KINGDOME COME

Country Germany

Style Hard Rock

Kingdom-Come-band

The group was formed in 1987 after the breakup of Wolf’s moderately successful rock project Stone Fury. Wolf recruited Pittsburgh-based lead guitarist Danny Stag, Louisvillians Rick Steier (guitar) and James Kottak (drums) and Ravenna, Ohio-born Johnny B. Frank on bass and keyboards. Stag and Frank had previously been members of the bands Industrials (CBS Int’l), produced by Kim Fowley; WWIII; and Population 5, which included bassist Prescott Niles (The Knack) and future Guns n Roses and Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum. Frank was also at one point the keyboard player for Josie Cotton. Kingdom Come marked the first band where Wolf sang without playing guitar. The frontman later admitted that, for a while, it was a very awkward adjustment.

In 1988, the band released its debut LP, Kingdom Come. The band’s first single, “Get It On,” was a big enough hit on AOR stations (most requested song for 6 weeks), that the band’s eponymous debut went gold the day it was shipped (610,000 units sold). Their second single/video for the power ballad “What Love Can Be” received much airplay on US radio and MTV. By the time the single/video “Loving You” was released, the album had sold to platinum status in the United States, Germany and Canada, among other music markets. The band was chosen to open for the North American Monsters of Rock tour in 1988, supporting Dokken, Scorpions, Metallica and Van Halen. Following that, they were tapped to support the Scorpions on their North American “Savage Amusement” tour. In 1989, Kingdom Come released their next LP, called In Your Face. It had sold a hardly modest 486,000 units, only 14,000 short of achieving their second Gold LP, when the band abruptly broke up for personal reasons in August, 1989.

In 1992, Stag joined forces with onetime Foreigner vocalist Johnny Edwards, former Krokus drummer Jeff Klaven, and bassist David Seaton to form Royal Jelly, which got the attention of legendary A&R man Denny Cordell at Island Records in 1993. Cordell signed Stag and Royal Jelly to a recording contract. The band’s first single, “Ceiling” reached #22 with a bullet on the FM airplay charts before the band was lost in the shuffle of Cordell’s untimely and tragic death from lymphoma and the purchase and restructuring of Island by Polygram.

After a long and frustrating period of business hassles, culminating in the tragic death of Nigel Thomas, their manager, Kingdom Come changed labels in 1994 from WEA to Viceroy, a small but very motivated label located near Nuremberg – Germany. The band, now with a complete German line-up, began to work on their next album “Twilight Cruiser” which was released in 1996. Right before finishing the “Twilight Cruiser” tour in 1996, Lenny and his label Viceroy decided at the last minute to record the show in Basle, Switzerland. The outcome was the “Live and Unplugged” double CD.

Kingdom Come, was now being managed by Jim Lewis, a former A&R man for Polygram Records during the album “Hands of Time”. At this time, due to the fast lane changes in the US music industry and, especially, the high peak of the Seattle grunge sound, bands like Kingdom Come were facing a much harder time.

Lenny started writing again and, not willing to sell out by jumping on any trend, he kept the musical red thread, for which Kingdom Come is known throughout the years. Looking for a drummer, Lenny remembered a fantastic band, called “Mother’s Finest”, whose drummer was Dion Murdock. Lenny called and Dion checked in at the “Reeperbahn”, Hamburg’s red-light touristy district. Lenny recalls: “I hadn’t heard him play for about seven years, not knowing whether he was all drugged out or had lost his ability to play, but my instinct had proved me right”. Dion’s first sentence after arrival was: “Hey man, let’s go to work”. Magic words for a man on a mission!! “Master Seven” became reality and was released in 1997.

A passion for Corvette automobiles gave birth to a friendship between Lenny Wolf and Luca Maric, his partner in crime for years to come. At the request of many friends, the urge for a very personal statement in Lenny’s home language started to grow in him. Not wanting to change the world, rather recording a very straight ahead, guitar oriented CD, with a bit of Lenny’s old AC/DC school, its in a raw production with German words.

It surely was exciting to hear Lenny sing in English and German in Kingdom Come’s opening slot for Deep Purple throughout their German tour in the summer of 1999. It couldn’t have been all that bad, since a well-known manager, by the name of David Krebs, who managed bands like Aerosmith, Scorpions, Ted Nugent and Lenny’s preacher Bon Scott, is now taking care of Lenny, after having watched the band performing live in Berlin.

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Having survived the home-town experience, Lenny is now concentrating on the next record, which is expected to be released in Oct. 2000 through Eagle Rock Records in London. Besides a whole bunch of new songs, the record also includes 2 totally re-recorded tracks from the “Stone Fury” album (early eighties) and 4 songs of Lenny´s German language album (1999), which have been translated into English. It´s a powerful and passionate musical statement of intensely personal yet universal emotions.

After endless debates of what Kingdom Come should be doing, image and sound discussions, the good and bad sides of the internet, and seeing more and more labels disappear, Lenny decided to stop listening to anything regarding the music “industry”. After all, he not only became a musician to get his hands easier on women, but rather to fulfill his urge to write and create. Having said that, Lenny continued his mission and went back into his creative bubble to start writing songs for the record called “Independent”, which was released in 2002. Lenny signed to UlfTone music, based in Berlin-Germany, which was owned by Ulf Zick. This partnership soon lead to a long lasting friendship until today.

Being a loyal companion, Lenny and Ulf were holding up the Kingdom Come flag for the years to come. Lenny’s introduction to a new technical approach by working in a studio, with the advantages of combining tape recording with computer programs like Logic, gave it a new approach, which can be looked at as a starting point for Kingdom Come’s growing process, partly departing from the traditional sound and leading into more adventures journeys.

The year 2003 was a time of reflecting on political issues. The intensity of “Perpetual”, which came out in 2004, showed a matured Lenny Wolf, who’s concern regarding world issues has grown immensely. The song “King of nothing” has to be mentioned here as a guiding track. The commercial success unfortunately has been lacking behind, but would not have caused Lenny to step on his breaks at all. The fan base screaming for more guitars, and a more rocking approach finally got through to Lenny.

Life was good, the USA starting to rebuild the towers, and Lenny traveling more positively in the left lane, he enjoyed pulling out the axe again. Ulf Zick becoming the head of Artist relation for Gibson Germany, and therefore not having the time KC required, made Frontiers records step in as the label working with Lenny directly. Out came one of KC’s harder records in 2006, with the title “Ain’t crying for the moon”, which also became the title track. Again, Lenny not worrying about 3 ½ minutes radio formats, he ended up with a title track of over 8 minutes long, which received a lot of positive approval from KC’s fan base.

A market overseen for too many years, has become one of KC’s favorite places to play. The big white bear, Russia. After having toured extensively throughout Russia and the Baltic states, it was time again to crank up the speakers in the studio. Kingdom Come being invited by Martina Pokorny, one of Viennas (Austria) local top promoters, to attend to her birthday, and celebrating the opening of her and her partner’s new concert hall, gave birth to an unexpected strong friendship. Her being a fan for many years already, she joined KC for a summer festival show in Oklahoma in the US.

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Lenny, Frank and Martina kept traveling to Los Angeles, to meet lots of Lenny’s old friends, alongside KC’s first manager Marty Wolff, who is now living in Hawaii, photographing wale’s and himself. Reloading the battery by having Lenny’s favorite dish, apple pie a la mode and the California sandwich at Lenny’s favorite coffee shop called the “Four ‘n twenty’s” in LA, was a highlight. It fast became the meeting point with James Kottak and Rick Steier, 2 of the original band members of KC’s early days.

Being close to finishing the new songs, a new record deal needed to be settled. Frontiers and Lenny wanting to continue their partnership, but were unable to settle on contractual issues, which put an end to the Frontiers legacy. The unexpected took shape. Martina Pokorny having released bands years ago already, suggested to join up and do it together. Certainly a new vision, Lenny had to get used to. But living with it for a while, made it become irresistible to join a unique partnership, without any written contract, based on friendship and trust. Welcome to the good old days. So here we are, in the year 2009. Magnified being released on “Planet Music” Austria, continuing Lenny’s mission called Kingdom Come!

The partnership between Martina and Lenny was a great base for having done something fun and certainly wonderful to remember, but looking back at it from a more professional point of view, the business requirements were exceeding the time and nerves for Martina to handle. Lenny and Martina mutually decided to end the business partnership on good terms.. They still hang out every once in a while in Austria’s wonderful coffee houses, having to much of those Vienna sweets and debating which one of Martina’s 4 cars they should take for a ride. Usually, the pimp mobile Pontiac Firebird would win most of the votes. Martina and Lenny would like to apologize to all environmentally concerned people for having done so;-)

Unexpectedly, a good fellow by the name of Olly Hahn from SPV records in Hannover contacted Lenny to find out what was going on with Kingdom Come. Olly was thinking about doing something which includes old songs from Kingdom Come’s early days. Since Lenny has thought about giving new life to some of his favorite songs for a while himself, the concept of re-recording KC tunes became reality. Lenny joined forces with SPV and released “Rendered Waters” in 2011.

As we are making these latest additions to the KC’s history chapter, Lenny is already hiding again in his creative bubble, working on the next SPV record which should see the light of the day in 2013. “Outlier” is the new chapter of their diverse creative progress, expertly positioning his charismatic voice between traditional melodic rock structures and modern sound elements.

KINGDOMCOME_KC KINGDOM_COME_IYF KINGDOMCOME_HOT KINGDOMCOME_BI KINGDOMCOME_TC KINGDOMCOME_MS KINGDOMCOME_B KINGDOMCOME_TOO KINGDOMCOME_I1.JPG KINGDOMCOME_P KINGDOMCOME_ACFTM KINGDOMECOME_MAG KIINGDOMCOME_RW Kingdom Come - Outlier

– Kingdom Come [1988]
– In Your Face [1989]
– Hands Of Time [1991]
– Bad Image [1993]
– Twilight Cruiser [1995]
– Master Seven [1997]
– Balladesque [1998]
– Too [2000]
– Independent [2002]
– Perpetual [2004]
– Ain’t Crying For The Moon [2006]
– Magnified [2009]
– Rendered Waters [2011]
– Outlier [2013]

Notes from the band

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