Vinyl Confessions: BUYING BACK MY CHILDHOOD, Part II

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Continuing on with the titles that I once owned as a boy, from grade school to the end of high school…
bruce springsteen - born in the usa
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – Born In The U.S.A.
Yeah, I was a fan of this album back in grade school. I wore out two copies of this album on cassette. And for those of you hipsters poo-pooing liking the so-called commercial sell-out album…so what? It got me to look into his other works and really appreciate his contribution to rock and roll…you know what? I don’t have to explain myself. I like this album…
joe satriani - dreaming #11
JOE SATRIANI – Dreaming #11
I first discovered Joe Satriani by way of a Flexi-Disc that was included in an issue of Guitar Player magazine which featured him on the cover. It was a combination of a bizarre guitar solo called “Power Cosmic” (which I can’t seem to find anywhere) which segued into a song called “The Crush Of Love”, which I fell in love with at the age of 13. I bought the cassette release of the EP that “The Crush Of Love” was on, which included three additional songs performed live. Good release. Found it on vinyl now…
stray cats - rant + rave
The STRAY CATS – Rant N’ Rave
So, once upon a time, there was a small grocery mart in a small town in Eastern Nebraska, called Marv’s. At the lone checkout counter was a box of dusty cassettes for sale, with several obscure titles. One of which was of The Stray Cats’ Rant N’ Rave (technically titled Rant N’ Rave With The Stray Cats). I bought that tape, as I was familiar with their other hits that weren’t on this release…but it was an interesting collection of Neo-rockabilly rock and roll with a punk attitude. Good enough to warrant picking up when I found it at the Half Price Books, then…
wham - make it big
WHAM! – Make It Big
Don’t look at me like that. For what it’s worth, I agree with Deadpool when he asserted that this was the album in which George Michael’s pop group earned that exclamation point at the end of their name. Say what you will, this is still an infectious 80s pop album, front to back. I have no shame in having this in my collection…

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Vinyl Confessions: MULLET ROCK

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Some good classic hard rock from an era most refer to as “hair rock”, “butt rock” and “dad rock”, but I lovingly refer to as “mullet rock”. As someone who had more than one mullet in his teenage years (and Recovering Adolescent years), I wear that as a badge. Anyway, here are the ones in my collection thus far…
acdc - dirty deeds done dirt cheep
AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheep
Obviously the American release version, with that cover and track listing. This is a bluesy hard rock classic, with several cuts that just lends itself to the format it’s printed on. The title track, “Rocker”, “Problem Child”, “Ride On”, and let’s not forget the middle school boy giggle-fest that is “Big Balls”…
acdc - for those about to rock
AC/DC – For Those About To Rock
This is the album that had to follow the juggernaut that was Back In Black (wondering why I don’t have that one on vinyl yet? So am I…looking to rectify that). This is still a solid album, though there’s really only two that are immediately recognizable as AC/DC classics: the title track, and “Let’s Get It Up”. Otherwise, there are some good rocking deeper cuts on this…
acdc - fly on the wall
AC/DC – Fly On The Wall
At this point, I’m pretty sure the band knew they weren’t going to hit the heights that was Back In Black, but they were okay with that. This one has some good cuts on here, including the title track, “Sink The Pink” and “Shake Your Foundations”; this is probably when the phrase “It’s an AC/DC album” was sufficient to describe any release of theirs at this point in the game…
sammy hagar - voa
SAMMY HAGAR – V.O.A.
I’m not a fan of Sammy Hagar. I am a listener of Sammy Hagar, though; meaning, I’m familiar with the hits he’s written. I’ve never owned an actual full album…well, I take that back. There was the low-budget live album on cassette that I never listened to. But, I got this particular album because I kept seeing it at the shop for months, just sitting there, forlorn and lonely, like a homeless kitty at a shelter. So…yeah, I gave it a good home. Also, there is the first track, “I Can’t Drive 55″…
ANTHRAX -- I'm the man
ANTHRAX – I’m The Man
Okay, so, not technically falling under the proper “Mullet Rock” tag, but as of this writing, this was the closest thing to fitting in with the others in my collection. Decent enough EP, though the live cuts are a bit on the thin side production-wise…

