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

The Ballad Of Bob Daisley

The music business is tough. Regardless of the opportunities that the Internet has given to creators, it is the rich that still control the business. The term rich these days can range from executives to artists. For those artists that played the game and succeeded, kudos to them. For those artists that played the game, succeeded, lost it all and re-succeeded, special kudos to them.

However as time passes, the artists and executives that have come out on top start to rewrite history, trumping up their roles in previous events in order to suit their point of view and positions of power in the present day.

The wife of Peter Criss has called his biography “full of lies”. Tom Werman has disputed events in Nikki Sixx’s “The Heroin Diaries”. Dee Snider even disputed the authenticity of an heroin addict keeping a diary.

However, what happens when an artist in a position of power at the moment, does their best to undermine the work of previous people in their career. One such case is Ozzy Osbourne and his partner in crime Sharon Osbourne.

Has anyone heard of the “Whigs”? The whiggish view on history is a view which holds that history follows a path of inevitable progression and improvement and which judges the past in light of the present. They fail to look at other factors and failures or other paths that where taken.

This is what the Osbourne’s have done to Bob Daisley. They are trying to re-write history to show that Ozzy Osbourne himself was the main reason why his solo career progressed. They are omitting important facts that when Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley signed on, it was always spoken of as a band. They are omitting important facts that the band was actually called Blizzard Of Ozz. They are omitting important facts of Ozzy punching Randy, because Randy didn’t want to do a live covers album of Black Sabbath songs. Most importantly, they are omitting the main fact, that Bob Daisley served as the lyricist for the band for six albums.

The first slap in the face of Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake was the “Diary of A Madman” album. On the sleeve, Rudy Sarzo is credited as playing bass and Tommy Aldridge is credited as drummer, however both people have come out and said that they didn’t play a note on the album. Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake played on the album, however they are not credited. That is why a dispute occurred. It is in relation to unpaid performance royalties.

In 1986, Daisley and Kerslake took Jet Records and Don Arden (Sharon’s father) to a London court. Of course they won the case, and they thought that they would get their royalties and that “Diary of a Madman” credits would be changed. It didn’t happen. Having had a long relationship with Ozzy, he still believed that it would be sorted out. Promises were made, however nothing changed. His life was threatened when he asked about his royalties.

Unbeknown to Daisley was that Ozzy and Sharon had bought the rights to Ozzy from Don Arden and Jet Records in 1983.

If Daisley was not good at what he did, why would the Osborne’s call him back to write lyrics and music for “Bark At The Moon”, “The Ultimate Sin”, “No Rest For The Wicked” and “No More Tears”.

Daisley was constantly ignored, until he took the Osborne’s to court for unpaid performance royalties for the “Blizzard Of Ozz” and “Diary Of A Madman” albums. In response to that, the Osbourne camp removed both Daisley’s bass and drummer Lee Kerslake’s parts from the new re-issued versions of Blizzard and Diary, opting for Ozzy’s current drummer (Mike Bordin from Faith No More) and bass player (Rob Trujilo now Metallica) to record their own parts onto the CD. This happened for the 2002 re-issues.

However in 2011, the original tracks were reinstated for the 30th anniversary issue.

Entertainment attorney Steven Machat, who was involved in the deal Osbourne signed with Jet Records, said in his 2011 book “Gods, Gangsters and Honour: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Odyssey” that Osbourne’s soon-to-be manager and wife Sharon Arden was not happy with the level of creative input Kerslake, Rhoads and Daisley had in the “Blizzard of Ozz” album and did not want them to share the credit.

As a songwriter I have had people that were not even in the band when the song was created put in song writer percentages claims on songs. Those songs I also had registered years prior. It is a frustrating and unregulated process, where the onus was on me, the main songwriter to prove that I was the sole songwriter, while the fraud claimers on my songs just sat back. Because, they didn’t care. If I couldn’t prove that they were my songs, then they get a credit for something they didn’t do. If I could prove that they were my songs, then they just lied a bit more, until they lost interest. So I can feel the frustration and disappointment that Bob Daisley would have felt being written out of Ozzy’s history as merely a session player.

