Archive for Drug Use

1984 Ends in Metal Tragedy

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2018 by 80smetalman

Hanoi Rocks

Motley Crue

History can never debate that 1984 was the golden year of heavy metal. So many great albums from so many great bands and they even played metal on the radio and MTV. Never again would the genre get so much commercial exposure. However, even with all the great metal, the year would end in a very tragic anti- climax and mean the death of a drummer and his band and another similar tragedy would nearly claim the life of another drummer.

On December 8, members of the bands Hanoi Rocks and Motley Crue had been engaged in a massive drinking binge that had been going on, according to reports, for four days. More booze was being called for so Motley Crue’s Vince Neil, eager to show off his new 1972 Ford Pantera, volunteered to make the run even though he was well over the legal drink drive limit and took Hanoi Rocks drummer, Razzle, with him. At 6:38, Neil lost control of his car, (driving 65 in a 25mph zone might have had something to do with it) while swerving around a stationary fire truck and careered into oncoming traffic hitting two other cars. The driver and a passenger in one of the cars was seriously injured and taken to hospital while the driver of the second was miraculously uninjured. Vince himself only suffered cracked ribs and cuts to his face. Things weren’t so fortunate for Razzle, he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The loss of Razzle would spell the end for Hanoi Rocks, the band would break up shortly after. Vince Neil’s troubles were only beginning as he would have to pay $2.6 million in compensation to the victims, do 200 hours of community service and serve time in prison, albeit a mere 30 days! People are still talking about the leniency of that sentence still. Like I said when I posted about Hanoi Rock’s last studio album, I got the chance to see this band about three weeks before the tragedy happened at a small New Jersey night club. That’s why this tragedy continues to weigh heavy on me.

If the loss of Razzle compliments of Vince Neil wasn’t bad enough, further tragedy would happen on the final day of the year. Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen would lose his arm in car accident. While trying to overtake another car at high speed, Rick lost control of his car, hit a dry stone wall and entered a field where he was thrown from his car because he didn’t have his seat belt properly fastened. His left arm was severed and though doctors reattached it, had to re-amputate it on account of infection. Rick’s girlfriend also suffered head and neck injuries as well as a concussion. Although this was a tragedy at the time, Rick would be one of the greatest ‘overcoming of adversity’ stories in all of music.

When 1984 proceeded to 85, a few misguided individuals used these tragedies as some sort of symbol that heavy metal was on its way out. Fools! Yes, heavy metal would never again enjoy the commercial airplay it had in that year, but it would never go away. The lack of radio and MTV play would do nothing to halt record sales and sold out concert attendances.

Next post: My 20 Favourite Power Ballads- 11-20

To get Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1982: Aerosmith- Rock in a Hard Place

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Aerosmith_-_Rock_in_a_Hard_Place

Two reasons exist for why I have never listened to Aerosmith’s 1982 album “Rock in a Hard Place” until this week. Yes, I hang my head in shame and will whip myself mercilessly for this transgression. If I may address the court, my first defense is of course, being in the military and spending eight months out of the twelve in this year overseas. A lot of music passed by without my notice. The second reason was that between the years of 1980-85, I considered Aerosmith to be lost in the rock wilderness. In my mind and many others too, they had truly gone from musicians dabbling in drugs to druggies dabbling in music. I don’t know if was during the tour for this album but I heard a story that when they played live, a roadie would have a collapsible table near the stage and every time there was a guitar solo, Steve Tyler would go to that table and snort the eight lines of coke that the roadie had laid out for him. However, like so much of the stories like that, it was probably more hype than truth.

