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

Saxon – Nightmare

A simple high hat drum groove and arpeggio riff sets up the groove. According to the gospel of Saxon, a broken heart is a nightmare. Nice play on words.

And a film clip was also created with vocalist, Biff Byford laying on a bed, having a nightmare and stuck within his four walls.

As night closes in, l lay in my bed

Our thoughts within four walls. Who would want to know them and we will never share them?

That my nightmare begins where reality ends

“Take the blue pill or the red pill”, Morpheus said to Neo.

Where were you, I was caught in a nightmare

Our tribal instincts to survive is to be part of a group, hence the reason why we seek out relationships. And when relationships turn bad, and friends pick sides, we are left alone, in a nightmare. Starting over is hard for a lot of people.

The guitar solo is brilliant, starting of subdued and picking up as the song picks back up. Actually, the guitar attack of Graham Oliver and Paul Quinn, isn’t as celebrated as the Thin Lizzy Gorham/Robertson duo or the Maiden Murray/Smith duo or the Def Leppard Collen/Clark duo or Clark/Willis duo but man, these dudes could solo and riff and harmonize their way as good as all of em.

In addition Steve Dawson on bass, holds the foundation along with Nigel Glockler on drums.

And how good is the double bass drum at the end?

Where were you in the night?

Standard
A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Copyright Just Keeps On Giving

Copyright is the gift that just keeps on giving.

Remember how copyright is meant to protect the creator so they have a monopoly on their work, with the aim to be paid if the work is popular. A lot of artists create works which are not popular and as such, their monopoly on their copyrights have no value.

However, in this case, the creator gets a stroke and other people allegedly forge the creators signature to transfer the rights to corporations who seem to benefit.

The Seinfield creators couldn’t even come up with this kind of a story. You can add elder abuse to the list for Copyright court cases.

The other big one is Ed Sheeren and his song, “Thinking Out Loud”. You see even if Sheeren did copy a Marvin Gaye song, the song should have been in the public domain anyway because both Gaye and his co-writer are dead. Then again the labels wanted these kind of perpetual laws many years ago and now they are getting bitten in the ass.

And companies like Structured Asset Sales, founded by an investment banker called David Pullman exist by purchasing a lot of copyrights from the children of these creators many years ago and now we have this stupidity of suing people.

And as usual, Copyright is already benefiting the corporations who create nothing and now it is benefiting the heirs of artists who create nothing, to sue the creators who create something.

But if you really want to know how the recording industry via the RIAA caused this mess, then read this article over at Techdirt.

Nothing is original especially in music which has mass appeal. No artist writes music without being exposed to music. Everyone is working from the same instruments and the same chords.

And the courts now cannot make a distinction between influence and theft. It’s set the precedent that all influence is theft. And the labels went with that for decades only to be sued over the last 10 years from heirs of dead artists.

Standard
Music, My Stories, Stupidity

The Camera Eye = Social Control

How much control do we want to give away in order to live our lives the way we want?

Driving up to the traffic lights, I am confronted with a green light to proceed while the cars to my left and right are stopped, because of a red light on their side.

This form of control provides safety and order.

But also at the traffic lights is a red light speed camera, which takes a photo of you if you go through a red light at normal speed and under and it also takes a photo of you if you go through a green light or red light, over the speed limit. And that information is stored by various organizations and contracted out to law enforcement.

And with the rise of phones in cars, in Australia we had laws against texting while driving and when a police officer was hit and lost his legs from a driver who was texting, we now have laws that state we cannot handle or touch our phones while driving.

So to control these new laws, the traffic lights and light poles have extra cameras added to take pictures of drivers inside their cars.

And throwing cigarettes out your window always had a fine in Australia if witnessed by a Police officer, but now there are proposals to make the cameras do all the work.

And of course we have laws against driving intoxicated and affected by drugs.

And all of these traffic lights in our lives create rules and enforce punishment to maintain social control.

Social control in the name of safety.

But a truck driver crossed over to the other side of the road, killed a family in a head on, because he was trying to open a bottle of coke.

So what’s next, laws against coke bottles.

And then we have the social control within family and friends. Everyone wants to belong, no one wants to be alone. So we abide by these norms and rules so we remain part of the tribe as we gossip our way through life.

When you add the criminal justice system which imposes sanctions when the law is broken and the rules and expectations of each company we work for or deal with, it doesn’t feel like freedom and more like control.

Social control is neither bad or good, it just is, because through centuries of control we cannot believe it is possible to live without social control.

And here is the article that influenced this post and Neil Peart was already writing about it in “The Camera Eye” a song about how New York City installed cameras everywhere in a bid to stop crime and make the streets safe again, using a system set up in London, who had to install cameras on every street corner to stop IRA bombings.

Peart made it out that the cameras are chasing the oblivious humans, as the humans do their day to day duties.

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

Driven

It was one of the first tracks finished for the “Test For Echo” album, featuring three separate bass tracks; the main part, the harmony part and the sub bass bottom end, which sound as one massive bass track. If you need any more evidence about the abilities of Geddy Lee, look no further.

Neil Peart also plays a little bit behind the beat which gives the riffs a heavier character.

Driven up and down in circles
Skidding down a road of black ice

You know the saying of “going round in circles” well in this case, the feeling is that we are not achieving anything because someone else is controlling the wheel and we keep coming back to the same point or problem.

But it’s my turn to drive

We need to take the wheel and be in control of our choices and decisions. We need to learn from them, grown with them and take ownership of our choices and actions. There is no one to blame when it’s our turn to drive.

And how the change from distortion to acoustic in this section is soothing before the fuzz kicks in again. Plus the simple chord progression of F, G and Am makes it so accessible.

Driven to the margin of error
Driven to the edge of control
Driven to the margin of terror
Driven to the edge of a deep, dark hole

How driven or ambitious can we be, that we find ourselves driven to the edge of control, or a deep dark hole?

Driven on
By the road to somewhere I’ve never been

A simple meaning of what it means to drive. It offers us the freedom to leave our city limits and go to another city and another.

And these days, technology companies scan between 150 million and 200 million photos of license plates captured by cameras in malls, parking lots, and residential neighborhoods every month, to amass huge information on the data point locations of cars, which they then use to sell to the police.

If the police want to know the whereabouts of a number plate and where that plate had been in the past, this company can tell them.

That’s why we drive on to roads we’ve never been and cameras have never been.

The road unwinds before me
And I go riding on

It’s what we always do, we get up and live and go riding on. And we sacrifice or give up control, a little bit of our freedom each time which brings us back to the first verse and the words of being driven up and down in circles.

And the cycle repeats.

And after the “Test For Echo” tour, the band was put on hold as Neil Peart would see tragedy with the passing of his daughter and a year later, his wife.

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

The Pirate Vault #8

Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls Live in Providence 8-8-1987

I’ve got the bootleg on LP and I couldn’t find any YouTube clips from this concert, but there is one titled Motley Crue – Full Concert – 10/10/87 – Oakland Coliseum Stadium (OFFICIAL) which has the same set list, starting off with the Dave Rose “Stripper” song as the backing tape, but some songs are edited out for some reason.

And “Dancin On Glass” is one of my favourite tracks from the “Girls” album, so it’s cool to see it in the set list and to hear it get the live treatment.

Because it’s a god damn great song and it works perfectly for the live show, with its sleazy groove and blues influenced vocal melodies. The other songs are more or less part of Motley canon and still part of the set list, and the Jack Daniels break is the guys drinking Jack Daniels, basically an early version of Tommy’s tittie cam.

Also on Tommy Lee, he is a very underrated drummer. He holds down the fort, consistent in his tempo’s and every cymbal crash and every drum fill and every ad lib drum fill is on beat.

Extreme – self titled debut
David Lee Roth – Eat Em And Smile

There is so much guitar on this tape, from two giants in Nuno Bettencourt and Steve Vai.

Like Steve Vai’s guitar is having a convo with David Lee Roth in “Yankee Rose”. Nuno’s is supporting an harmonica lead in “Little Girls”.

And both guitarists don’t play stock power chords chords as they decorate each riff with single note scalar progressions, triad chords, hammer ons and pull offs and palm muted arpeggios.

Iron Maiden – self titled debut
Metal Ballads

This tape fell into my possession from a girl who dumped her boyfriend. And since this mix tape was created by her now ex-boyfriend, she didn’t want it. Both sides were metal ballads. I didn’t mind side 2 as it had some cool guitar like Whitesnake with “Restless Heart” and “Is This Love”, Bad English, Firehouse, John Waite and Slaughter.

Side 1 from memory had some ballad Bolton songs which was enough for me to overdub. I actually liked Michael Bolton on his first couple of solo albums, because they are good melodic hard rock albums.

I also don’t know what I was thinking when I used the words Metal and Ballads together. It just doesn’t make sense. I should of merged them, Metallica style, to become Metallads.

Actually that’s even worse now, Metal Lads. What is that?

And I added some WASP tracks at the end of the Maiden album, just to fill up the side.

How good is the intro to “Prowler”?

Led Zeppelin – IV
Led Zeppelin – my selection from Remasters
(and I don’t know why I selected some of the same songs I had on side 1 courtesy of “IV”).

When I was burned out on my 80’s music in the 90’s and I wasn’t really biting the new Seattle sounds as essential listening, Led Zeppelin and hundreds of other 70 acts became my go to sounds.

And I loved the world and the sounds they created because rock music was about trying things. No other artist wrote a song like “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “Kashmir” or “Stairway To Heaven”. Ohh, wait, scratch that last part on “Stairway” as a judge and a jury will decide the Stairway case. The insanity of it all.

And I remember reading the making of “The Wall” and how complicated it was because the band members didn’t speak to each other, and Roger Waters wanted total control and the record label wanted it to have more accessible songs which Pink Floyd refused to do and the record label wanted it out at a certain time, which the band refused to do. And that constant struggle between creating art vs money thrown at the artist continued.

