Archive for Rock And Roll Children

I’m Sharing My Writing With You

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 20, 2018 by 80smetalman

Call this a supplemental post, like one of Captain Piccard’s supplemental log entries. I have just finished the latest installment of my next book, which will be called “The V-Network.” It starts with a series of short stories about people let down by the British justice system who decide to get together and form a vigilante group. Before I introduce my latest short story for the book, let me reassure you that the regular twice weekly music posts will continue. However, I would like people to read it and tell me what they think. It will be done over several posts as it’s too long for a single post. Without any further ado, here’s my story called, “Self Defense 2, You Provoked Him.”

     No wonder she’s called ‘Amazon Glenda,’ Rochelle thought to herself as she struggled to break free of her opponent’s grasp. Glenda’s strong legs were securely wrapped around Rochelle’s head. Rochelle was finding it increasingly more difficult to breathe but there was no way she was going to succumb. With all her strength, she managed to get onto her side and then somehow, get up on her knees but it in no way lessened the pressure now being applied on her head. The move gave her some breathing space but still, her energy was slowly being sapped away.

     The loud ding of the bell ended her ordeal and round three of the fight. Glenda was forced to release her head scissors and both combatants went to their respective corners of the octagon cage.

You were very fortunate the bell rang, otherwise she might have gotten you to submit,” her manager informed her, scoldingly.

Yeah, I know,” Rochelle affirmed as she spit out a mouthful of water into a bucket next to her.

Then you know to stay out of her grasp then. You’re strength is in your boxing ability, use that.”

     Rochelle nodded as the words of advice echoed through her mind as she went out for round four. Immediately, Glenda charged at her but Rochelle side stepped and landed a round-house kick that caught her opponent in the mid-section. The blow had its desired effect. It enabled Rochelle to step inside the reach of the six foot two amazon who was six inches taller and land a left jab on the amazon’s chin. Glenda swung wildly but Rochelle parried that easily. Stepping in closer, she used all of her strength to land a right square onto her opponent’s jaw. Glenda crumpled to the mat in a huge heap. 

   The fallen gladiator made no movement while the referee counted to ten. Rochelle did her best to hide her exhilaration when the ref announced, “You’re out!” She raised her arms and let out a shrill scream in celebration of her latest victory. 

     Ring staff had only just managed to get the defeated Glenda to sit up as the ring announcer was proclaiming, “In thirty-eight seconds of the fourth round, the winner by knockout, Rocket Rochelle Dibley!” As the referee raised her right hand, she threw up her left, all the while, soaking up the applause of the crowd.

   Memories of her latest victory was still fresh in Rochelle’s mind as she drove her delivery van into Brighton the following week. She was now undefeated in seven fights and her latest victory was her biggest yet. Amazon Glenda had been unbeaten in eight fights before meeting Rochelle. The MMA world had to take her seriously now.

End of part 1

Be as nice or as vicious as you like. My next post will still be Dokken’s “Tooth ‘N’ Nail” album and I will put more extracts from the story between the music posts. Just to reaffirm, here’s a track from the band Puppy, who impressed a lot at Download.

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1985: The Backlash Begins

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2018 by 80smetalman

Ever since the days of Elvis, there has always been a backlash against rock music and the backlash against heavy metal in particular has always been many folds greater. Whether it be religious fanatics, parents or just trendy top forty followers who just didn’t like the genre, there have been people dead set against heavy metal music. This backlash had been slowly building up throughout the early 1980s but the fact that heavy metal had gotten mainstream attention in 1984 was enough to blow the powder keg in 1985.

The first instance that turned my attention to this backlash was reading letters to MTV citing that they were either playing too much heavy metal or not enough. It would appear that in or around March of 1985, the anti heavy metal brigade won out as MTV made a statement that it would be playing less metal on the air. Now, it’s easy to think that there were that many more anti than pro metal people writing to MTV and if anyone says that it was because metalheads are too stupid to write, me and many of my followers here will be over to your house to kick the crap out of you! Once again I digress but my theory was that by the end of the previous year, MTV was already becoming nothing more than a glorified commercial radio station. Some Dead Kennedys lyrics come to mind here and I’ll reveal those when I visit their “Frankenchrist” album which came out in said year. Oops, digressing again but less and less metal was being played on MTV or the radio.

