Self Defense 2-You Provoked Him, Part IV

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 1, 2018 by 80smetalman

In the week between trips to Brighton, something in her mind told Rochelle to store the information she had written down on her mobile phone. She had the feeling she might need it when she went back there the following week. Sure enough, she was glad she had because when she finished the delivery, the same gang was across the road. The loud swearing by some of them emphasising their presence.

Right on cue, the vulnerable young man came along. However, this time he was accompanied by another young man. Rochelle hoped that this other man would be a carer. However, as she watched the events unfold, it was evident that the other young man was just as vulnerable as the first one.

She watched as two of the boys in the gang began shoving the newcomer back and forth. Meanwhile, the alpha male approached the original victim with a menacing stance. It looked to Rochelle that the aggressor might actually punch his vulnerable target. Without further confrontation, the vulnerable young man followed protocol and reached into his pocket to give the alpha male his leave me alone fee. However, handing over the protection money did not completely free the pair from further torment. As they tried to leave, they were forced to endure more shoves and what sounded like some unsavoury comments from the gang. Before the victims were ten feet past where their ordeal had taken place, Rochelle’s mobile was out and she was speed dialling the number the police had given her the previous week.

Police, help line,” a male voice this time responded.

Yes,” Rochelle began, fighting to quell her building anxiety. “Last week, I reported a group of youths by the sea front harassing and exploiting a vulnerable young man. Well, it just happened again but this time there were two victims.”

You say this happened at the sea front, just now?” the voice probed. 

Yes.”

About how many youths were involved would you say?”

I’d say about fifteen.”

When you say there were harassing these two people, what do you mean exactly?”

These kids shout, push, hit, kick and threatened these two young men who can’t defend themselves. Then they got them to hand over money so they could be left alone.”

Okay” was the only response. Then the voice added, “We’ll send a car to the area to see what is happening.” After the phone conversation ended, Rochelle hung around to see if a police car would turn up, none did. After an hour, Rochelle realised she needed to go to her next delivery so she left. She had given up hope that any police would come. 

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Great Rock Albums of 1985: David Lee Roth- Crazy From the Heat

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2018 by 80smetalman

Here’s a thought, I wonder if David Lee Roth had some sort of deal with MTV back in 1984 and 85. The first video shown on the channel in 1984 was  the debut video for Van Halen’s “Jump.” One year later, the first video shown in the new year for 1985 was from the video from David’s solo album, “Crazy From the Heat,” the Beach Boys’ classic, “California Girls.” This seems too much of a coincidence for me and I wonder if David did have some sort of deal with MTV.

The first noticeable thing about “California Girls” is that it sounds nothing like the Beach Boys nor Van Halen. David puts his own spin on the song and I think he does a very good job on it. That is if you cast aside the predictable girls in bikinis video for the song. He sings very well on not just this but all songs even if sometimes one can’t take him seriously. On the other three songs on this four song EP, he departs even further from what he did with Van Halen and heavy metal in general.

With two of the remaining three songs, David tries to be a 1940s era type big band singer. Always being more the showman as opposed to the singer, his personality does burst through more than his vocal ability but he does sing very well on it. Full credit, he’s a more versatile singer than what he was often given credit for back then or even today. As for the final song, “Coconut Grove” I have always had trouble getting into that one but the reason is not down to David. Three of the four songs are good for me and it doesn’t matter that the entire EP is less than fourteen minutes.

Track Listing:

  1. Easy Street
  2. Medley: Just a Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody
  3. California Girls
  4. Coconut Grove

David Lee Roth

David Lee Roth- vocals

Dean Parks- guitar on “Coconut Grove”

Eddie Martinez, Sid McGinnis- guitars

Willie Weeks- bass

John Robinson- drums

Sammy Figueroa- percussion

James Newton Howard- keyboards on “Coconut Grove”

Edgar Winter- keyboards, saxophone, backing vocals on tracks 1&2

Brian Mann- keyboards

Carl Wilson, Christopher Cross- backing vocals on “California Girls”

David Lee Roth’s debut solo album sparked a lot of rumours in regards to his relationship with Van Halen. It has been said that the success of “Crazy From the Heat” inspired him to go solo. Maybe it did. All I know that this is a cool little album.

Next post: The Firm

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Self Defense 2-You Provoked Him, The Third Part

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 28, 2018 by 80smetalman

Memories begin to fade over time but it was not long enough for Rochelle’s memory of the incident in Brighton. It was still in the forefront of her mind when she returned to the city to make her delivery the following week. She was hoping that what happened the previous week was a one-off but after she had made her delivery, she looked across the road and sure enough, the same gang of kids were hanging around. A few minutes later, she spied the same vulnerable young man from the previous week making his way towards the group. She continued to observe, curious to see what would happen next.

 Almost immediately, a girl from the group went over to the young man, waving her hands in front of his face, making out she was going to slap him. Instinctively, the victim stepped back but the tormenting female stepped nearer, continuing her taunt. Her hands got too close to him so the young man pushed them away.

