Dutch rock ‘n’ rollers The Dirty Denims follow up 2017’s ‘Back With A Bang’ by releasing their brand spankin’ new long player ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’. It sees singer/guitarist Mirjam and guitarist Jeroen joined by a couple of new, denim-clad players aka Marc on bass and Suzanne on drums.

Continuing their tradition of releasing their albums in stages, 5 tracks were released as singles over a period of 6 months, this they entitled ‘Part 1’. Now, July sees the band release their full new album on CD, download and of course lovely vinyl.

 

This Eindhoven based band has been at it for a decade now and sound-wise they follow on where The Donnas left off. The Dirty Denims combine the traditional rock ‘n’ roll sound of The Runaways, Suzy Quatro and The Sweet with a slew of AC/DC riffs thrown in for good measure.

They claim to play ‘Happy Hard Rock’ and don’t take themselves too seriously.  Lyrically, we ain’t talking ‘The Wall’ here, the likes of last year’s single ‘Last Call For Alcohol’ is a testament to that. What they do deal in is upbeat, powerhouse rock ‘n’ roll with a sound and energy that makes you want to turn the dial up a notch and party with the best of them.

With its powerhouse 80’s drums, rumbling bass and tongue-in-cheek lyricism ‘Thunder From Down Under’ tips its hat to AC/DC in more ways than one and they even throw in the riff to The Cult’s ‘Wild Flower’ for good measure. ‘Roll The Dice’ follows a similar path, with killer riffs emanating from each speaker, stabs of piano, high-powered hollerin’ and cool, gang backing vocals.

‘Turn off The Radio’ will incite you to do just that and put a damn record on! Today’s radio tunes are boring anyway, right? The Dirty Denims know that and so do you!  Here, we are in prime power pop Donnas territory. Urgent, anthemic and melodic, just the way we like it. Elsewhere, ‘Creatures Of The Night’ is not the Kiss classic, but it crunches nicely and powers through, a solid traditional 80’s rocker that stands on its own two feet.

‘Band Not a Brand’ is killer, bubblegum pop full of handclaps and organ riffs. It’s their Saturday morning kids TV theme, a  middle finger to high street stores that sell Ramones shirts to Instagram influencers who wouldn’t know ‘Road To Ruin’ if it smacked them in the face. It’s also the best and most commercial song they have released to date.

‘Messin Around’ adds cool handclaps and percussion to the sound. This mixes well with Mirjam’s high octane hollerin’ and Jeroen’s token AC/DC riffage to give 70’s footstomping glam nostalgia.

They like ‘Last Call For Alcohol’ so much they played it twice! The album closes with a ‘Hangover Version’, stripped back and laid bare with acoustics and percussion, it’s the Sunday morning hangover remedy to the Saturday night party.

 

‘Ready, Steady, Go!’ is a fun, party record that does exactly what it says on the tin. The Dirty Denims are doing nothing new, they aren’t here to change the world or preach a message in these uncertain times.  But if you want escapism, if you desire something old school to kick your ass into next week and to blast from the stereo while you hit the highway to Hell, then you could do no better than visit Eindenhoven Rock City for 40 minutes or so.

Buy ‘Ready Steady Go!’ Here

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just visited your website and there are Kiss levels of merch on there.  When can we see the cutthroat bobbleheads? and what merch would you love to see for the Cutthroat Brothers?

Jason: bobbleheads would be fantastic! Just looking for somebody that will make a two-headed monster version. We’ve talked about Cutthroat Brothers barber products, you know, pomades, shampoo…maybe it should all be blood-red liquid but not stick to the skin. Or maybe it should?

Donny: potato chips, you just can’t eat one. 

Some footage from the European tour is on youtube it looks insane, how good was the tour?

Donny: The most fun on tour ever, one night I tried to hug everyone in the place. 

Jason: The tour was fantastic! Really great crowds and venues. The welcome for our first time was overwhelming. People screaming and dancing and not letting us stop playing until we played every song we knew. Tours really are about connecting with people on a personal level and that happened a lot. I’d never been to any of the places we went so everything was really fresh and exciting. We were supposed to be on tour right now. Life is cancelled due to Covid, so we wait patiently to return to work and the road.

COVID-19  has derailed everyone are there plans for a return to Europe?  What about UK shows?

Jason: Absolutely, We will be coming back as soon as the dust settles. We can’t wait to play the UK! Punk is still alive more across the pond, so wherever people want us that’s where we will be.

The live album sounds amazing will it see a vinyl release?

Donny: I’m hoping Houndgawd will do the vinyl once life is somewhat back to normal. 

Jason: Definitely we will get it out on vinyl. We will hopefully everything on vinyl as soon as the pressing plants start up again. A run of white vinyl for ‘Live in Europe’ would be fun.

How do you approach songwriting as a pair or alone?

Jason: Generally I will sketch out the song to a point then we will arrange it and finish them when we see each other. The demos sound a lot different than the final version because i just sketch them on my iphone. We are hoping to release a collection of demos sometime soon for our hardcore fans. I always enjoy listening to ones from my favorite artists.

Donny: There’s a major component to our writing that I think, makes this work, no negativity, we are friends, we do this to have fun. 

