Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Where are they now (real estate edition): Jonny Z

SOD shirt? Check. Polka-dot suspenders? Check. Leave it to east coast Italians to set the fashion trends that the rest of us will follow for decades to come. To this day, you will never catch me at a formal function or presentation at work without rocking this very outfit.



This is a long post, so enjoy it.

As the foremost authority on washed-up metal nobodies, Metal Inquisition takes it's job seriously. It's for this very reason that we had a hard time ignoring the two emails that were sitting in our inbox, asking where "thrash metal grandfather" Jonny Z is these days. Granted, these emails were from Jonny himself, but nevertheless we found the challenge worth pursuing.

Who is Jonny Z?
If you don't know who Jonny Z is, don't worry...you're not missing much. I could play the "I'm way old school" card and make fun of you for not knowing...but really, what would that say about me? To make a big deal about my vast metal knowledge would be like bragging about the fact that I know in which episode of Perfect Strangers Balki mixes up the sugar and the salt (episode 18 by the way). While some might be impressed with such amazing knowledge, pretty much everyone would laugh at me and point...as so many people (mostly women) have done throughout my life. Having said that, I'll give you a quick rundown on why Jonny Z is mildly important, within a musical style that was itself only mildly important (more than 15 years ago) to a small group of acne-faced teenagers.


Question:
Is that Johnny Z and Billy Milano having a perfectly normal homoerotic moment at an MOD show as they both sing into a phallus....or is it two disgusting fat Italians fighting over an ice cream cone?

Answer:
Both




The facts:

Jonny Z had record store in a flea market in New Jersey. He signed Anthrax and Metallica, ran Megaforce records, and then listed himself and the Executive Producer of every horrible thrash metal album throughout the 80's, in order to keep making money off of these bands long after their members had been forced to sell their Toyota Corolla's in order to pay rent at their parent's houses. This, more or less, is all you need to know. I'll stop there, because the idea of looking into the seedy underbelly (and what a fat belly it is) of Johnny Z's musical career simply brings up troubling and painful memories for all of us. What troubling memories you ask? Well, much like a Vietnam vet has trouble sleeping under ceiling fans, I too have issues remembering all that was the 80s thrash scene, and Megaforce Record's output in particular. One part Holocaust, and one part 9-11, the musical output of Megaforce Records and the bands associated with Jonny Z are enough to make even the strongest man dry-heave. There's Overkill, Anthrax's, MOD's Surfin' MOD, not to mention the entire Testament catalog. Yes, "Practice What You Preach", I'm looking at you, and your badly mixed bass. But anyway....why are we looking into the matter of where Jonny Z is today? Well, there's those two emails from him that I mentioned earlier where he begged for some exposure in order to sell the six thousand remaining copies of the first Kings X album that are still sitting in his basement (by the way, remember how Kings X were deemed to be "the new Beatles" by the press, including Rolling Stone?) Aside from the emails urging us to talk about him, there was the unbelievable curiosity we had regarding what kind of house being the "executive producer" on Kill 'Em All, and that one live Trust album will buy you. It was with that question in mind that I released the Metal Inquisition hounds, in order to find Mr Z. By the way, I don't use the phrase "releasing the hounds" as a figure of speech. Most of our investigative reporting is done by an actual group of hounds, five well-trained dachshunds to be exact. These dachshunds have a real nose for sniffing out thrash metal empresarios, the movers and shakers of metal if you will. Sadly, because their training is in searching for "emprasarios", they returned rather quickly to the MI headquarters having found no information. I quickly realized my error. I had told them to look for an "empresario", not a fat annoying guy who is best known for his cameo in MOD's True Colors video. Having realized my error, I gave them a new task: "Go look for information about fat Italian dudes who produced Attack Of The Killer B's, and profit from the work of lesser douchebags." This was a command they understood. Sadly, they found Alex Perialas' house in Ithica NY. By the way, how great is it that if Alex Perialas, a man who accomplished so much during his life, ever Googles himself, he'll see that our blog comes up higher in the results than his own MySpace page. He recently wrote a comment on that post about his house, which leads me to believe that he's an okay guy....even if he did produce Overkill's entire catalog. His comment said:

Alex@pyramidsounstudios.com said... AP says life is good and I still know how to get a guitar tone bitches!! This site is some funny sh*t.


