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.

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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

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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.

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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.”

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

David Coverdale – The Legend That Is The Most Broken-Hearted Singer?

Popular Rock Star lore would say that in order to create you need to have lived. You need to have experienced love. You need to have experienced heartbreak. You need to have experienced highs and lows, good times and bad times.

Certain artists deal with certain issues. Motley Crue have always been known for their tongue n cheek lyrics around sex, drugs and just having a good ol’ time.

Skid Row focused on sex and relationships on their first album, however two songs from it, “Youth Gone Wild” and “18 and Life” focused more on social issues, which in turn was taken up a notch with the “Slave To The Grind” album.

Machine Head lyrics focus on social issues and government/religious corruption.

David Coverdale on the other hand is all about love. His song writing family tree is a list of a person that has been broken-hearted a lot of times in his quest to find love.

He’s been “Mistreated”, “Time and Again”. He’s been “Looking For Love”, “Time and Again”. He has been looking for a “Love to Keep Him(You) Warm” because “The Time Is Right for Love”.

He asked the “Queen of Hearts” to “Say You Love Me”. Realising too late that the “Kitten Got Claws” and she became a “Lady Double Dealer” on her way to being an ex-wife.

Suddenly “Love Don’t Mean a Thing”.

He became a “Drifter”.

A “Victim Of Love”.

A “Love Hunter”.

A “Love Man”.

A “Slave”.

A “Love Child” calling out “I Need Love”.

An “Outlaw” riding into town and spending “Slow and Easy” good times with the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Women”. Promising to himself that he “Ain’t Gonna Cry No More” as he “Slides It In”.

He became a “Blindman” because there “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” for a Rock N Roll singer.

However he was still “Ready and Willing” to “Cry for Love” once again. “Ready and Willing” to go back on “Living on Love” because he was “Hungry For Love” and he wanted to “Do It Right (With The One You Love)” as “Love Ain’t No Stranger” to him.

But love left him “Crying In The Rain” again. Even when he begged for “Love An Affection”, even when he begged “Don’t Break My Heart Again” he still had to pick up the pieces and start all over again.

“Here I Go Again” he said to himself after the break up of his marriage.

He joined the “Bad Boys”, “All In the Name of Love” gang. He was “Guilty of Love” with that “Slip Of The Tongue”. Then that “Restless Heart” started “Crying” for a “Precious Love” again and it came knocking on his door.

“Is This Love” he asked himself. He told her that she is “Gonna Break His Heart Again”. But she whispered back “Give Me All Your Love”. She told him that he is “All That She Wants, All That She Needs”.

He just asked her to “Love And Treat Him Right” because “The Deeper The Love”, the stronger the devotion.

And then as his Eighties career came to end, those “Woman Trouble Blues” came back again. Every woman wants the spotlight. And then she was gone (“Now You’re Gone”). He asked her to “Take Him Back Again.”

“Too Many Tears” had been shed. He did it “All For Love” but love didn’t set him free again. He was “Crying In The Rain” once more.

But once a fool is always “A Fool In Love” and with time he found another to “Lay Down Her Love”.

Coverdale built a career spanning 40 years because he experienced life and he wrote those experiences into his songs. People always connect with that.

That is what got John Kalodner interested and that connection gave birth to a whole new era of Whitesnake from which they are still doing victory laps from.

There is an unwritten rule that says in order to survive in the music business, one must change with the times. Someone forgot to tell David Coverdale. The evolution of Whitesnake has never strayed too far from the blues medium. Even with the 1987 album, it was still rooted in Classic Rock and as we all know, Classic Rock is rooted in the blues/folk movements.

At the height of his fame, he disbanded Whitesnake.

Then when his contemporaries delivered grungier sounding albums, Coverdale stuck to his guns and delivered two blues rock albums with “Restless Heart” and “Into The Light”.

David Coverdale ignored every passing fad and fancy and still managed to assemble a cast of musicians to produce some of the most enduring hit records/songs of the Eighties era. Some might say that he glammed it up in the mid Eighties. However the musical currents that existed underneath the image were greater than the lipstick and teased hair.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Thank God For The Truth

“The Ultimate Sin” is a misunderstood album. It is loved by many as much as it is hated.

