# XCI…Memorial Day weekend 2013 kick-off…

[AUTHOR’S NOTE:  The following account of yesterday’s outdoor concert at The Maples in Manorville, NY is for blog promotion only.  A full, more descriptive account will be forthcoming, upon retrieval of research documentation.  Thank you and enjoy your Memorial Day holiday.]

After making the Powers-That-Be cancel the show on Saturday, Mother Nature finally cooperated with us and allowed the entertainment of the 2013 Summer season to proceed as (originally) planned.  With a few major catastrophes to avert upon the initial cancelling, all the behind the scenes wrangling for all parties involved and the weather (which wasn’t summer-like but was nice enough) finally all peacefully co-existing, the first major show of the season was a delight for all that ventured to see it.

A late arrival notwithstanding, we pulled up after the first act (research unavailable at this time) was just finishing up their set.  I will try to provide more details in the extended version of the story as to who they were and how they performed.

The first act that I did see, however, was one that I’ve enjoyed previously…the awesome cover band of Aerosmith known as Rag Doll.  I have experienced their show many times now and yesterday’s performance was nothing short of stellar.  Their set list, which included such mega-hits as “Toys in the Attic”, “Walk This Way”, “Sweet Emotion” and their namesake “Rag Doll”, was filled with enough Stephen Tyler nuances that we have all come to expect from this awesome tribute group.  They are an excellent recreation of Aerosmith’s music and an excellent addition to any show, as they are consummate performers of this band.

The next act to grace the stage was a bluesy trio named Demon’s Eye, consisting of a lead singer/bassist, rhythm guitarist and drummer (again, research to come).  Their performance, which was dotted by such blues classics as “Boom Boom”, “Evil”, “Young Man Blues” and “Baby Please Don’t Go!”, was a high-energy, sassy romp into how diverse the music scene really is.  They were a nice addition to the lineup and should be considered for more shows in the future, really intensifying the music scene on the Island with their awesome, rockin’ exodus into the genre.

The final act of the day was the always entertaining group known as The Wizard of Ozz, the Long Island cover band of the immortal Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath, who continued their 20th year ass-kicking in grand fashion yesterday.  A consummate performer in his own right, lead vocalist John Traylor showed yesterday why the band has been doing this for so long.  The band, which included long-time bassist Tommy Cardinal Dolan (instead of original Julian Simonelli) and originals Jay Nova Castronova and guitarist Virgil Varons, was the perfect accompaniment to John’s rendition of pre-90’s Ozzy…with a set list worthy of envy.

Including such hits as “Fairies Wear Boots”, “Never Say Die”, “War Pigs” and the ever-popular “Sweet Leaf”, the boys of The Wizard of Ozz showed the crowd (who, by that time, was at its zenith when they took the stage late afternoon) why they have been the go-to band for Black Sabbath covers in this area for twenty years.  John’s vocals, though, take on a whole new meaning on hits like “Mama, I’m Comin’ Home” and “Bark At the Moon”, which are always crowd-pleasers.

Of course, none of this could have been pulled off without the behind-the-scenes road crew; Steve Houmis, Fred Johnson I, Nick Traylor and the other members of the gang diligently worked to make the show a rousing success for all involved; The Maples in Manorville and its’ staff for providing such a brilliant venue for an outdoor show; and, of course, the fans (like me and my family) for all turning a beautiful Sunday afternoon into a Memorial Day celebration for all to enjoy.

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


# XC…(90)…In loving memory of Owen Hart…

It was on this day in 1999, during a Pay-per-view wrestling event that was held in Kansas City, MO, that the late great Owen Hart lost his life.  The only reason that this event will stick out forever in my heart is the fact that I witnessed that very event after my father passed away…long story, not in the mood to discuss…I just wanted you to know.

/,,,/ ROCK ON OWEN \,,,\

# LXXXIX…For my Dad…

Fourteen years ago today, my father left this mortal plane for the great beyond.

RIP Fredrick H. Johnson (07/08/31 – 05/21/99)

/,,,/ ROCK ON DAD \,,,\

# LXXXVIII (# 88)…Rare Sunday offering…

Upon creating this blog some nine months ago, I really never envisioned anything to come out of it.  I mean, if you look at most of these entries, you’d probably never get passed the fact that it has been mostly about celebrity birthdays and/or other anniversaries.  There is one person, however, that saw a lot more than that…a well-known (at least in certain circles around my area) beautiful person named Gina Andriani, who is the co-founder of The Rock Shop Magazine.

Aside from being an entrepreneur in the rock scene, Ms. Andriani is a wonderful woman who is very receptive to the audience’s parts of the rock concert experiences throughout Long Island.  She is an individual with a keen sense for rock music, in general, and her bookings of shows in and around the Island have given this wanna-be author something of interest that can be (and usually is) presented to you, my readers, in this unique forum for all to enjoy.

It is in her honor that I give to you today’s birthday list…1925 saw the birth of political activist Malcolm X; American journalists Jim Lehrer (1934) and David Hartman (1935); late astronaut (Challenger disaster) Dick Scobee (1939-1986); screenwriter Nora Ephron (1941-2012); English actor Peter Mayhew (better known for portraying Chewbacca) was born in 1944; The Who’s lead guitarist, Pete Townshend (1945); late great wrestler Andre the Giant (1946-1993); Jamaican actress/musician Grace Jones (1948); and 1949 saw the births of former New Orleans Saints’ great (and Peyton and Eli’s father) Archie Manning and ZZ Top’s bassist Dusty Hill.

To further the list, today would have been the 62nd birthday of The Ramones’ frontman Joey Ramone (1951-2001), whose musical legacy speaks for itself; the drummer for AC/DC, Phil Rudd was born in 1954; author Jodi Picoult (1966); and, the “Benedict Arnold” of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Mr. Kevin Garnett was born in 1976.

