Sex. Drugs. Rock and roll. That’s what the music we love is all about…or at least was all about. From Led Zeppelin and the infamous mud shark story to Def Leppard having groupies beneath their stage to all the drugs and alcohol ingested by Nikki Sixx alone, the days of true rock and roll debauchery are disappearing. Somewhere between grunge and now, these notorious ingredients seemed to have slipped out of the rock and roll recipe one by one.
These days, bands still like to sing about sleeping around and downing a bottle of Jack Daniels, but I certainly haven’t witnessed any of it happening. I’ve been backstage at quite a few shows and I haven’t seen any of the legendary debauchery that rock and roll is so well known for. And for the record, I didn’t get backstage by getting on my knees; I either lucked out or knew someone who was nice enough to hook me up. It’s honestly quite shocking how tame backstage really is. Aside from my Dave Navarro incident (which really wasn’t that crazy), I have yet to see anything really, really crazy go down after a show. I’ve even been backstage at a Motley Crue show and…NOTHING.
Why such a drastic decline in after show indulgence? Perhaps a lot of these rock stars are older and wiser and know better now. Or maybe it’s that we live in a more health conscience world and rock stars want to take better care of themselves. I mean, not all of them can be like Keith Richards, right? It could be that with the birth of the internet and cell phone cameras, rock stars are afraid that actual evidence/footage of their debauchery could be spread to millions with the just a click of a button. Perhaps it’s because rock stars, old and new, are recovering addicts. Or maybe these newfangled rock stars know that there’s NO WAY they could ever live up to the likes of Motley Crue or Led Zeppelin, so why even bother? Or maybe I’ve been backstage at the wrong shows at the wrong times. Or maybe I’m just stupid and blind.
Don’t get me wrong. I am well aware that the rock stars of today drink and do drugs and sleep with hundreds of women, but it just doesn’t seem to be as in your face as it used to be. Back in the day, I envisioned liquor flowing freely, half naked groupies running around and servicing roadies, and rock stars snorting coke off of the asses of strippers in front of god and everyone. Today, it’s either not happening or it’s happening behind closed, locked and protected doors. The only current band I’ve heard any bad stories about is Hinder, but I’ve never been backstage at one of their shows so I can neither confirm nor deny those rumors.
Years go by and times change. I suppose sex, drugs and rock and roll couldn’t sustain themselves at full throttle forever. They were bound to shift back down to first gear at some point. So will debauchery continue to decline? Or will it make a resurgence in the next few years?
It’s been five years since the metal world was changed forever. Five years since we sat in stunned silence at the tragedy that befell one of the greatest metal guitarists of our time. On December 8, 2004, Dimebag Darrell and three others were abruptly and brutally taken from us. It’s a moment I will NEVER forget.
As I sat on the couch with my boyfriend (who is now my husband) watching TV, the phone rang around 11pm. It was strange that anyone was calling this late. My boyfriend answered and it was his mother in total hysterics trying to figure out if we were OK. I saw the look on his face change immediately as he grabbed the remote and changed the channel to the local news. Looking at the TV I thought, “Hey, why is the Alrosa on TV?” Then the little details started coming and my jaw dropped to the floor. The Alrosa is five minutes from our house. My husband grew up there (literally). We go to shows there all the time. Our friends’ bands play there. We were supposed to be there that night. What the fuck just happened at our bar?
At that time, there were no confirmed details about who was dead. We just knew there was a shooting and people were dead. Witnesses were giving their tear filled accounts to the press and my heart just sank. I just kept thinking to myself, “Don’t let it be Dimebag. Don’t let it be Dimebag…” But the next morning, my worst fears were confirmed.
As I drove to work, I listened to Vulgar Display of Power, cried and hit my steering wheel over and over and over again. Throughout the course of the day, I found out that we had friends there who were on the stage when it happened…who witnessed it all. One of the guys who died, Erin Halk, was a good friend of one my friends. Eventually it hit me that we were actually supposed to be at that show but for whatever reason, we didn’t make it. We were a couple of the lucky ones who missed this carnage, but the effects of this on our lives were like we were right there in the thick of it.
Pantera was one of those bands that changed my life. I saw them on the Cowboys from Hell tour opening up for Skid Row. Then I saw them live twice a year for the next few years. They are one of my all time favorite bands. To have one of the members brutally killed and taken from us WAY too early at a venue that I frequent on a regular basis by a mentally unstable asshole who deserved his ending, was devasting for me and for the metal community. It’s a piece of music history that didn’t need to be written.
On this day, let’s celebrate Dimebag, his life and his music. His guitar playing and his music changed the face of metal and changed lives. Let’s celebrate the lives of the others who died in this tragedy: Jeff Thompson, Nathan Bray and Erin Halk. And let’s thank Officer James Niggemeyer for putting an end to this before it got any worse.
Five years later…and it still hurts like a fresh wound. R.I.P Dimebag. We miss you.
I can’t lie. I’m a sucker for lists and surveys. When friends send those stupid email questionnaires, I’m always the first to respond. It’s really hard for me to resist all the stupid surveys on Facebook. So when trying to decide what to write for Rock Whiplash, I decided to create my own little survey of sorts. It’s short and sweet and to the point: What are your top 5 favorite songs of all time?
