Down To Rock #8 (November 2012)

My name is Teddy Heavens and I’m bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk and Trash rock and roll news from the Golden State and the streets (and gutters) of Hollywood, California! From the Valleys to the alleys, I’ll find the coolest bands to report on and let you know what’s up from the Rock and Roll capital of the world!
The summer in Los Angeles and Hollywood was full of some good rock and roll shows and glam events!!!
The Return of The Glitter and Glam Fest
The Glitter and Glam Fest returned after a 10 year hiatus, sponsored by Deadline Records and presented by Tim Yasui at the World Famous Whiskey A Go Go. The Fest featured old school Hollywood bands that have continued to perform on a regular basis: Willow Wisp, Spiders N Snakes/London and Rebel Rebel (all Glitter and Glam fest vets from the Coconut Teazer days), along with newcomers like Tramps Like Us. The Highlight for me was when London singer Nadir D’Preist, filled in for Lizzy Grey, who did not make it to the show from Las Vegas. They played Spiders N Snakes and London classics and the crowd really enjoyed seeing the true old school Hollywood Rockers. According to Tim, the Glitter and Glam Fest will be presented whenever a date at the Whiskey A Go Go can be secured. Disclaimer, my band Rebel Rebel tore up the stage, which was really my highlight of the Glitter and Glam Fest!!!!
Hedwig and The Angry Inch
Another cool Glam event took place when the play Hedwig and The Angry Inch was presented for a week run at a local Hollywood Playhouse. The lead was played by NYC actor Adam Enright, who was fantastic, not only with his dialogue performance, but he really tore up the vocals with the band. Another disclaimer, I played bass in the Hedwig band, but the whole performance was fantastic and clips can be seen on YouTube here: www.youtube.com/user/jrkeon1 Note: There is currently a week long run of Hedwig at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood with Donovan Leitch in the lead, but tickets are too expensive for my like.
LA Guns Hollywood Listening party
Being part of the “media” in Los Angeles has some perks, such as private parties and elbow rubbing with rock stars. Since I knew I’d see one of my favorite singers at this event, I brought my GIRL “Do You Love Me” 45 record for Phil Lewis to sign, along with a live in Japan Girl CD, which Phil was surprised to see. The LA Guns new CD, Hollywood Forever, was played on a loop while we all consumed the free libations, courtesy of Deadline Records and Tim Yasui. There were a lot of the local and national rockers there to see what the new LA Guns record was like, and we were all pleasantly surprised. Ran into a hometown rocker from Albuquerque, Lorraine Lewis from Femme Fatale, and offered my guitar services for the reformed band. We were in bands that played around Albuquerque together, before Femme Fatale and Durtie Blonde moved to Hollywood. See my first band Girlfriend here for a taste of the Glam scene in Albuquerque in the early 1980’s!!! http://www.nmmusic.com/history/girlfriend/index.html
Live at Hollywood Park Concert series
The local horse racing park has been kind enough to present some good bands during the summer, when the horse racing ends on Saturday nights. To make it even better, they have all the best food trucks show up so you can stroll in and eat, grab some drinks and then watch bands like Joan Jett, X and The Jesus and Mary Chain. I was lucky enough to see one of my favorite noise bands ever, Jesus and Mary Chain (heavily influenced by the NY band Suicide), and they were as noisy and sloppy as ever, even when playing the hits, what a great show and treat, as this band rarely tours. Was also able to see the best Los Angeles punk band, X, perform, who had the biggest pit going that I had ever seen at a punk gig, and who sold so much merchandise, that the line to buy merch never let up right up to closing time. Hollywood Park is a nice and comfortable placed to see good, cheap ($10) shows when visiting Los Angeles in the summer, they do it every year.
Crash Diet/Glamour Punks live at the Whiskey in Hollywood
Old school meets new school in Hollywood. The Glamour Punks opened for Crash Diet, who are hot in the USA right now, judging from the sold out crowd, and they were musically tighter now than they have ever been. The Punks were loud and powerful with Alley Useless, ex Rebel Rebel bass player, filling in for the missing bro Dizzy Damage!!! Crash Diet are very cute and polished and with the aide of sample backing vocals and tracks, they are arena ready, much like Steel Panther. Not my cup of tea, but they sold out the Whiskey, so cheers to them!!!
Bands to look out for:
No Sympathy-Dolls With Balls
This band took 25 years to get their first release out there, but the guys are good friends, Gary and Catfish, and the tunes are cool and catchy glam gems, so show your support!!!
Spent Idols-For Your Ears Only
This San Diego based punk rock band was the shit back in the day, and their stuff is now available on CD. I’ve included this band on the DTR tip as a memorial to this band being kick ass, but also to the memory of drummer Jesse Spent, or Jesse Atom as he was known when he played for Rebel Rebel, who passed away this summer from cancer, RIP brother. Get it at Amazon.com
If you want me to review your music or write about your event, send it all to:
Teddy Heavens
27750 Firebrand Dr.
Castaic, Ca. 91384
Ftwrecords@aol.com

Down To Rock #7 (April 2012)

My name is Teddy Heavens (Rebel Rebel and Los Angeles Death Dolls) and I’ll be bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk and Trash rock and roll news from the Golden State and the streets (and gutters) of Hollywood, California! From the Valleys to the alleys, I’ll find the coolest bands to report on and let you know what’s up from the Rock and Roll capital of the world!

New Band Alert
Velvet Condom– from the ashes of French Glamsters, Sparkling Bombs, comes the electronic duo of Velvet Condom, now based in Berlin, Germany. This band is right up my musical alley, two man and electronic, just like NYC’s Suicide. I ran into the lead singer while hanging in Hollywood recently, and I had booked his previous band on some L.A. based live dates, so he brought me up to date on his latest project. We were both elegantly wasted at the time, but when I got home, I had a listen and was pleasantly surprised that this group was not a rehash of past glories (which I loved), but rather a bold leap in a new direction into a cool electronic sound that is both 80’S retro synth pop and contemporary indi rock, with an early Bowie in Berlin visual approach. An aspect of this group that I like is the video imagery that they are putting out and they most recently have played shows in NYC and all over Europe (over 200 shows) and lead singer Nico informs DTR that the new release is available at www.velvetcondom.com

Villains of Vaudeville-Representing Los Angeles comes the new group from ex Beautiful Creatures bassist Kenny Kweens. He’s stepping out up front with the fronting and vocals from this Goth/Glam/Sleaze band! Currently my fave song of the month is the VOV cover of the Alice Cooper song “Is It My Body”, very cool version done in a very heavy/industrial vibe. The rest of the tunes are like the Beautiful Creatures on steroids, but with enough of a twist, with Kweens personal style. Side note: Kenny has the best wardrobe in town, hands down, every time I see that guy he is rock and roll to the nines, so I’m looking forward to seeing this band live very soon! Hear all the tunes at: www.villainsofvaudeville.com

