Thursday 25 February 2016

In The News_Kanye West FLIPS OUT on Bob Ezrin

Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK)
25 Feb 2016
*West Vs. Ezrin*

WARNING: Uncle G Opinion Piece
Author: Gary "Uncle G" Brown
American Correspondent for
Twitter @GBrown0816

So all hell broke loose in pop culture land yesterday after rap artist Kanye West found out about remarks legendary producer / musician Bob Ezrin made about his music, comparing Kayne's catalog of work to others in his field. You want the short form, I'll paraphrase; Kayne SUCKS! My conclusion after reading Bob Ezrin's remarks about the current music scene, in which Bob still has an active part in; Hollywood Vampires (producer). BTW … The Hollywood Vampires, a new hard rock super-group lead by the one and only Alice Cooper, just recently kicked ass at the recent Grammy awards. Was lucky to have watched their performance live when broadcast on national television. They truly ROCKED! Included a very cool tribute to Lemmy Kilmister also. And who knew Johnny Depp could play like that? Well I knew, but I'm guessing more than one in TV land while viewing, said that.

Back to Kane West. I understand his right and need to reply to Bob Ezrin's in a way, scathing comments. Personally I didn't find anything in what Bob's being quoted as saying, and not an imposter, as wrong. It's his professional opinion, based on his work in the music business since before Kayne West was even born. And it isn't like Bob is losing touch, and comparing anything Kayne does to something from the twentieth century. Mister Ezrin based on what I read, is more knowledgeable on today's music scene, than I am, when it comes to rap / popular music. The man knows his stuff, and can give a very good argument, if needed to. Problem is, Kayne in response is yet again acting like the man-boy he comes off as. And that's my opinion, not Mr. Ezrin's.

A FEW Juicy Quotes

Bob Ezrin: "Sure, he made some great music for himself and others. But in spite of what the aspirationally-cool media keeps saying about him, unlike other creators in his genre like Jay Z, Tupic, Biggie or even M.C. Hammer for that matter, it's unlikely that we'll be quoting too many of Kanye's songs 20 years for now. He didn't open up new avenues of public discourse like NWA, or introduce the world to a new art form like Grandmaster Flash, or even meaningfully and memorably address social issues through his music like Marshall, Macklemore and Kendrick"

Bob Ezrin described Kayne West music as; "sophomoric at best".

Bob Ezrin described Kayne West production skills as; "Pale in comparison to the likes of Timbaland and Rick Rubin."

Bob Ezrin concludes: "Instead Kayne's greatest achievements have been in the form of excessive behaviour, egomaniacal tantrums and tasteless grandstanding."

Bob Ezrin: "He's like the flasher who interrupts a critical game by running naked across the field. Is that art???"

Meanwhile it's almost midnight in TwitterLand

Kayne West: "Has anyone ever heard of Bob Ezrin???"

Kayne West: "What the fuck does he know about rap..."


Kayne West: "Your kids are ashamed of their dad...Sorry for speaking about kids...but you imagine if you were Bob Ezrin's kids"

Kayne West: "Ezrin I truly feel sorry for your friends and family that they have had to suffer an idiot like you for so many years."


Damn! WTF? The recent Kayne West / Bob Ezrin stories that are in the news, caught my eye. Figured I'd put in my two-cents.

First off, and it comes with the territory of giving opinions. If on the negative side, one usually will get a response. Kind of 50/50 as to what it will be. People will either agree, or disagree. Need I remind everyone of the saying; opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one. So with that, long time music producer Mr. Ezrin did open the door on this. I'm guessing he knows his subject's reputation, pretty much predicted the response he would get, not only from his target of critique, but the man's followers as well. I'm sorry to say it involved personal attacks. Nothing in which I approve. At the same time, pissing off the rock n' roll community isn't a very good idea. Bob Ezrin has a lot of people out there who LIKE him, including myself, for I have been aware of this man's career since being a young teen.

For Kayne West, the timing here could be better. I understand he has new music that either has or is about to be dropped. Something like this, could actually affect sales. Also Kayne has a clothing line that is in some kind of financial hardship. A recent tabloid / news headline stated he was millions of dollars in debt. Now add a wife that is said to have publicly questioned his sanity. All I can say is the dudes drama's even worse than mine lately, and that's saying something.

Before I'm reminded, it's on public record that I praised Kayne West at least once or twice, since I been writing for Jon Kirkman's Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK). I'm not now denouncing any of that. Kayne was one of the performers that volunteered his time at a concert to help Hurricane Sandy victims at MSG in NYC, a few years back. Now here's when I had an opportunity to hear Kayne's music. Wasn't typical rap. More artsy-fartsy in my mind. What I heard matched Kayne's persona. A mostly rock n' roll crowd, lots of people in the audience didn't dig it. But they were polite. I was curious at the time to see / hear Kayne perform live. Frankly it was nothing I could get into. The second time I said nice things, Kayne worked with Sir Paul McCartney. I thought that was cool. Again, kind of artsy-fartsy. One could conclude with me, that I didn't outright hate the guy. As I don't think Bob Ezrin does either.