Why favorite songs? Because I’m pretty sure I did a list of the top 10 most influential albums. Why just 5? I don’t know…because I just felt like making it difficult. I know I could list WAY more than 5. So without further ado, here is the list of my top 5 most favorite songs of all time.
1. Kashmir – As far as I’m concerned, this is the greatest rock song ever written by one of the greatest rock bands to ever exist, Led Zeppelin. The song is big, full, rich and kick ass. This song is just f-ing amazing. It’s rock & roll at it’s finest.
2. Home Sweet Home – Did you really think I’d get through a musical list of any kind without including Motley Crue? Not a chance. Although many would argue that Motley Crue has many songs that are better, this is the song that is closest to my heart. It reminds me of childhood and running home from school every day to watch the video on MTV. To this day, I get all girly and teary eyed whenever I hear it live.
3. Stranglehold – In my opinion, it may be Ted Nugent’s greatest song. The guitar is SO f-ing incredible and memorable. This song just oozes sex from beginning to end. From the sound to the tempo…it just makes me want to get it on. Was that too much information? Sorry. What can I say? Guys watch porn and I listen to Stranglehold.
4. Don’t Cry – A Guns N’ Roses masterpiece. Although Welcome to the Jungle put the boys on the map and is probably the most recognizable of all their songs, Don’t Cry is my favorite. It’s pure genius and it’s beautiful.
5. I Want You to Want Me – I know, I know. It’s cheesy and it’s most likely every girl’s favorite song. But I can’t help but bounce around and sing along when it comes on the radio. It just makes me happy.
So go ahead and list’em folks! I want to know what your all time favorite songs are. After you share your list, go on over to my blog and read my interview with the lovely Ms. Lita Ford.
Kid Rock and Hank Williams, Jr. Bon Jovi and Sugarland. And now Sebastian Bach and Big and Rich. Rock’s going country, folks. Get ready for it.
Kid Rock and Hank I get. He’s always had a bit of a outlaw country, red neck attitude about him. Bon Jovi and Sugarland I didn’t really get, and I’m not sure many people did. Yes, they had a catchy, hit tune but here is my issue with it: Sugarland wasn’t featured in the version that was played on pop/rock stations, but they were featured on the version that was played on the country stations. What the hell is that all about?
After winning CMT’s Gone Country, Sebastian Bach is now setting his sights on taking over Music City like he did with Detroit Rock City. With his winnings from Gone Country, Bach made a video for his song Battle With the Bottle. Yes, it’s been out for a while, but I was reintroduced to it after reading Bach’s latest interview on Noisecreep. In all honesty…the song’s pretty good. I’m not a fan of all this new country bullshit; however, I am a fan of old school, outlaw country. According to the Noisecreep interview, Bach is a fan of the same kind of country I am, and I believe that’s what lead him to writing a pretty decent country song. It still has an air of modern day country to it, but I think that’s hard to avoid with his stellar and legendary voice.
My only gripe about Bach’s venture into country music (aside from the cowboy hat he wears in the video…really? You couldn’t find a better cowboy hat?), is his partnership with John Rich. It was only natural for him to work with Rich since he was the judge on Gone Country, but for me, Big and Rich and Cowboy Troy are part of what’s wrong with country music today; they make pop country, not real country. Save A Horse Ride A Cowboy is crap.
However, I will give John Rich credit for seeing the talent in Bach and taking him under his wing and helping him develop it. Without that help, I don’t think Bach would be able to navigate his way through the country roads as successfully. I’m not saying that Bach will be the next biggest country star, but he certainly has the potential to do very well. He’s made guest appearances at a couple of Big and Rich shows and may end up going full time on their Canadian tour starting in January.
How do you feel about rock stars making the cross over to country? Love it? Hate it? And do you think country stars could make the cross over to rock? I believe Garth Brooks tried with his alter ego, Chris Gaines, and that went terribly wrong.
For a song that is NOT terribly wrong, check out my blog for a FREE download from the band, Strung Out!
There’s no doubt in my mind that most of you guys out there have no interest whatsoever in reading about a wedding. However, I ask that you keep reading this post because you may just be interested in reading about mine. See, I didn’t have an ordinary, traditional wedding. Oh no, that’s just not my style. Instead, I had an all out, full blown rock & roll wedding from start to finish. It rocked so hard we blew fuses. Beat that!
First of all, my husband proposed to me on the Lynyrd Skynyrd Simple Man cruise in January 2008. Seriously…does it get any more rock & roll than that? From that point on, I was in total wedding mode and the gears in my mind were spinning on how I could make my wedding kick ass. Since he and I are both music fiends and he is the guitarist in the greatest band you’ve never listened to, the only option for our wedding theme was rock & roll all the way.
Usually, it’s the bride who gets crazy and goes overboard trying to find the perfect dress. Not this bride! Instead, it was the groom who went all out on his outfit. My husband got a one of a kind, custom made jacket made by the legendary Manuel from Nashville, TN. Manuel has made outfits for Gram Parsons, Keith Richards, Johnny Cash and Kid Rock…just to name a few. Needless to say, his jacket was a show stopper and completely stunning. Not as stunning as me, of course!
