Merced County Times Newspaper
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The band members of Sweet Poison as they were in the 1980s.

Rock documentary revisits Atwater metal band from ’80s

 

‘They really made you feel like you were going to this big concert,
like as if you were seeing Motley Crue in Winton,
but they were so much more than that. I like to think of it as like
the world had Motley Crue and the world had Ratt,
but Atwater had Sweet Poison
— and that was our version of Motley Crue and Ratt.’

Erik Fullmer

 

Sweet Poison, a band from Atwater that performed around Central California and the Los Angeles area during the mid-1980s, have reunited in a way, to collaborate on a retrospective look back on the music and times of their teenage years. 

The band consists of William Trindade (lead vocalist), Mike Dunn (bass guitar/background vocals), Frank Alcazar (guitar/background vocals), and Ken Rankin (drums). 

The guys have remained good friends throughout the decades, and had tossed around the idea of recording a song they wrote entitled “Heroes.” The song was only performed once, at the band’s last performance in September of 1985. 

The band finally got to record the long lost song during 2021, and that led to the sharing of old press clippings, old video tapes of live performances, and the discussion of somehow compiling this lost footage and some interviews with those that knew the band best. 

Dunn, the band’s bass player, also happens to run a small video production company — SevenSinsMedia — and he offered to take the torch and run with producing a retrospective documentary of the band’s heyday. 

A Sweet Poison “rockumentary” was born. 

Sweet Poison first played at an Atwater High School rally, where they attended school back in 1984. From there, the band rented out venues and played concerts at places like the Winton Community Hall and the Merced Fairgrounds Pavilion. 

“They really made you feel like you were going to this big concert, like as if you were seeing Motley Crue in Winton, but they were so much more than that,” said Erik Fullmer, who was interviewed in the documentary.  “I like to think of it as like the world had Motley Crue and the world had Ratt, but Atwater had Sweet Poison — and that was our version of Motley Crue and Ratt.” 

Sweet Poison also recorded an album, “Until Death Do Us Part,” and sold over a thousand cassettes at local shows. The band also won the Modesto Battle of the Bands in 1985 and were also semi-finalists in a national talent search competition. They also played renowned clubs in Los Angeles, such as The Troubadour, while they were only 17 and 18 years of age. 

For Sweet Poison, the four life-long friends that experienced a little slice of a rock and roll dream in the ’80s, reuniting and collaborating once again on recording an old song, while rediscovering a bit of the magic and nostalgia in order to create an hour-long documentary of those times, this creative project has been a true labor of love for anyone that remembers them, their music, and their shows. 

“Sweet Poison” the documentary, as well as the video for their brand new recording of their old song “Heroes,” will both be released on Oct. 1 via the band’s new YouTube channel under the same name. 

Link: https://youtube.com/channel/UC1sy6CX8iA59u5JP8vEhsgQ

 

The band members of Sweet Poison as they were in the 1980s.

 

The band today: Ken Rankin, Frank Alcazar, William Trindade and Mike Dunn.
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