Errols Weekly Music Update.

January 30, 2009

Weekly Update – 01/30/2009

Bryan Adams at the Beacon Theater on Sat. April 4. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  $49.50 – $89.50.

Disturbed at The Arena at the Harbor Yard in Bridgeport CT on Tues. Apr. 21. Tickets on tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.  $39.75.   This is the “Music as a Weapon Tour” and will also feature Killswitch Engage, Lacuna Coil and Chimaira.

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band at XL Center in Hartford CT on Fri. Apr. 24. Tickets on sale this Monday Feb. 2 at 10:00 a.m.$65 – $95.

David Archuleta at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville NJ on Thurs. Feb. 26. Tickets on sale today at noon. $24.50

The 2nd Annual Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Tour featuring Slayer and Marilyn Manson at Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden NJ on Fri. Aug. 7. – Tickets to the public will be available on April 24. More info to follow.

Hall & Oates at the Fillmore New York in Irving Plaza on Sun. & Mon. Mar. 8 and 9. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. Tickets available through Live Nation.

Taylor Swift and Kellie Pickler will be touring together. The tour dates and venues will be announced tomorrow.

Death Cab for Cutie will be touring this spring. No dates for the tri-state area as of yet. Will keep you posted. If you’re a real fan check out their website for up to date information.

Other items:

AC/DC will perform at Wrestlemania XXV on Sunday Apr. 5 in Houston TX. The band will play the event’s theme song, which hasn’t been picked yet. Apparently Vince McMahon is a huge fan. Who isn’t?

Bruce Springsteen’s new album “Working on a Dream” is again drawing rave reviews. Rollinstone Magazine gave it 5 stars, now I have to be honest and say that I have not seen a 5 star rating on a new release in a long, long time. This means that this in an instant classic. I was almost tempted but something is holding me back, I just don’t know why that is, I can’t put my finger on it. Oh well, I may break just yet.

Iron Maiden’s management has teamed up with a British nightclub owner to open the first luxury hotel dedicated exclusively to musicians. According to the Times of London, the hotel, which is dubbed Sanctum Soho, will be opened this April as a sanctuary for the members of Maiden and other bands playing in London. Its amenities will include a 24-hour bar, an open-air hot tub on the roof, a cinema in the basement and 30 rooms with names like Purple Haze and Naked Luxe. But don’t get the wrong idea. The Sanctum Soho will boast heavy security — and one publicist insists, “It’s not a hotel for throwing televisions out of the window.”Wouldn’t it be cool to be a guest at this hotel? How many people are going to try to get in under an alias?

Thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends of Billy Powell, keyboard player for Lynyrd Skynyrd, who passed away this past Wednesday at the young age of 56. He is a father of four, so sad. Skynyrd representatives are not sure if the band will continue on. “It’s up to Gary Rossington” said the band’s manager as Rossington and Powell were the two remaining members of the original line-up.

Papa Roach released a new single “Lifeline” from their upcoming release and I have to give it two thumbs up!! This is the first song in my library by the boys from Vacaville CA. Their new album, Metamorphosis, will be released on March 24.

Patrick McDermott who dated Olivia Newton John for nine years before disappearing in 2005 is supposedly living in Mexico. A team of investigators hired by Dateline are stating this parcel of information. Very interesting, huh? Olivia has since re-married.

ABC has finally put “Life on Mars” back on its schedule and the night has been switched to Wednesday’s. The most recent episode included the classic “Whiskey in a Jar” by the legendary Thin Lizzy. That’s right I said legendary!! That friggin’ song is so great and they almost played the whole song. The show is terrific by the way and the music from 1973 makes it that much better!!

This week’s I-POD shuffle landed on the disco classic “Car Wash” by Rose Royce and it made me start looking for more “one-hit” wonders. (No offense Ms. Royce, as I know your fans are screaming that you do have a large body of work and not just this song but for me I would consider this a one hit wonder). How great is the groove in this song? And no one sings it like Ms. Royce. Now don’t kid yourself, we need one hit wonders. Hey, it’s just like someone being called up to the major leagues in any sport and even if their career is short lived; they can always say that they “made it to the show.” It’s the same for music and the added bonus is that you can play that song “at the show.” I was going to do another list but I figured that might be getting a little stale so I decided to let all of you know what one hit wonders are in my library. Staying with the groove thing, “Rappers Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang ranks high on my list. Now for those of you who knew me in my younger days I know you’re screaming “you were one of the guys that use to scream that disco and rap stunk!!!” Again, maturity cures many ills. There is no denying the impact that “Rappers” made on music history. Everyone knows this song and I can’t think of anyone that doesn’t like this song. It’s pure fun. Staying with the disco/rap theme, I absolutely love “Rock The Boat” by the Hughes Corporation, this song brings me back to my summer days spent with my Grandparents and uncle in the 1970’s. Do you have this in your library? (You won’t be able to find it on I-Tunes, they don’t have the original- you’ll have to buy a CD with the song on it). How about “Rock Your Baby” by George McCrae? How enormous was that song? C’mon you know you love it as well. “O-o-h Child” by The Five Stairsteps has to be in my top 20 songs of all time (I know I’m way past 20 but you know what I’m saying). This song brings me back to my teenage days when I worked with my uncle at a butcher shop. All the butchers use to line up and sway back and forth and sing this song holding their knives as make believe microphones. They would always yell at me for “listening to that crap” and told me I needed to know the classics. Believe me I knew then and I know now, this song is forever etched in my heart. (again youth….) That is what music is suppose to do, it is suppose to make you happy, put a smile on your face and take you back to wonderful memories throughout your life.

