Satin Steel Rocks.com

                              Ed Gangemi            Jim "Jamie" Shaw         Jes Shadle       Keith Clark

 

History of Satin Steel

 

 

Satin Steel is an American Glam Metal/ Heavy Metal Band formed in Erie, Pa that gained popularity in the mid 1980’s.  Their 1985 self release 7” vinyl record “Kick Me Where It Hurts” / “Let’s Not Die” has gained popularity among vinyl record collectors bringing as much as $50 to $70 on the internet.

 

Early beginnings

 

Satin Steel was formed in 1980 by Jim “Jamie” Shaw; guitar, Jeff Sam; drums, and Keith Clark; bass while they were still in high school.  Their common ground was that they were all fans of the rock group Kiss.  The band had already been formed before any of the members could barely play their instruments.  Ed Gangemi was dating Shaw’s sister and was an experienced guitarist with some gigging experience, joined the band and took the lead in helping the others to progress musically.

 

 Names for the band such as; Hades and Quake were considered at first till Keith Clark suggested Satin Steel, a name he saw on a toy drum set in a department store catalog.  After a game plan and rehearsing, much progress was made.  The first show was a 16th birthday party for Shaw’s cousin, there they preformed a number of cover songs and AC/DC’s TNT 5 times at the request of the audience.  At this time the band was starting to write their own music.

 

 Jeff Sam left the band in 1983 and was replaced with Joel Guntrum just before a local Battle of the Bands contest sponsored by a local music store. The band entered the contest and played all original music for this show which turned out to hurt them.  Satin Steel tied for 3rd place.  One of the judges, a local radio DJ mentioned to the band that they could have won first place if they would have played at least one cover song to gain points and be judged in that category.

 

Joel Guntrum left the band in late 1983 and the band was looking for another drummer. Jamie Shaw who was also playing in a Punk Rock side band called Eyelidz while still playing for Satin Steel suggested Eyelidz Drummer Chris Vrenna. Although Vrenna did rehearse with the band, he never joined the band. Chris Vrenna went on to play with Nine Inch Nails and received a Grammy Award in 1995 with them; he has also played with Narles Barkley and is currently with Maryln Manson.

 

Drummer Kevin Mendenhall from Van Wert, Ohio joined the band in 1983 and Satin Steel went into the studio to record demos. After a few gigs were played, Mendenhall returned home to Ohio and did have some success after moving to Los Angeles.

 

Jimi “Jes” Shadle joined as drummer in 1984 and the formula was just right.  Again more songs were written and more demos were recorded. In January of 1985, Satin Steel went to Cleveland, Ohio and recorded their 7” single at the recording studio of Paul Pope of Molkie Cole fame.

 

 Progressing

 

A highlight for the band was when Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo joined Satin Steel on stage at a show while Quiet Riot was in town for a concert.  Together they performed the Quiet Riot hit “Metal Health” in front of a screaming crowd.

 

The 7” release had some success, with local radio air play.  College radio stations put the record in regular rotation and was played on national radio as well. The record sold well and live shows were played in support of the record.

 

Tragedy Strikes

 

On July 13th 1985 guitarist Ed Gangemi was severely injured in a diving accident at a friends pool. It would turn out for Gangemi that he would never walk again, let alone play a guitar.  He was now a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair. 

 

This was a similar tragedy that struck Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen, who lost his arm in a car accident 6 months earlier.

 

Unsure of what to do, the band would take a break just a few months after the release of the record to figure things out and decide the future of the band.

 

In the mean time, more songs were written and Keith Clark was sending demos and promotional packages to record companies seeking a major label contract.  There was interest, but more demo recordings were requested.  Into the studio again, this time with guitarist Mike Learn to record new songs.  Ed Gangemi was at the studio for the sessions and sang back up on songs and was featured vocalist on the song “Erie Rocks” a song that he wrote a few months before his accident at the request of a local Cable Access Program for use of the song for a show with the same name.

 

After the recordings were finished, demos were sent to the interested record companies. But the band was falling apart. Jimi Shadle decided to leave the band and Mike Learn opted to not stay with the band.  Jeff Russell joined as the next drummer and Jamie handled the guitars as Satin Steel performed as a trio.  Ed Gangemi would perform live with the band once in 1986.  With the latest demo in hand, the band did meet with the artist & repertoire director of A&M records to review the latest demo, but not contract was offered.

 

Relocating to Hollywood

 

With record companies such as Enigma and Greenworld interested in Satin Steel on the west coast, Keith Clark flew out to Los Angeles to audition guitar players and meet with potential managers because the band was planning a move to LA.  Todd Atwood originally from Munster, Ill. would be the new Satin Steel guitarist; he was a Musicians Institute Graduate.  Hollywood manager Vicki Hamilton showed interested in Satin Steel but was too busy with Guns n’ Roses, L.A. Guns and Faster Pussycat.  Satin Steel signed with NM Management of West Hollywood.  Just before the move out west, drummer Jeff Russell announced that he was unable to make the trek due to health problems.

 

After arriving in Hollywood, auditions were held for a new drummer, at the request of management, Brian Bran, a Los Angeles native was now the new drummer.  Satin Steel shared rehearsal space with Megadeath, King Kobra and other national acts.  Shows were booked throughout Southern California including The Troubador on March 1st 1987.

 

That show at The Troubadour would be the last for Satin Steel; Jamie Shaw  returned to Erie and played in local cover bands including an AC/DC tribute band.  Keith Clark would also later return to Erie and tried to keep Satin Steel alive with Mike Dattilo and Chris Rodler on guitars and Bobby Amendola on drums.  This lineup was unable to continue and Keith Clark diffused the band and perused a solo career and has recorded 2 self released CD’s “Is” and recently “Raw.” Mike Dattilo went on to have success with Quiet Riot singer Kevin Dubrow’s solo project.

 

 Reunion

 

In 1985 after Ed Gangemi’s accident, local bands came together and put on a benefit show with Satin Steel to help pay for Gangemi’s medical bills, this included local rival band Damien Steele.  Ironically, in the early 90’s Damien Steel’s bassist Paul Staub was injured in a construction accident and he too became a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair.  Satin Steel reunited for a benefit show for Paul Staub. The line up consisted of:

 Ed Gangemi, vocals

Jim “Jamie” Shaw, guitar, vocals

Keith Clark, bass, vocals

Chris Rodler, guitar

Jeff Russell, Drums

 

Years had passed and in 2007 Keith Clark and Ed Gangemi were reunited and formed the band Shag Nazty.  Recently Clark had left that band to continue his own project.

 

Satin Steel music is still alive

 

The 7” record from 1985 is still circulating with vinyl record collectors around the world and can be found on ebay on occasion. 

A CD featuring the 7 “ recordings was released worldwide with the title;        
US Metal, HEAVY METAL OBSCURITIES—The Vinyl Years Volume 1.

Copies of this CD can also be found on ebay and online.