Slipknot's mix of grinding, post-Korn alternative metal, Marilyn Manson-esque neo-shock rock, and rap-metal helped make them one of the most popular bands in the so-called nu-metal explosion of the late '90s. But even more helpful was their theatrical, attention-grabbing image: the band always performed in identical industrial jump suits and homemade Halloween masks, and added to its mysterious anonymity by adopting the numbers zero through eight as stage aliases. Add to that a lyrical preoccupation with darkness and nihilism, and an affectionately insulting name for their fans ("Maggots"), and Slipknot's blueprint for nu-metal success was set. Slipknot were formed in late 1995 in the unlikely locale of Des Moines, IA; after some early personnel shifts, the nine-piece lineup settled around (in order from number zero to number eight): DJ Sid Wilson, drummer Joey Jordison, bassist Paul Gray, percussionist Chris Fehn, guitarist James Root, sampler/programmer Craig Jones, percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan, guitarist Mick Thompson, and lead vocalist Corey Taylor. The music scene in Des Moines wasn't much to speak of, and the band's big-time ambition was usually met with disbelief and ridicule, which provided the initial spark for its mostly anonymous stage visuals. On Halloween 1996, Slipknot self-released an album called Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat., which began to build a buzz around the group once it found its way to several labels. It was picked up for distribution by the Nebraska-based -ismist label, and also caught the attention of Roadrunner Records, which signed Slipknot in 1997. Working with producer Ross Robinson, Slipknot recorded their official, self-titled debut album, which was released in 1999. They gradually built an audience through near-constant touring, working their way up to the summer Ozzfest package tour, which really expanded their audience. Their live shows were a much-discussed hit with metal fans, and the band performed with such energy that Crahan gashed his head open on his own drum kit twice that summer, requiring stitches both times. The tracks "Wait and Bleed" and "Spit It Out" got the band some airplay, but most of the buzz came from touring and word of mouth. Finally, in the spring of 2000, Slipknot was certified platinum; the first such album in Roadrunner's history. Iowa The anticipation for Slipknot's follow-up was intense, and many industry observers predicted that it would debut at number one; however, faced with some stiff competition that week, the band's sophomore effort, Iowa, bowed at number three upon its release in 2001. More heavy touring followed, including another, more prominent slot on that summer's Ozzfest. After a long spell on the road, Slipknot took a break while the members worked on side projects. The band set up its own label, Maggot Recordings, and signed a band called Downthesun, whose lead singer had served as Crahan's drum technician. Wilson, meanwhile, began DJing solo under the name DJ Starscream, and Root and Thompson both worked on solo material. Drummer Jordison worked with a side group called the Rejects, where he'd actually served for quite some time as guitarist. Taylor, meanwhile, started a side band called Superego, and also contributed a solo song, "Bother," to the soundtrack of the 2002 blockbuster Spider-Man. That May, the band got some amusing press when some of its fans discovered the website of a British crocheting group also called "Slipknot," and flooded the members' in-boxes with excessively rude e-mails. Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses Guitarist Joey Jordison and Static-X guitarist Tripp Eisen teamed that summer for the Murderdolls project, while Taylor re-formed his old band Stone Sour and released an album. By the winter, Slipknot had still not reunited and Taylor wrote a commentary on the band's website stating that they had not spoken in months, and that they'd rather break up than become "the next Gwar." The statement sparked a quickly resolved mini-feud between Taylor and Gwar frontman Oderus Urungus. but it also sent many of the Maggots into a tailspin. By early 2003, Taylor had retracted his comments, and announced plans for a new Slipknot album. That August the entire squad decamped Iowa for L.A., where they began work on the new record with producer Rick Rubin. "Pulse of the Maggots" appeared in early 2004 as an exclusive download; it was followed by a full track listing for Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses. Slipknot then embarked on a brief tour as a warm-up for their dates headlining Ozzfest that summer. (The group also debuted a fully redesigned third generation of their famous masks.) Subliminal Verses was released in May 2004. It peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, and the band toured steadily for the next year and a half in support. They released a two-disc live album in November 2005, followed by a slew of side projects (Taylor and Root formed Stone Sour, while Jordison sat in with Ministry and Korn) before releasing their fourth full-length album, All Hope Is Gone, in 2008. Slipknot made a number of festival appearances during summer of the following year, and also embarked on their All Hope Is Gone world tour. On May 24, 2010, the body of bassist Paul Gray was discovered by a maintenance worker in an Urbandale, IA, hotel room; he was 38 years old at the time of his death, which was later revealed to have been the result of an accidental drug overdose. The band decided to carry on without him, saying it was what he would have wanted. .5: The Gray Chapter Two years after suffering the tragedy of losing Gray, the band released their first compilation. Spanning thirteen years of output, Antennas to Hell: The Best of Slipknot brought together the best studio cuts from Corey Taylor and co., along with a selection of bonus material, including their full performance at 2009's Download Festival. In 2013 Slipknot started work on what was to become their fifth studio album. During the recording process, it was revealed that drummer Joey Jordison had left the band, in murky circumstances which were widely held to be acrimonious, and that the band had recruited a new rhythm section. Both drummer and bassist were still anonymous at the time of the album's release, but were rumored to be, respectively, Jay Weinberg, formerly of Against Me, and Alessandro Venturella, formerly of Cry for Silence. Titled .5: The Gray Chapter in honor of their fallen bandmate, the album was slated for release in October 2014. Marking a return to a more raw, brutal, dissonant sound reminiscent of their earlier work, it was promoted with the singles "The Negative One" and "The Devil in I," which featured music videos directed by Shawn Crahan.
