Kenward Cooper – Rock’n’Roll Will Only Break Your Heart

Some of you might know Ken from his podcast Glambone but he started rock’n’roll activism at a very young age and later became a musician. Ken has just released “Rock’n’Roll Will Only Break Your Heart”, a great book in which he gives us a lot of details about his various adventures, his personal life and his passion for rock’n’roll.

When did you get the idea of writing your book and how much time did it take?

Ever since being a teenager, the idea of writing an autobiography is something I imagined I would do one day. I just thought I’d be in a different position telling my story, but sometimes the perfect picture of how you think your life would be isn’t always how it adds up. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, that’s when I started reflecting and writing the book. It was a two-year process.

You started being involved at a very young age being the editor of a Sunset Strip publication. Can you tell us more about it?

Yes. In my teens I started a music magazine from my bedroom. A fanzine, basically. After the first couple of issues, record companies began calling to buy advertisements in the publication, full page ads to promote their new releases. Once that started to happen, we were able to upgrade the design and printing quality. So with doing that, it became a prominent paper on the Los Angeles streets and eventually distributed in other music cities around the globe.

How were the musicians’ reactions when seeing that you were so young? Any anecdotes to share with us?

Mostly surprised, but they thought it was cool. I remember before the family uprooted to Los Angeles, I had an interview with the band Dirty Looks that Atlantic Records set up for me to meet them at a night club in Las Vegas they were playing at. Keep in mind, Vegas has a strict age limit of being 21 years or older. Well, the club owner saw me with my tape recorder interviewing the drummer outside the venue, and he says to me, as long as your dad is here with you, you can come inside and watch the show from the sound board, just don’t go anywhere near the bar ! So, there I was at 14 years old getting into my first night club to watch a rock n roll band. It was great !

Then you started playing in bands. Can you tell us about them?

Yeah, two years later I had my first band with my high school buddy Ashley Hamilton. We’re great friends to this day. We basically ditched school one day to go to Guitar Center on Sunset Blvd. That’s the first time we played guitar for each other, and said right there let’s form a band. Funny enough, one of the record companies that gave us recording time to make demos was Atlantic Records. It was a thrill to have been in their office interviewing bands, and then soon thereafter playing our demo in the CEO’s office. Stylistically we were all over the place, a bit of pop, hard rock, ballads, and hip-hop. You hear some bands say that the record companies didn’t know what to do with them, well, that was us, we were trying to find ourselves and which direction to go in. After that, I pursued it on my own, and later on a project with my ex-wife which was called This Episode.

At times, it seems like the book is a story written for a TV series, there are so many ingredients for it, like your different travels (London, Paris, New York…), your bad luck as a musician and heartbreak stories….

Thanks, yeah, it’s quite a visual read and certainly could be adapted for the screen.

The book comes out with a 16 song CD companion in which we can hear a big Britpop influence. Was it your favourite 90s style after the 80s glam metal wave?

Definitely. In America, the 90s obviously was about the Seattle sound. It wasn’t my thing. For me, all the great new music was happening in the UK.

Suede, Pulp, My Life Story, Elastica, David Devant & His Spirit Wife, Oasis. It was fantastic.

Can you tell us about the recording of these songs and the people involved?

It’s a compilation from over the years, various sessions and projects. The majority of it was recorded and produced by Rick Parker. One of the more recent songs is a co-write I did with Michael Lockwood. A lot of guest musicians are on it who’ve played with artists like Beck, Madonna and others.

I first got to know you because of your Glambone podcast. Can you tell us a bit about it, how you started it, etc.?

The first Glambone podcast debuted in late 2008. All I knew about podcasts back then was that it was like an underground way of having a radio show. There weren’t many at that time like there is today. I was living in Nashville then, and in between playing the writer-rounds which songwriters do, I had extra time on my hands. All the tapes of bands from my Rockstar Magazine days were in boxes, and instead of keeping it boxed up, I thought a podcast would be a great way to share this stuff with people.

You’ve never thought about starting an online magazine?

Well, I simultaneously had the Glambone blog up as well. But no, who needs an online magazine from me when you got Veglam ?!

Without spoiling the book too much, did you get your rights back for your song that was “stolen”?