    “He slapped my hand!” the young girl squealed.

Needing no further self-justification, the alpha male leader came to the girl’s rescue. He gave the young man a forceful shove, nearly causing him to lose his balance. “So, you like slapping girls!” the alpha male bellowed. He gave another shove and this time his target fell back onto his bottom. Rochelle could not make out what was being said by the alpha male who was standing over the young man while he tried to get back on his feet but she could tell that it was intimidating and the vulnerable man looked frightened. Once he managed to get to his feet, the victim reached into his pocket and handed something over to the aggressor. Obviously money in Rochelle’s mind. It was only after that the young man was allowed to pass but not before the girl who had instigated it all gave one last kick up the bottom.

In Rochelle’s mind, this was too much. Incensed, she pulled out her mobile phone and immediately dialled 999 and asked to speak to the police.

Brighton Police, what is your emergency,” inquired a female voice on the end of the line.

I have just witnessed a group of youths intimidate and rob a vulnerable young man,” Rochelle reported, her combined anger and eagerness to the right thing making her huff and puff between words. 

Where did this happen?”

On the sea front, across the road from Fish n Pie’s Chip Shop.”

And how long ago did the incident occur?”

Literally, just a minute ago.”

The voice on the other end of the line pressed for more details, such as numbers and descriptions which Rochelle provided with a fair amount of confidence. When she concluded her report, the voice assured her that the matter would be looked into. Rochelle briefly had to scramble for a pen and paper so she could take down the phone number given to her in the event that she could provide more information. When it was all over, Rochelle hoped that it would be dealt with, at least for the young man’s sake.

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Yngwie Malmsteen- Rising Force

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2018 by 80smetalman

The last of the 1984 albums that didn’t come to my attention until 1985 and it wasn’t until May of said year that I was treated to this one. I remember it well, fairly well anyway. I was sitting in the cafeteria of my local glorified high school, (community college), when a friend offered me a listen on his walkman saying, “I think you’ll like this.” He was right, I did like it. It was the opening track to the “Rising Force” album by Swedish guitar god, Yngwie J Malmsteen. It was said that the J is there so we won’t confuse him with all the other Yngwie Malmsteens in the world.

“Black Star” the opening track I mentioned changed my entire outlook on guitar instrumentals, which was a hard thing to do because I have always had great admiration for masters of the axe. It was just the way that then 21 year old Yngwie made the guitar scream and bend to his will as he played that had me totally hypnotized. “Black Star” was simply the perfect introduction for me and apparently, he still plays it live.

One criticism aimed at guitar albums is that all of the tracks sound the same. Yes, I know, complete hogwash but if anyone says it to you, then you can point them to this album. All of the tracks are original and unique as Yngwie strains his guitars to fit the sound of each song. Whether it’s the faster paced “Far Beyond the Sun,” it is rumoured he still plays that one live too or the classical sounding “Icarus’s Dream Sweet Opus 4,” Yngwie delivers a unique sound every time.

While the guitarist is the main attraction here, you must give credit to the supporting cast. Jens Johansson premieres his keyboard skills on the album and shows he is very good at what he does. One must also give credit to drummer Barriemore Barlow. He has to keep up with a guitarist who can change direction at any time and often does so. And while there are only two vocal tracks on the album, it was here where I got my first experience of Jeff Scott Soto. Even with very little vocal opportunity, he shows he’s got the pipes. Fortunately, he would be given more opportunity on future albums as “As Above, So Below” is proof that Jeff and Yngwie made a very good combination. See, if it hadn’t been for Danny Vaughn, Jeff would have been my vocalist of choice for the 80sMetalman Band of Underrated Musicians.

Track Listing:

  1. Black Star
  2. Far Beyond the Sun
  3. Now Your Ships Are Burned
  4. Evil Eye
  5. Icarus’s Dream, Sweet Opus 4
  6. As Above, So Below
  7. Little Savage
  8. Farewell

Yngwie Malmsteen

Yngwie Malmsteen- guitars, bass, Moog Taurus

Jens Johansson- keyboards

Jeff Scott Soto- vocals

Barriemore Barlow- drums

In the later years, I would learn all about Yngwie’s over inflated ego and how he doesn’t play nice with others but that’s in the future. What I knew in May 1985 was that he could rip a guitar, which he does extremely well on his debut album.

Next post: David Lee Roth- Crazy From the Heat

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Self Defense 2- You Provoked Him, The Second Part

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 25, 2018 by 80smetalman

Here is the next installment if my short story:

It was because she was still virtually unknown in professional MMA, Rochelle still had to rely on her day job delivering supplies to fish and chip shops up and down the east coast of England from her home town of Skegness. However, she did like her job a lot, especially on a Wednesday because it involved a lot of driving making deliveries to Clacton-on-Sea and Brighton. That gave her time to reflect back on her last fight and begin mentally preparing for the next while all the time, taking in the views of the sea.

