Editor’s Note: This week LAKings.com takes a behind-the-scenes look at some of the musical entertainment fans hear at STAPLES Center. This installment features musician and recording artist Fred Coury. Wednesday will feature a story on REO Speedwagon’s Kevin Cronin and Thursday will feature Kings organist Dieter Ruehle.
The Kings goal song – you’ve all heard it. The song that plays when the Kings take the ice – who doesn’t get pumped up when it comes on? Ever wondered who and how the Kings got those songs? Ever wondered how you can own those songs? Look no further.
Fred Coury, best known as the drummer for the glam metal band “Cinderella” is the man behind these tracks. An avid Kings and hockey fan himself, Coury was approached by the Kings...approached to develop something cool…something to pump up the fans…and something the fans would remember. LAKings.com had a chance to sit down with Coury to talk music and hockey.
LAKings.com: How did your relationship with the Kings start?
Coury: I’ve known Luc [Robitaille] since the early 80s. Guys would come to the studio when we were recording and we just got to be friends. [My band] would be playing the same arenas as they were playing. I used to go to all the games back then out here and we struck up a friendship and then fast forward many, many years, to about four years ago. A friend of mine who worked with the Kings played a song for Luc, it was the song “Kings 2007,” and Luc said ‘I love this’ and said, ‘I have an idea about this.’ He always talked about when he stepped on the ice what would make his hair stand up on the back of his neck and get him amped for the game, and it was all music driven. He asked if I would be interested. It all came from Luc.
LAKings.com: Talk about the goal song “Power Ride” and how it feels to hear your song every time the Kings score a goal.
Coury: There’s nothing like that feeling. Being in a band and being up on stage—the lights go down and the crowd goes crazy. That’s a feeling you just can’t describe to anybody. This is that same feeling. During the final games I was watching 18,000 people all chanting to something that Luc had an idea about not long ago. I would lie if said I didn’t have tears in my eyes. Every time it’s a rush. It’s an incredible feeling. Me? Writing songs for the coolest team in hockey? And they won the Stanley Cup. The great thing about having the goal song is that it’s the happiest moment at any hockey game. When your home teams score a goal, it’s the happiest moment of the evening and you get to celebrate with that song every night.
LAKings.com: The pre-game song, “Thunder March” comes on when the Kings are coming onto the ice and are first introduced. What kind of reaction do you get when you hear that song?
Coury: That one was a trippy one because when I was writing it, we wanted to keep it orchestral but I wanted it to be heavier that any heavy metal song ever. The difference with the Power Ride song is it’s energetic; it’s powerful as is the Kings theme but this one is darker, it’s more ominous and it kind of has a frown on it. I needed it to be heavy because the way the production staff lights up the arena, its red, it’s dark and that music plays and everybody gets on they feet because they know what’s coming next. I’m happy that one came out the way it did.
LAKings.com: What did it mean for you personally to see the Kings win the Stanley Cup?
Coury: If you look back at any of our old videos, anything that’s live, I’ve always been wearing either Kings wrist bands or a Kings jersey. We have a behind-the-scenes making of and it’s the middle of winter and I’m wearing a Kings jacket—I have been a longtime fan of this team. To see this happen is unbelievable, especially the team I always thought was great. They had Gretzky, they had the best of the best and it never happened and now it’s finally happened. To me that in itself is a dream come true for all of us to be involved in it—it just takes it to the next level. That’s the biggest blessing you can get and the closest thing to being a player and winning is to be involved in something that adds to the excitement to the night. It means so much. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. If it ever happens again it will be wonderful, but if it never happened again, it happened. They can’t take that away. It’s mind boggling to me. Now that we did it, I expect it every year. I’m waiting for the next one.
LAKings.com: Can Kings fans expect anything new?
Coury: Yes, we’ve already been in the studio and locked ourselves in there and doing a ton for the Kings and the new season. We were in here the other day doing a whole bunch of new sounds. We are going to keep things pretty much with the same vibe, but we’re going to update everything.
Fred Coury’s “LA Kings In-Arena Music” is available at iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and Google Play. It can also be purchased as a ringtone on mobile providers. For more information CLICK HERE.
Photo courtesy of @fredcoury