Out of the Glam Rock Cellar with RATT

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Heavy Metal Music with tags , , , , , , on March 9, 2014 by glamrock4ever

 Image Ratt is an American metal band that had commercial success in the 80s and are recognized as being very influential in the Los Angeles glam metal scene. They are best known for their hits “Round and Round”, “Lay It Down”, “Way Cool Junior”, “Lovin’ You’s a Dirty Job”. (See Wikipedia for this and more). The band continues to record and tour today. For the latest news about this, see http://www. therattpack.com.  According to the band’s bio on this site, Ratt was signed to Atlantic records in 1984 and their record sales have gone 3x Platinum, “selling in excess of 15 million albums in the US alone”.  The original band members consisted of: Warren DeMartini, Stephen Pearcy, Bobby Blotzer, Robbin Crosby, and Juan Croucier. 

     For the complete page of RATT album covers/discography go to:

http://www.therattpack.com/media/discography

 

     The inception of this great glam metal band started in 1976 with a band called Mickey Ratt which was formed by founding member and vocalist Stephen Pearcy. There were several changes in their lineup during this time period and throughout the band’s history.

(For complete info on this, see Wikipedia.)  The band named Mickey Ratt moved to Los Angeles in 1980 to increase their chances of landing a recording contract, and Mickey Ratt recorded two singles “Dr.Rock” and “Drivin’ on E” during this phase of the band’s genesis, and records were given out to fans at their early shows in the L.A. club scene.

     In 1981, the band’s name was shortened to RATT. Guitarist Warren DeMartini joined in 1982 at the age of 18, having made a life-changing decision as to whether to stay in community college or throw his lot in with what was then an unknown group. More crucial additions during this time were Bobby Blotzer on drums (formerly with Vic Vergeat) and Juan Croucier on bass (formerly with Dokken). In 1983, Ratt signed with independent L.A. label Time Coast records and released the first Ratt EP in the U.S. After the EP (Extended Play) was well-received, the band was signed to Atlantic records. Ratt band members then started working on material for their first album, Out of the Cellar.

     RATT signed with Atlantic Records, writing and recording the band’s first full-length album, Out of the Cellar –which generated the crew’s monster hit “Round and Round”. For those fans out there who remember the 80s rock n roll radio, Ratt’s “Round and Round” was constantly on the radio, defining 80s hair and heavy metal,as well as the video in heavy rotation with Milton Berle’s “Uncle Miltie” character in the rock video, and guitarists crashing through the ceiling onto a dinner party, complete with rats under glass. This first album is regarded as Ratt’s paramount work. Out of the Cellar was a mammouth hit, going platinum many times over in the USA and Far East.

     What follows is a brief synopsis of the great RATT albums that followed after Out of the CellarInvasion of Your Privacy (1985-1986), Dancing Undercover (1986-1987), Reach for the Sky (1988-1989), Detonator (1990-1991) and Ratt ‘N Roll (1991-1992). The band’s second album Invasion of Your Privacy peaked at #7 in 1985, featuring hits, “You’re In Love” and “Lay It Down.” The band toured extensively that year with Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne, and Iron Maiden.

RATT’s next release Dancing Undercover featured “Body Talk”, “Dance” and “Slip of the Lip”. Throughout 1987 RATT toured with Poison.  Reach for the Sky was released in 1988 and reached #17 on Billboard’s Hot 100, achieving platinum status with “Way Cool Junior” and “I Want a Woman”. RATT toured Tokyo that year with Kingdom Come, Bon Jovi, and Britny Fox.

RATT’s fifth album Detonator was released in 1990 and featured tracks “Shame Shame Shame” and “Lovin You’s a Dirty Job”. Jon Bon Jovi joined as background vocalist on “Heads I Win, Tails You Lose”. During the Japanese leg of Detonator tour guitarist Robbin Crosby’s substance abuse problem led to inconsistent playing onstage, and during one memorable performance, Crosby did not switch out guitars with his guitar technician for songs that required different tuning, and was subsequently out of tune with the band on the next several songs. The culmination of this was that it was Crosby’s last gig with the band, and he checked himself into a rehab facility after the tour ended. At the end of 1991, RATT released the song “Nobody Rides for Free”, signalling a change in the band; 1991 was the last year that the original five members of the band RATT played or recorded together.

     RATT to this day is still an influential band in the glam metal scene. The next upcoming gig for RATT is the Monsters of Rock ImageImagecruise departing Miami, Florida March 29th, 2014. According to RATT’s website, http://www. therattpack.com, “The year 2010 saw RATT sign to RoandRunner for the release of Infestation. Their 10th studio album will be released in 2014. Lead singer Stephen Pearcy is quoted as saying “Our music is like it was in the beginning..We’re going to celebrate (30) years in 2014 with a new record and world tour to keep Ratt N Roll alive.” The current band members are: Pearcy, DeMartini, Croucier, Blotzer, and Carlos Cavazo (formerly of Quiet Riot) replacing the late Robbin Crosby. Crosby died on June 6, 2002 of a heroin overdose. He was 42 years old.

 

Guns N’ Roses: Glam Rock’s Slash N’ Burn

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Guns N Roses, Heavy Metal Music, Mick Ronson, Music, Rock Music with tags , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2013 by glamrock4ever

ImageImageImage

Guns N’ Roses are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in the mid-1980s. The classic GNR line-up consisted of Axl Rose on vocals, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagen, and drummer Steven Adler. (See Wikipedia for this and further info). GNR is one of the best-selling hard-rock bands of all time, with a bent towards Glamour Rock. To date the band has sold over 150 million albums worldwide. These sales originated from only six albums: Appetite for Destruction (1987), G N’ R Lies (1988), Use Your Illusion (I and II) (1991), The Spaghetti Incident (1993), and Chinese Democracy (2008). Guns N’ Roses has been credited with reviving the popularity of hard rock music at a time when pop and dance music dominated the radio and music scene in the 80s and 90s.

 

Guns N’ Roses was formed in 1985 by singer Axl Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin of Hollywood Rose, along with lead guitarist Tracii Guns, bassist Ole Bach, and drummer Rob Gardner of L.A. Guns. The band coined the name by combining the names of both groups. After 2 or 3 shows, Beich was replaced by Duff McKagen, and Guns’ lack of attendance led to his replacement by Slash. Four days after this line-up was established, GNR embarked on a “Hell” tour of the West Coast. Later, McKagen said “This trip had set a new benchmark for what we were capable of, what we could and would put ourselves through to achieve our goal”. Guns N’ Roses then dedicated themselves with the superlative path to rock success of playing the Hollywood club scene  -rocking such famed bars as The Troubadour and The Roxy-which drew the interest of major record labels. Geffen records signed them in 1986, with the band receiving a $75,000 advance. (See Wikipedia)

 

The most extraordinary masterpiece by Guns N’ Roses by far was their debut album Appetite for Destruction (1987), featuring “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City”. “Welcome to the Jungle” was the band’s first single with accompanying video. At first the album did not do well; -that is, until David Geffen convinced MTV to play the video to “Welcome to the Jungle” in their afterhours rotation. (See Wikipedia) Even though it was played at 4am only once, metal and hard rock fans took notice, and requested the song/video be played en masse.  Another interesting fact is that, according to Axl Rose, the lyrics to “Jungle” came from an encounter he and a friend had with a homeless man after disembarking from a bus in New York City;the homeless dude screamed at them: “You know where you are?! You’re in the jungle, baby! You’re gonna die!” “Sweet Child O’ Mine” was a love song co-written by Rose to his then girlfriend, Erin Everly.GNR toured extensively in support of AFD. The band opened in North America for The Cult, Motley Crue, and Alice Cooper in 1987.

 

GNR shows in the late 1980s were marked by several events which led some fans to describe Guns N’ Roses as “The Most Dangerous Band in the World”. In a 1987 show Atlanta, Axl Rose assaulted a security guard, and was detained backstage while a roadie sang and the other band members played on. Near riots broke out in a 1988 concert in New York state. At England’s “Monsters of Rock” fest, two fans were crushed to death by the ecstatic crowd. At one opening gig for the Rolling Stones in 1989, Axl Rose announced that the shows would be their last if certain members of the band did not stop “Dancing with Mr.Brownstone” –a reference to some in the group’s heroin use. Regarding his own drug use, Axl Rose told Rolling Stone in 1989, “I’m not and never have been a junkie. I’m not necessarily against their use but they don’t fit in my life right now. Right now drugs get in the way of my dreams and goals. Then again, I could be out on tour for six months and a blast that night might be what cheers me up.”

 

Use Your Illusion I and II was one of the more ambitious projects by GNR. Drummer Steven Adler, however, was struggling during recording sessions for the two album blockbuster due to his cocaine and heroin use, resulting in more than 30 takes on one song alone. Adler was fired and replaced by Matt Sorum who had played with The Cult. Guns N’ Roses released Use Your Illusion I and II on September 17, 1991. The albums debuted at #1 and #2 respectively on the Billboard charts. GNR had several music videos on MTV accompanying the effort: “Don’t Cry”, “November Rain”, and “Estranged”. “November Rain” became the most requested video in MTV history, winning the 1992 music video award for best cinematography.

 

The band’s history is extensive and fascinating. (Please see Wikipedia and rock media such as Rolling Stone and AllMusic.com for further details). However, there are a few more “stand-out” events worth mentioning from the band’s seminal background. One is the “Riverport Riot”, where, in a 1991 concert at the Riverport Amphitheatre outside St.Louis, Missouri during the performance of “Rocket Queen” singer Rose noticed a fan filming the concert. He asked security to confiscate the fan’s camera, and when it didn’t happen fast enough, Rose jumped off the stage into the crowd, confronting the fan about the camera before assaulting him. Axl was pulled off the fan by crew, and then announced onstage “Well, thanks to the lame-ass security, I’m going home!”, threw down the microphone and left! The stunned crowd turned angry, rioting and in the process dozens of concert-goers were injured.

