Kingdom Come is a hard rock band fronted by Hamburg-born vocalist Lenny Wolf. The group's first album, Kingdom Come is to date the band's most internationally popular and biggest selling recording. The band currently consists of an entirely German line-up.
The group was formed in 1987 after the breakup of Wolf's moderately successful rock project Stone Fury. Wolf recruited Pittsburgh-based lead guitarist Danny Stag, Louisvillians Rick Steier (guitar) and James Kottak (drums) and Ravenna, Ohio-born Johnny B. Frank on bass and keyboards. Stag and Frank had previously been members of the bands Industrials (CBS Int'l), produced by Kim Fowley; WWIII; and Population 5, which included bassist Prescott Niles (The Knack) and future Guns n Roses and Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum. Frank was also at one point the keyboard player for Josie Cotton. Kingdom Come marked the first band where Wolf sang without playing guitar. The frontman later admitted that, for a while, it was a very awkward adjustment.
In 1988, the band released its debut LP, Kingdom Come. The band's first single, "Get It On," was a big enough hit on AOR stations (most requested song for 6 weeks), that the band's eponymous debut went gold the day it was shipped (610,000 units sold). Their second single/video for the power ballad "What Love Can Be" received much airplay on US radio and MTV. By the time the single/video "Loving You" was released, the album had sold to platinum status in the United States, Germany and Canada, among other music markets. The band was chosen to open for the North American Monsters of Rock tour in 1988, supporting Dokken, Scorpions, Metallica and Van Halen. Following that, they were tapped to support the Scorpions on their North American "Savage Amusement" tour. In 1989, Kingdom Come released their next LP, called In Your Face. It had sold a hardly modest 486,000 units, only 14,000 short of achieving their second Gold LP, when the band abruptly broke up for personal reasons in August, 1989.
In 1992, Stag joined forces with onetime Foreigner vocalist Johnny Edwards, former Krokus drummer Jeff Klaven, and bassist David Seaton to form Royal Jelly, which got the attention of legendary A&R man Denny Cordell at Island Records in 1993. Cordell signed Stag and Royal Jelly to a recording contract. The band's first single, "Ceiling" reached #22 with a bullet on the FM airplay charts before the band was lost in the shuffle of Cordell's untimely and tragic death from lymphoma and the purchase and restructuring of Island by Polygram. In 1995, after the demise of the band, a disillusioned Stag went back to Pittsburgh and immersed himself in the blues, to get back in touch with the source of his inspiration. Steier and Kottak went back to Kentucky and assembled the short-lived Wild Horses, who released an album on Atlantic Records. Both would later resurface in Warrant. James Kottak did not go unnoticed by the Scorpions and eventually earned a place as their permanent drummer.
With a new lineup, Kingdom Come managed one more international release on Polygram, an album entitled Hands of Time in 1991, co-writing with harpist/songwriter Carol Tatum (Angels Of Venice), which was recorded by with several session guitarists and drummers, including future Poison guitarist Blues Saraceno, and former Dancer drummer Bam Bamm Shibley, with Lenny Wolf himself playing the bass. By 1993, Wolf had returned to Germany to regroup. With a new, mostly German lineup, Kingdom Come remains active with several subsequent releases and tours in Europe under their collective belt.
The band keeps recording albums und touring since then. In early 2013 Kingdom Come released studio album no. 13 "Outlier", which was produced by Lenny Wolf in his home recording studio. He plans to tour again in 2013.
Comparisons with Led Zeppelin
The musical style on Kingdom Come's debut album was very close to the early blues-rock style of English rock band Led Zeppelin, to the point that some listeners initially thought that Kingdom Come was actually a Led Zeppelin reunion. With a sound that was thought by many to be highly derivative of Led Zeppelin's, there was a backlash from critics, with the band being dubbed "Kingdom Clone" in the press.
Irish rock guitarist Gary Moore however went one step further, with the track "Led Clones" from his "After the War" album. Moore with Ozzy Osbourne on lead vocals, pokes fun at bands such as Kingdom Come on the track, criticising their blatant use of Led Zeppelin's sound and image.This, in spite of the fact that Led Zeppelin themselves were successfully sued by Blues men for copyright infringement. To this day, a persistent urban legend has it that vocalist Lenny Wolf further inflamed the situation in an interview with Kerrang magazine by proclaiming to have never heard of Led Zeppelin. A similar quote has been attributed to Stag, who did actually once tell an MTV reporter that he had never PURCHASED a Led Zep record.This reporter then told Jimmy Page in a subsequent interview that, "Kingdome Come's guitarist says he has never heard your playing", to which Jimmy Page replied that he must be visiting the guitarist at night as a vampire and leaving his mark on him that way, and that appears to be the source of this continuing and false narrative. Wolf has been adamant that his and Kingdom Come's greatest influences were The Beatles and AC/DC, particularly the Bon Scott era. Danny Stag is on record as having said that his biggest influence was Jimi Hendrix. These claims are backed up by the cover of the Beatles classic "Across the Universe" from "Ain't Crying For The Moon" and the hard rocking tribute "Bon Scott" (in honour of the former AC/DC front-man) from the same album.
- Lenny Wolf—lead vocals, bass, guitar (1987–present)
- Eric Förster—lead guitar
- Frank Binke—bass guitar
- Nader Rahy—drums
- Danny Stag - lead guitar (1987–1989)
- Rick Steier - rhythm guitar (1987–1989)
- James Kottak - drums, percussion (1987–1989)
- Johnny B. Frank - bass (1987–1989) - former keyboard player for Josie Cotton
- Dion Murdock - drums, percussion (1997)
- Billy Liesgang - guitar
- Arjen Anthony Lucassen - guitar
- Heiko Radke-Sieb - guitar
- Bam Bam Shiblei - drums, percussion
- Mirko Schaffer - bass
- Mark Cross - drums
- Blues Saraceno - guitar
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