Dead Kennedys

As 1985 progressed, I began to notice it in more ways. There wasn’t just a backlash against heavy metal but persecution of metalheads as well. One thing I was criticized for in “Rock And Roll Children,” though I don’t regret it one bit, was over pounding the point of how metalheads were discriminated against back then. Truth was they were! I simply pointed this out. Example, based on my own experiences: in 1984, I went to a McDonald’s after the Dio/Twisted Sister concert and had no problems, nor did the many other metalheads who hit up the place after the show. One year later, my friends and I hit the same McDonald’s after the Motley Crue/Loudness concert and upon entry, were greeted by all sorts of negative comments. Also, like in the story, there was an off duty cop in the store pontificating how no one did anything like that in his day and how he busts punks like us for drugs all the time. While, there were no arrests that night, one month later, after seeing Dio, we hit the same McDonald’s and this time, it was like a policeman’s convention. This brings me to another point, while I never saw it happen, there were tales in 1985 of police getting warrants and going into pre-concert parties and busting metalheads. However, they didn’t do that at the Wham concert where I heard eyewitness accounts of 12 year old kids getting falling down, sickly drunk. It was definitely war on metalheads in 1985.

Of course, the more astute of you will recall that in the closing months of the year, the backlash against rock music and especially heavy metal became the subject of a congressional hearing and lead to the formation of the Parents Music Resource Center, (PMRC). Even after more than thirty years, I tend to laugh at this if it wasn’t so pathetic and there will be a post dedicated to that.

In spite of all the doom and gloom, the backlash achieved very little. Great albums were still being made and you’ll get to read about a lot of them. There were other great events and concerts including the most famous one, Live Aid. So, sit back and get ready for another roller coaster year in the golden decade of metal.

Next post: Glenn Frey- The Allnighter

To download 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Hanoi Rocks- Two Steps From the Move

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2018 by 80smetalman

Coming to the final month in 1984, just when I thought that the year of metal might be coming to end, I get news of a band shown on MTV coming to a local club. That band just happend to be, yes you guessed it, Hanoi Rocks. Previous to their appearance, I did happen to catch the video to their single, a cover of the CCR classic, “Up Around the Bend.” The video impressed me enough to go to the club and to make a long story short, I was rather impressed. In fact, I sometimes wonder if I should have included that gig in “Rock and Roll Children.” My reason for not doing so was because KISS came to Philadelphia that evening and I concluded that the main characters would have gone to see KISS instead. However, I do mention in the story that Bob’s older brother Mitch goes to see Hanoi Rocks.

Hanoi Rocks’s performance on that memorable evening further motivated me to get their then latest release, “Two Steps From the Move.” Another decision I have never regretted because this album is very good. I would be lying if I didn’t say that “Up Around the Bend” is my favourite track on it. I had always liked the original version and what Hanoi Rocks did was take a great classic and totally metalize it. However, the album is full of great metal jams. The ones which stick out especially are: “I Can’t Get It,” “Underwater World, which has a good guitar solo and “Million Miles Away” is as good a power ballad as any. The hidden gem on the album has to be “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” The energy on that song is simply phenomenal! Definitely one to blast driving with the window down and “Boiler” is quite amusing. On the other hand and as cliche as this sounds, all the songs really kick ass. If I were to nit pick, it would be that “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” should have been the closer of the album but that’s a tiny technicality.

Track Listing:

  1. Up Around the Bend
  2. High School
  3. I Can’t Get It
  4. Underwater World
  5. Don’t You Ever Leave Me
  6. Million Miles Away
  7. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  8. Boiler (Me Boiler ‘n’ Me)
  9. Futurama
  10. Cutting Corners

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- lead vocals and saxophone

Andy McCoy- lead guitar, vocals

Nasty Suicide- guitar, vocals

Sam Yaffa- bass, vocals

Razzle- drums, vocals

In 1984, Hanoi Rocks were on the threshold of international stardom. Unfortunately, just a few short weeks after I saw them obliterate a small club in New Jersey, tragedy would strike the band which would lead to their eventual break up. While it’s no secret what that tragedy was, I thought it would be better to go into more detail next post. Right now, focus on the band’s happier times with this great album.

Next post: 1984 Ends in Metal Tragedy

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1984: Deep Purple- Perfect Strangers

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

Destiny brought them back together again. At least that was the big advertising plug for the “Perfect Strangers” album from the newly reformed Deep Purple. Back in the day, this album split opinion among many metalheads. Older ones like me, (I was 23 then), embraced this album immediately. However, there was some dissent from many teen metalheads at the time. Some even said that Deep Purple never should have reformed. To them, “Perfect Strangers” was a disappointment.