 

Rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin quit the band in 1991 after a repeat of the St.Louis incident nearly happened again in Germany. Stradlin cited a combination of Rose’s personal behavior (Rose frequently delayed shows for hours at a time) and difficulties being around drug-abusing band members when he himself had gotten sober.Tension between Slash and Rose led to Slash’s quitting of GNR in 1996. Shortly afterward, Matt Sorum and Duff McKagen ditched the band as well. An actual break-up of Guns N’Roses never occurred since departing band members were replaced.

 

The much anticipated release of Chinese Democracy, which had been in music production since 1994 and in that year alone had already cost $13 million, finally occurred on November 22, 2009. It was GNR’s 6th album and their first since 1993′s The Spaghetti Incident. On Dec. 11, 2011 it was announced that the classic Guns N’ Roses line-up would be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, along with Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Faces. In April 2012, Axl Rose announced on the GNR Facebook page that he would not be attending the RRHF induction. In April 2012, former Guns N’ Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan, Gilby Clarke, Steven Adler, and Matt Sorum all reunited at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They performed “Mr. Brownstone”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, and “Paradise City” with Slash’s band vocalist Myles Kennedy filling in for the absent Rose. Axl Rose, along with current band members (including lead guitarist DJ Ashba and rhythm guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thai) continue to tour in support of Chinese Democracy.

 

Fiery Glam and Sleazy Rock: the Legacy of L.A. Guns

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Rock, Guns N Roses, Heavy Metal Music, L.A.Guns, Metal Rock, Music, Rock Music with tags , , , , , , on July 1, 2013 by glamrock4ever

Glam Rock52L.A.Guns2L.A. Guns is an American hard-rock, glam metal rock (aka “sleaze”) from Los Angeles,California formed in 1983. According to Blabbermouth.net, Tracii Guns started L.A. Guns while still in high school in 1982. The original singer, Michael Jagosz, was replaced by Axl Rose, [who, as most Glamour Rock fans know, went on to become lead singer of Guns 'N Roses with outstanding guitarist Slash]. Signed to PolyGram in ’87, the band’s self-titled debut, L.A. Guns [with Phil Lewis replacing Rose] sold over a million copies, as did Cocked and Loaded (1989) and Hollywood Vampires (1991). Tracii Guns’ L.A. GUNS is not to be confused with the Phil Lewis-led version of the group, which is continuing to record and perform under the L.A. Guns moniker to this day.

As of 2013, the lineup of LA Guns consists of Phil Lewis (vocals), Michael Grant (guitar), Scott Griffin (bass), and Steve Riley (drums, percussion). Additionally, LA Guns is on tour,

and tour dates can be found at http://www.laguns.net.

The history of LA Guns over the years has been extensive and confusing, because, unbelievably, Wikipedia lists a total of 25 musicians who have at one time or another been a part of LA Guns! (For this band history and the background information, see Wikipedia) Here are the most famous of those musicians, and their current band affiliations: Axl Rose (now lead singer of Guns N Roses), Tracii Guns (who also formed the original Hollywood Rose, as well as Brides of Destruction and Contraband), Paul Black (Faster Pussycat), Nickey Alexander (Faster Pussycat), Mick Cripps (Faster Pussycat), Steve Riley (WASP), Joe Lester (Bang Tango), Jizzy Pearl (Love/Hate), Jeremy Guns (Quiet Riot), Marty Casey (Lovehammers), and the list goes on! Holy Friggin’ Crap! Here is the essential nucleus points to “take away”: In 1985, Tracii Guns and Axl Rose decided to merge their groups LA Guns and Hollywood Rose to form the band Guns ‘N Roses. Rose named the band Guns N’ Roses, combining the two names of the bands with the lineup featuring Axl Rose on vocals, Tracii on lead guitar, Izzy Stradlin on rhythm guitar, Ole Beich on bass and Rob Gardner on drums.[12] Tracii had been trying to recruit Rose and Stradlin into a group before however, Tracii, as well as the other former L.A. Guns members Ole Beich and Rob Gardner, departed the group replaced by Slash, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler.[13](Wikipedia)

The debut album L.A. Guns, released in 1988 via Polygram records, peaked at number 50 on Billboard 2000, and included songs “No Mercy”, “Sex Action”, “Nothing to Lose”, “Bitch is Back” and “One Way Ticket”. The L.A. Guns 1989 album titled Cocked and Loaded, peaked at number 38 on Billboard 200 with the single “Ballad of Jayne” cresting at # 25 on the mainstream rock chart. The album went on to become certified Gold and Platinum. L.A. Guns released their third album Hollywood Vampires in 1991, which culminated at slot # 42 on Billboard 200. Their singles, “Kiss My Love Goodbye” and “Its Over Now” hit # 16 and #75 on the mainstream rock chart. Drummer Riley was fired from the band in 1992 following the band’s tour of Europe with Skid Row. However, drummer Steve Riley is currently with Phil Lewis’ version of LAG. The band released their fourth album Vicious Circle in 1995 with the album failing to chart. Polygram dropped the band after Vicious Circle went up in smoke. The band also recorded the Pantera-influenced album American Hardcore in 1996 via CMC International which also hit the skids –not landing on any chart.

