Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Is Heavy Metal music an extension of Freud’s philosophy?

Heavy Metal music was always described as primal and anarchistic and immoral and perverted and satanic and whatever else people could think off. The PMRC came out in protest against it, who saw it as the enemy to social order and social control. Like Freud’s observations, heavy metal lyrics are loaded with feelings of impulse and an “anything goes” attitude.

The “Satanic Panic” was then created by religious organisations to fill the bank accounts of the same religious organisations with millions of dollars in donations, because the deluded people thought that these various organisations would take up arms and fight against heavy metal. These institutions saw heavy metal poisoning their God endorsed truths with a differing viewpoint.

Sigmund Freud was probably the first ever metal head in attitude and lifestyle. And he was a master story teller, which is what Heavy Metal lyrics are all about. I learned about life from heavy metal lyrics and history.

Freud’s psychoanalysis theory explored the drives, wishes and fantasies that lurked in our subconscious, the same way, heavy metal lyrics in the early 80’s explored these topics.

Freud is seen as one of the main people to make a strong distinction between how things at first appear, and what might actually be going on under the surface. And people don’t like to hear or see their truths and morals questioned like religious authorities.

Love em or hate em, some of our favourite artists exhibited some interesting thoughts and ideas in their song lyrics.

  • Blackie Lawless saw himself as a beast that liked to fuck.
  • Dee Snider cornered people in an alley way and then became Captain Howdy, who he told everyone to stay away from.
  • Steve Harris became a prowler, walking the streets, looking for girls so pretty, which ended up taking him to Charlotte The Harlot on 22 Acacia Avenue.
  • Bon Scott became a night prowler.
  • Lemmy wrote a few songs about underage girls.
  • David Coverdale, well, he was into sliding it in, slow and easy to the female species.
  • Nikki Sixx kept his rebellion going until he was found in a trash can in London, and then kept on going until his heart was kick started.
  • Don Dokken was into young uns.
  • Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King wanted to dismember and maim.
  • Dave Mustaine questioned society and politics and at times sang songs about assassinating world leaders.
  • Geoff Tate and Chris DeGarmo also put religion, society and the relationship between politicians, corporations and the media into the spotlight.
  • Jon Bon Jovi just wanted to write feel good hits about small town people, trying to make it big in a lonely world. Wait, wasn’t that Steve Perry. Wait, wasn’t that Bruce Springsteen.
  • John Sykes became Billy, shooting his way out of town.
  • Ice T went to town on police brutality against people of colour in “Cop Killer”.
  • Freddie Mercury put a gun to a man’s head and pulled the trigger.
  • David Bowie was known to be into underage girls.
  • Even Elvis Presley, according to today’s norms had an improper relationship with an underage girl which would go on to become his wife.
  • So many artists had the hots for their best friends partners, like Eric Clapton and Rick Springfield.

And I haven’t even gone into the death metal and black metal styles and their lyrics.

Freud would have loved this era.

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Music, My Stories

The Pirate Vault #2

Richie Sambora – Stranger In This Town

When this came out, a mate purchased the cassette and I dubbed it off him. At that point in time, I had taped a few interviews from Sambora and the music video for “Ballad Of Youth” on VHS tapes.

I purchased the CD many years later.

And it’s a great snapshot of an artist trying to find himself as a solo artist, unsure of what the future holds.

Ratt – Invasion Of Your Privacy / Iron Maiden – The Number Of The Beast

I couldn’t be bothered to write the full album title, so I called it “666”.

“Live After Death” was my first exposure to Maiden, and eventually I would get the back catalogue, first as copies from a copy and eventually the real albums.

For Ratt, they became a video clip band for a long time, and if someone had an album that they wanted to share, then I would dub it.

But in this case, the Ratt fan I had in my local, was a culture locker up. He didn’t want to share.

Lucky for me, my cousin Mega, always had excess funds that he used on metal and rock music purchases. But unfortunate for Mega, the excess funds didn’t come from his hard work, it came from his Dad’s hard work, who didn’t trust banks, so he kept the cash at home and Mega found the stash and started spending it, bit by bit, until his Dad did a stocktake and found $700 missing. Mega had some serious bruising for about 6 weeks.

