SONIC WAVES…..Triumph/Allied Forces

DATELINE-1981,what a fantastic year of new releases for me…let’s see Van Halen with Fair Warning,AC-DC with For Those About To Rock, Judas Priest With Point Of Entry,Rush/Moving Pictures.1981 was the year also I got Def Leppard High N Dry and also the year I became a big fan boy of Iron Maiden(even to this day,minus the Bayley years) with Killers…sure I’m missing some albums but man I could go on and on. One album that came out when I was entering grade nine( yikes)was Triumphs Allied Forces. I mean great marketing move geared to us young rockers. Think about it! Black album cover with a blue and gold Flying V on the cover. Let’s see that means one thing to me ….lots of guitar! I knew of Triumph as they played here in 1980 which was the last time they were in Thunder Bay but now it’s 1981 and there’s a ton of great music out.

I remember seeing this at the record shop once I flipped it over and seen the song titles I had to get it and all these years later I still say it’s there best work,front to back no filler…..

Let’s see what Gil/Rik/Mike have spinning in the Rock N Roll Washing Machine….

FOOL FOR YOUR LOVE- kicks off the album and after the first Chorus I’m hooked. Wow can this band play and Rik lays down some solid riffs,Gil sings lead and pounds the drums and Mike Lays down some straight ahead bottom end. I think it’s there best tune to ever lead off any Triumph album….

MAGIC POWER- ahhh some nice little keyboard action and HEY they got a second singer in Rik also doing double duty as guitar hero,as well. This was a single for them and did quite well for them. A nice little rocker especially when the solo kicks in ….

AIR RAID- oh I’m feeling sumthin brewing at Triumphs war base. Sounds like an Air Raid Siren. Hey man,Triumph was not fooling around with that title….the bomb drops, strikes and we head for cover until the (see below)

ALLIED FORCES- rock troops are on the move …..Gil and the boys are gonna save our asses! This is a tour de force and check out Rik taking his guitar playing into the next stratosphere. This song just smokes, sure the lyrics might be a little fruit loopish in 2014 but hey get behind the Triumph Tank they will blast their way out of danger!

HOT TIME(IN THIS CITY TONIGHT)is a Rik n Roll rocker basically it’s Triumph saying were showing up to your city you better lock your doors cause Mike Levine is on the loose!

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT-Rik starts  off side two with a pretty cool track and for all of you that follow Triumph if you had to throw down a top 10 Triumph list I betcha 98% of you’s would have this track on it. Once again the song builds up and Rik just takes it over in the guitar hero department.

ORDINARY MAN-is Rush hanging out with Triumph. This is concept Triumph well to my ears anyways …it’s Rik singing and telling us just cause Triumph and the rock troops destroyed your village! We are still Ordinary Men.

PETITE ÉTUDE- Rik shows us his diversity as a guitar hero..holy crap the dude can play all styles.

SAY GOODBYE- yep adios everyone Some pretty cool Hammond organ during the Chorus and Rik/Gil/Mike  finishes off the album in style…Say Goodbye…..take a bow Triumph…you earned it!

IN CONCLUSION-I bought all Triumph studio releases after ALLIED FORCES except for NEVER SURRENDER. That purchase went to TBone and as he lived behind me growing up whenever I wanted to hear Never Surrender I knew where to go so I never bothered. Allied Forces for me is classic Triumph as it just flat-out rocks. Songs/ production / vocals/musical chops….

The video is from the US Festival back 83. VH,PRIEST,SCORPIONS and others were on the bill and as you can see Rik Emmett brought his A game to hang with the big boys! Check out the crowd shots……mass people….