Thank you Alex!




Although commonly known as a trait and skill of "pointer" dogs, the Metal Inquisition dachshunds will stand, almost frozen, once they find the living quarters of any metal pseudo-celebrity. Pictured here is the littlest of the bunch, Helmut, who once stood in this very position for four hours outside an apartment that three guys from Internal Bleeding share in Long Island.



Where is Jonny Z today?


At first, I thought I had found this elusive figure of the metal world rather easily. I assumed, incorrectly, that Jonny had finally gone ahead and tried his hand at crafting his own music, rather than simply profiting from the tiny amount of talent that bands like Anthrax could piece together. I found this CD, and thought I had found my man. I quickly realized that wasn't the right Jonny. Then, I found another Johnny Z in the greater New York City area who claims to be a "maestro of sound and entertainment", which means he will DJ your son's Bar Mitzvah, or your amazingly fun company picnic. Quickly, however, I realized I had found the wrong Johnny Z. While they are both "maestros of sound and entertainment" (what would you call the I'm The Man EP after all), one was fatter than the other. With the MI hounds still out searching, I realized how horrible I really am at investigative work, and how terrible the MI dachshunds are at their job.


Damnit, wrong Johnny Z. Like the one I was looking for, this one is a washed up nobody with horrible facial hair and clothing. The difference? This guy was NOT involved in the recording of absolutely crucial albums like Raven's All For One, Ace Frehley's self titled album or any of the MOD records.



Having found the wrong Johnny Z twice over, I re-re-released the hounds...having had them smell a copy of SOD's album to track the scent. Quickly, the correct Jonny was found by the MI hounds. Redemption at last. Jonny Z, the real one, lives in Bucks County Pennsylvania. He lives right by the New Jersey border, which I fully understand. Much like flies don't often fly far away from feces...Italians don't often move far away from Jersey. My excuses to fellow poster Mr Gene Hoglan's balls who is both Italian and a Jersey resident. I know he wont be offended, however, because he knows these things are true. I mean, if I suddenly explained the concept of gravity to you...would you be offended? No, because you know it's true. You'd probably say "Right, right, I know...keep going with your story already...sheesh." So anyway, he lives in Pennsylvania now...not New York or New Jersey. Why?


At the risk of sounding like a washed up, jaded idiot...I still marvel at how the NYHC symbol was so nicely co-opted by Anthrax and Megaforce Records at large. I hope Roger Miret and the Raybeez estate get royalties from its use.



Having co-opted what little juice and iconography the New York City hardcore scene had back in the day (see picture above), I suspect that Mr Z and his family had to flee the greater New York City area in fear of retaliation from members of DMS, or perhaps because of threats from from New Jersey's own Mucky Pup. Those dudes were straight up Jersey gangsta's. Just look at this terrifying picture that the New Jersey Gang Task force sent me:


Can you really blame Jonny Z for having fled New Jersey due to fear of retaliation from Mucky Pup? These guys are a mix of extras from the Sopranos, with a tiny bit of Juggalo, and two parts douchebag thrown in for good measure. Man, nothing says class like purple MC Hammer pants, a sweet Nike tracksuit and dress shoes.



What about his house?
Funny you should ask, because the Metal Inquisition hounds came back from Bucks county quickly, and much like Lassie, their doggie noises were easy to decipher. "What is it girl? Where does he live? Near New Jersey? What? You want to take me to his house? It's by the well? Please take me there!" So I followed the hounds, and they took me here:




This well-apointed master suite is where the brains behind the entire Kings X catalog rests his weary head.



