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BLUE MURDER

Biography

BLUE MURDER was the solo vehicle for guitarist JOHN SYKES, a rising star citing a track record with TYGERS OF PAN TANG, THIN LIZZY and WHITESNAKE. Initially intended as a quartet the group included former THE FIRM bassist TONY FRANKLIN. The original project included rehearsals with RAINBOW, MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP and WHITESNAKE drummer COZY POWELL but in the end it was to be ex-VANILLA FUDGE, CACTUS and OZZY OSBOURNE man CARMINE APPICE that landed the role. First to try out for the vocal role was TONY MARTIN, then singer with Birmingham act THE ALLIANCE. This union did not gel and Martin subsequently joined BLACK SABBATH for a healthy run of albums commencing with 1987's 'Eternal Idol'. Coincidentally, the band's second choice of vocalist, ex-BLACK SABBATH man RAY GILLEN, the same man Martin had only just replaced vocal tracks for BLACK SABBATH's 'Eternal Idol' album, lasted a matter of weeks before Gillen upped and left to create BADLANDS. Coincidently, BADLANDS was the title of a band Sykes had tried to forge earlier in the eighties.

Ex-KING KOBRA frontman MARK FREE was then contacted by Appice to join the band, but, after rehearsals in Vancouver, opted not to pursue with the project, returning to Los Angeles to work with SIGNAL. During this period, Sykes was asked to front Canadian Rock act TRIUMPH following the departure of their frontman RIK EMMETT. Although discussions were held the guitarist opted to persevere with BLUE MURDER.

Sykes eventually handled the vocals himself and the trio debuted with an eponymously titled album through Geffen Records in 1989. The album showcased both the strength of Sykes' lead vocals and a strong crop of epic Hard Rock tracks. 'Blue Murder' made a significant impact upon the international Rock scene and success seemed assured. Notably, the track 'Valley Of The Kings' included a writing credit from former singer TONY MARTIN.

However, although both Appice and Franklin performed on the second album, 1993's rather lacklustre 'Nuthin' But Trouble', both musicians had left by the time of its release. Franklin had in fact quit in the latter half of 1991. Sykes drafted in ex-BATON ROUGE vocalist Kelly Keeling, session bassist Marco Mendoza and drummer Tommy Osteen. Ex YNGWIE MALMSTEEN drummer Anders Johansson was also very briefly in the group at one point. BLUE MURDER did very little in the way of promotion work in Britain to back up the release.

Sykes, maintaining his status as a major star in the Far East, recorded a solo album, 'Out Of My Tree' in 1996, which was only released in Japan and also played some extremely successful THIN LIZZY tribute shows with former THIN LIZZY colleagues guitarist Scott Gorham, keyboard player Darren Wharton and drummer Brian Downey, with Marco Mendoza on bass.

Franklin issued a solo album in Japan in 2000. Apparently early 2002 would see the resurrection of BLUE MURDER with reports that Sykes had enrolled CODE 7 drummer Aaron Rossi into the project. Although the guitarist resumed touring with THIN LIZZY, by mid 2003 rumours of a September BLUE MURDER tour were doing the rounds. The announcement that the classic trio of Sykes, Franklin and Appice were to headline the French 'Raismes Fest' event on 14th September seemingly confirmed these plans although this would be subsequently denied. Nevertheless, the band did appear to be in the process of reforming for a new studio album and, in the interim, Appice guested on TONY FRANKLIN's second solo offering 'Wonderland'. Fan expectation would be high as Sykes announced a batch of BLUE MURDER gigs in Japan during April. These concerts too failed to transpire.

It was revealed that JOHN SYKES, CARMINE APPICE and TONY FRANKLIN rehearsed together during October 2005 with a view towards re-establishing BLUE MURDER, although this did not eventuate. As it transpired, Sykes remained active on the live front with THIN LIZZY. However, DJ Eddie Trunk, of the "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM, announced on his program Friday night February 9th 2007 that a BLUE MURDER comeback consisting of all original bandmembers was in the planning stages.

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