L.A. Guns then went through a “renaissance” period where the original lineup reunited and released several successful albums from the years 1999-2002, according to Wikipedia. This cast of original band members saw the return of: Phil Lewis (vocals), Tracii Guns (guitar), Mick Cripps (guitar), Kelly Nichols (bass guitar), and Steve Riley (drums). A compilation of re-recorded songs and new material titled Greatest Hits and Black Beauties was released in the summer of 1999. A live album was also recorded on October 7, 1999 at the Key Club on the Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California on the label Cleopatra Records Live: A Night at the Strip. Songs on this live album included “Face Down”, “Sex Action”, Electric Gypsy”, “Rip N Tear”  and “One More Reason”. The band began recording new material with producer Andy Johns in 2002 with the group scheduled to tour with Alice Cooper later in the year. The L.A. Guns album Waking the Dead came out to positive reviews with songs “Don’t Look at Me that Way”, “Waking the Dead”, “Hellraiser’s Ball”, and “City of Angels” on the Spitfire label. This included Phil Lewis on vocals, Tracii Guns on guitar, Adam Hamilton on bass guitar, and Steve Riley on drums. L.A.Guns began touring with Warrant, Ratt, Dokken, and Firehouse that year as part of the Rock Fest Tour. The seminal event in 2002, however, was the departure of Tracii Guns, as well as L.A.Guns involvement in a project with Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx in a band named Cockstar.

What follows is an interview and press release from that time period, via KNAC.com and an interview with contributor Mick Stingley on 3/9/03 following an L.A. Guns show in Brooklyn:

“It is the day after the infamous club fire in my native Rhode Island. The Great White show at “The Station” is the top story on every majornews outlet, and the subject of concern for more than a few peoplein attendance this evening. I mention this because it bears mentioning.This interview was set up only a few days prior for me, as a “representative”of KNAC.COM — but I had been to “The Station” many times… I knewwell the club’s small size, I have seen a few bands there… it is as muchin the back of my head this night as anyone’s…

L’Amour is a famous, well-maintained rock club deep in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York. It is the pre-eminent venue for metal lovers in the Five Boroughs, and upon walking inside I note instantly the presence of red “EXIT” signs and sprinklers on the ceiling. I make my way to the bar, and hear the subject of the fire bandied about the rock crowd as I pass by rockers male and female, young and old. It is a horrible, frightening tragedy: Yet the turnout is strong for LA Guns… After the band takes the stage at 1:30AM, they are only one song in when Phil Lewis addresses the crowd… a quiet, poignant nod to the previousnight’s events. He offers up hopes and prayers for the victims and theirfamilies, and dedicates the evening to the crowd who came out to seethe rock music they love – tonight — and for the people who lost their lives in Rhode Island. After the show, I will be turning on my tape recorder and chattingwith LA Guns. They are on their first tour without founding memberand namesake Tracii Guns, who is working on a project with Nikki Sixx. I had my doubts about what the show would be like,but with the addition of guitar-slinger Kerri Kelli,and Faster Pussycat’s Brent Muscat — I was pleasantly surprised.I have forsaken a show review and attention to set listin favor of just enjoying the music over a beer.However, their set included a few tracks from the great, recent Spitfire release,Waking The Dead, as well as concert staples “Sex Action,”“Ballad Of Jayne,” “Rip N Tear,” plus some long missed favorites –“Long Time Dead,” “Kiss My Love Goodbye,” and the great,under-rated “Beautiful” from Man In The Moon. After the show, the whole band comes out to chat, meet, greet,sign autographs and shake hands with their fans. I make my way backstage tomeet up with Brad Nelson, their tour manager, and get situatedfor what was to be a brief interview with Phil, and maybe Steve.Pretty much, prior to the tragedy in Rhode Island, I had wantedto discuss the departure of Tracii, and the resulting changes.Mr. Nelson kindly assembled the entire group, and I realized theneed to be extemporaneous and include each member’s input –as the five men who make up LA Guns stood around me in a huddle,and I turned on my tape-recorder, the ease and charm of this companyof players made me mindful of the fact that, whatever lineupchanges they have undergone, whatever struggles they faceas a touring group in a descendant genre of rock music, and,  touched as they were by the previous night’s events — once thing remainsclear and unshakeable — LA GUNS IS A BAND.” – See more at: http://knaclive.com/article.asp?ArticleID=1836&StartTime=3%2F10%2F2003+8%3A30%3A45+AM#sthash.8QyXiV3t.dpuf

