We have the next session of Classic Metal Class coming up tomorrow. Like a number of the sessions so far, we're going to be focusing on a lot of music history, centering on one main area and time-period. This time around, it's the early to mid-1980s and it's the Los Angeles (and larger California) metal scene!
The title is deliberate. The Sunset Strip wasn't the only place where up-and-coming heavy metal bands found their audiences, but it included a number of venues that were absolutely central to the complex and developing story. L.A. Connection, of course, is the title of that Dio-era Rainbow song from the album Long Live Rock and Roll. I selected it precisely to highlight the important influence established, non-L.A. musicians would exert on the ongoing development of that scene running from the late 70s well into the 80s.
I'll be joined by my co-host and colleague, Scott Tarulli - guitar professor at Berklee School of Music, practicing musician, and fellow metalhead (check him out here) - and as usual, we'll be meeting at Noon Central Time, Saturday March 20. Here's the link to join the Zoom session. We usually present together - delving into the issues we've set out for discussion - for anywhere between 30-40 minutes, and then engage with questions and comments from participants. We schedule these to run 90 minutes, but the conversations get pretty intense and involved, so sometimes we do go a bit longer!This session, among the topics we'll discuss are:how LA became such an important location both for established artists and bands who would often frequent venues like the Rainbow and the Whiskey-A-Go, and for up-and-coming metal bands. We'll also be discussing what established artists made important contributions to producing and promoting these new artists (Ronnie James Dio and Gene Simmons are examples), the rise of new record labels providing a home to metal bands, and the growing influence of MTV and music videos on the genre in this era.