November 24, 2011

Freddie, You Are Missed

20 years ago today, we lost him. There will never be another Freddie Mercury.

November 21, 2011

I really needed some good news today

Springsteen announces 1st European concert dates; also touring US with E Street Band in 2012

WILLIAM PERLMAN/SL - Bruce Springsteen along with his band Nils Lofgren, Clarence Clemmons, Max Weinberg on drums Steven Van Zandt Patty Scialfa and Gary Talent during The Rising at the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Bands final show at Shea Stadium on 10/4/2003.

  • By Associated Press, Published: November 20 | Updated: Monday, November 21, 5:56 AM
NEW YORK — Bruce Springsteen has announced the first dates for his European tour with the E Street Band.
They’ll play four shows in England next summer.
The dates are June 21 in Sunderland; June 22 in Manchester; June 24 at the Isle of Wight festival; and July 14 at Hard Rock Calling in London.
The European shows will run from mid-May through the end of July.
They’ll also be touring in the United States. That information will be released down the road.
This will be the first tour for the E Street Band since saxophonist Clarence Clemons died in June from complications of a stroke.
Springsteen’s last tour was the “Working on a Dream” tour, which ended in 2009.
(thank you to Lawrence Kirsch who shared this on FB)

October 19, 2011

Concert Q & A

I was driving to work this morning rocking out to the radio and had several flashback memories of some great concert experiences.  So I decided to share them with you in hopes that you will share some with me!  These are really hard to answer

Most memorable concert moment: It was "The Rising Tour" which occurred shortly after 9/11.  Bruce asked for total silence in the audience, and when he had all 20,000 of us paying full attention he played "Empty Sky".  The whole night was a combination of a good time and sad time mixed together.  Very unique atmosphere.

Least favorable concert:  George Michael.  Not because he wasn't good, but because every female (other than me) in the audience was screaming at the top of their lungs the whole time and I couldn't even hear the music.  I wanted to leave but was there for a friend so I stuck it out.

Who puts on the best show: If you know me at all, you already know my answer :)  Bruce, of course!

Concert I wish I could have seen: The Doors, I was born ten years too late; and Queen.  I don't know how I missed them out of the hundreds of bands I've seen, but I did :(

Best concert I never saw:  Led Zeppelin, I still have my two tickets and have never totally forgiven Jon Van B.

Biggest outdoor concert:  Cal Jam II

Smallest inside venue: The Quiet Woman restaurant in Laguna Beach (about 50 - 75 people), Kenny Loggins dropped by and put on a show for some locals, so fun!

Best seats at a concert:  Front Row at VAN HALEN in '81, omg - talk about amazing, Eddie is one of my top 5 guitarists

Loudest concert:  Ted Nugent, love him or hate him - he's very entertaining

Most mind blowing concert:  Pink Floyd! (i was 17, under the influence of LSD & red wine for the occasion and it truly was an incredible night under the stars, i was fearless back then)

Worst concert experience:  Losing my sister for several hours at an all day concert featuring the Rolling Stones.  I was frantic to find her and finally, right before the Stones came on, there she was.

Most frightening moment at a concert:  Same Stones concert as above.  I was near the front, the crowd rushed and literally lifted me off my feet, I was screaming because I was being crushed and no one cared.  Then this big, strong "angel" came out of nowhere (picture Clarence Clemons), lifted me up and out of the crowd (I was only about 125 lbs back in the day!).  After he put me down and I thanked him I looked back again and he was GONE.

Best concert experience:  Impossible to narrow it down.  I will say I got a thrill when David Bowie smiled at me.

Artist seen the most times: Again, if you know me.....Bruce (23? 24?  lost track)

Most embarrassing concert moment:  Falling asleep at Pat Benatar.  I was bored after sitting through Quarterflash and Night Ranger (no offense to either band).

Funnest concert moment: Had to be during Bruce, but there are so many fun moments in all his concerts, hard to pick just one.

