Coney Hatch Live Stream- Saturday Oct 3rd 2020

What better way to self isolate next Saturday night at home (Oct 3rd, 2020) but still being able to hang out with four Canadian fella’s…

Those four fella’s are the one and only “Coney Hatch”!

If you are a reader at this site you already know that the Hatch carved out a niche in my listening habits at a very young age back in 1982. Fast forward 38 years as  Andy Curran, Carl Dixon, Dave ‘Thumper’ Ketchum, and Sean Kelly are still bringing it live.

Trust me on that last sentence as I caught Coney when they finally made their appearance here in Thunder Bay last year(first time back here since 1985) and they were beyond awesome!

So what the boys are doing is a full out Livestream concert on Nugs TV for $9.99!

What a deal! It’s easy to order and what a great way to support live music as we know there hasn’t been much live music at all. Click the link below!,1367/Coney-Hatch-10-2020-El-Mocambo-Toronto-4K-ON.html

Better yet a double live Coney Hatch album is going to be recorded at this show and released which takes place at the famous El Mocambo in Toronto.

Anyone out there ever heard of that place called the El Mo?

You can preorder the live album, and if you are wondering I did indeed pull the trigger and pay for it as I have been bugging Sean Kelly for about 3 years now asking him when is the Coney live album dropping?

Well, it’s dropping right to my doorstep at some point! Can’t wait! Click below to order up some vinyl!

If anything this supports live music and musicians so if you are looking for something to watch, click Coney, and hang around by the “Monkey Bars.”

In other words “Catch The Hatch”

You will not be disappointed!


Ace Frehley: Trouble Walkin'(1989)


Record Store Day I have never participated in, as here in my hometown our one record store (which is part of a chain which shall go nameless) SUCKS  at doing anything remotely cool with it.

The one time I did go down to that store (2018 I think it was) to check it they had like a lame 4 shelves tucked off to the side for RSD Titles. Not much to look at here folks just keep passing through.

Thanks for coming out!! Not!

The day was not a total waste as I did score 4 used albums at a second-hand shop and got to hang out with my daughter Lexie as well!

So that was a plus!

Fast forward to RSD Septemeber 2020. I didn’t even bother to go down to the mall but a few days before I noticed on Facecrack one of the record stores I follow from Montreal (Aux 33 Tours) that they were doing RSD but the catch was online only. They said if you show up to the store looking for RSD records not happening, all online.

Well, now I thought this was interesting. So at 1pm, all the RSD titles appeared on their website. I figured I came this far to login to the Aux 33 Tours site so what the hell…

Let’s Do This!

Click and …

My pic was Ace Frehley, with his 1989 release “Trouble Walkin” that in 2020 is the first time it would be issued on vinyl in 31 years!

I had heard good things from the blogging folk about” Trouble Walkin’.” I have never owned this album in any format so I guess it was about time right?


At the time though (89) there was so much music coming out some stuff fell by the wayside. Sure I saw this album in adds and in the stores but I still didn’t bite. My younger brother bought it and I borrowed his tape and listened to once I think.

Maybe I didn’t bite as I liked the Frehley’s Comet name and now it was just under the boss man Ace’s name.  They canned Tod Howarth which I also thought was a goofy move but someone had to take the fall from the poorly received “Second Sighting” from 88.

Who knows what really went down with “Second Sighting” but upon spinning this album Ace and his bandmates at the time John Reagan(Bass), Anton Fig (Drums), and Richie Scarlet(Rhythm Guitar and Vocals) tried to get back to that rockier side of the debut “Comet” from 1987.

While Ace himself did not factor as much as he should have on “Second Sighting” he makes up for it here by contributing seven songs all in co-writes with other people.

When Ace decides to kick back and crank it up he can produce some quality rock like the opener “Shot Full of Rock”. “Five Card Stud” is a good ripping tune. The title track “Trouble Walkin'” has a pretty decent pre-chorus leading into the chorus. 

