Talented singer, bassist, guitarist, and songwriter Blackie Lawless celebrates his 65th birthday today.
He was born on September 4, 1956, as Steven Edward Duren.
Steven grew up in the Staten Island area of New York and received a Baptist Christian upbringing as a child.
He is of Irish, French, and Indian descent and also has Jewish roots.
It was his brother who made his first acquaintance with the guitar. He got his first guitar when he was 9 years old.
Steven has been influenced by bands like "AC/DC", "Black Sabbath", "The Beatles", "Kiss", and Alice Cooper.
The first band he was a member of was called "The Underside".
At age 14 he was sent to a military boarding school, but was thrown away after a year.
At the age of 16, he joined the band "Black Rabbit" and later moved to "Orfax Rainbow".
In 1975, at the age of 18, he replaced guitarist Johnny Thunders in the "New York Dolls", who retired during a tour. Blackie completed the remaining performances in his place.
After half a year he retired along with Arthur Kane, they both moved to Los Angeles and formed the band "Killer Kane" which released one EP. Blackie was then called Blackie Goozeman.
In 1976 he formed the heavy metal band "Sister" which also included guitarist Randy Piper who would later form W.A.S.P. with Blackie. Nikki Sixx will later join the band, but Blackie fired him shortly after. Nikki will move from there to "Motley Crue".
Already at that time, Blackie used gimmicks during the band's performances, such as lighting his boots on stage or eating worms.
He formed "W.A.S.P." In 1982, during this time he moved to play bass guitar.
The name W.A.S.P. Represented the acronym "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant" but also "We Are Sexual Perverts" - a meaning that is more in line with the essence of the band and the idea it tried to represent at the beginning of its journey.
W.A.S.P. belonged to the Shock-Rock genre and its motto, right from the first single, was to offense and horror!
From the moment of its inception and even before the release of its first album, W.A.S.P. the band was in conflict with conservative organizations, due to the use of rude and abusive words, as well as contempt and humiliation of women. In the clips released by the band, there were often naked women, and the singer and bassist (then) Blackie Lawless used to walk around in leather pants with a disc of a chainsaw between his joints.
The band released its debut album in 1984. Read more about the album here:
On their second album "The Last Command", Blackie and W.A.S.P. changed their musical style a bit toward heavy metal.
After guitarist Randy Piper left W.A.S.P., Blackie made the transition from playing bass guitar to playing guitar. The band's third album - "Inside the Electric Circus" was the first to introduce Blackie as the guitarist.
To date, Blackie Lawless has released 16 studio albums with the band, most recently in 2015.
In 1987, Blackie co-wrote the song "Scream Until You Like It" with W.A.S.P. for the movie "Ghoulies II".
Beyond being a musician Blackie also "played" in films such as "Can't Stop the Music" from 1980.