Tuesday, March 15, 2016

KISS Destroyer Turns 40 or How I Turn Into A Music Fanatic

KISS 'Destroyer' Turn 40 Years Old Today
Well, as goes many of my blogs, we have another milestone to celebrate. And this one is a doozie.

Like many others who have laid claim that KISS Destroyer is the album that got them into the band or Hard Rock music (or both); I was most certainly the latter.  KISS changed my life forever with this one.

KISS released their landmark album Destroyer 40 years ago today (March 15, 1976).  Of course there's always going to be a number of people who say it's their least favorite or the worst album etc.  But the majority will side with this one being their masterpiece; the uber-KISS album to own if you're going to own one KISS album. When people ask me my favorite KISS album I tell them it's a toss up between Destroyer and KISS Alive. And I've read the horror stories about Alive and Alive II not being so very "live".  But I digress because I love both of those albums and big part of my youth (or my "yute" as actor Joe Pesci would say).  And I could care less what was recorded in a studio and what was passed off as an actual 'live' performance. Just take my allowance, please!

Jumping in the way-back machine here, Destroyer is one of the first pieces of vinyl I purchased with my own money (the first one being The Monkees Greatest Hits).  Yes, haha...funny, but I loved that album.  AND I was eight years old. But I redeemed myself for missing the KISS boat earlier and the third album I bought was KISS Alive. Anyway, moving on......

In the Spring of '76 our family moved to Livingston, NJ. Not the epicenter of rock 'n roll, but as long as I could get New York City radio stations on my radio, then I was happy.  I was into whatever was on the radio (light Rock - Chicago, Fleetwood Mac etc.).

Not one piece of furniture was moved into the house yet and my sister was already beating up on a neighborhood boy a few houses up the street from us.  The guy she was pouncing on (Brian) was Don's brother; Don being the kid who turned me onto Destroyer, thus turning me into a KISS/Rock music fanatic.  And I mean fanatic.

After Brian's Mom came to the house to not welcome us to the neighborhood, but to find out why her son was forced to eat dirt and getting beat upon (aka; ass handed to him), she had brought her son Don along.  He was my age and awkward like me, so we actually bonded immediately.  Not to say his brother didn't give me shit every time he saw me at his house.  The paybacks to my sister beating his ass was by way of a punch to my back, arms, charlie-horse, headlock, ultimate wedgies.....it was never ending. But Don and I figured out how to keep his brother out of the room while we were in there.

Play-by-play of how it all went down for me:

Don:  Have you heard the new song "Detroit Rock City"?
Me: Huh?
Don: You know, the song by KISS.
Me: Who?
Don: <blank stare>
Me: <blinking>
Don: You've never heard of KISS?
Me: I've heard of kissing.
Don:  NO! The band KISS. With the makeup and costumes!
Me: <still blinking> <staring off and getting ready to make a run for it>

Don then places a vinyl record onto this massive stereo system, drops the needle and I hear the opening sequence of "Detroit Rock City" which is a radio announcer talking about a head-on collision car accident.  Then a person is heard jingling keys, opening a car door, starting the engine, revving up the engine, jamming his radio, speeding away while singing KISS' own tune "Rock N Roll All Night".  The car revs off.......

The guitar kicks in.....Da na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na....drums BOOM!! BOOM! More guitar: Da na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na......drums BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM! Then Paul sings:

"I feel uptight on a Saturday night
Nine o' clock, the radio's the only light
I hear my song and it pulls me through
Comes on strong, tells me what I got to do
I got to

Get up
Everybody's gonna move their feet
Get down
Everybody's gonna leave their seat
You gotta lose your mind in Detroit Rock City...."

My eyes widened. I sat their motionless and felt a little out of body experience going on at that moment. I was deep in thought, "What......what....what is this?  How come I never heard it before today? Why have I never heard of KISS?"  Once I snapped out of it, I asked, no I told Don to lift the needle and play that song again.  But this time we sat on the bed and sang along to the lyrics printed on the album sleeve. I sat there staring at the KISS logo too. It was just coolest logo I ever saw in my short life.

When I heard the car accident portion of the song I didn't put two and two together and thought the accident was another car.  Forgive my ignorance, I was a pup.  And it took me a few weeks to figure out the song was about a guy who died on his way to a rock concert (hence the foreshadowing of the song's intro). But the parts of the song that hooked me was the guitar (no doubt about it - fell in love with the guitar because of this one song) and the chorus "Get Up/Everybody's gonna move their feet/Get down/Everybody's gonna leave their seat".

After listening/singing along to "Detroit Rock City" ten times or so, we started to read about the KISS Army and we had to join.  Don went off to find a few bucks, a couple envelopes and stamps.  When he left the room, I went over to the record player and saw the Destroyer album cover for the first time. And the first time I ever set eyes on the band.  The makeup....the costumes.....I kinda freaked out.  Maybe even pee'd a little. I was looking at a devil band (no fault of my own, I was brought up in a Catholic family).  I couldn't look away from the cover.  I never saw anything like it.

When Don came back to the room he saw me standing there with the album cover in my hand with my mouth wide open.  He asked me what was wrong.  Said I looked like I saw a ghost.  I was speechless. Between "Detroit Rock City" and the album cover, I didn't know what hit me.  Mind you, at this point I hadn't listened to any other song on Destroyer except for DRC. When Don asked me if I wanted to listen to the rest of the album I was like, "THERE'S MORE????"

We listened to the rest of the album and...............the rest is KISStory.  I was hooked from that point on.  Once I bought my own copy of Destroyer I listened to it for months on end.  I learned all the lyrics, air guitars, and air drums.  The broom and tennis racket were my new instruments, the basement was my stage and the mirror, my audience.  My parents had a phenomenal stereo in the basement and it was louder than my little suitcase style record player.  So when Mom and Dad were at work I would blast KISS on the stereo.  If they only knew back then.  Yeah, my ass would've been sore and grounded for months. Good thing I learned some ninja skills early on.

From there I moved on to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple (yes, late to those too...I know), then Van Halen in '77. I was the only ten year old in my class at the time who even knew who Van Halen was, but that's for another blog.

SIDEBAR:  If you're a fan of Destroyer and want to read an in depth account of the making of it, do yourself a favor and pick up James Campion's book "Shout It Out Loud: The Story of Kiss's Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon". (Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shout-Out-Loud-Destroyer-American/dp/1617136182/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1458100515&sr=8-1&keywords=kiss+destroyer+book).

One of my favorite Destroyer tracks "Flaming Youth".


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Metallica's 'Master of Puppets' Turns 30 Today - WTF?

This just in from the "holy shit I'm getting old department":

"It was THIRTY years ago today
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play...."



