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Wild dogs the story:
Summer 1981, Portland Or. Jeff Mark, Mick Zane,Pete Holmes and Matt McCourt team up and perform in Portland as The Ravers promoting Mccourt's release called "I Was a Teenage RocknRoller" on Matchbox records
By Fall, Mick had split to do his own thing , eventually joining Jay Reynolds. also an ex Raver and forming MALICE
Meanwhile, Jeff, Pete, Matt and bassist Danny Kurth were asked to record a few songs for a recording class at Recording Associates, the first session helmed by Bob Stoutenberg and Jeffs sister in law produced Fugitive of the Law the track also features Evil Genius guitarist Kip Doran on second lead guitar. .
The 2nd session produced We got the Power, Runnin away, Tonite We Rock. the third session proved to be the turning point
in what wasnt considered a band quite yet, during this time black n Blue had lured drummer pete Holmes away and he was replaced by Black n Blue frontman Jaime St James (now with Warrant)who lived around the corner . Jaime brought a songwriters sense with him and the band fleshed out The Tonite Show, Life is a game, I need a Love to Call My Own Two Wrongs and the song that broke the band locally on radio Born To Rock. the basis for the first album which was never re recorded.
Matt saw a one time news segment on then new MTV about Mike Varney and his search for the unsung guitar hero and decided to send a copy of their new demo. he responded with an offer to appear on his compilation series
Jeff was known in portland as the best guitarist around sounding like Uli Roth Eddie Van Halen and the
latest guitar star of the day Randy Rhoads originally the guys decided on DMZ for a name but were asked to come up with something else so they wrote down a bunch of names on a piece of paper and voted for the WILD DOGS passing 2 old dogs on the stairwell everyday gave birth to the name the poor hounds were blind by this time in their life(and probably deaf or soon to be , the band rehearsed in a 10x 15 room with 2 marshall stacks and a matching ampeg bass rig cranked at concert volume and facing the band "you'd leave practice and yours ears would ring till the next day."
After the release of US Metal Vol 2 the response and demand for the wild dogs was pretty good and fan mail from different countries came in with positive things to say, fanzines started calling for interviews and a buzz was born.
Mccourt suggested to Shrapnel that they should take the band with the best response and make a full album and see what happens on his new label the standard deal back then was this:the band records at their expense and provides the master .there were 5 songs finished and 5 more for the next session to complete the first shrapnel band album. Unfortunately during this period Black n Blue would be moving to Hollywood following Jay Reynolds and Malices' lead and the wild dogs would be left without a drummer.The search was a long arduous task. all the good local guys were taken. Placing ads in the paper,airplay on the major FM station KGON and Mccourt's persistence in getting the demo played in every club during band breaks he knew most of the sound guys and gave them a copy of the demo a refreshing break form the usual Cars, Knack, and other pop that was the norm
eventually Bryce Van Patten was the drummer closest to their needs until Kip Doran scouted Deen Castronovo, the 16 year old whiz kid and his band The Enemy,at a local club and urged Matt to go recruit him. after the two Met he invited him to record the MALICE demo with Jay Reynold and Mccourt on bass 2 of those 5 songs were featured on metal massacre 2 . something didnt gel with the Malice Guys and Deen called to ask if he could have an auditon with wild dogs and demolished Jaime's drumkit in about 45 minutes.He didnt need to audition! I had to convince the others he was the right guy and not a flighty teenager!. finally able to do live shows after 2 years in the basement doghouse The first gig was Aug 20 1982 San Francisco at the stone with Culprit, Varney's band Cinema, and a guitar riff off all this was filmed for another MTV news segment. the next week Wild Dogs Performed in Seattle Washington sharing the bill with TKO, RAIL, ADAM BOMB, MYTH(Queensryche) and later tours with SLAYER METAL CHURCH, ANTHRAX, DIO, RAVEN,GIRLSCHOOL in the ealrly days of Wild Dogs Mccourt would use spiked baseball bats, blow up dolls and other props and even bring the audience onstage,borrowing from Punk, Kiss and the Road Warrior Mad Max films. Matt lived up to the wild in wild dogs. an unpredictable performer who would literally do anything without fear of embarrassment people refferred to matt as ozzy's bastard son. he gave the band the bad boy reputation sometimes going tooo far for the other bandmates.! Deen's stagemanship included twirling and/or juggling sticks jumping on the bass drums throwing sticks up 20 feet in the air and catching them on time Deen was also a practical jokester, one trip to San Franciso and Los Angeles for gigs with Steeler and Black N Blue Deen wrote all over his roadie Shawn Dawsons face with permanent ink, he got up and leftto meet a friend without looking in the mirror, the manager of the local Denny's restraunt informed him of his misfortune. on the same night bassist Danny had found a willing female fan at the show and made a date for the night in the equipment van. Matt trying to top Deen's el marko episode rounded up the crew and a few other people staying at the travelodge and went out to the van, held hands as intructed and sang "Come All Ye Faithfull" at top volume which aroused the pair in a way they hadn't planned on .the musical selection of the evening was made due to the fact that Dan had a lady at home so we tok a vote and thought the best choice for this situation (during the gig Dan was hit by a cymbal deen threw liek a giant metal frisbee and dropped him like a bad habit on sunday..the next day at the Country Club in reseda ca. the green room was filled with stars, Dio, Blackie Lawless, Chris Holmes, Jake E. Lee the week he got the Ozzy gig.a real who's who of the 80's metal scene. and Yngwie Malmsteen in one of first US appearances.
