Hellion, the L.A. based Metal group fronted by vocalist Ann Boleyn, is a perfect example of 'so close yet so far'. Seemingly on the brink, they never really turned the corner.
Hellion formed in '82 covering Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions and AC/DC, prior to working in Boleyn inspired originals.
Before their first session, which produced "Nightmares In Daylight," for a one-off compilation on Mystic Records, bassist Peyton Tuthill left, citing Boleyn's occult leanings. His departure began the band's career long revolving door.
Though they achieved local notoriety, Hellion was unable to secure a major deal - and found themselves at the mercy of indie labels (rather than at the mercy of a major label).
The story goes that Van Halen's manager, Ed Leffler offered to make Boleyn "the next Pat Benetar" if she had cosmetic surgery and left Hellion. Didn't happen. Even so, Hellion songs did fairly well in Europe.
In '84, Ronnie James Dio's wife, Wendy, and her business partner Curt Lorraine, entered the picture to produce and manage Hellion. As a result, the group opened for Dio, Whitesnake and others. But even with that and radio airplay there still was no major U.S. label deal.
To compound matters, the band split from Boleyn the following year to form Burn, which ironically reworked some of Boleyn's songs.
She put together a new Hellion that was produced by Ken Scott and managed by his then-wife, Patience. But the couple's divorce brought everything to a halt.
Finally, in '87, Hellion's debut full-length effort, "Screams In The Night," dropped. Though the set garnered some notice, Hellion splintered over the group's musical direction but still managed to issue "Up From The Depths" the following year.
Having been burned in Burn, Hellion's original guitarist Ray Schenck and drummer Sean Kelley returned for the "Postcards From The Asylum" mini-LP.
Now on the Enigma imprint, Hellion recorded "The Black Book." But the label went under before the set was released. After a delay of over a year, Medusa Records finally put out the album.
Back with Schenck and guitarist Chet Thompson (he'd previously been in Hellion from '86-88, '90), "Will Not Go Quietly" arrived. Typically, the '03 album would have come sooner had producer Mikey Davis not been mired in legal troubles.
Also, Boleyn who had long endured threats from stalkers eventually decided to suspended performing live.
More than a decade later, Hellion issued a mini-album entitled "Karma's A Bitch." The '14 lineup featured Boleyn, guitarist Maxxxwell Carlisle, keyboardist Scott Warren (Dio and Heaven & Hell), bassist Bjorn Englen (Yngwie Malmsteen) and drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, Dio, and UFO).
1987 Screams In The Night
1988 Up From The Depths
1990 The Black Book
2003 Will Not Go Quietly
1988 Postcards From The Asylum
1999 The Witching Hour
1999 Into Cold Darkness
2014 Karma's A Bitch
Hellion was once called Judas Priest with a female singer. It's a distinction without a difference.