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Monday
Jul022018

An Interesting Story About An Aerosmith Mega Hit

Here's a little piece of quality journalism about "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," the Aerosmith hit from the movie Armageddon. The song is probably my least favorite Aerosmith track, but I'm a sucker for behind-the-song stories. This is worth a read.


Sunday
Jul012018

New Dee Snider Music

Dee Snider will release For The Love Of Metal on June 27. One of the tracks on that album is called "Become The Storm." You can check out the track below. It's pretty much straightforward metal. Nothing to complain about here!


Saturday
Jun302018

Guys, That Isn't Steven Tyler Below

What the hell?! I clicked over to Sleaze Roxx, as you do, to scan the stories... and I thought someone had made a mistake. There was an article about a band called Angels in Vein... but clearly a photo of Steven Tyler.


Wait! That isn't Steven Tyler at all! It's Chris VanDahl. Angels in Vein is a group made up of VanDahl from L.A. Guns during the American Hardcore era, Todd “Taz” Anthony (guitar), Stacey Blades from L.A. Guns (guitar), Eric Stacy from Faster Pussycat (bass) and of course Troy Patrick Farrell of White Lion (drums). I say of course for Troy because he's in every supergroup these days. I think this group originally formed back in 2016.


This jarring photo made more sense to me when I found out VanDahl is also in Aeromyth, an Aerosmith tribute band. Bloody hell, I want to book these guys for an event someday! Look at the second video below. Amazing.



Friday
Jun292018

Here's The Def Lep Sneaker News You Need

Remember when I posted this week that Def Leppard was debuting an exclusive shoe? Well Blabbermouth has all the big details now, including the price which is insane. I've never spent $265 on a pair of shoes before.

"Retailing for $265, each style will be on display during the band's current world tour at their meet-and-greets, starting July 1 and are expected to ship to customers in October. Size ranges from EU 36-47."

Def Leppard - The Vinyl Collection: Volume One [8 LP + 7" Box Set]


Thursday
Jun282018

Public Memorial For Vinnie Paul Announced

If you are around the Dallas area, you might be interested in attending the public memorial for Vinnie Paul, set for this Sunday. Details below. I would plan for a massive crowd.


Wednesday
Jun272018

Roger Daltrey Coming To Southern Ohio

Roger Daltrey is coming to the Dayton area next week. I wrote about it as the cover story for this week's Dayton City Paper. I thought you might enjoy the piece. 


Roger Daltrey has nothing left to prove. He’s a bona fide living legend: lead singer and founder of The Who, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Kennedy Center Honors recipient, among many other awards and accolades. Perhaps most impressive is that with The Who he’s sold over 100 million records and counting. When The Who released Tommy in 1969, the album was considered the first major rock opera. The distilled story of the main character Tommy is one of a deaf, dumb and blind boy and his relationship with his family.

Since 1971, Tommy has evolved from a straight rock production to being performed by operas and philharmonics around the world. There was a film in 1975 and the famous Broadway musical in 1992. The album is also in the Grammy Hall of Fame thanks to its “historical, artistic and significant value.”

Now in 2018, Roger Daltrey is in the middle of a 12-date American tour where he will perform all of Tommy with a local orchestra at each stop. The tour runs through July 9. It comes to Kettering’s Fraze Pavilion on Monday, July 2 and the Dayton Philharmonic will be right alongside Daltrey for the special, one-night-only engagement.

“It’s going to be magnificent with the orchestra,” Daltrey recently told Rolling Stone. “It won’t be sloppy strings, I assure you. The band is so solid underneath…. And we stay faithful to the record. We treat it with the respect that you’d treat a Mozart opera.”

“We were flattered to be asked,” Paul Helfrich, President & CEO of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) tells the Dayton City Paper. “Our orchestra has a good bit of experience doing rock shows…so it’s a comfortable environment for us to be in.”

Forty-seven Philharmonic musicians will make-up Daltrey’s special orchestra for his Fraze performance. Those musicians are comprised of musicians under Philharmonic contract and the “substitute and extra list” if necessary. The Dayton Philharmonic has a protocol to offer special gigs to their musicians in hiring order. Because this is summer and the Philharmonic is not currently in season, some musicians are unavailable.

“We have a hiring order set up and we know exactly what the order is that we can call people on for these special opportunities,” explains Helfrich. “We like to be able to do any show in the summer because it keeps people talking about the orchestra rather than having a dead spot between mid-June to mid-September. I think anything that helps people see the orchestra as part of their life and the cultural experiences they enjoy is good for us and makes it more likely they will attend another performance we’d do in the future.”

While the professional musicians of the Dayton Philharmonic are skilled and adept at performing a wide variety of music, there are still nerves and kinks that need to be smoothed before any big performance. That’s where tour conductor Keith Levenson comes in. A veteran of Broadway, Levenson and Daltrey have a long-running relationship. Even with this background, Levenson admits conducting new musicians night after night is a bit nerve-wracking.

“On this schedule it’s a little wacky because I’m used to having a different orchestra every week [with Broadway tours] but this is like three different orchestras in a week!” exclaims Levenson. “We’re on a very limited rehearsal time. We have about enough time to play through all the music at one rehearsal. It’s wild.”

While Levenson has been to Dayton a few times with touring productions such as The Bridges of Madison County, he has never worked with the Dayton Philharmonic.

While it may be “wacky” for Levenson to step on a podium in front of strangers for one rehearsal and then a performance, he says the wide prevalence of technology has surely helped. There is no longer a need to advance paper music. All the musicians get the special “sheet” music—in this case Tommy—well in advance and practice at home. Plus, this is a rock show after all. There must be a little spontaneity and looseness.

