Friday, July 31, 2015

Lennon and McCartney Possibly Lost Dozens of Beatles Songs

Over the years Paul McCartney has worked hard on a catalog that expands out to hundreds upon hundreds of songs. Many with the Beatles and plenty more on his own. In a recent interview however, McCartney reveals that when he and John Lennon would work together to write songs, they had to do their best to remember what they wrote due to lack of recording devices. This caused them to forget and lose dozens of could have been classics.

In an interview with Evening Standard (via NME) McCartney says:

“Things have changed quite a bit. You’ve got recording devices now which change the songwriting process. For instance, John [Lennon] and I didn’t have them when we first started writing, we would write a song and just have to remember it. There was always the risk that we’d just forget it. If the next morning you couldn’t remember it, it was gone. In actual fact, you had to write songs that were memorable, because you had to remember them or they were lost! There must have been dozens lost this way. … So you would have to form the thing, have it all finished, remember it all, go in pretty quickly and record it.”

McCartney is grateful for modern technology making it so easy to record and remember your ideas on things like pocket recorders, saying “Now, because you can get things down on a device, I’ve got millions of things I want to record and do.”

I can only imagine what those lost songs from the early days of The Beatles would have sounded like. Sadly the world will never know. At least now whomever becomes the next big sensation has all of the modern conveniences that are necessary to remember all their ideas.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Beautiful Creatures, by Beautiful Creatures

Before joining the ranks of such high profile bands like Sixx: AM and Guns N' Roses guitarist DJ Ashba was building up his resume as a guitarist. One such band that helped him get noticed by the big boys was a band called Beautiful Creatures. They were a band made up of people from around the Sunset Strip in Hollywood in the early 2000's. In 2001 the band put out its debut album which was titled Beautiful Creatures.

Beautiful Creatures features a heavy blues rock sound in a similar vein to Guns N' Roses. You can kind of tell in some of the chord progressions, solos, and vocal melodies that they were the direct inspiration for Beautiful Creatures' music. Be that as it may, there are some legitimately good straight up rock tracks on it that do showcase Ashba playing stuff directly from his 80's based blues rock roots.

Wasted was one of the main single of the album. You can kind of tell they were trying to grab a more commercial and mainstream market for the time because a lot of the nuances have a more early 2000's vibe to them than the 80's hard rock vibe that is featured in the rest of the songs. Be that as it may, the vocal hook in the chorus is pretty memorable. The solo is melodic and still has that Slash kind of vibe that Ashba was going for at the time.

New Orleans is probably the crown jewel of the album. You hear GN'R all over the place in it, but I think that is what makes it so good. In a way it's like a love letter to a band that made such a huge impact on everyone in the group. It is a four chord song that blends acoustic and electric guitars quite nicely while featuring a guitar melody that in my opinion acts as the whole reason to buy the album in the first place. It is so damn catchy. I can't tell you how many times I had the song on repeat just for that.

In a way Beautiful Creatures was a ripoff of Guns N' Roses to some extent, which is probably why they failed commercially. However, that is not to say that they didn't make some good songs that are still good in their own right. The members have all gone on to do bigger and better things since then, but it is always nice to go back and see where they got their start. It's a shame though that Ashba is no longer in GN'R because he could have brought some of the classic sound back into the new music that will eventually come out maybe.

Beautiful Creatures, by Beautiful Creatures receives 3 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. 1 AM
2. Wasted
3. Step Back
4. Ride
5. Wish
6. Kick Out
7. Blacklist
8. Kickin' For Days
9. Time and Time Again
10. Goin' Off
11. New Orleans
12. I Got It All

Buy the album on Amazon:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Led Zeppelin Helping Dave Grohl Recover From Broken Leg

It would seem that music really does have the power to heal and do good; especially if it's that of Led Zeppelin.

Lately Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl has been using the songs of Led Zeppelin to help him with his rehab after breaking his leg when falling off the stage during a performance last month.

In an interview with Q Grohl says:

"It’s funny, ever since I started playing the drums my right calf muscle has been twice the size of my left from stomping the hell out of my kick drum pedal. Now it looks like a sad little chicken wing so I’ve been doing a little bit of my own rehab therapy lately, which is air drumming along to Led Zeppelin three times a day. Sports doctors, take note.”

