Rock Candy Mag Extras

Whenever you put a magazine together there are always feature ideas that don’t make the final cut. We thought it would be interesting and fun to let you see some of the work that isn’t in the final mag, and explain why those pieces – interesting as they are – didn’t make it to the printed page.

Angel with Gregg Giuffria on the far left. Getty Images/Fin Costello


When we were first brainstorming feature ideas for the début issue of Rock Candy Mag the editorial team liked the idea of tracking down our old musical heroes, the ones who had moved on and opted to do something different with their lives. In the end we decided the idea wasn’t entirely in the celebratory spirit of the mag, but had already asked former Kerrang! Writer Dave ‘Wiggy’ Reynolds to research the whereabouts of former Angel keyboardist Gregg Giuffria, who we’d heard had made it big in the slot machine game. And here is the article he wrote...


Over six respected albums recorded between 1975 and 1980 with US ‘70s pomp rock troupe Angel, Gregg Giuffria carved himself a reputation as a keyboard parper par excellence. He was even more famous for his legendary two-tone, super-long hair, though, which was the envy of wannabe rock stars and junior metal fans alike.

Sadly, Angel became rock also-rans. Their brilliant all-white image and shiny glam/rock/pop hybrid was made for MTV, but the band threw in the towel in 1981, just as the cable TV station was gearing up to change the face of music forever by pumping out non-stop promo videos to a hungry US fanbase. Giuffria formed two more bands, Giuffria and House of Lords – the latter releasing albums on Kiss bassist Gene Simmons’ label – before quitting in 1993, disenchanted with the music business. But Gregg’s epiphany had happened three years earlier, thanks to his wife April’s connections with former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca.

“I was a 39 year old white boy chasing rock ‘n’ roll, with hip-hop coming in,” explains Giuffria. “It was time for me to reinvent myself.”

Iacocca advised Giuffria to look into business opportunities in patents that the US Defence Department was allowing to be released into the public sector. He found a company called Summit Systems that had a patent for a mathematical process that could potentially be useful in slot machines. Giuffria acquired rights to the patent and eventually sold them to a slot machine manufacturer. “I made more money from that patent than I had in 18 years of touring, writing songs and getting gold records with Angel,” he said.

Giuffria then developed casinos in partnership with Iacocca, even building a Hard Rock casino near New Orleans, before he started making his own gambling machines.

In 2006 Giuffria was tipped off by Microsoft boss Bill Gates’ bridge partner Bob Hamman about some newly developed card playing software. Giuffria developed it into an actual casino machine (‘Texas Hold ‘Em Heads Up Poker’) that quickly proved to be a huge success.

Never one to rest on his laurels, Giuffria – now the CEO of G2 Game Design, has been developing new types of games for casinos ever since, recently telling the Toronto Star. “The concept of pulling the one-armed bandit is gone. The next generation is looking for a different entertainment value.”

Michael in 2015. Don’t think he looks like his sister now!
Michael in 2015. Don’t think he looks like his sister now!
Getty Images/Gabe Ginsberg
Michael (far right) with Queensrÿche in 1986. Oh dear!
Michael (far right) with Queensrÿche in 1986. Oh dear!


The idea of revisiting images of sartorial inelegance from the ‘80s made us laugh. We all have photos of ourselves looking faintly (or not so faintly) ridiculous and wanted to celebrate our preposterous looks. Thinking readers would also enjoy sharing their photos from the time led us create the Rock Candy website’s ‘Rogues Gallery’. But we also thought it would be a good idea to create a feature in the mag asking our favourite musicians about their worst (or maybe best) times in the dressing up box. Queensrÿche guitarist Michael Wilton was a good sport and told us about the band’s 1986 ‘Rage For Order’ album "look" and the apparent need for an “appearance image”, whatever the hell that is! In the end we dropped the piece because we couldn’t get a decent quality pic of Michael in all his glory. We even got as far as designing the page with a low quality image. But we know you’ll enjoy reading it all the same.


BORN IN 1962, MICHAEL ‘The Whip’ Wilton – the nickname comes from the speed at which the guitarist whips his fingers around the fretboard – has been a member of Queensrÿche since the band’s inception back in 1982. The progressive metallers from Bellevue, Washington have sold over 20 million albums worldwide and 1988’s ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ is considered one of the finest heavy metal concept records of all time. Despite all this, though, Queensrÿche’s image has occasionally made them look like right berks– and none more so than at the time of 1986’s ‘Rage For Order’. Wilton sportingly explains why on earth they allowed it to happen…

“The photo shoot for the Rage for Order album was a 1980s twist that the band all agreed to. We wanted to promote an image based on something the management people who were advising us at that time were keen on. They reckoned we needed an “appearance” image as well as an image for the music, whatever that means!

I have to be clear. This is just my opinion on my own outfit, which even at the time seemed to me to be a bit absurd and over the top. But regardless, we tried to have some fun with it. I think I was fighting the management’s instructions a bit, trying to make my image as normal as possible and not look too much like the MTV “romantic vampire” that was popular at the time. But it still wasn’t good! My long jacket was made to look more military, even though the fabric the designers used was more of a kind of ‘80s window drapery. The yellow undershirt was from a store on Melrose in Hollywood called Flips. I think that still to this day it’s the only yellow t-shirt I’ve ever owned. My pants were a stretchy black spandex material fitting into my police-style, calf high black leather boots – inspired by KK Downing of Judas Priest, of course. But probably the craziest thing of all for me was having my hair straightened and colored with highlights.

The makeup artist on the day put full foundation with eye shadow on me, and everything else that a Hollywood actress would wear! My fiancée at the time, Kerrie Lynn, was at the photo shoot. When she first clapped eyes on me she simply gawked in amazement, then horror. Then she just started laughing. She came up to me and politely suggested that I wear something else instead. Then she told me I looked like my sister!

Nevertheless, the clothes I wore at that infamous photo shoot have been an interesting subject for me ever since. Trying to explain that look to my children and immediate family has been what you might call a challenge!”

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