OK, maybe not.  But thirty years ago today Metallica unleashed their juggernaut 'Master of Puppets' upon the masses. I was in awe of this album when it was released.  Thirty years later, it still floors me and it punishes so many other albums out there.  Granted, 'Master' isn't a traditional Thrash album like their debut 'Kill 'Em All', but the band had definitely gained a lot of confidence between it's predecessor 'Ride The Lightning' and this one.

I saw Metallica perform at a local dance club in Albuquerque, NM (Graham Central Station - Armored Saint serving as support band) on this exact date and one measly year prior to MOP being released.  Who the hell knew they had something so fuckin' gigantic brewing in the studio?  I was still on my 'Ride The Lightning' high in '85.  I wasn't prepared for 'Tallica's next aural assault.  And neither was the rest of the world.  Especially when they would tour with Ozzy on the Ultimate Sin tour.  I caught a show in May '86 and the place went totally fanatic over a band they hardly knew. I definitely witnessed greatness that evening.  I was there to see Metallica.  No disrespect to Ozzy and the band, but I probably would've skipped this show if Metallica weren't opening. Just sayin'.

Metallica split things wide open with 'Master' and showed the world the sheer power of 'underground music'. This band didn't make videos (yet) to cater the MTV minions. They didn't wear spandex, tease their hair or wear makeup. They wore their street clothes, drank from the bottle, killed it onstage and delivered the goods.  This was, quite possibly, the first Metal album to be taken seriously.  MOP turned many heads.  Fans, music critics, magazines, and bands/musicians took notice of the beast coming from San Francisco's Bay Area. 

For a band with ZERO radio or airplay, they did pretty damn good reaching the masses and building a Godzilla-sized fan base.  Metallica's performances were getting noticed and talked about every day between tape traders and music fans.  The seeds were already planted with 'Kill 'Em All' and 'Ride', but 'Master of Puppets' and the Ozzy tour exposure really set things in motion and then it caught fuckin' fire and went global.  

How does one chose their favorite 'Master of Puppets' track?  Still impossible for me to this day.  This is 54 minutes and 46 seconds of greatness:
  • Battery
  • Master of Puppets
  • The Thing That Should Not Be
  • Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
  • Disposable Heroes
  • Leper Messiah
  • Orion
  • Damage, Inc.
On the day 'Master of Puppets' was released, I purchased two on vinyl and one on cassette.  Listened to the album everyday when I was home (still own the vinyl - one on Music For Nations label and the other on Elektra).  But I listened to the cassette more often on my Walkman (yup, old guy right here) and wore it out.  Bought another one, wore it out and so on. And I still have the original copy I purchased for my archives.  

I got lost in this album.  "Battery" opened with majestic acoustic guitar playing, then ripped heads off in a matter of seconds. Then the namesake "Master of Puppets" set precedence. This was our (Metal fans) "Stairway To Heaven". How could this album continue to get better?  Then "The Thing That Should Not Be" kicked in and was so colossal.  I couldn't get over the heaviness of this song alone.  Then amazed by the slow moving "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" until it swelled and became a different animal all together.  I was then decimated by not one, but two devastating tracks ("Disposable Heroes" & "Leper Messiah") which had contained so many time changes and chugging riffs, I thought I had died and gone to Metal heaven...seriously. Who played like this?  Then the almighty Cliff Burton laid his greatness upon us with "Orion".  Not that his "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth" from 'Kill 'Em All' wasn't already phenomenal enough with a metal spiked cherry on top, but 'Orion' was just sooooooo fucking epic.  It gave me goosebumps when I first heard it and has the same effect on me all these years later.  Then "Damage, Inc." closes this masterpiece out going a million miles an hour.......

"Fuck it all and fucking no regrets
Never happy ending on these dark sets
All's fair for Damage Inc. you see

Step a little closer if you please...."

GAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! 

To me and many others, 'Master' signaled the end of an era after Cliff Burton was killed in a bus accident while on tour in Sweden in the Fall of '86. Who knows how things would've turned out musically had Cliff lived.  I will stop there because the magic captured in this album would never again be repeated or duplicated.

Metallica will always be my Rolling Stones.  I grew up with this band since 1981 and will always remain a loyal fan.  But there's always that something, that "what if" that will linger on forever.

They were the best of their time.

<cue 'Orion'>

<fade to black>

Friday, February 19, 2016

The 'Thrax...the whole 'Thrax and nothin' but the 'Thrax


"Now we're Anthrax and we take no shit
And we don't care for writing hits
The sound you hear is what we like
I'll steal your pop-tarts like I stole your.....Socks!"

Trying to catch up on my blog since last week and failing miserably.  First world problems, right?

Saw Anthrax last week (Wed Feb 10th Albuquerque, NM) then left for Vegas the day after to attend the Black Sabbath show.  Then returned home on Mon 15th, back into work-mode annnnnd it's Friday.

So, Anthrax.  I've never been let down by a performance by these guys over the years.  Show sold-out as well.  Been a loyal fan since their 1984 debut Fistful of Metal was released on Megaforce Records (when it was still an indie label).  I made damn sure to get that baby signed.

The Meet & Greet (M&G).

I took part in the M&G prior to the concert and brought A LOT of items with me to get signed by the guys. Kinda felt bad for guitarist Jon Donais (ex-Shadows Fall) since everything I brought was Anthrax/S.O.D. related (all prior to him joining the band in 2013).  I had memory relapse and forgot to grab my Shadows Falls CDs and the Anthrax live CD/Blu-ray Chile On Hell he appears on.  He signed a group photo we were given, but other than that, bupkis. He makes his studio album debut with the band on the upcoming release For All Kings (release date: Fri Feb 26th). I've had a copy for over a month and it's pretty amazing. I've read a few online reviews already and some people are slamming it.  But if you give it a proper listen all the way through without any distractions, you'll enjoy the hell out of it.

Back to the M&G.  Things kicked off about an hour before the doors opened.  Stood in a small group with others by the front doors. The people at the front of the long line were asking why we didn't go to the back of their line. Ugh, always some drama...Metal show or not.  Bonus part of an M&G is not only meeting the band and hanging out with them for a bit, but also early entry.  My patience run low nowadays listening to these kids complain about having to stand in line and wait to get in.  They have no idea.  But I digress.  There was a 16 yr old guy who was in line for VIP and befriended me by saying how much he loved my Ace Frehley shirt (a total KISS fan and who eats, sleeps, and shits 80s Metal). He was so mad about being born later in life and missing the 80s Metal shows. So, I passed the time talking with him about the many (huge understatement) shows I attended back in the 80s.  His mind couldn't take much more.  He had to sit down for a while (true story).  He made me feel pretty old...haha.  But it was fun talking with him and fielding a ton of questions.