In closing, if I was Kayne, I would just regard what all Mr. Ezrin said as hard constructive criticism. From someone in the music business just like himself. Has out sold Kayne I'm sure. Out produced … read who produced Pink Floyd's mega-seller; The Wall. Just one example. And Bob's a talented songwriter / keyboardist as well. I always dug his work on Alice Cooper's Da Da, and just a few years back while talking about Alice Cooper, produced 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' (2011), in which Alice charted in the Top 25. First time Alice did that since 1989's 'Trash'. Included original members of Alice Cooper, which of course I'm certain, helped the cause.

To Kayne: The fanbase luv's you, and I'm assuming like many other performers followers, never really wholeheartedly mention to U that you might be going down the wrong road. Instead they wants pictures and autographs. People on your payroll don't either. Sure it wasn't asked for, but at this point, what are you going to do? Yesterday is behind you. Maybe you don't realize, but in rock n' roll circles, having Bob Ezrin produce your new record, is akin to having The Beatles Sir George Martin doing so. Are both exceptional at what they do. Just take my word for it. You'd be lucky to work with either of them. Instead of the typical childish behavior you routinely exhibit, may I suggest acting like a man, and having some fucking manners; "THANK YOU SIR." Granted being schooled publicly is humiliating. I suggest moving on. Could be the best damn thing to EVER happen to you.

Gary "Uncle G" Brown
American Correspondent for
Twitter @GBrown0816

Tuesday 23 February 2016

CRR Dot CO Dot UK Music Reviews_Downes Braide Association_Suburban Ghosts

Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK)
23 Feb 2016 New Music Reviews
Spotlight: Downes Braide Association - Suburban Ghosts (2015 Cherry Red Records)

By Gary "Uncle G" Brown
American Correspondent for
Twitter @GBrown0816

So I hear Geoff Downes has some new music out. For those not familiar, Geoff is a professional songwriter, piano / keyboard player whose career, I have been following for over three decades now. My first exposure to Geoff's playing, was his taking over for Rick Wakeman, in what has always been one of my all time favorite bands; Yes. Their music described as 'art-rock' back in the day. I use to call it 'pot-rock' from time to time because the two seemed to go so well together. Or so I been told (cough cough). 

Took me some getting into Yes' early 1980's line up of the group, in which I eventually came around. At first I flat out refused to listen to any new Yes music that didn't include Jon Anderson, and Rick Wakeman. So with much hesitation, after some time has gone by, I borrowed a friends Drama (1980) album. Jon and Rick who? Only kidding! Music was in my blood, and Yes meant a lot to me. So I accepted reality, and began to embrace what was there. Ends up I really dig Yes - Drama. Even nowadays, I play the album at least a couple times a year.

After working with Yes, and The Buggles (Video Killed The Radio Star), Geoff Downes, along with Steve Howe, Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake, & Palmer), and John Wetton (King Crimson), became; Asia. Sold millions of records. I saw them play live twice, both times in Texas. I have Asia's entire studio catalog, and many of their archival / live releases. So it should shock no one that when Mr. Downes started releasing solo material, that I was there, buying it. Up to now, never disappointed. I spend entire days, sometimes just listening to Geoff's catalog. Always a pleasure. In my opinion, Geoff Downes is one of the best pianist / keyboardist in rock n' roll today.

I unfortunately missed the debut studio from the Downes Braide Association, entitled;Downes Braide Association - Pictures Of You (2012). Don't know how that got by me. Will be in my collection soon (the CD). I'll secure it somehow. That decision is based on not only being a Geoff Downes loyal follower, but also on what I'm hearing on the second 'Downes Braide Association' studio release called; Suburban Ghosts. With every listen, I'm more captivated.

Chris Braide is an English singer, songwriter, and successful record producer. Could be best known, at least in my circles, as co-founder of The Producers, with Trevor Horn. If that doesn't ring a bell, Chris when not involved with his own projects, has worked with many contemporary artists over the years, including Sia, Lana Del Ray, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, and Christina Aguilera.

Uncle G reviews … Downes Braide Association - Suburban Ghosts

I read some promo with Chris Braide where he describes this new DBA project. Chris says; "Suburban Ghosts is an album about isolation and loneliness in small town suburbia." Makes this a concept album. The lyrics themselves give DBA's Suburban Ghosts a definite British feel, which is refreshing to this American's ears. And it's no where as depressing as it sounds. Chris Braide has a very good vocal delivery. The music is a reflection of many moods, happy and sad. All songs on Downes Braide Association - Suburban Ghosts, are written by Geoff Downes and Christopher Braide. Eleven have lyrics, with the last song being an instrumental called, Finale. A reflection of the first track, Machinery Of Fate.

The actual music could be categorized electronica, or pop, but that would not be one hundred percent correct. There are some way cool prog-rock moments as well. A moment or two when you might think you were listening to a band that was similar to Porcupine Tree. My first listen to DBA - Suburban Ghosts and other musicians / bands come to mind; The Police, Gerry Rafferty, and a band I already mentioned; The Buggles. Little similarities, for DBA is indeed one of a kind, and original in every shape, and form.

Favorite Track

There's no filler on DBA's Suburban Ghosts, so it can be played from start to finish, and you won't hear a bad song. Part of my opinion is based on the fact that I really dig the keyboards, and this album is seriously keyboard heavy. I'm entering my second year trying to learn the keys. Play by ear. I should be so lucky as to ever be able to play like Mr. Downes / Mr. Braide. Next life, perhaps? I digress. Picking out a favorite track from DBA's Suburban Ghosts isn't really the easiest thing to do. Reason why is so to make the writing assignment more interesting for myself, and I hope those who read this. As much as I luv the upbeat tracks like 'Machinery Of Fate' or 'Number One', it was a mellower tune that really nailed me; Dreaming Of England. It's the second to last tune on the CD. Besides just being a cool song, it contains some very well done guitar work by Dave Gregory (XTC). So a tip of the hat to him.