I always had the rights to my song. Even though mine was infringed upon, I could still use it as I pleased. But in terms of royalties from the stolen version, no, I only received compensation from a settlement for it.

Music business has changed a lot. Do you think that things are easier for self-produced artists/bands nowadays?

Yes and no. It’s expensive to solely do on your own. If you’re talking about touring costs, promotion, manufacturing vinyl and merch, this is all out-of-pocket expenses if you don’t have support from another company helping you out and lifting some of the financial burden. In terms of recording and releasing music online, sure, anyone can do that.

Do you still own any demos from the Sunset Strip days? Which bands should have made it but haven’t according to you?

Some stuff, although, each time I move around it gets less and less. I’ve gotten rid of so much. The bands that should’ve made it, Tomorrow’s Child, Rattlesnake Shake, Pharoah from the east coast. Honestly, many of the bands that had records out should’ve made it, Lions & Ghosts, Candy, The Zeros, Dear Mr. President, Vain.

You’ve spent a lot of time in France. Any French bands or artists you like?

Serge Gainsbourg, Raphael, Les Rita Mitsouko, Carla Bruni. Everytime I go back I discover something great there.

You lived in Nashville. It seems like many rockers from California are moving there. Do you think that it’s only a money issue?

Not just from California anymore, musicians from everywhere have been moving there. I don’t think it’s only a money concern, because prices and cost of living in Nashville has certainly gone up since the time I lived there. Not as high as L.A, but it’s climbing. I think for industry it continues to be a place where creativity is alive and well, and that’s a big part of the appeal. I’ll tell you though, if they’re not moving to Nashville, many of the L.A. people are moving to Las Vegas.

Which place would you choose if you could live anywhere you’ve been?

It’s a toss up between Paris and New York. Unless I fall in love with a Swedish girl, then I’m moving to Stockholm !

Looking back at all these musical adventures. Would you change anything if you could?

If I had a voice in my head back at the beginning of 2002 telling me to stay in Vegas just a little while longer, I think I would like to have listened to it, being that the city spawned a few successful bands after I left. But the voices took me somewhere else instead. Luck of the draw.



I Love Rich “You Have The Right… To Remain Sexy”

Good to hear from Chicago’s I LOVE RICH, it’s been a while! And even better to hear that they are keeping the flame of dirty glam rock’n’roll alive! When your opening song is called “Rock’n’Roll Is Gonna Burn”, you’re pretty sure it’s going to rock and it does. This song has a bit of Scandinavian rock’n’roll in it while “God’s Gift To Women” is more classic American rock’n’roll with a good heavy rock guitar riff and a big chorus. If you love KISS then “Rock And Roll Sex Cult” will probably be your favourite track and glam metal fans will sure headbang to “Paid In Sex” and “The Right To Remain Sexy.” Songs like “Rock And Roll Conspiracy”, “Rock And Roll Riot” or “Revolution In My Pants” could be on the playlist of every TURBONEGRO fan and “King Of Rock And Roll” and “Make Out City” might not change the face of music but they won’t fail at making you rock and party! Have a good time all the time? These guys sure know about it! /Laurent C.

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Crazy Lixx “Anthem For America”

These dudes are probably a lot more rah rah go team, flag waver, conservative than I am, but man, oh man, here is a song with an actual poignant and valid message, opposing the ever-tightening narrative control, severely limited playlists, and incrementally vanquished sound of rebellious, heartfelt music from your tv and radios. This ain’t punk rock, but there’s a sincere and meaningful message being conveyed, and you never hear that anywhere, anymore. At least not in the USA! USA! Like Willie Nelson sang in his timeless anthem, “Whatever Happened To Peace On Earth”, you won’t hear no message of love or truth on tv or radio, that’s not consolidated media’s function. At least not since since Bush/Cheney dismantled the Bill Of Rights and Obama told folks that it’s woke and classy to censor all independent voices, and they consolidated the mass media into 5 bully pulpit propaganda loudspeakers of the Davos billionaire super rich. These diehard spandex wearers called Crazy Lixx will remind oldsters of Ratt and Skid Row and they are singing a righteously rousing hairspray metal, protest anthem(!!!) about rocknroll being taken off the public airwaves and replaced with: phony, no soul techno, capitalist greedhead designer brand rap bullshit, and occultist hip-pop, the never ending and relentless glorification of a dystopian police state and forever wars based on lies for oil companies and surveillance tech scumbags and weapons manufacturers. I dig it! Back comb your hair! Singalong! /General Labor.

My heroes have always been cowboys:

Whatever Happened To Peace On Earth? Willie Nelson – YouTube
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Lazy X releases “Shame On You”

From Oslo Norway, Lazy X was raised on real rock’n roll like Led Zeppelin, Guns n Roses and Aerosmith. He was the lead guitarist in Suicide Bombers from 2011-2017 and released his first album as Lazy X on the sixth of December 2017.

I wrote this song cause i’ve been observing what the media is putting out regarding the Coronavirus. They scare people, they make people frightened. All of this just to make money to sell their stories. Why are we accepting all this. Why are we accepting and believing on all those experts telling us “the truth”

All of a sudden there were experts everywhere that have all the answers. It’s a crazy world but we know better, everyone feel unified in the feeling that everything is going to be alright. Stay safe, stay together.

Shame on you media!

Music is my genuine path in life. It is the best way for me to give of myself to this world.

I sacrifice for it in a way that I do for nothing else.

It’s dirty, decadent, glamorous, delicious and beautiful. Its raw, unpolished, uncontrollable and mysterious. Get ready to get catapulted in to a musical landscape of weird tones.

Barreling out of the past into the future.

Dare to dream, dare to do, dare to be different, dare to dare.”

Rich Kid Expre$$ “Bubblegum Radio” EP

RICH KID EXPRE$$ is a hard rock solo project by Rob Richardson (Squib Kick Records.) Opening song “You Went Too Far” brings us back to the 80s when glam metal rules the US, but then “The Way She Rolls” brings the late 70s to mind when hard rock, power pop and glam rock were heavily flirting together. Speaking of glam and glitter, that’s what you’ll get with “Bubblegum Radio”, a song reminding me of The SWEET and BAY CITY ROLLERS. “Just a Dog” is the heavier song of the EP, a bit like some of ALICE COOPER‘s 80s songs and “Steamroller” is a classic hard rock tune that you could have heard in the soundtrack of any 80s horror movies. Besides being well written, played and produced, you can feel the passion of Rob for 70s and 80s rock in this EP and this is probably why it sounds so natural, as if time had stopped in 1986. Definitely worth checking out! /Laurent C.

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Down To Rock #14

DTK in Los Angeles 2020

Hello from the streets of Hollywood, it’s been a minute, but I think things are finally kicking up again around town in the rock n roll scene, so here I am! LA has been surviving on Jam Nights and events put on by Jake from the Whiskey, in the Rainbow Bar & Grill parking lot and at the Whiskey a Go Go. I am most looking forward to one of my favorite bands, Rose Tattoo, coming in May and others like 69 Eyes, but mostly it is hair bands from the 80”s mixed with some punk bands like Fear, that are keeping things going on the Sunset Strip at these events. Cool bands continue to swarm LA and thanks to the Jake at the Whiskey A Go Go and the Rainbow Parking lot parties for stepping up! In the area of Heavy Metal, Metal Assault Productions are keeping things alive by booking weekly events all over the LA area, and putting out cassette/digital comps with the bands they feature, and hats off to Andrew B. for that.

Bands making noise around town, mainly off the strip in the downtown and Valley venues:

The Hots- Newish punk rock group headed by veteran guitarist Ronnie Simmons and his hot wife. Good punky hard rock n roll stripped down and dirty, with great punchy guitar playing and energetic live performances. Simple, Raw and Powerful, recently opened for Ace Frehley dates in Cali. and due to be the main support on the long overdue Rose Tattoo 2020 US tour. They have great videos and samples online on all the usual online media platforms.

Michael Des Barres and the Mistakes- Michael is back in the game strong with his new group made up of Hollywood music veterans like Loren M. from the Dogs and current big wig with Black Star Amps on guitar and Matt Starr on drums. Playing straight up catchy rock n roll with his British swagger, most recently at a weekly residency at the Redwood in Downtown LA, which I believe has yielded a soon to be released live release. Michael is one of my favorite singers, I always used to catch his cover band the Usual Suspects with Steve Jones and Mick from Slaughter and The Dogs back in the day, and of course the good stuff from Checkered Past. Keep an eye out and support the online sites.

