Upcoming Show’s I’ll Be Attending

So here’s a short list of the next few show’s I’m going to in either New Jersey or Manhattan within the next week and again in February.

king-diamond-04

King Diamond w/ Exodus live at PlayStation Theater, New York, NY  – Friday, November 20, 2015

This was very last minute.  I wasn’t counting on seeing this show because this date in particular is sold out but a co-worker of my girlfriend offered her his tickets.  Sucker!  This is going to be amazing.  I love King.  She can’t stand him but is willing to go see him out of respect, knowing that there’d probably never be bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax or Slayer had it not been for Mercyful Fate, King’s pre-solo band.  Being that this will be my first time seeing King, it’ll also be interesting to hear how he sounds after years away, having recovered from back AND heart surgeries.  I also know I’m absolutely going to jizz myself silly when I finally hear Andy LaRoque solo his brains out for the first time ever!  Not looking too forward to Exodus.  I’m probably one of the few would cannot stand Souza’s voice…at all.  What the fuck was Gary Holt thinking when he got rid of Rob Dukes?  Was he even thinking at all?!?!  You dumb fuck.

imgres

Angel Vivaldi live at Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ – Sunday, November 22, 2015

Since I last wrote about Angel Vivaldi this YouTube sensation has been on the road for the last two months, promoting his most recent album, Away With Words, Pt.1.  This show will be his homecoming show, bringing that tour to an end.  If you haven’t heard him yet I suggest you go to Dingbatz on the 22nd to see why he gets namedropped by peers such as Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss.

classic sabbath

Black Sabbath live at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – Thursday, February 25, 2016

Well, here it is.  And more important than that, it’s for real this time.  Tony Iommi himself has gone on record saying that he finally cannot handle it anymore.  It’s incredible he was able to hang on for as long as he has, all things considered.  But it was going to happen eventually – I’m just grateful that their last show wasn’t an Ozzfest gig in Japan!  What really got me mad was finding out after I bought the tickets that they’re playing another show at the Garden two days later – on a Saturday.  But I honestly don’t mind taking a day off from work the next day – especially with the jackasses I deal with on a day to day basis!  They’ll also be playing throughout the summer including dates at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ.

I just hope that Ozzy doesn’t fuck this up.  The two times I tried to see Sabbath he was sick, but I’ll definitely get into those times in future blogs, trust me.  I know for a fucking fact that I’m not the only one who’d LOVE for Bill Ward to be a part of this last tour.  But I guess it’s up to Bill in the end; but hell, he should be a part of this, if not even for us at least for himself!  I’d love to see the classic line up that started it all just once.  C’mon Bill!  Ozzy fucked it up for me twice – don’t you be the one to fuck it up this time!

Iron Maiden Live at Madison Square Garden July 30th, 2003

This was my second concert ever, just a few months after seeing Superjoint Ritual at L’Amour in Brooklyn just two months earlier, but this was my first ever arena concert – and goddamn what a way to start!  A few months earlier my cousin Mike asked me if I wanted to see Motorhead, Dio and Iron Maiden at Madison Square Garden in July.  Now…I understood Maiden and even Dio playing at the Garden.  But Motorhead?  Yeah they have such a loyal following but they never held the stature of Maiden in ticket or even album sales.  Either way I knew it would be amazing to hear a band THAT LOUD in the Garden.  So do I want to go?  Um…yeah!

I don’t really remember off the top of my head what my day was like leading into heading out to my cousin’s apartment but I do remember just thinking to myself “holy shit I’m seeing Iron Fucking Maiden tonight!”  I’d been a growing fan since my senior year of high school, probably being the only one in my high school that even liked Maiden, or any real metal for that matter.  I had heard “The Number Of The Beast” and “Run To The Hills” but once I heard “The Trooper” on WSOU one afternoon I was sold!  Then Mike called me to let me know that he’d need an extra $50 when I got to his place because he was able to upgrade our seats and we’d now be right at the second row.  How the hell did do that?  Well…he wouldn’t tell me.  Whatever.  So I got to his place in the Superjoint Ritual t-shirt I bought at their L’Amour show, green cargo shorts and my boots, gave him the $50 and to the bus we went.