Now look...I'll be honest with you. As much as I want to laugh at the non-cohesive styling cues of the house, as much as I want to laugh about it's "1984 contractor chic" aesthetic values, or its unsuccessful blend of materials and decidedly middle class decor...I have to admit I was surprised that Mr Z could live in a house that is not falling apart. It's size alone was not what I expected. At 1.9 million dollars, in what is basically a semi-rural area of the east coast, I guess being the executive producer in Kill Em All as well as Fistful of Metal really does pay the bills. Seeing this house (all 5 bedrooms, 6 baths and 7,669 square feet of it) suddenly made me feel bad for Joey Belladonna. Why? Because earlier this year, we reported that Joey was living in upstate new york in a house that is merely valued at 300k. How can this be? Jonny Z has a nicer house than the guy who played drums in the musical epic known as I'm The Man? Life, it turns out, is not fair at all. I mean, was Jonny the one waring the indian head dress on stage for all those years? No. Was Jonny there to coach Scott Ian through his hairloss tantrums of '87? No. It was Joey who was there...and now Jonny Z has a nicer and bigger house? Joey is so broke these days, he can't even afford a full mic stand. As a result of all this information, I have finally been able to answer one of humanity's most pressing questions: Does god exist. The answer: Yes, there is a god. Sadly, like most of us, he hates Joey Belladonna.


When you look at Belladonna's entire body of work, you suddenly start to realize that "I'm The Man" as well as the outfit he wore on this picture are actually among the high points in his career. Speaking of "I"m The Man", was it really necessary to give fans like eight versions of the damn song in one EP? It's a bit like bragging about the fact that you can take a shit in eight different positions. We get the point, we're just not impressed.



Back to Jonny Z's house. As much as I was ready to laugh at his tiny, shitty house...I have to say that the house's hefty pricetag (1.9 million) left me silent. Suddenly, the Metal Inquisition offices were almost completely quiet, and all that could be heard was Seargent D practicing the main riff from Forced Entry's "Macrocosm, Microcosm" on his guitar. Putting the Forced Entry song aside, I suddenly felt guilty about having wanted Jonny Z to be living in a small house that looked like a pile of rubble, much like members from Manowar do. I remembered the last time I had a similar feeling of guilt, which was when Peter Steele of Type O Negative (and, more importantly, Carnivore) did a spread for Playgirl. I remember wanting to laugh at Mr Steele's man-junk, but when faced with photographic evidence of what he was working with...I suddenly felt shame, sadness and desperation. Wait a second...wait. Did I just willingly tell the whole world that I saw Peter Steele's Playgirl layout? Damn this truth serum, damn it all to hell!

See, I can explain...although I KNOW that my explanation sounds as made up as they come. Hear me out. When that magazine came out, I was living in Miami. My friend had introduced me to a gay friend of her's, who was an ex-punk rocker turned drag queen. A stretch, I know. This guy had the magazine, and showed it to me. I know you will all say I made this up...but it's totally true.

Okay, where was I? Oh yes, his house. So there you have it...it's big. Bigger than Joey's, and not too horrible looking considering the awful taste that Italians usually have, and the low quality of construction available in the United States.



What else is Jonny Z up to?

Like any other 57 year old man-child, Jonny has a Myspace page and a blog. It's in his blog that we can learn the most about this unlovable man...the man who first had Raven tour in the United Sates. Did you just read what I typed? This is the guy we can thank for bringing Raven to the US? Wow, next up I'll do an article about the Immigration officials who signed the visas for the 9-11 hijackers. But back to his blog. In said blog, we learn about Jonny's obsessive collecting of Nightmare Before Christmas action figures. Just read the quote below, which surely explains his passion for this movie:

“It made me think…What is this Jack really all about…is he really as deep and complex as these faces portray him….we figured there must be something more to this film…” - Jonny Z


If that statement doesn't grab you and tugs away at your heartstrings (mine are tuned to a drop C, for heavier riffing) I don't know what will. I don't know exactly what that quote means, so I'll leave it up to you to figure it out (much like a community college proffesor would when introuducing his students to Nietzsche). I do understand one portion of this quote, however, and that's the question he poses, that of there being "more to this film." As it turns out, MI staff contacted Tim Burton to see if there WAS in fact more to this film. We called his office, and identified ourselves as the guys who "wrote that funny post about the houses that the guys from Manowar live in". They hung up. So that settles that one. Oh, I forgot to mention that Jonny Z also owns an action figure store in New Hope PA, and lists the following people as his heroes:

- Malcolm X
- Ahmet Ertegun (founder of Atlantic Records)
- His wife

I'll let you all ponder that list, but rest assured that some PhD theseis work will be done on it very soon.