Live Review
Ankhesenamen– Live at the Hard Rock Café Hollywood, Ca.
I finally got a chance to see my boy Billy Blade’s (Peppermint Creeps) band as they have been playing around for a few years now in So Cal., and I was glad to see a glam contingent of fans still there waving the flag. The band is made up of some vets from the Hollywood Glam scene-Billy Blade on bass and Macy Malone on Guitars, both from the Peppermint Creeps, and Kevin Starr from the Zeros and Stars From Mars on drums, who have teamed up with TV personality Gretchen Bonaduce on vocals to play 80’s New Wave cover tunes. The set list consisted of Devo, The Cult, Prince, Berlin and every other band with a hit in the 1980’s. The Hard Rock Café has a large stage and good sound and the place was packed to the gills with tourists and old glam heads like myself! There was a lot of dancing and drinking and good times, all clean fun, which I guess is the point of being a musician in L.A. these days, play some good tunes and give people a good time and chance to forget about this crazy world we live in, even if just for a couple of hours, which this band managed to do. Good band of some cool folks, check them out if ever in Los Angeles.
The biggest unknown band in the world
L’Arc-En-Ciel– These guys are a super famous Japan based super group which features Hide from X-Japan, which is the band that initially influenced my band Rebel Rebel’s liberty spike hair styles! They showed us you could have long hair and punk spikes on one head. This side project has sold some 40 million records and plays stadiums in Asia for the last 20 years, and their music is lush hard rock pop and they have just released a new record, Butterfly, made up of some new songs and previous singles and B-sides, which you can get on Itunes. This band is of note, not because they are a Glam Punk band, but because Hide and X shaped my visual image back in the day! Check them at www.larc-enciel.com

Bands to look out for:
Model Saints– Los Angeles based and tearing up clubs like the Roxy in Hollywood, this band features ex Killing Bird, Scum Of The Earth and Prong members and they are following in the 80’s hard rock tradition-loud, dirty and catchy tunes and sleazy image. Hit them up at www.modelsaint.com
Fatal Smile– Sweden based hard rock/sleaze band that has been kicking up the shit on tour with the likes of Lordi and W.A.S.P. and they have a new CD that was mixed by renowned rock and glam producer Michael Wagener. Check em out at www.fatalsmile.com

If you want me to review your music or write about your event, send it all to:

Teddy Heavens
27750 Firebrand Dr.
Castaic, Ca. 91384
Ftwrecords@aol.com

Down To Rock #6 (January 2012)

My name is Teddy Heavens (Rebel Rebel and Los Angeles Death Dolls) and I’ll be bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk and Trash rock and roll news from the Golden State and the streets (and gutters) of Hollywood, California! From the Valleys to the alleys, I’ll find the coolest bands to report on and let you know what’s up from the Rock and Roll capital of the world!

Top of 2011. It was an excellent year for rock and roll!!!

5. Cerebral Ballzy- This band is a throwback to good old fashioned punk rock bands like Black Flag. They have been tearing it up all year and their debut release is a must have!!!

4. Nazareth-The veteran band’s latest release, Big Dogz, is a throwback to their classic sound and lead singer Dan MaCcafferty is in fine form with the vocals, amazingly good record.

3. New York Dolls- Dancing Backwards in High Heels, was the release that David Jo and Sylvain wanted to make in the early 70’s. They wear their influences on their sleeves for this release and it is a welcome declaration by the Dolls of who they really are!!! See my full review at this site!!!!

2. Alice Cooper-Welcome 2 My Nightmare marked Alice reuniting with his original band both on this record and on a few live shows. Great production by Bob Ezrin and some good songs, including my favorite, I Am Made Of You!!! Get it now!

1. Michael Monroe-Sensory Overdrive CD and live gig at the Whiskey in Los Angeles. The record is brilliant rock and roll produced by Jack Douglas, so not much more needs to be said and their live show was the best of the year in my book for a club level band (Guns and Roses leads in the Arena size domain). Raw, bloody and brutal!

Live reviews:

Cheap Trick-Mandalay Bay-Las Vegas Nevada
It turned out to be my lucky day in Vegas, I had already missed the Iggy and the Stooges show in Los Angeles due to this trip, but then I read that Cheap Trick were playing a free show down the street from the Aria Resort where I was staying, in support of the Las Vegas Rock and Roll marathon. So I missed one of my favorite groups of all time, only to catch another favorite!

20 to 30 thousand people were out front of the Mandalay Bay casino to participate in the race and for Cheap Trick to get the motors running. I was front and center with a lot of arm room, very comfortable in fact, and with a good sight line and to say that the band played all the “hits” would be an under statement! The guitar player from Pearl Jam even came out to play on Dream Police (he was running in the marathon) even though it looked like he didn’t know the song. Heaven Tonight and California Man were the highlight for me during the 2 hour set. The band looked, played and sounded great and I ended up with a handful of guitar picks to put up on Ebay. I’ve seen this band over the years in stadiums, Clubs, State Fairs, etc. and they never fail to put on a good show. Only bummer is Daxx Nielson (Rick’s son) is still “filling in” for Bun E. Carlos, but he does a great job and this is a must see band before you kick the bucket.

Guns N Roses- Los Angeles Forum- Los Angeles, Ca.

The return of the Mack!!! Axl blew into his hometown like the king of rock and roll that he is!!!! There is a reason why GNR are playing arenas and Slash and the rest are playing small clubs, and Axl and the rest of his band showed everyone why! The place was sold out from the time GNR hit the stage until I left the venue at 2am. But first, everywhere else on the tour is getting Dgeneration, Buckcherry, Sebastian Bach, etc. and L.A. gets Steel Panther, which the crowd showed total apathy towards and I actually saw some people had fallen asleep during their long ass set. I’m still trying to figure out how a “joke” band is signed to a major label and opening for Motley, Def Lep and GNR in arenas. Go figure, but the joke definitely did not go over well in a big arena as L.A. is a rock and roll town and this Guns crowd was all real rock and rollers, so Steel Panther failed to get ‘real” Rock and rollers to laugh at themselves. These guys need to stick to rocking hipsters at the House Of Blues (oh yeah, that’s how they get the major breaks, those same hipsters are now running the labels and booking agencies!)

The intermission music was provided by DJ’s the Crystal Method, who again failed to “rock” the crowd. Play rock and roll at a metal concert, not some thumping noise, please. GNR finally came out at 11pm and played all the hits, well over 3 hours of solid radio hits rock and roll! Axl looked and sounded great and the crowd was on their feet from start to finish and highlights for me included keyboard player Dizzy Reed playing Won’t Get Fooled Again for his solo with the full band kicking in towards the end, and guitarist Bumblefoot doing Another Brick In The Wall, ending with the full band and Axl at the Grand piano and the entire arena singing the chorus. Everyone I talked to that went to the show was amazed at how good it was and that Axl was still the King! A must see show when it comes to your town.

Spiders and Snakes-Key Club- Hollywood, Ca.

