Okay, so I am a metalhead. Love Thrash, Death Metal, shred guitar, double bass madness, the whole aggression vibe in general. But sometimes, your poor little ears need a break!! You’re a musician, you love Holdsworth, Kylie, Cat Power, Van Halen, Steely Dan, Tower of Power; whatever!!
So, at work (for me it’s a warehouse), I like to listen to music that inspires me to MOVE. I find metal can be too angry at times, and I usually save it for when I’m having a horrible day. And lemme tell you it gets cranked. Marty in the service department brought in his surround sound system, and that’s why he is my personal hero. ha ha..
So..two music genres that uplift (well, three if you count Gypsy Jazz) is Latin Jazz and Drum N Bass. Now, since I’m new to Drum N Bass , I basically went to itunes, grabbed a compilation, found what I liked, and went from there. The one constant with drum n bass will be the BPM’s and the drum beat, but even that can be a touch varied. It’s primary objective is to make you dance your ass off. Some of it’s Jazzy, some glitchy, listen to these tracks I’ve personally selected for you. You can play your guitar over these!!!
I love this here Pendulum album and song down below.
So I do have a criteria that must be met. Mad groove, great vocals, (either sampled or recorded) and a hook, if you will. Jazzy chords / vibes a must unless you have something of equal madness to offer. The dudes I’m into most are DJ Marky, DJ Hazard, Pendulum, Pola & Bryson..There’s really not much more to say than I want to make a Drum N Bass album with heavy guitars and natural sounds. No one’s really doing it the way I envision it being done, so I’ll fucking do it. There’s still lots of room to get wild in this genre…It’s a great genre!! Groove oriented..It makes me really wanna dance, and I am not a good dancer at all, but Man…..GGGAHHHHHHHHHH!!!
If you’re into drum n bass something brutal and you can drop me some cool shit, please, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
1970’s. This the poster, alongside Farrah Fawcett and KISS
For my 10th birthday, my grandmother said she’d take me to the movies and I could pick what I wanted to see. I chose a double feature; Game of Death and Maniac. I loved both movies, grandma thought one was too violent and the other too gory. But she was a champ and didn’t leave, so kudos to her.
I don’t even recall Enter the Dragon much, except Bruce kicking the fuck out of a guy stuck in a locker, and the Kareem Abdul Jabbar bit. Bruce Lee was just a fucking bad ass, pure and simple.
So for whatever reason I’m in a Bruce Lee YouTube rabbithole, and I fucking love it. What I love about Bruce was his dedication to his art, his desire to always improve, his physical prowess, and his SPEED. Amazing shit. I am in awe of him.
I love so much about Bruce I cannot even list ’em all. I’m just happy I was on the same planet as that guy. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!
A hundred million years ago the singer of a band I was in back in California (Gary from Sinister Sam) went and saw our friend’s band (Sin City) open for LSD in San Rafael, Ca.
Gary came back from the show and told me about this homeless guy who the club had let in, he smelled horrible and was chatting with all the patrons..Sin City played their set, then LSD started up and the homeless guy got onstage and started doing his thing..turns out HE was the lead singer..And was BAD FUCKING ASS!!!
Now…. I’m not sure if it was the way Gary retold this story to me or I was too closed minded to get it (probably both…if it wasn’t Thrash or Shred I probably wasn’t into it), I bypassed the whole LSD thing completely. Until now. Gary always kept going, “I’m a tank, I’m a tank..” It got old quick and there was no way in hell I was gonna check this shit out..
Until now. I’ve been going back over pockets of bands I missed during my time growing up and giving those bands a first chance..From Swing Out Sister to anything, really..80’s pop and shit..
So I got on the ole’ YouTube and tried LSD’s School is for Fools..And I gotta say, LSD sounds good and Stanley’s moves are THEE SHIT. I’d like to say the moves are awkwardly quirky spurts of brilliance..A buddy who knows Stanley says he’s double and triple jointed. Fucking amazing.
Apparently back in the day LSD were signed to Warner brothers for a six figure sum, then the brass who did the signing bailed shortly after. New people came in, didn’t give two shits about LSD, and the band was dropped before a second album could be done. Bummer. I honestly think if these guys had strong label support and LSD toured opening for Metallica or another huge band, these guys could have really done something special. That first album is a goal mine, pretty much. The band is great, Stanley’s vocals are solid..I’m kicking myself that I didn’t see these guys live. Stanley may have smelled, but that wouldn’t stop me from bear hugging him..or would it?
What I love about LSD: Good solid songs. Listen to the fucking album. I’m not wrong. My favourite song is Jawohl Asshole. It’s pure brilliance..And it has chromatic power chords!! Fuckin’ Shit Ass, another great song!! There’s more than two great songs, trust me…
There’s debate over whether Stanley’s homelessness/bipolar style vibe is an act..Who cares!!! Hats off for committing, I say. Does the illusion of an act make you like the band less? I couldn’t give two shits either way. Here’s what I do know..His dance moves are top tier, bar none. Try doing those moves and not getting winded, or running out of breath..he’s fucking fit. Not to mention the whole band, they are all bad ass musicians in their own right..so to have 3 guys going off in the front and the drummer being a fucking machine, you have 4 points of focus. 4 frontmen, pretty much. I thank LSD for that, it does not go unnoticed. Not from me. I absorb the live band experience like a motherfucker.
Stanley is the best frontman I have not seen live, ha ha ha..I’m just so happy that live footage has made it to video. His finger flourishes are THEE SHIT!! And he can do ’em frontwards and backwards..Go on, try that now, backwards is a fucking feat of nature..or something that piano players can do easily..This band is a fucking gold mine. I hope the bitch who cut them from the label dies in a house fire.
I think I’ll wrap it up. LSD should have been huge. As Fishbone should have eclipsed RHCP and No fucking Doubt in popularity and success, LSD should be bigger than Metallica or at the very least, Alice in Chains (which at times they kinda remind me of).
If you saw these guys live, I’m jealous as fuck of you. And happy you were smart enough to see them.
This is truly a love story. Because at first, I HATED Mike Patton.
Total fucking man crush
So in ’89 (I’da been about 20) MTV were playing FNM’s Epic, and The Real Thing would have been going strong. I had heard that Metallica had taken their favourite band Faith No More on the road as support act. I was working at the San Jose International Airport at this stage, and rocker girl from one of the rental car companies loaned me her tape of The Real Thing. I heard the first half of the first song and said, “Fuck this..” I gave it back and said, ‘yeah, this really ain’t for me..’ It would have been the extremely nasal-y vocals. And the no Jason Becker inspired solos, ha ha ha..
