Monday, December 29, 2008

Rock Concerts - Then and Now

Through-out the 1980's there were incredible line-ups of Hard Rock and Heavymetal bands playing in medium towns and large cities all over the USA. From sports arenas like Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, Missouri with a seating capacity of about 9,000 to RFK Stadium in Philadelphia which attracted 100,000 concert fans. Many of the arenas and stadiums from the 1980's don't exist today. I remember seeing the Rolling Stones in 1981 at RFK Stadium. It was more than just a concert, it was a party and an incredible experience that would be difficult to describe in a brief blog entry. Van Halen on tour with Iron Maiden or the Rolling Stones on tour with Journey, Bon Jovi headlining in Europe in 1987 with the Scorpions; this made the concert experience exciting from beginning to end. Concerts were more live with less technology and more imperfection.

The concert experience today is like going to a major Broadway show in New York. You save up your money to attend this one big event. It is very organized, choreographed to perfection, incredible stage, sound and light effects with the latest technology. A spectacle and experience of being overwhelmed like being in an IMAX theater. The band line-ups in many cases are sub-par compared to the headliner as you wait with anticipation. The security is tight, you proceed to your assigned seating as the event unfolds. The economics for this multi-million dollar performance costs you an evening of several hundred dollars sometimes just for the tickets alone. This type of event is great in its own right.

For those who really enjoy rock music, having the ability to see several rock concerts during the year; going with your friends and being mesmerized by a Neil Peart drum solo of "WorkingMan" or a Jimmy Page guitar solo; Angus Young of AC/DC playing his guitar artfully non-stop with the legendary losing of 5 pounds of weight for each performance; and the unexpected fan participating by being pulled on stage with complete improvisation - this is the experience you remember forever with the music you wanted to listen to without all the studio and technology mixed in. You see real talent by the band and appreciate the music even more. Today's cookie cutter, boiler plate, blue-printed stage production does not produce the same type of experience as a band getting up there and playing their guts out to the audience.

Disclaimer: I know my description of today's concert is not true of all bands or all concert events however there is certainly a lot more of it today especially for the big name bands and artists.

Below is an example of Iron Maiden Tickets in 1987-1988 for about $15; and the concert for Metallica in 2009 for $200-$800 a ticket. This is not just about economics; it is about the whole experience of attending a Rock Concert back in the 1980's compared to today (then and now). I welcome feedback on your concert experiences.

Metallica w/ The Sword
Sat, Jan 31 - 2009 7:00 PM
Prudential Center - Newark, NJ
Machine Head
Tickets $200 - $800 each

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Def Leppard - Hysteria Tops Music Sales

Def Leppard's album "Hysteria" sold 16 million copies worldwide, six top 20 singles and was the number 3 album on the Billboard 200 in 1988. Def Leppard's 1987-1988 Hysteria World Tour included line-ups with Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions and MOTÖRHEAD. See Hysteria World Tour information below. Def Leppard was at their best and at the height of their career in the 1980's. With all the success, also came tragedy. You can read Def Leppard's complete biography below. Watch the Def Leppard video of the infamous Rock Tune sung by millions, "Pour Some Sugar on Me".

I recall Rich, the bass player of RedRum and Mystix, telling us that he met Joe Elliott on vacation. It was the winter of 1988 when Rich showed us a picture of him and Joe Elliott. Def Leppard was one of many hard rock bands at the time that reached out beyond its normal fan base and entertained us all. Ken Leibow

Track Listings

1. Women
2. Rocket
3. Animal
4. Love Bites
5. Pour Some Sugar on Me
6. Armageddon It
7. Gods of War
8. Don't Shoot Shotgun
9. Run Riot
10. Hysteria
11. Excitable
12. Love and Affection

Def Leppard Hysteria World Tour - 1987 - 1988

Band Line-up - Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, Rick Allen, Steve Clark, Phil Collen.

Shows Listed - 243. Live Recordings - 93.
First Show - Cork Ireland 5th August 1986.

Last Show - Tacoma WA USA 27th October 1988.
See details of the Hysteria World Tour, Click Here

Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar On Me (Live 1988)


In the beginning a chart-breaking debut album, tours with more established heavy-metal bands, and pinup good looks made Def Leppard one of the leaders of the '80s British heavy-metal renaissance. The members, barely out of their teens when their first album debuted, soon became one of the most consistently successful pop-metal groups of the decade and beyond, becoming, as one Goldmine article put it, "The Heavy Metal Band You Can Bring Home to Mother."

Pete Willis and Rick Savage started the group in Sheffield in 1977. Joe Elliott had coined the name Deaf Leopard before joining them; Willis and Savage changed the spelling. As a quartet with a since-forgotten drummer, Def Leppard built a local pub following, and in 1978, after being joined by Steve Clark and hiring a temporary drummer, the group produced its first record, an EP called Getcha Rocks Off, released on its own Bludgeon Riffola label. The record got airplay on the BBC and sold 24,000 copies.

The members’ self-made success and precociousness (Elliott, the group’s eldest member, was 19, and Rick Allen, who became their permanent drummer after playing with several professional Sheffield bands, was 15) brought them the attention of the British rock press. AC/DC manager Peter Mensch added them to his roster and got them a contract with Mercury. Their first album was a hit in the U.K. and reached #51 in the U.S. The group toured Britain with Sammy Hagar and AC/DC, played the 1980 Reading Festival, and first toured the U.S. opening for Ted Nugent, Pat Travers, Judas Priest, and AC/DC. A second U.S. tour, with Blackfoot, Ozzy Osbourne, and Rainbow, coupled with heavy coverage in the U.S. metal press, created a growing American audience.

The group’s second album, High ’n’ Dry was the first of a string of platinum and multiplatinum LPs, hitting #38 in 1981 and selling over 2 million copies. (It was remixed and rereleased in 1984 with two more tracks, a remixed “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” and “Me and My Wine.”) By early 1982 the group had reentered the studio to record Pyromania, which would eventually sell a phenomenal 10 million copies. Midway through the recording, founding guitarist Pete Willis was fired for alcoholism and replaced by Phil Collen, formerly of Girl. At the same time co-lead guitarist Steve Clark was beginning a slide into the extreme alcohol addiction that would eventually kill him.

Shortly after Pyromania’s release, the band embarked on its first world tour. MTV, undeniably a factor in the band’s U.S. success, began airing “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak,” and within the next few years virtually all the band’s videos (beginning with Pyromania’s “Rock of Ages,” “Photograph,” and “Foolin’”) would go into heavy rotation. When producer Mutt Lange, with whom the group had recorded since its major-label debut, was unavailable to work on their next album, Def Leppard turned to Jim Steinman, most famous for his work with Meat Loaf. When Steinman proved incompatible, High ’n’ Dry engineer Nigel Green stepped in. Just one month later, drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a New Year’s Eve car accident after he attempted to pass another driver at high speed. Surgeons reattached the limb, but after infection set in, it was amputated. Def Leppard’s future was in doubt, but by the spring of 1985 Allen was learning to play drums again with the help of a specially adapted Simmons kit. (For a while he performed with special electronic equipment, using prerecorded tapes of his drumming for some parts, then returned to a regular acoustic kit with customized foot pads in 1995.) The band continued recording, but when Lange heard the tapes, he suggested the band scrap them and start again. In August 1986 Allen performed for the first time since his accident on the European Monsters of Rock Tour.

In early 1987 the band finally completed work on the long-awaited Hysteria, which spun off six Top 20 singles: “Animal” (#19, 1987; and their first Top 40 hit in the U.K.), “Hysteria” (#10, 1988), “Pour Some Sugar on Me” (#2, 1988), “Love Bites” (#1, 1988), “Armageddon It” (#3, 1988), and “Rocket” (#12, 1989). Though longtime fans and some critics found it disappointingly poppish, on the verge of bubblegum, that change in direction no doubt contributed to it selling over 16 million copies worldwide and topping the U.S. LPs chart for six weeks.

Tragedy struck the group again when on January 8, 1991, guitarist Steve Clark died of a fatal mixture of drugs and alcohol. Beginning in 1982, he had undergone treatment for his alcoholism several times. His addiction was so disabling that Phil Collen had done most of the leads on Hysteria, and later the group forced Clark to take a lengthy sabbatical. Once in 1989, after being found comatose in a gutter, he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, but he seemed beyond help. The group continued recording and even made the video for “Let’s Get Rocked” as a foursome.

Clark’s replacement, Vivian Campbell, who had previously played with Ronnie James Dio and Whitesnake, joined in 1992, weeks after the release of Adrenalize. Another #1 LP, Adrenalize spawned a flurry of hit singles: “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” (#12, 1992), "Let’s Get Rocked” (#15, 1992), “Make Love Like a Man” (#36, 1992), and “Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion)” (#34, 1992). Retro Active (#9, 1993), a platinum collection of B sides, rarities, and covers, yielded the hit singles “Two Steps Behind” (#32, 1994) (also on the Last Action Hero soundtrack) and “Miss You in a Heartbeat” (#39, 1994). The album also included one Mick Ronson song, “Only After Dark.” As the band wanted to explore new directions on its next studio album, it decided to release a greatest-hits collection before embarking on the next stage of its career; Vault (#15, 1995) went on to sell close to 2 million copies. Unfortunately its successor, Slang, which added industrial and even touches of soul to the musical mix, did not fare as well and peaked at #14. The band retreated to its classic ’80s pop-metal style on Euphoria (#11, 1999).

from The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001)

Monday, December 22, 2008


I was a subscriber of RollingStone Magazine back in the 1980's. Back then as well as today RollingStone Magazine had the best articles on bands and artists. There are many other good publications on music; however your music library is not complete without RollingStone Magazine. If you want to read what's new in the music world today, then check out RollingStone by clicking here.

The following is a list of the top 100 greatest guitarists as posted by RollingStone Magazine. Like all lists you may not agree with all the members on the list or the order; however I believe that RollingStone got most of it right.

Click Name to see Bio:

1. Jimi Hendrix
2. Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band
B.B. King
Eric Clapton
Robert Johnson
Chuck Berry
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Ry Cooder Click to answer
Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin
Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones
Kirk Hammett of Metallica
12 Kurt Cobain of Nirvana
Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead
Jeff Beck
Carlos Santana
Johnny Ramone of the Ramones
Jack White of the White Stripes
John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Richard Thompson
James Burton
George Harrison
Mike Bloomfield
Warren Haynes
The Edge of U2
Freddy King
Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave
Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits
Stephen Stills
Ron Asheton of the Stooges
Buddy Guy
Dick Dale
32 John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service
& 34 Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth
John Fahey
Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the MG's
Bo Diddley
Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac
Brian May of Queen
John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival
41 Clarence White of the Byrds
Robert Fripp of King Crimson
Eddie Hazel of Funkadelic
Scotty Moore
Frank Zappa
Les Paul
47 T-Bone Walker
Joe Perry of Aerosmith
John McLaughlin
Pete Townsend
Paul Kossoff of Free
52 Lou Reed
Mickey Baker
Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane
Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple
56 Tom Verlaine of Television
57 Roy Buchanan
Dickey Betts
59 & 60
Jonny Greenwood, Ed O'Brien of Radiohead
61 Ike Turner
Zoot Horn Rollo of the Magic Band
Danny Gatton
Mick Ronson
65 Hubert Sumlin
Vernon Reid of Living Colour
67 Link Wray
Jerry Miller of Moby Grape
Steve Howe of Yes
Eddie Van Halen
Lightnin' Hopkins
Joni Mitchell
Trey Anastasio of Phish
Johnny Winter
Adam Jones of Tool
Ali Farka Toure
Henry Vestine of Canned Heat
Robbie Robertson of the Band
Cliff Gallup of the Blue Caps (1997)
80 Robert Quine of the Voidoids
81 Derek Trucks
82 David Gilmour of Pink Floyd
Neil Young
Eddie Cochran
Randy Rhoads
Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath
Joan Jett
Dave Davies of the Kinks
D. Boon of the Minutemen
Glen Buxton of Alice Cooper
Robby Krieger of the Doors
92 & 93
Fred "Sonic" Smith, Wayne Kramer of the MC5
Bert Jansch
Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine
Angus Young of AC/DC
Robert Randolph
Leigh Stephens of Blue Cheer
99 Greg Ginn of Black Flag
Kim Thayil of Soundgarden

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Die Hard - Holiday Action

It's almost Christmas, and 20 years ago an action movie set at Christmas time was released in the summer 1988. I remember it was a quiet Sunday afternoon at the end of July. I was hanging out with Deniz. I told Deniz that there was a new action movie out starring Bruce Willis, the funny guy from the TV show "Moonlighting". He agreed to see the movie.

We headed to the movie theater at the mall not far from Miami Springs. The movie Die Hard did not get a lot of press when it was first released. We had no high expectations going into the movie. I remember being so encapsulated with all the incredible action as I watched the movie. When we left the theater, we were almost speechless and just said "WOW" that was great!! We were both completely taken off guard.

Die Hard became one of the top grossing films in 1988 and launched Bruce Willis as an action hero on film. The soundtrack for the movie was full of holiday songs such as, "Winter Wonderland", "Jingle Bells", and "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!". I have attached two videos below. The first one is a new music video by GuysNite - "Die Hard Music Video - New 4th Verse". This is a really cool song set to the first Die Hard movie with references to the other Die Hard movies. Also below is a high quality video of the original Die Hard movie trailer from 1988.

Die Hard - Music Video

Die Hard - Movie Trailer 1988

- A funny movie is a click away

Friday, December 5, 2008

1988 Grammy Awards

Record of the Year“Don't Worry Be Happy,” Bobby McFerrin
Album of the YearFaith, George Michael (Columbia/CBS)
Song of the Year“Don't Worry Be Happy,” Bobby McFerrin, songwriter
Best New ArtistTracy Chapman
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male“Don't Worry Be Happy,” Bobby McFerrin
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female“Fast Car,” Tracy Chapman
Best Pop Vocal Performance By a Duo or Group With VocalBrasil, Manhattan Transfer
Best Pop Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloist)Close-up, David Sanborn