Known best for their 1984 anthem "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and the 1990 ballad "Wind of Change," German rockers the Scorpions have sold over 22 million records, making them one of the most successful rock bands to ever come out of Continental Europe. Formed in 1969 by Rudolf Schenker, the original lineup consisted of rhythm guitarist/vocalist Schenker, lead guitarist Karl-Heinz Follmer, bassist Lothar Heimberg, and drummer Wolfgang Dziony. In 1971, Schenker's younger brother Michael joined the band to play lead guitar and good friend Klaus Meine became the new vocalist. The group recorded Lonesome Crow in 1972, which was used as the soundtrack to the German movie Das Kalte Paradies. Although they failed to get into the public's eye, the early incarnation of '70s rock band UFO noticed Michael Schenker's guitar playing and hired him as their lead guitarist; Michael, therefore, would leave the band in 1973. Guitarist Uli Jon Roth replaced him, and under his guidance the group released four consecutive albums under the RCA record label: Fly to the Rainbow (1974), In Trance (1975), Virgin Killer (1976), and Taken by Force (1977). Tokyo Tapes Although these albums failed to attain any serious attention in the United States, they were all quite popular in Japan. By the time Taken by Force was released, Roth made the decision to leave the band and form Electric Sun after feeling that his musical ideas would take the group in an entirely different direction. Tokyo Tapes, a double live album that the group recorded in Tokyo with Roth, was released in 1978. Shortly after Roth's departure, Michael Schenker was kicked out of UFO for his constant alcohol abuse and came back to play with the Scorpions in 1979, who had recently signed with Mercury Records. The group released Lovedrive that same year and played its first American tour, but Lovedrive failed to attract attention, being banned in the United States because of its sexually explicit cover. Still coping with his drugs and alcohol addiction, Michael missed tour dates repeatedly and guitarist Matthias Jabs was hired to fill in for him on nights when he was absent. Michael eventually would leave the Scorpions a second time after realizing that he was failing to meet their expectations. Animal Magnetism Now with a lineup of Klaus Meine on vocals, Rudolf Schenker on rhythm guitar, Matthias Jabs on lead, Francis Buchholz on bass, and Herman Rarebell on drums, the band released Animal Magnetism in 1980 and embarked on another world tour. Surprisingly, Animal Magnetism went gold in the United States, and the Scorpions immediately went back into the studio to record their next release. Problems arose, however, and the project was postponed because Meine had lost his voice and would have to have surgery on his vocal cords. Many thought Meine had been fired from the band, and rumors spread that metal singer Don Dokken had already replaced him. the Scorpions proved these rumors untrue when Meine returned for the 1982 release Blackout, which contained the cult hit "No One Like You." A major success worldwide, Blackout sold over a million copies in the U.S. alone. But as popular as Blackout was, it was the Scorpions' powerful follow-up, Love at First Sting, that succeeded in making them superstars. Released in 1984, the album boasted the MTV single "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and would eventually achieve double-platinum status. The group undertook one of its most successful world tours yet, boasting an outstanding stage show with high-energy performances. World Wide Live After releasing World Wide Live in 1985, the band took a long hiatus and remained uninvolved from the music industry for two years. Their tenth studio album, Savage Amusement, was finally released in 1988, and the hit ballad "Rhythm of Love" brought on another major success. In 1990, the album Crazy World was released and would eventually become the Scorpions' biggest-selling record to date, drawing on the strength of the hit ballad "Wind of Change." Not too surprisingly, Crazy World was the last successful Scorpions release in the U.S. By the time their Face the Heat album hit the shelves in 1993, many longtime fans had already lost interest in the band, due to the alternative explosion of the early '90s. Face the Heat did eventually reach gold, and in 1995 the band released another live album, Live Bites. Now with bassist Ralph Rieckermann and drummer James Kottak, they released Pure Instinct in 1996. Mercury Records assembled a double album of the band's greatest hits, Deadly Sting: The Mercury Years, and released it in 1997. Eye II EyeEye II Eye, an album in which the band experimented with pop-techno melodies, was released in the summer of 1999. Moment of Glory, featuring the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and several revamped versions of Scorpions cult classics, was released in fall 2000. Continuing to be productive into the 21st century, the Scorpions released their 15th studio album, Unbreakable, in 2004, followed by the concept album Humanity: Hour 1 in 2007. In 2010 they released Sting in the Tail, and announced they would be retiring after heading out on the road for a farewell tour. The following year, while still on tour, the band released Comeblack, a greatest-hits album of sorts featuring the German rockers re-recording some of their most well-known songs, as well as covers by T. Rex, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones.
With their fusion of heavy metal, funk, hip-hop, and progressive rock, Faith No More has earned a substantial cult following. By the time they recorded their first album in 1985, the band had already had a string of lead vocalists, including Courtney Love; their debut, We Care a Lot, featured Chuck Mosley's abrasive vocals but was driven by Jim Martin's metallic guitar. Faith No More's next album, 1987's Introduce Yourself, was a more cohesive and impressive effort; for the first time, the rap and metal elements didn't sound like they were fighting each other. The Real Thing In 1988, the rest of the band fired Mosley; he was replaced by Bay Area vocalist Mike Patton during the recording of their next album, The Real Thing. Patton was a more accomplished vocalist, able to change effortlessly between rapping and singing, as well as adding a considerably more bizarre slant to the lyrics. Besides adding a new vocalist, the band had tightened its attack and the result was the genre-bending hit single "Epic," which established them as a major hard rock act. Angel Dust Following up the hit wasn't as easy, however. Faith No More followed their breakthrough success with 1992's Angel Dust, one of the more complex and simply confounding records ever released by a major label. Although it sold respectably, it didn't have the crossover potential of the first album. When the band toured in support of the album, tensions between the band and Martin began to escalate; rumors that his guitar was stripped from some of the final mixes of Angel Dust began to circulate. As the band was recording its fifth album in early 1994, it was confirmed that Martin had been fired from the band. King for a Day, Fool for a LifetimeFaith No More recorded King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime with Mr. Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance. During tour preparations he was replaced by Dean Mentia. Mentia only lasted for the length of the King for a Day tour and was replaced by Jon Hudson for 1997's Album of the Year. Upon the conclusion of the album's supporting tour, Faith No More announced they were disbanding in April 1998. Patton, who had previously fronted Mr. Bungle and had avant-garde projects with John Zorn, formed a new band named Fantômas with Melvins guitarist Buzz Osbourne, Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn, and former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. Roddy Bottum continued with his band Imperial Teen, who released their first album, Seasick, in 1996. A posthumous Faith No More retrospective, Who Cares a Lot, appeared in late 1998. In 2009, after eleven years of dissolution, Faith No More toured Europe without Jim Martin but with Patton as vocalist. A U.S. tour followed a year later.
