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.

IMG_1684
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.

IMG_1732

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

IMG_1723

Down To Rock #13

My name is Teddy Heavens and I’m bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk/Metal 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!

Check out my Glam Punk website at http://www.ftwrecords.com

 

The state of Los Angeles rock and roll:

Whiskey A Go Go

This venue has been having a lot of cool hard rock shows: Wed. 13, LA Guns, Adler, Glitter N Glam nights, Krokus, Faster Pussycat, Tom Keifer, Black Oak Arkansas, Slaughter and the Dogs, Fear, Stryper, etc., with a lot of cool shows coming up. Definitely the place to be for visiting rockers on any given night, and things will be picking up even more since the House Of Blues just shut down.

Loaded-Metal Sanaz shows

Metal Sanaz is putting on some cool heavy metal shows at the Hollywood Blvd. club Loaded. She is a fair promoter and the club is straight up rock and roll, with killer live room and sleaze DJ out front and super cheap drinks. Nice place to get the down and dirty Hollywood rock and roll vibe from back in the day. The place to start or end your evening.

Lucky Strike Jam Nights

Chuck Wright runs the popular Wed. night Lucky Strike jam nights in Hollywood, that is all the rage right now for local Hollywood Rockers. The jam puts local and visiting rock stars of all levels together to jam hard rock and heavy metal cover tunes, and it is pretty amazing how good some of the players are. Place has been getting more and more packed recently and the rock stars are getting bigger and bigger. It’s a lot of fun and a good place to see a lot of your favorite players in one place, check it out when in Hollywood.

Cathouse Festival-Irvine, Ca.

This is the debut of the festival that pays homage to the glory days of the Sunset strip with the glam and hard rock bands that were kicking around in the late 80’s. Bands like LA Guns, Faster Pussycat and Pretty Boy Floyd are all representing at the festival and with any luck the event will be successful so that it can continue and include more bands from the day (signed and unsigned) that tore up the strip, like featured on the Hollywood Rocks Box set. Keep an eye out for the reviews and videos if you were not able to make it!

CD Reviews:

Frank Dimino-Old Habits Die Hard

Frank is one of my favorite singers, and Angel in the 70’s and 80’s was one of my favorite bands. I got the Angel release, In The Beginning, in the 2000’s and was lucky enough to see Frank and Barry in Angel, play in L.A. around that time. Seeing those guys play all the Angel hits was awesome and a dream come true. I also had the pleasure of seeing Frank perform in Las Vegas with his cover band, also featuring Jimmy Crespo (Aerosmith) and Johnny Lust (Creature), which was awesome, as they played The Tower and other Angel classics. Now Frank has a solo release and it hit me like a ton of bricks, because his voice is just as good as it was back in the day, with the same tone and vibrato that he is know for. Playing those covers and Angel tunes in those bars and casinos in Vegas was Frank’s best move, as it preserved his voice for this very “comeback” release, as well as keeping him lean and mean looking.
The release opens with “Never Again”, which is very much in the vein of classic hard rock Angel tunes. Next up is “Rocking In The City”, a contemporary hard rock song that showcases Dimino’s voice with a closing scream rivaling the best Deep Purple track. “Can’t Stop Loving You” is a Zeppelinesque tune and “The Rains About To Fall” has a big Montrose/Mountain riff showcasing Frank’s influences and songwriting style (honed at the Berkeley School Of Music as a youngster), and the power pop ballad “Even Now” is a direct cousin to the songs from the classic Angel Sinful release, complete with ending from that period.
Frank has many guest stars on this release including Punky Meadows, Oz Fox and Ricky Medlock, but the songs and Frank’s voice are the stars of this release. “Tears Will Fall” is the modern day “Tower”, the track that is closest to Frank’s past, and “Mad As Hell” is another nod to influences Deep Purple/Rainbow, with the Track “Sweet Sensation” bringing the sleaze rock opening riff to the party. “Tonight’s the Night” kicks out a Darkness/Status Quo vibe, adding to the variety that this release has, along with the top notch musicianship of all the players supporting Frank. “The Quest” opens with a Pantera riff, but turns into a keyboard driven fast pace number, featuring Giuffria period sounding keyboards, and the closing “Stones By The River” is the perfect cap to this perfect release, a real 70’s vocal driven number with Punky Meadows (my guess) adding guitar, proving old heroes don’t go away, they just get better and show how it’s done time and time again! This release will be my pick for album of the year, great songs and vocals, and top notch musicianship from all the backing players, can’t wait for the tour to hit Los Angeles.

