# DI…Return to Popei’s, Coram, NY, With The Wizard of Ozz (07-28-2018)…

Last night, one night after the astronomical energy of the lunar eclipse, everyone’s favorite Long Island tribute band, the ever-popular The Wizard of Ozz, continued to show why they have been the ultimate Ozzy tribute band for almost 30 years.  As they did last year, around the middle of August, Johnny and the boys returned to the outdoor venue known as Popei’s Clam Bar in nearby Coram, NY…and, in almost repeat fashion, completely awed the audience (which, for the first time in a few years, included my now-18 year old youngest daughter) with their spot-on rendition of all of the classics that we know and love.

As you may remember, the venue itself is not very big (the stage is part of the patio area set up for the bar’s “smoking area” in the rear of the place.  However, with that said, the amazing set-up crew (of Nicky Traylor, Steve-O and Steve Houmis) did their absolute best to make sure that the band sounded as amazing as they did last night.  True to form in repeating the output of last year’s show, everything ran especially well, considering the space didn’t impede the success of the show!!!

From the opening number (the omnipresent “I Don’t Know”) through the finale of their other main song “Paranoid” (complete with John’s daughter Brianna on drums, as happens a lot of the time), John and Petey (the prevalent drummer of the band), along with Tony and Dennis (“rotating” bassist and guitarist on this go-around), and Mark (keyboards) ROCKED THE HELL out of the small (yet always packed) venue, with such hits as “Flying High Again”, “Mr. Crowley”, “Shot in the Dark”, “I Don’t Wanna Change the World” and, of course, the always-sought anthem “Sweet Leaf”.

Also, among the set, were the great numbers “War Pigs” (yes, as usual, complete with audience participation), “Suicide Solution”, “Mama, I’m Coming Home”, “N.I.B.” (after a small bass solo from Tony), “Bark At the Moon” and “Crazy Train” before wrapping up with a newer edition to the repertoire, the awesome track known as “Children of the Grave”…after which, Petey surrendered his “drumming duties” for the finale of “Paranoid”, featuring Brianna’s stunning work on the skins!

With this particular show in the books, a huge thank you to the band, the road crew AND the venue for another wonderful night of Ozzymania…one that I know my family (including BOTH of my children, for once, and, hopefully, the forseeable future) absolutely enjoyed and will continue to experience in the years to come!

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


# D (500!!!)…Rock Spotlight, Vol. XIII…”For the Love of Metal”, Dee Snider (07/27/2018)…

{Author’s Note:  If you read this, please share the HELL out of this…for it is only through my view counter’s ascent that I would feel that I’m doing my “job” as a teacher, and not speaking into space!  Thank you in advance, JJ.}

It gives me immense pleasure, in this bubblegum-addled world, where EVERYTHING on the radios is unintelligible garbage, to have my 500th post have the subject of a TRUE rock-n-roll icon, Long Island’s own Dee Snider, whose latest release (yesterday) gives the seemingly invisible genre a much-needed shot in the arm.  His latest release, the aptly-titled “For the Love of Metal” is the epitome of what a “commercial” metal album should be…a headbanging experience from the first notes until the inevitable end.

Being that this album was produced by one of the most prolific names in metal, Hatebreed’s vocalist Jamey Jasta, this album is just one GREAT rock song from beginning to end.  With the politically-charged opener, “Lies Are a Business”, this album takes you from reminiscing (“Tomorrow’s No Concern”), to the second release off the album (if you search “I am the Hurricane”, you’ll see it…), followed by the anthemic “American Made”, and also features guest vocals from the likes of metal icons Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy) and Killswitch Engage’s Howard Jones!

This newest addition to the rock scene includes the atypical ballad, in that the usually-raspy Alissa White-Gluz performing clean vocals on the awesome track “Dead Hearts (Love Thy Enemy)” and, of course, I would be remiss not to mention the first track released on social media, the magnificent anthem “Become the Storm”, and the track that personally resonates with me…the song written due to a personal tragedy, called “I’m Ready”; this man is still an icon after a 40-plus year career (so far) and I personally LOVE this album!

