Music, My Stories

Metal T Shirts

My five year old had to draw his family in kindy class. In the drawing he had me drawn with a black T-shirt and black shorts. You see, that’s the way my five year old has seen me for his whole life. It’s my look. 

When they say “Take the Black” in Game of Thrones, a metal/rock head says, “pffft, we’ve already done that”. All though I’ve morphed to plain black tees as I get older, I still break out the metal and rock t-shirts now and then.

And as I was looking at my five year old’s drawing, I came across a Twitter post from Dee Snider about the “sickening trend” of non-metal fans wearing vintage metal T-shirts without embracing the music. And I smiled. Even though the world is going all nuclear, warmer and what not, we need to discuss metal T shirt wearing by non-metal heads.

Why?

Because wearing a metal t-shirt once upon a time showed you to be a member of the tribe. A lot of fights happened against the very people who try to look like us today.

And then “SixxSense” picked up Dee’s comments and then “Spin” and then “Time” and suddenly his post to his Twitter followers is getting bigger and bigger. 

And Dee said he doesn’t like how these people cherry pick what they want from the metal culture. In most cases it’s the T-shirts or the devil horns and very rarely the actual music itself. So what do the Spin and Time posts do, they cherry pick what they want from Dee’s tweets for click bait advertising. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before Blabbermouth, Ultimate Guitar or Loudwire do the same. 

Heavy metal is a lifestyle, we live it, we listen to it and we breathe it. Sure we don’t always wear metal t-shirts, but when we wear them there is a story to be told about the t-shirt, the tour, the album and what not. It’s not a fashion statement.

When I first got together with my wife to be, she had dance music playing in the car. I asked her if she had anything else. The answer was no. I asked her if she would be okay if I introduced some additional music. She said okay. The next day, I had the rock and metal tapes ready for indoctrination. At first it was the more commercial sounding rock and metal. The day after that the dance tapes ended up in a draw in my room. It was many years later that she asked what happened to those tapes. I said I threw em. And that was that. 

\::/

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Releases 

Just put out the damn album. 

When we laid out cash for the 10 to 15 albums we used to buy a year, we had time to digest and live with the music for a long time. So back then we would endure the two month hype run and sales would keep the LP going for a while. But the old hype model doesn’t work anymore. People seem to forget it’s called the music business, not the hype business.

The 8 week lead up to the release is extensive especially when the LP run could be over in a month after it’s released. The first week sales while they might look great on paper are irrelevant. Check the second week streaming numbers. Then the third, then the fourth and so on. Those numbers will show you if the fans care for the music or if only the press (that your marketing team has paid to promote your product) cares.

And people will complain about streaming revenue and how it doesn’t pay enough. Control your rights, have a song that people connect with and you will be paid well and forever.

That’s right. YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music will pay forever. Isn’t that better than the one off transaction between the record store and the fan. That fan could have purchased the album, taken it home, played it once and traded it. Maybe that fan played the album a million times. You as an artist wouldn’t know that behaviour. 

But with streaming you will know how many times fans are streaming your music and from what cities and states they are from.

The truth is today’s hit artists will be paid by streaming services forever and this is a good thing. Data tells us what’s hot and what’s not.

And like it or not, it’s always been about the hits. To me a hit isn’t the song that takes the number 1 slot on a chart.

“Fear Of The Dark” or “Hallowed Be Thy Name” or “Creeping Death” or “Fade To Black” or “Master Of Puppets” didn’t set the charts alight but the fans made those songs hit’s, especially with the sing along guitar harmonies of the Maiden tunes. They are songs that connected and spread like wildfire amongst the fan base.

We don’t live in 1989, where mediocre stuff on the radio gets some traction because of the marketing/hype dollars invested into the promotion. We live in the era of connectivity and virality and hits and streaming that pays forever.

But you need to release a continuous stream of product to win.

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Release Day Friday

What a release day October 20 2017 is turning out be. Apart from the normal 2 hour release radar playlist, these albums also dropped in their entirety.

Trivium – The Sin and the Sentence

This was the first cab of the rank on Spotify and on the few listens I gave it before I moved on to Europe, the 7min “The Revanchist” is my clear favourite, especially the section from 4.38, that reminds of the Maiden “Somewhere” and “Seventh Son” albums. “Betrayer” also has a very Maiden sounding Chorus and a sing along guitar harmony. “Other Worlds” has the same commercial feel from “Until the World Goes Cold”.