Judas Priest was one of the most influential heavy metal bands of the '70s, spearheading the New Wave of British Heavy Metal late in the decade. Decked out in leather and chains, the band fused the gothic doom of Black Sabbath with the riffs and speed of Led Zeppelin, as well as adding a vicious two-lead guitar attack; in doing so, they set the pace for much popular heavy metal from 1975 until 1985, as well as laying the groundwork for the speed and death metal of the '80s. Formed in Birmingham, England, in 1970, the group's core members were guitarist K.K. Downing and bassist Ian Hill. Joined by Alan Atkins and drummer John Ellis, the band played their first concert in 1971. Atkins' previous band was called Judas Priest, yet the members decided it was the best name for the new group. The band played numerous shows throughout 1971; during the year, Ellis was replaced by Alan Moore; by the end of the year, Chris Campbell replaced Moore. After a solid year of touring the U.K., Atkins and Campbell left the band in 1973 and were replaced by vocalist Rob Halford and drummer John Hinch. They continued touring, including a visit to Germany and the Netherlands in 1974. By the time the tour was completed, they had secured a record contract with Gull, an independent U.K. label. Before recording their debut album, Judas Priest added guitarist Glenn Tipton. Rocka RollaRocka Rolla was released in September of 1974 to almost no attention. The following year, they gave a well-received performance at the Reading Festival and Hinch departed the band; he was replaced by Alan Moore. Later that year, the group released Sad Wings of Destiny, which earned some positive reviews. However, the lack of sales was putting the band in a dire financial situation, which was remedied by an international contract with CBS Records. Sin After Sin (1977) was the first album released under that contract; it was recorded with Simon Phillips, who replaced Moore. The record received positive reviews and the band departed for their first American tour, with Les Binks on drums. Stained Class When they returned to England, Judas Priest recorded 1978's Stained Class, the record that established them as an international force in metal. Along with 1979's Hell Bent for Leather (Killing Machine in the U.K.), Stained Class defined the nascent New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. A significant number of bands adopted Priest's leather-clad image and hard, driving sound, making their music harder, faster, and louder. After releasing Hell Bent for Leather, the band recorded the live album Unleashed in the East (1979) in Japan; it became their first platinum album in America. Les Binks left the band in 1979; he was replaced by former Trapeze drummer Dave Holland. Their next album, 1980's British Steel, entered the British charts at number three, launched the hit singles "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight," and was their second American platinum record; Point of Entry, released the following year, was nearly as successful. Screaming for Vengeance At the beginning of the '80s, Judas Priest was a top concert attraction around the world, in addition to being a best-selling recording artist. Featuring the hit single "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," Screaming for Vengeance (1982) marked the height of their popularity, peaking at number 17 in America and selling over a million copies. Two years later, Defenders of the Faith nearly matched its predecessor's performance, yet metal tastes were beginning to change, as Metallica and other speed/thrash metal groups started to grow in popularity. That shift was evident on 1986's Turbo, where Judas Priest seemed out of touch with current trends; nevertheless, the record sold over a million copies in America on the basis of name recognition alone. However, 1987's Priest...Live! was their first album since Stained Class not to go gold. Ram It Down (1988) was a return to raw metal and returned the group to gold status. Dave Holland left after this record and was replaced by Scott Travis for 1990's Painkiller. Like Ram It Down, Painkiller didn't make an impact outside the band's die-hard fans, yet the group was still a popular concert act. Jugulator In the early '90s, Rob Halford began his own thrash band, Fight, and soon left Judas Priest. In 1996, following a solo album by Glenn Tipton, the band rebounded with a new young singer, Tim "Ripper" Owens (formerly a member of a Priest tribute band and of Winter's Bane). They spent the next year recording Jugulator amongst much self-perpetuated hype concerning Priest's return to their roots. The album debuted at number 82 on the Billboard album charts upon its release in late 1997. Halford had by then disbanded Fight following a decrease in interest and signed with Trent Reznor's Nothing label with a new project, Two. In the meantime, the remaining members of Judas Priest forged on with '98 Live Meltdown, a live set recorded during their inaugural tour with Ripper on the mike. Around the same time, a movie was readying production to be based on Ripper's rags-to-riches story of how he got to front his all-time favorite band. Although Priest was originally supposed to be involved with the film, they ultimately pulled out, but production went on anyway without the band's blessing (the movie, Rock Star, was eventually released in the summer of 2001, starring Mark Wahlberg in the lead role). Rob Halford in the meantime disbanded Two after just a single album, 1997's Voyeurs, and returned back to his metal roots with a quintet simply named Halford. The group issued their debut in 2000, Resurrection, following it with a worldwide tour that saw the new group open up Iron Maiden's Brave New World U.S. tour, and issue a live set one year later (which included a healthy helping of Priest classics) -- Live Insurrection. Demolition In 2001 the Ripper-led Priest issued a new album, Demolition, and Priest's entire back catalog for Columbia was reissued with remastered sound and bonus tracks. In 2003 the band -- including Halford -- collaborated on the liner notes and song selections for their mammoth career-encompassing box Metalogy, a collaboration that brought Halford back into the fold. Owens split from the group amicably in 2003, allowing the newly reunited heavy metal legends to plan their global live concert tour in 2004, with their sixteenth studio album, Angel of Retribution, to be released the following year. In 2008 the band released Nostradamus, a sprawling, two-disc conceptual piece that charted the life and times of the famous French seer. On December 7, 2010, Priest broke the news that their upcoming Epitaph world tour would be their last. The following month, however, they clarified that they were not disbanding, announcing that they were working on new material. Before the tour began, founding member Downing left the band over differences with the other members and their management; he was replaced by Richie Faulkner. Redeemer of SoulsPriest worked on their new album during the tour, which ran until 2012. The album's release was delayed several times, but it was eventually announced that it would see the light of day in July 2014. Entitled Redeemer of Souls, it was described by the band as a traditional, crowd-pleasing return to their roots. Coinciding with the announcement of the album's release, they backtracked on their earlier pronouncement and revealed details of another new world tour.
