Friday, September 30, 2011

Terrible Lie...

     What songs do you listen to when you are down? Are you a misery loves company type and listen to the downer songs? You know, the type that are considered sappy when listening to them in a good mood? Are you the type to resort to the songs that make you want to throw chairs, like Stabbing Westward, Disturbed, or well anything thrash. How about Pure Hatred by Chimera, or  Payback by Slayer, the songs that make you want to rip someones eyes out and squish them like grapes...or are you a Beethoven person? It's amazing what music can do when we need it.

     One of my go to Cd's when I am mad or down is Nine Inch Nails "Pretty hate machine." I love that CD to death, it's almost a therapy session for me, and was only $13. The first 3 tracks alone get me screaming along, then moping, then screaming, oh God it's great. Another go to band is Disturbed, their first album, and Ten Thousand Fists are good anger chasers, even what they did with Land of Confusion (I wouldn't listen to the Genesis version when mad.)  A few overused and non useful things are St. Anger and Smashing Pumpkins. I can not get into them as an anger extravaganza (so to speak...though Master of Puppets is good.) I am not a classical music mood fan, I listen to it when I am anxious, but not mad...I think it might make me hate it...but a good song for bad moods is "You Can Do Anything You Want To" by Thin Lizzy.

     So whatever side of the spectrum, songs are like apps...there's one for that, but hopefully my followers aren't getting too mad, but if you are, you know where to turn. Till next time, keep hitting the HIGH NOTES!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

they call me the seeker...

     What band is your favorite (or least favorite) bad named band. I mean some bands have weird names you have to figure out, like Toad the Wet Sprocket was a skit by Monty Python, Hootie and the Blowfish is 2 friends of Darius Rucker that got nicknamed because of how they looked. Now if you're thinking "Cito, why do you not mention Captain and Teneille?" Well that's a ridiculous GIMMICK (that's another blog where we will find the flaming lips, and the Beegees...) now as much as I like them, The Guess Who are on my list. That was purely intentional...Randy knew what he was doing (I assume he made the name.) Now some bands names are so bad they are good, like Deep Blue Something, they were thinking of the name and said "deep blue...something." Pretty simple, right? Or Puddle of Mudd...their practice space got flooded, but The The, there's a stupid name (good music though...) trying to out do The Band (named because they were a backup band to many artists before taking to their FAIL, The The.) While we are on names, isn't it cool how some bands get their name? Like Genesis for example, their first gig was at a house that someone Peter Gabriel knew from bible school owned, therefore "Genesis" was born.

     Well that's all for tonight, tomorrow I might do another special blog...maybe something on Thin Lizzy? Keep hitting the HIGH NOTES!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


"We saw you at Jaxx last night after working at 6 am, and no sleep then getting up at 5 am to get to work at 6 am again, with major hearing loss...I want to say every minute was worth it. This band is going places! Adrenaline Mob was the first concert I went into blind and enjoyed everything, every smack in the face, every push from people trying to record video. I want to personally thank you for coming to a small club and rocking it. This is the 4th time seeing you perform (once in Bristow, VA with YES, then Toronto, and then again at Bristow with Iron Maiden.) If anyone asks, I would definitely recommend this band, if you like metal, rock or even hard jazz, you guys cover the entire spectrum without crossing lines and coming off as "selling out" to a certain genre, and that is hard to find. I would love to see you guys again with one of the bands I have known Dream Theater to tour with. Again, thank you Adrenaline Mob for a great night of music, I really needed it" - My letter to Mike Portnoy on Thurs. August 18th after seeing Adrenaline Mob.
     The other week I was looking through my room and saw an old ticket stub, and thought nothing of it...just looked normal to me. But the next day I was on Facebook and saw that last year's post and saw that the old post was lyrics, and I picked up the ticket stub and saw "August 10th, 2010 Tom Petty and CSN." I thought "'s been a year since I saw a show." Not a good thing for someone who likes to blog music. Anyway I get on the computer 2 days later and see a post on a band called Adrenaline Mob (Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater's new band.) I told my brother and my friend Jake (Shameless plug: His blog, a day in the life. Check it out on my subscriptions.) We decided we have to go, I bought Erik's ticket, and mine...Jake bought his, and Jake and I had lunch and hit the road, meeting Erik up art the club. Typical JAXX style the ticket said doors at 6:30, when we got there the bands started coming 8:30.  Anyway, 1 band came on called Widow. I kinda liked them, and another band the girl had trouble keeping pitch and slammed the door in our face as we entered the bar area. Anyway, the supporting bands were OK, but as we got to A.M, the place was rockin'. Their songs were great considering I haven't heard any of them in completion before that night. Though I got slapped in the face by some dude's hair all night, it was a great show and I highly recommend it if you like metal, hard rock or even hard jazz. It fits a spectrum I have never heard before! So the year drought is over, I hope I can see more shows, and more shows like this at that!

     Sorry for being away so long, had an over extended business and I am going on vacation! I hope to come back from Canada with more music stories, and tales of interest. Until then keep hitting the HIGH NOTES!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chug-a-Lug You Strawberry Man!

