I love Icon

This story takes place in 1984. I was a teenager then. These blogs are basically a thank you letter to all the bands / guitarists who shaped me into the bitter mean old cocksucker I am today. Kidding, you fools, I is lovely!!

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Let’s see, I believe it was a Sunday night, and I had school the next day. There was a metal show on KSJO or KOME, I don’t remember which. These FM stations were thee big rock stations in San Jose California at the time. And they were just as good as each other. You just had to decide what DJ’s you liked. KOME MAY have been a bit more risque at the time.

So I’m listening to this metal show, and they play a blurb of a band called Icon, the solo section to On Your Feet.


 Which, of course, they’d be featuring on next week’s show. I listened the week after, like the rabid metal dog that I was, and was very impressed by what I heard. And the week following I bought that first album. And turned my friend Dave Hull onto it. He got more into them than I did, and bought the other albums.

My criteria with anything metal is, gotta have a rad guitarist. I admit, I’m shallow and I don’t give a fuck. Rhythms gotta be sweet, but the lead player has got to BURN. It helps immensely if they have that wide, George Lynch style vibrato. If they don’t, I’ll overlook it..(Songs over solos, at the end of the day). I like Dan Wexler and John Aquilano for sure. Their call and response solos in the clean intro on Out For Blood is RAD!! Rad I tells ya!

Second criteria, bad ass singer. Stephen Clifford had gruff AND range. He could hit a high E note easily. His voice is very signature. I would have killed to see them live. I was also 14 at the time, so that wasn’t gonna happen. My family was far from cool in that aspect. I think I would have prospered more with hippie parents (tear falls, cue emotional piano theme).

Here’s what I know; they’re from Arizona. They made a few more albums, I think  Night of the Crime was probably TOO cock rock for me, but I still had a listen when I was at Dave’s house. And as soon as Stephen Clifford left, I wrote them off. I heard the new singer and wasn’t interested.

UPDATE: I listened to night of the crime on YouTube and lost my shit! Bought album on iTunes. Yes, it’s that good. Great rock radio tunes. 

Want more Icon general info? Go HERE

In depth Dan Wexler interview HERE

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My fave tracks aside from On Your Feet were World War, Under my Gun, ah look, they’re all pretty cool, even the ballad. But yes, I fucking LOVE this album.

Get both albums from iTunes now:

Self titled HERE

Night of the Crime HERE

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FIN

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I love Gary Moore

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The first time I heard Gary Moore was 1983-ish. I would have been in 8th or 9th grade. It was on the radio, probably San Jose’s KOME 98.5.

The song was End of the World. That intro guitar solo was MADDENING! My first thought was, “Oh shit!! My precious Eddie!! There’s another freak out there as crazy as you are!!” Anyways, I heard the song and bought Corridors of Power not long after. I looove that album. It was great, my school friend Dave Hull (who was more of a blues guy) liked Gary Moore as well, so we’d swap records, listen and jam together, that kinda thing. Actually, Dave and I were into AC/DC, Ratt, VH, Ozzy, Icon, etc..It’s good to have a friend like that.

So where was I? Ahh, Gary Moore. Mad player. Those fast picked maj7 motiffs he does are awesome. John Sykes and Vivian Campbell totally ripped him off. As much as I harp on about EVH and Lynch, Gary Moore absolutely inspired me and shaped my playing. I owned Corridors of Power and Victims of the Future. Dave had We Want Moore, and I borrowed the fuck out of that. This was all pre CD times as well, ha ha.

I think the reason I liked Gary a lot was his playing was aggressive, but he was so fucking musical while doing it. And at that point in time, he was the guitarist’s guitarist, everybody was digging on him. Check out these clips. The songs and solos are VERY COOL.

Gary, you were extremely inspirational to many guitarists. You had followings in both metal and blues. And well, I love you. For reals.