The Darbies- Young Guns from the gutter!!!! Loud rock n roll band roaming the streets of LA and the US on recent tour in support of LA Guns. These guys are produced by Alex Kane from Life, Sex & Death, and they are straight up rock n roll like their Hollywood heroes that have come before. They got youth and drive on their side, and are reportedly living in their tour van in LA and on the road, so they got nothing to lose and everything to gain! Check out their sound and videos online and trip on the energy and excitement.

Steelwitch- Hot new NWOBHM band featuring Ed Gage on vocals/guitar and Tim Shelton on drums from the LA Death Dolls/Rebel Rebel and newcomer Bryan B. on guitar. Disclaimer now, I am playing bass for this badass group!! LOL But we are having so much fun blasting metal in the vein of Dianno era Maiden and Venom, that I had to give us a mention. I got involved due to my love of early 1980’s metal and loving to write songs in that vein. We have an EP on ITunes and are currently writing for a full release. Check it out if you like the bands that were on the NEAT Records label. We play the Rainbow Metal nights and a lot of the Metal Assault nights around town.

The Claws- Keeping the glam blues tradition of Hanoi Rocks and the Dogs D’ Amour and early Black Crows swagger alive in Los Angeles. New record out on DeadBeat Records and featuring singer Chad Cherry of the Last Vegas, these guys are playing every dive in LA to spread their glam rock message. Definitely worth checking out if your into the Faces and like minded bands of the 70’s.

Live Reviews:

Angel @ The Whiskey A Go Go
Legendary band from the 1970’s returned to LA with original members guitarist Punky Meadows and singer Frank Dimino. This gig was in support of the new release on Cleopatra Records, and the club was packed as Punky and Frank have not recorded or performed Angel music live together in decades. I had witnessed both of them perform solo in recent years in support of their solo records, but this was a rare treat for this massive Angel fan. The band featured great support players and the music was tight and they were clad all in white, like the old days. It was great seeing Punky and Frank play classics like the Tower, Wild & Hot, Don’t Leave Me Lonely and Can You Feel It, as well as running into the usual old school Hollywood Rockers like the Zeros, Chez from the Hollywood Stars, Tim from London/Spiders N snakes and Marky from Revlon Red. Punky still has his skills from his youth and Frank’s voice is as strong as it ever was, a must see if they hit your city!!!!

The Cocks @ Petie’s Place
This place has become the new go to place for live shows in the Valley, with everyone form the Claws to Pretty Boy Floyd jamming here recently. On this night I came to see the gay themed and Turbonegro influenced band led by singer Jay and guitar player Tchad, ex Pretty Boy Floyd. They are a scrappy trash punk rock band with songs almost exclusively related to sucking dick! They have songs about Jerry Cantrell’s supposed big dick and the like. LOL I dig them as much as the Impotent Sea Snakes back in the day, who had a similar theme and vibe, glammy punk rock attitude with catchy songs. These guys put out more energy into their live show than most bands around town, hands down, a must see when in LA. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram, or playing all the dive bars in the LA area. The band reports a debut release is coming soon!!!

Villains in Vogue @ Universal Bar and Grill
Another cool punky glam rock outfit ruling the scene currently, featuring veteran Hollywood and LA rockers. I’d previously seen this group as a five piece wit 2 guitars but this night they were stripped down to one guitar, and they sounded loud and full! Guitarist Justine Sane is the principal song writer and Mick Scott is the energetic lead singer, ex Anna Black, who is a modern day Iggy Pop/Johnny Rotten, throwing himself around the stage and venturing into the crowd via walking on the bar! Good voice and great stage presence, and the rest of the guys are top notch musicians with stand out songs being “Be One Of Us” and the cover of the Elvis Costello song “Pump It Up”. very good live act and waiting on the recorded product. See them on Facebook/Instagram.

