4 Years Ago
Patience. I’ve never confirmed it or looked it up, but i was told once it’s a French word meaning “to suffer”.
And the memories of being patient, flying 14 hours from Sydney to Doha and putting up with screaming little kids. Thankfully they were not mine.
And since the flights are so long, I caught up on movies like “War for The Planet Of The Apes”, “The Quiet Place” and “I, Tonya”. Then we wait 5 hours, board another plane from Doha to Berlin, I watched “American Animals” and “Hotel Artemis” and checked out the audio section. And pressed play on “Walk The Earth” from Europe, along with “Firepower” and “Turbo Lover” from Judas Priest.
During this period, the site became a Travel Blog, as I was doing regular updates of my European adventures in Berlin, More Berlin, Estonia, St Petersburg, More St Petersburg, The Norwegian Breakaway, Macedonia, More Macedonia and The Roma People.
After this holiday I was planning to take in more of the Balkans and the parts of Italy and Austria that surround the Adriatic Sea. This was all planned for 2020. We all know how that panned out.
THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS
It’s messed-up when humans experiment on other humans and mess with their lives.
Like when people of influence placed triplets from a single mother into three different families across different states. And in the name of science, they lied to the adopted families when they turned up to observe how the kids were progressing.
If you haven’t seen this documentary, watch it.
I grew up in a steel city and the plan was the same for everyone. Finish high school, get an apprenticeship at the local steel mill, become a tradesman and work until retirement with a nice little nest egg and a government funded pension.
Maybe that worked out okay once upon a time, but as Dylan said, “the times started changing”. The steel mill that used to employ 25,000 back in the mid-70s now employs less than 700. My Dad worked his whole life there, I haven’t worked not one day there. Then again. I was a misfit falling in and out of jobs.
In 1994, Ozzy started jamming with Steve Vai. After writing for a certain period, Bob Daisley was called in. Once rehearsals started, it was pretty obvious that Vai’s style didn’t fit Ozzy’s style. But the Ozzy Camp didn’t fire Vai. They told him that the label was shelving the album.
With Vai gone, Daisley and Castronovo got a phone call a few days after to reconvene with Zakk Wylde on guitar. Daisley then got replaced by Geezer Butler.
Steve Vai’s involvement on the “Ozzmosis” album became limited to co-writing just one song “My Little Man”.
And while the song is credited to Ozzy and Vai, I always had my doubts if Ozzy wrote the lyrics.
So, if Ozzy didn’t write them, who did?
Well, the lyrics came from the great Lemmy Kilmister.
Yep, Lemmy wrote the lyrics about his son Paul. But Ozzy told everyone he wrote the lyrics about his son Jack.
All of the debates about intellectual property and how it’s valuable and how copyright protects the writer. It’s bullshit. The real writer is not even credited.
Copyright is a mess and the Copyright’s for Ozzy’s songs are even messier. Much like how Jake E. Lee and Bob Daisley got shafted for the “Bark At The Moon” album.
Dynazty came onto my radar in 2016. Actually I heard of em a few years before but avoided them because of the band name, thinking they would sound like Kiss, and why did they spell it with a ‘Z’.
They exist completely off the mainstream radar screen, doing their thing and building their catalogue of songs. And eventually, people will notice. But it takes time. I’m a fan and I don’t even know who the members are in the band.
How is that possible?
It’s so far removed from the label gatekeeper 80’s/90’s model. But in the new streaming era streams are more important than sales and people are listening. Music is a lifers game. You’re either in it for life or it’s just a passing hobby.
And Dynazty are in it for life.
LIVE AFTER DEATH
It’s the best live album out there and it was my first exposure to Iron Maiden. It’s also a pretty good reason why I didn’t feel the need to buy the first four albums until later on.
At the time I didn’t know it, but the tempo of the songs are just a bit quicker on the live album compared to the recorded versions and I’ve grown to know the songs at those tempos. If you don’t believe me, compare the two “Hallowed Be Thy Name” versions.
And I heard Bruce Dickinson sing the DiAnno era songs first, and because of this I can’t get into the DiAnno versions. But i do like them.
This album is also the reason why I purchased a ticket for each of the two Sydney shows on the “Somewhere Back In Time” tour of 2008.
Maiden did find gold again with the “Rock In Rio” release. Especially the DVD. And on this release, Bruce brought to life songs from the Blaze fronted era.
I also purchased the DVD for “Flight 666” which I rank as Maiden’s third best live album and a great memento for the two nights I watched em perform the same set.
