Tuesday 31 December 2013


Brian May, guitarist for Queen has undergone a series of tests for Cancer and other ailments over the Christmas holiday due to intense pain in his back that left him unable to stand.  As reported on his website May stated,

"So around Christmas I've been having a succession of blood tests, ultrasounds and various kinds of scans, to see if they could rule out various kinds of cancer," he wrote. "Now, on hearing the 'C' word something happens inside you ... of course. I've seen so many of my dear friends fighting it ... and my Dad lost his battle at age 66, exactly the age I am now.

"Over the last few days I've been in various states of unrest. But the great thing has been that the team my GP assembled to check out the possibilities has moved Heaven and Earth to gather all the information I need quickly over the Christmas period ... not an easy time."

On December 30, May thanked his fans for their support.

"I've been overwhelmed by the amazing messages you've been sending me, folks, since I wrote about my 'Health Scare'," he wrote.
"It's taken me by surprise — for many reasons. I really didn't realize how much you guys were gunning for me ... it's great to know that, and I can't thank you enough. It puts a smile on my face. But I didn't realize that biting the bullet and mentioning the 'C' word would unlock such an avalanche. I now realize that so many of you have been wrestling with this all along, personally, or in family or friends, and, like me, found it hard to share. Hearing of your experiences, and courage, and hopes, and solutions, has been a massive eye-opener for me."

You can visit Brian May's website here:

Friday 27 December 2013

Missing Persons Featuring Dale Bozzio Return To The Stage
For Two Exclusive SoCal Engagements!

Los Angeles, CA - After a long absence from the music scene, Missing Persons featuring original vocalist Dale Bozzio will return to the Southern California stage for two special concerts at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach on January 10 and at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on January 19. Such memorable hits as “Words,” “Destination Unknown,” and “Walking In L.A.” made Missing Persons a household name in the ‘80s and a staple of early MTV thanks in part to the cutting edge fashion statements of Bozzio. With her unforgettable pink streaked hair, fishbowl bra and bubblewrap jacket, Bozzio would become an iconic figure of rock fashion, the original glam diva, inspiring the likes of Madonna, Gwen Stefani, Lady GaGa, and others! Her vocal style too became a unique signifier of the band’s music, and her voice remains as strong today as it was then!

These two exclusive performances are an exciting prelude to the release of the first studio album of new material to bear the Missing Persons name in over 25 years! The album, titled appropriately enough Missing In Action, was produced by Billy Sherwood and will be released on Cleopatra Records, March 4. Sherwood, whose recent work on the solo album of Star Trek actor William Shatner thrust Sherwood into the national spotlight, composed the album alongside Bozzio and brought a modern twist to the classic Missing Persons’s sound for what is sure to be one of the most talked about comeback records of the year. A record release party is planned and a nationwide tour will launch later in March!

1. Do Or Die
2. Hello, Hello
3. Walk Into The Sun
4. Covert Operation
5. The More We Love
6. The Speed Of Light
7. All The Way
8. If I Gave You My Mind
9. Siren Song
10. Crisis In Overdrive

11. Walking In L.A. (Acoustic Version)
12. Hello, Hello (Radio Remix)

Monday 23 December 2013

Rare Brand X Albums and Percy Jones Album Reissued

Although typically considered an off-shoot band for Genesis legend Phil Collins, UK prog-fusion group Brand X was much more than that. Featuring several virtuosic musicians (as well as Collins), Brand X took the genre of fusion to a whole new level of expertise. Along with Collins on drums, the band featured Percy Jones (bass), John Goodsall (guitar) Robin Lumley (keyboards), and Morris Pert (percussion), with sometimes Mike Clark, Kenward Dennard (drums), and John Giblin (bass). Active from 1975-1980, Brand X was another one of those bands who were beloved by other musicians, and the more discerning critics, but despite everything never had the commercial success they deserved. The band released several critically acclaimed albums on the Charisma label in the UK and Passport label in the US, including 'Unorthodox Behaviour', 'Moroccan Roll', 'Livestock' and 'Product'. Now much to the excitement of Brand X fans and fusion music fans worldwide, Gonzo Multimedia is releasing 3 rare Brand X titles on CD (Missing Period, Live At The Roxy LA 1979, Is There Anything About?), as well as bassist Percy Jones' hard to find solo offering from 1989 'Cape Catastrophe'.

Says Percy Jones, 
“I'm really happy that Gonzo is releasing this stuff. It was recorded over 25 years ago, so it's great that it's still available to anyone who is interested.”

Brand X - “Missing Period': This album represents the earliest known recordings of Brand X circa 1975-76. Recorded shortly before the group's debut album 'Unorthodox Behaviour', the source tapes for this material were recently recovered by John Goodsall from family members in England, who presented John with a box containing all sorts of Brand X memorabilia. At the bottom of the box were some old reels of tape of unknown origin. Upon review John and Percy realized that they had uncovered a long lost treasure – excellent quality recordings of Brand X's classic lineup performing previously unreleased material. This documents a period of the band's history which has been missing for over 20 years.

Tracks: 1. Dead Pretty, 2. Kugelblitz, 3. Ancient Mysteries, 4. Why Won't You Lend Me Yours?. 5. Miserable Virgin, 6. Tito's Leg

Brand X – 'Live At The Roxy LA 1979': Recorded at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, September 23, 1979 shortly after the release of 'Product'. This is a previously unreleased soundboard recording of Brand X captured live at the peak of the band's career.