We got there and the place was the best mix of scalpers and some of the sickest battle jackets I’ve ever seen.  When we walked inside my old friend Joe was doing security, and he definitely came in handy later.  Motorhead were already playing when Mike and I got to our seats.  Come to think of it I now get mixed emotions when thinking of any Motorhead show I’ve seen, mostly because of Lemmy’s health these days.  Between him and Keith Richards why the hell is it that Keith was the one that did heroin and he appears to be doing better than Lemmy?  Loud?  Yeah…ok.  Imagine their volume…especially Lemmy’s bass…but now it’s in an arena where you’re now blasting the ears of over 20,000 people.  That whole set was an explosion.  And from where wee were seated we were right at Lemmy’s side to the stage – the way it should always be!  And Mikey Dee’s bassdrums went right through me and my cousin like a second heartbeat.  Mike was not really a Motorhead fan but at that moment he definitely got a rush from the sensation of Mikey’s bassdrums.  Their set list was filled with songs ranging from their entire catalog, from their biggest songs to their least known.  It was my first time hearing their Ramones tribute song, simply called “Ramones”, “Sacrifice”, “Over The Top”, which Lemmy appropriately dedicated to himself, and then I finally heard them play “Overkill”.  I’d heard Metallica’s cover of it five years earlier as did everybody else in the world but to hear THEM do it was the single greatest point in the setlist.  After they got off stage I almost didn’t care about Maiden!

Dio was next.  They were still on tour for their most recent CD, Killing The Dragon, the title track of which they even opened up with.  This was to be my first of three times seeing Ronnie James Dio in concert – all three times with my cousin Mike no less! – and my first impression of the guy made me laugh so hard.  I mean I never realized how short this guy was, first off.  He came out wearing this black silk outfit, I mean black pants flaring out at the bottom and this black short sleeve shirt, decorated with a glitter cross.  Now don’t get me wrong, he was amazing!  His voice was so powerful on this night, just a few years before being diagnosed with the stomach cancer that eventually took him from us.  I still miss him so much.  But I know I wasn’t the only one that night wondering if he took dance lessons from a stripper either!  In fact when I began my second year in college a little over a month later THAT was what my other friends who were there and I were talking about more so than even the music!  He shook his ass and swiveled his hips way too good here.

Craig Goldy was back on guitar, replacing Doug Aldrich who left after Killing The Dragon to join Whitesnake…yeah I was confused about that myself.  Why would anyone leave ANY band for Whitesnake??  I sure wouldn’t!  Craig was damn good on guitar as he played through this setlist, which Ronnie himself dubbed “Title Track Night”, even though they still brought out “Rainbow In The Dark”.  So while we were obviously going to hear “Holy Diver” and “The Last In Line” at some point they band also broke into “Heaven and Hell” to close his set.

Maiden…oh, Maiden.  When the time came for the band to come on the lights went out and you almost immediately heard those now-infamous lines from Vincent Price about the number of the beast.  We were about halfway through it when nearly everyone in the band minus Bruce Dickinson ran on stage ready to go.  I just knew he was behind that crazy ass elaborate stage they had going on, and I predicted he’d probably not show himself until the band kicked in.  After Vincent Price finished speaking Dave Murray started chugging away at the beginning of “The Number of The Beast”.  You heard Bruce hit that scream….still no sign of him..the next verse kicks in…there he is!!  In pure Michael Jackson style he was catapulted from beneath a platform on the stage and right away began jumping down the step with the energy of someone half his age.  The whole band are playing away like their lives depended on it and this motherfucker is doing Olympic style hurdles over the onstage monitors while singing and not even screwing up a single note.  He was in his mid-forties at this point – show me a younger front man from this time period that could do that shit too!

Oh right – the music!  It was a trip hearing THREE guitarists playing an assload of classics originally performed by just two.  Right after the first song finished Bruce just yells out in his high pitched wail “THE TROOPEEEEEERRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!” and all three guitarists broke in to the song that made me a Maiden fan for good.  Bruce goes away for a minute while the crowd of 20,000 hears Janick, Dave and Adrian pull off a sick three part harmony before he comes back out in an army outfit.  NICE!  I really wish I could find footage of this show but I can’t because they did a bunch of classics, “Die With Your Boots On”, “Revelations”, “The Clairvoyant” (not one of my favorites).  Then Bruce gave a speech about how the band didn’t give a shit about record sales our how we heard their music so long as we heard it, before playing “Wildest Dreams” off of their then-forth coming CD Dance Of Death, telling everyone to take it “…and download it to all your friends!”.  Oh Bruce, you funny guy, you.  The show ended with the encore, “Run To The Hills”, which I really wanted to do for other reasons when the show was done.  But I cane say that this was one of THE best concerts I’ve ever been to.

After the show was done Mike and I waited for my friend Joe to get out so we could go home on the ferry together.  I’d love to know how the fuck we wound up walking to the train with this weird looking gay couple, one of the two guys talking to me, randomly switching subjects from why James Hetfield had to go to rehab to how his boyfriend’s family was the cause of his ulcers.  Right… While on the train I saw some in shape looking guy with this nasty looking chubby chick with John Lennon’s signature tattooed on the back of her neck.   Once we got off the ferry Joe drove us both home, which was a hell of a lot better than possibly taking the bus that late at night.  That next morning I felt fuckin’ pumped!  I woke up a lot earlier than I should’ve and hit the gym before going to work.  Getting of the bus from work I recognized this chick with a John Lennon tattoo on her neck – it was the chubby chick from the train.  “You were at the show last night”, I said.  So we spoke for a minute until she said the words that made me think she lost her fuckin’ mind: “Motorhead SSSUCKED!”  WHAT?!?!  Bitch have lost your fuckin’ mind?!?!?!  Oh it gets better: “Lemmy looked like he was sucking a dick the way he had his microphone positioned too!”.  I have to admit, I did find that part a bit funny…but sucked??  I can happily say I haven’t seen her since!

