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Kingdome Come at Token Lounge, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2018

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Kingdom Come didn't waste any time getting it on 30 years ago.

The group, formed by German singer Lenny Wolf, came seemingly out of nowhere with "Get It On," an adroit appropriation of the Led Zeppelin sound that became a huge rock radio hit during 1988 (breaking partly out of Detroit). That sent the group on the road for the Monsters of Rock Tour during 1985 and led its self-titled 1988 debut album to gold sales status.

The ride didn't last long. Wolf began changing members after 1989's "In Your Face," and Kingdom Come gradually faded into obscurity. Wolf is now retired, but with his blessing the other four original members along with singer Keith St. John (from Montrose and Lynch Mob), have joined forces to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its debut album -- and maybe get it on again for more music in the future...

Drummer James Kottak says by phone that there were actually plans to regroup for Kingdom Comes 20th and 25th anniversaries, but his commitments at the time to Scorpions scotched those. "Fast forward to 2018, January. We'd been talking again for months. Unfortunately Lenny decided to retire. I gave him my blessing, he gave me his blessing and we decided to launch everything and reboot. It's not hard; We've remained friends all these years, the kinds of friends who if you haven't talked in a year or two you pick up the phone and it's like you just spoke yesterday."

Kottak, 55, credits Detroit radio with helping to launch Kingdom Come and "Get It On" back in 1988. "Somebody leaked a cassette tape to WRIF and didn't say who the band was...kind of hinting it might be Led Zeppelin, which was OK with me. So they played it and WLLZ came in a close second, then other (stations) started duplicating it, and it spread like wildfire in radio and, boom, we were up and running. The record company had to move our single release up six weeks. It was a super exciting time. We played the Pontiac Silverdome (on the Monsters of Rock Tour) and it felt like a really wonderful homecoming."

Kingdom Come's member never minded the comparisons to led Zeppelin, according to Kottak. "Any time anybody says anything about that, I'm like, 'Are you kidding? Thank you!' If you're going to be compared to anybody, then be compared to the greatest band in the history of the world. We did make a couple of comments, sarcastically, like, 'I never heard of Led Zeppelin.' But satire and being facetious does not come across in print, so a couple of publications ran stories with headlines like, 'I never heard of Led Zeppelin,' and people got on our case. But we were joking."

Kottak says he bears no ill will towards Wolf for quietly breaking up the band in 1989 and then reforming with other members. "We parted amicably. We got back from touring the second album and I didn't hear (from Wolf) for months. It was odd; There wasn't a call to say Kingdom Come's over or anything like that. In the meantime I was putting together another band, Wild Horses and got a deal with Atlantic Records and was doing that, and the next thing you know Lenny had a third Kingdom Come album out on his own."

Though it's celebrating its past, Kottak says Kingdom Come views the anniversary reunion as a new start for the band. "We want to put out new music as Kingdom Come, but right now we're focusing 100 percent on live shows and reconnecting with friends, fans, getting in the trenches and checking out the musical climate. We're all committed to the long haul. We've got shows booked out to 2019 and beyond. We feel like we're at the beginning of something great"

Kingdom Come performs Friday, Oct. 12, at the Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Road, Westland. Doors at 7 p.m. $20. 734-513-5030 or visit tokenlounge.com.

Web Site: www.tokenlounge.com

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