My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Football Reality

I coach junior football. I’ve been doing it since 2011 when my six and five-year old started playing. I didn’t want to be the coach because I was never a good player. If anything I played more reserve grade than first grade. But I love the game. I watched a lot of games and a lot of training sessions (as my middle brother was a first grader).

In 2011, small sided games was just a few years old in Australia. It made perfect sense why it was introduced but it was a totally foreign concept to me to have six kids in a team and play 4 v 4. What was even stranger was the fact that the 50% of the kids who registered that year to play U6’s couldn’t even get themselves into a position to kick a ball let alone run with the ball or take a player on.

But I took on the role to coach and god damn it, I will coach. I only trained them once a week in 2011 so I structured the sessions in the same way I learnt about football from my brothers.

Ball mastery, 1 v 1’s and a game at the end. My main mission was to have all the players comfortable with the ball and taking players on. It was tough. And I was disheartened. I was spending so much time with trying to develop the other kids, I neglected my own.

You see when I was playing football back in the 80’s only the real committed kids would sign up. And all the teams had just one team per age group, so if you didn’t make the team you either;

  • Trained harder to make the team the following year
  • Tried to find another club in the area (pending your local Club’s approval, even though they didn’t select you
  • Or you gave the game away and played another sport.

So the coaches back then never worked on skills. It was assumed you would already have ball mastery skills and excellent 1 v 1’s before you even started. One coach told me my job is to not let the striker score and when I win the ball to pump it forward to our striker. I once took four touches before I played a long ball forward and I was subbed. I never took four touches again.

And I’m thinking about my past while I’m training the other kids in the team who have never watched a game of football to stop booting the ball when they get it and to take a touch and try to take a player on.

I’m seeing all these articles about kids engagement and making it fun for them, so they don’t give the sport away and I’m comparing these stories to the 80’s.

I know for a fact, the Club my kids play for had;

  • 84 kids register in U6 to play 4 v 4. Six kids per team x 14 teams.
  • Six years later in the U12’s 48 are left, with 4 teams of 12 players each.
  • The gap between the “A” team and the “B” team is huge.

So effectively isn’t the end result the same as running that one high performing team like it was in the 80’s. By introducing small sided games, more kids register, which mean more fees for the federations. The high number of teams per age group, means more coaches are required. These coaches need to get qualified, so more money for the federations. The qualifications are valid for 3 years, so if those coaches are still in the game, more money is spend on getting qualified. But it doesn’t mean the best kids will be found or retained.

In 2012, I did the FFA Grassroots, Junior and Youth Licence. I knew I needed more knowledge if my coaching journey was to continue. The cost was $160, however if you passed it, the club or the local FA was meant to refund you half of the monies. I passed it and never got a refund. While the course was good it wouldn’t help dad’s or mum’s who didn’t know football. Because there was no ball mastery. Back in 2005 I was given a burnt copy of Coerver “Make Your Move”. It became my bible for teaching the kids “Ball Mastery”. This made a big difference on the kids I coached compared to the other coaches who just did the course/s.

In U7’s I trained them twice a week. Ball Mastery, 1 v 1’s and 5 v 1 Rondos formed part of the sessions with a game at the end. I had to replace two kids who left the team to join another team with their friends in it. But I was given two kids who have never played, so i was back at the start again.

U8’s in 2013 was 7 v 7. That meant four new kids given to me by the club. I know some clubs did skill assessments to place kids, but the Club I was involved in didn’t do it for this age group. So I had 10 kids and it was hard. I had kids again who just booted the ball forward and did not feel comfortable at all with the ball. Even after two years in a 4 v 4 format, it was like these four new kids just started. And again, I felt like I was back at the start.

U9’s in 2014 was still 7 v 7. I took an extra kid so I had 11 kids. It was a lot of subs, but I as going on a family holiday to Europe for the last 7 games and my absence would leave the team with 9 players.

In 2015, it was U10’s and it was 9 v 9. For the first time, the Club had trials to place the kids in Advanced, Intermediate High, Intermediate Low and Social teams. My son born in 2005 trialled and made the U10 Advanced team for the Club. I kept my other son born in 2006 in the U9’s again. He also trialled for the Advanced team and made it.

I coached the U9 Advanced team and a person who played at NSL level coached the U10’s. It’s safe to say that my son, along with others went backwards in their development because of this coach. While this coach played at a high level and he made sure he mentioned it, he couldn’t coach kids for shit. Eventually the parents of the kids in the U10 team got in touch with me to train their kids. I swore this was would be the last time that I would feel intimidated by people who played a high level.

