Runnin’ with the Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times, Loud Rock, and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen by Joe Layden and Noel E. Monk…now that is a mouthful for a book title. The book takes you on the journey of the David Lee Roth era of Van Halen and for some the true era of Van Halen. The story is from the point of view of their Tour Manager and later Manager Noel E. Monk.
Before we get in to it, if you want to read a much better review of the book, go see my friend Deke at his blog as it was his review that made me get this when Amazon offered on the Kindle for only $2 (or was it $3)…either way it was cheap and worth that price.
The book picks up with Noel coming in as their tour manager for the tour supporting their incredible debut album ‘Van Halen’. We don’t get any insight into the making of that album or really any album for that matter as Noel didn’t go to the studios while they were recording (or rarely ever did). We also don’t get any information on their forming or even their time with Gene Simmons which would have been nice, but again, this is not a band member telling the story and I had to get over that fact.
Welcome back to another Tuesday’s Memes. Today, we do another genre focused post and this time, it is Classic Rock. Classic Rock is anything old and everything good. Sadly, most classic rock was just rock when I was kid. Does that make me a Classic now??? I think so!! Take a trip down memory lane with some good old Classic Rock…Enjoy!!
Hollywood Undead brings us their fifth album simply titled Five or V. The band is a fantastic mix of Hip Hop and Metal. They don’t limit themselves to either genre as the album also mixes in some nice Pop and R&B sounds to bring a wide variety of styles and sounds in what might be there most infectious album.
The band members go by the monikers of Danny, Charlie Scene, J-Dog, Johnny 3 Tears and Funny Man. They wear masks and the music is usually filled with anger and angst that is sure to draw you into a crazy, fun-filled ride. This album does just that, but also is a departure from their previous efforts.
For My Sunday Song #67, I am going with a song that randomly pops in my head more often than not, “I Started a Joke”. The song is by the Bee Gees and I don’t honestly know why I find myself singing it at the most odd times. I guess it means I really like this song and I actually do. I was not a Bee Gees fan at all because when I grew up and got in to music, Disco was the Devil. I actually love the Bee Gees now, but their real early stuff from the late 60’s and early 70’s is the best.
“I Started a Joke” was released back in 1968 and was on their album ‘Idea’. The song was written by all three brothers and was sung by Robin Gibb. The song has such a relaxing, somewhat hypnotic sound that is beautiful and psychedelic. It has a sadness to it and the lyrics do as well (“I started a joke, which started the whole world crying”). The song has stuck with me and is constantly playing in my head. For years, I will just start singing this song and looking back it might be at times I was sad but I truly don’t know why it stays with me.
Robin has never explained what the song is about as he felt the song interpretation is up to the listener as any real explanation would detract from what the listener feels it is about. Robin’s vocals on this song are stunning. His squeaky, high pitched voice and the melody just makes me feel the song is about loneliness. I think with the loss of my parents over the last couple years, there is a little part of me that feels a little lonely since they aren’t with me anymore.
It is Black Friday!!! As a result, a lot of bands don’t release albums the day after Thanksgiving. However we do have a few coming out…one studio release I might give a listen, one anniversary release, a couple live and a greatest hits (of ballads). Hopefully there is something for you. Have a great day and don’t shop too much!!! My choices are highlighted in Blue.
Queen – News of the World 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe: The biggest release today is the 40th Anniversary Edition of News of the World. This looks great and I would get it, but it is pretty pricey and might be out of my reach for awhile. The album features the classics “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions” so it is a must for anyone’s collection…if you can afford it. The Super Deluxe is $128…ouch!! If it is streamable, I will listen to it there first.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built the Moon? – (Caroline): Oh the Gallagher Brothers…First Liam has a new album and now Noel. Since no more Oasis, I will take what I can get from each. Liam’s album was surprisingly good…I hope this will be just as surprising (even with the girl playing scissors on stage) and just as good.
This month’s ‘The Original Vs. The Cover’s focusing on the Nine Inch Nails Song “Hurt”. The song is one of my favorite Nine Inch Nails songs and I am not a huge fan of the band, but this song always struck a chord with me. However, it was the cover of this song by a gentleman who goes by the moniker of Johnny Cash that made me stop and pay attention to this song (maybe you have heard of him). It was one of the most surprising song choices for Cash to cover, but damn! did he make it his own song. Let’s start off with the Original version of “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails.
NINE INCH NAILS:
The song, “Hurt”, was written by Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor and is off their album ‘The Downward Spiral’. For those not familiar with the band, their style is very industrial rock and has a very metalic sound. This song is no different other than the slow, plodding pace of song. It comes at you with such a sadness and a dark tone that you immediately feel the pain the singer is going through. The opening lines define the song right out of the gate…”I hurt myself today / To see if I still feel”.
Happy Tuesday! Welcome to this week’s memes. We are tackling the band Queen this week and why not! Queen is so worthy of getting this treatment. So if you week has started off pretty crappy, maybe this will cheer you up a little. Enjoy!!
Here is the Real Most Interesting Man in the World!!
What were you doing when you were around 18-21 years old? I am sure you weren’t taking the world by storm like the boys in Greta Van Fleet. I can’t remember the last time a band was getting so much buzz from critics and from music fans alike. Especially a Rock & Roll Band!!
They are being hailed as the second coming of Rock and are completely ripping off Led Zeppelin in the process…but in a very good way. Their Zeppelin stylings are showcased by the stunning “Highway Tunes” and equally amazing “Safari Song” and “Flower Power”. The band has an old soul which shines on the Sam Cooke cover “A Change is Gonna Come” and the Fairport Convention cover “Meet on the Ledge”.
My Sunday Song #66 is the first current release I have done in some time. It is the song “Feel the Still” by the band Portugal. The Man. The song is the second single off the band’s 2017 album “Woodstock” and their first #1 on any chart. What surprised me about the band when I looked them up was that this is their 8th studio album. 8th?? I had never heard of these guys…how did that happen??
I first heard this song on an Apple commercial and then later I started hearing it on the radio. It was so damn catchy and had a 60’s kind of vibe to it with the fun beat and John Gourley’s very high pitched vocals. As it turns out, the song has borrowed heavily from the song “Please, Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes which was released way back before my time in 1961 (not really that far before my time but definitely before).
Lyrically the song seems all over the place. It jumps from references to the civil rights movement in 1966 up to their introduction to the Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill in 1986 and all the way to today and what is happening with the current administration. I saw where the song was inspired by his daughter growing up while they were making this album. To me he seems to be worried about the world she is going to inherit and that we need to fight for our rights like people have done in the past. Now is the time. Maybe I am reading too much into this short song at only 2:43.
My wife just told me that Malcolm Young had died and it really bothered me. As more of my musical idols age they are starting to pass away and it makes me feel like I am getting old which I am not. But this was bad for me because of what had been troubling Malcolm. He suffered from Dementia which is the same illness my Dad suffered and contributed to his passing back in April of this year.
Malcolm Young was the co-founder, along with his brother Angus, of one of the greatest rock bands of all time, AC/DC. Malcolm was not just the rhythm guitarist of AC/DC, but he was actually so much more. He was the driving force, the leader and the heart and soul of the band. When he stepped away from the band due to his illness, it was a piece of the band’s heart that left and the band will always be a little less without him. He is forever immortalized in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and will go down as one of the greatest Rhythm guitarist in history.
I hate that he suffered from Dementia as it took away his music and it is such a cruel and horrible disease. My heart goes out to his friends and family at their loss, but it is great to know that he left such an amazing legacy. Rest in Peace Malcolm!! This ones for you…