SONIC WAVES….Billy Squier/Hear And Now

 

Ahhh frigg,it’s 1989 and no one cares about Billy Squier after that one video ( I ain’t saying it here) demolished Squiers career into the waste bins of North America! But me buying and snapping up everything in sight musically related back than, I seen Billy Squier under the new release section with Hear And Now. Now don’t feel to bad for Mr Billy as when he signed his record deal in the early 80s it came with full control(no middle man)in other words he gets all the $ when someone nowadays samples his music. Business savvy that fellas was/is. When I seen the cover (You tube pic is the cover of Hear And Now) it looked like one of two things.  1- a mug shot or 2- Billy’s all night Bender photo. I took the gamble and bought this and boy am I ever glad I did. Now this is not crazy balls out heavy record but a well written big o slab of melodic rock. Billy outdid himself on this album. Too bad the masses did not take notice,I did though and Hear It is,

Let’s give Billy some props now shall we,

ROCK OUT/PUNCH SOMEBODY- starts off the record with some crowd noise and Billy asks ya Do you wanna Rock out?  Hell ya sez I! If not Billy’s gonna Punch ya out! This is a great leadoff track as Billy throws down the gauntlet! Welcome back !

STRONGER-is a nice little mid tempo rocker with a pretty cool sax solo thrown in. Pretty cool rhythm drives the track along…..

DON’T SAY YOU LOVE ME- this one is a little more of a slow groover. Pretty neat little riffing on this one.One thing I say this album has some good production on it. Always dug Squiers voice. This was I believe the first single off of it…..

DON’T LET ME GO- Billy’s night goes from the previous Don’t Say You Love Me to Don’t Let Me Go which is the first slow burner on Hear And Now. Song starts off with some classical guitar and it finally ramps up a bit……

TIED UP-must have been a single also but why this didn’t catch on in 89 who knows why. Oh yeah that Video with him from back in 1985…. shit not going there! But this song ends side one on a high little fast paced rocker…Atta boy Billy don’t give Up!

(I PUT A)SPELL ON YOU- Billy cranks up side two right out of the box with a straight ahead rocker kinda like the same pace that Bill had done with Everybody Wants You. Good solid tune!

G.O.D- hey where you going now G.O.D.? Asks Mr Squier. This song is pretty damn cool and one of my faves on this album.  Funky beat and Billy pulls out the stops on this song. Once again I really dig the vocal!

MINE TONIGHT -Is a simple song ,straight ahead pull no punches power ballad. It’s alright on this album would not be so on AC-DC Blow Up Your Video album! Why the hell I said That I have no idea, it just came to me.

THE WORK SONG- C’mon Billy says..get up,get moving,check out the cool horns on this little bad boy ..oh yeah Billy is saying Work Baby Work……this song is like a head on collision between Pour Some Sugar On Me and The Stroke..

YOUR LOVE IS MY LIFE- Yep Billy notches it right down to close the album off in Squier ballad fashion….

I had a buddy named Moose who was big into the Ramones,D.O.A,Forgotten Rebels,Motörhead, Gwar ,get the picture? Well as soon as he heard Hear And Now he jumped on board and got his own copy of Hear And Now. That my peeps is the power of a good rock n roll album.

Now as for the vids….Tied Up is a pretty cool little rocker and once again check out the cover! The second vid is Squier live from 2009( about the 2 minute mark,after the dudes drum solo)Good on him getting his rock n roll feet moving again!

Crack My Spine Listening To The Hip….

Tragically Hip/Lakehead University /Feb 1990

So the Hip makes a gas stop in Tbay at our University and man the place was packed. Of course, a zillion copies of Up To Here were moving out of record shops (remember those?) at that time as well so me and TBone scooped a couple of tickets and here we are and Hey look there’s Gordie Downie with his full  I haven’t shaved in weeks Canadian beard….and the rest of the guys muster up on stage and open with one of the best Hip songs I have ever heard except they never released it ..the song is titled  Crack My Spine Like A Whip(see vid posted above) man this track just steamrolls  I still love it! C’mon guys 24 yrs later record the friggin thing will ya?

