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

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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My Stories

Football And World Cup Qualification Failure…

Failing to qualify for the World Cup has highlighted how far the US game has fallen and it’s going to happen to the Australia national team soon.   

The signs of a looming catastrophe are everywhere. In Australia, we aren’t qualifying for the Youth World Cups at all and the majority of those youth national teams are made up of the best talent of the parents who can pay for $2500 a year for Elite Football. The current senior national team is made up of players who had parents who could pay the high fees for Elite Football. Not all players, but a large percentage. So is it any wonder that the only player in the current Australian team who took a unique and different way  to make it in football, had the most impact. Of course, I am talking about Tim Cahill. 

But the pay to play culture in Australia is killing the sport. It’s become even more evident over the last 5 years in this country how “elite football” in this country has become a billion dollar industry. And the competitive kids who are selected early because they are born at the start of the year and run faster than all the rest, keep getting retained in these elite programs because they were there first in, even when the kids born later have shown to have better skills and game intelligence. 

This pay to play culture eliminates the potential x-factor player and makes football a sport that kids from upper-middle class parents can play at an “elite level”. That kid that didn’t even trial for an elite team because of the fees or that kid which got selected for an elite team at U9’s and then had to withdraw because the parents couldn’t pay, is now probably kicking goals in AFL or scoring tries in Rugby League.

The biggest problem of “pay to play” is that it removes the individual from the team and from learning the language of football. It makes it all about the individual. With the investment of parents, they expect results for their child, the individual. Australia is a country that has a population which includes every race of the world and somehow the coaches/selectors are not able to find “real talent”.

I wonder why. 

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Music, My Stories

Dentists 

I took my son to the dentist today to get some teeth pulled out because they didn’t form properly and to make room for the wisdom teeth to come through. Prior to the appointment, we had a quote of $600 however it did say on the quote that it will be bulk billed to Medicare. 

So after my son got his two teeth pulled out, I’m at the counter and the dental firm charge me $480 as an out of gap payment for the extraction. Apparently, the quote was wrong to say “bulk bill to Medicare” and that my private health insurance only pays $60 per tooth. 

So I asked the question, the quote is a legal document and it clearly states “bulk bill Medicare” so why am I out of pocket because the dental firm stuffed up. And they argued with me saying the person that did the extraction is a specialist and the money that Medicare pays will not cover the fee even for an entry level Dentist to do the extraction. 
I said how is that my problem. The dental firm needs to wear the cost. 

Eventually and very regretfully they conceded and decided to wear the cost. But seriously how much will the dental firm be out of pocket. Medicare has a children dental scheme up to $1000 for a child. The dental firm will bill Medicare for as much as they can. Then they will bill my private health insurance for the $120. 

And private health insurance is broken. Seriously I pay $180 a fortnight for family hospital cover and extras like dental in private health insurance. That’s $360 a month. And when it comes time to use it, I have an out of pocket expense. What a crap situation this is? What’s even the point of having private health insurance? 

Meanwhile, the taxes of working Australians support Medicare, so by default I am paying for that as well. Maybe the issue is the predatory and colluding behavior of the specialists who charge way above the general rate. 

Whatever the issue, the system is corruptible and broken. Government intervention might fix it. But I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

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

Forgotten 80s List Part 3

Here is the playlist.

Forgotten songs from the Eighties are still on my mind. Here is another list of songs that should end up on your playlist one way or another.

The problem with the below songs is they were dwarfed by other “MTV” single songs or just bad promotion from the record label.

Out On The Streets
King Of The Fools

Twisted Sister

Twisted Sister knew which road they needed to take to make it. Now that they made it, what was next? Which road should they take? Bob Ezrin was approached to produce the album and after hearing the demos he didn’t hear a hit, so he passed. Hindsight and the passage of time points to Dee losing his way and anger at the world, but to me, the songs on “Come Out and Play” (except for “Leader” and “Be Cruel”) are as strong as the songs on “Stay Hungry”.

I believe it was poor record label decisions to release “Leader of the Pack” as the opening single. And to be honest “Be Cruel to Your School” is one of the weaker tracks on the album for me and never should have been a single.

“Come Out And Play”, “The Fire Still Burns” and “I Believe In Rock’N’Roll” are favourites of mine from the album and they got played live. “Out On The Streets” and the bonus track “King Of The Fools” do not get any love, hence they are on this list.

I’ve always dug a song that starts off with bass and drums. Then the vocal melody kicks in and then the guitars. “Lost Behind A Wall” from Dokken also comes to mind.

Searching for something in this human zoo
Kaleidoscope of faces, maybe, it might be you

I had to look up “kaleidoscope” in the dictionary. I had no idea what it meant. After I digested the meaning, it made the lyric even better.

Someone listen to my prayers
Can’t help feeling no one cares

The biggest fear is loneliness. We want someone to care for us, even more so for people who reached the top in their chosen field.

You’re out on the streets, living on your own

I’ve always taken this lyric to mean; away from home and the comforts of our loved ones. Look at any lyric from a rocker who spends a lot of time on the road touring and you will see how much it pains them. They turn to drugs as a supplement and sometimes when they are alone in their hotel room, away from everyone, their thoughts get the better of them.

