Written By Braddon S. Williams
Some of my friends turned me on to the band Starz when their first (self-titled) album was released in 1976, and it had several songs that I still love, but it was Violation (1977) that really grabbed me.
Violation was a loose concept album set in the future, where a rebellious youth discovers a “scratchy old record called Walk This Way” and consequently has a life altering experience.
As a teenager myself at that time, I imagined myself in the title role of this rock ‘n’ roll fantasy and just immersed myself in the great hard rock hooks that were all over Violation.
Michael Lee Smith had a great voice that appealed to the ladies, but was tough enough for us young dudes as well.
Richie Ranno and Brendan Harkin were a dueling duo of lead guitar finesse and bare knuckle riff power.
Pete Sweval and Joe X. Dube were a solid rhythm section and Starz (like Angel) deserved much greater success than they actually achieved.
Songs like Subway Terror, Sing It Shout It, Cherry Baby, Violation, and Rock Six Times were all killers, and when I finally saw Starz open for Foghat early in 1978, I discovered that they could pull it off live, too.