Now I know you’re going to laugh at this one but I’m not ashamed to say that I absolutely find “Rose Garden” by Lynn Anderson irresistible. This is another song that takes me back to my childhood days and every time I hear it, I think of my mother. It really is a catchy tune. Another song that my mother loved was the classic “Brand New Key” by Melanie Safka. I can’t get enough of this song. Her voice and the whole arrangement of the song is just amazing. “Oh sometimes I think that you’re avoiding me…” I can picture my mother trying to hit those high notes by Melanie. (Now she has sold over 25 million records, so please excuse me if I say this is a her only hit- I just had to get it out there and in my opinion it is her most popular song).

On the heavier side of things, “Black Betty” by Ram Jam is right up there. I love the sound of the cymbals crashing every second. This song is perfect for huge stadium events such as football games-when it’s played loud over the speakers- there is nothing like it. (great Spin song as well). It kills me to even say this but again I need to get it out there- “Bang a Gong” by T-Rex. Now don’t kill me because I recognize their input into the world of rock and roll but everyone knows this song (and most likely this song only). (Don’t even say Thin Lizzy with “Boys are back in Town” because I’ll scream!!!). “My Sharona” by The Knack may be the best one hit wonder song ever. The song is phenomenal and people forget just how heavy it is. The guitar solo towards the end of the song gets me so psyched that I have to play the song all over again!!! This has to be on Guitar Hero or Rock Band right now!!!!

On the “flower power” side of things one of my all time favorites is Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale.” Supposedly this was one of John Lennon’s favorite songs of all time. I get the chills every time I hear it. You know the feeling, it starts at the back of your neck and trickles down your back.This song is FLAWLESS!!!Or how about “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum? I know some people love it and some hate it. I’m on the loving side. It took a while for Mr. Greenbaum to get the rights to his song back but he can now rest comfortably now as this song has been featured in many major motion pictures. “No Rain” was the 1990’s version of the hippie sound performed by Blind Melon. This song has such a catchy hook and it’s one of the songs that is hard to get out of your head, once it’s in there. The whole arrangement on the song is top notch, it’s such a shame that Shannon passed away. Who knows what could have been. (I know that they are back together so you can stop screaming at your computer screen).

From the “pop” side, one of my favorites is The Foundations “Build Me Up Buttercup.” This is the ideal sing along song. This song brings me back to my late teens and early 20’s and reminds me of a friend I had back then, Kathy, she loved this song. “Magic” by Pilot is pop music at its best, although I will say it does rock somewhat. “Ho, ho, ho, it’s Magic you know..Never believe its not so..” C’mon you know you like it!! “Dancin’ in the Moonlight” by King Harvest is a classic in my opinion. Yes it may now be known as a 1970’s AM radio obscure tune but what does that matter? If it’s good, then who cares how it’s labeled. Now do you want an obscure pop gospel/folk hit? OK- “Put Your Hand in the Hand” by Ocean back in 1971. When is the last time you’ve heard this song? Wow!! I love it!! (I know you’re screaming at your screen again saying these songs are “cheesy.” But who doesn’t like cheese?). The background vocals remind me of the Mama’s & Papa’s.

Well I just wanted to let you all know my favorite “one-hit” wonders. Maybe you agree with some of them or maybe you’re scratching your head. Have I named any song that you do not know, well explore and discover some “new” old songs- you just may like them. “Discovering music, new or old, is what it’s all about.”

Normally for a recent band I would recommend one of their albums, instead of their “greatest hits” package but in the case of The Offspring I highly encourage you to pick up their greatest hits CD. I never realized how many good songs they have and this CD highlights most of them. (I know they have new stuff out, relax). Now parents I am forewarning you- their music is made for adult ears only. Tracks like “Self Esteem” “Hit That” and “Why Don’t You Get a Job” are great tunes but the lyrics are not for the youngsters. “All I Want” is a definite Spin song that is used for an all out sprint!! The song is less than two minutes but packs a solid punch!! “Gone Away” is a song that I totally forgot about and it is so good. “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” is such a fun song and this song reminds me of our “boot camp” days at MBIA. Wow, how many times did we play this song Dave, Tricia, Christie and Nick? I’m dancing around the room now trying to reenact the various exercises we picked. No Dave- I’m not doing the push-ups!!! “Original Prankster” is another fun song which you will not be able to get out of your head. “Defy You” is a kick ass rock song that just sweeps me into a whirl. Put this song with a good set of headphones and you’ll know what I’m talking about. “Hit That” is a great song (musically) but it’s a song that really can’t be played in a crowd. I’ll stop talking now. Of course “Come Out and Play” is on there. “You got to keep ‘em separated..” Sometimes I have to be in the mood to hear this song, some days I love it, other times I skip right over it. Do you have songs like that?Anyway, pick up this CD, I highly recommend it.

Back on this day in 1969, the Beatles performed “Get Back” on the roof top of Apple Records in London for the film “Let It Be.” It was their last “public” performance.

Back on this day in 1973, KISS had its first concert in Queens NY.

If your birthday is today, you share the same birth date with Phil Collins. Happy Birthday Phil!!! He’s has some career, huh?