What were the decisions you had about doing this whole thing as a pair and not heading for a more traditional band set up with bass or piano or two guitars?  Is it something you might look into in the future?

Donny: funny you should ask, we have a collaboration awaiting the record presses with the legend Mike Watt. He had offered to play on our next record (‘Taste for Evil’) in our very first interview for our Debut album on his radio show.  We took him up on it and sent him the tracks, somehow emails were in the spam folder and we missed having him on the record or so we thought. That said after ‘Taste for Evil’ was set to come out we found the Watt tracks, we have 4 collaborations from ‘Taste for Evil’ that we’ll release as soon as Houndgawd is back up and running full speed. 

Jason: It was an accident. We didn’t intend it to be just two people, but it felt right and we didn’t see the need for more. We make creative decisions really quickly this way and with Jack Endino to steer us we can get a lot done fast. We don’t want to risk the squeaky wheel too. You know, the other person who is always arguing or being late, wearing shorts to gigs, you know THAT one.

Have you recorded using a full set up or are you open to ideas?

Jason: We are open to whatever for sure! It just hasn’t happened yet and probably won’t soon as long as it feels good to us.

Tell us a bit about your background in music?  

Donny: Mudhoney, ELO, EODM, AC/DC, ZZ Top. My grandma was a classical pianist and the she taught piano and organ played at funerals and weddings. My dad was a keyboardist as well he had a band pretty much my whole life and then went into playing for church. My parents said I started playing at 2, I don’t remember but I also don’t remember not playing. 

Jason: My father is a preacher, so I started playing in our family country western gospel band touring around doing Carter Family songs and such around age 13 I think. Early country and rockabilly were my first loves, then my folks bought me a Louie Louie compilation that started with Kingsmen and ended with Black Flag. My parents accidentally introduced me to punk rock and it was downhill from there.

what plays on the stereo in the barbershop? maybe a short back and sides or sponsored ‘something for the weekend’ could be on the merch desk at future shows?

Donny: Punk, Metal, Garage, Rockabilly, rap, hip hop. 

You teamed up with German label Hound Gawd Records (which you mentioned)  they’ve released some great records how did that pairing come about?

Jason: Oliver from Hound Gawd! Got a copy of ‘Taste for Evil’ when we just finished it. It was mentioned to him by our shared publicist, Ilka. He dug it and the rest is history. We love Hound Gawd! All the bands are great.

Donny: I can’t say enough about if you’re putting out your art do it with someone who loves what you do or even more than you, this is why we are with Houndgawd. 

What plans have you got in the future?  Recording?  touring? I heard you were ready to record album three in March.  Did that happen? is Jack Endino involved again?  What can we expect on the next record?  Is Mike Watt playing on it at all?  If you could get a bunch of guest musicians to join on the next record who would you love to ask?  

Jason: Jack is definitely involved with everything we do. He really is the third Cutthroat Brother. Mr. Watt has offered to play on stuff again, yes, but we don’t know any specifics. We have another album planned out. We had to push it to a safer time because of Covid but we will be at it ASAP. I’ve asked Jesse Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal, he said he would be on it but we will see. I would love to get him and Jennie Vee on the next one. Cross your fingers.

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Hound Gawd! Records

RPM Live In Europe Review Here

The legendary American rock band TESLA will release their new live album, Five Man London Jam worldwide on the 27th March 2020 on UMC. The album is a live performance of some of their most iconic songs from their catalogue. Five Man London Jam was recorded and filmed in 4K high-definition as an homage to their critically acclaimed and highly influential Top 20 platinum album Five Man Acoustical JamFive Man London Jam will be available in multiple formats including Blu-ray, 2LP vinyl, CD and digitally. The electrifying lead single “What You Give (Live),” is available for immediate download with album pre-order, click HERE to listen. Produced by TESLA, Five Man London Jam is being released in conjunction with the group’s upcoming North American tour dates that will run throughout 2020, starting in Pensacola, FL on the 14th February. For tour dates click HEREand see full routing below.

The recording of this live album took place when TESLA visited the famed iconic recording studio Abbey Road Studios for a one-night musical event capturing the band performing songs from their legendary arsenal including “Love Song” and “What You Give” along with their classic covers of “Signs” and “We Can Work It Out.”  Additionally, the band performed live for the first-time-ever their new song “California Summer Song” from their latest album Shock including “Tied To The Tracks” and “Forever Loving You.”

Preorder Five Man London Jam HERE.
For merchandise and bundle packages, click HERE.

One of the world’s most celebrated and enduring rock bands with a diehard, loyal fanbase, TESLA has enjoyed international chart, radio, and tour success for nearly 35 years, with multi-platinum albums and global album sales topping 15 million.

That they are still roaring and soaring should be no surprise. That’s just how they are built. TESLA may have been born in the mid ‘80s eruption of excess, but this band has never been about those things. Their bluesy, soulful sound is strongly embedded in the roots of organic, authentic 1970s rock and roll. The same roots that produced bands like the Allman Brothers, Grand Funk Railroad, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Aerosmith.

TESLA’s legacy is alive and well as they continue to record and sellout venues all over the world. As worn in and comfortable as your favorite pair of jeans, TESLA endures because they are a celebration of the greatest spirits of rock and roll.