There was about 20 of us doing the M&G. We all had albums, CDs, cassettes (yup), guitars, photos and all that jazz to have autographed.  We were given a VIP laminate, a deck of Anthrax For All Kings playing cards (signed by the band), turntable mat (Evil Twin single cover), photo of band, etc.
The band came out to the lobby where we were waiting and the M&G ensued.  Charlie was first in line, then Joey, Frankie, Jon and Scott. It was great to converse with these guys, especially Joey and Frankie. I try very hard not to fanboy out during these things. It was easier when I wrote for 'zines and interviewed bands because I could do that for an hour.  I told Joey I last met him when his solo band Belladonna opened for Motörhead in 1996. He had a good laugh with that one and went on to tell me about how great that tour was opening for Lemmy.  I always have so much to say and so little time.  Photo opp with the band (we used our own phones)....three photos and done.

  Quick shot of the beanie, t-shirt and a few CDs I had signed.  I brought three albums and nine CDs with me not expecting all of them to get signed.  Especially since some M&Gs specifically indicate to bring no more than two items.  No limit indicated for this one, so I figured it was fair game to bring a 'few' items (included Spreading The Disease [30th Anniversary Edition], Among The Living, Armed and Dangerous, Fistful Of Metal and S.O.D. - Speak English Or Die [30th Anniversary Edition].


The show.

This bad boy was sold-out (kind of rare for 'burque), which made the show even sweeter since this would've been a day off for them (currently on tour opening for Lamb of God).  Yes, opening for LoG. Again, I digress.  Best part about getting an Anthrax headline show...longer set. WIN! Anyway, the 'Thrax delivered a non-stop barrage of Thrash Metal from start to finish.  Riff upon riff. The pit action on the floor was a throwback to the old-school days.  I was up in the balcony snapping photos and making sure I didn't get caught in a mosh (I did plenty of that shit when I was much younger. Thanks but no thanks).   The band was feeding off the energy being thrown back at them from the audience and the band played heavier with every song.  Again, I've never been disappointed with any of their concerts (something I told Frankie earlier and he responded, "Man, I swear, you won't be disappointed by his one either.").  The man didn't lie.

Setlist:

Hymn 2 (tape intro)
A.I.R.
Lone Justice
Madhouse
Caught in a Mosh
Got the Time
Evil Twin (new song)
Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't
Breathing Lightning (new song)
Medusa
March of the S.O.D.
In the End
Antisocial

Encore:
I'm the Man --> total surprise!!
Indians
Among the Living

Another one for the books.

I'll always support this band, purchase albums and some swag.  I'm big on supporting the bands I love.  Be sure to pick up their new one For All Kings on Fri Feb 26th.  If you're like me and prefer the deluxe editions, then purchase the 2-CD UK version since it includes four live songs not included on the US version.

"I am the walkin' dude
I can see all the world
Twist your minds with fear
I'm the man with power
Among the living
Follow me or die...."

Some photos I shot with my phone.









Sunday, February 7, 2016

Hush

hush
/həSH/

verb
1. make (someone) be quiet or stop talking.

noun
1. a silence


Hellyeah - Hush
From the album 'Blood For Blood' (2014)

You pray for quiet,
Inside your head the screams won't silence
I remember those days
The terror past our home, the fear that's in your bones,
It just won't go away, no.

The strangle holds
The insulting names.....
The wound up shirt around his fist, the nose to nose beer stinking breath.
Thrown down onto the floor, so battered, bruised and sore
Choke down on the truth of it, and touch it until you break your neck

Hell's where I was born!
Hell's where I was raised!
This hell is where I'm from and this hell is where I'll stay
The hush is all I need, to hush the misery
The hush that belongs to me, like the hush inside of dreams
Just be still and pray, and let the noise just fade away.

Retain to violence
Atop your heart like a secret closet,
So no one can penetrate
You just can't stand the touch, affection weighs too much,
You push everyone away from

The reckoning!
The bitter stings
Whipped so bad I pissed myself still with a beating stub held belt
If this reminds you of home, you better know you're not alone
Hold the gun up to my head, I'll pull the trigger on myself!

Hell's where I was born! Hell's where I was raised,
This hell is where I'm from and this hell is where I'll stay.
The hush is all I need, to hush the misery
The hush that belongs to me, like the hush inside of dreams
Just be still and pray

These are the memories. In me......
You didn't want to know! You didn't want to know!
These are the memories we keep
We don't want to show! We don't want to show!
By now you need to know, (You're not alone)

Hush is all I need, hush the misery
Hush belongs to me, like the hush inside of dreams
Hell's where I was born! Hell's where I was raised,
This hell is where I'm from and this hell is where I'll stay
The hush is all I need, to hush the misery
The hush that belongs to me, like the hush inside of dreams
Just be still and pray and let the noise just fade away

SONGWRITERS
CHAD GRAY, KEVIN CHURKO, TOM MAXWELL, VINNIE PAUL

PUBLISHED BY
LYRICS © KOBALT MUSIC PUBLISHING LTD.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Remembering Gary Moore - A Concert Memory (May 7, 1984)


Remembering Gary Moore today on the 5th anniversary of his passing.

Hard to believe Gary's been gone for five years already.  I listen to his music constantly.  I always felt he was such an underrated artist.  The guy could play circles around other guitar players without breaking a sweat.

First time I heard Moore perform was on Thin Lizzy's 'Black Rose: A Rock Legend' (1979).  The melodies on this album (i.e. Waiting For An Alibi and Do Anything You Want To) are brilliant, but so are the many albums Gary released over the years.

I had the pleasure of seeing Gary perform live once in my life (so damn thankful) when his solo band was touring the US for one of my favorite albums Victims of the Future (1983). First of all, this album has so many blazing guitar solos and I wore out my vinyl copy in less than a month (title track groove alone was worn down first - to this day I can never get enough of that song.).  And how can you go wrong when your band also includes Ian Paice (Deep Purple), Neil Carter (UFO) and Neil Murray (Whitesnake)?  And I couldn't get over the guitar solo in the The Yardbirds cover Shapes Of Things.  If you haven't heard it then go do that right now. 

Rush was touring in support of their album Grace Under Pressure in 1984 and kicked off that tour in my hometown of Albuquerque, NM (the band had a small history of starting their tours off here). No complaints here, especially since I'm a Rush fanatic. Anyway, Gary and band opened for Rush on select dates and ABQ was one of them.  I couldn't tell you who I was more excited to see at that point. Nobody I hung out with in high school was into Gary Moore as I was. Anytime I would play Victims of the Future cassette (or 1982's Corridors of Power for that matter) on my boombox on the bus [sidebar: I was the DJ on my bus...haha] or at school in the hallway)....nothing. What? Ugh!  I digress.

Opening day of the tour:  May 7th, 1984 - the day had arrived <cue choir angels>  The venue was Tingley Coliseum (where all the concerts took place because it was the largest venue we had at the time). It was built for rodeos and the place always smelled like horseshit (literally).  Aside from that, the sound was always horrible.  Obviously not built for concerts, but again, the only place in town for the big tours to perform. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful to this day for ol' Tingley because without that place I wouldn't have seen so many amazing concerts.

Majority of the concerts held at Tingley were GA (General Admission).  When buying a ticket you chose either the seated section or the floor.  I always chose the floor. Those were the first to sell out first because everyone and their brother wanted to be as close to the stage as possible (including yours truly). So this meant showing up at the venue four hours before the gates/doors opened (2:00 PM since doors normally opened at 6:00 PM). Could have been a problem for me on this day because it was a Monday and I was still in class at that time....ahem....supposed to be in class at that time.  I caught a ride with a few of my fellow Rush buddies, arrived at Tingley 1:45 PM and there were maybe six or seven people in line. YES!

Stood/sat in line talking to others for a few hours about what else? Rush, Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy and every other band under the sun. The line grew in length until you couldn't see the end of it...perfect.  Gates opened, which led to the front of the venue, and everyone would fuckin' run to form another line in front of the doors of the venue (always hated that).  Needless to say, I was always capable of running fast and more or less had been able to secure the same spot in line with my friends.

Doors open.....quick glance at the tour t-shirts as I ran by....down the corridor, onto the floor, ticket ripped (always hated that too and told the person ripping tickets to rip where I wanted so the ticket wasn't destroyed. I got lucky nine times out of ten and still have 97% of my ticket stubs intact) and straight for the barricade...front and center of the stage.  SAFE!  Again, spoke to all the people around me about Rush, Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy and every band out there.

Show started at 8:00 PM, lights go off, surge of the crowd pushed forward....Gary Moore hit the stage. HOLY SHIT!!  GARY FUCKIN' MOORE!!! He was maybe three feet right in front of me.  HOLY SHIT!! I held my ground best I could (I was maybe 120 lbs and 5ft 10in) and held onto the barricade with all my might to not lose my place.  I was resilient (as I was in the majority of the shows I attended) and able to keep my spot for the entire show (Rush included).  I headbanged to every song.  Sang as loud as I could. Thrust my fist in the air the entire set (with the other hand gripping onto the barricade for dear life).  GARY FUCKIN' MOORE!!

What a setlist.....
  • Don't Take Me For A Loser
  • Shapes Of Things (Yardbirds cover) - guitar solo is phenomenal
  • Murder In The Skies
  • Victims Of The Future - my favorite GM song...period!
  • Empty Rooms
  • Intro/White Knuckles/End Of The World - epic guitar solo
  • Rockin' Every Night
His band was tight as hell too, I had hoped Ian Paice and Neil Murray were part of the touring lineup, but that wasn't the case. Still saw Neil Carter and Bobby Chouinard (RIP...who also played in Billy Squire's band).
  • Gary Moore - guitar, vocals
  • Neil Carter - guitar, vocals, keyboard
  • Bobby Chouinard - drums
  • Graig Gruber - bass
After seeing Gary Moore perform live for 50 minutes straight, I knew this guy had some goddamn magic that no other guitarist possessed (even to this day).  Not that I didn't think he was 'the shit' already, but seeing him live cemented it all for me.  I watched Gary play every square inch of that guitar.  He didn't move around the stage too much since he was the vocalist. So he remained close to the mic and guitar pedal effects. Not a problem for me....at all.

In my mind and after a few discussions with the crowd around me, Rush had one hell of a show to follow. Especially since Rush was moving more towards keyboard oriented songs and less guitar. 

But, not to worry....Rush killed it.  But Gary crushed it.

Thank you, Gary.  Your music lives on forever.  A concert memory I'll never forget.

Turn it up!!


Friday, February 5, 2016

seethe

seethe
/sēT͟H/
verb

  • (of a liquid) bubble up as a result of being boiled.
  • cook (food) by boiling it in a liquid.
  • (of a person) filled with unexpressed feelings/resentment.



Seether - Same Damn Life
From the album 'Isolate and Medicate' (2014)

Come smoke a cigarette and let your hair down
Then pray for the rain to go away
I'm trying to forget I let us both down
Then pray for the sun to come again

I never thought I could feel so small
But you're the one that can't live without attention
I never thought I would lose this all
But you're the one who needs the fucking intervention

Now I'm reliving my whole damn life
And it's a shame that I can't remember
And now I'm living the same damn lie
It's a shame, but nothing's forever

With every new regret I start to wear down
Then pray for the pain to go away
I need an amulet, I need a new sound
I know everything remains the same

I never thought I could feel so small
I'm the one who will suffer this detention
I never thought I would lose this all
But I accept this is my new education

Now I'm reliving my whole damn life
And it's a shame that I can't remember
And now I'm living the same damn lie
It's a shame, but nothing's forever

Now I'm reliving my whole damn life
And it's a shame that I can't remember
And now I'm living the same damn lie
It's a shame, but nothing's forever

SONGWRITERS
DALE WILLIAM STEWART, FRANCK MARIUS LOUIS POURCEL, JACQUES PLANTE, JOHN STEPHEN HUMPHREY, PAUL MAURIAT, RAYMOND LEFEBVRE, SHAUN MORGAN WELGEMOED

PUBLISHED BY
LYRICS © UNIVERSAL MUSIC PUBLISHING GROUP

i·so·la·tion

i·so·la·tion
/ˌīsəˈlāSH(ə)n/
noun


  • Solitude, a state of seclusion or isolation, i.e., lack of contact with people.
  • Solitary confinement, a special form of imprisonment in which a prisoner is isolated most or all human contact.
  • Isolation (psychology), a defence mechanism in psychoanalytic theory.





Armored Saint – Isolation

In time we fly in time we die
Oh, oh, oh
Know what it feels to be lonely
Don't know how it feels to be free
Reacting wild, some moody child
Don't know what's in store for me
Oh, out in the cold, isolation
Out on my own isolation
Out all alone

Up go the golden mast
Float out to sea at last
Roamed a thousand miles
Still lonesome child
But my ship is comin' in

Oh, out in the cold, isolation
Out on my own, isolation
Out all alone

It's my test no fight with myself I ain't wrong
It's my quest a life with myself I am gone

Oh yea isolation
Oh yea isolation
Out in the cold isolation
Out on my own isolation
Out in the cold isolation
Out on my own

Isolation out in the cold
Isolation out on my own

Isolation out in the cold
Isolation out on my own

Isolation out in the cold
Isolation out on my own

Songwriters: JOHN BUSH, JOEY VERA, DAVID PRICHARD, GONZALO SANDOVAL
Isolation lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Megadeth: Dystopia || A Return To Thrash Roots

Megadeth’s latest album, Dystopia, was released worldwide last week (Fri Jan 22nd).  I wanted to spend some time getting to know this one inside and out.  It certainly wasn't hard to like and didn't require any amount of time for it to grow on me. Having two new members join (Angra guitarist Kiko Loureiro and Lamb Of God skinsman Chris Adler) alters a bands' sound.  Regardless of the high level of musicianship these two guys bring to the table, I just wanted to soak this up because I'm not only a huge Megadeth fan, but also a fan of Angra and LOG since day one.

