Anthrax & Judas Priest
Oct 8, 2005 - Landmark Theatre - Syracuse, NY

Terror struck me. There was a voice calling out, "Tom, You have to get up!" I literally jumped out of bed with a start. I went from a sound sleeping position to being on my feet and ready to attack in under a second. My heart pounded and my breathing was hard and deep...
As my eyes focused, I saw Woody standing near my door way in a defensive posture. I had moved up and towards him so fast that he thought he was going to have to fight. "I knocked, but no one answered," he said. "I let myself in through the fire escape." I told him it was cool and that I was glad he did. I grabbed some clothes and began rushing to get dressed. It was nearly eleven o'clock and I was late. Damn it... damn it... damn it! Today was going to be a HUGE day... even Bigger than Fuccillo!
I had three events all on the same day: 1. A family re-union 2. My first Art show 3. Judas Priest & Anthrax
I grabbed my stuff to go and took off towards Woody's car.
I was expected to pick up my daughter Kathy by eleven o'clock; by now it was ten minutes after. I called and told her we were on our way to get her. We picked her up ten minutes later and headed towards my Gram's.
When we arrived, my whole family was at my grandmother's house. My Mom and brother TJ were in town from Orlando, Florida. My sister Barbara and her two kids, Ben and Leighla, had come from Massachusetts. My brother Chris, step-mother Diane, and my daughter Eliza were there as well. What made it so noteworthy was the fact that it was the first time in over a decade that all four of my Mom's children were going to be under the same roof. Everyone was glad to see us, but I had work to do...
Later in the evening I was to be in my first ever showing in a Promise Breakers event. I have participated many times in the past as part my old band Born Again Savages, but never as a photographer/artist. The other artists such as Richard Williams, Steven Cerio, and J.P. Krangle are all known artists with training and talent. I didn't want to look stupid and I was incredibly nervous.
I had four pieces to display and some of them still had wet paint or a touch of work to be done on them. I had to be downtown to hang them between noon and one o'clock. I commandeered a table and got to work...

I put the final touches on some pieces and used blow dryers to finish drying the paint on the others. I packed them up carefully to go to the Half Penny Pub to hang them. Kathy and Eliza joined me, Woody, and their Uncle TJ going to see the art show preparations. We got to the venue, hung the photos and headed back to my Gram's. I thanked Woody for his help, gave him a few bucks for gas and he was off.
I only had a little while until my friend Marlin, keyboard player for the Industrial/Goth/Sludge band 99 Cent Special, arrived to take me to the Landmark Theatre to do my interviews, so as I entered the house, I called for my Mom. I had her buzz my Mohawk and remove all the extra hair from my head. After a quick shave and a shower, I put on my black pants and my white shirt with the black tribal pattern and had my brother TJ help put my Mohawk up in Liberty Spikes. It was the first time I had worn them in years, but this was a night of special occasions and I wanted to look good.
Marlin showed up right on time. He looked great. He was dressed in a Judas Priest British Steel t-shirt, long black trench coat, chunky boots, and a black mini-skirt. Yeah, you read that correctly… a mini-skirt. Marlin is a pre-op transsexual that will soon begin living his life as a woman.
He is one of the biggest Judas Priest fans ever and was incredibly excited about meeting Rob Halford and seeing the show. To be truthful, I couldn't wait either. This would be my first time seeing Judas Priest and I had not seen Anthrax since the Persistence of Time tour.
My family is used to me having friends that are outside the social norm, so when I introduced Marlin they didn't even blink. They were very friendly to him. As I got together my things for the show, I realized I had forgotten my recorder and the Rock Cards that I wanted to get signed.

I informed Marlin of the dilemma and let him know that we had to stop by my house to get them.We said goodbye to my family and took off towards my house. When we got there, I dashed up the stairs and went looking for my recorder. It wasn't where I had left it the night before. I spent about ten minutes looking for it. I was beginning to think it might be back at my gram's house and that I had somehow overlooked it. But just as I was about to fall into a pit of despair, I saw it sitting on the shelf in my library. I had about fifteen minutes before my interview time, so I dashed out the door and back down to the car, where Marlin was waiting. We headed towards the Landmark Theatre and were nearly there when I realized that I had forgotten the Rock Cards again as well as my prepared questions. I was bummed, but it was too late to go back now. We parked the car and walked to the Landmark. It was rather cold and windy. You gotta love that Syracuse weather.
I walked up to a few of the stagehands and asked where to find the tour manager for Anthrax, and they told me they wouldn't be there for another hour. So, we went around to the Box Office to see if we could pick up our tickets yet. The tickets were not there so we started to walk over to the Blue Tusk when I saw Joey Belladonna walking around by the stagehands. I approached him and said hello. He knew who I was immediately. He said hi back and that he was all ready for the interview. He told us to hang around and he would be back in a little while to get me, and then went towards the Box Office.

Marlin and I decided to grab a beer at Clark's Ale House which is right on the corner behind the Theatre. Clark's is a great bar. They proudly proclaim that they have twenty-two beers and one sandwich. And that one sandwich is a roast beef on an onion roll that is absolutely delicious. We pounded our beers and headed back to the load in area. When we returned, Joey was looking for us. We told him we had a beer and that we were sorry for being late.
He took us inside the back entrance, across the stage, down some stairs and finally we ended up in the basement where the catering tables were. We sat down at a table and began to talk about the band.As we went through the interview, Joey Belladonna and I discussed the band's history, the current tour with Judas Priest, his influences, and what the band has in store for the future. We ended up talking for about twenty minutes and it was fascinating. Marlin snapped photos as we spoke.After the interview, Marlin and I posed for a few photos with Joey and then he had to go. I thanked him again for his time and we went back up stairs and across the stage. I asked Joey if he knew where we could find Priest's tour manager and he sent us upstairs. There we were met by Stacy, one of the local promoters. She asked what we were doing upstairs and I told her. She told us to wait downstairs.
While we were waiting at the backstage entrance, Marlin and I got to see some of the props and costumes from the upcoming performance. There was a rolling case that was open and contained all of Rob Halford's custom full-length leather coats. These were the coats that we grew up watching him wear. They were right in front of us. We could have tried them on, but decided not to. Also there was Rob's silver Harley-Davidson Motorcycle. I took photos of the coats and the cycle.
Moments later, a woman with a British accent came up to us and asked our business. I explained that we were doing interviews and that I was supposed to do one with Rob Halford. She checked her clip board and said that there was nothing about it. I explained that I had set it up through the band's Public Relations people. She said that all interviews had to go through the Judas Priest management staff and there was no record of that, so we got no interview and no photo pass.
Marlin was visibly disappointed, as was I. We went around to the Box Office again, and this time our tickets and photo pass for Anthrax were there.
There was some time to kill before the show started, so Marlin and I went over to the Half Penny Pub to see how things were going with the art show.
When we got there, there were only a few artists, their friends or family, and a couple of the art show regulars.
We hung out at the Half penny for nearly an hour before heading back to the Landmark Theatre. On our way, we bumped into some guys I know and they asked if I was doing any interviews with the bands. I told them about the Belladonna interview and what had happened with the Judas Priest situation. We all agreed that it could have been worse. I could have driven six hours to get to the show to be let down, but it happened in Syracuse, so it wasn't so bad. We said our goodbyes and made our way into the historic Landmark Theatre.
There was a lot of handshaking going on in the lobby as Marlin and I wandered around for a little while saying hi to all the people I knew. This show had brought out a literal Who's Who of the Syracuse music scene. Even the boys from Brand new Sin were there. They had a show later at Club Tundra and wanted to catch some of their heroes before they played. We decided it was time to find our seats, so we showed our tickets to the usher and she told us to go "way down front on the right." I love it when they tell you to go "way down front" at a concert! Our seats were in the fifth row on the end. It was perfect. I could easily get up to the stage for photos. We settled into our seats and prepared for the show. I left Marlin at the seats and went to the front of the stage to shoot photos. I could not wait for the show to start. The last time I had seen Anthrax play was in Weedsport, NY as part of the Clash of the Titans Tour with Megadeth, Slayer, and opening band Alice in Chains. The stage went black and the intro music started. The show was on...

