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.
Further adventures in Rock and Roll featuring Darren Birch can be found below
Horse Feathers Review Here
Black Bombers Review Here
Godfathers Review Here
One of the albums of the year gets a re-press on Blood Red vinyl for those who missed out on the initial press. RPM reviewed it Here and we urge you not to sit on your hands a second time as this will sell out as the first run did. Go Go Go!
Alvin says, “For all you vinyl junkies that missed out on obtaining my solo album ‘Your Disobedient Servant’ on 12 inch vinyl earlier this year due the initial 300 being sold out in short order, Time & Matter Records have manufactured a new batch of 300, this time on blood-red vinyl and minus the accompanying CD and download code. This release will, therefore, be sold at the lesser price of £17 (the first pressing was priced at £22) and can be ordered from this Here”
It features twelve songs written by yours truly and an array of very talented guest musicians that reads like this: Brian James – The Damned / Lords Of The New Church; Leigh Heggarty – Ruts DC; Mick Rossi – Slaughter & The Dogs; James Stevenson – Generation X / Chelsea / The Cult / The Alarm; Barry ‘Barrington’ Francis – The Saints; Timo Kaltio – Johnny Thunders band/Hanoi Rocks / Cheap ‘N’ Nasty; Mel Wesson – Keyboard player & Ambient music designer – TV Smith’s Explorers/The Verve ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ / U.K. Subs ‘Diminished Responsibility’ LP / Films Mission Impossible 2, Batman Begins, Hannibal etc; Steve Crittall – The Godfathers; Jamie Oliver – U.K. Subs.
“I would advise interested parties to get their orders in sharp to avoid what occurred last time, which was a lot of people missing out due to the speed that the original batch sold at. In fact it was due to so many people voicing their disappointment at not being able to get a vinyl copy in time that persuaded T & M Records to go with this colour-altered second run. For those of you that are not so disposed to a bit of vinyl, there is also a CD version of the album available from the same link. Ta! A x”
Way back in the mists of time there were records that got released that a small collection of people went absolutely nuts over much to the bemusement of the rest of the population and still to this day some bands – records are the things of legend and that first Fallen Angels album can certainly be placed into that bracket somewhere near the top if you please. Sharing the same management and having the stars align meant Knox could have what some (me included) to have the dream team rhythm section helping knock these tunes into shape that would eventually make up The ‘Fallen Angels’ album. It originally surfaced early 84 after being recorded late 83. Fallout records released it The band consisted of Knox, Sami Yaffa, Razzle, Nasty Suicide Knox cousin Richard Wernham (The Motors), Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy also guested on the recordings.
The sleeve notes are the same as those used on the CD reissue in 2006 but this RSD exclusive has an extra two tracks to that CD so don’t dismiss this out of hand because those of us who know – know right? Right!
Judging by the sleeve notes it was a bit of a riot recording this and those Hanoi boys had a ball as Sami testifies but lets not gloss over their efforts here because those kids could play and whilst they did like to indulge they were also extremely talented players and Knox knew this and with the rock and roll songs he’d written they would lend themselves perfectly to each other. From the single ‘Inner Planet Love’ to the ‘Chinese Rocks’ of ‘Rain Rain Rain’ its blistering stuff.
What’s not to love about the snotty ‘Runaround’ and the magnificent ‘Amphetamine Blue’ probably the definitive version right here edging it due to Razzles sense of rhythm and his floor tom rolls having said that how he managed it with Yaffa and Nasty trying to put him off god only knows. The album proper finished with the melancholic ‘Vipers In The Dark’ with its acoustic strum which just about wrapped up an absolute 24 carrot album from the middle of the ’80s make no mistake about that and seeing as its celebrating its 35th year this year why not bring it back for more people to enjoy.
This version pulls in the singles and B sides over the two discs and to complete the set and make this the definitive copy it also has the 12″ version of ‘Inner Planet Love’ and the 7″ version of ‘Amphetamine Blue’ oh and it does come pressed on a couple of lovely coloured records. Make this one you head straight for on RSD on forever kick yourself its a belter! The biggest shame is the line up never got to play these songs live now that would have been something.
