JUNE 2016 p6 ALICE COOPER REVIEW BY JR PETERSON P14 THE ‘HII’ TEST BY GUIDO COLACCI P19 BERKS PUNK ROCK FLEA MARKET & INDIE CRAFT SHOW BY KARMAMOON P24 ECHAPPE SCHOOL OF DANCE PHOTOS BY BRIAN LIMAGE P32 INTERVIEW W/RITCHIE ONORI,PART 2 BY ALEXXIS STEELE P38 SPOTLIGHT ON AWARD WINNING ALBUM DESIGNERS BY ALEXXIS STEELE P46 FOREIGNER AT THE SANDS EVENT CENTER, REVIEW BY JENNY CAT
INTERNATIONAL CORNER P58 ‘THE GROUCH SAYS’ REVIEWS MARK LINDSAY P63 ‘THE GROUCH SAYS’ REVIEWS BACKROOM BLUES VOL 2 P68 LUCA CERARDI - PREJUDICE P71 ALESSIA BASTIANELLI - THANKS FOR THE HELP BUT I KNOW HOW TO PARK P74 POETRY BY BILINGUAL POET YVONNE SOTOMAYOR P78 INTERVIEW WITH TUCKER BEATHARD BY COLIN CAMPBELL P82 HRH FESTIVAL BY COLIN CAMPBELL
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P90 GUNPLAY IN GUADALAJARA BY REX MAURICE OPPENHEIMER P96 JOHNNY’S JUNCTION - BE KIND TO YOURSELF P100 KATHY MATTEA AT SELLERSVILLE THEATRE - PHOTOS BY BOB KLEIN P107 SAVE THE HIPPIES - EXCLUSIVE STEEL NOTES MAGAZINE CARTOON P110 MARLOWE B. WEST TAKEZ MANHATTEN - INTERVIEW WITH MICK OAKLEAF P118 INTERVIEW WITH DANNY PEARY BY JERRY SARAVIA P124 ALBUM REVIEW- BACKROOM BLUES VOL.2 BY DANA SARAVIA P127 MUSIC REVIEW- BONGO BOY ROCK N’ ROLL TV SHOW EP.1080 BY DANA SARAVIA P130 MUSIC REVIEW- BONGO BOY ROCK N’ ROLL TV SHOW EP.1081 BY DANA SARAVIA P133 MUSIC REVIEW- BONGO BOY ROCK N’ ROLL TV SHOW EP.1082 BY DANA SARAVIA P135 ALBUM REVIEW- THE CONNECTION ‘LABOR OF LOVE’ BY DANA SARAVIA P137 ALBUM REVIEW- OUR LAST TRANSMISSION ‘THE BRAVE UNKNOWN’ BY DANA SARAVIA P139 AN INTERVIEW WITH OUR LAST TRANSMISSION BY DANA SARAVIA P144 THE METAL ZONE WITH SCOTT SAXON- FOUR BY FATE ‘RELENTLESS’ REVIEW P146 THE METAL ZONE WITH SCOTT SAXON- FOUR BY FATE INTERVIEW W/TOD HOWARTH & JOHN REGAN P151 THE METAL ZONE WITH SCOTT SAXON- A FEW WORDS WITH FOUR BY FATE’S PAT GASPERINI P154 THE METAL ZONE WITH SCOTT SAXON- INTERVIEW WITH FOUR BY FATE’S ROB AFFUSO P158 SHOW REVIEW- ROCK N PYRO’S DARK SIDE OF THE MOON BY KARMAMOON
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ALICE COOPER REVIEW BY JR PETERSON KIRBY CENTER WILKES BARRE PA-FRIDAY MAY 13TH 2016 photo credit: Travis Briggs , Mike Hoppes & Chris Peterson
For those of you unfortunate to have not seen Alice Cooper Live, let me start by saying, “What are you waiting for”? An Alice Cooper show is more than just a concert. It is a concert and a theatrical experience unlike any you’ve had the privilege of seeing, hearing, experiencing and thoroughly enjoying. One can’t help but become a part of the festivities, seeing kids,teens,young and older adults alike with their favorite T-shirts from shows before and everything from feather boas, fake boa constrictors, only Alice had a real live one this night,eerie costumes,fancy top hats and Hollywood reminiscent makeup. The show opened with the ‘Alice Cooper Eyes’ curtain dropping,following Vincent Price’s introduction to ‘The Black Widow’.Immediately the Master emerges from a coffin surrounded by a band of amazing musicians,and the awesome stage set that has been a staple of an Alice Cooper show. The 22 song,hour and forty five minute show consisted of many familiar songs along with a few cover songs which I’ll get to. Early on were fan faves Public Animal #9,No More Mr. Nice Guy,Under my Wheels and Billion Dollar Babies. The show was complete with stage actors performing during many songs as he was beheaded in a guillotine, put in a strait jacket, lethally injected and even turned into a 12 foot Frankenstein monster during Feed my Frankenstein. He scattered Alice Cooper funny Money during billion dollar babies off the blade of an epee. I cannot emphasize enough the talent of Alice Cooper’s amazing band. On Guitars were Ryan Roxie, Tommy Henriksen and Nita Strauss. On Bass Chuck Garric and on drums Glen Sobel. Throughout the show each were featured and
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not only were their solo’s amazing,but they compliment each other and Alice as musicians,performers and backup vocalists. A life size doll was part of the show during Cold Ethyl,which was followed by a beautiful rendition of Only Women Bleed featuring Ryan Roxie playing a 12 string Gibson guitar also from the Welcome to my Nightmare album. A live boa constrictor was wrapped around Alice’s neck and was stretching out and Nita Strauss was looking at it inches away eye to eye. Following Killer/I Love the Dead was a Tribute to Keith Moon with Pinball Wizard. Next was ‘Fire’ paying homage to Jimi Hendrix. And last but definitely not least of tribute songs was an on spot rendition of Suffragette City by David Bowie. The next songs were Eighteen and School’s Out and it’s Party Time when launched into the audience were huge balloons which were eventually popped by either sword, or guitars and were filled with glitter and confetti which rained onto the audience. It was a party indeed. There were also gazillions of bubbles shooting out from the stage. For the Encore caricatures of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton came out at first in a staredown, and then a fight, after which they shook hands then embraced in quite a sensual hug. The song was.... well, what else, Elected. Alice had his Vote for Alice Cooper ‘Make America Sick Again’ T-shirt with a red white and blue Uncle Sam style Top Hat. Confetti blew out and red,white and blue streamers were also launched from the stage. It was “EPIC”. So in closing let me just say that The Master did not disappoint. I’ll say again that for those of you who have not seen Alice Cooper live.... What are you waiting for? J R Peterson
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NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of STEEL NOTES MAGAZINE
“Its not about how you look, its about what you see.” - Guido Colacci
The “HII” Test by © Guido Colacci 2016 “In order to disprove the assertion that all crows are black, one white crow is sufficient.” - William James
Let me begin this with a joke that is attributed Richard Pryor. A man’s wife comes home early and catches him in bed with another woman. As the wife is screaming and yelling at him, the man and woman are calmly getting dressed. He keeps denying anything is going on. Asking “what woman?”, “I’m by myself here” “you really should calm down, nothing is going on here.” After he walks the other woman to the door, his wife is beside herself with anger and confusion, she is hysterical. The man keeps denying it and puts the bedroom in the same condition it was when she left, exactly as if nothing happened.His wife is crying now, He walks over to her, puts his arms around her, tells her he loves her as the wife keeps sputtering “but, but, but’ and says “see, nothing is going on”. The wife doesn’t know what to do or think. He finally says to her as she buries her head in his chest, and finally calmly asks her, “who are you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?” When I decided to write this article I thought it would be a simple thing to do. Boy was I ever wrong. This may not be the most cohesive piece I’ve written, as there is so much to cover and yet
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sometimes less is more and I’m trying to maintain a balance between passionate ranting and being calmly detached. I’ll begin with how the idea of the “HII” test came about. There are three qualities I value in all people and especially people who are going to be a representative of mine, people I hold up to admiration and heroes, anyone in government or someone who is qualified to disseminate information and news, such as a journalist, radio host or TV news personality and lastly a writer, law enforcement agent, an educator, professor, or science and math professional. That’s where the acronym “HII” comes from, it stands for Honesty, Intelligence, Integrity. It is what I use to gauge all the above named people. So over the years I have watched so many people of amazing intelligence, integrity, raw honesty, irreverence, breaking taboos and slaying sacred cows. Fearlessly pointing out the things our government did wrong, the things they tried to cover up, the whitewashing of history, being rebels and truth seekers, people who stood up to oppressors and lifted those that were hurt and broken by the system. Progressive, empathetic and passionate, nothing and no one was off limits to their razor wit, intelligence and courage. They backed down from no one. I will mention names here, only because it was so obvious to me and I knew all the people in government and media were nothing more than bought and sold shills and ridiculed, ignored or
attacked anyone who questioned the official story of 9/11. They used a method called an argument of ignorance.â€? An argument of ignorance occurs when either a proposition is assumed to be true because it has not yet been proved false or a proposition is false because it has not yet been proven true. This has the effect of shifting the burden of proof to the person or persons criticizing the proposition. This is the complete opposite of where and with whom the burden of proof lies. The burden of proof lies with the agency, government, person or persons making the claim, and is not upon anyone else to disprove. With arrogance they are putting us, the people in a position to prove them wrong and thatâ€™s not the way it is legally defined. To this day, there has been no independent official inquiry into the attacks of September 11, 2001. The 9/11 Commission, with which most Americans are familiar, was based on the Bush/PNAC version of events. It was charged with probing the breakdown of intelligence prior to the attacks and the breakdown of defense during the attacks and making suggestions for improving communications among the competing agencies involved. The Commission, formed after more than a year of opposition by the Bush administration did NOT investigate or report about the causes of
the attacks. And even more absurd is the fact that there has not been a single piece of evidence presented to the public that corroborates the official government version of the most devastating attack in our history other than NIST, National Institute for Standards and Technology whose report reads like a book written by people with the knowledge of high school physics. A flawed and destined to fail investigation that did not even start until virtually all of the steel had been removed from Ground Zero and recycled, and tests only conducted on computer simulations. Think about that. For almost 15 years now scores of credible experts, engineers, architects, scientists, professors, airline pilots have challenged the stories and explanations offered by the Bush administration, and yet not a shred of evidence has been offered by the US government to support the official version of events they claim took place on that day. Even more absurd is that fact that not a single official inquiry, the WHOLE of the media, TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, journalists and even those that I once looked up to and were heroes to me has attempted to respond to, discredit, or refute the questions that have been raised.
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The “People”, the people in power of the REAL government must create the impression that there is opposition to the system, but it is a VERY controlled opposition. Examples of these people who are a BIG part of the “CONTROLLED OPPOSITION” who do more to expose the weakness of the official story of 9/11 than anything else are; Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman, Professor Howard Zinn, Edward Snowden, Richard Dawkins, Julian Assange, Greg Palast, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Ralph Nader, Alex Jones, David Ray Griffin, Michael Moore, Dennis Leary and finally SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS. The are all extraordinary people, yet they cower in fear and ignorance
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and totally ignore, dismiss or toe the line whenever it comes to 9/11. Think about it, think about all the “pseudo rebel opposition revolutionaries who worship these people, these Icons, some of them are actually made to feel superior to all those who don’t like them. In reality, they are only saying what they’re allowed to say, and ultimately are making you look foolish. They are rebels to the system, and not just any rebels, they are educated, heroic, buck the system, truth telling punishment be damned rebels who will say outrageous things, but always stop short of even wanting to discuss 9/11. Controlled opposition, is a
test in which there is one decisive factor. So, I’m sure you’re wondering what is the one thing that I use as my test that defines a person and their character for me. Intellectual honesty, no tricks, no straw man arguments, no buts, hypotheticals or what ifs, no far- fetched hypothesis, NO ad hominem arguments, no red herrings which are deliberate diversions of attention with the intention of trying to abandon the original debate. Something that shows me definitively their ignorance must be deliberate. Why am I so sure of what I know? I saw it with my own eyes. I have put in 100’s of hours of research and although I am no scientist, engineer, architect or physicist, I do know and understand the basic laws of math, physics, science and probability. So I can hear you all say, “get to the point Guido!” Ok, my question to any of the above mentioned people in their line of work or ambition is “what are your thoughts about 9/11, and do you believe the official Government and media story, the 9/11 Commission study and the NIST report?” If the answer to this is YES in ANY form, you have failed the test. You have failed the test intellectually, you have failed the test as a person of integrity and you have failed the as a person who speaks the truth. Anything you say after this becomes compromised and questionable in my eyes and the trust is gone. The 9/11 attack is the one thing that defines everyone by their position on this event. I and all people should and must measure everyone by their position and their comments or lack of comments concerning this defining event. Measure everything they say in relation to their position on this event. Especially in this year’s election process. I cannot stress this enough. It’s not a debate over conflicting very powerful tool. Think about it in those terms philosophies. It is a battle between those who are when it comes to these people. searching for facts and those who choose to deny What’s noteworthy is that it takes only one question that a search is necessary. The extent, degree and to fail all three and then everything they say, write vitriol, with which the believers defend their blind about or stand up for is suspect and your reputation ignorant denial and resistance to the truth or to is discredited and undermined. Since the phrase even having questions asked can only be explained “Litmus Test” is mostly always associated with only by understanding a defensive human response. science and politics, and those are the people that Truth is too painful for some people to deal with. It I need to believe in and trust, it seemed a natural is called Cognitive Dissonance. The perpetrators of thing to add that to the acronym. Let’s define what 9/11 understood that, as they understood it in past a dictionary says a litmus test is: a test in which a false flag operations, that most Americans could not permit themselves to consider the possibility single factor (as an attitude, event, or fact) is decithat their own government would willingly and sive and another definition: a crucial and revealing deliberately kill almost 3000 of its own citizens to
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achieve a global goal of dominance, power, resources and money. To the people Iâ€™m referring to, with their knowledge, intelligence, connections, power and perhaps even involvement, the ignorance cannot be deliberate, but the lie, the toting of the official story and the weapon they hold of 9/11 like a gun in their holster at their side able to immediately outdraw you and shoot you on your unAmericaness (yes I think I made that word up), your patriotism, your disrespect, disregard and violation of all those who died that day.
job, just as it is today illegal in most of Europe to deny The Holocaust and is punishable with a prison sentenceâ€Ś
This is a quest for reality, justice, and the very future of freedom, and thatâ€™s not an exaggeration. These are the very things that they tell us over and over, that 1.1 million brave United States men and women died defending these very concepts of freedom in wars. It is not about knowing the truth. It is only about knowing that the official story is a lie. If this is not accomplished now, if this is not done within the next ten years, there will be a limit to what those in power will allow. There may very well come a day in the not so distant future where it will be illegal to write or talk about in public that 9/11 was an inside
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Berks Punk Rock Flea Market and Indie Craft Show By Karmamoon Berks Punk Rock Flea Market and Indie Craft Show brough out a huge display of various vendors with unique displays, along with Punk Rock performances by bands SickArt Sideshow, Hate To Say It, Admit Nothing! and Clerikal Error.
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Echappe School of Dance photos by Brian Limage Echappe School of Dance is in its second year of Dancing. Director Megan Snyder-Kusznir has been dancing from the age of 2 in various schools throughout the N.E. Philadelphia.
Her qualifications are: Classical Ballet Training from The Philadelphia Dance Conservatory & the Metropolitan Ballet Academy as well as training in Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Lyrical & Musical Theater. Megan has also won various awards and her talent has been extended as an actress in movies.
She has been teaching all over Philadelphia and South Jersey and continues to teach in the tri-state area. Megan says it is all about teaching dance the proper way while having fun, and likes to teach a broad spectrum of dance styles, so she can narrow your child`s talents preferences, as they advance.
In that regard, they will do better at what they like, and have fun doing it! Specializing in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Musical theater, Hip-hop and Lyrical, ages 2 to adult. Wedding dances, choreography and private lessons are also available.
This school is based on the belief, build your foundation on concrete so you can reach the sky. All forms of dance taught are infused with ballet, correct form and precise timing. From Philly to Las Vegas onto internal performing, we provide universal variations used world- wide. The balance of knowledge and skill give our pupils confidence and poise; which shows in performing competition and life.
To contact the school or to get more information: https://www.facebook.com/EchappeSchoolofDance
3300 Knorr St Philadelphia, PA (215) 713-7285
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“In the Name Of Freedom” Part 2 Interview with Richie Onori By Alexxis Steele “It is right on the button”….. Richie: People jumped right on board with this project. The first person I contacted was Joe Retta, the singer for Sweet and also lead singer for TransSiberian Orchestra, as well as Heaven & Earth, a project I did. He is a phenomenal singer and came aboard. He is in the first song- “In the Beginning” The first guy that I really brought on that I worked with in the Keith Emerson Band called Alien was Robbie Wycoff. He sang several of the songs and harmonies and came along with Joe and Debbie Holiday, who works with Linda Perry and is another phenomenal singer. She plays Amadei which is one of the main characters in the rock opera and I think she is one of the best. She really delivers out there with Robbie & Joe, and I sing a lot of the songs. Newcomer Tehrah, she plays White Buffalo woman which ties on to the rock opera, which has some native American aspect to it. There is no lack of talent in this troupe! Alexxis: I see,, that is why I called it an all- star cast!
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Richie: And more coming! Norwood from Fishbone came up and played bass on some stuff. He is a great bass player. Then I brought in all sorts of different musicians like the keyboard player from Clapton’s band, the late great Dickie Sims, The Eagles horn section and the list goes on and on. About 60 people played on these tracks, and collaborated on the whole thing. As far as the people onstage I just mentioned the ones that are the main stays. Alexxis: How many tracks do you have in all? Richie: Well, there are close to 17 songs, 8 or 9 interludes, so it’s close to 28 pieces of music that are involved and that does not include sound effects and narration. Alexxis: So I see that in March is when you started working with the show? Richie: Yes. What I wanted to do is get everybody together , so we had a few rehearsals, we used Ryan MacMillan, the drummer for Matchbox Twenty, Jamie Hunting from Roger Daltry’s band,
So we are adding to it, building to it, adding more clips so people really get it. We just launched it on March 13th, so we are not that far into it yet. Alexxis: For the people that do contribute to your Indiegogo, do you offer them some kind of “reward” that they get back in exchange for contributing to your project? Richie: Yes, they get various perks from coming to the show, the premiere. And corporate sponsorships are available plus tons of different perks. If people look on the Indiegogo website it ranges from $1 a download to 10,000. What’s really cool about it is the message, and the people dividing the people.
Mitch Perry on guitar, who plays on some of the records. We gave everybody just a taste of what it is like. We had Tehrah dress up as White Buffalo Woman, and just blew everybody’s mind. It was just a small club here in LA. It was really about launching our Indiegogo site. That was the purpose, to really let everyone know about it, because there are so many different things happening with this on so many levels and so many people coming aboard that want to be involved with this project. Alexxis: I am sure that the costs are very high to do what you want to do! Richie- Yes, but nothing is going to stop this! It is like a snowball effect. I am just so proud of it and how all of these artists have come along. They have given some of the best performances here. Alexxis: Since you decided to use Indiegogo for funding your project, what is your goal amount you are looking for and the time needed for reaching that goal? Richie:60 days and our goal amount is 75,000. That really gets us started, It’s kind of what my buddy did with Rock Vault, starting out very small in Vegas, and then they built it up. I also talked to the people who started Rock Of Ages, so it gives us 60 days to do it of course. There really is a right way and a wrong way to do it.
So many times nothing ever seems to change once the president gets into office. It just seems to be more of the same, so it is socially aware solution driven but it is also fun and exhilarating. It will take you on a complete journey and the audience actually comes along right with it! Alexxis: The tracks are really cool, starting with the first song, it’s like a spacey kind of intro almost futuristic sound. Did you have a certain vision for each song you created? What were you thinking when you were putting together the tracks? Was it specifically ok, I am putting this rock opera together and it is going to go like this, fall in line etc? Richie: It was a lot of connecting the dots when I wrote a lot of the pieces, which was years ago. I did have something happen to me in 1989, so I have been on kind of a mission to communicate through music. I had wrote the song- “In The Beginning”, that Joe Retta sings, and I thought what a great way to start off the rock opera! And mostly it does tie into the Native American belief when White buffalo is born, man has to unify in society and lo and behold, one was just born in 98, which I just found out about through Norwood. He connected me with the people that have the herd of the white buffalos, and I found out that there are 23 of them. You look at the biblical analogy plus the Mayans, and kind of what’s going on in our society. So many things are against us with our food supply and many people are getting cancer more than ever. With so many things happening
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in our society, I think we have come to a breaking point. I am going to do my best to make a difference for my kids and future generations, so this is my way of giving back. Alexxis: Yes and everybody wants answers and solutions, but unfortunately they may not be so easy to get right now. Richie: I do have the answers, I do have a way through and I firmly believe it, and the show will show it. I think there is a way but we have to unify to divide and conquer, and that is not so easy to be done. I hope this show really takes it to the level quickly to educate some people and wake up some people and that is my goal. To make an impact through art and let’s face it, art does change society, a lot of people are working on it right now, I’m not the only one and I am going to do my best to make an impact with what I have on my plate right now getting this off the ground and doing it.
through the fabric of society, we are being overtaxed. “I am a simple man with a simple point of view and sometimes I feel blue”. We can all relate to it because we are in a rat race trying to make a living and pay the next bill and struggle. It doesn’t matter what income bracket you are at, we are all under economic pressure that sometimes drives people to do drugs. I believe that there are powers that be that keep us running around like that, in fact I know it. So what I like about the song, it is very Southern Rock and I am a Southern California boy so I guess I’m kind of Southern! It really rings true and it is a very strong song. I really get a lot of great comments about that song. Alexxis: Will you be taking your show across the country and beyond?
Richie: the ideal thing would be promoting this on the level of the A bands. People want new rock music, and I would like to see this promoted on the level of The Wall. There are 10,000 steps in between to get this message out and in many different ways Alexxis: Tell me about your song American Fighters, so I am pushing it on every level, even through the college network, they have some fantastic facilities, what was your idea? and since there are dancers and singers needed. I Richie: Well you ‘ve got the banks, everybody knows am opened to all of the possibilities. what happened in 2008, you got the banks and the corporations, it’s really the greed that comes
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Alexxis: Sure- what about Broadway or off-broadway? Richie- Exactly! I talked to the gals that did Rock Of Ages, which started out in the San Fernando valley in Los Angeles in a little theatre. It was built up from one level and the next thing you know it is on Broadway. There was a lot of copy material and next thing you know she got Tom Cruise in her movie, so anything is possible it’s what platform do u want to deliver it on. Alexxis: Absolutely! I really liked your song Up in arms, is starts out with some great opening harmonies, and is a driving song. Richie: Well, we really are up in arms, so it is nice to see that during this election season everybody is finally getting out of apathy and actually getting involved in this because they are hearing something. It is getting commonplace with Bernie and Trump’s message about the establishment and how every-
body is bought off and super taxed. So many people are fed up and it’s nice to see that everybody is finally getting angry about this including a couple guys that are out of the box. Will they actually make it into the arena? No matter what political alliance you have, people with that message that “you have been bought off” is pretty much on the money. There couldn’t be better timing like what happened in Flint Michigan with the water. All across the board with Federal agencies and on CNN, and the spins they put on it about how the media controls, that’s what Up in Arms is about. The control over society that the powers to be have, seem to be an edge over basic man. Alexxis: Richie, have you thought about the costs- I know the costs are going to be very great. If your Indiegogo does not reach your desired level, do you have any other plans for other ways to raise the money? Richie: Yes, again it is something that I thought of-I
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that is in the can now, plus several new artists and he is a phenomenal producer. Alexxis: He did a great job, and from everything I heard it sounds fantastic! Richie: I played the drums, played the guitar, I played the solo and did the whole thing, then I cut the drums on that track and got a really great drum sound. Alexxis: So you are doing both guitar and drums? Richie: Yes, and on “American Fighters” I am singing on that. That is my voice, and “Power To The People and quite a few other songs as well. Alexxis; I like the way in the beginning of Power To The People, all the talking, very political, very what is going on in the world , plus the kids talking and the reciting of the flag I liked it all. have a friend of mine who is a professor who works at some of the colleges in the LA area, so delivering this in a college setting with young people with internships and connecting departments and doing it in different towns, I could see this go across the country. That would be one way to get the ball rolling. I see this with a full orchestra as you heard on “In The Beginning”, with Joe Retta that’s not even close to what it’s going to sound like. I have Pat Regan who produced Kiss,Deep Purple, and Rainbow who is my old keyboard player, and I brought him in on the project. It’s not even mixed yet, so if you hear that with a full orchestra and cellos, with the orchestra in the pit hitting it hard, a lot of the colleges can do it up big, if the Indiegogo doesn’t make it. Nothing is going to stop this! I will keep pushing and pushing and make it happen and I will bring it to the stage. Alexxis : So you are determined that no matter what , this is going to happen, and of course that is the way to be obviously! I think it is a great project, you have a lot of producers but even besides him you have a few other producers that are involved, correct? Richie: I do. Mike Krompass is very well known. He mixed stuff for Steven Tyler’s country record and Smashmouth. He brings a lot of the new young artists from the Voice. He mixed “Up In Arms”,
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In closing, is there anything you would like to say as a plea for people to support your project? Richie: I think anyone that is into what I am talking about, if they can give any support, that would really help to launch this to the next level. Regardless we will make it happen, and there are some awesome perks like they can come to the show and we will add ones where they can come and hang out with the artists. We appreciate it and look forward to driving this message and take people on an incredible ride at a show that will blow their minds! Alexxis: Absolutely! I believe that this will be right up there on the level of “The Wall”! People will be amazed when they hear the tracks and see the video because it is going to be an awesome rock opera and people should support it! Fans can go to Indiegogo.com, look up “In The Name Of Freedom”, and Richie Onori so they can donate. Facebook, Twitter: In The Name Of Freedom Alexxis: Richie, I wish you much success on your project and urge our readers to check it out. Richie: Thank you so much “Power To The People”- Peace!
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SPOTLIGHT ON AWARD WINNING ALBUM COVER DESIGNERS INTERVIEW By Alexxis Steele
SPENCER DRATE/JUDITH SALAVETZ Below is a recent interview I had the pleasure doing with the highly talented album design team of Spencer Drate & Judith Salavetz. Alexxis: Hello, How are you both doing? Spencer: We are doing Rocknrolla great! Alexxis: Spence are you and Judith both in NYC? Spencer: Yes we are, we have been together for a number of years working on iconic album cover designs for famous musicians. We have really got a lot of recognition in the last year In the Moma, and Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame permanent collection. Our Ramones covers area in a Ramones tour, which is on tour from the Queens Museum to eighteen cities. Alexxis: Wow, that is awesome! Spencer, Yes that is quite a number I know! Judith: We authored them, conceived the idea for the book, designed and packaged them. Alexxis: Over what span of time period have you done your books? Spencer: It started in 1992 till present. I did a book in 2002 with the subject of 45 record sleeves when everyone was doing LP’s. I was turned down by all the publishers, except for Princeton Architectural Press, but then I had a major distribution deal with Chronicle that made this thing amazing. Through the years up to 2009 or 2010, it sold 25,000 worldwide. Judith and I did our 45 book with forward by Lenny Kaye from the Patty Smith group, which has been till now a very cool book, a bigger format book about 45 record sleeve art. This vinyl is coming into a big picture now and people are buying vinyl books. Alexxis: Ok, so basically all the covers you have done were they for cd’s or mostly vinyl? Spencer: Mostly vinyl in our life, but of course then when cd’s came out we were doing cd covers too, but the majority of our covers are
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FOREWORD Spencer Drate & Judith Salavetz are awardwinning Creative Directors, Designers, Authors, Radio Personalities, Curators, Writers and Artist Representatives. They have designed iconic albums for famous musicians, including 22 inductees in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame, are included in the MoMA and Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame permanent collections and showcased in major museum shows: MoMA,The Brooklyn Museum,The Cooper Hewitt Museum,The Louvre in France,The Queens Museum, GRAMMY Museum, and major galleries. They have curated gallery shows and serve as Film Judges and Board Members for “The Southeastern International Film Festival”. Spencer writes for Punk Globe Magazine and interviews the famous. They have authored 21 critically acclaimed pop-culture books visually driven and regularly host their worldwide pop-culture radio show, “The Indie Café”. Spencer was a four-time Grammy judge (1989-1992) on the album packaging committee and nominated for a Grammy in album packaging co-designing “Talking HeadsFear of Music” in 1979.This album cover was in a 2015 MoMA show “Making Music Modern” and in The MoMA permanent collection. Spencer’s iconic designed Ramones albums are in the Ramones 40th Anniversary Exhibitions at the Queens Museum and GRAMMY Museum in 2016. Both profiled/interviewed in major media and books. Spencer is an ambassador and a member of Max’s Kansas City extended family.
historically are vinyl. We have done incredible limited edition metal boxes for Lou Reed, and the peel off banana limited edition for The Velvet Underground. Alexxis: So with the resurgence of vinyl, that is good news for you because that means more album covers. Spencer: In the 70’s there was a lot of special packaging, with the vinyl like die cut windows on Physical Graffiti , a Whisky glass shape for Rod Stewart, or Strawberry box for The Strawberries. That was the era that the vinyl packaging was unbelievable, what I call out of the box. Today the vinyl is strictly a straight format, which is cool, I don’t want to knock it. The stats right now are vinyl is outselling cd’s, that’s a fact. Alexxis: Really? So right now that is what is going on? Spencer: So for us it would be really cool to get into a large format. Judith: What’s happening is you have all these indie bands, and they are the ones that are designing their own album
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covers. There are an enormous amount of indie bands and artists that are doing their own art, distributing themselves, and doing everything that a record company would do. Alexxis: Yes that is true. Judith: We would love to do designs and album covers for some of the guys out there, but most of them are deciding to do their own art. Alexxis: I haven’t seen any vinyl, and I do not personally know of any record stores around anymore, unless you count Best Buy as one. Spencer: There are vinyl stores if you go to Brooklyn, even in Manhattan. Alexxis: Do they just carry vinyl only? Judith, No they also carry cd’s as well. Spencer: But not as much as them, because I have been to a lot of them, and they are more into 45’s and vinyl. Cd’s are lower end. But that’s what’s happening, you are getting 45’s and 12 inch. Alexxis: I have a bunch of old 45’s I’d like to sell, so I would like to find someone that is a record collector. Spencer: There are collectors that we know that are in our 45 book, and they go on Ebay to get them. So you can sell them on there, advertise them or go onto Amazon. Alexxis Spence, you also were a four time Grammy judge on the album packaging committee, and the first album designer on MTV, and VH1, correct? Spencer: That’s True! Yes, Judith was there she knows the whole story. They called me up on Billy Squier, that was the multi-platinum major rock n roll album in his life called “Don’t Say No”, produced by Reinhold Mack. It was an amazing album that no one heard about, so anyway, they called me up at the office and say: Are you Spencer Drate? You design for Billy Squier? Yeah, well we are coming down with the cameras, it was in the studio, Judith was there, and it was very small. I remember the camera man like literally in between the door to the little office that we had, his foot was like up on the wall and the other foot was down and he had a big camera and he was shooting me, so it was a riot. That was the first interview, and it got great response, so after that they put me on VH1.That was a big thing, and then later we did an interview on MTV on special cd packaging, because Judith and I created a major show in NY, it was such special packaging, so after MTV they put us on VH1 again. The line was around the block and we literally had pieces from the show, in Cooper Hewitt’s show and the Mixed Messages show was going on at the same time. The curator came down from Cooper Hewitt and said “What the hell is going on Spence” ? Well, this is our show. I gotta have some of these pieces!, and then The Smithsonian came in and inter-viewed me for The Smithsonian magazine, which is huge. We did a real cutting edge visionary show, which nobody was even dealing with. It was beautiful with all these tables and over 150 pieces, big pictures on them matted of all the cd’s in the show, and it was a very monumental kind of show. It was packed opening night, and the manufacturers came with pads and pencils to write down the ideas for their own packaging, so it was wild. Alexxis: Wow, so they were trying to get ideas off of you! Judith: Off the show, because it was the images of what was in the show. Spencer: These were images, of pieces that were done by record companies, and some by us, which was minor, but they were all beautiful pieces, and we selected the best of the best. Alexxis: So when you are designing these album covers, do the people come to you, or do you search them out?
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Spencer: It varies, a lot of them came to us. Judith: The Beach Boys came to us! Believe it or not! Spencer: The manager of Jon Bon Jovi came to us, but because our names are established, the record companies usually call us, and hire us like MCA, or Polygram, things like that. Our portfolio was called up for by photographer for Lou Reed. He turned us on to Sylvia Reed, Louâ€™s wife, and then to Lou. With Joan Jett, that was from Rick Shore from FBI booking agency called me up and asked me to bring my portfolio.
Stay Tuned for Part Two
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Foreigner- Sands Event Center Concert Review by Jenny Cat Photos by Dave Hummell For many, the music of Foreigner was the soundtrack to their lives. The band, consisting of only one founding member, Mick Jones, performed the band’s biggest hits on May 5th at the Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, PA. Lead singer Kelly Hansen’s energy was palpable as he summoned the roar of the crowd with the opening hit, “Double Vision.” “Head Games” soon followed and Hansen announced to the eager audience, “We’re jazzed to be here but we’re not going to play jazz because this is a f*cking rock show!” Not wanting to disappoint, the Steven Tyler styled singer jumped into the crowd during “You’re As Cold As Ice.” Once back on stage, Hansen said, “Somebody touched my ass out there. Can I at least get a phone number?” Clearly, this night was going to be wild.
harmonies when he could. He has been a touring member of Foreigner since 1992. Bruce Watson played those iconic lead guitar riffs while original founding member, Mick Jones joined the band onstage toward the middle of show,
In between the hits, the rest of the band was able to showcase their individual talents. Chris Fraizer on drums gave his best in a water soaked solo, making even the most seasoned sound man nervous as water and electricity (drum mics) often don’t mix but in this case it was an awesome touch to an already powerful drum solo. Bassist, Jeff Pilson of Dokken fame was smiling from ear to ear and eagerly kept down the bottom end for hot songs like, “Dirty White Boy,” “Feels Like The First Time” and added backing vocals on a special acoustic arrangement of, “Say You Will.” Keyboardist, Michael Bluestein gave just a taste of what he really can do on the keys by playing a well-crafted synth solo piece just prior to the drum solo. Bluestein was away from Foreigner for a period of time to combat colorectal cancer. Fans were glad to have him back! Multi-instrumentalist, Thom Gimbel gave quite the show as he effortlessly went from piano to guitar to flute and to saxophone, all while adding vocal
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adding his own guitar leads and keyboard licks. Watching these two men play and trade leads was a highlight of the show. To make the night more special, Foreigner was joined onstage by the choir from the Lehigh Valley Charter School of The Arts to sing “I Wanna Know What Love Is.” The band also had special CDs available for sale pre-show to raise money for the choir, proving that this band not only rocks but they are looking out for the future of music education.
and roll, Foreigner blazed through “Hot Blooded.” Feeling the fever of rock, lead singer Kelly Hansen spontaneously took one of the video cameras and began filming the band and the crowd. Foreigner is still alive and kicking and there are talks about a reunion tour consisting of original members. Keep your eyes peeled and ears open because you’ll read about it here in Steel Notes Magazine.
Right when the crowd couldn’t take anymore rock
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The good people of Bongo Boy Records asked me if I would give a listen to the comeback album by Mark Lindsay “Life Out Loud” and jot down my thoughts. You may have heard the name Mark Lindsay from his time singing with Paul Revere and the Raiders. Regardless of (or despite, depending on your point of view) his history with the Raiders, this is a new album that I think should be listened to.
Track 1 - Baby Come Back - I dig the tongue in cheek growl at the beginning. It reminds me of something David Lee Roth would do. That starts me thinking that just perhaps Mark Lindsay was the proto-Roth... Now regardless of what you think of David Lee Roth’s vocal chops, there is no denying that the man has a sense of humor and is, more than anything, a showman. What does that have to do with this song? Everything, actually. Just as Eddie Van Halen amazed the world while David Lee Roth winked at the camera, this song is one
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massive jam. In fact the groove is just so primal and the guitars so emotion filled the listener finds him or herself nodding in approval. Lindsay’s howls about peaches and cream and turning a girl into a woman seem to float over the top. Just as Diamond Dave commanded the listener to “check out his good side” Mark Lindsay proclaims to whoever is listening that he is “coming”. Mark, man, you made me laugh. You rock Dude.
Track 2 - Easy Street - Mark reaches back for this one. He goes all the way back to the dark undertones of Rock and Roll. Now, for the record, all of that nonsense about Rock and Roll being Satan’s music is, in my opinion, just that, nonsense. There is no denying however that in the folklore of Rock and Roll the Devil plays an important role. Most of this can be traced back to the Blues and the idea of going to the Crossroads. Granted, such folklore has been turned into schtick, but, a really good Rock and Roll song can’t go wrong with lyrics about riding in the Devil’s car all the way down to easy street. I mean it’s just dangerous enough to make the Pentecostals freak out (on second thought,
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though what isn’t that dangerous?). The thing that is really cool about this song is not just that it will definitely bug some of the more uptight members of society, not just that the proto-Roth is back when he describes a young woman who is 15 going on 25, but the music is just so smoking hot. The harmonica I hear rocks - it is the kind of rock that just says “Back up and watch me do my thing.” The guitar jam that starts at 1:55 is stellar. How can anyone not dig this?? So is Mark talking about the literal Devil or is he talking about Cocaine and Heroin? Does it really matter? Not in the least. However the lyrics are interpreted, the song rocks.
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Track 3 - Everything About You - This is a love song with a really heavy rhythm. The bass and drums just lock in and grind. Combine the hypnotic grind with the fuzz guitar solo and the intense licks on the edges of the song and you have a very enjoyable 2:56 worth of music. Lest you think Mark is showing his sensitive side on this track, we learn that one of the things he loves most about this girl is her supermodel walk. Dude, I must applaud. If singing about wanting to hear a girl’s trashy talk helps you make headway with women, all I can say is, well done my brother, well done.
Track 4 - Rainy Day Children - Well, not every song on an album can be a killer jam. This song is not my favorite, although it was interesting to listen for the name of different geographic locations. Now, to be fair, the song seems to be talking about drug addiction among young people. So, anything that brings the plight of people who, for whatever reason, are addicted and need help to the forefront of society’s consciousness should be considered a good thing.
parody of ancient Rock and Roll.
Track 5 - Ghost of a Girl - This song has a bit of a Rock-a-billy feel to it. The highlight of this song has to be Mark’s voice. Granted, the guitar in the last 20 seconds is nice, but the thing that really stands out is his voice. It sounds so good.
Track 10 - Rush On You - one word: JAM! This reminds me of something our band instructor back in Jr. High school would say. If we had managed to make some particularly soulful noise Mr. Case would look at us, grin and say in his cigarette damaged voice: Sometimes you cats can wail. Well folks, this track wails!
Track 6 - Like Nothing That You’ve Seen is WICKED. This tune makes me want to go back and relisten to some of the Raiders’ stuff. The point is, this song is great! Mark’s voice is good - really good. Combine his voice with the guitar riffs - the lead that begins 10 seconds into the song really makes me smile. All I can think is “Damn, this guy is cool!” This song is an infectious groove that sets the pace for the rest of the album - and the two string solo that starts at the 2 minute 10 second mark is just smoking hot. This has to be my favorite song on the album.
Track 7 - Let’s Fly Away - Do you like fuzz guitar? If you do, you will dig this song. The guitar jam that comes in at the 1:27 mark makes me smile - a big smile. The vocals are good and the backing vocals sound really good. I like the combination of the vocals. The guitar also makes me smile. That walk down lick is just so cool. Mark could be singing Watermelon watermelon watermelon and this tune would still rock - it’s about the sound and it sounds good.
Track 8 - I Can’t Slow Down - OK this is an OLD school 50s rocker. This song is what it is. The horn and the guitar save this song from becoming a
Track 9 - Don’t Stop - The proto-Roth meets Bo Diddley - The sigh in the middle of the track has Diamond Dave written all over it. The come on baby child refrain must make Bo Diddley look down and smile. Aside from the dangerously playful attitude, the guitar is simply loud and on fire. I really like this tune!
Track 11 - New Thing - What a funky laid back groove. This song is just hypnotic and then at the 3:07 mark all hell breaks loose. It is at that point that the guitar opens up and flashes lightning until the end of the track one minute later. I really want to see this song live. This is a live band’s dream song; the groove is cool, hypnotic and can be extended as long they want. That opens up all kinds of possibilities for the guitar to pop in and out with flashes of magic. All in all, nice guys, very nice.
Track 12 - Show Me The Love - nice heavy rhythm. I dig the Steve Winwood Spencer Davis era keyboards. Combined with the guitar and the vocal growl, this song is a mood changer. Want to feel better, take a listen.
Track 13 - Poco Loco Crazy - Up until now, the drummer has been doing his job. On this song, he breaks out a bit and channels his inner lead drummer. I dig it! This track reminds me of the Animals. I have a vision of guys wearing turtle necks and sunglasses while the guitar player blasts out licks and the drummer turns into some sort of drum pounding bigfoot. The energy on this track is amazing (and believe me I hate that overused word, but in this
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case amazing really is the correct word).
Track 14 - Merry Go Round (Christmas Song). Simply put, do you like the Kinks? If you do, you will like this song. I happen to really like the Kinks and no matter how many times I listen to this song I canâ€™t get the Kinks out of my head.
So what is the bottom line? Listen to this album, you may be surprised, you will be pleased. I say may be surprised because if, like me, your knowledge of Paul Revere and the Raiders was
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limited to a bunch of guys in tacky blue suits and fuzzy three-cornered hats then this album will surprise you. In any case, this album will please you. This is a collection of really good, really soulful, well played rock songs.
Mark, I have become a fan. - The Grouch in Sweden
To buy your own Life Out Loud cd for your own collection contact Bongo Boy Records at info@ bongoboyrecords.com 908-455-1576 Or buy it online at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ marklindsay4
You Should Definitely Know, Backroom Blues Volume Two, An Album That Leaves You Breathless and Wonder What Just Happened.
Backroom Blues Volume Two Bongo Boy Records
Well folks, I am back and this time I am going to introduce the second album of Bongo Boy’s Backroom Blues series. In a nutshell, this is why American culture kicks ass all over the world. The music on this album just oozes cool, not just the “OK-that-was-cool” kind of cool, but the kind of cool that leaves you breathless and wondering what just happened.
I once heard that the first time Pete Townshend met Jimi Hendrix, Jimi proceeded to play his guitar AT Townshend. The message was undeniably clear. Jimi was letting him know that there was a new gun in town and there wasn’t a thing Townshend could do about it.
