Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Get Out Of Here

This one is written by Phil Lynott and Ultravox vocalist, Midge Ure.

I used to be a dreamer
But I realise that it’s not my style at all
In fact it becomes clearer
That a dreamer doesn’t stand a chance at all

Get out of here
Get out of here

We all wanted to leave our towns behind and head for the bright lights in the city. These days, kids don’t want to leave home. They are comfortable and comfort is a problem. But the parents are happy to have them home, even if we complain about them being home.

Because no wants to be lonely and parents are known to break up once the kids move out because they realize they have nothing in common anymore.

And the family plays a big part in decisions.

My grandfather told my father that if he left to go to Australia, he was going to kill the whole family that remained. I know, pretty drastic and my dad said he was scared for his brothers and sisters and his mum. But he left anyway, because Dad said, if he didn’t leave, he would have lived someone else’s life and not his. To him, that felt like death.

So my Dad left, while peers of my Dad, in the same predicament, stayed. Because in European culture, once upon a time, the eldest was meant to take over the household, and my Dad was the eldest. By coming to Australia, he broke centuries of tradition.

And my Dad felt stifled in post war, Communist Europe. He did his military service, got his ticket to leave and he was taking it, even though it was risky and out of his comfort zone and so far away from the only home he has ever known.

And he never returned until 2008, almost 40 years from when he left.

But if you let others influence your decision, then those dreams you have, don’t stand a chance at all. You will never get out of living someone else’s life.

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Music, My Stories

Making Guitars

I made a pencil box and a coffee table back in high school so how cool is it that kids are getting taught how to make guitars these days.

I need to go back to school, the same way Rodney Dangerfield did.

And by building guitars, the kids suddenly become interested in science, technology, engineering and math subjects, others known as STEM.

I tried to make a guitar once, by using the wood of an old wardrobe, sort of like how Brian May did. My Dad said he would help, then he proceeded to take over the project, we argued and when he pulled out a hand saw to start cutting the wood, I was done. We didn’t really have the tools for the job and knowing how my dad cuts wood, I had a feeling it wasn’t going to look appealing at all.

Plus I was an angry one back then, who wasn’t going to take it.

And this whole guitar making is in response to the demand from employers for workers with technical skills.

School to me was always about opening up my mind to possibilities and by making guitars, the kids get to see the possibilities of how those boring maths topics like algebra fit into the real world, because if you don’t know algebra, you cannot put a fret on the guitar and the pick-ups work by electromagnetic induction and they didn’t teach me that in physics classes. Or maybe they did, but I zoned out hard in Physics.

Who knew that by dipping guitar bodies in paint floating on water coats them with a swirling pattern?

And the kids leave with their own guitars.

From school.

God damn, I had to come first in three subjects for my Dad to even part with his money to buy me a guitar. After he purchased it, I came home and I had no amp. I was like, “Dad I need an amp”. He smiled and goes to me, “you never negotiated an amp”.

Argghhh..

It wasn’t until a few years later that I saved enough money from being a concrete labourer that I took the train and purchased a 5150 combo amp. I was so happy I had it. And it was heavy and I had a train trip home which involved walking to the train station, catching the train and then walking home from the train station.

With the heavy amp in my hands.

Rock and fucking roll. I would do it again if given the chance.

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A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Do Anything You Want To

My first Lizzy album was “Thunder and Lightning” because it had Sykes on it, and it was purchased a few years after the 87 Whitesnake album blew up all over the world. So “Thunder and Lightning” got me into Lizzy, because of Skyes and suddenly I started picking up their older records on vinyl when I came across them.

A “Black Rose: A Rock Legend” was album number 9 for the Lizzy. I didn’t end up hearing this until well into the 90’s and the only reason why I picked it up at a record fair was because Gary Moore stayed in the band long enough to record something, before he walked out on em again, like how he did in 74 and 77.

The drum and bass intro is enough to get me going and when the harmony guitars kick in, I was sold. It’s written by Phil Lynott and man, can he write a good lyric.

There are people that will investigate you
They’ll insinuate, intimidate and complicate you

Do you ever feel like you don’t fit in and that everybody else is too busy betraying you so they can get ahead?

Or they are passing judgement on you, telling you to do this, change this, if you don’t do this you will lose your job or if you don’t pay on time, you will lose your place.

My dad said to me once that people will disappoint you especially family. And now that you know that, don’t get angry when they do and you can still be friends.

You can do anything you want to do
It’s not wrong what I’m saying, it’s true

It’s the same war cry as the “We’re Not Gonna Take It” war cry from the mid 80’s. We needed to hear this back then. Today, these kinds of messages has become a billion dollar book industry, like “The Talent Code”, “Growth Mindset”, “Grit”, “Outliers”, “Peak”, “Bounce” and on and on it goes.

