Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts release their brand new single “Lookin’ For Love, Ready For War”, which is taken from the eponymous album out later this year via Better Noise Music.

Tuk explains It’s got a caveman riff, and soaring hook of pure rock and roll.It’s not a love song, it’s a life song.  It’s what I’ve seen, what I’ve felt, and what I have experienced. This is about the self-realization that, when you wanted to make the easy choice you end up having to make the hard choice. It is my own personal anthem”

As well as the new single and album Tuk prepares to hit the road but that might find under the current circumstances that it hits the buffers in some shape or form and gets delayed.  Anyway,  here are the dates thus far –

Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts supporting Airborne:
Thursday, April 30           New York, NY                The Gramercy Theatre
Friday, May 1                 Philadelphia, PA             Underground Arts
Saturday, May 2              Washington, DC             Rock & Roll Hotel
Wednesday, May 6           Houston, TX                  House Of Blues – Bronze Peacock Room
Thursday, May 7             Dallas, TX                     Three Links
Thursday, May 14            Chicago, IL                    Bottom Lounge
Monday, May 18             Buffalo, NY                    Rec Room

Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Joan Jett  – introducing Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts tour dates
Sunday, June 21                     SAN ANTONIO, TX      Alamodome
Tuesday, June 23                    KANSAS CITY, MO     Kauffman Stadium
Thursday, June 25                   ST. LOUIS, MO            Busch Stadium
Saturday, June 27                   MINNEAPOLIS, MN     U.S. Bank Stadium
Monday, June 29                     NASHVILLE, TN          Nissan Stadium
Thursday, July 2                      CINCINNATI, OH          Great American Ballpark*
Friday, July 3                           CLEVELAND, OH         FirstEnergy Stadium
Tuesday, July 7                                   MIAMI, FL          Hard Rock Stadium
Thursday, July 9                      ORLANDO, FL             Camping World Stadium
Saturday, July 11                     CHARLOTTE, NC        Bank of America Stadium
Tuesday, July 14                     ARLINGTON, TX         Globe Life Field
Wednesday, July 15                 HOUSTON, TX            Minute Maid Park
Sunday, July 19                       SAN FRANCISCO, CA  Oracle Park
Thursday, July 23                    SAN DIEGO, CA          Petco Park
Saturday, July 25                     PHOENIX, AZ              State Farm Stadium
Sunday, August 9                    ATLANTA, GA             SunTrust Park
Tuesday, August 11                 HERSHEY, PA             Hersheypark Stadium
Thursday, August 13                BUFFALO, NY              New Era Field
Saturday, August 15                PHILADELPHIA, PA     Citizens Bank Park
Sunday, August 16                  PITTSBURGH, PA       PNC Park
Tuesday, August 18                 MILWAUKEE, WI         Miller Park
Thursday, August 20                DETROIT, MI               Comerica Park
Saturday, August 22                WASHINGTON DC       Nationals Park
Sunday, August 23                  FLUSHING, NY             Citi Field
Tuesday, August 25                 BOSTON, MA              Fenway Park
Friday, August 28                     CHICAGO, IL               Wrigley Field
Sunday, August 30                  DENVER, CO               Coors Field
Wednesday, September 2        SEATTLE, WA             T-Mobile Park
Saturday, September 5            LOS ANGELES, CA     SoFi Stadium

 

POP CULTURE SCHLOCK at RPM: Exhibit H – Murder Falcon

Greetings, RPM-people! Thanks for checking out my latest Pop Culture Schlock column for RPMonline; a cool collectibles catchment area if ever there was one… and now in its second year!

With the mention of years comes a slightly belated Happy New Year wish from yours truly. 2020, eh? Proper science fiction that number is, right? But we got here when many didn’t so for that we have to raise a horned salute and treat every day like it harbours the opportunity for awesomeness.

It’s been over two decades since the day I got my first (now archaic) DVD player – multi-region, of course; I’m no savage – and that is further away from the present than when I got my first VCR was from that day: a scary thought if you can even make sense of it! The future of our past threatened us with tales of Moonbase Alpha being knocked out of orbit by a nuclear waste explosion and of blade runners tracking down replicants: the reality today is of a space force decked out in woodland camouflage and repulsive cunts, so escapism remains the ultimate luxury.

 

You all know about escapism, though, right? Your sanctuary, whether it be at a sweaty club gig losing yourself to the righteous sounds of a band never heard of by a listener of Planet Rock, or melting into a corner of your world surrounded by physical media? That’s reason for living right there, bruthas and sistas.