Anthrax was pretty much responsible for the emergence of speed and thrash metal in the U.S. By combining the speed and fury of hardcore Punk with the prominent guitars and vocals of Heavy Metal, they helped create a new subgenre of Metal on their early albums.
Originally formed by Guitarists Scott Ian and Danny Spitz, along with Drummer Charlie Benante, Anthrax burst onto the Metal scene in 1984 with the release of their debut LP Fistful of Metal.
Ian and Spitz were an awe-inspiring duo. Both could play blindingly fast and did it in such a way that it didn't seem as if they were simply stroking their own egos. They had the good sense to balance their often serious music with a healthy dose of humor and realism.
After Fistful of Metal, bassist Frank Bello and singer Joey Belladonna joined the band.
Belladonna, a native of Oswego, NY, originally sang for a band called Gibraltor and gives Journey's Steve Perry credit as his greatest vocal influence. He helped launch Anthrax out of the New York area club circuit and into national arena tours. Belladonna's dynamic vocals helped take the band farther away from conventional metal clichés.
One of Belladonna's first live shows with Anthrax was in front of 15,000 people at a Black Sabbath concert in New Jersey.

Coincidentally, Dave "Beast" Spitz, the brother of Anthrax guitarist Danny Spitz, played briefly with Black Sabbath in the mid 80's.
The album Spreading The Disease was released in 1985. Among The Living and the I'm The Man EP were both released in 1987. The single for "I'm The Man" was a hilarious send-up of Rap that didn't quite rhyme. It combined the blazing guitar with a Hip Hop beat and worked well. It caught a lot of fans attention as something new. State Of Euphoria dropped in 1988 and featured a song called "I Am The Law" based on the British comic book character Judge Dredd. The song was a hit and sales of the comic went through the roof. For a period of time, the band even owned a comic book shop in New York City.
Anthrax's next musical offering was the Penikufesin EP in 1989. (Read backwards the album's title is "Nice Fuckin' EP") Persistence Of Time came out in 1990 and Attack Of The Killer B's, a collection of B-Sides and one-off recordings was released in1991.
Anthrax had arguably become the cream of the crop of Speed Metal. As the '80s ended and the '90s arrived, Anthrax began to increase their experiments with Hip-Hop, culminating in a tour with Public Enemy in 1991 and a joint re-recording of PE's classic "Bring the Noise." The only thing like it up to that point was the Aerosmith/Run DMC collaboration on "Walk This Way." The "Bring the Noise" single was a huge hit and spawned a whole generation of Rap/Rock artists.
In 1992 Anthrax kicked Belladonna out of the band and replaced him with John Bush, formerly of Armored Saint. Bush's voice was deeper and brusquer than Belladonna's, fitting most Metal conventions perfectly. Unfortunately, their sound became less distinctive and their audience shrank as a consequence.
After his release from Anthrax, Belladonna tried to make a go at a solo career with his own band, appropriately called Belladonna. The band featured the excellent guitar work of Syracuse, NY native Darren Scott, who also played with the band Dogs On Mars. The band seemed ill-fated from the start. After the release of one record and a short tour, the band folded. The reasons behind the breakup were allegedly arguments over money and Belladonna's ego.
Anthrax, now fronted by Bush, signed to Elektra for 1993's Sound of White Noise, but left the label after 1995's Stomp 442. At that point, Danny Spitz decided to seek greener pastures. Anthrax was now a four-piece consisting of Ian, Bush, Bello, and Benante. The members built their own studio in Yonkers, NY, and after a three-year hiatus returned with their Ignition label debut The Threat Is Real, Vol. 8.
In 1999, Anthrax's very first "hits" collection, also their first release for the Beyond label, titled "Return of the Killer A's: The Best Of" came out. The album included a cover of "Ball of Confusion," which featured a duet between the current frontman Bush and former vocalist Belladonna.
A tour that was supposed to include both vocalists was announced, but on the eve of its launch, Belladonna pulled out, reportedly for monetary reasons.
Anthrax signed on to a package tour during the summer of 2000 with Mötley Crüe and Megadeth, but left the tour after playing only a few dates.