Songs That Suck: “NOTHIN’S GONNA CHANGE MY LOVE FOR YOU” (Glenn Medeiros)

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songs that suck heading
nothins gonna change my love for you
“NOTHING’S GONNA CHANGE MY LOVE FOR YOU”
Glenn Medeiros
Amherst
1987
[from Glenn Medeiros

Okay, so this is technically a cover song. The original version of “Nothin’s Gonna Change My Love For You” was done by R&B singer/guitarist George Benson back in 1985. However, I’m not familiar with that original version, or of Mr. Benson’s work; it is the Glenn Medeiros version that I keep hearing in the most inopportune places, and that’s why I’ve included this as a Song That very much Sucks.

And before you ask, yes I am aware of the Nick Carter version. But, I neither have heard that version, nor care about that one. Or Nick Carter’s music. But, I digress.

I remember exactly where I was when I first heard “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You”: I was on the school bus, on the 45-minute ride back home. The radio on the bus was tuned to the popular Top 40 station, and this song came on. Even at the tender age of 13, when my music tastes were still more or less dictated by what’s on heavy rotation on the radio, this song was just horrible. I’d heard my fair share of Adult Contemporary pop before, but my reaction had never been this kind of vehement. It was beyond sappy. It sounded like the kind of song a teenager would sing at the Congregational Church for his grandmother.

And that was kind of close to the truth. The guy who did this cover version, Glenn Medeiros, was 16 when he recorded the song after winning a local radio talent contest in Hawaii.It was one of those small, locally released on an independent label kind of things, like the kind you do at a karaoke booth to give out to your friends and family. But, because a visiting radio exec from Phoenix, Arizona happened to hear the song on the local radio there, the single made it’s way back to the mainland and went national. Thanks, guy.

But, you know what’s worse than listening to this AC dreck? Watching the accompanying video that was made. It’s essentially Medeiros walking around on a beach, with a girl in a pink dress. The same kind of visuals used for herpes medication advertisements during daytime television.

The thing is, as dry heave-inducing as this song is, it won’t seem to go away. Just like herpes, it seems to pop up in the most unusual and inopportune times, usually when shopping at a department store, or sitting in a hospital waiting room, or having come on whatever soap opera is playing when visiting Grandma and she’s watching her stories. And each time I want to run away screaming.

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Vinyl Confessions: ODDS N’ SODS

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This week, here are some odds and ends that don’t necessarily fall into one category, picked up at various places over time…
baby metal metal resistance
BABY METAL – Metal Resistance
I found this at the Half Price Books, which was kind of surprise, as I wasn’t aware of other Baby Metal fans in Omaha, other than myself and Art from the Coven of Exalted Geeks. Regardless, not my favorite of their two releases, but a find is a find…
stryper fallen
STRYPER – Fallen
I picked this up when Stryper swung through town back in 2016. I was afraid that it was ruined when I played it on the Cosley suitcase record player I had at the time, but fortunately that wasn’t the case when I gave it a spin on the proper turntable I got…
cure, the pornography
The CURE – Pornography
My favorite release from The Cure. This is a re-pressing, on that 180-gram vinyl that seems to be all important to other collectors. I’ve already spun this several times. It’s great to throw on after work to decompress…
black sabbath - sabbath bloody sabbath
BLACK SABBATH – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
A proto-Doom Metal classic from the masters. I would have liked to have picked up the self-titled debut or Masters Of Reality, but as the only Black Sabbath album available at the shop I stopped by that one afternoon, it’s not a bad find. This is also one of those 180-gram re-releases…

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Songs That Suck: “PINK” (Aerosmith)

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songs that suck heading
aerosmith - pink
“PINK”
Aerosmith
Columbia Records
1997
(from the album Nine Lives)

Bit of a Rock N’ Roll History Fun Fact: In 1977, the band Aerosmith decided against renting the same Convair CV-240 airplane that eventually crashed and killed members of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Aerosmith had concerns about the safty of the plane, and also questioned the seriousness of the plane’s crew, who seemed to be more of the partying type than serious pilots. Keep in mind, this is 70s-era Aerosmith, where the singer Steve Tyler and the guitarist Joe Perry were refereed to as the Toxic Twins. When 70s Aerosmith thinks you’re partying too hard…well, you get the idea.

