Just recently I re-read Cherie Currie’s bio, ‘Neon Angel’ and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was about to start reading Dee Snider’s ebook, when the cover of Bobbie Brown’s new kiss ‘n’ tell book caught my eye, as it would most red blooded males. Who says you can’t judge a book by its cover? Not in this instance anyway. The book is stacked with gossip and scandal, stories of sex, drugs and rock n roll – Hollywood style. For anyone who has fond memories of the late 80’s Hollywood hair metal scene – you may enjoy Brown’s recollections from that period. She was a little late on the scene though – following the path set by Tawny Kitaen and then, to a lesser extent, Susie Hatton. In fact, if you recall Poison’s ‘Fallen Angel’ video clip, where Hatton arrives in LA on a Greyhound Bus (no clichés there), gets into modelling, drugs and the decadence of the time – it could have almost been scripted for the real life Brown. A small town Southern girl from Louisiana, a Miss Teen winner who thought she’d try her luck in Hollywood in 1989 as a model. She was certainly the MTV video vixen – appearing in videos for Hurricane, Great White and famously, Warrant’s ‘Cherrie Pie’ – THE video that everyone remembers from that period right? It certainly made an impact and pissed her then girlfriend, I mean boyfriend Matthew Nelson off considerably. It had immediate impact. She was the video vixen that all the girls wanted to be – and all the guys wanted to nail. I remember seeing Kings Of The Sun once back then, and this video was played on the TV screen immediately before they came on stage. Everyone was glued to the screen. Yet like the hair metal scene, the blonde bombshell with the silicon boobs was soon gonna fall a long way. Unlike grunge though, which basically killed off the Hollywood Aqua net glam scene, it was drugs and a series of poor relationship choices that caused her to crash n burn (I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a tremendously original Sunset Strip poseur band by that name so go google it). You could argue that the pages are overfilled with a certain sameness – stories that revert between sex, drugs, sex, drugs, lousy relationships, sex, and drugs – and it could be considered to be somewhat shallow – but I doubt she ever intended to be a literary giant that would have her book disected by a weekly book club meeting. Yet if it’s juicy stories about rockers you want – then it’s a worthy read. There’s stories about Jani Lane, (who struggled to accept that there was no place for him in the shifting music landscape and battled his own personal demons), and Tommy Lee, (IMO – one of the most obnoxious scumbags of all time – with WAY over stated relevance), her nemesis and also silicon enhanced Pamela Anderson, Rod Stewart, Dave Navarro and plenty of others. She talks about parties with Kevin Costner, constantly being wasted on blow, how she thought the effeminate Paul Stanley was gay, and dalliances with the supposedly endowed Leonardo Di Caprio. At times it’s funny, at times it’s pitiful. How some have a moment in the sun and are on top of the world – and within a few short years it all slips through their fingers (or up their nose). The astute ones recognise their time is fleeting and squirrel some $ away – others don’t. I do have some degree of pity for Jani Lane, and the way his life turned out. He comes across as quite a pathetic, naive figure in many ways ie: splitting song writing royalties with all band members, his ‘friends’ – even though he wrote all the material - He drowned his demons with alcohol. She doesnt declare the incident he had been hiding for many years that was one of the root causes for his alcoholism – probably due to litigation threats. For what it is – this is her life story, and in spite of whatever else she has achieved in her life – she will always, most famously, be remembered as the ‘Cherry Pie’ girl. 6 out of 10.