COHEED AND CAMBRIA
“Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures” was the new album in 2018. Another concept album.
My first concept experience was “Operation Mindcrime” from Queensryche, then “The Crimson Idol” from WASP and then “Streets: A Rock Opera” from Savatage. But Coheed take “concept” to another level, with more or less each album except one being part of a concept story called “The Amory Wars”.
Here is my quick summary. There are far more detailed versions out there.
A scientist called Sirius Amory discovers an energy source called “The Keywork” is made up of souls who haven’t transcended. This happens on “The Afterman” album.
Many years later, a person called Wilhelm Ryan starts using the energy of the Keywork to murder and rule. Coheed and Cambria are humanoid robots created to destroy Ryan. Along with a person called Inferno, who also is a robot, they attack Ryan’s fortress and manage to destroy it. Ryan survives, however Coheed and Cambria think he’s dead. Thinking it’s over, their memory is wiped. This happens on “The Year Of The Black Rainbow”.
In “The Second Stage Turbine Blade” Coheed and Cambria get killed and their last surviving son, Claudio, is left to take up the charge. I’m still not sure how humanoid robots have children. But the recent Bladerunner movie also has this story arc.
Claudio finds out that he’s like the chosen one in “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth”.
In “Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Vol. I: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness” there is a character called “The Writer” that starts to mess up the story because he’s going through a relationship break up. It reminds me of the Matrix characters “The Keymaker” merged with “The Architect”.
In “No World For Tomorrow”, Claudio destroys the Keywork and releases the trapped souls. And the new album “Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures” takes place after this event.
“Overcome” made All That Remains (ATR) accessible to me, and I’ve been a fan since.
The first track “Before the Damned” started blasting out of my headphones. Musically it’s excellent. While the death metal vocals happen in the verses, the Chorus is Arena Rock.
At 2.04 we get this head banging metal breakdown and the solo begins at 2.09 over that same head banging breakdown riff. The solo is chromatic and diminished, in the same way Randy Rhoads shreds on “Diary of a Madman”. This concludes at 2.19. It sounds dissonant and atonal.
And the main man behind the guitar is Oli Herbert. A great guitar player, founding member of All That Remains and songwriter who passed away at 44.
Rest In Peace.
It’s a track that Oli Herbert (RIP) co-wrote for Dee Snider’s solo album “For The Love Of Metal”. The other writers are Charlie Bellmore, Nicholas Bellmore and Jamey Jasta.
When I hear a song I like, I seek out more songs from the same artist. And I repeat the cycle with different artists. It’s how I got into music. It happened to me in the 80s.
When I heard Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Van Halen, Twisted Sister, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Kiss and Judas Priest, I didn’t think for a second that these bands would have had influences.
I never understood the debates over Kingdom Come in the 80’s until well into the 90’s when I started seeking out bands from the 70s and started to pay real attention to Led Zeppelin. Then I had that “ah ha” moment and I understood why Kingdom Come were labelled copycats.
I remember when I first heard Aerosmith and Whitesnake. It was in 1987 and I had no idea these bands had a long history dating back to the Seventies.
The beauty of music. I listen, I get moved by the listening and I start to explore.
What a solo from Slash! Actually, two solos. But it’s the middle one that hooks me. And yeah, it might sound like an Alter Bridge song, but that solo is 100% pure grade Slash.
It had the motto “The Home Of Heavy Metal”.
I’d never seen pictured vinyl before, well Utopia had them. I’d never seen 12-inch singles of metal bands before, well Utopia had them as well. And those yellow and black plastic bags with the logo and branding proved to be a badge of honor. It’s like we got patched into the club the same way bike gangs’ patch in their members.
The first location was in Martin Place from 1978 to 1980 and the second location in Martin Place was from 1980 to 1990. It was this second location that I first visited. From 1990 to 1995, they moved to Clarence Street, Sydney, not too far from the original shop. I waited in line for a Sepultura meet and greet because my cousin Mega was a fan of the band. He took in his battered snare skin for signing. Even Igor the Sepultura drummer, was impressed at the brutality of the snare skin.
Hours would be spent here, and some big decisions would be made as to what to buy between my cousin and me Then as soon as we got back to my cousins house, I would dub the records he purchased, and he would dub the records I purchased.
From 1995 to 2001, they moved to George Street, Sydney next to Hungry Jacks and then from 2001 to 2006 they moved across the road under the cinemas. The bigger Utopia got, the uniqueness culture it created for metal heads got lost.