My cousin Mega is a huge Twisted fan. He even tattooed the logo on his shoulder. So Mega had the album upon release, plus the VHS video. So I dubbed the LP on cassette and I also dubbed the VHS video onto a blank video tape until I had enough funds to purchase the original. So a few months after release, I purchased the LP. Many years later, well into the 90’s I came across a CD version of “Come Out And Play” via the second hand record shops. The almost faded sticker of “Bonus Track” was enough incentive. And “King Of the Fools” is that bonus track and man what a track it is.

The harmony guitars to kick it off, remind me of “Bringin On The Heartbreak” by Def Leppard. They sound epic, grand and they set the tone for a monster of a song that for some reason, the guys in the band nor the record label didn’t see fit to put on the normal album release. Sort of like how Bon Jovi left “Edge Of A Broken Heart” off the “Slippery When Wet” album and left “Social Disease” on it.

Look around me all I see
Thousands of faces wanting me
How can I lead?
How can I rule?
When I’m the king of the fools

We strive to make it, to be successful. And when we get there, we suddenly have people waiting to see what our next word will be, our next song and so forth. Suddenly doubt is everywhere. Conflict is everywhere. We turn to addictions to numb the pain. We want to be on the road, we want to be adored, we want to play shows, yet we don’t want to be away from our families.

The outside world can’t understand
Just who we are or what I am
Well, we don’t want their life or rules
I’ll be the king, king of the fools

Again, it’s the us (the SMF’s) vs them (the institutions, the government, the mainstream) mentality. It’s the expectations of society vs the dreams of youth. We have different viewpoints, we have different needs so we are seen as fools by the institutions. If the institutions see us as fools, then our idols are our Kings’.

Fight For Your Rights
Motley Crue

Sometimes it makes you wonder how a band with so many addictive personalities can get it together to churn out an album. “Theater of Pain” and “Girls, Girls, Girls” have a certain reputation as the “more filler” albums in Motley Crue’s 80’s output. It comes as no surprise that these “more filler” albums occurred at the height of the bands addictions.

But putting aside people’s viewpoints, each album has a few cult like gems. On a previous “Forgotten” post, I sang the praises of “Dancin On Glass” from the “Girls” album. On this post, “Fight For Your Rights” from the “Theater” album gets some love.

How good is the intro/verse riff?

Who wrote the Bible?
Who set the laws?
Are we left to history’s flaws?

We live in a world created by the religion institutions’ and the ones who control the wealth. And throughout the ages of times, documents got produced on how people should live. Eventually those documents became important to the detriment of any other document that challenged it.

Fight (fight) for your rights

Dee Snider turned up to the hearings against censorship, others wrote songs about it.

Martin Luther
Brought the truth
The color of our blood’s the same

So true. We all bleed red.

So break the chains
And solve the pains
And we all become one race

It’s easier said than done. These days it’s everybody against everybody. People of the same colour are against people of their own colour as well as people of different races. Then you have people against people because of religious beliefs or relationship preference. Then you have people against people because of social status. In my view, money is a bigger evil today.

Waiting For Darkness
Ozzy Osbourne

Even though Ozzy Osbourne is listed as the only songwriter, it’s well known that Bob Daisley wrote the lyrics and Jake E. Lee along with Daisley wrote the music. The guitar playing is what hooked me onto this song. The palm muted staccato lines in the verses from Jake over a syncopated bass/drum groove is just brilliant. So once I unpacked the riffage, I started listening to the lyrics and the vocal melodies.

Waiting for darkness
Why doesn’t anybody see now?
Deafened by silence
Why doesn’t anybody hear?

It’s easy to place this lyric with the lifestyle of Ozzy. Due to his addictions and constant toxic state, you can imagine many days and nights spent in a drug induced darkness. Deafening silence means a lack of response that reveals something significant, such as disapproval or a lack of enthusiasm from those who surround you or love you. So you have Daisley writing about a darkness to come, and everybody is too busy to care. Sort of like how people don’t care how their private data is gathered and sold by the large internet corporations. Sort of like how people don’t care about net neutrality. Until it’s too late.

We’re hardwired to believe and understand the things we experience, so we experience the internet and we like it. But there is a battle happening over the control of the internet and people just don’t care.

I know what they’ll find
It’s in their mind
It’s what they want to see
Spare me from the light
Here comes the night
And here I’ll stay waiting for darkness

This is all about people who don’t care to see the truth. What they’ve been told from birth and from their tribe is what will remain with them forever.

Promise me rebirth
And then you tear me from the womb
Give me my freedom
And then you lock me in a tomb

The way of the world is more pure in books of fiction. The non-fiction reality version is very different. A lot of the songs I like deal with how “we believe we are free but really are not”. It’s not coincidental. The more I get older, the more I realise how free I’m not. Like how Hetfield sang in “The Unforgiven”, “New blood joins this Earth and quickly he’s subdued”.

That’s The Way I Wanna Rock ‘ N’ Roll
AC/DC

From 1988’s “Blow Up Your Video” album. It was released as a single, however “Heatseeker” was doing a decent job taking all the limelight, this little ditty got ignored.

Party gonna happen at the union hall
Shaking to the rhythm ’til everybody fall
Picking up my woman in my Chevrolet
Glory hallelujah, gonna rock the night away

The scene is set. We have Brian picking up his woman, to take her to a party at Union Hall and rock the night away until they fall.