Tracks: 1. Disco Suicide (intro) Algon, 2. Dance Of The Illegal Aliens, 3. Don't Make Waves, 4. Malaga Vergen, 5. ...And So To F..., 6. Nuclear Burn

Brand X – 'Is There Anything About?': Not long after Brand X released their 1980 album 'Do They Hurt?', the band members went their separate ways (until their comeback in 1992 which only featured Goodsall and Jones). However, they still owed their record label one more album. The solution? Release a rarities album! The problem was that there was very little unreleased material in the vaults – about three or four tracks at the most. But with a little doctoring and remixing of tapes, keyboardist Robin Lumley extended that number to six tracks and the label released Brand X's appropriately-titled collection 'Is There Anything About?' in 1982.

 “It is the last album to feature Phil Collins on drums and includes some absolutely gorgeous slices of Brand X at their very best. This is a peculiar album; at the time many critics panned it, often because it didn't sound anything like the anodyne pop music that Phil Collins was making elsewhere in his career. However, in my opinion and that of thousands of fans worldwide it acts as a satisfying coda to a body of work which has very few parallels in the world of jazz fusion.”

Tracks: 1. Ipanaemia, 2. A Longer April, 3. Modern, Noisy and Effective, 4. Swan Song, 5. Is There Anything About?, 6. Tmiu-Atga

Percy Jones – 'Cape Catastrophe': Several years after the release of Brand X's final album 'Is There Anything About?', bassist Percy Jones moved to New York City and began infiltrating the music scene there. He recorded 'Cape Catastrophe' in 1988/89 at a studio in East Harlem. Using an array of hardware and instruments available at the time, including a Casio synthesizer, Roland sequencer. Yamaha drum machine and Korg digital delay, Percy recorded a several tracks ranging in length from 2-and-a half minute to 23minutes.

Says music writer Dave Lynch, 

“There is certainly a lot here for electric bass-aholics to enjoy: Jones' burbles, pops, and plonks are all here, and his tone on sustained notes is rich with harmonic overtones as expected. But the music through which the bass slips and slides is often more like twisted instrumental techno-funk than fusion, along with ominous electronic textures that sometimes sound like an ethereal chorus or gruff, agitated shouts distorted beyond recognition."
Tracks: 1. The Lie, 2. Cape Catastrophe, 3. Slick, 4. Hex, 5. Barrio, 6. Tunnels, 7. Thin Line, 8. Symphony In F Major

Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka 
(Gonzo Multimedia)

So I viewed the DVD Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka the night it arrived in the mail. And then AGAIN the next day. That tells you something right there. If you know me, then one is aware that usually I have stacks of CDs and DVDs to check out (I'm not complaining...I write about several topics including pop culture) at any given time. For a DVD to come in the door and be made that night's entertainment, there HAS to be something to it. The bio pictures subject matter, Vangelis, is just that. A gentleman of incredible talent. One of the best keyboardists I had the pleasure of finding out about, and over time gotten to know his work. Not just a keyboardist. A composer. A multi-instrumentalist; drummer and percussionist. For those lucky enough to see him perform live, a showman like no other. One should be able to look up the word Vangelis and somewhere in the many definitions given, be told point blank just how cool this man is. And not because this author said so, which should be good enough, but because the man is talented in every essence of the word. This DVD, Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka, explains very well as to why Vangelis epitomizes talent.

Vangelis: “Music is the strongest thing. Strong as oxygen and speaks directly to your soul.”

In all the time I've been a Vangelis fan, I have yet to see a documentary on the man. LONG overdue. Frankly, I've hardly ever seen anything on Vangelis regarding video clips. For me, my Vangelis collection isn't visual but audio with his music being found within my music CD or cassette collection. I believe my first recording of his to be Heaven And Hell (1975). What sparked my interest in him was a guest appearance on that album by Yes' Jon Anderson. Yes being one of my favorite bands for decades now. Oh...and Jon makes an appearance on this Vangelis documentary as well. Shares a lovely story about himself and Vangelis and The Top Of The Pops performance. Anderson always could spin a well-told story. Back to the documentary, frankly it's really the most I've ever seen of the man on film. It's also the most I've ever heard him speak. I find it all very delightful.

Vangelis: “Music is personal but painting is personal – very personal.”

In the documentary, Henry Mancini was surprised that Vangelis is “not a schooled musician.” That is a bit SHOCKING. The answer is clearly that Vangelis is a musical genius. Get this – on the documentary (Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka) to see him actually composing appears like it's no effort for him at all. All very natural. Now others are surprised as well when learning that Vangelis paints as well as he makes music. The results equally astonishing. His paintings, he calls his children and very seldom lets them out of his sight (the occasional art showing...and he's hesitant...the public insisting to be allowed to see, and study, and enjoy).

Guest appearances from Vangelis' musical achievements in film score appear in the documentary. People like directors Oliver Stone, and a man who should bring nightmares still to 13 year old girls all over the globe, Roman Polanski. Sorry for the editorial moment. Many more very talented people appear throughout this very well filmed and put together documentary (Isolde Films). They recall memories and share their own personal insight into who this really great man is.