The one thing that stood out for me on tracks like “Beyond Oblivion” and “The Sin and The Sentence” is the T-1000 drummer. The amount of drummers Trivium have gone through is going onto Spinal Tap proportions but with Alex Bent pounding the skins, maybe they’ve found their guy.

But in the end, there is a lot of Maiden like passages and feel throughout the songs and I dig. \::/

Europe – Walk the Earth

Europe is always at its creative best when they are left to their own devices to write what they want. That’s what got them signed in the first place and that’s what gave them their first number one album. But like everything that becomes popular, record label honcho’s believe they know better and start to hijack the creative process which culminated in a 12 month song writing process for the “Prisoners in Paradise” album which more or less ended the band.

But they returned in the early 2000’s, on their own terms and in charge of their own career and copyrights.

And 15 years later, they are still continuing on, releasing new music along the way. “Walk The Earth” continues to show their 70’s roots. All the songs sound epic and exotic. If you are looking for another anthem like “Rock the Night”, “Superstitious” or “The Final Countdown”, you will not find it on this album. If you want to hear a band jamming on all cylinders and having fun, then you will enjoy this album.

Sons of Apollo – Psychotic SymphonyThis is pretty good and no matter how proggy it gets, Jeff Scott Soto’s voice brings it back to reality with his Dio/hard rock style phrasing. In the end each song has this epic 70’s vibe.

“Coming Home” was already well known to me as I played it to death. “God of the Sun” is classic prog and a great album opener. “Alive” is one of those slower tempo songs that connects lyrically and when it ends I feel the need to press repeat. And then you have “Labyrinth”.

What can I say?

You need to listen to it and enjoy the combination of Portnoy, Sheehan, Bumblefoot, Sherinian and Soto. It works well and it rocks hard. \::/

Revolution Saints – Light In The Dark

It’s a fucking good album. A real good melodic rock album. The song “Freedom” is just one of those tracks you will press repeat over and over again. 

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Tribute

It’s my bible.

I played the cassette tape to death trying to learn every riff and lick. And when I couldn’t pick it all up, I shelled out $50 on Wolf Marshal’s transcription of the “Tribute” album and I spent a lot of hours woodshedding to it. Even though Ozzy re-cut his vocals for the release there is no denying Randy Rhoads and his love for his instrument. The way he re-imagines his multi-layered guitar riffs from the studio versions and turns it all into one definitive guitar cut is brilliant. For any guitarist, new or old, this is it. It gets no better than this.

I Don’t Know

The “A” pedal point riff in the intro is an example of effective simplicity that Randy flourishes with harmonic pinches, artificial harmonics, legato licks and whammy bar dives.

Crazy Train

The demonic scary F#m intro merges into an A major trippy/happy major key verse before it morphs back into the minor key for the pre-chorus and chorus. How can you not like it?

And then you have that logically laid out, super melodic and shred happy solo section. What more can be said?

Listen and enjoy and play air guitar.

Believer

The bass line is hypnotic and sets the tone for RR to colour and decorate.

Mr Crowley

This is the first song I got stuck into. It has two shred leads and the way Randy combined those guitar lines into one definitive track for the “was he polemically” section is brilliant. 

Then the outro lead is just one of those songs within a song lead breaks.

Flying High Again

The AC/DC style groove allows Randy to flourish the spaces with trills and little licks. Again the solo section is one of those lead breaks that just blows you away.

Revelation (Mother Earth)

The finger picked part at the start is breathtaking, the interlude is subdued and relaxing but that outro is breathless. And the live tempo is much better than the studio tempo. 

Steal Away The Night

I love the intro riff and how the outro of Revelation (Mother Earth) transitions into this song. Unfortunately I can’t say the same thing for drum solos or guitar solos just on their own. I would rather hear those things along with music. John Petrucci on the live Budokan album nails it with his extended guitar solo as part of “Hollow Years” song.

Suicide Solution

The riff and the groove just nails it for me, plus the lyrics from Daisley about Ozzy’s addictions are brilliant. Again, would have loved to hear Randy solo while the band played the main riff of “Suicide” instead of being on his own.

Iron Man

Would you believe that the first time I heard these Sabbath song’s is via Ozzy?

Children Of The Grave

After “Mr Crowley” this was the next song I needed to devour. I loved the way Randy plays the riff in C#m on the 5th string. That’s how I learned this song. It wasn’t until many years later I heard the Sabbath version and Iommi is down tuned to C#. I must say, I love the tempo of this live version. 