The last time I walked into Utopia was at an address on Broadway in Sydney. They occupied this store between 2006 to 2010. But during this time, they did things differently by having live bands in store and battle of the band’s contests. They kept it going. They kept the name in the conversation. From 2010, they have been at their Kent Street address, and I haven’t been. But I have purchased items online. And I will return one day, because that’s what us Metal fans do.
Debates and arguments never cease when it comes to Piracy.
I became a fan of a lot of bands because of pirated material. Bands like Trivium, Coheed and Cambria, Shinedown, In Flames, Evergrey, Killswitch Engage, The Night Flight Orchestra and Corroded just to name a few. And I had no qualms paying ticket prices if these bands came to town.
High profile bands from the Eighties also had a renaissance in the 2000’s because of pirated material. Motley Crue, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Europe and Whitesnake come to mind immediately. Provided they still wanted to work together. Bands like Skid Row, Ratt, Warrant and Dokken unfortunately missed out because key members hated each other.
It’s a pretty simple business model. Have your music available worldwide for free and people will access it.
All of those bands mentioned above have played cities they’ve never played before and to crowds larger than before. They played these cities without selling any real recorded product in those cities. I can tell you that in Eastern Europe, I did not come across a legitimate music shop. The few shops I did come across (and I use that term loosely) sell rips of albums.
8 Years Ago
Adrian Vandenberg came to my attention from his tenure in Whitesnake (when he and Vivan Campbell) replaced John Sykes. However, Vandenberg was David Coverdale’s first choice for the lead guitar slot, however Vandenberg turned the gig down to focus on his own band and John Sykes was given the gig instead.
Click on the link in the tile to read my compendium of Adrian Vandenberg classic songs and riffs which covers his projects from 1983 to 2014.
Since then, he has released three Vandenberg’s MoonKings albums with the self-titled debut (2014), “MK II” (2017) and “Rugged and Unplugged” (2018). And then after he was allowed to use his name again as a band name, he released the excellent ‘2020″.
Since I was on a Whitesnake journey, click on the link in the tile to read my John Sykes compendium which covers his career from “Tygers Of Pan Tang” all the way to his solo career in the 90’s. But while Adrian Vandenberg re-entered the recorded music market in 2014, John Sykes has been absent since 2001, with only a few YouTube videos appearing in the last 5 years.
The music of Jimi Hendirx should be in the Public Domain. When Hendrix wrote the songs, Copyright Law at the time was for a total of 56 years (which involved a 28-year term initially and provided the artist renewed the registration, they would get another 28 years). But laws passed in the 70’s retroactively placed these recordings under new laws which meant, 75 years after death. Basically, it will not enter the public domain for another 20 plus years.
Remember when a Jimi Hendrix Biopic called “Jimi: All Is By My Side” came out and it didn’t have any original music from Hendrix. Well, the Jimi Hendrix Estate denied all attempts to license the music unless they had control over the story line of the movie. The producers felt that this would not gel well with their vision so what the public got was a movie where the actor who plays Hendrix is performing cover songs of other bands.
HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN
Evergrey is one of my favourite bands and you can read my biased review on “Hymns For The Broken”.
VOLBEAT AND RIAA CERTIFICATIONS
Volbeat in 2014 just kept getting RIAA Certifications.
It showed the music business that “Recognition Comes Much Later” for Heavy Metal bands. Volbeat entered the mainstream American market ten years after they formed. It also showed the Heavy Metal community that “Streaming Is Not The Enemy” as Volbeat’s streaming numbers are in the multi-millions for certain songs.
Yngwie Malmsteen released four good albums in “Rising Force” (1984), “Marching Out” (1985), “Trilogy” (1986), “Odyssey” (1988) and two average albums in “Eclipse” (1990) and the big budget “Fire & Ice” (1992).
And here he was in 2014, shooting his mouth off with statements like “no new guitar players” and “no new good music”.
So I did a post on the new guitar heroes in response to Malmsteen’s comments.
AUSTRALIAN MUSIC AND THE RISE OF THE INDIES
Australian Music is ALWAYS a rich vibrant scene. And it is a scene that is underpinned by independent artists. Financially it is a miserable livelihood however the emotional experience is rewarding. And there is no escaping that Australian Independent artists are some of the hardest working artists around and also the lowest paid members of the Australian workforce. The sad thing is that the elite levels of Government have no idea about the independent artists. Any Government funding goes to the large Industry bodies who don’t really disperse the monies to the artists doing the rounds on the streets.
Independently minded musicians and label owners are the ones that are pushing boundaries in music because they want control over what’s being released, when it’s released, and how it’s released. And they are not afraid to use the major labels when it suits them, but ultimately they’re calling the shots.
For a musician it is an exciting time to be a part of the music scene. Especially if you are an indie.
It’s June 1993 and I am flicking through the new issue of Hot Metal Magazine, which at the time was Australia’s premier metal and rock magazine. On the cover there was the John Bush fronted Anthrax.
“The Sound Of White Noise” got 5 skulls in the magazine review, which equates to ‘KILLER’. A few months after its release the album was certified GOLD.
Then you have the bloodbath from the Eighties scene.
Jani Lane (RIP) and Warrant had split and both acts had their contracts reduced to demo deals. Imagine that. You had three albums that had moved 500,000 plus units each, and they ended up on the scrap-heap. Kik Tracee also split with vocalist Stephen Shareaux (bet he wished he tried harder for that Motley Crue vocalist spot) and both of them had been reduced to a demo deal.
Meanwhile Rowan Robertson from “The Lock Up The Wolves” Dio era inked a deal with Atlantic Records for his new band that had Oni Logan from Lynch Mob on vocals. We all know that this didn’t end up going anywhere.
While, Roberston’s former employer, Dio (RIP) was working with WWIII guitarist Tracy G after his “Dehumanizer” venture with Black Sabbath went sour. These sessions would go on to create the “Strange Highways” album while Jake E.Lee was working with WWIII singer (and I use that term loosely) Mandy Lion.
Reports coming through at that time spoke about the new Bruce Dickinson solo album being an “updated, toughened up Santana vibe with a heavy leaning towards Peter Gabriel type atmospherics and experimentation.” That album would become “Balls To Picasso” and apart from the song “Tears Of The Dragon” which sounds like an Iron Maiden song the rest of the album was a listen best avoided.
On the drug front we had David Lee Roth getting busted in New York after purchasing a $10 bag of weed. Seriously, for someone like his stature surely he could have done it more discreetly or gotten that $10 bag delivered to the studio. However, Roth is Roth and he decided that he should go out into the town and look for a dealer. On the other drug front, there was news that started coming out about Tim Kelly (RIP) from Slaughter who was alleged to have been involved in a major drug smuggling ring that was busted after a five-year investigation by the F.B.I.
Then we had the Motley Crue vs Vince Neil shenanigans.
The Vince Neil “Exposed” album got a good review in the magazine. I suppose it was inevitable that the solo album from Vince Neil would sound a lot like Motley Crue, even though NIkki Sixx insisted that Vince Neil had nothing to do with the creation of the songs in Motley Crue or the Motley sound. I think Nikki Sixx missed the memo that the actual voice plays a big part in the sound. Credit music business vet Phil Soussan for delivering a stellar performance in the song writing department that helped kick-start Vince’s solo career.
So I am flicking through an old issue of Guitar World that goes back to September 1991 and there is a D’Addario ad with the title “Young Guns II”. Read the post to find out what happened to these “Young Guns.”
I watched the Metal Evolution Glam Rock, Thrash and Grunge documentaries a few nights ago. When you play “The Trooper” as your intro riff to the series, how can you not like it.
If it wasn’t for “Sonic Temple” from The Cult and “Dr Feelgood” from Motley Crue there would be no such thing as the “Black” sound and the millions of metal bands that the Metallica album spawned.
Franke Banali the drummer from Quiet Riot cracked me up with his assessment of Edward Van Halen “the name sounds like a painter”.
It’s good to see Spencer Proffer get recognition for his idea of trying to find a band to record “Cum On Feel The Noize” from Slade. It was a game changer for Quiet Riot even though they resisted it.
Then you have the big heavy metal day on the 1983 U.S festival. It was a game changer for the LA scene and for metal in general.
John Kalonder was hilarious. When he spoke, I couldn’t stop laughing. He sounded like that baddy voice over dub in the movie “Kung Pow”.
And it was a time of excess. If Tawny Kitaen is to be believed, then the 1987 Whitesnake album cost over $2 million dollars to record and produce.
Dunn’s reporting of the “Guns N Roses Effect” on glam rock spot on. Glam Rock died because it got over saturated with inferior bands, along with Gunners showing up the movement with their nod to Seventies classic rock. When Grunge came along with its nod to 70’s bands and punk rock, it offered an alternative to the clichéd glam rock styles and lyrics.
“Bang you Head.”
And that’s a wrap for stories posted back in October, 4 Years and 8 Years ago. Next up are stories posted in November during the same period.