So what did I think of my introduction to “Rock in a Hard Place?” For one, it wasn’t the diamond in the rough that lain hidden for over 30 years. I wouldn’t hold in the same regard as I do classics like “Toys in the Attic” or “Get Your Wings.” However, I do think it was better than the 1979 “Night in the Ruts.” While the first few songs of “Rock in a Hard Place” is a bit of the dirge that its predecessor was, the second half of the album for me is quite good. While, I like the intro of “Jailbait” and it is better than the next two songs, which ironically are the two singles released from the album, it doesn’t really grab me until track four, “Bolivian Ragamuffin.” One surprise is that I have to say that “Cry Me A River” is their best ever attempt at a power ballad and that includes some of their better known ones in the 90s. “Joanie’s Butterfly is a decent tune but my favourite on the album is definitely the title track. It seems that on “Rock in a Hard Place,” the band came down long enough to just relax and enjoy making music. If I listened to the album when I should have, I would have said to the band, “Remember when you you to sound like this?” at the title track. Saying that, the best song is followed on by the last two which take the album out nicely. “Push Comes to Shove” is a very tidy closer.

I would be negligent in my duties if I didn’t point out that this was the album without guitarist Joe Perry and rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford would leave during the recording. In fact, he only plays on “Lightning Strikes.” I must say that from the solos, I thought that Jimmy Crespo is a good guitarist in his own right. At least enough where I never found myself saying “Come back Joe, all is forgiven.”

Track Listing:

1. Jailbait

2. Lightning Strikes

3. Bitches Brew

4. Bolivian Ragamuffin

5. Cry Me a River

6. Prelude to Joanie

7. Joanie’s Butterfly

8. Rock in a Hard Place

9. Jig is Up

10. Push Comes to Shove

Aerosmith line up for Rock in a Hard Place

Aerosmith line up for Rock in a Hard Place

Steve Tyler- vocals

Jimmy Crespo- guitar, backing vocals

Rick Dufay- guitar

Tom Hamilton- bass

Joey Krammer- drums

For a band in the wilderness, it could be said that Aerosmith were calling out to be found. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear them at the time. If I had heard this album back then, I would have most certainly listened to it. But as they say, better late than never.

Next post: Black Sabbath- Live Evil

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishingroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Amazon and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1981: Alice Cooper- Special Forces

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Acforces

Like the Thin Lizzy album in my previous post, this was another album by an established superstar of 70’s rock that passed me by back in 1981. I vaguely remember that Alice Cooper had an album out at the time and I even more vaguely remember that it was called “Special Forces” but that’s all I can remember. I never listened to it until now and if wasn’t for my fellow blogger mikledano, I wouldn’t have even done that. So, thank you Mike for enlightening me about this album.

Perhaps I can use a similar excuse to Alice for not experiencing this album back in 1981. He doesn’t remember writing or recording “Special Forces” or his next two albums due to being drunk all the time. Okay, I wasn’t drunk all the time even though the military bullshit was taking its toll on me at the time and I briefly became what is known in the military as a shitbird. But now that I have listened to it, (I got to thank youtube for that) I realise that I missed a rather good album. If Alice Cooper was drunk at the time, it might have been a good thing because “Special Forces” has some amusing songs played in well established hard rock fashion. “Vicious Rumours,” “The Prettiest Cop on the Block” and “Don’t Talk Old to Me” are all catchy, enjoyable songs. “You’re a Movie” and “Skeletons in the Closet” are just as amusing but more new wave in their sound. Still, they’re both decent songs and the one that stands out for me is “Seven and Seven Is.” For me, that song reminds me of the Alice Cooper that I came to love in the 70’s.

Track Listing:

1. Who Do You Think We Are

2. Seven and Seven Is

3. Prettiest Cop on the Block

4. Don’t Talk Old to Me

5. Generation Landslide 81(Live)

6. Skeletons in the Closet

7. You Want It, You Got It

8. You Look Good in Rags

9. You’re a Movie

10. Vicious Rumours

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper- lead vocals

Duane Hitchings- guitar, keyboards

Mike Pinera- guitar

Erik Scott- bass

Danny Johnson- guitar

Craig Krampf- drums

“Special Forces” proves that you can put out a decent album while you’re drunk and have no recollection that you did. Now, I  could write the cliched “Imagine what he could have done if he was sober” line but I don’t think it really applies here. “Special Forces” was one of those surprise albums that make me ask myself, “Why didn’t I listen to this sooner?”

