Savatage Ranked: A Collaboration with 80sMetalMan

A collaborative effort with 80sMetalMan!  You can check his list of Savatage Albums – Ranked by clicking here!

12.  Fight For the Rock (1986)

It would be ridiculous for any Savatage fan to complain about keyboards, Jon Oliva’s main weapon.  However before he really started givin’ ‘er on keys with Gutter Ballet, they employed them heavily on Fight For the Rock with guest Dvoskin on the boards.  These keys over-dominate in the mix and sound tacked on and out of place.  Fight For the Rock could have been higher in the ranking if the band weren’t chasing hits by their own admission.  Nothing wrong with the ballad “Day After Day”, and there are quite a few great Sava-songs on this album.  The production tanks it, sadly.  The band would never make another album this commercial again.

11.  The Dungeons are Calling (1984)

Just a mini-album that followed Sirens.  Highlights include the ferocious title track (what a riff!) and the slower, grinding “By the Grace of the Witch”.  Some of the other songs are a bit thrashy, a bit chaotic, so it’s all a matter of taste.  I don’t think “The Whip” is particularly good but if you wanna get your head bangin’, then go for it.  One of the CD bonus tracks, “Fighting For Your Love”, later became “Crying For Love” on Fight For the Rock.  Good tune and maybe should have been on this mini-album, but also would have softened it if it was.

10.  Dead Winter Dead (1995)

I’m really really sorry about this.  I know it’s the iconic album that launched Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  I just think they had better concept albums.  Not the concept is flawed but Savatage is a band with four concept albums (or rock operas) and one of them has to come in last.  Tracks like “I Am”, “Doesn’t Matter Anyway”, and “Dead Winter Dead” don’t hold up against superior material.  There’s also an overly long intro.  “This Isn’t What We Meant” and “This Is the Time (1990)” are emotional and awesome though.  I remember being disappointed that Alex Skolnick couldn’t stick around to record another album, and I really missed his greasy metal tone.  That’s not a slight against Al Pitrelli and Chris Caffery who came in to replace him.  It was nice to have the Mountain King, Jon Oliva, back in the band after two albums “officially” out.

9. Sirens (1983)

Not a bad debut by any stretch, with a monumental monolithic title track.  “Holocaust” is pretty awesome, as is “I Believe”, a rare song about aliens.  “On the Run” ain’t bad. “Twisted Little Sister” is a skip like “The Whip”, but the album ends on a strong note with “Out On the Streets”, another early song re-recorded and polished up on Fight For the Rock.

8. Gutter Ballet (1989)

This is so hard to pick “least favourites”. It kills me to put Gutter Ballet here in this position, since the title track is probably my favourite Savatage song of all time.  “When The Crowds Are Gone” would be in the top 10.  Banger “Of Rage and War” would make the top 30 list.  All of those songs are on side one.  Side two is less memorable, though it does feature Savatage’s first foray into conceptual territory.  The final three songs, “Mentally Yours”, “Summer Rain” and “Thorazine Shuffle” form a suite about insanity.  By the next album they were ready to do a full-blown rock opera.

7. Power of the Night (1985)

Raise the fist of the metal child!  The major label debut, produced by Max Norman.  Similar in strength, speed and heaviness to Sirens and The Dungeons Are Calling, the previous two releases.  Heavier than either due to sharp, lethal production work by Norman.  Some killer songs here:  title track, “Warriors”, and “Unusual” are all top tier.  “Washed Out” could be one of the heaviest songs they ever did.  Demonstrating their diversity, it ends on a decent ballad called “In the Dream”.  Really strong album, front to back, with a variety of heavy metal styles.

6. Hall of the Mountain King (1987)

It’s hard to believe that Fight for the Rock came in between Power of the Night and Hall of the Mountain King!  The two are brother records and it sounds impossible that anything came between them.  Mountain King was the breakthrough, with that incredible music video for the wicked title track.  Now produced by Paul O’Neill, the album sounds crisp and heavy.  Nary a wasted track here, with perhaps only the thrashy “White Witch” deserving the skip button.  “Strange Wings” could be the top track, with then-Black Sabbath singer Ray Gillen on backing vocals on “Strange Wings”.  Top five Sava-tune territory.  But then there’s also “Beyond the Doors of the Dark”, very Sabbathy itself (Tony Martin era).  “The Price You Pay”, “Devastation”…what an incredible album!

5. Handful of Rain (1994)

Tragedy strikes.  Founding Savatage guitarist Criss Oliva was killed in a traffic accident.  His original snake-like style, tone, and compositional sharpness would never be heard again.  Ex-Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick came in to do the album and tour, and ex-singer Jon Oliva worked behind the scenes playing virtually everything Alex didn’t.  The band “Savatage” didn’t really play on it.  Doc Killdrums, Steve Wacholtz, was pictured on the sleeve but it was Oliva who played drums (and bass and rhythm guitar).  Lead singer Zack Stevens did an admirable job all over this album loaded with memorable songs.  Perhaps the best of the new songs was the operatic “Chance” featuring Savatage’s first foray into counterpoint vocals:  layers of different lines singing different lyrics and melodies, but all complimentary and building to an explosive climax.  Meanwhile “Taunting Cobras” and “Nothing’s Going On” covered the heavy side of things.  The closing track, “Alone You Breathe” is easily the most emotional.  It revisits parts their magnum opus Streets: A Rock Opera for added hair-raising impact.

4. Poets and Madmen (2001)

The final Savatage, and fourth conceptual album.  Zack Stevens departed and Jon Oliva sang all the lead vocals himself for the first time since Streets (1990).  By this time we were used to big Savatage counterpoint epics, and this time it’s a 10 minute track called “Morphine Child”.  What a massive, plutonium-heavy riff!  All backed by a dramatic, emotional song.  While we did miss Stevens, Oliva more than handled the complex job with a host of backing singers similar to Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  This final album is about an asylum, but it’s more complex than that.  Many great tunes:  “Commisar”, “Drive”, “I Seek Power” and “Awaken” all slay.  At least they went out on a high note.  That counterpoint is the bomb!

