Eargasm

 

 


SUNSET SOUND:  A MAGICAL HISTORY TOUR
BY
WILLIAM DERHAM

CES CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY BY 

WILLIAM DERHAM

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Second ANNUAL BOWL FOR RONNIE

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50 YRS. OF JEFF BECK’S GUITAR STYLE & SUBSTANCE

@ HOLLYWOOD BOWL

BY

WILLIAM DERHAM

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Girls Ruled at Ultimate Jam Night #65 celebrating the music that fueled the decadent decade of the 1980’s. Kimberly Crane’s version of the Pretender’s “Precious” got the crowd fired up. Debby Holiday’s seething cover of “Pride(In the Name of Love” by U2 was powerful and captivating. Madonna wannabe Lucia Marco conjured the material girl on a mini medley of “Holiday” and “Get Into the Groove”. Jill Marie Burke who fronts the Pat Benatar cover band, Live

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From Earth crushed “You Better Run” with her consummate professionalism and commanding stage theatrics. Heather Lounsbury from tribute group Blonde Day channeled Debbie Harry on “Dreaming” and “Call Me”. Saucy Aussie, Yolanda Thomas, vamped it up on the Divinyls radio hit “I Touch Myself” and Chloe DeMetria belted out “Aphrodisiac” and “I Want Candy” that turned into a sing along with the audience joining in. Cool heads at Ultimate Jam like to mix it up, keeping it fun, fresh, and frisky. Fashionista and Jam-Fam frequent flyer Dawn B (with the white sunglasses) went all “Vogue” and struck a pose. Join Ultimate Jam Night Facebook page or check www.ultimatejamnight.com for future fun and games.

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ULTIMATE JAM NIGHT SUSTAINS SONIC SYNERGY

4-19-16    BY

  WILLIAM DERHAM

 

 

Bill Derham

William Derham and Rock Guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepard 

jaming my friend

Tracii Guns

 

 

 

 

RIDE FOR RONNIE

 

 

 

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2ND  ANNUAL RIDE FOR RONNIE
STAND UP AND SHOUT
5-22-16
BY

WILLIAM DERHAM

 

The Los Angeles Screening Premiere of
INSIDE METAL: LA METAL SCENE EXPLODES!

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Girls Ruled at Ultimate Jam Night #65

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ULTIMATE JAM NIGHT CRANKS IT UP TO 11

4-5-16

by

William Derham

 

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ULTIMATE JAM NIGHT POWERS UP ON SUNSET STRIP

 

By William Derham

Hats off to Capt. Chuck Wright & Co.on re-igniting their kinetic, sonic kaleidoscope; Ultimate Jam Night!. Retaining it’s unique format of diverse, ultra talented musicians, stellar song selection, and performance art, U.J.N. satisfies that hard rock sweet tooth in spades. What sets U.J .apart from most other gigs is the undeniable sense of camaraderie and community. MC, Paulie Z, summed up this weekly, local happening succinctly, thanking the crowd for coming out on a Tuesday night to support the scene stating “…we couldn’t do this without you guys…” What started out 57 weeks ago has now evolved into a not-to-b-missed display of accomplished players having a blast and the ever present possibility of rock royalty showing up as a surprise guest. It’s new home at the Whisky a Go- Go seems to be a perfect fit. Viva Ultimate Jam!

 

 

 

UJN WHISKY LOGO

ULTIMATE JAM NIGHT POWERS UP

@ THE WHISKY A GO GO

BY

WILLIAM DERHAM

 


NAMM 2016 PIC (1)

NAMM NATION MARKET DRIVEN HARMONIC CONVERGENCE

@ANAHEIM CONVENTION CENTER JAN. 20-24 2016

BY

WILLIAM DERHAM

 

 

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ULITIMATE ALL STAR JAM 1ST ANNIVERSARY @LUCKY STRIKE BOWL

1-20-2016 BY WILLIAM DERHAM

 

LEMMY'S B-DAY WHISKEY CAKE

 

LEMMY’S 70 BIRTHDAY BASH  12-13-2015 @ WHISKEY A-GO-GO BY WILLIAM DERHAM

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NASHVILLE PUSSY REVIEW

PUSSY POWER PREVAILS

BY

WILLIAM DERHAM

 

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ROCK RISING BODY COUNT IN MEMORIAM

 BY WILLIAM DERHAM

 

1 (1)

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES…WICKED GOOD THAT IS!

 

 

WILKES-BARRE, PN - OCTOBER 28: Malcolm Young (L) and Angus Young of AC/DC perform during their "Black Ice" Tour Opener on October 28, 2008 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Angus Young;Malcolm Young

DODGER STADIUM 9-28-2015 BY WILLIAM DERHAM

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Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution
BY
WILLIAM DERHAM

cvdcoverage1_18050015_ver1.0_640_480CHEVY METAL’S SUPERSONIC SURPRISE AT CONEJO VALLEY DAYS MAY 9TH 2015

BY

WILLIAM DERHAM

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TIM PIPERJUST IMAGINE;

A ENGAGING TRIBUTE TO JOHN LENNON BY WILLIAM DERHAM

Image 3-15-15 at 3.59 PM2015 NAMM  AFTER DARK   LIVE & LOUD JAN. 22-24 2015

VAN HALENVAN HALEN LIVE ON HOLLYWOOD BLVD

A BLOODY GOOD SHOW BY

WILLIAM DERHAM

 

NAMM 2015
NAMM 2015

NAMM 2015 THE MUSIC INDUSTRY’S COLOSSAL KALEIDOSCOPIC CONVENTION BY WILLIAM DERHAM

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EMPTY HEARTS- FULL OF ROCKING’ SOUL 

11/18/2014

BY WILLIAM DERHAM

slash 2SLASH ROXX ROXY’S RAFTERS BY WILLIAM DERHAM

9/25/2014

guitar picturesKING CRIMSON RESURRECTED @ THE ORPHEUM THEATER

10-1-14    BY WILLIAM DERHAM

Ted Nugent 2014 TourUNCLE TED TURNS UP THE SCHRED TED NUGENT @

CANYON CLUB BY WILLIAM DERHAM

               7-11-2014

ImageProxy.mvcFLEETWOOD’S ON FRONT STREET MAUI STYLE  FINE DINING

W/SIDE OF ROCKIN’ BLUES

WILLIAM DERHAM

 

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NASHVILLE PUSSY LIVE AT THE WHISKEY AU GO GO

6/7/2014

iHeartRadio Music Festival - Day 2 - Show

PAUL Mc CARTNEY “OUT THERE”

@ DODGER STADIUM SUPER MOON-SUPER MACCA

8-10-2014 by William Derham

 

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BLACK SABBATH  Wreaks Havoc @The Hollywood Bowl

4/26/2014

Rock Reporter William Derham

 

Raiding The Rock Vault LVH Las VegasVAULTING THE ROCK RAID

(VEGAS STYLE)

5-20-14

BY

WILLIAM DERHAM

 
 
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  SONIC CIRCUS INVADES ANAHEIM CONVENTION CENTER 

 WINTER NAMM 2014

BY 

WILLIAM DERHAM

 imagesECPJT2NIMETALLICA- THROUGH THE NEVER

 FILM REVIEW

 BY

 WILLIAM DERHAM

 
 1.165948
 

ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN

WILLIAM DERHAM

 

Downtown Pasadena was alive with St. Patrick’s Day Festivities on this, the opening night of “One Night with Janis Joplin.” The Shamrock and Roll Event, in beautiful old town Pasadena, included a free concert with the Shillaly Brothers, Cerny Brother, Aquarius, and the delightfully whacky Dread Zepplin. If you’ve never seen D.Z. they’re a Led Zepplin cover band that does the songs in reggae style with an Elvis impersonator on vocals, hilarious. Street vendors, a beer garden, and an art showing of Janis’s memorabilia, including her psychedelically painted 1965 Porsche gave the occasion a nostalgic vibe.

 Mary Bridget Davies was spot on in her portrayal of the iconic singer right down to her infectious chuckle, uncanny resemblance, and hippie garb. Everything about this tribute rang true and was obviously a labor of love. Janis’s sister, Laura was instrumental on the intimate details of their early upbringing. According to her their mom always told them to “…support your tones…”

 The fist part of the sonic journey found Janis seated stage right, in her Port ArthurTexas living room reminiscing about her mom introducing her to the music of the blues pioneers that inspired her enormously; Etta James, Nina Simone, Bessie Smith, Odetta, and Aretha.   Sabrina Elayne Carten. In a well constructed balancing act Janis (Davies) weaves a tale of her how the aforementioned performers influenced her and then, stage left, Sabrina Elayne Carten aka “Blues Singer” eloquently brought them to life.

And so it goes for the entire performance. Carten’s version of “Summertime” from “Porgy and Bess” produced goose bumps, thrilling the crowd, a sublime highlight to the evening’s magic.  The eight piece band, Stephen Flakus (guitar), Patrick Harry (bass), Tyler Evans (keyboards),  Mitch Wilson (drums),  David Milne (saxophone), Lee Thomburg (trumpet,flugelhorn,trombone), Pete Disiena (trumpet) and Ross Seligmand (band leader, guitar) were incredibly tight and brought just the right amount of rock polish.

The Joplinaires, (Tricia Kelly, Shay Saint-Victor and Kimberly Yarbough the trio of backup singers helped fill Janis’s vocal runs with  style and grace.  The one line that perhaps summed up the real Janis’s long and documented bouts with longing and loneliness was delivered by Davies in the second half, “I never met a man who could ever make me feel as good as an audience did.” Thankfully this show omitted any reference to her drug and alcohol use that led to her early demise on Oct 4th 1970 at the age of 27 of an accidental heroine overdose.  

During the course of the 2 hour plus show Davies’s Janis brought out all of her favorite hits including; “Ball and Chain”, “Me and Bobby McGee”, “Piece of My Heart”, “Mercedes Benz”, “Cry Baby” and for the finale we get to hear “I’m Gonna Rock My Way to Heaven.” That song, penned by Jerry Ragovoy who also wrote “Piece of My Heart” was to be the next recording before her untimely death.

