Thanks for checking out my little corner of the Internet again. There really are no rules or expectations of what I am going to do here. Immediately after completing my first one though, this piece started writing itself in my head. It’s also shifted back and forth a bit during that time. The Wildhearts recently released their latest studio album ‘Renaissance Men,’ and it is quite simply a monster of an album. It is a serious album of the year contender with its 10 mostly compact songs reminding us of those albums of yesterday that did not waste time and placed an emphasis on all killer, no filler. That album served as the inspiration for the topic here- the stigma of mental illness.

 

Completing the first half of the album, ‘Diagnosis’ finds the band making a powerful statement that cannot be heard enough. The album has been on constant rotation, and that song kept nudging me to emphasize it for anyone that carries a mental health diagnosis with them. Coincidentally, I also saw a study by Record Union which indicated 73% of independent musicians suffered from some form of mental illness (https://www.the73percent.com/). I do not believe this is by any means a new phenomenon, but there has thankfully been much more awareness raised now. Unfortunately, there continues to be a stigma attached to mental illness that needs to be destroyed. People are NEVER a diagnosis. I do not care if it is a physical health condition or a medical health condition. Labels have genuine consequences.

 

‘You are not your diagnosís
You’re not that prescription in your hand
You are not your diagnosís
Simplified for them to understand’

(Ginger Wildheart, The Wildhearts, ‘Diagnosis’ from their latest album ‘Renaissance Men’)

 

I have worked in behavioral health for many years and have seen remarkable changes taking place within the field which are innovative and produce remarkable results. I remember the first time the clinic I where I worked brought a Peer Support Specialist (PSS) on board. We only had one, and there was some definite ignorance among the clinical team as for the first few days there was an unsaid belief that the PSS probably should not work with someone in crisis because it could cause the PSS to also go into crisis. I am very happy to report this belief was eradicated within about a week because we experienced the power of peer support. Clinically, we had failed to connect with the person, but this approach was remarkably powerful. In the not too distant past, I introduced a Peer Support Specialist to an inpatient psychiatric unit where the concept was entirely new.

 

“The stigma I experienced working in that facility has permeated through my recovery story. Before I reached wellness, people were telling me that my reality wasn’t true. Throughout my journey, having friends and loved one’s back away. Now in my profession as a Peer Specialist, being denied opportunities to help someone because it would “trigger a crisis” in myself according to their opinion. I am not my diagnosis. I am not my past. I am a person. My name is Jessi.”  Jessi Davis, MHPS RSPS Transition Age Youth Coordinator Via Hope

 

I have been fortunate that I worked in a system that celebrated strengths and meeting people where they are. It inspired a passion for me in my career to always try to do everything I can to make this world a better place. Some days are more successful than others. I have heard and seen horrific stories. I have heard and seen beautiful acts of love, empathy, support, resilience, and recovery.

 

I know that I never liked the task in school when I was asked to identify 3 strengths or things I liked about myself. I think it has become much easier with time, but I honestly do not know if it is because of the experiences I collected on my way to adulthood or some other reason. Parts of my adolescence were awful, and it didn’t change until I was well into my 20’s. I also know though I was extremely lucky and fortunate in many ways, especially in that I found coping mechanisms that worked for me. Music spoke to me and was my escape from the challenges I experienced. I also began writing in a journal, and, while they were initially song lyrics, my limitations in musical talent (having none) meant that these would become essentially poetry, even if that wasn’t what I wanted to call it due to preconceived stereotypes about my role in this world as a man and how we are trained to guard our feelings. My darkness I felt when I was younger had outlets-  healthy outlets.

