If you read my recent book review on Martin Popoff’s excellent Riot book(Swords And Tequila/ Riot’s Classic First Decade) you will recall that I had stated that Martin writes on bands that normally would not get books written about them.
Accept is one of those bands that Martin has tackled and I will be totally honest with you all. I am not a huge Accept fan! Sure back in the mid 1980s I owned Restless And Wild/Balls To The Wall/Metal Heart but when I heard Russian Roulette for some reason it did not register with me. I just could not get into it for some crazy reason. Even so I still bought Eat The Heat as well!(more on that one later)
When I seen on Martins website that he had written a book about Accept I was Intrigued as they did not get much press back in day sure Hit Parader would feature them maybe Circus but my curiosity factor was raised so I ordered it at http://www.martinpopoff.com
I should mention in regards to my other reviews of Martins Books is that he writes as a fan and it totally comes across in his book’s by the first 7-8 pages has Martin explaining the actual dates when he purchased each Accept album(date,prices with whom he was hanging out with at the time ) If that doesn’t constitute a Fan what does?
Like The Riot book Martin pulls out all the stops. Talks to all the main guys in Accept. Udo Dirkschneider/Wolf Hoffman/Peter Baltes/Stefan Schwarzmann/Jorg Fisher/Mark Tornillo.
Another interesting person in the Accept story is Gaby Hoffman (Wolf’s Wife) was Accept’s Manager since 1981 and contributed lyrical idea’s and cover concepts for a ton of years but she went under the pseudonym as Deaffey which I recall seeing that name on the Accept albums back than. Never would have known that it was a woman running the show and naming albums Balls To The Wall and contributing lyrics to songs like Fast As A Shark/London Leatherboys/Midnight Mover.
Martin also has once again added a ton of add’s for various albums and even a section of coloured pics from Accept’s 1984 tour when Udo was decked out in his camouflage gear. Even the cover of this book reminds me of Judas Priest with the Flying V’s as I guess they took a page from Priest in the dual lead guitars/stage presence 101 when they opened for JP back in 1981!
Each album goes under Martins Metal Microscope as his diagnosis each album with commentary which makes for a total worthy read. Basically once I dug into the book I could not put it down.
The success of the Balls To The Wall album in 1983-84 is interesting as they toured with all the heavyweights backs than.(KISS & Iron Maiden) They were kept on the straight and narrow by Deaffey and management not to get messed up in the Party Treats of the day. Tight Leash the Boys were kept on I guess you could say!
Martin also goes into detail how even though we both consider Metal Heart (1985) a top-notch Accept record. For some reason though it never really caught on which was surprising as it featured some great tracks like Midnight Mover(Accept didn’t care for it!) Too High To Get It Right / Screaming For A Love Bite/Metal Heart.
Course like so many bands the wheels start coming off of Accept after the release of Russian Roulette(1986) and as the album didn’t catch on here in North America internal strife was brewing and out goes Lead Singer Udo.
Now here’s where I really got into the book for that matter as it’s always fascinated me on how a Lead Singer change can either propel a band to the next level or disintegrate a band into a huge mess of dysfunction and chaos.
Unfortunately Accept slammed head first into dysfunction( record company politics wanting to Americanize there sound with a new singer) and chaos (keep reading)with the release in 1989 of the Eat The Heat album with a New American Lead Singer named David Reece.
I bought Eat The Heat at the time of its release on cassette tape and it was a massive change in direction. Songs were Melodic Lite Metal. The production by Dieter Dierks ( who manned a few other albums by Accept and made his name by producing a ton of Scorpions albums in the 80s) was weak. Had a few good things but generally was a sub par release to put it nicely! Even with this album being the Sore Thumb in the catalogue of Accept music Martin still gives it a bunch of pages just like the bigger albums in Accept’s career!( he doesn’t play favourites!)
Martin talks to Reece and the rest of the guys on what went down on the Eat The Heat album and the backstage fight(hello chaos) between Peter Baltes and Reece which led to the singer getting fired as well as the tour getting canned. Accept folded up shop for a few years!
Of course like so many bands they can only simmer for so long and back comes Udo for a few albums and tours( two reunions with Udo) before issues once again rise and Accept once again goes into hiatus that is until they come across another American Singer named Mark Tornillo and have released some recent works (Blood OF Nations/Stalingrad/Blind Rage) as Martin champions their cause as great albums and another fact that Martin points out is that Tornillo handles all the lyrics pretty much now.
Aiming High is another fine read from Martin! For a casual Accept fan like myself it was a real interesting read and every section had a ton of written stuff that I had no idea what went on in the inner sanctums of Accept(Well researched!)
To be quite frank I was about to order Martin’s Book on Ted Nugent but for some reason I clicked and ordered the Accept book but fret not Friends I will get the Nuge book and like I always say…
Do support our local Canadian Writers and click Martin’s link above.