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Doro

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As premier German Metal band Warlock became lead vocalist Doro Pesch’s solo vehicle, following 1987’s Triumph & Agony, any pretense at a band project was dropped in 1989 when Force Majeure was issued under the title of simply Doro. Once Warlock had attained a foothold it was only a matter of time before Doro was enticed out of the equation into a solo career.

In her formative years, Pesch was joined by guitarist Rudy Graf, bassist Frank Rittel, together with Stallion drummer Thomas Franke in Beast. Former Snakebite/Beast bandmates Pesch, Graf and Rittel forged Warlock, debuting with the album, Burning the Witches, in 1984.

The band backing Pesch on her 1989 solo debut featured ex-Rainbow drummer Bobby Rondinelli, guitarist John Devin and bassist Tommy Henriksen. Keyboards were contributed by Dio’s Claude Schnell. Hendrickson later joined War and Peace, while Rondinelli joined Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult.

Doro relocated to New York to concentrate on the North American market. Kiss’s Gene Simmons and ex-Black ‘n’ Blue/Harlow guitarist Tommy Thayer produced the 1990 Doro album. It included a cover of the 1967 hit – “I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night” - by The Electric Prunes and featured three compositions by Simmons, including the Kiss track, “Only You,” from the Music from the Elder album. Todd Jensen (of Sequel, Harlow and Movie Star fame) played bass.

Giant guitarist Dann Huff, guitarist Michael Hart Thompson, bassist Leland Sklar and drummer Eddie Bayers were the notable session players on 1991’s True at Heart, recorded in Nashville with producer Barry Beckett. Doro’s touring line-up featured From the Fire keyboardist Paul Morris in 1992.

Following another studio album in 1993, Angels Never Die, produced by Jack Ponti, Doro issued her first live album, which introduced a new touring band that featured ex-WW III, Waysted and Britny Fox drummer Johnny Dee and ex-Marish, Britny Fox, Waysted and Tyketto keyboard player Jimmy DeLalla.

Doro’s popularity in Germany was boosted by 1995’s Machine II Machine album, which spawned the spin off album, Electric Club Mixes. Despite a continual decline in popularity in Britain and America, Doro nevertheless remained a strong contender in her native Germany.

The brutal, yet melodic 1998 album, Love Me in Black, which featured a hard version of Heart’s “Barracuda” was a huge seller in Europe and captured a renewed interest in Doro. Musicians utilized for the recording were guitarists Jimmy Harry and Jurgen Engler, bassists Nick Douglas (a.k.a. Nick Mitchell of Deadly Blessing) and Andrew Goodsight, along with drummer Damon Weber.

The 2000 album, Calling the Wild, gave Doro a further hit album in Germany. Album guests include Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead, ex-Guns n’ Roses guitarist Slash and Megadeth’s Al Pitrelli. Released with different track listings for Europe and America, the album included a version of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” and Motorhead’s “Love Me Forever”.

Doro toured America in November 2000 with Dio and Yngwie Malmsteen prior to a lengthy headlining jaunt in Germany early the following year. The dates were accompanied by a single release of “White Wedding”. Touring in America during April and May of 2001 saw Doro sharing billing with Britny Fox. Drummer Johnny Dee tested his endurance on double duties with both bands.

Doro donated her services to German Rock Stars’ October 2001 song, “Wings of Freedom”, in honor of the World Trade Center victims, and as a guest duettist on U.D.O.’s 2002 album, Man and Machine.

In May of 2002 news arrived of a new Doro studio album entitled Fight, the title song written in honor of the German female boxing champion Regina Halmich. The famous boxer had made her appreciation of Doro known earlier in her career by using Warlock’s “All We Are” as an entrance theme for her fights. Co-songwriters included Gene Simmons, Jean Beauvoir of Crown of Thorns and hitmaker Russ Ballard. The lady included a traditional duet, pulling in Pete Steel of Type O Negative for “Descent”. The favor would be returned to Beauvoir as evidenced on the Crown of Thorns’ 2002 album, Karma, in the duet track, “Shed No Tears”.

Digi-pack versions of Fight added an exclusive track entitled “Song for Me”. Guitarist Joe Taylor, guitarist/keyboard player Oliver Palotai, bassist Nick Douglas, and drummer Johnny Dee fulfilled the duties of her album band. Fight would be promoted with an extensive run of headline gigs across mainland Europe during November. The boxing theme would be pursued further in October when the singer, a trained Thai boxer, was pitched in the ring against Gina Wild (a.k.a. Michaela Schaffrath) in a three-round bout televised for German station RTL’s “Promi-Boxen 2002”.

As Doro proved her staying power, being voted “Sexiest Woman of the Year” by the Czech Rock magazine Spark, she announced plans for a joint tour of Europe, partnered with Saxon, Dionysus and Circle II Circle. Her twentieth anniversary show, held in Dusseldorf , witnessed a unique set spanning her career and including former members of Warlock, alongside friends such as Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, Savatage’s Jon Oliva and Blaze Bayley, former vocalist with Iron Maiden. Doro co-toured with Blaze, as guitarist Oliver Palotai stepped in as replacement for Blaze guitarist John Slater, performing double duty each night.

Doro penned a new entrance theme song for boxing champion Regina Halmich for the World Championship in Karlsruhe. A brand new EP, entitled Let Love Rain on Me, featured both Spanish (“Llueva En Mi Tu Amor”) and French (“Pluie D'Amour”) versions of the title track, a cover version of Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law”, an acoustical “Rare Diamond” and the video for “Unholy Love”. The EP entered the German charts at Number 65, making it the most successful Doro single ever and her first single in the German charts since 1993.

The EP would precede the lady’s “Classic Diamonds”, with Guest Musicians ex-Iron Maiden Blaze Bayley, U.D.O.’s Udo Dirkschneider and Gamma Ray’s Kai Hansen. A further release would be the Mausoleum:  20th Anniversary Concert album, including two Doro tracks alongside live material from Killer and Ostrogoth.

Doro participated in the Rock for Asia festival to benefit victims of the tsunami disaster, alongside Saxon, Bonfire, Edguy, Crystal Ball and In Extreme.

Warrior Soul, arrived in 2006, with limited editions adding two bonus tracks in Angel in the Dark and 1999. European touring in 2006 saw Doro supported by Finnish bands Sonata, Arctica and Altaria.

Doro’s lined up North American shows for June 2007. Joining her for these shows will be Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra-credited guitarist Chris Caffery.


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