Next Tuesday Feb. 3 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the saddest days in music history when a plane carrying Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson crashed hours after they performed in Clear Lake, Iowa. Did you know that Dion was also part the of their infamous Winter Dance Party Tour- also known as the tour from hell because of the weather and riding the bus everywhere. Rolling Stone does a nice article in this week’s issue with Bruce on the cover.

January 23, 2009

Weekly Update – 01/23/09

Paul Simon at the Beacon Theater on Fri. & Sat. Feb. 13 and 14. Pre-sale for American Express Cardholders only starts this Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and runs through Sat. Jan. 31 at 10:00 p.m. General public on sale Sun. Feb. 1 at 10:00 a.m. $89.50 – $254.50.

Fall Out Boy at Mohegan Sun on Wed. April 29. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $31.

The Killers at Mohegan Sun on Sat. May 9. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $40.50 – $59.50.

Van Morrison at the WAMU Theater in Madison Square Garden on Sat. Feb. 28. Pre-sale on now through American Express cardholders only until Sat. at 10:00 p.m. General public on sale this Sunday Jan. 25 at 10:00 a.m. $90 -$350.

Tom Jones at Terminal 5 in NYC on Tues. Feb. 24- tickets on sale at noon today – $50; also appearing at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park NJ on Fri. Feb. 27-tickets on sale today at 10:00 a.m. $37.50 – $57.50.

Animal Collective at Terminal 5 on Wed. May 13. Tickets on sale today at noon.  $25.

Fab Faux at Terminal 5 on Sat. Mar. 14. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35. (American Express cardholder pre-sale through 11:00 a.m. this morning)

Rick Springfield at Nokia Theater on Fri. Apr. 3. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only on sale now until noon on Sat. General public on sale tomorrow at noon. $39.50 – $89.50.

Queensryche at Starland Ballroom in NJ on Thurs. May 14 and Nokia Theater in NY on Fri. May 15. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only on sale now until noon on Sat. General public on sale tomorrow at noon. $45.

Ne-Yo with Musiq Soulchild and Jasmine Sullivan at Radio City Music Hall on Fri. Feb. 20. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $39.50 – $79.50.

The Ting Tings at Webster Hall on Mon. March 16. Pre-sale on now through 11:00 this morning for American Express Cardholders only. General public on sale today at noon.$25.

Kris Kristofferson at The Concert Hall (2 West 64th street NYC) on Fri. Apr. 10. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $45 – $55.

Etta James and The Roots at BB Kings on Mon. – Wed. May 10-12. Tickets on sale now. $87.50

Other items:

Beyonce’s version of the Etta James classic “At Last” was spectacular on Tuesday night as President Obama danced with his wife. The entire “moment”, when they danced to the song, will be something that I will never forget. Beyonce’s performance, with all the pressure that had to be on her, will probably go down as the best vocal accomplishment for this century.

Iron Maiden’s feature-length documentary movie “Iron Maiden: Flight 666” will make its debut on April 21. It follows them on the first leg of their “Somewhere Back in Time World Tour 2008” which began in India in Feb. 2008 and ended in Toronto in March 2008.

Bruce Springsteen will make his debut on Guitar Hero next Tues. Jan. 27 when his nationally known “Born to Run” and his new single “My Lucky Day” will be available through download form at Guitar Hero World Tour. His new album “Working on a Dream” will also be released next Tuesday.

Shinedown’s “Second Chance” has really started to pick up steam and is now played on the typical “classic” rock stations, such as I-95 in CT, and the video was released a few weeks ago. I know I love this band but this video is really cool. Check it at http://www.shinedown.com/?eml-Shinedown-1-13-09-website

Album/CD review: “Already Free” by The Derek Trucks Band– As I mentioned last week I was impressed with the 30 second samples on I-Tunes and made the plunge. I have to say that I am quite impressed by the sound and quality of this album. This is Derek’s sixth studio album but my first venture into one of his albums. I have seen him perform with the Allman Brothers more than a few times and have mentioned that the one-two punch that he & Warren Hayes provide is something that needs to be witnessed to know what I am talking about. Back to the album, he does a couple of covers as well as some new material. The album kicks off with a cover of Mr. Dylan’s “Down in The Flood.” He pulls it off as the guitar work is crisp and it sounds like its singing at the end of the song. “Something to Make You Happy” is an upbeat cover that has the feeling of an “Allman Brothers” song and will definitely turn into a jam band special at his live shows. “Maybe This Time” has a Clapton feel to it and is a finger snapping song. “Sweet Inspiration” is an epic gospel song which has a contagious beat and yes you will be swaying your arms back and forth singing “sweet inspiration.” The guitar work is smooth and flawless- give it a listen- the man has talent!! “Don’t Miss Me” has a bluesy twist that keeps you coming back for more. I picture walking into a smoky bar (obviously “back in the day”) and asking yourself- “man who is this?- this band is good.” “Get What You Deserved” is a jukin’ rocking song that will have you dancing in no time. Think Stevie Ray Vaughan (SRV). “Our Love” is my favorite track on the album. This definitely sounds like The Allman’s but its actually Doyle Braham II on vocals (he played with SRV and is the son of Doyle Braham who played with Jimmie Vaughn). Mr. Braham II appears throughout this album.

