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Archive: Columns

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Sunday Old School: Dark Angel's "Merciless Death"

Dark Angel is a thrash band that formed in 1981 and played on and off up until 2005. They were pretty big in the Bay City thrash movement, so you might call them some of our "thrash granddads." If you care you can read their whole story here. It's really awesome that we're still able to experience some of the music that influenced the bands we love today. This video is a live clip from their 1989 show in Hammersmith, London. This of course was back when you could wear tight jeans and have feathered hair and not get your ass beat by the other metal heads. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Restraining Orders and M&M

Both Slash (Guns N Roses/Velvet Revolver) and Steven Adler (Guns N Roses/Adler’s Appetite) have filed restraining orders against the same woman. Adler claims a woman he met in rehab is stalking him. She is also trying to contact Adler through Slash. One thing we know for sure, she definitely has a type. KISS has announced a special promotion with M&Ms. Expected to be available in October, there is no word whether Gene Simmons will be sending over any of the brown candies to Eddie Van Halen’s dressing room… More...

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Tales From The Pit: Ravage Stops Moshing Kegs

We've been talking to bands around the world to get their best pit stories. This week's comes from Al, vocalist for Metal Blade band Ravage.

"Ravage was playing a thrash/ speed metal fest recently featuring Bonded By Blood, and some other touring and local bands at a place we call 'The Metal Hall' just outside of Boston - which was basically a glorified kegger party in a room with a stage. It ended up raining a lot before the show went on - and outside the hall is an unpaved road and industrial yard, so the crowd tracked a lot of mud onto the floor when they came in and the floor of the place became a slippery, muddy mess. When the bands went on, the pit became insane and people were sliding around like crazy, so it was a wonder no one got seriously hurt. The walls were padded with a lot of sound foam, so that probably helped.

"Toward the end of the show I was standing in the very back and filming the bands on a hand-held camera. All the kegs had been drained and a lot of people were completely blasted. I was standing next to the empty kegs and one particularly sloshed guy came up to me and slurred, "We need to inject a little CHAOS into this party!" He proceeded to pick one of the empty beer kegs up over his head and he tried to bring it down directly on the head of some little guy standing next to me. When I realized what he was doing, I grabbed his arm and was able to stop him from completely crushing the guy's skull (the shocked little guy escaped with just a glancing blow). I grabbed the keg from the crazy guy, put it down and pushed him back into the ongoing circle pit, where I thought he at least wouldn't be able to murder anyone. A few minutes pass and I'm still filming, not totally paying attention to the crowd, and from out of nowhere the same crazy guy comes back, grabs an empty keg from behind me and bowls it into the circle pit where it took down at least two unsuspecting moshers who fell backward onto the slippery floor and were covered in mud and beer. That was one of the weirdest things I've ever seen someone do in a pit."

Stay tuned for next week when we'll read about knocking out AFI vocalist Davey Havoc.

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Rock Tavern Edition

This week announced the official open of Feelgood’s Rock Bar & Grill, the new venture from Vince Neil (Motley Crue), in Las Vegas. Neil is by no means the first rock star to open a bar. For many years Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, as well as others have made the connection of booze to rock fans. However, what makes this particular opening special is the expectations set for decadence in a true rock and roll atmosphere. With a sound system fit for a stadium you will find live rock (including a house band), privacy in the V-rooms, and hosting after-parties for the bands Whitesnake and Judas Priest (already booked) Neil is introducing the future of rock bars. The question is who will be the next to follow this trend? I’ve broken down some of the potential favorites: More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Five Deserted Island Songs

The autobiography of Ozzy Osbourne is set to be released in the UK in October. In a recent interview he discusses his life: “When people ask me how I’m still alive I don’t have an answer for them. There have been suicide attempts, STDs, overdoses, and I’ve been hit by a plane, yet I’m still here.” Leave it to Ozzy to casually throw in the “I’ve been hit by a plane” story, easily topping all other rock autobiographies before his…In L.A. a new promotion for the MLB team Dodgers shows residents on billboards with the caption THIS IS MY TOWN. Both Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) and Bret Michaels (Poison) head shots are displayed on giant billboards. No word on if there are plans to feature Jani Lane (Warrant)… More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: A Tribute to Cherry Pie

In a recent interview Michael Sweet (Stryper) confirmed that the band has sold eight million albums. Welcome to the new segment called, “Holy Shit! That’s Crazy!”… More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: A Big John Sighting

Poison will be featured in VH1’s new Live & Loud series. It is recommended girls wear the least amount of clothing as possible considering this could turn into a casting session for a potential Rock of Love 4 show….Steven Adler (Guns N Roses) recently commented on bands and stars he met while touring with his band Adler’s Appetite. When asked about his show in Minnesota (where Bret Michaels was playing) he commented, “I didn’t get to meet Bret Michaels, but did get to meet Big John, and he’s the main guy on that show Rock of Love”. Thank you Steven for this week’s installment of “let’s boost Big John’s confidence”…. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Shout vs Cellar vs Hungry

