Mike: What bands got you into music?
Tapper: As a young boy I was influenced by my aunt who got me into the Rolling Stones and then Black Sabbath. Sabbath was my gateway to hard rock music and I have never looked back since, listening to Deep Purple, Hawkwind, and in 1972 along came a phenomenon, a band called Alice Cooper! After the lead singer went solo and called himself Alice Cooper I remain a huge fan today.
1973 brought along another band with the motto, “Perhaps the greatest rock band mankind has ever known” that band is KISS, and nearly 50 years later they lived up to their motto and now are on their final tour and retiring. As with Alice, I still am a huge fan and have seen both many times.
I did also get into Glam Rock in the 70s but Hard Rock was always for me, I considered it real man’s music!
Mike: What was it about them you liked?
Tapper: Well apart from the different types of song The Stones produced, the rebelliousness also attracted me, Keith Richards being my prime motivator. The hard rock band influenced me with the loudness and fantastic guitar playing that bands like The Beatles and the Merseybeat bands could, in my opinion, only aspire to.
Alice Cooper and KISS gave me not only the loudness but a show of theatrics that not only shocked but had pyrotechnics which had never been seen before, and costumes and grand make up on their faces which I believe broke a lot of barriers in music which was needed at that time. Similar to what punk music did to feminine disco music in the mid 70s. What is the point of dancing?
Mike: What was your first concert?
Tapper: That was in 1973 at the Empire Bingo hall at Surgeons hall. On the bill was Slade, Suzi Quatro and T. Rex, which I suppose all three could be classed as Glam Rock. I can still see that concert on my own mental DVD. The noise when Suzi Q came on first blew me away, for me she was a woman who was one of the boys ! The style of each band was different and so there was the variety of sounds, looks and all three entertaining.
Mike: What are your top 5 concerts?
Tapper: Now THAT is a difficult one to answer. I have seen a lot of bands many times so I might group two or three shows in one choice.
1. Has to be KISS in the L.A. Forum at Los Angeles in 1976
2. Alice Cooper in 1975 in London and other cities through the years.
3. Iron Maiden, every concert a different theme and always with a 10 ft high robot mascot called EDDIE.
4. Prince, a spectacular spectacle and spectacular music. A man who could front any Hard Rock band, he proved to be a great musician.
5. AC/DC, every concert just good old rock’n roll.
I don’t follow anyone on websites etc. I am old fashioned and subscribe to a magazine called “Classic Rock” which has brought a lot of new bands to my attention. I would say that all female Hard Rock bands, especially from Scandinavia, Japan and of course USA are carrying the banner high for my favourite music. Great Britain has a few good female bands but has to catch up, I think.
Mike: Who are your favourite guitarists?
Tapper: My favourite guitarists are:
- Ace Frehley – KISS
- Ritchie Blackmore – Rainbow
- Slash – Guns’n’Roses
- Angus Young – AC/DC
- Keith Richards – Rolling Stones
Mike: Who are your favourite singers?
Tapper: Too many singers male and female to list! I don’t have a favourite as such as they all, to me, deserve the highest of praise.
A factor I have found in Hard Rock is that the crowds going to the shows WON’T tolerate the band if they don’t sing live or actually play their instruments unlike manufactured pop ‘bands’ and I use the term band lightly as they don’t sing without backing tapes can’t play instruments and can’t write their own songs!
While through my years of loving Hard Rock or as it’s called, “Heavy Metal”, I am also fond of Roy Orbison, Billy Fury, Kathy Kirby, The Walker Brothers, The Move, The Small Faces and many other 1960s acts, you could say that my music collection of vinyl, cassette tape and CDs is eclectic.😜