Barry Graham, aka Thunderstick, began drumming for Iron Maiden in 1977; a year later he joined Samson where he spent the next three years as the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal’s most controversial figure - the man in the rapist’s mask. The image was indeed offensive and did little to elevate either his or Samson’s career, but he was still a powerful drummer in the Keith Moon mould. Aside from appearing on Samson’s three albums, Survivors, Head On and Shock Tactics, he also appeared on the Gillan set, For Gillan Fans Only. After Samson he teamed up with Gillan guitarist Bernie Torme in the Electric Gypsies, where he remained until forming Thunderstick the band in 1982. Adopting a more theatrical mask and outfit, he put together this Screaming Lord Sutch / Alice Cooper -styled outfit with Neil Hay (bass), Ben K. Reeve (guitar), Colin Heart (guitar) and Vinnie Monroe (vocals). In November 1983 they released a 12-inch EP entitled Feel Like Rock ‘N’ Roll, with a line-up featuring American singer Jodee Valentine and guitarists Wango Wiggins and Cris Martin replacing Heart, Monroe and Hay (the latter joining Julia Fordham’s backing band), while Reeve switched to bass. Most press interest seemed to revolve around Valentine who played the ‘pin up’ role. The music was consequently largely forgotten and when their album came out in 1984, there was more concern about the pending marriage between Valentine and Graham. The band hacked away for another two years before splitting up (which was also what happened to the newlyweds). Graham later rejoined Paul Samson on two more projects but today he is more involved with music management.
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