Last year I put together a list of my 30 fave albums from 1973, which was a particularly awesome year since it included the release of what I’ve always felt was the world’s greatest rock album, the Who’s Quadrophenia.
Now that you’ve all had a good chance to go out and purchase each and every one of those discs in whatever format you desire—including that fancy-ass boxed-set version of Quadro—it’s time again for me to head back four decades and reminisce about what was truly rockin’ in the Year of Our Lord, 1974.
Thirty years ago today–on January 9, 1984–British prog-rock legends Genesis played the Pacific Coliseum. The band—composed of lead vocalist/drummer Phil Collins, guitarist-bassist Mike Rutherford, and keyboardist Tony Bank—was touring behind its new self-titled album, which boasted the singles “Mama” (its biggest U.K. hit), “That’s All” (its first U.S. Top 10 hit), “Illegal Alien”, and “Taking It All Too Hard”.
My fave tune was actually “Home By the Sea”, if I recall correctly.
Okay, so we lied. Judas Priest did not debut its new hit single "Respecting the Law" on The Simpsons last night.
But it did rock the World's Best Animated Show with a 17-second parody of its 1980 hit single "Breaking the Law".
The episode was about Internet piracy, and Rob Halford and the boys set up on the deck of a flatbed truck to perform in front of the Swedish embassy, which was harbouring the Simpsons. They took refuge there after Homer got busted for showing pirated Hollywood movies in his backyard.
I interviewed quite a few rockers last year. Here’s some of the things they said.
“To me stoner rock is just non-commercial rock that pulls from every great era... And as far as the stoner element, I mean, yeah, it’s always cool to smoke pot.”
—Brant Bjork of Vista Chino
“Most people would probly be amazed at how easy it is to make weapons.”
—Reverend Peyton on the “spud gun” used in his band’s video for “Mama’s Fried Potatoes”
But in terms of club and theatre gigs there wasn't much to beef about during the last 12 months.
Especially if you like the sound of guitars.
I scored a copy of the new Stephen King novel Doctor Sleep for Christmas, which was great as it continues the story of The Shining, one of my fave works–next to Carrie, The Dead Zone, and The Stand–from King’s ’70s heyday.
But before I even got into the further supernatural torments befalling the telepathic Danny Torrance I got a kick out of the horror master’s dedication of the book. He sent it out to singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, who I’ve always felt was one of the most underrated rockers of all time.
How cool is that?
Thirty years ago this Friday—on December 27, 1983—Blue Oyster Cult and Aldo Nova played the Pacific Coliseum. (That gig is not to be confused with the one they played at the same venue in August of ’82)
I was pretty psyched about seeing B.O.C.
Nova not so much.
I must admit that I didn’t mind his 1982 song “Fantasy”, though. I also liked the fact that he cowrote Blue Oyster Cult’s “Take Me Away”, the lead track off B.O.C.’s then-new album, The Revolution By Night, produced by Vancouver’s own Bruce Fairbairn.
Twenty years ago last Friday—on December 20, 1993—Blind Melon played Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom. It was a benefit for the Vancouver Food Bank as part of a plea deal stemming from charges against singer Shannon Hoon for an incident that occured two months earlier when he’d gotten naked on stage and peed into the front row at the Pacific Coliseum during the band’s warm-up for Lenny Kravitz.
Here’s my review of the Commodore show as it appeared in the Dec. 24, ’93 issue of the Georgia Straight, under the headline “Melon’s Fans Spared Spray”.
Ian Watkins, the former Lostprophets singer who last month pleaded guilty to numerous sex crimes involving children—including the attempted rape of a baby—was sentenced today to 35 years in prison.
As well as the 36-year-old Watkins, two mothers in their 20s—known only as Woman A and Woman B—were sentenced to 14 and 17 years respectively. The women had sexually abused their children at Watkins' request.