All due props to this latest creation from one of rock’s greatest collaborations since…EVER!!!!  If more of this type of music, explicit lyrics and all, were to hit the airwaves, the world may be a better place…and THAT’S why I am here; to teach you all of stuff that you are not aware of!

Until next time…remember to always…

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

# CDXCIX…(499)…Rock Star’s Milestone 75th…

Today, July 26th, for those that are unaware, is the birthdate of one of the most prolific names to come to America from England; Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger (1943). As he is the co-founder of one rock-n-roll’s premier English bands, his voice is pretty much unmistakable and sometimes hypnotic. His babyface (when he was younger) easily enamored the younger members of the “Flower Generation”; the band had multiple Top Ten hits in the mid- to late 60’s and dominated for quite a while among rock’s upper echelon.

He is known to me, in addition to his storied career as a musician, by his acting prowess, as well; specifically, for his 1992 co-starring role (alongside Emilio Estevez) in the science fiction cult classic, “Freejack”. He’s had roles in other film, naturally, but his anti-hero Vincent Vancedak in the film is an eerie look at how well a villain/antihero should be played. His countless hits and longevity in the industry more than cement his place here on this blog…Many happy more, Sir Jagger!

Among his birthday twins are/were; late “I Love Lucy” co-star Vivian Vance (1909-1979), late producer/director Blake Edwards (1922-2010), late actor Jason Robards (1922-2000), late “The Berenstein Bears” co-creator Jan Berenstain (1923-2012), late veteran actor and “The Dukes of Hazzard” co-star James Best {“Roscoe”} (1926-2015), late directing icon Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) and late patriarch Joe Jackson (1929-2018).

Also celebrating are; singer Darlene Love (1941), esteemed actress Helen Mirren (1945), Queen drummer Roger Taylor (1949), figure skating icon Dorothy Hamill (1956), “Star Trek” alum Nana Visitor (1957), superstar actor Kevin Spacey (1959), veteran actress Sandra Bullock (1964), action film star Jason Statham (1967) and veteran “Underworld” actress Kate Beckinsale was born in 1973.

Now you know how truly “useless” my knowledge base is…and why I’m more entertaining than watching paint dry…or playing stupid online games…

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

# CDXCVIII…Reboots Be Damned!!!!!

With the latest “reboot” buzz-news floating around, I would like for you to peruse my views (from the book, of course) on the “original” star’s birthday…from “The Last Starfighter”, a film that came out when I was thirteen years young…

Today’s date, July 21st, in addition to being a famous late comedian’s (in the list to follow) birthday, is the creation date of a little-known actor (only because of his career in regards to present-day generation), Lance Guest (1960). With parts in such classics as “Knots Landing”, “St. Elsewhere”, “Lou Grant” and “Halloween II {1981}”, it wasn’t until his performance in 1984’s science fiction pioneer “The Last Starfighter” that he became a member of this date’s elite list.

That movie, which I first saw when I was about 15 or so (loved VHS, when it was king), is one of my all-time favorite movies, science fiction or otherwise. Although certainly campy by today’s computer-generated standards, “The Last Starfighter” will forever be remembered as the first movie to incorporate computer images into a live action film. Having said that, Mr. Guest’s performance as the trailer-park video game legend-turned-intergalactic hero Alex Rogan will stand the test of time; played to hilt with an almost “naïve” feel to it, he will always be among the honored for this date.

Also celebrating are/were his twins; late author Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), actress/singer Kay Starr (1922), late actor/comedian Don Knotts (1924-2006), late wrestling patriarch Bob Orton, Sr. (1929-2006), former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno (1938), singer-songwriter Cat Stevens (1948), “Doonesbury” creator Gary Trudeau (1948) and the late great Robin Williams (1951-2014).

Celebrating as well are; comedian Jon Lovitz (1957), Skillet frontman Korey Cooper (1972), actress/model Ali Landry (1973), actor Josh Hartnett (1978), young Jamaican scion Damian Marley (1978) and Yankees’ hurler CC Sabathia was born in 1980.

