Errols Weekly Music Update.

May 27, 2011

Concert Review: The Cars at Roseland Ballroom on Wed. May 25, 2011

“The Cars Cruise Into NYC”

The Cars cruised into New York City this past Wednesday with a one night only show at Roseland Ballroom to showcase their new album-“Move Like This”- as well as a cross section of their body of work which ranged from 1978 through 1987 and there were moments of brilliance along with baited anticipation from the audience, that seemed to want more from them. Don’t get me wrong, their show was solid, especially when they played the “crowd pleasers” (see “Let’s Go” and “Just What I Needed”) and even when they played some of their new stuff (see “Keep On Knocking”) but I know that I wanted a longer performance with more selections from their first four albums. If you are a dedicated Cars fan and have seen them perform live before this tour then you know what you are going to get, like I mentioned in my review for their new album, they have picked up where they left off in 1987. It’s as if the years between 1988 and 2010 did not exist and as a fan you know that they are set in their ways and really don’t veer off the track. I get the feeling that most fans want them to pound on the accelerator just once and let loose with reckless abandon while keeping the hands on the wheel to avoid any crashes or fender benders. Again the word “restraint” comes into mind when I think of this band and when you see them live, it is literally like putting the albums on in your bedroom. Now there is nothing wrong with that because as I said they are so talented and have created some of the best tunes to come out of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s but again sometimes that “restraint” seems to hold them back from making their live shows a mind blowing experience. While I was at the show (having a great time I must add due to the excitement created by Jon, Chris, Diana, Mike & Eli) it occurred to me that The Cars could be the perfect band to have played in the movie “Titanic” because they are so “workman like” that they could still play and look calm while the ship was sinking. Overall I’m not sure if they felt the energy that the crowd was giving them but I was glad that my dream of seeing them again came to fruition and I hope they continue to drive around the block a few more times because I want to head back and hear more of their classics.

Let me set the day/night for you-I was so psyched that I was going to see The Cars that I actually had to pinch myself to see if it was real. All day long as I roamed the hallways of the building I work at looking for someone to share my enthusiasm but as usual no one would have known what I was so excited about or worse yet, they wouldn’t even know who The Cars were and I didn’t want to kill my buzz so I walked around all day (except for one phone call that I made to my friend Scott) like I had a canary in my mouth. But then it happened, all my enthusiasm came rushing back as I entered the apartment of Chris, who along with his brother Jon, were blasting songs from The Cars and were just as excited-if not more-than I to see the band from Boston. Ahhhh… this is what I was looking for. They were asking me about the new album and I was telling them what songs to listen to (which is basically the entire album). Then Eli entered the fray as well as Diana and Mike and this was the best “pre-game” party I had ever attended and it was that more special because they all love The Cars just as much as I do. I felt like I was part of a club, felt like a kid again and I want to thank all of them for making it a great night.

As we sat there listening to their songs, I mentioned that this band is like “clock-work” so we couldn’t let the time slip away and wouldn’t you know it-Chris burst into the room and said the guy on the phone said they would hit the stage at 8:10 p.m.-it was 7:40. We had to hustle as we were in the lower east side of NY having to head over to midtown on the West side, so we jumped into two separate cabs and of course there was so much traffic. Jon and his wife, Diana, and I jumped out of the cab at 45th street and moved briskly to get to 52nd street and wouldn’t you know it-Chris and the others were already there even though we caught the first cab. As I walked into Roseland Ballroom I was totally engulfed by the buzz of the audience, I could not believe how crowded it was and that energy that I always talk about was in the air and I felt it. Within ten minutes of us being in the place, the members of The Cars just casually walked out on stage. From our vantage point, due to the elevated stage, they appeared larger than life. To the left of the stage, almost in the corner, sat David Robinson behind the skins and if I am correct it looked as if he was sporting a pony tail. There he is, the man-Elliot Easton-standing near David most of the night with his guitar pointing in the opposite direction than what I am used to seeing (he is a “lefty”). Over to the right is Greg Hawkes with his snow cap covering but still with the massive skills that he had as a younger lad. And then here he comes, Mr. Ric Ocasek (reminds me of Howard Stern for some reason or Geddy Lee) walking out on stage as the opening riffs to “Good Times Roll” began and as he was closer to the stage we all see him look down and suddenly he stops playing. That guitar wasn’t the right one for him as someone quickly handed him another one and they started over again. Now that is a first for me as I had never seen anything like that but you know what, I loved it-I thought maybe this was going to be the night where they let their hair down and since it was a gaffe at the very beginning and no one cared, I was looking for improvising the rest of the night. As the song began, Chris-who was the most energetic person I have ever attended a show with- was out of his mind as we all began to sing-“Let the good times roll…let them knock you around..” We were all simulating that we were Mr. Hawkes by mimicking him with our “make believe” keyboards which were conveniently located at our finger tips. This was going to be a night of singing, dancing and “air-guitaring” as well as air-drumming along with “air-keyboarding.”

After that song they did the first song on the new album-“Blue Tip”-and most fans thought they knew the tune but they didn’t. It is an upbeat song so the energy of the crowd kept going but you could sense that they wanted an older “hit.” The crowd really became frenzied once they heard the opening licks of “My Best Friend’s Girl.” Our own little “crowd” all turned to each other and began the handclaps while belting out the lyrics as did everyone else. The “love-fest” was on and in full swing as we all put on our nuclear boots and drip dry gloves and we all bit our lips so that we could actually feel that this was the Cars playing again in 2011. How great is this? We all waited for Easton’s solo and exuberated as he hit it note for note. Did we expect anything less? Then a few songs later they totally blew me away by performing “I’m In Touch With Your World.” Wow did this take me back to my bedroom as a teenager with the door closed as I blasted this song out the window. Totally psychedelic with all these noises coming from every which direction and you know they did every one of them at the show. “It’s a sticky contradiction…it’s a thing you call creation…everything is science fiction…and I ought to know…” Jon was eagerly awaiting the cool new song-“Keep On Knocking”- and they obliged as we all were lifted off the ground-although I can not jump as high as Chris. This is a “jam-like” tune and Diana keenly pointed out this fact and stated that this type of music is now back and the younger generation would love this. I couldn’t agree more. In unison we were all singing-“They keep you in follow mode…they hold up their signs…they keep you in follow mode…all the time…They keep on knocking…” Finally here is Easton at the forefront with his one and only solo from the new album, we were all screaming for more, let him loose!!! Chris then almost hit the ceiling as “You Might Think” came on-the jumping became higher and he led all of us into singing-“You might think I’m crazy”- what do you want?-“All I want is you!!”

