VHS Archives #66: King’s X and the Dogman – Full band interview! (1994)

Join King’s X in the MuchMusic studios with Power 30 host Teresa Roncon!  All three members – Doug Pinnick, Ty Tabor, and Jerry Gaskill – sat for this live interview on the Dogman tour.

Lots of interesting subject matter is discussed.  Doug Pinnick had 4000 CDs in his collection in 1994 — I have just managed to catch up with him! Hear about influences, religion, and their hardcore following.



Part 198 / REVIEW: Promos II (King’s X – “Pillow” CD single)


In Part 117, we talked about promo CDs:  How to identify them, what they were, what they’re worth.  A short while ago, Statham and I were having a conversation about promo discs.  The conversation began in regards to one of my treasured rarities, a King’s X promo CD for their 1994 single, “Pillow”, from the Dogman CD.

Even though eBay (supposedly) have strict policies against selling promo discs, I just found one as I was writing this, identical to mine, on sale for $46.99 USD.  It even says “Promo Copy – Not For Sale” in clear writing on the back cover, in the eBay photo!  Somebody at eBay is asleep at the wheel.

I got mine for free, a decade ago!

This one found its way into our warehouse, probably via a liquidation.  The warehouse manager knew we couldn’t sell it, not with that big inscription on the back, so he gave it to me, knowing I was a huge fan.  As I explained to Statham:

LeBrain:  We weren’t legally allowed to sell promos, at least ones that were obviously identifiable as promos, in the store.  We’d been caught once when one hit the shelves .Even if I bought this CD from you for $5, I technically couldn’t sell it in store.  We could have asked $20 for it easily, because of the unreleased tracks.  Those weren’t on anything else.

Statham:  So even on the dark days, the ones you HATED about being there, there were then moments like your getting this CD that made it OK again!

LeBrain:  Yes! Although I had to keep them secret…Our warehouse manager would slide them my way, on the condition that I don’t tell. Don’t know what they would have done with them otherwise, besides throw them out.  That would have been a shame.  [I think the statute of limitations has expired on my promise not to tell!]  We paid money for these promos though, we got nothing for free.  Everything we sold was purchased from somebody else, be it a wholesaler or an individual.

Statham:  Right, but all of that is pre-killed by the writing all over the promos prohibiting their sale. So there never was a [legal] leg to stand on, with those.  But nobody ever reads those warnings anymore. The Interpol warning at the start of a DVD? Just something else to skip. Part of the scenery. Surely we can ignore that, right?

LeBrain:  Yeah exactly.  Every other store in town had promos on their shelves too.  And they weren’t as discerning as we were, they’d sell anything.  [But] you’re right, we didn’t have a leg to stand on.   I guess in the long run it meant that I could get stuff like this for free.

Statham:  Even as recently as last year, I bought a promo single from there [LeBrain’s old workplace]. So apparently things still slip through the cracks!

LeBrain:  I’m sure they do.  After all, it was over 10 years ago that we received a warning about selling promos.  I don’t know who tattled on us, but it always struck me as unfair.  We PAID for those promos.  We got NOTHING for free!  And I would never buy or sell a promo in the store that didn’t have something worthwhile on it, like bonus tracks of some kind.  It had to have some kind of value.

And so it goes.  I have a lot of promo discs from those days, stuff that you technically couldn’t buy in stores, stuff that guys at record shows routinely ask $20 for.  eBay prices?  Double that.  Some of them are worthless, one track promo singles with no cover and no real value.  Others have exclusive live tracks, like this King’s X single we’re about to discuss.


KING’S X  – “Pillow” (promotional CD single, 1994 WEA)

“Pillow” was released as a single in mid-1994, and promptly went nowhere.  That’s too bad, as it’s a great song, heavy and slow, fitting right in with the grunge movement that was still dominating the charts.  King’s X trademark harmony vocals by Ty Tabor can be heard during the chorus, under Doug Pinnick’s soulful lead.  Doug’s 8-string bass chimes while drummer Jerry Gaskill sets the groove.  This track, one of the standouts from the Dogman album, simply crushes.

The two B-sides are live, recorded in Dallas on May 8, 1994.  “Shoes” is another great Dogman track.  What is especially cool is how great King’s X harmonies sound live!  This track proves they have the goods, but the Texas crowd is more than happy to take over the vocal chores.  They clearly knew the new songs backwards and forwards.

The second B-side is the complex “We Were Born To Be Loved” from the landmark Faith Hope Love album.  “I like a crowd that makes a lot of noise,” says Doug, before the band tear into the intricate rhythms and harmonies involved with this rocker.   It’s another Doug lead vocal, with Ty and Jerry on the harmonies.  Knowing how great King’s X are, I’m sure this truly is live — no backing tapes or overdubs.

