Rock Chain #32: Sensational!

alex-harvey

This is something I used to do in a magazine I used to edit a couple of years ago. I took the idea from a column that used to appear on Scientific American magazine written by a British scientist called James Burke. His column was called “Connections” and consisted in relating history and science facts that were linked by a word until the cycle was finished. I just adapted it to Rock And Roll. Now, I’ll try to resurrect it here in the blog once a month.

Alex Harvey was the frontman of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band which featured Ted McKenna on drums.

Ted McKenna later on, went to play for a short period with Ian Gillan.

Ian Gillan rates his passage through Black Sabbath as disastrous, although many people (including yours truly) really like the Born Again album. The riff from “Zero the Hero” has an uncanny resemblance to the one on “Paradise City” from Guns and Roses.

Guns and Roses original guitarist was Tracii Guns, who left before the first album and formed L.A. Guns.

L.A. Guns original line-up had Phil Lewis as a vocalist, coming from British Glam Rockers, Girl.

Girl’s guitarist was Phil Collen, who later replaced Pete Willis in Def Leppard.

Def Leppard’s drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in automobile accident in the end of 1984 which lost the band the opportunity of playing Rock in Rio I in January 1985. They were replaced by Whitesnake.

Whitesnake sessions for their first LP had Jon Lord as keyboardist replacing Pete Solley from Procol Harum.

Procol Harum has a rather unique characteristic: their line-up has a member who doesn’t do anything except write lyrics, Keith Reid.

Keith Reid also wrote the lyrics for the hit-single “You’re The Voice” a moderate success in 1991, because of the first Gulf War, for American band, Heart.

Heart’s latest single has some cool backing vocals by James Hetfield from Metallica.

Metallica’s song “The Memory Remains” has a guest appearance by Marianne Faithful.

Marianne Faithful had a success with “As Tears Goes By” originally by the Rolling Stones.

The Rolling Stones first record label was Decca, who almost went down in history as the label who rejected The Beatles.

The Beatles were once called The Silver Beetles with John, Paul, George, Stuart Sutcliffe and Tommy Moore and they played Allentown Hall in Scotland with Johnny Gentle as Johnny Gentle and His Group in 1960.

Do you know who supported them? Alex Harvey and his Big Beat Band.

Be sure to check out my book “Straight and Lethal”

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico

Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico

Rock Chain #30: Almost Famous

savage

This is something I used to do in a magazine I used to edit a couple of years ago. I took the idea from a column that used to appear on Scientific American magazine written by a British scientist called James Burke. His column was called “Connections” and consisted in relating history and science facts that were linked by a word until the cycle was finished. I just adapted it to Rock And Roll.

Savage is one of dozens of NWOBHM bands that could have been, but stumbled upon record label promises. In their case, the label unceremoniously dumped them to invest in Grim Reaper.

Grim Reaper is also a great band, despite the fact that was constantly mocked on MTV’s Beavis & Butt-Head, just like a lot of great bands like Styx and even King Diamond.

King Diamond, after his first album, Fatal Portrait, only released conceptual records based on his horror stories and recently performed one of them, Abigail, in its entirety for a future DVD release this year from Metal Blade Records.

Metal Blade Reacords was responsible for the now legendary Metal Massacre compilations which in the first edition had a track from a band that would be more connected to the Hard Rock/Glam scene, La Jolla’s most famous sons, Ratt.

Ratt was once the biggest of all Sunset Strip bands, even having its song “Body Talk” on the soundtrack of the movie The Golden Child, starring Eddie Murphy.

Eddie Murphy (okay, a bit of movie chain here) was obviously the star of Beverly Hills Cop, which theme song was written by no other than the late great, Glenn Frey.

Glenn Frey was a founding member of The Eagles with Don Henley.

Don Henley dated Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac.

Fleetwood Mac was formed after Peter Green had left John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. He was replaced by Eric Clapton.

Eric Clapton was before that a member of The Yardbirds, with whom he toured America with bluesman Sonny Boy Williamson.

A Sonny Boy Wiliamson song called “Eyesight to the Blind” was recorded on Tommy by The Who (the only song not written by the band on that record).

The Who is still active today, although only with two remaining members, guitarist Pete Townshend and vocalist Roger Daltrey.

Roger Daltrey once recorded a failed album called Listzomania with former Yes keyboardist, Rick Wakeman.

Rick Wakeman played on Black Sabbath’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath album.

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is the album with the track “Sabbra Cadabra” which was covered by Metallica on the album Garage Inc.

In the very beginning of their career, Metallica used to play the songs “Let It Loose” and “Dirty Money” on their sets. Do you know from who are those songs? NWOBHM band that could have been, Savage.

