Errols Weekly Music Update.

October 30, 2009

Weekly Update – Rocktober 30, 2009

U2 will be at the “new” Meadowlands Stadium (future home of the NY Jets and NY Giants) on Mon. July 17, 2010. Ticket info to follow. (It’s so disappointing to see that their new album “No Line on the Horizon” has done poorly with sales. Folks this will most likely be the best album of 2009 when I put out the top ten albums toward the end of the year. What are you waiting for? Why just because it doesn’t have a “hit” song? I will say it again-this is their best album since Joshua Tree and may be a little better in my opinion).

Sting with special guest Chris Botti at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine (1047 Amsterdam Avenue NY) on Tues. & Wed. Dec. 8 & 9 for the “Winter’s Night” concert (his new album). Pre-sale tickets for fan club begins today. General public tickets on sale this Monday Nov. 2 at noon. $75, $150 and $300.

The Greyboy Allstars at New York Fillmore on Sat. Dec. 19. Tickets on sale today at noon. (Live Nation Event).

Wolfmother at the Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn on Mon. Nov. 9. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders on now until 11:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $27.50

J. Geils Band at the Mohegan Sun on Thurs. Dec. 31. Tickets on this morning at 10:00 a.m. $50.

Patti Smith at Bowery Ballroom on Tues.-Thurs. Dec. 29-31. Tickets on sale today at noon. $40

Artic Monkeys have added another date for Terminal 5 on Thurs. Dec. 10. Tickets on sale today at noon. $34.50 ($39.50 day of show).

Al Green at the Wellmont Theater on Sun. Feb. 14, 2010. Tickets on sale today at noon. $45, $75 and $95.

Between the Buried and Me at New York Fillmore on Sat. Jan. 30, 2010. Tickets on sale today at noon.

Dave Mason at BB King Blues Club on Tues. Jan. 19, 2010. Tickets on sale now. $28.50

Other items:

Eric Clapton had to bow out of tonight’s second show at the Garden for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concerts. He was set to play tonight along with U2, Aretha Franklin and Metallica. (Last night was The Boss, CS&N, Stevie Wonder and Simon & Garfunkle). Clapton is recovering from gallstone surgery and he will be replaced by Jeff Beck.

The “Boo of the week” (no, not Halloween related) goes to Bon Jovi, Ticket Master and I’d also have to throw in American Express into the fray as well. As I mentioned in last week’s update, pre-sale tickets for Bon Jovi shows at the new Meadowlands Stadium next May began this past Monday at 10:00 a.m. What I didn’t know was that in order to buy these “pre-sale” tickets you also had to purchase Bon Jovi’s new album – “The Circle”- which is due out Nov. 10. Now I’m a fan of Bon Jovi , but don’t force me to buy their new album. Second, you all know how I feel about Ticketmaster- not only do they go along with this nonsense (as well as American Express) but they throw Bon Jovi under the bus and point the finger at them.

Not so fast Ticket Master, it was time for you to stand up and say “No!! We can’t do that because we are already ripping the face off of our customers, we can’t afford to charge any more to the consumer.” [But not to be outdone by Bon Jovi- at the very end of their site before you click on “submit” to purchase tickets, Ticket Master has the GALL to offer the consumer “ticket insurance” on the delivery of those tickets that are ordered. Wait, isn’t that your job?- To deliver the tickets to the consumer-So after all the “add-on” charges to your ticket (which adds up to almost the price of the original ticket), they “highly recommend” that you click on the “yes” button for an additional $7 so you have insurance? I couldn’t click “no” fast enough but at that point I think a vessel had burst in my head because I couldn’t see the screen after a while].

[Update: My good friend Frank pointed out that I need to read the fine print and the $7 was not a delivery insurance charge, it had something to do with actual insurance in the sense that if something bad happened to you that you’d be able to turn the ticket over to someone. Still a useless fee].

I am so out of my mind with this sick way of trying to make the public spend more of their hard earned money on useless fees and then for Bon Jovi to be the first band (that I know of) to charge an additional $11 for an album that I do not want, just to be able to see them in concert?? This is so outrageous, so sickening that I want to throw up. I would assume by now that Bon Jovi has some “money for a rainy day” and really don’t need to exploit their fan base like this. Is this a way to make them get the number 1 sales on Billboard? Why wouldn’t they let their album do the talking and then let the people will decide if they want to buy it?

You see folks this is what happens when a monopoly like TicketMaster is the only game in town. Bon Jovi probably figured well…”we can’t beat ‘em so let’s join ‘em.” Let us also reap in the business of ripping the consumer off because there is no other competitor. Why not, right? Who cares about the consumer? No one seems to care and imagine if the Government stepped in to help out? They would be lambasted for getting involved in the private sector, right? But…..wasn’t it the right thing to do when the Government forced “Ma Bell” into many different companies to entice competition and offer customers variety? No one seems to care. Kudos to Pearl Jam for giving them a long fight and shame on the rest of the industry that did not back Pearl Jam up. I for one, wish that I could never give Ticketmaster one penny more for the rest of my life but I love going to concerts and they have me between a rock and a hard place. Now bands will be coming out of the woodwork for these “pre-sale”rules to make sure you never squirm out of that rock & hard place. So thank you Bon Jovi, thank you American Express, thank you Amazon-thanks for colluding against the consumer (isn’t this illegal?)and please Ticketmaster: don’t EVER thank me for my business- I am a disgruntled consumer and you will NEVER be able to appease me, NEVER!!! (Whew… I need to calm down… I know…)

My favorite “old school” song of the week belongs to Tony Orlando & Dawn with their fantastic “Knock Three Times.” “Hey girl what’s you doing down there?… I can hear your music playing…” Is this the ultimate “sing-a-long” song or what? Love the “twice on the pipe” sound effect. I’d go see Tony in a heartbeat, he’s still around. Who’s in?

Fall Out Boy will release a greatest hits album on Nov. 16- “Believers Never Die”- I like these guys but didn’t they just begin their career like 5 years ago? Well I guess everyone releases a “best of” so they might as well. Very strange and one of the songs on it, is a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” (That tells me they needed a few more years before a “greatest hits” should be released).

As I mentioned last week, the article about Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead) in Rolling Stone magazine was so interesting to me that I had to read it again. He was kicked out of his original band-“Hawkwind”- because he did too many drugs (or rather too much of the wrong drug-speed). The author equated Lemmy to a Japanese soldier stranded on a remote island who never learned that the war was over because he has been doing the same thing since the 1970’s. Apparently there are 138 types of bourbon in the U.S. and he has finished off a bottle of each. Ozzy was quoted as saying “I don’t know how the guy breathes.” Motorhead has always been the band that everyone says is the loudest act out of anyone in the history of music, at a concert in England in 1981 they played on a stage made out of speakers-117,000 watts. The story has it that a man that lived 4 miles away called police to complain that he couldn’t hear his television. Lemmy is “old school” and guys like him fascinate me to no end. I would like to live in his shoes for two days, one day just hanging out and the other day when he has a gig.

Chris Cornell is re-working his latest album –“Scream”- (that’s what most of his fans did) and he is losing Timbaland as the producer and is reworking all the tracks to be a rock album. Very disappointing sales his given Chris a change of heart to go back to what he does best-rock on. Can the reunion of Soundgarden be far behind? It’s only a matter of time.

Metallica has offered an additional $50,000 to a reward to find a missing 20-year old woman-Morgan Dana Harrington- who disappeared after seeing Metallica perform live at John Paul Jone Theater in Virginia on Sat. Rocktober 17. Police are now treating this as a criminal matter. She apparently left the arena during the show and was told there were “no re-entries.” She informed her friends not to worry that she would find her way home. The total reward is now $150,000 for information that will lead to her recovery. Whew, this is a tough one, hopefully she is found safe and sound.

Album Review: “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse released on Rocktober 4, 2006.

Ok everyone knows about Amy Winehouse and all of her struggles these past few years as she tries to straighten out her life (my assumption) as she seems to be the headlines on many tabloids here in the U.S. and England as well. And I for one hope that she comes out of it all right because I want her to get back to making great music. This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “He Can Only Hold Her” and I immediately went back to listen to this classic album. Yes I know it’s only three years since she made it but I’m calling it a classic and not just because she has that “old school” sound (which helps) but she keeps it contemporary and fresh sounding.

The album kicks off with “Rehab” and you know that you love this song. You know that you have sung the part when she says “No, No, No…” This track makes you dance in your seat while you’re driving your car (not advocating that) and hand slap the steering wheel as you make believe you’re playing the drums. I remember seeing a “grandmother” moving and singing to this song as we were at a party. It just puts a smile on your face even though it really is a serious song about her life-again it’s weird how music can make a sad or serious topic into a fun dancing song? Isn’t it? Track # 2-“You Know I’m Good”- is a “funk-a-vibe” track that makes you squint your eyes and lips as you try to match Amy’s vocals. So many influences as you hear that early “girl band” R&B influence but mixes in today’s rap style music and the concoction just works. “Me & Mr. Jones” really reminds me of that late 1950’s or early 1960’s sound that emanated from those old style radio players. I would even dare say that my father would like this song because of the “doo-wop” sound (but don’t tell him it’s someone from today, make believe it was an artist from the 1950’s).“Just Friends” fast forwards to the 1970’s with sort of a Jamaican style sound that will get you up on the dance floor with that someone special. Track # 5- the title track- sounds like “Baby Love” by the Supremes for me. I can just picture Amy with a set of headphones on her ears in the studio recording this tune, her vocals are crystal clear and sung perfectly.

“Love is a Losing Game” heads back to that classic R&B sound and to me conjures up images of Aretha if I dare say. There is a certain softness that Amy has (despite her image) which captivates you and commands your attention. Track # 7-“Tears Dry on Their Own”- samples the 1960’s classic-“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (written by Ashford & Simpson). I would have to say that when you hear the melody you are constantly waiting to hear Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell to come in with their vocals, so even though the song is good, there are some songs that are untouchable and maybe in this case, it should have been left alone. (By the way Marvin & Tammi made the best duets ever in the history of music). “Wake Up Alone” is “old school” again and I would say that this song highlights what is so special about Ms. Whinehouse. Her vocal on this track are spectacular and makes me hope that she comes back to making music. “Some Unholy War” is a short tune that fits perfect in a smoky bar lounge as the blues rushing out of the speakers will take you back as you realize that she was born in 1983. Are you kidding me? The music is in her and this song proves it. The last track, the aforementioned “He Can Only Hold Her” is one of the best tracks on the album and my oldest son swears that she took the chords from John Legend’s “Slow Dance” from his album “Once Again.” But I’d say that Amy’s song came out twenty days before Legend’s album, so who is copying who? And believe me I’m not knocking Legend- I think he’s great-so now you have two great songs to download.

Like I mentioned, hopefully Winehouse emerges soon with a new album because she has talent which can not be denied. Her first album “Frank” was actually released in the U.S. after “Black” became so popular. That album was released in Britain back in 2003 and many swear that is better than “Black.” Either way you can’t go wrong with picking up one or the other album. The woman has “it.”


As mentioned in last week’s page my youngest son (12 yrs. old) wanted to get into the fray on this page (and not just let his older brother contribute) and he wanted us to compare our favorite Rolling Stones songs. Again I did not look at his list until after I was done with my favorites. This is real tough because they have so many great songs but here goes, my favorites are in blue and my son’s are in red, (if I could have eleven songs-my 11th would be “Tumbling Dice”):

10.     Rocks Off-This classic track that kicks off “Exile on Mainstreet” (which many say is the best Stones album- you know my favorite- “Let It Bleed.”) has it all- rocking groove, piano, guitar, drums and an unbelievable horn section. I wonder when they were recording this song if they knew they had a homerun? Over the years, they must have had many of those moments. This is pure rock and roll.

10.     Midnight Rambler – This song is a classic, but the reason why it’s number 10 on my list is that the song was just a little too long for me. Still it’s a great song.

9.     Ruby Tuesday-Every time I hear this song, I stop whatever I’m doing and concentrate on this phenomenal tune. Jagger’s vocals are spot on and it’s almost impossible to not sing the chorus- “Goodbye Ruby Tuesday.. who could hang a name on you…” Mr. Watts drumming is very simple but yet is the best part of the song.

