Vicious Rumors were formed in 1980 in Santa Rosa, CA, by guitarist Geoff Thorpe. Filling out the original lineup were vocalist Mark Tate, guitarist Jim Cassero, bassist Jeff Barnacle, and drummer Walt Perkins. The band first received recognition that same year when they began performing at Metal Mondays in Bill Graham's Old Waldorf night club. These shows represented the birth of what would become known as the Bay Area metal scene: the biggest, longest-lasting, most important metal community in the United States. After self-releasing a few singles and being included on several important metal compilations, Vicious Rumors signed their first record contract in 1984 with the surging Shrapnel Records, operated by fellow northern Californian and metal entertainer Mike Varney. By this time, several drummers had been enlisted to fill a spot vacated by Perkins, and Larry Howe finally got the job full-time and would hold if for ten years. Tate was also replaced with vocalist Gary St. Pierre from Hawaii, Chuck Moomy had replaced Cassero on guitar, and bassist Dave Starr replaced Barnacle.