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TESLA is:
Brian Wheat – Bass / Piano / Backing Vocals
Frank Hannon – Guitars / Backing Vocals
Jeff Keith – Lead Vocals
Troy Luccketta – Drums / Percussion
Dave Rude – Guitar / Backing Vocals

Tour Routing:
Feb. 14                   Pensacola, FL                      Saenger Theatre
Feb. 15                   Atlanta, GA                            Buckhead Theatre
Feb. 17                   Charleston, SC                    Charleston Music Hall
Feb. 19                   Hunstville, AL                      Mars Music Hall
Feb. 21                   Virginia Beach, VA            Sandle Center for the Performing Arts
Feb. 22                   Greensboro, NC                                   Piedmont Hall
Feb. 25                   Memphis, TN                        The Soundstage at Graceland
Feb. 26                   Houston, TX                          House of Blues
Feb. 28                   Amarillo, TX                          Amarillo Civic Center Auditorium
Feb. 29                   Albuquerque, NM             Route 66 Casino Hotel
Apr. 10                    Toppenish, WA                   Legends Casino Hotel
Apr. 11                    Wendover, NV                     Peppermill Concert Hall
Apr. 14                    El Cajon, CA                           The Magnolia
Apr. 15                    Phoenix, AZ                           Celebrity Theatre
Apr. 17                    Las Vegas, NV                      House of Blues
Apr. 18                    Tucson, AZ                              Pima County Fair
Apr. 21                    Wichita, KS                            The Cotillion
Apr. 22                    Peoria, IL                                Peoria Civic Center
Apr. 24                    Harris, MI                               Island Resort Casino
Apr. 25                    Harris, MI                               Island Resort Casino
Apr. 28                    Grand Rapids, MI              20 Monroe Live
Apr. 29                    Indianaplois, IN                                   Murat Theatre
May. 01                  Niagara Falls, NY               The Rapids Theatre
May. 02                  Columbia, MD                     Merriweather Post Pavilion
May. 30                  Paso Robles, CA                                   Vina Robles Amphitheatre
May. 31                  Los Angeles, CA                                    Hollywood Bowl
Jun. 03                    Denver, CO                            The Mission Ballroom
Jun. 05                    Thackerville, OK                                   Winstar World Casino
Jun. 06                    Topeka, KS                             Stormont Vail Events Center
Jun. 07                    St Louis, MO                          Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Jun. 09                    Nashville, TN                        Ascend Amphitheatre
Jun. 10                    Huber Heights, OH           Rose Music Center
Jun. 12                    Welch, MN                             Treasure Island Resort & Casino
Jun. 13                    Chicago, IL                             Rosemont Horizon
Jun. 14                    Cuyahoga Falls, OH          Blossom Music Center
Jun. 16                    Boston, MA                            Rockland Trust Bank Pav
Jun. 17                    Wilkes Barre, PA                Mohegan Sun Arena
Jun. 19                    Holmdel, NJ                          PNC Bank Arts Center
Jun. 20                    Gilford, NH                             Bank of NH Pavilion at Meadowbrook
Jun. 23                    Long Island, NY                   Jones Beach
Jun. 25                    Philadelphia, PA                Mann Center for Performing Arts
Jun. 26                    Pittsburgh, PA                     S&T Bank Music Park
Jun. 27                    Clarkston, MI                       DTE Energy Music Theatre
Oct. 27                    Playa Mujeres, MX           The Sands Festival at Dreams Golf Resort & Spa

THE 2020 VIVE LE ROCK AWARDS GOES LARGE ON THE MAGAZINE’S TENTH ANNIVERSARY!

 

THE LEGENDARY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL EVENT CONFIRMED TO TAKE PLACE AT THE 02 SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE APRIL 1ST

 

ICONIC 80S ROCKERS LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH TO PLAY ONE-OFF REUNION WITH FINNISH HANOI ROCKS LEGEND MICHAL MONROE FRONTING AND MUCH MORE!

 

Staking its reputation as an essential rock ‘n’ roll date in the annual calendar, with two now fabled awards nights at the 02 Islington Academy in 2018 and 2019 which saw a vast array of iconic artists performing and rubbing shoulders, the 2020 Vive Le Rock Awards is confirmed to take place this coming April 1st.

 

This time, however, the event has gone bigger and bolder, moving to the 2000 capacity 02 Shepherds Bush Empire for the party of the year that also celebrates Vive Le Rock’s tenth anniversary in print, having published its first issue in 2010, it is now the world’s biggest rock ‘n’ roll and punk magazine, independently published by Big Cheese Publishing Ltd in London.

 

The two previous years have featured live appearances from The Damned, The Stranglers, Shakin’ Stevens, Suzi Quatro, members of AC/DC, Sex Pistols, The Specials, Buzzcocks and even England football legend Stuart Pearce, and 2020 continues to up the ante.

 

This year sees Original Rudeboy – The Specials Neville Staple joining the party along with a very special one-off reformation of 80’s goth rockers The Lords of The New Church, fronted by Finnish Hanoi Rocks legend Michael Monroe on vocals. The Vive Le Rockers all-star band will once again back specially invited singers and compere for the night will see the return of Ed Tudor-Pole of Tenpole Tudor fame (and also 80s T.V show, The Crystal Maze!).  Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders are set to pick up an Icon Award and punk legend, The Damned’s Brian James will accept the Pioneer award. Two extra special guest performers are due to be announced soon along with a wealth of awards.