9.     Jumping Jack Flash – When I first listen to “Forty Licks” this song just stayed in my head because of the chorus. It is such a fun song to sing along to.

8.     Paint It Black When I hear this song I just picture a snake coming out of a bottle (remember that Abbott & Costello movie?) because of the middle eastern melody. This track was so different from anything that came out in 1966. Even when Jagger hums, it sounds great.

8.     The Last Time – Once I heard the rift of this song I knew that I was going to love it and I was completely right. This had to be on my list because you just feel good about yourself when you listen to it.

7.     Honky Tonk Women – This song always reminds me of my mother. I know she loved the beginning of the song (which definitely ranks up there as one of the best starts of a tune) which has such a funky groove that you do two things: 1) Turn up the volume 2) Start dancing (even if you don’t know how). No matter how many times you may hear this song, you can’t turn it off-IT’S THAT GOOD!!!

7.     You Can’t Always Get What You Want – This is just pure greatness. The only problem I have with it is the beginning of the song with has the chorus singing in the background. They didn’t really need that because it ‘s better at the end of the song.

6.     Dance Little Sister – If you look up the word “rock and roll” in the dictionary one of the many definitions included would be the title to this song. I think Richards must have had Berry in mind when he created the riffs to this song. If this song doesn’t get you out of your seat- you’re not from this planet.

6.     Shattered – Whenever I went over to my brother’s friend’s house, their fathers would always sing and play this song….including mine. Beside that, it really is a great song to dance around to and that’s why I like it.

5.     Shattered– I talked about this song last week when I did the perfect album side for “Some Girls” and I stick by my comment that this could be the best arranged song in the history of music. “All this chitter chatter, chitter chatter chitter chatter..”- how can anyone not know the lines right there, you can just picture Jagger with his swagger dancing around the stage, spitting out this classic line- along with many others in this song-pure perfection. ‘nuff said.

5.     She’s a Rainbow– The piano in this song is flawless. I could never skip this song in my life. It’s just too great.

4.     Gimme Shelter– So many different images come up for me in this song and I bet for many veterans and if you were old enough in the 1960’s to remember- images very different than I have. (Blame it on the movies or TV but whenever I hear the beginning of the song I always think of “Goodfellas.”- I really dislike that fact because it’s like I’m selling out) This song was basically “the end of the world” do to the very violent turbulent times in the late 1960’s with the Vietnam War and civil unrest in the U.S. The female background singer-Merry Clayton- is so phenomenal in this song that I am ready to nominate her part as being in the top 5 of all duet songs ever recorded. When she screams I just can’t believe how friggin’ awesome it is and Jagger’s vocals could be the best he has ever done in any Stones song. You can feel the passion, pain, worrisome and everything associated with those turbulent times. (Isn’t it weird we in the same cycle now again?).

4.     Sympathy for the Devil– When I hear the drums in the beginning of this song the energy just rushes through my veins and when Bill Wyman plays his bass solo it just is so awesome. Then Keith Richards plays that sick guitar solo. These guys are too awesome.

3.     Angie –If anyone has an “Angie” this could be the best love song ever recorded. I stand still and don’t move when I hear this song. I am completely and utterly mesmerized by this song whenever I hear it. Folks, when you stop to think how many great songs this band has made throughout their career it really blows your mind. This is song for the ages-which should be passed on to future generations a thousand times over. This is a masterpiece.

3.     (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction– I used to play this song all the time and all because of Charlie Watts amazing drumming skills.

2.     Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)-I get so psyched when I hear this song “Police in New York City… in a case of mistaken identity…” For years this was my ultimate Rolling Stones song (it was always flip flop with “Bitch”). I love Charlie Watts drumming in this track- I don’t know what it is about the drumming because it’s not that identifiable but if you listen carefully, it’s just well…. great. This song with the background “doo, doo doo, doo, doo” vocals ranks up there as one of the best tracks of the 1970’s.

2.    Street Fighting Man– The intro to this song is perfection in your ears. Keith you did it again with your guitar.

1.     BitchAs mentioned, this song along with “Heartbreaker” have always flip flopped back and forth as my number one song by the Stones but when I sat down in front of my I-Tunes library while typing this review, this song edged it out. Again the horn section just adds the gravy to the meat and potatoes (Richards and Watts). Hold on I need to take a minute or so to air guitar…………………… Ok I’m back- wasn’t that great? Folks put on your headphones and let this song take you where you need to be. I’m going to listen to it again.. see ya.

1.     Beast of Burden– This is my number 1 favorite Stones song from all those times listening this song in the car coming home from New York City just daydreaming to this song. I can’t describe in words how perfect this song is. There is no other song that could “never be” another Rolling Stones song that could change my mind about Beast of Burden

So there you go folks, we actually have one song together-“Shattered”- and 18 other great songs to choose from but with a band like this there are so many songs to choose from that it would be interesting to see everyone else’s list.


Since ROCKTOBER is my favorite month of the year I decided to try and come up with something different especially for this month only. I’m thinking a “Rock and Roll Juke Box” with some of the best rock songs for your next party or I-Pod playlist. This week’s list is what I would call the “America’s Best”; a list of tracks from some of the best from right here in the good ole U.S. of A. So here goes in no particular order:

1.     “Critical Mass”- Aerosmith- off of their lesser known “Draw The Line” album but the die-hard Aerosmith fan realizes the greatness of this track. I can remember buying this album when I was like 12 or so and I was immediately polarized by this song. This song rocks baby, it is hard rock at its best

2.     “Revival” – The Allman Brothers – One of my all time favorites by Gregg & the boys, this is a feel good song that should have everyone out of their seats-including Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad and the whole family dancing, hugging and of course feeling that “love is everywhere.” Doesn’t get much better than this song.

3.     “Ain’t Got No Home”- The Band– Some consider this the greatest American Band ever and deservedly so. This band had it all, you could just feel their passion and the music flowing through their veins to their heart as the rest of us used our ears to hear their greatness. If this song doesn’t get you moving, you need to check for a pulse. Rock and Roll the way it was intended to be.

4.     “Thirty Days” – Chuck Berry- The “Father” of Rock and Roll, no? So many songs to choose from it’s unbelievable. Mr. Berry was the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” before Kevin Bacon. We should all bow to this man and say “we are not worthy.” This is my favorite Chuck Berry song of all-time.

5.     “Captain Jack”- Billy Joel- My oldest son made me promise that I would not put any song down from his “Glass House” album (my one & only album that I own) so I dug deep and forgot how much that I love this song. There’s no denying Mr. Joel’s impact on rock and roll, the man is a genius.

6.     “Positively 4th Street” – Bob Dylan– Believe it or not I have Dylan on my I-Pod. Again there’s no denying his impact on music history and could be the greatest artist to have ever walked this earth. I absolutely love this song and could listen to it all day. Raise the glass and serenade everyone around “Do you take me for such a fool… Yoooouuuu see me on the street..” Classic.

7.     Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” – Bruce Springsteen – I remember when my uncle Gary was dating his wife, Mary, back in the 1970’s and I visited her parent’s house and I went right over to their record collection. Her brother Andrew, had the “Born to Run” album and I listened to it every time I went over. Love this tune, my favorite Springsteen tune.

8.     “Rave On” – Buddy Holly– What else can anyone say about the sad loss of this man. We could only imagine how he would have developed into (think early Beatles to “White Album” Beatles-that is my guess). Awesome tune that will get the party started or keep it rolling..

9.     “Long As I Can See The Light” – Creedence Clearwater Revival –In my opinion, the greatest American Band ever and it such a shame that the brothers still can’t get along but while they were together, I have a hard time thinking of a better band. I get the chills every time I hear this song. I’ll never forget that one Spin class when Jim was so pleased that we played this song and he sung it word for word. Things like that psyche me up like nothing else. I love when people feel it. With this band, you have to feel it-friggin’ awesome tune.

10.     “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” – Crosby, Stills & Nash- How many times was this song played on classic rock radio during the 1970’s and 1980’s? But you know what- it deserved to be played as much. This more than seven minute classic tune is a national treasure and should be stored in the Smithsonian.

11.    “Ohio” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young –Ranks up there as one of the greatest “protest” songs ever recorded in U.S. history. The music is absolutely phenomenal and isn’t it weird how we can all sing along to this song when there was such a tragedy? I wonder about things like this but again the music is priceless.

12.     “Victim of Love” – The Eagles- My all-time favorite Eagle song. I LOVE THIS FREAKING SONG!!! This is rock and roll at it’s best!!! I’m telling you right now-put on a good set of headphones and tell me this isn’t one of the greatest songs ever recorded???!!!! “Some people never come clean.. I think you know what I mean..”

13.     “One Night” – Elvis PresleyThe King of Rock and Roll- period end of story. I can just picture my dad swaying his “fifties” hairdo (like Elvis’s) around in a circle as he imitated Elvis and singing like he was the King. My dad knows every word of every song ever recorded. How could I not love rock and roll music without Elvis? Thank you Dad for your passion in music, which has been passed down to me. Elvis is the man.

14.     “Silver Springs (Live Version)” – Fleetwood Mac – This is another song that I get the chills every time I hear it. I was in a Spin class in Danbury CT last year and the instructor threw this song on his list. I didn’t think it would work but it does (and did). I will never forget that moment as we were struggling up “hills” and clearly remembering how much I love this song.

15.     “Rock and Roll Soul” – Grand Funk Railroad- Don’t even try to say these guys shouldn’t be on the list. In their “heyday” they were the biggest band in the U.S.-period end of story. Listen to the driving bass in this song and the unbelievable vocals. This band kicks ass I’m sorry.

16.     “New Speedway Boogie” – Grateful Dead– Another band that I am not the biggest fan of but again there’s no denying their impact on American music. I do have some of their songs on my I-Pod and this is by far my favorite song by these guys. Love the blues boogie twist.

17.     “Crosstown Traffic” – Jimi Hendrix– So many songs to choose from but if you want everyone to get out of their seats and “headbang” or gyrate, then look no further than this song. No other way to listen to this track BUT LOUD!!!!!

18.     “Call Me The Breeze” – Lynyrd Skynyrd-. This is a knee slapping tune that again will get you out of your seat and dance all around the room. This is another case of “What could have been?” And by no means to I mean any offense to the current members of Skynyrd, it’s just when a band had the talents of Ronny Van Zant, well there’s no telling where this band would have went. Phenomenal piano solo in this track and this is pure fun..

19.     “Seek & Destroy” – Metallica-. Now this may throw the party into overdrive as this is pure metal. And for many “Tallica” fans this was the only great album in their opinion. Taken from their first album “Kill ‘Em All” this track has stood the test of time and has always been a fan favorite at their shows. These boys always give it their all and their live shows will blow you away. Have to go down in history as one of the greatest American bands of all-time.

20.     “American Girl”- Tom Petty– Don’t Cha just love the bass in this song? Then when Petty breaks in with his vocals, well it just doesn’t get much better. Folks- this guy is a living legend and he is to be treasured. If you have never seen him live, you’re missing out. This is American music at its finest, thanks Mr. Petty for giving us all of yourself!!

21.     “The Full Bug”- Van Halen– Do you want one of the most rocking electric songs that VH has ever made? Look no further than this blistering track from their “Diver Down” album. I can remember being in my bedroom when I was growing up and I made the walls shake whenever this song came on. Diamond Dave, Alex, Michael & Eddie were at the top of their game and they still are, obviously with Wolfgang now aboard the train called Van Halen.

22.     “People Are Strange” – The Doors– Ok for those people who know me a long time, they know that I have never been a huge fan of two of the biggest bands ever- Pink Floyd and The Doors. Now I respect and appreciate their massive impact on rock music but there are more than a few songs that I like. This track is perfect for the Halloween weekend and fits the many people I see riding the NYC subway.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     True- He played the congas

2.     False- They were once married and Jack took Meg’s last name.

3.     The number 3- (All the “E”’s on the “Elephant” album are number 3’s).

4.     “Get Behind Me Satan”

This week’s trivia (Random)

1.     Who played lead guitar on David Bowie’s smash hit “Let’s Dance?”

2.     What is Bob Dylan’s real name?

3.     True or False- Led Zeppelin is the only band to have had all their albums reach the top 10 on Billboard charts?

4.     How did Black Sabbath get its name?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant ”- Billy Joel

2.     “Use Me”-Bill Withers

3.     “She Will Be Loved”-Maroon 5

4.     “Ladies First”- Queen Latifa

Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?

1.     “I’ve been lost now days uncounted and its months since I’ve seen home.. ”

2.     “Hey Mister, have you got a dime..mister, do you want to spend some time.”

3.     “I’m just mad about Saffron.. Saffron’s mad about me…”

4.     “Ol Mississippi she’s calling my name.. catfish are jumpin.. that paddle wheel thumpin..”

Back on this day in 1970, a Miami court sentenced Jim Morrison to 8 months hard labor and a fine for exposing himself during a concert in Miami.

Back on this day in 1978, Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park premiered on NBC. I remember watching this with my Grandmother in the living room of her house when I was 13. I loved it because it was KISS!!

Back on this day in 1982, Elton John played a royal command performance for Queen Elizabeth in London.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Grace Slick, Chris Slade (drummer for Manfred Mann’s Earth Day and also AC/DC) and Otis Williams (Temptations) and Timothy B. Schmit.


October 23, 2009

Weekly Update – Rocktober 23, 2009

Z-100 Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden on Fri. Dec. 11. Tickets on sale Tues. Nov. 3 at 4:00 p.m. $51, $91, $211, $251 and $351. Virtually impossible to get tickets for this show. If you get through to Ticketmaster then you are the Master. Every year this show sells out in “nano” seconds. Taylor Swift is this year’s star attraction.

Taylor Swift at the Prudential Center on Wed. May 15 and the Nassau Coliseum on Fri. May 17. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. The “Rock”: $28 – $72.50; The Coliseum: $25 – $69.50.

Bon Jovi will be at the “new” Meadowlands Stadium (future home of the NY Jets and NY Giants) for the first concert ever there on Wed. & Thurs. May 26 & 27. Pre-sale tickets for this show go on sale this Monday Rocktober 26 at 10:00 a.m. for American Express Cardholders only. Pre-sale tickets for fan club on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. General public tickets go on sale Sat. Rocktober 31 at 10:00 a.m. $39.50, $69, $99 and $153. (Ouch on the $153!!)

Evanesence at Grand Ballroom @ Manhattan Center on Wed. Nov. 4. Tickets on sale today at noon. $28.50 ($35 day of show) This is a “paperless” ticketing show. You must bring your credit card to show to “swipe” to get in.

Switchfoot at the New York Fillmore on Tues. Dec. 8. Tickets on sale at tomorrow at noon. (Live Nation Event).

Gregg Allman at the Wellmont Theater on Tues. Jan. 6. Tickets on sale today at noon. $45 and $60.

David Archuleta at Wellmont Theater on Sun. Dec. 13. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $25, $35 and $50. Also appearing at the Capital One Bank Theater on Sun. Dec. 20. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. (Live Nation Event).

Artic Monkeys at Terminal 5 on Fri. Dec. 11. Tickets on sale today at noon. $34.50 ($39.50 day of show).

Gaslight Anthem at the Wellmont Theater on Fri. Dec. 11. Tickets on sale today at noon. $20.

John Mayer at the Beacon Theater on Tues. Nov. 17. Tickets on sale now. $80.

Darius Rucker at the Mid Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie NY on Sun. Nov. 29. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00. $36.50

Dion at Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood NJ on Tues. July 27, 2010. Tickets on sale now. $29, $39, $49, $66 and $89.

Other items:

Rolling Stone Magazine will put out a total Michael Jackson issue -“In words and pictures as only Rolling Stone could”- it will feature tributes by Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Will.I.Am, Quincy Jones and Sheryl Crow. It will go on sale Tuesday November 3 wherever books are sold. This should be a collectors item and I for one can’t wait to get it.

A very cool remake of Midnight’s Oil “Beds Are Burning” is now available for free download and it’s for Kofi Annan’s “Tck Tck Tck” campaign aims to raise awareness of climate change. The song can be heard here at It features a whole slew of artists including The Scorpions, Fergie, Duran Duran and many others. The site says that it is available for free on I-Tunes but I went to do it and the song is available for free only in France via I-Tunes.

Has anyone else noticed that the new I-Tunes 9.0 is real slow? Or maybe is it just my computer? They constantly upgrade and change the look and it’s actually very nice but it has been extremely slow & frustrating.

On the other hand, there are some very cool things happening on I-Tunes as some of your favorite bands-including Deep Purple- have released “videos” of their classic tunes. Obviously they are not MTV videos but footage taken in their early days at concerts and it’s freaking unbelievable. You have to download the video for “Smoke On the Water” and see what the 1970’s wardrobe is all about. The music is unreal. This is an early Christmas present.

I have to say this week’s issue of Rolling Stone Magazine with Madonna on the cover is a must have for her fans as well as the fans of Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead-I shouldn’t have to tell you). The interview with Madonna is spectacular and the article on Lemmy will no longer have you wondering how Keith Richards or Ozzy have made it this far in life after all the booze and drugs they put into their system. These guys are like “Opie” from the Andy Griffith show when compared to Lemmy.

Them Crooked Vultures debut album will be out on Nov. 17. The new single “New Fang” will be released on the airwaves beginning this Monday. The entire track list was revealed and there are 13 new songs.

Adam Lambert’s new single- “Time for Miracles”- is out and I have to say that I’m surprised (well not that much) that it is a “love ballad.” I thought for sure he was going down the “rock” avenue but I have to admit it sounds pretty good and his fans will no doubt love it.

I love the new single by One Republic –“Everybody Love Me”- it has a funky groove and sort of reminds me of something that Maroon 5 would do. Cool song. Buy it now.

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

Side 2 of “Some Girls” by the Rolling Stones released on June 8, 1978.

I was 13 years old when this album came out and this was definitely the “rock” album that I would bring into Mr. Goldberg’s music class at Pershing Junior High School when I was in the 8th and 9th grades. Mr. Goldberg loved the song “When the Whip Comes Down”-which is on side one-now don’t get me wrong, the entire album is great but side two is “perfect.” This was the album that I would put up against any disco album that was brought in because at that time in my life I was totally against disco and wanted nothing but rock. (Even though secretly, I loved the soundtrack for “Saturday Night Fever”). Now of course, the first track on side one-“Miss You”- was The Stones entry into the disco sound and probably is the most popular song on the album. This album has it all-disco, rock and roll, blues and country. This is by far their best album during the “second phase” of their career and the best since the 1972 classic- “Exile on Mainstreet.” This band has made some unbelievable songs during their career which will last generations, side two is something to focus in on.

Side two starts off with the “sitting around the campfire” country tune-“Far Away Eyes”- Mick Jagger’s vocals are so phenomenal you’d think that he was from the south east portion of the U.S. instead of from “across the pond.” Last year around the holidays, our family went over to a friend’s house and there were a bunch of us having some holiday cheer when this song came on. Now Donna took over the lead vocals and was staunchly supported by Bob as we all looked in amazement as they knew every word as all of us swayed from side to side around the table trying to match Donna & Bob’s fervor. “So if you’re down on your luck..I know you all sympathize.. Find a girl with far away eyes..” This is one of their most under-rated songs. Track # 2-“Respectable” totally changes gears and rips right into one of their most rockin’ songs. I can remember lying down in front of my stereo of my bedroom in my parents house on 53rd street and 8th avenue in Brooklyn rocking back and forth with my pillow as my ears were being scorched by Keith’s guitars and Charlie’s drums screaming out of speakers. “She’s so respectable, she’s so delectable…” How great is Mr. Richard’s guitar solo punctuated by the bouncing of the skins by Mr. Watts? There is no other way to listen to this song but LOUD. This is rock and roll the way it ought to be. “Before They Make Me Run” is in my opinion- the best song that Mr. Richards has ever sung with the Stones. It’s almost like Ozzy in the sense that it is hard to believe how these guys get through the day-much less their career after all they have done to their bodies-which seems to have affected their speaking ability but when they sing, it’s like magic. And the reason for that is due to the fact that the music is in them and it comes from the heart. When Keith slips that strap around his neck he is home and the music emanates from every orifice in his body.

The last two songs on side two could “arguably” be two of the best songs that the Rolling Stones have ever recorded. My youngest son, who is 12, loves the Rolling Stones as I turned him on to them about a year ago and I believe these two songs are in his top ten favorite songs by the Stones. (By the way he is gathering his list of top ten songs by the Stones and we will compare our list and share with you on next week’s page). “Shattered” is one of the best arranged songs ever in the history of music-that’s right, that’s what I’m saying. A few months ago, this song came on my I-Tunes shuffle and my youngest son came running into the room as we both took turns lip syncing the song in front of my wife and my oldest son. We were putting on a show and I have to say my youngest was feeling it a whole lot more than me and I was blown away that at the age of 12 he knows the entire song word for word, note for note and all the little things that Mick does. (ex- “what say?”). “My friends they come around flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter…” The last song-“Beast of Burden”- is a phenomenal rock slow song that deserves all the accolades it gets. This is another “sing-a-long” song that everyone can enjoy. Can Mick get any better than the effort he puts forth in this track? Keith’s guitar is so sweet just like the syrup that you put on your pancakes for breakfast.This song came on the other day on I-95 rock and roll radio station up here in CT and my youngest again knew every word and sang it with the same passion as Mick. (I had tears in my eyes- can it get any better for me now?-both my sons now love some of the same music I do).

Ok folks, “Some Girls” needs to be in your music library-the entire album- and take heed to side two which is a “most excellent” collection of some of their greatest songs they ever recorded. Do you need anymore words for my excitement? Run out and buy it if you don’t have it (don’t tell me though that you didn’t have it) or listen again to this masterpiece.


My oldest son is really starting to branch out with his music appreciation and recently he has really started to get a whiff of Jack White and the White Stripes. The aroma has made him dig in for second and third helpings, so since I love the Stripes as well I asked him to name their best ten songs. I would then do the same, now I didn’t know what songs he put down until after I picked mine. So here are my favorites (in blue) as well as his (in red):

10.     Conquest– I remember playing this song for my wife & kids when the album first came out and how much they all disliked it very much. They thought the song was a goof, they didn’t think it was serious but that is Jack White’s style. I love the guitar solo and have a craving for waving a towel at a bull. Cool song.

10.     Instinct Blues – This is one of the few songs on “Get Behind Me Satan” that’s has guitar in it. This is what drew me into this song; the guitar is so cool and bluesy. I could listen to Jack play his guitar all day it’s extremely entertaining.

9.     Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground-Hard to believe this song was made by just two people. Mr. White has this way of putting up this wall of sound that just blows you away. His guitar work is masterful on this track and his voice is crystal clear. This song is for all the rockers out there as this will conjure up images of Sabbath, Zeppelin and even Priest.

9.     It’s True That We Love Each Other – This was the first song on “Elephant” that I memorized all the lyrics to, this song always makes me laugh. I always laugh when Meg sings “Jack really bugs me”, this song just brings a smile to my face.

8.     As Ugly As I Seem Actually the beginning sort of reminds me of Melissa Etheridge, believe it or not, because I am use to her with just the acoustic guitar and using her hand to hit the guitar like a drum. This song highlights Jack’s ability as a song writer and the song is basically flawless. Shout this out to the next guy-or gal- at your local pub that has a acoustic guitar and is taking requests from the audience and sing along to this “most excellent” tune.

8.     Blue Orchid – From the helicopter sound at the beginning to the abrupt end this song is awesome. I didn’t like this song the first time I heard it (or the album for that matter) but the song and the album quickly grew on me. I love the guitar combined with Meg’s signature drumming sound. Whenever I hear this song I’ll be singing “Get behind me, get behind me now anyway.”

7.     We’re Going to Be Friends – This was the last song performed on the Conan O’Brien show when he ended his 12:30 a.m. show before going to the Tonight show. Another spectacular song with just Jack and his guitar. He has this way of drawing you in and not letting you go until you listen to every thing he does.

