By: Donnie Hardin
In 1986 my older brother Kenny had taken me to my first real concert at the age of nine to see Ozzy Osbourne at the old Cardinal Stadium. A young band of dirty haired, ripped jean wearing, greasy-haired thrashers called Metallica, unknown to me, opened the show. Cliff Burton would die in a tragic accident a couple of months later.
By the time 1993 rolled around I was a teenage headbanger, while proudly toting my beloved Walkman cassette player to school, getting geared up for the day with the sounds of Metallica, Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Anthrax, Megadeth, and a selective assortment of others, I was hungry for more.
There was nothing quite as awesome as brand new 10-pack of shiny, blank cassette tapes. When you ripped off the packaging they had a unique smell. Brand new plastic. Untouched. By the radio we would sit patiently waiting for that one song, but it would only be hard rock at best, like Guns-N-Roses, Skid Row, or Whitesnake. There were no metal tunes on rotation. (Not until Metallica released ‘One’ off ‘…And Justice For All’ in 1989. But never would you hear Slayer, Pantera, Testament, Sepultura, Suicidal Tendencies, Metal Church, or any of the heavier bands. You had to first read about new releases in Metal Edge or Hit Parader magazines, which were expensive, or be lucky enough to have an older brother who had friends with jobs and played in bands. But it was all spread about, for me anyway.
On August 8, 1993, that would ALL change when our local rock radio station, The Fox, had hired a disc jockey by the name of ‘BLACK FRANK’, and gave him a show originally called ‘The Metal Pit’, later renamed ‘The Attitude Network’, complete with eerie background sounds such as grinding metal, power saws, and spooky, cool noises behind this seriously incredible radio voice. This guy knew his shit too. he wasn’t playing songs off of a list passed down from some geek in a suit and tie somewhere high up the corporate food-chain at Clear Channel Productions.
It was Frank’s list, metal news, release dates, tour dates, and various metal happenings worldwide, scrawled out on a legal pad. I would sit in my bedroom with a fresh cassette tape every week waiting for midnight to strike because he would likely play something by a band I had never heard of, that I would love, like Machine Head, Biohazard, Skinlab, Corrosion of Conformity, Downset, Korn, Voivod, Fear Factory, on and on.
Frank Webb aka Black Frank (I wouldn’t know his real name for about twenty years later)… He had the perfect voice for any radio station covering any genre in the country, and we, the hard-edged thrashers, slammers, fist pumping armies of the 502, 270, and 812 area codes, we were the lucky ones because he was one of the biggest reasons, if not THE biggest reason amazing national acts started coming out of the woodwork to play Louisville Gardens, The Brewery Thunderdome, or The Palace Theater, shaking up our previously tame and humble river city, inspiring would be musicians as an unstoppable collective, eventually kicking ass with our own brand of metal, as the incredible local scene would take hold in the mid-to-late 1990’s, producing nationally relevant acts such as My Own Victim, Primer 55, and Flaw along with local titans Faceplant, Incursion, Shapeless Matrix, Luther, Factor 9, Engrind, and so many more. more, all of which FRANK WEBB promoted, pushed, pimped out, and believed in as much as anyone could have.
I have heard many of my peers talk about the old days, before we all had the luxury of Google, You Tube, when Black Frank could be counted on every single week to play some groundbreaking metal. Then when we started making the metal ourselves, he enabled us, whether you were Dimebag Darrell or unknown me, he would, and continues to carry on a great conversation with anyone whether they are a rock star or unsigned drummer of a garage band in the south end.
I ramble, but I ramble for a good reason.
Thank you FRANK WEBB for your service to this very fortunate metal music community. You may not have been born in Louisville, but you are LOUISVILLE’S BLACK FRANK.
It is about time that Frank Webb hits the airwaves again.
By: Donnie Hardin
A couple of months ago when I started this site, on a whim, just so that I had a platform to post my interview with an incredible vocal talent, and friend of mine from a band that has been there and done that, in Louisville and beyond… touring on Ozzfest, having videos on MTV (When they showed music videos), snippets of one of their songs on a rock icons episode of ‘MTV Cribs’, a song on the soundtrack of a major motion picture… by far the most relevant hard rock/metal band I’ve known from my native land.
Anyway, as good friends of mine and an amazing band, who have come back with mind boggling focus, determination, and a family of long time loyal fans, I am very grateful it was them that helped me get this thing up and going so that I have made an attempt to build as a legit, amateur, non-profit music news website (eh.. I mean broke ass hack needing a thesaurus, who just loves music and rambling on about what I like to ramble about). So obviously I have shown a lot of support, as they more than deserve, posting links around to my other “friends” and music veterans of the same music scene.
I get a message from a well-respected guitarist from a great Louisville band who did some big things in the 1990’s. Badasses. Loved the original vocalist. It was a flyer for his current bands tour of a few midwest region gigs and so and so’s dive bar down in the cut, or wherever. So, I posted the flyer on the Facebook page, showing a local band some support, as if it is a brotherhood. I am not a fan of the band, but I get what they do, It’s just not my thing. It’s all about supporting my peers, as an ex-vocalist in the scene, those who you had played amongst and loved jamming to in the past, it’s the right thing to do. I’m not going to just come out and say, “Yeah you kicked ass back in the day, I’m just not a big fan of your current band.” I’m not that guy.
Well, apparently I had posted a link to an interview I did with the band I had been supporting, all from Louisville and whom I assumed were friends, being that they are all friends on Facebook and local longtime veteran good guitar player didn’t like it. “Man, I’m just not into that Limp Bizkit type shit.” Which is odd because this very moment is the first time I have even mentioned that band on here. He then added, totally unprompted I might add, “(so and so) from (the first band I mentioned) Is a total poser.”
Obviously he didn’t approve of me speaking so highly of this highly regarded amazing musician and even better man, a remarkable human being all the way around and felt compelled to let me know. How fucking lame. Metal elitists bullshit. I was livid but didn’t respond with much, “I like who I like and I support who I support.” He replied with a thumbs up, but basically he was calling me out for supporting these fictional “Limp Bizkit type bands”.
So I am not going to name names, that is not the point. The point is that it is completely assinine to go and talk shit about so and so from another local band to a guy who is just fiddling around with dreams to be a journalist. All respect lost. I will never mention his bands name ever again unless it’s to say they need a new singer. But negativity and jealousy isn’t my thing, I will leave it to those arrogant, struggling, underground elitists twats. There is a reason you are underground, way underground and the other band is not. You.