Archive for Nantucket

1983- Triumphs and Tragedies

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2016 by 80smetalman
The Alamo

The Alamo

The only tragedy I remember from 1983 actually happened the year before. Due to my military service, I didn’t find out about it until 83 when I read about all the fallout from it. I’m talking about when Ozzy Osbourne pissed on the Alamo. He claims he was drunk as a skunk, (I’ve never seen a drunk skunk so I have nothing to compare it to.) Ozzy also said he didn’t know it was such a national shrine, well it is in Texas. The result of his action got him banned from the city of San Antonio for ten years, although that was lifted a few years later when he made a large donation to the Alamo charity.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy was already getting himself a reputation outside the heavy metal world for the wrong reasons. His infamous biting the head off a bat was making its rounds. Of course, the religious element in America embellished things further. There were rumours he blew up goats on stage and at one show, he supposedly threw a puppy into the crowd and said he wouldn’t sing anymore until the audience killed the puppy. While this was all untrue hype, it didn’t help Ozzy when he actually did something for real. So for Ozzy and somewhat in the metal world, this was a bit of a tragedy because it overshadowed the two albums he released in the year. I’ll be covering those soon enough.

Now for the triumphs. It seems that 1983 was a cool year for festivals. I got to go to two of them. The first one, I mentioned when I posted about the Nantucket and Doc Holliday albums a few months ago. Those two bands topped the bill at the Mayfair Festival at Jacksonville, North Carolina. The other five bands remain pretty much unheard of with the bottom three being cover bands. So, I thought I’d include them in this little piece of history. They were Skeet Kelly, Roxy, Avalanche- who did a great cover of Sammy Hagar’s “Heavy Metal,” Peer Pressure- who did a reasonably decent cover of John Cougar’s “Hurt So Good” and Eraxle- who closed their set with a fantastic cover of Van Halen’s “Ice Cream Man.” I consumed loads of alcohol and there were some interesting events between the bands like a wet t-shirt and a men’s ugly legs competition. A fine day from what I remember.

Nantucket

Nantucket

Military commitments kept me from attending this festival but my sister went. I tried to pick her brains but she didn’t remember much. In the June, Journey headlined in Philadelphia and with them were John Cougar, Sammy Hagar, The Tubes and Bryan Adams. From what she can remember, my sister says that Journey sounded great and had a fantastic light show. John Cougar and Bryan Adams were both very good as was Sammy Hagar despite his red spandex. Unfortunately, The Tubes weren’t up to the rest of those who played that day. If this line up played in more cities than Philly, I would love to hear your account of the day.

Journey Live

Journey Live

It didn’t matter that I was in the military for this one, I couldn’t have gone to the US Festival because it was 3000 miles away in California. The US Festival was a three day festival where the first day consisted of new wave bands, the second day’s line up was heavy metal and the third day’s was a rock line up. From what I heard, all three days were fantastic although I do recall an interview with a local sheriff saying that he was going to try to ban such events following the festival. I didn’t think about it then, but that was the first salvo fired at music in the 1980s. I think the best thing to do is just to let you look at the line up for the three days and I’m sure you will be just as awestruck as I was.

Us Festival Showbill

Us Festival Showbill

I did get to the final festival in 1983. This was my first Donington Festival as I happened to be in England at the time. From my memory, I can recall that Diamond Head were all right and Dio were very good. I didn’t twig on who the lead singer was until they played “Heaven and Hell” but that was okay. They were brilliant. Then came Twisted Sister. I can still remember Dee Snider’s quip: “We’re not Culture Club or any of those gay boys or Duran Duran nor any of those other wimps. We’re Twisted Sister and we play heavy metal rock and roll!” Of course I knew there must of been something about them when they were introduced as Twisted Fuckin’ Sister. Their music was great too.

For me, ZZ Top took the concert. They played a magnificent combination of old and new material during their time on stage. Of course it helped that they played my two favourite ZZ Top tunes, “Jesus Just Left Chicago” and “La Grange.” They also played quite a few songs off their new “Eliminator” album so they basically rocked. The big let down after ZZ Top was Meatloaf. I was not impressed, he just sounded terrible that day. Worse, my friend’s English girlfriend didn’t realize that they ran a special train after the concert so out of fear of getting stuck, we left early and missed headliners, Whitesnake. I remain gutted but overall, Donington 1983 was a kick ass day and proved that Great Britain could rock.

donfest83

 

That was 1983 in a nutshell. The only real tragedy was Ozzy pissing on a national shrine but all the great concert festivals more than compensated for it. Just posting about it has me psyched for Bloodstock in two weeks. It was no wonder I was super excited when I got out of the marines that year.

Next post: Great Soundtracks

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1983: Doc Holliday- Modern Medicine

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2016 by 80smetalman

DOCHOLLIDAY_MM

Here’s another reason why I was glad that I spent my final three months in the marines down south. Nantucket headlined the Mayfair Festival that great day in May, 1983 and were fantastic but the band on right before them was just as good. On that day, Doc Holliday reinforced what I have always loved and continue to love about Southern Rock. If I hadn’t been there, I would have missed them because like I said previously, many people up North had moved on from Southern Rock in 1983. That is why my only album experience of Doc Holliday to this day was their 1983 “Modern Medicine” album.

The band being from Atlanta, Georgia, their album has all the trademarks of all things good about Southern Rock but that doesn’t stop Doc Holliday from putting their own personal stamp on things. All of the above is evidenced in the very first song on the album, “City Nights.” The keyboard at the beginning rams home the ‘these guys are a bit different’ feeling before quickly going into more harder southern boogie guitar work complimented by typical Southern lyrics about partying and getting drunk. “City Nights” sets the rest of the album perfectly.

Other songs go a bit harder after that for most of the songs. “Rock City,” “Hell to Pay,” “Gimme Some” and “No Relation to Love” are all hard rocking scorchers. But if you are looking for ballads, then “You Don’t Have to Cry” fills that bill very nicely. It’s a good Southern love song with some rather impressive guitar work. It provides a kind of break in the action between all the harder songs mentioned above so it’s not out of place. “You Turn Me On” sounds almost like a 1970s funk tune but Doc Holliday pull it off perfectly. It is my conclusion that those damn Yankees up North shouldn’t have been so quick to abandon Southern Rock because many of them missed out on one hell of a band.

Track Listing:

  1. City Nights
  2. Dreamin’
  3. Gimme Some
  4. You Don’t Have to Cry
  5. Rock City
  6. Hell to Pay
  7. No Relation to Love
  8. You Turn Me On
  9. We’re Not Alone
  10. You Like to Rock
Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday

Ric Skelton- guitar

Bruce Brookshire- lead vocals, lead and slide guitar, synths

Eddie Stone- synths, piano, backing vocals

John Samuelson- bass, backing vocals

Herman Nixon- drums

Thank God that in 1983 I got to go to the Mayfair Festival and witness this band. If I hadn’t, I would not have experienced the “Modern Medicine” album because Doc Holliday’s fame never spread to New Jersey. That is a shame but at least I got to hear them and can tell you how great they were and hopefully, you will give them a listen on Youtube.

Update: the petition to free Confess is near 2,500 signatures. If you haven’t signed it, please do so. You can access the petition by seeing my last post.

Next post: Blackfoot- Sirrocco

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

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Nantucket- No Direction Home

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-No_Direction_Home_LP

One thing I am grateful for as I reflect back on 1983 was the fact that I got to spend my remaining three months in the marines in North Carolina. If I hadn’t, I might have missed out on some great stuff from a few of the great Southern Rock bands that were around at the time, Nantucket being one of them. By 1983, Southern Rock was once again contained to the South. Many people from the North had moved on from listening to what for me was a great sub-genre of rock. In the case of Nantucket, it was most unfortunate, because the world didn’t get to hear what a great band they were.

Memories came flooding back as soon as I listened to the album, “No Direction Home,” after so many years. I remember the single, “Hiding From Love,” which was written by Bryan Adams getting a good amount of airplay on the local station in North Carolina. While Bryan’s influence can be heard on the song, Nantucket certainly make the song their own, adding that Southern boogie vibe that all great Southern Rock bands are known for.

