Thirty years ago today--on May 17, 1984--Tony Carey called me up from Tulsa, Oklahoma to chat about his new album, Some Tough City. You may remember that album from such hits as "A Fine, Fine Day" and "The First Day of Summer".

I sure do.

Here's the story that ran in the June 1, 1984, issue of the Straight, under the headline TONY CAREY FINDS GOLD AT THE END OF HIS RAINBOW.


The Farrelly Brothers have garnered a lot of laughs from moviegoers since bursting onto the film scene with 1994′s Dumb and Dumber. I always thought that their second Jim Carrey vehicle, 2000's Me, Myself & Irene, was one of their funnier efforts.

It also had a wicked soundtrack, composed mainly of Steely Dan tunes performed by such diverse artists as the Brian Setzer Orchestra (“Bodhisattva”), the Push Stars (“Bad Sneakers”), Ben Folds Five (“Barrytown”), and Wilco (“Any Major Dude Will Tell You”).

Pete Yorn didn’t perform a Steely Dan tune on that soundtrack, but he did score the movie, and also contributed one of its more memorable numbers, the super-catchy “Strange Condition”.

I've always thought that John Fogerty was the ultimate "triple threat".

When he was the leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival—and after that, on much of his solo work—he was an incredibly gifted songwriter and a kick-ass swamp-rock guitar player. 

And then there's that voice: just so raspy and raw and full of fire.

Add 'em up and you've got the most valuable player in rock, in my unhumble opinion.

Anybody else in the Metro Vancouver area who shares those feelings for Fogerty should be pleased to note that he's just announced a show at the Abbotsford Centre on November 28.

Thirty years ago today—on May 14, 1984—Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford called me up from a gig in Portland, Oregon, to chat about his band’s new album, Defenders of the Faith. At the time Priest was riding high in the metal world, their last two albums—1981's Point of Entry and ’82's Screaming for Vengeance—having both gone platinum (a million copies sold).

Defenders would also go platinum on the strength of the singles “Freewheel Burning”, “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll”, and “Love Bites”.

Here’s the story that ran in the May 25, 1984 issue of the Straight under the headline: JUDAS PRIEST: ON TOP AS LONG AS THE MUSIC’S LOUD.

I remember thinking at the time that the headline was pretty rockin’. 

I was shocked and saddened to hear that revered Swiss artist H.R. Giger passed away yesterday at the age of 74, apparently after a fall.

I got my first look at his work in 1973 when, as a teenager perusing new albums at a record store, I came across Brain Salad Surgery, the latest release by British prog-rockers Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Twenty years ago today—on May 12, 1994—Australian guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel played the Vogue Theatre on a Music West bill with Ali Farka Toure and Ben Harper. He’s come a long way since then, as 20 years later—this Thursday (May 15), to be precise—Emmanuel is headlining the Vancouver Playhouse.

And it’s completely sold out.

It's so sold out that I can't even get a reviewer ticket. And I wasn't able to secure an advance phone interview with the mind-boggling player either, as he was touring heavily over in Europe when I made the request, and needed to spend some time with his kids in England.

Twenty-five years ago tomorrow–on May 11, 1989–Bon Jovi played B.C. Place Stadium. The quintet was touring behind its fourth album, the Vancouver-made, Bruce Fairbairn-produced New Jersey, which spawned five singles and has sold more than seven-million copies in the U.S. alone.

Robert Plant has been making waves in the music press for the last 24 hours or so, ever since Rolling Stone posted a story in which he (yet again) decries the idea of a Led Zeppelin reunion tour, saying "I'm not part of a jukebox".

Despite the protestations of millions of Zep freaks—as well as such influential rock icons as Alice Cooper—Plant must be getting sick of turning down the huge bucks that are being thrust in his face to get him back on the road with Jimmy Page.

Last month I did a blog about how a lot of amazing rock guitarists—Pat Travers, Jake E. Lee, Yngwie Malmsteen, Slash, et cetera—were playing Stateside gigs this year but weren't crossing the border to bring us Canucks a taste of their wild licks.

Well, over the weekend Travers played a whiskey-snortin' gig at some place in Tacoma called the Lucky Dog Casino, so he's long gone by now. But it looks like Malmsteen and Slash are coming our way after all. My response to that is: fuckin'-AAA!

One of the first set-visit stories I did as a freelance writer for Fangoria magazine was back in 1988, when I headed down to the Granville Mall to cover a low-budget flick called Midnight Matinee, which is also known as just Matinee, not to be confused with Joe Dante’s Matinee of 1993.

The movie–which nobody bothered telling me was being made for TV–may be best known for being helmed by the son of Dick Martin, one of the guy’s from Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in.

The coolest aspect of the film for me is that it was partially filmed in my hometown of Chilliwack, using the old Paramount Theatre as a backdrop.