# CCCXXVIII…King’s X Redux…

Today, September 3 (as I mentioned last year), is the birthday of my # 3 favorite bass guitarist who is left-handed (like me LOL), King’s X frontman Doug Pinnick (1950).  The man has been around the music scene since the late 60s and has 15 albums with King’s X, as well as four solo albums and guest appearances (as one of the most respected people in the community) on countless songs by other artists.

Touching on that last sentence, I was actually fortunate enough to see a show at Jones Beach a few years ago (before this blog was created), with King’s X, guitarist Joe Satriani and my favorite band, Dream Theater.  After watching the first two acts perform, Dream Theater actually played their collaborative song, “Lines in the Sand”, for which the southpaw Pinnick came out to sing with them…which was AWESOME to see live.

Joining Mr. Pinnick on celebrating HIS 65th birthday are/were; late Taco Bell founder Mike Bell (1923-2010), MAD Magazine artist Mort Drucker (1923), former “Headbanger’s Ball” host Adam Curry (1964), comedian Charlie Sheen (1965) and snow/skateboarding phenom Shaun White was born in 1986.

Thanks for coming and hope your day is bright…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# CCCXXVII…”Deuce”s Day…

The title above refers to the wrestler known professionally as “Deuce”, in 2007, Mr. Jimmy Reiher, Jr. (1971).  As he is mostly retired now, his name came up on a post related to my book…his father, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, is more of a wrestling superstar than he is and I have the elder’s autograph.  His almost twenty years in the business, notwithstanding, “Deuce” has held a couple of minor league titles and even Tag Team champion on two occasions.

As he has not been as famous as his father, I just wanted people to know just how much useless knowledge I have in my head.  Besides, I need to save some names, as this is the first time I’ve posted in September 1…and it won’t be the last.

Also, celebrating today are/were; late author of “Tarzan” and “John Carter” books, Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950), late actress Yvonne De Carlo (1922-2007), late pugilist Rocky Marciano (1923-1969), late singer Boxcar Willie (1931-1999), late country legend Conway Twitty (1933-1993), actress Lily Tomlin (1939) and surviving Bee Gees’ member Barry Gibb was born in 1946.

TV personality Phil McGraw (1950), late wrestler Rocco Rock (1953-2002), author/motivational speaker Billy Blanks (1955), pop diva icon Gloria Estefan (1957), sportscaster Danny Mayne (1959), late wrestler Bam Bam Bigelow (1961-2007), former basketball star Tim Hardway (1966), wrestler Doug Williams (1972) and “Ridiculousness” co-star Chanel West Coast (1988) finish today’s list.

Thank you all for a near-record August…hoping September is better…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# CCCXXVI…Saturday Spotlight, Vol. XXVIII…”Take It Like A Man”, Butcher Babies…


In a post that was predicted back in 2013 (please see Post # CVII for proof), this edition of the Spotlight comes to you with the above photo…my latest acquisition…the above-mentioned Butcher Babies’ release, “Take It Like A Man” (which, is only mentioned in Track 10…more on that shortly).  When I saw this band back at RockStar Mayhem, I knew that this album, which is their sophomore release, was going to knock me out, as I expected great things from them.

The band’s name is based on thrash metal icon Wendy O. Williams’ hit, “Butcher Baby”…and this quintet from California (vocalists/growlers Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, guitarist Henry Flury, bassist Jason Klein and drummer Chrissy Warner) are nothing short of astonishing metal genius from the opening track (and video release) “Monsters Ball” to the finale, “Blonde Girls All Look The Same”.  Reminiscent of the band I covered named Dope (you’ll love them, too), this album is a non-stop, “In your FACE, bubblegum”, stomp-fest that truly had me headbanging the entire time.

In a “behind-the-scenes” truth, this album is the first to earn five stars on every track…If thrash/moshcore is your thing (along the lines of Dope, Cannibal Corpse, Jobforacowboy, etc.), then this album should definitely be added to your collections.

Also, of note, the following tracks were my own personal favorites; Song 4: The Butcher–double bass drum opening leads into killer track; Song 5: Gravemaker–just all-around time signature madness that is awesome; Song 6: Thrown Away–awesome, 80s “hair-metal” ballad, showcasing wonderful “clean” vocals; Song 8: Marquee–4:20 of pure metal mayhem, summed up by the line “They will know my name”; and Song 10: Dead Man Walking–“Now I can say that I know what it’s like to play dead”, ‘Nuff said!!

Thanks for stopping in…I would like to thank everyone, in all 87 different countries, for making this among my best months ever…although the circumstances of THIS year’s August views has not been pretty…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

TRACK LIST:  1) Monsters Ball; 2) Igniter; 3) The Cleansing; 4) The Butcher; 5) Gravemaker; 6) Thrown Away; 7) Never Go Back; 8) Marquee; 9) Blood Soaked Hero; 10) Dead Man Walking; 11) For The Fight; 12) Blonde Girls All Look The Same


# CCCXXV…Saluting Will Shortz…

According to family legend, I have personally been an avid crossword solver since I was four years old.  That having been said, I finally have an outlet for a shoutout to one of the world’s premier crossword puzzle creators that ever lived; New York Times’ puzzle maestro Will Shortz (1952).  After starting with Penny Press Magazines, he came onto my radar as the editor of the wonderful GAMES Magazine in 1989 (which I had been a subscriber to around that time).