Rating: One a scale of one to five stars, with one meaning it blows chunks to five meaning just extraordinary, then FIVE STARS it is. Again...I watched this twice. The second time as intently as the first. My actions cut this review to the chase; a MUST HAVE documentary if a Vangelis fan or someone who just wishes to find out about a really cool guy who just happens to have been bathed in talent. The results are what is most interesting.

Gary Brown American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (Dot EU)

Thursday 12 December 2013

Debut Album
Release date: 24th March 2014

Toseland team up with Pledge Music for the release of their debut album

Fresh from support to Reef’s 20th Anniversary Tour as well as a host of headline dates (including a sold out Islington Academy on 11th Dec 2014) Toseland have announced the release date for their debut album.

The band have teamed up with Pledge Music to launch the album. You now have the chance to pre-order the debut album, featuring singles Life Is Beautiful, Renegade and nine other Toby Jepson produced tracks, whilst getting your hands on all sorts of exclusive merchandise, signed stuff, experiences and memorabilia.

The album will be released on March 24th, and Pledgers will receive their copy on that day along with anything else they have opted to buy.

Simply go to www.pledgemusic.com/toseland, watch the intro video and browse what's available. Once you have pledged you will get access to more exclusive content, tour blogs and streams of other tracks from the album.

If the name might seem familiar it is because Toseland are a band fronted by double world superbike champion James Toseland. Throughout his career as a motorbike racer, music has been central to James life – so much so that he performed live at BBC’s Sports Personality Of the Year. When James was forced to retire through injury a journey into music started…

James met up with Toby Jepson (Little Angels) in March 2012 after a friend had recommended they might work well together. Jepson had no idea of James’ past but they clicked - personally and musically. James had the bones of several songs and an idea of the sound he wanted – one of the first tracks to emerge being album track Kingdoms (which James had been playing with for a while).

The writing process was quick and the pair soon laid down instrumentation at Vale Studios with Jepson producing (credits include The Answer, Saxon and The Virgin Marys) and Steve Harris (Foo Fighters, U2) as engineer. James plays all the piano on the album – including forthcoming single “Renegade”. Vocals were recorded in five days at Jepson’s studio in Scarborough.

Official Websites

Heart Fanatic Live From Caesar's Colosseum 
CD + DVD Deluxe Edition/Blu Ray and DVD

Frontiers Records are set to release Heart's concert "FANATIC LIVE FROM CAESARS COLOSSEUM" on CD+DVD Deluxe Edition, DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on Monday 24th February 2014.

The history behind this recording began in 2012, which was a year of major achievements for Heart. In addition to Ann and Nancy’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and news that they had been inducted into the Rock& Roll Hall of Fame, the year was filed with musical accomplishments.   Watch the EPK with Ann Wilson on YouTube HERE.

Wilson combed their archives for a definitive four CD box set release in the early part of the year, and in the fall of 2012, released their "Fanatic" album to strong critical and fan acclaim.  To support the release of "Fanatic," the band embarked upon a major North American headline tour, which ended with a magnificent performance at Caesars Colosseum in Windsor, Ontario, which was filmed by AXS-TV. Heart will be performing shows in North America in February, March and April, 2014 as a continuation of the "Fanatic" tour.

Heart’s long been associated with Canada having broken out in Vancouver in 1976 with the release of Dreamboat Annie. Their return to Canada for the Fanatic tour was greeted with the kind of enthusiasm Canadians save for their own.  Ben Mink, who produced the Fanatic CD and is another great Canadian musician, joined Heart on stage at Windsor, playing fiddle and leading a string ensemble.

In addition to songs from the "Fanatic" album which were performed for the first time for the television viewing audience, "Fanatic Live From Caesars Colosseum" also showcases many of Heart's classic hits including Barracuda, Crazy on You, These Dreams, Alone, What About Love, and many more.  A digital download is available via iTunes and includes an instant download of a new rendition of the Heart classic Dog And Butterfly.

Over the group's four-decade history, Heart had different line-ups, with the constant centre of the group since 1974 being sisters lead singer Ann Wilson and guitarist Nancy Wilson. Heart has sold over 30 million records worldwide, including over 22 million in album sales in America. The group was ranked number 57 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock". With Top 10 albums on the Billboard Album Chart in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2010s, Heart is among the most commercially enduring bands in rock.

Official Websites

UK Tour Dates Announced - 2014
Album: Bombo Out Now

Fresh from releasing their critically acclaimed 4th studio album, “Bombo”, Bonafide have confirmed UK dates for 2014.

Swedish hard rockers BONAFIDE returned in 2013 with a vengeance. "BOMBO", a Pulp Fiction style tale of rock´n´roll debauchery over 10 chapters, saw the band return to the in your face, crotch kicking sound of their first three albums. BOMBO is BONAFIDE´s fourth full length album, and the third to be produced by singer / frontman and main songwriter Pontus Snibb. The first single release from the album; "Harmony", witnessed BONAFIDE bringing down the tempo slightly but still holding true, the Bonafide hooks and shredding skills throughout its production. "Harmony" is a perfect example of Pontus quite eclectic, yet very Blues / R´n´B oriented songwriting and will be sure to be a popular addition to most radio play lists over the course of the year.

Rest assured: "BOMBO" is nothing but total pure n classic BONAFIDE at its very best. All the elements that make BONAFIDE one of the best new hard rock bands on the scene today are here: the energy, the tongue n cheek lyrics, the marvelous guitar playing and the thunderous rhythm section. Get ready for yet another thrust of pure Rock n Roll debauchery as the rebels ride again...