Here now are three important elements to this article: Condensed Timeline of Key Events, link to the interview where Tracii Guns announced his departure, and upcoming L.A. Guns Concert dates for 2013:

Condensed Timeline of Key Events from 2003-2012

  • 2003  Recruitment of Stacey Blades to the group
  • 2004  Release of cover album Rips the Covers Off
  • 2005  Release of Tales from the Strip and Live from Hollywood
  • 2006  Tracii Guns forms Tracii Guns band as well as Brides of Destruction
  • 2007  Tour dates announced to support Tales from the Strip
  • 2012  Tracii Guns announces he is finished with his version of L.A. Guns

Link to Tracii Guns interview where announcement of departure is made:

http://blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=176904

Upcoming Tour Dates for L.A. Guns, with some dates including Warrant, Ratt, and Dokken:

8-1-13  Toledo,OH

8-2-13Dayton, OH

8-3-13Sterling Heights, MI

8-5-13 Sturgis, SD

8-17-13Des Moines, IA

9-6-13Akron, NY

Glam Rockin Podcast 2013 Hell Yeah

Posted in Glam Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2013 by glamrock4ever

Van HalenAlice CooperBlack N BlueTURN IT UP and you will not believe your ears. WOW HELL YEAH here is the MAGNIFICENT ROCKIN’

 

GLAMOUR ROCK MUSIC PODCAST for 2013

 February 2013 GlamPodcast_mixdown  “CLICK HERE”

FOR 30 minutes of uninterrupted glam metal rock music. ALL RIGHT

BLAST OFF!! with

 

BLACK N BLUE           “Hell Yeah”  “Monkey” “Target”

 

ALICE COOPER          “Elected”  “No More Mr. Nice Guy”

 

VAN HALEN               “Drop Dead Legs” “Panama”  “House of Pain”

 

Keep it here for the BEST music there is GLAMOUR ROCK and METAL ROCK music.

 

Enjoy!  Coming to you from the Southeastern United States of America. Send requests to: Media3413@yahoo.com with tagline: Podcast Request

Van Halen Vaults Back into Glam Metal Stratosphere

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Heavy Metal Music, Metal Rock, Music, Rock Music, Rock Stars with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2013 by glamrock4ever

Van Halen2Van Halen1Van Halen3Van Halen is primarily an American hard rock band with roots in the Netherlands (the original birthplace of the Van Halen brothers, Alex and Eddie Van Halen, being Nijmegan, Netherlands), heavy metal guitar rock riffs and hooks, with coincident Glam Rock music status, “spotlight on” the flamboyance and over-the-top hypersexuality of lead singer David Lee Roth. The main focal point of the band’s overwhelming popularity has been the guitar virtuosity of Eddie Van Halen, mixed with the onstage antics and attractiveness of  David Lee Roth. The 1978 debut album of the band, entitled Van Halen, is widely regarded as one of the music albums that changed the course of rock music history, leading the way for the music genre of heavy metal to evolve in upcoming decades. (For this and more band history, see Wikipedia.) The band members at that time, at the group’s inception were: Eddie Van Halen (lead guitarist), David Lee Roth (lead vocals), Alex Van Halen (drums), and Michael Anthony (bassist).

The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), has listed Van Halen as the 19th best-selling band/artist in United States history, with sales of over 56 million albums in the U.S. and over 86 million albums worldwide. Also, Van Halen is only one of five rock groups that have had two albums sell more than 10 million albums each.

Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen are the sons of musician Jan Van Halen, who arranged for them to have music lessons. The Van Halen brothers started playing music together in the 1960s, with interestingly, Eddie playing piano and drums and Alex playing guitar! One day when Eddie found out that Alex had been playing his drums, Eddie decided, out of frustration, to start playing Alex’s guitar: youthful beginnings to the foundation of astounding guitar musicianship to come in the form of Eddie Van Halen’s heavy metal style, most definitely an innovator for all time.

In 1972,in California, the Van Halen brothers formed a group named “Genesis” while renting a sound system from David Lee Roth in the process. In order to save money on renting the sound system, the brothers decided to offer Lee Roth lead vocals in a bartering deal, to which then led to David Lee Roth becoming a permanent part of the band. By 1974, the rock group decided to replace then bassist Mark Stone with Michael Anthony, who was then performing in a band called “Snake.” The band later changed their name to “Mammouth” after finding out that there was already another band with the name “Genesis.” The name “Van Halen” for the band was introduced by David Lee Roth, who thought the name suggested power. The band Van Halen started playing at parties and other local gigs around Hollywood and Pasadena, California, while also passing out flyers to their gigs to local high schools in the Hollywood, California area. This garnered the band a huge following and from that, Van Halen started to establish themselves as headliners at  mainstream  L.A. nightclubs of the 1970s, including the famous Whisky a GoGo.

