East Coast Rocker

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Jay Clark Band Rocks the Right Notes With Sophomore Album, ‘Turning It Up’

By DOTTIE PARIS

The Jay Clark Band has released a hot new record with Turning It Up.

With a voice like Alice Cooper and music that sounds like a cross between Lynyrd Skynrd and the Outlaws, the Jay Clark Band rocks. We look forward to more from this great musician and his group.

Turning It Up is a visual and compelling collection of songs on this, The Jay Clark Band’s second album. The music takes the listener down an old country road, like on the single “Backroads,” to wistful times featured on “A Storm Is Coming” and on “Hometown.”

It’s a great sophomore effort from this Americana-influenced rocker.

Jay Clark Evolving

“I wanted to show growth both as a writer and creatively,” Clark said. “I set out to write songs that had deeper meaning and could keep the listener interested from the first note on Turning It Up to the last note on Hometown. I hope I’ve done that.”

Check out the CaliforniaRocker.com review of his first album, Cocked and Loaded.

Clark played in a number of cover bands while growing up in Ohio and after college. He decided to put down the mic for a few years and get a “real” job but never gave up the dream of a life in music.

He began to write his own songs and tell the stories of the people that left an impression on him and add  a little humor,

Check out the Jay Clark Band website and Facebook

Release Info

Artist Name: JCB or Jay Clark Band

Location: Dayton, OH

Release Name: Turning It Up

Release Date: Dec 15, 2017

Producer: None

Track List:

1. Turning It Up

2. On My Way

3. Won’t Let You Down

4. Backroads

5. A Storm Is Coming

6. Crank It Up Loud

7. Coming Back To You

8. Hometown

Musicians:

Jay Clark – Singer, Guitar, Bass

Rob Carlson – Lead Guitar

Dwayne Russell – Keyboards

Coby Utterback – Drums

Styles: Southern Rock, Country Metal, Rock, Country Rock

Paul Maged Album, ‘Light Years Away’ is Diverse and Ahead of Its Time

By DOTTIE PARIS

Singer-songwriter Paul Maged says he’s influenced by Green Day and Pearl Jam, but to the experienced ear you can clearly hear a mix of many of yesteryear’s musicians in his work. And it’s good stuff.

His new album, Light Years Away blends the best of many of the musicians of today and yesterday.  It’s a diverse piece of work.  The range goes from punk to power pop anthems to country rock and it’s an amazing achievement.

“PC Police” is a fun song that illustrates how we all feel about being hassled with rules;  “Moment of Strength” is inspiring, the title track “Light Years Away” comes from strength, “Ashley Jane” shows off Maged’s diversity and ability to sound like James Taylor and Seals and Croft.

 

“Half Moon” is a somber and haunting guitar piece, “Like a Stone” is a tribute to Chris Cornell and it’s a downer but then death isn’t a happy subject. The album is bookended with reprise of Moment of Strength.

His first album, Diamonds and Demons, showed Maged’s chops as a songwriter and perhaps this record was released to show his voice. Because Maged’s songs are great but it’s his voice that’s the star of the show here on this album.

While he has assembled an interesting album that clearly shows his ability, he’s so diverse, be fits into no single category.  Is he trying to get a sync licensing deal perhaps?  Well with the range of creativity it would not be surprising. The work is commercial in an acceptable way.  This is a musician that clearly loves his subjects, loves his work and loves life in general.

Album credits for Light Years Away:
Produced by: Sean Gill
Music and Lyrics by: Paul Maged
Keyboard, Piano, All Vocals: Paul Maged
Lead Guitar and Bass: Ari Friedman (except Like a Stone)
Drums: Marc Hoffman (except Like a Stone)
Harmonica: Cabbage Pomeranz (Ashley Jane)
Piano, Keyboard, Bass, Acoustic: Paul Maged (Like a Stone)

Check out Paul’s Website

And you can find him on Facebook

Hot Single ‘Haven’t Said’ by Jinco Feat. Jake Herring Debuts Today: Listen Here

By JOHN DALY

The single, “Haven’t Said” is the latest single by producer JINCO; a multi-instrumental electro-style song that blends rock and pop with compelling results.

Singer Jake Herring delivers on this track that summons up the power of the ocean and the earth.

Just coming off from his back-to-back tour throughout Australia, New Zealand and India, Jinco is rounding out the year with releases coming out every other week,.

The tracks and remixes are getting fans pumped for Jinco’s upcoming performance at this years’ OMFG! NYE Festival is San Diego along with heavyweights such as Tiesto and Dillon Francis.

Released today,“Haven’t Said” is understated yet powerful, blending multiple genres ranging from EDM, jazz, and orchestral strings.

Jinco’s single features vocalist Jake Herring, who softly delivers the topline that is both remorseful and introspective.

Jinco is from Santa Cruz, Calif., where his love of surfing inspired a lot of his music.

Jinco’s music has been heard all over the world. In 2016, his first original solo release “I Wonder” generated over 8 million plays while his second release, “Tokyo” generated over 15 million plays.

CHECK OUT ‘HAVEN’T SAID’ ON SPOTIFY

For more information on Jinco, go to his Facebook Page

Earl Slick and Bernard Fowler Join the Celeb-Filled Celebrating David Bowie 2018 Tour

By JOHN DALY

Celebrating David Bowie will add musicians Earl Slick (guitar) and Bernard Fowler (vocalist) to the North American leg of the recently announced 2018 tour.

After performing earlier this year, Celebrating David Bowie returns with a brand new Bowie show spanning his entire career with a new show in Mexico City that was also just announced.

All tickets are on sale now with Mexico City going on sale Monday, Nov. 6. To purchase tickets, visit: www.celebratingdavidbowie.com. See the full list of tour dates below and view the trailer here: http://tiny.cc/CdBNorthAmerica

Celebrating David Bowie keeps Bowie’s music alive with musicians who worked closely with him throughout his career and other top musicians greatly influenced by him.

Guitarist Slick worked on landmark Bowie albums such as Diamond Dogs, Young Americans and Reality, among others, and toured extensively with him.

“I am officially joining my longtime DB bandmates starting on the February leg of the ‘Celebrating David Bowie’ tour,” Slick said. “So put on your red shoes and I’ll see you all then.”

Vocalist Bernard Fowler is known for his work with The Rolling Stones and others. Both Slick and Fowler will join legendary Bowie touring and recording keyboardist, and CdB band leader, Mike Garson–who collaborated with Bowie for longer than any other player–guitarist and previous Bowie band leader Gerry Leonard (A Reality Tour), and Bowie’s Let’s Dance/Serious Moonlight Tour bassist Carmine Rojas. Between them, they have over 30 years experience of recording, writing and playing live with Bowie.

Also joining the tour will be CdB 2017 standout Fishbone’s Angelo Moore and 2017 Grammy nominee Gaby Moreno as well as special guests and other former Bowie band members who will make surprise appearances along the way.

The European leg of the Celebrating David Bowie tour begins in January with a modified band lineup and a new Berlin date on Jan. 19 with tickets on sale Saturday, Nov. 4.

The large rotating ensemble with world class multi-instrumentalists changing song to song will perform a show highlighting elements that influenced Bowie and that in turn Bowie influenced: pop culture experimentation, art, fashion, science and futurism.

Previous special guests on CdB shows have included: Sting, Gary Oldman, Seal, Perry Farrell, The B-52’s’ Kate Pierson, Ewan McGregor, Simon Le Bon, Gavin Rossdale, La Roux, Joe Elliott, Mr Hudson, Gail Ann Dorsey, Spandau Ballet’s Steve Norman, Corey Taylor, Ian Astbury, Darren Criss, Tony Hadley, Living Colour, The London Community Gospel Choir, and The Harlem Gospel Choir, among many others.

Catch Celebrating David Bowie in the following cities:

North America Tour Dates:

DATE                         CITY                                       VENUE

Sat      2/10                Silver Spring, MD                The Fillmore Silver Spring

Sun    2/11                Philadelphia, PA                  Keswick Theatre

Mon    2/12                New York, NY                       Irving Plaza

Tue     2/13                Albany, NY                            The Egg

Fri       2/16                Boston, MA                           Chevalier Theatre

Sat      2/17                Montreal, QC                        M Telus

Sun    2/18                Toronto, ON                          Danforth Music Hall

Mon    2/19                Detroit, MI                              Royal Oak Music Theatre

Wed    2/21                Minneapolis, MN                  Pantages Theatre

Thu     2/22                Milwaukee, WI                      Pabst Theatre

Fri       2/23                Chicago, IL                            The Vic Theatre

Sun    2/25                Denver, CO                           Paramount Theatre

Tue     2/27                Las Vegas, NV                     Brooklyn Bowl

Wed    2/28                Los Angeles, CA                  The Wiltern

Thu     3/1                   Mexico City, MX                   Plaza Condesa

Sat      3/3                   San Francisco, CA              Regency Ballroom

Sun    3/4                   Santa Rosa, CA                   Luther Burbank Center

Tue     3/6                   San Diego, CA                     Balboa Theatre

Wed    3/7                   Mesa, AZ                               Mesa Arts Center

Sat      3/10                Seattle, WA                           Benaroya Hall

Sun    3/11                Portland, OR                         Roseland Theater

 

Europe Tour Dates:

DATE                         CITY                                       VENUE

Wed    1/10                Paris, France                                    Salle Pleyel

Fri       1/12                London, UK                          O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Sat      1/13                Manchester, UK                   O2 Ritz Manchester

Mon    1/15                Dublin, Ireland                     Olympia Theatre

Tue     1/16                Amsterdam, Netherlands    Paradiso

Wed    1/17                Ultrecht, Netherlands          TivoliVredenburg

Fri       1/19                Berlin, Germany                   Huxley’s

 

From Law and Order Hard Rock Band to Calling The Shots, Rocker-Director Phil Allocco Speaks ‘Truth’

By DONNA BALANCIA

Phil Allocco has had a life most people only dream of.  He’s been a guitarist in two popular rock bands, he’s toured with Pearl Jam, and now he’s a successful film director.  Not bad for a guy from Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

His latest film, a comedy called The Truth About Lies, will be released through various platforms including Netflix and Amazon this Friday.

