D'Priest then reformed LONDON. LONDON truly is the band that the Los Angeles Glam explosion of the mid 80's inexplicably left behind. In spite of a batch of high profile albums, a staunchly loyal fan base and claiming past members that went on W.A.S.P., MȪTLEY CRÜE, GUNS N' ROSES, CINDERELLA and KEEL the band failed to break out of the California club scene and could well lay claim to being the world's unluckiest band. LONDON was created in 1978 by ex-TEAR GARDEN guitarist Lizzie Grey (a.k.a. Steve Perry).
A union was forged with SISTER and CIRCUS CIRCUS singer and rhythm guitarist Blackie Lawless (a.k.a. Steve Duren) at Hollywood's Starwood Club. Lawless also boasted credits with the notorious New York outfit NEW YORK DOLLS. A rhythm section was recruited in the form of bassist Nikki Sixx (a.k.a. Frank Ferrano) and drummer Dane Rage.
Seattle native Sixx had quit a dim past filled with fledgling outfits like SLEAZE and FORCED ENTRY, heading to Los Angeles via a stint working on his grandparents farm in Idaho. Once in Hollywood, Ferrano found work in a music store and then a liquor store by day and played in the clubs by night. LONDON pulled in former FELIX, THE BOYZ and L.A. ROCKS singer MICHAEL WHITE. The singer not only deliberately cultivated a ROBERT PLANT lookalike image but sounded just like him too.
Live shows at this time included Lawless' songs 'Sweet Dreams', 'Mr. Cool' and 'Harley Heart'. Internal frictions caused White to bail out. He duly created THE WHITE then went solo issuing a series of LED ZEPPELIN soundalike records.
LONDON then split, with Grey opting to stick with Sixx and Dane to reform the band shortly after. Lawless duly created the monster that would evolve into W.A.S.P. By 1979 a revamped LONDON consisted of Grey, Sixx, Rage vocalist Henry Valentine and guitarist / Hammond B3 organ player John St. John (a.k.a. Claude Dubé).
Heavily influenced by the British glam rock scene, LONDON set about playing the club circuit and even at one time were fronted by post ex-MOTT and ENGLISH ASSASSINS vocalist Nigel Benjamin. The British singer had been in Los Angeles trying to get his act SATYR off the ground prior to hooking up with LONDON. Interestingly, former SATYR members bassist Chuck Wright and guitarist Bob Stefan went on to QUIET RIOT and DUBROW. LONDON was to be a familiar presence on the Los Angeles club circuit, at one stage also employing SIN and JAGWIRE keyboard player Vince Gilbert. Benjamin quit when a decision by Lizzie Grey to replace Sixx with QUIET RIOT's Rudy Sarzo did not meet with his favour.
Lawless was briefly re-enlisted to fill Sixx's shoes in late 1980. LONDON demoed again, Lawless, Grey, Rage and keyboard player Claude Dubé cutting the tracks 'Harley Heart' and 'Dream Girl'. However, Lawless exited again to prioritise W.A.S.P. Nigel Benjamin was convinced to make a return and LONDON played the Troubadour and at the Country Club in this formation.
However, with no deal forthcoming, LONDON fragmented once again. Grey, Sixx and drummer TOMMY LEE attempted to forge a new unit, dubbed CHRISTMAS, in late 1981 but this failed to materialise. In quick succession Sixx and Lee were then to form MȪTLEY CRÜE taking a Grey / Sixx composition 'Public Enemy No. 1' for the debut CRUE album.
Grey tried his hand at further projects involving Leslie Knauer, later of PRECIOUS METAL, before starting a fresh act ST. VALENTINE in 1983. Members of this band included Nigel Itson of RUBY SLIPPERS and Desi Rexx of D'MOLLS. By the following year this band had reverted back to the LONDON moniker. An English vocalist, Birmingham born John Ward now fronted the band.
Ward, or Wardie has he was more commonly known, had emigrated from England where he had sung for OVERDRIVE and TROUBLE (the act that later evolved into SHY) and had also had a stint with MADAM X on his arrival in the states. After performing just one concert with LONDON, Ward saw greener pastures in HURRICANE before joining SHAME and eventually relocating back to Britain to play with SHY, PSYCHO WARD then in 1999 the Oliver / Dawson incarnation of OLIVER/DAWSON SAXON. The next LONDON incarnation with Grey, Ward, Itson, bassist Donny Cameron and new drummer Steven Adler soldiered on until adding second guitarist Slash (Saul Hudson). Within weeks however their newest member had left. His replacement was one IZZY STRADLIN' (Jeffrey Isbell).
Grey then had a complete re-think and in 1985 the new look LONDON comprised of Grey, ex-VERTIGO vocalist Nadir D'Priest, Stradlin, former TKO bassist Brian West and drummer Bobby Marks. The latter was soon to leave to forge the first KEEL line up and the band enrolled erstwhile SUNJAMMER drummer Fred Coury. Stradlin's tenure was fleeting too before he found himself reuniting with other LONDON refugee Slash and Steven Adler to form the world's undisputed number one rock act GUNS N' ROSES. At this juncture LONDON recorded their debut album 'Non Stop Rock' but soon after its recording Coury too jumped ship to CHASTAIN then finding platinum success in CINDERELLA. The drum stool subsequently was taken over by Wailin' Jennings Morgan as the band demoed with DIO bassist Jimmy Bain acting as producer.
