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About Warrior

A Boston-based hard rock unit that grew out of the dissolution of popular regional AOR outfit New England, Warrior was stocked with talent, but never truly became operational. In 1982 keyboard player Jimmy Waldo, bassist Gary Shea, and drummer Hirsh Gardner were planning to record the fourth New England LP with Todd Rundgren behind the board, when their guitarist John Fannon unexpectedly left the fold. Undeterred, they auditioned a slew of replacements, eventually settling on Vinnie Cusano, on a recommendation from Kiss' Gene Simmons -- Cusano had made the short list to replace the recently departed Ace Frehley. After renaming themselves Warrior, the band decamped to Los Angeles to begin rehearsing with Cusano at the Record Plant, and to demo some tracks with the intention of either selling them to Kiss, or keeping them for their own purposes. During that time Kiss decided to offer Cusano the job as lead guitarist (on the condition that he adopt the stage name Vinnie Vincent), and Warrior's members went their separate ways, amicably -- some of the songs the fledgling group worked on would appear three years later on Vincent's solo debut, Vinnie Vincent Invasion. Shea and Waldo went on to form the group Alcatrazz with vocalist Graham Bonnet and then-unknown guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen, while Gardner returned to the East Coast to play with Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau. In 2017 Cherry Red imprint Hear No Evil released the eponymous Warrior, a 16-track set that included studio recordings, instrumentals, and rehearsals. ~ James Christopher Monger

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