Category Archives: ROCK 101

Books that Rock…nothin more,nuthin less!

Rock Candy Magazine(2017)

Rock Candy Magazine is a new hard rock magazine that has only three  issues out and what a bunch of action packed pages these three magazines are filled with.

Rock Candy comes from England and features all of those classic Kerrang writers from the early to late 80’s.

Derek Oliver/Malcolm Dome/Paul Suter/Howard Johnson just to name a few are all here in their writing glory. These Kerrang dude’s knew how to write articles back in the day as they would report the facts but also add a great sense of humour as well which was missing in all the American Mags I bought decades ago perhaps except for Creem. 

To be perfectly honest over the years the purchase of Magazines kinda of ceased in my world until (out of England featuring some other Kerrang writers) Classic Rock Magazine showed up I would say back in 2007 or 2008 at our local Bookstore.

I was hooked back than but it was pricey every month and for the first 7-8 years I wouldn’t skip an issue and at one point I even subscribed to receive the mag via a paid mail subscription through some distributor in the States and that was real pricey, Once I was done with reading an issue I would pass it on to Tbone.

Than when iPods came out and offered magazines and once my subscription for the printed version finished I paid for the digital subscription via Apple and it was way cheaper and I admit I was buzzed on the fact that I could just read it all on my iPad for a fraction of the printed copy.

Funny thing though just over 2 years ago I got bored with Classic Rock Magazine. For some reason I lost interest. Got tired for instance in that I would buy and read the Joe Perry book and the next issue of Classic Rock  would  have an a 8 page excerpt from  Perry’s book. Also seemed like every month it was the same ol same ol…

The last digital version of Classic Rock I paid for was back in Sept 2015 when Iron Maiden were on the cover plugging Book of Souls. 

Since than…..

Nothing until…

This past spring when out on Facebook was Rock Candy (Who also remaster and reissue a ton of 70’s/80’s cd’s. Acts like Dokken/Hanoi Rocks/Alannah Myles/Warrant/ Tbone endorsed Bad English and my fav-o Nuck Homeboys Coney Hatch) advertising that they were doing their own magazine. 6 issue’s a year…

I was intrigued as Yup it was the Kerrang Dudes but most importantly what Magazine has ever on their debut issue have printed right on the cover “Eight Yes Eight Pages of Krokus”

I was hooked! But like a ding-dong I waited and once Issue 2 came out with the whole 1984 throwback Bruce Dickinson cover (of course seeing Maiden recently helps the cause) with the Egyptian Powerslave on the cover which by the way was done brilliantly and very creatively I might add. It was time than to take the plunge.

Issue 2 is wickedly good as well. Maiden is written and documented here on their World Slavery Tour from 1984 when they hit Poland for the first time. Excellent writeups on UFO and  Foreigner and an updated brilliant New interview with John Sykes who gives us the details on how and who know’s why the whole Whitesnake 87 band was fired. It’s truly a fascinating read/interview!

Issue 3 was just released and features Ze Scorpions on the cover with articles on Accept/Humble Pie/Dennis DeYoung/Manowar and most importantly 12 pages of Canadian Rock called Maple Mayhem. Writer Paul Suter did his homework on the Canadian Metal Scene…

The cool thing is the articles are written with the 80’s in mind but with current interviews added to aid the story.

Rock Candy’s deal is simple! When you purchase an issue or subscribe online and once payment has been made  you receive an automatic digital download of the magazine right away.

This magazine is not available in the stores. 100 pages(printed on real paper) of great articles with a lot of snippets of old Kerrang articles attached to new articles as well.

As well the mailed printed copy is sent. I can attest to the fact that my two magazines to reach Thunder Bay from England only took 6 Business Days to get here. That was fast…. (by the way I’m subscribing!)

If you’re looking for a great look back of Hard Rock from Yesteryear check out Rock Candy! Printed editions are indeed the way to go!

Totally Worth The Dough…..

Runnin With The Devil/Noel Monk (Book Review)2017

 

So here we finally get 32 years after former Van Halen manager Noel Monk gets the heave-ho from our favourite two twisted dutch brothers Eddie & Alex Van Halen the book(Runnin With The Devil) which chronicles  Noel’s first hand account of trying to harness in Van Halen during the years of Monk’s  managing tenure of the band.(1978-85).

Now if your asking why now  32 years later after being fired would a book come out now. Well as Noel himself writes a final settlement back in 85 meant no publishing a book for years…so it’s now time!