Because the labels were scared to drop an artist who had sales, because there was nothing worse than having an artist you dropped, sell a million records on another label. So they kept em on their label, put up with em and gave in to their demands, because the artist had the power. As Ricky Gervais said in his Golden Globe speech, “he doesn’t care”, the artists had the same motto. They didn’t care, it was all about the sex and the drugs and the sex.

But MTV gave the record labels a lot of power because they created it and controlled it and when music entered the lounge rooms, sales of recorded music went through the roof, which meant a lot of dollars on their profit sheets.

Suddenly, the labels had the power to kill an artist’s career straight away. And Seattle didn’t decimate the hair bands. The record labels did, by signing so many “look a likes” and “sound a likes” that the market reached its saturation point.

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

Saxon – The Power And The Glory

It’s the title track, produced by Jeff Glixman and their last album on Carerre before their “supposably” big money move to EMI Records in 1984.

The album was written during the British Invasion of the Falkland Islands and you hear the aggression in it as it focuses on the life of mercenaries and includes tributes to mans first landing on the moon and “E.T.”

Saxon is all about grit. A working class band that had to keep working hard to remain relevant.

I could never understand why the critics didn’t like it, to be honest. It didn’t get really great reviews. But I like it. “Watching the Skies” is one of my favourites. And the actual title track, “Power and the Glory,” is brilliant to play live, absolutely. One of the best things ever.
Steve Dawson from Saxon

“The Power And The Glory” kicks off the album with a riff that would have influenced Iron Maiden’s “Two Minutes To Midnight” and when the drums come in, its “Dirty Deeds” on steroids.

I’ve actually done a post on the one riff to rule them all. It was a general riff used by many metal and rock bands between 1976 to 1986.

And the verse riff reminds so much of Thin Lizzy, it connects straight away. Its probably why this song is one of my favourite Saxon tracks. All of those little connections to previous bands, all blended up and out comes, Saxon.

I’m fighting for freedom
I’m safe, I’ve got God on my side

It’s what the generals told the soldiers, because they are fighting for freedom, god is on their side, so don’t fear, you will prevail. Yep, tell that to the solider with machine guns from the other side, who also believes the same and is fighting for their own freedom.

The General says we’ll will win the war,
Just sacrificed a thousand more

We commemorate Anzac Day in Australia and if you read Anzac history, you will see how the British Generals sent the soldiers of their Commonwealth countries into battle first. While these young men got cut down by machine gun fire, the Generals watched from afar, safe from all the hell. All in the name of power and glory, for whose god is more divine and for who has more lands and resources under control.

To the power and the glory
Raise your glasses high

Raise your glasses indeed.

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

Test For Echo

Here we go in slow mo

To me, it’s the best Rush song from the 90’s.

The guitar riffs from Alex Lifeson are so easy to digest, powerful, heavy and groovy, even when they are down tuned a whole step.

 “There’s a lot of different stuff on there. I tuned the guitar down a whole step to a D standard tuning. I got a new Les Paul Custom with beautiful sustain, a heavy tone and a compact, but not too small, sound. In the choruses I used a Godin Acousti-Caster, which has a really interesting sound that is at the same time almost acoustic but definitely electric.
Alex Lifeson In Guitar World

Lifeson begins the song with interesting arpeggios. He achieves the unique sounds by combining root five power chords and leaving the 1st and 2nd strings open.

The song works in any style and it could have fitted on any of their earlier albums from “Fly By Night” to “Signals” and it would not have been out of place.

Geddy Lee and Neil Peart lay down a solid foundation, especially in the Chorus, when Lifeson just plays those arpeggios and Lee and Lifeson, set the groove.

Also check out how Peart plays a subdued half time beat in the verses and then starts to pick it up double time. A good drummer could make a simple riff sound fresh by doing just that.

 “I feel like we arrived with this record. There’s a particular feel that I don’t think we had before—a nice groove and a lot of really good Rush songs. I feel like we were all really together on this album. Although we strive for that all the time, it’s not always achievable. The mood was so good in the studio, and we were so unified in direction.”
Alex Lifeson In Guitar World

And of course, no Rush song is complete without the lyrics of Peart, a critique of the American justice system which turns criminals into media stars.

“It’s about the numbing process that happens when we are exposed to great tragedies and then were exposed to moments of hilarity. I feel that that’s the condition of contemporary man now – when we read the paper or when we watch TV, were not sure if were supposed to laugh.”
Geddy Lee

Some kind of trouble on the sensory screen
Camera curves over caved-in cop cars

As technology progressed so did the coverage of real time situations. It’s one of the big reasons people watched the news to begin with, to see what was breaking.

Don’t touch that dial,
We’re in denial

We didn’t touch the dial at all, we just kept upgrading our TVs, giving the TV makers billions of dollars in revenue. Because we loved having all of this entertainment in our houses.

Now crime’s in syndication on TV

Crime and sex always got eyeballs. It didn’t matter the medium. And now with the internet, where everything is available, it feels like we are all so desensitized to it.

Here we go, vertigo
Video vertigo
Test for echo

Standard