All of these scholars are sending the same message, if you put enough dedicated time into practice which is at the outer limits of your ability, you will learn a skill and get better. Nobody is born with a gift. That gift or natural ability people talk about is crafted and mastered through years of dedicated practice. So as Lynott was saying all along, you can do anything you want to.

People that despise you
Will analyse then criticise you
They’ll scandalise and tell lies until they realise you
Are somebody they should’ve apologised to
Don’t let these people compromise you

I like to hang with people, talk about things we like and exchange ideas. And sometimes I listen to people who don’t have a clue about anything and they just won’t shut up. And then there are people who know everything and they just won’t shut up. And in amongst these groups are people who want to break you, spread lies about you, criticise you or shake you down.

And if you want to be famous, expect the haters. You cannot be liked by everyone. It’s impossible. If you don’t want the haters, then recalibrate your expectations.

Hey you
You’re not that puppet on a string
You can do everything
It’s true

But a lot of people don’t believe they can do everything because they get caught up in a vicious cycle of borrowing to live and becoming puppets on a string to the various corporations they own money to.

Culture and society also fosters a fixed mindset and after so many years of being conditioned to follow, it’s hard to believe that you have the tools and abilities to lead.

I am sure people have heard things like; “You can’t play <insert the sport here like football> because no one played <insert the sport here> in the family. We are doctors, we are educated and that’s what you will be”.

Or “Why <insert arts field here like music>, you need to study, to get a job which pays the bills.”

It takes a few generations to break these kinds of mindsets. It took the military until the 1990’s to stop the hazing rituals of new recruits because they just didn’t work in creating brilliant recruits.

Elvis is dead
The king of rock and roll is dead

It’s fitting that the song ends with these words as Elvis’s death was still fresh in 1979, because in the end Elvis did what he wanted.

He sang black man music when he was told not to sing it. He danced and moved in a provocative way when he was told not to. He went into making movies when he was told to stick with music. He stopped making movies and went back to music when he was told to stick with movies. He did a Vegas residency when he was told to go on tour around the country. The king of rock and roll did what he wanted to do. And so can you.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

Value

When you create something, what value do you attach to that creation?

I like wine and the experience with wine is like music, totally subjective and personal. I even like drinking wine with music. A bitter shiraz for the more heavier and thrashier Metal, a smooth Cabernet Merlot blend for hard rock music, a spicy Cabernet Sauvignon for heavier and progressive rock and a Merlot for my favorite guitar solos.

A winemaker makes a wine and believes it’s worth a $100 a bottle. It doesn’t mean it’s really worth that much to the public, but to the winemaker who put their blood, sweat and tears in making it, it is worth that much.

The artists who put their blood, sweat and tears into their works also believe their works are valuable.

But the winemakers can test the market with prices. Eventually that wine bottle will hit a price and people will buy it, because alcohol is alcohol and we like to consume alcohol (well the majority does) and it’s a billion dollar industry in each country. Basically alcohol sells. Period.

So the winemaker releases the wine at $99 a bottle and nothing. No one is interested.

The winemaker reduces it by 20% and a few sales come, but not enough.

The winemaker reduces it by another 20% to $55 and still the sales are not enough.

Suddenly the winemaker is faced with a dilemma.

Do they go down to 60% off the normal price they wanted per bottle and see how it performs in the market place or do they stick to their guns and keep it at $55?

Well after careful thinking and planning, the winemaker is in the business of selling wines, so they go down to $45 and suddenly people are interested in trying this wine, 60% off its normal retail price. It’s a smart marketing move and people are suckered in by these kinds of deals.

And they sell out of wines, believing they have a customer base and that the next wine they release will sell out like this one. But it doesn’t sell out. Actually no one is really aware of the next releases because people like drinking wine not the brand.

Only a few brands have become household names in wine making around the world and people wait each year for their next release.

But for the rest of the winemakers, they start from scratch with each release, mining their email lists for sales, using online wine distributors for sales and so forth. And people buy wine without trying it based on the label on the bottle, the grapes used and maybe some reviews or awards. Like how we used to buy music without hearing it.

If we lived in the old CD distribution world and we had to purchase CDs to hear music, I would have purchased a lot more CD’s or LP’s than I do right now just based on covers and interviews.

But after hearing the album on streaming services I decided to not purchase the album, like the new Tool album, the recent Revolution Saints and Sons Of Apollo albums or from a few years back, the only album missing from my Dream Theater collection is “Distance Over Time”. Maybe I will get around to adding it to my collection but then again as I get older I don’t have the same need to have a complete collection.