The return of the Glitter and Glam to the Sunset Strip! The new and improved SNS hit the Key Club in support of the original Bullet Boys, and the new lineup features Chris Sheridan from Sweet Savage on guitar and a keyboard player along with veterans Timmy Yasui and Lizzy Grey and bassist Phil. These guys are continuing the tradition of Slade and Mott The Hoople with their catchy sin-a-long tunes: Glamour Girls, LA Jets and Party In Hollywood, as well as an excellent cover choice of the Bay City Rollers “Yesterdays Hero”. They closed the set with the Lizzy Grey/Nikki Sixx penned Public Enemy #1, and having seen these guys play numerous times over the years, I was glad to see that they are still rocking at full force and the club was packed to see them. Maybe Timmy will bring back the Glitter and Glam fest nights he promoted back in the day at the Coconut Teazer, god knows this town needs it!

Hollywood 77-On The Rox-Hollywood, Ca.

This band is the Glam Punk answer to Steel Panther, they play covers of the Stooges, Lords of The New Church, Dead Boys, Johnny Thunders, etc., all the cool punk and glam stuff. Featuring vocalist Freekshow and backing vocalist Lenka, these guys had the crowd at this Club Plastic show (put on by famous groupie Lexxa Von of the Plastics) pogoing and singing along, and they brought up Brides of Destruction vocalist London Le Grande for Sonic Reducer by the Dead Boys, which the crowd really dug. Always a good time in Los Angeles with Hollywood 77.

New bands to look out for:

Wildside Riot- Great new trash sleaze band featuring vocalist Rocky Shades from English Glam Rock legends Wrathchild!! Currently independent but whoring on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/Wildsideriot

The Dagger Dates- Straight out of France and sounding like the Lords of the New Church meets Bauhaus! Good Trash N Roll band at: http://www.reverbnation.com/thedaggerdates

Marvel-A cross of Kiss and Turbonegro with a new record out now Warhawks of War, get to them at: http://www.marveltheband.com/

If you want me to review your music or write about your event, send it all to:
Teddy Heavens
27750 Firebrand Dr.
Castaic, Ca. 91384
Ftwrecords@aol.com

Down To Rock #5 (September 2011)

My name is Teddy Heavens (Rebel Rebel and Los Angeles Death Dolls) and I’ll be bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk and Trash rock and roll news from the Golden State and the streets (and gutters) of Hollywood, California! From the Valleys to the alleys, I’ll find the coolest bands to report on and let you know what’s up from the Rock and Roll capital of the world!

Live Review
UNDERCOVER SLUT/Trash Romance Sun. Aug. 7th @ Nambucca Islington, London England
I was looking forward to seeing my brothers from another mother on English soil. I have seen these guys destroy stages from Paris France to Las Vegas Nevada to Hollywood Cali, and it is always a nice treat. O (UCS singer and leader)has a new line up of young studs backing him up that fit the bill to a tee, with an all black glam image that fit’s the new Glam Punk direction of the music. The French invaded London on the night of the riots, perfect timing! I have to say that I was looking forward to seeing what London had to offer in the form of the opening Glam and sleaze bands. Unfortunately, the local bands on the bill failed to light a spark of my Glam Punk fire, as the first two opening bands were non descript and amateurish, especially by local Los Angeles band standards, but the worst was Trash Romance, who were fronted by a chick singer who was trying too hard to be hot, and this band would make even the most inexperienced L.A. posers look like the Black Veil Brides! Shite songs, shite stage presence, shite attitude and a Lurch looking guitar player who could do with some lessons, shit CC Deville sounds like Yngwie compared to this nimrod! Very disappointing. Note to band, it never pays to be rude to people (other bands, fans or possible reviewers!!!)
On to the good stuff, this was not the first London show for UCS, but it was with the new lineup. I was interested in seeing how they tackled the English, and I was not surprised as O has done tons of gigs opening for the likes of the Murder Dolls and other punk legends in Paris. The new players have added a more straight ahead Glam Punk style and approach to older UCS material such as “Darling Darling“, “Jim Jones Was So Fucking Right” and “Daddy’s Little Cunt”, and the new songs sounded similar to Motley Crue on steroids (Salute the Dirt, Flower Bombs, Astral Projection, Chloroform Nation). Even when stripped of their usual elaborate stage show and samples, UCS showed true punk rock and roll spirit. The London riots caused a sparse turnout as the subway and buses were cancelled, but it did not stop the band from strapping up and kicking ass as usual. After the show, as me and the band and other London rock and roll luminaries were heading to the Rock bar Red Rooster down the road, the riot thugs started up down the street and the London cops sent us packing down the road. We ran into Carl from the Libertines, who wanted to continue the party elsewhere, but we were ushered down the road and into the London darkness, a great rock and roll ending to a dangerous night, Undercover Slut style.
www.myspace.com/undercoverslut
Live Review
Nashville Pussy/The Dwarves Thur. Aug. 18th Minneapolis MN. @ Triple Rock Social Club
I was in St. Paul, MN. on music business, suing a unnamed record company, and much to my pleasant surprise, I discovered this show was going on! I last saw the Dwarves opening for Hole back in the day at the Coconut Teazer in Hollywood, before either had record deals. I last saw Nashville Pussy when Cory Parks was in the band at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, so I was stoked to see what these bands were up to in the 2010’s.
Nashville Pussy had the place packed out, and I have to say that there is a healthy sleaze and punk scene in this town, and everyone was cool, no attitudes, just rockers wanting to have a good time. Nashville Pussy are road dogs and it shows in their high energy performance, and they have toured with everyone from Marilyn Manson to Rev. Horton Heat, so they know how to deliver a show for maximum impact, fast-loud-dirty. They played fan favorites Strutting Cock, Snake Eyes, High As Hell, I’m The Man and Go Motherfucker Go, as well as a dozen others, with little talking or messing around between songs. The current bassist does a good job on her instrument and reminded of my late friend, Traci Michaelz, in the looks department. This band can go on forever cuz they don’t rely on gimmicks or tricks or a crazy image, just good sleazy songs and high energy rock and roll heart. A must see live band who have not lost any steam in the 10 years since I last saw them jam.
The crowd was really there for the Dwarves (on their 25th anniversary tour and in support of the new Born Again release) and they wasted no time in winding the crowd up with their straight to the point and under 2 minute songs, usually about fucking! Blag Dalia is one of the best front men out there in punk rock, he takes the Johnny Rotten attitude and twists it to get the audience really hyped up. Even though He Who Can Not Be Named was not on guitar for this show, the crowd really got into the current band and Blag was motivated enough to stage dive into the crowd, and even managed to not hit the floor once. My favorite quote of the night is when he told the crowd they were witnessing Rock Royalty in the flesh, which is accurate based on the Dwarves staying power and current new CD release. Also, they have the best album covers!!! www.thedwarves.com
Live Review:
Atari Teenage Riot Sat. Sept. 10th @ Royal Resort Las Vegas, Nv.
Again, I had not seen this act live in 12 or 13 years and was super stoked that they were doing a free show while I was in Las Vegas!!! I love bands like Suicide, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Until December, and ATR mix electronic drums with noise and metal (Speed and MC5 style) guitar and shouting catchy political and socially conscious lyrics, with catchy choruses. The stage set consisted of the ATR banner and an array of electronic gadgets piled up to get a sound that is similar to the Terminator smashing down a door. ATR main man Alec Empire is a great front man who got the crowd going by jumping out to the barrier and shouting and spewing the lyrics right in the crowd’s faces. ATR are very anti government and the crowd was easily riled up due to the current state of the global economy, so there was a big mosh pit with the kids going berzerk. The crowd was made up of punk rockers, glam punk kids and others who had only heard of ATR’s legendary riot gigs, and although there were no riots, ATR did play their most well know songs such as Start the Riot, Atari Teenage Riot and the crowd requested Speed (which the band had to load up in their computer via an old school Zip drive) as well as their new MC5 inspired Black Flag!!! Alec ended the set by going directly into the crowd and singing the last song among the crowd in the mosh pit, which is in line with their way of thinking, by the people for the people! Can you testify!!!!
Bands to be on the lookout for!!!!!
SKINMASK- LOS ANGELES, Ca.
These guys are rocking the face paint in a Slipknot twist and their music is modern metal mixed with catchy choruses. Think Slipknot mixed with Linkin Park, which is not my usual cup of tea, but I’m a sucker for a good chorus. They are tearing it up around Los Angeles and their stage show features some large Kiss type signs on each side of the stage! A modern day KISS for the useless generation of rock misfits that the internet has bred, check them out for a cool treat!!!
CEREBRAL BALLZY-Brooklyn, NY
These guys had a buzz going in the UK while I was there and for good reason. If your into FEAR or Black Flag or new punk rock like OFF!, then this will be right up your alley. They just released their debut album and are currently touring the world in support, playing all the big festivals in Japan and Europe. The songs are fast, raw and loud and they can be found at:
 
FALLING IN REVERSE-Las Vegas, Nv.
This band features the former lead singer of Escape the Fate, they dumped him after he went to prison for drugs and other hardcore crimes, and they are rocking a cool contemporary look with the leather and makeup, etc. like Black Veil Brides without the white face. The music is post hardcore with some catchy choruses, but will appeal to punks or glam kids looking for some danger. They have a debut release out now and are touring in support in the states currently.
www.myspace.com/fallingreversemusic

P.S. You have to check out the new Alice Cooper record, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, featuring the reunion of the original Alice Cooper Band members!!! Review coming soon.
If you want me to review your music or write about your event, send it all to:
Teddy Heavens
27750 Firebrand Dr.
Castaic, Ca. 91384

Down To Rock #4 (June 2011)

My name is Teddy Heavens (Rebel Rebel and Los Angeles Death Dolls) and I’ll be bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk and Trash rock and roll news from the Golden State and the streets (and gutters) of Hollywood, California! From the Valleys to the alleys, I’ll find the coolest bands to report on and let you know what’s up from the Rock and Roll capital of the world!

CD Review
 
 
Sister-Hated
This band is the bastard sons of WASP (Kill, Fuck, Die era), and Motley Crue (Dr. Feelgood era)!!! Hailing from Sweden, with origins in straight up glam rock, this band is set to explode onto the stale rock and roll scene in a big way. I only write about music that I enjoy, and I really like this record. It has all the elements that I like; heavy leather and make up image, loud guitars and good songs, mixed with a punky aggressive approach. They started with a 3 song demo, and now they unleash a full length via Metal Blade Records no less, with an 80‘s hard metal sound. Hated is equal parts Murder Dolls/Motley Crue/WASP/Wednesday 13, and it rocks the whole way through, with stand out tracks “Body Blow”, with a Dr. Feelgood vibe that progresses into a MuderDolls sing a long anthem, and the ballad “Would You Love A Creature”, which gives you a nice respite from the rest of the Hated onslaught. Good to see Metal Blade giving sleaze a chance, which last came with the Starwood release. Keep an eye on Sister, they are young, hung and full of scum!!!! www.sisteronline.net
Live Review
 
 
Wayne Kramer (MC5) Live
Seeing one of your musical influences live and up close is always a treat, and this is one of the reasons Los Angeles rocks so hard. You get to see your hero in an intimate situation like this, an acoustic show special appearance at a Rhino Records pop up store promotion! Wayne is the guitar player for the MC5, and I had never seen them play, I missed a show in Amsterdam awhile back due to it being sold out, and they don’t play in L.A., but Wayne lives down the street from the record store, so there you have it! He started off with the MC5 classic “High School”, with the audience singing along with the chorus, then he went into a new original “Running From Myself”, which was sung in a Neil Young style. He then introduced the next song which recants a conversation he had with an 80’s hair band member, who was describing his “Great Big Amp”, which Wayne realized encapsulated where he was at mentally! This song was also delivered in a Neil Young style, and he finished his set with the Clash song written about his own jail stint, “Jail, Guitar, Doors”. This is also the name of Wayne’s charity organization that provides instruments to prisons and jails, to allow inmates to have a musical outlet while they are incarcerated, as a form of therapy! Overall, a cool close up look at a man that has helped shape my guitar playing, and I was able to add to my collection of autographed items from my personal influences. I Love L.A. www.jailguitardoors.org
New Bands
 
 
The Crazy Squeeze
Los Angeles based glam punk rockers that have been tearing it up regularly at the Redwood Bar in downtown L.A. (the new happening punk rock joint in town) with the likes of Eddie and The Hot Rods, Kevin K., Texas Terri and other trashy punk bands that drag themselves to L.A. For fans of “77 Punk Rock ala Johnny Thunders!!! www.myspace.com/thecrazysqueeze
Dirty Eyes
Los Angeles based dirty punks in the vein of the Heartbreakers and the Dead Boys! They have been hitting the boards around town with the likes of the Mau Maus, The Stitches, The Zeros, Sorrows (NYC), The Billy Bones, The Joneses, Crazy Squeeze, Nikki Corvette, as well as playing skateboard legend Tony Alva’s 53rd Birthday Party! Good clean 50’s influenced street GlamPunk, just the way we like it in Los Angeles!! www.myspace.com/dirtyeyesrockandroll
Butcher Babies
Hollywood based shock rockers who are flying the Plasmatics flag!! This band is tearing up stages from the Valley to Hollywood proper, featuring hot naked chick singers and a flashy stage show that almost rivals Rebel Rebel’s notorious stage messes!!! Catch them before they get banned and exiled. Alice Cooper meets Wendy O. www.myspace.com/butcherbabiesmusic
If you want me to review your music or write about your event, send it all to:
Teddy Heavens
27750 Firebrand Dr.
Castaic, Ca. 91384

Down To Rock #3 (May 2011)

My name is Teddy Heavens (Rebel Rebel and Los Angeles Death Dolls) and I’ll be bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk and Trash rock and roll news from the Golden State and the streets (and gutters) of Hollywood, California! From the Valleys to the alleys, I’ll find the coolest bands to report on and let you know what’s up from the Rock and Roll capital of the world!