3. The Wake of Magellan (1997)

Don’t see the storms are forming, don’t see or heed the warning.  Third conceptual album, and probably a hair better than Poets and Madmen simply because it has both Stevens and Oliva on lead vocals.  Brilliant songs with a nautical theme.  “Turns to Me”, “Complaint in the System”, “Paragons of Innocence”, “The Hourglass”, all great songs.  Not as heavy as their trashy past but many magnitudes more brilliant.  This time the big counterpoint song is the stunning title track, and it is the pinnacle of their counterpoint experiments.  The rapid-fire lead vocals are challenging, exiting and chill-inducing.  The band themselves found it difficult to perform.  A stellar album, lyrically and musically.  Stevens really went out on a high.  He was replaced by a singer named Damond Jiniya who unfortunately never recorded with the band before they went inactive.

2. Edge of Thorns (1993)

Jon Oliva left Savatage.  A shattering loss.  But behind the scenes, he wasn’t gone.  He still wrote and played keyboards.  He just didn’t want to tour, so Savatage brought in a new lead singer named Zack Stevens.  At the time he was compared to Geoff Tate and James LaBrie, but he soon came into his own.  Oliva personally selected him and trained him.  Taking their time, Savatage honed a fantastic album called Edge of Thorns, with a cutting-edge piano-riffed title track that took the fans by storm.  Sounding like a natural followup to Gutter Ballet, the album was stacked top to bottom with great songs both soft and heavy.  The lighter side included the piano ballad “All That I Bleed”.  On the heavy side, we have an epic called “Follow Me”, a thrashy scorcher called “Lights Out” and a dark stomp called “Skraggy’s Tomb” and another called “Conversation Piece”.  Not a conceptual album, but one that ebbs and flows just like one.  Zack’s best.

1. Streets: A Rock Opera (1990)

Grown from the seed that was “When The Crowds Are Gone” from Gutter Ballet, Savatage and Paul O’Neill conceived their first rock opera.  Leaning heavily on the piano, it was a startling change.  Yet song for song and word for word, this is Savatage at their most powerful.  Delving into Christianty, addiction, and miracles, the album was a surprise trip that really captured the imagination.  It’s more than just the story of a down and out rocker named D.T. Jesus.  It’s a story about believing and forgiveness.  The whole thing culminates with “Believe”, a top five Sava-track for certain.  Most of the highlights have ballady qualities, such “A Little Too Far”, “Can You Hear Me Now”, “If I Go Away”, “Heal My Soul” and “Somewhere In Time”.  Meanwhile “Sammy and Tex” covers the thrashy side.  Many songs had to be cut so it could fit onto one CD.  “Stay” and “Desiree” were later released as bonus tracks on other releases.  Also available is “D.T. Jesus”, a slower more soulful version of “Jesus Saves”. There is also a narrated version of the album including a cut track called “Larry Elbows”.  Though the album was a bit of a flop for Savatage, and many fans expressed disappointed in the softening sound, those kinds of albums often turn out to be the special ones.  Streets certainly is.  It’s so powerful it’ll give you chills.


The Adventures of Tee Bone Man – Chapter 8: Tee Bone & Deke’s Time Travelling Adventure (By 80sMetalMan)

By 80sMetalMan


After their much needed vacations, Tee Bone Man and Superdekes returned fresh and ready for their next adventure. However, for five whole days, nothing happened which needed their skills, so they continued to kick back sipping whiskey and listen to great music. While neither of them would actually say so, they were both secretly hoping for another adventure.

Sometime in the afternoon, Superdekes answered the door bell which just happened to be the opening riffs to Rush’s “Limelight,” to a freckled boy who looked about twelve. “At least it wasn’t religious callers,” Superdekes thought to himself. Before he could ask the boy what he wanted, the boy did that for him. “I’m Tee Bone Man’s nephew, Cam. Is my uncle in?”

“Hey, Tee Bone, you have a visitor,” Superdekes called out very loudly. The whiskey might have played a part in that.

Within seconds, Tee Bone Man was at the door. “Oh yes, this is my sister’s son, Cameron or Cam for short.” As he studied his nephew, Tee-Bone Man could tell that something wasn’t right with him. “Come inside,” he ordered.

Once Cam was sat down, made comfortable, given a Twinkie and a glass of coke, Tee-Bone Man began his detective work. “I sense that there is something troubling you so out with it.”

“It’s my music teacher, Mr. Suplee,” Cam began. “He told us that heavy metal wasn’t relevant. That it’s just a genre listened to by a few misfits and weirdos. I told him about you two but he responded that it proved his point about weirdos. When I tried to argue back, he gave me a detention.”

“What for, disagreeing with him?” Tee Bone Man found himself nearly shouting in surprise. “Well, I’ll tell you what. We’re going into your school tomorrow and have a talk with this Mr. Suplee.”

True to their word, Tee Bone Man and Superdekes showed up at Wayne Gretzky Junior High School. Unchallenged, they went into the building and followed Cam’s directions to Mr. Suplee’s room. Mr. Suplee looked all the music teacher, with his bright blue suit and matching bow-tie. He was much shorter and thinner than imagined. Tee Bone Man realised that he could snap this teacher’s neck like a twig but decided to handle things more diplomatically.

“Mr. Suplee, I’m Cameron’s uncle. I’d like to talk to you about something which happened in your music class yesterday.”

The teacher looked at the pair and snarled, “What, he came to you because I said that heavy metal is irrelevant? Well, it is!”

“I’m not going to debate you about that right now, but you gave Cameron a detention for disagreeing with you.”

“No, I gave him a detention for being insolent,” Mr. Suplee spat. Then studying the pair up and down, added, “You must be Tee Bone Man and this must be Superdekes. I heard about your so-called heavy metal exploits. If I had my way, I’d go back in time and kill off all traces of that negative force you call music.”

“What, are you gonna build a time machine or something?” Tee Bone Man sneered.

“Or something,” the teacher returned. “Now, let me alone so I can teach children about proper music.”

Tee Bone Man was now wishing he could test his theory about snapping this fool’s spine. Superdekes could feel the anger building up in his friend, so he beckoned, “There is no point talking to this guy, let’s go.” With that, the two of them walked away but when they were far enough, Tee Bone Man pronounced, “What an asshole.” The teacher might not have heard it but those in the vicinity certainly did.