Author: Dom Daley
Terence Dale “Buffin” Griffin (24 October 1948 – 17 January 2016) Buffin was a founder member of Mott The Hoople and also famed producer of bands on the John Peel show between 81 and 94. Most famously he produced sessions for Nirvana, Pulp and the smashing pumpkins and also in his own right he noticeably produced Hanoi Rocks album ‘Back To Mystery City’.
As a founder member of Mott The Hoople Dale managed to attend the Hammersmith reunion shows back in 2009 but had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers so only played on the encores of the shows which were extended from three to five after an incredible demand although he didn’t feature at all in the warm-up shows the band did near Rockfield studios prior to the London gigs. his place was taken by Martin Chambers. Diagnosed at 58 he sadly passed away in his sleep back in 2016 at the young age of 67.
Rest In Peace Buffin 24 October 1948 – 17 January 2016
On a brighter note on this day in history, The Rolling Stones released their first EP, which included, ‘You Better Move On’, ‘Poison Ivy’, ‘Bye Bye Johnny’ and ‘Money’. It peaked at No.15 on the UK chart. Also by some coincidence, Happy Birthday today to Mick Taylor, Mick joined The Stones in 1969 (aged 20), replacing Brian and left the Stones in 1974. He has appeared on some of the Stones’ classic albums and widely regarded as their finest period of songwriting including Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St. Taylor has also worked with Bob Dylan, Mike Oldfield, Jack Bruce and Ronnie Wood.
Richards gave Taylor this fine appraisal when recording Its Only Rock And Roll’ during the Munich sessions, Richards confronted him and said, “Oi! Taylor! You’re playing too fuckin’ loud. I mean, you’re really good live, man, but you’re fucking useless in the studio. Lay out, play later, whatever.” Richards erased some of the tapes where Taylor had recorded guitar parts too.
Taylor responded by saying “I was a bit peeved about not getting credit for a couple of songs, but that wasn’t the whole reason [I left the band]. I guess I just felt like I had enough” Yeah right so you just leave The Stones and that’s it? He later said of his time in the band – “We used to fight and argue all the time. And one of the things I got angry about was that Mick had promised to give me some credit for some of the songs – and he didn’t. I believed I’d contributed enough. Let’s put it this way – without my contribution, those songs would not have existed. There’s not many but enough, things like “Sway” and “Moonlight Mile” on Sticky Fingers and a couple of others” Oh well your contribution was recognised by the fans for sure and with the power of hindsight I doubt the band would have existed had Mick Taylor not joined the band.
They must have made their peace because Taylor has joined the band on stage many times since so Happy Birthday Mick aged 70 Today!
Originally out a quarter of a century ago makes me feel old as fuck. However, slipping into my Kensington Market PVC jeans and sharpening my boots guyliner then spraying my Aqua Net before leaving the house it feels like yesterday, a time when just about anything was possible.
Pre-mobile phones (just), pre-internet, pre-grunge, and Soho was still a wonderful seedy adventure as was Camden. Those places still had character – certainly not the sterile hipster coffee shop or Vape emporiums of today. Back then Rock ‘n’ Roll was still a little different if you wanted it to be and without the interweb bands like Paradise Alley were like pirates sailing the seven seas looking for like-minded allies of which there were plenty, every town and backwater village had one or two but they didn’t have the internet to join forces. Until now.
Lumped in with the whole glam rock scene that wrongly pigeonholed the likes of Hanoi Rocks as glam in the same breath they would put Poison or God forbid Danger Danger or even a Tigertailz. Although pretty much poles apart (tigertailz and Paradise Alley) influence wise (with a few exceptions) they had to stick together and I guess there are comparisons with the two Stevies they both have similar gruff deliveries in their melodies and vocal style but musically Paradise Alley was dining out on Hanoi and their siblings such as Shooting Gallery or Kill City Dragons, not any surprise to see Damian Cullen set up camp with members of these other bands later on. Anyway, Not so much the punky side of Hanoi but a more American influenced guitar sound Paradise Alley certainly had a punk rock attitude like on ‘Shot Down’.
