Errols Weekly Music Update.

October 28, 2011

Weekly Update – Rocktober 28, 2011

Phish at Madison Square Garden on Wed. Dec. 28. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $73.90

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds at United Palace theater on Fri. Nov. 18. tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $148.25 (Wow that is a lot of money)

The Cure at the Beacon Theater from Fri. – Sun. Nov. 25-27. Tickets on sale Rocktober 31 at 10:00 a.m. $65 – $105.

Erykah Badu at the Best Buy Theater on Sun. Dec. 4. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $59.50 – $65.
Cyndi Lauper at the Beacon Theater on Sun. Dec. 4 for “Home for The Holidays” Tour. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $48.25; $63.65; $170.05; $530.60

Devo at Irving Plaza on Tues. Dec. 13. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $79.75.

Cheap Trick at the Paramount Theater in Huntington NY on Thurs. Dec. 8. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $62.50 and $116.

Barry Manilow at Radio City Music Hall on Tues. Feb. 14, 2011. Pre-sale tickets on sale now if you have an American Express card until this Sunday night Rocktober 30 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale Mon. Rocktober 31 at 10:00 a.m. $63.90 and $326. (Again it is shameful that ticket prices are now like this with this huge gap in-between low and high).

Mavis Staples at the Beacon Theater on Mon. Dec. 5 for the 7th annual “Holiday Cheer for FUV.” Tickets on sale today at noon. $68.25, $93.85 and $174.70.

David Cook at Irving Plaza on Fri. Dec. 9. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $38.50

Other items:

Rumor of the week: Tony Iommi and the boys have been reportedly rehearsing together-and they are actually speaking to each other again- and the spark has been struck-there might be a Black Sabbath reunion with the four original members. Great news to take the month of Rocktober out-keep your fingers crossed.

Michael Buble has released a full length Christmas album which just came out this past Tuesday and even though it is many of the same songs you have heard in the past-it is an absolute stunner. I’m already listening to it and Halloween is not even here yet. Folks, run-don’t walk- to wherever it is you go to get your music-you will not be disappointed, especially if you love that “classic” sound. This is the 2000 version of Bing Crosby. Wait until you hear-“Jingle Bells”- with the Puppini Sisters-you will think it is 1940 all over again and it’s Bing with the Andrew Sisters. The duet with Shaina Twain is “off the hook.” You just need to own it. This is an “instant classic” that you will be listening to for decades.

My favorite country band-Little Big Town– has put their spin on the Maroon 5 song with Christina Aguilera-“Move Like Jagger”- and I have to say they do a solid job on it. It is raw, it looks like they are in a hallway of a grammar school scrunched comfortably with an acoustic flavor. This band can sing and sing they do-if this doesn’t move you-then I give up. Go here to view:

Sad news to hear about the official cause of death for Amy Winehouse and I hope now her family and friends can be finally be at peace. Rest in peace Amy.

Here’s to a speedy recovery for Stephen Tyler who had a violent fall in the bathroom at his hotel in Paraguay last weekend. He appeared on the ‘Today’ show earlier this week to explain that it was his second show in South America and explained it was food poisoning. He passed out in the shower after he felt nauseous. He denies that drugs or alcohol was involved.

Best wishes for another speedy recovery as Paul Stanley of KISS had surgery on his vocal chords earlier this week but don’t fret, his publicist says that he will be back in no time. Yes a new album in 2012 and another tour!!!

Slash is back in the studio recording his next solo album and this time it is with the band that he took out with him to tour to support his first solo album last year. Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) will handle the vocals which I think is an excellent move on Slash’s part- I can’t wait to hear what’s next.

Rocktober Juke-box: 1979

Rock On 1979

Since it is “Rocktober” (my most favorite month of the year) I decided to bring back the rock and roll juke-box and the theme this week is the music from 1979. As I think back to that year, I can remember buying so many quality albums, in my opinion, and spending endless hours lying in front of my stereo listening to them while expanding my tastes, just a bit. If I wasn’t playing baseball during every season but the winter (football took its place in the winter) or studying for tests during the school year, then every other free moment I had was discovering new music. I was 14-years old and my world was opening up just like when a small stream rolls into a huge body of lake water and eventually the ocean. This was the beginning of my journey, which I am still on, and it will never end because music is in my blood stream-a necessity for me to breathe.

I really can’t remember a better year of music –for my taste in music- than 1979. (I often wonder if the Smashing Pumpkin song-“1979”- was written because of all the great music that came out that year). Quickly off the top of my head there was The Cars “Candy-O”-pound-for-pound arguably their best album ever; The Police’s-“Regatta De Blanc”- a super solid follow-up to their debut; “Head Games” by Foreigner-such an under-rated album by all the critics (fans know better); “Look Sharp” and “I’m The Man” by Joe Jackson (yes boys and girls two albums in one year); “Fear of Music” by Talking Heads (the one and only album I own of theirs-besides the “greatest hits”); The B-52’s debut (yes it deserves to be mentioned); “Live at Budokan” by Cheap Trick (yes this has to be here despite the fact there are no new songs); “Freedom at Point Zero” by Jefferson Starship (when Mickey Thomas joined in on vocals-great album in my opinion); “VHII”by Van Halen; “Breakfast in America” by Supertramp; “Cornerstone” by Styx (again my taste); “Flirtin’ With Disaster” by Molly Hatchett and ‘The Long Run” by The Eagles. Now I know I am missing more but this is what I quickly think of. And also in 1979, there was arguably the greatest “one hit wonder”-“My Sharona”- by The Knack off of their debut-“Get The Knack.” So here it is folks the last week of Rocktober and I want to go out with a bang, so throw a few quarters in the juke-box and make the following selections, in no particular order:

On Any Other Day” – The Police – This is when The Police were The Police-you know that expression-“scary good”-this is immediately what comes to mind whenever I hear this song. Their first two albums are incredible and even “goofy” songs like this grab your attention because this trio is so talented. Sting was a beast on bass and vocals; Andy kept the train rolling with his complete guitar playing and Stuart still has to be considered amongst the greatest drummers still alive today

Since I Held You” – The Cars – I know what you’re thinking-the Cars again?- why yes…why not? This band deserves its spot in the Hall of Fame and songs like this are “exhibit A.” From the opening lick by Elliot Easton to the last drum beats by Greg Robinson it is something different from the normal rock you were used to listening to-was it-“new wave”-Ok call it what you want but Ocasek’s vocals are stunning and the arrangement of this song (and the entire album) are beyond words in my opinion. “I really love the way you talk…I don’t mind saying so…and ooh I love it when you dance…so silky slow…oh baby please don’t go.”-love it!!!

Borrowed Time” – Styx – “Don’t look now but here comes the ‘80’s”- boy do I remember that, the 1970’s was coming to an end and who knew what to expect in the upcoming decade. “I had my car and made the scene and didn’t give a damn about no gasoline”-funny how the theme still applies today with gas prices seemingly stuck near the $4 per gallon mark. (Imagine if that were the price back in 1979?) Styx is a good band and again-“Cornerstone”- is my most favorite album by these guys and this song takes me back to my bedroom and I put the speakers up in the window so the rest of my neighbors could hear this awesome song.-yes there is a big guitar hook-did you expect anything else?

Outta Love Again” – Van Halen – This is also “scary good”- C’mon folks some 32 years later, this song still sounds fresh as it did back then. Eddie was a young buck solidifying his legend while defining that legendary sound which many were influenced by and if I sang like Diamond Dave while possessing the skills he had, I may have been just as cocky. Alex and Michael are also scary good as you can feel the bass and drums all over this track. This groove is so “funk-a-fied” with the stop and go movements and once Eddie blasts in with the solo, well you can just start to bow to the Masters. The “young” Van Halen were so hungry, so raw that in my opinion-VH II- is their best album ever.

Brand New Cadillac” – The Clash – 1979 was also the year that The Clash released-“London Calling”- and I bet there weren’t too many teenagers back then who did not own it-this is by far my most favorite song on that album. This song rocks Rocktober like no other- it is a short power blast of a song that will knock your socks off-so friggin’ good. “Baby, baby…won’t you hear my plea…” I bet you Billie Armstrong heard this song as a kid and set him on his way to one day form Green Day. This is raucous rock and roll at its best. \m/ \m/

I’ll Get Even With You” – Foreigner – Listen to Lou Gramm’s vocals and tell me he wasn’t the best? Again “Head Games” is so under-rated in my opinion and I can listen to it from top to bottom. This is the fourth song on side one and is a stellar song in my opinion-it’s not too heavy but not too soft. You can feel Lou’s passion and if I was the intended person that this song was written about, I’d be nervous because one can tell by Lou’s voice that the hunt is on. This is the last album with all six members as the record company kind of forced their hand and eventually they would become four. Enjoy the mastery of all six on this tune.

Tusk” – Fleetwood Mac – After “Rumours” the whole world awaited with bated breath on what Fleetwood Mac’s next album was going to sound like and to be quite honest with you, I did not like this song when it was first released in 1979 (Steve and I said the same thing this week). It was only years later that I finally “got it” and it has become one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs (just not in my top 5). There is a lot going on in this song and it does make for a good party song-I could see some sort of line dancing forming. Ok, nerdy-well that’s me.

Freedom At Point Zero” – Jefferson Starship – I wore out the album sleeve on this album, so many great songs including the title track which will rock you out. I know every word to this song (and there are a lot of words) and could do it at a karaoke party and completely nail it. I say what a perfect way to end an album as this was the last song on side two-it has everything that you want in a song-fast moving and loud but then the pitch and tone comes down at other moments while all along you can’t help but sing along. “steady as steel I want to take the wheel and drive you like a rock and roller…freedom at point zero and rock and roll isn’t over”- that’s right rock and roll will never die. This song is so good I can’t explain it, I have always loved it and always will. I threw this on a Spin CD for Megan way back when and she loved it-perfect exercise song.

Heaven” – Talking Heads –Thanks to my uncle who turned me on to the “new” music of the late 1970’s and it included the Talking Heads and B-52’s and at the time, their music was “weird” and it took me a few turns of the “Fear of Music” for me to get it. This song is a good time to grab your partner at the party and go to the dance floor to dance cheek to cheek. It’s a “psychedelic power ballad” –if there is such a thing- David Byrne’s vocals are powerful. This is a super solid tune-check it out.

Dance This Mess Around” – B-52’s – Talk about weird? I can’t decide which album is more strange-“Fear of Music” by the Talking Heads or The B-52’s debut. Now this is by far the strangest song on this list and I will understand if some of you out there will feel like you have wasted a quarter but if you can get by her screaming into the microphone, the song is actually very good. Believe me, it took me a while to get used to this whole album, never mind this song but once I “got it” I was hooked. “yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” C’mon “Do the Aqua velva!!!”- Doesn’t that make you feel much better-some weird stuff here folks but its only a quarter, right?

Throw It Away” – Joe Jackson – Yes this song is what 1979 was all about- a mixture of “new wave” and “punk” but with rock and roll at its core. Joe Jackson was the man in 1979 and it was because of songs like this. This is raw, raucous rock and roll-don’t you just love the piano work? Boy how I wish he would stop ignoring the beginning of his career and get the boys back together to let their hair down-Ok maybe the hair is gone but you know what I mean. Please Joe, don’t “throw it away!!!”

Good Rockin’” – Molly Hatchett – I love the album “Flirtin’” and it’s because of songs like this. Folks this is some good stuff right here-it’s like walking into the kitchen of someone you know who really can cook during the holiday season and you get that warm feelin’- do you feel it? Do you smell it? That’s how good this song is- you can smell it. Molly Hatchett was the real deal back in 1979- get your south home jukin’ fix right here. This totally rocks!!! \m/ \m/

A Gallon of Gas” – The Kinks – I absolutely love the Kinks-“Low Budget”- album and also wore out the album sleeve on this bad boy. In my opinion, this is the most rocking album the Kinks ever made. And again even though this was made 32 years ago, the song is still relevant because we are paying through the nose for a gallon of gas. “Who needs a car and a 747 when you can’t buy a gallon of gas?” –couldn’t have said it better myself

Do Anything You Want to Do” – Thin Lizzy – The opening track on what many consider their best album ever-“Black Rose: A Rock Legend”- (I know my friend John thinks so, he has a huge picture of the album hanging in his house). Again for those of you who think they are a one-hit wonder-boy you are so wrong- Thin Lizzy belongs in the Hall-it’s enough already. How can Phil Lynott be in the Hall of Fame? Listen to his bass line on “Waiting for An Alibi” which is also on Black Rose and talk about singing- he had one of the greatest rock voices in history-it’s enough already.

Run Like Hell” – Pink Floyd – Even though I am not the biggest Floyd fan, I do own “The Wall” and besides the B-52’s and Talking Heads, this was also the strangest album I had ever come across. I understood the “concept” album but this “double” blast of work was too “psychedelic” for me if you get my drift. However, there are some quality songs from this work and I can’t deny that I do not change the dial when I hear this song. Have to give credit where credit is due.

Shot Down In Flames ” – AC/DC – How freaking good is Bon Scott? A sad day indeed when the world lost this incredibly talented singer. I will never understand how anyone can not like AC/DC-especially if they love rock and roll- it’s damn near impossible and in my opinion is worthy of a fine-not jail time-but yes a fine. Angus’s solo is righteous and “Highway to Hell” is arguably their finest work during the Scott era.

Cars” – Gary Numan – This arguably could be the best song to come out of 1979-how many times was this played on the radio and like I said 1979 was the year of “new wave” with all of this psychedelic music. I know I instantly loved it and still listen with the same curiosity that I did when I was a kid. Maybe a one hit wonder but worth the price of admission.


30th Anniversary Box Set

It was the late 1980’s and my taste in music was starting to get “heavy” and it was only a few years before I dove head-first into “The Black album” by Metallica and I was then on my way. Now I guess the early fans of Metallica can blame Bob Rock and Motley Crue for Metallica going down the “pop” highway in their minds (I don’t care what anyone says- The Black album is heavy) because once Lars heard the 1989 release of “Dr. Feelgood”-he wanted that sound and despite relinquishing much of the control of making their own music, the black album came to fruition. And much to the dismay of the early Metallica fans, the world of metal spread to more of the general public, including me. Now by the time “Dr. Feelgood” came out I was entrenched into the world of Motley Crue and a big reason for it was due to a friend of mine-Audrey- who lent me their first album-“Too Fast For Love.” I thought that I loved “Shout Out The Devil” and “Girls, Girls, Girls” but when I put this album on, it struck a chord and to this day I think that this is their best work that they have ever done. So then why is it in the golden “nuggets” section of the page you ask? Because…there are songs that I skip over…yes again I said it- I know it is “sac-religious” to say that but if I am not honest, then what? Anyway, I was a huge fan of The Crue back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and went to see them a few times in their hey-day including the “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Dr. Feelgood” tours.

