Music — Hollywood Allstarz
by Seth Hoy
Bring on the rock, bring on the hair
Hollywood Allstarz to shine at Hogs Trough
Just when you thought they were getting out of rehab, classic rock legends return to the stage older, louder and angry as hell. For classic rock fans, life doesn’t get much better than this.
Legendary drummer Vinny Appice of Black Sabbath, bassist Jimmy Bain of Rainbow, vocalist/guitarist Carlos Cavazo of Quiet Riot, drummer Alan Krigger of Ike & Tina Turner and vocalist Chas West of Bonham form the ’80s tribute dream team known as Hollywood Allstarz.
The ’Starz storm the stage at the Hogs Trough Saloon on Thursday, March 31 at 342 Lincoln St. in Manchester. Only 120 tickets will be sold, so drop that Coors Light and rev your hog over to the Hogs Trough.
Amid mildly angst-filled pop stars like Ryan Cabrera, who’s on his way down, and teen queen Lindsay Lohan, who’s drowning in a pool of her own publicity, the Hollywood Allstarz are letting it all hang out as they show rock star wannabes how it’s done.
“I’m still pissed off,” Appice said. “I play harder than ever now — my fingers hurt when I’m done. I still break the shit of out stuff and I still have the fire. I don’t feel any older when I’m up there playing. I’ve been going to the gym lately too so I have got a lot of upper body strength. I’m still tearing shit up. When I die, my tombstone will say, ‘He was loud,’ and that’s how I want to go out.”
So how on Ozzy Osbourne’s bat-biting black earth did these superstars come together? You wouldn’t believe me if I told you — well, maybe you would.
At a 2003 Great White benefit concert for the victims of the Rhode Island fire, drummer Alan Krigger was asked to put together an all-star band to go on before Great White. Krigger called Appice, who ran into Cavazo and West. Jimmy Bain was called to substitute for original member Jeff Pilson of Dokken — thus the Allstarz were born. The band has played 25 gigs since they started and plans on starting an original band called Three-Legged Dog.
But for the time being, Hollywood Allstarz will continue to play ’80s covers such as material from their respective bands — Quiet Riot, Dio, Black Sabbath and Rainbow. According to Appice, songs like “Metal Health” by Quiet Riot and “Last in Line” by Dio get the crowd all riled up.
“We do all that stuff,” Appice said, “but it’s still live rock ‘n roll. We also play stuff we like such as AC/DC, Judas Priest and stuff from Black Sabbath. It’s just fun — we have a good time. It’s easy and seems to be going well. Chas wanted to do some Rod Stewart songs, but we all decided we weren’t playing that shit.”
According to Appice, who’s shared the stage with Ozzy Osbourne, each band member brings a lot of experience to the band as each hasl headlined in a previous bands. And having two drummers instead of one allows Appice to experiment with the sound.
“The band kicks ass,” Appice said, “even though we’re playing covers. We’ve all played big places and we’re all seasoned players. And the fact that we have two drummers makes us pretty unique. Krigger is the straight man playing 2/4 on drums, which allows me to f**k around. I play in and out and all over. It’s interesting having another drummer to hold down the beat — sometimes there’s a big rhythm machine going on.”
It’s no secret that the height of the hardcore hairband was reached back in the ’80s. While there is somewhat of a rock scene today, Appice believes that bands lack originality and thus lack the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll.
“I think there is some good stuff out there,” Appice said. “But it’s starting to sound way too processed. Bands are cutting and pasting riffs together. It sounds cool, but it loses the heart of the music. There are no huge guitar solos or heavy drums anymore.”
“And for young drummers growing up,” Appice continued, “there’s nothing to be inspired by anymore. I used to listen to Hendrix — you need to hear that kind of stuff to be inspired.”
And Hollywood Allstarz will leave you something to be inspired by. Even though the badass hair bands of yesteryear have been replaced by the hip-hop R&B thugs of today, Hollywood Allstarz isn’t trying to make a classic-rock comeback. When Hollywood Allstarz takes the stage, they’re just trying to have fun while playing their hair-band hearts out. They’re not just playing for their health, they’re playing for you.
“The stuff we’re doing has some playing in it,” Appice said. “We don’t cut and paste shit together. This is our thing and we’re going to play our asses off. I’ll play for all the drummers out there — that’s just how I work. We want everyone to know this is the way we do it.”
For more information on Hollywood Allstarz, visit www.serge.org/hollywoodallstarz.
- Seth Hoy
2005 HippoPress LLC | Manchester, NH