Well, this album is full of new guns - and they ROCK.
Track 1 is titled Beg and Plead and it comes from Jeanne Lozier. Now, I do not know much about Jeanne, but I know this: Her guitar player can blaze and her harp player can blow. When you combine that with her Aretha Franklin style vocals you have something that is nothing short of spellbinding.
Track 2 is Shake Your Hips by Rocket 88. At first I thought this was a cover of La Grange, then the singer came in and I realized this is a cover of the Slim Harpo song. You can understand my confusion as ZZ Top borrowed from, and the Rolling Stones coved, Slim Harpo. Rocket 88 is keeping good company. The guitar on this track is outstanding, but it is the keyboards that really make me smile. This band’s album cover should be in the dictionary under the definition of soul. I defy anyone to listen to this track and not feel the groove. It is just so infectious. I warn you though, look around before you do. You would hate to break out into a Billy Gibbons laugh while at work.
Track 3 is titled Wonder If and comes from B3 (The Red Bank Blues Band) out of New Jersey. Two things immediately stand out on this track. The first is the female singer has nothing short of a beautiful voice. She can go into a soulful screech for sure, but below the wail is a truly more-than-pleasant voice. The second stand-out feature is the harp player. He can definitely play. The man has some hefty lung control.
Track 4 is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Blind Lemon Pledge is back from Backroom Blues volume one. Their first track on this album is called Nag Nag Nag - and as a divorced guy all I can say is I feel your pain my brother. This song is one big lament from a guy who isn’t getting laid, but is getting bitched at incessantly. OK, musically the horn solo is really nice, but it is the lyrics that really make me smile. It sounds like he was at my house a couple of years ago...
Track 5 Trevor Sewel’s first track on the album is So Tired. I dig the funky groove. Trevor’s voice has a laid back kind of cool that I dig. The old-school female backup singers are a nice touch. Basically, Trevor has reproduced a formulaic classic R&B jam. This is the groove that lets a person wear sunglasses in a dark room and not look stupid. Well done Trevor.
Track 6 comes from Mike Daly & The Planets. The title is Broken, but it might as well be Fuzzy Guitar and Gnarly Vocals. The guitar (s) dominate this
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tune. The Planets employ an effective droning technique that keeps the listener’s mind occupied. This is enhanced by a grizzly, gravely voice and rhyming lyrics. The entire package is accentuated with dueling guitar licks that just make me smile. This is absolutely worth a listen
Track 7 - Blind Lemon Pledge is back. You have to respect these guys. The harp sounds wicked and the guitars are mesmerizing. BLP’s ultra-mellow singing style is nothing less that eerie as he describes how his Ex (the Nag in track 4?) broke his heart. I would love to see these guys live. I have a feeling that they put on a rocking show.
Track 8 is called Good Time Charlie and comes from Laurie Ann & The SaddleTones. Hands down, the best song on the album. Laurie Ann has a great voice! The music is just cool. The piano can swing and the slide guitar makes me smile! (I am a sucker for slide guitar.) Folks, this is an old time bad ass blues band - they have a singer with a great voice keys and a guitar who can each solo comfortably or
blend into the background and a rock solid rhythm section. You can easily imagine your grandfather digging this music before he had to ship out to give the Naziâ€™s a smack upside the head. The style may be old, but like fine wine, it ages well.
Track 9 is called Pretty Baby and comes from one of my favorite groups on Backroom Blues volume one. Big Bone Daddy. This ultra-simplistic jam is just fun. Dadâ€™s voice sounds good and his band can make some noise. The thumping count of the drums is sure to get your head banging. Musically, the biggest treat is the guitar. Not the guitar you hear up front that plays the notes of the refrain, listen and you will hear a second guitar track just underneath that is soloing like crazy. It almost seems like Dad stuck that guitar in just to see if anyone was paying attention. All in all, this is a really good song, despite what seems to be its aqualung influenced lyrical content...
Track 10 is another offering from Trevor Sewell and is called Hollow Part 1. This song ROCKS. The guitar is just spectacular. Trevor spent a lot of time in the studio on this one. This track goes deep. It is filled with musical nooks and crannies that come together to make what sounds like a modern day Theme from an Imaginary Western.
I can almost see Clint Eastwood in his Spaghetti Western days riding across the desert while this song plays in the background. The only problem with the song is the abrupt ending. I was enjoying a nice groove and then boom it was over. Trevor, Dude, not cool man that really messed with my... state of mind.
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So, what is the bottom line? The bottom line is this album is a collection of really good songs by a bunch of bands you may not have heard of, but you should definitely know. Official Web Page: https://bongoboyrecords.com/backroombluesvol2/ The Grouch | Sweden Web Page: https://bongoboyrecords.com/the-grouch-says/ Worldwide New Release: May 3, 2016 CDBABY: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/backroombluesvolumetwo
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LUCA CERARDI - ITALY
Prejudice I have just finished the test to get my boat driver’s license. I’m in Pula, south Istria, Croatia. It was 30 of us in the port authority when I entered. We were crowded at the door. I don’t speak Croatian but I can understand some words. Definitely not enough to survive. Good thing is, I know English and they know Italian. For hundreds of years this was a territory of the old Republic of Venice. Not Pula specifically, but most of the coast of Istria. Then Italy took over, and after the Second World War it became Jugoslavia. Finally, Croatia. I admit I felt a little bit “alone”, but I wasn’t worried. When I checked the namelist, I saw only two Italian names. And the other ones didn’t even seem Croatian. I was n. 28 out of 30 so... I had to wait. I chose a corner to sit down at and started looking at people. I was listening to their languages. I have been coming to Croatia since 2009. I know the
sound of Croatian language, but in that room I could hear many other ones. I couldn’t easily recognize the other languages, so I really focused on trying to pick up some words. Easier said than done. I finally decided to look at the people who were talking. There is a universal face expression that represents talking and listening. There are no borders when it comes to a smile, sadness, preoccupation, arrogance, ignorance or happiness. I understood that a bunch of them were coming from Hungary and other two from Germany. The other people were Croatians. It was surely a “global” test. Each group stayed together, somebody was happier, others were more worried. A few very relaxed guys were reading news on the wall. They were trying to pronounce the words in Croatian, and laughed as the emerging words sounded very strange and unusual to them. As you would expect before a test, people were wondering what the questions in the exam would be like. People were asking each other if they knew. It was great to see how English, German and Italian were widely used to bring people together into the discussion. It was maybe a little awkward for some folks, but in a funny way everybody was able to communicate with other people. It really showed the enormous history and mix of cultures you can find in Europe. When talking about a Europe in peace at the end of the XVIII century, Kant wrote that nature had already tricked us. We all evolved talking different languages. Geography jeopardized humans and caused each tribe to grow up with their own culture. Aristotle
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as I can’t speak Croatian. However, I also felt part of a big “family”. All these thoughts brought to my mind a topic I have been wanting to write about for a long time: prejudice. I grew up in a world full of prejudice. Is there anybody who didn’t? I always thought I was lucky because I was born in Italy after the war, but that does not mean that I haven’t lived prejudice on my own skin. I have always been a rocker. Long hair, beard, a black t-shirt have always condemned me immediately as a possible criminal. I remember a scene of a long time ago. At the supermarket I was standing in line to pay with my young little sister, who was wearing a Slayer t-shirt. People around us didn’t easily let her pay, instead, they created a “wall” around her, so that she would end up being the last one. We were different from them for sure, but that does not justify discrimination. We are talking about something as simple as a t-shirt.
also said that we are “social animals”. We must stay together if we want to improve and survive. A sense of communion is what keeps us from fighting with each other. In a way, nature differentiated us but also gave us the opportunity to overcome our differences. To enforce this, we need education. Without education, we can’t expand our way of thinking. We need freedom and open dialogue, as well as freedom of speech. For all this to happen, we need democracy. As usual, it’s a circle. A circle that shows us that there isn’t a unique way to stay together, but many. The first time I really experienced this was while touring. As a musician, you need to understand people from other countries and be open minded about their culture. There isn’t one right culture. I have a lot of friends from all over the world and I have learnt something from all of them. They are a precious treasure and provide me with continuous improvement opportunities. Going back to me standing in a port authority of a foreign country, I did feel somewhat outnumbered,
In a bigger scale, how many people have been discriminated for something in history? Wars existed for centuries due also to discrimination issues. The reason this topic has been on my mind recently is that I have started studying for my university exam in Public Ethic. The role of racism and prejudice are undoubtedly primary. I was stunned by the following definition given by the Italian writer and philosopher Norberto Bobbio: “prejudice is an opinion or a complex of opinions, part sometimes of an entire doctrine, which is accepted with no critics and in a passive way from tradition, custom or an authority from whom we accept it without discussion. We don’t verify any word, for inertia, and we accept it with strength. So it resists any rational rebuttal. So prejudice is a part of the not rational, which does not involve reasoning. It is different from a simple opinion error because in this case a rational argument or an experience can correct it. Prejudice is socially more dangerous because it is out of the circle of rationality. But why does this have such strenght? The strenght of prejudice depends on the fact that people believe something is true or false because it fits their desires, passions, interests. Prejudice is closer to people who are already predisposed to accept it.”
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improve and eliminate these biases.
What really hit me was the word “Interest”. Here it is, once again. We all have some kind of prejudice. We can’t pretend this is not true. At the same time, we cannot accept this as a fact, instead we have to try to
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I think we need to work on moving beyond our self-interest. It has been done by our ancestors in the past. We wouldn’t be here today, free, it they didn’t. We would have remained cavemen, hunting for a prey and fighting enemies. Instead, for some reason we kept evolving. I think humans should continue to appreciate and embrace differences, not just for us, but for everybody’s future. We don’t know if everything is a predetermined paint, if there is an evolution or maybe godwill. We will never have proof. We can just have some faith and accept that we are very far from discovering the secret of this universe. I just feel that everybody should enjoy these few moments we are given inside our huge universe. If we want to get rid of prejudice, it is clearly possible. It is just a simple move from our selfish interests towards a more global view. We would still care about ourselves but we would also take into account the needs of everybody else.
Alessia Bastianelli - ITALY Alessia Bastianelli
Thanks for your help but I know how to park! One of the things that bothers me most is when I am parking my car and someone—usually someone I don’t know—tries to give me instructions to help me park. “Steer right, stop, go go…” “Well,” I explain right away, “I do not need this kind of help.” I’m perfectly able to park alone, even when the space for parking is small, as it often happens in many Italian towns. Sometimes I realize that some men really do want to help, a sort of “chivalry.” Anyway, whatever the reason, I don’t like at all. Basically, I think that this action is motivated by the widespread stereotype that women cannot drive. On many occasions near a park I have seen a father, a husband, a partner, a friend or often a simple stranger who is passing nearby who tries to help a woman to park. To think that a woman does not know how to park is just one of stereotypes we have; it is a gender stereotype, such as women having no sense of direction or deserving to make less money than men. Fortunately, gender stereotypes are not related exclusively to women! There are many gender stereotypes for men too, including that men play video games, they are good at math or they are better suited for jobs such as construction and engineering, just to name a few. Broadly speaking, stereotypes are not related exclusively to gender. They have traditionally been defined as specific beliefs about a group, such as descriptions of what members of a particular group look like, how they behave, or their abilities. Anyway, stereotypes do not always have a negative connotation. In everyday life, stereotypes are part of our way of thinking. They are considered to be the product of adaptive processes since they allow us to simplify and organize information, thereby reducing the complexity of facts. They can be described as mental patterns or processes of categorization that help to identify, recall, predict and react. Categorization is a cognitive process through which we detect differences and similarities. Thus, in this sense objects or people within categories are as similar to each other as possible, whereas objects or people in different categories are as different from each other as possible. These mental patterns or forms of categorization are like mental shortcuts. When we use a stereotype to evaluate an object or a person, we use as mental shortcut the hypothesis that whoever falls into a certain category will probably have the characteristics of that category. When we try to understand a certain phenomenon—for example, to solve a problem—the use of these shortcuts is extremely useful. In this case, instead of evaluating all possible alternatives – or characteristics of an objects - that would allow us to arrive at the correct solution, we evaluate only those considered most promising. This way of thinking reduces the time required to solve the problem, and most of the time we arrive at a correct solution. What we often forget is that a stereotype is not based on scientific knowledge, but rather reflects a judgment that often proves to be rigid, such as categorization based only on some obvious features. Through stereotypes we generally tend to attribute some characteristics to an entire category of objects or people indiscriminately – e.g., women don’t know how to park-. In this way, we neglect all possible
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differences that might otherwise be detected between the various individuals within this category. Furthermore, stereotypes tend to be confirmed by our experience as we interpret the world around us according to our stereotypes! Moreover, they are difficult to change because they are deeply fixed in our culture and personality. The risk is that if we evaluate everything using stereotypes, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the prejudice and our view of reality will be biased. Preconceived ideas usually are not accurate, and above all are not apprehended by direct knowledge of the facts. For this reason, we should use stereotypes with common sense and a fair balance. Anyway, although not always true, some stereotypes are quite funnyâ€”even those about women!
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Poetry by Lower East Side Bilingual Poet Yvonne Sotomayor THE PURGING Distracted by demons Of a past yet to unfold The transparency I seek With its beauty bright and bold Where all is understood There is no need for dispute Or suspicious eyebrows Interrogations are silenced The muted lovely world Words need not etch their mark Or make their proven points Merely blow soft kisses Reassembling the other’s esteem
Calling forth my wrath Blinding me with fraught Caught up in another’s storm Repulsed while attracted To the beautiful disaster Trying to comprehend But my hammer doesn’t work And so I need translation To extract a witty lesson An advisory or some wisdom I fail to grasp the fairness And truncate myself with angst I sludge through the mire Of familial stories gone by
Marching forth towards the wide open Interlaced fingers solidly withstand The outside world’s rebuffs
LA PURGA Distraída por los demonios
Instead; inner warlocks approach
De un pasado todavía por cumplirse
Tossing our muddled carcass
La transparencia que busco
Of a shell still yet to be shorn
Con su belleza brillante y audaz
Toying with complications
Donde todo se entiende
That aren’t mine to solve
No hay necesidad de disputa
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O las cejas sospechosas Los interrogatorios son silenciadas El mundo mudo y precioso Las palabras no tienen por qué grabar su huella O hacer sus puntos probados El mero hecho de soplar besos suaves Para reasamblar la estima del otro Marchando adelante hacia lo abierto Dedos entrelazados sólidamente resisten Desaires del mundo exterior En lugar; brujos interiores se acercan
PULP OF PAIN
Lanzando nuestra carcasa confusa
Disturbed, disheartened, disillusioned
De una concha todavía por trasquilarse
Are the disruptions in me?
Jugando con complicaciones
Sadly my soul repeats
Que no son míos para resolver
The long-ago beatings
Llamando a mi ira
And I still hear them now
Cegándome con plagada
Coming from your mouth
Atrapados en la tormenta del otro
Or is it a mere echo
Repelidos, mientras atraídos
Bouncing inside my head
Al hermoso desastre
Telling me evil stories
Tratando de comprender
Of the undead charging at my heart
Pero mi martillo no funciona
I cant tell the difference
My gauge is definitely off
Para extraer una lección ingenioso
But I see and hear it all
Un asesor o algo de sabiduría
My reality is struck
No alcanzo a comprender la equidad
And now I’m striking you
Y me trunco con angustia
Rightfully so or woefully no?!
Enlodada lucho a través del fango
Will you remain at the front
De historias familiares del pasado
Of this heavy-handed storm Or set sail for calmer waters That need not set-off your own damages
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The brokenness you see
Con razón o lamentablemente no?!
Is the chasm within me
Iras a permanecer por delante
I’m trying with desperation
De esta tormenta a manazos
To isolate and destroy
O zarpar hacia aguas más tranquilas
The enemy within
Que no tiene la compensación de tus propios daños?
But at times lose the war Though the battles are slowly won Know you’re in my heart Through all the vile and venom And though you may ignite The ferociousness in me I’d prefer to gently back you off Than lose the whole of me or you
PULPA DE DOLOR
El quebrado que ves Es el abismo dentro de mí Estoy tratando con desesperación Para aislar y destruir El enemigo interno Pero a veces pierdo la guerra Aunque las batallas se ganan lentamente Quiero que sepas que estás en mi corazón A través de toda la vil y veneno Y aunque tu enciendas
Perturbada, desanimada, desilusionada
La ferocidad en mí
Son las interrupciones en mí?
Prefiero suavemente retrocederte
Por desgracia mi alma repite
En lugar de perder la totalidad de ti y de mi
Los golpes de hace tiempo Y todavía los escucho ahora Y vienen de tu boca ¿O es un simple eco Rebotando en mi cabeza Contándome historias malas De los necrófagos cargando hacia mi corazón No puedo diferenciar Mi indicador esta definitivamente mal Pero veo y escucho todo Mi realidad esta golpeado Y ahora te estoy golpeando
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LIENZO DE PAPEL
On a paper canvas
En un lienzo de papel
My thoughts n feelings bleed
Mis pensamientos y sentimientos sangran
At times the image is happy
A veces la imagen es feliz
Bright words appear
Palabras brillantes aparecen
But then grey overtakes
Pero entonces lo gris se adelanta
And darkens my sight
Y oscurece mi vista
The invisible hold
El aquante invisible
That grips my limited life
Que se apodera de mi vida limitada
No reason or sense
No hay razón ni sentido
Creates the heavy word
Crea la palabra pesada
Juxtaposed is the light
Yuxtapuesta es la luz
Descripciones sin restricciones
Beaming with smiles and joy
Radiante con sonrisas y alegría
Words dance off the penned keyboard
Palabras bailan fuera del teclado escrito
Either sunshine or cloud
Ya sea del sol o de una nube
The adjectives are there
Los adjetivos están ahí
Expunging the passions
Borrando las pasiones
Into literary form
En forma literaria
From ramblings and emotional meanderings
De divagaciones y meandros emocionales
To linear and pointed laser-like translations
A traducciones lineales y láser, como los apuntados
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INTERVIEW WITH TUCKER BEATHARD BY COLIN CAMPBELL We Caught Up with Tucker Beathard just before his support slot at the Dierks Bentley show in Glasgow. Tucker is tipped to be the next big thing in Country Rock and with his debut single Rock On due to be released in the UK on the 27th of April and a Album coming later this year, we talked to this talented twenty one year old that seems to have the full package about his music, guitars and his influences from country and classic rock.
RP: Hi Tucker thanks for taking the time to speak to us, we are very excited about your new single Rock On, I believe it is out on the 27th?
TB: yeah that’s what I hear , well over here, that’s the date yeah.
RP: When I first read the title, I thought it was based on rock music theme, but it has a bit of a hidden meaning in it, would you like to explain a little bit about the song?
TB: Yeah, it’s kind of just one of those simple play on words, hooks you, you know? I think when a lot of people hear it, especially song writers, they think oh wow I’m surprised I did not think of that, you know, well its all about a guy that found a girl, said rock on and do your thing I don’t care and then coming back and saying I should have put a rock on her hand, so it’s kind of a play on words.
RP: Is this your first time to the UK touring, or have
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you been before?
TB: Yup, first time
RP: And how is the tour with Dierks (I had trouble pronouncing this, but Tucker helped me out) going?
TB: Hey It’s great, I have been looking forward to coming here for a long time and the crowd was everything that I hoped it would be and was expecting it to be, you can tell that they are thirsty for new music, I love it.
RP: How would you describe your style of music?
TB: em, it’s tough, because I come from a lot of different genres growing up and rock was probably the heaviest one, so it is a little more edgy a little more on the rock side.
RP: well that how we felt about it,we mentioned on the page, it definably has a strong country feel to it, but it also has a real rock feel and there are some songs and I have heard a few now, that have a real Bryan Adams aspect to them.
TB: Oh hell I will take that compliment all day, yeah thanks. I think it’s kind of best way to explain it is rock and few other musical influences mixed together with the country song writing and format.
|TB: right, which is kind of cool cause, I especially more recently started to realise and being a bigger believer, that music is just music and it is tough to always have to put it in a certain genre you know, so you can just let people listen to it and if they like it they do and if they don’t they don’t, just listen and enjoy the music without putting a label on it you know.
RP: So tell me Tucker is there an album due out?
The structure of the song and what not, that just how I learned, so when I started creating my sound, that felt good to me, it came from a lot of different genres, you know, but when it comes to shaping a song and lyrically, you know as I grew up in Nashville naturally I learn from a country format.
RP: You can hear it in your voice as well, there is obviously a certain phrasing to country music, you have got a rock feel behind it so you’ve got a mix between two markets.
TB: yeah, I am finishing up recording and working on that, the plan is to have a full album out by early August, which is going to be a tough goal to reach, considering I am really busy, I want to get one out as soon as possible, so that’s what we are going to be shooting for, to get it out by then.
RP: I saw that when you were in London, you were playing solo up on the stage are you going to get together a touring band when the album comes out? Or are you still going to tour by yourself.
TB: Naw, I usually tour with a band with my band, we eh, that what I have been doing, mainly full band stuff, but I couldn’t afford to fly them out here
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(laughs) not making that much money yet. So I will say I am really looking forward to coming back here soon with my band playing some of the clubs, it will be awesome.
RP: we look forward to seeing that, There are certain songs, that I have managed to hear that I really like and one is Ride On and the other is God and My Guitar.
TB: oh thanks you those are couple of my favourites too.