The latter part of the show included new songs spliced in between “I’m Not The One” and “Heartbeat City” and as I mentioned I think the “Sad Song” is destined for stardom in future shows. Then there it was, one of the few songs performed on this night that used to be sung by the late Benjamin Orr-“Let’s Go”- that put the crowd into fifth gear and now there couldn’t be any turning back to the “lesser known” songs. It was like a giant party as the entire Roseland Ballroom was singing, dancing and clapping hands and The Cars performed it to precision. “She’s a frozen fire…she’s my one desire…I like the night life baby!!!”This is what I was waiting for, this is what my life is all about!!!

The encores were all from the first album as the “creepy” “Moving In Stereo” began we were all out of our minds by then as we formed the old “doo wop” circles like they used to do on the corner blocks of The Bronx back in the 1950’s and belted out-“It’s so easy to blow up your problems…it’s so easy to play up your breakdown…it so easy to fly through a window”- could it get any better than this? I was on another cloud as I couldn’t believe that I was experiencing this all over again. As the opening notes to “Just what I Needed” began I was wishing that the entire world could have been inside of the Roseland Ballroom to experience the pure euphoria of the audience. Just like Dorothy, we were all going home again. “I don’t mind you coming here…and wasting all my time…cause when you’re standing oh so near…I kind of lose my mind.” Greg Hawkes keyboards took me to outta space as I felt the adrenaline being pumped into my veins and I didn’t want it to ever end. “I guess you’re just what I needed…I needed someone to bleed.” How great is Easton on guitar? The show’s finale-“You’re All I’ve Got Tonight”- was probably the best song of the night as the familiar drum beats by David permeated throughout the entire ballroom as our own little crowd continued the doo wop circle and sang along with Ric and we all could have jumped up on stage and let him take a break as we knew every word. We also knew that Easton was going to get the spotlight as his guitar work on this song is flawless. They did the old “Plant/Page” thing as Easton played blissfully behind Ocasek’s vocals. This song is so great, so powerful and we all blasted off as Easton took the lead and played it to perfection. I knew they could not top this song and realized the show was coming to its end but it was worth it, my dream had come true.

The Cars still have a lot left in the tank and I hope that they recognize this and that there are still fans out there clamoring for more. As I mentioned, the classic songs is what made this show and it’s not like they tour every year where we would all be sick of hearing it-it has been almost a quarter of a century-we want the old stuff as well as the new material. The Cars are now back on the road and just getting into second or third gear-I want to be there when they hit fifth gear. Thank you guys for a great night and taking me back to my youth. You are the best!!!!

Set List

1.       Good Times Roll

2.       Blue Tip

3.       Since You’re Gone

4.       Up and Down

5.       My Best Friend’s Girl

6.       Hits Me

7.       Touch and Go

8.       I’m In Touch with Your World

9.       Keep On Knocking

10.     You Might Think

11.     Drag on Forever

12.     Free

13.     I’m Not The One

14.     Sad Song

15.     Heartbeat City

16.     Let’s Go

Encore

17.     Moving In Stereo

18.     Just What I Needed

19.     You’re All I’ve Got Tonight

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February 26, 2010

Weekly Update – 02/26/2010

Tom Petty at Madison Square Garden on Wed. July 28. (No opener announced as of yet) Also appearing at the Izod Center on Tues. Aug. 24. (My Morning Jacket is opener) Tickets on sale Mon. Mar. 8. More info to follow. His new album-“Mojo” will be released this spring. The first single-“Good Enough”- is available to listen to on his website. The tour begins in May starting in Raleigh North Carolina. The first part of the tour will have Joe Cocker as the opener. The Drive By Truckers, Crosby, Stills & Nash, ZZ Top and My Morning Jacket will also be openers. Lots of dates everywhere, so look on his website for further information.

Thom Yorke with his new band (no he did not leave Radiohead)-Atoms for Peace- will be at the Roseland Ballroom on Mon. & Tues. April 5 & 6. Tickets on sale this coming Tues. Mar. 2. (this is what it says on Radiohead’s website but Ticketmaster has next Fri. Mar. 5) at 10:00 a.m.$48.

Dave Matthews Band at The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel NY on Tues. July 13. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $46.75 (lawn) $86.05 (everywhere else). Also appearing at Comcast Theater in Hartford CT on Fri. & Sat. May 28 & 29. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $40.50 and $75.

Sheryl Crow at Hammerstein Ballroom (for Nature Conservancy) on Mon. Mar. 22. Tickets on sale this Mon. Mar. 1 at 10:00 a.m. $50 – $62.50 (Note: Tickets have to be purchased in multiples of 2).

Echo & The Bunnymen at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Sat. May 1. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $38 (standing room only)

Sharon Jones & The Dapkings at the Apollo Theater on Sat. May 1. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.$37.50

Vampire Weekend at Radio City Music Hall on Wed. Sept. 15. Tickets on sale today at noon. $39.50.

Gossip at Terminal 5 on Fri. Apr. 30. Tickets on sale today at noon. $27.50 ($30 day of show).

Hot Tuna and Steve Earle at The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College on Sat. July 24. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $45 and $55 (includes a $2.50 parking fee).

Lupe Fiasco at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Sat. Apr. 10. Tickets on sale today at noon. (Live Nation Event)

Other items:

Last week I mentioned to you about the passing of Brandon Flower’s mother and I received an e-mail from a friend, Dave (even though we have never met, our connection is music, especially Cheap Trick-and a mutual friend-“99”) and he enlightened me to the fact on the Killers album-“Day & Age”- that Brandon had written a story about his mother’s battle with brain cancer. The song-“A Dustland Fairytale”- is a heart wrenching song (even though the pace of the song would not make you think it was a plea for his mother to hang on) about the way his parents met at a young age but his dad takes off and now years later his mom is suffering with her plight. And Dave is right “this is one of the most powerful, sad/touching songs” that I have heard. Thanks Dave, this has now become my favorite “Killers” song.