 

There will be a special section for rockers we have lost in 2019 including Gang Of Four’s Andy Gill, Eddie and The Hot Rods Barrie Masters (who played the 2019 VLR awards) and surf guitar legend Dick Dale.

 

The audience will comprise of invited members of the media, television, fashion and the music world as well as an allocation of tickets for the general public. The VLR Awards are a truly unique, international event celebrating the legends of our music scene. “This isn’t some chicken in a basket awards show, this is a party with the coolest people in rock n’ roll” said Vive Le Rock editor Eugene Butcher.

 

Tickets available HERE:

 

You can watch the action from the last two VLR Awards Here

 

2020 VIVE LE ROCK AWARDS!

2020 VIVE LE ROCK AWARDS! It's gonna be a wild night. Lords of the New Church- FEATURING Michael Monroe, Ed Tudor Pole, The Specials (Official) Legend From The Specials – Neville Staple, BRIAN JAMES- The Damned , 2 extra special acts and our Headline band! Plus All star guests and Presenters! Here's a sneak peak at the last 2 years.Tickets and VIP Packages at https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/the-2020-vive-le-rock-awards-tickets/artist/5330131

Posted by Vive Le Rock on Monday, 27 January 2020

What do you want from your rock and roll? Uh you yes I’m talking to you. Do you want loud guitars with about 30% Chuck Berry riff-a-rama and about 30% AC/DC  another 30% punk rock attiude like The Ramones and 10% stubbourness and a middle finger fuck you we’re doing it our way or no way at all.  Well, if that’s what your looking for then might I introduce Backstreet Girls a rock and roll band from Norway.  Who are on their umpteenth album and something of Rock and Roll royalty in their homeland and so they bloodywell should be.  They do what they do and do it exceedingly well they don’t follow fashions they just get on with what gets them off and that’s the deal they don’t experiment they just write the best songs they can at the time and kick the shit out of their equipment to get the best songs laid down.  They sing about birds, Booze and back beats oh and cars, fights and good times.  Like I said what else do you want?

 

Petter Baarli knows every chuck Berry lick off by heart and duck walks like a good un and on songs like the rapid ‘where Have All The Bad Boys Gone?’ they pose the questions.  The don’t offer the answers or come up with solutions that’s not what they’re about but fuck me sideways they do it exceptionally well and boy does it sound good when they hit full tilt.

They can marry boogie with some Ramones punk not the 50’s melodies and they’re not tipping the hat to the shagri las but they’ve stolen the good beats and guital riffs and with Bjørn Muller they have the perfect 40 a day whisky swigging razor blade vocals that have the warm edge but boy is it a marriage made in hell as they instinctively feed off one and other to deliver the best boogie rock and roll anywhere right now.

 

Its not all top down cruising round at breakneck speed waving their middle finger in the air, as ‘Phenomenal’ is laid back and grooving because they can but hold on to your ladies ‘Status Quolity’ is up next and it sounds like Motorhead found a quo songbook down the back of some backstage sofa and dusted off a few bars for themselves, oh, and that slide is Joe Perry tastic. They’ve brought us wild women and bad bad boy7as in the past but this album is rock solid and there isn’t a weakness anywhere throughout the twelve tracks.

 

‘Wild Wilder’ is down and dirty with a chorus you’ll be joining in with and punching the air with plenty of verve knowing you’ve just been given another quality lesson in bad boy boogie with Oslo’s finest.  I’d love to see these boys land a big tour and take their tunes to the masses and kick thousands of backsides in the process. To finish this one off ‘Motorhellway’ revs up and speeds off into the sunset.  Backstreet Girls have done it again they came they saw they delivered a loud rousing rock and roll fuck you!   Times might be changing with global politics in the gutter but fuck it lets rock and let ‘Normal Is Dangerous’ be the soundtrack to the impending Armageddon

Buy ‘Normal Is Dangerous’ Here

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Author: Dom Daley

Rock photographer Bill O’Leary has a book Featuring over 175 full color concert images from the ’70s through ’90s of icons like Van Halen, Rush, Judas Priest, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, Queen, Pink Floyd, Zappa, and more Available Here
During his career, photographer Bill O’Leary took pictures of some of rock’s biggest names at the peak of their powers – Van Halen, Rush, Judas Priest, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, Queen, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, etc. And now, he has opened his archives for the first time ever – assembling a collection of not only his best images, but also, offering stories and recollections behind concerts he shot over the years. Indeed, this book is comprised of over 175 full color, live concert images photographed primarily from the late 1970’s through the 1990’s.

Artists include…AC/DC, Albert King, The Allman Brothers Band, Anthrax, Blues Traveler, Bob Seger, Cheap Trick, Def Leppard, Dixie Dregs, Foreigner, Frank Zappa, Grateful Dead, Hot Tuna, Jeff Beck, Jethro Tull, Joan Jett, Judas Priest, Kiss, Marillion, Mercyful Fate, Michael Schenker Group, Molly Hatchet, Mötley Crüe, Motörhead, Outlaws, Overkill, Ozzy Osbourne, Pat Travers, Phish, Pink Floyd (The Wall), The Police, Queen, Rainbow, Reo Speedwagon, The Romantics, Rossington Collins Band, Rush, Scorpions, Slayer, Styx, Ted Nugent, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, Triumph, UFO, Van Halen, White Zombie, XTC, Yes, Yngwie Malmsteen with Alcatrazz, and ZZ Top.