     Who ever thought Puff Daddy would make any sense? "When you hear a song, make sure you hear it right, don't make an ass out of yourself by assuming..." Here is a blog I have been meaning to write since I started this blog a year if you don't remember what a "mondegreen" is...or if you are too lazy to look at my first blog, wikipedia describes it as mishearing a lyric in almost perfect homophony. Now we've all heard people say they thought kiss the sky was Hendrix singing " 'scuse me while I kiss this guy."(which is actually how Jimi got out of the army...but that;s neither here nor there right now.) The term Mondegreen came from an old song where the singer said "I shot him and laid him on the green." I guess people freaked when they thought they said "and Lady Mondegreen" (what did she ever do?) Even Ellen DeGeneres got it wrong thinking the Eagles were singing "Wipe in the Vaseline." There are some good ones out there, let's make fun of the people who hear it wrong! (Myself included.)

     You know the term Gringo is based off a mondegreen? It's true, myth has it that the Americans were singing this old drinking song called "Green Grow the Lilacs," and the Mexicans overheard, and well...history was made. Now I have been known to have this happen before, when I was little (these examples ranging from when I was 10-14,) I heard the song "Across the River" by Bruce Hornsby, and I would sing "Some fine day, we will find our way...Fossarilla, Fossarilla." What the hell was a Fossarilla? Oh...across the river...don't look at me, I'm dumb. Also Alanis Morrisette saying the cross eyed bear that you gave to me? Oh...cross I bear. I thought Dave Coulier gave her a cross eyed stuffed bear, how would I know? I always knew it was bad moon on the rise, but Erik and I would love saying "there's the bathroom on the right." My friend had a Christian song called "I Exalt Thee" and said when she was little she thought it said "I salt thee." I mean who blames the Beatles wondering if they will be needed when they are 6 feet's 64?

     I once heard someone sing "Chug-a-lug you strawberry man" in public to Jungle Love by Steve Miller, and when I bought a book (an excellent read if you like funny comics) called "'scuse me while I kiss this guy" oddly enough that and the next example were in that book. Erik was dating a girl once and I was friends with her little sister, and I was telling her that people thought the song "Our Lips are Sealed" by the Go-Go's (then more popular by her as the song covered by the Duff sisters...)  was Alex the Seal. Now the funniest part is the girl he was dating actually thought it was Alex the seal. Well I won't give away any more of the case you want to read it.

     Now some bands will sing their misheard lyric (the previously noted Hendrix, Manfred Mann, and ELO) live when they heard about it. Imagine hearing "Don't bring me down BRRRUUUUCEEE" or "wrapped up like a douche" at a concert. most fans would be scared and confused, and wonder what was going on.

     Well if I give all my examples, I might as well have written out that entire book, and I don't want to do that. So until next time, keep hitting the HIGH NOTES! (and get your damn hearing checked...)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

G'N' Are you kidding me???

     I was at the grocery store the other day, and I get in the car to go home, and the radio is playing November Rain by G'N'R from the beginning. So I was thinking about how I hate when people put this song up or quote it during an actual November rain...anyway, so I was driving back home, and when it got to the bridge of the song, it started raining. I thought that was an interesting placement. It's things like that which makes life worth living.

     I would like to apologize if I have any loyal readers, I have been having a rough time, and used that story as a warm up blog. I will get to the story I wanted to tell early June but couldn't. I needed time off...

Hope to be hitting the HIGH NOTES again soon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm headed for a breakdown...

     We, as music fans usually find it a blast to go to concerts, and I am not one to be excluded. We have some good and bad experiences. I've been to some concerts where it was perfect, and some Ozzfest years where I was glad it wasn't me. A guy was laying on the lawn passed out during most the sets, I mean beer, 90 degree weather, and God knows what else and he stayed passed out and every once in a while would get up and run around yelling "WOOOOOOO" then high 5 everyone and pass out again (o.k, that wasn't bad for me...but I think you get the point.) Yes, some of my concert experiences personally have been filled with bad things, kicks in the head, vomit, the band Wicked Wisdom...just to name a few.

     One of the most predominant things was at a Breaking Benjamin concert back at Nation where the now Nationals park stands, where Erik was enjoying the music, and the guy in front of him just turns around (I think he was trying to make it to the bathroom,) and just heaves all over the floor. It almost got on Erik's shoes. After that he had to stand in it all night,and your probably surprised that being at Nation was the bad experience, but no, Nation (the two times I have been) were interesting considering the location, you could pay a crack bum $20 and he would watch your car all night, ah, simpler times. Now that does not beat out when Erik and I were watching Killswitch Engage, and we got kicked in the head seven million times (once in the temple unfortunately) but that comes with the territory. I will never forget when I blogged about this the first time, Erik was surprised that I took a beating like that! But it beats the time when I had long hair and some dude grabbed my ass (but on the upper hand, at Aerosmith I had a girl grab my ass, so that one was o.k.)