By 1986, the legend of Ozzy Osbourne was growing. After writing the “Bark At The Moon” album with one finger on the piano (I mean this is a sarcastic way), the heavy metal community waited with anticipation as to what he would do next.

Amongst the fans, Randy Rhoads and his tragic death was still getting all the attention. Magazines focused more on Randy Rhoads than Jake E.Lee. Ozzy was in rehab once again after going off the rails once again. The person that held it all together during this period was Bob Daisley. He was the glue. Sharon Osbourne managed Ozzy; however, if it wasn’t for Bob Daisley coming back over and over again, Ozzy’s solo career in the Eighties would have been a different story.

Daisley brought back the Ozzy legend from obscurity. Ozzy had the controversial headlines, but it was Daisley with his uncredited lyrics that connected with us. And it was a Daisley track called “Flying High Again” that broke Ozzy to the U.S market. When people see a song written by a singer, a guitarist and the bassist, 99.9% of the people will believe that the musical players wrote the music and that the singer wrote the lyrics. However that was not the case with Ozzy.

“Flying High Again” paved the way for what was to come. It was a radio staple and it is Bob Daisley’s title and lyrics. As is often the case, Ozzy became a brand name and the individuals around him became forgotten.

Yet all of Bob Daisley’s Blizzard Of Ozz tunes stay in rotation. And we loved them back then; however we didn’t know the truth. We assumed that what was written on the album sleeve was correct and what was said in an interview was the truth. Seriously, why would our heroes lie?

And none of the tracks were hits like the hits that Billboard and the mainstream press trump up as hits.

So coming into “The Ultimate Sin” album process, the Osbourne camp needed ideas. Jake E. Lee got burned on the song writing credits for the “Bark At The Moon” album, so he demanded a contract up front before he even started writing. It’s not an ideal way to commence the album development cycle however this litigious house is the house that Sharon built.

Ozzy of course was in a bad shape and had a stint in rehab. When he came out of rehab, Jake had already compiled 12 songs ready. This is what Jake E. Lee said in a Guitar World interview from November 1986;

“On the Ultimate Sin, while Ozzy was in the Betty Ford clinic, I got a drum machine, one of those mini-studios, a bass from Charvel-a really shitty one-and I more or less wrote entire songs. I didn’t write melodies or lyrics because Ozzy is bound to do a lot of changing if I was to do that, I just write the music. I write the riff and I’ll come up with a chorus, verse, bridge and solo section, and I’ll write the drum and bass parts I had in mind. I put about 12 songs like that down on tape and when he got out of the Betty Ford clinic it was, “Here ya go, here’s what I’ve got so far.” And I’d say half of it ended up on the album.”

The other piece in the puzzle was Bob Daisley. Apart from “Shot In The Dark” (which is credited to Phil Soussan and Ozzy Osbourne) all of the lyrics on “The Ultimate Sin” are written by Bob Daisley. This is what Bob Daisley said on the album in an interview on the BraveWords website;

“I did write the album with Jake and then Ozzy and I had a falling out and he fired me and he was going to fire Jake as well. I’ve never been a ‘yes’ man. So a few weeks later, he called me and he had Phil Soussan on bass but I’d already written a lot of the music with Jake so they knew they had to credit me on the songs anyway so I guess he thought he may as well get his money’s worth and asked me to come back and write the lyrics also. I did that as sort of a paid job. I write it, you pay me and take it and go. So I spent a few weeks writing the lyrics for the whole album. Then they recorded it. In a way, I am glad I am not on that album. It’s the one album I didn’t really like”

Of course, the Osbourne’s didn’t credit Daisley for his song writing contributions on the initial 1986 pressing of the album, though this was corrected on subsequent pressings. So there are 500,000 albums out there that doesn’t credit Bob Daisley.

Another form of controversy centered around “Shot In The Dark”.

“Shot in the Dark”

This is what Phil Soussan said about the song on the Songfacts website;

“It is metaphorical for someone who wants to change. He wants to end what has been and start from new but only has so much control! Literally, he turns his back on what has been his life!”

