Music

Motley Crue and Kiss at the Allphones Arena, Sydney 9th March 2013 – Part 1 – Motley Crue’s Set

Motley Crue and Kiss at the Allphones Arena, Sydney 9th March 2013 – Part 1 – Motley Crue’s Set

Tonight, there’s gonna be a fight
So if you need a place to go
Got two room slum, a mattress and a gun
And the cops don’t never show

The mighty Crue kicked off their set with the excellent Saints of Los Angeles.  Artists these days are not prepared to live the life their heroes lived.  We are all comfy in our middle class homes.  Not the Crue. Anyone who has read The Dirt knows that the Crue’s lifestyle determined their musical style.

I took two of my boys to the concert.  Their first ever RNR concert.  The sound for the Crue was muddled and the drums where very difficult to be heard (whereas Kiss had a far superior mix).  Vince as usual was short of breath and off key.  Maybe the five kidney stones that knocked him out on the next night was the cause.  One thing I can say is that the live show is spectacular, with the lights, the pyro, the backup singers/dancers and Tommy Lee’s rollercoaster. 

So come right in ’cause everybody sins
Welcome to the scene of the crime
You want it? Believe it? We got it if you need it
The devil is a friend of mine

The party line was the scene of the crime.  They lived it, they felt it, they sang it and they made every adolescent kid in the eighties want to do it.    

We are, we are the saints, we signed our life away
Doesn’t matter what you think, we’re gonna do it anyway
We are, we are the saints, one day you will confess
And pray to the saints of Los Angeles

Yes, every band that dreams of fame and fortune, sign their lives away to the Record Label.  From Motley’s perspective, they were four headstrong individuals that wanted to drink and fuck the world.  , It didn’t matter to them what the label said or their manager or agent said they are going to do things their own way.  Not a lot of artists trying to make it these days have that attitude.  It is the ones that do not sell out that end up having a lasting and profitable career.    

Red line tripping on a land mine, sipping at the Troubadour
Girls passed out naked in the back lounge, everybody’s gonna score
She’s all jacked up, she’s down on her luck
You want it, you need it, the devils gonna feed it

The decadence.  Getting tanked at the Troubadour.  I have never been to LA, but listening to this song, made me feel like I have been there and experienced what the Crue did.  The power of music.  It is forever and it touches us all in different ways.  The reference to the devil once again in a song with Saint in the song title.  The Yin and the Yang.  Sharing the groupies with each other and whoever else was in the room.  The debauchery. 

Kneel down ye sinners, to streetwise religion
Greed’s been crowned the new king
Hollywood dream teens, yesterday’s trash queens
Save the blessings for the final ring, Amen

I can’t believe that Nikki Sixx wrote those lyrics when he was shooting up twenty four seven back in 86.  Wild Side is the street man’s bible.  In 1987, Greed had been crowned the new king.  The world was changing.  Technology was starting to get traction and the bankers started to get more power.  Everyone and everything was thrown away as soon as they or it stopped making money for the Corporations. 

I carry my crucifix under my death list
Forward my mail to me in hell
Liars and the martyrs lost faith in the Father
Long lost is the wishing well

Who can we believe in these days?  It seems that evil deeds and good deeds go hand in hand and are committed by the same person.  We lose more and more of our innocence as we get older.  We make choices that are heavily influenced by money. 

Shout shout shout
Shout shout shout
Shout at the devil

Could Shout At The Devil be the best Christian song ever.  Even Stryper would be proud.  Nevertheless, the Crue started the show with three winners.  Ah yes, I still remember the criticism that the Crue took in the 80’s for this album because of the pentagram on the cover.  But as Nikki Sixx described in the Dirt, “It just looks cool. It’s meaningless symbols and s–t. I’m just doing it to piss people off.”  A lot of the artists these days, don’t do this.  They all want to be loved.  It upsets them when they see hate or criticism thrown their way. 