Let me add my theory to why teen metalheads might have been disappointed with the album. See, all these youngsters ever heard about in regards to Deep Purple was the classic “Smoke on the Water.” For many, this was their only experience with the legends. Therefore, they expected the entire album to be like that classic and when Deep Purple showed their more progressive rock side, which they do on the album, these youngsters were put off.

My experience with Deep Purple, although late, was full on. Of course, I knew of “Smoke on the Water” but I also enjoyed their more progressive songs like, “Wring That Neck” and there’s my favourite, “Woman From Tokyo” which incorporates both the prog and hard rock they were famous for. While none of the songs on “Perfect Strangers” quite match up to my fave, they do a rather good job of fusing their progressive and hard rock sounds. I think what these young people didn’t understand was that the band couldn’t help but add a little prog rock into their music when they had one of the best keyboard players of all time.

Deep Purple try to explain to their listeners that they had progressed from the days of “Smoke on the Water.” The closing track and my pick for hidden gem, “Hungry Daze,” states this clearly with the lyrics:

“We all came out to Montreax, but that’s another song.” 

The opening track, “Knocking At Your Back Door” pretty much shapes the entire album. You have some killer guitar work from Blackmore, great keyboard wizardry from Lord, Ian Gillan’s vocals were as sharp as they had been ten years earlier and the bombarding rhythm section of Glover and Paice holding all together. It’ s a great song to begin the album with. Things just go on from there with the slightly harder “Under the Gun,” then the more progressive “Nobody’s Home”  which shows off Jon Lord’s best keyboard work and the more bluesy sounding “Mean Streak.

One of my biggest regrets after writing “Rock and Roll Children” comes with the title track. When I saw Deep Purple live in early 1985, there was a phenomenal light show accompanying the song. I loved how the lasers shot across the length of the Philadelphia Spectrum making different patters with the notes. I don’t think I did it justice in the story. It was the first single and an okay song. “A Gypsy’s Kiss” remind me of the old DP classic, “Burn” with Ritchie belting out a blinder of a solo as well as the trade-off with Jon Lord where guitar and keyboards go back and forth. Okay, there are two hidden gems on this album.

In regards to the other gem, I don’t think “Hungry Daze” should have been the closer on the album. It’s a good track but everything about the penultimate track, “Wasted Sunsets” screams closer! Just listen to the opening guitar solo and the way Gillan’s voice just takes over before relinquishing again to another blazing Blackmore solo. The slower blues beat with it bears even more witness that it should be a closer. Hell, even the title suggests it! Other than this track misappropriation, “Perfect Strangers” was a good album for them to come back on.

Track Listing:

  1. Knocking At Your Back Door
  2. Under the Gun
  3. Nobody’s Home
  4. Mean Streak
  5. Perfect Strangers
  6. A Gypsy’s Kiss
  7. Wasted Sunsets
  8. Hungry Daze

Deep Purple

Ian Gillan- lead vocals

Ritchie Blackmore- guitar

Roger Glover- bass

Jon Lord- keyboards

Ian Paice- drums

Was 1984 the right time for Deep Purple to return? I’ve always thought so. I admit, “Perfect Strangers” isn’t exactly “Machine Head” but it’s a good album. The musicianship of the five members is outstanding, proving that there’s more to them than “Smoke on the Water.”

Next post: Venom- At War With Satan

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

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: KISS- Animalize

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2018 by 80smetalman

Since Queensryche supported KISS in late 1984, I thought it only appropriate for the next post to be KISS’s “Animalize” album. Unlike Queensryche, I was able to put more details of their performance on this tour in “Rock and Roll Children.” Although I didn’t actually see the concert, I did get the video of KISS concert for “Animalize,” so that helped me a lot. This was in spite of the fact that the concert on the video didn’t take place in Philadelphia, which was where I went to see all the concerts at the time.

“Animalize” was the second album by KISS without their make up, following on from their previous album, “Lick It Up.” Now, I know KISS themselves along with many others like to downplay this era of Kisstory. True, they were looking more and more like a glam band but then again, so were many bands. However, I don’t think this album was particularly bad, it has its good moments.