     At Family Values tour (I believe it was...or Ozzfest, man I'm getting, it was values,) we saw Evanescence...and now I'm not a big fan of them, so I took this time to get snacks (and nothing beats $7 for chicken fingers and a coke.) I was on the lawn at Nissan Pavilion (known to you kids as Jiffy Lube Live now,) and was heading down as I hear profanity, and I look up and see a guy is recording the band with his cell phone, and they were doing a Doors song (I think that's why I decided to get food now that I think of it.) I felt bad until I heard a "God damn you, you fat mother fucker!" That's when I thought "mission complete.

     Now I think I mentioned this in my special edition where at Tom Petty people were telling my mom's neighbors (my friends) to sit down, and they were clearly drunk. They were feeling the back of my freshly shaved head (I mean who can't resist that?) and they actually had the nerve to SIT on me...not the back of the chair, but on MY back? Who does that, even when drunk? Oh didn't ruin the show.

     Though all these "bad things" may have been a minor setback, I've seen Boston (my favorite band,) I have an autographed shirt by The Tubes, met Mudvayne (Chad Grey on a separate occasion...kinda.) Met Evil Jake from  Otep (only one that talked back to me,) met Hootie and the Blowfish, front row to see Nickleback, 7th row back from AC/DC (thanks Jon,) saw Tom Petty, Kiss, Killswitch Engage and Metallica 2 times each, high 5'd Ryan McCombs, and seen All That Remains God knows how many times, and Dream Theater in Toronto where James is from. Concert life has been good to me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Who do you love?

     Most people ask me what kind of music do I like, and I say "everything." Some people accept that and some I have to go into detail, I listen to a lot of classic rock, metal, 80's, and a little country, rap (I like the old school stuff better...) so I like something in at least every genre. Now I won't go so far as to say I like reggae or reggae-ton,  opera (though I do like classical...) anyway, a lot of people say everything but don't like jack squat..."Oh, I like everything as long as it's not country, rap, nu-wave, metal, or folk!" Gimme a BREAK!!!

     Well one thing you wouldn't start off a conversation with is "what kind of music do you hate?" Well if you ask me that you will hear a tirade about Michael Bolton, most pop singers 1994-today and about 98% techno. Now there are bands and artists I am not too fond System of a Down (they were a phase for me,) Blink 182, Kittie, Hed P.E, and anything where Bruce Springsteen is screaming instead of singing...but I can see how people would like it. I also like hearing about others guilty pleasures (bands like Ace of Base for one of my friends...I liked them when I was like 14...but she likes em now.) Not really a high note...just something I've been dwelling over recently...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Sounds of Summer

     So, it's finally the first day of  summer has come and gone. The nostalgia is put to rest, and the summertime blues are in...and not The Who's version either, and the air is filled with the smell of grills and chlorine. Of course another thing is the beach. Now what is the beach missing? Girls in bikinis? No...volleyball, well the beaches I have been to have had it. Surfing? Seen it...girls in bikinis? No...wait...I've already said that...though it's my favorite part. Oh yes, surfer music! My second favorite part. With the likes of Jan and Dean's "Surf City" or anything by Dick Dale, The Safaris, The Ventures, The Trash men...the list goes on and on. Now one band I insist on taking to the beach is...well, America's band, The Beach Boys. Whether you feel "Good Vibrations," going on a "Surfin' Safari," I mean what band has their debut in 1962, and has an album come out in 1996? So everybody get around to your Sloop John B.

      Now for me, my fascination with The Beach Boys started in 1989, three years after The Beatles (technically they were my first favorite started me young.) Sure I would listen to the beach boys, but it wasn't until I was 6 that I started appreciating them. Kokomo was on full play on the radio, "Still Cruisin'" was fresh off the press, vinyl was still hip, and I was out putting finger prints on my dad's "Hard Days Night" CD (like I knew the CD would skip...though I still feel bad about it.) I would hear it, not associating Kokomo with the same band as the cheeky song "Barbra Ann." Going through listening to them on the radio and finally finding out who they were, by 1996, I was 12 and figured I needed to own some. So mom let me choose a CD out of the catalog and that was what caught my eye...Surfin' Safari/Surfin' USA. TWO albums on ONE CD! I was in love! Then by 2001, my CD collection grew, I had 3 of their "Greatest Hits," 2 were free and the other was complete...and that is when I learned more about Jan and Dean and their collaborations with Brian Wilson. For that Father's day, I got my dad the greatest Beach Boys album, Pet Sounds...on VINYL!

     Did you know before Brian Wilson flipped out and went "mental," that he was friends with Charles Manson? A lot of the murders Mr. Manson did (so I am told) were the families that moved in to where Brian moved out because Charles wanted to kill him? That's what I have heard. But during the "Endless Summer," there were a few more works with bands like Chicago, and even Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." When Brian Wilson returned, he continued to produce the albums. There was even a made for TV movie produced by Lorne Michaels, the SNL producer.