Korn's cathartic alternative metal sound positioned the group among the most popular and provocative to emerge during the post-grunge era. Korn began their existence as the Bakersfield, California-based metal band LAPD, which included guitarists James "Munky" Shaffer and Brian "Head" Welch, bassist Reginald "Fieldy Snuts" Arvizu, and drummer David Silveria. After issuing an LP in 1993, the members of LAPD crossed paths with Jonathan Davis, a mortuary science student moonlighting as the lead vocalist for the local group Sexart. They soon asked Davis to join the band, and upon his arrival the quintet rechristened itself Korn. Life Is Peachy After signing to Epic's Immortal imprint, they issued their debut album in late 1994; thanks to a relentless tour schedule that included stints opening for Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, Marilyn Manson, and 311, the record slowly but steadily rose in the charts, eventually going gold. Its 1996 follow-up, Life Is Peachy, was a more immediate smash, reaching the number three spot on the pop album charts. The following summer, they headlined Lollapalooza, but were forced to drop off the tour when Shaffer was diagnosed with viral meningitis. While recording their best-selling 1998 LP Follow the Leader, Korn made national headlines when a student in Zeeland, Michigan, was suspended for wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the group's logo (the school's principal later declared their music "indecent, vulgar, and obscene," prompting the band to issue a cease-and-desist order). Their annual Family Values tour also started in 1998, featuring a lineup that consisted of Korn collaborators such as Limp Bizkit and Ice Cube and like-minded artists such as Rammstein. The tour was an enormous success, so much so that it continued on with Korn overseeing the lineup for years after. Issues followed in 1999, and in typical Korn fashion they debuted their new single in an episode of South Park. The band toured behind the album into the next year, but their efforts were cut short by an injury that took out drummer David Silveria. They hired former Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin to help them finish the remaining shows, and took a short rest before joining a summer tour with Metallica, Kid Rock, Powerman 5000, and System of a Down. (Silveria later returned amid rumors of leaving the band for a fashion career, but these stemmed from some modeling work he had done before his injury.) In the meantime, Fieldy released a gangsta rap album and Davis scored the film Queen of the Damned, but at the end of 2001 the band reunited as a unit and entered the studio. A few shows with Static-X helped iron the wrinkles out of the new material, and by the next summer they had Untouchables ready for release. Korn did a run of Ozzfest dates in support, and the album was another smash hit. The self-produced Take a Look in the Mirror arrived in 2003. Billed by Korn as a reconsideration of their sound, the album was accompanied by the Back to Basics tour of smaller venues. See You on the Other Side In 2005, Welch left the band, evidently due to his newfound Christian faith. But Korn continued on, playing shows that summer as a quartet and signing an expansive recording and development deal with Virgin. The following December they released See You on the Other Side, a number three hit that featured a batch of songs co-written with hitmaking production team the Matrix. Live & Rare, an aptly titled disc of live recordings and rarities, was released in May 2006, with the live acoustic recording MTV Unplugged following in March 2007. Later that year, after returning to the studio, this time without drummer David Silveria, the band resurfaced with an underwhelming album appropriately named Untitled. The band found a permanent drummer by way of Army of Anyone's Ray Luzier. In 2010, it was announced that Korn had signed with Roadrunner Records, and later that year they released their ninth studio album, Korn III: Remember Who You Are. Looking to expand in new directions, Korn sought out electronic producers like Skrillex and Noisia, who helped them infuse their already heavy sound with pounding dubstep on their electronic-tinged tenth album, 2011's The Path of Totality. Their new sound was chronicled live the following year on Live at the Hollywood Palladium. In May 2012, Welch guested with the band on a version of "Blind" at a show in North Carolina, and exactly a year later he announced that he had officially rejoined the band. The Paradigm Shift, Welch's first album with Korn in decade, appeared in October of 2013.
This sturdy American blues-rock trio from Texas consists of Billy Gibbons (guitar), Dusty Hill (bass), and Frank Beard (drums). They were formed in 1970 in and around Houston from rival bands the Moving Sidewalks (Gibbons) and American Blues (Hill and Beard). Their first two albums reflected the strong blues roots and Texas humor of the band. Their third album (Tres Hombres) gained them national attention with the hit "La Grange," a signature riff tune to this day, based on John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen." Their success continued unabated throughout the '70s, culminating with the year-and-a-half-long Worldwide Texas Tour. Degüello Exhausted from the overwhelming workload, they took a three-year break, then switched labels and returned to form with Deguello and El Loco, both harbingers of what was to come. By their next album, Eliminator, and its worldwide smash follow-up, Afterburner, they had successfully harnessed the potential of synthesizers to their patented grungy blues groove, giving their material a more contemporary edge while retaining their patented Texas style. Now sporting long beards, golf hats, and boiler suits, they met the emerging video age head-on, reducing their "message" to simple iconography. Becoming even more popular in the long run, they moved with the times while simultaneously bucking every trend that crossed their path. As genuine roots musicians, they have few peers; Gibbons is one of America's finest blues guitarists working in the arena rock idiom -- both influenced by the originators of the form and British blues-rock guitarists like Peter Green -- while Hill and Beard provide the ultimate rhythm section support. Live from Texas One of the few rock & roll group with its original members still aboard after four decades, ZZ Top play music that is always instantly recognizable, eminently powerful, profoundly soulful, and 100% American in derivation. They have continued to support the blues through various means, perhaps most visibly when they were given a piece of wood from Muddy Waters' shack in Clarksdale, MS. The group members had it made into a guitar, dubbed the "Muddywood," then sent it out on tour to raise money for the Delta Blues Museum. ZZ Top's support and link to the blues remains as rock solid as the music they play. A concert CD and DVD, Live from Texas, recorded in Dallas in 2007 and featuring a still vital band, were both released in 2008. The Rick Rubin and Gibbons-produced La Futura, the band's 15th studio album, and the group's first new studio outing since 2003's Mescalero, appeared in 2012.