Van Halen recorded their first demo tape at Cherokee Studios (now defunct), also the recording studio for Steely Dan at the time. Van Halen’s career began to intensify when the famous rock music impresario Rodney Bingenheimer checked out the band at the L.A. club Gazzari in the summer of 1976, and being quite impressed took Gene Simmons of KISS to see them. Gene Simmons then produced a demo tape in New York, presented them to his managers, but being told “no chance whatsoever”, he discontinued further involvement with the fledgling group. (See Wikipedia)  Van Halen’s pursuit of the “Rock N Roll dream” began to heat up even more when two Warner Brothers’ record executives (Mo Ostin and Ted Templeman) saw Van Halen perform at the Starwood in Hollywood; the execs were so dazzled that they offered the band an extensive recording contract within a week. Upon its’ release, the debut album Van Halen reached number 19 on the Billboard pop music charts, one of rock’s most commercially successful inaugurations. The album contained these classic songs by Van Halen, “Runnin’ With the Devil” and “Eruption”-showcasing Eddie Van Halen’s guitar mastery.

The band returned to the studio in 1978 to record Van Halen II, which resulted in the band’s first hit single “Dance the Night Away.” Over the next album, Van Halen was prolific with album releases and touring: Their Women and Children (1980), Fair Warning (1981), Diver Down (1982), and then the pinnacle of their career, Van Halen’s 1984 (1984) , which showcased such monster hits as “Panama”, “Jump”, “I’ll Wait”, and “Hot for Teacher.” The album generated three music videos on MTV and debuted at number 2 on the Billboard chart’s, behind Michael Jackson‘s Thriller. The album, although a huge profit-maker, was also a breaking-point for the band! The ginormous egos of the band’s two massive stars, Eddie Van Halen, and David Lee Roth, had had several explosive tangles in the past, but now their differences were at fast forward fury. Lee Roth reportedly was upset about Eddie playing outside the band without the other members’ permission and  Eddie’s drug abuse (alleged) that prevented certain viable practice sessions. Eddie was sick of Roth’s flamboyant stage behavior and at times ridiculous antics, and both differed in their view of the band’s image/direction for the future.

During this time in 1985, Eddie Van Halen, as the group’s leader, began to look around for lead singers to replace David Lee Roth. He invited Patti Smyth of Scandal to replace Lee Roth but she refused. Eddie was then introduced to another singer, Sammy Hagar, who he knew from a mutual auto mechanic. Drumroll please as we are now entering the crucial phase of the endless debate amongst Van Halen fans of which singer is better: David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?HA  Visit any Youtube page of Van Halen music videos and fans are still debating this to this day. Sammy Hagar had had a hit with Warner records with “I Can’t Drive 55″, had an album with Montrose, and agreed to join the band, also adding his skills as rhythm guitarist to deepen the sound. The 1986 album 5150 (named after the address for Eddie Van Halen’s studio) was a success, with keyboard-driven singles such as “Why Can’t This Be Love”, “Dreams”, and “Love Walks In.” A new Van Halen logo was added to the album art, symbolizing the band changes. The band had many more triumphant studio albums  during the reign of Sammy Hagar, which lasted until 1996. It was in the Hagar era that Van Halen was nominated for two Grammy awards, winning an award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1992. Success often breeds discontent amongst stars, and because of disputes between Hagar and Eddie Van Halen, Hagar’s career as lead singer ended in 1996. Hagar claimed he was fired; Van Halen said that he quit. Overall, it was a technicality of sorts, because the Van Halen band members had been secretly recording tracks with David Lee Roth again, which led Hagar to quit/be fired.

There is further detailed and extensive history on this ground-breaking band. (See Wikipedia for more information and citations). On March 12, 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and were introduced by Velvet Revolver. Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar were the only members (both ex-members at that time) in attendance. In 2012, Van Halen released A Different Kind of Truth -their first album in 14 years (since 1998′s Van Halen III). It is the first Van Halen album to feature Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang on bass ( and still in high school!)  in place of Michael Anthony. It is also the first album to feature David Lee Roth’s vocals in over 15 years. Van Halen announced a tour to support the album, from 2012 to 2013. The Van Halen News Desk reports that Guitar World named A Different Kind of Truth as the #1 album of the year (for 2012) and Rolling Stone named “Stay Frosty” in their “50 best songs” (of 2012). Keep up with the mighty Van Halen at http://www.vhnd.com!

