Photography Exhibit Celebrating The 35th Anniversary Of The Release Of Appetite For Destruction From the First 50 Gigs

“There isn’t a better person to release any material to do with the coming together and the history of Guns N’ Roses and where it went and what was going on behind the scenes than Marc.” — Slash

TICKETS + INFO:  HERE

Credit: Marc Canter

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the release Appetite for Destruction,  The First 50 Gigs: Guns N’ Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction podcast will be hosting a photo exhibition of Marc Canter’s photography on July 21st, 35 years to the date of the release of the seminal album at the Bourbon Room in Hollywood. 

The video podcast The First 50 Gigs is the creation of  Reckless Road: Guns N’ Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction authors Marc Canter and Jason PorathThe book which was published in 2008 and won an IPPY for Pop Culture Book of the Year was just the tip of the iceberg of an archive created by Marc Canter; photographer, music historian, and owner of the world-famous Canter’s Deli. Canter captured the band’s formative years and the heyday of the Sunset Strip music scene. The project was designed as a gift to fans to unlock the stories behind the most famous songs from the ever-elusive band, in particular the younger fans, many of whom were not even born when Appetite came out. It’s an opportunity for them to learn about the stories behind the making of Appetite For Destruction.  The show which is part of the Pantheon Podcast network is available on all major services, with premium tiered subscription offers available on Spotify and Patreon

The First 50 Gigs project has been years in the making, “Marc’s massive and one-of-a-kind archive on the early days of Guns N’ Roses and the first fifty gigs of the Appetite lineup of Guns N’ Roses is unprecedented,” says Porath. “ Marc truly captured lightning in a bottle and the power of those images he and Jack Lue created will now be amplified by first-hand accounts by the people who were there, giving audiences a true play-by-play unfolding of events.”  The video version of the show showcases never before seen audio and video from Marc’s archive, along with bonus episodes available via subscription on Spotify, and a premium subscription via Patreon that includes early access to the video version of each episode, along with access to exclusive photo galleries, merchandise giveaways and more. 

The exhibit at the Bourbon Room will feature photos, videos, and ephemera featured in the podcast in addition to never before seen content from the early years of Guns n’ Roses leading into the recording of their first and most iconic album. 

https://www.first50gigs.com

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https://www.instagram.com/first50gigs

The Claws – Gut-level Rock’n’roll!

Let’s start 2022 with one of the most interesting rock’n’roll bands from L.A. Chad Cherry (lead vocals) and Gary Martin (guitars & vocals) tell us about the release of their new album “Stars and Broken Stars” and new EP “Hazy Days Wasted Nights” and much more!

Can you tell us a bit about the history of the band?

C.C.: It all started with Gary and I. Gary was living out here in Los Angeles and Sarah and I were out here visiting around 2013/14. We were staying at this place on top of Laurel Canyon. It was right next to an abandoned house that some producer from Walt Disney owned back in the 60’s. Place was trashed and cool. We’re checking it out, sharing a bottle of scotch, moonlight creepin, and we came up with the idea of us getting together to make some kinda noise when I moved out to Los Angeles. In the beginning we were just two guys with an acoustic guitar.

G.M.: Soon, Terry Love (bass) came into the picture, and this formed the core of the band. We recorded the début EP in 2017, and the ‘No Connection’ LP was released in early 2020. With the addition of Tony Pacheco on drums in 2019, and Mike Gavigan on guitar in the lost year of 2020, we began the recording of the follow up LP, which was released in late 2021.

You have two new releases, “Stars and Broken Glass” (album) and “Hazy Days Wasted Nights” (EP). Is this because you wanted the album to be released on vinyl and avoid having too many songs on it?

C.C.: We would’ve had a quadruple record on our hands if we didn’t break it up. There’s no lack of creativity with The Claws.

G.M.: It’s true. At this point, we have more than enough tunes for another full length (& EP!) Sonically and thematically, it made sense to do it the way that we did.

Was it easy to choose which songs were going to be used for the album and for the EP?

It was not a case of the “best 10” make the LP. The sequence needed to flow. The sound of the songs can tell a story. We tried our best to make that happen.

Can you tell us about the recording. Where and when did it happen?

G.M.: We recorded the new music at the same place, with the same producer & engineer as the last LP, 2020’s ‘No Connection’. It’s a cool little studio in the Hollywood Hills called Fox Force Five studios. We began the process in late 2020 and finished in the summer of 2021. The LP & EP was mixed and mastered during the autumn of 2021.

C.C.: That Beechwood Canyon studio is magical.

C.C.: That’s like asking a falling star where it’s going to land. There’s not really a rhyme or reason for anything that we do musically. Gary comes up with nonstop songs and we’re all over the place. We never talk too much about it, we mostly just blend together, push and pull melodies into place. I really don’t think we have a specific anything besides some good synergy going on.. we just do whatever it is we do.

Did you know how you wanted the album and EP to sound before recording them?

