Here’s what’s up with Justin Manning

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Had the chance to chat with Justin Manning about some stuff…so check it out:

     -the Hellion

The Troubadour of Testosterone, Zakk Wylde, releases Book Of Shadows II

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I have been listening to the new Zakk Wylde release for several days now and want to share my reflections on it with you.

When I received my pre-order in the mail I was excited to hear some new music from Father Zakk. I unwrapped the CD, and quickly threw it in my truck’s player and settled in for a listen…..

Playing this album it felt like i had put on a pair of comfortable slippers, and settled in to my favorite easy chair. While the songs were new, they felt familiar and comfortable like old friends and yet at the same time, not stale and boring. I tried to pick out some standout tracks but was unable to as the flow of the record, for me, needs to be taken as a whole.

So why would Zakk need to make a solo record? Why not another Black Label Society record? Here are my thoughts.

We all know Zakk can grab his fiddle and choke some fantastic music from it that will crush our collective chests like so many packs of cigarettes, and we know he has some tender moments that give us some memorable ballads. With Book of Shadows II, Zakk gives us some reflective music. This CD is full of music that truly comes from a mans thoughts and life experiences and listening to it will transport you into a thoughtful place. I am taken back to the music of James Taylor, Jim Croce, and Don McLean. These guys created art with their words and guitars.

Why then would hardcore, badass, metalhead, rockers, like this record? Because it shows craftsmanship, and talent…lots and lots of talent. The skill set Zakk shows us on Book of Shadows II shows us why he remains so relevant in the vast world of guitarists.

Bottom line, Book of Shadows II feels like a record that I have had in my collection for years and years and yet puts a smile on my face whenever I play it.

While all of the songs stand out to me as a whole Zakk has released a video for “Sleeping Dogs” and you can check it out here:

     Whether you are a Zakk Wylde/BLS fan or not you should run out today and pick Book of Shadows II to up, pop it in your player, roll the windows down, and go for a 60 minute drive and just let finely crafted music flow through you and take to a reflective place.

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s Rock N’ Roll!!!

     -the Hellion

 

 

Ok, ok, I get it!!!

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So, people are calling me out on my Facebook statement from earlier today. After hearing about the Metallica/Budweiser beer thing. I posted: “Drink some beer with our name on it so you don’t care if our next record is terrible…” I then commented on my own post: “What’s next Megabeer, Five Finger Hard Punch?”

It was all in fun people, but I get it. I’m close enough to people in the industry to understand the struggle. Being a musician in today’s world is harder than ever. That is why many of them have chosen to diversify their interests. That is why we have seen so many hot sauces, coffees, restaurants, clothing lines, guitars and gear, etc., etc. from artists these days. The problem that can arise from this, in my opinion, is that I feel the music gets lost in all of the hustle and bustle.

So, in conclusion, pay more attention to the music instead of the “stuff”! Now go buy some music and band merch, and hit up a show or two!!!

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

-the Hellion

it’s all you

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With all of the news of racial/social/political unrest as of late it has caused me to reflect on things, and I have come to the conclusion it is all because of you.

You have the choice to not hit your child or your spouse. Sure you might have grown up in a home where domestic violence was the norm (I myself witnessed my mother beaten by my stepfather and I was at the end of a few myself), and yet I choose to respect my wife and children. I choose to not follow that path.

You have the choice not to sexually abuse others. Again, I knew  people who were abused by people they trusted and yet they grew up and made choices to help others that were being abused.

You have the choice to not abuse alcohol. Again I have firsthand experience with alcoholism in the home. This is a devastating problem int he country today. I have again made the choice to stay away from that lifestyle.

You have the choice to not abuse drugs. Once more, I have experienced this in my home as a child. This is another choice I am proud to have made in staying away.

You have the choice to obey the law and not run from the police. I am saddened to see all of the death and destruction in the news today regarding this issue. Think of how many would still be alive if they had just obeyed the law and the police. I say again, you have the ability to choose the right thing.

There is only one race, the human race. We are all brethren and should not be afraid to embrace each other publicly and claim our love for one another. We could achieve miracles then.

Choose wisely my friends

-the Hellion

Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute – DVD thoughts and review

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September 27 1980- My friend Brett came over to my apartment to hang out with me on my 16th birthday. He smiled as he handed me a wrapped package. I eagerly tore the wrapping off to discover the Blizzard Of Ozz record. “I knew you loved Sabbath so I saw this and figured you would enjoy it.” We raced to my room and found ourselves entranced by the music. I was most impressed by the guitar playing album on this record. The passion and power of the guitar playing on it was enough to make me weep. Brett and I instantly became Randy Rhoads fanatics. A lot of our friends were Eddie Van Halen nuts through and through, but there was something a bit more magical about Randy Rhoads for me. We read everything we could find and tried our best to wear out my copy of Blizzard Of Ozz.

