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

Baby Let’s Twist, Memoirs of a Runaway Heart / Andy Shernoff interview

Baby Let’s Twist

Memoirs of a Runaway Heart

By Thomas ‘Thomaxe’ Goze

So that’s it, here I am sitting in this dive bar where I’ve already sat one too many nights, New York City of all places. This time is different though…this time all of a sudden everything seems to sort of make sense. I’m not sure how or why it is all coming together, but maybe it’s just that tonight Otto’s Shrunken Head has turned into an open-door, a vortex where worlds collide, as if trying to tell me “It’s alright buddy…have another one”.

On the small stage that can barely fit a full band I’m witnessing Andy Shernoff, one of my all-time favorite musician/songwriter, setting up alongside vocalist Tricia Scotti, and harmonica player Brian Hurd. The three of them are about to start playing the last show of their residency, marking the end of 4 weeks of unrehearsed impromptu acoustic performances of Andy’s latest songs as well as new takes on some of his Dictators classics. Oh, did I forget to mention that Mr. Shernoff was a founding member and most prolific songwriter for the legendary Dictators? Well, I figured you knew…

Sitting on my right is NYC’s underground rock artist JOff WilsOn (the man with a thousand never-recorded hit songs) who happens to also be my band mate since he brought me in his Bowery Boys on second guitar. Actually, I only ever had played punk bass on stage before meeting JOff…

But let me stop here for a minute before I go on with this story, and allow me to take you on a short journey through time…it will all make sense…I promise.


Years earlier:

I’m standing in front of the window of a small room I’m renting holding a used Gibson Les Paul that I just purchased with the little money I had left. I strap it up on my shoulder and plug it in a tiny 12 watts amp. I’ve never played guitar…except for the crappy acoustic I bought when I was a kid and could never really figure out what to do with. Later in my early 20’s I had picked up a bass at the encouragement of my good friend Dee Jaywalker (Definitivos, Marky Ramone & the Speedkings, etc…) who taught me my first songs so I could follow the path of my favorites: Dee Dee Ramone, Arthur Kane, and…Andy Shernoff…

See where I’m getting at now?

So standing by the window, looking down at the street, I press on the drive button of that amp and only with the knowledge of power chords I start playing… “I shuffle down the street, my eyes are on my feet…I got no place to go…”. The song is Stay With Me, written by Andy Shernoff for the Dictators.

And as I’m playing my first song on guitar, I see a car pulling out of the parking lot on the other side of the street. I kind of want it to stop, just to acknowledge the fact that I’m standing there, or maybe that I exist, yet I know it’s foolish…and I know it won’t.

So I just keep playing as I watch it drive away “…my heart is calling won’t you stay with me”. The car is my ex’s, she lived in the building next door, now she’s leaving to never return, and that’s fine.

The scene looks like it is out of a movie…I mean…what were the odds? The song choice makes sense…I guess I was playing it for a reason too, though I sure don’t want her to stay, but it still sucks. She’s nothing more than the reflection of my own bad choices and life failures. She was bad news, she was poison and all I wanted was to go cold turkey… so I got myself a guitar and here I am pretending I don’t care about anything else, and I think I really don’t.

I was born and raised in France, but I’m here, of all places, in New Paltz, NY. I don’t know it at the time, but that’s also where the Dictators met, and got started…

Is this beginning to make sense?

Back to present days, our scene at Otto’s:

Andy is about to start his set when I see Ramones producer/co-songwriter Daniel Rey pop his head in…he walks in my direction and sits next to me. He doesn’t know it but I got his band The Martinets signed to European label Tornado Ride Records a couple years earlier, I’ve seen them perform many times, they even played my birthday show 4 years earlier. I’m friends with their front man/Songwriter Eamonn, but just never introduced myself to Daniel. I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t speak much, unless it’s necessary.

The Shernoff trio starts playing and everything is making more and more sense…Andy, my first song on guitar, JOff who got me my first gig as a guitarist…and now Daniel Rey… who is credited for co-writing a version of Poison Heart with Dee Dee Ramone…who was an inspiration for coming from France to NYC and the reason why I joined my first band on bass in NY…The Gonedaddys, fronted by another Ramones collaborator/songwriter, Skinny Bones…

Andy keeps playing…it’s a great show and everyone is loving it…but what am I saying? It’s always a great time.

