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The four-man heavy metal combo from Germany named Running Wild was formed in the mid-'70s by vocalist and guitarist Rolf Kasparak — the only continuing member of the group — plus guitarist Preacher, bassist Stephan and drummer Hasche. The group cut their first demos in 1982 and signed to Noise Records for debut album Gates of Purgatory. A support slot for Mötley Crüe in 1986 gave Running Wild a leg up on other European metal bands, and they toured America soon after. The 1987 album Under Jolly Roger broke the group with metal audiences across the world, employing an outlandish pirate image in keeping with the title. Lineup changes continued, but the band soldiered on, recording regularly through the mid-'90s despite changing attitudes in the music world which pushed heavy metal underground again during that period.