Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tribe-al Metal - It's, um, Mega

As I reported a while ago, Motherscratcher sent me all kinds of card packs. Included in those packs were three "Mega Metal" packs from 1991 Impel. This is one of those "And then some..." posts. Feel free to read along, skip the whole thing, or some combination of the two. If you're old enough to remember when a lot of these guys were around for these cards, it'll be a trip down memory lane with some snarky commentary, I'm sure. If you have no idea who these people are, well, read along anyway. You just might learn something. Or not. You just never know with me.

These are presented in absolutely no order.

Judas Priest "Painkiller" album cover. Metal bands always had the coolest covers. Now, they also tended to have the dumbest as well, but you gotta take the good with the bad, right? King Diamond is a guy I never heard of until this set. His main goal was to show that the bloody rituals of satanic worship were actually based on Christian rituals. As far out as it seems, he actually does have a point - sacrificing lambs, etc... Rob Affuso from "Skid Row." I listened to Skid Row ALL the time. I thought they were more 'pop-rock' than metal, though...

Richie Sambora. Really, what else needs to be said? Well, he was named after the used car lot where his dad bought his first car... Iron Maiden - by far and away the best covers in metal. Period. I only remember "Number of the Beast" as far as songs go, but I can remember almost every album cover they came out with. What was so funny to me were the number of people who thought "Number of the Beast" was satanic and actually it was all about Christians and their fear and obsession with the number. nice. Robert Plant. Again, what can you say? It's funny that the back of the card simply refers to "Plant's band..." There must have been copyright issues... Of course, by 1991, Zeppelin had gone through some rough times and Plant was busy trying to keep Led on everyone's minds.

LA Guns? I never heard of them, but that doesn't mean a lot. My metal days are more around 1986-1990, so it may be that I just missed out on these guys. If I heard one of their songs and was told it was by them, I might recognize it. The band was named after their leader Tracii Guns. Michael Schenker is probably best known for his days with the Scorpions. Rob Halford helped pioneer thrash metal with Judas Priest.

The card set features several foil cards. This one is from "Slaughter." Though I cannot recall any of their songs right now, I do remember listening to them in my early college days. The guy in the middle is none other than Billy Squier. He played with Hendrix, jammed with Les Paul and Jeff Beck, and made quite a name for himself as a rocker in the 80's. Nuclear Assault? I never heard of them either. I'm thinking Impel got a deal with the Great Southern Company as a way to promote some of their bands or something... Anyway, the last card is Dan Lilker from N.A...

Vixen. A teenaged boy with hormones running amok and a desire to rock out only needed to fire up some Vixen to get the blood flowing. "Fallen Hero" was one of my favorites of theirs. Next, Blas Elias from Slaughter tells us that he started out as Pre-Med but drumming led him away from doctoring. I started out as Pre-Med, too. I never had the guts to go the rock band route... I got all geeky and went technology on myself... Another card of Billy Squier. He once considered becoming a music teacher. I guess in a way, he did.

Once again, we have LA Guns. This time, they are in a VERY red card. This is Kelly Nickels. he was with Faster Pussycat but Elektra (record company) forced him to leave the band after he was taking too long to recover from a motorcycle accident. Danged record labels! Check out Robert Plant's psychedelic shirt, man! And, Skid Row with Sebastian Bach. He was the heart-throb of nearly every girl I knew.

Well, here we have the family portrait of Nuclear Assault. By the time this card was made, they already had six albums to their name. Who knew? Dave Sabo of Skid Row is looking a wee bit blue. Of course, his friends called him "Snake." Well, everyone did, really. And then we see King Diamond again. What a scary looking guy he is... The back of his card talks about the eye pendant attached to his necklace. He says it takes you back in time and when you come back, "You can see (other people's) actions, though you might be very far away from them." Uh, yeah...

Glenn Tipton (no, he is not the reason dinged up cards are called 'Tiptons,' but that's a good guess) is jamming. Another card of Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora. Okay, Sambora as metal, maybe. But the group as a whole? Never in my life have I ever thought of Bon Jovi as 'metal...' Iron Maiden, on the other hand, is all metal. Maiden Japan was one of my favorite covers. I always liked the zombie-looking creature and for me, this is the predecessor of many foes I would face in videos years later.

Ah, a partial Mega Metal checklist. The cards are divided by group, making collecting easy in the sense that Fleer in the 80's was easy as long as you knew which cards went where. The first appearance of M.O.D. shows up here. This is another group that I do not remember. They were, evidently, a satirical metal group - whatever that means. LOL, and The Front is yet another metal group I knew nothing about until running into them in this pack. One tidbit is that Walter Matthau (actor) makes a guest 'appearance' in "Violent World." I guess I'll have to download it and see what that's about...

Firehouse released "Love of a Lifetime" and that's probably the only song I remember from them, though as I have said before, if I were to listen to some samples, I might pick out others I know but didn't know I knew, ya know? Blas Elias of Slaughter shows up again. He says Ted Nugent was his role model. Well, he says that after telling the story of how he drilled holes in the dressing room walls so they could watch the girls getting dressed... And, Rowan Robertson of DIO has a card, too. I remember the group, but not any of their songs off the top of my head.

Here, we have the "Painkiller" cover from Judas Priest again. Dana Strum of Slaughter discusses the band's desire to create "hard rock with edgy lyrics." I thought that was what rock was all about. Guess I was wrong. Dark Angel's team photo is here next. They were formed in '81 and ten years later, they were "on the forefront of ... thrash..." So, there ya go.

Wrapping things up, we have the Mega Metal foil card. The back is an advertisement: "If you like the Mega Metal Logo as a hologram, wait till you see it on our t-shirt." We have the drummer (Rob Affuso) from Skid Row again, and finally, King Diamond leers out at us on the last card in the group.

I hope you've learned as much as I did. I have to thank Motherscratcher for giving me an education I would not have received otherwise... In addition to some interesting items for when "Trick-or-Treat" rolls around....


  1. Absolutely hilarious. I remember most of the bands from this era. I love Billy Squier.

    I've only opened a few packs of this myself and haven't hit one of the foil cards yet.

    The only band that I missed back then was King Diamond. Actually I only remember them from an episode of Beavis and Butthead. Wasted youth.

  2. Firehouse sang one of my favorite hair metal songs, "Don't Treat Me Bad."

    It's a terrible thing to admit, because it wasn't metal at all, and I could comment on a lot of other things that you wrote, but it's the first thing I thought of, so there you go.

  3. Dio had a song called "Holy Diver".

    Also, L.A. Guns + Hollywood Rose = Guns & Roses.