     Though the Beach Boys have lost many of the members like Carl Wilson, who was married to Dean Martin's daughter. He died of cancer in 1998, but continued to sing and perform through his illness, singing the song "God Only Knows," as only he could. Dennis Wilson (founding member and drummer) drowned falling off his yacht to grab his possessions that had fallen off the side. He passed freshly at 39, right before the turn of 1984, though drinking and drugs were taking a high toll on him. Along with short time fill ins David Marks, Ricky Fataar, and Blondie Chapman, this band that started as 3 brothers (Carl, Dennis, and Brian Wilson,) a cousin (Mike Love,) and longtime friend Al Jardine, and later Bruce Johnston (came in 1965, who sings Brian Wilson's parts,) are still up and at 'em. Rumor is told that Brian will join them for the 50 year reunion tour, and maybe even record a new album. But here's to hoping that the sounds of summer are to not be silenced, and that the endless summer is not a gimmick and will continue. Though there are many summer songs (War's "Summer," Mungo Jerry's "Summer time," and a personal favorite "Summer in the City" by the Lovin' Spoonfull) those bands are more grill and cookout bands, and there will be only one quintessential summer band...The Beach Boys.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Same as it ever was...

     Ever have a song that you didn't like, but it bothered you so much to remember who it was, and by the time you find just have to listen to it? Well I have...

     Well now that I got that out of the way, I am listening to Aerosmith right now, and oddly enough I got an email from Aeroforce one. It was a notice they are touring this summer. Well I have seen them 3 times, and don't know if I could see them again. Don't get me wrong, they are good (not follow KISS because KISS kicks your ass good...but good.) Some bands are see 4 times good (All That Remains, KISS, Chaimera, Slipknot, Ozzy, Disturbed) but do not see myself seeing them again unless I have a date that wants to go (ladies, here is where you step in.)

     So I was looking hard for a song, and I found it. A song by an 80's pop star Brenda K Starr. It's called I Still Believe." I finally found it, and as much as I dislike the song, had to listen to it. I did the same with the worst pop song ever (not done by a complete boy band at least...) "One More Try" by Timmy T. Such an annoying song. I am glad I don't have to look up Michael Bolton, ace of Base or ABBA.

So I am looking forward yo at least one concert this year. Erik wants to see Foo Fighters at Console in PA. I wanted to see Disturbed and Megadeth and all them, we'll see...till that or next post, keep hitting the high notes!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

When love comes walking in, might as well JUMP!!!! (Van Halen vs. Van Hagar.)

     When someone mentions Eddie Van Halen, most people automatically think of one band, Van Halen. But did you know Van Halen was a reconstruction from a band called Mammoth and were almost named Genesis? (until the name was found out being used...damn Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks. That's another story though.) Now don't worry...that was just a side fact...that was last blog...but I digress. When Eddie found David Lee Roth he decided to let him sing, and bass guitarist Mark Stone was tossed away like the Styrofoam container that made that Native American cry in that commercial, and Van Halen (David thought the name was memorable and powerful) was formed. Though it took them from 1972-1978 to make their first album, but not a lot of people know that Gene Simmons tried to make them part of Simmons Records until Warner Bros. Records flashed their wallets to them, and Gene tore up the contract. Anyway...most people will kill you if you call Sammy's time Van Halen, instead of Van Hagar.

     Van Halen in the early years were balls to the wall, womanizing, all out rock. No apologies, nothing held back, sense to the younger kids...what the HELL is a record machine anyway?!?!?! With Alex on hard pounding drums, Eddie on hard driven guitar (I like the Jack Daniels one myself,) a new bass player named Michael Anthony, and a lead singer that was in dire need of Prozac, Van Halen was getting to the point that they were considered the greatest "don't play that I have a headache" band in the late 70's-early 80's. Songs like "Jump" and "Running with the Devil" were pissing parents off in almost every household...especially the ones who had Herb Alpert records. But as we all know all good things must end. In '85, Eddie was doing side projects without consulting the band, and Eddie thought David was...well...a jerk (as if there were any arguments,) and was tired of his cockiness on and off stage, also he was making his own music and getting (later backed out) movie deals the tour toiled, and six albums in the bag, the legendary act broke up. More on this later.

     With the wreckage of Van Halen on the ground, the two brothers and bass player decided to pick up the pieces and move on. They quickly asked Patty Smyth to join, and she said no. But not giving up, Eddie was introduced to a man named Sammy Hagar, who was on a band break up himself, by his band Montrose. Though Sammy was on his highly successful solo career, it seemed he wanted a little more. Arguably that's what both sides got, Sammy even played rhythm guitar to add to the sound. Now with songs in the repertoire like "Why Can't This Be Love," "Love Walks in," the entire past of Van Halen was forgotten, and Sammy played his own solo stuff (Van Hagar.) Though successfully touring with Bon Jovi, the tensions raised. Eddie and Alex wanted to re write some of Sammy's songs, saying the lyrics were "too cheesy." Sammy took this personally, and the thought of compiling the works of Van Halen and Van Hagar (that's why the album "best of both worlds" took so long to come out, kids,) he eventually went into a tirade and quit the band (though he swears he was fired.) Little did he know  the band was recording again behind his back, with a man I mentioned before...David Lee Roth.

     Van Halen was once again Hot For Teacher...or so we though in 1996. David swears up and down he thought he was the singer again, while Eddie was still auditioning for singers, and found one in Gary Cherone of Extreme. David claimed Eddie embarrassed him, while Eddie said he was honest and told David what the deal was. This altercation almost came to blows, and after Gary recorded one of two planned albums, the band went off the radar for a while. With Eddie's failing health (hip replacement and cancer treatments) it wasn't until 2003 before the band went back on the road with Sammy. Though it seemed it was a late notice Michael Anthony and Sammy were unsure how the 2 year run was going (due to Eddie's personal addiction problems,) and got tied up in other projects (later to become Chickenfoot,) Michael wound up going to showing to the gigs on the road only part time to a loss of connection with the brothers entirely.

     A year later there were talks that Van Halen had a new singer. Though it was too late to introduce a fresh face to the front of the lines, it was not a big surprise because David Lee Roth mentioned on every interview that he was talking to Alex. So as the next kiss and make up took place, but with Chickenfoot starting to solidify (going from a jam band trio in Sammy's bar to adding Joe Santriani to the line up and finally recording,) without any warning (depending who you ask) Internet world was speculating that Anthony was out and Eddie's 16 year old son Wolfgang would be taking the reigns of the bass guitar. Though Michael Anthony was not notified personally about his departure, some would argue that due to his lack of communication with the brothers and his new band, it would be common knowledge that he was out for good. From Sept. 2007 - March 2008, the show went on until a temporary abrupt halt was put on the tour due to Eddie allegedly needing to re-enter rehab (though ex wife Valerie Bertenelli and Wolfgang both dismissed that he was not STILL in rehab, but not never was recently there.) The show went on and on the last show of the tour, David kept announcing that there will be more shows.

     As of now, Wolfgang is focusing more on studies, Eddie is recovering from hand surgery due to arthritis pain he felt in 2007 but still writing new material. As for Alex and David, they sound ready to go and there is speculation of a new album. So with the beginning of a frustrated swap between Eddie (originally training for drums) and Alex (to have been on guitar) to a major transformation into the rock behemoth we see today, the rock giants seem like a bad marriage when you look at their history, but the amazing sounds both of the mainstay singers produced made it worth it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hello, I love you, won't you tell me your name?

     Some bands have cool names, right? Did you know that some bands have had names other than what they are known for? Some bands change their names? Why? All have different reasons...they thought it was cooler, the record company said it would be better, or someone suggested a better name. There are many reasons...but one thing I do know, is sometimes they make the better choice.

     The band Finger 11 was once named "Rainbow Butt Monkeys." Seriously, I could not make this up. They are from Burlington, Ontario who met in college and it was the age old "we should start a band" deal. They changed their name to be taken more serious, and I think it was a good change. I would personally take a band called Finger 11 seriously.

     INXS was another band that changed their name in the late 70's. There was a band called Dr. Dolphin, and when that broke up (Michael Hutchence, Andrew Farris and Gary Beers,) the mainstays were enticed to join with Andrew's older brother Tim, who was in a band called Guinness with Kirk Pengilly. They needed a drummer and this is when it clicked, and the youngest brother Jon Farris came in. Jon was still in high school, and they always practiced in separate rooms but never thougt of getting together until this happened. Here's where I get to the point...they were called The Vegetables (hence their song off the first album "We are The Vegetables.") They eventually called themselves The Farris Brothers. Then one day a crew member said "you should change your name to INXS." (Kind of like XTC.)

     Now I know I said "bands," but this happens so often, that I HAVE to say something. Puff Daddy Sean Combs. He has changed his name so often (Puff Daddy, Puffy fir short, P. Diddy, Diddy.) The reason he was called Puff Daddy was he would go into a huff when he was mad during football, and daddy as in the man. then P. Diddy was just to shorten, and he dropped the P, again it seemed he just wanted to...though this caused controversy in the U.K because there was another artist called Diddy.

     So with bands and such like Sweet Children (Green Day) Blink (182) and (Razzle, Stain) Lit, it is not uncommon to see a band change their name. Sometimes due to legal obligations, or for something they think is better, or even if they want to be taken seriously. I just thought after last blog, and before the second instalment there needed to be one light hearted post. So until next time, keep hitting the HIGH NOTES.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Don't fear the reaper. (Tribute Vol. 1)

     As music winds on, and time plays on there are many tragedies. Some very talented people pass away, are murdered, or even commit suicide. A lot of my favorites have taken their lives, had their lives taken or passed and we miss them. As a music fan, you miss some of these people.

