Tag Archives: Helix

Impact Albums: Helix-Walkin The Razors Edge(1984)


Why wouldn’t this album be an Impact Album around these parts?

Exactly as many of you already know Helix will always be regarded as a band I respect and for those who have no idea what I’m talking about or haven’t heard the story yet.

Well here it goes…

Back in the Spring of 1985 Triumph was headlining across Canada with Helix as openers. I had heard rumblings that this Tour was hitting Thunder Bay which I was psyched about as Triumph’s ‘Thunder 7′ & Helix’s Walkin’ The Razors Edge were on high spins coming off my turntable at the time.

The concert did not happen as our local dump Arena(Fort William Gardens) had hockey booked for that night! Drag right? For sure but as Triumphs Semi’s rolled past the Bay. Helix though put some tickets on sale at our University and made it an all ages show which a bunch of us went to. For that ‘Respect’ as Helix could have kept their Tour bus wheels rolling past and just chugged through.

I reviewed this show a ways back which if you search around the site you will stumble across it.

But lets rewind a little ways back when the boys released 1984’s Walkin’ The Razors Edge.

Tbone was the out of the gate first when he purchased the Major Label Debut of No Rest For The Wicked(1983) on cassette  tape which I quickly dubbed for myself back at that time!

No Rest For The Wicked was a solid album with Dirty Dog/Does A Fool Ever Learn/Heavy Metal Love and the fantastic Check Out The Love In Me.

So the trench work had been laid by the No Rest release and come July 1984 Helix unleashes WTRE!

It of course helped that the lead off single Rock You that opens the album  led the charge. How about that video with Helix in the rock quarry. Lead Singer Brian Vollmer (Chipped Tooth Included) lays down an exceptional vocal. Guitarist Brent Doerner  as well when Brent submerges  out of the swimming hole playing his  solo while the rest of Helix( Drummer Greg Hinz/Guitarist Paul Hackman(RIP) & Bassist Daryl Gray) lay down the musical law of what may be the most recognizable sing along anthem in the Helix Catalogue. Ok ok I will say it…Gimmie  me a ‘R’!

In keeping the fine tradition of keeping albums under 35 minutes Helix manages to bulldoze through Ten Tracks. Two of which are cover songs. The cover songs Gimmie Gimmie Good Lovin’ and Make Me Do Anything You Want are good versions and that was the thing with Helix. They could make cover tunes sound like they had written them. For a further reference point check out the Nazareth Cover of Dream On from 1987’s Wild In The Streets. Helix makes these songs their own and I’m surprised no one has ever said this or has some one?

Backtracking somewhat Side 1 of Razors is strong! Real strong! Following Rock You comes the wicked excellent Young & Wreckless and within milliseconds you realize the guitar fella’s Doerner and Hackman mean business! They blaze power riffs like no ones business throughout this album and that s another point that should not be overlooked.

Funny enough. Helix were the first Canadian Band that I got right into that was a five piece. I just thought of this when I was putting this together as my Can Con listening tastes in the early to 80’s where  power trios like Santers/Triumph and Rush. Coney Hatch were a quartet. Helix though a quintet!

Animal House is a great song that keeps the buzz a going on this album. Great solo/Catchy chorus of “This place is an Animal House. Once you’re in you never get out”. Me and Tbone were committed to the Animal House. We weren’t fighting to get out. We were fighting to keep our heads above water man in the Animal House!

Feel The Fire is one of those unheralded Gems in the Helix musical catalogue. A great simple straightforward ahead Rock Track that features some great backing vocals and wicked excellent chorus!

No taking a break here folks as When The Hammer Falls blazes at 100 mph right out of the gate.  Vollmer and Crew are right on cue with wrapping up Side 1 with a heavy dose of serious riffage along with big time backing vocals that keeps things on track.

Side 2 begins with Gimmie Gimmie Good Lovin’ which has Helix firing on all four cylinders and for it being a cover tune you would never know as I was 15 at the time of this release.

My Kind of Rock keeps the Helix party rolling. Rolling what you would have to ask them what they were rolling back in 1984 whereas I was rolling out of bed everyday to School  at 9 am just trying to pass friggin Math!

