HEAVEN

STYLE: Hard Rock

COUNTRY: Australia
PhotobucketHeaven was a heavy rock band that carved out a small name for itself on the US circuit during the mid-80s before eventually withering away altogether in the early 90s without really getting anywhere. The band was originally called Fat Lip and had been formed in Adelaide by Allan Fryer, Laurie Marlow (formerly of Almost Human) and drummer Joe Turtur. Fat Lip headed to Sydney but before long Fryer found himself being touted as a possible replacement for Bon Scott in AC/DC and returned to Adelaide. Nothing came of this of course and Fryer returned to Fat Lip. In the meantime, ex-Swanee guitarist Bradford Kelly and drummer Theo Kats had joined up with Marlow but Kats was quickly replaced when he joined a band called Europe. Rob Hanna took his place but his stay was also short and Turtur re-joined, along with second guitarist John Haese. At this point they were discovered by former AC/DC manager Michael Browning, who had just signed INXS to his new label DeLuxe. Renaming itself Heaven, the band recorded the Twilight of Mischief album that was a mixture of commercial hard rock and AC/DC-style hard boogie and headed overseas to make an attempt at the US market.

Haese left Heaven at this point and was replaced by former Rose Tattoo guitarist Mick Cocks. Heaven managed to find considerable success on the burgeoning LA scene, touring with Mötley Crüe and Dio and recording their second album that featured guest appearances from Ronnie James Dio (under the name “Evil Eyes”), Lita Ford and Glenn Hughes. Cocks and Turtur then left and were replaced by ex-AC/DC bassist Mark Evans and John Lalor but before much could be achieved Heaven disintegrated and returned to Australia.

Before long Fryer and drummer Tommy Dimitroff went back to the US to reform the band, teaming up with Talas guitarist Mitch Perry and Mark Cunningham of New York band Cathedral. Along with bass player Dennis Feldman, Heaven recorded Knocking On Heaven’s Door that displayed a more distinctly metal edge along similar lines to Judas Priest. Heaven played shows with Judas Priest, Kiss, Iron Maiden and Mötley Crüe across the US. Label support fizzled out however and the line-up fell apart. Basing himself in Texas, Fryer continued to perform under the Heaven name for some years, putting together live personnel when necessary.

In early 1998, Fryer returned to Australia and resurrected Heaven for two shows in Sydney with the line-up of Kelly, Marlow, Haese and Kats, with Turtur also making an appearance. After this Heaven disappeared once more although it appears that Kats and Marlow began recording new tracks with ex-Boss and BB Steal guitarist Kevin Pratt for a new Heaven album but the project was de-railed through lack of money.

Heaven still wasn’t finished however, as Kats, Marlow and Fryer reformed with Pratt and guitarist Ross Flynn for a national tour with Judas Priest in 2001. There was talk of a new album but Fryer returned to the US immediately after the tour and nothing more came of it. Bradford Kelly (who designed the Jackson Kelly series guitar) died in 2004 after a long period of poor health.

Heaven has announced an Australian tour for June 2012 with the original recording line-up and Mitch Perry. Perry was unable to tour due to his commitment to Lita Ford’s band so former Dio guitarist Rowan Robertson is taking his place.
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ALBUMS
Heaven – Twilight of Mischief [1981]
Heaven – Bent [1982]
Heaven – Where Angels Fear to Tread [1983]
Heaven – Knockin On Heaven’s Door [1985]

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HEAVEN, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings