Archive for July, 2006

Entry for July 31, 2006

July 31, 2006

 

FOREIGNER
Agent Provocateur
(Atlantic)

 

(“Tooth And Nail” plays)

JESSE: I really like the chords to that song, they’re really nice, and it sounds really good–until that guy starts singing. I just don’t like his voice a whole lot. I saw one of the first shows that Foreigner ever did. I hadda review it…

MARTIN: How utterly fascinating!!!

HAL: Who cares?

MARTIN: (to Jesse) What did you think?

JESSE: I thought it was one of the most horrible shows I’d ever seen.

HAL: I think that song has one of the most effective uses of breathing…

MARTIN: Ooooooh.

HAL: Ahhhh.

JESSE: Better breathing than singing…

MARTIN: I thought it was real cool in the beginning–they have a cymbal or something that pans from left to right, and if you wore headphones it would sound really cool. (laughter)

(Next song plays)

HAL: Well, I’ll tell you of all the groups and artists qualified to write about love, Foreigner’s probably the least well qualified. They’re really poor writers … lyrically speaking, they’re very poor.

JESSE: I can’t really comment on the quality of their lyrics, ’cause I don’t pay that much attention, but that song was not very good. I mean, Lionel Richie could play that song. 

MARTIN: OK, well I’m gonna have to beg to differ with you guys. Because I liked that one.

JESSE: Did you really?

MARTIN: Yeah. I like that formulized kind of slush. It sounded good. I liked it, OK?

(“I Want To Know What Love Is” plays)

MARTIN: Any comments?

JESSE: I thought it was boring, myself.

MARTIN: (to Hal) What about you?

HAL: Uhh … I’ve got nothing to say. I think we should end this review, ’cause they’re like a cipher.  They’re not there.

JESSE: Well, ya know, after that good beginning…

HAL: You mean those heavy chords?

JESSE: Yeah! I mean, what we’ve got here…

MARTIN: I don’t hear much heavy metal…

JESSE: No…

HAL: It doesn’t really sound too metal–not only that, it doesn’t sound like much of anything.

MARTIN: I think we’re forgetting…

HAL: I hate Foreigner to tell you the truth!

JESSE: I saw one of the first shows they ever did…

HAL: I don’t care!

MARTIN: How utterly fascinating! They were cool once, cause they had a guy from King Crimson.

JESSE: That’s when I saw them; they were horrible.

MARTIN: Well, at least they were cool ’cause they had that guy.

HAL: More importantly, how come they’re so rich? I mean, we obviously don’t like this record…

JESSE: I think, more importantly, is why are they so fat?

MARTIN: Because they’re rich! There’s one other vital point … let’s face facts, we live in Detroit, the three of us, and right now we’re living in an oppressed economy. Why? Because of cars from Japan. Basically we’ve been brought up to hate foreigners, anybody that comes in from out of this country. I think solely on that level–because we’re from Detroit–we should hate Foreigner.

JESSE: You know what makes me mad about Foreigner? They’re so unoriginal, that the guy had to take his name from a guitarist in the Clash.

HAL: You mean Jones?

JESSE: Yeah.

HAL: Yeah. I guess that speaks against them, ’cause the Clash are equally bad.

JESSE: Well, no, Mick Jones’s band is supposed to be good.

HAL: Have you heard them?

JESSE: No, I haven’t heard them … just from … uh, the reviews I’ve read.

MARTIN: You believe everything you read, as usual. I HATE YOU!!!!!!!

 

–Jesse Grace, Martin Dio and Hal Jordan

 

(CREEM CLOSE-UP: METAL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, June 1985)

Entry for July 31, 2006

July 31, 2006

 

FOREIGNER
Agent Provocateur
(Atlantic)

 

(“Tooth And Nail” plays)

JESSE: I really like the chords to that song, they’re really nice, and it sounds really good–until that guy starts singing. I just don’t like his voice a whole lot. I saw one of the first shows that Foreigner ever did. I hadda review it…

MARTIN: How utterly fascinating!!!

HAL: Who cares?

MARTIN: (to Jesse) What did you think?

JESSE: I thought it was one of the most horrible shows I’d ever seen.

HAL: I think that song has one of the most effective uses of breathing…

MARTIN: Ooooooh.

HAL: Ahhhh.

JESSE: Better breathing than singing…

MARTIN: I thought it was real cool in the beginning–they have a cymbal or something that pans from left to right, and if you wore headphones it would sound really cool. (laughter)

(Next song plays)

HAL: Well, I’ll tell you of all the groups and artists qualified to write about love, Foreigner’s probably the least well qualified. They’re really poor writers … lyrically speaking, they’re very poor.

JESSE: I can’t really comment on the quality of their lyrics, ’cause I don’t pay that much attention, but that song was not very good. I mean, Lionel Richie could play that song. 

MARTIN: OK, well I’m gonna have to beg to differ with you guys. Because I liked that one.

JESSE: Did you really?

MARTIN: Yeah. I like that formulized kind of slush. It sounded good. I liked it, OK?

(“I Want To Know What Love Is” plays)

MARTIN: Any comments?

JESSE: I thought it was boring, myself.

MARTIN: (to Hal) What about you?

HAL: Uhh … I’ve got nothing to say. I think we should end this review, ’cause they’re like a cipher.  They’re not there.

JESSE: Well, ya know, after that good beginning…

HAL: You mean those heavy chords?

JESSE: Yeah! I mean, what we’ve got here…

MARTIN: I don’t hear much heavy metal…

JESSE: No…

HAL: It doesn’t really sound too metal–not only that, it doesn’t sound like much of anything.

MARTIN: I think we’re forgetting…

HAL: I hate Foreigner to tell you the truth!

JESSE: I saw one of the first shows they ever did…

HAL: I don’t care!

MARTIN: How utterly fascinating! They were cool once, cause they had a guy from King Crimson.

JESSE: That’s when I saw them; they were horrible.

MARTIN: Well, at least they were cool ’cause they had that guy.

HAL: More importantly, how come they’re so rich? I mean, we obviously don’t like this record…

JESSE: I think, more importantly, is why are they so fat?

MARTIN: Because they’re rich! There’s one other vital point … let’s face facts, we live in Detroit, the three of us, and right now we’re living in an oppressed economy. Why? Because of cars from Japan. Basically we’ve been brought up to hate foreigners, anybody that comes in from out of this country. I think solely on that level–because we’re from Detroit–we should hate Foreigner.

JESSE: You know what makes me mad about Foreigner? They’re so unoriginal, that the guy had to take his name from a guitarist in the Clash.

HAL: You mean Jones?

JESSE: Yeah.

HAL: Yeah. I guess that speaks against them, ’cause the Clash are equally bad.

JESSE: Well, no, Mick Jones’s band is supposed to be good.

HAL: Have you heard them?

JESSE: No, I haven’t heard them … just from … uh, the reviews I’ve read.

MARTIN: You believe everything you read, as usual. I HATE YOU!!!!!!!

 

–Jesse Grace, Martin Dio and Hal Jordan

 

(CREEM CLOSE-UP: METAL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, June 1985)

Entry for July 28, 2006

July 28, 2006

 

THE FIRM
The Firm
(Atlantic)

 

MARTIN: Now we’re going to review the album by the Firm.

JESSE: Jimmy Page is in the band, we should mention that.

MARTIN: Um, Jimmy Page is in this band. So is Paul Rodgers. So is Chris Slade, who’s a bald guy who plays drums and used to be in Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and was with David Gilmour–who I recently saw.

JESSE: How utterly fascinating!

MARTIN: Then there’s a bass player, a new star, according to an interview with Jimmy Page, an exclusive interview I should add, that, uh, mentions his name is Tony Franklin and he’s amazing, he plays a fretless bass and he plays with such precision that apparently an audience was moved and stunned at his incredible expertise. It made him a star that night.

HAL: That’s kind of a touching story you’re telling.

MARTIN: Yeah, it is touching…

HAL: Well, how’s the album in your estimation? You’ve listened to it.

MARTIN: Well, have you guys listened to the album?

HAL: I’ve heard a cut.

JESSE: I’ve heard a cut. I haven’t heard the album, although I’d like to, eventually.

MARTIN: Well, let me tell you what I think about the album, because I played it.

HAL: What do you think, Martin?

MARTIN: Well, what I think about the album–OK, now first of all, I’ve always loved Jimmy Page’s guitar style, I think he’s great. I didn’t like Led Zeppelin too much after their first album, understandably, but…

HAL: I liked the second album.

MARTIN: I didn’t like that, I thought it was crap. Nonetheless, I always thought Page was fine; I liked him in the Yardbirds best. When I heard the song “Radioactive,” I said, “Hey, this guitar work sort of sounds like the Yardbirds!” That would be great–if Page got rid of all the excess and shit he pulled in Led Zeppelin and got back to short, concise, great guitar playing. And, I should say, when I heard Paul Rodgers was in the Firm, I thought, “Hey, ya know, I used to like Free.” Never liked Bad Company, hardly at all–I thought he sounded too samey all the time when he sang. But I thought this could be a good partnership. Now, one other thing: I just so happened to see the ARMS benefit at Madison Square Garden, ’cause I’m a world traveler and have lots of class. And at that concert, Page and, uh, Rodgers played together, and it was OK, it was sorta exciting to see two, quote, legends of rock, unquote, together. And it was just thrilling–Jimmy seemed a little sloppy, however, and I was actually more inspired watching the tremendous guitarist Jeff Beck.

HAL: Were you embarrassed sort of by.. uh…Jimmy’s playing?

MARTIN: I was sorta embarrassed, yeah. Jimmy embarrassed me when he played an acoustic version of “Stairway To Heaven.” It was not only not touching, it was sort of sickening.

HAL: Why do you think Jim would do that to you?

MARTIN: He’s a nice guy, and I can only hope that at one point he didn’t happen to know–through his knowledge of the occult–that I once took a book by Anton LaVay and I burned it. I considered it hideous.  Uh, in any case, I ignore Jimmy’s dealings with me personally, ’cause I’m not one of those people that think rock stars know everything about me, including the fact that I want to make fun of them in print and told someone really important that they stunk. I’m getting off track. Let’s say this: I put the record on, it sounded OK–not good, OK. In fact, Paul Rodgers’s voice is getting to me again the same way it got to me when I heard Bad Company. Page’s guitar was pretty good, but as was stated in a recent CREEM review of the very same album, I found myself just getting into Jimmy’s playing when it suddenly stopped–and then we had more of Paul Rodgers. It didn’t sound too bad. The songs themselves didn’t have the melody that one would expect of Page. Uh, the lyrics, were–as usual–dry, stupid and boring.

JESSE: You are really boring me.

MARTIN: Thank you. Uh, the cover of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” is not a bad idea. It’s just very hard to believe that Jimmy Page would play on something so stupid.  Paul Rodgers has a good voice and he’s a good interpreter of other people’s music. I don’t want to be too harsh on this album ’cause it’s always good to see Jimmy Page back in the music scene. And, some of it I like, in fact. I like “Radioactive”–it’s a real good single. I think it was a really swift move and it was smart that they chose that as their first single, to let everyone know that this isn’t quite Led Company. Which would be a tremendous headline for a record review, I should add. Basically, I can only hope that these guys get a little better. They’ll put out another record. They’re gonna tour here, I notice on the … I guess they’re gonna start touring at the end of this month … in fact, their first gig is tomorrow night, as we write this! In Dallas, Texas. Son of a gun!

HAL: But we don’t write this in Dallas, Texas!

MARTIN: Huh?

HAL: You think it’ll rain tomorrow? Or do you hope it’ll rain tomorrow?

MARTIN: I hope it rains again tomorrow…

JESSE: (Singing) The sun’ll come out tomorrow…

HAL: I guess, to me, the issue is whether Jimmy Page is kind of like yesterday’s papers, as the Rolling Stones once said on their Between The Buttons pop album.

MARTIN: That’s sounds fascinating!

HAL: To me, that’s the issue.

MARTIN: I think…

HAL: Jimmy Page is obviously a fine guitar player, but is he the kind of guitar player that the young listener really wants to listen to? And I have no answers for that.

MARTIN: I happen to have a young guitar player here next to me. What’s your name?

YOUNG GUITAR PLAYER: Bink!

MARTIN: Why, Bink!

HAL: It’s the Bink! It really is!

MARTIN: Bink, would you like to hear Jimmy Page play guitar? You know how he sounds–is he what everyone your age wants to hear?

YOUNG GUITAR PLAYER: No!!!

MARTIN: OK, Bink, thanks. (Young guitar player exits) I don’t know, Bink sounded upset. And when Bink doesn’t like something, he lets ya know he doesn’t like it!

JESSE: I mean let’s face it–whenever you got Mick Mars, what chance do ya got? (drops checkbook) Oops!

HAL: Why do you go around dropping your checkbook on the floor during a review like this?

MARTIN: Not to mention your pants!

–Martin Dio, Jesse Grace & Hal Jordan

 

(CREEM CLOSE-UP: METAL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, June 1985)

Entry for July 28, 2006

July 28, 2006

 

THE FIRM
The Firm
(Atlantic)

 

MARTIN: Now we’re going to review the album by the Firm.

JESSE: Jimmy Page is in the band, we should mention that.

MARTIN: Um, Jimmy Page is in this band. So is Paul Rodgers. So is Chris Slade, who’s a bald guy who plays drums and used to be in Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and was with David Gilmour–who I recently saw.

JESSE: How utterly fascinating!

MARTIN: Then there’s a bass player, a new star, according to an interview with Jimmy Page, an exclusive interview I should add, that, uh, mentions his name is Tony Franklin and he’s amazing, he plays a fretless bass and he plays with such precision that apparently an audience was moved and stunned at his incredible expertise. It made him a star that night.

HAL: That’s kind of a touching story you’re telling.

MARTIN: Yeah, it is touching…

HAL: Well, how’s the album in your estimation? You’ve listened to it.

MARTIN: Well, have you guys listened to the album?

HAL: I’ve heard a cut.

JESSE: I’ve heard a cut. I haven’t heard the album, although I’d like to, eventually.

MARTIN: Well, let me tell you what I think about the album, because I played it.

HAL: What do you think, Martin?

MARTIN: Well, what I think about the album–OK, now first of all, I’ve always loved Jimmy Page’s guitar style, I think he’s great. I didn’t like Led Zeppelin too much after their first album, understandably, but…

HAL: I liked the second album.

MARTIN: I didn’t like that, I thought it was crap. Nonetheless, I always thought Page was fine; I liked him in the Yardbirds best. When I heard the song “Radioactive,” I said, “Hey, this guitar work sort of sounds like the Yardbirds!” That would be great–if Page got rid of all the excess and shit he pulled in Led Zeppelin and got back to short, concise, great guitar playing. And, I should say, when I heard Paul Rodgers was in the Firm, I thought, “Hey, ya know, I used to like Free.” Never liked Bad Company, hardly at all–I thought he sounded too samey all the time when he sang. But I thought this could be a good partnership. Now, one other thing: I just so happened to see the ARMS benefit at Madison Square Garden, ’cause I’m a world traveler and have lots of class. And at that concert, Page and, uh, Rodgers played together, and it was OK, it was sorta exciting to see two, quote, legends of rock, unquote, together. And it was just thrilling–Jimmy seemed a little sloppy, however, and I was actually more inspired watching the tremendous guitarist Jeff Beck.

HAL: Were you embarrassed sort of by.. uh…Jimmy’s playing?

MARTIN: I was sorta embarrassed, yeah. Jimmy embarrassed me when he played an acoustic version of “Stairway To Heaven.” It was not only not touching, it was sort of sickening.

HAL: Why do you think Jim would do that to you?

MARTIN: He’s a nice guy, and I can only hope that at one point he didn’t happen to know–through his knowledge of the occult–that I once took a book by Anton LaVay and I burned it. I considered it hideous.  Uh, in any case, I ignore Jimmy’s dealings with me personally, ’cause I’m not one of those people that think rock stars know everything about me, including the fact that I want to make fun of them in print and told someone really important that they stunk. I’m getting off track. Let’s say this: I put the record on, it sounded OK–not good, OK. In fact, Paul Rodgers’s voice is getting to me again the same way it got to me when I heard Bad Company. Page’s guitar was pretty good, but as was stated in a recent CREEM review of the very same album, I found myself just getting into Jimmy’s playing when it suddenly stopped–and then we had more of Paul Rodgers. It didn’t sound too bad. The songs themselves didn’t have the melody that one would expect of Page. Uh, the lyrics, were–as usual–dry, stupid and boring.

JESSE: You are really boring me.

MARTIN: Thank you. Uh, the cover of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” is not a bad idea. It’s just very hard to believe that Jimmy Page would play on something so stupid.  Paul Rodgers has a good voice and he’s a good interpreter of other people’s music. I don’t want to be too harsh on this album ’cause it’s always good to see Jimmy Page back in the music scene. And, some of it I like, in fact. I like “Radioactive”–it’s a real good single. I think it was a really swift move and it was smart that they chose that as their first single, to let everyone know that this isn’t quite Led Company. Which would be a tremendous headline for a record review, I should add. Basically, I can only hope that these guys get a little better. They’ll put out another record. They’re gonna tour here, I notice on the … I guess they’re gonna start touring at the end of this month … in fact, their first gig is tomorrow night, as we write this! In Dallas, Texas. Son of a gun!

HAL: But we don’t write this in Dallas, Texas!

MARTIN: Huh?

HAL: You think it’ll rain tomorrow? Or do you hope it’ll rain tomorrow?

MARTIN: I hope it rains again tomorrow…

JESSE: (Singing) The sun’ll come out tomorrow…

HAL: I guess, to me, the issue is whether Jimmy Page is kind of like yesterday’s papers, as the Rolling Stones once said on their Between The Buttons pop album.

MARTIN: That’s sounds fascinating!

HAL: To me, that’s the issue.

MARTIN: I think…

HAL: Jimmy Page is obviously a fine guitar player, but is he the kind of guitar player that the young listener really wants to listen to? And I have no answers for that.

MARTIN: I happen to have a young guitar player here next to me. What’s your name?

YOUNG GUITAR PLAYER: Bink!

MARTIN: Why, Bink!

HAL: It’s the Bink! It really is!

MARTIN: Bink, would you like to hear Jimmy Page play guitar? You know how he sounds–is he what everyone your age wants to hear?

YOUNG GUITAR PLAYER: No!!!

MARTIN: OK, Bink, thanks. (Young guitar player exits) I don’t know, Bink sounded upset. And when Bink doesn’t like something, he lets ya know he doesn’t like it!

JESSE: I mean let’s face it–whenever you got Mick Mars, what chance do ya got? (drops checkbook) Oops!

HAL: Why do you go around dropping your checkbook on the floor during a review like this?

MARTIN: Not to mention your pants!

–Martin Dio, Jesse Grace & Hal Jordan

 

(CREEM CLOSE-UP: METAL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, June 1985)

Entry for July 27, 2006

July 27, 2006

STONE FURY
Burns Like A Star
(MCA)

HAL: The album’s called Bums Like A Star. And I’d just like to point out that most stars burn no lower than 3,000 degrees Centigrade all the way up to millions of degrees at the surface of the star.

MARTIN: That’s a fascinating point. Could you please hold up the record cover so we could examine it?

HAL: There it is.

JESSE: The band’s called Stone Fury???

HAL: Yeah.

MARTIN: That’s right.

JESSE: Oh.

HAL: But the record’s called Burns Like A Star.

MARTIN: OK, it says it contains four hits on the cover, and it lists the four hits. But listen to these hits: “Break Down The Wall,” “Life Is Too Lonely,” “Shannon, You Lose” and “I Hate To Sleep Alone.” I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve yet to hear a single tune.

HAL: You mean you haven’t heard them on the radio.

MARTIN: It says “contains the hits,” yet there’s absolutely…

HAL: That’s because no one’s playing them!

MARTIN: But it says “contains the hits”!

JESSE: What label is it on?

MARTIN: Let’s see. Oh, it’s on MCA. That’s very strange. They usually, uh, get their fair share of hits.

HAL: How many records really have four hits? I mean, that would be really unusual.

MARTIN: You remember the theory, don’t you, that every hit on a record will really mean a million in sales?

JESSE: Sure.

MARTIN: So, with four hits, this album should be selling four million copies! And–ironically–I don’t even recognize this album cover. And it’s been out for a couple of weeks. There’s something wrong going on here.

HAL: Maybe there’s another edition, with a different cover, that you wouldn’t recognize, you know, if you were seeing it.

MARTIN: Well, I have to admit this is a terrible cover. I mean, no one in the world would know who this band is.

HAL: (looks at cover) Is that an observatory?

MARTIN: It’s a phallic symbol, I guess.

HAL: You know what it looks like? It looks like a water tower. But there are observatories in the background.

JESSE: Well, they obviously want to be heavy metal stars…

MARTIN: Yeah. Burns Like A Star.

HAL: Ahh! You mean, like there’s two kinds of stars–the kind of stars that inhabit the galaxies…and the stars that inhabit the stage!

MARTIN: That’s clever! OK, that’s a good title.

HAL: We didn’t see that right away, either. Almost.

MARTIN: Oh-oh. Looking at the pictures on the back, there’s some trouble here. Uh, I don’t want to be cruel but, uh–three of these are pretty good-looking, but the guy in the back there … he’s a dog!

JESSE: What? The guy on the left?

HAL: He looks kinda–well yeah, he’s a dog–but the other guy, he looks like he’s … you know–queer. (much laughter) He’s got a perm.

MARTIN: Which one?

HAL: The guy on the right, in the back. What’s his name?

MARTIN: I don’t know. But ya know? By golly, you are right.

JESSE: Hey, let me see that.

MARTIN: Just one second! Well, Hal may have a point. The last cut, side one: “Mama’s Love”

HAL: (laughs) Say no more! They do look kinda, you know, kinda tough. You know. I mean–if you saw them on the street, you wouldn’t wanna, you know, fuck with them, you know?

JESSE: Compared to somebody like Blackie Lawless or, uh…Nikki Sixx or Mick Mars?

HAL: But they look tougher than we do, right?

JESSE: This guy looks like a girl!

HAL: And the other guy looks like a queer!

MARTIN: And the other guy looks like a dog!

HAL: You’re right.

JESSE: (stares at LP cover in awe) This guy looks like a woman! (laughter)

MARTIN: Actually, let’s face facts. They were smart not to put their cover on the picture!

HAL: Their picture on the cover!

MARTIN: That’s right. I’m sorry.

JESSE: (points) This guy’s going for the Presley/Billy Idol look, with his lips.

MARTIN: Or Tom Petty, sort of…

HAL: Yeah.

MARTIN: Well, there’s only one thing to do now.

JESSE: (still staring at cover) This guy’s going for the Neal Schon look…

HAL: Well, look–we’re making a mistake here. Because we should be talking about the hits rather than what the guys look like.

MARTIN: Like women! Yeah. OK, well let’s consider the fact there’s four hits on a record we’ve never heard. Right?

HAL: Right!

JESSE: Right!

MARTIN: Number two: their pictures aren’t on the cover. Right?

HAL: Right!

JESSE: Right!

MARTIN: Three: their actual picture itself proves they’re an ugly band! And their lack of masculinity! Finally, fact number four–it’s produced by Andy Johns, a fairly reputable producer. Right?

HAL: Yeah.

JESSE: Look, here’s their names.

HAL: Well, buried somewhere, sure.

JESSE: Listen–“Lenny Wolf,” “Bruce Gowdy,” “Rich Wilson,” “Jody Cortez.”

MARTIN: I’d be willing to bet I know who the Bruce is.

HAL: “Jody Cortez”? “Jody Cortez”? (much laughter)

JESSE: It’s like you gotta have a Juan Croucier, you gotta have a little ethnicity.

HAL: Are you saying this is a formulized band? Are we gonna go that far?

MARTIN: Well, there’s only one thing we can do.

JESSE: I mean, they don’t even play–it’s sort of like the Monkees, maybe. Down here they have little asterisks, and on one asterisk it says “George Perilli, drums.” And then they’ve got two asterisks–“Peter Parnegg, bass.” So they don’t even play their own instruments!

MARTIN: OK. Let’s get down to the final analysis. Should we play this record and even decide if it’s good, or not?

HAL: No. That would be pointless.

MARTIN: You’re right.

JESSE: No. If you wanna listen to heavy metal that looks like women, you might as well listen to Girlschool!

MARTIN: You’re quite right. So, should we listen to it?

HAL, MARTIN & JESSE: (together) NO!

HAL: So say we all.

–Hal Jordan, Martin Dio and Jesse Grace

(CREEM CLOSE-UP: METAL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, May 1985)

Entry for July 27, 2006

July 27, 2006

STONE FURY
Burns Like A Star
(MCA)

HAL: The album’s called Bums Like A Star. And I’d just like to point out that most stars burn no lower than 3,000 degrees Centigrade all the way up to millions of degrees at the surface of the star.

MARTIN: That’s a fascinating point. Could you please hold up the record cover so we could examine it?

HAL: There it is.

JESSE: The band’s called Stone Fury???

HAL: Yeah.

MARTIN: That’s right.

JESSE: Oh.

HAL: But the record’s called Burns Like A Star.

MARTIN: OK, it says it contains four hits on the cover, and it lists the four hits. But listen to these hits: “Break Down The Wall,” “Life Is Too Lonely,” “Shannon, You Lose” and “I Hate To Sleep Alone.” I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve yet to hear a single tune.

HAL: You mean you haven’t heard them on the radio.

MARTIN: It says “contains the hits,” yet there’s absolutely…

HAL: That’s because no one’s playing them!

MARTIN: But it says “contains the hits”!

JESSE: What label is it on?

MARTIN: Let’s see. Oh, it’s on MCA. That’s very strange. They usually, uh, get their fair share of hits.

HAL: How many records really have four hits? I mean, that would be really unusual.

MARTIN: You remember the theory, don’t you, that every hit on a record will really mean a million in sales?

JESSE: Sure.

MARTIN: So, with four hits, this album should be selling four million copies! And–ironically–I don’t even recognize this album cover. And it’s been out for a couple of weeks. There’s something wrong going on here.

HAL: Maybe there’s another edition, with a different cover, that you wouldn’t recognize, you know, if you were seeing it.

MARTIN: Well, I have to admit this is a terrible cover. I mean, no one in the world would know who this band is.

HAL: (looks at cover) Is that an observatory?

MARTIN: It’s a phallic symbol, I guess.

HAL: You know what it looks like? It looks like a water tower. But there are observatories in the background.

JESSE: Well, they obviously want to be heavy metal stars…

MARTIN: Yeah. Burns Like A Star.

HAL: Ahh! You mean, like there’s two kinds of stars–the kind of stars that inhabit the galaxies…and the stars that inhabit the stage!

MARTIN: That’s clever! OK, that’s a good title.

HAL: We didn’t see that right away, either. Almost.

MARTIN: Oh-oh. Looking at the pictures on the back, there’s some trouble here. Uh, I don’t want to be cruel but, uh–three of these are pretty good-looking, but the guy in the back there … he’s a dog!

JESSE: What? The guy on the left?

HAL: He looks kinda–well yeah, he’s a dog–but the other guy, he looks like he’s … you know–queer. (much laughter) He’s got a perm.

MARTIN: Which one?

HAL: The guy on the right, in the back. What’s his name?

MARTIN: I don’t know. But ya know? By golly, you are right.

JESSE: Hey, let me see that.

MARTIN: Just one second! Well, Hal may have a point. The last cut, side one: “Mama’s Love”

HAL: (laughs) Say no more! They do look kinda, you know, kinda tough. You know. I mean–if you saw them on the street, you wouldn’t wanna, you know, fuck with them, you know?

JESSE: Compared to somebody like Blackie Lawless or, uh…Nikki Sixx or Mick Mars?

HAL: But they look tougher than we do, right?

JESSE: This guy looks like a girl!

HAL: And the other guy looks like a queer!

MARTIN: And the other guy looks like a dog!

HAL: You’re right.

JESSE: (stares at LP cover in awe) This guy looks like a woman! (laughter)

MARTIN: Actually, let’s face facts. They were smart not to put their cover on the picture!

HAL: Their picture on the cover!

MARTIN: That’s right. I’m sorry.

JESSE: (points) This guy’s going for the Presley/Billy Idol look, with his lips.

MARTIN: Or Tom Petty, sort of…

HAL: Yeah.

MARTIN: Well, there’s only one thing to do now.

JESSE: (still staring at cover) This guy’s going for the Neal Schon look…

HAL: Well, look–we’re making a mistake here. Because we should be talking about the hits rather than what the guys look like.

MARTIN: Like women! Yeah. OK, well let’s consider the fact there’s four hits on a record we’ve never heard. Right?

HAL: Right!

JESSE: Right!

MARTIN: Number two: their pictures aren’t on the cover. Right?

HAL: Right!

JESSE: Right!

MARTIN: Three: their actual picture itself proves they’re an ugly band! And their lack of masculinity! Finally, fact number four–it’s produced by Andy Johns, a fairly reputable producer. Right?

HAL: Yeah.

JESSE: Look, here’s their names.

HAL: Well, buried somewhere, sure.

JESSE: Listen–“Lenny Wolf,” “Bruce Gowdy,” “Rich Wilson,” “Jody Cortez.”

MARTIN: I’d be willing to bet I know who the Bruce is.

HAL: “Jody Cortez”? “Jody Cortez”? (much laughter)

JESSE: It’s like you gotta have a Juan Croucier, you gotta have a little ethnicity.

HAL: Are you saying this is a formulized band? Are we gonna go that far?

MARTIN: Well, there’s only one thing we can do.

JESSE: I mean, they don’t even play–it’s sort of like the Monkees, maybe. Down here they have little asterisks, and on one asterisk it says “George Perilli, drums.” And then they’ve got two asterisks–“Peter Parnegg, bass.” So they don’t even play their own instruments!

MARTIN: OK. Let’s get down to the final analysis. Should we play this record and even decide if it’s good, or not?

HAL: No. That would be pointless.

MARTIN: You’re right.

JESSE: No. If you wanna listen to heavy metal that looks like women, you might as well listen to Girlschool!

MARTIN: You’re quite right. So, should we listen to it?

HAL, MARTIN & JESSE: (together) NO!

HAL: So say we all.

–Hal Jordan, Martin Dio and Jesse Grace

(CREEM CLOSE-UP: METAL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, May 1985)

Entry for July 26, 2006

July 26, 2006

 

MOTORHEAD
No Remorse
(Bronze)

 

 

MARTIN: OK, the review starts here.

HAL: I’d like to say that you guys really shouldn’t be reviewing this record. Because my opinion about it is really strong, and also correct.

MARTIN: Can you explain that?

HAL: Well, it’s probably the finest record I’ve heard in a long time. I was real, real surprised–even, you might say, astonished. I was shocked. It was weird. What a feeling.

MARTIN: I think you’re understating the case.

HAL: I was elevated. I was spiritually lifted, really.

MARTIN: You’re not saying enough about how good this record is. Let’s consider a few things: Motorhead are, of course, the best band that will ever exist. Second of all, this is a double record set. Third of all, it’s a double record set with their greatest hits. That’s like saying, “This is God’s God’s God.”

HAL: You can look at the liner notes…

JESSE: Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.

HAL: No, let me handle this. There’s quotes from Lemmy, where he introduces the song and says stuff like “Jesus Christ.” I mean, it’s really cool–notes to introduce this stuff.

JESSE: You guys are overrating this a little bit. I mean…

MARTIN: Get lost! You’re wrong! What do ya mean, “overrating”?

JESSE: You’re overrating a little bit, I think. I mean, there’s better bands than Motorhead.

MARTIN: Name one!

JESSE: Belfegore!

MARTIN: Well, aside from Belfegore. Name another one.

JESSE: The Beatles.

MARTIN: Absolutely wrong! Spoken like the wimp that you are! I don’t think there’s any question–do you guys?–that this is the greatest album that ever existed.

JESSE: I demur.

HAL: Well, I’ll have to say … you mean, up ’til now?

MARTIN: No. Albums that will ever possibly come out by anybody.

HAL: I can’t speak for eternity. Up ’til now, yeah, granted…

MARTIN: You are not making a strong enough commitment. I can speak for eternity–it is the greatest album that will ever exist.

JESSE: You know what’s the greatest thing about the album? One of the best songs on this is the newest song, a brand new song. 

MARTIN: So? You mean, “Killed By Death?” That’s really good, but…

HAL: But “Ace Of Spades” is quintessential Motorhead. It sounds better, even better than early Stooges.  Fuck the early Stooges … cuz this be better! This be the hotter record–and you even admit, Mr. Beatle-wimp critic, that it sounds like the Stooges!

JESSE: I don’t think he sings as good as Iggy did, though.

HAL: Yeah he does.

JESSE: I don’t think so.

MARTIN: You’re forgetting the vital point–Iggy never played anything when he sang with the Stooges. Lemmy is such an incredible singer that he can not only sing, but play those bass runs like no other bassist before…

JESSE: And on top of that…

MARTIN: Paul McCartney included.

JESSE: On top of that, they’re kind of sexist. That song “Jailbait,” read the lyrics…

HAL: That’s what’s so good about them! What do ya mean, “kind of sexist”?

MARTIN: What’s wrong with sexism?

HAL: No Remorse, that’s the title–they got “no remorse” about being sexist or anything else.

MARTIN: Look, consider the fact that this record is…

JESSE: Oh, it’s real hip to cover “Louie, Louie.”

HAL: Cover? They wrote it!

MARTIN: Consider the fact that … this record is the best record ever! If they condone sexism, then there’s no question–it’s OK!

HAL: In other words, we can all learn a lesson for our personal life from this record.

MARTIN: Many lessons. You’ve heard of the food of the gods? This is the disc of the gods!

JESSE: (Points to the LP cover) What’re the dots over the “O” supposed to mean? 

MARTIN: Those are umlauts, like the Nazis–isn’t that neat? (laughs)

HAL: That’s like Nazi-type Germanic script. Plus that’s German-type writing, which is also ultra-cool.

MARTIN: I think you’ll agree that most metal is based on cool images, like metal, Nazis, SS and loud, loud volume–painful volume.

HAL: But Motorhead does it so well. Plus, no one’s mentioned that this album is available in leather. We should mention it, for the consumers.

JESSE: Why don’t you guys just admit it–Motorhead are pretty good at what they do because deep down low, they’ve got a lot of intelligence. And it’s all tongue-in-cheek. Motorhead’s like…

HAL: Are you trying to sneak those comments into this review? Is that what you’re trying to do?

JESSE: Yes.  They’re like a better version of Spinal Tap.  That’s what Motorhead are.

MARTIN: Totally incorrect. You just don’t get it. You think it’s a joke, but the joke is you. Your taste and your life. You don’t appreciate Motorhead, and you shouldn’t be in this room with us–because we know about Motorhead, and you simply never will. I HATE YOU!

Martin Dio, Hal Jordan and Jesse Grace

 

(CREEM CLOSE-UP: METAL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, May 1985)

 

Entry for July 26, 2006

July 26, 2006

 

MOTORHEAD
No Remorse
(Bronze)

 

 

MARTIN: OK, the review starts here.

HAL: I’d like to say that you guys really shouldn’t be reviewing this record. Because my opinion about it is really strong, and also correct.

MARTIN: Can you explain that?

HAL: Well, it’s probably the finest record I’ve heard in a long time. I was real, real surprised–even, you might say, astonished. I was shocked. It was weird. What a feeling.

MARTIN: I think you’re understating the case.

HAL: I was elevated. I was spiritually lifted, really.

MARTIN: You’re not saying enough about how good this record is. Let’s consider a few things: Motorhead are, of course, the best band that will ever exist. Second of all, this is a double record set. Third of all, it’s a double record set with their greatest hits. That’s like saying, “This is God’s God’s God.”

HAL: You can look at the liner notes…

JESSE: Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.

HAL: No, let me handle this. There’s quotes from Lemmy, where he introduces the song and says stuff like “Jesus Christ.” I mean, it’s really cool–notes to introduce this stuff.

JESSE: You guys are overrating this a little bit. I mean…

MARTIN: Get lost! You’re wrong! What do ya mean, “overrating”?

JESSE: You’re overrating a little bit, I think. I mean, there’s better bands than Motorhead.

MARTIN: Name one!

JESSE: Belfegore!

MARTIN: Well, aside from Belfegore. Name another one.

JESSE: The Beatles.

MARTIN: Absolutely wrong! Spoken like the wimp that you are! I don’t think there’s any question–do you guys?–that this is the greatest album that ever existed.

JESSE: I demur.

HAL: Well, I’ll have to say … you mean, up ’til now?

MARTIN: No. Albums that will ever possibly come out by anybody.

HAL: I can’t speak for eternity. Up ’til now, yeah, granted…

MARTIN: You are not making a strong enough commitment. I can speak for eternity–it is the greatest album that will ever exist.

JESSE: You know what’s the greatest thing about the album? One of the best songs on this is the newest song, a brand new song. 

MARTIN: So? You mean, “Killed By Death?” That’s really good, but…

HAL: But “Ace Of Spades” is quintessential Motorhead. It sounds better, even better than early Stooges.  Fuck the early Stooges … cuz this be better! This be the hotter record–and you even admit, Mr. Beatle-wimp critic, that it sounds like the Stooges!

JESSE: I don’t think he sings as good as Iggy did, though.

HAL: Yeah he does.

JESSE: I don’t think so.

MARTIN: You’re forgetting the vital point–Iggy never played anything when he sang with the Stooges. Lemmy is such an incredible singer that he can not only sing, but play those bass runs like no other bassist before…

JESSE: And on top of that…

MARTIN: Paul McCartney included.

JESSE: On top of that, they’re kind of sexist. That song “Jailbait,” read the lyrics…

HAL: That’s what’s so good about them! What do ya mean, “kind of sexist”?

MARTIN: What’s wrong with sexism?

HAL: No Remorse, that’s the title–they got “no remorse” about being sexist or anything else.

MARTIN: Look, consider the fact that this record is…

JESSE: Oh, it’s real hip to cover “Louie, Louie.”

HAL: Cover? They wrote it!

MARTIN: Consider the fact that … this record is the best record ever! If they condone sexism, then there’s no question–it’s OK!

HAL: In other words, we can all learn a lesson for our personal life from this record.

MARTIN: Many lessons. You’ve heard of the food of the gods? This is the disc of the gods!

JESSE: (Points to the LP cover) What’re the dots over the “O” supposed to mean? 

MARTIN: Those are umlauts, like the Nazis–isn’t that neat? (laughs)

HAL: That’s like Nazi-type Germanic script. Plus that’s German-type writing, which is also ultra-cool.

MARTIN: I think you’ll agree that most metal is based on cool images, like metal, Nazis, SS and loud, loud volume–painful volume.

HAL: But Motorhead does it so well. Plus, no one’s mentioned that this album is available in leather. We should mention it, for the consumers.

JESSE: Why don’t you guys just admit it–Motorhead are pretty good at what they do because deep down low, they’ve got a lot of intelligence. And it’s all tongue-in-cheek. Motorhead’s like…

HAL: Are you trying to sneak those comments into this review? Is that what you’re trying to do?

JESSE: Yes.  They’re like a better version of Spinal Tap.  That’s what Motorhead are.

MARTIN: Totally incorrect. You just don’t get it. You think it’s a joke, but the joke is you. Your taste and your life. You don’t appreciate Motorhead, and you shouldn’t be in this room with us–because we know about Motorhead, and you simply never will. I HATE YOU!

Martin Dio, Hal Jordan and Jesse Grace

 

(CREEM CLOSE-UP: METAL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, May 1985)

 

Entry for July 26, 2006

July 26, 2006

 

THE TRIUMVIRATE OF METAL WISDOM

In 1985, the publisher of CREEM magazine–the distinguished journal at which I was then employed–decided to begin publishing an additional magazine called CREEM METAL.  The goal? To fill the profound gap facing the everyday lives of America’s disaffected youth. And if bothersome profits were to accompany its publication, then so be it.

Sadly, however, three problems would emerge.

First: The magazine would require actual words to fill its pages.

Second: These words would have to be paid for.

Third: We, uh, left our wallets at home!

Imagine our surprise, then, when the hallowed CREEM sanctum–normally populated by my good friends and co-editors Bill Holdship and John Kordosh–was paid a visit by three opinionated music critics for whom money was no issue whatsoever!

Their names were Hal Jordan, Jesse Grace, and the incredibly handsome Martin Dio. And together, sitting in our plush conference room with only a tape recorder and turntable as company, the three of them would become, by common consensus, The Triumvirate Of Metal Wisdom.

I could go on, but why bother?

Soon the most respected music critics in the world, they felt unnerved by the attention accorded them by counterparts such as Ronald Reagan and some other guys and–to the chagrin of many–eventually gave up their lofty positions to pursue quiet lives in monastic seclusion, milking cows and writing press releases.  Yeah–plus, two of them were gay.

To honor their contribution to American culture, then, let me present the works of the famed Triumvirate so that all of us may learn from their wisdom.

Except for you.

Entry for July 26, 2006

July 26, 2006

 

THE TRIUMVIRATE OF METAL WISDOM

In 1985, the publisher of CREEM magazine–the distinguished journal at which I was then employed–decided to begin publishing an additional magazine called CREEM METAL.  The goal? To fill the profound gap facing the everyday lives of America’s disaffected youth. And if bothersome profits were to accompany its publication, then so be it.

Sadly, however, three problems would emerge.

First: The magazine would require actual words to fill its pages.

Second: These words would have to be paid for.

Third: We, uh, left our wallets at home!

Imagine our surprise, then, when the hallowed CREEM sanctum–normally populated by my good friends and co-editors Bill Holdship and John Kordosh–was paid a visit by three opinionated music critics for whom money was no issue whatsoever!

Their names were Hal Jordan, Jesse Grace, and the incredibly handsome Martin Dio. And together, sitting in our plush conference room with only a tape recorder and turntable as company, the three of them would become, by common consensus, The Triumvirate Of Metal Wisdom.

I could go on, but why bother?

Soon the most respected music critics in the world, they felt unnerved by the attention accorded them by counterparts such as Ronald Reagan and some other guys and–to the chagrin of many–eventually gave up their lofty positions to pursue quiet lives in monastic seclusion, milking cows and writing press releases.  Yeah–plus, two of them were gay.

To honor their contribution to American culture, then, let me present the works of the famed Triumvirate so that all of us may learn from their wisdom.

Except for you.