Cut to ’92…I had a GF who lived in Livermore. I’d go there on weekends and drive back to San Jose on Sundays. One particular Sunday I needed some driving music and was in an open minded kinda mood. I saw FNM Angel Dust cassette in gf’s bedroom and asked if I could borrow it for the week. I got into my Honda Accord, put in the tape, and started the drive home..Well, Land of Sunshine hit my ears and I heard no more nasally bullshit!! Did the singer get all the boogers out? This a new guy, what happened? I loved that song, and heard more..And whaddya know? By the time I hit San Jose, I loved the band, Angel Dust from beginning to end, and this singer..What’s his name?
And that was it. I had finally fell under the spell of Mike Patton and I’ve never looked back. Saw the Deli Creeps and Bungle at One Step Beyond, FNM in Australia for King For a Day tour, Fantomas and Tomahawk on the same day in Sydney, as well as Mondo Cane in Melbourne. Wife loves him as well.
What I love about Mike: His voice does not give out. Ever. The screams in Smaller and Smaller are BAD ASS. His vocal lines are fucking incredible!! It’s like he tried 10 different ways to sing the line, and either picked the best of ten or weaved ideas 2, 6 and 7 together. I love it. He sings the right thing in the right place all the fucking time. He is the Johnny Depp of music. I feel their paths are kinda similar; they only take on projects they want to do and are willing to take chances whether the project is commercially viable or not. Because it’s not about $$, it’s about art. Aside from his talent, the guy is a great entertainer. I usually hate the space between songs at a live show..”Here’s a song about lost love and the one time Isaac had been…” Yeah yeah yeah, shut the fuck up and play the goddamn song. With Mike, you get witty, funny banter..When FNM played Soundwave out here in Melbourne, they had Chat Roulette going on these two huge screens when they played. It was fucking unbelievable!! Mike’s banter with the CR people as well as the crowd was spot on. He’s the shit, pure and simple. My wife’s one gripe is that he’s short, lol..So you two won’t be bonin’ anytime soon (yay!!).
Mike, I love you!! I’m not into every single project you’ve ever done, and that’s okay. The stuff I do love I REALLY love, and I still keep trying with the stuff that goes over my head. I’ve even had dreams where we’ve hung out, ha ha..You’ve inspired me as a musician to do what I want when I want, just like Frank. . And when I do get the chance to sing, I either think, “what would Mike sing?” or just straight out rip you off, like every other cunt in the 90’s (and even now) do. Apologies!!
Awhile back our friends Lara and Dillon gave us one of their accounts to Stan (Aussie version of Netflix alternative). After watching a fuckton of Ash Vs The Evil Dead, I got bored and wanted to check out other stuff.
Check out Tatania as Britney Spears..fucking NAILS IT!! And is better looking!!
So I started watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race..Kinda like America’s Next Top Model but with Drag Queens!! Ru Paul gives them challenges they have to complete (and score well), where the bottom two girls at the end of the show have to Lip Synch “for your life!!” It’s a laugh.
I think I’ve watched from Season 2 forward, and I’m on either 6 or 7. Anyways, I love it. Drag Queens are just gay guys who love performing. There are SOME breeders who do drag, but that’s more the exception than the rule. You’d’ really trip the fuck out when they go from guy to girl, the transformation is pretty breathtaking. I have so far been able to predict at least three winners at the end of the season..since then I’ve just had Lara tell me who wins ’cause I’ll watch regardless. I’m into the journey, brah!
What I love about drag queens: They have heart! A lot of these guys have it hard just being gay; bullied in high school, parents may be cunts about their sexuailty, etc etc. If you had a hard time in life and you’re straight, imagine all those hardships AND being gay (unless you were a 6’10” black belt in everything and hypervigilant as allll fuck). But a lot of these guys are not. They’re a tad more feminine than the average straight guy. So yeah, I always root for the underdog and someone who is true to themselves, even it’s going to be the more challenging road travelled. The show also rocks because the vulgarity IS LEFT IN..Yes, all the fuck words, it’s great!! Ru Paul is a great host (and pretty much the most beautiful DQ of the bunch) and she’s fair and extremely funny. I love her as a man or a woman. The heart is genderless (don’t quote me on that).
Watch some clips on YouTube, it’s very entertaining, funny, and you get to see beautiful women..portrayed by men. It’s a hoot.
Check out my exclusive interview with Brandon HERE.
During this past week I found out that The Black Dahlia Murder were playing a show in Melbourne Saturday night. I have tried in the past to add Brandon to FaceBook but his shit was maxed the fuck out and not allowing more friends. Bummer!!
So Thursday I FB private messaged him to say, “Welcome to Aus, if you’re doing lessons in Melbourne I’ll be a part of that, thank you very much..”
Friday during lunchtime I received a response back saying that he’s not doing lessons but he’s happy to put me on the door and we’ll have a beer aftewards..How fucking cool is that??!!
Here, check out his album solos…
So last night I went to the show, and the band were tight as fuck. I don’t really know much about The Black Dahlia Murder, but I had interviewed Trev and Ryan Knight (another fucking MONSTER on guitar) when they played Soundwave and found those dudes to be kick ass human beings. On the strength of that I’m gonna check out some albums. I’m checking out Nocturnal first.
Anyways, I was up front for about half of the show (Brandon’s side of course), but I had to hang back..motherfuckers were up in my business, ha ha.
So afterwards Trevor and Brandon came out and were chatting and taking pics with folks. I was able to shake hands with Brandon, find out how he was doing, etc. I didn’t want to monopolize his time, but in the small amount of time that we did have, he told me that he was 24, and that he’d seen my Shred Durst videos (ha ha ha!!), and that he listened to 80’s Synth Pop in his spare time, and that he really liked the guitarist Blues Saraceno. I got to tell him I saw Cacophony and Racer X live back in the late 80’s. I saw these gigs before he was fucking BORN. He’s a fucking gem, this guy.
Probably thee fucking worst photo I have ever taken in my life.
What I love about ole’ Brandon
His fucking vibrato is outta this world and he fucking burns. Case closed. He makes hard passages look easy (wife says that means there’s more in the tank – this dude is still gonna progress, and that’s a scary thought). He’s actually hit the metal guitar god trifecta: chops, looks (stage presence), and youth. I was so pumped about what I had just seen at 1:45 am this morning I emailed a buddy of mine who works at Guitar World magazine and talked Brandon up. The good news is, Nick knows who Brandon is. The bad news is, Nick no longer works at GW but will pass along my email to his buddies who still work there.
Brandon Ellis is the new guy on the scene and he has set the benchmark for metal lead guitar players. And we are now Facebook friends.
Check out Brandon’s lead work. All solos rule, my current face is track three, Matriarch.
I always knew I Know What Boys Like, that song has always rocked, and I would get that song mixed up with Never Say Never by Romeo Void. So you know, I’m 48 years old as of the writing of this. In ’82 (when their first album was released) I would have been 14-ish, and heavily into Van Halen, AC/DC, Ozzy, and other rock – metal radio staples.
In 2006 my Aussie wife Alex and I took a month long trip to California to visit my family (Fresno, I apologize) and it was during Xmas time. That’s when you’d go in to any store and hear Xmas Wrapping and Cocteau Twins Frosty the Snowman. I had forgotten about both songs from living in Australia (as they don’t play those particular songs in stores and shit), so it was soooo good to hear them. Made my day and it was rad to see that Alex was diggin’ on it too.
Cut to a year ago or two ago. I found Xmas Wrapping on YouTube and lost my shit!! So I bought the single on Itunes, but for some odd reason couldn’t get it on my phone, whatever..
4 months ago, during lunchtime at work I was like, “I only know these two songs, let’s see what YouTube has..” So I played Jimmy Tomorrow..Fuck me..Long ass intro complete with Zappa style noise and vibe, a killer avant garde ska style, a great guitar motiff goin’ on..You’d have to be dead to not dig this!! I was pretty determined to get the whole catalog.
December (2016) rolled around, and seeing I’m 10 days older than Jesus, wife gave me some $$ to spend however I wanted. I quickly fired up laptop and thought, “get Waitresses discog..”No, I didn’t get Just Desserts (Currently being sent via the US as I type). I got the best of or some shit..has all of Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful plus Xmas Wrapping, Square Pegs, I Could Rule the World if I Could Only Get The Parts, and Bread and Butter (which is fucking GOLD).
Hell, just the other day I was like, “Well, I know I don’t have every single song, let’s open up YouTube and see what’s doin’…Luxury? Let’s see..GODDAMN!!! Funky Funky shit. The drum fills and the tightness between the rhythm section are THEE SHIT!! A lot of the funkiness I’ll attribute to the bass player Tracy Wormworth. She even commented on one of my comments praising her work on YouTube, which was rad..) Her bass lines are musical and funky as fuck, simply put. Drummer Billy Ficca is also a bad ass, and must be mentioned, whaddup Bill!! The whole band rips!! Listen to The Smartest Person I Know..FUCKING GOLD!!!!
It’s a great combination of great songwriting, great ensemble of musicians, great lyrics (a la Chris Butler), delivered by a great vocalist (Patty Donahue, RIP). People mention she can’t hit notes and is a bit of a talker, don’t bother me none. Totally fits the music.
So after hearing Luxury and buying the Just Desserts double CD, I feel like I want to know more about Patty Donahue. So I did online searching. Zero interviews and minimal good quality pics. I’ve read a few interviews with Chris Butler talking about Patty, but even that wasn’t enough for me.
Patty Donahue, fucking bad ass. RIP
So I thought, I could contact Chris Butler; he has a podcast, website, just email him with 100 questions regarding Patty. That’s TOO Easy. So here’s my plan…I’m going to make a YouTube clip called Patty Donahue Online Shrine. I want anyone who loves The Waitresses to post in the comments section, be it stories about how they got turned onto The Waitresses, or if you knew Patty and can tell us a bit about her, to share whatever thoughts you may have. I’m also thinking of making a Patty Donahue Friends and fans Facebook page or something like that.
There’s a few reasons I’m so obsessed. The biggest being is that Patty isn’t with us anymore. Died from lung cancer at 40 in ’96. Both her parents are also gone, and she has no brothers or sisters. I’d like to keep her memory alive through stories of people who knew her, band members who can share what it was like to be in a band with her, good and bad stories. All things Patty.
What I love about The Waitresses:ALL OF IT. “Awwww, Dougie!! You’re 48, don’t you feel like an idiot for just now getting into The Waitresses??” Not at all. It’s a gift!!! I have a new favorite band, that doesn’t happen often. My ears are sooo fucking happy. To me, this music is timeless. There’s bands that try and sound like this now.
I’m so into the waitresses I’ll now tell you what I think of every single song, ha ha..(If you have lasted this long, you must be a diehard fan: YES!!..)
No Guilt: I love the ska vibe, the Toronto line, and the lyrics. For whatever reason I find the talking at the end of the song sad, like she’s trying to tell herself that she’s fine when in reality, she is doing okay, but misses ex. Or am I fucked in the head?
Wise Up: Intro reminds me of Steely Dan or Huey Lewis..I like the dual vocals, I really like the fucked up robotic style “I know better now” backing vocals..good shit!!! Not a fave but I don’t skip it like I do Hanggover, ha ha.
Quit: My current fave, probably tied with Luxury. I love the funky vibe, Tracy never phones it in, ever. This song is very catchy, Patty has a lot of attitude in this song. I love her “No!!”‘s in the chorus. Sooo petulant, I really love it. I yell it at work and must look like an asssole. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!
It’s My Car: Not even a fave, but great little ska vibe. Still, a catchy song.
Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful: Catchy, happy song!! Love drum fill in beginning. Totally rad, dig the frayed cape lyric. Great song. I dig the frayed cape lyric.
I Know What Boys Like: Classic kick ass song. Total tease, I love it. I like the slightly chromatic vocal line, it’s kinda lazy….especially with the word like, it slightly sharpens. I dig it!!! Sucker, ha ha ha ha ha!! Sounds like Chris has chorus or really weak flanger on the guitar. Reminds me of Zappa. Patty’s voice double tracked?
Heat Night: Great intro, lovely verse, the vocal harmonies are real nice. For some reason this reminds of high school football. Is that what a heat night is? Forgive my dopiness. I like the song a lot. It gets me revved up no matter what it’s about. It’s pretty special for sure.
Redland: It’s okay. Catchy, I’d never skip it but not high on the love list, yet still a good song.
Pussy Strut: I like the funkiness of this one as well. I like the whole song, real good. Pussy strut, ha ha!
Go On: It’s okay, I love the chorus, Patty sounds soo goddamn cheeky when she says I’ll go on. Chorus is my favorite part for sure.
Jimmy Tomorrow: Done it up there somewheres. Love it.
Xmas Wrapping: Brings a tear to my fucking eye if I’m in the right mood.
Bread and Butter: Nice!! Lydian mode, no doubt. I love this song very much. It’s one of my faves. “Shuddup, not yet, don’t interrupt..” SOOOO great.
Square Pegs: Intro reminds me of Steely Dan. I like all the shit Patty says in the song. She has teenage angst DOWN. Good song.
The Smartest Person I Know: Great Zappa style intro, great lyrics, love the key change..One of my faves. There is a part of me that’s kicking myself that I didn’t find this shit earlier, but what can you do? I listen to it daily, so I’m making up for lost time. I cannot wait to get the double CD!!
That’ll do. I’ve had enough, ha ha…so the next thing I’ll have to do is create a FB Patty Donahue Friends and Fans group, do my little spiel on YouTube, and I think that should do it. NO!! I I’ll put the questions I have for The Waitresses band members below this and I’ll post their answers at the bottom of this page. So yeah, it looks like this page has the potential to be LONG AS FUCK.
If you can’t wait that long, email me your stories about Patty and I’ll add them to this blog: email@example.com
Why both? I wouldn’t have met one without the other.
