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.

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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.

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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

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

Another Perfect Day

Musically, the “Another Perfect Day” album is excellent.

The problem was MTV and Motorhead just didn’t fit the MTV bill of marketable bands that looked good on video. And Lemmy’s sledgehammer vocals didn’t have the polish and harmonies of the bands getting the MTV airplay. So MTV ignored em and more or less the magazines ignored them.

So Motorhead would be that cult band, forever respected but not as commercially successful as they should have been, especially for their influence.

Lemmy (RIP) is a legend of all legends, the Chuck Norris of the metal world and even a metal element called Lemmium was created (there was a petition to add Lemmium to the periodic element table which failed, but his fans are still trying).

And the man had a way with words. It’s one of the reasons why Sharon Osbourne selected him to write lyrics for Ozzy’s “No More Tears” and “Ozzmosis” album. The lyrics to “Hellraiser”, “Mama I’m Coming Home” and “I Don’t Want To Change The World” are from Lemmy.

So here is a quick snapshot of some of the golden words in each track from “Another Perfect Day”.

One of us is crazy and the other one’s insane
From “Back At The Funny Farm”

There is a difference between crazy and insane, because Lemmy said, one is a choice and the other isn’t.

I really like this jacket but the sleeves are much too long
From “Back At The Funny Farm”

Lemmy’s take on a dinner suit.

But you know I’m a real good lover,
Can’t judge a book by its cover,
Bet ya thought I wouldn’t have no style

From “Shine”

Don’t judge Lemmy based on his looks and appearance. He has all the tools necessary to please.

All you had was a bankroll baby and a glint in your eye
But you know you ran out of money
Wound up on your knees

From “Dancing On Your Grave”

A Lemmy tale for a cold winters night, about Lemmy’s favourite topic, a woman out of money and resorting to a career on her knees to make it through.

Let me hear til the end of time
It’s the only way
Rock’n’roll music gonna stop the world

From “Rock It”

The start instantly reminds me of “Under The Blade” from Twisted Sister. I would have used the words, rock and roll music gonna change the world.

And it was huge. The kids who grew up with it know what an impact rock had on culture.  

One way ticket, one horse town
Two faced women, two black eyes
Three time loser, break the law
From “One Track Mind”

The social lynch mobs would tear this line apart for promoting violence.

What you see is what you get no matter what you say
The truth is only black and white
No shade of grey

From “Another Perfect Day”

The legal profession deals with the grey.

Never rise again, we lost a million friends
From “Marching Off To War”

World War 1 and the end of worlds’ innocence. No holds barred account of war.

Here’s the story, there’s only me
From “I Got Mine”

Damn right, it’s only Lemmy and no one else. How dare that woman not show him any interest?

You’ll find that I’m real bad luck
From “Tales Of Glory”

It’s as heartfelt as Lemmy would get. You’ve been forewarned.

Deal with the misfits, wipe ’em out
From “Die You Bastard”

Lemmy’s take on governments trying to wipe out the rockers. But it looks like the rockers are rising to take out the misfit governments and install further misfits as leader, worse than what cane before.

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

Satellite

It’s from “On Through The Night”, Def Leppard’s first album and written by bassist Rick Savage, guitarists Steve Clark and Pete Willis and singer Joe Elliot.

Judas Priest producer Tom Alton is also behind the controls.

And yes folks, there are two albums before “Pyromania”.

Who would have thought, hey?

In art classes, Joe Elliot used to draw album covers from imaginary bands which didn’t exist. One of those covers had the band name Def Leppard.

Ooh yeah, ooh yeah set your sights on the satellite

A statement of intent.

Don’t worry about setting your goals as high as the sky, let’s go further and go for the satellites in outer space.

And space travel (in the early 80s) was still so unknown back then.

We were in awe of the tech.

It’s got the power, it’s got the strength to steal away your soul

Satellite is an artificial object placed into space to provide a service.

The satellite in this song i always saw as being an metaphor for desire/love but coming from England and being seen as one of the leaders of NWOBHM, the “love” word just didn’t fit with the cultural change.

It’s burning up the sky

Those clean tone arpeggios with melodic vocal lines which made “Photograph” and “Rock Of Ages” huge appeared from the outset, on the debut.

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Influenced, Music, My Stories

Ordinary Man

I always look forward to a new Ozzy release because of the victory laps that the first two Randy Rhoads albums provided.

And Ozzy hit it out of the ballpark again with Zakk Wylde on “No More Tears”.

So Ozzy is finally releasing new music as a solo artist since 2010. In between there was a Black Sabbath album and a few tours to bring that era to a satisfying end.

And do we forgive and forget how Bob Daisley and Jake E. Lee got ripped on the publishing for the “Bark At The Moon” album?

Do we forgive and forget how the bass and drum parts of the classic RR albums got re-recorded for an anniversary release so Daisley and Kerslake don’t get any royalties?

Do we forgive and forget how “The Ultimate Sin” album will never get the anniversary treatment because that means Jake E. Lee and Bob Daisley will need to get paid?

The only song from that album still doing the rounds is “Shot In The Dark” and even though “Bark At The Moon” was written by Jake, Ozzy is listed as the songwriter. In other words, no cut which has Jake listed as the songwriter gets played live by Ozzy.

But that’s what we do. We forgive and forget, for to be human is to make mistakes, piss people off, to fall and to rise. And man Ozzy has fallen and risen so many times, and reinvented himself so many times, he has earned our attention and respect.

