Heavy Metal Kids

The Heavy Metal Kids were an English hard-rock/pop band from London that released a self-titled album on Atlantic in 1974. The following year, they shortened their name to The Kids for a second Atlantic album, Anvil Chorus. In late 1976, the name returned for the RAK release Kitsch.

The Kids’ rhythm section backed French singer–songwriter Nino Ferrer on assorted ’70s-era recordings. Late-period Kids-keyboardist John Sinclair resurfaced in hard-rockers Lion and the ’80s-era lineup of Uriah Heep. Singer Gary Holton acted on TV and stage until his death from an overdose in 1985.

Members: Gary Holton (lead vocals, 1973-77), Danny Peyronel (keyboards, vocals, 1973-75, 2003-present), Mickey Waller (guitar, 1973-76), Ron Thomas (bass, vocals), Keith Boyce (drums), Barry Paul (guitar, vocals, 1976-77), John Sinclair (keyboards, vocals, 1976-77)


Background

The Heavy Metal Kids formed in 1973 when former child actor Gary Holton and teenage Argentine keyboardist Daniel Peyronel teamed with journeyman guitarist Mickey Waller and the rhythm section of Leggs, the backing band of French singer Nino Ferrer.

Gary Holton (b. September 22, 1952, Clapham) performed as a tween with Sadler’s Wells Opera Company. In 1966, he acted opposite Laurence Olivier in a staging of William Congreve’s 1695 Restoration comedy Love For Love. Just prior to the Kids’ formation, Holden spent two years in a touring production of the counter-culture musical Hair.

Daniel Augusto Peyronel (b. November 15, 1953, Buenos Aires) spent his youth between Argentina and England, where he attended public school. He briefly attended New York’s Juilliard performing arts conservatory.

Mickey Waller hailed from Mickey Finn & The Blue Men, a mid-sixties R&B–beat group that recorded multiple mod–freakbeat singles as The Mickey Finn (no relation to the T. Rex percussionist). Waller resurfaced in a post-album lineup of Sam Gopal, the starting vehicle of Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister. Most recently, Waller played on the 1973 Riviera release Nino Ferrer & Leggs along with ex-Ashman Reynolds drummer Keith Boyce and late-period Leaf Hound bassist Ronnie Thomas.

The Heavy Metal Kids took their name from a fictional youth street gang in Nova Express, a 1964 sci-fi novel by postmodern author William S. Burroughs.


Heavy Metal Kids

The Heavy Metal Kids released their self-titled debut album in July 1974 on Atlantic. Guitarist Mickey Waller wrote “Hangin’ On” and “Kind Woman” and co-wrote “Nature of My Game” with singer Gary Holton. The pair wrote “Ain’t It Hard” with bassist Ronnie Thomas, who lone-wrote “Always Plenty of Women” and co-wrote “Rock ‘N’ Roll Man” with one Brian Paul.

Keyboardist Danny Peyronel co-wrote “It’s the Same” with fellow Argentine Ricardo Soulé, the frontman of Vox Dei. Heavy Metal Kids contains two group-written songs: “Run Around Eyes” and the Side One climax “We Gotta Go,” which reprises at the end of Side Two.

A1. “Hangin’ On” (3:05)
A2. “Ain’t It Hard” (3:00)
A3. “It’s the Same” (5:40)
A4. “Run Around Eyes” (2:57)
A5. “We Gotta Go” (4:55)
B1. “Always Plenty of Women” (3:25)
B2. “Nature of My Game” (3:35)
B3. “Kind Woman” (3:35)
B4. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Man” (7:30)
B5. “We Gotta Go (Reprise)” (1:20)

Recorded At – Olympic Studios
Producer – Dave Dee
Engineer – Phil Chapman
Tape Op – John Astley

Bass, Vocals – Ronnie Thomas
Drums, Percussion – Keith Boyce
Guitar – Mickey Waller
Keyboards, Vocals – Danny Peyronel
Lead Vocals – Gary Holton

Design [Lettering] – Joe Petagno III
Design, Photography By – Alex Henderson

Waller departed for Steve Marriott’s Allstars and later played in Phil May’s Fallen Angels. The Kids dropped “Heavy Metal” from their name and hired guitarist Cosmo Verrico.


Anvil Chorus

The Kids released their second album, Anvil Chorus, in July 1975 on Atlantic. It features songs written primarily by bassist Ronnie Thomas (“You Got Me Rollin”’), keyboardist Danny Peyronel (“Hard at the Top,” “The Big Fire”), and singer Gary Holton (“On the Street,” “Situations Outta Control”). Peyronel co-wrote one song (“The Turk (An Wot’E Smoke)”) with guitarist Cosmo and two (“Blue Eyed Boy,” “Old Time Boogie”) with Holton.

The first two songs feature backing vocalists Madeleine Bell and sisters Irene and Doreen Chanter. Side Two contains “Crisis” and “The Cops Are Coming,” both holdovers from Micky Waller’s tenure.

A1. “Hard At the Top” (3:46)
A2. “You Got Me Rollin'” (3:54)
A3. “On the Street” (4:03)
A4. “Situations Outta Control” (4:03)
A5. “Blue Eyed Boy” (3:07)
B1. “Old Time Boogie” (3:20) features session saxophonist Phil Kenzie.
B2. “The Turk (An Wot’E Smoke)” (4:02)
B3. “Crisis” (3:32)
B4. “The Cops Are Coming” (3:45)
B5. “The Big Fire” (4:36)

Sessions took place at Basing Street Studios
Producer, Engineer – Andy Jones
Engineer [Assistant] – Dave Hutchins

Design – Tony Allison
Illustration [Drawing] – Alan Field, David Field

Peyronel boarded UFO for their 1976 album No Heavy Petting. He later teamed with Argentine guitar legend Pappo in eighties hard rockers Riff. Meanwhile, Cosmo dropped from the scene. Holton, Thomas, and Boyce reinstated the Heavy Metal Kids name with guitarist Barry Paul and keyboardist John Sinclair.


Kitsch

The Heavy Metal Kids released their third album, Kitsch, in October 1976 on RAK. It features two songs by Ronnie Thomas (“She’s No Angel,” “Squalliday Inn”) and two co-written by Gary Holton and John Sinclair (“Chelsea Kids,” “Jackie the Lad”), who separately wrote “Cry for Me” (Holton) and “Overture” (Sinclair). Holton also brought two songs (“Docking In,” “From Heaven to Hell and Back Again”) co-written with outsider Klaus Petersen.

A1. “Overture” (2:41)
A2. “Chelsea Kids” (4:17)
A3. “From Heaven To Hell & Back Again” (4:17)
A4. “Cry For Me” (5:05)
B1. “She’s No Angel” (3:34)
B2. “Jackie The Lad” (2:34)
B3. “Docking In” (3:52)
B4. “Squalliday Inn” (6:17)

Recorded in the Château du Regard, France.
Producer – Mickie Most
Engineer – Doug Hopkins, Martin Levant

Photography By [Inner Sleeve] – Clive Arrowsmith
Photography By [Uncredited], Design [Uncredited] – Peter Christopherson, Storm Thorgerson

The cover was original made for Pink Floyd in 1976, but the band rejected it. The following year Hipgnosis offered it to Heavy Metal Kids for their album.


Post-Heavy Metal Kids

Gary Holton formed a rock duo with Boys/Yobs pianist Casino Steel. They released three albums between 1981 and 1984 on Polydor and scored a No. 1 hit in Steel’s native Norway with “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” originally a 1968 country hit for Kenny Rogers & First Edition.

Keith Boyce joined Bram Tchaikovsky, the namesake spin-off band of Motors guitarist Bram Tchaikovsky.

Ronnie Thomas re-linked with Nino Ferrer in the French singer’s post-Leggs backing band.

Barry Paul joined Made In Japan, an LA-based British–American group that cut a single with producers Rinder & Lewis and played the new wave club band in the 1980 slasher flick New Year’s Evil. He also played in the early eighties lineup of Savoy Brown.

John Sinclair teamed with veteran English singer Gary Farr in the LA-based hard rock band Lion, which cut the 1980 album Running All Night on A&M. He then joined Uriah Heep, which remade “Running All Night With the Lion” on their 1982 comeback album Abominog.


Discography:

  • Heavy Metal Kids (1974)
  • Anvil Chorus (1975 • The Kids)
  • Kitsch (1977)

Sources:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *