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This Week In Kerrang! History: Issue 120, May 15-28, 1986

Fabulous Fifth Anniversary Issue!

What, this old thing? Why yes, it’s the return of This Week In Kerrang! History. At least three different people have now said that it’s the highlight of their week. So that’s cool.

Can we get a ‘whoop whoop’? How about a round of applause? Not even the sort you hear at golf tournaments? Okay, we’ll settle for a passive aggressive groan if you’ve got any going spare? Sweet! Now we’re sorted, let’s get started then, shall we?

Readers, the first thing you should know about this week’s issue is that it came out at a time when the world was absolutely batshit-mental-crazy-bonkers. And yes, we know we’ve made claims of a similar nature in previous throwback exercises, but this one takes the delightful treat you can dunk your tea into.

What was going on back then you ask? Well, there was the explosion of the Soviet Nuclear Reactor at Chernobyl, Ukraine causing the spread of radioactive material across Europe. In other frightening disaster news, the space shuttle Challenger disintegrated just 73 seconds after launch and claimed the lives of all seven astronauts on board. And in other space-related news, Haley’s Comet came super close to the Earth reminding us all that we are hilariously insignificant in the grandest scheme of things. Let’s not forget that in ‘huh, that’s interesting – sort of’ news, a survey was carried out on Loch Ness in an attempt to prove or disprove the existence of the ‘monster’ it is famed for. Alas, no beastie was discovered. Bonus shinfo: Lady Gaga and Usain Bolt were born this year and all. Oh, and Oprah Winfrey’s talkshow debuted on U.S. television.

Big year, right?

Bigger than all of that though, as you’ll no doubt agree, is the fact that Kerrang! was celebrating its fifth year of rocking, rolling, thrashin’, moshin’ and appropriate variations thereof, as marked in our commemorative Fabulous Fifth Anniversary Issue, featuring the mighty James Hetfield on the cover. Let’s get to it.

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First, let’s savour this lovely pic of KISS’ bass-totin’, tongue-flickin’ demon, Gene Simmons with his mum. Cute, eh? Gene’s mum revealed that her only-child used to steal her makeup when he was a kid and that she had to call the fire brigade during his 10th birthday party thanks to a total candle blowing fail. It all makes sense now…

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In semi-KISS, semi-related news, here we shone a spotlight on former drummer Peter Criss joining an L.A. band called Balls Of Fire. We’re not gonna lie, we’d never heard of Balls Of Fire before and we very much doubt it’s the band with 56 likes on Facebook we did find, but props on our headline regardless - the real MVP, and only reason for highlighting this tbph.

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Speaking of little known bands, here we have a piece bigging up Brit hopefuls Rogue Male. The Red Dwarf-looking lads were apparently being tipped (and by virtue of us printing said tip, doubly backed by us - anonymous as OG tip remains thanks to our lack of citation) as “one of the brightest new age metal acts” whatever the hell new age metal was. But before we get all sniffy or dismissive about these chaps’ artistic endeavours, that particular egg would most definitely be all over our smarmy 2018 faces, because the band are still going. They even have a Wikipedia page, which is basically all the proof of legitimacy you need nowadays.

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Get on this amazing piece of rock magazine history. An advert luring would be axe-masters to learn how to shred via postal teaching courses. The idea being that you’d specify what kind of guitaristry (yeah, we made that word up just now) you wanted in on and the guy behind this scheme would record himself playing a bunch of riffs, send you a tape and you’d practice playing them. Still not entirely sure that’s any different from just listening to albums of actual bands playing riffs or whatever, but the dude is adamant that this is “actually better than going to a teacher as it enables you to have each lesson as many times as you wish” which is fair enough. Anyways, we’re not about to poke fun at an industrious fellow earning a crust however he can. Or more to the point, could, as it’s highly likely the poor guy was put out of business by a million YouTube fretboard wizards.

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On the subject of tapes, how’s about this rad old school advert by Maxell (free advertising? You’re welcome Maxell. Please do send us new school electronic goodies any time you want btw). They were promoting their new UDI type of tape and well, just look at the impact those things apparently had on people.

Well, truthfully we have no clue whether the UDI was any good or not, but these Typical London Commuters looked very impressed by the chap blasting them via his futuristic 1986 car that definitely isn’t a Deloreon rip-off. His hair is even trying to escape such is the power of the Maxell UDI (seriously Maxell, hook us right up whenever you fancy…).

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And now it’s time to get a load of that issue’s Kaptivatin’ Kompetition celebrating our half-decade as “the ultimate rock magazine”! Apparently this range of Akai stereos were worth a cool £700, which by 2018 standards, is, like, a load of money actually. And hey, you could have also won some Maxell tapes to play on those stereos…

Other tape manufacturers were and probably are also available.

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Getting away from all that nonsense for a bit, here we have Mr Scott Ian with the word ‘NOT’ shaved into his fantastically lustrous chest hair. We caught up with the Anthrax legend ahead of the band’s FIRST EVER UK show. That’s pretty huge, huh? Bonus big-ups to the person who came up with ‘Mosh Hour’ as a headline.

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Sign of the times time? How about this gushing 5K review of Iron Eagle-soundtracking glam sorts, King Kobra. We reckoned the band’s second record Thrill Of A Lifetime deserved a K for each of its “Kolossal! Killer! Kaptivating! Kompelling! Kracking!” kualities, making it a certified Kerrang! Klassic. Hindsight, eh?

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We had a good old chinwag with late Ramones icons Joey and Dee Dee Ramone and discussed their status as “bratty street punks” and their fear of then-President Ronald Reagan potentially “blowing up the world”. The more things change…

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We also caught up with late Motörhead guitarist Würzel to chat about the band’s upcoming album Riding With The Driver. He assured us it would sound “great”…

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Somewhat surprisingly, we were also digging new Aussie band, INXS who we reckoned specialised in a brand of “pop rock that doesn’t stink of cheap aftershave”…

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Around this time we were also in the business of scurrilous speculation apparently. Here we found ourselves wondering if King Diamond was about to be announced as the new vocalist of Black Sabbath.

And this is the bit in 2018 where we make a gag – something like:

[Narrator voice] He wasn’t.

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As part of our big fifth birthday celebrations we looked back at some Klassic Kerrang! covers. But the less said about that the better, because it might all become too meta to handle. The Ozzy-Bark At The Moon-era cover was really cool though, right?

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And finally, to our cover feature on Metallica. The band were due to play their first headline dates in the UK later in the year (tickets were a measly £7.50!) to promote third album Master Of Puppets. But we wanted to ask them all about their reputations as hardened boozers. Turns out their old nickname Alcohollica was very much earned and they were more than happy to oblige and indulge our line of enquiry.

We are getting back into shape for some serious drinking” drummer Lars Ulrich promised. “I guess we know this band is starting to get success because not only have we got two bottles of vodka per night, it isn’t even the cheap stuff we’re used to! We’re just wondering where we go alcoholically from here,” he added, rather innocently.

On that dubious note, it’s probably best we leave it there. Remember - drink responsibly, kids. Actually, if you’re a kid, don’t drink at all. Because in the eyes of the law, that would very much be frowned upon.

More of this kind of thing again the next time we do this kind of thing, we guess.

Posted on May 23rd 2018, 5:43pm
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