The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world


Main stage:-
Gypsy Pistoleros
Lizzy Borden
Thin Lizzy





The lineup on the main stages isn’t as strong today for my tastes, but there are a few festival highlights scattered throughout. My buddies the Gypsy Pistoleros open the main stage, Lizzy Borden is an old favourite, and I’m very excited to see both Warrior and Icon on the side stages!


– Shane Rockpit




The Gypsy Pistoleros opened the proceedings on the main stage on Day Three to the blazing sun and a rapturous crowd. The Pistoleros are much loved by the Rocklahoma crowd – they’ve appeared at all three ROK’s, and they are the only “new” band in this 80’s festival to appear on the main stage in 2009 – and had spent much of the previous two days wandering the grounds hanging out with any and everyone.



I was lucky enough to be invited backstage by Lee & the boys, and they played a fantastic set – 1-2-3-4-Kiss Me Then I’m Damned For Sure, Jet, Jet, Jet Boyz, Un Hombre Sin Rostro, Pistolero and the ready-made classic Chicas Peligrosa all featuring. With Lee lay on the scorching hot concrete screeching his Spanglish lyrics, and Iggie walking through the crowd from the back of one seat row to the next, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching the headliners and not an opening act.



Lee asked from the stage “Do you want us to come out and play perfectly, or would you rather we get out and party with you all each year?”. The crowd knew the answer and wasn’t afraid to say so – and even the burning heat didn’t stop them enjoying this set. As soon as the last notes rang out, guitars were dropped and the band jumped off the front of the stage to join the crowd. You have to love the Pistoleros and their down to earth, energetic attitude – great guys and a fun band!





We asked Lee Pistolero, what is it about the Rocklahoma festival that makes it so different from other gigs?


The fact it is a Rock n Roll Holiday Camp in the middle of nowhere helps, where people go to have a great time, rock the fuck out & party like the 80’s never went away. Plus the newer blood are breathing fresh life into the 80’s glam Rock n’ Roll genre whilst mixing with people that lived it! A Rock n’ Roll Heaven on earth!!!


The Pistoleros seem to have a special relationship with The States. Certainly at Rocklahoma you have been welcomed with open arms all three years. Do you engender the same sort of reaction back home in England?


[There’s a] slight backlash, some people over here even think that we’re a Texas band?!?! We love the U.S & the reaction to us over there has been amazing, so that is where our main audience are. Especially with the Chavis Records deal signed. We just seemed to click with the audiences & grew up alongside Rocklahoma!


As a veteran of both main stage and side stage shows at ROK, what’s the biggest difference?


Mainstage is massive & bloody hot!! 110 degrees last year, as you know, amigo! Rock n Roll fukk ups[like us] are vampiro in essence. The late shows on the sidestages have more of a vibe than early slots on the mainstage!!! We play better when there is a big crowd in your face!


Lee Pistolero

Click here for our full interview





Paul London, singer with Slickfist, found himself onstage handing out giveaways to the audience before the Pistoleros set.


What were your thoughts about ROK 2009, Paul?


If ya didnt come to rock your ass off then your either dead or just a very pissed off person!


How did you enjoy getting up on the main stage?


Absolutely had fun with that main stage thing! Even though I wasn’t doing a performance, it’s always fun to hang with Iggie Pistolero and the rest of our friends, so yeah it was good times.


What were your favourite performances from the weekend?


Loved all the bands so as far as rating any of them favourite or what, I cant do it. I will tell you that I met a lot of new people this year and hung out with some new bands that really gave great perfomances. For me its not about which band is better, it's about the music and the drive of the bands to get out and do what we do: ROCK YOUR ASSES OFF!



Hollywood Harlot followed on the Strip Stage, putting in another fine confident show after their appearance at The Backstage Bar pre-party on Thursday night.


Hollywood Harlot rock out


We like Lizzy Borden, and have a mate back in the UK for whom this would be the absolute highlight of ROK. The first thing that comes to mind is that these guys are crazy – they are about to do their full theatrical set in this heat – shit, Lizzy is wearing a cloak – and that’s asking for trouble!



The music (which by the way is great, just as you would expect after listening to their albums) may perhaps have been better suited to metal day, but the spectacle of seeing the full stage show in the mid afternoon sun and heat didn’t quite work – Lizzy Borden would have been much better suited to a night slot.



Despite that, there is no denying that the band played a great set, and the crowd roared when Steffi Scott & Miss Rocklahoma joined them onstage to dance and get “killed” during ‘There Will Be Blood Tonight’! ‘American Metal’ was another favourite with the patriotic crowd.

Steffi Scott & Lizzy, letting the blood flow







Shane Rockpit spoke to dancer & model Steffi Scott about her starring role in Lizzy Borden's Rocklahoma show.


Hi Steffi, how did it feel to be up on stage at one of the premier U.S. rock festivals - Rocklahoma 2009 with Lizzy Borden?



The Lizzy Borden show at Rocklahoma was one we’ve all been looking forward to do. After lots of successful shows in Europe, it was great to return to the U.S. and perform for our American fans. And it turned out to be the hottest show I ever did with Lizzy Borden. Hot for two reasons: I had the chance to get the new gorgeous Miss Rocklahoma on stage with us and it was so much fun performing with her. Two blondes in sexy U.S. flag costumes, shooting cold water with pump guns into the audience ;-) It was also the hottest Lizzy Borden show, because as a European girl I wasn’t quite used to 120 degrees and a felt humidity of 98% ;-) But I had a fantastic time and this show will long be remembered.



Did you hang around and check out any of the other bands?


