Randy Cooper’s Victory Season Review and Photo Shoot
By Jet Pace
DEAN, the Perfect “Lit” Match for “The Arsonist” Randy Cooper’s skills from Emperors and Elephants and THC to Victory Season, 2018.
Since 1988, Randy Cooper has been shredding with Dean Guitars. His Deans are the “lit” match for his skills that set every show “on fire” from Emperors and Elephants to THC and now Victory Season. Yes, Dean is embracing Randy’s new band Victory Season, whose members include Ash Houdini Starr (vocals), Tor Connaughton (drums) and Duane Connaughton “D” (Bass) for endorsement in 2018. Coincidentally, In 98,’ Bassist Duane Connaughton’s band Black Earth, now disbanded, was rifting huge Metal sounds, rocking fans world wide. Dean Guitars, also the parent company of ddrums, took note, making Black Earth reps. Back then, when Tor took to drums like lightening, “D” swiftly outfitted him with his first set to thunder on, a digital ddrum kit. In recent years, at NAMM, Randy told Metal’s Ambassador Jose Mangin, SiriusXM Studios (NYC), Liquid Metal (Ch. 40) and Octane (Ch. 37), “I got to playin’ my first Dean in 1988. Man, I don’t know anything else.”
Not just on stage has Dean been with Randy. It was in 2005 that Dean Guitars took them into “the family.” Cooper recalls that day, “It was after reps walked in on us and saw me playing my old school 81’ and 82’.” They were blown away “seeing these originals still out in the field. The next day we got an e-mail and they picked us up on the roster.” In a later endorsement interview, Dave Mustaine pointed out that the product is good, service is good and they treat you right. This couldn’t be more true for Randy Cooper. He loved that late Dean CEO and musician, Elliot Rubinson, known as “the Boss who Rocks,” (ddrums, Luna and Armadillo Enterprises) would say “come here” giving a big hug whenever he saw Randy in the halls of Dean.
Randy has shared many wild experiences with Dean. He recalls waiting for what seemed to be forever before Dimebag Darrell led him to purchase his first Dean. “They’d stopped making em at one point and Darrell was buying em all up left and right. I kept asking him for a lead to get my hands on just one for me,” said Randy. At a trade show Dimebag directed him to a seller where Randy claimed victory on his first Dean ML, a 1982 vintage “V.” He reminisced walking the streets of New York City with Jose Mangin as they looked on while their record deal went down. He shared being ever grateful to Philly Joe, Ride For Dime’s president, and Jose for locating the lost winged sculpture of Dimebag that Randy took all over the world with him while on tours. Then there was the time that Josh Maloney bet Randy that he would give him “the Dean of his choice” if Randy kept the same phone number for one year … so many great memories and blessings Randy’s had with Dean. All of the members of Victory Season, Tor, Duane and Ash are totally stoked about being welcomed into the Dean family experience that Randy knows so well.
When asked if he can put how he feels about his guitars into words, Randy described “These Deans from the Custom Shop are like extensions of me, like my third arm. Laughing, he added that his Deans are such a natural part of him that he no longer thinks about the sound, “They play effortlessly, and sound just as Big and Thick as my HAIR.” He mentioned that he always jokingly asks his sound man while exiting the stage “So…how did my hair sound?” Randy expressed huge praises for Dan Russell, Dean Guitars master craftsman saying, “He’s one of my best friends in the industry. He built Dimebag’s guitars and builds Michael Shenker, Dave Mustaine’s and my guitars.” Randy shares that he calls Dan up regularly in appreciation asking, “Hey Dan, does anyone else call you up and tell you how bad ass you are?” Dan knows for sure that Randy Cooper does so he can expect more calls from all of the Victory Season tribe in the days ahead.
MHF Magazine/Jet Pace