Told boss man where to go
Turned off my brain control
That’s the way I want my rock and roll

There it is again. The “We’re Not Gonna Take It” call to arms. We will not be used and we will not allow the people in power to control us.

Young Lust
Aerosmith

Like “Permanent Vacation” before it, “Pump” had some monster songs that stole all the glory like “Love In The Elevator”, “Janie’s Got A Gun”, “The Other Side” and “What It Takes”. And when that happens, it’s easy for songs to get lost or become forgotten. But “Young Lust” is the opener. In the minds of Tyler and Perry, it was good enough back then to open the god damn “Pump” album and today it gets no listens. To me, it’s just a pure party rock and roll anthem and Joey Kramer again goes to town on the drums, with his double kick underpinning the groove and tempo of the song.

A little bit o’ nasty
You look a little sleazy
But don’t get any on you

Is that what Bill said to Monica?

Young lust
Once you had it you can never go back

It’s totally wrong this lyric.

Checkin’ out the ladies
Who didn’t bring their boyfriends
Who love to get in trouble
I got to say I’ll see you later, meet me in the elevator

Tyler’s elevator fetish gets a prequel.

Young lust
I’m a-pushin’ and a-shovin’ it

Only Tyler can get away with lyrics like these.

One In A Million
Guns N Roses

This one is from the “Lies” EP released I think in 1989. I can Wikipedia it, but screw it, I’m running on fumes at the moment. I remember reading the stories about the “controversial” lyrics, especially the lines around “Immigrants and faggots” and “police and niggers”. But really, are the lyrics that controversial. There is always someone who gets upset at something. Basically, there is just no way one person/artist can make every single person in the world love them. It’s impossible.

Police and Niggers, that’s right
Get out of my way
Don’t need to buy none of your
Gold chains today

Is Axl a racist?

Maybe.

Is he trying to address some social ills with the verse above about a class divide?

Maybe.

You need to remember, this song came out in 1989 and there is a good chance the lyrics were written sometime in the 80’s. The L.A police during this period made a name for themselves as being pretty heavy when it came to dealing with citizens. And from the stories we kept seeing on the news, the police in L.A didn’t do themselves any favours. NWA wrote a cult classic about doing something with the police in LA. All of this bubbled to the surface when a video was released of the police beating Rodney King with clubs. What happened after that? Riots in L.A. A “Hooligan’s Holiday”. The nigger part is playing to a stereotype and a better word could have been used, but Axl was never about conforming.

You’re one in a million
Yeah, that’s what you are
You’re one in a million, babe
You’re a shooting star
Maybe someday we’ll see you
Before you make us cry
You know we tried to reach you
But you were much too high

The Chorus didn’t make much sense due to the extreme nature of the verses, but many years later it does. It’s basically saying, if you want to be a star, you are one of many in this world. And if you want your 15 minutes of fame, you are in competition with all of the problems of the world for people’s attention.

Immigrants and faggots
They make no sense to me
They come to our country
And think they’ll do as they please
Like start some mini Iran,
Or spread some disease
They talk so many goddamn ways
It’s all Greek to me

What a verse?

Talk about moving a conversation forward. I remember reading how ignorant Axl is and what not because of this verse, but in the end he was speaking a truth that he saw.

Isn’t that the artists credo, to knock down doors and be yourself.

I am sure millions will agree with what Axl meant about “starting a mini Iran”. Each race has a small faction of people who are so far removed from the conversation, their ideology is the only way. The problem is when that race has 100 million people worldwide, 10% is a small faction as a percentage, but in people numbers it’s large. And I always wonder. People come to democratic countries to escape the horrors of their own home and then they try their best to turn the streets of the democratic country that took them in, into the war torn streets of their homeland.

Radicals and Racists
Don’t point your finger at me
I’m a small town white boy
Just tryin’ to make ends meet
Don’t need your religion
Don’t watch that much TV
Just makin’ my livin’, baby
Well that’s enough for me

If we want a better future, it helps to be able to see the world as it is. Watching a news program is seeing the world as the news program wants you to see it. Reading a news article is seeing the world as the writer of the news article wants you to see it. Seeing a Travel video is seeing the world as the people who made the travel video want you to see it. You need to get out and see with your own eyes the world. Just don’t get run over by a mad man in a van.

Mine All Mine
Van Halen

I know it was a single, but in all seriousness, a lot of the singles from “5150” were still on the airwaves along with “When It’s Love” and “Finish What Ya Started” from “OU812”. “Jump” and “Panama” also had traction. So “Mine All Mine” just percolated outside the Van Hagar Halen hit factory.

The drumming is frantic, making a clichéd keyboard riff sound heavy as hell.

Oh, you’ve got Allah in the east
You’ve got Jesus in the west
Christ, what’s a man to do?

The problem with the world summed up in three lines. And it all boils down to a belief system.

Stop lookin’ out, start lookin’ in
Be your own best friend
Stand up and say, “Hey! This is mine!”

There it is in a nutshell. Stop looking out and start looking in. Don’t worry about what the person next door does or what they have. Focus on what you have and focus on what you can control. In the end, if you don’t like the state of the world, with the whole world at your fingertips, you will be able to find other voices to stand up with you when the time comes to raise your voice.

How good is the guitar solo from EVH?

Sometimes he goes all crazy and plays leads with reckless abandonment and sometimes he delivers melodic gems within his own theatrical style.

Standing In The Shadow
Guilty Of Love
Kittens Got Claws
Wings Of The Storm

Whitesnake

Is there a more broken hearted person than David Coverdale?

“Standing In The Shadow” is from 1984’s “Slide It In” album and it’s written by Coverdale.

I’m running away from a feeling
Hiding my face in the sand
I’m scared to love and lose again
I don’t know if I can

It’s that moment in time after a relationship has ended. You are hurting and you feel betrayed. Then you come across someone who rekindles the fire. But you are still hurting and after being burned once, you are fearful to jump in, just in case it leads to another broken heart.

Life is short, so you need to live it. And that means, putting the fear away.

Too many people
Standing in the shadow
Standing in the shadow of love

It’s like sitting on the sidelines and assessing the situation for the right time to re-join the game.

“Guilty Of Love” is from the same album and how cool are the guitar harmonies at the start, which again are written by Coverdale.

I believe my love for you
Is a love that will last forever?
And I’m here to testify
I’m a prisoner of your heart

When you fall in love, your heart becomes a captive to the other half. And when the relationship ends, it hurts.

Baby, don’t you believe when I tell you I love you
That I really mean it
Don’t you walk away?
Don’t you turn your back on me?

I guess we don’t really know what we got until it’s gone.

“Kittens Got Claws” is from “Slip Of The Tongue”, the follow-up to the mega 1987 self-titled album. Coverdale selected Adrian Vandenberg as his co-writer for this album. It would have been interesting to see how the songs would have sounded if Coverdale used Vivian Campbell as well, but it was not to be. Regardless, Vandenberg as co-writer is involved in some epic songs. Let’s not forget the title track “Slip Of The Tongue”, “Judgement Day”, “Sailing Ships”, “Now You’re Gone” and “The Deeper The Love”. But to me “Kittens Got Claws” is just a fun track to listen to and tap your foot to.

Walking down the street
You’re the center of my universe
You got the world in your pocket,
My manhood in your purse
You ain’t a bad girl, honey,
No matter what the neighbours say,
It’s just that you were those skin-tight dresses
With your G-string tuned to “A”

How good is the “G-string tuned to A” line?

Brilliant.

“Wings Of The Storm” is another little gem largely forgotten. It’s heavier and speedier and far removed from the blues based Whitesnake but man it’s a pretty good listen. It’s pedal point heaven for a guitarist.

On an’ on, the road goes on,
An’ it’ll go on forever,
Time will show if you and I
Will walk that road together

Almost 6 years later, Coverdale is still in a spot of bother when it comes to his love life.

It’s unfortunate that Geffen Records became a label that focused more on the results, totally ignoring the community and what customers of their artists could like. David Coverdale built a community around Whitesnake and a trust with the fans. And the labels just abandoned the artists at will. To me community and trust is more important than results, hence the reason why Whitesnake still rolls today.

Rock Me To The Top
Before My Eyes

Tesla

“Rock Me To The Top” is written by vocalist Jeff Keith and estranged guitarist Tommy Skeoch. The riff is foot stomping hard rock to a tee.

I’ll take command, take control
Now I see you comin’ back for more
I see you like it, but you don’t need it
Ooh you wanna feel it

Yep, I’m pretty sure Jeff Keith is singing about the original meaning of rock and roll and not the musical form.

“Before My Eyes” is written by guitarist Frank Hannon, along with Jeff Keith, Tommy Skeoch and drummer Troy Luccketta. To me, it’s the feel of the song that captures my attention more so than the lyrics. It reminds me of Y&T and it feels sad and spacey. Lyrically I’m not a fan, but musically I am all in.

Tomorrow
Naked City
Exciter
I’ve Had Enough
King Of The Mountain
My Way
Silver Spoon

Kiss

Kiss didn’t sell a lot of recorded music product compared to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and other large 70’s acts. But they are still seen as one of rocks biggest groups in the 70’s and maybe the entertainers of that decade. But by the end of 70’s and the start of the 80’s they got eclipsed by Disco, New Wave Pop, the NWOBHM and the L.A scene. Suddenly it looked like the band was in the rear view mirror. Original band members “officially left” even though they really left recording new music with the band a long time again. But with each album they dropped in the 80’s, they continued their evolution. “Lick It Up”, “Creatures Of The Night”, “I Still Love You”, “I Love It Loud”, “Crazy Crazy Nights” and “War Machine” are concert staples.

Here are a few gems a bit outside of Kiss’s comfort zone which had enough rock in em to keep me satisfied.

“Tomorrow” and “Naked City” come from the “Unmasked” album released in 1980. Both tracks merge the current pop trend with the distorted rock they are known for. I was late to the party on this album, hearing it in its entirety in the early 90’s.

“Tomorrow” is written by Paul Stanley and Vince Poncia and Stanley even plays bass guitar. You need any more evidence of dysfunction, here you have it.

I didn’t know just what to say
When you turned and you looked my way
It doesn’t happen to me every day
Can we talk a while?

