Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

WordPress Stats

This one is a quick one. Happy new year to everyone and all the best.

In 2015 I wrote 111 posts.

In 2014 I wrote 256 posts.

My best attractions in 2015 are posts that I wrote in 2013.

  1. Why Chris DeGarmo walked away from it all?
    Written in July 2013
  2. Vito Bratta – He made it just to walk away
    Written in May 2013
  3. Crying In The Rain – The John Sykes Firing From Whitesnake
    Written in December 2013
  4. What does Protest The Hero’s – Volition album teach us about life?
    Written in November 2013
  5. Vito Bratta: A Rock N Roll Technician That Got Lost In All The Noise
    Written in September 2013

The above stats are almost identical to my stats in 2014. For that year, these are the posts that got the most views. The only difference being that Richie Sambora.

  1. Why Chris DeGarmo walked away from it all?
    Written in July 2013
  2. Vito Bratta – He made it just to walk away
    Written in May 2013
  3. Richie Sambora
    Written in January 2014
  4. Crying In The Rain – The John Sykes Firing From Whitesnake
    Written in December 2013
  5. What does Protest The Hero’s – Volition album teach us about life?
    Written in November 2013

How did people come to the blog?

The top referring sites in 2015 were:

  1. facebook.com
  2. en.wikipedia.org
  3. WordPress.com Reader
  4. en.m.wikipedia.org
  5. twitter.com

My favourite WordPress sites are; 

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

Then and Now – Are We Living In A New Era Of The Eighties

THEN

Dee Snider and Twisted Sister told us to not take any crap from authority and institutions in “We’re Not Gonna Take It”. They also told us to stand up for ourselves if we want to rock in “I Wanna Rock”. Ronnie James Dio also told all of the “Rock’N’Roll Children” to “Stand Up and Shout”

NOW

Five Finger Death Punch are telling everyone that life never favoured weakness and that only the strong will survive. So welcome to “The Pride” if you got the scars to prove it.

Shinedown said that we don’t have to take the bullying for just being who we are and we can change it, by taking a stand together. Volbeat told us to feel the power of a warrior in “A Warrior’s Call” and to fight, fight, fight.

We also learned that the world’s a gun and that we have been aiming all of our lives, as warriors of youth, we are taking over, with a shot the new world order. WE ARE BULLETPROOF.

THEN

Quiet Riot reminded everyone to “Cum And Feel The Noise” again, while AC/DC saluted all of those who wanted to rock’n’roll and Judas Priest became the “Defenders Of The Faith”, ramming heavy metal down people’s throats. Europe told us to “Rock The Night” while the Scorpions rocked us like a hurricane and Night Ranger told the world that people can still rock in America.

NOW

Papa Roach are “Still Swingin” while Motley Crue is “Goin Out Swingin”. Like P.O.D we all feel “Alive” with “The Sound Of Madness” on board the “Rock N Roll Train” with those “Saints Of Los Angeles” on our way to “Hell Or Hallelujah”.

THEN

Dave Mustaine said “What do you mean I don’t support your system, why do you think I’m broke” while James Hetfield told us that the “halls of justice are painted green”.

NOW

The new “Youth Of The Nation” are “Indestructible” as the “Uprising” against “Re-Education” begins. The “Weak And The Powerless” “Minority” are “Here To Stay” as we have a “Second Chance” “Lifeline” to go from being “Kings Of Errors” to “Heroes”.  So “Boom” to the “World So Cold” as a new “Schism” is made between corrupt democratic governments and its people. Guess the pieces fit after all.

THEN

Rush put the “Limelight” on “The Spirit Of Radio” and Van Halen told us to “Jump” which David Lee Roth actually did not that long after.

NOW

Now, Sixx AM is driving down Sunset Boulevard, with Sex Pistols on the radio and he must be high because Jesus just walked by.

THEN

Bon Jovi summed it up and hit pay dirt by telling us that we are all “Livin’ On A Prayer” and that if we believed in each other we would make it. Sort of like how Journey told us to “Don’t Stop Believin” and how Bruce Springsteen said that tramps like us are “Born To Run”.

NOW

We have no “City Limits”. We have no “Barricades”. “We Are The Highway” and we ride it all day long like “Renegades” ready to “Seize The Day” from the “Bad Company”. In the end, this is “Who We Are”.

THEN

Motley Crue and Stryper proved unlikely allies. Motley Crue shouted at the devil, while Stryper said to hell with the devil. Is it safe to say that Motley Crue had released a Christian Rock record.

NOW

We are more segregated than ever. How can we reach for the sky with “Broken Wings”? How can we see the sun when we are dealing with the “Darkness Within”? Guess we are all just “Moths” to the flame, never really learning from our past mistakes and constantly getting burned.

