Speaking on the Grammys

rant

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

That one song…

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Here’s something I’ve been wondering about. Are there any songs out there that you just can’t listen to anymore? I mean songs that you once couldn’t get enough of but now cringe and change them when they come on . There are a couple of great songs that I am completely burnt out on and I’m sure I’ll catch hell from some people about them and here they are: “Stairway To Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, and “Dream On” by Aerosmith. I know, I know, they are iconic songs by iconic bands but listening to them makes me nuts. It could be that I was over exposed to them when they were on regular rotation on FM radio. Let me reiterate, these are great songs but are worn out to me. What are your thoughts, and songs that just don’t do it for you anymore?

-the Hellion

Was Dimebag really that great?

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 photo credit: Chad Lee

THIS POST IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO DISRESPECT THE MEMORY OF DIME

 

It has been almost ten years since Dimebag was shot to death onstage. It just so happened that I was talking to a very well known guitarist today (he wished to remain anonymous) about Dime and the impact he has had on the music community. His opinions and thoughts made me think about Dime and his influence.

I see so many people sporting the pink goatee and citing Dime as their main influence in guitar playing. But was he REALLY that good a player? I mean are there any songs by him that are truly game changers? Or is it “cool” to like him and therefore “cool” to cite him as an innovator? In my discussion with my friend the statement was made that Pantera filled a niche in the metal community and that was all it was.

In my opinion Dime played with heart and soul and THAT is good enough for me. If you look at the so called “A-List” guitar players you might find that their “skill-level”, or “technical mastery” might be lacking but their heart and interpretation was spot on.

I am just curious what you, loyal reader, have to say about Dimebag. Not looking for a slamming of him just some intelligent feedback.

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

-the Hellion

Rock N’ Roll is NOT dead Mr. Simmons

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So I recently read the article where Nick Simmons interviewed his father Gene Simmons in Esquire:

GENE SIMMONS: ‘ROCK IS FINALLY DEAD’

The Kiss rocker expands on his thoughts about the past, present, and future of recorded music.

I have a few things to say about this. I have seen that this article has recently been trending on Facebook. I am of the opinion that it is indeed NOT dead.  Gene has pretty much killed the hopes and dreams of future musicians. I remember when music was made for the sake of creating art, the success that followed was a bonus. Imagine if Beethoven or Van Gogh only were only creating art for commercial or monetary gain. That is where the music industry has seemed to have gone. I blame the industry itself for becoming too corporate. If they don’t see an immediate gain for it they don’t see fit to put any money behind it. THAT is the problem. I think that someone that holds the status of Gene Simmons should put his experiences back into helping the industry not discouraging it.

I have a very good friend who is named Dellacoma Rio. He is a vocalist from Australia. He, to me, embodies the spirit of Rock N’ Roll. While he was in previous band Sunset Riot they managed to book shows and gain exposure in the US while still being based in Australia. They toured the US extensively and successfully gaining ground at every turn. Unfortunately due to creative differences and life changes Sunset Riot chose to mutually dissolve. Dellacoma Rio, however, was not done. The spirit and fire of Rock N’ Roll burned passionately within him. With a little bit of reinvention and tenacity he put together a new band and hit the road again. Booking gigs and festivals across the US the newly formed DELLACOMA began the process of making themselves seen and heard. In the midst of touring across the US they took the time to stop and make an old fashioned Rock N’ Roll record. No processing, no extreme overdubs, just raw and fresh. A record that translates to live performances seamlessly. The evening of finishing in the studio they played a gig and set off on the road again. All of this from a gentleman who comes from modest means. There is no one bank rolling this gentleman or his band, just blood, sweat, and tears. Rock N’ Roll is alive and well within DELLACOMA. That is an example of one of many bands I know and love who work equally as hard.

Getting back to Gene Simmons, KISS has always had the opportunity to be trend setters. I feel that they have let us down as of late. When the reunion, and farewell tours were done they had the chance to reinvent themselves and continue to gain new ground. Instead of putting others in the classic makeup they could have invented new “characters” for Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. It was done before with Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent. I am of the opinion that what we have now is Diet KISS, or KISS Lite now with 50% less KISS. They have put out two mediocre records and continue to rely on their back catalog instead of searching within and getting in touch with  the part of them that drove them in the early days.