I used to think that all of the rock stars had all the lines and moves covered when it came to love. In the end, they are all tongue-tied and error prone like all of us when it comes to love.

You didn’t have to say a word
I tried to tell you, but I lost my nerve
You know I wanted just to slip away
For a little while

An opportunity missed. Who hasn’t been there?

“Naked City” is written by a song writing committee of Gene Simmons, Vince Poncia, Bob Kulick and Pepe Castro. This one is an interesting track. It’s got a super heavy bass riff and that riff continues throughout the song. However the guitars set the vibe. In the Chorus its all “Arena Rock” and in the intro/verses it’s a “reggae shuffle”. And when it comes together it all works.

In the naked city (in the city)
There are ten million stories (naked city)

Once upon a time, stories travelled by word of mouth and the press. Now stories travel via a cable all around the world in a matter of seconds. It each city, millions of people live their lives and a new story is created every second.

Lonely people looking’ for someone
Lonely people going’ their way

It sums up life to a tee. We are all lonely people looking for someone to be with us to the end. We are all lonely people trying to find our way in life. Hopefully with someone.

“Exciter” is the opening track to the “Lick It Up” album in 1983. It’s a speed metal song and Vinnie Vincent brings out the metal and the shred and the delay. Actually what a waste of a great talent the Vinnie Vincent story is. His ego burned so many bridges; eventually people just turned away and refused to work with him. Even his record label turned him down and dropped him.

Passion and fire, lust and desire
Exciter
Pleasure and pain, this is my name
Exciter

Enough said. The lyrics are a waste and fail to deliver justice to the riffage.

“I’ve Had Enough” is also the opening track from “Animalise” released in 1984. It’s written by Desmond Child and Paul Stanley. Stanley was always an underrated guitarist who actually churned out some killer riffage in his 40 plus years creating music. Mark St John (RIP) just copied what Stanley wrote and played it on the album. Or maybe Mark just did the leads, while Paul did all the rhythm, sort of like how James Hetfield does all the harmonies and rhythms, while Kirk does all the solos.

How many times have they lied with the truth in their eyes?
Treat you like dirt, wasting the days of our lives
They try and deny it, ain’t gonna buy it, just look around
Before it’s all over, it’s gonna get rough
I’ve had enough

I always assumed the “they” in the song are people who abuse their power, people who put you down, people who make your life hell, people who you trust the most talking crap about you behind your back and so forth.

(Out of the cold, into the fire)
Nothing and no one is stopping me now

Attitude is the most important choice we have to make every single day. We have the choice to be optimistic, the choice to participate, and the choice to challenge the powers that be and find hope when fear and uncertainty is rampant. We select these attitudes. It’s our choice and when we do, nothing can stop us.

Wishing’ and hoping’ won’t get you nothing’
Praying’ and scheming’, no time for dreaming’
I’ve got the power, this is the hour now

You need to take action. If you don’t take action, nothing will transpire. A small change today leads to a large change in the future. Are you ready to make the change?

“King Of The Mountain” is the opening track from “Asylum” released in 1985 and the first album to feature Bruce Kulick. Kulick actually co-wrote the song with Desmond Child and Paul Stanley and the music is very close to “Creatures Of The Night”. It’s funny how a simple guitar riff sounds so heavy because of the drum groove laid down by Eric Carr.

I’m gonna climb the mountain
I’m gonna hit the top
I wanna go where nobody’s ever been
I’m never gonna stop

Isn’t that the spirit of human adventure? Reach the top, go where nobody’s ever been.

I’m the king of the mountain
And the winner takes it all

The bane of any existence is laziness and fear, the belief that we can’t make it so were better off not trying. We can make excuses because we are surrounded winners doing everything. In reality, nothing in our daily lives is a winner takes all competition. Yeah, there always be someone smarter, faster and more popular than you. And you will be smarter, faster and more popular than others. And those others you are far ahead are far ahead of others and so forth. The difference is how high is each individual mountain?

How good is the lead break from Kulick?

Man he shreds tastefully. Still his moment of guitar hero glory came on the much hated, or tolerated or loved album (depending on which side of the fence you sit) “Crazy Nights” which came two years after “Asylum”.

“My Way” is written by Desmond Child, Paul Stanley and Bruce Turgon (he played bass in Warrior, played bass and co-write most of the songs on Lou Gramm’s solo releases plus Shadow King’s 1991 release and Foreigner’s 1994 album) and it comes from the keyboard heavy “Crazy Nights” released in 1987. Depending on your point of view, this album is hated, tolerated or loved. And this song is also hated, tolerated or loved.

Oh the heat is on
And my back’s against the wall
You know it’s tough to be strong
In a world that makes you crawl

Clichéd. Yes. Original. No. Commercial. Yes. Sounds like Kiss. Umm, it sounds like Kiss in the 80’s. The lyrical message has been done to death about being strong and being yourself in a world that’s controlled by institutions who want you to be something else.

I’m gonna talk like I talk
Walk like I walk my way
I’m gonna go where I go
Ain’t takin’ no, my way

It’s easy to silence your voice. We’ve been battered by all the noise, problems and hassle that come with raising our voice. So sometimes we just sit back because it’s easier. Eventually, we find our voice again and as the Chorus goes, we will talk like we talk and walk like we walk and we will do it on our terms and our way.

