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Sunday
Sep162007

From Bubblegum to Glam

ohioexpress_wm.JPGFall in Ohio means festival time. In fact, you can go to a different festival every weekend and still not have enough time to look at all the craft booths and eat a bunch of french fries and elephant ears.

Last night, Eric and I attended such a festival with both sets of our parents. The featured entertainment was Ohio Express. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, don’t feel bad. Their most famous song is “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” and, according to the band website, Ohio Express invented the Bubblegum era of pop.

So here we are, listening to the sixties music and my mom says “I wonder if the music you like will be around as long as this stuff?”

I certainly hope so.

From the Glam Metal scene, some bands can still play stadiums (Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Aerosmith) and some play festivals (Poison, L.A. Guns, Queensryche).

Just the other day, I read that Def Leppard enjoyed the highest grossing concert of all time at the Kentucky State fair. Aerosmith recently played the Los Angeles County fair, commanding close to one million dollars in booking fees.

The Ohio Express didn’t get a million bucks to play on a shoddy stage last night – but were they more in demand a decade ago? I’m not sure.

Did bands like Motley Crue, Def Leppard or Aerosmith even play the fair circuit a few years back? Surely, there was big money to be made if the Crue were asked to play a state fair in, say, 1989.

Vince Neil tours nonstop for two reasons: he likes money and he likes to perform. He’s on the road fall, spring, winter and summer and it’s been that way for years. This must mean there’s a demand for solo Motley, even while the Crue continues to self-destruct.

Perhaps when I’m 40 (by the way, the thought of turning 30 makes me queasy) I’ll go to a free festival and see Vince running around the stage.

Hey, it could happen.

***Do you think Glam Metal will enjoy the same longevity as 60s rock?

Saturday
Sep152007

Metal Edge Relaunch

metaledge.jpgOk, Metal Edge has just relaunched and I received my first issue of the "new" magazine today. Aside from clearer pictures and maybe a few less grammatical errors, the rag looks exactly the same to me.

The major difference is that the September 2007 issue comes complete with a CD. The bands featured on the disc are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ministry
Droid
Scum of the Earth
Blacklist Union
City Sleeps
Bring Me the Horizon
Atreyu
Novembre
Trashlight Vision
Megadeth
Ken Synder
Chris Volz
Dawn Over Zero
Another Day Dies

The cover looks a little better, mainly because it seems Zenbu Media sprung for some better paper stock and went back to a glossy format. The masthead is also slightly different, which I think is an idiotic move in poor brand marketing, but who the hell am I? If you're a Tool fan, you might want this issue because the band is on the cover.

For us glam fans there's a one page worthless article by Eddie Trunk. I quickly scanned the contributing writers list and Trunk isn't included, so maybe this was a one-time special. At any rate, he writes "What's in a Name?" and talks about glam bands that have different members or two touring groups, like L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat and White Lion. Whatever.

Just as worthless is a two page spread on the "25 Wildest Album Covers." The list includes - and I am not making this up - Soundgarden's Superunknown, Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power and Judas Priest's Screaming for Vengeance. Metal Edge editors say Nothing's Shocking by Jane's Addiction is the most wild album cover of all time. O.K.

Save your $4.99 and put it toward a new issue of the British import Classic Rock.

 

 

Friday
Sep142007

Book Review: The Heroin Diaries

heroindiaries.jpgEven in the depths of heroin addiction, Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx was able to pen his memoirs. Now, his new book The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star (Simon & Schuster 2007) openly tells the story of one very messy past. Sixx says he hopes the retelling of his addiction helps others.

The book begins in December 1986. Motley Crue is working on Girls, Girls, Girls and Sixx is cracked out of his mind 90% of the time. Throughout the book, it's pretty clear Nikki was trying to deal with his family abandonment issues and using the drugs as a catalyst to numb the pain. It's easy to judge while reading the book and it's easy to not feel sorry for a very famous, very rich rockstar. Still, money doesn't fix everything and it some ways only made Sixx go more crazy. Since he was (is) so wealthy, he could buy as many drugs as he wanted. Thinking about the amount of money he injected into his body is both disgusting and pathetic. Earlier this week, Sixx appeared on Fox News Channel and chatted with Greta Van Susteren. During that talk, he said that this is "his year to give back." He'll donate 25% of the proceeds of the book to the Covenant House for troubled youth. I hope 25% comes somewhere close to the amount of cash he gave to dealers between 1986 and 1987.

For me, the most compelling parts of the journals are reading Sixx lie to himself. I would like to believe that the journals are at least 90% true. If that's the case then the crazy, drug-induced ramblings are mostly accurate. Most times after shooting up or chasing the dragon, Sixx would barricade himself inside a walk-in closet with a shotgun, fighting massive paranoia. The drug sent Sixx into major psychosis and he always thought people - mainly the police - were coming to get him.

If you've read The Dirt, then you know the backstage debauchery that is Motley Crue. Some of the stories are just downright disgusting. After reading The Dirt, Tommyland and now the Heroin Diaries, I'm convinced no one in Motley Crue is able to truly love a woman and form a meaningful relationship. Yes, all the original Crue members have kids and I am sure they love them, but this isn't the same sort of love or commitment, now is it? I'd be a hypocrite to say I didn't read the Heroin Diaries with a judgmental eye. Still, I'm not an addict and (thankfully) I've never faced such demons.

With all that said, please believe that the Heroin Diaries is one damn good read. If you're a Motley Cure fan, you'll probably dig the book and all the inside accounts from various important people within the band's inner sanctum. Sixx finally owns up to events that he's lied about in the past, and the tone of the book moves from depressed to hopeful. At 413 pages, it's also a quick read.

A note about the Heroin Diaries soundtrack: the music adds another dimension to the book and I now understand why Sixx opted to release the music first. It gives the listener a sort of premier to the addiction tale without giving away too much. Taken together, the Heroin Diaries book and soundtrack offer a compelling look at a man who was certainly spinning out of control.

Thursday
Sep132007

An Open Letter to Tommy Lee (Part Duex)

tommylee.jpgDear Tommy Lee Bass (or T-Lee, T-Bone,T-Man),

So, I hear you've quit Motley Crue again. Is it that time of year again, Tommy? Did things get a little rough in your 15 bedroom Los Angeles mansion and state-of-the-art home recording studio, Tommy?

Do I need to remind you again, dear Tommy, that it is fans like me - millions of us strong - that helped you get the mansion, helped you snort a gazillion dollars worth of cocaine, helped you and the rest of Motley buy a private jet, helped you stay in the finest hotels, helped you see the world beyond your wildest imagination?

What am I getting out of this love/hate relationship, dear Tommy? Not much. Granted, the Crue has a pretty darn good back catalog of work and I'll be forever grateful for Shout at the Devil. I mean, it doesn't get much better than that, does it?

A few days ago, you said you were "over" rock music. Nikki Sixx recently said to the press that you listen to rap music hours a day. It's good that you've got widespread music interests, but let's get real.

I did public relations for a professional orchestra, Tommy, and that sure as hell didn't make me Yo-Yo Ma. To this day, I can appreciate the depth a string arrangement gives a heavy metal song but that doesn't mean I'm going to try and wrangle my way backstage at an Itzhak Perlman concert to score an interview.

You can rap all you want Tommy, but you ain't never gonna be Ice T, Ice Cube, Vanilla Ice...or even Kid Rock.

Yeah, I said it.

After the brouhaha at the Video Music Awards, I was on your side. After all, I always thought Kid Rock sucked, but now I realize you suck too.

Maybe "Pebble" should have knocked you upside your head a little harder. Pam Anderson could have soothed your nerves again, you could have gone home and checked the mailbox for another giant Motley royalty check and bought another Porsche.

Whatever.

I just listened to New Tattoo again. You know what? The late Randy Castillo did a pretty damn good job keeping up with the rest of the Crue. No, that album isn't Dr. Feelgood but then not many are. When it all comes down to it, we're all just a big ball of cells - cosmic matter. It's what we do in life and how we treat others that makes us matter. See the distinction?