SONIC WAVES….Aerosmith/Done With Mirrors

1985…so me and TBone are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Aero album Done With Mirrors. This is big news in Tbay (well for me and him) as when we first got into Aerosmith Perry /Whitford were gone and were blessed though in the meantime with a very good Aero record in Rock In A Hard Place but it wasn’t the original fella’s! So when word hit the street that in 85 their was gonna be a new studio opus we were pumped! So when Done With Mirrors hit the deck in November maybe just maybe Aerosmith would save the day for all of us hard rockers cause now the big empire VH was hidden away in the foothills of LA,  Rothless and hey who was gonna carry the hard rock battalion now? Well sure enough Aerosmith would right? Well, kinda, sorta not in those years from 85-87 until Aerosmith shot to the top with Permanent Vacation but were getting ahead here..Done With Mirrors came out floundered around up and down the charts and sank quicker than TBone doing a tequila shot! What the hell happened? Aero enlisted Ted Templemen to produce and we all know who he had produced (VH)so we were kinda shocked  to learn that the album did not do well and they cancelled there Duluth appearance as well(1986)not due to tickets but due to someone being sick??(take your pick) Who knows what the deal was but for me and TBone this album cooked liked a batch of Tyler’s Bitches Brew mixed with a dose of Perry’s I’ve Got The Rock n Rolls Again…and you know what we loved this record. It was raw,sloppy,and the songs were down right slimey!

Let’s check on the Aeroboys as there headed down a One Way Street into oncoming traffic…

LET THE MUSIC DO THE TALKING-Bam out of the gate.Ol Joe and his slide guitar are at work here and Aero is playing quicker than a jet taking off of a runway! As any fan knows this is remake version from Perry’s solo album 5 yrs earlier (1980) but Steve-o changed the lyrics for this version. This album opener is off to a rocking start!

MY FIST YOUR FACE- Perry/Whitford kick it off and Kramer drums it into the wall with some ass kicking beats. Lyrically and vocally Tyler is at the top of his game here and were only on track two! The only guy that can make the line “Whacha pissing in the wind for” sound mega cool! Actually all the lyrics on this track are some of my fave Tylerisms ever!

SHAME ON YOU- slows the pace down to that sleazy, grimey,sloppy jam that we all love from Aerosmith! Aerosmith 1985 is beyond stoned! But beyond stoned here is a real good thing for these guys! Glad they did not sober up on this release!

THE REASON A DOG- ends side one and wow holy shit how time has flown. 4 songs in and 4 classics hatched! Once again Tyler at his lyrical best! Man he could craft lyrics! Kinda neat how during the middle of the song it builds with a bit of Aerosnyth thrown in but not over done!

SHELA-starts off with Kramer on the hi hats and he’s joined by the Aeros and they cook this number, catchy verse catchy chorus. Catchy  everything. Just love the rawness of this. No polish!

GYPSEY BOOTS- this one is a corker of a rocker. This is the boys not fooling around. Tyler is sharing the mic with Perry and Perry’s trying to keep up! The guitars are blazing along with the drums. This is Aero going 120 mph in a 40 mph zone….these guys cannot drive 55 if their  lives depended on it. They manage to keep it on the rails though….

SHE’S ON FIRE-reminds me of a head on collision between Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin. Check out the acoustic slide guitar action and Kramers drums just kick it a long.  Great tempo, great song!  Aerosmith make being doped up in the recording studio seem ummm cool!

THE HOP-is The end of the album jam. Like they thru it together in 5 minutes but Aero putting a song together in 5 minutes some bands can’t put together a cool anything ever! Plus Steve-o says it best at the end ” cause you’ll be kicking ass tonight with the boys in Aerosmith” yes Steve you were talking to me and TBone!

IN CONCLUSION-this is 36 minutes of classic Aerorock in my book! Man we played this over an over an over. Laughed at everything being backwards in the credits. Man if your gonna  get cleaned up in rehab at least check in after one more bender! Aerosmith made that promise with Done With Mirrors!