What about Stanley’s highs in this one. Do you reckon he had someone in the studio squeezing his balls to hit those highs?

“Silver Spoon” comes from 1989’s “Hot In The Shade” and Paul Stanley had come full circle writing with Vince Poncia again. Like “Crazy Nights” this album is hated, tolerated or loved.

In a city where the buildings rise
I was just another face
But mama told me when somebody dies
No one else can take your place

It’s a really cool verse. I don’t know who came up with those lines but they are pretty solid and full of truth. In cities that have millions of people, we are all just bodies and faces in a sea of faces. But each person is unique and they bring their own light to this world. Our thoughts are all different and when we pass, our light goes out and no one can replicate it.

It’s a shame the rest of the song didn’t follow a similar lyrical thread. Instead it went to a girl, with an attitude because she was born with a silver spoon.

Had Enough
Mr Big

It’s the feel of the song. It’s like a ballad but it’s not a ballad. Having super shredders like Gilbert and Sheehan colouring the song with some great rhythms is great to hear.

Ain’t like any other day
Finally comes a time to decide
I won’t spend another day
Stuck here in the same old bind

The first two verses could be about any life situation and then the song devolves into a relationship situation. Missed opportunity to connect much wider.

What’s It Gonna Be
Ratt

It’s from 1988’s “Reach For The Sky” album and it’s written by Robbin Crosby, Juan Croucier, Warren DeMartini, Beau Hill and Stephen Pearcy.

The promises were empty and your blood runs cold
So tell me
What’s it gonna be, sweet Elena
Just give it to me straight, is it him or me?

I can’t remember if Elena was Peacy’s wife, but the question is simple, what’s it gonna be?

Rock And Roll’s Gonna Save The World
Y&T

Y&T is one of those bands that just hook me with their sense of melody and feel. “Rock and Roll’s Gonna Save The World” is from their 1984 album called “In Rock We Trust”.

Kings and queens and presidents
Are tryin’ to take the world in hand
Jokers and freaks and Arab sheiks
Are fightin’ over chunks of sand

The same problems that exist today existed 30 years ago and way before that. Guess they never really went away.

Rock & Roll’s gonna save the world
Don’t you know that’s the way we’re gonna change it?
Rock & Roll’s gonna save the world
Rock & Roll

We believed we could change the world. Then we got jobs and got loans and became exactly what the institutions wanted us to be. Slaves by choice.

Tin soldiers march around the world
No matter what the people say
One man makes all the policies
While the rest of us get blown away

It’s what our leaders are fighting about right now. Who should make the policies? Who should tell others what to do? And democratically elected leaders want to dictate how people should live and then they take up arms against dictators. Ironic isn’t it.

Gutter Ballet
When The Crowds Are Gone
Hounds
Summer’s Rain

Savatage

All the songs are written by the holy trinity of Criss Oliva (RIP), Jon Oliva and Paul O’Neill (RIP).

Another sleepless night
A concrete paradise
Sirens screaming in the heat
Neon cuts the eye
As the jester sighs
At the world beneath his feet

It’s that click track piano that makes it unique as Jon sings about the way of the streets in a circus setting.

Another death to mourn
Another child is born
Another chapter in the play

The cycle of life, a death, a birth and a new story to tell.

How good is the instrumental lead break section in the song?

“When The Crowds Are Gone” is the song that sealed the deal, the song that made me love the album. It’s the vocal outro, the lyrics and Jon Olvia’s vocal delivery. The outro is that good, Savatage used it for other songs on future albums. It’s easy to get caught up in it.

I don’t know where the years have gone
Memories can only last so long
Like faded photographs, forgotten songs

Artists who have been on the road for a long time, miss out on so much from their personal lives. It’s a sacrifice.

Where’s the light, turn then on again
One more night to believe and then
Another note for my requiem
A memory to carry on
The story’s over when the crowds are gone

When the crowds are gone, the career of an artist is over. When the show is over and the crowds are gone, the night is over and the journey begins to a new city and a new show.

All my friends have been crucified
They made life a long suicide true
Guess we never figured out the rules
But I’m still alive and my fingers feel
I’m gonna play on till the final reel’s through
And read the credits from a different view

It’s about a clarinet player who chooses to retire from playing on his own terms. But in the song, his own terms are too late, because as the song goes, the crowds are no longer there.

I never wanted to know
Never wanted to see
I wasted my time till time wasted me
Never wanted to go
Always wanted to stay
Cause the person I am are the parts that I play
So I play and I plan
And hope and I scheme
To the lure of a night
Filled with unfinished dreams
And I’m holding on tight
To a world gone astray

The big ending and it works so well with the music, the vocal melody and the pain in Jon Oliva’s voice as the clarinet player finally understands it’s all over.

In “Hounds”, Criss Oliva becomes a guitar hero with some wicked riffage and wicked shredding.

Do you hear the hounds they call
Scan the dark eyes aglow
Through the bitter rain and cold
They hunt you down
Hunt you down

The word “hounds” is just another word for the predatory people in our lives. And if we are not too careful, eventually they will hunt us down. Of course the song is about hounds, but it’s very easy to interchange the two.