There’s not much in the way of artwork; just a sticker on the front of the case and a pretty plain white back cover.  Stickers don’t age too well, as the gooey sticky stuff starts to seep through the paper.  Plus if you crack that front cover, you’re screwed.

Since this single was released, both these recordings have seen the light of day on an album, called Live & Live Some More, from 2007.   While that sort of destroys the collector’s value for a single such as this, it doesn’t change the fact that these songs are awesome!

5/5 stars

Next time on Record Store Tales…

Hooray for Stock Transfer Day!

GUEST SHOT: 30 Albums that Uncle Meat Thinks You Should Visit (Or Re-Visit) Part 1

By Meat

Music fans love lists.  Maybe it’s the Ten Best Bass Lines of the 1990’s or a list of the songs you wish you lost your virginity to.  I have always been a lists guy as the whole Sausagefest Top 100 thing would attest to.  So here is yet another list.  The albums listed below are not my favorite albums of all time, even though many of my favorites are included.  The point of this list is to possibly introduce to, or maybe even remind, this blog’s readers of 30 albums that I think need to be heard.  Maybe an album that in my opinion was under-appreciated.  Perhaps even an album that inspired me in some way.   Anyways, here are 30 albums that Uncle Meat wants you to visit … or re-visit.  They are in alphabetical by album title.  Enjoy


I could have easily listed several other Orange Goblin albums here, but their latest album is an absolutely killer album.  Almost fusing some Black Crowes into their brand of Metal, these British stoner-rockers put out maybe the best Metal album of 2012.  And considering that there are only 3 albums on this whole list that were released before the year 2000, it feels good to actually get some new content in here.  The album ends with the title track, which almost plays out like its own Rock N’ Roll Western.   The band finally tours Canada for the first time coming up in spring of 2013.  As the late Billy Red Lyons used to say, “Don’t ya dare miss it!”



Death Angel’s first two albums are pretty sloppy, sound-wise and in song structure.  Some very heavy moments, but at times it just sounds annoying.   On their third release, Max Norman (Megadeth) got his hands on them and it resulted in a polished sound and the best album of their career.  Gone were the high-pitched shrieks of singer Mark Osegueda that littered their first two records.  It really does seem that the band simply matured.  One of the best Metal albums of the 90’s indeed.  Definitely among the most progressive metal albums I can think of.  A must-have album for every true Metal fan.



It is fair to say that Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy would never have the musical identity they have, if it wasn’t for Wishbone Ash.   Innovators in twin- lead guitar harmonization, this band never really got its due.  Interestingly enough, the sound engineer on this record is none other than Martin Birch.  Coincidence?  Meat thinks not.  I remember this album sitting in front of my Dad’s stereo for years when I was very young, and then seeing Star Wars and thinking that Darth Vader looked a lot like the guy on the cover of Argus. Check this album out and discover a part of where it all came from.   When you listen to the beginning of the song-clip included here, “Throw Down the Sword, think “To Live is to Die” by Metallica.  Sounds like Lars and the boys were paying attention as well.



Think The Beatles meets The Clash.  The first two songs on this album are both stellar pop moments.  The melodies are McArtney-esque, and that is truly saying something.  “Pulling Mussels From a Shell” is pure song-writing genius“Another Nail in my Heart” is one of my favorite songs of all time.  Check out the incredible guitar solo in this song.  Funny enough, like the 2 previous albums listed, this was the band’s third album.  Maybe a trend is happening here.



For Joe Jackson’s 8th release, he decided to go all out. An original studio album, recorded live in front of a New York City audience who were told to be silent throughout.  Capturing the excitement and spontaneity of a live performance, in which absolutely no post-recording mixing or overdubbing was done, this record is ambitious as it sounds.  It is all here.  You get Jazz, Pop, Punk and everything in between.  Jackson possesses one of the classic all-time voices.  When this double-album was released, it contained three sides of music, leaving the fourth side blank.  A landmark recording.



This album came in at Number 30 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Albums of All-Time chart, the highest placing for any female artist.  So why is this album on this list?  Honestly because I still believe this album is truly under-appreciated.  Too many people do not realize how great this album is.  Simply, some of the best lyrics of all time are here.  If this album was any more personal it would contain a video of Joni Mitchell going to the bathroom.  Listen to this front to back when you want to feel like someone understands your pain.   A truly cathartic experience, when she played this album originally to Kris Kristofferson he was reported to respond, “Joni… You really should keep some of that to yourself”.  I am glad she didn’t take heed of his advice.