July 2 1992  Ozzy Osbourne/Slaughter/Ugly Kid Joe/ Minneapolis/Target Center

So in the spring of 1992 We find out that Ozzy is packing it in touring wise!! So his No More Tears road jaunt is gonna be called No More Tours Tour. So basically hey the Ozzman is calling it quits so we had better get tickets! Which we did and they were pretty good seats so that was a bonus. This trip for some reason TBone skipped but I went with two other guys Al and Cementhead!

It was surprising that Ozzy was carrying two opening acts with him But up first was Ugly Kid Joe who was all over radio and video that summer of 92 with there hit ” Hate Everything About You’ UKJ was fun man, just a goofy band from  California that wasn’t trying to re invent the wheel!

Slaughter was up next. They were plugging there Wild Life release and of course the Stick It To Ya release. I had both Slaughter CDs and well between the two of em Stick To Ya was better as from the Wild Life they played  the title track(Wild Life) and Out For Love. I dunno live they gave me a headache, let me rephrase that Mark Slaughters voice gave me a headache. He was singing so high pitched kinda like Paul Stanley’s vocals on Animalize! I was kinda done by them at this show. Had no more real interest in them after this. NEXT…..

OZZZZZZY….after a short recap of Ozzys career on video. Here comes Zakk ripping into I Don’t Want To Change The World and were off. Ozzy had a great band with him along with Wylde he had Mike Inez on bass and Randy Castillio(RIP) pounding the skins and some dude plunking a bit of keys now and than. Gone was the elaborate stage shows of yesteryear. Just a straight ahead stage set up with a cool lighting rig and wall to wall videos showing  Ozzy/his band and the crowd on the screens.  The geezer was on fire,working the crowd,clapping,cussing,dousing the crowd with buckets of confetti or water!. Ozzman cometh that night to put on a final show right??!  They played all the hits War Pigs,Mr Crowley,Road To Nowhere,Goodbye To Romance,Paranoid,Flying High Again,Shot In The Dark,Zakk on display in Suicide Solution,No More Tears,Crazy Train,Bark At The Moon,basically look at the song choices from his Live And Loud release and there it is….

Ozzy and his band were on fire that night,totally got our money’s worth from the headliner!

Of course Ozzy didn’t pack it in after his 1992 jaunt. He was back three years later with the Retirement Sucks Tour! Hahaha…how can you be mad at him?! At least he has a sense of humour about things!

Check out the live clip of Desire from Seattle(bootleg). Other than Desire being my favourite tune off of the No More Tears Album this video is Ozzy at his best …. Watching some fan do the drunk dance at the 40 second mark(Ozzy just doesn’t care!), leap frogging,shaking another fans hand at the the 2 :40  minute mark of the vid,spraying the crowd with buckets of water,Ozzy dropping  his pants and just Ozzy being cool…

SONIC WAVES…..AC/DC/Flick Of The Switch

Just like Van Halen. What the hell am I gonna add in regards to a ACDC review? Well basically like all the  others in the Sonic Waves category my spin on it and how it impacted me as a listener at a certain time (1983,if were keeping score) and how I still love certain releases which I consider favourites all these years later. So kick back, have a laugh (I hope) and throw down some 2 cents of comments if you like…..

1983 , I guess the juggernaut release that year in the hard rock  circles was Leppards Pyromania release sales wise. For me two releases stand out from 1983 and that would be Iron Maidens Piece Of Mind(don’t worry followers a review is a comin) and ACDC’s Flick Of The Switch. All these years  later Flick Of The Switch is perhaps next to Powerage my fav ACDC album if I had to choose. Those two ACDC releases are very similar to me in sound,style,and just a plain we don’t give a shit mentality. The only difference is obviously one is with Bon the other with Brian. Bottom line is just straight ahead heavy blues rock. Gone was the Mutt Lange productions of the previous  three albums instead ACDC took there own control at the production dials. No Frills Riff N Roll and for Deke back in August of 1983 that’s ok.

RISING POWER- gets the proceedings going.” Dog day it’s Tuesday!”sings Johnson and the album starts off like any ACDC album,a song about humping and more humping ..silly like you had to ask! Very catchy chorus and solo as well but it’s Angus soloing as well silly!

