Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

28Jan/131

The Monday Morning Mix: 75 Minutes Of ’70s FM

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Hey there music lovers!  ATV is pleased to bring you a Monday Morning Mix featuring a fine blend of 70s hard rock.  14 killer tunes flowing into what is known on the street as the Stereo Dictator’s 75 Minutes of 70s Volume One. Feast your musical mind on this free prize and give your week a little kick start.

Download the entire mix here.

“I Got the Fire” - Montrose
On the heels of their landmark debut, Montrose released Paper Money, a solid follow-up featuring this burner, which sounds like an outtake from the first album. Ted Templeman’s production keeps it crisp and pounding while Ronnie tears it down appropriately.

“Never Before” – Deep Purple
Deep Purple’s Machine Head was filled with FM hits yet this song was the expected single upon release.  Poppy in a rockin way thanks to the muscle applied to the arrangement, on another album it may have stood out and become a chart-topper. An underrated tune that moves well, has memorable lyrics and is very reflective of the era.

“The Rover” – Led Zeppelin
Physical Graffiti
arguably presented Zeppelin at their best with this tune letting them do what they do best: blues-based boogie, patented layers of Page guitar, a powerful rhythm section brought way up front by Page the producer, and Plant’s hippie-fied stories about the uncertainties of life.

“Fairies Wear Boots” – Black Sabbath
Paranoid
was a ground-breaker and “Fairies” is a song that helped to create the Sabbath template.  Whether the song was written in a smoke-filled haze or following an encounter with skinheads is still up for debate. What’s not is the significance of blending blues, metal and jazz with a wailing vocalist in 1970.

“Nobody’s Fault” - Aerosmith
Back when Aerosmith was on a roll, Rocks was the hammer in their catalog. Hard and heavy, it opened eyes as to the band’s ability to throw down a firestorm of rock and roll.  “Nobody’s Fault” is perhaps the greatest example.  Intelligent, raunchy and wholly satisfying.

“Go to Hell” – Alice Cooper
As the wheels were beginning to come off the Alice Cooper machine in 1976, Alice hit the studio with Bob Ezrin to create one more masterpiece, Goes to Hell. Fortifying the band were twin guitar killers Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, notable for their excellence on Lou Reed’s Rock and Roll Animal a few years earlier. “Go to Hell” captures Alice at his sinister, story-telling best.

“D.O.A.” – Van Halen
Van Halen II
continued the myth while delivering the goods, including this loose and loud outlaw tale.  David Lee Roth is the misunderstood hero while Eddie V pulls out a primal riff and plays the hell out of it. Must-have Van Halen right here.

“Gotta Keep a Runnin” – The Godz
Don Brewer of Grand Funk produced, the band put the pedal to the metal and here it is. A true classic featuring one of the all-time great rock raps courtesy of madman Eric Moore, and a great driving song to boot. It’s too bad that the Godz peaked with their first album, but at least we have this well-worn anthem.

“Motor City Madhouse” – Ted Nugent
Keepin’ your pulse rate runnin’ high is this bit of rock frenzy from Ted Nugent, one of several songs that made his post-Amboy Dukes debut one of the greatest guitar-hero albums of the 70s.  This slice of psychosis is like a rollercoaster; you are on, you are moving at full speed, and you are not getting off for four and-a-half minutes.

“Shinin’ On” – Grand Funk
When quad was quad on LP and 8-track, the guitar intro to “Shinin’ On” was prime stereo outlet demo material, with and without headphones for full effect. Producer Todd Rundgren applied a generous helping of heavy-metal sheen to the band’s core sound and struck gold.  Shinin’ On went to #5, bolstered by the title track, an FM favorite, and a remake of Little Eva’s “The Loco-Motion,” which became a #1 single.

“Overdose” – AC/DC
The combination of AC/DC with Vanda & Young as producers gave the band an entirely different feel than what was to come later with Mutt Lange.  This is groove-based metal blues that allows you to feel a genuine connection to the music. The guitars are truly razor-sharp, Bon Scott is right on top of it, and the whole things rocks. A supergroup to-be at its roots.

“Faith Healer” – Sensational Alex Harvey Band
This hypnotic showpiece is one of the key tracks on Next, the most well-rounded album in Harvey’s eclectic catalog.  A glitterized evangelical trip, this is another pioneering moment of the headphone-era that leaves you wanting more. Seek it out and experience more of the brilliance of the SAHB.

“Panic in Detroit” – David Bowie
A raging lead guitar from the legendary Mick Ronson wails over the top of a sometimes walking, sometimes running bass line hopped up by maracas and congas while Bowie name-checks controversial figures, adding to the panic with his somewhat urgent narrative, all the while backed up by female singers. It’s a handful and it’s glorious.

“White Punks on Dope” – The Tubes
A staple of FM radio until the FCC outlawed the F-word, this is quintessential 70s.  Producer Al Kooper masterfully weaves together the conglomeration of musical ideas for this tribute to the idle hands of rich suburban kids. The whole thing is so over the top (remember Fee Waybill as “Quay Lude”?) that it makes sense while never losing a real rock edge. Think of it as “Bohemian Rhapsody” for an alternative crowd.

Join us next time for another mix you’ll just have to have courtesy of the Stereo Dictator and AAAAY TEEEEE VEEEEE!

75 Minutes of 70s Volume One
I Got the Fire – Montrose
Never Before – Deep Purple
The Rover – Led Zeppelin
Fairies Wear Boots – Black Sabbath
Nobody’s Fault – Aerosmith
Go to Hell – Alice Cooper
D.O.A. – Van Halen
Gotta Keep a Runnin – The Godz
Motor City Madhouse – Ted Nugent
Shinin On – Grand Funk
Overdose – AC/DC
Faith Healer – Sensational Alex Harvey Band
Panic in Detroit – David Bowie
White Punks on Dope – The Tubes

Download the entire mix now.

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17Jan/121

Former Alice Cooper Guitarist Dick Wagner Collects A Lifetime Of Stories In New Book

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I recently finished reading 'Not Only Women Bleed,' the new autobiography by former Alice Cooper guitarist Dick Wagner. One of the bits that I was most surprised to learn from the book was that he co-wrote 'Just As I Am,' a song that he submitted to Clive Davis (who had been supportive of Wagner's songwriting in the past) which eventually was recorded by Air Supply.

I read Wagner's book right after reading 'Billion Dollar Baby' by Bob Greene and while I enjoyed Greene's book more personally, I imagine that Cooper fans will find Dick's book to be an enjoyable peek behind the Alice curtain. Wagner delves into some of his side work, most notably, his work with Aerosmith, but I would have enjoyed more details for some of the other work on his musical resume, especially his session work with Peter Gabriel which gets only a very brief mention.

Wagner's longtime associate Bob Ezrin recently penned the following review of the book for Amazon.com:

It feels a little self-serving to write a great review about a book in which I am a character and I would never normally do this but...I am SO proud of Dick and this amazing accomplishment that I have to weigh in here. This is no pandering or self-serving, ghost-written "auto-biography" that sanitizes the past to protect the "author" or amplifies the glamor and excesses to sell units. This is a thoughtful recollection of slices of Dick's life. It's witty, artful, literate, sometimes cheeky, often philisophical and profound, gentle and loving, whistful and exuberant but, above all, musical. But that's Dick in a sentence. Reading this will certainly entertain anyone who has an interest in the "Roman" era of the music business. But it also offers insights into the complex and often insane life of the musician celebrity; the one close to, but not quite at, the top of the entertainment foodchain. In its honesty it does encompass sex, drugs and rock'n'roll - but also pain, yearning, sacrifice, adventure, growth and the joy of creating.

Aside from being my go-to musician and writer on the majority of my projects in the 70's and 80's and now again in the new milennium, Dick Wagner is also my dear friend and a good man who has more than paid his dues over the years. To see him healthy and back in form again makes me very happy. To read this wonderful book makes me very proud.

Bob Ezrin

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13Sep/1014

The ATV Interview: Rik Emmett

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Rik Emmett is one of those guys that came along at an odd point in my path of musical discovery. I knew more about his solo work (because that's where I encountered his music initially) and less about his glory days as the singer/guitarist for Canadian arena rockers Triumph in the '70s and '80s.

This year's release of Triumph: Greatest Hits Remixed did a lot to further flesh out the music of Triumph for me beyond the hits and one of these days, I'll dig into their catalog releases that I inherited on vinyl a year or so ago.  For now, with Emmett back on the road for a fresh set of dates with songwriting partner Dave Dunlop (as part of a duo originally known as the Strung-Out Troubadours and now, simply shortened to a new nickname of "The Troubs"), I figured I'd take the opportunity to lock in an interview with Emmett and chat about a few things.  Talking with Emmett really made me excited about the upcoming Cleveland date at The Winchester on Saturday, September 25th (there are two shows at 7pm and 10pm) and I think we covered some really interesting ground.

I'm really stoked that you're coming back to Cleveland and obviously you've got a lot of history with the city. Is there a particular Cleveland-related memory that comes to mind when you think about the city?