 

Along the way in my career, I was presented with an exciting opportunity. Despite having no behavioral health diagnosis, I had the opportunity to attend a two week Peer Support Training class as part of my orientation for a job. Part of the training is the Peer Support Specialist being able to share their story in a way that inspires hope and resiliency. It was scheduled for about the middle of the training, and I felt uncomfortable with the idea of being in the class that day. I felt like I was an outsider and was betraying my classmates trust in some way. On the second or third day, I said something to one of my classmates during a break. This came out later that day in class, and our instructor told me he was sure I would have a story to share. Sure enough, I was annoyed that we only had 10 minutes to share as I felt it was not nearly enough time. While I have never experienced some of the things my classmates had, I had experienced similar emotions, similar moments in my life, and was moved by the stories I heard. Those two weeks have been extremely inspirational in my career. I have worked with others who have also received that training, and the power and energy these individuals radiate with afterward are contagious.

 

Turning this back to the song ‘Diagnosis’ and what inspired this, people are never just one thing. If you take 60 seconds and write down everything you are, I am sure you will have quite a list. It might start with father, son, husband, supervisor and then it gets really interesting as we drill down even deeper into what makes us who we are. To label someone as a disease takes away everything else they are. I have been fortunate to work with a CEO who frequently serves to remind others of this and has inspired significant changes in organizations across multiple States on this side of the pond with his approach. He also plays to people’s strengths and understands that you meet the person where they are in their reality, which can be quite challenging for some staff. Whatever the person is experiencing is what is real to them, if that is not validated, what reason does the person have to trust you?

 

If you watch the evening news, scroll Facebook or Twitter, pick up a newspaper after a horrific event, you will be hit hard with the power of stigma as people are quickly labeled or assumed to be (fill in the derogatory word that comes to your mind). What word was it for you? How did that become your conditioned response? Statistics over the years have demonstrated that individuals diagnosed with a serious mental illness are more likely to be the victim of a crime than the perpetrator.

 

“Using longitudinal data of more than two million individuals and multiple independent variables, the Danish study found that individuals with mental illness are at 2.5 times higher risk of being subjected to any crime compared to the general population, and at even higher risk of being subjected to violent crimes.” Jeffrey Swanson PhD (https://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/fixing-the-system/features-and-news/4007-research-weekly-violence-victimization-and-serious-mental-illness-)

 

While I am not writing this to dig out all of those reasons why that might happen, I believe addressing the stigma of mental illness can help serve as a catalyst for change. If people felt like they could discuss what they were feeling and experiencing without the negative responses and shame, I believe it would begin to make differences, even if the ripple of change is small. Several of them become larger and a wave can form with enough of them. It starts with each of us though. We interact with people on a constant basis in our lives. We do not know what most of them are experiencing or have gone through in the moments before we see them, earlier that day, earlier in their lives. We often get one snapshot of that person. In my worst moments, I would not want someone to take that as being all I am.

 

When I look at the artists whose lyrics have hit me in the heart and soul the hardest, it is the likes of Frank Turner, Ginger Wildheart, Tyla, and others who articulate so clearly many of the thoughts that have passed through my brain over the years. Many of their songs have become personal anthems that inspire me when I need them. They inspire resiliency and let me know my brain is not really that strange in those weak moments. Turner’s ‘Get Better’  Being a powerful anthem for many and a reminder that we can always get better as people as long as we are still breathing.

Thinking about this topic has also given me a reason to really take a look across several parts of my collection with various albums immediately coming to mind that has connections to this blog. If we travel back in time to 1978 when I was just a boy, Alice Cooper unleashed ‘From the Inside’ which was conceptually based around his stay in a psychiatric hospital of the time.

The ballad ‘How You Gonna See Me Now’ has always been one of my favorite Alice ballads, and I have really enjoyed the lyrical depth to it that became apparent as I got older. Titus Andronicus released ‘The Most Lamentable Tragedy’ in 2015 and shared the story of someone dealing with symptoms related to bipolar disorder over the course of a rock-opera with the band releasing one segment of the story as a music video  that portrays someone receiving services in an institution.

Stand Atlantic released a music video for their song ‘Lavender Bones’  in 2018 which show their singer being treated the same as everyone else and being taught to think and act the same way. She breaks free from the authority in the video, and, to me, celebrates the character she is playing by showing all of the different sides to who she is as a person through all of the colors she uses in her painting (my interpretation).