Instead of wasting hundreds of dollars on fancy shmancy wedding invitations, we decided to get…what else but concert tickets! Yeah, these were real, bonafide concert tickets with the bar code and the shiny seal on the back. To continue with the concert theme, our RSVP’s asked, “Are you on the guest list?” Our guests could then choose, “YES! I’m ready to rock & roll all nite!” or “No, I’m staying Home Sweet Home.” And there was a +1 after their name for their guest. And of course the font used for the RSVP was an AC/DC font. Other rock & roll touches included VIP laminates for our wedding party, custom made guitar picks for wedding favors, and vinyl records incorporated in the centerpieces.
Guests were greeted at the venue and given a “set list” instead of program. Inside the set list, each member of the bridal party was given a special title from lead guitar to sound engineer. As guests were being seated, our good friend, Charlie Starr from Blackberry Smoke, serenaded everyone and played acoustic guitar.
Our musical selection for the entire wedding was crucial and was the only thing my husband and I argued over. We
both had our own ideas and our own suggestions, so it took a lot of compromising before we settled on the perfect play list. The Moms walked down to Love Me Tender by Elvis (my man is a HUGE Elvis freak). The bridal party walked down to Loving Cup by the Rolling Stones. And I walked down the aisle as my big brother played the intro to Tesla’s Love Song on his acoustic guitar. For the recessional, we all walked to Thank You by Led Zeppelin.
The musical overload doesn’t stop there. My husband and I were announced into the reception by our family friend, Rick Catuela – the Rock & Roll Reverend and owner of the Alrosa Villa, as Motley Crue’s Kickstart My Heart blasted. Our first dance was to Johnny Cash’s Rose of My Heart. For the Mother/Son dance, Blackberry Smoke played Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man. And for our cake cutting, we played Cups and Cakes by Spinal Tap. Our cake topper…a miniature replica of Waylon Jennings’ guitar.
We couldn’t have a wedding without having a band play. And since the guys in Blackberry Smoke were there for our proposal, we asked them to play at our wedding. Yes! Blackberry Smoke played at our wedding! They treated our guests to some kick ass southern rock and everyone loved it! There were even people on the band’s message board trying to find the location of our wedding so they could crash it and see them play! We also had Rosie, a well known local band from the 80’s, get up and play a quick set.
We tried to incorporate rock & roll into every aspect of our wedding, including our wedding party. One of the groomsmen, Mark Chatfield, is the guitarst for Bob Seger and was also the guitarist for a band called The Godz. Mark and another groomsman, Ed Means, were also members of Rosie. Our officiant, Mike Nugen, used to play for McGuffy Lane and is currently on tour with Jonalee White playing guitar.
The whole day pretty much kicked ass. It couldn’t have been more perfect and everyone had a blast. Our wedding was totally unique, which made it even more special for everyone, including us. So if you’re planning on getting hitched anytime soon, make sure you go the rock & roll route with your wedding. It’s A LOT more fun.
Make sure you check out my blog for my Cruefest 2 review! Even though Rob Rockitt has way better pictures from Cruefest than I do, you should still read my review…just for entertainment purposes only. ;)
I’ve heard rumors about this phenomenon. It’s something I can’t quite wrap my mind around and don’t know why anyone lets it go on. The first rumblings I ever heard were last year: None of the guys in Hinder actually played on their album, excluding Austin Winkler for obvious reasons. I’m not a huge Hinder fan to begin with, but this just gave me one more excuse to dislike them. Who the hell puts out an album recorded by other musicians…and still has the balls to put their own names on it? Granted, I don’t have any proof whatsoever to prove any of this, nor do I have a Hinder album in my possession to check the credits, but I just wouldn’t put it pass them.
And while on my honeymoon, I was informed by a very good, dear friend who’s worked in the music industry for years that there is a certain VERY well known 80’s rock band who didn’t record their first album. I was in complete shock and was utterly disappointed. Although I have no hard evidence to prove this either, my friend’s word is good enough for me.
Can someone please explain to me why this happens? Why is it that perfectly capable rock stars allow other people to record their albums? It doesn’t make one ounce of sense to me. If these rock stars have to go out on tour, they have to play to a live audience. So why not play on their own album? Regardless, it does make me question the talent of these rock stars since what I hear on the album is a facade. It also makes me doubt whether or not some of my favorite albums were actually recorded by my favorite artists.
And what about the studio musicians who are responsible for these recordings? The problem is that no one will ever know it’s them. And as a musician, how could you let someone else take credit for your hard work? Sure it’s a paid gig, but is it worth it? Perhaps they gain exposure. Maybe it’s the break they need to get their foot in the record company’s door. I just don’t think I’d be able to do the same to get ahead.
Maybe someone out there who knows more about the ins and outs of the music industry can tell me more about this. Or maybe someone can dispel these horrible rumors so I can feel better about the world and regain what little faith I have left in the music industry. I know that the music industry is corrupt, but this is insane.
To break up the monotony of my work day, I like to listen to talk radio. Sure, I listen to music too, but there’s something about talk radio that I thoroughly enjoy. No, I don’t listen to Air America or Rush Limbaugh or NPR. I listen to podcasts that I download for free from iTunes. There’s a great variety of stuff to choose from, including podcasts about metal and rock. One of the podcasts that I listen to daily is the Radio Chick with host Leslie Gold (she dates Carmine Appice, drummer for Vanilla Fudge, brother of Vinny Appice and creator of the drum show SLAMM!). She’s witty, funny, smart and often talks about music and life with Carmine.
