RON KEEL Looks Back On Working In The Studio With STEELER In The '80s - "We Were So Green; We Didn't Know What We Were Doing"
November 22, 2020, 7 months ago
This past summer FnA Records released Come Hell Or Hollywood 1981-1982 by Steeler. The compilation is a collection of pre-Yngwie Malmsteen demos recorded by the band while they were hungry for a record deal. Metal Express Radio’s George Dionne talks in-depth with frontman Ron Keel about the album, as well as the hardships Steeler faced in the beginning, making the transition to the band Keel, and his various projects since Keel’s last album.
Keel: "I remember a lot of times we would go into the studio ('81, '82): we were so green, we didn't know what we were doing. Sometimes you got it and sometimes you didn't. Some of these recordings were done pretty much live in reherasal, so we would record demos at home because we couldn't afford to go into the studio."
Before Mötley Crüe, Quiet Riot and Ratt were platinum… Steeler was “American Metal”.
FnA Records adds to their classic catalog with the release of Steeler: Come Hell Or Hollywood, a collection of remastered rare recordings from 1981-1982. Many of these pre-Yngwie tracks have never been made public, and the album features a “lost” version of the Steeler anthem “Cold Day In Hell” as well as unheard versions of the Rolling Stones’ “Let’s Spend The Night Together” (the only cover song Steeler ever played) and fan favorite “Backseat Driver”.
While the release is the brainchild of original Steeler guitarist Michael Dunigan, Ron Keel and the FnA Records staff worked closely together on this project to present these recordings in their proper context. “It’s like walking the streets of a heavy metal ghost town,” Ron Keel explains. “There’s historical value here, and this magical moment in time needs to be properly preserved and shared. There are those that lived the Hollywood heyday with us, and those this missed it – this album is dedicated to all of them.”
“Many of these tracks are medium rare, and others are absolutely raw – but thanks to FnA, the project is well done. We were helping give birth to a cultural revolution, and childbirth is ugly, messy and painful; it’s also one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever experience. I was just learning how to sing and write songs in 1981-82.”
In addition to releasing this album on CD, FnA Records has also unleashed an exclusive limited-edition 7” vinyl single (in both Black and Blue vinyl pressings) featuring the song “American Metal” (the first song ever recorded by Steeler, in Nashville in 1981). The CD and vinyl single are offered with merchandise bundles that include collector’s guitar picks, bumper stickers, Steeler patches and autographed photos. The CD packaging features a massive 28-page scrapbook-style booklet packed with rare photos, flyers, personal liner notes written by Keel and guitarist Michael Dunigan, magazine clippings and other memories. FnA is releasing a series of promotional videos to accompany Come Hell Or Hollywood and mark the 40th anniversary of Steeler, one of the '80s seminal bands.
“This is a huge victory for FnA Records to bring this project to the fans,” acknowledged FnA’s Steve Lockett. “We’ve been working hard on this release for two years now, and I’ve enjoyed working with Michael Dunigan and Ron Keel to create a very special time capsule of their early 80’s music and experiences.”
Order your copy of Steeler: Come Hell Or Hollywood now at this location. Check out the new Steeler video for “American Metal” below.