“Down Don’t Bother Me” kind of reminds me something that the Black Crowes would do. It has that funky blues sound that slowly surrounds you and lifts you off the ground. “Days Is Almost Gone” continues the blues portion of this album as Mr. Trucks skills on guitar are highlighted again. “Back Where I Started” was written by Derek and Warren Hayes and features the beautiful voice of Derek’s wife, Susan Tedeschi. This could be the best song on the album. Her voice will hypnotize you, it’s amazing the talent that this young couple has. They are “old school” at its best. “I Know” goes back to that Allman sound and reminds me of when Dickie Betts was in the band. “Already Free” is flat out phenomenal. This man has skills beyond his age. The bonus track on I-Tunes is “Goin’ Home” and this song is the perfect ending to the album.

When it’s all said and done, this is a super solid album and deserves your attention. If you get a chance to see him perform live, you need to jump on it- either his band or the Allman Brothers. The man has massive skills on guitar and has to definitely be mentioned as one of the best new guitarists out today.

I received a request to name the top 10 “train” songs of all-time. Ok here they are, based on my opinion:

10.     Waiting for a Train – Jimmie Rodgers- The man “who started it all.” He was a brakeman on a train at the age of 14. Top that!!

9.     Train of Consequences – Megadeth- This is the metal train to the land of head-banging. Enjoy the ride.

8.     Love in Vain – Rolling Stones- Slowing it down a whole bit, this bluesy twist will have you waiting for the train to come into the station.

7.     Rock N Roll Train – AC/DC- a newcomer but already a classic. ‘Nuff said.

6.     Loco-Motion – Grand Funk Railroad- c’mon what does a train ride on? Why a “Railroad” of course and “loco” is part of the locomotive.

5.     Crazy Train– Ozzy- Unforgettable “All Aboard..ha, ha, ha, ha, ay, ay, ay” This song has now turned into an anthem at most sporting events. Phenomenal.

4.     Train Kept a Rollin’ – Aerosmith- their classic cover appears on “Get Your Wings” an under-rated album in my opinion.

3.     Peace Train – Cat Stevens- Boy do we ever need to listen to the words of this song. This is a beautiful song that hooks you in and my wish is for these words to come true.

2.     Midnight Train to Georgia– Gladys Knight & The Pips- How cool is the groove in this song? Do they make songs like this anymore? I think not!!

1.     Love Train – The O’Jays- It kills me that this song is now associated with a beer commercial but one can not deny the greatness. This is another song where we all need to listen and act on the lyrics.

(now I know some of you will be screaming for “Night Train” by G’N’R and “Long Train Running” by the Doobie Brothers- solid songs but they make my top 15 as opposed to top 10)

“And 5, now this is most important, Rat…comes down to making out… whenever possible.. put on side 1 of Led Zeppelin IV

Side 1 of “Double Vision”-Foreigner.

Ok the year is 1978 and at this point I considered myself a “rocker” at the young age of 13. To be more specific, it was the summer of ’78 when it was released and having been introduced to the world of Foreigner the year before, I couldn’t wait for what was to come next. Foreigner was put together in 1976 by Mick Jones (lead guitar) and Ian MacDonald (guitar, keyboards). They pulled in a young lad by the name of Lou Gramm (by now all of you know I wanted to be Lou Gramm) to sing-Al Greenwood on synthesizer-Ed Gagliardi on bass-and Mr. Dennis Elliot on drums. These six men put out some great music in their day and side 1 of Double Vision is without a doubt- a classic album side.

From the opening licks of “Hot Blooded” to the unknown rocker-“Love Has Taken It’s Toll,” this album side goes by in a “blink of an eye” because it’s that good. Put on “Hot Blooded” and tell me you don’t get pumped? I can’t understand why this song is not on Guitar Hero or Rock Band? They need me to make the set lists for those games. Are you kidding me? Mick’s guitar solo is the icing on the cake for this tune as I am in full “air-guitar” motion. And you have to listen to this song LOUD!!! Tell me Lou Gramm is not one of the best rock and roll vocalists ever? Track #2 “Blue Morning Blue Day” is the sleeper on this album. This song creeps up on you and it stays in your brain. You think back and say to yourself “man that song is good!!” “Well honey don’t telephone because I won’t be alone…” How good is Mr. Elliot’s drum skills on this song? Listen carefully and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Then it’s on to one of my all-time favorite songs by Foreigner- “You’re All I Am.” I sing this song to my wife always!!! Talk about passion? This could be Lou’s best vocals ever on any song that they recorded. The guitar work on “Back Where You Belong”, especially the beginning, is top notch. This is another infectious song that you can not stop singing. “And I started wondering, as I picked up the phone… you treat me like a fool but you’re so wrong.” Mick Jones actually does the vocals on this song- I know the “Foreigner” fan knows that- but I just wanted to point it out. (He sings on at least one song on every album they made).Then the last track “Love Has Taken It’s Toll” has one of the best rock and roll grooves ever. I just picture myself singing the lead (if Lou would let me) in a crowded bar as I know every nook and cranny of this song. Or I could lip sync this song next to Lou and not disappoint. And poof just like that, side one is over. (side 2 has some good tracks as well- “Double Vision,” “Tramontane” and “Lonely Children.”).

