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

PET PEEVES: Who’s your favorite/best guitarist?

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There are so many polls, questions, battles, etc., etc., on who’s the best guitarist. I feel that this is a question that can never be truly asked or answered. In my opinion each and every guitarist that I listen to is distinctly different. I often wonder what Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Zakk Wylde, Tony Iommi, Dimebag, Randy Rhoads, and many more, would think (or would have thought) of all of these comparisons. For me, there is such joy in the diversity of styles in rock n’ roll. If everyone tried to sound like each other what would be the point? I say enjoy the bad ass guitarists that are out there and do yourself a favor and seek out the new crop of players that are trying their hardest to be heard. I just had to put this out there after seeing all of the recent polls and battles out there. Now, let’s talk about some  axe slingers you should be listening to.

     Justin Manning:

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Justin is the guitarist for the band Crowned By Fire. Incredible riffs, blinding speed, and a certain uniqueness in style make Justin a player to watch. check Justin and Crowned By Fire in the video for “Witch In The Window” : 

 Redd Yoachum:

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Redd is the lead guitarist for Scattered Hamlet. Redd plays with an old soul. He makes you feel the music that he plays, his passion fills your ears with sonic joy. I feel the guitar heroes who have passed on are smiling down on Redd. Here is the live version of “Skeleton Dixie”: 

 Craw Cajun:

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Craw is the guitarist for All Hail The Yeti. Craw is another one of those guitarists that when they play it gets right into your soul. All Hail The Yeti’s self titled release  was my top CD for 2012. This is a band on the move and Craw is a player headed for legendary status. Check out Craw’s playing in “The Art Of Mourning” : 

These are but three of my favorite guitarists that I feel should be getting more attention in the world. If you have any by all means bring to my attention! You can reach me at janaya64@msn.com or on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/theHellionRocks

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

 

 

 

 

Thank you to Revolver Magazine!!!

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I was recently given the opportunity to give shout out to some of my favorite bands in the pages of Revolver Magazine! It was an honor to be able to mention Black Label Society, Corrosion Of conformity, Down, Clutch, Crowned By Fire, All Hail The Yeti, Gypsyhawk, and my Brothers in Scattered Hamlet. These are bands that are close to my heart and in my ears daily. Check out these Awesome bands:

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www.blacklabelsociety.com
https://www.facebook.com/blacklabelsociety?fref=ts

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http://www.coc.com
https://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity

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http://www.down-nola.com
https://www.facebook.com/down

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http://pro-rock.com
https://www.facebook.com/Clutchband?fref=ts

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http://www.crownedbyfire.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CrownedByFire?fref=ts

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http://www.allhailtheyeti.com
https://www.facebook.com/officialallhailtheyeti?fref=ts

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http://www.metalblade.com/gypsyhawk/
https://www.facebook.com/Gypsyhawkusa?fref=ts

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http://www.scatteredhamlet.com
https://www.facebook.com/ScatteredHamlet?fref=ts

 

I was also given the chance to give a shout out to the late great Randy Rhoads and how lucky I was to have seen him play before his tragic passing. Thanks Revolver Magazine, thanks from the bottom of my heart!!

 

the Hellion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUITARIST JOE HOLMES!

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https://www.facebook.com/pages/FARMIKOS/148649605284041

http://www.farmikos.com/

     Joe Holmes, in my opinion, is a highly overlooked player. The man took lessons from Randy Rhoads in the late 70’s, was a member of Lizzy Bordin, replaced Jason Becker in David Lee Roth’s band when Jason was diagnosed with ALS, and filled in for Zakk Wylde in Ozzy’s band. Here is a video for “Mr. Crowley” featuring Joe Holmes on guitar:

     Now Joe is back with a vengeance with FARMIKOS. I have heard one track and I must say I am blown away. According to the FARMIKOS Facebook page Joe has been working with vocalist Robbie Locke and had guests like Robert Trujillo and Brooks Wackerman, and song writing contributions from Brent Hoffort.

     Be sure to go to the Facebook page and give them a like: https://www.facebook.com/pages/FARMIKOS/148649605284041. I f you want to hear a sneak peak of the record there is a song streaming at the official website at: http://www.farmikos.com/

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Really looking forward to this one!

the Hellion

THE GUITARISTS OF OZZY

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I often wonder if Ozzy himself reflects on his history of guitarists. I know I have on several occasions. I have also wondered about other guitarists and how they would have fit in Ozzy’s band. Let’s look at the history of Ozzy’s guitarists and then we’ll imagine some other players and see what we think.

RANDY RHOADS 1979 – 1982

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Blizzard of Ozz (1980), Diary of a Madman (1981), Tribute (1987)

Any fan of Ozzy knows of Randy. When the world first got their ears filled with the sounds of Randy’s guitars they knew everything had changed. It is in my opinion that Randy changed the game forever.

“Crazy Train”  -Randy version

BERNIE TORME  1982

No albums made with Ozzy

Bernie was the immediate successor to Randy following his death. Big shoes to fill as he was hired to play makeup dates,  and he was playing through Randy’s gear, AND he had to learn all of the songs in a week. Bernie only stayed on tour for three weeks before leaving to form his own band.

“Crazy Train” – Bernie version

BRAD GILLIS 1982 – 1983

Speak of the Devil (1982)

Brad came in following the departure of Bernie. He filled in and recorded a live album with Ozzy before leaving for Night Ranger.

“Crazy Train” – Brad version

JAKE E LEE 1983- 1987

Bark At The Moon (1983), The Ultimate Sin (1986)

Jake E Lee was in the running with George Lynch for the coveted spot. He obviously won out which I think was good move for Ozzy as Jake seemed suited for his band. We got some good songs from the Jake E Lee lineup as well.

“Crazy Train” – Jake E Lee version

ZAKK WYLDE 1987–1992, 1995, 1998, 2002–2004, 2006–2009

1988: No Rest For The Wicked, 1990: Just Say Ozzy (live album), 1991: No More Tears,  1993: Live & Loud (live album),  1995: Ozzmosis,  2001: Down to Earth,  2002: Live At Budokan (live album),  2007: Black Rain

Zakk Wylde (he seems to make a lot of my blog posts) was, in my opinion, Ozzy’s strongest guitarist. The successful period with Zakk cannot be ignored. The writing combination of Zakk/Ozzy made some of the most memorable in Ozzy’s career.

“Crazy Train” – Zakk Wylde version

STEVE VAI 1994

No recordings

After one of Zakk’s departures Steve filed in temporarily for Ozzy. Vai began writing and recording with Ozzy Osbourne. One track from these sessions, “My Little Man”, was released on the Ozzmosis album. Despite Vai penning the track, he does not appear on the album.

No video found.

ALEX SKOLNICK 1995

No recordings made

Alex had a brief stay in supporting Ozzy and not much else was done other than that.

“Crazy Train” – Alex version

JOE HOLMES 1995–1998, 1999–2001

Song “Walk on Water” From Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Soundtrack (1996)

In 1995, after Ozzy Osbourne had finished recording the Ozzmosis album, a replacement for Zakk Wylde was needed for the tour. Joe got a call from Dean Castronovo (Oz’s drummer) to let him know they were seeking a guitar player. Joe went down to Audible studios in Los Angeles and played three Ozzy classics.  Holmes did not mention that he had taken lessons from Randy Rhoads as he thought it would hurt his chances at the job.

“Crazy Train” – Joe Holmes version

JERRY CANTRELL 2004–2006

Under Cover (2005)

Jerry did Ozzy’s cover album for him and it was a damn fine job. If you haven’t heard it you should definitely check it out.

No video found

GUS G 2009-present

Scream (2010)

Gus was brought in when Ozzy and Zakk parted ways. Ozzy was trying to get away from what he perceived as a blurring of the lines between himself and the BLS sound. We shall see what becomes of writing future records with Gus. More power to him!

“Crazy Train” – Gus G version

Whew! What an impressive list of players! But what if Ozzy had tapped Dime, EVH, Herman Li, Buckethead, John5, or DJ Ashba? Something to think about…..thanks for playing!

P.S. thanks A.J. Greene

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rock-U-Night/397752036952904 Like this!

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