RP: I was just wondering if you could tell me a bit about God and My Guitar because, I really love those lyrics
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TB: Yeah man, that one is really special to me, itâ€™s em, honestly itâ€™s kind of talks about me growing up and always kind of being that kid that never really, I had that fight in myself to never feel like I fit in you know, so I went down some different paths and tried different things and got in to some trouble and you know, for me Iâ€™d never been that kind of person that really talks about my feelings or whatever, so when I was feeling all the stuff inside me and what was going on in life and whatever, I picked up my guitar and started kind of venting through guitar and it kind of saved me, you know and those are the two things, God and my guitar that when I look back got me to where I am here today and the whole reason I got into song writing in the first place. So when I was going through these wrong time and emotions so I needed to find a way to deal with that, it being my therapy and an outlet for me,
so that is why I am real passionate and brings out out a deeper emotion about it when I play and sing it.
RP: Could you tell me about your guitar set up, what gear you play with and what acoustics, I am always interested in trying to find the next acoustic.
TB: Yeah (laughs), I have been a sucker for buying a lot of crap I should not buy, especially when it comes to buying pedals, it’s an addiction, but acoustically, I always love Martin Guitars, so um, I played a D28 a lot for a while but, I wanted something a little smaller or more comfortable and I did not want to do it because it has his name on it and it is his guitar but I got a John Mayer guitar and it just felt great, so I said I don’t care if it is his signature guitar you know whatever, it is just one I am really comfortable with for playing and electric and I have grown to love and my kind of go to guitar, two guitar is a Gibson 335, I have a couple of them, because when we do a full band I don’t have a guitar tech, so I have a couple for different guitar tunings.
RP: we were talking earlier on, that you listen to some rock growing up, can you tell us who your influences are?
TB: Yeah, I started off as a drummer so stuff like Led Zeppelin , like John Bonham and one of the first albums I got was Rush, the Moving Pictures album so that kind of opened up my eyes to a whole new world of drumming, I had never heard drumming like Neil Peart did on that album you know so, I love seventies rock.
There’s a lot of influences and a lot of genres that I love anything with good melody, lyrics or music, there always something you can find to take away from certain songs.
RP: can you tell us where is the best place for us to find more information on yourself and where we can buy and download your music.
TB: Well the single is on I Tunes and we worked out with the record label and management to work out a deal so we could put out five demo’s on to Spotify for all the people that were asking for music, it is like a random, so there’s five songs that I have had for a while so I put them on Spotify and there’s some You Tube Videos of some stripped down stuff, but I think over all, any social media, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook you can keep up dated.
Tucker also told us that he hopes to get back over with his band to the UK by the end of the year, fingers crossed.
We would like to thank Tucker for taking the time to speak to us and wish him all the luck with his latest single Rock On. We will also place the interview audio on our page for you to hear.
Interview : JPG Rockfiend Publication Scotland.
One of my favourite bands growing up that kinda got me in to guitar playing in the first place was Blink 182 and believe it or not, I love them for Travis Barkers drumming , but then slipped into what they were playing guitar and started picked up on that stuff.
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HRH FESTIVAL UK REVIEW BY COLIN CAMPBELL HRH United AOR & Sleaze Havon Y Mor North Wales 10th March-12th March
So a couple of years back I was thinking to my self the music I love was hanging on by it’s fingernails, with so much mass produced rubbish coming out no one seemed to want to hear real music, never mind rock music. I should have known better, in the last year, we have had album after album of amazing music come out and festivals and concerts that have restored my belief that I am not alone on this rock planet. I grew up 12 miles away from where this event happened, I remember having to travel to Manchester if I wanted to see a band and now the UK travels to Wales and with good reason. We travelled down from Scotland looking forward to this amazing line up and having never attended the HRH festivals before, I was more than a bit curious what it was going to be like as I know the site and was not sure what to expect. How would they turn this summer time holiday camp that is use to face painting and hi-di-ho entertainment to a rock festival. I needn’t have worried, in fact that is a bit of an understatement, I was blown away with how brilliantly it was all set up. On Arrival you were met with friendly faces and and lots of help to get you where you needed to go, fun entertainment while you waited in line, which moved so quickly that it was almost upsetting as you had not got the chance to take it all in. I did
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notice that people where getting their packs and they obviously have a huge repeat customer base as it was almost like family’s meeting up again. In the lobby there was a great big chair, like something out of Game of Throwns and the festival Merchandise stall. We left it too late this year so we had arranged accommodation off site, but from walking around, you can see this is the way to go, great accommodation, everything you need on site and always someone to direct you to the place you need to be. When walking around the site it was like a thousand small parties and you could just feel the joy and fun pouring out of the place. The main areas also really well set up, with a Rock Market with everything from music to your favourite badge or even hand crafted jewellery. The area was split in to three venues, you had the Board-walk, which had the Sleaze and Doom shared stage and Metal Market in, the main Hall which had all the AOR acts in and then over the bridge down by the Mash and Barrel the Metal Hammer stage all within easy walking distance without the muddy grass to contend with.
So now you have a basic feel to the place lets talk about the three days of great music and atmosphere. As soon as I saw this bill I knew it was going to be good. We came to cover mainly the AOR and Sleaze part of the festival, but there is so much to see, you can’t help but checking out some of the other acts. On the Thursday with everyone arriving that day the bands started mid afternoon, giving people time to find their way around. Titled as the AOR pre party started with the band Toi , I caught a bit of the show, but you have to understand that with so much going on and people to see we did not get the chance to watch all of the bands on the first day. The main attraction of day one was
not heard them before, but glad I got the chance to catch them, thoroughly enjoyed their set. Unfortunately it had been a long day so we did not manage to stay for Captain Black Beard, but something else that is great about this festival is that it keeps going till much later than most.
the Quireboys but I had been recommended to get there early and take in some of the bands before. I am glad I did, Knock Out Kane were great entertainment and got the room right in the mood for the party the Quireboys brought, it was (and pardon the pun here) Rocking. We watched it with the guys from the Australian band The Radio Sun, well I did, my partner in crime was talking to Nathan James, who also was here to enjoy the weekend with the rest of us. The Quireboys never seem to fail to entertain and really sounded amazing, playing the classics and starting the first of many sing alongs of the weekend. They were then Followed by The V,
So Came Friday and the atmosphere was electric about the place. There was so much we wanted to see that we were bouncing from stage to stage, which is exactly what should happen at a good festival, with a healthy helping of beer in-between. We started watching Scottish band Estrella, who were great and full of energy. It was like I had taken a time machine and gone back to the gig of the late eighty’s. They have the edge of a modern Heavy Pettin about them and I will make sure I check them out again. We caught a bit of Iconic Eye, but we had some interviews lined up, but what we saw was good. I made sure we were back at the main AOR Stage for Kane’d, which had been highly recommended to me and my god they did not disappoint. The place was jumping, they had the crowd eating out of there hands and they sounded amazing. I could not help but have a big grin on my face, as you could already tell this was going to be one of those epic festival nights. The Blood Red Saints also put on a good set and then there was the delay. Russ Ballard had been caught up in traffic and was going to be fifteen minutes late, which turned into forty. No one seemed to be bothered about it, as it was well worth the wait. I don’t think I realised how many great songs that the man had written, we got a rendition of God Gave Rock n Roll to You and New York Grove as well as Since you’ve Been Gone. This put a knock on affect to the night which meant, there was a bit of stage bouncing needed doing. I popped over to see the mighty Tyla & the Dogs who as per usual were not disappointing and then back to see probably the highlight of the whole weekend
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Tyketto. They did the whole of the Don’t Come Easy album, back to front. The place was electric, everyone singing and dancing and absolutely packed to the gunnel’s and my god they where loud.Danny sounded great and spoke of the excitement of going in to the Studio on the Monday to record a new album. I then went over to catch Reckless Love, who are just a party band, and the flow that was jumping from one stage to the other and back again showed this. We finished the night Watching the Classic Joe Lynn Turner, who put in a solid show.
So came the Saturday, feeling a bit worn out by how good the Friday was I was glad that there was a Starbucks on site. After my caffeine kick in, we arrived early so we could see an acoustic set for the VIPs by the Radio Sun. This was great and today being the only European date they were doing this year, I wanted to catch as much as we could of them. We left here to see the much promised band The Teenage Casket Company fronted by Rob Wylde also of Tigertailz and Tribute band Poizon, you could definitely hear the Bret Michaels in his voice, the room filled up after a slow start and the crowd seemed to enjoy the set. On the AOR Main Stage the first band of another epic day was The Radio Sun. Never having seen them before, but being a fan of the music, I was looking forward to this one, oh my, I was not disappointed, they sounded great and I am sure there were a few more fans by the end of the show. Really tight and great melodies. Most the bands through the afternoon were good with a special mention for Newman, who did a great set. Marvel Seemed a bit lost on me, the singer took great joy in saying they had been playing together
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only for three days and whilst, I am sure there were those who enjoyed it, it just was not my cup of JD. Dan Reed Network were simply phenomenal, they had so much energy and humour and were note perfect, even the little bit of feedback that they had was corrected straight away as Dan was singer and roadie, adjusting the amps and mainly turning them up.Really can’t wait for the new album out in June. Then Came the Day head-liner Quiet Riot, fronted by Jizzy Pearl, they sounded solid, running through the hits and you could see Frankie was having a ball, grinning behind that drum kit. It all finished off
with the seasoned polish of Gilby Clarke, playing a very Bluesy set, with a couple of Rolling stone numbers thrown in. Thus came to an end an mazing weekend of music and fun. If you have not been to one of these festivals before, I would recommend this 100% to you. AlI I would say, is tell your boss you need a couple of days to recover on the other side, roll on next year.
Words: JPG Pics: CC Rockfiend Publication Scotland.
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Gunplay in Guadalajara Rex Maurice Oppenheimer ©2016 I was a 16 year-old high school dropout, had a three-day growth of black stubble covering my face and was starring drunkenly into the bathroom mirror. I’d been reading an interview with Shel Silverstein in Playboy, where he’d spun some stories about Mexico. I had a brown Mexican cigarette called a Negrito hanging from my lips, and I liked the guy looking back at me in the mirror; I couldn’t be him where I was, but perhaps in Mexico.
A few months earlier I had met my father, whom I hadn’t seen since I was eight, at my grandparents’ apartment in New York. He’d been living in Mexico for the past six years and was in New York trying to sell some Pre-Columbian art. My father seemed cool. He let me smoke and drink, and he had invited me to visit him in Guadalajara. I was ready to go.
I told my mother about my plans and wrote to my father telling him that I was coming. There was no answer. I wrote again, and still no reply.
My mother wasn’t happy that I’d dropped out of school, and she wasn’t thrilled with the idea of her 16-year-old son disappearing into Mexico. But as a single mother of two, back then when there was no sort of government aid, or much societal help, and struggling to survive and succeed, she was overwhelmed by my lifestyle choices, which included demonstrating for civil rights, having a 20-year old African-American girlfriend, hanging out in the projects with dubious characters and getting arrested for minor consumption. So she relented and sent my father a telegram. He didn’t answer that either.
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Undaunted, I packed a bag, went down to the Greyhound station in Phoenix and climbed aboard a bus bound for the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
Crossing into Mexico I bought a bus ticket to Guadalajara, via Las Mochis and Mazatlan, and headed to a little café for a taco and a few beers. Taking in the spicy smells and the aura of dust and sunlight punctuated by darting black eyes, I sensed what could be the beginning of a fantastic adventure. I enjoyed the slight sense of disorder. Things seemed looser, and it was good to be sitting there ordering beer with impunity. I felt like an adult; I felt free, and I felt great.
On the ride down to Mazatlan I happened to sit next to the only other American on the bus. He was in his early twenties, and with his sandy blond hair hanging down over his forehead he seemed easy-going and friendly. I listened transfixed as he told me that he was on his way back to La Paz where he had been hanging out on a ranch with someone named Timothy Leary, experimenting with this stuff called LSD.
This was 1965; I was sixteen years old, and although I’d been hanging out with “cool black cats,” drinking and going to jazz clubs, I had never used any drugs. In fact when it came to drugs my head would play a tape of an old “Armstrong Circle Theater” program I’d seen on TV when I was about 11. In it this kid’s big brother, who was a jazz musician, started smoking marijuana and ended up hooked on heroin. In my mind, drugs, any drugs, meant addiction, and marijuana was a well-advertised gateway to harder drugs and hard times.
Zapopan was a rather small village. The was just off the plaza, which was centered in front of the Catedral de Zapopan, which was the home of the Virgin de Zapopan, the second most famous virgin in all of Mexico, and the site of a rather large annual pilgrimage.
The plaza was the center of village activity. The ornate cathedral lined one side, the others were filled with restaurants, bars and shops, and the sidewalk, as well as the small park it surrounded, was full of people sitting on benches, strolling or But my seatmate was telling me about playing buying roasted ears of corn, fresh fruit, or other softball while tripping on LSD, and how he could see treats offered by the many vendors. In the evening every stitch in the ball as it left the pitcher’s hand couples, young and old, would stroll arm in arm. and traveled toward him in slow motion. I don’t remember much else of our conversation, except that he also made marijuana sound very intriguing. I had no idea how to find my father. My Spanish was Just days ago I’d been a teenager in the Phoenix suburbs, now sitting on a bus rolling down the Mexican coastline my whole world was changing. Listening and somehow relating to this guy, my resistance and disinterest in drugs crumbled. “Where could I get some of this marijuana?” I asked him. I remember him saying that when I met some Americans living in Mexico he was sure I’d find some.
When I arrived in Guadalajara I discovered my suitcase wasn’t on the bus. I reported it to the bus line’s office at the station and was told it probably didn’t make the changeover at Mazatlan, and it would arrive soon. Carrying all I had, a small wooden art box filled with brushes and paints, I got on a local bus from Guadalajara to Zapopan, where my father lived.
I was shocked to find out that the address I had for him, Poste Restante, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, wasn’t an address at all. It just meant for the to hold his mail until he collected it, and he hadn’t picked it up for almost a week.
almost nonexistent, and being an ignorant 16-yearold, my idea of a Mexican was someone with dark skin, hair and eyes and the typical combination of Spanish and Indian features. So, when I saw an older man, with white skin and European features, dressed in a white shirt and dark slacks, I approached him, speaking English. To my surprise, he answered in Spanish, and then in heavily accented, broken English.
After I explained my dilemma to him, he suggested that I check out nearby Colonia de Seattle, where many gringos lived. He was kind enough to give me directions.
Not knowing where my father lived, or even if he was still in Mexico, and only having less than a hundred dollars to my name, was worrying, but I shrugged it off. Everything was new, and I was excited to discover what lay ahead.
When I jumped off the bus in Colonia Seattle, I found myself in a sprawling neighborhood of adobe residences, most surrounded by walls and gardens. I set out walking along the dirt road when I heard someone call out to me in English, “Come and join us.”
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In my mind I didn’t really have a choice. I told Salena that I’d just wait for him. As she drove off, I sat down in a chair beside his door, and waited.
There were two couples, at least my father’s age or older, sitting around a patio table enjoying the fine weather, each other’s company, Tequila and sangria. I was pleasantly surprised when they offered me a drink. They didn’t know my father but said that I could use the bathroom in the club and sleep on a bench in the Plaza; two days later I finally saw my faSalena would soon be there and maybe she knew ther enter through the gate, walk toward his aparthim. ment and then see me sitting there. He said that he almost had a heart attack, and that may have been true. He was certainly surprised. It’s funny, because Salena, who soon arrived and joined us for a drink, at the time I don’t think I understood why. I mean I was Salena Royle, a respected Broadway actress had told him I was coming. I’d sent two letters and a who had appeared in many plays. She acted in a few telegram stating as much. films in the 1940s, playing Ingrid Bergman’s mother in the 1948 movie, “Joan of Arc;” It was Salena who introduced Spencer Tracy to producer George M. The apartment was small and funky. It had two Cohan. bedrooms, so I had a place to stay. The disorder and uncleanliness was probably a sign of my father’s unsettledness. A German Jew, who had escaped Salena played several roles on television in the early from Hitler at the age of 16, giving up a rather plush 1950s, but her acting career never recovered from life in Hamburg to work in a zipper factory outside her refusal to testify before Senator Joe McCarthy’s of London, he had been scrambling to gain a footHouse Un-American Activities Committee in 1951. hold somewhere ever since. What was more important to me at the time was that Salena did know my father, and she knew where he lived. It wasn’t long before we were in her car bumping along the dusty, dirt roads of Colonia Seattle heading back to Zapopan.
We pulled up in front of a bar called “La Club Zapopan,” which looked almost directly across at the stately cathedral on the other side of the village square. Salena and I entered a gate in a wall beside the club, crossed a little brick courtyard and knocked on the door of my father’s apartment. After knocking several times and receiving no answer, Salena spoke in Spanish to a man going back and forth from the club to another home at the rear of the courtyard.
“He says your father hasn’t been home for several days,” she told me.
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His aura of culture and charm belied his lack of formal education, and his facile intellect and quick parlance masked his desperate longings. Insignificant jobs had come and gone. Stabs at artistic endeavors fell victim to that same lack of self-discipline, patience and perseverance.
Mexico had offered the chance to follow a Bohemian trail, perhaps to write, or get swept up in a romantic vision. He hadn’t been that lucky. Some short stories sold, but the rejections had worn away much of his meager drive.
He had happened into an opportunity to acquire some Pre-Columbian Art, which he took to New York and sold. This had been quite profitable, and had at least eased some of the financial insecurity and stress. Finding a life that could satisfy his ego was another story.
My father told me that his girlfriend Alice, who some years later became his third wife, was out of the country. “She wants to get married,” he told me, “I don’t want to do that, but I don’t know what to tell her.”
“Why don’t you tell her the truth?” I asked. “You can think of a good truth,” I smiled. My father thought my quip was witty, and he began to feel a little more comfortable about my being there.
Among the first of my father’s friends that I met were Allen and his wife Beverly. Allen was an artist. He looked like a beatnik or incipient Hippie and had a very cool house out in Ajijic near Lake Chapala. After touring the house and taking in his artwork, we went up on the roof. I don’t remember the conversation, but there was a great view out over the lake, and I got totally smashed on Ponche made from fresh strawberries and 190 proof pure cane alcohol.
When we got home, remembering what my seatmate on the bus had said, I asked my father if he thought Allen might have some marijuana. My father laughed and asked why.
“I’d like to try some,” I said. He laughed again. “I’ve got some,” he replied, smiling like the Cheshire Cat.
He prepared a couple of joints. Never having done drugs I was expecting a sensation more akin to getting drunk, and when I first got stoned I didn’t even realize it. “Do you feel anything?” my father asked. “I don’t think so,” I answered, “but I’m really hungry.”
My father cooked some pork with a sauce he made from condensed milk and tequila. It tasted like the best food I’d ever eaten. We sat there listening to a tiny transistor radio, which was hanging from a nail in the wall. I felt as if I was hearing a fantastic
concert and consuming a gourmet meal. I was stoned. This new sensation was one that would continue to enthrall, inspire and nearly destroy me for years to come.
Mexico enchanted me. This was the beginning of my love affair with the third world, which would carry me throughout Asia and the Pacific in years to come. I loved the colors and clarity in the unadulterated atmosphere. The combination of primitive and modern and the lower economic standards made things feel less threatening and more accessible. My resources were severely limited, and being able to buy a taco for eight cents, a beer for less than a quarter and cigarettes for a nickel made me feel functional. I could stroll through the marketplace or around the plaza and buy some fresh fruit, stop for a beer, walk into a restaurant and order a meal, or pull up to a bar and order a drink. It was as though I had a life.
I met Romo at Rocky’s house. Rocky was an American studying medicine in Guadalajara, and almost every time I hung out with him and his friends they all said, “you have to meet Romo.”
It now turned out that they had been telling Romo that he had to meet me. Romo was also a medical student. Rather than another gringo, however, Romo was Mexican, and he spoke perfect English.
He said that he knew of a great party being held in Guadalajara. So the three of us got a bus and headed off for the city.
The party was being held in a club that had been closed to the public for the event. Smoke swirled through the darkness, which sparkled with bright dresses on pretty girls and echoed with tinkling glasses, music and happy chatter. It was like a movie to me. I had finally joined The Rat Pack.
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Although it was a private party, the bartender was selling drinks. But as far as I was concerned, it was at Mexican prices, which seem a low tariff to enter this dream world. Soon I was drinking and dancing with a beautiful girl, her agate-colored eyes were sparking and my desire was blazing.
Suddenly a loud gunshot made everyone freeze, Commotion broke out, and panic started to spread.
“We’ve got to get out of here,” Romo said, as we hurried through the terrified crowd.
“What happened?” I asked.
“Someone pulled a gun on the bartender because he was charging for the drinks. We’ve gotta split. The cops are coming.”
I grabbed a bottle of rum from a table as we raced for the door.
Neon lights were flashing in the Guadalajara night, as the flood of frantic people poured from the bar. Everyone was calling for taxis and running to cars as police sirens drew ever closer.
I followed Romo as he ran to an Aston Martin parked at the curb. He spoke quickly in Spanish to the driver, a dapper young man, who had just jumped behind the wheel. A passenger occupied the other seat in the small, hot car, but Romo said, “come on,” and the three of us climbed on the trunk, sitting with our backs against the rear window and our feet down on the bumper bar, we took off through the neon-smeared city streets.
I should have felt frightened and unsure. I had felt that way, although I rarely if ever showed it, most of my life. But that was when I was in school, or had
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to contemplate how to forge a future in the world. In situations like this, or when I’d been drinking and partying with my African-American friends in South Phoenix, I was most comfortable. The unfamiliar always offered me hope. Even when it may have seemed dangerous, I was eager to find something new and different.
