Monday 31 October 2011

Alice Cooper's Night Of Fear Manchester 30th October 2011

Even people living in caves have heard of Alice Cooper such an icon of Rock and Roll who seems to have been about forever (certainly since I was at school which means much the same thing). The man and the band know how to put on a show that pleases just about everybody, the over the top theatrics and costumes are so much a part of it but with such a massive catalogue of songs they could just stand still and play all night.

Not good enough for the Coopers though for the full on experience you have to have monsters zombies explosions and graveyard levels of mist . Also amazingly a new song (from the new album) subtly introduced by Alice wearing a jacket sign written 'New Song' the title "I'll Bite Your Face Off" and very much as you'd expect in the Alice style it rocks like Vannesa Feltz stood up in a canoe.

The favorite songs were delivered in true Coop Halloween style opening with The Black Widow complete with spider jacket segued into Brutal Planet driven hard, The spectacle of Feed My Frankenstein accompanied by 12 foot high reanimated monster terrorising the stage and chasing away Alice. Later during Billion Dollar Babies the generous Alice distributing Alice Dollars from a sword flourished about across the audience.

An unexpected highlight was a tour de force solo with powerful drummer Glen Sobel right at the top of his craft throwing sticks yards into the air midway through and never missing a beat .

I have also to mention Orianthi drop dead gorgeous lead guitarist as a counterpoint to the evil/naughty Alice she is not there just in a beauty and the beast role, what a player I found myself watching her hands as she shredded solo before 'Only Women Bleed' ( you can see what I mean on You Tube ) . If you couldn't make it then tour footage is well covered online but I understand there are still tickets available as the band head for mainland Europe during November and heading back to the US from the 26th.

Definitely a thoroughly enjoyable night out with assorted ghouls and sundry creatures all dressed up to add to the merriment

Thursday 27 October 2011



Each Box Set To Include A Specially Mixed Album In 5.1 Surround Sound And Stereo
With more than 40 million records sold worldwide and countless sold-out tours, Rush – Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart – are not only one of the most successful and influential bands in rock history but continue to garner new fans and continue in popularity every year.

On November 28, 2011, Universal Music Group celebrates the legacy of Canadian rock trio Rush with the release of three separate six-disc box sets which together spans their entire historic Mercury Records recording career. Each “Sector” contains five of their 15 Mercury albums in chronological order, all transferred to high resolution 96kHz/24-bit audio and digitally remastered for optimal quality. In addition, each volume includes an exclusive booklet packed with unpublished photos, original album lyrics and credits, and features one album from each set specially remixed on DVD in high resolution 96kHz/24-bit, 5.1 surround sound and stereo, compatible with both DVD-Audio players and DVD-Video players.

Each album is packaged in a replica vinyl mini-jacket of the original album release with all three box sets forming a Rush CD road case.

RUSH – Their hard-rocking, self-titled 1974 debut hit the Billboard 200 and features classics such
as ”Working Man” and “Finding My Way.”
FLY BY NIGHT (1975) – Released in 1975, Fly By Night sees the debut of drummer Neil Peart
who would help drive the band towards more complex material. Included are fan favorites such as
the title track, “Anthem” and the eight-minute composition “By-Tor And The Snow Dog,” which
shows the band’s musical growth and progression.
CARESS OF STEEL (1975) – Also released in 1975, Caress Of Steel hit the Top 200 and gives a
further glimpse of the band leaning toward prog rock and features Rush classics such as “Lakeside
Park” and “Bastille Day.”

2112 (1976)  – One of Rush’s all-time classics, 2112 was the band’s commercial breakthrough
reaching the Top 100 on the album chart and remains one of their most popular albums
successfully merging prog rock with their hard rock roots, a first for its time. 2112 features epic
tracks such as the 20-minute title track “2112,” taking up the entire first side of the original vinyl

ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE (1976): Hitting Top 50, this was Rush’s first live album and
features classics such as “Fly By Night/In The Mood” which reached Top 100, “2112,” “Bastille Day”
and “Something For Nothing.”

DVD: FLY BY NIGHT – Their classic 1975 sophomore release is now, for the first time, presented
in high-resolution 96kHz/24-bit 5.1 surround sound and stereo.

A FAREWELL TO KINGS (1977) – Their 1977 Top 40 release features their hit “Closer To The
Heart,” “Xanadu” and the title track, “A Farewell To Kings.”

HEMISPHERES (1978) – Reaching Top 50 on the album chart, Hemispheres includes the 20-
minute opus “Cygnus X-1Book II – Hemispheres” and the metaphoric social commentary “The

PERMANENT WAVES (1980) – This 1980 release hit No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and features
classics such as “Freewill” and “The Spirit Of The Radio.”

