Copyright, Piracy, Stupidity

Copyright Stupidity

http://torrentfreak.com/five-undercover-police-cars-sent-to-arrest-single-alleged-movie-pirate-130525/

There is a story doing the rounds over at Torrent Freak. Refer to the link above.

The tone of the story is about the power that the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) funded Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) holds in the U.K. It looks like copyright infringement these days involves a lot of police resources and judicial resources all based on evidence that is gathered by FACT officers. Think about that for a minute. The Police Department is not doing any investigation of their own. They are taking the evidence of FACT officers as being true and correct. In addition, these are non-violent crimes, so for the police to invest large resources, is extreme to say the least.

FACT is funded by the MPAA. The MPAA is funded by the U.S movie studios. The Movie Studios have an agenda; to bring the distribution of movies back under their control. They want it to be like it was before the Internet came along.

That is why the Movie Studios get the MPAA to lobby hard to change legislation. The MPAA, tried to do this with SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (PROTECT IP Act) and they failed.

In the meantime, MPAA funded FACT organisations have sprung up all over the world. The Australian FACT version took one of the medium size ISP players to Court, so that a judge can declare that ISP’s are responsible for copyright infringement. They failed. Negotiations then started with FACT and all the other ISP’s about a warning/strikes system. Even these have broken down.

Going back to the story, when the alleged “violent” copyright infringer was questioned/interviewed, it was done by FACT officers, while the Police sat back. Then when it came to charge the alleged copyright infringer, it was unclear as to what he has done wrong, and on his bail sheet, it is referred to a Miscellaneous Offense.

So let me get this straight.

1. An out of hours search warrant is issued. This would involve a Judge, Police Prosecutor and FACT officers.
2. Five Undercover cars, containing 10 Police Officers, plus FACT officers raid a house, where the alleged copyright infringer doesn’t live anymore. Put this down to the great investigation from the FACT officers. Put this down to Police incompetence for not investigating the matter as well.
3. Once they find out from the current residents of the property where the alleged copyright infringer lives, 3 police cars, containing 6 police officers plus FACT officers raid the current place of residence of the alleged copyright infringer.
4. The raid is due to the alleged copyright infringer recording and distributing Fast and Furious 6 and a few other titles. However, the items seized included three servers, a desktop computer, blank hard drives and blank media. NO movie recording equipment was seized.
5. Back at the Police Station the alleged copyright infringer is interviewed/questioned by FACT officers, while the Police Officer sits back and observes.
6. The alleged copyright infringer was then let out on bail, with the charge recorded as an Miscellaneous Offense.

So all of this time is invested just for a Miscellaneous Offense. This is Copyright Stupidity at its worst. This is what happens when the judicial process has been sold to whoever pays the most. If you look up conflict of interest in any dictionary, you will see the above debacle fitting in with the definition.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

Disciple – Draw The Line

Classic Song To Be Discovered
Disciple – Draw The Line

This is a song that I could have written. It more or less reflects on a certain point in my life.

It’s actually written by Kevin Young (Disciple), Seth Mosley (Me In Motion) and Ben Glover (Christian version of Desmond Child) and it appeared on the 2012 album, O God Save Us All by Disciple.

Another crash, another fall, another failure
Another choice I don’t want to remember
Been here too many times
Every day is another fight

This is what I wasn’t prepared for. That the choices I made, can either turn out great, or end up in pain and tears. It’s hard to look back at certain choices and the events that followed afterwards and realise that the blame rests with me. I have made a lot of mistakes and as painful as it is to own them, there was no way I could move forward. There was no one left to blame except me.

I’m at war with the person I could be
Give me a chance and I’ll mess up a good thing

How true? I know what I should do, I know who I should be, however I try to be someone I am not. I have a good thing, in children that love me, a wife that loves me, so why do I make choices that hurts them and me. As I got older, I realised all of this and I was lucky that all the good things in my life stuck around. They could have easily walked away and I would have been left with nothing.