Bonafide – A Short Biography:  Pontus Snibb (LV/G), Mikael Fässberg (G), Martin Ekelund (B), Niklas Matsson (D):
Since their formation in Malmö, Sweden late 2006, BONAFIDE has grown to be one of Sweden’s most popular and hardest working rock bands. Singer and front man Pontus Snibb got the band together in an urge to play loud and raunchy hard rock true to it’s roots in the electric blues and early R´n`B. BONAFIDE spends most of their time on the road throughout Europe, constantly building an ever growing fan base all over the continent. Their two latest albums have both secured the number One slot in the Swedish rock chart, and besides playing clubs on their own, they have supported bands such as Deep Purple, Europe and Status Quo only to name a few.

Two of their singles, “Doing The Pretty” and “Fill Your Head With Rock” was among the top tracks in Classic Rock Magazines “Top Tracks OF the Year” in both 2011 and 2012! In 2011 BONAFIDE made their UK debut, and has since done five highly successful UK tours, culminating in a massive performance at last year’s Hard Rock Hell Festival. BONAFIDE toured extensively ion 2013 – including as special guests to The Quireboys full UK tour. They set out as headliners in early 20145 supported by Scottish rockers Afterlife. Dates are as follows

Fri 14th Mar                  Newport, The Steelhouse
Sat 15th Mar                 The Temple @ HMV Institute, Birmingham
Sun 16th Mar                 Thekkla, Bristol
Tue 18th Mar                 London, Barfly support from Afterlife
Wed 19th Mar               Nottingham, Rescue Rooms support from Afterlife
Thurs 20th Mar              Marine Hotel, Colwyn Bay
Fri 21st Mar                   Hard Rock Hell AOR 2, Pwhelhi FESTIVAL
Sat 22 Mar                    York, The Duchess support from Afterlife
Sun 23rd Mar                 Grimsby, Yardbirds Rock Club support from Afterlife
Tues 25th Mar               Corporation, Sheffield
Wed 26 Mar                 Manchester, Club Academy support from Afterlife
Thurs 27th Mar              Zephr Lounge, Leamington Spa
Fri 28 Mar                     Newcastle, Think Tank? support from Afterlife
Sat 29 Mar                    Ballymena, The Diamond Rock Club support from Afterlife
Sun 30 Mar                   Glasgow, Cathouse support from Afterlife

Official Websites:



Album: “Shooting Dice With God”
Release Date: 10th February 2014

"They've created a mysterious, romantic, erotic world"
- Rolling Stone.

Italian quintet Belladonna are set to release their new album “Shooting Dice With God” in the UK on the 4th February 2014. The album will be distributed by Cargo.

A blend of classic rock attitude, vintage sound and a strong Italian sense of style have helped Belladonna to create an extraordinary brand of emotionally charged rock'n'roll. The singularity of this sound made Belladonna be the pioneers of the so-called rock noir.

Belladonna have worked independently since their first album “Metaphysical Attraction”, retaining artistic freedom and integrity. Despite being independent, the band has achieved much along the way: 2 Grammy Awards Ballot Nominations in 2008, support to Nine Inch Nails, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Scars On Broadway, The Mars Volta, Staind and Korn and collaboration with the likes of composer Michael Nyman (who plays piano on their collaborative tracks) and producer Sylvia Massy (Tool). The band also played at the London Erotica exhibition with Dita Von Teese. True to their Italian roots the band has also started producing their own wine!

"Shooting Dice With God" is Belladonna’s fourth studio album and showcases a band at the height of their powers. From the driving grooves of first single “Karma Warrior” to the gentle acoustic leanings of “If I Was God”, from the gothic emotive “Aura Blues” to the 4/4 rock of “Ishtar Blues”.

Assured live performers, the band is set to tour the UK in 2014.

Official Websites:

New Book on Soft Rock Legends Bread: 
Bread - A Sweet Surrender

Bread - A Sweet Surrender is the very first biography of this magnificent gathering of musical talents, a collective known as Bread, that gave us such timeless hits as 'Make It With You', 'Everything I Own', 'If' and 'The Guitar Man'. This is their story.

Researched in detail, including exclusive interviews with founding member Robb Royer, along with friends, family and former musical associates of the band, Bread - A Sweet Surrender reveals the story behind the band members' formative years, their coming together, the rise of Bread, and the subsequent break-up and the messy lawsuits that were to dog the band in later years. Also featured are exclusive insights into their successful 1990s reunion, undertaken a few years before the sad passing of Jimmy Griffin, followed shortly afterwards by both Botts and Knechtel.

Available as a Limited Edition Hardback. This book will be shipping in January 2014

Order Here:

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Boston Christmas Single Available NOW!

Multi-platinum band BOSTON is celebrating the holiday season with the release of a rocking twist on a Christmas classic titled “God Rest Ye Metal Gentlemen.” This festive song, produced by BOSTON mastermind Tom Scholz, is available today on iTunes at http://smarturl.it/BostonGodRestYe and features Kimberley Dahme
on bass and lead vocal, Gary Pihl and Tom Scholz on vocals and guitars, along with Tom Hambridge on drums.