MOVING PICTURES (1981) – Considered one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time, this
quadruple platinum-selling masterpiece features the Grammy® nominated instrumental “YYZ” and
rock radio staples such as “Tom Sawyer,” “Red Barchetta,” “Vital Signs” and “Limelight.”

EXIT…STAGE LEFT (1981) – Released in 1981, this Top 10 live album features performances of
favorites such as “Tom Sawyer,” “Freewill,” “YYZ” and deeper album tracks such as “La Villa
Strangiato” and “Broon’s Bane.”

DVD: A FAREWELL TO KINGS – The album that set their musical course and signature
songwriting style is now presented in high-resolution 96kHz/24-bit 5.1 surround sound and

SIGNALS (1982) – The synthesizer-driven Signals reached Top 10 and produced their No. 1 hit
“New World Man” and the Top 20 hits “Subdivisions” and “The Analog Kid.”

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE (1984) – This 1984 release hit Top 10 on Billboard’s album chart
and features classics such as “Red Sector A” and “Distant Early Warning.”

POWER WINDOWS (1985) – Released in 1985, Power Windows features Top 10 hits “Marathon”
and “Big Money,” plus the Top 50 hits “Territories” and “Mystic Rhythms.”

HOLD YOUR FIRE (1987) – The Top 20 album includes “Force Ten” and “Time Stand Still” with
both reaching No. 3 on the Mainstream Rock chart, plus the Top 50 hits “Lock And Key” and

A SHOW OF HANDS (1988) – While 1976’s All The World’s A Stage shows Rush’s hard
rock roots and 1982’s Exit…Stage Left showcases their mix of synth and prog rock, the Top 50
double live album A Show Of Hands concentrates on the band’s later synth-driven era with tracks
such as “Subdivisions,” “Force Ten,” “Red Sector A” and “Marathon.”
·         DVD: SIGNALS – The 1982 Top 10 album Signals is also featured in high-resolution 96kHz/24-bit 5.1 surround sound and stereo.

Topped only by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Rush remains at the No. 3 spot for the most consecutive gold/platinum studio albums by a rock band certified by the RIAA, and their current single “Caravan” went to No. 3 on the US radio chart. In addition to their commercial success, Rush has also been recognized with a number of Juno Awards, multiple Grammy® nominations and, with their recent pop culture renaissance, the band made a rare and a memorable cameo in the hit comedy I Love You, Man. With sold-out concerts worldwide, including the recent critically acclaimed “Time Machine Tour,” Rush continue to gain new generations of fans worldwide. A career-chronicling Rolling Stone feature summed up the renowned rock trio’s continuing artistic vitality by observing, “It’s true that Rush doesn’t mean today what it did in ’76 or even ’96. It may mean more.”

For more information about Rush, visit:

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Saxon British Tour Dates for December

British Metal Veterans Saxon, return to the road for the second time this year in December… support of their current album CALL TO ARMS.

Dates as follows: Support is Hammerfall for all shows.

Tues 13th    Oxford        02 Academy  0844 477 2000 –
Wed 14th    Leicester     02 Academy  0844 477 2000 –
 Fri    16th   Edinburgh   Picturehouse   0844 847 1740 –
Sat    17th   Belfast        Mandela Hall  0844 277 4455 –
Mon  19th   Sheffield      02 Academy  0844 477 2000 –
Tues  20th   London       Koko             0844 477 1000 –

Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman Live Album Available NOW!

Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman The Living Tree In Concert Part 1
Those progressive Rock Legends Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman release their first live album together in Novembe. However fans can buy the album ahead of the release to shops and online dealers by buying the album directrly from the Gonzo Multi Media website. The duo are curtrently in the middle of a successful American and Canadian tour.

The album was recorded during the duo's British tour in 2010 and comes housed in a sleeve designed by Mark Wilkinson who was also responsible for the design of the artwork for The Living Tree. The track listing is below and features songs from the duo's debut album The Living Tree alongside some Yes classics.

01. And You & I

02. Living Tree Part 1

03. Morning Star

04. Long Distance

05. The Garden

06. Living Tree Part 2

07. Time and a Word

08. Just One Man

09. 232411

10. Southside

11. House Of Freedom

12. The Meeting

The album can be purchased by following the link below to the Gonzo Multimedia website

Friday 21 October 2011

Jeff Green : Jessica Feature Tonight on Classic Rock Radio

Tonight on Classic Rock radio Jon Kirkman talks to Jeff Green about his debut solo album Jessica.