How good is that melody lead under the chorus vocal melody in “Summers Rain”?

Standing alone in a dream
Where nothing is real
But oh how real it feels
There were times I lost my way
I was alone, lost in a haze
Where are you now
I’ll find you somehow

A song about a relationship that doesn’t sound clichéd and lazy.

And do I stand alone
Like a fool out in the rain
Hanging on somehow
To an ancient vow
Where there’s nothing left to gain
And do you know
How it feels inside
To be all alone
A fool and his pride

When you don’t want to let go, even though the other half has already moved on. But life is more about doors closing, not opening. And when doors close and new opens open we are forced to go in a certain direction.

Metal Heart
Accept

It is 1999
The human race has to face it
They are confronted with the truth
It’s secret — mysterious

For Accept the truth is and always will be heavy metal. But in all seriousness, the human race needs to confront the truth and make some changes. Our planet is warming. There is no way people can deny it. The normal winds we get are more destructive and last longer than ever before. The rain that falls is a lot more destructive than ever before.

Downhearted
Reckless – Don’t Be So
The Boys Light Up

Australian Crawl

I left my heart back in the Orient
Down on Bali bays
It’s not the way that I should feel
But it’s the way I’m gonna stay
Downhearted
Broken dreams that never really started

Holiday romances and the feeling of loneliness when you get back home. Back in the 80’s once you left, the connection was lost. Not like in today’s connected world. And Australian’s always go to Bali for a holiday. It’s seen as a cheap overseas holiday.

In “Reckless”, the band maps out the journey into Sydney from Manly via the ferry via the first verse.

Meet me down by the jetty landing
Where the pontoons bump and sway
I see the others reading, standing
As the Manly Ferry cuts its way to Circular Quay

Anyone who has done the ferry journey can relate to the above.

So, throw down your guns
Don’t be so reckless

The iconic chorus lines. Don’t be so reckless to destroy a relationship that took years to build.

Finally, we have the pub rock classic. In steel city Wollongong, we always assumed “The Boys Light Up” meant lighting up a reefer. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I really unpacked the lyrics and found some brilliant lines.

Silently she opens the drawer
Mother’s little helper is coming out for more
Strategically positioned before the midday show
Her back is arched; those lips are parched, repeated blow by blow

Mmm, I wonder what mothers little helper is. Zzzzzzzzz…

Later at the party
All the MPs rave
About the hummers she’s been givin’
And the money that they save
To her it is skin lotion
Him promotion to
That flat in Surfers’ Paradise with the ocean view

For all of the political scandals that made headline news from the late Nineties onwards, the above verse seemed prophetic to say the least. Seriously, what a creative, tongue in cheek verse. And all Australians know Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.

The boys light up

I guess the boys lighting up is all about getting hard and coming alive.

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

Results

Someone said to me “Nothing matters except the result”. And it got me thinking. For a result to be earned, what needs to happen before hand?

Remember in math tests, you would get marks for showing your workings even though the result could be wrong. For some reason the math marking system doesn’t translate into the adult world. Maybe it does in some utopian workplace. Who knows, the world is vast and I am just one.

If it’s a football team, what do they need to do to get a result?

A team cannot exist without a sense of co-operation and community. They need to trust in each other to do their individual tasks and each player needs to contribute the relevant part needed to get the result. They need to be confident, have enjoyment in the process and hopefully by performing at their imperfect best each week, the output is quality. On top of that, you have the coaches preparing the team and the families supporting their loved ones.

So in order to achieve something that matters, to achieve a result, we need to do it with people we care about and a lot of things need to line up.

So the saying “nothing matters except the result” is not really correct because in order to achieve a “result”, suddenly all of these other things matter more than the results because if they are not carried out with a certain degree of quality, no result would be achieved.

So imagine a music business executive saying to an artist, nothing matters except the sales or listens.

The connection a fan makes with the music and the artist doesn’t matter. The community built around the artist and their songs doesn’t matter. The community built around a scene doesn’t matter. The quality output that happens daily doesn’t matter. The time spent away from loved ones doesn’t matter. The support of other artists, songwriters and families doesn’t matter. All the hours the artist spent in the dark to get to the light doesn’t matter. Rather than treating the artist as an asset that companies should invest in, artists are seen as costs that should be minimised. The trust in the record label to promote the artist and make decisions in the best interests of the artist is also not important.

Hell, its 99% like that in the corporate world. A $20 pay increase a fortnight for the workers while the workers slave away building someone else’s dream. All because we lack confidence and are fearful of failure. It’s even more so when we have children who rely on us. Only the self-centred focused individual can throw away their family to build their own dream or the family throws them away to let them work on their dream. Some find a balance, but not a lot.

Whatever is the case, I know I am surrounded by people who focus on the result. And it’s a shame. When you explain all the things that need to be done to get the “result” you are labelled as an excuse maker, someone not showing enough leadership. Seriously people have a flawed definition of what leadership is or they have a strict dictionary view of leadership. But leadership is a word that needs to be unpacked and explored.

Then again, if showing leadership is doing the same thing and expecting a different result then I would rather not be part of that group. People have made millions from selling books on 10,000 hours or repetition to be a master. Its common sense that if you practice something for a lot of hours you will get good at it. But it doesn’t mean it will bring in the funds you desire. Being an expert doesn’t correlate to success. But for people who focus on the results, it does.

