SIR LORD BALTIMORE (1970–73, 2006–PRESENT). Louis Dambra (guitar),
Gary Justin (bass), John Garner (drums/vocals).
Sir Lord Baltimore were and are now a Brooklyn-based power trio and wellknown as an early version of metal in the late sixties and early seventies. Louis Dambra on guitar and Gary Justin on bass saw an ad in The Village Voice looking for “heavy band to record album.” The story is that the band was named after a minor character in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which first started playing in theaters in 1970. Their first album was Kingdome Come, which helped establish the American heavy metal sound. Sir Lord Baltimore are also famous for being one of the earliest bands to be called “metal” by then-rock critic “Metal” Mike Saunders (later of the punk band Angry Samoans), who referred to the band as heavy metal in a review. Many others claim to have also coined the term (see the introduction for more theories on the origin of the term).
The band at its best was a stripped-down power trio who played a hard boogiebased bluesrock with unusual, almost jazz-like dexterity. The first two records are highly recommended. But the band never had much success and went on an indefinite
hiatus that lasted thirty years, due to a lack of critical acclaim. In 2006 Sir Lord Baltimore returned with a new record featuring Dambra on guitar and John Garner on drums and vocals with session bassists Tony Franklin and Sam Powell. The new record is a good indication that although Dambra is now a pastor at a Christian church in Los Angeles working with the homeless, Sir Lord Baltimore had not lost its punch. The band was also praised for Garner’s work on the drums in which he tried to make them a featured instrument in the band, and tried to emulate the sound of a guitar.
Discography: Kingdom Come (PolyGram, 1970); Sir Lord Baltimore S/T (PolyGram, 1971); Sir Lord Baltimore III: Raw (2006).