And that outro improv lead is brilliant especially when Randy starts to reference Ace ala “Love Gun”.

Paranoid

Again, Randy goes to town on the lead and he fills the spaces of the main riff with trills and licks. Brilliant improv.

Goodbye To Romance

The piece d’resistance in guitar playing. The jazz like chords in the verses, the arpeggio chorus riff and that guitar solo.

No Bone Movies

For a last minute addition to the album, the song rocks hard in a live setting. It’s sleazy and perfect for the era.

The album ends with some outtakes of Randy playing his acoustic instrumental “Dee”.

These day’s guitarists can do unbelievable and very advanced things on the guitar but none of them have the magic and song sense of Randy Rhoads.

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Rock and Metal School

My kids have been watching “School Of Rock” and “The Pick Of Destiny” on and off over the last few months, so here is my \::/ salute to Jack Black for spreading his love of rock and heavy metal to the masses.

The movies capture what rock and roll is all about;

  • going against the grain, 
  • breaking rules set by the institutions/parents and having fun along the way. 

And it’s a far cry from the rest of the world. We have people betraying each other for cash. We have companies treating their employees as costs to be minimised instead of assets. We have people causing chaos in the name of religion. We have musicians complaining about Spotify without realizing that if they have a song that captures people’s attention, Spotify will pay you forever.

The thing that keeps rock and metal alive is our ethos. We are the outsiders. We share our stories and we care, so when society takes up arms against us, we come together. And what keeps us together is the music. The sounds of the distorted guitars, the chaotic drums, the galloping grooves and the soaring melodies which filled up our bedrooms. You couldn’t help but smile. Rock and metal music made life worth living.

Remember when Led Zeppelin was seen as a heavy metal band while Black Sabbath was at the extreme end of metal. Today, bands which are considered extreme metal make Sabbath sound like a kids TV show.

But the world changed, so we changed. It stopped being about “us versus them” and it became about who has more. Suddenly our community standards of togetherness started to be violated and we allowed it to happen and failed to change the standards to adapt to an evolving world. But as Def Leppard sang, “Rock of ages, rock of ages, still rolling, keep a rolling, we got the power, got the glory, just say you need it and if you need it, say yeah.”

So much truth in those words and it looks like people today need rock and metal music more than ever. And we have the sounds from the last 40 plus years to study like the Holy Book at our fingertips. And on those days, when the future is uncertain, metal and rock music is the sound we turn to. Rock and metal can save lives; people just need to let it.

It’s a long way to the top if we want to rock and roll. And we all need to begin somewhere and we need someone to believe in us or we’re not going to make it. Because as much as we want to be social creatures, we don’t believe we belong, afraid of saying something that might make us sound dumb or not saying anything at all.

And the truth is rock and metal ran culture. The artists pulled the strings and the public loved it. 

Let’s make sure it will never be forgotten. 

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1983 – IX 

The playlist.

There was a brief moment in the 80’s where we all had a similar vision of our world which involved standing up against the institutions and fighting for our rights. Maybe it was all fake (but man it felt real) and maybe we all stood together because there was nothing else. But between 1983 and 1985, metal and rock fans stood together as one.
 
But then bands started to run into trouble. Those platinum highs between 1983 and 1985, started to disappear. The vision wasn’t shared anymore. It wasn’t rock and metal anymore standing as one. There was rock, hard rock, glam rock, heavy rock, thrash rock, technical rock and the same deal happened with metal. The record label PR machine just kept the different genre’s coming. Different magazines came out that focused on genres. Don’t expect to see a Whitesnake interview in a thrash metal magazine.
 
Suddenly it wasn’t cool to like death metal and glam metal bands. Elitists popped up in each new record label created genre that basically bullied others if they had eclectic musical tastes. But I seriously believe the reason why metal and rock grew to become a commercial force is because we all made connections with each other. The tribe is what made the records great. We talked about them, we traded them, we dubbed them for our friends. And when connections happen, the movement keeps on growing. Until we became divided. 
 

Hanoi Rocks – Back To Mystery City

I can’t say I am a fan of the solo work of Michael Monroe, however this album has that 60’s rockabilly vibe that Volbeat is renowned for today. I remember watching a documentary about how 60’s music from the US and UK made its way into other European countries in the 70’s, so it was no surprise in the 80’s to get rock bands from Finland, Norway and Denmark that had influences from the 60’s.
 