Alice Cooper for President: Shockingly Glam

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Heavy Metal Music, Metal Rock, Music, Rock Music with tags , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2012 by glamrock4ever

     Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier in 1948; he is an American rock singer whose career spans more than four decades. Alice Cooper was the inventor of the genre of rock music known as “Shock Rock”, which he achieved by incorporating a mixture of horror and vaudeville with garage band punk lyrics into his act. According to Wikipedia, Alice Cooper used “guillotines, electric chains, fake blood, boa constrictors, and plastic baby dolls” in his act. Although Alice Cooper’s brand of music is more in the distinction of conceptual rock or hard experimental rock, when you view the video from the 1970s UK performance by Alice Cooper(from the then-popular TV Show “Top of the Pops”), you will see there are also origins in Alice Cooper’s music trending towards Glamour Rock and Glitter Rock. And in the spirit of Election Year politics, the song is “Elected” -timeless classic from Alice seeking YOUR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT!  Well, not really but listen to this: Alice Cooper was so innovative in this style of music that he was often compared to another ground-breaking Glam Rock innovator of the 70s, David Bowie.

     Alice Cooper’s roots are in Detroit, Michigan; the band broke into the mainstream of rock music with the 1971 hit “I’m Eighteen” and 1972′s hit “School’s Out”. The commercial peak of the Alice Cooper band’s success was with 1973′s album Billion Dollar Babies. (For this and the following information , see Wikipedia.) In the year 1975, Alice Cooper came out with one of the most conceptual albums of the time, called Welcome to my Nightmare. Ask any rock fan from the 70s era, and most likely they have a copy of that album. In 2011, Alice Cooper released Welcome to My Nightmare 2, and in 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The original Alice Cooper band members are Alice Cooper (Vincent Furnier) on vocals and harmonica, Glen Buxton on lead guitar, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, and Neal Smith on drums. This original band’s roots can be traced back to 1964 when Vincent Furnier at age 16 was eager to enter the annual high school talent show and gathered up some of his classmates to form a group for the show. They called themselves The Earwigs, obtained some used instruments from a local pawn shop in the Detroit area, and mimed their way through some Beatles’ songs, dressing up as the Beatles. The group won the talent show, and loved the experience of being onstage, so they formed a more permanent rock group while still in high school and called themselves The Spiders. Alice Cooper has said that the band’s musical roots include not just the Beatles, but also The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, The Doors, and The Yardbirds.

     In 1966, the Spiders graduated from High School and the band scored a #1 hit on the radio

with “Don’t Blow Your Mind.” By 1967 the band was making regular trips to L.A. to play gigs. They renamed themselves Nazz and relocated to Los Angeles by the end of the year. In 1968, the band called Nazz had to change their name when they came across the fact that Todd Rundgren already had a band with that name. Furnier thought that the band needed a gimmick to succeed, and chose the name Alice Cooper, because it sounded innocent, in contrast to the band’s look and sound.  Later, Cooper nee Furnier said that the name change was one of the most exigent career moves that the band made. To grab more headlines and generate more controversy, the Alilce Cooper band decided to push the concept of a male villain dressed as a murderess in tattered women’s clothing and makeup. Alice Cooper in his 2007 book Alice Cooper, Golf Monster said that his look was inspired by film, such as Bette Davis in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane”, where Bette wears caked makeup and smeared eyeliner. (Alice Cooper at one time had difficulty with alcoholism and to become sober took up the game of golf, thereby “trading one addiction for another” hence the self-imposed title “golf monster.”

     After an unsuccessful gig in California, the Alice Cooper band was approached by music impresario Shep Gordon, who arranged an audition with bizarro rock star, Frank Zappa, who was looking to add another act to his record label. Zappa told the band to come to his house at “7 o’clock” for the audition; the band mistakenly thought he meant 7am. Being awakened at 7 in the morning for the Alice Cooper band’s unique hard-rocking sound impressed Frank Z. enough to sign the band to a three record deal. Afterwards, Alice Cooper’s brand of “Shock Rock” happened by accident due to an onstage antic with a stray chicken. Alice Cooper later developed this concept of “Shock Rock” to the hilt, such as the 1971 tour which featured gothic torture models, and a staged execution by electric chair. Taken in its entirety, along with the band’s tight, sequined outfits, and Glam Rock style costumes (designed by rock fashion icon Cindy Dunaway) persuaded Warner Brothers to offer Alice Cooper a multi-recording contract.

     The Alice Cooper band’s first hit was “I’m Eighteen” on the third album Love It to Death. The next album Killer featured hit songs “Under My Wheels” and “Be My Lover.” More hits followed; however, the biggest hit of all, and one that anyone who was a teenager in the 70s recalls precisely, was “Schools Out”, which reached #2 on the charts, and sold over 1 million copies. The next album was Billion Dollar Babies, featuring the hit of the same name, as well as “Elected” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” Around this time, the British parliament sought to ban Alice Cooper from performing! due to the stage show where Alice sported a boa constrictor snake, accompanied by the murderous axing of bloodied baby dolls.