Robert Palmer
Archive Photos
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male
“Simply Irresistible,” Robert Palmer
Best Rock Vocal Performance, FemaleTina Live in Europe, Tina Turner
Best Rock Instrumental Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal“Desire,” U2
Best Rock Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloist)Blues for Salvador, Carlos Santana
Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, Vocal or InstrumentalCrest of a Knave, Jethro Tull
Best Rhythm and Blues Song“Giving You the Best That I Got,” Anita Baker, Skip Scarborough and Randy Holland, songwriters
Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal Performance, MaleIntroducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby, Terence Trent D'Arby
Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal Performance, Female“Giving You the Best That I Got,” Anita Baker
Best Rhythm and Blues Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal“Love Overboard,” Gladys Knight and the Pips
Best Rhythm and Blues Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloist)“Light Years,” Chick Corea
Best Rap Performance“Parents Just Don't Understand,” D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, MaleBrothers, Bobby McFerrin
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, FemaleLook What I Got!, Betty Carter
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group“Spread Love,” Take 6
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist on a Jazz RecordingDon't Try This at Home, Michael Brecker
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, GroupBlues for Coltrane, A Tribute to John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, David Murray, Cecil McBee and Roy Haynes
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big BandBud and Bird, Gil Evans and the Monday Night Orchestra
Best Jazz Fusion PerformancePolitics, Yellowjackets
Best Country Song“Hold Me,” K.T. Oslin, songwriter
Best Country Vocal Performance, MaleOld 8 × 10, Randy Travis
Best Country Vocal Performance, Female“Hold Me,” K.T. Oslin
Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal“Give a Little Love,” Judds
Best Country Vocal Collaboration“Crying,” Roy Orbison and k.d. lang
Best Country Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloists)“Sugarfoot Rag,” Asleep at the Wheel
Best Bluegrass Recording (Vocal or Instrumental)Southern Flavor, Bill Monroe (MCA)
Best Gospel Performance, MaleChristmas, Larnelle Harris
Best Gospel Performance, FemaleLead Me On, Amy Grant
Best Gospel Performance By a Duo or Group, Choir or ChorusThe Winans Live at Carnegie Hall, Winans
Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male“Abundant Life,” BeBe Winans
Best Soul Gospel Performance, FemaleOne Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, Aretha Franklin
Best Soul Gospel Performance By a Duo or Group, Choir or ChorusTake Six, Take 6
Best Latin Pop PerformanceRoberto Carlos, Roberto Carlos
Best Tropical Latin PerformanceAntecedente, Rubén Blades
Best Mexican/American PerformanceCanciones de Mi Padre, Linda Ronstadt
Best Traditional Blues RecordingHidden Charms, Willie Dixon (Bug/Capitol)
Best Contemporary Blues Recording“Don't Be Afraid of the Dark,” Robert Cray Band (Mercury)
Best Traditional Folk RecordingFolkways: A Vision Shared—A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly, various artists (Columbia/CBS)
Best Contemporary Folk RecordingTracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman (Elektra)
Best Reggae RecordingConscious Party, Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers (Virgin)
Best New Age PerformanceFolksongs for a Nuclear Village, Shadowfax
Best Polka RecordingBorn to Polka, Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra (Starr)
Best Arrangement on an Instrumental“Memos From Paradise,” Roger Kellaway, arranger
Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s)“No One Is Alone,” Jonathan Tunick, arranger
Best Instrumental Composition“The Theme From L.A. Law,” Mike Post, composer
Best Musical Cast Show AlbumInto the Woods, Stephen Sondheim, composer and lyricist (RCA)
Best Album of Original Instrumental Background Score Written for a Motion Picture or TelevisionThe Last Emperor, Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne and Cong Su, composers (Virgin)
Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television“Two Hearts” (From the motion picture Buster), Phil Collins and Lamont Dozier, songwriters (Atlantic)
Best Contemporary CompositionNixon in China, John Adams, composer
Best Classical AlbumVerdi, Requiem and Operatic Choruses, Robert Shaw conducting Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (Telarc)
Best Orchestral RecordingRorem, String Symphony; Sunday Morning, Eagles; Robert Shaw conducting Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: String Symphony, Louis Lane conducting Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: Sunday Morning and Eagles (New World)
Best Chamber Music Performance (Instrumental or Vocal)Bartók, Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion; Brahms, Variation on a Theme by Joseph Haydn for Two Pianos, Murray Perahia and Sir Georg Solti, pianos; David Corkhill and Evelyn Glennie, percussion
Best Classical Performance, Instrumental Soloist(s) (With Orchestra)Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, Vladimir Horowitz, piano; Giulini conducting LaScala Opera Orchestra
Best Classical Performance, Instrumental Soloist(s) (Without Orchestra)Albéniz, Iberia; Navarra; Suite Espagnola, Alicia de Larrocha
Best Opera RecordingWagner, Lohengrin, Sir Georg Solti conducting Vienna State Opera Choir and Vienna Philharmonic; solos: Domingo, Norman, Randova, Nimsgern, Sotin and Fischer-Dieskau (London)
Best Choral Performance (Other Than Opera)Verdi, Requiem and Operatic Choruses, Robert Shaw conducting Atlanta Symphony Chorus and Orchestra
Best Classical Vocal Soloist PerformanceLuciano Pavarotti in Concert, Luciano Pavarotti
Best Comedy RecordingGood Morning Vietnam, Robin Williams (A&M)
Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording“Speech by Rev. Jesse Jackson (July 27),” Rev. Jesse Jackson (Arista)
Best Recording for ChildrenPecos Bill, Robin Williams, narrator; Ry Cooder, music (Windham Hill)
Best Album PackageTired of Runnin', Bill Johnson, art director (Columbia/CBS)
Best Album NotesCrossroads, Anthony DeCurtis, annotator (Polydor)
Best Historical AlbumCrossroads, Eric Clapton (Polydor)
Best Performance Music Video“Where the Streets Have No Name,” U2
Best Concept Music Video“Fat,” “Weird Al” Yankovic
Producer of the Year (Non-Classical)Neil Dorfsman
Classical Producer of the YearRobert Woods

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving 1988 - Eric Clapton

Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family. I spent Thanksgiving 1988 in a Denny's with Deniz Kose. For the both of us, this was the last Thanksgiving before we became part of new families. I was having a long distance relationship with a beautiful doctor in her mid 20's from Costa Rica. In December 1988, she came to live with me in Florida; then Deyanira and I got married 4 months later in April 1989 on the exact day, coincidentally, that Jon Bon Jovi married his high school sweetheart. We are still married today 19 years later and we have two beautiful children (Kenny and Candice).

Deniz at the time was dating Stacy who was a couple of years younger. After dating a short time, the relationship started to have problems; and they split up for a few weeks. Deniz, Stacy and me were all good friends; and I could tell at the time that they really loved each other. After a little coaxing, they got back together. The next year they had a beautiful baby girl, Heather. Following the birth of the baby, Deniz and Stacy's relationship lasted only for a short time; however this beautiful baby girl has been an important part of both their lives all the years to follow.

I will always remember that Thanksgiving 1988 is when Deniz' and my life would change forever, which will always leave the four of us connected. The first photo on this blog you can see a picture of Deniz and Stacy with Deya and me in 1988.

In keeping with the music connection to this post, I added a video from one of the best concerts in 1988 "The Prince's Trust Rock Concert" at Royal Albert Hall. Please see this excellent video of Eric Clapton playing his infamous song "Layla" to a live royal audience . In addition to the video, see the lyrics below:

Lyrics "Layla" Eric Clapton
What'll you do when you get lonely
And nobody's waiting by your side?
You've been running and hiding much too long.
You know it's just your foolish pride.

Layla, you've got me on my knees.
Layla, I'm begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind.

I tried to give you consolation
When your old man had let you down.
Like a fool, I fell in love with you,
Turned my whole world upside down.


Let's make the best of the situation
Before I finally go insane.
Please don't say we'll never find a way
And tell me all my love's in vain.



Layla - Eric Clapton - The Prince's Trust Concert - 1988

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Greatest 100 Rock Drummers

1. Neil Peart (Rush)
2. John Bonham* (Led Zeppelin)
3. Keith Moon* (The Who)
4. Carl Palmer (ELP)
5. Ginger Baker (Cream)
6. Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa)
7. Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson)
8. Hal Blaine (Session man)
9. Ian Paice (Deep Purple)
10. Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater)
11. Dave Lombardo (Slayer)
12. Danny Carey (Tool)
13. Ringo Starr (The Beatles)
14. Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge)
15. Earl Palmer (Session man)
16. Benny Benjamin* (Funk Brothers)
17. Jeff Porcaro* (Toto)
18. Stewart Copeland (The Police)
19. Tommy Aldridge (Ozzy Osbourne)
20. Bernard Purdie (Session)
21. Bill Ward (Black Sabbath)
22. Steve Smith (Journey)
23. Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix)
24. David Garabaldi (Tower Of Power)
25. Mike Shrieve (Santana)
26. Ainsley Dunbar (Jeff Beck)
27. Cozy Powell* (Rainbow)
28. Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)
29. Carter Beauford (Dave Matthews)
30. Tim Alexander (Primus)
31. Roger Taylor (Queen)
32. Matt Cameron (Soundgarden)
33. Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters)
34. Phil Collins (Genesis)
35. Al Jackson* (The MGs)
36. Vinnie Paul (Pantera)
37. Topper Headon (The Clash)
38. Lars Ulrich (Metallica)
39. Jimmy Chamberlain (Smashing Pumpkins)
40. Bobby Jarzombeck (Rob Halford, Iced Earth)
41. Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs, Winger)
42. Gene Holgan (Death, Strapping Young Lad)
43. Martin Lopez (Opeth)
44. Simon Phillips (Toto)
45. Mike Giles (King Crimson, Giles, Giles & Fripp )
46. Max Weinberg (Springsteen)
47. Alex Van Halen (Van Halen)
48. Jon Theodore (Mars Volta, One Day As A Lion)
49. Brian Downey (Thin Lizzy)
50. Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, session man)
51. Alan White (Yes)
52. Nick Menza (Megadeth)
53. Phil Ehart (Kansas)
54. Mark Zonder (Fate's Warning)
55. Nick Mason (Pink Floyd)
56. Jaki Liebezeit (CAN)
57. Scott Travis (Judas Priest)
58. Virgil Donati (Planet X)
59. Jim Gordon (Derek And The Dominoes)
60. Ron Bushy (Iron Butterfly)
61. Richard Allen (Funk Brothers)
62. BJ Wilson* Procul Harum)
63. Chad Wackerman (Zappa)
64. Ralph Humphrey (Mothers Of Invention)
65. Josh Freese (A Perfect Circle, Desert Sessions)
66. Jojo Mayer (Nerve, session man)
67. Brann Dailor (Mastodon)
68. Clive Burr (Iron Maiden)
69. Christian Vander (Magma)
70. Dennis Thompson (MC5)
71. John French (Captain Beefheart)
72. John Weathers (Gentle Giant)
73. Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth)
74. Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson)
75. Greg Bissonette (David Lee Roth, session man)
76. Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac)
77. Mike Mangini (Extreme)
78. Larry Mullen Jr. (U2)
79. Clive Bunker (Jethro Tull)
80. Tomas Haake (Meshuggah)
81. Jabo Starks (James Brown, session man)
82. Brian Mantia (Primus)
83. Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche)
84. Phil Taylor (Motörhead)
85. Vinnie Appice (Dio, session man)
86. Fred Coury (Cinderella)
87. Travis Barker (Blink 182)
88. Phil Selway (Radiohead)
89. Randy Castillo (Ozzy Osbourne)
90. Zak Starkey (The Who, Oasis)
91. Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones)
92. Dave Grohl (Nirvana)
93. Tommy Lee (Motley Crue)
94. Jose Pasillas (Incubus)
95. Ron Wilson* (Surfaris)
96. John Densmore (The Doors)
97. Chester Thompson (Santana)
98. Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley)
99. Van Romaine (Steve Morse)
100. Sandy Nelson (solo)

* Deceased

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


20. Stay Hungry -- Twisted Sister (1984): Includes the band's two mainstream hits -- "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock" -- and a forgotten but great power ballad "The Price."

19. Love at First Sting -- Scorpions (1984): A triple-platinum effort from the German rockers, featuring "Rock You Like A Hurricane" and "Still Loving You."

18. Heaven and Hell -- Black Sabbath (1980): No long featuring Ozzy, this was the first album with Ronnie James Dio on vocals. Includes "Neon Knights," "Heaven and Hell" and "Die Young."

17. Skid Row -- Skid Row (1989): Their first album went platinum five times over with hits like "18 and Life" and "I Remember You."

16. Balls to the Wall -- Accept (1983): The German band's only gold album in the U.S. had the hits "Balls to the Wall" and "Head Over Heels."

15. Mechanical Resonance -- Tesla (1986): The band's debut album featured "Little Suzi" and "Gettin' Better."

14. Among The Living -- Anthrax (1987): The band's current shows still are heavy with tunes from their third album, including tunes like the title track, "Caught in a Mosh" and "I Am The Law."

13. Vivid -- Living Colour (1988): Reportedly discovered by Mick Jagger, Living Colour's debut album featured "Cult of Personality" and "Memories Can't Wait."

12. Under Lock and Key -- Dokken (1985): The band's first top 40 album had "In My Dreams," "It's Not Love" and "Til the Living End."

11. Reign in Blood -- Slayer (1986): Welcome to the birth of death metal - for better or worse. Two songs to remember: "Raining Blood" and "Angel of Death."

10. Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? -- Megadeth (1986): Remastered and remixed more than a margarita at Jimmy Buffett's house. The bassline for "Peace Sells" for years was used as the theme music for MTV News.

9. Diary of a Madman -- Ozzy Osbourne (1981): The last album with Randy Rhoads. Features "Over The Mountain" and "Flying High Again."

8. Dr. Feelgood -- Motley Crue (1989): Look what rehab can do for a band! Tons of hits, including "Same Ol' Situation," "Dr. Feelgood" and "Kickstart My Heart."

7. Powerslave -- Iron Maiden (1984): So epic that the band is currently touring again with the original Egyptian stage and set list from their '84 tour.

6. Operation: Mindcrime -- Queensryche (1988): Ah, remember "concept albums?" Metal artists love them. "Eyes of a Stranger" would be the biggest single from the disc.

5. Ace of Spades -- Motorhead (1980): Like thrash metal? Chances are you own this album then (and have the lyrics to the title song tattooed across your skull).

4. Master of Puppets -- Metallica (1986): Pretty much a unanimous selection on anyone's list of top 100 albums of all time. Performed in its entirety on the band's 2006 tour.

3. British Steel -- Judas Priest (1980): Two songs everyone should know by heart reside here -- "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight."

2. Appetite for Destruction -- Guns N' Roses (1987): More than 25-million copies sold worldwide and four hit singles. The best-selling debut album of the '80s.

1. The Number of the Beast -- Iron Maiden (1982): This album gets the nod over "Appetite for Destruction" mainly because it influenced scores of heavy metal bands that followed Iron Maiden, including Axl and the boys. "Run to the Hills" and "The Number of the Beast" stand out on an album that's been praised not only for its lyrics but also for its guitar work. A complete masterpiece.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


August 1987 - Red Rum had recorded it's first song, "Conquerin Man". In October, I had solicited a coworker, Lynn, to finance our second recording. Mark wrote the music; and we used the lyrics I had written back in 1986. The song was called "Please Wait". I drew up a contract and gave it to Lynn to sign; Lynn in turn gave me a check to pay for the studio time and song recording. Lynn and her husband Brian came to the studio the day we recorded the song. They both seemed to like the song; and we gave them a copy of the recording.

Halloween is now approaching: On a Saturday night the band (Deniz (vocals), Mark (lead guitar), Rich (bass), Kenny (drummer) and me (Kenny Leibow) were going out to a Halloween festival near the University of Miami. Along with other friends, there were about 10 of us. We went in 3 cars. When we arrived, we parked on a big grass field which was full with hundreds of other cars. There were rides, games, haunted house etc; it was a lot of fun. We didn't hang out in one big group the whole time; some of us split up.

Around 11 pm I and a couple of friends headed back to where the cars were parked. About 15 minutes later everyone else arrived except for Kenny (drummer), not to confuse the story with me (Kenny Leibow) same first name. Deniz and I asked what happened to Kenny (drummer)? Someone said that Kenny (drummer) just went on his own and didn't hang out with anyone. Deniz and I suggested let's wait a little bit longer. The festival was closing and there were only a few cars left parked on the grass. I then proceeded to head back to my apartment with some friends; however Deniz and Rich decided to look for Kenny (drummer).

I remember Kenny (drummer) as a young, happy, witty guy who could really play the drums fast. Recently, at the time, he supposedly was in his car waiting in line at a bank drive-thru to make a deposit for work. While waiting in his car, he was held up at knife point and robbed. This experience traumatized him. ***** Back to the story - The next morning Deniz told me he saw Kenny (drummer) walking down the road about 2 miles away; at that point it was close to midnight. When they went to turn back around, they lost him. Deniz and Rich proceeded to Kenny's (drummer) house. He was there, which then turned into an unpleasant confrontation whereby Kenny (drummer) was clearly upset, angry and unstable. Kenny (drummer) exclaimed that we purposely left him at the festival; however this was completely untrue.

Sadly we were never able to reconcile with Kenny (drummer) and the band broke up. Deniz and Rich became part of the new group Mystix with Lawrence and Leo. We never heard from Kenny (drummer) again. Deniz later hated the song "Please Wait"; and became very critical of the recording. A couple weeks passed since the festival; late on a Friday, I had a motor cycle accident which left me seriously injured; and it ended with the death of a close friend as a consequence of the accident. A few years later Lynn's husband, who was at the recording session, died in a plane crash resulting from hitting the side of a mountain.

This blog entry is dedicated to those that had suffered from the tragedies mentioned above. They all had good spirits and will always be loved and missed. You can listen to the recording "Please Wait" on this blog.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lawrence - Past & Present

I am starting to string together the past and the present. In an earlier blog entry, I mentioned I was unable to locate a photo of Lawrence, the lead guitar player of Mystix. I lost touch with Lawrence about 18 years ago. It was a very exciting moment when I received an email from Lawrence today after he discovered this blog on the internet. We spoke on the phone and caught up on what is going on in our lives today as well as sharing past memories. Lawrence emailed me some photos of Mystix; two of which are now posted on this blog. Lawrence, who has become very successful in his own business in Florida, is also still very much an artist creating music. Please see Lawrence's latest You Tube music video "Need A Hero" on this blog; and visit Lawrence's MySpace artist page to listen to new-great original music at

Lorenzo Z. - Need A Hero

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Red Rum - Conquerin Man - Lyrics

I lived 6 months in southern California then I moved to Florida. More specifically I lived in the town of Palmdale before it was built up. The year was 1986 and you could see desert all around. There were Joshua trees off to the side in the desert when you drove the lonely road between Palmdale and Lancaster. Joshua trees originally came from Israel. I used to have a big poster of U2's album "The Joshua Treee" hanging on the living room wall in my apartment. This poster was the exact image of this place. During my short time living there; I did quite a bit of writing. I wrote a book on roulette; and I also filled a notebook full of lyrics. I had a small keyboard with me; but I didn't put any original music to the lyrics. I played songs on the keyboard to get me in the frame of mind to write. The songs I wrote were not about real experiences; but an account of my emotional state of being.

It was now 1987 in Miami Springs, Florida where I showed Deniz my notebook of lyrics. Deniz liked one of the songs called "Conquerin Man". Deniz introduced me to his friend Mark (Mark Funk); he was 18 and played guitar. Mark came from an average middle class family. We drove to Mark's home where he lived with his parents. In the garage, Mark took out his guitar; and said, "Kenny I have a perfect riff to your lyrics". Mark played it for us; instantly Deniz and I thought it sounded great.

We now had to put a band together. Mark knew a drummer also named Kenny. He also had a friend Rich who played bass guitar. Kenny kept a steady beat and was fast on the drums. Rich was just a natural bass player; and Deniz was the lead singer. I will expand on each member of the band in a future blog entry. Deniz already had a name picked out for the band long before it ever existed. The band was to be called "Red Rum". For the purpose of staying on point of the story, I won't get into the origins of the band's name for now.

The band rehearsed the song several times and then was ready to go into the studio to record. We all chipped in to pay for the recording. Deniz cut up my lyrics "shortened" to fit the music; see the final lyrics below. The engineer in the studio recommended we do a track where all of us would sing the chorus together. We stood around a big black boon Mike and sang the track. Mark then overlaid a track with a guitar solo. In the last verse, we added a sound effect of "wind blowing" to provide the right impact for the words.

Red Rum would record one more song in the studio before an unusual event ended the group. Please listen to Conquerin Man and type your comments.

Conquerin Man - Lyrics

In a boat on a river
There’s a chill in the air

Surrounded by nature

Alone in despair

Exiled from my family

Abandoned my career

With no place to go
And no one who cared

Yes I’m a drifter

Like a leaf in the wind

If I had my choice

I do it again

So here I am
I’m walking tall

In a world all alone

I’ve got it all

Traveling shore to shore

I’m moving on

Continuing to explore

Not knowing where I’ve gone

I move forward
I never look back
The faster I move

The stronger my attack

Yes I’m a drifter

Like a leaf in the wind

If I had my choice
I do it again

So here I am
I’m walking tall

In a world all alone

I’ve got it all

I just kept traveling
Going place to place

Keeping myself hidden
Alone without a trace

Then one day

My luck ran out

I died a drifter
Without a doubt

But alone and peaceful

I lie in the sand

Knowing that I lived

A Conquerin Man

Yes I’m a drifter
Like a leaf in the wind

If I had my choice
I do it again

So here I am

I’m walking tall

In a world all alone

I’ve got it all

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Really, Julio Iglesias and Elton John?

Each week Mystix tried to scrape up enough money to rehearse in a music recording studio for a couple of hours. We would all chip in money equally. When we could afford it, we would rehearse in the studio sometimes twice a week and/or extended hours. The cost back then was about $60 an hour. There were 5 of us at the time, Deniz, Laurence, Leo, Rich and me. At the end of each rehearsal, I would go up to the office and reserve a room for the next week. The intention, like the previous band "Red Rum", was to create original music and practice enough so that we could start recording professionally in the studio once we found some investors to pay for it.

It was a typical hot day on a Friday in Miami. As I am watching the clock at work, I am thinking about the exciting weekend that is coming; starting with tonight. The plan was to rush home at 5 pm; grab something to eat; shower and change into my Caravicci jeans, Italian shoes, Rock t-shirt, matching jeans jacket and a white hat. This was all very much in style in the 1980's. Everyone in the band would pile into Deniz's van and head to the studio around 6:30 pm. We had a room reserved at 7 pm. After a couple of hours of practice, we were then supposed to go to Hallandale Beach to see a Heavy Metal band play at a rock night club.

When we rehearsed at the studio, we would use some of the studio equipment such as Mikes, Amps etc. The rest of the instruments were in the van. As the guys were unloading the van, I walked up to the office to get us checked into the practice room and to pay the rental fee. Deniz accompanied me to the office. The guy there said, "You can't rehearse here tonight". I quickly responded that we reserved a room last week. He completely ignored the fact I made a reservation and told us that the entire studio is rented out for the evening. He said we can rebook for a different day. To say the least, we were pissed and argued for a short time, but with no success. We asked when did this happen? He said on Wednesday the entire studio was reserved for Friday night. We kept asking, who is reserving the studio tonight, but the guy in the office refused to give us a name.

As we were storming out of the office, we walked down the main hall. I looked to the left and saw big black equipment boxes with silver metal trim. On the black boxes there was the name "Iglesias" from a spray painted stencil. Deniz and I proceeded closer to check it out. Some of the other equipment boxes had "Julio Iglesias" painted on them. We walked out the back door of the studio and met the guys in the parking lot. We had to break the bad news to the rest of the band that we can't practice tonight because we got kicked out by Julio Iglesias. There were mixed emotions like anger and disappointment. At the end, we just laughed about the whole thing. In our minds with our Rock'n Roll egos, it was embarrassing at the time to lose our practice studio to Julio Iglesias. If we lost the room to Bon Jovi, Slayer or Van Halen, then it would have been viewed as cool.

We had a couple of hours to kill before we plan to go to the night club in Hallandale Beach. We drove to a Bennigans. Everyone ordered drinks and dinner. Deniz knew a waitress there, so he was chatting with her as we all just hung out for a while. I had already eaten dinner in my small apartment earlier, so I just ordered a Coke and a piece of pie. Then around 8:30 pm we drove to the night club. The guitar player in the band playing that night was Deniz's friend. Last year this guy won the local rock radio station, 97 GTR, guitar contest. I don't remember this guitar player's name; however I do remember he won the guitar contest again in 1988. In 1989, my new bride "Deya", Deniz and I actually went to the bar where 97 GTR hosted the guitar contest; and saw this guy win again for a third year in a row. As you listened to his guitar solos, you are mesmerized by how great he played; it was unbelievable! We left the restaurant and drove to the club. It was about a 20 minute ride. The club was dark, the heavy metal music was loud, and the place was packed with 21-24 year old guys and girls hanging out. When the band had a break, Deniz introduced us. It was a fun evening at the club. After a couple of hours, around 11pm we decided to leave and start driving home.

As we were approaching the highway, we noticed an entourage of limos and other vehicles getting on the highway going north. Leo mentioned that Elton John was performing at Joe Robbie Stadium tonight. This was the new Miami Dolphins football stadium that had a seating capacity of at least 60,000. We were just arriving at the point when the concert was over. The traffic was immense if you could imagine. We all lived south, but someone in the car said let's follow Elton and see where he goes. We agreed, as strange as it was, and entered the highway going north. As we approached Ft. Lauderdale, we could see the limo ahead of us signaling to exit. I was new to Florida and unfamiliar with the area. The guys knew exactly where Elton was going. There was a very upscale gated condo community on the ocean called Turnberry where the rich and famous lived or had vacation homes. Ok we now know where they are going, why are we still following? We were discussing that there could be a great after concert party. We decided to continue to follow Elton. I could see a gate entrance ahead. I asked how we are going to get in. Leo said we will just say we are with the band. We had music equipment and certainly looked the part. I then proceeded to laugh uncontrollably. When we got to the gate, Leo told the guard that we were with the group ahead as part of the band. Deniz's old van was a clear give away. This guy at the gate was intelligent enough to know that we did not fit into the Elton John entourage profile. We were told to enter so that we could turn around to leave right back out. Yes, a split second flashed through my mind about making a run for it on the Turnberry grounds, but we just followed the guard's instructions and turned around and headed home.

In the end, the band didn't rehearse because we were kicked out of the studio by Julio Iglesias. Also, we couldn't attend the Elton John after concert party. But even though we had an unexpected little adventure, we were able to listen to great original heavy metal music at the rock club; and overall it was a fun night. Of course, the events regarding Julio Iglesias and Elton John turned out to be a funny story to tell the next day.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Roads of Destiny - Tall Tales - Lyrics

One of my favorite short stories is the "Roads of Destiny" by O'Henry.

"I go to seek on many roads
What is to be.
True heart and strong, with love to light--
Will they not bear me in the fight
To order, shun or wield or mould
My Destiny?"

My road of destiny began in the winter of 1987 in Miami Springs, Florida. This is the time and the place that set in motion events that define me today. Here are some key examples: 1. This was the time I started my career. Today almost 22 years later I am now successful still working in the same industry (Not related to music). 2. Miami Springs is where I had a life changing experience that resulted from a serious motorcycle accident in late 1987. Since that time, I see life differently; and try to value and appreciate everyday as if it could be my last. 3. This is also the place that lead me to meet my wife. I have now been married over 19 years with two beautiful children. 4. Finally, this is the origin of the music and the true friendships that followed.

I lived in a studio apartment facing the pool. There was a hotel across the street where future flight attendants stayed while they were training in school to work for Eastern Airlines or Pan Am. (Both airlines are not in business today.) You could say that outside my apartment there was a lot of social activity happening. Out by the pool is where I met Deniz for the first time. Deniz and I coincidentally are both originally from New Jersey; and we were both 22 years old. Deniz was living in an apartment in another building not far from mine. He shared the apartment with a friend and his friend's wife. I can't recall their names. Deniz introduced me to his room mates. From that day forward, Deniz and I became good friends, which continues on today.

Deniz's room mate was a guitar player (Willie Vega). They recorded one song together in the studio with other musicians. The song was called "Tall Tales". I listened to the song for the first time; and was very impressed.

Deniz had a serious disagreement with his friend's wife; and eventually had to move out. What happened next was the formation of a new band that Deniz and I put together. Details to follow in a future blog entry. The copy of the original recording of the song, that Deniz gave me, was on a cassette. The reel-to-reel transfer was done at a very low gain, which means you will need to amplify the sound by turning up the volume when you play the song. I have also included the lyrics below so you can follow along while listening. Please send your comments after listening to "Tall Tales".

Tall Tales - Lyrics
You're telling me
You really care
That don't cut it baby
You've got to prove yourself
You're telling me
Things can work out
Give you time to play
while you're away
I'll wait

You're telling tall tales
It's nothing new
You're telling tall tales
I'm doing it to you

You say you want time
It's something true
What you really want
Is to say goodbye

You're telling tall tales
It's nothing new
You're telling tall tales
I'm doing it to you

I can't let go
I can't let go

You're telling tall tales
It's nothing new

You're telling me
You really care
That don't cut it baby
You've got to prove yourself
You're telling me
Things can work out
Give you time to play
while you're away
I'll wait

You're telling tall tales
It's nothing new
You're telling tall tales
I'm doing it to you

You say you want time
It's something true
What you really want
Is to say goodbye

You're telling tall tales
It's nothing new
You're telling tall tales
I'm doing it to you

I can't let go
I can't let go

You're telling tall tales
It's nothing new
You're telling tall tales
I'm doing it to you

You're telling tall tales
It's nothing new
You're telling tall tales
I'm doing it to you

You're telling tall tales
It's nothing new
You're telling tall tales