Tales of Rock: Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson Leaves Wife Of 29 Years For “Superfan”

About a year after splitting up with his wife of 29 years Paddy Bowden, Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has reportedly moved into a Paris home with his new fitness instructor girlfriend.
Dickinson’s new muse, Leana Dolci, is said to be 15 years younger than he is.

The Mirror reports the heavy metal legend could be headed for an expensive divorce in excess of $90 million, about half of his fortune.

Bowden and the rocker have three children, all of whom are now adults. She is reportedly vacationing in South America, “having some space” from all the hubbub about her marriage.

Dickinson recently confirmed in an interview that he was indeed living in France “with my girlfriend.”

Over the past year, Dolci and Dickinson have gotten serious; she’s even met his children. She “has always been a huge Iron Maiden fan,” one source told The Mirror, noting that she followed the band “around for nearly 10 years.”

In 2017, a couple of years after beating stage 3 throat cancer, Dickinson published his autobiography, What Does This Button Do? The book’s title is a reference to the singer’s unending curiosity, which has led him to success in rock and roll and in other pursuits.

Dickinson is also an airline pilot and flies Iron Maiden from gig to gig on the band’s own plane.

Tales of Rock – The Best Band You Never Heard – The Haunted

The Haunted is a Swedish heavy metal band from Gothenburg formed in 1996. The original members were Anders and Jonas BjörlerPeter DolvingAdrian Erlandsson and Patrik Jensen. Both of the Björler brothers and Erlandsson were members of the seminal melodic death metal band At the Gates, a pioneering force in the Swedish death metal scene.

The majority of members, past and present, are from Gothenburg, Sweden; with the exception of Patrik Jensen, who is from LinköpingPer Möller Jensen, who is from Denmark; Adrian Erlandsson, who is from Malmö; and Marco “Shark-Fin” Annaka, who is from Finland.

Formation and The Haunted (1996–1999)

On 27 July 1996, Patrik Jensen co-created the band with Adrian Erlandsson, who had just become an ex-member of his former band, At the Gates, due to the bands’ split up the day before.[1] They had made their demo, called Demo ’97, in 1997.

The band released their first album, while signed to Earache Records, the self-titled debut The Haunted, in 1998. The album resulted in The Haunted being praised as Newcomer of the Year by several magazines, and the album being called Album of the Year by Terrorizer Magazine. The Haunted made a respectable live reputation staging the Swedish metal scene, as well the international scene, touring the U.K. with Napalm Death.

After the release of this album, Peter Dolving and Adrian Erlandsson both left the band in 1999, the former focusing on a solo career and the latter joining Cradle of Filth. Their replacements were Marco Aro and Per Möller Jensen. The band began to record their second album right after.

Made Me Do It (2000–2002)

Their second album, Made Me Do It, released in 2000, was more melodic and resembled the Gothenburg style (with bands such as At the Gates, etc.) more than old-school thrash metal that was used on The Haunted. It is originally called Made Me Do It, but it is meant for the band name to be included in the title. “The Haunted Made Me Do It” topped CMJ Loud Rock Radio Chart in four weeks, and won a Swedish Grammy for Best Hard Rock Album. The album was followed by European tours with Entombed and NileThe Crown in U.K., and In Flames in Japan. The Haunted played on festivals such as 2000 DecibelHultsfred (both in Sweden), Graspop (Belgium), and Wacken Open Air (Germany). The band subsequently released their first live album – Live Rounds in Tokyo.[2]

In August 2001, guitarist/songwriter Anders Björler left the band and he was temporarily replaced by Marcus Sunesson of The Crown for The Haunted’s headlining tour; in less than a year Björler returned to the band. This meant that he could appear on the third studio album.

One Kill Wonder and Revolver (2003–2005)

The next album was released in February 2003 and was titled One Kill Wonder.[3] The Haunted broke their own record being listed at number one on CMJ Loud Rock Radio Chart in five weeks. Alternative Press hailed The Haunted as one of metal’s 25 most important bands. The song D.O.A., from this album, became available for download in March 2008 for the video game Rock Band, on the Xbox 360‘s Xbox Live Marketplace, and the PlayStation 3‘s PlayStation Network.[4] Another song from the same album, Shadow World, was announced as a future download.

One Kill Wonder resulted in the band dominating album charts all over the world, and their first tours to Australia and South Africa, another tour to Japan, and a second Grammy. After another tour to ScandinaviaNorth AmericaUnited Kingdom and Europe in the fall of 2003, the sudden departure of Marco Aro came as a shock. Though, this opened a new chance of building up a reunion with former vocalist Peter Dolving.

Their first album with Peter Dolving back at the helm (and signed to a new deal with Century Media), was entitled Revolver. The new album was released in October 2004 and named as it was to convey the evolution of the band and the music it plays as a whole. Revolver was met with a fair amount of fan support and critical acclaim, and the band toured the world extensively in support of it, including a second stage spot at Ozzfest 2005. On February 2 of 2005, Marco Aro played his last show in Stockholm, Sweden but as a guest singer. In 2006, the band performed on the Extreme The Dojo vol.15 tour in Japan with Exodus and Nile, while Edge of Spirit opened for them.[5]

The Dead Eye (2006–2007)

The Haunted’s fifth studio album, The Dead Eye, was released on 30 October 2006 in Europe and so far has been a huge success, showing a more sinister side to Dolving’s vocals and a more technical, haunting musical display. It was released in the USA on October 31, 2006.[6] They later toured Europe and toured with Dark TranquillityInto Eternity, and Scar Symmetry for the North America Metal For The Masses tour.[7] They recently toured Europe for the Cursed Earth tour with bands like WolfMunicipal Waste, and Lyzanxia and took a break to later return to play in tours and some shows in Russia.[8][9]

Versus (2008–2009)

Their sixth studio album, Versus, was released on 17 September 2008 in Sweden, 19–24 September in the rest of Europe, and October 14 in the USA. In 2009 the band released a compilation album Warning Shots. In April 2010, the band released a live CD called Road Kill, and they supported heavy metal legends Slayer on their August 2010 tour. The band was also confirmed as being part of the soundtrack for Namco Bandai Games‘ 2010 remake of Splatterhouse.