Especially when you look at the plethora of information out there that clearly states that Ozzy’s post Sabbath project was a band. All of the Randy Rhoads material written after his death states the same, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake state the same, initial publicity releases state the same, however Ozzy and Sharon state differently.

The sad thing is that if anyone reads the credits to the “Bark At The Moon” album, you will see it listed as “All music and lyrics by Ozzy Osbourne.” Like, yeah right, Ozzy really churned out all of those riffs. It is sad at to what level the Osbourne’s stooped at that stage. One more thing, read the book from Ozzy and tell me how many times he mention Jake E. Lee in the book. But that is a story for another day.

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Alternate Reality, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Is Nikki Sixx A Revisionist?

When I was studying a subject called Science and Technology at Uni, one of the topics dealt with a term called “Whig history.” For the uninitiated, this term in pop culture means, looking back at the past, with the mindset and views that you have now, and rewriting the history to suit your view points at this point in time. Of course the meaning of Whig history is more detailed, however unpacking the full history behind it, in this blog, is for another day.

Anyway here is an example of a Whig history (especially made up by me for this blog post);
“Motley Crue changed the way bands would record music videos with the release of Smokin In the Boys Room in 1985. Their fearless leader, Nikki Sixx turned the clichéd video clip into a mini movie format. The rest of the music world needed to follow suit or they would be left behind. Video clips by Twisted Sister, Van Halen, Michael Jackson would all follow the new mini movie format made popular by Nikki Sixx.”

The above is factually incorrect. In addition, the time line of events are incorrect. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” came first, in December 1983. Then in April 1984, Twisted Sister unleashed “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and not soon after “I Wanna Rock.” Also in the same year came “Hot For Teacher” from Van Halen. “Smokin In The Boys Room” didn’t come until 1985.

The above example is to illustrate a revisionist view on history, that takes the view point of a “super hero” and how that super hero changed the course of the music industry.

First, let me say that I am a fan of Motley Crue. Growing up in the Eighties, Motley Crue and the attitude they exhibited was something that I could relate too. I have read “The Heroin Diaries”, “This Is Gonna Hurt” and “The Dirt”. I have also read “Tommyland” and “Tattoos & Tequila: To Hell and Back with One of Rock’s Most Notorious Frontmen.”

Since Motley Crue was the top band in the Eighties for me, I devoured as much information as I could on the band. This included taping interviews from all the various music shows, buying the expensive U.S magazines and trading with other hard rock fans in my local area. For example, I would give them a Poison poster and they would give me stuff on Motley Crue that I didn’t have.

So after reading the books above, especially the solo books, I was confused with some of the information that was put out there. Vince Neil’s is the worst one and his book was a very painful one to read. For the casual fan they wouldn’t notice these changes to the mythology of Motley Crue, however for the hard core, some things just didn’t sit right.

Doing the rounds at the moment are comments by Sebastian Bach. To recap, Bach claims that he was asked to join Motley Crue, before they fired Vince Neil. Nikki Sixx said that was not true. Bach took offence to that, you know that whole “don’t call me a liar” argument. In his rebuttal, Bach makes a reference to Nikki Sixx’s “The Heroin Diaries” book as being inaccurate and he also mentions that a jam session took placed between Nikki, Tommy, Mick and Sebastian. Nikki Sixx has yet to respond to this. This isn’t the first time that Nikki Sixx’s version of events has been questioned.

John Corabi, the vocalist that ended up replacing Vince Neil has also disputed certain sections of “The Dirt.” In addition, Phil Lewis from L.A Guns has called “The Heroin Diaries” a fraud. The most famous of all rebuttals is Tom Werman’s which calls Nikki Sixx a “revisionist.” Even Dee Snider, in his opening forewarning of “Shut Up And Give Me The Mic” alludes to a book written by a junkie as not being factually correct.