High On Fire – Luminiferous

“High On Fire are gods to a generation of bikers, barbarians and beardos, and luminiferous is one of their finest hours.”

That’s what I saw when I bought High On Fire’s latest album, Luminiferous this past Friday, and for once I might actually agree with Rolling Stone on this one.  Just one question: what the fuck is a “beardo”?  Is it meant just to describe someone with a big beard?  If so then I understand because I saw a few on those when I saw High On Fire at Webster hall back in October 2007.  But if it’s meant to say dudes with beards are weird then fuck them because as far as I’m concerned Rolling Stone’s core audience are a bunch of dirt bags who probably don’t even shower.  It’s bad enough Rolling Stone as a whole appears to forever be stuck in the 1970s!

I wonder if Matt Pike was looking for irony when he named the band’s new CD Luminiferous because there sure as fuck ins’t that much light being carried through here.  I’ll never forget when I first heard the band back in 2004 and decided that this was what Master of Reality-era Black Sabbath would’ve sounded like had Lemmy joined them and sped up the tempos greatly.  On Luminiferous it’s probably even MORE intense as it ever was and that especially goes for Blessed Black Wings!

I put this in my car and my ass was immediately kicked by “The Black Plot”.  The whole band immediately came in with a great mid tempo chug that quickly turns in to some of the greatest sludge thrash I’ve ever heard from them.  Matt Pike as far as I’m concerned is the king of fast paced sludge; his guitar sound is so strong, so heavy, yet you can still hear everything he’s doing.  Des Kensel does a fantastic job of keeping up with the riffs.  His double bass work and his fills highlight the guitar and bass parts without overshadowing them, which is so important when you’re in a band.

There are some tracks like “The Falconist” where the band show their ability to write solid mid paced songs that may not be as frenzied as what they’re known for but are still heavy as FUCK.  I recommend that track alone.  I also recommend “The Cave”.  Jeff Matz – who I once saw opening up for Motorhead with his old band Zeke, ironically enough – opens up the song with this bassline that offers a brief sense of calm before the rest of the band kicks in and fucks everything up.  Since this song alone is nearly eight minutes long I have to say now that I appreciate the fact that the guys are able to keep shit from getting absolutely boring, finding the right spots to changes things up.

Another thing I appreciate is that the band’s recording process hasn’t changed that much.  Sure, things sound clearer but matt Pike still appears to be recording his solos live without any backing tracks, which provides so much of a live feel.  I’m pretty sure the last time I remembered a band doing that was Pantera starting with Vulgar Display of Power.  It actually makes the album sound even heavier in a way.  I just found out that High On Fire will be playing The Williamsburg Music Hall in Brooklyn, NY on August 18th.  I’m sure I’ll be going!