As the lead guitarist for Guns N' Roses, Slash established himself as one of hard rock's finest and most soulful soloists during the late '80s, technically adept yet always firmly grounded in the gritty Aerosmith and Stones licks he loved. Slash was born Saul Hudson on July 23, 1965, in Stoke-on-Trent, England, to artistic parents both involved in the entertainment industry; his mother was a clothing designer who worked on David Bowie's film The Man Who Fell to Earth, and his father designed album art for such artists as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. The family eventually moved to Hollywood, where Hudson attended junior high, received his first guitar, and met future GNR drummer Steven Adler. With Hudson adopting the nickname Slash, given to him by a family friend, the two formed a band called Road Crew; although it proved unsuccessful, it was the vehicle through which they met and eventually joined up with the other members of Guns N' Roses. Appetite for Destruction The Gunners debuted in June 1985, and even before Appetite for Destruction was released in 1987, the bandmembers acquired a reputation as notorious alcohol and drug abusers. As their popularity soared, the reserved Slash established himself as an important part of the band's visual image, with a top hat and a mound of shaggy black hair covering his face as he typically staggered around the stage with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. Hedonistic excess consumed most of the band, with such incidents as Slash and Duff McKagan's drunken, profane acceptance of the band's American Music Award on live television. In 1990, opening for the Rolling Stones, Axl Rose's infamous on-stage pronouncement that he would leave the band if certain members did not stop "dancing with Mr. Brownstone" (using heroin) was primarily directed at Slash and Adler; Slash kicked his habit within a year, but Adler did not and was fired. In 1992, Slash courted controversy again with a product endorsement for Black Death vodka. Later that year, he was married to actress and model Renee Sorum, a union that lasted five years. Use Your Illusion I Meanwhile, in spite of controversy and personnel turnovers, Guns N' Roses had actually continued to record music. After the Use Your Illusion sets of 1991 and the 1993 punk covers album The Spaghetti Incident?, the band went on hiatus. Slash formed a side project called Slash's Snakepit, which consisted of fellow Gunners Matt Sorum (drums) and Gilby Clarke (guitar), plus bassist Mike Inez and vocalist Eric Dover. The group released an album in 1995 titled It's Five O'Clock Somewhere; Slash hit the road with a slightly different touring lineup, with Brian Tichy and James LoMenzo signing on as the rhythm section. In 1996, Slash put together a different band to play at a blues festival in Budapest, an endeavor that evolved into Slash's Blues Ball. Featuring vocalist/harmonica player Teddy Andreadis, rhythm guitarist Bobby Schneck, saxophonist Dave McClarem, bassist Johnny Griparic, and drummer Alvino Bennet, Slash's Blues Ball devoted themselves primarily to a repertoire of classic blues covers, plus occasional GNR and Snakepit material. Rumors about the status of Guns N' Roses had been swirling for some time, and in October 1996 it was confirmed that, owing to his unwillingness to follow Axl Rose's interest in industrial and electronic music, Slash was no longer a member of the band (although he left the door open for a reunion if Rose decided to return to guitar-based rock & roll). He gigged off and on with the Blues Ball into 1998, although a rumored live album never materialized. Instead, Slash decided to re-form the Snakepit in 1999 with an entirely different lineup (the original members were by this time involved in other projects, and the Blues Ball was more suited to touring than developing original material). Raspy-voiced singer Rod Jackson and ex-Venice drummer Matt Laug came on board, along with Blues Ball bassist Griparic (now Johnny Blackout) and Teddy Andreadis, who contributed keyboard and harmonica work. After trying out ex-Alice Cooper guitarist Ryan Roxie, Slash settled on rhythm guitarist Kerry Kelly, who had previously worked with Warrant and Ratt. Ain't Life Grand The new Snakepit played some gigs together and in the spring of 2000 completed a new album, which was originally slated to be released on Interscope/Geffen. However, feeling that a more traditional guitar rock album would get lost in the promotional shuffle, Slash moved over to Koch, which finally released Ain't Life Grand in October 2000. A few years later, Slash teamed up again with McKagan, Matt Sorum, and Stone Temple Pilots lead singer Scott Weiland to form the supergroup Velvet Revolver, who released their first album in 2004. Velvet Revolver released a second album called Contraband in 2007 and fell apart not long afterward. Slash regrouped by releasing his memoir in 2007 and cutting his eponymous first solo album, drafting a bunch of friends -- including Ozzy Osbourne, Chris Cornell, Kid Rock, and Fergie -- to sing lead vocals. For the supporting tour, Slash had Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy sing lead. This union proved strong, as Kennedy was the only singer on Slash's second album, 2012's Apocalyptic Love, which hit number four in the American album charts upon release. Two years later, Slash released World on Fire, his second album with Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators; it debuted at number ten on the U.S. charts upon its September 2014 release.
Motörhead's overwhelmingly loud and fast style of heavy metal was one of the most groundbreaking styles the genre had to offer in the late '70s. Though the group's leader, Lemmy Kilminster, had his roots in the hard-rocking space rock band Hawkwind, Motörhead didn't bother with his old group's progressive tendencies, choosing to amplify the heavy biker rock elements of Hawkwind with the speed of punk rock. Motörhead wasn't punk rock -- they formed before the Sex Pistols and they loved the hell-for-leather imagery of bikers too much to conform with the safety-pinned, ripped T-shirts of punk -- but they were the first metal band to harness that energy and, in the process, they created speed metal and thrash metal. Unlike many of their contemporaries, Motörhead continued performing into the next century. Although the band changed its lineup many, many times -- Lemmy was its only consistent member -- they never changed their raging sound.
The son of a vicar, Lemmy Kilmister (born Ian Fraiser Kilmister; December 24, 1945) first began playing rock & roll in 1964, when he joined two local Blackpool, England, R&B bands, the Rainmakers and the Motown Sect. Over the course of the '60s, he played with a number of bands -- including the Rockin' Vickers, Gopal's Dream, and Opal Butterfly -- as well as briefly working as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix. In 1971, he joined the heavy prog rock band Hawkwind as a bassist. Lemmy was originally slated to stay with the band only six months, yet he stayed with the group for four years. During that time, he wrote and sang several songs with the band, including their signature song, the number three U.K. hit "Silver Machine" (1972).
Lemmy was kicked out of Hawkwind in the spring of 1975, after he spent five days in a Canadian prison for drug possession. Once he returned to England, Kilminster set about forming a new band. Originally, it was to have been called "Bastard," but he soon decided to call the band Motörhead, named after the last song he wrote for Hawkwind. Lemmy drafted in Pink Fairies guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox to round out the lineup. Motörhead made its debut supporting Greenslade in July. Two months later, the group headed into the studio to make its debut album for United Artists with producer Dave Edmunds. Motörhead and Edmunds clashed over the direction of recording, resulting in the group firing the producer and replacing him with Fritz Fryer. At the end of the year, Fox left the band and Lemmy replaced him with his friend, Philthy Animal (born Philip Taylor), an amateur musician.
Motörhead delivered its debut album to UA early in 1976, but the label rejected the album. Shortly afterward, former Blue Goose and Continuous Performance guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke joined the band. Following one rehearsal as a four-piece, Wallis left the band, leaving Motörhead as a trio; this is the lineup that would later be recalled as the group's classic period. However, the band spent most of 1976 struggling, performing without a contract or manager and generating little money. At the end of the year, they cut a single, "White Line Fever"/"Leavin' Here," for Stiff Records which wasn't released until two years later. By the summer of 1977, the group had signed a one-record contract with Chiswick Records, releasing their eponymous debut in June; it peaked at number 43 on the U.K. charts. A year later, the band signed with Bronze Records.