Basically it boiled down to this. Noel managed(tried to) while everything else around it seems was a shit show to say the least!

Speaking of shit shows Noel was actually the road manager for the Sex Pistols on there ill-fated 1978 tour of the United States when after two weeks they were sent packing back to England. Noel had to deal with Sid Vicious & Johnny Rotten so I guess that was a good as any training ground for what would become Monk’s gig with Van Halen!(only it lasted longer than 2 weeks managing Halen)

Monk was jobless after the Pistols gig and but in no time was hired as Halens Road Manager once the debut self titled Halen album hit the streets in 1978. Halen at the time was manged by Marshall Berle who was canned once the band started selling albums and at the end of the tour everyone  realised they were $1.2 Million in debt.  VH also learned quickly that all the dressing rooms that you destroy and all the limo rides/paying the road crew etc comes out  of your pocket at the end of the day. The fact that Berle had Halen sign a crappy record deal also didn’t help his cause. Berle got tossed and hooked up with another L.A act and that would be RATT.

Cool to read that there first ever tour was playing third on a bill with Journey and Montrose. Van Halen and Monk figured it out pretty quick that they were selling a ton of tickets yet playing third on the bill which meant for Halen small dressing room/small stage space/hardly any soundchecks yet the debut Halen went Gold in 3 months so Monk and Crew would throw huge backstage parties while Journey and Montrose would be playing their show much to the chagrin of Journeys management.

Basically Halen didn’t give a Fuck about anything back than. Noel writes that the camaraderie between the band members was the best as it was the “Us against everyone” philosophy. Over time he writes to no one’s  surprise  that evaporated!

If anyone out there ever meets Steve Perry ask him if he likes guacamole!

So Monk begins his tenure as the Captain of the S.S Halen. It’s amazing he didn’t totally lose his own marbles keeping this boat afloat but at the end of the day Ed and Alex made Noel walk the plank.

Course the book is filled with ton of stories and that’s  what we want right?!

Drugs and Alcohol  which to no ones surprise is featured predominately throughout. It’s all here Weed/Coke/Booze these dudes were wired tighter than a top but they all had one goal in common and that was World Domination.

Everything is over the top back than especially when Lead Singer David Lee Roth was taking over (back in the early 80’s ) as the best front-man in Rock. Not vocally perse but with the acrobatics that was part of his stage routine. Offstage though was a whole other story. One of the interesting reads  of the book is in regards to how they travelled early on. Halen would fly commercial flights from city to city and it was Monk’s job to get the troops down to the lobby to catch their flights. The last one always to show up was Dave. Monk for a while thought Roth was being an ass as he wouldn’t pack, his hotel room would be a disaster and Monk would have to get Dave to the lobby where the rest of Halen would be continuously pissed at Dave for taking his time.

After a few flights this way Monk realised that Roth was afraid of flying as a Monk points out Roth always wanted to be in charge of everything. Sitting on an air plane Roth had no control.

Everyone knows that by 1981’s Fair Warning album there was tensions between Roth and the Brothers. Monk points out it started back in 1980  during the recording of Woman & Children First.

Monk writes that indeed a “Musical Rift” was starting to happen between Ed and Dave(SHOCKER!) back in 1980 when  problems started…

Monk goes into detail about the music business as well. When VH was about to release  VH 2 in 1979 he was called into the Billboard offices and was told by a high-ranking official where they would like the soon to be released album debut on the charts. Monk states he was stunned as he was told they could come in the Top 10 if they chose to. Monk was quick to say how about the mid forties so it would look like the album was rising instead of debuting high and sliding down the charts. Payback for the chart debut would be made by VH in Billboard….

How about some Payola? Yep, Noel writes in  great detail about when 1981’s Fair Warning went to gold record status and stalled in sales (there were no real “single like” tracks on the guitar heavy Fair Warning record) VH/Monk were freaking out so as Monk got summoned to Warner Brother records, someone told him on the side if they wanted Fair Warning to start selling than VH would have to cough up $200,000 of their own money and pay certain stations across the States $5000 each to get the album played at which VH did, not happily mind you but it worked and Fair Warning went Double Platinum.

Early 1982 Warner Brothers is begging for Halen product. VH has nothing new to offer so they record Pretty Woman and the single takes off which no one thought it would as Pretty Woman was released just to keep the Halen name out in the public. This is why 82’s Diver Down was half covers/half originals as it was recorded in about 3 weeks and rushed out due to the  single shooting up the charts!