Uncle G Rates … Downes Braide Association - Suburban Ghosts

Using the one to five star rating system, whereas one star means it's rubbish, to five stars which means it's cool to spend your hard money cash on, I give Downes Braide Association - Suburban Ghosts … 5 stars! I started out saying I been enjoying Geoff's work for years now. That is in Geoff's favor, when I go to listen to a new record, he did, that I decided I might write about. Here's the thing. Out of respect for him, if rubbish, I would not say a word. My pappy told me way back when, that if you don't have anything good to say about someone, to not say anything at all. Am happy my fathers words of advice, didn't apply to this project. DBA's Suburban Ghosts I'll give repeats plays too, even after this write up is published.

For additional information, please consult the official Downes Braide Association website;

The Enid Announce Release Of Final Trilogy Album 
‘DUST’ Released  April 1st

Prog pioneers The Enid have announced the release of new album ‘Dust’, the third and final chapter of their trilogy started in 2010 with ‘Journey’s End’ and followed by ‘Invicta’ in 2012. ‘Dust’, The Enid’s 14th studio record, is out on 1st April on the band’s Operation Seraphim label, closely following 2015’s ‘The Bridge’.

‘Dust’ represents The Enid at their very best, as they distance themselves from all preconceptions associated with the early instrumental phase of their career. “Dust is the last in the Journey’s End trilogy, telling the story of the band’s generational voyage from the past into the future’”- explains Enid’s founder Robert John Godfrey - “Needless to say this has been very much an evolutionary tale with many surprises along the way. This is by far the best of these albums.”

Full Tracklist:

1. Born in the Fire
2. Someone Shall Rise
3. Monsters
4. 1000 Stars
5. When the World is Full
6. Trophy
7. Heavy Hearts

Born as symphonic rock and still regarded as a progressive outfit, The Enid has evolved into a cinematic, classically-influenced rock band acclaimed by both critics and public. With the addition of vocalist Joe Payne in 2011, their sound and live productions have taken a new direction combining Godfrey’s love for classical music with Payne’s taste for ground breaking pop artists such as David Bowie, Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel. Payne is often described by the prog community as the next Freddie Mercury, boasting a 5 octave range; he was crowned Best Male Vocalist in the 2015’ Prog magazine reader’s poll, where The Enid also scooped Band of the Year and Godfrey made Best Keyboardist. ‘The Bridge Show’, which pushed boundaries in their use of visual art and political and social context, was also nominated for ‘Best Live Event’ at the 2015 Prog Awards.

The current Dust Tour is an eccentric, ambitious audio-visual production directed by TV illusionist Simon Drake (Secret Cabaret), who previously worked with Kate Bush on her Tour of Life. The show is an acknowledgement to the band’s fan club “The Enidi”; members will receive 10% discount on tickets and access to an exclusive intimate after-show reception on the last date of the tour, at London Cadogan Hall on 2nd April.

Seminal prog act The Enid started their adventure in 1976 with debut ‘In The Region of the Summer Stars”. Punk was just taking over the rock scene, but The Enid won everyone over with their politically incorrect covers and ironic takes on classical music, which Godfrey always regarded as being 'just as anarchic as anything by the Sex Pistols’. Their 5th studio release, 1983’s ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, was a game changer: it was the first Enid album to feature lyrics and the first album ever to be completely crowd-funded through their fan club.

Resident musical director with Barclay James Harvest From 1968 to 1971, Tommy Vance (Radio 1) described John Godfrey “one of the greatest composers Great Britain has ever produced”. Godfrey has been acknowledged by the music industry in numerous ways over the last few years, highlighting the contributions he has made to the arts. He was recently presented with the Visionary Award at the Progressive Music Awards 2014 and was announced as one of the top 100 composers of all time in the Classic FM Hall of Fame.

Dust Tour Dates Below:

Friday 26th February​​Leeds​​​Carriageworks Theatre​​
Saturday 5th March ​​​Glasgow*​​Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA)​
Friday 18th March ​​​Bristol​​​The Redgrave Theatre​​
Saturday 2nd April​​​London​​Cadogan Hall​​​

*This show will be a standing event.
Catalogue number – EWCD31


The Enid are:

?       Joe Payne on Lead Vocals and Electric Wind Instrument
?       Robert John Godfrey on Piano and Keyboards
?       Jason Ducker on Lead Guitar
?       Max Read on Vocoder, Keyboards and Guitar
?       Zachary Bullock on Keyboards and Guitar
?       Nic Willes on Bass and Orchestral Percussion
?       Dave Story on Drums and Orchestral Percussion

The Enid: Leviticus (Live At Union Chapel)



Demon Records has announced the release of an extraordinary Saxon Box Set containing vinyl LPs of the band’s nine studio albums recorded between 1991 and 2009. “Eagles and Dragons” will be released on 18th March.

“Eagles and Dragons” features nine seminal NWOBHM albums which before today, were only released on vinyl in some regions including Germany, Italy and the UK, and in very limited amounts. These new luxury 180 gram vinyl versions, including inner sleeves with all the lyrics, are a must-have for fans and collectors. The hand-numbered outer slipcase box features a specially commissioned, beautiful brand new cover painting by Saxon’s artist-in-residence, the legendary Paul Gregory. In addition, 500 copies with a framable print of the cover signed by Biff will be available exclusively from Demon’s D2C Store (

Saxon’s frontman Biff Byford commented: “From 1991’s “Solid Ball of Rock” to 2009’s “Into the Labyrinth” this is the first time we have ever had a vinyl box set of 9 albums in one package -never to be done again - with exclusive cover art work from Paul Raymond Gregory: can't wait to get my hands on one!”
Biff Byford signing the posters for the boxed set

Full details as follows:

Featuring: Solid Ball Of Rock, Requiem (We Will Remember)

Featuring: Forever Free, Iron Wheels

DOGS OF WAR (1995)
Featuring: Dogs Of War, Altar Of The Gods, Hold On

Featuring: Terminal Velocity, All Hell Breaking Loose

Featuring: Song Of Evil, All Guns Blazing

Featuring: Court Of The Crimson King, Rock Is Our Life

Featuring: Witchfinder General, Beyond The Grave

Featuring: If I Was You, I’ve Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)

Featuring: Live To Rock, Valley Of The Kings

NWOBHM legends Saxon released their self-titled debut in 1979, followed by “Wheels of Steel” the following year, which reached #5 in the UK charts and gave fans two classics in the title track and “747”. They established themselves as one of the icons of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal throughout the 80s. Later the band tried to attack the US market taking a more melodic direction with release of “Destiny” in 1988, before going back to their original sound with 1991’s “Solid Balls of Rock”, reaffirming their influence on the European metal scene. They continued touring and recording enjoying renewed success, with 2015’s “Battering Ram” reaching the UK Top 50 and #12 in Germany. Saxon saw album sales topping 15 million worldwide which included 8 UK Top 40 albums across their career. They are considered a seminal NWOBHM act and are known to have inspired the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Motley Crue and plenty more.

Catalogue Number: 

D2C Catalogue Number
D2C Barcode: 

Thunder Headline Saturday Night At The Steelhouse Festival July 23rd

Thunder To Headline Saturday Night 
At The Steelhouse Festival 
Saturday 23rd July

The Steelhouse Festival [The Welsh International Classic Rock Festival] now in its sixth consecutive year, is delighted to be adding Thunder as the headline act for Saturday night.  Thunder will join a great line-up performing on the weekend of 23 and 24 July 2016 at its spectacular and unique mountain-top location.  Other confirmed acts include The DarknessThe Dead Daisies, Blues Pills, Ginger Wildheart’s Hey! Hello!, Von Hertzen Brothers, Vega, Dirty Thrills and Hand Of Dimes with many more to be announced.

Danny Bowes of Thunder said, “We’re looking forward to playing at Steelhouse. The Welsh audience is always mental, it will be a fantastic show”.

Promoter Max Rhead said, “We’re incredibly pleased to have Thunder join us at the Steelhouse this year. We’ve been speaking to them for the last 3 years about headlining, and finally everything has fallen into place. Whenever the subject of who should appear at the Steelhouse is raised, It’s Thunder’s name that is overwhelmingly at the top of the list. I really can’t wait to welcome Danny and the boys to the top of our mountain.”

For tickets and information, visit:
Weekend tickets £80 / Day tickets: £50
Camping: £15 (1-3 days)
On-site parking: FREE
Children (14 and under): FREE arena entry if accompanied by an adult 18+.

Officially the UK’s highest music festival, The Steelhouse Festival will once again be held in the spectacular surroundings of the southern edge of the Brecon Beacons, and bring the finest classic rock artists to the heart of the South Wales Valleys.

Aiming to be the UK’s best value rock festival, this family friendly event has built up a true following and a real heritage of its own over six successful years.  Previous performers at The Steelhouse Festival have included UFO, Europe, Y&T, Blackstar Riders, Sebastian Bach, Saxon, Anvil, Michael Schenker, Doro and Dee Snider.  Don’t missThunder and the rest of this great line-up this year as The Steelhouse Festival legend goes on!

Saturday 13 February 2016

Uncle G's FUN Movie Reviews_He Never Died

Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK)
14 Feb 2016
Uncle G's FUN Movie Reviews
Spotlight: He Never Died (2015)

By Gary "Uncle G" Brown
American Correspondent for
Twitter @GBrown0816

A brother from another Mother has recently recommended an independent comedy / horror B film to me called; He Never Died. First I heard of it. Was released to the masses just a short time ago. I quickly secured the disc via Netflix. Viewed the first time with a friend, not sure if I was going to actually do a write up, or not. My conclusion was it's a movie well worth watching. With that being the case, and seeing how I do write about my experiences watching movies from time to time, I'd feel bad after seeing it, and knowing how good a popcorn flick it is, by not saying at least nine hundred or so words about it. So let's begin.

Note: Popcorn was actually eaten during this reviewers second viewing of this motion picture.

This fairly new adult aimed comedy / horror motion picture, comes to us courtesy of writer and director; Jason Krawczyk. Did an excellent job in both storytelling, and presentation. A fresh approach to an old subject matter.