OverkillOverkill, Motörhead's first album for Bronze, was released in the spring of 1979. The album peaked at number 24, while its title track became the band's first Top 40 hit. Motörhead continued to gain momentum, as their concerts were selling well and Bomber, the follow-up to Overkill, reached number 12 upon its fall release. The band was doing so well that UA released the rejected album at the end of the year as On Parole. Ace of Spades, released in the fall of 1980, became a number four hit, while the single of the same name reached number 15. No Sleep 'Til HammersmithAce of Spades became Motörhead's first American album, yet the group was making little headway in the U.S., where they only registered as a cult act. Back in England, the situation could hardly have been more different. Motörhead was at the peak of its popularity in 1981, releasing a hit collaboration with the all-female group Girlschool entitled Headgirl and entering the charts at number one with their live album, No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith. Though the group was rising commercially, there was tension within the band, particularly between Clarke and Lemmy. Clarke left the band during the supporting tour for 1982's Iron Fist, reportedly angered by Kilmister's planned collaboration with Wendy O. Williams. Former Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson replaced Clarke. Another Perfect Day The new lineup released Another Perfect Day in the summer of 1983. Another Perfect Day was a disappointment, only reaching number 20 in the U.K. Robertson left two months later, being replaced by two guitarists: former Persian Risk member Phillip Campbell and Wurzel (born Michael Burston). Shortly afterward, Taylor left to join Robertson's band Operator, and was replaced by former Saxon drummer Pete Gill. This lineup released a single, "Killed by Death," in September of 1984, but shortly afterward the group left Bronze and the label filed an injunction against the band. As a result, Motörhead was prevented from releasing any recordings -- including a bizarre collaboration between Lemmy and page-three girl Samantha Fox -- for two years. Hear 'n AidMotörhead finally returned to action in 1986, first with a track on the charity compilation Hear 'n Aid and later with the Bill Laswell-produced Orgasmatron, which was released on their new label, GWR. Orgasmatron was successful with the band's still-dedicated cult audience in England and America, and received some of the group's best reviews to date. The following year, they released Rock 'N' Roll, which was equally successful. In 1988, the live No Sleep at All appeared, and Lemmy made his acting debut in the comedy Eat the Rich. Two years later, the band signed to WTG and released The Birthday Party. Taylor briefly rejoined the band in 1991, appearing on that year's 1916, before Mikkey Dee, formerly of King Diamond, took over on drums. Dee's first album with the band was 1992's March or Die, which didn't chart in the U.S. yet played to their U.K. cult following. WTG dropped the band after the album's release and the band started their own label, appropriately called Motörhead, which was distributed through ZYX. Their first album for the label was 1994's Bastards. Stone Dead Forever For the remainder of the '90s, Motörhead concentrated on touring more than recording. Outside of the band, Lemmy appeared in insurance commercials in Britain. He also acted in Hellraiser 3 and had a cameo in the porno movie John Wayne Bobbit Uncut. In 1997, the group moved to the metal-oriented indie label Receiver and released Stone Dead Forever; the live Everything Louder Than Everyone Else followed in 1999, and a year later they returned with We Are Motörhead. Hammered appeared in 2002 and was followed by 2004's Inferno. In 2005 the Sanctuary label reissued some of the band's classic albums (Overkill, Ace of Spades, and Iron Fist) in two-CD deluxe editions. A collection of all-new material, Kiss of Death, arrived in 2006, followed by Motorizer in 2008. In 2010 the band embarked on a 35th anniversary tour in support of their 20th studio album, The Wörld Is Yours, which was released under a new deal with German label UDR. After taking an enforced break in 2012 to allow Lemmy to recover from laryngitis, the band started writing for their next album. Decamping to NRG Studios in North Hollywood to work with producer Cameron Webb, they recorded Aftershock, one of their most aggressive albums in years, which was released in October 2013.
The rap-metal outfit Limp Bizkit was formed in Florida in 1994 by vocalist Fred Durst and his friend, bassist Sam Rivers. Rivers' cousin John Otto soon joined on drums, and guitarist Wes Borland completed the original foursome (later supplemented by DJ Lethal). After Korn played the Jacksonville area in 1995, bassist Fieldy got several tattoos from Durst (a tattoo artist) and the two became friends. The next time Korn were in the area, they picked up Limp Bizkit's demo tape and were so impressed that they passed it on to their producer, Ross Robinson. Thanks mostly to word-of-mouth publicity, the band was chosen to tour with House of Pain and the Deftones. The label contracts came pouring in, and after signing with Flip/Interscope, Limp Bizkit released their debut album, Three Dollar Bill Y'All. By mid-1998, Limp Bizkit had become one of the more hyped bands in the burgeoning rap-metal scene, helped as well by more touring action -- this time with Faith No More and later, Primus -- as well as an appearance on MTV's Spring Break '98 fashion show. The biggest break, however, was a spot on that summer's Family Values Tour, which greatly raised the group's profile. Significant OtherLimp Bizkit's much-anticipated second album, Significant Other, was released in June 1999, and it and the accompanying video for "Nookie" made the group superstars. Significant Other debuted at number one and had sold over four million copies by year's end, also helping push Three Dollar Bill Y'All past the platinum mark. Durst, meanwhile, was tapped for a position as a senior vice president at Interscope Records in early July. However, in the midst of this massive success, controversy dogged the band following that summer's performance at Woodstock '99. In the wake of the riots and sexual assaults that proved to be the festival's unfortunate legacy, Durst was heavily criticized for egging on the already rowdy crowd and inciting them to "break stuff." Not only was at least one mosh-pit rape reported during the group's set (in addition to numerous other injuries), but the ensuing chaos forced festival organizers to pull the plug in the middle of their show. Even though Limp Bizkit's performance took place the day before the infamous festival-closing riots, the band was raked over the coals in the media, who blamed them for touching off the spark that inflamed a potentially volatile atmosphere. Undaunted, Limp Bizkit headlined that year's Family Values Tour, with the newly controversial Durst grabbing headlines for periodic clashes with Bizkit's tourmates. Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water During the Napster flap of 2000, Durst became one of the most outspoken advocates of online music trading; that summer, Limp Bizkit embarked on a free, Napster-sponsored tour. All of this set the stage for the October release of the band's third album, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. Wes Borland left the band soon after, necessitating a long search for a replacement guitarist of comparable value; finally, after going almost three years without a new album, the band released a disappointing record, Results May Vary. Borland returned after its release, and the band issued The Unquestionable Truth, Pt. 1 in 2005, an album that was roundly ignored even if it was marginally better than its predecessor. The Bizkit then released Greatest Hitz, a 17-track career survey that included all the hits from their heyday. In 2009, the band went back into the studio to record with its original lineup. After a number a delays, the band eventually relesed their fifth studio album, Gold Cobra, in the summer of 2011.
