US band, immortalised on a Wildhearts classic b-side play UK shows next week – will they play 29x The Pain?
The March UK dates follows Starz’s packed out London, England show in December 2013, which saw Ginger Wildheart playing bass guitar for the band.
If you are unaware of STARZ, consider these thoughts. Many of the Eighties most successful bands were influenced by Starz, from Cinderella and Poison to Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe. Tom Keifer said the first concert he ever went to was a Starz show. “They really kicked ass” he remembered. Jon Bon Jovi met guitarist Richie Ranno backstage at a Bon Jovi concert in New Jersey and took the time to tell 30,000 screaming fans that when he was young, he looked up to Starz. They were the band he imitated when practicing in the garage.
STARZ LIVE IN THE UK MARCH 2015:
11th – LEAMINGTON SPA – Zephr Lounge
12th – LONDON – The Underworld
13th – PWLLHELLI – HRH AOR Festival
During the Seventies when disco and punk were the rage, only a handful of bands were daring enough to play hard rock and heavy metal music.“You could almost count those bands on one hand” said Starz lead guitarist Richie Ranno. “They were Aerosmith, KISS, Queen, Ted Nugent, Starz and Angel. We kept the flame alive between the original hard rock groups and heavy metal today”.
All together Starz recorded four studio albums, Starz, Violation, Attention Shoppers, and Colesium Rock and gathered critical acclaim with their ability to mesh the smooth with the hard. “We loved pop melodies,” admitted Ranno in retrospect, “and we also loved heavy guitars. We liked to combine hooks with a harder edge. Our singer Michael Lee Smith had a great sense of melody. In the course of four albums, we only used orchestrations or keyboards once, preferring to mix heavy rock productions with melodic overtones.”.
Starz success has been documented in the historical chapters of hard rock and heavy metal. In Kerrang Magazine’s critical listing of the 100 greatest heavy metal albums of all time, Starz was listed at #94, with Violation at #84. In a similar poll in Hit Parader Magazine, Violation was listed at #82.
Starz’s greatest asset was their live performance and until a chance meeting between Metal Blade’s founder and Starz guitarist Richie Ranno, one of rock’s greatest secrets was buried in the archives. At the height of their career, Starz released a special “radio only” live record intended for broadcast, but not licensed for sale. It was called Live In Louisville and only a scant 2,000 copies were pressed. It was heralded by Kerrang as the greatest live record never released! “One day” Richie says, “out of the blue, I got a letter from Brian Slagel, who wrote that he was a big Starz fan and was interested in re-releasing the Starz albums for the first time on CD. He asked if I owned the licenses to any of the records, and I told him I had the rights to the live record.”
Micheal Lee Smith – Vocals
Richie Ranno – Guitars
Joe X Dube – Drums
George DiAna – Bass Guitar
Alex Kane – Guitars