Ginger Wildheart has been very open with the challenges he experiences and their impact on him. Between Twitter, his music, his charitable actions, and even negative incidents, he has let fans have a window into a world that would not have been seen decades earlier before the rise of social media. Ginger Wildheart has albums such as ‘Ghost in the Tanglewood’ and ‘The Pessimist’s Companion’ that really speak to the insecurities and dark emotions that we experience and provide catharsis. He has also addressed these experiences in specific songs over the years as well such as ‘The Order of the Dog’ and personal favorite ‘Drive.’ Ginger was recently on “Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon” with Alan Niven talking about their recent suicide attempts and mental health care. Here is a link to the show:

Wade Bowen is a red dirt singer/ songwriter based here in Texas who has a discography of amazing albums, and he has never backed away from singing about person topics that have affected both him and his family, such as his song about post-partum depression ‘Turn on the Lights.’ He recently released a piece on YouTube that addresses his own recent struggle with a physical illness as well as the suicide of his nephew who was also a member of their team. While Bowen and the team continue to process their grief, it serves as another reminder to eliminate the stigma that keeps this topic from being discussed. Here is a link to ‘Inconsistent Chaos.’

Another band that served me extremely well back in my late teens when I felt mentally exhausted and struggling was Suicidal Tendencies. I felt like Mike Muir was often tapping into my own brain with the likes of ‘You Can’t Bring Me Down,’  ‘Alone,’ ‘Can’t Stop,’ etc. His lyrics served as a kick in the butt while also tapping into human emotions that all of us feel at some point in time. They also helped provide another realization in that we need to like the person we are and be comfortable in our own skin. I feel like that goes back to my earlier example where I would struggle as a teen to identify my own strengths.

As the Wildhearts served as the inspiration behind this blog, it seems fitting to close it with Ginger Wildheart and Ryan Hamilton  ‘Fuck You Brain’

 

 

Author: Gerald Stansbury

 

 

Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am?
coming to Blu-ray / DVD and VOD on August 13th

Fans of The Boss and his band should pencil in the release of this movie. A new documentary about “The Big Man” Clarence Clemons of E Street Band fame features interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Nils Lofgren, Narada Michael Walden, and more.

From Virgil Films & Entertainment comes Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am? – an intimate portrait of one of the most famous saxophone players in the world. After a theatrical run in select cities in July, the film will be released on August 13th as a Blu-ray / DVD package (MVD Entertainment Group) as well as Digital HD (Virgil Films). A TV or SVOD release is planned for first quarter of 2020.

After Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s marathon “Rising Tour” came to an end in 2003, saxophonist Clarence Clemons felt like he needed a break. Though the world knew him as The Big Man and a lifetime member of the E Street Band, there was also a deeply spiritual side to Clemons. So he packed up his saxophone and journeyed to China, where he could be more or less a nameless traveler in a foreign land. Following him was director, friend and photographer Nick Mead, who documented Clarence’s transcendent awakening overseas. Once Clarence had returned to the States, Mead decided to keep the cameras rolling, which is when tragedy struck: while in Florida, Clarence suffered a stroke and passed away.
With the help of producer Joe Amodei, the film became more than just a document of Clarence’s spiritual journey – it became a biography for his life and a love letter and farewell from those that knew him best.
“It was an honor and a privilege to work with Nick Mead on this project. Clarence was a true Big Man! His spirituality rose to the top of every interview we conducted.” says producer Joe Amodei.
Featuring interviews with President Bill Clinton, Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren, Jake Clemons, and former bandmates, friends, and close family members, Who Do I Think I Am? highlights Clarence’s life as musician and member of the E Street band while also presenting another side of the man not many knew when he was away from bright stage lights. It’s an intimate portrait of Clarence’s quest for enlightenment and meaning in what would sadly be the final years of his life.
The film was one of the spotlight premieres at the recent Asbury Park Music and Film Festival in April and will show in June at the NJ International Film Festival as well as the Woods Hole Film Festival in Cape Cod this summer.

I’m not sure what to expect whenever Fat Wreck release a new record long gone are the days of predicting a pop-punk 1-2-fuck you NOFX sing along what with the last Fat Mike album then CJ Ramone doing what he does best then this.

Predominantly an acoustic album with some crushing melodies and harmonies.  The songs are short sharp and right to the point – there isn’t any filler or padding out the record going on here take the awesome ‘Jetlag Blues’ with its subtle cello and drums gently keeping the tempo for its the harmonies that rule here and then to follow that up with the gentle picking of the dark ‘Adulthood’ will blow you away.

‘Ghost Of Paris’ is the first glimpse of what you might associate with the “Fat Wreck” sound but the arrangement is excellent. If you’re wondering just who the fuck these two cats are let Fat Mike explain –

I never really put a band together before. It seems like a weird thing to do, but some things need to happen. I meet a lot of people on tour. Tommy I met in Israel about 12 years ago. Great singer/songwriter playing in a punk band. He was cool, and I started listening to his solo stuff. It was great, but no one ever came to see him play in the US. I felt bad. One day in SF Tommy asked me what he should do. He said no one comes to see his punk band or his solo shows. I said that’s how it goes. You’ve been doing this for over ten years and if you’re not drawing a crowd now, you never will. He was bummed. I was bummed. He’s a great songwriter, but who cares? Two days later I remembered I met an Iranian Colombian dude on tour that was a great singer-songwriter too. I hadn’t spoken to him in years….I had a weird idea. I emailed both of them and told them to start a band together. I know you live in two different parts of the world….but I think you would make a great two-piece band. Let me produce the record and we’ll see how it goes. You don’t have to tour. Just spend a week in the studio with me. I said record short acoustic weird songs with a new wave edge. They did. We did ten songs that came in at 20 minutes. I fucking loved it. Totally simple and clean and short and catchy and I had never heard a band sound like this before…. AND like Stiff Little Fingers (Protestants and Catholics), no one expects a Jew and a Colombian Arab to be making music together. Like SLF, it’s fucking good.

I introduce to the world Tommy and June…. two kinda boring guys that make really fucking great music together.”  You know what he’s not wrong these guys have great chemistry together and their knack for melodies sounds cool and a great distraction and just how punk rock should be – keeping you on your toes and keeping it fresh and different.  the fact most of the songs are under two minutes means there just isn’t time to get bored and they never labor the point they simply don’t have the time to anyway.

There is never any substitute for a good songwriter there are plenty of great performers or players but not everyone has the chops to write a song and put the time into the melodies and harmonies and Tommy & June don’t fit into that norm.  if you trust Fat Mike then check it out you’ll probably jump on board before the record is over and that’s not very long.

Buy Tommy & June Here 

Author: Dom Daley

If for no other reason than playing some Four Horsemen on RPM we say Rest In Peace Frank C Starr gone but never forgotten around these parts. Frank first came to notice in Sin a band from New York before moving to the opposite coast and getting the job fronting The Four Horsemen who released a four-track EP before signing a deal to record and release ‘Nobody Said It Was Easy’ for Rick Rubins Def America.

The group became notorious for their lifestyle, total Rock and Roll attitude and constant run-ins with the law, and in 1991, Starr was sentenced to prison for his drug use. The following year Starr again landed in prison for a maximum term of one year. Following his release from prison, the group talked about a possible comeback, but on September 27, 1994, tragedy struck when Ken ‘Dimwit’ Montgomery succumbed to a heroin overdose. The tragedy was too much for both Haggis and Pape who called time and quit the group. The remaining band continued  adding a new bassist and drummer, and releasing there next album, ‘Gettin’ Pretty Good At Barely Gettin’ in ’96 on Magnetic Air Then In the meantime whilst waiting for the album to get released, tragedy struck the group when Starr was hit by a drunk driver while out riding his motorcycle down Sunset Strip in Hollywood, 

Their legacy is one EP and one absolute killer Rockin’ album ‘Nobody Said It Was Easy’ with the classic line up followed by the second album that wasn’t too shabby but a much-changed line up. Sadly Frank never woke up from his coma, and eventually died on this day in June 1999. Rest In Peace Frank you rocked man.