Laughing and passing the bottle of rum between us, we careened along the Guadalajara streets until we pulled up in front of the imposing façade of a grand old house.
A beautiful woman, dark hair cascading onto her shoulders, which were bare above the low-cut red dress that also revealed the upper half of her soft, café-con-leche-colored breasts, greeted us with a welcoming smile. Gently embracing the owner of the Aston Martin, with what seemed like genuine affection and great familiarity, she was soon joined by three other girls, equally beautiful although much younger than our hostess.
The three young ladies, smiling and laughing, took our arms and led us to an adjoining room, where we were ushered onto comfortable couches. Soon two other girls arrived, each carrying a large tray, from which they placed bottles of various liquors, glasses and plates of tantalizing treats on an exquisitely hammered brass table.
“Where are we?” I asked Romo. “It’s a bordello,” he said, “one of the best.”
My immature ego responded immediately, “But there were so many fine women at the party. We don’t need to come here.”
In my 16-year-old mind the only reason a man went to a hooker was because he couldn’t get a woman.
But Romo said, “It doesn’t matter. This is a time for the men to drink and talk; the girls are just here to serve us.”
Watching the beautiful women topping up our drinks, replenishing the snacks and hovering over us as we sat talking and laughing on the comfortable couches, I felt a little like the guest of an Arab sheik.
The fantasy came to an abrupt end as several policemen flung open the door and rushed in to surround us. Shouting at us in Spanish, they ordered us to stand and put our hands above our heads. I didn’t understand them, but just nervously followed whatever Romo was doing.
Another higher-ranking policeman sauntered in. Circling the room, he looked each of us up and down, and barked a command. The other cops started to frisk us.
“What’s going on?” I asked Romo. “Don’t worry,” he said, “They are just looking for weapons.”
By this time I was pretty drunk, the whole evening had been almost dreamlike, and while the policemen were all armed and had the authority to arrest us, their deportment was also comical. In my mind I had dubbed the chubby head cop “Sgt. Garcia,” after the portly character on “Zorro.”
of officiousness and authority. There was a quick exchange in Spanish. The suave young man held back his other lapel and nodded to the sergeant who gently removed a wallet from the driver’s inside pocket. He opened the wallet. His chest seemed to deflate in reverse proportion to his eyes widening.
Suddenly, he clicked his heels and brought all of his men to attention. Saluting our host, he handed the wallet and the Beretta back to him with a bow, and marched his rag-tag troop of officers out of the room.
“What the hell is going on?” I stammered.
Romo was laughing as he told me the story. It was simple. Our host had seen the movie “Goldfinger,” and he wanted to be James Bond. His father was one of the richest men in Mexico, and he’d pulled strings and had his son made a member of the Mexican Secret Service.
“He doesn’t really do anything for the secret service,” said Romo. “He just has the Beretta, the Aston Martin and the credentials.”
And so my night of fantasy-tinged reality ended with the clinking of glasses and the loose laughter of relief.
Romo’s calm put me somewhat at ease. That changed as one of the cops reached under the jacket of the driver of the Aston Martin. He immediately called to Sgt. Garcia and pulled back the sport coat to reveal a leopard skin shoulder holster. Holding his own gun on Romo’s friend, the young cop pulled a Beretta from the holster.
The owner of the Aston Martin smiled at the sergeant who was puffing himself up with a sense
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N O I T C N U J S ’ Y N HN
Be Kind to Yourself The Past is dust in the wind, Nothing more. It is often the past, that we carry like a heavy chain around our neck. If we spend time regretting the past, then we bring yesterday’s problems into our future as well. We all have regrets. Things we have said and done that we wish we could take back. Sometimes we hold a grudge against others and others will hold a grudge against us. It could just last overnight, maybe a week, a month, a year or it could even last a lifetime. I, myself couldn’t possibly hold a grudge 6 hours. It would eat me alive. Once I had a cousin hold a grudge against me for over a year. I was tore up about it. It all started with a joke. But he thought it was a joke when I was being serious. I won’t get into that because it could come back and bite me in the arse. When we live in the past, we become plagued by regrets and guilt. By constantly reliving the past, we cannot change what has gone before. If we have made mistakes in the past, we should not feel that this is our permanent reality. Focus instead, on the present moment and see how you can improve and go forward. It is only by focusing on the present and doing the right thing, that we can learn from the past. Don’t feel bad for what you can’t control. Seek help from a higher power if you must because sometimes that is the only help you will find. It is easy to look at the world and be upset by the injustices and problems of the world. But, we shouldn’t allow ourself to become depressed over things we have no control over. This doesn’t mean we are indifferent to the world’s problems. If we feel the motivation, we should do something positive to promote the truth, kindness and goodness; but we also have to know our limits, we are not responsible for the direction of the world. A feeling of indispensability puts too much pressure on ourself. We have all tried to juggle several things at once. We also know how stressful and difficult this is. Sometimes when we try to do several things at once, we give ourselves an exaggerated feeling of self importance. However, don’t pile pressure on yourself; value simplicity and do one thing at a time. When you focus on only your current activity, you are not only being kind to yourself; but, also will be able to do things much more effectively. An inevitability of life is peaks and troughs. Sometimes it is difficult to progress and achieve how we would like. Some days are just difficult. If we accept these ‘season’s of inner and outer challenges it is easier to go with the flow – rather than feel we are fighting the universe. Sometimes, it’s a matter of hanging in there, staying true and waiting for more appropriate conditions to move forward. If we have this patience and willingness to wait for best time, it is easier to be kind to ourself. Don’t seek to meet the expectations of others. Some people can be quite demanding and place unrealistic expectations on us. Don’t feel obliged to meet the expectations of others. If you try to please everyone, you will always be striving for an unattainable goal. Remember Your positive contributions.
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DAZED: The Film COMING 2016....Based on the ramblings of Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) during my time with him. All they want is love; but with damage done, they choose a needle instead. From author Nikki Palomino The DAZED Novel Series, Coming Cobain Junk, The Underground Diaries, Blackbird New Haven Publishing Ltd UK and a collaboration with the biggest pot smuggler in US history, the True Crime book “The Gentleman Smuggler” by Steven M. Kalish and Nikki Palomino Available:http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_12… https://www.facebook.com/dazed.novel.series/timeline https://www.facebook.com/DAZEDGrungeRockerAuthor https://www.facebook.com/groups/dazedraioshow/ https://www.facebook.com/dazedradio https://www.facebook.com/groups/506370846059672/ Starring: Matt Mercer,Carlos Ramzey Ramirez, Bergandi Phoenix, 98 | Steel Notes Magazine
Palmer Davis, Ruben Pla, Dave Johansen, cameos Ginger Coyote, Johnny Ray, Avina Richard, Ashley Evans, Alfred Jiminez and more... Genre: Based on DAZED Novel Series by Nikki Palomino from the ramblings of 3 junkie musicians, most notably Kurt Cobain and why those most disposable should matter. Directed By: Director,Cinematographer Jason Herring with CBS’ Mike& Molly, formerly Will&Grace American TV. Editor, Director Cinematographer Ezra Spurrier TV and Film FIlm Assistant & Publicist Ashley Evans Music: Brian Kroll “Don’t Play Dead” Release Date: 2016 http://www.nikkipalomino.com/
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Kathy Mattea - Sellersville Theatre 5/11/2016 PHOTOS BY BOB KLEIN
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Presentz an interview w/ drummer and recording engineer Mick Oakleaf
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music is the language that transcends all!!
MBW: We already know you’re an awesome guy and drummer ‘Que Perfecto!” ... so let’s skip to the punch ... right away when folks think of drummers the first thing they automatically flash back on is their mother’s pots and pans closet spilling out on the kitchen tiles ... crash boom bang ... daddy gets all riled and we try not to do it again ... but then comes the potential Buddy Miles ... with style ... who turns it into fun and an outlet of all kinds of pent up frustration and with this crazy idea about turning it all into a career ... I mean where would we all be without the beat, dude ???
Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of All Ages ... My name is Marlowe B West and I am your Ring Leader ... I was strolling through Manhattan one day ... in the merry merry month of May ... when it came to mind ... I mean someone screwed the light bulb in ... and B-I-N-G-O ... I got this whirlpool of an idea ... That someone was my great buddy, New York City’s most sensational guitarist, Joff Wilson ... Joff knew I was looking for a drummer and suggested Mick Oakleaf ... and bam bam pow ba ba boom ... I’ve been so happy and pleased with this guy who showed up when I really needed a drummer ... and thought ... “How about I should show my appreciation and turn everybody onto this new discovery”... so here he is ... I bring you Mick ...
Yes!! I did that!! Banging on pots and pans with wooden spoons before I started drum lessons when I was ten years old. My mom is a classical pianist so I started with Piano when I was eight.
MBW: Would you mind telling us your version ???
MO: I was a big fan of the Monkeys and The Beatles. Soon I discovered The Who (Live at Leeds), The Doors (Light My Fire) , Iron Butterfly (In a Gadda Da Vida).
After that it was Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jimi Hendrix, and so many others.
Hey Mick ... Care to say a few kind words to the great big wonderful whirled out there ???
I studied electronic music in eighth grade and that was a huge influence as well.
Yes, thank you Marlowe for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this!! Life is wonderful and
I come to find you have been around and around the block quite a number of times and years ... you
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and the Archangels, The Bowery Boys, Phoebe Legere, Puma Perl, Tom Fitzpatrick, Val Kinzler (Validation),Binx, Brett Smiley, who sadly passed recently, and Rick Blaze, who passed a few years ago, Gary Knox, Jill Wisoff, and others. I’m probably leaving some out and apologize.
MBW: I have always admired the ambidexterity and importance of keeping time ... I’ve studied tap dance where similar talents are, applied and even more so, required ... and there is something even sacred about the drums ... the beat ... we all share the tribal familiarity ... it comes from deep within ... like the heart ... pumping blood ... and generating some prehistoric emotion called love ... what has drawn you into becoming a serious drummer ???
MO: It was seeing Ringo Star on the Ed Sullivan show and seeing some older kids who played drums when I was growing up. I thought, I want to do that!!!
wanna bring us up to date ???
MO: A couple of days ago I did a recording session of a Christmas song, I’ve Got My Eye on you Santa, with Anne Leighton and Roberta Pickett. Last weekend I played with Phoebe Legere and Tom Fitzpatrick at Stephen Talkhouse way out in Long Island. Currently, I’m playing with you, Marlowe B West Takez Manhattan & The Brooklyn Horns, The Paul Anthony Project, Dennis Doyle and Density, and Eve Blackwater and the Alligators. Others I’ve played with in the past few years include Comic Ray and The Cosmic Blues Band, Lee Lawless, Rick Eckerle
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Oh Yaa !!! ... I definitely remember the ‘Ringo thrill’ ... especially that single drum beat after John’s harmonica solo in Love Me Do ... Do you have any particular drummer heroes ... if so what makes them stand out in your opinion ???
MO: Sure, Billy Cobham, Carl Palmer, Cozy Powell, Danny Cary (Tool), and Jerry Marrotta. I have a feeling there are others I’m leaving out. Speed, power, technique, playing in the groove to the song, are things I look for. Billy Cobham recorded at Kampo Studios in September of 2008. I got to spend time with him, also attending his show and drum clinic at The Blue Note. It was amazing and I learned so much. I was star struck!! I also met Cozy Powell soon after he played with Keith Emerson and
Greg Lake in the mid eighties. He was very nice and so humble for such an amazing drummer. He talked quite a bit about his work with ELP.
studios I’ve worked at; Unique Recording, Sigma Sound, Right Track Recording, Howard Schwartz Recording, Sony Studios, and Kampo Studios which I managed for four years until 2010. More recently I installed an audio post production room at The Field (The Field Social) in Manhattan. I also filled in as an audio post engineer there. Currently I’m doing freelance work for Flux Studios in the East Village.
Totally awesome ... Joff had originally mentioned something about you having your own recording studio ... that could put us on a whole other track ... Is that so ... and if so ... It sounds like you have music MBW: thick in your blood ... Do you care to move on to other subjects ... Where do we go from here ??? ... that’s wonderful ... I love the studio like crazy ... always enjoy recording studio stories and would love to hear some of yours ??? MO: Well, I have a small home studio and have worked as a pro audio engineer since 1981 starting with Weisberg Sound which was located at 99 Wooster St. in SOHO. I also do mastering. Some of the
MO: There are so many. I’ve met many famous people and most were very nice. One who wasn’t was
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Rodney Dangerfield. I politely asked for his autograph after a smooth sound check for a live show at Hofstra University that I mixed. He said “Get out of here kid. You’re bothering me”! I was twenty five and didn’t ask again.
also sang the low chant on it too. In 1996 I did a film score for “To The Manor Born” which was part of the “Passion and Romance” series shown on Cinemax at the time.
What functions do you do in the studio besides drums ???
Wowz, dude ... I love Val & James ... I will definitely go check out that Apocalyptic # and glad to hear that you sing as well ... Can you tell us about some of the recordings you’ve done ... and are they accessible ???
I’m an engineer, but have mainly been a tech in studios, repairing equipment, installing, wiring, construction, etc. I also still play and own keyboards and synthisizers.
Aside from those I just mentioned I played in a punk band in 1979 called The Nothing. Scream and Cry and Uniformz were on a single we released. You can find it and many on YouTube. Other bands I’ve played with that have recordings; Electroflex, Disturbed Furniture, Antonia and the Operators, The Poorboys, The Underground Army, Wendy Leeds, Gary Knox, Paintbox, Krave, Validation on Val Kinzler’s ReverbNation page and more recently Phoebe Legere’s Acadian Moon. Paul Anthony, who I’ve played with longer than anybody, has a CD in the works which will be released on The Tate Music Group label. I play on all the songs on it.
MBW: Are you also a songwriter ???
MO: Yes, I collaborated with Val Kinzler (VKB) and James Adams (Snake Monsters) in Validation. One of these days, the tracks we did will be released. I am most proud of the dark, ominous sounding, “Apocalyptic Vibe on the Lower East Side” track which you can hear on Val’s Reverb Nation page. I
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music with all the good people I’ve worked with and the support of my family.
MBW: I also tend to indulge a bit further... whenever possible ... in my ‘Marlowe B West Takez Manhattan’ interviews by conducting a personal survey ... one question I like to ask Manhattan musicians is what clubs they’ve played ???
MO: OMG, so many. This goes back… BB Kings, Webster Hall and The Ritz, Studio 54, Bonds, Privates, Danceteria, The Peppermint Lounge, Heat, CBGB’s, Max’s Kansas City, Continental, Hurrahs, TR3, Trudy Hellers, Under Acme, Sidewalk, Wildhorse Tavern, Otto’s Shrunken Head, Rosendale Cafe, The Underground in Boston where I met my wife Sue with recording engineer, Steve Remote and most recently Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett with Phoebe Legere and Tom Fitzpatrick. The list goes on. It’s more like, where haven’t I played!! My apologies to those I’ve left out.
MBW: Joff Wilson and I rode with you in your car to the TV studio in Staten Island to do the Island Hop Show featuring Marlowe B West Takez Manhattan and The Brooklyn Horns ... Along the way there you were telling us about how you moved to New York ... I’d like for you to share that story with our readers ???
MBW: Super impressive, Mick Oakleaf ... would you like to possibly add anything else ???
MO: I am very blessed to be playing and recording
MO: I played in a country band called Jim Sharply and the Sharpsooters and then couple punk bands in Hartford, CT, The Hysterics and then Electroflex. The guitar player, Angel Electra (Dave Hames) quit and moved to NY. He and the singer, Trixz Sly (Torquill Smith) recruited me to play drums and I moved to NY in April of 1979. Ted E. Boy was the
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Bass Player . We also had Booby B. Wild on guitar. Later incarnations of the Nothing (Cyanide Sweeties) included Phil Schoenfeldt, Webster G. Smith, Shepherd Ginzberg, and Ed Rollin. We recorded MBW: the single in the summer of 1979 which was Judy I also enjoy asking questions about living and playDiBerardinoâ€™s school project. She got an A! The single ing in New York City ... Like how would you spend an has sold on eBay for around two thousand dollars! I entirely perfect day here in New York City ??? am leaving out some Iâ€™m sure, and apologize.
You are the most thoughtful and considerate young man ... Out of all your musical talents what do you like to do the most ???
Taking a walk in the park. Eating at some nice restaurants and hitting some shows .
MBW: MO: Playing the drums an acoustic kit! Second would be composing on keyboards.
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Naturally ... and my favorite question ... If I could grant you three wishes ... What would they be ???
MO: World peace and harmony, abundance for all, and restoring the damage done to mother earth.
MBW: I mustnâ€™t forget to find out where you can be reached ???
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Interview with Danny Peary: From the Silver Screen to our National Pastime By Jerry Saravia, Pseudo Film Critic Being a pre-teen in the early 1980’s, I regarded cinema as pure escapism. Discovering Universal Monster Movies such as “Dracula” with Bela Lugosi and any of the “Frankenstein” and “The Wolf Man” pictures from the 1930s and ‘40s on PBS was about as adventurous as a preliminary filmgoer as I got. At the public library, I discovered “Cult Movies,” written in 1981 by Danny Peary (along with J. Hoberman’s “Midnight Movies”), and suddenly my cinematic landscape not only opened, it pretty much burst at the seams. There were Peary’s long, opinionated essays on mainstream and classic films, such as “Enter the Dragon” and “Rio Bravo,” but there was also David Lynch’s signature debut film “Eraserhead” (a mind-opening reality that will literally shake your world), Hal Ashby’s brilliantly crude and equally humanistic “Harold and Maude,” John Waters’ champion of bad taste “Pink Flamingos,” and Werner Herzog’s “Aguirre, The Wrath of God” and other oddities that pissed off my father (which was a sign of my rebellion). Peary’s three “Cult Movies” volumes (the first volume is now celebrating its 35th anniversary) elicited readers’ curiosity about films that challenged and broke the rules, and took us along as he explored something deeper within the crevices that made them different and appealing. Peary wrote about these films with such passion and cunning attention to detail that it made
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Danny Peary, the author himself me think I could possibly write a critique about films as well. He opened a whole world I had slowly but surely discovered. Frankly, had it not been for him, I doubt that my whole family would have watched “Eraserhead” and contemplated its meaning and obscenely nightmarish images. And for all his books on “Cult Movies” (including“Cult Movie Stars”), in addition, he wrote “Guide for the Film Fanatic” (which has reviews of over 1650 films) and “Alternate Oscars” which has Peary’s yearly alternate Oscar choices for films from 1927 through 1991. Peary has also focused on another subject of appreciation: sports, especially a love for baseball. A noted baseball historian, Peary is the writer-researcher on the long-running national sports interview television program “The Tim McCarver Show,” and also has written three books with McCarver. Peary also collaborated with baseball Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner on his autobiography, “Baseball Forever,” and co-wrote “Roger Maris: Baseball’s Reluctant Hero” and “Gil Hodges: The Brooklyn Bums, The Miracle Mets and the Extraordinary Life of a Baseball Legend.” Most recent collaborations include working with Shannon Miller, an Olympic gold medalist and cancer survivor, on her memoir, “It’s Not About Perfect.” His newest book is “Jackie Robinson in Quotes: The Remarkable Life of Baseball’s Most Significant Player” featuring 3,000 quotes either about Robinson or by Robinson. So prepare to discover not only about Peary’s love for the silver screen but also for those bright shining stars from our national pastime. 1.) The Cult Movies Books have been major inspirations for me personally. I have seen many of the films you shared your thoughts on, some of which
are my favorite films of all time. What essentially makes a film cult-ish because you have mentioned that they are not necessarily box-office hits but rather films that are beyond the norm or the mainstream? Over time there have been non-Hollywood filmmakers, mostly outside of the U.S. but independent writer-directors (from John Cassavetes to Ed Wood), who intentionally made movies that were so different (out-of-the-mainstream) and/or personal and/or controversial that cult status, rather than box office success, was the most one could hope for. But in truth, with very few exceptions, nobody sets out to make a “cult movie.” By now we can recognize instantly that some out-the-mainstream films will become “cult movies”--we can say “that film has the “look” of a cult movie--but we never can be sure which films will disappear over time and which will be embraced by a rabid following and kept in circulation and as part of our movie discussion, essential viewing for film fanatics. And with these films, it doesn’t matter if they were initially mainstream films--certainly “Casablanca,” “Rebel Without a Cause,” “The Quiet Man,” “Sunset Boulevard,” “Some Like It Hot,” “Psycho” and even “The Wizard of Oz”--were originally made for the mass audience, but now enjoy the cult status of
midnight movies like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Eraserhead,” “El Topo,” “The Harder They Come,” and the current “The Room.” What unites all these movies I personally have called cult movies is that their fans see them repeatedly wherever they play and have the need to spread the word about them--whatever their genres, these are the films that can be written and talked about in relation to their fans. There is a communal element. 2.) Why did you specifically choose Cult Movies as a basis for three books plus a book on Cult Movie Stars? Many of the films I wrote about were personal favorites, including those that I have seen countless times since I was a kid—“The Searchers,” “Rebel Without a Cause,” “Land of the Pharaohs,” “Tarzan and His Mate,” “King Kong,” “Psycho.” I was part of their cults. But even those films I wasn’t crazy about I felt were important to other people and significant in movie history. I was also curious about exploring the midnight movie phenomenon of the time. My advantage as a critic was that I grew up loving all kinds of movies, from low budget noir and horror/sf films to silent and foreign films to highbrow critical favorites like “Citizen Kane,” so I could write about all kinds of movies with equal respect and expertise.