In 2016, I did my Asian C Licence. It cost $1800. A big price to pay. All I have left to do is submit my final video assessment of my game training session to receive the qualification. I have two years to do this. I remember the odd looks I got from the others doing it. On the first day, all the participants had to introduce themselves and every single person except me, played in the old NSL or the A-League. Every single person was skinny except me. I had an ACL reconstruction a few months before, so I couldn’t even participate. And I made a promise to myself, this would BE the last time I would fee intimidated.

Also in 2016, I coached the U11 Advanced team, which had by son in it. My other son, born in 2006 son trialled and got selected for the U10 Skill Acquisition Program (SAP) team. A cost of $1500 to be an elite player in Australia for one year. Imagine my shock when I saw the sessions for an elite program. The coach had the kids playing ball tag and other rubbish like that. The fact that 3/4 of the kids couldn’t receive the ball with their back foot and face forward was not an issue.

Back at my Club, I trained the kids three times a week and I coached both the Advanced A and Advanced B teams. I had my rep kid train one of the sessions. This meant he trained 4 times a week and I was mindful of over training him as I was really subscribing to the research of Raymond Verheijen. His name came about in a discussion due to a football periodisation session he held in Australia where he turned the aircon off and wouldn’t let the people go to the toilet for 4 hours. I was interested as to why he would do that and what was he trying to achieve.

And here I am in 2017, I coach the U12A team (with my two boys back together again and loving it) and two U7 teams (with my youngest in it).

It’s funny that my team doesn’t have any kids born between Jan and May, as the good athletic ones born in those months are in the rep teams. The players in my team have the birth months from June 2005 to July 2006.

And I’m still not happy with the kids 1 v 1 actions. I have taught them all I know but they need more. So I called in an Obi Wan Kenobi like mentor to assist me with this. Back in his day he was brilliant and only injuries derailed his career. His own kids are in the professional youth teams and lot of the other kids he has coached have also joined NPL1 teams. It looks like it’s one of my best decisions. And while the journey is hard, long, stressful and very time-consuming when you are planning sessions and what not, it’s totally worth it.

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

Volbeat

I’ve got a lot of time for Volbeat. For any aspiring artist who believes all they need to do is write a song and everyone will love it, read no further. For any aspiring artists that wants the truth about the music business and how hard you need to work, then read on.

Volbeat without a doubt are a hard-working band, that tours like crazy, building their audience, city by city, state by state, country by country. Known in Europe prior to 2010, it wasn’t until Metallica put them as openers on the U.S Death Magnetic trek that Volbeat started to get traction in the U.S. And then their albums started selling. And then they went out on their own, and the shows kept on selling out.

But the story of Volbeat goes back a long time.

Michael Poulsen from Volbeat was in a death metal band called Dominus from 1991 to 2000. Then he formed Volbeat in 2001, a pseudo supergroup of extreme metal musicians. His musical journey began 10 years before Volbeat was formed and almost 20 years before he broke through in the lucrative U.S market.

Their first album came out in 2005. American success came knocking in 2012. To U.S audiences, Poulsen became an overnight success however that success was a long time in the making and a large part of those years dealt with being ignored.

The very essence of the internet is that only excellence rises to the top. And that which rises and lasts usually has an innovative twist to it. Volbeat merged rockabilly, country and metal into a commercial property. A band like Coheed and Cambria introduced a whole new style of storytelling, making each album a mass media event that involved novels, comics and music. When Metallica broke out they merged the NWOBHM scene with fast tempos and then with progressive time changes. When Rage Against The Machine broke out they merged rap with classic rock pentatonic riffs aided by Morello’s grasp of effects. When Tool broke out, they merged various prog rock acts with new wave acts with metal acts into a cacophony of sounds and style known as Tool.

Recognition and success comes much later . In Volbeat’s case their entry in the mainstream American market was a long time coming. Hell their first gold certification in the U.S was 20 years in the making. It is the lifers who last. The success they had in the U.S from 2010 onwards, is based on a song that was released on their 2008 album. Eventually the audience will catch up with the artist and when it happens the artist needs to be around to capitalise on it. Volbeat released “Outlaw Gentlemen And Shady Ladies” in 2013, and they still had their 2010 album “Beyond Heaven, Above Hell” selling decent numbers.

How many artists today can claim that stat?

The hardest thing today is to make a new fan or to get people to check you out. So anywhere music can be played, your stuff should be there. Volbeat do just that. Check out their Spotify stats if you don’t believe me.

“Still Counting” is at 52,740,671 streams. From the new album, “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” is at 8,405,750 streams. For comparison, Metallica is the biggest metal band on the planet and “Enter Sandman” is at 87,118,248 streams. As you can see, Volbeat are not that far off when it comes to listens.

And if you haven’t checked the new album, Volbeat sealed the deal with me via three songs.

