Archive for March, 2019

The Next Short Story for My Book

Posted in Uncategorized on March 30, 2019 by 80smetalman

Hi all, I’m busy at work for the next week so there will be some delay before I can post about The Scorpions’ “World Wide Live” album. Sorry, it can’t be helped. In the mean time, I have just finished the next short story for my book. It’s called “Protecting Our Neighbourhood” and here’s part one for you to read.

Philip Baker had a sneaky suspicion what the letter was going to say even before he opened it. Nevertheless, he opened the brown envelope from the Metropolitan Police. Unfolding the letter inside, he braced for what it was about to tell him.

Dear Mr Baker,

Thank you for your application to be a Special Constable.

Unfortunately, after careful consideration, we have decide not

to select you for training. Your desire to serve your community

is greatly appreciated.

He shouldn’t have been surprised at the letter’s content. He had applied to be a real police officer as well at some of the other constabularies around London and each response was the same: no thank you. Now that even the special voluntary police didn’t want him, it was now clear that he had no chance whatsoever in becoming a police officer.

His first instinct was to write to them and inquire why his application was unsuccessful but he had done that with two of his previous failed attempts. Only one of those bothered to write back to him and they informed him that it wasn’t public policy to disclose the reason. Philip found it all very frustrating.

One speculation behind his lack of success went back nine years to when Phil was eighteen. On one particular evening, his friend had stolen a car and saucily drove it by Phil and two of his other friends, offering them a ride. When the offer was accepted, the driver set off like a madman around the Bow and Clapton areas of London. Zipping around East London felt exhilarating and that feeling only rose when the car went speeding down the Blackwall Tunnel Road. However, the rush came to an end when the speeding car zoomed across the roundabout beneath the Bow Flyover and came to an abrupt stop on the central island. The four young men quickly got out of the car and ran off in different directions. Unfortunately, for Phil and his friend, their escape path led right into four police officers who wasted no time in apprehending the pair.

Philip was charged with assisting with the theft of a motor vehicle. The police and prosecutor demanded, “Tell us who stole and drove the car and we’ll drop the charges against you.” But Phil adamantly declined. “I’m not giving up my mate!” Therefore, he was taken before a magistrate who gave him a £150 fine and 50 hours of community service as well as a three month jail term suspended for one year. He had a criminal record and even though the minor offence didn’t hinder his employment in a factory. The boss who interviewed him stated light-heartedly, “We all did things like that when we were younger.” However, it did stop him becoming a police officer. This was in spite of the fact that his conviction had long since been considered ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. The sad thing was that many people agreed that he would have made a good police officer because they all thought he was good at solving problems.

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Motley Crue- Theatre of Pain

Posted in Uncategorized on March 28, 2019 by 80smetalman


Confession time here, I have to admit that the song, “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” by Motley Crue made my summer in 1985. That was because it was guaranteed that at least once, sometimes twice, on my eight hour shift at the parking lot, it was played on the radio. And it was a lot better than most of the other crap being played. Example, I wouldn’t have hated “Shout” by Tears for Fears so much if the radio didn’t play it to death. It got to the point that after “Shout” being played for the third time on an eight hour shift, I took drastic measures and phoned the local radio station threatening I would blow it up if they played that song anymore. It wasn’t played for the rest of my shift but thank God for “Smokin’ in the Boys Room.”

Showing my age, I remember the original version of that song by Brownsville Station. I loved that version too. I can’t decide who’s is better but I do like Motley Crue’s video for it, which did get described in “Rock and Roll Children.”

With the release of the “Theatre of Pain” album, Motley Crue were accused of ditching their wild heavy metal antics and becoming glam rock poseurs. Having seen them on the tour for the album, which also got penned in “Rock and Roll Children,” as does the events following the concert, I can safely say that their image was definitely glam. The leather was gone and they donned a more glam look. Fortunately for me, I’m more about music than image.

On that subject, I have never and still don’t rate “Theatre of Pain” as high as their first two albums. I agree with the masses who proclaim that “Shout at the Devil” was Motley Crue’s last great album. On the other hand, “Theatre of Pain” isn’t a bad album. True, it’s not as ferocious but there is some good metal to have here. “City Boy Blues” was a good way for this album to open, it did catch my attention and have me think that Motley Crue hadn’t totally abandoned what had made them great. “Louder Than Hell” is good but it has the potential to be so much more. They should have made it even louder. Then there’s the famous ballad, “Home Sweet Home.” It did make number 26 in my all time favourite power ballads list. Plus, it shows that Tommy Lee can tinkle the ivories as well. It also got lots of airplay on MTV so all in all, I have no shame in saying that I like it.

If you had this album on either cassette or vinyl, you would know that side two goes back more to Motley Crue’s heavy metal roots. “Tonight (We Need a Lover)” starts the second side off in the right direction and paves the way for the hidden gem on the album, “Use It Or Lose It.” This track just cooks with Mick Mars leading the way with a blinding guitar solo. I can’t believe that I marked him as the worst guitarist in metal for all these years. Mick, if you’re reading this, you have my permission to come to Stroud, UK and give me a slap. “Save Our Souls” continues more of what I’m talking about. It’s a down and dirty hard rocker. “Raise Your Hands to Rock” has a Southern Rock feel to it with its acoustic intro and boogie vibe to it. While melodic, I still think they should have cranked it more. That would have made the song sound even better. Saying that, I think it would have made a better closer than “Fight for Your Rights.” The former has a better ‘take the album home’ feel to it.

Track Listing:

  1. City Boy Blues
  2. Smokin’ in the Boys Room
  3. Louder Than Hell
  4. Keep Your Eye on the Money
  5. Home Sweet Home
  6. Tonight (We Need a Lover)
  7. Use It or Lose It
  8. Save Our Souls
  9. Raise Your Hands to Rock
  10. Fight for Your Rights

Motley Crue

Vince Neil- lead and backing vocals, harmonica

Nikki Sixx- bass, backing vocals, synth

Mick Mars- all guitars, backing vocals

Tommy Lee- drums, piano, backing vocals

Confession number two: watching the Motley Crue film, “The Dirt” inspired me to post about the 1985 album, “Theatre of Pain.” Thinking back or maybe it’s my age, it’s a pretty good album. It did have a song that made my summer a little more bearable.

Next post: The Scorpions- World Wide Live

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to:







Great Metal Albums of 1985: Venom- Possessed

Posted in Uncategorized on March 25, 2019 by 80smetalman


Throughout the early 1980s, Venom had kept the metal world very much entertained with three killer, (some could take this literally), albums. Even in my cultural wasteland of Southern New Jersey, they were well established in metal circles. Then, 1985 saw the release of their fourth album, “Possessed.” While I might agree with many who said the album wasn’t as good as their previous three, it’s in no way bad. Then again, it would have been a great achievement if it did match up exactly with the previous blockbuster, “At War With Satan.”

“Possessed” comes in immediately with the full intention of assaulting one’s ear drums and brain. The opening drums on the first track, “Powerdrive,” let you know that you are in for a very good pounding. The assault continues throughout the entire thirteen tracks on the album with no let up. Then again, would anyone expect Venom to record a power ballad? Not only do they carry on the thrashing sound that made them famous, they still sing about such lovely subjects as Satan and the occult. “Satanchrist” and “Hellchild” bear witness to this fact. Another fact is that the title track has the honour of being on the PMRC’s “Filthy Fifteen” list because of its supposed association with the occult. Well, it does begin with Cronus shouting about being Satan’s child. However, I know of no one who became possessed by demons when listening to it. If there is any song from the album that should have caught the attention of the Washington Wives, it’s “Burn This Place “(To the Ground.) I’m very much surprised that they didn’t scream that this song encouraged children to go out and set fire to great public buildings. It never did me.

