Tales from a Metalhead: Chapter 25: Go For the Throat!

Tales from a Metalhead logo

This chapter is part of a book called Tales from a Metalhead written by Metal Express Radio’s President Stig G. Nordahl. The chapters will be posted one at the time and you can find them all here.

Sweden Rock 2003
Sweden Rock 2003

Y&T is one of those bands that has been around “Forever”. I knew a lot of their songs in the early early 80s, but for some strange reason I never took a deep dive into their back catalogue; not until the charity all-star album Hear ‘n Aid was released in 1985. Everyone knows the single “Stars” of course, but the album contained songs from several different bands. Most of them were live tracks and had been available before. The album itself was disappointing. There was one standout track for me besides “Stars”;  Y&T’s “Go For The Throat”. It was originally a bonus track on the In Rock We Trust album as a live version. Dave Meniketti’s voice and guitar tone is totally unique and outstanding. The music is brilliant catchy Hard Rock. Why didn’t the band get any bigger? They had totally deserved it. “Go For The Throat” gave me a kick in the butt to get a hold of their older album. There is so much gold, so many classics! The first Y&T promo album I received was Ten, released in 1990. It’s an underrated album that should be regarded as a classic like most of the older releases!

Dave signing albums before the successful comeback show

The 90s were hard for many Hard Rock bands, Y&T included. After becoming big in Europe back in the day, the label forced Y&T to focus on the US, which turned out to be a huge mistake. The band even broke up for a while in the 90s. Meniketti even recorded a couple of solo albums before Y&T got back together. They made a giant comeback in Europe in 2003. Y&T played the mainstage at Sweden Rock Festival one afternoon in June that year. Earlier the same day the band held a press conference in the press tent and they were happy to sign albums after that. I didn’t bring any, but I recorded some station IDs with front man Dave Meniketti and Leonard Haze (the late drummer). I had a picture taken while Dave was signing someone’s album. I didn’t know then that we would meet several times in the years to come.

The main stage was packed with people waiting to finally see the band again, or like me, for the very first time. We were excited about the show, but there was one obstacle: our “chef” was so drunk he couldn’t stand on his feet. On our first trips to Sweden Rock Festival one of my friends was in charge of serving Jack & Bacon every morning. We woke up in the tents from the nice smell of eggs and bacon being prepared. It overshadowed the smell of Jack Daniels that went with it. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it in 2003 so I brought along my webmaster to fill in for him. didn’t  So he became our “chef” for the trip. We even had a guy that was responsible of reminding us to put on sun protection as we had some bad sun burning incidents the previous years.  It was our stand-in chef’s first festival and he was not used to partying from sunrise to sunset and beyond. He wasn’t even good at cooking. He was usually drunk at times when the rest of us weren’t. The rest of us were determined to see Y&T and it was very close to showtime, so we couldn’t escort our new “chef” back to the tent to sleep it off. He ended up lying in the grass while we were standing around him with one foot each alongside his body to prevent others from stepping on him. It kind of worked out well. Someone asked us how our friend was doing, to which one my friends replied: “He’s not our friend, he’s our chef!” Hysterical! We still use that line nearly 20 years later just because it’s so stupid and funny.

Y&T played an unforgettable show in the afternoon sun, belting out classic after classic showing they were in great shape. The members themselves said this was a turning point and that it was the start of the second coming for Y&T. The band would return frequently to Europe after that show. They even returned to Sweden Rock Festival the following year and have played the festival two more times after that, as far as I remember. They played for big crowds at festivals, but when touring alone they obviously played for smaller crowds. Y&T is one of my favorite club bands of all time.

Eric Martin: “This how I plan to crowd surf onto the stage to sing with Y&T”

The first time I saw them on a smaller stage was at a festival called Skagerock that took place on a cruise ship going between Norway and Denmark in 2007. The lineup included Dokken, Eric Martin, Kingdom Come and Y&T! What a treat for 80s Metal freaks. The setting was very intimate and the bands often hung out in the bar after the shows. During Dokken’s show I was standing next to Mr. Big’s vocalist Eric Martin. He was done with his acoustic show and had obviously had a few drinks like the rest of us. Eric is a big Y&T fan wasn’t afraid to show it. Someone got the idea that Martin should do a song with the band, so he was lifted up from the floor by the audience and literally thrown onto the stage. I don’t think he ended up singing “Forever” with the band. Hilarious!