Current playlist:

Listening:

Black Crowes – By Your Side

 

Be sure to check out my book “Straight and Lethal”

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico

Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico

 

 

 

Rock Chain #27: You’re going to lose that girl

The_Who_Tommy

This is something I used to do in a magazine I used to edit a couple of years ago. I took the idea from a column that used to appear on Scientific American magazine written by a British scientist called James Burke. His column was called “Connections” and consisted in relating history and science facts that were linked by a word until the cycle was finished. I just adapted it to Rock And Roll. Now, I’ll try to resurrect it every first Friday of the month here in the blog.

Mike McInnery was the author of the cover for Tommy, The Who’s seminal Rock Opera.

The Who’s drummer, Keith Moon died at the same flat on Curzon Square in London where singer Mama Cass had died.

Mama Cass was a singer in the Mamas and the Papas who before had sang in a band called The Mugwumps with a Canadian called Zal Yanovski.

Zal Yanovski left The Mugwumps and got together with John Sebastain to form Lovin’ Spoonful.

One of Lovin’ Spoonful’s greatest hits was “Summer in the City” used as soundtrack to Die Hard With a Vengeance and earned a killer version in the album Big Bang Theory by Styx.

One of Styx’s guitarists and vocalists, Tommy Shaw also played with Ted Nugent in Damn Yankees and once did a solo tour opening for The Kinks.

The Kinks’ drummer Mike Avory once played a gig with a fledgling band called The Rolling Stones.

The Rolling Stones had an official pianist called Ian Stewart in its initial formation, but he was removed in 63. However, the band had occasional pianists like Nicky Hopkins.

Nicky Hopkins became an in-demand session player, including playing electric piano in the single “Revolution” by The Beatles.

The Beatles version of classic early Rock song “Bad Boy” was quoted by Stephen King in his recently released new short-stories collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams to have inspired him to write the story with the same name in the book. Recently another great version was recorded by HeadCat, the band formed by Slim Jim Phantom former Stray Cats drummer and the late great Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead.

Motorhead’s drummer Mikkey Dee before getting the gig with the band was already an established name on the scene for his work with King Diamond.

King Diamond as everybody knows was the lead singer of Mercyful Fate who had in the Reunion album In The Shadows released in 1993 a guest appearance on the track “Return of the Vampire” from Lars Ulrich of Metallica.

Metallica’s original bass player often cited as one of his greatest influences, Geddy Lee from Rush.

Rush released a covers album in 2004 called “Feedback”. One of the highlights (they even played it live) was “Heart Full of Soul” from The Yardbirds.

The Yardbirds of course had once in their line-up both Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. Beck left the band and formed The Jeff Beck group with Rod Stewart on vocals.

Rod Stewart later fronted The Faces who had Ronnie Lane as a bass player.

Ronnie Lane got so tired of so much hedonism and debauchery on the road that after a Faces tour in 1973 he moved to the Wales countryside to live as a gypsy with his second wife, Kate Lambert.

Do you know who Kate Lambert had recently divorced when he got together with Ronnie? Tommy’s cover artist Mike McInnery.

 

Be sure to check out my book “Straight and Lethal”

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico

Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico

Rock Chain #26: Metal Geddy

Geddy-Lee

This is something I used to do in a magazine I used to edit a couple of years ago. I took the idea from a column that used to appear on Scientific American magazine written by a British scientist called James Burke. His column was called “Connections” and consisted in relating history and science facts that were linked by a word until the cycle was finished. I just adapted it to Rock And Roll. Now, I’ll try to resurrect it every first Friday of the month here in the blog.

Rush bass player Geddy Lee’s mother is a Holocaust survivor, just like Flóra Klein, the Hungarian-Jew mother of Kiss’ Gene Simmons.

Gene Simmons enticed Tommy Thayer work with Kiss, if he left his band, Black N’ Blue.

Black N’ Blue’s frontman Jaime St. James in the mid-2000’s sang for Warrant.

Warrant’s tour of his most successful album Cherry Pie had to be cut short after frontman Jani Lane broke some ribs stage-diving in Birmingham, UK. They were supporting David Lee Roth.

David Lee Roth’s album A Little Ain’t Enough featured guitar phenomenon Jason Becker, coming from one solo album and one with his band Cacophony, along with future Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman.

Marty Friedman’s first four solo albums were released by Shrapnel Records.

One of Shrapnel Records best-selling albums to date is Steeler’s self-titled debut, featuring Swedish guitar player Yngwie Malmsteen.

Yngwie Malmsteen left Steeler to playe on Alcatrazz debut album, No Parole from Rock n’ Roll with vocalist Graham Bonnet.

Graham Bonnet formed Alcatrazz after singing on the album Assault Attack by the Michael Schenker Group.

Michael Schenker Group’s current vocalist is Scotsman Doogie White who was the only singer actually tested to substitute Bruce Dickinson in Iron Maiden.

