BILL THE RAGER
MMROC Correspondent Bill (The Rager) Lander
Born in Rochester NY, raised in the suburb of Penfield, also lived in Keansburg NJ in the late 80's and Tampa FL from 1993 till 2003. Began my metal journey as a small child in the late 60's/early 70's thanks to my father, music has always been a part of my life. Really got hooked when I purchased my first record Kiss Alive in 1975, from there it was onward and upward in scope of screaming guitars and soaring vocals. Bands like Starz, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Van Halen, Judas Priest and the Scorpions were the soundtrack to my youth and forever etched into my DNA. I met fellow rager and MMROC Five Star Metal General Jon The Vernomatic Verno in 1978 on the first day of 6th grade when he noticed I had an Ace Frehley folder, been friends ever since.... My first couple of concerts weren't my choice, Elvis in 1976 and Roy Clark and Buck Owens in 1977. One thing I did enjoy was the power of music in a live setting. I tried to talk my mother into letting my brother T and I see many shows in the
late 70's but she wasn't having it. Finally saw my first real concert on January 24 1980, Max Webster and Rush, from there on out I was going to as many concerts as my meager means would allow. The 1980's were a special time, forged lifelong friendships with fellow music lovers and lived the rise and ultimate reign of heavy metal at its finest moment. I started singing in the late 80's and was in my first band, NFY (NO Frills Youth) with Teddy Patterson, bassist for Human Remains and Burnt by The Sun. From there I was in several bands Swollen and Path's of Possession with guitarist Richard Brunell (R.I.P). Been the singer for Order Of The Dead since its inception in 2008.
Why I'm a metal head for life-
Heavy metal is in my soul! It was never a phase; it has always been my passion....my true love.
Top Metal Memories-
All the cool metal heads I've met over the years and friendships that developed with people from all over the world. One concert memory I have is Metallica opening for Ozzy in 1986 at the Rochester War Memorial, the show was general admission and the floor was filled with thousands of ragers, from the moment Metallica hit the stage it was total bedlam! Several giant circle pits opened up, bodies, shoes, clothing and various items were flying through the air, it was hard to concentrate on watching the band with all this mayhem unfolding in front of us, but I did my best to watch the band, the crowd and bang my head, what a show!
Another great time was touring with Cannibal Corpse in 1993 on the Tomb of The Mutilated tour as their drum roadie but also as their driver. They rented an RV and I did the majority of the driving between gigs but Jack Owen did some driving and their sound guy Johnson drove a truck with all their gear and merch as well. About 3/4 of the way through the tour the RV transmission blew and that was it for that thing, but man did we have some fun! For the rest of the tour wrst week on the bus and one day we suddenly come screeching to a halt on the side of a busy highway, everyone's like, what the?! Then the driver comes flying into our lounge area and proceeds to flip the F out on us, yelling that the music we were playing was making him nuts and giving him flashbacks of Viet Nam (specifically Manowar-Shell Shock) and that there was going to be big problems if we didn't stop playing this garbage, oh boy! So, he quietly resumed driving and we didn't play any more tunes that day, no more Manowar in the front lounge, only in the back. We did end the tour well with him but we were mindful of our actions and music content for the remainder of the tour.
What I love about MMROC-
First and foremost I love that Jon Verno got this thing going, it's what he's wanted to do for a very long time and he went for it and it's a tremendous success! The contributors, Southern Cal, Metal Walt, Marshall Rifflord, The Cranker and myself all come from a similar geographic location but we all have our different take on the scene. I really love the interviews, especially with some of the behind-the-scenes guys with their great stories and little-known facts. I dig the History of Heavy Metal series, chock full of great info and a lot of that covers my favorite era of heavy metal. My favorite part of all of this is the Vernomatic spinning tunes on Monday evenings, he covers all the bases but I love most when he plays something we both discovered together or had a mutual love for as kids, brings back great memories!
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