Oh Boy here it comes another cover tune yet a ballad to boot. Make Me Do Anything You Want which is an ok track but when I was 15 it was all about When The Hammer Falls and Young and Wreckless! Basically Side 1 was calling me ….not ballads but I get it as Helix was playing the game and that was probably due to the suits wanting  some profit. Plus I’m sure when Helix played this song every night  the lineup of woman to the tour bus at the end of the show  probably was nuts! Yeah. So I do get it!

When I caught Helix live two years ago (2016) they brought back the great Six Strings Nine Lives to there set and it was a welcome return! Once again Helix build momentum on a tune during the verses only to hit the home run come chorus time!

Helix end there 33 minute album with another track with Rock in it(make that a 3 pack of Rock titles at Helix HQ) with a superb end of the album gem You Keep Me Rockin’. Vollmer and the fella’s end the album with what I call a Gem! Love the slow chill guitars at the beginning and viola the song lifts off with Brian needing a rock n roll transfusion. The backing vocals of the Helix clan are top-notch on this track and throughout! Brent and Paul’s guitars as well zip this track into super speed as well. Great move with this song blasting out at the end of the album as it left you wanting more….

Just like that…Album is Done!

Helix had a real good run of material in the 80’s into the 90’s even today there still putting out material and playing shows galore! Added points must be for the fact that they in the roaring 80’s Helix did not rotate members which shows a lot of continuity on the albums that followed.

Helix though were top-notch. Take away the “there from Canada’ tag and they held up against the other Metal Acts especially in the mid 80’s when there were like 1,000,000 bands vying for our attention.

In Brian Vollmer you had a great frontman to go with the vocals. I still remember when he did some crazy ass somersault of the speaker bins at that  1984 University show and not missing a beat! Here I am all these years later still recalling that moment like it happened yesterday!

Paul Hackman and Brent Doerner were right up there on par with all the other two lead guitarists of the era yet never really got there due but they were phenomenal  together. Paul is indeed missed!

The Rhythm section of Daryl Gray and Fritz Hinz were top-notch as they held down the bottom end and kept everything in check.  Nothing slipped through the cracks with those two guys!

Everything in life does not have to be Rocket Science and its ok now and then to Walk The Razors Edge!




Rockin Roberts/BMellis and Deke’s rocking out to Tom Keifer!

Hey Friends ….

Once again thanks to YOU the readers of this Blog who continually show up/read/comment around these parts and enjoy my Scribbles of Rawk!

Some Rando Info …Up to this point I have reviewed 452 albums/books/live shows…

I had a couple of guests as well to add to the total which were Tbone with a Hip and Van Halen review and my sister who reviewed Def Leppard recently! Tbone and Kristin did a fantastic job!

A total of 455 Posts and over 27,000 views in three years along with 8,525 comments!  Holy Crap! Thanks everyone!

I thought it would be cool to show u the Most Viewed Blogs from June 24th  2016 to June 24th 2017 (that’s when this Post was typed)…

dEke’s Top 10 Most Viewed Rambling’s are….

1-Sebastian Bach/18 & LIfe On Skid Row- Yup Ladies and Gents in the past year a Book takes the top spot. Mikey Ladano posted my review on his Twitter page in which Baz seen and retweeted it to his Twitter and posted it to his Facebook Page. Thanks Mikey….and just goes to show you  that people are watching what you post even coming from a  rock schmuck sitting at his computer in Tbay!

2-Toque-Is the all star Canuck only group featuring Todd Kerns/Cory Churko and Brent Fitz who released a fun Canuck only cover album featuring a bunch of cool cover tunes with an updated sound! Thanks to Cory who posted my review on the Toque Facebook homepage!

3-Stephen Pearcy/Smash-  Stevie-o totally stepped up on this album and kicked out the jams in superb 80’s sleazeball rock that totally blew me away. Blown away that Stephen plastered my review on his Twitter and Facebook page and sent me a thanks via messenger!

4-Rock The Fort Day 2/The Cult/Cinderfella…- This was the ass kicking festival that showed up in Tbay and was a two day affair with Day2 headlined by Wolfchild and Duffy who basically ruled the weekend with there performance(check out current release Hidden City folk’s) Must also mention that Tommy Keifer showed up and played a wicked set of Cinderella tunes and solo stuff. Ol Tommy almost stole the weekend….Trews/Helix and Doucette also played this day as well! Great day of Live Rock!