7.     Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine – This song always makes me get up and jump around; it’s such a great upbeat song. One thing that stands out in this song is the short little guitar parts where Jack just plays rips on the guitar, it always amazes me.

6.     The Hardest Button to Button – Very simple song (like many of theirs) but it has an addictive bass/bass drum beat that hooks you in before the guitar whips in and grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go.There is no other way to play this song but LOUD. When Jack comes back with the guitar it’s really lights out.

6.     My Doorbell – Before I got into The White Stripes I used to tell my dad about how horrible this song is.Then after I was enlightened and started liking the Stripes I realized this song is great!! What makes this song great is that it’s so much fun; it just makes you feel happy! Plus I love the music video to this song; it’s so cool when Jack is playing for all the little kids. It just makes you feel good. All music should be like this.

5.     I Want to Be The Boy to Warm Your Mother’s Heart– Also love the songs where Jack plays the piano and on this one he actually adds the guitar in as well and the result is a perfect blend of blues, “rockabilly” and straight forward rock and roll. This man’s talents are extreme and we all need to stand up and take notice. Look to the song to see what I’m talking about.

5.     The Nurse – This is probably the most unique song the Stripes have ever made. When I first heard it I was like “Is this music?!?” but soon I began to like the song and then it became one of my favorites. I love the random drum smashing sound that occurs throughout the song, the guitar that plays in the middle of the song, and the piano that plays along with it. I laugh every time I hear the guitar and piano part; you have to listen to it to understand.

4.     Icky Thump– This is the best!! Listen to that guitar hook and tell me this is not one of the greatest ever in the history of rock. Love the way Meg jams in with the drums. “La, la, la la la la la la la la, la, la…” Folks this could be the song for the first decade of the 2000. I’m having a hard time thinking of a cooler song.

4.     The Hardest Button to Button – I used to sing this song all day long, it is so addicting. While this is a pretty simple song I start bobbing my head the second Jack sings “We started living in an old house.” The thing that stands out to me in this song are the lyrics, it shows what an interesting song writer Jack White is.

3.     You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do What You’re Told) –The second track off of “Icky Thump” and I was immediately impressed by the whole arrangement of this tune. This is a perfect recording and I can imagine being in the studio when they finished this one, they must have all did high fives because that’s what I want to do when the song ends, find anyone close buy run and jump at the same time while smashing our hands high.

3.     I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself – Jack White sings this song, originally sung by Dusty Springfield, with pure perfection. This is one of those songs where Jack shines on vocals.I love when he sings “I need your sweet love.” Just listen to the song!

2.     The Denial Twist-How friggin’ cool is this song? Most of this song is piano and the groove is so funky that it will make you dance around the room. I love the part where Jack says “denying the truth and the it’s hidden in the wisdom in the back of your toooootttth…You need to spit it out..” How many songs that you know have the tambourine in it? Check it out.

2.     I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet) – As the closing track to “Get Behind Me Satan” this piano ballad has always been my favorite track from the record. A lot of people will say that Jack White can’t make a nice ballad type song but here is proof that he can. This song is so fantastic with just Jack singing and him playing piano. I could listen to this song all day, every day. I was so close to making this my #1 song but I will stick by my number one pick.

1.     I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself –Ms. Springfield please forgive me for saying this but this is one of the very few “cover” songs that I think that is better than the original. I still love you Dusty but when I heard this version of your song I was blown away and when I heard Jack do this at Madison Square Garden I was in my glory. Now to cover an Icon’s song you need to have passion and Jack’s fervor is most impressive. You can tell he wanted Dusty to like it as he showed her great respect with this fantastic cover. It’s a masterpiece.

1.     Ball And Biscuit – This is without a doubt my favorite White Stripes song ever. Just ask my brother how many times a played this song, I played it endlessly! One time I played this song to my mother and my godmother and they both looked at me and said “What are you listening to?!?” Despite that I love this song so much, I air guitar this song when no one is looking all the time. This song shows us that Jack White has got skills on guitar!! (How cool would it be if Jack White and John Mayer had a guitar showdown?!?) It amazes me how great Jack White is as a musician, it’s extraordinary.

So there you go folks, we actually have two songs that are our favorites this time around (one more than the Foo Fighters), so now you have 16 songs to go out and sample to see if you like this band. Now I’m telling you right now this man is a “first ballot” hall of famer if you don’t jump on the band wagon now you will be lying to your kids (when he is in “Icon Stature”) if you tell them that you use to listen to him when he was current. Don’t lie to your kids, that’s not nice.


Since ROCKTOBER is my favorite month of the year I decided to try and come up with something different especially for this month only. I’m thinking a “Rock and Roll Juke Box” with some of the best rock songs for your next party or I-Pod playlist. This week’s list is what I would call the “British Invasion”; a list of tracks from some of the best from “Across The Pond.” So here goes in no particular order:

1.     “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”-(The Mighty) Led Zeppelin-One of the ultimate bands to emerge from England. So many songs to pick from but if you are having a party (with fellow rockers of course) there is nothing better to get the party started with this flat out, knock out, stop & go classic. And who doesn’t love to do the Plant imitation “Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Nobody’s Fault!!”

2.     “Bad Boy” – The Beatles – One of my favorite “early” Beatle cover tune. This song flat out rocks, rolls, twists and the guitar work is flawless. John’s vocals are so friggin’ good, it is scary. Another great song to keep the party flowing. Very obscure song but rock solid.

3.     “Stray Cat Blues”- Rolling Stones– I know another obscure song but this blues laden rocking track from “Beggars Banquet” is so good it will leave you speechless. Think about these bands making some of the greatest music ever recorded, makes you wonder if it will ever happen again. This is when The Stones were The Stones.

4.     “1921” – The Who- Was there ever a better concept album than the masterful “Tommy?”This song will slow down the party a little but it’s OK because sometimes we just have to sit back and enjoy this bands’ extreme talents.

5.     “Queen Bitch”- David Bowie- This classic from “Hunky Dory” will make you take notice that Bowie deserves all the accolades he has been given over the years. A national treasure.

6.     “Rock and Roll Madonna” – Elton John– So may songs to choose from and basically anything from his early days is acceptable. Trying to stay in the vibe of rock and roll, what better song to add than “Rock and Roll Madonna.” Elton can rock out as well, listen to his great piano solo on this tune and tell me this ain’t rock and roll?

7.     “Mellow Yellow” – Donovan – I love this song, when is the last time you have heard this track? Don’t kid yourself, Donovan was big “back in the day.”

8.     “Here Comes My Baby” – The Tremeloes– Talk about a song that will really get the party going? Look no further than this Tremeloe classic. It’s also an excellent exercise song. It really moves.

9.     “Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)” – The Hollies –As I mentioned this band should be in the Hall and this song is one of the many reasons they should be in. How great is this song?

10.     “I Only Want to Be With You” – Dusty Springfield- One of my favorite all time female singers, she is fantastic, phenomenal and any other word that expresses what greatness is all about.

11.    “My Love” – Petula Clark –Another fantastic talent from across the pond. This is an upbeat moving song that will have everyone saying “Hey I remember that song!! I love that song!!!”

12.     “Well Respected Man” – The Kinks- A band that doesn’t seem to get the respect it deserves and just based on this song they should be considered “Well Respected Men.” This song sounds so fresh today it’s like it was recorded this past summer.

13.     “Question” – The Moody Blues– A very talented band that is still going strong. Love this track, especially the way it changes gears by starting off fast then slowing down and then it picks up again. “I’m looking for someone to change my life… a miracle in my life…”

14.     “She’s Not There” – The Zombies –Another under-rated band in my opinion and these guys are still going strong. I love the way the singer sings this song as he tries to catch his breath, this is a “most excellent” song. Boy the organ was the most “funk a delic” instrument back in the ‘60’s, right?

15.     “When I Was Young” – The Animals- People forget that this band was putting out this quality music at the same time the Beatles were at their height. This is part of the reason why I think that the 1960’s are right at the top of the ladder when it comes to the best music ever recorded.

16.     “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” – Herman’s Hermits– OK go ahead and make fun but these guys were actually very good and you have to have some of their songs in your music library. Why not start with this one?

17.     “A World Without Love” – Peter and Gordon– “They” don’t make songs like this anymore. Classic song that puts you in a daze, this is “priceless” music.

18.      “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying” – Gerry & The Pacemakers. Managed by Brian Epstein, these guys had three consecutive number one singles released in a row- a feat that wasn’t matched until the 1980’s. Great song.

19.     “Comfortably Numb” – Pink Floyd. As some of you may know, I was never a big fan of Floyd (I know, how can that be?) but do respect their place in rock music history and obviously one of the best bands to ever come out of England. I do actually own “The Wall” (yes I know how can I not own “Dark Side”) and this is my favorite track by these guys.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Foo Fighters-Dave Grohl

2.     “Sad But True”

3.     “Rape Me”

4.     Bob Seger

This week’s trivia (Rolling Stones and White Stripes)

1.     True or False? Simon Kirke (drummer for Bad Co. and Free) assisted in the recording of the Rolling Stones “Some Girls” album.

2.     True or False? Meg White and Jack White are siblings?

3.     What number is Jack White obsessed with?

4.     What is the only White Stripes album not to be released on vinyl (yes bands still do that today)?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Crocodile Rock ”- Elton John

2.     “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)”-Edison Lighthouse

3.     “September”-Earth Wind & Fire

4.     “Wishin’ & Hopin’”- Dusty Springfield

Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?

1.     “Things are OK with me these days…got a good job, got a good office.. ”

2.     “My brother.. sit me right down and he talked to me… he told me that I ought not.”

3.     “I drove for miles and miles.. and wound up at your door.. I’ve had you so many times…”

4.     “I break into a lyrical freestyle.. grab the mic, look into the crowd and see smiles..”

Sadly back on this day in 1969, Tommy Edwards died of a brain aneurism. He sang the beautiful song “It’s All in the Game.”

Back on this day in 1978, Neil Young’s house in Zuma Beach CA burned to the ground from a brush fire.

Back on this day in 1999, Santana had his first number one hit with “Smooth” featuring Rob Thomas on vocals. The song stayed on top for 12 consecutive weeks and was the longest # 1 single for 1999.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Greg Ridley (bassist for “Humble Pie”- this band is really good, I have been getting into them a lot recently).

October 16, 2009

Weekly Update – Rocktober 16, 2009

Phish at Madison Square Garden on Wed. thru Fri. Dec. 2-4. Tickets on sale next Fri. Rocktober 23 at 11:00 a.m. $50.

The Swell Season with Josh Ritter at Radio City Music Hall on Tues. Jan. 19, 2010. Tickets on sale today at noon. $37.50 – $47.50.

Ray Davies at The Town Hall (remember-acoustic only shows there) on Thurs. & Fri. Nov. 19 & 20. Tickets on sale today at noon. $54 – $74.

Less Than Jake at Nokia on Thurs. Nov. 19. Pre-sale tickets on sale now for American Express cardholders until noon today. General public tickets on sale today at noon.$20.

The Joe Perry Project at the New York Fillmore on Tues. Nov. 10. Tickets on sale today at noon. (Live Nation Event).

The Hooters at the Music Box at the Borgota in Atlantic City NJ on Fri. Nov. 27. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Mew at Webster Hall on Fri. Dec. 4. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25 ($29 day of show). at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City NJ on Sat. Nov. 21. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders only on now. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $55 – $75 and $99.

The Moody Blues at Wellmont Theater on Tues. Mar. 30, 2010. Tickets on sale today at noon. $45, $85 and $125.

Robert Randolph, The North Mississippi Allstars and John Medeski at Terminal 5 on Dec. 31. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $35 thru Nov. 15, $40 beginning Nov. 16 and $50 day of show.

