Londonist was greatly saddened to read of Tommy Vance's death last Sunday. Memories of Friday nights plugged into Radio 1's Friday Rock Show through the headphones (how rebellious we teenage metal fans were) listening to everything from Pallas through to Venom, all played with equal and gravel toned enthusiasm by the one and only TV on the radio.
Odeon to catch Ozzy, Maiden and the Crue run riot down the mean streets of mid-eighties teenage wasteland, Tommy was our John Peel. A man who played everything and anything with a fire and brimstoned fervour (as long of course as it was ROCK!). He will be greatly missed by all those who still swoon at the sight of a stack of Marshall Amps and don't take themselves too seriously whilst still devoting heart and soul to the sound of crashing guitars.
Even sadder is that Tommy's going to miss possibly one of the best summers in 15 years for old school metal fans (and we don't mean that there's still no new material from The Darkness).
Trawl through Stargreen's A-Z and you'll find names that would have any self rightous music scribe choking on their roll-ups: Dio, Magnum, Kansas, Dokken, Enuff Z'nuff!!! Good lord are they still around?
So in Tommy's honour we'd like to recommend the five best metal gigs you should get to this year, no matter what your taste in music. Expect stomping tunes, lots of shouting, explosions, visuals, possibly the odd floating drum riser, denim, leather, hair and more shouting. Before you know it you'll have had so much fun you'll wonder why you spent so long thinking that a night watching some unshaven freaks stare at their shoes for half an hour whilst trying to discover drop G tuning was the be all and end all of a great gig.
Top of the list is Motorhead's 30th anniversary show at the Hammy O, sorry, we mean of course the Carling Apollo Hammersmith on June 16 where they're bringing back their legendary bomber lighting rig and inviting pretty much every single member who's ever played with the band back on stage. A wise friend once said that everyone should see and hear Motorhead at least once before they die (especially as you'll probably never hear again), although the same does
If you're mad enough to want to make a long weekend of it and you need to get out of town, then head down to the spiritual home of British metal, the Castle Donnington race track for this year's Download festival on 10/11/12 June to catch national icon and serial burglary victim Ozzy Osbourne hook up with old cronies Black Sabbath once again - amongst many others.
Next week Judas Priest roar their Harleys into town on the back of a well received new album, decked out in even more studs and leather than ever before, and supported by moustachioed German hurricane rockers and political balladeers The Scorpions at the Hammersmith Apollo on Wednesday and Thursday.
Ultimate cock-rock band Motley Crue (damn those umlauts) will be putting the moves on your mother, daughter, sister, gran and girlfriend at Wembley on June 19. Maybe not as much hair as before but lots of swearing and politically incorrect references to Girls, Girls, Girls!
Remember, big smile, head down, fist up and it's: "duh duh duhhhhh duh duh dah duhhhhhh..."