Friday Fives – more music edition

  1. What album is the first you can remember purchasing yourself

easy, this one   It not only had ALL the hits, but that is very cool album cover.  It was a $59, which to me is cheap on he big internet gigs.er of

  1. What concert stands out in your mind as the best you’ve ever seen?

Well, it isn’t what you would think.  See, I have seen everyone live.  I am sure I have told you that, but it’s pertinent.  I have seen folks that simply don’t tour.  Van Morrison, Page & Plant, Tom Waits, Don McClean, Moby, Richie Havens, Jethro Tull, Nirvana, Timothy Leary & G Gordon Liddy, the Police… it goes on and on.  Now, every dip you know will tell you that Pink Floyd was the best show they ever saw.  Of course, I saw them too.  It was boring as well.  Just David Gilmour playing the obvious hits pitch perfect.  BORING.

One of the best shows I saw was recently, within the last year.  It was in a horrible downpour.  The entire power grid went out for hours.  No music, no lights, nothing.  The band could have, and should have, left.  They didn’t, though.  The singer came out by himself and sat at the edge of the stage in the rain and darkness.  He sat there with an acoustic guitar and did a sing along in the dark of ALL his hits.  We all (20,000) sang along.

That band was touring on 3 new albums, along with a double album of broadway hits.  That is what they played with the power.  When it went dark, Billy Joe came out and did ‘time of your life, when sept ends, when I come around, basketcase… etc”.  All great hits from 20 years ago.  He knew we paid and he wasn’t leaving until we got some kind of concert.  That is a g*damn class act.

  1. What concert stands out in your mind as the worst you’ve ever seen?

Probably Jethro Tull about 25 years ago.  It kinda wasn’t their fault.  First off, the singers live voice is shot.  it’s really bad, and has been for almost 30 years.  He just can’t sing.  So, there was that disappointment.  Then, apparently, he got sick.  So, he played half a show and they left.  no refunds, no apologies.  No thanks! ******

  1. If you could create your dream band, what musicians would you choose? (they can be live or dead, it’s a dream band)

super easy.  Original Guns line up in their day, sometime during or just after Lies and Appetite.  Tried to see them in Phx back then but Axl bailed on four separate concerts day of.  Locked himself in his hotel room and refused to come out and play.  I don’t think they ever made it onstage in Phx, AZ for about five years.  We called them Guns and Noshows.

Axl was SO known for this that when Guns played with Metallica a few years later, promoter Barry Fey was wise to Axl’s bs.  So, when Axl tried to sneak out of Red Rocks that night and ditch their set… Barry Fey pulled a gunn on him and ordered him back on stage.  During that same tour, Axl pulled the same crap in several other cities and called major deadly riots.   See, when you ditch a club with 300 people… no biggie.  Axl did this to stadiums with 25,000 people… a lot.  Not just those venue, but some of those cities were destroyed because of Axl.  Remember, at Woodstock they planned for 5,0000 people.  That is the food and porta potties they had the resources and electricity.  500,000 showed up.  No food, no bathrooms, horrible rainly weather the whole time, dangerous and poisonous acid going aound.  It literally became a Federal emergency.  Everyone lived, and had the time of their lives.  Know now?  No axl

He also, as you may know, still show up to every show at least 3 hours late.  So, you go to see Guns.  It’s a weeknight, mind you.  The opening band plays 8 to 9 pm.  Headliner comes on and 10 pm.  the new Guns won’t come out until at least 1 am .  So, maybe you will get home at 4 am… on your school night.

the worst part is I still LOVE Axl’s early voice, and I regard him as one of the great rock stars of all time.  Appetite for Destruction is the best rock album ever.  Problem is, Axl is the biggest dick in all of rock.  He fired his entire band (the guys who wrote the songs, mind you.  He is a singer, he doesn’t write) and then if he does show up it is 3 to 4 hours late.

 

**** to be fair to Jethro Tull, they have made one of the coolest moments in rock.  So, they get a pass.  In the 70s they were playing Red Rocks.  The show got WAY over sold.  People broke in, and it became a riot.  Helicopters descended on Red Rocks and dropped tear gas.  So, did Jethro Tull run for their lives?  No.  Ian Anderson stayed out there on stage during all of this.  He let everyone know what was happening, and why.  he also promised as soon as they safely cleared some gate crashers out and got rid of the helicopters that they would stay and play a full show.  So, my experience isn’t indicative of them.

The story, one of the most famous in all of rock history, is told pretty well here.  It’s a good and quick read.

**** ppsss > another band I failed to mention both this week and last week as an AMAZING live band.  I swear you won’t believe me unless you have seen them, but I swear it’s true.  This band was better than Page and Plant.  Better than BB King.  Hell, these guys were better than all of them – the Canadian pop band Barenaked Ladies.  Fact!

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Friday Fives – the change edition

mandala

1. What is something that has changed that is now better?

everything.  Too broad?  Telephones.  My telephone does everything on earth for me.  Ironically, the one thing i almost never use my telephone for is to telephone people.

