This was a band I truly loved. Coming out the Sam Taylor shop along with early King's X and Galactic Cowboys these guys managed to create some truly grooving soulful and heavily harmonied Rock that just grabbed you from the nuts and yanked hard.
I only had one chance to see them live at the Hollywood House of Blues opening a show with Ronnie James Dio. That was a very very strange night, after watching AO's opening set I had planned to go outside since I wasn't much into early 90's Dio - on the way out I actually ran into Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, only I didn't recognize him - he recognized me.
During the early 90's we had both been members of the Black Rock Coalition in LA, attempting the scratch, kick and knock down the barriers that had been erected between black people and the music they invented - Rock N Roll. We chatted briefly, mostly about old times and I told Tom I'd seen what was probably the last performance by his pre-RATM band Lock Up at Club Lingere and sked why they didn't do what I thought was their best song "Peace Maker." We parted just as the Dio set was about to begin.
Seconds after saying "Bye" to Tom I walked out the front of the H.o.B. and ran into Jonathan - one of the guitarists from Atomic Opera - who absolutely FLIPPED OUT as I mentioned that I'd just run into Tom Morello inside. HE HAD TO MEET TOM!!! So I led him back in and toward where I'd last seen Tom as he headed toward the stage for DIO - we searched through the increasing Mosh for at least 40 minutes, but it simply wasn't to be. Tom was lost in the DIO Love and was probably deep in the middle of the crowd, never to be seen again until the end of the second encore.
I've been immune to the "Fanboy" bugbite ever since I had an odd and strange encounter with Neal Schon (Santana, Journey, Bad English) at the Rainbow in the mid 90's. But Jonathon Being an enormous Morello fan didn't give up. I never knew if he found him or not, but years later I told this story to Ronnie James Dio when I had a chance to meet him at a Birthday celebration for Jeff Pilson's (1st) wife. I told him that if I'd known then that Jeff was in his band I would have probably been somewhere deep in the mosh right next to Tom.
Ronnie, being sharp as a tack, noted wryly "So, you really weren't that much into my music?" - which actually I *was*, but more the early stuff when he was still working with Vivian Cambell and had recorded "The Mob Rules" with Sabbath. So naturally bein g the quick wit and fast on my feet thinker that I am I managed to stammer "Uh, ummm.. well..." awkwardly until my wife came by to rescue me by saying that she'd loved Dio ever since his very first U.S. Tour with Elf in the 70's.
Ronnie was impressed with that and said a very heartful "Thank you."
Not that this story relates to this song in any way other than to to point out that fandom is a strange and powerful thing, and I'll always think of that and this night whenever I hear something by Atomic Opera.