Marshall Tucker Band at BB Kings on Fri. Jan. 29, 2010. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $27.50

Robert Cray Band at BB Kings on Fri. Mar. 19, 2010. Tickets on sale now. $46.50 

Other items:

OK I have to say something here about the negativity towards Kiss on both their new album and the show at The Garden. By now I think we all know who/what Kiss are, correct? First off I realize that there are many out there who still can’t get over the fact that Ace and Peter are out of the band “while some other dudes are wearing their makeup.” All I have to say to that is –Get over it. Obviously those guys, for whatever reason, couldn’t cut the mustard, I seriously doubt that Paul and Gene wanted them out but if they can’t be adults-you move on. Second- if you are a Kiss fan you realize who they are musically and lyrically but come on now it wasn’t like Ace was Hendrix- Thayer is a good guitarist for this band right now or that Simmons or Stanley are Neil Peart in the lyrics department. Yeah so what if their new album is the “same as” 25 – 30 years ago, isn’t that what the Kiss fan fell for in the first place? (Has “Maggie” or “Bart” from the “Simpsons” ever grown up? No but it’s the longest running show in the history of television-it works right, so why change the formula?). Will all the “Naysayers” pipe down now for a few minutes and let Kiss enjoy their moment which they haven’t had now for about five years. I’ll tell you what- you are going to have to deal with them again in the next 5 year intervals as they approach their 40th and 45th anniversary. Most artists (see Metallica) get lambasted for trying to change their sound or who they are and Kiss gets vilified for staying true to who and what they are? Again keep it in perspective the part about who and what they are and then, if you are a fan, go out and enjoy instead of complaining. By the way, the “Blabbermouth” site author gave Sonic Boom a 6.5 rating- all in all not so bad considering the “always tough” critics and fan base for that site. I know Ace received a higher rating for his solo album and I don’t know why but Ace has always been more received when he ventures out on his own-again his solo album is not “Metallica” like but he’s treated like a King-yet he was in Kiss and Stanley and Simmons take all the criticism.. honestly I don’t think it bothers Gene at all.

As previously mentioned on this page, Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond both recorded Christmas albums and they were both released this week. As for Dylan, his fans would be happy if he sang the dictionary but for the folks who cringe when he sings, your face may get stuck (remember how your mother would tell you that?) after you hear some of the most popular Christmas classics. I have to say that I do like some of the songs and on “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” he actually sounds like The Boss. Now for Diamond, well let me say that I wasn’t so thrilled after hearing it for the first time but maybe it will grow on me. The I-Tune fans love it but I’m not there yet. (And no it’s not too early- Christmas is 10 weeks from today).

John Mayer has released a single “Who Says” and I deferred to my oldest son-who loves Mayer- and he said that the song is “Ok.” The lyrics are just too weird for me, I’m not sure what he is trying to prove.

Carrie Underwood has released a new single-“Mama’s Song” and all I have to say is there any songs that she makes that are bad? This woman is amazing and we are watching her grow into an Icon-yes that is my prediction-she’s that good.

My favorite “Old school” song of the week is “Up on Cripple Creek” by The Band. How cool is this song? This is the way music is supposed to sound like, this is pure sweetness. Man to go back to those days, don’t you wish you could go back in time, even just a little bit?

Album Review: “MTV Unplugged in New York” by Nirvana released on November 1, 1994.

My oldest son has just discovered Nirvana and has been listening to their “Unplugged” album very much the last few weeks. Below is his review of Nirvana’s Unplugged. Every word under this heading from this point on is by him:

About two weeks ago I purchased this classic album “MTV Unplugged In New York” by Nirvana for two reasons:

1.     To listen to the “different side” of Nirvana that many reviewers have claimed this album showed.

2.     To hear the infamous last song on the album “Where Did You Sleep Last Night.”

Since I bought the album I have been listening to it non-stop and have received some criticism for doing so.My father is not a big fan of this album (which is fine it’s his opinion) and was surprised that I liked it so much, claiming that every song sounds like Cobain is moaning words the whole performance.Now I completely disagree and consider this one of the best live albums of all time. This is an album that in order to get the full affect of that night in New York, you have to listen to the album from start to finish.

This performance will blow you away!

Review of “MTV Unplugged In New York” by Nirvana

Nirvana, although they did not know it, was making history once again by performing on MTV Unplugged on November 18th of 1993.This now famous performance starts off with a song from their first record called “About A Girl.”This song is so great and was a perfect way to start a perfect concert.One interesting thing about this performance is that Nirvana chose to play many songs that most people didn’t know instead of their big hits.The second song, “Come As You Are”, they play is the only “hit” they played the whole performance. The acoustic version of the song is full of much more passion than the studio version.Next is “Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam” (a Vaseline’s song) where Krist Novoselic plays accordion proving that Nirvana doesn’t always make the grunge music people associate them with. After that comes one of the most unforgettable live performances in rock history, a cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World.”While many people will disagree with me (including my dad) I can say without a doubt that this version is better than David Bowie’s.Now usually I will always say that the original version of any cover song is the best, but this is an exception to the rule. Kurt’s vocals are flawless on this amazing song.

Cobain plays the next song, “Pennyroyal Tea”, by himself using only his guitar and voice. Even when he plays alone it’s very good. This song is completely his. Then the band jumps back in with a fan favorite “Dumb.” This is one of Cobain’s more personal songs and is played with passion on this album. The next track is “Polly” one of my favorites from the classic album “Nevermind.” This is a song the Cobain performed at almost every Nirvana concert and there is a good reason for it: it’s a good song! “On A Plain” is the next song, and I love this version so much more than the studio version. There is something about the song that just makes it one of the better songs on the album. Keeping with “Nevermind” songs the band plays “Something In The Way” the closing track to “Nevermind.” You have to really listen to this song so you can appreciate, it is a hidden gem.

The Meat Puppets join the stage with Nirvana for the next three songs with Cobain on vocals for cover versions of the Meat Puppet’s songs. “Plateau” is the first Meat Puppet song they perform and is done with excellence. This song and the next two are some of my favorites on the album; Nirvana really knows how to do a great cover song. Track 11 is called “Oh Me”, which is pure magic. The guitar along with Cobain and Cris Kirkwood (Meat Puppets) on vocals is fantastic.Then Kurt starts singing “Where do bad folks go when they die?” the opening line to the song “Lake of Fire” which is my second favorite on the album.I love this song!!Kurt Cobain sings this song with such spirit, it’s just awesome! After that the Meat Puppets leave the stage and Nirvana plays a song from their second record “All Apologies.” This song is fantastic, much better than the regular version. This song has a great contrast between soft vocals and loud vocals. Then as the song fades away Kurt gets ready to sing the last and greatest song on the album, a cover of Lead Belly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night.” This is without a doubt, my favorite Nirvana song of all time. Reviewers of this album would always rave about Cobain’s legendary cry of passion at the end of the song as chilling. I wanted to hear this song so badly and the first time I heard it I stood there amazed and transfixed on what I had just heard. Cobain pours all of his heart and soul into the last verse of this song making this one of the most memorable performances of all time.

Overall Rating: Even if you are not a Nirvana fan GET THIS ALBUM NOW!Everything about it is fantastic. Kurt Cobain, Krist Novolselic, and Dave Grohl have made this album stand the test of time.

Key Tracks: Where Did You Sleep Last Night, About A Girl, Lake of Fire, The Man Who Sold The World, On A Plain, and All Apologies.


On one of my I-Tunes shuffle this week, I came across a few Kid Rock songs and decided to do my favorite ten songs and in my opinion-his best 10 songs. Bristle if you will but the man has a lot of talent and has reinvented himself more than a few times. Now you know that I like the mature Rock as opposed to the juvenile Rock and I’m still waiting for the first complete album where he doesn’t have to try and get “street cred” by writing songs like “Sugar.” Mr. Rock-stick with “Roll On” for the rest of your career and you get an even greater fan base. Now don’t get me wrong, I love his early stuff which include the “parental advisory” lyrics and themes- and yes some of these songs are probably not suitable for your next party but you can always blast them in your car or when you have the house to yourself, so here goes-my favorite ten songs from Mr. Ritchie:

10.     Picture– Yes it’s a sappy duet with Sheryl Crow but I love it. I think it was this song that opened up many eyes (or ears) to the fact that Mr. Rock can actually sing and hold a tune. (I know you are screaming at your screen saying what about “Only God Knows Why”- slow down this song reached a whole new audience and even my friend Dianne said she was surprised to learn that the Kid could sing).

9.     Rock ‘N’ Roll Pain Train-I remember buying this album it’s first day out (the one where the Kid displays his huge tattoo on his back), slipping in the CD and was blown away by this track. I had heard that the Kid was going in a different musical direction and this song proved to me that he reinvented himself. (Parental Warning).

8.     Cold & Empty Don’t kid yourself Bob Ritchie has some real feelings that masks the bravado that surrounds him most of the time. Personally I like this type of song over “Sugar” type any day of the week. Mr. Rock has a soft side but don’t let him know that you know this fact.

7.     Blue Jeans and A Rosary – Another heartfelt tune that I can listen to all day. Sounds like this song tells a true story about his life and of a girl who stuck by his side despite everyone’s objections. Try not singing along to this song, it’s near impossible. This song should be done next year by the American Idol contestants. Sway back and forth while singing the chorus-it will make you feel good, the guitar solo is righteous.

6.     Roll On –This could be the best song that he has ever written and recorded. The arrangement is perfect. Talk about passion? This is what draws me to this track. The Kid nails this tune and the background vocals are spectacular. The video is great too!!! C’mon Kid- at least release the video to this song to I-Tunes, can you make one exception? It’s a video, not your catalog.

5.     New Orleans-Put a good set of headphones on and let this song take you away. The groove grows and grows and is soooo addictive. Mr. Rock is so diverse and this song-out of all the songs he has ever recorded-proves that fact. The man has the music in him and you can feel it-if you don’t-check your pulse at the door. I can picture him doing this song with the Neville Brothers.

4.     Cowboy-I remember the first time I heard this song, it was so different from anything that I had heard in a long, long time and I was immediately hooked. How friggin’ cool is the beginning of the song? Again this is “R” rated but I always have to listen to this loud (my wife and kids are not home right now so I don’t have to worry about the seedy language). Phenomenal song and Mr. Rock rips the cover off of the ball on this one, love the piano solo like we’re back in the “Wild, Wild West.” “Radio edit…”

3.     Wasting Time-I can’t get enough of this song, I love the way he raps in this track. Last year I was so obsessed with this song that I wrote down every lyric and memorized them. I then called my wife and kids into the living room, hit the play button on the stereo and performed the song for them, lip syncing every word (but quickly turned down the volume when I knew when the F bomb was coming). This is my favorite song from “Devil Without a Cause.”.

2.     Rock and Roll Jesus-Again bought this album the first day it came out and was immediately struck on how great this tune was (is) and consider it one of the best songs he has done. This is Rock and Roll the way it was meant to be. I’ll put this song up against any song out there- toe to toe, face to face-this is freaking great!!!

1.     Son of Detroit – This song will always have a special place in my heart as this was THE SONG for the boot camp classes that took place every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. from 2003-2005 at the gym at MBIA Insurance Corp. in Armonk N.Y. It brings back so many great memories of the fun that Dave, Tricia, CIC, Doreen, Nick and I had during those years, we had a blast and probably were in the best shape of our lives during that time and this song was the igniter. Freaking phenomenal!!!“Hey Dave- How do you like your whiskey?”


Since ROCKTOBER is my favorite month of the year I decided to try and come up with something different especially for this month only. I’m thinking a “Rock and Roll Juke Box” with some of the best rock songs for your next party or I-Pod playlist. This week’s list is what I would call the “Hair-Band Era”; a list of tracks from some of rock’s “poofed out do’s.” So here goes in no particular order: (Of course you know I refuse to put “Tesla” in this category, so you will not see any Tesla songs):

1.     “Something to Believe In”- Poison-Where would the “Hair Band Era” be without Poison? I would say that this is the band that everyone thinks of first when asked to define this era. Cheesy? Yes!! Bubble-gummish?? Yes!!! BUT WHO CARES??!! These guys made some fun tunes and isn’t that what life is all about? Having fun? Now the aforementioned song isn’t about fun but yes it’s the “power ballad” that also defined these hair bands-everyone had at least a few- and to me this was their best power ballad. I can listen to this song over and over. When it first came out it, the video was played on MTV at least 10 times a day.