 Ace’s guitar work is awesome as well which has never been questioned on any KISS or solo album as Frehley has always delivered the goods!

Look who showed up and sang backup on four tracks as well? The one and only Peter Criss!  

Skid Row was a big band at the time and they show up singing backgrounds on “Back To School” well Bach does as you can hear him plain as day.

How about another KISS connection and that was that both Ace and KISS had both “Hide Your Heart” on each of there albums from the same year!

Ok better yet how about two bands and two solo acts that released “Hide Your Heart” as a single in 1989!

Molly Hatchet was first out of the gate with the song  followed by Ace who released his version four days before KISS released the album that featured “Hide Your Heart”(Hot In The Shade) followed later in the year by Robin Beck who released it as well.

I guess the story goes that “Hide Your Heart” written by Paul Stanley/Holly Knight and Desmond Child was rejected for the KISS Crazy Nights in 87.

Better yet Bonnie Tyler released it in 1988 as a single.  So if you count that into the equation under a two-year span two bands and three solo artists released this song as a single! 

None of the 5 versions set the charts on fire butI’m sure Starchild raked in a bit of cash on “Hide Your Heart”.

Ace always had a knack of taking cover tunes and making them sound like his own (2,000 Man, New York Groove), and as well on this album Ace covers the Jeff Lynne song “Do Ya” which is a great version of the song. 

No Ace album could end without an instrumental and Trouble Walkin’ is no different as “Fractured III” tidy’s things up.

Considering up to RSD 2020 I really had no idea about ever getting around to getting this Ace album but I’m glad I did. Sure it was pricey but that’s what RSD is..Pricey! First RSD purchase ever so what the hell!

I like the layout and the spray-painted look of the vinyl and the music is pretty good as Ace was going for the rebound but as the album didn’t even crack the Billboard Top 100 in 89 I guess there was more Trouble Walkin’ for Ace ahead in the early ’90s as well until KISS came calling in 1995!




John5-Live Invasion(2020)

Never been big on guitar noodling albums. By that, I mean instrumental albums as the last one of those noodling albums I bought was Steve Vai’s “Passion And Warfare” back in 1990!

30 friggin years ago!

As many of you readers know John5 brought his arena-sized like show of props and gadgets which good friend Frank Loffredo booked into his club Crocks back in March 2019

What I witnessed along with my good pal Tbone was an all-out display of guitaring that night. We were both floored!

So it was a complete no brainer purchase for me as when John5 announced this release earlier this year that I would be on board with it.

Most of the songs on “Live Invasion” are from the album that John5 and the Creatures were plugging at the time which was his studio record called “Invasion”.

10 songs, 48 minutes of music which for me is perfect. When it comes to guitar-centered albums this is enough for me if I’m being honest about it. 

John5 is an amazing guitarist as he’s very diverse. Sure he can shred as evidenced in the opening number “Crank It/Living With Ghosts” which features a female voice to Crank it Motherfucker while John 5 lifts off. John5 can also chill the hell out like “Howdy” proves. An almost country like old school jam out. Think Roy Clark from Hee-Haw electrified! That’s what Howdy reminds me of.

“Cactus Flower” once again shows the diverse playing of John5. Nice clean sound emulating from his guitar. Almost bluesy like moments

“Constant Sorrow” begins with a nice slow drum intro and features more atmospheric like playing. 

This album shows what a diversified player John5 is. If it was all a million notes per minute I would be bored after 5 minutes!

Ian Ross(Bass) and Logan Miles Nix(Drums) aid John5 and these cats can play especially on tracks like “Zionks!” and “I am John5”. Tempo changes at a moment’s notice as its awesome when they go right into that classic power trio mode. 

“Midnight Mass” is just crazy off the hook shredding yet it doesn’t get silly as his guitar playing keeps me as listener interested. It’s amazing how quick this guy can play. Yet it doesn’t sound like a million mashed up notes.

I can say that one of my favorite highlights of the Invasion show that came to town was the “Medley” perfromed by these guys.

Medley is 12 minutes of classic tracks. The song begins with snippets of “Limelight” and “Fly By Night(Rush)” which goes right into Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. The playing is flawless. Tons of bands are covered. Sabbath, Queen, KISS, The Knack, The Police, Marilyn Manson, Zombie, Pantera, Megadeth. So good and totally amazing.

When the John5 power trio in the medley goes from “Spoonman to Dr. Feelgood to Unchained” it’s friggin brilliant! 

“Live Invasion” ends with another cover tune (with vocals) and that’s “Take Your Whiskey Home” which comes from the mighty “Woman & Children First” record by Van Halen!

Joining John5 on “Take Your Whiskey Home” is Corey Taylor on vocals who pulls off a pretty good David Lee Roth like vocal. Fred Coury(Cinderella) is on the drums while VH legend Micheal Anthony snaps the driving bass line along with those classic background vocals. Such a cool cover tune. 

If it wasn’t for John5 showing up to Tbay I probably would have not picked this up on iTunes. But he did show up and blew our minds, so for that reason, this was a must-buy!

Hey, even John5 agrees with me! See pic below.




Top 10 Live Shows at Crocks (1987-2019)

Have you checked out the great film about Crocks titled Five Bucks At The Door yet?

If not you have until September 20th to do so as it’s FREE! What are you waiting for? Click the link below…

Virtual Festival 2020

I thought it would be cool to do a list of my all-time favorite shows that Frank Loffredo has brought to Crocks over the last 33 years! I have to add that Frank always tried to keep the ticket price low as well if they were weeknight shows they would be over by 11:30 pm at the latest for us working folk who have 5am wakeup call’s.

Here we go…

10-Monster Truck- July 2019 is when the Truck brought their Hammond fused hard rock to Crocks. Great show and considering it was on a long weekend people still showed up!

9- Age of Electric-April 2017 is when the Kern Brothers along with the Dahle brothers showed up and played the hits and put on an energetic show as Thunder Bay was asleep as many missed a great set. Plus the fact that they didn’t charge for a meet and greet says something about them. ie not greedy!


8- David Gogo- We were waiting for this show as me and Tbone had been spinning the self-titled Gogo CD for a few months already so it came to no one’s surprise that when Gogo showed up in August 1994 he blew our socks off as the Gogo power trio delivered a stunning set of hard blues-rock. David inner channeled SRV during his two sets! Met him as well as he was one cool fella, super chill and David could sure play a mean pinball as me and Tbone grilled him with questions while he sizzled that pinball machine in Crocks.

7-The Headstones-Hugh Dillion and his posse of rock fellows were riding the platinum wave of there recent release  Teeth And Tissue back in 1995 with the single Unsound getting traction at MuchMusic as well. It was one packed out show as Hugh owned that stage as he sang, smoked, and cussed his way through the two albums they had out at the time. Good times back in good old 95!

6-John5/Jared James Nichols- What do you get your best friend of 45 years for his Birthday? A ticket to a rock show that’s what you get. So a few weeks shortly after Tbone’s birthday in March 2019, John5 and JJN’s rolled into Tbay and blew our minds. JJN’s played like his life depended on it as this power trio blew away the crowd that night. (met the band afterward and were super cool) In all my years of live shows, I have never seen a guitar only (no vocal) display of craziness than what John5 did that night on the stage at Crocks. John5 was awesome. Showed up with a full stage set of props and gear and if I played guitar I would have gone home and tossed my 6 string in the trash! John5 is that GREAT!


5- One of those bucket list bands I always wanted to see was Teenage Head which Frank brought to town in June 2019. Considering I got my first album by these guys in 1982 it was so good to see them live as I only had been waiting 37 years!. They came on stage at 12 midnight sharp on a Friday night and played there Power Punk Pop Rock over 90 minutes. Legends!