“The Devil’s Bleeding Crown”

Falling from the sky
Cast out from heaven’s light
Drenching the soil with blood
Baptized in the fire hole

It’s storytelling.

They gathered all the children outside the church
And never would they know what went on in there
Close the door and hear all the angels scream
Oh mercy, mercy, mercy, oh mercy please

I really dig the swampy sludgy feel of the tune. It’s classic metal/rock.

“Black Rose”

A sixties bubblegum vibe/feel smashes head on with a heavy metal freight train. That is the only way I can explain this addictive song.

Left my heart on the shelf for way too long
Sick and tired, picking up from the dirty floor
I saw the line of snakes that came to me

“Seal The Deal”

Sold my soul and signed my name in blood
Stole it back, now praying in the dark
Fooled the devil, begging for a fight
Count the dollars, make your bet tonight

Standard
Alternate Reality, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Chapter 3

I am still having fun with that Metallica story I started a few weeks ago. So here is Chapter 3.

–Current Day–The City Of Carpe Diem–

“You are being discharged”, said the Doctor to Fixxxer, however the words could have been said to anyone, as Fixxxer was fixated on Walter Cyanide. From when they made eye contact, Fixxxer just got a “Han Solo” bad feeling about the situation.

“Do you want to exit from the front or the back as there are a lot of reporters out there waiting for the sole survivor,” adds the Doctor. Fixxxer pays no attention to the treating Doctor. He only has eyes on Dr Cyanide. Fixxxer notices Dr Cyanide take a call.

——

Cyanide answers it with a simple hello.

“So let it be written, so let it be done, you’ve been sent to kill the chosen one, you are the creeping death” said the voice on the other line.

——-

Fixxxer notices the eyes of Cyanide fade to black and it unsettles him. Just like the bus driver’s eyes.

Fixxxer takes a brief glance to the left of him and he notices that the Doctor that just treated him is outside treating another patient oblivious to what is happening in Treatment Room 1366.

That brief moment of not paying attention is unsettled as Fixxxer feels a cool breeze on the back of his neck. Suddenly Cyanide is in his face however for some reason Fixxxer sensed the move and without any thought he moved out-of-the-way of the coming attack.

Cyanide comes at Fixxxer again with various combinations of martial arts and boxing. He is so quick that Fixxxer is on the defensive and struggling to keep the blows from hitting him. And that was when Fixxxer felt a blade enter into his left abdomen and make its way up to his heart. Fixxxer grabs a hold of Cyanide’s hands and tries with all his might to stop the blade from going up any further.

The door to the treatment room opens again.

“What the hell?” gasps the Doctor that only a minute ago was treating Fixxxer? In his shock he drops his pen. Cyanide exits the room with a speed the Doctor has never seen.

Then the dropped pen hits the floor.

–Current Day–The City Of Carpe Diem Sanatorium–

Sweet Amber Sowhat screams in pain again.

Mysteriously, a gashing wound from her left abdomen up to her ribcage has just presented itself.

The nurses rush to her assistance, scanning the room for an assailant or a weapon that could have caused the injury.

–The Judas Kiss Backstory–Someplace in the 1930’s–

Her name was Judith King once upon a time. She was born into an average middle class family. Her father worked at the local steelworks, earning $80 a fortnight and her mother was a housewife raising six kids.

Then her father got retrenched. He didn’t say why.

Afterwards and for reasons only known to him he couldn’t get another job. The bills kept on piling up and the bank kept on sending letters warning foreclosure. To Judith it felt like the world had turned its back on them. The fire of hope that burnt bright in her father’s eyes was dead and gone.

Her father became fearful when he got retrenched and the first thing he purchased was a gun. When asked why, he replied with the following words;

“I cannot tell you why”.

The inevitable day came and the Sheriffs came knocking. Her father was passed out on the lounge due to another bout of drunkenness the night before. Eventually he woke up and answered the door.

“Are you Reginald King?”

“I”.

“I have a court order asking you to vacate the premises right now. Can you and your family please step outside?”

Just like that the King’s lost everything, their home, their possessions and their memories. By the end of the week, Judith King lost her father to the same gun he purchased to protect himself.

It was a selfish goodbye.

On the day of Reginald King’s funeral a storm had blackened the sky like never before. Judith King was thirteen years old. The funeral took place on Friday the 13. That would be the last day she saw her family.

–The Judas Kiss Backstory–Ten Years after the Disappearance of Judith King–

“Rise today as “The Judas Kiss”. Recite this vow as I have become your new god now”. Her new god was cloaked. The only part visible was his lips.

“So bow down, sell your soul to me, I will set you free and pacify your demons. Bow down, surrender unto me, submit infectiously and sanctify your demons.”

“Now repeat back to me the final mantra”.