They were dedicated you have to give them that. It might not always have been about the music but those were the times we were in and the image played a massive part in this kind of music and all these years later I applaud those who stuck to their guns and lived it like they loved it and stayed true to who they were and that can certainly be said of several members of this band.
I like the street balladeering of ‘Empty Spaces’, A little cheesy at times and cliched – for sure, but isn’t any city boy knocking out a duet of this kind? All these years later it sounds alright maybe even better with a tinge of nostalgia. To be fair I like ‘Leave Me Alone’ its more the whole punk rock ‘n’ roll thing that I loved at the time had they hit Soho a few years earlier they might have stood a good chance of joining bigger bands from the era. The kings of punk ‘n’ sleaze in the late 80’s had to be the Soho Roses for me but even they bowed out supporting Tigertailz and the real gems were Gunfire Dance who themselves toured with the Welsh Glamsters. Wrong time wrong place maybe who knows. They reached for the stars and had their fifteen minutes of fame and lived to tell the tales.
This reissue is bolstered by adding the acoustic ‘Baby Don’t Go’ which is cool as is their take on ‘Shakes’ which to be fair is spot on and bang on the money as far as covers go. To be fair these demos put onto the end of this sound great and if I might be cheeky enough to suggest are the best songs on here (Hanoi cover aside) ‘Family Ties’ is good as is the closing track ‘Leave Me Alone’ which has a great guitar sound that the band should have used on the earlier tracks in my humble opinion. That Joe Dog clank is far better suited to the band’s style.
Good work Stevie and the boys for reissuing this lot you should be proud and staying true to themselves. Anyone who ever wandered from the Ship to the Intrepid Fox and round the block to the Marquee wearing Chelsea boots suckin’ on a cigarette thinking they were the coolest kid in town this is for you. I look back fondly on those times and these tracks make me smile in a good way. Thanks for such great memories guys and some top tunes whilst I reminisce on what was a ‘Psychotic Playground’.
Every now and then I vanish down one of those wormholes on this here internet and several hours later with my ears ringing, I’m several pounds lighter as paypals til is ringing due to places like Bandcamp where I’ve happened upon some band or other. Well, I’ll be honest The Dahmers name raised an eyebrow and then another once I heard the first three bars of ‘Down In The Basement’ it was obvious to me that this was a band I had to contact and hear the rest of this brand new album.
These cats aren’t from The northern states of America or some sickos from California or Noo Ywk their from the sleepy town of Bromölla, Sweden. Ah, it makes sense now, of course, their from Scandinavia. There is a spooky vibe as album opener ‘Blood On My Hands’ is like a Gatling gun firing off in all directions at a rapid pace with a sound not a million miles from The Hives with a frantic 12 bar riff and great hook. This is a fine opener and as the song breaks down and the drums sound like an out of control Keith Moon I’m already sold. Third album? fuck me where have I been hiding? I feel embarrassed as ‘Murder Ride’ kicks my backside from the opening lick we’re off like Hanoi Rocks going out of control these punks have really got it going on.
With eighteen songs on the album, they have a sackful of energy and hooks aplenty. It’s catchy as hell, on ‘Street of The Dead’ it’s like an unheard T Rex number that’s got a modern edge upgrade and it’s so damn good I’m loving it. Drunken sing-a-long choruses and with a real raw Rock ‘n’ Roll bite. There isn’t anything new here but they’ve obviously found that secret formula and I congratulate them on that. Either that or they sold their souls to a snake oil salesman in exchange for some magic Rock ‘n’ Roll beans that need to be nurtured in the sweat of another five kids from backwater nowheresville who just want a good time and are happy selling some vital organs to get there.
I honestly couldn’t pick a favourite song because there’s so many there are enough tracks here for two albums let alone one and songs like the frantic piano tonking ‘The Ripper’ just sound so fresh. I mentioned earlier that there is Hanoi vibe happening maybe ‘self-destruction Blues’ era and when the band mix up the melodies and backing vocals on ‘Howling’ its a simple formula but damn it’s so good.
