Q #1,826: FIRST/LAST SONG: ‘Stormwind’ and ‘Dance the Night Away’
‘Drop the Ball’ appears on the 1995 Anthrax album, ‘Stomp 442.’ This would be the second album with new vocalist John Bush, but also the first album without lead guitarist Dan Spitz. It is also the first Anthrax album where the entirety of the music was written by drummer Charlie Benante. When your drummer takes over the entirety of writing duties and your lead guitarist leaves, you are probably going to have a bad time, but this would not be the case for Anthrax.
Not yet officially a member, Spitz guitar tech Paul Crook would play lead guitar on ‘Stomp 442,’ but would eventually fill the position full-time. Aside from producing the follow up album ‘Volume 8: The Threat is Real,’ Crook would eventually leave to join forces with former Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach. Years later, he would be asked to join Meat Loaf’s band (Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian is married to Meat Loaf’s daughter, Pearl).
Also playing guitar on Stomp 442, arguably the most notable guitarist on the record, was none other than Pantera axe-slinger Dimebag Darrell. This would be the first of his many appearances on Anthrax records, but he throws down on only two tracks on ‘Stomp 442.’ Another guitarist credited on this album was Mike Tempesta, brother of drumming legend John Tempesta (Exodus, White Zombie, Rob Zombie, Testament, The Cult). Mike was Scott Ian’s guitar tech, received credit on the Anthrax album ‘Persistence of Time,’ played guitar in Powerman 5000 and Scum of the Earth, and was my artist rep when I was with Jackson Guitars.
The cover artwork for Stomp 442 was created by legendary design artist Storm Thorgerson, and was originally supposed to be used by Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson for his album ‘Balls to Picasso.’ Apparently, the price tag on the piece was too expensive for Dickinson, and he opted to draw two squares on the wall of a bathroom instead. I’m still trying to work out how Dickinson’s Iron Maiden dividends were insufficient, but Anthrax managed to put the art to good use.