Tag Archives: Paul Hackman

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!!!