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ALAN MERCER

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SPENCER DRATE

LOU PAPPAS

GAREMOUTH WIGHAT

Steel Notes Magazine July-August 2016

Alan Mercer

Celebrity Photographer Upfront interview with the man behind the

camera Hatebreed

Review

Richie Scarlet “The Emperor of Rock N Roll”

Review

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Letter From The Editor Greetings readers!!! I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer! Because of everyone’s busy schedules and vacation, we decided to do a combined July/ August 2016 issue for your reading pleasure. This issue you will find many great articles and pictorials, such as our main cover story: “The Upfront interview with the man behind the camera”- celebrity photographer- Alan Mercer, by Marlowe B. West “The Emperor of Rock N Roll”, the infamous guitarist -Richie Scarlet interview by Scott Saxon Part two interview with iconic album cover designers- Spencer Drate & Judith Salavetz Interview with Chris Cornell, by Dawn Belotti Hatebreed show review by DC Ryder Sixx Am, Hatebreed, and Chris Cornell concert reviews. Beautiful guitar designs by artist Marie Currie Summer trip By JR Peterson, Waterfalls by Gary Preis, CD, movie reviews and more! See you next issue!

Alexxis Steele Publisher/Editor-In-Chief

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INSIDE

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FEATURED

STEEL NOTES MAGAZINE STAFF LISTING

4 Alan Mercer Interview, The Man Behind The Camera

12 “The Emperor of Rock N Roll” Richie Scarlet 18 A Sex Symbol of a Certain Age, The Whirling Worldz of Marlowe B West

22 The Josie Music Awards 27 Bongo Boy Beach Summer Is Here Review 31 “Dazed” Short Story 32 Interview with Spencer Drate 40 Sixx A.M. Show Review 46 “The Do-Over” Movie Review 48 Hatebreed Review 50 Save The Hippies Cartoon 52 “Sometimes, you just have to suspend your 55 58 61

disbelief ” Music Review Batman v Superman Review Chris Cornell Show Review Lou Pappas Interview

70 Poetry by Yvonne Sotomayor 72 Man of the People by Luca Cerardi 76 “Yes I do but not now” Story by Alessia Bas78 83 88 93 101 108 113

tianelli The Grouch Says “Dream Over” by Luca Cerardi “Ugly Sisters on the Tip of the Tongue” story by Alessia Bastianelli Summer Fun with JR Peterson Journey To India By Rex Maurice Oppenheimer Marie Currie Creations Artist Spotlight Waterfall Pictorial By Gary Preis

ADMINISTRATIVE Alexxis SteelePublisher/EditorIn-Chief Guido ColacciAssistant Editor Mick ReynoldsProofreader/Copy Editor Jeffrey HeldDesign/Layout/ Cover PHOTOGRAPHERS Sheri Bayne Bob Klein Gary Preis Brian Smith Derek Mitch Travis Eisenhard Brian Limage Ron Shurey Dave Hummell Alan Ottenstein Larry Dell Brian Matus Bill Des Jardins VIDEOGRAPHERS Lisa Koza Larry Dell

STAFF WRITERS Alexxis Steele Marlowe B. West Dana Saravia Jerry Saravia Guido Colacchi Victor Colicchio Mick Reynolds Sheri Bayne The Gypsy Poet Noah J Gambino Kelly Mitch Tony Angelo Mike Dorn Drama D Karma Moonbeam Bob Klein JennyCat Foxxy Roxxy Yvonne Sotomayor Stormy Boz Scott Saxon Johnny Gibbs Luca Cerardi Alessia Bastianelli Scott Aber Todd Sobczak Monique Grimme Nikki Palomino Stewart Brodian Matt Roman Daniel Diefenderfer Rex Maurice Oppenheimer JR Muffley Traci Dunton Shaw Jr Peterson Patrick Campbell The Grouch DC Ryder

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Interview

Celebrity Photographer Alan Mercer

Upfront Interview With The Man Behind The Camera Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of All Ages ... I am your Ring Leader ... My name is Marlowe B West ... Today The Whirling Worldz of Marlowe B West is taking you all into the fantasy world of Hollywood Photography ... Once upon a time ... a most brilliant star came down from the heavens ... in the radiant (stop-you-dead-in-yourtracks) form of none other than Mamie Van Doren ... The Goddess has reigned supreme as immortal Movie Queen ever since ... Anyone who is anyone knows this fairytale come true inside out ... It’s what the American Dream is all about ... Along this Golden Bombshell’s trail through success and glory, Mamie certainly caught the attention and eye of the world ... Our Platinum Blonde Sex Symbol was besieged with every kind of camera known to man at once ... One camera’s eye belongs to World Renown Photographer Alan Mercer ... who has captured her magnificently ecstatic images for all to thrill upon ... Mr. Mercer’s spellbinding photographs of Mamie Van Doren are, and shall always be, beacons of untiring glamourousness and dramatic frivolity through all posterity ... I am deeply honoured and it gives me such royal pleasure to have him join us here today on Steel Notes Magazine ... I am sure he will share some of the magic he has been so blessed to possess. MBW: Come on Alan ... Let’s take a stroll through this lovely setting I’ve just created especially for you ... and as we go along perhaps you will begin to tell my beautiful and loyal followers how and where this all began for you ??? AM: Well Marlowe, I was always interested in pop culture and I always enjoyed seeing the extra glamorous photos of movie stars from the 1930’s. I started drawing as a kid and got some attention for my talent as early as first grade. After high school I knew I

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wanted to be a photographer, but I went the route of artist first. I spent the 80’s having exhibitions in Dallas. I had the good fortune to meet Andy Warhol who encouraged me to continue my artistic endeavors. By the early 90’s I was taking photographs again and people were REALLY responding to them and telling me I had to be a photographer. I started my web site in 1997 with the hopes that someone in Hollywood would see it and want me to take photos and that’s what happened. The Academy Award winning Director, James Moll hired me to take his photo for the DVD release of ‘The Last Days’ and then asked me to go to LA and take photos of Steven Spielberg along with some other directors so I moved to Los Angeles in January 2001. MBW: Did you have any other interests as a kid ??? AM: I’m pretty singular in the sense that I was content reading about European countries and cultures, animals and glamour! LOL! MBW: Your photos are distinctly artistic in subject and composition ... Please tell us what it is you look for before you snap a picture ??? AM: I’m not looking for anything in particular except how to make the reality of who and what I’m shooting to look the best they can look. I think of myself as a guerrilla shooter in the sense that I often have no idea what I’m getting myself into and deal with the realities

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in the moment. MBW: ... and naturally the world would love to hear all about Mamie ... from how you first met ... up until now with this winning partnership between the artiste and his dynamite subject ??? AM: I was in love with Mamie Van Doren for as long as I can remember. I read her book when it came out in 1986 I think. I longed and fantasized about knowing her! I found her web site in 2005 and wrote her an email hoping she would respond and she did. Naturally I asked he if she would model for me and she agreed. We had INSTANT chemistry as we began taking shots. I found that I adored her and her husband Thomas immediately. Of course we just continued to shoot and I started making a name for myself as a photographer through my work with Mamie. We are an example of the perfect duo. I have always said we co-create the images. Mamie does her own hair and make-up and styling. I am always impressed with her intelligence and artistic choices. She has been a kind of a teacher for me and absolutely a muse. MBW: Can you bring us with you into the scene of some of your favorite photo sessions with Mamie ??? AM: Whenever we are planning a new shoot we just set a time and I show up. Sometimes we shoot inside a studio with lighting and often we shoot outside her home in Newport Beach. We just shoot until we are tired. It’s pretty simple actually. Mamie knows exactly what she’s doing so it goes fast and I don’t take many shots. Typically I shoot about a minute and a half for any look. MBW: What is it about Mamie that makes her so exceptionally attractive ??? AM: Beside the obvious physical beauty she possesses, she is also extremely intelligent and sensitive. I have always believed that eternal beauty comes from an attitude within and Mamie knows who she is and is not afraid of who she is. She also requires no one else’s permission to be her unique self. I value uniqueness in anyone. Mamie is very normal in the sense that she is an honest and grounded person. She is like no one I’ve ever known before. MBW: ... and how about you, Alan ??? ... It would be awesome to hear what it is like to be this famous photographer for a day ... How would you describe a perfect day and night in the life of Alan Mercer ??? AM: Well most of my days are not terribly exciting or glamorous. I work a lot on my images to give them the extra sheen and quality they have. Digital pictures straight out of the camera are dull and flat. This is where my art background really comes in handy. I’m ALWAYS excited whenever I have a photo shoot. I’m still new to the

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feeling even after 25 years. My evenings are quiet for the most part as I am not so into parties anymore. If there is anyone performing in a concert that I like I do enjoy seeing them. Also I have had a blog for 7 and a half years now with over 270 photo shoots and interviews. I really enjoy that and find it very rewarding. I’m a natural promoter of other people! MBW: It appears you live in Texas ... Is that so ??? ... What is it like there ??? ... and that would imply that you do a lot of traveling in your profession ??? AM: I lived in Los Angels for 13 years but almost 3 years ago I returned to Texas to be with my family. My parents are elderly and my father is not well so I am needed here and yes I DO have to travel a lot more now but I don’t mind. I also work in Nashville more now and I love that. Texas is like living in another country. It has a rich culture all it’s own. MBW: Alexxis Steele ... the owner & CEO of Steel Notes Magazine told me she has been personally wanting to interview you herself for quite some time but has had an exceptionally long list of all kinds of things barging in on her and deterring her wishes ... (believe me I know her position is ungodly demanding) ... but that ends up being really cool for me because now I get to interview you ... Ha ! ... She reminded me to include that she is anxious to hear about your career as world famous photographer aside from your wondrous work with Mamie Van Doren ... Alexxis is a very striking beauty herself and I am sure she would just flip out to have a photo session with you ... I imagine it would be a dream for most anyone ... Would that be possible ??? ... Let me ask you a more direct question in a more direct business-like manner ... How does one go about getting Alan Mercer to take their pictures ??? AM: Yes I see that Alexxis is a great beauty as well and of course I enjoy photographing anyone who is exceptionally attractive. I will photograph anyone who hires me. You can be a cashier at Walmart and if you talk to me and we work out a deal, you got me. I keep my fees flexible so that I have the pleasure and opportunity to work with as many people as possible. MBW: Alexxis has evidently looked into this already because she has said you do all kinds of other celebrities portfolios and head shots etc. ... Would you care to tell us some of your other models and any interesting stories that might go along with them ??? AM: I have been so fortunate to work with so many interesting and beautiful people. Besides Mamie, I am known for working many times with Bebe Buell, Sally Kellerman, Julie Newmar, Danny Trejo, Gilles Marini, Freda Payne, Thelma Houston, Dayanara Torres and

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the late, great Blues singer Candye Kane. I’ve shot CD covers for Smokey Robinson, Etta James, Maria Muldaur and many others along with DVD, book and magazine covers. Every photo session is a kind of adventure and they are all interesting, at least to me! MBW: Just curious ... do you ever do films ... and if so to what extent ??? AM: I have yet to enter the world of moving pictures. MBW: Please tell us about the most glamourous photo shoot you’ve ever done ??? AM: That’s hard to say. So many have been glamorous. I can say that the more glamorous it looks in the final product doesn’t mean it was glamorous working to get there! It is always hard work, especially for the model. MBW: I imagine some of your work has been published in books and magazines ... if so ... would you tell us where we can find them ??? AM: Yes too many to mention but I do have a book with Mamie called ‘Mamie Now’ which is a collection of our photographs over a ten year period. It’s available on Blurb. MBW: Is there anything Alan Mercer, the man, would like to take the stage and speak out upon ??? AM: I am an advocate of being a positive force in the universe. I post daily on social media about a variety of subjects that are meant to uplift and inspire. I have monthly themes that I focus on so the message tends to go a bit deeper. MBW: One thing I have observed ... as a mutual FaceBook friend ... is that you

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are a very happy and optimistic person ... which is pretty rare ... and very admirable ... What would you say is your recipe for staying so high above the usual miserable complaining rat race that disappointingly appears to have taken precedence in many areas of people’s daily routines ??? AM: I truly and sincerely believe everything is a choice. You must choose to be happy over and over again day after day. We all face the frustrations and disappointments life offers. HOW you handle these day to day challenges determines the quality of your life. If you decide you are going to be happy you can achieve it. It’s daily work like anything else that is valuable. MBW: I think there are many people out there who would be interested in looking you up ... can you give us your contact info ??? AM: My web site is the best way to reach me. My email and phone number are there. www.alanmercer.com MBW: ... and I have one more question for you ... my favorite ... If I could grant you three wishes what would they be ??? AM: Let’s see...first would be the old standard of world peace, why not how cool would that be, if we could genuinely all love one another, second would be that I could enjoy rich and fattening foods without gaining weight and third would be several homes in various spots on earth!

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12 Questions with “The Emperor of Rock N Roll” Richie Scarlet

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By Scott Saxon


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Richie Scarlet, no matter whom you ask is a Rock Star. He has earned the respect and love of not only his legions of fans, but amongst artists as well. He plays roughly eight instruments, his vocals are mind blowing, and if that is not enough, he has made a name for himself as a top tier Producer. His passion for music shoots straight from the heart with such an overwhelming zeal that he leaves audiences enthralled snd exhausted when he plays. He is known to everybody as “The Emperor of Rock and Roll”, and though the man might be humble, his music never lets you forget that title. Richie has played guitar and toured with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss from the legendary band KISS, appearing on both their solo albums as well as Sebastian Bach, the Alice Cooper Group as well as playing bass with Mountain for many years. His solo career boasts 6 critically acclaimed CD’s as well as live DVD’s. His most recent projects include his live performance “Live in Japan” filmed at the ESP Center in Tokyo, two CD releases - the 5th Avenue Vampires CD with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Dennis Dunaway on bass and his latest solo release “Essentials Vol 1”. Richie is also known for being one of the best Producers in modern Rock. Although Richie’s main instrument is lead guitar, his reputation also holds “Lead Singer”, And all backup vocals. He also plays 8 other instruments including all keyboards, bass, drums. Richie’s life is producing, recording and especially touring. There isn’t a stage nor arena on earth that Scarlet can’t hold sonic dominion over completely. Some people are just great at everything. Richie Scarlet is one of them. Scott: Richie, first off, you have achieved absolute legend status. When did you get your nickname “The Emperor of Rock”, and is it easy to live up to, or a consistent challenge to push yourself and your music and production even harder? RS : I am a legend a legend in my own lunch time. LoL Scott: You play everything, and excel at all of it. What was your first instrument, and when did you know you would be doing music as a career?

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RS: My first love was drums. My life’s calling I knew when I walked up the isle after seeing the Beatles movie a Hard Days Night. The writing was blinding me on the wall. Scott: Who were your influences? RS: Too many to name, but to give you a few I would say Sean Bonniwell of the Music Machine. He wrote the song Talk Talk. The Yardbirds, David Bowie, The Original Alice Cooper Group. The composer Bernard Herrmann. Scott: You’ve worked with nearly everybody in some capacity, from Sebastian Bach, Mountain, and many others, including Ace Frehley, all the while maintaining your own distinct sound and persona with your stellar solo releases. Any favorites to work with? Are you as demanding of other musicians you produce or work with as you seem to be with yourself? RS: I have enjoyed working with all the great players that I was honored to have on my CD’s. Including drummers like Anton Fig, Steve Budgie Werner, Carmine Appice, Mike Arturi, Russ Wilson, Neal Smith, Sandy Gennaro, Bobby Rondinelli with the late great Bobby Chounardand Jason M. Hartless. Look for Jason this summer playing drums for Ted Nugent. He is my Rock n Roll Godson. He appeared on my Revelation Supreme CD at the age of 10 years old. Bass players such as Kenny Aaronson, John Regan, Lenny Lee, Dennis Dunaway, Mike Rusnock, Larry Fisher, Bonnie Parker and Tarik Solongi. Keyboards: Peter Galinari & Mike Klvana I was very blessed to work with all of them. As well as great backup singers and Arno Hecht on Saxophone. Guest Guitarist Leslie West, Ty Tabor, Ace Frehley, Bumbelfoot, Dez Cadena Louie Spagnola and Justin Bandura. As a Producer I am very demanding. My job is to pull the absolute best out of the artist. That is what I do, or at least try to! Scott: You have a new CD what would you like your fans to know about it?