For a limited time, BOSTON fans can also listen to a stream of the track on Soundcloud by clicking http://bit.ly/1fjnerLScholz said about the song, "This was my chance to BOSTON-ize one of my favorite Christmas carols.  I had so much fun with this one, I think I'll have to try a few more."

BOSTON is currently conquering the US airwaves as "Heaven On Earth," the lead single from the newly released Life Love & Hope, climbs the Classic Rock charts. Written and produced by Scholz, “Heaven On Earth” features David Victor on vocals with special guest Louis St. August.

More than a decade in the making, the highly anticipated new album Life, Love & Hope was released on December 3 in the U.S. and Canada and is available now for purchase at Amazon and iTunes. The collection of brand new tracks, recorded at Scholz’s very own Hideaway Studio II, was produced, arranged, and engineered by Scholz and is BOSTON’s first release since 2002’s Corporate America. In addition to Delp and Victor, current BOSTON singer Tommy DeCarlo, Kimberley Dahme and Scholz himself, contribute vocals on the new album. Diverse yet cohesive, the long-awaited album has something for everyone and will fulfill the expectations of existing fans, while exposing a new generation to one of rock and roll’s great acts.  Albums purchased at Best Buy will contain a bonus track titled “Te Quiero Mia.”

BOSTON burst onto the music scene with their eponymous best-selling debut album in 1976, and never looked back.  With over 17 million copies sold, BOSTON generated hits such as "More Than a Feeling," "Peace of Mind," and "Smokin'," rock staples that are still in heavy rotation today.  Their second effort, Don't Look Back was another chart-topper that confirmed their place in rock history, followed by Third Stage, which hit #1 on the charts, with the top single of 1986, "Amanda."  With over 31 million albums sold to date, BOSTON's music has stood the test of time, as evidenced by live BOSTON audiences that spans generations.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Spotlight: Psych-Out Christmas (2013 Cleopatra Records)

So this CD floats pass my desk and does a safe landing near the home stereo system. Glad it did because it caught my eye. Good thing I have a pair. They focus and in the left hand corner of the cover it says via a sticker covered with POT LEAFS; “GET HIGH WITH SANTA.” There is even a picture of Old Saint Nick with a joint hangin’ out his mouth. I opened the CD and searched, searched, and didn't find any grass, except for when I later on went outside. Maybe an offer not made in my State? In very small print for my benefit the words; “Except Texas.” Why am I surprised? So I put on the disc and hope for a contact buzz. IF included, mine by-passed the distribution center. Finally giving up, concluding it’s more like a Bring Your Own Pot situation. 

My first time hearing Psych-Out Christmas with the sounds emitting loudly from three feet tall speakers, and I’m flabbergasted. The audio enters my brain cells, they responded in kind. I must have gotten soft, I wonder to myself. Most first listens to something new, and on the average, I’m more negative towards what I just heard. At the end of the tunnel that was near a well, I had to stop, look up, and evaluate. I’m impressed.

How hard is it to make a new Christmas album and not have it suck trough a long straw,  and made fun of? Cleopatra Records COMPLETLY AVOIDS THAT and does an OUTSTANDING job offering this exceptional NEW Christmas CD. Includes new, and all time favorites that when played at any Christmas party would be a HUGE hit. And that’s without the “adult” eggnog. Put that in your Santa Claus pipe and inhale deeply. That’s right…to the toes and then hold…keep holding…a little more….while turning blue listen to the kick ass guitar solo included in the bluesy Christmas Tears…and THEN exhale (snapping the selfie right then). Press repeat.

Uncle G’s Offers A Few Words On Content

Christmas Monster Party (Intro) by Len  – What a cool inventive retro WAY of starting a cannabis disc. Yeah…I know what I just said. It’s a line from a newly recorded retro 1960’s novelty record recreation done beautifully, howls and all. The non-singing track also acts as a cool bridge to an excellent cover of The Beatles Christmas Time (Is Here Again). Performed brilliantly by Elephant Stone.

Silent Night by Quintron & The Pussycat – a very groovy bongo and keyboard intro that stay consistent throughout this very well done instrumental.

Time Of The Season by Sons Of Hippies – they cover a vintage song by The Zombies that fits the festive season like a cozy pair of fuzzy slippers. This actually has HIT written all over it. If I were programming a cool radio station that teen and young adults listened to nowadays, I would definitely include this in my holiday play list. Like fine wine, good all year round. The Sons Of Hippies made the iconic 1960’s song their own. That’s the coolest part. Do a cover and have it sound exactly like the original, and I would rather hear the original. I mean really…what’s the point?

Frosty The Snowman by The Candy Store. Wonderful female lead vocals with nice harmonies. The song is classic oldies sounding with an upbeat tempo accompanied by a solid rhythm section.

White Christmas (Guitar Stooge Version) by the one and only, Iggy Pop. His vocals are so his own. It begs to ask who else would want them. Once you hear this you’ll appreciate a version of this timeless classic, heard like NO other version you EVER heard. If Mom’s being a drag, lock yourself in the bedroom and pressing the repeat button, play Iggy’s tribute to Irvin Berlin and the late and great Bing Crosby…no wait…a couple listens and you’ll LOVE it. And that’s all that matters. Now lite up, inhale, and vision the real meaning of the holiday…in 3D (really far out man).

