BITCH to release’Be My Slave/Damnation Alley’ remastered Reissue including bonus-dvd with rare live footage on July 1st/4th! Video trailer available!
On July 1st (G/A/S) / July 4th (Europe) Metal Blade Records will release a CD+DVD package by the first female fronted Heavy Metal Band in the World, the infamous BITCH!
The CD includes the Be My Slave album and the Damnation Alley mini-LP! Both being remastered sounding better than ever. There will be an exclusive bonus track on the CD, Let’s Go, which has never been released before!
Check out the video trailer for this release at Facebook (no login necessary) or youtube!
The bonus-DVD includes ancient footage from the early and mid 80s. All sorts of live clips recorded at various American shows. The DVD also includes the entire show BITCH just played in April this year at the prestigious Keep It True festival in Germany. Filmed with multiple cameras BITCH gave the Keep It True the whip and delivered nothing but a killer show featuring all the greatest hits of the rich BITCH history!
One of the earliest of the 80’s Heavy Metal club bands to gain national media exposure, BITCH was formed in 1981 and quickly gained a large local following. They generated notoriety (in part) as a result of their live performances which included sadomasochism and bondage themes. They were also the first artists signed to Metal Blade Records and one of the first ever heavy metal bands to have a female lead singer, Betsy “Bitch” (Weiss). No stranger to making history, BITCH was also exposed to the national media during the Parents Music Resource Center (P.M.R.C.) hearings in the US Congress. Shortly after the band was formed, they met Brian Slagel who had recently formed Metal Blade Records, and was a friend of BITCH guitarist David Carruth. The original quartet included vocalist Betsy Weiss, guitarist Carruth, Mark Anthony Webb on bass and drummer Robby Settles. They signed for the label and released a self-financed EP entitled Damnation Alley (1982). During their early days, BITCH played a lot of gigs with other metal groups such as W.A.S.P., Slayer and Armored Saint.
The following year, the group released their first full length album, Be My Slave. During the tour of the album, BITCH developed their controversial and elaborate stage shows; these included sadmasochistic elements: clothing with chains and whips, bondage acts with a ‘slave’ on stage.
In the 80s, hair bands ruled. They were all over the radio, all over MTV, and all over anywhere one could look. And while a lot of people thought that most of them looked like girls, there were a few bands that actually had girls in them. In this edition of Vie’s Verses, I’m paying tribute to some of the best female fronted bands of yesteryear. So grab your aqua net, your dog eared copy of Hit Parader, and your dual cassette boom box, and let’s take a ride down memory lane.
Vixen was huge in 1988/1989 with their self-titled debut album and smash hit, Edge Of A Broken Heart. Their appeal was deeper than just the music, however. As an all female band, filled with beautiful women, the guys loved Vixen for more than their songs. Rationally, Edge Of A Broken Heart is not a song that a dude could pump his fist to. It’s a song about a woman who is trying to avoid heartbreak. That’s not very manly. But the guys found themselves singing along anyway, because these chicks were hot!
Vixen formed in Minnesota in the mid-80s and then moved to Los Angeles, California, to join the smoking hot L.A. music scene. The fact that they were an all girl band certainly helped to get them the attention of record execs. After enjoying huge success with their first album, Vixen released Rev It Up in 1990. Unfortunately, Rev It Up was not promoted by the band’s record label, EMI, as well as their debut album was, and record sales on Rev It Up were poor. In 1991 the band split up.
Where are they now?
In 2001, as hair metal was making a huge revival, Jan Kuehnemund reformed Vixen with two other original members and a new bass guitar player. Halfway through their first tour, the band split up again. Kuehnemund, determined to keep the band‘s name alive, hired a new lineup and continued to tour and record under the name Vixen. Their last show was at the 2009 Rocklahoma. Since then, there has not been much activity from the band, but there are rumors of a possible new album and tour in the works for 2010/2011.
Did you know?
80s pop star, Richard Marx, wrote and arranged Edge Of A Broken Heart for Vixen at the request of EMI.
Led by the beautiful and highly talented Doro Pesch, Warlock was a heavy metal band that formed in Germany in 1982. Their third album, True As Steel, was released in 1986, and brought the band recognition in the US. The single, Fight For Rock, was picked up by North American radio, and the band found a new following during the height of the hair metal years. Though most members of the band rotated in and out of Warlock, Doro Pesch always remained Warlock’s front woman. Warlock would find even more success once their videos started getting regular play on MTv’s Headbangers Ball. By the late 80s, all of the original band members had left Warlock. Doro had to change the name of the band (to Doro) due to Warlock’s original manager suing for the naming rights to Warlock.
Where are they now?
Doro Pesch is still performing under the Doro moniker and released a new album in 2009. Guitarist Peter Szigeti went on to play with many other bands, most notably U.D.O. Guitarist Rudy Graf went on to join the band Rage after leaving Warlock in 1985. He left the band Rage in 1987. Bassist Frank Rittel left Warlock at the end of the True As Steel Tour and little has been heard of him since. Drummer Michael Eurich left Warlock to join the band Casanova where he recorded three albums with them. His drumming activity has been quiet since then. Doro is still recording and touring in Europe and North America.
Did you know?
In 2008, Pure Steel Records released the first official tribute to Warlock which included special appearances by members of the band.
Fronted by the gorgeous Sandi Saraya, Saraya was a New Jersey based band that had some modest radio hits, including their big single, Love Has Taken Its Toll. Never wanting their album to sell based on Sandi’s beauty, the front woman actually insisted that most of her face be hidden for the album’s cover shoot. Saraya only released two albums, and their second album, When The Blackbird Sings is hardly known by anyone except the truest of metal fans. After the release of their second album, keyboardist Gregg Munier quit the band, and Saraya decided to go their separate ways.