“Into the abyss
I cease to exist
No one can resist
The Judas Kiss”

–1978–The City Of Devils Dance–

E.B has just left the house of his brother Tomas, when from the corner of his eye he noticed two people walking out of a lane fifteen metres away.

“No” said E.B as he began to run.

E.B ran from the footpath to the middle of the road before he was set upon. E.B was not scared of a confrontation; however the moment was not the best.

There was a flurry of blows that each assailant tried to plant onto E.B’s body; however the assailants failed to make any impact. Actually one of the assailants ended up getting his neck snapped in the process when E.B deflected that persons own hands back at him.

That just left E.B and the other assailant who was now unmasked.

“The Judas Kiss” exclaims E.B. In a way he feels proud. The Armerous only send “The Judas Kiss” when it is of vital importance to their cause.

“I feel honoured that I would be the one to take your life tonight”, adds E.B.

The Judas Kiss says nothing.

Her history of cold-blooded killings precedes her and she is confident as she starts her attack. However E.B is special and more than able to handle her attacks. After an intense 20 second barrage, The Judas Kiss steps back and for the first time in her life she is worried. She musters up enough energy for another frantic onslaught however E.B just seems to move away and deflect her most powerful punches without any effort.

The Judas Kiss has never really had to battle for this long.

With her fists and fighting styles having no impact, she is starting to resort to weapons. Star Blades begin to whirl through the air towards E.B.

Just like his favourite comic book character Magneto E.B sticks out his hand and in the same way that Magneto can manipulate all types of metal; the same can be said about E.B.

And that is how the reign of “The Judas Kiss” ended by having all of the star blades that she threw at E.B travelling back to her at a speed that she was not fast enough to avoid. Each star blade found a vital organ to embed themselves in.

A third man watches the fight from the alley. He is hooded and his lips are visible. Once “The Judas Kiss” took her last breaths he frowns and proceeds to walk away.

Standard
Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Chapter 1

Metallica has been in the news recently with the release of the updated “Some Kind Of Monster” and it got me thinking about their movie “Through The Never”. Apart from the live footage, the movie was pretty shit, but man, it could have been so much better. There is a wealth of material and inspiration to be found in Metallica songs.

And that is the purpose of this post. Me playing around with Metallica songs to come up with a little story.

Enjoy.

CHAPTER 1

— 1961 —

A striking Asian woman is holding her baby that she has just given birth to. Dr Hetfield has just entered the room, observing the scene and then looking at the woman.

“Do you have a name?” asks Dr Hetfield. The woman smiles for the first time.

“Walter” replies the woman as she hands him the wrapped child. The baby starts to cry as Dr Hetfield starts to walk away.

“Where are you taking my baby?” asks the woman, feeling a bit agitated.

Dr Hetfield ignores the question and keeps on walking down the hallway. The baby keeps on screaming. The mother is screaming for the nurses to help her however they just stand and stare.

“Please bring him back?” howls the woman. She tries to get up and realises that she is now restrained in the bed. When did that happen?

The doctor finally turns around. He makes eye contact with the woman for only a second. It’s enough. A chill goes through her as the eyes of the doctor fade to black. It unsettles the woman. The baby cries even louder and then the doctor disappears around the corridor and the cries of the baby cease.

The room the woman is in then returns back to normal. The nurses that just stood still and stared seem bewildered. The woman is screaming at them that a doctor took her baby. The nurses look confused and whisper to themselves.

“I’m sorry, that can’t be possible”, answers the taller nurse. “No paediatric doctor is on duty today”.

The woman screams.

— Current Day — The City Of Carpe Diem

The 8.32am bus starts to approach the bus stop. The cigarette smokers take their last desperate drags before they board. Women grab their children by their hands and school students with backpacks hang back. A face inside the train watches the stream of passengers enter the bus. The amount of people entering is way more than the available seats.

Fixxxer is a man in his early thirties. The bus starts to pull out as a pretty brunette takes the spare seat next to him. She pulls out a magazine to read.

“You into sports?”

“I work for an agency that deals with a lot of sports people”, answers the woman.

“I had to make a decision once about being a pro athlete or trying to make it in the music business.”

The woman smiles. “Is that right? It looks like you regret the choice”.

Fixxxer laughs.

“Which star are you meeting today?”

“I’m meeting a player. He’s a midfielder. You like football?” replies the woman.

There is a loud sound as a truck passes them at high-speed in the opposite direction. It breaks the mood of the conversation and the woman goes back to her magazine. An awkward silence.

Fixxxer is about to ask her another question, however the woman points to her ring finger.

“I think you got the wrong idea”.

The woman is a bit unsettled as she gets up and moves to the back of the bus. She balances herself against the bars as the bus picks up speed to get past the orange light.

