• Album Reviews,  Blog

    Foghat Sonic Mojo Album Review

    The classic rock band Foghat released their latest album, Sonic Mojo, on November 10 of 2023.

    I had heard a few of the songs, via their videos they made of some singles, and really liked them, so I bought the album.

    I really like this album.

    Lots of rock, blues, and even a little punk rock actually on one song.

    Drummer Roger Earl is the only original member left in the band, but he has a great group around him that includes Scott Holt (Vocals and Guitar), Bryan Bassett (Lead Guitar/Slide Guitar/Vocals/Engineering/Mixing/Production/Mastering), Rodney O’Quinn (Bass/Vocals), and Eddie Lefebvre (Percussion).

    Check out this album.

    It rocks!!

  • Album Reviews,  Blog

    Mick Mars The Other Side of Mars Album Review

    Mick Mars, guitarist of Motley Crue, FINALLY released his first solo album, The Other Side Of Mars, on February 23 of 2024.

    Mick had worked on this album for many years, but had never put out a solo album before because he was totally committed to Motley Crue.

    He unfortunately had a very bad falling out with the band in 2023.

    Now, he has released this album, and like a solo album should be, it does not sound like his work with Motley Crue.

    It’s actually much heavier and darker.

    He has Paul Taylor of Winger/Alice Cooper fame on keyboards and additional guitar and Paul co-wrote a lot of the songs (especially the lyrics).  He has two singers on this album (Jacob Bunton on eight songs, who also did the string parts, and Brion Gamboa on two songs) and has KORN drummer Ray Luzier on all songs.  Chris Collier plays bass and did the mixing and mastering of the album.

    Again, quite a heavy, dark, and moody album.

    I like this album for sure, but I think you may need to be in a certain mood to listen to it.

    But if you’re a Mick fan and a fan of hard rock and metal, you need to check it out.

    I’m happy Mick has finally released this album because it has been a long time coming.

    Oh and when I preordered it, Mick signed it too.

    Thank you Mick!!  Rock on!!

  • Album Reviews,  Blog

    Ace Frehley 10,000 Volts Album Review

    I have been a fan of Ace Frehley, original guitarist and co-singer/co-songwriter of KISS, since 1998.

    I love all of his solo albums and everything he did with KISS, so I figured I would love 10,000 Volts, Ace’s latest solo album released on February 23 of 2024.

    I preordered it and received it on release day.

    I’ve listened to it several times and even though it’s definitely not my favorite of his, I do really like it a lot.

    It’s classic Ace.

    Lots of rocking tunes, lots of melody, and lots of guitars.

    I think this is definitely Ace’s most catchy solo album.

    I really like every song.

    I’ve read a lot of different reviews of this album and some people really love it and some really hate it.

    But that’s with anything really.

    I think if you are an Ace Frehley fan, you will enjoy this album.

    Many have said this is his best solo album since his first one, released in 1978.

    While I don’t agree with that, I do really like it, more with each listen, and I think Ace has done a great job with this album.

    Well produced and mixed, and the songs rock but yet again are catchy at the same time.

    Rock on Ace!!

  • Blog,  Movie Reviews

    Lisa Frankenstein Movie Review

    My girlfriend Mariah Startzman and I recently saw a movie in theaters called Lisa Frankenstein.

    It was released on February 9 of 2024.

    OK SPOILER ALERT:  I’m going to talk about a lot of things about this movie, so read ahead if you wish.  If not, either way, I recommend this movie because it’s a fun reinterpretation of Frankenstein, hence the title.  OK onward.

    The movie is about a teenage girl (Lisa Swallows, played by Kathryn Newton), who is living in a foster home, and is very much a loner and does not fit in any way at all.

    Lisa’s stepmother does not like her at all, her father is indifferent, and her stepsister tries to be her friend and include her in things, but again, Lisa is very much a loner.

    Lisa likes to go to a cemetery and she becomes quite enamored with one grave in particular.  This grave is of a man (listed only as “The Creature in the credits, played by Cole Sprouse) who died in 1837 (this movie is set in 1989) of a lightning strike.

    Well, as it turns out, a bolt of lightning ends up bringing him back to life and he goes to Lisa’s house.  

    Lisa is spooked at first, but ultimately, takes him in, gives him clothes, and becomes friends with him.

    The Creature is missing his left ear and right hand, and with Lisa’s help, they both kill her stepmother so that he can get a new left ear.

    Also, they kill a male teenager, who earlier in the movie sexually assaulted her when she was under the influence of a drink, and they take his right hand to put on The Creature.

    Lisa and The Creature’s friendship ultimately leads to love, at least on his part, but at this moment, she is obsessed with another teenager.

    Although she finds out that this teenager is having a relationship with her sister.

    The Creature found out about this before Lisa but since he can’t speak, he was not able to tell her.

    The Creature and Lisa kill the teenager too but they let Lisa’s sister go.

    Ultimately, Lisa ends up killing herself in a tanning bed (which electrocuted her earlier in the movie and also enabled The Creature to have his new body parts put onto him) and her and The Creature ultimately live happily ever after.

    Mariah really wanted to see this movie, and I’m glad that we did because we both agree that it’s a lot of fun.

    As I said earlier, it’s a fun reinterpretation of Frankenstein.

    I highly recommend seeing it.

    Oh and as a REO Speedwagon fan, there is a cool moment in the movie where one of their songs is used.

  • Blog,  Concerts

    Mr. Big Concert Review

    My girlfriend Mariah Startzman wanted to see the band Mr. Big on her birthday (February 20).

    So we did.

    We’ve both been wanting to see the band since we saw Mr. Big singer Eric Martin do a solo set a few years ago.

    And it just so happened that Mr. Big reunited last year for a “farewell tour” and are making a new album.

    So this was our chance to finally see the band.

    It includes not only original member Eric Martin on vocals, but also original members Paul Gilbert on Guitar/Additional Vocals and Billy Sheehan on Bass/Additional Vocals.

    The band is filled out by Drummer Nick D’Virgilio (original Drummer Pat Torpey sadly passed away in 2018).

    No one but The Ramones has truly done a farewell tour, but IF this is Mr. Big’s farewell tour, then they are going out on top.

    They still kick butt.

    Great singing.  Phenomenal musicianship.  And great songs.

    On this tour, they are playing their entire second album “Lean Into It”, as well as other songs from their career, and some cover songs.

    They even switch instruments during one of the cover songs (Good Lovin’).

    Really fun and rocking show.

    Mariah and I had a lot of fun.

    Thank you Eric, Paul, Billy, Nick, and Pat in passing for the great music and shows.

    You guys always rock and always will.

    Thank you!!

    Set List:

    1. Addicted To That Rush
    2. Take Cover
    3. Price You Gotta Pay
    4. Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)
    5. Alive And Kickin’
    6. Green-Tinted Sixties Mind
    7. CDFF-Lucky This Time (Jeff Paris Cover)
    8. Voodoo Kiss
    9. Never Say Never
    10. Just Take My Heart
    11. My Kinda Woman
    12. A Little Too Loose
    13. Road To Ruin
    14. To Be With You
    15. Wild World (Cat Stevens Cover)
    16. Guitar Solo
    17. Colorado Bulldog
    18. Bass Solo
    19. Shy Boy (Talas Cover.  Talas is also a band Billy Sheehan is in and he sings this one.)
    20. 30 Days In The Hole (Humble Pie Cover)
    21. Good Lovin’ (The Olympics Cover)
    22. Baba O’ Riley (The Who Cover)

    Photo Gallery (click on thumbnail to view larger image)

    Video Gallery (click on thumbnail to play video)

  • Blog,  Movie Reviews

    Centennial Movie Mini Series Review

    I have been a movie fan my whole life, but I honestly did not know about this mini series, Centennial, that debuted on television in 1978 and concluded in 1979.

    I was recommended this movie by my Mom and one of my cousins, Mianna, when they both told me I had to see this and that it is so great.

    My cousin Mianna said she was going to buy this for me and she did.

    She did not have to do this but I appreciate it.

    The mini series is almost 21 hours long, spanning 12 episodes or chapters, if you will.

    It is based on a book by James Michener that is basically about the history of America,  and covers many years, centuries actually. 

    It mainly covers the 1700s all the way up to the 1970s (the book actually goes all the way back to the dinosaur era).

    The main core of the movie is set in a town in Colorado that was eventually named Centennial, and covers several generations of people and their families, namely the characters Pasquinel (played by Robert Conrad), Alexander McKeag (played by Richard Chamberlain), Levi Zendt (played by Gregory Harrison), Clay Basket (played by Barbara Carrera), Oliver Seccembe (played by Timothy Dalton), Jim Lloyd (played by William Atherton), Lame Beaver (played by Michael Ansara), and many more.

    The cast I’ve just listed is beyond star studded.

    Some others include Dennis Weaver, Raymond Burr, David Janssen (who actually narrated it too), Robert Vaughn, Andy Griffith, Anthony Zerbe, Richard Crenna, Mark Harmon, Brian Keith, and so many more.

    My Mom and cousin are right:  this is a very good mini series.

    I think there is too many flashbacks at times, but this did air over the course of a few months, so the flashbacks were probably necessary.

    My favorite parts are when Robert Conrad and Richard Chamberlain are on screen, and they are in a lot of it, along with Dennis Weaver’s chapter.

    A lot of it is essentially a western, which I love.

    I’m trying not to give too much away for those who have not seen this, but again, it covers a wide time span of history.

    I love the cast and it is just a very well done story.

    If you are into history, or westerns, and just a movie with a great cast, this is for you.

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Between A Heart And A Rock Place: A Memoir by Pat Benatar with Patsi Bale Cox Book Review

    This is an awesome book about the story of singer Pat Benatar.

    Pat, along with co-writer Patsi Bale Cox, tell Pat’s story in great detail.

    Lots of stories about her growing up, eventually becoming a rock singer, meeting her husband Neil Giraldo, who is also her guitarist and songwriting/producing partner, the early days of MTV and making music videos, the struggles they faced with their label bosses, and so much more.

    I cannot recommend this book enough.

    Pat is an amazing talent and has great stories to tell.

    Check out this book.

  • Blog

    I Once Was A Singer

    As I type this in February of 2024, it has been almost 25 years since I graduated high school.

    Lately, I have seen my classmates from back then post pictures from those times and even though I do not long for those days again, it has been nice to see them.

    And by seeing these, I have been reminded of when I sang in the junior and senior year talent shows.

    I had sang in my church choir as a kid and sang in choir in my freshman and sophomore years of high school, but I never sang solo before, outside of my bedroom or house.

    Well that changed in my junior year.

    My friends Jason Smith (lead guitarist) and Ryan Yoakem (drummer) one day asked me if I wanted to audition for their band, which would also include bassist extraordinaire Chris Justice and rhythm guitarist Adam Crance, and sing for the talent show that year.

    I had never done this but I said sure.

    Jason picked me up on a Saturday in early March of 2000 (I remember I bought AC/DC’s newest album Stiff Upper Lip that morning) and we went to his house and we played the song we were potentially going to play at the talent show.

    The song was Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N Roses.

    I passed the audition and we went from there.

    We ultimately played other songs and we eventually did a few gigs later that year, but the main goal was to do the talent show.

    We had to do an audition for that, which we passed.

    When the day came for the first performance (we played four or five times I believe), I kid you not when we were waiting side stage to go on, I could hear the crowd chanting “Luke, Luke, Luke, Luke, Luke!” over and over as if I was some superstar.

    I was very nervous before going on, but once it was time, we went on and I and the band delivered the goods.

    We rocked!!

    And not to toot my own horn, but why we did not win that year I do not know.  I’m not bothered by it, and I’m happy for who won (I’m sorry I don’t remember.) but just judging by the crowd reactions we got, we should have won.

    But that’s OK.

    Sorry guys I did not introduce you all individually on stage.  I was young and stupid.  Now I would do it.

    So I will now say Thank you Jason, Ryan, Chris, and Adam for allowing me to sing with you guys.  

    It was a blast.

    I don’t know about the rest of the guys, but I went from being considered this “quiet, shy kid” that most people did not know or care about to the most recognizable person on campus.

    I remember going to geometry class and the whole class erupted with cheers.

    I actually signed a few autographs.

    Sooooo many people were blown away by the performances and wanted to know if we would do it again.

    Well, we did do it again in 2001, for the senior talent show.  That was fun too, but for me, my heart was not as into it because I had already technically graduated (I had all my class credits by December of 2000 so I did not take any classes in 2001, but I returned for the walk and a few other things.).  But it was still fun and everybody kicked butt.

    I love that we did it and I wish I could still sing like I did then.

    Sadly, I do not sing much anymore.

    I blew my voice out in 2016 or 17 and even though I can occasionally belt it out, I have to be careful because when I attempt to sing now, I feel my throat closing up on me and I feel as if I am getting a cold.

    It sucks, but that’s the way it is.

    But hey don’t cry over me. 

    It’s all good. 

    Even though I don’t sing much anymore, I go to many concerts to see my favorites sing and play their songs.  I’ve even met some of them, so I can’t complain.

    I’m glad that with those performances that we did that we were able to maybe bring some joy to the ones that saw us do it.

    I know I had a blast doing it.

    Again thank you guys for allowing me to sing with you.

    Here are a few pictures I found, courtesy of my classmates, from back then.

    One is from one of the performances in 2000, and the other is from a graduation class picture in 2001.

    I used to have much longer hair then.

    I tried to have my hair look like Bill Ward, the original drummer of Black Sabbath, when he had long hair.

    Hey I tried.

  • Blog,  Concerts

    John 5 Concert Review

    My girlfriend Mariah and I went to see one of our favorite guitarists, John 5 (real name John Lowry) in concert.

    I had seen him play in Rob Zombie’s band 4 times (he left Zombie’s band to join Motley Crue) but I had yet to see him solo.  And Mariah had not seen him yet and really wanted to.  So we went.

    Opening bands 8lb Pressure and Sticks N Stones were pretty good, but we were there to see John 5.

    He can and does play every style of music imaginable.

    His solo music is instrumental and wow it’s incredible.

    Look him up.  He has worked with everyone as a musician and songwriter (Rob Halford, David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Steve Perry, the list goes on).

    The guy is a musical genius.

    Go see him if you can and check out his music.

    Photo Gallery (click on thumbnail to view larger image)

    Video Gallery (click on thumbnail to play video)

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: The Wild, Definitive Saga of Rock’s Greatest Supergroup by David Browne Book Review

    I have been a fan of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young) since I was a teenager in the late 90s.

    I’m also a fan of Crosby, Stills, & Nash and all of these guys’ solo and other group (The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, The Hollies, Crazy Horse, Crosby/Nash, The Stills/Young Band, CPR, to name a few) ventures.

    I have been somewhat aware of their history through documentaries, books of their own for the ones who have written books (David Crosby, Graham Nash, and Neil Young), but I had not yet read a book about all of them together.

    So on a whim, I bought this book when I was at a bookstore recently.

    Again, I was somewhat aware of their history, both collectively and individually, so I knew this was going to be a wild ride.

    And shew it was.

    Judging by this book (which is quite detailed and actually David Crosby and Graham Nash were interviewed for it along with many people who know or have worked with them) and judging by everything I’ve ever heard, read, or saw, I am AMAZED that these guys collectively could make even one song, have a drink, breathe in the same room, or do ANYTHING together.

    I love these guys, but they are the perfect example of a dysfunctional group of people who cannot agree on much of anything.

    I knew they were dysfunctional, but my goodness they were dysfunctional.

    When they were able, they made great music together and have made a lot of people happy with their music.  Myself included.

    But many times when they tried to make music together, they would start and then never finish.  Or restart sometime later, sometimes years later, and not finish.  Or they would start a concert tour, either as trio or quartet, and not finish it.  Or it would not even get past the idea stage.

    It is unbelievable to me the dysfunction that existed within this collective.

    I can tell there was always respect, but the egos and/or substances, quite frankly, would almost always get in the way.

    CSNY made three studio albums.  I love all three, but there were many years in between them (1970 for Deja Vu, 1988 for American Dream, and 1999 for Looking Forward).

    CSN made five studio albums (Crosby, Stills, & Nash in 1969, CSN in 1977, Daylight Again in 1982, Live It Up in 1990, and After The Storm in 1994).  I love them too, but again, it is amazing they made even one.

    I can definitely tell that CSN worked better than CSNY because they did more albums and a lot more concert tours, but CSNY always was bigger.  So when the opportunities arose and when everyone agreed, they would do that.

    But unlike The Rolling Stones, U2, Aerosmith, or any typical band who have been around many years, it was few and far between when it happened.

    It was essentially four solo artists getting together to do a group tour.

    And that gets to what I’m about to say.  Again judging by this book, it seems to me these guys may have been better off just being solo artists or front their own individual groups and have them be the boss of each one.  

    As a fan, I’m glad they were able to make the music they made together because I think it is great stuff.

    But I feel each person may have benefitted just being on their own period.

    And each have made amazing albums on their own too and as other groups, so there is something to be said there.

    For example, I think David’s (RIP in 2023) last five albums (Croz, Lighthouse, Sky Trails, Here If You Listen, and For Free) are five of my favorite albums of all time.  And he made those in basically the last ten years of his life.

    But I can really see after reading this book why they did not make as much music together.

    And that is sad.  So much potential, and at times amazing, but gosh how much time was wasted.

    But saying that, I’m just glad it happened at all.  And at the end of the day, I’m sure that each man was and is grateful for the music they did make together and the times, however dysfunctional, they did spend together.

    Music is a funny thing.  In the most darkest of times, it brings people together.

    And it certainly did bring, at times, these four very talented people together.  Not a lot of time, but when it happened, it was MAGICAL.