What do the demi-stars of thrash metal say about Jonny Z? What does the media say about Jonny Z?

I know that all of you consider us to be the absolute authorities on horrible music that no one cares about, and we thank you for that. Still, in order to keep our status as a peer-reviewed scholastic journal, we have allowed almost-well known bands comment on the man himself. Please watch the videos below.


First, let's all watch a news story about Jonny Z's Rock N' Roll heaven record store from back in the day.









In this video, Anthrax talk about the famed store that Jonny Z had in a New Jersey flea market, a store that has been discussed in every single interview that Anthrax, SOD, Raven, Venom, Testament and Overkill ever did. Megaforce Records insisted that all bands signed to the label mention the store, and Jonny's importance to the scene in all interviews. In some videos, you can actually see Jonny standing off camera pointing a gun to their bands, thus insuring that all mentions of him were included. Jonny Z is first mentioned in this video at 1:10. Please don't get distracted by the amazing poodle haircuts or hairy eyebrows.





Incredibly annoying video of Overkill, where they discuss Megaforce records and Jonny Z...as they were contractually obligated to do. Like most bands from Jersey and Long Island, Overkill claimed to be from New York City, as you can see in this video. Please note the fashion statements made in the video, which are incredibly tasteful. Notice how the one guitar player who always tried his hardest to look exactly like James Heatfiled (even using the same guitar as James and rocking the same long sweatbans on his forearms) takes a break from swinging from Metallica's balls and quickly pays homage to Max Cavalera by wearing some sensible urban camo. Johnny Z/Megaforce Records mention occurs :30 seconds in.




So what have we learned today? Absolutely nothing...except that making Lars Ulrich share some of his wealth as a result of you having been the executive producer on one of his albums almost 30 years ago will buy you an almost-nice house in Eastern Pennsylvania. Class dismissed.

57 comments:

  1. Great article! Could it be that perhaps Rick Ta Life was influenced by Jonny Z's flea market success and sought to emulate it with Blech to Basics? I'd like to think so!
    PS I now have "hello from the gutter" stuck on repeat in my head.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You've probably seen it already but anyway:

    http://rocketsciencerecords.blogspot.com/2009/07/rock-n-roll-heaven-clark-nj.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. czukay, i had not seen that video! thank you, i'm putting it in the post right now.

    ReplyDelete
  4. How could you fail to mention THE LONE RAGER?!??!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You're right, Bobby Gustafson, especially "The years of decay" era, was the ultimate James Hetfield clone.

    ...and fuck off, the bass sound on "Practice what you preach" was great!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Cool post (I like the real estate ones, they're dopealicious).

    In case you can't decide who's homes to feature next, here's a few I wouldn't mind finding out about:

    - Rick Hunolt (Exodus),
    - Vlad Vikernes (Burzum, I've seen a few outside shots, how about a detailed tour of the inside and a photo of his French wife?),
    - George Lynch (Dokken),
    - Billy Milano (show me da trailer!)
    - Paul D'ianno (Maiden)...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great piece. My favorites are metal real estate and where are they now.

    Its so hard to watch anything with Anthrax. They might be the biggest poseur d-bags of all time.

    Hilarious!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. A couple of weeks ago while perusing through the bins of some crappy record store in St Pete, FL I ran into a Megaforce compilation called Deeper Into The Vault. I paid $0.99 for it. A little too much if you ask me. The comp dates back to 80's and includes a horrible rap metal number called "Metal Rap". The artist is listed as the Lone Rager, but rumours abound that the Rager in question is no other than Johnny Z...
    Others included are Raven, (Yes!!!!) Blitzkrieg, Exodus, TT Quick. SOD, etc. In other words pure Metal Inquisition fodder...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Vlad Vikernes?!? You mean Varg? His house is Tromsø Prison in Norway...