2. What is something that has changed that was made worse?

telephone design.  Remember how you could fit a phone on your neck?  Maybe if you are under 30 you don’t.  Go ahead and try and pinch your phone between your shoulder and neck and make a call hands free.

3. What is something you are going to change about yourself in the future?

much less arson.  I would say 30 to 35% less arson going forward

4. If you reach into the the past and change one thing, what would that be?

help Axl Rose to join the 27 club, so we could romanticuize how Guns would have been the greatest rock band in history… bigger than Zeppelin!  There were poised to, I feel.  Then, the singer fired the whole band, including the guys who wrote all the songs.  then, took the band name and sat on it for 17 years.

5.  What is something that someone close to you needs to change, right now!

I have to pee something fierce, but wanted to finish my thoughts here.  Change must come from within!  Wanna hear a funny story about corporate policy, change, and bathroom problems?  Some time ago, I was stuck on a very long conference call that was going on endlessly.  We were discussing things in which I was a primary ‘stakeholder’, meaning changes discussed had a profound effect on my group.  We got to a decision I was violently against.  I knew challenging it would be another 30 minutes on the phone.  I was also pretty sure the powers that be had their minds made up on it.  Most importantly, I really really had to poo.  So, I let it lie just to get off the phone to go poo.

So, if you are ever wondering how the in world companies made silly decisions… like New Coke > odds are the dude just had to poo really bad so he just agreed to make the meeting end quicker.  I am not proud of this, but it is kinda funny in retrospect.

Friday Fives – cell phone edition

 

  1. When did you get your first cell phone?

1997, believe it or not.  It was big.  It was called ‘the Lingo’.  It was a revolutionary device, the first to combine a cell phone and a walkie talkie.  here is a pic, go ahead and laugh away

  1. Do you have any special ring tones, if so what are they?

only one, for the wifey.  When she calls, Guns & Roses ‘You’re Crazy’ plays.  She doesn’t know this, so don’t tell her.  She doesn’t read this, does she?  Not just any version, but the extraordinary acoustic version from Lies.  Listen here.

Go ahead, listen again.  It shows you why Guns and Roses were amazing, and could have been the best of all time.  Axl’s vocal control and range in this performance is stunning.  Slash’s work with an acoustic will melt your face.  You should really buy this disc, it’s phenomenal.  This is the one with ‘Patience’ on it, as well at the super controversial ‘One and a Million’.

Can I tell you about that Patience?  I remember the first time we met.  I was getting a ride to high school in a buddy’s pick up truck.  We all knew G&R from their hits, and ‘Lies’ had just come out.  He plays this song on cassette and tells me it is Guns and Roses.  I wouldn’t believe him until he took the cassette out and proved it to me.  There is so much range and talent in this band that comes through on this disc.  It is just a gross injustice what Axl did to the band.

Hey… weren’t we talking about cell phones?  Let’s stay focused here.

  1. Does your phone have a camera?

of course, and I love it.  It is all I use, camera wise.  For example, last week we were in San Diego for that historic Broncos game.  The wife asked if we should bring our digital camera.  I said “Why?”  It is the same or just barely more megapixels, and then I would have to upload or get developed… I couldn’t share pics in real time with friends, or easily upload to facebook and such.  I love my cell phone camera, and am consistently impressed with how good the photos are considering this is a telephone.

  1. What kind of phone do you have now?

an Iphone.  I finally did it.  I finally said “why have a faster, nicer, bigger, and considerably cheaper phone?  Why get a phone for 99 cents when I can instead pay $600?  I just got it very recently, and it was a long struggle between that and Android.  The final decision came down to iTunes.  For years I have carried my iPod and my cell phone with me everywhere.  We are mac at home, and the wifey has an iPhone… so we are all integrated now.  I am mostly very pleased with the iPhone.   EXCEPT – i want a back button.  Don’t give me that apologist bullshit about how in most apps there is a soft back button on the screen.  No, I want a back button hard wired into the phone that does nothing else.  Also, my last phone had a search button on the phone… as hardware.  Loved that, too.

  1. What carrier do you use?

Sprint.  They are the best.  Best prices, best network, best customer service, and best employees (like me)

rock re-union – it will happen

Long ago, I posited that every band would get back together, if they are alive.  Long ago.  I wrote that, specifically, about Pink Floyd.  Since then, the most acrimonious of break ups have re-united.  Pink Floyd got back together, so did Zeppelin.  Van Halen got back with Roth.

So, who is left?  Well, Oasis, but that is easy.  They are attention whores, and will be back together soon.  Tougher?  Stephen Page and Barenaked Ladies.  Will they?  Yes, without question.  Why?  Well, the same reasons all other bands get back together.  Both are not as good without the other.  Both bands are having less exposure, and selling less tickets.  This is common.  Ask Ratt, Motley, Maiden, or Anthrax… who all fired their lead singers… and then had to take them back.