“Double Vision” has sold over 5 million copies since its release. Foreigner has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide, including 57.5 million in the U.S. alone. (stick that in your pipe and smoke it). Now I know Mick Jones is still touring and making albums, but like Axl, he’s using the name as he is the only one left. It’s cool but no matter who he gets to sing, nobody can come close to Lou Gramm. When Lou left, there really is no reason to call it Foreigner. I digress, please if you want great rock and roll- purchase Double Vision. (and of course their debut album as well as Head Games).

Hey let me know what you think about this, I think The Cult may be in a position to take Theory of a Deadman to court. Listen to “Fire Woman” (by The Cult) and then listen to “Bad Girlfriend.” I think Theory may have ripped off more than a couple of riffs from “Fire Woman”- listen to the main guitar part in “Girlfriend” and tell me that doesn’t sound like the main guitar part in “Fire?”

Rod Stewart has denied that there will be a “Faces” reunion tour this year. Rumors are flying that Flea will be the bassist on the tour.

Country group Little Big Town is looking for opening acts for its forthcoming headlining “A Place To Land” tour (I’m definitely in) and is using events Web site Eventful to help choose the winners. Fans and musicians can log on to www.eventful.com/littlebigtown to participate. The competition runs through 5 p.m. Feb. 27. The winning bands will be announced later that night. The top four acts will perform at different stops on the tour during March. Once the bands are registered for the competition, the rest is up to the support of their fans, who can bolster their favorite acts’ chances by using Eventful’s Demand service.

Back on this day in 1986, the first inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were introduced and included Elvis, Chuck Berry and Fats Domino.

Sadly back on this day in 1978, Terry Kath (lead guitarist of Chicago) accidentally and fatally shot himself.

Back on this day in 1962, Tony Bennett recorded his classic “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

January 16, 2009

Weekly Update – 01/16/09

3 Doors Down at the Mohegan Sun on Fri. Feb. 27. Pre-sale tickets on sale now thru fan club. General public on sale this Monday at 10:00 a.m.   $45.

Kenney Chesney with Lady Antebellum and Sugarland at Mohegan Sun on Sat. Apil 18. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.  $95 – $125.

For Parents: Jesse McCartney at Nokia Theater on Thurs. Feb. 26. Pre-sale on now through American Express Cardholders and Z-100. General public on sale tomorrow at noon.  $27.50.

Public Enemy at BB Kings on Sun. Mar. 15. Tickets on sale next Tues. Jan. 20 at 10:00 a.m.  $25 ($30 day of show).

Other items:

Congratulations to the new members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Wanda Jackson, Bill Black, D.J. Fontana, Dewey Oldman, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Bobby Womack, Jeff Beck (his second time in- the first with the Yardbirds back in 1992), Run DMC and Metallica. All are very deserving!! Yes DMC belongs in the Hall, no question. Now of course you know my focus is on Metallica. I would say this section is called “Ode to Metallica”:

As I watched their press conference yesterday I was “beaming with pride.” To see the guys up on the podium with the flash bulbs popping and all the pomp & circumstance surrounding them was probably something they never envisioned when they started this band more than 25 years ago. For those of you who know me, the ultimate joy would be for the NY Jets to win the Super Bowl- now I won’t say that this reaches that point but this is way up there. I’ve been “on a high” since it was announced and was telling everyone that I knew that they were in. (of course everyone looked at me like “who cares?”) Well I’m not even going there- that tells you how happy I am. I guess one of the reasons I feel this way is because for years I had to wait while many other people’s favorite bands were inducted and I always felt that I needed something to “defend” the bands that I am drawn to. Of course this now means that I am older (as you need 25 years experience to be even nominated). But METALLICA IS IN THE HALL OF FAME!!!

Now as I have mentioned, I joined the Metallica band wagon on the “Black” album. (Then subsequently went back and dove head first into their first four albums, five if you include the “$5.99 album”). The opening licks to “Enter Sandman” hooked me in and never let go. From that song on through “The Struggle Within” I can honestly say that I think that I have listened to this album more than any other one that I own. I can remember one time- some people driving next to my car on the Jersey Parkway, staring and pointing fingers as I was headbanging to “Through The Never.” As I looked over and dying of embarrassment, they just stuck their thumbs up at me. I became obsessed with this band. I went to all their concerts every time they hit the NY area. One particular stop at the Garden, in March 1997 I believe, was the one concert I will never forget because before the lights went off, out came the boys whipping up a sizzling rendition of “So What.” The stage was in the center of the Garden and they totally kicked the Garden’s ass that night (as they do on every night they play). That is the one thing that I will say to those who are still on the fence about these guys, you see them live ONCE and you will be hooked. You won’t be “dipping your toe” in the water- you will also be “diving head first” and want to see them every time they come back to your town.

Another special night was when they played with The St. Luke’s Orchestra at Madison Square Garden in Nov. 1999. That night, I introduced many of my family members to Metallica live as they sat in the MBIA corporate box. I, of course, was not in the box but in the stands soaking up the atmosphere. (There are a few bands you just can’t see “up top” and these guys are one of them). I was proud of them that night as they did not disappoint. Then my brother convinced his friend to come see them live at Giants Stadium (Jerry Cantrell was the opener). In the beginning he didn’t know what to expect, by the end of the night he was saying that it was the best concert he had ever seen. It brought a smile to my face as I thought “another satisfied customer.” On July 8, 2003, I brought some of the boys from MBIA (we took the day off) to see them at Giants Stadium on the hottest day of the year. They ate it up- again more satisfied customers.

