Rock Scene reports:

A “scholar of metal and all that rocks!”, Eddie Trunk got his first taste of “heavy music” around the age of ten. A band called the Raspberries was playing on A.M. radio. Eddie was immediately hooked and had his parents buy him all four of their records. It was all Raspberries all the time for him until a year later. Eddie was walking home from Junior high school with a friend. As they passed the local record store, Scotty’s Records, his friend asked if he wanted to go in while he bought a record, to which his friend replied, “I’m going in to buy a record by this band called KISS.” Until this point, Eddie had never heard of KISS. He was intrigued. He asked his friend, “which one are you going to buy?” His friend said, “I’m going to buy the new one, Rock & Roll Over.” He proceeded to give Eddie a little “coaching.” He told him to buy another one since Rock & Roll Over had just come out & he wasn’t sure how “it was.” Eddie took his friend’s advice and bought Destroyer.

Eddie reminisces, “The first concert I went to was KISS Dec 16, 1977 at Madison Square Garden. I remember the guys outside selling the t-shirts and the whole scene walking in. Inside, there was this weird smell in the air. I didn’t know what it was, everyone getting high.” Eddie just turned 13 and didn’t understand the concept of amplification. “Here I was at the top level of the Garden; with 15 – 20,000 people and the band is looking this big to me, but it was loud as hell. I couldn’t understand how a bunch of guys playing guitars that far away, that small, being that loud where I was sitting. It took me a while to realize it about the power of amplification.”

Eddie tried his hand at playing drums. However, he didn’t have the patience or self-discipline, so he gave up on the idea of being a musician and began to think how he could work in the music industry to connect and help the bands he loved. In high school, Eddie was ridiculed for the music he liked. He was determined to turn people on to the music he liked and help the bands by bringing them a bigger audience. He just had to figure out how to get the message out. So, he started writing the music column in his high school newspaper. In his senior year, Drew University came to his high school, asking the students if they were interested in learning radio. Of course, Eddie applied and did his first gig DJ-ing that summer. Right out of high school, he got a job at a record store. He made a lot of connections while working there. One, being someone who had a pirate radio station in their basement. There, he made a demo and started sending it to WDHA relentlessly until they gave him a show, where he could play the music he loved. That show was one of the first radio shows in America to focus on Heavy Metal music.

In 1982, Jonny Zazula and wife Marsha founded Megaforce records to publish the first works of Metallica. Jonny also owned Rock N Roll Heaven record store. That’s where Eddie Trunk got to know Jonny Z. Eddie would go there to buy records and magazines that he couldn’t find anywhere else. In 1983, when Eddie got his first radio show on WDHA, he would buy records from Jonny and play them on his show. Before long, when Eddie went to pay for his albums, Jonny would decline taking his money. Jonny realized that he would sell more albums if Eddie would play them on his show. A friendship was formed.

Eddie was doing his show for about six-months. One day; while he was broadcasting, a knock came on the studio door. It was Jonny Z. He said that he wouldn’t leave until Eddie played a song from the new album from an up and coming band that was on his Megaforce label. Eddie knew Jonny wouldn’t leave until he got his way, so Eddie agreed to play a song. The band turned out to be Metallica and the album was Kill ‘Em All.

Jonny was grateful. He told Eddie that if he could ever afford to hire someone to really get Megaforce going, he would hire Eddie. A couple of years later, Jonny Z. called Eddie. True to his word, he offered Eddie a job. Megaforce had mostly “heavy” music on their roster. Bands such as Anthrax, Overkill, Man O War, and Raven were all selling albums and concert tickets, but were not getting air-play on any major radio stations. Eddie approached Jonny with the idea to sign a few acts that were more “radio friendly” – stuff that could get air-play and help bring the label to a new level. Eddie suggested tracking down Ace Frehley to see if he would be interested in signing with Megaforce. Eddie Kramer put together a lunch meeting with Ace, Jonny and Eddie. Ace signed with Megaforce and in 1987 released Frehley’s Comet, the first solo album Ace released after leaving KISS. Eddie continues to carry the rock n’ roll torch, and is truly an ambassador of rock.