Thoughts about what an asshole Mr. Suplee was stayed on their minds as Tee Bone Man and Superdekes arrived back at their lair. “I need a whiskey,” Tee Bone Man decided. “I’ll make the whiskey, you go put on an album. Make it Black Sabbath, Paranoid.

With that, he headed for the kitchen. Taking out two large glasses, he filled them almost half-way with Jack Daniels. “We definitely need a strong one,” he said aloud. He filled the remainder of both glasses with water and was about to take the drinks to the living room when Superdekes came into the kitchen looking white as a ghost. “Our records and CDs, they’re all gone,” he stammered through his shock.

“What? You’re kidding!” Tee Bone Man exclaimed in amazement. Without further hesitation, he sped over to where the music collection was kept. The empty shelves confirmed what Superdekes had told him.

From behind, Superdekes questioned, “Could we have been robbed?”

“Impossible,” Tee Bone Man responded sternly, snapping his friend out of his shock. “No one can get into this lair, it’s impregnable.”

“Then what?”

Tee Bone Man scratched his head in deep thought for a moment. Superdekes watched as his friend’s expression suddenly changed. “Holy shit!” Tee Bone Man bellowed. “I think that Suplee asshole might have actually built a time machine and made good on his threat to wipe heavy metal from existence.”

“Oh God!” was all Superdekes could say.

“That can be the only answer,” Tee Bone Man affirmed and then ordered, “Get on the computer, we need to find out.”

Superdekes needed no further prompting as he went straight to the computer and switched it on. The minute it took for the computer to get up and running seemed like an hour but when it was ready, so was Superdekes.

“Do a Google search for Black Sabbath,” Tee Bone Man instructed.

The first hit on the search revealed the answer. According to Wikipedia, Black Sabbath was in the process of recording their first album when one morning, all four band members were found dead of a suspected drugs overdose. That’s what the police report said but the police probably didn’t seemed to bothered because Black Sabbath were considered a bunch of hippy druggies. “They were probably poisoned,” Superdekes indicated.

“Try Led Zeppelin next,” was Tee Bone Man’s next instruction, his anxiety levels rising sharply. Superdekes obeyed. Only this time, the Wikipedia article stated that the band was killed in a fireball explosion at Olympic Studios whilst recording their debut album. Further searches were conducted. Aerosmith was gunned down while playing at a bar in Massachusetts. Rush was killed when the brakes on their van failed causing to go off the road and down a mountain. Deep Purple were killed in a freak fire at their hotel. Alice Cooper was mysteriously shot but there was no mention of KISS. However, when Superdekes entered the real names of the members of KISS, they found that Paul Stanley was run over by a bus, Gene Simmons was killed in a car crash and Ace Frehley allegedly jumped from a 15th story window. However, there was no mention of Peter Criss. What all of the deaths had in common was that they all occurred when the band in question was making or going to make their debut albums.

Their fears had been confirmed. Mr. Suplee had gone back in time and wiped heavy metal from the existence of history. In fact, when Superdekes put heavy metal in a search engine, all that came up was a list of metals.

“We’re going have to find this time machine and go back in time and change history back,” Tee Bone Man stated once his anger was reduced enough.

As Superdekes nodded in agreement, a somewhat familiar voice called out from seemingly out of nowhere, “You won’t need a time machine.  We can help.”

Turning around, they discovered that the voice belonged to none other than Ronnie James Dio and standing there with him was Lemmy, Jeff Hanneman and John Bonham.

It took a minute or two for the heroes to focus but when they finally managed to do so, Tee Bone Man asked, “Are you all real?”

“We’re not of flesh and bone,” Dio explained. “We are spirits. We have come down from Rock and Roll Heaven to aid you.”

“What, a rock and roll heaven?” Superdekes queried in surprise.

“Yes, there is a rock heaven, “John Bonham answered. “I thought you would have guessed it. That was what that 1974 song by the Righteous Brothers was all about.”

As both were taking in this information, Lemmy carried on, “We don’t have time to talk about this now. We need to be getting on so the two of you can save rock history. Satan himself came to me and told me about this man who has travelled back in time to destroy rock history by killing off all the influential bands. You must go back in time and stop him. Now, he may not be acting alone so you must be vigilant.”

“How did Satan get into Rock and Roll Heaven?” Superdekes suddenly asked.

“He’s allowed in when the situation calls for it,” Dio answered, “And right now, the situation calls for it. As for God, he won’t get directly involved but Satan knows hat he has God’s behind the scenes positive nod.”

“And to answer your big question, we all get to make music with Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and any other dead musician you can name,” Lemmy piped in.

“I did sing a nice duet with Janis Joplin,” Dio smirked.

“And I got to play guitar with Lynyrd Skynyrd on “Freebird,” Jeff Hanneman added.

Getting back to the task, Tee Bone Man then asked, “One question, how can we go back in time without a time machine.”

Ronnie James Dio informed, “You must go to Stroud in England. There, you must seek out The Metalman. He’s the greatest rock historian of all time, he will help you. You must succeed, I’ve seen my alternative life and I ended up writing children’s songs.”

“And I ended up working in a fucking factory,” Lemmy spewed in disgust.

Jeff Hanneman suddenly reached into his pocket and pulled out a guitar pick, handing it to Tee Bone Man. “Take this,” he stated plainly. “You will know what to do with it when the time comes.”

Before another question could be asked, the four personages disappeared. As Tee Bone Man was getting over the shock of the experience asking, “Wow, did that just happen?” Superdekes was already looking up The Metalman on the computer. The search didn’t reveal his actual name, but that wasn’t important. Besides, reading his history, Superdekes could see why the Metalman would want to remain anonymous. He was born in the US, growing up in New Jersey but in 1986, was forced to flee to Britain after an attempt on his life. While it couldn’t be proven, it was certain that it was an assassination attempt. Most likely by the PMRC and quite possibly sanctioned by Tipper Gore herself.