Next post: Blue Oyster Cult- Fire of Unknown Origin

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Soundtracks of 1981: American Pop

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-American_pop_soundtrack_album

Whilst I was on leave after my first deployment overseas, the animated film “American Pop” was at the cinemas. The fact that they used the spot where Jimi Hendrix plays “Purple Haze” was enough to make me want to go see it. The movie itself was all right but what was even better was the soundtrack. It had some of the great artists from the 60s and 70s on it and those songs together make this soundtrack very cool to listen to.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

It has been many years since I have seen this film or listened to the soundtrack but for those who may not be familiar with it, I’ll go through a very quick synopsis of the movie. “American Pop” is about 4 generations of musicians. It begins in the early 20th Century and focuses on the character Zamwe who is a child star. However, is throat is injured while singing for the troops on World War One so he never gets to be a star. He also falls foul of the mafia. The story then goes to his son Benny who is an accomplished pianist in a jazz band. He is on the road to fame when World War Two breaks out. Unfortunately, he is shot in the back while playing a piano in a bombed out bar in France. However, Benny’s seed is passed on through Tony. Now in the 60s, Tony’s mother has remarried and has more kids making him an outcast. He goes on the road taking odd jobs where he meets a rock band and becomes their song writer. However, he gets involved with the female lead singer and also gets hooked on drugs ending his brief brush with success. Several years later, Tony is a down and out and his companion is a young street kid named Pete. Tony disappears after giving Pete a load of drugs telling him not to sell it all in one place. Several years more and Pete is a big time drug dealer and is selling to rock stars. One day, he asks the band he is selling to to hear one of his songs. The band refuse at first but relent when Pete threatens to withdraw his business. Pete plays his song and the result is he becomes a big rock star, the end.

Tony and Pete

Tony and Pete

At the time, this film was slated by a lot of people. The problem was that some people tried to take the film too literally. For instance, the girl singer comes across like Grace Slick, (the rest of the band does resemble Jefferson Airplane a little) but turns into Janis Joplin. Okay, those two 60s rock queens may have been fused together to create the character but I say good on them. The other one was at the end. It turns out that Pete’s song is none other than “Night Moves” by and I know I’ve said it before, the unsung hero of 70s rock, Bob Seger. The Pete character was never meant to be Bob, they just use his song. Besides, I did a little research and didn’t find any evidence that Bob Seger was a drug dealer. If I were to go back to that time, I would tell those people to lighten up because if you don’t try to look at things that aren’t really there, the film is quite enjoyable. Of course it is the soundtrack that really makes this movie.

Do they resemble Jefferson Airplane to you?

Do they resemble Jefferson Airplane to you?

Official Track Listing:

1. Pat Benatar- Hell is for Children

2. Big Brother and the Holding Company- Summertime

3. The Mamas and the Papas- California Dreamin’

4. Peter, Paul and Mary- This Train

5. Jefferson Airplane- Somebody to Love

6. Jimi Hendrix- Purple Haze

7. The Dave Brubeck Quartet- Take Five

8. Sam Cooke- You Send Me

9. Fabian- Turn Me Loose

10. The Doors- People are Strange

Songs in the film not on the Soundtrack

Bob Seger- Night Moves

Lynyrd Skynyrd- Freebird

Bob Seger

Bob Seger

Just from looking at this list of songs, it is obvious that I do not need to go into more detail about them. A great array of songs from several decades brought together to make one hell of a soundtrack and you can’t debate that whatever you think of the film.

Next post: The Soundtrack to Heavy Metal

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

I Don’t Advocate Drug Use

Posted in 1980s with tags , , on January 7, 2011 by 80smetalman

Already my new book Rock And Roll Children has been out six weeks and its causing some misguided comments. Yes, it is true that the main characters in the story smoke a lot of weed. However, this doesn’t mean that the book encourages drug use. Nowhere do I say “do drugs” or anything of the kind. I just felt it fit in well with the story. Do I do drugs, well let’s just say that what I got up to back in the 80s will forever remain in the 80s.