My First Metal Concert

This just popped in my head a little bit ago…maybe because Phil’s bringing this band back out on the road again, but only as Superjoint for “legal reasons”, whatever the fuck that means.  In early 2003 I was finishing up my first year of college and was anxiously waiting for Phil Anselmo to stop with the multiple side projects and get with Pantera again.  So one day before I finished for the semester I met this guy Hussein, who I’m still buddies with.  I don’t remember how it came about but we got to talking about Pantera and he mentioned that Superjoint Ritual, Phil’s Black Flag-meets-Black Sabbath hardcore side project, was going to be playing L’Amour in Brooklyn in a week and opening up for them would be Sepultura. Whoa wait a sec.  Superjoint Ritual?  Phil Anselmo?  Sepultura?  Playing…in Brooklyn??  Playing …in THIS place??? imgres I figured for sure Phil Anselmo was too big of a name for a place like L’Amour, I don’t give a fuck how many bands played there.  Hell my first two gigs ever were at L’Amour and I vowed to never played there again because the faggot ass guineas running the place didn’t know how to talk to people.  But I realized I had to go.  It was Superjoint – it was fucking Phil Anselmo, who at that time still had it as a vocalist, and sadly it was as close to seeing Pantera as I’d ever get, partially because Phil wouldn’t shut the fuck up but that’s another story…kind of. May 20th, 2003.  It was perfect, I wasn’t scheduled for work that day and all I had to do was hand a final paper to my English professor and I was a free man.  While on campus I couldn’t help but go on a computer and check out Pantera’s website.  It read “May 20th 2003: Phil says Pantera is over.”  I click on it and there was a link to an audio clip were Phil explained his logic that he wanted to do another Down record, his label wanted another Pantera record and therefore his “obvious choice”, as he put it, was to stick with Superjoint Ritual.  Don’t get me wrong, Use Once And Destroy was a fucking AMAZING CD, but that’s his ‘obvious choice”??  Why didn’t I realize he was far from sober the whole time? So I took car service all the way to 63rd St in Brooklyn, which I swear is like this magical hidden block that you can’t know about unless you know what to look for because I never knew of or saw the place until two years earlier.  I got there real early anticipating a line but thee wasn’t.  But I did see a Ryder moving truck with Sepultura’s gear in it and realized Igor Cavalera was hanging out in front of the building while the crew was unloading the band’s gear. These days I have no problem going up to musicians but this was the first time I ever saw someone like Igor in the flesh and I just fucking froze.  I didn’t know what to say, do, nothing.  It got worse when Andreas Kisser came out.  I did try to talk to the road crew, offering to help them unload.  They were cool but they nicely declined.  Fuck! I was there for a few hours before I decided maybe I should get on line.  Problem?  I didn’t have tickets; but that all changed when I ran into an old friend whose band, Dieverse, was one of the local bands opening up the show.  So one of his fat goth chick friends sold me a ticket while (I think) subtly offering to blow me – not happening sweetheart!  I was one of the first on line when Superjoint’s bus came around and the band walked out.  Considering all things Phil looked pretty normal as he high fived me. I walked in there and was surprised to see that since I last played there in October 2001 they had built a brand new stage in the back, which meant there now were two stages.  I thought this was pretty genius since L’Amour was notorious for overloading the bills with local bands up the ass.  I would know – my old band suffered for it twice.  So while seeing the first main band, this really shitty hardcore band called Full Blown Chaos – wow they sucked so bad! – I found myself talking to some older woman who was standing next to me.  She was a real cool chick and I found myself asking her were she lived and when she said the village (Greenwich Village for those of you dopes unfamiliar with lower Manhattan) I for whatever reason said “I figured so”.  She asked me nicely how I figured that and I couldn’t think of a good answer even though I totally didn’t mean it as an insult.  I must’ve meant the fact that she came off as such a free spirit but didn’t know how to say it like such at the time, and being just days away from turning 19 what the fuck did I know anyway?  “I’m getting another beer, I’ll be right back”, she said.  Guess if she ever came back.  Oops!  Yeah, I was a dope.  Lesson learned! So Sepultura came out next and they fucking SLAYED.  Igor’s drum kit is something else but whatever.  The man is one of the greatest metal drummers of all time, a pure machine.  Andreas Kisser’s tone was heavy as fuck as they played stuff off classics like Roots and Chaos A.D.  During “Roots Bloody Roots” the place came apart for a bit.  There was no way they’d be able to steal Superjoint’s thunder – even with Paolo Pinto’s bass sounding like a 747 taking off. So Eddie Trunk came out to introduce Superjoint and I had just discovered him not too long before this night but he was every bit as fat as I imagined he would be just from listening to him as he showed off his vast, useless musical knowledge.  The only thing he was missing as far as I was concerned as was a pair of nerdy Steve Urkel glasses and suspenders!  The band came out and the place came apart for real this time.  I wish I could find footage of the show but I can’t.  There was this one guy with these nasty looking dreads standing in front of us who just had to keep his middle finger out in the air while yelling out “FUCK YOU ALL!!!” over and over again.  The guy standing next to me was jokingly putting his lighter to the guy’s head – I wish he lit that asshole up! Some memorable parts of the show include a girl jumping on stage to grab Phil’s nuts and hand him a joint, in which Phil responded in kind: “Thanks for the joint – thanks for grabbin’ my balls!”, as security took the girl away.  There was the part were some dude jumped of the stage head first and no one caught him.  Yeah, cringe moment for me and the dudes I now was hanging with.  Then Phil said the one thing some of us predicted he’d say. In a pure drama queen moment he put his left palm out to the crowd, closed his eyes and proclaimed “It feels…SO GOOD…to be only two inches in front of you.  I’ve been on all the world’s biggest stages – I’VE BEEN ON ‘EM ALL!  But this is where I belong…and this is where I’m stayin’.”, he said as he backed up toward Joe Fazzio’s drums for the next song.  “Who called it?”, someone yelled out. Aside from that the band destroyed the place for real.  Just one issue…how the fuck do I get car service to take me home??  I found a number for car service then I heard someone say “I know you from Psychology class”.  Anna Lopez??  Thank Satan you’re here!  And there was my ride home.  The next concert I went to two months later was far bigger but this was Phil Anselmo and this was also to be the second to last time I’d ever go to the original L’Amour; the place closed down eight months later.  If any of you reading this were at the show at all drop me a line and tell me about your view of the show.  Let me know if I forgot to mention anything.