Live Review:
 
 
Revolver Magazine Golden Gods Award show
My reason for attending this show was that the original Alice Cooper Band was playing, which was the first time in Los Angeles in almost 40 years (although they had done it at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, at which they were inducted)!! There was no way I was going to miss seeing this legendary line up, as the record “Killers” was the first music that I can remember ever hearing as a little kid. My brothers used to blast “Dead Babies” and “Under My Wheels” and “Desperado” as well as my personal favorite “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”, and that is the first music I can remember moving me in any sort of way. This was set to be the show of the year in Los Angeles!!!
The cool thing about living in Los Angeles is that you get to see your childhood heroes from music, film or literature, up close and personal at some point! You either run into them at some restaurant, club, the movies, on the street or at the Rainbow!!! You get to see most bands that reform, and this was my ultimate opportunity to see the original Alice Cooper Band, the last from my ultimate list of seeing original member bands (KISS, Sex Pistols, New York Dolls, Ramones, The Stooges and Alice Cooper Band).
The awards show was offering the usual for this type of fan picked winners: Comeback of the Year-Murderdolls, Golden God award-Alice Cooper, Lifetime Achievement-Motley Crue and Best New Band-Black Veil Brides, Etc. I was hoping I would not have to sit through a bunch of crappy heavy metal new school bands before my heroes came out. First up was Fozzy, featuring wrestler Chris Jericho doing some good heavy metal covers (they started out doing metal covers and calling themselves Fozzy Osborne) and then to my pleasure The Original Alice Cooper Band fired up the Fender amps and kicked into “I’m 18”, “Under My Wheels”, ‘Billion Dollar Babies” and “School’s Out”, complete with Alice throwing out Alice Dollar Bills from his sword, and glitter filled balloons that were bounced back and forth from the audience to the stage, until Alice popped them with his sword, just like in the 70’s! Michael Bruce on guitars, Dennis Dunaway on bass, Alice on vocals and Neil Smith on drums (who was so tall, I thought he was standing up throughout the set) and filling in for the missing Glen Buxton(RIP) was later date guitar player Dick Wagner! I was glad I was there and it was the most rock and roll moment in Los Angeles in all of 2011.
The remainder of the show featured new metal kids Asking Alexandria jamming “Youth Gone Wild” with Sebastian Bach, Devil Driver doing a Black Flag cover, and Loaded with Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols and the singer of Slipknot doing “Electric Eye” by Judas Priest, and Avenged Sevenfold showcasing their new drummer. But none of it even comes close to matching the excitement of seeing the original Alice Cooper Band play some of their classic tunes, maybe for the last time ever, and I was there to see it!
CD REVIEW
 
 
Freight Train-Burnin Down The Station
This band is influenced by bands like Rose Tattoo, New York Dolls, Kiss and Motorhead, so you know I was all over this CD. The guitar player for this power trio is Dirty Al Duncan, who played with the Johnny Thunders Group during the Que Sera Sera era, and who has a great playing style that reminds me of Montrose/Humble Pie/Ted Nugent, and that is blues based, but in a Hanoi Rocks sort of way. The vocals remind me a lot of Zodiac Mindwarp and The Love Reaction and the overall sound of the band is 70’s hard rock sleaze! Sounds good in print huh? Well it sounds just as good on the CD! This release features songs like: “Overdrive” which is not unsimilar to Cat Scratch Fever and the Zodiac Mindward sounding “Doll”, as well as the sleazy sounding “Gotta Keep A Running” and the Montrose-esque “Bound To Fail” and the appropriately named “Fire It Up and Crank It”, which name checks both Motorhead and the Stooges!!! If you read any of my reviews, you’ll know that this style of music is my lifeblood, so if you really dig sleazy guitar playing and booming 70’s style hard rock, you’ll wanna get this release from this San Francisco based band (the real deal). www.freighttrainrocks.com
CD REVIEW
 
 
Naked- Double Down
These guys are brothers in arms with Vains of Jenna, carrying the torch for sleazy hard rock that gives a nod to contemporaries such as Buck Cherry and Backyard Babies, with touches of Classic Rock like AC/DC! Hailing from Finland, these young rockers are offering a clean and mean production with good vocal harmonies, quality guitar playing and catchy/hooky breakdowns and buildups.
Double Down offers a good variety of tunes, from the Lit inspired “One More Time” to the Sweet/Hanoi Rocks sounding “I Know”, to the Guns and Roses tinged “Shine A Light”, which is straight up hard rock with wah wah pedal accented guitar, and also features the modern day Pomp Rock “Power Blind“.
These guys are turning up the heat by bringing the show to the East Coast where they are playing dives in NYC and the surrounding area with other like minded acts, which shows that they are willing to go a long way to bring the sleaze! They have appeared with The Killers, 69 Eyes and Hardcore Superstar and have rocked Moscow and Tokyo!!! You can get this release at Itunes or hit the band up at www.nakedonline.net
CD REVIEW
 
The Biters-All Chewed Up
This band came recommended on the Rock and Roll Geek Show Podcast, so I got going on it immediately, the host Michael Butler usually has similar tastes to mine, so what the shit! Right off the bat, I have to say that this band has the knack for taking their influences and crafting fine and catchy tunes. Now those influences are nice and varied, from The Sweet to The Knack, to The Strokes and the Primma Donnas (the Biters are their gritty twin brothers from another mother), with catchy 70’s glam era vocal hits and killer twin guitar lead lines, very reminiscent of Thin Lizzy. These young ass kids are a good mix of the Knack, Thin Lizzy, The Strokes, Cheap Trick and Tsar-get the picture!!! And they are building up their skills old school style via extensive touring through the USA, and I look forward to seeing them live tear it up with DGeneration in September in Los Angeles (and also in NYC)!
The CD has some great tunes, Born To Cry features a Sweet vibe and Breaking Your Heart showcases the twin lead playing ala Thin Lizzy, and Hold On has The Knack qualities with Cheap Trick overtones. I only mention the influencing bands because these tunes stand toe to toe with any of them and they have their own twist, the band wear their influences on their sleeves, but still sound fresh and exciting Oh Yeah (The Bitch Wants More) displays the band’s like for the Los Angeles band Tsar and Otherside is a definite ode to the lyrics of the long forgotten band the Unforgiven, with Rock and Roll Lover coming off as a straight up lost track from T Rex, and it seems to the Biters that T Rex is more than just a cool T shirt, they really take the band to heart! And that is the Biters in a nutshell, all killer guitar playing and a whole lotta heart (for killer rock and roll). See them at www.wearethebiters.com
CD Review
 
 
Vamp Le Stat-BloodLine
This band hailed from Sacramento, Cali., and in the 90’s they released a now much sought after release “Bloodline”, which was in the vein of 80’s style hard rockers Bon Jovi, Bullet Boys, Skid Row and Motley Crue. They are back now with the re-release of that album and featuring bonus remixed tracks. I was aware of the band after finding the original release of Bloodline (and yes my copy was also sold on Ebay for a nice price, after finding it’s way to my Itunes collection) so it was cool to get this CD, currently out now on XXX Records. The CD features some hard hitting songs and the standouts are the Zeppelinesque Swing Child (think When The Levy Breaks type drum beat) and She’s Not in Love, which is a Poison type “I Wont Forget You” ballad. Guns For Hire is a straight up heavy metal burner and Chains Around My Heart is a sleazy Motley Crue Dr. Feelgood era rocker, with some nice slide guitar work. Guitar player and producer Jeff Jones could revive any 80’s band that is struggling, this guy has mad skills on the guitar and Whitesnake or Ratt or Quiet Riot should call him up ASAP! Overall a cool throwback to the 80’s-90’s hard rock scene that is missing from the Sunset strip these days. Get the scoop at www.xxxrecords.com
If you want me to review your music or write about your event, send it all to:
Teddy Heavens
27750 Firebrand Dr.
Castaic, Ca. 91384
Ftwrecords@aol.com

Down To Rock #2 (April 2011)

My name is Teddy Heavens (Rebel Rebel and Los Angeles Death Dolls) and I’ll be bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk and Trash rock and roll news from the Golden State and the streets (and gutters) of Hollywood, California! From the Valleys to the alleys, I’ll find the coolest bands to report on and let you know what’s up from the Rock and Roll capital of the world!

CD Review:

NEW YORK DOLLS-Dancing Backwards In High Heels (429 Records)
The New York Dolls go dancing back to the future with their latest release. The Dolls comeback has been well documented, so let’s get moving into the future with this new offering and not expect Personality Crisis II. The obvious news is that they have lost their guitar player and bass player to Michael Monroe’s band, which is significant in the musical direction that David Jo and Sly went with this release. I personally wanted a release that would rock my socks off, and instead was slapped in the face and received a deeper education on a real emotional level, on what really makes David Jo and Syl tick musically. I would support the Dolls and the individual members on any of their endeavors, because I am a true fan. With that being said, this release is truly for the tired and true die hard NY Dolls and rock and roll fan, not the Nikki Sixx and Hot Topic nation!
David and Sly really wear their influences on their sleeve with this set of songs. So much so that Sylvain Sylvain mainly plays organ and acoustic guitar and leaves the electric guitar duties to Blondie guitarist Frank Infante. Infante is replaced for live gigs with David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick, who will be featured on the Dolls upcoming tour opening for, (gulp) Poison and Motley Crue!!! This record is for the rock and roll fan that wants to go way beyond the Doll’s Rolling Stones and Stooges influences, which have obviously died with Thunders, Kane and Nolan (RIP LAMF).
Dancing is comprised of 12 tracks, starting with “Fool For You Baby”, which features vintage organ a la Suicide (NYC scene mates) and 60’s garage Pop vocals, reminiscent of Jesus and Mary Chain crossed with the organ playing from a funeral procession/viewing! Great tune, even if there is no guitar to be found on the track. Next up is the nostalgic “Street Cake’, with cool laid back jangly guitars, organ and 60’s style dreamy vocal harmonies and bass lines, keeping in line with the direction that “Fool” has set, and then David’s fab NYCite rant, street hustler style, to introduce “I’m So Fabulous”, with David Jo proclaiming his NYC shabby chic greatness. This song also includes a tip of the hat throwback to the Buddy Bowzer sax work of the original Dolls run! Good 60’s Garage Pop is how you can describe the next tune, “Talk To Me Baby” which is in the vein of “Rehab” by Amy Whinehouse and the organ driven “Kids Like Me” with sultry crooning by David Jo and trap drumming by Brian D. Sylvain is credited with playing the Farfisa organ (think funeral house) and whistling on this tune!
The second half of Dancing kicks off with “Round and Round She Goes”, which is a Gene Vincent/Eddie Cochran style rocker which brings to mind, “Dance Like A Monkey” from a couple of releases ago. This tune reminds me of something Suicide’s Alan Vega would write for his solo rockabilly project-jungle drums, Farfisa organ, and 50’s style rip roaring vocals with brass accents. Up next is one of my favorite songs on this record, “You Don’t Have To Cry”, which is an ode to Johnny Thunders “Memory” style ballad, which will easily end up in some Indie movie soundtrack. “Sold My Heart To The Junkman” is a Pattti Labelle cover that is done in a Shangri Las style homage, with smooth girl group back up vocals, a “Please Mr. Postman“ for 2011. From Pop to Do Wop to reggae, Dancing explores many styles that influenced David Jo and Syl, like the funky bohemian calypso reggae send up track “Baby Tell Me What I’m On” and the funky Chic style “Funky But Chic“, a solo David Jo hit from ‘78 that Sylvain helped write and that has been resurrected, as it fits into the theme and feel of this new release. Finally, Dancing ends with a straight up hazy Beach Boys sounding “End Of The Summer”, complete with she bop vocals and a smooth reggae beat.
Dancing backwards In High Heels was produced by Jason Hill from the retro group Louis XIV, who was obviously listening to a lot of Jesus and Mary Chain and the Horrors, and who did a great job of capturing the true musical soul and spirit of David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain. Jason also played all the bass on the record and the basic sound is best described as funky/reverb guitar, funeral organ, jazzy drumming and high harmony vocals, so unless your into taking a new musical journey, this release is best left for die hard Dolls fans. I personally love this release and think that it will be looked at as a great NY Dolls record, but if your looking for junkie rock and brown teeth, then it’s best if you stick to the debut record or any of Thunder’s solo stuff, as this release is all class! Sophia Coppola could use this entire CD to score one of her new films, so do yourself a favor and get it quick, cuz it’s good to support legends that know how to truly survive.
CD Review:
Michael Monroe- Sensory Overdrive (Spinefarm Records)
This release is highly anticipated here in the States and should be out in the next couple of months, so I wanted to get everyone primed that has not yet heard it. The same line up from the live shows and live release are in full effect on this studio effort that was produced by the legendary rock and roll producer Jack Douglas. Sammy Yaffa and Steve Conte jumped ship from the New York Dolls (money was a major issue, I’ve been told) and what the Dolls gave up in balls on their latest release, Michael Monroe gained in spades! This release features a couple of guest appearances in the form of Lucinda Williams and Lemmy from MotorHead and this is the best record that Jack Douglas has produced in quite awhile, so sit back and read the track by track, blow by blow!
The record kicks off with the band doing their best Stooges take, Raw Power era, with “Trick Of The Wrist” which rolls into the first “single”, “78”, which is an arena anthem with a big sing a long chorus and is a battle cry for the cool shit that went on in the seventies, with the spirit and attitude of the Punk movement, and it has a cool Pistols vibe throughout. “Got Blood” is up next with its “Shakedown” type Conte riff and it’s “Stream Of Consciousness” lyrics and vocal melody, which is about giving it your all when you hit the stage, which this band knows a lot about. “Super Power, Super Fly” is a direct ode to Cheap trick style Pop Rock, written by Ginger and vocal styling in the vein of Nazareth’s Dan MaCafferty, which leads into the tune written by the full band, “Modern Day Miracle”, with it’s The Zeros (purple haired version) type opening riff and gang vocals. “Bombs Away” features great “blues Punk” harmonica playing by Monroe and an arrangement by Douglas and “All You Need” is a straight up “Not Faking It” era rocker, with “Later Won’t Wait” being another rocker with a cool Monroe Sax breakdown. “Gone Baby Gone” features a duet with Lucinda Williams and is a nice roots rock song, and a good break from the high energy rock through the release. “Center of Your Heart” is a Ginger/Conte penned tune that bares the most resemblance to “Old” Hanoi Rocks, especially with the guitars playing against each other, “Underwater World” style. The record ends up with a Lemmy written song that was originally titled “MotorHeaded For A Fall” but is now “Debauchery Is A Fine Art” and as expected is another rocker that ends everything with a bang.
Overall, this record will end up being on a lot of people’s top 10 for the year, and it is the type of Rock and Roll record that you can expect from a band that’s really hitting it from the heart! So go out and support a Glam Punk legend and see the band live and buy the CD’s and other merchandise, so that they can keep this powerhouse rolling and firing on all cylinders.
Live Review:
 