This is where I draw the line
This is where the old me dies
Light a match, let it burn, kiss it goodbye
Give it up, what I was, this is where I draw the line

This is it. That point in time, when I pulled up the handbrake, walked out of the car and left the old me behind. I realised that I had slipped so far from what I have known and I needed to do whatever it takes to get back to those good things in my life.

Another battle I lost fighting solo
How many times must I learn what I already know
Can’t do this on my own
Wasn’t meant to fight alone

I always believed that my problems are my problems and that I needed to solve them on my own. It must be a male thing. People are always there, however I always ignored their views. I was always right and no one else could tell me any different. It took me a long time to realise that I don’t have to do this all on my own. People want to listen, people want to help, I just had to let them. Again, the choice was down to me.

So I’m lifting my hands in surrender
Take my thoughts and my flaws and make me better

I am human. I have made mistakes. I needed to learn from my flaws and make myself a better person. I needed to take my thoughts of revenge, injustice and hate and use those feelings to make me a better person.

Revenge for the betrayal and backstabbing would not give me satisfaction. Revenge for the corporate funded injustice would not give me satisfaction. There was no need to hold on to those feelings. Time has a funning way of making things work out. Some call it Karma, I call it ‘living by the choices we make.’

Let’s put it this way, from when I walked away from that part of life back in September 2010, I have gone from strength to strength. The other people that where in my life at that time, have dragged themselves even further below. They burned the musical house that I created to the ground, they burned whatever relationships they had to the ground by constantly running away from responsibility, fabricating stories and blaming others when it all goes bad.

I am happy to say that I am living by the choices I made.

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Copyright, Derivative Works, Influenced

The Kashmir Effect

Stone Temple Pilots – Plush (1992)

And I feel that time’s a wasted go
So where ya going to tomorrow?
And I see that these are lies to come
Would you even care?

Yes, Stone Temple Pilots did a derivative work of Kashmir.  Instead of going up the fret board chromatically, they go chromatically down the fret board.  The drums and the feel of the song, is John Bonham reincarnated.

Plush is from the excellent debut album Core.  Regardless of the Scott Weiland shenanigans going on right now, there is no denying that Stone Temple Pilots released two ground breaking albums.

Kingdom Come – Get It On (1988)

We’ve come a real long way to be with you
It’s not that easy doing what we do
There are those lonely times and then there’s happiness
Now it’s time we gonna do what we do best

Get It On was the reason why people went out and purchased a million plus units of the debut Kingdom Come album. People actually thought this was Led Zeppelin. The verse riff is very heavily inspired from Kashmir.

Whitesnake – Judgement Day (1989)

We walk toward desire,
Hand and hand
Through fields of fire
With only love to light the way
On the road to Judgement Day

The Kashmir effect strikes again. Whitesnake must have said, if Kingdom Come can pull it off, why can’t we.  It should have been the lead off single instead of the re-recorded Fool For Your Loving.  Dave Coverdale had a lot to prove when he started to write the follow-up to the mega successful Whitesnake 1987 album that was penned with John Sykes.

Metallica – The Call Of Ktulu (1984)

The same riff that Mustaine wrote for The Call of Ktulu, is the same progression that is used in Kashmir.  It is also in the same key of D minor.  The only difference, is that Dave Mustaine arpeggio’s the notes.  Dave Mustaine doesn’t play on the Metallica version, that was released on Ride The Lightning, however he is the creator of the main piece of music on this song.

Dream Theater – Metropolis, Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper (1992)

As a child, I thought I could live without pain without sorrow
As a man I’ve found it’s all caught up with me
I’m asleep yet I’m so afraid

Somewhere like a scene from a memory
There’s a picture worth a thousand words
Eluding stares from faces before me
It hides away and will never be heard of again

When the verse riff kicks in, it’s Kashmir at a prog level.  The chordal keys that happen over the Em triplets, is all hair on the back of the neck stuff.  Pull Me Under introduced Dream Theater to the world, however Metropolis is the star on the Images and Words album.