    "James Heatfiled" should be a tag. It's not as awesome s Jame Shart, but it's a good name for Bobby G.

    Jonny probably bought the house with all the money he saved by feeding his bands "baloney on hand".

    I'd bet Marsha took care of the books since Jonny invested in such megastars as Exciter and T.T. Quick yet doesn't live in a cardboard box with Rat Skates.

    Maybe he was smart with the money Atlantic paid him for distribution rights.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @ John,
    Varg's house is NOT prison in Norway. Hes been a free man for a while now.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good to see Alex Perialas is still alive. Surprised (and moreso, upset) the dachshunds didn't end up finding Mark Dodson. Need to find out, where now is super-producer Mark Dodson!

    ReplyDelete
  12. The only thing that would top this would be a "where are they now?" piece on Harris Johns.

    By the way, Bobby Gustafson not only ripped off Hetfield's stage moves and wrist bands, he also jacked the white Gibson Explorer in the "Elimination" video.

    ReplyDelete
  13. @Savage...

    Well no shit.. News to me. I thought he still had a few years left. Gotta love Scandinavian justice.

    My apologies to John for being a smug douche bag.

    .. a piece on Bill Metoyer would round out the shitty moguls of metal pieces.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Awesome post, I wasted a fairly significant portion of my youth at Johnny Z's flea-market record shop. Yes, I am indeed that old. Oh, the memories. Seeing Venom at an in-store appearance and being surprised at how tiny Cronos is in real life. Watching Dave Mustaine walk around the Rt 18 flea market in a pair of gigantic furry white viking boots that even Manowar wouldn't stoop to wearing. Listening to Johnny tell that story about how he jammed with Hendrix...again. Haggling with him until he sold me a "Welcome To Hell" picture disc for $5. Or how he'd never charge NJ sales tax. Good times.

    The Raven stuff cracked me up, Johnny never stopped shilling for that horrible, horrible band. I saw Raven on that tour and they would just keep coming out for encore after encore despite no enthusiasm from the crowd at all. Man, they were excruciatingly bad.

    Interesting fact: Johnny is (or at least was?) a practicing Jew, a friend of mine used to see him at his temple all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm friends with their daughter, Rikki Z, and believe it or not, she's pretty normal and not jaded considering she and her sister grew up on tours playing with Ozzy's kids.

    Just sayin'....

    ReplyDelete
  16. We absolutely have to find out about Mark Dodson, the man behind the knobs on the Infectious Grooves albums!!!

    Have some information on Bill Metroyer, working on that one. As far as Rick Hunolt....well, see...its easier to get the lowdown on people if they own a home. if they rent a horrible apartment with three other guys and their girlfriend...it's hard.

    If anyone lives in Denmark and knows anything about where Flemming Rasmusen lives...pass it on!

    The anonymous post about going to the store is amazing, love those stories! If you want to tell us more, or think of any other such things from back in the day, write them up and send them. we'll post them.

    Zena Metal, that's cool that you're friends with the daughter. I remember seeing pictures of the two girls in magazines from time to time...I wondered how they would grow up. When I started to see pictures of the Osbourne kids before their show, I would always think back to those pictures. How do you know her?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Kudos,
    Finally! a decent & hilarious post about the people we hate because they lived off our hard earned 'allowance' for years and invested it wisely...grrrr

    ReplyDelete
  18. More evidence that Lucho is Bike Snob. Three days ago BSNYC had a post that mentioned dachshunds. I think you are slipping up there Lucho.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks Lucho, I am that anonymous poster. As ridiculous at it may seem now, that little flea-market booth was the epicenter of the entire local metal scene back in the early 1980's. Of course, that scene consisted of no more than a few hundred perpetually stoned long-haired, demin and leather wearing societal outcasts, but it was the epicenter nonetheless.

    I vividly remember how one wall of the shop was devoted to the albums no one ever bought, stuff like the Mentors, Handsome Beasts, Uli Jon Roth and Saxon picture discs. None of the stuff on those shelves ever moved and we always wondered why he devoted that much of his limited space to that crap no one wanted.