5-Helix/Wild In The Streets-This review was written a few years back and Helix bassist Daryl Gray  graciously posted my review at the time. Daryl a few months ago reposted it via his memories on Facebook and this review picked up a bunch of steam again. Why not! Its a great album and ‘Whacha Bringing To The Party?”

6-Age of Electric/Live at Crocks,April 7th 2017- AOE showed up played Tbay and blew myself and Tbone out of the water with an airtight show filled with a ton of cool tunes. Met the dudes afterwards and they signed my discs and were all cool to chat with.

7th (Tie)- Metal Heart/Aiming High With Accept- Author Martin Popoff wrote a wicked good read on Accept that is well worth the dough. I am by no means a huge Accept fan but Martin delved in a band that really wasn’t written about much even back in the day so it’s these kind of Rock Books that peak my interest level. Martin interviews all these Accept dudes so it’s not some bullshit read. Check out  Popoff’s site.

7th(Tie)-Age of Electric/The Pretty Ep-AOE comes in with there second Top 10 entry and for Todd Kerns it’s 2 Top Tens here with AOE along with Toque. Dude is everywhere. AOE after a ton of years had passed put out this little ass kicker of an EP that is worth your time friends. Do check out!

8-The Tragically Hip-Roxy & Elsewhere- A bunch of fellow writers decided to do a 200 word only review and I choose to do this great soundboard bootleg of The Hip that was recorded back in 1991! They are on fire on this release. Highway Girl and Killer Whale Tank are so good as singer Gord Downie is looped and in another time zone but is so good at telling stories with the Hips riding shotgun and blasting off a ton of riffs underneath! Pure Brilliance and Geoff Stephen would and will be proud to see this entry of his hometown homey’s!

9-KISS Rocks Vegas- Is the audio portion from KISS’s Vegas performance that Mikey Ladano sent me! (Thanks Mikey) How could KISS not crack the Top 10.  These old Geezers are a part of my Musical DNA so to speak and say what you will. Whether you like em or hate em Kiss are a great discussion …..

10-Swords And Tequila/Riots Classic First Decade-Martin Popoff scores a second book here in the Top 10 and Riot is a band I love that stuck out great albums but for some reason never lifted off. Martin did his homework here, Tons of interviews/pics/the real story of which took me right back to over 3 decades ago.  Riot had even less written about them than Accept! Martin fixed that problem and wrote what I feel is one of his best written works!

Well,there you have it. Kinda wild that 3 books cracked the Top 10! Some Cancon is included withThe Hip, AOE,Helix & Toque.  Kinda of a neat mix really….

Thanks for reading….


Rock The Fort Day 2…The Cult/Cinderfella…….

Saturday July 16 2016…ROCK THE FORT……

First of all the Sun was shining and that’s aways a good thing for outdoor shows as I’ve been to a few where it’s downpoured rain but today it’s about heat!

At around 2 pm our Crew which included along with myself,my wife Sue,Rockin Roberts,Jenna and Uncle Randy parked inside Old Fort Williams Grounds and proceeded to set up shop! Well Randy did as he provided all day Food and Drink for us as we set up shop right in the parking lot! Thanks a bunch Dude!

Uncle Randy along with Jenna. Uncle Randy was the Host as he provided Food And Drinks all day long for the Bunch of us!
Uncle Randy along with Jenna. Uncle Randy was the Host as he provided Food And Drinks all day long for the Bunch of us!
Uncle Randy In Action! Steak Tacos,Bruschetta   Couscous along with beverages were provided all day! Your The Best Randy!


Jerry Doucette kicked things off with an energetic hour-long set! Impressive as basically  we all know him as the Mama Let Him Play(his big single back in the late 70s) guy. But make no mistake of it he kept us entertained with his singing and guitar playing! Rocking Roberts loved it! Doucette was a good opener…..

ChuckD and Jen....
ChuckD and Jen….



Helix Vocalist Brian Vollmer and Bassist Daryl Gray...
Helix Vocalist Brian Vollmer and Bassist Daryl Gray…

Brian Vollmer I stated many a time you got to hand it to him and give him respect as he takes his craft seriously! Helix today once again delivered and as they hit the stage opening with the title track from 1985’s Long Way To Heaven segues right into Wild In The Streets and the boys aren’t fooling around! Lead and Backing vocals were tight and the boys played fantastic especially Kaleb Duck who has taken over all of previous guitar dude Dr Doerner’s parts and plays real good! I dug the fact that Helix went a little deep into the catalogue(Six Strings Nine Lives was played) given the fact that they had an hour to do so. Walking The Razors Edge was well represented with 6 songs being played! Holy crap was drummer Fritz Hinz singing backing vocals during Gimmie Good Lovin? Helix showed up and delivered a serious rock show in the heat!