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RS: The New CD is a collection of tracks from my catalog that have all been remastered.. It is called Essentials Vol. 1 this is available on downloads and Prudential Records. You can order all my CD’s through PayPal Richie Scarlet lucille4j@ aol.com. (Joann Scarlet). Contact Joann at her e-mail. Scott: “ Live In Japan” was amazing. Your live DVD. Can you relax and enjoy your own performances and see what the fans see? Is there any second guessing? Is it a challenge to be the best all of the time? Is your attitude towards Producing any different than just recording? RS: I never relax. I think all Artists second guess their work. I think you should try to be the best all the time, but you should not over think it. Music is my life. Therefore anything that I do whether it is producing, recording or performing. I try to do my best. Never over think it. Scott: Ace Frehley’s “Trouble Walkin’” has always been a favorite. Any thoughts or memories about that? RS: Well , of course I have many found memories of doing it. But, just the fact working with Eddie Kramer who engineered and co-produced the record; who of course did Jimi Hendrix and Zepplin and KISS among many others was a great experience. Scott: You now have six solo albums. Each are fantastic. What goals do you set when you decide to do a new CD? Do you try to challenge yourself each new work? RS: Absolutely! Scott: What guitars do you prefer to play? Have you designed a Signature Guitar, or thought about it? RS: Anything vintage especially Stratocasters! Because you have to fight them to play them. No, but I do have a Richie Scarlet Les Paul. But I had nothing to do with designing it. Stanley Roberts designed it. Scott: As a musician and Producer, how do you feel about the resurgence of vinyl? How does The Emperor enjoy listening to music?

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RS: I think it is wonderful. Any means possible! Scott: How do you feel Social Media has changed music? Is it for the better? RS: It is the ying and yang. It killed record sales. But it opened older music for new generations. It gives new young bands more exposure. Scott: Lastly, Richie, , a basic but always important question...being as you have succeeded in every instrument and part of the music industry...legendary player, legendary stage performer, and legendary Producer, what advice would you give to the next generation looking to try to achieve success in music? What does it take to go the extra mile like you have with your career? RS: My advice is always put a lot of passion into playing your music. Don’t do it for a cash benefit. Do it because you absolutely love to do it. Always follow and play from your heart and never from your mind. Thank you Scott...all the best in life to you. Scott: Thank You, Richie!!

Visit and Order at Richiescarletmusic.com, like his Facebook page, and an extra Thank You to the wonderful Joann Scarlet. 16

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Mamie Van Doren: A Sex Symbol of a Certain Age

by Alan Mercer, presented by Marlowe B West

Mamie Van Doren has been a close friend for over a decade now. She was the very first interview I did on my blog in February 2009. I featured her again in September 2010 with a more in-depth interview and lots of photos. In March of 2015 we did our 10 year anniversary photo session. If you haven’t seen any of these blogs you should check them out in addition to this one. The links are right below. You will be able to learn more about her past in these blogs. Now we focus on the future of this Sex Symbol of a Certain Age. AM: Mamie, recently Alan Eichler put some videos on Youtube of you performing your nightclub act from the early 80’s. My jaw dropped open when I saw them. You are amazing. Did you know how good you were? MVD: No, I never even thought about it. I was blessed with the ability to entertain people and I don’t have a problem with it. I know I don’t have the strongest voice. I’m not Barbra Streisand, but I have always felt the music. AM: You do a great job singing. MVD: It comes from within. It’s a portrayal and when I sing a song it all comes out. People can actually feel it. I like intimate rooms because it makes the performance more personable and you can reach people more so than in a huge auditorium where you can get kind of lost. AM: Did you perform to large crowds in Vietnam? MVD: No when I was entertaining in Vietnam in fire stations, it wasn’t that large. AM: I know you worked hard out there.

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MVD: They were very much in need of entertainment. They were starving for it. I would often work on a tank. I’d be on stage for an


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hour and have them come up on stage with me so I could hug, kiss and sing to them. AM: I know they were thrilled to see you in person. MVD: They really adored me and I was so thankful I could do something for them. No one back in the States realized the torment they were going through. They were risking their lives and many didn’t come back. They didn’t want to be there anymore than we wanted them to be there. That was so sad. It was a terrible war. AM: I can’t believe you had the courage and stamina to go there. MVD: I’ve always had the feeling of wanting to do things like that. I was born this way. I feel like I was meant to go out and do that. AM: So your entertaining is tied in with healing others. You went to Vietnam and you also worked the first AIDS benefits before anyone else.

MVD: I did a lot of AIDS benefits. I was one of the first along with Vivian Blaine. I went to all the gay clubs and performed. That’s how it all started. I raised $40,000 which was a big deal in those days. AM: It’s still a big deal. MVD: People today don’t know what really happened in those days. It wasn’t until Rock Hudson died two years later that people started talking and then of course Elizabeth Taylor took over. She was able to make a lot more money. Unfortunately Elizabeth wouldn’t let me come to any of the functions anymore. That was unkind of her. All the people who had helped for the first two years never got the credit they deserved. AM: That information is starting to get now. Alan Eichler has really helped in getting that word out. MVD: Many people did a lot of good things that nobody knows about today. I was one of the only ones who got up and sang. At least I was doing something. I believe very deeply in karma. People go through bad karma and it’s a natural thing, but it disappears and then the good karma comes. You just have to get through the bad karma first. AM: You have to make the right choices right? MVD: Yes, when I am experiencing good karma I like to take advantage of it because I know I’m going to get some bad karma again. I believe this has to do with a past life. (Laughter) AM: Mamie you used to wear a lot of Chanel, but now you are through with it?

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MVD: Oh yes! It’s too matronly looking and passé for me. (Laughter) AM: So now you are reinventing yourself as a teenager. MVD: Oh yeah, I’m getting my clothes from Dolls Kill and wearing a nose ring. AM: You’re doing all the things the kids are doing now, right? MVD: Yes, but I’m ahead of them. I’ve got plans for the next decade. I’ve been through my old stage and I don’t need it anymore. AM: You’re not tired of social media yet are you? Some people get tired of it. MVD: No, I like attention even though I’m very private. That’s one of the reasons I moved to Newport Beach. In Hollywood it’s like living in an open book. I’m not into gossip. I’ve been living here since 1966. AM: You have always been ahead of your time and you still are. MVD: Well, bless your heart. I am so elated and grateful that we met and became friends. AM: It was meant to be. MVD: You are part of my karma. You are part of me. AM: I agree and you are a part of me and you always have been. MVD: Yes, when I don’t see you for a year and then you’re here it’s like you never left. It’s like it’s the next day. I think of you all the time. You’re always on my mind. I even feel like I am a part of your family. AM: That’s because you are. MVD: You’re a big part of my life and I love you. AM: I love you too sweetheart.

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Featured Bongo Boy Records and Bongo Boy TV Artists The Swinging Iggies aka Gar Francis, Natalie Jean, Trevor Sewell and Bruce Lev Are Nominated For This Year’s Josie Music Awards in Nashville, TN. By Natalie Jean and Monique Grimme Currently, the music industry is thriving, with many new up and coming talents breaking through the ranks and helping to establish themselves on a near weekly basis. Although thriving, competition in the music industry is tough, though there are four artists currently attracting a lot of attention for all of the right reasons. The Swinging Iggies, Natalie Jean, Bruce Lev, and Trevor Sewell have all been turning heads as of late, and have been racking up accomplishment after accomplishment, in the form of multiple award nominations, critical acclaim, multiple major award wins, and an increasingly strong fan-base, these four artists are certainly ones to watch for the upcoming year, so keep an eye out for: Gar Francis aka The Swinging Iggies, Bruce Lev, Natalie Jean, and Trevor Sewell, because you will most certainly be hearing much more about them over the duration of the remainder of the year. To help you get a better understanding of the fantastic four, and to help you connect with them and potentially even be introduced to their music, we’ll now be taking an in-depth look, as we look at their backgrounds, their award nominations, and their music, albums/singles, and what you can do to help support them. The Josie Music Award is an excellent opportunities for Independent artist to get recognition and awards for their talent and hard work. This year’s award event is being held at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday, September 18 2016. The red carpet starts at 4:00pm and the event concludes with live performances at 11:00pm. For Tickets to the event visit their web site at: www.josiemusicawards.com

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Here are Bongo Boy Records and Bongo Boy TV artist that are nominated for this year’s Josie Music Awards. The Swinging Iggies aka Gar Francis nominated in the Josie Awards this year in the Rock/Classic Rock/Soft Rock Category. The Swinging Iggies are a New Jersey rock band featuring renowned singer/songwriter Gar Francis. It was actually Gar who became inspired to write their first single ‘Lady Gaga’ after seeing her appear on the 2011 Grammy Awards, in which she was carried out in a huge “egg”. Basically, the message behind the single is for people to be outrageous and to get themselves noticed, just as Gaga herself, did. National TV series ‘The Bongo Boy Rock and Roll Show’ actually used the single as their theme tune, which is still being used now, in their 5th season. Gar Francis, is actually one of the main songwriters for a 60’s inspired garage rock band, who are currently working on what will be their fifth album. The Swinging Iggies recently released their second single, entitled ‘The Pain’ which features an official music video, and can be viewed on YouTube. They are really turning heads at this moment in time, and are hard at work on their newest single, which will be released at some time in the Fall of 2016. They may be relatively new on the scene, but the swinging Iggies are certainly ones to keep an eye, and an ear, out for over the next twelve months. Gar Francis is a member and one of the main songwriters for The Doughboys, a 60's garage rock band who are currently working on their fifth album. Gar also co-wrote and co-produced the comeback album "Life Out Loud for Mark Lindsay (former lead singer of Paul Revere & The Raiders) released on Bongo Boy Records. The Swinging Iggies are working on their next single slated for a 2016 Fall release. www.facebook.com/theswingingiggies web site www.garfrancis.com

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Natalie Jean nominated for the Josie Music Awards in Pop/Contemporary Category |Artist/Group of the Year |Song of the Year - Natalie Jean "Looking Back" and R&B/Soul Category |Artist/Group of the Year. In the Jazz/Blues Category |Artist/Group of the Year and also in World Category|Artist/Song of the Year|Natalie Jean "Mon Ange" as well in Best Musical Collaboration Award Category| Natalie Jean and Trevor Sewell "Devenir Gris"

Natalie Jean is a highly documented and extremely talented and creative singer/songwriter/performer. Natalie has always had creative blood in her veins, as, when she was a child, she would enjoy nothing more, than to sit down and sing her heart out with her father, Guy R. Jean, who himself was a highly documented and extremely successful Haitian artist. Her creative energy however, wasn’t simply limited to singing, as she began the early

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stages of her career writing poetry. As the years went by, Natalie realised that music was indeed her one true passion, and back in 2013, she released her very first album entitled ‘Obsession’. The album was received incredibly well, and so well in fact, that just one year later, and after countless hours in the recording studio, Natalie’s second album dropped, which was aptly named ‘Natalie Jean’. Natalie has performed in venues all over the world, and has covered multiple genres besides her own. Her main focus is Jazz, but as music is her life, she’s featured in Rap tracks, Country, and even Heavy Metal. Her music video has been seen on National Television via the distribution of NBCUniversal Comcast Bongo Boy TV Series. Her accomplishments would truly take us all day to list, as she has racked up countless nominations and wins, in the Akademia music awards, Best Jazz song in the 2014 Hollywood songwriting contest, Top 10 in the 2015 international in the Australian song writing category, Silver and Bronze in the 2016 Global Music Awards, Best Performance for her song “Mon Ange” in the American Songwriting Awards, and 6 songs as semi-finalist in the 2016 UK Songwriting Contest. Natalie Jean - www.natalie-jean.com

Trevor Sewell, nominated in the Josie Awards this year in the Rock/Classic Rock/Soft Rock Category |Artist/Group of the Year and Best Musical Collaboration Award Category | Natalie Jean and Trevor Sewell "Devenir Gris" Trevor Sewell is a highly established artist, not only in the UK, but also in the USA, where he continues to go from strength to strength. He has won 9 major awards in the US, and has been nominated multiple times in the British Blues Awards, as well as the Josie Music Awards. The American blues scene is notoriously difficult to crack, yet Trevor managed to do just that with his very first attempt, as his debut album ‘Calling Your Name’ was actually number one on the American Blues Scene Chart, for a whopping seven weeks! With the release of his second

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album, the awards really began to pile up, and he began to attract attention from some of the major names in the industry. His work has been featured on Bongo Boy Records Backroom Blues compilations with members of The Yardbirds, as well as being featured on other compilations with other true legends and powerhouses of the music scene, including: Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson, and the legendary B.B King. Other award nominations – Trevor is also a finalist in the International Music Licence Contest. Trevor Sewell - www.trevorsewell.com Bruce Lev In this year’s Josie Music Awards Bruce is keeping with the tradition and continues to rack up the nominations, in Rock/Classic Rock/Soft Rock Category |Artist/Group of the Year; in Song of the Year | Bruce Lev "20th Century Man"; in Best Producer| Bruce Lev; and also in Best Musical Collaboration Award Category| Bruce Lev and Armand Hutton "What You Do To Me" Bruce Lev, who is originally from King’s Park New York, has been heavily influenced by classic Rock bands including The Beatles, and is now established as one of the greats. He studied and worked in DC for more than two decades, before packing his bags and moving to Panama on a great adventure for over 5 years. There he taught music to village children before eventually returning to the US in 2011 and making his way to Phoenix, Arizona. Upon returning, he hit the ground running and was back in the recording studio almost instantly. Many of his tracks were met with critical acclaim, and a few years later he was named ‘"Adult Contemporary Artist of the Year" in 2014 in the Artists in Music Awards. His next song "Catwoman" made the 57th Grammy ballot for Best Rock Song, and the music video was seen on National Television via NBC Universal Comcast Bongo Boy TV. A year later, another track of his "Jessica"’ made its way onto the 58th Grammy Ballot in the "Best Arrangements, Instruments, and Vocals" category and was also seen on National Television with Bongo Boy TV. The accomplishments didn’t stop there however, as a few months later in September 2015 Bruce was named "Rock Artist of the Year" in the Josie Music Awards andFair Play Country Music Magazine. Bruce Lev - http://www.brucelev.com/

