• Blog,  Concerts

    Warrant/Firehouse/Bulletboys Concert Review

    Last night, Friay June 14 of 2024, I went to the Rose Music Center in Huber Heights, OH to see Warrant, Firehouse, and Bulletboys.

    Bulletboys started the night with a 30 minute set of songs, all of which are from their self-titled first album.

    Original Singer/Guitarist Marq Torien is a great frontman.  He still has the same vocal range he always has, is a great guitarist, and has some cool stage moves.

    His band now also includes Ira Black on Guitar, Brad Lang on Bass, and Fred Aching on Drums.

    I wish their set would have been longer, but still, they rocked.

    Thank you guys so much for the brief but rocking show.  All your albums rock and I can’t wait to buy the next Bulletboys album.

    Firehouse was the second band that played and WOW!! 

    This was the second time I saw Firehouse and they are such a great, great band.  

    They played many songs from their early albums, most especially their first self-titled album.

    Sadly, their singer, C.J. Snare, passed away on April 5 of this year, and he will be forever missed.  I’m glad I got to see him in 2023.  Such a phenomenal singer.

    With C.J.’s blessing, the band had been playing shows without him for a number of months with singer Nate Peck, who I had seen sing with Jack Russell of Jack Russell’s Great White on one song last year and became a friend of C.J.’s.

    Nate was also the American Idol golden ticket recipient in 2021.

    I went into this show knowing they would rock but without C.J., I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it.

    Well, I can say that even though C.J. will be forever missed and I wish he was still here, Nate does a phenomenal job singing these songs and pumping up the crowd.  Good job sir!!

    And the band are phenomenal.  Guitarist Bill Leverty, Bassist Allen McKenzie, and Drummer Michael Foster kick butt!!!!

    All of Firehouse’s albums are very good.  I can’t say enough about their songs.

    I’m glad I got to see them again, but again, rest in peace C.J. Snare.  They actually showed a tribute photo collage and video of him during one of their songs, which was really nice.  Again, forever missed.

    Warrant closed the show and really put on the big rock show.

    Classic members Erik Turner (Guitar), Joey Allen (Guitar), and Steven Sweet (Drums), along with Robert Mason (Vocals, who took over from original singer/songwriter Jani Lane, rest in peace, in the late 2000s) and Robbie Crane (Bass, filling in for original bassist Jerry Dixon) rocked the place.

    They played lots of songs from their first two albums, one song from their third album, and one song from their most recent album from 2017 (the title track Louder Harder Faster).

    All three of these bands are still kicking butt and still have lots of loyal fans.  The show wasn’t sold out, but it was pretty packed and that was great to see.

    I’m a big fan of a lot of rock bands from the 1980’s, and am glad to see that many people still come to see these great bands.  I still go see them and will forever support them and all my other favorites.

    Thanks to everyone for rocking the house!!

    Keep on rocking and please keep making new music too.

    I know not as many people buy music, but I do still and will continue to until the day I die.

    I love you all.

    Bulleboys Set List:

    1. What Cha Don’t
    2. Hard As A Rock
    3. Hell On My Heels
    4. For The Love Of Money (The O’Jays Cover)
    5. Smooth Up In Ya

    Firehouse Set List:

    1. Rock You Tonight
    2. All She Wrote
    3. Shake ‘N’ Tumble
    4. Oughta Be A Law
    5. Home Is Where The Heart Is (included a photo collage/video tribute to original singer C.J. Snare)
    6. Instrumental
    7. Overnight Sensation
    8. Love Of A Lifetime
    9. Reach For The Sky
    10. Don’t Treat Me Bad

    Warrant Set List:

    1. Sure Feels Good To Me
    2. Love In Stereo
    3. Bed Of Roses
    4. You’re The Only Hell Your Mama Ever Raised
    5. I Saw Red
    6. Big Talk
    7. 32 Pennies
    8. Blind Faith
    9. Joey Allen Guitar Solo
    10. The Hole In My Wall
    11. Down Boys
    12. D.R.F.S.R.
    13. Sometimes She Cries
    14. Louder Harder Faster
    15. Heaven
    16. Uncle Tom’s Cabin
    17. We Will Rock You Intro (Queen Cover)/Cherry Pie

    Photo Gallery (click on thumbnail to view larger image)

    Video Gallery (click on thumbnail to play video)

  • Album Reviews,  Blog

    Bon Jovi Forever Album Release

    Bon Jovi released their 16th studio album called Forever on June 7 of 2024.

    This album is very much a comeback for singer/songwriter Jon Bon Jovi because he had vocal surgery last year and wasn’t sure he could sing at all anymore.

    As of this writing, he is still recovering from this surgery. 

    However, he and his band, which includes original members Tico Torres (drums), David Bryan (keyboards), Hugh McDonald (bass), and now Phil X (guitar), John Shanks (guitar, and also co-producer and co-songwriter), and Everett Bradley (percussion, backing vocals), were able to make this album while Jon has been recovering.

    If you are a fan of everything the band have done since 2000, then you should enjoy this album.

    If you just prefer their 1980s material, then stay away from it because it doesn’t sound like those songs.

    Me?  I’m a fan of all of their albums. Some more than others, but all nonetheless, and I definitely like this one.

    It’s Jon being very much a mature singer/songwriter now (think Bruce Springsteen) and he has been this way really since the 1990s.

    I think every Bon Jovi album is very much a Bon Jovi sounding album, but again, Jon has really turned into more of a Springsteen type of songwriter, and I don’t think this is a bad thing.

    I do wish they still rocked like they did in the 80s and there is still some of that (Living Proof may have been able to fit on one of their 80s albums.), but also, they moved so far away from the You Give Love A Bad Name, Breakout, and In And Out Of Love type songs a long time ago.

    But having said that, I still think they rock enough and Jon is an excellent songwriter so I’m good with this album.

    Lots of good songs on here.  In fact, I don’t think any of them are bad.  Some are a bit sentimental (Kiss The Bride is about a father, he actually, giving his daughter away at her wedding, but I do think it’s a good song.) but again, Jon is great at writing these types of songs.

    Then there are songs like Legendary, which is the first single, that somewhat rocks, but is also very catchy and again with heartfelt lyrics.

    Living Proof, as I mentioned before, definitely rocks.

    That and My First Guitar may be my favorites as of this writing.  Jon actually mentions my favorite band KISS twice in this song, which I appreciate.

    People’s House and Walls of Jericho are favorites too.

    Hollow Man is an excellent acoustic song (think Bruce Springsteen Nebraska album era or maybe even Bob Dylan).

    Really all of these songs are heartfelt and meaningful, lyrically, and Jon sings them well.

    I’m glad Jon and the band were able to make this album and I hope Jon gets his voice back enough to where they can tour.

    His voice does sound good on this album, and he’s already sung live a little bit, but he’s been saying he’s not yet able to sing for 2.5 hours multiple nights a week yet.  And he’s not sure if he can sing that much anymore.  Time will tell.

    Anyway, all my best to him because he is indeed a very good singer and songwriter and has matured as both with age.

    And his band has always been great.

    Rock on Jon and thanks for making another solid, heartfelt album.

    I also bought the album digitally on their website because it came with two bonus tracks, one of which is the song That Was Then, This Is Now, which is really good.

    Again, I like the album and I’m glad Jon was able to do it.

    Is it my favorite?  No, but I like it.  Keep making music sir!!

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Ian Gillan: The Autobiography of Deep Purple’s Singer by Ian Gillan w/David Cohen Book Review

    Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan released his autobiography in the late 90s.

    Called Ian Gillan:  The Autobiography of Deep Purple’s Singer, he talks about his upbringing, early bands, playing Jesus for the Jesus Christ Superstar album, his stints with Deep Purple (3 stints, 3rd time was the charm, staying to this day), his solo stuff and brief time as the singer of Black Sabbath, fun, wild rock and roll road stories, and just his life basically. 

    It also includes some of his lyrics interspersed throughout, when talking about certain life stories, in which he wrote into song.

    It’s a fun read and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of his or just a fan of music, bands, and life on the road.

    Like I said, this book was initially released in the late 1990s, but has reprinted a few times.

    Ian is still going strong with Deep Purple, FINALLY being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, still making albums, actually releasing a new album in 2024 and still touring.

    Ian Gillan is one of my favorite singers and I’ve been blessed to see him in concert 3 times as of this writing.

    He’s always been great and always will be, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Blog,  Movie Reviews

    Prison (1987) Movie Review

    I’d heard about the 1987 movie Prison for awhile and was curious to see it.

    It’s a movie that did not get a lot of distribution and even when it has been released on home video, it always seems to go out of print.

    So, I had to pay more than I wanted to for it, but ultimately, it was worth the money.

    The movie Prison is about a deceased convict who was sentenced to the electric chair for killing someone, but in fact, did not do it.

    The convict was set up by a then guard, now a warden, and the warden is quite haunted by this.

    Turns out, this deceased convict turns up as a ghost at this newly reopened prison, headed by this warden, and starts killing prisoners and police one by one, ultimately leading to the warden.

    Sorry if I spoiled it for you, but it was released in 1987, so there.

    If you like ghost stories or prison dramas/thrillers, this is the movie for you.

    Starring a then unknown Viggo Mortensen (later of The Lord Of The Rings fame and other movies) and a solid supporting cast, and directed by Renny Harlin (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger and many others), I really enjoyed this movie and am glad to have found it.