In 2001, Anthrax appeared on the Twisted Sister tribute album "Twisted Forever" covering the track "Destroyer." They also began recording their next album the same year. During that time, guitarist Scott Ian began hosting Rock Show on VH-1. He was later replaced with former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach. In addition, Ian appeared in the VH-1 specials "I Love The 80's" and 100 Greatest Metal Moments.
He also appeared in the film Run, Ronnie, Run as part of the fictional metal band Titannica.
The band was ready to head back into the studio with new guitarist Rob Caggiano who had joined in the spring of 2002. A year later, Anthrax made their Sanctuary debut with We've Come for You All. The band's dynamic hadn't changed, and touring in support of that album was met with overwhelming success.
The CD/DVD set Music of Mass Destruction: Live in Chicago, which dropped in early 2004, celebrated Anthrax's two decades in the business.
In 2005, Anthrax's entire original lineup of Ian, Spitz, Belladonna, Benante, and Bello reunited for a tour and the CD/DVD retrospective Anthrology: No Hit Wonders [1985-1991]. The CD contains thirty significant recordings drawn from their classic albums and personally chosen by the band. Anthrax also issued Alive 2, recorded during their summer 2005 reunion tour. The tour was extremely successful and the current leg of the tour with Judas Priest was shaping up the same way.
As the band took the stage, Scott Ian received the biggest round of applause.
Joey Belladonna grabbed the microphone commented on the fact it was good to have a Metal band playing in Syracuse rather than a Blues band. He then promised to take us back a few years, and the band launched into "Caught in a Mosh." The audience went nuts! The only thing that seemed wrong was the fact that there was nobody moshing. I am guessing it was because the front of the stage in the Landmark is an orchestra pit that rises up on hydraulics. A ton of people slamming around probably posed a serious safety risk. It didn't stop the band though. Anthrax showed the sold out crowd why they were the kings of Thrash Metal. Danny Spitz and Scott Ian shredded on their guitars while drummer Charlie Benante and bassist Frank Bello held down the rhythms. Joey Belladonna ran around the stage pumping up the crowd and enticing them to their feet. They played many songs from their long career.
Unlike some classic bands that make a comeback, the boys from Anthrax were not out to dazzle the crowd with new material. They stuck to the classics that made them what they are. The crowd ate it up. Fists punched the air and a lot of hair went flying as the fans banged their heads to the hard and heavy tunes. They played the song "Efilnikufesin" and the crowd joined in on the chorus of "efilnikufesin… Nice Fuckin' Life!"
Anthrax, though known primarily for their blistering speed, is also known for their melding of Metal and Hip-Hop. I was waiting for them to break into "I'm The Man" or "Bring the Noise." It never happened and I found that a bummer, but carried on.
Soon it was time for the last song and as he had promised in his interview, Joey called out that their final song would be about Judge Dredd. The band broke into "I Am The Law!" and it nearly brought the house down.
As the band wrapped up their set, they thanked the crowd in the Landmark Theatre for standing by them for such a long time. The crowd roared their approval and Anthrax left the stage.
Marlin and I went out to the front of the building to the smoking area so I could have a cigarette. We found a spot and I lit up. I was enjoying my smoke when I was approached by my friend Sarah, who lives in Boston. I was delighted to see her. I introduced her to Marlin and asked her what she was doing in the 'Cuse. It turned out she was in town for a few days for personal business, went to the bar for a drink, and a guy at the bar had an extra ticket to the show. He asked if she wanted to go and gave her the ticket for free.

As an added bonus, he was buying her drinks at the show. I high-fived her on her good luck and we smoked together and chatted. I told her about the art show later and invited her and her new friend. We posed for a few cheesy pictures and then went back inside to catch the Judas Priest performance. We found our way to the seats and relaxed for about five minutes. The house lights dimmed once again and the show began.