Jeff Green is an American guitarist and song writer living in Ireland and also works across the world as a member of the premier Eagles tribute band The Illegal Eagles
Jeff also is a huge fan of Progressive Rock Music and as a solo artist works in the progressive Rock genre

His first solo album Jessica is an album named after and inspired by the death of his daughter Jessica. The album is an uplifting and touching piece of work that will appeal to lovers of finely crafted songs and indtrumentals.
In this feature Jon Kirkman talks to Jeff about the album and plays tracks from the album and talks about the plans for jeff's follow up album.

Listen live tonight at 8pm or the repeat tomorrow night at 8pm. All times are UK time

Black Country Communion:
Live Over Europe DVD/Blu ray
Mascot Records
Released UK/Europe 24th October 2011

Hands up all those who thought that Black Country Communion were a one shot deal and that once the first album was out then the band would just fall by the wayside and the members would just continue with what they were doing before. Well I have to admit that I too had that feeling having seen this kind of thing before but I am happy to say that not only have the band managed to get over the difficult second album which most bands like this really struggle to release, they have also toured and the future looks good for all concerned not least those of us who absolutely adore what this band does

Filmed during the band’s debut European tour Black Country Communion Live over Europe finds this band ready to kill straight out of the box. If I am honest I am absolutely floored by the power the dynamics and sheer presence of this band. It isn’t a bunch of individuals out to make a quick buck this is a living and breathing band and live they excite me like very few bands have managed to do over the last few bands.

The great thing about this DVD is of course the music and the band feature music from both the albums currently available and of course we also have a knockout version of Burn which despite of course being a cover is really a major highlight of the bands set. Other musical highlights are frequent throughout this DVD and I have to say the material in a live setting really does shine tracks like One Last Soul, Save Me and Black Country just blow you away but the entire set is just full of great rock songs.

The other thing that I have noticed here is that the band can cut it both on a small intimate stage and also the big stage. Very few bands can make the switch so easily One of the few that I know of is The Rolling Stones so Black Country Communion are in elite and hallowed company . Wherever you see the band and if you caught the band on their UK tour or in Europe this DVD will be a great reminder of just how good this group of musicians are. Is there a star in Black Country Communion? Are you kidding of course every member of this band is a star but the amazing thing is they are a “BAND” there are no egos here just pure confidence in what they do. Glenn Hughes says in the DVD that they are “Just a Rock n Roll band playing Rock n Roll Music” Yes Glenn you are but BCC ARE SPECIAL!

The DVD package comes as a two disc set and the first disc will be on permanently play in my house until the band tour again.
Disc two is where you find the extras which include a featurette of the band on tour making this concert film and also includes photo galleries both on tour and backstage. In short if you have the two Black Country Communion CDs then you will want and indeed NEED this DVD [package it really is indispensable. I haven’t been as excited about a band for an absolute age but Black Country Communion excite me no end. They are the real deal!!

You can check out the bands facebook page for a look at the trailer for this film and also a chance to download a track Song of Yesterday free of charge.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Joe Bonamassa's UK Tour Continues This Week!!

Photo Credit © Christie Goodwin

Joe Bonamassa's UK Tour Continues This Week!!

On Saturday October 15th, Joe Bonamassa came down with the flu and was forced to re-schedule his Blackpool Opera House concert Saturday October 15th to the new date of Thursday April 5th 2012. Joe’s Nottingham Capital FM Arena concert on Sunday October 16th has now been re-scheduled to Monday April 2nd 2012.

The good news is that Joe has now fully recovered from the flu, and will perform the remaining dates on the current leg of his UK tour as follows:

Cardiff International Arena Tuesday October 18th

*Plymouth Pavilions Wednesday October 19th *Few tickets remaining

*London Hammersmith Apollo Friday October 21st *Few tickets remaining

*London Hammersmith Apollo Saturday October 22nd *Few tickets remaining

You can request Joe Bonamassa tracks on Classic Rock Radio here:

Kurt Cobain: The Graphic Novel - for iPad

Kurt Cobain: The Graphic Novel - for iPad Price £3.99 ($5.99)

Kurt Cobain: The Graphic Novel tells Cobain’s life story in comic book form creating a totally unique digital graphic experience. Writers Barnaby Legg and Jim McCarthy have used biographical fact interwoven with references to the singer’s tortured self-image from Cobain’s point of view.

The vibrant art by Flameboy captures both the subjective dreamscape and the objective reality of a tragic musical legend. This app takes Cobain's story and plays it out as a visual depiction of his life. From the luminous colours of an idyllic childhood through the flamboyant hues of success and stardom, Cobain's story inevitably declines into a much darker palette. The script draws from the singer's tortured self-image as well as straightforward biographical fact so that the tone of the app fluctuates between subjective dream-state and objective reality. App users can browse page by page, or zoom in and work their way through frame by frame. This unique app further enhances the graphic novel experience. For his 14th birthday, Cobain’s uncle gave him the option of a guitar or a bicycle as a gift; Cobain chose the guitar.