O’Leary says:
“Hard to believe that I have been shooting concerts for 4 decades now, beginning in the mid 70’s when I went to my first concert at the world famous Madison Square Garden in New York City. I felt at home among the walls of speakers and the towering lighting rigs, I also immediately knew that leaving the show with a ticket stub, program and maybe a t-shirt would not be enough, so I had to capture the memory permanently. Within’ weeks I had traded my Sony home stereo system for a black leather jacket and my first Minolta SLR camera. After a brief learning period experimenting with the constantly changing lighting and vast array of colors, film speeds and the quick movements of the artists, I was told by many people that I was a “natural”. I have always felt that “knowing” the music deeply and being passionate about it as well, really was the “secret” to capturing the “moment”. With that confidence, I was soon shooting many concerts, 46 in 1980 alone. By then I was also being published in many major magazines as well. In the early days, I practiced “gorilla type tactics” to get my equipment into the venue’s. Later, I was forced to play the game of securing credentials in order to shoot shows. All too soon, promoter and band management rules and demands on photographers began to take the excitement out of shooting shows. Then the ” first 3 song” rule became common, NO more pictures after the third song. Pro concert photographers know that the “best” part of a shows production comes later in the event. In the end, I’m glad to have been a part of the glory days of concert photography.”

FOREWARD by Freddie Salem of The Outlaws:
“Bill O’Leary has played an extremely important part in the rock n’ roll world, as the consummate live performance photographer for over 40 years. As a professional musician, rock photographers are a part of the music scene – whether it be shooting promotional shoots, live concerts, or simply capturing life on tour. Bill first photographed us back in 1979 – a couple years after I joined the Outlaws, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. We were touring in support of our latest album, In the Eye of the Storm. Madison Square Garden is a big show for any touring band – as well as me personally, as a musician. A landmark venue. The following year, 1980, Bill again photographed me onstage – twice. Once at a Pat Travers Band show at the Palladium in Lower Manhattan in April, then again later that fall in November, as the Outlaws were touring in support of our latest album, Ghost Riders. This time, we were playing a smaller venue in Passaic, New Jersey, called the Capitol Theatre. Hundreds upon hundreds of marquis performers from all over the world have been captured on film by Bill – with the help of his trusty camera. I am surely anticipating the release of Bill O’Leary’s book, featuring his life’s passion and his iconic photography work. Looking at the thousands of live photos Bill has shot over the years one thing is very clear – he knows when to “pull the trigger.”

Born Robert W. Derminer on December 12, 1944, we know him as Rob Tyner the voice of Motor City powerhouse The MC5 where he originally played bass before putting his talent to use as vocalist.

With moves like James Brown and a wardrobe like Marc Bolan he will forever be remembered for his rally cry of ‘Kick Out The Jams Motherfucker’ The band released three albums from ’69 and the classic ‘Kick out the Jams’ through the ’70s ‘Back In The USA’ to the bands final album ‘High Time’ a year later. The band fell apart due to infighting and drug problems but before it turned sour they really blazed a trail and managed to bug the powers that be – Big time!

Their impact cannot be denied and Tyner was a big part of that from his unique afro and his distinctive voice to their political stance in quite volatile times not just in the USA but around the world.  The MC5 featured on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine even before they had a record out. The band had strong left-wing political ties and were happy to air their Anti-establishment views through their lyrics.  Along with Iggy And The Stooges they were punk way before punk was even a thing. They were loud, energetic and had style but most of all they had songs! Their back-to-basics rock and roll included now classics like ‘Ramblin’ Rose’ ‘Kick Out The Jams’ which must be one of the most covered songs in history. ‘Rocket Reducer No. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa)’ and ‘Looking At You’ (Another that’s been covered by bands such as The Damned and The Mission). They were certainly unique and at the time caused quite a stir to the mainstream who didn’t know what to do with a bunch of young men who were clued up and armed with a voice their spat with Hudsons Department Store being a good example.

Tyner (going by his real name) was first approached by Wayne Kramer via the underground left-wing hipster scene in Detroit and his talent wasn’t on the bass but out front and center via the microphone. It was also Tyner who named the band MC5 which if you didn’t know it’s short for Motor City Five and the legend was born.

They were well known locally as the band to see with their incendiary live shows that were full of energy and it’s well documented that they were already hypnotising audiences in excess of a thousand people with a blistering energy and loud garage rock. It was Danny Fields who signed the band to Elektra at the same time he signed The Stooges but it was the MC5 who was the first hard Rock band signed to the label.

In ’68 the band performed at an anti-Vietnam war rally and allegedly played for eight hours straight!  Hold onto that and it might explain how the band were closely tied with LSD and Marijuana usage. They also use to have firearms as part of their stage show brandishing rifles on stage and then a sniper would shoot Tyner as part of their act to end the set.