The standing ovation showed how much the audience enjoyed the amazing performances that ended on an emotional high.  One Night with Janis Joplin plays Tuesdays through Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 4:00 and 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00 and 7:00pm through April 21st at the historic Pasadena Playhouse 39 South El Molino Ave. Pasadena.  Check www.pasadenaplayhouse.org or 626 356 7529 for tickets.

You can also see the Janis Joplin’s Porsche on display through May 17th at the GRAMMYMuseum (http://www.grammymuseum.org), 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite A245, Los Angeles, CA  

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GREG ALLMAN @ ROYCE HALL 1-11-13

By WILLIAM DERHAM

Soul survivor, Greg Allman, a name synonymous with many styles of music; southern rock, boogie rock, jam, and blues. 40 plus years of writing and touring have earned him a musical resume that is both memorable and meaningful. After conquering some health issues last year that included a liver transplant and weathering well documented personal tragedy and band turmoil Allman seemed road ready and happy to be tickling the keys for an appreciative audience.

Tonight’s Royce Hall performance is part of a California/Nevada trek that will include San Diego, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Napa, and Lake Tahoe. He wasted no time getting the crowd’s attention opening with “I’m No Angel” from 1987.

It was obvious this scaled down affair was not an attempt at Allman Brothers Band intensity as he gave some of the older material new arrangements and a mellower tempo. I’m happy to report his crusty growl is firmly intact as he alternated from back and forth from guitar and his hammond B 3 organ. Arguably one of the best white blues vocalists still kickin, he was well respected and well received even getting a shout out from the back of the hall, “You sound sweet Greg.”

Allman offered up a mixed bag of material; about one third of the 19 song set was ABB material including “Statesboro Blues”, “Melissa”, and “Whipping Post.” The current band features Scott Sharrard on guitar, Bruce Katz on keys, Jay Collins on horns, Steve Potts on drums, Jerry Jemmott on bass and Floyd Miles on percussion and vocals, and the 2-hour set was a group effort from start to finish.

Floyd Miles, who Allman has “played with since he was 14” took the band through the blues flavors of Muddy Waters “I Can’t Be Satisfied” and two from his 1994 release, “Back to Daytona”. Allman’s daughter Layla held her own on a cover of Elmore James’ “The Sky is Crying” and Dad dug a little deeper swapping vocals with his daughter.

The cuts off his T-Bone Burnett produced “Low Country Blues” from 2012 “Tears.Tears.Tears”,”Can’t Be Satisfied”, and “Floating Bridge”, held up favorably with the other selections and showed some of Allman’s strongest song writing of his career. Surprise guest Tal Wilkenfeld joined Allman’s talented band on bass for one of the evening’s highpoints on “Just Before the Bullets Fly”. The 26 year old Australian prodigy has demonstrated her amazing talents with both Jeff Beck and Chick Corea.

Mr. Allman has also joined the ranks of fellow rockers like Keith Richards, Pete Townsend, Sammy Hagar, Neil Young, and other notables writing memoirs of his colorful life and times. “Not My Cross to Bear”, also released last year, finds the aging songster sharing internal reflections and creative insights behind the curtain of rock stardom. Hats off to Allman for bringing the blues to life as he has lived them giving the evening’s performance unparalleled credibility and poignance.

SET LIST

 I’m No Angel

Statesboro Blues

Tears, Tears, Tears

These Days

I Can’t Be Satisfied

You Must Be Crazy

(with Floyd Miles)

Samson

(with Floyd Miles)

Demons

Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’

Queen of Hearts

Wasted Words

Melissa

Back to Daytona

(with Floyd Miles)

The Sky Is Crying (With Layla Allman)

Before the Bullets Fly

Midnight Rider

(with Tal Wilkenfeld)

Whipping Post

Encore:

Floating Bridge

(Sleepy John Estes cover)

One Way Out

(Elmore James cover)

 
 
 

bandUFO SIGHTING

 CANYON CLUB AGOURA

  11-24-12

 by

 WILLIAM DERHAM

 

These British rockers have enjoyed/endured a lengthy career in the sometimes fickle rock music scene due to the strength of their five early studio albums. Those incendiary offerings; including  “Phenomenon”, “Obsession”, “ Force It”, “ Lights Out”, and “No Heavy Petting” featuring guitar prodigy Michael Schenker have stood the test of time and earned them an envious spot on fan’s and critic’s all time fave lists. Musicians from notable rock bands like Iron Maiden, Mega Deth, Metallica, Pearl Jam, and Tesla among others have all cited UFO as a major influence and inspiration

 

Landing tonight at the intimate Canyon Club the venerable quintet provided a few surprises like opening with “Lights Out” usually reserved as an encore selection, and taking an audience request for “Cherry”, not on the printed set list. Always a compelling reason to get out and rock steady, a UFO show is re-known not only for the ass-kicking music but front man, Phil Mogg remains arguably one of the most entertaining and charismatic rock vocalists still standing.

 
The current line-up boasts three of the original members of the late 70’s. Mogg, drummer Andy Parker, and keyboardist Paul Raymond. Quite a feat for rockers approaching their mid-60’s. Relatively new addition, guitarist Vinnie Moore, joining the ranks in 2004 was a much need catalyst propelling them back into the limelight as force to be reckoned with, both as a touring band and as relevant recording artists. The newly released “Seven Deadly” is testimony to that and they included three songs “Fight Night”, “Wonderland”, and “Burn the House Down” that fit seamlessly with the classic material.
 
I was able to catch these droogs performing earlier this year at Club Brixton down in Manhattan Beach where Mogg was a bit tipsy and although an enjoyable show tonight’s Canyon performance the lead singer was firing on all cylinders. He is a natural story teller and mentioned one of his early influences was Arthur Brown of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, a mad genius from London’s late 60’s music scene famous for his hit “Fire.” Aside from the molten musicianship Mogg’s banter and interplay with the enthusiastic, capacity crowd was yet another priceless aspect of UFO’s appeal. During bassist, Rob De Luca’s impromptu strut off the stage and on to the dinner tables for a showy solo, Mogg kiddingly suggested somebody should trip him. Long live UFO! “They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore.”
 
SET LIST 
LIGHTS OUT
MOTHER MARY
FIGHT NIGHT
WONDERLAND
OUT IN THE STREET
LET IT ROLL
MOJO
BURN THE HOUSE
ONLY YOU CAN ROCK ME
LOVE TO LOVE
CHERRY
HELL DRIVER
VENUS
TOO HOT TO HANDLE
ROCK BOTTOM
SHOOT SHOOT
 

 

HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS-UNIVERSAL HOLLYWOOD
 
A GRISLY, GOOD SCREAM
 
by
WILLIAM DERHAM

It’s not surprising that Universal Hollywood puts on the scariest, most bloodcurdling Halloween extravaganza of all the theme parks in so cal, after all they brought Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and Phantom of the Opera among other iconic monsters to the big screen, scaring the daylights out of generations for decades.

This year creative director, John Murdy, has raised the bar, unleashing a vast cast of “scareactors” on those thrill seekers who are looking to experience a frighteningly real world of zombies, killer clowns, crazy homicidal maniacs, and a host of freaks, beasts, and creatures of the night. Murdy explains; “We wanted to break new ground with the insanely immersive ‘Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D’ maze and elevate its journey into the abyss to a shocking new level.

The cutting-edge 3D technology we invented for this haunted attraction will add a palatable sense of realism to an already twisted environment that only music genius Alice Cooper could envision. Through innovative sets and LED technology, we’ve totally pushed the envelope to turn Alice’s maze into a mind-blowing 3D experience for his fans and Halloween Horror Nights guests.”

Upon entering the park we were greeted by a slew of chainsaw toting freak-a-zoids, threatening our lives as they appear out of the fog and scrape the ground kicking up sparks with their prop saws. This was opening night and the level of threatening interaction on the part of the “scareactors” was turned up to 11. You could not walk very far before you were accosted by yet another kind of demonic character mocking dreadful advances. There are 6 terror mazes offered at H.H.N.

Based on Alice Cooper’s concept album, “Alice Cooper Goes to Hell” this 3-D attraction was our first on our list due to the positive word of mouth and it did not disappoint. Alice obviously has quite the imagination, the 3-D effects of relentless torment were at times disturbingly gruesome with lot’s of human and inhuman entrails. “…into the abyss…” Indeed!

A few things I really liked about this maze was it’s attention to detail, the frightful reaction/screams with the other (non undead park attendees) inside, and how long it lasted. Had we not run out of time by the end of the evening we would have taken that trip to hell again, it’s that cool.

Next maze on the list was “The Walking Dead: Dead Inside” inspired by the critically acclaimed, Golden Globe nominated, Emmy Award winning AMC T.V. series, where hordes of predatory zombie “walkers” in a post-apocalyptic wasteland are seen relentlessly gnawing on any human beings unlucky enough to be within their grasp. Don’t get too close or you might be the ghoul’s next meal.

The zombie’s make up, showing various stages of decomposition and mortification of the flesh was remarkable. “Terror Tram: Invaded by the Walking Dead” on the backlot offered up swarms of flesh-eating, blood-drooling walkers lurking about, seeking human prey, exposing park guests to another level of the cataclysmic plague that caused the dead to reanimate.

The demented multiverse of the popular horror video game and motion picture franchise “Silent Hill” comes to life in the dark and twisted “Welcome to Silent Hill” maze, filled with horrifying creatures borne from an alternate dimension. The highly anticipated film sequel, “Silent Hill: Revalation 3-D” will open nationwide October 26th 2012.

“La Llorana: Cazadora de Ninos” or “Weeping Woman: The Child Hunter” the fearful story of melancholia and murder that has terrified Mexican and Latin American children for generations returns to H.H.N. recounting the tortured tale of a mother who drowns her children in a desperate attempt to win a lost love. This maze is a encore from last year’s successful run.

Most of us are familiar with the tragic and demented exploits of Leatherface and his deranged family of cannibals. This year “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Saw is the Law” maze, based on film maker Tobe Hooper’s notoriously unsettling horror classic from 1974 taunted patrons into a deadly trap. The slaughterhouse themed maze is filled with vivid telltale signs of imminent doom.

Stumbling upon the “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Stage Show” was just a case of dumb luck. It was an amazing amalgamation of pop culture satire that was edgy, funny, risque, and ultimately entertaining. Taking pot shots at everything from the current presidential race, bubble gum band One Direction, Jersey Shore, Hunger Games, Madonna, Magic Mike, Dark Knight and more the acrobatic dancing and schtick were top notch.

The last maze we visited was the “Universal Monsters Remix” which pays homage to the classic horror icons of yesteryear. Set within the twisted confines of the inner chambers of a gothic castle it incorporates thumping, modern electronica music for an unusual combination that blends the two favorably. The vintage horror movie theater posters near the entrance were a reminder of Universal Pictures rich history with the genre. The experience was impressive and we will look forward to next year’s frightful innovations.

 

AEROSMITH ANNOUNCES THE GLOBAL WARMING
 
NORTH AMERICAN SUMMER TOUR
 
WILLIAM DERHAM
 
 
Veteran rockers Aerosmith held a splashy press conference recently to announce their upcoming Global Warming Tour that will kick off on June 16th in Minneapolis. This will also coincide with new studio release. The festivities took place at the Grove in Los Angeles not far from where American Idol judge Steven Tyler holds court with J.
 
Lo and Randy Jackson. Bassist Tom Hamilton was first to arrive via rickshaw, drummer Joey Kramer pulled up in a gull wing Lamborghini, Steven Tyler made his entrance on a customized green/gold three wheeled Harley. Guitarist Joe Perry chose a yellow cab to make the scene (how east coast of him.)After posing for photos with the throng of fans Aerosmith made their way to the stage for a question and answer session that lasted about 20 minutes.
 
Tyler explained their other guitarist Brad Whitfield was not present due to his touring with the Jimi Hendrix Tribute but will definitely be touring with the band. This event also served as public display of affection to quell the swirling rumors of bad blood between guitarist Joe Perry and lead singer Tyler. It was just a few weeks prior to this conference that Perry was quoted on the t.v. show 60 Minutes about “…it’s kinda hard to sing with a broken jaw…” alluding to the tensions and discord between the two raging egos.The band celebrated their fortieth anniversary in 2010 and showed no signs of slowing down when I caught the show at Irvine Meadows.
 
Tom Hamilton added “After touring Japan and South America last year we’re psyched about bringing it all back for the hometown fans. We’re going to breakout the classics, the hits, and maybe some of the new ones we’ve been banging out in the studio. Can’t wait to get to Minneapolis.”I was able to get a question for the Boston Bad Boys.
 
LAFM: “In your long and illustrious career what is the most remarkable thing ever thrown on stage.” Tom Hamilton responded by saying a prosthetic leg was the weirdest thing he had ever seen. Evidently the one legged dude was able to get it back after the showThe old Aerosmith is back with a vengeance and we will kick your ass and make out with your mothers.” says Tyler. For V.I.P. ticket packages, including opportunities to meet the band members, backstage tours, great tickets and more visit www.Aeroforceone.com Cheap Trick will open when Aerosmith rocks the Hollywood Bowl this summer.
 
 
 
FRESH GARBAGE LIVE @ BOOTLEG THEATER
 
4-6-12
 
WILLIAM DERHAM
 
It’s been almost 7 years since we last heard any aural vibrations from one of my very favorite bands, Garbage. After that long hiatus the members got together last year in the studio to see if they could still weave their magic sonic spell. The answer is a resounding yes. In this rare, intimate gathering of approx. 500,lead singer Shirley Manson and co. attempted to reclaim their status as one of alt rock’s more alluring and compelling outfits. Manson’s angelic face was make up free and her hair was twisted up into a bun like she was ready to do housework, not perform a set of Garbage hits.Explaining she and her band mates would normally be a little nervous not having been on stage together since 2006, she dismissed that notion saying that the lucky few in attendance tonight were “family” and there was no reason to be anxious.
 
Rightfully so, the adoring fans here tonight would swoon just hearing her read the phone book.To be expected there was a relearning process that needed exercising, like a atrophied muscle. During the first few songs Manson took baby steps both in her singing and stage acumen. I happen to notice her hitting herself in the mouth with the microphone more than once as she transitioned from hand held to mike stand and back. And then there was the false start where the band started one song and Shirley started another.
 
Manson jokingly said, “Communication has always been an issue with this band.”About the fifth song the band started showing signs of integration and being back in their element, it wasn’t long after they sounded like the Gabage of old. (In the very best way of course.) Starting off with Supervixen from the first album, their sweet, seductive signature, sound filled the hall and didn’t let anybody there down.There was also the occasional tweeking of the equipment with a newbie stage hand being called upon to fix the “problem.” Of course this was a shakedown cruise for the band that is just about to go out on national tour and was delightfully un polished and raw.
 
Drummer/producer Butch Vig, ever the perfectionist, seemed a wee bit peeved about the initial lack of coordination but noted the error and made adjustments.This dress rehearsal had a very personal vibe and there was lots of give and take from both parties; band and audience.
 
When Manson asked if the crowd wanted to hear some of the new material from their forthcoming record, there was thunderous applause and support. I’ll look forward to seeing one of the shows they’ll do later this summer after re-honing their stage show. Her version of Vow showed the band in top form showing they still have the power to move mountains. Other show stoppers were Stupid Girl and Only Happy When It Rains.
 