Spiders N Snakes-Year Of The Snake

These guys are L.A. Glam Rock legends, going strongly for over two decades. Lizzie Gray is a survivor from the Hollywood music scene, who has seen and done it all!!! I want to write a book about this guy someday. He started London, who spawned a lot of big name rock stars, starred in the classic Decline 2 movie (currently now available as a box set trilogy) in the 80’s, and has rocked L.A. with Spiders N Snakes since then. Drummer Tim Yasui is another Hollywood survivor, along with guitarist Chris Sheridan and bassist Phil St. Vincent. This CD release also features guest appearances from some of my favorite players, including Rik Fox (Steeler) and Betsy Bitch (Bitch).
All band members take turns singing lead vocals on various tracks, but the standout song is “Kawasaki City”, with Tim on Lead Vocals, a song about his good times partying it up in Japan. The band also pulls out the Angel version of “Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” with duel vocals from Tim and Betsy Bitch, with Rik Fox on bass, Bad Ass!!!! I had the pleasure of seeing this line-up perform the song live at Loaded and at the CD release party a few months back.
Overall, “Year of the Snake” is a killer release of hard rock, Glam Pop songs with top notch musicianship. Fun and Raw, the way Hollywood rock and roll should be! Buy it now!!

Billy Idol Live review- The Wiltern in Los Angeles, Ca.

I was lucky enough to get VIP passes for this show from BI bassist Steve McGrath, so I was stoked to have some elbow room and a cool drink to witness one of my favorite artist live. Billy has a top notch band, featuring Steve Stevens, who is able to replicate all of the cool guitar tones and sounds from the 80’s hits (and he is also an impeccable rock and roll dresser).
Billy Idol has tons of hits, and he played them all, but the crowd went off for “Eyes Without a Face”, “White Wedding” and “Rebel Yell”. Billy looks good, he’s in perfect shape and has complete control of the stage, never overdoing it, but simply doing the “Billy Idol” thing, which is Elvis 2015!
After reading Billy’s autobiography, I was amazed to find out that he was smacked out on heroin all during the time he was at his biggest in the 80’s and 90’s, but it’s a testament to his talent and survivability that even today he’s still the ultimate punk rock star, looking and sounding better than ever.

Manic Street Preachers Live review- The Ford Theatre in Los Angeles, Ca.

Anytime MSP tour the US I have got to see them, as I am amazed they have not broken big in the US. But that allows me to see them in small up close venues, the 3rd time so far! MSP were touring as a 3 piece to commemorate the “Holy Bible” release, so they played all that record in its Gloomy entire glory, which was cool, but a little too downtrodden for me, so I was glad that they encored with multiple hits from the last two decades. My highlight is always gonna be “Motorcycle Emptiness” and “If You Tolerate This” and “Love’s Sweet Exile”. I love the early Manics stuff and James is such a good and underrated guitar player. When they first came out, I read an interview where they described themselves as a cross of Hanoi Rocks, Guns N Roses and Public Enemy, so of course my interest was peaked, and I have loved them the same through all their releases. I hope this is not the last time I see them live.

The Dictators/Prima Donna live review-Billy O’s in Ventura, Ca.

Rebel Rebel had the pleasure of opening for the seminal NYC punk rock group The Dictators, featuring Ross The Boss and Handsome Dick Manitoba, with legendary producer (Ramones) Daniel Rey on 2nd guitar. Also on the bill were L.A. favorites Prima Donna, who are now a slimmed down 4 piece. PD are a tight music machine onstage, the years of major world touring show in the playing, and interaction with the crowd. You can tell these guys love playing live rock and roll, they will play anywhere at any time! They have a new release out now that you should pick up, called “9 Lives and 45’s“, support this hard working band and share with friends.
The Dictators hit the little Billy O stage like it was CBGB’s in the 70”s, and played all the Dictators faves. Handsome Dick is a funny ass cleaver front man, interacting with the crowd and hitting on good looking chicks in the crowd that were digging on him. These guys play a lot of huge festivals in Europe and back east, so it was a treat supporting them and seeing how an OG NYC punk band does it! The highlight of the set was the song “Baby Let’s Twist”, with HDM singing from the middle of the crowd and passing the microphone around to the crowd to sing the chorus. Cool night to remember and I added a Dictators pick and set list to my collection.

