You may wonder why a website called Unknown Metal Bands would all of a sudden dedicate a page to Mark Stanway. Because it is a lot more interesting to write about Mark than to write about a band that 347 other websites or magazines have covered already. And then there is the book written by Mark himself: Close To The Mark - which I bought for a very fair price about a year ago. The book is a collection of some interesting, amusing and impressive backstage and behind the scenes stories - and they do not only cover his time in Magnum alone.
MarkStanway has spent around 36 years with Magnum and obviously, that is almost half a lifetime. However, there is much more to this Gentleman: in his book he is telling some really funny and almost unbelievable stories from his time with Magnum, Grandslam/Phil Lynott, Classic Whitesnake or Robert Plant's Honeydrippers. But there is even more than that!
In the beginning I will try to give you a brief roundup of the Mark Stanway biography but moving on swiftly, I will then review his book in detail. There are many fantastic stories and so many names that this will not only be a very fascinating review each and every time but I am sure we will learn a lot more about music and its history, take a trip down memory lane - given my almost 45 years of age something I start enjoying more and more - and get to know Mark Stanway in the process.
I will try to post some music with each and every article and I hope that at some stage I can also offer an interview with Mark Stanway but let's take it one step at a time!
...is not going to happen! I have scanned the world wide web but most articles are focused around Magnum. So whilst we know that Mark had a life before he joined Magnum in 1980, I will now start to dig around his book instead of coming up with a partial biography. Trust me that the upcoming articles will be enlightening and very interesting for those who love music! And rest assured, if there is any possibility to come up with a decent biography at a later stage, I will do so of course!
Let us start with the foreword or as it is called in French, l'avant-propos! The foreword was written by Malcolm Dome and I am the first person to admit that I did not have a clue who this gentleman is. As some of you may not know either, let me elaborate for a bit. This is the objective of the book - we do not just look at Mark Stanway but also at the people that appear in his book. That is what I call digging and I hope you will enjoy reading it!
Even though this is slightly embarrassing for me, Malcolm Dome has been writing about Metal (or as it used to be called back in the day: Heavy Rock) since the very beginning! To my excuse I may mention that I mainly read the German Rock Hard magazine and therefore never came across his name. Malcolm was there when the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal was born and witnessed the early days of amazing bands such as Iron Maiden, Tygers Of Pan Tang or Angelwitch. In the introduction to an interview with Dan Tobin he was called one of the leading authorities on all things Metal! You should actually read the interview as the guy has seen it all and has many stories to tell - just as Mark Stanway!
Malcolm has been writing about Metal since 1979 and besides being a journalist for Record Mirror, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer as well as Classic Rock he has also been writing books (you will find a relevant list on Wikipedia). He was a co-founder of the United Kingdom's first rock station called TotalRock. He left TotalRock back in 2014 and joined Team Rock on a full time basis. In fact, you should check out the Team Rock website - I just discovered it and it is quite amazing! Malcolm Dome is the one who came up with the term Trash Metal due to a reference to Metal Trashing Mad (by Anhtrax). Prior to this and as some of you may know, Mr. Hetfield from Metallica referred to their sound as Power Metal...
So, having the foreword written by Malcom Dome, saying all these nice things about Mark, is quite impressive! Then again, Mark Stanway is not just anybody and deserves such an introduction! Please find below a short clip where Malcolm talks about Ritchie Blackmore. I find his point on Encores quite interesting and I actually agree!