Monday, August 31, 2015

Roth Funnily Responds to Concert Goer Who Threw Beer Can at Him

I've attended many a concert in my day. Personally I just have no clue as to why someone would throw their beer; especially if they are paying the astronomical prices that they charge for them at such events these days. However, someone did so at a recent Van Halen concert in Camden, NJ a few days ago toward lead singer David Lee Roth. The incident can be viewed in the video below.

Roth then at the end of the song decided to stop the band for a moment so he could address the culprit, saying:

"Somebody just threw a beer up here. In a younger day I would’ve promised I would’ve slept with his girlfriend. At this point in my career, the roughest, most f—ed insult I could probably make to this guy is that I probably already have slept with his wife. ‘Can you control that motherf—er? I’ll talk to you later, sweetheart.’"

Before starting the next song, Roth made one last comment saying:

“The next time, you save the beer for me, you slime,” he said before making an obscene gesture with the microphone and flipping the bird.

Read More: Watch David Lee Roth’s Hysterical (and NSFW) Response to a Beer-Throwing Fan |
“The next time, you save the beer for me, you slime,”, after which he flipped the guy the bird.

I guess no matter how old you get some people just never grow up. Why pay all that money to get into a big show like this if you're only going to behave like a dumbass? Drunk or not, you should know better. If you really didn't want to see the band, why go in the first place? Oh well. While Roth may not have been the classiest about how he handled the situation, at least it was pretty funny.

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #41

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. Everyday, by Diane Coffee

Need some glitter and sparkle in your life? Diane Coffee aka former Disney voice actor Shaun Fleming is about to release his second album Everybody's a Good Dog September 4th and it is full of early 70's glam rock goodness. Everyday is the main single for it and it does a pretty good job representing the album. It's just shocking to see that a young artist is out there making new music that sounds almost exactly like it came out of 1971. You seriously need to check this out if you're into stuff like Elton John, David Bowie, Mott the Hoople, etc.

2. I Feel Love (Every Million Miles), by The Dead Weather

If glitter and sparkle isn't so much your bag, give Jack White's side project The Dead Weather's new single I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) that will be on their upcoming album Dodge and Burn a shot. It's full of intense bluesy dark magic. The song absolutely pours with powerful emotion from start to finish. Anyone who has an interest in music that explores the darker side of life will be entranced by the beauty of this raw music.

3. How Shall I Know, by Ken Hensley

This is an absolutely beautiful piano ballad from Uriah Heep keyboardist Ken Hensley's 1975 solo album Eager to Please. The harmonized guitar melody is delicious and feels like it is wrapping you in a sense of warmth that only this kind of classic rock could. If you're out there in the world still looking for love and don't think you will ever find it, then you will relate to this song almost immediately.

4. Cradle Rock, by Rory Gallagher

Need some in your face rocking blues from an Irishman? This is just the tune for you. During his life time Rory Gallagher took the blues and brought the genre to a whole new level by just blasting it into outer space; especially in the 1970's. Cradle Rock shows just how insane he could get on a fret board during the height of his career. It's one of his best riffs and has some of his best solos; though naturally it was way better live.

5. Streets, by Avenged Sevenfold

This is one of what I feel is Avenged Sevenfold's most under rated tracks of all time along with quite a few of the other tracks from their 1999 debut album Sounding the Seventh Trumpet. Streets is a fun ripping and running pseudo-punk metal song that has some pretty decent melodic vocals despite the fact that singer M. Shadows hadn't had professional voice lessons at that point. It doesn't have any of A7X's signature harmonized guitar solos, but really it doesn't need them.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Great Albums to Listen to Late at Night

Have you ever just been chilling out late at night in the dark and wanted some music that really suits the mood of what you're currently vibing? Something that weaves in with the tapestry of the darkness and moonlight? Something that lets you lose yourself in the groove of the black pool of the twilight? Of course you have. Tonight I've got a few albums that should help you do just that.

1. Sea of Cowards, by The Dead Weather

This is the second album from Jack White's side project The Dead Weather. This band has been described as 'dark magic' and it's not hard to see why. With their haunting grooving heavy blues rock sound and lyrics that explore the deeper enigmas of life it is the perfect record to just put on and immerse yourself in when shutting out the lights and sitting in your living room chair on a Friday night where you have no place to be.

2. Dark Side of the Moon, by Pink Floyd

This is one of those classic records you just have to listen to from start to finish as all of them connect to one another and share various themes with one another. From start to finish you can just feel the wind of a warm evening blowing through your face and across your brow while also going further and further down the rabbit hole that Pink Floyd intended to lead you down. There is an overall dark warmth to this album that at first can seem frightening, but once you open your heart is comforting and familiar.

3. Born Again, by Black Sabbath

Now this album isn't quite as a relaxing groove as the previous albums, but it is a perfect album to listen to at night because in many ways it is also quite haunting and fits the mood of a spooky night. It features Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan on vocals instead of Ozzy Osbourne, but by all means do NOT let that be a deterrent. There are many upbeat raucous heavy metal numbers on it, but at the same time there are also a fair amount of well composed tunes that will send a chill up your spine in just the right way.