Acoustic Saints Live review-Twisted Oak Tavern in Agora Hills, Ca.

This band features Chuck Wright from Quiet Riot and Giuffria on bass and Stan Bush on vocals and guitar, along with a mando/fiddle/guitar player that is off the chain talented. Stan had a solo career in the 80’s and Chuck runs the popular Wed. night Lucky Strike jam nights in Hollywood, that is all the rage right now for local Hollywood Rockers. The AS play classic rock in the acoustic format, with Chuck playing a fretless bass, and the place is always packed out as these guys are top notch players. The set list is always changing, but staples are 70’s hard rock like Eagles and Zeppelin tunes, played with expert musicianship. These guys are a must see when visiting the L.A. area.

Cool bands I’ve been listening to:

Royal Blood

Two man bands are now a novelty, usually guitar and drums or synthesizer and vocals, but bass and drums, that’s a new spin on things and RB have the sound down. Hard rock with strong pop melodies played by lead vocalist/bassist and drummer, with a full sound. The bass is heavily effected, but still sounds original and contemporary. Big in Europe already, but fighting to break the US currently, check them out with open ears.

The Montecristos

This is the new band from Neal X ex Sigue Sigue Sputnik. He plays surf guitar and sings, much like he did in the last version of SSS. This band is mainly surf/rockabilly sounding with a stand up bassist and horns, but the songs still pack a punch. Neal X has been busy through the years playing with Marc Almond, and his signature sound is in tack-big holly body Gibson guitar with a lot of echo and delay. This band is a cross of The Cramps/Dick Dale/Eddie Cochran and Sigue Sigue Sputnik. They have been playing a lot of gigs in Europe and Spain and I’m praying they come to the states.

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
http://www.ftwrecords.com
ftwrecords@aol.com

Rebel Hotel “The Way I Am/Overflow”

TC2Two songs from L.A. based REBEL HOTEL, “The Way I Am” and “Overflow.” Think modern hard rock with a punky edge, sleaze rock flirting with Californian punk rock, VELVET REVOLVER jamming with the DEAD KENNEDYS? Maybe not, but something close!… These guys like their heavy guitar riffs and high-energy drum beats, and you’ll also find a bit of 70s hard rock in “Overflow” too (especially in the guitars.) Two songs isn’t enough, but REBEL HOTEL released a few EPs before that, so check out their website for more!/Laurent C.

Official website
Facebook page

Vicky Hamilton – “I decided to be the best female RnR manager in the world…”

If you own more than one 80s glam metal album then you’re probably familiar with the name Vicky Hamilton, since you could see it on almost every thank list on these vinyl inserts. I briefly met Vicky at Bar Sinister in L.A. in 2005, and when Robbie Quine (The BARBARELLATONES) told me “You should talk to my friend Vicky”, I thought it would be interesting to send her a few questions…

Can you tell us about your background? When did you move to Los Angeles?

I dropped our of art school in Indiana in 1980, I moved to Hollywood in 1981 where I decided to be the best female rock and roll manager in the world…
I had 2 bands from the midwest that I was pumping when I first moved to LA and that is where it started. I was also a record buyer for Licorice Pizza Record Store on the Sunset Strip.

How did you start managing bands?

By accident! My boyfriend in Indiana was in a band and then the band broke up. I decided to manage his career and help him find a new band. I got the management bug…I worked with 3 bands in Indiana and then decided I needed to move to Hollywood, as to take it to the next level, I needed to be where the action was.

I read that you helped MÖTLEY CRÜE in their early days… In those days, did you ever imagine they could have become so big?