Fixxxer feels like an idiot. He rests his head against the window. The vibration of the bus calms him. The shaking of the glass is getting stronger. Fixxxer looks out the window. The outside scenery is all a blur. The bus is picking up speed. And then the high-pitched sounds of tyres screeching as the bus takes a turn.

A few heavy-set dudes at the front try to make a pass at the driver however they cannot get to him. It’s like some invisible force field is present. The driver turns for a brief second and Fixxxer is certain that the driver’s eyes faded to black.

Fixxxer looks to the passengers around him as their side of the bus starts to rise.

— 1974 —

E.B is shaken and bloodied. His last mission in Vietnam went bad. Real bad. In three days, he will be boarding a plane back home. He doesn’t even know what home means anymore.

Edward Breadfan, otherwise known as ‘E.B’ is the son of the town mayor and in high school he was the local sporting hero. However, like all good young kids, he was drafted into the army and sent to the frontlines of Vietnam.

E.B in the end wanted to go, so whatever strings his father pulled to get him out of duty, it was all for nothing. That was four years ago and how E.B wishes that he could go back and accept his father’s offer. A body is pulled from the chopper. It is actually the torso of E.B’s best friend, Kirk One-Ta.

E.B told the superiors that it was an enemy landline that did it.

And those black eyes on the Vietcong soldier E.B will never forget. He was told that they didn’t exist and now they know about E.B as well.

— CURRENT DAY — The City of Devils Dance

Stone D.F believes that all truth is lies, a bunch of invalid viewpoints that the rich and powerful have put together to show their viewpoint of the world. Throughout his life, Stone has been called a liar. The scars of life are all over his body.

“You see, Orion, I took chances, risks, you know what I’m saying” Stone grunted in between a drag and blow of his cigarette.

Orion certainly believes that Stone took chances. Any person that just glances at Stone sees it.

“The last chance I took almost got me through the never,” continued Stone.

For Stone, when he refers to “the never” it means the end of the line because no one can know what comes after death. Heaven or hell is again another viewpoint put out there by wealthy organisations as a form of control. In this case it is packaged nicely as a little black book called the Holy Bible. Hell, the most definitive version of the Holy Bible is the King James Version. That is enough proof for Stone that it is all bullshit.

“If only I would have known what was in store for me when I took that offer.”

 

Standard
Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Everyone Is Trying To Twist The Narrative To Their Own Advantage.

So Desmond Child is telling the world that Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and himself had to split a total of $110 in 2012 for the 6.5 million streams of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” on Pandora during a three-month span in 2012. Pandora’s published rate is about .0013 cents per stream. So doing the math, that means that “Livin On A Prayer” actually earned $8,450 for that three-month spell on Pandora. If that is true, that means that the songwriters are getting about 1.3% of the monies paid to the record labels.

Daniel Ek claims that Spotify will pay $6 million to Taylor Swift from worldwide streams. Swift’s label, claims that is a lie and that they received less than $500,000 for the streams. However what the label is forgetting to say is that the amount is for US streams only.

And Spotify argues that it is competing with free/piracy, while the artists side argue about Spotify not paying enough. They are two different arguments that have no correlation with each other whatsoever. When are people going to realise that Spotify doesn’t sell music, it provides access to it. And consumers like it, otherwise Spotify wouldn’t be starting to overtake iTunes in some markets.

Rob Zombie once upon a time hated copyright infringement and now he reckons it makes him more creative as he doesn’t have to write songs that fit a sales metric.

Lars Ulrich is now reserved and diplomatic in his responses to music piracy or copyright infringement. Maybe it is because he knows that if it wasn’t for music piracy, Metallica wouldn’t be playing sold out shows in China or the Middle East and some South East Asian countries.

Scott Ian wanted the people who downloaded the “Worship Music” album to be disconnected from the internet, even though they could have been fans who ended up purchasing a concert ticket and an over-priced T-shirt.

Gene Simmons famously said that downloaders/fans should be sued and also have their houses taken from them. He said that rock is dead because of piracy. Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Stanley, Joe Perry and others agreed with him. Many others didn’t.

Internet Radio station Sirius XM is going to lose its case over pre-1972 sound recordings by the band The Turtles. The shameful part here is that the recording industry fought hard against making pre-1972 recordings fought hard against this. The hypocrisy here is huge. While the recording industry has fought so hard against making pre-1972 sound recordings subject to federal copyright laws, now they suddenly want aspects of federal copyright law (like public performance rights which did not exist under previous laws) to apply to those very same works. If Congress made it so those works were under federal copyright, there wouldn’t be an issue and all these works would be treated identically. But the truth is that the RIAA wants to keep these works out of federal copyright law to use them as a weapon against internet innovation.

Sony is re-evaluating it’s support for free streaming, however as a part owner of Spotify, I find it hard to believe that they will pull their catalogue from the free-tier.

