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Lazarus gets ‘Down N’ Dirty’

Lazarus is about to rise again, digitally and on CD.

Demon Doll Records, which specializes in the music made by unsigned hard rock / hair metal bands of the ’80s and ’90s, will re-release the two albums the Mahoning Valley act put out during the decade or so it was together, as a compilation called “Down N’ Dirty.”

These days “Miss B Haven,” released only on cassette in 1992, and “Bombz Away,” released on CD and cassette in 1994, command premium prices among music collectors.

On the collecting / selling website Discogs, “Bombz Away” has sold for $75 and a previous CD compilation of the two albums has sold for more than $95 there. And if you want the only copy currently for sale of the “Miss B. Haven” cassette on Discogs, the asking price is $288.88.

“It’s an underground community and that’s all they do, collect unsigned bands and self-produced albums, the rarer and harder to get the better,” guitar player Ron Williams said. “It’s crazy what they sell for online.”

Williams, lead singer Jimmi Migliozzi and bass player Garry Palcisco are featured on both albums. Butch Likens and Doug Owen were the drummer and second guitar player, respectively,on “Miss B. Haven.” Mike “Thumper” Young played drums and Mick Rispoli played guitar on “Bombz Away.”

Williams stumbled upon the Demon Doll website (ddrmusicgroup.com) while searching for new music and was surprised to see a friend’s band on there. He reached out to the label and was invited to send some music. The response to the songs was quick.

“He called me back immediately and said, ‘Yes, please send me everything you’ve got and tell me what you want to put out,'” Williams said.

Demon Doll remastered the tracks and Williams described the sound quality as, “Ten times better than what we put out.”

Lazarus always drew big crowds locally, and the band landed a booking agent following the release of “Miss B. Haven” and toured extensively in the Midwest. But the band also was playing hair metal at a time when grunge was starting to dominate the music scene.

“The musical climate was changing,” Williams said. “We were just a little late to the party. Grunge was coming in and our style of music was falling out of favor.

“But it seems like there’s been a resurgence the last couple of years with more people liking the old hair bands and hard rock.”

Lazarus split up in 1997. Likens went on to play drums for The Earthquakers,while Migliozzi, Williams and Palcisco continued to make music together as The Fillbillys, which Migliozzi still fronts. Palcisco now plays with Northern Whiskey.

With the old music getting a new life, there has been talk of a reunion. Williams said some of the guys would like to get the band back together as a live act; others would prefer to focus on recording new music together over playing live.

There’s a good chance the band will play at least one gig, he said, although that will depend on the current COVID-19 restrictions.

For now Williams just is happy the band’s old music will be available again.

“It’s worked out good for us. The music is just sitting there. If there’s interest in it, give the people what they want.”

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