Megadeth – Hanger 18 (1990)

The military intelligence
Two words combined that can’t make sense
Possibly I’ve seen too much
Hangar 18 I know too much

Kashmir and The Call of Ktulu merged into an excellent thrash opener that deals with aliens and conspiracy theories.  Dave Mustaine references himself and Jimmy Page again.

Coheed and Cambria – Welcome Home (2005)

You stormed off to scar the armada
Like Jesus played martyr,
I’ll drill through your hands

The verse riff and the John Bonham drums.  It’s Kashmir again.  Coheed and Cambria knew they had a winner with this song.  It is the song that announced them to the world.  It is the song that we all wanted to hear at the recent concert I attended at the Metro Theater in Sydney.

Megadeth – In My Darkest Hour (1988)

My whole life is work built on the past
But the time has come when all things shall pass
This good thing passed away

The B to C to C# to D note changes over a E pedal point from In My Darkest Hour is the same is the A, B flat, B, C over a D pedal point from Kashmir.  Music written after the death of Cliff Burton, had to be epic and it had to be big.

Kashmir is Led Zeppelin’s definitive statement.  It was released in 1975 on the excellent double album Physical Graffiti.  It’s influence since then on the rock / metal scenes is extraordinary.  Even Hip Hop sampled it.  The Tea Party built a career on it. The bands mentioned above wrote career defining songs on it.

Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music

Classic Album Closing Songs

Diary Of A Madman (1981)

Entries of confusion
Dear diary, I’m here to stay

What can I say, it had to be a Randy Rhoads song.  Diary shows the monster that Randy was becoming.  Despite being seen as Ozzy’s band, the star of the band is Randy Rhoads.

Diary Of A Madman is the perfect fusion of progressive metal, technical rock and sinister classical all rolled into one potent song.  As much as Sharon Osbourne tries to re-write Ozzy’s history, she can never re-write the music that was created.  The music comes from the guitar, bass and the keys, all instruments her beloved Ozzy doesn’t play.

Australian Bob Daisley as the lyricist and bassist is the unsung hero in Ozzy’s second coming.  He doesn’t even get credited as playing on the album, thanks to a spiteful Sharon Osbourne.  He was recruited from the Dio fronted Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow.  How ironic, that Dio would leave Rainbow to sing for Black Sabbath, and Daisley would leave Rainbow to join the singer that Black Sabbath fired.

Hallowed Be Thy Name (1982)

Mark my words believe my soul lives on
Don’t worry now that I have gone
I’ve gone beyond to seek the truth

When you know that your time is close at hand
Maybe then you’ll begin to understand
Life down there is just a strange illusion

It’s a Steve Harris composition, however the voice of Bruce Dickinson is the savior. It gave Iron Maiden the fire to break away from the New Wave of British Metal image and forge a new direction.  It made them relevant.

Iron Maiden became a household name on the back of The Number of The Beast along with it’s anthem Run To The Hills.

However the real star on this album is the closer, Hallowed Be Thy Name.  The definitive version is the live version featured on Live After Death (1985).  The tempo is increased slightly and Nicko McBrain (who replaced Clive Burr) on the drums, gives the song the fury it needs.  The song is about the last moments of a prisoner before the execution.

Who We Are (2011)

We are the young
And young at heart
The strong and the brave that are destined to start
We are the change
The world needs to see
Look in our eyes and see our belief

This is who we are
This is what I am
We have nowhere else to go
Divided we will stand

The mighty Machine Fucken Head.  It’s a Robb Flynn composition.  He should have changed the Divided We Will Stand to UNITED WE WILL STAND.  It would have fit the lyrical message of the song to a tee.  The only time we metal heads stand united as a metal show.  Apart from that, we are in a elite class of the genres we like.  I like Black Veil Brides.  Try telling that to my elite Slipknot and Mudvayne friends.  Do you get what I mean.