Club Empire @ On The Rox with Semi Precious Weapons
It was billed as the best Glam Rock/Rock Star clubto hit Hollywood since the Scream, and Pretty Ugly Club! The theory behind it was perfect, an image conscious rock and roll band that’s on the biggest world tour in the last 10 years and a famous club right on the world famous Sunset Strip, the setting was perfect. Empire, with SPW playing live, Djing and picking the bands that play in this intimate setting above the Roxy.
I started the evening with dinner at the Rainbow next door and got good and primed for the Rock and Roll elite that I was promised (via the local press) would be making the scene at Empire. Tom Morollo and Jerry Cantrell and Lemmy were all chilling near by and all was looking well. Being a hugh fan of SPW, I was really looking forward to seeing them again in an intimate setting, seeing has they have been playing the biggest venues in the world on Lady Ga Ga’s Monster Ball tour. People often wonder how SPW got that gig opening for Ga Ga. Years ago, SPW let Ga Ga open their shows in NYC, which were Ga Ga’s first live shows ever and this is their repayment for giving her that first break! Not a bad payback, and kudos to Ga Ga for hooking up the homies!!!
After a great dinner at the Rock and Roll spot in Hollywood, I walked across the “last chance Rainbow parking lot” and lined up to enter the glam rock party of the year and prepared to give my name for the approved VIP guest list. I was handed a button with Justin’s face and waved in, which should have been a big clue on how this night was going to go. There was no line and an RSVP was not required, which meant the place was 1/3rd full, and capacity is small. SPW’s bass player was Djing some weird jazz/dance music and the Hollywood Glitter rock elite was now where to be seen. There were Andy Warhol type posters up all around the club along with SPW buttons and party favors scattered about, and I guess that was the rock and Roll decadence I was waiting to view. The opening band was a whack ass dance type “band” miming to a backing tape with a living singer for a total of 4 songs, before they were cut off. The SPW drummer and guitar player (minus wig) were all chilling with the crowd and were cool, but I was there to witness the Rock and Roll majesty and spectacle. I ran into the drummer in the men’s room and asked him when SPW were going on and he informed that they were not playing that night! They had not announced on Twitter (and the announce every move on Twitter) that they were not playing, so I took it that people just stayed home tonight and it looks like it was all hype, and considering that SPW are on the Ga Ga tour, I figured Empire should have been packed and off the chain.
One thing I know, nobody waltzes into los Angeles and takes over the club scene, overnight. If you can survive in this city, you have true grit. Unfortunately SPW are experiencing the “American Idol Syndrome”, which is a lot of high profile fun, but it’s not turning into huge record sales and crowds, without the high profile tenny bopper headliner. I love SPW and their music, and have lived through the Scream, Cathouse, Korova Milk Bar and the Pretty Ugly Club here in the L.A area over the last 25 years, and Empire was a big let down, but I understand that the last night of the club, a couple weeks later, was a packed out hit (according to posts on Twitter from Justin), so hopefully, when the Ga Ga tour ends, SPW will resurrect Empire and give me another chance to Rock (not dance).
Book signing review:
Cheetah Chrome Book signing @ Vacation Records, Silverlake, Cali.
Legendary Dead Boys and current Batusis guitarist recently wrote a book chronicling his life (and almost death) with the Dead Boys in the 1970’s and 1980’s and in NYC, when punk was going full tilt. He recently did a book signing tour with a couple of other Cleveland writers and they made a stop at Vacation Records (a very cool record and cassette store) in trendy Silverlake on a cool weekday night. Being an autograph hound (when it comes to my 70’s TV and music heroes) I made the trek to get my book and promo copy of the Batusis CD signed and see who else showed up from the local Glam and Punk scene. Cheetah read from the book for a couple of minutes and afterwards I ran into Texas Teri, as she was in town for some shows, direct from Berlin Germany, and she informed me that she was there to invite Cheetah to come play Sonic Reducer at her show that week, at The RedWood Bar (the new place for trashy punk bands to play in Downtown L.A.). I didn’t make the shows as that week a Tsunami hit L.A. and it rained like the world was ending, so not sure if Cheetah ever made it, and I didn’t see any reviews of the shows. It must have went well for Texas T., as they added another show the following weekend, or it may have been a make up for the rained out one, not sure.
Anyway, there were about 30-40 die hard Cheetah and Cleveland rock fans there getting their Dead Boys records and the book signed, and it was good to see Cheetah had not mellowed out with age, as I witnessed some guy questioning him about his days at Max’s Kansas City and he grabbed my book and showed the douche bag pictures of him playing there. They were then verbally debating as well whether Cheetah was the writer of Sonic Reducer and Cheetah finally walked away and kept his anger in check. Punkers should have attitude in life and it looks like Cheetah still has it deep in his DNA. If you have not picked up a copy of his book “A Dead Boy’s Tale”, please do so and read about the punk scene in NYC in it’s Punk Rock hey day, from someone who lived through it. The book looks great, comes in a hard cover that is full color and it is well written with killer stories about how the Dead Boys came to be, survived in the Jungle, and his antics at CBGB’s, Max’s and other NYC historic punk spots. He’s candid about his drug and alcohol and sex additions and abuse, and ends with his recovery to a new life, new wife and new band! Another legend does well.
Bands to watch: Contrary to popular belief, the wheels have not completely come off the rock and roll scene in the Los Angeles area!!! Some bands that have been making noise and carrying the Punk/Sleaze/Glam torch in Los Angeles in recent months include:
Just Like Thieves– Four piece hailing from the grimy streets of Hollywood, Cali., This band, who site influences such as Motley Crue, Escape The Fate and My Chemical Romance, have been kicking up dust in tinsel town and first came up on my radar when Nikki Sixx was asking about them on Twitter due to their fans tweeting about them. They have a cool contemporary look with their tight black jeans and leather jackets and trendy haircuts and the music is nice and tight, especially for a young band. Check em out for yourself at :
Black Veil Brides– Not quite a new band and not quite Glam Punk on the music side, but they have a cool old Murder Dolls/Motley Crue look, so the Hollywood kiddies are eating them up, as well as the rest of the world, according to the amount of touring they are doing. They are considered hardcore Glam Emo, or whatever, but I like them cuz they have the best look going right now! I still remember doing some shows in Hollywood where Rebel Rebel played with a Motley Crue tribute band (stop laughing, I know, but you gotta play when and where you can) and BVB’s Ashley Purdy was playing the Nikki role to a T, so it is appropriate that he would continue that with BVB. Definitely the biggest thing outta Hollywood right now, by way of Cincinnati!!! Get the scoop at:
OFF!-Best punk band to come out of Los Angeles in a Looong time! Featuring Keith Morris from Black Flag and Circle Jerks and Steve McDonald from Redd Kross and tearing up Los Angeles and the USA as we speak. With songs ranging from 45 seconds to 1 minute and 15 seconds, these guys pack a punch into each song, much like the Ramones, but on warp speed! They put out 4 records before putting them together on one CD available now from their web site. Not a glam punk band but the best punk band out there now, hopefully they will stay away from the WARP tour and keep it real. Get the 411 at:
If you want me to review your music or write about your event, send it all to:
Teddy Heavens
27750 Firebrand Dr.
Castaic, Ca. 91384
Ftwrecords@aol.com

