“The first concert I ever saw was Assassin in early 1985, at Straita Head Sound in La Mesa,” says Deep Shag Records exec Michael Reed, who ended up running the band’s fan club. “They were balls-out rockers in the same vein as Ratt, Rough Cutt, and Jake E. Lee.”
In its heyday, Assassin opened for headliners such as Poison, Alcatrazz, Grim Reaper, and Precious Metal. Today, former Assassin drummer Dave “Bundy” Imondi plays in Van Halen tribute band OU812 with Assassin bassist John Osmon.
Over recent contacts with former Assassin members, Reed discovered that there were tapes of an unreleased album recorded in 1984. The uncovered collection is slated to be released by Deep Shag on October 6.
“We even came up with five live tracks secretly recorded at Straita Head Sound,” says Reed. “Back in 1984, the band’s manager, Charlie Bryant, discovered an Assassin concert was being taped in the recording studio behind the stage…without their permission. Charlie grabbed the 24-track reel off the machine. I have no idea if other bands were secretly recorded. We just got lucky enough to grab ours and keep it.”
The earliest Assassin recording, however, remains elusive. “According to the guys from the band, the earliest song they taped was called ‘What’s That,’ which was played almost exclusively on KGB, most likely on Pat Martin’s Metal Shop [show] or by Jim McInnes on his Homegrown program. Nobody has a copy of the song. It’s the only studio-recorded song Assassin ever did that I don’t have for the reissue.”