The opener, “I’ve Had Enough (Into the Fire)” opens with some metal sounding riffs, which I’ve always liked. The riffs alone make this song the best choice to open the album. Next comes the big single, “Heaven’s On Fire.” No arguments from me that this song was made for commercial radio and MTV. It is too similar to “Lick It Up” but then again, I don’t dislike it either. I just find myself amused at the similarities between the two singles.

“Burn Bitch Burn” is nothing more than a catchy title and a cool guitar solo. It does give weight to the belief that Gene was too sidetracked with other projects and not putting his full attention to KISS. Paul does succeed in making up for it with “Get All That You Can Take.” With all the “ooohs,” one could probably say it was Paul’s best vocal effort. It too has a cool guitar solo and throughout the years, I’ve wondered if Mark St John hasn’t been given the respect he deserves. Saying that, then future band member Bruce Kullick nails the guitar solo on the next track, “Lonely Is the Hunter” and makes me wonder if KISS should have had him play on the whole album. God, thinking about it can give a person a headache, almost. I will say that the track in question is a better effort from Gene, possibly his best on this album.

It seems that KISS tried to be more speed metal with “Under the Gun.” It is definitely the fastest song on the album and the best part is that Paul’s vocals fit the song. Maybe I’ve underestimated his vocal ability these many years. The song does open side two, if you have vinyl or cassette, very nicely and leads to my choice for hidden gem. I know that “Thrills in the Night” was released as the second single on the album but from what I’ve read, it failed to chart. That makes it a hidden gem in my opinion. It’s hard enough to please metalheads but with some good melody and Gene and Eric give great backing to Paul on the vocals and it has a cool guitar solo. Personally, I think the idea for the big single on their next album was taken from it. While I won’t call the remaining two songs, penned by Gene, filler, I won’t say they’re standout tracks. Just two good songs to end the album in the best way.

Track Listing:

  1. I’ve Had Enough (Into the Fire)
  2. Heaven’s On Fire
  3. Burn Bitch Burn
  4. Get All you Can Take
  5. Lonely is the Hunter
  6. Under the Gun
  7. Thrills in the Night
  8. While the City Sleeps
  9. Murder in High Heels

Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals

Gene Simmons- bass, lead and backing vocals

Eric Carr- drums, backing vocals

Mark St John- lead guitar

Additional musicians

Bruce Kullick- lead guitar on “Lonely is the Night” and “Murder in High Heels”

Jean Beauvour (ex Plasmatics): bass on “Get All You Can Take,” “Thrills in the Night” and “Under the Gun”

Say what you want about KISS during their unmasked 1980s period, but I think that “Animalize” isn’t all that bad. It does have it’s good and amusing points but on the other hand, it never made me want to stop listening to “Destroyer.”

Next post: Whitesnake- Slide It In

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Queensryche- The Warning

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2018 by 80smetalman

One problem with going back in history is that it isn’t always easy to put yourself back in that time. In many instances, I’ve listened to albums with a different attitude than I did when I first listened to them when said album first came out. That is the unfortunate case with Queensryche. When I first heard their debut album, “The Warning,” I thought that it was pretty good. However, I wasn’t chalking up the days for when their second album would come out. Then there’s another dilemma. Sometimes having historical knowledge isn’t always good and in Queensryche’s case, it isn’t. See, what I know now that I didn’t know in 1984 was that this band would go onto to achieve some great things. Without breaking sweat, I can think of three Queensryche albums that are far superior to “The Warning” and that isn’t fair to this album because it’s still pretty cool.

My first experience of Queensryche came when my friend introduced me to them after he had seen them supporting KISS. I couldn’t go to that concert because I had to work and that is why my account in “Rock and Roll Children” of their performance that night is what one critic called ‘bare bones.’ I not only had to take myself 25 years back in time but I had to glean knowledge from another person’s memory. Still, I’m sure they kicked ass that evening.

I’ve decided not to review “The Warning” as if I was in 1984 because subsequent recent re-listens have led me to conclude that the debut album was simply a marker for the better things Queensryche would aspire too. The band might have not liked how the album was mixed but I can hear all the trademark elements that make a good Queensryche album. There are the anthems like tracks of “En Force” and “No Sanctuary.” Both of these songs represent what I’ve always liked about this band, as do the opening riffs of “Deliverance.” “Take Hold of the Flame” incorporates a little bit of everything. It has an acoustic intro before Geoff Tate’s vocals take things up a couple of notches. Additionally, the guitar solo of one Chris De Garmo has me agreeing with my sister’s assertion that the band hasn’t been the same since he left.

