Live In The Raw – W.A.S.P.

Ah, when I was young W.A.S.P. were seen as a dangerous band. They were edgy and scary. We heard rumours they threw raw meat into the crowd and they swore a lot. Nowadays I look at things like that and yawn. I mean, it’s all been done hasn’t it? Every generation has to find their edge and music performances get reinvented all the time.

When I saw Slipknot at Download in 2013 I thought it was going to be an edgy show, because Slipknot had that same feeling as W.A.S.P. – a band on the edge trying to go further than others and trying to make a statement. Now, their performance at Download was excellent and I was certainly made a stronger fan but was it edgy? Not really. The next morning in the B&B, I’m old and camping seemed a bad idea, there was a young couple talking about the performance and they were really impressed with the percussionists kit going into the air and turning while the guy played. This impressed me not as I saw Tommy Lee do that with the Motley Crue back in 1991 or so when they played Wembley Arena, but then, I reminded myself, I’m old.

If we want to see the proper shockers then I think we need to look at the generation before mine. Alice Cooper scared the world with his stage magic shows and ritual beheading. Throbbing Gristle combined music and performance art in the 70s with overtly sexual body mutilation. All this stuff is nothing new it’s just that every generation has to find their own way I guess.

I now inhabit a world of people who would be called freaks and perverts but I don’t really see it that way. It’s just people who dress a little differently and enjoy different things. What you may think as strange and shocking is just another person’s every Saturday night out. What I can say is that the community and safety in these environments is better than just walking down the high street on a Saturday afternoon. People’s inability for empathy and tolerance saddens me.

Long Beach Arena, for the final night of their 1986 87 world tour the most outrageous band in the world – W.A.S.P.

I’ve been told that this album was recorded while W.A.S.P. supported Iron Maiden on their world tour and I haven’t checked it but it sounds legit. What a gig that would have been! I first saw Maiden in 1988 and it was good but two years earlier and I would have seen W.A.S.P. rather than White Dwarf!!

W.A.S.P. were most famous to me as a teenager for two main things and they are both song based. One was the song officially called “Animal” but really it’s called “Fuck Like A Beast”, what an outrageous title! The song is so-so but it’s good fun. They also had a song called D-B Blues and while I have no idea what that is there was a line about pussy juice. I mean, how bad do you want to be? [It’s probably best to not mention the cover art for the song Animal].

I love that whole trashy 80s metal sound. I can’t help it. It does something to me. This live album has it in buckets. Plenty of simple chugging and gang vocals. I love it. I have played this album over and over and I definitely have it in different formats. I think it’s amazing.

You should get this album and play it loud while drunk on JD. It’ll really take you back to the 80s. As a native bass guitar player I like the steady combo of a bass and drums and this album has plenty of that. It works really well from a song construction point of view. I love rolling bass lines with drums blatting away being the force behind the main song. It almost doesn’t matter to me what the guitars do. It’s probably why I love AC/DC so much.

I’m not going to do a song by song breakdown of this album. There are some bad songs but mostly they are great and this has such a summer feel it’s good for playing in the garden while you relax on a nice summer’s day drinking Pimms or a bottle.

Now, W.A.S.P. have been accused of being named after a selection of religious idiots who are White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Now, there may be a selection of people out there who would happily wear this label it’s quite likely they are racist pricks. This band can’t be accused of being like that, their singer is a native american FFS. The mainstream likes to pick on all of that which comes across as a little different and demonise it because it’s a good feeling to be outraged by something and when you get to middle age you can’t stand the fun that the youth have.

Go and stream this album or even better buy the damn thing and make sure that the artist gets a fair reward for causing you some moments of joy.