Be sure to check out the science fiction classic, “The Last Starfighter”…it might be one of the best and oddest smashes you’ll ever witness…

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

# CDXCVII…Black Sabbath Icon…from The Book…

Today’s date, July 17th, is the birthdate of original (and current) bassist, Geezer Butler (1949), who, in case you didn’t know, has been with the band {with a couple of exceptions for solo and other collaborative works} since its inception in 1969. Originally a rhythm guitarist, he actually made the iconic switch to a bass when lead guitarist (and fellow southpaw legend) Tony Iommi refused to play with a second guitarist. I think I speak for all the rock-heads out there in saying that that was the best deal ever, as without it, you’d never have Geezer on bass for classics like “War Pigs”, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”, “Paranoid”, and the like.
As he has been an integral part of Black Sabbath and will continue to be until their Final Tour ends later this year, his style is loved by all in the rock industry; such iconic bassists like Jason Newsted (Newsted/Metallica), Les Claypool (Primus), the late Cliff Burton (Metallica) and one of my favorites, John Myung (Dream Theater) list him as their idol for his sheer brilliance.
His fourteen album releases with Black Sabbath, combined with the above-mentioned solo/collaborations, and the fact that he’s been playing bass since before most of you were thought of means that he’s more than certainly earned his place here…Many happy more to you, Sir!
Also celebrating on this fine day are/were; “Perry Mason” creator Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970), late super-actor James Cagney (1899-1986), late entertainer Art Linkletter (1912-2010), late comedienne/actress Phyllis Diller (1917-2012), actress Diahann Carroll (1935) and actor Donald Sutherland (1935) predate the Black Sabbath superstar.
Born after him are; veteran actor David Hasselhoff (1952), “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) heroine Heather Langenkamp (1964), actor Alex Winter {“Bill & Ted’s…” movies/”The Lost Boys”} (1965), Symphony X drummer (and New Jersey native) Jason Rullo (1972), country superstar Luke Bryan (1976) and former TNA/WWE star Mike Knox was born in 1978.
Thank you for coming with me down “rock-n-roll memory lane”…it’s always my pleasure to bring it to you…and, as always…
/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# CDXCVI…Two Notable Music Birthdays…

On this date, July 7th, it has come to my attention that two musical legends celebrate their birthday today; former drummer for The Beatles, Sir Richard Starkey (aka Ringo Starr), who was born in 1940 {knighted 2018}, and former FireHouse and current Stryper bassist Perry Richardson (born 1963).  As a music connoisseur, I just found it weird that these two specifically share this date as their birthday.

For the man that needs no introduction, Ringo was the drummer for the great rock band from 1962 (when he replaced then-drummer Pete Best) and continued with them until their breakup in 1972.  Since then, he has been inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (both as a Beatle AND a solo artist, only one of 21 musicians to do so), has enjoyed a wonderfully productive solo career, releasing 19 solo albums and is also an accomplished actor, appearing in The Beatles’ films as well as a few minor roles (he also played Mr. Conductor for one season of Shining Time Station in the States).

As far as Perry Richardson, he started with FireHouse (the band with hit singles like “Love of a Lifetime” and “When I Look Into Your Eyes”, among others) in 1989 and played with the band until a personal conflict caused his departure in the year 2000.  After his release from the band, he played notably with such country artists as Craig Morgan and the ubiquitous Trace Adkins…which pretty much kept him busy until replacing the long-time Stryper bassist Tim Gaines in 2017.  He is currently touring with band for their latest release “God Damn Evil” {awesome album, as I posted review on here in April, when the album was released!}

The list of their birthday twins is as follows:  late baseball hurler Satchel Paige (1906-1982), former “Tonight Show” bandleader Doc Severinsen (1927), late movie critic Joel Siegel (1943-2007), “NCIS” co-star Joe Spano (1946), actress Shelly Duvall (1949) and singer/actress Vonda Shepard was born in 1963.

Also celebrating are; comedian Jim Gaffigan (1966), former NHLer Joe Sakic (1969), voice acting legend Cree Summer (1969), legendary figure skater Michelle Kwan (1980) and Avenged Sevenfold’s right-handed guitarist, Synyster Gates was born in 1981.