After grunge took over in the 1990’s and the band broke-up, I lost contact but when they did their 2005 reunion tour I went with my younger brother to see them and it was a solid overall performance (but not like the “old” days like the 1980’s and 1990’s). I was never really a fanatic of a fan for the band and was always kind of turned-off by Vince Neil, especially after seeing the “Behind The Music” documentary on the band where he came off as a spoiled rocker, in my opinion. Then when one of my new favorite bands-Godsmack- had written a song about him after Smack had toured with them on one of those “tent” summer tours, the lyrics depicted the same kind of “star” that he had been before their break-up. You’d figure that after their time away, he’d be a little more humble but…(I know there are two sides to the story but I am leaning with Sully on this one). I wouldn’t say he is as bad as Axl Rose but he has that “Axl” in him where if things don’t go his way, he seemingly pouts. Anyway, I digress-I can say that all these years later I am still a fan of The Crue, especially their debut-“Too Fast For Love”- which is solid and worthy of your attention. Here are some of the golden “nuggets” from this album, in no particular order:

Take Me To The Top – This is raw hard-rock head-banging at its best-you can feel their hunger throughout this entire debut album. Tommy Lee is one of the best drummers in the hard-rock/metal scene and most people nowadays seem to forget that because he has so much more going on around him but this album takes you back to the basics-he is all over this track. Now obviously this is a much younger Vince on vocals as the pitch throughout the album could be used to “break-glass” and is higher than a young Brian Johnson from AC/DC if you can believe that. It’s an ironic song title considering they did get there and remained in that position for a long-time but along with the fame came the fortune and misfortune. This is quality hard-rock right here folks and Nikki and Mick keep the engine flowing with a righteous groove, Mick has a nasty solo in the middle.

On With The Show – If one had to pick a song that defined the “sound” of Motley Crue-many might point to this song as it was a prelude to the types of songs that were to come in their future albums. It is not too “heavy”, has a “anthem” type melody that would get a rile out of a huge crowd and my guess if they pulled this one out in their future shows, the audience would freak. “Going on the show…oh my, my, my…no, no, no.” Mick Mars has always been and always will be the perfect lead-guitarist for this band, no “ifs,” “ands” and “buts” about it.

Come On and Dance – This could be my most favorite song on the album and I recently put it on a mix that I used for a long car ride and haven’t been able to stop singing it for the past two weeks. My youngest son knew right away who it was (my oldest was stumped) and I exhaled because I thought I had failed in my ability to spread the work of good hard rock. I love the guitar riff by Mars and I have to hand it to Vince as his vocal prowess is perfect for the genre called hard-rock/metal. If you “search” the meaning of that phrase-you just might see a reference to this song. It has the “cow-bell” so how can it not be good? Vince’s screams are primal.

Too Fast For Love – I don’t know folks, the title track just may be the best song on the album. This is perfect for your next work-out whether it is Spin, boot camp, kick-boxing or a run. You will not be able to stop singing-“too fast…too fast…too fast for love”- as you pick up the pace of your work-out-it will come naturally as the groove in this track has to get the juices flowing. Again Tommy makes you move with his smashing beats-you can feel his energy bleeding through the speakers. Vince is raw-as the rest of the band is-and you have to appreciate the feel of this song because I bet they couldn’t wait to record this (or perform it live) for everyone to hear because they knew they had something good. This is some good stuff right here folks. \m/ \m/

Public Enemy #1 – “You and me we’re gonna escape tonight… on the run under the moonlight…” Rebellious and defying, right? These guys had that raucous ways about them (just like Guns & Roses but they came before Guns) and this song exemplifies that sentiment with the music as well as the lyrics. They lived the life of being the public enemy #1-maybe this is the song that defines them, right? Perfect jam!!! \m/ \m/

Merry-Go-Round – I will caution you before you listen to this song-if you do NOT want to repeat the same phrase all day long and you will not be able to get it out of your head- do not listen to this track because you will not be able to stop singing- “merry-go-round…merry-go-round…merry-go-round and round…merry-go-round and round.” On the other hand if you like singing along to seemingly only three words in this track-then this song is for you. Mick has a sweet guitar solo in the middle and again Tommy is all over this song.

Piece of Your Action – Many would argue that this is the best song on the album and for the most part I wouldn’t disagree with that sentiment. As most of you know the focus for me is typically on the music and not so much the lyrics, so you know I am pretty uncomfortable talking about the meaning of this track, especially with the “youngin’s” in the room, so I will say that I love this song and only from the musical standpoint, especially when Tommy is hitting the “high-hat” throughout most-this is hard-rocking head-banging at its best.

Top Ten (By Artists You Are Scared To Admit You Like)

Sadly the month of Rocktober is coming to its end but it usually goes out with a bang because of Halloween and since it is next Monday-what better way to celebrate than with two of the “scariest” artists to have ever hit the rock scene in the last forty years or so- Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson. Now for those of you who were born in the 1980’s or later- you are probably making a face about Mr. Cooper. “Wasn’t that guy just voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?”-why yes, that is a correct statement. Could the same happen to Marilyn Manson? Betting money screams no way. But stranger things have happened and if they vote on Halloween night in the future, he just may have a chance. But I get the feeling Manson wouldn’t want to be voted in. With respect to Alice Cooper I can’t sit here and tell you that first off that I am his biggest fan-far from it-there are way more fanatical fans that could do a much better top ten list (or in this case top five) because my focus will be on the low hanging fruit. Secondly, I was a youngster myself when he “hit it big” and I never really followed his career, like I said- he is an artist I am familiar with and have some knowledge and overall I like his sound. But what I do know is that he was “scary” and at the time he was pushing the envelope like no one else of his generation. He may be the guy now that you share a round of golf with but back then he’d have the 10-foot long snake hanging around his neck spit the golf ball out of its mouth to you for the next hole. He had the make-up, the blood and whatever else it took to scare any sponsors away from him-the ultimate “devil” rebel who loved rock and roll.

Fast-forward about 25 – 30 years after Alice’s ground breaking presence and in walks someone who decided to take his band name from a selection of two categories- a) beautiful models and b) serial killers. Ok “part b” is all you need to know that he is so far off the ranch that I bet many people don’t want to listen to anything he has to say just because of the fact that he took a name of a “psycho-killer.” I acknowledge that even mentioning his name in a conversation is taking a risk (or writing about him on a blog) and I want to make abundantly clear that I do not share in any of his beliefs or agree with what he spouts off about but I will admit that I have a fair share of his songs on my I-pod. He is by far the “scariest” rock star in our modern history and I’m not just talking about his physical appearance. I have always maintained that it has been about the music for me and in this case it really is but I recognize that it is super-hard to ignore most of his lyrics. Now being a father, I have to thank Tipper, because the “warning” label was invented with him in mind and I encourage all you parents out there to keep a close eye (ear) on what your children are listening to, especially Marilyn, it could have an effect, especially if they are not mature enough. But I will get off my soap-box and this is the reaction that Marilyn wants, right? He succeeded again I guess.

Like I said, admitting to like Marilyn Manson in a public setting is something that can’t be good for you, right? People will automatically make assumptions about you- “I thought I knew him…what the hell?” (You see even your reaction causes a “cuss” word). Well it was back in 1998 or so that his album-“Mechanical Animals”- had come out and most of his die-hard fans thought the album was “soft.” That was my cue- I typically jump in once I know everyone is out of the water- and even though I was scared I bought the album. And the more I listened, the more I liked- yes I know he lured me in to his crazy world but maybe it was that album but I actually found his music melodic-for all the “heaviness,” “zany-ness” and “crazy-ness”- I was impressed with the overall musicianship of the band. I even lent the CD to one of my colleagues at the time (I will leave his name out to protect the innocent, if you get my drift) and he even admitted he liked it but he said had a wife and two children. Believe me, I understood and wondered why I couldn’t walk away.

As I followed his career, I changed jobs and went to work at MBIA, where if you wore a red tie people would look at you like you broke a rule, never mind admitting that you listened to Marilyn Manson. So I kept it to myself but then had another friend who listened to lots of rock and he mentioned that he was intrigued by MM and would definitely be interested in seeing him in concert. (again I am withholding names to protect the innocent). My other friend was totally out and the two of us headed to Hammerstein Ballroom to see him live and to our surprise the concert “go-ers” were not as outrageous as we thought were going to be. Actually there were more people dressed like us than not. And to boot, Marilyn did not take his soap box that night and just played straight-up rock, with an edge and I was thoroughly impressed. Then my friend made the unbelievable gaffe, in my opinion, by letting our boss know who we had gone to see. Hey, I have a wife and two children, are you crazy letting anyone in the “normal” society that I went to a Marilyn Manson concert. People may never look at you the same again, right? As I became a gym rat and made work-out CD’s for the classes I put Marilyn’s music in there and you had to see the people’s reaction- priceless. But you know what, by the time I left MBIA, there were women who were singing “Doll-Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag.”

I hung on for more than a couple of years but his work became too dark for me and eventually I purchased his‘greatest hits’ collection but never really dove into his work like I have with other bands or artists. So I guess you could say that I am in the ‘novice’ category when it comes to know what he is all about. Is it all an act? I can’t really see it as an act, especially when you read his lyrics. I like ‘dark’ music but he takes it to another level but the funny thing is like I said I have a fair share of his songs on my I-Pod. As we celebrate the ending of Rocktober and with Halloween on the horizon, what better way to celebrate with some spooky fellows, who have pushed the envelope to an unbelievable level. I am on an island and have been informed that I can only have five songs each from Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson. “These Are Them:”

Alice Cooper

From the Inside

5.     Feed My Frankenstein-Funny thing is I can picture a few different artists/bands covering this tune-Motley Crue and Rob Zombie- immediately come to mind and this tells you what an influence Alice has been to the world of hard-rock and heavy metal. There is a sweet guitar solo in the middle that will get your Frankenstein moving. What better way to celebrate Halloween than with Frankenstein. Love the lyrics-“I’m a hungry man but I don’t want pizza…I’ll blow down your house…and then I’m gonna eat ya…bring you to a simmer…”This song rocks. \m/ \m/

4.     School’s Out – Even though this song has become a “seasonal” song (sort of like the holiday songs) and it is always played on the radio during the month of June than any other time of the year, I can still turn up the volume whenever I hear it. When it comes on my I-Pod shuffle I have an immediate smile. “No more pencils…no more books…no more teacher’s dirty looks…school’s out forever” – you see what I am talking about? Love the children singing in the background-perfect touch for perfect song.

3.     Under My Wheels – If one looked up the phrase “rock and roll” in the dictionary-this song just might be included as a reference point. C’mon it even has a horn in the tune. The guitar solo is righteous and this “throw-back” of a song gives you a glimpse of the influences that Alice had while growing up and I would venture to say that Chuck Berry is almost certain to be one of them. This is sweet rock and roll right here folks-no need to be scared of this-jump in and join the fun.

2.     Stolen Prayers – Wow who would have ever thought that Alice Cooper would make a power-ballad that knocks you off your feet? I recently discovered this song and was blown away on how good it was and not only because Chris Cornell helps out on the tune as well as those “children” again. You know how singers/actors from England are able to sing in “American English” but when they talk, their accent is so present that you scratch your head? I get the same effect here because when I think of Alice Cooper I think of heavy, outrageous and raucous rock and roll but then this song comes on and part of my perception is wiped away and to my surprise it is one of my favorites from him.

1.     No More Mr. Nice Guy – This song by far is my most favorite song by Alice Cooper and I could listen to this tune 24 hours a day, it is that good and has to be considered one of the best rock and roll songs ever recorded, in my opinion. I will never forget the last time I went to see Tesla, the “pre-game” festivities included this song in the set-list and as I looked around the room most everyone was singing the track word-for-word. I love that, I love when a whole bunch of people get psyched up and that certain “energy” overtakes their system when a song like this comes on and takes them to that special place that has no distractions and serves as a “release” from the everyday worries. How many great lines are in this tune-“I opened doors for little old ladies…I helped the blind to see,” or “my dog bit me on the leg today… my cat clawed my eyes,” or “The Reverend Smitty, he recognized me and punched me in the nose.” I love to sing along to this song-“Mr. Clee-hee-hee-eeen” or “your ob-see-hee-hee-een.” You have to own this song, no?

Marilyn Manson

Image of Marilyn Manson

5.     Disposable Teens – Trying to narrow it down to five songs was actually hard for me to do, I could have done ten songs but I will stick to the program. This song actually rocks so freaking good that once I hear the beginning riffs I am polarized and waiting for his message (I’m teasing), no really folks when I talk about the musicianship this is one of the songs I would point to-this band is super tight and this is great head-banging “nu-metal”-or whatever label you want to put on it. Now keep this song (and almost everyone of his) away from the kids because the lyrics, as usual, are very pointed and “blunt.” (And of course there is typically an “F” bomb in his songs and it is in this one-just a point of reference-he uses the word s**t in his songs, like others would use the word “love”-that word is in a lot of his songs as well). In the middle of the song, the drums sound like “Beautiful People.” This is an aggressive fast paced song that I would definitely include on a set-list prior to any band coming out to perform a concert. If you never heard this song before you might think that it was the work of Trent Reznor with his band- Nine Inch Nails.

4.     Doll-Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag – I will never forget the first time that the rest of the gym rats at MBIA’s boot class heard this song when I put it on one of my CD’s for the class. Just picture this- it’s about 6:00 a.m. and after a few songs this power-house of a song comes on and I know that I am the only person at the whole company that has heard this song (never mind the six or seven members of the boot camp class)-I couldn’t wait for the reaction of those in the class room but for also those who were “out on the floor”. If I to pick one word for the reaction it was –“fear”- and I just went about my business like I didn’t even know what was going on. Hey you know that didn’t last-I started to laugh like crazy and screamed at the class to have an open mind. The song was perfect for boot-camp because it has a lot of “giddy-up.” After a few months, the girls (or should I say “Ladies”) in the class actually started to like the song. Not that anyone could sing the words because who knows what he is saying-the song flat out rocks. “go…go…go…you lolli-gaggers…you’re one of us!!!” \m/ \m/

3.     MobsceneAnother song that rips the cover right off the ball-a total knock-out that rips just like a hot knife slicing a cold piece of butter (don’t you just hate cold sticks of butter but you can’t leave it out like my mother did while I was growing up because it does affect you… take my word). It is songs like these that keeps me a little hooked in to see if he would make songs like this in the future, I would sign up again if he would make songs like this. Folks, the groove in this track is so infectious-if you like it heavy-and the best part are the background vocals being sung by some ladies and the funniest sight you will ever come across is if you go to see him perform live and plays this tune, it’s like Tony Orlando & Dawn-only the “Nightmare on Elm Street” version. It was so weird to see these women up on stage on both sides of him singing back-ground vocals so nicely to this demonic song-but I love it!!!!

2.     Coma White – There is something about this song that grips me-remember those old ‘Bugs Bunny’ cartoons where he would become hypnotized by the aroma of the carrot? Well this is exactly what happens to me. I remember many a train ride home on NJ Transit (when I lived in Ringwood) where the world was swiftly rushing beneath me as I drifted off looking at the window and I felt like I was in another world. Can this be Marilyn Manson I thought? I’m not supposed to like this-remember I have a wife and two kids-but I was completely drawn in and to this day it remains one of my favorite tunes. “A pill to make you numb… a pill to make you dumb…a pill to make you anybody else.” Good stuff right here folks.

1.     Beautiful People– I know, I know- putting this song at this spot was too predictable and it could be one of those tracks that could be on the list of tunes banned from radio for next ten years because of constant airplay- but when you think about it-how many radio stations really play this? I know the best rock radio station in America does-WCCC 106.9 on your FM dial out of Hartford CT (or for those unfortunate ones who live outside the CT area). I had to put this song here because I think that this is his most ground-breaking song, a tune that “put him on the map” so to speak. It crossed into the main-stream and I know my brother-in-law loves this track and he is not the biggest “rock” fan going and especially not in MM’s fan club, but there is an electrifying quality to this song that grabs you by the neck and slams you to the ground. And sometimes we all need that. The funny thing is that most of you out there probably resist the urge to like it because of him-there’s no way you could like this, right? Try it. See if you are just as polarized by this song like I am. This is some good stuff right here folks- beware of the “MF” bombs though.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     False- Tom Petty asked him

2.     What’s Love Got To Do With It

3.     Robert Palmer

4.     Live

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     I started out in a singing and dancing group back in the 1990’s and slowly emerged as one of the guys who could make it on their own. I exploded on the scene as a solo artist and everyone wanted to work with me. My singing career appears to be secondary now as I have now become an actor, appearing in some “big-time” movies. Who am I?