4. Spectrum, by Billy Cobham

This jazz fusion album by former Miles Davis drummer Billy Cobham is entirely instrumental and fills the air of the night like no other. It is the perfect album to get lost to in the dark of your basement because it grooves in just the right way to where you are relaxed and yet you're surrounded by warm sound at the same time. Plus, if you're into musical prodigies jamming their hardest then you will definitely be fond of what the record has to offer.

5. Giant Robot, by Buckethead

Buckethead is about as strange as you can get and showcases the fact ever so well in his first American release. However, his darker take on life and pop culture makes it feel like Halloween night all the time. Certain parts of the album seem sinister, but others just plain creepy. It is the perfect album to have you looking over your shoulder a bit while in the comfort of your own home. If that doesn't convince you, at the very least the guitar chops are wild beyond belief.

So do you agree with my list? What are some of your favorite albums to put on and listen to all the way through in the dead of night? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Throwback Thursday: All the Young Dudes, by Mott the Hoople

In 1972 British glam rock band Mott the Hoople were facing some rough times and were about to break up. They were struggling and just not having the kind of success that they were hoping to achieve. However, by a stroke of luck the king of glam himself David Bowie saw great potential in the band and decided to try to save them by stepping in to write a hit and produce a new album for them; both would become known as All the Young Dudes.

Bowie's writing and production certainly did Mott the Hoople a lot of good. All the Young Dudes is full of glitter, sparkle, and everything else one looks for in a glam rock album. The guitars played by Mick Ralphs almost literally sound like they are gleaming with light and life while singer Ian Hunter brings the songs to life with his charismatic vocal style. The songs are upbeat, cheery, and overall just good fun.

All the Young Dudes is what pretty much put Mott the Hoople on the map and made them a staple in the glam rock genre. The guitar melody in the intro makes it one of the most well known songs in glam. It was written by David Bowie and is a sad funeral-like ballad talking about the troubles of growing up in the 70's as well as teenage suicide. The song screams Bowie, but it does fit in well with the rest of the album.

Ready For Love/After the Lights is a slower grooving blues tune. It is a bit of a departure from the style of the rest of the album. Rather than trying to make the song shimmer it is more gritty and guitar centric. The layering of acoustic guitar underneath in the interludes however helps tie it in to their overall sound a little bit. Guitarist Mick Ralphs who wrote the song would later rework the song and make it punchier and more rocking for Bad Company's debut album Bad Company in 1974.

If you're interested in getting into glam rock, All the Young Dudes is a fantastic place to start. In nine songs it spells out what the entire movement was and even to this day is all about. No doubt this is thanks to the help from Bowie, but the natural talent of these musicians also played a heavy role in the success of the album. Unfortunately Mott the Hoople would break up not long after it was released, but its members would go on to do bigger and better things.

All the Young Dudes, by Mott the Hoople receives 3.5 stars out of 5.

Track List:

1. Sweet Jane
2. Momma's Little Jewel
3. All the Young Dudes
4. Sucker
5. Jerkin' Crocus
6. One of the Boys
7. Soft Ground
8. Ready For Love
9. Sea Diver

Buy the album on Amazon:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Guns N' Roses Original Line Up Rumour Kicks Up

It doesn't take long for rumours to start circulating, does it? Not even a week after Slash publicly announced that he and former Guns N' Roses band mate singer Axl Rose had ended their nearly two decade feud and become friends again a new reunion rumour has popped up.

This rumour comes from James Young while on Australia's Triple M (on Ultimate Guitar) saying he was privy to the most amazing rumour that the band would be headlining next year's Soundwave Festival. Young elaborates saying “Now we know that a mystery band has come in and saved the festival, and now owns it, so they they are going to have a big say,” teased Young. “So what mega band could it be?”

When pushed for more information Young responded:

“Now we know that a mystery band has come in and saved the festival, and now owns it, so they they are going to have a big say,” teased Young. “So what mega band could it be? I have heard ‘fantasized’ … that it will be: Steven Adler, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, Slash, and Axl Rose, the reformation of the original 1987 Appetite for Destruction Guns N’ Roses lineup,” he continued. “Can you believe it? It’s incredible; I’ve had sleepless nights fantasizing about it.”

Personally I think Young is full of shit. The ex-members of the band have turned down MILLIONS of dollars to reunite multiple times over the years. However, now that many of them seemed to have patched things up with one another you never know. However, I still think it is really unlikely. I can see one or two members joining Axl's current incarnation of Guns N' Roses for a song or two here and there, but I still don't see a full blown reunion happening.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Motorhead Release Cover of "Sympathy for the Devil"

Heavy metal/punk legends Motorhead have at the request of wrestler Triple H just recorded and released a cover of a Rolling Stones classic: Sympathy for the Devil.