Tags: Bobbie Brown, Cherrie Pie, Dave Navarro, Dirty Rocker Boys, Great White Warrant, Hurricane, Jani Lane, Kevin Costner, Pamela Anderson, Paul Stanley, Rod Stewart, Susie Hatton, Tawny Kitaen, Tommy Lee
Tags: Angela Aames, Basic Training, Chopping Mall, KB Beer, KB Lager, Kent Brewery, Pacino, Scarface
It was only after watching Pacino in Scarface a few weeks back, when I re noticed Angella Aames, one of Hollywood’s brightest stars from the late 70s / early 80s. Aames is a name that is largely forgotten now, but for anyone who ever saw Bachelor Party in the mid 80s, the buxom blonde left an, ahem, immediate impression. Apart from the aforementioned films, Aames also appeared in many films of a similar genre including H.O.T.S. (1979), Basic Training (1985), and Chopping Mall (1986). She did guest appearances on several television shows, including Cheers (1982), and Night Court (1984). In 1983, she appeared on Cinemax’s Likely Stories, playing an 80-foot-tall (24 m) giantess. Aames often played typecast busty blonde roles, including as Penny, a fitness instructor, on The Dom DeLuise Show (1987). Sadly, she was found dead at a friend’s home in West Hills in the San Fernando Valley on November 27, 1988. She was only 32 years of age. Although the Hollywood rumor mill talked up death by drug overdose angle, the coroner later ruled that her death was a result of a deterioration of the heart muscle, probably caused by a virus. By sheer coincidence, as I was unrolling a bunch of posters to put up for sale on eBay, I came across this poster I have promoting KB Lager in the US (KB Export). KB stood for Kent Brewery by the way. Although I have had this poster for many many years, it was only on closer inspection did I realise that the beach blonde in the wet KB tee shirt is none other than Angela Aames. At a guess, the poster must be from the mid to late 70s. Angela Aames – and a can of KB. Not much else you really need is there……
Tags: Anne McCue, Damian Child, Girl Monstar, Sherry Rich, Sherry Valier, Sue World
Melbourne’s Girl Monstar first walked onto a stage at a club called ‘Heroes’ in Carlton, North Melbourne – 25 years ago. ‘Heroes’ – probably better well-known as ‘Hearts’ was a busy Nicolson Street live venue in the 70′s and 80′s – but today provides residential apartment living. Another iconic live venue bites the dust….wonder if the rock n roll ghosts keep the home-owners awake at night ? The Boys Next Day apparently played their final gig there – and, some years later – Girl Monstar would plug the amps in for the first time there too – endings and beginnings from a rock n roll haze. GM had me hooked very early in their career – and this band and their infectious brand of rock n roll have long been a part of my life. 25 years ! Was it Noel Gallagher who wrote ‘… it’s never gonna be the same, coz the years are falling by like the rain’ – never a truer word spoken my friends. Looking back, music fans of my generation were spoilt for live rock n roll back in the 70′s and 80′s -and by gosh the talent pool here in Australia was immense. Girl Monstar were a band who I would’ve’ seen around 50 or so times, probably more. Back then – when life was less complicated – I just wanted to rock – and let me tell you – Girl Monstar delivered. Apart from those who had their ear to the ground – their name may be unfamiliar to many. But make no mistake – their legacy looms large. How rare is it to find a band where all four members can sing great, perform well and possess stage-prowess personalities as well ?! Bassplayer Damian Child was an essential ingredient to the band – stalking the stage at right with a BC Rich, gravel throat and charisma a-plenty. She would depart in 1991. Drummer Susie World was – and still is – a powerhouse behind the skins. Lindy Morrison often gets the wording when the press think ‘Australian female drummer’. I saw Sue drum enough times to know that she’d pummel Morrison in the department of percussion. No contest. Sherry Valier and Anne McCue did most of the writing and it was apparent to me and the Gig Lizard very early on – that both had star potential. No fluke that the now-Nashville-based McCue has gone on to forge a career in music and has a solid worldwide fan base. She’s got where she has on talent alone and when Lucinda Williams correctly labelled her ‘an amazing guitarist’ around ten years back now, some of us had long been aware of this. Do you own any Anne McCue albums ? Man, you should – she is building an impressive back-catalogue which is worth exploring. Sherry also has produced an amazing body of work which stands her on par with any big-name writer to come out of Australia. Yep, her tunes are that good. I could write about Girl Monstar until the sun comes up, but instead – I will direct you to girlmonstar.com – it’s all there. 11th of November 1988 was the date folks – Carlton in North Melbourne the place – a place where some Australian rock n roll history began.
Tags: Ken Hensley, Morten Black, Seven Seas, TNT
OK, here’s one for the ladies. Its none other than Morty Black (real name Morten Harket, I mean Skaget) from Norwegian viking metal band TNT, who came to prominence with their ‘Seven Seas’ tune back in the mid-80s. TNT were signed to Atlantic Records – and whilst they didn’t become house hold names ala Jon Bongiovi, they always found an attentive audience in Scandinavia. Anyway, back in 92 or 93, they released an album called ‘Realised Fantasies’, yet as evidenced by this photo on the inner sleeve, the fashion sense displayed by bass player is nothing sort of a garish nightmare. I’m hardly a fashion expert, but this spells fashion faux pas. With his tight black cycle shorts, open purple smock / shirt, native American style jewellery, thick silver belt – and the best looking mullet this side of Billy Ray – he simply oozes sex appeal – right girls? I didn’t know that Morty had played with the great Ken Hemsley (whom I am a fan of), and also played with (ahem) the shapely Mariah Carey (who cares about her voice right :)
Tags: AC/DC, Alex Young, BB Steal, Blow Up Your Video, James Young, Malcolm Young, Starfighters, Stevie Young, The Poor
Whilst I’m in an AC/DC mood – and why wouldn’t you not be, I thought I’d delve a little deeper into the Young family tree and pen a few words about two relatives of the famous Young brothers – being nephew Stevie Young. This is particularly relevant to yesterday’s post on Alex Young, as Stevie is Alex’s son. During the 1988 U.S. tour for AC/DC’s album Blow Up Your Video, (which started on May 3, 1988) Stevie famously filled in for Malcolm on rhythm guitar, while Malcolm was off addressing his issues with the bottle. Apparently, many fans were not even aware that Malcolm had been replaced, as Stevie bore a close physical resemblance to him. His first show with AC/DC was at Portland, Oregon on May 3, 1988, and he was essentially with the band from May to November 1988. Stevie grew up in the Scottish town of Hawick, and by the late 70s, was in his first bands, The Stabbers, Prowler and Tantrum – yet it is with The Starfighters that he his most well-known. The Starfighters made two albums, the self titled effort in 1981, and the second album ‘In Flight Movie’ that came out in 1983. Both were released on Jive Records. Starfighters also played several support shows on AC/DC’s Back in Black UK Tour in 1980. The band split in 1983 before reforming again in 1987 for another shot at the big time. After Stevie’s stint playing Malcolm, he formed Little Big Horn, whose demo tape was produced by Malcolm Young. They soon broke up after a lack of success in signing a record deal, although not before they had recorded a session for Tommy Vance’s Friday Rock Show on BBC Radio 1. Stevie later formed Up Rising, again, with limited success. Anyway, several bootlegs exist from his time with AC/DC on that North American Tour, and it goes without saying that both Starfighters albums are essential AC/DC styled albums. I used to have an album by Sydney’s BB Steal (ex Boss) called ‘On The Edge’ that featured James Young on drums (he also later went on to be in The Poor – who in turn supported AC/DC in 96). Not sure if he was related to the famous Young clan though. Anyway here is the video for their tune ‘ Hot Shot’ (sorry – no videos of the band I can find)
Tags: AC/DC, Accept, Alexander Young, George Young, Grapefruit, Harry Vanda, I’m a Rebel, John Lennon, Malcolm Young, Marcus Hook Roll Band, Terry Melcher, The Beatles
Amongst four Young brothers (and one sister Margaret), its well-known that three of those brothers went on to phenomenal music careers. Easybeat George, Malcolm and Angus to AC/DC (obviously) – but what do you know about the other brother, the one that stayed behind in Scotland, Alexander Young ? The Young’s parents, William (1911–85) and Margaret (1913–88), emigrated from the Cranhill area of Glasgow, Scotland, to Sydney, Australia, in May 1963 with their children George, Margaret, Malcolm, and Angus (eventually settling in the suburb of Burwood where Malcolm and Angus attended Ashfield Boys High School). When The Young family emigrated in 1963, Alexander would have been 25 years of age, 8 years older than George, 15 years senior to Malcolm and 17 years older than Angus. He chose to remain in Britain to pursue musical interests. Can’t help but wonder whether he would have had success with George as part of The Easybeats. Anyway, as time showed he took a different path – and counted the Beatles as his peers. In the early 60’s he was in a band called the Bobby Patrick Big Six and spent some time touring in Germany, before forming the band he became most famous for – Grapefruit. In 1967, at 29 years of age, Alexander was playing bass in the London based outfit, who also included three former members of Tony Rivers and the Castaways. Young was signed as songwriter with Apple Music Publishing Ltd. by Terry Doran, managing director of Apple, (friend of the Beatles and Lennon in particular), and later manager of Grapefruit, during the summer of 1967. The song writing contract was based on the strength of the