THEN

Billy Joel told the world that “We Didn’t Start The Fire” and that it was always burning since the world started turning. Judas Priest forewarned us about our own governments spying on us with the “Electric Eye” and Metallica told us that justice was gone, sold to the highest bidder. Queensryche was calling for a revolution and Megadeth was “Setting The World On Fire”. Then the “Winds Of Change” came and “The Final Countdown” began.

NOW

Look no further than the “New Awakening” from Killswitch Engage.

Run the race that will lead to nowhere fast
Trapped in the haze of this mindless false reality
Wandering a path laid out by fools
That they call “progression” where chaos rules

There is more to life than this
We are more than just this flesh
We are alive and our time has come
For a new awakening

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

Then (1984) and Now (2014)

Then
A large marketing budget broke bands.

Now
Fans break bands.

Then
Musicians and bands were picked out of a pool of people by record label representatives based on the strength of the songs and the buzz around them.

Now
Musicians and bands are still picked out of a pool of people by record label representatives based on how they look and dress.

Then
Radio fed us streams of crafted products created by the record label machine.

Now
Radio hasn’t really changed however people can stream songs on playlists that they have created.

Then
You HAD to go into a big expensive studio to record.

Now
Musicians at home can record, mix and master their own work with little money.

Then
Bands/Artists wrote what they wanted and then the record label told them what they wanted and then the bands would go back and re-write songs to what the record label wanted.

Now
Bands/Artists can create whatever they want and in the version they want.

Then
A record label was needed to release music.

Now
Bands and artists can release their music in the way they want. No label is needed.

Then
It was hard being a musician. There was no guarantee that a band or an artist would make money from music.

Now
It’s still hard being a musician. There was no guarantee that a band or an artist would make money from music.

Then
Unknowns had no way of reaching millions.

Now
Unknowns can reach hundreds of millions of people with their music.

Then
Piracy was an issue however it still didn’t deter bands and artists from creating new music.

Now
Piracy is still an issue and it still doesn’t deter bands and artists from creating new music.

Then
Musicians rarely banked on making cash from recordings

Now
Musicians feel entitled that they should be making cash from recordings because they poured their heart and soul into it.

Then
Musicians focused on creating, recording and playing live.

Now
Musicians have their fingers in a lot of pies to make a living.

Then
Musicians obsessed about booking shows. That is where people went to find new music.

Now
Musicians hardly play shows. They are more selective. And people don’t go to watch unknown bands anymore, as they have so many different avenues to find new music.

Then
Music was the event.

Now
TV Shows are the events with music being relegated to a sideshow.

Then
Musicians made a living by putting the hours in.

Now
Those same musicians are still making a living by putting the hours in.

Then
Musicians did the hard work of building up a local fan base.

Now
Musicians want to take over the world in an instant.

Then
There was a monopoly on the distribution. There was a monopoly on the price.

Now
That monopoly has been replaced by the internet.

Then
The cream of the crop always rises to the top.

Now
The cream of the crop still rises to the top. It just takes a little bit longer.

Then
The record labels killed off genres by pushing acts they signed to copy other acts.

Now
99 percent of artists and musicians still copy other acts. That 1 percent that do it differently are the ones that have a career.

Then
The Record label set up was basically a lot of non-creative people living off the backs of those who create content

Now
The record label set up is still the same, however it is starting to diminish.

Then
Artists believed that once they got signed by a record deal, fame and riches would follow.

Now
Artists know that there is no single solution and they are aware that record labels rip off the artists.

Then
Artists and Bands had two paths of getting our music out. The record label path or the do it yourself path.

Now
Artists and bands have hundreds of paths for pushing our music out. They just need to work harder at it.

Standard
Music

Richie Sambora

So Richie Sambora is coming to Australia as part of the Soundwave festival and of course, his backing band now has an Australian flavour in guitarist Orianthi. I saw Richie Sambora at Shellies (now known as The Shellharbour Club) back in June 1998. June 19 to be exact.

My future wife purchased the tickets as a surprise. It was a small venue and it wasn’t sold out. To see a living legend in such an intimate gig was breath taking to say the least and man can he put on a show. When he played the Bon Jovi songs, he didn’t play them note for note as on the albums. He jammed them. He was like the Sheriff, leading the band around into extended instrumental lead breaks.

At the time, I think you could say that the attendance was disappointing compared to the lofty attendances that Bon Jovi (the band) could draw. In addition, Jon Bon Jovi toured earlier and played two shows at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. However that did not stop Sambora and his band of merry gentlemen, putting on an awesome 2 hour show for the devoted.

I will be very interested to check out Richie on a sidewave show, as I have no desire nor interest in going to an outdoor festival. It’s funny how at the same time that all of the Soundwave announcements were happening I was also reading an interview that Richie Sambora did back in November 1991, for the “Hot Metal” magazine.