It’s unfortunate that most people know of Hanoi Rocks because of drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley’s death in a car accident while being drunkenly driven by Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil. All death is tragic. If Razzle’s injection in 1982 never happened, the band probably would have broken up. And his death in 1985 ended the band.
 

“Malibu Beach Nightmare”
has got that “Surfing In the USA” drum feel and if it was released in the 60’s it wouldn’t be out of place. Hell, it’s not even out of place in the 80’s. You can picture yourself on any beach enjoying this song.
 

I wanna stay in the sun
I gotta have my fun

 
Who didn’t want to stay in the sun once upon a time? Then people started dying from skin cancer and suddenly long exposure to the sun became a bad thing. Still, when summer rolls around, all we want to do is stay in the sun.
 

“Until I Get You”
is an interesting song. It’s a mixture between glam, rock and new wave and the feel of the song is intoxicating.
 

I’ve seen you many times before
For each time you mean more

 
You have seen the person on various occasions and various places and with each viewing, the heart grows fonder. But the feelings are not reciprocated.
 

Until I get you…
I’ll be dreaming of you every night
And all of my time

 
But the other half is not interested right now, so all we have is our dreams.
 

“Beating Gets Faster”
is also another interesting song with it’s mixture of so many eras. A love-song written by Monroe and McCoy.
 

I never dream of being a millionaire
Money can’t buy a love affair

 
We think by being loaded we’ll be happy. A look at the ones who are loaded and all you hear and see are the various break ups and what not. And after this album, Hanoi Rocks secured a major label deal with CBS which eventually led them to that fateful night in 1985. I guess money can’t buy everything.
 

Talking Heads – Speaking in Tongues

David Byrne is in the news because of his views/lawsuits over the lack of royalty payments from streaming services instead of anything creative. Which is a shame, because copyright has allowed artists to rest on their past successes when it was never intended to do so.
 
“Burning Down the House” is the song that sold this album. It was everywhere. One of my hard rock bands in the 90’s even covered the song in a rock context.
 
And it’s for this song that David Byrne has gone to war against streaming services. But his war should be against the label that holds his copyright and the publishing company. Not against the streaming service. If anything, the streaming service is providing a basic service that the record labels should be responsible for providing. And remember, copyright’s original intention was to give the creator a monopoly on his works for a limited time (so they can monetise their work and if popular make some money) so they have an incentive to create more works. Under the original Copyright terms, this song would be out of Copyright in 2011.
 
But Copyright is a corporation controlled business. They would give popular artists a few million for the rights to administer their catalogue of songs which would please the artist in the short term and reap massive dividends for the corporations in the long term. And then when the artist passes away, the corporations would give a few million to the heirs which would please the heirs in the short term and reap massive dividends for the corporations in the long term. But Copyright was meant to protect the artists while they alive and creating. Not when they are alive and not creating or dead and not creating.
 

Streets – 1st

Streets was the creative musical outlet for Steve Walsh in between his departure from Kansas and subsequent return. It’s a band made up of Walsh on vocals and keys, guitarist Mike Slamer, bassist Billy Greer, and drummer Tim Gehrt. The debut LP was released 1983 on Atlantic Records. The deal was negotiatied with one manager and subsequently destroyed by another manager. Neil Kernon was on hand to produce, however he bailed on them and guitarist Mike Slamer finished it off.
 

Atlantic just threw our Streets albums against the wall, and if they stuck, fine. But they weren’t willing to go out on a limb and do any kind of promotion for it, so they didn’t stick. We’re talking “hair god” days, back in 1984. Well, we weren’t “hair gods,” we were guys who were really good. That band was and is real good. Atlantic won’t even release them on CD. Neither Streets album is out on CD and don’t ask me why. Somebody really upset them greatly.

Steve Walsh (Walsh actually got a lawyer to get the albums back from Atlantic and Rock Candy re-released the Streets albums recently) 
 

We got our deal with one manager and Doug Morris came to see us and we did a showcase, and he signed us. Steve decided that he didn’t like this manager and we got Derek Sutton, who used to be Styx’s manager. As it turns out, from what I understand, Derek (Sutton) got into it with Doug and the rest is history. We got pretty much canned. We did the album (Crimes In Mind) and there was no push behind it. There are so many people who wonder why that band didn’t do better. I thought we had a good album.

