One for classic rock fans everywhere, what we have here is a “what might have been” mini-album of previously unheard, original, classic hard rock by four respected musicians at the top of their game, who individually went on to work with some of the biggest names in rock such as KISS, Graham Bonnet, Yngwie Malmsteen.
The Warrior story starts in 1982 with the Boston based band New England, featuring keyboard player Jimmy Waldo, bassist Gary Shea and drummer Hirsh Gardner, and how their plans to record their fourth album with Todd Rundgren were scuppered when their guitarist, John Fannon, unexpectedly quit the group.
They put the word out that they required a new singer, and as they shared management with KISS, Gene Simmons recommended an unknown Vinnie Cusano, who was then helping KISS with their “Creatures Of The Night” opus. Although KISS liked Vinnie Cusano, it was felt that his lack of height was a hindrance to joining them as a full-time replacement for Ace Frehley!
Vinnie sent New England a tape of his songs, and an audition was set-up. New England liked what they heard on Vinnie’s cassette so much that they decided to learn the whole set of songs in preparation for Cusano’s audition. The four hit it off, but it was obvious that this was a new band, soon to be christened Warrior, and not just a seamless continuation of New England. It was also agreed that the four would relocate from Massachusetts to Los Angeles, and began recording the songs that had appeared on Vinnie’s demo tape.
Fergie Henrikson was brought in to allow Vinnie to concentrate more on guitar. Despite making some very good music, Warrior’s career came to an abrupt end before it had even started when Vinnie was offered the opportunity to join KISS full-time, and become Vinnie Vincent, before eventually forming Vinnie Vincent’s Invasion.
Hirsh Gardner returned to Boston to produce, whereas Jimmy Waldo and Gary Shea would stay in Los Angeles, forming Alcatrazz with former Rainbow and MSG vocalist Graham Bonnet and a relatively unknown 20 year old guitarist from Sweden called Yngwie Malmsteen.
As well as the original six studio tracks, we’ve been lucky enough to include five instrumental versions, plus a very rare rehearsal tape featuring the aforementioned Fergie Henrikson. Malcolm Dome’s informative and detailed liner notes help tell the story, with the input of band members Jimmy Waldo and Gary Shea.
Out Friday 15th. Pre-order now: https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/warrior-featuring-vinnie-vincent-jimmy-waldo-gary-shea-hirsh-gardner/
STUDIO RECORDINGS 1982
1. BOYS GONNA ROCK
2. IT’S NOT PRETTY (BEING EASY)
3. GYPSY IN HER EYES
4. BACK ON THE STREETS
5. I NEED LOVE
6. BABY OH WHY
8. HOT NIGHTS
9. BABY OH WHY
10. BACK ON THE STREETS
11. I NEED LOVE
REHEARSALS FEATURING FERGIE FREDERIKSEN
12. BACK ON THE STREETS
13. GYPSY IN HER EYES
14. BABY OH WHY
15. HOT NIGHTS