It is a pretty faithful cover and keeps a great deal of the Rolling Stones vibe to it with the jungle drums this time laid down by drummer Mikkey Dee and the iconic "woo-wooing" in the background. However, at the same time they definitely make it their own with singer and bassist Lemmy Kilmister's beastly vocals and guitarist Phil Campbell's ripping and wailing guitar solos.

While I do give the band props for doing such a fantastic job on this cover, at the same time it does sound a LOT like the Guns N' Roses cover of it that came out in 1994 for the film Interview With a Vampire's soundtrack. The only really noticeable difference is who is doing the vocals and some of the more minor nuances.

This cover will be featured on Motorhead's upcoming album Bad Magic, which will be coming out this Friday. In the mean time however you can pre-order the album on iTunes and Amazon. To listen to the cover you can click here to listen to it on SoundCloud

Sunday, August 23, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #40

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. Linoleum, by NOFX

This is one of the most energetic pieces of 90's punk that isn't pop-punk I have ever heard. If you want something loud, raging, yet also melodic at the same time to help you start a revolution in the streets then this is the track for you. It encompasses the struggle of the every man who works hard and does what he has to every day just to get by.

2.  Welcome to the Jungle, by Guns N' Roses

What better way to celebrate the reconciliation between Slash and Axl Rose after their nearly 20 year feud than by blaring one of their best known songs at top volume? This song has everything: wailing guitar solos, heavy drums, rumbling bass, howling vocals, etc. I kind of doubt Slash will be rejoining the band, but I suppose those of us who are long time fans can still always dream about such a miracle, right?

3.  Should I Stay or Should I Go, by The Clash

If ever there was a tune to crank, air guitar, and whip your hair around to it's this. It's classic punk rock at its roots and finest. The Clash took what bands like The Ramones did and then put it on steroids. This classic tune is proof enough of that. It's upbeat, catchy, and has a memorable chorus. What more can you really ask for in a song meant for everyone to be able to relate to?

4.  Black Magic Woman, by Santana

Although this tune was originally written by Peter Green during his tenure in Fleetwood Mac, this song did not gain particular notoriety until Santana released their hot Latinized cover of it in 1970. Carlos Santanta's fret work in this song is phenomenal. You would think that his guitar was literally on fire the way he just rips through the song. This cover is definitely on par with the original.

5.  Still Got the Blues, by Gary Moore

Love (or recent loss thereof) got you down? Blues guitarist Gary Moore understood. In 1990 he released a song with so much heart, pain, and soul called Still Got the Blues. It has one of the most memorable guitar melody hooks that I've heard in some time. It cuts like a knife and makes you feel as though your gut is being torn even if you weren't sad before. Nothing like good music to do what words never could...


Friday, August 21, 2015

The Dead Weather Premiere New Music Video "I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)"

Jack White's dark heavy blues rock side project The Dead Weather has put out a new single to promote their upcoming album Dodge and Burn called I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) and there is also a video (which can be viewed below) to accompany it.

The video is pretty simplistic. It features lead singer Alison Mosshart howling into the wind like a wolf while occasionally getting blown back by the wind and the rain in a city street. The video is primarily in black in white, but during some of the more intense emotional moments it switches to color and then back again. Interesting concept. Not too complex but not overly simple either. There is a decent bit to dissect.

The song is pretty much what you would expect from The Dead Weather if you have listened to them before. The guitar riffs are thick, dark, and full of bluesy soul. It's pretty simplistic, but that just helps to emphasize the kind of emotional power and intensity that I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) has to offer.

Personally, I don't think that I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) is a bad song but at the same time I feel as though there will be songs on Dodge and Burn that I like better when it comes out on September 25th. If you are interested in pre-ordering the album, you can do so by clicking here.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Throwback Thursday: City of Evil, by Avenged Sevenfold

Hard to believe that this album is already 10 years old. I remember when it was new. When City of Evil, by Avenged Sevenfold came out in 2005 it was the band's first step into the more marketable direction they became known for sound-wise as they had just signed to Warner Bros. Records. This record is the one that really landed them on the map and made them one of the flag ship bands of modern metal.

What separates City of Evil from Avenged Sevenfold's previous albums is that for one thing all traces of the band's original metalcore sound are completely gone. There are no more screamed vocals and the overtone shifted to more of a deeper 80's speed metal/Iron Maiden kind of vibe. Despite taking a bit more commercial approach to metal, most if not all of the tracks are unforgettable. They are melodic, heavy, fast, and impacting.

One of the most well known tracks from Avenged Sevenfold came from this album: Beast and the Harlot. This track opens the album by grabbing you buy the balls and pulling you for a wild ride. The drums and chugging guitar riff absolutely do not let up or slow down at any point. The dual harmonized soloing between guitarists Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates only makes it that much better. Vocalist M. Shadows admits that this is the most tiresome song to sing live. By the time it's over you feel exhausted, yet pumped for the rest of the ride that is City of Evil.