Cronus, Mantas and Abaddon continue to prove they were a good tight band on the album, even if I found it even harder to understand what Cronus was singing. Then again, that has always been the charm with Venom. The exception is “Suffer Not the Children,” you can understand what he sings on that track. One track sums up the entire album, “Harmony Dies.” Of course, with Venom, harmony was never really alive in the first place. Which is another endearing fact with this band. What you get is the growls of Cronus along with him being half a manic rhythm section with the guitar work of Mantas combining power chords and blistering solos. His best one is on “Voyeur.” Basically, everything you might expect from Venom.

Track Listing:

  1. Powerdrive
  2. Flytrap
  3. Satanchrist
  4. Burn This Place (To the Ground)
  5. Harmony Dies
  6. Possessed
  7. Hellchild
  8. Moonshine
  9. Wing and a Prayer
  10. Suffer Not the Children
  11. Voyeur
  12. Mystique
  13. Too Loud (For the Crowd)


Cronus- volcanic vibrations and death breath, vocals, bass

Mantas- marshall mayhem massacre, guitar

Abaddon- world war three, drums

To my surprise, I discovered that Venom had a lot of output in 1985. Not only did they release this cool studio album, they had a live album and a compilation album to their credit too. Don’t worry, I’ll visit both down the line.

Next post: Motley Crue- Theater of Pain

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: 





















You Gotta Watch This!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23, 2019 by 80smetalman


I’ve spent my Saturday evening watching “The Dirt” on Netflix. It’s about the history of Motley Crue and their rise to stardom and their subsequent fall and comeback. Let me say that the film is absolutely brilliant, I laughed my ass off through a good part of it. Especially, the scene where Ozzy pisses by the side of a swimming pool and then gets down and licks it. Okay, part of me thought, “sick,” but I still laughed anyway. There is no holding back in showing the band’s totally debauched lifestyle throughout the 1980s, from their humble beginnings playing the Whiskey A Go Go club in LA to their chart topping album, “Dr Feelgood.” The first half of the film is like one big party.

The big however is that it doesn’t shy away from the sadder parts in the band’s history. Vince Neil’s car crash which killed Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle and the death of his daughter Skylar. Nor does hold back in highlighting Nikki Sixx’s heroin addiction although I would have like to seen a little more detail on Mick Mars’s health problems. The film made me regret even more the fact I used to think he was the worst guitarist in metal. All of the above nearly destroyed these men and the band.

Word of warning: If you are a hard core Motley Crue fan, you might be dismayed at some of the historical inaccuracies of the film. I know for a fact that Vince Neil served his time in prison in 1986, after the band completed the “Theater of Pain” tour. The film suggests his jail time was before. There are probably more in the film but as I learned from writing  “Rock and Roll Children,” one shouldn’t let a little thing like historical accuracy get in the way of a good story. The bottom line is, whether or not you’re a Motley Crue fan or even a metalhead, “The Dirt” is definitely worth a watch.


Motley Crue










Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1985: Mountain- Go for Your Life

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2019 by 80smetalman


Here’s another example of how radio can be misleading. When it was announced locally that Mountain would be supporting Canadian greats Triumph, local radio started playing their most well known hit, “Mississippi Queen.” The result was many people like me thought it was a brand new single from their latest album, “Go For Your Life.” It was only when I got the album and the big single was missing from it, I learned that “Mississippi Queen” was released in 1970. Maybe it was a ploy to get people to buy the album, I don’t know. What I do know is “Mississippi Queen” was a fantastic song in 1970,  again in 1985 and it still rocks today.

This means that the multi-million dollar question here is: Does the album stand up on its own? My answer is a definite yes! It might have been fifteen years since they recorded that big single and eleven since their previous album but their sound hadn’t changed much. The only ‘modern’ sounding track, at least for 1985, was “Spark” because it begins with a bit of synthesizer before it becomes a radio ready blues charged rock song. Why this song was never released as a single totally baffles me.