The Truth About Lies East Coast Rocker Phil Allocco

Truth About Lies East Coast Rocker

ECR: This film is really funny! Is The Truth About Lies about you?

PA: It’s a fictional film. You pull things in your life, Larry David moments. We were lucky enough to get invited by festivals get to see it play for audiences started in Santa Barbara. Comedy is difficult – everyone has a different idea of what is fun. I got my sense of humor by being beat down in life! My brother is a scientist but he has the best sense of humor and Steve Carr, the producer of the movie, has a great sense of humor. The film is being released in more than 20 states and on Friday and it’s on all the major platforms for Video On Demand and Amazon.

ECR: Will the The Truth About Lies make money?

PA: I guess you always hope a film makes money. I try not to think too much about it. If you do it for money it distracts you. Creative arts recording artist since I was 14 or 15 so I had a whole life before. I played guitar in a band called Law and Order and we even opened for Pearl Jam. We had two records on MCA. Then I was with the band Dogma, on Island records. Our music was considered “hard rock.”

ECR: What’s your family background; Did you grow up in New York?

PA: My background is I grew up in New York, — Brooklyn — grew up in Williamsburg. It was very violent neighborhood. My parents are still around they moved to Staten Island. John is my brother’s name. He’s seen the film. I also have a younger sister named Gina, who’s a nurse.  I’m the only crazy one. My family really liked the movie. My parents have always been supportive of my choices. My dad now collects clippings and articles and tells me, ‘You should know this.’ I put my dad in the film. I always put him in the short films I’ve done.

Phil Allocco has been on both sides of the creative process - Photo courtesy Phil Allocco

Phil Allocco has been on both sides of the creative process – Photo courtesy Phil Allocco

ECR: Did your work in music prepare you for films?

PA: I guess for me in music understanding. I was the talent. Being the talent in music has helped me work with actors. I know what it meant to me. It’s their life. They are their brand, treat them with respect and give care, and create a comfortable environment so they can do their best work.

ECR: How has technology improved the filmmaking process?

PA: There has been a great improvement in quality of the work especially in low light. The advantages are you can get more footage, which means more time editing, but you will get better results.

Phil Allocco, right, and company at Santa Barbara Film Fest - courtesy SB Independent

Phil Allocco, right, and company at Santa Barbara Film Fest – courtesy SB Independent

ECR: What’s next?

PA: I have a drama I’m working on starting to cast. An indie film is a lot of time and you need the right combination to get it off the ground. The new film is set in New York it’s called 5 Pounds of Pressure. It’s a darker film, not a comedy. I don’t have any plans to do a music-based movie right now but you never know.

ECR: Any advice for people just starting out?

PA: My best advice is to keep going and have the tenacity. Keep perservering and moving forward.

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund Provides Assistance For Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey

If You Know Someone In Need, Reach Out

By JOHN DALY

Those in need of assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the massive flooding it brought can reach out to Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.  Here is some information:

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund is here to provide immediate assistance to people affected by the massive flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Check out the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund HERE

Musicians and music industry workers who require emergency aid please call the Toll-Free Assistance Line at 1-888-955-7880 or submit an application  ( http://sweetrelief.org/get-help/application/ ) to us via email at info@sweetrelief.org. The organization will get back to you as quickly as representatives are able.

Sweet Relief has also created a DONOR-DIRECTED FUND for those who wish to have their donations to Sweet Relief be used specifically for people affected by Harvey.

Funds raised will be used to pay for medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses to musicians and music industry workers impacted by the storm. DONATE HERE

If you or  are facing a life-threatening emergency please call trained emergency rescue professionals.

For more information go HERE 

Top Musicians to Perform at Second Annual Jerry Garcia Birthday Celebration at The Strand Theater

By JOHN DALY

It’s back. The second annual Jerry Garcia Birthday Celebration is returning this year. The historic Strand Theater in Lakewood, N.J. will host a very special evening celebrating the music of Jerry Garcia on Saturday, August 26.

Musicians on a Mission and the Jerry Garcia Foundation have invited guest artists from around the United States to join in the musical celebration. One of the evening’s featured performers is up-and-coming music sensation EmiSunshine, the 13-year-old prodigy from East Tennessee who has captured the nation’s attention and enchanted many with her musical gifts.

California native singer/songwriter Greg Winser will also headline the benefit, sharing his original blend of homegrown music. Local artists Mark Diomede and Sandy Mack will entertain the audience, along with Waynard Scheller and Rainbow Full of Sound.

A special reunion of the Jerry Garcia-Merl Saunders Band rhythm section, featuring Bob Steeler on percussion and Merl Saunders’s son, Tony Saunders on bass. Steeler was a member of Hot Tuna during its power trio years in the 1970s.

Saunders performed with the Saunders/Garcia Band and, according to his website, “graduated from the prestigious Conservatory of Music in San Francisco as a piano player, but soon after began honing his skills on the bass. He was influenced by the sounds of James Jamison, Stanley Clark, Jack Cassidy and others.”

The following musicians will also join the stage for this eclectic evening of music: Corby Pryor, 19-year-old guitar prodigy; Matt Aaron, violinist; Paul Avrutin, bassist; Mike Kennedy on petal steel/rhythm guitar; Dan Donovan on drums; with gospel singers Ariel Marin, Ron Rosson and Dawaun King.

“We are very grateful to Musicians on a Mission and to all of the gifted musicians coming together to share their artistry in honor of my father,” said Keelin Garcia, cofounder of the Jerry Garcia Foundation.

In addition, the Jerry Garcia Foundation will present a collective art project during the concert’s preshow reception at 7 p.m. Audience members will be invited to color a giant coloring book page image of Jerry Garcia’s painting titled Seascape. The work will be added to a digital art collage presented in a visual light show at an upcoming ocean conservation benefit concert presented by the foundation later this year.

“It’s wonderful that Jerry’s art and music continue to inspire new creativity. It speaks to the visionary spirit that is still very present,” said Manasha Garcia, cofounder of the foundation.

Jerry Garcia’s fine art will be offered to the public at a raffle. The three museum-quality pieces are titled Bluegrass Musician, Wetlands ll, and Wisteria.

Plan on arriving by 7 p.m. for a reception in the Gallery, featuring acoustic performances from members of Musicians on a Mission and a raffle of three museum-quality Jerry Garcia fine art pieces donated by the Jerry Garcia Foundation. The Main Stage concert will be general admission and begin at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $18 (plus a $6 convenience fee) and are available at the Strand’s website event page: https://strand.org/

Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz Revive Punk’s Dead Boys with New Album and Tour

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW With Cheetah

By DONNA BALANCIA

The Dead Boys have come back to life.

Cheetah Chrome is touring with a renewed Dead Boys band and will be releasing a new album, Still Snotty: Young, Loud & Snotty at 40! 

It’s a reunion of sorts as drummer, Johnny Blitz, from the original Dead Boys rejoins Cheetah with Chinchy on guitar, Detroit punk legend Ricky Rat on bass and vocalist Jake Hout from ‘zombie’ Dead Boys tribute band, the Undead Boys. They launch their tour in Dallas on Sept. 7 and the album drops Sept. 8 on Plowboy Records.

“We have a band together now, and we have the opportunity to use the name,” Cheetah said. “And now I’m in the merch business.”

Cheetah Chrome is touring to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Dead Boys’ ‘Young Loud and Snotty’ – Photo by Heather Harris

 

Reunited and it Feel So Good

How does it feel to reunite with Johnny?

“Johnny”s totally happy to be back in the fold,” Cheetah said. “He says ‘You’re a good man, Chrome, this is fun.’ Me and Johnny have been playing since we were 15. We’re going back to the beginning with me and him. To have him come back and playing and having a great time getting along is really wonderful,” Cheetah said.

The Dead Boys Featuring Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz Perform at The Bowery Electric on Sept. 17.

The Dead Boys were formed in 1976 and they put out the Young, Loud and Snotty album in 1977, which gave the world one of the most well-known punk songs, “Sonic Reducer.” After a second album, the band split in 1979. There were a couple of reunion gigs in 1980s, but after frontman Stiv Bators died in 1990, it was pretty much the end.

The Dead Boys featuring Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz – Photo by Heather Harris

Dead Boys as Darlings

The Dead Boys were the darlings of the punk world. They’ve worked with everyone who was anyone in punk, ranging from Blondie to The Ramones. And there were rivalries in the punk world, especially between Stiv and the godfather of punk himself, Iggy Pop. But Iggy took Stiv’s death very hard and underneath all their competitive ways there was a great mutual respect, Cheetah said.

“We did three or four gigs with Iggy in the old days in the midwest,” Cheetah said. “And he joined us on stage in Cleveland one time.”

Cheetah Chrome and the Dead Boys are touring the East Coast – Photo courtesy of Cheetah Chrome

Cheetah Chrome and Facebook

Cheetah reconnected with another member of the Stooges, James Williamson after a few years.

“He disappeared and went to Sony,” Cheetah recalled. “As soon as he came back, he friended me on Facebook.”

Well now we went and did it, we mentioned the “F” word.

Cheetah has had some issues with that social network so he’s laying low these days. There’s been an unusual issue of not being able to use the name Cheetah Chrome. Instead, Facebook wants him to use his birth name.  It’s been something Cheetah has been fighting but to no avail. to no avail.