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Bongo Boy Beach – Various Artists Review by Jenny Cat | New Jersey, USA. Here we are deep into summer and lucky for us, Bongo Boy Records has released the definitive soundtrack to your pool parties, beach safaris, late night shenanigans and more with Bongo Boy Beach! This is a collection of music with something for everyone, whether you’re into rock with an island taste (Mark Baxter – Great Escape), or some hot heat from an electronic dance track (Dancing on the Sun – EsQuille featuring Bruno Alexander). Three of my personal favorites are “Come on Baby (Come Over) by The Pete V Project ft Reece Bahia, (sounds like Bruno Mars but better!) “You Make Me Feel Good,” by Pamela Davis, (sounds like 1960’s garage mixed with the soulful harmonies of doo-wop music – a music listen to track!) and “Fourth Of July” by Pure Dynamite, (you gotta love a song that uses the line, “do I make you horny?”) 1. Great Escape - Mark Baxter 3:42 2. Follow Your Bliss – A Year From Monday 4:08 3. Dancing On The Sun – EsQuille Feat. Bruno Alexander 3:26 4. Come On Baby (Come On Over) – The Pete V Project Feat. Reece Bahia 2:58 5. Run Me All Around – B. I. S. 2:58 6. You Make Me Feel Good – Pamela Davis 3:19 7. Boys Like You – Sara James 4:39 8. Deep Blue Sea – Mia Moravis 3:03 9. U Sud – Massimiliano 3:16 10. Fourth Of July – Pure Dynamite 3:51 11. Googly Goo – hooyoosay 3:09

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The three wackiest songs on this compilation will have you scratching your head and wondering “how did they do that and why?” The first song of the fun wacky bunch is “Deep Blue Sea” by Mia Moravis who was most certainly joined by a rather deep voiced man who was not at all shy. Listen to it for yourself. The second wacky fun summer song is “U Sud” by Massimiliano. There’s a delightful overuse of the jaw harp (that boingy sounding thing) that really make this song fun to dance to. I recommend it highly for livening up boring or stingy events like board meetings or parole hearings. The third wacky fun summer song is the last tune, “Googly Goo” by hooyoosay. I don’t even know. It sounds like a child speaking gibberish over a looped beat, but right when you think you know what the kid is saying, hooyoosay tricks you and manipulates the rhythm of the kid’s voice. It’s truly catchy and ingenious. Let your kids listen to it and see what they say. Overall, I had a lot of fun driving around with this album blasting in my car during the New Jersey Summer heat wave and I’d recommend it to anyone who is seeking great tunes to accompany their summer hijinks. Official Label Web Page: https://bongoboyrecords.com/bongo-boy-beach/ Download at cdbaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bongoboybeach iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bongo-boy-beach/id1129906876 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bongo-Boy-Beach-Various-artists/dp/B01HSRVLCS

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From Sunny Florida, Pamela Davis a recording artist and music teacher brings her summer song "You Make Me Feel Good" to our summer compilation. Pamela has released "several successful albums" and is a well-established artist who records all her own instrumentation. Pamela is quite versatile on a number of instruments, and completed all of the arrangements, production, and songwriting on her fun summer song. Pamela song “You Make Me Feel Good� is track No. 6 on Bongo Boy Beach.

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“I unscrewed the metal cap to the empty over-sized mayonnaise jar, wiped it with a tissue, and set it next to my rig. The only real illness Dr. Horowitz had claimed I possessed was loneliness. No, the pain that cut through my gut was nothing. All in my fucking loaded head. My heart thumped in anticipation for the moment my breathing would ease into dark separate thoughts and I could finally beat this dead thing inside of me out and sleep. I cleaned my works, shooting out the old blood on some wrinkled newspaper, cooked the shit, and then tied off, unafraid of me turning into a tragedy. I spiked my abused vein twice. That first normally dramatic bubble of blood brought not a thought of my past life except my son. I was going to shoot big since I’d overfilled the rig. Poor judgment, maybe, or deliberate, hard to say, but something I couldn’t help. I could live or die with my pushing the plunger at an accelerated speed. I felt the explosion, first in the heart, then ripping through my head until it felt like my skull split into a million spikes shooting through the constellation above the dampened lifeless hole. At that, my eyes closed, and without a blink, I was gone.”

Eric Peterson Protagonist... From the pages of DAZED The Novel Series/ film by Nikki Palomino http://www.dazedthestory.com

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Interview

Iconic Award Winning Album Cover Designers

SPENCER DRATE & JUDITH SALAVETZ By Alexxis Steele

Spencer: Before I met Judith I was freelancing at Sire Records, who loved my work. Seymour and John Gillespie gave me everything , but the funny thing is that they did not promise me anything. They said- “Look Spence, I can’t promise you anything”, but I think I’ll throw you in with The Ramones, and I will throw you in with The Talking Heads and David Byrne. I was really freaked out about David Byrne because he is really serious and has a really high art mind, but he loved my typography, which is a very big thing in our life. Most people do not have good typography, I can tell you that!

cover is a big thing. The Victory cover was Judith’s idea. It is a girl with her legs open in the shape of a “V”, lying backwards, and letters spaced across Victory, which is a very simple cover. Judith: Well, you know this young woman is dressed in black leather, wearing fishnet stockings and black high heels. She has

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Our covers were in so many shows, and both of us have a wide variety of album covers in the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame collections, so that’s a big thing for us! I think it’s important when you have the right elements, like the “Fear of Music” album nominated for a Grammy in album packaging in 1979, or the famous Joan Jett Jump shot, used for “Joan Jett and The Blackhearts-ALBUM” front cover. The jump shot evolved from getting a transparency of that photograph, with me and Judith saying- “No type on the front” , put a clear sticker on the shrink wrap, let’s see the photograph, and it’s a very beautiful double panel cover. The front


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her legs spread apart, and it creates the letter “V”. One foot is pointing to the V, and the other is pointing to the “Y”. It is a very powerful visual, and CBS did not want to print it because they thought it was too sexual perhaps, but they ended up printing the cover, so when you have the right elements things just evolve. Alexxis: Do you have a favorite cover that you have done? Spencer: There are some-Joan Jett and The Blackhearts “Album”, Marshall Crenshaw, The Ramones “Road to Ruin” and “End of the Century”,Talking Heads “Fear of Music”, Lou Reed “New York”, and “Magic and Loss”, Victory, Robert Ellis Orrall “Fixation,” Dee Dee King “Standing in the Spotlight, “and Billy Squier “Don’t Say No”. There are so many….These are iconic, so there are a number of them if you look at our work overall. We have designed 45 sleeves which are very cool and the gorgeous metal box limited for Lou Reed’s “Magic and Loss” album and the peel off banana for the Velvet Underground which is also a limited edition. Judith: The Peel off Banana one, if you remember, it is like the game Colorform, the classic black plastic cover and then right across the cover of the cd are four or five rows of Mini Andy Warhol bananas that you can peel off and put back. In the cd area, special packaging is the way to go. I think we were really lucky to have the clients we have. Part of it was luck and part of it was being around at the right time. We had no idea that Bon Jovi was going to be this huge rock n roll star! Alexxis: So that was before he really hit big?

When Jon came over for the first time to our office, he gave us the studio tape of his song “Runaway” to listen to before anyone else! Jon leaves and Judith runs over to me and says- “He’s going to sell a million”. Ready for this? I said-Yeah right!

Judith: Yes, We designed his first album cover, and didn’t know who he was, but he would come to the studio, and would play with my son on the floor!

Spencer: Arthur Mann was this great music lawyer who brought him to us and blessed us by designing his cover. When Jon came over for the first time to our office, he gave us the studio tape of his song “Runaway” to listen to before anyone else! Jon leaves and Judith runs over to me and says- “He’s going to sell a million”. Ready for this? I said-Yeah right! So, I will never live that down! Billy Squier was easy for me because when I heard that tape the songs were so obvious that they were going to be hits. The Pretenders with Sire Records for their first album, the art director said something to me that I never forgot- “This is an album that you don’t have to pay a DJ for, you just put the needle on the record and it’s going to sell”. I designed the 45 for them,

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and that album was another one that was a no-brainer, with songs like “Brass in Pocket”. Alexxis: So tell me, you and Judith are both film makers as well? Spencer: We are in the South Eastern International film festival, founded by Lee Stewart and we were brought in on the board. Judith: No we are not actually film makers. Spence: We have done five film and movie poster books like “Pure Animation”, VFX Artistry”, and “The Art of The Modern Movie Poster Book” and “The Independent Movie Poster Book”. Indie is huge which started with films like Pulp Fiction. Alexxis: I loved Pulp Fiction! Spence: There are many indie film festivals in the fall, and our Film Festival is going to Nashville and Florida in the fall. Alexxis: Tell me about the Pop- Culture radio show “The Indie Café” and “Punk Globe Magazine”. Spencer: “Punk Globe Magazine” interviews are by Nikki Palomino and Spencer Drate. That is where we interviewed Ringo’s son- Zak Starkey, and we have had Marky Ramone, plus Chris Stein from Blondie. So the radio show “The Indie Café” is co-hosted by Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz and Holly Stephey on “red velvet media blogtalk radio.blogspot.com” since 2010 and our show goes worldwide. We like doing projects and have fun doing it! The radio thing I am very excited about because you are helping people and turning them on to the world. We are also involved with benefits, where I am the

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We like doing projects and have fun doing it! The radio thing I am very excited about because you are helping people and turning them on to the world. We are also involved with benefits, where I am the Ambassador for the Kansas City project, which helps kids and emergency funds. I think helping people is very important in life.

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Ambassador for the Kansas City project, which helps kids and emergency funds. I think helping people is very important in life. Alexxis: As far as selling your books and other things that you do, where do you direct people to go to purchase them? Spencer: Right off the bat, I would say go to Amazon. You can also google our names on the internet , there you will see books by us. Our last book was in 2010, “Five Hundred 45’s”, and “The Art of The Modern Movie Poster”. http://www.amazon.com/Spencer-Drate/e/B000APUIOS Alexxis: Thank you Spencer & Judith for taking the time out of your busy schedules to talk to me! Spencer & Judith: Thank you Alexxis! LOU REED Bio book: SPENCER DRATE credited in AIDAN LEVY’S “DIRTY BLVD/The Life and Music of Lou Reed” and in the book section on the concept and designing of the “New York” album cover Spencer Drate is mentioned as Art Director with Sylvia Reed Spencer Drate and Judith Salavetz were involved as Art Directors/Designers with Sylvia Reed on the concept and design of the “Magic and Loss” album and other packaging. They are credited in two LOU REED Bio books to be published also! These iconic albums were shown at the 2016 LOU REED Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction and included in The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Archival Permanent collection. Spencer Drate and Judith Salavetz will be interviewed along with other famous music people by SCOTT CRAWFORD and JJ KRAMER, Filmmakers for their new upcoming “CREEM MAGAZINE” historic doc film.

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<

IGGY POP with Spencer Drate and Judith Salavetz’s “Five Hundred 45s” Book at His Signings Barneys, MYC July 28th, 2011 Photo by Spencer Drate

You can find Spencer Drate and Judith Salavetz at: facebook.com/ dratesalavetz

linkedin.com/in/ spencer-drate5bb0155

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Show Review

SANDS EVENT CENTER MAY 8TH 2016

SIXX: A.M. by Alexxis Steele Sixx Am performed just over an hour and a half show to a hard rocking receptive crowd at Sands Event Center, Bethlehem, PA on May 8, 2016. Opening for the act was female fronted band Cilver , and Lehigh Valley local band- Curse of Sorrow. The band who has been together 7 years, is the brainchild of Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, and is also comprised of Former GNR guitarist DJ Ashba, and vocalist James Michael. Prior to seeing this show I had only had one experience seeing Nikki perform with Motley Crue last summer at the Allentown Fairgrounds. That was an extremely hot and humid night, which made their pyrotechnics feel even more intense. Having no other previous experience to gauge anything by, I was satisfied with the outcome, sans the heat. Seeing Nikki and his band Sixx Am up close, as I was standing in front of the stage, was definitely a visual, and audible pleasing experience. Changing colored lights meshing into the fog on stage added to the sense of being part of something powerful. The amazingly powerful vocals of James Michael cut through the crowd like a knife as he sang tunes from their new disc, “Prayers For The Damned”. DJ Ashba proved he has the chops to lay down the guitar and rock the crowd. I was quite surprised by something I did not expect to happen, because although Nikki still looked like the hard rocker of Motley Crue, his new band’s songs were very different. His new band with its two female backup singers were very strong both vocally and melodically. Not present was the typically Motley Sex, drugs, rock n roll, and objectifying women songs, but instead it was positive messages of hope, and empowerment. This group of 6, which includes Nikki, James & DJ as the creative force, plus Dustin Steinke on drums, and female vocalists- Amber Van Buskirk & Melissa Harding, is a well-oiled machine and a force to be reckoned with!

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At one point in the show James Michael tells the crowd to turn on their cell phones and record their song “Rise Of The Melancholy Empire”, which they wrote after the terrorist’s attacks in France. It was a very surreal experience to see everyone recording it as I did, and posting it to Facebook and You Tube, spreading the message of hope and not fear of what has been going on in the world. Near the end of their set, the band cleared the stage, with the exception of James Michael, who sat down at a keyboard, with a spotlight shining on him as he played their song “Skin”. Even though the room was not quite filled to capacity, the patrons that were there showed their appreciation to the band by cheering as they went along, and clearly were digging the band and their music. For me, the highlights of the night were the empowering tune “Rise”, and my favorite, closing song“Life Is Beautiful”, with the crowd singing in unison, from the days of “The Heroin Diaries”, (which by the way was a great book!) I was very pleased at the outcome of this show, and would definitely go to see Nikki and his band perform again!

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The evening’s set list 1. This Is Gonna Hurt 2. Rise 3. Relief 4. When We Were Gods 5. You Have Come To The Right Place 6. Help Is On The Way 7. Live Forever 8. Accidents Can Happen 9. Dead Man’s Ballet 10. Everything Went To Hell 11. Prayers For The Damned 12. Goodbye My Friends 13. Lies Of The Beautiful People 14. Stars 15. Rise Of The Melancholy Empire 16. Encore- Skin 17. Closing Song-Life Is Beautiful

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Check them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sixxammusic Their Website: http://www.sixxammusic.com/

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Film Review

It Needs a Do Over and a Rewrite

Jerry Saravia

When a premise works, it works in hindsight as a starting off point for the audience. The feeling is simple and almost joyous -- “This is going to be good.” It is a simple declarative statement when you rub your hands together ready for a good time at the movies, or a Netflix screening. So Adam Sandler’s newest film “The Do-Over” has that unfettered joy about it, again with regards to its premise. A bank manager meets an old pal who is supposedly an FBI agent. They fake their deaths so they can really live their lives, get a second chance, you know, an ironic update of John Frankenheimer’s “Seconds” from the late 1960’s. 1 hour and 30 minutes later I realized that the unfettered joy had dissipated into something grossly miscalculated. One of the sins about great premises is when you abandon them completely for something that negates its initial premise. “The Do-Over” begins at a high-school anniversary party where a clearly unhappy bank manager, Charlie (David Spade), is watching his floozy wife, Nikki (Natasha Leggero), dance provocatively with her ex-boyfriend! Adam Sandler is Max Kessler, an alleged FBI agent who can offer Charlie some pot but can’t smoke it himself. Before long, Max makes a proposition: buy a yacht, drink and be merry for a weekend. Trouble is that included in this proposition is the faking of their deaths by blowing up the yacht. Charlie is unsure of such a proposition but can’t do much about it since he has been drugged through this whole ordeal. They change their names based on Max acquiring corpses from the morgue he worked at! So far, so good. I laughed through all these preliminary shenanigans but something seemed off. Maybe it was the way Max catches a big fish and then pummels it with a bat until Charlie’s face is spattered with blood. Or maybe it was Max’s complete indifference to his funeral where his “psycho-girlfriend” appears. Still, I was on board because watching David Spade can be as much fun as watching Adam Sandler and I love the idea of these guys assuming identities of dead people, who turn out to have a secret fortune in Puerto Rico. So we go to colorful Puerto Rico and the fun begins, kind of.

