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Wednesday
Sep192007

Remembering Pepsi Tate

Tigertailz bassist Pepsi Tate died yesterday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. While Tigertailz never reached major star status in the American Glam Metal community, they were fairly well known in their native U.K. Anyone who is a fan of the band knows that Pepsi Tate was Tigertailz.

They had the biggest hair of any Glam band, this side of Nitro. Crunchy guitars and big vocals are a Tigertailz trademark.

The band just released Thrill Pistol, a comeback of sorts. Their most famous release is Bezerk, which features the song "Love Bomb Baby."

Here's the video for "Love Bomb Baby."



How much longer before we find a cure for cancer?

***Suggested reading: Thrill Pistol (Interview with Tigertailz drummer Matt Blakout, July 2, 2007).

 

Tuesday
Sep182007

It's Been A Long Time Since I Rock n' Rolled

moscow.jpg

If I had a time machine, I would witness some of the greatest concerts in music history.

I've already mentioned that I would love to watch the C.C. DeVille, Bret Michaels beat down backstage at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards. I would also love to witness Woodstock, the 1983 U.S. Festival and - perhaps above all else - the Moscow Music Peace Festival of 1989.

The Moscow Music Peace Festival was arranged by music manager Doc McGhee as penance for drug trafficking. It turns out that the American government doesn't take too kindly to massive amounts of cocaine crossing boarders and therefore funding drug cartels. I digress.

Back in the day, McGhee managed the most important bands: Motley Crue, Skid Row, and Bon Jovi among others. Thanks to his powerful connections to the music industry and the strong urging of an angry judge, The Moscow Music Peace Festival was conceived.

The one day event was a big anti-drug show and one of the final events to happen in the former Soviet Union. Just under two years later, communism collapsed. Did Glam Metal help dissolve the USSR? For this, I have no answers.

During the one day festival, nearly 100, 000 people watched killer performances by Ozzy Osbourne, the Scorpions, Motley Crue, Cinderella, Skid Row and Bon Jovi.

While the stage shows were pure electric, the artists battled with each other and McGhee backstage. If you've read The Dirt by Motley Crue then you know what I'm talking about. Every band - especially Motley Crue - was jealous of McGhee's favoritism toward Bon Jovi. The New Jersey natives were allowed to use pyro in their show, and were also allowed a longer set. This enraged everyone...and Tommy Lee actually slugged McGhee backstage.

The entire concert was broadcast on pay-per-view. Even though I was way too young to fly to Moscow to see this concert live, my parents would have never ordered the concert to watch at home. My parents don't spend money on anything frivolous, and they think metal concerts are a definite luxury. Luckily, there's a DVD set of the concert which I will try to buy soon off eBay. That DVD was directed by Wayne Isham, who has also overseen the production on more than one hundred rock videos.

Last night, a fellow Metal Sludger found a great video of the Moscow Music Peace Festival Finale Jam, featuring Jason Bonham on drums. The main performers in this video are Skid Row and Motley Crue. Listen to Vince Neil: I've never heard a better live performance out of the man. Everyone looks so happy on stage, like they might actually be enjoying their fame and fortune.

Watch this video: Jason Bonham, Motley Crue and Skid Row performing the Led Zeppelin classic "Rock n' Roll." It's fantastic!

 



Monday
Sep172007

The Unattractive Revolution

unattractive.jpgCrashdiet will release their next album The Unattractive Revolution next month on Universal/Stockholm Records.

I have the CD and it is killer.

Only Bring Back Glam! can bring you the track listing, so here it is:

 

 

 

1) In the Raw
2) Like a Sin
3) Falling Rain
4) I Don’t Care (featuring Mick Mars of Motley Crue)
5) Die Another Day
6) Alone (featuring Mick Mars of Motley Crue)
7) Thrill Me
8) Overnight
9) XTC Overdrive
10) Bound to be Enslaved
11) The Buried Song

As many know Crashdiet suffered a major blow after original singer Dave Lepard committed suicide in early 2006. The remaining members opted to disband, but later rejoined forces and invited Finnish vocalist H. Olliver Twisted into the fold.

Twisted has a unique voice and brings a completely different sound to the sleaze genius that is Crashdiet. There’s something about this Swedish band that puts them so far ahead of their contemporaries: the songwriting is better, the musicianship is better, the entire package is just better.

Immediate standout tracks are “Falling Rain” and “Alone.” Both songs use interesting tempo changes providing a nice juxtaposition for the thematic quality of each track. Of course, absolutely blazing guitar solos don’t hurt either.

Mick Mars of Motley Crue lent his guitar prowess to the band, and his playing is top notch on both “I Don’t Care” and “Alone.” If Crashdiet are working to make exquisite glam guitar solos their calling card, then asking Mr. Mars to hop a plane to Sweden was a wise move.

Twisted proves he can harmonize with the rest of the band on “Overnight.” A deep bass line is present here, adding an extra layer of depth to an already gritty song. “Overnight” is a song with a big chorus, but very jarring lyrics. Crashdiet are smart songwriters and understand the importance of wordplay when creating top notch lyrics. Also, the song features an excellent guitar solo by Martin Sweet. He is so good he deserves a spot on the cover of Guitar World. It’s time to invite the lovely Swedes to the U.S. -- I know I would embrace them with open arms.