DOGMAN  –  KING’S X (1994)

It seems as soon as Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam/STP/Black Crowes) got his hands on King’s X, the band’s sound fattened up.  Thick, lush and pounding would be a good overall description of the sound on this album.  The songs are great too.  I saw King’s X at the legendary El Mocambo in Toronto and was standing literally beside Dimebag Darrell and the rest of Pantera.   While I love almost every song on this album, the title track is an absolute killer.  When the first Woodstock concert in 25 years began, it was King’s X who took the stage to kick it all off.  Check out this live performance from the old Jon Stewart show from back in the day and crank it.  One of my favorite youtube videos ever.



This might be my favorite jazz album of all time.  Duke was 63 and Trane was 36 when this album was recorded.  With a running time of 35:05 this album is short and oh so very sweet.  Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” starts this album off and it never lets up.   “Big Nick” is just a wonderfully happy shuffle.  True story: I once got so fed up with Metal that I became a Jazzatarian for a few months, listening to nothing but old school Jazz.  I started with John Coltrane and went from there.  I never did find a jazz artist after him that I enjoy more.



Simply put, this album is easily in my Top 3 albums of all time, of any genre.  True storytelling at its finest, El Corazon is a complete masterpiece.  It seems that sobriety allowed Steve Earle to realize how great of a songwriter he really is and on this album he branches out and removes any constraints of style.   Of all the 30 records included on this list, this is the one I am not asking you to check out, but I am TELLING you to check out.  Comparing the laid-back intensity of “Christmas in Washington” to the sheer power of “Here I Am” truly makes you appreciate the diversity of this record.   Steve Earle is THE man.  A lifetime Bro-mance going on here.



Quite possibly the greatest jazz fusion record ever recorded. This record is a funk buffet.  Only 4 songs and all of them are great.  The YouTube clip here of “Watermelon Man” is the shortest song on the album, and is as original as it is velvety-smooth.  I find it hard not to do some sort of jig when this I hear this song.  “Chameleon”, “Sly” and “Vein Melter” complete one of the most influential jazz albums of all time.  Half of this album made 2012’s SausageFest countdown.  I suspect the other half will not be far behind.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

REVIEW: King’s X – Dogman (1994)


Complete studio albums (and more!), part 7


KING’S X – Dogman (1994 Atlantic)

I remember getting this for Christmas of 1994.  “Blown away” about sums it up.

Is Dogman their best album?  No, but it sure was a shock to my system when I first heard it.  Back in the 1990’s, I skipped the previous (self-titled) album and picked this up based solely on the strength of the killer first single “Dogman”. I could not believe the song — groovy, basic, heavy, angry but loaded with soul and melody. Just like King’s X in general, but “Dogman” upped the heavy and downplayed some of King’s X whimsy.

When I got the album Dogman, one thing surprised me — not one song was sung by Ty Tabor! Except for the bridge on “Dogman”, all lead vocals were handled by Doug Pinnick. This was disappointing to me as I like bands with two lead singers. I never heard why Ty doesn’t sing on it, but I adjusted.  Truthfully every song on Dogman is a winner, and are suited to Doug’s vocals.  In hindsight, it fits the direction.

I mean, this band is so freakin’ talented!  From the sheer unique sound of this band, mixing progressive rock with heavy metal and soul, mixed with the Beatles and so much more…you can’t see enough good things about King’s X.  I love Doug’s bass, I think he’s playing 8 or 12 string in spots.  But what makes this band unique is Doug’s voice.  Nobody else has that.

Doug’s lyrics are quite obtuse (I don’t know what “Tide, underside my pillow, willow, whoa-oh, thundering” means) but the way he sings it sure sounds like he has something to get off his chest. “Passionate” might be one way to describe these songs.  At the same time there are slower songs like “Flies and Blue Skies” that I won’t call a ballad, but have that ballady vibe.

Highlights: The title track, “Shoes”, “Cigarettes”, “Pillow”, “Pretend”, “Fool You”, “Go To Hell”, “Complain”, and…hell.  All the rest.

I really like “Cigarettes”…it’s just mournful.  “Shoes” is more upbeat and grooving, although still with dark undertones.  Really, the whole album has darker undertones than previous King’s X releases.  And that’s just fine.  It was 1994.  What are you gonna do?

Lowlights: None. There are no weak songs.  Maybe just the live version of “Manic Depression” (Hendrix).  I liked that they tacked on a live cover at the end of the album, it’s just not my favourite Hendrix tune by a good margin.

Notably, this is King’s X first album without Sam Taylor producing.  It was crushingly produced for the 1990’s by Brendan O’Brien.

4.9999~/5 stars

Part 1 – Out of the Silent Planet (1988)
Part 2 – Gretchen Goes to Nebraska (1989)
Part 3 – Kings of the Absurd (split bootleg with Faith No More)
Part 4 – Faith Hope Love by King’s X (1990)
Part 5 – “Junior’s Gone Wild” (from 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey soundtrack)
Part 6 – King’s X (1992)