The interviewer is Stefan Chirazi and it was part of Sambora’s press campaign for his first solo album “Stranger In This Town”.

I’d always taken one look at a photo of Richie Sambora and imagined a guy who thought he was God. Don’t ask me why, maybe it was the hat, but something made me think that Richie wasn’t without the knowledge that he was a super guitarist, a super stud and a super, errum, star. The photo’s always showed a lonesome pout, a little-boy-not-really-that lost sort of thing and I fully expected any meeting I had with Richie Sambora to legitimise my preconceptions.

I was wrong. Richie Sambora is, as we used to say in Britain, an obvious good lad. He’s also, obviously, a rocker through and through. When he tells me, gesturing up and down his body, that “I’d look like this whether I was on Bon Jovi or not” I instantly believe him. I don’t think Richie Sambora could bullshit you if his life depended on it, and once he’s started talking, he’s there, moving through the conversation with you.

1991 was three years after “New Jersey” came out and five years after “Slippery When Wet.” The band Bon Jovi was on hiatus. Jon Bon Jovi had another hit with “Blaze Of Glory.” This was a crucial time for the artist known as Richie Sambora.

Richie Sambora is a good guy, for real. It’s so nice to know that the camera lied. We’re sitting together to discuss Richie. It must be fun for him:

After years of being the Bon Jovi guitar player’ Richie now has his own album out titled “Stranger In This Town” and is striking a major blow for himself.

Deservedly. Just about the only linkage with his BJ side are those desert gypsy notes and moods that are created throughout the album. Richie the spiritualist?

“Y’see, I don’t wanna go back to being a rock star,” he starts warmly.

“I don’t consider myself a rock or pop star, I consider myself a musician and I would like people to consider me an artist. I don’t know if they do yet, but my dream is to have people respect me as a total artist…”

Sambora’s solo albums were never written to try and sell a gazillion records. They were written to please him. The first album really had this blues rock vibe happening. The second album has got this Springsteen Americana vibe happening and the third album has bits and pieces from the whole history of music.

Sambora allows his life and his work to merge on many occasions throughout the album.

“I wrote this album out of basically my life experience. I’m not saying each thing is exactly what happened, but it’s a general kind of outlook on the way my life’s been going.”

We talk about the song “Rest In Peace”, which seems like the natural extension of “Dead or Alive”.

“When I wrote that song I was primarily reading a lot of philosophy and a lot of poetry because I wanted to become…”

I interrupt to ask who he was reading.

“Well, a lot of Nietzsche, Shakespeare, Browning and Maria Rilke, who’s German. I’m not much for reading big books and biographies because I just don’t have the time. For 20 minutes I can sit down and read some poetry or philosophy, and I am a personal philosopher of sorts -I think everybody is if they really look at it. I have my own philosophies on my life and my views. This song was what I’d try and say to my old girlfriends when I’d go on the road. I’d tell them our love will rest in peace, kind of a way to say I love you. “RIP” is really a feeling, a dream I had which leads to the “Church Of Desire” and I think I’ve lived there many times with different relationships.”

“I think a lot of people have, because you get into a position where your romance reaches a stalemate. You have an argument, you’re here and she’s there and no-one’s givin’ in!”

The press have always hounded you more about your personal life and celebrity status than your music, but really the album contains all the answers to your feelings doesn’t it?

“You can get to know Richie Sambora from this album. Basically I’ve always tried to keep, even through the whole Cher trip, my life private. I didn’t do any interviews for a year and a half while I was living with her and I told her I didn’t really appreciate her doing her laundry in public with Rob Camiletti. I didn’t really appreciate the way that relationship went down, and I was friends with her through the whole thing. To me people know me as the guitar player from Bon Jovi but they don’t know me, the real artist, and hopefully this album can change that.”

“At the time Blaze Of Glory hit and things started to go good, Jon said he didn’t really know if he wanted to go on with the band again … not saying he didn’t wanna do it ever again but he wasn’t sure. That kind of left me in a difficult position because I didn’t have a record contract and I didn’t have a contract with Bon Jovi. For years I dedicated myself to that band and for three and a half years record companies were comin’ to me with all this money to do my own record and I would say, ‘No, I’m with a band.’ There was no time, so why load myself up with more responsibility than I can handle?”

Even back in 1991, everything Bon Jovi related was done on Jon Bon Jovi’s timetable. Sambora’s departure from the “Because We Can” tour goes back to the overdose of Jon Bon Jovi’s daughter in December 2012. When that happened Jon was in a different country. God forbid that if something really bad happened he would have been too late. This was Richie’s wake up call.