“Social media used to be fun,” he said.

But he hasn’t got a lot of time for it these days as the band has been touring and will put out a new record.

What would Stiv say if he were alive?

“He’d say ‘Why ain’t I involved?'” Cheetah said. “But of course if Stiv were alive he would have been asked to be involved.

What was his personality like?

“Stiv was a nut job on stage and a calmer nut hob off-stage,” Cheetah said. “Off stage, he was more softspoken and subtle. He was great.”

Jake and Cheetah Chrome – Photo © 2017 Heather Harris

Breakups and Reunions

Recalling the breakup of the Dead Boys, Cheetah minces no words: Seymour Stein cast the seeds of mistrust among us,” he said. “We imploded and we fell for old trick.”

What old trick is that?  Cheetah says management pitted the guys against each other.

“If the band goes away, it gets them off the hook for spending more money,” Cheetah said. “Seymour was saying ‘Punk is dead.’  The unity of the band was screwed up. We had gone from being ‘One for all’ to ‘Everybody for themselves.’  They wanted us to be something we weren’t. They wanted us to be The Cure and we couldn’t do that.”

What could the Dead Boys have done differently?

“The only thing we could have done was stick together,” Cheetah said.

Are there any tracks on the record Cheetah doesn’t like?

“‘Big City,’ ” Cheetah said. “I hated it, it’s a horrible song.”

The original album, Young, Loud and Snotty  wasn’t intended to be released as is, Cheetah said.

“We were told it’s going to be a demo so we could go back in and record.  But the next thing you know, they said, ‘We like the way it is, we’re not going to re-record.’ So we didn’t.”

Check out the Dead Boys on Facebook 

Video courtesy of Bryan Macnamara

 

EXCLUSIVE SONG PREVIEW: Check Out Flamin’ Groovies ‘Cryin’ Shame’ off New Album, ‘Fantastic Plastic’

By DONNA BALANCIA

Check out a song premiere released exclusively on EastCoastRocker.com and CaliforniaRocker.com by the Flamin’ Groovies, called “Cryin’ Shame.”

The new album is the first time in 38 years the guitarists and songwriters Cyril Jordan and Chris Wilson reunite in the studio. They’re promoting the album with an East Coast tour.

Check out “Cryin’ Shame,” off the soon-to-be-released album, Fantastic Plastic.

‘Fantastic Plastic’

The Flamin’ Groovies have put together an upbeat and intricate punk-pop record with Fantastic Plastic and the record will bow on Sept. 22.

“It was 33 years that we hadn’t seen each other — we’re talking three decades,” Jordan said. “But when we got back together and I started showing him the musical ideas I had for [the new song] ‘End of the World,’ he immediately came up with the second verse. It was as if time and space hadn’t affected us. It was the same as it was back in 1979 when we were writing the songs for ‘Jumpin’ in the Night.’ We went back and locked into that. It’s really amazing.”

In addition to the music, Jordan also contributed the album’s cover illustration: An  homage to Mad magazine veteran Jack Davis’ artwork for the 1959 novelty album Monster Rally.

“I met Jack Davis a couple of years before he died,” Jordan recalled. “I told him, ‘I’ve got a band, I know you’ve done a couple of album covers, and I’d love to have you draw a cover.’ Anyway, Jack died, and I thought, ‘To hell with it, I’ll do Jack.’ You know, I used to work for Walt Disney, doing Mickey Mouse comics back in the ‘80s.”

The Flamin Groovies’ East Coast Gigs

EAST COAST:
Tues., Aug 22  WORCESTER, MA  Ralph’s Diner

Wed., Aug 23  NEW HAVEN, CT  Cafe Nine
Thurs., Aug 24  PHILADELPHIA, PA  Johnny Brenda’s
Fri., Aug 25  BROOKLYN, NY  Rough Trade
Sat., Aug 26  WASHINGTON DC  Hill Country Live
 
EUROPE:
Thurs., Aug. 31  MALMO (SWE)  Moriska Paviljongen
Sat., Sept. 2  ROSKILDE (DK)  Gutter City Festival
Mon., Sept. 4  LA CORUNA (SP)  Garufa Club
Wed., Sept. 6  AVILES (SP)  Niemayer
Thurs., Sept. 7  BILBAO (SP)  Cafe Antzokia
Fri., Sept. 8  MADRID (SP)  Sala Caracol
Sat., Sept. 9  SAIT BOIX (SP)  Festival Altaveu
Tues., Sept. 12  TOULOUSE (FR)  Connexion
Wed., Sept. 14  PARIS (FR)  La Maroquinerie
Fri., Sept. 15  NANCY (FR)  Chez Paulette
Sat., Sept. 16  MONTBELIARD (FR)  Atelier Des Moles
Tues., Sept. 19  MANCHESTER (UK)  Ruby Lounge
Wed., Sept. 20  BRISTOL (UK)  The Fleece
Thurs., Sept. 21  LONDON (UK)  Under the Bridge
Fri., Sept. 22  AMSTERDAM (NL) Q-Factory
Sat., Sept. 23 GRONINGEN (NL) Vera
MIDWEST: 
Thurs., Oct. 19  CHICAGO, IL  S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston
Fri., Oct. 20   NEWPORT, KY  Southgate House Revival
Sat., Oct. 21  CLEVELAND, OH  Beachland Ballroom
Wed., Oct 24  NASHVILLE, TN  Basement East
Thurs., Oct 25  ST. LOUIS, MO  Ready Room
Fri., Oct 26  KANSAS CITY, MO  Knuckleheads
Check out the Flamin’ Groovies playing “Teenage Head” in Los Angeles last year:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7J58BwxaKc

PHOTOS: Cheetah Chrome Celebrates 40th Anniversary of ‘Young, Loud and Snotty’ with Worldwide Tour

Photos by HEATHER HARRIS

Cheetah Chrome packed the house at The Viper Room and Alex’s Bar in Long Beach touring for the 40th anniversary of Young, Loud and Snotty.  Chrome and crew hit Europe and then take on the East Coast.

Young, Loud and Snotty was considered a turning point in punk rock and still is popular today.

Some photos by Heather Harris from The Viper Room are featured here.

Jake with Cheetah Chrome during Cheetah’s 40th anniversary tour – Photo © 2017 Heather Harris

Cheetah Chrome is touring to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Dead Boys’ ‘Young Loud and Snotty’ – Photo © 2017 Heather Harris

Cheetah Chrome Tour

Monday 24 July 2017 Rumours München, Munich, Germany

Wednesday 26 July 2017 Goldmark’s, Stuttgart, Germany

Thursday 07 September 2017 Curtain Club, Dallas, TX, US

Monday 11 September 2017 Vinyl Music Hall Pensacola, FL, US

Tuesday 12 September 2017 Will’s Pub, Orlando, FL, US

Friday 15 September 2017 Strange Matter, Richmond, VA, US

Saturday 16 September 2017 Metro Gallery Baltimore, MD, US

Tuesday 19 September 2017 Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA, US

Thursday 21 September 2017 Now That’s Class, Cleveland, OH, US

Sunday 29 October 2017 The Brass Monkey Ottawa, ON, CA

Sonic Reducer

January Zero Shows Diverse Range and Wistful Edge With New Album, ‘The Long Radio Silence’

Gareth Phillips and Band Create Americana-Jazz Style

By JOHN DALY

January Zero has a unique ability to take us back in time, but give us a wide range of diverse musical sounds on the new album, The Long Radio Silence.

It’s a compilation of mellow and upbeat tunes in the Americana genre. January Zero reminds us of a modern-day cross between Donovan and James Taylor with a little avant-garde thrown in.

Gareth Phillips is the songwriter and put the band January Zero together – Photo courtesy of Gareth Phillips

But just when you’ve decided to enjoy the style, January Zero switches it up with tunes like “Desperation Shuffle,” a song that brings to a dusky hot evening one might enjoy in a jazz club in Miami. But none of the guys in the band are from Miami, as the band is based in Appomattox, Va.

Much of the credit should be shared as all the instruments and the production are top game.  Gareth Phillips, songwriter, is on guitar, vocals, piano and synth, Dan Piccolo is on drums, Jim Roll is on organ and Noelle Beverly is on vocals. Jim Roll and Phillips oversaw production.

Phillips began writing and recording music in college, and pursued the discipline through the MFA program at George Mason University. After completing his degree there, he entered a discovery time, during which he produced a sequence of demos, creating versions of the songs which would become the collection The Long Radio Silence.

With The Long Radio Silence, January Zero uses poetry like a key that unlocks stories and scenes that have been tucked away in your mind.

The album The Long Radio Silence has a lot of great songs to it.  There are no favorites but we particularly like “Going Quietly,” as well as “Desperation Shuffle” and “Decrescendo.”

The Long Radio Silence Tracklisting:

1.   Gravity

2.   Jackie Paper

3.   Going Quietly

4.   The Borrowed Lives

5.   Desperation Shuffle

6.   After Christmas

7.   Decrescendo

 

 

VIDEO: Watch John Lennon, Son Julian Lennon, and Chuck Berry Jam to the Rock N Roll Anthem ‘Johnny B. Goode’

By JOHN DALY

Years apart, the late Chuck Berry jammed with both John Lennon and son, Julian Lennon to his famous song, “Johnny B. Goode.”

Rock and Roll legend Berry passed away on Saturday at 90 years old.

John Lennon recalled fondly his jam session with Berry, which happened on the Mike Douglas Show.  On hand in the band was Yoko Ono.

John Lennon recalled of the meeting: “I said, ‘Chuck Berry my hero!’ It just came out.