A lot of fans hated (as in, ranked it next to Risk) the last release, Super Collider.  I enjoyed the nuances of it all.  I'm not a fan of the Risk album and can only assume that the fans were hoping for Rust In Peace Part 2.  That didn't happen and will never happen.

Many of the Megadeth albums released in the 2000s are hit or miss for me. Minus Dystopia, I'm split on the six studio albums they've released over the past 14 years.

What I liked:

  • The System Has Failed (2004)
  • Endgame (2009)
  • Super Collider (2013)

What I didn't like:

  • The World Needs A Hero (2001)
  • United Abominations (2007)
  • Thirteen (2011)

I honestly believe 2009's Endgame is their one album that set the bar since the Rust In Peace days of yore.  Endgame has substance.  It has that Mega-grit feel to it when "Dialectic Chaos" begins and kicks into "This Day We Fight!". Then it's "44 Minutes", "1,320" and so on.

As a fan, you want a band you watched develop before your eyes and ears to achieve greatness with every album.  Megadeth had that from 1985s Killing Is My Business... to 1994s Youthanasia.  Now Cryptic Writings isn't a slouch, but there were signs of change.  It's no secret that Dave had been after the all elusive radio hit.  Closest 'hit' they had was "Symphony Of Destruction".  Some say he's been chasing Metallica over the years.  But it would be impossible to duplicate the mega-success (pun intended....too soon?) of the Black Album.  But hell, the albums Dave cranked out were far heavier than Black Album, Load, Reload and St. Anger combined.  And not for nothing, I wanted the new album to sucker-punch my ass and stop hoping for Endgame Part II.

OK Rick, so what does all this have to do with Dystopia?  Hold on, I'm getting there.

Endgame was THE bar...the one to top.  Dystopia is THAT album.

Dystopia is catchy, heavy, ferocious, melodic, thrashy, riff-o-rama-mama and quite arguably the band’s best since 2009's Endgame (sorry, I know I have a hard-on for that album) or anything they released in the 90s (besides Risk). No offense to those who like that album. 

Dave and Co. channel the days of early 'Deth.  The old-school fans will eat up “Fatal Illusion,” “Death From Within” (tells a story of the Greeks invading Troy), and “Post American World”,  The instrumental “Conquer Or Die!” begins with layered acoustic guitar work that either pays homage to Van Halen's "Spanish Fly" or Randy Rhoads’ “Diary Of A Madman” intro. The song that nails it for me is "Poisonous Shadows".  It's one that Kiko had a hand putting together and the solo that threw ol' Dave on his ass.  Truth be told, I pitched in to their PledgeMusic about eight months ago and watched the studio video footage of Kiko and Dave throwing down on guitar.  Plus, I got an autographed CD booklet out of it too.  And also bought the Best Buy Box Set (Virtual Reality goggles and two bonus songs ["Look Who's Talking" and "Last Dying Wish"] not on the original release).  Posted a picture of both at the bottom of this blog.

SIDEBAR:  Give the new Eddie Trunk podcast a listen. He interviews Dave and there's quite a bit of Kiko props given. LINK >  Eddie Trunk Podcast - Dave Mustaine

I was swayed back and forth between older styles and all the exciting new sounds emanating from my speakers. Megadeth returned to that familiar mix of their old-school sound with The System Has Failed style vocals (some of Dave's best). The guitar hooks are downright thrashy (‘The Threat Is Real’ and 'Fatal Illusion" - jeez, every track). Dystopia is crammed with tons of melodic riffing.  The solo's peppered throughout this album are guaranteed to rip your face off.

If you're a diehard fan you won't be disappointed. There aren't any fillers to be found here.  No weak tunes. Just Megadeth going for it...balls out....tearing it up and unleashing a sound that's all too familiar to those of us who knew this was dwelling inside Mustaine.

If Dave is finished chasing after that elusive hit radio song, then thank fucking God!  Because this is the album we've been waiting for.  Nothing against Marty Friedman or Nick Menza because they rule for many reasons, but I wasn't wanting the Rust In Peace lineup to get back together. I know Dave tried to do that (listen to that Eddie Trunk podcast) and it didn't work out.  Again, thank fuckin' God! This album wouldn't exist if it did work out and Kiko and Chris wouldn't have joined.

And I suck.  I hardly mentioned Chris Adler or Dave Ellefson at all.  Let me fix that.  Ellefson must've replaced a few spark plugs because he's firing on all of them now.  Maybe his time in that all-star band Metal Allegiance has him breathing new life. Whatever happened, he's back to the Dave (or Jr) we know and love. Now for Adler - he runs circles around every drummer ever to set foot in Megadeth. Yeah, I went there. Not sure how Shawn Drover stayed as long as he did.  Shit, I just went there, again!  The guy doesn't let up anywhere.

With all that said, I give this 2 out of 5 stars. Kidding.....shit!  One, I don't do that star ranking crap. And two, Dystopia should be up for 'Album of the Year'.

Strong words?  Strong album.






Rainbow In The Dark - RIP Jimmy Bain

It's been a few days since the passing of bass great Jimmy Bain (ex-Rainbow/DIO/Wild Horses).

Here's another musician I grew up listening to in the mid-70' when he was in Rainbow (Rising/On Stage) and during his time in DIO.  I was familiar with the band he formed called Wild Horses (which also included ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson and guitarist Neil Carter).  But the connection I have lies more with Rainbow's Rising era and DIO since that's what I was listening to the majority of the time.

Jimmy contributed a lot to DIO's Holy Diver and The Last In Line (more than people even know). The guy was a powerhouse and sorely underrated here in the US.  I've seen DIO in concert more than twelve times (probably more like 20 times if I really think about it and look through my old ticket stubs).  Started with the Holy Diver tour in 1983 and last time I saw him was Killing The Dragon tour in 2002. Jimmy was always goofing and clowning on stage, but he played the hell out of that bass.  Plus, he and Ronnie were in Rainbow together for a bit and you could see the camaraderie they had.  And having a fuckin' blast every night.

His current band Last In Line played a Def Leppard Hysteria on the High Seas pre-cruise show in Miami, FL last week.  Jimmy passed away on-board the ship the next day. Here's footage from Jimmy's last show performing 'We Rock'.



His DIO/Last In Line bandmate (and Def Leppard guitarist) Vivian Campbell posted the following on Facebook:

"It's with the heaviest of hearts that I must confirm the news of the passing of our dear friend and Last In Line band-mate, Jimmy Bain. It was Jimmy who gave me my first big break in the music industry and for that I am forever indebted.
Jimmy's struggles with his demons were well documented through the years, but over the last 18 months he had finally won that battle and he was bright and lucid and motivated throughout the writing and recording of the new record. He leaves behind him a rich legacy of work from Rainbow, through Wild Horses, Dio, and finally, Last In Line. Jimmy was immensely proud of our new album and his input to it was immeasurable.
He was a very kind and gentle and generous soul and our lives were greatly enriched for having known him. We will continue to celebrate his life through his music.
On behalf of Vinny and Andrew, our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this most difficult of times.
Rest in peace, dear friend."

Rest in peace Jimmy. You'll always be a rainbow in the dark.

Hopefully you're living it up with your old pal Ronnie James Dio, Lemmy, Dime and the gang.

Be sure to check out the band Last In Line which features Jimmy (bass) Vivian Campbell (guitar), Vinny Appice (drums) and Andrew Freeman (vocals).  Their debut album Heavy Crown drops on February 19th.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Remembering Edgar Allan Poe


Remembering Edgar Allan Poe on his 207th birthday.

He will always remain one of our best literary geniuses.

My favorites:

  • The Tell Tale Heart
  • The Raven
  • The Murders In The Rue Morgue (Iron Maiden,anyone?)
  • The Black Cat
  • Ligeia
  • The Pit And The Pendulum

"Quoth The Raven, Nevermore"

Monday, January 18, 2016

Glenn Frey Was Here OR Death Can Take a Holiday

Grim Reaper -

I realize death doesn't take a holiday, but late last year you took Scott Weiland and Lemmy Kilmister.

We're barely three weeks into the new year and you've taken so many already:

  • Nick Caldwell, singer (The Whispers)
  • Angus Scrimm, Actor 
  • David Bowie
  • Alan Rickman
  • Dan Haggerty
  • Dallas Taylor, Drummer (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
  • Mike Sharpe, Pro wrestler
  • Dale Griffin, Drummer (Mott the Hoople)
  • Mic Gillette, Brass player (Tower of Power)
  • Blowfly, American musician and producer


Then today you feel the need to take Glenn Frey. Fuckin' really? Bowie and Rickman weren't enough this year, huh?  Blue Oyster Cult said, "Don't fear the reaper", but I don't fear you.  I just wanna kick YOUR ass...and cancer's too while I'm at it.

Gutted...bugged...pissed...sad....mad & stunned.

Do everyone a favor.  Go away for the rest of the year and take that vacation.  Families, friends, and fans are grieving every day or every other day because of you.

Go now! GO NOW!!

My condolences to Glenn's family and friends.  And too all the fans as well.  He was a class act and no other like him. One less legend among us.

Take it easy one last time standing on that corner in Winslow, Arizona.  Your music lives on forever.

Rest In Peace.




“It’s Your World Now”

Written by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin
[From Eagles’ 'Long Road Out of Eden' album]

A perfect day, the sun is sinkin’ low
As evening falls, the gentle breezes blow
The time we shared went by so fast
Just like a dream, we knew it couldn’t last
But I’d do it all again
If I could, somehow
But I must be leavin’ soon
It’s your world now
It’s your world now
My race is run
I’m moving on
Like the setting sun
No sad goodbyes
No tears allowed
You’ll be alright
It’s your world now
Even when we are apart
You’ll always be in my heart
When dark clouds appear in the sky
Remember true love never dies
But first a kiss, one glass of wine
Just one more dance while there’s still time
My one last wish: someday, you’ll see
How hard I tried and how much you meant to me
It’s your world now
Use well your time
Be part of something good
Leave something good behind
The curtain falls
I take my bow
That’s how it’s meant to be
It’s your world now
It’s your world now
It’s your world now

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Few Good CD Rips

Ripping a few CDs for my iGod today and figured I'd throw a quick blog on them.  Especially since they're not your average CD releases.

'Operation Rock & Roll' was a compilation released prior to the 1991 tour of the same name. Great lineup - Judas Priest, Motörhead, Alice Cooper, Metal Church and Dangerous Toys. 


Icon's  '1984: Live Bootleg' is a nice gem capturing them on their 1984 tour. I attended this very show since it was recorded in my hometown. I have the DVD of this one as well. Icon was a damn good band at the time. Their self-titled debut is an all-time top album for me. I liked MAYBE half of their follow-up album 'Night of the Crime'.  What a disappointment for them to go from Metal to Pop Rock. I'm sure it was pressure from the label to try and be the next Bon Jovi, White Lion etc.


Heathen 's second release 'Victims of Deception' is a Metal masterpiece. So overlooked by many and one I've listened to extensively. Guitarist Lee Altus still keeps this band of his going, even since joining Exodus some ten years ago. Just check out the last release from 2010 entitled 'The Evolution Of Chaos'  It'll rip your damn head off.


Varga's 'Prototype' is another one of those "little engine that could" releases. I can't say enough good things about this one. Back in the day I used to listen to the Rock/Metal radio station Z-Rock and they played "Unconscience" and "Freeze Don't Move". Loved the riffs but didn't care for the some of the sampling.  I also enjoyed their third album, 'Oxygen'.  The two EPs they released a few years ago; 'Enter The Metal' (2013) and 'Return Of The Metal' (2014), are top notch.  Glad they reformed and got the band back together for a short period of time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

To my daughter - Happy Birthday!



Today's my daughter's birthday. Proudest and happiest day of my life.

She's in the Navy now and it's the first time we haven't celebrated her birthday together since the day she was born. How fortunate am I to have been able to spend so much time with her all these years?

Regardless what goes on personally in one's life (the good and the bad), there's nothing that can take the place of a Dad's love for his little girl.  I raised her myself and let me tell you, she's done an amazing job in life so far.  And I couldn't have asked for a better daughter.  On top of it, she's a decent person who has a lot of love, empathy, compassion and a wonderful sense of humor.  She's married as well and has a fantastic husband who loves and cares for her to the moon and back.  And for that, I am grateful.

She's been my best friend since the day she was born and nothing will ever change that.  I am so grateful for her and she's made my life so much more enjoyable.

The poem below perfectly captures the essence of the bond.  She has so much life to live and so many wonderful experiences to endure.

Happy birthday, Sam!  You'll always be my little girl.
xoxoxo

Father-Daughter
"The bond between father and daughter happens instantly, starting right at birth,
When a father first lays eyes on his little girl he loves her more than anything on this earth,
When a daughter grows older her father is the first man she will love,
And the last one her father will have trouble letting go of,
To her father she means the world, she means everything.
When a daughter grows up to be an adult and mature,
Her father will always be there anytime she still needs dad to help her,
To give her advice or just-for anything she will ever need,
The bond between father and daughter is the most important bond indeed,
It cannot be broken when she finds a man, and become his wife,
It cannot be broken even in the ending of either one's life,
A daughter will always have the memories of her father, her best friend
This bond has a beginning, but there is never an end.
The bond between a father and daughter is so profound
The love shared is well renowned,
From the beginning of his daughter's life, he is a changed man,
At that moment his life really just began."

