While one may not expect a wedding in New Jersey back in 1987 to be a historical event, new footage premiered by Rolling Stone proves otherwise. It appears that at photographer Mark Weiss‘ wedding in Red Bank, NJ on June 17th, 1987 two careers were launched as Sebastian Bach and Zakk Wylde shared the stage.
Both men weren’t far from the spotlight at this point in their careers, and an invitation to perform at the famous concert photographer’s wedding proved to be their springboard to stardom. The guest list at the function included Stevie Van Zandt, Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot), and the parents of one Jon Bongiovi, amongst others. On Monday, Rolling Stone premiered recently-unearthed video of Bach, Wylde, Dave Feld, and Chris Doliber (Madam X) covering Led Zeppelin‘s “Rock and Roll” like they were headlining Madison Square Garden.
It seems that the wedding band came together entirely through happenstance, with Weiss’ friend Feld telling him about Wylde (then known as Jeffrey Wielandt) who he had seen “playing in a club with about three people in there—two heroin addicts, and a guy who worked the door,” according to the guitarist. Feld would eventually pass along Wielandt’s demos to Ozzy Osbourne—who he had photographed in a pink tutu for the cover of Circus—by way of his wife, Sharon. By the end of the year, Jeff Wielandt had become Zakk Wylde and was playing guitar for the Prince of Darkness.
As for Bach, he’d been bouncing between hard rock bands in New York and Canada when he struck up a friendship with Weiss during a photoshoot for Madam X—Bach’s pre-Skid Row band. The photographer liked Bach so much that he invited the budding musician to perform at his wedding. Though Bach and Wylde hadn’t worked together before, they were about to become well acquainted onstage.
“Zakk was from right down the street,” Bach says. “So this was pretty crazy. I got put in Skid Row from Bon Jovi’s parents who were at this wedding, and then Zakk ended up in Ozzy’s band from the same wedding at the same time. It was a fun time to be a rock musician.”
The entire aura of the VHS-quality vintage footage screams 1980s. From Bach’s shoulder pad sport coat to his mile high hair, nothing encapsulates the heyday of hair metal quite like this clip. While Bach’s hair-rising vocals are certainly a focal point of the video, Wylde comes in to steal the show with a guitar solo that, stylistically, bounces between Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen, complete with Jimi Hendrix-style teeth picking.
“It was friggin’ hilarious,” Wylde told Rolling Stone. “Sebastian came up to my table, and I’d never met him before. Jon Bon Jovi’s mother was there, and Sebastian’s like, ‘Oh, man, Zakk. I heard you might be playing with Ozzy.’ He goes, ‘I’m a singer, man. Maybe someday we’ll hook up whatever, man.’ And I said, ‘Ah, cool.’ Then he goes, ‘Check this out, man.’ And he starts going, ‘Woooo,’ and it just keeps getting higher and higher. And I’m waiting for all the glasses to start shattering at the table. You can see Mrs. Bon Jovi sitting there like, ‘What in the f*ck is that?’ Like, everybody is trying to figure out where the noise is coming from.”
While Wylde’s image now more closely resembles the kind of biker you don’t want to look at cross-eyed, Bach remembers him as a “pretty boy” back when they first met.
“I don’t want to get my ass kicked by saying that, but he was,” Bach said, laughing. “I remember he was an incredibly talented guitar player. And he was a nice guy; he was healthy lookin’ and in shape and had long blond hair, and he didn’t have a big chain around his back, and his speaking voice was different than it is now.” Bach laughs before assuming Wylde’s gruff way of speaking. “‘What’s up, yeah, bro,’ — he didn’t talk like that, but he’s an incredible guitar player.”
The video surfaced when Weiss was going gathering material for his new book, The Decade That Rocked. According to the photographer, he also has footage of the all-star ensemble performing “Whole Lotta Love” and Quiet Riot’s “Metal Health” with the band’s Kevin DuBrow on vocals. Those videos will premiere on Friday during a virtual pay-per-view event dubbed Welcome to My Exhibition. The event will raise money for New Jersey’s Monmouth Museum, which hosted an exhibit of Weiss’ photos earlier this year.
Watch Sebastian Bach and Zakk Wylde get their big break performing “Rock and Roll” at Mark Weiss’ wedding in 1987.
The Weiss Wedding Jam (ft. Sebastian Bach, Zakk Wylde) – “Rock and Roll” – Red Bank, NJ – 6/17/1987
[Video: The Decade That Rocked]
[H/T Rolling Stone]