The song (which is also the title track) is written by Ozzy Osbourne, Andrew Watt (a guitarist/writer more known for his work with pop artists), Chad Smith from RHCP, Duff McKagan from GNR and Billy Walsh, who I have no idea who he is.

Slash plays guitar on the track. Elton John plays piano and does vocals on a verse. Like seriously, it’s a super group.

And Ozzy has done songs like this before. “Road To Nowhere” comes to mind, “Old LA Tonight” as well. “Dreamer” as well.

I was unprepared for fame
Then everybody knew my name

Nobody is prepared for it but when you take a guy out of gloomy Birmingham and send him to the US with hippies, flowers and cocaine, all hell broke loose.

Don’t forget me as the colors fade
When the lights go down it’s just an empty stage

The audience and the adulation, but what happens when the crowds are gone. The loneliness of the hotel room, the bus trip, the private plane. And all of the people, depending on you to deliver so you get paid and they get paid as well. It’s why so many artists turn to their addictions, because the highs then remain.

And the truth is I don’t wanna die an ordinary man

We will all die. That is certain. Some get to see old age and others don’t.

Ozzy pushed every limit, broke every rule and norm and even though he wanted to drink himself to death, he had people for better or worse, who kept him going. And for the amount of drugs and alcohol he’s consumed, people have died/overdosed for lesser amounts.

But Ozzy continues.

And did I mention the Slash plays on the song. His solos for these kind of “November Rain” style songs are just perfect.

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

Neil Peart

I go onto Twitter and “Neil Peart” is trending. At age 67, brain cancer took him.

And Rush worked because of all three of them. You couldn’t take any of em out. It was a sum of its parts.

As a guitarist, Alex Lifeson is a huge influence, but the grooves that Peart lays down on under the guitar riffs proved to be a bigger influence.

Like the drum beats in “La Villa Strangiato” before the slow middle solo and then the drum beats to pick up the song again and get it into the “Swinging 30s” section. It’s my favourite Rush song hands down.

But my first ever Rush purchase was the “Exit Stage Left” album, which had most of “Moving Pictures” on it.

Like the drum beats in the chorus of “Limelight” as Lifeson goes from clean tone arpeggios to power chords.

Or the drum beats in the solo of “Limelight”. Just listen to it and see how Peart makes something simple sound complicated with some nice grooves.

Living in a fish eye lens
Caught in the camera eye
I have no heart to lie
I can’t pretend a stranger
Is a long-awaited friend

I love that lyric about pretending that a stranger is a long awaited friend, which sums up to me, how people come out of the woodwork and pretend to be your friend, so they can get a cut of the pie.

“YYZ” is an instrumental that never gets boring at all. Listen to the section from about the 2.55 mark when the keyboards come in. It’s a simple progression but Peart makes it sound epic with his choice of beats.

Or can anyone escape the opening drum beat of “Tom Sawyer”. It’s so simple it’s beautiful. And when the guitars come crashing in, even James Hetfield liked em enough to use for “Welcome Home”.

Though his mind is not for rent
Don’t put him down as arrogant

Obedience and servitude is what governments want. If you have a disobedient view, prepare to be proved/bashed into acknowledging you were wrong.

No his mind is not for rent
To any god or government
Always hopeful, yet discontent
He knows changes aren’t permanent
But change is

That’s right.

Be who you are. Know that you can help things change. And as history has proven, change always happen.

I love the simplicity building up of the intro in “The Camera Eye”. Because you know as soon as Peart lays down the beat, the canvas is clean for Lee and Lifeson to decorate.

And the lyrics about governments watching its own citizens, without them really knowing, especially in democracies, is a forewarning.

WikiLeaks exposed this in 2010 and the person who did it is still seen as a terrorist. All because they exposed their government for being nothing better than a dictatorship style government when it came to spying.

Facebook and Twitter and Amazon and Google watch our clicks and searches. Cambridge Analytica spied on Facebook users during election campaigns. It’s even more troublesome now as we all have devices in front of us that can act as spy agents.

“Witch Hunt” was a song I forgot about until Machine Head covered it as a bonus track for “Unto The Locust”.

Madmen fed on fear and lies
To beat and burn and kill

Create a boogie man or a false story which instills fear and watch what happens.

Although the song “witch hunt” is about the witch trials that happened centuries ago, we are seeing the same history repeat today.

They say there are strangers who threaten us
In our immigrants and infidels

Leaders of the world use these exact words. A narrow viewpoint that all of the ills with the nation are because of immigrants, while the most horrific crimes are committed by white people who have been in the country for generations.

The shooting in the US at a country concert in Vegas or the shooting at a Mosque in NZ. Both committed by white people. In Norway, the biggest mass murder of people was committed by a white person.

Putting other people into a bucket of good and bad based on skin, race or religion is wrong. But all races do it. It’s not just a white problem.

That those who know what’s best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves

The Catholic Church played this moral leader during the witch hunts. Anyone who didn’t believe in God or had a differing viewpoint was killed. Take out the minds they couldn’t rent, instill fear and obedience will follow.

And today, it’s no different when it comes to viewpoints. Evidence shows one thing and people refuse to believe it or accept it.

Quick to judge
Quick to anger
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice
And fear walk hand in hand…

Truth We are all guilty of it.

And Neil Peart’s lyrics are a perfect antidote to the sex, drugs and rock and roll style lyrics. His social conscience, love of fantasy and way of words proved special. He could spin a story about the making of the nuclear bomb, an experiment to test for echoes along with issues about free will and working nine to five along with the magic of radio and worlds in different places.

Too many to mention. RIP.

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