Was Chris DeGarmo Queensrÿche?

Tri-Ryche

I remember now…

This writing will probably piss off and alienate some of my friends and readers, but it is my thoughts and feelings and I will not apologize for that.

In the early 80’s a track caught my ear one day and wormed its way into my brain, “Queen of the Reich”. It was Iron Maiden meets Judas Priest and yet somehow…not. I didn’t catch the band name but a quick phone call to the DJ, yes I said DJ, and found it was a band named Queensrÿche and I was hooked.

Album after album came out and my love for the band and appreciation for their music grew and grew. In the midst of all of this I met and married my wife and she, in turn, grew to like  Queensrÿche as well.

The years gave us great albums and music to share. We were fortunate to catch them on the Hear in the Now Frontier tour and then Chris DeGarmo left the band.

I thought to myself surely the departure of Chris wouldn’t be the end of  Queensrÿche and I stood by patiently to see the results. Q2K was released and it was ok, but something seemed lacking in the song structure. I then heard some rumors that Chris was working with  Queensrÿche again on a new record. Tribe was released in 2003 and it gave me the magic I felt before from open to close. The “reunion”, however, was short-lived. Chris faded away again.

2006 to 2011 brought us Operation: Mindcrime II, Take Cover, American Soldier, and Dedicated to Chaos, all decent efforts but still lacking that je ne sais quoi. Then, the Taterÿche Wars (as I like to refer to them) began.

While I refuse to take sides in the whole fiasco (I am not nor will I ever be a part of their internal business matters, and was not included in any discussions so everything we read or hear is hearsay.) I kept an open mind as to the outcome.

I then heard that Geoff Tate and the band had split. Rumors of a new band called Rising West featuring Todd La Torre surfaced and I was impressed and glad they had decided to move on. As for Geoff I was hoping that he would pursue a solo career and Queensrÿche would be put to rest in an honorable way.

Needless to say that did not happen. Like a bad political campaign there was name calling and mudslinging galore. Eventually it settled, Geoff gave up the name Queensrÿche and named his new endeavor Operation: Mindcrime.

Both camps have continued to make new music and yet have failed to reach me on the level that Queensrÿche once did. Don’t get me wrong, Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield, and Eddie Jackson, are all stellar musicians and were critical to the Queensrÿche sound. Parker Lundgren and Todd La Torre are great additions as well, I just wish they would have stuck to the Rising West name and let Queensrÿche die an honorable death. Todd is a phenomenal vocalist and front man but he’s no Geoff Tate and neither should he be.   Was Chris DeGarmo Queensrÿche? Maybe not but he certainly was a big part to me.

-the Hellion

 

 

Mike Araiza covers Geoff Tate’s Queensryche in Albuquerque, NM!!!

I am fortunate with the accomplishments achieved on the Hellion Rocks. I am proud to work with and call people like Charlie Owens and Randy Norris my brethren in arms with this crazy world of Rock N’ Roll journalism. I am now pleased to announce the addition of Mike Araiza to the fold as a guest correspondent. Mike was gracious enough to cover the Geoff Tate fronted Queensryche for me while I am away in New York. Here is Mike’s coverage so enjoy:

