“MURDER IN THE FRONT ROW “ Billboard Ad Reunion (Oakland, California 12/27/2020)

Group photo for the “MURDER IN THE FRONT ROW” billboard ad reunion (near the intersection of 34TH St. and San Pablo Ave, Oakland, California 12/27/2020)

Written by Marc C. Pietrek 2020


DISCLAIMER: I do not own, nor do I claim to own, any of the photographs used for the purpose of this article.


Today at 3:00 PM PST near the intersection of 34th St. and San Pablo in Oakland, California, members of bands that made up the now world famous San Francisco Bay Area thrash scene of the 1980s as well as many of it’s fans convened underneath the billboard ad (which is scheduled to be taken down in the next two weeks) for “MURDER IN THE FRONT ROW”[2020 BONDED BY BLOOD LLC], the recent wide scale release film directed by Adam Dubin documenting that historic period of time in metal history and was originally released in glorious coffee table style hardcover book format in 2012 by BAZILLION POINTS. Along with Dubin, those labors of love are mainly the result of the hard work of none other than Bay Area thrash scene titans, author Brian Lew and photographer Harold Oimoen. For the legions that may not be in the know, Brian was HUGELY instrumental in the stratospheric rise of the scene due to his involvement in the trading of demo and live show cassette tape recordings between the Bay Area and across the pond over in Europe in the early eighties. This was in the scene’s formative days before any of the bands that comprised it were even offered any record contracts at all. Harold’s work has been seen all over the globe. He was the scene super fan who shot the legendary photograph of the late, great METALLICA major rager bassist, Cliff Burton, that graces the back cover of (my all-time favorite album), ‘Ride the Lightning’ as well the ones on the back cover of debut album and thrash masterpiece ‘Bonded By Blood’ by EXODUS amongst others.

This event was spearheaded over the last few days by Harold and ex- EXODUS H-TEAM member Rick Hunolt via Facebook. Band members and fans alike traveling from various northern California locales and donning the state required COVID-19 protocol masks congregated for a reunion to see old friends, swap stories and help close out this godforsaken year on a bit of a positive note. Besides Harold and Rick, it was also attended by such scene stalwarts Mark Biedermann [BLIND ILLUSION], Andy Galeon [BLIND ILLUSION, ex- DEATH ANGEL, ex- The ORGANIZATION], Craig Locicero [DRESS THE DEAD, ex- FORBIDDEN, ex- SPIRAL ARMS, ex- DEMONIC] and Chris Kontos [MACHINE HEAD, ex- ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, ex- SPIRAL ARMS] amongst others.

Dear friends Rick Hunolt and Chris Kontos
Mark Biedermann at the base of “MURDER IN THE FRONT ROW” billboard ad.

There is nothing like the power of music to bring people together and this event was one hundred and ten percent just that, even if it did not include our beloved and so much needed live music, the very nucleus of the Bay Area thrash scene.

Horns up, legions!!

One thought on ““MURDER IN THE FRONT ROW “ Billboard Ad Reunion (Oakland, California 12/27/2020)

  1. Roger White

    That’s awesome I already own the movie get thrashed I’m ordering this as well. I’ve been listening to thrash since early 80s Also a familiar face in the crowd and hanging out in Chicago & Milwaukee metal fest.97-04

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s