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Tommy Vance (DJ)
Castle Donington Raceway.
ZZ Top at Donington 1983 © Sharon Parker
The fourth Monsters of Rock festival featured a variable lineup with a solid bedrock of hard rock and heavy blues - represented by Whitesnake and ZZ Top respectively . Otherwise the nights offering was fairly ordinary. The glam metal act Twisted Sister would not have been much to my liking ( they would have a big hit with ' We're Not Gonna Take it " ) but at this time they were not particularly well known or rated by hard core Metal Freaks and for many they were more a novelty act than a serious hard core metal outfit with cred. Meat Loaf could also be very variable in the quality of his performances, either damn good or shambolic, he would end the year in bankruptcy due to record company and management problems .
The more lowly support bands were probably of a higher caliber then the middle order acts on this bill . Ronnie James Dio's ( ex Sabbath and Rainbow vocalist ) modestly self named outfit"Dio" and Diamond Head featured some quality players amongst their lineups, as did headliners Whitesnake, who featured ex Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord, skin thumper extraordinaire Cozy Powell and ace bassist Colin Hodgkinson from the semi legendary UK band Back Door . We have to admit that although we are NOT Coverdale fans, this lineup rocked seriously .
ZZ Top could of course always thoroughly entertain any crowd with their catchy blues/pop and were to be Donington headliners by 1985 on the back of their huge hit album Eliminator.