Controversy was never far from the band’s door as they were embroiled in an ad campaign when a store (Hudsons) refused to stock their album so they took out an ad that claimed the store should go fuck themselves. in response, the store pulled all Elektra artists which led to the band being fired and subsequent signing to Atlantic for their second album so when McLaren thought he was unique engineering the Pistols labels fiascos it had already been done years earlier by the MC5.  Imagine being in an audience not having a clue who the band was and hearing Tyner announce Kick Out The Jams and then witnessing the kind of performance seen in the video?  It must have been life-changing.

After MC5 split he kept himself busy with a number of acts such as fireworks and then the Rob Tyner Band who played shows with the likes of Cheap Trick and AC/DC but by the end of ’78 the band fizzled out having not released an album.  Tyner then chanced his arm in the UK where he worked briefly with Eddie & the Hot Rods before he headed back to the states to work on Detroit legend Scott Morgan’s benefit project. the Guitar Army, which helped to organise and promote the music of Vietnam veterans. There was a solo record released in 1990 entitled ‘Blood Brothers’, but sadly, the singer died from a heart attack a year later, on this very day in 1991.

Several years after his passing, a live release surfaced courtesy of the Motor City Music label/website, ‘Rock and Roll People’, which documented a pair of Rob Tyner Band concerts from 1977 (at the Kramer Theatre and the Embassy Hotel). His legacy might be limited with regards to his recording output compared to many of his peers but never underestimate the influence of the MC5 – Gone but not forgotten Rob was only 46 at the time he passed away Rest In Peace Rob Tyner.

What’s that musty smell? Ah yes, it’s emanating from the veritable feast of vintage collectables housed in the Pop Culture Schlock archive. For your delectation today I take you back to the Christmas of 1979; a seminal decade of music about to come to an end and give way to the dawn of a more brash, more brazen ten year period…

 

If you were a good, music-loving boy or girl in 1979 and had a.) done well in school, and; b.) not scratched your big brother’s vinyl, then there was a good chance that you’d find the Rock On! Annual 1980 nestled under the Christmas tree in your modest living room.

 

“The Rock What Annual?” I hear you exclaim, and you shouldn’t be embarrassed at your lack of knowledge on this subject because, truth be told, Rock On! magazine was a short-lived, oft-forgotten publication… if you’d ever heard of it at all.

 

Rock On! magazine debuted with an issue cover-dated May 1978. Debbie Harry featured on its cover and the mag – costing a whole 25p – promised a healthy mix of punk, new wave, heavy metal, and prog rock. It kept its promise too as, over the course of seven eclectic issues, Rock On! dished out features and photo spreads on a dizzying cadre of top musical combos; from Status Quo to Sham 69, The Clash to KISS, Rush to The Rezillos. Meat Loaf graced a cover, Ozzy, too, until Issue 7, with Jimmy Pursey as its cover star, and cover-dated November 1978, when Rock On! disappeared from newsagent shelves. The editorial in that final issue wrote of the outrage of cutting off such a desirable publication in its prime but, if anything, Rock On! was a victim of its own blurring of genre lines: readers seemingly wanting specialist publications dedicated to singular strands of the rock ‘n’ roll world rather than this ambitious crossover style.

 

That final editorial, though, did offer some hope for the future; stating that it was the last Rock On! “in its present form”. Fast forward to around a year later and, in the Autumn of 1979, the true final piece of the Rock On! jigsaw arrived in shops and catalogues to complete the punk ‘n’ prog rocking picture.

With a scorching hot live photo of Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott on the cover, Rock On! Annual 1980 (price – £2.00) may well have been jostling for attention on the shelves alongside big-hitting television and film spin-off annuals, but it certainly looked the most badass. It was, the cover screamed, packed with pictures, facts, and quizzes on your favourite rock bands. It did not disappoint.

 

The heady mix of photo spreads and more in-depth features on select bands really did make Rock On! stand out from its competitors, and this annual amps that angle right up to eleven. The first photo spread was a “Tribute to Vocal Power!!!” (yes, with three exclamation marks) and featured cool live action shots of Joe Strummer, Johnny Rotten, Cherie Currie, Pete Townsend, Willy DeVille, Graham Parker, Joan Jett, and Mick Jagger. A good start, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Next up, a photo diary detailing a “hard band” going “soft” as The Stranglers met their devoted fans, followed by a quartet of stinging live shots of “the band the critics love to hate”, Status Quo. Rock On!’s attitude to those Quo critics could be “summed up in two fingers” readers were informed.

 

With barely a pause for breath, a six-page A-Z of Heavy Metal feature detailed the prime acts in the genre, from AC/DC to, erm, Wishbone Ash. A-W, then. A few curious names in this run-down, too: Prism, Quartz, and Mahogany Rush rubbing shoulders with the expected likes of Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and, a firm favourite on the turntable at RPM HQ, Uriah Heep. A “Heads Down Heavy Metal Quiz” followed: a select question being “On Your Feet Or On Your Knees was a double live album for which heavy metal superstars?”