The MJR Group by Arrangement with IAA Presents
SKID ROW Plus Special Guests
(The Quireboys + Crash Diet + Hollowstar + Matt Mitchell & The Cold Hearts)


Multi-platinum selling band SKID ROW will embark on a full UK tour this year, which will see the New Jersey rockers playing shows across the UK, starting in WINTERSTORM FEST, Scotland on 29th November and ending at The Mill, Birmingham on 8th December. Tickets are on sale on 19th June at 9am on Eventbrite.co.uk.

Skid Row started in 1986 when a group of New Jersey kids, armed with their punk and metal
attitude, and a collection of riff-heavy, high-octane songs, set out to conquer the world, one
concert at a time. This determined and focused approach proved to be an unquestionable
success, as the group went on to clock up numerous Top Ten singles, Gold and multi-Platinum selling albums and a Number 1 on the Billboard albums chart. In other words, the world was theirs.

They might have conquered the world several times over, but guitarist Snake Sabo admits the success hasn’t changed him or the band, and Skid Row are focused on making more earth shattering music. He says: “I will always be that 16-year-old kid in front of the mirror, pretending to be Ace Frehley or Michael Schenker. It’s still about writing a great song with your friends, praying it connects with someone. That has never left me. That willfulness will always exist, and there’s so much left to say!

Joining Skid Row for a special co-headline show at Winterstorm Fest, Scotland is Hollowstar.
Surging into the top five in the ‘Best New Band’ category at Planet Rock’s 2019 awards,
HOLLOWSTAR are carving their own route to the top, paved with hard-hitting riffs and cemented by melodic yet inherently impactful lyrics.
Hollowstar will also be supporting Skid Row on every date of their UK tour apart from
Birmingham, along with quintessential British rock’n’roll band THE QUIREBOYS. Following the band’s inception in 1984, The Quireboys are certainly enjoying a revival – selling out venues around the world. 2019 saw the release of their new studio album ‘Amazing Disgrace’ – their 12th – on April 5th.
Ultimate sleaze hard rock band CRASHDIET will be joining Skid Row on five out of the eight dates of their UK tour. “Go big or go home” has been their motivational “catchphrase” for the Swedish group ever since they started out in 2000. Their undeniable flirt with the 80s big arena rock bands like Guns N’ Rose, Kiss and Skid Row themselves, combined with a notable element of punk, has made them a significant name in the revival of the sleaze and glam genre. In September 2019, they will release their fifth studio album.
MATT MITCHELL & THE COLD HEARTS will be joining Skid Row at both Winterstorm Fest, Scotland and The Mill, Birmingham. Matt started out singing and writing songs in his late teens, leaning his craft in several bands early on and Matt Mitchell & The Cold Hearts is Matt’s solo project with an array of extremely talented guests players. The project got off to a great start, with the first single ‘Black Diamonds’ released on January 25th 2019, being championed across the UK and the rest of the globe.

Full Skid Row Tour Dates:

Winterstorm Fest, Scotland – 29th November – Skid Row + Hollowstar
Warehouse, Wakefield – 30th November – Skid Row + Quireboys + Hollowstar + Matt
Mitchell & The Cold Hearts
Rock City, Nottingham – 1st December – Skid Row + Quireboys + Crashdiet + Hollowstar
Engine Rooms, Southampton – 3rd December – Skid Row + Quireboys + Crashdiet +
Hollowstar
Tramshed, Cardiff – 4th December – Skid Row + Quireboys + Crashdiet + Hollowstar
Planet Rock Stock, Trecco Bay – 6th December – Skid Row + Quireboys + Hollowstar
Corp,
Winter Rocks, Sheffield – 7th December – Skid Row + Quireboys + Crashdiet +
Hollowstar
The Mill, Birmingham – 8th December – Skid Row + Quireboys + Crashdiet + Matt Mitchell
& The Cold Hearts

*Tickets on sale from Eventbrite.co.uk, 19th June at 9am
https://www.skidrow.com/

With ‘Your Disobedient Servant’ being, in my humble opinion, one of the very best albums released in 2019 thus far the prospect of catching Alvin Gibbs and his band of Disobedient Servants live on a short run around the UK was just too much of a “one of kind” opportunity to be overlooked, plus the gig is in one of the best venues Bristol has to offer, so a ticket for this must-attend event was duly purchased.

For those of you who might never have been to The Louisiana it’s got that fantastic upstairs above a pub vibe going for it and over the years it has seen everyone from Airbourne to Fleet Foxes treading its – oh so low it could be a step – stage. Views in this place are of a premium when it’s packed out so that’s why even before local street punks Criminal Mind takes to the stage the place is a tippy toe view only kind of full.

I’m actually embarrassed to say I’ve never seen or heard Criminal Mind before tonight, I’m embarrassed because with over 10 years together as a band, playing hundreds of shows around the UK, I’m not entirely sure how they have evaded me. Their set tonight is packed full of great tunes (which I’m of course hearing for the first time) all loaded up with chant-along choruses and delivered with the kind of enthusiasm and attitude that first made me fall in love with the ‘Total 13’ era Backyard Babies. There’s a hint of The Living End to be heard during the anthemic ‘Blood On The Cobbles’ plus a dash of Rancid on show when bassist Ben Dowling takes over the vocals mid-set but what Criminal Mind do have in spades is their own identity – something which is not lost on the diehards who holler back every word. We always love it when a new (?) band falls into our laps here at RPM towers and with their third album due to be released very soon you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll be catching up with Criminal Minds very soon indeed.

Promising tracks from the  ‘Your Disobedient Servant’ album along with some choice Gibbs voiced Subs tunes plus maybe a few surprises (and guests) along the way reports online that the aptly named Disobedient Tour has been doing brisk business ticket wise is reassuring to hear given the apathy a lot of venues (not the Louisiana I might add) across the UK seemingly has towards original music right now. The army of West Country UK Subs fans makes sure that tonight is no exception and the Cheshire Cat grins on the faces of Alvin Gibbs, Leigh Heggarty and Jamie Oliver as they fight their way through the crowd to the stage does indeed speak volumes. This promises to be everything I thought it might be…even if we don’t actually get any special guests here tonight.

Kicking off with the opening 1-2 from the ‘Servants’ album, ‘Arterial Pressure’ and ‘Ghost Train’ is simply stunning in the live setting, the latter still the best Iggy song Iggy never wrote with Alvin commanding the dual role of bassist and lead singer with consummate ease. ‘Bordeaux Red’ is the first of the UK Subs songs to be aired tonight and it’s here that Gibbs truly shines in his day job, twisting his body and the strings on his Fender Precision into places other bassists can only dream of going. Elsewhere there’s a ferocious two-song tribute (‘Down On The Streets’ and ‘1969’) to Alvin’s stint with Iggy all complete with a hilarious Iggy V’s Charlie anecdote that I won’t spoil here, and then there’s Leigh Heggarty taking over the mic for a fantastic version of ‘In A Rut’ that perfectly segues into ‘Warhead’ mid-song. Of the other Subs tunes aired ‘Stare At The Sun’ from ‘XXIV’ is the wildcard Gibbs has personally chosen whilst ‘Dragging Me Down’ from ‘Killing Time’ sounds reborn devoid of the awful late-80s production that drowned that LP.

Of course tonight is really all about the ‘Your Disobedient Servant’ album and the trio certainly do not disappoint delivering the likes of ‘Dumb’ (dedicated to Trump, Farage and Bojo), ‘Clumsy Fingers’, ‘Polemic’, ‘Camden Town Gigolo’, ‘I’m Not Crying Now’ and a frantic ‘Back To Mayhem’ like the band have been on the road for months…not days. Credit also that the guys effortlessly pull off the epic soundscape that is ‘Heaven And Angels’ even with Alvin complaining his throat was a bit sore after 6 consecutive shows this really is a faultless performance.

