W.A.S.P. have updated their 2012 tour schedule. The band currently have the following shows confirmed:
17 – Ekateringburg, Russia – Teleclub
18 – Rostov, Russia – Dom Oficerov
19 – Stavropol, Russia – Dkis
20 – Krasnodar, Russia – Primiea
22 – St. Petersburg, Russia – Glav Club
23 – Moscow, Russia – Arena Club
25 – Kiev, Ukraine – Bingo Club
27 – Gelsenkirchen, Germany – Rock Hard Open Air
31 – Dessau, Germany – Metalfest East Germany
1 – Mining, Austria – Metalfest Austria
2 – Sofia, Bulgaria – Airport Park Terminal 3 – Loudfestival
3 – Jaworzno, Poland – Metalfest Poland
5 – Zadar, Croatia – Metalfest Croatia
6 – Milan, Italy – Metalfest Italy
7 – Pratteln, Switzerland – Metalfest Switzerland
8 – Pizen, Czech Republic – Metalfest Czech Republic
To celebrate W.A.S.P.’s 30 Years Of Thunder anniversary tour, leader Blackie Lawless has penned a monthly diary (fifteen in total) to chronicle the real events of the band and give fans all a little better insight to the last thirty years in their history. Check out the November diary below:
“That last show went pretty well and we were basking in the afterglow of it, feeling that we were beginning to find our true direction. Although there were less than 100 people at the show, things would change quickly as the crowds would double at each new gig. But it was clear that we were gonna be musical orphans as far as a major record company was concerned, at least until we could make enough noise where they would be forced to pay (and I mean PAY $$$) attention to us. So if a record label wouldn’t adopt us, then it would have to be the people. That’s really what happened. We did it the old fashioned way. We took it to the kids and let them decide. One of the crew that worked for us had a workshop that his Father owned and it was a complete metal and woodworking shop. We spent months there, day after day, night after night, working on whatever idea’s we could dream up. The first thing we built there was the “torture rack” that we used with the half naked girl, which we would refer to latter as “the rack girl”. Over the years there were 5 different girls that played the part. The song “Tormentor”, on our first album, was written specifically for this part of the show. In show business these type of things are called “gags”. That’s what we were doing in that shop. Coming up with as many “gags” as we could to create a visual bombardment on the audience. As we started to get a feel for the direction of where we were going, what I wanted to do was, unlike most Rock Shows when it was over, the people were walking out of the venue all excited and talking loud. I wanted people leaving our shows to be able to hear a pin drop. I wanted them to be running the video tape in their heads backward and ask themselves, “What in the World did I just see”?
Now all of this being said, I knew we would be thought of as a “Shock Band”, but I wanted more. I wanted to make a social statement. I wanted to make people think. To think about, not what they just saw, but how it applied to their lives. If it was only “shock for shock’s sake” then that, as I’ve said before would be incredibly boring with absolutely no point. So really the whole social comment thing was my way of saying to the world, ”Hey, if you don’t like what you see in this Band, don’t blame us, were only a reflection, a mirror if you like, of what’s really going on in the real world”. Looking back now, nobody got it !! Nobody got the message and I’m sure even if they would have it would have come off as me trying to be “self righteous”. None of this would become clear to me till a couple of years latter.
Back to the workshop. After the “rack” was finished the next thing we started on was the W.A.S.P. “flaming sign”. Now this thing was a monster in it’s own way. Not only the way it looked when it was finished, but equally what we had to do to build it. None of us, and I mean NONE of us had any clue how to put this thing together or how to make it work. Talk about trial and error. First, we built the W.A.S.P. letters out of plywood and then the bolt heads were added on it to make them look like the logo I designed for the earlier advertising posters. Then came the frame for the propane (fuel) that went around the letters. The problem was, the metal pipe that made the frame had holes drilled 1 inch apart, all around the inside of the frame for the propane to come out. We didn’t know we needed EQUAL pressure all the way around the frame. That pressure is what makes all the flames equal in height. All propane tanks have a shut off valve and something called a spark arrester. They are safe with those two things on it, but if you take them off, well, you potentially have a bomb on your hands because the flames can sometimes go back up inside the tank. If that would have happened…..BANG!!! I would not be writing this right now!! It would have taken a whole building down. But it was the ONLY way we could get the thing to work, so guess what? Some nights when we were playing the Troubadour, the flames would shoot up so high, it would burn the wooden support beams over the top of the stage. Only by the Grace of God did we not ever have a major problem!!! To this day you can still see the burn marks on the wooden rafter beams.