SET LIST:
 
SUPERVIXEN
TEMPTATION WAITS
SHUT YOUR MOUTH
METAL HEART
QUEER
STUPID GIRL
WHY DO YOU LOVE ME
#1 CRUSH
TRICK
VOW
BLOOD FOR POPPIES
MAN ON A WIRE
MILK
I THINK I’M PARANOID
BAD BOYFRIEND
ONLY HAPPY WHEN IT RAINS
PUSH IT
 
ENCORE:
SPECIAL
THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH
BATTLE IN ME
 
 

GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT

@ THE AHMANSON THEATER 3-14-12
 
BY WILLIAM DERHAM
 
Joining Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, Grease, Tommy, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Rent and more recently Rock of Ages in the pop musical foray known at the rock opera, American Idiot serves as part coming of age story and part social commentary
Serving up ample portions of exuberance and high energy the cast members take the audience on a first person odyssey of a young man named Johnny, a.k.a. Jesus of Suburbia, through a what’s-the-point-of-it-all meltdown.
 
Along for the ride are his two buddies, Will and Tunney whose lives both take different trajectories with one joining the army to fight in Iraq and the other sliding further into suburban malaise.Based on the multi-platinum 2004 Green Day album, American Idiot is set in the dark age of the blundering George W. Bush presidency. It follows Johnny’s path that revolves around finding love and drugs to combat his ever fading optimism over the war in the middle east, the slanted media, and the fading American dream.All three of these twenty somethings reflect a cross section of our nation’s divided political stance and how they perceive a world seemingly spinning out of control after the 9/11 attacks.
 
This subject matter takes aim on the emphasis of absurd and inane celebrity gossip media coverage and paranoid terrorist news alerts that still permeates the airwaves today.The stage is slightly reminiscent of the Laugh-In in set from the 60’s t.v. show with cast member’s talking heads popping in and out of windows opening and closing. It is also adorned with posters, bumper stickers, and video imagery of that ers’s pop culture/news/ennui on multiple video screens strategically placed throughout.
 
The ensemble cast of 20 are an engaging blend of talented singers lending a new take on Green Day’s power punk pop.Van Hughs who plays Johnny is perfectly cast and even looks like he could be Billie Joe Armstrong’s little brother. B.J. Armstrong, of course, is the lead singer,guitarist for Green Day and he and his band mates Mike Dirnt, (bass) and Tre Cool, (drums) have concocted a relevant piece that showcases songs from one of their most satisfying albums. Highlights include “Boulevard of Broken Dream”, “21 Guns” and “Holiday.” American Idiot, enjoying positive reviews runs through April 22nd at the Ahmanson.
 

WINTER N.AM.M. CONVENTION 2012

SENSORY OVERLOAD

WILLIAM DERHAM

Once again the Anaheim Convention Center was the site of the National Association of Music Merchants; a showcase for manufacturers and retailers to check out the next wave of innovative products and technology, schmooze prospective customers, and party hardy. This industry only affair deals with every imaginable musical instrument, accessory, and service the vast trade has to offer from Aria Guitars to Zildjian cymbals and everything in between.

Founded in 1901 NAMM has been the driving force enabling business to maximize productivity and reduce costs. With over 5,000 members in the U.S. and over 50 different countries it is truly a global market place conducting research to make the world a more musical place.

In addition to products and services NAMM is an avenue for lengthy panel discussions, marketing strategies, and a wide variety of topics; including retail theft control, the burgeoning soft-ware market, and global trends for the 21st century.

A couple of the more interesting strategies explored were ways to monetize your Facebook page and “Surviving Tough Times” also offered valuable insight. A new app for smart phones/iPads allows convention attendees to find specific companies’ booths helping to navigate the enormous halls with ease. On the whimsical side of innovation a www.guitardoorbell has invented a device that mounts a guitar over any door way and strums it with every swing of the door, price $129.

This is all well and good but the real entertaining aspect of NAMM begins after sundown when the days business ends and transforms the 3 hotels and various venues in close proximity into mini-festivals and extended jam sessions.This year was no different offering a staggering amount of world class musicians performing in relatively small venues and a festive, relaxed atmosphere.

Thursday night Sharon Osbourne and Cory Taylor hosted the First Annual Rock and Roll Roast skewering Zakk Wylde for an evening of friendly jabbling and tasteless humor along with comics Brian Posehn, Jim Norton and musicians Scott Ian and Duff McKagan. This event was sponsored by Guitar World Magazine and they hope this will become an annual event.

Friday night the main lobby stage sported a lively All-Star Jam with Alan Fischer of Heart, Micky Dolenz of the Monkees. Chris Slade , AC/DC. Alan White, Yes, Robin McCauly MSG, Rudy Sarzo , Quiet Riot among many others, playing classic rock tunes from Ronnie James Dio, Ozzy and Black Sabbath.

Dean Guitars sponsored a show at the Grove with Wayne Static, Vinnie Moore, Jackyl, and Testament providing a evening of diverse, foot stomping fun to a very packed house of appreciative music fans. Yes, Jackyl busted out the chainsaw for their hit “The Lumberjack.”