2.     We are a two person outfit that many consider the best two person band to have come out in the past ten years. Our music is eclectic mixed with a fusion of rock and blues. Many consider our band-“old school.” Who are we?

3.     Our band has been around since the late 1960’s and we are still going strong today touring throughout most of the year, albeit with some change in personnel over the years. For some reason, the doors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have remained closed for our entrance, which many consider should have a long time ago. Our band had so many hits, too numerous to count and we are searchin’ so long for the keys to the door to let us in the hall of fame. Who are we?

4.     During the late 1970’s our band hit its stride and became one of the biggest acts in the world, selling out major concert venues with ease. One of our members wanted to bring “theatrics” to the forefront of our being while the rest of us wanted to rock on. Who are we and who is the member now on the outside?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     Iron Man – Black Sabbath

2.     All I Do Is Dream of You – Michael Buble

3.     Nobody Knows – Billy Squier

4.     Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel

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

1.     “…the trouble with the maples…and they’re quite convinced they’re right…they say the oaks are just too lofty…”

2.     “…people say I’m crazy…doing what I’m doing…well they give me all kinds of warnings…”

3.     “…tell me what you want…I want a brand new house on an episode of Cribs and a bathroom I can play baseball in…”

4.     “…how can I just let you walk away…just let you leave without a trace …”

Back on this Day

Back on this day in 1958, Buddy Holly made his final TV appearance when he appeared on ‘American Bandstand’ and lip synced –‘It’s So Easy’- and- ‘Heartbeat.’

Back on this day in 1967, Buffalo Springfield appeared as guests on TV’s “Mannix.”

Back on this day in 1972, The Who’s -“Join Together”- became the official song for the U.S. Council for World Affairs.

Back on this day in 1975, Elton John’s “Island Girl” hit number one on the Billboard charts.

Back on this day in 1977, Steve Perry made his debut as lead singer for Journey as he came out and performed the encore on the last night of a three-night gig in San Francisco.

Back on this day in 1978, Queen kicked off national tour in support of “Jazz” in Dallas, Texas at the Convention Center.

Back on this day in 1989, Don Henley made his first appearance on ‘Saturday Night Live’ performing-“The Boys of Summer” and “Last Worthless Evening.”

Back on this day in 2003, Chris Cornell jumped up on stage to perform with Pearl Jam in Santa Barbara, CA to perform a couple of “Temple of the Dog” hits-“Hunger Strike” and “Reach Down.” Now how cool must have that been?

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Ben Harper, Telma Hopkins (Tony Orlando & Dawn) and Charlie Daniels.


October 21, 2011

Weekly Update – Rocktober 21, 2011

Peter Frampton at the Beacon Theater on Sat. Feb. 18, 2012. Pre-sale tickets on sale now if you have an American Express card. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $63.40, $89.50 and $117.10.

Twisted Sister at Best Buy Theater for their annual Twisted Christmas show on Sat. Dec. 17. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35 – $40.

Corey Taylor at Highline Ballroom (431 W 16th street NY between 9th and 10th avenue) on Mon. Dec. 5. Features acoustic performance, spoken word and Q&A. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25 ($30 day of show).

They Might Be Giants at Terminal 5 on Sat. Mar. 10, 2012. Tickets on sale today at noon. $26.50 ($30 day of show). It states specifically that no one under 14 years old will be allowed to see their show.

Wu Tang Clan at Best Buy Theater on Sun. Dec. 18. Tickets on sale today at noon. $55

Thirty Seconds To Mars at Hammerstein Ballroom on Wed. Dec. 7. Pre-sale tickets on sale now until 10:00 p.m. tonight if you have an American Express card. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $37.20 and $59.65.

Robert Earl Keen at Irving Plaza on Fri. Jan. 20, 2012. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $42.

Other items:

Have you seen the Honda commercial where the family in a minivan (Pilot) start to sing “Crazy Train”by Ozzy “a capella” style as each member of the family take turns performing the different sounds of the beginning of the song? I have to hand it to them, the commercial in ingenious and infectious, I love it.

The Cult are working on their ninth studio album and it is expected to be released in April 2012. It is said to been recorded with the influence of the Mighty Led Zeppelin and The Stooges. This band is solid.

Megadeth will be on the “Jimmy Kimmel” show on Halloween night (early Nov. 1) performing a new song from their new album-“ Th1rt3en” – which also comes out on Nov. 1. Most likely song will be “Public Enemy No. 1.”

On Nov. 21, Rush will release a 15 disc package that will contain every recording with Mercury Records. Can’t imagine how much that is going to cost but now is your chance to get it all in one shot.

My favorite “new thrash metal” song of the week is “The Devil You Know” by Anthrax from their new album – “Worship Music.” After seeing them at Yankee Stadium for the Big Four show it was only a matter of time before I started to dive into their music. Do you see how great it is to discover music? These guys have been around for 30 years and I’m just getting it. Good stuff right here folks!! \m/ \m/

My favorite “old school hard rock” song of the week is “Sinner’s Swing” by Van Halen. How friggin’ great is this song? “All right you sinner’s swing…danger in the rear view mirror…” Man this is when they were at the very top of their game. I will not let my oldest son’s face ruin my groove when I mentioned to him how great this song is.

Mick Jones of Foreigner has not performed with the band since Aug. 20 due to an undisclosed illness. The band’s publicist is stating that he is making a full recovery and should be back soon. Even though I don’t follow them without Lou, I hope Mick gets better to get back out on the road again with the band he loves. Best wishes Mick.

Mick Fleetwood teamed up with Jonny Lang and Stephen Tyler to record ZZ Top’s –“Sharped Dressed Man”- for the upcoming tribute album to ZZ Top- and Mick states that he may just want to keep this new “super group” thing going. Have to wait and see, can’t wait for the tribute album to come out.

Rocktober Juke-box: Double Barrel Tours

Since it is “Rocktober” (my most favorite month of the year) I decided to bring back the rock and roll juke-box and the theme this week is concerts that I have attended that contained some of the best “one, two punches”-meaning the opening band and the headliner were equally fantastic, in my opinion, on their respective tours together: Now there are so many tours that I have missed like the legendary bands Van Halen and Black Sabbath, where Diamond Dave and the boys opened for Ozzy and the boys. Or how about KISS opening for Sabbath- the list are endless and depending on your taste in music, you will have very different ones that I can remember. Now the key here is to think of tours right away-what comes to mind first-trying not to think too hard about it, cause if you do then it probably wasn’t the most memorable of shows, right? So here is a list of Rocktober juke box songs from my most memorable shows- (try not too laugh):

Image of Billy Squier

Queen 2

Billy Squier/Queen Tour 1982 (July)– I will never forget this night as Mr. McGregor took me, his son Brian and my “brother”-Slats- in his van to the legendary Madison Square Garden in July 1982 to see these two “power-houses”-again in my opinion- and the result was one of the best concert moments I have ever had. Both Billy and Queen tore up the stage. Sadly we lost touch with the McGregor’s since they moved to Arizona shortly after that night. And by the way what is “Rocktober” without Queen? Are you kidding me??!!

Rock Me Tonite” – Billy Squier – I get steamed when I hear people scoff at the library of work that Squier has put forth for us to enjoy. This guy was so huge during the early 1980’s that I would say that he ruled the “rock” world for at least two straight years-yes I know that MTV kind of killed his career-but that was later on in the 1980’s. Like I said for a period of time, he was a “King” and produced some of the coolest rock songs on the planet. Put this song on and tell me this doesn’t rock-it even has “rock” for Rocktober- in its title.

Fight From the Inside” – Queen – How great was this band in their prime? Hard to put into words, right? So freaking phenomenal in every aspect of their game. This rocking song hails from their “News of the World” album and it is actually contains Roger Taylor on vocals as Freddie sat this one out. There are many songs with Roger at the helm singing and almost every one he made was good. The bass lines, the lead guitar and the drumming is too much to take. Turn it up LOUD and rock on my friends. Put it in your juke-box.

Don’t Say You Love Me” – Billy Squier – This has to be in your Rocktober juke-box because this song totally rocks. This was my number one Billy Squier song and I can literally listen to this tune every day for the rest of my life (and beyond). The man made some quality tracks and even though this was after the days when he ruled the world, it gives you a glimpse into what he still had in him. This song pumps me up like no other-you have to own this track-it’s a crime if you don’t. Friggin’ phenomenal.

Brighton Rock” – Queen – This is my friend George’s favorite Queen song and I agree that this is a total classic. Brian May’s guitar work is jaw-dropping and Freddie is all over this song with his stellar vocals. I think I have said this before but Queen had the best harmonizing vocals of any rock band (do not e-mail about CSN&Y-different kind of rock). May’s guitar licks really pick up mid way through the song and then basically shuts down with “bolts of lightning” the rest of the way. Classic Queen my friends-another band that ruled the world and for longer than two years (with no disrespect intended for my friend Billy). The last riff that takes out the song is “killer.”

All Night Long” – Billy Squier – The echoing sound of the guitar heart-beat is the prelude to getting so psyched up before the lead guitar lick blasts you into orbit. (how cool is that sound??!!!) “I get up…run through the world like a fire…heat it up…swim in the flames of desire”- even the lyrics are smoking, are you kidding me? Tell me this guy isn’t great? How can anyone not like this? Is it a little polished? Ok yes but the bottom line is it rocks your socks off. ‘Nuff said! \m/ \m/

Son and Daughter” – Queen – In my opinion Queen is doing its best impression of Aerosmith, early Aerosmith remember-I could see Tyler singing this bad-ass song while ripping the cover off the ball just like Freddie nails it. I can not say enough about howremarkable this band was. They didn’t know it at the time but when they were writing songs like this at the early stage of their career, they were putting themselves into the rock and roll hall of fame instantly.

I Need You” – Billy Squier – “I rise at the break of day…your smile sets me on my way I need you…see the lights shining in your eyes”- C’mon everyone- “I am alone…my odds are long…it’s all I can do…I need you!!” Are you familiar with this song? It’s an absolute stunner. The bass line/guitar riff that climbs up and down the stairs is so addictive and once the road comes to cross the bridge and the groove switches gears at the 2:19 mark when Billy exclaims-“well I forget all my sorrows, I forget all my pain”- it makes me reach for the skies as I am lifted off the ground because of its sweetness. Whew…Billy Squier has made some real quality tunes and this is near the top of the pile.

Dead On Time” – Queen – The label that Queen was just an “opera-etic” band is hogwash-they made so many rocking songs and their real fans know the score. How could they not with Brian May on guitar-he makes his guitar come to life and on this track it sounds larger than life. This is a fast moving song and the louder you listen to it, the better it becomes. There are the unbelievable harmonizing vocals again and it’s more amazing to listen to this song with headphones on but don’t be selfish-blast it for everyone around you. Queen rocks Rocktober!!!!

Image of Godsmack

Image of Metallica

Godsmack/Metallica 2004 Tour (Rocktober)– It wasn’t that long ago when me, my brother Rich, & Sal drove over to the Izod Center on a Friday night in Rocktober to witness one of the heaviest “one-two” punches in recent memory. (again keep the perspective that there are different types of metal, so when I say “heavy” don’t scoff-I’m not talking “Slayer” heavy). Anyway despite the fact that the Izod Center always seems “hollow” with no “buzz” at all both Godsmack and Metallica blew up the stage with their unbelievable performances. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Godsmack, you really need to give them a chance. I recently took my “brother” –Slats- to see them as a headliner at the Hammerstein Ballroom and he loved the show. These guys rock. What else can be said about Metallica? The band that single handily put metal on the map across the universe and continues to do so. Here are some Rocktober juke-box tunes:

Get Up, Get Out” – Godsmack – I will put this song here and “prove” to all the folks out there who say that this band was an extension of Alice-In-Chains that it is true…Not. Yeah Ok, so they took the name of one of AIC’s songs for their band name and yes Sully sounds an awful lot like Layne Staley-especially at the beginning of the tune-but the same could be said that Layne tried to sound like Vedder and Cornell and so on. Anyway I am not here to argue- just want to make you aware that Godsmack is a kick-ass band and this is one of many examples.

The Frayed Ends Of Sanity” – Metallica – Yes the “Wizard of Oz” song-how can one not get totally psyched up once they hear- “Oh- wee-Oh?” Now admittedly this may not be for all at your party but sometimes you need to stretch the limits, to open people’s minds and let it all sink in. Once they see you become possessed as the music is injected into your system and you can’t control yourself it just may make them realize that they need a jolt just like you. Rock on my friends. \m/ \m/

No Rest for The Wicked” – Godsmack – Want to talk about getting pumped up or psyched up to the point where you may just join that mosh-pit-Ok-yes you can ask your wife and kids to form your own mosh-pit so that you don’t end up in the hospital but make sure you don’t hurt the wife and kiddies. (I am only joking I don’t encourage violence) If you have been procrastinating about something-anything-just put this song on and I’ll guarantee this song will get you off the snide and you’ll get it done because there is “No Rest for The Wicked” Baby!!!!

Whiplash” – Metallica – Ok now it’s a “Thrash” party and you will try to stop yourself from banging your head up and down at break-neck speeds but you won’t be able to. You will conform to the hypnotism that is surrounding you. Be careful at your age you might get dizzy. Slow down-no wait-“Here we go!!!!”- now do your best impersonation of Kirk as you air-guitar away. By the time the song ends, you will be out of breath. Whew..great stuff.

Shadow of a Soul” – Godsmack – How cool is Sully Erna? He has developed into a great “pro” and is, in my opinion, the best lead man out there today. He displays such calm and coolness but in the next second he can rip it out of the park on songs like this (and so many others). He has all the tatoo’s, all the metal stuff going on around him but he is a father and a real intelligent person-I don’t know why I find that so interesting but I do. Sully and the boys are at the top of their game and in my opinion eventually they will get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yes folks, they are that good!!

Dirty Window” – Metallica – I know I am going to be lambasted for putting this song here but hear it (me) out. I know there are like nine people on the planet that like “St. Anger” and I guess I would be the tenth but admittedly it has taken a few years after its release to find some quality in the songs-not all- but this one rocks. If you can get over the fact that Kirk has no solos and the complaint that it sounds like Lars is playing on the tops of garbage cans-then this song is for you. We all know they hung on to Bob Rock for way too long but some of the songs on “Anger” went back to the basics. Mr. Rock still tried to give it that sound and overall on this track it works- you can feel James anger throughout.

Re-Align” – Godsmack – Wow how good is this band? Folks I’m telling you these guys hold the current title of being the best “metal” band out there today (again for all the death metal-ers out there take a deep breath-I am not talking about that type of metal). I have to give this band a lot of credit, they stuck it out through all the criticism (AIC, etc.), patiently waited in the wings of bands like Metallica and have persevered to become a super solid institution that continues to get better with each new album. Oh by the way-this song is great!!! \m/ \m/

Don’t Tread On Me” – Metallica – I absolutely love this song and always couldn’t wait for the last song on side one of the “Black” album to come on. Some people may see it as…well however they see it (or hear it I should say, right?)…but this song friggin’ rocks the rock right out of “Rocktober.” Don’t you just love the pulsating beats that just knock you out? If I am ever in a pub that has the “Black Album” in its juke-box, this is the first song I pick. Lars is a beast on this track. Rock on my friends!!!