4-I Mother Earth/Finger 11- I Mother Earth and Finger 11 were doing a cross Canadian Tour back in 2018. The show started at 7 pm as both acts sat on stage and played acoustic covers for about an hour. Finger 11 came on and played a full set electrically and right after I Mother Earth played a full electrical set. For the encore, both bands jammed covers but with the guitars and amps cranked! Tickets were 50 bucks for this show but it was a 5-hour marathon of Rock. What a night and the venue was packed out!


3- I’ve been lucky to have caught the last 3 tours(2016,2018 and 2019) that Sloan has brought to Crocks. All three have been killer shows but I would have to say the October 2019 show of Sloan was my favorite. Sloan was playing the 20th Anniversary of the fantastic Navy Blues albums front to back and Sloan did not disappoint! The first set was Navy Blues and the second set was the ‘Hits’ played! Plus with Sloan concerts, the guys always make themselves available after the show. Chris Murphy (vocals, bass) came out and we chatted plus as an added bonus Tbone for my Birthday bought me at the show the Navy Blues vinyl box set at the show!

2- Ok so this show wasn’t at Crocks but Frank promoted it so it counts as Frank brought the mighty Kings X to Thunder Bay in 2006! Unbelievable that Mr. Loffredo could bring a caliber act like Kings X to this city and only 75 people showed up!  This town sucks at times and this was a sucking moment BIG TIME. None the less Dug/Ty and Jerry took that stage and owned it. So good to get my ears blown out by Dug on the tune Dogman! Met the band after and what a great bunch of guys!

1-Back in the winter of 87 I was going out with a girl who went to the local college here in town. She told me about this band that was coming to Crocks from Kingston Ontario called The Tragically Hip and asked if I wanted to go. Sure I said but then Mother Nature on the day of the show dropped a ton of snow and we were in Blizzard conditions. My lady friend didn’t want to go so I rang up Tbone who said he was into checking it out. Off we went to see The Hip’s first appearance in Tbay in front of a crowd of about 20 people that night.     Frank has said that the 3 night stand that weekend in February by The Hip drew about 80 people combined over those nights.  Less than two years later Gord and crew had a major record deal and we’re pretty much set for superstardom in Canada. Things came full circle for Tbone when he caught the final tour in 2016. 


My one memory of the show that we still talk about today is when The Hip played “I’m A Werewolf” singer Gordie Downie was jumping on guitarist Paul Langlois back during the tune.

Good times. Thanks for the shows over the years Frank.












5 Bucks at the Door- The Story of Crocks N Rolls

When watching the Music Documentary “Five Bucks At The Door” which is the 90-minute film focusing on the music scene in Thunder Bay, you get a real sense of one man’s passion as well as the community that supported Frank Loffredo whom this film is based around.

Kirsten Kosloski has done a brilliant job piecing what could have not been an easy task of condensing a music scene in Thunder Bay of many bands or artists who have come through the doors of Crock’s to play for either 15 people or 300 people over the last 30 years.

Think about it for a second. 30 years at any kind of job is a long time. When you listen to Frank tell the tale of Crocks and at how times were financially hard (Frank’s family gives some candid comments) you get a sense that for Frank, promoting shows in Thunder Bay was not a job but a passion.

If you live here in Tbay you will know what I mean (myself I have lived here all of my 52 years) as when it came to going to see your favorite bands depending on the level they were at you would have to travel west to Winnipeg( a nine-hour drive) or east to Toronto( a fifteen-hour drive) or south into the U.S to Duluth(a three-hour drive) or onto Minneapolis(a six-hour drive).

In other words, you had to go to places. The bands that were not on that level would always make a stop in Thunder Bay. 

Frank not only paid these acts but he also fed them( the term ‘starving musician’ does not apply here as Frank’s mom provided meals) and housed groups in a ‘Band House” during there stay in town.