Brad Delp (June 12, 1951 - March 9, 2007) He was the lead singer of Boston, along with other bands like Return to Zero, and Beatlejuice. They say he was the nicest man to grace the Earth...but listening to some songs (Hitch a Ride, Peace of Mind) you can hear there was something deep down bothering him since the first album. There are stories of how nice he was. One guy said he was back stage, and the security guard said no cameras, and Brad walked over, took the camera, got next to him, and smiled and took the picture and gave the camera back and walked away to rehearse. Not many people would do that. Unfortunately, in a bad twist, Boston was getting ready for a new album, he was touring and preparing for a show with his Beatles cover band,  a few months before he was to wed his new wife, he committed suicide. His soon bride to be left the house in New Hampshire to go grocery shopping, and in her absence, he lit a charcoal grill and closed all ventilation to the bathroom, and asphyxiated on CO2. Pinned to his shirt lapel was "Mr. Brad Delp. Je suis une âme solitaire". Translation, I am a lonely soul.

John Lennon Oct. 9, 1940 - Dec. 8, 1980) - Giving credit to one of the highly talented writers of all time, and one half of the greatest writing duos with Paul McCartney. John Lennon set his footprint in the mold of time. He was an innovator, and a true bandsman. His often smooth sounds made any fan wonder "what if?" Could there be peace? In John's mind, there should have been. Who knows what music would have been like if he had not been shot. Multi talented (harmonica, citar, guitar, banjo, and piano were some of his mainstays,)  and a fantastic producer (Harry Nillson, Ringo) and collaborator (Elton John.) He was shot 4 times in the back by Mark David Chapman.

George Harrison (Feb. 25, 1943-Nov. 29, 2001.) - Known as the quiet Beatle, and youngest of the group, he is argued today as the most talented. He was a joker, and is often blamed for the problems in The Beatles. He was the first success of the 4 after the breakup. Creating a triple album from all his backlogged songs. He had success with Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr backing him up, and a supergroup The Traveling Wilburies. Though he was attacked in his home in 1999 by a mad man claiming he was possessed by Harrison, this did not kill him. He died of lung cancer in 2001. His remaining days it is said he was visited by Paul and Ringo, and was in stable mind when they were around.

Michael Hutchence (Jan. 22, 1960 -  Nov. 22, 1997) - The lead singer of INXS, He was an Australian singer, actor, and avid ladiesman. Though he had another band called Max Q. while INXS went on break, and acted in a few movies and did some work on soundtracks, his longest run was with INXS whom he formed from the shrapnel of a former band called Doctor Dolphin. Though there were many attempts on Michael's life, he formed a severe depression in his later life, he made tabloids when he started dating Paula Yates, the ex-wife of Bob Geldoff, which made tabloids point out Hutch as the bad guy, and as his close friend Princess Diana said, "I love it when you are in the takes me off for a while." After a long phone conversation with Bono, on the final leg of the Elegantly Wasted/20 year tour, in a hotel room after a party, it is said that Michael called Bob Geldoff and cursed him out, and hanged himself by his belt in a hotel room. It was later said to have been done in full blown depression, and was declared auto erotic asphyxiation. The song "Stuck in a Moment" by U2 is said to be the conversation Bono would have had with his former neighbor, friend, and rival after he was awoken to received the news on a flight.

Cliff Burton (February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986) - Recruited to Metallica from a band called Trauma, he was self declared to be the best bass player after the loss of his brother. He said Trauma was getting "too commercial" and seemed to want to head off in a new direction. He joined Metallica and as his father proclaimed, Cliff would headbang through the entire show and complain the next day that his neck hurt. Cliff was short lived as in a gamble, he took his band mate Kirk Hammett's bed. As the bus driver lost control in Sweden (claiming there was black ice,) Cliff was thrown out a window and violently crushed by the bus.

Dave Williams (February 29, 1972 – August 14, 2002) - Dave was considered a pioneer of black metal, and a very nice man. He was lead singer of Drowning Pool and had high success with their song "Bodies." Dave's booming voice was one to be reckoned with, and in my opinion, never duplicated. their success made way for a few more hits off the album Sinner to squeeze through easily as singles. Though the success was short lived and Dave passed away on the tour bus of a heart disease in Manassas, VA right before Ozzfest. Emotions ran high that day, and his microphone was passed on to his friend Cristian Machado of Ill Nino. His main dream was to buy his parents a house, and the sales of the released DVD Sinema did just that.

Robert Palmer ( January 19, 1949 – September 26, 2003),  - Solo blues pop singer and singer of supergroup Power Station (made up of Duran Duran and 70's disco band "Chic" members,) was critically acclaimed for his voice. He was a major supporter of UNICEF and divided his estate between his 5 kids and the organization. He passed away after a dinner with close friend Jack Bruce (cream) of a heart attack. His former neighbor, Tina Turner sang a version of "Addicted to Love" in his honor.