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When Diary Of A Madman came out in late 1981 I was there at the record store and raced home to hear what Randy had come up with to blow our minds, I was not disappointed in the least. This record too found itself being quickly worn out on my turntable. Again, I read every bit of press, had the posters, t-shirts, and all of the necessary accessories. Brett and I even figured out the secret codes on the album. Then, miracle of miracles, Ozzy was coming to our town!!! I did odd jobs to earn my $8.50 for my ticket. We went and positioned ourselves in front of Randy and witnessed a show that has yet to be repeated. The way Randy commanded the stage was sheer magic, and the way he played the songs live was utter brilliance. We left the show elated and sold that Randy was the greatest guitar player ever. Then, three months later he was gone, and I openly wept.

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         Now in March of 2015 I find myself watching a DVD about people who were influenced by Randy and his music. Kelle Rhoads let us into the world that he and his brother developed their musical skills in by walking us through the legendary Musonia Music School. Kelle told us of  how his mother, Delores, influenced Randy to audition for Ozzy. He also shared some moments of the younger Randy and himself performing is the school. I really felt the emotional bond and the sense of loss Kelle has for Randy when he showed the room where Randy taught guitar. It was stated that the room has been restored to the way it was when Randy packed up and left for his gig with Ozzy. It is truly a room frozen in time.

     The legendary Bob Kulick hosts Bob’s interaction with Kelle was enlightening and I learned new things about Randy. Bob spoke with drummer Frankie Banali and I learned things about the formation of the Ozzy solo band that I never knew. Dana Strum? Frankie’s involvement? You have to watch it and see. Hearing the stage stories from my friend Rudy Sarzo was amazing as well. Bob talks on with George Lynch, Doug Aldrich, Dweezil Zappa, Joel Hoekstra, George Lynch. Bruce Kulick, and Jon Donias. They all tell how Randy affected them musically.

     This DVD has led me to appreciate Randy “the person” more than I previously had. It is quite obvious how much his peers loved and respected him.  I am glad that the time was taken to produce this in tribute to the great Randy Rhoads who continues to live on inside me and others who listen and truly appreciate his musical legacy.  Please be sure to pick this up and allocate an hour and a half to learn about and share the life of this great musician and human being, you will NOT be disappointed. Randy truly is immortal.

     it’s loud, it’s beautiful, it’s Randy Rhoads

     -the Hellion

DIMEBAG’s Grave Allegedly Vandalized By Up-And-Coming Metal Band

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According to a post on PANTERA‘s Facebook page, authorities have been notified after members of an up-and-coming metal band allegedly used an Instagram account to boast about defacing late PANTERA guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott‘s grave. The since-removed Instagram post (the Instagram account has been deleted as well) showed a photo of the grave with the following caption: “i HATE pantera…with a passion. and so does the rest of my band. so on tour going throug texas we paid douchebag darrell a visit, we spit on his grave, stole a pair of cowboy boots, and i wrote ‘FAG’ on his grave… i’m not a homophobe but i hope all panturrrra fans see this and shit themselves with anger….FUCK DIMEBAG, buncha racist hillbillies”

Unsurprisingly, many of the PANTERA fans have since caught wind of the posting and have since used the Internet to voice their displeasure over the grave defacement. The PANTERA camp has also commented the despicable actions of the individuals in question, writing on Facebook: “We are absolutely disgusted by this! We ask that all of you please show Dime and his grave the respect he deserves. This conduct will not be tolerated and the authorities have been notified.”

After it was reported a few years ago that Dimebag‘s grave at the Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Texas was vandalized, Dimebag‘s brother, former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, was asked by Artisan News if the person responsible for causing the damage had ever been apprehended. “Nah, nah” he replied. “But it’s just a real disrespectful thing. I don’t understand why somebody would wanna scratch their name in somebody’s tombstone or anything. But fans are rabid, man; they do unheard-of things. I just wish they would respect him and let him rest in peace and just leave it at that.”

“Dimebag” Darrell Abbott was co-founder and lead guitarist for PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, Dimebag and his brother Vinnie Paul formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by Nathan Gale. He was 38 years old.
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courtesy of Blabbermouth .net

complete and total disrespect…smh

-the Hellion

Speaking on the Grammys

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I was doing my best to stay out of the “Grammy bashing” posts, but alas, I find myself jumping in. If we as music lovers and consumers are unhappy with the situation we need to speak up. If everyone who has made a statement would take the time to make their thoughts known to the right people we might make a difference. By flooding the radio stations with emails, phone calls we might make a difference. By writing and emailing the Grammys and telling them your thoughts we might make a difference. Lastly, by PURCHASING the music you love and telling others about it, and going to shows and supporting the music you love we WILL make a difference. – the Hellion