A pretty clever way to help mend a broken bone if I do say so myself. This isn't the first time I've heard of drumming being it air or real used in rehab. Bonham's aggressive playing style would definitely be one hell of a workout. Hopefully Grohl can quickly recover and be in tip top shape to give proper performances.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Guitarist DJ Ashba Quits Guns N' Roses

Six years after taking the post of lead guitarist in Guns N' Roses after it being vacated by Robin Finck, DJ Ashba issued a statement in the form of a lengthy public letter on his Facebook page announcing he is quitting the band to focus full time on his band Sixx: AM that he plays in with Nikki Sixx and James Michael.

It is understandable that Ashba would want to focus on a project more personal to him, especially since they have a lot on their collective plate in the near future with two new albums coming out and a big tour once Sixx's big farewell tour with Motley Crue comes to a close. Plus, since GN'R front man Axl Rose is so slow about recording and releasing new music, it makes all the more sense that Ashba would want to spend his time actually doing things.

The full letter can be read below:

"6 years ago I received a call that changed my life forever. The call was from a dear friend of mine (Katie McNeil-Diamond) who was working with Guns N’ Roses. It was an offer to audition for Axl Rose and earn a role in arguably the biggest rock band of my time. While I thought it was a complete long-shot, I decided to go ahead and give it a try. Much to my shock and surprise, I got the gig. And so began the most incredible journey I could have possibly imagined. I was blessed with the opportunity to not only work with one of the most talented bands but also to share the stage with a living legend and a truly gifted human being, Axl Rose. The amount of confidence and trust that Axl placed in me was genuinely heartwarming and truly career-defining. In the years that followed I traveled the world many times over and played these incredible songs night after night to the most enthusiastic and loving crowds. As you can imagine, the friendships that were forged during that time were deep and long lasting. But the most beautiful surprise of all was YOU… the fans. You welcomed me into your lives with open arms and showed me love and support that I could only have dreamed of. From the very first time I stepped on stage and started playing “Welcome To The Jungle,” and felt the crowd erupt, I knew my life would never be the same. I’m not gonna lie…I was terrified!! But you were so accepting. You immediately turned my fear into pride. For that, I am truly grateful.

So now it is with a very heavy heart and yet great pride that I announce that I’ve decided to close this chapter of my life and encapsulate the wonderful times that I’ve shared with Guns N’ Roses into fond memories. I have reached a point in my life where I feel its time to dedicate myself to my band Sixx:A.M., my adoring wife and family, and to the many new adventures that the future holds for me. I have always been driven by my passion for creating music and Sixx:A.M. has always been a place where I can express myself honestly and share that passion with my two brothers and bandmates, Nikki Sixx and James Michael. As you know I have also been blessed with the love and support of my incredible wife, Naty, who has been at my side for much of this amazing journey.

As I sit here writing this letter, I want to take a moment to thank Axl from the bottom of my heart for not only the most incredible experience of my life, but for truly believing in me. You are a true friend and a champion of mine and I am forever grateful. And even as I move on to pursue other endeavors, I will always remain one of your biggest fans. I also would like to thank each and every one of you fans for your love and support throughout the years. Without you, I am nothing. Please know that I do not take one minute of this amazing life for granted.

I hope that you all join me as I forge ahead. Let’s conquer the world together!

With love and respect,

Dj Ashba"

Sunday, July 26, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #36

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week is a feature I run on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective on Sundays/early hours of Monday morning where I pick out 5 tunes that I think are notable and tell you a bit about them. The point is to give you some rocking music to help you deal with your weekday blues. You can either listen to one each day, listen to them all at once, or any other combination that you feel. As long as you can get through the week without the man getting you down, that's all I care about. Without further ado, here are the 5 tracks I've picked out for this week:

1. Too Much Too Young Too Fast, by Airbourne

Need some straight up rock n' roll with balls and packs a punch? Airbourne is exactly that. Like AC/DC, they are Australian based heavy blues rockers that absolutely live to crank their amps up to 11 and be poster children for the rock n' roll image and lifestyle. Too Much Too Young Too Fast is the track that gets the message of what they are all about across to all of the new listeners out their. Granted they do sound a lot like AC/DC some times, but they do have their own unique qualities if you listen close enough.

2.  The One That You Hated, by Adler

Original Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler put out a solo album a couple of years ago with a brand new band. This album was his first new album since he had been fired from Guns N' Roses in 1990. The One That You Hated was the main single for it. It is an interesting blend of dark acoustic stuff and modern rock. However, you can definitely tell that it is Steven playing the drums. The cowbell gives that much away. It is a fun track to rock out to if you have a few minutes to kill.