Picture of Y&T/Dave Meniketti
Recording Guest DJ Show on the boat. Leslie who?

Y&T played the festival’s best show. They showed no sign of being fallen stars like a few of the other bands. I had arranged a meeting with Dave Meniketti in the restaurant before their show to record a Guest DJ show for Metal Express Radio. He was totally jetlagged, but was a good sport and did it anyway. He picked a track by the band Mountain, but couldn’t remember guitarist/vocalist Leslie West’s name. I had of course had a few beers already so I couldn’t remember it either. Our cell phones had no reception in the middle of the ocean so we couldn’t look it up. I don’t remember which one of us remembered it first, but we got there at last. Late at night a few of the members were strolling the corridors on the boat looking for a party and they ended up in a cabin with some friends of mine who had some bottles of whiskey. Gotta luv the Metal cruises.

The following year Y&T returned to Oslo to play at the legendary club Smuget. I made an arrangement to record a rockumentary with Dave Meniketti. We had plenty of time for the recording after the soundcheck. We discussed all the band’s albums and the stories around them. It turned out to be a good rockumentary. Dave had bought himself a new DSLR camera which he had a lot of fun with. He was so stoked that you could film with it, and I think he took just as many pictures of us as we did of him. The band did another unforgettable sweaty show for a packed venue that night.

Recently the documentary Y&T: On With the Show was released. It is a really good film about the band containing never-before-seen footage and interviews with past and present members of the band, and also fans from other bands who explains the impact Y&T had on their music. A few months before the release of the documentary I was approached by the Y&T management who wanted me to change the name of our Y&T Rockumentary to avoid any confusion with the forthcoming film. This is why it’s the only rockumentary I’ve made that doesn’t have the word “rockumentary” in the title, but instead “Dave Meniketti tells the story about Y&T”.

Picture of Y&T
Stig and Dave

Y&T has only released one album since 1997 (except their first-ever acoustic EP Acoustic Classix Vol.1 from 2018) so when you attend a show you get to hear the classics picked from the vast and very strong back catalogue. It’s always a pleasure! I believe the biggest venue Y&T played in Oslo is Vulkan Arena (holds 950 people), which they visited in 2015. Again I asked for an interview as I actually had never done a “normal” interview with Dave Meniketti, just a Guest DJ Show and rockumentary recordings. But since then he has stopped doing interviews on show days to save his voice for the show. You gotta respect that. Dave is still delivering top notch as a vocalist (and of course as a guitarist). The last time I talked to him was in relation to a podcast I am producing. Unfortunately for most of you the podcast is in Norwegian. We had one episode about the all-star project Hear ‘n Aid. Dave Meniketti took part in the sessions and is featured on the single and in the video as a vocalist. I reached out and asked him if we could do an interview about the recording session back then. We found a date between shows and he called me from London to talk about the project. It was fun to hear his memories from one of the most metal events in history. We also had a long chat about wine as the Meniketti’s produce their own. I’ll share that later.

Backstage with Y&T

The last time I’ve seen Y&T thus far was in 2019 at John Dee in Oslo. It was a very special night where they played songs from all their albums. It couldn’t get any better. I can’t wait to see them again. Until then I’ll give their albums a spin or two.

It costs a lot to keep Metal Express Radio running. Let’s face it, we’re a grassroots web radio and we do this because we love Metal. Any contributions that helps keeping us afloat are highly welcomed. We gladly accept donations on our donate page.


  • Stig G. Nordahl

    Stig is the founder and the president of Metal Express Radio, based out of Oslo, Norway. He has been around doing Metal radio since the mid-eighties. In fact, running Metal Express Radio takes almost all of his time. Is it worth it...? "Most times, yes," Stig says. "My philosophy is to try to give all Metal releases a fair chance to get promoted in one way or another. As you can imagine, it can be an arduous task to listen through about 20 albums every week! Still, I know we have the best METAL dedicated radio on this planet, and that is a reward in and of itself. I hope one day the whole Metal community can and will make listening to Metal Express Radio part of their daily rituals! Yeah, right..."

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.