These kind of stories actually fascinate me more for as we all know the Party Deal of VH.(  I still like to read about Krell Wars that Roth/Ed would indulge in )

Monk describes throughout the book the chaos that surrounded this band from 1978-85 when Noel’s 30 day contract was not renewed. Yup! You read that right for the 7 years he worked for VH they would only renew his contract every 30 days….

This is a great read into a band that basically was a” Professional Shit Show”. I’m amazed they could record/tour at a clip for that time and not actually kill each other.

1984 the mega album from VH you would think they would be on top of the world with album sales and tickets sold right? Wrong-o! Years of frustration with everyone come to a boil when Roth announces to everyone his cover E.P.

I will leave it at that!

I could go on with a boatload of stories(Roth being forced into a straight jacket being one) but the one common dominator being that we all know is that ex VH Bassist Michael Anthony is indeed the nicest guy in Rock.  Yes he is by all accounts and Monk confirms many a time over how great a guy Mikey is. No smut on him in this book whatsover…

Below is what Roth/Ed and Alex wanted  Anthony to  sign ….. Nice way to treat a bandmate eh?

This a fascinating read. Get This!

Is This Live?/ Christopher Ward (Book Review)

Being a teen in the 1980s.  MuchMusic was a big deal in my world as it was  Canada’s 24 Hour Music Video Cable Channel that at the time played well Music Video’s before all these channels delved into reality like programming and blah blah blah and well to be honest  I got older which is the biggest problem of all! Ha!

Christopher Ward who wrote this book was also one of the original MuchMusic Video Jockeys as well. Chris goes into great detail about the origins of MuchMusic with the two fella’s that started it. One being Moses Zanier and John Martin

These two guys couldn’t get along but they somehow managed to work together and make MuchMusic a household name in Canada back in 1984 and  hitting the 1 Million subscriber mark in 1987!

First ever video played at MuchMusic? That would be The Enemy Within by Rush!

Ward does a nice job of interviewing for  this book all the VJ’s that we would always see everyday on the telly. Steve Anthony/JD Roberts/Erica Ehm/Laurie Brown/Master T/Michael Williams/Denise Donlon/Terry David Mulligan/Theresa Roncon and many others. They are all present and accounted for in this book!

Actually one of the funniest interviews I had ever seen on Much was when Ed The Sock interviewed Hugh Dillion from the Headstones. I posted the clip of Hugh VS Ed below…(Interview is after the song) The best is when Hugh says he can’t believe he’s having a “serious discussion with a sock!”

Tons of pics are included with visits of RockStars like Duran Duran/Boy George/Motley Crue/Alice Cooper/Platinum Blonde/Robert Plant. Basically if you were selling records in the 80’s you were on MuchMusic!

Christopher also asks the Vj’s the worst interviews that the VJ’s had and to no one’s surprise Gene and Paul(KISS) make a cameo!/Chris Issak/Mariah Carey/Ramones  to name  a few others are mentioned  among others  but it did not surprise me to see KISS here as they always did the sexual innuendo’s especially with the lady VJ’s! The Best interviews? Well, buy the book folks!

TV shows on Much are talked about like Rap City/Electric Circus /Electric Circus/Mike & Mike’s X-Cellent Cross Canada Adventure The Wedge/Big Ticket and my personal fav The Power Hour which ran from 1984-1991 ( I would always have my VCR set from 4-5 pm every Thursday!)and then was reduced from the power hour to a half hour show. Than again the musical climate was shifting in the early 90’s….watch the clip for a good two  minute flashback below!

Tons of Canadian acts of course are featured with Ward asking them how the impact of video helped them along with their careers! Northern Pikes/Sloan/Honeymoon Suite/Gowan/The Pursuit OF Happiness are just a few of the acts that are covered.

Ward himself talks at detail how his career as Alannah Myles songwriter had taken off in 1990 and how a decision had to be made as to whether to stay on TV or quit and move to Los Angeles to break Myles career in the U.S! It’s a great inside look at the music business on how a new artist can hit it big.

I will add this is a great read almost like a huge 329 page scrap-book of a time we will never ever see again…. But Ward captures it brilliantly!

For us Canucks, MuchMusic was a big part of growing up in the 80’s and Christopher Ward takes us all on journey though the inner workings of the Nations Music Station MuchMusic!

Must own folks!

 

No Sleep Til Sudbury/Brent Jensen (2014)

 

Not to often I can say I have read the same book 3 times over cover to cover. But when it comes to Brent Jensen’s spin on his life growing up in Sudbury as a teen in the 80’s listening to Metal this book resonated with me on a whole other level and I will tell you all why its been read that many times!

For followers of this Blog(I thank you) you may be asking why now are you reviewing this book as you have already reviewed Brents other two fabulous novels in Leftover People that chronicles and documents Brent’s U.S.A Book promo tour for No Sleep with an American Writer Named Chris Long(Knock Knock) and Brent’s latest book All My Favourite People Are Broken which Brent journeys into the forest(literally) to a cabin with a buddy named Garvey and they put the iPod on random and dissect all kinds of music between them. Both Leftover and Fav People are highly recommended and have both have been reviewed here!

I first came across No Sleep via the Bravewords website and once i read about the fact that some dude basically wrote about the whole genre I grew up to and worshipping all things Metal, I clicked quicker than you can say Dogs D’Amour and No Sleep was delivered straight to my mailbox.

Once I opened the book and seen the Contents and Titles of Chapter 1 – A Shout Out to the Devil as well as Chapter 5- Metallica,Slayer,Raven,and…Dokken? Chapter  6-Living on a Thrash Metal Prayer I knew I would be immersed in this book and it’s safe to say I read it within 2 days. I was hooked never being a junkie this 295 Page Book blew me out of the water and became my needed fix. It wasn’t before too long that I sent Brent an email telling him what I thought of his book and how it basically summed up my musical habits here in Thunder Bay within the same decade that Brent wrote about.

Brent emailed back and Like I have said previously I probably came across as some blabbering lunatic or a fruit loop to be honest  going on how great of a read this book was. I also didn’t want to come across as some ass kisser. (Ha…maybe I did?!) but the damage had been done as Brent had emailed back.( Thanks Brent for not putting a restraining order out on me!)

In the book Brent you can see how music is the foundation of one growing up. You read all about Mr Jensens first concert which was Iron Maiden/Twisted Sister back in December 1984 at the Sudbury Arena. Brent delves into everything about the show on how it wasn’t even marked on their tour program. How Lead Singer Bruce Dickinson said Maiden would come back.(Maiden never did) and you can sense the reason how this show would come full circle for Brent. More on that later!

It’s cool that Brent talks about the next two concerts he seen which was Metallica/Metal Church & Kick Axe? in December of 1986 and Alice Cooper/Sword in 1987 all in Sudbury.

Kerrang the British Metal Magazine had a huge impact on both of us as it was basically written by a bunch of Hooligans who had a real flair on capturing Metal at the time in the roaring 80’s unlike the American Magazines like Circus & Hit Parader which as Brent describes them as ‘Handlers for the Record Company’s”  in other words they just gave hand jobs to get the bands as the articles were bullshit! (ask Axl Rose) Kerrang was real deal  the only knock it was always on import for $5 every two weeks yet the real plus was what you were reading was pretty current.

A ton of bands are reviewed from Brent own cassette collection. You name any band and Brent gives a paragraph or three to them.  Cinderella/Keel/Krokus/Saxon/Tesla/Van Hagar/Danger Danger/Vain/Sleez Beez many more acts are written and explained in detail and how they resonated in Sudbury. Tesla is one band that is written about and you see how it was a long process on how they finally won over Brent.

Must also mention that there is a Top 5 list of song’s Brent never ever wants to hear again. Ha…I can’t divulge all the sordid details now can I?

One of my favourite chapters of the book is titled So Much For Hollywood where it is reviewed when the Blaze Bailey fronted version of Iron Maiden played Hamilton. I won’t say wether its a good review or a bad review but its friggin hilarious! Also in this chapter Brent discusses when old members return to their bands after splitting. One of the best analyzations of this is Aerosmith where Brent writes and I quote him..

“There is Old Aerosmith and there is New Aerosmith. Old Aerosmith is that slutty Jezebel  that would take you upstairs to deliver the groceries at the end of a sloppy late night boozefest. New Aerosmith was the beautiful prom queen with great smelling hair you were proud to bring home to Mom. Both got your rocks off but one cut through the artifice and did it on a much more primal level.”

That paragraph sums up Aero verbatim! Pure Brilliance!  Wish I wrote that!

No Sleep comes Full Circle when Maiden announce there Powerslave 2006 Tour! Once you read this book you will know what I’m talking about here!