Billy Greer 
 

Streets manager had pissed off the president of Atlantic Records, Doug Morris, and he said ‘screw this band’. If he didn’t like the manager, then he was known to do that. We kind of got dropped through the cracks.

Billy Greer 
 
You might have come from a big name band, but that didn’t mean you had any power. The record label bosses, if wronged, could destroy a career at will. Ask Dee Snider and how Elektra destroyed his Desperado project. Even though the internet distribution chain was meant to level the playing field, the record labels still have control over who makes it or who doesn’t.
 

“Cold Hearted Woman”
is written by an outside writer called Marty Conn. The origins of the song go back to 1978, when Marty Conn, fresh off a tour with the Whitford-St.Holmes band took a few musician friends into the studio to record a few tunes he had written. “Cold Hearted Woman” was one of those tunes and the bass player on the original recording is Billy Greer.
 

You said you wanted a lover
Now I know there have been quite a few

 
When it all goes to hell in a relationship, the past is used as the final insult. And guys really can’t handle that the person they love was with someone else.
 

“So Far Away”
is written by Steve Walsh.
 

We came so close to love
Before you walked away
Now broken promises
Are all I’ve got today
Chalk it up to a lesson learned
Maybe next time love will stay
So close, so far away

 
We all want to be loved but man sometimes its so taxing on our heart and mind, we want love to be close but so far away.
 

“Fire”
is written by Gehrt, Slamer and Walsh. This song is a pretty cool progressive number. The keyboard intro is good enough to hook me in and when the whole band comes in, the foot is tapping and the head is nodding. It’s almost like Rainbow meets Kansas.
 

The worlds on fire

 
Let’s look at our world in a nutshell. The rich control the government and the laws while religion is still causing wars and people still kill in the name of god. Then you have racial tensions between different colours even though we all bleed the same colour. In each democratic country we are seeing more examples of corrupted capitalism. And when it comes time to vote in new leadership, we vote the better option of two bad options.
 
And with all of the invasion of privacy of our governments, they still can’t stop a terror attack or a mass shooting. If an Islamic person carried out the shooting in Vegas, the U.S would be on high alert and travel warnings would be in place. Instead, it’s one of their own and it’s business as usual.
 
How cool is that progressive interlude/solo section from the 2 minute mark?
 

This place is where no man should be

 
Sometimes the social jungle around us is so toxic, we need to get out.
 

Eric Martin Band – Sucker for a Pretty Face

I had Paul Gilbert on my radar because of Racer X and the Shrapnel label, and of course Billy Sheehan was on my radar because of his work with Talas and then his high profile bass playing gig with David Lee Roth on “Eat Em And Smile”. So when I heard a new band was getting put together with these two guys, I was interested to know who the singer was and to be honest, back then, Eric Martin was an unknown. But 6 years before Mr Big became platinum darlings, Eric Martin was just another artist trying to make it in a world of similar artists.
 
This album is a great piece of AOR Melodic rock. Actually, the first time I heard this album was well into the 2010 + decade. Yep, that’s almost 30 years from when it was released.
 

Sucker For A Pretty Face

It’s a cool melodic rock song that just works for me. The lyrics are old and overused, but who cares.
 

She’s as fast as a train in the station
Like a dangerous drug from a pharmacy

 
Cool lyrics.
 

Well, I’m a sucker for a pretty face
I can’t judge a book by its cover
Sucker for a pretty face
The same old story

 
Who isn’t a sucker for a pretty face?
 

I know my time will come when she leaves me
For another sucker for a pretty face

 
Yep, it’s only a matter of time before they move on.
 

Private Life

I dig the piano riffs and the vocal melodies on this song. It works perfectly.
 

Almost everything I do
Seems to get back to you
Almost everything I say
Has its day in court

 
These days, everything is out on social media. There is no escaping the copy society the internet has created. So if you want to be famous, expect your private life to become a public life. And don’t take photos of yourself in different stages of undress.
 

Ten Feel Tall

Again the intro just hooks me in. I swear “Revolution Saints” must have used this album as a template for their debut.
 

Oh, you don’t remember me
I’m the man without a name
It’s always the same, I get lost in the shuffle

 
It’s never easy trying to get the attention of someone.
 

She’s got a nerve
You’ve gotta stand up, down
Look like you’re ten feet tall
Show a little pride, you overcome some
Sadness inside before you fall
Gotta look ten feet tall
 

The Chorus is hooks galore.
 