Meanwhile, Tee Bone Man stocked up on guns, ammo, explosives and other necessities for the mission to save metal. When all was gathered and loaded, Superdekes revved up his motorcycle and Tee-Bone Man took to the air and within moments, had sped across the Atlantic and were landing on Minchinhampton Common in Gloucestershire, England.

Tee Bone Man jumped onto the back of the bike and Superdekes headed off. The ride took them through some beautiful scenery of rural Gloucestershire but what was supposed to be a five minute ride took double the time. They were twice delayed, first by the cows grazing nearby who decided to cross the road in front of them. The second time, they had to wait for a truck to pull into a lane which was never meant for a vehicle that size. At least they got to see some of the countryside. But in spite of the delays, they arrived, Superdekes parking his bike across the road from the Metalman’s house.

While the area around might have been scenic, the house was located in the middle of a council estate. Several front gardens were in a good need of a mowing and one had car parts strewn all around.  The pair noted that the Metalman’s home looked much better in comparison as they walked up to the front door.

Their knock was answered by a bald, spectacled man who looked to be in his mid-fifties and sported a greying beard. Observing the pair he stated, “You must be Tee-Bone Man and Superdekes, I’ve been expecting you.”

Tee Bone Man and Superdekes accepted the invitation to come in and followed their host into the living room. The host offered refreshments but the pair politely declined, Tee Bone Man stating the urgency of getting down to business. Once seated, Tee Bone Man inquired, “You say you were expecting us, did the spirits of Ronnie James Dio, Lemmy, Jeff Hanneman and John Bonham visit you too?”

“That’s who visited you?” The Metalman asked with slight surprise. “No, I was visited by Ronnie Van Zant, Randy Rhoads, Cliff Burton and A.J. Pero. They told me you would be coming and that I should do everything I can to help you. I too know about the someone going back in time and erasing heavy metal from music history, killing off all the founding fathers and main influences of metal. So, I will give you any assistance you need.”

“They’re killing ’em all!” Superdekes exclaimed.

“They’ve got a lot of them, but not all of them,” the Metalman affirmed. “One reason why our knowledge of metal history hasn’t been fully erased is because they didn’t get this one.  Metalman went over to a cupboard and pulled out a record album, handing it to Tee Bone Man. The album he held was Hair of the Dog by Scottish rockers, Nazareth.

“What’s so special about this album, except that it totally kicks ass?” Tee Bone Man asked.

“Ronnie Van Zant told me that when they got together up in Rock Heaven to create heavy metal, this album was used as a blueprint,” The Metalman explained. “Most people don’t realize that.”

It took several seconds for the heroes to digest this information and then Tee Bone Man asked, “Do you know where we can get a time machine?”

“Won’t need one,” The Metalman returned. He slipped out of the living room and a minute later holding a guitar. “Randy Rhoads gave me this and said that you would have the pick to use it. He said that if you hit three particular chords and hold them for exactly the right amount of seconds, you will travel to a designated time and place.”

It suddenly clicked as to why Jeff Hanneman had given them the guitar pick. They needed to use both in order to time travel.

“Let’s try it!” Tee Bone Man suggested over-enthusiastically, eager to get on with the mission.

The Metalman pulled out a sheet of paper. “This list the chords you need and length of time you need to hold it in order to time travel. Let’s save Black Sabbath first,” he suggested. Looking at the paper he dictated, “Hit chord B for exactly 7.2 seconds, G for 5.7 seconds and finally D for 2.4 seconds and that will take you to London in 1969.”

Taking the pick, Tee-Bone Man struck the chords as Superdekes looked at his stopwatch. At exactly, 7.2 seconds, Tee-Bone Man changed chords and changed again when Superdekes gave the signal. Suddenly, The Metalman’s living room disappeared and the pair found themselves standing on a city street. A red double-decker bus going past told them they were in London and judging from the Ford Cortina which followed it and two young ladies in bright yellow mini-skirts, who happened to pass by, they guessed they were in 1969. A look at the date on a newspaper in a nearby shop confirmed they were indeed the in the correct time.

If it wasn’t for the urgency of the mission, the heroes would have taken in the sights of where and when they were as they walked the few streets to Regent Sound where Black Sabbath were recording their first album. They boldly strode through the front door and went right to the receptionist behind the desk where, Tee Bone Man confidently declared, “We’re here to see Black Sabbath.”

Unimpressed by his bravado, the pretty young lady replied in a strong Cockney accent, “They’re recording at the moment. You can’t wait here, you’ll have to wait outside.”

Tee Bone Man gave a quick, “okay,” then he and Superdekes left the studio. They tried to be inconspicuous as they waited for Black Sabbath to come out. However, they had to wait several hours, till it was nearly dusk, taking it in turns to buy fish and chips and take care of other necessities. Finally, the unmistakable voice of Ozzy Osbourne preceded him and the rest of the band out of front door. Resisting the temptation to go up and greet the band whom they beheld as gods, they watched them get into a taxi and head off.

“I’ll follow the taxi by flying overhead, you get another cab and try to follow. If you lose them, I will radio the address,” Tee Bone Man commanded.

At that moment, Superdekes wished he had brought his motorcycle back in time as it took him ten minutes to find a cab. Meanwhile, Tee Bone Man flew undetected above the cab Black Sabbath was riding in as it drove through Central London. A few minutes later, when the taxi stopped and the band got out, he landed about 20 yards away. Observing the area, he noted that the street was full of shops and that they must have lived in a flat above one of them.

Just then, a figure appeared out of the darkening evening. He was holding a bag. Tee Bone Man stealthily drew closer for a better look. “I know you guys, you’re Black Sabbath,” the figure’s male voice stated.

“Um, yeah, we are, you’ve heard of us?” Ozzy mumbled.

“Oh yeah, I’ve heard of you. Hey, I go some beer and marijuana. I thought maybe we could party,” the figure said invitingly.

“Um, yeah, that would be cool.”

Inching closer, Tee Bone Man was able to get a better look at this would-be fan. There was something not right about him. It wasn’t the teacher but most likely one of his minions. Putting his radio wrist watch to his lips, he whispered into the speaker, “Superdekes, we’re on Betterton Street, get here fast.” Emerging from the shadows, he approached Black Sabbath and this would-be fan. “How do you know Black Sabbath?” Tee Bone Man challenged.

