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IN THE BEGINNING... Black 'n Blue formed in the fall of 1981. This marked the transition of my move from drummer to lead vocalist. Before B'N B, Tommy Thayer and I were in a band called Movie Star, Julian Raymond bass & lead vocals, Tommy Thayer lead guitar, Virgil Ripper guitar, Pete Horne keyboards, Jaime St. James drums & vocals.

The band played original music along with cover tunes, performing at local clubs in Portland Oregon. These were fun days, but the band began to get a little light for me and Tommy's heavier tastes. Movie Star evolved into a band called Loved By Millions and that's when Patrick Young entered the picture playing bass. Julian went to the lead singer position.

One beer buzzed night at a club called Wreck of the Hesperus, I got up on stage and did a front man, lead vocalist thing for a few songs with some damn house band I can't even remember and I think it dawned on Tommy that this is what I should be doing. Tommy and I had a talk and agreed that we needed to form a band that would kick Portland in the ass. Little did we know that we would have to leave Portland in the long run because we would end up way too far ahead of the pack.


I found Pete Holmes for our drummer, (we ran against each other at high school track meets) I bet I can still beat him! So B'N B was born, Jaime, Tommy, Patrick, Pete, and V. Ripper. We started writing songs and working up old AC/DC tunes and great rock n roll covers to play out live. We were pretty good and we had a blast. Our bar bill was huge, so we didn't make much money but it was one of the best times for us. Yes we drank, yes we got laid, and yes we cut our rock 'n roll teeth.

After about a year V. Ripper got scared. He wanted to quit the band because he thought we were too heavy to get good paying gigs. In a way he was right, but he couldn't see the big picture. I begged him not to leave but he went………enter Jef "woop" Warner. Jef came from Patrick and Steve Young's (our light man and great friend) end of town. I didn't like his playing when he auditioned but Tommy insisted on giving him a chance. Needless to say he worked out. So Black 'n Blue was ready.

We did our first demo in Portland. Songs were Give 'em the Old 1,2,3 and Rules (were made to be broken) along with the Def Lepard cover tune, Let It Go. It kind of sucked but we had big hearts. We did more demos and one ended up on Metal Blades "Metal Massacre" the song was "Chains Around Heaven"

It was time to get this band to L.A. where we knew we would have a chance. We would drive down and meet with people in the business and we got our first break from Dee Dee who worked at the whisky. She booked us at the Troub and the Whisky. We played in the L.A. area during 1982 and 1983. Our biggest break came when we met our first manager "Garo Tashjian" who made it possible for us to stay in L.A. and for us to be professional.

In 1983 we were signed to Geffen Records and it all began. I hope this was interesting to those who might give a shit. At least you heard it from the horses mouth, and anyway, if you don't care then why are you still here for the end…

Black'n Blue 1983-84...


In 1983 BNB was playing around Los Angeles and packing out clubs like the Troubadour, Roxy, Whiskey, and The Country Club. These were great times and the strip was rockin' like it probably never will again. Anyone who was there will tell you. Our manager “Garo” paid for a demo that we recorded with Don Dokken as producer. Don brought in Michael Wagener from Germany and we did 5 songs.” Hold on to 18” being one of them. The labels in LA were about to go metal crazy due to the success of Def Lepard, Quiet Riot, and Motley Crue. Don gave the demo to John Koladner at Geffen. We had several labels making offers but after a showcase gig at the troub. We decided to go with Geffen. This made us the third LA “metal” band to be signed out of the 80's behind Motley and Q.R.

After a failed attempt at recording in LA with a producer and engineer who were not known for their heavy rock recordings, we set our sights on Germany . We asked for and got Dieter Dirks of Scorpions fame. He definitely understood the sound we wanted. Although we sounded a little stiff at times, the record kicked ass. It was the BNB self titled LP that most BNB fans swear by. Autoblast, Hold on to 18, Wicked Bitch, and School of Hard Knocks, still stand up today as great hard rock/heavy metal tunes.

The record was released in 84 and we soon found ourselves out on the road with Aerosmith, on the Back in the Saddle Tour. This was our first big tour and we had a blast. We all loved Aerosmith and almost couldn't believe we were there. I think our 2 nd show was the Phoenix coliseum and at the end of our set (over the P.A.) I invited the whole crowd over to our hotel to party. Thousands showed up filling the entire parking lot and all over the street. It got a little out of hand to say the least. Some dude ended up getting stabbed so the cops came and told us we had to leave town. Yes they did escort us. The usual touring stories happened, sex, alcohol, drugs, but music was always more important than anything else and that's probably what saved us from getting too out of control.

In the end it was a time in my life that I will always remember and always be proud of. See ya in 1985 next.

"HELL YEAH" - The All-NEW Black N Blue CD

It's been two long years and still waiting. First off it's a slow go with Z-records to say the least. What I mean is, receiving the money to get this thing done. Also on our end, Jef "woop" Warner is re-locating his studio, so all I can say is WHAT A FUCKING MESS! What we have done so far is great shit but patience is needed at this point. Jef is a great engineer and he and I have written some classic B'N B music. Patrick has some very cool bass lines on the record and we hope to have Pete Holmes kick some ass as well. (So far I played all the drums.) Our replacement for Tommy is Shawn Sunninshine who fits in great. My priorities are with Warrant now but I will finish this record for B'N B. and it will not disappoint. Let me give you a few song titles to wet your appetite:

and more to come……

So hang in there you hard core B'N B fans. You've only waited 17 years for a new studio recording, and I'm not sure if we can make it worth the wait but were giving it one "HELL YEAH" of a shot. I'll keep you posted!

The Saint



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