Here is a Heavy Metal blast from the past! Man, I wish I attended this Heavy Metal festival! This vintage poster promoted the inaugural Monsters Of Rock festival at Castle Donington Raceway, Derbyshire, U.K., August 16, 1980. I was a freshman in High School back in 1980, plus I did not live in the U.K. either. Regardless, this is as fine a lineup of Heavy Metal bands that you could possibly ask for… going back to 1980. Rainbow headlining, with Graham Bonnet on lead vocals! Obviously, the Down To Earth Tour for Rainbow. Judas Priest, whoa, they were supporting their now ultra classic – British Steel album. Scorpions… wow… their Animal Magnetism album was already in the hands of fans when this festival took place. April Wine was out there supporting their Harder… Faster album, classic. Just how much praise can be said for Saxon? Tons! Saxon was out there, sandwiched in between supporting their Wheels Of Steel album, (released in May 1980) and their upcoming album – Strong Arm Of The Law, (released in October 1980).

Riot was out there supporting their Narita album, (an October 1979 release), while their Fire Down Under album was on the Metal horizon for a February, 1981 release. Touch was a relative newcomer, a melodic Rock/Hard Rock Band, they have the distinction of being the first band to open for this Castle Donington, U.K., Monsters Of Rock Festival. Touch was supporting their debut album, aptly titled… Touch. Neal Kaye I really do not know much about… maybe someone out there does? Drop a comment if you do, it would be Metal welcomed and appreciated.

This is without a Metal doubt, a vintage Heavy Metal concert poster I would love to own, an original printing would be preferred by me too. Aw, heck, I wouldn’t mind owning a reprint as well. I just really get into researching this stuff… it is Heavy Metal History, Rock History. Reading about and reflecting upon Heavy Metal History makes for a strong and great Metal mind. It is these concerts, festivals and the Heavy Metal Bands from yesteryear that played them… that make up the building blocks of what Heavy Metal is today… in 2010. Heavy Metal as we all know it today, would not be the same, without these legendary bands that played this historic Monsters Of Rock festival, back in 1980.

Judas Priest, Scorpions and Saxon are still Heavy Metal powerhouses… ’nuff said about their incredible legacies to Heavy Metal. Rainbow, despite not having a long standing band lineup or lead singer, is nonetheless as important as any Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band from their generation. Every Rainbow band lineup, will forever hold a special place in my Metal heart. From Ronnie James Dio fronted Rainbow to Doogie White at the mic, Rainbow… Rocks. Riot and April Wine may not have received the commercial acclaim of the other bands I have mentioned, regardless, they both are very important contributors to the historical development of Heavy Metal Music… in my Metal opinion.



  1. noddynewbold Says:

    Neal Kaye was the DJ at the well known HEAVY METAL SOUNDHOUSE @ The BANDWAGON in Kingsbury NW London. Widely touted as the birthplace of NWOBHM, due to it’s patronage of bands like IRON MAIDEN, PRAYING MANTIS, DEF LEPPARD. It was THE place to be if you were a metal fan in London at the height of Punk in the UK.
    Neal was playing the Demo’s from the above named bands well before record company interest. At it’s peak, the SOUNDHOUSE was playing METAL & all things heavy (Neal never liked the phrase Heavy Metal) 5 nights a week.
    The SOUNDHOUSE is also the 1st place to feature that thing known as the AIR GUITAR contest & in fact i featured in the HEADBANGING BAND contest of 1979, reported on by GEOFF BARTON (aka Sounds – Kerrang – Classic Rock writer). Other judges on the night were LEMMY, ROB HALFORD, a couple of MAIDEN.
    Basically, check out any NWOBHM History & Neal Kay will be heavily featured.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      I’ve been Metal schooled again. Thank you for the great history on Neal Kaye! I now vaguely remember seeing some television special about an air guitar contest from that era… I just cannot recall the details. Neal Kaye is a major part of the NWOBHM history for certain. Heck, you even have a spot/moment in this NWOBHM history too, (that contest had to be a bid deal then).

      Your comment is very appreciated –
      In Metal – Stone

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