The Ottawa Citizen - August 25, 1989

Lee Aaron; Metal queen back to her rock roots

Toronto rocker Lee Aaron had just turned 21 when she recorded the song Metal Queen six years ago. There she was in the video, in her skimpy cavegirl gear as the Aaron the Barbarian skit unfolded.

On the phone from Calgary this week as her latest tour gets under way, Aaron recalls being offered some film roles in the last couple of years from producers who must still watch that video every night.

"Let's say the roles weren't suitable for my real character. They were still caught up in the loin-cloth thing," she said. "One was this sort of Porky's thing, where I would play a lesbian phys-ed teacher."

Aaron, who is still more popular in Europe than in her own country, hopes to change that notion and bury the fur-bikini marketing gimmick forever with a new album, Body Rock, and intensive touring. Aaron and her new band will play Barrymore's Thursday ($10 advance).

"It's back to the rock roots, cleaner music that's straight from the heart," Aaron said. "We've applied everything we've learned so far." The music is indeed clean, and tough. There hasn't been a female singer's rock record like this in Canada since the heyday of Darby Mills.

Aaron tried experimenting with a more pop sound on the 1987 release, Lee Aaron, including a duet with Dan Hill and plenty of co-writing with Hill and other composers.

"But looking back now, some of the lighter stuff really ended up being glossed over. You can end up being a victim of the pressure to create that radio single."

For Body Rock, Aaron worked with long-time collaborator and guitarist John Albani, who did most of the playing on the record himself. The scary part is that they used computer-enhanced drum samples, but Aaron says she wanted as much control over the finished product as possible. She is hoping for a U.S. release in February.

For the tour, she has recruited a real drummer from Toronto, Kimio Oki, plus two U.S. players, bassist Chas Rotunda and guitarist Greg Thomas Doyle, to join her and Albani.

For the first video from the album, Watcha Do To My Body, Aaron appears twice as alluring with a lot more clothes on, as she pinches the butts of some hired beefcake with more than a twinkle in her eye, and her tongue in her cheek.

"I look at it as fun, and entertaining," she said, upon which, somewhere out there, those old Metal Queen chains and swords rattled around a closet.

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