“Shot of Rock” Written by Mark Allen
Like so many other commercial hard rock acts, COLD SHOT was formed in the seething cauldron of excess and decadence that was the L.A. metal scene in 1988. While they achieved a modicum of moderate success during their rock ‘n’ roll journey, they had dared to dream of rock stardom. While success at the big league level eluded them, it wasn’t for lack of trying; these hard rocking hell-raisers laid it all on the line, left their blood on the arena floor, and gave it their best shot.
COLD SHOT was a band that came about through pure chance. Guitarist Anthony Gallo had been banging around the L.A. scene for quite some time, his disillusionment growing exponentially by the day. But that all changed when he heard vocalist Adam Murray sing at a show. The power of Adam’s voice destroyed all of Anthony’s disillusionment like a dandelion in a dust storm. Realizing destiny was staring him smack in the face, Anthony vowed right then and there that he and Adam would record music together.
The two became fast friends and quickly formed a band called Shark Team, a name Adam hated right from the start. Eager to get their name - loathed as it might be by his musical partner in crime - out there, Anthony booked a show at Grazzaris before they even had a bassist or drummer. Luckily it didn’t take long to fill these slots; Erin Bartley answered the ad for the bass player position and recommended his roommate Rikki Baggett for beat-keeping duties.
Adam insisted the group deep-six Shark Team and redub the band COLD SHOT. The name stemmed from a conversation Adam had once had with an elderly coworker in a delicatessen; as Adam shared some of the cruelty his ex had inflicted, the old dude commented, “Man, what a COLD SHOT.” The phrase had stuck in Adam’s mind and he now applied it to his new band.
With the new name came a fresh burst of luck. The band caught the attention of promoter Sam Sarkiss. They had their pictures snapped by legendary photographer Neil Zlowzower. Erin and Anthony secured endorsement deals with Renegade Custom Guitars. COLD SHOT sold out places like the Roxy and the Whiskey on a regular basis. They even recorded two songs - “Juicy Lucy” and “Higher” - for the soundtrack to Brad Pitt’s first indie film, “Across the Tracks,” the latter of which was co-written with Carlos Cavazo of Quiet Riot fame.
All this eventually led to a deal offer from Virgin Records, but before anything materialized grunge came along and put the screws to melodic metal. The Sunset Strip was out and Seattle was in. Nirvana ruled the charts and hair metal was history. When Tommy Lee shaved his head, that was the last straw, the final nail in the coffin of L.A. metal, and COLD SHOT called it quits.
The disappointment COLD SHOT felt at the time of disbandment is a wound long scarred over; now the boys have only fond memories of their time together, a time of wild shows and crazy parties and accommodating groupies, a time when all they wanted to do was rock out and hope the world liked the kickass music they were collectively cranking up.
Now, nearly 20 years after the band laid down their metaphorical guns, their music is being reloaded and ready to roar once again. Yeah, that’s right - COLD SHOT is getting ready to take another shot. Turn the stereo up and prepare to feel the impact as COLD SHOT nails a hard rock bulls-eye right between your ears.