I loved Motley Crue from the beginning. What they were doing then (1981) was really fresh as the glam/metal thing was just starting. LA until the Crue was pretty punk rock. Yes, I did think they could be huge, and I saw it as a new trend in rock…which it was.

EarlyCrue
You also managed POISON. I’ve always read that despite the party image, the band was a hard working one, were they?

No one worked harder than Poison, they didn’t have day jobs, they made promoting the band their day job. They didn’t take “no” for an answer and they were the kings of self promo.

PoisonLips2

Do you remember the first time you’ve heard about GUNS N’ ROSES? Then the first time you met them? They lived at your place for a while, right?

I met Axl and Izzy when they were in Hollywood Rose. I was a booking agent at the time and they came by my office and played me some tracks. I was blown away, and booked them sight unseen. I met Slash around the same time, he was playing guitar in another band I booked called Black Sheep. I booked both bands on a show with Stryper at the Music Machine and that was when GNR started coming together. Yes, they all lived with me, except Duff who lived with his girlfriend while we were shopping a record deal. You’ll have to buy my book to get that story though…hopefully will be out in the next few months.

Gnrearly

When did the band actually start to make enough money to live off their music? Just after the release of “Appetite For Destruction”?

They got an advance from Geffen, but burnt thorough that pretty quickly. I think it took at least a year after the record came out before they had real money to live on.

Talking about managing STRYPER. That must have been very different from dealing with Axl & friends…

I worked as a management consultant to Stryper and Motley Crue, I wasn’t their manager. Surprisingly, a band is a band whether they are Christian or not, the business is pretty much the same. I didn’t live with Stryper and they didn’t date strippers or have drug habits, but it was all about business, just like GNR.

Didn’t you feel that the magic faded away when Steven Adler got fired and Izzy left?

Yes. Those five guys had the magic. When you start taking pieces of the magic away, the sound is different. I don’t think it will ever be as good as it was when those 5 were together.

Are you still in touch with them? Do you think they will ever reunite with the original line-up?

I talk to Slash on a fairly regular basis and I am friends with all the other guys. I have not spoken to Axl since the mid 90’s unfortunately. I wish him well, and hope one day were will get to chat. I don’t think the original lineup will ever get back together, I would love it, but I think the chances are slim to none.

meandslash
You also got FASTER PUSSYCAT to sign with Elektra, right?

Yes, I took Faster Pussycat to my friend Peter Philbin who was an A&R man at Elektra at the time. Peter signed them.

Faster Pussycat early
Any other bands you managed that should have deserved to make it big, but didn’t?

Many! Salty Dog had a good run, but could have been bigger. Lostboys, featuring Randy O from Odin. Darling Cruel signed to Polygram but the record didn’t get as much attention as it should have. Rick Parker, I,Napoleon, Half Way Home, Shadowland, Graveyard Train…all bands I brought or worked with at Geffen, could have had bigger careers…as recently as The Art…sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to this business, but you have to make the best of it.

I read in an interview that it wasn’t always easy for you on a financial level during those years, have you ever thought about stopping band management at some point?

Financially the music business has never taken care of me other than the years I spent at Geffen and Capitol. I have never worked with young bands for the money, it’s always been for the love of the music. Somebody has to try and break new talent, and I have had more success at it than most. Also I had a Grammy win on my own label Small Hairy Dog with June Carter Cash in 2000, I just loved what she did and no one wanted to sign her, so I started my own label to get her music out there.

Were you still managing bands during the 90s?

Yes, I have never quit managing bands! I managed Sex With Lurch, The Art from Sydney Australia. I worked with a great irish band named The Future Kings Of Spain, among many others…

Then you were a booking agent at Bar Sinister in the 00s. Have you done this for any other clubs?

Yes I worked at Bar Sinister for 9 years! It’s a great club even now! I booked The Malibu Inn for awhile…I promote a few shows still here and there.

Do you still manage bands today in this Internet era?

DMeyerI currently manage Diana Meyer http://www.dianameyermusic.com who is amazing singer songwriter who rocks and Co-manage Talk Like June featuring Suzanne Harper http://www.talklikejune.com Talk Like June is California Country and about to play Nashville Jan 17-23, I’m going with them, I’m excited!