“The Beatles, The Stones … we’ve all been influenced by him,” John Lennon said. “His lyrics were very intelligent lyrics, in the ’50s when people were just singing virtually about nothing, he was writing social comment songs he was writing all kinds of songs with incredible metre to the lyrics, which influenced Dylan and me, and many other people, the metre of his lyrics was tremendous. He’s the greatest rock and roll poet and I really admire him.”

Years later, when Julian Lennon jammed with Berry, guitarist was Keith Richards.  Check out the videos here.

Berry was beloved by all. And let’s not forget while he jammed with some of the best of the guys, he wasn’t above letting a lady or two sit in.  Check out this video with Tina Turner:

A Peek Behind The Scenes of Music’s Biggest Night – What You Didn’t See on GRAMMY CBS Show

Rock Star Tech Experts Are GRAMMYs Unsung Heroes

By MARCY KRAFT

Another chapter of “Music’s Biggest Night,” the 59th GRAMMY® Awards is now in the bag.

For the first time, James Corden hosted the show. Many on social media voiced an opinion as to
 whether the proper artists were acknowledged with the GRAMMY gold.

More than 400 microphones of all price ranges and 'blinginess' are carefully set up - Photo courtesy The Recording Academy

More than 400 microphones of all price ranges and ‘blinginess’ are carefully set up – Photo courtesy The Recording Academy

As this is a peer-voted 
award, the artists in the trenches are the ones making the selections.
 There is, however, an unsung hero in the game. The “machine” that creates and puts on the GRAMMY Awards telecast is a team of dedicated tech veterans.

It is the most complex audio production in television.
 I was privileged to get a peek at the backstage setup prior to the show, and no matter how many 
live production events I have witnessed, this is an amazing sight to see. The construction for the 
massive sets used in the show actually begins mid-December.

The Staples Center is where the magic takes place and has been home to this awards show for
 12 of the last 13 years. In order to host “Music’s Biggest Night,” the stadium must 
undergo a tremendous transformation.
 For six days, a crew of 36 riggers loads in all the gear that is required for 21 different setups that 
are used to perform 29 separate songs.

GRAMMY Awards’ Elaborate System

There are so many moving parts to create this elaborate 
system. The staff begins with the hanging of 157 tons of lighting, sound, and set pieces from the 
ceiling of The Staples Center before the three days of rehearsals even begin. Four hundred chain 
motors are used to hoist up lighting and set pieces that hang from more than 500 points on the 
ceiling. Seventeen 53-foot tractor-trailers are utilized to bring in all this rigging.

When it is all done, 
it will take the crew 27 hours to tear it all down; a truly massive undertaking. 
As we step onto the loading dock behind Staples, there are large trucks stationed just outside. The
 rock stars inside the trucks are the ones that record and mix the entire broadcast.

Producer-engineer Glenn Lorbecki, GRAMMY Award Telecast Advisor to Music Mix Audio, and John Harris and Eric Schilling, Co-Music Mixers in the Music Mix Mobile remote recording trucks, are members of the award-winning GRAMMY telecast audio team and have been involved in their roles for several years.

As well as mixing the sound, the recordings of the rehearsals that can be used for review of the
 performance by the artists themselves to ensure that they appear as desired. Joining them was Michael Abbott, who returned as GRAMMY Audio Coordinator. As many as 150 
stagehands, 130 technicians and 18 stage managers are on hand to guarantee the ideal production.

GRAMMY Gear is Carefully Prepped

Backstage at The GRAMMY Awards is a labyrinth of intricate passageways - Photo courtesy The Recording Academy

Backstage at The GRAMMY Awards is a labyrinth of intricate passageways – Photo courtesy The Recording Academy

Backstage, there are risers and rigs everywhere that are all preset with the gear required for the 
performances. We see drum sets being shined and mic’d. Platforms are being built and what 
appears to be seating for orchestral performances is put into place. Costumes and make-up 
mirrors seem to line up at attention.

Setups labeled “Lady Gaga and Metallica” and “Daft Punk 
and The Weeknd” are ogled as we imagine what that performance will look like. This gear is all 
preset on individual platforms and then wheeled onto stage “as is” when needed, and placed into
 position by the phenomenal crew.

We then stroll up to a long table filled with many different microphones. More than 400 mics are 
needed to cover the different bands and host performances. These beauties range from being fully “
blinged out” showpieces to the state-of-the-art $5,000 to $10,000 audio gems. Microphones are also 
placed all around the Staples Center to highlight and capture hot pockets of activity in the 
audience during the performances.

A peek onto the stage reveals Bruno Mars in street clothes rehearsing his set. I think everyone 
stopped breathing for just a moment. We can see that the auditorium seats are filled with placards 
with the celebrity names and photos that are used to alert the cameramen where to find the shot
 they will need.

It takes more than 3 megawatts of power to run all the lights, sound and video equipment 
needed for this show. Twenty-three projectors were used to illuminate the huge screen behind
 Adele as she opened, singing her chart-topper “Hello.” So much power is required, that additional 
generators had to be brought in.

Talented Production Team Keeps GRAMMYs Running

Drums and equipment are lined up and ready for their cue - Photo courtesy The Recording Academy

Drums and equipment are lined up and ready for their cue – Photo courtesy The Recording Academy

Eight hundred computer-controlled lights are used, as well as
 200 fixed lights and 100 strobe lights that are run by four lighting programmers to ensure a properly
 lit show.

All of that goes into the CBS broadcast. Next year, The GRAMMY Awards is rumored to be 
held in New York, giving The Staples Center a break in the long run.

While artists were on hand to offer performances and accept awards, behind the scenes there is an 
army of rock star crew members that make this all possible. A round of applause to all
 crew members who invest so many long hours to make this happen.

Marcy Kraft is a music industry expert and contributor to EastCoastRocker.com

Music News and Moments from the Red Carpet at MusiCares The Tom Petty Person of the Year Benefit

By DONNA BALANCIA

Tom Petty may have been the star of the show, but music news was fast a furious on the red carpet at the MusiCares Person of the Year party honoring Tom Petty.

Everyone from Stevie Nicks and Gary Clark, Jr., to Taj Mahal stopped to chat on their way to their performances, mentioning new projects, tour news and their Tom Petty stories.

Gary Clark, Jr.

How does Gary feel about being credited with owning the direction of where the next generation of blues is going?

“I take that responsibility very seriously,” he said. Regarding his latest works he said he came up with the idea to really focus on music. “I thought, ‘I’m going write about music,’ he said. ‘I was listening to Curtis Mayfield and Bob Marley and thought, ‘This is my healing.'”

Gary’s gorgeous wife, Nicole, said she had no qualms about dating a musician, “My father played music,” she said. She said that Gary came to her home saw the grand piano and sat down and started to play without ever having played piano before and that won her over.

But it’s typical of his personality, she said.  Meanwhile, Gary advised that if you want to find true success, and not just score the financial victories, musicians need to be honest.

“You have to stay true to yourself,” he said. “Stay true to what’s in your heart and don’t let anybody derail you.”

John Poppo, Chairman of the Board for The Recording Academy

John said he couldn’t be happier about the direction MusiCares is going.

“It’s the best thing we do, it’s the most important thing we do,” he said. “This is a feel-good night to raise money and awareness.” Musicians can always come to MusiCares when the chips are down, when their health goes south or if they need help paying the bills because of an illness.

“They come to us confidentially,” he said. “We might pick up a mortgage payment or rent.  With Hurricane Katrina we gave more than a million dollars down there. Most of the musicians lost everything.”

As far as Tom Petty as a selection for Person of the Year?

“He has a catalogue of songs that can be be interpreted by other artists — and he said yes!”

Taj Mahal

The Blues legend, is not above teaming with younger cats. He told us he’s got a new collaboration with Keb Mo’ in the works.  “It’s not at the stage where it has a name,” he said, so right now we’re calling it “Taj Mo.”  When asked how do musicians on the rise keep the faith he said simply: “Ignore the naysayers.”

Jeff Lynne

Electric Light Orchestra wouldn’t have the prolific history without Jeff Lynne, who said Tom Petty has played a big role in his life as a friend and colleague. “He’s a great guy,” Lynne said. And though he was to sing the triumphant Petty song “I Won’t Back Down,” he didn’t care to comment on his political affiliations. When asked about his latest projects, he told EastCoastRocker.com he wasn’t working on anything and that he would be coming out with an album “eventually.”

Stevie Nicks

The songbird Stevie Nicks couldn’t say enough nice things about her pal Tom Petty

“He’s my B-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F!” she said.  She told us she jumped at the chance to celebrate him Friday night. “When we met, I felt we would be friends forever,” she said. “He tells people that in the late 1970s I insisted on being in his life and I did. I asked him if he ever considered having a girl in the band and he said ‘No girls allowed.’ But he did let me come on the road in 2007.”

Stevie said her favorite music is Joni Mitchell and she’s been inspired by how Mitchell phrased her songs. When asked about her current tour with Chrissie Hynde, Stevie had nice words. “We’re having a great time and when we finish we’re going on a comedy tour!”

Cage The Elephant

Nick Bockrath of Cage The Elephant said it’s been a tough road for the rockers and he says young bands today need to persist.

“It’s a tough period for rock, but we broke through,” he said. “It’s all about persistence and hard work. It’s a tough time for rock bands.

“We’re so thankful,” drummer Jared Champion said. “Go to band practice and write.”

“Go on tour, play to the one bartender in the place, play to your mom if you have to,” Nick said. “You have to do what it takes and it’s about doing what you love.”

 

Tom Petty Honored as Person of the Year by MusiCares Foundation and The Recording Academy

Photos by AMBER and TAKAHIRO KYONO, Edited by JOHN DALY

Tom Petty will be honored as the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year tonight.