Wild Dogs spent more time on the live show than new material and the dead line for a second album was getting near. Around this time Mike Varney had produced WASP's ground breaking album and ICON before signing them to a major .Black n Blue had been signed to Geffen, Malice was on Atlantic and the Wild Dogs felt left out knowing that the band was a much stronger musical force than most, Malice was called Judas Priest Jr. and Black n Blue was known as Def Leppard usa and wild dogs sounded like themselves " musically it was a perfect and inpenetrable creative situation until reviews started coming back or drunks made off hand comments after a live show. and clouded the bands vision. prompting the decision to outsource the production for mans best friend and a chance at a major label deal.
for a short time, pre Metallica, Pre Yngwie and the neo classical deluge to follow on Shrapnel it was an exciting time a wonderful entrance to be involved in this type of music. Everything was still under one all encompassing umbrella of Hard rock/Heavy Metal and listeners had not yet developed a prejudice or picked a side.(this changed drastically after Mettallica broke grass roots )there was still an air of anything metal! the scene hadnt been flooded yet.
Portland oregon In 1980 new wave bands like Sequel(containing future sidemen for Tommy Tutone, Alice Cooper, Hardline,David Lee Roth ) ruled the clubs and got the good gigs, so booking a heavy metal stud wearing group was not possible at the usual watering holes. so when the band hit the stage at the KGON Homegrown 2 compilation release party at one of those clubs the pyro and fog set off alarms and they finished the set with Firefighters and Police surrounding the place. Deen's Mom Kay bought the band new clothes and special effects and wireless units whcih set them apart from all the rest.they played to large crowds and did autograph sessions at record stores in the cities they visited. the buzz on this debut album lasted for 16 months it was definitely time for another album and the "Doggy Style "demo contained 6 songs produced by the band 2 of them are featured on this disc they are different versions than appeared on the "Man's Best Frend " album.
Where are they now?....
Pete Holmes joined Mick Zane, Mark Behn(Malice) and Jeff Scott Soto mark isham in a band called Monster who released a great album called through the Eyes of the World and mentioned Wild Dogs To It's Metal Magazine who contacted us and started a landslide of curiousity Pete recently joined Michael shenker group after a long awaited Black n Blue reunion.
Jaine St. James moved to Cleveland Ohio and formed St James before moving back to oregon after the B-n-B reunion and made Road manager of Kiss replacing BnB guitarist Tommy Thayer who became ACE FREHLEY stars and all. later he was tapped to sing for Warrant and is currently touring with them at this time.
Deen Castronovo is currently a full time member of super groups Journey and has toured with Ozzy, Bad English,HardlinePaul Rodgers, Voscoe Rossi,and has appeared on more records than we can mention and an influence to drums in the same capacity as Hendrix contributed to guitar, sharing his talent close up at clinics and exhibitons around the globe for years and is considered one of the world's top drummers and is an influence to an entire generation.
Jeff MarkGuitarist Jeff Mark has been producing since the 80's and owns Powerhouse Studio and is "so busy that we didn't have time to do any of our own material." in 1999 Jeff released a well recieved Progressive 4 song ep titled Zoomlens with Gary Moore/Captain Beyond vocalist Willie Dee and also works as a touring pro sound engineer Jeff's Guitar prowess was the fuel that ignited the whole deal with a space age sound and state of the art gear and custom guitars he was able to produce spine chilling effects and lighting fast runs that werent based in blues or classical a style magazines called all his own today he is experimenting with 7 string guitars, alternate tunings, and tribal rythms set to metal.
Matthew T. McCourt is the owner of "the world's smallest record label" usmetal records and produces a music tv show
that has featured videos he has produced live of Dio, Motorhead, GWAR,mudvayne, Dokken Great White and more for 12 years including the 1998-1999 lineup that appeared with the aforementioned groups and yielded 2 albums worth of material and a live cd "live at the Roseland Matt has also appeared on albums by Mayhem,Jester's Moon, SINN,Meathook, and 4 Mentors Church Of El Duce cds and records regularly with Bryce Van Patten
Danny Kurth is an executive at a financial firm in Portland Oregon specialising in real estate aquisiton and has been recording whenever the wild dogs get together and is featured on "out for Blood" a compilation of unreleased demo recordings throughout the years by the mans best friend lineup..Danny was known for his homeade spiked arm bands and chain gear whichearned the name terror gear the use of nails, chain, door knockers ,copper razor blades ,were all fair game for accesories Kurth was also the songwriter for the tunes that got the band noticed first and some that appear on Reign of Terror. his sound was 100% METAL and very daring for a bassist at that time as a teen he was a member of Jet which eventually evolved into Black n Blue. Jet was the envy of every young player in town the only band in Portland who ventured to LA for showcases at age 16, they had the groupie/playmate girlfriends in makeup and heels and lived by the KISS school of showmanship. the most unsung of The Wild Dogs but deserves more recognition for bringing a unique swing to Van Halen based metal music
Jay Reynolds Lead Malice through 2 albums on Atlantic before joining Megadeth for a short time and appearing in the decline of western civilization part 2 the metal years film by penelope spheeris later moving back to the northwest and joined Metal Church in 2003
Mick Zane lead guitarist for Malice formed Monster wth Pete Holmes and Mark Behn in 1994 and is co owner of a high end production studio in hollywood with Max Norman Mick also works on most fetaure films as set creator
KIp Doran guitarist for Evil Genius and Mrs Beasely's Nightmare a band which featured Deen and Matt doing Wild Dogs and Dr Mastermind songs in local clubs(1991-93) another pre classical shredder in the Michael Shenker flavor