    Every so often Johnny would feel charitable and offer special "one minute sales" where he'd unload otherwise useless merch for a dollar or two. This explains why I once owned a Tank and a Demon picture disc (and also why his house is worth exactly $1.8 million more than mine). He'd also give you a 10% discount if you wore your RnR Heaven T-shirt to the store, which was pretty cool, even though back then a new album was like $8 so you were really only saving change.

    Both Manowar and Anvil performed at the Rt 18 flea market courtesy of Jon Z. He was also responsible for Venom's first U.S. appearance (in Staten Island, Metallica opened, still have the poster) as well as the aforementioned "Kill "Em All For One" tour feat. Raven and Metallica. I also saw a show he promoted feat. Neil Turbin Anthrax, Talas and headliners Exciter. Those Jon Z shows were great, tickets were dirt cheap and there was little or no adult supervision or "security" of any kind (other than Johnny hopping up on stage and screaming at everyone up front to move the fuck back, as he was fond of saying).

    I still have the Metallica "No LIfe Til Leather" demo cassette Johnny himself sold me for $5. My first ever live show was the Raven/Metallica show at a roller rink on Rt 9 in NJ, Jon's father-in-law was working the ticket booth and sold me my $7 ticket.

    Apologies for rambling but you know how us old folks get once we start recollectin'. One weekend this summer I have to go to New Hope and get Johnny to sign my copy of "Metal Rap", hopefully his signature won't ruin the value of that priceless collectible.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Uncle Gus
    i'm with you!
    it's all in the dog preferences here
    further evidence:
    lucho some months ago mentioned having short hair now...bike snob also has short hair
    i think this is an open and shut case

    ReplyDelete
  21. @John: apology accepted!

    @Lucho: yeah, I figured Rick was down on his luck, I mean, leaving Exodus because you smoke too much meth is pretty bad, I was just wondering what kind of shack he was living in... You could still do an in-depth profile on his roommates, that would be pretty dope!

    ReplyDelete
  22. There definitely needs to be a Lone Ranger addendum to this article.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The reason why I never learned to play guitar is because King's X is liked by people who play guitar. There's some places I just don't wanna go.

    ReplyDelete
  24. does anybody here remember sweet savage?

    ReplyDelete
  25. To the Anonymous old-school commenter, thank you for the memories. Growing up all the way in South America, I imagined the record store to be this magical place...little did I know what New Jersey was really like. Had I met you back then, it would have blown my mind, it would have been like meeting a person who got to actually live out The Never Ending Story in real life...and got to ride around on that cocker spaniel.

    as far as me being bikesnob...the short hair does it. you nailed it. i noticed his mentions of dachshunds also. what gives?

    xjustinx, vegan straightedge AND a howard stern fan. you're a rad dude!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hey Lucho, what the hell happened to Randy Burns and Scott Burns?!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Scott Burns now works in the IT business in some capacity. And he looks like a slightly out of shape suburban dad. check him out in this picture from an obituary record release party:

    http://obituary.cc/photos/xreturnprty07/DSC09159.jpg

    I"ve tried to dig up more stuff on him, but didn't get enough to write about.

    Randy Burns did Nuclear Assault and Megadeth albums right? Yikes, I'll have to look him up too. Flemming Rasmussen would be the best one though.

    ReplyDelete
  28. i LOVE stories about jersey's metal past and it's cast of colorful characters! can we please get more stories about the rt. 18 flea market? where exactly was it held? could you give a more in depth description of dave mustaine's furry boots? my brain cannot even process the thought of seeing manowar perform at a flea market! if there was ever a reason to fire up the nocturnus time machine...

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm putting gas in the Time Machine right now! Get in!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Yup, Randy Burns were the prot-death metal producer, He did Possessed, Dark Angel and Death's debut, too, before becoming obsolete and partially deprived of his name by the then trendy Scott Burns.
    As a professional death thrash historian, I still cringe when I hear people saying Morgoth's "Cursed" and Death's "Scream bloody gore" were produced by SCOTT instead of RANDY!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think his wife must have introduced him to Judaism. From the first pic of this piece, it's clear that she is Barbra Streisand.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh wow, she does like the beloved "Babs"



    now I shall sing to myself the only Barbara Streisand song I know, and yes I"m ashamed I actually know one.