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The rest of the “The Do Over” focuses on Sandler’s Alzheimer’s-inflicted mother; a gay biker; Luis Guzman in the thankless role of Jorge, a club bartender, and we see his sweaty nether- regions; a German Gymnast assassin who loves to attach spark plugs to his nipples; some shootouts; electrocution torture scenes, in short, almost a

“Pineapple Express” redux of bloody tableaux though thankfully not as graphically violent. The issue with “The Do Over” is that it abandons its premise of purposely mistaken identities and living a life of pleasure for semiserious intentions. The psycho-girlfriend is (*spoiler alert*) really Max’s wife, for instance, and Max actually has cancer and so the film becomes a chase picture – Max and Charlie search for the cure located in a USB drive. A certain doctor (one of the corpses) has a wife who may be the clue to finding that drive. Yet “The Do-Over” is overwrought with tired, profane jokes on gays, elderly women with sagging breasts, sexualized women in catfights, and more sex. Then there is cartoonish violence by way of shootouts that would “The Do-Over” has forsaken its premise look more at home in a Robert Rodriguez movie, vehicles barfor a sentimental “family” movie with sereling into the same unlucky person, women thrown against riously overdone plotting over its initial concrete walls and streets, etc. After a while, the fun and the goofball connotations. thrill evaporate. What was a premise of some potential that could’ve evolved into a comedy of errors turns into a harbinger of gay panic excess where Sandler even fellates a gay biker’s fingers. I guess it is not my cup of Puerto Rican coffee.

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Music Review

Hatebreed tore it up!

by Derek Oels

Photos by Travis Eisenhard

After some decent sets from Devil You Know and Devildriver it was Hatebreedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s turn to assault Philadelphia. They were absolutely amazing. I was floored by their performance. Hatebreed played a mixture of their old songs plus a few from their new album Concrete Confessional. They opened up with Destroy Everything leading into a new song called Looking Down the Barrel of Today. The band said they are not ashamed of anything they have written, and that they always include old songs into their sets. Before each song, Jamey (the vocalist) explained what the lyrics to each song meant. After hearing what Jamey had said about each song, there is no way that this band is considered negative and that all his messages were extremely positive. During the show, the musicians would basically just stand their nodding their heads to the music. The mostly stood to the side of the stage to let Jamey run the stage. He was so intense. He was all over the stage and honestly

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I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think he stopped moving once throughout the night. Jamey gave the audience tons of energy to feed off of. As Jamey gave the crowd the energy to feed off of, the crowd gave it right back to them. The pits were very explosive. They started from one point where they were small and even got larger. At one point during the night, they even started what is called a circle pit. No matter what happened in the pit, there wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t one fight. If one person fell, the crowd would help that one person up. In a pit, that is just

something you do. You do not want to see a person hurt. Overall, Hatebreed put on a incredible show. I have seen them many times and it just seems like they get better every time. Definitely do not miss them if they hit a town near you. Catch the Concrete Confessional tour going on cause you do not want to miss this tour.

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Sometimes, you just have to suspend your disbelief. By – Gatemouth Wighat This is a world where presidential candidates are waging personal attacks on one another, where poverty is running rampant, where kids are packing up diaries and journals filled with their most intimate thoughts and emotions, and oh yeah—loading down their bandwagons with the latest polyphonic keyboards, synth drums and drum machines, real drums and guitars, guitar effects and giant stacks of amps and speaker cabinets. The year is 1980. It didn’t start out as a landmark year, but quickly became one as tense insurgencies were mounting in the Middle East among the US allies and avowed enemies. We were still coked to the gills on highly available low-cost blow from south of the border and chilling out with weed of higher quality. Hell’s bells, some of us were still hoarding “disco biscuits”—Methaqualone tablets, Rorers, 714s, ‘ludes and Lemmons. We were playing out all the scripts presented to us by the official War On Drugs, riding along on our own private atmosphere of hairspray, smoke and mirrors…and music—oh my gawd, the music! For the better part of the next ten years, as vinyl long players faded into the sunset and cassettes were getting shit-kicked by the onset of these aluminum-&-plastic diddly-dees— “compact discs”—shit got real, and shit got real…funny. The music biz got a little more cannibalistic and got its fair share of indigestion, too. Swallowing every genre that came along, from US surfing and cruising music and the British Invasion(s), to classic rock, corporate rock, pop music and disco, it ultimately regurgitated punk, incredibly unmarketable on both sides of the pond. Soon the world would turn, and the music world would turn on the ears of consumers everywhere with a new genre—chock full of crunchy chunkingguitars, snaky swirling synths, dramatic and emotional vocal performances, well rehearsed licks, gleaming hooks and monstrous drum concoctions—the genre we know now as Awesome Big Hair. Oh sure, there were rivulets of sub genres, like hair metal, heavy hair and “fried, dried and laid on the side,” and MTV—a cable TV network that once upon a time actually PLAYED music and

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music videos—had showcased almost all of the genres and sub genres on its 24-hour programming loop. The network may have hired New Jersey native Matt Pinfield primarily for his ability to identify all the genres, but also because they found him sleeping among rooms full of new video submissions. But I digress. Arenas were packed, TV variety shows were chock a blockwith acts, and radio stations and record stores picked up the slack of keeping Awesome Big Hair bands in the public’s eyes and ears. But that was then, and this is…Wow. The year is 2016. It’s a world where presidential candidates are waging personal attacks on one another, where poverty is running rampant, where kids are packing up diaries and journals filled with their most intimate thoughts and emotions, and oh yeah—loading down their bandwagons with the latest polyphonic keyboards, synth drums and drum machines, real drums and guitars, guitar effects and giant stacks of amps and speaker cabinets. And it’s the dawning of the age of Awesome Big Hair Bands, all over again, thanks to the good folks at Bongo Boy Records (bongoboyrecords.com). Its brand-new digital compilation, “Bongo Boy Records Awesome Big Hair Bands Volume One,” features songs spanning thirty years that would seem right at home in your local dance club, then as well as now. The compilation kicks off with Cool Cool Baby by Gar Francis. Firmly rooted in 1987, the song is bluff and blustery, so sassy in pursuit of a cool cool baby and hook-laden in a way that makes your hair stand on end—assuming you’ve applied a suitable amount of hairspray.(www.garfrancis.com) Track 2 is Now That You’re Gone, by Lisa Coppola, a power ballad that grabs you by the heart and hangs on until you have to admit to her, and to anyone else listening, “It’s not me, it’s you, after all.” Total eclipse of the heart, anyone? (www.lisacoppola.com) The Spiders’ Election Day is a riff-heavy anthem to the American political process. The tune features a dandy sing-along chorus, good practice if you’re weighing a run for the presidency. (www.thespidersband.com) Space was the place, apparently, for the New Jersey duo Oliver’s Twist on their tune Take Me To Your Leader. Was it just supersonic fun or was there another motive for stacking so much dandy hair on the Spandex’dpair? (bongoboyrecords.com)

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Five tracks in, Somewhere Out There saunters in with a bravado that demands “let’s get this hairdo done!” Inches From Sin take control of the dancehall dimmer board and mirrorball with an authority that sounds as young and rich as any ballad by The Tubes. (www.inchesfromsin.com) From the opening blare of Cover Girl by Long Island’s Wood Shampoo, you wonder “Who put the AC/DC in my Def Leppard?” I don’t think all Big Hair Music was about getting laid in the ‘80s, but these Garden City gauchos are certainly working that vein, hoping to get lucky. (www.woodshampoo.net) Meanwhile, across the pond, the au courant hooyoosay found a boatload of synth patches from the Big Hair Decade and crafted a wake-up call to late night clubbers worldwide. There’s Love In Town conveys its direct message, aided and abetted by just about all the synth noodling you can imagine. An ‘80s earworm in the making. (www.hooyoosay.com) Rock, rock, rock your boat, life is but a Dreamer for Sarantos. Hard to imagine a song with this much lyrical innocence amid the overdriven guitar and the upfront drums sound, but this Windy City rocker really pulls it off and puts it to the test. (www.melogia.com) Hey, look who’s back – Inches From Sin with Hold On, a modern rock ballad with its roots firmly planted in the Garden of Eighties. I like the song for its daring to rock hard in alternate tunings and with a “string section.” Nice ‘80s graduation, IFS! (www.inchesfromsin.com) Track ten instrumental alert: Final Strike by Chand K Nova kicks in with keyboard and guitar settings dialed straight into the heart of the ‘80s, and before we know it, we’re off on a magic rollercoaster ride with plenty of breaks along the way. (www.cknovaworld.com) Bongo Boy Records Awesome Big Hair Bands Volume One comes to a climax with such a tease – all those precise licks, squeezed riffs and colossal rhythms churning to life in Superstar from Chickahominy Vibe. (www.ellorenzrecords.com) Pass me the Final Net and get me to Volume Two—STAT!

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– Gatemouth Wighat


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Jerry Saravia/August 2016 Film Review A Comic-Book World of Anxiety and Frustration

Reviewing a comic-book title like “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” should be a cinch. The two most iconic superheroes fight each other, there is the diabolical Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman and the potential members for a future “Justice League” film show up and there is some monstrous, Frankenstein-like creation called Doomsday. The fight of the century, lots of earsplitting explosions on cue, crumbling tall buildings and it is all over. In other words, Michael Bay could have directed this in his sleep. Case closed; millions of dollars later, the studio got itself another cash cow that fell short of those billion dollar expectations. Only none of this is true. The fight of the century occurs at the hour and a half meter and it lasts a mere ten minutes. Zack Snyder’s cool, calculated and elegantly somber film is suffused with political innuendoes and a touchingly brief romance between Superman and Lois. It also asks us to question Superman’s existence – friend or foe? It also has Ben Affleck’s Batman who is conflicted about that flying alien with a red cape. No ordinary comic-book movie by any stretch of the imagination. Right from the start of the film, I could tell that Zack Snyder found his calling in making something more epic and deeper than even what I saw in trailers. Ben Affleck’s aged Bruce Wayne is zipping around Metropolis as he witnesses Superman fighting General Zod (the finale from “Man of Steel”) as they thrash against buildings left and right. The trouble is that one of these buildings is Wayne’s property and he watches it crumbling with his office workers down for the count. Yep, he is none too happy.

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Meanwhile, the idealistic reporter Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) is hoping to expose Batman as a masked avenger who literally brands criminals. Yet the evermore cynical Daily Planet editor Perry White (Laurence Fishburne, who supplies a few flashes of humor) won’t have it. Clark lives with reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and they have a tender scene in a bathtub that shows devotion to each other. Still, Lois can’t be engaged in love matters for too long when she faces trouble in the fictional African country of Nairomi while trying to interview a terrorist. This particular section of the film is slightly muddled (and we get a Jimmy Olsen cameo that tragically ends too soon) since it deals with a bullet that may have been engineered through LexCorp. Superman is blamed for killing civilians in Metropolis and in Nairomi and now he faces a congressional investigation – is Superman a threat to the planet Earth? Lois tries to back up Superman as a savior, not a murderer.

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“Batman v Superman” is not as fully realized as it should be when it comes to the women characters. Lois is on the sidelines for most of the film, Clark’s mother (Diane Lane) is threatened and held prisoner, and even Gal Gadot as the Amazonian Wonder Woman makes one wish she was given more than a glorified cameo where she helps our caped heroes fight that gargantuan creature called Doomsday. This Doomsday has Kryptonian DNA from General Zod and Lex Luthor’s blood. Speaking of Lex, he is played by long-haired Jesse Eisenberg as a pathological, devilish version of Doc Brown from the “Back to the Future” movies. Eisenberg’s Lex waxes on with a frantic speech pattern and anxious use of his hands and dry-witted lines like, “The red capes are coming.” It is a chilling performance that even takes Superman aback. But even with its glaring flaws, the movie soars with a headless enthusiasm. It has a smooth rhythm and texture of coolness and contains a deliberately serious mood with attention paid to its two main characters. It is not all doom and gloom – I especially laughed at the Lex Luthor scene where he is astounded to see Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne together. Ben Affleck would not have been my first choice to play Batman but I did like his restraint and the world-weary edge he brings to it, provided with welcome support from Jeremy Irons as the faithful servant Alfred who provides dry-witted commentary. Henry Cavill still makes a formidable Superman yet it is really Affleck (surprise, surprise!) who walks away with this movie. Director Zack Snyder also walks away with presenting a more epic, ambitious picture than anyone had any right to expect. He presents two comic-book icons as potential terrorists in a world gone mad, with Lex upping the ante on the anxiety everyone feels. “Batman v Superman” may be the first truly post-modernist comic-book movie of the new millennium.

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Show Review

Chris Cornell Dawn Belotti Chris Cornell walked across the stage in Eugene, Oregon. His impressive six foot two inch frame sauntered toward his assortment of acoustic guitars which fanned out behind him. It was clear we were about to witness an extraordinary performance by this legendary rock vocalist. Pausing to shake several outstretched hands and sign an autograph or two, he reminded us what a genuine, fan oriented person he is. Opening with “”Before We Disappear,” a track off his successful latest solo release, Higher Truth, Cornell immediately captivates the crowd with his soothing yet powerful vocals. Performing an acoustic set often leaves an artist vulnerable. Not in Cornell’s case, it is apparent the performer is equally comfortable as a solo entertainer as he is fronting one of the most successful rock bands. Cornell soon launched into the melodic “Can’t Change Me” from his debut solo album Euphoria Morning, the only single released and one that reached number 5 on the Modern Rock Track chart. Cornell proceeded to captivate the audience with a succession of songs showcasing his extensive inventory of music. Ever the story teller, Cornell lamented about performers who are no longer in love with their most celebrated songs and are almost angry at such song for their popularity. With this he began the opening notes of the esoterically beautiful “Black Hole Sun.” A ballad from Soundgarden’s Down on The Upside, this song embodies both the strength of Soundgarden but also Cornell’s songwriting and vocal abilities. While Chris Cornell is not lacking in a wide array of solo material, he traveled through his catalog demonstrating how surprisingly well some of his harder edged bands’ songs translate perfectly to an acoustic setting. Well known Soundgarden and Audioslave numbers such as:

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“Fell On Black Days,” “Blow Up The Outside World,” “I Am the Highway” and “Doesn’t Remind Me” have become main staples in many of Cornell’s solo performances. With a Temple of The Dog tour looming, it was only natural to be treated to an assortment of pieces from this emotionally charged album inspired by the tragic loss of Mother Love Bone vocalist, Andrew Wood. The Songs “Wooden Jesus” and “All Night Thing” are still both musically relevant and timeless. While some numbers may not necessarily surprise as solo endeavors, the ability to showcase the songs sans the powerhouse amplified vocals and band members, takes an ingenious musician. An area where Cornell covers that cre-

excels is his ability to choose perfectly suit him. While ating his own renditions; he still honors the original songwriters. Cornell’s choices vary considerably. Tonight the Eugene crowd was fortunate to experience a few treasures; however, the highlight was the hauntingly elegant “River of Deceit.” A track initially performed by the late Layne Staley’s Mad Season; Cornell implements Staley’s classic with style and grace. Chris Cornell takes his audience on a journey through his musical and personal history. Through this evening’s chronical we saw glimpses of the 1990s Soundgarden era Cornell with his famous Cornell stomp and head banging locks. We felt the anguish of Temple of The Dog’s tribute to a fallen friend. We passed through the political turmoil of Audioslave and appreciated the recently turned 52 mature Cornell with his extraordinary Higher Truth.

