Heavy metal icon Adam Bomb will be playing his first Seattle gig in over 15 years on March 6, 2015. Also on the bill are Scott Earl (of Culprit) “and friends.” While this may not seem to be that big a deal to those outside of the Seattle area, there is a fascinating story behind it. Seattle is the former Adam Brenner’s hometown, and like just about every other metal musician in the early ‘80s, he had to move to L.A. in order to make it. These shows will be something special, a reunion of sorts for fans and musicians of a scene that had come and gone by the time Kurt Cobain graduated middle school.
Brenner’s father ran the beloved Brenner’s Bakery in Kirkland, WA for many years, but the family business was not Adam’s calling. Once he got his first guitar, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. A chance meeting with Eddie Van Halen led to an impromptu three-hour lesson in which he learned many of the techniques he still incorporates today.
Brenner was just 16 when he joined Tyrant, a cover band whose lead singer was Geoff Tate. Tate went on to front Queensryche, who were the last Seattle band to sign with a major label until the grunge frenzy of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. In 1981, Brenner recorded the In Your Face album with TKO. He then left for L.A., where Tommy Thayer of Black ‘N Blue (and later on, KISS) suggested he call himself Adam Bomb. Things moved quickly after Bomb signed with the Leber-Krebs management team, and his Geffen Records debut Fatal Attraction came out in 1984.
In the 31 years since Fatal Attraction, Adam Bomb has recorded 10 solo albums, and worked with such artists as Johnny Thunders, John Paul Jones, Chuck Berry, Steve Stevens, Kenny Aaronson, Jimmy Crespo, Black ‘N Blue, reggae greats Steel Pulse, and many others. Over the past 11 years in particular, he has played nearly 3000 shows in Europe, and has lived in New York City since the early ’90s. After so much time away, these Seattle-area concerts have a unique significance.
When we spoke to Bomb, he was staying at the Edgewater Hotel on the shores of Elliot Bay in downtown Seattle. He has a great deal of respect for the history of rock, and the Edgewater is a famous landmark for a few reasons. Led Zeppelin’s stay there in 1969 may be the most infamous of these – listen to Frank Zappa’s song “Mud Shark” for further details.
Although he would not give us specific details about what he has planned, take the “and friends” part of the billing seriously. It will be an Adam Bomb show, but it is going to be a lot like a reunion as well. The late ‘70s and early ‘80s were tough times for metal, or hard rock as we once called it. Basically you were either in a cover band, or playing a small circuit that included skating rinks. The fans were passionate, but the venues were virtually non-existent.
Culprit were about the only metal band who got any respect back then, and it will be a treat to see Scott Earl at this show. Duff McKagan was another Seattle rocker who left, to eventually join Guns N’ Roses. McKagan is back in town, as is “Bad” Brad Sinsel of TKO, and Tate. Keep in mind that many of the so-called grunge bands still live here too, including members of Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Mudhoney, just to name a few. There are also a slew of not-so-famous musicians who might appear, because these shows really are a reunion of a specific era in Seattle music, and they were definitely a part of it. In short, I could speculate all day long about which friends will be there, and that too is part of the fun.
The last time Adam Bomb was in town was in 1999, as the opening act for Chumbawamba, of all bands. I mention that because he is a much more eclectic musician than what is usually implied when the term “hair metal” is bandied about. It isn’t really fair to call him that, but that was the selling point at one time.
In any event, these shows will be very special, whether you were part of the original scene or not. They are obviously a big deal to Adam, because he is putting in the amount of prep work for the gigs that would normally go in to mounting a full tour. Welcome home, Adam Bomb.
(Adam Bomb & Scott Earl (and friends) will be appearing March 6, 2015 at The Mix Georgetown: Seattle, WA and March 7, 2015 at Flights Pub: Everett, WA)
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