 

A Ten Years of Genesis feature followed, the first in a series of in-depth essays by John Tobler. His similar two-page spread on the history of Queen followed, as did those dedicated to Thin Lizzy, Blue Öyster Cult, Rush, and KISS. The latter, subtitled “Kings of Shock Rock”, wrote of “the forty foot columns of fire that emit from Gene Simmons’ mouth” and, c’mon, if you were eight years old at Xmas 1979 you had every excuse for then falling head over platform heels in love with the idea of the hottest band in the world.

There was a Rock On! reggae report, a fashion guide of sorts where the Quo’s Rick Parfitt spoke of his love of jeans and Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers of his love of raincoats (!), a Hi-Fi buying guide, a feature on sound engineers, a top DJ article covering John Peel and Anne Nightingale, plus one-page specials on Peter Gabriel and Ken Hensley of the Heep.

 

A photo spread of Ian Dury swimming (just your seven shots) padded out the pages, but not before an impressive photo set of live Black Sabbath shots appeared, a Star Cars article featuring Steve Jones, Meat Loaf, Midge Ure, and, ominously, Cozy Powell, a “Cult Heroes” feature detailing the likes of Iggy Pop, Nils Lofgren, Todd Rundgren, Tom Petty, and Bruce Spingsteen, and a “Sex ‘n’ Girls ‘n’ Rock ‘n’ Roll” spread featuring Debbie Harry, Joan Jett, Siouxsie Sioux, Linda Ronstadt, Annie Golden, Poly Styrene, Stevie Nicks, and Rachel Sweet.

 

A “That Was The Year That Was” feature dedicated to 1978 was an obvious leftover from the previous year’s magazine and makes for entertaining if a little sombre reading amongst the other genuinely funny articles. Rock On! was a cool magazine, with its tongue firmly in its cheek and its love of a broad range of music at the forefront of any thinking. Your Uber Rocks, your RPMs are all subconscious descendants of Rock On! magazine.

No annual is complete, however, without a pull-out poster section (even if no kid ever dared pull a poster out of an annual!), and Rock On! Annual 1980 does not disappoint in that department. There are pin-ups of the aforementioned Pursey, Rezillos, Dury, Harry, Clash, and Lynott, plus Bob Geldof, Paul Weller, Freddie Mercury, David Lee Roth, Jon Anderson, Elvis Costello, Paul Stanley, and the Buzzcocks. Great photos too.

 

The Rock On! Annual 1980 may well be an uncommon piece in the average music memorabilia collection, but it is certainly a worthy one. Copies turn up on the secondary market relatively cheaply and, yeah, you should pick one up if you get the chance. The Rock On! staff were most certainly music journalist mavericks, and we’ve all tried to go there, right? Search for this precious, rockin’ tome… or you might never know how Rick Parfitt’s aunt ironed his double denim.

 

Thanks for reading, and for the feedback on my first column on the debut Alice Cooper comic. I’ll be back next month with something suitably archaic that the rock ‘n’ roll world tried to forget. Search for Pop Culture Schlock 365 on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook

On this very day in 1980, Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott was found dead in Camden London. Scott was the iconic hellraising singer of AC/DC and was the epitome of hard rockin, hard-partying rock and roller.  Nothing was half measure with Scott. It was alleged that On 15 February 1980, Scott attended a session where Malcolm and Angus Young who were working on the beginnings of two songs that would later be recorded on the Back in Black album; “Have a Drink On Me” and “Let Me Put My Love Into You” with Scott accompanying on drums rather than singing or writing lyrics.

Days earlier, Scott had gone with Mick Cocks to visit their friends the French group Trust in the Scorpio Sound studio in London where they recorded the album ‘Répression’; Scott was working on the English adaptation of texts by Bernie Bonvoisin for the English version of the album. During this visit, the musicians did a jam session of “Ride On”. This improvised session was Scott’s last recording.

Sometime during the evening of 18 February and early morning of 19 February, Scott passed out and died at the age of 33. He had just visited a London club called the Music Machine (currently known as KOKO) at the end of Camden High Street opposite Mornington Crescent Tube Station. He was left to sleep in a Renault 5 owned by a friend of Scott’s, Alistair Kinnear, at 67 Overhill Road in East Dulwich. Later that day, Kinnear found Scott lifeless and alerted the authorities. Scott was taken to King’s College Hospital in Camberwell, where he was pronounced DOA. It sent shockwaves through the industry at the time but the band soldiered on to reach greater success with a new singer (Cough Cough) Brian Johnson formerly of the band Geordie.  ‘Back In Black’ is one of the biggest selling rock albums of all time but the heart and soul had left the building when Scott passed and the band were never the same again, Scott’s tenure in the band produced  over half a dozen classic albums that pioneered boogie rock n roll with an incredible voice Scott will rightfully be remembered as a legend in hard rock.  R.I.P Bon.

Scott was born in Kirriemuir, Scotland, and emigrated to Melbourne, Australia with his family in 1952 He was six at the time. Scott started the Spektors in 1966 as the drummer the band then merged with another local band to form the Valentines who had a top 30 hit singe before breaking up due to a drug scandal or as the band put it at the time “Musical Differences”.  Scott then moved to Adelaide where he joined Fraternity. on 3 May 1974, at the Old Lion Hotel in North Adelaide, during a rehearsal with the Mount Lofty Rangers, a very drunk Scott had a raging argument with a member of the band. Scott stormed out of the venue, threw a bottle of Jack Daniel’s on to the ground, then sped off on his motorbike. Scott suffered serious injuries from the ensuing motorcycle accident, spending three days in a coma and a further 18 days in the hospital. It was during his recovery where he worked at the office of Vince Lovegrove who ran a talent and booking agency which was where Scott was introduced to the Youngs due to them being on the lookout for a lead singer and the rest, as they say, is history.