Best "goosebumps" moment:  U2, "Vertigo Tour", when Bono was talking about co-existing and loving our neighbor, and peace, etc. then started playing "One" the young man next to me held my hand for a moment (he was Middle Eastern) and we both had tears in our eyes.

Concert I regret:  Def Lepard, only because it was stupid of me to go with the person I went with - we got there late and had crappy seats.

Best concert of all time:  Michael Jackson.  It was the "Bad" tour and Michael was at  his peak in every way.  I know this sounds corny, but I truly did feel like I was in the presence of someone very special.  The energy of his hardcore fans infused everyone else that was there and the THINGS HE DID on that stage were literally magical (he'd walk up a set of stairs, disappear in a puff of smoke then be back on the opposite side of the stage in a different outfit in a matter of seconds, like 5 seconds or less).  His DANCE MOVES, the way he held the audience captive.  His humility.  It was an experience I'll cherish forever.  RIP MJ.  (again, love him or hate him, he was one of the best, if not the best, entertainers of our time).

October 17, 2011

Phil Collins' Hello, I Must Be Going! and Bachman-Turner Overdrive's Not Fragile


Phil Collins' Hello, I Must Be Going! and Bachman-Turner Overdrive's Not Fragile To Be Set for Release on October 18
The latest entries in Audio Fidelity's series of high-end reissues of classic albums arrive on October 18 when the label delivers 24-Karat Gold CDs of two era-defining sets. Phil Collins' 1982 HELLO, I MUST BE GOING! and Bachman-Turner Overdrive's 1974 album NOT FRAGILE will be available-at both online and at traditional retailers-as numbered, limited-edition discs that will be retired after each title's initial run has sold out.
Phil Collins cover
Phil Collins released HELLO, I MUST BE GOING!, his second solo album after vacating the drum-and-vocals chair in Genesis in November of 1982. The album's set, in particular his Top 10 remake of the Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love," was a defining record of its time, displaying New Wave's influence and the heavily reverbed drum sound of the era. In addition to "You Can't Hurry Love," the album contained the Top 40 single "I Don't Care Anymore" and found Collins working in a striking assortment of styles: R&B/dance in "It Don't Matter to Me," effervescent pop in "Like China" and touching ballads ("Why Can't It Wait 'Til Morning" and "Thru These Walls").

HELLO, I MUST BE GOING! (its title taken from the tune of the same name by the Marx Brothers) preceded Collins' later-'80s breakthrough with the chart-topper No Jacket Required (already available on 24-Karat Gold format from Audio Fidelity).HELLO had a dazzling run of its own, remaining on Billboard's chart for 141 weeks, where it peaked at No. 8. Collins co-produced the record with Hugh Padgham, longtime Genesis producer.

Originally issued in August of 1974, NOT FRAGILE was the third album by the Canadian quintet formed in 1972 by former Guess Who guitarist-singer Randy Bachman. It followed the breakthrough Bachman-Turner Overdrive II album and was the group's only No. 1 LP, spending 50 weeks on Billboard's Top Albums chart and commanding rock-FM playlists for almost as long. NOT FRAGILE also contained B.T.O's chart-topping singles, the boisterous "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet," as well as the "Roll On Down the Highway," both characterized by the melodic dual-guitar soloing of Bachman and Blair Thornton, then a brand new arrival to the band.

While NOT FRAGILE sports other strong tracks, among them the heavy-metal-flavored title song, the bluesy "Sledgehammer" af BTO Not Fragile coverand the instrumental "Freewheelin,'" it's "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" that has retained a unique cultural significance for some three decades.  It has now made 'appearances' in a wide range of contexts, from a Simpsonsepisode (where it's performed by an animated B.T.O.) to the soundtracks of the movies Studio 54 and Joe Dirt, to being used as a Democratic Party theme song in the 2006 midterm elections.
Founded in 2001, Audio Fidelity specializes in deluxe reissues of classic popular-music recordings for the audiophile and collector markets. The Camarillo, California-based label is best known for its 24-Karat Gold CDs and its 180-gram virgin-vinyl album editions, as well as a line of popular DVD titles.  Audio Fidelity emerged out of the pioneering DCC Compact Classics label that its founder, music-industry veteran Marshall Blonstein, started in 1986, following his tenure as president of Island Records and co-founder of Ode Records (where he helped make Carole King'sTapestry one of the best-selling albums of all time and built the cult-film franchisesThe Rocky Horror Picture Show and Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke). 