Like Ringo stated, “It Don’t Come Easy”, but remember to always…

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

# CDXCV…”Heavenly” Birthday Greetings…

The title of this post is in honor of the birthday of Stryper’s lead singer Michael Sweet (1963), just in reference to his being the frontman for the world’s most renowned Christian rock band.  Now, for those of you who might think that I’m getting all “righteous”, please hear me out; Mr. Sweet’s contributions to the world of music have been about The Lord and Our Savior.  However, it is HIS right and privilege to do so…and, in doing so, has made numerous contributions to music as a whole that have spotlighted him here today.

After starting the band called Roxx Regime (which would become the massively popular Stryper after a name change) in 1983, Michael and his brother Robert would become iconic names in music due to their undying messages of faith and compassion with the use of their craft.  As a long-time singer/songwriter for the group, he has made sure that their messages are still alive and well, even after a 35 year (and STILL GOING) stint in the rock-and-roll world.

After briefly splitting with the band in 1992, Michael would go on to release solo works (nine albums in total; the last two even while reuniting with Stryper) and work with the legendary Dokken guitarist George Lynch (in a project called, obviously, Sweet & Lynch) up until the band’s steady reunification.  He also had a stint with the world-famous rock band known as Boston for a couple of years in the early 21st Century…not a shabby repertoire, to say the least!

Being that this is also the “birth” date of this wonderful country of ours, among the other birthday twins are/were; late real estate magnate Leona Helmsley (1920-2007), actress Eva Marie Saint (1924), author/playwright Neil Simon (1927), late New York Yankees’ patriarch George Steinbrenner (1930-2010) and journalist Geraldo Rivera (1943).

Sparklers and firecrackers are also in line for; former Bad English guitarist (and solo act) John Waite (1952), second generation wrestling star Barry Windham (1960), ESPN journalist Pam Shriver (1962), former lead vocalist Mark Slaughter (of the band Slaughter) (1964), former New Orleans Saints’ defensemen La’Roi Glover (1974) and late Will Smith (1981-2016) and BabyMetal singer/dancer Moa Kikuchi was born in 1999.

In honor of America’s 242nd birthday, please remember Michael’s words about the “four words we see everyday”…In God We Trust…and have a safe and happy Independence Day!!!

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

# CDXCIV…From “Robocop” to “That ’70s Show”…

As today hasn’t been covered here before, and unlike I’m prone to do (which is usually excerpt from my book, ROCK ON DUDEZ (Amazon.com Kindle & paperback, too)), I figured that I would exclaim kudos to long-time veteran actor Kurtwood Smith (1943)…who is best known by today’s generation as Red Forman on the hit comedy, That ’70s Show.

As the head of the fictional family in the show, his character’s dialogue made him seem like someone that you love to hate…and Kurtwood Smith has been able to portray that almost villainous posture since 1980, but it was his casting as the criminal Clarence Boddicker in the 1987 smash science fiction film Robocop that sent this star on his ascendance through Hollywood!

A Southpaw Nation salute to you, Sir…on this, your milestone birthday and many happy more!

Also celebrating today are/were:  late director Ken Russell (1927-2011), former “The Mod Squad” actor Michael Cole (1945), late politician Jean-Claude Duvalier (1951-2014), former talk show host Montel Williams (1956) and late “Gloria” singer Laura Branigan (1952-2004).

Concluding the list are:  late comedian Ken Ober, who gained notoriety due to his hosting the former MTV game show, “Remote Control” (1957-2009), singer Aaron Tippen (1958), Ratt vocalist Stephen Pearcy (1959), fellow Southpaw actor extraordinaire Tom Cruise (1962), voice actress Yeardly Smith (1964), New York Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman (1967), former NHL journeyman (and former Shark) Teemu Selanne (1970) and actress Olivia Munn was born in 1980.

