London (heavy metal band)
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|Origin||Los Angeles, California|
|Genres||Heavy metal, hard rock, glam metal|
|Associated acts||Sister, Mott the Hoople, Mötley Crüe, W.A.S.P., Hollywood Rose, Guns N' Roses, Brooklyn Brats, Keel, Cinderella|
William Edward Dagsher, Aka "Billy the Fist"
London is an American heavy metal band, based in Hollywood, California. The band is perhaps most notable for featuring members that would go on to play in more famous bands such as Mötley Crüe, Guns N' Roses, W.A.S.P. and Cinderella.
London the band "paved" the way for larger bands that became popular in the glam metal movement, London started out as a glam rock group, influenced by the likes of Sweet, New York Dolls and Mott the Hoople. By the time the group started recording material in the mid 1980s with vocalist Nadir D'Priest in the band, they were playing glam metal. Nadir was influenced by bands Like Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Queen to mention a few.
London was formed in 1978 by Lizzie Grey, Nikki Sixx and Dane Rage. The three met when Sixx and Rage were recruited to play bass and drums for Sister, the band that Grey was in with Blackie Lawless. This line-up did not last long and soon Grey, Sixx and Rage left to form London.
London was briefly joined by Michael White as the vocalist, who bore a resemblance, both in voice and image, to Robert Plant. After disagreements with the band, White left to focus on his own band, The White. For years London tried to get a record deal, but the formula was not working until 1984 when Nadir D'Priest and Brian West came into band.
By 1979, White had been replaced by vocalist Henri Valentine and keyboard player John St. John. Nigel Benjamin, an English vocalist who had sung for glam rock band Mott and English Assassin, joined the band after Valentine left. Henri Valentine has since died.
Becoming jaded with all of the member changes and looking to move on, Sixx and Benjamin were next to leave the band. Nikki Sixx went on to form the world famous band Mötley Crüe. A song Nikki and Lizzie had written together while in London, "Public Enemy No. 1", was included on Mötley Crüe's debut album Too Fast for Love. Benjamin joined Satyr, and later recorded the soundtrack to the horror movie Rocktober Blood with Sorcery. Blackie Lawless was brought into the band to replace Sixx on bass, but this didn't last very long and the band fell apart. Rage would become Dane Scarborough, leaving drumming to become an inventor, eventually establishing the toy company Überstix LLC in 2005 .
Post-split Grey activity
After the original London had completely fallen apart, founder Lizzie Grey became involved with a couple of other groups, first including hard rockers St. Valentine in 1983, this group featured Nigel Itson (Ruby Slippers) and Desi Rexx (D'Molls).
Post-split Rage activity
After the original London had disbanded, co-founder Dane Rage recruited Scott Free, Paul Hanson and Bobby Blitz to form the Brooklyn Brats. During this time Paul Hanson taught guitar at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood and recorded the guitar soundtrack for the movie "Back to the Future". Michael J. Fox rehearsed with the band to prepare for the movie and played live with the Brooklyn Brats on one occasion with Chuck Berry in attendance.
Rebirth of London
1984 saw the rebirth of London, although it was now a different beast. The new line-up of the band consisted of Grey, Itson, an English vocalist named John Ward, and a bassist named Donny Cameron.
By 1985, the line-up consisted of Grey and Stradlin, vocalist Nadir D'Priest, drummer Bobby Marks (Keel,Steeler) and bassist Brian West (TKO). Marks soon left to form the first line-up of Keel, and Fred Coury was brought in as his replacement. Stradlin then left to Hollywood Roses/Guns N' Roses with close friend Axl Rose. Steven Adler was also in the lineup playing on some early demos while with Nadir, Brian, Lizzie Fleetwood Mac former guitarist Bob Welch. Adler left the band and eventually joined up with G&R. Non-Stop Rock, London's debut album was recorded at this point. Soon after the album was finished, Coury left the band, eventually becoming part of Cinderella. Wailin' Jennings Morgan replaced him. Before the band's second album Don't Cry Wolf (produced by Kim Fowley) was recorded, two new members, drummer Derek Shea and guitarist Frankie Jones joined.