Leave a Whisper

Ok right off the bat it kills me to put this album in this section but I have to be honest with myself and admit that there are some songs that I skip over-there I said it-but it does not take away the absolute and unconditional love that I have for the band named –“Shinedown.” For those of you out there who only know them through the song-“Second Chance”- you are totally missing out if you think they are some sort of “pop” band. Take it from me, these guys rock and should always be heavily invested in the month of Rocktober. Their debut-“Leave A Whisper”- starts off such a force that even Mother Nature is looking down and saying-“wow, I thought I could create a storm of force.” Now I know my youngest son will probably not speak to me for putting this album here because he thinks (knows) that every single song is a knock out and maintains that this album is their best. I will not argue with that point, I can’t because I even find myself listening to the songs that I had typically skipped over-either way, this band is phenomenal with a capital “P” and like I said a while back-they are part of my blood stream. For those of you who know me I always have maintained that I “bleed green” for my unconditional love of the N.Y. Jets, well this band is in the same category. I love this band and couldn’t live without their music, there is something so electrifying about them whenever I hear their songs. The energy they give me could charge one of those electric cars in a moment’s time. So without harping on what songs I may skip over, here are some of their golden “nuggets,” in no particular order, from their powerful debut-“Leave A Whisper.”

Stranger Inside – For those of you out there who think “Second Chance” is what defines this band-think again- put this song on and wipe away those “pop” ideas and rock out with the rest of the Shinedown brethren. How great is Brent Smith as a vocalist? He is all about passion- you can feel it just like when Shaquille O’Neal starts to sweat during one of his games- you know what I am talking about? This band is so real, they pour every ounce of energy into all their songs-can’t say enough about this band-stupendous. Love the way Brent stretches out the word “breath.”

Left Out – Sort of reminds me of Saliva as I could picture them doing this song (actually Brent did a song with them on their last album) it sort of has that “rap/metal” thing going on. The guitar riff is so hard that you just may need to wear a helmet to protect yourself. How can this song not psyche you up?-especially when he sounds like he is singing into a bull-horn. Shinedown rules!!! What are you waiting for?

45 – For many fans, this is considered their best song ever and you will not get an argument from me. This is a staple of their shows and I don’t think they will ever remove it from their setlist. I love both versions of this song (acoustic as well)-this is a perfect example of the passion and fervor that Brent gives to us and I’m not sure there is any other person on the planet that can close to matching him-freaking phenomenal. If you let this band take you away you will know exactly what I am talking about- Shinedown rules!! \m/ \m/

Burning Bright – Folks I’m telling you right now to make quality songs like this one on your first album is an accomplishment that will never go un-noticed by the “people in the know.” These songs affect your life like none other-it puts you on “Shinedown planet” with the hopes of never leaving- I would pick up and take my family to that planet any time. Are you with me?

Fly From The Inside – I couldn’t think of a better song to introduce the world to Shinedown-this song is flat out spectacular and has to be considered a jewel of their musical library. Folks what are you waiting for? Get in right now before they release their fourth studio album (which they are currently working on) so that you can join in on the fun once they tour again to promote the upcoming album- there is a good chance you will hear this classic on the set-list. So many songs to choose from, it’s just sick. \m/ \m/

No More Love – Again I can’t say enough about the passion of this band. Brent is “off the hook” with his vocals on this track. “despite the writing on the wall…my future’s bleak and rather small”- not the brightest lyrics but you won’t be able to stop singing this part before the chorus-“There’s no more love”- take my word- put this track on and see (hear) what I mean.

All I Ever Wanted– Again folks this a song from a debut album-are you kidding me? This is stuff that should have been made by a band that had been around for years. They know how to take it down and of course they know how to knock it out of the park-this song contains both parts. Folks, you need to run out and get these songs or the entire album- you can’t go wrong. Shinedown rules Rocktober!!!

Top Ten

This week’s I-Pod shuffle kept landing on songs by The Steve Miller Band and Fleetwood Mac, two bands who I am familiar with but don’t know the history like their die-hard fans would, so I thought I would put down my top five songs from each while acknowledging that they have more than enough material to have their own top ten list but again I am going by what I know. Fleetwood Mac actually started out as a “prog” band in the same era with bands like Genesis and both bands made a quick right turn down the pop-rock genre and never really looked back. Fleetwood Mac obviously made one of the most historic albums in rock history with-“Rumors”- that will forever hold them in high regard with rock royalty. I believe they tried for the rest of their career to recreate the magic from Rumors but just like so many other artists (see Guns & Roses, Meatloaf) who tried to climb back to the mountain-top, the pressure was too much too handle and despite making some quality albums afterwards, they never reached that “status.” Now don’t get me wrong- I am not criticizing them, after all they are still together and sell out in nano seconds wherever they play. It’s near impossible for any band to create masterpieces one after the other, I get it and sometimes even hard to create just one masterpiece-they did it!!!

With respect to the Steve Miller Band, let me ask something- who doesn’t own-“The Greatest Hits 1974-78?” Even if you don’t own it, you know somebody who does. How many house parties have you attended where you saw the album, tape or CD with the familiar “horses’ head” with the blue-sky background? It’s almost a requirement that every household in America should have this album in its possession and if not, the sale of your home will not pass inspection. I find it almost impossible for anyone not to like at least one song from this legendary band who many also believe that they should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Yes, I am back on that kick again). My favorite album from this band is “Book of Dreams” and I spent many of my teenage days in my bedroom laying on the hardwood floor with my head between the tall speakers, with the volume way up, drifting off into another stratosphere with his brand of psychedelic rock and roll. (The album sleeve is busted wide open and the only way it stays in place is due to the album cover). The Steve Miller Band is also still going strong as they just released an album earlier this year and he is always fun to see live during the summer months when he makes his annual trek to either Long Island or New Jersey.

So here it is, I am on an island and due to my own misgivings, I have been informed that I can only have five songs from Fleetwood Mac and The Steve Miller Band-“These Are Them:”

Fleetwood Mac

Image of Fleetwood Mac

5.     Gold Dust Woman-It’s weird thing about this song as it used to be the one song that I would not listen to whenever I would flop down the two sides of this legendary “Rumors” album as a teenager in my bedroom. But more recently, this song has grown on me to the point where I now consider it one of their best tracks ever-I now can’t seem to get enough of it. I have always recognized Stevie Nicks as one of the most prolific women “rockers” of our time and this song really cements that fact for me. (I know what you’re thinking- well what about “Landslide?”). The arrangement of this song is remarkable, almost sounds like it is disappearing throughout the entire five minutes-if there is one word I would use to describe this song it would have to be-“meditative.” I can now listen to this song all day long.

4.     Never Going Back Again –I don’t know why but I could easily see the Foo Fighters covering this song, this is right up their alley (especially when you think back to the second CD from their “In Your Honor” release back in 2005) and you know Grohl would treat it with the respect it deserves. Buckingham was at his absolute best on this album and this song is one of the highlights of his career. Sorry to keep “singling” out individuals in the band as I know it is a group effort but I guess I am referring to his unbelievable vocals. The song is simple but again sometimes it is the simple things in life that bring the sweetest moments to our existence, pure perfection!!!!

3.     The Chain –Side two starts off with this amazing song and of course you know I am going to have a zany “best part of the song” that I can not live without and it comes at the 1:30 mark of the tune when Mick Fleetwood hits the “high hat” as he clamps down on the cymbals to give that “zzz-iiiii-pppppp” sound. Boy how I love that part-whenever I play the song around the house I always tell my wife and kids to be quiet at that moment I feel it coming and I have to make believe I am a drummer and “air-drum” that part only. They all just shake their heads and walk away. Or what about with 1:10 left in the song, the tempo picks up as Mick pounds away while Lindsey wails away on guitar? Almost too much to take. This has to go down in rock history as one of the best songs ever written and recorded, love it.

2.     Silver Springs (Live Version) – This is another song that in just a few short years has catapulted its way up to the top of my all-time favorite songs by Fleetwood Mac. I was taking a Spin class at the NY Sports club in Danbury CT a few years back and the instructor put this song on his list and I was blown away on how great this song was-I had never heard it before but I knew from the vocals that it was Stevie Nicks. He worked it as a hill climb and the build-up towards the end of the song was perfect for that resistance that was up to an “8 or 9”-yes a real “8 or 9”-as I spun my wheels I was thinking this was the greatest song I had ever heard. After the class, I immediately went home and downloaded it off of I-Tunes and the rest they say is history. This is a majestic song that deserves your attention; it caught mine and then some.

1.     Songbird – Christie McVie has such an angelic voice and she hypnotizes me every time I hear this song. If there was ever one song that I wanted to see performed live, it would be this one (there’s no chance since Christie has ruled out a return to the reunion of Fleetwood Mac). This song makes me drift off to a place high above the clouds and I can picture all the family and friends that have left this earth. As I fly through the air, I meet my mother-“Jane,” my grandmother-“Ma,” my aunt-“Carol,” my great aunt-“Sarah,” Mr. Fagan (true gentleman); and “Uncle Lenny” (another true gentleman) and just like the words say-“cause I feel like when I’m with you…it’s alright…I know it’s right…” And then “I love you, I love you, I love you, like never before.” This is an earth shattering song right here and I can’t say enough on how beautiful it is and I know I say this all the time but this has to rank up in my top ten songs of all-time.

Steve Miller Band


5.     Winter Time – The beginning of this song really makes you feel like there is a blizzard outside and that you are stuck in the house just watching a blur of white swirl around your windows as some drifts approach heights you thought were unattainable. Sounds like the winter of 2010/2011, right? Last winter was unbelievable in the northeast and contained the most snow that I can ever remember. Steve Miller has this way of lulling you into another dimension and this song solidifies this opinion. On almost every song that he has created, people sing along with him and this tune is no exception-“I’m calling…hear me calling…hear me call-ah-all-ling.” There is even a nice short guitar solo, so sit back with your hot chocolate and let this song take you away.

4.     Serenade – Over the years this song has grown on me to the point where it is now one of my all-time favorites (hey there are only so many times one can listen to “Take the Money and Run,” right?). It is so hard not to sing along to this song-“did you see the lights…as they fell all Aay-round you…did you hear the music of serenade from the stars…”-love the way he brushes his words into more syllables than how the rest of society would speak them. (Aay-round instead of around). Hard not to like this song.

3.     The StakeI remember back in 1978 or so when I would put the “Book of Dreams” album on in my room, I couldn’t wait to turn over to side two to hear-“The Stake.” At that time, I thought it was the coolest, most heaviest song that I had heard. (heavy for Steve Miller, take a deep breath). It has this cool slow blues-like hook that grabs you in a head-lock and doesn’t let go-I’ll call it-“psychedelic blues”-yeah that will work. Anyway, I have always love the parts in the song where Steve will sing-“Nobody loves you…like the way I do”- and then the guitar would play the same exact part where you would think the guitar was singing. (sort of like Plant/Page but not at the same time like they did-well it does happen towards the end of the song but you get the picture). And don’t kid yourself there is a sweet guitar solo in the middle of the tune that continues on until the end of the song which will make you do the “Wayne’s World-We Are Not Worthy Bow.” Classic, classic tune! \m/ \m/

2.     The Joker – Despite the fact that this song should have made the list of tunes that should be banned from classic rock radio, I can’t get enough of it. This could arguably be his most popular song-it’s been played everywhere. Remember when Homer Simpson sang it so slickly on an episode of “The Simpsons?” I loved that scene. I bet this song has reached more ears around the world than any other song (or is at least up there near the top). A few years ago I was on the Sales side of S&P and there was this offsite where we would learn during the day and then at night there would be some fun. One night there was a karaoke theme going on and I was new to the group and decided to show my colleagues that I could get up there and belt out a tune (no I did not have any drinks in me). I wanted the next song on my list to sing but the DJ didn’t have it, so I went right to this song. I remember seeing nothing but the screen with the lyrics and that was it and I tried my best to match Steve’s fervor-I’m not sure if there were dogs howling nearby but I gave it my best shot. It is impossible to not sing along to this song, you know you do.

1.     True Fine Love-From the moment I heard this song I forever knew that this would always be my most favorite Steve Miller tune. How great is the groove in this track? My only complaint is how short the song is. (but I guess if it were any different it wouldn’t hold the same magic, right?). I could nail this song on any karaoke night and I wouldn’t need the screen with the lyrics. It is simple and takes me back to the music that I grew up on-“doo-wop” but this had an added bonus of a slick guitar riff that is the substitute for the harmonizing vocals. I love to sing along to this track-“I ain’t complaining but I sure like to find me a true fine-al love”- again he stretches out the words and makes “fine” sound like “final.” So c’mon get your rocks off because Steve will knock your socks off with this throw-back classic, love it!!!!

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Scott Stapp – Creed

2.     Snoop Dogg

3.     Donnie Van Zant – .38 Special

4.     Norman Greenbaum – “Spirit in the Sky”

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     True or False: After the death of Curt Cobain, Neil Young asked Dave Grohl to be the drummer for his band?

2.     What song did Tina Turner win the grammy for “song of the year” in 1985?.

3.     Who was the lead singer of one of the first “super groups”- Power Station?

4.     Our band has been around for a while now since 1988 and we are from Pennsylvania. We have seven studio albums with the last one coming in 2006. Most know us from throwing copper, who are we?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     Y.M.C.A. – The Village People

2.     Groove Is In the Heart – Deee-Lite

3.     Julia – The Beatles

4.     Never Can Say Goodbye – The Jackson 5

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

1.     “…has he lost his mind…can he see or is he blind…can he walk at all …”

2.     “…you’re every thought…you’re everything…you’re every song I ever sing…summer, winter…”

3.     “…I may get around…I may laugh a lot…now you’d think that I’d be happy with the life I’ve got…”

4.     “…sail on silver girl…sale on by…your time has come to shine…all your dreams are on their way…”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 1995, Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon) passed away at the young age of 28. Sixteen years already, unbelievable.

Back on this day in 1957, Elvis’s movie – “Jailhouse Rock”- premiered in the U.S.

Back on this day in 1972, Chuck Berry scored his only number one hit with “My Ding-a-Ling.” Very sad in my opinion because this song doesn’t compare to his “classics.”

Back on this day in 1976, The Who performed their last concert with Keith Moon in North America with a show in Toronto, Canada.

Back on this day in 1985, Carl Perkins was joined an a stage in London by George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and Dave Edmunds to help perform a rendition of Carl’s “Blue Suede Shoes” which had been a hit for him 30 years prior.

Back on this day in 1993, The Ramones made a guest appearance on “The Simpsons” and to this day it is said to be one of the best Simpson episodes with a musical guest. Marky Ramone said it was one of the highlights of their career.

Back in the day in 1997, Diamond David Lee Roth released his autobiography-“Crazy from the Heat” which featured stories from his days with Van Halen and as a solo artist.

Back on this day in 1998, Alice Cooper sued KISS, stating that their song-“Dreamin’”-from “Psycho Circus” sounded just like his first single- “I’m 18.” A year later it was settled out of court. I have to agree with Alice and I’m assuming KISS paid a nice sum out of court.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Manfred Mann, Steve Lukather (Toto) and Brent Mydland (Grateful Dead).

