Five Records That Changed My Life, Part 55: Tommy Bolan

The American guitarist Tommy Bolan is best known for his work with the German heavy metal band Warlock and its fierce leader Doro Pesch. He has also been a member of the solo band of Richie Ramone, the former Ramones drummer. Warlock will release “Triumph and Agony Live” on 24th September. Roppongi Rocks’ Stefan Nilsson talked with Tommy to find out about the five albums that had an impact on him.

“That’s a tough one, to pick only five, as I listen to so many varieties of music and draw inspiration and feel from so many different types of styles and each one takes me to a different place depending on my mood and where I want to go. But here are five that definitely make the cut for me personally.”

KISS “Alive!” (1975)

“This album inspired me to be a performer and the songs are great. This got under my skin and made me want to get onstage. Listening to the song ‘Parasite’ and then as the band would kick in after the intro, was always a magic moment for me.”

AC/DC “Powerage” (1978)

“Great rockin’ album with powerful riffs and songs. I first heard this when I spent a summer at my aunt’s house in Kentucky, as a local kid played it all the time. When I got home my mom bought it for me for Christmas. The song ‘Riff Raff’ is a big favourite of mine.”

The Cars “The Cars” (1978)

“Excellent songwriting and structure and I used to play a lot of these songs in the bars in cover bands, as I was first learning to play guitar. Elliot Easton is an understated guitarist. He added a lot of colour in his fills and riffs to these songs and you can basically sing all of his solos.”

Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush “Live” (1978)

“My older brother bought this album home one day and it completely blew my mind and pushed my energy level through the roof. I was a Jimmy Page fan for blues and Blackmore fan for the exotic stuff – but Marino took that for me and put in a blender and hit puree. Listen to his version of ‘Johnny B Goode’ – the first note in his main solo of that song always makes the hair on my arms stand up. Pure energy.”

Judas Priest “Screaming for Vengeance” (1982)

“Amazing album – top to bottom. Basically, I wore the grooves out of this. This was pure metal for me and I used to play these songs in the bars, etc. Great energy and I still blow my car speakers out when ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’’ comes on the radio “