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Music

The Road 

Who would have thought that James Durbin would front the version of Quiet Riot that exists today. 

In case anyone is confused as to who Durbin is, he’s the guy who brought Judas Priest to American Idol. 

There’s a YouTube clip of him doing “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin”. He didn’t win Idol, but he came Top 5. His first album dropped in 2011 and its a hard rock album. “Higher Than Heaven” is my favorite track. It’s melodic and heavy enough to rock. It’s also a co-write with James Michael and Marti Frederiksen. If you don’t know these musicians, I suggest a Google search. 

Then album number 2 dropped in 2014 and it was not what I expected, more in line with the Imagine Dragons style of rock. So I just moved on. And then “The Road” came up on the New Release Playlist as I was driving. I had my headphones on and my phone in the slot on the side so I had no idea who the artist is. 

The song is a slow rocker and as soon as i heard the voice, it was familiar. Isn’t that the great thing about music, when you hear something familiar but you can’t put a name to it. 

I’d like to tell you that I knew it was Durbin on vocals just from hearing him, but I had to google it to find out. Hell I had to Google who was in this version of Quiet Riot. 

It’s a cacophony of noise out there. 

It’s good to see that Quiet Riot is still releasing new music, even when the two founders in Rhoads and DuBrow have both left this Earth for astral planes far and wide and main songwriter from the 80s Carlos Cavazo is now bending strings for Ratt which looks like to be on hiatus anyway. 

So who is in this version of QR?

Frankie Banali has been the drummer for the band since DuBrow reformed it in the 80s after the death of Rhoads. Bassist Chuck Wright replaced Rudy Sarzo and has been in and out of QR since the 80s. Guitarist Alex Grosso has been in a lot of hard rock bands and ended up in QR in 2006. 

So now to the album “Road Rage” that features Durbin on vocals. Go and listen to “The Road” first, then “Renegades” and “Freak Flag”. They are songs that should remain around for a lot longer. 

Who knows if that would be the case in our tech driven lives. I bet a lot of QR fans or even fans of the 80s would not know QR has new music. And for music fans born in the late 90s and onwards, you shouldn’t think of this album as an 80s band releasing new music. You should see it just as new music.

The Road

Feels like we just got back
I’ll kiss my family and I’ll be out the door again
We’re running around in the dark
We are together apart

Unless your family is travelling with you, then the road is just you, the guys in the band, some members of the road crew and lonely miles between cities and fans. 

A lot of artists don’t come back from the road. Randy Rhoads didn’t come back home. Steve Ray Vaughan didn’t come back. Kurt Cobain came back but didn’t want to go back out. Chris Cornell didn’t come back. Chester Bennington didn’t come back. AJ Pero didn’t come back. David Z didn’t come back and the other guys from Adrenaline Mob got pretty banged up. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary for a musician. 

Renegades

The intro riff is the vocal melody of the Chorus.

Line up all the degenerates
Just to prove their innocence

It doesn’t happen much today, but back in the times when I had my long hair and what not, I would not get served in a retail store. I’ve got cash to burn and no one to serve me. If a person was dressed in anything else except a black metal T shirt and jeans, they will get service before me. Judging people on appearance is real. We all still do it, even when we don’t want to. We might have good intentions over it, but we still judge and we always will.

We stand silent
It’s not our problem
Your reliance
Will fall down in disarray
And in silence
We’re raising renegades

Our ancestors went to two World Wars against an enemy who wanted to remake and reshape the world in their own image. That’s how the winners tell it and the losers have no voice. 

And democracy is far from perfect. It’s corrupted by the wealthy that influence legislation in their favour, so they get even wealthier while the working class gets torn apart and devastated. And this is where the next battle is taking place. The war between the haves and have nots is real. It won’t get to the same beheadings of the French Revolution, but change is afoot, because in silence people are raising renegades for the future to come.

Freak Flag

It’s the AC/DC vibe that gets the foot tapping.

Put your hands up and get your freak flag flying

In the 80’s, the metal/rock heads had all kinds of names attached to them. Satanic, anti-social, drug takers, freaks and what not. And when the freaks got together in stadiums and arenas, the establishments trembled because of the devotion people showed their favourite artist.

How can an artist be more powerful than the law enforcement officers and the elected leaders?

The record label honchos who really held the power to make or kill a career suddenly had their power diminish because MTV made artists into global superstars instantly. 

How could these freaks tell the business executives where to go? 

It was real, it happened and then the freaks became business executives themselves. It always happens. The people who control the money can buy out anyone or anything.

In this case, they amped up the greatest Ponzi scheme ever created and started paying millions of dollars to the rights holders. Copyright, Intellectual property, call it whatever you want, basically takes money from one source to give to the rights holder who then gives moneys to the creator as an advance fee on future earnings. And then the people in charge of Copyright (the government and the corporations) find new ways to bring in new sources and the cycle repeats over and over and over and over again.

In the end the road taken by James Durbin to be a musician is a unique one. Each road is unique and personal for all of us. It’s not always right and sometimes you might get stuck on the roundabout. But we keep going forward. It’s human nature. 

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