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April 7, 2016 -- Ann's Ramblings 

Hi Friends,

Forgive me if I am rambling a bit, but its late and I've had a couple glasses of red wine.  

It had been a while since I posted anything here, so I figured it was about time.  Might as well do it now.

First of all, Simon and I bought a house and moved into a house together on Christmas Eve of 2015.  The place we bought was about a block from the house where Ronnie James Dio lived when Hellion started working with him in 1984.  I used to call it the Donna Avenue house.  

You should not believe the state of the houses we looked at.  Basically, unless you are a millionaire you are damn luck to get a decent house in Los Angeles in 2016.  L.A. has always's been expensive, but the prices for property here is outrageous.  (No wonder so any bands stayed in places like Seattle, Ohio, etc.!)

After looking at close to 100 houses that were for sale, when the house we are in now came on the market, I knew we had to jump FAST.  Can't tell you how stressful it was!  Happy it worked out.

Although we've been here a while, there are still some things in boxes, and it's driving me crazy!  My goal for this weekend is to get the library/office organized for future songwriting and jam sessions.

Can't say how much I love the flowers here. By the way, I learned today that the bush with the pink flowers is called an Anne Boleyn Rose Tree.  Kind of cool.  

Anyway, its been a bit of an adjustment living here -- with FIVE cats!  I will post pictures of then all later.  

Hellion was planning a bunch of shows in May in Arizona (with Accept) and also headlining in Idaho and Washington state.  The gigs fell through, but now I'm on a mission to plan a full tour.Really have the jones to get on the road.  Sitting with the flowers is nice, but only for a while.

On the 14th we've got some time booked at Total Access Studios to start mixing the live Hellion tracks.  I also need to nail down the dates for the re-release of some old Hellion stuff.  Also new material has got to be written too!

Going to sing a couple songs at the Ultimate Jam Night at the Whisky on Tuesday.  Gonna do Heaven & Hell and Holy Diver or Stand Up And Shout.  Never sang either Stand Up And Shout or Holy Diver before, so I have to learn the lyrics this weekend.  Hope to see you if you are in So. Cal.

Simon comes home on Monday.  He's been touring with Geoff Tate.  Miss him a lot. 

I'm knackered and need to go to bed! 



May 26, 2014 - Memorial Day 

Hi Friends,

Memorial Day is nice holiday because it marks the beginning of summer -- and its always been one of my favorites.  I was sitting at my computer today and thought I'd jot down some things that are on my mind today.

First of all, I want to thank all of those who have served or are serving in the military.  I don't care what country you are from.  In my mind, serving your country (especially in times of war) and protecting your homeland is one of the most honorable things any human can do.

In addition to remembering those who have served and are serving in the military, its also a time to remember the other people who have contributed to the person you are today.  I have fond memories of my grandfather and grandmother taking me to the gravesite of their deceased family members.  Neither my grandmother or grandfather are living anymore.  It was just one of the things that crossed my mind today.  I can still remember my grandfather tell when I was a child that I could accomplish what ever I wanted to in life if I worked hard and kept my focus.  I believed him and I am thankful his advice and for those memories.  

Memories can be great gifts.  But they can also turn into great excuses and roadblocks.  The same thing goes with "age."  

When I was in my teens and early 20's, I truely believed that there was almost nothing that I could not accomplish. Ironically, I was the most optimistic when I owned virtually nothing except my music gear.  As I've gotten older, I still have tremendous optimism about the future.  However, my experience has taught me that the best accomplishments are achieved through thoughtful planning, through list-making, by keeping diary or calendar to track daily accomplishments, and for not taking no for an answer.  

Another thing I have learned is the importance of the people that make up your team.  We all have grumpy days.  But life is too short to be surrounded with a single person who is habitually unhappy (without a valid reason) or who continually questions your goals and dreams.  I am blessed to have many friends who remain positive, even when facing uncertainty, and who view uncertainty as a door with endless possibilities, instead of as a barrier.    

As you know, I have formed a new Hellion.  Restoring the band to the level of success that I not only enjoyed in the 80s, but to the level it deserved to achieve, is a driving goal.  I know it will not be easy.  But nothing I have ever accomplished that is worth anything has been achieved without work, and without the help of others.  I am thankful today for all of my friends (both that I know and that I have yet to meet).  We are all in this together. 