So how much of the truth did Nikki Sixx tweak and re-envision for the sake of a story line?

At least the soundtrack to “The Heroin Diaries” was mind blowing.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories

Persistence, Timing, Diversification and playing to your core audience

I am reading the recent issue of Guitar World and I come across a question where Mick Jones from Foreigner is asked how it was to work with Mutt Lange? For those that don’t know Mutt Lange produced the Foreigner 4 album in 1981.

Mutt had really wanted to do our second album [1978’s Double Vision], I believe. But he didn’t seem quite ready at the time. So we did the next one [1979’s Head Games] with Roy Thomas Baker.

So Lange goes away and he proves himself to Foreigner. He takes on AC/DC and produces Highway to Hell in 1979 (their American breakthrough album) and Back in Black in 1980 (their first with Brian Johnson and their biggest album in regards to sales to date). He also produced For Those About To Rock We Salute You in 1981.

He didn’t just give up. In between the period between 1977 and 1981, apart from AC/DC, he also produced albums for artists like City Boy, Clover, Supercharge, The Boomtown Rats, The Rumour, Savoy Brown, Michael Stanley Band, Outlaws, Deaf School, The Records and Broken Home. He is paying his dues, getting the stats on his side, just so that he can work with a band that he wants to work with.

… then Mutt was kind of knocking on the door again. I must say, he was quite enthusiastic.

Then he gets the gig to do Foreigner4 which came out in 1981. Persistence. Paying your dues. Credentials. Hard work. Timing. They all play important parts in the recipe for success.

Mutt’s persistence to hard work, made him turn over a lot of records as a producer. A lot of those records made a large impression with the public.
Mutt’s timing was off when he first approached Foreigner in 1978. It wasn’t off in 1981. This time around he also had the credentials to back himself. For a producer, your credentials are the works that you produced, for an artist, your credentials is the music that you make.

He was the first producer I worked with who really challenged me. He was not only very insightful with the songs and in helping to bring them to fruition but he was also really great at achieving sounds.

The real rock stars hated to get challenged. The “songs are their children” is a common cliché that so many of them would say. Mutt Lange didn’t give a shit about that. He wanted perfection. He wanted greatness. He wanted to be involved in something that would last forever.

He was just unbelievably dedicated to the process…to the point where I think we kept Def Leppard waiting six or nine months because Mutt was still working with us on 4.

Def Leppard waited for him. Why? They knew. They knew that this guy was special. They knew he was the person that would be able to capture their pop leanings and merge them with their rock and blues influences. All of that pales, compared to what they really needed. Def Leppard needed a song writing partner. Look at the history that they created.

Def Leppard – High ‘N’ Dry, 1981
Def Leppard – Pyromania, 1983
Def Leppard – Hysteria, 1987
Def Leppard – Adrenalize, 1992

Mutt really set a standard with Def Leppard. I called it the layers standard. Others call it the over dubs or over producing standard. Others call it multi-tracking. The fans loved it. They wanted the big vocals, the arena rock chorus’s layered in harmonies. Once Hysteria exploded every other band released albums in the same layered style. Suddenly every hard rock band was doing the Bon Jovi and Def Leppard thing. Kiss went all pop metal with Crazy Nights and Hot In The Shade. Whitesnake did it with Slip Of The Tongue. However, there was one band that was doing things their own way. That one band is called Guns N Roses. I digress.

Once you become successful, it doesnt mean you stop. Mutt Lange didn’t. He kept on going.

Song writing for other artists became a new income stream for him from the eighties onwards. As an artist, if all you do is just write music and perform it live, you are limiting yourself to that income stream. However, if you write songs for other artist, you have an additional income stream. If you produce for up and coming bands, sharing your expertise and knowledge, then you have another income stream. If you are a guitar player, become a guitar teacher on time off from recording and touring. That is another income stream. Suddenly, you have a years’ worth of work. Yes it is hard work. It was never meant to be easy.

