Welcome to Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle!! That is how the show opened and what a nightmare it was, but in a good way. This was my second time seeing Alice as I saw him 3 years earlier, almost to the day and I am glad to be back to be terrified, freaked out and entertained by the legend himself. This time around, my daughter joined me as she figured if her mom liked the last show, maybe she will and I think she did, but more on that later.
As we were standing in line to get through the vaccine check (negative covid test check) and the metal detector, we noticed people wearing Nita Strauss T-Shirts. It was cool seeing people that were coming to the show to see her. If you don’t know her, she is “Hurricane” Nita Strauss and she is Alice Cooper’s lead guitar player (one of three), but she is the featured one that gets all the press because she is pretty freaking awesome!!
After watching Ace Frehley Open the show, the crowd was pumped and ready. We only had to wait just under 30 minutes to get the stage transferred over and turned in to this giant 2-Story castle and full of horrifying things. But what wasn’t horrifying, but electrifying was the setlist…take a look at what he has to offer this time around…
My favorite era of music is the so called, 80’s Hair Metal scene. Of course, back then it was just rock and didn’t yet have a label, but that was the music for me. I know a lot about that era and the bands so any time I can get my hands on a book about that time, I am all over it. I took a chance on this one called ‘The Spectacular Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Hair Metal by Christopher Hilton. The book had a 4.4 rating so I thought I would give it a shot.
The book goes chronologically through each year of the scene and goes all the way up to 2019/20. When it gets to the 90’s and 2000’s, the chapters start to cover more than one year as it would be too much. I was expecting some great stories and maybe interviews from people of that era and from those involved in the scene, but that is not what I got at all. The author went through and talked mostly about the biggest bands of the era including Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Poison, L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat and the like and he went through each album and the best songs on the album. At the end of each year he ranked the best album. Honestly, it felt like I was either reading wikipedia or maybe even something I would have written with my limited knowledge of these bands. It was rather pedestrian.
The stories about the bands were the same old stories we’ve heard all the time, there was really nothing new at all. No interviews, no real thought provoking insight, no real meat at all. He always focused on the biggest bands and seldom if ever brought up bands that were lesser known that were completely overlooked. The only good thing is he did follow the music in to the 90’s (and he mentioned Paul Laine of Danger Danger) and how the bands changed their sound and style and then went in to the 2000’s where the 80’s Rock scene saw a major resurgence. He even went as far a talking about the new bands in the 21st Century that have taken up the 80’s glam scene and how a lot of them come from Europe, especially Scandinavia. A good list of bands to check out. Most of them I already knew about, but for newbie’s that part is worth checking out.
Last week was the 250th Post of My Sunday Song which is amazing for me to think that I have been doing it for that long. that is almost 5 years of My Sunday Songs. To celebrate, I thought we would go through the Top 5 My Sunday Songs of All Time. That’s right, the Top 5 most viewed My Sunday Song Posts. And let me tell you, these are some great, great songs. No need to wait, let’s jump right in to it.
#5 – “Lips On You” by Maroon 5 – with over 1,180 views
My Sunday Song #88 is going to get downright sexy. The song of choice this week is “Lips on You” by Maroon 5. The song is off their most recent album ‘Red Pill Blues’ which was released back on November 3, 2017.
The song was co-written by Adam Levine with a slew of people including Kasher Hindlin, Jason Evigan and two people that are all over the charts right now, Julia Michaels and Charlie Puth. With that many people involved, I would hope a good song would come out of that collaboration and let me tell you…it sure as hell did!!
This is probably my favorite song on the album. The deep bass, the slower groove and the lyrics are all so damn hot. When you throw in Adam’s voice, you have pure magic. This is one song that should be played when you want to get busy and it will make your partner swoon and turn them in to jelly. The lyrics will guide you through what you should do. If this doesn’t do it, let me know and we will file a complaint with Maroon 5 and Charlie Puth.
Nowadays you don’t make mixtapes for anyone, you do a playlist and I actually did one for the wife that were songs that made me think of her and yes, this one was included. That is all you need to know!!!
I get a lot of emails every day asking me to review this person or interview that person, but honestly, I don’t have time to explore the new artists or their music. I can’t keep up with the albums I want to review as it is so to add anything new ones in to the mix is impossible. And let’s be totally honest, most of the stuff I get is so bad, it is nauseating. Then one day I got a request to review a book. That hasn’t happened very often. I actually took the time to read the email and I loved the concept. It is a true story about life on the road and touring with bands. The book was called…this will take awhile…’Memoir of a Roadie: Axl said I mad a great cup of tea…Scott Weiland liked The Carpenters…& Ozzy likes Rosé’ and it was written by Joel Miller. I am going to just call it ‘Memoir of a Roadie’.
Joel Miller’s book covers the time in his life when he was a roadie. It was only a few short years, back around the early 2000’s, but Joel experienced so much. You get a realistic view of what goes on in the life of a roadie. Joel toured with bands like Stone Temple Pilots, Guns ‘N Roses, Poison and The Cranberries and each tour gives us some funny moments, some insane moments and some very sad moments. The book covers his hard, but fun life on the road in his early 20’s as well as the hardships of his life with not being on the road and the dysfunctions of his family.