Predictably the 1987 LONDON roll call included fresh members. New blood coming in the form of drummer Derek Shea and guitarist Frankie Jones. This version of LONDON recording the KIM FOWLEY produced and Gene Meros engineered 'Don't Cry Wolf' album, which was issued in Britain on the Axis label, founded by the London based Metal record store Shades. By 1988 Grey, obviously disillusioned after seeing so many chances slip through his fingers deserted LONDON to form ULTRA POP and later, the industrious SPIDERS AND SNAKES. Priest and West, the only surviving members decided to keep the LONDON moniker bringing in yet more new faces in guitarists Artos San Filippo (previously very briefly a member of British hard rockers STATETROOPER) and Shaun Lewis together with drummer Tim Yasui (a.k.a.
Timothy Jay). LONDON then appeared in the 1988 Penelope Spheeris film 'The Decline Of Western Civilization: The Metal Years', during which they demoed at Hollywood's American Studios in Topanga, California in the summer of 1989 to record a live demo tape with producer Richie Podolor. The band at this juncture stood at vocalist Nadir D'Priest, bassist Brian West, guitarist Sean Lewis and drummer Tim Yasui.From these sessions the songs 'Break Out' and 'Russian Winter' were used for the movie soundtrack. By 1990 the LONDON name was becoming a burden and D'Priest relocated to Arizona to forge RATED X. He would travel back to Los Angeles to refound the band but opted for a name change, settling for simply D'PRIEST. This unit carried on regardless in conjunction West and Lewis, erstwhile RISE and JAGWIRE keyboard player Vince Gilbert and ex-GIUFFRIA drummer Allan Krigger. By 1998 D'Priest had renamed himself ANTONIO NADIR to issue the Spanish album 'Tatuaje'.
The singer joined Power Metal veterans STEEL PROPHET in April 2003, but this union only lasted for three shows. June 2006 brought news that Nadir D'Priest had reformed LONDON, the new band unit including guitarist Eddie St. James. A reunion of this 1989 LONDON line-up, albeit with bassist Brian Perry of PRONG and LIZZY BORDEN replacing Brian West, was assembled for a new 2008 studio recording of the MÖTLEY CRÜE hit 'Shout At The Devil' for inclusion on the album 'The Metal Years', documenting the live demo tracks recorded originally for the movie 'The Decline Of Western Civilization: The Metal Years'. Current Members * Brian Perry 2008- Present - LIZZY BORDEN, PRONG Bass * Nadir D'Priest (Antonio Nadir) - STEEL PROPHET, D'PRIEST vocals * Sean Lewis - D'PRIEST Guitar * Tim Yasui (Timothy Jay, Timmy Jay) - FOREVER SAY DIE!: BLACK SABBATH TRIBUTE, SPIDERS AND SNAKES Drums Past Members * Blackie Lawless 1980- 1980, 1978- 1979 - W.A.S.P. Bass / Guitar / Vocals * Henry Valentine 1979- 1979 - Vocals * Nigel Benjamin 1979- 1980 - MOTT, SATYR Vocals * Michael White 1978- 1979 - MICHAEL WHITE Vocals * Lizzie Grey 1978- 1988 - ULTRA POP, ST. VALENTINE, TEAR GARDEN, CHRISTMAS, SPIDERS AND SNAKES Guitar / Vocals * Nikki Sixx 1978- 1980 - MÖTLEY CRÜE, BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION, CHRISTMAS Bass * Izzy Stradlin' - IZZY STRADLIN, GUNS N' ROSES Guitar * Artos San Filippo - Guitar * Frankie Jones - Guitar * Fred Coury - CINDERELLA, ARCADE, CHASTAIN, KEEL Drums * Eddie St.
James - Guitar * Brian West - D'PRIEST Bass * Derek Shea - Drums * Jennings Morgan - Drums * John St. John - Guitar/keyboards * Vince Gilbert - JAGWIRE, D'PRIEST Keyboards * Dane Rage - BROOKLYN BRATS Drums * John Ward (Wardie) - SABRE, ST. VALENTINE, SHAME, IRON HORSE, OLIVER/DAWSON SAXON, TROJAN, SHY Bass / Vocals * Nigel Itson - RUBY SLIPPERS, ST. VALENTINE Drums / Vocals * Donny Cameron - Bass * Slash - VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES, SLASH'S BLUES BALL, SLASH'S SNAKEPIT Guitar * Steven Adler - ROADCREW, GUNS N' ROSES REVISITED, ADLER'S APPETITE, BULLETBOYS, GUNS N' ROSES Drums * Bobby Marks - ARABIA, TANGIER, SCARECROW, KEEL Drums Read more on Last.fm.
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