Category Archives: DeKEs N Rambles

Gord Downie…


You know you get those Game Changer Life Moments that make an impact on you that you will probably never forget.
The passing of Gord Downie is another one of those moments that many of us will never forget where or what we were doing when we heard the news.
I was on my coffee break early Tuesday morning when my wife Suzi texted me that ‘Gord Downie had died” I was and wasn’t shocked.

We all knew this day was coming but it was one of those you really hope that day doesn’t come. It did and many of my friends posted including myself a bunch of tributes, comments just basically how the music of The Hip had an effect on all us on different levels.

I know it impacted my pal Tbone hard. After all I think it would as it must have been something to be at any of those last shows that the Hip played across Canada(last summer) at which T was at the Winnipeg show. I mean knowing but not wanting to believe that this was going to be the last time ever to see these guys I dunno how  my thinking would have been.  You know myself along with  everybody was hoping that ‘Yeah they will be back!” But…..

If you’re a reader of this blog you know that me and Tbone caught these guys early on here in Tbay.(1988) The second time was March of 1990 at our University. This was a show I can recall a lot better than the one previously as Up To Here was selling like hot cakes but the band that night with a bearded long-haired Gordie rocked the joint. Me and T must have been about 10 feet directly in front of Gordie and man when these guys hit the stage at 12 midnight all bets were off!

Hip were not afraid to take chances early on as how many bands do you know would open a show with an unreleased track that I believe is still unreleased “Crack My Spine Like A Whip” plus only having the E.P and Up To Here album to draw from The Hip would also preview songs that we wouldn’t hear until a year later(1991) on the classic Road Apples album.

Thanks for the Music Gord!




Ever wonder about those Dudes and Ladies who are onstage playing behind solo acts such as Billy Joel /Pink/Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper?

Hired Gun is a fantastic look at the touring and session players in bands that no one talks about but have a huge impact behind the solo artists name that appears on the marquee!

A ton of session artists give thoughtful insight and stories on what its like to be a touring/session artist….

Lots and I mean lots or artists tell the tale of looking for work. Playing radio jingles to pay bills anything to keep the income rolling in…

Some wild tales and some actual not so cool endings like drummer Liberty Devito from Billy Joel’s band who discusses how Joel’s band had the all for one, one for all mentality but with success comes greed and once Joel realized he had been the subject of  fraud to the tune of 90 million bucks by an x-manager Devito says Joel became paranoid with everyone around him and one by one guys started to be replaced by Joel.

Devito sums it up best by saying your actually never fired  from your gig but you never actually called back to it. That’s what happened Liberty after a ton of years drumming for Joel.

Rudy Sarzo talks about the whole band dynamic once guitarist Randy Rhoads was killed and Brad Gillis talks about how it was like to play the first bunch of shows replacing Rhoads with kids flipping him off night after night.

This segues right into Jason Newsted and Jason explains how replacing a member that has died that is loved is no easy task. Newsted explains how he survived those early days with Metallica where he was paid $500 a week for a year until they made him a full-time member in 1987.

Some good ol Cancon in at as well with Phil X*** talking about stints in Bon Jovi but the real cool stories come from another Canadian Jason Hook who played with teen acts like Mandy Moore and Hillary Duff but was spotted by Alice Cooper  and Alice snagged Hook for Coops band.

Which in turn led to Hook joining Five Finger Death Punch as an equal member. I quite enjoyed Hooks analysis on what it takes to make it and the drive you have to make a full-time living at it.

It’s amazing all the cool stories that these Hired Guns talk about. How about Ray Parker Jr talking about the whole Ghostbusters song and the phenom it became!

Of course there is some resentment in the Hired Guns that play in Richard Patricks “Filter”.  Quite the attitude from the frontman and at the opposite end the Hired Gun Bass Player…two different opinions on how one should be treated. Interesting stuff….

I could go on with a ton of stories but you get my drift and should really make the point of checking this Doc out! Just watch the clip posted. You will get Hooked!

*** I still got an issue with the comment that Phil X made when he was ‘Hired” by Jovi and the word was around the campfire that Richie Sambora had quit due to Money issues at which time Phil X commented to the effect that he wouldn’t leave his house for anything less than 10 Grand a month which I thought was a douche statement…

Here read this for yourself….from the Toronto Sun…

“Filling in for Sambora on the tour is Phil X, a Toronto native who, according to RumorFix, is earning about $10,000 per month – far less than Sambora’s estimated $2 million haul.”

On Twitter, Xenidis said the website is “full of s***” because  “I wouldn’t even leave my house for that salary.”





It’s Good to be 50!


My family through a surprise 50th Bday Bash at our local watering hole On Deck that if your ever in TBay  check em out as they got what I consider some of the best wings in town!

