Dangerous Toys – tiny curations
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- Sugar, Leather & THE Nail
- Demon Bell
Dangerous Toys hailing from right here in Austin, Texas. Today being March 2, 2021, Texas Independence Day and my fraternal brother and Governor who declared today the end of all COVID-19 Restrictions. Also, as we head into Spring Break when this town would normally become ground zero for the best place to be on the planet; for the all encompassing South by Southwest Conference and Festivals. But this cannot be as last year it was abruptly cancelled just days before it was scheduled to kick off. Now in 2021, it will be a scaled down virtual event; with keynote speaker Willie Nelson.
But it was in 1988, only in the second year of SXSW, that Dangerous Toys would be signed to Columbia Records after a publishing representative had spotted them playing a live show.
“The Toys”, would release their debut album “Dangerous Toys” the following year. The video for their first single “Teas’n, Pleas’n” was on heavy rotation on Dial MTV and Riki Rachtman’s Headbanger’s Ball. As a teenager in Texas we were so full of Texas pride to see Texas flags hanging behind the band on the stage and all of the cowboy imagery like a cow skull with the state of Texas painted on it. And in their next video for “Scared”, lead singer Jason McMaster is sportin’ leather pants painted up like the Texas flag, so damn cool!
But there is yet one other reason that we are here today and not only celebrating Texas and the ‘The R*tist 4*merly Known as Dangerous Toys’, but also to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the release of their follow-up album “Hellacious Acres”, on this date in 1991.
Anyhow, back to our story…
The first song off of “Hellacious Acres” was a song called “Gunfighter” and just recently, found footage has emerged out of an attic deep in South Austin. It was published just today on Youtube and you can find the link in the description of this episode:
The best I can tell, this fan footage was taken that very night of that release party. What you will see here is the band, wives, girlfriends, family, and friends celebrating their achievements and success. It’s hard for me to describe, so just go out there and check it out. And with that, here is “Gunfighter”:
After “Gunfighter”, was another song off of that same album titled, “Sugar, Leather & THE Nail”.
Neither were singles, those were “Gimme’ No Lip”, “Line ‘Em Up”, and a cover of Bad Company’s, Feel Like Makin’ Love”. There were videos for the first two that got some airplay on MTV, but the year is 1991 and a new smell is in the air…
And in 2014, at a “That Metal Christmas” show on 6th Street, I ‘Stumped the Trunk’, Eddie Trunk of “That Metal Show”. It’s hard to stump Eddie with all of his College of Rock and Roll Knowledge, but I did, with this question:
“Broken Teeth is playing your event tonight, lead-singer Jason McMaster, also of Dangerous Toys released their second album, ‘Hellacious Acres’, in 1991; what was the second single and MTV video from that album?” Eddie drew a blank, but I belted out the answer:
Back to back, my friend also ‘Stumped the Trunk” that night with another question about another member of the headlining band, Broken Teeth, Jared Tuten of Pariah. Eddie didn’t even seem know of Pariah or their 6 record deal with Geffen Records and eventual release of their only album “To Mock A Killingbird” in 1993.
But Dangerous Toys and then Pariah were the two biggest, by-far heavy metal bands in Austin of that era; and Pariah will be featured in a future episode.
But back to that first album, second single, that we talked about earlier, “Scared”. Another great song and this time a bigger budget video; the part that does it for me is when the tortured teenager’s head pops up out of the frying pan cooking on a stove. Do you like being scared?
And rounding us out there was “Demon Bell (The Ballad Of Horace Pinker)” which appeared on the soundtrack for the 1989 Wes Craven movie, “Shocker”.
The Toys are or were at this moment in time:
Jason McMaster, lead vocals of “The Toys” and many other bands only a few that I will mentioned here: (Broken Teeth, Watch Tower, Gahdzilla Motor Company, Ignitor, Evil United, SSIK (KISS covers), Sad Wings (Judas Priest covers), Killa Maul (ala Kill ‘Em All Metallica covers). My friend Scott Dalhover on lead guitar, seriously the guy set me up with my first ‘girlfriend’, his babysitter…
Mike Watson on a thumping ass bass guitar, Mark Geary on drums, and Danny Aaron too on guitar. Kevin Fowler would replace Danny Aaron. Yeah, that Kevin Fowler.
And we cannot fail to mention their mascot “Bill Z Bubb”, prominently featured on album covers and elsewhere. A killer clown, inspired by the 1988 cult flick “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” and as drawn by talented local artist Tommy Pons.
These were all hometown guys that made it big and showed so many others the way and that it was possible. Being that teenager in Austin, Tommy Pons would be at comic book shows and willing to draw you anything you wanted, including “Bill Z Bubb” for a few bucks. And Scott Dalhover lived next door to a friend, so we got to know him really well. And the other band members or their wives you would see around town or working their jobs. The late 80’s and early 90’s was a great time to be alive in Austin, Texas, don’t be Pissed.
Happy Texas Independence Day!
Thanks for listening.
Hi, Matt Comer here with MTV News. More findings related to the found footage that recently emerged for Dangerous Toys “Gunfighter” unofficial video. Now, what has been recently unearthed is what appears to be some sort of folk art depiction of Dangerous Toys debut album cover, featuring Bill Z Bubb. And strange enough, is that this item was found in a dilapidated single-wide mobile home type of cabin on Lake Travis. After further investigation, we were able to verify the provenance linking this back to the same site deep in South Austin on Redleaf Lane where that found footage was discovered earlier this month. We will keep you abreast if any other items emerge. Oh, and this just in… a photo of the found Americana folk art has been updated to the image for the podcast episode that you are listening to… Um… what’s a podcast…?!?!
That’s the news for now, be sure to tune in to the “Week in Rock” this weekend Saturday at 6PM; Sunday at 1 and 6:30 with lot’s of hot news stories on MC Hammer, Billy Idol, and the legendary Jimi Hendrix we’ll see you then.