by Deb Rao
– Senior Columnist —
If you loved the ‘80s, Inside Metal: The Pioneers of Los Angeles Hard Rock And Metal documentary will be right up your alley. Inside Metal chronicles the rise of the heavy metal scene in Los Angeles. The ‘80s were a time of decadence and excess. The musicians lived large. It was a very special time for the heyday of metal that will always reign as one of the best times in music.
The documentary features the rock stars who lived and breathed the L.A. music metal scene including candid appearances by Don Dokken, Stephen Pearcy, Jack Russell of Great White, Lars from Metallica, Paul Shortino, Frank Dimino of Angel, Michael DesBarres, Steve Plunkett of Autograph, Ann Boleyn of Hellion, and Chris Holmes.
The clubs that ruled the early heyday of metal were the Whisky A Go Go and the Starwood. The Roxy was a club that was more of a theater. Singer Don Dokken commented in the film that bands could make a living paying their rent playing Hollywood and Orange County. He also commented that when he heard Eddie Van Halen play for the first time he put down the guitar and decided to concentrate on his vocals instead.
The documentary clearly focused that Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads ruled the scene as guitarists. When Van Halen got signed the bands thought that everything would fall into place quickly with more signings. But this did not happen. Van Halen and Quiet Riot ruled the early heyday. Then Motley Crue was the next big break out band.
The British bands turned the scene into Glam Rock during the late ‘70s. They would all pass through Hollywood. During the early ‘80s the punk scene also played a major role in metal bands not getting signed. The bands from CBGB’s would head to Hollywood to play the clubs. Also the disco scene ruled then. Keyboard player Scott Warren commented, “Just when you thought Disco killed Metal, Van Halen burst onto the scene and saved it.”
Frank Dimino of Angel also makes an appearance in the documentary. Angel also ruled the scene back in the day.
The great thing about this documentary is that you have the real rock stars discuss the heyday of metal. There is something so exhilarating hearing the musicians talk about the glory days of metal. From their point of view, it wasn’t about the fame and groupies. It was about the music. The fame, parties, and groupies all came later. The bands just wanted to play music. There is something so magical about the ‘80s that will never be replicated. The music still lives on. Although some of the clubs are no longer in existence, today the LA Scene is a far cry from the ’80s. If you live and breathe Metal, this documentary is for you. The documentary takes you on a journey in metal that is candid and compelling.
Commentary from Don Dokken, Stephen Pearcy, Frank Dimino, Carlos Cavazo, Dave Meniketti, Jack Russell, Chris Holmes, Joey Vera, Steve Plunkett, Paul Shortino. Lars Ulrich, Michael DesBarres, Ann Boleyn, Scott Warren, and Greg Leon. Plus many more.
Label: Metal Rock Films
Hardrock Haven Rating 9/10