S.M.F (1984)

Black sheep of the family, nothing like the rest
Separate from the others, failing all their tests
Can’t they see you’re different, so hungry and so lean
You’re a walking wonder, you’re a metal machine
Look and you’ll see you’re a lot like me

You’re an S.M.F.

Any closing song that abbreviates the term Sick Mutha Fucker has my attention.  Twisted Sister was one band, that knew how to write songs for the live show.  Put that down to their 9 years of playing the club scenes before they even got a shitty independent deal.  Dee Snider was a master.

Of course the Stay Hungry album was known for the smash hits, We’re Not Gonna Take It and I Wanna Rock.  However the real star of the album is the ode to all of those Twisted SMF’s who supported the band.

The lyrical theme follows the same theme as We’re Not Gonna Take It and I Wanna Rock. It’s about metal fans versus the system and the family dynamic. This time the band is telling me, it’s okay to be different, it’s okay that I don’t fit a mold made for me.  There are others out there, that are experiencing the same and let our love of music, find us a home.

Shogun (2008)

Time has come to face all evil

It’s an epic.  The musicianship is excellent.  Trivium to me are part of the current Big 5 of metal bands, along with Machine Head (actually Machine Head to me are part of the Nineties Big 4 as well as the 2000’s Big 5), Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God and Five Finger Death Punch.

That time to face all evil came to me in 2010, however I should have faced it in 2008.  Avoiding it, only made it worse.

If you succeed in this battle
You still will lose so much more

Ain’t that the truth.  Winning a battle (albeit a court case, a street fight or a real battle) is one thing, dealing with the aftermath is another thing.

Aerials (2001)

Life is a waterfall
we’re one in the river
and one again after the fall…

life is a waterfall
we drink from the river
then we turn around and put up our walls

System Of A Down nailed it on Aerials.  They really captured their European Armenian minor key arrangements and fused it with modern metal. The music is written by guitarist and backing vocalist, Daron Malakian and the lyrics are shared between Serj Tankian and Malakian.  I got into SOAD because of the unique vocal style of Serj.  In bands, it doesn’t matter how great the music is, if the singer cannot connect with the listeners and deliver, then it’s time to find someone who can.

How true is the statement?  We flow into each day, into each routine without any effor and we could flow like that for days.  Then one day, it all changes and we are going down the waterfall.  It’s quick, it’s crazy and when we come out of it, we will flow again like we did, but we will be different.

 

The Count Of Tuscany (2009)

Could this be the end?
Is this the way I die?
Sitting here alone
No one by my side

I don’t understand
I don’t feel that I deserve this
What did I do wrong?
I just don’t understand

Dream Theater deserves a mention for this beauty.  The lyrics by Petrucci could have been better, however the last section makes up for it.  Furthermore, there is no denying the impact of the music.  I also have my own edited version, where I cut out that atmospheric 4 minute keyboard and guitar interlude.

The stars of the band have always been the guitarist and the keyboardist for me.  John Petrucci and Kevin Moore was Mark 1.  John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess is Mark 3.

The great fear in humans. Death.  There isn’t a subject on it.  Hell, there even isn’t a subject about getting old.  I know that the lyric lines quoted above are about how John Petrucci as a child, got lost on a family holiday in Italy and he was fearing for his life, in an Italian cellar with a strange-looking Christopher Lee.  The beauty of lyrics done right, means that they can also be taken in a different way.

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Music, Piracy, Stupidity

Richie Sambora Finally Speaks and Bye Bye, What About Now?

Let’s scream piracy.  Let’s scream tougher laws.

The PR machine from the RIAA and Bon Jovi will be saying that this album didn’t sell as much as it should have, because people downloaded it for free.  What a load of B.S?

The album is a DUD.  It is a bunch of 50-year-old men, trying to appeal to a teen market.  The teens that like Bon Jovi, like Bon Jovi because of the classic songs they have written, not because they try to sound like One Direction.

