Deaf Leopard, or, how not to hear them

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Deaf Leopard, or, how not to hear them

Postby Fedaykin » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:09 pm

I'll never forget seeing, but not hearing, Deaf Leopard at the Gallaudet, University Halloween Jam in '87. That is, I'll never forget what I "saw" as I did not hear a thing, not because I am deaf, which I am not (unfortunately, because that way I would never have hear Katy Perry and car alarms), but rather because Deaf Leopard was a deaf culture tribute band to Def Leppard. I was expecting the latter, but got the former. One thing I'll say about Deaf Leopard is the drummer had two arms, and the singer looked more like Billy Elliot than Joe Elliot as "she" was an effeminate little tap-dancer with a bowlcut who was studying performance art as a hearing scholar in residence. I'd found out about the concert while on an all night bender at Georgtown the previous night, and said, "well, it's not every night you get to hear one of the biggest bands on earth for free." So the next night I went with some of the other soc. majors and went to see what we couldn't hear. They posed dramatically, waved Union Jacks, gesticulated, did everything you would expect at a Def Leppard concert, only there was no sound. I asked my friend Raoul, a Norweigian dwarf, (he was only 6'6 in height) "what's the point of all this?" And he said, "there's a lot of screaming but not enough posing in the world." But then again, Raoul would know what he was talking about, since his day job was model for a manufacturer of mannequins for a chain of big and tall menswear stores.
“My parents wanted me to be the next Van Cliburn, but I wanted to be the next Van Halen.”

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Re: Deaf Leopard, or, how not to hear them

Postby Rock » Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:24 am

Hahahaha u crack me up everytime :)

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Re: Deaf Leopard, or, how not to hear them

Postby Fedaykin » Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:15 pm

Rock wrote:Hahahaha u crack me up everytime :)

It's sad that we don't have memorable music these days. Even the bad music of yesteryear is preferable to the best music of today. Music stood out in the 80s. Player's like Jake had an undeniable style. I even knew some lameasses who though Jake was awful, that he was sloppy when he played Randy's solos, which is bs as these fools had ears of stone and couldn't tell a G string from a Brazilian bikini. I would say the epiphiny I had of how great Jake was happened when I was staying at a friend's house, a drummer, back in '89, and one of his friends, a typical Yngwie/Gilbert wannabe player was wearing an Ozzy/Jake shirt from the BATM tour and I said to him, "I can see you're an Ozzy fan" and he said "I'm a Jake fan." Then I told him I had Just seen Ozzy with Zakk at the Long Beach Arena for the NRFTW tour. I said I though Zakk overplayed and was not tasteful at all and should have just played a solo instead of talking to the audience. He agreed and talked about how tasteful Jake was, and how you never knew how awsome he was till you saw him live. Well, in the 80s it was harder to hear someone live than it is today with youtube. It took me most of '89 to track down The Ultimate Ozzy on VHS at Tower Records in Hollywood, and when I did my mom took me there to buy it. Well, when I got home that night I found out how freaking great Jake was live, and then a friend of mine showed me the BATM tour live, the one from Salt Lake City. That only further confirmed how great Jake was live. Jake became my biggest guitar influence. I even stopped using the whammy and worked on developing a style of my own. I did not learn that many of his songs, besides the ones I learned by ear. I did that consciously because I really wanted to sound like me. And I developed a style something like a cross between Jake and Lynch, without being a fraction as good as either! But I was happy and people were blown away by my playing. I played with metal bands around Hollywood at clubs and parties in the last days of the metal scene and it was a wonderful time, wouldn't trade it for the world. Then grunge came in, and no one cared about quality anymore. Ultimately I moved on to other creative endeavors, like writing and negotiating the fourth season of Los Angeles: traffic. But here's the cool part. Just about the time that Jake became my favorite guitarist, my mother had moved to Playa Del Rey. And I got to know the people who ran Blue Moon Studios on Culver Blvd, and one of them told me, in the gist of a conversation about the best guitarplayers, "Oh, you're a fan of Jake? I know him. He lives four apartments down from your mother!" I thought, holy shit, what a small world! Now, I never met Jake, but I saw his five muscle cars parked up and down Pershing Blvd., and once saw him making a u-turn. I didn't want to bug him, and understood he probably didn't want to be bugged. But I did get to know Jeff Martin, the lead singer of Racer X, who was then playing drums for a left-handed Van Halen wannabe who called himself Scott Van Zen, who rehearsed at Blue Moon Studios. Jeff thought I was a terrific guitarist, even though Van Zen thought I sucked because my guitar didn't have a whammy bar and I didn't do enough sweeps or taps. After Van Zen, Jeff started to play drums for Badlands, who were using Blue Moon for rehearsing for a couple of years. Unfortunately, I never got to see them rehearse and, as I said, never met Jake. But what I knew of him was that, besides being one of the greatest six-stringers ever, he was a very down to earth dude and did not come of rockstar like one bit, and was more interested in car-talk than guitar-talk. After living in Playa Jake either rented or owned a house off Lincoln, this confirmed by my friends from Blue Moon around '91, and Jade a couple years ago in an e-mail. It was around Lincoln and 90th, right next to a bowling alley in Westchester which is still there.
“My parents wanted me to be the next Van Cliburn, but I wanted to be the next Van Halen.”

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