Cobain formed Nirvana in 1987 and within two years, the band became a fixture of the burgeoning Seattle grunge scene. In 1991, the arrival of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit marked the beginning of a dramatic shift of popular rock music away from the dominant genres of the 1980s. During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with drug addiction and the massive success of Nirvana with his underground roots. He also felt persecuted by the media. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead in his home in Seattle, the victim of what was officially ruled a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head.
In ensuing years, the circumstances of his death became a topic of fascination and debate.

Godspeed - The Kurt Cobain Graphic was first issued in print by Omnibus in 2003 and became a bestselling paperback.

Monday 17 October 2011

The Straits Liverpool Philharmonic 16th October 2011

The Straits
Liverpool Philharmonic Sunday 16th October

Set List
Private Investigations
Walk Of Life
Telegraph Road
Romeo and Juliet
Tunnel Of Love
Iron Hand
Your Latest Trick
Brothers In Arms
Brothers In arms
Two Young Lovers
Sultans Of Swing

Money For Nothing
Portobello Belle

For many people one of the biggest bands not to have re formed over recent years is Dire Straits. There is of course Mark Knopfler who does play a few songs from a quite wonderful catalogue but until former keyboard player Alan Clark took the plunge and formed “The Straits” the catalogue remained relatively untouched.

The Straits are no tribute band however with Alan Clark and fellow former member of Dire Straits Chris White The Straits are quite simple wonderful. With front man Terence Reis filling the very big shoes left by Mark Knopfler the band has a very big future ahead of them. The full line up in Liverpool tonight includes drummer Steve Ferrone, bassist Mickey Feat, multi instrumentalist Jamie Squire and in place of Phil Palmer guitarist Adam Phillips and this band seriously deliver the goods.

Starting with a major surprise in Private Investigations which I thought was a strange choice but to be honest this had the hair on the back of my neck standing up. The dynamics were incredible and I soon found myself smiling to myself. Rather like seeing one of my favourite bands again after a long layoff “The Straits” kept that smile on my face for the next 110 minutes. The band had their first standing ovation with Telegraph Road (The first of many) with some amazing playing and soloing from Terence Reis and from that moment on the highlights just kept coming, song after song the band just kept delivering the killer punch.

My personal favourites? Well Telegraph Road was just incredible as were Romeo and Juliet, Tunnel of Love and Brothers in Arms. I have to also say that the band performed a couple of songs that did surprise me but in a really good way. I never thought I would hear Communiqué again or Iron Hand but Terence Reis once again delivered a great arrangement of Communiqué starting off as just a solo song with the various members joining in along the way including some tasteful slide guitar from Adam Phillips; absolutely fantastic.

The evening ended with an extended version of Sultans of Swing and then the encore followed with of course Money for Nothing and another surprise with Portobello Belle.
The band has plans for next year including dates in Europe, America and even Australia. They have also assured us that they are going to come back and play the UK again so with that in mind I urge you to catch them next time they tour.

With this band I have to say there is every chance that this band could do incredible business and with Terence Reis they do have an incredible ace up the sleeve. Don’t run away with the idea that it is a one man show however all the members sound incredible and Alan Clark has put together an amazing band more than capable of delivering the classics and hopefully new material.

Never mind Love Over Gold. The Straits are PURE GOLD!

Thursday 13 October 2011

Bill Bruford Biography Limited Edition Package 500 Copies!

A special limited edition of Bill Bruford's best-selling autobiography is to be published in a Deluxe edition. Each set is individually hand signed by Bill.
The set includes an exclusive new double vinyl album, From Conception to Birth.

Bill Bruford has entered the bespoke Publishing market with a limited edition package of his Biography

Bill Bruford who over the last forty plus years has led his own bands, Bruford and Earthworks was a founder member of Yes and also worked with King Crimson and for a short period Genesis publishes the limited edition version of his book via Foruli publishing.If you order before mid November you can purchase the package with a 10% discount so hurry and order now while the offer is still "LIVE"

Here are the details

A hand signed and numbered hand bound limited edition book
Hand printed book cover with embossing
An authentication hologram in the book
Extra material not published in the first edition paperback
A limited edition 10" vinyl double album
Die cut record sleeves
Two limited edition art prints suitable for framing
A custom handmade slipcase
A piece of one of Bill's own gig-played Paiste cymbals

Full details on the contents of the limited package including photos etc and details on how to order are available here:

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Chickenfoot: Chickenfoot III Review

Chickenfoot: Chickenfoot III
EAR Music

So here we are with the second album from Chickenfoot and if like me you are surprised that the number of so called supergroups making it to their second album this album will come as an absolute delight

One of the best new bands of 2009 in fact they won the Classic Rock magazine award for being the best new band Chickenfoot really deliver the goods
Despite the title this really is the bands second album and one jammed full of great rock songs. I have to own up here and admit to being a huge fan of Sammy Hagar and in all honesty in my eyes the man can do no wrong and for a man who is almost old enough to collect his bus pass he puts many singers half his age top shame. That said this is no one man band and I also have a lot of respect and admiration for Chad Smith Michael Anthony and Joe Satriani.