Rating: Using the 5 star rating system that starts from zero, meaning IT SUCKS, to 5 stars with a meaning that it totally fucking rules, and that the originality and presentation are to the max times five, and to the tenth power. Psych-Out Christmas would be that. Nice job coming up with the concept and then following that through Cleo. Admit it, a Christmas album centering on booze, would blow chunks. Uncle G's been around the Corner more than once, and seriously doesn't have a problem with marijuana. Google that and find out yourself. I love this Christmas album. Been a while since I said that. It’s very non-traditional…non-boring….and appropriate for every pothead, Narc, and otherwise alright straight person who we live with in perfect harmony. And, all because we inhaled.  

Next Cleopatra, how about a Cannabis Valentines? Cannabis Memorial Day?  Cannabis Forth Of July?  Cannabis Thanksgiving fer sure. It’s all about giving thanks , and then eating insanely. Do a bong…eat turkey. And listen to The Sons Of Hippies, who just happen to be on this album. And everyone involved and their friends. Also, don’t forget to help out your other Brothers and Sisters who live in other States; Legalize & Decriminalize Weed ALL across our GREAT land, and all over the globe. Victory comes in UNITY !! Celebrate being naked, and good Christmas music. Pssst!……Psych-Out Christmas…puff puff…tell a friend.

Gary Brown
American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (Dot EU)

Monday 9 December 2013

UFO Book. High Stakes & Dangerous Men; The UFO Story

'Your new bass player is lying on the floor completely out of it on drink and drugs; he’ll fit in really well!’
(UFO manager telephoning Phil Mogg)

Life in UFO has never been dull, that’s for sure. The group has a reputation for partying as hard as it rocks, and controversy has never been too far away. Numerous line-up changes, splits, reunions and in-fighting have been par for the course but, 45 years after their formation, the band is still going from strength to strength and, arguably, producing the best music of their career.

Top metal writer Neil Daniels’ new book on UFO inevitably covers some of the ‘Spinal Tap’ moments in the band’s history (and there have been plenty), but also unashamedly puts the music centre stage. 
Why not too?  This band has been an enormous influence on so many of today’s top rockers: Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pearl Jam and Slash from Guns N’ Roses, amongst others, are all admirers. The list of former members is impressive: Michael Schenker, Pete Way, Larry Wallis, Bernie Marsden, Paul Chapman, Billy Sheehan, Jason Bonham, Aynsley Dunbar, Tommy McClendon and more.

High Stakes & Dangerous Men includes a foreword by the American broadcaster and author Eddie Trunk, and an afterword by British rock journalist Peter Makowski. The book contains some rare and previously unseen photos.

Neil Daniels is the author of over a dozen books on rock and metal and has contributed to many music magazines, fanzines and websites. 
UK Prog Legends Nektar To Tour Europe In January 2014

London, UK - Hot on the heels of a successful US tour and the release of their critically acclaimed new album 'Time Machine', UK prog legends Nektar are preparing to tour Europe in early 2014! After a bit of an absence from European stages, Nektar is sure to be a treat for concert-goers who will be fortunate enough to catch one of the shows!

Nektar founding member Roye Albrighton (guitars/lead vocals) says, “We can promise you high quality performances wherever we play. I know I speak on behalf of the band when I say we are all looking forward to it.”

Nektar, featuring Albrighton, founding drummer Ron Howden, keyboardist Klaus Hentasch and bassist Lux Vibratus, although mostly British were formed in Hamburg, Germany in 1970. Their early albums featured a heady, exhilarating mix of progressive, experimental rock sounds that soon caught on worldwide at the height of the international prog-rock boom. Touring the world behind numerous album releases throughout the ‘70s & ‘80s helped to cement the band’s reputation as an influential prog-rock legend. Having undergone a variety of personnel changes over the past decade or so, the band now boasts its strongest lineup in years and is ready to prove so yet again to its many fans throughout Europe. 

Nektar’s new album, 'Time Machine', featuring the band’s first album of new original material in several years, was released on Cleopatra Records in the USA on June 18, 2013.

Nektar Tour Dates:
Jan 9 – Germany, Dortmund - Piano Bar 
Jan 11 – Germany, Frankfurt - Das Bett 
Jan 12 – Germany, Berlin - White Trash
Jan 13 – Germany, Hamburg - Marxx
Jan 14 – Denmark, Copenhagen - tbc
Jan 16 - Austria
Jan 17 - Austria, Ried Kik
Jan 18 - Austria, Greifenburg Kultursaal

Official Websites:
Nektar facebook page: 

Nektar website: 

Change of Venue
By popular demand the Sold Out Starz show at The 12 Bar has been moved to a larger venue.
The show will now be at


20-22 Highbury Crescent
London N5 1RD .

All tickets purchased for The 12 Bar show will be honored at The Garage.