Five Years Gone

images

Has it really been five years, man?  Five years since we lost you, the great Ronnie James Dio??  I sadly still remember it like it was yesterday, the day my friend over a Comic Book Jones gave me the news… “Dude, Dio died today” “Dude don’t lie to me like that!” and then he turned about the computer so I could see the Blabbermouth report for myself.  I’ll never forget how sad I was at that very moment; and I’m still a bit sad any time I listen to your stuff Ronnie.

The first time I ever heard of you or saw you was a parody on South Park back in 1998.  But it was over 2 years later when I heard you singing “Neon Knights” with Black Sabbath that I became hooked.  Man did you have a set of pipes on you or what??  I wanted more and I eventually bought the entire Heaven and Hell album.  It was then that I discovered that you pretty much were responsible for pretty much all of Metal’s fantastical themes: the dragons, the medieval themes of knights and kings, and of course…rainbows,a recurring theme from your days in the band Rainbow – thank you for ditching Blackmore’s dumb ass by the way!

Then there’s one more important piece of the puzzle you gave us – the horns.  So much debate on who first used them, the origins of them with some people suggesting they were first used in India in the 14th century…India.  There’s even debate on who used them on stage first.  According to what you said your grandmother used to do that to “ward off the Evil Eye or to give the Evil Eye”, of course depending on how you do it.  But regardless of who did what first it was ultimately you who made something so seemingly evil such a popular staple at shows everywhere – I know I’m not the only one and for that I thank you!

But I can’t finish this without talking about Dio the MUSICIAN.  Oh yeah, until I bought your first solo album, Holy Diver, I was unaware of your ability to write more than just lyrics.  Just listening to “Stand Up And Shout” I was instantly blown away at the fresh feeling of the song, the speed, the aggression(!!), the attitude, Vivian Campbell’s intense, frenzied solo.  It was a pure breath of fresh air, a nice kick in the balls that almost made the three CDs you did with Sabbath sounds almost tame!  There was also that voice, again.  You could do anything with your voice and it’d sound amazing; you could sing softly, yell with power, snarl, growl, scream – you could do it all!

I’ll have to admit though, you were a bit funny when I saw you perform live for the first time.  It was 2003 and you  along with Motorhead were opening up for Iron Maiden at Madison Square Garden – what a bill!  You came out and your pipes were in full power that night bro, and I was at 2nd row for this.  But, Ronnie, dude, the way you moved on stage that night in your silk pants and shirt with your glitter cross, I wasn’t sure if I was watching Dio or a stripper!  But I couldn’t make to many jokes, you killed it that night.

I saw you two more times years later with Heaven and Hell (bullshit.  This will always be Black Sabbath!) at Radio City in 2007 and a year later at Metal Masters in New Jersey.  If someone told me that that New Jersey show was to be the last time I ever saw you I’d tell them to eat shit and die but sadly that was the case.  How empty the world seems without you Ronnie.  You were truly one of a kind as a vocalist.  But more than even that you were the total package as a frontman and a musician.  Also, by most accounts you were also one of the coolest guys ever.

Here’s a quick story.  My friend Rick called me up to tell me that his girlfriend, of all people, had been approached by you, Tony, Geezer and Vinny at a deli across the street from Vintage Vinyl, were I guess you all were doing a signing for The Devil You Know.  I think you guys actually talked to her because she was the only one who wasn’t running after you guys.  According to Rick as soon as you all finally said goodbye to her several girls ran to her asking her if she realized who she just spoke to and when they told her she frantically called Rick right away – and of course Rick called me right away!

Thank you Ronnie, for the impact you left on the Metal community, on several aspiring singers, and on me.  There will never be anyone like you again; but I’d like to think that one day soon someone will come along with a passion of metal the at least matches yours.  I’m going to leave off here with one of my favorite deep cuts from Holy Diver, because playing that title track alone would be too predictable.  Rest in Peace Ronnie, and thank you again.  \m/\m/

My Thoughts on the Nick Menza Situation

Nick Menza

I read about this when the news broke but I was away in Kentucky with my girlfriend so I had no time to write about this.  Just a few days ago former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza finally broke his silence regarding the constant rumors that he and former guitarist Marty Friedman were rejoining Megadeth following the sudden departures of Shawn Drover and Chris Broderick not too long ago.  What he had to say was not too surprising but still a bit disappointing; but I’m not disappointed at Nick at all.  To save some time I’ll make this as quick as I can.