Marilyn Manson, the self-proclaimed "Antichrist Superstar," became a mainstream antihero, much to the chagrin of conservative politicians and concerned parents. His vision of dark, arty, industrial metal pushed many of his singles -- including "The Dope Show," "The Beautiful People," and a cover of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" -- into the upper reaches of the modern rock charts during the late '90s and early 2000s.
Portrait of an American Family Born Brian Warner, Manson was raised in Canton, Ohio. At the age of 18, he relocated to Tampa Bay, Florida, where he worked as a music journalist. In 1989, he became friends with guitarist and fellow outsider Scott Mitchell; the two soon decided to form a band, with Mitchell rechristening himself Daisy Berkowitz and Warner adopting the name Marilyn Manson. With the addition of bassist Gidget Gein and keyboardist Madonna Wayne-Gacy, the group -- originally dubbed Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids -- began self-releasing cassettes and playing gigs, their gothic stage show notable for Manson's elaborate makeup and homemade special effects. Jettisoning their drum machine in favor of Sara Lee Lucas, the band's sound began taking on a harder edge, and by 1992 they were among the most popular acts in the South Florida area. In 1993, Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor came calling, offering both a contract with his Nothing Records label as well as the chance to open for NIN the following spring; Manson accepted both offers, and the group's debut LP, Portrait of an American Family, appeared during the summer of 1994. With new bassist Twiggy Ramirez replacing Gein, the group's notoriety began to soar. Most infamously, during an appearance in Salt Lake City, Manson ripped apart a copy of the Book of Mormon while on-stage. The Church of Satan's founder, Anton LaVey, also bestowed upon him the title of "Reverend." Smells Like ChildrenManson's cult following continued to swell, and the band broke into the mainstream with the release of 1995's Smells Like Children EP, propelled by their hit cover of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)." Berkowitz quit a short time later and was replaced by guitarist Zim Zum, and the revised group saw their next LP, 1996's Antichrist Superstar, debut at the number three spot on the pop album charts and sell nearly two million copies in the U.S. alone. As Manson's popularity grew, so did the furor surrounding him. His concerts were regularly picketed by civic groups, and his music was the subject of widespread attacks from right-wing and religious fronts. Mechanical Animals The glam-inspired Mechanical Animals followed in September 1998, becoming the band's first to top the charts. The resulting tour yielded a live album, Last Tour on Earth, one year later. Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) came out at the end of 2000, just barely missing the Top Ten, and the band toured to support the album during 2001. That December, Manson's version of "Tainted Love" appeared on the Not Another Teen Movie soundtrack. The Golden Age of Grotesque May 2003 saw the release of The Golden Age of Grotesque, which spent a week atop the album charts and ended up on several critics' year-end Top Ten lists. At the end of September, Manson released a greatest-hits affair titled Lest We Forget. The collection covered the highlights of Manson's career and included a new cover version of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus," whose success helped push the album to gold status in multiple countries. Eat Me, Drink Me Late in 2005, the band announced that a new album was nearly finished; however, it wasn't until 2007 that Eat Me, Drink Me was released. The record was largely written, performed, and produced by Manson and guitarist/bassist Tim Skold, who left Marilyn Manson's lineup shortly thereafter and was replaced by returning member Twiggy Ramirez. Manson and Ramirez then began writing material for the band's seventh studio album, The High End of Low, which arrived in spring 2009 and reached number four in the charts. Born Villain In 2011, during preparation for the release of the band's eighth studio album, drummer Ginger Fish announced he had left the group. Later that same year, Manson premiered a short film in support of the album titled Born Villain. The film, directed by actor Shia La Beouf, was not a music video for a specific track, but a stand-alone short. The album Born Villain, featuring the single "No Reflection," was released in 2012 and debuted inside the Top Ten. Recording began one year later for The Pale Emperor, slated for release early in 2015 on Loma Vista for the U.S. and Cooking Vinyl internationally.
One of the most successful groove metal bands of the 2010s, Five Finger Death Punch have been a staple of the Billboard charts since their formation in 2005. The Los Angeles-based outfit formed around the talents of former U.P.O. guitar player Zoltan Bathory, former W.A.S.P. guitarist Darrell Roberts, vocalist Ivan Moody (Motograter/Ghost Machine), bass player Matt Snell (Anubis Rising), and former W.A.S.P. drummer Jeremy Spencer. The underground supergroup's volatile but groove-heavy debut, Way of the Fist, was released in 2007, followed by War Is the Answer in 2009. The following year, bassist Matt Snell parted ways with Five Finger Death Punch just after they had gone into the studio to begin work on a new album, and in 2011 the band recruited Chris Kael to take over for him. Later that year, the band released its third studio album, American Capitalist. After a round of touring, Five Finger Death Punch eventually returned to the studio, where they quickly learned they had too much new material for one album. The result was The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, which were released in the summer and fall of 2013, respectively.
Following in the footsteps of the Gathering and Lacuna Coil (goth-influenced "symphonic" metal bands with female vocalists), Nightwish were formed in Kitee, Finland, in 1997 by keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen. Initially attempting to create acoustic music, he recruited trained opera vocalist Tarja Turunen, but soon added full metal band instrumentation in the persons of guitarist Emppo Vuorinen, bassist Sami Vänskä, and drummer Jukka Nevalainen. Nightwish's demos landed them a contract with the Finnish label Spinefarm, which released their debut album, Angels Fall First, in late 1997 (it appeared in the rest of Europe the following year). The follow-up, Oceanborn, appeared in late 1998 and made Nightwish a bona fide mainstream success in their homeland; the album reached the Finnish Top Five and spun off three Top Ten singles. WishmasterNightwish toured Europe heavily, consolidating their success, and in 2000 recorded their third album, Wishmaster. Not only did it top the Finnish charts, but it also became the group's first album to be released in the U.S. (by Century Media, which reissued their previous albums in 2001 as well). Released in 2002, Century Child proved a massive hit in Finland and around Europe, but 2004's Once saw them go one step further and conquer Europe. Number one in Germany and number one in the European Top 100, Once's success was the product of a band at the top of its game following years of hard work. Marco Hietala was now on bass, replacing Sami Vänskä, while in 2005 Swedish singer Anette Olzon replaced Tarja Turunen, who was fired for personal reasons. Dark Passion Play (2007) and the concept album Imaginaerum (2011) both featured Olzon before she and the band parted ways in 2012, halfway through the band's world tour. Showtime, Storytime At short notice, ex-After Forever frontwoman Floor Jansen stepped in to take over on lead vocal duties; the immense pressures on her were later revealed in the behind-the-scenes film Please Learn the Setlist in 48 Hours. Jansen's powerful voice was a perfect fit for Nightwish. She was embraced immediately by their passionate fans, and was soon made a permanent member, alongside English piper Troy Donockley. Nightwish's first commercial release with Jansen was 2013's live album Showtime, Storytime, which documented their triumphant show at that year's Wacken Open Air metal festival in front of an 85,000-strong crowd.
