In today’s society of social media, tabloid journalism and, the loosely accurate, reality television shows, the clamour to get close and know about famous people is more in demand than ever. It’s not a new phenomenon by any means however it’s replaced actually reading a hard-worked autobiography or speaking on the ‘dinner circuit’. It is though contrived, fake and for the most part vulgar.
Which makes the appearance of metal legend Scott Ian’s speaking tour so refreshing. While he may not be the first, nor the last, he is a wealth of stories, anecdotes and soundbites which makes his show, over three hours long, fly by.
Walking on stage to AC/DC’s High Voltage and acknowledging that asking for the music to be turned off is sacrilegious, especially in these parts, it’s a low-key entrance for a guy who has sold millions of records and toured the world with Anthrax, Volbeat, The Damned Things and S.O.D. Then again what do you expect from a guy who is the rhythm guitarist, not the lead nor the singer, as he is at pains to address.
Ian’s first story is about when in public, being recognised as either himself, scream ‘ANTHRAX’ in the future, or mistaken for another multi-talented musician in the back of a LA taxi which raises a few chuckles. However, that is nothing to describing how to get Slayer’s Kerry King to ‘purr like a kitty cat’.
After that gentle introduction we get into the first real story of the night. It’s about Anthrax’s first tour to the UK, a meeting with Kerrang ! Magazine and a few beverages at the St. Moritz pub. This seems all standard before the introduction of Motörhead’s Lemmy to the story, the fruit machine playing, JD drinking metal icon himself.
While the audience appreciates the legend and merriment of the story, nothing prepares them for the photos of Lemmy in some Daisy Duke short shorts. Not bad for a guy whose Ace Of Spades album cover Ian described as ‘looking like three Mexicans’.
A short Q and A gets the audience involved, who ask questions about Cliff Burton, what went down during the Big 4 reunion with James and Dave as well as any potential collaboration between Anthrax and Scott Ian’s father in law Meat Loaf.
Then we segue into the final story and a close friend of Ian’s, Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell Abbott.
I won’t be able to do justice to the story in these words, however if you can imagine a coked-up Sebastian Bach from Skid Row chasing a dyed pink goat around Dimebag’s swimming pool at three in the morning while the Pantera guitarist hides in a cupboard, you’re only a quarter of the way there.
A short jam session of S.O.D. best tribute songs finishes the set a good three hours after it’s started, leaving the audience suitably impressed. We got great stories of rock warriors passed, we got a few future secrets thrown our way and we got a performer prepared to answer any question as truthfully as possible. It wasn’t contrived, nor fake, it was a guy talking about his music life to a bunch of music fans. Which is how it should be.
Live Review by Iain McCallum