On Saturday night the Ernie Ball 50th Anniversary bash was the place to be as Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big-Racer-X), American Idol’s Randy Jackson, and Bobby Larue treated hungry ears to a phenomenal medley of Led Zepplin’s “What is and What Should Never Be”, “Black Dog”, and “How Many More Times.” The Grove also hosted Schecter Guitar Research’s 10th Anniversary NAMM Party with nu-metal/alt acts Filter and seether.

One thing that was evident at each of the NAMM hoe-downs was the musicians sense of community and sheer joy of playing for their peers. It was this aspect that brought the musicianship up a notch and made the performances memorable.

As we traversed the sprawling convention center it’s not uncommon to brush elbows with rock royalty as they too are eager to see all the latest gear and meet and greet their fans. Some of the notables we ran across included Tre Coo, drummer for Green Day, Rob Halford, Vinnie Paul, Carmine and Vinnie Appice, George Lynch, Billy Sheehan, Rudy Sarzo, Jackson Brown, Lita Ford, Kenny Loggins, Eric Johnson, Sheila E, and we even caught a glimpse of Stevie Wonder.

This is truly Disneyland for music fans and it always delivers a informative, entertaining, and visionary experience. Special thanks to Jeanne at the Lippin Group for granting us media coverage to this truly amazingly colossal event. We are already looking forward to seeing the technological advancements sure to surface next year. Many of this years aforementioned performances are available for viewing on www.Youtube.

GUNS AND ROSES @ THE FABULOUS FORUM 12-21-11

NIGHT HOWL

WILLIAM DERHAM

Love em or hate em, Axl Rose, the perennially late, tantrum throwing front man for 80’s iconic rock juggernaut Guns and Roses brought his A-Game to the Forum on this leg of their Chinese Democracy Tour.

Having pounded shots of gold tequila on occasion with Axl, Slash, and the rest of the band at the legendary rock club, The Cat House on Highland in the months before “Appetite for Destruction” shook the world in 1985, I witnessed their trajectory skyrocket, soar, plateau, and ultimately implode along with rock fans everywhere. Since they were local boys I tried to see them as often possible.

Six times I caught the gunners in the mid to late 80’s and while sometimes they were an incredibly powerful specimen of metal fury they had a penchant for shooting themselves in the foot too. I love loud clean rock but one show, circa ’87 at Perkins Palace in Pasadena the sound was so distorted and the band so impaired I actually had to leave half way through (it was that bad.)

Then there was the Rip Magazine show at the Hollywood Palladium in ’88 where they didn’t hit the stage until 2am but showed why they became one of the biggest, baddest bands ever to plug in, treating die hards to a face melting set of molten metal histrionics that didn’t end until almost dawn.

Ok, that was then, this is now.

Honestly, I couldn’t get too excited about the release of Chinese Democracy back in ’09 after all the delays and bad word of mouth and thought Axl’s termination of Slash was an egomaniacal blunder. I still think firing Slash is the equivalent of Mick Jagger firing Keith Richards being the heart and soul of their respective bands. So, admittedly I attended this G n R show with a bit of a chip on my shoulder and was curious if the “New” G n R could bring the fire…

At first listen my intuition seemed right on. Opening up with “Chinese Democracy” it was obvious there were some audio problems with Axl’s vocals thru the p.a., very muddied and buried by the guitar mix. This sent Mr. Rose slipping back behind the Marshall stacks trying to fix the problem with the sound crew. The second song ‘Welcome to the Jungle” seemed rushed, muffled, and stiff. I was sitting there incredulous, how could this be? Sitting a rock show is a sure sign of a lack lustre performance.

As the show pressed on It became obvious Axl was getting frustrated and pissed off, repeatedly retreating back stage trying to resolve the sound debacle. After 6 or 7 songs I was so uninspired and disappointed I just sat back half expecting him to storm off in a rage. Sad to say it almost sounded like he was lip syncing. Unthinkable!

Thankfully, somebody somewhere flipped a switch or patched a cord and suddenly his signature vocals were cutting thru the environs of the Forum like a hawk swooping thru the night air seeking prey. It was time to get out of my seat, stand up and get involved on what was shaking/taking place on the stage. A now relaxed Axl focused in on what he does best, even taking time to thank the fans before sitting down at the grand piano for an unaccompanied, pristine “November Rain.”

Since I pretty much wrote off the “New” G n R for all the aforementioned reasons I wasn’t familiar with the various current members. As the night wore on it was evident there was a lot of extraordinary talent stalking the stage. With 3 lead guitarists one might think “too many chefs?” but D.J. Ashba, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, and ex-NIN guitarist Richard Fortus each brought different sonic spices to their moments in the spotlight.

Fortus demonstrated his refined axemanship covering the timeless James Bond theme with a metal edge. Bumblefoot treated the crowd to a heavy version of the Pink Panther theme with frenzied fretboard fireworks galore and Ashba checked the tatted, pretty boy guitar hero box aptly, constantly moving about the stage, flicking picks to the rabid fans.

 

RECORD REVIEW

WILLIAM DERHAM

Fiercely hard-charging, Sensory Overdrive immediately detonates with track one “Trick of the Wrist” blasting a swath of sPunk infused rock a mile wide. Track two “78” keeps the party rollin’ with an almost anthemic chorus of “Hey-Heys” that begs the listener to raise a clenched fist and join in.