2.      “Down Boys” – Warrant – this is the second band that comes to my mind when I think of the Hair-band era. I know “Cherry Pie” put Jani Lane in a bad place but these guys did have some good tunes. I totally get psyched when I hear this track. This is a good tune to use your “pic” to push your hair way up high, then use that pick to “air-guitar.”

3.     “Can’t Get Enough”- Winger-If Poison was the “poster band” for the Hair Band Era, then Kip Winger is the “poster boy” for that era. Was there ever a day where you didn’t see this guy on MTV in the 1980’s? He was flying high for years and then came Nirvana… Anyways I love this song, call it what you want-bubblegum, metal wannabe-whatever I don’t care. I will always have a spot for the Hair Band Era and these guys are included.

4.     “Shelter Me” – Cinderella- I friggin’ love this song, always have and always will!!! “We all need a little shelter.. <hand clap> …<hand clap>…” This was one of the hair bands that I totally dove right into and had many of their albums. Went to see them every chance I could back in the day. They even throw in a saxophone solo (not a “Hair Band” accessory but who is watching?) before the usual long haired guitar solo.

5.     “Down on Me”- Jackyl- C’mon you know you love this song??!! There is no other way to listen to this song but LOUD!!! I know the lead singer makes it sound like AC/DC (same with Cinderella) and maybe that’s the reason I love this track. This song is cool. (I know the lyrics are juvenile but that was a criterion for the Hair Bands to make the club).

6.     “Still of the Night” – Whitesnake– I anointed this track as the song that defined the “Hair-Band” era a few months ago and I’m sticking to my guns. Poison is the “poster band,” Kip Winger the “poster boy,” and this is the “poster song.” This song has it all- poofed out blond hair to the max, gratuitous guitar solo, heavy guitar lick and of course the beautiful girl in the video.. oh and yes on a soon to be named “pimp my ride” car.

7.     “Loving You Is A Dirty Job” – Ratt –I checked with the guru on Ratt-Monica- and she gave me some of the more “popular” songs but they weren’t her favorites, so I took a chance and went with this song. The lyrics are juvenile (a pre-requisite for Hair Metal right?) and the big guitar hooks with the Motley Crue sounding voice.

8.     “I Wanna Rock” – Twisted Sister-I remember being at a Godsmack show and they started to break out a Twisted Sister song –“We’re Not Gonna Take It” and Sully disgustedly waved his hand pushing them aside and immediately told the band to cease and desist, so that is why I put these guys in this category. I was on the fence but that day solidified it for me (Plus Dee Snider is the host of a syndicated radio-“The House of Hair”). Again, this song is fun and it gets me pumped. (yes I know they used it in the “SpongeBob” movie but at the time it was “metal”).

9.     “18 and Life” – Skid Row –Ok in my opinion, the Skidsters left this club with their sophomore effort- “Slave to the Grind” but their first album was dripping with mousse and this song was played on MTV a zillion times. This song alone gets them into the Hair Band Hall of Fame but as mentioned they pinned their hair back and blasted out of the club with “Slave to the Grind.”

10.     “Pushin’ Hard” – Kingdome Come- These guys could have been “Poison” in the sense had they not been vilified for sounding like Led Zeppelin, they would have developed into the top band of the Hair Band Era. These guys had it all, the long locks, blazing guitar riffs and a front man that conjured up images of Plant. So what was wrong with that? This song flat out rocks!

11.     “Guilty” – Tora Tora –Man did I wear out the album sleeves on this album and then subsequently the same with the cassette. This band had all the qualities of the era but surprisingly were done after one album, very surprising because I thought the album –“Surprise Attack”- had some quality tunes. Check this album out and of course this track!!

12.     “It’s Over Now” – L.A. Guns-Were they suppose to be the real Guns before Roses? We’ll never know but these guys landed dead smack in the middle of the Hair Band Era. Yes this is a power ballad and yes it may be cheesy but it is good cheese. Aaahhh the memories….

13.     “High Enough” – Damn Yankees– It kills me to put down Tommy Shaw and Ted Nugent down as “Hair Band” contributors but their stint with the Damn Yankees cements their qualifications. And you know what- “High Enough”- is one of my all time favorite songs, yes the ultimate power ballad but I’m not ashamed to admit I love it.

14.     “Runaway” – Bon Jovi –Again I was on the fence about labeling Jovi a “Hair Band” but they were right there in the thick of it and John’s hair back then easily passed one of the qualifications. This is a kick ass song, period end of story!!

15.     “When the Children Cry” – White Lion- Another song that was endlessly played on MTV during that era. Talk about your power ballad? Yes but again ahhh the memories. Good power ballad and we all need that once in a while.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     King of the Hill – “Lucky”

2.     Chaim Witz

3.     Nickelback- “Rockstar”

4.     Wicked Lester

This week’s trivia (Nirvana and Kid Rock)

1.     What drummer for Nirvana went on and became a guitarist for a highly successful band?

2.     What song does Kid Rock sample for his “American Badass” track?

3.     During the 1992 MTV awards, what song was Nirvana prohibited to play but squeezed in the first few bars of the song anyway?”

4.     In 2005, this rocker was put in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Kid Rock was the one to give a speech to introduce this entrant, who is it?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Thank God I’m a Countryboy”- John Denver

2.     “I Love Rock and Roll”-Joan Jett

3.     “Jealous Guy”-John Lennon

4.     “What’s Going On”- Marvin Gaye

Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?

1.     “But the years went by and the rock just died..Suzie up and left us for some foreign guy… ”

2.     “I’m a lucky fella and I’ve just got to tell her that I love her endlessly…”

3.     “My thoughts are with you.. Holding hands with your heart to see you…”

4.     “So if you are looking for love that you can share.. all you gotta do is hold him.”

Back on this day in 1966, Joan Baez was arrested at a draft protest.

On this day back in 1972, Creedence Clearwater Revival broke up.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Fred Turner (of Bachman Turner Overdrive) and Wendy Wilson (member of “Wilson Phillips” and daughter of Brian Wilson).

October 11, 2009

Concert Review: KISS at Madison Square Garden on Saturday Rocktober 10, 2009. KISS ALIVE 35

Concert Review: KISS at Madison Square Garden on Saturday Rocktober 10, 2009. KISS ALIVE 35.

KISS in KISS Country”

Is there a more dedicated fan base than the Kiss Army? The elder “statesmen” and “stateswomen” brought along a whole bunch of new recruits to witness the spectacle of what could be the best visual stage show ever as well as the constant supply of down home Rock and Roll cooking for the New York audience. I am positive that the new recruits are just as enthralled with KISS after witnessing them deliver a knock out punch on the world’s greatest stage and who knows they may just get the chance to introduce their kids to a KISS concert for their “KISS ALIVE 50” tour. I don’t know if it is the addition of Tommy Thayer on guitar or Eric Singer on drums but Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons appear to be revitalized. They seem to be breathing fresh air again and you would have thought that it could have been 1979 instead of 2009 because the energy they brought to the table last night has me thinking that they are drinking out of some kind of fountain of youth. (And all I know is that I want some too). Now when I was 12 years old, KISS was not cool for my parents or their generation. My parents were not taking me to a KISS concert, I had to wait of age and then go with friends. The great thing about last night was that my generation is now bringing their kids to see “the hottest band in the world.” All I know is that I was stoked last night to see them and I was looking for that “match” to ignite me into orbit. And you’re not going to believe what did it for me. I was blasting KISS in my car the whole ride down to NYC from Connecticut. (Again NY is the only place to see them, especially since this is their home town). After I parked I was rushing to meet my “brother” –John- and as I was running along 7th Avenue, I saw the KISS Army in their “get-ups,” heard their music being played in passing cars and then as I’m running pass the Garden, I stop dead in my tracks. There is this dude with his son (who couldn’t have been more than 7 yrs. old) and the kid has the “spaceman” painted on his face. The father is taking a photo of him right underneath the Madison Square Garden logo. They didn’t know it but that was “the sign” for me and I knew it was going to be a great night.

After eating at Harrington’s, (another Garden ritual) John and I followed the “yellow brick road” into the Garden as we gazed at the endless stream of the face painted soldiers (most were Gene by the way), checked out the “T-Shirts” ($45-ouch) and went looking for the “M&M” candies but after a long search-none were to be had. Again no offense to Buckcherry (the opener) but we were there for Kiss, so we kind of waited off to the side for them to finish their set. The “pre-game” ceremony was mainly uneventful as the stage was completely surrounded by four curtains (have I mentioned “Oz?”) with the front curtain containing the KISS logo in Oakland Raider colors, so we couldn’t figure out was going on. I knew KISS was coming out when the stereo system played “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin. As the song ends, the fans witness on these two substantial screens tucked away high up in the corners of the Garden, the members of Kiss being filmed backstage as they walked in the tunnel to get to the stage. Then there it was- the announcers’ voice and the crowd quickly joining in unison to say “You wanted the best, You got the best, The hottest band in the world… KISS!!!  \m/ \m/   The opening chords to “Deuce” spray out throughout the Garden as the curtains drop while the bombs and explosions crash down while the audience finally gets to see the massive stage. At the center of the stage is the KISS logo, approximately 9-10 feet high and 10-12 feet long with seeming thousands of light bulbs in them. Gene, Paul and Tommy are spread out among the enormous platform while Eric and his drum kit are above the Kiss logo and he appears to be “Larger than Life.” The ground floor has a row of speakers going across the entire stage and they were about three feet high. Then there were these three layers of what I would call perfectly white squares (picture the precise white blocks for the children’s game “Don’t break The Ice”-remember that game?) and these squares were basically screens that showed the members of Kiss while they performed as well as album covers, etc. The bottom layer was the longest, with the second being a little shorter than the bottom and the top row of squares being shorter than the middle level. There were two massive “KISS ARMY” banners that hung on each side of the stage. Above the band was this colossal movie screen that depicted the bands every movement with the highest “HD” quality you have ever seen. This screen at times was split into four equal parts, three equal parts as well as two equal parts illustrating each member of this infamous band. There he was-Mr. Simmons screaming “Get Up and Get Your Grandma outta here!!!” into the microphone looking every bit as the demon he was back in 1975. The crowd is going wild and as the song is ending-Paul, Gene and Tommy do this unison dance with their guitars in hand as they dip then raise their heads to the pounding beats of Eric’s drumming. Eric then begins the next classic-“Strutter”- with his sticks as the crowd prepares to help out Paul with the lyrics as they anxiously wait to belt out-“I know a thing or two about her.. I know she’ll only make you crryyyy..” The elder state person’s are all smiling and high fiving each other as the Army prepare to air guitar to Tommy’s guitar solo. Whew, what a way to start-back to the classics (and it would stay this way most of the night). Paul says hello to the crowd as they blast into “Let Me Go, Rock and Roll” a sort of Chuck Berry sounding song that appears on their “Hotter than Hell” album. Eric and Tommy share the spotlight as their playing was super solid. After the song Paul tells the crowd that he use to drive a cab in NY and would drive people to see Elvis back in the day as he grew up in New York and he was determined to one day play Madison Square Garden with his band. He pays homage to the NY crowd by letting them know that no matter where they might play, New York will always be their home and that this is “KISS in KISS Country.”

They continue with the second of three consecutive songs from “Hotter than Hell” by performing the title track as the background screens all have flames blazing everywhere along with the pyrotechnics exploding on each side of the stage. John is amazed by the stage show and presence that they command and states already that this is the best concert he has ever attended. Gene then takes the spotlight by getting out the torch and you know what’s coming- yes the spitting of the fire- and he executes it perfectly. I was hoping to hear more than a few songs from “Sonic Boom” but the only one they squeezed in between two classics was the new single, the scorching “Modern Day Delilah” and I have to tell you there were a lot of fans who knew all the words to this song already. (If you are a Kiss fan you really need to own “Sonic Boom.”) One of the early highlights of the show was the lost classic-“She” from their “Dressed to Kill” album. I was in my glory as Tommy and Eric really sent the crowd into orbit with their playing ability. Thayer’s guitar solo was electrifying as I was basking in the moment slowly head banging along with the many die-hards singing word for word. Tommy then had a guitar solo which included shooting flames into the night from his guitar from each side of the stage. The “hidden” classics continued with the blazing “Parasite” from “Hotter than Hell.” I couldn’t believe they were performing this song; this is a track I have told you about a few times on this page and to be able to hear it live in more than a quarter of a century was unreal. Paul then stated that the next song was the “classics of classic”- the staple of their shows: “100,000 Years.” Johnny was beside himself as he sang along to every word and hit all the drum & guitar parts. This is his song and I informed everyone around me to “Get up!!!-there is no sitting down on this one.” As kids we always would put “Kiss Alive 1” on and listen to this track the most as we couldn’t wait for the drum solo. The crowd knows when the drum solo will arrive as many of the faithful are “air-drumming” along with Eric. Mr. Singer breaks out into his solo and wants audience participation as he gets the crowd to hand clap as he pounds the skins. His drum kit was lifted in the air to add to the spectacle. As the rest of the members come back on stage, Paul really gets the audience involved as this song definitely stretched beyond the 12 minute mark.