“I saw them in a pub in London,” the fan answered.

“Oh really, which one?”

“Oh, I don’t remember the name,” the fan confessed.

Turning to the band, Tee Bone Man warned, “He’s not a fan, he’s been sent here to poison you.”

“What? That’s absurd!” the fan screamed.  “Why would I want to harm Black Sabbath?”

“Because you know that their music will be a standard for many generations of fans. You’re here to stop them.”


The headlights of the approaching taxi distracted everyone who was standing in the street. The all watched the lone figure get out, throw some cash at the driver and head towards them. Tee Bone Man knew who it was right away. “Superdekes, we need your test kit.”

“Oh, this is bullshit!” cried the fan. With that he suddenly pulled a knife and lunged at Tee Bone Man. Expecting this, Tee Bone Man dodged the lunge and whipped out a lariat and before the fan could make another move, he was on the ground tied up by the rope. Both Tee Bone Man and the subdued fan were distracted by the opening of a beer can. Both strained their necks to see Superdekes putting a test stick into it and pulling it out a few seconds later. A minute later, which seemed much longer, Superdekes shook his head, “It’s poisoned.”

“Why would anyone want to poison us?” Tony Iommi suddenly questioned.

“Because you are going to be a huge influence in a new genre of music called heavy metal,” Tee Bone Man explained. “Your music is going to inspire millions.”

“Millions?” Ozzy slurred.

As Tee Bone Man nodded, Superdekes asked, “What do we do with him?”

“We’ll take him back with us. We will destroy his time travel device and keep him locked up in our lair until we save all of the rock artists. He then motioned to his friend who reached into his ruck sack which held a lot more than one would have thought possible and bulled out a bag. “There you go,” Tee Bone Man said to the band. “In this bag is a bottle of whisky, a bottle of vodka, 12 cans of beer and some extra stuff. Now go and party and make a great album. I can’t wait to hear it.”

“Neither can we,” Geezer Butler joked.

The band watched as the pair pulled up their prisoner, then Tee Bone Man struck the appropriate chords for the appropriate length of time and then suddenly all of them disappeared. They didn’t hear Ozzy remark, “Wow, did that just happen man?”

Back at their lair, Tee Bone Man and Superdekes put the captive into a small room underneath the main lair. After a search, they found the captive’s time travel device, a small coin-like object on a chain around the man’s neck. As he locked it away, Superdekes stated, “Interesting device, I would like to study it.”

“We have no time for that now, we have more bands to save,” Tee Bone Man declared. Seeing Superdeke’s puzzled look, he explained further. “Here, look at this video feed from one of our security cameras at Deke’s Palace.  The one in the record room.  See?  We’ve saved Black Sabbath and all of their albums are back in our collection but none of the others are there. It looks like we will have to save each band individually.”

“Great job saving Black Sabbath,” the Metalman congratulated as he let Tee Bone Man and Superdekes into his house. “But I’m afraid you’re right, you’re going to have to save each band one by one.”

“Is there any way we can take the motorcycle back in time with us?” Superdekes inquired.

“Oh sure, just be sitting on it when you hit the guitar chords.”

“Who should we save next?” Tee-Bone Man asked enthusiastically.

The Metalman advised, “From my calculations, it would be best to save Aerosmith next.”

“Then it’s off to save Aerosmith!”

With both heroes sitting on the bike. Tee Bone Man struck the A chord for exactly 2.3 seconds, and when Superdekes said, “change,” the E chord for 4.5 seconds and then the D chord for 0.25 seconds. With a flash, they disappeared back in time to 1969 in Massachusetts.

It only took a matter of seconds for the motorcycle to get to the White House Bar where Aerosmith would be playing that night. The bar was your typical American roadside bar. The pair thought nothing of it as Superdekes parked his motorcycle and they went inside.

“We could never get into a bar for a dollar in our time, “Tee Bone Man stated amused as they paid the cover charge and went inside. They ordered their beers and found a table near the stage. Initial observations revealed no one suspicious. However, their ears did prick up at a conversation at the next table.

“This band, Aerosmith, I hear they’re really good.”

“Oh, are you in for a surprise,” Tee Bone Man amusingly thought to himself as he and Superdekes scanned the bar-room  Nearly fifteen minutes before Aerosmith was due to go on stage, there seemed to be no one who looked as if they were about to pull out a gun and shoot up the bar. Furthermore, there was no sound from Superdeke’s small, portable metal detector.

“God, I can remember them looking so young,” Tee Bone Man whispered to himself as the band took the stage. The pair recognised the opening number straight away. It was “Make It,” which was the opening song from what was going to be their debut album. It sounded raw but good, the band’s hunger was plain to hear. However, as much as they would have loved to soak up the experience of a youthful Aerosmith, they knew they had a job to do.

Suddenly, Superdeke’s metal detector began to beep. The pair followed the signal which increased as they neared a lone figure standing at the back of the small dance floor. “He’s about to let loose on everyone!” Superdekes exclaimed as the figure, who they could now tell was male, reached inside his coat.

Tee Bone Man let out a scream, “Get down!” as reached into his shirt pocket and it one motion tossed a smoke grenade at the figure’s feet. The sound of the explosion and the billowing smoke stunned not only the potential gunman but everyone else in the bar. Women started screaming and Aerosmith stopped playing. Then, those nearby heard a loud clank as the shock forced the gunman to drop his weapon. Tee Bone Man sprung into action, leaping across the room and executing a cross body pin which would have made Shawn Michaels proud. With the would be assassin pinned, Tee Bone Man rolled him over onto his front and slapped handcuffs on him.

The bar’s bouncers arrived on the scene straight after. “What’s happening?” one of them demanded to know.

Superdekes pointed at the Uzi on the floor, “This man was going to shoot up the bar.”

The bouncer looked at the gun. “I’ve never seen a gun like that before and I’ve just come back from ‘Nam.”

“It’s a new gun, Israeli made,” Superdekes explained.

“We’ll call the police,” another bouncer stated.

“No need,” Superdekes responded pulling out a wallet displaying a badge with an ID. “We’re FBI, we’ve been after this guy for awhile.”