To start I'll just come right out and say that the main character in 'He Never Died' is a monster. A middle aged white man who regularly drinks human blood, and eats human flesh. This of course would qualify him to be a cannibal. Which also in my mind, categorizes him a monster. A tortured soul who, try as he might, just can't seem to be at peace with himself. Trying to curb his natural instincts so to protect himself and those around him, he buys stolen human blood to consume, out of the trunk of someone's car.

Our main character is wealthy, even when dressed poorly, and living in a rundown boarding house. Withdrawn from society, and thusly keeping a low profile. Life is down to a science of control, and maintain. Besides drinking packaged human blood when needed, the cannibalistic insomniac, who by the way is named Jack (played by Henry Rollins), occupies his free time by going to Bingo, and a greasy spoon / diner where one of the waitresses, portrayed by Kate Greenhouse, has a crush on him. It is what it is, that is until one day when a series of unplanned events occur. Capped with finding out he's a father. Jack's boring / controlled life is about to fall apart at the seams. This is when things get really interesting.

Jack's young adult daughter Andrea, ends up being a very cute train wreck. A heavy drinker / borderline alcoholic who because of the drinking, tends to get herself into trouble regularly. Jack knew nothing of Andrea's existence until this very day. To say she's a handful, would be an understatement. The young ladies' mother, Jack's ex, a woman he barely knows and also has not heard from in almost two decades. Leaving his crappy digs, it don't take long before Jack finds his blood daughter unharmed. She's held up in a motel with a middle age man. Together Jack and her leave, each not really knowing each other. Blood strangers. Because Jack don't have an automobile, it's off they go on foot getting better acquainted. Later on in the film, Jack will have to search for her again. That's after the mobsters have entered into the equation.

I did say this was a comedy / horror film. The dialogue and events depicted did at various times make me laugh. The horror comes in various shapes and sizes. The violence is more comic book. For those with weak tummy's, things can get pretty gross. Written more so I believe for adults, than teens. The humor can be dry, and not so much in your face. I believe the brighter of the teen bunch will zoom in on it.

Best Dialogue: Jack inquires to his daughter how is it she can get inebriated without having any money. Her answer; "A vagina is like a coupon-book for alcohol".

Uncle G rates … He Never Died (2015)

Using the star rating system, whereas one star means it was a waste of money making, to ten stars, meaning it's safe for YOU to send your hard earned (I assume) cash on, Uncle G rates Jason Krawczyk's He Never Died … 10 Stars! I could not have done any better myself. That is if I knew how to make a real motion picture. Saying that, I sure have seen a shitload of movies in my life. This is an entertaining, well made film. The story makes you think some, instead of what's unfolding being obvious. No dead spots / needless scenes. Managed to keep my attention from the start, to finish. Contains believable acting. I have my favorite cast members. The star, Henry Rollins, of course. The two main ladies in the film; Jordan Todosey as Andrea, and Kate Greenhouse as Cara. And actor Booboo Stewart, who portrays Jeremy.

Congrats to writer / director Jason Krawczyk. You show great skill. Your cast / crews devotion and hard work paid off. A solid film that's quickly developing a cult following, and worthy of mass appeal.

He Never Died, a cleverly written / well made theatrical B Indie Movie masterpiece, that makes one hour and thirty nine minutes, fly right by.

Note: It was announced that Jack's story will be explored more in a mini-series for television, that is said to be in the development stages. Actor Henry Rollins will reprise his role as, Jack. Should be cool.

Useful Internet Link - He Never Died Official Facebook Page

                              He Never Died - Official Red Band Trailer


Wednesday 10 February 2016

Uncle G Reviews...Greg Lake_Geoff Downes - Ride The Tiger

Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK)
10 Feb 2016 NEW Music Review
Greg Lake & Geoff Downes - Ride The Tiger (2015 Manticore Records)

By Gary "Uncle G" Brown
American Correspondent for
Twitter @GBrown0816

Greg Lake and Geoff Downes 'Ride The Tiger', is a project I heard about for some time now. Was teased a bit back in 2010 when Greg Lake released an archival recording called; Greg Lake - From The Underground Vol. 2. The release contained three original songs the guys recorded a couple decades ago from the Ride The Tiger sessions (1989 / 1990) which to my knowledge, was never officially released up to that point. Word did get around the project. 
The Prog-Heads were indeed interested. The recordings were much sought after in collector circles.  

People who listen to 24/7 Internet classic rock stations like the one I write for, have the pleasure of hearing Greg Lake's vocals everyday. If not a song from King Crimson's famous debut album, or from Greg's own solo albums, than my money's on it being a ELP hit. Maybe a deep cut from the Emerson, Lake, & Palmer catalog? One I dig is called; Trilogy. Or how about one of their greatest hits; Lucky Man? Whatever it is, I'm sure whoever is within earshot, will be entertained.  

Geoff Downes (piano / keyboards) came to fame with what was to become the first music video ever played on cable tv's, MTV. The song; Video Killed The Radio Star. Was Geoff and Trevor Horn in a band they called; The Buggles. From there the two musicians joined prog-rock's Yes. After that, Geoff and legendary Yes guitarist Steve Howe, moved onward to a modern prog-rock band still going strong today called, Asia. And that is where Geoff got to know co-founder of King Crimson / Emerson, Lake, & Palmer; Greg Lake. Was a period of time when John Wetton wasn't in the group. The vocal, bass, frontman job mostly filled by John Payne over the years, but before him, it was shortly filled by Greg Lake. In my opinion, a very interesting period of time in Asia's timeline. The MTV concert from Japan with that four man line-up, really smoked. Because of that happening, years later Greg and Geoff had a reunion of sorts, and this is how we got the 'Ride The Tiger' songs. With this Manticore Records release, six song in total. And not a one called 'Ride The Tiger', by the way. Opening track, title number. Would have worked. Cool name for a song. Things never got that far I imagine.

The Greg Lake and Geoff Downes project, for whatever reason, just didn't work out. I for one personally wish it would have. Based on the material released on this CD I was sent, the proof is scattered all over. As a three piece with Michael Giles, in my mind this would have worked. My mind's eye could see a tour. The setlist to include not only original material, but songs from King Crimson, ELP, and Yes as well. The Japan crowds, especially would have ate that up. Big prog-rock fans in the land of the rising sun. The 'Ride The Tiger' tunes, more adult contemporary with progressive roots. That would have been be the market I targeted that at.

Uncle G Reviews … Greg Lake & Geoff Downes - Ride The Tiger

I luv the opener called; Money Talks. Rocks more than what was to be officially released as an Emerson, Lake, & Palmer song on their 1992 studio called, Black Moon. The song was retitled (Paper Blood) and given the ELP treatment. I dig both versions. When comparing, the Greg Lake & Geoff Downes version does rock more, and is tighter coming in a minute shorter. We're talking possible hit single. Could have carried the band / album. Should have gotten radio play (back when people listened to AM / FM radio stations). Additional differences when compared to the ELP version, is the sound of an electric guitar, and lyrics wise, we have a different chorus. Worth the price of the album / cd / download all by itself.

The second song is called; Love Under Fire. Was included on Asia's forth studio album; Aqua (1992). The singer at the time, John Payne, doing the song justice. Nice to hear Greg Lake's take. A strong rock ballad. Beautiful lyrics / instrumentation. An alternate mix version, closes out this CD. I tend to regard it as a bonus track.

Track three is another song that appeared on Emerson, Lake, & Palmer's Black Moon album called, Affairs Of The Heart. Another well done slow rocker. Still, I believe the Greg Lake & Geoff Downes version to be better than what's found on ELP's eighth studio album. For some unknown reason on the ELP version, a chorus line found in the Lake & Downes Ride The Tiger project is missing. Leaving that out made a difference.

Street War: This kicks ass! The mellow songs are cool, but it's the rock in rock n' roll that I like best. Street War is unusual, and in a good way. Has a hard rock edge. Sounds very sci-fi. Geoff Downes shines, as do Mister Giles, and Mister Lake. Totally unknown to me before I opened the Greg Lake & Geoff Downes 'Ride The Tiger' CD. CrazyAss rocker! I recommend the volume turned up on this instant classic.

The last two songs tend to be the weakest of the material presented. The song Check It Out, appeared first on Greg Lake's solo archival release; Greg Lake - From The Underground Vol. II. Even with not being that strong a song, it still showcases Greg's vocals nicely. Has a 1980's / 1990's sound to it. The song Blue Light comes next. Geoff Downes saves it with some cool keyboard work right at the end of the tune.

Uncle G Rates … Greg Lake & Geoff Downes - Ride The Tiger

Using the one to five star rating system, whereas one star means you can skip it, to five stars meaning it's a must buy, I'd rate Greg Lake & Geoff Downes - Ride The Tiger … 5 stars! It's archival. I'm more harsh on new material. Released for long time fans like myself who simply can't be any happier that the Ride The Tiger songs were finally, properly all released. Should make the fans of the musicians involved, as well as ELP, Asia, King Crimson collectors VERY happy. Does me! 

Note, a wise business decision to officially release. THANKS Manticore Records. U ROCK! 

Useful Website Links

Greg Lake Official Website: 

Geoff Downes Official Website:

Michael Giles Official Website: 

Bonus Video - As Found On YouTube - Emerson, Lake, & Palmer - Paper Blood 

Monday 1 February 2016

Uncle G's FUN Movie Reviews_B C Butcher

Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK)
01 Feb 2016
Uncle G's FUN Movie Reviews
Spotlight: B C Butcher (2016 Troma Entertainment)

By Gary "Uncle G" Brown
American Correspondent for
Twitter @GBrown0816

                                    B C Butcher Movie Poster 

Those who read any of my previous FUN motion picture reviews, already know that I luv independent Horror and Science-Fiction B films. Besides that, I'm a fan of comedy, and anything that might stimulate my mind some; anthology shows, documentaries, stand up comedy, music concerts, etc..Now say it's a new movie and I find out it comes compliments of Troma Entertainment. Is now just a matter of time before I view it.

I got turned onto independent film studio Troma Entertainment, whose been is business for 42 years now, sometime in the early 1980's. I am thinking it was cable television, on how I saw my first Troma movie. Back then, I lived in New Jersey. If not cable TV, it could have been via Beta / VHS? I was a married young adult back when Troma released a film that helped carry the franchise to where it is today; The Toxic Avenger (1984). All I'm certain of is I was hooked when I saw that. Been a loyal Troma viewer ever since. Does it make my opinion, bias if reviewing a new Troma film? Not really. One thing about myself is, I'm a truthful individual. Besides, why would I waste time concentrating on negative thoughts, thus writing a bad review, when I can amuse myself much more commenting about things that I honestly LIKE? 