Unseen (2010–2012)

In April, 2010, Dolving revealed that they had started writing new material,[10] and the recording of a seventh album started in the same fall. On December 30, the band announced that the upcoming album was to be called Unseen and released in March 2011.[11]

The first sneak preview of the album was on 22 January 2011, when the band performed the song “No Ghost” at the P3 Guld Gala, broadcast live on TV and radio throughout Sweden.

On 29 February 2012, Peter Dolving quit the band again. On 1 March 2012, The Haunted announced vocalist auditions via Facebook page:

The Haunted is looking for a new voice… Serious applicants please send your submissions, including two songs from the Haunted back catalogue and a few words to describe yourself. Images & links to performance video clips are much appreciated and will be most valuable in the screening process. Send your application to the e-mail address above. Thanks!

On 16 October 2012, two more members of the band, guitarist Anders Björler and drummer Per Möller Jensen quit, leaving the band’s future uncertain. Jonas announced on The Band’s Facebook that both he and Patrik were still deeply committed to the band, but now that two other band members have left, they are uncertain of the band’s future thus creating a hiatus.

Exit Wounds (2014–2016)

The Haunted at the Rockharz Open Air, Germany, 2015

Patrik Jensen and Jonas Björler had a discussion at Jonas’ own 40th birthday party, as to not letting The Haunted disband. When Jensen asked Björler who should be the new vocalist in the band, Björler could only think of former member, Marco Aro. A few days later, Jensen phoned Aro asking him to rejoin The Haunted. Aro had missed being in the band and was tempted to rejoin, but he was hesitant at first because he was not interested in returning to the hectic touring he had done with the band in the past. The Haunted had done a lot of touring for almost a decade straight after Aro left, reducing the band’s desire to continue with more. More hesitation came because Aro had struggled with drug addiction during his time with the band, causing problems with his family, and he didn’t want it to reoccur. He indicated that he needed to discuss rejoining the band with his family. Aro is also in the band The Resistance and didn’t want to have conflicting schedules with both bands, so he had to have a discussion with The Resistance as well. Aro told Jensen he’d give him a response two weeks later. By then, the band had shown him the a breakdown of future tours, which encouraged Aro to rejoin The Haunted.[12] Before publicly revealing information of the band’s new lineup, Aro only stated there was good news coming from the band.[13] His picture was in a silhouette on the band’s official Facebook the day before the band announced a new line-up.

Adrian Erlandsson, a former member, returned to the band also, and Ola Englund from Six Feet Under was brought in as the band’s new lead guitarist.[14] The band then began writing for an EP titled Eye of the Storm, which was released on 20 January 2014 in Europe and 21 January 2014 in North America.[15] The band had also been rehearsing before the announcement of the new lineup to perform for the first time live with this lineup at the 70000 Tons of Metal which set sail 27–31 January 2014.[16]

On 1 July 2014, it was announced that their new album would be titled Exit Wounds, with the release date of 25 August 2014 in Europe and 2 September 2014 in North America. The track listing and the album cover were revealed on the same day as well.[17]

Strength in Numbers (2017-present)

On 10 May 2017, Century Media Records announced the band’s ninth studio album is entitled Strength in Numbers and was released worldwide on 25 August 2017.[18]

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Tales of Rock – Halloween Edition – Stull, Kansas

Stull is an unincorporated community in Douglas CountyKansas, United States.[1] Founded in 1857, the settlement was initially known as Deer Creek until it was renamed after its only postmaster, Sylvester Stull. As of 2018, only a handful of structures remain in the area.

Since the 1970s, the town has become infamous due to an apocryphal legend that claims the nearby Stull Cemetery is possessed by demonic forces. This legend has become a facet of American popular culture and has been referenced in numerous forms of media. This legend has also led to controversies with current residents of Stull.

Geography

Stull is located at 38°58′16″N 95°27′32″W (38.9711124, -95.4560872),[1] at the corner of North 1600 Road ( CR-442) and East 250 Road ( CR-1023) in Douglas County, which is 7 miles west from the outskirts of Lawrence and 10 miles east of the Topeka city limit.

Founding

Stull first appeared on territorial maps in 1857.[2][3] During this time, the settlement was called Deer Creek.[3] It is unclear where this name came from, although Martha Parker and Betty Laird speculate that it could either be a translation of an indigenous location name or that it could have arisen after a deer was seen by a body of water.[4] The first European settlers in the area spoke German as their native language.[5] Some had come from Pennsylvania Dutch Country, whereas others had recently fled the German Confederation “for more freedom and to escape military duty.”[6]

19th century

During the late 1850s, the handful of families living in Deer Creek organized a church that met in the homes of its members until 1867, when a stone structure called the “Evangelical Emmanuel and Deer Creek Mission” was built; this church later became known simply as “Evangelical Emmanuel Church”.[5][6] Until 1908, the sermons at the small chapel were preached in German.[5] In 1867, a cemetery was chartered for the town next to the church.[6][nb 1] In 1922, those living in Stull raised $20,000 to construct a new, wooden-framed church across the road. The following year, the church changed its official name from “Deer Creek Church” to “Stull Evangelical Church”. The old stone Evangelical Emmanuel Church was abandoned by the community in 1922, and over the course of the 20th century, the church slowly fell into a greater and greater state of decrepitude, finally being demolished in 2002.[6][nb 2] Due to a growing congregation from Stull and Lecompton, a larger church was eventually needed, so in 1919, the community voted to build a new church. In 1922 a new church was built and eventually got the name “United Methodist Zion Church” in 1968.[6] This new church holds services and meetings that continue today under the name Stull United Methodist Church.[6]