As for the rest of “Go for Your Life,” it is a pure mean hard rocking album. While, I wouldn’t quite call it heavy metal, though many did back then, there are a lot of tracks here that simply cook. In fact, once again, I have found it difficult to pick a favourite track because there is something about each one. Leslie West shows he can do some very exciting things with his guitar and there are some very interesting riffs throughout. One that should be noted is “Shimmy on the Footlights.” However, they can change things up as well as noted in the blues based “I Love Young Girls.” Of course, if a band put out a song with that title these days, there would be a police investigation. Another point of note is the closing track, the short but near ballad like “Little Bit of Insanity” which was in memory of former band member Felix Pappalardi, who was shot and killed by his ex wife in 1983. The track does complete what was for me a surprisingly good album.

Track Listing:

  1. Hard Times
  2. Spark
  3. She Loves Her Rock (And She Loves it Hard)
  4. Bardot Damage
  5. Shimmy On the Footlights
  6. I Love Young Girls
  7. Makin’ It In Your Car
  8. Babes in the Woods
  9. Little Bit of Insanity



Leslie West- guitar, vocals

Mark Clarke- bass

Corky Laing- drums

Additional Musicians

Chuck Kirkpatrick- backing vocals

Eric Johnson- synthesizer on “Spark”

Miller Anderson- slide guitar on “Makin’ It In Your Car

Listen and decide if this song would have made a decent single

Thought I’d throw in the 1970 classic for good measure

Every time I listen to “Go For Your Life,” I ask myself, why wasn’t Mountain bigger than what they were? As the album proves, they certainly had the chops to do so. I wish I had gone to see them when they supported Triumph. That would have been a great concert to have written about in “Rock and Roll Children.”

Next post: Venom- Possessed

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to:






















Great Metal Albums of 1985: Girlschool- Running Wild

Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2019 by 80smetalman


When I saw Girlschool live in 1985, they had my total sympathy. They were supporting Deep Purple and they were basically on a bare stage with limited lighting. The worst parts were they played before a half empty Philadelphia Spectrum and were only on stage for half an hour. I suggest this might be more of Ritchie Blackmore’s paranoia at work. While I totally loved them, the fact was it made sure they knew they were only a support act. Shame, because if they had access to a little more lights and effects, more people would have turned up to see them and maybe like me, heard what a great album “Running Wild” was.

Changes to Girlschool came in the forms of lead guitarist Kelly Johnson leaving, replaced by Cris Bonacci and Jackie Bodimead joining as a fifth member and sharing the vocal duties with Kim McAulliffe. The result on “Running Wild” was that it left me very impressed with the musicianship here. Now, Girlschool were always good in that respect on their previous albums but some of the playing goes above and beyond here. You have a good one-two punch with Bodimead and McAulliffe sharing the lead vocal duties but what won me over was the lead guitar work of Bonacci. She’s that good. Her best work can be found on the title track, “Something for Nothing,” “Are You Ready” and “Nowhere to Run.” The last one being the best of them all.

All of the songs on “Running Wild” are fairly evenly good. Only the title cut stands out above the rest but not by much. Like a good number of the other tracks, it has a really catchy intro. Speaking of which, the intros are all unique in their own way. “Running Wild” starts with an acoustic guitar while “Are You Read” blasts immediately into a cool guitar solo. The opener, “Let Me Go” has one of those introductions that make you take notice and the right choice to open the album. However, there’s no let up in the second half of the album. More great heavy metal work from what has been considered one of the best all female bands in the game, not that gender should have anything to do with it. “I Want You Back” provides some great melodic metal and “Nasty Nasty” is a pure rocker. “Love is a Lie,” complete with glass breaking sound effects at the beginning, provides some good metal moments before the closer, which has some interesting bits packed onto the end when you think the song is over.