    "Love...soft as an easy chair...."

    ReplyDelete
  33. @Anonymous old-school commenter

    why are you anonymous? reveal yourself and continue to share your glorious recollections of metal!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anon Old School Metal GuyJuly 30, 2009 at 7:13 PM

    Thanks for the positive feedback! Finally, my vast knowledge of obscure old-school metal trivia is useful for something other than deathbed regrets...

    Understand that the Rt 18 flea market was the absolute lowest rung on the NJ retail ladder. It was the indoor flea market that the other indoor flea markets laughed at. RnR Heaven was a small booth within this dive-y place, there was maybe 100 sq. feet of floor space, tops. The RnR Heaven pictured in the video clips was the shop in Clark, NJ where he relocated to after the flea market management finally became fed up with his seedy clientele.

    As far as I can recall the bands performed in an unused section of the flea market, it's a Sam's Club now. Accept was originally supposed to open for Manowar but they had some sort of visa issues so Virgin Steele had to take their place on the bill. Believe it or not, Accept was, for a time, insanely popular around the NJ area so this was quite a letdown. Johnny became so annoyed by the constant Accept questions that he had a T shirt made that said "Don't ask me about Accept" which of course prompted even more annoying Accept questions.

    Mustaine's boots: sort of like the Manowar boots on the cover of "Into Glory Ride" but whiter and furrier. He was also wearing very tight bright red trousers at the time and they were all decked out in the standard bullet belts, studded wristbands and chains that were fashionable at the time (not really). Real bad acne, too. And they were on the Dan Lilker diet plan back then so if they happened to turn sideways they would briefly appear to be invisible.

    I once saw Mustaine at an in-store at the Clark RnR Heaven, he was tremendously drunk and babbling endlessly about girls he claimed to have banged. Later that night I saw Megadeth at Lamour's in Brooklyn where he was opening for Slayer, he forgot the words to almost every song which was hilarious given the fact that he only had one album worth of material at the time.

    Few people remember Johnny's Avalanche records, a subsidiary of Megaforce that had luminaries like TT Quick on the roster. Which explains why few people remember Avalanche Records.

    Another poster mentioned Rikki Z who was just a toddler in those days. She had her father's hair which I truly hope was a phase she rapidly outgrew, for her sake.

    I was a subscriber to Johnny's monthly RnR Heaven newsletter, where he'd give you a brief rundown of his newest releases. He was fond of describing bands as sounding like a "heavier Def Leppard" or "like the Rods" which was as funny then as it is now.

    Hook me up with a trip on that time machine and I'll get you 10% off on a really cool Witchfinder General pic disc and a copy of "Kick Ass Monthly".

    ReplyDelete
  35. @Lucho - Rikki Z is actually a publicist who works all sorts of loud music at Adrenaline PR. Guess the apple didn't fall THAT far from the tree...

    I've known her for years through my ill-conceived career choice as a music journalist. She definitely has some fun stories to tell, but otherwise, just grounded and self-reliant. And pretty cool.

    ReplyDelete
  36. "Don't ask me about Accept" HAHA!

    this is amazing. dudes, i think this Anon guy deserves a job at MI.

    I am 36 yrs old. I love hearing this stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anon Old School Metal GuyJuly 30, 2009 at 7:32 PM

    I must also point out the fact that Johnny Z inserted a pic of himself in the photo collage on the back of SOD's "Speak English Or Die" album, he is clearly visible in the lower right hand corner. He was also responsible for the lyrics to Anthrax's smash hit, "Medusa". A truly legendary self-promoter.

    ReplyDelete
  38. This post keeps getting better and better. Thanks Lucho and Anon Old School Metal Guy!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I thought I would never understand the origin of the phrase "Don't ask me about Accept", but now I know.

    ReplyDelete
  40. @Anon Old School Metal Guy...