October 14, 2011

Weekly Update – Rocktober 14, 2011

Kid Rock at the Beacon Theater on Sat. Nov. 19. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. $63.15, $73.35 and $106.10.

Sting at the Roseland Ballroom at Tues. Nov. 8. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $93 and $183.50.

Rascal Flatts at the Izod Center on Sat. Feb. 18, 2012. Pre-sale tickets on sale this morning beginning at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is: Access. General public on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $36, $57.75, and $81.20.

Jon Anderson at BB Kings on Sat. Mar. 10, 2012. Tickets on sale today at noon. $40.

Other items:

The upcoming Muppets Movie (Nov. 23 release) will have a cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana led by Kermit and his buddies and supposedly they re-work the song pretty well. The soundtrack will also include original songs from Paul Simon, Starship, Feist and others.

The Black Keys will release-“El Camino”- on Dec. 6 and supposed influences on this album are The Clash and The Cramps. Two confirmed song titles are –“Little Black Submarine” and “Lonely Boy.”

Scott Weiland will release “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” on Rocktober 24 and is a 13 track Christmas album. You can listen on Amazon to the samples and I have to say he is trying his best to do “Bing” and on some songs he nails it but on others, not so much. He puts a “calypso” spin on “Silent Night” and he sounds like Tony Bennett on “Most Wonderful.” There is a reggae touch on “O Holy Night.”

Lisa Roth, sister of Diamond David Lee Roth, is releasing “Lullaby Renditions of Van Halen” and the songs are beautiful instrumental lullabies of such classics as “Hot For Teacher,” “Panama,” “You really Got Me” and believe it or not-“Eruption.” (This I have to hear) The album will be issued on November 8.

My favorite “old school R&B” song of the week is “Right Back” by Maxine Nightingale. How great is this song? I can’t get enough of it, I could listen to it “25/8”- I saw that somewhere and figured I’d use it. Seriously folks, this is a masterpiece, but you can NOT get the original recording on I-Tunes, do not be fooled. You have to go the old fashioned route- buy a CD!!!

Rocktober Juke-box: “Blues Songs” that Helped Shape Rock and Roll

Juke Box Hits 60 Songs Blues

Since it is “Rocktober” (my most favorite month of the year) I decided to bring back the rock and roll juke-box and the theme this week is brought to you by my oldest son who is totally entrenched in the “blues” and I am talking stuff like my friend John would say-“walking on the rail road tracks with a stick carrying some clothes because one just ran away from home singing the blues” kind of stuff. Folks, I can honestly say that I don’t even know how far back he gone to listen to this genre but I when I hear Robert Johnson blaring from his room, I thinking he has gone all the way back to its roots. So my oldest said that this week’s juke-box should contain blues songs that have shaped rock and roll and I loved it, so without further adieu here is his “blues juke-box” playlist:

“Stormy Monday” – T-Bone Walker – Often called the “Father of Electric Blues” T-Bone Walker practically single handedly created a collection of guitar licks that are still used today in almost every blues or rock song.The man was a true genius on guitar and this song is his greatest masterpiece; it has been covered by almost every blues band ever most famously by the Allman Brothers Band. When you listen to this song it’s hard to believe it came out in 1947 because Walker was so far ahead of his time. Anyone who wants to be a great guitar player start studying this man and you will have an archive of great licks in no time.

Little By Little” – Junior Wells – Junior Wells is most famous for being one of the blues greatest harp players ever. However many people overlook the great voice he had; this phenomenal tune showcases his great singing. He had this sort of “tough guy” attitude whenever he sang or played and it was just the coolest thing.This man has so many amazing songs that you need to check out! By the way Susan Tedeschi does a flawless cover of this song on her debut album “Just Won’t Burn..

One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer” – John Lee Hooker – Most classic rock fans will know this amazing song because of rock/blues guitarist George Thorogood’s magnificent cover of it. Even though I personally prefer his version (yikes did I just say that?!) it’s always important to know your roots and discover the creators of songs. John is the genius behind this great song and the way he plays it is so down to earth which is what makes it so good.

The Things That I Used To Do” – Guitar Slim – Mr. Slim is such an underrated blues guitarist and deserves a lot more credit than he receives. This song is a testament to his great vocals and guitar playing; this song is so smooth that you will be grooving and snapping your fingers to the beat from the second it starts until the end. The song was famously covered by the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan whose own rendition kept this great song alive.

Grinning In Your Face” – Son House – Son House was one of the true original delta blues players and if you are a fan of the blues he is a must hear.House has so many great tunes that have phenomenal lyrics and innovative slide guitar techniques. This particular song is one of my favorite of his songs; he sings it in such a menacing way that when he says “But bear this in mind a true friend is hard to find” you can feel the pain he has felt. I think it’s amazing how a song can be this good with just someone singing and clapping their hands; this is one of the most down to earth and personal songs ever made.

As The Years Go Passing By” – Albert King – What is there to say about Mr. Albert King that hasn’t already been said? Albert was one of the coolest electric guitar players that ever lived and authored some of the most famous blues licks ever made. This minor blues song is from his magnum opus “Born Under A Bad Sign” (one of the best blues albums of all time) and is a personal favorite of mine. I’m in another world when I hear this song; Albert puts so much passion in it that it inspires me every time I hear it. This song has great lyrics, singing and guitar playing what more can you ask for? On a side note Santana does a scorching cover of this song that you definitely need to hear because it is just fantastic.

How Blue Can You Get” – B.B. King – Who can honestly say that they don’t like B.B. King? Is it even possible?! Well if you don’t then check out this awesome song and you will immediately fall in love with B.B.’s music. This song oozes with soul from the incredible guitar intro to the powerful vocals and lyrics. I think it’s actually impossible not to crack a smile when B.B. belts out “I gave you seven children and now you wanna give them back.” When you listen to Mr. King all your troubles just melt away which is what makes his music so special.

Have You Ever Loved A Woman” – Freddie King Out of the three Kings (B.B., Albert, and Freddie) I think Freddie is easily the most overlooked, and I can’t understand why. The man was a force of nature on the guitar. He was different from B.B. and Albert in the sense that he literally attacked his guitar; he played with such sheer force, energy, and passion that just watching him play leaves you in awe. This is one of my favorite tunes from him because it showcases his insane playing ability along with that unique voice. Most people know this song because it was covered on the classic album “Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs” but the original is so much rawer. You’ll be screaming and moaning just listening to Freddie wail on his guitar and sing with as much energy as he can.

You Shook Me” – Muddy Waters – Ever wondered where AC/DC got the inspiration for their classic song “You Shook Me All Night Long”? Well search no further because they got it directly from this amazing Muddy Water’s song.This song, about a man who has an affair with another woman, is a slow burner that just makes you want to close your eyes and sing along with Muddy. Muddy’s amazing voice is what I love about this tune; you can feel the passion in his voice and that passion is just infectious. Muddy had such a huge impact on rock and roll and this is just one of his many timeless songs.

It Hurts Me Too” – Elmore James – Often hailed as the “King of the Slide Guitar” Elmore James had a big impact on the guitar world because he was one of the first to introduce the electric slide.James would inspire famous rockers such as Duane Allman and Jimi Hendrix and for good reason too. Even though James may be more famous for tunes like “The Sky is Crying”, “Done Somebody Wrong”, and “Shake Your Moneymaker” one of my personal favorites is this classic love song. Anyone who has ever loved a girl that loves someone else will immediately love this song; between the lyrics and Elmore’s powerful vocals and guitar licks you just won’t be able to resist this great song.

Leave My Girl Alone” – Buddy Guy – When listening to Mr. Buddy Guy you just have to lay back and smile while Buddy makes his guitar squeal and sings with all the passion in the world.Guy has always been an unorthodox guitar player because of his love for distortion and crazy string bending techniques (Things that Jimi Hendrix would later adopt). This is one of the best songs from Buddy’s career at Chess Records and really showcases his amazing voice. I lose it when Buddy starts screaming “Lord, right before I get evil man!” he has got some voice.This is a classic Buddy Guy tune that everybody should have.

Just Your Fool” – Little Walter – Probably the most important harp player to ever live, has so many great tunes but I wanted to pick a less popular song from his catalogue because he does have other songs besides “Juke” and “My Babe.” This short upbeat blues song has such a swing to it you won’t be able to stop dancing and singing along while Little Walter’s voice takes you away. In regards to his superb harmonica playing what is there to say that hasn’t already been said? The man was an innovator of the instrument and has so many great songs that need to be heard so give this one a listen as soon as you can!

Moaning at Midnight” – Howlin’ Wolf – This song literally blows my mind every time I hear it.This is the first song the Wolf ever released and personally I don’t think he ever topped it.He kills it on vocals; he had one of the most unique and powerful voices ever. So between the Wolf singing and playing some great harmonica and the band providing such great music this song is a knock out. This is easily one of the best blues songs ever recorded so if you want to get into the blues start right here.

Kind Hearted Woman” – Robert Johnson – Even though the legendary Robert Johnson is widely known for authoring songs like “Cross Road Blues”, “Sweet Home Chicago”, and “Come On in My Kitchen” this is one of my favorite songs from him.I’m in awe every time I listen to this song; his slide guitar techniques are just amazing. This song also showcases his vocals; I love when he goes into his falsetto and sings “Oh baby, my life don’t feel the same.It breaks my heart when you call Mr. so-and-so’s name.” This song is a perfect example of how talented Mr. Johnson really was so if you’re not familiar with his music check this song out.

Bring It On Home” – Sonny Boy Williamson II All Zeppelin fans pay attention because you will recognize this tune immediately as it was covered on the classic “Led Zeppelin II.”If you love Zeppelin’s version and haven’t heard the original do yourself a favor and listen to it immediately. Sonny Boy sings this song perfectly and his harmonica playing is even better especially when he imitates his own voice yelling “Baaabbby” with the harp. Overall a classic song from one the best blues harp players ever.



Ok I don’t mean to keep going with this theme of artist’s who have been ignored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but it has to be a sign. Many times during this week when I put my I-Pod on shuffle, I kept getting songs from the debut album from KISS, so I took it as a sign that I should just keep spreading the word that KISS deserves its entrance into the hall. The funny thing about KISS is that they didn’t get popular until the word started to spread about their live shows and “Alive” is often credited as saving their career despite the fact that they had put out a few albums before “Alive” was released. It was like the songs on “Alive” were being issued for the first time but in reality they were more than a few years old and much that appears on “Alive” came from their KISS debut album. Now I know that many of the KISS brethren would point to “Destroyer” as the ultimate body of work and just on that album alone, they feel that KISS should be in the Hall of Fame (I forgot to mention that last week when I profiled them in the Rock and Roll juke box). I can’t really disagree with that notion as I love all KISS albums done with the original four. (No I am not getting into that, you already know how I feel about that- Peter and Ace should have worked harder so as to not lose their jobs).

Anyway, I have always felt that KISS was looked upon as some sort of novelty and to a degree I can see how that notion can be derived because of the make-up and stage antics but they really have made some quality albums over the years. Are they the greatest musicians? No-but they are no slouches when it comes to their craft. I believe Gene and Ace were revered by many who came after them. Are they the best song writers? Probably not, but there are many other bands that are popular that are in the same category. But KISS has it. That’s right- they had “it!!!” They made it work despite of all the negativity that surrounded them; they put the blinders on and created their version of rock and roll music that millions of fans across the world have come to love. (and it’s not just for one song). Hey, there is a KISS tribute album so in my book it means that they are held in high regard by some pretty big names in the rock business, again proving the fact that they should be in the fame.

The KISS debut is loaded with some of their best classics and I can always listen to both sides-front to back- without picking up the needle to skip over a song but I recognize that there may be some “fillers” in the minds of the general public. So it pains me a little to put this album in the classic “nugget” section but I have to be honest with myself instead of just automatically saying it’s great. (If I can do that, then you can open your mind and ears to KISS). So folks, here are some more songs from the band from New York called KISS that you can sink your teeth into in no particular order from their 1974 debut:

Cold Gin – C’mon tell me this song isn’t good? The opening lick from Ace grabs you buy the throat and doesn’t let go and listen to the young Gene vocals filled with the determination to become the “hottest band in the world.” The funny thing about this song is that supposedly Gene doesn’t drink and never really has- but it’s the rock and roll thing to sing about alcohol, right? I guess… “My heater’s broke and I’m so tired…I need some fuel to build a fire…” My friend Ed says he knew I was OK when I was singing this song word for word when we went to see them at Madison Square Garden many moons ago. Very cool song!!!

Deuce – Wow this song is friggin’ phenomenal and there’s nothing you can say to the contrary. It doesn’t matter how many times I have heard this track, it still sounds “fresh” as when it was first released over 35 years ago. Ace’s guitar work is super nice and the beat is kept moving with Peter on the drums. Again, Gene’s vocals are something to be impressed by and songs like this prove he is no novelty act. I can listen to this over and over. \m/ \m/

100,000 Years – Now I know this was immortalized on “Alive” and since it’s like two to three times longer than the original recording, I have to give it the nod (especially with the drum solo- I remember thinking as a kid that drum solo was the best ever-now maybe not so much). But when you go back and listen to the original you realize how good this song really is, especially Peter’s drumming (you see I gave one back). This was always my best man’s favorite KISS song- he would always scream-“I’m sorry to have taken so long…I must have been a bitch while I was gone…”- and couldn’t wait for Peter’s drum solo as his intensity would take over as he was ready to “air-drum” his way into being a rock star. Hey I was right there with him. I like the “bridge” where the tempo changes a bit and Paul sings-“and baby won’t you let me…I think I’m going out of my head”-while Ace awaits his turn to blast into his solo. This leads to the big drum solo but again that is for the live album-there is a shortened version on this original studio recording but just as cool.

Nothing To Lose –Boy is this version raw or what? I feel like I am opening a brand new pack of baseball cards back in the 1970’s (when you used to get that really cardboard hard chalky piece of bubble gum inside the pack). Again I have to say that Gene’s vocals are so good and Peter has that “gruff” that supplies the raucous part of the song. The recording sounds so “old school,” almost like you could play it on one of those “vic-troll-as” that your grandparents used to own. Peter is having a grand ole time with this, almost like he has nothing to lose. When KISS had their reunion party in 1996 at the MTV studio and did the unplugged show, this was the song that “members of the family” were brought out to play and the reunion has been going on ever since- Yes I know that Eddie Trunk does not recognize KISS now that Ace and Peter are out of the band. But think about it- this was the one song they chose to jam together out of all the songs in their library-had to be a reason, right? Why? Because this song rocks!!! \m/ \m/

Strutter – Not a bad song to start a career off with, no? Yes technically this is the first song that KISS gave to the general public and I can’t think of a better way to kick it off. Frehley’s guitar solo is righteous; you have to turn it up louder. “I know a thing or two about her…I know she’ll only make you cry…”-how identifiable are those words? How can one not sing along to this song? The groove is rocking and Paul rips through this song like he wanted a rock and roll career. “Everybody says she’s looking good…and the lady knows its understood…Strutter!!!” C’mon people…everyone on three…one…two…three…KISS belongs in the rock and roll hall of fame!!!

Black Diamond – I know I put this song down in the category of having one of the worst endings to a song…but before it gets to that point, this is arguably one of the most revered songs by the KISS army. “Out on the street for a living…hit it!!!!” Paul does a nice job on the intro but when Peter bursts in with his scratchy like vocals, it defines the song. The thing with KISS is that they did “spread the wealth” as far as singing parts (yes I know many of you out there wanted more Ace songs but…)- many of their songs contain Peter, Paul and Gene taking parts of a song and their harmonizing vocals were nothing to sneeze at, OK maybe not as stellar as Van Halen backing vocals but none-the-less, good enough. “Oooohhhh Black Diamond!!!” Now keep in mind with the ending…well it was the 1970’s and it played well when they performed this song live and stretching songs out to the max was the way things were back then…that’s all I got.