So in all of this, the value an artist attaches to their work is never the same value the public sees in the work or wants to pay for the work.

A fan of your music will stream it and those streaming payments will be the value that part of the public attached to your works. Other fans will buy the physical releases and that’s the value they attach while others will either download it for free or pay for digital downloads or attend a show if you Tour.

Each fan is unique in their connection to you and the monies they are prepared to spend on you.

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

The Record Vault – Bon Jovi In The Eighties on CD

I started this Bon Jovi Record Vault post a while back, starting off with Cassettes, then Vinyl and now CD (with the Vinyls added for extra color).

And I’ve basically got Jovi’s 80s output on CD and LP. The first photos are from the first two albums. The 2 CD box set was $9.99 and I got the CDs a lot later than the LP.

This post isn’t a review of the albums as I have covered them in other posts.

Next up is the 20 million plus selling third album. I really thought that this album would get the 4 CDs special anniversary treatment in 2016 with the Pizza Parlour demos getting an official release. But so far it hasn’t.

Maybe Jovi is waiting for the 40 year anniversary in 2026, to capitalize on his most successful album.

The 3 Disc Deluxe Anniversary Edition of “New Jersey” is fantastic, because you get the original double album with it, the “Sons of Beaches” Demos

To wrap it up, Bon Jovi finished the 80s as one of the biggest bands in rock with concert grosses and record sales hitting record highs. Only U2 rivaled their power as a group.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Saxon – The Eagle Has Landed

It’s very Sabbath like in the Intro, just plodding along and slowly percolating. It almost feels like Hetfield was listening and wrote “The Outlaw Torn” many years later based on this song. 

When the “Stormbringer” influenced riff from Deep Purple comes in, well, it’s time to bang that head, cause metal health has got me going crazy.

That clean tone melodic riff that appears at about 2.30 for the verse, if it was in the hands of Tool, would be jammed on until it’s a twelve minute song.

Travelled across the universe
And placed the lonely flag
Out there in isolation
At the final, the final frontier

The U.S had a lot riding on this Moon mission in their Cold War showdown against the U.S.S.R. The Wright Brothers made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft on December 17, 1903. 60 plus years later, engineering and innovation put man on the moon, and mathematics returned them home.

I remember in Superman 2, when General Zod and his accomplices arrived on the moon and heard the term “Houston”, believing that is the name of this new world that was going to be theirs for the taking. But the son of their greatest enemy was also on Earth (aka Houston). They don’t make movies like that anymore, with great script writing because the effects and the technology just wasn’t there to fill up space, so dialogue had to take the place of green screens.

The world’s in celebration
As we wait for your return
You took a giant leap for mankind
On another, on another world

The moon landing fascinated people.

After another half a dozen more trips, the moon trips got canned. People got bored and didn’t really care anymore. That great leap for mankind was like blah, many years later.

And conspiracy theories exist about the images shown to the world.

Are they filmed in a studio or are the images the real ones from the Moon?

Also, in order to bring the astronauts home, the engineers still weren’t sure. They were using mathematics on the fly, trying to calibrate how and when.

Take it easy, take it slow

And for the last 40 seconds, Saxon ramped it up.

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A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2112

It’s back in the charts.

Death is a business and the death of a member always gets new people listening because of curiosity and old fans reminiscing about the album which we all know, was a make or break album for the band.

If there is a lesson here, it’s to do things your way. Don’t give up your vision and your identity and stay true to yourself. This viewpoint led Rush to a 40 plus year career.

And they’ve sold more albums recently than new releases have in the last week.

As the article states;

From January 10th through January 16th, the band sold 24,600 albums in the U.S., an increase of more than 1,000 percent compared with the previous week. The “2112” LP led the way, moving 12,800 total album units last week.

As for streaming, it’s as expected with “Tom Sawyer”, “Limelight”, “The Spirit of Radio” and “YYZ” leading the way. Because what else would the Spotify algorithm recommend except the most listened to songs.

And the “2112” story about a musician in an oppressive regime gets all the attention, but “A Passage To Bangkok”, “Tears” and “Twilight Zone” are also worthy.

That guitar riffs from “A Passage To Bangkok” gets me to pick up the guitar. The intro riff is a great riff and the movable D shape chord progression in the Chorus.

“Tears” has that F major to A major chord progression with an unbelievable vocal melody.

“Twilight Zone” has that Am7 riff in the Chorus when Geddy is singing “Na Na Na, you have entered the twilight zone” section which always gets me to stop and pay attention. It’s the mood.

But the best part is Alex Lifeson’s emotive guitar solo from about the 17 minute mark in “2112”.

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