3. Pardise/The Spell, by Uriah Heep

These are technically two songs, but they blend into one another; making it a continuous epic of a song. Paradise is an acoustic ballad. It is melodic, especially in the bass parts. However, the real excitement is in The Spell. It starts off as an upbeat bluesy piano tune, but it is all about wizards, demons, magic, etc. The interlude slows down into a melodic guitar solo backed by what sounds like a humongous choir doing a bunch of "oohs" and "ahs". Soon enough though it comes back around to the fun part and the epic battle concludes. It's a great way to get your classic metal/hard rock on.

4.  I'm On My Way, by Frijid Pink

If you need more cheery music, I'm On My Way by Detroit based band Frijid Pink is just the ticket. It sounds just like something you would have heard at a 1950's sock hop. There is some delightful slide guitar that goes up and down the fret board to give the song a more bouncy and happy vibe. It is upbeat and you can really move to it. You never would have guessed that it was written and recorded in 1970.

5. I Want You to Want Me, by Cheap Trick

If you want a tune that makes you feel like you're blasting into outer space (especially if you're performing it) then Cheap Trick's classic I Want You to Want Me fits the bill; especially if you're doing the Live at Budokan version. It is so charged with energy that you can't help but want to dance, head bang, or any other form of joyful physical expression. It is definitely a classic in rock for a reason.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Keith Richards Talks New Rolling Stones Album


It's been over 10 years since the last time The Rolling Stones recorded a full new album. However, according to guitarist Keith Richards it seems like the ball with a new album may finally be rolling.

This will be the band's first release since 2005's A Bigger Bang. In the mean time Richards is working on writing and recording a solo album Crosseyed Heart.

Richards says that singer Mick Jagger has been the one rallying the troops to get a new album in the works, saying:

“Will we record and tour again? I think we will. We’ll do this year, then go into the studio. I know Mick wants to record again – he blurted it out in a meeting: ‘It’s about time we went back and recorded.’ I was like, ‘We’re here to talk about a tour, right?’ So that will be interesting. End of the year.”

In addition to the songs Richards has been working on for his solo album he also has stuff for a new Stones album. “I’ve got a lot of new songs, and songs I’ve written over the last couple of years. I’ve done really good demos for all of them, which I would love to record. I’d love to record a Stones album.”

Hopefully the Stones have some good stuff in the pipeline if they do go forward with recording a new album. 10 years is plenty of time to come up with stuff that is actually good. A new album would actually make them a bit more fresh and relevant again rather than just being a non-stop touring legacy act like they have been for decades now. We'll just see how this goes.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Appetite For Destruction, by Guns N' Roses

Since today is the Cat in the Hat's (aka Slash) 50th birthday I figured this was the best time to finally review his first (and one of my personal favorite) albums: Appetite For Destruction, by Guns N' Roses. Appetite For Destruction came out on July 21st, 1987; a time when LA hair metal had gotten so ridiculously big that certain people felt it was time for a change. Five men banded together to make bluesy rock music that got back to the true honest essence of the genre. These guys called themselves Guns N' Roses and became one of the hugest bands to ever exist by executing and succeeding in this mission.

Appetite For Destruction combines many of the members influences into something big and unique. You hear undeniable influence from bands like The Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin, The New York Dolls, The Rolling Stones, etc. The blues influence is very present overall, but the way it is brought across is a lot harder hitting than the way most of their influences went about things. Plus, Axl Rose's lyrics are a lot more real and relateable than anything else being written at the time. The guitar solos are quite melodic too. You can sing along to a lot of them. This album really is the proof of the right guys getting together at the right time.

Welcome to the Jungle is all about what the sleazy underground life of Hollywood, CA is really like. After getting there by hitchhiking from Indiana, Rose learned quickly that he wasn't at home any more and was going to have to adapt quickly to the new lifestyle. Musically speaking it does a great job of bringing the imagery of a concrete jungle to life. Plus, during the interlude you can hear a lot of Led Zeppelin's influence while the band is still being truly original with the concept.

Nightrain is in my opinion one of the best guitar songs on the entire album. The riff hooks itself into your ears instantaneously and won't let go. Furthermore, Slash's guitar solos absolutely rip and run throughout the whole song. You can tell he was just having a blast on it. He has even cited it as one of his absolute favorite songs to play live because of how much energy there is to it. Lyrically it is more stuff about the reality of the LA lifestyle at the time, but given that was what Rose knew it is still very honest and heartfelt.

Appetite For Destruction is one of those "all killer, no filler" albums. For that reason it is one of if not my absolute favorite rock n' roll album of all time. It has everything: powerful vocals, raw honest lyrics, hard hitting riffs, clever song writing, speedy bluesy solos, etc. This was the album that REALLY got me into rock n' roll and to stick with the guitar. If you're an up and coming rock musician or just someone angsty who needs music that they can relate to, I cannot recommend this album enough.