Helix Guitar Dude Kaleb Duck and Drummer Fritz Hinz
Helix Guitar Dude Kaleb Duck and Drummer Fritz Hinz



These guys have been around and were real big during  the mid nineties and like Helix they take their craft serious. Leader Neil Osbourne has a good knack for writing good catchy rock numbers. Case in point opening with a one two punch of  Nice To Love You and  Lies To Me. 54-40 as they keep playing you realize just how much of a deep catalogue they have in regards to music and how it resonates with many. Case in point Uncle Randy said 54-40 were his University  band many moons ago and it was a great seeing them live! One Gun,Baby Ran,I Go Blind, and my personal fav Radio Luv Song the hits were all here! Another great act….First time seeing  them live!

Rockin Roberts/BMellis and Deke's rocking out to 54-40
Rockin Roberts/BMellis and Deke’s rocking out to 54-40


Another act I  had never seen but have heard things about! Trews brought it and delivered a well oiled professional set. They did not fool around as they rocked from start to finish and what a great sound along with songs to go with their  show. Paranoid Freak is a monster track and give it up for lead singer Colin MacDonald who has a real good rock voice!


Trews N Roll!
Trews N Roll!

Tom Keifer….

Or CinderFella as I call him since he’s solo came out with no fanfare and ripped right into Once Around The Ride ( From Cinderella’s Night Songs debut) and I was hooked! How can you not be as he still has the voice and the dude seems to be in good shape. Keifer wrote all the Cinderella stuff so it’s basically his deal anyways and man he did not disappoint. 3rd song in and it’s Heartbreak Station which is a real good track even on the ballad side of things…Course you know you have a deep catalogue of hits when Shake Me is played early on.

Shake It Don't Break It...
Shake It Don’t Break It…

Keifer man is Old School as in the guitars he uses and he whipped up a cool batch of slide playing on Night Songs. Tom even did justice to The Stones It’s Only Rock N Roll/ Prince’s Purple Rain as an end of the set jam and took it home and finished off his set with Gypsy Road.

The Cult….

Wowzer’s the build up to this was huge! Wolfchild and Duffy in our backyard of Tbay Ontario! Did someone say Yah Yuh?


The Cult showed up and Kicked ASS! Ian Astbury/Billy Duffy/John Tempsta along with Grant Fitzpatrick and Damon Fox took to the stage opening with Wild Flower and Astbury took charge with both stage presence and the Tambourine. Duffy meanwhile took charge with a succession of guitar riffs and basically schooled everyone on how to do it with class!

The Cult are a band moving and progressing forward as shown when the 2nd track of the night is Dark Energy from their current release Hidden City. Kudos to these guys for  not just  playing a KISS like same set list tour after tour as 5 songs from the current album were featured with Hinterland being my fav…Destroy The Destroyer sang Wolfchild and I hollered like a lunatic! Case in point see the pic below with my pal Brother Bryce as we were just feet from the stage!


Phoenix from the Love album was a set highlight as Tempsta pounded the shit out of his drums while Duffy played like there was no tomorrow.

Pacing of the show was good and it was great to see the addition of a live keyboardist/guitarist to the fold as it enhanced the sound in song’s like  Sweet Soul Sister and the newer tracks as well.

Astbury was chatty and in a good mood seemed  appreciative  of the crowd and what were those three lights way up in the sky? Astbury must have thought ” Where the F&^k Am I?”

The Cult ended the night with G.O.A.T and Love Removal Machine.

The Cult apologized for showing up late and said the issues weren’t there deal but thanked everyone for sticking around! The Cult could have not taken the stage till 2 am and I would have stuck around!


Helix/Lakehead University Agora/TBay/April 1985


That my friend’s above  is a picture of the Official Helix Bandana that was sold at The Lakehead University Show (Courtesy Of BMellis Circa 1985)

Get ready for another Tbay Rock Show Blast From The Past…You All Ready For It?

Let’s Do This!

