Assassin was a heavy metal band that was formed in San Diego during the summer of 1983. They should not be confused with the German thrash metal band of the same name, or the Washington DC-based rock and roll/rhythm and blues band The Assassins, formed in part (at about the same time) by blues guitarist Jimmy Thackery.
, Assassin was a heavy metal band that was formed in San Diego during the summer of 1983 by guitarists Thom Beebe and Vinnie Cavarra. They sought out noted drummer Leroy Vega and, in recruiting him, also lucked into a vocalist, his friend Pete Papps. After a brief stint with bassist Neil Foote, the band settled into its classic early lineup with the addition of Chicago native John Osmon on bass.
Thom brought in a handful of songs from his previous band, Child, and Vinnie had a few songs as well. Assassin took these songs, broke them down, and molded each one to suit the band's direction. With a solid core of material, they began writing Assassin originals that ran from sleazy power blues to hard rockers.
Taking these songs to the clubs and concert halls of San Diego gave the band a chance to "road test" the material. The Assassin live show was well regarded and earned the band opening slots for national acts like Alcatrazz, Girlschool, Coney Hatch, Wendy O. Williams, King Kobra, Poison, Precious Metal, L.A. Guns, Raven, Blue Murder, Grim Reaper, Anthrax, Rough Cutt, and Slayer. With such recognition, Assassin knew it was time to get into the studio.
The Assassin album was recorded in early 1984. From these sessions, the band released a 7" single of the concert favorites, Treason and All Your Love. By the summer of 1985, the band was working towards getting a record deal. It was during this time that Leroy Vega departed for the group Stress and was replaced by new drummer, Dave Bundy.
Assassin played at many San Diego clubs: Straita Head Sound, The California Theater, Carnation Hall, Circle Sounds, Rogo's, The Spirit, My Rich Uncle's, The Bacchanal, The Fox Theater, and even did a show for fans in Tijuana. As Assassin continued to refine their sound, the band was honored in the pages of local metal zine Loud N Clear as Best Local Band and Best Local Song (Treason).
By the end of 1985, Assassin had received several label offers, but was holding out for just the right deal. While working towards that goal, Pete Papps left in January 1986 to form Red Alert, and the band brought in L.A. vocalist Marc Anthony. Assassin continued on a short while longer before problems with their new singer forced the band to implode. Assassin played one more show almost two years later at Club Mirage In San Diego, CA on February 6, 1988. This was truly the end of the band and, with the reign of metal on the charts approaching its nadir, the end of an era.
On April 17, 2010, the original Assassin lineup of Pete Papps, Thom Beebe, Vinnie Cavarra, John Osmon, and Leroy Vega reunited in San Diego for a one time only reunion show along with other local bands from the 80's.
1 Former members,
4 External links,
Pete Papps - Vocals (1983 - 1986),
Marc Anthony - Vocals (1988),
Thom Beebe - Lead guitar (1983 - 1986; 1988),
Vinnie Cavarra - Lead guitar (1983 - 1986; 1988),
Neil Foote - Bass guitar (1983),
John Osmon - Bass guitar (1983 - 1986; 1988),
Leroy Vega - Drums (1983 - 1985),
Dave Bundy - Drums (1985 - 1986; 1988)