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”→
I should be arriving home today from vacation in Paris, France so I will be a little late getting to these releases, but there are a bunch I want to at least listen to first before I buy. All my choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you are interested in or if there is something I might have missed as that happens…a lot!! Enjoy and have a great weekend. I know I will be resting from this trip and I am sure suffering major jet lag.
Rob Thomas – Chip Tooth Smile – (Atlantic Records): The former Matchbox 20 frontman is finally back with a new solo album after four years. I liked his early stuff and definitely early Matchbox 20. I am hoping he captures a little of that lost magic, but I don’t know yet as I haven’t listened to anything yet, not even the video posted below. I will try it out, he has earned that.
Rodrigo y Gabriela – Mettavolution – (Rubyworks): This might actually be first up on the playlist. I love these two. Their instrumental, flamenco style music is at times breathtaking. High expectations as I have never been disappointed before. Give them a listen if you have heard them before…it is really cool.
For this installment of The Original vs. The Cover, we are tackling the Cranberries song “Zombie and comparing to the cover by Bad Wolves. The song was written by Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries back in 1993 and was released on their 1994 album ‘No Need to Argue’. The Cranberries had pretty good success with the song, but the song was never released as an official single in the U.S. so it never made the Billboard Top 40. The song helped the album go on to sell over 7 million copies in the U.S.
The song was a very big political statement for the band. It was about the IRA bombing in England in 1993 which killed two children, Jonathan Bell and Tim Parry. The band is from Ireland and this hit too close to home for them. For those that don’t know, the IRA is a militant group that has been trying for years to get the British troops removed from Northern Ireland. Dolores wrote the song as an anthem for peace. The song also speaks to the year 1916 which is how long the fighting has been taking place over this issue.
For me, I now look at the song differently. I think the song was also talking about depression. The lyrics do speak of war and fighting and it is obvious what the song is about, but with the lines repeated a lot “in your head / Zombie”, I looked at as the mental anguish the singer was fighting with herself as she did suffer from depression and sadly took her life on January 15th of this year, 2018. Maybe I am trying to read too much into it.
The Cranberries song was a departure for the band sonically. The band was an alternative rock band with some pop flare to them as well. This song was more grunge sounding than anything they had done. It was very dark, angry and Dolores’ delivery of the lyrics made you feel that anger and the pain of losing the children and the heartache the family’s must have felt.
It is the last Friday of April…amazing how time flies. We have a lot of albums coming out today, but nothing that really excites me. I will pick a couple to listen to, but it looks like a good week to get caught up on previously released albums from the last couple weeks. I hope you can find something that tickles your fancy. Mine are highlighted in Blue.
John Mellencamp – Sad Clowns & Hillbillies – (John J. Mellencamp): Always a fan of the former Mr. Cougar. Whatever he puts out I always give a spin and see what he has to offer. I haven’t heard anything yet so not sure what to expect. I do know it is his 23rd release and will feature Carlene Carter throughout. We will see…or I guess we will hear soon enough.
The Cranberries – Something Else – (The Cranberries & BMG): It has been 5 years since a Cranberries release and that is way too long to go between albums especially for a band as talented as them. Glad to get some new material even if it is only 3 new songs. The rest are acoustic and orchestral versions of 10 previous hits. I am not overly greedy so I will be happy with the 3 new singles even thought I would have preferred a full album of new songs.
In my producer extraordinaire series, this is the 3rd producer who helped create some of my favorite albums. The first post in the series was for Robert John “Mutt” Lange and then second post was for Brendan O’Brien. Both legendary producers.
Bruce Fairbairn didn’t have as long as career as the first two guys due to his untimely death back in 1999. However, during his brief time, he crafted some of the most memorable albums of the 80’s & 90’s and the albums sold well over 65 million copies if you just count the platinum and gold albums.
It all started in back in Canada in the late 70’s when he started out producing for a band called Prism. Prism had moderate success in Canada, but not much internationally. In 1980, Bruce started production on the debut album for another Canadian band called Loverboy. Loverboy opened the doors for Bruce with the bands international appeal. He produced 4 albums with Loverboy in the 80’s. They were as follows: