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


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

Prima Donna “Living In Sin” 7″

PrimaDonneLIS7If bands were rewarded for the work they actually do, then PRIMA DONNA would be everywhere on TV and radio, and they would be bigger than ARCTIC MONKEYS! Of course, these four Californian guys have already been quite successful, opening for ADAM ANT or GREEN DAY, but they do so much more, always touring, playing each and every club in the US and all around Europe…
Since they’re on tour right now (see dates below), their German record label Wanda Records decided to release this great looking black & red 7″ vinyl. “Living In Sin” offers us a perfect mix of 70s glam rock and 60s power pop, killer guitars and catchy vocals, and “Rubbish” displays a more punk rock’n’roll side of the band, CHUCK BERRY guitars meets LITTLE RICHARD piano with the energy of The DICTATORS!
I’ve never been disappointed with PRIMA DONNA so far, today I’ve heard their version of the DOGSI’m Just Losing That Girl“, and I really hope this one will be released on vinyl too!.. Until that, there’s only 300 copies of this record, so be fast!/Laurent C.

29.04.2014: D-Düsseldorf, Pitcher
30.04.2014: D-Erlangen, Scheune
01.05.2014: D-Essen, Freakshow
02.05.2014: D-Bremen, Lila Eule (+ Fabulous Disaster)
03.05.2014: D-Helgoland, RocknRoll Butterfahrt
04.05.2014: OFF
05.05.2014: D-Kassel, H**s (w/ Lombego Surfers)
06.05.2014: D-Hannover, Cafe Glocksee
07.05.2014: D-Kiel, Schaubude
08.05.2014: D-Hamburg, Club am Donnerstag
09.05.2014: D-Dresden, Chemiefabrik
10.05.2014: CZ-Raice, Rockem Proti Rakovine Fest
11.05.2014: CZ-Valasské Mezirící, M Klub
12.05.2014: SK-Kosice, Collosseum
13.05.2014: A-Vienna, Arenabeisl
14.05.2014: A-Klagenfurt, Ke Theater/Messehalle 11
15.05.2014: I-Ronca, Jack the Ripper
16.05.2014: I-Bologna, Freak Out Club
17.05.2014: I-Rome, Traffic
18.05.2014: I-Milano, Ohibo (w/ The Crooks)
19.05.2014: I-Conzano, UVA Blu
20.05.2014: F-Valence, Mistral Palace
21.05.2014: F-Perpignan, L’Ubu
22.05.2014: E-Castellon, Four seasons
23.05.2014: E-Burgos, Estudio 27
24.05.2014: E-Vitoria Gasteiz, Hell Dorado
25.05.2014: E-Donostia, Le Bukowski
26.05.2014: F-Bordeaux, Bootleg (w/ Bob Wayne)
27.05.2014: F-Lorient, Le Galion
28.05.2014: F-Orleans, 5eme
29.05.2014: F-Paris, Les Mains d’Oeuvres (w/Fire! Fire! Fire! + Sugar Sugaar)
30.05.2014: F-Lille, El Diablo
31.05.2014: D-Hünxe, Ruhrpott Rodeo
Facebook page
Wanda Records


Mental Beat #0 Fanzine

IMG_20130802_153414#0s paper ‘zines are always exciting, especially when they focus on our favourite music styles, which is definitely the case with this debut issue of MENTAL BEAT: You’ll find an article about the new worldwide glam rock’n’roll top 3 (PRIMA DONNA, BITERS and GIUDA), an interesting interview with Ginger (The WILDHEARTS), a great and moving article about NICK CURRAN by his friend and drummer Tommy Gonzales, some words about JANE’S ADDICTION, reviews of The Best Of Punk Magazine, MANIC STREET PREACHERS’ “Generation Terrorists 20th Anniversary Edition” plus a few other rock’n’roll record reviews, and a long article untitled “Whatever Happened To Iggy’s Jacket?” I wish I could read better! (Half of the ‘zine is in Italian.)
As you probably have guessed by now, these guys have the best taste in rock’n’roll, and I’m looking forward to MENTAL BEAT #1!/Laurent C.

Prima Donna “Bless This Mess”

Everybody agrees on the fact that this new PRIMA DONNA album is strongly influenced by T.REX, BOWIE, MOTT THE HOOPLE, IGGY POP, BLONDIE and The DOLLS too.
Nevertheless, even though the interplanetary hit that “Feral Children” should be will probably bring back the sad memories of this day in 1977 when Gloria Jones got out of the road, the PRIMA DONNA guys must not be considered as pathetic copycats ’cause this band is THE band, and they push far away every body else in this music style nowadays.
I won’t beat about the bush, these 12 slices of life will be received as real offerings by glammy trashy rock’n’roll fans. A bit like a Mozart requiem served for classical music fanatics, a glitter jacket offered to a Vegas greaser or a banana given to a monkey!
Some of you might have asked for a detailed analysis of every song on here, but I won’t do it ’cause each and every song deserves your attention.
Perfection doesn’t exist, they say… But a simple CD player will allow you to hear it.
Bless This Mess./Franckie.

Prima Donna

PRIMA DONNA are back in Europe and still on tour right now! Their show in Solothurn, Switzerland was a good opportunity to meet the whole band and have a conversation about this tour, the band’s history, rock’n’roll, cinema, clothes and haircuts! Go and check PRIMA DONNA live if you can and you will understand why they are our new favourite band!

Let’s start and talk about the tour, how is it goin’ so far?

Kevin: The tour is goin’ great, we just got out of Italy. We did 3 shows in Italy and they were all wild, wet and crazy. We got to go to Portugal where we’ve got a lot of loyal devoted fans, all girls, a couple of guys too but mostly girls. We did 2 shows in Holland, up and down Spain, France and Austria last night.
Levine: Austria is awesome!

You’re from Los Angeles, which is quite famous for its 80s glam metal scene. How did you get the idea to start a band closer to original 70s glam rock’n’roll ? Was it easy to complete the line-up?

David: No, it wasn’t easy at all… We got a good amount of bass players. Levine is new to the band, it’s his first tour. His first show ever with PRIMA DONNA was in Holland.
Kevin:… But now we finally have our ideal line-up. You know there’s still a scene for the 80s glam metal in L.A., old and young kids doing it but it’s not really our thing. We love bands like The JONESES and some of the 80s garage revival stuff that was comin’ out of Los Angeles but not so much pop metal. There are a lot of kids who are into really cool rock’n’roll and punk rock music so now everything has come together.

Is there any L.A. band you feel close to nowadays?

David: We’ve got a lot of great bands playing rock’n’roll around the country that we get along with really well. Some good bands in Seattle, in Texas that we’ve enjoyed playing with. There was Levine’s band, LADYKILLERS when they were still playing. That’s how we met him.
Kevin: Hm. In Los Angeles? The BILLYBONES, a really good band. There’s these cool kids called PHALLUSIA 71, they’re really good, I like them.

What’s your favourite club to play in L.A?

Kevin: It used to be the Knitting Factory but that closed down. For me, probably the Viper Room. It’s my favourite, I think it still got all the sleaze that the Strip is known for but it actually has great sound and the staff is great, free drinks… A lot of the Strip clubs just strive on like, legend but they’re not really accomodating and fun to play, but the Viper Room is an exception. It’s still very much what it was in the early 90s.
David: Our last show there was a really good one.

How did you get the opportunity to open for GREEN DAY?

Kevin: I passed on our record “After Hours” to them and they loved it. They wanted to bring a cool, hip rock’n’roll band to Europe with them.

Like they did with D-GENERATION!

Kevin: Exactly! That’s how we got the idea, we’re big D-GENERATION fans. GREEN DAY took us on the European leg of the 21st Century Breakdown tour and then after that they took us to Asia for 2 weeks.

Isn’t it too hard top come back to the small capacity club reality on this tour?

Kevin: We enjoy playing small clubs as much as big clubs.
Levine: It’s just different art forms.
Kevin: Yeah, one is like trying to project this energy that we have to this giant places, it’s two different things but we love them both.

Do you manage to put as much energy when playing a small club as you do in those big arenas?

David: I would say more! Just because the people are so close in small clubs.
Levine: Attention focused.
David: Yeah, they’re right into your face, yelling and screaming and you feel it, you know.
Levine: Definitely sweatier!

How do you usually spend your time on tour when you’re not playing or soundchecking?

David: On this tour we don’t have enough time for sightseeing. All the time driving, listening to music and reading books, drinking.
Aaron: Trying to write new songs.
Kevin: Yeah, keeping inspiration. A lot of bubblebaths! (Laughs)
Levine: We laugh, make jokes!

Any fights over the music in the van?

David: No ’cause everyone has their own ipods!
Levine: Yeah, and the driver plays his music in the van.
David: Mine got stolen so I only have the driver’s music, it kinda drives me crazy sometimes!

What are the first and last albums you bought?

Aaron: The first was the BEACH BOYS’ “Greatest Hits” and the last one was Nick Curran from Austin, Texas.
Levine: He was in the FLASHBOYS, a great band. My first one was BILLY IDOL, well the first I bought with my own money. The last one was PETE DOHERTY’s solo album, not BABYSHAMBLES.
David: The first record I ever received as a gift was the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS but the first I bought was GREEN DAY and the last record I bought was The PRETENDERS, on vinyl.
Erik: I can’t think of any, it’s a big blur you know, trying to go back and forth.
Kevin: I remember the first record I ever danced to when I was a little kid, the B-52s! And I know the next record I’m gonna buy is DUANE PETER’s band The GREAT UNWASHED. It’s pretty good, kinda like TOM WAITS and stuff like that. We heard a couple of tracks and it sounds really good and he’s telling really cool fucked-up stories. I think he’s gonna right really good music ’cause right now he’s been injured so he’s gonna keep writing some good stuff. I’m looking forward to that record.

Do you think that rock’n’roll bands will be able to live off their music again in the future by selling it or will they just have to play live over and over again to get a little money like in the 50s for instance?

Levine: Hopefully. We’d better doing like that than hoping for record sales, you know.
Kevin : I think it’s difficult no matter what ’cause even touring, the costs of gas are so high now and kids rather go and listen to DJs, David Guetta music. We can’t change that but we’re trying.
David: Like the RAMONES, they didn’t sell that much records but toured and toured and toured…

And in the end they probably sold more shirts than records!

Kevin: Yeah! people buy these shirts and don’t even know what it is!
Levine: They worked very hard though.
David: Yeah and that’s why they’re like models to us.
Aaron: But they got bigger when they died!… So I don’t want that!
Kevin: The biggest thing to remember is just that we do this because we enjoy it and hopefully it would be great to make a living off of rock’n’roll but it’s just really difficult. We do it because we have a blast playing rock’n’roll and on this tour we’ve had 3 fans who travelled to each show in Italy, they had even more travel time than us because they were going by train! When you’re playing for the crowd and got a couple of fans and people go crazy when you say the right things and play the right chords, it makes it all worth it.

Hollywood being famous for cinema, did you get any chance to have your music featured as a movie soundtrack yet?

David: Yes, in TV shows like Californication.
Kevin: We’ve been on Cougar Town which is the new Couteney Cox show, Flipping Out which is a show about renovating houses and some football shows that I can’t remember. Unfortunately we don’t hear about any of these until they’ve already aired most of the time. But yeah we’ve been on a lot of TV shows.

What kind of movies do you like?

David: I love Westerns, horror movies and comedies.
Levine: Exploitation movies, old ones, a lot of stuff. I’m a big Errol Flynn fan.
Aaron: Tarantino.
Kevin: I really like John Waters movies and a lot of things like that.

Let’s get back to music. How do you usually write a song? Do you write the lyrics/vocal melody first or the music?

Kevin: I think every song is different. For several of them we had the lyrics first and something usually pops in after that. Sometimes it’s a riff or a sound you hear like the fucking refrigerator or something, the car horn waking you up in the morning. All sorts of different things but we just kind of come up with something and play it, like on this tour doing things during soundcheck. For instance, we have a song from a line that we read on a bathroom wall called “Puta Te Amo” which means “Bitch I Love You” in Spanish. So yeah, all sorts of different things.

Do you use everything you write or are you sometimes disappointed with some songs that you’ll never release?

David: Some songs go through stages like “Feral Children” started out years ago and we just start playing it now. You just have to get the right melody… And now we have a great song.
Levine: It’s quite brilliant. We will be playing it tonight, you’ll hear it.

Where do you get your cool clothes?

Levine: Where you get yours! (Laughs)
Kevin: Yeah, same places you get them!

Any favourite places to shop in L.A?

Levine: Iguanas.
David: There’s a place next to Iguanas called American Vintage where I buy most of my clothes. It’s a cool store. Also, Goodwill, a second-hand store.
Levine: Target, where I get my underwear! (Laughs)
Kevin: I get everything good from ex-lovers, always! All my best clothes… And current lovers too!.. And fans too! We get a lot of cool things from fans.
David: Bootstraps, jewelry, rings…

This one is from Franck! You’re going to play several French shows on this tour. Do you like wine and cheese? Snails and frog legs??!…Do you plan on practicing French kiss as well?

(Laughs) David: I did pretty good French kisses already!
Kevin: I don’t eat cheese.
Levine: I love it all!
Aaron: Yes, yes, yes Franck! We’ve done the French shows already and it was great!
Erik: St-Etienne, Toulouse and Rennes!
Levine: Yes, Mondo Bizarro, that club is awesome! We played with the FUZZTONES. Awesome bassplayer.

Oh yeah I was there last week and saw the poster!

Kevin: Who does your hair? it is good!

Thanks! Hm. My hairdresser…

Kevin: Hope you would say you do it so you’d cut mine. You used to be blonde, right?

Oh yeah, I like to change.

Kevin: That’s when I saw pics of you.

Erik, I think you like to change too, I’ve seen different hair colours in pictures.

Erik: Yes! (Laughs)
Levine: He changes a lot!

… So, anything else to add to your fans?

David: keep coming to shows.
Levine: We love presence.
David: Drumsticks, we need some drumsticks! (Laughs) ’cause the fans steal my drumsticks after the show so I’m running out…
Kevin: We are all Feral Children In Love.