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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