Let Me Know – It’s funny but every time I play this song around the house, my youngest son immediately says-“this has to be KISS…I can tell by that sound.” Do you know how great that makes me feel?-that he knows that it is KISS? How many other 14-year-olds today know “Let Me Know” by KISS? (Hopefully many because I have faith in the KISS army and their commitment to pass it on down to their kids). C’mon folks you can get behind this grooving rock and roll song, I know you can-this is “old school” rock and roll-in the vain of Chuck Berry. I love the way Gene and Paul trade verses on vocals and Ace is all over this track. Ace’s work on this album is not as publicized as some of the other KISS albums but he is real good and with about 42 seconds left in the song, the tempo changes and Ace blazes in with another nice solo that takes the song to its fade out ending. Love it!!!

Firehouse – Just like “100,000 Years” this song is more popular on “Alive” and just like “Nothing to Lose” one can feel the rawness of this original recording- again it sounds so crisp and clean as I would guess that Gene and Paul had many takes on this one just to make sure that it came out as perfect as it did. Ace is “controlled” with his solo. Have to admit there are a few too many –“wooh hoos”- but other than that get ready for Gene to breath fire when the firehouse alarm sounds. “Get the Firehouse…cause she sets my soul on Fye-yah…”

Top Ten

Image of Maroon 5

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “Give a Little More” by Maroon 5 and it had me thinking-“can I do a top ten list from a band that has only three albums?” And the answer is yes in my mind because there are at least 30 songs to choose from. In addition, I feel this band slipping away from me because it seems clear that they are on the “Z-100” highway and destined for pop stardom for the rest of their career. (As you can probably tell, I need a little rock). Even though I have matured over the years I have to be honest with myself because after their third album-“Hands All Over”- I know there is still a bit of my teenage stubbornness in me to realize that I can’t listen to pure pop albums from start to finish-maybe a few- but I think you know what I am talking about. The weird thing is I find myself still liking their “mainstream” songs but clearly favor the first two albums, hey I even like that “Move like Jagger” song that Adam just did with Christina. (Actually I can’t get that tune out of my head).

My first encounter with Maroon 5 was through the song-“Harder to Breathe”- and I don’t know about you but sometimes I hear a tune and then don’t hear it again for a long time. In addition, the radio station that just played the song doesn’t tell the audience what the title track is nor does it identify the band or artist. Can someone help here? So for a few months, I was wandering aimlessly, sifting through every outlet that I am familiar with (radio, MTV, VH1, FUSE, etc.) because I have to come across the song, right? After a while, I had given up hope…and then it happened-the video for the song was on MTV (early in the morning), so I knew they had to display the band’s name at the end of the song- and there it was, Maroon 5. I know I say this about many songs but “Harder to Breathe” was something different- it grabbed my attention like no other song has in the last ten years-don’t ask me why- it just did. I had to have it and didn’t care if the rest of the album was no good (remember I was late to every new toy with music, so no I didn’t have an I-Pod back then and didn’t even know what it was). Now that I owned-“Songs for Jane”- I had to spread the news about this “funk-i-fied, rock, pop” band all rolled into one- I immediately made a CD for boot camp class at MBIA with Dave and threw on “Harder to Breathe.” I remember trying to make believe I was working at my station (probably push-ups because Dave always knew I hated those and he would chide me into starting there) but looking up to see the other gym rats reaction to the song-“C’mon they have to be hooked in by the guitar riff, no?”- and just like many other songs that I put on, the feedback was…well feeble. (except for “Son of Detroit” by Kid Rock- that received an immediate ovation). Oh well…but I wasn’t done yet, I brought the CD in for Megan and she played it more than a few times for the people “on the floor” and she loved it. She then proceeded to say –“this doesn’t seem like something you’d like, you usually gravitate to the heavier stuff”- and that was probably a correct statement but there was something about their sound that grabbed me. It was like a fusion of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Police and the more I listened, the more I liked. Eventually as time went on, many selections from “Jane” hit the airwaves and then family and friends were like- “I like this band.” Ok now you like them because they are on the radio, what about when I told you about them like six months ago? Anyway I was glad they were growing in popularity.

When there sophomoric effort-“It Won’t Be Soon Before Long”- was released there was initial unfavorable reviews (I think people automatically say negative things because it’s a “second” album and every band is supposed to have a terrible follow-up to the grandiose debut) and I couldn’t understand it. I will defend this album forever. Yes I acknowledge that the turn down the “pop highway” was in higher definition but when I can listen to every song (on any album) that is an indication of credibility, in my opinion. Even after I was shouting from the roof tops about this band and the album I could not get anyone of my family (my oldest came around but is not out because they are too “pop”-sound familiar? And the ironic thing is I think my youngest son likes them better now because of the pop stardom) or friends to attend their show at Madison Square Garden. I was not going to be denied and went by myself. Ok yes I was surrounded by “soccer moms” and “Z-100” cohorts but who cares, these guys are talented musicians. (I guess I know why I was going by myself). Anyway, the show was amazing and even though they had only two albums it was a “hit-fest” with the audience singing along to every song. (When Kayne came out to help them on a song it was one of the loudest explosions of cheer that I have ever heard at the Garden).

Enter Robert-“Mutt”- Lange into the picture as he is named the producer for “Hands All Over” and I’m thinking- “AC/DC and Def Leppard”- this is going to be amazing, he is going to get them back to their “Police” roots, they are going to rock out…well, not so much. “Hands” turns out to be the most “pop” album I have ever bought (excluding “greatest hits” because I have Madonna’s best). It’s like that candy that we used to eat when we were kids (who knows it may still be around), you know the one, the sour stick that one used to put in the sweet powder that made your face squint but you kept eating it anyway? After a while though, you start to question why you are eating it and realize that it is no good for you, so you put it down. That is the best analogy I can come up with. I started out loving this band and now I find myself skipping over songs on “Hands” as I never thought Mutt would make them more “polished pop” than what they were. I wonder what has happened but it doesn’t mean I am totally out just yet-there’s always a chance they return to their “roots” but much is expected of them moving forward so I doubt that songs like “Harder to Breathe” are on its way back. Anyway, I am stuck on an island and have been informed that I can only have ten songs by Maroon 5, “These Are Them:”

10.     Wake Up Call-Have you ever sang a song where you don’t even know the words and unless you read the lyrics, you will never know the lyrics? I make up lyrics each time I hear this song, the only consistent words I use are “Six foot tall” and “I don’t think feel so bad” – every thing else is a blur. The groove in this song is so infectious; it just might be the most contagious beat I have ever heard. I love the “Jamaican” flavor that gives it that extra kick in the pants. I can listen to this track for hours upon a time. Love this song.

9.       Give A Little More –Even though it’s the “poppy-est” of pop I can’t get enough of this song- this could be in the category of “Songs that you are scared to admit you like,” right? Ok but I am not scared- “give a little more…baby…until I get a little more from you”- how do you like them apples? I wish I could dance because I would do the “John Travolta” thing where he takes the dance floor by storm in one of the greatest “Brooklyn” movies ever-“Saturday Night Fever.” I am doing it in my mind, This is “polished pop” at its best. Listen to each instrument real careful and realize how good these guys are-that’s why I am not giving up totally yet- I can live with songs like this-it’s too good.

8.       If I Never See Your Face Again –I thought that this was the perfect song to kick off their sophomore album and one can not help but move some part of your body-whether it’s just your head bopping up and down (like me), arms, belly, legs or any other part that you can move. This song is so good some might be able to wiggle their ears. “Cause you keep me calling back for more…and I feel a little better than I did before”-c’mon how can you not sing along to this song? This groove is so funky and yes I love the version with Rihanna as well-how could you not? Put a great set of headphones and squeeze with all your might and tell me this song doesn’t kick some butt? So polished but so good.

7.       Back At Your Door – I thought this was the perfect song to end their sophomore album. Every time I hear this song I think back to the Spin class at MBIA and I put this on one of my CD’s as a “cool-down” song and I could see Taxter drift off into another world-that’s what this tune does to you-simply spectacular. Every time I hear this song I stop dead in my tracks and have to listen with such intensity because it is so good. Adam’s vocal performance could be one of the best he has ever done on any recording- yes folks, it’s that good. “Three more days ‘till I see your face, I’m afraid it’s far too much.” I can listen to this song all day long.

6.       Better That We Break – I have always had a soft spot for “sappy” songs and you may be surprised that this song is where it is but if you have been following along for the past few years then you can’t be too shocked because I do love slow “ballad” tracks. I think this could be Adam’s best vocal performance on any recording. When I hear it, I can picture a couple walking in a park where the leaves are falling from the trees during a crisp fall day. Songs like these put this band at another level.

5.       She Will Be Loved – For a relatively new band they have made some real stellar songs that will last a lifetime and in my opinion were instant classics. I would go as far to say that this could arguably their best song ever recorded and could be in the top ten songs for the decade of 2000. The arrangement and groove to this song is incredible and in my opinion is impossible not to like. My wife says she doesn’t like Adam’s voice-she says it has too high of a pitch-so there are probably people out there who do not like Maroon 5 but I have to believe there are more people that like this song than not. What about you? Are you like me and consider it a classic?.

4.     I Can’t Lie – This has become my most favorite song on “Hands All Over” and quickly has landed in the top five of my all time Maroon 5 songs, I love the piano part in the beginning and the infectious groove throughout and once the bridge comes in where the tempo changes, well it puts the song into another stratosphere. Wow this song is so good-if they make songs like this in the future, I can see me hanging on for a little longer and if they make an a whole album with songs like this, then I am back on the band-wagon.

3.       Won’t Go Home Without You“I asked her to stay…but she wouldn’t listen…she left before I had the chance to say…”- words that have to hit home for many of us out there, right? This is right out of the textbook for the Police’s- “Every Breath You Take”- and even though I was done with the Police once that song came out, I admit I like that song but I absolutely love this track. I always thought that this was going to be their biggest song but it never really did make the big time. I am totally confused to why that happened. This is one of the best “power ballads” ever made-period end of story.

2.       This Love – After “Harder to Breathe” hit me over the head, this song started to grow and grow in stature and once it was a big hit on the radio, again all my family and friends were saying-“hey that song is good”- really? I didn’t know that. Anyway, think about the quality of this song from a debut album- pretty impressive, no? The thing that gets me is how musically talented this band is and when I saw them at Madison Square Garden I was blown away by the solos and how they stretched the songs out-not as long as the Allman’s- but long enough to keep you guessing- are they a pop band or rock band? The one word that comes to mind whenever I think of Maroon 5 is “polished.” If one were to look up this word in a musical dictionary, this song should be listed as the meaning. Awesome tune!!!

1.       Harder to Breathe-If I make the statement that there has been no other song that has grabbed my attention in the last ten years like this one has (did), then it has to be number one, right? On one hand, I consider it a brilliant move by their marketing team because the “rock” sound inclusive of the “massive” guitar riff completely knocked me off my seat and made me instantly want more from this band (in the “Rocktober” sense). But on the other hand, I regard it a stunt because this was/is their only real “Rocktober” song and I was led in under false pretenses. Now don’t get me wrong, there are nine other songs on this list (that beat out some other stellar songs) so obviously I like this band but the tease of this song is sort of cruel in the sense that it leaves you wanting more “rock” songs like this but it never really happened. If we played that game, like the one they play on “Sesame Street” where they ask you-“which one of these things is not like the others?” and the screen would be split into four sections, this Maroon 5 song would totally be the one that is not like the others. It’s weird, this was the song that they decided to inject into everyone’s system and they had to know that they didn’t have any more like this in their bag of goodies. But again, how great is this song? My only complaint is that it is way too short but it wallops one solid punch, doesn’t it? This has to be the coolest song made in the last decade or so. Thanks Maroon 5 for pulling me and making me a fan of the band, let’s see what happens down the line.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     My Sweet Lord, “He’s So Fine” by The Chiffons

2.     True

3.     True- they collaborated on a song on “Devil Without a Cause.”

4.     “We’re Going to Be Friends”

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     I was brought up in a strict religious home and eventually the band that I was the lead singer for caught the label of “Christian Rock” and we exploded onto the scene. The fame and fortune eventually caught up to me and I started to “act out” and it was the downfall of our band. After nearly a decade apart, we are now back together but with less fan fare than we were used to. Who am I and wat band am I apart of?

2.     I am one of the biggest rap stars of all time and if a “Rap Hall of Fame” ever opened, I’d have to be considered a “first ballot” hall of famer. I have crossed every sector of entertainment- I will never lose “street cred” and can hang with Martha Stewart. Who am I?.

3.     I am the brother to one of the biggest Southern rock bands in the history of music and I am part of a band that has had a very consistent career. I do sing with this band but the majority of hits you hear on the radio are with my buddy- Don Barnes- on vocals. Who am I and what band am I part of?

4.     I am the author of one of the biggest “one-hit” wonders in the history of music. I had to go to court to get the rights of the song that I wrote and it took me years to win it back. My song has been featured in so many big movies and most people thought it was a Christian song but I am Jewish. Who am I and what was the song I wrote?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     City of New Orleans – Arlo Guthrie

2.     Stand – R.E.M.

3.    Reach Out, I’ll Be There – The Four Tops

4.    Jet Airliner – Steve Miller Band

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

1.     “…young man, I was once in your shoes…I was…down and out with the blues…I felt no man…”

2.     “…dig…the chills that you spill off my back…keep me filled with satisfaction…when we’re done…satisfaction of what’s to come…”

3.     “…her hair of floating sky is shimmering…glimmering…in the sun…”

4.     “…every time I think I’ve had enough and start heading for the door…there’s a very strange vibration…”

Back on this Day

Back on this day in 1964, Charlie Watts married his girlfriend, Shirley Shepherd, and they are still togther today. Congratulations on 47 years!!!

Back on this day in 1967, The Who released “I Can See for Miles” which went on to be their only number one hit in the U.S (and their only top ten-can you believe that?). My bride doesn’t like “I Can See for Miles”- she immediately hits the “off” button whenever it comes on.

Back on this day in 1972, Joe Cocker and his band mates were arrested in Australia after police discovered marijuana and heroin in their dressing rooms.

Back on this day in 1976, Aerosmith kicked off their first Eurpoean tour with a show in Liverpool, U.K.

Back in the day in 2004, Eric Clapton was banned from driving in France after being caught driving 134 mph (53 miles above speed limit) in his Porsche 911 near Mereuli.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Justin Hayward (Moody Blues).

October 7, 2011

Weekly Update – Rocktober 7, 2011

John Fogerty at the Beacon Theater on Thurs. & Fri. Nov. 17 & 18. pre-sale tickets on sale now if you have an American Express card until 10:00 p.m. on Sun. Rocktober 9. General public tickets on sale Mon. Rocktober 10 at 10:00 a.m. $73.35 and $147.80

Chickenfoot at Webster Hall on Sat. Nov. 8. Tickets on sale today at noon. $49.50.

Chris Cornell at Carnegie Hall on Mon. Nov. 21. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m. $35, $57.50 and $65.

Robert Randolph & the Family Band at the Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Avenue) on Tues., Wed., Fri., & Sat. Nov. 22, 23, 25 & 26. Tickets on sale now. $15. (went on sale yesterday for some odd reason).