G.M.: Our surroundings, our adventures, and our personal relationships between the 5 of add spice to the tunes. Everything has an effect. The studio itself has a great feel, along with some excellent vintage equipment, that really helps bring out the nuance in our tunes. Gabe Lowry (producer/engineer) did a fantastic job of capturing The Claws at our best.

While the 70s influences are obvious, there’s also some 80s ones in the songs. Do you like both decades the same?

G.M.: The keyboard during ‘When The Nighttime Comes’ and ‘Strange Rumblings’ is a vintage synthesizer from the mid-1980’s. Totally. Strictly from a songwriting point-of-view, there’s so much great stuff from the 1960’s through the 1990’s that it is impossible to pick a favorite decade, but I do tend to prefer the production values of the 1970’s.

C.C.: I kinda love all decades, man. But let’s face it.. the 70’s ruled!

Some songs like “High Noon”, “A Song For You”, “Seven Medicines” or “In The Dust” could definitely be featured in series or movies. Did you get any interest from Hollywood film makers?

C.C.: We’re too expensive for them.

G.M.: Yeah, we’re open to collaboration with film makers, but they need to cough up the bread. Besides, we’re telling our own stories, so who needs ‘em?

How is the rock’n’roll scene in L.A. These days? Any new interesting bands? What are the best clubs these days ?

C.C.: L.A. still has just about everything happening musically. Nothing will ever be the past but there’s so many great bands here. Any club that you don’t have to pay to play is a good club.

G.M.: I love the current rock n roll scene in L.A.! Much like the city, it’s spread out. You may find yourself in the suburbs at the Maui Sugar Mill one weekend, and downtown at the Redwood (our favorite) the next. Great joints like Alex’s in Long Beach and the Old Towne Pub in Pasadena always have killer shows. There are many talented players in L.A., so you never know who is going to impress on any given night. Someone just needs to open a genuine rock n roll joint in Hollywood!

It seems like a lot of people are moving out of L.A, especially musicians who seem to have found a new home in Nashville…

G.M.: Don’t believe the hype. L.A. has always been a city with people arriving or leaving. Here today, gone today.

C.C.: That’s news to me.

Chad, you also sing in The LAST VEGAS but you have a couple of other projects. Can you tell us about them?

C.C.: I have some new TLV demos somewhere. Let’s see, everyday is Halloween with the spooky synth/guitar pop sounds of Razor Candy. I’m also doing synthesized music with my director pal, D.M. Cunningham in our outfit called Dreaming In Neon. We’re busy scoring his new film, “3 Demons” at the moment. But I do The Claws on the daily. Gary keeps me busy.

Do any of you play in other bands/projects?

G.M.: I don’t play in any other projects or bands, as everything that I write I consider for The Claws. If my tunes get too weird for The Claws, then maybe I’ll do some acid-jazz solo trip.

Will Europe be on the map when things finally start getting better in the world?

C.C.: Question is, will The Claws ever want to leave once we get there.

G.M.: Would love to do a European swing! I heard that many European rock n rollers have moved to Nashville..true?

Oh! That might explain why I haven’t seen any in almost two years! Haha

https://theclawsrock.com/
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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. ftwrecords.com

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.

Prophets Of Addiction “Nothing But The Truth”

Hollywood glam punks PROPHETS OF ADDICTION return with a semi-acoustic/stripped down version of the band, basically Lesli Sanders and Glenn Gilbert who toured together as a duo in the US last year when drummer Wayne Stokely wasn’t able to be with them on the road for health reasons. The cool DOGS D’AMOUR styled cover art and opening song “American Dream” set the tone of this album which often sounds close to Tyla’s solo records. Some people say that a good song must sound great when played acoustic, and this is the case with “Babylon Boulevard” that you can also hear on the band’s first album. The whole vibe aso sometimes brings GUNS N’ ROSES “Lies” acoustic side, or The ROLLING STONES to mind. Things aren’t always sad, heart-broken, gloomy or dark (the cowboyish “Last Of The Words”) and the acoustic version of “Spare The Bullets’ which was released on the band’s second album “Reunite The Sinners” is very catchy too. Tyla’s influence can also be heard in “Atmosphere”, “Return The Smile” and in “Heart Of Mine.” “Nothing But The Truth” shows us a different side of PROPHETS OF ADDICTION that suits them very well too. /Laurent C.

http://www.prophetsofaddiction.com/
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Glam Skanks – Spreading Sparkle!

After opening for ADAM ANT, L.A. glitter rock’n’roll band GLAM SKANKS are now touring in Europe. They answered a few questions about the band, glam rock, and Los Angeles in 2017. Don’t miss them if they are playing anywhere near you!

Can you give us a bit of history? How did you meet and get the idea to start GLAM SKANKS?