Not long after Shawn and Chris bounced on the two Daves, Justis Mustaine, Dave Mustaine’s son, posted a video of David Ellefson jamming out on “Rust in Peace…Polaris” with a drummer, but was careful not to show his face.  It sounded too good to be anyone else but Nick Menza so the rumor mill began.  To fuel the fire more any time the two Daves or even Nick himself were approached on the subject neither one of them gave a straight answer.  So we were all a tad saddened to learn that Mustaine had hired Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler to play drums for the next album.  Should be interesting to hear, don’t get me wrong, I’m a Lamb of God fan and that band is HUGELY influenced by Megadeth.

Then came Nick’s statement.  First off he revealed that he was in fact the headless drummer in Justis’ video.  Well, duh!!  I mean come on, who else would that be?  No one can play the way Nick does!  As I said before, it was too good to be anyone else!  He also revealed that he also recorded a few drum tracks for the upcoming album and he even had dinner with the two Daves, their ex-manager, Ron Laffitte, and even Marty Friedman.  Sounds good right?  Well apparently not.  As soon as Nick got home he decided it was time to talk writing credits.  This is where shit gets dicey because at the end of the day this is the music business.  Sometimes agreements get worked out, sometimes they don’t.

According to Nick he received a “very unfair deal that is so wrong”, basically insinuating that Mustaine was going to give him pennies, in comparison to what he alone must make off royalties.  When he tried to renegotiated with Mustaine he apparently blocked Nick’s e-mails, changed his number and even fired Ron as their manager for the second time. I don’t know about you but that last part sounds a bit extreme to me.  No?

But then Nick said the one thing that once again makes him come off as the better man yet again:

“Despite this dark final chapter, I wish MEGADETH the heartiest of health, happiness and success with their future plans.”

Boom!  Done!  Here’s the thing – this is not the first time that this has happened to Nick and neither is this the first time Nick acted as the better man.  During his time as the youngest member of Megadeth during their most successful years, he was seen as immature, and was pulling hi-jinks that the other members had naturally grown out of.  But as life has shown – people do change.  A while back Nick spotted Dave Mustaine at NAMM and decided to approach him like a man.  Dave decided to brush him off.  Nick was surely a tad hurt but he still wished Dave the best, making him the better man and showing that he did in fact grow up.  Hell, I know I’d be cursing his ass out if I were put in that position.

So honestly, I gained a bit more respect for Nick.  He got screwed by a guy he spent the best years of his career with and instead of going online and being bitter about it he was the better man.  And he would’ve totally been justified to be bitter.  Who changes their number just to avoid a guy that wants to talk??  A bitch – that’s who!  I had a lot of respect for Dave Mustaine.  I grew up worshiping the ground he walked on.  His music – back when his shit hit a nerve with people – made such a HUGE impact on my guitar style and my life as a whole.  I’ve witnessed him seemingly losing his mind over the last few years but this is just pathetic, so low it’s even beneath him.  Over royalties?  Really?  There are other reasons to change your number to avoid someone, not over something so fucking petty.

I’d like to wish Nick Menza the best.  I’m excited to hear his new project with James LoMenzo and Chris fucking Poland!!  I sadly can’t say the same about Megadeth.  They lost it a long time ago but Mustaine lost a little personal integrity now as well.  I just wish David Ellefson could see the light, get out again and stay out this time for his own sanity.

Final Thoughts…

Unrelated to the whole Nick Menza situation; I’d like to express my relief in also hearing recently that not only did Black Sabbath pull out of their Ozzfest Japan shows in November, but apparently it was never to be their farewell.  Sharon Osbourne seemingly forgot to mention that it would’ve just been their last Japan show.  It was kind of odd since the band does want to do one last album and a farewell tour.  Maybe the tour will end at home like I said they should do.  Who knows?

My First Taste of Pure Evil on Music

20130104_black_sabbath_paranoid_91 So, in the spirit of my recent rant on Black Sabbath’s final concert announcement, I couldn’t help recently but begin reminiscing about my first true taste of them…and that would obviously be their second album, Paranoid, released originally in 1970.  What an eye opener that was – and not just because the picture of the colorful looking, sword welding soldier on the cover made me think I was buying the soundtrack to some early 70’s low budget sci-fi movie!

I first heard of Ozzy Osbourne when he released Ozzmosis in 1995.  I was 11 at the time and MTV News did a story on him and then a week later  I saw his video for “Perry Mason”.  But it was two years later, when I somehow joined the “rocker clique” in my school, that my friend Elan Bochbot educated me on Ozzy’s beginnings.  What was ironic was this now was the year that Black Sabbath were to reunite (I think without Bill Ward) to headline Ozzfest.  But it wasn’t until a year later that I finally bought my first Sabbath CD – and this was AFTER I bought Blizzard of Ozz so I think you can imagine how thrown off I was bound to be when comparing Randy Rhoads’s playing to Tony Iommi’s!

Oh, I also had an obstacle or two when listening to Paranoid.  I was living with my dad when I got it back in the summer of 1998 and I didn’t have a radio in that bedroom so all I had was some shit CD walkman.  Yeah, about that shit walkman; it was so shitty that for whatever reason it would not read the CD.  And if it did read the CD I had to make sure not to skip tracks because it wouldn’t read and the fucking CD would just spin around aimlessly.  You can’t make this shit up!

Now for the music!  The first time my shitty CD player was able to read the CD I was smacked in the back of the head by the first low E strum and slow as fuck groove of “War Pigs”.  That groove, the unusual way Tony Iommi played his guitar – a far cry from Randy Rhoads and “I Don’t Know” for sure! – Geezer Butler’s walking bassline, Bill Ward’s loose drumming.  Those sirens!!  I already couldn’t help but anticipate what was to happen next because I knew it’d be a while before my CD player would be able to do this again!

Then it got quiet, all you could hear was Bill’s hi-hat.  Then it came.  “Generals gathered in their masseeeeeess!”  Whoa!  Is that really Ozzy?  Is that the same guy that I just heard a month earlier singing “Crazy Train”?  Oh yeah it was.  But this was a much rawer Ozzy.  At that moment I understood that this was going to be nothing like those other two Ozzy CD’s I had.  This shit was going to be fucking RAW.  This would be the first time I wouldn’t hear a rhythm guitar track during any solos, this would be the first time I’d hear the guitar and bass intertwining together as one, swinging drums in a much more aggressive environment.  I was listening to the origins of Heavy Metal – and it sounded pretty jazzy.

After being blown away by “War Pigs” “Paranoid” came next.  This is one of the simpler songs on the CD.  It’s perfect.  Short, fast paced, the lyrics fit perfectly and that gnarly, dissonant solo totally fucked with my head.  I can listen to it now and I can’t help but imagine the face of a crazy person.  “Planet Caravan”, the lone mellow track here.  This one threw me off for sure, especially with Ozzy’s voice going through a rotating speaker, which I wasn’t aware of at the time.  I didn’t even think it was him!  As he creepily spoke about sailing “through endless skies” as “stars shine like eyes”, I felt like I was watching a cartoon, and in it all four guys in the band when on some boat riding through space, then as Tony played the ending solo the four of them faded away in to the darkness.  As it turns out my interpretation of the song wasn’t too far off from what Geezer had in mind after all.  What makes me laugh is my rap loving brother heard this song the one time my dad let me play it in his truck and decided “You’re a poser and I’m gonna tell all ya friends!”.  Yeah…good luck there buddy.

Then came that bass drum, then came the bending E string…”I am Iron Man!”.  This was just fun as hell because while this wasn’t based on the comic book I read comics so this is another song where I couldn’t help but see a cartoon going on in my head, regardless that it turned out to be the ultimate rejection song and the same goes for “Electric Funeral ” too!  But Tony’s use of the wah pedal on “Electric Funeral” made the riff that much more fucked up sounding and I loved it.

“Hand of Doom”, that is just pure groove.  I wasn’t ready for that yet but I totally appreciate it now, especially when I gets faster in the middle before slowing down again.  It’s an exercise in jazz improv, but of course as evil as they could get.  Same thing goes for “Jack the Stripper/Fairies Wear Boots”.  Upon my first several listens the lyrics made absolutely no sense at all.  I didn’t think they were supposed to because I knew everybody and their mother did drugs like there was no tomorrow back then but later on I discovered the meaning behind it.  But Geezer, I’m sure that not all skinheads are afraid to fight bud – you just got lucky that night!

The album, or at least my version of it, ends with “Rat Salad”, or as I like to call it, the Bill Ward Special!  He is such an underrated drummer.  He was to Black Sabbath what Ringo was to the Beatles.  He had rhythm but he could swing to and it added such flavor to the groove.  But unlike Ringo he could do drum solos.  Was this John Bonham?  No.  But it fit perfectly with the tune.

And just like that not only was it over but I’d probably have to wait a while before the stupid CD player could read the CD again.  This was nothing like what I was listening to at the time.  Ozzy’s voice was raw and nasal as hell throughout the whole thing.  Tony’s guitar playing was primitive but he undeniably had such a huge sound and I could finally see where so many guys stole their tricks from – myself included.  It was filed with anger, it was dark, gloomy, nothing flashy or shrederrific about him.  What you heard was what you got but it was real and you FELT IT.  Geezer turned out to be such a player on that bass and Bill was more than an anchor.  He was the perfect jazz drummer – he knew when to keep it tight but he also knew when to let it fly.

