KRUSHERNORY – THE STORY SO FAR
Krusher first came to the public’s attention in 1982 when he became Art Director of KERRANG! magazine, the then Bible of Heavy Metal.
Before then he was known as Stephen Joule who had worked as a freelance designer in the music industry since 1976 producing work for the likes of AC/DC, Robert Plant, Deep Purple, Motorhead, Anthrax, Sammy Hagar, Uriah Heep, Hawkwind, Gamma, Girlschool, Gary Moore, Blondie, Japan, Magnum, Praying Mantis and The Sex Pistols to name a few.
He has designed album sleeves for Iron Maiden ‘Live After Death’, Ozzy Osbourne ‘Diary of a Madman’, ‘Speak of the Devil’ and ‘Bark at the Moon’, Hawkwind ‘Live ’79’, Gary Moore ‘Dirty Fingers’ and ‘Live at the Marquee’, Japan ‘Tin Drum’ and Black Sabbath ‘Born Again’ which apparently Ian Gillan, the then vocalist with the band, was quoted as saying; “I took one look at the cover and puked!”, whilst both Deicide’s Glenn Benton and Soulfly’s Max Cavalera have claimed it to be their favourite album sleeve of all time and apparently Kurt Cobain was rather fond of it too. Also whilst still working for Kerrang! Krusher designed a series of official biography books including Iron Maiden’s ‘Running Free’, Motley Crue’s ‘The First Five Years’ and Twisted Sister’s ‘The First Official Book’ and not forgetting tour programmes for AC/DC, Deep Purple, Robert Plant, Anthrax, Accept and Europe.
In 1986 his work also included designing and editing the official Donington ‘Monsters of Rock’ programmes and he has also DJ’d and MC’d the festival in 1994, ’95 and ’96.
In 1989 Krusher was offered his own rock radio show, ‘Krusher’s Metal Mayhem’ by the BBC, which he presented on Greater London Radio. He was also approached to host and DJ the rock night at the Hippodrome club in the heart of London’s West End. It was a club night that would regularly see eighteen hundred people crowd into the venue where they would be treated to impromptu live performances by the likes of Bon Jovi, Skid Row and Motorhead, who all frequented the club on a regular basis, as did Metallica, Motley Crue and Iron Maiden, in fact whichever rock band was passing through town that week would usually make an appearance. Unfortunately like all good things both the radio show and the club came to an end, but not before becoming landmarks in the history of London rock.
Between 1998 and 1992 Krusher became co-presenter, along with his Jack Russell heavy metal hunting hound Bullseye, of ‘Power Hour’ the UK’s only terrestrial TV rock show, which in 1992 changed its name to ‘Raw Power’ and was voted best TV show in the Kerrang! Readers poll in both 1992 and ’93. In 1994 the show again changed its name, this time to ‘Noisy Mothers’ a name which Krusher hated, always believing it should have been called ‘Watch With Motherfucker!’. Again it was voted best TV show by Kerrang! and Metal Hammer readers in ‘94 and ‘95. Sadly Christmas 1995 saw the last ever ‘Noisy Mothers’ broadcast, as the arsechickens ruling the roost in TV land decided that rock was a dying industry and therefore warranted no place on our TV screens. 1992 also marked the end of ten gloriously debauched years working as Kerrang! Art Director as the magazine’s new publishers thought that Krusher’s behaviour was detrimental to the workings of the office and he was politely told his services would no longer be required even though he had been nominated for designer of the year in the PPA Magazines Awards for Editorial & Publishing Excellence in both 1990 and 1991.
Many people said that his days had been numbered after pinning the publisher’s Managing Director to the wall after a small altercation on the first day at their new offices when EMAP publishers purchased the magazine. Krusher left with no complaints as he could see the magazine was becoming more corporate compared to its glory days!
