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Archive: The Rockstar Ramblings Columns

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Twas the night before…

The date: December 24, 1988
Location: Southern California

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the rock world
Not a guitar was sounding, not even a chord.
The bandanas were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that even more bandanas soon would be there.

The groupies were passed out, all snug in their beds,
With visions of DIO, dancing in their heads.
And Axl wearing his boxers, and Slash in his cap,
Had just settled their lawsuits, shot up, and decided to nap.

When out on the tour bus there arose such a clatter,
Bret Michaels sprang from his bed of whores to see what was the matter.
Away to the window he flew like a flash,
There he saw one of his whores, running away with his cash. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Video Heaven, part II

This week we travel from Russia to Brazil and take a look at some new videos recently released. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: The Crue Top 25

News spread fast regarding Motley Crue becoming the first hard rock band to take up residency in Las Vegas. It was announced that starting in February the band will be playing nightly shows at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. In light of this semi-groundbreaking news a look (IMO) of the top 25 Crue songs to date. Note that although personal opinion was weighted heavily, I also took into account popularity, videos, etc… More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Nasty Reputation

This week a look at a new video from Canadian rockers, Reverse Grip. They have released a new video for “Nasty Reputation”, a track from their new four-song EP. Reverse Grip is a hard rock band formed by the three Broda brothers (Sean, Dru and Dylan) with a mission to bring back true rock n' roll. WARNING: The following video contains drinking and lots of cow bell. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Talk Dirty To Me

Over the past few weeks the band Kid Rocker has filed lawsuit against the band Poison for allegedly stealing songs originally written by Kid Rocker (band was broke up and presented the songs to C.C. as members of the band Screamin’ Mimis). Video (at the bottom) has surfaced, showing the bands riff for what would later become an alleged Poison hit. My opinion: given this alleged theft occurred over 20 years ago I find the timing suspicious. No word yet as to why wait until now to bring the lawsuit. The songs include “Talk Dirty to Me”, “Fallen Angel”, and “I Won’t Forget You.” What a perfect time to celebrate the video for “Talk Dirty to Me”; a made for MTV spectacle that started it all for the glam conglomerate we would come to know as Poison. Full Disclaimer: I was twelve and a big fan of this video when it came out. Did it shape my life in any way? Still working through this twice a week in therapy. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: The Axl Rose Interview

Last Friday Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses) sat down with the crew from VH1’s That Metal Show and discussed lawsuits, Chinese Democracy, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Of course there was not enough time to ask ALL the questions. After some dumpster diving behind Miami’s American Airlines arena we found the rest of the questions that never got asked. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: The Last Vegas Slashed

The Last Vegas are Chicago area rockers best known for being Guitar Center’s On Stage contest winners (prize was touring with Motley Crue), and their last album “Whatever Gets You Off,” which was produced by DJ Ashba (Guns N’ Roses), Marti Frederiksen, and Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue, SIXX:A.M.). While their fans await the follow-up to their last album, the band has released a new music video for a song titled “The Other Side.”

Starring in the video is B-Movie star, Sybil Danning, who has starred in Rob Zombie’s (White Zombie) “Halloween” and “Howling II.” Fun Fact: Sybil appeared on the cover of the 1983 August issue of Playboy. Joining Danning in the video is The Last Vegas, consisting of Chad Cherry (vocals), John Wator (guitar), Adam Arling (guitar), Danny Smash (bass), and Nate Arling (drums).

The stage is set for the horror genre by the “normal every day” setting of a house in suburbia. Sybil is sitting on the couch. The band is in the house, spread around the living room. Cherry is sitting next to Danning on the couch. Given the “low budget horror” aspirations of this video, it makes sense that Danny Smash was not allowed a drum set, instead forced to bang out the beat on his knees.

It’s uncomfortable on the couch as Sybil just sits and stares (looking worried) while Chad Cherry SCREAMS into her ear the lyrics and chorus to the song. Inches from her ear, Cherry continues to deliver his vocals as Danning becomes concerned. Something is bothering her! It must be dinner time. Has the ham cooked too long? The screaming continues. The look of concern turns worrisome. Cut to the kitchen.

Dinner is served. If you ever wondered how to eat a feast like a rock and roll band this video offers three points: 1. Chug beer out of a glass (need to stay classy Chicago) 2. Always stick knives into the main course. Apparently a stabbing motion is preferred. 3. If you believe you have shoved enough mashed potatoes in your mouth you are probably wrong, there’s always room for more.

With dinner on the table Sybil is no longer worried. No, instead she looks at peace and has a cleaver behind her back. She is all smiles when she approaches Chad Cherry and slashes his throat. Blood splatters all over the kitchen, the band, and Sybil. Next, Danning kisses and caresses Cherry; rubbing his blood all over herself and then dancing. The band is dead at the kitchen table, in a pool of blood as Danning prances around the kitchen. A brief moment of concern returns, and then she remembers. Dessert! She goes to the oven and pulls out a sheet of chocolate cookies, of course, not before a drop of blood falls onto the cookie sheet.

A killer song and video (literally) that teaches us all a lesson: If you insist on screaming in someone’s ear you may get your throat slashed! The more you know…

The Last Vegas - "The Other Side"

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The Rockstar Ramblings: 1981 M/F/K

30 years ago the bands Anthrax, Metallica, Motley Crue, Pantera, Queensryche, and Slayer were formed. It was also the year many important hard rock/heavy metal albums were released, laying the groundwork for the eighties. Here’s a look back at ten of these classic albums in no particular order. Same as the “1986 M/F/K” edition there is a twist as Marry/Fuck/Kill rules apply. It’s as simple as it sounds. M (Marry) is a song you want to “save” and listen to forever, F (Fuck) is the song you get one more listen to and that is it, and K (Kill) is the song you want to go away and never be heard from again. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Video Heaven

The videos keep on coming and this week a special treat as we look at three different bands with unique, yet equally phenomenal videos. This assumes you define phenomenal as I do: Fun and hilarious with no sense of moral ground! More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Sex Slaves vs. Falling Red

This week a look at two recently released videos from Sex Slaves and Falling Red; in a classic showdown I will have to ultimately decide between strippers and blood. Surprisingly, it’s a lot closer than you think.

The first video is from UK rockers, Falling Red. The video is for the song “Come On Down” from the EP “Hasta La Victoria Siempre.” We begin with the 1-2 punch of guitars and the band name, Falling Red, shown on a marquee, and then we’re off with two girls dancing on the stage in lingerie. The song begins with, “Friday night and I’m headed for the show…” then cuts to a seating area that may be a VIP or champagne room, although I doubt the latter because there is too much light. Here we find a girl in red lingerie stripping on a pole. We are 36 seconds in and already have three strippers. For those keeping score at home I don’t need too mention how impressive this is. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: CRASHDIET /Generation Wild

Swedish rockers, Crashdiet (Simon Cruz/vocals, Peter London/bass guitar, Martin Sweet/lead guitar, and Eric Young/drums), are reissuing their 2010 Generation Wild album and will include an extra track named Hollywood Teaze. They have also created a video (see below and note the one stripper pole scene just to make sure you are paying attention) so what a perfect time to look at the first video, the title track from Generation Wild that was deemed too obscene for MTV. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: The Rock and Roll HOF

Each year the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame releases their nominations and each year (except 2009) this band has not been nominated. This is not a new story, but is an annual migraine once you review the bands elected IN and those that have NOT been elected (or even nominated). MANY rock bands deserve to be in today, but I don’t believe any band has a more solid case. This band has become the Pete Rose of rock and roll minus the gambling. Author Disclaimer: I am a casual fan at best of this band. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: The Trifecta

I found it entertaining that one of the reasons Chickenfoot named their second album “III” was to pass by the sophomore slump album and go right to their third. Three great albums in a row is no small feat. This week I (one opinion) take a look at some bands that have successfully accomplished the feat of: The Trifecta! More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Down & Dirty

This week a look at the band Down & Dirty and the release of their first video: “Taste of Rock & Roll”. Based in Chicago, Down & Dirty have released an album by the same name this year. Research on the band quickly turned up two items. First, that the band is relatively new to the scene. Secondly, they have a large number of groupies – already. Why every fourteen year old kid doesn’t teach himself how to play guitar is beyond me. PICK ONE: A. Master’s Degree B. White picket fence C. Groupies. Don’t feel too dirty, most picked the same one as you. Now a look at the video… More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Duff McKagan, Writer

Duff McKagan has released an 80 page excerpt of his upcoming autobiography titled It’s So Easy (And Other Lies). For those hesitant to read another “rockography” or are burned out from reading ex-Guns N’ Roses books I’m here to say you may want to give this one a chance. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: 1984