When Chris Cornell performs, he leaves a piece of himself with each person who is privileged to experience this virtuoso songwriter and brilliant performer. There is no question as to why so many fans attend his shows over and over.

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An Interview with Lou Pappas Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of All Ages ... I am Marlowe B West and I am your Ring Leader ... Welcome to my Big Top ... About to join us right here and now ... in the spotlight ... in the center ring ... we will be centering in on a super man the world should already be familiar with by now ... his name is Lou Pappas. Allow me to set the stage a bit before I bring him out here ... First we need to go back in time ... closer to the turn of the century ... Actually it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t all that long ago ... More like 2005 when I first watched him step up to the stage of Floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Delray Beach Film Festival to accept awards for Best Film and Best Director ... I have since had the honour and great pleasure of being chosen (by him and his awesome colleagues Jim Thalman, Eric Valdes and David Superville) as an extra in a few of his films ... Although I am yet to nail a substantial role, it was this terrific guy bringing me into this living breathing vortex on the other side of the movie camera ... Lou Pappas allowed me to be part of the magic and wonder I had always held above me in awe in my innermost dreams ... This sparked off a reality that still rages on ... Like the fires of hell. MBW: You have created a monster ... Lights ... Camera ... Action ... take it away, Lou Pappas ... I am giving you an assignment ... I want you to write me and all of my loyal followers and readers of Steel Notes Magazine into a script ... make it a mob scene ... use your creative writer/director magic and transport us all to another time and place ... set us free into Helter Skelterzville ... just a taste ... I know you have the power ??? LP: (brace yourselves my friends ... at this point in the interview ... Lou takes over writing, acting & directing us all into an instantaneous script) INT. AUTOBODY REPAIR SHOP NIGHT LOUIS PAPPAS (53) is bound to a chair and gagged. He is devastatingly handsome, but it is impossible to tell because he has taken a severe beating. There is blood

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coming from multiple cuts and bruises on his face. He whimpers like a child to an unknown captor... Louis Pappas Please, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do whatever you ask, just stop hitting me. MARLOWE B. WEST enters the frame, a blood-smeared pair of brass knuckles on his hand. MARLOWE I asked you for a story. Where is it? Marlowe raises his fist to strike... LOUIS PAPPAS Okay! Please stop. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll tell a story. MARLOWE A mob story? LOUIS PAPPAS Yes, anything, just please stop hitting me. Marlowe turns and addresses a crowd seated in the darkness beyond the lights. MARLOWE What do you think, loyal followers? Should we believe him? A chorus of catcalls and boos comes from the audience. They want blood. MARLOWE Are you sure? The booing intensifies. The verdict is in. MARLOWE Very well.

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Marlowe approaches Louis menacingly. MARLOWE Sorry, old friend. He raises his fist... MBW: Amazing, my man !!! ... You get a nod from the Academy ... no doubt ... Tell us about the films you have done ??? LP: There have been a few. I started as an actor and transitioned to behind the camera about 15 years ago. I’ve done 8 short films in that time, and recently completed my first feature, The Last Hit, which we released in 2014. In it, I play a hitman who is sent to kill a young girl. He decides to save her instead. We’ve done pretty well with it. We have distribution on many platforms, most notably, Amazon Prime, and HULU. Oh, and there’s a DVD with Director Mike Glier, Composer Anthony Espina, and myself doing a commentary track. MBW: When we met you were a director ... Since then I have seen you act ... a lot ... and I kid you not ... I put you right up there with DeNiro ... I know you have recently moved from Miami, Florida to Hollywood, California ... Why ??? LP: Wow, thanks. DeNiro is a beast. As for the question, I’ve been trying to get to LA for years, but life always seemed to get in the way. Being interested in film, there is no better place in the world to be. Not just for “the biz” but special screenings, parties, concerts, etc. There is always something exciting for a film buff to do in this town. I’m having a blast. MBW: ... and what have you been accomplishing out there so far ??? LP: Somewhere between a little and a lot. I’ve met some interesting people. I’ve started auditioning again. I even booked a play in Hollywood where I play a bad ass vampire. In addition to that, I’m currently writing a script for our mutual friend Jimmy. Our plans are to shoot it next summer in Union City.

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MBW: Have you met many interesting people out there in Hollywood ??? LP: A ton. In the last four months, I have met and worked with a bunch of celebs from barely famous to A-list. It has been a wild ride so far, but I feel like the roller coaster is just clanking its way to the top of the first big drop. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring! MBW: I have witnessed and totally enjoyed being under your direction ... I would now like to hear what you have to say about being the actor ??? LP: I love acting. I don’t even know what compels me to do it; I just love all of it. Learning lines. Studying scenes. Developing characters. Every aspect of the craft is fun to me. I don’t even need fame and fortune. Seriously. That stuff doesn’t mean anything to me. Except that fame would offer me more opportunities to work. But other than that, as long as I can keep reasonably busy, I’m happy. MBW: As long as I have known you ... you have always had your hands in the pie ... Would you care to tell my beautiful Steel Notes Magazine readers ... and the world at large ... what projects you are presently involved in ??? LP: Well, as I said before, I am writing that script for Jimmy and his producer friends. It’s a drama that takes place during a mass shooting. I’ve also been told that I will be a part of a television show that they are currently negotiating a sale with a major network. I edited the proof of concept, and I’m told I may be in line to direct some episodes. MBW: Care to tell us about anything that might be there on the back burner ???

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LP: My dream is to one day direct a script that I wrote about ten years ago. It is a drama about a little boy who loses his father in the war overseas, runs away from home, and is taken in by a Vietnam vet, grifter. Both of the main characters have some serious emotional issues to come to grips with, and the surrogate relationship that develops is mutually beneficial and beautiful. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written, and everyone who has read it seems to feel the same way. MBW: Do you have any role models ??? LP: So many. Audrey Hepburn. What a remarkable life. So much more than just a pretty face. Bill Hicks and George Carlin. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. who was as much of an influence on me as my own father. I’m inspired by people daily. Not just celebrities, but ordinary people overcoming adversity or doing selfless acts. Role models are everywhere! MBW: When and where were you when you first got the idea that you had to be part of the film industry ??? LP: That’s hard to say. I don’t remember a moment of epiphany. I started out in the industry as a stage brat for a theater troupe called the Drexel Hill Players. I was around 8 or 9 years old. My piano teacher was the director, and she had me come in to read. I suppose I had some ability, because I booked it. That’s where I caught the acting bug. I was such a ham. I loved it. Then I did a commercial for Kodak. I remember watching them set up the shots and being completely enthralled by the process. I guess those things coupled sprouted the idea that I wanted to be involved with the film industry. MBW: I have a favorite last question which I have generally saved for the very last ... but with you I am anxious to dive right in there ... because I feel I have some idea which directions you might go in (although I also feel you may be completely surprising at the same time) ... If I could grant you three wishes ... what would they be ???

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LP: 1) A real shot. Not handed to me, but a real opportunity to prove my worth in the industry at a higher level. 2) Fundamentalist religious nut jobs would chill out and stop killing people and spreading hate. 3) Feed, clothe, and shelter the homeless. They are not there by choice; they need our help. Gonna sneak in a 4th wish: 4) That Marlowe B. West will always be my friend :) MBW: After going back to the top and reading it through ... I do not think there is anything needs to be added to this interview at this point in time ... itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a gem ... You are a gem ... I feel it is way over completion ... sensational ... like you ... but ... I will add two things ... 1) I will always be your friend ... through thick and thin ... no matter what ... and 2) I want a part as a badass vampire !!!

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DARKNESS Pained, rancorous cries; of a shackled past not yours; ancestry forgives Yvonne Sotomayor

OSCURIDAD Gritos dolorosos y rencorosos De un pasado encadenado no tuyo Los antepasados perdonan Yvonne Sotomayor

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International Corner

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Luca Cerardi – Italy

Milan, June 9th, 2016 Leisure

International Corner

Man of the People I had been waiting to see Zakk Wylde live for so long. Italy does not usually host many bands in concert. It happens quite rarely, and mainly in the Milan area. It’s not like Germany, England or other European countries, which are places where a band usually stops for a couples of dates. All this makes it very difficult for Italians to attend a show, especially if you have a tight life schedule and you don’t have much time to travel.

Last year I was eventually able to go to Tuscany to see Black Label Society, and it was truly amazing. Perfect day, perfect show. Therefore, I could not wait to hear his new acoustic album (“Book of shadows II”).

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Recently I read an article that mentioned that the new Zakk Wylde’s acoustic album was about to be released. I got so excited. “Book of shadows” is one of the best albums I ever bought. But the best part was going to be having the chance to see him live. The surprising thing was that the concert was going to be held in a theater. Actually, a very famous one in Milan: the Arcimboldi, where many tv shows took place over the past years. I was very curious to see this big man play in such a small and


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calm place. His music would actually fit the atmosphere of the venue, but picturing him on that stage was somehow strange. I simply could not miss this event. Only one concert was scheduled in Italy, that one. So I bought my ticket. I was ready to go.

Weather has not been great at all during the past few months in the area I live in. If you asked me where I live, I would answer… in the Caribbean islands! Strangely, cold storms and humid hot weather have been alternating, bringing a summer that is very unusual for us. So, on the day of the concert, I got into my car, and after a few crazy weather changes, I found myself in Milan. It did not take long, about two hours. It wasn’t only my first time at a Zakk Wylde’s concert, it was also my first time at the Arcimboldi theater. I was so curious to see all the headbangers in that venue! Arcimboldi is located in the Northern part of Milan, not too far from the highway, easy to reach. The theater is surrounded by the famous Bicocca University. A huge complex of brown orange buildings. For some reason those streets reminded me of some areas of Berlin… After an easy parking - which is very unusual for Milan - I walked towards the venue. I felt reassured that I was going to the right place when I started seeing other longhair guys wearing black t-shirts! We were headbangers in a theater for a day. Just because of Zakk Wylde!

There weren’t too many people. I had plenty of time to choose and buy my t-shirt. Also, taking my seat was not that hard. Once I was inside, I saw the usual group of men wearing suits and ties, who help you find your seat. It was so funny to see the hard-core heavy-metal guys walking side by side with them to find the seat. Strange combination of people living opposite lifestyles, for sure. Overall, it was a unique experience, in a wonderful place. I was alone until the show started. No one was sitting around me, so I thought the concert was not sold out. The good part was that I had plenty of room to fully enjoy the show. During the performance the theater became almost full, maybe not sold out, but definitely crowded. The band was BLS, just playing acoustic. Classics songs and new ones were played: “Sold My Soul”, “Autumn Changes”, “Tears of December”, “Lay Me Down Road Back”, “Home Yesterday’s Tears”, “Between Heaven and Hell”, “Darkest Hour”, “Throwin’ It All Away”, “Dead as Yesterday”, “Eyes of Burden”, “Way Beyond Empty”, “The King”, “Lost Prayer”, “Sleeping Dogs”. The best part of the event was to see him play solos everywhere in the theater. If you Know Zakk, you know he plays long solos and in many different ways: with his hands, fingers, mouth, behind his back and more. But what was truly amazing was that he eventually went towards the middle of the theater, where he was completely surrounded by people. The bodyguards opened the gates and they let him go – in a God-like fashion - towards the

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crowd. Fans totally went crazy. They were taking selfies with him, while he was playing solos. People were losing their minds while watching him go faster and faster on the guitar. He did this three or four times. The crew had to keep jumping and running to maintain the cables in the right position! What really hit me, though, was something else. I kept looking at this big huge man with his crazy long beard playing music that was so deep, coming from the heart. He fully let himself express his emotions through his mouth and his hands. On the piano and on the guitar. His notes were flowing across the theater, touching the fans’ hearts, exactly like a God of Metal. That was incredible.

We, rockers, are always the ones who want to be bad, angry, proud. Evil faces and horns up are a must. But then comes Zakk Wylde, who brings out the other side of us: the good and deep one, the emotional side. Even long-hair pirate-like-beard human beings suffer, have needs, want to love and be loved. Zakk is the “man of the people”, who teaches us that we represent both sides of life. We are free and chained. We live “between heaven and hell”. It’s up to us to accept this, recognize who we are and realize our role in this planet. Simply be and let our spirit flow around.

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LOST SUNLIGHT Sunlight is good for the morale A much needed walk around the sun Refueling the spirit and mind A warm caress Kissing my shoulders Opening my eyes and flushing my cheeks My arms unwrap…getting ready But I miss “us” And so now; where do we go? Stepping back towards you and I Like any other crossroads One moment, night, then day Weekend at a time The path we keep resisting Of unabashed surrender Humbled by unexplainable joy The un-bounding need of one another The un-rehearsed revelation of our hearts The unknown state of calm and quiet We always shine again Knowing we are for the other The sun, moon, and the stars Until we can fully shake off The bad orbit’s dust And be accountably in love Presently and comfortably forever


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SOL PERDIDO La luz del sol es bueno para la moral Un paseo muy necesitado alrededor del sol Repostando el espíritu y la mente Una caricia tibia Besando mis hombros Abriendo mis ojos y traendo rubor a mi mejillas Mis brazos desenvuelven ... preparándose Pero echo de menos a “nosotros” Y ahora; ¿a donde vamos? Dando un paso atrás hacia tu y yo Al igual que cualquier otro cruce de caminos Un momento es de noche, despues día Fin de semana a la vez El camino que seguimos resistiendo De la rendición descarada Humillado por la alegría inexplicable La necesidad sin limite del uno al otro La revelación no-ensayado de nuestros corazones El estado desconocido de calma y tranquilidad Siempre volvemos a brillar Sabiendo que somos uno para el otro El sol, la luna y las estrellas Hasta que podamos agitar totalmente fuera El polvo de las malas órbitas Y estar con rendición de cuentas enamorados En el momento y cómodamente para siempre

Poetry by Yvonne Sotomayor Steel Notes Magazine www.steelnotesmagazine.com

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Alessia Bastianelli – Italy Venice 7.27.2016 Leisure

Yes, I do, but not now Image you have to write a report for your boss. The deadline is next week. You sit at your desk and begin the task. But maybe it's better to check your email before starting. Wait, you have to feed the dog. And what’s the name of that blog you wanted to visit? In a moment, you are reading it...and, by the way, how much are those shoes you want so much? You almost buy them. Then, you remember you have to put the dishes in the dishwasher, and you think about what to prepare for dinner. At any moment, the day is over, and the report you have to write is still there. That is what happens to many people.

Procrastination is the tendency to postpone the beginning of something you have to do. It is a kind of powerful and mysterious strength that prevents you from completing a task. It does not matter whether this task is important or urgent, or if it is related to your job or to your private life. Obviously, if you delay in

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putting the dishes in the dishwasher, you can always have a simple sandwich, without a plate, for dinner, but for other important tasks, bouncing back from procrastination is not so easy. So why do people tend to procrastinate? The reasons why people procrastinate remain unclear. Some people think procrastination is a failure to know how to be organized, as it occurs with a wide range of bad habits, such as the abuse of food, problems with gambling, or the tendency to overshop. However, this is not true—not always. It is not related to being lazy or listless, at least not for everyone. It has nothing to do with bad time management, either. Many brilliant people who have achieved above-average levels of success still tend to procrastinate.

Procrastination seems be linked to the functioning of the brain and to the perception of time and of yourself. According to Timothy Pychyl, professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, procrastination is a form of avoidance, a mechanism for coping with a stressful situation. For some people, this coping mechanism doesn’t work properly. It drives people to give up in order to feel better.