Just Another Pretty Boy

I heard “Just Another Pretty Boy” in the excellent “Thunder Alley” movie. For a movie on wanting to be a rock star, I think it puts the actual “Rock Star” movie to shame.
 
The intro again just hooks me in.
 

Many times I know love is blind
You’ve gotta take it slow I know he’s the kind

 
The pre-chorus works with the melody and the riff doing a great build up to the chorus.
 

Just another pretty boy, just another pretty boy
He’ll use ya like a toy, just another pretty boy

 
Yeah the lyrics are dumb, but you can’t help but sing along.
 

Shooting Star – Burning (1983)

How wasn’t this album a big hit?
 
Maybe because they were on Virgin Records, a label known for new wave and low on funds, so when a rock album landed in their laps they had no idea how to promote.
 

Our first managers were stealing us blind, so we fired them. They were record promotion guys and I think they blackballed us to a lot of radio stations. Another thing that happened was that we signed to Virgin and they had absolutely no money at the time. We did not know that when we signed with them.Later, we signed with Geffen and we put out Silent Scream and Geffen got in a fight with all the radio promo guys and they fired them the week our album came out. We had 200 ads on radio, out of 300 reporting stations the first week. “Summer Sun” was being added everywhere and it looked like the album would be a smash. After the fight with the promo guys it dropped to 40 stations. What do you do?

Van McLain – Shooting Star 
 
Imagine yourself dreaming of making it. The roads you take are all part of the journey to make it. Sometimes for days, months or even years, you have no clue where you are going. But then you get some breaks, a bit of luck and you get a record deal. You spend months in the studio, then the record comes out and the label that signed you, doesn’t care about your music as much as you do.
 
So what do you do?
 
Do you give up or continue?
 
So many people who contribute nothing to culture make money from the artist who actually creates art that culture consumes. And it’s an unfortunate world that these faceless people can either destroy or make an artists’ career.
 

Straight Ahead

This song is just like life, with more questions than answers, but you’ve got no other option than to keep on moving on.
 

Moving straight ahead
Straight into the fire

 
It’s the only way to live. Moving forward never stalling as intent opens the door to forward motion.
 

Don’t tell me to slow down
I got no time to wait
Don’t tell me to hold back
Gotta keep running

 
Isn’t it a life lesson for us all?
 
We are a short time alive and a long time dead. We need to keep moving as time waits for no one.
 

Go For It

The music is brilliant in this song. It’s like a cross between Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down” and Led Zeppelin. Then there is a section that is progressive and very reminiscent of Kansas.
 

Let me tell you go for it

 
Life… It’s about experiences. Live long enough and you’ll realize you get stronger with the lessons you learn. And you rue the days when you failed to go for it. When fear stopped you from reaching higher.
 

Burning

“Burning” could have appeared on a Journey album before “Don’t Stop Believin’” pushed Journey through a different door and into a different musical direction. However once upon a time a version of Journey existed which wasn’t scared to jam and take you on a musical journey. “Shooting Star” capture that vibe here.
 

The fire is burning in everyone

 
To change is to take a journey. And that journey is not pain free or stress free. You can’t change without the stress. They go hand in hand. And the fire to change and be somebody is in all of us. But a lot of us, take a stress free journey and waste away.
 

Winner

“Winner” has this Euro-vibe “Deep Purple” meets “Kansas” vibe happening which I dig.
 

Tough
You gotta be tough
Or be broken in two

 
We all have to pick ourselves up off the floor at some point when we don’t win and this song is a great soundtrack.
 

Feel it in our hearts
We’re the winners

 
A lot of other important things matter more than the results, like relationships, families, laughter and memories. You have those, you’re a winner.
 

Train Rolls On


I don’t need a reason to feel like I do
I live like I want to, I can’t wait for you

 
We don’t always have all the answers, but we make the best of life.
 

My life is like a freight train
Running down the track as the train rolls on

 

Everybody needs a friend
And the touch of a lovers hand

 
You’ve either been in relationships or you’re afraid of them. So many hold back, stay away as they don’t want to share as they are scared of change. And people do change you. When there is a connection it’s exhilarating and when there’s a disconnection, it takes years to recover. And some never ever do.
 

Dreams


Hold on to your dreams

 
Sometimes it’s all we’ve got especially in a world spiralling out of control.
 
The lead break in the outro is too short. It needs to go longer and fade naturally.
                       

Meatloaf – Midnight At The Lost and Found

“Bat Out Of Hell” was such a monster album both commercially and critically, anything that came afterwards just couldn’t compete. Meatloaf was the most imperfect front man you could get. But he put so much energy into his performance, it was genuine. 
 