Finally, all the nonsensical talk of replacing Steven Tyler as the lead singer of Aerosmith will now end as Tyler has rejoined the band. “I just auditioned and got the gig” joked Steven as Aerosmith is planning a European tour this summer. Now the earth is back on a level axis, did you feel it shift back to the right place? Whew, thank goodness they didn’t replace him.

My favorite “Nu Metal (?)” song of the week belongs to Korn with their super cool “Twisted Transistor.” This song came up on my I-Pod shuffle while I was shoveling (for those of you not in the North-East it feels like it’s been snowing, sleeting & raining since last year’s holiday season, especially this past week, it seems like the most precipitation ever) the extremely heavy snow (I guess a good sign that spring is coming right? C’mon we need something to look forward to) and I had to keep repeating this song to keep me going. Who knows maybe my neighbors thought I was wacked out as I had to take breaks in between trying to dance and air-guitar. In my opinion, this is their best song!!

The first single from the last Scorpion’s studio album –“Sting in the Tail”-is “Raised on Rock” and is a salute to the bands in the 1960’s that the band grew up on. After my initial listen to the song, the first thing that came to mind is how “polished” it is and sounds closer to a-dare I say- “pop” song. This has a definitive “radio” feel to it, that said-I like it and the Scorpion fan will as well.

Kris Allen’s version of “Let It Be” on American Idol was actually fantastic. I was amazed on how well he performed it-every single artist takes a huge chance when they dare to cover a Beatles song. You can purchase it on I-Tunes and all proceeds with go to the Haitian Relief Fund.

The Stone Temple Pilots will release their first album (self titled) in nine years and it is due out on Tues. May 25. There was a listening party earlier this week in New York City and reports have it that Scott Weiland looked the best he has in years. Reports are that the music is “Beatle-esque harmonies with hard rocking melodies and astonishing singing by Weiland.” I, for one, can’t wait for this to come out. Weiland belongs in STP and STP only, forget Velvet-this is his home.

A new Pantera’s greatest hits will be released on Mar. 30. “1990-2000 a Decade of Domination” will actually be released through Wal-Mart. This marks the first time that Walmart is selling a Pantera album and the record is “un-cut,” so very surprising that Walmart is doing this now. Something’s fishy, I don’t get it. There has to be something wrong here…..

A Rush documentary is supposedly going to be released in May. I will keep you posted.

Congratulations to seventy-one year old Louie Sulcer of Georgia as he downloaded the 10 billionth song off of I-Tunes. For spending $0.99 on a Johnny Cash song- “Guess Things Happen That Way”- Louie receives $10,000 I-Tunes gift card. Sweet.

Taylor Hawkins, drummer for Foo Fighters, will release his second solo effort with his band-Taylor Hawkins & Coattail Riders– on April 19 and the album is called “Red Light Fever.” It will feature guest appearances from Elliot Easton (of The Cars!! Yes see below about this great guitarist) along with Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen. Ok yes Mr. Grohl is helping out as well.

Alice Cooper & Rob Zombie have hooked up for a limited U.S. tour beginning in May. (sort of like “Frankenstein” vs. “Wolfman”, huh?) I will keep you posted if they hit the Tri-State area. I am in for this one. \m/ \m/

The White Stripes will release a live album-“Under Great White Northern Lights (Live)”-on Mar. 16. Should be most excellent.

Album Review: “Candy-O” by The Cars; released on June 13, 1979.

Candy-O

Last Sunday I was riding in my car when I heard the first few notes of “Let’s Go” by The Cars (“I-95” Rock Radio out of Danbury CT) and it really had “been such a long time” (“Since I Held You”) since I have heard this track; I immediately turned up the volume while seemingly driving “Back to The Future” as I recalled my youth when The Cars were my ultimate band. Ahh, the good ole days, not for nothing but 1979 was a great year in music for me and this album, without a doubt, was the highlight.(no not just for the cover, the music baby!!) Fast forward back to the present, I have been laboring for some time now to prove to both my sons’ that The Cars in their “heyday” had the “wow factor” but they still haven’t come around, especially my youngest. But for those of us who were in our early teenage years, The Cars represented a change from what was on the radio; some called it “new wave,” others referred to it a “Pop” and “All I Can Do” is sit here to tell you that no matter what you call it- these guys were real good. (“great”- in my opinion). This band was one of my early favorites which I know everyone can relate because all of us probably have a special place in their hearts for their “firsts” and now when I hear them, it’s not that I forgot about them but reminded again of their splendor as well as taking me back to a very special time in my life-being a teenager. I had “discovered” The Cars a year earlier in their phenomenal debut album and they followed up with this “most excellent” disc. If you have neither album, you again, are truly missing out. There is not one bad song on either disc, so without further adieu here is my take on the Cars second studio album-“Candy-O:” (All songs written by Ric Ocasek by the way on this one)