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David Lynch’s Eraserhead I wanted to bring a seemingly diverse group of into one book and show their connection (their rabid followings). I guess my contribution was creating a new genre: Cult Movies. 2a.) What would you classify as a cult movie now? In the last twenty years? The biggest change is that while filmmakers still don’t intend to make cult movies, independent filmmakers who submit their films to festivals are desperate for word-of-mouth and are so delighted when their films achieve any kind of cult status.
3.) Any cult films you would’ve loved to have critiqued in a new volume, given the opportunity? I am thinking Robert Altman’s often overlooked “Brewster McCloud.” I burnt out on writing essays on movies after “Guide for the Film Fanatic” and “Alternate Oscars” so I no longer have the urge to share my feelings about any particular films (though of course I still always tell younger film fans and filmmakers what movies I suggest they see), although I wish there were already-written chapters out there on such films as “The Big Lebowski,” “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Dirty Harry,” “Fight Club,” and many horror films. I am curious what I would have written. 4.) Are there any cult films you were dismissive of, such as “A Clockwork Orange,” that you feel differently about now? I am not dismissive of it, I think it’s an important film
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and urge everyone to see it. But as a big Kubrick fan, I just have problems with it, as I do with “The Shining,” which has a huge cult following. 5.) Why did you stop writing “Cult Movie” books? As I wrote above, I burnt out writing about movies and felt I was starting to repeat myself when I did “Alternate Oscars” because I was giving my awards to movies that I’d already written long essays about in the Cult Movies series. I also felt the movie world changed and I would no longer be helping people discover movies (I think a sense of discovery is essential for a movie to achieve cult status) but just writing about films they already saw. I also feel frustrated with new generations of so-called cinephiles and even critics who refuse to see any pre-1990 movies. That’s why I am very pleased Workman Publishing assembled 3 e-book volumes taking about 100 chapters from my cult movie books. I would like young moviegoers who never bought my books to seek out the Midnight Movies, Crime Movies, and Horror Movies ebooks. 5.) How did you first get involved as writer-researcher on the television interview show, “The Tim McCarver Show”? My childhood passions were movies, sports, television, and rock ‘n’ roll, so I’m lucky to have written about all of them. Tim McCarver and I are sharing our 30th anniversary of working together. We were represented by the same broadcast agency and started working together in 1986 when he was the analyst on the New York Mets, initially collaborating on a daily radio commentary show. And we stayed
together doing various projects including our first two books together in the late 1990s, “Tim McCarver’s Baseball for Brain Surgeons and Other Fans” and “The Perfect Season.” Then we did a radio interview show that in the early 2000s evolved into the TV sports interview show that still exists today. I write the scripts and provide him with the research so he can come up with questions for the guests. Our third book together, “Tim McCarver’s Diamond Gems,” takes excerpts from interviews with baseball guests over the years, from Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, and Hank Aaron, to Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and more current players. So I live in two worlds--sports and movies (although I don’t write essays I still do Q&A’s with movie talent for FilmInk (Aus) and “Danny Peary on Film” at Sag Harbor Express Online.)
6.) You have written several books on baseball and I am wondering what it is about baseball that fascinates you, particularly as a baseball historian. That’s too difficult a question to answer but I can say that movies and baseball in particular made my youth so much fun. There was always a thrill watching a movie or a game or opening a pack of baseball cards. My childhood baseball idol Vic Power was outside of my family the most important person of my youth. (And I’m still astonished that I met him when I was an adult when I decided to assemble a baseball book, “Cult Baseball Players,” that would allow me to approach him.) As a baseball fan/ historian, just as I am as a movie fan/historian, I try to spread my enthusiasm to others and let everyone know that each game of baseball and its entire history is so much better the more you know about it. It all tells a great story. 6a.) And what can we learn from your new book on Jackie Robinson, “Jackie Robinson in Quotes: The Remarkable Life of Baseball’s Most Significant Player”? I assembled between 2,500 and 3,000 quotes either about Jackie Robinson or by Jackie Robinson, from books, interviews, speeches, columns, letters, college yearbooks, cereal boxes, baseball cards, and videos to take readers through his life chronologically (1919 to 1972) and onward to today when he is celebrated more than ever. I thought I
knew everything before undertaking this enormous project, and I learned so much, so I have no doubt that readers will be surprised by what they read. One thing that surprised me was his tremendous fame as a football player at UCLA in 1939 and 1940. He was written about across the country in the New York Times. Yet we have always been told that when Dodgers president and general manager Branch Rickey signed him to be the first black in major league baseball in 1945 that he didn’t really know who Jackie was other than he starred in the Negro Leagues that year. It surprised me that Jackie did so well in the Negro Leagues with Kansas City after not having played baseball in five years! The big surprise to me was that Jackie didn’t die so young only because of the years of abuse he experienced as the majors’ first black ballplayer and diabetes, but equally because of what he went through after his career ended as a relentless crusader for social justice, integration leading to equal opportunity, elevated economic status, political clout, and firstclass citizenship for all blacks in America. He was right there with Martin Luther King on the frontlines and his battle continued throughout his life--and it took a tremendous toll. Robinson is honored today for his contributions to baseball that led to social change, but exactly his role in the civil rights movement and why he is so relevant today is lost on many people. I hope this book will confirm what a remarkable person he was.
7.) I noticed that a documentary about the influence of your film books exists or is in development. Are you involved in this project? I have never met the person doing this documentary, Brian Sauer, but he did a phone interview with me for a fanzine several years ago. He told me he was doing this project and I have provided him with contact information for a number of filmmakers who have said my books influenced their careers. He has interviewed a number of people on his own, which can be found online. He has been working on this for several years so I’m skeptical it will ever be done, but he insists it’s a work-in-progress. It’s flattering and a bit embarrassing at the same time. But it his HIS film, not mine!
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Album Review Various Artists, “Bongo Boy Records Presents: Backroom Blues, Volume Two” By: Dana Saravia – Life-long rock & roller, current music critic and Girl From Baltimore
The blues is a musical tradition that is rich in heritage and has been played far and wide for many years, influencing and informing many genres and musicians. Bongo Boy Records has curated a selection of diverse current independent artists in modern blues music, in styles ranging from traditional blues to blues inspired rock, for the second release inphoto the Backroom Blues compilation series. by Jerry Saravia
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The set begins with NYC/NJ blues scene veteran Jeanne Lozier’s contribution “Beg & Plead”. The wailing harmonica and grinding groove combine with rough, raw, emotional vocals to create a song reminiscent of something off Big Brother and the Holding Company’s first album with Janis as played with a harder rock sound. Not only makes a good introduction to this artist, but to this compilation as well.
Web Site: https://www.reverbnation.com/jeannelozier FB: https://www.facebook.com/jlozier Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jeannelozier
From their name alone, Asbury Park, NJ’s Rocket 88 proudly show their adoration for blues, r&b and the roots of rock & roll. With their cover of Slim Harpo’s “Shake Your Hips”, they prove their love of performing and bringing classics to a current audience. Their version gets the groove going with only guitar and minimal rhythm section, then blasts off mid tune to create a party number with a classic feel and great energy.
Web Site: https://www.reverbnation.com/rocket884 FB: https://www.facebook.com/rocket884 NJ’s RB3 The Red Bank Blues Band are next with their song “Wonder If”. RB3 have a traditional blues sound, but add a modern twist with the help of their female lead vocalist. Lyrics such as “Wonder if you recognize me up here on the stage” and “Honey, Jack don’t keep me warm at night” have an added bite and sass when delivered by lead vocalist Lisa Coppola. The fun, boozy beat and hot harmonica help make this track lively and fun.
Though NJ’s Mike Daly is best known for his power pop performances with the band Every Damn Day, he has put together Mike Daly & The Planets to perform blues inspired rock. Their contribution “Broken” is a hard driving number that combines a Stevie Ray Vaughn influence with hard rock. The lyrics “You can’t break a man/That’s already broken” are a fine example of mixing the blues tradition with a harder, modern sound on this propulsive track.
Web Site: https://mikedaly.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/dalyplanets
Web Site: http://www.theredbankbluesband.com
Blind Lemon Pledge brings us his latest from San Francisco, CA called “Nag, Nag, Nag”. Putting his witty twist on a familiar theme, this number’s flippant lyrics and expert instrumentation make this song a fun stand out. The boogie woogie piano and the Dixieland inspired brass bring a southern fried flavour to this easily relatable number.
Web Site: http://www.blues.james-creative.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/blind.pledge
While Trevor Sewell is from the UK, he plays traditional American influenced blues music with a modern polish. His vocals on this track “So Tired (Goin’ Home” with a weary and raspy quality that adds to the authenticity of lyrics. The instrumentation and pace of the song perfectly add to the song’s emotional atmosphere.
Web Site: http://www.trevorsewell.com/
San Francisco, CA’s Blind Lemon Pledge returns with “She Broke The Ten Commandments”, his second contribution heard here. This song’s slower pace and more sorrowful flavour are paired with lyrics that use the Ten Commandments and various Biblical references woven throughout. This song’s strong storytelling and traditional blues sound combine to create a memorable track.
Web Site: http://www.blues.james-creative.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/blindlemonpledge.band
Miss Laurie Ann & The Saddletones bring us their song “Good Time Charlie” from Stewartsville, NJ. Piano playing with a late after hours barroom feel starts off this mid-tempo track about love and heartbreak. Laurie Ann’s heartache weary vocals add emotional depth to this song that details the trouble that comes with giving your heart to a fun, but unfaithful guy. This country tinged blues song was recorded live utilizing vintage equipment which adds to the warm texture and rich authenticity of the sound.
FB: https://www.facebook.com/TrevorSewellMusic Twitter: https://twitter.com/trevorsewell
Web Site: http://thesaddletones.com/
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FB: https://www.facebook.com/ The-SaddleTones-250828878341233
Lehigh Valley, PA’s Big Bone Daddy, who were also featured on Bongo Boy Records Backroom Blues Volume One, return for Backroom Blues Volume Two with their song “Pretty Baby”. A chugging backbeat moves this catchy mix of blues and classic rock along nicely. The song’s theme of successfully going after the girl of his dreams adds sweetness and helps make this a great summer tune.
excellent job of putting together an array of blues musicians working in varied blues and heavily blues inspired genres in an album that allows each contributor’s personality and distinctive voice to shine.
***Available as a digital download via https:// bongoboyrecords.com/backroombluesvol2 ***
Web Site: www.bigbonedaddy.net FB: https://www.facebook.com/bigbonedaddyband Twitter: https://twitter.com/bigbonedaddy
Closing out the album is “Hollow Part 1”, the second contribution from Trevor Sewell on this compilation. This slower paced blues rock number has a Led Zeppelin feel to it. The song’s slow build is aided by the gradual inclusion of instruments as the song progresses, adding rich atmosphere to this song about a man losing his heart and mind after he loses his lady’s love. The emotional tone is nicely summed up in the lyric “She washed away my sins/And left me hollow”.
Web Site: http://www.trevorsewell.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/TrevorSewellMusic Twitter: https://twitter.com/trevorsewell
“Bongo Boy Records Backroom Blues Volume Two” presents a variety of musicians, showcasing the long reaching influence of the blues and the diverse array of music it continues to inspire. This second compilation in Bongo Boy Records series does an
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Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show Episode 1080 “Mother Lode Of Music”
Synopsis By: Dana Saravia – Lifelong rock & roller, current music critic and Girl From Baltimore The Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show is proud to present the latest episode in their Rock N’ Roll TV Show series, “Mother Lode Of Music” featuring 7 talented independent international recording artists in 1 special ½ hour TV show. This latest Bongo Boy TV produced episode premiered the week of
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Tuesday, 3rd May at 10:30pm and was followed by rotation in the New York region. For a complete broadcast schedule, please visit http://www.bongoboytv.com
Opening this episode is Hollywood, CA’s BP Major with the winner of Bongo Boy TV’s 2015 Music Video Contest from Episode 1049, “Calling All Recruits”. Military style drums start out this club dance track that has a classic 80’s rhythm and style throughout. The layered vocals and synth covered strong beats create a high energy number that goes perfectly with the highly stylized throwback video encouraging club goers to get on the floor and dance.
Video Director: Mairin Hart Web Site: http://www.bpmajor.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/bpmajor1 Twitter: https://www.bpmajorbpmajor
Chicago, IL’s Sarantos is next with the video for his latest song “Dreamer”, which is also featured on Bongo Boy Records’ “Awesome Hair Bands, Volume One”. Large, sweeping production frames this mainstream radio ready rock love song with a sound that calls to mind the heyday of arena rock. The colourful outdoor video has an epic look and feel that go well with the song’s sound.
Video Director: Sarantos Web Site: http://www.melogia.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/Sarantosmelogia/ Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/sarantosmelogia
Cozy Moe from Philadelphia, PA is next with the video for his latest song featuring Mr. Lou, “Da Way I Feel”. A fine mix of rap and modern R&B combine on this mid-tempo, melodic love song. The sweet, smooth vibe of Moe’s singing is nicely offset by Mr. Lou’s rap which, along with Moe’s spoken word piece near the song’s close, provide both grit and additional narrative. Catchy and fun with a vibe that’s perfect for summer. The video’s colour shots of Moe and his lady are intercut with B&W studio performance scenes, providing an excellent visual compliment to this song.
Next is Suzanne Grzanna from Chicago, IL with her latest “The Cat’s Meow”. This jazz number has a classic throwback sound featuring slinky late-night style piano and smoky vocals. Suzanne and her band have a classy, bold personality that bring this song Video Director: Murt to life. From the art deco title card and throughout the B&W club performance throughout, the Roaring Web Site: https://www.reverbnation.com/cozymoe 20’s style video is the perfect visual accompaniment for this song. FB: https://www.facebook.com/ Cozy-Moe-253249848018910/app/2405167945 Video Director: Chris Landowski
Web Site: https://saxdiva.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/suzanne.grzanna Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuzanneGrzanna
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From London, UK, the Chords UK bring us their latest “I Can’t Let Go”. Original member Chris Pope reformed his mod punk band The Chords UK and they’re bringing all the hard hitting pure rock & roll to today’s music scene with them. With defiant lyr-
ics about never giving up and living life on their own terms, this high energy garage rock number is an instantly memorable song with a powerful message. The video shows the band performing, allowing the music and their presence to take center stage.
Video Director: Jonathan Sequeira Web Site: https://popemusic.co.uk FB: https://www.facebook.com/thechordsUK Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChordsUk
Oakland, CA’s Waheed Ahmad is next with “Hi Beams”. On point, sophisticated rhymes paired with a strong backbeat help make this a memorable song with a powerful message encouraging listeners to break out of the box to educate themselves and do their own thinking. Lyrics such as “You create your own landscape/You bask in your own heaven or hell” make a powerful impression and bring intelligent points to ponder. The video brings colourful and at times psychedelic feel to Waheed’s performance, creating visuals as smart and unique as the song.
Video Director: W.A.
distress and receiving hugs and interacting with others interspersed with images of programs for help and healing, as well as graphics of messages such as “Restoring Hope”, creating a moving visual impression that works beautifully with the power of the song.
Video Editor: Monique Grimme Web Site: http://www.garfrancis.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/garfrancis Twitter: https://twitter.com/garfrancis
This episode has been brought to you by all artists featured and True Tea Magazine, Bongo Boy Records “Backroom Blues Vol. 2”, Steel Notes Magazine and Gypsy Poet Radio and Bongo Boy TV.
The Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show is produced by Grammy members Gar Francis and Monique Grimme and is fully funded by sponsorships from all the indie musicians and their affiliations in each episode and Bongo Boy Records. Bongo Boy TV produces and distributes the Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show, which puts the spotlight on independent artists and their music videos worldwide.
FB: https://www.facebook.com/waheedresistance Twitter: https://twitter.com/ahmadwaheed337
Closing out this episode is NJ’s Gar Francis with “Stranded”, a song which is also National Crime Victims Week official song selection. This slower paced folk rock number features ragged vocals and vivid imagery of hard times that drive home the song’s powerful message of hurt and the need for comfort and understanding. The chorus’ “Don’t leave me stranded/There’s hope on the way” sum up both the pain and hopefulness present throughout this heartfelt song. The video features photos and scenes of people of all ages both in
All TV episodes are available on their online channel: http://vimeo.com/bongoboy
Bongo Boy TV is Real Television on 54 channels across the USA offered in 2 regions – New York City and National. The series is also distributed on Dish Network On Demand Globally.
Bongo Boy TV is also available via GO INDIE TV RokuChannel for free on demand. Web Site: http://bongoboytv.com Email: email@example.com
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Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show Episode 1081 “Coming To Terms” Synopsis By: Dana Saravia – Lifelong rock & roller, current music critic and Girl From Baltimore The Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show is proud to present the latest episode in their Rock N’ Roll TV Show series, “Coming To Terms” featuring 6 talented independent international recording artists in 1 special ½ hour TV show. This latest Bongo Boy TV
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produced episode premiered Tuesday, 3rd of May with rotation for 2 weeks through the 15th of May, 2016 on all channels in the Bongo Boy TV National Region. For a complete broadcast schedule, please visit http://www.bongoboytv.com
First is NY, NY’s Michael Tate & 3D Rhythm Of Life with “Fantasy”. Horns and a swinging, salsa flavoured groove start off this cover of the Earth, Wind & Fire classic. Layered vocal harmonies and jazzy instrumentation bring a sophisticated feel to this bright, hopeful song. The video’s images of the band performing and a woman shaking off her sadness by the water are illustrate the song perfectly. Video Director: Tane Martinez Web Site: http://hear3dmusic.com FB: https://www.facebook. com/3D-Rhythm-of-Life-121966454547935/
Next is Josette, a 17 year old singer/songwriter from Cresskill, NJ with the video for her song “Problem”. This sweet and very natural sounding folk pop tune begins with gentle backing music that allows her vocals to shine. The song has a very organic, classic vibe to it that helps Josette to stand out among her peers.
Video Director: Arie Ohayon FB: https://www.facebook.com/Josettemusicnj Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/JosetteMusic
Chicago, IL’s Sarantos follows with the video for his song “Dreamer”, which is also featured on Bongo Boy Records Awesome Big Hair Bands, Volume One. There’s an underlying sweetness to this big rock love song. Featuring slick, polished production, this number has a very 80s arena rock sound. The video’s colourful outdoor setting is well matched for the epic tone this song presents.
Video Directors: Aliem Jump and JD Dominquez Web Site: http://www.KaylaJay.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/KaylaJayMusic Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/truekaylajay
Los Angeles, CA’s own legends The Sloths are next with the video for their latest song “One Way Out”. Opening with a strong backbeat, rhythmic guitar and narrative lyrics that immediately draw in listeners, this is a powerful song that proves The Sloths have at least as much impact and fire now as they did when they first stepped on the stage in 1965. Tommy McLaughlin’s dramatic vocals are backed by vibrant, energetic garage rock creating a song that leaves a strong impression from the very first listen. The video does an excellent job using a courtroom setting and several actors representing the characters in the 4 stories vividly described in the lyrics. An all-around instant classic.
Video Director: Trevor Stevens Video Director: Sarantos
Web Site: https://thesloths.org
Web Site: http://www.melogia.com
Kayla Jay from Laurel Springs, NJ brings us her latest “I Don’t Care”. This modern hip hop inspired track adds EDM beats to a very rock attitude to create an unusual track celebrating self-confidence and individuality. The video features Kayla Jay in various urban cityscapes as well as at a photo shoot as she sings her song throughout. This straightforward, no nonsense video is the perfect illustration for the song’s theme of remaining steadfast and true to yourself no matter where you are.
Closing out this episode is NJ’s Gar Francis with “Stranded”, a song that is also a National Crime Victims Week official song selection. Gar’s ragged, heartfelt vocals add depth and emotion to this slower paced folk rock number with its powerful message of hurt and the need for comfort from those around us. Lyrics such as the chorus’ “Don’t leave me stranded/There’s hope on the way” are a very straightforward and lovely representation of the light that gets people through their moments of darkness and the encouragement to reach out for help when feeling alone. The vivid imagery of people of all ages in distress and receiving hugs and aid
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are interspersed with phrases such as “Restoring Hope” and “Embrace Diversity”, as well as graphics and pamphlets for various services offering help and healing programs, creates a memorable video that perfectly illustrates the emotion present throughout the song.
The Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show is produced by Grammy members Gar Francis and Monique Grimme and is fully funded by sponsorships from all the indie musicians and their affiliations in each episode and Bongo Boy Records. Bongo Boy TV produces and distributes the Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show, which puts the spotlight on independent artists and their music videos worldwide.
Video Editor: Monique Grimme Web Site: http://www.garfrancis.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/garfrancis Twitter: https://twitter.com/garfrancis
This episode has been brought to you by all artists featured and True Tea Magazine, Bongo Boy Records “Backroom Blues Vol. 2”, Steel Notes Magazine and Gypsy Poet Radio and Bongo Boy TV.
All TV episodes are available on their online channel: http://vimeo.com/bongoboy Bongo Boy TV is Real Television on 54 channels across the USA offered in 2 regions – New York City and National. The series is also distributed on Dish Network On Demand Globally. Bongo Boy TV is also available via GO INDIE TV RokuChannel for free on demand.