There’s Gordie working the mic stand or is it a crutch to hold him up? The rest of the guys Bobby, Gord, Johnny, and Paul are tight musically I mean they paid their dues playing the bars and man for me personally I love the first four Hip records especially the first two. But we’re getting ahead here so yep the band plows thru Highway Girl and a few others from their  Ep and of course, they played pretty much all of Up To Here. They were also road-testing Three Pistols and Fight which ended up on Road Apples the followup to Up To Here.

The great thing about Gordie back than was when he sang the line “She Didn’t Know The Barrel Was Loaded” you believed him man, or in Every time You Go when he says “Like everyone I Once New A Dave” yeah Gordie your right we knew a few Dave’s it was like reading the newspaper like Gordie is just spitting out everyday living at you! Man, I miss that kinda stuff nowadays.

I have another review for another time when I and TBone caught the Hip back In February of 1988 in Tbay …..stay tuned folks!

Rockin Is Ma Business,Business Is Good……

 

imageimageThe funny thing about bar reviews is remembering when the hell was it ?? as in  I have seen some good bar shows here in Tbay . One of the best was when The Four Horsemen crashed Thunder Bay and played the local sleaze joint The Inntowner in April of 1996. Fortunately The Horsemen showed up with some swag for sale which I quickly snatched up! ( that list of dates above is from the back of the Tshirt I still wear today ) I wonder how many of these joints that are listed on the tee are still open? I know here in Tbay the Inntowner was levelled and is a parking lot now.

Anyways The Horsemen were plugging their current release Gettin Pretty Good….At Barely Gettin By and well unfortunately Frank Starr was laid up in a coma in Los Angeles  in which he would unfortunately pass away from due to a motorcycle accident. Replacing him for the tour was Ron Young from Little Caesar who had a couple of albums out in the early 90s….. So here they are all tatted up( and if they were a street gang ummm they would kick the shit out of you!) and blasting out their songs from there two gem of albums( debut was called Nobody Said It Was Easy) that they had out! Man heavy straight ahead guitar street rock! They opened with Still Alive And Well, and played the title track and many off the Gettin Pretty Good album the two that stuck out to me from the current album was Song For Absent Friends ( dedicated to Frank) and What The Hell Went Wrong those songs were awesome live. Of course they ended it all with Rockin Is My Business and basically there set kicked me,my wife Sue and my buddy TBone in the ass! Too bad it ended for them they were so good. I’m really glad I caught em when I did! Also of note what a great guitar player Dave Lizmi is.

Opening for The Horsemen were the Buffalo Brothers who were pretty good I remember they had a dude who played a big assed Hammond organ and if memory serves me correct did not Archie Gamble play drums with em before he joined Helix!?

Bottom Line……Great Show…..

Check out the vid for Rockin Is Ma Business..it will kick your head in!

 

 

 

Apettite For Alpine Valley

May 25 1991/Guns N Roses/Skid Row

Memorial Day weekend in the good ol U.S of A and we scored tickets to the second show of the Use Your Illusion tour. Milwaukee was the start of the tour with two dates sold out at about 40,000 per show. So we zipped down to Milwaukee and off to Alpine Valley which is a huge outdoor facility located kinda in the middle of no where or so it seems as back than it was one road in one road out. All the bands chopper in to do there shows as a little under a year earlier Stevie Ray Vaughn(rip) was killed when the chopper he was in crashed on the hill.

The day off the show it just rained and rained so by show time we were drenched, unfortunately  our tickets were up on the hill and not under the canopy but who gives a crap this is Gunners for Christ sakes and how long before Axl goes off the rails? Could it be the second show of the tour??

Skid Row was the opener and the funny thing is that both bands on the bill were plugging new  albums that weren’t even out yet. Skid Rows record Slave To The Grind was not gonna be out until a few weeks later in early June whereas Gunners double set of the Illusion albums wouldn’t be released until about 4 months later in September ??!

