaze" which is a pretty accurate description. They stand out as the perfect fusion of Motorhead and Guns 'n roses, with a pinch of Iggy pop just for good measure!

The Band consists of Timo-Timo (guitar), Archie (Bass & Backing vocals), Jyrki (vocals), Jussi (drums) and Bazie (Lead guitar & Backing vocals). They have gained a lot of recognition from their metallic but melodic music, but they also got plenty of help from fanzines, undergound contacts and fan-clubs. I really liked their last album "Savage garden" but it's their new "Wrap your troubles in dreams" that has convinced me that this band is destined for the masses. They have the potential to be huge, very huge. "Savage Garden" lacked some ingredients which caused a feeling of unsatisfaction. You could hear that this band had the goods but there were some missing links. With "Wrap your troubles in dreams" that feeling is gone, the sound has developed into something very modern and fresh which should attract both glam/sleaze fans and more metallic listeners. An Interesting band to follow. Get your piece of the pie, contact them or order the cd (All information needed is on their website - check out Glam & Glitzine's links.section)

The Annual Awards Report

The Annual Rock City News awards were held on the November the 6th at the legendary Country club in Reseda. Plenty of todays greatest glambands were nominated. Los Angeles is, eventhough it may not be as dominant as it once was, still the capital of glam/sleaze. Therefore the exitment was huge before this event.

Rebel Rebel was nominated in two categories "Funniest band" and "most psychotic band", theywon the latter. By the way, Willow wisp was also nominated to "Most psychotic band". The Promising Suicide Alley had a great chance at winning the "best promotional band" award but it went to Kill van Kull.

Tim Yusui won the "best management" award. He is the man behind the "All that glitters" project, a well worthy winner. The Legendary Lizzie Grey (Spiders ‘n Snakes) had the opportunity to get credit for his songwriting in the "best songwriting" category. The Prize went to Human drama though.

Both The Mistakes and Total chaos were nominated as "best punk band" but failed. Krakwurx (with ex. Blackboard Jungle members) won the "best industrial band" award. Texas Terri and the stiff ones was voted "best Hollywood band". A little suprise, I was hopin’ for Revlon Red or Guttersluts to snatch their first and well-deserved prize of the evening.

Ex. PBF guitarist Ariel Stiles (Stratosphere), drummer Tim Yasui (Spiders & Snakes) and vocalist Johnnie Mckayne (Guttersluts) were all nominated in individual categories but didn’t win. Sammy Serious and Rick Monroe fought against three others for the "best solo artist" award but lost.

Then last but not least, the most magical moment of the evening. One hour past midninght, it was time to reveal who had won the "best glamband" award. Guttersluts, Ambush, Epoxy Glow, Foxy Roxx, Ziggys Revenge, Revlon red, Spiders & Snakes and Suicide alley - the whole spectra of glam was covered. The More metallic Gutterluts, the hardrock-hybrid Ambush, the glamrock sensation Foxy Roxx, the glittering Spiders & Snakes and the boppy Revlon red. That is stiff competion! All are great bands that deserves recognition for their hard work and talent. If I had to choose a personal favourite I would have chosen Revlon red. The Trophy, however, went to Guttersluts and it must have felt very good for Johnny McKayne who kept the band going when all the other original members left one by one. Now they’re on top, today L.A: tomorrow the world!

Vain was formed in San Francisco in late ´85. The band comprised of Davy Vain (vocals), Jamie "Rose" Scott (guitar), Danny West (guitar), Ashley Mitchell (bass) and Tom Rickard (drums). They first started out playing gigs around S.F. and at the club The Stone, supporting bands like Poison and Guns N´ Roses. They recorded a few demo tapes, including tracks like "Ain´t heaven made", "Hot rock", "No tears for you", "Laws against love"... Davy also produced two albums, "The ultra-violence" and "Frolic through the park" for Bay area thrashers Death Angel.

A buzz about Vain started and magazines like Kerrang and Metal Forces featured them long before they got signed. Kerrang even put them on the front cover and had a 6 pages story on them, and had lots of articles on them over the years. In September ´89 the album "No respect" was released on Island records. The album was produced by Paul Nortfield who had previously worked with bands like Rush and Queensryche.

"No respect" was the perfect combination of sleaze and glam, a true masterpiece. The album got top reviews in all the major metal magazines. Two videos were made, one for the track "Beat the bullet", that was shot in the sleazier parts of S.F. A total kick ass video, that shows what Rock n´ roll´s all about. The next video was for the track "Who´s watching you", also a really cool video. Then in November they supported Skid Row on their tour in England. A few months later they went over to Japan and headlined a few gigs.

In ´91 they started work on their second album, "All those strangers". The album was recorded and done and just about to get released when Island records decided to drop the band. The album has never been officially released and has become a much sought after item among tapetraders. Most copies having quite shitty sound quality. I finally got hold of a good copy, but hopefully it will one day be released on CD. "All those strangers" followed where "No respect" left off, and it´s a great album, including classics like "Wake up", "Love drug", "Do you sleep with strangers"... In late ´91 Danny West and Tom Rickard left the band. Danny joined a band called Shine. In came ex. Guns N´ Roses drummer Steven Adler and Shawn Rorie (guitar) and they changed the band name to Roadcrew. They recorded a demo including songs like "Breakdown", "Family", "Get up"... and played gigs and showcases trying to get a record deal. But Steven hadn´t got rid of his drug problem, and record companies were afraid of signing the band, and finally everything just fell apart. Shawn Rorie started and fronted a band called Wish, that he recorded a few demos with, later he joined a band called Heavy into Jeff, and they released two albums. When they broke up he joined The Vents. They have released an album called "Venus again" and are out touring right now. Steven Adler is now drug free and has formed the band Freaks in the room.

Davy Vain decided to change back the name to Vain, and bring back Danny West. New drummer Danny Fury joined the band and they started recording their third album "Move on it". The album was released in November ´93 on Polystar records, in Japan only. It also included 3 songs from Roadcrew with Steven and Shawn. And also the track "Planets turning" from the"All those strangers" album. "Move on it" is another great Vain album and it was finally released in Europe in ´94 on Heavy Metal records, but haven´t so far been released in the U.S.

In March ´95 they released their fourth album "Fade" on Polystar in Japan. The only remaining members were Davy and Ashley. They were joined by new drummer Louie Senor. But actually all the old Vain/Roadcrew members play on different tracks. The album included another track from "All those strangers"; "Shooting star". And also "Can´t get back" from Roadcrew. Davy and Danny West went over to Japan and did some promotion in recordstores for the album. "Fade" was also released in the U.S. in ´96 on SaRaya recordings and has also just been released in Europe on Revolver music. Danny West has released a soloalbum in Japan, called "Taste the sounds". Now he´s in two bands called The pimps of Venus, and Dukes of hazzard. They play in the San Francisco area. James Scott joined a band called The Dangs, after that he played in Big Blue Hearts, but has since left them. Tommy Rickard played in a band called Loaded, they released an album in ´94 called "TV Star". Tommy is also in a Jackson 5 cover band called Wonder Bread 5. They play in the San Francisco area frequently.

Latest news is that Davy Vain has formed Dragonfly. Ashley and Louie are still with him. They have been playing around the S.F. area, trying out new songs like "In from out of nowhere", "Old crowd", "Trinity"... A new album should be on the way, I hope.

To be continued...

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