Sunday, January 30, 2011

Page 3 Metal

(Warning: contains images of red underwear)

As Kerrang got up and running in 1981, it was only a matter of time before metal bands realised that a full colour magazine dedicated entirely to them offered up possibilities that smudgy old black and White Sounds never could. One of the first to exploit this was Judas Priest, who in Kerrang no. 10 in February 1982 appeared in a photo spread with Penthouse Pet Cheryl Rixon. You can see it below (warning: it's maybe NSFW. Unless you work for Silvio Berlusconi).

Looking at it now, it's kind of endearing that Judas Priest - an established band that had toured the world - when given the chance to indulge their sexual fantasies came up with something that could have appeared on The Benny Hill Show. I bet they even had a cup of tea afterwards.

What's interesting about it all it is that it caused a fuss. The letters pages in subsequent issues were notably full of letters complaining about the sexism of the photo spread. One reader complained that:
In one foul swoop Kerrang! has plummeted from being 'The Times' of heavy rock to being the 'Daily Star'. No wonder heavy rock is damned for being sexist if the critics see this sort of trash.
Thankfully, the editors never acted on the suggestion below from X, a "Sue Barker lookalike":
Now the way I see it, that was done solely for the pleasure of the male readers. To make it fair and give some pleasure to the female readers, you should've had Priest romping around in their undies in the final picture.
You get the feeling that the Kerrang editors, who probably cut their journalistic teeth with the strippers and dwarves at Alice Cooper and Led Zeppelin press launches in the 70s, didn't realise that this was now the 80s and things were changing.

At the same time, it was all publicity, and other bands were hardly going to let Priest get all the centre spreads. Certainly not the ambitious and well-managed Iron Maiden, and you can imagine that Rod Smallwood was on the phone to the model agency as soon as he saw the pictures. The result was the centrefold "Maiden's Maiden" that appeared in the very same issue as the letters quoted above.

There's something a bit desperate about this picture. You can imagine the model wondering to herself how it got to this. From almost making it onto the Kenny Everett Video Show to posing in red drawers while being groped by an Iron Maiden roadie wearing a rubber latex mask.

Of course, after all this excitement, Kerrang then realised that attitudes were changing and decided to grow up, stopping this malarkey and focusing on the music. Only joking. Of course they didn't. Future issues gave ample space to great talents such as Lee Aaron, Bitch and Pandora, all testing the tensile strength of elasticated fabrics.


  1. Great post!

    Haha, remember the articles well. In the Priest layout (pun unintended) at least the maid wouldn't need to worry about the manly charms of Rob.
    As for the Maiden's Maiden, well I recall clearly thinking I wish that stupid guy in the mask wasn't in the picture...ridiculous

  2. PS. The hair of that 'Eddie' can only be described as the worst kind of mullet, I bet it was itchy.

  3. That's Messrs Tipton & Downing for you.

  4. Jimmy, yup that wig looks as though it could generate an impressive amount of static eletricity. I reckon you wouldn't be able to wear it these days due to Health & Safety regulations. I reackon he looks like a cross between Joey Tempest and Zelda off of Terrahawks.

    John, Tipton & Downing sounds like a manufacturer of quality teas, you know, the ones that sells blends called Prince of Wales Earl Greay and the like. I also like the fact that Judas Priest appear to staying at a Bed & Breakfast. Or maybe that's what hotels were like in the early 80s.

  5. Thumper - It's funny, but I remember reading this issue of Kerrang! first time around and, apart from thinking that flossy was a bit of alright, I also distinctly remember thinking what swanky hotels the Priest used to stay in.

  6. That's a great point. I read the issue back in the day, and the image that stayed in my mind was that they were frolicking around on a giant bed in one of those big hotel rooms you saw in US films or Dynasty. After buying the issue on eBay, I now realise that it was so small that if they got down into any serious action they probably would have bumped into the Corby Trouser Press or knocked over the kettle.

  7. I first thought the room must be a ground floor bedroom in a B&B but upon closer inspection there is a coombed ceiling so Kerrang! perhaps it is Geoff Barton's spare room? Cheapskates.

    As for the Penthouse Pet, I think she did at least one other picture with Rob Halford for the Kerrang!

  8. "Close inspection", Jimmy, eh? Don't inspect it too close, it's bad for your eyesight. And how the devil do you know what type of ceiling Geoff Barton's spare room has?

    There was another photo; I think this was it.

    (I think that seller is being a bit optimistic with the £9.99 price tag)

  9. How did they get the motorbike upstairs? And can you imagine the poor adolescent metal fan on the vinegar strokes and his eyes inadvertently falling on Ian Hill at the point of no return? Shame Les Binks had left by then...

    Metal Hammer once published some pics of Scarborough's Little Angels with sexy nuns, i.e. nuns with their knockers out.

    Word verification: "judizer", I kid you not.

  10. Hello BA! That motorbike/stairs question is a right old thinker: I think I'll leave it to Jimmy, who seems to know the domestic arrangements at Geoff Barton's house a lot better than I do.

    Funny you should mention the Metal Hammer Little Angels pics; when I started writing the post I was planning to cover just the Priest and Maiden pics. By the time I got to the last paragraph I realised I could have talked about Lee Aaron, Cheetah, Betsy from Bitch, Pandora etc etc etc. And then of course there was Witchfinder General, whose tasteful cover to their Death Penalty album (topless model in a cemetery) got them loads of coverage in Kerrang, despite the fact that they were utter mince. Actually, that's not a bad idea for a post ...

  11. To use tabloid parlance, an insider told me there was a stair lift put in which aided frail rock stars and any Yamaha 50cc FS1E bikes which might be required to surprise Penthouse Pets.

    As for the image invoked by the Bright Ambassador of a pimply one armed bandit becoming bug-eyed at the same time as Ian Hill came (pun unintended) into view...I have never laughed so much in a long while. The idea was both horrific, unfortunate and witty all at the same time.

    Thumper - the Witchfinder album featured Mayfair Maiden (not my words) Joanne Latham as I recall. Actually I did like Witchfinder General if only for the blantant Sabbathesque B-side on their Debut single, the track being entitled Satan's Children (the song always made me think of the film Blood on Satan's Claw).

    And finally did Cheetah play any musical instruments?

  12. I don't think I've heard Mayfair Maiden - were they on Neat Records?

    I've never seen Blood on Satan's Claw - is it any good? I saw Mark Gaitiss praising it on his History of Horror documentary and the clips did look pretty good.

  13. And no, Cheetah were both singers. Aussie lasses. Blonde and Brunette. Mr H blogged about them on Godshamyipod a while back, and he posted a couple of tunes. They weren't as bad as I was expecting, but nothing to get you going for the emigration papers.

  14. Blood on Satan's Claw is a very good movie indeed, genuinely above most of its horror contemporaries.

  15. I want to see Blood on Satan's Claw too - just for the eager look on Frank Spencer's missus's face during the rape sequence. Without which no British 70s horror flick, or indeed The Joy of Sex, would have been complete. They were rape fantasy mad in them days. Aah, happy times...

  16. It is quite strange whe you're watching one of those 70s British horror films and a TV personality all of a sudden comes into view. It kind of kills the suspense when you realise that one of the vampire acrobats was a Doctor Who Assistant or that one of the members of the crowd of baying locals is Roy Kinnear.

  17. That Thur young lady is Linzi Drew is that. Responsible for my faltering eyesight.
    This is a Career high point considering she went on to marry Keith Harris-a-like scud merchant Ben Dover.