In 1988, London appropriately appeared in the Penelope Spheeris film The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years describing their band as a "rock star training academy".
After a decade, two albums, 19 different members and very little commercial success, founding member and guitarist Lizzie Grey left London in 1988. He went on to play with the groups Ultra Pop and Spiders and Snakes.
The Last London Line-Up
Although the band now had no more original members, London carried on for two more years in Los Angeles. Brian West and vocalist Nadir D'Priest were joined by guitarists Amos Sanfilippo and Sean Lewis, and performed shows in the Hollywood and San Fernando Valley areas. London also made an appearance in the 1989 film Hollywood Boulevard II, starring Ginger Lynn.
D'Priest moved to Arizona for a brief period, but returned to continue working with West and Sean Lewis. They released a third and final album, Playa Del Rock in 1990, but by this time the band agreed with new label Noise International to rebrand the band D'Priest. Some versions of the album had the new band name, but many were released as London. By this time the band was managed by Eric Greif, coincidentally an early assistant manager of Sixx's band Mötley Crüe, with drummer Alan Krigger, formerly of Ike and Tina Turner and Giuffria replacing Yasui, and San Filippo replaced by occasional keyboardist for The Cult Vince Gilbert. A last burst of publicity via an MTV-played, David Bellino-directed video for the single Ride You Through the Night, coupled with a supporting tour, fizzled quickly, with the band breaking up by late 1991 after internal strife and a label wind-down. London/D'Priest charted on the Z-Rock "Z-50" as well as on MTV and toured extensively during 1990-1991 at Z-Rock affiliate and subscriber markets. London, with the Playa Del Rock line-up of D'Priest, Lewis, West and Krigger, performed a reunion show at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood, CA in early 2010, a show in Redondo Beach, CA in April 2011, and the Sunset Strip Music Festival at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go in Summer 2011.
D'Priest's New London
It was reported that Nadir D'Priest reformed London. The group stated their plans as appearing live, first in Europe on November 21 – December 5, 2012. London is planning and releasing a single and video of London Live! 2012-13 filmed in Nashville, Tennessee. The duo, including drummer Tim Yasui, recorded a track for Cleopatra Records, Shout at the Devil, a tribute to Mötley Crüe which also featured tracks by Pretty Boy Floyd, Marq Torien and Jack Russell of Great White. Cleopatra Records also released "London The Metal Years", a compilation of demos cut on the fly at American Recording Studios. London is currently in studio mixing the new album titled "Mastered LIVE!" which was mixed by producer Michael Wagener at Double Trouble Productions in Nashville. The album will include two new tracks, one Rock En Español song and one classic metal track.
- Nadir D´Priest - Vocals
- Billy The Fist - Bass
- Alan Krigger- Drums
- Ronee Peña - Guitar
- Eric Ragno - Keyboards
- Lizzie Grey - Guitars (1978-1981, 1984-1988)
- Blackie Lawless - Vocals, Guitar (1978-1979)
- Tony Richards- (1985)
- Michael White - Vocals (1978-1979)
- Nikki Sixx - Bass (1978-1980)
- Dane Rage - Drums (1978-1981)
- John Ward - Vocals (1984-1985)
- Donny Cameron - Bass (1984-1985)
- Nigel Itson - Drums (1984-1985)
- Izzy Stradlin Guitar (1984-1985)
- Fred Coury - Drums (1985-1986)
- Walin' J Morgan - Drums (1986)
- Frankie Jones - Guitar (1986-1988)
- Amos Sanfilippo - Guitar (1988-1990)
- Derek Shea - Drums (1986-1988)
- Gene Allen- (1987)
- Vince Gilbert - Keyboards (1990)
- Chris Sanders - Guitar (2007-2009)
- Billy The Fist - Bass (2009-2010)
- Nigel Benjamin - Vocals (1980)
- Bobby Marks - Drums (1984-1986)
- Sean Lewis - Guitar (1987-1990, 2012-2013)
- Brian West - Bass (1985-1990, 2010-)
- Alan Krigger - Drums (1989-1991, 2012)
- Studio Albums
- The Metal Years (2008) Cleopatra Records
- Crue Believers (2010) Cleopatra Records
- Live Albums
- London Live (2014)