Monday, January 11, 2016

Ground control to Major Tom.......


First and foremost I want to say one thing - "FUCK YOU CANCER!!"

I'm not even close to getting over the death of Lemmy and now we lose Bowie too?

I spent the entire day listening to the David Bowie albums I love ('Space Oddity', 'Hunky Dory', 'Aladdin Sane', 'Diamond Dogs', 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars', 'Young Americans', and 'Station To Station').  He released over twenty albums in his career and I know I own more than half.

As a kid, everytime I turned on the radio in the 70s I would always hear at least one or two Bowie tunes in a one hour span.  If it wasn't Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Stones, the Eagles, Elton John or Paul McCartney jamming the airwaves, it was Bowie - "Space Oddity", "Rebel Rebel", "Suffragette City", "Changes", "Fame" "Golden Years", "Young Americans", and "Heroes".  And those songs stuck in my head forever.

I grew up on Hard Rock (Sabbath, Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Purple), but I also had a huge helping of the Beatles, Elton John, T.Rex, the Sweet, KISS, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie.  I was a kid. There was zero difference to me between rock, hard rock, glam, contemporary rock and all that.  If I liked what I heard, then that was it.  Sold. Done.

There was hardly any part of pop culture that he didn't touch. From music, to fashion, and movies. Bowie transcended a lot of people in many ways.  I'm sure more than anything I've ever experienced. But he's always been a part of this world creating art and never apologizing to anyone.  During a 1997 concert on his 50th birthday in Madison Square Garden he said, "I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring." That has become a very infamous quote over the years and it has always held true from day one.  It has never been boring....ever.

I read through a number of online articles today and the one that spoke to me the most was from long time friend/producer Tony Visconti.

Tony Visconti via his Facebook page:
"Most of the album's lyrics were confirmed to be foretelling Bowie's eventual death from his secret 18-month long battle with liver cancer, ultimately revealing that Bowie had actually planned for the album to be his swan song or "parting gift" for his fans.  He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life - a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn't, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry." 

Now that hit me between the eyes.

I had the opportunity to see David Bowie perform one time in my life on the Glass Spider tour (Aug 12, 1987 @ Mile High Stadium - Denver, CO).  The setlist was not only amazing, but the tour featured guitarists Peter Frampton and Charlie Sexton (alongside Bowie main man Carlos Alomar). Yeah, three goddamn guitar players on that stage (four including Bowie when he strapped one on).  I was in pure fuckin' heaven for three hours.  I never thought I'd ever see Ziggy Stardust perform live in my life. And here I was in my early 20s soaking up so much greatness in one night.

We lost a pioneer and an artist in every sense of the word. It feels like one precise color was removed from the world.

He was an artist, a rebel, Ziggy, Starman and now he's home.

Rest In Peace, David Bowie.

"I'm feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows
Ground Control to Major Tom"

Sunday, January 10, 2016

*VIDEO* Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister Memorial Service and Celebration

For anyone who didn't get a chance to watch Lemmy's memorial service yesterday, here's a link to the video from Motörhead's YouTube channel.  It's the best quality (HD) and from the actual feed itself.

The video will hit a snafu during Dave Grohl's portion....video drops out and audio goes as well.  But the first words Lemmy ever said to Dave was, "Sorry about Kurt" (found that out this morning from a buddy of mine who attended).

Here's the link:
 Memorial Service and Celebration of Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister


Born To Lose / Live To Win

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Lemmy Kilmister Laid To Rest Today

Finished watching the memorial service for Lemmy Kilmister about an hour ago (live stream off Motörhead's YouTube page).

First and foremost, it was one of the most amazing tributes I've witnessed.  I didn't know if this was going to be a train wreck or not.  And so very glad it wasn't.

Lots of people in attendance and many had their chance to say a few words or share stories and jokes regarding their time with Lemmy.  Lem's son Paul gave a heartwarming eulogy at the very beginning of the service. Then it was one after another....Motörhead's drummer Mikkey Dee, guitarist Bob Kulick, Slim Jim from The Head Cats, Lemmy's personal assistant Ian, a European publicist, Lemmy's buddy Scotty, girlfriend Cheryl, a German promoter, journalist Steffan Chirazi, drummer Matt Sorum, Slash, Motörhead's stage Manager Roger, Ugly Kid Joe vocalist Whitfield Crane, Alice In Chains bassist Mike Inez, Rob Halford, Scott Ian, wrestler Triple H, Robert Trujillo, Lars Ulrich, and finally Dave Grohl.

All had very touching, warm, endearing, funny stories to tell.  Some short, some very long.  And the video/sound feed cut off during the early part of Dave Grohl's portion when he was talking about the first time he introduced himself to Lemmy outside the Rainbow Bar.  It cut off right as Dave was to tell everyone the first words Lem ever said to him.  Well, I found out later Lemmy said, "Sorry about Kurt". Dave also had an autographed photo of Little Richard he wanted to give Lem for his birthday last month and never had a chance to do so.

If you're not familiar with Motörhead's music, then do yourself a favor and go to YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and start now.  It's never too late to get into this band.  And if you've never watched the Lemmy movie '49% Motherfucker. 51% Son Of A Bitch' then check that out as well because you won't be disappointed.  And there are a ton of Motörhead concerts on YouTube and documentaries as well.  All fun to watch.  The movie will prove how intelligent and remarkable Lemmy truly was.

Rock In Peace, Lemmy.

Born To Lose / Live To Win

Motörhead Forever!


Friday, January 8, 2016

Remembering Steve Clark

Celebrating Steamin' Steve Clark [Def Leppard guitarist] who passed 25 years ago today. 

First time I heard a Def Leppard song was in 1980.  Our local Rock radio station (94 Rock) played "Wasted" oif their debut album 'On Through The Night'.  Holy shit!  Love at first listen.  And the first time I saw Def Leppard perform live was April 12, 1983 in Albuquerque, NM. They opened for Billy Squier in support of "Pyromania". The "Photograph" and "Rock Of Ages" videos were all over MTV every thirty minutes.  Needless to say, the audience was there to see Def Leppard.  And as expected, Def Lep blew ol' Billy out of the water. Then three quarters of the audience exited the venue soon after their set ended. Gee, surprise....surprise.

I had witnessed greatness in the form of Steve Clark that evening.  He was better 'live' than anything I ever heard him play on their first two releases ('On Through The Night' and 'High n' Dry'....hands down, my favorites).  The songs had so much more punch and he just plain played his fuckin' ass off.  I would never hear "Wasted" or "Lady Strange" played the way I heard them that night ever again. Etched in my memory forever.