When I first heard that you'd quit the Crue again, I thought "well, that's that." Now, I'm not so sure. Motley Crue isn't one person, and the rest of the boys can go on, record and tour without you. I hope they do. I hope you see their success and feel like a jackass, because that's what you are.

Tommy, I know you don't give two shits about my opinion - or anyone's opinion for that matter - but you better realize that everything I'm saying here is true. You look like a joke swaying your arm to the beat, wearing your cap sideways. You're not hood, you've never been hood...and you ain't never going to be hood. If you want to turn your back on your one true talent, and please believe that talent is drumming, then so be it. It's your life after all. Just don't bitch when things fall apart.

Remember, Tommy, love and hate's the same to the Black Widow -- and you, my friend, are about as white as they come. Holla!

P.S.

I am waiting for my refund. I demand my $50 back from one of your crappy techno shows with DJ Aero. I didn't know you could get the same kick out of performing in front of 100 people versus 40,000 in a sold out stadium, but what the hell do I know?

I hope Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Vince Neil never let you back in Motley Crue. It would serve you right.

Love and kisses,

The glam mistress.

**Suggested reading: An Open Letter to Tommy Lee (May 25, 2007)

Thursday
Sep132007

The Good 'Ol Days

So Tommy Lee has quit Motley Crue (again). This time, it's over a lawsuit, a few million bucks, and the desire to be a rap D.J.


Whatever. You better damn well believe the glam mistress has more than a few things to say about all of this. I'm really behind today because life got in the way, but I'll post a love letter to Tommy Lee within a few hours - please hang with me!


Until then, here's a video from the good 'ol days: Motley Crue performing "Bastard" at the 1983 U.S. Festival. I think the song title fits.



Wednesday
Sep122007

Mr. Sixx Goes to Washington

Tomorrow I will review The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star by Nikki Sixx. I was smart and pre-ordered a hardback copy and I was pleased to find the Amazon.com box waiting on my front step Monday afternoon.


Last Thursday, Nikki Sixx spoke about addiction on Capitol Hill. He was an invited speaker of NAADAC (National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors). At first, Nikki was clearly nervous but quickly relaxed. He spoke off the cuff about his crazy past as a wild rock star and junkie. I'm trying to not be jaded about all of this. Sixx says he wants to help kids and since he's a parent, I want to believe his motives are genuine. At any rate, his Capitol Hill talk was from the heart and thankfully short. Here's the video:



Tuesday
Sep112007

It's Britney, Bitch

britneyspears.jpgFrom now on there will be no more Britney Spears bashing. Yes, she sings canned pop music in the studio and yes she lip synchs on stage. You would lip synch too if you danced hardcore.


For one day only this site will move from Glam Metal to Pop Princess. Yes, one day only.

I'm sick and tired of people saying Britney looked fat at Sunday's Video Music Awards. Because I have the enviable job of working in the T.V. news business, I saw her performance. Guess what? It wasn't that damn bad.

I dare any one of you get to up in front of millions of people, wearing a diamond studded bikini and sky-high stiletto heels.

The worst part is mainstream journalists - the elite media - calling Britney fat. Ten seconds later there's a transition wipe and big-haired, ditzy anchor talking about eating disorders among teenage girls. A producer with a better mind than the anchor probably wrote the damn questions and it's both sickening and embarrassing. You know what? I had an eating disorder when I was a teenager. I was terrified of gaining two ounces. It tore my mom apart and Eric and I fought all the time. It's not a good way to live -- and I dare one person to challenge me on this.

While we're talking about it, it's sickening that MSNBC is rearing the entire breaking coverage from September 11, 2001. We all know what happened that morning. We know how that nightmare ends - or never does, depending on your thoughts on President Bush and the illegal Iraq war. Makes me embarrassed to earn a paycheck that way.

Back to Britney.

Let's recap: there will no more trashing Britney on this website. If you leave a nasty comment about her, I'm going to take it as a nasty comment directed at me and it will be erased.

Now, Britney doesn't always do pop songs. She's covered classic rock from time to time. Here's Britney singing "I Love Rock n' Roll." I love her clothes in this video.