What About Now is sitting at 197 on the Billboard Chart.  The album has done its run.  Bon Jovi (the band) spent over 5 months recording and writing this album, only to have it do a run of 10 weeks.

Richie left for “personal reasons” according to Jon.  Now Jon Bon Jovi doesn’t want to talk about it anymore.   Then Jon drums up some publicity (as the album surely isn’t) by calling Justin Beiber an asshole.  Richie then finally speaks out about his departure.  He is pissed that Jon is talking trash and making it hard for him to return.

On the other hand, the Because We Can World Tour, is still continuing with shows booked all the way into 2014.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Copyright, Music, My Stories

Dave Mustaine – What Do Ya Mean? I Don’t Write Good Lyrics

Megadeth has a new album coming out, called Supercollider due to be released on June 4, 2013.  It will album number 14.  That got me thinking about the lyrics that Dave Mustaine has written for Megadeth, throughout their 30 year existence.

Holy Wars – 1990, from Rust In Peace

Brother will kill brother
Spilling blood across the land
Killing for religion
Something I don’t understand

Fools like me, who cross the sea
And come to foreign lands
Ask the sheep, for their beliefs
Do you kill on God’s command?

How prophetic is this song? It was written in 1990, and at the time it was in reference to the IRA and the Northern Ireland issue.  If you hear the lyrics for the first time today, you would make the connection to something different.  The song is intense.  If anyone asked me to play them three songs that would sum up the Thrash movement,  Holy Wars would be first, Master of Puppets from Metallica would be second and Seasons In The Abyss from Slayer would be third.

Symphony Of Destruction – 1992, from Countdown To Extinction

You take a mortal man,
And put him in control
Watch him become a god
Watch peoples heads a’roll

I have known people who have been put in position’s where they have a certain amount of power and control.  They start out with good intentions.  In time, they begin to change, they develop the god complex and people either start to turn away from them, or for they ones that stay, they end up getting burned.

Kick The Chair – 2004, from The System Has Failed

Justice means nothing today
Now that the courts are for sale
Pick a crime from the menu, pick a sentence and defend you
And pick up the down payment called bail
The system’s for sale!

Mustaine covers the topics of justice, corruption and freedoms a fair bit.  Kick the Chair is from The System Has Failed album.  The album title alone tells the listener what they are in for.  These days, Justice is given to the ones who pay the most.  We have the Entertainment and Publishing Industries using Copyright as a form of censorship.  Just recently a Latvian school teacher was arrested and interrogated, for creating a website that provided access to school children to certain books.  What is more important, Copyright or Education.  Back in my day, the teachers used to photo copy the text books and give them out to the students.

Bite The Hand – 2009, from Endgame

They ball-gagged Lady Justice
And blindfolded her so she can’t see
The erosion of the people’s trust
Of what will come to be an FDIC Assisted Suicide

The depression of a depression
Worldwide suicide for the economy
Caused by the dialectic chaos when the
Mob on Wall Street took “We the People” for a ride

A song written after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). As each day went by, more information came out as to why the GFC happened.  It all pointed to greed, corruption and conflicts of interest between the revolving door of Government officials and Lobby Groups.

A Secret Place – 1997, from Cryptic Writings

There’s a secret place I like to go
Everyone is there but their face don’t show
If you get inside you can’t get out
There’s no coming back, I hear them shout

Didn’t we all have that secret place growing up.  That secret place in our heads.  Leave it up to Mustaine to make it sound sinister.

Skin Of My Teeth – 1992, from Countdown To Extinction

I won’t feel the hurt
I’m not trash any longer
That that doesn’t kill me
Only makes me stronger
I need a ride to the morgue
That’s what 911 is for
So, tag my toe and don’t forget
Ooh to close the drawer

The opener from the excellent Countdown To Extinction has some of the best Mustaine lyrics ever committed to paper.  The last verse is a classic.  It’s a well-known fact that Mustaine has battled addiction, and as he says what doesn’t kill him can only make him stronger.