One of the more creative pieces is a song called Sidewinder. Though it is primarily a metal song, there are sections (especially a long one at the end) that is Spanish flamenco guitar themed. In fact, the ending is a flamenco guitar dual between lead guitarist Gates and his father and guest guitarist Brian Haner. I think it's one of the absolute best parts of the entire album, to be honest. Nothing like some acoustic sprinkled in to make a metal album that much more interesting.

If you are a fan of heavy 80's metal or newer metal or want to know where to begin with Avenged Sevenfold, then City of Evil is just what you need. It really did help bring metal back from the brink of disappearing. Despite the fact that A7X did kind of "sell out" with this record, that doesn't mean it's bad by any means. They just changed their style up to something they more enjoyed and opened them up to a wider audience. Nothing wrong with that.

City of Evil, by Avenged Sevenfold receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Beast and the Harlot
2. Burn It Down
3. Blinded in Chains
4. Bat Country
5. Trashed and Scattered
6. Seize the Day
7. Sidewinder
8. The Wicked End
9. Strength of the World
10. Betrayed
11. M.I.A.

Buy the album on Amazon:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Swedish Rock Quartet Graveyard Release New Video

Swedish heavy blues rock outfit Graveyard have released a new farm themed video to promote their single The Apple and the Tree which will be on their upcoming album Innocence & Decadence on September 18th.

The video shows the band hard at work on a farm (in a time that looks to be 100 years ago or so) digging, driving a tractor, chopping wood, and at the end of the day dancing around a fire having a good old time. You would think that such a video would work better for a country song, but surprisingly it emphasizes the lyrics of the song pretty well.

The song sounds heavily influenced by the Jimi Hendrix cover of All Along the Watch Tower, but not to the point where it is a straight ripoff. If you didn't know any better you really would think that this song was written by an American west coast band in the late 60's. It's great for getting your groove on. Plus, if you listen to the lyrics there is more going on than what initially meets the ear.

If this song has enticed you at all, Innocence & Decadence is currently available for pre-order. I'm pretty tempted to get the album myself when it comes out because Graveyard sounds like a pretty cool band. They have a few albums out already, so it would definitely be worth your while to go and check them out.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

All Remaining Classic Uriah Heep Members Reuniting For One Show

Classic metal/heavy rock band Uriah Heep have announced that they will be reuniting with the two remaining classic era line-up members keyboardist Ken Hensley and drummer Lee Kerslake for one show only in Russia.

The show according to the band's Facebook will be taking place at the Moscow Crocus on October 15th. The set will be two hours long and will feature Hensley and Kerslake playing along side the current members of the band including keyboardist Phil Lanzon and drummer Russel Gilbrook.

Hensley and Kerslake have briefly reunited with Uriah Heep once in a blue moon over the years, but usually only for one show at a time. Hensley wrote most of Uriah Heep's classic songs such as Easy Livin', Stealin', July Morning, etc. Kerslake was a member until 2007.

I have to say, while I'm pleased that all the remaining classic members of Uriah Heep are doing something together I'm a bit cheesed off that it has to be happening so far away. It's a shame that nothing amazing like this ever seems to happen here in the United States. Oh well. I'm sure it will be a spectacular performance.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #39

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. Crossroads Blues, by Robert Johnson

The birth of blues and rock n' roll happened right here in this song and others written by king of blues Robert Johnson. Though it isn't as rip-roaring (or anything remotely close to) the version made famous by Cream, without it contemporary music as we know it today never would have happened. Kind of amazing how one man is almost entirely responsible for such a tremendous thing, don't you think?

2. Girl Directions, by Psychostick

WARNING: If you are offended by foul language and poking fun at stereotypes then this song is NOT for you. If you aren't a wus, then have I got something hilarious for you! Psychostick are a comedy metal band that poke fun at all kinds of absurdities in modern day life. The song Girl Directions for example satirizes how often times some (BUT NOT ALL) girls give absolutely terrible directions and will not just give you the address even though you're using a GPS. You have to listen for yourself.

3. Takin' Care of Business, by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

As if you don't hear this enough on classic rock radio these days, right? However, it's there for good reason. It's a damn good catchy song with a chorus that any working man or woman can shout along to. I've been listening to it (and my mother singing along to it) for probably two decades or more at this point. I have to admit that even though that happened I still can't help but get into the groove when the song comes on.

4. Linin' Track, by Bernie Marsden

Want a song that does an absolutely FANTASTIC job of blending delta blues with modern heavy blues rock? Linin' Track, by founding Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden is just that. It starts off mild enough with acoustic guitar and transceiver sounding vocals, but when the electric guitar and full band come crashing in you know that you're about to jam out to the absolute rockingest song you have heard in a long time.