They touch on early Hellacopters flair on ‘I Spit On Your Grave’ and who wouldn’t be down with that? The sax on ‘Creepiest Crawl’ is inspired as is the breakdown. Pulling these spooktacular tunes together from recordings over the last two years sounds inspired. The backbeat of the pop-tinged ‘Man Obsessed’ shows that they have variety with its almost 60’s jangly guitar is the sound of a band who haven’t got boundaries and if it sounds good for them then it’s going in and it’s not just crash bang wallop (although they do that really nicely too). ‘November’ could certainly be a Bolan inspired strum. and they even end the album with a late 70’s early 80’s horror flick synth spookout and that makes me smile. The Dahmers are my new favourite band and I can’t get enough. Is there still time to write to Santa to send me all their records? I’ve been a bad bad boy and totally deserve their records and I suggest you click the link and join me.
Author: Dom Daley
I like it when a band takes its time to get the album they want but we all giggled when Axl took however long to knock out a guns n Roses album well Johnny Seven don’t like to rush a record release either but these punk rockers took forty years! Yup, I did say Forty Four Zero. Don’t giggle at the back it’s true. Anyway its here now the format might be different to what was originally envisaged but times change and so do lineups.
you might well ask yourself what this Teeside foursome are all about well, let me tell you they clearly have a collective ear for a decent tune and I’m pretty sure judging by the songs they wrote we’d share a lot of similarities in our record collections. One thing they got spot on is when they declared you can’t escape Rock and Roll and that spot on as is this tune. It’s sloppy – it’s rough and ready – its got a great guitar sound and I love a good gang sing-a-long chorus and ‘Can’t Escape’ has certainly got that. ‘LSD’ is a rolling riff borrowed (or Stolen) and the lyrics show the band has a sense of humour and a rollicking interlude between the more serious elements of Rock and Roll. Don’t do drugs kids they’re bad for you.
‘In Detroit’ they give the Wah Wah a good work out and rattle through Motor City Nice n sleazy does it boys nice n sleazy. They turn the clock back for a sid style romp through ‘Burning Love’ I wouldn’t say its rubbish because its not but if you want to pop the kettle on nows your chance. I’m not sure this record needed a cover smack bang in the middle to be honest because they were going so well with their own material. ‘Pumping The Pop’ is more like it. snot ‘n’ sweat flying everywhere as the band get trashy not a million miles from The DeRellas here or the Babysitters when they weren’t singing about trembly noses. and the guitar and handclaps remind me of Hanoi when they were doing the duck and the guitar lick isn’t a million miles away from ‘Shakes’ so I was always going to like this one.
There’s a reckless edge to ‘Car Crash Girls’ and I like it it sounds spontaneous and at any point could fall or stumble over and Rock and Roll needs that sometimes it keeps proceedings exciting which is where we head as the album moves towards its conclusion. ‘Skinheads’ is a wonderful stomping slice of glam pop in the same snotty vein as The Boys, great melody and a great look back. Finally, we reach the end of what has been a really good record and one I have enjoyed and ‘Hang Loose’ takes this bad boy home with another sleazy rocker that kinda pulls all the previous influences together for one last hurrah as the band goes over the top and into battle once more.
I spose like busses the follow up will be right behind this one dyou think someone should tell the band that Blakey won’t be collecting the fares on it though? Forty years for fucks sake but like a good wine it’s finally reached maturity and its ready to be enjoyed and I certainly did that.
Author: Dom Daley
Every now and then somebody or somebodies come along and shape the person you are through their music. One such larger than life character in Rock ‘n’ Roll who certainly had it all to offer and the potential to be one of the greats. Born on this day back in 1962 Antti Hulkko was his name you and I would probably know him as Andy McCoy (The Cosmic Ted). A man who had style, individuality and an abundance of talent as well as penning some of my favourite songs ever whether he realised that potential is another question for another time.
Here at RPM we’d like to wish Andy McCoy a happy birthday and whilst we haven’t baked him a cake nor have we got him a gift we have however got a few links for you to share the love and maybe watch a video of his unique talent and ability.
Many happy returns Mr. McCoy hows about a rock n roll album someday soon?