The point of that is, since they survived to play another day, we never would have to ask, “What could have been?” like we do with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and others who died at the prime of their musical careers. With Aerosmith, we don’t have to. We know exactly what happened: “Pink” happened.

Released about a year before the release of the Ultimate Aerosmith Ballad You Can’t Get Away From that was on the Armageddon soundtrack (you know the one), “Pink” gets the Songs That Suck listing for one reason above all the others: This is a song about Steven Tyler’s love of vaginas.

Yes, you could argue that, this is Aerosmith. What else are they going to be singing about? Well, sure…except that this is late 90s Aerosmith we’re talking about, here. Not only were their pop relevance waning again (the last resurgence happened because of Run-D.M.C.), but at their age at the time, singing songs like this made them more creepy late middle-aged dirty old man creepy, rather than bad boys of rock n’ roll cool.

Also, this is a ballad. Nope.

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By the time we get to Woodstock, half of the investors will be gone…

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woodstock 50Watching the saga and drama that is the Woodstock 50 festival has been downright amusing, I have to admit.

Sure, that seems a bit callous, sounding like I take great pleasure at the misfortunes of others. I don’t, but this is a music festival we’re talking about, here. And one based on an icon of the 60s, at that.

Look, I’m no business man. I took broadcast communications in college, and I didn’t make it past a year at that. I can’t even begin to imagine everything that’s involved with getting a multi-band / artist festival going; I presume it goes a bit beyond just “hey, let’s get [insert band name here] to play at [insert venue here]!”

So, if you’re reading this and wondering what the heck I’m talking about, here’s the TL;DR Edition: Plans for the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock festival has been fraught with setbacks, delays and finally cancellation…only to be immediately uncanceled again. Investors are pulling out, and artists are cancelling their appearances, despite having been paid for the appearance.

To be fair, this fiasco is nowhere near the clusterbomb that was the Fyre Festival back in 2017. That sucker garnished at least two documentaries that I know of. Woodstock 50 at least just seems like it’s experiencing PTSD due to the result of Woodstock ’99, aka The One Where Limp Bizkit Incited An Apocalyptic-level Riot. Allegedly.

Mind you, I’m writing this as a casual observer that has no vested interest in the festival itself. The lineup is…let’s just say, I’m not the target demographic for this one. Woodstock ’94 at least had Metallica, King’s X, Primus, and Nine Inch Nails. Not to mention a career-defining performance by Green Day. This 50th Anniversary Woodstock…yeah, the only reason this has my interest is because of the wackiness going on even getting it up and going.

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Vinyl Confessions: BUYING BACK MY CHILDHOOD, Pt. 1

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So, one of the objectives I have when I dived back into collecting vinyl records was to try and get back some of my favorites that I may not have originally owned on that format, but were integral in shaping my personal soundtrack growing up. So far, it’s been fun running into some of these bits…
duran duran notorious
DURAN DURAN – Notorious
Not my favorite Duran Duran album, but still something I nabbed when I saw it at Half Price Books. The title track skips right at the beginning, which sucks…
nugent, ted - double live gonzo
TED NUGENT – Double Live Gonzo
It’s one of the albums that my Uncle Jerry gave me when he heard me listening to Wham. It’s one of the two gateway albums that he gave me that got me into hard rock and metal in the first place. Which is the main reason why I have this in the first place. Otherwise, not really a fan of the Nuge’s music outside of the radio hits…
run dmc - raisin hell
RUN-D.M.C. – Raisin’ Hell
Bought it as a nerdy 13-year-old white kid because of their cover of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”; discovered that this is a solid album front-to-back. Still one of my favorites…
bon jovi - slippery when wet
BON JOVI – Slippery When Wet
I once overheard a teenage coworker years ago proclaim–out loud–that Bon Jovi was the Nickelback of the 80s. I immediately chucked several sharp objects at him. Slippery When Wet may be their only album that I can still listen to front-to-back (with their follow-up New Jersey coming a close second) in public and not be ashamed of doing so. It’s also one of the very few good memories I have of my Junior High years. That, and the Run-D.M.C. record…

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