As Tee-Bone Man and Superdekes were about to lead their captive away, they were sidetracked by a familiar sounding voice. “Was he going to kill us?”

Turning around, they saw the voice belonged to Steve Tyler with the rest of the band standing behind him. “Yeah, but we got him first,” Tee Bone Man answered.

“Well thanks,” Steve said graciously.

“Yeah, thanks dudes,” Joe Perry chimed in.

“Hey no need to thank us,” Tee Bone Man responded humbly. Just go out and be the great band I know your are. I think you’re going to go places.” With that, the heroes took the prisoner out of the bar and getting to Superdeke’s motorcycle, went back to the future.

The next few saves weren’t as exciting, but just as crucial to history. Tee Bone Man’s lariat subdued the would be cutter of the brakes on Rush’s van. Another smoke grenade saved Alice Cooper from being shot. They caught a woman who was going to tamper with the wiring in order to start a fire at the hotel Deep Purple was staying at. “Nice idea trying to use a woman to do that,” Tee Bone Man chortled when they caught her. As for KISS, all they had to do was make sure Paul, Gene and Ace weren’t anywhere near their places of death at the time. All in all, they had major successes but there was still one band to save:  Led Zeppelin.

“I have a hunch we’re gonna need take more ammo and supplies with us,” Tee-Bone Man stated as he climbed onto the back of Superdeke’s motorcycle.

“I’m way ahead of you,” Superdekes laughed. “I’ve packed everything in here but the kitchen sink.”

After striking the appropriate chords for the appropriate length of time, the heroes found themselves cruising through the streets of Barnet in North London in the year 1968. A couple of minutes later, Superdekes was parking his motorcycle outside of Olympic Studios.

Like they did with Black Sabbath, the duo strode through the door and bluntly inquired, “Is Led Zeppelin here?”

“Who?” the young lady behind the desk inquired. “Oh, that’s that new band. They just changed their name from The New Yardbirds. Yes, they’re in the studio recording at the moment.”

“Has anyone else come in? I mean not to do with any of the artists or the studio?”

Looking perplexed, the receptionist answered, “No, why do you ask?”

Flipping out his wallet, which revealed another ID and badge, Superdekes responded, “We’re with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. We’re on assignment with Scotland Yard and we have intelligence that a bomb has been planted in the studio. We need everyone to evacuate the building.”

Seeing that the receptionist’s surprise made her momentarily freeze, Tee Bone Man went over to the opposite wall and pulled the fire alarm. The loud ringing sparked the receptionist into action. She sprang from her chair, opened the door behind her and shouted, “Fire!”

People began filing out of the building a second later. They took little notice of the two men waving them through the door. The faces of the people were unfamiliar to until the last of the stragglers went past. It took all the discipline they could muster to resist the temptation of going up and talking to Led Zeppelin. It helped that as he walked past, they heard Jimmy Page moan, “I had just perfected that guitar solo.”

Once the building was clear, Superdekes took out his bomb detection kit and started the search. They weren’t surprised that the ground floor office revealed nothing. As they were ready to head to the studio room where Led Zeppelin was recording, a nagging feeling came over Tee Bone Man. “Hold up,” he ordered taking his laser gun out of the holster and setting it to ‘stun.’

The door opened with a loud bang and a huge flash of light stunning both heroes, which allowed three minions to rush through the door. Unfortunately for them, they rushed in too fast ant the flash momentarily distracted them as well. Tee Bone Man quickly recovered and fired his laser at one of them. It was a direct hit and the target  went down immediately. Then in true Western fashion, he quickly let off another shot with the same result on the second target. Meanwhile, Superdekes recovered and took out the third minion with a tranquilliser dart to the neck.

However, more minions came rushing through the door with guns blazing.  Tee Bone Man and Superdekes were forced to take cover behind a desk. They realized they were pinned down as the hail of bullets kept flying overhead. Tee Bone Man reached into his shirt pocket and took out a trusty smoke grenade. Hurling it hook shot style over the desk, it landed right in front of the shooters. The puff of smoke and loud noise gave the heroes the distraction they needed. Superdekes pressed a button on one of his many gadgets and from seemingly out of nowhere, a net appeared above four minions and came down enveloping them. At the same time, Tee Bone Man continued his wild west antics shooting two with his laser and subduing a third with his lariat. With all the minions incapacitated, Superdekes said with a great degree of urgency, “We have to find that bomb.”

“Not so fast,” chided a new voice. “You have to go through me now.”

The man standing before them was none other than the metal hating music teacher, Mr. Suplee. “We will stop you and save heavy metal,” Tee Bone Man barked defiantly.

“That’s what you think,” Mr. Suplee responded with a sinister laugh.

The teacher held out what looked like a book and with a flash of light, which momentarily blinded the heroes, the book started blasting out the most UN-rock music in rapid succession, pounding the pair’s eardrums. Although they covered their ears, it could drown out the cacophony of trendy pop music from the decades. Music from Duran Duran, Donny Osmond, Madonna and the Spice Girls, plus many more was beating them down. Either their heads were going to explode or they would be driven to the brink of insanity.

Then all of a sudden, they heard a loud pop and after what sounded like a crash, the pulverising music suddenly stopped. Looking up, they saw the Metalman holding a odd looking pistol with a wide barrel. “Quickly,” The Metalman commanded, “I managed to disarm him with a blast of rock salt but you need to finish the job. Take your guitar and strike the chords A,C,D,C in that order, holding each note for 4.3 seconds. That will render his device powerless.”

Tee-Bone Man grabbed his guitar and began striking the chords. At the same time, Mr. Suplee picked up his device and tried to re-activate it but another rock salt blast from the Metalman’s pistol disarmed him once again. With each chord Tee-Bone Man struck, the device’s power lessened and after the final C chord, became totally powerless. With his trusty gadgets, Superdekes produced another net which came down and trapped their foe.

“But how did you know, Metalman?” Tee-Bone Man asked.

“After you saved Alice Cooper, Jimi Hendrix, Bon Scott and Malcolm Young appeared to me and said that the ringleader would be here and have this powerful device. It was given to him by Jimmy Swaggart who told him it was God’s plan for him to wipe out rock music. They told me how to stop him.”