As a youngin' back in the 1960's, and early 1970's, I grew up living in New Jersey, watching television that originated from, New York City. Every one of the six channels our house received, originated from, The Big Apple. That is when late at night, on the weekends, I watched Creature Feature, and Chiller Theater. Witnessed such things as the wrath of a 50 foot woman. I watched 'The Blob', staring Steve McQueen at least a dozen times. Main reason because it kept getting repeated. Worthy of repeat views. A classic independent 1958 B Horror / science fiction film.

Then came cable television. I'm now in my twenties. My guess is I was super wasted (pot_booze) one night, turned on the TV, and stumbled onto Toxie. And then over the years, all it's sequels. 

From there, other Troma films caught my attention; Class of Nuke 'Em High (1986), it's sequels, and now it's remake Return To Nuke 'Em High Vol. 1? It's second part, Return To Nuke 'Em High Vol. 2, is coming out this September I believe. And I can go on and on. Lots of solid entertainment containing much gore, unbelievable stories, and plenty of laughs, either intentional or not. Considered over all, as adult humor. Be that as it may, throw in ample amounts of gratuitous nudity.

Funny, speaking of, I read online long ago, and might have mentioned in a previous story on Troma, that some people believe the name Troma stands for; "Tits Are Our Main Attraction." To this day, that makes me smile. As an observer of Troma movies I can say I believe it to be that when in front of a Troma camera, that females somehow feel the need to be without a vast amount, or all of their clothing.

BE WARNED …NOT in B C Butcher!

Professionally I doubt it's true, and really not even worth asking Lloyd about. Still I might bring it up one day, should we again be in each others company. And I lacking anything else of substantial substance to ask the legendary co-founder of Troma Entertainment; Lloyd Kaufman. When not doing the normal day to day Tromaland activities, Mr. Kaufman can also be credited as an actor, screnewriter, director, and a pleasure to meet in person. I imagine Lloyd and Michael Herz are very proud of the business they created. Troma Entertainment is quite a success story. I dig, and equate to Mad Magazine in the way that their seriously serious, about not being taken that serious. Devotion and dedication being vital ingredients in both Mad Magazine and Troma Entertainment sticking around for as long as they have.

I watched so many Troma movies since the 1980's, that I got it down to an art form to how to prepare myself for such an occasion. When viewing at home, I secure some good food, a fattie, get naked, and I'm all set. Maybe a cold one or two? Beer works, but so does a chilled glass of sangria. Especially if settling in, and not having to drive anymore for the evening. In that case, forgo the glass, and just drink it out of the bottle. Less mess if you think about it. And I did say we're watching a Troma offering, right?

Ready, set, here I was all ready, and not without clothing for it gets chilly in the mountains where I just relocated to. Had my shoes off if I'm remembering correctly. I pressed the play button. Here comes, B C Butcher. An hour later, and I'm thinking what I just saw, was actually pretty good. Be forewarned long time Troma fans. All I can say is expect, the unexpected.

Uncle G discusses … B C Butcher (2016 Troma Entertainment)

I LIKE the poster art for B C Butcher; pretty cavewomen, all outside in the broad daylight, and a menacing male character in the far away background carrying what appears to be yet another stone age female. Upon closer inspection … wait … wait a little more … she's UNCONSCIOUS! Remember, I'm already sold. Got the Troma name on it. Toxie's worth the loyalty.

For the record, I think there is a difference in what theatrical masterpieces Troma makes in house, and what they add to their catalog of kick ass films that they distribute / sell on the side. I'm only being honest, for it's my experience that not all films with the Troma name stamped on it, are what yours truly would call; "10 star films." Hey, all worth investigating if into this type of entertainment. I will say / warn you that you'll see things courtesy of Troma Entertainment that I dare say, you won't anywhere else. Example, how about a prehistoric slasher film? Silly me, that's B C Butcher. A brand new film, directed by a then 17 year old female teenager whose name is; Kansas Bowling. The young lady will be twenty years old this coming August (the 2nd). If that's not wild enough, she also produced, helped conceive the story, and co-wrote the script.

Executive producer of B C Butcher; Lloyd Kaufman. Story goes Miss Bowling meets Lloyd for lunch, so she could get his assistance with her film, and it worked. A check was cut to get the film to the finish line. Thank you Mr. Kaufman!

Because I don't feel a need to rewrite it …

Troma - Press Release Description for; B C Butcher (2016 Troma Enterainment)

"The story begins with an act of dissension by a member of an all female cave-tribe that leads to her sacrifice and mutilation by her fellow tribeswomen. When a beast of mythical lore uncovers the body, he falls in love at first sight and what follows is his homicidal rampage to avenge the death of his corpse-bride. Starring, O.J. trial superstar Kato Kaelin as an ambiguously gay
philandering cave-fop, featuring, Rodeny Bigenheimer, “The Mayor of Sunset Strip” and a performance by Los Angeles rock-n-roll group, "The Ugly Kids", " B.C. Butcher" is a superlative example of a well-crafted story set within the cinematic spirit of Troma tradition. The hit song “Alley-Oop”, adds to the unique retro feelings of the film.