In the late 1890s, a telephone switchboard was added to the house of a Stull resident named J. E. Louk, and soon thereafter, on April 27, 1899, a post office was established in the back of the very same building.[2][12] The town’s first and only postmaster was Sylvester Stull, from whom the town derived its name.[12] According to Parker and Laird, the United States post office simply selected the name based on the name of the postmaster.[13] The name stuck even after the post office was discontinued in 1903.[12][13]

Stull residents opened two schools prior to Kansas being admitted to the Union. The first school only lasted for about five years, the other school named “Deer Creek” experienced increasing enrollments and started being used for church services by the Lutheran congregation and the United Brethren on Sundays. Along with church services, the school held debates, voting for general elections, and competitions in baseball, horseshoes, sewing, and cooking. The school continued until 1962 when it closed; students thereafter went to Lecompton to continue their education.[6]

Farming brought the community new hope and continues to be the common livelihood of the remaining residents. Construction on the Clinton Reservoir led to changes in road routes and farming locations. While this did mean the loss of farms to eminent domain and county purchase, it helped Stull and its surrounding communities become more progressive.[6][14]

20th century

In 1912, only 31 people lived in the Stull area, and at its maximum size the settlement comprised about fifty individuals.[12][15] Christ Kraft, an inhabitant of the settlement during the 20th century, recalls that life in the small town was “quiet and easy, sometimes even boring.”[16] Before automobiles were popular in the area, trips to Lecompton, Lawrence, and Topeka, took two, three, and four hours, respectively. In early 20th century, organized baseball became popular in the area, and members of Stull played in a league with members from other Clinton Lake communities, like Clinton and Lone Star.[16] Eventually, a baseball diamond was constructed in Stull.[2] During this time, hunting rabbits was also a popular activity,[17] and it was not uncommon for the Stull community to bring hauls of about 300 freshly-killed rabbits to butchers in Topeka.[2]

During the early 20th century, a number of businesses were established in the area, but most were short-lived; the exception to this general trend was the Louk & Kraft grocery store, which was established in the early 1900s and lasted until 1955.[12][18] The Roaring Twenties brought preliminary discussion about constructing an interurban railroad line between Kansas City and Emporia that would have run through Stull.[19] Anticipating that their city was about to grow, the residents of Stull began discussing the idea of establishing a “Farmers State Bank” in the area; the Lecompton-based banker J. W. Kreider even secured an official bank charter.[2][16] However, neither the railway or the bank were ever built, possibly due to the advent of the Great Depression.[16]

During the 20th century, the settlement suffered two major tragedies. The first occurred when Oliver Bahnmaier, a young boy wandered into a field that his father was burning and died. Oliver’s tragic death led to the rumor that if one stepped on Oliver’s tombstone, they would go to Hell. The second occurred when a man was found hanging from a tree after going missing.[12][20]

Legend of Stull Cemetery

Far removed from the horrible story of The Exorcist or the bizarre black masses recently discovered in Los Angeles, and tucked away on a rough county road between Topeka and Lawrence is the tiny town of Stull. Not unlike the town of Sleepy Hollow, described by Washington Irving in his famous tale, Stull is one of those towns motorists can miss by blinking. Stull and Sleepy Hollow have another thing in common. Both are haunted by legends of diabolical, supernatural happenings.

The opening to the University Daily Kansan article “Legend of Devil Haunts Tiny Town”, penned by Jain Penner.[21] It was this article that caused Stull to largely be associated with the supernatural in the popular consciousness.[8]

The Stull Cemetery[22] has gained an ominous reputation due to urban legends involving Satan, the occult, and a purported “gateway to Hell“.[23] The rumors about the cemetery were popularized by a November 1974 issue of The University Daily Kansan (the student newspaper of the University of Kansas), which claimed that the Devil appeared in Stull twice a year: once on Halloween, and once on the spring equinox.[24][11] People soon said that the cemetery was the location of one of the seven gates to Hell and that the nearby Evangelical Emmanuel Church ruin was “possessed” by the Devil. Others claimed (erroneously) that the legend was engendered by the killing of Stull’s mayor back in the 1850s (of note, Stull was never organized as a town, so never had a mayor).[6] It is also said that during a trip to Colorado in the 1990s, the Pope redirected the flight path of his private plane to avoid flying over the unholy ground of Stull (although there is no evidence that this happened).[23] Most academics, historians, and local residents are in agreement that the legend has no basis in historical fact and was created and spread by students.[8][11]

In the years that followed the publication of the University Daily Kansan article, the legend persuaded thrill seekers to visit the cemetery, and they would claim that weird and creepy events such as noises and memory lapses happened to them leading to further speculation that the town was haunted by witches and the devil. It became a popular activity for young folks (especially high school and college students from Lawrence or Topeka) to journey to the cemetery on Halloween or the equinox to “see the Devil”. Many would jump fences or otherwise sneak their way onto the property. Over the decades, as the number of people making excursions to the cemetery grew, the graveyard started to deteriorate; this was exacerbated by vandals.[8][11] To combat this, the county’s sheriff office patrols the area around the cemetery, especially on Halloween, and will arrest people for trespassing.[25] Those caught inside the cemetery after it is closed could face a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail.[23]

In popular culture

Despite its dubious origins, the legend of Stull Cemetery has been referenced numerous times in popular culture. The band Urge Overkill released the Stull EP in 1992, which features the church and a tombstone from the cemetery on the cover.[8][26] It has been argued that the British band The Cure canceled their show in Kansas because of Stull’s cemetery,[23] although this too is false.[8] Films whose plot is based on the legends include Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal (2001),[27] Nothing Left to Fear (2013),[28] and the unreleased film Sin-Jin Smyth.[27] The cemetery is also the site of the final confrontation between Lucifer and Michael in “Swan Song“, the season five finale of the television series Supernatural and the History Channel documentary.[8][29] In-universe, Sam and Dean Winchester (the series’ protagonists) are from Lawrence; in a 2006 interview, Eric Kripke (the creator of Supernatural) revealed that he decided to have the two brothers be from Lawrence because of its closeness to Stull.[30] In an interview with Complex Magazine, pop star Ariana Grande talked about her unsuccessful attempt to visit Stull and stated that she was attacked by demons.[31]

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Tales of Rock – The 40 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time (And my opinion of this list!)

From Black Sabbath to Korn, here is the definitive list of records to break your mother’s heart (unless your mother happens to be Lita Ford).

This is not my list, it’s a list I found online. I will comment accordingly.

40. Spinal Tap – This Is Spinal Tap and Tenacious D – Tenacious D

Metal’s tough to satirize—even when it’s not actively tongue-in-cheek, it’s self-parodic. As Spinal Tap, actors Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer, deadpan as Stonehenge monoliths, bluster through eerily plausible “hits” like “Hell Hole” and “Sex Farm,” burlesquing every metal cliché in existence. The more stripped-down Tenacious D (Jack Black and Kyle Gass) swing a bigger schtick: absurdism, penis jokes, and the most heartfelt tribute to Black Sabbath’s second singer ever written.

39. Kid Rock – Devil Without a Cause

The first rap-metal icon who actually seemed to like metal, the pyrotechnic, dwarf-tossing, greasy-cheese-burger-guitar-solo sense of the term. (Fred Durst’s love of Tool doesn’t count). The Kid kicks outlaw clichés like he invented ‘em on the slow-ridin’ hit “Cowboy,” but the real pimp-ring gem is “Only God Knows Why,” where the American bad Ass flips everybody the “Freebird.”

38. System of a Down – Toxicity

Second album from L.A.’s finest Armenian-American metal band. Singer Serj Tankian trips out on the joys of jumping around and the mysteries of jet pilots smiling over the bay; the band slams no-nonsense riffs into half-remembered melodies that make them sound like Sepultura from the old country. A bout instrument that still cuts like an X-Acto.

37. Skid Row – Skid Row

Whether you’re facing prison time (“18 and Life”), rebelling against amorphous authority figures (“Youth Gone Wild”), growing despondent over lost love (“I Remember You”), or merely showing an interest in huge breasts (“Big Guns”), quasi-femme frontman Sebastian Bach understands you. A peerless concept album about being young, kicking ass, and having excellent hair.

36. Kyuss – Blues for the Red Sun

A desert-fried, punk-damaged translation of neo-Sabbath doom, Blues balances guitarist Josh Homme and bassist Nick Oliveri’s avalanche rumble with Brant Bjork’s Norse-god drumming. The album that packed the bong for countless stoner-rock bands to follow, including Home and Oliveri’s Queens of the Stone Age.

35. Ministry – The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste

On which heroin cowpoke Al Jourgensen ditches ’80s death-disco for self-destructo industrial metal, a sound somewhere between chocking the chicken and strangling an android. Songs like “Burning Inside” and “Thieves” administer DIY tonsillectomies; the grinding dirge-dunks “Never Believe” and “Cannibal Song” are Black Sabbath for the Sega Age.

34. Ratt – Out of the Cellar

On their major-label debut, these L.A. ozone-layer-depleters give Cheap Trick’s glitter-cannon pop craft a Dumpster-diving makeover. “Round and Round” and “In Your Direction” are the kind of swashbuckling doofus-metal anthems Dirk Diggler from Boogie Nights was too stupid to write; Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy is just stupid enough.

33. Danzig – Danzig II: Lucifuge

Producer/metal tastemaker Rick Rubin brings out the bell-toned tenor of former Misfits and Samhain vocalist Glenn Danzig, not to mention his wounded heart. A burly torch singer undone by his sympathy for the devil, Danzig channels Roy Orbison on “Tired of Being Alive”; “Long Way Back From Hell” hollers the blues from the lonely end of AC/DC’s highway to you-know-where.

32. David Lee Roth – Eat ‘Em and Smile

Diamond Dave’s first solo album is actually the last great Van Halen album: disco-metal in the epicurean spirit of Diver Down, mathematically shredded by guitarist Steve Vai and blasted by Roth’s elephant gun. Dave butchers “That’s Life” at the end, but it makes perfect, beautiful sense—if he’s not the hair-metal Sinatra, who is?

31. Deep Purple – Machine Head

Recording on the shores of Switzerland’s Lake Geneva, these hollow-eyed British stoners shred (occasionally), boogie (intergalactically), show off their huge organs, and contribute thoroughbreds like “Highway Star” and “Smoke on the Water” to classic rock’s table of warhorses. Moral: It’s all fun and games until “some stupid with a flare gun” burns down the Swissötel.

30. Sepultura – Roots

Death metal as world music as universal horror-flick soundtrack. After dipping a steel toe in the sounds of their native Brazil on 1993’s stellar Chaos A.D., Max Cavalera’s pre-Soulfly band go native, mixing tribal chants, polyrhythms, and norte americano ringer Jonathan Davis of Korn with political fury and into-the-abyss guitar.

29. Alice in Chains – Dirt

How bleak is this needle-and-the-damage-done song cycle? Let’s just say the most hopeful song is about the Vietnam War. Ten years before finally succumbing to heroin addiction, singer Layne Staley scratches out the rough draft on his epitaph; skimming grunge mold off a Southern-rock bog, guitarist Jerry Cantrell proves an able pallbearer.

28. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet

Jon Bon Jovi had it all—dreamboat looks (or great teeth, anyway), brilliant anthems (“Wanted Dead or Alive”), semi-decent anthems (“You Give Love a Bad Name”), makeup music for eighth-graders (Livin’ on a Prayer”), and a guitar player who wanted to be a cowboy (Richie Sambora). No wonder that Jersey sumbitch was always smiling.

27. Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger

Back when Chris Cornell was Seattle’s finest hair farmer and Kim Thayil was America’s smartest Ace Frehley disciple, Soundgarden were—despite their protests to the contrary—a metal band. The arena-rock vocals on Badmotorfinger sound like Ozzy (or maybe Steve Perry!) at the Fillmore East, but the gnarled guitar licks pounce like leather-clad Sasquatches.

26. Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Ozz

Debut of the Ozzy and Sharon show, in which the Prince of F*&@ing Darkness (Ozzy) and the future present of Dead Guitar Heroes of America (Randy Rhoads) snort a batch of Womble dust, attempt to make a straight pop album, and accidentally invent speed metal.

25. Van Halen – 1984

Like Space Mountain with a big frizzy wig on, 1984 is the pinnacle of ’80s Ferrari-rock excess. Eddie shreds AstroTurf, Alex pounds plutonium, Michael orders another Jack and Coke, and Diamond Dave announces his intention to make mad passionate love to the entire continent of North America. And that’s just during “Jump.”

24. Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast

The introduction of Bruce Dickinson as Satan’s howling mouthpiece defined the new British metal aesthetic—no gloss, no girls, two guitar players going for Baroque. What made Maiden seem Spinal Tap-ish was also what made them (arguably) the most influential metal act of the ’80s—they were pretentious, but their pretensions made them aim higher than anybody else.

23. Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R

The problem with writing about Queens of the Stone Age is that there aren’t enough synonyms for the word “heavy.” And Josh Homme’s black-hole guitar tone—constantly expanding and contracting, like an iron-studded blowfish—seems to require every one of them. If you triple-majored in biochemistry, horticulture, and philosophy, this is your metal.

22. Blue Cheer – Vincebus Eruptum

The best ’60s power trio that didn’t feature a guy named Hendrix or Clapton. Guitarist Leigh Stephens, singer/bassist Dickie Peterson, and drummer Paul Whaley churn out louder-than-God lava rock that melts down everything from rockabilly (hit cover of “Summertime Blues”) to blues (“Rock Me Baby”). Proto-metal, but also the birthplace of grunge.

21. Megadeath – Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?

The only jazz-metal album that doesn’t suck. Adding bop to their speed-metal blitzkrieg, Metallica’s arch-nemeses turn thrash inside out: pogoing arpeggios, knotty fretboard acrobatics, beats that tumble mullet-over-heels down the stairs. Singer/guitarist Dave Mustraine’s paranoid sneer conjures more bad mojo than a month of Black Fridays.

20. Poison – Look What the Cat Dragged In

“You gotta cry tough,” Pennsylvania pretty-boy Bret Michaels informs us right up front. By which he means that girl metal is twice as stupid and ten times cooler than boy metal and that talking dirty in your old man’s Ford is what rock ‘n’ roll is all about.

19. Motörhead – No Remorse

No one merged punk velocity and metal atrocity quite like these British biker thugs. Of their 932 albums, this two-disc best-of offers the most trounce to the ounce: ashtray-licking blues riffs, Lemmy Kilmister’s “Macho Man” Randy Savage bellow, those dive-bombing double kick drums. They looked like warthogs, but, God bless ‘em, they rocked like warthogs, too.

18. Aerosmith – Rocks

Eventually, they got their own roller coaster (at Disney-MGM Studios theme park). Here, these Beantown malcontents are their own roller coaster. While his loose-limbed band bolls Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and the New York Dolls in dirty Charles River water, Steven Tyler sings and wriggles like the Stones’ logo come to lustful life.

17. AC/DC – Highway to Hell

The final curtain for singer Bon Scott before he choked on his own vomit. Raw but not sloppy, sex-starved but not sexist, this is the last AC/DC effort that feels like the work of extremely talented shop students.

16. Def Leppard – Pyromania

Not a serenade, just a fire brigade. On their 1983 breakthrough, Def Lep dusted British pub metal with ’80s studio glitter (courtesy of hard-rock production don Muff Lange); “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph” drop-kicked ’70s dirtbag swagger into the space age. Joe Elliott screams to Valhalla, the guitars roar like two-ton blow-dryers, and drummer Rick Allen kicks ass even with a superfluous appendage.

15. Korn – Follow the Leader

Mook-metal’s darkest hour and change. Translating gangsta rap’s thudding nihilism for kids stuck in res-room purgatory, Head and Munky’s wiry, tuned-down riffing and singer Jonathan Davis’ latchkey lyrics reinforce key metal tenets: Girls can’t be trusted, adults just want to abuse you, life sucks, and nobody cares. A 21st-century Beavis and Butt-head would know every note.

14. Black Sabbath – Vol. 4

Never heavier and rarely crazier, Ozzy inhales a cornucopia of Columbian blow, travels through time, and delivers the first (and perhaps last) truly industrial metal album. Most valuable player: Tony Iommi’s harsh exit-wound guitar.

13. Slayer – Reign in Blood

“Bones and blood lie on the ground / Rotten limbs lie dead / Decapitated bodies found / On my wall, your head!” On this inadvertently avant-garde bloodfeast, singer/bassist Tom Araya narrates Holocaust-footage lyrics like an overeager sportscaster; guitarist Kerry King and Jeffy Hangman trade weed-whacker/bee-swarm solos until Satan gives ‘em a raise. Death metal was all downhill from here.

12. Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles

Page and Plant meet Chuck D and Flavor Flav. Harvard-educated guitarist Tom Morello twists riffs till his scales of justice squeal like wheels of steel; Zach de la Rocha chases ghosts through El Norte’s killing fields, winds up a raving loco on a street corner in the city of dreams, gets to the end of his rope, and finds a noose.

11. Mötley Crüe – Shout at the Devil

Per the liner notes, Shout was recorded on “Foster’s lager, Budweiser, Bombay gin, lots of Jack Daniel’s, Kahula and brandy, Quackers and Krell, and wild women!” “Krell” is Crüe-speak for cocaine, which might explain why the band dressed like sexually confused Decepticons while shouting in the general direction of Lucifer. Not particularly heavy, but hardDave Grohl in ’91 was basically Tommy Lee in ’83.