Oh geez. I think we played that city one time if I recall correctly, it was around New Year's Eve and we opened for Alice Cooper on a Triumph show [our historians have been unable to come up with specific details on a pairing of Cooper and Triumph, but we did dig up evidence of a Triumph headlining performance on New Year's Eve of 1984 at the Richfield Coliseum, thanks to some help from ATV friend Scott Banham]. Of course back in the day Triumph never really ever opened for anybody because we always wanted to have big flash pots, flame throwers and all the rest of that kind of nonsense. But this was a thing where Jules Belkin had sort of said "look, you want to get in good with us, come here and be part of this big New Year's thing." I seem to recall we were out at the Richfield Coliseum - we seemed to be out in the middle of nowhere - you'd drive forever and forever. I remember that gig and there was an Agora show at some point and now of course I'm getting older and so my memory is a lot shorter, the Alzheimer's is kicking in so now I only really remember the Winchester which is where I'm playing [laughs].

It's interesting to hear you mention Jules Belkin, because it was definitely unique for the time that there were certain promoters in certain cities that made it happen for bands that were trying to break out at the time. Watching Phil Collins of Genesis thank the Belkins from the stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions earlier this year makes it clear how much of an impact the Belkins had on a lot of bands and musicians.

Oh yeah. I guess if you grow up and you only live and stay in one market you might be thinking that your market is kind of unusual or unique. But every market has people that sort of own it and run it - it's their territory and their turf. The Belkin thing - if you weren't in with them, you weren't going to be able to succeed. I guess you guys in Cleveland, you get to see a little bit of that when you see the turf protection stuff going on around the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and all of that stuff about the roots of rock and roll in Cleveland with Freed and the folks that had that impact on radio in the early days. Every market you would travel to there were certain key people that you had to kind of end up on their good side one way or another or they were going to be getting a little piece of the action somehow one way or the other. In Toronto, where I grew up, there was a guy named Michael Cohl, and of course now he globally runs that Rolling Stones franchise. But he was the Jules Belkin of Toronto for a while.

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7Jul/097

Cage Match: Bell Biv Devoe vs. Alice Cooper

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Before we get to this week's Cage Match, I want to share my newest musical crush with you: Meet Garfunkel and Oates. Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci (aka Garfunkel and Oates,) are reason number 8,020 why Youtube is awesome. The video below might be a trailer of coming attractions for future weeks here on the Cage Match.

While the group name is an obvious spoof of you know who and you also know who, it worked out well for the pair, who will open a CA show this week for Mr. John Oates of the famous rock duo Hall & Oates. The gig is set for July 11th - get the details here.

And check out the Garfunkel and Oates Youtube channel featuring several of my favorites including Sex With Ducks, and One Night Stand. Crude. Awesome. Sexy.

You say that I never give you anything here on the Cage Match? Sheesh.

Hope ya'll enjoyed that.

As much as I enjoyed "Poison" by Bell Biv Devoe when it was released in 1990.

With BBD, former New Edition members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie Devoe officially sent a thumpin' memo to former New Edition lead singer Bobby Brown that said "yo, we don't need you anymore to make hit records." And for a couple of years, Bell Biv Devoe ruled the world with "Poison" and tracks like the followup single "Do Me."

Michael Bivins eventually moved onto discovering and producing artists and helped to bring the world the initial sounds from Another Bad Creation (ick) and Boyz II Men (alright, that's kind of better.)

Bell Biv Devoe have been on again/off again through the years, regrouping for the occasional New Edition reunion tour, and assorted other projects. BBD member Ronnie Devoe works in real estate these days, so if your next agent looks a little bit like that guy that used to be in Bell Biv Devoe, it might be THAT guy.

The group are currently working on a new album, with two new tracks already available via Itunes, and BBD also performed on the BET Awards last month with Ne-Yo.

And then there is our second contender.

Alice Cooper.

'Nuff said.

Cooper ushered in an entirely new generation of Alice fans with this one, and scored one of the most successful comebacks of 1989 with the Trash album.

Trash
was produced by Desmond Child, who had his own personal death grip on songwriting success at the time. Child already had lent his pen to tracks like "I Was Made For Loving You" by KISS and both "Dude (Looks Like A Lady,) and "Angel" by Aerosmith, the first of several tracks that he would write with the band. Additionally, with several Bon Jovi tracks in his back pocket, including the band's first number one single "You Give Love A Bad Name," Child was hot property by the time he answered the door and let Cooper inside. Upon the release of Trash, the album probably made some folks at MCA Records, Cooper's previous label, ask the very important question: Where the hell were those songs on Constrictor and Raise Your Fist and Yell?

I guess it's possible that they were still rubbing their hands together with glee over the unexpected success of "True Love" by Glenn Frey. Who knows.

Back to "Poison."

I wanna love you but I'd better not touch - Don't touch!

No means no, dude.

Bell Biv Devoe or Alice Cooper - What's your pick??

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