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Everybody Wants a Piece of the Pie

alcatrazz1.jpgAt one time, it seemed that Alcatrazz was poised to take the heavy metal throne.

The band was formed in Los Angeles in 1983.

Members included former Rainbow vocalist Graham Bonnet and Steeler guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen. Gary Shea played bass with New England before jumping to Alcatrazz. Jan Uvena played drums and Jimmy Waldo played keyboards.

 After only one album, guitar virtuoso Malmsteen was replaced with equally talented Steve Vai. With Vai, the group released Disturbing the Peace. Vai jumped ship a short time later to perform with David Lee Roth's band after he left Van Halen.

A slew of personnel changes later, Alcatrazz called it quits by the end of the 1980s. In 1996, The Best of Alcatrazz hit store shelves as an import release. The album was met with mixed reviews, most fans think the band's four studio albums are a better representation of their work.

Last year, Internet rumors swirled that Graham Bonnet was planning a new Alcatrazz line-up, but that has yet to be seen.

If you're wondering about Malmsteen, he embarked on a successful solo career and is largely regarded as one of rock's best guitarists.






Everybody Wants a Piece of the Action

blacknblue.jpgOur next unsuccessful Sunset Strip band is Black 'N Blue. Their lead singer, Jamie St. James, is Warran'ts new frontman. In addition to St. James, Black 'N Blue was comprised of guitarists Tommy Thayer and Jeff Warner and bassist Patrick Young. Drummer Pete Holmes rounded out the mix.

Black 'N Blue had promise. They landed a major label deal, and they opened for KISS in 1985. Despite the wide exposure of a KISS audience, Black 'N Blue never managed a hit single, but did sell nearly a million units of their debut album. Black 'N Blue disbanded in 1989. They regrouped in 1997 for a one-off show that was later made into the album One Night Only - Live. You can hear the best of Black 'N Blue on their Ultimate Collection.

In addition to Warrant, Black 'N Blue members have played in bands such as Freight Train Jane, Dry Rot and Monster. Tommy Thayer now performs with KISS.



ModernTimes and New Blood's Pumping (Only the Strong Survive)

odin1.jpgToday, the beginning of a multi-part series on the Sunset Strips bands that didn't make it big.

Our first band is Odin.

The band was forever immortalized in the cult film The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years.

Odin was comprised of Randy "O" (vocals), Jeff Duncan (guitar), Aaron Samson (bass) and Shawn Duncan (drums). The band was a staple of the Gazarri club. If you seen The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II, then you know all about Gazarri's.

The band played for big crowds, and the movie helped but old Randy O and his crew never landed a record deal. Randy once threatened to kill himself if he didn't become famous. By all accounts, he's still alive and well.

The thing is, Odin did release a few albums. The best known is Fight for Your Life. The disc was previously only available in Japan, and later released state side. The album is on Perris Records, a small label that now carries Stephen Pearcy (RATT) among others.

It seems people haven't totally forgotten Odin. Every three weeks, someone starts a thread about the failed band on I guess success is in the eye of the beholder.






newtattoo.jpgIf you've read two entries of this blog, you know I'm a big Motley Crue fan. Last night I was at a record store, not looking for the Crue, but for Hanoi Rocks. Didn't find any Hanoi Rocks, but I did find a painful Crue bargain. Why painful? Here's the story:

I wander to the back of the store where the box sets are located. Cassette tapes are also located in the back of the store. I scan the tapes, not really expecting to find anything good. My husband saw it first, New Tattoo by Motley Crue! I turned over the little plastic case. It was listed for 94 cents. This pained me, so I grabbed it. I don't even have a cassette player in my car. I decided to scan the real Motley Crue section. That's when I saw Motley Crue on CD for $2.99.

When I approached the counter, both treasures in hand, the clerk informed me that New Tattoo was  a quarter!

Oh my.

Even if it's a deal for me, no Motley release should retail for a quarter at a corporate owned music store.

Of course, the guy behind the counter had to argue that Vince Neil isn't on either release. When I explained, twice, that Vince is on New Tattoo, the clerk got annoyed! Tommy Lee isn't on New Tattoo.

After a famous fight with Vince, Tommy quit the band and formed Methods of Mayhem. The remaining members of Motley Crue asked former Ozzy Osbourne drummer Randy Castillo to play on the album.

Castillo became ill before the New Tattoo tour. He died of cancer in March 2002. Tommy Lee rejoined Motley Crue in 2004.

Here's a really old picture of the band during their Sunset Strip heyday. Makes me smile.





Me. Wise. Magic.

vanhalen.jpgSo, it looks like it's really going to happen. A Van Halen reunion of sorts with David Lee Roth at the helm and Wolfgang Van Halen on bass.

The news hit the entertainment wires a few days ago. I wanted to let the dust settle before  I wrote about the issue. reports that the band signed a contract for a 40 city amphitheatre tour this summer. Live Nation will produce the tour, which, I assume will be a complete sell-out.  

It's been more than 20 years since Diamond Dave left Van Halen, embarking on a solo career. After ditching Roth, Van Halen invited Sammy Hagar to lead the group. After a successful decade or so, the Van Halen brothers got sick of Hagar so he, too, was out.

Then there was the unsuccessful album with former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone. He didn't last too long either.

roth.jpgNow, Van Halen is about to be inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. There's so much bad blood between these guys, the rock hall is letting the band perform twice at the induction ceremony, once with Hagar, and once with Roth.

I guess it really is the The Best of Both Worlds.

You can see the Rock Hall train wreck in March, the "reunion" sometime when the barometer rises and the trees are lush and green.

Now, for all the naysayers and yeasayers, I'll admit it: if the concert stops anywhere in Ohio, I'll be there. As a matter of fact, the second the tickets go on sale, I'll be sitting at the computer, ready to purchase the best seats possible.

As a blue collar girl at heart, I love a good fight.




Gone Country

bon-jovi.jpgTake a look at the recent photo of glam supergroup Bon Jovi. All those good looks and modern machismo make for a great combination, especially when recording their next hit record. Too  bad that next album is all country. That's right. Bon Jovi, one of the biggest bands to emerge from the 1980s glam scene, has gone country.

Oh dear.

Jon and company leaked two country tracks to the Internet yesterday. It's become common practice for artists to test the waters by "leaking" a track or three on the world wide web.

Apparently, Bon Jovi recorded their album in (where else?) Nashville. The album may be released as early as April.

As you can imagine, some fans are devastated, others excited. To be fair, the line between country and rock music has become increasingly blurred, with country acts employing the same electric guitars that have so long been a staple of modern metal.

So, when Bon Jovi hits the road to support the new album, will they tap into covers of George Strait and Patsy Cline or will they go ahead and play the hits that made them famous like "Dead or Alive?"  Will performing "Bad Medicine" anger the country fans more akin to Rascal Flatts than Poison? Will the die hards wearing vintage concert t-shirts become violent when Ritchie Sambora trots out the dobro instead of the Stratocaster?

Let the debate begin.



Brother, You Were Always So Far Away

nelson.jpgSo, there's a rumor circulating on the Internet that the Nelson brothers are about to embark on a reunion tour. Matthew and Gunner Nelson are brothers, so were they ever separated?

Maybe the "reunion" means the original Nelson lineup, which included guitarists Steven McClintock and Cary Park, David Morgan on keyboards, and drummer Brian Burwell. There's a different Nelson line-up now, but you get the idea.

Nelson is best known for their number 1 single, "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection." The single was on the 1990 release After the Rain. All of Nelson's singles are available on 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Nelson.

According to the boys are on tour right now. This month, they're crooning on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. I don't know if this is cool or not. Glam readers, let me tell you that I've been on a cruise, and I've enjoyed the shows. I would say there wasn't a single performance, however, that was good enough to garner a number one single on the Billboard charts. Maybe my standards are too high.

Later this year, the Nelsons will stop in Iowa, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Oregon but don't expect a glam reunion. The Nelson's are now a country act. Whatever.