Sure! V Volume and Ali Cat met by posting almost the same add on Craigslist ! We both wanted to start an all female rock n roll band and turned out we had the same influences from the 70’s Rock n Roll scene. We met at V’s dads studio and jammed on some covers. We then played our first show starting out as a cover band! We are both inspired by over the top stage shows and outfits so we wanted to incorporate that in our band as well ! We later met Cassie and Millie through mutual friends. They share the same dreams as us and we all love music with such a passion so it works well !

You’ve just opened for ADAM ANT on his last tour. How did that happen? How was it?

Yes! We actually opened up for him on his last three tours! It’s been a wild ride for sure. Riding in a van packed with people, driving through EVERY kind of weather, meeting every kind of person, playing theatres and arenas! It’s been amazing! We definitely gained a bigger following by playing with Adam. They seem to respond to us very well! And we absolutely love Adam and his band and crew. We have learned so much from them and consider them family !

Opening for ADAM ANT means playing in big venues, did you feel comfortable from the start on these big stages? How do you feel about getting back to smaller clubs on your upcoming European tour?

We were definitely nervous at first but knew we were ready for big stages. We are a very energetic band so we loved having the freedom of getting to strut around on a big stage. But we did come from playing in small bars so we are super comfortable with that. We are excited to go back to playing smaller clubs. There is a certain energy in a rock n roll bar that you can’t get in a theatre. We love the sweaty, grimy underground feel of a hole in the wall club !

Your Euro tour has just started, how is it goin’ so far?

It’s going great! Each show has been wildly fun with a passionate audience! And the hospitality and friendliness of all the promoters and people we have been staying with has been unforgettable ! We are so grateful to all the open arms! We are most importantly greatful for Ludo at Adrenaline Fix Music for putting our tour together! He has worked hard and has made our album on Vinyl which you can now buy on Adrenalin Fix Music website ! 🙂
We did have our first bump in the road .. we were in the snow in France and Veronica Volume and her huge muscles ripped the van door off! We sat in a Burger King for a few hours and waited for someone to fix it !


Most people in Europe (and especially in non-English speaking countries) probably won’t care about the meaning of your band name, but how do people usually react to it in the US?

Yes it’s funny, people in the states are shocked but usually love it! We originally used the name temporarily and just thought it was funny but we noticed people were really taken away by it, which is a good thing because you know they can never forget it !

Los Angeles is mostly famous for its 80s Sunset Strip glam metal scene, but people sometimes forget that in the early 70s, Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco started it all in the US when it comes to glam/glitter rock. How did you first get into this style/music?

Ya exactly ! Sometime people see us and immediately thing of 80’s hair metal but that’s not what we are at all! We are very influenced by the likes of David Bowie, Queen, Alice Cooper, TRex. I’m not sure how we got into it .. I think it comes from Ali and V’s fathers, they loved all of that kind of music and educated us! We were drawn to the raw feel of the music and the outlandish stage performance and show! We think it is all important for a good band and makes it a full package .

Glam aesthetics and references have never really disappeared since they can be found in the work of people like PEACHES, MARILYN MANSON, or LADY GAGA to an extent, but more surprisingly, glam and glitter rock music has also made its come back these last years with bands like GIUDA or BITERS among others, do you see it as a kind of revival that could appeal to younger generations?

Yes, I think kids are always looking for that rebellious shock factor in music. That’s what stands out to us as well ! Putting on a show that makes you go “woah did that just happen?” All of those artists that you mentioned have that. They smack you in the face with their music, show and outfits and make you want to be apart of the madness! We just do what we think is cool and what we would like to see!, and we hope we can influence kids and especially young girls to want to do the same!

What’s your favourite…

BOWIE album?

The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust”

IGGY POP/STOOGES album?

Raw Power”

T.REX song?

“Jeepster”

NEW YORK DOLLS song?

Lookin for a Kiss”

JOAN JETT song?

Playin with Fire”

SUZIE QUATRO song?

Wild One”

There’s been a lot going on lately about sexual harassment on social networks. You recently posted something on Facebook about some guy that sent you a pic of his “private parts.” As a female band, have you ever dealt with such behaviours before?

Ya unfortunately, we get the occasional creepy dudes that won’t leave us alone at shows or get offended when we don’t accept their drink offer. It’s misogyny at its finest! We would like to be treated as profession musicians not just pieces of meat wearing fishnets. The clothes aren’t an invitation they are an artistic expression .

How is the L.A. scene these days? Any bands we should check out?

The scene is kind of over saturated with too many bands that sound the same or don’t really have an image. We are kinda over bands getting away with not have to sound good or have good songs and still be popular because it’s a “trend”, you almost don’t need to even be good musicians anymore to be known, it’s pretty sad . But on a brighter note there is a side that is soo inspiring and you can find super raw artistic talent playing at warehouses or small clubs in LA! Some bands that stand out to us right now are The Vista Kicks ( great rock n roll songs with super soulful vocals) Lauren Ruthward (a wild child with true passion in her vocals) & The Lemon Twigs ( they tour in Europe all the time so you may have heard of them but they are like The Beatles of our generation.. when it comes to songwriting )

What are the best places to buy cool glam/glitter clothes in L.A. in 2017?