Finally, I also have a proof of the liner notes. The book is beautifully dark, a perfect match for the music. Crashdiet’s debut Rest in Sleaze is one of the best glam releases ever recorded. For The Unattractive Revolution the band clearly decided to move in a more Metal direction, and it works: the songs are sonically amazing, but downright dirty. Don’t except to hear as many pop-oriented hooks as on Rest in Sleaze; Twisted has a different voice than Lepard and edgier tunes work best with Crashdiet 2.0.

Crashdiet are offering a pre-sale promotion for The Unattractive Revolution. If you order through www.crashdiet.org the band will sign your disc.

Here’s the video for “In the Raw,” the first single from The Unattractive Revolution.


 

***Suggested reading “Back on Trakk: Interview with Crashdiet drummer Eric Young” (June 27, 2007)

Sunday
Sep162007

From Bubblegum to Glam

ohioexpress_wm.JPGFall in Ohio means festival time. In fact, you can go to a different festival every weekend and still not have enough time to look at all the craft booths and eat a bunch of french fries and elephant ears.

Last night, Eric and I attended such a festival with both sets of our parents. The featured entertainment was Ohio Express. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, don’t feel bad. Their most famous song is “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” and, according to the band website, Ohio Express invented the Bubblegum era of pop.

So here we are, listening to the sixties music and my mom says “I wonder if the music you like will be around as long as this stuff?”

I certainly hope so.

From the Glam Metal scene, some bands can still play stadiums (Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Aerosmith) and some play festivals (Poison, L.A. Guns, Queensryche).

Just the other day, I read that Def Leppard enjoyed the highest grossing concert of all time at the Kentucky State fair. Aerosmith recently played the Los Angeles County fair, commanding close to one million dollars in booking fees.

The Ohio Express didn’t get a million bucks to play on a shoddy stage last night – but were they more in demand a decade ago? I’m not sure.

Did bands like Motley Crue, Def Leppard or Aerosmith even play the fair circuit a few years back? Surely, there was big money to be made if the Crue were asked to play a state fair in, say, 1989.

Vince Neil tours nonstop for two reasons: he likes money and he likes to perform. He’s on the road fall, spring, winter and summer and it’s been that way for years. This must mean there’s a demand for solo Motley, even while the Crue continues to self-destruct.

Perhaps when I’m 40 (by the way, the thought of turning 30 makes me queasy) I’ll go to a free festival and see Vince running around the stage.

Hey, it could happen.

***Do you think Glam Metal will enjoy the same longevity as 60s rock?

Saturday
Sep152007

Metal Edge Relaunch

metaledge.jpgOk, Metal Edge has just relaunched and I received my first issue of the "new" magazine today. Aside from clearer pictures and maybe a few less grammatical errors, the rag looks exactly the same to me.

The major difference is that the September 2007 issue comes complete with a CD. The bands featured on the disc are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ministry
Droid
Scum of the Earth
Blacklist Union
City Sleeps
Bring Me the Horizon
Atreyu
Novembre
Trashlight Vision
Megadeth
Ken Synder
Chris Volz
Dawn Over Zero
Another Day Dies

The cover looks a little better, mainly because it seems Zenbu Media sprung for some better paper stock and went back to a glossy format. The masthead is also slightly different, which I think is an idiotic move in poor brand marketing, but who the hell am I? If you're a Tool fan, you might want this issue because the band is on the cover.

For us glam fans there's a one page worthless article by Eddie Trunk. I quickly scanned the contributing writers list and Trunk isn't included, so maybe this was a one-time special. At any rate, he writes "What's in a Name?" and talks about glam bands that have different members or two touring groups, like L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat and White Lion. Whatever.

Just as worthless is a two page spread on the "25 Wildest Album Covers." The list includes - and I am not making this up - Soundgarden's Superunknown, Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power and Judas Priest's Screaming for Vengeance. Metal Edge editors say Nothing's Shocking by Jane's Addiction is the most wild album cover of all time. O.K.

Save your $4.99 and put it toward a new issue of the British import Classic Rock.

 

 

Friday
Sep142007

Book Review: The Heroin Diaries

heroindiaries.jpgEven in the depths of heroin addiction, Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx was able to pen his memoirs. Now, his new book The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star (Simon & Schuster 2007) openly tells the story of one very messy past. Sixx says he hopes the retelling of his addiction helps others.

The book begins in December 1986. Motley Crue is working on Girls, Girls, Girls and Sixx is cracked out of his mind 90% of the time. Throughout the book, it's pretty clear Nikki was trying to deal with his family abandonment issues and using the drugs as a catalyst to numb the pain. It's easy to judge while reading the book and it's easy to not feel sorry for a very famous, very rich rockstar. Still, money doesn't fix everything and it some ways only made Sixx go more crazy. Since he was (is) so wealthy, he could buy as many drugs as he wanted. Thinking about the amount of money he injected into his body is both disgusting and pathetic. Earlier this week, Sixx appeared on Fox News Channel and chatted with Greta Van Susteren. During that talk, he said that this is "his year to give back." He'll donate 25% of the proceeds of the book to the Covenant House for troubled youth. I hope 25% comes somewhere close to the amount of cash he gave to dealers between 1986 and 1987.

