It’s the band “Jag Panzer” –
Long story but, we were schedule to interview and photograph the band back in 1984. Things happen and well, it’s now 2016 – a long time coming.
I never get into the bands when they play, I take photography very seriously and taking concert pictures is very difficult but, I have to admit this time…
I was banging my head and singing along like everyone else.
Jag Panzer came together in late 1981, being inspired by the onslaught of the new wave of British heavy metal. The original line-up consisted of Harry Conklin on vocals (later nicknamed the “Tyrant”), Mark Briody, the sole guitarist of the group in its first incarnation, John Tetley (bassist) and Rick Hilyard (drummer). The band was known as Tyrant in its first incarnation, but they soon had to change the name, because another band already existed in California with that name.
They saw a poster featuring a German World War II tank, named Jagdpanzer literally “hunting tank” in German, but actually referring to what in English would be called a tank destroyer, which they decided to name their band after. They were, however, unable to pronounce the name correctly and as a result, dropped the letter “D” from the name and simply called it Jag Panzer.
The band, who were all in their late teens at the time, played at local venues in the Denver club circuit, and recorded an EP in 1983, later known as Tyrants. In early 1984, the band recruited Joey Tafolla, a native of California, and promptly recorded their first album, Ample Destruction. The album was released in August of that year by the independent record label Azra Records. The album was an underground hit in the United States, and in Europe and Japan it was available on import only.
After the release of the album, the band relocated to Southern California. Tafolla quit the band in 1986, releasing a solo album, Out of the Sun, in 1987, while Conklin played with Riot for a brief period in the late 1980s, before forming his own band, Titan Force. Without the two key members of the Ample Destruction line-up, Jag Panzer, or more accurately Briody and Tetley, as Hilyard had also been replaced by Reynold ‘Butch’ Carlson (who also left in 1986 along with Tafolla), revamped the band by recruiting vocalist Bob Parduba, and guitarist Christian Lasegue.
Jag Panzer is back and has not missed a beat – The Tyrant and the boys are in top form. A lot of band these days go out and do a lame, embarrassing karaoke version of their own music. These guys bring it as if it was 1984.