Kurt Cobain  (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994) - Kurt was the high energy lead singer/guitarist of Grunge band "Nirvana." It is said that he had a very good and deranged sense of humor that fit in with his "mad at the world" music. With his famous idea of "read my diary and figure me out if I die" attitude, he and his band mates took on the world as never seen before. Lyrically he would put his life out in the open for people to interpret, though it was often interpreted wrong. Kurt had a few relationships (including the lead singer of Bikini Kill, who when he met was so anxious he got sick.) As with many of Kurt's life struggles and acheivements, they lead to the lyrics you hear today. As he fought off Courtney Love's advances, unsure he wanted to be tied down. During a taping of Saturday night live, he was asked by Victoria Jackson if "Weird Al" Yanchovich could parody "Smells Like Teen Spirit." It was thought of as a compliment that they had made it as a long as the song wasn't about food. He also found out Love was pregnant with his child, and he married her. Though his last years of life he struggled with cocain addiction (earning him the nickname "Kurt Cocaine,") After multiple suicide attempts, Kurt was found by an electrician coming toi his house to do some work. The man assumed he was sleeping until he saw the shot gun, and was assumed to have been lying there dead for days.

Dimebag Darrell Abbott (August 20, 1966 – December 8, 2004) - After the invite to join Megadeth (declined because his brother could not join too,) and Pantera was done, Abbot joined multiple side projects with his brother. Including a band with former Pantera bass player Rex, and country superstar David Allen Coe called Rebel meets Rebel, a few Ace Frehely tributes, Dime and his brother/long time band mate Vinnie joined a band called Damage Plan, with (former guitarist for Rob Halford) Patrick Lachman and friend "Bobzilla" on bass. They put out one album, and on December 8th, a former marine named Nathan Gale climbed up on stage and allegedly blamed the Abbot brothers for breaking up Pantera and plagiarising his lyrics. He shot Dimebag in the head, which is said to have killed him instantly. As people trying to save the other band members, and Dime were either killed or injured in heroics, the gun man was subdued by a police officer who came in from behind. This is the one that REALLY hurts to talk about, all the innocent lives that were taken, the talent that was lost, and the fact that Dime's brother Vinnie had to watch his brother die is uncalled for. Dime was an avid KISS fan and had an autographed (by Ace) KISS tattoo on his chest, and Gene Simmons donated a KISS Kasket to the Abbott family. Phil was not allowed at the funeral, because of the families wishes after harsh words were said about the two musicians.

     Though the impact is put on us through their work, whether they were taken from us by their own hands, by someone else, or by a natural cause, it still hurts to see them go, and know they will never play or sing another note. Though we hope they are at peace, we have their former work to remember them by, and they will forever be part of a legacy. So till next time, keep hitting the HIGH NOTES.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Always something there to remind me...

     I  often wonder who listens to a song and really thinks "that song is what I am feeling right now...did I go back to 1987 and talk to Patrick Swayze?" I know I didn't (no matter how much I drank this weekend.) I mean there are songs out there like Conquistador by Procol Harum (yes...they made more songs than Whiter Shade of Pale,) where Gary Brooker says "Though you came with sword held high, you did not conquer, only die..." and I think "I've been there." No...I haven't, metaphorically, yes...litterally I was never a conquistador, yet I digress. There are songs like Sledgehammer ny Peter Gabriel where it comes close. "Yes, I wanna shed my skin...oh my GOD! WHAT IS HE SINGING ABOUT?!?!? THAT'S NASTY!!!!!" Anyway, I am having trouble concentrating on my subject. Ok, so songs like "She's Like the Wind" is a pretty common situation. I like the girl, does she like me? This is driving me crazy, I'm not good enough...but it just sometimes sings (no pun intended) to me. Ok, enough of that...this is not I guess that's the key to a good writer...or a pathetic fool. Some songs  like Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" is another example. An "if this happens will you be there for me?" Another song that makes me think they know what I am talking about is "Payback" by Slayer (oh wait, I'm not supposed to talk about that one.)

     Now I know most the songs I have posted are love songs as examples. That's the funny thing...but that's all I got for you this time, till we meet again, keep hitting the HIGH NOTES.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


     Is it sad half the things I grew up with that were labeled as metal went from hard rock in later years and now are just called rock? Metallica, Dio, Kiss, and Twisted Sister to name a few. Back when I was too young to know what metal was, it was about "the man," it was about girls and money...and not the way that rap is about girls and money, real stuff. It was to disregard what authority told you, it was about fighting for your PAAAAAAAAR-TY! I love and still listen to the stuff from then, and I still love it, things like White Snake, and Ratt still do it for me. I love hearing Bonn Scott sing about his "Big Balls," and the "God of Thunder." Some of this was written before I was born. Aerosmith was a household name, instead of an emo turned band that sings about the color pink, and judges American Idol, in fact, this was when they revolutionized music with Run DMC making a rap/metal/rock inversion (which is where I feel sampling comes from, but that's a whole new blog.) Now the time I am talking about is both when both Sabbath was starting, AND ended...when the Blizzard hit.

     When the 90's hit, metal had a new twist, I mean it still had the stick it to the man vibe, but they were harder, angrier, and sometimes raunchier. Nine Inch Nails were close to a decline (slowly, like when you turn 25) and Manson and White Zombie were getting their feet wet now. We were getting somewhere, even grunge was starting to get noticed. But the problem with grunge is it tried to be metal. Though metal was starting festivals, metal's strength was growing in numbers. The likes of Megadeth's Youthanasia, and Cryptic Writings, and Slayer's Divine Intervention albums were taking away that of things like The Mamas and the Papas and Herman's Hermits ever existed. Metallica's Justice For All album was making people say "what is grunge?" (metaphorically of course.) Of course this was before Motörhead re wrote their song for Spongebob Squarepants, they were writing more for Ozzy.