Lots of artists who passed through town over the years are interviewed like Art Bergman, Bob Wiseman, local folk’s as well and two of my favorites that spoke are Dave Bidini and Jeff Heisholt. Heisholt especially as growing up in Thunder Bay, Jeff played on Crock’s stage many times and eventually relocated to Toronto and is the keyboardist in The Trews.

Some bands that played Crocks went huge. The Tragically Hip is one of those acts that I was fortunate to catch at Crocks back in 1987 (to a crowd of 20 people) and within a few years were headlining arenas in Canada.

The film itself speeds along with a lot of great back and white pictures from the past and some great editing along the way.

I could go on about some great stories about artists and bands that have graced that stage here in Thunder Bay but I don’t want to ruin the fun. You all need to click the link below and set aside 90 minutes and check this documentary out! You have until September 20th as it’s free online. (with many other docs to watch)

Virtual Festival 2020

You have to thank Frank and what he’s done for the music scene here in town as if it wasn’t for him many of us would have missed out on a ton of acts.  Cheers also once again to Kirsten who did a marvelous job with this film

I’ve never been one to score reviews but Five Bucks At The Door would get an 11 out of 10!


Cinderella: Long Cold Winter(1988)


“Long Cold Winter” hit the streets in May 1988 and holds the distinction of being the second-ever purchase of a newly released disc that I bought released straight onto CD, (Iron Maiden with “7th of a 7th Son” was the first in April/88).

Record Companies were starting to release the band’s new music on disc at the same time as vinyl/cassette tapes. For many of us, that got into the CD craze that year it was a win-win.

Tom Keifer put his nose to the grindstone and came up with another sure-fire winner in the form of Long Cold Winter.

The public thought so too as Long Cold Winter was the second straight album from Cinderella to go triple platinum as did the debut Night Songs did two years earlier.

Tom crafted a more serious style of hard rock in the tracks that make up the album starting with opener with “Bad Seamstress Blues” which has the sound of Tom on electric steel and you can hear the crackle of static on the vinyl as if it’s from the 1930s. Then within 30 seconds the thud of the bass drum kicks in and we’re off and running with “Fallin Apart At The Seams”.

LCW was 10 tracks deep with four of them singles( “Coming Home”, “The Last Mile”, “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” and “Gypsy Road”)  of which I liked em all!

As great as the singles where it’s the non-singles where LCW really goes up that extra notch. “Second Wind” which ends Side 1 is a great rocker of a track and I swear to god that Keifer inner channels some Aerosmith as the last minute or two of Second Wind sounds really like the end of “Back In The Saddle”, That could just be me but it’s so friggin good you don’t want Keifer and crew to fade out.

One thing that also set Cinderella apart from the million other bands that came out at around the 1986 mark is they had chops. These cats could play. Keifer, we know all his talent but helping the cause was Jeff Labar(guitar), Eric Brittingham(bass) and Fred Coury.^

So if you want proof in playing. Side 2 starts with the title track (Long Cold Winter) which has the band playing some CinderBlues. The thing is they pull it off and it’s a great tune. Blues mashed up with a dash of a slower tempo.

If you think Side 2 would do downhill think again as “If You Don’t Like It” with some duper cranked up Bass drives the track. “Fire And Ice” has a sleaze rock like vibe, especially during its chorus. “Take Me Back” which is the last track on LCW just may be my favorite tune and how many tunes can you say that about at the end the album. “Take Me Back” gets you right at the start with the drums and cowbell. The chorus though is the money shot so catchy with the guitars slip n sliding along the sonic highway.

Even the cover is slick. I liked how they went with the winter like white vibe no image just the logo swirled in pink in which my daughter Lauren thought was pretty cool. I flipped over the cover of the four Cinderdudes dressed in black standing in the snow and showed her the picture. Lauren quipped to me that she liked the cover better(lol). I said I liked that back cover as no bands were doing back covers in the snow back then!

Kiefer though kicked it up a notch in the lyrical department on this album. While “Night Songs” featured those catchy late-night romp tracks like “Push, Push”, and “Shake Me” (which did their job mind you) Tom though took the songs that make up LCW and gave it a different spin.  In other words, Cinderella went serious but in doing so pulled it off at a time when many others were still riding the wave of cheesy like tunes.^^

I’ve been on the vinyl hunt for the first two Cinderella albums as I already mentioned in the Night Songs review from a few days ago. Can’t believe LCW is 32 years old! Can’t believe I finally got it on vinyl 32 years later!

Simply put get this album or stream it. Just crank it!

^-LCW and Night Songs Fred Coury did not drum on. I believe Night Songs was already finished when Fred joined and I think the late Andy Johns who produced the first two Cinderella albums decided to use Denny Carmassi and the late great Cozy Powell behind the kit on Long Cold Winter instead of Fred. By album three which was Heartbreak Station, it was all Fred on drums.

^^-I bought into the cheese at times in 88 and 89. D’Molls which was atrocious soaked me out a bunch of dough back then and there are few others but I’m not giving out names!





Cinderella: Night Songs(1986)


When you take a look back to 1986, you can see over the course of four Cinderella albums that main songwriter/guitarist and lead vocalist Tom Keifer delivered some top-notch material which at times over the years people focused more on the image on the debut album “Night Songs” than the songs that make us this classic record.

When I began my journey back in 2017 to start acquiring vinyl whether it was new (thanks to my daughters on buying me reissues) or used(my deal) I never saw any CInderella in the used bins. 

I kept my eye on Discogs of course but by the time you add in the cost of shipping and the fact that the album is used etc I could buy it new (on 180 gram) from Amazon at the same price.

That’s what I did with” Night Songs” and the followup “Long Cold Winter”. Bought em both, a little pricey but enough was enough! 

Back in 86, I purchased “Night Songs” on cassette. Never got around to purchasing it on CD funny enough so I think 34 years later it’s time for an upgrade don’t you think?

Tom Keifer wrote all the 10 tracks that make up “Night Songs”. The title track opens the album and what a fantastic song. A sludgy like pace which features some brilliant slide guitar and this song is I think is one of Keifer’s best-written tracks. It dictates whats to follow. 

I need a shot of gasoline
I hittin’ one sixteen
I get so hot I see steam
Forget the day, cause were gonna scream
Night songs
Howl into the light, singin’
Night songs
Makes the day right
Night songs
Raise your glass, take a bite
Night songs
My first glimpse of Cinderella came shortly after the album was released. We used to get 3 American TV channels at the time from Detroit and one of them was a hard rock tv show shown either Friday or Saturday nights and would feature videos and interviews of the bands coming through Detroit.
One of those bands featured was Cinderella with the debut single “Shake Me”. The video I guess you could say impacted me as Keifer had that Steve Tyler swagger down pat in that video. A great fun time video with a great guitar solo and a catchy chorus.
Keifer knew and still does know the fine art of crafting rock tracks. “Once Around The Ride” and “Back Home Again” are stellar tracks both rip n roar at a solid clip with tempo changes and some fantastic playing.
Speaking of which before Tom solidified the touring lineup of Cinderella which of course features Jeff Labar, Eric Brittingham, and Fred Coury. Some other players added their flair to the mix on Night Songs that being Barry Bennedaeta( who handles the lead guitar on three tracks) and Jody Cortez (who does all the drums on Night Songs).
Make no mistake though Mercury Records got behind this band as did fellow label mate Jon Bon Jovi (Jon sings backing vocals on two songs those being “Nuthin For Nuthin” and “In From The Outside”). As well as Andy Johns(Zep) was brought in to dial in the sonics. 
The key to breaking Night Songs was the road and back in 86 when you secured the opening slot on the biggest arena tour of the year that being Bon Jovi who were selling mega copies of “Slippery When Wet” it’s a win-win.
The winner in this was, of course, Cinderella who secured that opening slot playing in front of sold-out audiences night after night ad in doing so Jon and Richie Sambora appear in the “Nobody’s Fool” video which reached #13 on the Billboard Singles Chart as well as Night Songs got up to #3 on the album side of Billboard.
I always found it amusing that Night Songs gets lumped in the whole Hair Metal debate. Sure perhaps in some spots but overall the cover is more Hair Metal looking than the sounds inside. I often wondered if the front and back cover was just all black or green. What would people have said then?
When it comes to this record I tell people you need to listen with your ears don’t let the album cover dictate the end result.
Sure you could say that JBJ had helped make no mistake though as Tom Keifer was on a mission back then and had the talent himself to be successful.
“Night Songs” proves that.
Coming Up…
“Long Cold Winter”


Storm Force! Greg, Pat and Brian join Deke and LeBrain in the Age of Fear! —


Thanks to Greg Fraser, Patrick Gagliardi, and surprise guest Brian Hamilton of Storm Force for joining Deke and I Friday night! It was a free-form chat tackling subjects such as: The album Age of Fear Memorable impact gigs Canadian Rock New music Secrets to singing Thunder Bay Touring and touring and touring Brighton Rock and […]

Storm Force! Greg, Pat and Brian join Deke and LeBrain in the Age of Fear! —

AEROSMITH: Permanent Vacation (1987)


Aerosmith, as we all know, hit the gold mine when Permanent Vacation came out and eventually went 5 times Platinum in both Canada and the U.S.

That’s some serious albums sold and some serious cash being made.

Aero as we all know released Done With Mirrors which did not set the world on fire in terms of sales in 1985. In mine and Tbone’s world, it did set our world on fire. I have raved on about this album forever and a day(I even told Joe Perry that back in 2003 to his face) so I’m not going there. We all know that deal.

Geffen Records did not feel any love towards DWM’s so come 1987 after Aero sobered up it was onto a new album and Geffen wasn’t fooling around. John David Kalodner wanted outside writers so what were Joe Perry and Steve Tyler supposed to do?

They had to adapt to that change. Bring in the outsider writers (Desmond Child, Jim Vallance, and Holly Knight), Bring in a new producer (Bruce Fairbairn along with Mike Fraser and Bob Rock), and in doing so keep the suits at Geffen off there backs.^

It worked not only by the number of albums sold but by the fact that I still hear quite often on local crap radio the three singles that dropped from Permanent Vacation 33 years ago.

It’s kind of funny when I look at the Aero era at Geffen as opposed to the Columbia Records era of when Aerosmith was on that label from 1973-1982. The 1970’s era of Aerosmith I don’t have to tell you came out with some unbelievable classic studio albums (Aerosmith, Toys In The Attic, Rocks, Night In The Ruts, Get Your Wings, Draw The Line, Rock In A Hard Place and Live Bootleg).

Drugs were good for Aero in that Columba records era as classic song after classic song came out of these albums. Creativity is in full bloom but then addiction reared its ugly head and the band splinters with Perry at the end of 79 over spilled milk!

After the druggie cool garage rock sound of Done With Mirrors which was the Geffen debut of Aerosmith, it was time for a change.

Change at times is good but even though Aerosmith streamlined there sound on Permanent Vacation they still delivered the goods lyrically and musically.

Permanent Vacation opens with “Hearts Done Time” which is a great opener. The production is slick sounding no doubt about it but Aero retains the swagger that groove they are known for.  What’s very noticeable on this album that Joey Kramers Drums and Tom Hamiltons Bass are cranked up! That’s a good thing.

The singles of course drove the album up the charts that being “Rag Doll”, “Dude Looks Like A Lady”, “Angel”, are still staples today on all classic rock formats in 2020.

“Dude Looks like A Lady” has that classic Aero shuffle and along with the added actual real horns on the studio. Dude is still a great tune. Desmond Child earned his writing credit on this song along with Tyler and Perry.

