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The Hall Of Heavy Metal History Awards –
Marriott Delta Garden Grove, Anaheim, California, USA,
Wednesday 23rd January, 2019

Wow is it really a year since the last one – I guess it is and here we all are at the Marriott Delta Garden Grove to witness another cool awards night of all things Heavy Metal. Wow is it really a year since the last one – I guess it is and here we all are at the Marriott Delta Garden Grove to witness another cool awards night of all things Heavy Metal!

After a brief introduction and being ushered to get to our seats a good few many times we got to view a long film – an hour in fact called 'Band vs Brand' that covered topics like merchandise, name ownership, meet and greets, tribute bands, authenticity of bands and more. It was quite a watch to say the least. It featured numerous people who were here in the room- you know who you are.... While all this was going on we were treated to lavish food in both meat and vegetarian formats. Pity I had already stuffed myself with Indian Buffet early - hahaha!

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There were quite a few highlights of the night that was compered by Eddie Trunk with awards being presented to a whole mass of people from either side of the stage or desk. There were some really cool links through the night such as both Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) receiving separate awards who funnily enough happen to be part of the same band right now – 'Sons Of Apollo' – no they didn't perform any up there on stage before you ask!

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How awesome was it to see Doro receive an award for Lita Ford who herself was presented one by Whitney Alyson Ribbins while at Wacken in 2018! Anyways Lita and Doro really ought to do an album together don't you think? This could be blasted on a killer radio station on the waves and on the internet - KLOS for instance who turned 50 and received an award for just that. Funnily enough – a station that has become my favourite listen thanks to Jonesy's Jukebox (12 noon to 2 pm or my time of 8 til 10!)

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One of the hardest working men in metal, 'David Ellefson' who last year presented an award to the family of late Megadeth drummer, Nick Menza was tonight here to accept an award himself. Quite rightly so too since he has done so much much for the industry over the years and more recently with his EMP Label who have quite a roster to say the least; not to mention having his very own Ellefson Coffee Company and being of course the bassist of Megadeth of course. Keep it coming Brother! It amazes me how he fits it all in.

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In a similar vein, old schoolers Testament were inducted and all here too, as well as Frank Bello of Anthrax plus two folk who got the ball rolling in the vinyl side to start off with, Jon and Marsha Zazula of the world famous 'Megaforce Records' who without whom we wouldn't have many of the bands that we grew up with. There ain't many of us who can't say we don't have a few Megaforce releases in their collection right? Even Metallica sent in a video congratulating them too since they couldn't be there in person – top that!

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A marvellous thing I thought personally was the fact of so many British dudes were in the winners list this year such as Saxon with Nigel Glockler accepted an award on behalf of all the other guys in the famous NWOBHM outfit, who were featured in the film earlier. Always good to hear a fellow Brit up there – a real stand-up guy too and it was great to chat with him later.

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Max Norman was presented an award by Jean Beauvoir. Max is famous for producing albums for Savatage and Megadeth but most notably, the 1st few albums from Ozzy Osbourne with 'Blizzard Of Ozz' being the debut! Bassist, Bob Daisley, Bassist of said band is also inducted, though sadly not there in person but Thin Lizzy Legend John Sykes came to pick up his award.

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Later on, Lee Kerslake (Ozzy's drummer from that band who sadly is terminal ill) was presented with an award by the Founder/CEO, Pat Gesualdo. The organisation arranged it to have Lee specially flown over for the occasion that is said to be his last ever public appearance – the legend was up there getting his award as well as major surprises in platinum albums from Ozzy himself plus a letter from the great man too. What an event for Lee to be reading it to us. Wow! Just a pity Ozzy wasn't there himself in person... maybe next year?

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It wasn't all about giving awards all the time since there was some killer rock and metal played on the stage that included a number from Budderside who opened up the main part of the night (who actually played it last year too). We were also entertained with a couple of numbers from Crown Of Thorns Frontman, Jean Beauvoir 'Ugh All Night!' that I didn't realise he wrote for Kiss.

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A brand new band were up playing too that actually sat at the table with us – four charming young guys that go by name of 'Kodiak'. Now these guys ticked all the right boxes in rock 'n' roll at such a young age. In fact one of them was still only 17. It's scary to think what they will be like in 10 years time if they are as good as this now. Little wonder that Carmine Appice decided to take them on and become their Manager.

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Talking of Mr. Appice, him and his brother Vinny actually closed the show with their Appice Brothers band that actually has two sisters in there too who are Japanese in Mayuko & Tsuzumi Okai with Jim Crean on vocal who lit the place on fire with their own material and some classic Dio too! An act I have wanted to see on stage personally for a long time.

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It was good to see long-term friends there and many, many more cool folk of all things media and metal. Another great night was had indeed!

By Glenn Milligan

Images by RonLyonPhoto

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