In a Noiscreep interview, Phil Soussan stated the following;

“The original song version and lyrics was what I presented to Ozzy at that time. I have always been a huge Pink Panther fanatic and the title and song subject were written as such. The idea was originally a fast tempo track and Ozzy loved the lyrics. He made some changes to it; added some melody and the part just before the solo. He wanted me to come up with some lyric changes here and there to make it “darker” while keeping the original premise.”

This is what Jake E Lee said in a Guitar World interview from November 1986;

“I write a lot of songs like that-most of the songs I’ve kept have been really commercial or really weird-and I wasn’t so sure of that when Phil (Soussan-bassist and writer of “Shot In The Dark”) first presented it. It was getting kind of commercial and Ozzy wasn’t too sure of it either. But Ron Nevison (producer) gunned for that one and it worked out alright.”

The Great Song Writing Controversy Revisited

This is what Jake E Lee had to say in an interview on Ultimate Classic Rock on the song writing credits controversy that seemed to plague the Osbourne camp in the Eighties;

“On ‘The Ultimate Sin,’ I did get credit because I got screwed out of the first one. I was promised that I would get [credit]. Because I was young and I was in the middle of Scotland recording, I didn’t have a manager or a lawyer — it was just me. From the beginning, every musician, it’s always hammered into them, “Keep your publishing” and “Keep your writing.” So those were the only conditions that I had was “OK, I’m getting song writing credit, right?” I was always assured that “Yes, I’m getting publishing — of course you are!” When I didn’t on the first record, it was upsetting. But I figured OK, what am I going to do? I got screwed — what am I going to quit? We’re about to tour on a record that I finally got to make. There’s no problem for Ozzy to find another guitar player — am I just going to be that guy that played on that record, didn’t even get credit on the record and then refused to tour because I had a problem with Ozzy? No. I had to go out and tour. It would have been stupid not to. So I was only able to put my foot down at the end of the tour. “Let’s make another record” and I was like, “OK, but this time, you know what? I want the contract first before we start recording. I don’t want to be a dick, but I don’t want to get screwed again either.”

In relation to the screwed part, this is what Jake told Steven Rosen in a Guitar World interview from November 1986, when he was asked the question, how much input did you have on “Bark At The Moon”;

“Most of the music was mine. “Rock N’ Roll Rebel”, “Bark At The Moon”, “Now You See It, (Now You Don’t)”, “Waiting For Darkness” and “Slow Down” were mine.”

Ron Nevison

This is what Jake E Lee had to say about working with Ron Nevison in a Guitar World interview from November 1986;

“….he was hard to work with. He doesn’t have a very open mind; he hears things his way and he thinks that’s the way it should be done. And I heard things my way and I think that’s the way it should be done. And there wasn’t a whole lot of compromise. It was mostly who felt the strongest about something and argued the longest won out.”
“I didn’t go into the studio with the attitude of, “Oh boy, I get to play today, let’s see what I can put down!” I went in there thinking, “Oh sh*t, what are we going to argue about today?”

In an interview on the Crappy Indie Music Blog, Ron Nevison answered in the following manner, when he was asked about his thoughts on Jake’s comments;

“(laughs) Well, he would like to be his own producer. But what you don’t know is that he wanted to come in at midnight. He wanted to work midnight to 8am. There’s more than one person in a band, though. What about all the people at the front desk… and the second engineers, and maintenance people. So I said no. I’m all for working with people when they want to work, so we compromised and started at like 6 at night. I said that I can’t do it… not even speaking for the rest of the band, but if I work for you at midnight to 8am, I have to take a couple of days off to turn my life around be able to work with someone else again. But he was a strange guy. He was… no drugs; he was into Zen stuff, martial arts… I don’t know what he was into. But he was a fantastic guitar player; I never had a problem with him. If he had a problem with me he never told me. Doesn’t surprise me.”