We also found later, that the sign would get so hot, it made people drink more…….a lot more!!! The Troubadour knew it too and once we actually threatened them not to use the sign to get them to pay us more money. So they did!! We set records for alcohol sales there that have never been broken.
It was one afternoon while we were in the workshop, I looked over and leaning against a window was a 12 inch round saw blade. I looked at it and just started laughing. The others looked at me wonder what was so funny and I said, “I wonder what that would look like between my legs”? A kind of half crazy smile came across their faces. Now this was either going to be the best thing ever, or, the dumbest thing ever imagined. You gotta remember, nothing like this had ever been done before. So is it cool, or is it STUPID? Only one way to find out. We made a cardboard template as a pattern and then cut the metal blade with a cutting torch to fit me. I walked out at the next show and the place went wild!! Looking back you might ask, why was I worried? I really felt I was taking a big chance. Little did I know that our trademark logo was being born. The arm blades were added later as sort of a matching ensemble!! The original codpiece in addition to the blade also had large screws coming out of it and I had a matching arm gauntlet with the same kind of screws. The idea of not being sure if this was or was not a good idea too, seems funny now because there are all kinds of bands that have nails and screws coming out of their stage outfits, but when nobody had done it yet, you always wonder if you’re going to get laughed off the stage.
Now while ALL of this is going on, the Band is rehearsing. I’ve told the story before but even now it seems unbelievable. In the very beginning we rehearsed in a two car garage but that only lasted about a month. Then we moved into an abandoned laundry mat for a month. For everybody outside the U. S., that’s a place you take your clothes to get washed. Too bad the machines didn’t work because in those days clean clothes were hard to come by. Imagine stopping in the middle of a song to throw in another load! but no such luck. As a side note, where the laundry mat was located was on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Vine St. in Hollywood. The reason I mention this is, across the street was the building where we would eventually build the “Fort Apache” studio where the first album we recorded was “The Crimson Idol”. Honestly, getting from one side of that street to the other was one of the longest walks I ever took.
The next place we rehearsed, even to this day, nobody believes when I tell them. We found a place that sold farm products and had large refrigeration units where they stored milk, cheese and meat. Yes, we were rehearsing in a Meat Locker!! It still had the hooks on the walls for hanging the meat. It was a very small space, about 2 meters by 6 meters and the temperature was keep around 3 degrees Celsius (38 degrees Fahrenheit) and you could see your breath. When we took breaks we would be sweaty and you could see the steam rising off the tops of our shoulders and our heads. It was $25 a week and we were there for about two months. When we would tell people that the Band that threw Raw Meat was rehearsing in a meat locker, no body believed it. That’s a TRUE story!!
We played the Troubadour working our way up from a Tuesday night to a Wednesday night to a Thursday night to a Friday and then a Friday/Saturday nights. All in a four month period. Every show the crowds got bigger and bigger. Many nights the shows were over sold beyond capacity. There were a large set of double doors at the entrance. Some nights the doors would be opened to handle the shear volume of people and from the stage I could see people standing out in the middle of Santa Monica Boulevard (it’s a divided 4 lane road) and there would be 100 or more people standing out there that couldn’t get tickets. I would turn and sing to them out in the street and they would go crazy!! Try to picture that. I’ve not seen anything like that since. It was highly unusual, but then again….so was the Band!!!
The local music magizine was the Music Connection and every week they published a list of the top ticket selling groups in Los Angeles. Eventually we became the number one band. We had NO money, but we looked like we had MILLIONS!!!! All from the things that were born in that workshop……Thank You Kirk!!
From there we moved on to bigger venues and then theatres, and less than eleven months from the time we played our first show we played the Santa Monica Civic Arena (3,000 seats). We were connecting with the crowds and we grew very quickly. So much for the band that never had any intention of playing live!
All this with no manager and NO RECORD COMPANY!!!! We were now too big for them to refuse to pay attention to us any longer. Very Soon, EMI/Capitol Records would come calling!”
On September 21st 2012, W.A.S.P. will begin the 30 Years of Thunder anniversary Tour starting in the United Kingdom and continue worldwide.
This World Tour will be the biggest spectacle W.A.S.P. have ever created. The two-hour show will consist of three parts. A one hour set contain songs from the first four albums. The second set will be a 25 minute shortened version of The Crimson Idol complete with the movie accompaniment. A third set will consist of material from the new studio album, older material and everything in between. This show will see multiple video screens, pyrotechnics, and elements from the early W.A.S.P. shows (maybe even an exploding cod piece) and Blackie’s moving microphone stand Elvis!