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Tues. & Wed. Dec. 6 & 7; Also appearing at the Bowery Ballroom on Tues. & Wed. Dec. 13 & 14. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25.

Other items:

Nickelback released its first single – “When We Stand Together-“ from their upcoming album –“Here and Now”-(issued on Nov. 21). I like the sound, it has a catchy arrangement and the words are inspiring. If you are a fan you will like it, if not, this might not drag you in.

Came across a video on You-Tube from a band called –Eve To Adam– and their song- “Run Your Mouth” and I have to say I was pretty impressed. Check it out.

My favorite “old school R&B” song of the week is “Boogie Nights” by Heat Wave. How great are the vocals in this song, especially when they harmonize. “Got to keep on dancing…keep on dancing” How come songs like this is no longer being created? Awesome tune.

Rocktober Juke-Box

Jive Bunny's Rock 'N' Roll Juke Box

Since it is “Rocktober” (my most favorite month of the year) I decided to bring back the rock and roll juke-box and the theme this week is the artists/bands who have been ignored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with particular focus on Deep Purple, Rush & Kiss. (Yes I am back on that kick again, I told you I wasn’t going away). The Hall, in my opinion, has “De-Fame-d” itself by not acknowledging Deep Purple and one can not spell “RocK” without Rush or Kiss. I believe each of these bands have just one song and/or just one album that should automatically punch their ticket into the doors at the Cleveland complex that have swung open for their contemporaries and others who are not rock and roll (which I have no issues but with a title like Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…well you get the picture). Ok folks since it is Rocktober, the focus here is rock, so if you are having a party sometime this month, or making a CD for your car ride or for whatever reason-load up on these songs from the Rocktober juke-box:

Smoke on The Water” – Deep Purple – Ok so this song has been played more times than probably any other on classic rock radio and was on my list of tunes that should be banned for the next ten years but if there is any song that is an automatic admission to the hall, then this is it. C’mon you know it, the Hall knows it-think of every garage band that has ever started out-what guitar riff did they all start out with? Call it simple, call what you will but there is denying its fame, again just this song alone gets them in but more importantly this is great rock and roll for your Rocktober juke-box. (From one of their land-mark albums- “Machine Head”- this album alone gets them in).

YYZ” – Rush – Now with Rush there are so many songs to choose from that should get them into the Hall but if I had to pick just one song that automatically gets them in, this is it. This is pure genius and highlights the extreme talents of all three members from the opening “bells” to the crashing ending, their musicianship is a thing of beauty. If I were an owner of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame I would vote them in just so that I could have this song playing as the background music as people walk around the Hall, this song would be playing constantly. But until they come to their senses, we will have it for ourselves, so no will mind if this song is played more than once with your quarters for the juke-box. (From one of their land-mark albums- “Moving Pictures”- this album alone gets them in).

Rock and Roll All Nite” – KISS – C’mon now you all know that this song deserves their entry into the Hall. Yes I know, you may become physically sick if you hear it one more time but there are three different versions that you can choose from just to mix things up so you don’t throw-up. Of course, the best version is from “Alive” where Paul says- “Listen, I want to tell Y’all…I want to tell you’ve been a dynamite audience and you deserve to give yourself a round of applause, let’s go…Ahh right…Oh aay…let’s Rock and Roll All Nite and Party every day!!!!” If you don’t want the audience noise (how could you not?), then you could listen to the original recording-where Gene’s vocals are so good-from “Dressed to Kill.” Or if you want an acoustic version, then put on their “MTV-Unplugged” version as “members of the family” each take turns at singing this great song. “Peter!!”- “You say you want to go for a spin.” How come KISS is not in the Hall?

I Want You To Want Me” – Cheap Trick – The live version from Budokan is the only version one needs and again makes me scratch my head so hard I’m bleeding (a “Faganism”) on why Cheap Trick is also not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-just on this song alone, c’mon on now people-stay with me. Why just a few weeks ago on my twice a year visit to the doctor for catching poison ivy (I get it at least 4 times a year), I was waiting in the “big” room to be called in by the nurse (I still don’t like that, it has lasted since I was a kid) and this song came on the radio (yes a “pop” station) and the receptionist was loudly singing the song (although she only knew the chorus). This song transcends all generations and you know you can’t help but singing along. IN!!!

Child In Time” – Deep Purple – During the late 1960’s and most of the 1970’s, artists “revolted” against the system where songs had to be a certain amount of time, preferably three minutes or less so that it could be played on the radio. Well, guess what? The radio changed formats back then for a while and played long, long songs and this is one of those tracks. It takes a while but once you get to the guitar solo, your jaw will be dropping and you will understand the frustration of Deep Purple (and its fans) on how they are not in the Hall-just this guitar solo alone gets them in, are you kidding me? Unbelievable song.

Anthem” – Rush – Put the children to bed, send the dogs (or cats) to the basement and make sure the coast is clear so that you can unload the volume on this bad boy. Or better yet, if you can’t clear the room, then grab yourself a nice set of headphones, make sure your ears are completely covered and then hit play and squeeze tight. Once the guitar solo hits, tell me this isn’t great rock?

Rocket Ride” – KISS – The year that KISS Alive II came out, I received it as a gift for Christmas and basically spent the whole vacation school week in my bedroom listening to it over and over. I was always looking for more KISS and side 4 was not live, it was studio recordings of great tracks (except the “cover”) which I believe often get over-looked by the general masses (but not by the KISS Army!!). From the opening guitar licks join in on the ride and let it take you to any place you want go. “Baby wants a blast, baby wants a blast!!!” Love this song!!! Put it in your Rocktober juke-box!!!

Hotter Than Hell” – KISS –Oh my…this song pumps me up like no other, I have to put the volume up as much as I can take it. “I asked her why she couldn’t make up her mind…she said you don’t understand…” This is good stuff right here folks- I even like the re-recorded version that appears on “Kiss-ology”- I know that’s sac-religious for many but any version will work. Turn up the volume!!!!

The Analog Kid” – Rush – This band is so great, it’s very annoying that the Hall thumbs their nose at one of the best-if not the best- three person band in the history of music. (I know there are others, take a deep breath). Anyway listen to this arrangement on this song, with all the tempo changes and the breath-taking guitar solo. Are you kidding me? Or what about Neil Peart’s drumming? Incredible, isn’t it? But it is his lyrical ability first and foremost that should get the band into the hall, who writes like Rush?

Never Before” – Deep Purple – My goodness, this is so good it is hard to put into words how tight this band is. Folks, this is pure rock and roll right here, how can this not pump you up? I don’t know what else to say? This has to be in your music library-just incredible musicianship, vocals and straight-up no nonsense rock and roll. \m/ \m/

Love Comes A-Tumblin’ Down” – Cheap Trick – The boys from Rockford kick it out on this track and prove that they can rock with the best of ‘em. Check out Rick Nielsen on guitar in this song, flat out blazing. The fast pace is not for the faint of heart so be prepared to head-bang a la Cheap Trick style. “Mr. Bun E Carlos” on drums smashes his way throughout and Zander is Zander-one of the most under-rated rock singers ever. These guys have been rocking since the 1970’s and luckily for us, show no signs of slowing down.

Night Spots” – The Cars – That’s right!! That’s what I am saying- yes the Cars belong in the hall as well. This lesser-known classic from Candy-O, except to the real fans, is one of their best recordings ever. Yes it incorporates the keyboards/synthesizers but it is still great rock and roll. You can almost feel Ric Ocasek unbuttoning that top one that holds his tie, especially when Mr. Easton wails away on guitar. I friggin’ love this song-“Ooh how you shake me up and down…when we hit the night spots on the town!!!” Ready all together- “It’s just an automatic line…it’s just an automatic line.”

Massacre” – Thin Lizzy – How is Phil Lynott not in the rock and roll hall of fame? Ask my friend John if Thin Lizzy should be in the hall? To those people who think that it’s just “The Boys Are Back in Town”…well I will be nice and say that you need to educate yourself. If you need any schooling I will put you in touch with John. Now I don’t claim to even know a tenth of what John knows but I do know great rock and roll songs when I hear them and for me it doesn’t get too much better than this unbelievable classic from their “Johnny The Fox” album. This band is SO under-rated. Lynott deserves his spot in the hall and his contemporaries would tell you the same thing.

Victim of Changes” – Judas Priest – How many great songs and albums did Judas Priest make? This legendary metal band took the genre to another level, they weren’t the first, not the last but their impact will be felt for the rest of time. Their musicianship is stellar and what else can be said about Rob Halford? Classic metal dude all the way- he loves his profession and it shows. (A tip of the hat to Ripper as well after Rob left). Anyway, just listen to this power house of a song and tell me you are not a fan? Judas Priest has already knocked down the doors in my opinion. \m/ \m/

It’s Up to You” – The Moody Blues – My friends-Jon and Diana- think that this is the biggest band that has been ignored by the Hall and they get just as upset (if not more) as I do when I think about Deep Purple not being in the Hall, both bands have the “fame” and the Moody Blues’ resume speaks for itself. It’s weird how bands that basically took their sound from the Moody Blues (and Deep Purple) and they are in but…Anyway check out this song from this very talented band.

Roundabout” – Yes – If there ever was just one song that should give an automatic entry slip to the rock and roll hall of fame, isn’t it this one? I don’t want to take away from the rest of their catalog because these guys are so talented, arguably the greatest musicians at their craft. There are two memories I have of Yes-1) Mr. Principe on 46th street in Sunset Park Brooklyn was a huge fan of Yes and played this album (along with their others) all the time and used to tout their professional prowess on guitar, drums, keyboards and of course- the vocals. 2) Again my friend Jon knows all there is about to know about Yes (and he is younger than I am-how great is that). He could school you on the greatness of Yes and would convince the nominators in the Hall to take away their “No” sign. Yes!! , it is. Totally awesome song and for the month of Rocktober- are you kidding me? It should be played every day of this month!!!

High Priest of Rhythmic Noise ” – Cheap Trick – This song is the best!!! I can honestly listen to this song at any point of the day or night. If someone woke me up at 2:00 a.m. and put this on, I would automatically start head-banging and try to drum away like “Mr. Bun E Carlos.” This is psychedelic and “futuristic” but the bottom line is that it rocks its ass off. Cheap Trick for the Hall, are you with me???!!!

Candy-O” – The Cars – Again, are you kidding me? Put this song on and tell me this doesn’t rock? Holy macro, this is so good. Easton’s guitar solo is righteous and what else can be said about Benjamin Orr? We miss you so much Ben and wish you were here to be back with The Cars. Misconceptions about a bands’ style which leads to a label really bums me out, bottom line is The Cars made their impact on rock and roll, albeit if it was named “new wave” or “alternative” or whatever-this song rocks!!! \m/ \m/

Space Trucking” – Deep Purple – I couldn’t leave this song out of the Rocktober juke-box because in my opinion it is one of the greatest rock songs ever created on this planet and in space because that is where I usually head when I hear this unbelievable track. They should be in just on this song alone. “Yeah…Yeah…Yeah…they got music in the solar system.” Put a set of Bose headphones on and squeeze tight and tell me this isn’t one of the absolute best songs you have ever heard in your life. The drumming is out of this world and the guitar work is flawless. Shame on the Hall.

Rocktober Juke Box (Contd.) – Emergence


As you can tell I love Rocktober and I was trying to come up with a new category of something to write about. (If anyone has suggestions just let me know). As I was listening to the “shuffle” on my I-Pod, I heard a Foo Fighters song and thought to myself-“look how Dave Grohl has emerged”- and it hit me- why not come up with a list of songs- keeping the juke-box theme going (I know I could have done it next week but I wanted to do it)- of artists who have either emerged from the shadow of another, or was kicked out, or quit and either formed a new band or went on to a stellar solo career. Now there are probably many that I am going to leave off this list, so forgive me if I offend the artist or group that you easily think about. The focus here is rock, with no disrespect to the other genres who have experienced the thing. Yes, artists that are no longer with us can be included in this juke-box of hits- So here goes, in no particular order:

Wattershed” – Foo Fighters – You know Dave Grohl has to ask himself the same question that many of us ask- “What if?”- you all know what I am talking about. Since that time, he has emerged to an already legendary status and is easily an automatic entrant into the rock and roll hall of fame on his first year of eligibility. The best thing about Dave, in my opinion, is his unbridled enthusiasm for rock and other genres of music- he is a fan first and displays so much respect for people and bands which have shaped his musical life-it is a joy to see. And how talented is he? It’s obvious he works hard at his craft but also possesses a natural gift which can not be taught- the great ones always have this, right? I wonder what it is like to be Dave Grohl- I bet he has a lot of fun. Anyway- Wattershed- this short track packs a powerful punch and is perfect for those of you performing in the garage as we speak- this rips the cover right off the ball. Check it out from their first album.

Kick The Chair” – Megadeth – Ok I know they are now in each other’s good graces, especially with the “Big Four” tour and I don’t want to lift up the rug to let any dust out but credit has to be given to Dave Mustaine to form a “mega” force of a band (albeit with endless personnel changes, although it has been more consistent recently) and will go down in the history of metal as one of the most influential bands of this genre. (Metal is a form of rock in my mind, so don’t even go there). Talk about an all-out frenzy. The beginning of this song sounds like 15 drummers at the same time or hundreds of pianos falling down the steps and puts you on heightened alert that this is not for the faint of heart.

Keep On Rockin’ In the Free World” – Neil Young – How rocking is this song and who knew that Neil Young had it in him to play “head-banging” music? For the younger fans, Neil used to play with Buffalo Springfield and then decided to go out on his own and has created some of the best music in American history. I will always picture him rocking out with Pearl Jam and I believe just recently they jammed together and did like a 10 minute version. Does is it rock any better than this?

Ride This River” – Eric Clapton (with J.J. Cale) – Now you are probably asking- does he really count? I’d say yes- he was in the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, and has played with just about everybody. And there are so many songs to choose from but if you need a break from the pounding songs that I have been giving you- check this one out- still rocks but not as loud. The pace is nice, this is a sweet song.

Diary of A Madman” – Ozzy – C’mon when you are as big as Ozzy then you only need one name, right? Now it could be argued that Black Sabbath had reached the end of its life by the time Ozzy was asked to leave, so you know it had to be tough for him as he was part of one of the biggest bands and now was out on his own. So what does he do?- Creates-“Blizzard of Ozz” and “Diary of a Madman” as his first two solo albums and to this day these works are considered some of the best metal/rock ever created. There will never be another Ozzy- the man is a legend.

One and The Same” – Audioslave – Even though I am not one of the biggest fans of this mega-conglomerate band, I have to admit they had some really great songs and this one get the juices flowing. I have always loved Cornell and admittedly I like his solo stuff the best (and when he is acoustic) but there is no denying the man can rock with the best of them. And what else can one say about Morello’s guitar skills, the man has made sounds that I have never heard from anyone else on the planet. Great song.

The Dream Is Over” – Van Halen – Ok so I know what you’re thinking- they kicked out Diamond Dave and what about Dave? Well except for maybe his first solo album, I would have to think that the Van Haggar era was a bit more successful. (pains me to say that but I loved the Sammie era as well). This song rocks and in my opinion, they were at the top of their game on Carnal knowledge. Sweet guitar work on this track.