The Jake E Lee Origin Story Revisited

Doing time with Ratt and then Rough Cutt he was contacted to audition for Ozzy’s band. This is how Jake E Lee summed it up in the November 86, Guitar World interview;

“I went down there anyway and I think there was a list of 25 guitar players and we all spent 15 minutes in the studio, each doing whatever we wanted to do. We had our pictures taken and they were given to Ozzy and he picked three of us: George (Lynch-Dokken) was one of them and he was flown to England and given first crack at it. And there was me and Mitch Perry left in L.A. Ozzy came down and we auditioned at S.I.R. and I got it. And I was 45 minutes late! The guy who found the guitar players (Dana Strum) said that Ozzy almost walked out the door; he said, “”f**k it, if this guy doesn’t care enough to show up on time and he’s going to be this kind of problem, forget it. I don’t care how good he is.” But the guy kept him there.”

The Phil Soussan Origin Story

Phil got his first big break playing with Simon Kirke’s Wildlife project that was signed to Led Zeppelin’s boutique record label. Record Label politics and members moving on more or less put an end to this project; however “Shot In The Dark” was born during this process. YouTube has a demo version up and various forums put up arguments for Steve Overland to be given a song writing credit.

In a 2006 interview with the dmme.net website, this is what Soussan had to say about working with Simon Kirke;

“Simon was great to play with. He really educated me in the style of “back-beat” playing. Knowing how to place your bass notes just behind the beats separates “feel” players from the masses and I credit Simon for that. Sure we felt as though we were going to be part of the big time but it was not meant to be. After the politics between our label, Swan Song and Atlantic, caused the fall apart of our deal, Simon left and we continued for a while. I suggested that we take our brand of American AOR rock to the USA and try to finance our own visit and tour, but the rest of the band disagreed. We eventually split up and went our separate ways.”

After Wildlife, Soussan began working with Jimmy Page. This is how Soussan explained this part of his career in an interview with Noisecreep;

“From the get go, and from when Jimmy started playing again after his long hiatus (following the sad passing of John Bonham, RIP), the plan was always to start playing and to put a band together that would feature Paul Rodgers as the singer. We formed a band that we initially called The McGregors around Jimmy, Chris Slade and myself. When Chris went out to tour with David Gilmour we brought in Rat Scabies to fill in. Jimmy loved Rat’s playing; he said that if Bonham had been a punk he would have sounded like Rat! Eventually we began to refer to the band as “The Firm.”

“Eventually I got asked to audition for Ozzy and when I was offered the gig I had the dilemma of if whether I wanted to stay with Jimmy or go out with Ozzy. I discussed with Jimmy and he told me that they were still not going out for another year and I decided to go with Ozzy. Jimmy had started to use Tony Franklin on bass and we parted as great friends. In a way I had mixed emotions as I was so fond of Jimmy, but we still speak and it is always great to see him.”

Where Are They Now? Bassist Phil Soussan of Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, Beggars & Thieves – http://noisecreep.com/phil-soussan/

RON NEVISON, PART 1 – http://crappyindiemusic.blogspot.com.au/2010/02/jess-interviews-ron-nevison-part-1.html?m=1

Interview with PHIL SOUSSAN – http://dmme.net/interviews/soussan1.html

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Influenced, Music, My Stories

Don’t Know What You Got (Until It’s Gone)

It was a combination of events that cemented Cinderella as superstars.

The main event was the supporting slot on the Bon Jovi “Slippery When Wet” tour. Bon Jovi had just broken through and started selling out all of the arenas. Apart from opening all the North American dates, Bon Jovi had a little jam session during each gig where the Cinderella guys would come out and do a song with them. Sort of like how in the recent Sydney show, Jon Bon Jovi brought out Kid Rock, his sax player and his back up singers for a version of Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock N Roll”.

Jon Bon Jovi even had a hand in getting the band signed with Polygram, by convincing Derek Schulman to check them out. By 1985, Schulman was four years into his A&R gig with Polygram and he was slowly proving himself at signing great talent. Of course he would also go on to sign such important acts like Pantera and Dream Theater in the years to come.

This is how Tom Keifer told it in a “Screamer Magazine” interview;

“We barely knew who he was because this was before Slippery When Wet. He was in Philadelphia making the 7800° Fahrenheit record, their second record, so we had no idea he was going to be there” stated Keifer. “He came back to the dressing room afterwards and introduced himself, Runaway was a hit, and he had a video on MTV so we knew who he was and for us at that point in our career, it felt like a big deal.”