    Also, horror movie icon Kane Hodder (Jason in Friday the 13th Parts 7-10, the Hatchet franchise and many others) plays the ghost seen at the end and is also the stunt coordinator and a stuntman in it.

     

  • Blog,  Concerts

    Rita Moreno Visited My Alma Mater!!

    First off, actress Rita Moreno is a National Treasure.

    She is still going strong at 92 years of age.

    She has won an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmy awards, a Grammy, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Arts, and was the first Latina woman to win the Kennedy Center Honors.  That’s just some of her awards.

    And of course the body of work she has done over the years:  movies such as Singin’ In The Rain, The King And I, West Side Story (original and remake), Television shows such as The Electric Company, Oz, One Day at A Time, and tons of others, and in stage plays of Guys And Dolls, The Odd Couple, and so much more.

    Trust me, you should go look at her list of credits.  It’s amazing.

    Now why am I saying all of this besides just being a fan?  She came to my Alma Mater, which is Ohio University Southern Campus in Ironton, OH (which Rita called “My little “Puerto Rico”!) to speak and to raise some money for camp kids.

    Her manager, who is also a member of the Rotary Club of Ironton who was one of the sponsors of this event, emceed this once in a lifetime opportunity to see and hear who I am once again calling a National Treasure.

    Miss Moreno talked about growing up in Puerto Rico, then moving to New York as a very young child, getting into dancing, being discovered by a talent agent at MGM, meeting Louis B. Mayer (the founder and head of MGM), and getting a contract with them.

    She talked about some of her many projects she has done, including West Side Story, The Electric Company, and even Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, in which she took her family with her to be on that show.  Great stories there.

    She talked about working with Mr. Norman Lear on his remake of the series One Day at a Time for four seasons and how the two of them once played a joke about her having Mr. Lear’s “love child” (Mr. Lear’s idea).  Very funny story.

    She talked about being present in Washington, D.C. to see Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and how she said that was not initially going to be his speech.  Great story there too.

    She talked about her great mother, and about how she had some very funny ways of saying things (calling beaches “bitches”, sheets “shits” are just two examples).  Very funny. 

    She also talked about some of her bad times in life, and how you just need to hang on and hang in there when times are bad.  She also said Psychotherapy helped her a lot too.

    Those are just some of the things she talked about.

    And she also sang a little bit too.  She sang about dreaming and it was very heartfelt and meaningful.

    Rita Moreno may be a huge star, and she definitely is, but after seeing and hearing her in person, I can say she is definitely human and a great one at that.

    Thank you so much Miss Moreno for gracing us in Ironton, OH with your presence, humor, and realness.

    And as I’m typing this, it’s the day before the oldest Memorial Day Parade anywhere, and I heard you say you were going to be there too.  I hope that even if it rains (it almost always rains during this parade) that you still have a great time and enjoy it.

    And please feel free to visit Ironton, OH again someday.  You are always welcome.

    All the best to you always.

    Thank you.

    Oh and since you said you love to play Scrabble, I welcome you to come and play Scrabble with my family anytime because they play it for hours on certain occasions.

    Again, thank you Miss Moreno.

  • Blog,  Movie Reviews

    Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

    I’ve been a fan of the Planet of the Apes franchise since I was a teenager.

    I’ve loved all of them.  Even the one Tim Burton made I eventually liked.

    So I was really looking forward to seeing the latest one, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

    It occurs generations after the last trilogy of movies, but still has all the ingredients of a Planet of the Apes story.

    I’m not going to spoil anything here, but I will say that if you are a fan, I cannot imagine you not loving this movie.

    I think it may be one of my favorites of the franchise.  It is so well done.  And the story is really good and the door has been left wide open for more.  I’ve read that the hope is that this movie is the start of a new trilogy.  We’ll see but I sure hope that is the case.

    I love this movie.

    In a word, it is Fantastic.

  • Blog,  Movie Reviews

    Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga Movie Review

    Furiosa:  A Mad Max Saga is a prequel to Mad Max:  Fury Road.

    This movie shows the title character Furiosa’s (played in this movie by Anya-Taylor Joy) journey from being a kid being captured by a biker horde led by Dementus (Chris Hemsworth) to being taken in to the Citadel, led by Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme), escaping from being raped by one of Joe’s sons, then posing a mute boy, working to build a “War Rig”, learning everything she can on how to fix things and fight, with the ultimate goal of gaining revenge on Dementus, who killed her Mom, and trying to find her way home.

    If you love Fury Road and all the other Mad Max movies, but especially Fury Road, you should love this movie.

    I sure did.

    It’s a great movie.

    Once again directed and co-written by George Miller, who has made all of the Mad Max movies.