That to me sums up the heavy metal lifestyle.

Racer X – Second Heat / Racer X – Street Lethal

While the band was a great drawcard on the LA club circuit, the major labels didn’t come knocking. Paul Gilbert was losing interest in the band and the other members focused their anger on vocalist Jeff Martin. So it was no surprise that the band dissolved. But what came after was so much better.

Paul Gilbert teamed up with Billy Sheehan and formed Mr Big and got his major label deal.

John Alderete and Bruce Bouillet teamed up with John Corabi and formed The Scream, released an excellent debut album, only to lose their small indie deal after Corabi joined Motley Crue. John Alderete would end up on a major deal with “The Mars Volta” many years later but Bruce Bouillet never got his major label deal.

Jeff Martin replaced Eric Singer on drums in Badlands even though he was the vocalist for Racer X and was on a major label for the “Voodoo Highway” album.

Scott Travis joined Judas Priest for the excellent “Painkiller” album and got his major label deal.

Sometimes, the pieces don’t fit and in Racer X’s case, it didn’t really work out, but when they were free to fly, all the members proved to be valuable additions to other bands.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

It’s A New World

Remember when album leaks used to be a thing.

You know the story, in the lead up to the release of any widely sought after album there was always one certainty. The album would leak ahead of its official release date.

And suddenly, the recording industry woke up to what Napster already told them in 1999. Release everything on the same day around the world and album leaks stopped.

But it took the recording industry so long to realise that, people moved away from music and onto streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and what not.

Suddenly, people lost interest in music leaks as TV shows and Movies became more interesting. Remember when four episodes of Game Of Thrones leaked early. Or when movies hadn’t even hit the cinemas and The Pirate Bay had torrents up.

We live in a world that is all about the NOW.

Music quickly comes and it quickly goes.

Look at all the Top 10 Lists or Charts for each week and you will see that it is a different list each week. There is just so much new music coming out at the moment and people are just churning it up and spitting out the bone.

Anyone talking about Tool anymore.

13 years for the album to drop, for just a few weeks in the public conversation.

It’s a brave new world if you want to play.

Release frequently and do it all over the world on the same day.

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Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Censorship

The rise of the internet broke down borders and connected people. And that’s a good thing. Businesses came about and started to make money from this new technology. With every evolution in the technology, more and more businesses came about.

Who would have thought that the App store would be the first place we go to get something?

And who would have thought that the App store would support a dictatorship and censor applications because the Chinese government run newspaper slammed the company for keeping certain apps on its store. I guess having factories in China and the profits/kickbacks that come with that are more important than free speech and people’s right to demonstrate.

There will always be governments who will suppress and restrict what people see. The Russian’s are doing it, the Chinese are doing it, the North Koreans are doing it, hell, Turkey even found a backdoor and switched it off during an uprising a few years ago.

In democratic countries, governments introduce legislation to control the internet and all the technology which comes with it at the behest of the companies who pay them the most and in the name of national security.

And freedom is over simplified. In the past, torture and public hangings would be used as a way to control people through fear. But as society got more civilised and advanced, our minds became the focus.

Suddenly, surveillance and discipline is used to produce obedient citizens. When the mind believes that it is being watched, it acts properly. And over the last 30 years, surveillance cameras have become a part of life. They are everywhere and democracy has entered the surveillance society. The same society from Eastern Europe, which the fall of the Berlin Wall was meant to eradicate.

As Geoff Tate wrote in “Speak”, the system we learn says we’re equal under law, but the streets are reality, the weak and poor will fall or in “Revolution Calling”, Tate tells how he used to trust the media to tell him the truth, but now that he is older and wiser, he has seen the payoffs and he’s not sure who he can trust when everyone is a crook.

Corruption is real and somehow it finds other corrupted individuals to collude with and suppress/censor freedom. I guess the halls of justice are painted green and money is talking.

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Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Disruption

When something new happens, the organisations who don’t want to change at first ignore it, then they protest against it and eventually they accept it.

