Yngwie Fucking Malmsteen

With Dio and Doro. Tuesday, December 5, at the Odeon.

I'm the One That I Want
"Yngwie Malmsteen Changes Middle Name to Fucking." So read a headline in The Onion, the satirical newspaper that bills itself as "America's Finest News Source." Actually, Yngwie J. Malmsteen has been known as Yngwie Fucking Malmsteen since the mid-'80s, when he and other six-string masturbators such as Randy Rhoads, Eddie Van Halen, and Joe Satriani had their names carved into the tops of high-school desks and etched onto the covers of spiral notebooks. Born Lars Johann Yngwie Lannerback, Malmsteen grew up in Sweden, where he developed an early affection for Hendrix and Deep Purple. But then, like many a guitar shredder before him, he started listening to classical music (specifically, Niccol Paganini) and discovered that playing electric guitar could be a form of high art. Disappointed with the bands he initially joined, Malmsteen formed his own group, Rising Force, and was well on his way to international fame when he nearly died in a car accident. After recovering, he had more bad luck -- his Miami house was destroyed by a hurricane, Elektra Records dropped him, and his manager died. All of this would make great fodder for a Behind the Music special if it weren't for the fact that Malmsteen hasn't been able to stage anything resembling a comeback. His new album, War to End All Wars, isn't going to rectify that, either. Malmsteen, who even plays sitar on the record, can still fly on the fretboards, but the ostentatious nature of his playing and singer Mark Boal's screeching vocals (he sounds like a cross between Rob Halford, Meatloaf, and Freddie Mercury) suggest that Malmsteen's shtick has run its course.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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