Tag Archives: No Sleep Til Sudbury

No Sleep Til Sudbury/Brent Jensen (2014)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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All My Favourite People Are Broken/Brent Jensen

All I'm Going To Say Here Is...GET THIS!
All I’m Going To Say Here Is…GET THIS!

Back in late 2012 I was surfing the net as they say and I landed on Bravewords.com. There I noticed a blurb about a book that was coming out called No Sleep Til Sudbury: Adventures In 80s  Hard Rock And Metal Deconstruction.

WHUT!?? The article mentioned that the author Brent Jensen had written a book about growing up in Sudbury during the 80s and how hard rock had shaped his growing up as a teen.

Double WHUT!!? I grew up in the 80s(well some would say that’s open for debate today that I grew up at all) and music ruled my life so before I headed to Amazon.ca I knew I was purchasing this book!

No Sleep was quickly ordered and once I received the book I could not put the friggin thing down! I was hooked. I blasted through the novel like  a Downtown Hustler looking for change on a Saturday Night! No Sleep was that fantastic of a read! It was a quick reread if you’re keeping score!

Brent wrote  No Sleep about himself but the book could have been about me growing up in Thunder Bay! It totally resonated with me on a personal level. Not just the great musical stories but just life stories along the way with various friends of Brent!

Having said that I did not have a friend who tried to outrun Fire! Haha! (The dude lost!)  The book was more than music it was a way of  80s life!

I was blown away! This was  the book I’ve been waiting for! Sure Chuck Klosterman wrote Fargo Rock City which is a great read as well but Brent’s book spoke to me!

So I went on Brent’s website and dropped him an email and told him what a fantastic read and excellent  job he did on the book.  Brent wrote back and said he appreciated the positive comments that I put forward. I was kinda relieved Brent returned  correspondence as when he read my email for the first time  I probably babbled on like some kind of Fruit Loop!

From there I would occasionally ask Brent “when’s the next book coming?”  Yeah Stalker comes to mind but I wanted another fix. I needed more books dude!

In early 2015 I secured a copy of Brent’s second book release that he titled LeftOver People. Instead of me recapping the story you can read my blog about it from a little over a year ago. Click here….https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/rock-101-leftover-people-by-brent-jensen/

So there Ya  be! I stayed in touch with Brent to keep me posted about when his third book was coming! Also in the meantime I would pick his brain on life, music,concerts,albums etc!

April 1st 2016 and Mr Jensen has released All My Favourite People Are Broken. If you have noticed from my other book reviews I don’t like to give out too much info as I want you the reader to check this stuff out but I will go on record here and state “Brent! You have hit another one(this book) out of the park!”

All My Favourite  People Are Broken details Brent hooking up with his long time friend Garvey out in Western Canada with as they say tunes,beers and various party treats and set their iPods on play and talk about whatever songs come up! No artist is left behind.  Nothing was preplanned!

Brent and Garvey dissect each song on what made it good/bad. Sure they talk about Hard Rock/Metal (Garveys description of Tawny Kitanen and her involvement in the Whitesnake video is a hoot! Well said Sir!) Other genres of music are discussed as well. Pop,Rap,Country,Alt Rock! Alison Moyet anyone? Al Green? Go-Go’s?  Guns N Roses are talked about and as crazy as it sounds and I’m not saying who said it in the book but on page 75 the comment of “I would like to hear Axl Rose sing some AC/DC before I die ” is stated!

Triple WHUT!!! Ha! Someone became a prophet at that Cabin Lodge that weekend especially since its being reported that Axl is going to be fronting AC/DC for 10 shows at some point this year.

Brent writes with a style and flair of his own and he knows how to keep the reader engaged with one eye on keeping the book moving foward in a quick fashion while adding some comedic like stories so as a reader you don’t get bored! Case in point Chapter 13 tiled LA LA! Did someone say Party Treats?

There are a lot of Music Lovers out there and we all have talked music. Brent took it a step further documented it and wrote a Fantastic Book about it.

This is my third Jensen Book I have devoured and I will tell ya they are three books you should all take the time to seek out and purchase!

ROCK 101….Leftover People By Brent Jensen

imageLeftover People is the second book from Brent Jensen a fellow Canadian who wrote the excellent book No Sleep Til Sudbury about growing up and listening to hard rock in the 80s. In No Sleep, Brent takes us from the time of seeing Iron Maiden live in Sudbury on Maidens 1984 Powerslave tour and how it all falls into place musically for him when he again goes and sees Maiden on there 2007 (23 years later)tour when they recreated the whole Powerslave meal deal live!

