Bob Ruggiero of the Houston Press reports:

There were more than a few curious looks over their cheeseburgers and quesadillas for the office workers and businesspeople having lunch at Houston’s House of Blues one afternoon last week. Meanwhile, technicians uncoiled cables connected to sound equipment and a laptop computer at a table on the small stage in front of the dining area.

In front of the laptop – and trying to navigate a pesky sound problem that would thankfully be solved before his live radio broadcast started 15 minutes later – was Trunk Nation host Eddie Trunk. Said program is broadcast daily to tens of thousands of listeners across North America on SiriusXM’s all-music/talk Volume channel (Ch. 106).

If you don’t know Eddie Trunk, think of him as the Headbanging Walter Cronkite — he most trusted name in hard rock and heavy metal journalism, without the mustache. And a busy one as well.

In addition to hosting Trunk Nation, he has another music show on Sirius, a syndicated weekly show on terrestrial radio, and a podcast. He’s also an author (two volumes of music guides and a memoir on the way); TV host; and a frequent emcee on rock and metal boat cruises, festivals, and private events.

It’s that last job that brought him back to Houston, where he also hosted a private party and concert at the House of Blues later that night featuring Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Stephen Pearcy (Ratt), Robert Mason (Warrant), some members of the band Slaughter and former Eagle Don Felder.

But first came the first of two live broadcasts from the HOB dining room, where it was easy to tell who had come to see Trunk and his famous guests Snider (hands-down the most engaging and hilarious), Pearcy and Mason.

Or was it?

“There’s five or six people that came up to me after the show that in [a] million years by how they look you wouldn’t think were fans of this music. But it stays with you for life, and they are passionate about defending it,” Trunk says from a side booth after the two-hour broadcast ends.

“Hard rock and heavy metal have always been marginalized and looked down upon,” he continues. “I remember when I was in school, I was made fun of for liking it. I was not invited to the parties, and I was an outcast. But it’s way more popular than it’s been given credit for. I rally against the stereotypes that are into the music, and I even have a new bumper on my radio show that says, ‘No long hair, no piercings, no tattoos…but he still rocks.’”

Trunk’s return to Houston – like his previous visits over the past few years – has been via local promoter John Escamilla of Jetspeed Productions. He first booked Trunk to do two talks a few years back that were far more successful than either man had anticipated. “John has become a friend because he’s brought me here, and we keep in touch,” Trunk notes. A later show where Trunk hosted the Houston debut of hard-rock supergroup The Winery Dogs was also successful…

…He is for now focusing on two…TV projects: a one-on-one interview show, and an upcoming travel/music series in which he goes to music festivals around the country…

…Trunk has always been supportive of two particular bands from the Lone Star State, especially one from Houston. “I have a personal connection to King’s X. I was working for Megaforce Records when they were signed and I remember like yesterday their demo coming into the office. They never sold what they should have, and they are criminally overlooked and under appreciated on a global scale.”

And then for an act a little farther north from Arlington. “Pantera was extremely influential, but they also sold millions of records,” he says. “What doesn’t get talked about enough about that band is that when you looked at the early and mid-’90s, they were it. It was brutal to make it as a metal band in that era, but they were defiantly metal in that time. They carried the flag for metal.”

Listeners to Trunk’s shows know that there are two topics sure to get his blood boiling. One is the seeming exclusion of hard-rock and heavy-metal acts from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So if he were given a magic inductee card, which band would he present it to?

“Judas Priest,” he says, after thinking for a few seconds. “I know that lots of people push back and say ‘Iron Maiden,’ and I think they should be in too, but Judas Priest has been doing it longer and Maiden used to open for Priest. To me, after Black Sabbath, Judas Priest is the most important band in metal history.”

Read more at the Houston Press.


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Hope everyone takes a moment to wish Dana Rosen a happy birthday today. Dana has handled the music news on this site since it started, and has been a huge help in doing so. Happy birthday Dana! Also happy birthday to my son Raymond who is 10 today! Headed off to a bowling party now!

This Friday on my daily show on SiriusXM Volume 106 Alice Cooper will join me for a live Town Hall with a studio audience. This will air live inside my show Friday at 3P ET. The show is live daily 2-4P ET, replays 9-11P ET.

New podcast posting this Thursday is the recent interviews with Stephen Pearcy, Robert Mason and Dee Snider from HOB in Houston last week. Free and Itunes.

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Guitarist K.K. Downing recently reconnected with his former Judas Priest bandmate, and drummer, Les Binks for the first time in nearly four decades.

Downing posted video message posted to his official YouTube channel (see video below). He said (as per, “Something really, really cool that happened is I actually managed to, again, after thirty-seven years, hook up with my good friend Les Binks — a fantastic drummer. You all know Les, I’m sure, playing on all those great albums back in the ’70s and doing those great tours.

“It was great,” he continued. “Les managed to work his way up there to British north and we went out for a few pints of Guinness, of course — what else? Les obviously comes from Ireland, so he’s got Guinness in his veins as well as music. And we had a great night. And I’m really grateful to Les for making the journey up. We had lots and lots of good stories to tell each other. And who knows — one day we might disclose some of those neat things that happened to us on those tours in the early ’70s. I guess the highlight was probably when we got to fly over to play a couple of shows with LED ZEPPELIN at the Oakland Coliseum back in [July 1977]. But, unfortunately — myself and Les, we were talking — that particular era was kind of before all of the technology, so there’s not too much footage, unfortunately, with Les in the band. But I believe that there is some things out there. So check it out.”

