Chronicling the History of Queensryche's Original Lineup
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October 13, 2020
Queensryche Spotlighted in New Northwest Metal Guide
By Brian Heaton
Queensryche fans have a lot to look forward to in Rusted Metal: A Guide To Heavy Metal and Hard Rock Music In The Pacific Northwest (1970-1995). Due later this fall from NW Metalworx Music, the book features a new, candid interview with Kim Harris, the band's first manager, who reveals startling new details about Queensryche's formation and early history.
Harris, who was interviewed by authors James R. Beach and Brian L. Naron, discusses how he and his then-wife, Diana Harris, pitched EMI to sign the band, touring challenges, the over budget recording sessions of The Warning, the battles they had with the label during the Rage for Order era and much more.
For example, when recalling Queensryche's stint opening for Iron Maiden at Radio City Music Hall in 1985, Harris revealed that singer Bruce Dickinson appeared intimidated at the vocal range of Geoff Tate.
“Bruce was knocked out,” Harris said. “He was actually pissed when he saw the band play. He was standing on the side of the stage with me, and he had daggers in his eyes when he heard Geoff hit those high notes. … [I]t scared him that Geoff could hit them so easily. This guy was killing his voice every night and Geoff was just singing away.”
The Queensryche section of Rusted Metal spans approximately 27 pages, featuring rarely seen photos and promotional items. Naron narrates a brief history of the group and provides recollections from Queensryche's almost 40-year recording career.
Getting the facts right about the band's story was difficult, however. Naron explained that the challenge with Queensryche's story has always been a lack of official details from the group.
“They have always seemed like a band that has kept many stories uncirculated,” Naron said of Queensryche. “Their fan club did an okay job of documenting dates and places prior to the internet, but so much research had to be done to confirm many points of reference. My memories and those of other fans sometimes do not sync up and we have had to cross check, verify with documentation and even get some, 'that sounds about right' consensus, to establish our claims and facts."
Naron, who is one of the premier collectors of Queensryche memorabilia worldwide, donated numerous images of the band and swag from their career to Rusted Metal. Among his favorite images in the book are a pair of telexes (for those that don't remember, a telex is a teletype machine that could transmit messages over phone lines) from Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, congratulating Queensryche for signing to EMI Records and wanting to produce the band's first album. Those telexes are straight from Naron's private collection.
Overall, Rusted Metal gives readers an A-to-Z inside look at the bands that spawned from the region over two decades. Joining Beach and Naron in contributing to the book are James D. Sutton and James Tolin, who help flesh out the material. Written in an encyclopedic format, Rusted Metal contains bands' lineups, histories, discographies, tour information, pictures, and new interviews with many of the groups. Every hard rock act, from high profile bands such as Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, to underground acts such as Widow, all are covered in extensive detail over the book's 902 pages.
“For years, James [Beach] and I have talked about how great it would be to write a book about the hard rock and metal scene in the Pacific Northwest,” Naron said. “We have a rich history of innovators, characters, great bands and unforgettable songs and we wanted to tell the rest of the world about them." For more information on Rusted Metal and to pre-order the book, visit nwmetalworxmusic.com.