Kingdom Come History
In 1988, after having been signed to Polygram Records, New York by Derek Shulman, Lenny Wolf and his manager Marty Wolff (no relation), were asked to put a new band together. The players he chose for his new band were: James Kottak on drums, Danny Stag on lead guitar, Rick Steier on rhythm guitar and Johnny B.Frank on the bass guitar (for more background see Lenny Wolf Biography).
A very lucky event happened when Lenny was introduced to Bob Rock, who is best known for his work with Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Loverboy and later for Metallica. "Working with Bob was one of the best times I've had during my career. Being a musician himself, knowing how to get the best out of a band, a similar outlook on how the sound should be and working in a great studio (LittleMountain in Vancouver, Canada) were major reasons for the first record's success", - says Lenny.
Having finished the record Bob and Lenny flew to New York to mix it at the Electric Lady Studio, formerly owned by Jimmy Hendrix. During the mixing session of "Get It On", John Kalodner, a John Lennon look-alike and back then one of American most listened to men, stopped by to say "hi". He liked the song and asked if he could take a cassette with him. As far as is known, the tape ended up at a radio station in Detroit, which played the song without anyone in the band or Polygram Records knowing about it. Hard as it is to believe, other stations actually recorded the song off the air since the record had not even been released yet. The American music industry magazine "Album Network" reported about a mysterious band, which kept the telephone lines of Detroit's rock stations busy for days. Suddenly, a few weeks later, all of America's rock stations were playing "Get It On".
Kingdom Come shipped gold (500,000 copies), before the label or the band itself were able to discuss the first single.
They toured throughout Europe opening for the English band called "Magnum", while the news from the states kept on getting more and more exciting by the minute. Timing could not have been better and Kingdom Come ended up on the first American tour named "Monsters of Rock", playing with Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica and Don Dokken.
"Besides having to sing at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, we had a fantastic time. Strange enough, playing in front of 500 people makes me sweat a lot more than facing 80,000 rock heads in New Jersey's Meadowlands Stadium", - says Lenny. After the Monsters of Rock tour Kingdom Come continued touring America with the Scorpions for another two months.
A new chapter in Lenny Wolf's Kingdom Come was just beginning. The split meant taking everything into his own hands - and he took it on with his usual enthusiasm. After a short period of guidance and help from Stephan Galfas, Lenny was introduced to Nigel Thomas, who then took over the band's management. Lenny began writing all of the material for what was to become Kingdom Come's third album "Hands of Time", and took over full production responsibilities for the first time. Following the release of "Hands of Time" in 1991, Lenny continued to commute between Los Angeles and Hamburg and came into contact with WEA Germany, through a friend of his named Gerd Krombholz. The relationship culminated in a WEA worldwide signing and in 1993 the album "Bad Image" was recorded in LA and Hamburg, with Lenny once again taking on the lion's share of responsibilities.
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.
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.
This is music you cannot read about - you have to listen to it, best at 2 a.m on the highway with the volume-switch turned up to 11!
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.
Throughout all the following cd's to come, the "industrial" and unique KC fingerprint developed more and more. Despite the former management complaining about the change, or let's call it growth, Lenny again had to do what he had to do. A howling wolf on his mission.
Happy to say that the touring line-up kept getting more stabile. Something Lenny always hated to do, changing players. But people having their own projects on hand, and or not able to go along, in the past often meant, "Next please".
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.
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.