Best Witches,


February 15, 2014 

Hi Everybody,

I wanted to thank all of the people who have helped me put together the "To Hellion And Back" 2-disc anthology!  This cover art of the new Hellion CD is a prime example of how a project can benefit by working together with others, instead of alone.  

Last spring, when I was walking in Hollywood, I came across a designer, who's clothing I am wearing on the cover of the new CD.  His work continues to inspire ideas for future photo sessions.  P.G. Brunelli did the photo you see on the cover of the new CD anthology.  Italian artist, Geatano Di Falco, used P.G.'s photo to create the fantasy background that fit the concept of "Th Hellion And Back."  

The image you see on the cover of the "To Hellion And Back" CD did not happen over night.  The earlier drafts of the cover were 100% different and used an entirely different image.  While the earlier drafts were good, they were much "too "happy", and had almost a "Disneyland" feel -- which was not right for Hellion.  We went back and forth with Gaetano Di Falco a number of times until everything was just right.  The new album art is my favorite yet. 

The new "To Hellion & Back" 2-CD anthology goes on sale on March 31, 2014 in the U.K. and Europe, and on April 1, 2014, in America.  In the USA we worked out a deal with The Omega Order who are offering a special sale on pre-orders.  Please check this page for details obout the special prices on pre-orders.  We also added some new items in the Hellion Store.  (From now until the new anthology CD is released, we will include a Hellion logo sticker (free) with each t-shirt ordered from the Hellion store.

Best Witches!

Ann Boleyn
On Behalf of Hellion


Wednesday, January 15, 2014 

I just turned in the final songs for the Hellion anthology, as well as the credits, the art, etc.  Now everything is in the hands of the folks in London. 
This project has taken a long time.   As you know, we had a contest where we asked people to name the new anthology last year.  Then, we had to create an album cover to fit the title.   This process took months.  I can’t wait for you to see it!
Next, I began trying to contact the musicians that previously played in Hellion, as well as a number of people who worked with the band.  The original idea was to have as many of the former band members participate in making some new music.  Unfortunately, there were many people I couldn’t reach.  Some of them have simply disappeared.   A few are deceased.  Others would not return my phone calls.   And, after so many unreturned calls, I had no option but to bring new musicians on board to record the new music.
One of the hardest things about putting this anthology together was waiting for people who chose not to return my calls.   I am not naming names.  There are too many.
It has been hard speculating why some people didn’t want to participate.  I am admittedly ADD and one of my traits is that I am not very good at noticing, or responding to, social cues.  I often like to keep quiet and some people have mistaken that for arrogance, even though I never had such intention.  If I was ever rude, or if I ever offended anybody, I am sorry.
I understand why some former band members may not want anything to do with reforming the band, or with reviving Hellion’s legacy.  Most every musician who played in Hellion put their heart and soul into the band and saw their dreams turn into disappointment.   While I have carried Hellion’s banner for years, there have been many times in my life when the thought of what could (and should) have been were so great that I could not even stand listening to the music I love, because the memories were simply too much to endure. 
I respect and understand those former members who did not return calls.   We all have our own lives to live; our disappointments; our priorities.   I can only hope that, at some time in the future, we can share a meal, a drink, and a laugh.   And, I hope that the people I could not contact know that they are missed.
* * *
I have gone out of my way to make the “To Hellion And Back” anthology something special.   I hope that it will not only respectfully preserve the band’s thirty-year legacy, but will also introduce both the old and new tracks to friends I’ve not met yet.
* * *
While Hellion has always enjoyed the support of Americans, it was no surprise that the record company that chose to undertake the effort to re-launch Hellion is based in England.  (We will be releasing details about our new record deal soon).   Even better is that a number of the people who are involved with the re-launch are people who supported Hellion from the start.
The label manager first saw Hellion perform live at The Marquee in London.  Malcolm Dome from Kerrang! wrote the liner notes for the new anthology.  Martin Hooker, who signed the band to Music For Nations ages ago, helped by putting me in contact with people in the UK.  John Tucker, Dante Bonuto, and many more have lent their encouragement.      
Hellion plans to do shows in the USA, the UK, and in Europe this year.   I am privileged to have gathered a band of veteran performers who are carrying on the tradition of first class heavy rock and metal.  On the very first day of rehearsal, the new band sounded as if they had been playing together for years (and indeed some have).  It is indeed a special line-up.
From this point forward, there is no looking back.  Hellion will be attending the NAMM later this month.   If you see us, please say hello.    After the NAMM show, we will begin to mix the remaining songs for our five-song EP which will be released a few months after the anthology.  Between the capable hands of Ken Scott, and Wyn Davis, the new tracks are sounding better than ever.
As I pour myself a glass of merlot, have a bite of my favorite cheese, and contemplate an early night of slumber with my two cats, Gizmo and Garfield, I look forward to seeing Simon when he returns from touring with Geoff Tate’s Queensryche.  2014 is off to a good start!
-Ann Boleyn-
Los Angeles
January 15, 2014