     The original Alice Cooper band’s last studio album was 1973′s Muscle of Love with A.C.’s last hit single “Teenage Lament ’74″. In 1975, Alice Cooper released his first solo album Welcome to My Nightmare. To avoid legal complications, Vincent Furnier adopted “Alice Cooper” as his legal name. What followed was a successful solo career with subsequent albums such as Alice Cooper Goes to Hell (1976), Lace and Whiskey (1977). The albums in the 1980s were not as successful, and these included Flush the Fashion (1980), Special Forces (1981), and Zipper Catches Skin (1982). Alice Cooper’s alcohol consumption began to cause considerable problems on tour, affecting Cooper’s onstage performances. During the Welcome to My Nightmare tour in Vancouver, A.C. tripped over a foot light and plunged several hundred feet onto the concrete floor amidst fans, who thought it was all part of the act. However, Welcome to My Nightmare also preceded another ground-breaking event in rock history, which was a prime-time television special called The Nightmare, starring A.C. and Vincent Price, which aired in 1975, and garnered a Grammy nomination.

     The latest update on Alice Cooper, which can be viewed on http://www.alicecooper.com: After finishing up his tour with heavy metal artists Iron Maiden, and continuing to tour around the world this fall, Alice opened up a dedicated maze at Universal Studio Hollywood’s based on A.C.’s album Alice Cooper Goes to Hell. Earlier in the year, A.C. joined on allstar Glam Metal jam with Queens’ Brian May, Deep Purple’s Ian Paice, Whitesnake former guitarist Micky Moody, Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, and Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson.

“Flash-in-the-Pan” Glam: Silverhead & Mud

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Rock Music, Rock Stars with tags , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by glamrock4ever

Silverhead were a British band led by singer Michael Des Barres, with Robbie Blunt on guitar, Rod Davies on guitar, percussion, and vocals, Nigel Harrison on bass guitar, and Pete Thompson on drums, keyboards, and vocals. (For this and the following information, see Wikipedia). Silverhead were part of the Glam Rock scene in Britain in the 1970s before the group disbanded in 1974. They recorded two albums: Silverhead (1972) and 16 and Savaged (1973). In April 2012, the band reunited in Tokyo, Japan for a set of concert dates much to the delight of their die-hard Glitter Rock fans. The global story of Silverhead is a bit of a mystery for true Glam Rock followers who have wondered, “what the heck happened?”- that this fantastic band simply disappeared off of the map in the mid-70s when they were headed for Glitter fame and fortune? The answer has finally come about this many decades later, as documented in classicrockmagazine.com: “Silverhead were regarded at the start of the 70s as the British band that would follow T-Rex and David Bowie into the stratosphere of Glam Rockers who had it all.” The truly fascinating story follows and may indeed have you on the edge of your seat, as it did this rock blogger! Silverhead fans will definitely want to read the full-version on http://www.classicrockmagazine.com. According to that website, drummer Pete Thompson, who now lives in Texas, said, “We had it all. The glam, the rock ‘n’roll, the sex appeal, the nastiness…Everything was going our way. And if you saw us live, then you’ll know we really could deliver.”  Again, read the full story by Malcolm Dome on the website, but what happened next is astonishing! Silverhead were set to tour the states on a six-week tour with Fleetwood Mac; only, it wasn’t the real Fleetwood Mac but a bogus group using the F.Mac name! The group Silverhead was sent to Los Angeles once this was discovered while their management company figured out what to do next. (Obviously Silverhead did not tour with the F. Mac imposters.) So get this: when the band returned to Britain, they walked into their manager’s office at the record label, about to embark on a tour of Japan, when they were told that they were all out of a job, and that they could no longer use the Silverhead name or record! What?! How bizarre! From Malcolm Dome’s report, it took “Thompson a few years to recover” and drummer Thompson is quoted as saying, “I was so angry I didn’t play drums for a long time.”

     The other short-lived Glam flash-in-the-pan rock group to be discussed here is Mud. Mud were an English Glitter rock band formed in 1968, best-known for their single “Tiger Feet.” According to Wikipedia, Mud had 14 top 20 hits in the U.K. between 1973-1976. The band members of Mud were Les Gray (lead vocals), Rob Davis (lead guitarist), Ray Stiles (bass guitarist), and Dave Mount (drummer). They signed to Mickie Most’s RAK records and had their first hit with “Crazy.” (For this and the following band history, see Wikipedia.)  The other hits by Mud include “Tiger Feet” (1974), “Lonely This Christmas” (1974), “Oh Boy” cover of Buddy Holly hit (1975), and “Shake It Down” (1976). The final performance of the group Mud with original band members was in 1990 for Dave Mount’s wedding. Les Gray also toured with “Les Gray’s Mud” from 1980-1985. Ray Stiles joined the Hollies; Rob Davis went on to write several dance hits. Dave Mount went into the insurance business. He also appeared in an episode of BBC TV’s Never Mind the Buzzcocks in November 2005 which type-cast Mount as a washed-up, has-been rock star. On 12.2.06, Mud drummer Dave Mount committed suicide.

     Although both these Glam Rock bands had a short history, they are still worth listening to, this many years later. Just ask any Silverhead or Mud fan. They’ll tell you.

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