In the end it was the perfect historical piece for metal historians, not just because of the music.  The artwork, the lyrical imagery, the themes of war, rejection, mental illness and again, how raw it all is.  Paranoid will always be the perfect introduction to the band that started it all.  I knew I was hooked and I wanted more.  Now.  Yesterday.  Then I found Master of Reality, which I consider to be THE heaviest album of all time.  But that’s another story.

$haron ruins everything…again.

blacksabbath2013smaller_638Over this past week Sharon Osbourne proved once again why she’s an out of touch, clueless, money hungry piece of shit.  Five days ago she released a short promotional video announcing that Black Sabbath will be playing their final show when Ozzfest goes to Japan in November.  There’s a lot wrong with this picture already.

Now before I go into that I’d like to quickly acknowledge that just maybe this was a decision made by Tony.  The poor guy’s been fighting Lymphoma for three years now and I’m sure that it’s got to be taking it’s toll on him lately, especially when you factor in the touring schedule, how often he has to fly back home for treatments, and of course, the man is 67 years old.  Therefore, I have no choice to respect that, that is if this was his decision.  He’s the godfather of Heavy Metal – no one else can say that, I don’t care what anyone thinks.  Without the sound HE created there is no Heavy Metal and he deserves all the respect in the world.  I’ll forever be grateful to Tony Iommi.  He was one of my biggest inspirations as a guitar player because he was and is as real as it gets.

Now for what I hate about this!  It all boils down to the fact that their final show is to be at the very festival bearing their burnt out lead singer’s name.  If that alone isn’t an ego play on Sharon’s behalf then I don’t know what is.  There’ve been many times where I felt Sharon did certain things to Sabbath just to spite them for firing her future husband back in 1979.  She helped Ozzy’s solo career take off and many of his solo albums in the 80’s surely outsold Sabbath’s post-Dio output without question.  So therefore she must feel she has the upper hand against Tony and Geezer and she’ll do anything to rub it in their faces every chance she gets.  And of course, Ozzy’s so burnt that he’ll do anything his puppeteer wife tells him!

Next….Japan??  Really?  Really?!  Some of you might think “hey good for Japan.  They get to see Sabbath’s final show ever!”  Me?  Fuck that!  I say a band like them, with a legacy as incredible as theirs, should be playing a home coming show in Birmingham, England, where the band was born.  It’s only fitting.  It started there?  They should end it there.  This is where they came from, that tough as nails steel town where four kids with no hope got the fuck out of there and accomplished things far beyond what they could’ve ever imagined!  Yeah, they did a few Birmingham shows in 2012 while Tony was beginning his Lymphoma treatments but so fucking what?  This is supposed to be the end this time, right?  This is the good thing about Motley Crue – and no I’m not a fan of them.  They all chose to end their tour – and career – at the Whiskey A Go-Go, where it all began for them back in 1981.

Now let’s talk about this Ozzfest lineup, since this last show is already set.  In the video announcement for Ozzfest Japan, moneyb – oops, I meant Sharon – also mentions that Korn are also on the bill.  I’m not against diversity in music or festivals;  but Korn are the originators of the entire shitty nu-metal movement that DESTROYED real heavy metal for a long time.  As if it wasn’t bad enough that those assholes are still breathing – why would anyone put them on a bill with BLACK FUCKING SABBATH, a band who’s one guitarist with two missing fingertips can wipe the floor with Korn’s two seven string guitarists, who bend down so low when on stage that they look like they’re sucking their own dicks?!  And most importantly it just doesn’t fit musically.  Sharon and her son Jack are notorious for pushing really bad, trendy, sound – alike bands on Ozzfest in the past. I think they only time they got it RIGHT was in 2004 when the co-headliners with Sabbath were Judas Priest featuring a newly returned Rob Halford and the next year when they took Iron Maiden with them.  That was fucking awesome!

What really made me laugh was when Ozzy said recently that after Sabbath splits he plans to go back to his solo career.  Ozz…please…let it go.  You used to have an incredible voice; but that was a long time ago and it’s gone now.  Oh wait – you can’t do that because $haron won’t let you.  I’m guessing this is all revenge for that time you got drunk and tried to kill her.  Whoops!  That bitch is gonna work you until you die and then STILL make money off you when you go.  If I were you – and if you still had a mind of your own! – I’d call it quits after the last Sabbath show.  Buddy I’ve seen clips of the band playing “Children of The Grave” at the Barclay’s Center and you alone were AWFUL.

It’s a shame, really.  It’s a fucked up way for Black Sabbath, the band that invented the music I love so much, to go out.  I feel like it’s a royal slap in the face to their entire legacy.  No, this is not their first Ozzfest, not by a long shot.  But this is their FAREWELL.  Sure, they’ve said this before; but I feel like this really can be the end for real because of Tony’s health problems.  They say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree…that’s the fucking truth when it comes to Sharon Osbourne.  She’s just like the one guy she hated the most in her life – her father!