TalkLikeJune

Can you tell us about “Glitter Beach”, the musical play you wrote with Robbie of The BARBARELLATONES?

Glitter Beach is mine and Robbie’s love child. It’s a bout a Glam rock surfer dude named Reef Bedrock who invents Glam rock music in 1969. Imagine Rocky Horror meets Hedwig with a little Bowie and Dick Dale thrown in. We are planning on doing a couple more workshops in 2015 hopefully in LA, Vegas and Miami!! It’s such a great musical, Robbie out did himself writing the music for this and it is all about misfits coming together…it’s a beautiful play and I know one day it will be huge! I am hoping to write another play with Robbie soon, I love working with him.

You run the Aesthetic V blog. Can you tell us about this too?

Yes, I am doing a video blog called Aesthetic V Blog http://www.aestheticvblog.com My partner is Micheal Kraemer who was my street scout at Geffen. Micheal shoots the videos and takes care of the website and I put together the interviews. It’s all about the creative process. Its about finding the muse, weather it’s music, art, writing, film…all things creative. Its a way to expose new talent to the world, and get advice from people who are working in the arts. Again a labor of love, but hopefully it will start making enough money through ad sells on the website so we can keep it going. It’s all about the internet these days, and I have had a lot of help from some of my friends like Andy Stack at YouTube and Gregory Markel at Infuse Creative to learn this new medium.

MeandMicheal

Are you still working on your autobiography? Please tell us a bit about it…

I have finished my book! It’s called Appetite For Dysfunction. It’s my life story about all the bands I have worked with, my creative journey through the arts, writing etc. It also goes into my personal life and the process of getting sober etc. It will have a lot of great pictures and stories from the humble beginning of the rock artist you know and love. It’s also about being a woman in the business. I have been working on it for 7 years. The book is finished, just needs a professional edit and I have a manager who is shopping it currently for a book deal, the book has some strong interest. I’m very excited! Getting this book out there is a dream come true for me…hopefully by summer!

meandstevenadle
Vicky Hamilton
Artist Mgmt & Creator of Aesthetic V Blog
aestheticv@gmail.com
http://www.aestheticvblog.com
http://www.vickyhamilton.com

Down To Rock #12 (November 2014)

polaroid_teddy_dtrMy name is Teddy Heavens and I’m bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk/Metal 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!
Check out my Glam Punk website at www.ftwrecords.com

Bands I’ve been digging the last few months:

The Montecristos-this is the new band featuring my guitar hero Neal X from Sigue Sigue Sputnik!!! Cool rockabilly tinged rock with Neal singing and Slinging the Gibson guitar!! Catch them on Facebook.

Butcher Babies-New 5 song release of cover tunes from these contemporary metal Plasmaticsesque big titty rocker chicks. Any band that names their band after a Plasmatics song is OK with me. The Deadly 7 out of Las Vegas (and rivals of the Playboy chicks from BB) had a better choice of songs they covered, more punk rock than metal, but tits are tits, so check them out.

Salems Lott-New shock rock band outta Los Angeles looking like X JAPAN and sounding like a reved up Skid Row. They are brining back big hair to the Sunset Strip, featuring Toe Knee from Willow Wisp with some new young guns. Check out their single on Itunes “No Choice To Love”.

SalemsLott

Charm City Devils-Baltimore based hard rock band with a current release “Battles” out now, and sounding like a cross of Guns N Roses and Soundgarden. This is sleazy street rock n roll making noise on the East Coast.

Night By Night-Young English band bringing back the melodic 80’s sound. Clean but sleazy enough to be interesting , a cross of modern AOR metal like Halestorm, with a Def Leppard touch. Interesting enough for you to check out.

The Beautifully Demolished-New band from ex Jetboy replacement singer, tearing up the Central California scene. This is AC/DC 70’s party rock with a 6 song self titled release on Itunes and via Demon Doll Records.

Vinyl Tattoo-Superstar cover band in Las Vegas featuring Frank Dimino from Angel on vocals and Oz Fox from Stryper on guitar. This band rocks and are a must see if in Vegas where I like to go to relax. They do classic rock and roll along with Angel songs and as Frank is one of my favorite singers of all time, I had to mention his Vegas band. He also just inked a deal with Frontier records for a solo release, so cheers to hearing some new music from Frank Dimino!! Find em on Facebook.