The Hollywood Stars @ the Whiskey A Go Go
Another band from the 70’s that reformed to continue their local legend legacy! This band wrote songs for KISS and Alice Cooper in the 70’s, most notably “King Of The Night Time World”, penned by Marc Anthony, since deceased. Replacing him in the new lineup is New Mexico native and Hollywood survivor Chezz Monroe, ex Kids Of Chaos. The band put on a themed event, complete with glam retro support band and DJ’s, as well as being MC’d by Radio Legend Rodney Bingenheimer. The place was packed to the rafters, and the band was tight and clean, just like the major label records they released in the 70’s, but they are just not a retro act, they have a new release out of unreleased material, as well as plans for a new music release. There are also plans for a West Coast tour and upcoming local LA shows. Catchy songs and tight and polished live show, welcome back boys!!! See them on Facebook and Instagram.

Lizzie Grey Memorial @ Whiskey A Go Go
This event featured Rebel Rebel, Molly Vamp and Spiders n Snakes, as well as the Billtown Allstarts from Penn.
This was a memorial/ fund raising event for Lizzie Grey and his family and to bring awareness to Lewy Body Disease. The London/Spiders N Snakes legend lost his battle to Lewy Body Dementia Disease and the Hollywood rocker community wanted to show respect and honor him. Thanks to Jake @ the Whiskey for providing the venue, even when he could have booked a lucrative rap event that night. My group, Rebel Rebel, played our usual fast paced shock punk rock set, and Molly Vamp provided the gothic themed hard rock, both acts being vets of playing shows with Spiders n Snakes over the last decades. Billtown Allstars from Penn. provided the killer hard rock/metal cover tunes and the evening also featured a jam with past Spiders n Snakes/London and friends, and ending with Spiders N Snakes remaining members taking over Lizzie’s vocal duties for a roaring killer set, and featuring Betsy from Bitch and Jet from Rebel Rebel closing the night with the Lizzie penned Motley Crue song “Public Enemy #1”. Notably absent from the event was Nikki Sixx, who Lizzie gave his start to in the band London, but he did have time to attend Comic Con in Downtown LA that day to appear on a podcast, what a great guy. There were also other “famous” rock stars that Lizzie gave their start, that should have been there that were not, but a lot of money was raised for Lizzie’s wife and kids and awareness for Lewy Body disease as well, and the turnout of fans and supporters was awesome. I was personally disappointed by the lack of many local veteran rockers that played with Lizzie’s bands, and played on the same bills, from starting in the 1970’s to present, that did not bother to attend, but that I see out drinking at the Rainbow and the various Jam nights around town.

Suicide Bombers “Murder Couture”

Opening with an epic introduction of the band, this fourth album of Norway’s SUICIDE BOMBERS looks as good as the previous ones, kind of ZODIAC MINDWARP meets SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK aesthetic including glossy and colourful pictures of the band dressed in Murder Couture…Then, the song “Murder Couture” offers us some anthemic heavy rock followed by the catchy “Kings & Queens” and its”Oh-Oh, Oh-Oh-Oh-O” chorus! The first single of the album, “So Bad” is a sleazy rock song with STEVE STEVENS guitar riffs, but the 80s glam metal influences can mostly be heard in “Love Disasters” and in “End Of The Story.” It sometimes gets a bit heavier with “Night That Never Ends”, “World Without End” (imagine a dirtier DOKKEN flirting with ROXX GANG and W.A.S.P.!), “Sleepless Elite” or “We Don’t Negotiate With Terrorists” in which you’ll hear a DTK LAMF reference. “Madman” ends this album with raw energy and leave you wanting for more.
While hard rock/sleaze metal are far from being popular music styles nowadays, SUICIDE BOMBERS keep getting stronger and strronger, and this is a very good thing. /Laurent C.

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ItsOnlyRocknRollMusic digital magazine

ItsOnlyRockMusic webmag Issue 1 (May 2019)
44 pages of Rock N Roll!

Featuring Sick Things, Corazones Muertos, The Flaming Sideburns’ Eduardo Martinez, Sabertooth Rockers, Howard, Gyasi, Criminal Kids, Roxanne, Still Square, Dirty Action, Twin Temple, The Morlocks, Salty Dog, Guns N Roses, Alice Cooper Group, Baby Grande,The Limboos, MonoDelux, The Liza Colby Sound, Doomstress, Hammered Satin, Babylon Shakes, The Bad Somethings, L.A. Guns, Every Mother’s Nightmare and Jetboy.