Look at the following list of people that keep on working hard;

Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater. He plays keyboards in Dream Theater, he is a solo musician, he is an instructor and he is an app developer.

Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria. He is the founder, singer, guitarist and main songwriter for Coheed and Cambria. He also has a side project called Prize Fighter Inferno. He has written novels and comics. He appears at Comic Conventions. He has just signed a production agreement for The Amory Wars story to be turned into a movie or movies. He is also an app game developer.

Corey Taylor is another. The recent House of Gold and Bones releases by Stone Sour have seen that concept story turned into a graphic novel and comic book, as well as a production deal to turn it into a movie. Apart from Stone Sour, Corey still tours with Slipknot. He is also a novelist.

Nikki Sixx is the leader of Motley Crue. He does Sixx A.M as another band. He does photography and his work is being exhibited on line. He has penned two autobiographies (The Dirt and The Heroin Diaries), as well as a picture book/biography for This is Gonna Hurt. He uses social media to build connections with fans. Finally, he is overseeing the long overdue Motley Crue movie. There is also the SixxSense “radio” gig and a range of other outlets like clothing and accessories.

Phil X is currently fill in guitarist for Bon Jovi. He is a session musician. He is a fill in guitarist .He is a solo artist. He is a band member. He is a guitar teacher. Five different income streams. He endorses different product lines of gear.

Kevin Churko is a producer, sound engineer, masterer, mixer and a songwriter. While his production credits involve the hard rock and metal genre, I bet a lot of people didn’t know that he was involved with Britney Spears when he started off. Yep that is right. In 2000 he was the Digital Editing and Programming guru on Britney’s Oops!… I Did It Again album. He had that same job title for The Corrs, Shania Twain and Celine Dion albums that followed between 2000 and 2003.

From 2003 onwards, he then started getting appointments as an Engineer and a mixer. He had those titles for Shania Twain and Ozzy Osbourne albums.

Then from 2006 and onwards he started getting producing appointments.

Churko built up a credentialed name for himself between 1999 and 2006. Since then he has done I Don’t Wanna Stop, Black Rain and Scream by Ozzy Osbourne. Apart from being the Producer, he was also the Engineer, the Mixer and Composer.

He has filled the same role for In This Moment, Hinder, Beggars and Thieves, Emerson Drive, Five Finger Death Punch, Otherwise, Kobra and The Lotus and Rob Zombie.

The point in all of this. Success in music is not just about writing a song and watching it sell. You need to earn your success. You need to pay your dues. You need to live and experience life. You need to be patient. You need to persevere. The bottom line; don’t quit.

And remember: still play to your core audience. That is what all of the above artists are doing. They are keeping their core audience satisfied.

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Music, Stupidity

Overdoses, Dysfunctional Bands and Jon Bon Jovi

So the word on the web is that Jon Bon Jovi tells Richie Sambora that he thought drug overdoses could only happen in Richie’s household. Thus was at the time when Jon’s daughter Stephanie had an overdose.

Truth or lie, only Jon and Richie know. The point. Bands are dysfunctional. They always have been and always will be. If there is truth to the rumour, how can Jon say something like that to a person that has co written the majority of the songs with him.

The comments about Sambora being easily replaceable adds further weight to the argument that Jon is simply an asshole and self centered.

Read The Dirt or The Heroin Diaries for how it was to be in Mötley Crüe.

Watch The History of the Eagles to hear the comment from Don Henley on the break up. He called it a horrible relief.

Robb Flynn from Machine Head has been very open about the firing of Adam Duce. He mentioned that Adam’s heart hadn’t been in it for a long time.

Dokken is the poster child for dysfunction.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

Nikki Sixx – What Do You Mean I Don’t Write Good Lyrics?

