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R.I.P. Sammi Curr (1947 – 1986)

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Sammi Curr
1947 – 1986

One metal legend that I’ve never really discussed has been “Rock’s Chosen Warrior” — Sammi Curr.  A former student at Lakeridge High School, Sammi’s aspirations went higher than being stuck in his small town. It’s no secret that Sammi was an angry young man growing up. He cared little for authority and used his rebellious nature to propel himself to the top of the heavy metal heap in the mid-1980s. With his dangerous attitude and shock rock antics, he became a rock icon, a living legend, and amassed a large loyal teenage fanbase.

Sammi was a controversial figure during his time. While popular with teenagers, his music, lyrics and stage show were extremely controversial with parents, schools, politicians and members of the religious community. In a time when bands like Megadeth, W.A.S.P. and Motley Crue ruled the airwaves, it was Sammi Curr that felt the wrath of the media and concerned citizens the most.

That’s not to say that Sammi didn’t encourage the controversy though. Ego was another driving factor for Curr. He thrived on the adoration of his young fans and on the hatred of his detractors. Like many rock stars, Sammi wanted the attention and he lived the image of the “bad boy” to its fullest. You can’t drink blood straight from a snake’s mouth onstage and not expect some people to get up in arms about it.

Spending the majority of his music career signed to Waste City Records, some of Curr’s most loved (and despised) songs are “Trick or Treat”, “Fuck With Fire”, “Burn in Metal” and “Torture’s Too Kind”. It was in those last three songs that he used the technique of backmasking. Whether done for fun and as a gimmick or if there was a more sinister intention there, I don’t know. There are many who will argue either side.

In October 1986, Sammi petitioned to play a free concert at his old high school’s Halloween dance. He was denied this opportunity by the PTA and died just days before Halloween, under mysterious circumstances, in a hotel fire.

Sammi’s final album was to be called Songs in the Key of Death but it has never been released to the public in its entirety. The demos were set to debut on a local radio station in Sammi’s hometown at midnight on Halloween (per Sammi’s request) in 1986 but there was a malfunction with the broadcast. The demos have since gone missing.

Sammi Curr lived fast and died young. Perhaps for someone him, there was no other way.

“You cannot legislate morality, or music, or people’s minds… or we’ll bring you down, man!” – Sammi Curr

FASTWAY – Trick or Treat

Fastway – Trick or Treat (1986, Columbia/CBS Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Trick or Treat” … 2:47
2. “After Midnight” … 3:39
3. “Don’t Stop the Fight” … 4:21
4. “Stand Up” … 4:04
5. “Tear Down the Walls” … 2:07
6. “Get Tough” … 3:30
7. “Hold On To The Night” … 3:22
8. “Heft” … 5:20
9. “If You Could See” … 4:36

Band:
Dave King – Vocals
‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke – Guitar
Shane Carroll – Guitar
Paul Reid – Bass
Alan Connor – Drums

Produced by: ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke

This is the fourth release from Fastway and it also doubles as the original motion picture soundtrack to the movie ‘Trick or Treat’. I finally picked up this album in 2007 after longing for it ever since I watched the movie a few years back. Trick or Treat (the movie) is pretty fun 80s rock & roll horror stuff and features cameos by future bumbling, mumbling reality TV dad Ozzy Osbourne and future big-talking, face-lifting reality TV dad Gene Simmons. Is Marc Price next in line for a reality show based on his family life? What would they call it? Marc Price Is Right? Hey, if the Coreys, Scott Baio, and Danny Bonaduce got shows…

Oh yeah, the music. Anyway, as mentioned, besides being a soundtrack this is also a semi-full release by the 80s hard rock “supergroup” Fastway (featuring guitarist ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke from Motorhead and bassist Pete Way from UFO… Get it?). All Music Guide only rates this album at 1 1/2 stars (out of 5)! This I cannot agree with. This album is EASILY at least TWO FREAKIN’ STARS.

True, I wouldn’t say this album is a classic. But it does have that classic 80s hard rock/metal sound. Is that good or bad? To me, that’s good. I actually haven’t listened to a whoe lot other Fastway songs, but they kind remind me of Kix, especially Dave King’s vocals.

My only complaint is that I believe there are a few songs from the movie that aren’t on the soundtrack (Maybe they aren’t Fastway songs..?), one of which is an awesome track from a scene where Marc is in his room listening to music. I can’t confirm it though because I’m too lazy to go look for my copy on DVD.

“Heft’ and ‘If You Could See” were released on previous Fastway albums. Still, this CD (and the movie) can be found for pretty cheap, usually around $5-8, both are definitely worth a look and listen.

Highlights: “Trick Or Treat”, “After Midnight”, “Don’t Stop the Fight”, “Stand Up”, “Tear Down the Walls”, “If You Could See”

www.myspace.com/fastwaymusic

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