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.
The last Halloween movie to be released—Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 in 2009—was one nasty, gruesome bit of business.
But unlike John Carpenter's 1978 original, it wasn't particularly scary.
"Relentlessly disturbing though it is, the movie is not particularly frightening," opined one of the world's most esteemed and insightful horror-movie critics.
Okay, so maybe that was just me.
But I wasn't the only one who had a beef with Zombie's update. In fact, some outraged dude felt compelled enough to create a 32-minute video titled "How Rob Zombie Destroyed the Halloween Franchise".
Metallica usually plays by its own rules. That's how the legendary headbangers got to be legendary, pretty much.
But when the group played its first-ever shows in China last month, it had no choice but to kowtow to government censors.
Lyrically, at least.
Before it was permitted to play in the country, it had to submit all the lyrics to every song on its set list to the government for approval. And as guitarist Kirk Hammett explained on yesterday's Howard Stern Show, the powers that be in the land of the unfree didn't much cotton to the message in "Master of Puppets".
Master of puppets
I'm pulling your strings
Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams
Paul Mercs Concerts has just announced that Joe Satriani will appear for an autograph session at Long & McQuade the day before his show in Vancouver at the Vogue Theatre.
The Bay Area rock-guitar hero—who also plays in Chickenfoot—will be signing stuff at the music store's Terminal Avenue location on October 18 from 6:30 to 8 pm, so bring your guitars and your Satch CDs to get scribbled on.
Guess I shoulda known, from song titles like "Kickback City" and "Loanshark Blues"—not to mention "Continental Op"—that Irish guitar legend Rory Gallagher had a passion for the crime-noir genre.
For anyone else who might have missed out on that angle, Eagle Rock Entertainment is going to set things straight next month with the release of Kickback City, a package that includes Gallagher’s best crime novel-influenced music and a new novella by Scottish novelist Ian Rankin, in which Rory's lyrics and song titles are woven into the story.
When stoner-metal legend Brant Bjork called me last week in advance of the Vista Chino show at the Commodore next Monday I asked him about the Stoner Rock Playlist he'd recently put together for metalsucks.net.
I totally understood why Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf" was on there, but was a little surprised that Blue Oyster Cult's "Dominance and Submission" had made the cut.
If you were a teenaged guitar-rock freak growing up in Chilliwack in the '70s, you liked Nazareth.
You surely purchased either vinyl or 8-track versions of both the band's albums that came out in the Year of Our Rockin' Lord, 1973, Razamanaz (in May) and Loud 'n' Proud (in November).
And you no doubt thought they had dipped in quality with 1974's Rampant before returning to form somewhat with 1975's Hair of the Dog.
The setlist that Black Sabbath (without Bill Ward) has been following for the last several concerts on its current tour relies heavily on material from the classic Paranoid album of 1970.
That's the good news.
Black Sabbath (without Bill Ward) isn't giving any interviews in advance of its show at Rogers Arena this Thursday (Aug. 22), but that's okay with me. It just gives me an excuse to crawl back into my '70s time machine and reminisce, home movie-style, about what the heavy-metal heroes have meant to me over the years.
Okay, set the dials for the Year of Our Lord 1972. Location: Chillliwack, B.C. Cue in the strains of Ozzy Osbourne howling along to "Paranoid". Fade in on a longhaired bone-rack in flared jeans and a lime-green Mott the Hoople T-shirt, taking his first-ever swig from a mickey of lemon gin.
Now fade out before he pukes behind the pool hall...
Sad news for fans of one of the greatest hard-rock bands of all time.
Allen Lanier, founding keyboardist-guitarist for Blue Öyster Cult, died yesterday after being hospitalized with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which restricts breathing and is caused by damage to the lungs over many years, most often from smoking.
Apart from a couple of years in the mid-'80s, Lanier was a member of the Long Island group for four decades, from 1967 (when it was called Soft White Underbelly) through 2007.
“My great friend Allen Lanier has passed," wrote B.Ö.C. singer-guitarist Eric Bloom on his Facebook page. "I’ll miss the guy even though we hadn’t spoken in awhile. He was so talented as a musician and a thinker.