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Life, Life, Life

Y&T should have been bigger, but I’m afraid that with time no one will know who they are or were.

Dave Meniketti is one of those guitar heroes who had pipes to sing and play awesome guitar, bassist Phil Kennemore is the underrated lyricist in the band, while Joey Alves, along with Kennemore and Leonard Haze held down the foundations.

And Meniketti, brought his late sixties hard rock roots into the mix merging Hendrix, Purple, Cream, Sabbath and Clapton with the new California sounds of San Francisco and LA.

For Y&T to even get to this stage, it meant they had to survive a label deal which went bad, a manager who ripped them off with royalties, their “Struck Down” album was dead before it even came out, A&R reps telling them to change their music style and other recording industry people telling them to break up.

Y&T (before “Black Tiger”) recorded two demo tapes, a new wave tape and a hard rock tape. Gene Simmons came across both of these tapes and he really liked the new wave songs. He even told the band to pursue that new wave sound and if the band wanted his help, Simmons would need to have artistic control. But Y&T decided to pursue the hard rock sound and A&M Records showed interest here.

“Life, Life, Life” is from the excellent “In Rock We Trust” album released in 1984.

It starts off with a triplet 8th der der der, der der der, derrr de. And it repeats, before it morphs into a sweet tasty lead before it morphs into the verse riff.

It’s a bloody scene
Hear the population scream
As the missile rushes in
Can’t you feel the flames of hell?

What’s changed in the last 35 years?

Missiles are still rushing in and for people living in these war zones, it is hell. And for all of our technological advancements to integrate and socialise, we are even more divided.

There is a status gap, a digital divide gap, a racial divide still exists, a religious divide, a pay divide and eventually when people rise up to demonstrate, they either get ignored, imprisoned or killed depending on the country and the type of government they are demonstrating against.

And that “is it too late” section, puts Def Leppard’s vocal harmonies to shame.

We let the insane play their fools game

We don’t just let the insane, play, we vote them in and give them the keys.

It’s time to make a stand for
Life, Life, Life
It’s time to break down the chain of command

We are the only ones who can make change happen, but we choose to opt out so we don’t upset other people.

It’s time to break down the chain of command and stop the war machines, which also includes the corporations trying to hijack democracy.  

And we need to do it, to preserve life.

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Music

Guitar World – January 1986 – Part 2 – Dave Meniketti Speaks

Dave Meniketti shoots his mouth off.

That is the title of the segment by Bob Grossweiner.  And boy doesn’t he just do that.  It’s very hard to find anyone these days that is so honest in their views of other contemporary musicians.  You see everyone wants to be loved, so in order to be loved people pretend.  Not Dave Meniketti.

Who is Dave Meniketti I hear people asking?

Basically Dave Meniketti is the lead singer/lead guitarist of Y&T.  Y&T started out as Yesterday and Today in the late seventies where they released two albums that did nothing and then changed their name to Y&T where they started getting some traction with albums like Earthshaker, Black Tiger, Meanstreak, Down For The Count, In Rock We Trust, Contagious and Ten.  My own personal favourites are Meanstreak, In Rock We Trust, Down for the Count and Contagious.

It was due to this article that got me started in seeking out the music by Y&T.

Anyway let’s get to his views;

Dave Murray and Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden): ‘I don’t like them.  Both are poor to adequate guitarists”. 

Iron Maiden is coming off the mega successful Powerslave World Tour which resulted in the also mega successful Live After Death release and you have DM offering his own true opinion on them.    That’s ballsy.

Mick Mars (Motley Crue): “Not the greatest player but a great guy. He doesn’t play very well.  He’s not inspired and he’s very sloppy.  He sounds like he picked up a guitar two years ago.”

I think the Dirt sums up Mick Mars and where he was at with his life during this period.  DM got it spot on, with Mick not being inspired.  Mick likes the blues and along his path to Blues stardom he ended up in Motley Crue.  To be honest I saw the Crue live and when Mick Mars started doing his guitar solo, I felt like walking up on stage and pulling his guitar lead out.

Chris Holmes (WASP): “I don’t like him.  It’s bullshit guitar playing.”

I totally agree with DM on this one.  Holmes was rubbish; Blackie was the brains and the talent behind that outfit.  When he got rid of him, he created The Crimson Idol.  Enough said.

Matthias Jabs and Rudolph Schenker (Scorpions), K.K Downing and Glen Tipton (Judas Priest): “Guitarists to fill holes where solos are.  I don’t find them inspiring soloists.”

I think he is a bit harsh on the Scorpions and Judas Priest duo, especially when the Scorpions where coming off the success of Love at First Sting and Judas Priest where on a roll that started with British Steel in 1980.  Nevertheless DM was asked on his views and he gave them.

George Lynch (Dokken): “He reminds me a lot of a lot of Los Angeles guitarists.  Good and technical but relying a lot on the bar.  He gets boring after a while.”

Do we get this kind of honesty in 2013?  Hell no.  We only get this kind of honesty if someone breaks up and wants to vent their laundry to the world.  DM and his band Y&T were practically had traction on the West Coast of America, and it wasn’t until 1985 that they toured the Midwest of the U.S.  1976 was when the first Y&T album came out.  In 1972 the band was formed.  13 years later, they finally started to get traction around America and not just the West Coast.  How many musicians starting off these days, will put in this kind of effort?

DM also had kind words to say about other guitarists like Yngwie Malmsteen, Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot), Eric Clapton, Van Halen, Gary Moore, Angus Young, Neil Schon, Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Ted Nugent, Ronnie Montrose, John Sykes, Ritchie Blackmore and Billy Gibbons.

For Neal Schon he mention how he learned a lot from Neal, how Clapton is a master and not a clone, how Hendrix was his biggest influence, how Billy Gibbons is the ultimate in R&B influence in Rock N Roll and how Jeff Beck is an innovator.

 

Finally, Meniketti was respected by other musicians and he was even asked to join Whitesnake and Ozzy Osbourne’s new solo band before Randy Rhoads came on the scene.

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