Tougher level of degree > this one is, to me, the holy grail of potential reunions.  not Pink Floyd, or Led Zeppelin.  No.  Guns and Roses.  Will they get back together?  I think they have to.  None of them are doing anything near what they were doing as a band.  I imagine they all became intolerable… we certainly know that Axl did.  However, now they are older (Axl just turned 50) so I assume they have melllowed  a bit.  Plus, there is literally billions of dollars on the table here.  I can’t imagine Axl is rich anymore.  He took 15 years to release ‘Chinese Democracy’, and he refused to do press or tours for it.  So, that is 15 years he wasn’t making any money.  Now, he is gigging again, but not making much.  The new Guns shows aren’t selling out… yet their costs remain fixed (roadies, union stuff, venue rental, transpo, security etc).  These costs are the same if you sell 1 ticket, or 18,000 (average amount of seats in venues they are playing, NBA arenas).

Plus, each smart local promoter has put fines in place if Axl goes on late.  Axl goes on late every show.  Generally, the new Guns and Roses do not go on until after midnight, and then play three hours.  So, let’s say it’s a work night (odds are, it is)… the concert is over until 3 am, you get home at 4 am.  The opening band, see, is over by 9 pm.  So, it’s 9 pm and beer sales have just stopped. You now have a 3 hour wait to see if they will show.

So… is there any band where the principles are alive that will not get back together in some fashion?  No.

your thoughts?

dead rock star lawyer/assasin

It has occurred to me that dead rock stars need legal representation.  Specifically, they need me.  Why me?  Because I am America’s top rock musicologist, so my intent is pure.  The way things work now, the rights usually go to a widow.  This is a bad idea, because the widows want money.  The widows need money… so they whore out their dead spouses.  Think Yoko, she has turned everything John Lennon ever did into a commercial endeavor.  That isn’t art.  That is greed.  Yoko sucks my ass.  Wanna know why?  She had the chance to buy the rights to the Beatles catalogue years ago.  It was 40 million.  Paul McCartney approached her and offered to split it for 20 million each.  Yoko said no.  That was when Michael Jackson bought the Beatles, and started selling their songs for commercials.  Oh, and by the way, Yoko; that catalogue is now worth somewhere around 500 million.  Jackson already sold off 25% of it a few years later for 100 million.  So, he more than quadrupled his initial investment… and still owns 75%.

His estate still owns the Beatles rights, and his estate is in debt to everyone on Earth.  So, expect the Beatles catalogue to get whored out for everything to pay off Michael’s freaky debts.

Another example is Courtney Love.  Good rock star, but horrible estate executor.  Just horrible.   Specifically, here is what she did.  She found his diaries, and sold them.  Didn’t just sell them, she sold them to some hack magazine… like People.  I can prove, without question, this was deeply against Kurt’s will, and ethos.  When Kurt finally agreed to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone, he made is thoughts quite clear.  He was wearing a shirt that read ‘Corporate Magazines Still Suck’.  That is that picture above.  His message was clear.  All his messages were clear.  His songs, his movement, was about alienation from pop culture.  He felt disconnected and and disenchanted with everything.  It is why he was a good rock star, and it is also why he killed himself.  Really, his diaries being published for all to read is sickening enough.  Selling them to a weekly corporate magazine is just evil.

I would not have allowed this has his dead rock star lawyer.  Oh no.  I would have shot Courtney for her own good.  Who else would I kill as a professional rock star lawyer?  No one, we don’t do that.  Just kidding, I would kill Axl Rose in a heartbeat.  I would have done it 20 years ago.  It is for his own good.  Axl Rose ruined one of the greatest bands in the history of the world, and I will NEVER forgive him for that.  Why didn’t Axl die in a plane crash after Lies was recorded (but before it was released?).   Then, we could spend the rest of our days talking about how great they would have been.  Nope.  He fired every single member of the band (including ALL the songwriters).  Then, took 16 years to release a new album.  Also, it sucks.  Also, he refused to tour or do press.  Oh, and of course he stole the bands name and held it hostage.

Appetite for Destruction is the best rock album ever made.  Read that again, as I realize it is a strong statement.  Well, if I was Axl’s dead rock star lawyer, I would have killed him.  Then, I would have broken up the band for good.  Then, I would have released the sessions for ‘Use your Illusion’ as one decent CD.  I can prove it.  When do all rock stars die?  27.  Axl turned 27 in 1989, two years after ‘Appetite for Destruction’ was released.  Would have been about perfect.  Then, he could have been a 27 rock martyr (like Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Shannon Hoon, Brad Nowell, Kurt Cobain).  Guess who else turns 27 this year?  Amy Winehouse.  Aren’t we about done with her?

Who else?  Did you know that the Doors made two more records after Morrison died?  Yeah, big mistake.  I mean, I know he was a suicidal douche and all… but still.

Now, not all decisions made a poor.  Generally, I am pretty pleased with how the Grateful Dead have handled things since Jerry died.

So, really, I guess I am the dead rock star lawyer and part time assassin for their own good.  Oh, and I would have offed that Jason Mraz punk about 30 cutesy songs ago.