Petty is a three-time GRAMMY winner, and he is being honored for his significant creative accomplishments, his career-long interest in defending artists’ rights, and charitable work.

“Tom burst into our musical consciousness and never let go,” said Neil Portnow, President and CEO of the MusiCares Foundation and The Recording Academy. “His brand of rock and roll benefits from a celebratory rebelliousness, infectious rhythms, and unforgettable lyrics that are incised in our imaginations. His artistic talents coupled with his quiet philanthropy make him a great MusiCares Person of the Year honoree, and we are very fortunate to have the support of our Board, past honorees, and the musical community around this special event.”

“I am so very pleased to be honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year,” Petty said. “I have so much respect for this organization, which really does care about the people in our industry. I myself know many people who MusiCares has aided in desperate situations. Again, let me say, this is a true honor.”

Tom Petty is MusiCares Person of the Year - Photo by Takahiro Kyono

Tom Petty is MusiCares Person of the Year – Photo by Takahiro Kyono

Petty formed his first bands, most notably Mud Crutch, in Gainesville, Fla. As a college town in the 1960s, Gainesville brought with it fraternity parties, Rock and Roll clubs, AM radios playing the Beatles and James Brown, and a music store where you could buy equipment on credit. Forty years after releasing his first album, Petty is widely recognized as a man for whom those things Gainesville offered still matter the most.

In each of his five decades as a recording artist, Petty has charted albums in the Top 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. His most recent recording with the Heartbreakers, Hypnotic Eye, entered at No. 1.

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Petty is an artist whose approach to record making and the business itself has earned the respect of his peers, his predecessors, and the young musicians who regularly hold him as an exemplar.  He has collaborated with Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jimmy Iovine, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Rick Rubin, and Del Shannon, among others. And while his solo recordings, including 1989’s Full Moon Fever and 1994’s Wildflowers, are frequently ranked among the most important of their respective eras, Petty has always returned to the job he’s favored: fronting one of Rock and Roll’s most celebrated bands and bringing them enough songs for the next album.

Repeatedly confronting the inequities of the artist’s side of the industry, Petty has assumed a special place as a musician looking out for other musicians, and an artist who approaches every recording project as if it might be his best.

“Tom Petty is an icon whose incomparable artistry has provided inspiration to fans and musicians all over the world,” said Alexandra Patsavas, Chair of the MusiCares Foundation Board. “To honor him with this tribute is so fitting, and we certainly look forward to an exciting and extraordinary evening.”

Tom Petty - Photo by Takahiro Kyono

Tom Petty – Photo by Takahiro Kyono

The 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year gala will begin with a reception and silent auction offering an exclusive and unparalleled selection of luxury items, VIP experiences, and one-of-a-kind celebrity memorabilia for bidding guests. The reception and silent auction will be followed by a dinner, the award presentation and a tribute concert featuring renowned musicians. This year, for the first time, a limited number of VIP experience tables will be available for $75,000 that include: 10 seats, artist soundcheck, red carpet access, backstage access with a meet–and-greet, access to the pre-show auction, and a special VIP lounge.

Proceeds from the 27th annual benefit gala dinner and concert—to be held in Los Angeles during GRAMMY® Week two nights prior to the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards—will provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical, and personal need.

The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week. The celebration culminates with the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on Sunday. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Apple Evangelist Guy Kawasaki and The Art of Innovation: ‘Don’t Let the Bozos Grind You Down’

Guy Kawasaki Says Forge Ahead With Good Product

By DONNA BALANCIA

Guy Kawasaki gave his inspiring “Art of Innovation” presentation before a packed house at the NAMM Show Saturday breakfast.

The former Apple marketing “evangelist” had an important message for the crowd of mostly music merchants: Persevere with new ideas no matter what others say.

Stick with your idea, continually develop your idea, but stay away from the clowns, he said during his 10-point presentation.

Kawasaki: No Clowns Here

“There are two kinds of ‘Bozos,'” Kawasaki said. “There is the ‘Loser Bozo,’ the kind with the B.O. and the pocket protector and there is the ‘Winner Bozo’ who wears all black clothing and has a lot of things that end in ‘I’ like Lamborghini.”

The “Loser Bozo” is not a threat.  But be careful of the “Winner Bozo,” the dangerous Bozo, who says no to your idea. You have to separate rich, famous and powerful from those who have been lucky, Kawasaki said.

Kawasaki told the audience it’s important to be “inoculated” against “Bozocity” by being attuned to phrases like “It can’t be done,” and “Why would anyone …?”

Guy Kawasaki said innovators have the bravery to crack a joke - Photo courtesy of Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki said innovators have the bravery to crack a joke – Photo courtesy of Guy Kawasaki

Generally, those who are afraid of change or the new idea, are threatened for their own job security and will say no.  So go find someone else to pitch and keep going, he said.

Kawasaki says ‘Jump’

Don’t be afraid to “jump the river” and get to the next level of development and continue to think ahead of the curve.  He also said that when you make a presentation, don’t be afraid to crack a joke. He mentioned that on a trip to Russia, he snapped a pic of himself in front of large cannon balls and made a crack about bravery in his presentation.

Other suggestions Kawasaki made include making fans not just at the elusive CEO-level, but start at the ground level, with the people in the trenches because they’ll always be your fans.

Make a niche for yourself. Find the place that the competitors are not, in terms of uniqueness and value. And if you have fans and supporters who may not exactly be in the niche you’re going for, that’s OK too. Don’t turn them away.

And work hard to get that first believer or investor.  It’s good to show people you have at least one solid supporter.  Then you can get the others.

Goldenvoice Announces Lineup for 2nd Panorama Music Festival July 28-30 on Randall’s Island NYC

Tame Impala, Frank Ocean and Nine Inch Nails headline the second annual Panorama Music Festival on Randall’s Island Park July 28-July 30.

Solange, alt-J, and A Tribe Called Quest will also be on hand, along with Future Islands, Justice, MGMT, Nick Murphy, Spoon, Tyler the Creator, Nicolas Jaar, Belle and Sebastian, S U R V I V E, Angel Olsen, Vince Staples, and Cloud Nothings.

For more information go to the Panorama Music Festival website.

Miley Cyrus Joins The Flaming Lips for ‘We A Famly;’ Flaming Lips To Appear on Tonight Show

JOHN DALY

Miley Cyrus has joined The Flaming Lips for “We A Famly,” off the new album, Oczy Mlody.

It’s an odd friendship, but nonetheless Miley Cyrus and Wayne Coyne are wacky musician pals, creating beautiful product. “We A Famly” is the latest collaboration and the single appears on the soon to be released album Oczy Mlody.

Miley Cyrus and Wayne Coyne - Photo courtesy of OceanUp

Miley Cyrus and Wayne Coyne – Photo courtesy of OceanUp

Coyne has written with and for Cyrus, notably on her Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz release and Cyrus contributed to the Flaming Lips’ With a Little Help From My Fwends.

If you follow either of them on social media it’s easy to note the two have similar taste in outfits, in music and in style.

Coyne and The Flaming Lips are scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to promote Oczy Mlody Tuesday, and who knows who may show up.

The Flaming Lips —  Coyne, Michael Ivins, Steven Drozd, Jake Ingalls and Derek Brown — have released 15 albums in 30 years. Oczy Mlody is due out Jan. 13.

 

Saul Losada Unleashes Explosive New Album, ‘Energy’ To The Delight of Blues Rock Fans

By JOHN DALY

Saul Losada puts out positive energy.

The amazing instrumental guitarist has released a heartbreaker of a record that any fan of great blues rock will love, called Energy.  To say the new album is an uplifting work is an understatement.

Losada, whose recordings have gotten the attention of critics and fans alike, has been honing his craft for many years.  He’s played everywhere from House of Blues to Café Latino Jazz Festival in Spain and has shared the stage with notables like blues guitarist Keith Wyatt.

Photo courtesy of Saul Losada California Rocker

Photo courtesy of Saul Losada

His energy is positive and he has adapted his world experience into a story that music lovers all over the globe can related to.  Losada is front and center on Energy, which boasts eight tracks that keep the listener excited and looking for more. The album was produced and engineered by Dan Blanck of Blanck Records.

Losada has been a classic vinyl fan, listening to the likes of The Beatles, Elvis and Bob Dylan since he was a young child.

He’s traveled the world playing with the top acts in the business ranging from rock to rythm and blues.

Check out Losada’s music here.

Losada has an intriguing take on blues-rock. His innovative approach is refreshing.

Saul Losada - 'Energy'

Saul Losada – ‘Energy’

His biggest influence has been Jimi Hendrix, as many of his works have a fuzzy bluesy style Hendrix was known for.  It’s easy to believe he also is a fan of Les Paul, Jeff Beck and B.B. King.

One thing we appreciate about Losada is he takes it one step further and has created his own type of alternative influenced blues.  So while he may have been influenced by the greats, Losada clearly has carved out his own niche in a competitive field.

Tracklist: 1. Morning Light 2. Energy 3. Bold as Love 4. People Get Ready 5. The Green River 6. Maybellene 7. The Thrill Is Gone 8. Fasten Your Seatbelt

 

Richie Sambora and Orianthi to Open The NAMM Show 2017 in Anaheim Jan. 19

Rock Duo play The NAMM Nissan Grand Plaza Stage

By DOTTIE PARIS

RSO: Richie Sambora and Orianthi will make their NAMM Show debut and kick off the annual music merchandiser’s convention in Anaheim with a centerpiece performance on the Nissan Grand Plaza Stage.

Sambora and Orianthi will bring their deft fret work and monster screams to the NAMM Show on Jan. 19. Grammy Award winner Sambora, also known for his passion for philanthropy, will offer up his world-renowned Songwriters Hall of Fame talent, addictive hooks and poetic lyrics.

Platinum-selling guitarist Orianthi has enjoyed a career as a touring artist for the likes of Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper and many others, and was named by Elle magazine as one of the top “12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists.” The pair have spent the past year touring the globe and will perform at The NAMM Show directly following a tour of the U.K., Asia and Orianthi’s native Australia.

RSO: Richie Sambora and Orianthi will play center stage at NAMM - Photo courtesy of RSO

RSO: Richie Sambora and Orianthi will play center stage at NAMM – Photo courtesy of RSO

On Friday evening, January 20, former center fielder for the New York Yankees, music education advocate and accomplished jazz musician Bernie Williams and his All-Star Band will take the stage to perform in The NAMM Foundation’s Celebration for Music Education. Williams, who enjoyed a 16-year career in Major League Baseball, is a classically-trained guitarist, Latin Grammy-nominated (2009’s Moving Forward) musician, and designated Turnaround Arts artist a program from the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities.

Williams and band will welcome fellow music and arts supporter, Turnaround Arts artist, singer, songwriter, and “Life is Beautiful” hitmaker, Keb’ Mo’, along with additional surprise performers throughout the evening. The NAMM Foundation’s Celebration for Music Education is designated to celebrate the many donors and supporters of the Foundation’s efforts and to encourage attendees to join in the organization’s efforts.

RSO: Richie Sambora and Orianthi - Photo by Peter Tea

RSO: Richie Sambora and Orianthi – Photo by Peter Tea

On Saturday, January 21, The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus celebrates its 20th Anniversary with The John Lennon Imagine Party featuring Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Ronnie Spector and The Ronettes. As the “Original Bad Girl of Rock & Roll,” Spector is best known for a long string of classic “girl group” rock anthems such as “Baby I Love You,” “Walking in The Rain,” and the international number one smash, “Be My Baby.”

The rock icon has charted material in six consecutive decades, and along the way collaborated with everyone from Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen, to Eddie Money, Joey Ramone and The Beatles. Ronnie and John Lennon first met in London during the Ronettes’ first U.K. tour in January of 1964, and in 1966, the group was personally chosen by The Beatles to open their final tour. From their first meeting forward, Lennon and Ronnie shared a close friendship with Lennon playing and singing on Ronnie’s first solo recordings in 1971. The night will celebrate the Lennon Bus’ 20th Anniversary, the connection we share through music, and inspire those in attendance to continue to build a more musical world.

Each act will start at 6:00 p.m. and be preceded by a variety of performers throughout the day. The previously announced schedule is available here: https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2017/events/schedule#concerts

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inducts Journey, Tupac Shakur, Yes and Joan Baez in Diverse Class of 2017

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Honors Rebels and Trendsetters

Pearl Jam is among the diverse inductees for Hall of Fame, pictured here at MSG - Photo by Tammy Lo

Pearl Jam is among the diverse inductees for Hall of Fame, pictured here at MSG – Photo by Tammy Lo

By DONNA BALANCIA

Legendary folk singer Joan Baez, Seattle grunge leaders Pearl Jam and the late rapper Tupac Shakur have been tabbed among 2017 Inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Journey, Electric Light Orchestra and Yes have also earned their way into the Hall, as voted by their musical colleagues. Producer Nile Rodgers, who molded the sound of superstars across the board, will receive the Award for Musical Excellence.

The musicians will be honored April 7 at Barclays Center in Brookyln, N.Y.   A special exhibit highlighting the accomplishments of the inductees will open March 30 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has come to honor a range of differing styles of music over the years. Rap music, folk, blues and electronic genres are all considered to be part of the rock and roll experience, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CEO Joel Peresman says.

Steve Perry and Journey to Reunite for Hall?

Steve Perry, the dynamic former frontman of Journey, with whom the band recorded “Don’t Stop Believin’,” among other hits posted a statement to the site Steve Perry News:

“I am truly grateful that Journey is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”  It’s expected that Steve will reunite with the band at the April 7 event.

Journey’s founding guitarist Neil Schon told Ultimate Classic Rock: “Musically speaking, I’d love to have him do a song with us – or two, or whatever. … I’m open to everything. I’m very open-minded to whatever happens, and any ideas that are brought forth.”

Supergroup The Last Shadow Puppets Release Mod Rendition of ‘Les Cactus’ to Promo EP

The Last Shadow Puppets have released a new video, “Les Cactus,” to promote The Dream Synopsis EP.

English supergroup consists of Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys, Miles Kane of The Rascals, James Ford known for Simian, Simian Mobile Disco, and as producer and Zach Dawes of Mini Mansions. The guys have taken a page out of the retro book for “Les Cactus.”

The video is hilarious and shows The Last Shadow Puppets are still enjoying their time together.

The Last Shadow Puppets released their first album The Age of the Understatement in 2008. They followed up eight years later with Everything You’ve Come to Expect in 2016.

The Dream Synopsis EP was recorded live in one day at Future-Past Studios in Hudson, N.Y., and features new versions of “Aviation” and “The Dream Synopsis,” along with a selection of cover versions, first heard live during The Last Shadow Puppets’ summer 2016 tour.

You can order The Dream Synopsis here.

Track List: 1. Aviation; 2. Les Cactus – original by Jacques Dutronc; 3. Totally Wired – original by The Fall; 4. This Is Your Life – original by Glaxo Babies; 5. Is This What You Wanted – original by Leonard Cohen; 6. The Dream Synopsis

Metallica To Celebrate Eleventh Album, ‘Hardwired … To Self-Destruct’ With Live Stream

Metallica will celebrate the launch of their eleventh studio album Hardwired…To Self-Destruct with a very special performance that will be live-streamed on Friday Nov. 18.

The show can be seen at 4 PM Eastern and 1 PM Pacific time in the United States.

Sponsored by Vans, which touts 50 years of “Off The Wall” heritage in action sports, art, music and street culture, the Metallica live stream will broadcast from House of Vans London.

Expect to see live performances of songs from the new album as well as a slew of classics from the Metallica back catalogue and you can catch the entire performance courtesy of the live stream live at www.houseofvanslondon.com

Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton Hit the High Notes at Soul Train Music Festival in Las Vegas

Singer Tish Hyman performs onstage during 2016 Soul Train Music Awards - Soul Train Music Fest on November 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Paras Griffin/BET/Getty Images for BET)

Singer Tish Hyman performs onstage during 2016 Soul Train Music Awards – Soul Train Music Fest – Photo by Paras Griffin for EastCoastRocker.com

Last night, Jill Scott, Tyrese, Anthony Hamilton and Tish Hyman ruled the stage as part of the Soul Train Weekend “Soul Train Music Festival” at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

The Soul Train Weekend continues tonight with the highly anticipated The Soul Train Awards.

The Soul Train Awards will air on BET on Nov. 27.

American singer-songwriter and rapper, Hyman, kicked off the festivities with her smooth hits such as “Subway Art” and “Four Letter Word.”

Next up was Hamilton, GRAMMY Award-winning R and B singer and record producer, who had the crowd singing along to his funky sounds.

Singer/Actor Tyrese Gibson performs onstage during 2016 Soul Train Music Awards - Soul Train Music Fest - Photo by Paras Griffin for EastCoastRocker.com

Singer/Actor Tyrese Gibson performs onstage during 2016 Soul Train Music Awards – Soul Train Music Fest – Photo by Paras Griffin for EastCoastRocker.com

Comedian and actress Luenell even danced with him for a moment while he was running through the crowd during one of his songs.

The energetic audience exploded with screams when singer and actor Tyrese took over the mic.

Flashing his dazzling smile, he kept the party going as he performed a medley of his classics hits.

Last but not least was three-time GRAMMY award-winning singer-songwriter Scott, who shut down the Mandalay Bay Events Center with her epic rifts and powerful vocals.

Jackson Browne, Karen O and Blake Mills Shine at D’Addario Benefit Concert at Bric House in Brooklyn

Jackson Browne joins D'Addario Foundation benefit

Jackson Browne joins D’Addario Foundation benefit – Photo courtesy Sham Hinchey

By JOHN DALY – Jackson Browne, Karen O and Blake Mills led an all-star cast of musicians for a special night of music that raised thousands of dollars in support of music education.

Music Makes You, a benefit concert put on by the D’Addario Foundation, had many highlights, including an impromptu performance by Jackson Browne, who joined Mills and Brooklyn’s own Lucius for a special rendition of “Willin.’” Jackson also joined Mills, Lucius, Smokey Hormel, Marc Ribot and Julian Lage for “Take It Easy.”

Lucius brought down the house with “Dusty Trails” and Karen O and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs performed beautiful acoustic versions of “Gold Lions” and “Hideaway.”

An All-Star band of musicians entertained at D'Addario Foundation

An All-Star band of musicians entertained at D’Addario Foundation – Photo courtesy Sham Hinchey

Other high points included an all-star performance by Hormel, Ribot, Lage and Mills, who performed innovative renditions of Lonnie Johnson’s “Tomorrow Night” and Duke Ellington’s “Blues In Blueprint” and wowed audiences with their skillful harmonization and synchronized guitar work.

GRAMMY winner Janis Ian performed her top hit single “At Seventeen” and also treated the audience with an exceptional performance.  Kaki King performed  “Tiny Pan.”

Through the D’Addario Foundation, they’ve touched the lives of thousands of kids by giving 10 percent of its  net profits each year to over 200 of the best grassroots programs in the world.

Fred Armisen’s band, Test Pattern, Performs Single ‘Art + Student = Poor’ on Late Night Show

Bill Hader and Fred Armisen introduced one of their new pseudo-bands to the public on Late Night with Seth Meyers. 

With Armisen fronting, Test Pattern took the stage and performed their new song, “Art + Student = Poor,” which tells of the struggles of being an artist and also being young. And poor.