In one of her latest podcasts, Leslie raised a very intriguing question: If you could bring back dead rock stars to form a super group to play for you for two hours, who would you bring back? Sound easy? Well, there are rules you must follow. 1. You can only pick one singer, one lead guitarist, one rhythm guitarist, one bass player and one drummer. 2. Whoever you bring back will be brought back at their time of death (ex: If you bring back Elvis, you get fat Elvis, not cool, young Elvis).
There is no rhyme or reason to my choices. I didn’t choose people who would work well together (although they just might). I chose the people I never got to see live and wanted to see.
Drummer – This one is a given…John Bonham. If you don’t pick John Bonham, you may need to get your head checked. He is one of the greatest rock drummers to ever exist. I’d give my first born to see this man play live. OK, maybe not my first born, you get the idea.
Singer – I’m picking Freddy Mercury for the job. What an amazing voice this man had, and I’d be stoked to finally hear it live and in person.
Lead Guitar – Jimi Hendrix is the man. Is there anyone else? He helped change the face of guitar playing as we know it today and he’s a freaking badass.
Rhythm Guitar – Backing up Jimi will be Randy Rhoads. He died way too early. God only knows what potential he had hiding in him.
Bass – On bass will be Cliff Burton, another one who died before he should have.
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Dimebag (I’ve seen him a million times live, but I’d love to see him again)
So who would you choose for your super dead group?
Be sure to check out my blog for my interview with Heather Luttrell who was a contestant on Rock Star INXS. She’s one of the most talented female vocalists I’ve ever heard and her voice reminds me of a dead rock star I’d bring back for a super group…Janis Joplin.
My first reaction was to vomit but now that I can pee on Gene Simmons’ face, I will most certainly do that instead. The business mogul and money hungry musician is the proud owner of his very own urinal cake that has been distributed to bathrooms all over the country. The urinal cake is an advertisement for his reality show, Gene
Simmons’ Family Jewels. That’s right. So now all you guys won’t be bored when you’re taking a leak; you can read the urinal cake to find out when and where to tune in. And that’s not all folks. This urinal cake talks to you. Yes! If your stream hits Gene just right, you’ll get to hear him talk. Will this man stop at nothing to make a buck?
I’m up for new marketing schemes, but this is just freaking ridiculous. Yes, Gene is the king of merchandising from the coffin to the condoms to god knows what else, but a freaking urinal cake? Come on! And the urinal cake doesn’t advertise KISS; it advertises his show that includes his family. Isn’t that a little offensive to his family? If I were his kids or Shannon, I’d be pissed that he would stoop this low just to gain a few extra viewers. I thought maybe, just maybe Gene had some sort of limit to what he would and wouldn’t do; apparently I was very, very wrong.
Does Gene even have a soul anymore? What’s next? A bidet that cleans my ass to a KISS tune? Thank god I’m a woman and have no business doing my business in a urinal. I don’t want that man or his urinal cakes anywhere near my pee hole.
Do you think Gene Simmons is an idiot for letting these urinal cakes be distributed? Or do you think he’s a marketing genius?
And for fun, can you come up with a KISS urinal song title? Check out Classic Rock Magazine for a pretty funny list. My favorites: Christine Latrine and…Lick It Up.
In an interview with Gibson Guitars, guitar god Zakk Wylde called Aerosmith “as phony as Britney Spears” because they used outside songwriters. That’s a pretty big slap in the face to a pretty big, legendary rock band, but does Zakk have a point? He references bands like Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix who didn’t need outside writers, so why does Aerosmith need songwriters? Zakk even brings up a disappointing moment when “professional” song writers were brought in for Ozzy.
I see Zakk’s point. True musicians should be able to write their own music, especially if they’re at the level of Aerosmith. With all those years of experience, why would they need help writing music? Some music elitists would argue that bands who use outside writers aren’t nearly as talented, worthwhile or legitimate. Think about it for a minute…would you consider Britney Spears a REAL artist? Sure, she looks smokin’ hot, she can dance, and she’s got an incredible career, but how many songs has she written all by herself without any help from anyone? Let’s not even mention the fact that I’m not even sure she can really sing. Yes, I catch myself bobbing my head to her tunes when they come on the radio, but I’m not sure I’d be so quick to call her an artist. So if there are all these “artists” out there who sing other people’s songs and make millions and we don’t think that highly of them, then where does Aerosmith fall in this complicated equation?
Aerosmith is one of the greatest rock bands ever. They’ve written incredible music over the years, but are they “phony” because someone helped write some of their songs? I’m not so sure about that. Although I’m not a huge Desmond Child fan (that song he wrote for Vince Neil was AWFUL), he did co-write Angel and that song is amazing. Another favorite Aerosmith tune of mine is Cryin’ which was co-written with Taylor Rhodes. But Aerosmith’s demise was Don’t Want to Miss A Thing. For me that was Aerosmith’s lowest musical point, and that’s probably because they didn’t even write this song; song writing credit goes to Diane Warren (rumor has it the song was originally intended for Celine Dion…Yikes!). I don’t think Aerosmith, or any band for that matter, has any business performing songs that they didn’t at least help write.