The cost of tickets will be £20. There will be a VIP Meet n' Greet following the show with Michael Lee Smith, Richie Ranno & Joe Dube immediately following the show, which will include a performance of some Starz songs, unplugged that weren't played in the electric set, an autograph signing session and a VIP commemorative item for an additional £20.
Ticket hotline phone number:  0844 847 1678
Official Websites: 
RICHIE RANNO'S ALL-STARS plus Da Vido & The LiBeatos! & MORE!:

  • THURSDAY - December 12th - O'Donoghue's, 66 Main St, Nyack, NY with special guest George DiAna & Frank Colonnato, a/k/a "Government Warning" 9 PM @ O'Donaghue's, 66 Main St, Nyack, NY
  • SUNDAY December 15th  - The Sub Dude Solo - Chris Palmerini Noon - 3 PM @ Maxfield's, 713 Main St, Boonton, NJ - 973-257-9107
  • Friday, December 13th - Da Vido & The LiBeatos featuring Richie Ranno @ Maxfield's, 620 Main St, Boonton, NJ - 8 PM !
  • Saturday, December 21st - Janine's (of Second Contact) Dream Machine Holiday Extravagonzo - featuring Richie Ranno, Da Vido, Gregg Hollister & Frank Colonnato @ The Oak Ale House, Pleasant Ave, Maywood, NJ
  • Saturday, December 28th - Duo of Richie Ranno & Rhonda Schuster @ Ole Ole, 100 Orange Ave, Suffern, NY - 9 PM
Check out the new Richie Ranno YouTube Channel 
and the new video for 

Friday 6 December 2013


John Mellencamp 1978 – 2012, a uniquely comprehensive boxed set collection covering the legendary singer/songwriter’s principal studio albums, will be released by Universal Music Enterprises on December 10. Pre-orders now at www.amazon.com ensure holiday delivery. The collection consists of a total of 19 CDs originally released over a recording career that spans 35 years.

John Mellencamp 1978- 2012, for the first time, combines in one package, albums Mellencamp recorded as John Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp and John Mellencamp for Polygram, Universal, Sony and Concord-affiliated labels. The set contains a total of 223 tracks and includes such mythic album titles as American Fool, Lonesome Jubilee, Scarecrow, Cuttin’ Heads and the more recent Life, Death Love and Freedom and No Better Than This. Thirteen of the albums in the collection were RIAA®-certified as Gold, Platinum or Multiplatinum winners while ten of the albums achieved Top Ten status on Billboard’s Top 100 Album Chart. Of special note is the fact that the collection includes the long out-of-print original soundtrack album to Falling From Grace, the Mellencamp-directed film that was a collaboration with noted author Larry McMurty. That disc includes tracks by Mellencamp, Dwight Yoakam, Nanci Griffith, Joe Ely, James McMurtry and John Prine.

John Mellencamp 1978- 2012 includes every one of Mellencamp’s thirty Billboard Top 100 singles, from “I Need A Lover” and “Jack & Diane” to “Pink Houses” and “Rain On The Scarecrow,” as well as such classics as “Paper in Fire,” “Hurts So Good,” “Crumblin’ Down,” “Jackie Brown,” “Small Town,” “Wild Night,” “R.O.C.K In The U.S.A.,” “Our Country” and, quite literally, all the rest. There are bonus tracks concluding twelve of the albums, sourced from the 2005 re-mastered versions of Mellencamp’s Mercury releases.

Mellencamp, who continues to reside in his native Indiana, has been especially active of late. Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, his collaboration with bestselling author Stephen King and musical director T Bone Burnett, has manifested itself as a touring theatrical entity with dates throughout the Midwest this fall. An accomplished painter, Mellencamp has had numerous gallery exhibitions of his work; the latest, his first museum exhibition, is set to open next month at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio.

In recent years Mellencamp was the recipient of Billboard’s Century Award, the Woody Guthrie Award, The ASCAP Foundation’s Champion Award, The John Steinbeck Award as well as induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This past week it was announced that John Mellencamp is a candidate for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Mellencamp holds the record for the most tracks (7) by a solo artist to hit the top position on Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart, all of which are, of course, included in John Mellencamp 1978 – 2012.

Never content to rest on his many laurels, Mellencamp has been writing new songs for an album he plans to record early this coming year, once more with T Bone Burnett slated to produce.

Track listing: John Mellencamp 1978 - 2012
John Cougar

1. A Little Night Dancin’
2. Small Paradise
3. Miami
4. Great Mid-west
5. Do You Think That’s Fair
6. I Need A Lover
7. Welcome To Chinatown
8. Sugar Marie
9. Pray For Me
10. Taxi Dancer
11. Take Home Pay (Bonus Track)

Nothin’ Matters And What If It Did
1. Hot Night In A Cold Town
2. Ain’t Even Done With The Night
3. Don’t Misunderstand Me
4. This Time
5. Make Me Feel
6. To M.G. (Wherever She May Be)
7. Tonight
8. Cry Baby
9. Wild Angel
10. Peppermint Twist
11. Cheap Shot
12. Latest Game (Bonus Track)

American Fool
1. Hurts So Good
2. Jack & Diane
3. Hand To Hold On To
4. Danger List
5. Can You Take It
6. Thundering Hearts
7. China Girl
8. Close Enough
9. Weakest Moments
10. American Fool (Bonus Track)

1. Crumblin’ Down
2. Pink Houses
3. Authority Song
4. Warmer Place To Sleep
5. Jackie O
6. Play Guitar
7. Serious Business
8. Lovin’ Mother Fo Ya
9. Golden Gates
10. Pink Houses (acoustic version) (Bonus Track)

1. Rain On The Scarecrow
2. Grandma’s Theme
3. Small Town
4. Minutes To Memories
5. Lonely Ol’ Night
6. The Face Of The Nation
7. Justice And Independence ‘85
8. Between A Laugh And A Tear
9. Rumbleseat
10. You’ve Got To Stand For Somethin’
11. R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A. (A Salute To 60’s Rock)
12. The Kind Of Fella I Am
13. Small Town (acoustic version) (Bonus Track)