A criticism that was being aimed at Southern bands in the mid- 1980s was they were abandoning their roots to sound more mainstream. There is some sign of this with “No Direction Home,” with the fore-mentioned single and the cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar.” Saying that, Nantucket still stamp their authority on both songs and that’s where any thoughts of mainstream ends. That point is made crystal clear with the hard rocking opener. The second song, “I Don’t Want to Lose You” is more of a blues based song and it’s done very well. Following the two songs already mentioned that they didn’t write, there are some steaming rockers, “Morning, Noon and Night” and “Ready For Your Love” before slowing down to the ballad “Come Home Darling.” That is as good a power ballad as any. The album finishes on a very high note with three more rockers with the closer, “Tennessee Whiskey,” being everything you’ve always loved about Southern Rock. A massive heart pumping rocker about a favourite Southern past-time, drinking whiskey.

Another disservice to Nantucket is the lack or respect to the guitarists, Tommy Redd and Mark Downing. These two deserve to being mentioned among the great names of Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Rick Medlocke, Duane Rowlands and Dave Hlubeck. They’re that good! Nantucket offer a unique feature as well in the form of saxophonist Eddie Blair. I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’s as good as Clarence Clemmons of Bruce Springsteen fame. In evidence, I ask you to listen to “Girl I Got Your Number.”

Track Listing:

  1. No Direction Home
  2. I Don’t Want To Lose You
  3. Hiding From Love
  4. Ain’t That Peculiar
  5. Morning, Noon and Night
  6. Ready For Your Love
  7. Come Home Darling
  8. Never Felt This Way Before
  9. Girl I Got Your Number
  10. Tennessee Whiskey
Nantucket

Nantucket

Gary Uzzell- lead and backing vocals

Tommy Redd- guitar, backing vocals

Eddie Blair- keyboards, saxophone, backing vocals

Mark Downing- guitar

Richard Gates- drums

David ‘Thumbs’ Johnson- bass, backing vocals

I had the fortune of seeing Nantucket live two months before I left the service on tour supporting the “No Direction Home” album. (The above photo wasn’t taken at that concert). They headlined a local festival called the Mayfair and I remembered they were brilliant, though I wish I wasn’t so partied out by the time they hit the stage. While they were great in the South, I still think they were cheated out of their chance to gain wider attention.

Next post: Doc Holliday- Modern Medicine

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

1983: The Year the Dam Well and Truly Burst

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2015 by 80smetalman

Got a little ahead of myself on the last post. I stated that the next post would be The Scorpions but I realize that before I talk about the album that started my 1983 off right, that I should first introduce the year. 1983 was a very pivotal year for me in a lot of ways. Most important was the fact that I spent the first half of the year as a marine and the second half as a civilian. In fact, my last military haircut was on June 25, five days before I got out and it would be seventeen months before I got another one.

I have mentioned on several other blogs about how I used to store my cassettes. During my time in the marines, I bought a lot of cassettes due to the limited living space. At first, I bought a proper cassette case but that only held 30 tapes. Whenever we had some sort of training exercise, whether using live or blank ammo, there would be spare ammo cans laying about, which we were allowed to keep. I managed to get two and it was enough to house 58 more tapes. Those cans were probably my best souvenir from my time in.

The famous ammo cans

The famous ammo cans

Bonus points if you can guess the albums

Both as a marine and a civilian, the one thing that remained constant throughout was the music. I’m tempted to quote from a rather popular film from this year which I’ve never seen but I’ll refrain. It would be this year that I would declare myself a metalhead but I wouldn’t totally forget other great forms of rock. Southern Rock’s popularity may have waned north of the Mason-Dixon line but having spent the last three months of my enlistment in North Carolina, I still got to hear killer albums from Nantucket, Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet. But as it says in the title, 1983 was the year the dam well and truly burst and heavy metal flooded the world.

Next post: The Scorpions- Blackout  (yes it truly is this time)

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

 

Great Rock Albums of 1981: Nantucket- A Long Way To The Top

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2014 by 80smetalman

 

Long_Way_To_The_Top_LPDue to the fact that I didn’t hear this album until the August of 1981, I have always assumed that “A Long Way to the Top” by Nantucket was released in that year. I now know that it was released in 1980. The title cut is a cover of the AC/DC classic and was recorded as a tribute to the passing of Bon Scott. It won the band a supporting slot with AC/DC on the “Back in Black” tour. That must have been one hell of a concert and I wish I wasn’t on sea duty at the time.

