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Life is Craise

tommyland.jpgNow to the promised review of Tommyland, the bestselling autobiography of our friend and Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee.

Not nearly as good or thorough as The Dirt, Tommyland has a unique voice that gives readers insight into the mental meanderings of Lee's lifestyle, habits and attitudes. While some stories in Tommyland overlap with those in The Dirt, most accounts are of Tommy's time in jail, his sexual exploits, kids,  and his passion for music. In fact, a lot of time is simply devoted to music. Tommy invents new words to express how he feels about a certain subject. I don't know if this is born of creativity or a lack of proper vocabulary, but it makes the book interesting in its own way (read Tommyland, and you'll understand the title of this blog entry).

A big drawback of the book are the countless footnotes. Meant to add humor, they often detract the reader's attention, breaking up the normal cycle of reading and properly digesting a work. Otherwise, I'd say this an above-average rock biography.

Another indication that glam is coming back. A Christmas Eve trip to Kmart netted toys for family pets and a surprise glam find! In the toy aisle, a Bratz brand tank top with the word "GLAM" spelled out in rhinestones. If that doesn't mean something huge, then I don't know what does.











Thank you, Santa!

hairmetal.jpgI know I promised a review of Tommyland today, but that was before I looked inside Santa's bag and found the jolly one brought me a copy of American Hair Metal by Steven Blush. Oh, what a lovely collection of hair metal photos! The book, which is more photography than copy, chronicles the rise of Sunset Strip metal. In all, it took me about 15 minutes to read. Beside each photo is a classic quote from our favorite glam rockers. This was the book I wanted to write, but Blush beat me to the punch. American Hair Metal is also a good quick reference guide. The last 10 pages or so include information on key bands, where they formed, members names, label, and key songs and a short bio.

I also like that the book opens with a picture of Aqua Net hairspray. Makes sense to me.

Now, for the song obsession of the week: "For the Love of Money" by the Bulletboys. Yes, I realize this  is a bold move. The Bulletboys were formed in the late 80s with singer Marq Torien (he was the first vocalist for Ratt)  at the helm, but officially disbanded in 1993. The O'Jays cover appears on the band's  1988 debut, and also features "Smooth Up in 'Ya"

Now, the methodology behind the selection. First, I like the song. Second, the O'Jays were influenced by James Brown, who passed yesterday. The blues and soul had a significant impact on glam metal. Therefore, our glam selection of the week pays tribute to the late,  great James Brown.







Happy Hooligan's Holiday

Merry Christmas, glam fans!

We'll make Motley Crue's "Hooligan's Holiday" the song obsession of the day since I don't like Christmas music, and it's the only glam song I can think of right now with the word holiday in the title.

Tomorrow: Song obsession of the week (I promise it's not the Crue) , and a review of the New York Times bestseller Tommyland.




Looking Forward To...

There are quite a few albums slated for release in 2007:

Chinese Democracy - Guns N' Roses (but don't hold your breath)
Demo Anthology - Winger
Good to be Bad - Whitesnake
Dominator - W.A.S.P.
Liberated - Velvet Revolver

A new Motley Crue disc (plus the release of The Dirt movie and The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx)
A new Aerosmith disc
A Great White reunion tour and album
KISS tour and DVD

Plus, Dio and Black Sabbath are planning a major tour with album (The Dio Years - Black Sabbath)

Poison frontman Bret Michaels is also slated to star on a new VH1 reality show about rock stars and groupies.

I think about half of these things will happen. I doubt Motley Crue will release a new disc by the end of 2007, and I feel the same way about Aerosmith.

I hope I'm wrong, but only time will tell.




The Chinese Are About to Go Democratic, But Does Anyone Care?

So, as 2006 winds to a close and 2007 just around the corner, Guns N' Roses fans anxiously await the release of Chinese Democracy. The disc is 10 years in the making, with a tentative release date of March 6, 2007.

But does anyone care?

Apparently, the answer is yes considering how many websites and fan forums are dedicated to the GnR album. Some fans even think former Guns guitarist Izzy Stradlin may rejoin the band (he does not perform on the album). Too bad Axl Rose went bonkers and fired the entire band.

To me, no Slash = no Guns N' Roses.

Apparently, Axl (we're on a first name basis) invited Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach over to his home for a listen. Bach (see, we're NOT on a first name basis!) told Rolling Stone magazine that the album is both "mindblowing" and "grand."

Axl is touring right now, which is a good indication that the album is near completion.

I remember reading the 2005 New York Times article about the forthcoming disc. GnR remains on the Geffen label, and executives estimate the production costs to be around 13 million, the most expensive album never released. I was reading that article in the car for whatever reason, and it annoyed me. To this day I'm baffled that Geffen retained GnR but dropped so many of its other (selling) rock acts.

By the way, a quick trip to finds that Guns N' Roses greatest hits remains in the top 5o0 sellers in music. That disc was released in March 2004, proving there is still a demand for Axl and his backup singers.

There's also a dedicated search for "Chinese Democracy" but no album information, not a good sign considering the disc is due in just over 2 months.

We shall see.





Down with the Establishment

For whatever reason, the Grammy awards consistently snub some of the most popular - and talented - musicians. I started wondering if any of my beloved glam bands were Grammy winners. Sadly, I'm pretty sure the answer is no. The recording industry introduced the category of Best Hard Rock/Metal Group Performance in 1989. That was the year Motley Crue (Dr. Feelgood)  or Metallica (Metallica)  should have won. Jethro Tull took home the statuette instead.

After the initial snub, Metallica went on to win six Grammy awards. Aerosmith has won four. Black Sabbath has one Grammy, for the re-release of "Iron Man" in the late nineties.

You probably think Def Leppard has at least one Grammy, considering the importance Pyromania had on rock during the 1980s. Hysteria remains one of the highest selling rock albums of all time. Nope, no Grammy awards. Not even for best music video...a category I'm not sure should even exist.

Let's talk about the best video winners. Some glam acts created the most elaborate videos for their time on MTV. The first Grammy for best video was awarded in 1984. It went to Duran Duran for "Hungry Like a Wolf." Other winners for best music video include David Bowie, USA for Africa, Dire Straits, Michael Jackson, and Paula Abdul. As you would guess, U2 also won a Grammy for best video (for Vertigo, no less). What videos do I think deserve a Grammy? "November Rain" by Guns N' Roses (still one of the most expensive videos of all time), "Cryin" by Aerosmith, and "Looks that Kill" by Motley Crue. I know for a fact that at least a few rock acts are recognized voters for the Grammys. It just baffles me that no real rock acts ever win.

Poison? Zip. Motley Crue? Zero. RATT? Zilch.

But don't worry: Led Zeppelin never won either.

Grammy darlings U2 have won more Grammys than any other "rock group." Whatever.

Tune in February 11, 2007 for the 49th annual Grammy awards. I'm sure there will be plenty more snubs to talk about the next day.

At least Milli Vanilli was recognized...





Finally, Some Good News

Attention Aerosmith fans: Bassist Tom Hamilton says he's cancer free.

The legendary rocker was diagnosed with throat cancer last spring. While the rest of the band toured with Motley Crue (Route of All Evil), Hamilton stayed behind, undergoing extensive radiation treatments. Several musicians filled in for Hamilton during the year-long tour.  

Expect a new album from the Bad Boys from Boston in 2007 with another tour.

The Route of All Evils tours was one of the highest grossing live shows of the year. Experts estimate the bands made a million dollars per each show. The bands played about 40 shows in total. That's a lot of dough.