Undercover Slut– Paris France glam goth metal legends sent me a teaser song of their up coming EP release “Vice”. The song is “Chloroform Nation” and it’s a departure from the past goth industrial material that the band is known for. This song mixes the industrial flavor with modern electronics in a very “danceable” form. The band plan on releasing a series of singles and EP’s leading up to a full release. Hit them up at:

UNDERCOVER SLUT
c/o Hateful Society Production
34 Avenue des Champs-Elysees
Suite #999
F-75008 PARIS
France

CD Review:

Girl-Live In London

This band was a huge influence on me when I was a kid. I always loved that punk/glam/hard rock sound and along with Hanoi Rocks, these guys were my fave. Featuring Phil Lewis and Phil Collen and sounding very snotty, they didn’t fit into the NWOBHM scene, but they were great. This Live In London CD release marks the eve of their debut release in 1980 and features songs like “My Number”, “Heartbreak America” and “Hollywood Tease”, along with covers like “Do You Love Me” and “You Really Got Me”, showing the diverse influences this group had. Deadline/Cleopatra Records gets props for releasing this live gem, and now they just need to release the two studio records “Sheer Greed” and “Wasted Youth”.

What’s been up in Los Angeles:

Inside Metal Movie-A new movie highlighting the hard rock and metal bands form the mid 70’s that ruled Los Angeles and Hollywood, bands like Angel, Legs Diamond, Detective, Van Halen, Snow, Quiet Riot and bands from the early 80’s like WASP, Motley Crue and Ratt. All of these bands are featured along with Rodney’s English Disco scene, The Starwood and the Rainbow Bar and Grill. This film breaks down the rock and roll heyday in Los Angeles and is a nice document of bands that made it and a lot that didn’t. It’s been screened around town and is getting good reviews and building steam, and it’s starting to screen around the country now. By all accounts it’s a good lesson on what went on with the LA music scene in the 70’s/80’s, as told by those that played the clubs and participated in the debauchery. Find the Facebook page to see when it will be playing in your town.

Hollywood Rocks Night @ Loaded with Spiders N Snakes/Rebel Rebel-Glitter and Glam reunion at the new hip rock and roll club in Hollywood, Loaded. Spiders and Snakes featuring Rik Fox from WASP and Steeler on bass and Betsy from Bitch on vocals, along with regulars Tim, Lizzy and Chris from Sweet Savage tore it up with songs like “Piece of Your Action” and the Angel version of “Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore”, and their new single “Kawaski City” from the upcoming Year Of The Snake 25th anniversary release. Rebel Rebel opened up the show and played all the usual songs from the last 25 years and it was cool playing for a packed rock and roll audience (I play guitar for R2), with many faces from long ago at the Coconut Teazer Glitter and Glam shows. Spiders N Snakes are having a record release party at the Whiskey in Hollywood in mid December for their 25th anniversary, so do yourself a favor and be there if you live in the LA area.

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

http://www.ftwrecords.com
ftwrecords@aol.com

Living Dead Lights “Black Letters”

LDLBLNice to hear from L.A’s LIVING DEAD LIGHTS 3 years after their promising 7 song CD. Mixing hardcore energy with a chorus reminding bands like PAPA ROACH on opener “”I’ll Be Your Frankenstein” , the band still sounds modern without sounding flat and overproduced ( the album is produced by Fred Archambault, AVENGED SEVENFOLD…), and keeps on hitting hard with songs like “Follow”, “It’s Drowning In My Veins” or “Hey Stranger.”
From US alternative rock influences (“Everybody”, “Vacant”, “This Is Our Evolution”) to contemporary hard rock, LIVING DEAD LIGHTS sometimes make me think of a modern version of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS with a touch of Californian sleaze rock (The GUNS N’ ROSES influence can definitely be heard in the guitars.) This well balanced mix gave birth to potential hits such as “Dead To Myself'” or “Johnny” (a song that was previously released on the band’s 7 song CD), and
while it’s easy to remain stuck in the past when you’re a rock band in Hollywood, LIVING DEAD LIGHTS shows us that L.A. rock influences can fit in nowadays music as well. They will be touring Europe in October./Laurent C.

http://livingdeadlights.com/
Facebook page

Ode to L.A. while thinking of Alistarr and THE MOONCHASERS (-demos review by Pepsi Sheen)

The rocknroll underground is still in mourning, with a host of constellations paying homage to so many fallen stars-like Bootsey X, Scott Ashton, Leee Black Childers and the inspired glitter-doll Ultras poet, Alice Starr. We attempted to interview his former guitarslinger, Brian Butler–who also played with Rozz Williams in Daucus Karota and Kenneth Anger, via e-mail last year, but he never finished his reply, meanwhile, our best efforts to track down the enigmatic androgyne, Alistarr, had similarly proven ineffective. As many of you remember, the gloriously glam Ultras had been on Triple XXX records and were poised to carry on in the shadowy tradition of the Nymphs and Jane’s Addiction and 45 Grave with their spooky, spacey, death-punk vibes, Sabbath crunch, Bowie spectacle and Alistarr‘s unique charisma and star power. He had first gained recognition in the Sunset Strip faves, Stars From Mars, who Fred Berger made so famous in the pages of his glossy “Propaganda” goth boutique magazine. The Ultras saw Alistarr developing his highly potent wordplay and pop songcraft. They were one of those bands with a magical musical chemistry, like Hello Disaster, who just broke up too soon due to pointless personality conflicts. The Ultras were exciting and surreal, artistic, and fun. Alistarr briefly resurfaced in some bands few of us heard like the ill fated Dali Gaggers, and the Coils, he had many fans hoping to cheer his return to splendor, but it was not to be. The Galactic Kid has indeed gone sailing.

One of Alistarr‘s longtime friends and colleagues, Evad Fromme, has an underground cult band in Hollywood called Moonchasers, who will remind gutter punk and goth enthusiasts of all their favorite Hollywood noir punk bands. Live, they even sometimes throw-in a Coma-Tones cover! Great band, great songs! Look for them! They had some tunes up on Youtube and Reverb Nation that positively smoke, reminding me variously of Stiv Bators, Nick Cave, Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Tom Waits. “Lazy Eye Blue” is a little reminiscent of the Ultras with the bratty vocal, but it has a real pleasing, Jim Morrison quality that fans of sixties psychedelics, like the Doors and Zombies will naturally gravitate towards. Their guitarist is amazing, they should play shows with Captain Zapped! “Billie For My Blues” is catchy, singalong genius that evokes all the skid row dives and sleazy strip joints of L.A. and will remind anyone who ever lived in the down and out gutters of deadend Tinsel Town of their own personal booze fuelled misadventures.

Moonchasers
“Lunchbox Girl” is yet another pop hit, all retro bubblegum and starkly lit storytelling showcasing Evad’s fine vocals and literate sensibility. A modern-day “Hello I Love You”. It’s kind of like Iggy Pop, out on a weekend pass from the Kill City looney bin with Alice Cooper and Captain Beefheart on a stumbling pub-crawl between the Rainbow, Cathouse, English Acid, and Raji’s, in rumpled hats, stained shirts, bad shoes, with empty flasks. I love a band that is this cinematic. Their songs will remind you of Jim Jarmusch. Evad‘s on the ouji board summoning back the ghosts of Jim Morrison and Jim Carroll and Gio Vitanza. If you live in Los Angeles, this is your new favorite group. If you live elsewhere, they are worth seeking out on-line, because this band is the intelligent, visceral rocknroll experience you’ve been missing, since the media monopolies took down all the cool indie labels in the nineties. Startlingly vivid guitars, a top-notch rhythm section, and a creepy, charismatic frontman with an unnerving, provocative presence, a totally unique voice all his own, and serious songwriting ability. Hollywood vampires rejoice, rocknroll is still undead in the city of fallen angels. The MoonchasersEvad Fromme, Gabriel Hammond, Anthony Gezalyan, and Tom Sanford are stone killers. See their lonely minds explode.