Downing added, “Les — one of the greatest drummers in the world and a good friend and a great guy.”

Binks played drums on the Judas Priest classic albums Stained Class, Hell Bent For Leather (released as Killing Machine in the United Kingdom) and Unleashed In The East.

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Singer Dee Snider was a guest on Eddie’s SiriusXM show, Trunk Nation, on August 17th. Excerpts from the interview appear below (as transcribed by

Discussing why Twisted Sister decided to call it quits last year after their fortieth-anniversary tour:

“Basically, the level of intensity that I performed at with Twisted Sister, I had to stop while I could still deliver that before I could no longer deliver that. The headbanging, the thrashing, all that energy… Where Alice [Cooper] always seemed like a crotchety old dude, and he’s crawling around the stage, that works great for a 72-year-old dude now. But what I did does not work for a 62-year-old. I mean, it’s just too f–king hard to stay in the shape. Just to keep that going just got harder and harder. I said, ‘I wanna stop while people are still smiling and not looking at me saying, ‘Oh, remember when he was good?’

Everything I’m doing now, there’s no more headbanging involved. My neck just about had it. And with Twisted, I had to stop headbanging…At least I could say, ‘Hey, I’m doing some new things, I’m trying some new things, and I’m not… I’m not in Twisted Sister. I’m Dee Snider now.’ And people seem to be cool with it…”

Talking about how Twisted Sister’s reunion after the 9/11 tragedy was partly inspired by another legendary band that he saw a couple of years earlier:

“…before Twisted Sister reunited, I saw UFO, so that was, like, 2000, 1999 when Michael Schenker was with them. And I was like a freakin’ kid — I was fighting my way to the front; I felt like I was in high school again. They looked great, they played great. And I even followed them. I said [to my wife], ‘We’re gonna go to the next town to see ’em.’ And she said, ‘What are you, f–king sixteen?’ I had to go see the next show, because they made me… So when Twisted reunited, I said, ‘That’s how I want people to feel.’ I don’t want them to look up there and go,’ Damn! We’ve gotten old.'”

He added, “”I love the guys in Twisted — we’re still friends and we ended on a great note. And I love those guys and the legacy. And with the release of [the] We Are Twisted F***ing Sister! [documentary about the band’s early years], where people got to know the road, how hard we fought for where we got, I just felt it was a good time to end it.”

Dee Snider’ds solo album, We Are The Ones, was released last October through Red River Records.

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Great trip to Houston last week that included 2 live broadcasts from the House Of Blues, hosting a private event with Don Felder, Robert Mason, Vince Neil, Stephen Pearcy and Dee Snider, and hosting Pearcy & Bulletboys at Tumbleweeds on Friday night. I want to thank everyone who came out to the broadcasts, the HOB, John and staff at Tumbleweeds, John Escamilla, Jeff Blando, and mostly all the great fans I met and who came to the remote radio show. One more airing of the show with Dee, Pearcy and Robert today 8-10P ET on SiriusXM 106.

I’ll be back live in 106 Volume tomorrow 2-4P ET with my guest Jerry Cantrell. Also live tomorrow 5-8P ET on channel 39.

Many have asked me about the news of the Vinnie Vincent appearance announced for Atlanta in February. I know nothing more than what you guys have read. I have for years tried to track Vinnie down and interview him. I’m still trying and now that he is doing this maybe he will come on. Many fans seem skeptical if he is really doing this signing. Again, I have no info beyond what is posted. But if he does an interview we will learn more no doubt. Would be great if this is a sign that this talented musician is going to be active again..

Latest podcast up now and free worldwide with Joe Elliot and Rex Brown as guests. or Itunes.

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On August 17th, Ratt frontman and solo artist, Stephen Pearcy, was a guest on Eddie’s SiriusXM, Trunk Nation. Excerpts from the interview appear below (transcribed by

When asked how the chemistry has been in the reunited Ratt since the band’s relaunch almost a year ago? Pearcy replied, It’s good. It’s getting your feet wet. It’s the same bicycle; you just learn to ride it again. We’re having a good time. It’s just trying to do the right shows to re-establish the footing. So we [stopped playing live] — Sturgis [in South Dakota] was our last show — and we’re gearing up for the next year. We want some time to do it — to do it properly. We’re talking about [making] a [new] record. We’ll see what happens. It’s been many years [since we released something new]…. We’re regrouping and preparing for next year, which is gonna take time, because, like I said, there’s a record we’re talking about. And we’ll see what happens. But we have to regroup and prepare for the next assault.”

On making full length albums, Pearcy stated, “…I have my own record label for a reason. I just love making records. A record, whether people buy it or not, it’s still this story. Otherwise, we can whip out singles all day long. Warren and I have been writing, so we can do it all day, every day. But a record and a concept is, to me, still important.”

Pearcy also confirmed that Croucier will be heavily involved in the writing process for the band’s next album, marking the bassist’s first appearance since 1990’s Detonator. And although the singer was reasonably happy with how Infestation turned out, Stephen said that “with Juan back in the mix writing and stuff, the next record will be quite a lot different.”

Joining Pearcy, Croucier and DeMartini in RATT’s current lineup are former Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo, and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, who previously played with Y&T, White Lion and Megadeth, among others.

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