Peace Sells – 1986, from Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying

What do you mean, “I don’t believe in God”?
I talk to him every day
What do you mean, “I don’t support your system”?
I go to court when I have to
What do you mean, “I can’t get to work on time”?
I got nothing better to do
And, what do you mean, “I don’t pay my bills”?
Why do you think I’m broke? Huh?

Even though Peace Sells came out in 1986, I heard the album in 1988, just before So Far, So Good, So What came out.  Growing up, listening to metal and rock music, put you into this social class of troublemakers, drug takers and devil worshippers.  So when I heard Peace Sells, the words said what I and many others wanted to say.

“What do you mean” became the war cry.  To me, it summed up, the metal community.  Yeah we could get wild, we could get high and we could get rowdy, however in the end, we still paid our dues to the system.  We still worked, we still paid our bills/taxes and most importantly we still contribute to the system.

Foreclosure Of A Dream – 1992, from Countdown To Extinction

Barren land that once filled a need
Are worthless now, dead without a deed
Slipping away from an iron grip
Nature’s scales are forced to tip
The heartland cries, loss of all pride
To leave ain’t believing, so try and be tried
Insufficient funds, insanity and suicide

This song was released in 1992 and like Holy Wars, how prophetic was it?  It could have been re-released in 2008 or 2009 and it would have fitted in with that time.  That is the power of music when it is done right.  It is timeless.

The Right To Go Insane – 2009, from Endgame

I barely get to the graveyard shift on time
After pulling another grueling nine to five
I live from credit card to check
The paper money’swhirling by
And I hardly just, just barely, only just survive

I could relate to this song.  Working like a slave just to give it all away to the taxman, the banks and the utility providers.  Then doing it again and again and again and again.

We The People – 2011, from Th1rt3en

Violate your rights, no more equality
Surrender freedom, your Social Security
We, the people face unconstitutional lies
In greed we trust, in revolution we die

Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves
The land of liberty needs a regime change
Until you no longer know right from wrong
The constitution isn’t worth the paper it’s written on

Final say.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

iPod Shuffle – Classic Songs To Be Discovered

When the iPod shuffle gets it right, it gets it right. Driving into work this morning, the shuffle made 6 random songs from different bands, sound like one fluent album sequence.

Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)
By WASP, from The Crimson Idol (1991)

I have no excuse for not attending the WASP concert, when they came to Australia. The Crimson Idol album was going to be played in its entirety. I remember walking out of the Iron Maiden shows (I went to both of those shows) on the Caught Somewhere Back In Time tour, and people where handing out flyers for the WASP shows. I took one, spoke about it with the people I was with and then did nothing. Maybe I was just burnt out from the Maiden shows and wasn’t interested in going or maybe I was broke. I don’t even remember the reasons. The people I was with, have heard of WASP but never heard The Crimson Idol. I was amazed.

Blackie covers the recording business in this song. Chainsaw Charlie is the “the president of showbiz” who is just looking for the next raw talent that he can exploit. Back in 1991, you never really got to hear stories about the labels and how they treated artists. The bottom line was that if an artist wanted to be heard, they needed a label behind them.

“Sign right here on the dotted line, it’s the one you’ve waited for all of your life”

That is how it was. Artists worked hard to get a record deal. In The Crimson Idol story Charlie (the record label honcho) is saying that to Jonathon (the wannabe Idol).

“We’ll sell ya wholesale, we’ll sell your soul
Strap on your six string and feed our machine”

It’s basically the hidden fine print in the deal. The labels owned the artist. They owned their image. They owned the music. They would do whatever it takes to make as much money from the artist as they could. As our access to information has become greater with the rise of the internet, we are now seeing more and more people talk about the creative accounting of the labels.

Def Leppard are doing forgeries of their own songs, in order to circumvent a blockade put up by their label due to a breakdown in the negotiations to the digital rights of the back catalogue.

Eminem took his label to court and won, over the way iTunes payments are treated compared to album physical sales.