January 10, 2014 

It’s Friday morning.  I got up late and have been on weird hours ever since Simon went out on the road with Queensryche.  

Most of you know that I’m a lawyer and do civil rights work.  I am also reviving New Renaissance Records, and of course, Hellion, so it is not unusual that I put in a 16-hour day of work.  Last night I worked until four in the morning.
Most recently I have been working on the up-coming Hellion anthology, which is called “To Hellion And Back.”   In doing so, I have had the task of listening to many early Hellion recordings.  This has been emotionally difficult because quite a few of the recordings involved people who are no longer alive and whose hard work meant so much to the band.  There have been many times while I was going through the recordings that I’d have to take a break and walk away.
A number of people asked me what prompted me, after so many years of not singing, to get back into the studio, to write new music, to sing again, and to re-release new and old Hellion recordings.  Others have asked me who I stopped singing in the first place.
As you may already know, Hellion had the privilege of working with incredible people and producers.  It was tremendously disappointing when the demo recordings we made did not result in a major label record deal.  It was particularly disheartening because the band knew we were good, and because we always had supportive fans and friends.   In the end, considering that I’d had the opportunity to work with some of the best people in the music business, and that all our hard work had resulted in so little commercial success, it became very depressing. 
There were periods of time when I told myself that my music must not have been good -- otherwise we would have enjoyed the success that our friends in other bands had achieved.  It was often easier to walk away.
Last year, Ken Scott, with whom Hellion worked in 1985 and 1986, wrote a book called “From Abbey Road To Ziggy Stardust.”  Hellion spent a lot of time recording demos with Ken at Total Access Studios.  Before the demos were 100% complete, Ken and his wife, Patience, stopped responding to my phone calls.  When I read Ken’s book it was the first time that I knew that it was the dissolution of his marriage, and not our music, that had prompted Ken and Patience to stop working Hellion.  Knowing this meant a lot to me. 
I also tried to tell myself that Hellion’s failure to land a record deal after having recorded demos at Sound City with Ronnie James Dio, also meant that Hellion must not have been that good of a band.  Of all of my disappointments, the failure of Hellion to land a record deal after recording music under the watchful eyes and ears of Ronnie, was the hardest to take. 
In recent months I have had the privilege of communicating with people who I had assumed had heard those demos, and had passed on them.  Some of these people were A & R guys, and booking agents, who had been very interested in helping Hellion in the early days of our career.  All of them confirmed that they never heard the demos we did with either Ken Scott or Ronnie.  While this information has been distressing, it also is a relief, because it means that the people I’d mistakenly assumed had “passed” on Hellion, didn’t.
In late 2013, I began recording with a new line-up at Total Access Studios.  Ken Scott, Wyn Davis, and Adam, all have helped on the technical side of things.  The musicians who are working with me include Simon Wright, Scott Warren, Maxxxwell Carlisle, and Bjorn Englen.   It also is my hope that musicians from the earlier line-ups will be able to perform with us as special guests as 2014 progresses.
Hellion recently signed a deal with a record company based in London, which will be releasing both our new and old music.  The anthology will be released in early spring of 2014, followed by the new Mini-LP.  It is my goal to respectfully maintain Hellion’s legacy, and to introduce our new music as well.   A press release and video blog will be issued later in January with more information.
I didn’t have the opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Years, so I’m doing that now.  I hope you have an excellent weekend, too!
-Ann Boleyn-