Like I said Brent’s  first book No Sleep til Sudbury is a great read! Brent tells great stories like meeting Gene Simmons and whatever happened to Dave Allison the original guitar player from Anvil? Well buy the book and find out! Plus he talks about guitar heroes,his analogy of new Aerosmith vs Ol Aerosmith is one of the best written pieces describing the two! Well put,and many, many more music stories,drinking stories ..it’s all there and for me it’s the book I wish I could have written as I can relate to many of Brent’s stories both musically and personally. Don’t be fooled by the title of Sudbury being in the title,you can be from Mars and still read this book as if you listened to hard rock from anywhere in the world you will be able to relate!

So so here we have the followup to No Sleep and that’s Leftover People which Brent describes in detail his journey thru the United States on a promotional book tour for No Sleep…

Brent is contacted by a fellow named Chris Long( whose name is later rechristened to Pink Chief) a fellow writer who wrote a book about working for Poison as a personal assistant to Bobby Dall. The book is called Shot Full Of Poison,I myself have not read it but from what Brent says his poor pal Mr Long almost had a nervous and mental breakdown working for Mr Dall!

Basically Brent tells us of his road trip that he takes promoting No Sleep Til Sudbury in parts of the U.S. with Chris Long who has booked them into vinyl shops/coffee shops instead of regular places like bookstores and along for the journey is Brent’s buddy Flemming (who by the sounds of it could write his own book!) and Chris Longs son Jesse.

Brent does a great job of writing about his journeys on the road thru various stops and at the early stages of how he and Flemming would fuck with Long when he would come to their hotel room..they would signal him thru the window that the door to their hotel room was open and then Long would go to open it and it was locked! All the time Long fell for it! I think we can all relate to people we have screwed with and toyed with thru the years!

Brent also tells us of another great story about some female woman who they termed the Nashville Predator(Jensen and Crue are in Nashville ) as she stalked them and treated them to drinks in which Brent had to pay as her credit card was declined and I won’t give it away but it’s a great hysterical story.

The real great thing I like about Brent’s two books Is that as a hard rocker I can totally relate to him especially musically. In Leftover People he talks about Guns N Roses Use Your Illusions and why he made one big greatest hits single  disc out of there double discs and they all included songs that were written by Izzy Stradlin and once he was gone by the end of 1991 Guns was done creatively!

Another “rad”thing about Brent’s books he can shift from present day stories and keep me totally hooked by throwing in his knowledge on all things that are hard rock n roll from past years! His school  grade stories about public speaking from the early 80s is the real deal. If you are around my age(47) you know how the Public Speaking went in schools back in the 80s. Brent tells us how he was scarred from speaking publicly for many years but overcame it and has no problem with it now except for as he says some crazys  that now and again appear at his book signings.(more good stories there).

One of these Chapters in the book is called Saskadelphia I don’t want to give it away too much but after reading about artists diverse in this chapter like The Tragically Hip,Barenaked Ladies,Kesha,Toni Basil,Jensen ties it up all nice and neatly just don’t offer him or Flem a Burger King Whopper with guacamole after a night of drinking!

Each city that this book posse travels thru there are tales to be told. Chattanooga,Macon,Jacksonville and Melbourne are all described in great detail as these are the book tour stops!

Melbourne Florida at their book tour stop Brent notices Jack Starr he of Virgin Steele fame(New York band from the 80s) and the two get to talking and find out they have a mutual respect for each other. The moral of the story is that it’s good to meet your heroes and it’s even better when they turn out not to be dicks!

Leftover People is a great read from start to finish. The road stories like i said are classic and the people who Jensen comes across are sometimes interesting characters to say the least!

Now to be honest with everyone here, I like reading rock biographies only if they are authorized and only if it’s  the rock guy telling his story. I can’t handle bullshit books it’s a waste of time and well I don’t have money to toss around on junk. But last year when I think it may have been on bravewords.com I read about Jensen’s first book (No Sleep) and was intrigued by his title and when i went to his site and read his write-up on the book i was hooked and had to get it so it was off to Amazon.ca and it was the best $20 I spent in a long time!

Leftover People I was able to score off of Brent’s site as he had a contest and I won it! Brent told me on Monday am that I won and  he sent the book  and 3 days later,in my hands!

Now that’s  service!

Were lucky in Canada to have rock authors like Jensen,Martin Popoff (whose written a ton of books two of my faves are his books on UFO and Hair Metal) Sean Kelly(Metal On Ice) and Brian Vollmer(Gimmie A…R!)These dudes are the real deal as when you email via Facebook or goggle Mail they get back to you with whatever it is your questions are about. Why not support our homegrown boys! It’s simple ….buy these books and put the friggin electronics down!