Now, to basically tell young rockers to give up is a pretty crappy thing to say. When Rock N’ Roll was in its infancy there was no one there handing out checks or promoting or playing the music. It was all word of mouth and shameless self promotion. I feel that we have returned to those days. While the internet has been a curse to the industry due to the whole downloading issue it has also allowed bands to use it to promote and reach out on their own. OK in the vast sea of bands putting out their stuff on the internet how do they get heard? Well that falls to people who do what I do and the bands themselves. By taking that step and getting out, touring, not taking no for an answer and promotion, promotion, promotion they can be heard. Is the money still there, of course not,  it is still lining the pockets of the greedy corporations. I’m sure Gene has his pockets full. I challenge those rockers who have “succeeded” to reach out and help bands be heard and succeed in their musical endeavors. There IS new music being made that defies the current slop being force fed to us by corporate radio and the bloated industry, you just have to open your ears and eyes and look and listen for it.  No Gene, Rock is NOT dead by any means, like everything else we just have to work a little harder at it.

 

thump thump, thump thump, THUMP THUMP….

you hear that? That’s the pulse of Rock N’ Roll and it’s still strong.

 

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL…and we love it!

the Hellion

 

 

 

 

Finding strength through adversity- guitarist Randy “the Arsonist” Cooper

photo courtesy of Randy Cooper's Facebook page

photo courtesy of Randy Cooper’s Facebook page

I first met Randy a few years ago at a show in NM. We hit it off and have remained friends and stayed in contact ever since. In getting to know Randy and the strength and tenacity he possesses has been inspiring to say the least. While life has seen fit to try and throw roadblocks ( there have been several and they shall remain personal out of respect for Randy) at him he blasts through them like a rock n’ roll juggernaut.

When I first bore witness to the performing and playing style of Randy I was blown away. It was obvious that he was inspired by the late great Dimebag (if you look closely at his headstock you will see two dimes, message me if you don’t get the reference) and yet he remained true to his own style of playing. Straight up in your ears power coupled with thoughtful melodies are what Randy shares with us in his music.

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I have seen Randy move on with his life and career in a positive way. He recently added his talent to the band Emperors And Elephants. I have really come to like this band and their straight up sound. Here’s taste for ya:

    Randy you continue to inspire and give me hope, thank you my dear friend.

     he’s loud, he’s on fire, he’s Randy “the Arsonist” Cooper!

    the Hellion

back up soon

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the Hellion Rocks will be back up and running soon from my temporary location in upstate New York…

RANT INSIDE!!!! PROPER SHOW ETIQUETTE!!!

375273_10150521102730972_923334663_n     I’ve spoken upon this subject before and an event that occurred last night has fired me up again. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE ROCK N’ ROLL COMMUNITY?!?!?!

Let me set the stage: Last night I was fortunate to have been granted coverage of the Saint Vitus show here in NM. The venue does not have a photo pit so you have to shoot from the crowd. I usually shoot and move and work with the crowd to shoot the event. Well last night there was this cat to my immediate left who was flailing about like a man possessed knocking into people and making a general nuisance of himself. Now, I don’t mind someone getting totally lost in the music at all but one should realize there is a world outside of their five foot space. This guy continued bumping, elbowing, and knocking into people with complete disregard and then it got worse. Dave Chandler, the guitarist for Saint Vitus, posed in front of my camera for some choice shots and this idiot next to me shoves into me and starts throwing his hands in front of my camera thus ruining any chance of a good shot. I politely said “Hey man, I’m working here” his response was “FUCK YOU” he then continued to thwart every shot by reaching and flipping the bird in front of my lens. An altercation was imminent when my security bros came and confronted his guy who fronted on them as well. The girl he was with was begging him to chill but he was having none of it. They grabbed this guy gave him and his girl the boot. The crowd cheered his ejection as they were tired of him as well, we all enjoyed the rest of the show and I was able to get back to shooting a kick ass show.

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We all know show attendance is down across the board and completely sucks. I heard several people make comments after that guy was thrown out. “And that I why I don’t go to shows much anymore.” “Who needs to go out and see shit like this?” “Fuck it, people suck. I knew I should have stayed home.”

What happened to the world? The Rock N’ Roll community used to be about being cool and having a good time, not about fighting and being an idiot. Sure there were hose occasions  but they weren’t that common. Come on people if we want to revive the music scene we need to look within ourselves and our own actions.

be the community, be the music, BE COOL!

the Hellion