Skid Row hit the stage flying and I remember the opening track was Slave To The Grind and man there was Nuthin as heavy as this track on the debut….they played songs which got em there and on previous tours (Aerosmith/Bon Jovi) Sweet Little Sister,18 And Life,Piece Of Me,a cover of Train Kept A Rollin and as well Monkey Business and crowd sing a long fav Get The Fuck Out all delivered with the final Youth Gone Wild! An energetic set that’s for sure….good primer for the soon to headliner.

So since we got our tickets back in Feb of 91 I ordered from some bootleg guy a copy of Gunners Rio show from January of 91 just to see what they were doing and they were already playing tunes live from the illusion albums already….so I had a bit of idea of what may be played and boom here they are opening with Right Next Door To Hell and here comes Axl sporting his bulletproof vest (check out the vid above ) and into Mr Brownstone and man they were on fire. Say what you want now about em but back than early 1991 they were the biggest band in the world and here they are playing tune after tune lets see they played 18 songs that night 7 of which the masses had never ever heard yet except for some of us who spent ridiculous amount of money on bootlegs. Some of the Illusion songs were,14 Years,Dust N Bones,Civil War,Estranged,Double Talkin Jive and of course a few covers which everyone new like Knockin On Heavens Door and Live And Let Die. From Appetite they played Welcome To The Jungle, My Michelle, Sweet Child and of course Paradise City but there was so much that wasn’t played(Rocket Queen,Night Train) which baffled me but hey this is Gunners there gonna do what they want.

As for Axl he just chirped at some dude in the crowd about sumthin but it ended up being nothing…..In other words the Axl Train stayed on the tracks that night in Wisconsin ……

The above video is from the Alpine Valley shows as MTV was there filming the kickoff at Alpine Valley…..

Long Way To Heaven,Three Short Steps To Hell….

August 27 1985…..Helix/Honeymoon Suite

So the big Helix arena rock tour shows up to Tbay in the soon to be back to school season. What a better way for me, my best friend TBone and his two younger brothers Rugg and Darr to cap off the summer with some Rock! Honeymoon Suite opened the show  as there debut album was still selling like hot cakes on the back of the tracks New Girl Now and Wave Babies so off go the lights and there At the back of the arena floor is Derry Grehan (guitarist)and heads to the front of the stage playing the opening number Funny Business pretty impressive that I remember the manouver all these yrs later,more impressive was the fact that it was the opening band. Goes to show ya that Helix were chill with there support and were confident in there own abilities to not feel upstaged by the opener.

Helix comes out ripping into House On Fire and showing off there slick new arena rock stage ramps included and me and the brothers go bonkers! Here’s Helix punching out Ride The Rocket hahaha(gotta love the 80s),Young & Wreckless, and many more of Helix classics. Big time  rock show from Helix and how they stepped up from playing our University the year before into the big stage of arenas they looked like they have been playing arenas forever. Vollmer was on his game,the Doctor/Hackman/Gray/Fritz were all doing there synch rock moves and the playing was tight. I remember there lighting truss came down during Rock You and would spell ROCK. Great show when all was said and done.  Now Helix was promoting the current release Long Way To Heaven which to me was a smart marketing move with the cover. Here they are standing all decked out in black except Volmer who is in the middle wearing white with a blue backdrop. Considering bands of the time were all about black heavy album covers Helix goes the opposite way. Good job. The album itself was ok I liked the two previous studio outputs more  but hey who cares Helix in the year of 1985 is headlining arenas!!!

Of course the vid above is not from 1985 but the song is…it has 4/5 of original members (r.i.p P Hackman ) unfortunately I could not find any live footage from the Long Way Tour but this is a great version and as you can see Brian and the Boys still play like there lives depended on it. Vollmer deserves respect man and the band still take there craft seriously ….

Check out Mikeladano.com for a great review of the current Helix release Bastard of The Blues..

 

 

 

 

 

Intensity in Thunder Bay???!!!