For me, the second half of the album is the better half. All four tracks are what I can call classic Queensryche metal. There is some interesting harmonizing on “Behold the Storm” and though “Child of Fire” and “Road to Madness” are cool tracks,  my vote for favourite track is “Warning.” It definitely has the catchiest licks of all the songs. It sounds like a true metal anthem and Tate puts his vocal stamp on it perfectly. In reference to the guitars, while I still stand by my remark about Chris, Michael Wilton shows he’s just as good on the axe. Great song!

Track Listing:

  1. N M 156
  2. En Force
  3. No Sanctuary
  4. Deliverance
  5. Take Hold the Flame
  6. Behold the Storm
  7. Child of Fire
  8. Warning
  9. Road to Madness

Queensryche

Geoff Tate- lead vocals

Chris De Garmo- guitar, backing vocals

Michael Wilton- guitar, backing vocals

Eddie Jackson- bass, backing vocals

Scott Rockenfield- drums

Who says a little knowledge is a dangerous thing? If I knew back in 1984 what I know now about Queensryche, I would have called this album, “a promising start.” Because that is exactly what “The Warning” was.

Next post: KISS- Animalyze

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

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Krokus- The Blitz

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2018 by 80smetalman

Sometimes when an artist comes out with a great song, people expect them to duplicate it every time. This was the case with Swiss metal band Krokus in 1984. A year earlier, they completely blew me and many other metalheads away with their classic song, “Screaming in the Night.” That is definitely in my top 20 as all time favourite songs. However, in 1984, when Krokus released their album, “The Blitz,” many expected another song with the blow away potential as “Screaming in the Night.” Unfortunately, no such song exists on the album and as a result, a lot of people went off Krokus.

Despite the fact that there is no song that completely blows me away on “The Blitz,” I still enjoy listening to the album. There are still some very good songs on here. I’ll be the first to admit that the first single, “Midnight Maniac,” does not compare to the all time great but it has a catchy chorus which I still find myself singing now and again. I have been singing more lately as I have gotten reacquainted with the album. I only wish the guitar solo was a little longer.

Good 80s style metal continues on after “Midnight Maniac” with “Out of Control” and my vote for hidden gem on the album, “Boys Night Out.” This is a great hard rocking song, so much so that I can’t believe that it was co-written with Bryan Adams! The guitar solo on it is longer, at least the appropriate length a decent guitar solo should be. Things continue on nicely after that. “Our Love” has a cool intro and I think that Marc Storace does his best singing on it. It helps that there is a good metal rhythm behind him on the song. “Out to Lunch” is another hidden gem on the album, a good rocker. It’s chorus is just as catchy as “Midnight Maniac” and has a better guitar solo.

The one low point is their cover of The Sweet’s classic, “Ballroom Blitz.” I’m not impressed with it and that could be down to the fact that I saw Krokus live before listening to the album. From what I remember, they nailed it on that night and the recorded version isn’t up to it. Fortunately, three great rockers come after to erase any lack of impression I have on account of “Ballroom Blitz” and so, the album ends on a good high. In fact, “Rock the Nation” is a rather good song that has some cool guitar playing. I can say the same for “Hot Stuff” and “Ready to Rock” is a more credible closer. I do like the live feeling the song has.

Track Listing:

  1. Midnight Maniac
  2. Out of Control
  3. Boys Night Out
  4. Our Love
  5. Out to Lunch
  6. Ballroom Blitz
  7. Rock the Nation
  8. Hot Stuff
  9. Ready to Rock

Krokus

Marc Storace- lead vocals

Fernando Von Arb- guitar, backing vocals

Marc Kohler- bass

Jeff Klaven- drums, percussion

Note: On the tour for “The Blitz,” Marc Kohler would move to guitar and the bass duties would be taken over by Andy Tanas.

Before I close out on what a misunderstandingly good album “The Blitz” is, let me share a bit from “Rock and Roll Children.” When Krokus played live in the story, Marc Storace accepts a joint from someone in the crowd and takes a sly puff on it before handing it back. That actually happened! I know because I was in the fifth row. Anyway, this is an album that deserves a listen or a second chance as it’s better than what some thought at the time.

Next post: Sammy Hagar- VOA

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html