Everyone is trying to twist the narrative to their own advantage.

Everybody has an angle.

And what about the musicians.

The hardest challenge facing musicians is getting people to listen to their new music and then getting them to stick around once the album because those big marketing awareness campaigns are goneski. It’s proven that they don’t work if the music is shit and the narrative is shit.

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

Emphatic

I was listening to the new album “Another Life”. Yeah I know it was released in 2013 and in today’s terms it is old. However once upon a time an album under 12 months was still classed as a new album.

Anyway, i am listening to it and i am not really getting into it. Then a riff that reminds me of the pre-chorus of the song called “Zero” by Smashing Pumpkins blows into my head space. The song in question is “Take Your Place” and I am hooked. It is track nine on the CD.

The only reason why I went this deep into the album was because the same experience happened to me on their previous album.

And finally the album is rocking.

“Forbidden You” comes after and the song “Pretty Handsome Awkward” from The Used comes to mind.

Then it gets even more aggressive with “Remember Me”. It’s got this Disturbed meets Black Label Society groove that is just the way I like it with a flourish of some shred. I had no idea it was the lead single when I listened to it. I found that out after I did some Googling on them.

It’s got a great line in it.

“When the stitches don’t hold and you start to bleed ‘Remember Me'”

It reminds me of the “Unto The Locust” theme from Machine Head, about how people come into your life and end up messing it up, before they leave and move on to another victim.

My ex-drummer was like that. In my mind I tried hard to help him but he kept on making the wrong choices and in the end he made his life difficult and everyone else that was around got dragged into his cesspool of trash.

And then the album ends.

The piece d resistance are the last three songs and I guarantee you that they will go unheard because if someone stumbles across Emphatic due to a playlist algorithm, they will be given the songs that a A&R person believes in. But the audience always has a different viewpoint. We make our own favourites.

We make our own soundtracks and our own memories. So after hearing the last three tracks, I decided to give the other eight tracks a re-listen. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention. But I wanted to pay attention because of the story. You see, Emphatic has a story. And like the best TV shows out there, it is a good narrative.

Emphatic had a record deal with Universal which fell apart. They then recorded their album “Damage” with producer Howard Benson and they were set for a major push in mainstream rock with Atlantic Records behind them.

Then everything changed. Emphatic’s lead singer at the time,Patrick Wilson injured his larynx in a bar fight. No one is sure if someone hit him in the throat or tried to choke him. And timing is everything in music. In this case, it was the worst possible time, with the band starting promotion for their brand new album at the time.

Atlantic Records and Indegoot stuck around. They waited for Wilson to get better however he didn’t and Wilson officially quit the group and Atlantic then dropped them. Guitarist Justin McCain fell into a depression becoming the same person that Wilson became. Then came Toryn Green, formerly of Fuel via a Facebook reach out and eventually a new label in Epochal Artist Records came knocking.

This is how “Another Life” was born. They hooked up with Revolver Magazine (the standard Corporate Deal) to stream the album before it came out.

So with my renewed interest, I started to enjoy some of the other songs like “Time Is Running Out”, “Lights”, “Something’s Never Die”, “The Choice” and “Another Life”.

As I was doing more research I saw that Toryn Green is now out, due to the good old “creative differences” excuse.

And just recently, they signed to Pavement Entertainment and are set to release their new album in late 2014. It’s like the days of old, when bands released an album each year and musicians jumped from band to band.

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

Glenn Hughes

Mention the name Glenn Hughes to a lot of people and you will get a different answer each time as to who he is. Some don’t know of him, some mistake him with a sporting identity, some get it right and some just get it so wrong. However, if you are a fan of music, there is a pretty good chance that you would have come across the works of Glenn Hughes.

Especially the melodic AOR rock style of Glenn Hughes.

This primer course is based on showing a few of the big songs Glenn Hughes was involved in and then it moves over to that fertile Nineties post addiction period that was more or less ignored due to the musical landscape. However by no means is the list complete.

“Burn”

Released in 1974.

I found out about the “Burn” album by back tracking the origins of David Coverdale after the Whitesnake album from 1987 exploded. Yep, in 1987, I had no idea that David Coverdale was in Deep Purple. Actually the only Deep Purple song I knew at that stage was “Smoke On The Water” and that is because Triple M, the local rock radio station played it to death. For kids that grew up with Google, guess what it didn’t exist back then.

So it was harder to find out information about our favourite artists. Not impossible, just harder.

This meant purchasing expensive U.S magazines and reading the interviews and the reviews. Or if I didn’t have the money it meant grabbing the magazine at the newsagency and reading it there, much to the disgust of the newsagency owner.

He was a Portuguese fellow and he saw me that many times in his shop that he eventually started mentioning to me when the latest, “Hit Parader” or “Circus” or “Faces” or “Metal Mania” or “RIP” or “Metal Edge” was in.

Then he told me a little important secret about the newsagency business. That whatever doesn’t sell for the month, he returns back to the publishers. So he said that he will give me the magazines that I like then albeit with the front cover desecrated.

“Burn” was also my first introduction to Glenn Hughes. It was an immediate hit for me.

The song is credited to Ritchie Blackmore, David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Jon Lord and Ian Paice and you can hear the jam ethos throughout it. The performances are all top notch and the song showcases all of the members’ abilities.

There is also a version of Glenn Hughes singing it from start to finish that appeared on his solo album, “From Now On…” as a bonus track.

“When Love Finds a Fool”

It is a co-write between Glenn Hughes and Don Dokken and it was on the Don Dokken “Up From The Ashes” solo album that was released in 1990 on the Geffen label. There was a lot of money spent on that album by the Geffen company, however the interest in Don Dokken’s career was already dwindling down to just the hard core fans only.

On the Don Dokken recorded version, Hughes provides backing vocals only. It was the first song I clicked play on when I got home due to the Glenn Hughes writing credit.

And I loved it. To paraphrase like Yoda “A ballad it was” however it was delivered with a passion that was undeniable.

“The Only One”

It’s written by Glenn Hughes and Swedish guitarist Eric Bojfeldt and produced by Bruce Gowdy.

The song appeared on Hughes’s solo album titled “From Now On…” released in 1994. The album is a favourite of mine and the album has a well-rounded, polished and melodic AOR sound. And what a backing band.

Hughes was supported by a band of Swedish musicians including Europe members John Levén, Mic Michaeli and Ian Haugland as well as guitarists Thomas Larsson and Eric Bojfeldt.

Let the Viking invasion begin. Max Martin might get all the press for his pop songs, however the Swedes always had great musicians and songwriters.

“Crying For Love”

A brilliant ballad that appeared on the 1996 album “No Strings Attached” by the band Liesegang. Actually Liesegang is guitarist Bill Liesegang and his roots go back to the early Eighties NWOBHM movement and the band Xero. Actually his roots go back even further, to 1969, when he was asked to join David Bowie’s band.

Liesegang is renowned for being a guitarist that was doing all the guitar theatrics in the late Seventies that Steve Vai and Joe Satriani became famous for years later.

“Still The Night”

It’s history goes back to 1982. Originally planned for the second Hughes/Thrall album, the song ended up appearing on several other releases. It was recorded by the super group “Phenomena” project in 1984.

The version that I like is the John Norum version that appeared on Norum’s solo album, “Face The Truth” in 1992.

The song is written by Glenn Hughes, Pat Thrall and Paul Delph (RIP). Paul Delph was another talent who worked with an eclectic bunch of musicians before his death from HIV/AIDS complications.

“The Look In Your Eye”

It appeared on the “Hughes/Thrall” album released in 1982. The vocal is the starring element. How good is the pre chorus and then the falsetto melodies in the chorus.

“I don’t need anybody else
To try to run my life
I don’t need the way they try
To tell me what they think is right
We don’t need anybody else
To take what’s yours and mine
We don’t need anybody else
It’s just a waste of time”

I didn’t hear this album until a decade later. Because I didn’t get into the whole Grunge and Alternative scene. What I did do is get into purchasing records from second-hand Record Shops and the Hughes/Thrall album was one such gem. It is definitely a hidden gem of melodic hard rock.

Pat Thrall is a very underrated guitarist. A craftsmen who understands what the song needs and plays to suit.

“Surrender”

It appeared on the “Phenomena II – Dream Runner” album from 1987. Music and Lyrics came from Mel Galley. Actually Phenomena is a super group formed by record producer Tom Galley, Metal Hammer magazine founder Wilfried Rimensberger] and Tom’s brother, ex-Whitesnake guitarist Mel Galley who played with Glenn Hughes in Trapeze and on Hughes’s Seventies solo album.

What a super group line up for the recording of Surrender.

Vocals – Glenn Hughes
Guitars – Mel Galley
Keyboards – Leif Johansen
Bass – Neil Murray
Drums – Michael Sturgis

It is one of my favourite cuts.

“Face The Truth”

It’s from John Norum’s solo album of the same name released in 1992 and the he song is written by Glenn Hughes and John Norum. For those that don’t know, John Norum was the original guitarist in the band “Europe” and played on their first three albums including the mega one, “The Final Countdown”. He is also in the film clip? Then he was replaced by Kee Marcello for the tour, and the two follow-up albums that came in “Out Of This World” and “Prisoners In Paradise”. He is back as the guitarist of Europe when they reformed back in 2004.