He is also a pioneer in education, as he is the only person to hold a degree in enigmatology, which is the study of puzzles (the curriculum that he designed).  Also in the “lesser known” category, he provided the clues for the puzzles left by Jim Carrey’s “Riddler” in “Batman Forever”, as well as the fact that he helped introduce the maddening KenKen puzzles in The New York Times in 2009.

He is also the founder of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, which he created and has been its’ director since 1978…when I was seven (about three years, supposedly after I started doing TV Guide puzzles)!  He also is credited with writing more than 100 books and has over 20000 puzzle books, dating back to 1545 (largest private library, reportedly).

I personally salute you, Mr. Shortz…for without your wonderful contributions to the world of crosswords, the world may have been more puzzling (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

Also celebrating today are; late religious figure Mother Teresa (1910-1997), late politician Geraldine Ferraro (1935-2011), late voice actor Don LaFontaine {“In a world…” started a lot of his movie trailers} (1940-2008), former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge (1945) and singer Valerie Simpson was born in 1946.

Jazz musician Leon Redbone (1949), basketball coach Stan Van Gundy (1959), bandleader/saxophonist Branford Marsalis (1960), former Garbage vocalist Shirley Manson (1966), comedienne Melissa McCarthy (1970), singer Thalia (1971), actor Macaulay Culkin and “Star Trek”s Chris Pine (1980) and David’s daughter, Hayley Hasselhoff was born in 1992.

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# CXXI…Stuff Not Covered Last Year…

James A. Johnson:

Since major project is more important, a reblog to show I’m still here…

Originally posted on Dal's Music Note$:

As I was reading today’s list, I noticed a lot of people on it that I should have covered last year.  I wrote a post on August 25th, which had to do with a report of a show that I went to the night before (“Just Some Random Thoughts”) and, due to the fact that it was a pretty long post to begin with, I only mentioned one birthday celebrant at the end.  Today, however, I feel it necessary to enlighten you with the (semi-quasi) entire list…

Starting with the 1916 birth of the talented actor that my eldest brother was named for, Mr. Van Johnson (1916-2008), and continuing with the birth of composing great Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), original “Let’s Make a Deal” host Monty Hall was born in 1921 (92 years young), tennis pioneer Althea Gibson would have turned 86 today (1927-2003), the ever-talented and ubiquitous Sean Connery was…

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# CCCXXIV…Saturday Spotlight, Vol. XXVII…”Starbound Beast”, Huntress…

Back on October 25, 2013, I posted a blog about the closing concert at the famed Roseland Ballroom in New York, which I had attended with my now-late brother along with his friend, Cesar, to see Testament (well, the show had Testament, Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage, as well as the star of this week’s post)…and I was treated to California’s own Jill Janus with her awesomely rocking band, Huntress.

As they were there to promote their second album, “Starbound Beast”, I wrote that post and clearly did not do them justice…which is why I’m here because, on September 25, 2015, they will be releasing their third album, “Static” (first song/video, “Flesh”, is not for the wussies that this society has come to produce…fair warning!!!)  The second album (first album will be reviewed next week) is a beautiful dark metal masterpiece, clearly reminiscent of classic music like King Diamond (whose vocal range is about the same as Ms. Janus’).

From the opening instrumental piece, called “Enter the Exosphere”, this album is an unadulterated and uncensored exodus through the nuances of a metal masterpiece.  Also of note, for those not interested yet, is the fact that the third song, the sultry hit “I Want to Fuck You to Death”, was co-written by Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmeister, and (as I stated in the first post) the video for the sixth song, “Zenith”, reminded me of the cult classic phenomenon known as “Heavy Metal” (great movie, by the way).

The fact that Jill Janus has a four-octave vocal range also gives her that “King Diamond”ish feel to their music…eerie and haunting yet can grab you by your cojones and not let go…which is why I felt that, even two years after this album’s release, you should get into it now.  If Huntress isn’t a fine example of dark and heavy metal masterpiece, then I’m not a writer…but, that’s why I put it here, so you all can judge for yourselves (I’m just trying to kill the bubblegum nonsense that the “sheep” are being fed…)

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

TRACK LIST:  1) Enter the Exosphere; 2) Blood Sisters (great growling in here); 3) I Want to Fuck You to Death; 4) Destroy Your Life (classic line in here; “Keep your goals away from trolls!”); 5) Starbound Beast; 6) Zenith; 7) Oracle; 8) Receiver; 9) Spectra Spectral; 10) Alpha Tauri (6:25 of awesome metal); 11) Running Wild


# CCXXIII…”Trekking” for My Friend…

James A. Johnson:

Sorry, Shawn…not original but it’s been a looong month, brother…Happy birthday, old friend…

Originally posted on Dal's Music Note$:

Today, August 19th, is the 42nd birthday of a person that was one of my earliest friends and, although we don’t talk as much as we used to, Mr. Shawn Smith and I have been best friends since the days of grammar school (so very very long ago LOL).  He is a kind-hearted, no nonsense individual that has seen me through my best (and subsequently worst) times.

Honored last year with a post, I wanted to start this post by explaining the title; it comes from the fact that he celebrates his birthday with THREE people associated with “Star Trek”.  Creator Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991), actress Diana Muldaur, who portrayed Dr. Pulaski on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (as well as Dr. Mulhall in an original “Star Trek” episode) was born in 1938 and actor Jonathan Frakes, who played Commander Riker on “The Next Generation” was born in 1952…talk about a…

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