1983 NO REST FOR THE WICKED
This is my favorite Helix CD, mostly written in Canadian bars as we toured the country from coast to coast. The song/album No Rest for the Wicked (written years before Ozzie’s CD/album by that name came out ) was written in Thunder Bay on the tail end of a Canadian western tour. Here’s where some of the other tunes were penned:
Heavy Metal Love-The Queens Hotel in Seaforth, Ontario. (burned down in 2015)
The Dirty Dog-written at The Lakeside in Port Stanley after a hash filled afternoon in our rooms by the beach
Checfk Out the Love-at a scuzz-bucket hotel in The Bronx, N.Y. while on a disasterous New England tour
White Lace & Black Leather-at the Norlander Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Never Wanna Lose Ya-on the roof of the Sherwood Forest Inn, Trenton, Ontario (hotel burnt down around 2015)
Most of the songs on this album were tested in the bars and were the reason Helix had become one of the top paid bar bands on the circuit at that time. We showcsed for all the major labels and they all turned us down, with the exception of Capitol Records and Aquarius Records. In the 11th hour they both gave us offers and we chose Capitol. But things weren’t done yet…Dean Cameron, who was the A&R person at Capitol Canada at that point (he later would become president) thought it would be better if we signed to the Amercian label. We did just that, eventually signing a 4 album deal with Capitol/E.M.I. U.S.A. for the world.
The album was produced by Tom Tremouth, who was responsible for hooking us up with Capitol. The original demos for the disc were recorded at Tom’s house in Toronto. It was a crude recording set-up with us in the basement and the mixing board in the living room! Tom wouild run down the steps into the basement and yell, “Tapes rolling!” Eventually the project moved to Phase 1 Studios in Scarborough, but one of the tracks-Check Out The Love-was from those recording sessions at Tom Tremouth’s ‘cos we couldn’t recapture the feel at Phase 1.
Life with Captiol would be a hellva lot different than what we were used to. Suddenly there was money for all sorts of things and tours with world class bands. We started off in the U.S. with Molly Hatchet & Blackfoot, but after that tour died after only 3 days I.C.M. (our booking agency at the time) put us on opening for MOTORHEAD on the Another Perfect Day Tour. It was anything but! LOL. After that tour ended I.C.M. put us out with all sorts of acts just to keep us working: Meatloaf, Heart, The DiVynls, Greg Kihn, you-name-it. After the U.S. leg of the tour ended we got the tour of a lifetime in Europe-opening for KISS on the Lick It Up Tour. Our first date with them was in Lisbon, Portugal. It was the first date to my knowledge that KISS ever played without their make-up. From there we played 13 countries in about 33 days. Although the tour was a blurr it created memories to last forever. Like the time Gene Simmons sat us all down and gave us a lecture like little school kids. Or giving some of my Megazone throat lozenges to Paul Stanley at sound check in Paris, where we played in a huge circus tent.
In Canada our first single from the album was the Eddie Swartz song Does a Fool Ever Learn, which didn’t make too much noise on Canadian radio. In the U.S. the company released Heavy Metal Love, but in the U.S. it was the first year for MTV and the video for the song (which we filmed at the old Massey Ferguson plant in Toronto) tore up the charts. Suddenly we found ourselves playing to sold out venues in U.S. cities we’d never been to before. Heavy Metal Love went to HEAVY rotation and became a hit. But in Canada there was no Much Music yet-that would come the next year-and Canadian radio didn’t really like the band (or this thing called METAL!) We ended off 1983 playing with KICKAXE on some dates and we also did a western Canadian swing with The Headpins and Kenny Shields of Streetheart.