http://www.reverbnation.com/moonchasers12

Down To Rock #11 (April 2014)

polaroid_teddy_dtrMy name is Teddy Heavens and I’m bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk/Metal 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!
Check out my Glam Punk website at www.ftwrecords.com

Bands I’ve been digging the last few months:

The Strypes– A young band from Ireland looking like Oasis and keeping the New Wave of Blues alive, and ready to overtake Vintage Trouble. They just finished up a run of live dates all through the United States along with some major TV appearances, and they are everywhere with the social media and advertising. Keep an eye at www.thestrypes.com

Diamond Lane– Good Los Angeles based cock rock band in the tradition of G N R and Skid Row. Cool sound and look and I plan on catching a live show when they play out. Looks like they have done some regional touring. Check em out at http://www.diamondlanerocks.com

Like An Army-This group features ex King Of The Hill singer Frankie, and members of the ultra cover band Dr. Zivegas. Their video for “Taste Of It” is the bomb, and my personal favorite. Good, catchy hard rock and the video features naked tattooed honeys. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the music. Look up the video on YouTube.

Crashdiet– New release of old demos featuring the original line up. People go crazy for this band and you can check out the humble beginnings. Very nice package with bonus tracks, much better than what the current band is putting out. Good sounding and sleazy enough to seek out. I still wonder why they cite GG Allin in their press materials as an influence. Get it all at www.crashdiet.com

I Love Rich– Rich sent me the new CD from his band and I love the tunes. These guys sound like a cross of KISS/AC-DC and Black and Blue, with catchy and dirty heavy tunes. Hit em up at www.iloverich.net

Youth Code– A 2 piece industrial/noise band from East Hollywood that is the West coast answer to Atari Teenage Riot. They have a couple of indie releases out and most recently toured with AFI. Get all the scoop on them if you dig ATR or Suicide! www.facebook.com/youthcodeforever

The Drama– Straight up cool rock and roll band from L.A. making noise with a Thursday night residency at Loaded on Hollywood Blvd. Glitz/glam/sweat, check em out if in Hollywood on vacation. Featuring my bro Conrado P. from the Hedwig and The Angry Inch band that we played in together. www.facebook.comthedramalosangeles

What’s been up in Los Angeles:

Upcoming: Rainbow Bar and Grill 42nd anniversary party featuring Great White, Bullet Boys, Traci Gunns and Bitch. Always a good party in the parking lot, a who’s who of Hollywood rock and roll shows up for this annual party! I’ll have a Long Island Ice Tea for you all and give a report in the next DTR!!!

Winter NAMM recap: I usually stay away from crowded industry events, but got talked into going to the NAMM show this year. This show is where all musicians and fans collide in one big party. Highlights included seeing Doyle from the Misfits, the Twisted Sister guys, Slayer and my bro Shawn Smash from Total Chaos. Also hanging out with my bros Roger Romeo and Mike Prince from Legs Diamond and meeting Derek St. Holmes from the classic Ted Nugent band and Earl Slick from David Bowie’s band and the New York Dolls. There was a jam at our hotel pool and court yard that featured a bunch of classic rock guys playing all their hits and of course all the free booze you could handle. NAMM is the only place where you can see old friends, rock stars and other fuckers you don’t want to see, all in one loud and hot and sweaty place!

The Funkin Maniacs-I have to mention my bros band, Roger Romeo, as he’s playing in a trio with the drummer and bass player from the classic Swan Song records band Detective, and these guys have chops for days, also worth looking up if you are vacationing in Los Angeles, as they are playing around town most weekends.

Upcoming: The 4th Annual Johnny Thunders Memorial Show: Headlining this year’s show will be the one and only Walter Lure with The Waldos. Walter will have “rent party” guitar slinger Joey Pinter. Bands confirmed are THE ZEROS all original members in a rare appearance, plus local stars, Crazy Squeeze,Prima Donna, Telephone Lovers, Dirty Eyes, Black Mambas,The Neurotics, Devil Dogs West, and Electric Children. There will also be special guests playing with Walter Throughout his set. Gonna be a good time, I’ll give the 411 in the next DTR.

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

www.ftwrecords.com
ftwrecords@aol.com