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Usually, it occurs when people are afraid or anxious about tasks they have to do. To get rid of this negative feeling, they postpone what they should do. For example, a person may start a videogame or open a social network. This makes you feel better only momentarily, however. When the pending deadline arrives, the procrastinator feels a strong sense of guilt and shame. In some cases, for a hard-core procrastinator, these feelings can become just another reason to delay the inevitable, which turns this behavior into a vicious circle.

A recent theory suggests that procrastination can be associated with individual differences in time perspectives. Basically, it is a failure in temporal self-regulation. This failure seems to stem from high impulsiveness and reflects a primacy of the present self over the needs of the future self. It seems that nonprocrastinators stay more in touch with their future selves than procrastinators do. Moreover, the problem could be related to the fact that instead of remaining focused on their long-term goals, procrastinators are tempted by immediate gratification. Now, for example, my immediate gratification would be stopping to write so as to play a videogame. Procrastinators give in to instant gratification to access that form of instant relief that psychologists call hedonic pleasure, rather than focusing on their important goals. Achieving these important goals is admittedly more difficult, but in the long run, it brings a feeling of well-being and lasting satisfaction, what psychologists call eudemonic pleasure. In my life, I realized very quickly that I was a procrastinator. In the beginning, I thought it was just a problem of mine, but then I learned that procrastination is a widespread phenomenon and that everyone sooner or later tends to procrastinate sometimes. Realizing

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that I was a procrastinator prompted me to search for tips for addressing this problem. One of the greatest challenges for me is that when I have to do something, I need to be in the right mood to do it. Sometimes, however, the right mood will not arrive. Thus, the best thing for me to do is to break a task up into small steps. For example, when I have to write something, I start with the most minor tasks related to the project, such as writing the date or setting the page layout. As research suggests, this is because even if these are small actions, minimal progress makes you feel better. These seemingly minor actions increase your self-esteem and reduce the desire to procrastinate, so you feel better. Also, methods of managing time are helpful in dealing with procrastination. Still, I found that not all methods are useful in the same way. For example, making a list of “things to do” may increase stress and consequently lead to procrastination. I think it is better to identify reasonable goals and to make a flexible schedule that includes only what is truly necessary. Finally, most important for me is assessing my feelings. What feelings lead to procrastination? This should never be underestimated because being able to manage your emotions is the first step to reducing procrastination. Perfectionism, low selfesteem, anger, and frustration are all emotions that can increase procrastination.

I’m sure I could share some other tips for overcoming procrastination, but the deadline for sending this article to my editor is now….

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Hej America! I am back with another review for Bongo Boy Records. This time around, however, I am writing from the heart of the Rocky Mountains and not from Sweden. The little grouches and I are on vacation visiting Grandma and Grandpa Grouch. Before I delve into the Big Hair Volume One album, please allow me to get on my soap box for a bit. It is with a very heavy heart that I write this review. Two weeks ago, my niece, who moved here to help care for my 90+ year old parents, was shot dead by her drunk ex-boyfriend. It seems that he did not want to be her ex-boyfriend and decided if he couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be with her, no one would be with her. Pixie Tourette, as she was known in the world of Roller Derby and in the various bands she played in was a beautiful young woman. She was smart, funny and played bass like a demon. She will be missed and none of us who knew her will ever be the same. The thing that makes this especially tragic is that the coward who shot her in the back had been sending her threatening text messages for two weeks. He even told her he was going to kill her. For some reason we will never know, Pixie neglected to tell any of us that he was sending her threatening messages. If only she had, we could have saved her life. After talking with a counselor, I have learned that silence among domestic violence victims is common. Some victims are embarrassed, and some think they have the situation under control. My point is: If you are, or know anyone who you think may be, in an abusive relationship, SEEK HELP! Tell your friends and family! If you do not, you could end up dead. If you are abusing someone, get help. The man who murdered my niece could have simply walked away, instead in an alcohol fueled rage, he killed a wonderful woman and destroyed the lives of many people. RIP Pixie Tourette July 5th, 2016

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On to the music…

was ready to rock out in my den!

When Bongo Boy Records first sent me this album, I had to stop and think for a moment. What exactly is a Big Hair Band? I find terms like this to be confusing. Poison had big hair. Frank Zappa had really big hair. It can be argued that despite the size of the coiffure, Zappa and Poison have very little in common. So, what is Big Hair Rock and what defines a Big Hair Band? As near as I can figure a Big Hair Band is a Rock and Roll band that played arenas in the 1980s. So, with that in mind, I sat down to give a listen to Big Hair Volume One. I remember the 1980s and enjoyed many great shows at the various arenas in and around the city of Detroit. With my trusty bic lighter in hand, I

Track 1 – Cool Cool Baby This track comes from Gar Francis. Now I should mention that I am biased. Personally, I put Gar in the same league as Smokey Robinson and the Ramones. Yes, you read that correctly. Being raised in Detroit, I was surrounded by Motown and Smokey was a god. I cannot think of anything he did that doesn’t move me. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Ramones. I dig Punk Rock and am yet to hear a Ramones song that doesn’t raise my activity level. I feel the same way about Gar’s music. This song is no exception. Listen to the song. Gar did this track back in 87, so it absolutely passes the authenticity test. More importantly, the vocals rock and so does the band. If the outrageous wail that starts at the 2:04 mark doesn’t bring a smile to your face you must be comatose. Track 2 - Now That You’re Gone – Lisa Coppola The first thing the listener notices about this track is the haunting keyboard intro. It should get your attention, as the man playing the keys on this track, David Rosenthal, has been a member of Billy Joel’s band since 1993. As moving as the keys are on this song, Lisa’s vocals hit me like a ton of bricks. Her voice is BEAUTIFUL. Then suddenly, the power chords come start and the song picks up a distinct 80s vibe. I am reminded of White Snake, Heart and yes even a little Dio. The bottom line is this song was meant for an arena of lighterwaving, headband-wearing fans. Simply put, when I listen to this tune, I half expect to see the 77 Nova I hauled my drum set around in during high school to be parked in my driveway.

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Track 3 - Election Day – The Spiders Before I even listened to this track my interest was piqued. Naturally the first thing that came to mind was the Spiders from Mars. The opening riff has a more Alice Cooper quality rather than something Bowie would have written. That is fine with me as Alice is hands down one of the coolest most theatrical rockers I have ever seen. When the vocals kick in, it becomes clear this is a track reminiscent of early metal – I dig it. The chorus of “We have something to say on election day.” is nothing short of an attempt at an anthem. Since this is prototypical 80s hard rock circa 1982, the listener never learns exactly what it is the band has to say. That, folks, is fine by me, I like my music loud with guitars that scream. The last thing I want is someone thinking they should tell me how to vote, simply because they can play guitar. I like this song and don’t really give a flip about the band’s politics. Track 4 - Take Me To Your Leader – Oliver’s Twist Out of the gate, even before I listened to this track I was interested in the band. I have a degree in English literature and Charles Dickens was one wicked story teller. The first thing you notice is a keyboard intro that immediately brings to mind Aldo Nova. Then the guitar kicks in – it sounds good – I am starting to dig this song. The vocals are what, in my opinion, mandate the inclusion of this song in any 80s soundtrack. The frenzied singing style reminds me of RUSH on their Grace Under Pressure album. The capstone of the song comes after the drummer moves into a new section with some frenzied high hat work while the synthesizer builds anticipation for a massive solo from the guitar – this moment of sound tells the listener that this is a dangerous band who at any moment is able to not only astound the listener with their skill, but potentially damage one’s ears. Ear damage has seldom been so enjoyable. Track 5 - Somewhere Out There – Inches From Sin The song starts out as some pretty heave chick rock. I can imagine girls making their boyfriends hold hands and wave a lighter, when the boyfriends want to just go get another beer. I’m sure the dudes want to get back with the beer by the end of the second chorus. It is at this point that the hard rock vibe really comes out. We get flashes of the power of this band and I hear what may actually be a Metallica influence. All in all, this song is a power balled that has enough rock and roll to keep guys interested as well. Track 6 - Cover Girl – Wood Shampoo Firstly, these guys should win an award for having a cool name. I had never heard the term Wood Shampoo, until I read in the band’s bio that it means to be hit over the head with a baseball bat or a nightstick, as in “The cops gave Tommy a Wood Shampoo.” This must be an East Coast phrase. In Detroit, we just said “The cops cracked Tommy over the head with a nightstick.” I guess we were not as creative as the kids in New York or New Jersey. Onto the music, the opening is a massive assault on the listener’s senses. I like it. They have a blues based loudness that screams ROCK AND ROLL. In fact, the entire song seems to be a sort of hard rock mating call. The tempo isn’t fast, but the blasts of guitar over the top of the pounding drums gives the singer the opportunity to growl about the beauty of a particular girl. She is so beautiful she could be a Cover Girl. Spliced in-between his attempts at seduction are some very heavy riffs which are sure to please. I like this song, but have a feeling I would like it much more live. The opportunities to really open up and endless with this song. In other words, this would make a great song for any young band to cover. Check it out.

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Track 7 - There’s Love in Town – hooyoosay The synthesizer is alive and well. These guys are interesting. I like his voice and am oddly drawn to the music. The best way I can explain it Spandau Ballet. What I mean is, I remember taking a lot of heat from my buddies in high school because I actually liked Spandau Ballet. I tried to explain to my Sabbath digging friends that in their own way Spandau Ballet actually rocked, if you listened to them on their own terms. I feel the same about hooyoosay. The guy has a good voice; in fact, his voice is better than most. The whole synth thing isn’t really my bag, but hooyoosay use the synth well. All in all, this is a really good, infectious, 80s-esque pop song. Well done guys.

Track 8 - Dreamer – Sarantos Well, the guitar is back! Sarantos, who comes from Chicago, opens up this track with a blast of guitar and drums. The thing is that this song is actually very melodic. I’ll put it this way, the sappy lyrics do not interfere with the song. (Sarantos, Dude, it’s not personal. I often dislike lyrics.) What is nice and not at all sappy is the hypnotic way in which those lyrics are sung. His voice combined with the drone of the guitar puts me in an almost trance-like-state. This song is an example of how to blend all of the instruments (including the singer’s voice) together in order to produce a work of art. I would love to see his show! Track 9 - Hold On – Inches From Sin These guys are back with another track and the musicianship that I noticed on their earlier track is even more apparent. I swear I hear a YES vibe, perhaps with a little Peter Cetera thrown in for good measure. The bottom line is that Inches From Sin are masters of emotional, sensitive rock. Get your bic lighters ready.

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Track 10 - Final Strike â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Chand K. Nova Man I dig this song. Chand, who is from the U.K. can absolutely make some noise! The opening of the song briefly reminded me of Manfred Mann. Then my thoughts turned to Bon Jovi back when he was opening up for other bands. Then the comparisons stopped. Why, you ask? It was at this point I became aware that Chand is not like anyone. He is doing is own thing, which I respect. If you are waiting for a singer on this track, you will have a long wait as there are no vocals on this one. What this song has is a multitude of very well played instruments ranging from keys to percussion to guitar and more. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this song and think you will like it as well. Track 11 - Superstar â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Chickahominy Vibe This is another song that needs to be taken on its own terms. This vocal-centric track has soul, but you do need to listen for it. At first listen it seems that there are several musicians who all jamming on their own while the vocals are somewhere else. Subsequent listens will tell you that these guys are in fact, all on the same page. The thing that I like about this song is that it deviates so much from the typical song. Most tracks feature an underlying melody and a structure upon which one member of the group will step forward and take a solo. This track is different in that it seems all of the members are soloing throughout the song. Granted, there are moments in which the band dials back the soloing and comes together in what seems to be an attempt to regroup before another onslaught, but those pauses are minimal. I find myself listening to this track over and over, each time turning my focus to another instrument. Chickahominy Vibe deserves high marks for creativity and musicianship. So what is the bottom line? I absolutely enjoyed listening to this album and think you will as well. If you are nostalgic for 80s rock this album will be enjoyable. If you are in a band and looking for songs to cover, this album will not only be enjoyable, but also useful. The Grouch | On vacation in the Rocky Mountains

Official Web Page: https://bongoboyrecords.com/awesome-big-hair-bands-volume-one/ UPC 686751362019 | ISRC: USPXQ | Release Date 7.5.16 ASIA | 7.12.16 WORLD

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Luca Cerardi - Italy

July 24th, 2016 Internationl – Italy

Dream Over Working as a teacher, drummer and writer I am always in contact with people of different ages, and often with young people. When I talk to them I try to remember how I was when I was younger. What really hit me is the difference in the notion of "freedom". To me it was about freedom of speech, to dream, to move, to search for anything that could make me happy, while respecting everything and everybody. But younger generations didn’t have to fight for freedom, they already think they are free. They grew up in a world full of everything, where freedom was something normal. But now that everything has changed, due to the recent economic collapse, a "servant" behaviour seems to be the only way to survive. Which brings up the following question: has freedom become an issue again? The economic system I grew up in was rampant capitalism, characterized by people earning tons of money, without caring about nature, enviroment, future, laws, and more. It was a world full of confidence, where people wanted to get out of poverty and follow their financial dreams. In Europe – and in America as well, I believe - the aftermath of the Second World War was a special period. The population knew growth opportunities were enormous and adrenaline was flowing fast through everybody's heart. We all didn't care

about the future, we just wanted to start living again, and forget about the centuries of poverty and humiliations. Everbody's dream seemed to be reachable. Many people fought to get freedom: our grandparents in the battle fields, on the streets to earn important rights, in the factories creating a new world. My generation grew up with this dream too.

However, we were the first ones who lived on the edge between that world and the new one. When I was young we learned that we had to study, earn a degree and find a good job that could last forever. That would allow us to have a family and make our dreams come true. Soon I understood it was not going to be like that. The world was already shaking

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when we entered the new millennium, due to 9/11. Then 2008 represented the third collapse of capitalism, when things really took a bad turn. Now new generations can barely find a job. But what really makes me think is that newer generations have accepted this new system. A system with no jobs, no plans, no future. The only jobs you can get are temporary jobs, with a super-low salary. How can somebody plan something, in their lives, in such conditions? You cannot afford to pay the rent, which means you generally cannot leave your family home. Therefore young people have a really tough time becoming independent. They need to accept this, and they need to try to survive. It all seems like a masterplan that aims at bringing us back to the age prior to the two World Wars. Many people decide to move out of the country. To England, Germany or Australia, with the hope of having better chances to settle down and be independent. In Italy it doesn't matter how much you study and how many degrees you earn. There simply are no jobs. Especially when it comes to humanitarian studies. These people are considered dangerous for the current system, because they are trained to think, not to follow. They are trained to ask "why". In a system where chaos, terror and fear rule, there is no willingness to develop people who ask the “why “of things. The young generations, however, are used to live in terror and are certainly used not to find a job. Our planet went through these cyclical phases millions of times. We understand that there is a universal balance, characterized by continuous up and downs. But this does not mean that people should not react or try to do something about the current status of things. The problem is that newer generations grew up serving and accepting things the way they are. There are no real options, in their eyes. And let’s not forget the peer pressure that

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young people feel. Should they decide not to follow the masses, they feel lost and empty. Part of these generations are not strong and they don’t want to fight. They want to earn enough money to make simple purchases that make them feel temporarily happy, like a new cellphone. We are losing the chance to be what we want and who we are. The system does not want us to have any chance at anything. People are often forced to cross the lines of ethics and respect with each other. A line, once crossed, transforms brotherhood into betrayal. That’s the dangerous moment when people turn against each other. Sometimes this is done simply to survive to the next month.

