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 steam rolls  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 were 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 Everytime 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 a another review for another time when me and TBone caught the Hip back In February of 1988 in Tbay …..stay tuned folks!


SONIC WAVES …..Coney Hatch/Coney Hatch

Now I’m not no big reviewer kind of guy but there are still albums that still resonate with me all these years later… of them is ……


It was the fall of 1982 and I was headed into grade 10 and there was a ton of Maiden,Priest,AC/DC and others being spun on in rotation  in my house. Every so often I would tune into our radio station at the time 580 CKPR as every weekday night they would have a rotating top 9 you guessed it at 9pm. This program was the first time I heard Love It Loud by KISS. I mean lets not kid ourselves here they played a lot of sap but sometimes a little good. So it was one night they played a track by this new band from Toronto called Coney Hatch with there single Hey Operator. As soon as I heard it I was hooked,it was raw sounding,not polished just a good straight ahead rock number and Carl Dixons voice reminded me of a cranked up Lou Gramm.

I had to get this and I did and man from the opening song Devils Deck to the end with Monkey Bars this slab of  vinyl rocked. Coney was smart man, for me being perhaps there target audience they didn’t punch out one ballad on this album it was just straight ahead rock produced nicely by Kim Mitchell. These guys were young(so was I) they were cool looking(umm I was not) they had two guys who sang lead (Curran&Dixon) solid drums(Ketchum) bass(Curran)and guitar work(Shelski&Dixon)all in all a finely tight concealed debut that still I spin today…..

Let’s dive a little into the tracks shall we,

DEVILS DECK the opener kicks off the party,the party in which watch out don’t fall for her trap cuz she’s the Devil..hahaha….great solo in this song….

YOU AINT GOT ME- a snappy little intro and were on our way cool vocal by Dixon and once again another good solo!

STAND UP- Andy Currans first vocal,he’s telling me to Stand up!! Yes sir Mr Curran I will stand at attention. The middle of this song kinda jazzes out heavy rock style with some funky drumming.Take a bow Mr Ketchum!

NO SLEEP TONIGHT- AC/DC to me is all over this track especially the rhythm guitars and than it ramps up in the Chrous. Woo it’s gonna be a long night with the Coney Fellas! Wonder if I can keep up??!

LOVE POISON- The second lead vocal from Andy this one has a little bit of a slower pace but it still rocks kinda in a different way and oh yeah thanks to this song I avoided Love Poison for a while!

WE GOT THE NIGHT-Side 2 begins with a bang. The drums get this rocker out of the gates quick(this must have been there opener) Dixon and the boys plow throw this at least 100 mph. I love it!

HEY OPERATOR- My discovery of Coney,dig the kickin bass line and little bit of piano thrown in a bit not overbearing the cool drums/guitars/vocals.. A well written little ditty..kinda like if Foreigner grew some rock balls(they would have killed for this tune)

I’ll Do The Talkin-I really dig Currans vocals he almost sounds sinister here like he says I’ll do the Talkin,,You do the Walkin In other words the boss has showed up with bass…Now shut the hell up!

VICTIM OF ROCK- ahh yes Carl and the boys are not letting up they’re still punching the gas pedal at full volume In other words there telling me”deke, if your looking for a ballad here,go find some Loverboy!…..ok I’m a Victim Of Rock!

MONKEY BARS- man what a way to end this album, love the bass/drums/ vocals on this and the solo is just well …..absolutely Dope! The Chrous is so damn catchy,it’s awesome and just left me wanting more rock from these guys…

IN CONCLUSION – I guess you figured by now I love this album(thanks Carl,Andy,Dave and Steve)and  so did many others. If you missed the boat on this Coney release shame on you,but you still got time! Also of note I think on the tour for the debut they opened for Judas Priest…….also last year they put out the Four album which was in my top 5 for the year as I posted over at!





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 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 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!


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