ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 11, 1984
By Steve Newton
Many a sideways glance and inquisitive gaze came our way as heavy metalist Lee Aaron and I strolled down Burrard Street recently, enroute to a mid-day snack and chat. It was a sunny afternoon and, to the mostly suit-and-tie crowd returning from lunch, the sight of Aaron in all her metalloid finery–leather miniskirt, black gloves, torn fishnet top, and studs–seemed to take more than a few off guard in the glaring light of day.
It’s not hard to believe that her striking good looks and sexy adornment have caused a lot more than just appreciative stares in the past.
“Once I was doing a date in Toronto,” recalls the 21-year-old singer, “and a guy came up to the front of the stage, making very rude gestures to me. I put up with it for a little while, and they dragged him away. Then he came up and did it a second time, so they dragged him away again.
“The third time, my follow-spot man did a number on the guy. He removed the fellow from the club, to put it lightly.”
But aside from the fact that her cover-girl appearance is enough to get guys beaten up by her protective crew members, Lee Aaron is more than just a pretty face. As local music and industry people discovered when Aaron and her band appeared at April’s Rock Express Awards, the diminutive singer can really belt it out. She displayed her powerful voice here on two songs from her new Attic Records LP, the first single “Shake It Up” and the title track “Metal Queen”.
When she was only 19 Aaron released her debut album, The Lee Aaron Project, which featured such notable Canadian rockers as Rik Emmett of Triumph, Rick Santers, and Moxy’s Buzz Shearman. That first LP sold well as an import in the United Kingdom and–coupled with a full-colour photo spread and write-up in Britain’s HM fanzine Kerrang!–led to a showcase last year at London’s famed Marquee Club.
And it also brought a billing at 1983’s huge Reading Festival, where Aaron and her band performed the same day as Black Sabbath, Suzie Quatro, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. (Attic has since acquired the rights to the first LP from its small label and plans on reissuing it with a new cover design.)
Produced by Paul Gross, who worked on the first three Saga albums, Aaron’s latest record has already attracted attention from the U.S. branches of both MCA and Chrysalis Records for distribution Stateside. Featured on the LP are bassist Jack Meli, drummer Attila Demjen, and guitarists George Bernhardt and John Albani (formerly of Wrabit).
“It took a while before the current lineup stabilized itself,” explained Aaron between scoops of melon, “because a lot of musicians couldn’t handle me being out front and running the band. Plus, of course, the fact there were no girls hanging around backstage.”
Considering her attractiveness, male groupies are much more likely to be the case at a Lee Aaron concert. And in the song “Metal Queen”–which is also her first video release–Aaron turns the tables on the stereotype of the womanizing rocker in an anthem of sorts for her female fans.
“It seems nearly every male artist who writes a song about a female is projecting her to be the femme fatale or the deceiving little witch,” says Lee. “I just wanted to write a song about a girl that’s got some power and demands respect. A feminine power figure–that’s what the ‘Metal Queen’ is all about.”