Roger Daltrey worked with composer David Campbell on arrangements of Tommy for this tour. Campbell has worked with about every A-lister in the music world, from pop stars Michael Jackson, to Beyoncé and Taylor Swift to metal heavyweights like Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold. He even helped rock band Evanescence rework older songs for an orchestral album called Synthesis. Campbell has also arranged for dozens of films including Annie, which Levenson has personally conducted over 3,000
Broadway productions.

“They are amazing arrangements,” admits Levenson. “I like to think of it as one big rock band as opposed to a band and an orchestra. David’s looked at the music so carefully. He hasn’t done what pop singers like to do with orchestras where they write whole notes for 18 bars and no one really plays anything. This is not easy [music], it’s a challenge. David writes challenging parts and he has a gift of being able to interpret the original recordings that it was based on. [Tommy] is so orchestral. The danger is making it too big. To where it minimizes the original work. So I think David’s real skill is making it sound ginormous because of how well it’s written, not because of how many are playing it. Roger was very specific about that—he didn’t want it to sound soupy.”

Levenson and Daltrey go back to the mid 90s, working on projects here and there together. For Levenson, it’s the ultimate flattery to be remembered and called upon by such a music icon.

“I’ve had so many Tommy experiences,” recalls Levenson. “I’ve done a couple national tours of Tommy: The Musical and I’ve done parts of Tommy with Roger but this [is the first time] to really start from the beginning. We’ve been working months on this. It’s a different kind of energy. On a Broadway tour, it’s ‘pretending’ the energy. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a great tour with multiple weeks in the same city. So that’s an easy tour. But you still have to do a Tuesday morning orchestra rehearsal with 12 people you don’t know. The difference is that you’re working with them for a couple weeks. So you can make it better. The four-hour orchestra rehearsal—as important as it is for opening night—does not have to be the last word you say about it if you’re in Los Angeles for three weeks or whatever. With this Tommy rehearsal, you really have to get it right at the two-hour rehearsal that you’ve got and then have the energy to do the show.”

Daltrey was already looking ahead to summer when this tour was announced back in January. “I’m really looking forward to singing Tommy, not only with my great backing group, but also some of the finest orchestras in the country,” reads Daltrey’s first press statement about this tour.

If you feel apprehensive about attending Tommy at the Fraze because you lack a classical music pedigree, let those fears subside. This show is really for The Who diehards.

“The people who know the music and will be surprised at how it can rock with a symphony. David is very clever [with his arrangements]… and the band is a rock band. It’s essentially The Who band.”

The members of that band will stay the same each night and include guitarist and backup singer Simon Townshend, guitarist Frank Simes, keyboardist Loren Gold, bassist Jon Button and drummer Scott Devour. Also joining the tour is Daltrey’s personal musical director.

“We’ve been doing months of prep to make sure David and I are on the same page and Roger has a music director for his band. So making sure he’s okay with me to help me understand how they usually play it. The orchestra wants to be part of the band, not the other way around and that’s really Roger’s concept behind the whole thing.”

The tour coincided with the 74-year-old Daltrey’s new book, due this fall. He also just released a new album called As Long As I Have You on June 1 of this year.

Expect Daltrey to return to the stage after all the songs of Tommy are performed. Encore tracks on this tour include “Who Are You,” “Baba O’Riley” and “Always Heading Home.”

As a group, The Who haven’t played together since a short South American run with Guns n’ Roses last fall. It isn’t clear when or if the band will plan another tour anytime soon, although Daltrey did not dismiss the idea of another tour in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.

“We said this is the beginning of a long goodbye at the beginning of our 50th anniversary tour,” Daltrey told the magazine. “The long goodbye is as long as it takes. I’ve always been of the opinion that you don’t give this business up. This business gives you up. As long as we can do it well, we will. If it ever starts to get not good and loses the essence of what the Who brings to the stage, we’ll stop.”

Seeing Daltrey in Kettering is a surefire way to get your Who fix—even if the rest of the band does not tour anytime soon. The Kettering show will run about 90 minutes. Levenson urges you to come out, enjoy a summer night and rock out to some of the best rock music ever written. Watch with your eyes and not through your phones to really embrace the entire experience.

As for the Dayton Philharmonic, performing with Daltrey in July is not the end of their rock escapades. The organization has several concerts planned for their Rockin’ Orchestra series next season.

“We’re starting off with Jefferson Starship and that might be a good fit [for Who fans] because this particular version of Starship does a lot of the older Jefferson Airplane material,” explains Helfrich. “Lots of overlap of the 60’s era Tommy and The Who. And we’re doing a Last Waltz concert with a number of local musicians [performing hits from The Band] so that might be a good fit. The one that would really connect with fans of The Who is the ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ complete show with Beatles tribute groups.”

If you feel like revisiting the Woodstock era, tickets to Tommy at the Fraze are available at the box office inside Town and Country Shopping Center in Kettering or by visiting fraze.com. For more information on Roger Daltrey, visit thewho.com. To subscribe to the Dayton Philharmonic, call 888-228-3630.


Tuesday
Jun262018

Def Leppard Tease Special Shoe (Seriously)

Apparently Def Leppard has teamed up with luxury sneaker designer Six Hundred Four for a special, limited edition shoe celebrating... something.

According to the Six Hundred Four website, the company creates 604 pairs of limited edition shoes "based off an artist's art piece. Each pair is crafted with premium materials, while utilizing state of the art printers that effectively tattoo the art onto the shoes. This allows you to wear each pair comfortably and freely, not fearing the art will bleed, crack, or crumble away."

Six Hundred Four has a gallery in Vancouver where you can view (and presumably) buy the shoes. It will be interesting to see what the Def Lep shoes look like... and how much they cost.