5. Bouree, by Jethro Tull

Like classical music redone in an unusual way? In this re-envisioned version of Bach's guitar classic, the melody is played on flutes and the rest of the band is backing it up in a very swingy fashion. The 60's really were a time of great creativity among musicians and artists of all kinds. I guess you could say things are somewhat the same way today, but I don't think it's quite the same. By now we're kind of used to people doing strange for the sake of strange.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Iron Maiden Premiere New Music Video For "Speed of Light"

It's been five years since the last time British metal pioneers Iron Maiden have released any new music. Last time it was on their 15th studio album The Final Frontier. Now however the band has dropped a video for the single called Speed of Light (which can be watched below) to promote their upcoming double album Book of Souls.

The Speed of Light Video pays tribute to many of Iron Maiden's favorite video games such as: Streets of Rage, Mortal Kombat, Rampage, and Unreal Tournament. The band's mascot Eddie is of course the main character going from game to game on a quest where he fights off bad guys and at the end takes their hearts for his quest.

The song itself is all right. It seems more hard rock than heavy metal, though. You can also tell that singer Bruce Dickinson's voice has aged, though it still has that high demonic presence to it. I think the most surprising part to me was hearing so much cowbell in an Iron Maiden song. That's not something you would come to expect from these guys. In some ways the overall feel of the song has more of a Deep Purple feel than an Iron Maiden one.

Book of Souls comes out on September 4th and is currently available for pre-order here.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Throwback Thursday: The Complete Recordings, by Robert Johnson

There is one man who is considered to be responsible for so many genres of contemporary music as we know it to this day. A man who supposedly sold his soul to the Devil at the crossroads for the gift of being able to play guitar well. A blues man known as Robert Johnson. Despite the fact that he died at the age of 27 in his short career he wrote a whole slew of songs that are considered blues standards 80 years later such as Crossroads Blues, I Believe I'll Dust My Broom, Sweet Home Chicago, etc.

The quality of the recordings in The Complete Recordings is pretty shoddy, but that is to be expected given the time all of these songs were recorded in and what little budget Johnson had to work with. Despite that however, Johnson's talent shines through as brilliantly (if not more so) than any Joe Shmo with Pro-Tools. No one since has ever had the tender feel that Johnson gave to these songs. There is a reason this man is pretty much the king of the blues.

Sweet Home Chicago is not the loud raucous song that many blues and rock musicians in modern times have made it. In fact, it is a very slow to moderate tempo sweet sounding song about a man simply wishing to return home to the place he knows and loves best out of anywhere else in the world. The crackle of the poor quality recording gives the song that much more warmth and genuine feel.

Crossroads Blues is another example of a song that many rockers (most notably Cream) took and transformed into something almost entirely different from the original thing. The slide in the original version is iconic and influenced generations upon generations of blues musicians to come. The singing is also pretty soulful and unique. No one else comes close to sounding the way Johnson did when it comes to vocals.

If you want to hear the true birth of rock, soul, R&B, etc. it's right here in The Complete Recordings, by Robert Johnson. For many it might not be the kind of album they would put on their iPods or stream from Spotify or Pandora, but it still is an experience that anyone who appreciates the true roots of good music to have. It is like traveling in a time machine for sure. Definitely worth every penny spent.

The Complete Recordings, by Robert Johnson receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Buy the album on Amazon:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ex-Megadeth Guitarist Marty Friedman: "I Would Rather Chew Glass Than Listen to Hendrix"

Jimi Hendrix is highly regarded by many as the single greatest guitar player to ever grace the Earth with his music. Countless guitarists have tried over the past few decades to emulate his style. However, one well known guitar extraordinaire has to disagree with all of the hubbub: ex-Megadeth lead guitarist Marty Friedman.

In a recent interview with Ultimate Guitar Friedman declared his distaste for Hendrix's playing saying he would "rather chew glass than listen to Jimi Hendrix". When the crap started to hit the fan from this comment, he addressed things on his Facebook page saying:

"When I was a beginning guitarist, all the good players in town would tell me I should listen to this guy or learn from this album, and check out this guitar master or that one. Of course I wanted to impress my friends as well as "learn from the best" so I diligently checked out all the most respected players. I soon realized that although the artists that were suggested to me were certainly brilliant masters, I found little joy in analyzing their music, because I just plain didn't understand it or even like much of it. It meant nothing to me, like homework from a teacher in school. When I dug into the music that I did actually like, even though much of it was a bit obscure and not "approved by the local big shot guitarists" I really enjoyed the process of learning and as a result, I wound up easily and subliminally able to decide what I want to play in my own music.

Good interview below:
Of course their headline makes me look like an asshole, but that`s how I talk to my friends, and that`s how I consider all of you out there, so enjoy."

I suppose everyone has their own preferences when it comes to music, but I still can't help but find it pretty astonishing that a guitarist that I have a great deal of respect for has something so bold and negative to say about someone so highly praised and immortalized for their musicianship. I guess Friedman and Hendrix are both from two completely different schools of music. Friedman is more classical and Hendrix was more of a play by feel kind of guy. Either way, I guess we have to respect everyone having a right to their own opinion.

Monday, August 10, 2015

John Lennon Left Behind Demo That Almost Became Last Beatles Song

In 1994 the three remaining Beatles at the time George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Paul McCartney got together to put their touches on demos left behind by the late John Lennon for a three volume anthology they were releasing. The band with ELO's Jeff Lynne producing completed two of three songs. The two were Real Love and Free as a Bird. The third one Now and Then however went untouched.

This is because Harrison didn't care for it. However, McCartney according to the video below has stated that he would like to some day come back to it and finish it, as Lennon's wife Yoko Ono had personally given it to him with a label on the cassette written by Lennon saying "For Paul".

On the subject Lynne says:

“It was one day — one afternoon, really — messing with it. The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track, a rough go that we really didn’t finish.”

In the first video you can hear Lennon's original version along with a bit of McCartney's commentary. However, if you want to hear a more cleaned up and fan completed version of it, click the video at the bottom. Now and Then is a very melancholic song, but that is not surprising given that many of Lennon's later songs were like that. Either way, it is brilliant. Personally I like the fan completed one better because it breathes fresh life into the old recording and the love truly shines through.

Now and Then

Fan Completed Version

Sunday, August 9, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #38

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. Back in the USSR, by The Beatles

This fun guitar and piano driven tune was put out in 1968 on The White Album as a way for The Beatles to poke a bit of fun at The Beach Boys. Instead of singing about the USA or California girls though, they sing about being back in the Soviet Union and how the Ukraine girls really knock them out. Given the time this song came out in it's pretty amusing and yet at the same time really fun to groove and jam out to.

2. Hey Jude, by The Beatles

This song was originally written by Paul McCartney as Hey Jules and was meant to be a song to cheer up John Lennon's young son Julien Lennon during his parents' divorce. McCartney and Julien were very close while Julien was growing up, so it is kind of natural that McCartney would want to do something to help him feel at least a little better during such a difficult time in his life. Indeed it is a cheerful and fun song; especially in the ending that goes on for over four minutes.

3. Taxman, by The Beatles

This is one of the funkier songs The Beatles wrote; especially if you listen to McCartney's bass line. If you like songs that protest against overly heavy taxation from rich government fat cats then this is the tune for you. In a way it's a pretty depressing song despite its upbeat nature, but then again they wouldn't really get the message across if they were to be all nice about things. Nothing gets done by always being polite.

4. Come Together, by The Beatles

This song was originally written by John Lennon when asked by Timothy Leary to write a campaign song for him. The idea "come together" was one Leary came up with. Lennon tried to work with it, but couldn't think of anything. It didn't matter anyway because Leary was soon jailed for pot possession. The song itself then came to life from a bunch of "gobbledegook" thing the band came up with in the studio according to Lennon.

5. We Can Work It Out, by The Beatles

A Beatles song about love and relationships? Whoever would have imagined such a thing would exist? This is a fun uptempo song about trying to salvage a relationship that seems to be falling apart. It emphasizes that life is too short to fight with each other. Love is all that really matters so we really should try to get along. One of the more interesting parts is the waltzy parts that break up the choruses. Some of George Harrison's more clever thinking right there.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Hollywood Vampires Release Details for Album

Alice Cooper, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, and Johnny Depp originally started their super group Hollywood Vampires as just the three of them, but it seems to have evolved into something much bigger; involving the likes of Paul McCartney, Brian Johnson, Slash, Robby Krieger, Joe Walsh, and many more.

The group got its name from the group of rockstars who used to hang out in the upper level of the Rainbow Bar and Grill on Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Cooper was one of the founding members of the group. The original gang in 1972 included people like John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon, Bernie Taupin, Jim Morrison and Mickey Dolenz. According to Cooper, all one had to do to gain entrance was "out-drink all of the  members".

The album is chocked full of covers from the bands that original members were a part of among other rock classics. The full track list along with the personnel performing on each individual song can be viewed below.

Judging by the looks of things, this should be a fun album to listen to. With that much rock royalty it's kind of hard to go wrong. Plus, the fact that all the proceeds are going to a good cause (the MusiCares organization) it is all the more reason to pick up the record when it comes out on September 11th.

1. “The Last Vampire”
Narration: Sir Christopher Lee
Keyboards and Sound Design: Johnny Depp, Bob Ezrin and Justin Cortelyou

2. “Raise the Dead”
(Johnny Depp, Bruce Witkin, Tommy Henriksen, Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Rob Klonel)
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Guitars: Johnny Depp, Tommy Henriksen, Bruce Witkin
Drums: Glenn Sobel
Bass: Bruce Witkin
Background Vocals: Alice Cooper, Tommy Henriksen, Bob Ezrin

3. “My Generation”
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Guitars: Johnny Depp, Tommy Henriksen
Bass: Bruce Witkin
Drums: Zak Starkey
Background Vocals: Tommy Henriksen,

4. “Whole Lotta Love”
Vocals: Brian Johnson, Alice Cooper
Guitars: Joe Walsh, Johnny Depp,
Orianthi, Tommy Henriksen, Bruce Witkin
Harmonica: Alice Cooper
Drums: Zak Starkey
Bass: Kip Winger
Programming: Tommy Henriksen
Backing Vocals: Alice Cooper, Tommy Henriksen

5. “I Got a Line”
Vocals: Alice Cooper, Perry Farrell
Guitars: Joe Walsh, Johnny Depp, Tommy Henriksen, Bruce Witkin
Drums: Abe Laboriel Jr.
Bass: Kip Winger
Background Vocals: Perry Farrell, Tommy Henriksen, Bob Ezrin

6. “Five to One” / “Break on Through”
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Guitars: Robby Krieger, Johnny Depp, Tommy Henriksen
Drums: Abe Laboriel Jr.
Farfisa: Charlie Judge
Bass: Bruce Witkin

7. “One” / “Jump Into the Fire”
Vocals: Alice Cooper, Perry Farrell
Guitars: Robby Krieger, Johnny Depp, Tommy Henriksen, Bruce Witkin
Drums: Dave Grohl
Bass: Bruce Witkin
Keyboard: Bob Ezrin, Bruce Witkin
Programming: Tommy Henriksen

8. “Come and Get It”
Vocals: Paul McCartney, Alice Cooper
Guitars: Joe Perry, Johnny Depp
Piano: Paul McCartney
Drums: Abe Laboriel Jr.
Bass: Paul McCartney
Background Vocals: Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper, Abe Laboriel Jr., Bob Ezrin

9. “Jeepster”
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Guitars: Joe Perry, Johnny Depp, Tommy Henriksen,
Drums: Glenn Sobel
Bass: Bruce Witkin
Programming: Tommy Henriksen
Background Vocals: Bob Ezrin

10. “Cold Turkey”
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Guitars: Joe Perry, Johnny Depp, Tommy Henriksen
Drums: Glenn Sobel
Bass: Bruce Witkin
Programming: Tommy Henriksen
Background Vocals: Alice Cooper, Tommy Henriksen

11. “Manic Depression”
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Guitars: Joe Walsh, Johnny Depp, Tommy Henriksen
Drums: Zak Starkey
Bass: Bruce Witkin
Piano: Bob Ezrin

12. “Itchycoo Park”
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Guitars: Johnny Depp, Tommy Henriksen
Drums: Glenn Sobel
Bass: Bruce Witkin
Programming: Tommy Henriksen
Background Vocals: Alice Cooper, Tommy Henriksen, Bob Ezrin

13. “School’s Out” / “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2″
Vocals: Alice Cooper, Brian Johnson
Guitar: Slash, Joe Perry, Johnny Depp, Tommy Henriksen, Bruce Witkin
Drums: Neal Smith
Bass: Dennis Dunaway
Background Vocals: Kip Winger, Bob Ezrin

14. “Dead Drunk Friends”
(Johnny Depp, Bruce Witkin, Tommy Henriksen, Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin)
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Guitars: Johnny Depp, Bruce Witkin
Drums: Glenn Sobel
Programming: Tommy Henriksen
Bass: Bruce Witkin
Piano: Bruce Witkin, Bob Ezrin
Background Vocals: Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, Tommy Henriksen, Bruce Witkin, Bob Ezrin

Hollywood Vampires Preview

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Throwback Thursday: 5150, by Van Halen

In 1985 a big bombshell was dropped on the world of rock n' roll: singer David Lee Roth was quitting Van Halen. Many people were wondering what would happen next for the band considering the fact that the front man was so iconic, charismatic, and unique. Instead of calling it quits, Van Halen decided to hire on a new singer: former Montrose singer and successful solo artist Sammy Hagar. By early 1986 they had recorded and put out a brand new album that ended up becoming a big hit: 5150.

5150 still has many classic Van Halen nuances, but it definitely is more commercial pop rock oriented than their previous ventures. It is chocked full of love songs and ballads that skyrocketed up the charts; making the band the most successful commercially it had been than ever before. Tracks like Why Can't This Be Love, Dreams, Love Walks In, etc. became instant fan favorites and are still played consistently on rock radio stations to this day.

Summer Nights is one of the more classic Van Halen-ish tracks on 5150. It has a pretty steady groove, fun vibe, and some of Eddie Van Halen's signature guitar shredding. It's a track that gives you the feeling of driving a convertible down the highway on a warm breezy night in mid-summer with the wind whipping through your hair and your friends in the back seat. This song is the epitome of fun summer rock.

Why Can't This Be Love is one of the better love songs from Van Hagar. Its blend of guitar, talk box, and keys is seamless and creates a unique sound from all of the different layers stacked in it. The lyrics are a bit cheesy, but that's kind of to be expected from a commercial pop rock song from the 1980's. All that can be overlooked though because it's the powerful melodic delivery of those lyrics from Hagar that really gives the song that super sonic edge.

5150 is one of those albums that is beloved by Van Hagar fans but trashed by the classic Van Roth fans. It's understandable. It is a radical change in sound from what Van Halen fans were used to. The two line-ups really are almost two entirely different bands. However, if you can put all that aside and just enjoy the album for what it is, it is a pretty fun rock record. It gets a bit sappy at certain points, but the guitar shredding and powerful vocal deliveries are more than enough to compensate for all of that. It's worth having.

5150, by Van Halen recieves 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Good Enough
2. Why Can't This Be Love
3. Get Up
4. Dreams
5. Summer Nights
6. Best of Both Worlds
7. Love Walks In
8. 5150
9. Inside

Buy the album on Amazon:

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Rolling Stones' Keith Richards Calls Beatles' Sergent Pepper Album Rubbish

Seems Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has been keeping himself in the news quite a bit lately. This time instead of announcing an album however he has taken to slamming the beloved 1967 Beatles album Sergent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in an interview with Esquire.

It is no secret that The Beatles and The Rolling Stones have been rivals for five decades at this point. In the world of rock n' roll people say you like either one or the other. It is no surprise that Richards would have something to say.

Richards says:

“The Beatles, chicks wore those guys out. They stopped touring in 1966 –they were done already. They were ready to go to India and s—. … There’s not a lot of roots in that music. I think they got carried away. You’re starting to do Sgt. Pepper. Some people think it’s a genius album, but I think it’s a mishmash of rubbish, kind of like Satanic Majesties. ‘Oh, if you can make a load of s—, so can we.’”

Perhaps Richards is jealous because the Stones would never be able to fathom creating such a unique groundbreaking album? It wouldn't surprise me considering the fact that most of their music is based almost entirely in simplistic blues. Now that's not to say it isn't still good, but it isn't quite as bold and intriguing in the same sense as Sergent Pepper.

Monday, August 3, 2015

AC/DC Drummer Phil Rudd Pleading Not Guilty to Violating Sentence


Former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd is at it once again. This time he is deciding not to claim responsibility for violating his house arrest when recently he had booze and strippers in his home and got caught.

Rudd was given 8 months of house arrest when charged and sentenced for possessing cannabis and meth as well as threatening to kill his assistant and their family back in November. He now faces a year in prison for this violation.

Though the strippers weren't the issue, Rudd is forbidden from possessing or consuming alcohol. Since there is overwhelming evidence that he did in fact break the rules, the prosecution is moving ahead saying it is "a relatively straightforward case" according to

Prosecutor Anna Pollett says:

“The defendant admitted the charge to the police on his arrest. There’s very strong evidence, and the matter can proceed immediately to a judge alone hearing.”

Rudd says in a video where he is being bothered by paparazzi that he plans to focus on self-improvement and is only nervous because he is not sure what is going on.

Personally I think Rudd should just own up to what he has done because at this point the prosecution has enough evidence to lock him up. He may as well go down with at least a little bit of honor and dignity.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #37

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. Your Time is Gonna Come, by Led Zeppelin

This delightful track from Led Zeppelin's first album is eargasmic tapestry of electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and organ blending together. The keys really do make it feel like a churchy religious experience. Then again, any time one listens to Led Zeppelin it is the equivalent of a religious experience. The lyrics are pretty relateable. Everyone at some point has dealt with someone who is less than faithful to them.

 2. Alexis, by The James Gang

After Joe Walsh left The James Gang in the early 70's the band actually continued on by hiring a new singer and guitar player to replace him. The guitarist was none other than young jazz fusion master Tommy Bolin. In 1973 the band put out an album called Bang and it featured a track that Bolin also took vocals on titled Alexis. It is a pretty relaxed tune with some serious jazz vibe to it, yet it still feels like it belongs on a rock album. It definitely doesn't suit the picture people get when they think of The James Gang, but they might like it nonetheless.

 3. While My Guitar Gentley Weeps, by The Beatles

This is probably the most iconic George Harrison song from his entire career both with the Beatles and as a solo artist. It's a sad song, but it is all kinds of epic. Fun fact: Eric Clapton played the lead guitar parts on this song but was uncredited. When he came into the studio they made his amp settings sound as close to the Beatles as possible so that it would blend in with the rest of the song and fool people into thinking it was someone in the band playing.

 4. New Orleans, by Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures was a Hollywood based band from the early 2000's that included Sixx AM and former Guns N' Roses guitarist DJ Ashba before he really hit it big. This song has a serious GN'R vibe to it. You can really tell that that was the sound they were going for. The melodies are so catchy and memorable (especially the ones from the lead guitar) that you can easily forgive this and get caught up in the moment of enjoying this song for what it is: a rocking good time.

5. The Way, by California Breed

Though California Breed only lasted for one album and tour, they did some fantastic heavy funk rock during their tenure. The true attitude, power, and soul of the band can be summed up in the opening track titled The Way from their album. It has punch and balls yet at the same time there is melody and soul. It is something you can rock out to but also get immersed in at the same time. It is a unique experience to say the least.