Word on the street was that Triumph/ Helix we’re touring Canada in April 1985! Triumph was plugging their Thunder 7 album and Helix were supporting there Walkin The Razors Edge release which was getting a ton of sales and video play with the single  Rock You in massive rotation on MuchMusic!

What a great double-header of a tour! Now I’m going on some speculation here but Triumph/Helix  were penciled in for a concert at our local barn (Fort William Gardens) but the date got scrubbed as the Gardens was booked for Hockey that night!(WHUT?)

So Triumph drove through Tbay while Helix stopped in and played a date at our local University!

Since I started this blog I’ve been pretty good at keeping tracks of dates of shows I’ve seen In Thunder Bay but for some reason I lost the ticket stub of this show and even  BMellis who was at this show has no idea either so I tried doing a few Google searches and well Triumph/Helix played Ottawa April 10 1985. So maybe Helix was here perhaps a week to ten days before? I dunno man! I recall it was cold though!

Helix like I said earlier were becoming a big deal! Here they are playing the Arenas in Canada with Triumph and hitting the Arenas in the United States with Quiet Riot/Whitesnake!

Also Canadian Music Magazines like Music Express and Metallion  Magazine would constantly feature Helix and I would snap anything related to  anything Hard Rock at the time!

Full props and respect for Helix at dropping in (they had a Big Assed Brown Tour Bus) and they literally blew TBones and my mind  that night!

Some of this show I still recall as there was no seating so it was basically down to the front to get real close to…Brian Vollmer(vocals),Fritz Hinz(drums) Paul Hackman(Guitar) Brent Doerner(guitar) and Daryl Gray(bass).

Lakeheads Agora wasn’t really set up for concerts it was kinda like a stage being set up in a lobby that could hold like 400 people(more or less) and the place was packed for Helix!

No opening act just Helix and when the boys launched into the opener Young And Wreckless we were hooked as our 18-year-old brains were being sizzled as the show went on!

Helix were professional man! They had the whole schtick down! The moves, the songs were played to a T! Hackman and Doerner were a great guitar duo who never got there due. Still recall the whole Doctor Doerner deal “Lemme Hear Ya!” he hollered into his mic as the Doctor was doing a Housecall that Night with his 6 string Red Kramer guitar!

Vollmer what can I  say! I still remember like it was yesterday when Brian climbed the speakers on the left side of the stage and basically somersaulted off of them! Mic in hand not missing a beat and not mugging out into Daryl,Paul And Brent! That kind of stuff  looking back a smart move as it hooked all of us as Helix were pro’s live! So when Helix sauntered back to Tbay for their own headline show a few months later (at the Gardens) supporting Long Way To Heaven we all went! Smart Sell!

Songs were played from there two Capitol Records release’s No Rest For The Wicked and Walkin the Razors Edge and maybe some of their independent stuff as well …..

Rock You I believe closed out the show and we all piled outside except we went around back and creeped around the Helix bus and waited for them to come out of the University! After a few minutes Greg Hinz came out and headed to the Tour Bus he acknowledged us and we froze! Hahaha….We said nothing! After our brush with a Rocker was over we split as it was friggin cold outside!

The next day at School we all went on about how cool of a show it was and I wore my Helix Razors Edge T Shirt Loud And Proud and waited for Helix to return ….

Crazy that 31 years later this show to this day still resonates with me! Maybe Impact is the word!


The autographed pic is also from BMellis as well and it’s from I believe the early summer of 1992 when Helix played Tbays Inntowner ( which has now been levelled and is a parking lot).

When Brian showed me this pic he couldn’t really recall the timeline but I did as it shows the four Helix dudes Vollmer/Hackman/Gray Hinz (Doctor Doerner had left a few years earlier) and new guitarist Denny Belacki (no picture just autographed)and BMellis met them and got all there autographs!

Sadly a little while later Paul Hackman(RIP) lost his life in a vehicle  accident in British Columbia!

This a pretty cool piece of cool Memorabilia and I would like to thank BMellis for letting me use this stuff for this story….

Must also mention that Helix ( Fritz/Gray along with Vollmer)are playing here in Thunder Bay (July 16 2016) with The Trews/54-40/Tom Keifer(the dude who basically was Cinderella) whom I now call CinderFella and headliners  The Cult! It’s gonna be a great Friggin show…..

Helix! Here’s a request! Please dust off and play …….Young & Wreckless!

C-Ya’s There!