Iron Maiden’s first contract with EMI was offered to a manager called Key Heybourne who refused. At the time, Key managed Angel Witch.

Angel Witch is one of the “lost” NWOBHM bands but managed to move to the US for some time even having Tom Hunting from Exodus in its line-up.

Exodus, as everybody knows, is the original band of guitarist Kirk Hammett from Metallica.

When Metallica was to record Master of Puppets, do you know who was their first choice to produce the album, but denied the invitation? Rush bass player, Geddy Lee.

Current playlist:

Reading:

The Stand – Stephen King

Be sure to check out my book “Straight and Lethal”

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico

Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico

Hal of Idols #62: H. P. Lovecraft

hp-lovecraft

Sixty-second installment in a series exploring very important people in my life.

Let me start explaining how this will work: I listed 65 idols of mine. Every Friday (with the exception of those reserved for the Rock Chain posts) I’ll draw one of the names (following a system that it’s really not important to be explained here) and talk about it.

Therefore, the order in which the names will appear doesn’t necessarily shows where they rank in my preference.

As a final introductory note, this is also not a biography article. I’ll just write how I feel about people represented in it, their talent and their importance in my life.

When I look back, it’s amazing how my love for all things Rock and Roll and Metal made me discover a lot of others. For example: it was Metallicas’ video for “One” that made me want to read Johnny Got His Gun and it was the Iron Maiden song “Where Eagles Dare” that made me want to watch the movie.

But none of that had the same impact in my life than the citation on the cover of my favorite Heavy Metal album of all time, the one who actually changed my life for good: “There is not dead/ Which can eternal lie/ Yet with strange aeons/ Even death may die”. That was on the cover of Iron Maiden’s Live after Death.

At the bottom of this inscription on Eddie’s tomb, the name: H.P. Lovecraft. In pre-internet and Google days, I almost took it as my life mission to find out who he was.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born August 20, 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island. He was the only child of Winfield Lovecraft a traveling jewels and precious metal salesman and Sarah Susan Phillips. When he was only three his father became psychotic and was placed in Providence’s Butler Hospital where he died in 1898.

He was raised by his mother, two aunts and maternal grandfather. He was a prodigy, managing to recite poems at the age of three and writing complete poems at six. He read voraciously and was encouraged to do it by his grandfather who provided him with books like The Arabian Nights. His grandfather also stirred his interest in weird stories telling him his own Gothic tales.

As a child, he was constantly ill and barely attended school till he was eight. After that he had to be withdrawn again after a year and his readings turned to astronomy and chemistry. Since his early life, he suffered from sleep paralysis. He never received his high-school diploma and had, according to him, a “nervous breakdown” after his grandfather died.

As an adult he lived an isolated existence with his mother until his letters to a pulp magazine called The Argosy caught the attention of Edward Daas president of the United Amateur Press Association who invited him to join in 1914. He started writing for the Association and his first published story was The Alchemist, in 1922.

After the death of his mother he met his future wife Sonia Greene in Boston and they went to live in New York. In New York he contributed to Weird Tales magazine, but financial difficulties made his wife move to Ohio and Lovecraft went to live in the run down area of Red Hook. One day his apartment was burglarized leaving him only with the clothes he was wearing. Around that time was that he wrote his masterpiece The Call of Chtulhu with the theme of insignificance of humanity.

And from the Chtulhu mythos, which he spread though a lot of stories, is where the quote from Live after Death came from. When I found out about that, I became obsessed with Lovecraft stories and managed to read as much of them as I could. Even years later in college, I often had a Lovecraft book with me. Of course, Metallica has an instrumental song called “The Call of Ktulu” and also one called “The Thing That Should Not Be” based on The Shadow over Innsmouth. Not to mention countless other who are inspired by Lovecraft words.

Lovecraft terror from beings under the Earth (not from space) and unnamed faceless entities were unheard of when he wrote them. He broke new ground and practically invented a form of telling Horror stories.

Stephen King says he is “the twentieth century greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale”, was responsible for his fascination with horror and was the single largest figure to influence his fiction writing. If The King is saying, who are us to argue?

Therefore, there is not dead/ which can eternally influence, captivate and enthrall Mr. Lovecraft. You’ll live forever within us an in the Hall of Idols.

Current playlist:

Reading:

Now I Can Die in Peace – Bill Simmons

Be sure to check out my book “Straight and Lethal”

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico

Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico

 

 

 

Rock Chain #9: Rise above the enslavement

Lee Dorrian

This is something I used to do in a magazine I used to edit a couple of years ago. I took the idea from a column that used to appear on Scientific American magazine written by a British scientist called James Burke. His column was called “Connections” and consisted in relating history and science facts that were linked by a word until the cycle was finished. I just adapted it to Rock And Roll. Now, I’ll try to resurrect it every first Friday of the month here at the blog.