Hmmm we all get our clothes different places or sometimes even craft up our own clothes !
We love to go to Vintage stores such as Iguana, JetRag, and American Vintage. We also like to find clothes on our travels !

The movie Velvet Goldmine suggests that Oscar Wilde was the first glam rocker, what do you think about that?

LOVE that movie!!!
It makes sense because he’s an artist. Glam Rock is performance art rock with some glitter thrown on top ! It is a very poetic and romantic lifestyle and that’s what Oscar Wilde is . He told stories and was a walking talking piece of art. It all coincides with each other!

Have you started working on a new album? Are you going to play any new songs on your upcoming Euro tour?

Yes we have started writing new songs and working on some new jams. We are very excited to go back into the studio and be in the creative process again. We aren’t sure if we will release an EP first or just come out with a whole album!! What do you all think? 😉

https://www.glamskanks.com/
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BEAUTIFUL CREATURES Release Re-Mixed Re-Mastered Deluxe Edition of Their Sophomore Album “Deuce”

Beautiful Creatures have released a remixed, remastered (by Anthony Focx), re-sequenced “Deluxe” edition of their sophomore album “Deuce”, which will include the BRAND NEW track “Get You High” – the band’s first new song released since 2004.

Following Beautiful Creature‘s self titled release in 2001, the core band (Joe LeSte (Vocals), Kenny Kweens (Bass) and Anthony Focx (Guitar) immediately entered the studio with a new lineup which included lead guitarist Alex Grossi and began recording material for the follow-up to their debut, which would end up being titled “Deuce”.

Produced on mixed by guitarist Anthony Focx, with additional production by Beautiful Creatures founding member Kenny Kweens, “Deuce” was released worldwide in 2005 and ultimately landed premier placements on the hit FX TV series “Sons Of Anarchy”, the Walt Disney/Touchstone hit film”The Proposal” starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds as well multiple other TV & movie soundtracks.

Kenny Kweens states: “Unlike our Warner Bros. debut record, “DEUCE” was NEVER properly released digitally due to all the changes in technology during that particular time period – We are really looking forward to everyone hearing “Deuce” as it was meant to be sonically in a digital medium”, “We are really excited to be doing this“, says Joe LeSte “We have all been through a lot both personally and professionally as a band – and even though we have all gone down different roads, whenever we see each other or chat on the phone, it’s like no time has gone by at all. I saw Kenny (Kweens) and Alex (Grossi) on the last Monsters Of Rock Cruise, we ended up all onstage together playing a Beautiful Creatures tune, it was really fun – within 48 hours, all of our phones lit up. So, we collectively said – F#ck it, let’s go for it- and well, here we are!

Beautiful Creatures “Deuce Deluxe” features every track the band recorded for the Japanese Release (JVC Records) as well as the U.S. Release (Spitfire/Eagle Rock), In one digital package that has been re-mixed and remastered. It will also include new album cover artwork and edits that up until now, were not included in either initial release.

 

Tattooed Millionaires are back!

Minnie-Apple Records and Tapes recording Artist Tattooed Millionaires (ASCAP) announce new lineup, new album and tour for 2017.

Tattooed Millionaires is an American rock band that was formed in Los Angeles, California in 2004. Led by front man and founder Johnny Jetson, TM has gone through numerous controversies since its formation. They have toured internationally in support of 3 studio albums and received critical acclaim and dubious notoriety.

Recently relocated to Minneapolis the band is currently releasing new material and appearing regionally in support of bands Enuff Z’nuff (Chicago/March 18) and L.A. Guns (Detroit/July 1). The current lineup is: Jimmy Mess/Drums, Irving Rodriguez/Guitar, Skip Malone/Bass and Johnny Jetson/Vocals and Guitar.

New Single, ‘I Believe In Rock And Roll’:

Band on the Web:
http://www.facebook.com/tattooedmillionaires
http://www.johnnyjetson.com/tattooedmillionaires

Upcoming Shows:
March 18 Chicago, IL (w / Enuff Z’nuff
March 25 Chicago, IL
March 29 Minneapolis, MN
April 1 Waterloo, IA
July 1 Detroit, MI (w / LA Guns)

The Last Show Of Mötley Crüe “Nuit du Long Couteau et du Rêve Américain“ – Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA 31/12/2015

Je n’étais pas vraiment prédestiné à me trouver là ce soir, je n’avais encore jamais écouté un seul titre de Mötley avant les années 2000, et pourtant on est devenus très intimes en peu de temps, ils font désormais partie de ma culture musicale et de chacune de mes visites en Californie. Ce soir c’est la 6e fois que j’en suis, je passe même nouvel an avec eux. Comment ça se fait? J’aurais pu les découvrir dans les 90’s avec “Generation Swine”, c’était ce genre de son grungy, pop-noisy qui m’excitait à l’époque, mais leur label en France apparemment n’en a pas fait sa priorité, et l’album n’a donc jamais attiré mon attention (la pochette oui par contre) chez le seul disquaire à Saint-Dié (les métalleux trouvent le nom particulièrement cool) dans les Vosges. J’ai plutôt écouté 4 autres californiens omniprésents à l’époque et particulièrement appréciés par les débutants en slap bass. Il faut croire que le Zeigeist rodait plutôt de leur côté.