Now it’s time for Gene’s solo and as we all know by now- Gene loves Gene. The screens had a close up of his face and it seemed to surround the Garden and he had the fans eating out of the palm of his hand. (Would he have it any other way?). The older brethren know what’s coming- the gurgitation of blood from his mouth. He is then swiftly (and I mean swiftly) lifted into the air high above the audience and is standing on a platform that appeared to be on the same level as the corporate “boxes” high atop the Garden. They lace into the hard rocking “I Love It Loud” and the crowd is singing word for word. “Turn it up, hungry for the medicine, two fisted to the very end..” After another classic, Paul lets the crowd know that we were there for one reason and one reason only- an “escape” from our day to day worries, bad news, etc. (Haven’t I been preaching that since I started this page?). He said we have the right to rock and roll and they laced into “Rock and Roll All Nite.” I’m telling you folks, I don’t care how many times you hear it, and how many times they play it- there is something about this song that just does it for every one. There were these “machine guns” spraying out confetti throughout the Garden while they were performing this song and it really was the icing on the cake. The screens showed the rabid fans singing along, cheering and just plain smiling. Freakin’ awesome. They exit the stage and after a few minutes the crowd is chanting “We Want Kiss!! We Want Kiss!!”

After about 5 minutes, they come out all together and bow to the audience. Paul lets the crowd know that they will not keep coming out for additional encores that they will have the “longest encore in the history of music.” As they prepare to get their instruments Paul playfully jumps on Gene’s back and Gene is carrying him across the stage. (Did I mention that they appear loose and free?). They played five songs for the encore with the highlight being “Love Gun” aided by this huge crane with a hook (just picture the largest fishing pole you have ever seen) that lifted Paul to the middle of the Garden where there was a small circular stage waiting for his arrival. Paul was the “bait” and the crowd ate it up. Mr. Stanley rocked, rolled and danced around this stage and sent the audience around him into a fury. The night ended with the incomparable “Detroit Rock City” and I know the crowd wanted more but they were definitely satisfied with the passion, dedication and effort put into the show by Paul, Gene, Tommy and Eric. KISS came home last night and proved to everyone why they have lasted for 35 years and I know the same audience (as well as future recruits) will be there when they come back for their 40th, 45th and 50th. Thank you Gentlemen for a rocking evening.   \m/ \m/

Set List:

1.       Deuce

2.       Strutter

3.       Let Me Go, Rock and Roll

4.       Hotter Than Hell

5.       Got To Choose

6.       Modern Day Delilah

7.       C’mon and Love Me

8.       She

           Thayer Guitar Solo

9.        Parasite

10.     100,000 Years (included Singer drum solo)

            Simmons Bass Solo

11.      I Love It Loud

12.      Black Diamond

13.      Rock and Roll All Nite


14.      Shout It Out Loud

15.      Lick It Up

16.      Cold Gin

17.      Love Gun

18.      Detroit Rock City

October 9, 2009

Weekly Update – Rocktober 9, 2009

Bob Dylan at the United Palace on Tues. – Thurs. Nov. 17-19. Tickets on sale today at noon. $59, $89 and $129.

John Fogerty at the Beacon Theater on Tues. Nov. 24. Tickets on sale next Fri. Nov. 16 at 11:00 a.m. $39.50 – $99.50.

Papa Roach and Jet at Nokia Theater on Thurs. Nov. 12. Pre-sale tickets for American Express on sale until noon today. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $35.

Aventura at the Madison Square Garden on Wed. Jan. 20, 2010. Tickets on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m. $64, $84, $114.50 and $129.50.

Anvil at the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Fri. Jan. 15. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event). $20 ($25 day of show).

Il Divo at Beacon Theater on Tues. – Thurs. Dec. 15 – 17. Tickets on sale this coming Mon. Rocktober 12 at 10:00 a.m. $45 – $105. Also appearing at the Mark. G. Etess Arena in Atlantic City on Sat. Dec. 12. Tickets for this show go on sale Sat. Rocktober 24 at noon. (Live Nation Event).

Rain (A Tribute Band to The Beatles) at the Chevrolet Theater in Wallingford CT on Sat. & Sun. Jan. 30 & 31, 2010. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders only on now. General public tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $25.50, $45.50, $65.50 and $75.50.

Devendra Banhart at Town Hall on Sun. Nov. 22. Tickets on sale today at noon. $26, $30.

Sonic Youth at Music Hall of Williamsburg (Brooklyn) on Tues. & Wed. Nov. 24 & 25. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35.

Raphael Saadiq at the Terminal 5 on Fri. Dec. 4. Tickets on sale today at noon. $30 ($35 day of show).

Ray Davies at the Wellmont Theater on Tues. Nov. 24. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35, $55 and $75.

Other items:

Have you seen the latest video by Shinedown yet? (or should I say “The Great Shinedown”). The phenomenal track is “If You Only Knew” and I told you about this song last summer and I still believe that this will do better than “Second Chance.” Check out this awesome song and the video to go along with it at

And if you stay on the same page (vh1 video) you will see the best video out there today and that belongs to Rob Thomas and his song “Someday.” I told you this guy was good and his message is always about bringing people together living in peace and happiness. If this video doesn’t bring a smile to your face, then you need to check for a pulse.

I’m assuming the estate of John Denver was behind the release of a double live CD-“Live in the U.S.S.R.-Unplugged” and features 27 songs of his greatest hits. If you are a fan (I am) then you will love this.

Are the days of Aerosmith over again? Joe Perry has released a solo album-“Have Guitar Will Travel”- and in a recent interview has stated that he and Steven Tyler have not collaborated on a song together in over ten years. Perry, frustrated with the state of Aerosmith, has not talked to his band mates since Tyler fell off a stage two months ago. The band is being forced to perform a show in Hawaii (they cancelled a show there a few years ago and they were sued to come back and play there) later this month, so we’ll see what happens. Perry though, seems intent on moving forward with or without Aerosmith, his wife found a singer for his solo album via a You-Tube video and Slash was recently spotted at one of his solo shows and the rumors are flying they will do something together.

This coming Tuesday, Rocktober 13, Hall & Oates will release a box set-“Do What You Want, Be What You Are”- that will contain four CD’s containing 74 songs of which 16 of them were not previously released.You know there will be some real good stuff in this set.

Album Review: “Sonic Boom” by KISS released on Rocktober 6, 2009.

Yes for the second time in the past year I had to buy a rock and roll album from Walmart (that is definitely NOT rock and roll but a sign of the times; yes it is all about the “Benjamins” and since Walmart is right up there at the top for reaching a broad audience, I can see why bands are doing this). But the big difference this time around was the lack of display of the KISS brand name. Last year when I went for the AC/DC album- “Black Ice”- there was a whole section of the store that was totally dedicated to “everything AC/DC.” Posters, billboards, gigantic bold letters displaying AC/DC, so you know I was expecting basically fireworks, workers dressed up like KISS, big bold display’s of Gene, Paul, Tommy and Eric (seems weird not to write Ace and Peter) when I walked into Walmart on Tuesday morning (No I was not there when the store opened… I waited a half hour, then went). Yet, there was nothing at the Walmart in Danbury CT. I mean NOTHING, no face makeup on the workers… no visible signs that KISS was in the house… so I had to walk around the store twice and had to ask for help to find “Sonic Boom.” When I asked a worker he said “Who is Kiss?” What??!!! Dude- you are totally killing my buzz…Another “suit” quickly walked over and said “Yes, where is the Kiss display?” OK I’m past the display-just get me the album. They walkie-talkie some other dude and he walks me over to a “wire-metal display” (think your local supermarket where they sell the potato chips) and there it is. (I would have NEVER found it!!) No fireworks, no other person in the store looking for this album but me. Are you kidding me? Then I look at the cover and I’m immediately disappointed because there are too many colors and the KISS logo is highlighted in yellow. (Kind of reminds me of the “Looney Tunes” Logo). But the cool thing is that for $12 I have new work by the boys, a re-recording of some of their classics on another CD and some live performances of their tour on DVD. You can’t beat that, right? Now the real test is when I get back in my car. I slowly peel the plastic off the cover and take the CD out and I see Eric Singer’s face (well Peter’s Cat face but Eric behind the make-up), I slip the CD in- turn the car off but leave the radio on and wait to see if I am going to like the first few notes. BOOM the first song-“Modern Day Delilah” hits you right in the jaw and all the bad vibes that I had trying to buy the album disappears ( I slide down the windows just in case to let some fresh air in the car). I sit there mesmerized as I am curious to see if they can keep it going. I can’t go anywhere (my wife doesn’t even know I left the house to buy the CD) as I am pretty excited about what I am hearing. (and I am not saying this just because I am a Kiss fan). I listen to more than half the CD in the parking lot and decide to start up the car to rush home to do this write-up. KISS Army rejoice!!! If you want the sounds of “Rock and Roll Over” or “Love Gun” (which I love both of those albums) then run, don’t walk, to your nearest Walmart (hopefully those will have the displays) and buy this bad boy. And for the causal fan or even if you say you’re not a fan (ha, ha, ha.. yeah right).. this album is for you. I am totally stunned on how good this album is, it flows nicely and there are no fillers in this 43 minute outstanding piece of work. I don’t know if a band can “reinvent” itself after 35 years but this album is like using a defibrillator to jump start a person back to life and get the blood flowing again. As the album progressed, my juices were revved up and has made the anticipation of seeing them tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden that much greater.

As mentioned the album kicks off with “Modern Day Delilah” and it will definitely conjure up the memories of early Kiss but with a contemporary fell to it. Paul takes the lead vocals and yes he will hit the high notes, especially before the blistering guitar solo by Mr. Thayer as he screeches “a hunter’s prey.” The one thing that I took notice to was the “tightness” of this “new” band-meaning with Tommy and Eric behind the controls of the crucial parts like drums and lead guitar. I think these guys have given new blood to both Paul and Gene, as I think this is the way they (Gene and Paul) intended the band to be in the first place with every one getting a chance to take lead vocals while contributing to the other tracks as well. Paul always talks about the “Kiss family” and it appears that all the drama is now free and clear of this band. They can now get back to what they like best-creating good rock and roll. Gene takes the lead vocals for “Russian Roulette” and again it seems like I have heard this Kiss song before, but I can’t put my finger on which one. The groove is infectious and it changes courses throughout as it gets slower and then faster. Tommy’s solo is flat out electrifying and it is actually weird now how Gene is really a good bass player and singer after watching him for the past few years on his “Family Jewels” show. (you forget that he is the flame, blood spitting devil with the platform boots-he’s back!!). The third track-“Never Enough”- is one of my favorite tracks on the album and yes I know it sounds a little “poppish” but I love it. (To me, it will remind you of Poison’s “Nothing But a Good Time” but according to my good friend Ed, it is a dead ringer for “Flying High Again” by Ozzy). This is a song to have blasting out of you car as you ride down Route 66 or whatever road takes you to the local supermarket, to show the younger generation that yes the old guys from Kiss still know how to rock. “Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect)” is my favorite track on the album because it is something that could have been on the first Kiss album; this is rock and roll back to the basics. (And of course there are juvenile lyrics to go along with it-I told you Gene was back-just don’t tell Shannon about the lyrics to this one). Have I mentioned how friggin’ good Tommy Thayer is on guitar? So far that’s four –for four on the solid solos during the middle of each song. Track # 5- “Stand”- will be headed for the radio pretty soon. The arrangement of the song is top notch as both Paul and Gene share the lead vocals while switching verses, there is the usual flair from Paul as the chorus leans towards the arm waving crowd in the front rows of American Idol (especially when Paul screams out “Just look over your shoulder” and “Can you feel it”) but it still rocks out.