SONIC WAVES…..Helix/Wild In The Streets


1987 was the name of the album by Whitesnake that sold millions due to a ton of promotion and those videos! Hahaha….another album that came out in June of that year was Wild In The Streets by Helix. After a bit  of a musical bump with Long Way To Heaven Helix stormed back with a album solid of Rock all rolled into one neat little package. Helix in my book hit one out of the park with this album and why it did not sky rocket em to fame in the U.S Of A who the hell knows. Capitol records?? Definitely not the material that was on here and I will tell ya why….

Lets see what Brian/Brent/Paul(RIP)/Daryl and Fritz are bringing to the Parteeeee!

WILD IN THE STREETS- HELIX kicks you right in the ass,right out of the gate with the name sake of the album as the lead off song! The production of this song tells ya that the boys spent some money on making it sound like a big time record! They don’t disappoint. Love the lyrics especially the line about being spread around like a Social Disease! Helix must have had a crystal ball cause here we are 27 years later and social networking is being spread around at times like a “Social Disease!”Good call man!

NEVER GONNA STOP THE ROCK- the Helix boys for me go into a heavy funk due to Fritzs drums and there going to keep the rock going until the wee early morning hours! So ya better buckle up !

DREAM ON- A Nazareth cover that Helix if you didn’t know was a cover you would think it’s there own song! Compared to a lot of supposed big time power ballads of the day this should have put Helix on the map ! But for some reason we had to suffer with stuff a few years later like Heaven by Warrant and whatever Trixter was plugging! Damn finicky public man!

WHATCHA BRINGING TO THE PARTY-Helix bids adieu to the power ballad and kicks it back into gear with one of my favourites from this record. That’s the thing about Helix there our fun Canadiana party band all of our own to party with and if you didn’t know any better the Helix party bus will show up with party treats! We won’t be disappointed!

HIGH VOLTAGE KICKS- This song starts off with a little guitar interplay between Vollmer and after he tells us about his High Voltage Kicks..the song lifts off Cape Canaveral like the shuttle and heads into orbit quick!  Doctor Doerner and Paul Hackman never in my book got the due they deserved with  there playing together. It was a a good as anybody out there at the time plus they had the rock moves down to a fine art. Don’t believe me watch the vid I posted!

GIVE EM HELL- starts off side two. Helix is basically telling us like Aaron from Keeps Me Alive(check out his blog) to give’er! And by golly I will Helix I will give it hell all the time. That’s the thing about the music these guys wrote they would say don’t be down on your luck so don’t give a ….well give em hell! Positive vibes all good !

SHOT FULL OF LOVE- is a 18 wheeler driving off of a cliff. Helix says you want some hard rock here….eat it!  The guitars In this song just wail along with Daryl Gray on the bass and Fritz on the skins! Vollmer tries to reign it all in….but he doesn’t ease on the brakes!!!

LOVE HUNGRY EYES- could have been a single! It’s as catchy as hell! What were the honchos at Captiol Records doing? Uhh I probably wouldn’t want to know! But seriously this album had good hard rock singles. Some one dropped the ball!

SHES TOO TOUGH-so this was a Joe Elliot from Def Leppard composition and Helix like I said with Dream On earlier take this song rock the shit out of it and make it there own! Funny thing Is i heard the Leppard version when they put it out on there Retroactive release and well Leppards version sucked man! Sorry Joe just telling it like it is! Helix rocked it.  Leppard was trying to get on the radio with there’s…Helix wasn’t it. They were just doing what they were doing!

KISS IT GOODBYE- great sense of humour but hey Helix is Canadian! Bend over Kiss your ass good bye! Just a great ending to a great record! Cool drumming on this one!

IN CONCLUSION -Helix should have broke open with this release! Everything about this album was solid/songs/ playing/vocals/production and for some reason it did not catch! But where I came from it was on high rotation in my neck of the woods!

SONIC WAVES….Helix/ Long Way To Heaven

This review is a request from Tbone …..

In the year of good ol 1985,Helix became one of those bands that myself,Tbone and his two younger bros (Darr and Rugg) followed immensely. I mean how could we not? They were on Muchmusic constantly with the Rock You vid,they were selling a ton of vinyl and cassette tapes of there 1984 release Walkin The Razors Edge and hell Tbone took the plunge and bought No Rest For The Wicked which was super solid as well! And of course we caught Helix here in Tbay in I think early of March of 1985 when they were still plugging away on the Razors Edge tour( gotta review that show)

So when Helix dumped into the record shops there new release Long Way To Heaven ( I love this record cover,simple yet effective. The cover is the one featuring the song Long Way To Heaven/YouTube)there were 4 guys buying it and you know who the culprits were right?! Helix we love and still do as me and Tbone still make the pilgrimage out to see em whenever there here in Tbay.  Anyways I’m getting ahead here…but whoa it’s summer of 85. New Helix is on the street and were like the Kids ……were all shakin!

Time to check out what Brian,Fritz,Paul(Rip) Daryl and Doctor Doerner are cooking in the Helix Lab….

KIDS ARE ALL SHAKIN- yep Helix is back and they got a new single and its this one. Have you heard the news today,the Kids Are All Shakin In the USA? What ?? Why the U.S.? Were shaking are wallets here in Tbay for Helix product but we understand to get Alot of pay,you must make it in the US of A! This is Helix jingle single time! Gone is the previous albums opener of Rock You and here is a more streamlined snappy happy Helix treading commercial waters kinda and that’s ok guys,me and Tbone understand,I mean Tbone made a mess of himself over Y&Ts Down For The Count album but we all know that this Helix track is better than anything on Y&Ts hunk o junk! So Tbone is relieved !

DEEP CUTS THE KNIFE- holy hell song #2 and were into another single and this ones a keeper friends! The song starts off kinda moody with Brian kicking it off and than the song ramps up into one catchy chorus and this song is a good Helix rock song. A little on the powerballad drive  side but with a good kick in the musical chops to keep it from becoming a puss ballad! Also of note it must be said that with Helix albums the vocals were top notch both lead and backing. This song proves it!

RIDE THE ROCKET- oh yeah man …I mean lets go with ‘ Hey whadda say! Let’s Ride The Rocket,climb aboard with me, its in my pocket!’ At the time (85) this was in, this style of silliness and its Helix on there tour bus ripping down some Highway in Arizona not giving  rats ass about anything except for the girls in the back of the bus(well that’s how it’s played out in my noggin ) and good on me remembering these lyrics all these years later! My 3 teenage daughters would be horrified if they heard me yapping these lyrics now  but you know what? This song takes me back as a 18 year old and my tour bus was my 10 speed bike with just a back fender at the back(no girls!!!) watch the vid I posted as whoever did it shows some photos from the Long Way Tour of Helix well done whoever ya are!

LONG WAY TO HEAVEN-One of the best written and lyrical songs that Helix has ever done and as far as I know they never play it live anymore??! One of life’s great travestys !  Helix lays it all on the line with this tune. The lyrics are classic check out the vid I mean how can you go wrong with lines like ” Too many women,too many bars.too many songs about sex ,drugs and rock n roll!” And to top it off Vollmer  nails back the classic line of all time that myself and the Erickson brothers still to this day will say to each other..”Long Way To Heaven but 3 short steps to Hell!” So true Mr Vollmer,so true! Helix ladies and gents, hit one out of the park with this tune!

HOUSE ON FIRE- I’m sure everyone has heard that April Wine tune Ooowhatanite! You know the one with the ringing bell at the beginning of the tune? Well Helix takes that bell and cranks it up to 78 mph and wowzers we now have the opening number from the Long Way To Heaven tour! This song kicks it into overdrive and I can see why! Fritz is smashing his kit,Gray is laying down the law on the bass,Hackman and the Doctor are ripping it up on guitar and Vollmer is summersaulting all over the stage and bringing home the goods  with his voice! Bam opening number all rolled up into one little tune!

CHRISTINE-hmmm to my ears anyways it sounds like Helix is trying to grab a stab at radio AirPlay with this one! Can ya blame em? I’m sure the pressure was on from the record company after Rock You went viral on old school tv in 1984 and it must be a daunting task when you have some cigar smoking suit and tie guy from the record company chirping at you to write another Rock You! This song is good with the guitars and its always good as a 17 yr old boy at the time to hear some rock dudes sing about some chick named Christine and her legs! Wowzers!