Buy AC/DC Here

On a Much lighter note a big Happy Birthday to Black Sabbaths Tony Iommi who was born on this day back in 1948. When a young Iommi was working in a sheet metal factory it was to be his last day at the job he managed to lose the tip of his middle finger and his ring finger of his right hand. He had to create thimbles to go on his fingertips so he could play the guitar this was after he attempted to play right-handed – remember health & safety at work kids and never play around with heavy machinery on Heavy Metal!

On this very same day in 1982 Iommis, former bandmate Ozzy managed to get himself arrested in San Antonio, Texas for urinating on the cenotaph at the Alamo, which honours the Alamo defenders. Osbourne was wearing a dress at the time of his arrest, (due to his wife Sharon hiding all his clothes so he couldn’t go outside). Osbourne was banned from ever playing in San Antonio, Texas again, (a ban which was lifted in 1992). When later interviewed, Ozzy said his next goal was to urinate on the White House lawn. Ozzy is pictured leaving the Sanantonio Court House with his stylish wife and manager Sharon

Buy Black Sabbath Here

 

 

 

 

On this most rockin’ of days way back in 1975, AC/DC released their debut album ‘High Voltage’. The album featured a cover of ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go’ a blues song first recorded by Big Joe Williams and ‘She’s Got Balls’ which was written about singer Bon Scott’s ex-wife Irene – the first AC/DC song for which he wrote lyrics.

Bon, Malcolm, Angus, Mark and Phil saw this record peak at number 14 but has since gone 5x platinum what you could describe as being a slow burner.

Originally released on Albert Productions in Australia and has never been reissued by another label in this format. The international version of High Voltage, which was issued on Atlantic Records in 1976, has different cover art and track listing, with only “She’s Got Balls” and “Little Lover” appearing overseas. “Baby Please Don’t Go”, “Soul Stripper”, “You Ain’t Got a Hold On Me” and “Show Business” was later released on ’74 Jailbreak in 1984. “Stick Around” (about Scott’s inability to hold onto a lover for more than one night) and “Love Song” have been released on Backtracks in 2009. The title and artwork were the suggestion of Chris Gilbey of Albert Productions. In the 1994 Scott biography Highway to Hell, Gilbey explains that he came up with the concept of “an electricity substation with a dog pissing against it. It’s so tame now, but back then we thought it was pretty revolutionary.”

The musicians that played on this release were quite different from the internationally famous line up of AC/DC – George Young who also produced the record played some bass guitar, rhythm guitar, and backing vocals, Rob Bailey also played bass guitar whilst Peter Clack played drums on their cover of ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’. Tony Currenti played drums on the other seven numbers. Whilst it might not be the best DC album ever this version is certainly worth tracking down if you don’t already have it amongst the other 3,000 different versions with different covers and track lists.

 

Buy ‘High Voltage’: Here

In other significant news on this very day in 1979, Blondie scored their first UK No.1 album when ‘Parallel Lines’ started a four-week run at the top of the charts, featuring the singles ‘Heart Of Glass’, ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ and ‘Sunday Girl.’ With its iconic album sleeve, a generation of teenage boys fell in love more so when they managed to see the video for ‘Heart Of Glass’. Deborah Harry – vocals, Chris Stein – guitar, 12-string guitar, E-bow, Clem Burke – drums, Jimmy Destri – electronic keyboards, Nigel Harrison – bass guitar and Frank Infante – guitar was the iconic line up who recorded ‘Parallel Lines’ in New York City where the band shared an unbreakable bond and used the city in many of their videos and were forever tied to clubs like CBGB and Max’s.  ‘Heart Of Glass’ was one of the biggest selling singles in the decade reaching number one in over eight major record buying countries.  Amazingly it was only the UK where the album hit the number one spot only reaching number six in their native USA. who knew?

The album has been reissued and expanded several times since its release back in 79 and you can pick up a copy Here

Also, RPM would like to give a shout out and a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday to Billie Joe Armstrong, Born Today back in 1972. Whilst fronting Green Day Armstrong is also a member of the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder and provides lead vocals for Green Day’s side projects Foxboro Hot Tubs and The Network. Many Happy returns Mr Armstrong.

Buy Pinhead Gunpowder: Here

Finally, on this very day in 1979, The Clash opened the US leg of their ‘Pearl Harbour ’79’, North American tour at New York’s Palladium. The Clash were keen to embrace the US, though Epic were less enthusiastic despite releasing …Melody Maker writer Caroline Coon paid her own way to New York and set up eight shows in medium-sized venues that mainly sold out. The Pearl Harbour ’79 US tour allowed The Clash to visit key cities. The band took Rock’n’Roll legend Bo Diddley out as support act to make America aware of its musical legacy. “We brought them in and helped to introduce them to people who weren’t aware of them,” Jones told Coon. Diddley got on famously with the band, who hung on his every war story.