Don’t let the title of this book fool ya friends, You can be from anywhere in the world and relate as we are all fans of the genre of music.

Geez,how many dudes from Sudbury can actually say they had the personal emails of Tommy Lee and Wolf Hoffman at one point?

Such a Great Read is No Sleep Easily one of my all time fav’s Get it!

(I must also mention that Brent is now doing a No Sleep Til Sudbury Podcast that you can download on iTunes for free and it’s a great listen as Brent Interviews people in the music industry and just plain music fans on the songs that make there skin vibrate! )

Sebastian Bach/ 18 & Life On Skid Row(2016)

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Book Review Time……

Sebastian Bach joins the long line of Rock Dude’s writing their tale of Excess/Mayhem/Craziness. Well you get the Drift.

The one thing I can say is Bach grew up in Ontario so there’s my connection and he writes about a ton of Canadiana in his Book. More on that later…

Baz opens the  book with the incident in 1990 when Skid Row was opening for Aerosmith and someone  in the crowd tossed a bottle hit Bach in the melon and cut him open.  Baz did what he does best and that is go berserk(wouldn’t you?). He basically picked up the broken bottle seen the guy who had thrown it  as the dude in the crowd was flipping him off and tossed the bottle at him and leapt  into the crowd. Bach broke the guys jaw who had tossed the bottle but Sebastian also broke the nose of a young girl in the crowd who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Just like an Old School Western Skid Rows Managers after there set told them “Get on the bus and over the State Line” They didn’t make it and Bach was arrested by the police.

Sebastian says this was the first real clink in the armour of Skid Row and problems would soon arise.

The Book shifts back to his early years growing up first in the Bahama’s than onto California and finally Peterborough Ontario as David Bierk(Sebastian’s Father) took a Fulltime job at an Art Gallery.

Bach goes into good detail about growing up as a child in Southern Ontario. His fascination with Comics and KISS in the mid to late 70’s and I will say that Bach has a passion for this.

Bach’s world came crashing down when his parents got Divorced in 1979 and it was Sebastian who writes in the book that his first time seeing KISS in Toronto back in 1979 was the last time that his Family ever did anything  together as a family unit as  his father had left already.

Great detail is also written about when Baz started playing the Toronto Bar circuit in the early to mid 80’s and meeting in Toronto Nikki Sixx and giving him a demo tape that weaved its way to New Jersey and lo and behold  Bach joined Skid Row.

Of course myself  being a Hard Rocker this is really where the Book takes off. Tales of Excess are detailed and no one is safe! Ask Lars Ulrich! Bach though keeps it cool with what he writes about and it will probably give those people more street cred if anything!

So to not give away too much I ‘m going break it down to a few Stories or as I would call them Whut??  Many more but here’s a 3 Pack Sample…

1- First night of Skid Row opening for Guns N Roses at  Alpine Valley  (May of 1991.) An unruly person backstage makes derogatory remarks about Sebastian. So what does he do? Well he punched the guy out. Turned out it was Gun’s Guitarist Izzy  Stradlin’s  brother! Whut?

2-Backstage at an Los Angeles Aerosmith show(1990) Bach is joined by David Lee Roth and Axl Rose. As Roth downs shots of Jack Daniels he looks at Sebastian  and Axl and  Roth says ” I here there’s a couple of pretenders to Mah Throne!” Bach quotes Roth as saying “Mah” LOL. I won’t tell you what happened next but it’s worth the read  with an end to this tale that you won’t believe!  Double Whut??

3- One of the biggest shock a roo’s for me  was the guys that he partied with in Bon Jovi. Bach writes about Richie Sambora’s diet of choice in the late 80’s that doesn’t surprise me. What did was Jovi Keyboardist David Bryan  snorting speedball’s! Triple Whut??  HA!

Bach goes into detail about the Music Business as well.

After 1992’s Slave To The Grind Tour. Bach thinking  he was going to have a  business meeting with his managers to receive a huge cheque after the success of the tour.

Wrong!

Bach writes that  they had to pay off everything meaning all the managers/accountants/crew/food/booze and the fact that their manager told them that since they wanted to be like KISS and shoot off pyro it was costing them $3000 a blast! Bach also writes he  learned that day  what the term “Shortfall” is…

(Side note…. when Skid Row played here in 92 the Fire Marshall would not allow their pyro to be used. So they saved dough in Thunder Bay for one night anyways..)