Don’t like reading? Hit play!!
I met Mike via YouTube. He reached out via email and said he liked my VH lesson videos. Every 4 – 6 months I’ll shoot Mike an email to just say hi, that kinda thing.
A few weeks back I get an email from Mike; he’s guitar tech-ing for Joe, would I like to come to the show? I’ve seen Joe before the last time he was out, and I thoroughly enjoyed that, hell yes I’ll come to the show!!
So the day of the show I get an email from Mike: “I’m free between 5:30 and 7:00 if you wanna drop by. Doors open at 8, you’re on the guestlist plus one..” I’ve never met Mike in real life, so I let him know I’ll be there at the stage door of the Palais by about 6:15. I seriously thought he’d come out of the building, get a handshake and a hug, talk for 10 minutes, then he’d go back in. And I was fine with that…Boy, was I very fucking wrong, ha ha ha…
He comes out, we do handshake hug, and the first thing he says is, “Do you wanna come in and see some guitars?” And I was like, “Hell yes!!” Off we went.
Mike took every single guitar out of the rack, told me what they were, and anything notable about the guitar. Amazing collection. I asked if I could touch one of the strats and he was totally cool with it. I’m pretty sure he would have let me play any of the guitars, but I was there to hang and get to know Mike. But my inner demon (we’ll call him Doug) was going “Play the whole fucking lot!!” Not today demon, not today.
It was pretty much like this but in real fucking life!! My head was spinning.
After the guitar tour, we just stood near the guitars and talked about guitars, our past experiences, how Mike got the tech job, his new marriage, where he’s living, then onto Van Halen, Paul Gilbert, going vintage gear shopping with Joe, etc etc.
Then Joe walked out..we meet and shake hands. Mike goes, “This is the guy I showed you the video of..” I was like, whuuuut? Mike showed Joe my Dean Shredder Contest video. Joe says, “Man, your pinky is crazy..” That’s when my brain split in two..On the outside, I was calm, cool, nice John. On the inside I was going “Holy fucking shit!! I’m backstage hanging with Mike and Joe, and Joe has seen me play guitar!” Man out the outside, giggly screaming girl on the inside, ha ha ha..
I did ask them how they met each in front of each other, and that was cool to hear both sides of the story at the same time..(too long to post, but…a good story nonetheless).
My clip in question. Pinky thing is at :40
So then Joe goes, “Come and look at my amps..” Okay!! And from there Joe walked me through the amps (four Fender Tweeds behind the glass partition), and said that thee most important component to the sound were the amp mics, which were: I have no idea!! I’d be able to remember by sight, but not by name..I wanna say Tull or something. Google says I’m fuckin’ crazy.
Then, Joe shows me his pedalboard. pretty sparse as I can remember. No more than four pedals onstage. And lastly, he’s telling me about his strat that he uses for the first song, talks about how (through years of playing it), the fretboard is now naturally scalloped. He then unstraps the guitar and give it to me (not plugged in). I awkwardly play maybe 4 notes on it and give it right back.
A lot of Joe’s guitars have tape on the pickguards..He goes, “A lot of people ask ‘why don’t you just replace the pickguard?’, and I’m like, ‘Fuck that..it’s fine with tape..'” or words to that effect. I liked that. Sensible.
About this time I asked for a photo with the 3 of us. “Guys, I know this is probably a douchebag move, but can I get a pic of you both?” They were totally cool with it. I thought I was gonna take the pic, Joe asked one of the tour guys to take it. Stoked!!!
I thanked Joe, and Mike and I went back to talking over by the guitars for another 15 or 20. It was getting close to showtime and it was time for me to bail. Mike walked me back out, had a smoke, and I got a call from my buddy who was in the area and had started walking towards the venue. Mike finished ciggie, we hugged, and I told him the next time he comes out, I’ll take time off work and we’ll hang properly.
And I was flying high for the rest of the night. I quickly called my wife and said, “You’re not gonna believe this..” The gig was great, the band was great (I didn’t know Anton Fig was drumming in the band until I was already back outside..I love that guy!!) But yes, what an absolutely awesome experience. Mike Hickey and Joe Bonamassa are as every bit of cool as you’d want them to be. To have a guy who was warming up for his headlining gig to take time out to show me his gear when he clearly didn’t have to, speaks volumes. And Mike told me a story about Joe’s generosity that was just…Kind and awesome and meaningful..It’s great to meet down to earth, cool people. And people like that deserve every good thing that comes their way.
This happened 7 plus years ago, I’ll do my best to recollect as well as a feebly minded old man can, Stan..
Alex and I were in bed, trying to go to sleep. Normal night, I feel like it was Summer only because I love Summer and Winter is a piece of shit..
After a considerable amount of time, Alex asked if I was asleep, I wasn’t.
She goes, “Look over there” And that’s when I opened my eyes and looked..Upper left corner of our bedroom, floating above our dresser, was a fucking blue orb!! We had some natural light coming in from outside, plus this thing gave off its own blue luminescence. Just hangin’, pretty much..
So imagine the light’s off, and there’s some moonlight coming in through the blinds that aren’t currently drawn. We also have light coming out from the bathroom (building’s lamp is extremely close to our shower window, so two light sources pretty much. We are not in pitch black by any stretch.
Now, we had heard friend’s stories of freaky shit before, and I’ve watched a million crime shows, so in my hyper vigilant paranoia and ‘not to taint eyewitness testimony’ or whatever, I said, “Yeah, I see it..you describe it to me..” And then she went on to say blue orb a little smaller than a soccer ball floating in the corner of the room..I don’t remember if it was ‘fixed’ in the air or kind of bobbing, but it was definitely there.
EXACTLY what it looked like. I lie. It was more outlines than solid, it gave me the impression of a jellyfish, and I think it had tails or something below it. I could be wishing it had that.
Now here’s the anticlimax…….After 10 minutes, Alex is like, “I’m going to bed, see ya.” She rolled over and was out. The orb wasn’t exactly giving off an evil vibe so I said to it, ‘You can stay and hang out, just don’t kill us..’ This was pre ‘good camera’ smart phone. I had a nokia with an absolutely shitty camera, and it was most likely in the other room so I was like, “fuck it..”
In fact, this experience was so underwhelming that I didn’t even get out of bed to investigate further. I looked at it for about 15 minutes and after awhile, got tired, rolled over, and went to sleep.
The next day there was a note at the end of the bed..”Thanks for not bothering me, I had been travelling through the universe for what felt like an eternity, and I really just needed to wind down and make a list of TV shows my friends keep talking about. I was thinking about whether I give Gilmore Girls another shot when you two noticed me..You have a lovely home..Toby.”
Look, here’s the facts: we saw a blue floating orb at night and didn’t fuck with it.
PS – I do have a third story..For my birthday some friends took me to Ararat Lunatic Asylum, and it was thee shit..Girl fainted three times in this one room, Maria and I heard men talking downstairs (there WAS no one downstairs)..