She’s got an alligator bag
Top hat to match
Dressed in black on black
She’s got a Philipino girlie
She claims is her friend
I tell you boys, you just gotta laugh
Now I used to call her Cindy
She changed her name to “Sin”
I guess that’s the name of her game
I really used to love her
Then, the kitty she discovered
It’s got to be a sexual thing

The perfect love song, boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, only for girl to leave boy for another girl.  Only the Crue could have pulled a song off like this and with Nikki’s witty street gutter lyrics, it comes off as a treat.  And they gave a new meaning to what SOS stands for.  Same Ol’ Situation

Everybody wants some, what the hell
Everybody needs some, everybody yell
Ohh (Ohh) , No (No)
Don’t need no lovin, no respect
Cos it’s all about the sex (SEX!)
Cos it’s all about the
Ohh (Ohh) Yeah (Yeah)
What gets me off is a little neglect
Cos it’s all about the sex (SEX!)
It’s all about the

Finally a Crue song about what they like doing best.  Sex.  Two of their stars even stared in their own movies.  Could this be the reason why the Crue returned in 2004 bigger and better?  I think those two sex tapes combined with The Dirt re-launched the Crue and made them relevant again.   They where all over the internet. 

Home Sweet Home didn’t go down to well.  As Tommy Lee was playing the piano, either Vince’s mike got cut or he forgot when to come in.  To me it sounded like he forgot when to come in and this put the band off.  Home Sweet Home was the Turn The Page of 85, and by 86 – Wanted Dead Or Alive by Jovi would have replaced it.

That’s alright, that’s okay
We were walkin’ through some youth
Smilin’ through some pain
That’s alright, that’s okay
Let’s turn the page

Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) was the first song on Dr Feelgood that I repeated constantly.  I loved the title and the way the song starts off as a Rob Stewart Maggie May, before kicking in to a Boston – Don’t Look Back / T Rex style groove.  It was one of those songs that put growing up out there.  It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to be happy.  It’s okay to love and it’s okay to leave.  Just turn the page and move on. 

The Drum solo and guitar solo parts are the weakest part of the shows.  It would have been way cooler if Tommy Lee actually drummed to Primal Scream while doing the drum coaster.  And it would have been way cooler if Mick Mars did an extended solo break on the Home Sweet Home solo with the band and all as his back up, sort of like how John Petrucci does in Hollow Years.

Broke dick dog
My head slung low
Tail knocked in the dirt
Time and time of being told
Trash is all I’m worth
When I was just a young boy
Had to take a little grief
Now that I’m much older
Don’t put your shit on me

Primal Scream was a 90’s version of We’re Not Gonna Take It.  The kid from 1985 is now six years older.  And I didn’t take shit.  I knocked a kid out because he stepped on my school bag.  It was an accident that he stepped on my bag, but man I was an angry kid.  I was angry at the system.  My home life was good, but teachers just didn’t understand me. 

Plug me in
I’m alive tonight
Out on the streets again
Turn me on
I’m too hot to stop
Something you’ll never forget
Take my fist
Break down walls
I’m on top tonight
No, no
You better turn me loose
You better set me free
Cause I’m hot, young, running free
A little bit better than I use to be 

Cause I’m alive
Live Wire

When I first heard Live Wire, I was just a kid.  As I got older, I got stronger.  As I got stronger, I felt invincible.  I believed that I was invincible.  This is before marriage and before kids.  That is when a person’s life becomes complicated in the sense that it is not about them anymore.  Until that day came to me, I was feeling alive and was trying to break down as many walls as I could. 

He’s the one they call Dr. Feelgood
He’s the one that makes ya feel alright
He’s the one they call Dr. Feelgood

Cops on the corner always ignore
Somebody’s getting paid
Jimmy’s got it wired, law’s for hire
Got it made in the shade
Got a little hideaway, does business all day
But at night he’ll always be found
Selling sugar to the sweet
People on the street
Call this Jimmy’s town

The Dr. Feelgood album has gone into history as Motley Crue’s best album and also the album that Metallica wanted to emulate in its sound.  This in turn led to Metallica working with Bob Rock, and the best-selling album of the Sound Scan era.  How cool did Nikki Sixx sum up corruption?  That is why we can never win the war on drugs.  There is too much money going around, and a person on a shitty wage will always be tempted to look the other way.  This is also why the RIAA and MPAA will never win the war on people sharing.  If people want to share, they will share, regardless of the laws and fines around copyright infringement.  If people want to sell drugs and take drugs, they will, regardless of the rules and jail time around it. 

Friday night and I need a fight
My motorcycle and a switchblade knife
Handful of grease in my hair feels right
But what I need to make me tight are

Girls, Girls, Girls
Long legs and burgundy lips
Girls, Girls, Girls
Dancin’ down on Sunset Strip
Girls, Girls, Girls
Red lips, fingertips

Only the Crue could release a song like this.  Again their lifestyles determined their musical styles.  They talk about LA and the Sunset Strip.  It made you want to go there.  Just to see those girls with the long legs and burgundy lips. 