Van Halen announced that they have completed mixing their new album. This news jumped the Vegas line from 50-1 to a 10-1 shot of this album actually happening. It has been 27 years since the last David Lee Roth-Van Halen album. A lot has changed during this time, a few examples: In 1984 The Cosby show premiered along with “Cosby Sweaters”, it was also the year the AIDS virus was discovered. Apparently there is no connection between the two. It was also the year stonewashed jeans were introduced. Vanessa Williams was stripped (pun intended) of her Miss America crown when nude photos were discovered and Michael Jackson’s hair caught fire during the shooting of a Pepsi commercial. Apparently these events also had no connection to the discovery of AIDS, despite many remaining suspicious… More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Chickenfoot’s “Big Foot”

This week a look at Chickenfoot’s latest video, “Big Foot”.

The video starts off as every alcoholic’s nightmare. Waking up in a chicken coup, wearing a chicken costume. It’s an odd choice to drink out of the same water bucket as the other chickens, but then again, it’s probably a nasty hangover and any beverage will do at this point. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: The GNR Video Trilogy

After the albums Appetite for Destruction and Lies, Guns N Roses released two albums at the same time titled Use Your Illusion I and II. From this double release would come three intertwining videos known as ‘The Trilogy’.

This week a look back at these videos and the excess involved.

DON’T CRY
The video begins with a baby floating to the top of water. The baby has blue eyes. Logically, the video cuts to Axl Rose who is caught in a Buffalo winter-like-blizzard. He is in a kilt and holding a gun. Ladies and gentlemen this is your setup to ‘The Trilogy’…now it gets weird.

Axl is now in his residence and is holding a gun and apparently contemplating suicide. His girl played by then girl friend Stephanie Seymour, wrestles the gun away, but not before Axl throws her against the wall; angry that his model girlfriend stopped him from killing himself. Next scene we are at a cemetery where Axl and his girl are having a picnic. Cut to the band playing on top of a skyscraper building. Shannon Hoon, the lead singer from Blind Melon joins Axl, singing along with the chorus. All members of the band have decided to carry bandanas that hang out of their back pocket, except for Matt Sorum (who replaced their original drummer Steven Adler) who is wearing his on his head. There is a sign that says WHERE’S IZZY signaling Izzy Stradlin’s departure from the band (replaced by guitarist Gilby Clarke). Axl is wearing a flannel shirt that is probably his way distancing himself from the backlash of hair bands that was beginning during this time. Axl does the “airplane” run from one side of the building to the other. This doesn’t appear safe.

Back to the drama, we have Duff and Slash separately having fights with their girls. Duff is outside a club/bar and Slash is out driving. It appears Duff tells his girl off while Slash decides to drive the girl off a cliff. I picture Slash and Duff in a bar later that night. DUFF: So I just said “Fuck You!” and that was it. SLASH: I drove my girl off a cliff. DUFF: Oh.

The video escalates with Axl in a hospital room that is probably an insane asylum. While Rose lies there in a gown another image of Axl wearing a kilt appears and then one wearing a blazer appears and then leaves. Just for kicks it would have been entertaining to have Axl with the hair from the “Welcome to the Jungle” video show up as well, but then sometimes I ask too much.

Back on the roof with the band and helicopters are overhead and Axl continues to run around like an airplane on this very high roof. At this point he might as well grab a pair of scissors as he runs because it’s clear all caution has been thrown out the window.

Back in the hospital and Axl’s hand’s are shaking and he’s making this strange look like “see I told you” to the doctor who doesn’t seem very interested in what is happening. Next scene we are back in the cemetery and the grave has the name Axl Rose engraved on it with the ending year of 1990 which is because (as Axl later stated) a very suicidal year for him. Below the grave a green demon like Axl is looking up then we cut to a baby again coming up from the water. This time the eyes are green….and…..CUT!

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Remembering Jani Lane

Jani Lane: the singer, songwriter, and entertainer most noted for his role as front man of the band Warrant passed away last week. He was found in a Los Angeles area Comfort Inn with (according to police reports) a half-bottle of vodka and prescription pills close by. This week we take a look at some of Warrant’s videos. One last celebration of Jani Lane’s lyrics, hair, dance moves, and cringe worthy moments as we retire the following videos. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: The Bach is Back

Sebastian Bach (ex-Skid Row) is back with a new single and video titled “Kicking and Screaming”. This is the first single from his new album (by the same name) due this fall. Given Bach’s history of entertaining videos (“18 and Life” anyone?) this was definitely worth a look. More...

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