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source: rockscene.com

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17 Responses

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  • Doug on

    So many similarities, except that is, his fame and money, 🙂 but my first concert was also KISS, “Love Gun” tour, at the old McNichols Arena in Denver, CO. Same experience, Gene Simmons actually scared me when on stage, but it was mesmerizing and cool at the same time. And when “Rock and Roll Over” came out, I traded my copy of Led Zeppelin’s “Song Remains the Same” for it with a friend. He thought I was nuts, no way!

    • Rattlehead on

      I feel the same way, Doug. My first rock album was KI$$ Destroyer and my first concert was also KI$$, “Dynasty” tour San Diego Sports Arena. My ticket was $10. The Rockets were the opening band. Seeing KI$$ for the first time, the show was so great that I didn’t want the concert to ever end. My KI$$ infatuation was in full gear. No other band ever came close to topping the love I had for that era of KI$$.

      Like Eddie, during high school I would expose as many people as I could to the bands I was really getting into. I would record lots of obscure NWOBHM stuff, like Raven and Tygers, on cassette and pass them out to my friends. My friends and I would read Sounds, Kerrang!, Metal Rendezvous magazines to find out new obscure bands to check out….and that’s how my vinyl collection began….Raven, Wikkyd Vikker, Satan, Angel Witch, A II Z, etc. I still kick myself in the ass for some of my collection I traded away…

    • Keith G on

      Rattlehead, we must be about the same age! My first concert was also KISS on the Dynasty tour, in Toledo, OH at the Sports Arena. First time I was exposed to weed smoking! I didn’t indulge, but I passed it on down the line! The concert was AWESOME, and I became a lifetime member of the KISS ARMY! My friends and I read the same metal mags that you mention, although my favorite was RIP. And I also wish I still had some of the vinyl records that I bought back in the day! I can find most of them on ITunes or some of the other download sites, but not all. And the downloads don’t give you all the extras that came with the albums.

  • T on

    Luckily, Eddie was one of the few who remained sober throughout the 80’s/90’s, so he actually remembers what happened.

  • Harold Taint on

    Anyone catch Sweet/Lynch on tour? Me neither.

    • Eddie on

      Was told yesterday George has 3 albums coming out in the same month..

    • Doug R. on

      That’ll make Dana very happy! 😉

    • Keith G on

      I am really looking forward to the new Sweet/ Lynch album coming out! ONLY TO RISE was one of my favorite albums from new bands in a long time. Would definitely love to see them live!

    • Harold Taint on

      Keith G, are you currently smoking crack? “Only to Rise” was one of your favorite albums?

    • Keith G on

      Harold, no crack being smoked here! Yes, I very much enjoyed ONLY TO RISE! Sweet’s vocals on the album are terrific, Lynch’s guitar playing is probably the best I have heard him sound since the initial Lynch Mob album, and the songwriting was very strong. What’s not to like? I just hope their no album is of the same quality, and that they do a tour that includes the Carolina’s. Would love to see a show! Again, to each their own!

    • Rattlehead on

      Keith, check out Ghost’s latest album, Meliora. I think Ghost are a great new band. Seen them 3 times, and they put on a great show production .

  • Frank T on

    I saw Alter Bridge at the Newport Music Hall this past Tuesday in Columbus, OH. The guys appeared a little fatigued from being on the road but still gave it their all and put on an incredible show. It was so awesome to see them in such a small venue. I bet there wasn’t 1000 people there. Poor Myles sang his heart out but seemed to be losing his voice towards the end. I am so happy i finally got to see them in such an intimate setting playing a full set compared to only a handful of songs at some festival.

    • Keith G on

      I’m a big fan of Alter Bridge. Very underrated band in the US, but they have a big fan base in Europe, I’ve heard. I’ve got all of their albums, and each one is terrific. I’d love to see them live, but haven’t had the chance.

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