Nikki Sixx is one of the most active artists there is.  Apart from doing the Motley Crue shows, he does Sixx A.M., he does photography, he has a presence on social media and he does his radio show.  Somewhere in between he finds time to also be a family man.

A few days ago, his mother passed away, and from that tragedy, it got me to go back and listen to the music that Nikki Sixx has created.

Dancing On Glass (1987) from Girls, Girls, Girls

Going way too fast
Gonna burn and crash
Valentine’s in London
Found me in the trash

I’m no puppet
I engrave my veins with style

It is the Mick Mars guitar riff that hooked me first, using the renowned devil tri-tone.  It’s rock ‘n’ evil and  it’s Nikki’s memoir to his heroin addiction.  Life Is Beautiful (2007) from The Heroin Diaries by Sixx A.M. goes a step better (plus the chorus line gives a nice nod to Duran’s Duran’s Come Undone).

 

There’s nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive

How true is that? We complain about our life, sometimes even wishing that we are dead and then when tragedy strikes, we realise how alive we really are.

Find Myself (1997) from Generation Swine and Heart Failure (2007) from The Heroin Diaries from Sixx A.M. explore the addictions of Nikki Sixx with lyrics like “I gotta find myself some drugs, I gotta find some liquid sunshine” and “I miss today I miss the past, I miss my veins ’cause they’ve collapsed.”

However the best song that captures Nikki’s addiction is Girl With Golden Eyes (2007) from The Heroin Diaries by Sixx A.M.

She speaks to me in Persian
Tells me that she loves me
The girl with golden eyes
And though I hardly know her
I let her in my veins
And trust her with my life

I love the heroin and girl romance analogy. Credit also goes to James Michael and DJ Ashba.

On With The Show (1981) from Too Fast For Love

Frankie died just the other night
Some say it was suicide

Nikki has gone on record to say that On With The Show is about him leaving his birth name behind and taking on the Nikki Sixx name.  The reference to Frankie is a reference to himself.

Dr Feelgood (1989) from 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

It’s a movie scene. It paints a picture. It’s Scarface and Jimmy is Al Pacino. Music done right is timeless. Dr Feelgood is timeless and it is Nikki Sixx at his sober best for the first time. 

Primal Scream (1991) from Decade Of Decadence

Broke dick dog
My head slung low
Tail knocked in the dirt
Time and time of being told
Trash is all I’m worth

Primal Scream was rewritten again as Face Down In The Dirt (2008) from Saints Of Los Angeles. 

All I ever heard as a kid was “you’re born to lose”
All I ever wanted was a shot at breakin’ the rules

Stick To Your Guns (1981) from Too Fast For Love is the original Primal Scream. 

You got to stick to your guns
What’s right for you, ain’t right for everyone

What’s It Gonna Take (2008) from Saints Of Los Angeles

So we wrote another song cut a demo on a dime
They didn’t like the sound, we didn’t fit the times
The radio station said “it’s way too loud”

I really like the autobiographical nature of songs.  Down At The Whisky (2008) from Saints Of Los Angeles covers the same theme of the band trying to make it.

We slept all day in our clothes
That’s OK in hollywood
Another shot, another show
All night long at the whisky a-go-go

Poison Apples (1994) from Motley Crue

Took a Greyhound Bus down to Heartattack and Vine with a fistful of dreams and dimes
So far out didn’t know that I was in
Had a taste for a life of slime

When push came to shove, the music was the drug and the band always got to play
Sex, smack, rock, roll, mainline, overdose
Man, we lived it night and day

Poison Apples and Danger also tell the story of the band’s early days.

Danger (1983) from Shout At The Devil

So we took our dreams
Ran like hell
Lived our youth
From the wishing well
Me and the boys
Made a pack
To live or die
No turning back

Then the band finally gets signed and become slaves to the machine with a stiff middle finger raised at all authority.

