Local bands pound out power metal
compilation for a good cause
Charity and heavy metal are not what you'd call a
But that's the irreverent charm of Come on Feel
the Metal, a two-CD compilation of 35 local
bands covering metal-rock hits of the '70s and
'80s. Net proceeds from sales of the album -
released Tuesday by Dallas' Crystal Clear Sound -
benefit the American Cancer Society.
Local acts have banded together on compilation
CDs ranging from KDGE-FM's popular Tales
From the Edge series to such Denton-produced
collections as 1994's Welcome to Hell's Lobby
and the recent Grease tribute, Sandy Does Dallas.
But Come on Feel the Metal is the local music
scene's most ambitious compilation, snaring
contributions from major-label graduates (Tripping
Daisy, the Toadies, Hagfish, Deep Blue
Something), revered veterans (Andy Timmons and
the Pawn Kings, Little Jack Melody) and
up-and-comers (Buck Jones, Grand Street
The renditions range from faithful to far-flung:
Hagfish rampages through AC/DC's Dirty Deeds
(Done Dirt Cheap); Fort Worth's Cowboys and
Indians do a country-swing version of metal maniac
Ted Nugent's Cat Scratch Fever; Denton
pop-polka act Brave Combo offers a schmaltzy
take on Foreigner's Double Vision; and Caulk
deconstructs Journey's Any Way You Want It into
But Come on Feel the Metal is more than a
kitschy keepsake. The performances may be
lighthearted, but the participants took the cause
seriously. In the liner notes, more than half of the
bands and technical personnel dedicated their
tracks to loved ones stricken by cancer.
"Everyone knows at least one person that's died
from cancer or had it and lived through it," says
compilation creator of Hagfish, whose father died
of cancer six years ago. "Everyone can relate."
Cancer runs in the family for production
coordinator Sherri Gesin, who recruited many of
the bands that perform on the collection. Her
mother has survived breast cancer. She shyly
admits to being the curvaceous model on the CD
cover - a voluntary gesture that became an offbeat
"My doctor thought I had breast cancer," she says.
"At that time I was 29. What they thought was
cancer wound up being stress-related. But I've had
to change my lifestyle in some ways. It may not be
a serious record, but the cause is serious."
All bands donated their performances. Studio time
valued at more than $25,000 was donated by
Crystal Clear Sound, Dallas Sound Lab, Big
Green, Nomad and Last Beat. Song royalties must
still be paid to the composers, but the rate is less
than 7 cents per song, says production coordinator
The double-CD is selling for a relatively
inexpensive $14.99 at stores including Blockbuster
Music and Borders. The initial pressing is 2,000
copies. Manufacturing costs run approximately $5
per disc, with additional costs for promotional
materials and other elements. Executive producer
Sam Paulos says he hopes to contribute about $5
per CD to the American Cancer Society.
That's an impressive take, says John Carlin,
spokesman and founder of the New York-based
Red Hot Organization, which has released 12
compilation CDs designed to fund AIDS research,
including 1990's Red Hot + Blue, a tribute to Cole
Porter featuring, among others, Sinead O'Connor
and U2. The latest one is Silencio=Muerte: Red
Hot + Latin, which teams Laurie Anderson and
David Byrne with such Latin rock acts as Cafe
Tacuba and Aterciopelados.
Benefit CDs are important socially as well as
financially, Mr. Carlin says.
"Anybody that uses their celebrity to promote
something more than the sale of commodities is
great," he says.
Besides, the amount of money contributed is not
the only issue, says Ruth Nixon, development
director of the American Cancer Society in Dallas.
"Anything is always helpful - even a single $5
contribution is meaningful," she says. "But it's the
promotion that's valuable. We try to reach
everyone, but usually we reach the white-collar,
upper-middle class, not young rock 'n' roll people.
So this is very much an opportunity for us."
Feel the Metal benefit performances will be staged
Thursday (Centro-matic, Buck Jones, Slow
Roosevelt, Pervis, Mess), May 15 (Stinkbug,
Caulk, Cresta, Little Jack Melody, Quickserv
Johnny) and May 29 (Jive, Pump 'N Ethyl,
Voyeurs, Blender, Wasteland, Andy Timmons,
UFOFU, Cowboys and Indians) at Trees, 2709
Elm St. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $5.
Call (214) 748-5009.
By Teresa Gubbins / The Dallas Morning News