In 1995 he formed a band with Motorhead guitar hero Wurzel and Johnny Violent, hardcore techno wizard and brains behind the brain disturbing Ultraviolence and under the moniker of WVKEAF, which stood for ‘Wurzel, Violent, and Krusher Evil As Fuck’ they recorded and murdered a version of Van Halen’s ‘Jump’. It was released in 1996 and is now a much sought after 12 inch piece of vinyl not only by rock DJ’s but also by dance DJ’s too as it seems to cross the boundaries of both decency and taste as far as both camps are concerned. The band split in 1997 due to horticultural differences. In 1998 Krusher compered and DJ’d the UK Ozzfest which resulted in him being offered the whole Ozzfest tour of the US in 1999 with Black Sabbath headlining as well as including bands such as Rob Zombie, Deftones, Slayer, Godsmack, System of a Down, Slipknot and many more. On this epic journey across the US of Decay he kept a diary which in 2017 was published as a Kindle book called ‘After Forever, The Inside Story Of Black Sabbath’s Greatest Tour’.
Between 1998 and 2002 Krusher also went on to presenting the drive time show ‘Krusher’s Metal Mayhem’ for Total Rock but due to unforeseen circumstances and unopened wallets he left and went into semi-retirement, dragging himself out from under his big, heavy rock, to dip his hairy toes back into the media world when he reluctantly agreed to return to Total Rock but after a few weeks he couldn’t be arsed and his legendary final show was a disgrace he’s very proud of and has gone down in the annals of arsechickenery at its finest.
2000 saw Krusher return to America for that year’s Ozzfest, again as its compere and DJ. He also popped up again doing the same thing at the UK Ozzfest and repeated it in 2001. He also toured the UK that year with Slayer, Biohazard, Cradle Of Filth and Raging Speedhorn on the ‘Tattoo The Planet Tour’. 2002 saw Krusher hosting 3 nights at Brixton Academy along with Iron Maiden who were performing to raise funds funds for Clive Burr’s MS Trust Fund. He also toured the UK with Alice Cooper, Thunder, The Quireboys and Dog’s D’amour on the ‘Monsters Of Rock Tour’.
2003, 2004, 2005 saw Krusher MC’ing and DJ’ing ‘The Big Ball’ AC/DC convention in Wrexham as well as doing the same thing at The Bulldog Bash in Long Marsden. The hairy, old git then took another few years off to in search of spiritual enlightenment which he found in The Famous Angel pub in Bermondsey…cough!
In 2009 he left the pub to host ‘Krusher’s Klub Night’ at the infamous Embassy Club in London, which again sadly ended, but not after some infamous nights of rock ‘n’ roll debauchery had been had by all.
In 2010 Krusher was approached to DJ and MC ‘Hard Rock Hell IV’ and repeated his duties in 2011, 2012 and 2013 when he also did the same at ‘Hammerfest’. Also between 2009 and 2013 his DJ duties and verbal skills were employed for the ‘Ibiza Road Trip’ where some outrageous nights were had, usually resulting in some very close calls of him being sent home on the earliest flight back to the UK if he didn’t sober up and stop passing out whilst he was DJ’ing!!!
Probably the most important change in Krusher’s life came in 2010, when after almost 40 years of living and rockin’ hard in London he moved, with his faithful heavy metal hunting hound Milly, to ‘Krush Kottage’ just outside Tewkesbury, this move probably saved his life as the years of rock ‘n’ roll debauchery were finally starting to catch up with him and he was in serious need of rest and recuperation.
2010 was also the year that Krusher was approached to exhibit his artwork at the Birmingham Museum ‘Home Of Metal’ exhibition, a celebration of 40 years of Heavy Metal and its unique birthplace in Birmingham.
Heading out only when needed, he lived the life of a recluse and took to taking photographs of the sunrises and sunsets, which he regularly posts on his Facebook page and now does a yearly calendar of sunrises, sunsets, moons and rock dates. Also since 2010 Krusher has MC’d, DJ’d and this year will exhibit some of his artwork in the Rock And Metal Museum gallery at Bloodstock Festival. Since 2011 Krusher has designed a series of limited edition cards, prints and t-shirts and it’s worth visiting Krusher shop to see what he has available.
In 2015 Krusher became involved with not only designing artwork for the Drunken Monkey Festival, a local festival that raises funds for the Midlands Air Ambulance, but also MC’ing the event which is going from strength to strength and this year his dulcet tones will be heard introducing the bands at ‘Stonedeaf Festival’.
All in all he’s had a busy life and it’s a fucking miracle that he’s still alive to tell the tale.