Since I learned my first song on guitar I have had the chance to see Shernoff perform on many occasions, solo and with his band the Master Plan. In fact, I even got the Master Plan signed to Tornado Ride/Nicotine Records the same way I did with the Martinets. I hadn’t gotten a chance to see him perform since his residency at the Lakeside Lounge a year ago, it was around the same time that my grandpa passed away, and on the eve of his funerals I had decided that-since I couldn’t be there and that he loved music so much- I would celebrate his memory by going to Andy’s show. That night he played a song he had written for his late mom, and it felt like it was for my grandpa too. Shortly after, it was the Lakeside Lounge that closed its doors forever.

So the show goes on and I’m sure of it now…Otto’s has turned for one night into some kind of a vortex…and under this new light it appears as if everything happened for a reason…ultimately leading all the way to here and now…

I just wish my old friend Dee Jaywalker could be amongst us…he took me under his wing after we met when he played lead guitar in Marky Ramone & the Speedkings. It was in France in 2002 just a few months after Dee Dee passed away, and that night I got invited on stage to sing one song; and then to join in the van for a few shows. Later Dee got me to pick up a bass, and then we organized Walter Lure’s first euro tour in 25 years back in 2007…and went on the road. So here I am thinking about him as he seems to be the only piece missing in right now here at Otto’s…

Then I look down, and smile…realizing that the leather jacket I’m wearing was a present from him…it used to be his own favorite…

The puzzle is now fully complete, all the pieces are in place, it just needs one final touch…so at the end of the show, as everyone is applauding and asking for more, I turn around towards Daniel Rey…pull up my sleeve, and show him the tattoo on my left wrist (I got it there so that I could see it whenever I’d play)… “I thought you’d appreciate it” I tell Daniel; he looks at it and smiles…It reads “Poison Heart”.

As I step out the door and start walking in the cold to catch a subway back home, I realize I’m feeling OK…because I may have been born with a runaway heart…but it sort of got me somewhere after all…

Thomas Goze, NYC

Where are they now:

Dee Jaywalker: After touring/recording extensively with Marky Ramone, Dee Jaywalker played with his solo band and later joined Walter Lure on guitar for a Euro tour/record in 2007. Since then Dee started playing again with Belgian legendary punk rock band The Definitivos who got reunited. He also performs with his Rockabilly band The Greyhounddogs.

Skinny Bones: After the critically acclaimed release of his Gonedaddys album Shot My TV, Skinny Bones embarked on a successful euro tour ending at the Ramones museum in Germany. The Gonedaddys have been on hold since but Skinny- who is working as a sound engineer- keeps writing/recording music when his busy schedule permits and is planning more in the near future.

JOff WilsOn: JOff plays live in NYC on a weekly basis might it be with The Bowery Boys or with various well respected musicians of the Lower East Side. He is planning to finally record some of his songs this year.,

Daniel Rey: Daniel just finished recording a new album with the Martinets who are currently looking for an appropriate label to do the release.

And as for Andy Shernoff….read it from the man himself:


-So Andy, You just finished a month residency of acoustic shows at Otto’s Shrunken Head, and already booking more clubs. Can you tell us how this all started and what is the idea behind it?

I’m a songwriter and the only way for me to know if a song connects with people is to play it live. It’s a bit nerve-wracking playing new songs in public but what makes you uncomfortable also allows you to grow. That was the purpose of the Otto’s residency. Overall, I’m going through a very difficult transformation from a bass player known for aggressive punk and hard rock to an acoustic singer/songwriter ….or as I like to call myself the ‘insensitive singer -songwriter’ so I’m constantly putting myself in uncomfortable situations.

-How did you meet Tricia and Brian with whom you’ve recently been playing?

We travel in the same music circles and have many mutual friends

-Last year you released a 7inch, how, when and were was it recorded?

You are referring to “Are You Ready To Rapture”. I recorded an intricate demo at home where I mapped out all the parts. Then I tracked it at Headgear studios in Williamsburg using my demo as a guide. I overdubbed in my home studio and then mixed it at Headgear with John Agnello who’s an old school Record Plant engineer but is now an indie rock kingpin producer

-One of the songs was written with Joey Ramone, was it ever recorded before?

I recorded numerous demos with Joey over the years. Some made it to Ramones records while others like the song you are referring to, “Make Me Tremble” was simply not appropriate for The Ramones. However I thought the tune was really cool and showed a different, softer side of Joey that should be heard. I wanted to put it on my single so I approached the people who handle Joey’s estate and they were kind enough to let me use it. We ran into a problem was we couldn’t find the master tapes. We had to use the rough mix I had on DAT tape so we couldn’t remix it. The version you hear is what we walked out of the studio on that day in the early 90’s.

-Can you tell us a little bit about your friendship with Joey?

Joey was a sweetheart. We had a common bond in music and growing up in Queens. When I first met him he was very shy and awkward but as The Ramones grew in stature he became more confident and assertive. He had a sly sense of humor and severe case of OCD, which has been documented in several books. At the time everybody I knew was weird so he was just another in my collection of weirdo friends. I think Joey made the world a better place by demonstrating that outsiders and weirdos can contribute to society…. and Joey definitely made the world a better place.

-You also wrote with Dee Dee, how was he to work with?

Dee Dee was probably the most amazing character I ever met in my life. He was certifiably schizophrenic, literally a different person every day. One day he was your best friend and the next day he thought you were plotting against him.

He was the most spontaneous artist I ever met, capable of writing a great song on demand.

I call him the idiot savant of rock and roll…. in the Ramones he was an absolute genius but outside of the band he had a hard time getting through life.

-Tell us about your latest hit, the Are You Ready To Rapture…what inspired you to write the song? Is it pissing some people off?

I was ignorant of the Rapture growing up. The only person I knew who believed Jesus was returning to Earth was the crazy preacher standing on a box in Times Square screaming at everybody to repent for their sins because the end was nigh.

A few years ago I became fascinated with evangelicals. I saw these people entering politics and trying to make other people live by their personal delusions and superstitions. It was obvious how dangerous they were….war was inevitable in the Middle East because it is a precursor to the return of Jesus and climate change was a hoax because god said he wouldn’t destroy the earth after Noah and the great flood. I wanted to write a song that accurately represented their beliefs, though I assume they might quarrel with my referring to the resurrected Jesus as the Jewish Zombie.

-Who made the animation for the video? Did you know what you wanted or did you give freedom to the artist to get inspired by the song and come up with his/her own thing?

That was the brilliant work of Brian Musikoff who has done animation for comedians like Patton Oswalt and Brian Posehn. I loved his style and felt his sense of humor would really take the tune to another level and I feel he really brought the lyrics to life. Animation is a very long and slow process but we worked together exchanging ideas until we made something we knew we would be proud of.

-It got an award right?

Absolutely, it was a finalist in the Atheist Film Festival

-So what’s with all the religion-themed songs lately you’ve got at least 2 others that I believe you’ll be recording soon?

My new EP “On the First Day, Man Created God” will be four interconnected songs about religion and faith. It’s such a great topic with cool stories and tons of drama about the human condition.

-What was the Reason Rally in DC that you recently played?

It was the largest secular gathering in the world, sort of a Woodstock for atheists. It was held on the National Mall in Washington DC, the same place where Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech so it was a pretty big deal. . I performed along with Bad Religion, Eddie Izzard, Penn Gillette and speakers like scientists Richard Dawkins and Laurence Krauss. It was a highpoint of my musical life and the largest crowd I have ever performed in front of.

-Your second single just came out, and is dedicated to your mom. Can you tell us a little bit about this record?

It contains four songs that I worked up during my residency at the late and lamented Lakeside Lounge. I dedicated it to my mom who died about 2 years ago. She was slipping into Alzheimer’s which is a cruel and dehumanizing disease, so I wrote the title song -Don’t Fade Away – about my experiences and dedicated the record to her.

-Some people might not know –shame on them- but you are also an acclaimed music producer. Which albums did you produce are the ones you are the most proud of? Did you produce your latest two singles? Are you looking into doing more producing in the future?

I produce all my own records these days. I know what I want and I know how to get it, I also work cheap. Outside of The Waldos’ record I won’t choose favorites. I’m also not really looking to produce these days. It takes my energy away from my own music.

-You’ve got an acoustic version of a Dictators song on the single, do you plan on re-recording more?

Actually, I’m planning on an EP of acoustic versions of Dictators songs for next year.

-Your band Master Plan performed in Europe in 2012, any more shows coming up? Any plan to record a 3rd album?

I love playing with Master Plan but the members live all over the country so getting together is very difficult, so no plans for that band in the near future.

-So what’s next for Mr. Andy Shernoff in the year 2013?

More music and more videos!

-You started out as a music reviewer/writer when you were in college, do you miss this kind of writing?

Not at all, I was very young at the time and to be honest it was all a scam to get free records.

-Ha ha, I originally did it to get in for free at shows! How can people find out about your next shows/records/etc…and purchase the singles?

You can buy the records here…

and I’m on all social media

Andy Shernoff Appreciation Society on Facebook:


-Any word of wisdom for kids who are picking up instruments now that more than ever R’n’R needs some serious saving?

Don’t be a phony!!!

Interview by Thomas Goze, April 2013