Derek Trucks knows what it's like to be just a kid and have everybody hollerin' about how goddamn great you are. He bought his first guitar at a yard sale when he was nine and by his 13th birthday had played alongside Buddy Guy and opened for the Allman Brothers.
Trucks's early arrival at guitar-hero status had me thinking about the similar situation with Quinn Sullivan, the 14-year-old Strat-slinger who opens for his mentor Buddy Guy at Coquitlam's Red Robinson Show Theatre tonight.
The recently released Carrie was the last Hollywood horror flick slated for theatres this year, so with Halloween upon us, here's a handy-dandy guide to what Ear of Newt reckons is the best and worst of 2013's scary-film output.
I reviewed 15 theatrically released fright flicks this year, and according to my calculations, 2013 was no great shakes in the horror department.
There was a rumour swirling around town recently that West Van resident Elvis Costello might show up at Gov't Mule's Vancouver show to perform "Funny Little Tragedy", the song he sings on the band's star-studded new album, Shout!
Well, last night at the Commodore, Elvis never entered the building.
Didn't matter much, though, because the mighty Mule was fully capable of delivering a truly unforgettable show on its own.
Here's some fun facts to consider:
Elvis Costello is buddies with Gov't Mule singer-guitarist Warren Haynes.
He was one of the 11 guest vocalists on Gov't Mule's new album.
He lives in Vancouver.
Add it all up and what you get—according to our keen calculations at Ear of Newt—is the distinct possibility that Costello might join Gov't Mule on stage at the Commodore tonight for a blistering version of "Funny Little Tragedy", the tune he sings on the Mule's stunning new double-album, Shout!
That'd be cool.
Guitar freaks go to Joe Satriani concerts to hear the Bay Area musician speedily blast out approximately 1,365,398 notes in total, and make all of them sound perfect.
But Satriani's ace in the hole—apart from a wicked rhythm-section composed of bassist Bryan Beller and drummer Marco Minnemann—is keyboardist-guitarist Mike Keneally, the former "stunt guitarist" and touring member in Frank Zappa's band.
He's six years younger than the 57-year-old Satch and, according to the All Music Guide, "the leading progressive-rock genius of the post-Zappa era".
I wouldn't doubt it.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has done it again. It's made a complete ass of itself by nominating, for the eighth time, Chic.
When you consider that somebody like Irish guitar hero Rory Gallagher hasn't once been given the nod, it's utterly preposterous.
No less a rock icon than Slash himself has petitioned for Gallagher to be inducted, but instead you've got jokers like Rock Hall cofounder Jann Wenner tirelessly working to honour the disco band that first hit it big with the single "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)".
It's a fucking disgrace.
Thirty years ago today--on October 11, 1983--AC/DC played Vancouver on its Flick of the Switch Tour. A couple of weeks later the Georgia Straight published a full-page story (remember full-page stories?) that I did on the band.
Since I've got nothing better to do on a Friday night before Thanksgiving, and there's a bunch of beer in the fridge, I'm gonna retype it word for word.
Keep in mind that my interview skills were 30 years crappier than they are now. Man did I ask some nerdy questions.
Dolls are just plain creepy. And filmmakers have learned how to cash in on that creepiness, whether via the conniving ventriloquist's dummy that messed with Anthony Hopkins in 1978's Magic or the maniacal Zuni fetish doll that menaced the late Karen Black's ankles three years earlier in TV's Trilogy of Terror.
Then there's Chucky, the murderous little scamp from the Child's Play franchise. He makes his latest appearance in Curse of Chucky, which is out on Blu-ray today.
I haven't seen it yet. But I've seen all the others.
It really helped if you focused on the wicked performances of the other three players in the band, especially legendary riffmaster Tony Iommi.
But just today Sabbath posted a clip on YouTube promoting their upcoming DVD/Blu-ray Live...Gathered in Their Masses, which is sheduled for release on Nov. 26.
Music lovers of a certain age—let's call them "old fogies" for want of a better term—know that 1973 was an incredible year for guitar-based rock.
You can read all about it in music historian Michael Walker's great new book, What You Want Is in the Limo, which focuses on the albums and touring shenanigans of the Who, Led Zeppelin, and Alice Cooper those 40 years ago.
Or you can just take my word for it, and go here for a sampling.