A bunch of my friends showed up and well I will show you the photographic evidence here of the gifts I received…(along with iTunes cards/Sunrise/New Day Records/Chapters/Keg )

I am a Lucky Man!

A cool 10 pack set of KISS Comics..Sealed!

Cool old throwback Jersey with Mullet shot on the front and my timeline as tour dates on the back! Ha!

Before I forget I must say a special thanks to Darr and RUGG who dumped who knows how much coin in the jukebox and dug deep into the Metal Catalogue of yesteryear like Y&T’s ‘Don’t Stop Running’ Gunners ‘It’s So Easy(Live)’ Van Halen’s “Romeo Delight” and my favourite two surprise tracks…..Hanoi Rocks ‘Boiler” and ‘Cutting Corners”

Well Played Fella’s!

Below are the two Maiden albums that I received that are both gatefold sleeves along with picture vinyl …Brilliant…..


Jimi Hendrix/Are You Experienced(1967)

Was gonna keep it under wraps out in blogsville but Mr Books aka Aaron from Keeps Me Alive sent me this awesome Birthday Gift that came in the mail today!

Aaron said in an email to me earlier in the week that I could open it upon arrival  or wait til my Birthday(Oct 8th ) to open it.

Well,  today when I got home after work my eldest daughter Kylee who flew home from Kingston to surprise this old sack of bones last night as well  told me when I kicked off my sneakers that I had a parcel that was in the shape of vinyl!

Not waiting or happening to Sunday so to speak and the unboxing began!

Blown away and as I told Aaron I have never ever owned any Hendrix vinyl (just a few CD’s)and here we are in my soon to be 50th Year and Mr Books hits a grand slam out of the park!

Thanks a bunch Aaron!


Tom Petty…..


It was kind of surreal to get home from work today and in my Gmail account was emails being tossed around on the passing of Tom Petty  between Fellow Bloggers Scott/Bop and Aaron! 

But now there’s some confusion on whether Petty has passed on or not. The LAPD as of right now are saying they can’t confirm Petty’s death so ….

When I think of Tom Petty for sure its the tunes but for me right away when I read these emails it transported me back to my 15-year-old self when I was in Grade 10 in 1982!

At the school library which would be my daily stop to try to study I would always check out the magazine rack as the school had a subscription to Rolling Stone Magazine.

In the news feed section of the magazine I read an article on Petty who I had read about in magazines like Creem Magazine but I never really took to his music as that 15-year-old at that time as Gene and Paul were still fleecing me on whatever KISS product they were selling to me at the time!

But here was this dude Tom Petty…. well here is an  article from Rolling Stone

For instance, in 1982 Petty recorded Hard Promises with the Heartbreakers, only to find that his then-record company had plans to use his name to initiate a new, higher $9.98 list price for albums. Petty withheld the tapes and threatened to retitle his record $8.98 in protest.

This blew my mind back at that library that day and til this day what a move as he told the Suits to basically “Piss Off!”

Of course things were settled but what a  stance Petty took! Tuff as Nails Tom  was….

One more thing if anyone has read the book I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution or you haven’t well you should.

In this book is a great chapter on when Tom filmed the video Don’t Come Around Here No More. Lets just say Petty lived life!

Huey Lewis & The News/Fore(1986)

Sure the title of this post says Huey Lewis & The News /Fore(1986) but I could have added Huey’s 1983 album Sports to the title  as well.

I never owned these two albums and this is the first time I’m breaking protocol of reviewing something I don’t own but my good pal Tbone purchased and owned these so that counts for something right??

1983 and  here comes Huey and the News along with the Sports album and this album takes off like a rocket. The songs and videos are everywhere and well lookie here as Tbone is branching out and purchasing some Huey!

Man! That is news in my world!

I didn’t mind the Sports album actually, The Heart of Rock N Roll was a decent opening track with that snap ,crackle,  pop with a ton of horns throughout with Huey name dropping a bunch of Cities in the tune as well. What? No shout out for Tbay?

Heart and Soul/I Want A New Drug/If This Is It were all mega singles and this album kept selling right into 1984 .When the videos were on MuchMusic I never turned Huey off. Out of 9 songs on Sports,five ended up as singles.  He always made goofy 80’s rock videos. Kinda like a PG version’s of the Van Halen videos of the time(Hot For Teacher/Panama). For some crazy reason I never took the plunge and purchased Sports.

One Million Canadians did though making it to the Diamond Certification that not too many artists can do. Basically 10 times Platinum.

( I remember reading at the time that the record label  that Huey was on got snapped up by another record company so until issues were resolved financially with the new record company Huey would take the master tapes home of Sports with him overnight and not  leave them at the studio just in case  the ol record company politics crept in!)