Note: Troma Entertainment Award: Kansas Bowling is the first inductee into, “The Troma Institute for Gifted Youth”

Uncle G comments continue … I can't be any more impressed with Miss Bowling herself, or the film she made.

First off, I luv the type of humor the whole movies centers itself on; camp. Think the Batman TV show from back in the 1960's, or the 1982 shortly lived sitcom; Police Squad. Silly, yet intelligent at the same time. A comedy of many levels. I have been seeing people compare B C Butcher to The Monkees TV series (1966-1968). Back in the day that was always a fun one to watch. I luv'ed the Monkeemobile.

As with anything else with the Troma stamp on it, I expected to just press play, chill, and be entertained. While viewing B C Butcher, I took nothing seriously from the beginning, and just continued that way all throughout. Worked for me, because if you don't shit such as a questionable timeline, plastic bottles, women in makeup, and if you really pay attention, a tiny house / shed can seen seen in the background while characters trade dialogue. Forget what you learned, or have come to believe what is true about early man. Reason being because there are mostly women in this movie.


No real cursing, or nudity. I don't wanna say it's a kids movie. Think about it, Kansas Bowling's 'B C Butcher' did win Troma's FIRST EVER prestigious gifted youth award. I didn't know that till afterwards. Still, I appreciated B C Butcher for what it was. A funny yet tragic story of broken friendships, because one after the other tribe members get murdered, and you can't really continue a friendship relationship with a corpse unless, YOU'RE THE BUTCHER!

I am totally amazed by first time filmmaker Kansas Bowling. At age 15, her and a teen friend (Kenzie Givens) coming up with the idea for the film. Apparently nothing stopped Kansas from there. Having to be a jack of all trades, Kansas stayed focused all the way. She raised money. Shot the film at age 17, in the daylight so it is cheaper. Such a clever young woman. Connected with Troma Entertainment / Lloyd Kaufman. Is very fortunate to be able to have family members / friends supporting her. Surrounded herself with other clever people, who all together made this wacky independent B comedy / horror film, that will go on as being said to help launch the career, of not only Kansas, but all those others involved as well. Everyone involved doing an awesome job! Shows in the results. A few honorable mentions if I may...

Kato Kaelin: Gives a rememberable performance. Made the most of his screen time. Leaves a positive impression.

Molly Elizabeth Ring: Played her part (Poppy) well enough that a viewer in very little time, could develop some emotional attachment. That's and she's a very pretty lady. I have always been a sucker for redheads. Am hearing lately being PC is getting old. Figure I'd test the waters. Nothing disrespectful intended. All that aside, Molly comes across as a very good actress, making the unbelievable, believable. Her, and others associated with this production (B C Butcher), should have promising futures in the entertainment business.

Devyn Leah: Again, like Molly, skilled enough so I felt bad (emotion) for her character, being visually impaired. Made it totally believable. Am hoping blind people don't protest the film for not using a real blind actress in the role. Unlikely since they probably could not find the theater. I digress. In B C Butcher, it's a dangerous world out there. But Devyn, it looked like in one scene where you had previously survived a tongue piercing. Way risky in B C Land. After all, anti-bacterial mouth rinse
has not been invented yet. I could be wrong in that observance. Side effects of the fattie perhaps?  

Dwayne Johnson - nice job playing the confused but loveable BUTCHER. Like Kato Kaelin, it was a very memorable performance. 

Leilani Fideler - A memorable performance as well. 
Job well done!! 

               B C Butcher's STARS; Leilani Fideler and Kato Kaelin
                             Photo Credit: William Preston Bowling

Same can be said for everyone else in front of the camera. All actors played their parts very well. Behind the scenes, congrats! You, along with your first time director, Kansas Bowling, created a low budget gem! 

Fun B C Butcher Fact: Was shot on 16mm as a homage to director Tobe Hooper and his slice of horror film history; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

               Photo: Kansas Bowling behind the camera directing; B C Butcher
                                               Photo Credit: William Preston Bowling

Soundtrack / Score: The Ugly Kids scores, as the Hollywood Argyles doing an excellent performance of Alley Oop. Tip of the hat to Vicky and the Vengents. 

Uncle G Rating

Using the same one to ten star rating system the famous movie website IMDb uses, whereas one star means it's dinosaur shit, up to 10 stars which means you can safely watch / spend your hard earned money on, Uncle G give's Kansas Bowling's directorial debut B C Butcher … 10 stars! In the land of independent comedy / horror B films, if it holds my attention, so I can focus and let what's on the screen entertain me so I can at least temporarily forget about life around me, plus makes me laugh, it did what it was intended to do. From having a cool narrator (Kadeem Hardison), to a righteous score / rock n' roll soundtrack, B C Butcher has everything I need to help unwind after a long day of doing much of nothing. I'm a writer. Those of you who do a 40 … all work and no play makes you dull. Decompress. Make some popcorn, do a bowl, and enjoy the award winning laughs.

Note: For the record Uncle G does not encourage 'getting wasted' for those under the age of 21, in any way, shape, or form. When over 21, unwinding is important … in moderation. I do. Use your smarts and be safe. Dead people can't watch Troma films.

Cool Website Links

Troma Entertainment:  
Official Kansas Bowling Website:

                                       B C Butcher - A film by Kansas Bowling
                                       Official Theatrical Trailer