Like the Johnny Van Zant Band, Nantucket were yet another great Southern Rock band who were around at Southern Rock’s peak of popularity but never really got recognised outside the Southeast of the U.S. At least, Johnny Van Zant could be identified with his famous late brother but this wasn’t the case for Nantucket. I admit, if I hadn’t been down south at the time, I probably would have never heard of them either. Fortunately, for me, I did get to hear this wonderful album.

First, the tribute to Bon is a very fitting one, Nantucket do a splendid job covering this long time AC/DC gem. Lead singer Larry Uzzell does try to sound like Bon and while no one can ever duplicate Scott, his efforts are noteworthy. The rest of the album doesn’t disappoint either but is played in the great tradition that made Nantucket a name for themselves in the South. “Time Bomb,” “5o More,” “Living With You” and “Rugburn” are all great songs. The one standout track, other than the title cut, for me is “Too Much Wrong in the Past.” That is a classic rock song. I love the way that song fakes the listener in with the piano and lead guitar as if it’s going to be a power ballad and then just explodes, very nicely done.

Track Listing:

1. A Long Way to the Top

2. Living With You

3. Time Bomb

4. 50 More

5. Media Darling

6. Rugburn

7. Too Much Wrong in the Past

8. Over and Over

9. Turn On the Radio

10. Tell Me (Doctor Rhythm Method)

11. Rescue

12. Rock the 80s

Nantucket

Nantucket

Tommy Redd- guitars, vocals

Larry Uzzell- lead vocals

Tommy Downing- lead guitar

Eddie Blair- sax, keyboards, vocals

Kenny Soule- drums

Pee Wee Watson- bass, vocals

Nantucket were another band that should have gotten more world wide attention but unfortunately didn’t. This album proves that they were as good as many of their Southern contemporaries. Still, I would have loved to see them open for AC/DC.

Next post: Marshall Tucker Band- Dedicated

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

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

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Nantucket- Your Face or Mine

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2012 by 80smetalman

 

Here’s another band from Jacksonville, not Jacksonville, Florida but Jacksonville, North Carolina. Having spent most of my military career there, it was a no brainer that I would be introduced to their finest, Nantucket. Like their kinsmen in Florida, Nantucket had their own Southern sound but the difference is that instead of the hard rock boogie sound of a Molly Hatchet or metal sound like Blackfoot, Nantucket’s was more of a progressive sound with some great use of keyboards and saxophone while still keeping a hard rock feel to it. The result is something I have always liked.

That all brings around to their second album “Your Face or Mine.” The album typifies the sound that made Nantucket so popular in the Southern states at the time. Songs like “Your Place or Mine” and “Just the Devil’s Way” show their hard rock Southern roots while “California” tends to show their more progressive side. And of course the saxophone adds another uniqe touch. I have heard many a sax in rock music and I have to say that as far as saxophonists are concerned, Eddie Blair is one of the best. The title of the final song on the album asks the question, “Is it wrong to rock and roll?” Listening to this album, I have to give an emphatic “NO!”

Track Listing:

1. Gimme Your Love

2. I Live For Your Love

3. Hey Hey Blondie

4. California

5. Wide Awake

6. Don’t Hang Up

7. Your Place or Mine

8. Just the Devil’s Way

9. Is it Wrong to Rock And Roll

Nantucket

Tommy Redd- lead and rhythm guitars, spoon lead and backing vocals

Larry Uzzell- bass, lead and backing vocals

Mike Uzzell- keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Mike Downing- lead, rhythm, slide and 12 string guitars, backing vocals

Eddie Blair- saxophones, organ, piano, clavinet, backing vocals

Kenny Soule- drums, percussion, tympani, backing vocals

Refamiliarising myself with this cool album from Nantucket, I find myself asking the question I asked 30 year ago. Why weren’t they more popular up North? My only conclusion was that a lot of people I knew in my native New Jersey still viewed bands from the South as redneck country singers. One friend admitted he had a bit of a culture shock when I played some Nantucket to him (Not sure if it was this album). For those into a good hard but progressive rock, especially those who like Jethro Tull, will like “Your Face or Mine” by Nantucket.

Next Post: The Outlaws- In the Eye of the Storm

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

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