The rollicking momentum doesn’t let up until track nine with “Gone Baby Gone” when guest vocalist Lucinda Williams slows things down lending her smoky harmonies to a decidedly pensive tune with a country twang. Standout tracks “Modern Day Miracle” for it’s hook heavy licks and “Bombs Away” for it’s wicked harmonica flourishes.

Mister Monroe’s illustrious rocker credentials as the multi-talented and influential front man for Hanoi Rocks have all led up to this record, a tour de force of guitar fury, whip smart lyrics, his legendary vocals and incomparable delivery.

Surrounded by equally seasoned players his all star band consists of Ginger ( The Wildhearts), ex-New York Dolls guitarist, Steve Conte, ex-Hanoi Rocks bassist, Sami Yaffa, and drummer Karl Rosqvist ( aka Rockfist). Motorhead’s own Lemmy contributes vocals on the appropriately titled “Debauchery as Fine Art.”

A running theme seems to yearn for daze gone by (“’78” & “Supercharged Superfly”) and the sound embraces late ’70’s rock’s remarkably well. The result is a uber satisfying bit of sonic, hard rock ear candy guaranteed to gratify the most discerning. Winning! M.Monroe will be playing the Whiskey on Sunset Strip Thurs. Oct 20th. For more info check michaelmonroe.com

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RIPPIN’ RONNIE MONTROSE LIVE @ THE CANYON CLUB

9-8-11

BY WILLIAM DERHAM

Riffmeister extraordinaire, Ronnie Montrose, touched down with his current national tour at the intimate, user friendly Canyon Club to melt faces and explode heads with his unique guitar pyrotechnics. In his long and illustrious career, Ronnie honed his skills playing with a diverse array of artists including Van Morrison, Gary Wright, and the Edgar Winter Group, just to name a few. In 1973 he formed his own self titled band creating a slew of all American hard rockin’ radio staples that have stood the test of time with their combination of lighting power chords and scorching vocals courtesy of a then unknown young vocalist named Sammy Hagar.

Obviously delighted to be back on stage, wielding his signature Les Paul guitar, after a 2 yr. battle with prostate cancer, he fed off the abundant energy emanating from the enthusiastic crowd. Opening the set with the incendiary “Rock the Nation” he tore through his back pages of visceral hits weaving a sonic tapestry of foot stomping, fist pumping fury.

Always pushing the creative envelope Montrose took a detour from rock in ’78 exploring a jazzier, instrumental approach with albums like “Open Fire” and “Territory”, thankfully he has chosen to return to his roots and give the fans the music they’ve been begging for . His influence in the annals of American rock are indelible and undeniable. The legendary guitarist continues to bring his unparalleled style across the country. He will be back to so. cal in Nov. playing in Corona. Check ronniemontrose.com for details. P.S. Thanks to Coach Bill for help with the set list and photo.

 

SETLIST

ROCK THE NATION

I GOT THE FIRE

ONE THING ON MY MIND

MAKE IT LAST

20 FLIGHT ROCK

I DON’T WANT IT

SPACE STATION #5

BAD MOTOR SCOOTER

GOOD ROCKIN’ TONIGHT


 

LYKKE LI @ THE GREEK THEATER 8-3-11 BY WILLIAM DERHAM

Sexy, sultry, and sad. Swedish chanteuse and current “It” girl, Lykke Li played pied piper to the restless “Twilight” generation of romantic idealists and the intense yearnings of young adulthood. Touring in support of her sophomore release, “Wounded Rhymes”, Li captivated the mostly female crowd, eager to share her delicious desperation. Taking the stage amid a barrage of staccato strobe lights and swirling clouds of dry ice fog, L.L., draped in layers of black garb cavorted about with reckless abandon, taking full advantage of the summer evening’s intoxicating allure.

L.A.’s Greek Theater is a crown jewel of music venues nestled in the canyons of Griffith Park and she stated; “Tonight is a special night… playing here for the first time.” Li and her five piece band hop scotched easily between songs from her poppier debut, “Youth Novels” and the more austere, tribal “Wounded Rhymes.” For many of the songs she picked up a pair of drumsticks, banging on various drums, cymbals, her microphone stand, and what ever came across her path to punctuate her emotional urgency. Commanding the stage and feeding off the energy of her adoring crowd of followers, Li proved to be a compelling performer, part star, part anti-star. Highlights of tonight’s show were “Please Stay” and the provocative “Get Some.” Proving risks sometimes pay off in a big way this 24 yr old who moved to NYC from Sweden when she was 19, not knowing a soul, with no money, hit the big time after playing SXSW in Austin.

In her interviews she states that she has used her “hustler” mentality to break the mold for success in the music industry and made up her own set of rules. The bewitching Lykke Li and her rapidly rising stardom will be an interesting trajectory to observe. Setlist: Jerome I’m Good, I’m Gone I Follow Rivers Silent My Song Dance Dance Dance Please Stay I Know Places Little Bit Love Out Of Lust Rich Kid Blues/Silent Shout (The Knife cover) Until We Bleed (Kleerup cover) Youth Knows No Pain Get Some Encore: Possibility Unrequited Love.