But it takes time.

Remember Kodak, who had a billion dollar business selling film for cameras, and didn’t really want to cannibalise those sales and by 2012, when all of their digital patents expired, they filed for bankruptcy, to emerge a few years later, a much leaner and smaller company.

Well, today, cinema complex owners are refusing to screen movies created by Netflix, because they believe Netflix cannibalises their business. Film festivals are refusing to consider Netflix films because the festival organisers don’t want to upset their main sponsors, which are the traditional movie studios and cinema organisations.

Read the story, about how “The Irishman” from Martin Scorsese, is being ostracised because Netflix picked up the financing when no movie studio wanted to do it, and gave Scorsese free reign to film it how he wants to. In the process, Scorsese, according to critic reviews has delivered a 5 out of 5 movie.

The cinema experience will not disappear, but if the film industry wants to run the cinema’s the same way it did back in the 50’s, then they will die a painful death the same way Kodak did.

Being flexible to change and being able to adapt is the key to survival.

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Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

1983

1983.

What a year?

It gave us so much and it set the paths for things to come in the future.

“Photograph” and “Rock Of Ages” from Def Leppard came out and rolled all over the charts, setting in motion the seeds to “Hysteria” and “Adrenalize”. And it also put Steve Clark onto a path that he wouldn’t return from tragically and Rick Allen with the help of MIDI technology would revolutionize how to play the drums with one hand.

“Cold Sweat” from Thin Lizzy was also released, which wrote the final chapter to Thin Lizzy’s recording career and in a few years’ time, Phil Lynott joined all of the other rockers in the sky. But this album also introduced John Sykes to the mainstream, as his bit part in Tygers Of Pan Tang was still unknown.

And as we know, John Sykes would go on to join Whitesnake and then co-write the best guitar heavy album of 1987, only to get booted before the album came out and then to see his new band Blue Murder get stiffed by record label politics.

“Cum On Feel The Noize” and “Bang Your Head” from Quiet Riot hit the charts, all the way to number 1. The success of this cover song made Kevin DuBrow a star, and his ego, loaded with his big mouth, would end up hurting the band, as he constantly got into verbals with band members, other bands, media and record label executives. And even though he got a multi-million dollar deal to be a solo artist in the mid 80’s, the label must have been on some serious juju because DuBrow’s two biggest hits were covers.

“Meanstreak” and “Midnight In Tokyo” from Y&T, appeared on an album that would go on to cement their status in Europe, however they still struggled to break into the US market at a higher level, even though the band’s music was very influential to a lot of wannabe musicians, especially the riffage and melodies from Dave Meniketti.

“Rainbow In The Dark” and “Holy Diver” from Dio came out, which cemented Ronnie James Dio as a bonafide star, after he delivered on the triple throwdown somersault, with Rainbow, Black Sabbath and now Dio.

This album also unleased a new guitar hero in Vivian Campbell, who would go on to leave the band bitterly, to then dis Dio off in the press, then join Whitesnake as a touring guitarist, then leave Whitesnake when David Coverdale told him he doesn’t want to write with him, only Adrian, then join Shadow King and then join Riverdogs, before grabbing the Def Leppard gig in the 90’s.

And for Dio, he did the quadruple backward somersault with “The Last In Line” a year later and by the time “Sacred Heart” came out, the love for dragons and magic wasn’t as great as it was a few years before.

“Looks That Kill” and “Shout At The Devil” from Motley Crue hit the streets and the baddest boys from LA started to rise to the top. With it came destruction and mayhem, which involved car crashes, homicides, drug overdoses and everything else that comes with a lifestyle that’s out of control.

And for all the cash they started making with this album, they spent it on products for the veins and the nose. So eventually when their bodies crashed and burned on the “Girls, Girls, Girls” tour, it set the tone for “Dr Feelgood”, the one album that the guys had to be sober/clean, up to a certain point.  

“The Warning” from Queensryche hit the streets and a new anti-hero was created, who would blend the NWOBHM sounds, with progressive overtones and hard rock to an irresistible ear candy blend and call it “Operation Mindcrime”.