Encoring with a run through of Ian Hunter’s ‘Once Bitten, Twice Shy’ and Urban Dogs’ ‘A Bridge Too Far’ the Servants eventually have the venue lights turned on as a subtle reminder they have broken all the Sunday night curfew rules and probably should know better than that by now…but what the hell this is punk rock, right?

Make sure you catch Alvin Gibbs & The Disobedient Servants live at Rebellion Festival this August it’s one set you really do not want to be missing.

 

Author: Johnny Hayward

Billy Liar’s “The Righteous & The Rats” comes from his debut album, “Some Legacy” out on Red Scare. This long-anticipated release is almost here and first up this Monday morning take a peek at this excellent tune from that very album.

Do you want to know what the legacy of Kurt Cobain was?  Try this new one from All The Colours this happy ditty about the impending doom of mankind is taken from the forthcoming new album ‘Vol.3.’

To round off this weeks three is the brand new video from Hands Off Gretel with ‘Freaks Like Us’

pic by tommy@tommyfoto.no

Matti Antero Kristian Fagerholm (Born 17 June 1962), you might know him as the legend that is Michael Monroe.  Not content with being the leader of the 80s best band Hanoi Rocks he then went on to form Demolition 23 (ok so Jerusalem Slim was before but that was something of an experiment) after Demolition 23 broke down he went on to record some superb solo albums as well as reform Hanoi for a few years with Andy before forging ahead with his solo career.

Beginning with ‘Nights Are So Long’ Monroe spent time living in NYC before returning to his native Finland where he still lives today.  You can debate til the cows come home as to which album is the best but for me ‘Nights Are So Long’ was the first and best.  ‘Not Fakin’ It’  followed and whilst it was commercially more accessible I never really liked the sound of the record as it tended to lean towards to Rock fraternity stateside and was the least Rock and Roll album of his back catalogue even if it did have some great tunes on it.

During the two thousands, his solo work contained some excellent self-penned songs as well as some awesome covers that gave the listener a glimpse into his record collection and what shaped him musically, before arriving at the last decade where his output and stable(ish) line up consisting of longtime collaborator and accomplice Sami Yaffa, Karl Rockfist and Steve Conte and Rich Jones are helping churn out some of the best live performances of his career as well as his most consistent albums since Hanoi.  ‘One Man Gang’ is eagerly anticipated and I’m sure will be a massive hit with fans old and new.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Svart Records were responsible for doing an amazing job on ‘Nights Are So Long’ and ‘Peace Of Mind’ and work is well underway on the next reissues. So with these the tour and new album its all ramping up to an exciting second half of 2019 and no sign of Monroe slowing down any day soon.

Ask anyone who’s seen him live as he still performs like a teenager. Constantly touring around the world playing songs from all corners of his career he still has the chops that’s not even up for debate  – the energy and above all the songs are there as is his energy  Monroe is a lifer to the cause of Rock and Roll and the multi-instrumentalist still has the passion.

Having just announced an extensive UK tour for later this year to coincide with the release of this album as well as working on re-releases of his solo albums with new packaging and bonus tracks Michael Monroe is a formidable force of nature.  when the album comes out buy it and when the tour comes around watch it.

Over twenty albums and countless singles and guest appearances, Monroe deserves all the plaudits he gets and the adulation of his many fans.  Keep Rockin’ like Fuck and Happy Birthday from RPM Online.

On this very date David Bowie unveiled his landmark album, ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars’. His breakthrough LP, it sells over 7 million copies and is hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time. As genius as it was it has to be said that without his Spiders Ziggy would have been nothing (or at least not a fraction of the success) Ronnos guitar playing was exceptional throughout as were the bass lines. Of course, the image was mind blowing even for the early ’70s.