Top Ten

AC/DC - Box Set


Ok, is there a better way to start off the month of Rocktober by trying to decide which are the top ten songs by one of the greatest rock bands in history- AC/DC? I think not. The focus this time around is the Brian Johnson era, which began in 1980 after the tragic death of Mr. Bon Scott, and is still going strong. (Earlier this year, I voted on my top ten songs with Bon Scott at the helm). Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to see AC/DC with Bon Scott but I have had the honor of attending many shows with Brian Johnson. Being present at an AC/DC show is the closest you will come to having an outer body experience. It’s like attending the greatest New Year’s Eve party ever-every time they perform-or if you don’t like New Year’s parties, then it’s like your team winning a championship- you know that feeling I am talking about. It is a grand event that can bring a tear to your eye because of the unbelievable energy that both the crowd and band exudes while feeding off each other to bring it to a level where very few bands (or acts) can reach. (You know what I am talking about if you have ever been to one of their shows). Brian Johnson is a big part of that energy as of course their “show-stopper”- Angus Young- is, along with the rest of the engine that ignites this legendary band from Australia.

Brian Johnson had huge shoes to fill but right off the bat he set out on his own course, not trying to replicate or become Bon Scott (who could do that?… No one). To this day, he treats the Scott era songs with such loyalty and respect because he is a fan of what the band did before he won the gig as their “new” lead singer (Ok it’s been more than 30 years but you know what I mean). And oh by the way, he sings some of the most revolutionary songs in rock and roll history. He fit the band just like your favorite old pair of blue jeans do-with ease and comfort. The transition was so seamless, it was like he had been in the band from the very beginning and was then asked to start singing lead vocals.

“Back in Black” is arguably the greatest rock album ever recorded and right now I can honestly say that my top ten songs could easily be the ten that appear on this landmark album. From the opening bell on “Hells Bells” to the “funk-i-fied” groove on “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution,” the feverish pace is thing of beauty-this is the “Mona Lisa” or one of “Beethoven’s” masterpieces or “Shakespeare.” This is Brando in the “Godfather.” This album leaves you speechless every time you listen, right? One has to listen from top to bottom- there is no skipping over any song- do not lift the needle off the record for any reason or I will have to call the authorities. And don’t give me any of that-“I don’t like his voice”- crap, stop the nonsense and savor the greatness that has been recorded for your listening pleasure.

I have so many fond memories of seeing this band over the past three decades and I try to make sure that I take family and/or friends to each show so they can feel the experience. I have taken my best man-Johnny-although unbelievably he fell asleep at their show-that is until the cannon blasts went off on “For Those About to Rock.” A few summers, I took my youngest son (my oldest is in denial) to Giants Stadium and he is still talking about that show and hopefully he will forever remember. (I was there with my son-does it get any better than that?). One not so fond memory is when I took my bride to MSG with Sal and Anthony and the atmosphere was so out of control that she ended up being in flames as some one threw a cigarette which burned her shirt while being close to her hair. I still refused to leave after that (hey we put the fire out, right?) and as M-80’s exploded throughout the night, splitting sections of people like the parting of the red sea, I still convinced them to stay-hey did I mention this was AC/DC? Then with 18,000 seats in the arena, guess who comes and sits back behind my bride-yes that’s right-an incapacitated dude who was so wasted he may just have sobered up the other day (I think the show was in 1988, that gives you an idea how gone he was). Anyway, you know when “drunk” people can’t really balance themselves and they always look like they are going to “topple” over? Well that is exactly what happened and as he started to fall my peripheral vision sprang into action and with one arm I shoved him back and he landed hard into the chair behind them. And just like all those classic “E.F. Hutton” commercials-all of his buddies stopped in their tracks to see who threw their friend. Anthony sprung into action and said he would take the first guy and hang him over the “balcony” if anyone decided to do anything. They knew their friend was gone so they didn’t pursue it further. But by now with us sitting on edge (because the guy did not leave), the music at a piercing level and with fireworks exploding all around the Garden, I was the only one who wanted to stay. (Hey I was prepared). Then it happened- a bottle of beer whizzed by Anthony’s head and crashed into the wall and exploded into hundreds of pieces, he stood up and said-“I’m out”- Sal and my bride agreed- and by this time I knew it was the end. It was like I was a kid being dragged out of Toys R Us-my heart was being broke but I understood.

One of the fondest memories of a show occurred while I was out of work and on the unemployment line just a few short years ago and I knew AC/DC was making their triumphant return to the Mecca- Madison Square Garden. But how could I justify going to a concert when I did not have employment? But then it happened- my “brother”-Slats- gave me a call and said he had an extra ticket to the show. I told him that I could not go because I didn’t want to buy a ticket- he then said- “who said you had to give me money, it’s on me.” Chills went down the back of my spine first off due to him making that unbelievable gesture (it is something I will never forget) and then realizing that I was going to see AC/DC. Did you get that? I was going to see AC/DC. Folks, realize this- I will continue to attend their shows every time they decide to come to the Tri-state area (although I prefer the “Mecca”). There is nothing like an AC/DC show and if you have never attended one, you don’t know what you are missing.

Now just like with the Bon Scott era, how does one narrow down the choices of songs to ten? This is tough but I am on an island and have been informed that I can only have ten songs by AC/DC with Brian Johnson at the helm-“These Are Them:” \m/ \m/

10.     Rock N Roll Train-Ahh the masters of “three chords”- do we really need more? Not when it is the Rock and Roll like this. There is something about hearing the opening riff by Angus that just sets the wheels in motion to make you so pumped up that I immediately have to bang my head up and down and dance around the room in circles. I know I have said this a few times but when Brian starts to dance at the shows it reminds me of that Uncle everyone has, who is the old school tough guy who never danced when they were younger, but at every wedding they attend now they get up there with their fists clenched and do the old “row boat” move where their elbows are bent and they extend it behind their back and come back to their sides. I fall on the floor but I love that they are having fun and that’s what it is all about. AC/DC is pure fun and pure rock and roll.

9.       Shake A Leg –Like I said I could have all the songs from “Back In Black” on this list but if I have to choose, then this next to last song on side two beat out some very “stiff” competition (that reference is to their “Stiff Upper Lip” album- get your mind out of the gutter) from this classic album. I guess if I had to choose the reason why it beat out some of the competition is because of the guitar solo by Angus-it is flat out blazing. Whenever the wife and boys are out of the house, I usually throw this CD into the turner and have the walls shaking as I am sure the neighbors can see me go from one end of the house to the other as it looks like I have been shot out of a cannon. By the time the song is over, my clothes are usually drenched in sweat. “Shake A Leg!!!…Shake It… C’monnnnnn…Yeaaahhhh”

8.       Inject The Venom –I love when AC/DC takes down the pace and have that heavy “blues” effect-which sometimes psyches me up more than some of their other fast paced songs. Brian’s vocals are at an all-time high pitch and there’s no way he can reach that level these days (I think). Love the way he says “pl-eeeeee-zzzz.” Angus is right there to hit you between the eyes (I mean ears) with his heavy riff and once his guitar solo takes off, I am in another stratosphere. The beginning is so powerful and it is accentuated by the “pause” where you hear nothing but you know the riff is coming. “No mercy for the bad if they want it…no mercy for the bad if they plead…no mercy for the bad if they need it…Oohhh no mercy from me…” This is rock and roll at its best. V…E…NOM!!! Rock on my friends. \m/ \m/

7.       That’s The Way I Wanna Rock and Roll – How can anyone not like this song? When they play this song live – watch out. There goes Brian with the arm bent at the elbow violently swinging back as he dances around like your uncle does at a wedding. Angus guitar work is a thing of beauty and this is a perfect “stadium” song as everyone loses it as the head-banging is at an all-time breakneck speed. Everyone- “roll, roll, roll…roll, roll, roll…Blow up my video…shut down my radio…told boss man where to go…turned off my brain control..”-c’mon even the lyrics make you lose it. This is so great!!!!!

6.      Put The Finger On You – I can remember the first time I heard this song as I laid on my bedroom floor with my head right in front of the speakers with the volume as loud as I could take it as a teenager in my parent’s home, it was like I discovered gold. I always love to be surprised by great songs from a new album by my favorite bands and this blew me right out of the water. I think this track has one of the best beginnings to a song, highlighted by the phenomenal drumming by Mr. Rudd and of course the diesel team- the Young brothers- as the guitar work makes you move your head at breakneck speed. This is “hard-rock head-banging” at its best and again Brian’s vocals are at a fever pitch. Wow what a sound with a great set of headphones, if this doesn’t move you, then there is no hope, I’m sorry. Great tune!!!

5.     Shoot To Thrill – Tell me you don’t –“air-drum” whenever you hear this song? C’mon you know you are lying. You can’t help it because it is so addictive, especially towards the end of the song where it is just Angus, Phil and Brian playing and singing. “All you women…who want a man of the street…and don’t know which way you want to turn…” C’mon everybody sing along-“Shoot to thrill…play to kill…too many women…with too many pills…cause I shoot to thrill…” If you have ever seen them perform it live then you know everyone in the seats, excuse me- I meant standing on their feet- is “air-guitaring” to Agnus’s solo. And then once the “bridge” comes in where Brian is basically screaming- “shoot ya…shoot ya…shoot you…Ahhh…Ahhh….Ahhh”- you can feel the raw energy of the crowd lift you up in the air the way the scent of the carrot would pull Bugs Bunny out of his hole and right into the barrel of Elmer Fudd’s rifle. There’s no killing here, just pure hard rock. This is an “event” at their shows- a beautiful spectacle, sight to behold.

4.       Who Made Who – Oh man how psyched do I get when I hear this song. Love the driving beat of the drums and when Angus kicks in with the two notes constantly, wow. But when he starts shuffling the notes like a swarm of bees, well I just lose it- the volume has to go up. There are songs that make you feel good all over and this song definintely does it for me- don’t know what else to say but I love this song. Is it simple? Is it three chords? – Yes but no one does it like AC/DC- never did-never will. These guys are the best. \m/ \m/

3.       Hells BellsIs there a better song that starts off an album in the history of music? I think not. The ringing of the bell signals the end of an era as you bow your head in honor of the late great Bon Scott and once Angus starts his riff, the darkness starts to fade little by little. As Mr. Rudd makes his way in by gently tapping his cymbals, the rays of sun are breaking through and then when he hits his bass drum, the clouds are splitting fast apart and once Brian introduces himself at the 1:29 mark- a new day had dawned and the forecast was again pure rock and roll for decades to come. “I’m a rolling thunder, pouring rain…I’m coming on like a hurricane…”-how great are those lyrics? And that’s exactly what they did- a hurricane of straight up three chord rock and roll that have managed to gain more fans every generation especially once the little ones hear that riff for the first time-it’s like being plugged in. I know I have said this time and time again but everyone in the world at some point needs to see them perform this song live. Better yet you can perform a search on You Tube for what I believe is a performance in Spain-just type in “Hells Bells” by AC/DC- and see what I am talking about. The prop of the huge bell is a sight to behold and when Brian (or Agnus) swings on the rope from side to side as the bell sounds…well…you have to experience it once, even if it is in front of your computer. I bet you can feel the energy through your lap top. \m/ \m/

2.      Thunderstruck – Talk about riling up the masses…I think that maybe bees have taken this song as their calling card to get everyone on alert either to work on building a massive nest for the queen or to protect the queen from the ugly human being. Again folks if you see this live, it might just change your life- to see and feel the energy of 40,000 fans screaming-“Thunder…Thunder”- while raising their arms in unison to the beats is something to behold. There is no other way to listen to this song but LOUD!!!! If you listen to just Angus’s part you will be swooped up and taken into another world- you just might be hypnotized the way I get whenever I hear this song. “Yeah it’s alright…we’re doing fine…yeah it’s alright…we’re doing fine…”- the background vocals by Malcolm are phenomenal-listen closely. How can this song not get you pumped up- you need this for your next workout-could work for boxing or running, especially when the drums kick in. This is pure euphoria, I’m sorry-I can never get enough of this song!!

1.      For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)-This song is a show stopper, it is usually the epic ending to their shows-cause how does anyone come back to the stage after the “21 gun salute?” The beginning chords are so slick and so identifiable and at their shows it is like when someone steps on a hole in the ground that is housing some bees nest and one by one you see each bee fly out and start to circle the wagons looking for action-do you get the picture. Fans start to become possessed, it’s like 40,000 people have been injected with a lightning bolt of rock and it over takes their system as Brian could easily have all of us under his power. My favorite part of the song is when he accentuates the word- “blue”-right around the 2:09 mark- “like a bomb right out of the bluuu-ewe…” As I mentioned up top, I took my best man Johnny to see them and he didn’t know any songs (hey I was trying to educate him, it wasn’t like I was taking him to see Slayer-I’m still affected by that Yankee Stadium performance) so unbelievably he fell asleep mid-way through the show. Literally it was like falling asleep on the streets of Brooklyn on a hot 4th of July night (and if you are from Brooklyn- you know exactly what I am talking about). As the raucousness of the entire scene complete with an intense decibel level for your listening pleasure, explosions from the stage (and the seats), and rabid fans- here is Johnny soundly sleeping as his neck is hurting but not from head-banging, more like when Homer Simpson falls asleep as the head is bent over with drool starting to come out. Everyone around us was amazed that he was sleeping-that is until this song. Once the first cannon exploded-he thought Madison Square Garden was under attack and awoke from a dead sleep holding his chest as his heart was now at the same pace as the rest of us. The juices were flowing and once the pace at the end of the song starts to pick up-well it is pure euphoria- “For Those About to Rock…We Salute You!!!” The last time I saw them-which was at Giants Stadium a few years ago-my youngest son was amazed on how loud the cannons were and still talks about it to this day. We both held our chests as the shots fired out one by one. Thank you AC/DC for more than 30 years of great rock and roll- “We Salute You!!!”- no really, we salute you. \m/ \m/

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     The Byrds

2.     True, but only appeared with Tull for one live appearance.

3.     Little Richard

4.     False, he asked Richard Marx

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     What song did George Harrison have to pay royalties for because of losing a court case that said he copied part of the arrangement from another song? Name his song, the song he is said to have copied and the artist that did that song.

2.     True or False: Corey Taylor auditioned for the role of lead singer for Velvet Revolver.

3.     True or False: Kid Rock and Eminem have recorded a song together.

4.     What song did the White Stripes perform on the last Conan O’Brien show on NBC?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     What Becomes of the Brokenhearted – Jimmy Ruffin

2.     I’d Like to teach the World to Sing – New Seekers

3.     I Honestly Love You- Olivia Newton John

4.     Creeque Alley – The Mama’s and Papa’s

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

1.     “…good morning America how are you…said don’t you know me…I’m your native son…”

2.     “…if you are confused…check with the sun…carry a compass to help you along…your feet are going to be on the ground…”

3.     “…now if you feel that you can’t go on…because all of your hope is gone…and life’s filled with much confusion…”

4.     “…Leaving home out on the road…I’ve been down before…riding along…”

Back on this Day

Back on this day in 1975, John Lennon received the good news that he was able to stay in the U.S. after his 1968 arrest for possession. Had to be a big relief.

Back on this day in 1978, Boston’s single-“Don’t Look Back” peaked at number 4 on the Billboard top 100 singles. Ahh, those were the days!!

Back on this day in 1978, The Rolling Stones were the musical guest as Saturday Night Live kicked off its 4th season.

Back on this day in 1978, Heart released its fourth album- “Dog & Butterfly.” Again, those were the days!!!

Back in the day in 2004, Mick Mars underwent hip surgery. Remember all the talk of replacing him? Thank goodness he is still with the band.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with John Mellencamp, Tico Torres, (Bon Jovi) and Dave Hope (Kansas).

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