I saw Steve one more time on the Hysteria tour (Feb 14, 1988) where they set up the stage "in-the-round" and both Tesla and Great White opened.  I was a fan of 'Hysteria' but it was way too over-produced for my taste.  The tune "Gods Of War" was (still is) my favorite track by far. I was just excited to see Steve perform again.  I wasn't disappointed by his performance, but there was way too many other things going on by way of pre-recorded synth sounds, and Rick Allen's electronic drum kit had every bell and whistle on it since this was his first tour after losing an arm to a car accident.  Steve wasn't flashy like the others running around hamming it up. But he had his moments where he killed it and stole the spotlight from the others.

I was equally touched in 1991 when Tesla's released the 'Psychotic Supper' album and it included the track, "Song and Emotion" written about their ex-tourmate, Steve.  Then in 1992, Def Leppard released their first album without Steve entitled, 'Adrenalize' which included a tribute to Steve by way of "White Lightning".  Amazing songs.

There's always a smile on my face when one of his tunes hits the radio or my iPod.  Whether it's, "Bringin' On The Heartbreak/Switch 625", "Rocket", "Photograph"....or whatever, I stop in my tracks and just thankful his music lives on.

I checked out Def Leppard last Summer (Sept 25, 2015) and they had a ton of photos of Steve flashing up on the screens and onstage celebrating him on a number of songs.  Now THAT wasn't something I was expecting and it made that concert even more memorable. 


Long live Steamin' Steve Clark.





Lemmy Is God!

It wouldn't be right if I didn't post something about the passing of Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister.

He was a force to be reckoned with anytime he stepped foot on stage or if you were in his mere presence.

Lemmy was a god in his own right and probably smarter than most people you've met in your life.

If you meet any Metal head, rocker, punk or any hesher and you ask them to name a Motörhead song, most will name, "Ace of Spades" without thinking about it.  That was their calling card song right there.  The mighty Motörhead had a ton of other tunes that ran circles around that one, but it's one you never forget and the lyrics are pretty easy to remember.

What we lost was a the last of the great gunfighters.  Lemmy lived the way he wanted his entire 70 years in existence.  Even when he was hit with serious health issues a few years ago, he slowed down a little, but not to the extent most would.  For example, he was told by doctors to lay off the alcohol. So he traded in his Jack Daniels for vodka. Typical Lemmy fashion.

Many of the legends still with us (Ozzy, Rob Halford, Tony Iommi etc) don't party at all anymore due to their own health issues (ie. they've slowed down in life).  Lem lived life to the fullest until the very end.  He was in no shape to tour and he died two weeks after completing a leg of the recent Motörhead 40th anniversary tour.

I had the opportunity to see Motörhead perform a number of times in my life and very grateful. I lost partial hearing in my right ear at a Motörhead show in 1998 (Anthrax vocalist Joey Belladonna's solo band was support - he wasn't in Anthrax at the time).  It was a smaller venue, (smaller than what they would normally perform) but intimate, sold out and so fuckin' loud.  I was right in front of Lemmy and his Marshall stack.  Back in the day, I didn't wear ear protection and having almost lost some hearing at a Rainbow show a number of years ago, this one sealed the deal.  I remember it vividly.  As soon as they launched into "Orgasmatron" I was screwed.  I had been to my fair share of concerts prior to 1998 (a ton to be exact) and I had never heard a concert so loud in my life.  I was deaf.  And of course Motörhead released a compilation album in 2000 entitled, 'Deaf Forever'.  Yeah, that was me.

Aside from Motörhead, I was also into his side band The Head Cat.  They released two CDs
[Fool's Paradise (2006) and Walk the Walk...Talk the Talk (2011)] and one DVD
[Rockin' The Cat Club: Live from the Sunset Strip (2007)].  It's straight-up rock and roll/rockabilly.  Always hoped I'd get a chance to see them one time, but it never happened.  If Motörhead wasn't on tour, Lemmy was either on tour, in the studio or at The Rainbow playing his favorite video game.

It was an aggressive form of cancer that took Lemmy from us sooner than later and four days after his 70th birthday.  The guy lived a lot of life.  He also had a lot of friends who came out in droves to offer condolences and funny Lemmy stories.

Hard to believe he's no longer with us,  He's been around my entire life and it's just like when we lost Ronnie James Dio.  Losing fuckin' legendary people like this always feels like losing a family member.  So weird.  And the end of Motörhead.

Also, Lemmy's memorial will be streamed live from Los Angeles tomorrow (Sat Jan 9th) at 3PM (PST): https://youtu.be/qSAXVdIj6jY

And more coverage of after party at the Rainbow Bar and Grill in West Hollywood to follow at imotorhead.com

Thank you, Lemmy!  

It's been a fun ride.  Although I'm sure the ride from your side was a lot more enjoyable than most of us will ever know.

"Born To Lose, Lived To Win"


Inaugural post

I created this little corner on the interweb to share things from this ol' brain of mine.

I work in the world of IT and love all things music, photography, movies, tech, science, writing, books, retro and a pinch of video games. That's not the entire list, but it's a start.  I'm into various things, perhaps too many. But writing has been something I've enjoyed (when time allowed) and have done most my life.

Even though I leverage Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, they don't serve a purpose many times when I just wanna 'go off' on whatever it is I wanna blab about.

I have an affinity to the number thirteen as there are many connections in my life that are connected to this "unlucky" double digit.  Not the case in my world.

I'm here to entertain myself and if anyone finds something remotely interesting, then tag-along if desire strikes.  I doubt this will be daily, but ya never know.  I could get a wild hair and bust out a few in a day.

Music is where it's at for me since I was a kid (Rock, Heavy Metal, Metal, Stoner Rock, Euro-Metal, Power Metal, Hard Rock...you get the picture).  So there will be an abundance of music related posts. I'm not the CNN of the music world, but if something significant has happened or happens, I'll probably post something about it.

I'm big on:
  • Album release anniversaries (ie. Jan 4th:  Judas Priest released 'Defenders of the Faith' 32 years ago today.) I'll normally add a photo, one of my own concert stubs (if I attended the show), YouTube video etc.
  • Photography - pictures I've taken myself.
  • Remembering Rock stars after they left this Earth (ie. Jan 8th:  Remembering Steve Clark [Def Leppard guitarist] today.  He passed 25 years ago today and his music lives on forever).  It's not that I'm a morbid person.  I just like to take a moment to reflect on those we lost and share it with others. No harm.  No foul.
  • Music related album/CD/stream/download release dates (possibly even a review).
  • Sharing some thoughts regarding books I've read (I read a LOT of books).
  • Movie release dates, movie trailers and my thoughts on any given movie I've seen.
  • XBox One video games/release dates (because I'm a console gamer and prefer Xbox over Playstation at the moment).


So, while I'm here..........


-Rick



brought to you by the number '13'