I will be back in a couple of days (you’ll see why on Tuesday)…but, until then, my dear readers…

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

# LXXXVII…Can’t seem to stay away too long…

It is on this day, May 14th, that I would like to indulge your imaginations for a bit…to let you know that, while I seem to be on a birthday kick for this entrance into the writing world, I really don’t have the time to indulge my passion for really letting you know what’s out there now, musically…aside from all the bubblegum crud they’re playing these days.

Firstly, I will start with a Happy Birthday nod to Testament’s Eric Peterson, one of the founders (and the guitarist of…) my sixth favorite band of all time (see my Top Ten on the other blog to read why they’re in that position), who is celebrating his 49th birthday today.  His melodies on the guitar, for the uninitiated, are nothing short of spectacular.  The thing that initially turned me onto them, though, was the way (in my humble yet naive opinion) how they sounded like a Metallica-type band…that’s not a bad thing, it’s just the way I perceived them in my late teens.

On a weird musical note, though, it also just happens to be the birthdays of some really famous rockers…David Byrne (Talking Heads frontman) was born in 1952, late Rush drummer John Rutsey (1953-2008), The Cult’s Ian Astbury (1962) and former Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille in 1962.

On that note, let’s all give praise that, on this day in 1984, Mr. Mark Zuckerberg was born…otherwise, we’d have nothing better to do with our time…

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

# LXXXVI…”Arrow”-Headed…

On this date, May 8th, it has come to my attention (actually I’ve known about and have waited for this day) that it is the birthday of one of my favorite new actors…Stephen Amell, who plays the titular character in the new hit TV show “Arrow”.  A versatile actor in his own right, Mr. Amell has become one of the newest sensations on television today…which is saying a lot considering that his show is one of the only TV shows that I watch.

For those that haven’t caught it yet, you better jump on now…tonight’s episode is the penultimate (next-to-last) new episode and, unlike its’ CW predecessor “Smallville”, this show is action packed and definitely more “mature” than “Smallville”.

Getting to my point for today, this birthday list is presented for all (especially the birthday boy) to enjoy…

Starting from the top, it is the birthday of former President Harry S Truman (no period, the S doesn’t stand for anything), who was born in 1884, English naturalist David Attenborough and comedian Don Rickles (same year of 1926), former boxer Sonny Liston (1932-1970), “Jaws” author Peter Benchley (1940-2006), singer Ricky Nelson (1940-1985) and singer Toni Tennille (of The Captain and Tennille band from the late 70’s) was also born in 1940, infamous punk rocker Gary Glitter (1944), singer/actor Philip Bailey (from Earth, Wind and Fire) was born in 1951, Van Halen drummer Alex Van Halen (1953), actors David Keith (1954) and Stephen Furst (from “Animal House”) (1955), football coach turned analyst Bill Cowher (1957), former Bears coach Lovie Smith (1958) and former 49ers great Ronnie Lott (1959), former Cinderella bassist Eric Brittingham (1960), “Little House on the Prairie”s Melissa Gilbert (1964), original Sharks draftee Ray Whitney (1972) and singer Enrique Iglesias (1975) all predate Mr. Amell’s 1981 birth date.

Of course, it’s not a complete list but this is it for me, for now…I do have a career, you know (unfortunately)…

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

# LXXXV…Return of Saturday Spotlight (Vol. XV)…

This morning’s return of the Saturday Spotlight, oddly enough, comes purely as coincidence.  For you see, when I mentioned that I would bring back the Spotlight, I really didn’t pay attention to the calendar too well.  As it turns out, May 4th is the birthday of someone that I’ve been dying to speak about…a southpaw guitar legend that people only know about because of “Pulp Fiction”, master guitar virtuoso Dick Dale.

Born in Boston, MA on this day in 1937 (currently 76 years young), his early influence in his childhood was the music of his ethnicity (Belarusian, Lebanese, and Polish)…he is a multi-instrumental superstar that, to this day, is still performing.  In addition to “Misirlou” (the “Pulp Fiction” track), he’s performed with the late Stevie Ray Vaughan on the track “Pipeline” and he also sings (“Mr. Peppermint Man” among his releases).

Influential to such greats as Jimi Hendrix (duh, fellow southpaw) and Eddie Van Halen, the one thing that makes Mr. Dale’s music so inviting to me is the fact that he plays on a right-handed guitar…turned around, though…and it’s just magical!  He also plays drums, ukelele (popular left-handed instrument…Sir Paul McCartney can play it, too) and trumpet.  No wonder he deserves this special place on my “Wall of Honor”…

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

# LXXXIV…May Day! May Day! May Day!

As the title implies, it is May 1, 2013…and, yes, another family birthday is in the cards.  Today is one of my nephews’ 19th birthday and it is in his honor that I present to you today’s birthday list.  However, it is in my best interest today (I do work on a computer for a living) that I keep it somewhat abbreviated.

Without any further ado, today’s list is as follows:  former TV hosts Jack Paar (The Tonight Show original) was born in 1918 and Art Fleming (the original Jeopardy! host) was born in 1924; singer Rita Coolidge was born in 1945; superstar director John Woo (1946); Orange County Chopper magnate Paul Teutul, Sr. (1949); “Law & Order: SVU” captain Dann Florek (1950); “Ghostbusters” singer Ray Parker, Jr. (1954) and country superstar Tim McGraw (1967); and football superstars Curtis Martin (1973) and Wes Welker (1981) all share today as a birthday.

Job(s) done…’Night all!

/,,,/ rock on dudez \,,,\