C’est le soir du Nouvel An, je me rends au Staples Center avec mes rock bitchez overlookées, l’endroit est connu pour accueillir les Grammy Awards. On est au centre de Downtown, un quartier peu fréquentable il y a encore 10 ans, mais en pleine ébullition depuis quelques années. De loin Downtown dessine la skyline de L.A et fait penser à un quartier d’affaires très huppé. Sauf qu’une partie du quartier renaît à peine de ses cendres de quartier chelou „à éviter“ et attire aujourd’hui dans ses entrepôts et anciens hôtels des années 20 une nouvelle scène underground, une évolution un peu à la Berlinoise ou Brooklynoise début 2000. On doit la réhabilitation de Downtown ainsi que de Hollywood, un quartier qui n’avait plus rien de glamour depuis très longtemps, entre autres à la venue de jeunes gens fuyant les loyers exhorbitants et inhumains de San Francisco ou New York.
Le Staples Center quant à lui n’a rien d’underground ou alternatif, on est là dans une cathédrale de l’entertainment ultra-capitaliste: une jungle interminable de sponsors, un magasin (et non un stand) tout entier dédié au merch du groupe, la bière à 12$ (environ 12€), et des prix de billets ahurissants. On sent vraiment les efforts déterminés et presque sauvages pour nous soutirer le maximum disponible et indisponible de notre compte bancaire.
Mais c’est Nouvel An, et le dernier show de Mötley Crüe, on ne va pas regarder à la dépense. Je me prends un gobelet de vin blanc (après avoir calculé ce qui me fera le plus d’effet en dépensant le moins) et m’en vais aller fumer une clope dans un endroit totalement isolé et très loin de nos places.
Premier d’une longue série de paradoxes: le plus gros pays producteur de tabac t’interdit de fumer quasiment partout. En gros, avec une clope et une bière, tu te sens davantage comme un délinquant qu’en portant une arme dans un Starbucks. Ca ne pouvait être donc que de ma faute d’avoir loupé l’entrée en scène du Crüe sur Girls Girls Girls pour avoir osé fumer une clope après les excellents chauffeurs de salles anglais The Struts. Je cours, mais j’arrive seulement à la fin du morceau.. Tant pis, je crie quand même, de joie de voir les 4 survivants du Sunset Strip des 80’s une nouvelle et dernière fois. Ma 1ère fois c’était avec Laur Veglam himself, mon mentor en rock flamboyant et mon Tommy Lee et Nicky Wire du temps de notre aventure glitteresque au sein de Sparkling Bombs (R.I.P). On était à l’époque en tournée sur la Côté Ouest quand Laur m’a transmis le virus de L.A et de sa scène Glam et Sleaze Rock. La machine à rêve m’a donc engloutie à mon tour, et je fus dépucelé par un 1er show de Mötley en 2008 à LA LA Land.

7 and plus tard, même ville, j’assiste au dernier show ever! Ever? Alors contractuellement ils se seraient mis d’accord de ne plus jamais tourner ensemble. Perso j’ai du mal à le croire au vue des annonces du même genre déjà lors des dernières tournées. Un fan me racontera plus tard que le contrat n’excluait pas les shows ponctuels, donc à mon avis tant que Mick Mars tient debout, on aura peut être encore la chance de les revoir ensemble. Tous les derniers shows étaient sold-out, les bénefs considérables, pourquoi s’en priveraient ils? Pas au nom de l’intégrité en tous cas.
Aux USA business et musique sont indissociables. Il n’y a qu’en France où on est pas trop à l’aise avec ca. Je me dois néanmoins de rappeler que la qualité des shows de Mötley ont toujours été à la hauteur. Le groupe est connu pour le soin et les moyens investis dans leurs shows et ne font pas d’exception ce soir, on en a pour son argent.
Certainement une des nombreuses raisons de leur longévité.

Mötley n’a pas été le plus vendeur ni le plus populaire de sa génération et pourtant il est le dernier groupe à être encore là, et les salles n’ont jamais été aussi pleines.
On doit ce succès à plusieurs facteurs:

-Le leadership et le sens des affaires de son fondateur Nikki Sixx.
-Une endurance exemplaire: car même au plus bas de sa carrière le groupe ne lâche pas, joue les petites jauges, les afternoon slots dans les festivals et continue à enregistrer des albums malgré les problèmes de santé, de drogues, de conflits internes, du départ de Vince, puis de Tommy Lee.
-La street cred: GnR et Nirvana ont un peu ballayés toute la scène avec leur style moins polissé et sophistiqué. Au revoir Poison, Ratt, Skid Row, Warrant, ..
Mötley sortaient du lot, ils étaient plus crades et rugueux que leurs contemporains, et ont réussis à fédérer un public féminin ainsi que les rockers, punks et bikers.
-Et dernier point, le plus important: la sincérité quant à leurs vies privés racontées dans le best-seller The Dirt. Jamais un groupe auparavant aura raconté avec autant d’humanité ses propres ups and downs. C’est dans son côté sombre que Mötley révèle sa vulnérabilité, et c’est dans cet aveu de faiblesses que le groupe attire la sympathie du grand public (dont je fais partie).
Le respect de l’échec personnel ou professionnel est profondément ancré dans la culture américaine. On accorde d’ailleurs davantage de confiance à quelqu’un qui a connu des échecs qu’inversement. Et des échecs dans la vie du Crüe, il y en a un paquet. Et même si l’écriture extrêment romancée de Neil Strauss (connu entre autres pour l’hyper biograpahie de Manson) ne lésine pas sur l’exagération, on se rapproche humainement du groupe comme jamais auparavant.
Tout ça, plus Pamela Anderson et une sextape mondialement connue ont fait que Mötley Crüe est encore là ce soir, envoyant le bois devant 20 000 fans des plus fidèles.

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Le public est chaud, le groupe rodé, c’est la fin de la tournée, et la dernière d’une série de 3 dates dans leur fief où tout a commencé il y a 35 ans, autant dire que la tension est à son comble. Ca explose de partout, les flammes chauffent jusqu’au dernier rang, tout en enchaînant les tubes:
Same Ol’Situation, Smokin In The Boys Room, Looks That Kill.. un crowd pleaser après l’autre bien qu’une setlist sans surprise aucune depuis 10 ans. Les die-hard fans auraient aimé des extraits un peu plus obscures et rugueux de leur discographie, mais bon l’heure est à la fête et on ne va certainement pas changer une setlist qui gagne au dernier concert!

Pour rappeler que MC fut à la base plus punk que heavy, ils envoient Anarchy In The UK au milieu duquel une poignée de mecs cagoulés et habillés Guantanamo style envahissent la scène en tirant sur le public.. avec des fusils à eau… 1ère réflexion: ”mmh, too soon?“, mais après avoir checké qu ils le faisaient déjà sur la tournée avant les attaques du 13 Nov, je suis un peu rassuré tout en avouant avoir trouvé ca quelque peu déplacé après coup. Mais bon, très honnêtement, je crois avoir été le seul à faire le rapprochement et je ne voudrais gâcher cet instant fun punk pour rien au monde.:)
Et je crois bien que ce serait surestimer un peu l’intellect de nos 4 rockstars préférés. Ca a d’ailleurs le mérite de les rendre encore plus sympathiques. Une rockstar politisée aux USA, ça peut parfois déraper très à doite à en lire les positions d’un certain Jesse Hughes.. too soon?

Anyway, les anarchistes (je présume) cagoulés se barrent à la fin du morceau, personne n’est blessé, juste humidifés et gonflés à bloc, on est au milieu du set, un moment crucial dans un show, on est au sommet de l’excitation et du coup méga réceptif émotionnellement. Et c’est bien sûr de ce moment que Nikki profite pour créer un moment d’intimité avec le public en racontant à lumière tamisée sa version du rêve américain, ce pourquoi on est tous là ce soir. Il s’agenouille comme un chevalier après un long combat et tire de sa botte de rock’n roll un long couteau… et là il raconte le patelin paumé (et dieu sait qu il y en a beaucoup dans ce vaste pays) d’où il vient, qu il n’avait rien à part ce couteau offert par son père et des rêves pleins les yeux en arrivant à L.A. C’était touchant, car sincère. Et on comprend une fois de plus que toute l’histoire de ce pays est bâtie sur cette simple philosophie du „plongeur devenant millionaire“.
Une bien belle idée, sauf qu’elle n’est pas réaliste à moins de défendre le concept de darwinisme social. Mais le pire étant que la plupart des gens y croient vraiment! Et le nombre de sans abris, de mendiants, de mecs habitant dans leur bagnole, qu’on voit partout dans les rues ne les fait pas douter une seule seconde que ce rêve puisse être totalement fumeux. Non, bien au contraire, ça leur rappelle en permamence qu’il faut encore doubler d’efforts pour réussir et ne pas finir comme ce type qui a tout perdu car on lui a pris sa maison.. On connaît l’histoire mais ca ne change rien. C’est cette foie imperturbable doublée d’un instinct de survie transmis dés le plus jeune âge qui caractérise le peuple américain. En tant qu’européen assisté, protégé, qui ne croit plus en grand chose, on est tout simplement fasciné par cette énergie. Jusqu’à un certain point. Et ce point c’est la perte de toute notion de réalité, le fait de tout analyser de manière émotionelle, de ne pas se baser sur des faits, sur des résultats scientifiques, et de déléguer les pleins pouvoirs à une force spirituelle et à un ordre moral suprême. Une morale qui se veut au dessus des lois, des institutions, et de l’état, et qui définit pour l’ensemble de la population ce qui est bien et ce qui est mal. Scary!!!

Ce pouvoir de la foi et de la morale aux USA est garantie et entretenue par une société de consommation extrême, car tant que tu consommes, tes besoins primaires sont satisfaits et tu ne remets pas en question la main qui te nourrit. Une main invisible qui te nourrit, te guide et qui gère tout. Tu n’as pas besoin d’en avoir plus. J’en veux pour preuve ce texte publicitaire imprimé sur un paquet de lait entier (en gros le lait entier, ormis le fait qu’il ne soit pas bon pour notre organisme et qu’il est le fruit de l’exploitation d’animaux par l’homme, n’est pas très populaire en ce moment comme tout aliment qui n’est pas estampillé ”fat free”): „On pourrait vous raconter plein de choses intelligentes sur le lait entier mais franchement pourquoi le ferait on car vous venez déjà de l’acheter. C’est du VRAI lait et c est vraiment délicieux!“
Ca montre à quel point on désinforme pour mieux pouvoir formater ensuite. Et ce que dit la pub est vrai! C’est toujours vrai car toujours dit sur le ton du „bon sens“. Du coup, on gobbe des trucs comme „avoir des dettes c’est horrible, avec ”Kill The Debts” vous vous débarrassez enfin de vos dettes“ (en en créant de nouvelles cela va sans dire), ou bien: „vous êtes obèse et vous sentez mal dans votre peau alors achetez ces pillules approuvées par de vrais médecins, et restez libres en continuant de manger comme avant, ne vous laissez pas vous faire manipuler par tous ces régimes, une pillule et hop“.
On nous a appris à croire plutôt qu’à réfléchir donc on gobbe. Et on nous a appris ce qu’était bien et mal, donc on le sait tout simplement.
Cette idéologie a traversé les océans et nous est transmise tous les jours par les produits culturels américains, cela fait partie de ce que l’on appelle ”soft power”, un pouvoir politique exercé de manière non économique ni militaire.

Mais qu’est ce que je raconte, je suis venu ici pour le pain et les jeux, à savoir un putain de show qui défonce et des nachos gratinés aux cheddar. Et puis c’est tout! Je veux croire en cette illusion, comme un gosse qui voit un magicien sans se demander comment ca marche. Et comme Tommy Lee, je veux voir des „Titties“! Rien de plus simple d’ailleurs à L.A, car aller dans un stripclub, c’est comme aller boire un coup dans un bar. Enième paradoxe ricain: Tu te fais jarter de Facebook en moins de 2 pour un simple téton, et ici tu vas voir des trous de balles en famille le week-end, weird! Peut être que le sexe en rapport avec l’argent c’est cool mais le sexe nature c’est ..evil?

En parlant d’evil, un autre symbole qui domine le show c’est l’ami satan et son pentacle. Avec Shout At The Devil et Louder Than Hell, et un immense pentacle enflammé derrière la scène, on fête le devil mental en nous.
L’image du diable est très présente aux USA, il représente 2 choses: le mal incanré pour les uns et donc la justification d’une pensée manichéenne, et pour les autres c est le culte de l’individualisme, de la nature humaine et l’indépendance par rapport à un dieu. Dans les 2 cas, il représente une force dont l’Amérique a besoin de se nourrir pour exister.
Et dans le Rock’n Roll, la sympathie pour le diable est assez commune, c’est un peu un pote d’enfance. Une enfance qui n’a quittée personne ce soir, et surtout pas Tommy Lee qui est désormais à l’honneur avec son mythique drum solo.