THIS HOUSE IS ON FIRE-Angus and Malcolm are dousing your living room with gasoline and a spark sets off and that’s Cliff and Phil laying down the law with a groove before the fire truck shows up!  You better tell the neighbours to vacate as well. Cool riffs and rhythms ,man this song cooks and not in a Breaking Bad kinda way..well maybe!

FLICK OF THE SWITCH- this is ACDC at there best. They riff n roll with the best of them. This isn’t Einstein literature here folks. It’s Johnson telling ya she’s gonna blow you all sky high with a Flick Of The Switch. Man Malcolm rocks rhythms like no other!  This is ACDC Australian barroom boogie at its finest!

NERVOUS SHAKEDOWN- Angus kicks off the song and Phil and the rest of the fellas join in. It’s basically ACDC taking on the law and the law trying to shake down ACDC in front of the judge. Cool slow paced rocker. And yeah good luck locking up ACDC,you have a better chance at hell freezin over.

LANDSLIDE-ACDC get a free out of jail pass after the Nervous Shakedown Expierence and speed things up with this boogie number and head straight to the bar! ACDC end Side 1 with a tuff little nugget of a track !

GUNS FOR HIRE-starts with Angus shooting off his Gibson SG like its a semi automatic. Take cover and boom the drums and the rest of the fellas join and here we go! This song has one of my favourite Angus solos ever. And side two starts off like any other ACDC album side twos start off, more songs about humping! Silly!

DEEP IN THE HOLE- quote’ Can’t touch both walls. The further down I go. Pulls the strings on my  violin bow. Makes me sing when she fires my load. Ain’t no slave,you do what your told” end quote. What the hell else could I possibly add to that! tune regardless!

BEDLAM IN BELGIUM – sounds like the ACDC boys got into some trouble in Belgium. This is basically someone causing trouble and ACDC ain’t taking shit on board ! Especially when someone gets poked with the gun. Perhaps messing with the Mayor of Belgiums daughter? This song is catchy ACDC with riffs galore and solos galore ….I love this stuff!

BADLANDS- once ACDC gets out of Belgium there into the desert with the tumbleweeds and of course women! Basically this like if ACDC got into a punch up with ZZTOP. Badlands would come about. Angus as always carries the tune. This song can knock ya out and you won’t know what hit ya!

BRAINSHAKE-ends the album with the boys relaxing with more women,holy crap perhaps that’s why I loved this album than. It’s basically learning about the birds and bees ! My high school teacher should have just played the whole Flick Of The Switch album in sex education class!

IN CONCLUSION-sure ACDC Did not move as many copies as this as the previous two ACDC albums(BIB AND FTATR) who cares this boogie woogie fest took me from my humble abode in Tbay to Belgium and back to the Badlands with arrests,crazy women, shakedowns,and Angus shooting off round after on round on his guitar. Whew a classic indeed!

Enter Sandman Hi-Jacks The Night Train


Guns N Roses/Metallica/ Faith No More/Minneapolis/Sept 15 1992

So the two biggest selling bands of the early 90s touched down in Minneapolis on a co headline jaunt with tension amongst the ranks in the bands in other words Axl VS everybody and Metallica cruising with a 5th member (John Marshall) filling in for James’s guitaring as he was almost cooked by pyro in Montreal. So their we are that day headed towards the Metrodome in Minneapolis and it’s basically a big cement pit with a white roof on top that can hold 50,000 people and man it was humid outside that day so to get into an air conditioned cement pit was welcome to me and my buddy Al who made the trip down with me on a party bus! Once in we got into the building which was around 6 30 pm and took our  seats that  were lower level at center field,Faith No More was already into there set. Once I sat down and adjusted my eyes towards the stage which was a ways away I could see the band. I could hear Mike Patton but could not see him. It wasn’t till I started watching the screens that Patton was laying down on the ground on  his back singing ….uh ok,pal and this continued basically until they ended with there hit song Epic! Thanks for coming out Mike Patton.

Now after a quick changeover it was Metallica’s turn….boom were into Creeping Death,Harvester Of Sorrow,Welcome Home (Sanitarium ),Sad But True,Wherever I May Roam,Of Wolf And Man and For Whom The Bell Tolls,holy shit these Tallica dudes are relentless in driving your head into the cement foundations of the Metrodome,50,000 people chanting Die,Die,Die,Pyro(watch out James)  going off left right Center. Pass me the Ibuprofen please.

Thank God they’re taking a breather by playing The Unforgiven,and now it’s back to metal with Shortest Straw,Fade To Black(awesome),Master Of Puppets, Seek And Destroy and Whiplash,man that was a ton of metal and wait for it ….here comes the encore…..

Nothing Else Matters,Am I Evil?,Last Caress and the best pyro display I ever seen One…..crap I’m exhausted…..oh wait ..Metallica splits off stage and comes out and rips out Enter Sandman and then says adios and splits for good!

Metallica played almost a good two and a half hours…..

Geez,I wonder how much time it will take for Axl to stroll up to the stage? After a not too long of a wait(hard to believe) Out of the gate comes Gunners with new recruit Gilby Clarke,and the Guns hit the ground running with Outta Get Me(great opener of a song) followed by Welcome To The Jungle,Mr Brownstone,Live And Let Die,Attitude,Bad Obsession (complete with 3  female horn players),shall we notch it up with Double Talkin Jive, Civil War,by this point I’m like holy crap Gunners are matching the intensity set by Metallica now that is impressive ,no sooner so I think that than a loud poof is released. That poof is the energy of the building being let out by a 10 minute version of Wild Horses(great song but 10 minute jam ?? After Metallica?) well maybe Axl will ramp it up? Nope how about Patience! Holy crap the oxygen is being sucked outta me. Geez guys crank it up will ya please your losing all 50,000 Do you think Gunners heard me ?? Cue November Rain ?? Shit Axl, put the baby grand piano away and here comes another 10 minutes of well Axl blowing his testosterone all over the Metrodome. Whew can’t believe it ok,now what’s on tap? How about a Matt Sorum drum solo? Good drummer but we have lost a good 40 minutes of momentum here folks……

But wait here  comes some energy  from the stage yep cue Sorum segueing into You Could Be Mine. Yeah,I think this is one of Gunners coolest tracks. The crowd comes to life were back. Sweet Child O Mine follows and everyone is rocking out and to close it out,Axl tosses his Mic in the crowd  waves and splits!! Now that’s better buddy,that’s what I do expect,a quick Axl escape.

Gunners does return with a little too long sing a long with Knockin On Heavens Door and to cap it off Paradise City ends with a flurry of fireworks! Show is officially over! Axl stayed sane!

IN CONCLUSION – now I don’t do these for concert reviews but I have too for this concert! Axl should have put his ego aside and let Metallica close the show as there was no way you could keep the energy up after Metallica drove the Metal bus off of the cliff.  Gunners hung in there though but that over a  half hour where they chilled out in the show they just had a hard time sustaining any crowd energy after that (in my eyes anyways).  Compared to when I seen Gunners in May of 91, this version with the horns,backing singers was just too much. I perferred the Alpine show much better(6 piece band)it  was cool catching this tour because this was the end of an era so to speak,not that anyone knew. Two of the biggest hard rock bands at the time playing stadiums and playing full sets!

