Blackie Lawless

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Blackie Lawless
Wasp, Norwich. img 0319 (315209095).jpg
Background information
Birth name Steven Edward Duren
Also known as Blackie Lawless
Born (1956-09-04) September 4, 1956 (age 57)
Staten Island, New York, USA
Genres Heavy metal, shock rock[1]
Occupations Musician
Songwriter
Actor
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar
Years active 1975-present
Associated acts W.A.S.P.
London
Circus Circus
Sister
New York Dolls
Notable instruments
B. C. Rich Widow
B. C. Rich Warlock
Jackson Soloist

Blackie Lawless (born Steven Edward Duren on September 4, 1956) is an American songwriter and musician best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist (formerly bassist) for the heavy metal band W.A.S.P.

Early life[edit]

Duren was raised in Staten Island, New York City, New York.[2] He is rumored to have had a fundamentalist Christian upbringing. He has said that he was "very active" in church as a youth and was born again at age 11 but in his late teens strayed from the church and became interested in the occult. He has Irish ancestry. He is the nephew of the late Major League Baseball pitcher, Ryne Duren.[3]

Career[edit]

He began his career in music playing with bands such as Black Rabbit and Orfax Rainbow. In 1975, after Johnny Thunders left glam rock band New York Dolls in the middle of a tour of Florida, the band started auditioning for guitarists. Lawless was hired but only stayed for the remainder of the tour.[citation needed]

After the tour, he went to California with bassist Arthur Kane and helped found Killer Kane. At that time, Lawless' stage name was "Naughty Blackie Nogood". About a year later Kane returned to New York City but Lawless decided to stay in West Los Angeles. In 1976, he formed Sister, which also featured future W.A.S.P. guitarist Randy Piper. Lawless' stage antics at the time included lighting his boots on fire (a gimmick he later gave to Nikki Sixx) and eating live worms.[citation needed] Around 1978, a new lineup was assembled which included Sixx as bassist and Lizzie Grey on guitar. Later, Chris Holmes joined.

Lawless later formed a band called Circus Circus in 1979, with Piper again appearing in the lineup. In 1981, following Circus Circus' failure, Lawless joined Lizzie Grey and Nikki Sixx's band London, with whom he played a few gigs and recorded two songs as demos, though by this time Sixx had already departed to form Mötley Crüe. In 1982 Lawless switched to bass guitar and along with Randy Piper formed W.A.S.P. The lineup was soon completed with Chris Holmes on lead guitar and Tony Richards on drums.

W.A.S.P.[edit]

W.A.S.P. has undergone numerous lineup changes since its inception, and Lawless is the only remaining original member and chief songwriter. Many of his songs tend to deal with religious or apocalyptic themes, due to his fundamentalist Christian upbringing.

Lawless cites influences which include AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Kiss, and Alice Cooper.[citation needed] His stage theatrics were influenced by Alice Cooper and Kiss.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jonze, Tim (April 15, 2009). "A handy guide to heavy metal". The Guardian (London). Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Interview with Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P.". House of Hair with Dee Snider. Houseofhaironline.com. 2010-04-13. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  3. ^ Reesman, Bryan (21 September 2010). "Blackie Lawless Renounces His Past Sins". Attention Deficit Delirium. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 

External links[edit]