IMG_1706Vu que son solo a suivi une certaine surenchère durant ces 35 années de carrière, on était en droit d’espérer ce soir un climax dans le genre. Et on était pas décu! La batterie de Tommy est censée traverser toute la salle comme une montagne russe, pendant qu’il tape de toutes ses forces sur son kit qui tourne sur lui même. C’est assez dingue d’imaginer comment il défie la loi d’apesanteur en bourrinant à l’envers. C’est marrant, car dans toutes leurs interviews Mötley ont précisé qu’ils faisaient une vraie distinction entre dilletantisme et professionnalisme dans leur carrière, et que le show du drum solo était définitivement à l’image de leur coté pro! Ha. Trop fort, car au milieu de la trajectoire l’ami sévèrement membré et éternel ado Tommy Lee a dû faire face a une panne de son joujou préféré, autant IMG_1689dire qu’il a bandé mou devant 20 000 fans en tirant son tout dernier coup. Sauf que là aussi, ils sont trop forts car „the show must go on“, Tommy fanfaronne, raconte des conneries „at least show me some titties“ et ne se laisse pas abattre, plus cool tu die.
Seul problème est que le show perd du coup de sa dynamique et son timing aussi. Le temps que Tommy escalade le bordel et regagne la scène, on est plus dedans…
Mick envoit son solo voodoo noisy et récolte une dernière fois toute la chaleur du public qu’il mérite tant, s’il devait y avoir un bon gars dans le tas ce serait incontestablement Mick Mars.
Argghhhh il est minuit moins 5 (en France tout le monde dort déjà la bouche ouverte et la langue bientôt pâteuse), et le Crüe démarre Dr. Feelgood, sauf que le morceau dépasse minuit pile et à minuit cinq une fois que tout le public s’est deja bien galoché, Vince nous fait un petit décompte de circomstance quand même, allez ca passe.
Happy Fuckin New Year!
„Explosions! Pan! Paf! Paow! Ballons! Pluie de confettis! Flammes!“

Ca y est, un des derniers fuseaux horaires passe en 2016.
Il ne s’est jamais rien passé de particulier dans la nuit du Nouvel An, pas de bug, pas de fin du monde, mais l’idée de faire un bilan, de remettre les compteurs à zéro me convient. C’est le moment de se poser les questions importantes afin d’essayer de changer un peu notre trajectoire.
En parlant avec les gens et en lisant la presse, on sent que l’amérique se questionne aujourd’hui plus qu’avant: „quelles lecons doit on tirer de la crise ? Est-ce que l’on veut continuer à mener une politique étrangère agressive et non profitable sur le long terme ? Est-ce que l’on veut plus de justice sociale, s’enagager dans une économie verte et durable ? Ou bien opter pour le replis sur soi, se barricader derrière de longs murs, continuer à défendre coute que coute un empire qui ne fait que créer des conflits partout dans le monde, continuer à vouer un culte à l’individualisme et continuer de croire aveuglément à un rêve qui ne se réalisera que pour 1% d’entre nous?”

Après avoir été pionniers dans l’élaboration des droits des l homme, inventé le concept de nations unies, excellé dans le progrès technique et scientifique, et en étant toujours à l’avant garde de nouvelles tendances, les USA tout comme l’Europe se trouvent aujourd’hui à un même carrefour de l’histoire, devant assumer les conséquences de leur arrogance, faire face à une crise identitaire, faire des choix importants pour l’avenir de la planète et de ses espèces. Une partie de moi (très certainement ma partie californienne si toutefois j’en avais une) croit en un éveil des consciences et à une profonde volonté de changement. Tout peut encore arriver.

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Le concert se termine par l’inconditionnelle ballade Home Sweet Home qu’une poignée de „chanceux“ pourront voir de très près, assis carrément à coté du groupe dans le Crüe Nest à 3000$ le siège au centre de la salle, le tout accompagné d’images d’archives du groupe. L’heure est à la nostalgie, tout ce que Mötley aura accompagné dans notre vie défile dans nos têtes. Un tout dernier „thank you, we love you“ et le groupe quitte le ring sur fond de My Way (dont les droits de la musique continuent à être reversés aux héritiers d’un chanteur à paillettes francais, Yes Monsieur!). La sortie est épique mais la fin tout de même brutale, les lumières s’allument, les bars sont fermés, et ne restent que les souvenirs pleins la tête des fans en larmes, abandonnés. Car même si les sourires sont souvent plastiques, les larmes, elles, sont toujours sincères. Des larmes qui n’ont pas eu le temps de sécher depuis la mort de Lemmy il y a quelques jours, le monde du Rock est en deuil, le parrain du genre et gardien du temple nous a quitté, une étoile de plus s’est éteinte sur le Sunset Strip. Cette mort soudaine et la fin de Mötley nous rappellent la fin d’une époque et la mortalité de nos idoles. Même l’annonce de la reformation de GnR n’arrivera pas à nous soulager du deuil, il suffit de voir les récentes photos du père Axl qui spécule à mon avis déjà sur notre nostalgie hautement bankable.

Il est 1h du mat, on quitte l’arena, devant nous marche un couple „just married“ qui a profité de ce dernier show pour célébrer leur union devant les tout puissants rois du Sleaze, et forcément on ne trouve pas de taxi pour rentrer… Comment faire sans bagnole dans une ville où personne ne marche et n’ose prendre le bus? La réponse est sous terraine, et pour la 1e fois de ma vie et celle de nos amis locaux, nous prenons le métro à L.A, personne dans cette ville n’a jamais pris ce metro qui existe pourtant depuis toujours.
Je m’assieds dans un wagon rempli de visages au maquillage coulant, entre costumes burlesques des années 20 et fans de Mötley perruqués de la 1e heure, direction Hollywood, where the dreams never end!

Alice Gift

Photo credits: Jessica Andree

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