     After the new millennium, band stayed solid through albums like God Hates Us All, there were albums like Manson's now cooling rack The Dope Show (which was taking him from industrial metal, and more into a light shock rock,) and the acquired taste of Metallica's St. Anger, I was for sure that metal was going away and not going to write for a while...but just as things started dulling down, tragedy struck, and Dimebag was gone. No more Pantera, Damageplan, or anything from him anymore. One of the worst losses in metal (because Kevin DuBrow was self inflicted.) That is when metal realized they can't go down without a fight. Taking down the emo first (they are the weakest) and moving on from there with bands like Hellyeah! on their side.

     So how do I think the future of metal will look? Well with the swapping and breaking up of bands, side projects, and so forth, I will stay positive and say that with classics like Metallica doing a redemption (Death Magnetic) and Ratt's new album along with a lot of talent out there (All That Remains, Diecast, and Dope to name a few...) we have a lot of good stuff to look forward to. Just saying...

So until next time, keep hitting the high notes.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beatles vs. DC5?!?!?!

     My dad and I were talking one night, and he said at one time there was a major discussion over who was better, Dave Clark 5 or The Beatles. I was shocked! Either this happened when they were both starting, or at least before their hay day. Hell, even Paul Revere and the Raiders were like "we're screwed" when Sgt. Pepper came out. Now Dave Clark 5 DID have some pro points to the argument, but it looks like it would be like comparing the new-age old story the hare and the slightly slower hare. Though I was yet to be even thought of, here is my take on the matter.

The Beatles: Ah yes, good ol' John, Paul, George and Ringo...or Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe. With Pete being dismissed for having a day job and always being late (so I'm told,) and Stuart going off to be a world famous artist, you know what? can draw your own conclusion from that statement. Now, for the young kids who scoff at the former members...if they even listen to The Beatles, we will skip to Beatlemania! This band started off . They were the first British band on Ed Sullivan... they made movies, and as Bart Simpson said "they are the guys who wrote all those songs on Maggie's baby songs tape." Come on now, do I really need to explain who The Beatles are? If you need explanation, Lennon was shot, Harrison died of cancer, Ringo died mentally a LONG time ago, and either you were just born, live under a rock, or need to be repeatedly hit over the head with a mallet or other hard substance multiple times...
here's a song by them.

Dave Clark 5: Now when I mention this band to my friends, they automatically think "who?" Well DC5 consisted of Dave Clark (manager, singer/leader/drummer/writer) Lenny Davidson from the Impalas (guitar) Rick Huxley formerly of the Riverside Blues Boys on bass, and Denis Payton (deceased) from the Renegades on Sax, harmonica and guitars, and Mike Smith (deceased) on keyboards and vocals. DC5 was the second British band to make the Ed Sullivan show (right behind that one band...what was their name?) They struggled for years to become #1, but I would say due to sales records and what I see today, that never happened. They had good, catchy songs (glad all over, catch me if you can, bits n' pieces.) The thing I personally find better about these guys is, I have heard all The Beatles (originally released) albums, but I am still discovering gems from DC5

So in my opinion, The Beatles have always been ahead since they started. There were no Dave Clark 5 movies or cartoons like The Beatles...they didn't have action figures, and stuff like that. They ended in 1970, so no one really overlapped. Now Dave Clark was almost cooler than Ringo, in terms he was more in the business, but Ringo is more neat. Ringo could have never lead the entire band, but when most think music, they think The Beatles. Now another thing, The Beatles all went on their own, and made their own music. Dave Clark took over the show Top of the Pops as a producer, and some of the other guys took a hiatus. So my tally, Beatles win. At least it wouldn't be a land slide comparison to Tommy James and the Shondells.

So until next time, I hope to have another special edition concert one. Until then, keep hitting the HIGH NOTES!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Just me...

     I'm back. I am currently downloading some music for my mom. It's funny that her son is downloading music she likes, is it not? I mean I love all kinds of music. I downloaded things like Paul Simon's "you can call me Al" and a bunch of other classic 70's and 80's songs...but the only thing I hate about Itunes downloading, is I forget a song I want, or don't think of it until the card is gone. I guess it's the excitement of the download.

     On another note, I see in my own CD collection how much stuff I have that my family would like, and how much they don't (keep in mind, mom likes Metallica, Megadeth, and some Slipknot...and I like .38 Special, Yes, and Peter Gabriel.) I also think outside the box when I download, I listen to what they want, and know a lot of obscure stuff.

     Anyway I will leave this off by saying aww...Brittant Spears is trying to make a comeback...isn't that cute.

Well, till next time a more informative blog. Untill then...keep hitting the HIGH NOTES.