Cathedral’s singer Lee Dorrian is not only a fine vocalist; he’s also expert on underground late-sixties Psych, Folk, Prog Rock and the owner of the great label Rise Above Records.

Rise Above Records that started as a project from Lee, but grew so much that allowed him to put Cathedral to rest for good, something similar to what happened with Jon Oliva and Trans-Siberian-Orchestra regarding Savatage.

Savatage was a great Metal band, much heavier in their first two records. Ironically, they toured with Metallica supporting the less heavy record of their career, Fight For The Rock. A great picture of both bands backstage on that tour can be seen in the seminal book Murder in the Front Row.

Murder in the Front Row is a document about the whole Bay Area Thrash with flabbergasting pictures from all of the bands, but obviously focusing on Metallica.

Metallica whose film “Through The Never” had just won the “Best Picture Of The Year” award at the “Classic Rock Awards” held this week in LA by the greatest Rock magazine of all time, British “Classic Rock”.

The “Classic Rock Awards” also rewarded the re-releases from Led Zeppelin I, II and III, Greg Allman, Jeff Lynne, The Doors, Ozzy among others. However, the most surprising was Queen + Adam Lambert winning the band of the year award.

Queen + Adam Lambert have just announced a European Tour through January and February, to capitalize on the success they had on their tours in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea. There’s no talk about a new album yet, which makes Queen’s last record of new songs, the rather nice “Cosmos Rocks”, with Paul Rodgers on vocals.

Paul Rodgers last year released an extremely nice record called “The Royal Sessions”, honoring his Soul and R&B influences on very well chosen covers.

Soul and R&B are influences on a large number of Rock singers, especially those who sang more Melodic Rock, like Jimi Jamison, Joe Lynn Turner, Eric Martin and mainly Steve Perry, former Journey singer.

Journey, strangely enough, along with Styx, Reo Speedwagon and Foreigner, is one of the favorite bands of Barney Greenway, Napalm Death’s singer.

Napalm Death’s had another singer in the B-side of their first record, “Scum” and their second record, “From Enslavement to Obliteration”. Do you know who it was? Cathedral’s singer and current Rise Above Records owner, Lee Dorrian.

Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal”.

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico

Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock Chain # 8: Nicknames

muddy-waters

This is something I used to do in a magazine I used to edit a couple of years ago. I took the idea from a column that used to appear on Scientific American magazine written by a British scientist called James Burke. His column was called “Connections” and consisted in relating history and science facts that were linked by a word until the cycle was finished. I just adapted it to Rock And Roll. Now, I’ll try to resurrect it every first Friday of the month here at the blog.

Derek William Dick is the real name of Marillion original singer Fish. Fish was a voracious reader and depicted a lot of his favorite writers on the cover of Marillion’s Clutching At Straws. There were Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote, Robert Burns and Dylan Thomas.

Dylan Thomas was the reason why a certain Robert Zimmerman would use his last name as Dylan. Bob Dylan was born in the state of Minnesota, also the birthplace of Soul Asylum, Prince and Hüsker Dü.

Hüsker Dü leader was Bob Mould who admitted being gay in an interview in the early nineties, at the same time of Judas Priest lead singer, Rob Halford.

Rob Halford left Judas Priest in the early nineties and formed another great Metal band called Fight with guitarist Russ Parish, who now plays on comedy Metal act, Steel Panther.

Although a parody, Steel Panther is currently touring with Judas Priest and already toured with Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe.

Mötley Crüe whose members were confirmed hell-raisers until, by their own account, they met Ozzy Osbourne.

Ozzy in the early nineties, not only released one of the best albums of his career with No More Tears, he also appeared as a guest on albums of at least three other bands: Alice Cooper, Motörhead and the most different of all, Infectious Grooves.

Infectious Grooves was a project that had in its ranks Suicidal Tendencies members Mike Muir (vocals) and Robert Trujillo (bass).

Robert Trujillo is a member of Metallica for more than 10 years now and this November the documentary he produced called Jaco will be released. It is about the Jazz-Rock bass player Jaco Pastorius.

Jaco Pastorius was obviously famous for his tenure in Weather Report, but he also played with people ranging from Pat Metheny to Joni Mitchell.

Joni Mitchell made a historic concert at Woodstock, just like those of Santana, Country Joe and, of course Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi Hendrix often quoted Buddy Guy as one of his main inspirations.

Buddy Guy in the sixties was a member of the Muddy Waters’ band.

Muddy Waters was born Mckinley Morganfield, and earned his nickname for playing in the waters of a creek near his house. Do you know who was also nicknamed by liking to play in the water near his home? Marilion’s first singer, Fish.

Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal”.

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico

Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico