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  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    The Last Action Heroes: The Triumphs, Flops, and Feuds of Hollywood’s Kings of Carnage by Nick De Semlyen Book Review

    The Last Action Heroes:  The Triumphs, Flops, and Feuds of Hollywood’s Kings of Carnage is a great book about movie action heroes of the 70s, 80s and 90s.

    Released in 2023, Nick De Semlyen has written a very good book about a few of the biggest action heroes of all time.

    The action heroes included in this book are Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan, Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, and Bruce Willis.

    Each star has some of their history chronicled throughout the book, and some even overlap because some of them worked together at certain points in time.

    Lots of great stories here.

    If you are a fan of these stars, like I am, then I highly recommend this book.

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Stories Book Review

    Singer/songwriter/guitarist Randy Bachman has released three books.

    Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Stories is one of them.

    This was released in 2011 and chronicles some of Randy’s stories of working with The Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO for short), and working with several other musicians and just life stories.

    All of these stories and more he has told on his successful radio show/podcast Vinyl Tap, which lasted from 2005 to 2023.

    Randy has tons of fun music stories, and I highly recommend reading this book.

  • Blog,  Concerts

    The Best of British Hard Rock and Metal: Uriah Heep and Saxon Live in Cincinnati!!

    Wow what a show!!!!

    Uriah Heep and Saxon in concert!!!!!!

    Two legendary bands that are both still making great albums.

    Both bands are on a co-headline tour and have been flip-flopping each night, in terms of opening and closing the shows.

    This night, Uriah Heep started the show.

    Guitarist Mick Box, the last surviving original member of the band, has carried this band on since the late 1960’s and they are still going strong.

    Rounding out the band is singer Bernie Shaw, who has been in the band since 1986.  Amazing vocalist.  On bass is Dave Rimmer, who has been there over 10 years.  The drummer is Russell Gilbrook, who has been in the band since 2007.  His birthday was celebrated at this show!  And for this tour, the keyboardist is Adam Wakeman, who is filling in for Phil Lanzon (keyboardist since 1986).

    This band is AMAZING!!!!!

    Still putting out great albums (their latest two Chaos & Colour and Living The Dream are incredible) and are great live.

    I’ve been wanting to see Uriah Heep for some time, but just did not have the chance or missed them.  Not this time.  I’m so glad I finally saw them.

    Uriah Heep are just as important a British band as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, etc.  They came out about the same time and even though they’ve had several lineup changes (sadly all the classic original members except Mick Box are dead) but this lineup is amazing.  And their discography is amazing.  

    And like I said before, guitarist Mick Box is the last original member and has never left the band.  He is a phenomenal guitarist and should be spoken in the same breath as Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, etc. 

    Please check out Uriah Heep!!!!  You will not be disappointed.

    Saxon closed the show this night and this was my 3rd time seeing them.

    They are always amazing.

    Like Uriah Heep, they are still making amazing albums and like Uriah Heep, have a lot of albums.

    Singer Biff Byford is one of my favorite singers and he has always been great.

    And along with Biff, guitarists Doug Scarrett and Brian Tatler (Brian recently replacing Paul Quinn because he did not want to tour anymore), bassist Nibbs Carter, and drummer Nigel Glockler make up one of the best Metal bands around.

    They’ve been a band since the mid 1970’s and like Uriah Heep have had lineup changes (Biff is the only one that has been there from the start), but even with those changes, Saxon have remained consistently great.

    And they’re nice people too.  Biff noticed a little girl in the front row with her Dad and asked how old she was, and she said 9.  She had a sign too that said that this was her first Saxon concert and to please sign the sign otherwise Hell, Fire, and Damnation (the title track to their new album) would reign on them.  Biff said they would sign it at the end of the show and they did.  Very kind of them.

    I can’t say enough about both of these bands.  It’s after 3 AM as I type this, so I’m a little tired, so I’ll end this by saying that I love both of these bands and I appreciate them both for still making great music and doing great shows.

    Thank you guys.  Keep on rocking!!!!!!  And as Mick Box says “Appy Days”.

    Uriah Heep Set List:

    1. Save Me Tonight
    2. Grazed By Heaven
    3. Rainbow Demon
    4. Stealin’
    5. Hurricane
    6. Sweet Lorraine
    7. Hail The Sunrise
    8. Free ‘N’ Easy
    9. Gypsy
    10. Look At Yourself
    11. July Morning
    12. Encore:  Sunrise
    13. Easy Livin’

    Saxon Set List:

    1. Hell, Fire & Damnation
    2. Motorcycle Man
    3. Sacrifice
    4. This Town Rocks
    5. Power and the Glory
    6. There’s Something In Roswell
    7. Heavy Metal Thunder
    8. Madame Guillotine
    9. Dallas 1 PM
    10. Strong Arm of the Law
    11. 1066
    12. Crusader
    13. Ride Like The Wind (Christopher Cross cover)
    14. 747 (Strangers In The Night)
    15. Denim and Leather
    16. Wheels of Steel
    17. Princess of the Night

    Photo Gallery (click on thumbnail to view larger image)

    Video Gallery (click on thumbnail to play video)

  • Album Reviews,  Blog

    Ian Hunter Defiance Part 2 Fiction Album Review

    The great Ian Hunter, singer of Mott The Hoople, has released another great solo album called Defiance Part 2 Fiction (Defiance Part 1 is great too.).  This was released on April 19 of 2024.

    Like Defiance Part 1, Ian assembled a lot of great talent to help make this album.

    Including Jeff Beck (RIP), Johnny Depp (who painted the album cover), Joe Elliott, most of Stone Temple Pilots, Cheap Trick, and others.

    This album is great.  Not a bad song on it.

    Highly recommend checking it and Defiance Part 1 out.

    Keep it up Ian!!

  • Blog,  Concerts

    Angel Live in Columbus (Thanks for Your Kindness and Your Music)

    I first became a fan of Angel in 2006 when I heard an interview Angel singer Frank Dimino did on Eddie Trunk’s radio show.

    Frank went into detail about the history of the band and it was just a really good interview.

    I also heard on Eddie’s show the Angel song The Tower and really liked it.

    Sometime after I heard the interview, I bought Angel’s Live Without A Net double live album and loved it.

    And eventually, I bought all of the band’s albums and enjoyed them all.

    However, at the time I got into the band, they were no longer a band.  Everyone was either retired, doing solo stuff and just doing other things.

    Then the great Angel guitarist Punky Meadows put out a solo album called Fallen Angel.  Masterpiece of an album.  This album also features Angel bassist Felix Robinson and Punky’s collaborator/rhythm guitarist/singer Danny Farrow Anniello.  Punky decided to do some shows for this album and to do them as a co-headline tour with Angel singer Frank Dimino (Frank sang on one song on Punky’s album and Punky played on one of Frank’s songs for his great solo album Old Habits Die Hard under the banner of Dimino).

    The shows went so well that Frank and Punky decided they wanted to reform Angel.  So with Danny with them, they reformed the band with new people.

    As of this writing, Angel consists of Frank on vocals, Punky on guitar, Danny on guitar, Tommy Caradonna on bass (Felix Robinson did a few shows in between on bass before Tommy came in, replacing Steve E. Ojaine.), Charlie Calv on keyboards, and Billy Orrico on drums.

    The band has released two great albums since returning.  Risen, released in 2019, and Once Upon A Time, released in 2023.

    It wasn’t until 2023 that I was able to finally see the band.

    I saw them twice in 2023 (first show here and second show here) and both shows were phenomenal.

    I got to meet them at the second show and all of the guys were very kind and signed all of my Angel CDs.  Could not have been nicer.

    When I saw they were playing again this year, I did not hesitate to buy another ticket to see them. 

    I also decided I wanted to meet them again and get my Angel records signed (Sorry guys I need to buy a few more for you to sign.  Next time I see you, I’ll bring those.).  

    So, I went to the show and met them before the show (This is a paid meet and greet, but it’s not too expensive.).

    Like before, all the guys were super friendly and signed everything.  These guys really love their fans and really take the time to talk to them.  And trust me it’s greatly appreciated by us fans.  Also at the merch stand, I bought a shirt, Punky’s album on vinyl (I’ll bring that to sign next time.) and a signed Felix picture that he signed when he was doing the few shows he did with the band.  I hope to meet him someday too but if not, I at least have his autograph and like Frank, Punky and Danny, is friendly to me and other fans on Facebook too.

    Anyway, this show was phenomenal too.  This band really rocks.  

    I still don’t know why they did not become a bigger band because they had/have it all.  But the fanbase they do have is very loyal and passionate.

    I’m glad I became a fan when I did and I’m glad they got back together and are still making great music and playing great shows.

    So thank you guys so much for all the great music (hopefully more in the future) and for all your kindness.  I love you all.

    Opening bands were In Theory, who are a very good newer rock band, and a good fun cover band called Alecia Houston & The Firmm.  Their rhythm section especially is very good.

    But the night was really about Angel, and like the other two times I saw them, they did not disappoint.

    Great songs, old and new, and everyone is phenomenal at what they do.

    Again, thank you Angel for giving us fans a great time, for the amazing music, and again, your kindness and grace.

    Angel Rocks!!!!!

    Angel Set List:

    1. On The Rocks
    2. Can You Feel It
    3. Mirrors
    4. Wild And Hot
    5. Bad Time
    6. Cast The First Stone
    7. The Fortune
    8. We Were The Wild
    9. Got Love If You Want It
    10. Don’t Leave Me Lonely
    11. It’s Alright
    12. Pressure Point
    13. Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore
    14. Feelin’ Right
    15. Rock And Rollers
    16. Encore:  The Tower

    Photo Gallery (click on thumbnail to view larger image)

    Video Gallery (click on thumbnail to play video)

  • Blog,  Concerts

    Nolan Taylor/Clarke Sexton/Justin Wells Concert Review

    My friend Jamie McClintic and I went to a concert on May 10 near where I live:  the Paramount Arts Center.

    We saw singer/songwriter Nolan Taylor, singer/guitarist Clarke Sexton and his band (who all also was Nolan’s band on this night) and singer/songwriter Justin Wells.

    Justin Wells started the show with just himself and an acoustic guitar.  No band backing him, although he does have a band.

    His songs and storytelling are very heartfelt, funny, and very good.  He sounded great and the crowd really enjoyed hearing him.

    Next up was Clarke Sexton and his great band.  They were a little more upbeat, but also still quite melodic and musically very diverse.  Clarke Sexton is a great singer and guitarist, and his band is phenomenal. 

    Then Nolan Taylor came on, again backed by Clarke Sexton and his band.

    Nolan is also a very good singer/songwriter and has a lot of stories to tell in his songs.

    I’ll be honest, all of these people were unknown to me before seeing them, and even though I thought there were way too many ballads played for my taste (and I love ballads but not 3 hours of them), everyone did a great job and the crowd loved them.

    I hope all of these guys have great success.  

    Photo Gallery (click on thumbnail to view larger image)

  • Blog,  Movie Reviews

    The Fall Guy Movie Review

    I’ve been a fan of the 80s series The Fall Guy since I was a teenager.

    So, I was excited to find out that a movie adaptation was being made of it.

    The movie stars Ryan Gosling as Colt Seavers (played by Lee Majors on the series), a stuntman who has a bad injury and is away from doing stunts for awhile. 

    He one day gets a call from a producer he’s worked for before to do stunts for a movie directed by his former girlfriend Jody (Emily Blunt). 

    There’s tension at first but ultimately, the ice melts and they end up getting back together. 

    But, during all of this, Colt ends up trying to find the star of this movie he’s doubling for, and let’s just say that craziness ensues.

    I really love this movie.  It’s a lot of fun.  You don’t have to know anything about the series to enjoy it, although I hope this movie puts a new spotlight on the series (and Lee Majors and series co-star Heather Thomas have fun cameos at the end playing their original characters).  

    This is just a fun, exciting, popcorn movie.

    Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt are great, as are all the cast (Jason Momoa even has a fun cameo near the end too.).

    Go see it and have fun.  I certainly did.

  • Blog,  Movie Reviews

    Outlaw Johnny Black Movie Review

    Outlaw Johnny Black, a western/comedy, is a movie that was in the works for years.

    It started off as a crowdfunded movie (I unfortunately lost money on this deal.  I preordered a signed Blu Ray and never received it and never got refunded.) and it took years to be released.

    But ultimately, on September 15 of 2023, Outlaw Johnny Black was released in theaters and not too long after that home video.

    Because I lost money on participating in the crowd funding, I avoided watching this movie for a long time because even though I was excited about it long before it was released, the fact I lost money soured me on it quite a bit.

    However, I finally did watch it (I bought the DVD for a much less price than what I lost on the preorder.) and I can say I enjoyed it.

    The movie stars Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite, Blood And Bone, Never Back Down 2 and 3, The Dark Knight, Universal Soldier and Universal Soldier:  The Return and many more), who also co-wrote and directed it.

    He plays the title character, a outlaw bent on avenging the death of his father.  He also ends up posing as a preacher in a small town, in which he ends up helping the town against a crooked land baron.

    The cast also includes Byron Minns, Anika Noni Rose, Erica AshTommy Davidson, Barry Bostwick, and many more, including a few cool cameos by Michael Madsen, Jim Brown, and Fred Williamson.

    It’s a fun western/comedy with some cool, fun action in it.

    I really love the scenes where Michael is posing as a preacher.

    At one point, he does a sermon and often says “turn it loose!!”.  You have to see it.

    Again, even though I lost money on participating in a crowd fund, I did ultimately enjoy this movie and I recommend it to anyone who wants to see a fun western/comedy.

    I’m a big Michael Jai White fan and he definitely delivered another winner here.

    To quote Outlaw Johnny Black “Turn it loose!!!  Turn it loose”.

  • Blog,  Book Reviews

    Shattered Love: A Memoir By Richard Chamberlain Book Review

    Movie/Television/Theater actor Richard Chamberlain released his autobiography Shattered Love:  A Memoir in 2003.

    I first became aware of Richard when I watched his movies King Solomon’s Mines and Allan Quatermain and The Lost City of Gold as a kid.

    I know those movies are not on top of his favorite works list and that’s OK.  But I loved them then and still do.

    Richard has done a lot of great works over the years (Dr. Kildare, The Towering Inferno, The Three Musketeers, The Four Musketeers, Centennial, Shogun, The Thorn Birds and it’s sequel (or “mid-quel” as he called it), and many others, and he talks about some of them in his book.

    He has a lot of great stories.

    However, his book is about much more than his life in the entertainment business.

    His book is much more about finding oneself, everything around us, and how to become a better person.

    He took most of his life to finally come to peace with his upbringing (he had a psychologically abusive Dad), hiding his true self from most people, and just ultimately being.

    I suppose it does take your whole life to accomplish this, if you ever do.

    Richard got into meditation and learned from many people and books about ways to try to “just be”.

    I applaud him for being able to do it.

    I’m not saying he’s perfect.  No one is.  But he was able to find some peace and “just be”.

    I know I will never be able to do it.  It is impossible for me to “just be”.

    I wish I could but I can’t.

    Anyway, I found Richard’s book a great read and I recommend this to anyone.

    And even though he may not be wild about them, thank you Richard for making the Allan Quatermain movies.  They were an important part of my childhood and I’ll always love your work in them.

    Thank you.