Thirty years ago this Sunday--on November 23, 1984--Nazareth played the Commodore Ballroom, touring behind its new album The Catch.

In advance of the show I interviewed frontman Dan McCafferty and--among other things--got the scoop on the story behind the group's curious single, "Vancouver Shakedown".

Here's a slightly condensed version of the piece that appeared in the Nov. 23-30 issue of the Straight.


So I was checking out my Twitter account on the commute home last night and I noticed that my number of followers had blasted up from 1435 to an impressive fourteen-hundred and thirty-six. My new follower was a guy named Niro Knox, who looked like a pretty rockin' dude.

So I took a gander at some of his tweets and found one labelled "Guitar Solo" that was a link to a year-old YouTube video he'd posted. It's just him riffing out on a goldtop Les Paul, but as he soon as he hit a note it reminded me of Gary Moore, so I immediately followed him back.

That is all.

I finally got around to checking out the nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's class of 2015 and, lemme tell ya, that institution has developed its most severe case of HUA (Head Up Ass) Syndrome yet.

Okay, firstly, let's rattle off the nominees: Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, N.W.A., Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Lou Reed, the Smiths, the Spinners, Sting, Chic, Kraftwerk, the Marvelettes, Bill Withers, War, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

Told ya it was embarassing!

From that lame-ass batch, the only ones worthy of nomination in my books are Jett, Reed, Butterfield, and Vaughan.

Fvck Chic.

There's no denying that the vast majority of rock 'n' roll animals heading to the sold-out Rogers Arena this Friday night will be huge fans of Mötley Crüe, which is performing on its heavily publicized "Final Tour".

But I doubt I'll be the only one going there to revel in the killer tunes and theatrical shock-rock shenanigans of "special guest" Alice Cooper.

AC/DC just released the title track of its upcoming album, Rock or Bust, which is due out December 2.

Sounds like AC/DC to me, with or without Malcolm Young.

It's no "Shoot to Thrill", but then again, what is?

Whaddya think?


Thirty years ago today–on November 16, 1984–the Jacksons Victory Tour hit B.C. Place Stadium for the first of three shows.

For some reason, I went.

Here’s my unspectacular review from the Nov. 23-30 issue of the Straight.


The biggest show in the history of pop music came to Vancouver last week, in the form of the Jacksons' Victory Tour.

It was a dazzling display of lights and lasers, mechanized staging and slick choreography, available to anyone who wanted to shell out $40–and in three nights 107,000 fans did just that.

Just heard some great news in a tweet from one of my fave authors, hardboiled Texas mystery/suspense ace Joe R. Lansdale. He's the guy who wrote the story that became one of my fave all-time horror flicks, Bubba Ho-Tep.

Turns out two of my fave characters of his--Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, from the Hap and Leonard books--are coming to the small screen next year.

Can I get a "Fvckin-AAA!"

Ah, there's nothing like a brand spankin' (emphasis on the spankin') new promotional YouTube video put together by that Friend of the Newt, former gonzo Nerve contributor, bon vivant, Nugent fan, and generally rockin' dude Carl "The Spackle King" Spackler.

The latest celluloid masterpiece the Spackman concocted with all his retro wiles and '70s-style righteousness is meant to shamelessly plug the next gig his band La Chinga is playing, with Spoon River and headliner No Sinner at the Rickshaw on November 21.

Just a day after AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd was charged with "procuring a murder" by New Zealand police, the shocking charges have been dropped.

It's a good thing, too, because media all around the world were running out of ways to work the title of AC/DC's vengeance-for-hire ditty "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" into the story.

According to the New Zealand Herald, the 60-year-old rocker's lawyer, Paul Mabey, issued a statement announcing the about-face by authorities.

Things have not been rosey in the AC/DC camp of late. 

First off was the news six weeks ago that rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young had been confined to a nursing home, suffering from dementia. 

Now comes word that drummer Phil Rudd allegedly tried to have two men killed.

Rudd, 60, appeared in New Zealand's Tauranga District Court today, charged with attempting to procure a murder, after police raided his home on the Tauranga waterfront this morning.

That's definitely a dirty deed, although there's been no evidence put forth of any attempt to get it done dirt cheap--or even get it done at all. Innocent until proven guilty and all that jazz.