Autograph And Raging Slab Among Rock Candy Records Reissues


October 11, 2008

Derek Oliver, one of the masterminds behind reissue label Rock Candy Records, has posted the following diary entry at

I’ve been working on Rock Candy booklets today; Autograph and Cobra. Designer Curt Evans has come up with some nice work using material supplied by both bands. Steve Plunkett (Autographs front man) in particular provided some great shots including stuff from the pre Autograph outfit Wolfgang. Cobra’s Jimi Jamison and Tommy Keiser both searched high and low for stuff – and came through. Also, I received some GREAT photos from Billy Steinberg to accompany the forth coming i-Ten reissue…watch the news page in the next week or so for release date details.

Perhaps this would be a good time to praise all the artists that have been the subject of Rock Candy releases. Most, if not all, have been more than accommodating in our requests for memorabilia and photographic evidence of their quest for gold and glory. In fact I can only think of one artist who was reluctant to get involved with a reissue. I won’t say who, as he eventually came on board and I think a lot of the initial reluctance was due to (bad) advice from a manager keen to flex biceps and talk the talk.

Tracking down some of these folks has proven to be an art in itself and erstwhile music journalist and friend Paul Suter has proven to be extremely helpful in this area. Paul, surprisingly, if you’ve ever experienced his rather relaxed personality, found employment in Los Angeles, until recently, as a Bounty Hunter with access to various interesting track and trace methods…and we don’t just mean a computer and a Google search engine either.

The delicious Karen Lawrence from hard rockers 1994 couldn’t believe our audacity when Paul came a knockin’ about the 1994 reissue (and yes, the second album is on our radar) but proved a real doll providing some great candid shots including rather pulse accelerating leather jump suit shots. Classic Rock’s Geoff Barton nearly choked on his morning cornflakes when they popped trough the Outlook Express mailbox.

Hats off to the boys from Money (the pre NWOBHM late seventies hard rockers) who came down to London from their native Birmingham to reconnect with myself and journalist Malcolm Dome. That album was one of my personal favourite RC reissues – it’s a record that I thought should have done so much more at the time of its original release.

It took a few phone calls and the smell of freshly hung meat but even Ted Nugent got on the blower to spill the beans on his ‘Scream Dream’ and ‘Weekend Warriors’ albums. Diving For Pearls front fella Danny Malone was also super cool – he gave his all in between studying as an art major up in Boston. Danny is married to an English girl and they both came over to London a couple of months back to visit the in laws which provided an excuse for us to get together. We sat for two hours talkin’ turkey, discussing our mutual love of Steve Marriott and Humble Pie together with the why’s, the wherefores and the I-Don’t-Mind-If -I-Do’s of DFP producer David Prater in full-on ‘creative’ mode. David, as talented as he is, is quite a live wire when it comes to twiddling the knobs and we both had marvellous stories to share. Danny is still writing songs but I fear his attention has turned to all things visual and colourful – a renaissance man no less.

Looking back I can’t think of one single artist that put the mockers on any of our releases. Even Lita Ford, once we tracked her down to a remote Caribbean island where she now lives with husband Jim Gillette, was dead keen to provide all the help health and beauty required. Talking of beauty, Romeo’s Daughter front gal Leigh Matty couldn’t have been a more engaging personality, genuinely thrilled about their album being resuscitated and reissued. The voice of rock Glen Hughes took a chunk out of his time to spill the beans on the Hughes/Thrall album (where art H/T ‘II’?) whilst Pat Thrall tweaked and trimmed the two bonus tracks into a fit-for-purpose state. Touch Man Mark Mangold hooked up with me in NYC earlier this year – we are actually long time friends from many years back – so that was a pleasant reconnect. Mark has a great sense of humour – something that I was unaware of until our latest dalliance.

Best of all though was finely connecting with someone from Mother’s Finest. I make no apologies for saying that MF are one of my favourite ever bands – a wonderfully talented unit that coulda and shoulda sold a lot more records first time around. I’d actually met singer Joyce Kennedy in 1989 at the Hollywood Palladium but only briefly – she’s one of my all time favourite singers – but, for some reason that night, I was literally tongue tied. This time around it was ultra cool bassist Wyzard who took our MF reissue project by the reigns. The Wyz, proved to be a super dude, delivering on every count – I even introduced him to the legendary Brian Brinkerhoff who promptly sequestered the Wyz in an LA studio to play bass on a blues album that Brian was making with Guitar Shorty. Apparently they all got on like a house on fire.

More recently, I’ve been working with Raging Slab’s Greg Strzempka who has proven to be something of a real treasure. We kicked around who was going to write the essay for the Slab reissue and it occurred to me that Greg might actually be the best person for the job. He didn’t let us down either…the essay is mind blowingly GREAT. Gregg’s ability to paint pictures with words is beyond comprehension. The story is full of true-grit tales from the front line and it’s astonishingly funny. In fact, I shall trailer some of the parts that didn’t make the cut over the next couple of days to give you a sense of what’s in store in final booklet. I told Gregg that he must stop all this rock ‘n’ roll malarkey immediately and turn his attention to publishing – the boy has one hell of a book in him and I’d be first in line to buy a copy.

The weekend looms. I shall be examining my record collection for any unplayed music and making lists amongst matters of a more domestic nature.

Courtesy of