To the songs then and really all ten tracks literally leap out of the speakers and for a band like this where sometimes it can be style over substance this is a real rock album with all the ingredients just right Last Temptation and Alright Alright kick things off in great style and my other favourite tracks are well I am stuck here because every track on this album is exceptional but I do find myself coming back to Dubai Blues and Lighten Up on regular repeat.

The whole thing comes wrapped in a special 3D cover and you can also purchase a CD/DVD version but in all honesty I have the standard release and believe me there is nothing standard about this album at all. This is real rock the way it used to be and it certainly takes me back to the days when Sammy first caught my ear when Montrose burst onto the scene. Yes it really is that good.

For those who may have been thinking of getting this album due to a friend perhaps having the fan Pack released recently then think no more Just buy the damn thing and crank it up!

If you love straight ahead no frills rock played with passion and verve them Chickenfoot III is definitely the album for you. I can see this album figuring in a lot of End of year best of lists

Tracks from Chickenfoot III are featured in the Classic Rock radio Playlist and can be requested

Tuesday 11 October 2011

King Mob Release Debut Album “Force 9″ plus Live Concert!

Album “Force 9” Release date: 31st October 2011

UK Date – London, 17th November 2011

KING MOB is a brand new English beat combo comprising guitar legend Chris Spedding (Roxy Music, Elton John, John Cale, Paul McCartney), Glen Matlock – bass (Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, Faces), Martin Chambers – drums (Pretenders), Stephen W Parsons aka Snips – vocals (film composer and vocalist of cult 70’s band Sharks) and introducing hot new guitar talent Sixteen.

The Mob are heavily influenced by two great band leader composers, Duke Ellington and Jimmy Page.

Their debut album FORCE 9 produced by SWP will be released on 31 October 2011 on 11 track CD and 7 track 180g Vinyl LP with gatefold sleeve, plus bonus 3 track CD included.

The album shows a band at the height of their powers. From the sharp riffing of the first single “Selene Selene” to the truly infectious “VA VAH VOOM”, from the gentle groove of “Chapel Of Love” to the blast of album opener “Lover Of High Renown”, this is an album that draws on the collective experience of all members to create something completely unique. The band draw on the Spirit of ’69 – but not in a retrospective way – they are bringing the raw power and spirit of that golden age of music into a contemporary setting – from the songwriting, to the playing, to the sound of the records, to the live show, to the spirit of the act. The album was recorded in four days…

The group has signed an exclusive recording deal with SPV/Steamhammer for the World excluding North America and has shot two videos. The first “Selene Selene” will be released as a download audio and visual single mid September and the second “VA VAH VOOM” is scheduled for audio and visual download release November/December.

Live dates are currently being set up to promote the album in European territories late 2011 and early 2012 with shows in Japan, Australia and South America following. Confirmed so far is the following UK date

Thursday 17th November 2011 – Le Beat Bespoke presents! KING MOB + Special guests BERMONDSEY JOYRIDERS & TOY live + DJ Dr Robert. @ 229 The Venue, 229 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5PN Opp Great Portland Street Tube station Doors 8pm Tickets £8 OTD/£5.50 in advance go

Tel 0207 323 7229

Sunday 9 October 2011

Notes From The Edge!

As you may be aware Gonzo Multimedia in all its various guises have released a great many albums and DVDs both from Yes and also various former and current members of Yes.

Classic Rock Radio's Jon Kirkman has also worked on many of these releases either in producing the releases for Voiceprint and Gonzo and also interviewing many of the members both for Yes releases and also their respective solo albums and projects

If you want to be kept up with what is happening with the guys in Yes both the current line up of the band or the previous members of Yes. Check out this page and click Like. Notes From The Edge edited since conception by founder Mike Tiano have been the most consistent and highly regarded outlet for all things Yes for may years and do it better than anyone. Check out the page and Please click Like now!

Friday 7 October 2011

You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks

The Kinks: You Really Got Me The Story of The Kinks
Nick Hasted
Omnibus Press

This isn’t the first book about the Kinks and I doubt it will be the last book about the Kinks but I have to say having read at least three other books on the band this particular book by Nick hasted really caught my attention and interest.