The Lonesome Jubilee
1. Paper In Fire
2. Down And Out In Paradise
3. Check It Out
4. The Real Life
5. Cherry Bomb
6. We Are The People
7. Empty Hands
8. Hard Times For An Honest Man
9. Hotdogs And Hamburgers
10. Rooty Toot Toot
11. Blues From The Front Porch (Bonus Track)

Big Daddy
1. Big Daddy Of Them All
2. To Live
3. Martha Say
4. Theo And Weird Henry
5. Jackie Brown
6. Pop Singer
7. Void In My Heart
8. Mansions In Heaven
9. Sometimes A Great Notion
10. Country Gentleman
11. J.M.’s Question
12. Let It All Hang Out
13. Jackie Brown (acoustic version) (Bonus Track)

Whenever We Wanted
1. Love And Happiness
2. Now More Than Ever
3. I Ain’t Ever Satisfied
4. Get A Leg Up
5. Crazy Ones
6. Last Chance
7. They’re So Tough
8. Melting Pot
9. Whenever We Wanted
10. Again Tonight
11. Love And Happiness (London Club Mix) (Bonus Track)

Falling From Grace-Original Soundtrack Album
1. Bud’s Theme (instrumental) – Lisa Germano
2. Cradle Of The Interstate – Nanci Griffith
3. Whiskey Burnin’ – Larry Crane
4. Common Day Man – Dwight Yoakam
5. It Don’t Scare Me None – John Mellencamp
6. Searchin’ For The Perfect Girl – Pure Jam
7. All The Best – John Prine
8. Hold Me Like You Used To Do – Qkumbrz
9. Sweet Suzanne – Buzzin’ Cousins
10. Nothing’s For Free – John Mellencamp
11. Little Children (instrumental) – Lisa Germano
12. Days Like These – Janis Ian
13. Falling From Grace – Larry Rollins

Human Wheels
1. When Jesus Left Birmingham
2. Junior
3. Human Wheels
4. Beige To Beige
5. Case 795 (The Family)
6. Suzanne And The Jewels
7. Sweet Evening Breeze
8. What If I Came Knocking
9. French Shoes
10. To The River
11. When Jesus Left Birmingham (Bonus Track)

Dance Naked
1. Dance Naked
2. Brothers
3. When Margaret Comes To Town
4. Wild Night
5. L.U.V.
6. Another Sunny Day 12/25
7. Too Much To Think About
8. The Big Jack
9. The Break Out
10. Wild Night (acoustic version) (Bonus Track)

Mr. Happy Go Lucky
1. Overture
2. Jerry
3. Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)
4. Just Anther Day
5. This May Not Be The End Of The World
6. Emotional Love
7. Mr. Bellows
8. The Full Catastrophe
9. Circling Around The Moon
10. Large World Turning
11. Jackamo Road
12. Life Is Hard
13. What If I Came Knocking? (Bonus Track)

John Mellencamp
1. Fruit Trader
2. Your Life Is Now
3. Positively Crazy
4. I’m Not Running Anymore
5. It All Comes True
6. Eden Is Burning
7. Where The World Began
8. Miss Missy
9. Chance Meeting At The Tarantula
10. Break Me Off Some
11. Summer Of Love
12. Days Of Farewell

Rough Harvest
1. Love And Happiness
2. In My Time Of Dying
3. Between A Laugh And A Tear
4. Human Wheels
5. Rain On The Scarecrow
6. Farewell Angelina
7. Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)
8. Jackie Brown
9. When Jesus Left Birmingham
10. The Full Catastrophe
11. Minutes To Memories
12. Under The Boardwalk
13. Wild Night (live)
14. Seventh Son (Bonus Track)

Cuttin’ Heads
1. Cuttin’ Heads
2. Peaceful World
3. Deep Blue Heart
4. Crazy Island
5. Just Like You
6. The Same Way I Do
7. Women Seem
8. Worn Out Nervous Condition
9. Shy
10. In Our Lives

Trouble No More
1. Stones In My Passway
2. Death Letter
3. Johnny Hart
4. Baltimore Oriole
5. Teardrops Will Fall
6. Diamond Joe
7. The End Of The World
8. Down In The Bottom
9. Lafayette
10. Joliet Bound
11. John The Revelator
12. To Washington

Freedom’s Road
1. Someday
2. Ghost Towns Along The Highway
3. The Americans
4. Forgiveness
5. Freedom’s Road
6. Jim Crow
7. Our Country
8. Rural Route
9. My Aeroplane
10. Heaven Is A Lonely Place

Life, Death, Love and Freedom
1. Longest Days
2. My Sweet Love
3. If I Die Sudden
4. Troubled Land
5. Young Without Lovers
6. John Cockers
7. Don’t Need This Body
8. A Ride Back Home
9. Without A Shot
10. Jena
11. Mean
12. County Fair
13. For The Children
14. A Brand New Song

No Better Than This
1. Save Some Time To Dream
2. The West End
3. Right Behind Me
4. A Graceful Fall
5. No Better Than This
6. Thinking About You
7. Coming Down The Road
8. No One Cares About Me
9. Love At First Sight
10. Don’t Forget About Me
11. Each Day Of Sorrow
12. Easter Eve
13. Clumsy Ol’ World