QUIET RIOT – ROAD RAGE

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Frontiers Music s.r.l. out on   08/04/17

1.Can’t Get Enough

2. Getaway

3. Roll This Joint

4. Freak Flag

5. Wasted

6. Still Wild

7. Make A Way

8. Renegades

9. The Road

10. Shame

11. Knock Em Down

 

Having been a Quiet Riot fan since forever I have to say I was quite intrigued when I heard they had hired James Durbin as their new vocalist. I had been paying attention and waiting for the new record to drop when, to my surprise, I received a preview copy of Road Rage in my inbox.

Not sure what to expect from 2017 lineup of Frankie Banali (drums), Chuck Wright (bass), Alex Grossi (guitars), and James Durbin (vocals) I quickly found myself picking my ass up off the floor upon listening to it.

The songs on Road Rage take me back to the days when groove laden rock was the norm, and yet these tracks have a freshness to them. There are homages to 70’s and 80’s bands throughout this record that make it a comfortable, yet head banging listen.

There are those who have proclaimed the death of Rock and Roll as we know and love it. I would say to them, “Listen to the new Quiet Riot record Road Rage and get back with me on that.”

Stand out tracks for me include: “Can’t Get Enough”, “Getaway”, “Still Wild”, and “Knock Em Down”.

As expected Frankie lays down a solid bed for the rest of the band to build upon. Chuck rounds out Frankie’s drumming with a heavy bottom end. Alex walks his guitar all over the map and if you listen you will hear the talent that this man has. James had his work cut out for him by laying vocals over such amazingly crafted music, and he pulled it off, and then some.

The record officially drops on 08/04/17 on  Frontiers Music s.r.l. and I will for sure be ordering a copy to support hard working musicians to keep doing what they do and what we love.

I would give this a solid 8 out of 10 stars.

 

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s QUIET RIOT

(so BANG YOUR HEAD)

-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

LET IT RAWK, AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE TO THE SUNSET STRIP GLORY DAYS PRODUCED BY STACEY BLADES, DEBUTS IN LAS VEGAS JANUARY 2014

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The Vegas strip had nothing on the Sunset Strip when it came to rock ‘n’ roll, and a new multi-media show is bringing that experience to the stage in a special sneak preview.  LET IT RAWK will debut in the Chrome Showroom at Santa Fe Station and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 18 at 9pm PST.

 

LET IT RAWK is a loud, colorful, energetic and interactive experience of the hair metal era on LA’s Sunset Strip.  The showroom and stage will be infused with the sights and energy of a legendary rock club.  Performed by guys who were there, shaping the scene, the show’s playlist includes the greatest hits from the ‘80s and early ‘90s.  From Warrant to Motley Crue the best anthems will be performed in all the glory of the day.  And hits from the LET IT RAWK band’s careers are highlights.

 

The LET IT RAWK band is the real deal.  It’s fronted by Black “N Blue and ex-Warrant vocalist Jaime St. James. Guitarist Oz Fox is in the platinum-selling Christian glam rock band, Stryper. Dokken’s Sean McNabb has played bass for other Kings of The Sunset Strip including Great White and Quiet Riot. Drummer Brent Fitz from Slash And The Conspirators will be slamming the skins. Brent has also played for Vince Neil and Alice Cooper. The band will also feature floating members, such as Eddie Ojeda from Twisted Sister and Bullet Boys original drummer Jimmy D’Anda.  The anchor of the band is LET IT RAWK’s creator and producer, Stacey Blades.

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Stacey’s ten years with L.A. Guns cemented him as a must-watch guitar player, and his final record with the band, HOLLYWOOD FOREVER, earned him critical acclaim for his exceptional fretwork.  He left the band last year to pursue his other projects, including LET IT RAWK.  “I have been diligently working on this project since last March, and am super stoked to be sharing the stage with such awesome guys and talented musicians. The show will be playing a few times a month here in Vegas and then be doing casino shows nationally, LET IT RAWK! See you out there!”

LET IT RAWK debuts in the Chrome Showroom at Santa Fe Station and Casino, 4949 North Rancho Drive, Las Vegas, on Saturday, January 18 at 9pm PST.  General admission tickets are $21.  VIP meet-and-greet upgrades will be available soon.  Tickets are available athttp://www.ticketmaster.com/event/17004B798ED17265.

it’s loud, it’s sleazy, it’s RAWK N’ ROLL!!!

the Hellion

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

QUEENSRYCHE STARRING GEOFF TATE – 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF OPERATION MINDCRIME 04/12/13 SHOW REVIEW

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     From the opening notes of “I Remember Now” to the closing notes of “Eyes of a Stranger”, Operation Mindcrime was played in its entirety  to perfection at The Hard Rock Casino in Albuquerque, NM on 04/12/13. No breaks, and no interruptions, the story of Operation Mindcrime was told to completion. Never mind about controversy and nay saying, THIS was Queensryche at its finest. Like a superhero calling forth his team mates, Geoff Tate has assembled a rock solid lineup.

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     With Robert Sarzo (Hurricane, and was considered as Randy Rhoads replacement for OZZY), Simon Wright ( AC/DC, Dio, UFO, Rhino Bucket, John Norum, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Mogg/Way), Randy Gane (Myth), Kelly Gray (Myth, Slave To The System), and the LEGENDARY Rudy Sarzo (OZZY, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, M.A.R.S., Manic Eden, Michael Angelo Batio, Dio, Bassinvaders, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Animetal USA), you can’t go wrong.

Robert Sarzo on fire!

Robert Sarzo on fire!

Kelly Gray in charge!

Kelly Gray in charge!

Somewhere behind this kit is Simon Wright

Somewhere behind this kit is Simon Wright

Rudy Sarzo showing us how bass is done!

Rudy Sarzo showing us how bass is done!

After totally annihilating us with their blistering rendition of Operation Mindcrime, Geoff finally broke his silence and talked to the wildly enthusiastic crowd.  “You want more?” he queried. Queensryche then launched into a four song encore set. “Silent Lucidity”, “I’m American”, “Jet city Woman”, and closing with “Empire”. Geoff and crew continued to whip the crowd into submission until the very end. It was awesome to see the massive crowd singing in unison to these great songs.

the crowd says it all!

the crowd says it all!

 

     Thanks Geoff, Robert, Rudy, Kelly, Simon, and Rudy S. for giving us a memorable evening and keeping the music of Queensryche true to form!

at the meet and greet

at the meet and greet

Funny story from the meet and greet. I happen to have a Tri-Ryche tattoo on my right arm. I also happen to have a green Happy Bunny tattoo wearing a blue shirt with my daughters nickname on it. In the process of showing Geoff my Tri-Ryche tattoo he asked “What’s with the green bunny?” A nice moment of levity with Queensryche.

 

I would like to give a special shout out to Jeff Albright from THE ALBRIGHT ENTERTAINMENT GROUP  for making it possible for me to cover this show.

 

 

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

the Hellion

 

 

 

 

HOTEL DIABLO GUITARIST – ALEX GROSSI!

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     We’re talking with Alex Grossi, guitarist for the band Hotel Diablo. I know Alex has a great career and has played with some stellar people, but we are going to focus on his new project Hotel Diablo.
     Hotel Diablo is: Rick Stitch (Vocals), Alex Grossi (Guitar), Mike Duda (Bass), Mike Dupke (Drums). They have a new CD out which is calledTHE RETURN TO PSYCHO CALIFORNIA.
     What are the origins of Hotel Diablo? Was it just one of those magical things that just happened, or was there an inkling running around in the back of someone’s head?
(ALEX) Hotel Diablo really came together right after Rick and myself finished a 2 year run with Adler’s Appetite (w/ former GN’R  drummer Steven Adler). During the tour we had started writing together and felt that the material was good enough to stand on its own. We ended getting in a room with Mike and Mike and it clicked instantly.
     Was the lineup set from the get go or did it get a little tweaking?
(ALEX) No, it was the 4 of u right off the bat and still is, we are lucky to have found such good chemistry right out of the gate.
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     Where did the name Hotel Diablo come from? In my mind it puts a visual of driving down a deserted desert highway, tired as hell, and seeing a  motel with a sign “Hotel Diablo”. Were any other names thrown around?
(ALEX) The name came from Mike Duda, it could mean a lot of different things – and actually does…Anyone who has spent enough time in the seedier parts of Hollywood will definitely be able to relate…
     The song writing process differs from band to band, sometimes  with members bringing in bits and pieces individually to bands just jamming and building upon that, what is the formula for Hotel Diablo?
(ALEX) Every song came together differently, and we all have our input. It usually starts with a riff or an idea on acoustic guitar and builds from there. Once we all get in a room and bang it out, it really takes on a life of its own, especially with the brutal rhythm section that these guys are..
     I know of a lot of projects where guys from different bands get together and jam but nothing ever comes out of it. What was it about Hotel Diablo that stuck?
(ALEX) I think because we are genuinely trying to do something creative that is real and people can see and feel that. There are so many”members of” projects that are either cheesy cover bands or cash grabs…This is neither, and I am proud of that.
      So, the lineup is locked, songs are written, it’s time to hit the studio, tell us about that process.
(ALEX) We had a handful of songs demo-d, but the final piece of the puzzle really came when Gilby Clarke (GUNS N’ ROSES) stepped in as producer, he was instrumental in getting it all together and had some great ideas that really brought the songs to the next level.
     The new record is called THE RETURN TO PSYCHO CALIFORNIA what’s behind that title?
(ALEX) I think our singer Rick Stitch put it best —  “The Return to Psycho, California” is “a collection of stories, true stories, experienced during a time when our lives were filled with mind-altering shots of wretched adrenaline,” says Stitch. “Strings got bent, knobs were turned and an uncontrolled visceral energy screamed life” into what has become “Psycho, California”.
     I saw that Gilby Clarke and Matt Starr were used in the production side of the recording, what was it like working with them?
(ALEX) They both did a fantastic job capturing the spirit of these songs in the studio…Gilby really was the main producer on the record, we brought Matt in to do “Bury You” and “Wicked Lines”. We are all pretty good friends so it was very cool, relaxed vibe the whole time. I am very happy with the team we have.
     I really enjoy the straight up sound of the band, describe to the readers in your own words what they can expect from the record.
(ALEX) It is really nothing more than 4 guys playing straight-up rock, this record is really just something we felt was missing from the rock scene. So many guys out here in Hollywood spend their time trying to chase the latest fad, and it pretty much NEVER works. I am proud that this band is simply doing what we like, regardless of what is popular. Old school, straight up rock seems to never go out of style…
     I’m an old school nut who likes having the CD in hand, looking at the artwork, reading liner notes, so on and so on. I’m really glad to see that a physical copy of the CD will be out on Sept. 25th.  Congrats on that, what distribution channels and where can it be found?
(ALEX)Thanks, we are very happy that the label interest came as quickly as it did, and are VERY happy with the deal we ended up with.It is really hard these days for new bands and we are very thankful to be given this shot.
The record is being released worldwide via Scarlet Records on September 25th, Entertainment One (Bush, Chickenfoot, Black Label Society) is our North American distributor.
It is also coming out in the UK, Spain, Italy, Greece, Austria, Australia, Russia and many other territories. A complete list of distributors can be found on our site. www.thehoteldiablo.com
     I have had the MP3 album since it was released and it receives regular play in my rotation. “Taken”, “Psycho, California”, and “Trigger” are standout tracks to me. Do you have any favorites?
(ALEX) “What You Do To Me” is one I am very proud of, I think we really hit our stride on that one.
     I think it was a bold move covering “Wonderwall” any stories to tell about choosing this song for inclusion on the record?
(ALEX) We actually were just messing around with it one day, and then while driving home from the studio the original came on the radio, and I had forgotten what a great rock band Oasis is. We thought it would be cool to do. I think Rick did a fantastic job on that one.
     It’s all you man, tell us anything and everything you want about Hotel Diablo:
(ALEX) There is a ton of VERY cool stuff on the horizon for us, please keep in touch. We control all of our social media and are very hands-on with the whole thing…check us out at:
Here’s a link to their song “What You Do To Me”
     There you have it, an insight into a great new band: Hotel Diablo. Check out their website www.thehoteldiablo.com, like them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/hoteldiablo?ref=ts pick up the new record The Return To Psycho California ASAP you will not be disappointed.
the Hellion

Dream band lineups

 

One of the questions I see the most is “What would your dream band lineup alive or dead be?” I have pondered this question many times and I come up with different answers each time. So I decided to  write about it and come up with three bands. One with band members who are no longer with us, one with all living band members, and comprised with both. I will try to give reasons why and even try to give my fantasy bands an appropriate name.

From the other side,

SOPHISTICATED HOOLIGANS:

Bon Scott, AC/DC (deceased 19 February 1980) – vocals

Dimebag Darrell, Pantera/Damageplan/Rebel Meets Rebel  (deceased December 8, 2004) – guitars

Randy Castillo, Lita Ford/Ozzy/Motley Crue  (deceased  March 26, 2002) – drums

John Entwistle, The Who (deceased  27 June 2002) – bass

I can only imagine what a jam session with these guys would sound like. I hope that they are hanging out on the other side. I think the combination of these “gentlemen” would make for a unique sound. I chose the name “Sophisticated Hooligans” for them because the oxymoron just suits the attitude I imagine they would have.

Still with us,

COSMIC DESTRUCTION:

Sebastian Bach, Skid Row/Solo – vocals

Zakk Wylde, Ozzy/Pride & Glory/Black Label Society – guitars

Justin Manning, Crowned By Fire – guitars

Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath – bass

Mike Portnoy, Dream Theater/Adrenaline Mob/Flying colors – drums

I shudder to think of the destructive power this band would have, hence the name “Cosmic Destruction”. There would have to be a warning label on the CDs and at the live performances. All of these players have that explosive power that would give this band the ability to crush your chest and have you thank them for it.

 

Some still with us and some not

RETROGRADE:

Paul Rodgers, Free/Bad Company – vocals

Randy Rhoads, Quiet Riot/Ozzy (deceased  March 19, 1982) – guitars

Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers – bass

John Bonham. Led Zeppelin (deceased  25 September 1980) – drums

The mixture of Paul Rodgers beautiful voice combined with Randy Rhoads melodic playing style would compliment each other so well. Combine that with Flea holding down the bottom end and John Bonham keeping the beat and WOW! I know this lineup seems kind of weird but I think it could work. As for calling the band “Retrograde”, I think it just sounds cool.

 

There you have it those are just my thoughts, please share yours!!!

the Hellion