The concept album serves as the introduction to Bowie’s most iconic of reincarnations: Ziggy Stardust, a flame-haired Martian messiah who visits Earth in an attempt to bring a message of hope to humanity in their final five years of existence. Flamboyantly dressed and dazzlingly androgynous, Stardust helps revolutionize ideas about gender and sexuality like never before.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars is recorded over a two-week period in November 1971 at London’s Trident Studios – the same place where The Beatles made “Hey Jude” in 1968. The legendary album cover depicts a resplendent Bowie posing outside of a Mayfair furriers named K. West.

The album peaks at #5 in the UK, and remains on that chart for two years, bolstered by a groundbreaking performance of “Starman” on Top of the Pops in July 1972.

Although “Ziggy played guitar” for the final time in July 1973, his blazing legacy lives on.  The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is about Bowie’s alter ego Ziggy Stardust, an androgynous bisexual rock star who acts as a messenger for extraterrestrial beings (drugs who mentioned drugs). Bowie took Ziggy on tour through the United Kingdom, Japan, and North America. The album and the character of Ziggy Stardust explored themes of sexual exploration and social taboos and it wasn’t until that fateful night in The Hammersmith Odean that Ziggy made his last appearance as Bowie ruthlessly ended the characters existence.  this after shipping over seven million copies worldwide – still to this day an incredible decision from a man at the peak of his powers.  Amazingly the album only made it to number five in the UK charts whilst barely denting the US top 75!

 

Its no question one of the most influential albums for many reasons would there have been the huge new Romantic explosion of the post-punk 80s had it not been for Ziggy?  Also, it was a big influence on the UK punk scene with many of its detractors since citing this particular tour as being very influential fashionably and musically.

 

Track from the album has been covered many times over by many different artists including Bauhaus who did ‘Ziggy Stardust’ as did Def Leppard and RPM favourite Jeff Dahl.  ‘Moonage Daydream has also been covered by varied artists such as LA Guns, Mike Scott and Tim Wheeler of Ash. whereas ‘Suffragette City’ has been covered by such polar acts as Boy George, Steve Jones, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Turbonegro and god forbid Poison! As well as recently on volume 1 of The UK Subs covers album.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/entertainment-arts-17521244/site-of-ziggy-stardust-album-cover-shoot-marked-with-plaque

Ghost Plays to Some Quarter-Million Fans on Leg One

of Metallica’s “WorldWired” European Stadium Tour

Manchester & London shows set for next week!

Ghost premieres a brand-new webizode, “Chapter 7:  New World Redro.”  This chapter first brings the viewer up to date with the Cardinal Copia-Papa Nihil-Sister Imperator storyline and then begins to lay the foundation for more backstory secrets yet to be revealed.  Check out “Chapter 7:  New World Redro”.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVvAByIDtmk&feature=youtu.be

Ghost is spending the bulk of its summer as Special Guest on Metallica’s four-leg “WorldWired” European Stadium Tour.  Leg One saw Ghost playing to more than a quarter-million fans; Leg Two kicked off on June 8, and Legs Three and Four will take place July and August.  Ghost will perform at Heavy Montreal on July 27, and then kick off its North American “Ultimate Tour Named Death” headline arena tour on September 13.

As Forbes writer David Hochman put it in his review of Ghost at the Los Angeles Forum last November, “Equal parts horror church, headbanger’s ball and midnight Stockholm cabaret, a Ghost concert draws elements from opera, Gregorian chant, classic glam rock – Kiss, Alice Cooper and Bowie, come to mind…Imagine Iron Maiden or Blue Oyster Cult under a blast of liquid nitrogen, and you start to get the vibe.”

JUNE

13-20 Metallica’s WorldWired European Stadium Tour

18       Manchester Etihad Stadium

20       Twickenham Stadium

JULY

6-21   Metallica’s WorldWired European Stadium Tour

27      Heavy Montreal, Montreal QC

AUGUST

14-25 Metallica’s WorldWired European Stadium Tour

SEPTEMBER

13 – 30 “Ultimate Tour Named Death” North American Fall Dates

OCTOBER

1 – 26  “Ultimate Tour Named Death” North American Fall Dates