Perhaps that’s what Zakk was talking about, that sappy, crappy musical moment where Aerosmith gave in and performed a song that wasn’t theirs; maybe he’s not even talking about songs that were co-written with other people. There are plenty of bands out there who use co-writers. Does that make them any less credible? According to Zakk, “If you can’t write songs you’re just a puppet as phony as Britney Spears and all those boy bands. If you can’t sit behind a piano or pick up a guitar and write a song, then you don’t have any business making records.” What do you think?
And check out the latest post on my blog about my ridiculous night with Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction.
American rock music has seen better days. Indistinguishable, mediocre bands are bountiful in our country, and more and more of them keep becoming mainstream. Most people eat this crap up and truly believe that these bands kick ass, when in fact…they don’t. There are a handful of bands out there that are talented and actually worth listening to. Meanwhile, there are hundreds of amazing rock bands in the United States who go completely unnoticed here or don’t get any of the recognition they deserve. Yet, the Europeans LOVE them.
What is it that the Europeans know that we don’t know? Do they posses some sort of super sonic hearing that enables them to distinguish kick ass rock from crap? Granted, I have no doubts that most radio friendly American bands are popular overseas, but a lot of unknowns are successful over there as well. Take a look at American Dog. Huge in their hometown of Columbus, OH, but probably couldn’t tour the U.S. with any great success. However, they can tour Europe and kick ass. Same goes for my fiance’s band, Snowblynd. Although their success in the U.S. is minimal, the Germans freaking love them and they’ve sold a ton of CD’s over there. And lets not forget all of the amazing metal that comes from Europe and Scandinavia; those bands would never be as successful in the U.S. Luckily with the internet and word of mouth, we Americans get introduced to these European bands and don’t have to suffer through the mediocre bullshit that the American radio pumps out.
As I was making my daily rounds on various music blogs, I came across a very interesting article at Classic Rock Magazine: “Will Velvet Revolver’s New Singer Be An American Idol?” There are two reasons I enjoy this website: 1) It has great information and 2) People use words like “bollocks” and that’s awesome. The general consensus from readers was that Adam Lambert is terrible and he’d be a horrible choice for Velvet Revolver. This got me thinking because about 99% of Americans who watch American Idol think Adam Lambert is the new rock and roll savior and has one of the greatest rock voices of today. There’s no question that I am an Adam Lambert fan, but why doesn’t his appeal translate overseas? The Brits aren’t fond of him at all.
Which brings me back to my question: What is it that Europeans know about music that average Americans don’t know or realize? Why is it that Europeans seem to have a deeper appreciation for really good rock & roll and metal? And for a little extra credit…do you think Adam Lambert is a good fit for Velvet Revolver? Although I think Adam has an incredible voice, I’m not so sure he’s the one for Slash, Duff and company. It would interesting to hear though.
Led Zeppelin reunion tour…I get it. Creed reunion tour…not so much. Does anyone even want to see this band reunite? Perhaps I’m in the minority here, but I think Creed blows ass.
When news broke in 2004 that this band was parting ways, I couldn’t have been more excited. Sure they sold millions of albums and went platinum a few times over, but I couldn’t get past how overrated they were. There was nothing that they brought to the table that really blew me away. They were decent musicians, but Scott Stapp killed it for them.
Not only was Scott Stapp’s voice incredibly annoying to me, but he was a douchebag to boot. Rumors were flying about what a jerk he was and his substance abuse problems certainly didn’t help him at all. I have no idea what caused the demise of this band, but I have a feeling that Scott Stapp was at the core of the break up.
Then enter Alter Bridge. I have to admit, I had my doubts about them only because they were former members of Creed. Then I heard them for the first time at Rock on the Range and was pretty impressed. It was nice to see that the ex-Creed members actually could rock with a kick ass front man, Myles Kennedy. At times I wondered if the rest of the world’s Creed haters would be as open to Alter Bridge as I was and actually give them a chance. Apparently they were because Alter Bridge has done pretty well for themselves.
Which brings me to this question: Why reunite with Creed when they’ve had so much success with Alter Bridge? Maybe Alter Bridge hasn’t achieved platinum status, but I truly believe they’re a much better band than Creed ever was or ever could be. Then there’s Scott Stapp. Why would you want to reunite with this douche? If he was hard to work with before, he’s going to be just as hard to deal with now.
Is it money? Perhaps, although I don’t tend to think so. I’ve heard from a reliable source that those boys in Creed are LOADED beyond their wildest dreams. I suppose money is the ultimate deal closer and in the economic times we’re enduring now, no one is going to say no to a few extra bucks.
Is it demand? I highly doubt it. When’s the last time you heard someone say, “Man…I REALLY wish Creed would get back together. They were so bad ass.” Actually, I’ve never even heard anyone use the words Creed and bad ass in the same sentence before.