I could go on and on about the shows but that gives you an idea of how many other people I dragged into the world of Metallica. In my mid-thirties I joined their fan club (a secret that few knew) but now you all know. I was a member for at least 8 years. Yes I know, “don’t teenagers do that sort of stuff?” Well hey I’m a teenager at heart and always have been. This band gets me psyched like no other.

As the accolades rained down and the questions were being asked of them up there on the podium, I was struck on how comfortable they look as a band. They answered every question “professionally” and seemed as elated as I was, to be up there. As James said, this is a day that happens once and only once. (This is why I was so angered two years ago when Van Halen blew it when certain members didn’t show up). This is a day to celebrate. I hung on their every word and somehow I wish I could make their introduction to the audience in Cleveland on Apr. 4. (shown live on FUSE). There better be somebody up there who appreciates Metallica and James stated that they would do the right thing and not just take anyone to “get up the ratings.” (Like when Velvet Revolver did that putrid job of introducing Van Halen). They were all very grateful to be voted in. One thing that sticks out in my mind is when Robert stated that “playing with these guys is like being teenagers all over again in the garage.” Music is passion. Metallica exudes passion, always has and always will. I can now scream out to the world “METALLICA IS IN THE HALL OF FAME!!!!” \M/ \M/ \M/ \M/ (by the way you can watch the press conference at www.metallica.com ).

Remember a few weeks back my oldest son gave me the idea of naming my top ten songs from a band, well this week I thought of Chicago. This is a band I have always respected and I definitely lean towards the early days with Terry Kath. OK here it is:

10.          Just You N Me– Just a great infectious song that keeps you singing all day long. . Love the part “come hold me close, never release me..”

9.           Dialogue (Part I & II)– This is one of the best “duets” that Chicago ever did, the passion and the lyrics really set this song apart from the rest.

8.            Poem 58– This could be the best “guitar” song ever. These guys were the one of the original “jam” bands and this is an unknown classic.

7.           25 or 6 to 4– This could be the best “guitar” song ever- didn’t I already say that? Come on this song rocks!!!

6.            Old Days– “Good times I remember… Fun days, filled with simple pleasures.” Can you say it any better? Love the horns.

5.           Saturday in the Park– No matter how many times I hear this song, I still love it. This song has everything for the whole family. My kids even like this “old stuff.”

4.           Make Me Smile– How cool is this song? I love the drums, the piano and the phenomenal vocals.

3.          Questions 67 and 68– Brilliant masterpiece, ‘nuff said!!

2.          Colour My World– This song cracks my top 25 songs of all time. I’m just mesmerized when I hear it. The opening piano notes stop me in my tracks. I told my boys they need to perform this song on the flute and piano.

1.           Feelin’ Stronger Every Day– This song just “gets me” every time. I could listen to this song all day.

My favorite “old school” song of the week is “Everybody Plays The Fool” by the Main Ingredient. “Falling in love is such an easy thing to do…” They just don’t make songs like this any more.

This past Tuesday Derek Trucks released a new CD called “Already Free.” I have to tell you I am pretty sure that this is going to become a purchase for me. The 30 second previews on I-Tunes sound stellar. He has his wife, Susan Tedeschi, help out, as well as Warren Hayes (does this guy get any sleep?) and many others. Check it out!!

My I-POD shuffle came across “Will It Go Round in Circles” by the legendary Billy Preston and I was blown away on how “fresh” the song still sounds today. I went back through my catalog and listened to Preston all week long. How great was this man? Did you know that he started his career at the young age of 16 when he played the organ and piano on Sam Cooke’s legendary “Night Beat” album back in 1963. Check out the cool playing of the organ on “Little Red Rooster” and tell me you’re not hooked? Fast forward to the 1970’s with “Outa Space” –go ahead, try and tell me you don’t like songs with an organ in it. Better yet, buy the video for it on I-Tunes and witness the greatness. Now as many of you are probably aware, Mr. Preston was one of only two musicians who played with The Beatles and The Stones. He was often known as the “5th Beatle” and he actually played along the Beatles when they performed their final public appearance- the famous “rooftop gig” in London. He’s played with so many including Ray Charles on down to the band Jet.

My favorite Billy Preston song is “I Wrote a Simple Song” because its all about passion and as you know passion is the main ingredient for me when I choose the artists I love the most. Did you know that Mr. Preston wrote “You Are So Beautiful?” made popular by Joe Cocker? His version is fantastic as well. If you want to witness Billy at one of his best moments, then you need to purchase the “Concert for George” DVD (or CD). This is my favorite music DVD of all time and Billy is one of the main reasons why- he is flat out phenomenal through-out the whole show. His blistering version of “My Sweet Lord” will knock you right off your couch. He also does a beautiful version of “Isn’t It a Pity.”

I really can’t say enough about this man. It is such a shame that he left us at such a young age of 59 back on June 6, 2006. But he left us with a legacy of music that will last forever. Please folks, pass it on to your children, siblings or anyone else you can think of. And make sure they pass it on down to their sons & daughters. The legend of Billy Preston lives on!!!

Primus leader, Les Claypool, will be releasing a solo album called “Of Fungi and Foe” on Mar. 17 and there is actually a song called “You Can’t Tell Errol Anything.” How apropos, right?

