Monday, January 18, 2016

and now Glenn Frey...or how "Take It Easy" changed my life.

Well, I'm getting a little tired of posting Youtube videos with the comment "RIP " this year and now here's yet another shocker - Glenn Frey of the Eagles.

Weirdly, my immediate thought was "Wow, that's a total surprise, but it doesn't have the personal impact of Lemmy and Bowie" it's a contest.  But then as certain memories came rushing in, I realized Glenn and his music have had quite an impact of the course of my life.

I went through an Eagles phase for a few months when I was in 10th grade or so in the mid 80's. Of course I knew them from listening to our local Home of Rock n Roll radio station - WPDH (which I bet kicked your town's "Home of Rock n Roll" radio stations ass!), but something clicked and I got super into them for a while at the time when I just starting going to shows.  I can vividly remember being bummed that I'd never get the chance to see them that time, when a band broke up, that was pretty much it.

During these Eagles months I bought a bunch of their records, dug them, but then moved on.  During those early years of figuring out my musical path, this was par for the course, I remember the same feeling for maybe two months with Boston and a spring with Eric Clapton.  They were it for me for a really specific time, but didn't stick as an all time fave, probably due to said Home of Rock n Roll playing them out.  I listened to a lot of radio in those days as I worked after school in our church rectory (Yeah...I was a good Catholic School boy).

So when I heard about Glenn Frey it immediately brought me back to those days and to "Take It Easy" which was definitely my favorite Eagles song ("In The City" was a close second, especially boosted by it's perfect use in the film "The Warriors").  

As the years passed, if "Take It Easy" came on the radio, well my ass was singing along...while other Eagles songs...I'm looking at you "Hotel California," I would grow to never wanting to hear again.  

I started going to bars and started at times to be there on karaoke nights.  I always thought that someday I would need to get up there and sing and I always knew that song would be "Take it Easy".  I knew I could kill it.

Then I realized one day that I was thirty years old...which even at the time didn't really concern me.  I didn't have the "Oh My God" I'm so old thoughts, but I also hadn't done karaoke and I basically wrote it off as one of those "if it didn't happen yet, it's not gonna happen" things (like say, going to Times Square on New Year's eve).  Thirty was the year of my move to Denver to forever be with the girl I loved...which went south SO FAST, but at that time (2001) it was a great city to have an adventure in.  Great music scene, my introduction to pub trivia nights, getting to see Hunter S. Thompson on the steps of the Capitol Building (with Warren Zevon "opening" with an acoustic version of "Lawyers Guns and Money") in front of maybe 50 people...some great memories and made some great friends.

It was those friends that invited me out one night to this fantastic little Mexican restaurant (Denver had tons of them...can't remember the name) where we ate and drank and then karaoke started.  We got the book of songs and there it was.  I'm not even sure it was me who wrote my name down on the slip and handed it in, but before I knew it, my name was called and off I went.   

I thought it went great as I was singing it.  I'm no great singer, but that's not a song you need to have a great voice for to's slow and easy on the pipes.  I rocked it out with no prob until the last 90 seconds or so.  That's when the "Ooh ooh oooh's" kick in.  When I sang it in my car, I never bothered with the Oooh's, but try doing that alone in front of an just wanna get out of there, but I held it down and got the cheers.  I think I went up that night and did another as well (Steve Miller Band's "Jet Airliner" I'm almost sure)

So that's well and good, but "changed my life"?  Yeah it did.

9/11 hit at right about my one year anniversary in Denver.  I had already been thinking of coming back to New York and that was the deciding factor.  When I came back, I was a bit of a karaoke fiend.

The first gal I dated was for a few months and I can only remember us doing karaoke once at a bar down the street from her place.  She worked in the entertainment industry and I should ask her now (maybe she's reading this - we're still friends) how much she probably cringed when I sang as she is a fan of polished professional produced singers (think Freddie Mercury, Broadway, "The Voice").  God Bless her she spared me her professional opinion on my vocal skills.

After her, I literally met my next girlfriend while doing karaoke.  She was actually impressed (!) and gave me her phone number without my asking (!!).  We dated and eventually got engaged, but sadly (but obviously not really) she broke it off with me out of the blue during the wedding planning stages.  It turns out she was seen immediately (so in other words, probably while we were together)dating a DJ who ran a trivia night we didn't go to (we went almost every week to one)!  Yikes and bullet dodged.

That almost brings us to today.  I took the typical long break after that one, eventually met someone else (our first "date" was a concert), but sadly (and this one I do say sadly) we're not together anymore (yep...friends...what the hell?!).  We didn't do karaoke at all...I'm kinda thinking now maybe I should have busted those moves out...maybe she's reading this too

So yeah, "Take It Easy" changed my life.  If I never heard it, I don't know that I ever would have done karaoke, and never would have met those people and never would have had the life experiences to bring me to typing this sentence right now.  And Glenn Frey is "Take It Easy".

And so not to leave you in suspense, did 15 year old me, who would have given anything to see The Eagles in concert, ever get to?  No.

Of course I had plenty of chances, but in all honestly, but the time they reunited, it didn't mean the same thing to me.  I thought about it plenty of times...I came really close a year or two ago on their last tour, but either there were too many other shows going on or maybe it wasn't a show I wanted to drop over $100 it never happened.  I'm okay with that.  I have seen Joe Walsh and he played "In The City" for me, so don't worry...I'm good.

If you were a big fan of Glenn, I hope you're good too.  Do the "ooh ooh ooh's", it will put a smile on your face

I guess I have to end with this.  Enjoy and rock on kids - Paul

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Steve Conte - David Bowie Tribute "Rebel Rebel" Live Video - Bowery Electric NYC January 16, 2016

Steve Conte performed a great set at Bowery Electric in New York City on Saturday, January 16, 2016.  One of the many highlights of the set was his tribute cover of David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel" with his original "Gypsy Cab."   You'll also hear some of The Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting For The Man" and Iggy Pop's "Home Boy" in there as well.

Don't miss Steve when he plays out - fantastic Rock n Roll...and you can catch him as a member of Michael Monroe's band as well.

If you dug this go to the Most People Are Blank Facebook page by clicking here and click the "Follow" button to join to be kept up to date on future posts, to comment, share and take part in our giveaways and contests!  Also follow on twitter at @MostPeopleBlank   As always - Rock on and Enjoy - Paul

Sunday, January 10, 2016

LA Guns - Food Truck Carnival, Clark, NJ - September 20, 2015 Photos and review

I just saw that yesterday (January 9) was Phil Lewis of L.A. Guns' Birthday. So first of all - Happy Birthday Phil!

 In honor of this occasion, it seems a good time to start posting photos from the two day Food Truck Carnival at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, NJ that was held on on the weekend of September 20, 2015 (which is the day L.A Guns played).  Other than a snippet of Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington as we left, L.A. Guns was the last band we stayed for because they always kill it and we we had to head over to NYC to catch a Faster Pussycat club show.  Faster Pussycat played the festival the day before as well - and like LA Guns, always kill.

Not much else to say here other than they were great at always.  This was the setlist:
No Mercy
Showdown (Riot on Sunset)
Sex Action
Never Enough
I Wanna Be Your Man
Over The Edge
Hellraisers Ball Electric Gypsy
The Ballad of Jayne
Rip and Tear

The photos are what they are as all three autofocus killers were in effect: fog throughout the whole show, supe bright blasting strobe lights facing the audience and when no strobe, mostly red light.  Oh well...still some shots I think you'll enjoy of Phil, Michael Grant (guitar), Kenny Kweens (bass).  Steve Riley of course held down the drums, but sadly no photos of him this time.

Click on any of the photos above or below to supersize them.

If you dug this go to the Most People Are Blank Facebook page by clicking here and click the "Follow" button to join to be kept up to date on future posts, to comment, share and take part in our giveaways and contests!  Also follow on twitter at @MostPeopleBlank   As always - Rock on and Enjoy - Paul

Monday, December 28, 2015

RIP Lemmy: Motorhead - Wallingford, CT - September 15, 2015 Live

Rest In Peace Lemmy.

I just heard about this Rock n Roll legend's passing.

I first saw Motorhead in the 80's and most recently saw them just three months ago at the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, CT on September 15, 2015.  The show was sold out and incredibly packed.  I was somewhat squashed in on the side for most of it.  I did manage to get some photos, not my best, and planned on eventually sharing them once I had time away from my job and real life.  Looking through them now, there's some pretty good ones here so I figured what better time to share and use them to celebrate Lemmy's life and Lemmy live, on stage, where he was meant to be.

In concert he often said "We are Motorhead and we play rock n roll!"  Here he is with band mates Phil Campbell on guitar and Mikkey Dee on drums doing just that.

Click on any of the photos above or below to supersize them.

Go to the Most People Are Blank Facebook page by clicking here and click the "Follow" button to join to be kept up to date on future posts, to comment and share your Lemmy memories. You can also follow on twitter at @MostPeopleBlank   

"Everything Louder Than Everything Else"  My ears are still ringing - Rock on - Paul

Monday, December 14, 2015

Juan Croucier of Ratt - The Chance, Poughkeepsie NY - December 11, 2015 Concert Review and Photos

It's certainly an interesting time to be a Ratt fan with all the live music options out there.  While I don't think he's touring right at this moment, lead singer Stephen Pearcy always tends to be on the road (and if you missed it, check out this review from Stephen's 2014 NJ show).

Drummer Bobby Blotzer is out there currently touring with his "Ratt Experience."  Not quite sure what guitarist Warren DeMartini is doing in the way of live shows at this time, but bassist and "The Other Voice of Ratt," Juan Croucier (website here) has recently put a band together and just stopped by The Chance in good ole Poughkeepsie, NY this past Friday, December 11, 2015 with his take on the Ratt catalog (or dare I say Rattalog?  I wonder if can get that to catch on...)

Juan handles all lead vocals and of course bass duties and completes the rhythm section with drummer Pete Holmes (of Black n Blue).  Filling out the quartet are two killer guitarists in the way of Mike Moore and Toni Aleman who together make up a tight unit more than capable of handling all of the Ratt classics (and some deeper cuts). Especially impressive was when we later found out this was only the band's tenth show ever! 

What unfortunately was not impressive was the turnout for this show which was a great night of classic 80's hard rock hits for a measly 15 bucks.  With basically all the bands of this era back out on the road, and knowing Poughkeepsie to often pack the house when they come through, it was a bummer that just a few dozen people showed up - but that didn't stop Juan and the boys from playing as if to a packed some respect, especially with Juan, I think he took this as a challenge to show those who were there what this band has to offer and to let the word spread so the next time through, this band will have the natural growth of any new band, albeit with a full classic catalog to choose from.

As you can see from the photos the band was having a blast and Juan, who was really known for has bass moves back in the day, still has them all (playing chops too of course).

Mostly this was a greatest hits set (although quite a few were skipped, you forget how many damn hits Ratt actually had!).  Half the set was made up of 8 of the 10 tracks off Ratt's first full length album "Out of the Cellar"...hell if I was the band, I'd throw the other two in and bill the show as them playing all of "Out of the Cellar" which of course the fans would dig and which basically they are already doing.  (Yeah I know, I missed my calling as manager of a rock band).

Half of the rest of the set were the singles off Ratt's second full length album "Invasion of Your Privacy" and then a few other key Ratt tracks.  I already posted the setlist on, but here it is if you haven't checked that:

Dangerous but Worth the Risk
Scene of the Crime
In Your Direction
Wanted Man
I'm Insane
Lack of Communication (with the original lyrics)
Lay It Down
You're in Love
Way Cool Jr. (off Ratt's 4th full length album "Reach For the Sky")
You Think You're Tough (off the debut selft titled EP)
Nobody Rides for Free (off the soundtrack for the classic/maybe only Surfer/Heist flick "Point Break")
Body Talk - (off Ratt's 3rd "Dancing Undercover)
Back for More
What You Give Is What You Get
She Wants Money (another with original lyrics)
Round and Round

Played straight through with no silly encore break.

So the big question - we understand Juan's harmonies and background vocals were key to the Ratt classics earning him "The Other Voice of Ratt" tagline, but how is it with him singing lead on all the songs?

Obviously it's different.  Whether you're a fan or not (and well, if you're reading this you probably are) of Stephen Pearcy, you have to say he has one of the most distinctive voices in rock.  When he sings you know it's him.

Juan's vocals have a rougher edge, kind of a whiskey soaked style (Think kinda Lynyrd Skynyrd, but without the Southern accent.  Juan, if you guys get to adding covers to the set, play some Skynyrd!) which takes a little getting used to since you're so familiar with Pearcy singing these songs.  I think it's smart that they don't open the show with a huge song, but instead hold that until the fourth slot.

By that time when "Wanted Man" hits, the first big sing a long of the night, you're all in.

One song in particular I want to call out is "Body Talk."  I know it was a hit and probably a bunch of folks' fave (including some of the folks I went with), but to me, it was never one I cared too much about, almost felt a bit of a throw away single, but wow, I actually would love these guys to release their version of it.  Musically it seemed sped up slightly and had that heaver live edge and Juan's vocals on this just turned it into so much more of a rocker than I ever remembered it being from the times I saw Ratt or Stephen live.  This was a definitely highlight for me.

After the show, we got to chat with the band and Juan for about 45 minutes during load out.  Took photos, got stuff signed and got some dirt that maybe if we can get an interview, we'll see what Juan wants to share on the record in regards to his Ratt band mates, but the overall message was this - sure people know Juan from Ratt, but this is not Ratt and they understand that and realize they have to pay their dues and they are happy to be out there doing it.  It sounds like they are going to be doing alot of road work, so go check 'em out.  I look forward to the next time they pass through the area...

Click on any of the photos above or below to supersize them.

If you dug this review go to the Most People Are Blank Facebook page by clicking here and click the "Follow" button to join to be kept up to date on future posts, to comment, share and take part in our giveaways and contests!  Also follow on twitter at @MostPeopleBlank   As always - Rock on and Enjoy - Paul