Fear conquered our people and the necessity to be servants emerged, just to survive. We can say we still live in a free world because we don’t currently have ongoing wars in Europe. However, in terms of power to change things, we are almost dead. We need to turn the page and create a base for a better future. We need to work on building a world


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where we have the chance to do what we like. A world where we can finally be happy in. A world where people have social conscience, and everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happines contributes to the happiness of the single human being.

International Corner

Veneto is my land. I'm Italian, European. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to lose the teachings of our great Greek ancestors. Democracy is what Europe and the US stand on, proudly. Our wise predecessors fought tyranny and kingdoms, they started thinking and asking "why". We can't forget all the things that history has taught us so far. We need to keep that flame alive for us and for the future generations. We need to be able to give them a pleasant present, a past to learn from and a future to dream about.

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OBSIDIAN And so I question my skin My race my heritage My quality my perception Reality vs interpretation A friend or foe Nature vs nurturing of fear Hate vs hurting because of disdain Am I blind to the textures of difference? I do not want to care to witness The murkiness of troubled souls I have suffered their slight But those trespasses do not count One-sided slanted stories Are the best that we can do For fear of retribution Of an action not affirmative But you forgot we are all the same Inside though not out But texture and pigmentation Doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t change the plight Or the side we should be on This global communal table Steel Notes Magazine 86 www.steelnotesmagazine.com

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OBSIDIANA Y, entonces, le pregunto a mi piel Mi raza mi herencia Mi calidad mi percepción Realidad vs interpretación Un amigo o enemigo Naturaleza vs crianza del miedo El odio contra el daño a causa de desprecio ¿Estoy ciega a las texturas de la diferencia? No quiero cuidar para presenciar La turbidez de las almas problematicas He sufrido su desprecio Pero esos delitos no cuentan Historias desvirtuadas y malcontadas Son lo mejor que podemos hacer Por temor a represalias De una acción no afirmativa Pero se te olvidó que todos somos los mismos En el interior, aunque no en el exterior Pero la textura y la pigmentación No cambia la situación O el lado en que deberiamos estar En esta mesa común y mundial

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Ugly Sisters on the Tip of the Tongue Alessia Bastianelli Yesterday I went to the bakery. As usual, I exchanged some banter with the baker. She complained about the Italian bureaucracy. She told me about the bureaucratic difficulties when she bought her new home, and I told her about my bureaucratic mishap when I renewed my license. Obviously, we did not have much time to talk, since there were other people shopping. So I usually try to be concise. But yesterday, something was jammed. In fact, I closed the conversation with the statement, “Sometimes dealing with bureaucracy is depressing.” Depressing? No, that was not the word that I wanted to use. I wanted to say another word, but in that moment, the word that came from my lips was “depressing.” I could not recall the correct word, yet I knew I was familiar with the word. It was a common term. Nevertheless, I always recalled the wrong word. It was as if the two words—what I wanted to say and the wrong word—were How frustrating! Ah, here it is! I wanted to use the word “frustrating” instead of “depressing.” Thus, “Sometimes dealing with bureaucracy is frustrating.” After a few minutes, once I was outside of the bakery, quickly and without any effort, the correct word came to my mind. So, after returning to my home, I kept repeating that word, ultimately annoyed and surprised by that episode. What jammed in my mind? What occurred is called the ugly sister effect, which is the tendency to call to mind a different but similar word from what we would like to use. The name “ugly sister” refers to the ancient fairy tale in which Prince

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Charming tries to gain access to the beautiful Cinderella but is blocked by her ugly sisters, who pop up in her place. In order to remember the correct word, we often use different strategies with poor results. Some people repeat the alphabet in order to find the initial letter of the correct word. in order to have a suggestion. Other people observe their surroundings and look for clues, while others ask people nearby for suggestions. The result of the ugly sister effect is a very frustrating common phenomenon. Why does it happen? Studies suggest that when the ugly sister effect occurs, we are distracted by the sound of the blocked word instead of focusing on its meaning. Both the meaning and the sound are stored in our brain but in different places. Imagine a desk with several drawers. In one of these drawers, we preserve the meanings of words, in another the sounds of the words, in another the letters that make up the words, and so on. If the connection between the meaning and sound of the word that we want to pronounce is not quite stable and balanced, the ugly sister effect occurs. Very similar to the ugly effect is the tip of the tongue phenomenon. At least once in a lifetime, everybody experiences this frustrating experience. The tip of the tongue phenomenon can be described as the conscious feeling that reflects upon the cognitive process of retrieval when a word that a person is trying to retrieve is temporarily inaccessible. We feel that we are able to recall the word, although we cannot do so on cue. We can often provide partial information on it, such as the first letter of the word or its number of syllables. Both of these blocks of speech are part of the unintentional errors of spoken language. The good news is that they are a universal phenomenon, and they occur in all languages and cultures. The bad news is that we are unfortunately destined to experience more and more of these blocks, as they tend to increase with age. This will be frustrating and even a little depressing!

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BLACK The absence of color But always offers shade The cool abyss But always charged Symbol of rock and roll And sadly disjointed Unites us all in darkness But always divides A cloak to find refuge But not of hate A slimming accessory Hiding the bloodied flesh Of angry unfairness Both sides culpable All sides responsible There is no safe hue or origin Discrimination is indiscriminate Who is the victim or aggressor Taking turns we all attack Lunging with tears and hurt Obscenely crying out Whimpering with gunshots Childrens eyes learn what to do Confused adults replicate their past No one stops to listen or speak My throat closes up Swallowing heartbreak

My tears angrily flush my cheeks Helplessly I write words to try and heal Insufficient dreams ive had To make people whole I am now judged by the color of my words That simply fit yesterday Innocently I am condemned By those I thought friends Who also succumbed to skin categories Blindly I trudge through this new earth Discombobulated and lost Alone I cry for our souls And am inconsolable My heartbreak isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t new or original The pain vibrates as we all turn away I am barren but I cry for our children The grown ones too We are numbed by fear And fueled by anger Is there no room left for love? Can there be time for thought? Discouraged but not hopeless I retreat behind the pen Anonymously I look for remnants Of our collective human pulse At times I catch a glimpse A momentary comfort

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NEGRO La ausencia de color Pero siempre ofrece sombra El abismo fresco Pero siempre cargada Símbolo del rock and roll Y, por desgracia desarticulada Nos une a todos en la oscuridad Pero siempre divide Un manto para encontrar refugio Pero no de odio Un accesorio de adelgazamiento Ocultación de la carne ensangrentada De injusticia enojada Ambas partes culpables Todas las partes responsables No hay tono o origen seguro La discriminación es indiscriminada ¿Quién es la víctima o agresor Por turnos todos atacamos Lanzandonos con lágrimas y dolor Obscenamente gritando Gimiendo con disparos Los ojos de los niños aprender qué hacer Adultos confusos replican su pasado Nadie se detiene a escuchar o hablar Mi garganta se cierra Tragando angustia Mis lágrimas con rabia enrojecen mis mejillas Sin poder hacer nada escribo palabras para tratar de curar Sueños insuficientes que he tenido Para hacer la gente entera Ahora estoy juzgada por el color de mis palabras Que simplemente cabian ayer

Inocentemente me condenan Por aquellos que pensé eran amigos Que también sucumbieron a las categorías de la piel Ciegamente camino con dificultad hacia esta nueva tierra Desecha y perdida Sóla lloro por nuestras almas Y estoy inconsolable Mi angustia no es nuevo ni original Mi dolor vibra mientras nos alejamos Soy estéril, pero lloro por nuestros hijos Los grandes tambien Estamos anestesiados por el miedo Y alimentados por la ira ¿Hay espacio para el amor? ¿Puede haber tiempo para pensar? Desanimada, pero no desesperada Me retiro detrás de la pluma Anónimamente busco restos De nuestro pulso colectivo e humano A veces capto un destello de esto Una comodidad momentánea Disfruto en su calor

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http://www.attractionsmodels.com/

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Summer Fun with JR Peterson

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Summer trip photos of Alaska, Yukon & British Columbia Canada. Photos by Chris & JR Peterson

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Alaska

JR Peterson and wife Chris

Caribou Crossing Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Yukon

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Emerald Lake Yukon, Canada

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The Space Needle. Seattle, Washington.

Juneau Alaska

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The Chihuly Glass Garden

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Photos by Chris & JR Peterson


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The Chihuly Glass Garden

Photos by Chris & JR Peterson

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About JR Peterson Steel Notes Magazine Staff Writer Born and raised in Philadelphia, JR started playing guitar around the age of 16, taking a couple of lessons and learning mostly on his own. Prior to that his interest was more into singing and learning the words to his favorite songs, while playing records, be it his moms old 78’s, his aunts ‘s 33 LP’s or his sister’s 45’s. JR remembers being out of school for a week with pneumonia at age 9, and learning all the Frankie Valli & 4 Seasons songs. He liked hanging out at a luncheonette, (Warrens) where he’d play the jukebox for 5 cents with money he earned selling pretzels. He then started buying 45’s once a week when they were on sale at Kelly’s Corner/Listening Booth. This was around 1967 and a couple of songs he remembers were Frank/Nancy Sinatra Something Stupid, and They’re coming to take me away Ha Ha .When his oldest sister had a job at Bijou ice cream parlor in 68-69 not only did he have a hookup for ice cream but she bought her own stereo and lots of 45’s. JR thinks he may have gotten more use out of it than she did! (Thanks to Terry!). The bands with the hits of the day were: Mama Cass Elliott, Three Dog Night, and The Guess Who to name a few. At 16 JR went to his first concert -Grand Funk Railroad ,and from then on he knew he wanted to play/sing. Wet Willie opened up and were amazing and he thought, how could Grand Funk top this? , until the first GFR song, “Footstompin Music”, then he knew! Friends would come over and sing while he played because he couldn’t do both at first. At 18 he went in the US Navy, and met a few guitarists who showed him things while he was also starting to mess around with the harmonica. Jr was finished in 78, and joined with his brother Dennis on drums, and a bass player Charlie. They landed a couple local gigs in Philadelphia, and then went to Sound View Beach Connecticut for the summer, and honestly weren’t very good but had a lot of fun! In 1983 JR moved to the Lehigh Valley and went to some open mikes run by Phil Stahl. He and his brother were well taken and started a duo called Double Barrel. One night when they were playing, Phil told them about this guy in a blue cutoff sweatshirt that played harmonica. So he introduced himself and jammed a few songs with Jr and his brother. Pretty good harp player... Jimmy Supra... (James Supra Blues Band) So Jimmy knew Rich Hess

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Caribou Crossing in The Yukon

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Photos by Chris & JR Peterson


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Photos by Chris & JR Peterson

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(Bass) Rich knew Bob Hock (Drums), and Double Barrel went from a Duo to a Band. Eventually Dennis moved out of the area and we recruited Jim Sostarecz on lead Guitar and Vocals. Double Barrel played some of the Lehigh Valley’s hot spots for several years. DJ’s Pub, The Fox, Second Avenue, BVFHA (“The Home”). In Reading it was The Lincoln, and Topton’s Toad Creek was a favorite back then. The memories with those guys will be etched in my mind forever. Since then he has been in a few other bands including The G Men, Nobody’s Business and Swetty Betty which both featured Steel Notes Magazine’s Publisher/ Editor-In-Chief, Alexxis Steele on lead vocals. More recently the bands Castle in British Columbia. Summer fun with JR Peterson. have been: Down Right Photos by Chris & JR Peterson. Blue, Timeline, Rock Solid, and Bootleg Express. JR loves to perform and has also filled a few times in the past couple of years with Best You Get Cover Band, and The Groove Crew. The current band he can be seen in is called The Blazin’ J’s, which includes JR on guitar, vocals, harmonica, longtime band mate and friend Jim Sostarecz on lead guitar and vocals, Jim Rothlein on drums and vocals and Joe Giamber on Bass and backing vocals. They originally were at first called The Barstool Doctors, and he says that one could not ask for a better bunch of guys as band mates. The band plays mostly Classic Rock but also do some Country, Jazz, & Swing. It is a very versatile band. They currently play at a few LV establishments including Rosemont Fire Co. (The Rosey) BVFHA (“The Home”). Stahley’s Cellarette Bar and Restaurant, The Slate Quarry Hotel, and most recently at The Weaversville Inn in Northampton, Pa. Jr, being the consummate performer, also does some solo work at a few area nursing homes where he enjoys belting out some old standards as well as a mix of older and newer music from country to jazz to polkas. He does not see himself ever stopping singing and playing as long as he has the ability and a song in his heart. All of his memories of music over the years are deeply embedded in his memory banks and he’d like to thank everyone he has ever had the privilege of playing with over the years. He also wants to thank all the musicians and songwriters who gave him the pleasure over the years to listen to their music. And lastly to coin a phrase, he says: “You can have my guitar when you pry it from my cold dead fingers”!

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JOURNEY TO INDIA Chapter one: Getting to Kashmir Rex Maurice Oppenheimer It was in 1979. I had been sitting on the roof of my Mother’s house in Phoenix smoking a joint and playing my Moroccan drums. It was hot in the Phoenix sun, and I’d gone inside to wash my face in cold water. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, I looked up into the mirror and said aloud, “If I got a letter from Greg from India, I’d go.” The last I’d heard from Greg had been six months prior to that. He was in Greece and there had been no mention of going anywhere else, let alone India. Yet the next day a letter arrived from Greg. It was from India. I had been at my mother’s house for nearly three years recovering from my motorcycle accident. My head had been smashed, my skull fractured, one side of my nose torn loose from my face and one eyelid slit neatly down the middle. My eye was spared, but had the incision been deeper by a hair, I would have lost my sight. My physical recovery progressed rather rapidly, but emotionally I was still in pieces. My mother’s house in Phoenix proved to be the perfect hideaway. I was staying in my brother’s former bedroom, which, with its adjoining bathroom, was the only room upstairs. It had sliding glass doors that led out onto a deck on the roof. I spent hours sitting on the floor in front of my portable typewriter, trying to chart a poetic course. The deck on the roof was a vantage point, surrounded by deep blue sky. Fueled by intoxicants, I’d drift with the clouds across Saharan dunes, Jamaican beaches, Moroccan rooftops and the bodies of imaginary lovers. I would run upstairs when the doorbell rang. I refused to see anyone. I had lost all faith and confidence and felt completely lost. Little by little I would see a few people. A woman I had known for some time, and by whom I didn’t feel threatened, became my sexual partner and poetic companion, as we sought stardom in the suburbs of an alternative reality. Another friend supplied my marijuana, while the drive-in liquor store on the corner was my daily stop for beer, bourbon, or a bottle of Courvoisier. The latter was for when I would buy a cigar and pretend I was Winston Churchill on a bad night. Juice Newton recorded my song, “Come to Me,” sometime during this period. I think in 1977, and I did leave Phoenix for six months or more when I went back to Santa Barbara. Except for one quick trip down to L.A. to meet up with Robbie and Juice about writing some new songs, which was just more of an escape into illusion. I remained very separate from society. My friend Greg, whose letter from India I had somehow conjured out of thin air, had been with me on the motorcycle trip when I’d had my accident. When his letter from India arrived, I replied with a telegram, which said, “Where meet, what bring?” It had been