As Tee Bone Man and Superdekes was taking all this in, the Metalman walked over to where the now powerless device lay on the floor and picked it up. Handing it to Tee Bone Man, they all saw that it was now merely a Bible.

“What, you’re the Metalman?” Mr. Suplee asked shocked. “Jimmy Swaggart swore he had you killed.

“He tried, or should I say his assassins did,” the Metalman returned. “But they missed and I fled to another country and all this time I thought it was Tipper Gore who ordered the hit.”

“Swaggart had her blessing,” Mr. Suplee informed.

“I found the bomb,” Superdekes interrupted.

Tee Bone Man followed Superdekes as he concentrated on his tracking device. It only took a minute for him to find the bomb underneath the mixing table where Led Zeppelin was recording. Fortunately, the device wasn’t too complicated and Superdekes was able to disarm it straight away.

When Tee Bone Man stuck his head out of the front door of the studio to say, “All clear,” the police on the scene were the first to enter. Many a police officer’s jaw nearly hit the floor when the saw the bullet holes and broken glass and furniture as well as the subdued bombers.

Superdekes once again flashed his badge, announcing, “Royal Canadian Mounted Police, we’re here in cooperation with Scotland Yard. We’re here for this man,” pointing to Mr. Suplee, “But you can have the others.”

Dumbfounded, the sergeant merely nodded. Taking their prisoner with them. Tee Bone Man, Superdekes and the Metalman stepped outside to a thunderous applause. A few of the younger women ran over to them and gave each of them hugs. When that was done, the three went over to Led Zeppelin and asked, “Can we have your autographs?”

“What, our autographs? We’re just recording our first album,” Robert Plant wondered.

“Oh, I think your group is going to be big one day, maybe even legends,” Tee Bone Man quipped.

“Hey why not? I mean, they just saved our lives,” John Paul Jones added.

Each member of the band signed autographs for the three heroes. When they got to Superdeke’s motorcycle, the Metalman informed them, “I’m afraid this is where we part ways.”

“So it is,” Tee Bone Man agreed. “Thanks for your help, I don’t know how much more of that torture we could have withstood.”

“No problem, after all, you have just saved rock history,” the Metalman told them.

With that, they all shook hands and the Metalman disappeared. Then Tee Bone Man and Superdekes, with their prisoner, returned to their time and place.

As they entered their lair, they spied two shadows lurking inside and drew their weapons as a precaution. “Hey, put down your guns, we’re here to congratulate you,” a somewhat familiar sounding voice stated.

The pair knew Satan’s voice straight away from their previous adventures. It was confirmed when Superdekes flicked the lights on and standing with Satan was none other than Elvis.

“We’ll take your prisoner and his minions from your cells,” Satan said with authority.

“What do you have in mind for them?” Tee Bone Man queried.

“We’re taking them to Rock Heaven,” Satan responded.” What better punishment for these people than to spend eternity listening to the very music they tried to destroy.”

“Serves them right,” Tee Bone Man smirked.

“I still can’t believe they let you into Rock Heaven,” Superdekes stated in an amused tone.

“Oh, we allow Satan to come in when he’s needed,” Elvis explained. “And every third weekend of the month for a jam.  God almost never visits himself but once in awhile, Jesus and Mohammed stop in every now and then to jam with us. I’ll tell you one thing, both of them are fed up with humankind twisting their teachings in order to denounce music.”

“We better get these guys to Rock Heaven,” Satan said with a sense of urgency.

“Yeah, you’re right.” Turning to the two heroes, Elvis said his famous, “Thank you very much. By the way, there is a special reward for you guys by your music equipment.” With that, Satan and Elvis disappeared with their prisoners.

When they were gone, Tee Bone Man and Superdekes rushed over to where their music equipment was and what they saw totally astounded them. On the table were dozens of MP3s and a note which read, “For your ears only.” Accompanying each MP3 was a track listing which featured songs from just about every deceased singer or musician possible. One MP3 alone had just about every singer singing a duet with The King. Tee Bone Man especially wanted to hear Elvis singing with Lemmy. There was the Ronnie James Dio/Janis Joplin duet but Ronnie also got his friends from the Sabbath/Purple/Rainbow tree and formed a band. It had Cozy Powell on drums, Jimmy Bain on bass, Jon Lord on keyboards and for the guitar, they got Criss Oliva of Savatage fame.

There were further combinations like Jill Janus, Jeff Hanneman, Cliff Burton and Razzle and another one with Mike Howe, Randy Rhoads, Cliff Burton and AJ Pero. Like with Elvis, a lot of people got Jimi Hendrix to play guitar on their songs but Jimi got with Phil Lynott and recorded some cool songs as well.

The combinations were limitless, and as they put the first MP3 on and poured themselves some whiskeys, they knew they had some great music to enjoy for a very long time.



The Writer’s Room: The Adventures of Tee Bone Man will return after these messages….

August 20, 2022. The Writer’s Room.

“OK guys!” I said as I put my coffee down on the table. “What do we have coming up for Tee Bone Man?”

Harrison officially began the meeting. “I believe you are next with your Deke-centric story, correct Mr. LeBrain?”

“That’s right,” I answered. “That will go up next week. That’s a very special one.  For reasons we will see.”

Harrison smiled.  He understood what was in store for Superdekes.

The 80s Metal Man spoke next, the newest member at the writer’s table.   “And if I am correct, after your Deke story, I will go next month with my time travel tale.”

“Wahoo!” shouted Aaron.

“And after time travel,” answered Harrison, “I have my next story lined up. It is pretty epic and involves a lot of song references and a little bit of foreshadowing.”

“Awesome sauce,” I responded.

Snowman piped in next. “I have an idea for a space-based adventure.”

“Wahoo!” shouted Aaron.

“That sounds great, Snowman. Will there be an even bigger Gene Simmons box set in this one? 10,000 discs of outtakes this time?”

Snowman laughed, but declined to answer the question. “You’ll just have to wait and see. But since you all think I look like Richard Dreyfuss, it might be fun to do a Close Encounters homage with Tee Bone Man and Superdekes.”