Well researched and well written Nick hasted has spoken to many of the people outside the Kinks immediate circle but more importantly he has also spoken to both Ray Davies and Dave Davies and drummer Mick Avory about the band the songs and of course the legendary infighting which at one point seemed to spell the end of the band and indeed at the time of writing may well still spell the end of the band as despite the fact that there is a major demand for the Kinks who are now revered as one of THE all time important rock bands of the last fifty years it seems that Ray and Dave Davies seem as entrenched as ever in what they think the Kinks should or shouldn’t do.

I sometimes despair of the Kinks in the se3nse that the infighting between the brothers has sometimes tended to overshadow their massive achievements in the music industry. Of course sibling rivalry is nothing new and you only have to read about The Bee Gees, the Everly Brothers and the Gallagher brothers to see that the Davies boys are in good company

Nick Hasted has written a very balanced book on what must have been very difficult circumstances. Having interviewed the Davies brothers separately a number of times over the years and also been in their company while they were in the middle of a row I can tell you that it is a situation I do not envy Nick Hasted.
That he has written such a good book and one that I am hoping pleases both Ray and Dave Davies without sacrificing the integrity of the story to favour one brother over the other is a triumph.

The music will always be a major talking point when reading a book about the Kinks and of course Ray Davies talks extensively about the songs that still stand up to this day. For some it will be the Kinks success in America during the late seventies and eighties for many the whole picture will be reason enough for buying the book.

As I have said this is not the first book to tackle the Kinks however in my opinion it is probably the best book to be written about the Kinks

Buy the book directly from Omnibus Press Here:

Request Kinks tracks at Classic Rock radio Here:

Motorhead: Overkill, The Untold Story

Motorhead: Overkill, The Untold Story of Motorhead
Joel McIver
Omnibus Press

It seems odd perhaps that the band that was originally going to be called Bastard has outlived many of its contemporaries to become almost an institution and an influence on many of Rock’s current “Big Names”. Maybe if Lemmy had stuck with the name bastard the band may not have had the staying power Motorhead has.

Joel McIver has written some great books on rock music in his time and Overkill The Story of Motorhead continues that tradition although he did have a great subject to work with..

McIvor’s style is a no fuss style although eminently readable. This book traces the genesis of Motorhead from Lemmy’s early days in the music industry and through his time with Hawkwind which unfortunately came to a rather sudden end on the American/Canadian border in 1975 onto the formation of the first line up of Motorhead with former Pink Fairy Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox. Of course the real meat and potatoes for most Motorhead fans will be the years 1976-1982 when the trio of Lemmy Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor and “Fast” Eddie Clarke were tearing it up across the world and releasing albums such as Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades and the magnificent live album No Sleep Til Hammersmith.

The oft used phrase by Lemmy about his new band was that if the band moved in next door to you your lawn would die. Motorhead certainly pulled no punches and delivered high octane rock music which has over the thirty five plus years of its existence carved its own highly thought of niche in rock music.

Whilst Motorhead is Lemmy’s life and probably will be until the day he dies he still says that he would still probably be with Hawkwind if they hadn’t sacked him. For many reasons including the fact that Motorhead are one of the finest bands to ever draw breath I think we can be more than happy that Hawkwind did sack Lemmy
The book is a must for fans of Motorhead and there are many little tit bits of information that the hard core head fan will love hence the title “The Untold Story” I was particularly interested in the period when the band featured former Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson and there were a few answers for me at least in this part of the Motorhead story.

Whilst there are some opinions held by the author that I personally know to be wrong having interviewed Lemmy myself on occasion. Particularly the period when the band were signed to Chiswick Records by and large this is a book many Motorhead fans will enjoy reading and as a band with more than 25 albums to their name there are a great many people out there who still follow the band and buy the albums.

So what more can I say except slip No Sleep Til Hammersmith on open a cool one and open this book!

You can buy the book directly from Omnibus Press here:

You can request tracks by Motorhead at Classic Rock radio Here:

Captain Beefheart: The Biography

Captain Beefheart: The Biography
Mike Barnes
Omnibus Press

Previously available in hardback this book has now been re published in paperback. Sadly of course the Good Captain died in 2010 but I am sure that he never bothered himself about what people wrote or thought about him. Don Van Vliet was a strange individual although an artist that commanded a massive cult audience right the way through his life and there are some out there I am sure who wished that he would come back to music and recording again.