DTR #1 (February 2011)

My name is Teddy Heavens (Rebel Rebel and Los Angeles Death Dolls) and I’ll be bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk and Trash rock and roll news from the Golden State and the streets (and gutters) of Hollywood, California! From the Valleys to the alleys, I’ll find the coolest bands to report on and let you know what’s up from the Rock and Roll capital of the world!

PRIMA DONNA-Glam/Pop/Punk rockers from Hollywood and fresh from a support slot for Green Day in huge arenas in Europe and Asia. What’s crazy about this band is that they don’t have a label or any big companies to support them, yet they are constantly touring!!! I knew something was up when I was Djing a show with Prima Donna and the Billy Bones at the Relax Bar in Hollywood, and the bass player from Green day was there slumming it. He must of liked Prima Donna cuz next thing I knew, I see on MySpace (when bands were still using Myspace to promote (fuck Facebook, by the way!) that they are opening for a tour with Green Day! That’s a great story of being in the right place at the right time! Check em out at: http://www.primadonnarocks.com
The ROYAL HIGHNESS– This band features ex. Chelsea Smiles and Bullets and Octane members, and I recently witnessed this Todd Youth (ex Degeneration, Ace Frehely, Glen Campbell and Michael Monroe band) led group opening up for Batusis at the Viper Room. They played some of the better known Chelsea Smiles tunes, but the highlight of the set was a cover of “Dead, Jail, or Rock and Roll” by Michael Monroe, which the crown really dug. They had the place packed out for their set, and the original tunes were reminiscent of Degeneration and Bullets and Octane ,which the singer was a member of, so it makes sense. Follow them at: http://www.myspace.com/theroyalhighnessband
A PRETTY MESS– A Girl Glam Punk band kicking around Los Angeles for a few years, playing shows in the gutters of Hollywood with punk bands, glam bands, garage bands, Horror Billy bands, any bands they can hook up with!!! they will also be the Texas Terri backing band for her upcoming L.A. Shows!!!! More punk than sleaze but give em a listen at: http://www.aprettymess.com
LOS ANGELES DEATH DOLLS– New Garage Glam Punk band featuring yours truly and Erik and Tim, also from Rebel Rebel!!! We are doing music similar to The Stooges, GG Allin, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Dgeneration!!! The band likes everything from Punk to Glam and everything in between. We have a single out on Itunes called “Wake Up” (recorded in the heart of Los Angeles) and other songs from our set are on the MySpace page! For fans of Glam Punk at: http://www.myspace.com/losangelesdeathdolls and get the single at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/los-angeles-death-dolls/id410401956
Live Reviews:
Batusis-featuring Sylvain Sylvain and Cheetah Chrome @ The Viper Room
Glam Punk legends hit the rock and roll capital of the world in one streamlined unit!!! Cheetah Chrome of Dead Boys fame and Sylvain from the NY Dolls, backed by Lez Warner on drums (the Cult) and Joan Jett’s longtime bass player, blew into town on a cold rainy night to blow the doors off Johnny Depp’s old haunt!!! They were promoting a new EP that’s out on record and Download (got my record signed!!!along with my Dolls records) and played some NY Dolls gems along with Sonic Reducer by the Dead Boys and some old classic rock and roll standards. The Viper Room was jammed, but not packed, which was a shame, cuz seeing two legends up close of this stature is rare (you gotta love living in Los Angeles!!!) and I got a really good hour long guitar lesson, up close and personal. The crowd was a mixture of old rockers, young punks and glam kids and cool mother fuckers like myself!!! It was a real treat to see two guys from two of my favorite bands of all time, playing some of my favorite songs. For those of you who don’t know the meaning of Batusis, it is a dance that originated on the old Batman show from here in the States from the 1960’s, the era that Sylvain and Cheetah grew up in!!! Also of note, Cheetah Chrome was also promoting his new book “A Dead Boy’s Tale“, which is a great read, with cool stories of his time with the Dead Boys and the filth and aftermath in NYC that he endured. The book can be found on Amazon.com and is highly recommended!!! Sylvain”s NY Dolls will also be releasing a new record Called “Dancing Backwards in High Heels” in March 2011 with new guitar player Frank Infante of Blondie.
Michael Monroe @ The Viper Room
Hollywood has been looking forward to this show for over 20 years!!! The last time Monroe had performed live in the area was during the Not Fakin It Tour. The incredible thing is, he had just as much energy as he did on that tour!! Mike has some new releases to promote, the live record “Another Night In The Sun” and the new CD coming out in March 2011, “Sensory Overload”, and the single, ‘78 (a Big Chorus modern day anthem), can be heard on his Facebook page currently. The Viper Room was packed to the rafters with crusty old punk rockers and young glam hipsters looking to witness history in action! His band consisted of Steve Conte (ex. NY Dolls), Ginger (the Wildhearts), Sam Yaffa (Hanoi Rocks, Jetboy and NY Dolls) and the ex. Drummer of Chelsea Smiles, with both guitar players blasting through full Marshall stacks. The drummer and Conte had just joined the band a few days before, but ended up doing a killer job. Mike remains fit and trim (and is still able to do the splits) and was bouncing around the stage and gave the gig his all like he was playing the L.A. Forum, and he was glammed out in tight leather pants, vest and full make-up. They played all the Hanoi Rocks and Michael Monroe favorite tunes like Taxi Driver, Dead, Jail or Rock and Roll, Underwater World, etc., but my favorite, and the one that had the crowd really bopping, was Blvd. Of Broken Dreams (the gig was so loud it blew out the sound on my Iphone!)!!! Mike is an energetic front man and his voice remains strong and the music was focused, and I would rate this gig the live show of the year as I left this show a sweaty, but satisfied mess. Whoever says Rock and Roll is dead has not witnessed this rock and roll glam machine in action!! No wonder Conte and Yaffa left the NY Dolls, this band is on fire. People will get the chance later this year when the band does a headline tour in Europe in April 2011.