Appetite For Destruction, by Guns N' Roses receives 5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Welcome to the Jungle
2. It's So Easy
3. Nightrain
4. Out ta Get Me
5. Mr. Brownstone
6. Paradise City
7. My Michelle
8. Think About You
9. Sweet Child O' Mine
10. You're Crazy
11. Anything Goes
12. Rocket Queen

Buy the album on Amazon:

Motley Crue Guitarist Mick Mars Doesn't Think You'll Like Him

Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars feels that once the band's final tour comes to a close he still has a lot to prove to the world despite the fact that his band is one of the most successful bands to ever exist. He feels that no one likes him and that they think he can't play guitar.

Mars says in an interview with Classic Rock Magazine:

“I feel like I’m the most unpopular person on the planet. Everyone says I can’t play the guitar – I’d like them to know that I can. Nobody can play like Jeff Beck. Nobody can play like Jimi Hendrix, though a lot of people try. And nobody can play like me.”

Once Motley Crue's final tour ends Mars will be working on his first solo album. Mars says it will be hard rock but further elaborates by saying “It’s tough to categorize. It’s not metal. It’ll make your hair fly back in the breeze.”

Personally I'm stoked to hear what Mick Mars's album will sound like. I have always felt that he is one of the most criminally under rated guitar players of all time. The guy has serious chops. The Motley Crue records prove that much. However, given that he has some very old school influences such as Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield, etc. I'm curious to see what kinds of stuff he will pull off outside the context of Motley Crue. Either way, I'm sure plenty of people will like it and him in general.

Monday, July 20, 2015

AC/DC's Phil Rudd Faces Prison Time For Violating House Arrest Terms

Looks like former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd is at it yet again. This does not come particularly as a surprise, but it is sad none the same. Rudd has been arrested yet again; this time for violating the terms of his house arrest.

Rudd was arrested in New Zealand back in November for threatening to kill two people and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis. He had also been charged for hiring a hitman, but that was quickly dropped. For the remaining crimes he was sentenced to 8 months of house arrest.

However, Rudd over the weekend already violated the terms of his fairly light sentence. Instead of going out to party, he had the party come to him by having prostitutes and booze at his house. Now Rudd faces a $2000 fine and up to a year in prison for this violation and is also now subject to on-demand drug testing.

I can't say I blame Rudd for wanting to have some fun while cooped up in his house for an extended period of time, but with the way he does things he really should have thought a bit more about the way in which he cured his ennui. Violating his sentence was of course going to land him in more hot water that he doesn't need to be in at this point. I guess it isn't only the young who make dumb, brash, and unwise decisions. Age does not equal wisdom.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #35

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week is a feature I run on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective on Sundays/early hours of Monday morning where I pick out 5 tunes that I think are notable and tell you a bit about them. The point is to give you some rocking music to help you deal with your weekday blues. You can either listen to one each day, listen to them all at once, or any other combination that you feel. As long as you can get through the week without the man getting you down, that's all I care about. Without further ado, here are the 5 tracks I've picked out for this week:

1. We're an American Band, by Grand Funk Railroad

Every Fourth of July barbecue needs this song blared on the stereo. Even though the holiday just passed you definitely need to keep this in mind for next year if you didn't already. It's straight up down to Earth rock n' roll with a chorus that is fun, catchy, and will stick with you for years to come. Plus, if you have a fever and the only prescription for it is more cowbell then you have definitely put on the right tune.

2. Miss You, Hate You, by Joe Bonamassa

Back before Joe Bonamassa became the big blues titan he is known as all over the world today he was just a young kid with a boatload of talent. In 2000 he put out his first album A New Day Yesterday which contained the rock radio friendly song Miss You, Hate You; a grooving tune about a girl breaking your heart and how it feels. It has some pretty solid riffs and melodic solos. Bonamassa really showed potential and promise even from the get-go.

3. Oh Yeah, by Chickenfoot

Once upon a time there was an absolutely FANTASTIC super group that consisted of ex-Van Halen vocalist and solo artist Sammy Hagar, ex-Van Halen bassist and backing vocalist Michael Anthony, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, and guitar wizard Joe Satriani. Together they made some fun rock songs that at the same time had some flash and technical prowess to them. The song Oh Yeah was their debut single and it pretty much said everything that the band was about. Everyone was giving it their all and just having fun with it all.

