‘That Metal Show’ Recap: Stephen Pearcy + Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens Recall Their Glory Days
Two big hard rock voices made their way to VH1′s ‘That Metal Show’ last night. Ratt singer Stephen Pearcy and current Dio Disciples/ex-Judas Priest singer Tim “Ripper” Owens appeared as the separate (but equal) guests on the show, offering their unique perspectives on their life in metal bands and their personal glory days.
Pearcy was candid as usual, talking about his solo material, which he test drives by playing live and by letting fans hear it. He joked that “I don’t care — you either like it or you don’t” at this point in his career. He also recalled the heyday of Ratt, who were a legit, stadium-sized band in the 1980s. “Ratt ‘n’ roll” was what the band did, with Pearcy admitting, “We got on that train and we rode it.” It certainly was a time and a place and Ratt were in the right place at the right time with their unforgettable songs.
Host Eddie Trunk asked Pearcy about the craziest tour that Ratt ever embarked on. There were many, but Pearcy narrowed things down, saying, “Well crazy was when we opened for Billy Squire. We were beating him up every night. But opening for Ozzy! He pulled us in and it was crazy…I don’t think we ever gave our livers a break.”
Dio Disciples is a celebration of the late, great Ronnie James Dio’s music, from his days in Rainbow to Black Sabbath. Owens, who took over for Rob Halford in Priest for a period of time, sings Dio’s songs with Dio’s band. “It’s emotional every night. The fans are crying, but we want to do something that was from the heart and something we know he’d approve of,” he said.
That’s part and parcel of Owens’ career — he steps into established situations and puts his massive, room-filling voice to tape. He tours five to seven months per year, and records while he’s home. He’s a metal journeyman who loves what he does.
Owens also spoke about K.K. Downing’s exit from Priest. He counts Halford among his friends and said it’s all family in Priest. The subject of the 2001 film ‘Rock Star,’ featuring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston, came up, since the movie was based on Owens’ life story, where he was plucked from tribute band obscurity and plunked into the boots formerly worn by Halford. He looks back at that period fondly. His singular goal? “To go on stage and blow everyone away.”
Trunk posed a similar question about current and former frontmen to Pearcy, who left Ratt for a period. He didn’t mind someone else singing his tunes, saying, “Not at all, I didn’t care when he was singing my songs, since I was getting paid.” Pearcy said he sings Priest songs during his solo sets, to which Owens asked, “Is it something from ‘Jugulator?,’” which was one of two Owens-fronted studio albums.