You can hear me talk about the Ghost Tour here starting at 7:28
I was living in San Jose Ca but decided to go to Fresno to visit my mother. She lived in a 3 bedroom house (Grandma occupied the other bedroom, but she had passed years earlier) just off Herndon and Cedar. The guest bedroom always had tin foil in the windows to block out the sun (year round). It always gave me the creeps, and I always had vivid unpleasant dreams in that room, but never complained or told anyone about it.
Anyways, one night mom was going on a dinner date with a guy named Chuck. At about 7 or 8, Chuck came into the house, I met him, and off they went. After awhile I went to bed in the old creepy room guest bedroom. As scary as it was, sleep was more important, and I’d just deal with it. I have a pretty vivid imagination and love to be scared shitless, so it must be me, right?
I was half asleep when mom came home. I heard her walk past the room I was in and go to her bedroom. I heard a guy say something from the living room loud enough for mom to respond..Ahh, Chuck’s still here. I heard her walk down the hall. She opened my door and asked what I wanted. “That wasn’t me, that was Chuck..” Mom goes, “Chuck? He dropped me off and left, he never came back in the house. Now, what did you want?”After a brief back and forth (that was bordering on arguing) as to who said what, I had had enough.
Mom slept in the creepy guest bedroom, and I slept in her room.
This is the house, 1652 E Paul Ave. That’s my sister and I during that era, a couple years after the event. Creepy bedroom 1st door on the left pretty much right across from the bathroom door you see there.
If there’s paranormal stuff going on in that house right now (or if you want me to remove the address), email me: firstname.lastname@example.org, I may have some answers for you. My mother died on her birthday in her bedroom in that house. My niece was also living there and after mom died Misty (niece) would hear footsteps walking down the hall, lights turning on and off, shit like that. Misty would yell out, “Grandma you’re scaring me, knock it off”, and it would stop.
(My mom’s name is Joan if she’s carrying on and it’s freaking you out.)
Chatting to Misty on FB chat, she adds:
I have always had a weird feeling in that spare room like it was haunted but I never really heard anything until after grandma died. She would always leave the hall light on & I would go to sleep with it off and it would always turn on in the middle of the night. Nothing weird started happening until after she died. Right after that, the foot steps, The lights and the clocks. I also heard voices.
I’m extremely saddened by the death of one Prince Rogers Nelson. That guy was the ultimate showman, composer, all that shit. There’s only a few greats left. That crowd is sadly dwindling.
They’re now releasing pics of Paisley Park and I gotta say: goddamn!! I’ve read a lot of stories since his death, and he could write and record, mix and master songs IN A DAY.
My favourite era of Prince is going to be The Revolution. Purple Rain is an amazing album, even the less popular songs kickass. My favourite song? Take Me with U. That one musical motif during the verse has a total Chinese feel to it…how rad!!
I remember seeing the movie Purple Rain as a mere teen, and I gotta say; I love females in music. It doesn’t hurt that Wendy looked like Ally Sheedy (whom I had a mild crush on wayyy back when). Wendy also played guitar and sang higher vocals so I was into it. In 1984 the only female guitarist I can think of is Ann Wilson of Heart. So to see someone bustin’ funk, playing solos and looking alternative was new and HOT, ha ha, HOT. Wendy would have had a huge male fan base. Not that Lisa wasn’t hot or great (she was both), I was just into guitar players, so that’s what I’m going to gravitate towards.
Wendy and Lisa, Prince and Wendy’s cleave
And the way Wendy and Lisa looked in the Prince music videos was thee shit as well. Are they sisters? Are they friends? Are they lovers? My interest was piqued, and my dirty little teenage mind wanted them to be lovers sooooo bad. What I did find out through all my recent online exploring is this: They’ve known each other since they were kids (their dads were studio musicians in the LA music scene), they fell in love and were together (YESSSS!!) from late teens to after Prince fired them. All good things come to an end, I guess.
And now, Wendy and Lisa make theme music for TV shows out in LA and their music is thee shit!! Crossing Jordan, Heroes, Nurse Jackie, Carnivale (Indian AND Lydian vibe in the intro tipped me off to finding out who the fuck wrote that mad shit)..and yes, I was pleasantly delighted but not surprised when I found out it was Wendy and Lisa. I was like, “Yes!!! Good on ’em!!”
They’ve won awards for the shit, so I’m glad people with ears are taking notice. Wendy and Lisa have done tons of other stuff as well.
Why I love Wendy and Lisa: They co wrote lots of the Prince songs while they were in the band. I’m just as happy that Prince believed in these two ladies as much as I’m stoked that they were the ones taking that shit to the next level.
I’m stoked that after getting released from The Revolution that they continued to release albums and begin making tv music that is FUCKING REALLY GOOD GRADE A BAD ASS MUSICAL SHIT! I never watched Nurse Jackie but goddamn if that intro music ain’t the shit!! 90 second masterpieces..Amazing. They’ve done movie scores as well.
Wendy and Lisa, I love you. Behind every great man is a better woman. You two doubled it, and I appreciate the music you make, back then and now.
So I’m into metal music, horror movies, serial killers (true crime), scooters, tattoos, Ibanez guitars, dogs and cats, and sea life (cuttlefish, octopus, great white sharks, killer whales), and Vinnie Colaiuta drum clips on YouTube.
I’m in the middle of an obsession. They usually last a week or two. My obsession is Pinhead. And like Van Halen, it’s only a certain era of Pinhead. First two movies, and that’s about it. He got bluer and less lean in later movies. Pass.
Here’s a guy who knows what he wants. Flesh. Pain. Ecstasy. I would have seen Hellraiser back in theaters in ’87 for sure. Actor Doug Bradley is a fucking champion. He nails that role, and there is no other Pinhead. I know they tried, and they fucking failed. Miserably.
What I love about Pinhead? His whole vibe!! His look is pretty outstanding, his voice is deep and commanding, extremely quotable lines. I remember “no tears please” from the first night I saw it. And I do enjoy how he fucks people up.
Doug, you are awesome!! One helluva movie villain! You took that role and absolutely smashed the shit out of it. No one could have done a better job, no one. Thank you for scaring the shit out of me and entertaining me to no end.
Ebay Pinhead shirt from Germany on the way. STOKED.
A year or two before I moved to Australia (’96, ’97), I was working as a temp at the Toyota Plant in Fremont, Ca. One of my buddies was working out there as well: Sean Kruithoff. He was one of the guitarists in the early incarnations of Zero Hour (back when Jasun Tipton and Sean were playing these fucking allloy guitars with holes in them..or am I trippin’?)..Anyways, getting off topic.
Sean was into the metal shit I was into, so naturally we started hanging outside of work. Eventually he was in with my group of friends and moved in with two of ’em. He and I also went to the Howard Stern book signing in SF, but that’s another blog altogether.
One day at work he gave me a CD of a band to check out called Haji’s Kitchen..said they were a Shrapnel label band, “like a cross between Racer X, Pantera, and Alice N Chains..” Wow, that piqued my interest, so when I got home, I cranked the CD in my room…..and HOLY FUCKIN’ SHIT!!
Fucking rad band..all my personal criteria was met; rad guitarists (not one, but TWO), rad singer, fucked up rhythm section. I loved it all, I really did. I think out of ten songs, eight had me by the balls, one was a ballad, and one didn’t quite get me there..The CD was so good that I had decided to write to them and tell them how much I loved their shit..So I sent these wild ass Texans a letter….
One of my faves!! I still get thanked by people who I had told to listen/purchase that album.
One night after rehearsal I got a call….from Eddie Head, Haji’s guitar player!! Wow..I think we spoke for maybe 10-15 minutes. He said he liked the letter, I said I liked the band, it was love love love..This must’ve been a month or two the ole’ LA NAMM Show. Eddie asked if I was going, that if I did to make sure and say hello to them. Obviously I told Sean and we made sure we were going.
Sean and I arrived at Namm, and I’d say within the first half hour or so of being there, we ran into the Haji’s guys!! In a nutshell, we pretty much hung out with them the whole weekend. Whoa, and from what I recall, I think I may have been sober the whole time!! Now THAT’S a feat!! During that day, I remember Derek (bassist) walking up and going, “Nice, I was just jammin’ on a bass, minding my business, when Victor Wooten walked by and told me he liked what I was doing..” We’d separate at times, but we’d always have a meet up time and place.
One of the nights (maybe even that first night) went to Denny’s with them. Rob the drummer had a medical condition and acts a bit wacky if he hasn’t eaten in awhile, so we sat there and watched him act a fool until our Eggs Over My Hammy was served. After food and laughs, we drove around in a van and told jokes all night. Great night. I also made Rob air drum the chorus to Time…and he obliged!!
Another thing I remember is on one of the days we met the guys at their hotel. Eddie and Scott Stine (Brett, who played on the first album, I think he had already left), these guys were playing Ibanez Universe 7 strings through Tube Screamers and Microstacks, AND FUCKING BURNING THEIR ASSES OFF. It was inspiring and terrifying all at the same time. They did some dual solo shit, showed me what their “spock tapping” was all about…It was all right there 3 feet in front of me and man, what a lasting impression that was. After they were done, they shoved a guitar in my face, and asked if I wanted a turn. I put the guitar on the stand and said, “Noooo fucking way, man..”
Here’s why I love this band: Each member is a fucking powerhouse in his own right. They have a rad combination of groove oriented riffs with fucked up chops. Musical as fuck and all ’round nice level headed dudes. Not a bad attitude in the bunch.
Guys, thanks for the rad album, sorry I couldn’t get into Sucker Punch but I was extremely loyal to that first singer. Every now and then I’ll be somewhere and if I feel the need to show someone what fucked up is, I’ll drum up YouTube on my phone and show them that 3 part harmony whole tone half tone diminished run y’all do at 1:15)…That is what boners are made of!! You fuckin’ rad fuckers, you!!
Anyways, Derek, I’ll see you on Facebook, and to the rest of the guys, I love you.
When I have time I’m going to put my vocals all over this bitch and send it to y’all…
I have three older sisters; Lynda, Lori, and Kim. I destroyed every single record player they ever had, and when I was old enough, I apologised for it. In the Sanders household, these girls had the music going: Credence, Elvis, The Doors, The Beatles, the radio…we also had a jukebox as well.
Anyways, Lynda’s husband Dave had all the Zappa catalogue on vinyl. So whenever my mom and I stopped by, Dave would have the Zappa crankin’. This was about ’79 onwards, but the one thing that did stick in my mind was an instrumental where Zappa took the piss out of Santana. I knew from that moment that this was a guy I’d like to get to know better. So whenever we’d visit Lynda and Dave and my nephews, I’d grab the headphones, a Zappa album, and away we went!!
I knew about Steve Vai from Zappa, not fucking Passion and Warfare (which is a great album).
Fave albums: You Are What You Is, Sheik Yerbouti, The Man From Utopia, Roxy & Elsewhere, Joe’s Garage, Zappa in New York, Apostrophe/Overnight Sensation, Tinseltown Rebellion, Ship Arriving Too Late…, Does Humor Belong in Music, and others!
What I love about Zappa: The absurdity of some of the tunes!! Like, in Broken Hearts Are For Assholes, I love the dialogue in the middle. The songs were mental as fuck to listen to, even harder to perform. The lyrics were funny and weird..Even the instrumentals were amazing. I love the Baby Snakes version of The Black Page. Fucking magic, man! There’s so many great things on so many great tracks..He’s just the raddest. Pure musical genius. But having said that, I’m not into every single thing he’s done. I definitely have an era and an aesthetic when it comes to Frank.
And it wasn’t just the music, but the album covers, the inside jacket, the Barking Pumpkin order forms, reading the lyrics and liner notes, the whole shebang!!
Frank knew how to do a live show as well. Chatting with the audience, having the dance contests..He got it. The closest thing I ever got to being in a Zappa like live-band-atmosphere was Sinister Sam. Throwing beach balls into the crowd, having people onstage, we just wanted chaos the whole time. Not to mention the musical influence he had on us.
I could go on and on but I won’t. Zappa is not for everyone. I wouldn’t even say I’m a diehard fan. Fucking Dave Cook (my brother in law) of Clovis, California is the real fucking deal. I tried to watch 200 Motels with him and fell asleep. I’ll stick to the albums I know, ha ha..But Frank? I was sooooooo bummed that you passed. One of my goals in life was to meet you. The closest I got was meeting your son during the gig.
I have very few heroes on this planet, maybe 3-4. You’re in there.
I FUCKING LOVE FRANK ZAPPA, AND I LOVE HIS MUSIC. TRY IT.
Don’t know where to start? Try these songs: Montana, Village of the Sun, The Radio is Broken, Titties N’ Beer, Broken Hearts are for Assholes, City of Tiny Lights, Wild Love, Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch, St Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast/Father Oblivion….fuck..so many. If you can handle those, delve deeper.
Now, I’ve known about Gypsy Jazz for ages. Had a Django “Best of” Box set, the whole deal. Lately I think I’ve been pretty bored with music, life, everything. It comes with age.
So a couple weeks back I was searching for Gypsy Jazz on YouTube and came across this gem:
I love this music!! It has melody, swing, the shit cooks!! And you don’t need an amp! This is my current favourite clip:
Apparently the dude on the right can’t read music, is pretty much self taught…That’s fucking nuts!! That is some serious talent and dedication to be pulling out solos like that off the top of your head with those key changes and that tempo. There’s modes, arpeggios, I find it totally amazing and so utterly musical. IT”S the FUCKING SHIT!!
I think I may take GJ lessons. Even just a few to open my mind up a bit. Check out this guy on the right, he’s pretty much the Jason Becker of swing guitar:
Having said that, Gonzalo Bergara is an absolute fucking GUN!!
Let me encourage you to go grab a guitar and try to play over the top of this Django song. I think the key is probably try to learn the Django song note for note by ear..I tried earlier tonight and it reminded me of how long that shit takes! But nothing worthwhile is never easy, you gotta work at it.
Gypsy Jazz, you are BEAUTIFUL! If I die and there’s music, that’s what I’ll hear as I fly around the Universe!!
Check out DJANGOFEST and support these talented people!
The main things I watch on YouTube are 48 Hours (True Crime) and Vinnie Colaiuta clips. Not entirely true. But I always come back to the Vinnie clips, and it’s a small few that I have in rotation.
Now, if you don’t know who Vinnie is, he is the raddest drummer ever (to me). Zappa, Sting, he even did a Megadeth album, probably for shits and giggles. I first knew about him from Zappa’s Joe’s Garage album. I was a teen at that stage and hardly a musician, so listening to music I didn’t care too much for the burn factor in one’s playing. I just enjoyed the music, the lyrics, the album cover, all those things equally.
Years later, I was in Guitar Center and they were playing the Buddy Rich Memorial video with Dennis Chambers going NUTS. By then I was all about appreciating drum technique (even though I was a guitarist), and Dennis was my favourite for awhile. He had power, speed, and groove and that’ll do it for me! I have a love/hate relationship with drummers. More love than hate though.
Anyways, I was at this dude’s house and he had all the Burning for Buddy videos. We got to talking about favourite drummers and he mentioned his was Vinnie. He showed me the clip, and I was internally comparing him to Dennis. I wasn’t mature enough to appreciate the badass-ness of Vinnie’s playing, so nothing really moved forward for me on that homefront. Not to mention I was probably more into metal drummers at the time. Atma Anur, Dean Castronovo, Perry Strickland, Paul Bostaph, Mickey Dee. Those fuckers.
In 2005 I was courting my wife Alex while YouTube was becoming a thing. Finally,someone out there was kind enough to post the Vinnie – Gadd- Weckl thing on Burning for Buddy. And THEN I got it. I’d watch at least 2-3 times a day, and I’d make OTHER people watch it. In full. All 9:30 of it.
What I love about Vinnie: Hi hat pattern in Zappa’s Token of My Extreme, Intro and first 20 seconds of Holdsworth’s City Nights, The Burning for Buddy Shit….And ALL OF THE GHOST NOTES!! And of course, the infamous Zappa audition.
Vinnie? I love you. You inspire Me as a guitarist. Your neverending dedication is admirable. You are thee fucking shit.
“Lemme just rock up, sit down, and fuck all y’all up…”
This was two weeks out of my life that happened 25 years ago. Bare with grandpappy..
Me on my 21st bday. Don’t ask.
So…..I was 21 years of age (1990-ish). I was living in an apartment with two high school friends off Blossom Hill Road, and I was working as a cashier for long term parking at the San Jose International Airport.
One day there was a knock at the door, a guy was giving Free Personality Tests and selling the Dianetics book. My other two roommates weren’t into it, but I was quite interested in what my personality test would yield, so I was like, “Fuck it, I’ll do It..”
The guy sat at our kitchen table while I ripped through this 200 question beast. I gave him the completed test, and the guy (who was actually a nice guy) bailed.
A week or two later, this kid came back. He had a semi pained look on his face. He gave me the results to the personality test. I was in shock; the personality test had revealed I was a massive pile of shit. Looking back, it was probably a stock result they gave everyone. No matter, I was crushed. I thought I was pretty decent as far as humans go. Nope! The kid who gave me the bad news said he could help me become a better person. I’d take a three day class (for $120) that would put me on my way to becoming ‘clear’. So I paid and took the course.
I went to a building in downtown San Jose and I met up with the same kid, and he was going to administer the course to me. The coarse to becoming a better me consisted of quite a bit of reading and doing some written exercises after each little chapter. After I completed the writing aspect of each chapter, I then had to use physical objects taken out of this little tupperware container to show this kid my train of thought..I used Chinese Jacks. “So, Dad and I are arguing, and these Chinese Jacks represent me. These here (my other hand) represent my dad..Dad is mad because I want to grow my hair out and blahdee blah fuckin’ blah..” The guy looked pretty pleased at my commonsensical ways and I had ‘passed’. Now, these tests lasted from 9am-4 pm kinda deal, from what I recall. This was not a half day event.
I did that for 3 days. The kid said if I came back next week (for another $120 that I barely had), that I’d improve even MORE. So I did another week. This time, there was a movie I needed to watch, with how the E-Meter works, a brief history on L Ron Hubbard and Dianetics, that kinda shit. I also had the privilege of my first E-Meter session. Holding the two things in both my hands, I think I was half expected to get shocked. Nope, it just reaffirmed that I was still an asshole.
During the day, the kid introduced me to the man of that particular centre. The man liked me, and at the end of the day, offered me a job there at that centre. I’d start out as a handyman (his words)…General cleaning, changing light bulbs, etc. If I progressed further, I’d be enrolled in classes to get where ‘the kid’ was..He also told me if I left in the middle of the courses, that I’d have to pay for ALL OF IT. And we were going so well!
I wasn’t into any of it, but I acted like I was…I finished that day and fucked off home.
I got a call not too long after that last visit. They wanted to know if they could book me in for more fixin’, or what I thought of that totally awesome job opportunity that they had presented me with..I said, “thanks, but I’ll pass…on all of it..”
For months, even years, I was harassed with phone calls, and letters, trying to get me back in. Even after I left that apartment and moved back to Fresno, my friends told me they’d still get calls and letters to me..
WOW!! Sometimes I forget that that happened to me. Trip out.
Anyways, my wife and I saw a documentary on Scientology called Going Clear today. It was awesome. Lots of people who were higher up in the organization basically saying that it was all horseshit. Great documentary.
Once again, San Jose rock radio turned me onto this guy. I was in 9th grade, in the garage of our house, working out with my step brother Troy. The song they played was Alcatrazz “Too Young to Die, Too Drunk to Live.” The feeling it gave me was pretty much the same feeling I had after listening to Eruption: Fucking hell, what the fuck was that?! You could hear jaws drop all over San Jose.
So me and all my guitar playing buddies tried to rip that shit off as much as we could. I was totally using Yngwie ideas inappropriately, putting classical motifs in the beginning of You Really Got Me. Not to mention my picking hand was beyond shit. I’m sure the other guys in the band were rolling their eyes. Glad I was too busy looking at my fingers to care.
So the major electric guitar game changers were Hendrix, EVH, then Yngwie. Alternate picking was probably not even a word (or combination of words) until Yngwie showed the world what the right hand can do (other than that OTHER thing the right hand can do). Or left. We’ll get the weirdo lefties in there. Ha ha.
He brought so many new techniques to the table; alternate picking, arpeggio sweeps (he pretty much invented that), scalloped fretboards, classical arrangements, harmonic minor madness….And an accurate aggression that couldn’t be topped. He scared the fuck of AND inspired a generation of dudes: Gilbert, Becker, MacAlpine, Vinnie, DeVille (JK).
Here, check this out. This is my favourite video of Yngwie. My friend had it on VHS in the mid 80’s, and I watched it forever. God bless YouTube!!
I think the last Yngwie CD I bought was Odyssey. My favourite albums are Rising Force and Marching Out. My favourite songs are Now Your Ships Are Burned and Disciples of Hell. And tons of other shit, ha ha.
Ah!! My encounter with Yngwie! Early to mid 90’s I was at the Namm show, and it was the Hilton bar (where all the cool people were), and I was already pretty hammered by this stage. So I go up to Yngwie, say hi, and immediately grab his sunglasses off his face and I wear them. For about 10-15 minutes. It was a fun little chat, and I think he was a little scared of me (I’m harmless). Anyways, I walked back over to him, chatted some more, gave him his glasses back, and asked for $5 for a beer. I ran out of money. He said “I don’t have any money, I have to ask my wife..” I think I may have belly laughed at that, and then got terribly sad, and then walked off. I was nicknamed “Jungle Man” at Namm. My drinking was pretty nutso back then. I’m way tame in comparison.
Fuck you Lorena Bobbit! Yep, a Jungle Man drunken rant on Lorena Bobbit. I had an audience and received applause after my keynote speech. This was at Namm. This is what Yngwie would’ve encountered.
And people rip on him for his big ego, pirate clothes, and arrogance. Don’t bother me none. If you’ve done the shit he’s done, inspired that many guitar players, and brought all these guitar techniques to the table, then you can pretty much do whatever the fuck you want. I love it. Yngwie did a guitar clinic out here in Melbourne a few years back, and he’s a fucking funny guy. The audience questions were longer than his answers! I love that guy. Well, love him from afar. I don’t really listen to his stuff that much anymore. But he was a massive influence on me. He got my piece of shit right hand working, and Gilbert finished the job. Love to both!!
Here’s a couple of guys still burning the flame for Yngwie and getting scientific. Troy Grady’s Cracking the Code are one part guitar history and two parts science!! Check out how just how far down the rabbit-hole this dude will go to get to the bottom of shit:
And then there’s my buddy James Ryan, who’s doing Malmsteen Mondays. Bite sized and ready within minutes! Get crackin’!
Let’s see. This would have been about 1990. I had just moved back to piece of shit Fresno, Ca. from San Jose (see: massive step backward), and I was working at the Fresno Airport in short term parking ticket booth. Horrible job.
The ONLY redeeming aspect of that job was that I could bring my boombox to work and listen to whatever I wanted, be it cassettes, radio, etc. There was a syndicated radio station out of Texas called Z Rock, and well, it was the best thing ever! Grunge was starting to take over the airwaves and Z Rock was the antidote. The weakest shit they’d play would be cock rock, and the toughest shit would be Thrash and Death Metal. 24 hours a day.
One day on ZRock, I heard Pantera’s Cowboys From Hell. My first thought? Holy shit! Anthrax got a new guitarist and singer!! Ha ha. I was serious though. When the announcer came on and back announced the song, I was like, “Who the fuck’s Pantera? I have never heard of Pantera..” I was 21 and thought I knew every band ever. Later that same day, I would have went to Tower Records and bought the cassette. Was hooked from that day on. And I got all my friends into them.
You have to understand that not much good metal was being cranked out during the 90’s. I thought it was a fucking horrible decade, to be honest. Nirvana, flannels, Pearl fucking Jam and that goat throated singer Eddie Vedder. Yes I’m sure he’s a great guy and a nice person, but I don’t want to hear about daughters and flowing even, fuck all that. “I want my music hard and lyrical content even harder, thank you very much. I’m an angry young man and expect to be treated as such!” says 21 year old me. Now I’m an angry old man! Hear me rooooarrr! The only heavy bands I can remember from that era are Pantera, Machinehead, Korn, Deftones, and not much else. Not huge heavy bands, anyways. Slayer was always chugging, and Anthrax. But the 90’s felt dismal to me. Am I wrong?
The man! Dimebag Darrell Abbott
Why I love Dime: He wrote awesome riffs. He mixed pentatonic, thrash (chromatic shit), and harmonic minor stuff. His palm mutes on rhythms were THEE SHIT, and back in ’90 his tone (for me anyways) was the most brutal. Message in Blood? The binness! I love chromatic stuff and I love muted power chords. Dime did them in abundance, and I am soooo happy that he did. I went to Mike Varney’s house once and he had every pre-Cowboys Pantera release on vinyl. Rad!!
I also dig the guitars that were made by Dime, the Razorbacks. Dime, you own the ML shape!! They should just start calling it the Dimebag shape. Love it.
My friend Scot and I bought Ampeg solid state heads largely because of Dime. And King Diamond (well, I did). And they were cheap. More on that amp HERE
Dime’s lead playing was out of this world. He was more of a legato guy, but he burned, and burned a lot. Good memorable solos, not afraid of pinch harmonics or whammy bar madness. Great soloist and performer. I wished they had a touring rhythm guitarist. I know Dime handled it well on his own and all that, but I love me some rhythm guitar underneath them fuckin’ solos, aight? And it didn’t hurt that he had cool tats, loved Ace and Ed, and had MAD hair. I’m a hair guy and I think it’s part of the heavy metal package. And now that I have NO HAIR, I’m annoyed!!
RAD!! How could you NOT love that guy?
Why I love Pantera: Cowboys, Vulgar, and FBD. I think I got up to Trendkill and stopped. By then I was utterly and truly under the spell of Meshuggah. It’s funny to see the majority of the guitar players on youtube fuck up Cowboys like they do. That riff is a BITCH, and you gotta be pretty well versed at inside picking, or you’re fucked. So hats off to complicated riffs!
Dime death. I was standing in line to see a movie when my close friend texted me that someone in Pantera has been killed. I was hoping that it wasn’t Dime, but maybe someone else in the band I may have thought was a tad douchy. When it was confirmed that it was Dime, man…fucking horrible. I got on my computer and started hunting down news, forums, whatever. Some asshole was trying to sell his Damageplan ticket that had blood sprayed on it. And the metal community told him very clearly that he was a fucking idiot and to take that shit down immediately.
I have one Dime Tribute shirt, I need more. Dime? You are awesome. Those Vulgar vids are hilarious and I feel a kinship to you as a fellow Texan (born and raised in California, dad and grandmother are from Arp and Tyler, TX – I feel I have a Texas vibe). You were an amazing inspiration to many guitar players around the globe. And you continue to inspire.