JULY 27 1981…Ted Nugent /The Wilderness Tour……

Ted roared his way into Tbay promoting his Intensities In 10 Cities release an album that was recorded in 10 different cities with 10 new songs. By 1981 Kiss was spiralling down the drain and thinking of concept records. My 2nd fav band Cheap Trick was also starting the tailspin so when it was announced that Ted was playing here it was like Holy Crap the Nuge is playing Tbay!!!??  but in all honesty Ted was also in a tailspin career wise but hey the Nuge is playing Tbay, career can’t be too much in the shitter right ??! So off to purchase the Intensity record before the show which was my first Nuge album. Even all these yrs later I love this album I mean titles like Spontaneous Combustion,I Am A Predator,Jailbait,My Love Is Like A Tire Iron you can’t go wrong perhaps to other Nuge freaks out there this may be a weak album to me it resonates even after all this time passed.

So come show time the opening act was a band from Australia called Cold Chisel whose frontman was supposedly one of the dudes considered to replace Bon Scott in AC-DC. They were ok from what I remembered but hey where’s Ted?!!!

And than it’s Ted Time! Here he is decked out in army gear and woah check out the band that’s with him a backing band called the DC hawks from Washington( Ted canned the 3 dudes that played on his Intensity record) who were all decked out in army garb as well. The thing is this was a 5 piece unit 3 guitars/bass/drums…there’s Ted going for the 3 guitar attack ala Molly Hatchet and April Wine. I also remember at this show that Teds drummer was puking his brains out for half the show so for a bunch of 14-year-old boys we giggled endlessly…Ted  played and from all accounts I enjoyed this show the cost was $9.50 and there was about 3,000 or so in attendance…..

Hey Ted thanks for coming out!

 

1979 The Return Of KISS

October 6 1979 …

It was two days away from my 12th Bday and my parents surprised me with Tickets to see Kiss live in Duluth! Needless to say I was stoked beyond belief ! I mean think about it, for me as 11 yr old it was Kiss non stop 24-7. The saga began two years earlier when a buddy John Young had the Kiss Originals which was the first three Kiss albums packaged as one! As soon as I saw the black cover with the fire coming out of Simmons yap I was hooked! But by 79 when Dynasty was out and Kiss subjected the world to rock disco ( I Was Made For Lovin You) they were calling their latest tour The Return Of KISS,huh they never left  well not in my mind anyways so when I made It to the show that night in October it was like an epiphany for me. Here they are in the makeup and supposed million dollar stage show .. And up they come up beside  the drums Ace,Peter,Paul and Gene….they launch into King Of The Nightime World and I’m gone and now they keep going and going  little did I know that yrs later there were cracked foundations within,Ace was loaded,Peter was coked,Gene banged groupies,Paul well Paul was Starchild but it didn’t matter to me I was too young to realise about inner band personal problems! For me a personal problem back than  was not being able to get my math homework done by Monday!

Looking back nowadays I remember the show pretty good…I remember them playing songs like Radioactive, New York Groove and Move On from the solo albums sorry Peter you weren’t represented that night. Also of course Black Diamond with the huge drum riser….and pyro lights smoke man talk about a mind blower from a kid who had posters on the wall!

Thanks Mom&Dad…..

Also it was advertised that Judas Priest was gonna be the opening act…but they cancelled and were replaced by a young Johnny Cougar who royally was booed from the get go! The only cheer that was mustered for him was when he announced his final song. But don’t feel bad for him three yrs later in 1982 out came Hurts So Good and Jack and Diane and I’m sure playing Duluth that night back in October of 79 did not register……

 

 

Welcome To The Club!

Hey ya all… Thanks for checking out my site. This site is just gonna be about my Ramblings and stuff (with the odd record review thrown in) on the concerts I have seen from 1979 to the present day here in my hometown (Thunder Bay   Ontario) and other cities which I was fortunate enough to have witnessed during the roaring 80s so to speak….. Now my writing is no where near as good as some other Blog fellas like LeBrain,Keeps Me Alive,Ultimate Festival Guide,Kamer Tunes,HMO,80s Metal Man,Every Record,1537…..you want excellent wordsmiths and reviews check em out ..me? I have no idea what the hell I’m doing….. But ,thanks for stopping by…….

A music fan trying to put it down in words….