Hader and Armisen, former Saturday Night Live players, are known for their satirical work on the IFC series, Documentary Now! which spoofs some of the most renowned bands. Test Pattern is expected to make an appearance The IFC show is in its second season.

See free episodes at IFC Web page.

One thing for sure, these guys know how to write the minimalistic Talking Heads-style classic lyrics:

“Got into art school
I’m gonna paint what’s in my mind
Collecting little metal things that I find
And sharing food with my friends …
Every day we talk about colors
I like to look at shapes
Somebody mention music?
Music and sound
Sound like bwa-ha-ha-ha”

 

Jim Peterik Has ‘The Eye of The Tiger’ with New Album of His Hits, ‘The Songs’

Fan-Curated Album of Chart-Toppers Hits the Market

By DONNA BALANCIA – Jim Peterik’s new album, The Songs, is appropriately named.

The creations on Jim’s new album include some of the biggest hits of our time, like “Eye of the Tiger,” and “Hold On Loosely.”  He wrote them for super bands like Survivor and .38 Special, but now Peterik performs them unplugged on his new album, The Songs.

He keeps his light under a bushel. In addition to writing the famous Rocky III theme, “Eye of the Tiger,” by Survivor, a band he founded, and “Hold On Loosely,” there are a host of other chart-toppers. His first mega-hit was the 1970 song “Vehicle,” originally performed by his first band, The Ides of March, and then covered by Blood, Sweat and Tears.  Jim was only 19 at the time “Vehicle” soared to success.

But The Songs, takes tunes selected by him — and his fans — and gives them a new treatment, all unplugged, which is a departure from the big, electric sounds that gave the songs their pathway to the top of the charts.

“I’m really proud of this album,” Peterik said. He admitted it wasn’t really in the plans to come out with an album of all his hits that he would perform, but he went with what the fans wanted.

Chart-Topping Hits Curated and Re-Imagined

peterik-albumAmong additional songs Jim has redesigned and which he performs on The Songs are: “Caught Up In You,” by .38 Special and “High On You,” and “Is This Love,” by Survivor.

The Songs was a Pledgemusic project and now Jim’s a big believer in the process of self-funding.  Those who pledged money to help produce the album received some very special gifts and honors.

“The whole pledge music was a neat thing,” he said.  “We had the fans pick out the songs and the album shots and that was cool. I offered various cool things, we even had a songwriting seminar via Skype, held at one of the houses in Minneapolis.”

“There were some I knew I had to do and some I wanted to do,” Jim said. “I wanted to do a reimagining of ‘Vehicle.’  I didn’t know what I would do with it and I wanted to re-do ‘Eye of the Tiger.'” Buy The Songs on Amazon

Fred Mollin, Producer

Jim selected producer Fred Mollin, who produced Jimmy Webb’s 10 Easy Pieces to help him create the sound on The Songs.

“I was so blown away by album I played over and over; turned out he’s a big fan of my songs, he said, ‘Why don’t you let me produce the album?’  We got into preproduction we took it song by song and one by one we reinvented them,” Jim said.  “Who would have thought to put a banjo to ‘Eye of the Tiger?’  Fred said, ‘Now picture it with a fiddle and I was starting to drink the Kool Aid.  The fans picked ‘Caught Up in You,’ which I wrote for 38 Special. I’m really proud of this album.”

He should be.  Jim takes these tried and true hits and turns them into completely new creations.  He adds a country twang to “Eye of the Tiger,” He gives “Caught Up in You,” a symphonic treatment and “High On You” is reimagined as a Calypso tune.

Jim admits that it took him a little bit of of time for him to go with the flow.

“I’ve been gun-shy of producers who don’t have vision,” Jim said. “But Fred totally changed my mind.”

Today’s Music

Being from Chicago, where brass has been an integral part of rock music for decades, what does Jim think about the lack of a horn section in the music today?

“To me, horns never went out of style, and I think we helped put the brass sound on the map. I think it’s gonna be the next big thing. the acms with brass is definitely in the country scene in the show. if you add brass to a live show it really adds a lot.

Advice for the aspiring musicians?

“Do it because you love it, there’s no easy buck,” Jim said. “You have to think of yourself as a live act. Making money on the road and sell merch. The mechanism isn’t there any more. The money from iTunes is miniscule. Concentrate on original music, get your message out through digital media, and keep building your fan base. There are so many conduits to expose the music. Don’t be afraid to give it away in favor of exprosure. Give them verses and chorus. Cut a simple video and post it on Youtube. The days of talent scouts are over.”

Survivor was Scouted

peterik-we-all-bleed-redJim remembered how back in the day, he was scouted and how Survivor was signed.

“With Survivor, John Kalodner of Atlantic signed us in 1979, so we were scouted.  We went into SIR studios, John had this beard and long suit. He said, ‘What else ya got?’  He liked one of our songs that never became a big hit but proved to him we could write.

“John signed everyone, he signed Aerosmith, Peter Gabriel, he dressed up in a wedding dress for Aerosmith pump video.  Those days are few and far between. not to say you can’t strike lightning in a bottle and become a sensation. But it could be that someone will be in the audience who works for a label. But don’t get into it thinking you’re going to be the next Adele, but talent will out.”

Jim Peterik: Music was ‘My Calling’

“It’s all I ever wanted to do,” he said. “I had two older sisters and at this time, Elvis was coming on the scene. I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Then my sisters would bring home the 45s of Jerry Lee Lewis, and the Everly Brothers.  It was the perfect way to grow up in music. Hully Gully Bay was the place, some place to Hully Gully. My dad bought me an electric guitar, I played in front of the class and the people went nuts I was the most popular boy in 7th grade. I was feeling like I was on mission.”

The Songs is being distributed through iTunes and Amazon, but vinyl is not out of the question, Jim said.

“I love it, but ‘s very expensive,” he said.  “I love the idea of vinyl, but right now, there’s such a glut at pressing plants, there’s a wait. It’s more popular than it’s been in years.

Touring, Performing and Life

He’s been touring to support the album and he’s also been touring with The Ides of March.

“In a nutshell I met my wife Karen 43 years, met her in line to see the Turtles in 1968, she went to a  different high school. we were in line and I was looking at this gorgeous girl, she turns to me and says ‘Aren’t you Peterik? I just saw your band, The Ides of March,’ and we picked it up and never looked back.

Married since 1972, Jim and Karen had son, Collin, who plays with Jim and his band, and now Jim and Karen are new grandparents.

“My father was a sax player on the weekends, so my family always loved music,” Jim said. “I never pushed Collin into music, I let him take his course. iIteach by example not by lecture and I’m happy he’s found his way.”

In today’s political climate, does music fit in?

“Songwriting for me is the greatest agent for change,” Jim said. “We are trying to change the world through music. Instead of moping around, when we get on stage we are triumphant. There’s nothing like people breaking out of a bad mood. Music brings hope.”

For more information on Jim and his music, check out his beautifully designed web page at JimPeterik.com and the Jim Peterik Facebook Page.

 

At The Drive In Cancels Remaining North American Shows; Thus Far, Band Expects to Tour Europe

At The Drive In has cancelled the remainder of its North American shows, the band announced. Lead singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala cited health issues as the reason for the cancellation.

A post on the band’s Facebook page went into further detail:

“Apologies to all our fans who have tickets but following our news earlier tonight, we regret to announce that all further shows on our North American tour, up to and including the Amnesia Festival appearance on June 25th are cancelled. Tickets can be refunded from point of purchase. We will be back to make up these shows in the future. Thank you for your continued support.”

The band cancelled shows in Boston and Washington, D.C. in addition to the Montebello, Canada-based Amnesia Fest.

As of now, the band plans to follow through with its European tour.

Magic Lightnin’ Boys Rip Some Good Ol’ Southern Rock With Funky New Album ‘Stealin’ Thunder’

Magic Lightnin' Boys - Photo courtesy Magic Lightnin' Boys

Magic Lightnin’ Boys – Photo courtesy Magic Lightnin’ Boys

With Magic Lightnin’ Boys, the South (Of Ohio) Rises Again – Review

By DONNA BALANCIA

The Magic Lightnin’ Boys have done what the U.S. couldn’t do in more than 100 years of trying.  The band has united the South and the North.

With ripping guitar, cool songs and a charismatic frontman, the Magic Lightnin’ Boys take Southern Rock, add their own funky style, and the resulting blend is hot Rock N Roll.

They’ve got a new album called Stealin Thunder, and it sure is appropriately named.

It’s like these Cincinnati guys took every Southern rock song from the heavens, blended in their own harmonica-laced upbeat funk, and thrust the genre down upon the people like a bolt of lightning.  Maybe that’s how the band got its name, because these Magic Lightnin’ Boys really give a charge.

Quasi-Swampy Tone

Magic Lightnin’ Boys are powered by lead vocalist Casey Gomez, whose deep and rowdy yet melodic voice sounds like a combination of Robin Trower and Darius Rucker, except this guy is more like Hottie and the Blowfish.  Stage presence he’s got.

magic lightnin boys

The Magic Lightnin’ Boy bust open the Southern Rock genre – Photo courtesy of Magic Lightnin’ Boys

Gomez’ voice has a quality that gives the group a retro bluesy sound, underscoring a truly American and quasi “swampy” tone.  The guitar work and bass is aces and it’s apparent that the Lightnin’ Boys are influenced by Marshall Tucker and the Allman Brothers.