     When a living legend TAKES HOLD of the stage

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In a world of smartphones, tablets, online streaming and disposable trends I was
excited to drive up to the Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque, NM and see a line around
the building for a Rock show. Excitement was definitely in the air to see the one and
only Geoff Tate and his band of living legends which consists of Randy Gane
(keyboards), Kelly Gray (guitars,vocals), Robert Sarzo (Guitars Vocals), Simon Wright
(Drums) and the one and only Rudy Sarzo (Bass Vocals). By the time I got to the photopit
the venue was packed like I have not seen in a long time even to upper level was
full. I could hear fans talking about their favorite song(s) and discussing the hope to
hear them all. I even overheard the “ I saw ’em in 199x in Colorado” stories man I am at
a real rock show with which looks like a sold out venue!
The moment I never get tired of comes. Boom, house lights go off and the crowd erupts
into a loud roar of anticipation man this is what it is all about. The entire band struts out
with pure swagger (think of Jordan walking on the court for a finals game). To be honest
I was absolutely star struck by all of them and the crowd was so epically loud and full of
excitement I had a hard time remembering that I was there to take pictures. Within a few
bars of musical excitement the band forms into a visual balance and Geoff Tate takes
hold of center stage belting out THAT voice which we all grew up on also demonstrating
the true craftsmanship of being a legendary frontman. Not to mention, this band is
opening up a can of rock n’ roll whoop ass. Mix is tight, drums are thundering, bass is
locked hard with the drums, guitars are loud and punchy, keyboards sound fresh. I now
know why Geoff Tate recruited these guys! Chemistry is off the charts here folks!
Each song is accompanied by the crowd singing at the top of their lungs with fists
pumping in the air (which the entire band really appreciated I could see it on all of their
faces you guys kicked ass Albuquerque). It is important to note that each song was
played exactly like the respective albums. This band is loaded with a group of artists
that have been around the world with AC/DC, Ozzy, Quiet Riot just to name a few and
the stage presence shows it as well. After 90 minutes of mind-blowing Rock N Roll and
two outrageously killer encores it was time for the after show meet and greet. I watched
the entire band gracefully sign autographs, take pictures, have conversations with the
fans, this was really cool to watch. Nothing but humble and appreciative vibes going on
with this band. Geoff Tate was a pleasure to meet and was a true gentleman as was the
entire band. In closing I urge you to buy a ticket and go see this band when they come
to your area also check into the VIP as well. Last but not least a huge thanks to James
“The Hellion Rocks” for this awesome privilege and a huge thanks to Geoff Tate and his
team. Rock N Roll is a gift let’s keep giving it…
~ Mike

A tale of two Queensrÿches

TriRyche

A long time ago on a radio station far away…

I heard a song that caught my attention and drew me in. It was 1983, the song was “Queen Of The Reich”,  and Queensrÿche was the band. Over the years I grew to love the music and eagerly snapped up each and every release. In my humble opinion their music evolved, growing better and better which each new album.

The elements of  Queensrÿche were Geoff Tate on vocals, Chris DeGarmo on guitars, Michael Wilton on guitars, Scott Rockenfield on drums, and Eddie Jackson on bass. This lineup wrote some great, long lasting music that will forever remain in my heart.

Things were great for them until 1998 when Chris DeGarmo left the band. The salad days were over…

Various guitarists came and went in the following years, and then in 2012, the band parted ways with Geoff Tate and Todd La Torre was his replacement.

This is where the trouble started. I tried to stay out of making any statement on the whole mess but I recently read some articles on it and decided to finally weigh in on the subject.

When a band loses someone readily identifiable as their lead vocalist it is quite apparent. Some bands have managed to pull it off successfully (Van Halen, AC/DC for example). While I am familiar with Todd and his voice, he is no Geoff Tate and I feel he has been pushed into a situation where he is trying to live up to Geoff and not develop his own style. While Geoff has had to gather musicians around him to recreate the Queensrÿche sound. What are we left with? In my opinion, watered down versions.

Queensryche_with_Geoff_Tate_-_Frequency_UnknownQueensryche_with_Todd_La_Torre_-_Queensrÿche_2013

2013 brought us two Queensrÿche records Frequency Unknown from the Geoff Tate version, and the self titled Queensrÿche from the Todd La Torre version. Here’s where I start pissing some people off. I feel that these two records are mediocre at best, there I said it. Each record has its good points but ultimately both fall short of the mark for the Queensrÿche legacy. I also feel that the inclusion of rerecorded classic Queensrÿche songs on each record were a feeble attempt by each lineup to try and show each other up.

What to do, what to do? I think both Queensrÿches need to take note of what the current lineup of Thin Lizzy has done. The band took stock of what had been and what was to be and made the decision to rebrand themselves as Black Star Riders. This allowed the freedom to create new music under the new name and play the classic Thin Lizzy songs keeping the legacy intact. The guys in Velvet Revolver moved on and still payed tribute to their previous bands as well.

While the Todd La Torre version did briefly appear as Rising West they dropped that and returned to performing under the Queensrÿche moniker. I think that they should have stayed n that path and become a new band and moved forward with it and still honored the Queensrÿche history in their live performances.

