The family and I took a wonderful Spring Break vacation to the bustling city of New York. What an amazing city. There are so many things to see and so little time to see it all, but we crammed in as much as we could. I was even able to take a few hours and visit some record stores while we were down in Greenwich Village. Lucky Me!!
Before we get to that, let’s talk a little about the trip. We arrived on Sunday afternoon and had a little time to run down to Time Square to check things out. The kids were stunned by the huge, bright, flashing billboards and all the people…all the interesting and very strange people.
We saw where the film the Late Show with Steven Colbert, where the Broadway Show Rocktopia was playing which was starring Pat Monahan from Train while we were there (didn’t see it though), we of course saw Time Square and even went and snapped a picture at Radio City Music Hall.
Continue reading “Turntables & Vinyl #13 – The New York Adventure”
Oh the Holidays! The end of the year. Christmas time. The time John is not supposed to buy any albums since it is the holidays and it is my birthday time period so no record purchases as people need to have something to give me as a gift. Well, that didn’t quite work this year.
I did set aside a list of albums people could buy for me for Christmas and/or my Birthday and I made sure that anything I picked up was not from that list. December turned out to be a treasure trove of purchases, gifts and free stuff. I definitely hit the jackpot with a crap load of albums to listen to and some day write about.
It all started mid-November when the Coke reward program was giving away $5 Amazon gift cards for every 10 bottle caps redeemed. Well, I had been collecting them at work as I do drink one Coke product everyday and on really stressful, busy days, maybe two. The $5 Amazon Gift cards were actually $10 because they allowed you to redeem it twice. After setting up a several more accounts with different email addresses, I was able to redeem $40 worth of caps (I would have done more, but I ran out of caps). What did I get with the $40 from Amazon? Music of course. I picked up the following:
Continue reading “Turntables & Vinyl #11 – The Holiday Treasure Trove”
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 $3)…either way it was cheap and worth that price.
The book picks up with Noel coming in as their tour manager for the tour supporting their incredible debut album ‘Van Halen’. We don’t get any insight into the making of that album or really any album for that matter as Noel didn’t go to the studios while they were recording (or rarely ever did). We also don’t get any information on their forming or even their time with Gene Simmons which would have been nice, but again, this is not a band member telling the story and I had to get over that fact.
Continue reading “‘Runnin’ with the Devil’ by Noel Monk and Joe Layden – Book Review”
We are now on our 4th Producer Extraordinaire in this series. We have seen Robert John “Mutt” Lange, Brendan O’Brien and Bruce Fairbairn so far, and now it is time for Bob Rock. Bob Rock actually got his start as a recording engineer and mixer under the great Bruce Fairbairn so he learned from one of the best.
Bob’s musical career started back in 1979 / 1980 when he started engineering from Bruce as well as joined the band Payola$ who had a big hit in 1980 called “Eyes of a Stranger”. They were pretty successful in Canada and won a Juno Award in 1983 for Single of the Year. However, Bob’s real talent (or at least to me) is his ability to work with bands and produce amazing albums.
Bob Rock has worked with some of the biggest bands in the world, but they don’t get bigger than Metallica. Bob was selected as the Producer for the band’s biggest album they had ever done, however, at the time they did not know it would become so big. “The Black Album” as it is commonly known made Metallica cool in the mainstream world as well as the Thrash world.
Continue reading “Bob Rock – Producer Extraordinaire #4”
I keep seeing news clips about possible Van Halen reunion stories from either Sammy and then Dave and then Sammy and I actually don’t care anymore. If it happens, it happens. Until then, shut the f##k up about it and let’s just celebrate the good and bad about Van Halen with these memes. Enjoy!
Everyone argues about Roth or Hagar…We are going to settle this once and for all…
Continue reading “Tuesday’s Memes – Van Halen”
For my third installment of The Debut, I have decided to take on the daunting task of discussing on what is regarded as one of the best debut albums in rock history, Van Halen’s debut simply called ‘Van Halen’. Why is it daunting? Because so many people have written about this album that there really is nothing I can add to the discussion other than my opinion which is probably no different than what has already been said.
We will start off with some general information about the album. The album was released on February 10th, 1978. I was only 9 at the time. It was produced by Ted Templeman who was famous for producing The Doobie Brothers, Van Morrison and Montrose (early Sammy Hagar connection). The album reached as high as only #19 on the charts and did sell over 1 million copies in its first year. It has now been certified Diamond Status with sells well over 10 million copies.
The band was originally discovered by Gene Simmons from the band KISS. Gene worked with the band and they did some demos, but nothing materialized as Gene headed back out on tour with his band. The ended up playing a lot of live shows around Hollywood including the Whiskey A Go Go and the Starwood. It was at the Starwood that they came to the attention of Mo Ostin & Ted Templeman with Warner Brothers Records. They later signed with Warner and went on to record their debut album.
Continue reading “The Debut: Van Halen – ‘Van Halen’”
Each week Apple Music creates a playlist for me of songs they feel I will like called “My Favorites Mix”. This week they did a really great job of picking those songs. There were 25 songs and 1 hour & 32 minutes of magic. Here are the songs:
- “Parasite (feat. John 5)” by Ace Frehley – Origins Vol. 1
- “You’re In Trouble” by Ratt – Out of the Cellar
- “Tobacco Road” by David Lee Roth – Eat ‘Em and Smile
- “My Woman in Black” by Scorpion Child – Acid Roulette
- “Outta My Way” by Talisman – Cats and Dogs
- “Monster You Made” by Pop Evil – War of Angels
- “Under and Over It” by Five Finger Death Punch – American Capitalist
- “Fiddler’s” by John 5 – Songs for Sanity
- “We Could Run Away” by Needtobreathe – The Heat
- “Rudebox” by Robbie Williams – Rudebox E.P.
- “Stay the Night” by James Blunt – Some Kind of Trouble
- “No Apologies” by Bon Jovi – Greatest Hits – The Ultimate Collection
- “Professor Satchafunkilus” by Joe Satriani – Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock
- “Lighter Shade of Green” by Alcatrazz – Disturbing the Peace
- “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones – The Complete Collection 1971-2013
- “Something More” by Train – Drops of Jupiter
- “Invisible Touch” by Genesis – Invisible Touch
- “Run to You” by Bryan Adams – Reckless
- “Bring It On Home” by Dread Zeppelin – Un-Led-Ed
- “One Thing Leads to Another” by The Fixx – Reach the Beach
- “Suicide Blonde” by INXS – The Best of INXS
- “Sure Know Something” by Kiss – Dynasty
- “Save A Prayer” by Duran Duran – Greatest
- “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie – Best of Bowie
- “Hollywood” by Collective Soul – Afterwords
When I gave this a listen the first time, this playlist put me in a great mood. I hope the new playlist coming up on Wednesday is as good as this one. Go to Apple Music and give it a listen at this link.