Welcome To The Machine (2008) from Saints of Los Angeles

 

 

Welcome to the machine
Once it sucks you in you’ll never leave
Grind you up spit you out
After all you’re just a piece of meat
Welcome to the machine

Saints Of Los Angeles (2008) from Saints of Los Angeles

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.

Home Sweet Home (1985) from Theatre Of Pain

 

Just one more night
And I’m comin’ off this
Long & winding road

Every band that spends a lot of time on the road ends up writing a song about the road.  Bob Seger did it with Turn The Page, Bon Jovi did it with Wanted Dead or Alive, Motley Crue did it with Home Sweet Home and the unreleased track Rodeo from the Girls, Girls, Girls sessions.

Rodeo (1987) from Girls, Girls, Girls

Another day, another night on stage
Lights go down, time to turn the page
Was this all I ever wanted to be
Six hundred miles, the highway calls
Another long day, now the hours get small
Riding out this rock n roll rodeo

No accolade to Nikki Sixx would be complete without reference to his favourite topic, SEX.

Girls, Girls, Girls (1987) from Girls, Girls, Girls

I got the photos, a menage a trois

Ten Seconds To Love (1983) from Shout At The Devil

Bring a girlfriend
Maybe bring two I got my camera
Make a star outta you
Let’s inject it
Photograph it

It’s like Nikki new that Tommy Lee and Vince Neil would end up in their own sex tapes.  That’s what happens when you have keepsakes.

Punched In The Teeth By Love (2000) from New Tattoo

Construction work it’s silicone
Lights are on but no one’s home (wow)
She’s painted blue like a cartoon
Every man in town went on the honeymoon

I really like the cartoonish vibe in this song.  The lyrics are witty and funny.  Was Nikki referencing Pamela Anderson.

THEN comes the new Holy Bible, Nikki Sixx style.

Wild Side (1987) from Girls, Girls, Girls is Save Our Souls part 2. 

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

Save Our Souls (1985) from Theatre of Pain

Black Angels laughing in the city streets
Street toys scream in pain and clench their teeth
The moonlight spot lights all the city crime
Got no religion, Laugh while they fight

Save our souls for the heavens
For a life so good it sure feels bad
Save our souls for the heavens
Save our souls for the promised land

Sure Feels Right (2011) from This Is Gonna Hurt by Sixx A.M.

I’m driving down Sunset Boulevard,
Sex Pistols on the radio in my car,
And I must be high,
I just saw Jesus walk by.

Again, a picture is painted with these four lines.  I can relate. I can’t even recall how many times I have seen Jesus look a likes among the homeless.  Oh My God covers this theme even better.

Oh My God (2011) from The Heroin Diaries by Sixx A.M.

And we sit in our highrise apartments and complain about things that don’t matter,
And we race through this life just to see who can die with as much as we can gather,
And a few blocks away a teenage mother plays Russian Roulette with her daughter,
Is this the best that we can do, is this the best that we can do.

We focus on all the wrong things.  Nikki even eluded to it, in his recent Facebook posts.

Thank you for all the supportive posts here and on Twitter about the passing of my Mom.Her and my grandfather Tom’s recent passing is a gentle reminder of how fragile time is and a not so gentle sledgehammer to the heart that non of us get out of this life alive.If your wasting time procrastinating on anything trust me when I say “You’ll be sorry”.

I waited too long after a rocky road with my mother to try and rebuild the broken fence’s.You can never get time back.We all make mistakes and that was mine…..Again,thank you because it reminds me reading your posts how much we’re all alike…….

And of course that post, reminded me of a song that was released by the Brides of Destruction.

Life (2004) from Here Comes The Brides by Brides of Destruction

This is life this is it
It’s not everything you want
It’s everything you get believe it
It’s not worth leaving
Yeah this is life once again
It’s been knocking at your door
You ought to let it in
Don’t waste it it’s time you faced it

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