Of course the whole fallout of Skid Row is written about and as Bach  is kicked out he eventually moves on and becomes the solo act/hits up Broadway for a part in Phantom Of The Opera/ ends up doing Tv on the Gilmore Girls and The Trailer Park Boys/renews his friendship with Axl Rose. (great story also when Axl/Baz bump into Jon Bon Jovi)

The book ends up with his personal life getting on track and moving on.

For myself this was a great read! As it has Ontario roots that Bach speaks from so I get it. Bach does name drop a bunch of people and he could have really hammered on the Skid Row guy’s but he doesn’t air anybody’s  dirt just the problems that he had on a personal level. That surprised me as he could  have torched I’m sure Rachel Bolan but give Bach credit he gave a lot of people a pass….

Book is worth the Dough $$$…!

Worth a Reread!

Bruce Springsteen/ Born To Run (Book Review)

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Born To Run was a Christmas Gift from my daughter Lauren! 

I am nowhere near a Springsteen Diehard. But I have always liked Bruce’s music as he always came across as a Hard Working Blue Collar Rock Guy. Listen to Downbound Train from 1984’s Born In The USA album for a reference point in the lyrics of the song as Bruce sings about losing your job/losing the girl and hearing that whistle whine on the Downbound Train! Many of his songs are just about Life and for that I can totally can relate to Bruce as he writes about any one of us…

So when it was announced that he was putting out his own memoir I was intrigued right off the hop! When Bruce was mega popular especially in 1984-85 I was 17 going on 18 and you had to hand it to the guy as he kept his nose clean. Sure there he was in the Tabloids at one point(more on that later) but he wasn’t ever the Meathead who was drunk driving or starting brawls he was just Bruce!

This 528 page read(outside of that cool throwback front cover pic of Bruce the pics are at the back of the book)) is right from Bruce’s own mouth. As you read it has not been smooth sailing for Bruce as he admits freely how is and was dealing with depression and medication to help through which started when he was teased in school with name “Blinky” due to a fluttering  eyelid. His depression lasted right up before the release of Born In The USA album as him told his lifelong manager Jon Landu about what was going on.

His father was a heavy drinker and Bruce never felt appreciated by him as he just wanted acceptance from his Dad. So in regards to the book Bruce is human but a lot of us see it as  since he’s played hundreds of shows(pushing anywhere from 3-4 hour performances)sold millions of records,graced a ton of magazine covers. You would think all is well right? Well wrong….Bruce is Human! Perhaps his 1992 album Human Survival had more to do than just being a simple name of an album.

Born To Run deals a lot with relationships especially with members of his E Street Band. You read on what went down between Bruce and Miami Steve on why Steve left during the recording of Born In The USA. Bruce describes in full why he canned the E Street Band after the Tunnel of Love Tour back in 1988. How he has dealt with the passing of two key components of his E Street band. ( Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons or ‘C’ as Bruce calls him). Bruce discusses when he was plastered in the Tabloids when he married and divorced Julianne Phillips due to his involvement with an E Street member Patti Scialfa. 

Bruce always kept a lid on it for the most part! Private is Private! So you gotta hand it to him. Bruce though pulls no punches that he is indeed running the show in regards to the E Street’s. His moniker “The Boss” is not mentioned once in the 500 plus pages. He’s not a big fan of that so-called nick name as well from what I gather.

A great story is when Bruce describes Jake Clemons (Clarence’s Nephew) audition and the Young Jake shows up unrehearsed! Let’s just say ‘Don’t ever do that!” Haha…I am of course putting it mildly. 

I could go on of course with many stories from this book.

As I had mentioned at the start of this review I am not the biggest Springsteen Fanboy out there(If you’re wondering Tunnel of Love is my favourite Bruce album) but it was a Fantastic read as this Book was stuffed with ton’s of fact’s. It’s like Bruce is talking to you.

Get This…..

 

 

Metal Heart: Aiming High With Accept

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Book Review…….

If you read my recent book review on Martin Popoff’s excellent Riot book(Swords And Tequila/ Riot’s Classic  First Decade) you will recall that I had stated  that Martin writes on bands that normally would not get books written about them.