One of the reasons we say this is because we heard the cut “April Rain.”  The song has some resonant sounds and cool lyrics:

“Good love is hard to find, but one thing they never tell you is it’s always better with a cheap-ass bottle of wine.  When she cries it’s like April Rain, washing away the pain…”

Not to march out some of the fun old bands of the 1970s, but someone in the Magic Lightnin’ Boys is a Pure Prairie League fan, judging by some of the other hot tunes.  It’s nice that a modern band can take the old Southern Rock classics and put a new upbeat spin on them.

magic lightnin' boys stealin thunderA lot can be said about Brian Tarter’s ripping guitar and backing vocals, Richie Lee’s out of control bass and Kurt Lipphardt’s complicated and combustible work on the kit.

Other standout numbers on Stealin Thunder are “Roll,” “The Ride,” and “Rubber Side Down,” the latter of which is reminicent of Jim Stafford’s hit “Spiders and Snakes,” only with a faster, fun pace.

It’s amazing how a little application of talent, enthusiasm for a 30-year-old genre, and a little updating can create a whole new sound. Bravo to the Magic Lightnin’ Boys, a true gem of a band!  Your talent is welcome in the big city.

The Magic Lightnin’ Boys will be touring with club gigs and will also hit the festival circuit through summer and into the fall in support of the album.

Check out the Magic Lightnin’ Boys website 

EXCLUSIVE: Keith Levene Touts Screen on the Green Event, Talks The Clash, Punk Rock of Today

Founder of The Clash, PIL, Discusses Punk’s Evolution

Interview © 2016 IVOR LEVENE, Photos © MELANIE SMITH

Keith Levene - Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

Keith Levene – Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

I recently sat down for a long discussion of happenings past and present with the founder of The Clash and Public Image Ltd., Keith Levene.

Unless you’re more than a casual fan of the aforementioned bands, Keith is not going to be a familiar figure to you. He left The Clash prior to the band’s recording of their first album.  He founded PIL with John Lydon and then split with him after friction within the “company” but has kept his hands and his head in the punk culture since taking a break from the music scene.

If you’ve followed Keith on social media in the past few years, you’ve no doubt seen some slagging and Twitter-fighting between Keith and John Lydon over creative differences and PIL, and the haters who insist he was kicked out of The Clash for doing too many drugs.

Working from the present backwards, Keith is going to hold what can best be described as a kickstarter for punk this summer in London.  Entitled “Screen on the Green,” the event is going to be a retrospective of the last 40 years of punk,  but will also look forward and try to position itself as a catalyst for future generations of punks in music, art, and fashion.

Keith Levene wants to set the record straight, let you know that the spirit of punk is alive and well, and have you “pull your head out of your ass” when it comes to the history of his involvement in The Clash and PIL. (Part One of a Two-Part Interview, Read Part 2 at CaliforniaRocker.com)

I have questions about London 1976, the clash, PIL, punk, you, and everything.

KL: London 1976 is now Keith Levene 2016.  I never liked “London 1976.”  It was a good set of rails to run on, just to get the work out that came out of it, books and what have you.  It’s about now.  Screen on the Green is the 40th anniversary of the Clash, the Pistols, and the Buzzcocks playing at The Screen.  I stole the Steve Jobs thing:  “1984 won’t be like 1984,” and London 1976 won’t be like London 1976 because it’s Keith meets 2016.  When I did The Screen 40 years ago, it was a great show.  It was Bernard Rhodes, The Clash had just got together, the Buzzcocks, we all knew The Pistols.  It was a really great show.  It started at 12 and it was a quid to get in.  I can’t emulate that, but I can reflect what’s going on now.  I’m not going to turn up there now and do “The Clash show.”  My thing is “40 years of punk rock and we’re only at the beginning.”  I’m talking more about the spirit of punk rock than I am about punk rock.

Keith Levene - Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

Keith Levene – Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

How is it that punk still survives and just about every other form of rock is essentially dead?

I think the spirit is definitely alive.  I still hear the music, so the music is definitely alive.  Essentially rock is dead.  Corporations absorbed it and turned it into a commodity where it’s all about looks and zero talent.  40 years ago good music practically wrote itself.  There were more bands around than you could follow.  Today?  Nothing.

Everything has changed so much since then, but I think the basic premise is still the same. There are still some enemies out there, and they are very defined and focused.  At the time, we deconstructed a lot of stuff.  We weren’t responsible for so much stuff, but we were responsible for knowing when to act.  We were just kids, and now, the people who are left, they have much more responsibility, and they’re in a position to do something really good within the framework of the spirit of punk.

It’s a much scarier world today than it was in say 1976.

My thing is, here we are in this refined and upgraded world, and the ones who survived know what it’s like, and now’s the time for punk, more than ever…

What about the younger generation, do you think they feel the same way?

I haven’t solidified what I’m gonna do at The Screen (or wherever this event’s going to be, because there’s some clouds over some parts); I want to use young people, have them do their thing.  There’s certainly going to be a presence of me, and me playing, and playing some new stuff with young people.  I want the band to be called The London Power Station.  And who knows what will come out of it.  The whole idea of what was originally “London 1976” wasn’t just music.  It was music, art, design, and fashion.  I want to “bring something to the table.”

You know, just get it on.  And with a complete lean towards independence, just really do it yourself.  Based on the premise that the only fucking option you’ve got is to be a corporate robot.  There’s no fun any more, there’s no TOTP, There’s no fucking focus.  There’s a lot of people out there that are really interesting, and I just want to pool them.  We’re not a band, we’re not a company, we’re a collective, I just want to create a lot of potential.  The only poster they had up at the screen on the green when I went to talk to them was of this event that was four years ago.

Do you think this is going to spur something new?  The corporations have pretty much taken over and ruined what was once a great art form.

Yeah, no doubt.  I wrote a Clash tune and officially recorded it last year and it’s called “The Voice of Punk Rock.”  And yeah, the corporations have taken everything and sanitized it and ruined it.  The thing is though, just fuck that, I mean we’re never gonna take that down.  I just say fuck them, watch this, they haven’t ruined anything.  I just want a good event, to create some fucking avenues,

Do you think it will go further than just a good event?

Keith Levene - Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

Keith Levene – Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

It’s not like I think I’m gonna take over and be the Richard Branson of Punk, or the anti Simon Cowell, it could be this, it could be that, it’s just a question of pooling resources, I mean the outlook’s different these days, isn’t it?

Everything is very cynical these days.  You can’t make a record or really hit it big without looking perfect.

We know this, and it’s all fucking bollocks, but obviously you and I can both see past that, right?  I think the point of making a record today is “where the fuck can we focus them”?  These writers today really can’t write a fucking thing unless they’re told what to write.  Well, what the fuck’s going on?  It’s just stupid.  It’s the parity with 1976 that I’m trying to create; it’s the same job.

Have you been treated unfairly by the press?

Yeah, it’s fucking awful.  The stories that are out there are so warped.  They only mattered then and it’s really about now.

You’ve started an institute haven’t you, The 1976 Institute?

I really need to rename this shit, I was calling it “The Institute” but I don’t know what we’re going to call it at the moment.  The name really doesn’t matter.  It’s just kind of a legal problem for reasons I just cannot be bothered to go into.  It’s not going to be called “The Institute” although I really did like the name and it’ll be a drag if I can’t use it, but I don’t know what I’m gonna call it yet.

The thing we were going to put together was something educational with all these modules and master classes and it really just wasn’t my bag, I really wasn’t liking it.  So what I really wanna do is put an event together and really observe what’s going on.  I’m making this movie to go with it.  I’m going through this whole process and I’m filming a lot of it for a movie and I’m not going to decide on it until it gets closer to the event.

So the institute really should be a reflection of what we achieve at this event. If it comes together and it just ends up being a good gig and an OK movie then it turns into a really cool networking event.  I’m having all kinds of really good ideas, I’m even thinking of putting Wobble into this, for performance, just because he’s really good, and we’re really good together.  Like I said, I really haven’t decided what it’s going to be.  The idea is to pack as much potential into it as possible so something really good can come out of it.

What about helping new artists?  Helping them get gigs, record deals, things like that?

What I want instead is to have all the artists work together and figure it out. I don’t want to say, “Hey, this is how you should do it.” Unfortunately, a lot examples of how to do it aren’t available these days.  The only person I’ve seen that’s really made out in the corporate sector and got what he wanted is Nile Rogers.  He’s the only guy I’ve seen that’s excelled and really made the corporate thing work.

Interesting that you use Nile Rogers as an example.  He’s been up for nomination into the Rock Hall 10 times now I think, and has still yet to be inducted.  He’s one of the most underrated musicians of all time.  

He’s very cool about it.  He doesn’t really need the adulation; he just gets on with it.

He’s also partially responsible for the popularity of the entire Disco genre, and had his hands in a lot of funk.  

Yeah, he’s absolutely brilliant as both a producer and a musician.

That’s the kind of pull and power you absolutely need to make the corporate thing work.  You don’t need to do anything and people will just welcome you.

Keith Levene - Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

Keith Levene – Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

Let’s say you do put something really good together, some really good band.  How could you possibly keep them from being bought out by corporations?

That’s where the institute comes in, right.  I mean ultimately, it’s their own fucking choice.

Forty years ago, you didn’t have to worry about this sort of thing.  You didn’t have to worry about the corporations snapping up every new artist.  Or did you?  Back then you had greedy record companies doing the same thing, right?

At least back then, they let a lot more art in and they gave artists a lot more freedom.  Now they’ve got it all tied up because of money.  They’re such a bunch of fucking pricks you know.  And we all hate them, right?  But at least it gives you something to rub up against.  It doesn’t have to be anger, but there’s an energy.  So there’s no need to break the walls down, just create an alternative. It can be done, and it has to be done.  It’s 2016, it’s not 1976.

Has it reached critical mass yet?

I haven’t gotten all the youths I need yet, but I’m getting some really good results.  So I can’t say that much about it.

Read Part 2 of the Keith Levene interview at CaliforniaRocker.com