Side one starts off with the aforementioned “Let’s Go”; David Robinson crashes his drums and cymbals as Greg Hawkes and Elliot Easton each enter the fray with their keyboards and guitar to make one of the more distinctive beginnings to a song-you immediately know it’s The Cars before Benjamin Orr begins to sing-“She’s driving away, with her dim lights on..” Is it simple-maybe yes Ok but sometimes simple is the best way to approach things. One thing about the Cars is that all five members can be heard on most of their songs-on this track you can hear the very addicting keyboards of Mr. Hawkes, while Ocasek and Easton set the rhythm with their masterful guitar work and Orr does a great job on bass with Robinson keeping the pace up with his very fun drumming. You have to admit this is a fun song and isn’t what that one of the main functions of music? Connecting with other people to bring joy to their tough everyday job we call life, music is an escape and why not make it fun sometimes? (or all the time). This song was a mainstay on the radio back in 1979 into 1980 and deservedly so, this is classic. “Since I Held You” is one of The Cars best songs and probably lesser known to the non-fan base, so if you are unfamiliar with it-you need to jump all over it. The arrangement highlights Easton’s unheralded talents on guitar and Ocasek’s vocals just may be the best there has ever been on a Cars record. “I really love the way you talk, I don’t mind saying so..” The song has a few twists and turns that flow so perfectly that you will soon be singing this song all day long. “It’s been a long time, since I held you” as Easton’s guitar lick follows flawlessly in the background. Excellent tune. Track #3-“It’s All I Can Do”- again showcases Easton’s ability on guitar-especially the solo, it’s so “money.” How can anyone not like this song? I find it impossible as the melody is so relaxing, so refreshing as this could be one of Benjamin Orr’s best job on vocals. “You wait in the wing like a Saturday flirt” –Ocasek had some writing style, didn’t he? Love his lyrics on most every song he wrote. Before you know it this song is over and that to me signals how good a tune is-it’s over in a flash. This song has such a special meaning for me, especially the part “I cancelled my flight from going nowhere..” The next track-“Double Life” could be my favorite on the album, it sounds so psychedelic as Ocasek’s voice sounds so far away as the song begins but then he surrounds your ears as it appears that he has run up to the microphone to exemplify the “space-like” sound coming from the rest of the band. (Think –“Talking Heads”). As the song progresses, you really have to wonder why Mr. Easton wasn’t considered one of the best guitarists at the time as again his solo is breathtaking, they may be short but they are not simple. Almost feels like they recorded this song in a tunnel. Another thing that totally stands out is the background vocals that compliment Ocasek’s lead vocals which is sung in an almost robotic style. Now speaking of robotic, the next song-“Shoo Be Doo”- feels like it was created in “outta space” as Greg Hawkes makes these psychedelic noises with his keyboards that is something totally different from anything you have ever heard. This track is so great, I love what they do to Ocasek’s voice-“ Don’t you tell me what to do… Dooo..” they have that “echo” effect nailed down perfectly. The only bad part about this tune is that it’s only a little more than a minute and a half long as the first side comes to an electrifying end with the explosive title track- “Candy-O.” This is “head-banging” music in my mind because of the driving beat of the song. Again Easton is all over this album he lays down an awesome solo during the middle, all the while Hawkes is making these “asteroid” type noises (remember that video game?) with his keyboards. Next time you listen to this song just focus on Greg’s part- (do you ever do that to a song? It’s like when you go to a football game and on the kick-off you focus your eyes on one player the whole time until the play is over-you get an appreciation of the talent level)- he is all over the place, like a mad scientist. Admittedly, this band does exhibit that sort of “nerdy” type of image (I could see these guys, especially Ocasek, on a guest role on the CBS hit “Big Bang Theory”) but they can rock with the best of them and this song would be “Exhibit A.”

Side two starts off with probably the best song on the entire album-“Night Spots.” If I had to pick a song to best describe The Cars (for those who don’t know them too well) I would have to point to this track. It has everything-that “new wave” (at least that’s what it was called back in the late 1970’s and early ‘80’s) feel to it-especially Hawkes work on the keyboards (again focus on just him and you’ll be amazed on his talent) as well as that classic Ocasek sound-again nearly robotic but he has a human touch as you can feel his passion. Now then please focus on the electric guitar work by Elliot, listen how he trails seemingly in the background but his talent puts him at the forefront. If you really keen in on just his part you will hear exactly what I’m talking about and when he blasts off with that “out of this world” guitar solo well there you have it folks-the rock and roll part of the Cars. When the song gets to the end I can sing the part “It’s just an automatic line” all day long- how addictive is that part? Track # 2 on side 2 is the funky “You Can’t Hold on Too Long.” Benjamin Orr is flat out phenomenal on this track with his vocals. The song starts off with that “Asteroid” effect as Easton takes over with a short guitar intro but quickly hands it off to Orr- “you’re looking for kicks there’s nothing around..” This is such a fantastic tune to listen to with your head phones, I hate to keep saying it but follow Greg throughout every song. Now the bad part about these ground breaking songs is that they are too short, my only complaint- you blink and their over. Now admittedly years ago I would tend to skip over the next song-“Lust for Kicks”- because I couldn’t wait to get to “Got a Lot on My Head” and felt like this song was too slow. But years later as I went back to this album I found myself repeatedly playing this song over and over. In the middle they sort of have that Beatles moment in Sgt. Peppers when you hear an audience laughing and clapping. The song is simple yes but has quite an appeal factor. Ocasek’s vocals pull me in as well as Hawkes “effortless” sounding work. Now throughout every song I have to give “props” to Mr. David Robinson on the skins as his work does not go unnoticed, in fact it stands out in most all the songs. He starts off the blazing- “Got a Lot”- along with Easton on guitar, this duo were far too under-rated in my opinion. Now I believe (before my computer went bonkers) that this song was the most played in my I-Tunes library. Ask my boys, one day my youngest came over to the computer room and asked me how many times I was going to play that “stupid” song. (Yes I took care of that misguided statement). There were so many times (back in the 1980’s)I imagined myself being Elliot Easton up on stage while jumping on top of my bed air-guitaring to this song as the volume of the record player reached exorbortant heights-of course my dad wasn’t home, my mom was though. The last track-“Dangerous Type” is one of their best and well known songs. It has been played on the classic rock radio format for so many years and continues to be a fan favorite. Again all these guys shine as their individual parts creates one of the best “team” sounds that the music world has ever seen. Yes that’s what I’m saying- it’s enough already, the lack of respect these guys get. In my mind, this band was one of the best-if not the best- during the period that ran from 1978-1983 for their “genre” of music. “Dangerous Type” exemplifies this fact, as this is one of their masterpieces. I love this band!!!

The Cars, in my opinion, are often over-looked as a “super power” and maybe that had something to do towards the end of their career when I believe there was extreme pressure on them from the record companies to create those massive “hits” which left some believing that they were sort of this “pop” band, which is unfair. Yes they had the radio friendly songs like “Tonight She Comes” and “Drive” but you can’t forget about “Bye Bye Love” and “Candy-O.” When they veered off and made the music they wanted on the album-“Panorama”- the sales didn’t follow (but yet to me that album is fantastic) so they had to go back “on course” with the popular stuff. It’s a weird phenomena, when a band puts out their debut album it’s typically music that is really embedded from within and it’s songs that the artist wants to put out there. They don’t know if the album will take off and once it does, then all the pressure from the “money grabbers” comes down and they start to dictate to the artist what to play. Meanwhile, it’s their music that put them there in the first palce and as they try to create more, they are directed back to the same formula which we all know, the public will get full of at some point. Or in the case of many, artists can never top their debut (see “Guns & Roses’). And that is a long winded explanation of what I think happened to the Cars (I could be wrong) but “Candy-O” is no sophomore slump, this album is the “real deal” and doesn’t have one filler. (even “Shoo Be Doo” so don’t say it). You need to have this in your library. And in my opinion, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should clear one shelf-in some way shape or form- for this band from Boston because they deserve to be in just based on this album alone-as well as their debut.