The Geoff Tate version should have done the same thing. Geoff and his new crew should have found a new identity under a new name and moved forward as well and honored Queensrÿche in their live performances as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for all of the musicians involved and the Queensrÿche legacy,  in fact I have the Tri-Rÿche logo tattooed on my arm, but I feel all parties involved need to let it go and move forward. 20140404_062220_1

 

    ” Your heads in overload.
You’ve reached your threshold
and you’re about to explode.

Open your eyes. Just say what you want to say?
Open your eyes, you see yours isn’t the only way .
Open your eyes. To you everyone is blind.
Open your eyes and your mind.”

     Rest In Peace Queensrÿche – the Hellion

 

 

THE WINERY DOGS AND VINNIE PAUL DROP BY THIS WEEK’S EPISODE OF VH1 CLASSIC’S “THAT METAL SHOW”

 

THE WINERY DOGS AND VINNIE PAUL DROP BY THIS WEEK’S EPISODE OF VH1 CLASSIC’S “THAT METAL SHOW”

Guitar Legend Yngwie Malmsteen Returns and Shreds as Guest Musician

PHOTO - TMS Week 11#636443

(March 27th, 2014 – New York, NY) – VH1 Classic’s centerpiece in original programming “That Metal Show” returns this week with Richie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan, and Mike Portnoy of The Winery Dogs. The band drops by to update hosts Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine on how things have been going since the release of their debut album, released last July. The band also unveils a new deluxe edition of their debut that will be released in the near future. Unfortunately, the band leaves mid-show because they were performing that night in New York City. TMS Alum, Vinnie Paul, returns for a third time to the show and finishes the show alone. Vinnie fills the hosts in on the latest Hell Yeah record, recounts tales from the road, and once again definitively states that the rumors of the possible Pantera reunion with Zakk Wylde on guitar are completely false. Vinnie eloquently states: “They call it a ‘reunion’ for a reason, it means that all original members will be returning.  Well, with Dime no longer being here, that’s not possible.  We had fourteen amazing years together, and in my humble opinion there’s no way to do that. I don’t want to tarnish the legacy of Pantera, and my brother.  This just needs to be left alone, as it is, and it’s time for us to move on, man.” Vinnie Paul also enlightens the hosts in the “Put It On The Table” segment as he answers the lightning fast Q&A portion of the show. Episode eleven of “That Metal Show” airs this Saturday, March 29th at 11:00PM ET/PT.

PHOTO - TMS Week 11#636462 

Guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen returns to TMS but this time as the guest musician. Yngwie wowed the hosts, guests, and crowd with his amazing fretwork and improvisational abilities. He even takes a full guitar solo in the final segment of the show that is not-to-be-missed.

Episode eleven also features a “Metal Modem” segment with Michael Poulson, of Volbeat, checking in from his home in Denmark. Michael fills in the hosts about what is going on with Volbeat’s upcoming tour, what it was like to tour with Metallica, and how great it was to be on the road with Hell Yeah and Vinnie Paul, hoping they can do it again soon. The “TMS Top 5” tackles the Top 5 Greatest Hard Rock Trios with all three hosts only agreeing on one band, Rush. This week’s “Stump The Trunk” finds Eddie regaining his dominance over the audience’s questions. When he gets one wrong it allows a lucky fan to win one of Billy Sheehan’s basses; autographed by the Winery Dogs, which of course brings out everyone’s favorite Miss Box Of Junk, Jennifer.

Since the January 18th premiere of Season 13, “That Metal Show” continues to bring their audience the biggest names in hard rock and heavy metal. The season 13 finale airs on April 5th at 11:00PM ET/PT with guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani, comedians Artie Lange and Jim Breuer, and Yngwie Malmsteen as guest guitarist, earning the distinction as being the only repeat performer in season 13.

This season marks some monumental changes for the show as it returns to New York City for Season 13. Previously the show was taped over several days, in a course of a week, at Sony Studios in Los Angeles. The new season is now shot at Metropolis Studios on Tuesday nights, for broadcast that Saturday. Season 13 also consists of 12 new episodes making it the longest season in the series history. Fans can also catch the complete season 12 and brand new exclusive bonus clips at ThatMetalShow.VH1.com and on the new VH1 app. New episodes of season 13 launch on the web and in the app every Sunday morning following the show’s on-air premiere.

That Metal Show” premiered on VH1 Classic in November 2008 and since has become the only place for all things hard rock and heavy metal on cable television. The show has been visited by some of the biggest names in the genres including members of Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Pantera, Anthrax, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Queensrÿche, and Heart.

That Metal Show” is a production of VH1 Classic. Lee Rolontz, Jeff Baumgardner, and Keshia Williams serve as executive producers for VH1.

VH1 Classic brings you the best metal, rock, soul and pop from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. The channel features the gods of rock – from Black Sabbath, Metallica, and Iron Maiden to Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, and Dire Straits – in marquee concerts and music specials, and of course, tons of classic music videos. Recent big events include “National Metal Day” (11.11) and “Metal Evolution”, an 11-part documentary series on the history of metal.  When it comes down to it – all music should go to 11.

 

MY CONVERSATION WITH RUDY SARZO

at the meet and greet

at the meet and greet

Rudy Sarzo, his accomplishments are many: Ozzy, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, M.A.R.S., Manic Eden, Michael Angelo Batio, Dio, Bassinvaders, “Ripper” Owens, Animetal USA, Queensryche, Project Rock, TRED, and several others. Rudy has become a legendary bass player that has inspired so many musicians. I was fortunate to have met him recently after a Queensryche show. Imagine my response  when I confirmed an interview with him. The interview went well (a few rude people make noise in the beginning though) and Rudy  was certainly a warm and down to earth person. I cannot thank him enough for taking the time to do an interview with me. Here’s the link and enjoy:

 

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

the Hellion

Interview with Robert Sarzo about his new release AFTER THE STORM.

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Every so often you run into someone who makes a positive impact on you. Robert Sarzo is one of those people. I was fortunate to meet him after a Queensryche show recently. He was extremely gracious to everyone he met and was genuine about it. That, my friends, is class. He recently released a solo record call After The Storm. Robert was kind enough to give me phone call and chat about his new record and music. Enjoy it right here:

     If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and go to http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/robertsarzo1 and pick up After The Storm.

     Thank you Robert, for everything!

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

Robert Sarzo releases After The Storm

RobertSarzo-AftertheStorm

 

1. War Dance
2. Don’t Change Your Love
3. Lace, Pearls and Fire
4. Innocent Girl
5. Not Yet
6. Los Canbios De Amore
7. Heilo Y Fuego
8. Angelita
9. Backbeat

     Robert Sarzo is one of the worlds outstanding guitarists. I was fortunate to meet him and his brother Rudy at a recent Queensryche show. His playing and showmanship was outstanding.

Robert Sarzo on fire!

Robert Sarzo on fire!

Now Robert has released After The Storm. I picked it up yesterday and haven’t stopped listening to it. Full of tribal sounds, Latin rhythms and full on metal licks, there is something here for everyone.

After The Storm opens with the tribal inspired instrumental  “War Dance”. Great drum beat backed with ethereal sounds make up this track. “Don’t Change Your Love” is a straight on rocker full of great riffs and smoking vocals. Pure rocking at its finest. “Lace, Pearls, And Fire” is one  my stand out tracks on this record. Catchy hooks and dirty blues based rock make this a do NOT miss song. “Innocent Girl” slows the pace a bit but loses nothing in that. Opening with beautiful guitars, it leads into a “raise your lighter to the sky” type of ballad full of emotion and melody another stand out track for sure. “Not Yet” is a great sing along track that will get your blood pumping and head nodding in time to the hook, another favorite. “Los Canbios De Amore” is the kickass Spanish version of “Don’t Change Your Love”. “Heilo Y Fuego” is the awesome Spanish version of  “Lace, Pearls, And Fire”. “Angelita” is the Spanish version of “Innocent Girl” . “Backbeat” closes out this wonderful record with another rocking tune that fills the ears with joy.

Robert is filled with true musical talent and this talent needs to be heard. Be sure and pick it up at https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/robertsarzo1

You can keep up with Robert on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/robertsarzosr?ref=ts&fref=ts

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

the Hellion