“Hot and Cold” highlights Eric’s nice drum playing as Gene again takes the lead vocals and it really seems like Gene is in his twenties again as the enthusiasm protruding through your speakers will make you stand up and pay attention. This is the new electrified Kiss screaming out to your ears and like Gene says in the song “If it’s too loud.. You’re too old!!!” Play it LOUD!!! Track # 7-“All for the Glory”- will have you trying to clear your ears as you will think that it is Peter Criss behind the mike but it is Eric Singer taking the lead vocals. (Hey if he looks like Peter, he might as well sound like him). And this is no sappy song done by the drummer, this song rocks out as well. Wait until you hear Tommy’s solo-I’m not going to say anymore-you have to hear it for yourself. I can definitely see this as a fan favorite at their live shows. Hey based on this album, they’ll need do a 40th KISS tour because they should be busy making more albums like this in the coming years. “Danger Us” is my second favorite track on the disc, it starts off slowly but then quickly kicks into a head-banging motion as Thayer’s guitar licks will have you bouncing up and down. The highlight of this song is the background harmonized vocals of all the members of the band as well as Thayer’s blistering guitar work. I’m telling you- you are not going to believe how freakin’ good this song (as well as the album) is. I’m hoping they do a lot of the songs from this album at the show tomorrow night. (now how many people are hoping that comes true?). “I’m An Animal” is a slow trodden guitar laced song that make you feel like you are in the middle of a “twister” as all the different instruments are flying all round your ears while you constantly wave your head around in a circular motion. Gene’s vocals are incredible on this track. “When Lightning Strikes” has the “cowbell” effect and the slick driving guitar notes will get you moving. Tommy sings the lead but again you will be trying to clean your ears as you will swear it is Gene. This is Tommy’s baby as he applies a nice guitar solo to go along with the cool voice. “When lightning strikes, I howl in the rain and thunder..” (Ok so maybe you might feel the twister on this one). The album ends with “Say Yeah” and yes the lyrics deal with… well you know what. But that is what the “Starman” for the band Kiss is suppose to do, right? That’s rock and roll, right? Towards the end of the song you actually hear an acoustic guitar and it makes you realize that the whole album (except that part obviously) packs a solid punch as far as the electric guitar sound goes.

I know this has been said many times before… but KISS is BACK!! “Sonic Boom” is as enjoyable to listen to as it seems like the boys had in recording this album. They seem like a “tight knit” team again and the result is a blazing, hard hitting rock and roll album that is sure to satisfy the Kiss Army. Not only did they record new songs but they went and re-recorded 15 of Kiss classics, it seems effortless- can you imagine before Tommy and Eric how long it would have taken them to record 26 songs for a release? Even the “old” Kiss songs sound revitalized. KISS IS BACK and I for one am so glad that I will be seeing them tomorrow night. “Sonic Boom” deserves a place in your musical library, don’t wait to see what others might say-I’m telling you- THIS IS A MUST BUY!!!! \m/ \m/


A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine e-mailed me back and gave me a list of performers that he wanted to see my favorite top ten songs by those artists, so this week I am going to go with his very good suggestion of Tom Petty. (Thanks Charlie). Now it’s perfect because since this is Rocktober, who better than Tom Petty? He’s been making music since the 1970’s and continues to be true to himself, the music just bleeds out of him. He’s not looking for popular, just plain good music. So here are my top ten songs from Mr. Petty (it can include his solo stuff, Wilbury’s as well as the Torpedo’s):

10.     I Need To Know– How friggin’ great is this song? This is from his second album “You’re Gonna Get It” in 1978 It’s a short, sweet and rocking song that will blow the doors off the hinges when it comes to the blazing guitar solo in the middle. Perfect exercise song for Spin and/or boot camp classes.

9.     Ankle Deep– Beautiful track from his 2006 solo album “Highway Companion.” This is pure Tom Petty, he pours his heart and soul into this song. This is a perfect song for just hanging out with friends. If you play acoustic guitar and take requests (like a few friends I know), please take my suggestion and learn how to play and sing this song.

8.     Inside Out One of my top five songs by the Traveling Wilbury’s and this is off of the “Volume 3” album. I know that Dylan and Harrison share the vocal leads but it’s Petty’s distinctive voice that takes it home as he sings “When your outside’s in…” For me, this is a Petty song with others helping him, it’s an addictive chorus.

7.     Anything That’s Rock and Roll – Classic tune from his very first album, you can hear the “rawness” of Petty’s voice and Petty’s band and how can you beat the title? This is like the syrup that you would pour on your pancakes, pure sweetness. (sorry Walter Payton to use your title but it fits this tune).

6.     Don’t Do Me Like That –Wow this song really takes me back. It came out in 1979-one of my favorite years- back to the days in Pershing Junior high (back then it was 7-9 grades) and I can clearly remember seeing the older dudes in the neighborhood hanging out “in the well” with their boom boxes as this song would eventually be played on WNEW FM radio. Playing handball, softball , stick-ball (double wall) and even basketball. Aahh those were the days-just grab my glove and play centerfield on the concrete baseball diamond. “I was talking with a friend of mine…”

5.     The Same Old You-This is what rock and roll was intended to be. If you still have the 33 LP (or album), slide the needle over to this tune with the “crackles and all” and tell me this is not a GREAT Petty song??!!! The guitar solo is freakin’ phenomenal. I love the part where Petty sings “Live life like a young Polly-Atich-Ian (politician)” as he stretches out the word “politician.”

4.     Free Fallin’-On the night before I was married, my best man-John- slept over my parent’s house and needless to say we didn’t get any sleep (as we knew we wouldn’t) and John kept asking me to play this song over and over. I can clearly remember my mom, dad, my younger brother, John and I sitting around the table while John tried to match Petty’s fervor as he belted out “Now I’m FRRREEEEEEEEEE… FREE FALLIN’… Yeah I’m FRRRREEEEEEE…” Does it get any better? I think not.

3.     You Don’t Know How It Feels – Now you know that I have never taken a drug in my life and never even smoked a cigarette or cigar-so I was not a big fan a the main lyric in this song –“Let’s roll another joint”- but like I have always said “It’s about the music” and the groove in this song is something that I could literally listen to all day long. This song takes me away and I don’t need the “joint” to get me there.

2.     Mary Jane’s Last Dance-Love the opening guitar licks and obviously the entire track. There is no other way to listen to this song but very LOUDLY. (Again my wife and kids are yelling for me to turn it down). I think this is Petty’s vocal performance on any song that he has done. I love the whole verse as I try to emulate his “twang” when he sings “I don’t know.. you never slow down.. tired of this town… can’t stay long.” I think that is my favorite lines in any song in the history of music. Mr. Petty I bow to your greatness on this song.

1.     Wreck Me – Man does this song move or what? I can’t get enough of this tune. I’m “air-guitaring” and singing karaoke as I try to match the excitement of this song. This is the perfect song for the month of Rocktober and if it doesn’t get you out of your seat, then there is no blood flowing through your veins. I am dancing around wildly, jumping all around and trying anything else to move to this fantastic track. This is another perfect exercise song.


Since ROCKTOBER is my favorite month of the year I decided to try and come up with something different especially for this month only. I’m thinking a “Rock and Roll Juke Box” with some of the best rock songs for your next party or I-Pod playlist. This week’s list is what I would call the “Lady Rockers”; a list of tracks from some of “Rock’s” female performers. So here goes in no particular order:

1.     “Magic Man”- Heart-Where would rock and roll be without Heart? These ladies took aim at the classic “men” bands in the 1970’s and stood toe-to-toe, looked ‘em in the eye and said “Hello? I ain’t going anywhere!!” We all need to bow to Ann and Nancy as “we are not worthy.”

2.     “Mystery Achievement” – The Pretenders – my all time favorite song from Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders. She made her statement in rock music and is still going strong.

3.     “Edge of Seventeen”- Stevie Nicks– Talk about someone who has stuck to her guns. Again I ask, where would rock and roll be without Stevie Nicks? She has had a magnificent career that is still burning strong. Love this track.

4.     “All Fired Up” – Pat Benatar- Crank this “Bad boy” Uhh I mean “Bad Girl” UP!!! This song gets me psyched like none other. Pat Benatar has always rocked out with the best of ‘em, she takes no prisoners on this track. \m/ \m/

5.     “It’s on The Rocks”- The Donnas- These women can flat out knock you out with their head banging rock and roll. I love this friggin’ band as well as this track. \m/ \m/

6.     “Seether” – Veruca Salt– This band has been around since 1993 and Louise Post is one of the most unsung women of rock & roll. This song will get the party moving.

7.     “Bring Me Some Water” – Melissa Etheridge – Talked about her a few weeks ago, Melissa is one of the best female performers of all time. This song rocks!!!

8.     “Move Over” – Janis Joplin– This woman had rock, soul and blues in her blood stream. When you listen to her songs, you get goose bumps. A star was taken from us long before she should have been.

9.     “I Believe I’m In Love With You” – Bonnie Raitt –What else can you say about Bonnie Raitt that hasn’t been said already? She is fantastic, phenomenal and a pioneer of rock and roll. Put this song on and try not to dance, it’s impossible.

10.     “Soldier Boy” – The Shirelles- Part of the 1960’s invasion of the “girl groups” and this group was at the forefront of rock and roll.

11.     “He’s So Fine” – The Chiffons –Ditto for this band as well. “They” do not make music like this anymore. This is classic and ultimate rock and roll-don’t even try to say it’s not.

12.     “Be My Baby” – The Ronettes- This could be one of the best songs ever recorded by a “girl band.” Definitely puts a smile on my face every time I hear it.

13.     “(Love is Like A) Heatwave” – Martha & The Vandellas– Someone was upset that this song did not make my top 20 summer songs so here it is now on the list of women in rock and roll. Again this is another elite girl band.

14.     “Where Did Our Love Go” – The Supremes –So many songs to choose from by this legendary girl group from the 1960’s. So hard to pick but I love this song and brings back memories of my childhood as my parents always had the doo wop and 1950’s and 1960’s bands playing all the time.

15.     “Goodbye to You” – Scandal- One of my favorite songs from Patty Smyth. This could be the song of the 1980’s. When’s the last time you have heard this track? Pure fun.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.      Humble Pie

2.     Fred(“Rerun”) Berry (I know-“Huggy Bear” – Mr. Antonio Vargas was in it as well).

3.     Soul Train

4.     The Band

This week’s trivia (Kiss and Tom Petty)

1.     In what animated show did Tom Petty lend his voice for a recurring character?

2.     What is Gene Simmons real name?

3.     Gene Simmons appears in another band’s video in 2007. Name the band and video?”

4.     What was the name of the first band that Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were in?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Feels Like The First Time”- Foreigner

2.     “Jesus Take The Wheel”-Carrie Underwood

3.     If I Can’t Have YouYvonne Elliman

4.     “It Don’t Matter To Me”- Bread

Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?

1.     “When the works all done and the sun settlin low.. I pull out my fiddle and rosin up the bow.. ”

2.     “The beat was going strong.. playing my favorite song”

3.     “I was trying to catch your eyes.. thought that you were trying to hide…”

4.     “You know we’ve got to find a way.. to bring some lovin’ here today..”

Back on this day in 1973, Elvis divorce from Priscilla became final.

On this day back in 1966, John Lennon first met Yoko Ono at a London Art Gallery Exhibition.

Back on this day in 1974, Rush made its American television debut on the Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. They didn’t appear on American TV again until 2008 when they appeared on the Colbert Report.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with the late great John Lennon (who would’ve been 69- even though it’s been 29 years it still seems like it was yesterday when he was taken from us- in some ways it seems as if time has stood still from that tragic moment) and also his son Sean who was born in 1975, as well as the late John Entwistle (The Who- I shouldn’t have to tell you) and Jackson Browne.

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