Looking back on Lionize: When hair metal reigned supreme in the Mile High City
Welcome to Memory Lane Monday, our latest feature in which we hop into the Hot Tub Time Machine and spotlight a band from the bursting annals of bygone Denver music. This week: Lionize, a band we used to catch once upon a time when we were underage at Sonesta in Thornton.
In the hedonistic heyday of the mid- to late '80s, West Hollywood might have been more than a thousand miles away, but you would've never known it if you spent your nights letting your hair down on the tiny stretch of Glendale that housed clubs like Bangles. Dudes teased their hair just as high and wore their pants just as tight as the ladies who lusted after them. Denver had no shortage of hard-rock bands channeling the glitz and glamour of the Sunset Strip. Lionize was just one of those bands. The dudes all got back together for a reunion show last year at Eck's. They all look dramatically different now, of course, but here's how they looked back then.
In their own words:
"Lionize began in 1986 out of the ashes of Helen Killer. Doug Sable, Jo Ellen Cabot and Dale Frey teamed up with drummer Tim Cook of Mercedes and First Glance fame. Through mutual contacts, Martin Epp came aboard as bassist. Before they got out on the road, Jo Ellen and Dale quit and Rich Kensinger of Marauder came on for vocals and Steve VanDeWater of Kyte came on as guitarist and they hit the road. Lionize was on the road the first 6 months or so of their 5 year +- career and then came home to Denver for good playing Bangles, Iliff Park Saloon, Sonesta Lanes, Rascals, Eck's Saloon, P J Goodvibes, Foothills Lounge, Whiskey Bills, Muff's, Foul Play, Peaches, and a bunch of other defunct bars I can't remember the names of, pretty much 5-6 nights a week every week. Several personnel changes happened over the years, including the addition of Harvey Prickett of Twice Shy, Kenny Setzer of Passion and finally going 4 piece in the final version with Doug, Martin, Tim and Del Voth on vocals. During that time we had the pleasure of opening up for national acts such as Pat Travers, Foghat, Steelheart, Sleez Beez and Vain, to name a few."
Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music