Midnight At The Lost And Found

It’s written by Marvin Lee Aday, Steve Buslowe, Paul Christie and Danny Peyronel. Meatloaf was a performer. Other people wrote his songs. Jim Steinman is the man behind the big ones, however the song writing committee on this album is not bad either.
 
Put your hand up if you knew that Marvin Lee Aday is Meatloaf. Bassist, Steve Buslowe worked with Paul Stanley, Jim Steinman, Bonnie Tyler, Aldo Nova and many other artists. Paul Christie is an Australian bassist/songwriter, who worked with a lot of Aussie acts like AC/DC and Mondo Rock, while Danny Peyronel is a Juilliard School trained keyboardist and associated with a string of high profile acts like UFO and Pink Floyd.
 

Hey Ricky, now mine is empty
How about one for you
We could set it out together
Seems tomorrow’s overdue

 
The scene is set. We are all drinking at the bar.
 

Midnight at the lost and found
Lost souls in the hunting ground
A remedy for all your ills
At the lost and found

 
Mmm, is the remedy, alcohol?
 

Wolf At Your Door

It’s basically a re-write of “Hurt So Good” John Cougar Mellencamp. This song is written by Marvin Lee Aday and Steve Buslowe.
 

Workin’ your life to the bone
There’s a wolf at your door
He wants your money, wants your soul
A wolf at your door
You give it all, he wants more
There’s a wolf at your door

 
There is so much truth in the above. The wolf comes in many different disguises, the bank man, the tax man, the gas man, the electricity man, the ISP man, the grim reaper man, the lawman, the government man and so forth. So many wolves are waiting to take away your life’s work.
 

Aldo Nova – Subject

“Fantasy” was such a massive song, anything else that came after would be compared to it.
 

Cry Baby Cry

It’s very similar musically to “Fantasy”.
 
It’s a perfect example of melodic rock, especially the harmony guitars that kick it off and lead in to the shredalicious solo break.
 

Always Be Mine

This is a keyboard heavy Journey style AOR rocker.
 

Let’s talk it over now
We both have a lot to say
Let’s get it over now
We can’t let it go this way

 
Sometimes talking it over, leads to more talking about the words said in the talking it over part.
 

It’s just a game we play
We look at love through eyes so blind
So don’t give your love away
Cause in my heart you’ll always be mine
Baby, you’ll always be mine

 
As Yoda said, “No, another there is”. Relationships are the same.
 

All Night Long

The chorus guitar riff is very similar to a certain song by Journey called “Don’t Stop Believin’”. I dig it and it rocks.

That’s it for Part 9 and I will close off 1983 with Part 10 soon.

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Music, Unsung Heroes

Demo’s

I reckon Napster became popular because of all the unreleased material on the site like live bootlegs, alternate takes and demo’s. 

In the race to offer legal streaming/digital options, we’ve lost access to these kinds of takes forever. Then again YouTube does have a lot of this stuff and if people prefer to go to YouTube and search that way they can.

And the reason why these demo’s, unreleased songs, B-sides, live takes and what not became so sought after is because bands/artists held songs back. In some cases these are the personal tracks were the artist is laying it all out for people to hear. That’s why the music became so big back then. When we got access to these hidden closet tracks, we felt close to our heroes. But somehow we’ve lost that magic. 

Today, everyone releases everything they record. Go on social media and 90% of artist accounts are controlled by their publicity agents, so it’s all about the money, the success, the marketing and no personal opinions are offered. But the ones that control their own social media accounts, I believe, they are leading better creative lives and are having more success doing so. 

Their engagement with their fans, smack downing trolls and their opinions is the same as those unreleased tracks and demoes. I follow a few on Twitter like Dave Mustaine, Zoltan Bathory, Mike Portnoy, Nikki Sixx, Dee Snider, Phil Soussan, David Coverdale, Jason Bieler and Lzzy Hale. All of them control their own accounts and they engage with their fans. Most importantly they offer their opinions. You might disagree or agree with them, but in the end you value them more because they are laying it all out there. Like those outtakes and demos that never made the album once upon a time.

And we all need that other perspective and other viewpoint. We live in a world that has so many niches and everyone believes they are a superstar. But people only care about you when they see you as human, when they see you offering your opinion. That’s what sells your brand, your music, your live show, your comic and what not.

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