For me, the most compelling parts of the journals are reading Sixx lie to himself. I would like to believe that the journals are at least 90% true. If that's the case then the crazy, drug-induced ramblings are mostly accurate. Most times after shooting up or chasing the dragon, Sixx would barricade himself inside a walk-in closet with a shotgun, fighting massive paranoia. The drug sent Sixx into major psychosis and he always thought people - mainly the police - were coming to get him.

If you've read The Dirt, then you know the backstage debauchery that is Motley Crue. Some of the stories are just downright disgusting. After reading The Dirt, Tommyland and now the Heroin Diaries, I'm convinced no one in Motley Crue is able to truly love a woman and form a meaningful relationship. Yes, all the original Crue members have kids and I am sure they love them, but this isn't the same sort of love or commitment, now is it? I'd be a hypocrite to say I didn't read the Heroin Diaries with a judgmental eye. Still, I'm not an addict and (thankfully) I've never faced such demons.

With all that said, please believe that the Heroin Diaries is one damn good read. If you're a Motley Cure fan, you'll probably dig the book and all the inside accounts from various important people within the band's inner sanctum. Sixx finally owns up to events that he's lied about in the past, and the tone of the book moves from depressed to hopeful. At 413 pages, it's also a quick read.

A note about the Heroin Diaries soundtrack: the music adds another dimension to the book and I now understand why Sixx opted to release the music first. It gives the listener a sort of premier to the addiction tale without giving away too much. Taken together, the Heroin Diaries book and soundtrack offer a compelling look at a man who was certainly spinning out of control.

Thursday
Sep132007

An Open Letter to Tommy Lee (Part Duex)

tommylee.jpgDear Tommy Lee Bass (or T-Lee, T-Bone,T-Man),

So, I hear you've quit Motley Crue again. Is it that time of year again, Tommy? Did things get a little rough in your 15 bedroom Los Angeles mansion and state-of-the-art home recording studio, Tommy?

Do I need to remind you again, dear Tommy, that it is fans like me - millions of us strong - that helped you get the mansion, helped you snort a gazillion dollars worth of cocaine, helped you and the rest of Motley buy a private jet, helped you stay in the finest hotels, helped you see the world beyond your wildest imagination?

What am I getting out of this love/hate relationship, dear Tommy? Not much. Granted, the Crue has a pretty darn good back catalog of work and I'll be forever grateful for Shout at the Devil. I mean, it doesn't get much better than that, does it?

A few days ago, you said you were "over" rock music. Nikki Sixx recently said to the press that you listen to rap music hours a day. It's good that you've got widespread music interests, but let's get real.

I did public relations for a professional orchestra, Tommy, and that sure as hell didn't make me Yo-Yo Ma. To this day, I can appreciate the depth a string arrangement gives a heavy metal song but that doesn't mean I'm going to try and wrangle my way backstage at an Itzhak Perlman concert to score an interview.

You can rap all you want Tommy, but you ain't never gonna be Ice T, Ice Cube, Vanilla Ice...or even Kid Rock.

Yeah, I said it.

After the brouhaha at the Video Music Awards, I was on your side. After all, I always thought Kid Rock sucked, but now I realize you suck too.

Maybe "Pebble" should have knocked you upside your head a little harder. Pam Anderson could have soothed your nerves again, you could have gone home and checked the mailbox for another giant Motley royalty check and bought another Porsche.

Whatever.

I just listened to New Tattoo again. You know what? The late Randy Castillo did a pretty damn good job keeping up with the rest of the Crue. No, that album isn't Dr. Feelgood but then not many are. When it all comes down to it, we're all just a big ball of cells - cosmic matter. It's what we do in life and how we treat others that makes us matter. See the distinction?

When I first heard that you'd quit the Crue again, I thought "well, that's that." Now, I'm not so sure. Motley Crue isn't one person, and the rest of the boys can go on, record and tour without you. I hope they do. I hope you see their success and feel like a jackass, because that's what you are.

Tommy, I know you don't give two shits about my opinion - or anyone's opinion for that matter - but you better realize that everything I'm saying here is true. You look like a joke swaying your arm to the beat, wearing your cap sideways. You're not hood, you've never been hood...and you ain't never going to be hood. If you want to turn your back on your one true talent, and please believe that talent is drumming, then so be it. It's your life after all. Just don't bitch when things fall apart.

Remember, Tommy, love and hate's the same to the Black Widow -- and you, my friend, are about as white as they come. Holla!

P.S.

I am waiting for my refund. I demand my $50 back from one of your crappy techno shows with DJ Aero. I didn't know you could get the same kick out of performing in front of 100 people versus 40,000 in a sold out stadium, but what the hell do I know?

I hope Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Vince Neil never let you back in Motley Crue. It would serve you right.

Love and kisses,

The glam mistress.

**Suggested reading: An Open Letter to Tommy Lee (May 25, 2007)