Three rock albums were releases during 1983-1984 that would change my life. For a boy approaching his teen years these albums (actually cassette tapes) opened me up to a new world that remains part of me today. These albums were Ratt’s “Out of The Cellar,” Motley Crue’s “Shout at The Devil,” and Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry.” Given these three bands are back touring (Ratt and Twisted Sister playing these albums in their entirety) and the albums are celebrating 25+ years I thought it might be a good time to break down these volumes and see how they influenced, compared to each, and hold up today. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: The Strip Club Factor

Jani Lane (Warrant) has had a rough couple of weeks. First, he is pulled over and charged with a DUI. Next, the band Warrant puts out a press release notifying the world that Jani is no longer part of their band. Finally, it comes to light that Lane owes over 100K in federal taxes. Stay strong Jani Lane, you still have your ballads. They can’t take your ballads. Keep repeating that to yourself. It’s going to be okay… More...

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Tales From The Pit: Losing an Eye in the Pit

We've been talking to bands to get their best pit stories. This week's is from Matthew Zadkovich, guitarist for Starring Janet Leigh:

"I was in Toronto at the Reverb for a show with the Cancer Bats (Blackmarket/Distort) and The End (Relapse). It was in the middle of The End's set and I hadn't been in a pit for a while after some older injuries nearly ruined one of my hands (not too good for a guitarist), but they're a great band and adrenaline was pumping so I figured what the hell, time to bring the mosh! I was a couple people from the front in the crammed pit and one guy up front jumped up on stage to stage dive. 'Right on,' I thought. The dude jumped right at me and instead of going on his back went face first with his fingers pointed out. All of a sudden I couldn't see and my head was spinning. I stumbled out of the pit now realizing that this guy's finger had gone about an inch into my eye socket. I found my way to the bathroom to see blood coming out of my eye socket, and I could only see out of my other eye. Nothing like seeing blood pouring out of your eye socket to make for a memorable pit injury. Amazingly my eye was ok after a few days, but that's one for the ages: middle finger one inch in my eye socket. Yikes haha!"

Next week we're going to hear from Billy Price of Unholy, who tells about playing a show for a live boxing match.

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Top 5 Strip Club Songs

At the 63rd Annual Tony Awards Bret Michaels (Poison) was hit in the head by a descending stage prop. Watching the clip, I couldn’t help think that had Michaels done the “drop and roll” move from the “Talk Dirty To Me” video this whole fiasco could have been avoided. More...

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Tales From The Pit: Trigger The Nosebleed

We've been talking to bands to get their best pit stories. This week's story comes to us from Trigger The Bloodshed guitarist, Rob Pernell

"We recently played Hammerfest in the UK and because our UK label also had a stage we played two sets, one on the main stage and one on the Rising Records stage. Both shows were fucking crazy with some real brutal pits and each time we saw a few people leaving the pits in a bad way! But there was this one dude who came up to us after our second show, with a stitched up nose and a shirt covered in blood as he had managed to break his nose during our set. So he get us to sign his bloodied shirt and when we thought we were done signing, he whipped out another equally as bloodied shirt which was the product of his first broken nose from the day before again during our set! 1 Festival, 1 band, 2 sets, 2 fractures!"

Next week's story will be from Matthew Zadkovich, guitarist for Starring Janet Leigh, and how he almost had his eye plucked out.

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Ozzy & Hookers for Jesus

Ozzy Osbourne is suing the original members of Black Sabbath, claiming all four should share naming rights of the band. I’m assuming Ozzy is referring to Toni Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, and Sharon Osbourne…. More...

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Tales From The Pit: Moshing with Bats, Barbed Wire

We've been talking to bands to get their best pit stories. This installment is from Justin and Angela from Facedown band The Great Commission.

"Rather than go to our prom in high school, Justin and I decided to go to a show instead. Versus the couple hundred dollars we would have wasted, we paid $8 to see Figure Four, Shattered Realm, and Bad Luck 13 at The Showcase Theatre in Corona, CA. It ended up being the craziest show we had ever been to. When BL13 played, they threw weapons into the pit including bats with barbed wire, thumb tacs, fireworks, forks, and random metal objects that were thrown at people. Needless to say it was pretty violent as you could imagine and my shirt caught fire from one of the fire crackers! By far the craziest pit I have ever seen."

Next week hear from Trigger The Bloodshed's Rob Pernell.

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Rock and Ribs

Ex-front man Stephen Pearcy (Ratt, Arcade, Rat Bastards) is currently on tour. He is singing songs from all of his previous bands as well as playing all leads on the guitar, giving new meaning to a SOLO tour. Taking a page from Bret Michaels, Pearcy is also looking for all girl rock bands for an upcoming reality show. On the surface this appears to be a way to meet girls and exploit them on reality television; however, he insists it is all legit. Well played Stephen, wink-wink. More...

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Tales From The Pit: Shai Hulud Loves Pit Ladies

We've been talking to bands to hear their best pit stories. This week, we've got a tale from Matt Fox, guitarist for Shai Hulud.

"I learned pretty early on I wasn't suited for "moshing", though I certainly had no idea I could sustain an injury simply standing in "the pit"...

At a They Might Be Giants show.

For those unfamiliar with They Might Be Giants, they're not terribly mosh-friendly, a far cry from Slayer in speed and aggression (and Satanism for that matter) and inspire more pogo hops than anything else - there is, however, the odd stage dive. I didn't expect it, and I didn't see it coming, but I felt it well enough. I'm not sure if it was a stray hand that belted me, or if the diver and I collided forehead to forehead, regardless, it smarted. The shock of the impact was brief; the shock of the one and a half seconds that followed lasted a good 15 fifteen years plus, as I'm here retelling this story from 1992 in 2009.

So there I am, after getting good and smacked, holding the culprit in the air with another person who's got her legs. Me? I've got her breasts. All two of them. One in each hand. How they got there, I have no idea. I was too busy getting physically smashed to intentionally grope anyone. She scowled at me, and then I pawned her off on the person to my left. If they got past second base with her, I'll never know."

In the next installment of "Tales from the Pit" we'll hear from Angela and Justin from Facedown band The Great Commission. To give you an idea, it involved barbed wire, fireworks, and baseball bats.

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Jack Osbourne Updates

Ozzy Osbourne continues to keep his family employed. This week it was announced that Jack Osbourne is producing a documentary on Ozzy titled “Wreckage of My Past” where candid interviews will be given by those close to him. Can anyone else wait ten years from now when Jack heads up an Ozzy tribute band? More...

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Tales From The Pit: Jono Helps a 1-Legged Man Mosh

We've been talking to bands to hear their best pit stories. This week, we've got a tale from Jono, drummer for The Destro:

"All too often on the road, the words "I'll never forget this" are uttered out of my mouth. A stop in Wichita Kansas was the perfect opportunity. The night goes as typical as any given show night, a set full of intense headbanging, plenty of booze to counter the side effects, and just enough pointless conversation with strangers to entertain yourself. In the middle of one of those conversations, i was asked to do something i simply couldn't refuse, pick up and assist this dude in the pit....that was completely wasted....and missing a leg. i picked up and spun the guy fast enough to inflict some serious hurt on anyone in the way of his roundhouse kick. No one was safe from our crippling violence, including us. We were eventually ganged up on and taken to the ground. Turns out picking up a guy with one leg is way harder than it sounds. Watching my inebriated attempts had to be agonizing for everyone paying attention. I finally got him up. He pounded my fist, showed some horns, and hopped off. I’ll never forget that; dude was a rager."

In the next installment of "Tales From The Pit" we'll hear from Matt Fox of Shai Hulud.

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Size Does Matter

As we stumble upon the summer tour season we constantly hear the phrase “big” tour. Whether it is in reference to the number of bands playing, number of asses in the seats, or size of the stage show, a lot of bands claim to own the “big show” title.

Bands like Van Halen, Guns N’ Roses, and Aerosmith (among others) for years have touted their tours in this regard and all (to some degree) have a right to throw their hat in the circle. This year is no exception: Kiss is following up a new album with what they are calling their biggest show ever, Metallica is again filling arenas on the road, and festivals drawing many bands are still going strong. Does tour “size” need to be qualified? Probably not, but what the hell….I personally haven’t given much thought to this until this week when I read the following: As AC/DC prepares for their Australian tour there is word that they will need forty-eight semi trailers to haul their equipment. Forty-eight trailers? I’ll let that one hang there for a minute… More...

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Tales From The Pit: Gwar Defeats A Wall of Death

We've been talking to bands to hear their best pit stories and will be posting a new story every week in this new column dubbed "Tales From The Pit."

This week, we've got a tale from Oderus Urungus, lead singer of GWAR:

"The greatest pit war at any GWAR show was at one of our first gigs at the legendary "City (shitty) Gardens" venue in Trenton. N.J.. We were pretty unknown at the time, but the promoter loved us, so we would show up on any number of weird bills. One month we were opening for Danzig's first show without the Misfits, the next we were playing with Murphy's Law at a huge skinhead show. That's where it happened. Despite Jimmy Gestapo's love of GWAR, the local crew didn't quite know what to make of us, and decided to see what we were made of by forming 'the wall of death.' We looked up about halfway though the set and saw the mosh pit clear, to be replaced by a huge line of bellicose skinheads, linking arms, facing the stage, and preparing to charge. We only had seconds to act as the screaming mob rushed us. The assault wasn't too well-planned and slammed into the front on the five foot stage where it dissolved into a writhing mass of boots, fists, and bald heads. Before they could figure out what to do next (could have taken years), they were met by a barrage of GWAR spew, applied liberally by the Sexecutioner, which completely drenched and befuddled them, rendering their "Wall of Death" into an impotent blob."

Stay tuned for a new tale from the pit next week, when we hear from Jono Garret, drummer for The Destro.

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