This book is a fascinating read and while no matter how many times I try I still cannot get into Trout Mask Replica I found reading about Captain Beefheart and that particular period of his career incredibly interesting and who knows maybe I am destined never to get into Trout Mask Replica I have to admit a fondness for the guy who ploughed his own totally unique and individual furrow in music and his story is a compelling one.

I was also interested to find that despite what many thought sometimes was random was actually all very much from the mind of the man. Don certainly knew what he wanted and more importantly he also knew what he didn’t want.

Personality clashes did however seem to dog the man both with his dealings with Frank Zappa and The Magic Band who are probably as famous as Captain Beefheart and while Don himself didn’t collaborate in any way with Mike Barnes on this book over the five years it took to research and write many others connected with Don van Vliet did so we do at least have the angle from members of the Magic Band like Bill Harkleroad and Alex St Clair and Gary Marker all of whom had their run ins with the Good Captain.

If you are a fan then I guess this book is indispensible but even if you are not a fan per se or like me have no understanding of Trout Mask replica you can still find much of interest in the man who was Captain Beefheart!

You can buy the book directly from Omnibus Press here:

The Faces: Had Me A Real Good Time

The Faces: Had Me A real Good Time
Before During and After
Andy Neill
Omnibus Press

If ever there was an appropriate title for a book about the Faces then had me A Real Good Time is it!

The Faces were known as one of the live bands of the era between their formation in 1969 and their sad demise in 1975 when Rod Stewart finally did what many thought he would have done for the previous few tears and went solo.

This book is a real page turner and if I am honest I am not surprised by that bearing in mind that every member of the band is a major personality. It could be said that no band could ever hold that group of personalities together but for the majority of the time the band were together it did work really well

Andy Neil has written probably the definitive account of one of the few bands to rival the Rolling Stones not only for great performances and records but also wild behaviour. Ian McLagan always carried an axe with him on tour for instance because he demanded that the band had a Steinway piano onstage for any concerts. On one occasion he thought the promoter had not provided the said piano and thus reduced the piano to matchwood. Sadly what he destroyed was a vintage Seinmeg piano which was an early Steinway. Of course he feels remorse for that now but at the time that seemed to be the way the band was and the Faces certainly pulled no punches when they were on tour. Everywhere the band went they certainly had a real good time. Sometimes it must also be said that others not involved did not have a real good time but such is life if you are a "civilian" who unfortunately manages to be in the same hotel as a band on tour.

The book takes you through the pre Faces period with Rod and of course the guys with the Small Faces and then through the glory years and finally the dissolution of the band which ended in a wholly unsatisfactory manner in the press. There are also excellent profiles of all the members and their take on the band and its influence
The story however doesn’t end there and over the years there have been attempts at reunions until more recently Rod finally couldn’t commit which forced the remaining members Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan to recruit former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock on bass and more surprisingly former Simply Red vocalist Mick Hucknall. Despite reservations from some of the press however it actually works really well.
For any fan of the band this book is as I say definitive and it is packed full of information as Rod Stewart has indicated himself which as a recommendation can’t be bad.

What it will do as with any good book about an artist will drive you to the albums the artist made and in this case the Faces are waiting to be either discovered or maybe rediscovered. Whatever it is I guarantee you will not be able to put this book down so break open a bottle of Mateus Rose stick Ooh La La on and settle back to a good read. You will laugh out loud and also maybe shed a tear or two; the book really is that good.

You can buy the book directly from Omnibus Press here:

You can request faces tracks on Classic Rock radio Here:

Journey Don't Stop Believin' The Untold Story

Journey: Don’t Stop Believin’
The Untold Story of Journey
Neil Daniels
Omnibus Press

Unless you have been hidden up a mountain for the last thirty years you will know that Journey are one of America’s biggest rock bands with an amazing amount of Platinum and Gold albums behind them not to mention concerts that have attracted hundreds of thousands possibly millions of concert goers over the years.

In the UK the band have always been a popular draw on the live circuit however albums sales have somewhat predictably fallen a little behind the American market. That is until the producers of the television programme Glee decided to include the song Don’t Stop Believin’ in one of their shows. Hey presto the bands profile which was huge in America is now even bigger than before and the band have made the jump from theatres in the UK up to arenas and had a hit with their own version of the song which by and large is now recognised by almost everyone

Odd then that until Neil Daniels wrote this book that there had never been a book about this band and considering that the history of the band stretches back to 1973 and also includes connections with Santana and at one point the band featured a very well known British drummer. Hence no doubt the tag The Untold Story which in this instance is actually true.

In many ways this book then is well timed and is I am happy to say a really good read which takes us through the history of the band and the highs and lows and also I feel, fairly sets the story straight on the rather messy business of Steve Perry’s departure and the various singers who replaced him, something that some Journey fans still feel strongly about.

