We’re launching a new column this week that shines a spotlight on some awesome bands you’ll likely never, ever get to see live — something we think you should definitely feel quite bad about.
Why do a column like this? We like to rub it in, folks. Plus, we figured it’d start an ongoing conversation amongst the site’s readership in the comments section and on Facebook about other bands we’ll probably never see take a stage again. The column starts with the unsung band Cacophony.
WHO THEY ARE:
Cacophony was the face-melting dual guitar project of Marty Friedman (Megadeth) and Jason Becker, and included Peter Marrino (Steeler, Le Mans) on vocals, Deen Castronovo (Bad English, Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Vai) on drums, and Jimmy O’Shea on bass.
The band formed in 1986, and released two albums on Shrapnel Records: Speed Metal Symphony in 1987 and Go Off! in 1988. Both are exemplary examples of the 1980s-era of shred, when highly technical playing and neo-classical, dual-harmonizing guitar solos were at the height of the heavy metal genre.
Many of the tracks on both albums are instrumental, highlighting the superhuman abilities of both Friedman and Becker as virtuoso masters of their craft, and setting the stage for each to release their own solo records in 1988: Dragon’s Kiss and Perpetual Burn, respectively.
Both Friedman and Becker are considered pioneers of neo-classical shred, and are cited as influences by an overwhelming number of modern guitarists of the heavy metal world in nearly every genre.
WHY YOU’LL NEVER SEE THEM LIVE:
Cacophony split up in 1988 and Friedman went on to join Megadeth two years later, gaining most of his notoriety and spending nine years with the band who;e releasing several solo records. Becker spent a short time in David Lee Roth’s solo band between 1989 and 1991.
Sadly, Becker’s stint with David Lee Roth ended with the onset of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), a degenerative disorder which took away his ability to play in 1991, and later, his ability to move or even speak.