The crinkled ticket was due to a flash food that happened outside the dome while we were inside rocking (remember the humidity I talked about earlier?!) Our bus was stranded so we had to foot it back to our hotel(story for another time!) so needless to say I was drenched! It was worth it though…

Dogman Visits Thunder Bay


Kings X/Kilroys (Bar)

It’s spring 2006,me, my brother Todd and about 98 others are standing around in a Tbay bar waiting for yep you guessed it…KINGS X ! Like is this not crazy!! Kings X the band everyone loves and due to the lack of shitty promotion the show was very poorly attended but give the band credit like true professionals they played just under 2 hours. They were plugging there latest release Ogre Tones which is a fine damn record even Dug,Jerry,Ty think so as well as the first six songs from,

Ogre Tones are played live at the show….Bebop! These guys were awesome they all sang lead and backing harmonies from the opener Groove Machine til the end  with Over My Head. Man,Dugs bass almost tore my head off when he went into DOGMAN ! Gotta love those 8&12 string Hamer  basses ….massive bottom end!….

After the show the guys stuck around and signed CDs (had em sign my copy of Ear Candy as that is my fav of there’s!), pics whatever was handed to em…they were super cool laid back hippies that just so happen play Loud Rock! I was glad I went man….what a band…..

Dr Feelgood Kick Starts The Heart!

June15 1990/Motley Crue/Tesla/ Winnipeg Arena

So one of the biggest arena tours of 1990 was Motley Crue. Tons and tons of copies of there latest works Dr Feelgood were moving out of the stores quicker than you could say Cheese! So when the Crue announced the Feelgood show in Winnipeg me and TBone pounced on tickets and got some good seats and a added bonus was the inclusion of Tesla who were a very good band with two very solid albums in the racks with Mechanical Resonance and The Great Radio Controversy. So we were pumped what a double bill man.

So come June were ready and we are sitting in the Winnipeg Arena out go the lights and out comes Tesla and they open with Cover Queen off of the Resonance album. Cool never would have guessed that one as a opener! They played tracks of course like Hang Tough,Love Song,Modern Day Cowboy,Little Suzi,Heavens Trail,The Way It Is and closed it out with Cumin Atcha Live! Holy crap what a great opening band! Hey Nikki Sixx you better bring your A game tonight!

After a quick set change…the lighting rig lowers down and on it you can see a laser print of Allister Fiend and he introduces the Crue and up from below the stage comes the 4 LA Tattooed dudes tackling Kick Start My Heart with there two backing singers on prerecorded backing vocals(I think) and were off. You want pyro,check. You want Flames,check,check. You want cussing,three checks. This show was over the top. Man the Crue blasted out hit after hit,Red Hot,Looks That Kill,Shout At The Devil,Live Wire,Same Ol Situation,Wild Side,complimentary Mick Mars guitar solo,Girls,Girls,Girls and of course an over the top Tommy Lee drum solo where he rode along a rail and played a second drum set and drummed along to samples of his favourite songs ie..Houses Of The Holy. I still remember him telling us that this was no Bon Jerk-Off (Bon Jovi)show! Slick looking stage. Man this is the 90s….and me and TBone are lapping it up and so is the sellout crowd of 12,000.

Dr Feelgood the song ended the Crues regular set and TBone made the comment that the Crue in the first 90 minutes of there show did not play one ballad! Holy crap TBone your right it’s just one rocker after another. I think the Crue were smart with that move. They just rammed pyro,fire,smoke and lasers into  our senses!  Tbone and me were declared legally  brain dead.

The Crue came out and  for the encore played Home Sweet Home(had too) and Don’t Go Away Mad with the house lights on! Cool effect. The Crue were on top of there game back in 1990 more importantly Vince Neil actually showed up and performed before he morphed into well…you be the judge!

Why the Crue never documented this tour via video/cd/cassette back than who the hell knows! The Crue was never or better than they were at that point. Especially when the following year when they put out Primal Scream(song) which was a lot of people’s favs and than Vince quit/booted and that was that! All upward momentum was lost….

Me and TBone had heard at the show before Winnipeg which was in Calgary that the Crue ended there show after 55 minutes due to what they called ‘not feeling comfortable” whatever the hell that means! Fortunately me and T got our money’s worth in the Peg!

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