Judas Priest was one of the most influential heavy metal bands of the '70s, spearheading the New Wave of British Heavy Metal late in the decade.
Leather and chains were the band's uniform, as they fused the gothic doom of Black Sabbath with the riffs and speed of Led Zeppelin. By adding a vicious two-lead guitar attack, they set the pace for much popular heavy metal from 1975 until 1985, as well as laying the groundwork for the speed and death metal of the '80s. Judas Priest was formed in Birmingham, England, in 1970. Core members K.K. Downing (guitar)and Ian Hill (bass) were joined by Alan Atkins and drummer John Ellis, and played their first concert in 1971. Judas Priest was the name of Atkins' previous band, yet the members chose to keep the name for the new group.

Later in 1971 Ellis was replaced by Alan Moore. Before the end of the year, Chris Campbell replaced Moore.
Atkins and Campbell left the band in 1973 and were replaced by vocalist Rob Halford and drummer John Hinch. They toured extensively around England and even played in Germany and the Netherlands in 1974. By the end of the tour they had signed a record contract with the independent U.K. label: Gull. Before recording their debut album, Rocka Rolla, Judas Priest added guitarist Glenn Tipton. They released the record in September of 1974.
In 1975, they turned in an excellent performance at the Reading Festival. Hinch left the band in 1975 and was replaced by the returning Alan Moore. Later that year, the group released Sad Wings of Destiny, which earned some positive reviews, but little cash.
In 1977, Moore left the band to be replaced by Simon Phillips. Judas Priest soon signed an international contract with CBS Records. Sin After Sin was the first album released under that contract. The record received positive reviews and resulted in their first American tour, with Les Binks on drums.
When they returned to England, Judas Priest recorded 1978's Stained Class, the record that established them as an international force in metal. Along with 1979's Hell Bent for Leather, which was called Killing Machine in the U.K., Stained Class began the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. Many bands copied Priest's leather-clad image and hard, driving sound.
After releasing Hell Bent for Leather, the band recorded the live album Unleashed in the East (1979) in Japan; it became their first platinum album in America. Les Binks left the band in 1979; he was replaced by former Trapeze drummer Dave Holland. British Steel dropped in 1980 and entered the British charts at number three, launched the hit singles "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight," and was their second American platinum record. Point of Entry, released the following year, was nearly as successful. Screaming for Vengeance came out in 1982 and quickly became the bands most famous album. It featured the single "You've Got Another Thing Comin'." The album peaked at number 17 in America and sold over a million copies.

Two years later, Defenders of the Faith nearly matched its predecessor's performance.
On 1986's Turbo, Judas Priest seemed out of touch with the current Metal trends being set by newer bands such as Metallica; however, the record sold over a million copies in America on the basis of name recognition alone. 1987's "Priest...Live!" was Judas Priest's first album since Stained Class not to go gold. Ram It Down dropped in 1988 and was a return to raw metal, returning the group to gold status. Dave Holland left after this record and was replaced by Scott Travis for 1990's Painkiller.
In the early '90s, Rob Halford began his own thrash band, Fight, and soon left Judas Priest. In 1996, the band rebounded with a new young singer, Tim "Ripper" Owens, formerly a member of a Priest tribute band.
The new line-up spent the next year recording Jugulator. The album debuted at number 82 on the Billboard album charts upon its release in late 1997. Halford had by then disbanded Fight and signed with Trent Reznor's Nothing label with a new project, Two. In the meantime, the remaining members of Judas Priest forged on with '98 Live Meltdown, recorded during their first tour with "Ripper" Owens. Around the same time, a movie was readying production that was to be based on Ripper's rags-to-riches story of how he got to front his all-time favorite band. Although Priest was originally supposed to be involved with the film, they pulled out, but production went on anyway without the band's blessing.