10. Judas Priest – British Steel

K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton’s massive twin-ax hooks and Rob Halford’s righteous hooligan lyrics partied hard, loved harder, and brought Priest as close as possible to mainstream rock without sacrificing metal’s leathery odor. The pop pinnacle of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

9. Tool – Ænima

With grunge in its death throes, these stinky-fingered Hollywood gnomes revived: a) the two-song LP side (what, you bought it on CD?); b) the acerbic ranting of deceased comedian Bill Hicks; and c) labyrinthine, proggy-assed concept albums. Singer Maynard Keenan gives Rollins-style angst a Robert Smith makeover; guitarist Adam Jones steers art-thrash over the dark side of the moon.

8. Kiss – Alive II

Every hipster claims to adore Alive!, but this sequel captures Kiss at the height of their kabuki powers, incinerating “Detroit Rock City” and “Calling Dr. Love” like dinosaurs from the planet Lovetron. Hirsute frontman Paul Stanley has said that this double LP is “as live as it needs to be,” which probably means “not very.” But who digs Kiss for their integrity?

7. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II

Before metal was metal, it was everything else. Jimmy Page’s expressway-to-Stonehenge breakdown on “Whole Lotta Love” is a freight train to No Wave; “Heartbreaker” beats Sabbath to sludge by a year; “The Lemon Song” pulls Moby’s break-beats-and-field-recordings trick 30 years early (no Pro Tools, so John Bonham just belts Robert Plant in the ‘nads till the juice runs down his leg); and “Moby Dick” still kicks the Melvins’ asses.

6. Van Halen – Van Halen

California surf-rock for kids in Nebraska who wanted to run away to New Jersey, Van Halen was metal as universal pop—loud (but not too loud), fast (but not too fast), heavy (but not too heavy), and funny (at least on side 2). David Lee Roth sings like he’s trying to nail your kid sister (which he is), and the rhythm section is almost robotically perfect. Oh, the guitar player ain’t bad, either.

5. AC/DC – Back In Black

Producer Mutt Lange gives Angus Young’s Zen-perfect riffs a platinum sheen, and pub-primed singer Brian Johnson ably fills the late Bon Scott’s trousers. Every song shrieks pure meathead rock, but for three and a half flawlessly lewd minutes, “You Shook Me All Night Long” makes being a meathead the acme of sexy cool.

4. Metallica – Master of Puppets

These bare-knuckled Bay Area thrash kings imagined “speed metal” as a stark urban landscape and redefined the architecture of the power ballad. James Hetfield’s rhythm guitar chisels a concrete jungle, then his Jagermeister-soaked bark reduces it to rubble. Cliff Burton’s bass provides the shadows; Kirk Hammett’s eerie, elegiac guitar solos bring the light.

3. Black Sabbath – Paranoid

They sounded way scary, but Sabbath were really just working-class yobs from Birmingham, England, who acid-tripped over the formula for Pure Evil Rock and figured writing doom-saturated anthems about war, fairies, and robots beat punching a clock at the steel mill. On Paranoid, Tony Iommi’s guitar and Bill Ward’s drums wrestle in the mire, Geezer Butler’s bass simulates a herd of iron men trampling the countryside, and Ozzy’s bad-mood-rising bellow blots out the sun.

2. Led Zeppelin – Untitled (Alias “Led Zeppelin IV” a.k.a. “Zoso”)

Led Zeppelin’s fourth studio album—1971’s unnamed “Zoso” (so called for the enigmatic symbols on its cover)—is the most famous hard-rock album ever recorded, not to mention a watershed moment for every grizzled old man who’s ever carried a bundle of sticks on his back. “Zoso” is not Zeppelin’s best album (Houses of the Holy) or their heaviest (Physical Graffiti) or even their “most metal” (Led Zeppelin II). However, it’s the defining endeavor for the band and the genre it accidentally created. Epic, ethereal, and eerily sexual, “Zoso” is the origin of everything that sounds, feels, or even tastes vaguely metallic, except maybe Metallica and that metal sludge from Scandinavia (which derives from Black Sabbath’s Vol 4).

1. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction

The singer is a paranoid redheaded Midwesterner with an eight-octave throat and a white leather suit, and he’s too cool to realize he can’t dance. The longhaired guitarist plays blues/metal/punk/jazz/thrash riffs at Keith Richards’ pace; the shorter-haired guitar player smokes cigarettes and gets in fights. The bass player is from Seattle, before it became cool. The drummer thinks he’s in a disco band. And it all sounds like Hollywood at 2 a.m., only genuine and dangerous and absolutely necessary.

Which metal album do you think is the best?

George – The Rugged Outdoorsman – Part 1

I was having a tough time in middle school. The year was 1977. I didn’t like school or any other part of my life back then. I was a smart kid, but school just wasn’t my thing. To me it was simply happy hunting grounds for bullies and teachers alike.

However, I did have artistic ability and my parents signed me up for Saturday morning art classes at a high school across town. I would take the 26 bus north on Rising Sun avenue to Cottman street, and then get a transfer for the Y bus east up to Northeast High school.

Times were so bad for me that I have few memories from junior high. I think I’ve blocked most of them out to cope and grow as a person. I was skinny, had bad skin, greasy hair, glasses, braces, no athletic ability, and was getting bad grades. For some reason my mom made me wear polyester slacks and black leather buckle shoes to school. All of the other kids wore more casual clothes. I stood out like a sore, swollen, pimple faced, tinsel toothed, thumb.  I was basically a target for anyone who wanted to use me as an object of their scorn.

Just horrible.

It’s funny, when you’re that age and ravaged by puberty, many of your friends suffer from the same ailments. I always had a few loyal friends.

I brought nothing to the table back then, and take responsibility for anything I did, or didn’t do. But I can see now why I was such an enormous disappointment to my parents.

So every weekend, I would go to Saturday Morning Art Classes each week at Northeast High. There was a nice group of kids in attendance, and I met a few of them.

It was a welcome repose from my tortured daily life. It was a pretty laid back experience full of kids like me who enjoyed making art. The structure was loose and creative. I think the teacher’s name was Mr. Gilper. He was a talented, chill dude and always had cool projects for us to create.

They would play the radio during class and I thought that was cool. Back in the Seventies the two big rock stations in Philadelphia were WMMR and WYSP. Now only WMMR remains, but it’s become an incredible bore like most terrestrial radio stations in America. They played most of the popular rock songs of the day, and WMMR did the same, but played a bit more deep tracks. So, if you were a music fan, WMMR was the cooler station. I think DJ Pierre Robert worked there back then and he’s still there to this day.

I met this boy named George and we shared a passion for comics and rock music. He was a nice, gentle kid with kind eyes. I remembered that he liked how I made my own comics and created my own team of superheroes. Deneb-6, Lazar, Midnightess, Cestus, Prince Apollo, and The Prowler come to mind. I can still envision those characters.

We got along well enough, but once the classes were finished, I didn’t see him anymore. He was my art class friend.

I remember one Saturday I came out of class and they were holding a flea market in the parking lot. I browsed the usual junk people were selling at their tables. I saw this one guy had a box of comic books for sale. I had some cash on me, so I bought a few choice books the guy had. There were more that I wanted because I was an avid reader and collector of good comics. I basically spent all the money I had in my wallet on comics with this guy. (Like, $10.)

I got home and showed my dad what I had gotten and that there were more good books there. So my dad being awesome, put me in the car and we went back up there and we got the rest of the books I wanted. The guy had many first issues and I knew they were more valuable than what he was selling them for. My dad was a hard core toy train collector and so he understood my urgency. So that ended up being a great day!

I was 14 in 1977 and in 9th grade, which thankfully was my last year at Fel’s Junior High School. The nightmare was ending and next year I’d be attending Frankford High School. I used to describe 9th grade as the worst year of my life back then. But, that summer turned out to be the year I went from caterpillar to butterfly and everything changed for the better.

Wildwood Daze – Summer of 1977 – El Morro Motel

There are more great tales from that summer, but it was a watershed moment in my life. You can find the rest of them in the Search bar under Wildwood Daze. (See: El Morro Motel, Terri,  & Anna Marie)

Anyway, you get the idea. So I get to Frankford High in the Fall of 1977, and the world is a better place for me. It felt like all of the animals who tormented me in junior high all went to Northeast High. Frankford was filled with a better group of kids.

I don’t remember if I ran into George in 10th grade or 11th grade at Frankford. But for this story let’s say 11th grade because it’s the most memorable.

I was 16 now and everything in my life was better. I was getting better grades, my braces were off, I wore cool shirts and jeans to school. My mom let me grow my hair. I was lead singer in a rock band, and my level of cool had gone way up over the Summer.

I was sitting in English class one day and noticed this guy sitting just one seat ahead of me of to my right.

It was George from Saturday Morning Art Classes! By that time, it seemed like a world away. I think he recognized me first and we connected. We shared that class, lunch and gym.

We would draw funny comics about our lives. Not our real lives but a world where we were these cool dudes who played rock and got all the chicks. I mean, in real life I sang in a band and was teaching myself how to play guitar.

You can read the complete saga if you enter the word Renegade in the Search bar.

Renegade – 1978 to 1979 – Chapter 5 – The Sears Silvertone

George and I would have so much fun laughing at all of our little exploits in our comics. (I still have them all on sheets of notepaper!) We also started having lunch together. I had come such a long way from the little weasel I once was in junior high. I had become friends with the most powerful student in the school. This guy Chris, who my sister Janice had known since 1st grade. He sat across from me in art class. He was not only president of the student body, but quarterback on the champion football team. But he wasn’t a jock. He had all these powers but liked music and had a bunch of nerd friends, and he and I connected immediately. He and my sister were a grade ahead of me, but he took a liking to me and my sense of humor.

So my friend George and I got to sit at the end of the cool kid’s lunch table everyday at 5th period lunch. It was like just a couple of regular guys who got to sit at a table full of celebrities. It all seems funny now, but it was just football stars and hot cheerleaders. But in high school that’s a coveted spot to be in. High School is like a little fictional world you get to act out for a few years before entering real life. It mirrors adult life in some ways, but none of it has any real sustainability for the rest of your real life. I always felt like high school was a show I was on and it lasted three seasons before my character was killed off and I had to move on and find a new gig.

So George and I happily munched our peanut and butter and jelly sandwiches at the end of this table. Not card carrying members, just a couple of B-rate extras.

But, we started to hang out a little bit outside of school. I don’t even know where George lived. I never went to his house. I know he liked to go fishing.

He would come to my house and I think he brought his guitar with him. I was pretty clueless, in regard to the instrument but was eager to learn in the Spring of 1978. I was just the singer in the band, but the guitarist would let me play three notes on the break during the song, Draw the Line, by Aerosmith. (My favorite band on Earth.)

But George could actually play, and he started to show me things on the guitar. I knew where the notes were on the neck of the guitar, but needed some rock n’ roll fundamentals. George had these huge hands and he could reach from the first fret to the sixth, which is basically impossible for most people. It gave him the ability to create complex riff runs that would be unique to his playing.

I was struggling to pull the concepts of the guitar together even though I had a head for music and an excellent ear. I had some books with sheet music and chords in them, and George showed me how to read and follow them. Technically not read music, but enough to understand it.

Sidebar here: Someone once asked one half of the two greatest composers of the 20th century about how he wrote such incredible songs. He stated that he never learned how to read or write music in the traditional way. “I never understood all of those little lines and dots.” he said. “My music simply comes forth from my heart and my head.”

That man was Paul McCartney.