“He was very complimentary, he really liked the band and enjoyed the show, nice to meet you and on his way he went. And we had no idea that he was y’know gonna get back to Polygram and he put in some very nice words to his A&R guy Derek Shulman who signed him. Derek had already had our demo tape as our manager had given it to him; and he was riding the fence. I don’t blame him because our demos were just god awful. We were pretty young and green and didn’t know how to record music. We didn’t really have much guidance. It’s a whole different thing to walk into rehearsal room or onto a live stage and blast out what you do, and then it’s another thing to walk in a recording studio and try to capture it!”

“So Derek’s riding the fence and basically what Jon did was, he said forget the demo tape, I just saw them live, and you should go down check them out.”

So the Bon Jovi tour gave Cinderella real exposure. Of course, they had the songs to capitalise on that exposure. While, lead off single “Shake Me” failed to make a dent, the second single “Nobody’s Fool” went nuclear, pushing the album to move 50,000 units a week. MTV put it in rotation and Cinderella became the new platinum darlings.

“Night Songs” was originally released in June 1986. In October 1986, the “Nobody Fools” video hit MTV and by December that same year, the “Night Songs” album is certified platinum. By February 1987, it was certified double platinum. So when it came time to record the follow-up, the pressure was on for the band to deliver.

Deliver they did. Within two months from when it was released, “Long Cold Winter” was certified platinum. “Don’t Know What You Got (Until It’s Gone)” certified Tom Keifer as a serious songwriter. Andy Johns (RIP) was on deck again to deliver another big sounding album. Drummer, Fred Coury didn’t even play on the album as Andy Johns kept on finding timing issues. The album is a blues rock classic that can rival all the best output from seventies bands like Bad Company and it celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.

It’s got that piano riff that’s instantly memorable and secondary to Tom’s raspy voice. The song had everything that all the glam rock/metal bands where selling, but at the same time it was different enough to be stand out amongst the noise.

“Don’t know what you got till it’s gone
Don’t know what it is I did so wrong
Now I know what I got
It’s just this song
And it ain’t easy to get back
Takes so long”

That’s what being an artist is all about. A need to express yourself. This is something that songs written by a committee cannot really achieve. The real stars of the Eighties wrote and performed their own material.

When you hit bottom, the first thing we turn to is music. Tom Keifer’s raspy voice brings the emotion out and connects on all levels. Truer words have never been spoken especially when in a few years, Tom Keifer would be diagnosed with a collapsed vocal chord. That still didn’t stop them from delivering “Heartbreak Station” and it would be another 4 years until “Still Climbing” hit the streets to a hostile musical climate. It quickly disappeared and their next project ended in a legal mess.

In an interview with Metal Sludge dated June 12, 2001, A&R Guru John Kalonder had this to say about Cinderella;

“Tom Keifer is a very talented musician and has always taken a long time to write a record. In two years, he demo’d some songs, only one of which I thought was good enough to be on a new album after so many years away. Just before we attempted to record some material last winter, I dropped them due to the lack of support from people at my company. Cinderella is one of my favorite bands and I hope they record a record and have great success with it.”

This is what Tom Keifer had to say on it on the matter of new music on Blabbermouth.

“We attempted that in ’98 with Sony and [former A&R executive] John Kalodner and it turned into a big legal hassle and lawsuit, which prevented us from recording the material that they claimed they owned, for five years. . . . Even though they didn’t want to record it. It’s typical in recording contracts. It’s called re-record rights. Once they claim they own the songs, you can’t re-record it for five years. They claimed ownership and decided not to make the record. It was like two years of writing and demos of material that we weren’t allowed to record. Needless to say, we had a slightly bad taste in our mouth. . .”

That’s the music business. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. When the history of hard rock is written by the winners, Cinderella needs to be there. Their first three albums are all masterpieces. Tom Keifer’s vocal style is his life style. When everyone was going for high range vocals in the Eighties, Cinderella brought it all back to basics. With each album they became rawer and dirtier, which was the opposite of what their contemporaries where doing.

Hearing them again today, it sure brought back a lot of memories. Guess you don’t know what you got until it’s gone.

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