Web Site: http://bongoboytv.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show Episode 1082 “Bringing Music” Synopsis By: Dana Saravia – Lifelong rock & roller, current music critic and Girl From Baltimore The Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show is proud to present the latest episode in their Rock N’ Roll TV Show series, “Coming To Terms” featuring 7 talented independent international recording artists in 1 special ½ hour TV show. This latest Bongo Boy TV produced episode premieres in the 3rd week of May with rotation for 2 weeks through the 7th of June, 2016 on all channels in the Bongo Boy TV National Region. For a complete broadcast schedule, please visit http://www.bongoboytv.com
San Francisco, CA’s Xavier Toscano is next with “Apologies Wasted”. This is a slower tempo EDM pop love song about a troubled relationship. The video features dancers in a club, including Xavier himself, interspersed with eye-catching shots of dancers underwater.
Video Director: Benjamin Jones Web Site: www.xaviertoscano.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/xaviersings Twitter: https://twitter.com/XToscano
Next is France’s Yona Pax with “Pretre Rosso (Red Priest)”. Featuring a sound that mixes classical and pop music, this elegant number alternates between a slower pace and a faster tempo. Though the lyrics are in French, the dramatic feeling of this song is nicely aided by the stylized film-like visuals interspersed throughout the video, additionally helping the mood transcend language.
Video Director: Roger Loubet The show begins with “Before Your Condemn”, the latest from NC’s Nut Drivers. A gentle song with traditional country/western instrumentation, it has a timeless sound and message about looking beyond appearances to truly see the person there. The genuine down home charm of the song is matched by the video, which shows the band performing on the front porch of a home as others come to gather around them to listen to them play.
Video Director: Britt Warren Web Site: http://www.thenutdrivers.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/TheNutDrivers Twitter: https://twitter.com/thenutdrivers
Web Site: www.yonapax.fr FB: https://www.facebook.com/yona.pax Twitter: https://twitter.com/yonapax
FLINTFace brings us his latest from Philadelphia, PA, “Army Of Rejects”. This rhythmic, upbeat pop rock number has a classic, old school sound. The song’s message of having self-confidence and remaining true to yourself is always welcome and well presented here. The mostly B&W video is shot outdoors and shows several different people who were once separate, communicating in colour as the video progresses, a perfect visual in both tone and action
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to accompany this song.
Video Directors: David Claessen and Andrew Jako Web Site: www.flintface.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/FLINTface
Toronto, CA natives now making their home in Nashville, TN, Zombie Garden Club close out this episode with the video for their song “Burn”. A strong bassline provides a solid backbone while the fuzzed up guitar brings bite and style to this high-energy garage rock number. The psychedelic elements of the video enhance the raw, mod-inspired feel of this song.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/theFLINTFACE Video Director: Zack Eagles Web Site: www.zombiegardenclub.com Los Angeles, CA’s London Ellis is next with her latest “London To LA”. This high energy dance pop number has a splash of rap mixed in, giving it a modern chart-friendly sound. The video is colourful and sunny, highlighting the fun sound of the song.
Video Director: Alexander The Titan Web Site: http://www.londonellis.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/londonellismusic Twitter: https://twitter.com/Gabriellaellis
Originally from NJ and now making her home in Sweden, Deborah Henriksson brings us the video for her song “Calling”, which was also recently featured on Bongo Boy Records Compilations Volume Eight. This slow tempo Celtic new age folk song has a dreamlike quality. The lyrics describe being called back to nature and the ocean’s waves. The video’s water and shoreline imagery are a good fit for both the lyrics and the atmosphere of the song.
Video Director: Mats Nyman
FB: https://www.facebook.com/zombiegardenclub Twitter: https://twitter.com/zombie_garden
The Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show is produced by Grammy members Gar Francis and Monique Grimme and is fully funded by sponsorships from all the indie musicians and their affiliations in each episode and Bongo Boy Records. Bongo Boy TV produces and distributes the Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show, which puts the spotlight on independent artists and their music videos worldwide.
All TV episodes are available on their online channel: http://vimeo.com/bongoboy
Bongo Boy TV is Real Television on 54 channels across the USA offered in 2 regions – New York City and National.
Bongo Boy TV is also available via GO INDIE TV RokuChannel for free on demand.
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Album Review The Connection “Labor Of Love” By Dana Saravia – Life-long rock & roller, current music critic and Girl From Baltimore
The Connection is one of those rare bands that made me an instant fan when I heard the first few notes of their 2011 song “Stop Talking”. The rest of that early EP, “New England’s Newest Hitmakers”, with its title being a sly homage to The Rolling Stones and its contents inspired by a few other kings of the British Invasion as well, lived up to the promise of the aforementioned track. The band has continued that tradition with other singles and EPs, as well as 2013’s “Let It Rock”, which showcased their ever sharper songwriting and more powerful pop over a full length LP. As soon as I heard The Connection was releasing a new LP in 2014, “Labor Of Love”, I eagerly anticipated its release. The wait was very well worth it and they far exceeded my high expectations.
From the exuberant opening chords of the fun and fast paced title track, it would be a challenge to any listener not to turn this way up. This energetic number has a Nick Lowe vibe in both sound and title and features autobiographical lyrics, expertly setting the scene for the songs that follow and creating a fine introduction for new listeners of the band as well. A raunchy guitar sound and fine piano playing are highlights of “So Easy”, a melodic blues rocker. A classic rock guitar sound is paired with British Invasion style vocal harmonies on “Circles”, which also has a great bridge featuring the lyrics “I’ll just stay here/Doing what I do”, bringing additional
defiance to this song about being determined to live your own life, no matter the frustrations or others’ opinions. The lovely vocal harmonies of “You Ain’t Special” bring sweetness to the sass of lyrics like “I’m not scared to put you in your place/I’ll tell it to you straight to your face/You ain’t special” on this fun, country seasoned track. The superbly catchy melody and the funny, sharply descriptive lyrics that make up a “Pathetic Kind Of Man” memorably close out side one.
Side two opens with the high-energy blast of “Don’t Come Back”. If Jolt Cola was ever reincarnated as a song, it would likely be this punchy power pop number. This instantly memorable song about enjoying a breakup is an irresistible stand out. The pedal steel on “Let The Jukebox Take Me” adds authentic country sound to this number. Kris Rogers’ piano playing is exceptional here, accenting the melancholy feeling of the masterfully descriptive lyrics such as “I love the dirty old bars, the record store, my daddy’s factory” and “Let the singer take me to a town I’ll never know”. It’s an atmospheric and fully realized gem of a song. The fast, frantic pace of “Red, White & Blue” perfectly fits the lyrics describing life today in America. “Treat You So Bad” is a fun, memorable song from the very first listen.
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One of my favourite songs on the album, it highlights The Connection’s gift for exquisite melodies in both music and vocals, as well as their ability to write smart narrative lyrics. The LP’s closer “Good Things” has a catchy, upbeat danceable groove paired with encouraging lyrics delivered with a wink and a smile. This melodic song sticks with you long after it ends and makes you want to hear the album over again from the beginning.
*****Available on vinyl at your local record store and the band’s website. Also available on digital download via the band’s website and on Amazon and iTunes*****
Web Site: http://the-connection.bandcamp.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/theconnectionRnR/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheConnection_
The Connection are a band that proudly pay homage to their favourite artists, using their influences to create fresh, original melodic rock & roll with a classic sound that’s distinctly their own. “Labor Of Love” is a joy to listen to from start to finish, one I happily keep going back to listen to from a band I always look forward to hearing.
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Album Review Our Last Transmission “The Brave Unknown” By: Dana Saravia – Life-long rock & roller, current music critic and Girl From Baltimore As a big fan of music on the harder side of rock, I’m always looking forward to hearing something new from bands working in those genres. I recently received a copy of a new full length album called “The Brave Unknown” which was my introduction to the band Our Last Transmission. They play music that blends the passion and honesty of hardcore punk with the polished, precise high speed musicianship of classic thrash metal with lyrics that cover a wide range of experiences and issues, from the political to the personal.
sounding sappy. Great pacing and some lovely guitar work also help this emotional track stand out. The pace changes to a hard driving, head-banging rhythm on the punk influenced anthemic thrasher “I Am The Enemy”. The defiant lyric “I will not back down” is punctuated by precise drumming and further lyrics such as “These are the times that blind us” and “Who do I have to kill/To get my point across” create a memorable track, skillfully expressing strong stuff for heavy times. Anger tinged memories of a relationship past form the basis for “Ghosts (No Regrets)”. Layered, dreamscape instrumentation and a galloping rhythm fill out this well realized song. A deceptively gentle beginning starts off “Blood Red Moon”, a power ballad that lives up to the power in that description about a soldier with PTSD. The lyrics describe the inner turmoil and heightened emotions in this story that drives home the high human cost of war in a personal way. “Welcome” is the well-placed song that immediately follows and is one of my favourites on this album. Including lyrics such as “Live for the moment/Live for the truth” and “We will rise forevermore” are excellent advice for living a worthwhile life of substance in spite of being surrounded by shrill shallowness in chaotic times. “Echoes” carries that theme further along, this time with an autobiographical twist. A memorable mix of melody and metal backs lyrics including “Stand
The set starts off with “Bully”, a fast song with drums driving a tight rhythm backing lyrics like “The brave unknown is what we call a home” that rail at both political and personal oppressors and regaining power through standing up for yourself. Repeated throughout the song like a mantra is the phrase “Leave me alone”. As the phrase is emotionally intoned in increasing volume over the song’s bridge, it creates a powerful moment in this song as well as giving the listener a good introduction for the songs that follow on the album. The sounds of classic rock and thrash metal combine with lyrics detailing struggling to overcome the breakup of a close relationship and the fight to find understanding again on the next song, “Walk Alone”. Though this is not new subject matter, the band’s take on it feels honest and rings true. “Kingdom Remains” features descriptive, evocative lyrics that display a depth on grieving the loss of a loved one without ever
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up/With our backs against the wall/We will carry on/ And on again” which could also serve as the band’s mission statement. “W.T.C.” features powerful drumming and moving lyrics on this tribute song that manages to be both touching and defiant. The album closes out with the mosh pit ready number “Transmissions”. This song leaves with a triumphant thrash punk encouragement for fans to “Let your voice ring out”, a forceful and positive message.
Web Page: https://soundcloud.com/ ourlasttransmission FB: https://www.facebook.com/ourlasttransmission Twitter: https://twitter.com/OurLastTrans
“The Brave Unknown” shows a young band that brings passion, determination and their own voice to a classic thrash metal sound on songs chronicling current events and experiences. It’s impressive to hear a variety of well written songs featuring skillful production and precision playing throughout this debut album. Though this record is the first I’ve heard from Our Last Transmission, I’m sure it won’t be the last.
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Music Article An Interview With: Our Last Transmission By Dana Saravia – Life-long rock & roller, current music critic and Girl From Baltimore
As a life-long fan of music, it’s always a pleasure for me to hear new bands who are ready to introduce themselves to the public with a new record. I was not only lucky enough to have the opportunity to review Our Last Transmission’s debut album “The Brave Unknown”, I also had a chance to interview two members of the band via email, drummer/ backing vocalist Keith Imperati and lead singer/ guitarist Neal Silverstone. Their answers touch on their influences, songwriting and provide additional insight to the songs heard on their powerful debut.
Q: Our Last Transmission have a sharp, edgy sound—like many of the best punk and thrash metal bands, you have very tight, literate songs that touch on a variety of tough subjects. Do you often draw on your own personal experiences when writing your songs?
Keith: Every song that we write comes from a place within us. Whether it be from a personal experience or something that has happened in our society, everything affects us and writing music is our way of expressing these effects. Some of the songs on the album like “Kingdom Remains” or “Ghosts” are from our lives, while other songs like “Bully” or “W.T.C.” are from events that we have read about.
Neal: We draw from our own personal experiences
as well as other people and places. For instance, “Bully” doesn’t derive from necessarily one of us, but the topic of bulling as it stands in our culture today. “Walk Alone” is a bit more personal and talks about a more interpersonal experience.
Q: Can you describe a bit about the band’s songwriting process? Does each band member come in to practice with the songs fully written, is it more of a group effort or do you do some of each, depending on the song?
Neal: It usually starts as one person bringing in material and then it becomes more collaborative where the rest of us come together from that jumping point. How much is then added or tweaked is dependent upon how the song jives to all of us.
Q: How long did it take the band to write the songs that appear on “The Brave Unknown”?
Neal: 4 years as we had changes in our lineup with
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Keith switching from guitar to drums.
Keith: Well, we have been together now for over 6 years. So technically speaking it took 5 years to write this album. Many of the tracks have gone through many significant changes while we were learning what kind of band we were.
Q: How long did it take the band to record the album?
Neal: 2 years. A very long process for us as we were crafting our sound as we progressed through the recording process.
Keith: We worked with this great engineer and producer, Mike Wuerth. Without him, a lot of these songs would not have hit their full potential.
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Q: How long have you each known you wanted to be musicians? Have you always gravitated toward the instrument you now play?
Keith: I’ve been playing music since I was in 5th grade. I started out playing the trumpet and then switched to guitar when I went to high school. I kept playing guitar straight through college where I studied music performance and education. That was where I first learned about playing drums. I was actually the guitarist of the first version of Our Last Transmission—back then, we were a cover band going by the name Black Star Rebellion. It wasn’t until our drummer was leaving that I decided to really learn drums and made the switch. That’s how we became a 3 piece and changed our name to Our Last Transmission.
Neal: I’ve wanted to be a musician since I was 11.
I’ve been playing now for 15 years.
Q: Our Last Transmission has a very tight sound, and you have a confidence and cohesiveness when you play. How long have you guys known each other?
Keith: I’ve known Ryan since grammar school, but he hasn’t always played bass. He too started on guitar. I met Neal in 2009 through a mutual friend. She got me a tryout for his cover band and we have been rocking out since then. When I joined up with Neal they were down a bass player, so I got Ryan to pick up bass and he joined up with us in 2010.
Q: The lyrics on “The Brave Unknown” are intelligent and expressive and often quite pointed. Certainly there is much commentary on our current social and political climate and the havoc and heaviness it brings into our daily lives. In which way(s) do you hope your music will change that for the better?
Keith: In this day and age, there is so much going on in the world. Whether it be global terror or terror in your own backyard, everyone is affected. We want our music to be an outlet for listeners to escape through. It could be on a personal, emotional—hell, even a spiritual level. Music affects everyone differently.
Neal: We always believed that music can create change. Its effect has never really stopped throughout the years. It’s just a matter of what message is being broadcasted out there at the time. We know the album brings a message of raw angst but we also hope the message that gets heard is that regardless of inner demons or political struggles, never give up the fight for individuality.
Q: If the music of Our Last Transmission could have the power to change just one thing, what would it
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Neal: Right now, there is a failure to listen in our society. Our inability to hear and compromise has cut us off and segregated us even more so than years ago and that needs to change.
Keith: MUSIC. There isn’t enough music left in the world. We aren’t talking about artists…there are plenty of those out there. We mean actual self-created music. There is too much electronically engineered B.S. out there. We hope that the trend swings back in this direction to let the real musicians ride high.
Q: “W.T.C.” is a moving and powerful track, one of my favourites on the album. Was it written for anyone in particular who was lost on 9/11?
Neal: Actually, it’s not a 9/11 reference. Someone abbreviated it and we ended up just leaving it as is. However, it’s ironic because “W.T.C.” stands for Walk The City. In 2011, there was a nuclear power plant disaster in Fukishima, Japan that affected the neighbouring towns and villages. I was on a plane reading a New York Times article about a woman who was trying to contact her parents who lived in a village called Iwaki City which means Walk The City. So that’s where the name came from. The song “Walk The City” is about living for now for tomorrow is a new challenge ahead.
creates something new. As for the band, we all have our own starting points of influence that eventually overlap.
Neal: Eddie Vedder & Chris Cornell were huge influences for me.
Q: If Our Last Transmission could share a stage with any 5 artists, past or present, who would they be?
Keith: AFI, Sick Puppies, Nirvana, The Pretty Reckless and Pearl Jam.
Q: Any upcoming touring plans? Which songs do you plan to make videos for on this album?
Keith: We are currently working on getting some gigs. We have been pretty busy with the album and the distribution of it, but we are ready to break back out of the garage. We currently have a video out for “Walk Alone” and will have a video coming out within the next two months for “Kingdom Remains”.
Q: Is there anything additional you’d like to say to your fans and Steel Notes readers?
Keith: Support local music. Without support, artists like ourselves will just fade away. Keep this going!! Q: Who are some of your personal musical heroes and influences? Do the whole band share those artists in common?
Keith: Hands down, Davey Havok from AFI is a major musical influence on me. His lyrics, singing and musicianship knock me on my ass every time he
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*** Our Last Transmission’s album “The Brave Unknown” is available for digital download via the band’s page, cdbaby.com, Amazon.com and iTunes. Follow them on FB, Twitter
and Soundcloud for continued news and upcoming tour dates ***
Web Site: : https://soundcloud.com/ ourlasttransmission FB: https://www.facebook.com/ourlasttransmission Twitter: https://twitter.com/OurLastTrans
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Four By Fate-Relentless An Album Review “The Greatest Modern Rock Album in 24 Years” The above title is not hype, nor hyperbole. Reviews are opinions, and the last CD that I felt this passionate about was Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’, but that is best explained later, in another review. Now is the time to discuss the hottest New/Older band in the world, Four By Fate.
with Peter Frampton, The Stones, Bowie, and has won more than a few awards. The reasons John is in demand by every major artist are shown fully here. He IS the best, period. Pat Gasperini, founding member of Pound and Flywheel, and Master of Everything adds his Modern Rock writing and multi-faceted guitar work. All of this is backed up by Rob Affuso...Percussionist to one of the 80’s and 90’s greatest bands, Skid Row. All of these guys are fantastic separately. I would be happy buying any of these fantastic musician’s solo works. But, Together? They are Legend.
Why the label New/Older? Because, make no mistake..this IS a very NEW band, but one filled with legends...fragments of “Older Bands” like Frehley’s Comet, Skid Row, Flywheel, etc...with the late AJ Pero of Twisted Sister contributing his last work to this CD..and that is fitting. He would be proud.
By Fate, By chance, by whatever circumstances... they come together here on “Relentless” to power through 12 fantastic songs, 13 if you count the beautiful acoustic version of Howarth’s “Amber Waves”.
They say the whole is better than the individual parts. I question that.
These four have done this their whole careers, and now have reinvented Rock. Is it 80’s Rock? Yes.
Tod Howarth’s guitar, writing and vocals are 80’s snd beyond , legendary...with his own solo projects and the aforementioned Frehley’s Comet.
Is it 90’s? Sure.
This was not a necessary inclusion, but I think it sums up the band and the CD...give it your all, and then add even more.
Does it fit into 2016? Yes. Absolutely. It sounds fresh and exciting.
That is where he was first seen publicly with Bassist to the Stars, John Regan. We don’t have enough space to list John’s accomplishments in total, but he has worked extensively
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Before we look at the tracks , let’s look at the
writing and musicianship. Tod Howarth’s Vocals and Guitar playing have somehow defied all logic and expectation and gotten better than ever. He is in top form, especially with his writing. One of the CD ‘s jaw dropping stunners is “Amber Waves”, a Tour De Force that really brings out both the love of pure music, and Patriotic joy. John Regan’s pounding, yet always precise bass brings the CD up to “Classic” level on every track.
I have had an advance CD for awhile, but loved it enough to buy a total of six more...because I want my friends who gave up hope to get the gift I received...my faith in music brought back to me. You cannot put a price on something like that. Whether or not you have heard of ANY of these guys is a moot point. This is a MUST BUY. It is astounding, beautiful, and yes...I will dare to use the word “Perfect” again. Long Live Rock, Long Live Four By Fate.
Pat Gasperini’s writing and guitars here are especially noteworthy, with “Moonshine”, “Hangin’ On”, “Follow Me”, and “On My Own”.
I hate to steal the line from KISS, but “You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best” really belongs to Tod, John, Pat and Rob.
His writing here blends seamlessly with Tod’s, who contributes “Levee Breach”, “Don’t Know”, “I Give”, and “Amber Waves”....with a ‘Cover’ of the Frehley’s Comet song “It’s Over Now” played in a touching, dark, haunting manner. This cannot be missed!
They will always give you the best, and then somehow exceed it.
Also included are two choice cover songs, made unique yet authentic by the band. There is Rick Derringer ‘s “Rock & Roll Hootchie Koo” and John Waite’s “These Times Are Hard For Lovers”.
Yes, Amber Waves is getting a lot of well deserved attention, but it is part of a whole package of great music.
Grade-5 of 5 Stars Recommendation: Hall of Fame, Must Own
With no offense meant, you cannot tell who wrote what. The band becomes one. This is Four By Fate. There are zero ‘weak tracks’ or ‘filler’. 98 % of the cd IS the highlight, with the covers being great, but leaving one wishing for just two more Four By Fate songs instead. But, as they sound perfect and fit in so well, perhaps it is just my own wishfulness. The Production on the CD is flawless. The mixing is pleasing. This will restore your faith in Rock Music.
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At The Crossroads of Fate: An Interview with Four By Fate’s Tod Howarth and John Regan Last month, I got the chance to do what anybody that grew up listening to Frehley’s Comet, Cheap Trick, Peter Frampton, and many other bands would love to do...speak with Tod Howarth and John Regan. What follows is pretty much everything about the duo’s new hit project, Four By Fate, “Relentless”. The amazing thing is, they work together as a true team in every way...Sometimes even finishing each other’s stories or sentences. Affable, Amazingly humble, and full of enthusiasm. Here are their thoughts, plans, and asides....hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed listening to them.
Scott: Hi Tod, Hi John...
John: Hey, Scott..Good Afternoon! Tod: How are you doing?
Scott: Pretty good, actually..just wanted to jump in with the questions. Who started the idea for Four By Fate?
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John-Well, what actually happened is... Tod and I met 30 years ago when Tod was playing with Cheap Trick and I was playing with John Waite. We did a Co-Headline Tour back then, and being on the road, months at a time..we became really really good friends.
When I put Frehley ‘s Comet together with Ace
and Anton Fig, we needed another musician that was a great singer and a great guitar player & keyboard player...so I said “Have I got the guy..” and we called Tod up, he was kind enough to fly in. We played with him for about fifteen minutes and knew that he was a perfect fit, so...that is where we started, 1986.
Tod-With Four By Fate it took some time to arrange this idea, but we moved fairly quickly, we brought in Stet Howland on Drums & Sean Kelly on Guitar and Vocals, Danny Stanton set up some shows, it went really well...so we decided it was time to record some new material.
Scott-You guys really lined up the best, like Rob Affuso from Skid Row.
John- Well, we have to keep the timeline! As Tod mentioned, we booked the studio, Tod flew in from San Diego , but Stet Howland, one of the “Original” members of Four By Fate....was in a car accident just 48 hours before recording. So now, we HAD to record. Tod was here in NY, the studio’s booked..it’s a done deal. So we get hold of Danny Stanton, and we said , “Danny, we need a drummer. “. He replied “There’s only one guy I can think of, that is local and that is AJ Pero (Twisted Sister). I was not familiar with AJ, other than the Twisted Sister records, I told him I’d call him back after I did some research. I checked AJ out on YouTube, and his drumming floored me! So we said... if he could be up here in twenty four hours, AJ is our guy!... Tod forwarded him the material, so he could at least listen to it...songs no one had heard before... We were in the studio waiting for him, and we got a call that HE’D been in a car accident. Fortunately AJ, had not been injured, and we sent a limo to fetch him, and as soon as he arrived we sat him down behind the drums. Tod: AJ listened to the songs, John suggested I go through the material with him, and John would come in last, so we could get them to track. Not
only did AJ nail them, he added a spark...and we recorded the first six tracks of what would become “Relentless!” AJ smiled like a kid, it came out fantastically. We were thrilled by the result. As we were driving back from the sessions, AJ mentioned that he really wanted to work with us again in the future, and while he was saying that in the car, we were also thinking of how to ask him to hang out for the future. At that point, Stet Howland was really banged up badly.
John-We weren’t sure he would get back behind the drums, which in time he did thankfully... AJ recorded six tracks and as Tod had mentioned, in those short 24 hours, we fell in love with him musically and personally...we recorded the best possible way. Musicians in the same room at the same time. It’s got that raw feel and spontaneity. As we were getting ready to record the other six tracks...tragedy occurred.
Tod-Yeah, I got a call early in March, very early morning. Danny was on the phone..and Danny never calls me that early...and he said “AJ passed away”. I was just sad, stunned, and silent. I was in silence for at least ten seconds before I said “What??!?”...he had apparently had a heart attack on the tour bus while out with Adrenaline Mob.
With that happening. We felt horrible about AJ, his family, his fans..but we were faced again with having the studio time and a deadline, so it became “Who are we going to get now?”
John-At one point, we talked to each other and said “Do we continue with this??” and then we decided, for a myriad of reasons, one of them being in AJ’s honor, we had to bring this to its completion. These six tracks are believed to be the last Aj would record...and he played his heart and soul out!
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Tod-the first recording, the first six, our good friend Sean Kelly, played guitar on, and he felt the project was too heavy, too different of a feel, and decided to depart the project. At that point we asked a great musician who had contributed a song already, who lived near John, Pat Gasperini...he’s a great guitar player, singer and songwriter. Pat agreed, and joined. He was partly responsible for bringing up Skid Row’s Rob Affuso’s name. Pat had a band Pound, that was popular at the same time that Skid Row was flying high, and knew him from touring etc.
John-Pat contacted Rob, and Rob said it sounded like a great idea! Rob and I had known each other for awhile and had threatened to work together earlier, and Four By Fate seemed like the perfect project, it really had to happen on its own. Rob brought his own kind of spark to the band, and you can hear it on the six tracks he played on. Great Drummer, and chap! We were thrown a lot of curve balls, but we had finally completed all the recording. Once we finished, we were looking for a title, a typical title, you know..and Tod said “We had to have be Relentless to finish this!” and I said that’s it...that is the title of the record...”RELENTLESS!” We’re happy with the final product, and, we are proud to have shared our time in Studio with AJ.
Tod-The cd is an indirect tribute to AJ.
Scott: Any other titles considered? John, laughing: “Exhausted”...but we decided not to go with that!!
Scott: What was the writing process? Tod- Initially, I was the only real songwriter.. John: Except for Pat Gasperini...
how we discovered him, John brought the song “Follow Me” that Pat had written, and I thought “This is heavy, this sounds like something I’d write..” so we had the thought of Pat writing for the next CD, but we ended inviting him to join Four By Fate to fill the Guitar and Vocal spot left by Sean’s departure.
Scott: How would you describe the sound of the album? Would you say it compares to the Frehley’s Comet stuff?
John-I think portions of it are extremely heavier. What Tod brought in was amazing, incredible.
Tod-That whole thing is kinda subjective. You know, interpreting what’s heavy and what isn’t. I write very heavy and then I go and sing it, and that lightens it up. My voice is of a higher range. It’s Big Rock Melodic, it is nothing...well, I shouldn’t say nothing like Frehley’s Comet. A couple of my songs are darker. I’ve always written dark material. It has a lot of spontaneity, good melody, it’s for fans of great music!
John- A lot of good guitar playing, a lot of great singing...you know it’s four , originally six, musicians doing what they love doing. This record is a culmination of three decades of each of our experiences. Four By Fate is truly the sum of it’s parts, Tod with Cheap Trick, myself with Frampton, Rob with Skid Row, Pat with Pound... this is a Musical snapshot of where we are in 2016. Nothing is contrived, it’s a great mix of material. We even slipped in a song Tod wrote for Frehley’s Comet “Second Sighting” LP, “It’s Over Now”*... Tod can tell you about that..
Tod: Of course!! He contributed one song, that’s
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Tod-I wrote “It’s Over Now”* in 1985 and I gave it to Cheap Trick, and they were like “Wow”, but didn’t end up using it, so I brought it in when we were mixing the first Frehley’s Comet album, and I played it for John on the piano, and John said “We should record that”, and it ended up on “Second Sighting.” When we were recording “Relentless” John wanted to recut it. An interesting idea. AJ played on that. We’re very pleased with it. It’s something for the fans of our Yester-Careers!
John-it didn’t get the notoriety, or listening ears it should have on the first go round in my opinion. For me, it was a guilty pleasure. It’s a joy to play. Such a great song. There is really something for everybody on this record, and I hope people enjoy listening to it, it as much as we enjoyed creating it.
Scott: Who did the Producing on the CD?
John-I did, with Tod, and an amazing engineer named Jean-Christophe Santalis. He was that third set of ears that really made it a great album. He was invaluable.
John- John Lennon was once asked if he’d go and redo any Beatles songs, and he answered “All of them”, so there you go... You can always go back and overanalyze, but that I feel takes something away from the authenticity of the recordings.
Tod-This isn’t a showpiece CD , we are not trying to become young , rich millionaires...we’re just out there trying to bring good music to people that want to listen.
John-Speak for yourself! (Laughs heartily). I’m using the money for plastic surgery, Pal!
Did you guys end up with more material than is on the CD?
JohnThese guys...Tod and Pat are songwriting machines. Pat’s already sent us three or four new songs. You know, so again..I’m measuring the success of this album by if we get to do another one.
Scott-So this is a very pure CD, in terms that it is what you guys wanted to do?
Tod-It isn’t overproduced. I’ve never been a fan of overproducing something because then it pales in comparison when you see it played live. That used to annoy me when I’d see some of my favorite bands. Many of them could play back then, but then they overly produced it, and you’d go hear it live...and it pales in comparison, so I wanted the production to sound like us when we play live. The purity comes in with all of the urgency, and how we were met with all of the hurdles, and we tried to get to Point A, then onward. We put a lot of us into this, so it is very pure.
Tod-Pat writes all the time, he has a schedule. It’s different than mine. I’ve got so much going on at home that I’m lucky to get songs going and record as quickly as Pat does. I DO have a lot of songs written in the wings. Pat and I play a lot alike, the same chords and voicings, so we enjoy each other’s work...so quite frankly I’m looking forward to the new songs, which should be quicker than would be believed..soon!
John- We have a great label we are signed with in North and South America, as well as Canada...The End Records...with a great roster of Artists, and we couldn’t be happier...Andreas Katsambas, President & Owner, Leo Lavoro, the Publicity Director, and the ENTIRE Staff at The End have been nothing short
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As long as we’re getting out to the people, we’re happy.
John-We just want to get out and play. You want us to play? Give Danny Stanton a call! Email Danny at Coallier@aol.com. We’ll be there.
Scott- So Four By Fate will continue?
of spectacular in rolling this out to our audience of Friends. It is a true team effort, and I’m thankful we are working together. Pat made that connection, and we’re thrilled. We also have a great label in the UK, Europe & Scandinavia...Amazing Records. At this point we have everywhere covered but Asia... and that should be coming along soon!
The future is looking great for John Regan, Tod Howarth, Pat Gasperini, and Rob Affuso. “Relentless” was voted the Number One Most Anticipated Album by LoudWire, it has debuted to 100% rave reviews. Four By Fate is here to stay.
Scott: So you do have touring plans? Will other projects and Family put limits on touring?
Please visit the guys at Fourbyfate.com, and the CD is available via ITunes, Amazon , Best Buy, and more!!!
John- We are looking at every option, and ready to hit the Stage at a moment’s notice. Initially, we’re looking at some Festivals, but the “Live” aspect will be ramping up quickly due to the great response we have gotten just one week into release.
Writer’s Note *-It actually IS a show piece of Great Rock. ***Extra Special Thanks to John Regan for some extremely important fact corrections that helped this Author Immeasurably !
Tod-We’re looking to do anything that is advantageous for the band. It’s really up to our Booking Agent and the label.
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Pat Gasperini-A Few Words With Four By Fate’s Musical Powerhouse Scott: Hi, Pat...first off, you have had a long and impressive musical history. How did being in Pound and then Flywheel, amongst other notable bands, prepare you for Four By Fate? What were some lessons you learned throughout your musical career that have stuck with you?
Pat: My music career from my major label debut with my bands Pound and Flywheel and The Patrick James Band taught me a lot of life lessons, but first and foremost be true to who you are as an artist, songwriter and musician.Don’t be swayed by trends and fads and don’t write for the moment, write from the heart.... that always stands the test of time I also learned the art of the Music Business because quite frankly, not too many people are going to work harder than yourself. If you are driven, you have to sell yourself so therefore you must learn the Biz and create relationships that are relevant to your Art. At the end of the day , the music will do the talking .
Scott: When did you start playing, and what instruments attracted you?
So the past 35 plus years of my life have been dedicated to my music, now FOUR BY FATE is the next chapter in my musical career and I’m happy to be making music !
Pat: I started playing at the age of 5.
Were you a natural?
Guitars, vocals ,keys & drums !
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Scott: Yes , everything came to me quite naturally I felt everything !
Scott: What do you prefer to do...sing, play guitar, or write music?
Pat: All of the above equally !
Scott: At what point did you decide you wanted to do music for a living? Did you ever have a ‘backup’ plan?
What can you say about working with your son, PJ, and did you have any apprehensions about him pursuing music?
Pat: It’s fantastic playing and recording with my son! We get to spend quality and creative time together !
Well, you always want the best for your child. But I could see at a very young age he had the music in him and he now has a happy balance. I couldn’t be happier and more proud of him !
Scott: What are some of your influences, both for songwriting and guitar style?
Pat: At the Age of 12 , I formed my first real rock band and I never looked back ....full steam ahead !
No, my back up plan was make my first plan work and I did.
Scott: What are some of your favorite guitars? Do you ever write using one guitar, and prefer playing another one live?
Pat: My range is wide....from Hendrix to Van Halen, Black Sabbath to Randy Rhoades, the Eagles to Stevie Ray to Skynyrd, to the Stones, Earth, Wind, and Fire to Wild Cherry, to Stevie Wonder and The Chic. From Ram Jam , Styx to Aerosmith Alice In Chains, to Stone Temple Pilots, Cheap Trick to Frampton, Rush to Jethro Tull. All of them!! The blues in all shape and forms. That’s just scratching the surface. I love great music great melody and great lyrical hooks.
Pat: Gibson Les Paul’s , Fender Strats , Gender tele’s , Martin acoustics those are my go to guitars ! Scott: I write on my Martin 95 % of the time and my Les Pauls, also.
I play Les Pauls and Chet Atkins live.
How did you meet Tod and John, and how easy did Four By Fate fit for you?
Pat: I first reconnected with John Regan and invited him
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to my studio to play bass on a couple of new songs I had been writing and tracking , and Follow Me was of them. We immediately hit it off on all levels and rest kind of happened naturally. He sent some music over to Tod and then we all started chatting and a bond was created at that point. The rest is history !
Scott: Do you enjoy touring, or can it be taxing? How do you fit it in with your family life?
Pat: I love touring, traveling, meeting great people and seeing the world.
I do miss my family when I’m on the road but we have a great support system and we make it work ! I get them out as often as possible when I’m doing dates.
But, first and foremost , set up in a garage , write great songs, practice your craft and become a great player and singer and musician!! Do not rely on backing tracks and computers. Focus on becoming a kick ass live band...that will always pay great dividends at the end of the day !
Scott: What interests or hobbies do you have that might surprise your fans?
Pat: I love training in the gym , my family ,writing and producing projects. Business opportunities etc, nothing too shocking.
Scott: What are your future plans? A Pound project, more Four By Fate..What do you hope for?
Scott: A couple of questions I always,ask..first, any opinion on the resurgence of vinyl?
I’m always writing, producing and making music, so...anything is possible.
I love the idea , hope it takes off again, I still have all my records!!!
Scott: Lastly, What advice would you give to those starting out in music, who want to pursue it as a career?
Pat: Today, the music biz is very different. You must learn the business as well as building your brand and become a business man. You must keep your ear to the street and finger on the pulse , always.
More Four By Fate records is the current focus .
I hope to share stories and take masses of people on an emotional roller coaster ride and bring everyone together in song !!
Thanks, Pat! This is really great of you! We at Steel Notes appreciate it!! Check out Pat Gasperini on the brand new Four By Fate release “Relentless”.
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Rob Affuso-The Legendary Beat Behind Skid Row and Four By Fate: An Interview 1. Hi, Rob....first off, how old were you when you first decided to start drumming? Did you play other instruments before? Lastly, when you started playing, were you a natural?
I literally started playing the “drums” at age 2! My mother has pictures of me sitting on the kitchen floor playing her pots with her wooden spoons. I was “a natural” in a sense where I just KNEW I NEEDED and WANTED to play the drums! And yes, it came quite easily to me at a young age.
Scott: You have had an incredible career. You’ve played on many artists albums, but you are probably best known for providing the back beat for Skid Row...When did you really feel you achieved success? What career highlights are you most proud of?
Rob: Thank you. Yes, I have been lucky to have performed on many others’ albums! The early years of Skid Row’s climb were very strange, as we were just out touring and we would get calls from family and friends telling us they saw our video on
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MTV about 8 times in a day or heard us blowing up the radio! We were in the calm of the center of the storm! Though we started to realize our success was building when we were opening for Bon Jovi and the stadiums would get fuller and fuller each week by new Skid Row fans wanting to see the band. Finally we out sold Bon Jovi in T-Shirt sales! We never let him live that one down!
I’m not sure if I can say I ever felt like I arrived at the station of “success.” I always felt there was more to do and get done. I truly believe sitting in your “success” breeds complacency.
I loved ALL of our albums. They are like “your babies” and is hard to like one more than another! There are definitely different emotions associated with each one, however, I feel my performance on the SUBHUMAN RACE recording was one of my career highlights I am most proud of.
Scott: How did you meet John, Tod, and Pat? What led you to join Four By Fate?
Rob: I had know Pat for many years and had also had a peripheral relationship with John as we live near each other in the Hudson Valley, NY area. I had randomly been texting Pat about going to see his band when he told me that he was also playing with John and Tod and AJ Pero who sadly passed away while they were working on an album together. He asked if I might be interested in stepping in on drums to finish the album. Pat then connected John and Tod with me…..and BOOM! Here we are!
Scott: Do you still get the same thrill of playing to audiences and making music as you did in the 90’s? How have you yourself changed, and how has your style changed or evolved?
Rob: I LOVE playing the drums and moving people with the energy of music! There is nothing like it in the world for me. STILL to this day.
Scott: Do you have a favorite drum kit? What brands do you feel you can always trust to deliver your particular sound?
Rob: I DO! I started playing PEARL drums in the early days of Skid Row but eventually moved over
to DW Drums as the quality of design and workmanship is unparalleled in my opinion. John Good LOVES making drums and his enthusiasm is reflected in his finished products! ALL of my DW Drums provide exactly the sound that we designed them for, whether it be for a large stadium rock event or a small intimate R&B show.
Scott: What, and whom were you influenced by? Which bands really meant a lot to you?
Rob: Oh man. There are so many it is hard to list as you hear and steal ideas and styles from all the greats along the way! Some of my earliest influences include: Neil Peart, John Bonham, Cozy Powell, Phil Rudd, Buddy Rich, Louie Belson.
Scott: Speaking of Skid Row, the obvious question....is a reunion of any type possible in the future? Would you want to tour, or just record? What would be your ‘ideal scenario’?
Rob: I would LOVE to revisit SKID ROW after 20+ years and do it through a more “mature set of eyes.” I can’t really answer this question as there are 4 other guys here all with different feelings on this. But for me, I can just say, God, I hope there will be a reunion some day while we are all still capable and ALIVE!
Scott: Can you briefly say a few things about working with John, Tod, and Pat?
Rob: All 3 guys are extremely talented musicians! When speaking with John and Tod about working together, we all kept citing the same theme; “Let’s just have some fun playing music.” Whatever might come from that will be what that is! The entire rehearsal, recording and performing of the album and subsequent live performances were filled with laughter, warmth and encouragement for one another. It has been a treat and I look forward to
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more of the same!
Scott: What are some of your personal hobbies that might surprise some fans? What do you enjoy doing in your “Off Time”?
Rob: LOL! Well…..I have a horse farm and I LOVE driving my John Deer tractor and mowing the fields. I get completely lost in following the cut grass lines I have created and just feel so very lucky to have such an incredible life.
Scott: What are your plans for the future,both hoped for and that you are actively going for?
Rob: Honestly, to stay healthy and fit in body and mind and in “drumming shape” so that I can continue to handle any situation presented to me. I know this sounds “vague,” but this is very much the truth!
Scott: What can fans expect seeing Four By Fate live? Are you looking forward to a tour?
my head. And thus named the band !! We started performing in local clubs in the Northeast area just for fun, as you can imagine its hard to make any money with 12 musicians at a club! The band became very successful and we began to get inquiries for larger private, corporate events. It was at this time that I started the company SOULSYSTEM ORCHESTRAS which is an entertainment agency and music production company that serves private clients around the world.
Scott: What advice do you have for young musicians , or those starting out, that want a career in music like you have achieved?
Rob: BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Learn from your failures. You will ALWAYS have failures. I had many, but my mother would explain to me that these were just “learning bumps” in your path. Be serious about your craft and have FUN with it. Treat it like a business, but always have FUN. When it stops being fun, then you should reevaluate and take corrective measure whatever they may be!
Scott: Thanks, Rob!
Rob: The band is currently working on some tour dates and festivals. We will perform our original songs from the album as well as honoring some of the musical heritage from each of our past.
We at Steel Notes wish you continued success!!!
Scott: Can you tell your fans a bit about Soulsystem Orchestras?
Rob: While in Skid Row, I used to come off stage and once back on the bus, loved to disappear and listen to old school funk, R&B and Motown. I just couldn’t get enough of it and wanted to learn more about their stories and the musicians and their respective musical styles. Finally, after coming off the Slave To The Grind tour, I put together a 12 piece band to play all of this music. I woke up in the middle of the night with the name SOULSYSTEM in
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SHOW REVIEW Rock N Pyro’s Dark Side of the Moon By Karmamoon Rock N Pyro Entertainment is a company that puts on an entertaining show. I had a chance to go behind the scenes and see how they set up their demo for the new year in fireworks displays and talk with Chris the creator of The Dark Side Of The Moon event when they had their premier debut at Valley Preferred Cycle aka The Veledrome in Trexletown, Pa. Chris stated “The background of the company is rather interesting, especially for the locals. The pyro side of Rock n Pyro is a company located in Slatington, Celebration Fireworks. It’s been in business since 2001 and has grown to be the premier fireworks display in the region. In fact, Celebration Fireworks was invited to compete in an international competition in China in 2014 and won 2nd place. Despite the weather, Rock N Pyro kicked off the day at 4 p.m. with fun for the whole family. They had inflatable fun houses and slides, knockerball, musical sideshows with Brass Effects and Junk Rock, guitar demonstrations, and a stage set up with Rockband synced with lighting so everyone could have a chance to be a rockstar for the day. The main event started at 9 p.m. and provided an excellent laser light show with fog, flame throwers and fireworks synced to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon.”
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