When I get high
I get high on speed
Top fuel funny car’s
A drug for me
My heart, my heart
Kickstart my heart
Always got the cops
Coming after me
Custom built bike doing 103
My heart, my heart
Kickstart my heart

This is the song where Vince sings the words When I, speed and me from the first four lines.  That’s it, that is all he sang.  I couldn’t stop laughing.  Kickstart My Heart = taking things we do in life and doing then to the extreme.  A lot of people link this song to Nikki Sixx’s overdose and resurrection and the title does make you believe that is so.  However the only reference to that part of his life is the lyric Adrenalin running through my veins.  To me this how we should live our lives.  If we are not doing things out of our comfort zone and pushing ourselves we could end up like the billions around the world, toeing the same line of live, work and die.  

Crue set is over, my two boys are like WOW.  And that in itself is worth the $800 i paid for 4 tickets.  This is my third time seeing the Crue.  This show for me was all about experiencing them with my kids.  Hopefully when they come around again a few years time my one year old will be old enough to come.

Next up KISS.

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Music

Teaser

Teaser

I first heard Teaser when Motley Crue covered it for the Stairway to Heaven/Highway To Hell  compilation album for the Moscow Peace Festival.  This was back in 1989, and I saw the writer was a T.Bolin.  Pre Internet era, meant I had to go to the record shop (which in my case was Rings Music World) and ask them if they have anything on T.Bolin?

The lady knew me well  as I was a chronic asker of music that she never had in stock and she knew very well, that she was going to spend time looking through massive folders from different distributers.

Lo and behold, she told me that she can import it in and it was going to cost $40 to get it in on LP.  I said import in.  Think about that for a second.  I spent $40 on an album that I only one song on it.  That is the power of music and the need to have that one song.  And it was the last song on Side A.  It was written by Tommy Bolin and Jeff Cook who was in the band American Standard and Energy  with Bolin in the late sixties.

The first thing that grabs you is that funky sleazy riff and the wolf whistle slide guitar.

That woman’s got a smile
Puts you in a trance
And just one look at her
Makes you wanna dance
Those dark and those red ruby lips
Only a fool would pass them by
With just a hint of ruthlessness
Sparklin’ in her eye

After hearing that first verse I was reminded how similar Bon Jovi got to it with You Give Love A Bad Name.   And then the chorus comes in.

She’s a teaser and she’s got no heart at all
She’s a teaser and she’ll tempt you ’till you fall.
Yeah she’ll tempt ya ’till ya fall.

Who hasn’t come across a woman like that?

She sips gin from a teacup, wears those fancy clothes
And somebody always knows her no matter where she goes
She’ll talk to you in riddles that have no sense or rhyme
And if you ask her what she means, says she don’t got no time

The second verse reminds me of T-Rex’s Get It On,

Well you’re dirty and sweet
Clad in black, don’t look back and I love you
You’re dirty and sweet, oh yeah
Well you dance when you walk
So let’s dance, take a chance, understand me
You’re dirty sweet and you’re my girl

Then the solo breakdown section kicks in where it’s just the bass and drums simulating an excited heartbeat at the beginning and it moves into a free form jazz fusion lead break.  Jeff Porcaro from Steely Dan and Toto fame played drums and Stanley Sheldon from Peter Frampton’s band played bass.

As I listened to the album over and over again, I found other gems in the instrumental Homeward Strut, with its James Gang Funk inspired verses and its unbelievable harmony lick that acts as a Chorus.

The piano ballad Dreamer with Glen Hughes singing the last verse (even though he is uncredited) and piano played by David Foster, the same David Foster that would go on to produce and compose songs for Whitney Houston, Michael Buble and many others.

You have the blues funk of Savannah Woman with Phil Collins even providing percussion.

Side 2 doesn’t have the same impact as Side 1.  People People is lacklustre, while Marching Powder is a jazz fusion instrumental, reminiscent of Return to Forever. Wild Dogs is so so, but the closer Lotus makes up for it with its fusion of hard rock, blues, jazz, funk  and synth orientated pop.

Similar in structure to Teaser, it has that unbelievable breakdown solo section, which closes the album.

In 1975, he released Teaser and Come Taste the Band with Deep Purple, and in 1976 he released Private Eyes in September.  By December he was dead.  His music forever lives.

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