One of the hardest things for a new guitarist to do is to create the muscle memory to hold a chord in place. All of your fingers have to be on the right strings and you have to press them down with enough pressure so that the chord rings and doesn’t sound muted or buzzes against the frets. It’s a difficult feat and takes a while to learn and master. You have to train your mind to get your fingers to just automatically land on the right strings in the right formation to make the right sound. Once you get the chord right and the smile appears on your face, you feel like you’re getting it, and it’s a wonderful feeling. But then you go to move your hand to hit another chord and the whole thing falls apart.

It’s like being a baby and taking your first steps. One step… two steps… oops! Then you fall down. You get up and keep taking steps over and over, and the next thing you know you’re running down the street. Same thing works for learning the guitar. (Or, probably anything in life!)

So, George realized I was a neophyte, and simplified the process for me. He taught me a super basic way to get it done with less fingers and still achieve the same sound.

That style that he taught me, is the basis for twelve bar blues. The boogie woogie chord, he used to call it. With my index finger and ring finger he showed me how to play the chord in a simplified manner. He also taught me how the blues worked and the chord progressions. How certain notes went together. What he was teaching me as we sat in my bedroom, was the foundation of all rock music.

George taught me how to play the blues.

Once I understood what sixth route and fifth route was, I was on my way. That was the evolutionary leap I needed to go forward. I don’t know if I ever told him, but in that moment, George was literally the monolith and I was the ape in 2001: A Space Odyssey. I swear to god… it was on that level. That evolutionary leap.

What George taught me on those afternoons, catapulted my music creativity. The first thing I did, once I understood the basics of rock was to start writing songs. They were simple, and sounded like Ramones songs, but it had begun. My rock and roll life as a musician began thanks to George Schauer.

I know in high school he always thought I was cool, because I knew some hot chicks and had art and humor going. But the boy that gave me his friendship and time were more valuable than anything else in my life at that time.

Thanks to George, when I put that guitar on and started actually playing songs by Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, and the Rolling Stones, I had become part of a secret club. Little did I know that my friend who I knew from Saturday morning art classes and English class, had become my mentor.

Once I learned the fundamentals, the rest fell into place and because of my love of the instrument and the music. From what George taught me took me from novice, to rhythm guitarist in the band Union Jacks six months later!

That fifth and six route basic style were the building blocks to some of the heavier riff driven stuff I would go on to write and perform in my future bands. Yes, the building blocks to my heavy metal sound.

I’m sure George didn’t know what he had given me. But he actually gave me his post prized possession.

His time.

That’s the greatest gift you can give someone, because once you give it, you can never get it back.

Thank you, George. You changed my life.

 

After 11th grade my family moved and I had to take my senior year at Wildwood High, which is documented in this blog. (See: Wildwood Daze)

I never saw or heard from George again.

Until now…

 

More tomorrow!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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Death of Eddie Van Halen marks the end of something, not sure what

Death of Eddie Van Halen marks the end of something, not sure what
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/amp.buckscountycouriertimes.com/amp/5935906002

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Tales of Rock – John Lennon turns 80: What the musician thought about a possible Beatles reunion

John Lennon turns 80: What the musician thought about a possible Beatles reunion | The Independent
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/john-lennon-death-80-birthday-beatles-reunion-paul-mccartney-mark-chapman-b910215.html?amp

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Tales of Rock: Eddie Van Halen… There Is Only One

 

This is what a musical genius looks and sounds like.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new books, Phicklephilly 2 and Sun Stories: Tales from a Tanning Salon are now for sale on Amazon!

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The First Time I Ever Heard Van Halen

The year was 1978. I was sitting with my fried Michael in the back seat of his parents green Caprice. His mom was driving and needed to stop at the Roosevelt Mall to pick something up. She said she’d only be a few minutes and asked if we could just wait in the car.

We didn’t mind. Michael asked if we could listen to the stereo while she was gone. I watched as she left the car and entered what I think was Gimbel’s department store. He pushed the 8 track into the system and hit play. He and chatted during the first song on the tape.

But then an instrumental piece came on. It was a single guitar. I had never heard anything like it. I loved all things rock and it was an extraordinary sound. At times it almost sounded like classical music to me. Really incredible playing more wild yet controlled that anything I had ever heard before in my life.

I liked it.

And then the next song began immediately following that incredible fiery piece.

I knew this song. It was ‘You Really Got Me’ by The Kinks. But these guys had somehow supercharged it. Made it better than the original.

“Who is this?”

“Van Halen.”

“Van Halen? I never heard of them.”

“It’s my brother Jimmy’s tape.”

“Van Halen. This is really good. Crazy.”

“I know, right?”

We listened to more of the album on the way home. (Of course, at a decreased volume due to his mom driving.)

The next day I went to a local music store that had recently opened on Rising Sun Avenue in my neighborhood. I inquired the band, and the guy handed me the vinyl record album. I looked at the cover and it looked cool. I purchased it and went home to listen to it.

I went to my room and put it on. I automatically fell in love with this ‘new’ supercharged rock sound. The songs were powerful and catchy. I think ‘Jaime’s Cryin’ became my favorite, but there wasn’t a clunker in the bunch on this debut album.

I’ll never forget that day, and hearing Van Halen for the very first time. There will always be Jimi Hendrix, who broke through in the late sixties and electrified psychedelic blues. Jimmy Page, the session man in the sixties who joined the Yardbirds and later formed what would be come the greatest hard rock band of the seventies, Led Zeppelin.

But Eddie Van Halen changed rock music forever with his signature sound. Because after that first album, every guitarist that followed him tried to play like him. This fast precise sound. They all copied him. But no one could replicate his sound.

He created it and it would always belong only to him. If you’re ever wondering what a music genius sounds like, listen to Van Halen.

Thank you for sharing your brilliance with us Eddie. You’ve inspired us all.

Rest in power.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new books, Phicklephilly 2 and Sun Stories: Tales from a Tanning Salon are now for sale on Amazon!

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Tales of Rock – EDDIE VAN HALEN DEAD AT 65

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2I0a7EwWa8

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