Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist ‡
It is the early Eighties when guitarist, and guitar teacher, Doug Marks relocates to Los Angeles from Denver, CO to pursue a career in music.
In 1982, Marks launches Metal Method, a mail order guitar playing instructional course consisting of cassette tapes and booklets, at first. The business has a dual purpose to it, one as a response to his former students requests for his continuing to teach them, and two, to supplement his own income. Today, Metal Method is one of the longest established, most popular video guitar lessons, having changed with the times as necessitated and teaching well over 100,000 guitarists to date.
We are here to look at Doug Marks‘ other musical endeavor, the heavy metal band HAWK, formed in 1984 with some now well-known names alongside Doug in the band. They are original drummer Glenn Burtis – soon replaced with Scott Travis (Judas Priest, Racer X, Fight) – singer Charlie Wayne Morrill (King Kobra, BulletBoys), and bassist Lonnie Vincent (BulletBoys, King Kobra). The band is one of the many that are hammering it out on L.A.’s exploding Sunset Strip music scene circa mid-80s and despite their “glam” look, HAWK are most definitely a heavy metal band.
Their sound is one comprised of fiery, technical guitars, driving rhythms, and higher end, soaring vocals. Unfortunately, this version of HAWK is destined to be short-lived and will be over within a year of its formation, having never officially recorded together. However, the story of HAWK does not end there as 1985 sees Doug Marks begin to record a solo album.
The album eventually becomes the first HAWK studio record, an eponymous recording with a line up different than the one that has forged a name for the band on the live circuit. Marks is the only member from the band to appear on the album, contributing both guitar and bass. The roster is rounded out by drummer Matt Sorum (Deadland Ritual, ex-Guns ‘N Roses, The Cult), singer David Fefolt (FireWölfe, Fifth Angel, Masi), and keyboardists Steve Ayola and David Tolley.
Now with a first full-length album recorded and in hand, the unthinkable happens and the record is basically shelved. That’s right, it goes mostly unreleased at the time with only a small number of vinyl formats made available by Metal Method. A live concert video, “Hawk At The Roxy“, is independently released in 1986, but HAWK the band is pretty much over before they really had begun. That’s not to say that their legacy is, as interest and reverence for HAWK continues on and in 2009, there is movement in the band’s name.
This is when FnA Records learns of the long dormant ‘Hawk‘ album and expresses interest in releasing it. With some retooling applied, including different album artwork, the 10-song recording is re-branded under the title ‘Let The Metal Live‘ and released.
Now, another decade since the availability of that version of the album, Doug Marks has announced an all new run of the original self-titled album. It is available on limited edition CD format for the first time ever, along with all major streaming services (and streaming below). Marks also revealed that he plans to record a long awaited sophomore HAWK album in 2020, if he believes the interest is there.
He recently commented:
“I would like to record an album next year. This album release may show me if there’s interest. What I would like you to do is similar to crowdfunding, except you don’t need to send any money. Show interest in the project by putting Hawk in one of your Spotify or Apple Music playlists. Purchase the CD or download from iTunes. You can pre-order the album on our site, but I would prefer you wait a few days and order it from iTunes. The reason is, that is activity that will be registered by Apple. A purchase on my site is appreciated (and more profitable) but I’m wanting to create interest online.“
Maybe you are an oldschool metalhead that remembers HAWK well and want to experience this nostalgic era in music history again. Perhaps you are a newer age metal lover that appreciates the roots of the music and bands you like so well now. Either way, here’s your chance to show the interest mentioned by Marks and obtain the long lost HAWK album as it was intended by purchasing it HERE.