Thank you all for coming…just love spreading knowledge…

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

# CDXCIII…”Metal Mania” @ 89 North, Patchogue, NY…

As most of you are aware, every so often I get to tag along with the family (and a lot of friends, too) on the occasional outing to the local music scene, in the event of some ROCK event or another.  Last night was another case-in-point; the three-band event known as Metal Mania at Patchogue’s 89 North (which I’ve frequented and written about here on this blog!), which featured the bands Lost Boys (a cover band of mixed decades’ rock music), Damage, Inc. (a Metallica-performing act that I’ve seen previously) and everyone’s local favorite, The Wizard of Ozz.

Opening the show was the Long-Island product known as Lost Boys; five guys from the Island that I hadn’t had the privilege of seeing until last night.  As a cover band of a hodgepodge of rock classics, such as Guns N Roses’ “You Could Be Mine” (which they opened the show with), Black Label Society’s “Stillborn”, the classic Queensryche tune, “I Don’t Believe In Love”, and Anthrax’s “Madhouse”, they hit every note as expected and did wonderful jobs on the smash classics “Symphony of Destruction” (Megadeth) and “Armed and Ready” (Michael Schenker Group) before closing their set with a touching rendition of the late Ronnie James Dio classic “We Rock”.

As they were a wonderful opener for this early summer show, I would like to announce that, as a music “collector”, they did a bang-up job performing their repertoire and did so with a flawlessness that is expected when you cover a diverse range of music as their set-list contains.

The band that followed them, the Long Island renowned Damage Inc. (not to be confused with the West Coast edition) I have spoken about here before, as they are a wonderful Metallica tribute band that has always enamored me just because the band that they perform as just happens to be my Number 2 favorite band of all time!  Although Metallica’s performances are with a lead singer/rhythm guitarist (Mr. Hetfield), Damage Inc.’s members provide lead singer with BASS (quite a change in dynamics) and Bob Von Hammer’s look alone is what makes this band special; as I watched them play, I couldn’t help but to notice the eerie resemblance to the great James Hetfield…and the band was spot on, as well.

Performing such Metallica classics like “Master of Puppets”, “Leper Messiah”, “The Four Horsemen”, “Sanitarium (Welcome Home)”, “Fade to Black”, and “Battery” (which the real band opened with when I saw them over a decade ago), they even switched things up (in my eyes, anyway) with a newer hit (“Hardwired…” from the newest Metallica release) and a couple of really old ones, like “Helpless” {from Garage Days} and a mash-up of the classic “Am I Evil?” which led into the song that they get their name from.  After a few “shot” tributes to the late Vinnie Paul (Pantera’s co-founder/drummer), they finished their show with a great rendition of the song that got me started on Metallica; their smash “sell-out” hit “One”, completing a beautiful set that really made me appreciate this cover band more than I have before!

As expected, the headlining act, the Long Island mainstay known as The Wizard of Ozz, showed exactly why they are (or should be…) the pinnacle of Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath tribute bands on the Island!  As consummate performers of the music since 1993, every show that they perform at {believe me, as I’ve been to quite a few of them} leaves you practically begging for more!

Even with a few minor tweaks from the last few shows (like the addition of a performing keyboardist and different guitarist/bass player’s), Johnny, Petey and the boys still haven’t missed a beat in the 25 years that the band has existed.

Running the musical gauntlet from “Bark At the Moon”, “Mr. Crowley”, “I Don’t Know” and “No More Tears”, they also blew the roof off with renditions of such memorable pieces like “Suicide Solution”, the ever-popular hits “Sweet Leaf”, “War Pigs” (complete with participation from the mass audience that they kept from the previous band), “Diary of a Madman” (first time in a while for that one), and “Crazy Train”…and, further, encoring with “Mama, I’m Comin’ Home” and their smash rendition of “Paranoid”!

Without boring you too much more, I would like to say that, being a writer (?), it was a great pleasure to have witnessed this show in particular due to the band’s music alone…as music seems to be in my blood from my early days as a human.  As someone who continues to write without a steady audience, every time I get to enjoy one of these shows, I try to convey my personal feelings when it comes to “performance”; after all, I have such an eclectic collection of music at my disposal but, like the great band ELO once sang, “Rock N Roll is King”; and the three bands last night did not, in the slightest, disappoint!

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