Hard Rockin

Still Kickin – Lizards & Porn Stars!

Let’s talk about one of my favourite rock bands – Saigon Kick!
(Warning): I really do like to ramble so please bear with me.

Around 8 years ago I really started delving into the hard rock / heavy metal bands of the late 80s & early 90s. Saigon Kick really stood out to me. They’re one of the many bands who had moderate success right before Grunge kicked in (slumped in) & killed the glitz & glamour of rock n roll. Saigon Kick were one of the ‘new bands’ that were moving rock in a different direction, not heavy enough for metal & not cheesy enough for pop. These guys know how to write a great song, whether it was hard rockin’ or more of a ballad, and they looked great to boot!
To be completely honest only two of their albums stand out to me, and I’d say it’s the two that most people like – but hey, you can’t deny a good thing! These are the self titled debut released in 1991 & “The Lizard” released in 1992. I’m certain the line-up has something to do with their killer sound.  At this time in their career the band consisted of Matt Kramer, Jason Bieler, Tom Defile & the infamous Phil Varone (we’ll get to him later)!

For most of the “naughties” (ughhh I hate that expression) these guys continued to pump out albums that really varied in sound. Kramer & Bieler seem to be the real driving forces for the continuation of the band’s recording & touring life. Although defunct for years,  they reunited in 2013 &  continue to work hard for the cause today playing live shows all over the states & most recently jumping aboard the Monsters Of Rock Cruise from Miami.

You might be thinking “So, what else have these guys done?”. Well, I’m here to give you a brief run down since my internet & face-stalking abilities are uncanny! ha! Here we go:

Matt Kramer has continued to play in bands, currently he sings for Saigon Kick & the “Matt Kramer Band”. He released a solo album “War & Peas”  in 2012 through his own record label “Lascivious Recording Co”. Matt has also released two books of poetry; “An American Profit” in 2007 & “A Book of Poems from the Smallest of Towns” in 2011. From the footage I’ve seen, although looking a little older & wiser, he still sounds as sweet as the twenty something year old on the records.

Jason Bieler continues to keep the Saigon Kick dream alive through touring while working on his “Owl Stretching” project which seems to be electronic pop/rock & some covers. His superior riff/song writing skills are prevalent in the tracks you can hear online. I’d be very interested to hear these live with a full band!  He also released a solo album in 1998 titled “Houston, We Have a Problem”. Both of these projects have been released through his own independent record label, Bieler Bros. Records, which boasts an eclectic range of artists including DeathStars, Karnivool, Soil & previously Skindred. Jason also boasts and incredible array of photos on facebook featuring his hair & beard which seem to have gravity defying capabilities! He posts a lot of funny pictures.

Now, when it comes to Tom Defile my snooping skills aren’t really coming in handy. It seems he was going to re-join Saigon Kick a few years ago but that fell through. I actually have no idea if he still plays in bands – I’d be interested to know!? I think perhaps he teaches? Regardless, He was a mega babe back in the day & should be shared on stage with the rest of the world! ha!

Alrighty, I’ve left my favourite til last. Drum roll please….Mr Phil Varone!
Before I knew who Saigon Kick were I already knew who Phil was. His dvd release of groupie footage was a “hot topic” between my friends & I. I mean…REAL groupies…on camera…for everyone else to watch?! I had to see this shit! On my first trip to America I almost made it to his sex toy release party, my partner & I were invited but were flying home to Australia a few hours later. A couple of years earlier I was advised to watch Phil’s “Waking Up Dead” documentary which depicted the reality of life for some touring musicians, especially those with habits they can’t afford. It was a little sad, and very eye opening. Phil later appeared on Sex Rehab with Dr Drew where he was diagnosed as a sex addict. In fine form he bounced back from that stint by doing stand-up comedy, writing a book & making porn for a living! He now regularly films a series of swinger & groupie movies that often feature himself – Go Phil! He continues to play today, most notably he toured & recorded with Skid Row for years & also played with solo Vince Neil. Skid Row are actually thanked pretty heavily in the liner notes of Saigon Kick’s first album. I saw online that he recently played in Florida with Bobby Kimball of Toto & his newest outfit “Seven Dollar Jacket”. Phil also has a pretty big collection of photos he has been sharing online commenting mostly on how great his hair is, And to be fair it has had some great moments, just ask all the women who agree with him on facebook!

Well, there you have it, I’ve waffled on & no one will probably read this BUT it’s outta my brain! 😛
If you don’t listen to Saigon Kick do yourself a favour & start 😛

Peace!

 

 

 

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