Do you get stories about sex, drugs and rock & roll…Duh!! But it is the storytelling of those events that makes this book a fun, fast-paced read. Fast-paced because you don’t want to put it down. The chapters are numerous, but short which helps keep a well paced book interesting and page-turning. You’ll get to hear a lot about his jobs with telemarketing, working on movie sets and doing whatever he could to make ends meet. And there is a portion of the book that deals with his tough relationship with his dad who was a Jaguar mechanic and who was sort of friends with Jay Leno. Heck, Joel even got to go over to Jay’s and see that car collection. When Joel’s dad was nearly dying, he had Jay call his dad and we get another funny moment in the book. Jay seems like a really nice guy. Continue reading “‘Memoir of a Roadie’ – by Joel Miller – Book Review”→
2018 was a tough year at times and the best year at times, it all depends on my perspective when looking back at it I guess. For my blog, we had a banner year with a vast improvement over the prior year. It is hard to believe that people continue to come back to the site to read what I have to say. It is rather humbling and much appreciated. I don’t make any money on this, it is all for fun so to know people find it and come back motivates me to keep doing it. I never thought I would be able to come up with material, but with over 730 posts so far, I seem to keep finding stuff to write about.
I will keep it to the blog as far as highlights for this past year, except I did turn 50, so that is pretty cool. They say that the first 50 years of childhood are the hardest, and I would agree. It should be smooth sailing from here.
The first highlight, is that I have finally reached 100,000 views on the site since its inception which was about 2 years & 7 1/2 months ago. That is hard to believe. Now, I hope to do 100,000 views in 2019 alone. That is at least my goal.
As far as posts, what were the biggest posts of the year. Here are the Top 5 new posts that were done in 2018:
Ok, I am in no means an Alice Cooper aficionado, I am a casual fan at best. However, I have always wanted to see Alice live, but never actually went. Well, as I am getting older and so is Alice, I realized that we won’t be around much longer and I better go see him while I am still around and so is he. So after my pal Deke went and wrote about it at Thunder Bay Arena Rock, he convinced me to finally do it. And let me tell you, I am so glad I did.
Now, if you want better pictures go to Deke’s blog as he had front row I believe. I wasn’t so lucky and I am too cheap! But I did get pictures and they suck because my phone sucks. So I apologize up front for that.
My wife decided to join me on this concert experience and I am glad she did as it made the night that much more special that she was with me. Plus, it is nice any time we get a date night. No kids!!!
Now my wife is a little height challenged so she had trouble seeing. Me, I am 6’2″ so I had only minor issues as the guy in front of me was a little taller than me. But that is okay, I got to see most everything. Okay enough about that, let’s get to the show.
The show opened with Alice’s voice welcomes you to the nightmare and the band comes exploding out with “Brutal Planet” which was such a great opening song and there was no holding back. Alice comes strolling out with this coat and cane and never has a 70 year old man looked so cool!! He owns the stage and has such presence that you are completely drawn to him. And the way he swings that cane around, those band members better not be standing close or they will get knocked on their ass. Hell, Alice swung the cane so hard against a speaker that the damn cane broke.
I finally found enough Poison memes to do a collection on the band. It took me awhile to find any good ones about as long as it takes to find any good Poison songs!! I am kidding. I like Poison. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have been able to rank their albums and actually find one that was good enough to be #1.
So, sit back and enjoy the fun I have at Poison’s expense…
For My Sunday Song #95, this power ballad comes to us from Poison. The song is “Something To Believe In” and is off their 1990 album ‘Flesh & Blood’. The song went to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is great example of how moving and poignant a song can be.
The song is about two people in Bret Michael’s life. The first is his personal friend and bodyguard, James Kimo Maano or Kimo. Kimo got hooked up in the rock & roll lifestyle and with his abuse of drugs and alcohol, his life tragically ended early. When Bret found out, he was inspired to write this song as a tribute to his friend. When you watch the video of this song, you see an emotional Bret Michaels reacting to pictures that showed up on the TV of his friend. The Director of the video didn’t tell him the pictures were being used and it took Bret by surprise. It was a cruel trick, but it captured a real moment.
The other person is Bret’s cousin Bob who had been wounded in Vietnam and the song talks about his struggles mentally with what happened as well as the loss of so many of his cousin’s friends in the way. It paints a stark reality of the damage war can have on a person.
The whole song discusses reasons for Bret’s loss of faith whether it is from false prophets, the homeless, the impact of war or the loss of a close friend. The song paints such a graphic picture that you can’t help but be touched by it in some way. And depends on your mood when you listen, it could even bring a tear to your eyes.
Alice Cooper! Is there anything more that needs to be said. I don’t think so. It is now time to honor Mr. Cooper and the greatness that he is. There are not too many rock stars out there as cool as he is. Heck his last album was incredible so there aren’t many people out there still relevant after over 40 years of music (or is it 50 now). Sit back and enjoy Alice Cooper.
I have seen a lot of news on Poison lately. Most notably, they are touring with Def Leppard and they were actually in town back on April 29th with Extreme & Jackyl. I hate I missed it as I really would have loved to see Extreme…and Poison too!!
I then saw in the news where Rikki Rocket would love to record a new album, but he doesn’t feel fans want to hear anything new from them. I then saw somewhere where Bret Michaels would love to do a new version of “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”…but of course he would…he is a REPEAT OFFENDER!!
All this talk about Poison got me to thinking about their albums. So, over the last week I revisited their entire collection and decided I would rank their albums from their absolute worst to their very best…or at least my opinion of that ranking. They had 7 studio albums, but since one Live album had 5 new tracks I decided to include that one in the list as well. I will shut up now and get on with the ranking.