song “Lullaby for a Lazy Day”, which John Lennon liked (he and McCartney also produced it). A tape with this song was found in Lennon’s personal belongings after his death. The song was originally called “Sgt. Pepper Circus”. Released on Apple , it sounds very trippy and very much of its period – with lyrics about dreaming and colours – its 67 era LSD fare. Grapefruit were named by John Lennon after his future wife, Yoko Ono’s book ‘Grapefruit’. Terry Doran saw some commercial potential in them. It certainly helped having heavyweights like the Beatles pushing your wagon – as Grapefruit received much support from The Beatles from 68- 69. The group was launched by the Beatles with a press conference in 1968, on 17 January, with the first single “Dear Delilah”. As well as Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Donovan, and Cilla Black attended the press launch and all were photographed with the band. Jimi Hendrix was also reportedly also in attendance. Grapefruit were also, apparently, part of the Hey Jude Recording sessions. Interestingly, Grapefruit were also signed to a US label Equinox, run by Terry Melcher, who had produced ‘Dear Delilah’. That song went on to be their most well-known, and most successful. It went to number 21 in the UK single chart in February 1968. Paul McCartney directed a promo film (never released) for the single “Elevator”. John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison attended and helped in their recording sessions for the singles, as Grapefruit didn’t have a producer at the time. As evidenced by all this support – the Beatles must have been fairly confident that Grapefruit were headed for bigger things and no doubt thought that crossing Apple and Grapefruit spelt dollars and not fruit salad. However, after only two years, the group broke up in late 1969, leaving a handful of singles and two albums, Around Grapefruit (1968) and Deep Water (1969). The hard rocking “Deep Water” did crack the German Top 20, peaking at No. 19. Toward the end of their career, following the new material being written by Alexander, Grapefruit shifted from melodic pop to more of a rock-based sound. In 1969 Alexander joined forces with his brother, George Young, and his Easybeats partner Harry Vanda and, in 1970, they recorded for the Young Blood label as Paintbox and Tramp. He also participated in sessions for Vanda and Young’s Marcus Hook Roll Band. Alexander, along with George Young and Harry Vanda, revived the Grapefruit name in 1971 issuing, “Universal Party” / “Sha Sha”, but the reunion was short-lived. (Check out the catchy ‘Universal Party’ here). A song written by Alex Young, ”I’m a Rebel”, was recorded in 1976 by AC/DC but was never released. The song remains in Albert Productions vaults, being almost impossible to find (not included in ‘rare track’ box sets either). The song was later covered by Accept in 1979 for their 2nd album, 1980s ‘Im A Rebel’ , and is apparently, very close sounding to the original. Accept guitarist Wolf Hoffmann recalled the circumstances that led Alex Young to work with Accept: “He got involved with Accept through the producer, Dieter Dirks. Everybody after the first record said we have to have a radio hit. ‘Guys, you need a radio hit and we have just the song for you. Why don’t you try this here?’” If you think how good it sounds with Udo, one can only imagine how great it sounds with Bon on vocals. From 1995 till August 1997, Alex Young worked as a music manager with “Proud and Loud Management”, based in Hamburg. He sadly died of lung cancer in Hamburg-Sasel on 4 August 1997. Go check out some of Alex Young’s music – and remember that the senior Young brother also made killer rock n roll, particularly if you dig stuff from the mid to late 60s, like the Easybeats / Small Faces etc. Both Grapefruit albums (as well as a BBC Sessions CD) are available on CD here. What an amazingly talented set of brothers.
Tags: Circle K Sunkus, kiss japan tour 2013, KISS steamed meat buns
Heads up KISS kollectors – its again time to part with your hard earned on a new, must have, can’t live without it, KISS item. This time ? More in the line of KISS kulinary treats – and keep em coming I say! Any self-respecting KISS family can now sit down to a complete KISS meal – complete with KISS ice blocks, KISS beer, and now – KISS dumplings. To coincide with the masked marauders tour of Japan later this month, Circle K Sunkus convenience stores are now selling “Kiss Super-Spicy Chili Tomatoman” dumplings. At only 100 yen ($1) each, what you get is a spicy, steamed meat bun complete with KISS logo emblazoned on top. Inside, the tomato sauce is made up of the habanero chili pepper, a red devil hot sauce. Hotter than hell! Nice marketing Gene. The wrapper of each steamed meat bun has an individual member of KISS’ logo printed on it. No doubt these items will upped on eBay soon to be readily konsumed by the KISS kollector who has to have it all. Check out more info about the KISS steamed meat buns here. Persoanlly, I’d rather sit down to a plate of rocknrolls, an Australian mini pizza that the great Spinal Tap were promoting back in 93.