Don Henley is going to Court against his old label, to reclaim the Copyrights to his songs due to a clause that the labels are trying to remove, that states after 35 years, the Copyrights of songs are transferred back to the original creator.

California Morning
By The Night Flight Orchestra, from Internal Affairs (2012)

I love this song. It’s got that Deuce feel from Kiss, which was a Rolling Stone bass riff played backwards, so you can say it has that Rolling Stones feel as well. I really like what The Night Flight Orchestra did with their 2012 release. Bringing back the seventies style of music into the NOW.

It’s that slide guitar at the end, that makes me feel like I am catching a wave on a hot summers day. It reminds of Fox On The Run by Sweet and Do Ya from Electric Light Orchestra. It comes in after the lyric line, “I left my heart in L.A.

Even the name The Night Flight Orchestra is a combination of a Led Zeppelin song called Night Flight and the Electric Light Orchestra band name.

The retro style vibe captured by modern recording technology fitted in perfectly as song number 2 behind Chainsaw Charlie from WASP.

We never said a word about it
We knew it wasn’t meant to be

Crazy Train
By Ozzy Osbourne, from Blizzard Of Ozz (1980) – Remastered Version

I’ve listened to preachers
I’ve listened to fools
I’ve watched all the dropouts
Who make their own rules

Randy Rhoads wrote my bible. The Tribute tab book that I purchased was my bible. I learned every note, every lick and every riff. It’s impact was monumental to my guitar playing. It’s funny how history has been rewritten to show this as an Ozzy Osbourne solo album. However, the guys in the band at the time, always believed that it was a band called Blizzard of Ozz.

I grew up listening to people tell me what I need to do. Teachers, instructors, parents, friends or brothers, always leading me onto a path that they want me on. It was a push and shove society. That is why I fell into rock and metal music in general. They wrote the anthems that I could relate to. We’re Not Gonna Take It and I Wanna Rock from Twisted Sister are two songs that come to mind immediately.

Then as time goes by I see all the drop kicks, the ones that everyone said would be unemployed, working for themselves. Some went into the entertainment business and began changing the world with the music/movies they create. And here I am, woodshedding 24/7 to become a guitar god on a music style that killed itself.

Caught In The Middle
By Stryper, from Against The Law (1990)

You’ve been working hard
Trying to make your life appealing

Two simple sentences. That is why we are slaves to the system. We believe that by working hard, we will get richer, we will get promoted and that we will have a better life. What a load of B.S.? My father worked his whole life at the steel mill, and he worked hard. The job was enough to pay the mortgage, pay the bills and keep the wheels turning in everyday life. So my father worked a second job, so that he can make his life appealing. Then when it came to retirement, he was forced into it, by his loving employer.

Cardiff
By Stone Sour, from Come What(ever) May (2006)

This fluid feels like pain
This stoic mood is all in vain
I reach into the dark
I tear the sun and me apart
How many years ago
How many deaths I can’t let go
My flesh is temporary, my God extraordinary

Corey Taylor had a past that involved alcoholism and drug overdoses. These lyrics are depressing as hell. In the end, we are all our own worst enemies. We put so much pressure on ourselves, it’s no wonder that we all break down and end up overdosing on something. How biblical is the last line, the flesh is temporary but our legacy will live on forever in the people that speak it.

Caustic Are The Ties That Bind
By Trivium, from In Waves (2011)

Can you help me find my way
I’ve been lost for so long
I don’t even know where it went wrong

When I first heard Caustic, I saw it as a cut down version of Shogun. It is a Trivium classic and a song that will be part of their set list for a long time to come. I woke up one morning, and I was in a place where I should never be. It was in a hospital room, with a busted eye and a shattered foot. Where did it all go wrong? Was I lost for that long, that I lost my way in life. It’s very easy to do, especially when you don’t believe that nothing is wrong. It’s a lesson learnt. What doesn’t kill me can only make me stronger.

How fitting that this song is like the album closer of this morning drive.

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