Radiohead is supposedly releasing a rare EP called “Drill” on vinyl on April 21 and it will have 12 singles from their catalog. They have also donated a single “MK1” from their In Rainbows disc to a TV ad campaign for the homeless.

Def Leppard and Poison have apparently mended fences and are in negotiations to tour this summer. Watch out for the spandex!!

Back on this day in 1980, Paul McCartney was jailed in Toyko for possession of marijuana.

Back on this day in 1965, the first Guess Who record was released- “Shakin’ All Over.”

Back on this day in 1976, the Donny & Marie variety show debuted. 1976? Are you kidding me?

If you were born on this day, you share a birth date with Jim Stafford (“I don’t like spiders & snakes”) and Barbara Lynn (“You’ll lose a good thing”).

January 9, 2009

Weekly Update – 01/09/09

Morrisey at the Bowery Ballroom & Webster Hall on Sat. Mar. 21 and Wed. Mar. 25. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m. $75

Allman Brothers are back with their annual trek at the Beacon Theater for their March Madness. (last years shows were cancelled as Gregg battled Hep C) They will play the following dates: Mar. 9,10, 12-14, 16, 17 and 19-21. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only on this morning at 10:00 a.m. until next Thurs. Mar. 15 at 10:00 p.m. General public on sale next Friday Jan. 16 at 10:00 a.m. $60.99 – $150.99

David Byrne at Radio City Music Hall on Sat. Feb. 28. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m. until Sun. Jan. 11 at 9:00 p.m. General public on sale this Mon. Jan. 12 at 10:00 a.m. $39.50 – $129.50.

Dave Matthews Band with at Madison Square Garden on Tues. April 14. Tickets on sale next Sat. Jan. 17 at 10:00 a.m.  $70.

George Clinton & the P-Funk Allstars at B.B. Kings on Thurs Feb. 26. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $37.50.

The Dead (yes that’s right the surviving members of the Grateful Dead- Warren Hayes will be lead guitarist) at the Nassau Coliseum, Madison Square Garden and Izod Center on Fri., Sat. & Tues. Apr. 24, 25 and 28 & 29. Pre-sale tickets go on sale on Tues. Jan. 13. General public on sale Fri. Jan. 23. For more info go to http://dead.net/dead09

Phish at Jones Beach on Thurs. & Fri. June 4 and 5 and at Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden NJ on Sun. June 7. Limited number of pre-sale tickets for $49.50 at the following site: http://phish.portals.musictoday.com/ General public tickets on sale Sat. Jan. 30 at 10:00 a.m.

George Thorogood & The Destroyers at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Mon. & Tues. Mar. 16 & 17, at Capital One Theater in Westbury on Thurs. Mar. 19. (and a few other places in the Northeast). Ticket info to follow (but you know the Ridgefield ticket prices will be steep).

Other items:

OK you know I just write about music (but you know I love it, right?!!) well there is someone else in my family that actually makes music. His name is Devin Arne and believe me folks- the music is in him!!And he is sharing it with the rest of us. I am not saying this just because he is my aunt & uncle’s son. I’ve always had a hunch that he is going to make it big and now I have the proof. Log on to www.devinarne.com click on to the link under the “soundcloud” heading and listen to “Why Are You Leaving.” (this should be on the radio right now) He also remixes songs, take a listen to “I Can See.” I can honestly say that I would purchase these two songs in a heartbeat!!! Devin- very impressive and I can’t wait for the first album release. Keep us posted!!

OK folks just got word that the Metallica shows have been lights out. The set list looks flat out phenomenal. I want in!! Please I beg of you, if you have never experienced a live show from the boys from California, please go to one of the shows in the tri-state area. If you don’t like it, I’ll refund your money. I myself, am waiting for them to come to Madison Square Garden. I can’t do the Nassau or New Jersey venues, it’s just not the same energy and excitement- but that is just me- you may feel differently.

I have to admit I enjoyed watching VH1’s Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of all time last week during the holidays. I could do without the comedians that they get to make the silly comments. I want fellow musicians only (and maybe music critics) because I like to hear how other bands/solo artists appreciate other artists- that will always be interesting to me. Bret Michaels did a good job as host. Now I’ve seen many disparaging comments about the list but I have to say overall I agree with the majority of the songs on the list. I absolutely love the fact that Foreigner made the list with “Hot Blooded.” They kind of get the “pop” label but if you are a true fan of Foreigner- you know the real deal. Also loved the fact that Sammy Hagar made the list with “I Can’t Drive 55”- I caught a lot of grief one weekly update for saying that is one of my all time favorite songs. Or how about “Breaking The Law” by Judas Priest!!! I LOVE that friggin’ song!!! (reminds me of the old Beavis & Butthead shows where they were always singing “breaking the law, breaking the law”). Or how about “Jailbreak” by Thin Lizzy? Ha!! Told you!! These guys are so under-rated it sickens me. Listen to this song and tell me it doesn’t belong on the list??!!! Are you kidding me???- this song rocks your socks off!!!!! I said that AC/DC would finish first with “Back in Black” or “For Those About to Rock”- well “Back in Black” finished # 2. (“For Those” did not make the list). The number one song was “Welcome to The Jungle” by Guns & Roses!! I can’t really disagree.

Rumor has it that Aretha Franklin will be among one of the stars performing at President-elect Barack Obama inauguration on Jan. 20. Bruce Springsteen is rumored to be playing on Jan. 18 at the National Mall.

Apparently this Led Zeppelin tour without Mr. Plant is destined to happen. Mr. Page is currently auditioning singers for the upcoming tour. One rumor has Steven Tyler performing lead vocals. (That peaks my interest a little bit- a little bit- got to admit).

Styx will perform the national anthem prior to the Steelers-Chargers game this Sunday. They will also perform an a capella version of their classic “Renegade” which has become a battle cry for Steeler fans cheering on the defense. I hope they show both songs on TV. Please CBS do the right thing!!!

My favorite old school song of the week is “Love Removal Machine” by The Cult from their monster album “Electric.” This song also made the top 100 hard rock songs of all time.

“And 5, now this is most important, Rat…comes down to making out… whenever possible.. put on side 1 of Led Zeppelin IV

Abbey Road – Side 2- The Beatles

Ok this is easily a “classic” album in total and side 1 is no slouch (especially “I Want You”) but side 2 could be the best album side of all time. (yes Ed- I agree). The reason for this is the 16-minute “medley” of short songs that blended into each other, which for 1969 was well ahead of its time. These short songs were mostly written during the “White album” and “Let It Be” sessions but mastered for Abbey Road.

Abbey Road was recorded between July and August 1969, this work was started after the Beatles actually started to work on “Let It Be.” (which officially is their 12th and last album). Tensions between the band members were very high when they started work on Let It Be (the first name was actually going to be “Get Back”). It became so bad that the sessions ended. Sensing the end, Paul McCartney approached George Martin (producer) and suggested that they record an album together “like the way they use to.” McCartney wanted to go out on top. Martin agreed but wanted it done his way. Just before the release in September 1969, John Lennon was in hiatus with The Plastic Ono Band, which effectively was the first sign of the conclusion of the Beatles

Side Two starts off with the classic “Here Comes the Sun” written by George Harrison. His two songs on this album are so beautiful, it is just amazing the talent this man had. I love the that soft guitar touch that radiates throughout the song. The song was written while George was bored in a Apple board meeting, it was influenced by Eric Clapton’s “Badge.” By the way Joe Brown does a great version on the “Concert for George” DVD. (you should all own that!!) “Because” is a song that puts me in a trance. I can’t get enough of the harmonizing vocals. The vocals were performed by John, Paul and George but then were “triple-tracked” to make it seem like 9 singers. This could be their best “harmonizing” song. Then the “medley” starts: “You Never Give Me Your Money” was written by Paul and supposedly based on the financial problems with Apple. I love the part where they say “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 hope that you will go to heaven…” “Sun King”reminds me of “Because” with the overdubbing of the harmonies again. It is so soft that you kind of float away, especially during the Spanish lyrics. Then it kicks into gear with the catchy “Mean Mr. Mustard”- written by John on their trip to India. Before you know Polythene Pam is right in your lap with the great drumming part by Ringo that keeps you rocking along. And the guitar solo by George really adds the spice. “Oh Look Out” as your are now in the bathroom waiting for someone to come through as “She Came in the Bathroom Window” blares through your headphones. How cool are Paul’s riffs on the bass? (song was written by Paul based on a true story of a fan coming through his bathroom window in his residence). Then it’s on to my favorite two songs on the album “Golden Slumbers” and “Carry That Weight.” It is hard to find two better songs in the history of music. I get the chills every time I hear Paul’s passion. And then how great is “Carry That Weight?” Ringo was “forced” into doing the drum solo-which to me is the best solo in any song- simple but great. Then as Paul, George and John rip into the guitar solos, you are sitting there saying “Is this the Beatles?” This is almost “metal.” I LOVE IT!!! It is so LOUD right now that I may be waking up my wife and kids!!! Then just like that- you are really floating away with the piano- as the song comes to its majestic end. “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” These could also be the best lyrics ever. “Her Majesty” lasts 23 seconds but is a solid punch that makes you want more.

Fun Facts: Abbey Road was the only Beatles album that was recorded on an 8-track tape machine rather than the 4-track used on all prior albums. The “moog synthesizer” played by George was used in many of the songs, including “Because,” “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” and “Here Comes The Sun.” One of the assistant engineers on the album was Alan Parson’s- who went on to engineer one of the most popular albums ever- “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd and of course- the Alan Parson’s project. The photographer for the album, Iain McMillian, was given 10 minutes to snap the photo- this photo for the album cover has been the most famous and imitated in history. Rollingstone named it the 14th best album of all time from their list of the top 500. Again, side one is fantastic but side two is historic.

The son of “The Big Bopper” a.k.a. J.P. Richardson, who died along with Buddy Holly and Richie Valens in a plane crash in 1959, is selling his father’s casket-which he was buried in for 48 years- on E-Bay. In 2007, his son moved his body to a “more visible” location and now has this empty casket. I don’t know about you but that is creepy. I sort of understand Gene Simmons selling “Kiss” caskets before you leave earth but selling caskets after someone has been buried in it? I’m out.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Ron Asheton, 60, the guitarist for The Stooges, who passed away on Jan. 6. He was found at his home in Ann Arbor Michigan, there was no sign of foul play or drug use.

Back on this day in 1971, Elvis Presley was named one of the ten outstanding young men of the year by the U.S. Jaycees.

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with Joan Baez, Crystal Gayle, Dave Matthews, David Johansen and Jimmy Page. Happy Birthday to you all!!!

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