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October 14, 2011

Music Still in My Soul....

It kills me that I have let this blog fall to the wayside.

If you would have told me I'd stop writing here my response would have been, "yeah, right!  why would I ever do that!?"

Life sometimes takes us on a journey we never wanted to take.  And the one I'm on* is still robbing me from the joy I used to find in writing about my passion:  music.  I still love it, listen to it constantly (Bowie's Starman is in my ear right this minute, 100.3).  But - just can't seem to get anything on "paper".

Now I write about heroin addiction and how its affected my life, and continues to challenge me daily to stay strong, to realize I have no control over my son, and to just keeping hoping for the best and sending good thoughts out to the universe.

October 4, 2011

October 4 - Weird Day In Rock History

I love listening to Andy. He's one of my fave DJ's of all time. Just a down to earth guy who loves rock and roll.

September 30, 2011

Max Weinberg, Bill Champlin & Mindy Abair in MISSION VIEJO!

Just got back from seeing a great show right here in my backyard, literally two minutes from my house!!!  It was wild seeing Max Weinberg in Mission Viejo - who would have thunk it?

It was the opening night of our "Lord of the Strings" concert series and our Reading Festival (both put on by the Library).

Bill may be an older guy but his pipes are as great as ever.  His son was also one of the band members, playing keys and signing.

I'd never heard of Mindy before tonight but I'm officially a fan.  She was so fun and adorable and extremely talented.

They played several of Bill's songs that he wrote for other people and one from Chicago; they did some George Benson, Stevie Wonder, David Ruffin, Southside Johnny (the Fever  by Bruce) and some others.  The encore song was Ramrod by Bruce.

It was fun.  The best part for me personally was watching Max have fun, playing in a relaxed way and being The Boss of the show.  When he plays with Bruce he is so intense because he has to constantly be watching him for his cues - you never know how Bruce will mix up a set or even a song.

Before they played Ramrod he said some very sweet things about Clarence.  It made me wonder what it will feel like for Bruce to introduce the band the first time they play again.

September 27, 2011

35th Anniversary of "Dust in the Wind"

One of classic rock's most instantly recognizable and enduring songs, ‘Dust in the Wind,’ will celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2012.  As part of the celebration for this one-of-a-kind tune (penned by Kerry Livgren and first recorded by the band KANSAS), a 35th anniversary limited edition gift book is being released.

This beautifully designed 6” x 6” hardcover gift book is four-color throughout, 32-pages, and includes song lyrics, personal stories from fans, and a foreword by Kerry Livgren.  Kerry Livgren will sign books ordered by October 20, 2011.  Books cost $20, plus shipping and handling, and are available for purchase exclusively at

A portion of the proceeds from each book will benefit Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization.  "Autism Speaks is thrilled to have been selected by KANSAS to receive proceeds from this exciting project about this iconic song," said Autism Speaks President Mark Roithmayr.  "The 35th Anniversary Dust in the Wind book will bring our message of awareness, treatment, and hope to a musical community of KANSAS fans through out the world."

With their aforementioned self-titled first album released in 1974, KANSAS went on to become one of the decade’s most popular rock acts – issuing classic rock albums such as 1976’s ‘Leftoverture’ and 1977’s ‘Point of Know Return,’ along with the hit singles “Carry on Wayward Son” and “Dust In the Wind,” and “Point of Know Return.”  The band, which is comprised of singer/keyboardist Steve Walsh, guitarist Rich Williams, drummer Phil Ehart, bassist Billy Greer, and violinist David Ragsdale – continues to tour in front of large and enthusiastic audiences and to this day remain a fixture on classic rock radio.


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