Until Steve Perry decides to write his own biography I guess what we have here will have to do although from what is written here Neil Daniels has recorded the facts pretty well and also fairly in my opinion and it has to be said that Steve Perry seems to have been treated more fairly than perhaps other ex members of the band according to the book.

The band is now once again selling huge amounts of concert tickets and with new singer Arnel Pineda selling albums in respectable quantities once more. The story of how Arnel came to be in the band is worthy of a book in itself!
So if you have ever been interested in Journey or whether the “Glee Effect” has brought you to the band no matter, this book will act as a reference and send you back to the most important thing about Journey; the music, which after all; is what it is all about. Whether there is another book on the subject of Journey is debateable however this book has set the bar pretty high and covers all the points and even throws up a couple of interesting facts that casual and even long time fans may not know!

Don’t Stop Believin’ is well researched and contains exclusive interviews with many former members and people who worked with the band which lends this book an almost “Official” feel to it.

You can buy this book directly from Omnibus Press Here:

You can also request Journey Songs at Classic Rock radio Here:

Thursday 6 October 2011

Robin Trower: Another Days Blues

Another day Another Robin Trower album....Well perhaps the cynic might think that but in all honesty who cares what the cynics or the critics think. Another Days Blues was Robin’s album from 2005 and saw him reunited with Reg Isadore who was the drummer on the first Robin Trower album Twice Removed From Yesterday. This is no re treading of former glories however Robin has a wonderful fluid style and also knows exactly the sort of material that shows him at his best.

Another Days Blues is s solid Trower album which has some of his best material in some time. In fact over the last twenty years Robin has if anything got better and now stands almost where he was at his creative and commercial height in the late seventies. Material like Inside Out and Shining Through are fine examples of concise Robin Trower songs which never out stay their welcome. For many however the highlight of the album is This Blue Love which follows in the tradition of Blues Based Robin Trower ballads.

Again not an album that is likely to convert anyone but certainly an album that is held in high regard amongst the Robin Trower fan base and with extensive sleeve notes from respected rock journalist Chris Welch and an excellent re mastering Another Days Blues is a welcome reissue.

Jon Kirkman

You Can request Robin Trower tracks on Classic Rock Radio here:

Robin Trower : What Lies Beneath

Another late era Robin Trower album with this album coming as recently as 2009 and a surprise for many when they heard that Robin would be handling the vocals on this album. Of course his credentials as a guitarist have never been in question but Robin has worked with some amazing vocalists over the years with Jim Dewar and Davey Pattinson to name just two.

Fans breathed a sigh of relief however when it was found that Robin had a voice perfectly suited to the earthy blues he performs so well. Once again What Lies beneath is unlikely to convert anyone to Robin Trower but at this stage in his career Robin has a more than adequate fan base that have remained loyal from the very early days of Robin’s solo career and this album is certainly full of the type of material that made Robin Trower a massive draw in America in the seventies and early eighties.

My particular favourites from this album are Skin and Bone, Buffalo Blues and the title track What Lies Beneath. As with the other albums in the recent batch of reissues What Lies Beneath sounds incredible cranked up to the max and the re mastering really hits the spot.

Also included are extensive sleeve notes from respected rock journalist Chris Welch.

Jon Kirkman

You can request Robin troer tracks on Classic Rock radio here:

Robin Trower 20th Century Blues

Over the last forty odd years Robin Trower has shown himself to be a guitarist of impeccable taste and artistry, first with Procol Harum and since 1973 as a solo artist. In the seventies particularly in America Robin and his band were one of the big live draws and his albums also did incredibly well.
By the time of this album 20th Century Blues (1994) the 20th century was almost over however the music contained on this album could just as well been titled 21st Century Blues.

As ever Robin Trower produced an album that showed his skill as a great guitarist without being over showy. Ably supported by drummer Mayuyu and bassist/vocalist Livingstone Brown Robin who favoured the trio format really shines throughout this album particularly on the title track and songs like Extermination Blues and the longest track on the album Step Into The Dark.

Unlikely to convert anyone 20th Century Blues certainly found favour with the hard core and it has to be said still sizeable Robin Trower fan base. This reissue adds nothing in terms of extra tracks but really there is no need to over egg the pudding with bonus tracks that weren’t perhaps good enough to find a place on the original release. You do however have the advantage of having the album re mastered which really comes into its own when listening on headphones. Respected journalist Chris Welch also adds extensive sleeve notes to add to the attraction.

20th Century Blues for me at least is one of Trower’s best albums in the last thirty years and one that I return to time and time again and that is not something that you can say about many albums from the nineties

Jon Kirkman

You can request Robin Trower tracks on Classic Rock radio here :