The movie, Rock Star, was eventually released in the summer of 2001, starring Mark Wahlberg in the lead role.
Rob Halford disbanded Two after just a single album called Voyeurs which was released in 1997. He returned to his metal roots with a quintet titled simply: Halford. The group issued their debut in 2000, Resurrection, following it with a worldwide tour that saw the new group opening up for Iron Maiden. A year later, the band released a live record entitled Live Insurrection. The album included a heavy dose of Priest classics.
During the late 90's, Rob Halford made another move that was incredibly daring and brave. Inspired by the openness of so many other celebrities, he came out of the closet and admitted that he was Gay. Halford even served as Grand Marshall of the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade. The news was taken well by the fans of the band and did not seem to harm his career in any way.
In 2001 the Ripper-led Priest issued a new album, Demolition. That same year, Columbia Records reissued Priest's entire back catalog with re-mastered sound and bonus tracks.In 2003 the band-including Halford-collaborated on the liner notes and song selections for their mammoth career-encompassing box Metalogy. The collaboration brought Halford back into the fold. Owens split from the group amicably in 2003, allowing the newly reunited heavy metal legends to plan a world tour in 2004. In 2005, Judas Priest released their sixteenth studio album entitled Angel of Retribution.
The tour supporting that album is what brought them to the Landmark Theatre. The stage was rather Spartan, with a silver high-rise bleachers, a few Judas priest cross symbols, and a backdrop featuring the cover of the latest album. The band's age was showing a bit as their movements were slower than past performances, but the music was still as aggressive as ever. The crowd loved it! As the band went through their set, the crowd cheered and sang along to the classic tunes like "Turbo Lover" and "Livin' After Midnight." Rob Halford left the stage after nearly every song only to reappear seconds later wearing a different one of his many custom leather jackets. There seemed to be a never ending supply of them. I wasn't prmitted to take photos of Judas Priest, so I found a spot to hide and using the zoom on my camera, I snapped off a bunch of photos. They aren't great, but they are cool.
As the band played on, hair whipped and lighters went up all around the venue. Near the end of their set, the band stuck with tried and true crowd pleasing techniques as Rob Halford roared out onto the stage on his silver Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
The band finished their set, thanking the crowd for sticking by them for so long. Soon the house lights came up and the mass exodus towards the doors began.

Marlin and I took off towards the Art show. When we arrived at the Half Penny Pub, there was a good sized crowd watching the band Creepjoint do their thing. The band is the brainchild of Tim Harrington, former guitar player for the band Masters of Reality.
I talked with friends and looked at art. Soon I was joined by Sarah and her friend Chris. Chris waited until Sarah went to get a drink and purchased the photo of the megaliths from Carnac, France. He told me it was to be a gift for the lovely Miss Sarah. It was my second sale of the night as I had already sold a photo, of Mushroomhead guitar player: Bronson, to my boy Josh Hevner. When Sarah came back I told her the good news that she was now an owner of one of my pieces. She was very excited and couldn't wait to get back to Boston to hang it in her house. I signed the back with a personal note and wrapped it up for her to take. I was excited too. Moments later, I was asked about the GWAR piece I had for sale. The picture was really cool. I had taken a photo of singer Oderus Urungus and digitally manipulated it until the photo looked like a still from the 1927 film Nosferatu. When I interviewed him, I had him autograph the shot and he also drew a caricature of himself on it. I had covered the frame in red paint that ran down the glass like fresh blood. It looked truly GWAR-ish! Two people were looking at buying it. They both were a bit undecided, and then I was approached by my friend PJ.

He wanted the picture as well. He was not undecided. He was resolute. He wanted it NOW! I told him of the other two potential buyers and he whipped out a one hundred dollar bill. He asked me what the bid was up to. I told him and he went over it by twenty dollars! I told him he was in the lead and it looked like it was his, but if he was outbid, I would have to let it go to one of the others. He told me to let him know if they went over him and he would place a higher bid.
When the other two came back, I told them and it was too much for their wallets, so the piece went to PJ. He was extremely happy. So was I. It was my first show and I sold three pieces. Van Gogh didn't sell a piece until after he was dead, so I think I did alright.
As the show wound down, I collected my last picture, wrapped it to travel and let Marlin know I was leaving. He thanked me for a great time and I left, headed to the Blue Tusk. I caught a ride to my Gram's house from a co-worker and went directly to bed. It had been a long and wonderful day!
NOTE: Be sure to check out the five page Anthrax Comic Book. It's pretty cool. I worked hard on it. I hope you like it.


Judas Priest

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with Joey Belladonna

Anthrax Comic

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