What I did do was borrow Tbones purchased cassette and tossed it into my duel cassette at home and dubbed it. Sorry Huey!

Pretty decent album actually and I have been tinkering about buying this on iTunes, Well I have thinking about it for a few years though but I do like the fact that Huey comes across as a likeable chap plus give him a few props as he opened and hung with Phil Lynott(RIP) decades ago. Deep down Huey does have the rock in him…..

Now I wasn’t around when Tbone purchased Sports but I was with him back in 1986 when he coughed up his hard-earned cash and purchased the Fore album at Music City(InterCity Mall)  and paid though the nose for it! Like all Music City CD’s/Cassette Tapes they were obviously priced higher at the mall than a local shop.

Tbone didn’t care! These were the roaring 80’s! Cash was  flowing. A ton of music to be had and instead of buying blow we bought tunes! Lots of em… Our vice was Music Candy not Nose Candy!

I may have questioned Tbone at the time as he was drooling over the new Huey album on the new release shelf at Music City. I was leery. I think I may told him about the first single/video Stuck On You wasn’t a real   hard rocking Huey track . (First album singles always tell the tale for me. If it was a slow mid tempo tune we might have to abort ship on the release)

Tbone did not care. I quickly realised that Tbone was with the News on this one and I figured if anything I could borrow it and dub it…..

Fore had some good tracks like Jacobs Ladder and the goofy Hip To Be Square. Huey though was a smart chap. Record 40 minute albums and write a bunch of singles. Six of the ten tracks on Fore were released as singles and they were everywhere.

Huey once again sold a bunch of records with Fore( 5 times Platinum in Canada ) but I dunno I never even borrowed Fore at the time to dub…

Maybe it was the first single that lost me by being a sluggish like track.

Tbone never even talked about Fore as in 1986 it was Van Hagar/David Lee Roth/Iron Maiden  and AC/DC (Who Made Who) that was on our  musical radar a lot more than Huey.

Still though Tbone took the plunge found some merit in  listening to the News. I’ll give him props 31 years later for this…..




Cuss You!

When I was starting to dabble with music in the late 70’s it was a whole different time period growing up. From a musical standpoint when I first heard KISS and there track 100,000 Years I was shocked as a 10-year-old…

Did the Lead Singer of Kiss, Stanley Eisen sing what I thought I heard sung?

“I’m sorry to have taken so long
It must have been a BITCH while I was gone
You mind if I sit down for a while
You’ll reacquaint yourself with my style”

Whoah! Did I hear the word “Bitch”. Think about it for a second. I’m 10 years old snot still dripping from my nose and I see these 4 dudes in Makeup on a KISS album called The Originals at my pal John Youngs(MIA) place and these guys KISS not only look Hellish but there cussing even if it’s one word!

Speaking of John Young. His older sister had this greatest hits album by a band called Nazareth and a tune called Hair of The Dog where lead singer Dan McCafferty  growls in his Scottish accent…

“Now you’re messin’ with a
(A son of a bitch) now you’re messin’ with a son of a bitch
Now you’re messin’ with a
(A son of a bitch) now you’re messin’ with a son of a bitch”

HA…Nazareth get there point across where the line Son of A Bitch is sung 30 times on the track! KISS you have been dethroned by these 4 Scot’s …..

It’s funny as about 10 years later Guns N Roses hit the pot of gold with Appetite For Destruction album and it’s basically an anti everything record. In it though Axl Rose drops F bomb after F continually and basically goes to show you how far the F bomb had come.

Course I was 20 when Appetite was released so I wasn’t fazed but kinda funny as my younger brother Todd was getting into music in 1987 at the age of 10.(Just as I was as a 10 yr old discovering KISS) Appetite was his album and what not. My parents were always cool with this music being played in the house. I mean we weren’t burning down churches/robbing bank/drug dealing…well it would have been fun to have hoped on the NightTrain…

Sure there are other forms of music that Cuss/Cuss/Cuss like Rap and what not but I can’t really speak about that stuff but if someone is reading this feel free to angle another spin on it….

The most clever ever Cuss on an album hands down comes from Aerosmith on the all time greatest live album ever titled  Live Bootleg!

Dream On (recorded in Louisville Kentucky 1977)of all tracks! Yup the ballad of Aero! The song that shot them into mega stardom and with the ever clever Steven Tyler at the mic Steven sings the Cuss word so quick….I’m not telling you what it is ..listen to the vid posted

Check it out at exactly the 2 Minute 8 second Mark!

Sometimes less is more and Steve-o is the Champ at  Cussing Slyness!