Considered the Godfather of Shock Rock, singer Alice Cooper came to fame in the 1970s, alarming audiences with his garish, often ghoulish stage performances. Born in Detroit, rock musician Alice Cooper formed his first band in high school and by the late 1960s had caught the attention of guitarist Frank Zappa. The group hit it big with several successful albums in the mid-1970s. Cooper went solo in 1974 and continued the success. In 2011, Cooper and his former band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. American rock singer Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier on February 4, 1948, in Detroit. The son of a pastor, Cooper moved with his family when he was 12, first to California and later to Arizona, where the Furniers lived in a trailer park. Cooper developed an early passion for music and in high school formed his first rock band. The group, first called the Earwigs and later renamed the Spiders, covered the bands—the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who—that Cooper adored. After exhausting the local bar scene, the group moved to Los Angeles, where they hoped to make it big. By this time, the band had developed an angry, up-front and dark sound, which critics initially abhorred. But with Cooper as front man, its music caught the attention of Frank Zappa, who inked the young musicians to a record deal. In 1969, the group, which had changed its name to Alice Cooper (the name comes from a witch doctor who supposedly spoke to the lead singer through a Ouija board), released its first album, Pretties for You. A follow-up album, Easy Action, came out a year later. Almost immediately, the group gained a reputation for its outrageous performances. In one famous incident, one fan threw a live chicken on to the stage. Cooper responded by picking up the bird and throwing it into the air. When it landed back in the hands of the audience the chicken was torn into pieces. But in an altered version of the story, Cooper killed the bird himself and then drank its blood. Other theatrical acts included "murdering" infant dolls, and using fake guillotines and electric chairs during performances. For his part, Cooper relished the shock that accompanied these performances. In 1973 the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí filmed the singer, who donned diamond necklaces and tiara, as he bit the head off a small replica of the Venus de Milo for a holographic work. In 1971 Warner Bros. signed Alice Cooper, the band, to a new record contract. Over the next several years the group released a succession of hits, such as Killer (1972), School's Out (1972), Billion Dollar Babies (1973) and Muscle of Love (1974). In 1974, Alice Cooper, the musician, split off from his bandmates and took the name with him. The following year he released his first solo album, Welcome to My Nightmare, which earned him continued critical praise and commercial success, as did 1976's Alice Cooper Goes to Hell. But Cooper's life was also falling apart. A worn-out and strung-out Cooper eventually ended up in a New York sanatorium, where he was housed with drug addicts and criminals. Strangely enough, this time away allowed Cooper, who became a born-again Christian and eventually discovered an obsession with golf, to recover. His music, however, didn't exactly bounce back. Two records, Special Forces (1981) and Zipper Catches Skin (1982), proved especially disappointing. But in 1989, Cooper returned to the charts with the popular album Trash. Since then, Cooper has enjoyed a range of success, both in the studio and elsewhere. His film credits include Wayne's World (1992), among others. In 2004 he launched his hugely successful syndicated radio program, Nights With Alice Cooper. In recent years he has reunited with the living members of his old band, and in 2011 the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 1981, punk rock musician Billy Idol launched his solo career with the release of Don't Stop, then formed a new band that released four successful records. Famed punk rock musician Billy Idol was born on November 30, 1955, in Middlesex, England. He joined the punk band Chelsea in 1976 and later left to form Generation X. In 1980, they had a hit U.S. single, Dancing with Myself. The following year, Idol launched his solo career in New York City with the release of Don't Stop. Afterward, he pulled together a new team that went on to release four successful records. Billy Idol was born William Albert Michael Broad on November 30, 1955, in Middlesex, England. While studying English literature at Sussex University, Broad became a member of the Bromley Contingent, a group of Sex Pistols followers that included members of the Clash and Siouxsie and the Banshees. He changed his name to Idol after a schoolteacher returned a paper proclaiming him "idle" in class. Idol teamed with lyricist and bass guitarist Tony James, and together they joined the punk band Chelsea in 1976. Idol and James subsequently left and formed Generation X—a name they took from a book about 1960s youth rock culture. Though the band never toured the United States, they did take the nation by storm in 1980 with the single "Dancing with Myself." A break-up followed their second release, Kiss Me Deadly, due to managerial problems. In 1981, Billy Idol launched his solo career in New York City with the release of Don't Stop, which included two GENX remixes and a cover of Tommy James's "Mony Mony." He then pulled together a new team, including producer Keith Forsey, ex-KISS manager Bill Aucoin and raven-haired New York guitarist Steve Stevens. The group released four successful records together: Billy Idol, Rebel Yell, Whiplash Smile and Vital Idol. Despite his legendary excessive lifestyle, Idol participated in several charity shows. He took part in Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit concert in 1988, and appeared in a charity performance of the Who's Tommy in London the following year. A motorcycle crash in February 1990 seriously damaged his leg, but he recovered quickly to release Cradle Of Love (taken from the Andrew Dice Clay movie The Adventures Of Ford Fairlaine). Idol attempted to rebrand his image with 1993's computer-driven Cyberpunk, but the recording was a commercial and critical failure. The following year, he narrowly escaped death for a second time when he suffered a drug overdose. Idol remained out of the public eye until the end of the decade, when he made a cameo appearance in the Adam Sandler comedy The Wedding Singer. In 2005, Idol released his first studio album since Cyberpunk more than a decade earlier: Devil's Playground, featuring such songs as "World Comin' Down," "Scream" and "Romeo's Waiting." The following year, the musician released Happy Holidays, including a number of traditional Christmas songs as well as a few original singles. The Very Best Of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself, career-spanning collection, followed in 2008. "Everyone should idolize themselves, shouldn't they?" Idol said with a laugh when asked about the album's title, according to his website. More recently, Idol signed up to perform at the 2013 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, alongside the likes of Paul McCartney, John Oates of Hall & Oates, Jeff Tweedy and Björk. The four-day event is held annually in Manchester, Tennessee.