Track Listing:

  1. Let Me Go
  2. Running Wild
  3. Do You Love Me
  4. Something for Nothing
  5. Are You Ready
  6. Nowhere to Run
  7. I Want You Back
  8. Nasty Nasty
  9. Love is a Lie
  10. Can’t You See



Jackie Bodimead- lead and backing vocals, keyboards

Kim McAulliffe- rhythm guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on tracks 3 & 8

Cris Bonacci- lead guitar

Gil Weston-Jones- bass

Denise Dufort- drums

“Running Wild” was only released in the US and that was a big mistake because they already had a fan base in the UK. If it had, then the album would have done better because this could be one of their best.

Next post: Mountain- Go For You Life

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to:











Rest in Peace Bernie Torme

Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2019 by 80smetalman

Bernie Torme with Ozzy

It is my sad duty to announce the passing of guitarist Bernie Torme. Bernie passed away yesterday in hospital from pneumonia, he was 66. He played guitar for Gillan and for Ozzy Osbourne following the death of Randy Rhoads. Furthermore, he had formed bands of his own such as The Electric Gypsies as well as teaming with Dee Snider and Clive Burr to form Desperado in the late 1980s.



Bernie Torme and his band

Bernie Torme’s musical career spanned over five decades and is yet another major loss for music.

Rest in Peace Bernie Torme.

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Keel- The Right to Rock

Posted in Uncategorized on March 14, 2019 by 80smetalman


Looking back, the opening title track of Keel’s second album, “The Right to Rock,” might have been a fore-warning of things to come in 1985. I saw the video for said song in January of said year but the whole thing with the PMRC didn’t happen until the Autumn. It turns out that the video showing life in an oppressed anti-music society was the first of many which came along thanks to the good old PMRC. With all that aside, it’s still a pretty good song to begin with.

While unlike one hit wonders who use their hit song as the opener to the album in order to generate more sales, “The Right to Rock” is still worth listening to long after the single is done. Different albums have different uses and although I never used it for this, it is a good album to have on the car stereo while going to a concert. Thinking back, it would have put me in total party mood while driving up the old Atlantic City Expressway towards Philadelphia to partake of a concert. That’s the best use for this album, it’s loud and manic, just what one needs.

Is it good for listening in general? You might ask. First, I’m going to beat those of you itching to tell me that this Keel album was produced by Gene Simmons. My verdict on Gene was that he produced this album to the best of HIS ability and I will let you all debate the pros and cons of that. He also wrote three of the songs, the first one, “Easier Said Than Done,” could have easily been recorded by KISS. The next track, “So Many Girls, So Little Time,” doesn’t sound like a KISS clone at first listen but the lyrics definitely give away the fact that Gene wrote it. The third Gene penned track, “Get Down” is no less obvious.

History points out that the reason, Keel used three Gene Simmons songs was down to the fact that they had only written three of their own songs when their label ordered them into the studio. It also explains the cover of the Rolling Stones, “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” Additionally, the closer “You’re the Victim, I’m the Crime,” was re-recorded from the band’s first album, which was titled “Tonight You’re Mine” on it. So, the question here was: Were Keel capable of writing decent songs themselves? The title track and track two, “Back to the City,” would indicate in the positive and though not as good, “Speed Demon” is still pretty cool. However, “Electric Love” might have been written by the band but it could have easily been written by Gene.

Track Listing:

  1. The Right to Rock
  2. Back to the City
  3. Let’s Spend the Night Together
  4. Easier Said Than Done
  5. So Many Girls, So Little Time
  6. Electric Love
  7. Speed Demon
  8. Get Down
  9. You’re the Victim (I’m the Crime)


Ron Keel- vocals, guitar

Marc Ferrari- guitar, vocals

Bryan Jay- guitar, vocals

Kenny Chaison- bass, vocals

Steve Riley- drums, vocals

Dwain Miller replaced Steve Riley on drums but did not play on the album.

