Metal Hall Of Fame
Induction and Performances from:
Twisted Sister, Doug Aldrich, Impellitteri, Raven and Lou Gramm (Induction Only)
The Canyon Club – Agoura, CA
Thursday, January 26th, 2023
The 6th Annual Metal Hall Of Fame returned to an in-person gala at the Canyon Club in Agoura, CA. The event which raises money for Drums and Disabilities (D.A.D.) started with a walk along the Red-Carpet and led to the highlight of the evening which was the induction and reunion performance of Metal Legends, Twisted Sister.
Also inducted and performing were NWOBHM Legends, Raven, the Internationally renowned guitarist, Chris Impellitteri, Guitarist, Doug Aldrich (The Dead Daisies, Whitesnake, Dio) and iconic Foreigner vocalist, Lou Gramm (induction only).
Red Carpet Arrivals (Inductees)
Click Here for Full Red Carpet Gallery
The event was hosted by DJ, Eddie Trunk and entertainer, Cathy Rankin.
After a brief introduction of Metal Hall Of Fame Founder, Pat Gesualdo, the evenings festivities were kicked off with a performance from New York rockers, Held Hostage.
The first induction into the 2023 Hall was Impellitteri. Better known outside of the U.S., Chris Impellitteri has been performing for over 40 years and has released over 16 albums.
Next up were NWOBHM Legends, Raven.
Raven were founded in 1974 by brothers, John and Mark Gallagher and were one of the originators of what would become thrash metal. They went on to inspire among others, bands like Metallica, Anthrax and Overkill.
After Raven performed there was a quick auction of a guitar signed by almost all of the performers. The winning bidder paid $7000 with all the proceeds going towards “D.A.D.”.
Next up were another band from NY, Adam and the Metal Hawks, that have gained fame for being viral sensations on Tik Tok and other social media platforms. They played a short, but very well received set.
Following the Metal Hawks was the Induction of Foreigner Vocalist, Lou Gramm. Lou told stories about his original band, “Black Sheep” opening up for KISS and having a “fortunate” accident that led to the loss of all the band’s gear. With Black Sheep out of business, guitarist Mick Jones saw an opportunity and called up Lou to see if he wanted to sing for his band, Foreigner. The rest as they say…Is History.
After Lou came the moment that most of the crowd had been waiting for…
Twisted “Fucking” Sister!
Twisted Sister had invited a couple of NY brothers to induct them into the 2023 HoF. First up was guitar virtuoso, Steve Vai. Steve talked about seeing TS “back in the early days” and remembering how different they were from other acts at the time, with an amazing drive and hunger to make it.
Another very good friend of the band was on hand to induct AND play with them, their good friend, Mike Portnoy. Mike talked about his friendship with the late AJ Pero and what an honor it was to play with Twisted Sister when they reunited for a brief farewell tour. And with Mike’s introduction, out came the band.
First up to the mic was Mark “The Animal” Mendoza, who after some brief Thank You’s, handed the mic over to Jay Jay French who introduced the daughter of AJ Pero, Briana. Briana thanked everyone on behalf of her late father. Unfortunately, Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda was not in attendance due to the fact that he and his wife contracted Covid. In his place, Eddie’s daughter, Michelle Ojeda read a list of Thank You’s and accepted the award on his behalf.
Next up was TS guitarist, Jay Jay French who told a story about a “Fat Twisted Sister Fan” who would follow the band around in their early days touring the U.K. They had a record signing scheduled and only 3 people showed up. The people who showed up wanted to know if the band were the cleaning crew to which the “Fat SMF” yelled at them, “They’re not the cleaning crew, they’re TWISTED FUCKING SISTER”. Jay Jay thanked the fans, his family, the crew and dedicated his award to that Fat SMF.
Last up was frontman Dee Snider who after saying “That’s why we don’t let Jay Jay on the mic” gave a short speech thanking the fans, his kids, and most importantly his wife Suzette.
After that it was indeed time to rock. Although Twisted Sister played a short, 3 song set, the place was buzzing and the band brought the house down.
They kicked off with “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll” and the Canyon Club went wild. The band sounded incredible and Dee’s voice was impeccable.
After YCSRNR, they ripped into their first big song from their debut album, “Under The Blade“.
Twisted Sister perform “Under The Blade“
Before their final song, Dee honored the late AJ Pero. He said that most people considered AJ a very basic drummer, but those who knew him know that he was classically trained and at the age of 11 was playing Big Band music in orchestras. When he joined Twisted Sister the band asked him to “dumb it down” as they were a straight ahead Rock N Roll band. Even by playing below his abilities he created one of the most recognizable drum intros in rock history… and with that Mike Portnoy kicked off the intro to “We’re Not Gonna Take It“. It ended up a huge Canyon Crowd sing-along and left the sold-out crowd wanting much more.
Full Twisted Sister Gallery HERE
The final induction of the night was another guitar virtuoso, the amazing, Doug Aldrich. Doug has played in so many iconic bands, including Whitesnake, Dio, Lion, House Of Lords, Revolution Saints, Burning Rain and The Dead Daisies. Among Doug’s “Thank You’s” were Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads and Basketball legend, Kobe Bryant.
After Doug’s short speech, he took the stage with his guitar to perform in the final act of the night which was the All-Star Jam which included, singer Keith St. John (Kingdom Come, Burning Rain), bassist and Metal Hall inductee, Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Whitesnake), drummer Joe Travers (Billy Idol, Duran Duran, Lisa Loeb) along with bassist, Sean McNabb (Lynch Mob, Quiet Riot) and guitarist Rick Steier (Kingdom Come).
They ripped through a few classic rock songs including, Ozzy’s “I Don’t Know” Whitesnake’s “Still Of The Night“, Dio’s “Holy Diver” and Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song“.
And with that..the 2023 Metal Hall Of Fame was over.