4. About to Begin, by Robin Trower

Ever have one of those days where the stress is just too much and you need something to help you get into a more relaxed and comfortable state of being? About to Begin, by Robin Trower ought to do the trick. It combines soft Hendrix-like guitar playing with some soulful vocals. Add in some smooth melodic guitar solos and you'll find yourself drifting off into a peaceful sleep (in a good way) within a matter of a few minutes.

5. Arpeggios From Hell, by Yngwie Malmsteen

Need your quick fix of highly renowned shredder Yngwie Malmsteen? Arpeggios From Hell pretty much sums up what all of Malmsteen's songs are: just him playing through the same scale he uses in every song fast for a few minutes. Despite that, it is kind of neat to listen to him do his thing once in a while when you're in the mood to hear someone dick around on their guitar for the sole purpose of impressing people.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

David Gilmour Premieres New Song "Rattle That Lock"

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour has premiered the title track from his upcoming solo album Rattle That Lock, which can be listened to in the video at the bottom of this article.

 In a promotional video for the song, Gilmour explains:

Rattle That Lock was inspired, musically, by the sound that’s played at French railway stations before they make an announcement. It’s a jingle, a four-note jingle that’s played. Every time I heard it, it would make me want to start dancing. I turned my iPhone on, held my iPhone up nearer the speaker and waited for the next announcement.”

The track is definitely a dance-worthy number. It is a bit funkier than what many people are used to hearing from the Pink Floyd front-man, but it is full of Gilmour's finesse and impacting lyrics (provided by his long time writing partner and wife Polly Samson). It is really astounding what just four notes can do to inspire someone. Some times all you need is just a few notes and the right idea about how to use them.

Rattle That Lock (the full album) will be available on September 18th and is currently available to pre-order. Gilmour will also be touring starting this September through early next year. The dates are listed below.

David Gilmour 2015-16 Tour Dates

9/12 – Pula, Hungary
9/14 – Verona, Italy
9/15 – Florence, Italy
9/17 – Orange, France
9/19 – Oberhausen, Germany
9/23 – London, U.K.
9/24 – London, U.K.
9/25 – London, U.K.
3/24 – Los Angeles, Calif.
3/31 – Toronto, Ontario
4/06 – Chicago, Ill.
4/11 – New York, N.Y.

David Gilmour: Rattle That Lock

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Static Age, by The Misfits

In a time where punk rock was only just starting to take off people were pretty set in their ways in terms of how they felt music was supposed to be. They were used to showboating rock stars who went on big musical odysseys with fantasy themed lyrics. Vocalist Glenn Danzig however wanted to change that. In 1977 he and his band The Misfits recorded their first album Static Age. Unfortunately the album was not picked up by a label and not released until almost two decades later as no one in the industry seemed to understand the idea of it.

Static Age was the beginning of the "horror punk" genre, as it was filled with horror movie themes as well as political ones. Musically speaking it is raw, loud, speedy, brash, and laced with profanity and intense lyrical imagery. It is pretty much everything you would expect a horror punk record to be. Despite all that though, it has a certain level of pure simple honesty that not many other records had at the time.

Bullet was meant to be one of the main singles for Static Age. It is pretty much a song showing Danzig's discontent with former president of the United States John F. Kennedy. The lyrics get pretty vile by most people's standards, but if you're going to disrespect one of the most highly regarded presidents in the history of the nation you might as well do it with guns a'blazing and go out in flames of glory.

We Are 138 is a bit of a clever play on words as when sung fast enough it is meant to sound like "We are one dirty ape". The song however is about how in society we are meant to be clean, upright, and without personality in order to not offend anyone rather than just be the dirty apes that we humans truly are. Kind of funny how PC culture was already getting a big start back in the late 70's. Probably even before that. Either way, the message of this song is still relevant to this day.

Static Age and The Misfits in general are NOT for everybody. If you are easily offended then you should probably steer clear of this album. However, if you like something with more brutal honesty and horror imagery with driving guitars and rhythms with a powerful melodic voice then you might have just come to the right place. This album is a bold debut statement by Glenn Danzig and really did set the stage for the rest of what would come during his career.

Static Age, by The Misfits receives 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Static Intro
2. Static Age
3. TV Casualty
4. Some Kinda Hate
5. Last Caress
6. Return of the Fly
7. Hybrid Moments
8. We Are 138
9. Teenagers From Mars
10. Come Back
11. Angelfuck
12. Hollywood Babylon
13. Attitude
14. Bullet
15. Theme For a Jackal
16. She
17. Spinal Remains
18. In the Doorway
19. Static Outro
20. Static Outtakes

Buy the Album on Amazon: