Archive for the ‘Classic Rock’ Category

Neil Peart is gone

Posted: January 11, 2020 in Classic Rock

Sad to hear that drummer Neil Peart has passed away at 67. He was one of the all time greats and this is rather shocking news. I think everybody has a favourite album by Rush. If you go to YouTube, check out Pete Pardo´s highly emotional Tribute at the Sea of Tranquility Channel.

After a few years of inactivity regarding interviews etc I have decided to get back into it again in 2020. It is simply way too much fun not to be active and as it happens I can really appreciate some of the new music that I hear now and that helps. I will add more of my Classic Rock Interviews here (see the tag on this blog) and on top of that I will now present brand new interviews. I am also open for collaborations with Classic Rock and Metal publications out there. My archive from the old days (going back to the early 1980s) is there for the picking and is quite extensive (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Ronnie James Dio, Nightwish etc etc). I will not go back to travelling the way I used to, but in this day and age you really do not have to. I can take it in my own pace and follow my own heart. I always did anyway. Good things are happening out there now and I want to support some of the good bands out there. I guess Babymetal would be the ultimate deal in this day and age and I would certainly love to get them some day.

(Top image shows me with Jon Lord back in 1982 – photograph by my friend Michael Johansson)

I used to have huge articles in print all the time back in the day and here is one from ÖP (Östersunds Posten, November 17 1984). In this one I had a crack at listing the 25 best Hard Rock bands and to avoid too much havoc I listed them in alphabetical order. They were: AC/DC, Accept, BTO, Budgie, Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, Deep Purple, Dio, Europe, Fist, Hughes Thrall, James Gang, Judas Priest, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, MSG, Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, Scorpions, Status Quo, Thin Lizzy, UFO, Van Halen, 220 Volt and Whitesnake. Not sure what the hell Status Quo was doing in there, maybe I was a bit intoxicated when I put this list together? In any case, I had some fun with this story and I made good money on it. The live shot of Black Sabbath featuring Ian Gillan was taken by my friend Michael Johansson in Stockholm 1983. Makes it all look good too.

(My shot of said article)

BABYMETAL

The countdown is on for the Stockholm show in early February. Really looking forward to it. As you know I enjoy obscure podcasts and Metal As Medicine just posted a great video on YouTube called “Metal Galaxy” Album Discussion. Watch the stats go through the roof, these guys are in for a huge surprise as the Babymetal legions pops by. They are talking about a special episode about Babymetal as well, and this is pretty much guaranteed now I think. Good job there chaps.

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Good news for fans of Yngwie Malmsteen, as “Fire & Ice” is about to get the good old Vinyl treatment on January 31. Blue and Yellow Vinyls.

AIRFIX

I can tell that the Airfix homepage has almost crashed (due to heavy traffic) today, since they have just announced what they have in store for 2020. And they always have got something that you will enjoy (if you are anything like me).

I have met a lot of interesting people in my day but I have to say that jazz drummer Alphonse Mouzon stood out a mile. This was back in August 1983 and I was in Stockholm to see him at a jazz club called Fasching (and Iron Maiden/Rock Goddess too elsewhere). My good friend photographer Michael Johansson was with me as was often the case back in the day and we had a good time seeing Mouzon play at the club. As big fans of Tommy Bolin, we really wanted to meet him and see what we could get out of him about his 1975 album “Mind Transplant” so after the set, as we spotted him in the bar, we ambushed him as soon as we could be nice about it (some woman who obviously wanted to shag him spotted him first). Anyway, we were invited to interview him the following day at his hotel and when we arrived he was obviously ready to play some tennis. So you have to picture a jazz guy who is in a hurry and he can clearly figure us out as Deep Purple fans (not sure what T-shirt Johansson had on, but I had a Purple shirt for sure!). And here comes the twist, the part that blew us away (and pretty much shot us down in flames). I had planned to kind of pretend that I was interested in his career (I was not, although I respected him), so I started things off by asking something about his early days and how many records he had done. He then answered the questions (it was 14 and one more was on the way), and as he did this he swiftly presented a bio and tossed it over. Curtains. Oh screw this, lets just ask him about Tommy Bolin then. So I did, and we got his take on him and what they had done back in the day in a few minutes. Then he was off, “hoping to run into Björn Borg” so that he could “encounter some real competition”. I still have to laugh when I think about that meeting.

In any case, since fans of Tommy Bolin often dwell here, here is what he had to say about him.

HIS FIRST MEETING WITH TOMMY BOLIN

– “I first met Tommy in Colorado. I had my first gig there in the late 1960s and we jammed together one night. He was about 17 but he was already very good”.

HIS APPRECIATION FOR TOMMYS PLAYING

– “He really could touch on anything, he was very open to different styles. He was a good jazz player but he was good in Deep Purple too. I liked his use of echoplex, he was a pioneer using that”.

ON TOMMYS DRUG USE

– “Well we did “Mind Transplant” in 1974 and I warned him about that stuff, but he was kind of listening with one ear. He would take anything and it worried me. I think he got a 500,000 dollar deal with Columbia after Deep Purple, but obviously it did not end well”.

ON “MIND TRANSPLANT”

– “We used everything we recorded with Tommy on “Mind Transplant”, there is nothing rare to unearth in the vaults. I have had thoughts about reissuing it with a new mix and different cover art”.

Some other comments…

ON THE LIVE SET

– “We played an instrumental set yesterday because it was a small production and I did not perform with my own kit. Some of my stuff has lyrics, there is going to be a song on the next album that is dedicated to my son, “The Lady In Red”. At the moment I pick stuff from the three last albums, “By All Means”, “Morning Sun” and “Step Into The Funk””.

ON HIS PASSION FOR TENNIS

– “I moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1975 and I have a tennis court on my property. I play with Jeff (a member of his band) when I am on the road and I always win”.

And with that, he was off hoping to spot Björn Borg.

(Top image shows an article from Swedish newspaper Helsingborgs Dagblad that was in print on August 13 1983, the photo of me and Alphonse was taken by Michael Johansson)

PS. I had nothing to do with the silly headline of that article!

Well we all know that Tarantino is one of the all time greats, but this is just pure gold. I finally got around to see “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood” and I had done everything I could to avoid spoilers. Therefore, the meaning behind the title of the movie only dawned on me as I saw the last few scenes. I will not blow it here if you have not seen it but this is one of the best films that I have ever seen. The pure nostalgia alone is glorious, and the soundtrack (that I have mentioned before on this blog) is carefully picked in scenes that takes you back to Tinseltown in the late 1960s. Hell, there is enough art references (real and imagined) in this movie to send me to heaven. The movie posters alone… But back to the story. When you have Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate you just know that things are going to turn ugly. If you know anything about that dark twisted night (and you need to know what happened there back in the day to be able to fully appreciate this) you will certainly have this sense of unease throughout the movie. Add the characters of Brad Pitt (suspected wife murderer) and Leonardo DiCaprio (waning TV star living next door to Tate) and you find yourself in a wirlwind that takes you ever closer to you know what…

Nice to hear some early Deep Purple in this too.

(My shot of said DVD)

Whiskey Men

Posted: January 3, 2020 in Classic Rock, Cool stuff

Molly Hatchet has a new singer, Jimmy Elkins, and that could be bad news. In this case it is not, as this Double Live CD (“Battleground”, recorded in Germany, Switzerland and the US) proves. Turns out that they have found a guy with exactly the right tone and they sound pretty much like they always did. This means that Molly Hatchet can move into the 2020s and I kind of like that. I have a soft spot for these guys, always out there working, and pretty much underground too. You have to admire them for always carrying on no matter what. Excellent cover art by Paul Raymond, keeping traditions alive.

(My image of said release)