    The only way your could possibly be more metal is to post a pic of Dan Lilker handing you an invisible grapefruit. Great stuff. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  41. As much as I hate reading Anthrax being made fun of....( I won't apologise for that... I can't help it...) that was hilarious!
    How could you miss this gem?? Preempting I'm the MAn OR Run DMC /Aerosmith..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrv1BX-YyVQ

    ReplyDelete
  42. Excellent peice, as ever with the where are they now peices. I don't have much else to say.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm happy to hear that Rikky Z is doing well, considering she was raised in a household where The Rods were considered good music. Found her on MySpace, note that she's friends with Jill Sobule:

    http://www.facebook.com/rikki.zazula

    It would be great to interview her, and she if she has funny stories about being on tour with Anthrax, as well as "Uncle DD Verni" giving her presents for xmas.

    The Mustaine memories are priceless. The guy had a real knack for what I will call "Colorado Ski Fashion"...do you remember how he wore that leather jacket with long fringe for years? among the leather fringe, hung a couple of tiny Vic skulls...as such the boots dont surprise me all that much.

    ReplyDelete
  44. It is so ironically awesome how Mustaine was so against glam poseurs when in fact....well, ill just let the fringe jacket finish this statement for me.

    ReplyDelete
  45. another long-ass consistently hilarious Lucho post..."If that statement doesn't grab you and tugs away at your heartstrings (mine are tuned to a drop C, for heavier riffing)" bwhahaha

    ReplyDelete
  46. Anon Old School Metal GuyJuly 31, 2009 at 7:47 PM

    I'm planning on accessing the vault (a plastic milk crate buried deep in the bowels of my closet) this weekend and submitting some photographic evidence. Much of my RnR Heaven memorabilia has been lost to the ages, however I still have a few choice nuggets which by now must be worth at least tens of dollars, if not less.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Lucho, anonymous guy, and poodle haircuts have joined forces to create one of the best posts/threads yet on MI. I nominate anonymous guy to be a guest speaker at the next MI Corporate Retreat.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I think the moral of the story is that East Coast Italians truly are funny....They're just as bad (and as many) in Southern Ontario (Canada)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Anon Old School Metal GuyAugust 2, 2009 at 10:57 PM

    Thanks again, it's been my pleasure. My long-term memory has remained remarkably well-preserved through the years. I'd chalk this up to "clean living" but that'd be a lie. Let's just say it's part gift, part curse and leave it at that.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Wow Anon, your nuts must all kinds of sore with all of us ridin' em.

    Great stories though. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Anon Old School Metal GuyAugust 3, 2009 at 7:46 PM

    Hey, I'm just glad anyone whatsoever was interested in my ancient tales of the metal scene of yore. MI staff & readership = good people.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Rent this film from Netflix. It's actually pretty good and has an interview with Johnny Z talking about the old days and what happened with his record label:

    Get Thrashed (2006)

    ReplyDelete
  53. The large range of diamond thomas sabo jewellery often makes it very difficult for men to decide thomas sabo what type of thomas sabo ireland to purchase for their loved ones. Diamonds symbolize love, thomas sabo charms and thomas sabo bracelet , which makes it hard to choose the right piece of jewellry from the large variety of Diamond rings, Diamond earrings, Diamond thomas sabo pendants, Diamond thomas sabo necklaces, Diamond bracelets and of course Loose diamonds- which are always perfect since they can be set in any type of silver jewellery . We can’t choose the perfect diamond thomas jewellery for you but we can help you with 5 easy steps:Step 1- Knowing what she likes:Narrow down the type of sterling silver charms she likes to wear by observing the jewelry she wears in general, and on different occasions.The thomas jewellery she wears may vary.For example, her daytime jewelry may be different from the silver bracelets she wears when she goes out or to formal occasions.Knowing the color and size of the jewelry she wears:

    ReplyDelete
  54. There is a newly created RNR Heaven page on Facebook for those of you that are on there. I set it up after reading this and the sister article that goes with it. Check it out: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=121653211236401&set=a.121649851236737.20336.121648217903567#!/pages/Rock-N-Roll-Heaven-Clark-NJ-Record-Store/121648217903567?v=wall

    ReplyDelete
  55. Really very interesting . Thank you so much .

    ReplyDelete