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more than a month with no word, but in my mind I was going to India. So, I took off for New York to stay with Frankie at his mansion in Forest Hills Gardens and await Greg’s response. Time spent with Frankie was always fun. I remember lunches at Tutto Bene in Forest Hills, with the tables full of Wiseguys, like Willie the Shy, and the night we snorted cocaine at the table in an Italian Restaurant in Long Island City, where we’d gone so Frankie could pay off some union guy. It was foreign to me, but I’d blend in like a chameleon. Just like when I was around anyone that lived in a world separate from mine, like big drug dealers, or bankers, I could take my cues from their language and values and seem to get along. There were also the cruises out to Montauk on Frankie’s yacht. Then one day my mother called to say a letter from Greg had arrived. It wasn’t from India, but from Rome. Greg’s daughter back in Los Angeles was having some problems, and he was headed back there. He proposed that perhaps, if I could jump on a plane, we could meet in Rome. But my momentum was for India. I walked to a travel agency I’d picked at random in Forest Hills and said I wanted to buy a one-way ticket for India. The agent, an attractive Israeli woman, said, “A one-way ticket is $750, but a round trip is only $920. Don’t you want a round trip?” “How long is it good for?” I replied. “Four months,” she said. I smiled, “I have no idea where I’ll be in four months, just give me the one way.” “Do you want a hotel reservation?” “No, I’ll just play it by ear.” I remember her amazement to find out I knew no one in India, had no idea where I was going or what I was going to do and didn’t want hotel reservations. I really didn’t know where I was going and have very little idea what I thought might happen. I had illusions of being swept up into a life that would accommodate my then addictions and desires. Primitive visions of smoke and sex in exotic locales. Or of stumbling into some entrepreneurial business venture or writing great poetry or prose. No idea of anything real. My one-way ticket took me to Delhi, where, after passing through customs, I got a cab. I think one of the first things I told the driver was that I wanted was some hash, and then a cheap hotel. Driving through early morning India was startling, people swathed in all kinds and colors of fabrics, strange faces, tattoos, and turbans. The streets sang with an operatic vision of life’s passionate struggle. Animals, women balancing brass urns, barbers squatting before their customers and giving them a shave, street sellers offering spices and strange leaf-wrapped items, people washing in puddles by the side of the road, all combined with taxis, cars and busses honking and weaving in and out of a maze where centuries seemed to intersect at every crossroad. The hotel may have been cheap by U.S. standards; I think it was about eight dollars a night, but it was far more than I’d planned on spending. On return trips to Delhi, after I’d learned my way around India, I stayed at the Venus Hotel in Paharganj for about a dollar a night. But for my first night in India, it would do.

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I had something to eat and went to buy a ticket for Kashmir, which was the place Greg had written me from, and the only place I knew to go. Being new in the country, and not yet having any idea of how to live and travel cheaply, I followed some advice and bought an Air India plane ticket for Srinagar. On the plane I met an Italian, Marco, who was also going to Kashmir. He said a friend of his that worked for the U.N. had given him the name of a houseboat to rent on Nagin Lake, and that’s where we headed. The Houseboat was fairly large and very beautiful, but unfortunately it was already booked. The owner, who had the appearance of an Arab Pasha, said that the guests weren’t coming for a few days and we could have the boat for two nights, which we agreed to. The boat had the air of luxury, with thick brocades and furniture made from beautiful woods, yet there were no sheets. After the two days Marco and I moved to another less opulent craft where we stayed for a week until two of his friends arrived from Italy, a woman named Maria, with some of the most beautiful shoulders I’ve ever seen, and a guy whose name I don’t remember. They had all planned to meet up and take off for Ladakh, which after a few nights together they did. I then moved to a smaller boat across the lake. It had a bathroom, bedroom, a table and sitting area. There was what could be called a little porch outside at the stern, or back of the boat. The toilet worked, flushing directly into the lake below, but the shower was woeful, and there was no hot water. In order to get on and off my boat, which was tethered to the owner’s boat next to it, I had to walk across narrow boards that had been laid deck-to-deck connecting the boats. My only way to get anywhere was to cross the lake by shikara and then take a taxi or bus into Srinagar. For the first day or two I had to find someone to row me across the lake. But then I convinced the landlord to let me have a shikara of my own. The shikara is a long, narrow canoe. You sit at the very front of the slender craft, like some native in a picture from an old National Geographic, so far forward it seems as if the boat should just tip over. At first, no matter what I tried, rowing on either side, fast or slow, I just went in circles. With further observation of the Kashmiri oarsmen, I’d gotten the hang of it, putting the oar in and twisting it as I stroked, pulling it out with its blade parallel to the boat. I would use the little boat every day to go across the lake to where there were a few local shops, and where I could catch the bus into Srinagar. Shikaras transported almost everything on the lake. The flower seller guided his from houseboat to houseboat, singing out the beauty of his freshly cut blossoms. The curd man, his beard long and gray, like his worn cotton kurta, paddled from houseboat to houseboat, his craft’s hull laden with clay pots full of fresh yogurt. Vendors, who sold cloisonné, clayware and carpets, would cruise past and call out to the tourist-occupants of the moored houseboats, seeking a chance to come on board to display their wares. Their boy would unpack and unfurl each and every piece, until the floor was strewn with baskets, pots and trinkets, and the customers felt obliged to buy at least something. All of this coming and going made the lake feel like a village, full of purposeful activity. Much of the action took place around the houseboats, which provided the community’s main source of income. Although some were rather small and nondescript, such as mine, others seemed holdovers from the Victorian age, when the Raj

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reigned and the British, if they weren’t in Simla, would spend summers relaxing on the lake, with servants lodged in smaller boats moored in the shadow of the floating palaces. The landlord’s family on the boat next to mine always seemed to be arguing. Yet their bonds were strong, passed down through centuries of tradition and now shouted between generations as they went about their daily tasks. The lake could be very busy, but it was also the essence of peacefulness. At dusk, I would row my shikara through the various tributaries and channels, passing women in saris doing laundry at the water’s edge and singing verses full of lament in unison. I’d weave through floating gardens of lilies and lotus and watch the wizened old men squatting and smoking their hookahs in scenes that seemed to spring from the thirteenth Century. I met many fellow travelers, mostly from European countries and Australia. There was a sharp distinction between tourists and travelers. With my one-way ticket and a tumbleweed’s sense of direction, I fell into the latter category. Tourists are tourists and need no further definition. Travelers were a mixed bag. Time was a factor; most travelers were on the road for months or years. For many it was a gypsy-like way of life. Others, like myself, were just on an open-ended adventure. Some were running from the law or a life they couldn’t stand; some were chasing a dream they could not find. The hippie era had passed or was at least waning, yet in 1979-1980, it was still very evident. A lot of the travelers were an extension of the days of the hippie overland trail across Asia. We dressed in Indian clothes, whether kurta pajama, silks or the exotic, mirrored cloths of Rajasthan, with scarves draped over shoulders or wrapped around the head, it was right out of the hippie handbook, and the primitive lifestyle at times seemed the ideal objectified by so many 1960s communes. Of course another vital aspect was lack of societal status symbols or the veneration of wealth. The goal was pleasure and experience sought through drugs, sex, travel, adventure, and, of course, new-age spirituality. There were also many interesting people other than travelers whose paths I crossed. One such local in Kashmir was Lassa, a sort of black market Don Juan, as in Carlos Castaneda, not the romantic legend. Lassa, who owned a small café on the other side of the lake, sold me charras and opium and provided a good place to rest, hear stories and learn about the local customs. It was there I also met Juanita, a beautiful Mexican healer, with long, black hair, coffee-colored skin and piercing obsidian eyes. My fellow travelers were a vital source of information, as it related to where to go, when to go, and how to get there. I learned about the traveler’s world in India: Delhi, Rishikesh, Dharamsala, Manali, Kerala, Goa, Varanasi. As romantic as Kashmir and Nagin Lake were, they were not without problems. The constant come-on and hassle and hustle, particularly in Srinagar, the isolation on the boat, and just the fact that this was just my first stop in India, and I’d already been there a month, made me anxious to move on. I went to Srinagar and bought a bus ticket for Dharamsala. My bus left in a few days at 7:30 a.m. Since transportation from Nagin Lake to Srinagar was not particularly dependable, and the trip could take more than an hour, I was a little apprehensive and wanted to arrange for my passage in advance. When I asked the Landlord and his family how I would get to the bus station, they all wagged their heads in that inimitable Indian way, and with broad smiles said, “No problem, you take taxi.” “But can I find a taxi at 5:30 in the morning?”

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With heads wagging and beaming smiles they all reassured me, “Oh yes, no problem.” Just to be sure I asked that same question several times over the next few days. Always looking at me like I was either an idiot or a child, they smiled, “No problem. Plenty taxis.” The night before I was to depart, I was paying my bill, when the landlord asked, “And how are you getting to Srinagar?” He had to be joking. He had told me to take a taxi, and I’d asked several times if he was sure that I could get one that early in the morning. “Why, I’m taking a taxi,” I said. “No taxis,” he said, wagging his head, “No taxi so early in morning.” What could I do? There were no phones; I had a ticket leaving Srinagar at 7:30 the next morning, and there was no way to change things. “Don’t worry,” he said, “my cousin-brother will meet you with taxi,” and he went off to notify him. The next morning it was pouring with rain. I still had my large red suitcase, which I balanced in my narrow shikara, and took off rowing, battling wind-driven rain, until I’d reached the other side. The bank beside the lake sloped down at least eight feet, and it had turned to slick, slippery mud. Dragging my large suitcase and scrambling up the muddy bank, I made it up the side. When I finally reached the road there were no taxis, no cousin-brother, no one at all. I lugged my suitcase the few blocks into the village, where I spotted a taxi parked in front of a shop above which was a house. Setting down my suitcase and picking up some small pebbles I began to toss them against the windows above where the taxi was parked. Finally a man opened the window and leaned out, yelling at me. I told him I needed a taxi to go into Srinigar. It’s an emergency I begged, offering five rupees above the normal price. Thank god he agreed, and a short time later we were on our way to Srinagar.

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Marie Currie Creations Artist Spotlight

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Marie Currie, is an amazingly talented artist, with an abundance of creative ideas, that just seem to flow from her soul! Each one of her designs, whether it be a cross or a guitar, are unique and timeless, perfect for your home or office décor! Order yours today! Meet ‘Shipwreck’…a one of a kind piece which took months of planning and was by far Marie’s most ambitious piece to date. Armed with the idea by Renee Frey, she teamed up with Bruce Wall who came up with the guitar design. Marie then searched for weeks settling on this perfect handmade, solid oak pirate ship and tracked down gold plated pirate coins, swords and other pieces. Marie did some painting and abalone and then cut the ship to fit into the guitar, and envisioned the ship hitting an iceberg which she portrayed by building a huge cliff using sea blue and ice crystals. A full moon was added, surrounded with tiny Safire stars and finally added the gold swirls to mimic the wind and give the piece movement. This amazing piece is 25 inches tall by 12 wide and comes with a tall black metal stand. Absolutely incredible and perfect in any home or office! He is yours for $800 Meet ‘Moonlit Beauty’…an amazing and huge 24/9 inch hand cut guitar featuring a piece from their ‘Moonlight Garden Angels of Tiffany’ collection only available through The Hamilton Collection! Marie started with a purple back with a purple and teal front covered in abalone and sprayed in glitter. She is covered in Austrian crystal, Swarovski

Her designs are available for purchase through her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/mariecurriecreations Steel Notes Magazine www.steelnotesmagazine.com

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crystal, pearls and rhinestone. She floats in a sea of teal and purple sea glass on top of an amazing crystal cliff of teal, purple and ice to show off her gown which resembles stained glass. Marie says this piece is one of the most beautiful I have ever made and whoever she belongs to will cherish her forever and ever! She comes with a certificate of authenticity, is absolutely breathtaking and also comes with a chrome stand. She is your for $600! Meet ‘Elegance’…A stunning, 21 by 12 inch double cross which no pics will do her justice. Marie started with a gold metallic back with a gold and opal glitter front. Her centerpiece is that of Austrian crystal flowers and butterfly. She is truly gorgeous! If ‘Elegance’ She will be an eye catcher in any home! $400

Meet ‘Kiss from a Rose’…a STUNNING 24 by 9 inch hand cut guitar with the largest Austrian crystal rose centerpiece Marie has ever seen!!! She started with a black back with a black, opal and green front covered in abalone. Marie covered this guitar with Austrian crystal and Swarovski crystal alone with beautiful vintage pieces that she bought at an auction. The centerpiece was placed in a sea of green and silver sea-glass and black beads. No pics will ever pick up the unbelievable sparkle and mind blowing glamour of this work of art. She also comes with a stand. $600

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Meet ‘Comfort’…an amazing piece was hand cut by Steve Isaacs and stands 24 inches tall by 8 wide. She is covered in Austrian crystal and is #1196 of 1200 by Jessica Galbreth a limited edition. Marie started with a gold metallic back with a hand painted opal front covered in abalone, after searching for weeks for the perfect jewels to adorn her. This beauty embellishes huge clusters of Austrian Crystal along with vintage pieces. She sits in a pool of aqua sea glass and beads along with a cliff Marie built of aqua and ice. No words can describe this piece until you lay eyes on her. Comes with a chrome stand!! $750 Meet ~ ‘Till Death…’... featuring an amazing steampunk couple by ‘Summit Collection’ and flown in from England! Marie planned this piece for weeks and started with a hand cut 24/9 inch guitar and painted the back jet black followed by a black and red glittered front covered in abalone. She chose some of the most beautiful ruby-red crystal grapes and rhinestone jewels to make their marriage festive and glamorous while also staying within the steampunk theme. They were placed in a pool of red, black and crystal silver beads and followed by building a huge crystal cliff for them to proudly stand on made of ruby and ice. This piece is absolutely unforgettable and perfect for a wedding gift, anniversary gift or for the couple who plan to be together forever! I LOVE them!!! They come with a chrome stand and they won’t be available for long!!! $750

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Meet ‘Dragons Daughter’ a gorgeous hand cut large 24/9 inch guitar featuring a very rare Amy Brown centerpiece by the same name! Marie started with a black back with a blue, red and black front covered in abalone, plus added some beautiful pieces throughout including Brighton and silver and placed her in a pool of blue, red and black beads with rhinestone stars. Marie then built a beautiful crystal cliff beneath her of red, blue and ice. She comes with a chrome stand! $600 Meet ‘Goddess’ a gorgeous 24 by 9 inch hand cut guitar which takes my breath away. Marie started with a metallic gold back and front covered in abalone and gold dust. She lined the neck with 14k gold plated pyramids and ankhs along with every other Egyptian symbol she could find. The centerpiece is suspended above a pool of gold

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nuggets and beads along with jewels and flowers. She is absolutely stunning and unlike anything Marie has ever made before. Final size… 24 by 12 inches wide. Comes with a stand. $650

Meet ‘Gatekeeper’… a 24 by 9 inch jaw dropper and another one of the most beautiful pieces Marie have ever made. The guitar is hand cut by Steve Isaacs and the centerpiece by Sheila Wolk is 12 1/2 inches tall and beyond words gorgeous. She started with a gold back with a hunter green and gold front covered in abalone, then covered her in beautiful jewels and placed her in a pool of green sea-glass and gold nuggets. Marie built a crystal cliff beneath her of green and ice. She is absolutely spectacular and there is nothing like her in this world! She comes with a stand of can be hung on the wall. $850

Her designs are available for purchase through her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/mariecurriecreations

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Steel Notes Magazine July & August 2016  

Greetings readers!!! I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer! Because of everyone’s busy schedules and vacation, we decided to do a c...

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