  The coastal drive had taken the entire morning, so she was glad for the break after the shop in Brighton took delivery. That shop happened to be right on the sea front, so she took her sandwiches and bought a bottle of orange juice and went to go sit in the sand to enjoy her lunch and the view. Her plan was briefly disrupted when she heard the shop owner remark, “I wish those feral delinquents wouldn’t come around here.” 

     She looked in the direction the owner was indicating. Across the road, near the beach, about ten to fifteen youths, all looking between the ages of 16-20, were standing about. Everything about them confirmed the owner’s label of the group in her mind. She thought, “What a bunch of chavs!” Half of them were in hoodies despite the warmer weather and most of them were smoking. The coarse language could be clearly heard even from where Rochelle was standing. Suddenly, the gang’s attention turned to one young man who happened to be walking past them. This young man was around the same age as the group, possibly a few years older. Right away, she could see that he was vulnerable, probably having special needs.

Four of the group quickly surrounded the young man while the rest took positions where they could best view the upcoming spectacle. One lad, wearing a New York Knicks basketball top and three-quarter length trousers assumed the role of leader. While Rochelle could not quite make out everything that was being said, it was obvious he was being threatening to his victim. The self-proclaimed leader was now in the young, vulnerable man’s face. After several shoves from him and some of his cohorts, the young man handed something over to his chief tormentor, obviously money in Rochelle’s mind. After the leader accepted the tribute, the young man was allowed to pass but not before one of the girls in the group kicked him in the bottom, bringing loud laughter to the rest of the group. 

She had to use every ounce of her resolve in order to prevent herself from going over to the gang and slapping everyone of them senseless. What they had just done was wrong but she knew that if she had confronted the gang, her MMA skills would not have helped her against such numbers. At the same time, she wanted to go comfort the victim but he had quickly disappeared. Instead, she went back to her original plan of eating her lunch on the beach before making the drive home. However, she could not get the incident she had witnessed out of her mind.

R.I.P Vinnie Paul

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 23, 2018 by 80smetalman

Vinnie Paul

I am saddened to announce the passing of former Pantera and current Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul. Once again, we lose another great one in 2018. To read further details about Vinnie and his passing, go to: http://www.metalsucks.net/2018/06/23/vinnie-paul-dead-at-54/

Boy do these last three years really suck!

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Dokken- Tooth and Nail

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2018 by 80smetalman

Although released in 1984, it took a long time before Dokken’s “Tooth and Nail” album finally got some notice. For me, it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. By March of 1985, heavy metal got little or no airplay on commercial radio of MTV save for two singles from this album. The first one, “Alone Again,” is number ten on my all time favourite power ballads list. I can’t describe it but the song just kicks ass.

It’s not just the power ballad that makes “Tooth and Nail” my all time favourite Dokken album. Just so happens that it also contains my all time favourite Dokken song, “You Just Got Lucky.” While they were being accused of becoming another glam metal band, this song proved to the world they could still play. I just love how George Lynch works his guitar magic on the song and Don Dokken does a straight forward clean vocal performance. While rumours of these two men totally hating each other were rife even then, this song shows how well they put their differences aside when it mattered.

“Tooth and Nail” has some other great metal tunes on it as well. The title cut is the closest thing to thrash the band will ever come to, a very powerful song. “Heartless Heart” doesn’t shy away from being a great metal tune although the harmonizing vocals begin to remind me of what they would do on future albums but fortunately, this time, I’m able to go back in my mind to 1985 and forget all that. “Don’t Close Your Eyes” offers up more of the same. Great power chords and vocals with some fine, fancy guitar work and that guitar work continues many-fold on “When Heaven Comes Down.” That’s a hard, grindy type of song with a cool guitar solo.

“Into the Fire” was the first single released from the album and thinking back to late 1984, I don’t remember hearing it on any commercial media. Maybe it was too heavy amid the backlash against heavy metal that was starting. What I know is that I like it and as much as I sing the praises of George’s guitar capabilities, I never fully appreciated how great he really was. After another great rocker, “Bullets to Spare,” comes the forementioned power ballad. The thing is that on my first few listens, I thought that maybe “Alone Again” should have been the closer but the way the actual closer, “Turn on the Action,” ends, there is no need to swap things around. The album is good as it is.

Track Listing:

  1. Without Warning
  2. Tooth and Nail
  3. You Just Got Lucky
  4. Heartless Heart
  5. Don’t Close Your Eyes
  6. When Heaven Comes Down
  7. Into the Fire
  8. Bullets to Spare
  9. Alone Again
  10. Turn on the Action

Dokken

Don Dokken- lead vocals

George Lynch- guitars

Jeff Pilson- bass, backing vocals

Mick Brown- drums

The “Tooth and Nail” album from Dokken brought a little sunshine to what was a dour early 1985, musically. While it’s always been my favourite Dokken album, I think I like it even more these days.

Next Music Post: Yngwie Malmsteen- Rising Force

There will be another excerpt from my story before that. Oh yes, I would love to read people’s thoughts on Puppy from the last post.

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