HEAVY METAL KIDS (1973–78). Gary Holton (vocals), Mickey Waller (guitar), Ronnie Thomas (bass), Danny Peyronel (keyboards, replaced by John Sinclair), Keith Boyce (drums).
Heavy Metal Kids were an English metal band with punk leanings that were popular during the mid-seventies. The band was formed in London in 1973 and quickly established themselves as one of the most popular local bands playing in a glam, light metal, proto-punk style with little bits of pre-oi thrown in for good measure. Singer Gary Bolton was influenced by the stage antics of Iggy Pop and was one of the most physical and showman-esque of the metal bands of the time.
A particular highlight of any Heavy Metal Kids show was the climax where Bolton blew up a dummy of himself onstage. Keyboard player John Sinclair later played with Ozzy Osbourne and Uriah Heep. The band’s first keyboard player, Danny Peyronel, later joined UFO. After a semi-successful career as an actor, including roles in the films Quadrophenia and Breaking Glass, Holton dove into an abyss of substance abuse. Lead singer Holton died in October 1985 of a heroin overdose (Poulsen 2005, 171), which seemed to destroy the chance of any lucrative reunion tour, but the band got back together in 2002 with original members Boyce, Thomas, and keyboardist Peyronel on lead vocals, to some small acclaim. The Heavy Metal Kids were a major influence on punk, and a sadly overlooked band in terms of their influence on the glam and pop metal scene of the eighties.
Discography: Heavy Metal Kids (Atlantic, 1974); Anvil Chorus (Atlantic, 1975); Kitsch (Rak-Spak, 1977); Hit the Right Button (Import, 2003).