“Then, at the end of our last tour, we had some disagreements about different things. I owned the record
company which is now Jamco and used to be The Underground – Jon and I and Doc McGhee owned it all together. And I didn’t wanna be part of that anymore because I was so tired and beat up from being out there so long. I wanted to make a solo record and be in Bon Jovi, so I felt like those two things would be quite enough to fill my life. And, on top of that, to have a personal life that was gonna be enough. I didn’t need to be a record company executive and take another artist’s life in my hands, because before I got into this band I’d been on the raw side of some record deals and hated it. And I wasn’t gonna tell an artist that I could make their record happen when I was trying to figure out whose f_kin’ underwear I had on.

Who am i?

“There are times you really don’t know what day it is, let alone what time it is. It’s not bullshit it’s true. So my disagreements with Jon came in that light, i said, ‘Man, look, the money ain’t worth the f_kin’ time I need to get my head together. I’m drinking too much, f_king around to much.’ I was just outta control, I was becoming the very
thing that you’re meant to be in that position anyway…”

A rock pig?

“Exactly, and I didn’t dig it.”

There you go. Even back in 1989/1990 the argument between Richie and Jon was over money. How much money does a person want or need?

One of my favorite guitarists Jake E Lee was selling off his gear to pay the rent during the nineties, while Jon Bon Jovi was getting sued by Skid Row for publishing rip offs and buying zillion dollar penthouses.

When did you realise you needed to bail out?

“There wasn’t any one point – what really made me think I could go out on my own was when I did “The Wind Cries Mary” thing. I was in South America in month 16 of the Bon Jovi tour and was starting to feel very creatively stifled, as well as depressed. There were many days between shows because we were doing the huge stadiums, so you’d have five days off at a time to sit in your hotel room. Paramount rang and said they were in a jam for the Andrew Dice Clay movie and could I help out by jamming on “Wind Cries Mary”, to which I immediately said yes.

Touring is a lonely gig. It is in isolation that our heroes turn to vices.

“I knew it’d creatively get the whole thing going, anything to get me going. I asked for every Hendrix video and CD to be sent, and I lived him for five days. Band Of Gypsies was one of the first records I ever bought in my life, that and Deep Purple’s Machine Head.

“Every morning before I went to school I’d be playing those albums, so that five days in South America it was like getting re-acquainted with Jimi. I wanted to exploit his wild side a little bit, and I wanted to get into his head. It was like studying for a test, because I was scared…”

Of what?

“The fact that it was a hard task to follow – I hadn’t sung lead vocals for 10 years. Also I was stuck in the narrow parameter of the Bon Jovi music, at that point I wasn’t sure if I could break out of it. I didn’t f_king know, and it was important for me to go and try that. But once I started playing the records and the videos it just came out. I didn’t plan it. It just happened and I knew I’d be able to do it.

“I was very insecure, y’know, with the mental fatigue and the frustration I was having within the frame of the touring schedule. Cher was very instrumental because when I came off the road she took care of me. I went to live with her and she was very cool. I always sing around the house, strum a guitar but I was so mentally f___ked up that I didn’t know if I could do a solo album.”

Is it painful for you to know how many people paint the picture of you as an aloof rock star?

“Yeah, well, I try when people meet me on the street not to let em know by just being me, I try really hard not to pay attention to the fame and unit numbers. I can’t even think about that – Bon Jovi’s sold 30 million records and I can’t even evaluate that or relate it to real terms. All I know is that I work as hard as I can, and at this stage of my career I’m still working this hard. The ethic I always upheld in my heart is still with me and that’s what keeps me together. I’m lucky enough to have good friends, my old buddies.”

He gestures to himself, pointing at his clothes.

“This is me, y’know, old jeans, T-shirt… This is me on the ground and relating to people.”

Richie Sambora’s finally getting to know himself better. He’s also a good guy. Talking with him was more fun than I ever thought it could be…

That is why Richie still matters today. He works hard. Back at the start of the nineties, his cycle from 1983 was album/tour. The tours originally lasted 10 months and then when Slippery broke the tours turned to 2 year tours. He worked his arse off.

Standard
Alternate Reality, Music

Trivium

Since they are working with David Draiman, lets get to the songs that will be appearing on the More Blacker Than Black album (that was going to be called Shark Sandwich)

Down With The Shogun
Entrance Of the Sickness
Voices Come In Waves
Stupified Martyr
A Gunshot to The Head of the Game
Perditions Prayer
Liberate As The World Burns
Remember The Calamity
Believe (As Chaos Reigns)
Ten Thousand Fists Anthem
Stricken In The Floods
Indestructible Hell
Into The Mouth of The Asylum
Tread Down From The Sky
Forsake All These Yesterdays

Ooo ooo aah aahh.

The lead single “Hellhole” was too good to be on the album and it will be released as a stand alone album of one song.
🙂

Standard