Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ariola Records: Winning Man

Our final Ariola America artist is a band that is near and dear to my heart as they gave me a guitar at a concert in January 1995. Today’s featured cut, “Winning Man,” came from their 1981 album “Hardware.” Although “Hardware” was this Swiss band’s fifth album, it was their second and final album for Ariola before being moved to Arista in 1982.

While the single failed to chart, it was the first Krokus album to place within the top 200 hundred albums in the US.  It peaked at #103. I had a chance to see Krokus twice in concert. The first time was in 1983 when they opened for Def Leppard at the Charleston (West Virginia) Civic Center.

In 1985, they supported Sammy Hagar on his VoA Tour and I saw them again at the Charleston Civic Center. The band was great backstage and they presented me with the guitar the Fernando von Arb played on their final cut.

The author, Rick Moorefield, Robert Tipane, & Fernando von Arb

It was a Stratocaster copy that he threw straight into the air and it came down on the headstock snapping it from the neck just below the joint.  It suffered some other structural damage as well. All the members of the band signed the guitar.

I had a friend replace the neck and fix some of the other problems with it and it became playable. Overtime the finish has yellowed some and the signatures began to wear off the instrument. I will always cherish this one-off piece of rock memorabilia.

As with most of the songs on “Hardware,” “Winning Man” was penned by lead guitarist Fernando von Arb and bassist Chris von Rohr. What a great tune.

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