 

As you have probably figured out if you have checked out any of my previous seven columns for RPM, I have a physical media obsession. Streaming is basically Skynet in my world so, if you saw that shitty Terminator sequel at the tail-end of last year, you know how badly that is gonna end. And reading comic books on an app? Go and stand in the corner and re-evaluate your wannabe-cool life, ya monster! I still buy comics every week; still crack open the pages, flare open my nostrils, and smell that fucking glorious art on every page. It’s an addiction, I know. A money pit (sadly not the 1986 Tom Hanks movie that featured White Lion). But it is still one of the easiest and most rewarding collecting experiences. You get new, über-cool entertainment every week of the year that is instantly collectible, and, as stated previously, it smells frigging great. Also, it is metal… as proven below.

 

If you’re reading RPM then you’re already cool, I know this. You know your music, but you also strive to find new music that echoes the cool shit that is already in and will never leave your collection. With that in mind, this month’s featured Pop Culture Schlock item (I had to get there eventually!) is relatively new, but with a foot, a talon maybe, in the past…

Daniel Warren Johnson is a Chicago-based comic book writer and artist who created the Eisner-nominated Extremity series, the web comic Space-Mullet, and, the subject of this month’s column, Murder Falcon.

 

Released by Image Comics/Skybound (with the first issue dated October 2018), Murder Falcon is an eight-part comic book series that fuses the worlds of heavy metal and monsters – it’s fantastical… and it shreds!

 

Jake is a metal guitarist in a downward spiral. With a heartbreaker of a back story, the long-haired axe-wielder is without band and seemingly without hope. That six string hasn’t been picked up in a long time. Meanwhile, his city is being ravaged by monsters!

 

Magnum Khaos is the king of all hatred and fear who has fashioned a portal into another dimension; negative energy from human cruelty and anxiety is sucked into his dark world via the monstrous attacks that he has been planning for centuries. All hope, it would seem, is lost. But…

Jake’s guitar, gathering dust, is suddenly transformed and Murder Falcon, a monster-killing machine (with feathers) has travelled from The Heavy to the city to take down the Khaos creatures. He can only do so, however, when Jake plays his forgotten axe! Man, when he shreds Murder Falcon shreds… monster bodies! By getting the old band back together – the other members’ instruments similarly invoking badass battle mofos – maybe the Earth as we know it can be saved.

 

With similarities in serious content to I Kill Giants (and if you know that comic or subsequent spin-off movie then you’ll have a clue as to where the heartbreak comes into play here), Murder Falcon adds melancholy to the metal to great effect and, with superb artwork from Johnson coupled with eye-popping colours from Mike Spicer, this book comes highly recommended by my good self.

There is more to this than meets the eye, however. Y’see, every one of Murder Falcon’s eight issues came with a “Heavy Metal” variant cover by guest artists paying homage to classic album artwork. I have every one, of course and, to be honest, these are the reasons that I wanted to feature the comic in my collectables column.

 

Issue 1 came with a variant cover paying homage (via artwork and Murder Falcon logo) to Judas Priest’s ‘Painkiller’. Issue 2 took on Iron Maiden’s ‘Somewhere In Time’, while issue 3 went a little more left field with a homage to Bolt Thrower’s ‘War Master’. Pantera’s ‘Vulgar Display Of Power’ was the basis for issue 4’s variant, while it was all about the shred for issue 5 with Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s ‘Trilogy’ honoured. Issue 6 saw Megadeth’s ‘Rust In Peace’ feature, followed by issue 7 and its Dio – ‘Holy Diver’ tribute. The final issue, number 8, was a real ‘Shout At The Devil’, based on the second album from Mötley Crüe (yes, when they were still good), complete with logo umlauts.

If those “Heavy Metal” variant covers aren’t reason enough to have your digits scurrying to your secondary market seller of choice than I don’t know what else I can do for you. This is cool new shit based on cool old shit, and I know you guys love cool shit. If you don’t fancy searching for eight individual comic books but still think that Murder Falcon is for you, have no fear because a trade paperback/graphic novel that collects all eight issues was released last year and Amazon will deliver it to you TOMORROW… but they’ll probably leave it outside in the rain.

 

So, keep doing what you do, keep liking what you like, and I’ll catch you all again next month, possibly with less mention of Yngwie J. Malmsteen. Possibly.

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If rock is dead, someone forgot to tell Tuk Smith. He flies the flag for the genre in the same way as today’s rock idols have.  So it is only fitting he open for some of them – Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard and Joan Jett will ‘introduce’ Tuk Smith &The Restless Hearts via their upcoming stadium tour.

After cutting his teeth — among many other things — for nine years as the frontman for the Atlanta rock band Biters, Tuk’s solo debut sees him further expanding the reaches of his musical vision into an album that unifies multiple musical styles. Tuk’s debut album, Lookin’ for Love, Ready for War,showcases the versatility of his songwriting. From instantly infectious anthems to intricately arranged rockers and  Americana-tinged ballads the album favors dedication over debauchery. In many ways it’s a musical homecoming for Smith that shows that though he’s covered with battle scars from perfecting his craft, he’s come out on the other side with an amazing collection of songs.

Produced by the legendary Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Eric Clapton, My Chemical Romance) explains “People that really like honest-to-god Rock and Roll – this is the kind of stuff they’ll love.  If you are a Tom Petty fan or aBruce Springsteen fan, if you like really great old-fashioned American Rock and Roll then I believe you’ll like Tuk’s music because it’s cut from that same cloth. It’s original and it is it’s own thing, I think he’s the real deal!”  “What Kinda Love,” is an instantly infectious anthem that unifies Tuk’s love of rock, punk and glam into a unique amalgam of what’s missing from today’s musical landscape. “What Kinda Love” has Joan-Jett-meets-John Mellencamp grandeur and is part of a collection of songs that are a testament to the fact that you don’t need to follow trends in order to create art that fosters a connection with your audience.

Tuk produced and wrote the video, of which he explains “I think when people first hear the song they might not get its meaning right away. I wanted to create a narrative in the video that helped complement the lyrics. Having full creative vision as an artist is as rewarding as it is daunting. If something doesn’t pan out right there is no one to blame but yourself, but it’s the best feeling when your vision becomes reality. I had so many close friends and family act, be extras, and work on videos with me. I’m so lucky to have such a pool of talent and characters to pull from.”


Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Joan Jett  – introducing Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts tour dates
Sunday, June 21                     SAN ANTONIO, TX      Alamodome
Tuesday, June 23                    KANSAS CITY, MO     Kauffman Stadium
Thursday, June 25                   ST. LOUIS, MO                       Busch Stadium
Saturday, June 27                   MINNEAPOLIS, MN     U.S. Bank Stadium
Monday, June 29                     NASHVILLE, TN          Nissan Stadium
Thursday, July 2                      CINCINNATI, OH          Great American Ballpark*
Friday, July 3                           CLEVELAND, OH         FirstEnergy Stadium
Tuesday, July 7                       MIAMI, FL                    Hard Rock Stadium
Thursday, July 9                      ORLANDO, FL             Camping World Stadium
Saturday, July 11                     CHARLOTTE, NC        Bank of America Stadium
Tuesday, July 14                     ARLINGTON, TX         Globe Life Field
Wednesday, July 15                 HOUSTON, TX                        Minute Maid Park
Sunday, July 19                       SAN FRANCISCO, CA  Oracle Park
Thursday, July 23                    SAN DIEGO, CA          Petco Park
Saturday, July 25                     PHOENIX, AZ              State Farm Stadium
Sunday, August 9                    ATLANTA, GA             SunTrust Park
Tuesday, August 11                 HERSHEY, PA             Hersheypark Stadium
Thursday, August 13                BUFFALO, NY              New Era Field
Saturday, August 15                PHILADELPHIA, PA     Citizens Bank Park
Sunday, August 16                  PITTSBURGH, PA       PNC Park
Tuesday, August 18                 MILWAUKEE, WI         Miller Park
Thursday, August 20                DETROIT, MI               Comerica Park
Saturday, August 22                WASHINGTON DC       Nationals Park
Sunday, August 23                  FLUSHING, NY                        Citi Field
Tuesday, August 25                 BOSTON, MA              Fenway Park
Friday, August 28                     CHICAGO, IL               Wrigley Field
Sunday, August 30                  DENVER, CO               Coors Field
Wednesday, September 2        SEATTLE, WA             T-Mobile Park
Saturday, September 5             LOS ANGELES, CA     SoFi Stadium

*pre-sales begin January 13 and general on-sales begin January 17

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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.”