Accept is one of those bands that Martin has tackled and I will be totally honest with you all. I am not a huge Accept fan! Sure back in the mid 1980s I owned Restless And Wild/Balls To The Wall/Metal Heart but when I heard Russian Roulette for some reason it did not register with me. I just could not get into it for some crazy reason. Even so I still  bought Eat The Heat as well!(more on that one later)

When I seen on Martins website that he had written a book about Accept I was Intrigued as they did not get much press back in day sure Hit Parader would feature them maybe Circus but my curiosity factor was raised so I ordered it at http://www.martinpopoff.com

I should mention in regards to my other reviews of Martins Books is that he writes as a fan and it totally comes across in his book’s by the first 7-8 pages has Martin explaining the actual dates  when he purchased each Accept album(date,prices with whom he was hanging out with at the time ) If that doesn’t constitute a Fan what does?

Like The Riot book Martin pulls out all the stops. Talks to all the main guys in Accept. Udo Dirkschneider/Wolf Hoffman/Peter Baltes/Stefan Schwarzmann/Jorg Fisher/Mark Tornillo.

Another interesting person in the Accept story is Gaby Hoffman (Wolf’s Wife) was Accept’s Manager since 1981 and contributed lyrical idea’s and cover concepts for a ton of years but she went under the pseudonym as Deaffey which I recall seeing that name on the Accept albums back than. Never would have known that it was a woman running the show and naming albums Balls To The Wall and contributing lyrics to songs like Fast As A Shark/London Leatherboys/Midnight Mover.

Martin also has once again added a ton of add’s for various albums and even a section of coloured pics from Accept’s 1984 tour when Udo was decked out in his camouflage gear. Even the cover of this book reminds me of Judas Priest with the Flying V’s as I guess they took a page from Priest in the dual lead guitars/stage presence 101 when they opened for JP back in 1981!

Each album goes under Martins Metal Microscope as his diagnosis each album with commentary which makes for a total worthy read. Basically once I dug into the book I could not put it down.

The success of the Balls To The Wall album in 1983-84 is interesting as they toured with all the heavyweights backs than.(KISS & Iron Maiden) They were kept on the straight and narrow by Deaffey and management not to get messed up in the Party Treats of the day. Tight Leash the Boys were kept on I guess you could say!

Martin also goes into detail how even though we both consider Metal Heart (1985) a top-notch Accept record. For some reason though it never really caught on which was surprising as it featured some great tracks like Midnight Mover(Accept didn’t care for it!) Too High To Get It Right / Screaming For A Love Bite/Metal Heart.

Course like so many bands the wheels start coming off of Accept after the release of Russian Roulette(1986) and as the album didn’t catch on here in North America internal strife was brewing and out goes Lead Singer Udo.

Now here’s where I really got into the book for that matter as it’s always fascinated me on how a Lead Singer change can either propel a band to the next level or disintegrate a band into a huge mess of dysfunction and chaos.

Unfortunately  Accept slammed head first into dysfunction( record company politics wanting to Americanize there sound with a new singer) and chaos (keep reading)with the release in 1989 of  the Eat The Heat album with a New  American Lead Singer  named David Reece.

I  bought Eat The Heat at the time of its release on cassette tape and it was a massive change in direction. Songs were  Melodic Lite Metal. The production by Dieter Dierks ( who manned a few other albums by Accept and made his name by producing a ton of Scorpions albums in the 80s) was weak. Had a few good things but generally was a sub par release to put it nicely! Even with this album being the Sore Thumb in the catalogue of Accept music Martin still gives it a bunch of pages just like the bigger albums in Accept’s career!( he doesn’t play favourites!)

Martin talks to Reece and the rest of the guys on what went down on the Eat The Heat album and the backstage fight(hello chaos) between Peter Baltes and Reece which led to the singer  getting fired as well as the tour getting canned.  Accept folded up shop for a few years!

Of course like so many bands they can only simmer for so long and back comes Udo for a few albums and tours( two reunions with Udo) before issues once again rise and Accept once again goes into hiatus that is until they come across another American Singer named Mark Tornillo  and have released some recent works (Blood OF Nations/Stalingrad/Blind Rage)  as Martin champions  their cause as great albums and another fact that Martin points out is that Tornillo handles all the lyrics pretty much now.

Aiming High is another fine read from Martin! For a casual Accept fan like myself it was a real interesting read and every section had a ton of written stuff that I had no idea what went on in the inner sanctums of Accept(Well researched!)

To be quite frank I was about to order Martin’s Book on Ted Nugent but for some reason I clicked and ordered the Accept book but fret not Friends I will get the Nuge book and like I always say…

Do support our local Canadian Writers and click Martin’s link above.