We arrived on site a day early to enjoy Rocklahoma to the fullest. As most of the bands stayed in the same hotel, we all went and hung out to see some of the other bands and partied together. We took the limo with Anthrax to watch their headlining show and also checked out Saxon, RATT, Stryper and Jackyl.


Steffi Scott










I saw an interview with Ron Keel maybe ten years ago when he’d turned his back on Rock and was trying to make a go of being a ‘good honest country boy with a pick-up and a guitar’. Since his resurfacing on the rock scene I’ve always been a little sceptical about his sincerity.



Keel the band – featuring Marc Ferrari playing some blistering guitar - put in a solid performance in the 4:45pm mainstage slot though, playing a mix of old and new songs, and getting the biggest cheer for their seminal almost-hit ‘The Right To Rock’ and their cover of Patti Smith’s ‘Because The Night’.



Playing at 6:45, things had finally started to cool down – but only a little! - when Kix took to the stage. I had never been a big fan of Kix before but last year I listened and liked. This year I just enjoyed a great, energetic set with a cold beer or two in my hand. Highlights included Midnite Dynamite, Cold Blood and the evergreen Blow My Fuse.



Midnite Dynamite
Same Jane
The Itch
Girl Money
Don’t Close Your Eyes
Hot Wire
Get It While Its Hot
Cold Shower
Cold Blood
Blow My Fuse

Hericane Alice who we have already seen on the main stage (as Hurricane Alice) plays another great set (in fact a great raucous cover of ‘Have a Drink on Me’ by AC/DC is the only change from the main stage set). Bruce and the boys reaffirm how great this band could have been if they had carried on and it’s lovely to chat to Bruce and Ian after the set. I would really love to see these guys again and hope that the original line-up makes this more than a one off.


At the same time (7:45pm) a large side stage crowd assembled for Joe Floyd’s Warrior. Famous for their 1985 album Fighting The Earth, this set was one of the most highly anticipated for me this year.



They didn’t miss a beat, playing a great set and it was heartening to see that I wasn’t the only one who eagerly anticipated and greatly enjoyed this band’s set. With Parramore McCarty back on vocals, the band sound amazingly fresh and were a true highlight of Rocklahoma 2009.



Awesome, and a definite festival highlight!



Fight or Fall
Mind Over Matter
Day of The Evil
Defenders of Creation
Cold Fire
Tonight We Ride
Fighting For The Earth

Welcome Aboard


The last minute split of Thin Lizzy robbed us of a real highlight this year, and the last minute inclusion of Rocklahoma favourites Jackyl in the 8:45pm slot surprised few. Jesse James Dupree’s and band attacked the stage and for an hour this is HIS festival.



I hadn’t seen the band before, so I found it hilarious – Dupree jumped around like a redneck David Lee Roth, swigging from a bottle of Brandy and taunting any and everyone and everything around him with his Good ole Boy schtick. How much of this is real and how much put on for the stage I have no idea, but the music was good, and the music was loud, and the crowd lapped it up.



Dupree dragged Eddie Trunk out for a drink after several minutes of teasing, “borrowed” a sherriff’s hat, and even asked the same sherriff “Hey, lemme shoot yer gun!”. “I Stand Alone” and “She Loves My Cock” had the crowd cheering, but by the time “The Lumberjack” came around, Dupree had run twenty minutes overtime, seriously pissing off a lot of people (not to mention some side stage bands). If you’ve seen Jackyl before you know what to expect, and I’m told Jesse needs to gets a few new stories sometime soon, despite it all being new to me.


Icon was one of the bands we really wanted to check out this year, and one we’d never seen live before but heard some wonderful things about. Icon are also one of those bands that could have been so much bigger.



Dan Wexler on guitar was a man obviously born to play and Dave Henzerling (an original member of the band) plays a pretty good bass for a guitarist. Vocalist Sheldon Tarsha, the latest addition from Adler’s Appetite also put in a decent stint on vocals, which outshone what I had heard of him previously.



The set was a great mix and the crowd was pretty good, but not as big as I had expected. Those that were there lapped it up and it was funny how everyone seemed to have their own personal favorites. For us one song had always been ‘Hungry for Love’ - which has some great memories for me personally of a time long ago! – and anything from their *ahem* iconic first album.



A wonderful band and a real highlight.


Through the Night
Killer Machine
On Your Feet
World War
Hot Desert Night
Under My Gun
Rock & Roll Machine
I’m Alive
Hungry For Love
Whites of Their Eyes
Out For Blood

Rock My Radio



More people complained about Queensryche and their perceived political views last year than complained about Stryper cramming their religious views down our throats this year. That’s life, and says a lot about where we are in the world but it’s also by the by. I never liked Stryper first time round and no, it’s not the message - lyrics that are different don’t particularly annoy me. For me the music just doesn’t do it, no matter how great a bunch of musicians they are. As for a Rocklahoma headline act? Not in a million years for our money, but once again the crowd cheered and hollered and certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves!


Funnily enough spell check want to change ‘Stryper’ to ‘stripper’ I’m tempted for sure…

Lillian Axe up front stage right for a storming set – it was obviously shorter than when we caught them in LA earlier in the month but still very cool. These guys are blisteringly good live. The fact that they were pulled off stage early and didn’t come out for a signing upset a lot of the Crowd. Highlights included Megaslowfade and Jesus Wept from the new CD as well as Love and War, True Believer and closer Show a Little Love. Catch them live if you can.




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All text and photos by Mark & Shane Rockpit

Additional photos by Todd Jolicoeur