Whichever way you swing on Gene Simmons’ abilities as a producer, “The Right to Rock” is a pretty good album from Keel, especially if you’re speeding down the highway on your way to a metal concert.

Next post: Girlschool- Running Wild

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to:










Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1985: Aerosmith- Done With Mirrors

Posted in Uncategorized on March 11, 2019 by 80smetalman


One of the most curiosity grabbing events of 1985 was when I heard the original members of Aerosmith had gotten back together and were putting out a new album. In the early 1980s, many people had written off Aerosmith as being washed up. All the drugs had gotten to them and their best years were long behind. So, the question was with the release of the “Done With Mirrors” album was: “Are they back for real?”

My first taste of this album was the first single “Let the Music Do The Talking.” When I heard it, I was quite impressed and though I wasn’t shouting that “Aerosmith were back!” I thought that it was a good song and it pressed my curiosity to explore the album more. Hearing “Done With Mirrors” in its entirety convinced me that these guys still had a few tricks up their collective sleeves.

While I won’t say that it belongs up there with their classics, Joe Perry didn’t think much of it at all, but I have to totally agree with his conclusion that it was a step in the right direction. “Done With Mirrors” goes back to more of what had made them icons of the mid to late 1970s. Again, it’s not as great as “Draw the Line” or “Get Your Wings” and not near “Toys in the Attic” but it did make me forget all about the flops that were “Night in the Ruts” and “Rock in a Hard Place.”

Another thing about “Done With Mirrors” is that I don’t feel any urgency to break it down and talk about individual songs here. All of the songs have something about them which I like. I will point out what were a few highlights for me. “She’s on Fire” has a bit of a Lynyrd Skynyrd vibe on it, which is done well. “Shela” has an 80s punk intro but Aerosmith put their own unique stamp on it and even with the intro, you know it’s an Aerosmith song. Tyler’s vocals are the cleanest I had heard from him in years and Joe Perry’s guitar work show that he was back and truly committed to the band. It was said by some that they tried too hard with “Gypsy Boots” because it sounds much like the famous “Walk This Way.” While I see what they mean, it’s still a good song in its own right. However, my favourite track on the album is “My Fist Your Face.” Even though it was only the second track, it confirmed to me that it was worth sticking around to listen to the rest of the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Let the Music Do the Talking
  2. My Fist Your Face
  3. Shame on You
  4. The Reason a Dog
  5. Shela
  6. Gypsy Boots
  7. She’s on Fire
  8. The Hop


Steve Tyler- vocals

Joe Perry- lead guitar

Brad Whitford- rhythm guitar

Tom Hamilton- bass

Joey Kramer- bass

For many people, “Done With Mirrors” didn’t take the music world by storm. What it did do was put Aerosmith back on the rock and roll map. I have to whole heartedly agree with those who say that it was a step in the right direction for them. They still had problems, they were still musicians dabbling in drugs but the positive was that they were no longer druggies dabbling in music.

It was on the tour for this album when I first saw Aerosmith live and it was clear that not all of the past was truly forgotten. Like most of the concerts I went to, I saw them in Philadelphia and during the show, Steve Tyler was quick to say to us, “Don’t throw anything up on stage, you remember what happened last time, Philadelphia.” It was clear that the band was not quite yet ready to completely forgive Philadelphia for bottle throwing incident of 1979. While I mention this in “Rock and Roll Children,” FFI, read my post on the “Night in the Ruts” album.

Next post: Keel- The Right to Rock

To download Rock and Roll Children go to:





Weird Al Yankovic Interviews Madonna, 1985

Posted in Uncategorized on March 10, 2019 by 80smetalman

A recent post by my good rock buddy Mike Ledano has inspired me to share this. It actually took place in 1985. Watch and enjoy and thanks Mike for bringing back the memory of this.