Where are they now?
Keyboardist and founding member, Gregg Munier, died in 2006 due to complications from pneumonia.
After Saraya split up in 1991, Sandi Saraya married Tesla bassist Brian Wheat, but they soon divorced. Since then, Sandi went on to marry again and is raising five children with her current husband.
Guitarist Tony Bruno is currently performing with Danger, Danger, although he is not an official member of the band.
Drummer Chuck Bonfante has been in and out of different bands since the demise of Saraya.
Earlier this year, rumors abounded that Saraya would be playing a reunion show, their first show in over 18 years, at the Firefest in the UK. Unfortunately, this never happened. Tony Bruno and Chuck Bonfante claim that Sandi was never committed to the reunion and she backed out at the last minute after demanding an exurbanite amount of money to play the festival. Sandi claims this is not true, that she just wanted enough money to cover the expenses of her family traveling to the festival with her, so that her children could see her perform. Her husband recently underwent surgery and the medical bills depleted her savings. It is not known whether Sandi and her former bandmates have spoken since her decision to not perform at Firefest (which took place just last week (October 30th and 31st). Whether there will be a reunion in the future still remains to be seen.
Did you know?
Saraya was in the midst of recording their third album when the band decided to call it quits.
Smashed Gladys was a band that flew under everybody’s radar, but whose debut album is currently fetching a small mint on EBay and Craigslist, when they can be found. Fronted by the sleazy hot Sally Cato, Smashed Gladys released their debut album, Smashed Gladys in 1985. They followed that up with the excellent Social Intercourse in 1988. While not receiving much airplay or video time on MTV, Smashed Gladys went on to form a small following of hard core fans. Due to lack of support and promotion from the record company, the band decided to split up in 1989 while recording their third album, Tales From The East Side. The album has never been released.
Where are they now?
Front woman, Sally Cato, completely disappeared from the music scene after Smashed Gladys hung up their instruments. For most of her adult life she has been a Tibetan Buddhist. She currently owns a marketing and design firm in New York City. She still conducts interviews with glam/rock magazines and websites from time to time.
Guitarists Bart Lewis and Roger Lane, as well as bassist J.D. Malo have been in and out of bands since the breakup of Smashed Gladys. Drummer Matt Stelluto is currently employed by the New York Mets.
Social Intercourse has recently been re-released on Wounded Bird Records and can be found online for a decent price. Sally Cato has not ruled out the chance for a Smashed Gladys reunion if someone can put together a budget for the band to reunite.
Did you know?
Smashed Gladys was originally managed by Gene Simmons.
Bitch was formed in 1980 by lead singer, Betsy Bitch. Their debut album, Be My Slave was released in 1983 and received some rotation on rock radio stations. In 1987 Bitch released their follow up album, The Bitch Is Back, two years after originally recording it. During that time, the band built a large following on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, playing such noted clubs as The Roxy and The Whiskey A Go-Go. By the time The Bitch Is Back was officially released, the band had a large fan base. This helped sales of their sophomore release tremendously. In 1989, Bitch released their final album, A Rose By Any Other Name. Since that time, Betsy Bitch has been the only original member to remain in the band.
Where are they now?
Betsy Bitch has continued to stay in the music scene. In several interviews she has stated that Bitch never officially broke up, they would just go on extended hiatus. Bitch continued to play festivals and do some minor touring throughout the 90s and 00s.
Original drummer Robby Settles passed away from leukemia earlier this year.
Guitarist David Carruth stayed with the band until recently, but is no longer a member of Bitch.
Bitch is currently in the studio with a new lineup working on a new album. A release date has not been set.
Did you know?
Bitch was the first female fronted heavy metal band signed to a record label.
Freelance writer and music critic David Gasten is pleased to announce the launching of BETSYBITCH.COM (http://www.betsybitch.com), an information website about the pioneering female-fronted metal band Bitch and their frontwoman Betsy Bitch. The site has already made headlines with the syndicated radio show Dee Snider’s House Of Hair, Revolver Magazine online, Sleazeroxx.com, and the UK metal magazine Brave Words Bloody Knuckles to name a few.
Betsybitch.com is an unofficial information site that was built with the full cooperation of Betsy Bitch and the band, and is absolutely packed with information, much of which has been unavailable or difficult to find until now. Some of the site’s features include:
· Updates and background on Bitch’s upcoming album and new All-Star lineup,
· A detailed, three-page Bitch discography, featuring release information on Bitch albums, compilations, and band member appearances on other albums,
· A bio that covers the band’s early years and influences,
· A two-page photo gallery of Betsy and the band featuring some otherwise unpublished photos,
· Links to other Bitch appearances and metal resources on the Web.
Bitch were and are staples in the famous Hollywood metal scene that began in the 1980’s and is seeing a renaissance as we speak. Bitch are actually “early birds” to the scene thanks to their interest in groups like Saxon, Angel Witch, Riot, and Warning when albums by these performers were very obscure and hard to find. Bitch have the distinction of being the first woman-fronted American heavy metal band ever to be signed to a record label, as well as the first band ever to release an album with the legendary Metal Blade Records. They also happen to be on the landmark heavy metal compilation Metal Massacre (1982), which is the album that introduced the world to Metallica.
We encourage you to bookmark Betsybitch.com to keep abreast of new developments from the band. The Bitch is Back again—and better than ever!