Tag Archives: Hard Rock

National Lampoon’s 1970s Funky Advertisers

In The 1970s, National Lampoon Magazine Took Any & All Advertisers

Model demonstrating the proper facial use of a vibrator. From National Lampoon, January 1977

Matty Simmons the CEO of National Lampoon and author of If You Don’t Buy This Book We’ll Kill This Dog (Barricade Books), describes in his 1994 memoir the challenges of getting traditional advertisers during National Lampoon magazine’s first decade. Continue reading

Donald Trump & Joe Biden Debate – Who Was The Better Van Halen Front Man: Hagar or Roth.

What Presidential Candidates Should Debate About  – Rock ‘n Roll

Sammy Hagar David Lee Roth photo: Bryan Steffy/Getty, Jason Kempin/Getty

The future of artificial intelligence is a very serious subject which at some point we will cover in a serious way.

But in the meantime this is a short, frivolous use of AI, but entertaining if you are a Van Halen fan.

In reality I doubt either candidate could name one Continue reading

This AC/DC Demo Turned Into One Of Their Most Iconic Songs

AC/DC Rejected Dirty Eyes, Instead Using The Same Riff For Whole Lotta Rosie

Plus The Only Known Photograph Of The Real Life “Rosie”

AC/DC’s singer / lyricist Bon Scott once described himself not as a poet, but more a bathroom graffiti writer.

Though Bon Scott was self effacing, he could look at his own work honestly to see if there was room for improvement. Scott would frequently write and rewrite lyrics in notebooks and record on portable tape recorder he carried with him.

In one case he took a good rock song and made it a great song by completely changing the lyrics. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #149 – Mae West & Alice Cooper

Mae West In A Revival & Hitting On Rock Star Alice Cooper

Mae Today
One of Mae West’s most noted successes – a role with which she is now a bit bored – is as a high-living lady in “Diamond Lil”. The play is still being revived. In a New York dressing room in 1949, Miss West puts on some “prop” diamonds – valued at $2,000 – which she wears in the play. photo: Wide World Photos 8/4/1952

Mae West remained in the public eye for decades. First in vaudeville, then the legitimate stage, followed by movies and radio. Topping off her stardom, there were whispers and rumors throughout her career that Mae West was not actually a woman. Continue reading

The Amazing Pat Benatar Can Still Belt Out The Songs At Age 69

Pat Benatar Performs Promises In The Dark Live In Albany July 2022

Pat Benatar performs live July 2022 Albany NYRocker Pat Benatar has been performing with her husband, guitarist and songwriter Neil Geraldo for over 43 years.

Musicians don’t fret that their skills will deteriorate the way singers do.

A powerful rock singer usually has no more than ten to fifteen years of prime vocal strength and then its a slow steady decline as their range and power diminish. The decline can be devastating to the singer and painfully sad for fans of a band. Ask Steve Perry of Journey or Lou Gramm of Foreigner.

Not so with Pat Benatar.

At age 69 Pat Benatar has been singing her heart out for over 40 years. This performance last month in Albany, NY shows that Pat can still hit her notes.

Husband Neil Geraldo is one of the most underrated guitarists in rock. His fluid style of playing does not get noticed by the casual rock fan. He is an amazing talent.

In this clip Pat tells the audience that the musical couple are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary.

No hair dye.

No auto-tune Continue reading

How Sweet’s Biggest Hit “Ballroom Blitz” Was Recorded In A Single Day

Sweet’s Producer Phil Wainman Tells The Story Of Ballroom Blitz

Upon Finishing The Song, Wainman Says “The Hair’s On The Back Of My Neck Stood Up.”

When you capture lightning in a bottle you know it.

The iconic song Ballroom Blitz was recorded in a single day after just two to three takes.

Phil Wainman the producer of Sweet in the early 1970s when the band was turning out hit after hit, describes how the song Ballroom Blitz came to be, in this excerpt below in an interview with Iain McNay.

After the recording session was complete Wainman simply said to the band, “Do you think that’s a number one in America?”