WITHOUT YOU(JASMINE’S SONG) – I think  Vollmer wrote this one about his daughter. Think about it  for a sec! A lot of us have kids ( well in my case 3 beautiful teenage daughters) and think back to 1985 and Vollmer and Helix go out on tour and he leaves behind his newborn. So he’s out on the road for months at a time away form home while his daughter is growing up! And of course compared to today’s technology I guess the rotary phone was the only way to go back than. That musta been hard on the dude,full props and ya man Brian Vollmer can have a song on a rock record about his kid if he wants to! The song itself is good the chorus is big time catchy and once again Helix shows off there vocals!

SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS- Helix sez time to kick ass and its back to the alleys with this one. The title says it all. At the School Of Hard Knocks is where you get your Helix education. Helix writing once again  with big vocals in mind and the song has a pretty memorable hook in it! Catchy Helix….

DON’T TOUCH THE MERCHANDISE- hahaha, whats this one about? Yeah man don’t touch Helix’s merchandise! This is a cool little 3 minute song,brief and too the point! Helix tells us that everyone wants a piece of paradise but please don’t touch the merchandise! Whoever pulls off the solo in this tune (Doctor?/Hackman?) it’s cool slipping in sliding all over the place! And of course Helix goes into Capella mode with snappin fingers and Brian leading the charge with Don’t Touch….Helix was always good with quick 3 minute rockers(When The Hammer Falls Down,Dirty Dog come to mind) Helix said were not here for Rocket Science..were here to Ride The Rocket! Amen to that!

BANGING OF-A-The BRICKS-Helix wraps up with a straight ahead rocker and this one features also some real slick lead playing and Fritz and Gray lay it all down with some straight ahead bottom end! I never really understood the title at all! But never the less Helix ends the record with some good Ol fashioned hard rock!

IN CONCLUSION- Helix in Canada anyways went into arena mode with this album as it went platinum here and number 1 in Sweden! Good for them man and I remember reading about there tour In that old magazine Metallion. For some reason though and this is just my deal Long Way..seemed to fall thru the cracks for some reason and for me it kinda did as well. Not as good as Walking The Razors Edge and Wild In The Streets but still pretty good. I found the production a little more clean than Razors Edge butcan you blame Helix? They were trying to dent the U.S. market!

But Helix did deliver some well written tracks esp the title track,Deep Cuts,Kids,House On Fire so all in all a pretty good record and l like this album cover simple yet effective and for myself and brothers Erickson, Helix back than that was A-ok!!!

Long Way To Heaven,Three Short Steps To Hell….

August 27 1985…..Helix/Honeymoon Suite

So the big Helix arena rock tour shows up to Tbay in the soon to be back to school season. What a better way for me, my best friend TBone and his two younger brothers Rugg and Darr to cap off the summer with some Rock! Honeymoon Suite opened the show  as there debut album was still selling like hot cakes on the back of the tracks New Girl Now and Wave Babies so off go the lights and there At the back of the arena floor is Derry Grehan (guitarist)and heads to the front of the stage playing the opening number Funny Business pretty impressive that I remember the manouver all these yrs later,more impressive was the fact that it was the opening band. Goes to show ya that Helix were chill with there support and were confident in there own abilities to not feel upstaged by the opener.

Helix comes out ripping into House On Fire and showing off there slick new arena rock stage ramps included and me and the brothers go bonkers! Here’s Helix punching out Ride The Rocket hahaha(gotta love the 80s),Young & Wreckless, and many more of Helix classics. Big time  rock show from Helix and how they stepped up from playing our University the year before into the big stage of arenas they looked like they have been playing arenas forever. Vollmer was on his game,the Doctor/Hackman/Gray/Fritz were all doing there synch rock moves and the playing was tight. I remember there lighting truss came down during Rock You and would spell ROCK. Great show when all was said and done.  Now Helix was promoting the current release Long Way To Heaven which to me was a smart marketing move with the cover. Here they are standing all decked out in black except Volmer who is in the middle wearing white with a blue backdrop. Considering bands of the time were all about black heavy album covers Helix goes the opposite way. Good job. The album itself was ok I liked the two previous studio outputs more  but hey who cares Helix in the year of 1985 is headlining arenas!!!

Of course the vid above is not from 1985 but the song is…it has 4/5 of original members (r.i.p P Hackman ) unfortunately I could not find any live footage from the Long Way Tour but this is a great version and as you can see Brian and the Boys still play like there lives depended on it. Vollmer deserves respect man and the band still take there craft seriously ….

Check out Mikeladano.com for a great review of the current Helix release Bastard of The Blues..