Archive for October, 2019

Bought a rather excellent Ronnie James Dio biography by author James Curl (JC Publications, 2018). Titled “Ronnie James Dio – A Biography of a Heavy Metal Icon” it spans the mans life from his childhood (and early bands) to his death in 2010. Curl has managed to interview loads of people that knew Ronnie, worked with him, or had deeply emotional meetings. Obviously, his music from “Ritchie Blackmore´s Rainbow” (1975) and onwards touched millions, and continues to do so. But he was also a man involved in very positive things (not least charities) that few knew about, apart from high profile projects like Hear´n Aid “Stars” (1986). The author captures his journey well and although I have been a major fan since 1975 (and read many interviews), there are still details in this book that I had little knowledge of. I am honored to have a quote in it from my 2001 interview with the man (that you can find on this blog if you go to August 2012), although I did not know about it. Happens all the time these days. It dawned on me as I read this book that Dio was 58 when he recorded “Magica” (one of my all time Dio favourites), and I am 58 now. Is it not strange that he has been gone nearly a decade now? Makes you think. All in all, a good read. Cover shot by David Plastik. 244 pages.

(My shot of said book)


Got Kerrang! #1794 in the mail. With a Babymetal cover and a dozen pages inside dedicated to them it is an instant collectors item. Babymetal has added every track from the “Metal Galaxy” album to their YouTube page, so anybody can check it all out no problem.


The recently released Freddie Mercury compilation set “Never Boring” is doing good business. The “Bohemian Rhapsody” film of last year has worked wonders to introduce and to rekindle interest in his legacy, as well as Queen.


Viking rockers Leaves´Eyes has a brand new EP coming up on November 22 titled “Black Butterfly”. Good cover too.

(My shot of Kerrang! Magazine with framed 2013 poster from Tower Records in the back)

Got this today, a Double Vinyl compilation with Chuck Berry titled “Roll over Beethoven – The Ultimate Rock´n´Roll Album”. Released in France in 2017 it spans the 1955-1961 period of Chuck Berry. The iconic cover shot looks great (credited to Zuma/Dalle). So glad that Vinyls are selling well again.

(My shot of said release)

Commando Halloween Special

Posted: October 23, 2019 in Comics, Cool stuff

Commando continues to surprise, and now we get a Halloween Special (#5277) titled “Commandos Vs Zombies”. Story by Georgia Standen Battle, inside art by Vicente Alcazar and cover art by (the one and only) Ian Kennedy.


(Cover courtesy of Commando)

In December 1973, a Deep Purple double compilation album called “Mark I & II” was released. The title was a reference to the first two versions of the band, in fact the third incarnation went out on the road in Europe (starting in Scandinavia) just as this was released. On Wikipedia it says that this was a UK only release but that is not true. My copy is printed by EMI in Sweden (it was certainly available here) and you can tell it is a German edition as they spell the four sides of these vinyls “Seite 1”, “Seite 2” etc on the back. What you get here is 16 songs, eight by each line-up. I always loved the cover art even though the text on the inside of the gatefold sleeve was ill researched. The whole business to reference the Deep Purple line-ups as Mark (or MK) 1, 2, 3 etc started with this release. Within the Purple Family, it is what fans do, although who can really keep track at this point?

The management of Deep Purple later neglected to put a “Mark III & IV” album out, an historic mistake that even David Coverdale has mentioned as being a bit sad. And he is right, it should have been done in the late 1970s, but they were busy shining the spotlight on MK2 at the time. A bit weird since they were in bed with Whitesnake back then.

It would be nice if somebody saw fit to re-release this particular album on Vinyl, if they could follow this up with the album that never was (“Mark III & IV”) with similar artwork. Why the hell not?

(My shot of said album)


I have discovered that ex-BTO (as in Bachman Turner Overdrive) guitarist Randy Bachman has been very busy recording music that I just did not know was out there. Just added this 1992 solo album, “Any Road”, to the old collection. Any fan of BTO will just love this. Adding more of this stuff now.


If you are stuck in 1980 chances are that you will love US band War Cloud. They have a new album (CD & Vinyl) out called “State of Shock” with a WWII cover that works very well with the music (think Motörhead). They may have missed the boat by a few decades but this is very charming in its own way.


Swedish rockers Metalite has a new album out this week called “Biomechanicals”. Singer Erica Ohlsson is making her debut with the band. The album cover looks great and I will get the Green Vinyl myself, although you can get it in Gold as well.

(My image of the 1992 Bachman album)


Got some chart positions of physical sales for “Metal Galaxy”. It entered the US chart at #13, Germany and Australia at #18 and the UK at #19. Babymetal stuff is coming in all the time now (it is great to be a collector) and the magazines you see here (PMC #15 and Hedoban #24) as well as the special edition of the CD is all coming from Japan. Su-metal has a great quote in the PMC magazine, “The snail climbs Mount Fuji without a break”.


Wymer Publishing in the UK is to release a book that features Ian Gillan on December 6 called “Ian Gillan – A Visual Biography”. I guess we may see a second edition with another title and a cheaper price tag later on?


US journalist Cherry Bomb has published a story on Ronnie James Dio at the Metal Injection site, using quotes from my big 2001 interview (which was posted on this blog on August 20 2012). The title of her story is “Holy Diver! Ronnie James Dio´s 1978 Close Encounter With a UFO in Connecticut”.


220 Volt guitarist Mats Karlsson will have his first solo album out on December 6 (I guess you could read the Ian Gillan book while listening to it since they hit us on the same day). It is titled “The Time Optimist”.

(Regarding Babymetal, thank you for your support Kalle – my image of said items)