Continue reading

1980s Rock Videos Not Featuring The Band, But A Hot Girl

Good Song! But Who Is That Girl?

Five 1980s Rock Videos Where The Band Is Not The Star

Whitesnake definitely owes a large portion of their late 1980s popularity to Tawny Kitaen, the actress model who suddenly passed away on May 7, 2021 at the age of 59.  Tawny Kitaen was the real star in the videos for Here I Go Again; Still of The Night and  Is This Love. Kitaen later married lead singer David Coverdale. The constant playing of these videos on MTV no doubt greatly contributed to helping the band eventually sell 15 million copies (8 million plus in the United States) of the 1987 eponymously titled Whitesnake album. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the previous seven Whitesnake albums sold a total of less than two million units combined before Tawny Kitaen’s addition to Whitesnake’s arsenal of sales tactics.

Not that Tawny Kitaen started a trend, but bands have always known that a good song can be made into a VERY popular song by featuring sexy women in their videos.

Here are five cases where the band is not the primary focus of the video, but a very attractive woman is.

Ric Ocasek -Something To Grab For (1982)

Ric Ocasek of The Cars released seven solo albums over his career which had modest sales. His first solo LP 1982’s Beatitude was the most successful, hitting number 28 on the Billboard charts. Starring in Something To Grab For is future 1983 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Marianne Gravatte (b. 1959). Gravatte, a stunningly beautiful woman, was also featured in Ratt’s Lay It Down.

April Wine – Rock Myself To Sleep (1985)

Continue reading

5 Bands With Songs That Sound Like Led Zeppelin

Hey Is That Led Zeppelin?

Bands That Can Sound A Lot Like Led Zeppelin

Maybe this article should be titled “bands that sound like Robert Plant” as it is Plant’s unique vocals that are being channeled.

Plant himself has never been a big fan of others trying to sound like Led Zeppelin. Plant called Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page’s 1993 pairing with Whitesnake / Deep Purple lead singer David Coverdale – David Cover Version.

If you heard any of the following songs without knowing who it was, you might think it’s Led Zeppelin.

Unsurprisingly the lead singers of these bands can do pretty good cover versions of Zeppelin. We’ll have two samples from each band – one original composition and one Zeppelin cover if they have ever covered the mighty Zep.

Great White

To me, Jack Russell of Great White naturally sounds more like Robert Plant than any other professional singer.

This song Save Your Love is from the 1987 album Once Bitten.

This 2011 live version of Led Zeppelin’s Ramble On is spot on vocally even if the rest of the band doesn’t capture the Zeppelin magic. Russell’s intonations on certain lyrics like “I’m much o-bli-ged, such a plea-sant stay,” sound exactly like Plant. A great cover.

Zebra

The next band is a label-mate of Led Zeppelin. Continue reading

Making Metal Out Of Rock – Hit Cover Songs & Originals

Making Rock Harder…and Better?

Metallica’s James Hetfield on stage with flying V guitar photo credit : unknown c. 1984

I’ve always wondered how rock bands feel when they’ve written what they believe to be a great song and later another band records it and has equal or greater success with the song. I guess it’s one thing if the original band is successful with the tune, makes money and has an appreciative fan base. The alternative of a band making music and toiling in relative obscurity with little to no exposure and then having another band come along and make a big hit out of your song does not sound appealing. The original writers receiving composing royalties may take some of the sting out of the situation.

When a heavy metal band covers a song and makes it their own, sometimes the original rock version languishes in obscurity. Years pass and more people are familiar with the cover version and think the cover version is better than the original. Whether that’s true or not is up to the listener.

7 Examples of Rock Songs Covered and Made Popular by Heavy Metal Bands.

We’ll start off with Peter Green and the extremely original British blues rock band Fleetwood Mac. This was before they became a huge pop hit machine after Green, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan left the band and Fleetwood Mac added Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham. The song is the enigmatic Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown) from 1970.

In 1979 Judas Priest put their indelible mark on Green Manalishi with dual guitars and Rob Halford’s soaring vocals. Just what is the Green Manalishi? Continue reading