Where do I sign up to be indoctrinated by Dr X?

“You Can’t Stop Rock’N’Roll” from Twisted Sister showed what could happen to the “Loud Police” if they are exposed to loud music. They put wigs on and became metal heads.  And while TS was on the ascendancy, it was this album and the title track video clip that put them into the scoring zone. And as we know, it also started the spiral that would end the band in 4 years’ time.

“Bark At The Moon” from Ozzy Osbourne was released and another new guitar god from LA was unleashed in Jake E. Lee however Ozzy takes all the credit for writing all of the riffs, words and melodies with one finger and a piano.

“Rebel Yell” from Billy Idol came out and a different technological guitar god was released with Steve Stevens.

“Every Breath You Take” from The Police came out, with Sting listed as the songwriter, but Andy Summers interpretation of how to play a basic “Stand By Me” progression is what hooked people in. And the song became well known with rappers, who overused it, which led to millions into Sting’s bank account.

“Balls To The Wall” from Accept came out and basically the band couldn’t capture the aggression, anger and attitude ever again because they were still laughing so hard at the cover of the album.

“Flight Of Icarus” and “Revelations” from Iron Maiden hit the charts, only so the band could hit the road again, while they planned their biggest album and biggest stage show the following year. And it is from these albums, that Iron Maiden still does victory laps on.

Kiss showed their faces without their make up for the first time on MTV only to realise a decade later that people wanted to see them with the make-up. “Lick It Up” also introduced another guitar hero in Vinnie Vincent. But just for a short time, as he proved to be a better song writing partner than a band mate.  

“Tell Me What You Want” from Zebra hit the charts and the band was told to write more hit songs like that. Which they never did, because the band just wrote songs. The similarities to Robert Plant vocally and some songs musically to Led Zep set the tone for what would be Kingdom Come.  

“Legs” from ZZ Top showed how Texans at one point in time liked women and synths more than guns, which led to multi-platinum sales.  

“Rising Power” from AC/DC showed how dirty and anti-mainstream AC/DC could get while “Sister Christian” from Night Ranger introduced eight finger tapper Jeff Watson and shredder and temporary Randy Rhoads fill in Brad Gillis.

Dave Mustaine is fired from Metallica and a small step is made by Lars and James, towards the mega selling self-titled album 8 years later and as a by-product a new progressive technical thrash band is formed called Megadeth which would go on to inspire a host of progressive metal bands.

Also, Metallica dropped “Seek And Destroy” but the “Kill Em All” album was largely ignored until history was rewritten after the mega explosion of the “Black” album in the 90’s.

Judas Priest was still selling their 1982 release on the backs of “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin” while inspiring thousands of bedroom singers to bring in the Halford wail.

Yngwie Malmsteen left Sweden and set sail for L.A, to usher in a new era of shredability and fury.  

Compact Discs went on sale in the US, which would change the album format, with more filler, and also change the profit lines of the labels, only for Napster to blow the greed away 16 years later.

Not all countries or fans would have heard these songs in 1983. Some would hear them in 1984 and others much later. It’s just the way it was back then. Music spread differently and geo-restrictions ensured that it was contained within borders.

It was quite a year.

Maybe the most revolutionary year since the 60’s and The Beatles invasion of the US and other parts of the world.

It’s also the year that metal and rock music started to become a commercial influence.

Culture changed dramatically when MTV transported the music stars from the live arena and into our lounge rooms. And 1983 was the year it started to get traction.

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Music, My Stories

Keep Telling The Story

Everyone and everything will be forgotten. And it will be because we stop talking about it.

Elvis Presley was always in the conversation with documentaries and public sightings.

People purchased his memorabilia. And the prices went high. Then those people got old and died. Their adult kids now have all this memorabilia in their possession and they are selling it all off. But the price has gone down, because the same people who would purchase the Elvis memorabilia are also dead and their heirs are also trying to sell it all off.

Seen any sales of Larry Bird jerseys or David Beckham jerseys recently.

It takes about 20 to 30 years to forget. But not if we keep telling the stories. Stories keep people alive and stories keep the music alive.

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