Harrison spoke up. “I’m very much looking forward to doing the Lego art on that one, Snowman. Please keep me posted so I can get started on it as soon as possible.”

“Wahoo!” shouted Aaron.

“Hey Harrison,” I said. “How is it going with the Lego art anyway?”

“Very well thank you,” responded the mustachioed Australian metal madman. “But as you can see, it’s not simple artwork by any means. I’d like a month between story chapters in order to perfect the artwork for each.”

The writers at the table all nodded their heads in agreement.

“Wahoo!” shouted Aaron.

“How about you, Aaron?” I queried. “Got anything cooking for Tee Bone Man?”

“Wahoo! I mean, no, not at the moment but I am sure I can come up with another one,” answered Aaron.

“Give ‘er!” I responded, throwing one of his favourite sayings at him. “You’re always welcome to contribute. It would be fun if you included yourself in your next story. We all have.” The table nodded in agreement again.

“OK, so let me get this all straight, just to make sure we’re all on the same page.” I was very excited for how well this was all going, with this creative bunch of writers.  “I’m next with my Deke chapter. Then Metal Man is on deck. Harrison goes after Metal Man. That’s the next two to three months of content right there. We are in good shape, I think.”

“I agree,” said Harrison. “And having read Metal Man’s chapter already, I think it’s good enough to break the multiverse.”

Metal Man smiled at the compliment. “Thank you,” he said. “I might have to write a sequel, I had so much story to fit in there.”

“You’re more than welcome to write a sequel,” I responded. “I’d also like to get some fresh blood in the writer’s room, see if anyone else has a good story to contribute.”

Breaking the fourth wall, Snowman spoke, to you the reader! “That’s right. Whoever is out there reading this right now, if you think you have what it takes, leave a comment below. There are lot of people that know Tee Bone and Superdekes, who could probably do a great job.”

A shudder came over Harrison. “But keep in mind, I can only do art for one per month.”

“And none of us want you to rush it,” I said. “But keep in mind the whole idea was for this to be a community effort.”

“COMMUNITY!” shouted Aaron.

The table nodded in agreement again. I sipped my coffee and continued. “I understand your concerns, and obviously we don’t want things to get bogged down too much.” Like Snowman, I then broke the fourth wall and spoke directly to the readers. “We just all want you, the reader, to understand we want inclusivity. Maybe Lana can come up with a story. Who knows, maybe even Deke will have an idea. I just want people to know this is for all of us.”

I stood and walked around the table to address all the writers.

“You guys are all killing it. We already have some amazing chapters written and it’s only getting better. I want you guys to know how much I appreciate you jumping on this idea with me…” I noticed Aaron had his hand up to ask a question. “Yeah, Aaron? What’s up.”

“I can’t help but notice you’re not wearing pants,” he said flatly.

I looked down and saw he was right.

“Didn’t you get the memo from Tee Bone? It’s time to tell the world – Fuck Pants!”


Chapter One: A Friend in Need (by LeBrain)

Chapter Two: Hell Freezes Over (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Three: Hell Ain’t A Bad Place to Be (by LeBrain)

Chapter Four: Tee Bone Man and the Rink of…Doom? (by Aaron KMA)

Chapter Five: The Super Duper Vault (by John Snow)

Chapter Six: Tee Bone Man Goes to Camp (by LeBrain)
COMING SOON: Chapter Seven!

The Adventures of Tee Bone Man and Superdekes – The Story So Far

On this Canada Day, please enjoy reading the exploits of Canada’s greatest superheroes: Tee Bone Man and Superdekes!

This series of fun, clever and witty rock and roll adventures is written by a collective of creators, and you can join too!  But first, catch up on what has happened so far and what is to come.



Chapter One:  A Friend in Need (by LeBrain)

As a caravan of Southern Ontario rockers travel north through Thunder Bay, they encounter a terror like none they have ever seen before.  Far from home and out of their element, a “meaty man” and “brainiac” find themselves at the mercy of a legendary beast.  Only with the sudden arrival of two mysterious superheroes do they even stand a chance of survival!

Chapter Two:  Hell Freezes Over (by Harrison Kopp)

Devastating earthquakes threaten all humankind.  Seemingly originating from the continent of Australia, Tee Bone Man makes his way south to investigate.  Teaming up with a young “Man with the Moustache”, they soon realize the only way to stop the earthquakes and save the planet is to eradicate them right from their source — hell!  But how to get there?  Perhaps El Moustachio can help!

Chapter Three:  Hell Ain’t A Bad Place to Be (by LeBrain)

Continuing from chapter two, Tee Bone Man and El Moustachio enlist the aid of Superdekes as they battle the armies of hell!  With action scenes straight out of Tolkien, our trio of heroes must defeat orcs, demons, dragons and far worse to stop the earthquakes.  When the Man with the Moustache discovers a secret doorway, they meet the evil entity responsible.  His goals will shock you!

Chapter Four:  Tee Bone Man and the Rink of…Doom?  (by Aaron KMA)

In their strangest adventure yet, Tee Bone Man and Superdekes encounter a new foe unlike any they have dealt with before.  Is it real, or just fantasy?  Decide for yourself as Tee Bone Man wields a hockey stick instead of a guitar and tries to catch a rat!

Chapter Five:  The Super Duper Vault  (by John Snow)

This chapter takes us back on the highway to hell and its evil ruler, the great Satan himself!  Never satisfied, the terrible red one now covets something truly unique.  Sending new minions dubbed the Knights in Satan’s Service to Earth, they seek the one known as the Snowman!  For he possesses the only copy of the Super Duper Vault, featuring 666 CDs of Gene Simmons outtakes.  Satan wants it and will stop at nothing.  Sounds like a call to Tee Bone Man and Superdekes is in order!

COMING SOON!  What will happen to our heroes next?

Chapter Six:  Tee Bone Man Goes to Camp (by LeBrain)

Well overdue for a vacation, Tee Bone Man treks to camp.  But all is not as it should be.

Chapter Seven (by 80sMetalMan)

Chapter Eight (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Nine (by LeBrain)

Stay tuned for the adventure is only beginning!