    It 

  • Album Reviews,  Blog

    Diamond Head Lightning To The Nations Album Review

    Wow I should have listened to this album a long time ago but am just now getting to it in 2024.

    Diamond Head, a Heavy Metal band formed in the 1970s, released their first album, Lightning To The Nations, on October 3 of 1980, and wow what a debut album!!!

    The band included Sean Harris on vocals, Brian Tatler on guitar, Colin Kimberley on bass, and Duncan Scott on drums.

    With this album, I dare say, they influenced a lot of bands that came after them.  Most notably Metallica, who have covered at least 4 songs from this album (from their Garage Inc. covers album).

    After hearing this album, I can hear the influence and I think this album is one of the blueprints for a lot of Heavy Metal bands.

    Diamond Head are definitely innovators.

    If you are not familiar with this band, check out their music.  Especially this album.

    Diamond Head are still together, although guitarist Brian Tatler is the only original member still in the band. 

    While not working with Diamond Head, Brian is also playing guitar for Saxon, another hugely influential, innovative Heavy Metal band.

    Check out Lightning To The Nations.

    HOLY COW is it amazing.

    I bought the deluxe edition, so it has a lot of bonus tracks.  Even a bonus disc.  Check it out!!!

  • Album Reviews,  Blog

    Kerry King From Hell I Rise Album Review

    Five years since Slayer’s “Farewell Tour”, guitarist Kerry King has released his first album under his own name.

    Called From Hell I Rise, released May 17 of 2024, is very much a continuation of what he did in Slayer, but with a different group of musicians.  

    Wow what a group Kerry has formed here.  It includes singer Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), guitarist Phil Demmel (Vio-Lence, Machine Head), drummer Paul Bostaph (Slayer, Exodus, Forbidden), and bassist Kyle Sanders (Hellyeah, Nothingface).

    Kerry wrote all the songs and plays all of the rhythm guitar parts (like he mostly did in Slayer), and a lot of the lead guitar, but Phil does play quite a bit of lead guitar too.

    If you are a Slayer fan, you should love this album.

    It’s not a complete copy of it, but it’s close enough.  And I’m fine with that because I love Slayer and I love this album.

    Every song is a banger, as they say.

    Mark is singing/screaming as great as he ever has, Kerry’s guitar parts are always amazing, and again, just the whole group Kerry has assembled just bring it.

    I know Slayer is reuniting to do at least 3 festivals in 2024, and I’m fine with it if they do more than that, but I think Kerry has a great group here and I hope there is a lot more albums to come.

    Rock on guys.

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Tom Selleck You Never Know: A Memoir Book Review

    Tom Selleck has been one of my favorite actors since I was a kid.

    He released his memoir called You Never Know:  A Memoir on May 7 of 2024.

    It is a great book.

    It by no means covers everything that has happened in his life, but he focuses on certain parts of his life and career throughout the book.

    He talks about trying to hang on to his basketball scholarship and deciding to take a theater class because he thought it would be an easy A.

    Well, when he started taking the class, his instructor told him he could get him an agent.  Tom being new at this said Oh-Kay.  This agent ultimately got him some jobs but also got him an appointment with the then head of 20th Century Fox, in which he was sent to their studio system program.

    Tom says in this book that his career was really an accident because he never had aspirations or dreams on being an actor.  But through studying, hard work, and luck, and as he says throughout the book, laying down bricks, he became an actor and eventually a very successful one.

    He talks a lot about his time starring in Magnum, PI (as he just calls it Magnum).

    I love the whole book, but these parts of the book are especially a big deal for me because the show Magnum PI came along at a very tough time in my life growing up.  I had moved to a new state, with all new people, and had to try and get used to that.

    Magnum was the one of the few shows I watched at the time (two shows a day in reruns on two different stations) and I really clung to this show.  I really needed it at the time and I will be forever grateful to Tom Selleck John Hillerman (RIP), Roger E. Mosely (RIP), Larry Manetti, Donald P. Bellisario, and everyone involved in Magnum PI.  Thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication to the 8 years that show was on the air.

    Tom also talks about some of his movies, including The Sacketts and The Shadow Riders (two of my favorite movies ever), High Road To China and Lassiter (two really good movies he did while filming Magnum), Three Men and a Baby, and how he ALMOST became Indiana Jones for Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Read the book to find out more.

    Again, I love this book and Tom Selleck will forever be a hero to me.

    I wish he would have talked about some of his other work too (Such as the movies Runaway, Her Alibi, Folks, An Innocent Man, and other.  He touches on Blue Bloods some too but not a lot.) but I still love the book and I especially love all the Magnum stories.

    And, thanks to Premiere Collectibles, where I purchased this book from, I was able to get a signed copy.  Thank you so much for that.  I’ve wanted his autograph for 30 years and now I have it.

    Thank you so much.