How good is that guitar riff?

It just rocks and rolls the song to glory. If you have listened to early Europe, you will hear that “Euro-Metal Sound” that John Norum is famous for.

The song is a melodic rock gem and it is post the excellent work that Norum did with Don Dokken on the “Up From The Ashes” solo project.

“You Keep On Movin”

It goes back to 1975 and the “Come Taste The Band” era of Deep Purple with another guitarist that departed way too young. Tommy Bolin. Now that was another talent that is no more. Tommy Bolin and Paul Kossoff are my two heroes. Guitarists that just wanted to jam and play.

The song is actually written by David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. The version that I was listening to is from the 1994 solo album “From Now On….”.

This is what we’ve lost in the transition from capturing spontaneous creations to capturing well thought out and analysed rewritten over and over again creations. That effortless feel in a song as it builds to a crescendo.

“So Much Love To Give”

Very Hendrix like and that is not surprising at all when you see that Hendrix devotee Craig Erickson is the guitarist and the songwriter.

It’s up there in the blues rock vibe of “Mistreated” from the Coverdale/Hughes era of Deep Purple.

It’s a Glenn Hughes and Craig Erickson composition.

Actually Craig Erickson is a very underrated guitarist in the blues rock genre.

The song was released on Hughes’s first solo album titled “L.A. Blues Authority II: Glenn Hughes – Blues” after he kicked his drug habits in 1991 and it is another all-star line up of musician friends that assist in the album’s creation. As Glenn once stated it was his first album since finding his higher power. And of course it was Mike Varney who got the project rolling. For those that don’t know, Shrapnel Records was founded in 1980 by Mike Varney.

And Shrapnel was different from all of the other labels because it focused on bands featuring guitarists of extraordinary ability and it was the main label leading the neo-classical shred movement.

If it wasn’t for Shrapnel Records artists like Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman, Jason Becker, Paul Gilbert, Tony MacAlpine and Vinnie Moore would have either not been identified or taken longer to identify.

“King Of The Western World”

It is the opening track on the 1996 Liesegang album “No Strings Attached” that also has the excellent “Crying For Love” that I mentioned above.

It’s the GUITAR!

The Steve Stevens inspired “Atomic Playboys” riff that kicks it off. Talk about a riff!

Then it goes into a Journey style verse. For those that don’t know Bill Liesegang, make sure you check him out. Another underrated musician and songwriter.

“Not Necessary Evil” and “Cry Of The Brave”

Both of these songs appear on “Sacred Groove” the first solo album from George Lynch released in 1993. As a fan of George Lynch, I really enjoyed these little gems.

Glenn Hughes came into the Lynch stratosphere back when Glenn Hughes was hired to sing on the demos that would become the self-titled Lynch Mob album, released in 1992. The album features the vocals of Robert Mason who legend has it, had Glenn Hughes teaching him how to sing the songs.

There are just so many connections and relationships in the career of Glenn Hughes. And really, that is what having a music career is all about.

Building connections and fostering relationships.

Just look at the body of work that I have mentioned so far and all the different musicians that have been involved with it. How many musicians in the last 10 years have achieved anything close to those relationships?

It’s all about the band they are in and just that band. God forbid if someone tried to jam with another band. That would be cause for instant dismissal.

Mike Portnoy comes to mind as the only musician that is putting his name out there on different styles of music and with different musicians.

“Make My Day”

It’s the opening track from the “Amen” album by Manfred Ehlert. Written and arranged by Ehlert it is Glenn’s vocal performance that brings the song home.

There is a keyboard riff there that reminds me of “The Final Countdown” from Europe.

“Phoenix Rising”

The song is written by Tom Galley, Richard Bailey and Mel Galley, but it is the vocal performance by Glenn Hughes that knocks it out of the ball park.

Mel Galley is another guitarist that deserves more attention for his work output. Maybe not having the look of a glam rocker hurt his career in the Eighties, but there is no denying the work that he did with Trapeze, Whitesnake and Phenomena.

This song appeared on the supergroup “Phenomena” project in 1984.

“Lay My Body Down”

It is written by Glenn Hughes and virtuoso guitarist Thomas Larsson.

Another musician from Sweden and the land of the midnight sun. It is a musical Viking conquest.

The song appeared on Hughes’s solo album titled “From Now On…” released in 1994.

“In Your Eyes”

It is from the 1992 John Norum solo album “Face The Truth”.

It is a song written by a super group committee. The writers are Glenn Hughes, John Norum and Peter Baltes from Accept fame, who along with John Norum just finished a stint with Don Dokken.

One thing that is clear is the many relationships that Glenn Hughes as formed. Music is a common language for all walks of life and there is no greater ambassador than Glenn Hughes.

Standard