Vortex-Open the Gate- Probably the worst Rock song ever, yet I still love it.

It is 1986 you get ready for your weekly dose of Heavy Metal on Sky’s Monsters of Rock. presented by Mick Wall.

You hear the opening theme ” Ice 9″ by Joe Satriani from his Epic album “Surfing with the Alien”

You sit back relax and get ready for an onslaught of Rock and Metal. Mick just finished playing “Gonna get close to you” Queensryche’s cover version of a Dalbello song, one of those rare occasions where the cover is better then the original.

Then Mick announces a band from the Netherlands, called Vortex, the Dutch are not known for the abundance of Rock bands, So I have high hopes. ‘Vortex, who are they?’ I never heard of them, but they are on Monsters of Rock an international Rock show. They must be good.

Mick tell me the track is called “Open the gate” it is a bit of a cliché title, but hey I am willing to give it the benefit of doubt.

Four minutes of pure brutality follows, a brutal assault on my delicate ears. Would there perhaps be naked women in the clip, to soften the blow? No, just a few men and some dude singing into a bone, a character mash up between Mad Max and the Last of the Mohicans.

No redeeming features whatsoever.

Fast forward to 2022. I listen to the song again. It is just bad, in fact it is so bad it is good, I love it despite the lack of quality it did bring me back to that Sunday night in 1986.


Happy Birthday Kurt Cobain

I could say so much about Kurt Cobain but today I want to celebrate his birthday with his music.

He was a troubled soul, often referred to as the founder of the grunge music, which is not true because it was actually another Seattle band called Green River who pioneered the grunge sound. Kurt Cobain and many other of the so called ‘grunge’ scene did not like that label.

But as I said I want to celebrate his birthday, February 20,1967, with his music. Starting off with a picture of him playing drums in a high school band, it must be so caool for the other peole in the picture to be able to say they played with Kirt Cobain.

What if?.. The rockers that may have never been. A story of Kiss.

I am passionate about Music, especially Rock. One of my favourite bands is Kiss. When we hear one of their songs on the radio, songs like “I was made for loving you” or “World without heroes” we just sit back and enjoy and don’t give it a seconc thought.

However these songs and so many of their other classics , may have never been written or composed. The two lead men of Kiss Gene Simmons(aka Gene Klein and Chaim Witz) and Paul Stanley (aka Stanley Bert Eisen) are both lucky they were born.

Paul’s both parents are Jewish. He was the second of two children. His mother came from a family that fled Nazi Germany to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and then to New York City. His father’s parents were from Poland.

His mother was born in Berlin, Germany on November 16, 1923. and fled the Nazi uprising she lived for a brief time in Amsterdam, the Netherlands with her mother and stepfather before moving to New York City in 1939. If they had stayed in Germany, like so many others did, they definitely would have been subjected to the cruelty of the Nazi regime.

Gene Simmons’s start in life could have been even more uncertain . He was born on August 25, 1949 in Haifa, Israel, to Jewish immigrants from Hungary. His mother, Florence Klein (née Flóra Kovács), was born in Jánd and survived internment in Nazi concentration camps. She and her brother, Larry Klein, were the only members of the family to survive the Holocaust.

Florence or Flora was 19 when she was liberated on May 5th 1945 , from Mauthausen concentration camp , by American troops.

I have written blogs on the Holocaust before ,contemplating how many talents were destroyed by this evil ideology and regime. Thankfully some people did survive and their legacy produced talented people like Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.

For some people the Holocaust may seem like a distant bit of history, but this is how close the Holocaust still is.

Finish up with my favourite Kiss song , I chosen a video with the lyrics because the song “A world without heroes” has such a powerful message and is still so poignant today.

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Sources

https://www.thesound.co.nz/home/music/2020/05/kiss-gene-simmons-shown-his-mother-s-nazi-victim-impact-statement.html

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/gene-simmons

https://www.geni.com/people/Eva-Eisen/6000000002765905416

The Look- Roxette’s accidental break through.

the look

It is getting near to the 2nd anniversary of the death of Roxette singer Gun-Marie Fredriksson who died after a 17-year long battle with cancer.

Roxette were very successful in the late 80s and early 90s , in fact at some stage they were the biggest band in the world. But this success may never have been if it wasn’t for a young American exchange student Dean Cushman.

Roxette had already been quite successful in their native Sweden. The Look was the 4th single from their second album. It was actually their Christmas song “It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted)”  released in December 1987,which had not been included on any of their albums. that had been their biggest selling single to date

The song  became a top five hit in Sweden. In 1990 it was re-released for the movie “Pretty Woman” leaving out the Christmas for the Broken Hearted bit of the original title.

“The Look” was released as the  fourth single of their 2nd album “Look Sharp” in January 1989,=reaching the top 10 in Sweden. American exchange student from Minneapolis, Dean Cushman, had been an exchange student in Sweden where he bought the album and brought it home to the US., giving a copy of it to his local Top 40 radio station, KDWB 101.3 FM. “The Look” soon became very popular, and the station began distributing the track to their sister radio operations. EMI America had previously rejected the duo as unsuitable for the American market, and Roxette didn’t have a recording contract in the US.

“The Look” had already entered the top fifty of the Billboard Hot 100 before the duo began official promotion. It would go on to peak at number one eight weeks later. It gradually became a global hit over the next year, topping the charts in 25 countries.

To put things in perspective,their debut album Pearls of Passion which was only released in Scandinavia and Canada sold 800,000 copies(this number includes the sales of th remastered version released in 1997) Where “Look Sharp” sold 9,000,000 copies worldwide.

RIP Marie- You always had the look.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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Sources

EMI

YouTube

When Rock N Roll and Science collide.

Hugh

It might surprise some of you that Rock N Roll and science can be, and indeed often are good bedfellows. Below are just a few examples.

Eels.

Eels an American rock band, formed in California in 1995 by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Oliver Everett, known by the stage name E. It is the father of this same Mark Oliver Everett who was a highly regarded scientist. Hugh Everett III  was an American physicist who first proposed the many-worlds interpretation (MWI) of quantum physics, which he termed his “relative state” formulation.

After graduation in September 1956, He joined the Pentagon’s newly-forming Weapons Systems Evaluation Group . There is so much to say about this man ,but I won’t have enough space or time to cover all his life. I would highly recommend the watch the documentary “Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives (2007)” about Hugh Everett III which is narrated by Mark Oliver Everett.

eels

 

Brian May

Brian May one of the best guitarists in the world and of course known from the band Queen.  Brian has a Ph.D. in astrophysics. He studied physics and mathematics at Imperial College London and was in the process of getting his Ph.D. when Queen became big. Thirty years later, in 2007, he completed his dissertation.  The man who wrote “We Will Rock You” also wrote A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud. QUEEN

Greg Graffin

Greg Graffin is the lead singer with the LA based punk band “Bad Religion”, but he also double-majored in anthropology and geology at UCLA and got a master’s degree in geology from the same school. His Ph.D. in zoology comes from Cornell University and was titled “Monism, Atheism and the Naturalist Worldview: Perspectives from Evolutionary Biology.”

Yes, sometimes Truth is stranger then fiction

bad

Dexter Holland

Dexter Holland is best known as the lead singer, rhythm guitarist, and primary songwriter for the punk rock band The Offspring.

However he is also a molecular biologist.He was a doctoral student at the Laboratory of Viral Oncology and Proteomics Research,  In March 2013, Holland and co-authors published a paper in PLoS One regarding micro RNA in HIV genomes,titled “Identification of Human Micro RNA-Like Sequences Embedded within the Protein-Encoding Genes of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus”.

That must have worked wonders on his self esteem.

Dexter

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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Sources

IMDb

GizModo

WikiPedia

Bohemian Rhapsody

Freddie

Bohemian Rhapsody is probably the most unlikely title for a Rock song and yet it became a classic , if not THE classic Rock song for many generations.

This musical masterpiece lasted 5 minutes and 55 seconds, another reason why it should not have become a hit. Because prior to that, 3 minutes was the magic number for Rock hits.

It is not just a s song but in fact a mini opera consisting out of 6 pieces.

Part i.

Intro (0:00–0:49) it starts of with  an .acappella introduction, just to set the story line. “Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?” When I first heard it I didn’t know. I was mesmerized.

Part 2.

Ballad (0:49–2:37) The piano begins in B♭ major along with the entrance of John Deacon’s bass guitar.

Part 3.

Guitar solo (2:37–3:05) as we get toward the end of the ballad part we already hear the unset of Brian May’s guitar piece, soon to explode into a solo

Part 4

Opera (3:05–4:07) a succession of a various rhythmic and harmonic changes .

Part 5

Rock (4:07–4:54) The operatic section leads into a rock interlude with a guitar riff written by Mercury. It really is a piece of Heavy Metal

Part 6

Outro (4:54–5:55) as the intro the outtro slows down the Opera to bring it to a smoot conclusion.

The song has inspired some spoof versions none as funny as “Bad News” (You might recognize them as the Young Ones)

What is amazing about the song it was written by one man,Farrokh Bulsara aka Freddie Mercury who would have been 73 today. Happy Birthday Freddie

All that is left for me to do is to end the blog with probably the best Rock song ever written.

 

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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Source

You Tube

Queen

 

Jeremy spoke in class today.

jermy

The title of this blog is a line from the Pearl Jam song “Jeremy” it is one of my favourite Rock tracks and by far the best track of the album “Ten”. Although I have listened to the song hundreds of times I never really paid to much attention to the history of the song.

I assumed it was a made up tale of a made up boy in a made up school, but I was wrong. The Jeremy in the song was a real boy, who tragically committed suicide on January 8, 1991.

Jeremy Delle attended Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas

He was 15 at the time. On the fateful day he was late for his second period English class.Because of this tardiness the teacher urged Jeremy to go down to the office and get an attendance slip. However Jeremy did not go to the office, he went to his locker. Took out a with a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver and returned to the classroom . He turned to his teacher and said “Miss, I got what I really went for,” and then shot himself in front of his classmates.

metro

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder read about the suicide in a newspaper article and decided to write a song about it, in a way as an ode to the troubled teenager.

Even though the song was well intended it does not portray an accurate picture of the situation.

One line of the song talks about a father who didn’t pay attention and a mother who didn’t care. This is however not true. Jeremy  was living with his father, his parents were divorced and he had been in counseling at the school which he was also new to. In the video of the song it is also suggested that he was struggling with his sexuality but according a friend that was not the case at all, in fact most of the video is totally inaccurate. Why Pearl Jam decided on this direction of the video, I don’t know.

king

He was a quiet boy but there wasn’t any real evidence of bullying. The fact is the teenage years in anyone’s life are complex years, Stuck between childhood and adulthood, hormones flying of the charts. If you add an uncertain future to that and new surroundings it can easily lead to bigger problems. It is not a coincidence that a a great percentage of suicides are committed by teenage boys.

His mother said in a recent interview she said ‘That day that he died did not define his life. He was a son, a brother, a nephew, a cousin, a friend. He was talented,’ she said.

My heart goes out to her and the family. Each time I will hear the song now, I will say a quick prayer for a poor troubled boy and his family.

Ending the blog with Pearl Jam’s video.

 

 

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Funky Claude was running in and out.

Deep-Purple-Smoke-On-The-Water-1973

Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple is one of if not ‘the’ most iconic Rock anthems of all times, from the 1st nano second it starts you know what song it is. First the Guitar riff, followed by the Hi Hat, then the drums and the pounding bass, It just doesn’t get better then that.

Smoke_on_the_Water_riff

The song is the tale of a recording session in Montreux, Switzerland which didn’t go as planned.

Deep Purple were going to use a mobile recording studio which was in the Casino in Montreux. The were going to record straight after a live concert by ‘Frank Zappa and the Mothers of invention’ but a fire started and the place burned down, after a Zappa fan had fired a flare into the casino’s ceiling

FZ MOI

Now rather then listing all the events in the song, I will have the song at the end of this blog. I will however pick out 1 event. The heroic actions of Claude Nobs, he is the ‘Funky Claude’ mentioned in the song.

Claude Nobs who was the founder and the promoter of the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Nobs saved several young concert goers who did hide in the Montreux Casino , thinking they would be sheltered from the flames. Nobs, who had served as a volunteer fireman, knew that the casino wasn’t  a safe place and acted immediately to get them out. ‘Funky Claude was running in and out pulling kids out the ground’

Claude_Nobs

Nobs not only rescued concertgoers from the blaze, but also helped Deep Purple regroup afterwards, offering them a new place to record. Deep Purple wrote the song about that day and it became one of their biggest hits.

 

 

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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Sources

Gibson

Bon Scott-Let there be Rock

bon scott

In the beginning Back in nineteen fifty-five Man didn’t know about a rock ‘n’ roll show
And all that jive.

The above line is the start of the AC/DC classic let there be Rock. The whole song is basically a history lesson in Rock N Roll, brought to us by the one and only Bon Scott.

It is not often I dedicate a blog to a musician but since it is coming up to the 41st anniversary of Bon Scott’s death I thought it only to be fitting since he was the lead singer of one off my all time favourite bands AC/DC

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On a side note. something not many people know is that the founders of AC/DC ,Angus and Malcolm Young, had an older brother called George Young who had a massive hit with the Easybeats called “Friday on my mind” He also co wrote “Love is in the Air” and “Standing in the Rain” recorded by “John Paul Young a fellow Scots-Australian but no family.

Like the Young brothers Bon Scott was also Scottish Australian.Scott, he emigrated to Australia aged six,  he joined  fellow Scotsmen brothers Angus and Malcolm Young in AC/DC in 1974.

His distinctive voice was so recognizable, the second he would start to sing you’d know “That’s AC/DC with Bon Scott”. Not was he only a singer he was also an accomplished drummer. There was always this twinkle in his eyes as if he was up to no good.

In  July 2004 the magazinn Classic Rock, rated  Scott as number one in a list of the “100 Greatest Frontmen Of All Time” ahead of Robert Plant and Freddie Mercury.

In 1980 he had started working with the rest of the band on the album “Back in Black” but unfortunately he never got to finish it.He had only input  on drums on 2 songs of the album.

Back in Black

On Feb. 19, 1980, he was found dead. He had been out drinking with friends, in a London nightclub  — but the casual evening took a terrible turn as Scott passed out in his car, and ultimately choked to death on his own vomit. He was only 33 years old.

image039

The album was finished 5 months later with AC/DC’s new front man Brian Johnson.

To end this tribute to Bon Scott I will use the words sang by the other AC/DC singer, Brian Johnson. “For those about to Rock we salute you”.

image

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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Picture Sources

TeamRock

Erenow

The Irish Times

YouTube

Red Sector A

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“All that we can do is just survive.All that we can do to help ourselves
Is stay alive…”

These are the opening lines of the song “Red Sector A” by Canadian Rock band ‘Rush’. I am not exactly a fan of the band, there are only a few of their songs I like and Red Sector A is not one of them.Then why do a blog on the song?

It is only  by chance, I was doing research on survivors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Bergen-belsen

Gary Lee Weinrib aka Geddy Lee is the lead vocalist of the band Rush, His parents were Jewish Holocaust survivors from Poland who had survived the ghetto in their hometown Starachowice, followed by their imprisonments at Dachau and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps, during the Holocaust. They were about 13 years old when they were initially imprisoned at Auschwitz concentration camp, close to the same age as Anne Frank at that time.“It was kind of surreal pre-teen shit,” says Lee, describing how his father bribed guards to bring his mother shoes. After a period, his mother was transferred to Bergen-Belsen and his father to Dachau. When the war ended after the Allies liberated the camps, his father set out in search of his mother and found her at a displaced persons camp. They married there and eventually emigrated to Canada.

“Red Sector A”  provides a first-person account of a nameless protagonist living in an unspecified prison camp setting. “Red Sector A” first appeared on the band’s 1984 album “Grace Under Pressure”.

grace-under-pressure-cover1-600x600

Though “Red Sector A,” like much of the album from which it comes, is set in a bleak, apocalyptic future,  “the psychology” of the song comes directly from a story Geddy Lee’s mother told him about the day she was liberated.

“She didn’t believe [liberation] was possible. She didn’t believe that if there was a society outside the camp how they could allow this to exist, so she believed society was done in.”This is something I can fully understand because  it is question that haunts me,leave alone those who survived it.

Lee did co-write the song with other members of Rush,Neil Pearl and Alex Lifeson.

Rush-band

Someone remarked this week about Holocaust stories”will you ever give it a rest” I will give it a rest when it is no longer relevant, and that will be never. This song even indicates that it was not only the victims that were affected it is also their children,grand children and later generations. Aside from that this dark era in mankind’s history must never be forgotten because it can so easily happen again and it can become indeed a bleak, apocalyptic future as in the song Red Sector A.

Needless to say the song has now become one of my favourites.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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