Is it just for the love of music? I guess Scott Stapp did tell Rolling Stone that they all apologized to each other for being jerks and sat around and jammed together and that he “missed [his] boys and wanted to create music with them again.” I suppose I could see that to an extent, but their music sucked to being with. Plus, I’m sure Scott Stapp will regress back to his old ways and just turn into a jerk again. Look at Van Halen. Every time they reunite with David Lee Roth, something goes wrong. But the difference here is that it’s Van Halen. They are legendary and people want to see David Lee Roth with them. Creed will never be legendary and no one cares about Scott Stapp.
I’m interested to see how well this Creed reunion tour will do. I’ll be keeping an eye on it, that’s for sure. Perhaps they will prove me wrong and sell out some arenas. Then Scott Stapp can tell me what an idiot I am…and I’ll still call him a douche.
It’s a question that I’ve heard before when listening to podcasts of the Classic Metal Show, but the interview that I listened to today with singer Glenn Hughes struck a chord. Are there any current bands that will stand the test of time, that will reach legendary status like their predecessors Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath? Hughes’ answer was simple: No. According to Hughes, “Metal is a dead animal in America.”
Why? Because there’s nothing really timeless or impressive about today’s rock bands. No one is breaking any boundaries or blowing us away. It’s heartbreaking and sad to watch this genre waste away to become corporate generated, money making, cookie cutter bullshit. As I’ve said a million times over, there is no soul in today’s music. There’s not one current band that has the balls to fill the shoes of its forefathers.
I’m not sure when the decline of rock started, but for me it started in the 90’s with the birth of bands like Limp Bizkit and Puddle of Mud. The 80’s still produced legends like Metallica and Motley Crue, but after grunge came and went, it felt like the driving force of rock left right along with it.
Did Limp Bizkit sound different than any other rock band I’d heard before? Yes. Did I like it? No. Was there any part of me that thought for one second that this band was creating some of the greatest music ever? Not a chance in hell. There weren’t any bands from then or now who I believe are creating one lick of music that will carry on the rock torch.
Chris Akin from the Classic Metal Show brought up a very good point during his interview with http://www.heavymetal.about.com, “When you think about when we grew up, how many bands did you discover simply by seeing them open for a big band? For me, the list is long, and encompasses almost every band that is part of my day to day listening. But now, there’s nothing on the horizon.” I guess I never stopped to think about how many great opening acts I used to see at shows compared to today. I went to see Motley Crue a couple of months ago and wasn’t impressed by any of the opening acts. But when I was in 9th grade, I went to see Skid Row and this kick ass band called Pantera opened. And Pantera may be one of the only bands from the 90’s who I would even consider an exception to the rule; they are legendary.
So what do we do? Where do we go? How do we save rock? I’m not so sure there’s an answer. My suggestion is to open your mind and ears to bands you’ve never heard before, underground bands, local bands and give them a chance and support them. I’m trying to expose myself to as much music as I can and trying to find new channels to find that music. Take a few minutes and listen to that band that’s trying to add you as a friend on myspace. Take a friend’s suggestion and listen to the band he saw the other night at some bar. If they’re worthy, pass the info on.
There’s got to be a band or two out there who has it in them to create some kick ass music that 50 years from now can at least rock at the same level as AC/DC or Aerosmith. I’d hate for future generations to look back on the 1990’s and 2000’s and think that Nookie was one of our greatest contributions to rock.
Am I totally deaf and stupid? Do you know of any bands who you think can carry the rock torch?
With VH1’s Do It for the Band: The Women of the Sunset Strip set to premiere on Friday, April 3rd, I thought it was only fitting to discuss the pivotal role we ladies played in the life of rock & roll. Without us, the genre of 80’s rock as we know it may have never existed.
Most of us affiliate the women of rock with groupies. That’s probably correct about 90% of the time. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t want to get down and dirty with a rock star? I know I do (Nikki Sixx, I’m talking to you.) But for some of these ladies, it wasn’t just about putting another notch in their up and coming rock star belt; it was about helping the up and coming rock star make it big at any cost. The Band Aid.
If any of you have read The Dirt, then you know the low down, dirty, filthy, disgusting, vile behavior the rockers on the Sunset Strip lived. They were out to use whoever, whenever as long as it meant furthering the career of the band. The whoever in this case usually happened to be a hot girl who was willing to fuck and give a buck all for the cause. These women gave it all: sex, drugs, booze, food, clothes, money, apartments, cars. Why? They did it to support the men and the music they believed in.
Imagine if no women supported Nikki Sixx or Bret Michaels or Stephen Pearcy or Slash? Let that soak in for a minute…now imagine a world without their bands. AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! Frightening, isn’t it? Supporting these broke musicians helped an entire genre of music be born. They allowed all of these amazing talents to progress and thrive, no matter the cost to them. Had they not given these guys a place to crash or $20 for a beer run, I may be writing a blog about Flock of Seagulls right now.
And what did these ladies get in return? Love? Devotion? Absolutely not. They got treated like trash, cheated on, and probably got a venereal disease or two. Did that stop them from supporting any of these wanna be rock stars? Absolutely not. I’m sure some of them cheated on their wanna be rock stars and moved on to support other wanna be rock stars. In the end, these ladies sacrificed almost everything to be left in the dust while the men they loved rose to the top.
Thank you ladies for giving it up and giving everything to let these men succeed. Without you, we may have missed out on one of the greatest periods of rock & roll, and I may have missed out on my obsession with Nikki Sixx.
Check out my latest blog and see which rock stars I would have supported back in the day had I been old enough.
The Prince of Darkness may have his title revoked after this one. What was he thinking? What the hell is so metal about a freaking comedy hour on Fox TV? Holy hell! I don’t know if he’s totally lost his mind or if Sharon has completely taken over ALL decisions for the entire honorary family of rock.
Sure, the initial Osbournes reality show on MTV was an intriguing look into this family, but haven’t we had enough? After Sharon’s health problems and the rehab sessions of both Jack and Kelly, shouldn’t we just turn the light off on this whole reality gig Osbournes? Apparently not. Perhaps they’re bored because Ozzfest just isn’t enough to keep them all occupied. Is Ozzfest even happening this summer?
I can’t help but feel that Sharon is the one at the helm of this downward spiral into reality television hell, and she’s not taking Ozzy’s reputation into consideration at all. He’s the Prince of f-ing Darkness for crying out loud. I don’t think there’s anything evil or dark about watching them work in fast food restaurants or watching mini Osbournes with foul mouths. A curse word here and there on public television doesn’t make you dark. Yes, playing silly pranks on people for television is funny, but not when it’s coming from the Prince of Darkness and his family. It’s funny when Ozzy is biting heads off of fake (or real) bats but not when Ozzy is getting a pie in the face.
Maybe that’s what it is. It’s the dichotomy of this “evil” family and comedy. It’s not what you would neccessarily expect from a family of rockers, so the general public would be drawn in to see how they handle all of this. Of course, silliness and mayhem will ensue around this cast of hooligans, and then everyone will laugh.
Will I watch it? Probably. Will I laugh? Probably not. Do I think a little less of Ozzy because of this? Maybe a little.
Is there a rock & roll handbook/rule book anywhere? If not, perhaps I should write one. Or maybe I could write the 10 Commandments of Rock & Roll. One of those rules would be, “Rock stars shall not do reality TV!” And that means you too Bret Michaels.
While scouring the internet looking for something to write about, I ran across a blog that sparked my interest: The Singers Who Didn’t Quite Work Out (www.classicrockmagazine.com/blog). Line up changes are a never ending constant in the world of rock & roll, but the loss of a lead singer is often detrimental and hard to come back from. The contributors of the blog had great suggestions and some that I didn’t even think of. Of course this got me thinking, so here is my list.
1. Gary Cherone and Van Halen – This was also the first one listed on ClassicRockMagazine.com’s list, and I mentioned it on a previous post for the moment Van Halen jumped the shark. It was just a weird combination that didn’t work well or fit naturally.
2. John Corabi and Motley Crue – I think everyone agrees that John Corabi did a fine job on the Motley Crue album but it still didn’t work. Why? The band sounded great, but it just wasn’t Motley Crue. One of the major distinctions in Motley Crue’s sound is Vince Neil’s voice. Without it, it’s not Motley Crue. The fans and record label realized that. I’m not saying that John Corabi sucked at all. If they would have slapped a different name on that album, it would have worked.
3. All Singers and Journey – I don’t care how much you sound like Steve Perry…you’re not Steve Perry.
4. Ripper Owens and Judas Priest – Please see explanation for #3. He’s not Rob Halford.
It’s not always all bad. There are a few bands that have actually stood the test of time with a new singer.
1. Brian Johnson and AC/DC – After the tragic death of Bon Scott, I’m sure it was difficult for anyone to think that AC/DC could go on without him. Thankfully, the band took the bold step and replaced him with Brian Johnson, and they lived happily ever after. This is probably the best success story of them all.
2. Johnny Van Zant & Lynyrd Skynyrd – Like AC/DC, it was death that brought a new lead singer to Skynyrd. A 1977 plane crash took the lives of six people, including Skynyrd’s singer, Ronnie Van Zant. About 10 years later, Ronnie’s brother, Johnny, stepped up to take over the the lead singer spot and Skynyrd’s been rocking ever since.
God knows I’ve missed some on each list, and there were others whom I didn’t know where to place (ex: Johnny Solinger and Skid Row). Replacing a singer is a ballsy move for any band. In the end, it’s usually the fans who decide if it’s a hit or a miss. So how do you feel? Who didn’t work and who did?
It’s never a good feeling when one of your favorite bands takes a turn for the worse. I don’t mean health wise…I mean music wise. They put out an album or release a song that just makes you go, “What the f*ck were they thinking?” More commonly known as “jumping the shark,” these moments (or periods) of musical farts can make the most loyal fan turn their nose up in digust.
While sitting at work the other day amidst a snow storm from hell, my friend (who remained in the comfort and warmth of his own home to work), sent me an interesting article about musicians who have jumped the shark:
The list was interesting and humorous for sure, but it left me pondering (instead of working), “What bands whom I love have jumped the shark?” And so the list starts…in no particular order:
1. Metallica – Once you go Black, you can’t go back. That’s right, Metallica took a nose dive into the toilet after this album. I HATE everything they released after the Black album. The exception of course is their newest album, which surprisingly doesn’t suck as badly as I thought it would. I think they finally came to the realization that they rocked A LOT harder back in the day and (to the glee of most music fans) decided to turn back the hands of time and produce an album that sounded a lot more like the old Metallica we know and love. Kudos to them for trying to right their wrongs.
2. Van Halen – Look, it’s never an easy task to replace your lead singer. As far as I’m concerned, a band should call it quits if their singer bails. There are very few cases in rock & roll history where a new lead singer has been able to continue carrying the torch of his predecessor. Van Halen surprisingly made things work with Sammy Hagar, but I have no idea what the hell they were thinking when they tried to replace both David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar with Gary Cherone. After Sammy, they should have just stopped. Continuing on with Gary Cherone was like trying to fit a square peg into a circle; it just wasn’t going to work. And it didn’t. Gary Cherone was bad and that album was bad. I’m even a huge fan of Gary Cherone; I’m just not a huge fan of him in Van Halen.
3. KISS – There are SO many “jump the shark” moments to chose from. Some of you would pick the moment KISS took off their make up. Or maybe you would chose when KISS went disco. Perhaps Gene Simmons doing his reality show really set you off. Whatever it is, take your pick. My jump the shark moment for KISS may not be a moment so much as a whole period. There is no doubt that KISS is legendary, amazing, and one of the most influential bands in rock history. However, it’s heartbreaking for me when KISS the band decides to turn into KISS the money making machine. Is it even about the music anymore? Was it ever about the music? Or was it just about how many KISS condoms or KISS coffins they could sell?
4. Kid Rock – One of the reasons I actually like Kid Rock is because of his fusion of rock and country. He’s shared the stage with the likes of some of country music’s most influential musicians like Hank Jr., but Mr. Bawitdaba threw me for a loop when he recorded a duet with Kenny Chesney for a Waylon Jennings tribute album: I’ve Always Been Crazy. These guys covered “Luckenbach, Texas” and Kenny Chesney ruins it. I HATE Kenny Chesney. I think he’s a hack and a joke. His music is crap, and it’s hard for me to understand why Kid Rock thought he was good enough to collaborate with. I hope it was the workings of some music industry kooks who threw these two together, and that it wasn’t by choice.
5. Bret Michaels – This one is a no brainer. The second this guy signed on to do Rock of Love, he also jumped the shark. Now that it’s dragged on for three seasons, I’m almost positive that he’s trying to ruin his career…or make the entire world think he’s a douchebag. Either way, it’s working.
6. Nikki Sixx – He went straight from jumping the shark to jumping Kat Von D (and not me). Damn it. What does he see in her? She’s smokin’ hot, almost half his age, uber cool, super successful, and is an incredible tattoo artist. What man looks for those qualities in a chick? Now I have to witness their over indulgent love fest while I’ll cyber stalking him on myspace. It’s disgusting. I wish he’d go back to his womanizing ways.
I’m sure some of you will agree, and a lot of you will disagree (especially with #3). So what do you think? Did I leave anyone out? Did I include anyone who should have been left off the list? Who do you think has jumped the shark?
If you live in the Midwest like I do, you’re probably pretty freaking sick and tired of the freezing cold and snow.
Imagine if you could get away on a cruise to some place warm and beautiful. Now imagine you’re on a cruise with Lynyrd Skynyrd. I didn’t have to imagine it; I lived it. This was my second year in a row going on the Lynyrd Skynyrd Simple Man Cruise, and it was just as amazing as the the first year. Well…maybe not as amazing because the first year, my fiance proposed to me, but you know what I mean.
There are SO many great highlights from this year’s cruise, but with this post, I just wanted to stick to one thing: Leslie. No, it’s not a girl. Leslie is one of the most amazing bands that I was introduced to on this cruise. Sure, there was Skynyrd and .38 Special and Molly Hatchet and Marshall Tucker, but there were tons of other amazing bands on the cruise as well. Leslie just happened to be one of those kick ass other bands.
Hailing from South Carolina, this trio returned to the Simple Man cruise this year with their dirty, classic rock. I have no f-ing idea how I missed Leslie last year (I totally remember seeing them running around the boat, but I never got a chance to see them live), but boy am I glad I saw them this year! There was quite a buzz about them from the moment I stepped on the boat and got my fruity drink with the umbrella. Everyone was telling me how great they were. These boys also did a fine job of promoting themselves; I’m pretty sure they put flyers on just about every other cabin door on every floor. This year, there was no way anyone was stepping off that boat without knowing who they were. And everyone should know who they are because they are THAT good.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from three long haired, skinny white boys, but what I got was a slap in the face. It’s very rare that I go see a band I’ve never heard of and am actually impressed. Leslie impressed the pants right off of me. They attacked their instruments like freaks and made some incredible music. In my last post, I asked the question, “What rocks?” There is no doubt in my mind that these boys f-ing rock. I don’t know how else to describe their music to you except to tell you that it sounds like they took the basic elements of everything you love about classic rock as you know it and made it dirrrrrty. It doesn’t really sound like anything you’ve heard on the radio, and that’s another thing I love about them. Leslie is fresh but dirty at the same time.
Take a moment and go check out some of their stuff: www.myspace.com/leslierock. If you’re not impressed, then you should probably get your hearing checked. Seriously.
And to learn more about Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man Cruise, go to my blog.