Bass player, Musician, journalist and anything else That's fun...
The Demon years
Where to start? A bunch of five mates, all great players and writers, living in Leek, who'd all worked together in different combinations over the years. Me and Les Hunt had been in Hunter, Mal Spooner (RIP), Dave Hill and I had done loads of gigs and recording over the years under various guises, and John (Crow) Wright was the best drummer we knew, who brought with him not only consummate skill, but the driest sense of humour you can imagine. "Loud, confident and wrong," was a good one for starters, as we quite often were. I didn't play on the first album, Night Of The Demon, but was there from the start for live work, and the second and third albums; The Unexpected Guest (1982), and The Plague (1983). Our first gig was at the Mayfair Ballroom in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, on October 23, 1981. We'd not intended to play live, but the first album had charted. We had no choice. You can find definitive stories and pictures on the band's official website, but here's a little story from me that's not been told before. The gig went well, and the crowd was hanging from the rafters. We were the local lads made good. Despite only having an album and single's worth of material to play, the audience were in the palm of our hands. Dave appeared on stage by climbing out of a coffin which was secreted below the drum riser. The idea was to shock, and it did. Dave had spent three hours in "make-up", provided by an old friend, Jim Cullen, who was a sculptor and artist. By the time Dave appeared, the Demon costume was beginning to deteriorate (by design), with skin dropping off and blood pouring from his semi-mummified body. The audience collectively took a step backwards in shock. This reaction would be repeated at many gigs in the next year or so. Back to the story. After the gig they were queuing for autographs. Men and women (mainly dressed in denim and leather) clung on to albums and singles and felt-tip pens. We were in the dressing room, by this time quaffing copious amounts of beer, and gave the all-clear to let the fans in. All was well in our world, our first gig a success. We chatted to the fans, many of whom I'm still in contact with on Facebook, and signed our names with alacrity. I'll never forget a beautiful, long-haired blonde coming up to me with her pen. She asked me to sign. I looked at her and said: "You don't seem to have anything for me to sign." With that she bent over and pointed at her bare bum, and just said: "Here will do nicely." I remember thinking: If this is the world of heavy metal, I'm very, very welcome to it... and for the next couple of years I was. Believe me, I was.
Poster from the first-ever Demon gig.
Above, the poster from the first gig, and a YouTube link to a forgotten video. Forgotten until four years ago anyway. Taken from an old VHS tape, recorded at Tiffany's, Newcastle under Lyme, 1982. Demon's website is at: www.the-demon.com