“Angel” is Aero playing the late 80s power ballad game. “Angel” written by Tyler along with Child went to Number 3 on the singles chart. Angel is an ok song. When it comes to Aeroballads there are way better ones out there( Dream On!!!) but I get it. Aero had to play the game and at times we have all had to play the game!

“Magic Touch” I always liked as well. How about that chorus which is the money shot.  Such a brilliantly written tune by Perry-Tyler-Vallance.

When I mention Aero grooves how about “Rag Doll”? Joe Perry plays that steel guitar on this track like he’s boss. Joey Kramer keeps the AeroTrain on the tracks with the drums. Another tune that features real horns and those cannot be beaten. Tyler though sings a real cool vocal as well. Over the years though Tyler has ragged on about how along with Jim Vallance and Joe Perry they had 99% of the song finished but it was called “Rag Time”. John Kalodner did not like Rag Time as a title. So John brought in another co-writer named Holly Knight and her contribution was to rename the song from “Rag Time” to “Rag Doll” and in doing so got a full writing share and credit for the track. That drove Steve-o bonkers!

I think of all the singles “Rag Doll” is my fav. Give Holly credit Steven as Rag Time doesn’t sound as smooth.

The outside writers as you gather by now played a huge hand on this record.

7 of the album’s tracks had a helping hand in the creation of this record. 

Now in saying that “Hangman Jury” wrote by Tyler/Perry and Vallance is such a stellar track. Love that harmonica that Steve plays and Joe with that acoustic intro and so cool how the song slowly builds up. 

whoa boy, dontcha line the track-a-lack-a”

Aero though had a few of there own on as in the brilliant “St John” was written by Steve and “Girl Keeps Coming Apart” written by Tyler/Perry has that that Aeroswagger but in a late 80s kind of way.

The real gem though on this record is the Brad Whitford/Steven Tyler composition of the title track. “Permanent Vacation” is Aero at its finest. Brad lays down an opening brilliant riff and what a fucking great solo Whitford dials up in the song. Lyrically Tyler is on his A-game here. Fairbairn with his fantastic production (how about that airplane whizzing by sonically at the start) delivers the goods. 

Wowzers! I can’t believe Aero does not play this tune anymore!! C’mon guys at some point bring it back!

“I’m Down” is a cover tune written originally by two fellows whose last names are Lennon/McCartney. Aero does an ass-kicker version of this tune and come to think of when they did cover tunes(Dream On, Train Kept A Rollin, Think About It, Big 10 Inch Record, Remember Walking In The Sand) they made them sound like there own. 

An instrumental moody tune called “The Movie”(written by the whole band) ends the album. A so so track at best.

In the fall of 87, the chips were down on Aerosmith but by putting aside their egos and collaborating with others as well as adding a new production team Permanent Vacation brought back a band pretty much on life support to a band that was at the top for the next bunch of years.

^- In the Ted Templeman book, Ted explains that he was set to produce the followup to Done With Mirrors(which Ted produced) but declined it as Ted was supposed to produce David Lee Roths followup to Eat Em And Smile but when it came time to start on Dave’s album. Roth fired Ted as Dave wanted to do it himself( Roth did with Steve Vai which became Skyscraper). Ted was pissed as he gave up a million bucks as he lost out on the Aero job. Ted figured Dave didn’t want him producing the competition so to speak.

Who knows what the truth is what but it makes for a cool read.










Linden Hudson: TV Dinners!

It was nice to hear from Linden Hudson a few days ago. Linden, as you know, did a lot of work on creating the songs that shaped ZZ Top’s Eliminator record from 1983, and Linden’s work on it went uncredited. 

From Linden:

“Here’s another sliver of sound media from my ZZ Top “shoebox”. It’s been merged with some video shots of photos, there’s explanatory text. Never heard until recent years. A rehearsal tape.”

Thanks, Linden for dropping by the site! It was great to hear from you as well!

Hard Rock Album and Concert Reviews! (Odd Book Review as well!)