this is my annual valentines day piece, yes it’s early, but it had to be made today


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somewhere back in the DJ posts i talked about how great 1980 was for metal releases…well, here’s one i forgot to mention….UFO “no place to run”, although it can be argued whether or not if it is “metal” parsee, it is one hell of a hard rock record worthy of being included with the 1980 onslaught of metal releases.  i have it posed here with two of my favorite lost in space toys, not that has anything to do with anything. this was the first release UFO put out without  Michael Schenker, perhaps one of, if not the greatest heavy metal guitarst of the time.  paul chapman took over on guitar duties and the sound changed ever so slightly, not bad, just different. ‘no place to run’ didn’t do as well as earlier UFO records as far as sales go, but it didn’t do bad either, just narrowly missing the UK top ten charts. the opening track ‘alpha centauri’ is a keyboard thing that leads right into “letting go” which has some monstrous bass lines laid out by long time UFO-er pete way, maybe the heaviest his bass every sounded. pictured above is pete and paul. the composition of the record seems to flow nicely from one song to the next. my personal favorite is “this fire burns tonight” (youtube below). cover art is done by my favorite album art company “hipgnosis” who did several UFO covers along with black sabbath, pink floyd, the police, led zeppelin, 10cc, scorpions, def leppard, etc art work. this one is done in two colors, a dark blue tinted photo of the band with orange type for the title…nicely done. again, it may be hard rock, but no self respecting 1980’s metal head would ever kick “no place to run” out of bed for eating crackers.

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ok…how about those plasmatics? i reached into a stack of my old vinyl and out popped this baby, the plasmatics “metal priestess” which is a 6 song 12” records that was released in 1981on stiff records. in 1981 i only knew the name and heard they cut things up on stage with chainsaws, good enough reason for me to pick this up. now by their appearance, they were often confused with being punk rock, when in all truth they were 100% metal…. and not great metal at that. their main appeal was their singer, wendy o. williams, former pornstar turned lead singer with all her best assets hanging out. the cover to metal priestess summed it up, wendy with breast exposed except for pointed pasties while standing in front of a pentagram. yes, that sold me. unfortunately the music didn’t. the one highlight, and it is a cool song is “12 noon”. through out the song a phone rings, a woman answers and wendy proceeds to layout what is going to end at 12 noon, pretty much everything is covered, neutron bombs, murder and rape, insipid ideas, archaic schools, and so on. kind of like billy Joel’s “we didn’t start the fire”, but cooler. the last song on each side is a live cut but no credit is given to where they were recorded…..i suppose if you want a plasmatics record in your collection, this one, if only for 12 noon, would be the one to get. youtube is below..

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NO DJ TODAY, tell LT to give em back

no DJ today….i have to break into and dig through a big crate for my stash of records. the ones i’ve been writing about my buddy LT (guy who  got me the turn table) had returned for me. i’m waiting on several more to come back from him, the accused and big black are two and i wanna write them up. both are excellent records done by excellent bands. i plan on writing about the big ones like kiss and aerosmith as well, nothing past 1979 on both, you know, when they were good, especially aerosmith. their draw the line record was tremendous. kiss started slipping with rock and roll over. love gun was weak with amazing cover art, so kiss was wrapped up by 78 in my opinion, love gun was the end, and don’t get me started on dynasty. they did have a brief solid comeback with creatures of the night, that was after the elder and i think a few others…but that was it. i’ll write about queen also…they were untouchable…until the jazz record, that had it’s moments but songs like bicycle race just ruined them forever, they were the champions of the world, don’t get me started on the game, they had no brief comeback. i do miss freddie though, what a great performer he was. i got the see them twice at their prime. first time was the news of the world tour during a blizzard at a sold out coliseum. all 20,000 braved the weather and made it inside. the second time was the 1978 jazz tour which was the following year. it was during the winter also, but i don’t remember it being hazardous, i do remember it being amazing. when they toured the game the next year i couldn’t go, that song another one bites the dust was too stupid for me. queen was not bad ass so they really couldn’t pull off a tough guy song. freddie also grew that stupid mustache, i didn’t want to tarnish my memories of how great they were…BTW the 1977 news of the world tour was my first concert. the jazz tour was my fifth…kiss, aerosmith and angel were the shows in between…and angel, i could go on about how great they were, but i’ll save that for a DJ review of them.

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as i continue on with DJ-ing my 70’s and 80’s vinyl thanks to my buddy LT who bought me a tiny compact turn table for christmas. i’m picturing it in all my posts that are DJ posts. this one you can see todays record cover pick, the sisters of mercy “floodland”, way back with the jo in the foreground, the jo approves of this pick….and it is a very approvable pick. this record came out in 1987 when i was living in detroit, a city that is very sisters of mercy friendly. they capture the detroit decay in their music. their previous release “first and last and always” pictures them in front of some detroit adult movie theater (pictured above), even though they are an english band. they are goth. but this release is something special, it has pushed beyond standard goth, it has songs that could have been commercially successful. they say the secret to a hit is to repeat the chorus as much as possible…and the sisters of mercy certainly accomplished this with the song “this corrosion”, it is popped up dark goth with the hooks and sing along lyrics (see video below). but there is more to this release, it is a complete thought, the composition of the songs and the composition of songs placement makes this listen like a good book, start to finish. the title tracks, “flood I” and “flood II”, have the pull of a receding tied while pushing you back out to sea. this is the kind of record that just makes your ears feel good. i advise the reader of this post to investigate the sisters of mercy further.

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ok, why is vinyl not as hip as hipster claim it is…it scratches, much easier than a CD, my record for the video you just watched is scratched when not in my possession . anyway, it’s cool there is a video for it. henry rollins and the hard-ons, what a great idea / match. rollins is rollins and the hard-ons are Australian rock. what a cool project. and what makes this over the top is they are covering AC/DC’s “let there be rock! an all time AC/DC metal rock song. the power is intense, and the video is raw. rollins lays it down to make bon scott proud. and the end rollins get’s to screaming, “yeah, yeah, yeah”, over and over like he does on his rollins band release “life time”…very hard stuff. the B side to the 12” EP is “carry me down” and that’s just what it does, carry’s you down. not the best effort from this combination. rollins actually sings the chorus lines and it’s….well bad. so it’s a half good, half bad EP…..the jo and rommel approve.

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tonight at my gallery i’ll have up a bunch of pages from sketchbooks on display. along with those there will be 11 new framed pieces. the opening is from 5 to 9pm and we are located at 1300 west 78th street, cleveland ohio. hope to see you there.


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ok, DJ today…the ramones “road to ruin”. what do i have to write about the ramones? the the name “ramones” pretty much sums it up, i would hope people reading this are well versed in the ramones already. for me i was a late bloomer with the ramones, this was a 1978 release and i was firmly in the grip of metal at that age, probably didn’t recognize them till thier 80 release “end of the century” and didn’t really pay attention till the early 80’s. but, when i did, i made up for lost time, i saw them twice (did a poster for one of them…see HERE) and own most of their catalog. ‘road to ruin’ has some great songs,  “i just want to have something to do” is one i love, and the classic “i wanna be sedated” which is right up there in the top ten ramones  songs like “gimmie gimmie shock treatment” – youtube of them doing “i wanna be sedated” live below. decent cover art, not top notch stuff, it reflects the music well though. crude garage punk rock type drawing, fits.


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this is the third piece i’ve done so far 2016


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1979….i’m immersed in metal…i’m buying records because of their covers, i knew nothing about AC/DC but when i walked into that record store and saw the cover of “if you want blood, you got it” with a guy shoving an SG guitar through his chest it had to go home with me….and it was a righteous purchase. purchased because of the cover, sold by the music. same with judas priest “unleashed in the east”, this guy was on a motorcycle on stage! record sold. anyway, i was touching on a few records outside of the metal, the first police record, elvis costello, and the cars, but metal was first and foremost. until a day when a friend introduced me to the record “replicas” by gary numan. this was different, yet still had a dark edge to it. synthesizers and guitars, with bowie style undertones, complicated yet understandable lyrics, and the visual aspect. the cover was amazing, this guy, in black with his skin and hair white, looking out the window to “the park”. you can see the refection of him and although he is standing with his hands to his sides, the reflection had his hands folded in front of him. this record was sold to me too, no question. i still treasure this album, it has inspired more of my work than i can count, especially then when i was 14/15…made the lasting impression. the tour came and i caught it at the cleveland music hall in early 1980. the stage and presence was just as dynamic as the cover and recordings. below is a youtube of “me i disconnect from you” plus more from that tour. his next release was “the pleasure principle” with the big hit “cars” on it. although i like that record, guitars were dropped for all electronc instruments and i feel it just wasn’t as dynamic as “replicas”, not as much texture. replicas is still played here.


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