“TOP TEN”:

Image of Tesla

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “Look @ Me” by Telsa and just like a few weeks ago when I finally sat down to write down my top ten songs by the Mighty Zep-this has been the other “elephant in the room” with its trunk hanging over my shoulder as a constant reminder that I need to “step up to the plate” and let the readers of this page know my favorite Tesla songs which has to be limited to ten. I really don’t want to do this because when I listen to Tesla, it’s basically every song on every album-so have your pick because in my opinion they have not ever made a bad album. Now for those of you out there who don’t know Tesla you’re probably going to skip right over this and for those who put them into the “hair-band” era, (I don’t even acknowledge that ridiculous implication) you too might skip over this. But for those “in the know”-you will acknowledge how hard this task is. For some reason, there are many of you out there that don’t get the greatness of this band or even worse don’t acknowledge their existence. But you know what, maybe the songs I write here (which many of you will not know) will get you to explore this “so underrated” band and not think of them as a one hit wonder group with the classic-“Signs”-(which is a cover of the “Five Man Electrical Band”).

I was introduced to this California group way back in 1986 when they opened for David Lee Roth (he had just split with VH) at the Nassau Coliseum and sometimes I don’t watch the openers but when they played their first song I thought to myself-“wow these guys sound good.” As the show progressed I was blown away and immediately became of fan, ran out to purchase “Mechanical Resonance” and the rest my friends as they say “is history”-I was hooked. Now these guys did run into some issues and did not make an album for ten years but that break did wonders for them because they are back now (“Into the Now” is freaking phenomenal) stronger than ever and just doing what they do best-make music. Even their “covers” (see “Real to Reel”) are done with the respect that the original artist would appreciate and if you have those two discs you’ll see the wide range of the musical taste that shaped and influenced their career. There are many singers that I wanted to be when I was growing up (and still to this day wish I could be them) and Jeff Keith has always been someone who I wish I could step into his role for a tour or so. His passion is something that I have always felt when I listen to their songs and yes his voice can hit that “high” note that sometimes dogs can only hear but that only shows me how much he puts his entire body and soul into in what he loves to do. Songs like “Only You” should make you stand up and take notice that the man can sing. Now the musicianship that backs Mr. Keith up is in my opinion one of the most talented bands to ever come out of CA and the U.S. for that matter. This band gives you their all on every note and every verse and has been for a very long time. So with that Tesla I salute you and like I said I could pick whole albums, never mind just ten songs but I will stick to the ship that I have constructed. Here they are “coming atcha live” my top ten songs by Tesla:

10.     Getting Better Everyday-As I eliminated song after song to get my top ten, this tune narrowly beat out “In a Hole Again” from their latest “Forever More” and my oldest son kept pushing me to stick to my guns with my picks while imploring me to stay true to what I really love. He is right and I remember the first time I heard “Getting Better” I was thinking OK this is going to be a fine, nice, slow acoustic song but then BOOM- “Ahh it’s getting better now everyday” as the blazing, blaring guitar duo of Frankie Hannon and Tommy Skeoch really push this song into overdrive as the pace kicks into gear like no other song you have heard. It’s like riding the “Cyclone” (in Coney Island) as you approach the first hill, there is that second of silence and then it’s on. If you have seen their live shows you know this is one of the many crowd favorites as everyone sings while dancing around in a circle waving their fists-“Getter Better!!!”- This band has always pointed out the positive in life and this is one for the ages. “Soon the sun will shine through my window..” I’m hoping for all of us that day is coming soon!!!

9.     Flight to Nowhere.-So many great songs to choose from “The Great Radio Controversy” and believe me again as I narrowed the list down to ten there were more than a few that I knocked off from this classic. The reason why this song remains is I think this song depicts what Tesla is all about. The arrangement is spectacular as it portrays this band as one that can take it down but when it comes back up-watch out-these boys can rock with the best of them and the labor of love contributed by the guitarists accompanied by their incredible talent results in one of their most scorching tunes ever recorded. ‘Nuff said.

8.      Changes– This song takes me back to my early days for the Standard & Poor’s men’s softball team as you can probably tell from the passion that I have for this band that I latched on to “Mechanical Resonance” and could not stop listening to it. To get me pumped up for the games I would put my CD player on, squeeze the headphones to my ears as I rode the #1 train up to Columbus circle and even though this track is slow it does pick up the pace and it became my “go to” song before games. Tesla unleashes a passion from within me that I can not explain and Jeff Keith does a phenomenal job on vocals on this track as the backing musicians perform tremendously as I would state that this could be one of their best songs ever.

7.     Heaven Nine Eleven-Talk about passion? Listen to the lyrics in this track and tell me this isn’t filled with much affliction but also with a path of turning things around. (“..and change the way.. change the way of the world..”). I remember seeing these guys at the New York Fillmore in May 2004 when they performed this song and hearing it live for the first time, it almost brought tears to my eyes. This is such a sensitive topic for many and any time we are taken back to that most tragic event it’s hard to deal with but with this track I feel like the bond that they are asking for can be achieved, at least I can pray that it happens. What stands out to me most musically is the most addicting drum beats by Mr. Troy Lucketta, when he hits those skins eight times in a row before the chorus breaks in; I drift off playing air guitar as the heavy riffs of the guitar take control of the song.

6.     The Way It Is-Another fantastic song to witness live as the entire crowd takes over singing the song for Jeff (and I think he loves to hear and feel that). When I took my bride to see them while they were in the midst of their “Five Man Acoustical Jam” tour (again way back when) I remember her being amazed that so many people were singing this song and she had never heard it (yes I forced her to see the greatness of this band). Now the original version is on “Great Radio” and once you hear it, the next time it comes on you have to sing along, this song was made especially for that. “Do you believe? Can you believe?..” Then the great guitar solo comes in and at this point you have to ask yourself, “how did I ever not know this awesome band?” Go see them live and see what I am talking about.. “Yes it do…”

5.     Look @ Me– As I mentioned Tesla went on a hiatus for a while and it took ten years between “Bust a Nut” and “Into The Now.” “For everything in life, there is a reason…” think about those words for a second, you know you have. Mr. Keith went through some hard times and my guess is that he needed to get back to what he loved the most: being the lead singer for the band called Tesla. He references one of his occupations during that time when the band was not together with the words “spun around like I just got played” which depicted his time as a DJ at a gentlemen’s club. But as he says “that was then.. take a look at me now” and without a doubt he has come back (as well as the band) stronger than ever. They have made up for lost time as they have done extensive touring along with making lots of material in the last five years and in my opinion are more relevant now than they ever have been-totally erasing that “hair-band” label (again something I never accepted). Again Troy’s drumming hooks me right in as well as Jeff with his great vocals- look at them now-still rocking after all these years. \m/ \m/

4.     Song and Emotion-When I think of Tesla, I think of “song” and of course you get the “emotion.” What better way to put these two words together and dedicate it to one of their good friends, Mr. Steve Clarke-the guitarist for Def Leppard who unfortunately battled alcoholism and passed away at the very young age of 30 in 1991. The lyrics cut right to the bone-“ I see him there most every day a lonely man and his guitar..In his eyes I see the pain..” In more than a few songs that Tesla has recorded over the years, they seem to indicate that being a rock star isn’t always what it seems to be. We automatically think that it’s filled with glory, fame and money but as they say-“life at the top ain’t always what it seems.” And for one Steve Clark “somewhere, somehow, something was lost.” You can feel the entire bands pain as they play this song every time because they probably feel that this could have been anyone of them, not just Mr. Clarke. They show him so much respect on guitar because it eerily sounds like the way Steve played, they honed in on his style and just completely nailed it. Now if you listen to the entire track on “Psychotic Supper” the ending of the song sounds an awful lot like the beginning of “Mama’s Fool” which appears on “Bust a Nut.” This is an emotional draining song and every time I hear it-I immediately think of Steve-which is what Tesla wants us to think of when they recorded it. This is brilliance.

3.     What You Give-“It’s not what you got..but what you give..”I wish I could have written these seemingly simple words but yet think about the great meaning behind them. Think about how great this universe would be if every person in the entire world followed these simple words. Now I know this is a love song written for that someone special but yet it is deeper than that, I really believe they meant it for everyone to make this world a better place. You want to talk about a great concert song? Go to one of their shows and tell me you don’t get “goose bumps’ while they play this awe inspiring song. Ask my friend Sal what he thought when he saw them perform this live, I guarantee if there was one song that he remembers from all their shows we have attended-this would be near the top of his list-not just mine. This song resonates deep within me, I can feel it start from my soul as it works it way up towards my heart and practically brings tears to my eyes. As I tell you all the time, there are some songs that make such an impact in my life-so good that it brings tears to my eyes. This has been-and always will be-that kind of song. Raw emotion that you can feel.

2.     Only You– The first time I heard this song I froze.. I couldn’t move. This song is so tender, so sensitive, so “gut wretching” that I have to listen to it over and over again. If you have lost a loved one, please be aware that it may be too tough to listen to and of course you know I think of my mother always when I hear it. This time I shed tears because I miss her and this song tugs at my heart. “I only want you, not some picture on a shelf..” that gets me every time because that’s how I feel. “If only desperation could resurrect”-I know I thought about that as she was close to leaving us. Thank you Tesla for making such a powerful song. Beautiful and touching.

1.     Lady Luck-They had me on the opening guitar licks, when I hear them it brings me back to 1989 when I was just 24 and this became another song that I would use to pump me up before the many softball games that I had on my schedule as I played for nearly 7 teams that year. Every once in a while when I see Tesla perform live they break out this classic from “The Great Radio…” and I get so psyched I feel like I am going to jump right out of my skin. This is hard rock at its best-“there she stood in living color… and she said I don’t!!!”- Tesla is and always has been one of the hardest working “blue collar” bands this country will ever see. These guys know how to rock, what are you waiting for-jump in and turn Tesla on and they will return the favor. \m/ \m/.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     True, Jimmy Page played with Joe Cocker

2.     Schenker left Scorpions to play with UFO

3.     “I Can’t Explain”

4.     “Creep”

This week’s trivia (The Cars, Tesla)-

1.     What was the first song that put Tesla on the map?

2.     What “Bread” song does Tesla masterfully cover?

3.     What “Cars” song is featured in the classic “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” movie?

4.     Who sings lead vocals for the “New Cars” after Ocasek stated he would “never” be part of a Cars reunion?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Only You”- The Platters

2.     “Only the Lonely”-Roy Orbison

3.      “Only the Good Die Young”-Billy Joel

4.     “Only God Knows Why”- Kid Rock

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

1.     “Got in a little hometown jam..so they put a rifle in my hand.. sent me off to a foreign land.. to go and kill the yellow man..”

2.     “I like smoke and lightning..heavy metal thunder..racing in the wind.. and the feeling that I’m under… ”

3.     “My heart beats like a drum (all night)..flesh to flesh, one to one (and its alright) and I’ll never let go.. there’s something I know deep inside …”

4.     “My mother cried.. when President Kennedy died..she said it was the communists.. but I knew better.. would they drop a bomb on us while we made love on the beach….”

Back on this Day

Back on this day in 1965, Jimmy Page released his first single-“She Justs Satisfies.” It failed to hit the charts and shortly after he joined the Yardbirds… then of course on to the Mighty Zep.

Back on this day in 1980 U2 received a contract with Island Records after talent scout Bill Stewart witnesses them play at the National Stadium in Dublin Ireland.

Back on this day in 1985, Chuck Berry received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 27th Grammy Awards.

Back on this day in 1997, Rush received the “Order of Canada” which is the highest civilian award from the Canadian government for significant achievement in important fields of human endeavor.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with “heavy weights” in the music world including the legendary Fats Domino, the late great Johnny Cash, Mitch Ryder and Jonathan Cain (Journey).

July 25, 2008

Weekly Update – 07/25/2008

Randy Newman at Carnegie Hall on Fri. Sept. 19. Tickets on sale this coming Monday July 28th at 11:00 a.m.

Rascal Flatts at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden NJ on Friday Sept. 12. Tickets on sale next Sat. Aug. 2 at 10:00 a.m. $35.75 – $75.75

Derek Trucks Band at the Highline Ballroom and Blender Theater on Thurs. Nov. 6 and Fri. Nov. 7. Tickets on sale for Highline at noon and 10:00 a.m. for Blender.

Goldfrapp at Radio City Music Hall on Friday Sept. 12. T ickets on sale today at noon. $39.50 – $75.

The Whispers at the BB Kings on Sat. Rocktober 25. (7:30 and 10:00 shows) Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.$40. Remember “And the Beat Goes On?”

Shemekia Copeland at BB Kings on Mon. Sept. 25. Tickets on sale Sat. at 10:00 a.m. $25.

Other items:

Buddy Guy’s new album “Skin Deep” was released this past Tuesday and the 30 second samples on I-Tunes sound great. This is his first recorded album with all original tunes. He gets help from Susan Tedeschi on “Too Many Tears.” Also contributing to the album are Eric Clapton, Robert Randolph and Derek Trucks. If you have never seen Guy in concert, you are so missing out.

One Day as a Lion, the new band with Zach De La Rocha and Jon Theodore (drummer from Mars Volta) put out an EP of 4 songs. If you were a fan of Rage, you will definitely enjoy it. “Wild International” sounds great.

Rush has released a never heard before version of “Working Man” due to popular demand as a result of the song being released on the “Rock Band” video game a few weeks back. Check out this video on You Tube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAKhEzdSYPI

The Rolling Stones are suing rapper Lil Wayne for his song “Playing with Fire.” The Stones reps say it’s a clear derivative of their song with the same title and he used it without their permission.

Have you ever been put on the spot to name your top 25 music acts of all-time? Well my oldest son put me on notice that he wanted my favorites, with an accompanying song and a reason why I liked them? I was resistant because I felt that I would leave an artist off of my list. However, he keenly pointed out that if they did not quickly come to mind, how could they be in my top 25? (Putting them in order does take some thinking and time but again the first 25 that come to mind) So here goes: (you too can play along at home):

25. Tom Petty

Favorite Song: You Wreck Me

Why?: Like fine wine, he gets better with age. An American classic.

24. Motley Crue

Favorite Song: Kickstart My Heart

Why?:Love their energy! The other side of me wanted to be them.

23. Black Crowes

Favorite Song: There’s Gold in Them Hills

Why?: Always wanted to transform into Chris Robinson for just one tour.

22. Stone Temple Pilots

Favorite Song: Crackerman

Why?: Love their version of grunge.

21Shinedown

Favorite Song: I Dare You

Why?: Their music is in my blood stream.

20. Black Sabbath

Favorite Song: Fairies Wear Boots

Why?: Masters of Metal, period, end of story.

19. Patsy Cline

Favorite Song: Why Can’t He Be You

Why?: Her voice is mesmerizing & takes me far away; also my mother’s influence.

18. Sam Cooke

Favorite Song: Nothing Can Change This Love

Why?: Favorite male singer ever.

17. Karen Carpenter

Favorite Song: (They Long to Be) Close to You

Why?: Favorite female singer. This song reminds me of my mother.

16. Cheap Trick

Favorite Song: Lookout (Live)

Why?: A band that never dies, pure fun in concert.

15. Aerosmith

Favorite Song: I Wanna Know Why

Why?: Hard rocking boys from Boston that are just great!

14. Boston

Favorite Song: Smokin’

Why?: How can you not get psyched listening to Smokin’?

13. AC/DC

Favorite Song: Thunderstruck

Why?: Never sold out. Head banging to the end!!

12. Bee Gees

Favorite Song: I’ve Gotta Get A Message to You

Why?: Great Harmonizing vocals.

11. Soundgarden

Favorite Song: Mailman

Why?: Grunge music at its best! Under-rated.

 

And now the long awaited top ten (who was waiting? I don’t know but here it is anyway)

 

10. Kiss

Favorite Song: King of the Night Time World (Live)

Why?: I wanted to be every member of Kiss ten times over!!!

9. Foo Fighters

Favorite Song: What If I Do?

Why?: Who’s cooler than Dave Grohl?

8. Collective Soul

Favorite Song: Crown

Why?: Passionate band and I’m all about passion.

7. Led Zeppelin

Favorite Song: Boogie With Stu

Why?: Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones. ‘Nuff said.

6. Metallica

Favorite Song: Master of Puppets

Why?: See them live and tell me you don’t like them?

5. Tesla

Favorite Song: Lady Luck

Why?: So under-rated it pisses me off and makes me love them that much more.

4. The Cars

Favorite Song: It’s All I Can Do

Why?: One of my first loves of rock music.

3. Foreigner

Favorite Song: Seventeen

Why?: I WANTED TO BE LOU GRAMM.

2. The Beatles

Favorite Song: I’m Only Sleeping

Why?: So many great tunes in such a short amount of time. Timeless band.

1. Van Halen

Favorite Song: Feel Your Love Tonight

Why?: Greatest live band ever!

Now I am not going to say who was omitted from this list because the rule is that you can’t take too much time. It has to be the first 25 that come to mind. I know I left off some whoppers but this is my list. I want to thank my son for making this a fun process.

Back on this day in 1965, Bob Dylan performed his first non-acoustic set at the Newport Folk Festival to a very hostile crowd.

Back on this day in 1969, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young had their first live performance, it was at the Fillmore East in New York.

February 22, 2008

Weekly Update – 02/22/08

Kayne West and friends at the Garden on Tues. May 13. Pre-sale on now until 10:00 p.m. tonight. Password is HEGLOW. General public on sale tomorrow at noon. $49.50 -$129.50.

Robert Plant & Allison Krauss at the WAMU Theater inside MSG on Tues. June 10. Pre-sale begins this Monday at 10:00 am until Sun. Mar. 2 with American Express cardholders. No price info.

Santana & Derek Trucks at MSG on Tues. April 8. Pre-sale begins this Monday at 10:00 am to Sunday Mar. 2. General public on sale Mon. Mar. 3 at 10:00 am $39.50 – $89.50.

Sara Bareilles at New York Fillmore on Wed. Apr. 23. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $20.

Katt Williams at Radio City on Thurs. April 10. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $54- $84.

Alicia Keys and Jordin Sparks at the Rock & the Garden on Tues. & Wed. June 17 & 18. Ticket info to follow.

Other items:

Concert review: Foo Fighters at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday Feb. 19, 2008: Growing up, we are all required to go to school for 12 years and then maybe on to college. You put in your dues to get to that “higher” place. The Foo Fighters have been putting in their dues for the past 12 or so years. I started out seeing these guys in a college gymnasium in N.J. a long time ago. They worked their way up to the local clubs and then onto smaller theaters. This past Tuesday, they “graduated” and had their first ever visit to the “Mecca” of which all bands strive for- Madison Square Garden. So how did they do you ask? They passed their audition and the buzz as we left the show was that it was a “kick butt” performance. My opinion is that they were solid and there were great moments during the show. The Foos will now be able to continue to have their shows at “Garden” type arenas. In one way this stinks because it will be that much harder to get tickets to their smaller venue appearances and you lose the intimacy. But when you graduate, this comes with the territory.

First off, the second opener, Serj Tankian, was absolutely horrible, enough said. And the music piped in before the Foo’s came out was also horrible. So I knew before the Foos took the stage that they were going to be solid. (good planning on the part of their management team)? The Garden was completely sold out and the Foos started off with the first two songs from their latest CD but in reverse order- “Let it Die” and “The Pretender”- (my all-time favorite Foo song). Good way to start off the evening as Mr. Grohl was trying to get the kinks out of his voice (it has to be grinding on his vocal cords as he tends to scream a lot). Playing the part like they had been there before, the stage was set up with a long ramp to another small stage set up in the middle of the Garden. Just picture a really long walk way that fashion models utilize. (or a from a birds eye view I’m thinking a huge Gene Simmons bass guitar). So they had the setup for crowd interaction.

They blasted their way through their hits (and these are legitimate hits) such as “Times Like These” and “Learn to Fly.” At times it was hard to see the band on stage-as there were headlights facing the stage-that blared light similar to the ones you squint to when someone has their high beams on when you’re driving. The highlights for the first part of the show for me were “The One” and “Stacked Actors,” (song he wrote about Courtney Love). Then the band members walked down this ramp to a “new” stage that fell from the sky and all of a sudden we had great seats. The band was in the middle of the Garden on a stage setting similar to the old Flip Wilson shows where he and his guests would perform their skits. (for those of you who are younger and do not know who Flip Wilson is- tune into TV Land). They went into an acoustic set and the “intimacy factor” was actually felt by the whole place.

This is where they shined bright. You could actually hear very clearly Dave’s voice (he can sing) as they jammed to “Marigold” and “My Hero”- which was a crowd sing along song. Then Taylor Hawkins took the vocal spotlight with the song he wrote from In Your Honor- “Cold Day in the Sun.” The acoustic set ended with “Everlong”-which arguably could be their best know song (actually made famous by their Howard Stern appearance a number of years ago). Then the show ended with the “great” moments previously mentioned with “Monkey Wrench” (a boot camp classic) and “All My Life”- which was the best song performed by far. As I was watching the crowd and when Mr. Grohl announced to the audience “Everybody Dance!!”- just then the spot light hit the crowd and what a sight-thousands of fans jumping and head banging at the same time. I decided then and there that is one of the best sights for me to see (and not just at their show, anyone’s show) and that sight is for so many people to be enjoying themselves at the same time. You don’t get that too often and at that moment I just felt a rush of the “wow factor.” I felt good for Dave and the boys.

They came back for 3 encores which included my new favorite song of the week “Long Road to Ruin” and ended with a fantastic version of “Best of You.” Overall a very good show and I love the fact that they are getting more popular-another sign that I’m getting old. When I was younger as soon as a band that I followed from the beginning became popular I dropped them like a hot potato. The Foos are at the top of their game right now and deservedly so.

Again I came across a song on my I-POD shuffle which made me go back and listen to the entire album and this time it was from The Cars. For those of you who know me a long time, you know quite well that one of my all time favorite bands is The Cars. They were one of the first bands that sucked me into this whole music thing going on here. For me, Ric, Ben, Elliot, Greg and David were synonymous with John, Paul… well you get the picture. Now I know you’ll be scratching your head on this one but I have to tell you I love their 3rd album “Panorama” released in 1980. Now I know their debut album and Candy-O are more popular and I’ll admit those two are better than Panorama but again this album is no slouch. (now keep in mind The Cars can do no wrong in my eyes). This disc gets panned by critics all the time but hey even Zep had their “III”- which we all know is not as bad as all the critics state. The Cars had two main singers, Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr. Mr. Orr passed away many years ago unfortunately. (now if you don’t know their voices,their classic pop hit “Who’s going to drive you home” is Ben Orr and “My Best Friend’s Girl” is Ocasek). Check out Mr. Orr’s vocals on the “Down Boys”- side 2, track 2 of Panorama. Awesome song. The one and only hit from this album is “Touch and Go” but after listening to this again I absolutely love “Getting Through,” “Gimme Some Slack” and “Don’t Tell Me Know.” My favorite track is “Misfit Kid”- just a totally cool song. One of the great things about the Cars were their harmonizing background vocals and you hear them throughout. The album ends with “Running to You” and “Up and Down” which are two solid solid tracks. I wanted to be in the Cars when I was a kid, I use to pretend I could air guitar lefty, as Elliot Easton is a lefty guitarist. These guys don’t get the respect they rightfully deserve. Buy any one of their first three albums- you won’t be disappointed. With Panorama you’ll have to buy the CD as I-Tunes only carries “Touch and Go” from this album. Sometimes I-Tunes screws up and in this case they have, its just not right.

AC DC back in the studio after an 8 year absence. New CD to follow and most likely a tour. \m/ \m/

Gene Simmons is in hot water with his live in girlfriend Shannon Tweed, apparently Gene has been caught on tape with another woman and its now on the internet.

Back on this day Florence Ballard of The Supremes died in 1976 of heart attack, at the age of 32. She had left The Supremes nine years earlier after her constant fights with Diana Ross. Ballard was replaced by Cindy Birdsong, and by the time of her death, Ballard had separated from her husband and was on welfare, having lost a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Motown Records. Ross attended the funeral, surrounded by several bodyguards.

Back on this day in 1989, the 31st Grammy awards for the first time featured a heavy metal category and remember when Jethro Tull beat out the boys from Metallica for best metal group? Still pissed about that. This fact was actually one of the million dollar question on Who Wants to a Millionaire back when Regis was the host.

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