Posts Tagged ‘Metallica’

ImageAs a self-confessed girl-band geek, I often scour YouTube to see who is out there making waves. It is often like trying to locate your lost white cat in a snow storm – there are so many videos of shitty guitar players who feel it necesary to upload bad sounding recordings of their horrendous offerings.Some time back I struck gold – discovering a 26 year old Parisian gal who plays the meanest rock-guitar since Miss Orianthi. Her name is Juliette Valduriez – not too much is known about her. Fact is that some of her home-made video clips have attracted hits of over one million views each and she has over 70’000 subscribers. She is not just a shredder – she plays with tons of feel and emotion which cannot be learnt – it is a gift. Her 15 recordings include covers of Ozzy, Stones, Hendrix, Motorhead, Floyd and a stunning take on the Beatles’ She’s So Heavy. Points for covering the Exploited and Stooges – which is an indication she is influenced by many styles of rock. Having attracted a lot of admirers in a short space of time, you think she’d be a star, right ? Not so. She has so far remained out of the spotlight (though I note that someone has created a fan-made site) and has not upped any new material in twelve months. Would be a waste of an amazing talent if Juliette has gotten hitched and hung up the axe – which is what some followers have speculated online. If you are a guitar geek or just dig rock – check her out – I am sure you will be impressed. Juliette Valduriez YouTube page

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Update: Juliette was interviewed on the Australian Rock Show Podcast in May 2017.  The interview (without the songs) can also be heard on YouTube

 

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‘Sometime in the night when you’re feeling the cold etc’ great days great rock n roll.

The Japanese word ‘natsukashii’ essentially means ‘nostalgic’ – eg something you remember fondly..and readers – the song ‘Stars’ by Hear n Aid sends me back in time with a big wide grin – as I crank the volume and play my invisible BC Rich. Just over 25 years back, the world was putting their hands in their pockets – digging deep to help feed the starving folks in Africa…..the mainstream music world all joined hands to help the cause…USA for Africa and Band Aid were the two notables….yet there was nothing about those two recordings to hold my interest back then. Seemingly ignored, the hard rock and metal fraternity – essentially under the leadership of Ronnie James Dio, gathered in L.A under the name Hear n Aid and recorded the tune ‘Stars’. What a song. Make no mistake, this is undiluted – hard rock of the highest caliber. If you are 20 years old and reading this – you’d have no idea what I am raving on about – bless your dumb ass. Read and learn…it’s why we do this blog. I can remember reading about this recording in 1986 in the local Sydney street press and being as keen as hell to hear it. It was essentially a who’s who of the hard rock and metal world (from that era) – all gathered in the one location to do their bit for famine relief. What they came away with, was a bonafide heavy metal classic. It was written by the sorely missed Dio, Viv Campbell (who let’s face it – has been a side-man in Whitesnake and Leppard since leaving Dio not long after this single) and Jimmy Bain who were all hitting a creative peak – though Ronnie seemed to be on a peak for most of his career, penning memorable tunes with effortless ease. I walked into a record store in suburban Sydney – after punching out from my mundane factory job and began scouring the racks. I quickly found the 7″ single and I recall the ever-helpful store owner saying to me “the 12″ version has all the guitar solo’s on it” and then played it over the store’s speakers nice and loud (anyone remember when record store owners actually dug music ? Go find someone in your large K-Mart styled music super stores in 2012 like that guy!)…and it blew me away.

Looking back, this song possibly defines who I was as a heavy metal kid of the early-mid 1980’s – and to this day, I believe it was only released on vinyl and cassette. Fine by me. The tune has a heavy – infectious riff which hammers away until song’s end and a memorable chorus. I am fortunate to say that I saw Dio encore with this in Sydney in September of 86. All vocalists on this tune do a fine job – but it’s Dave Meniketti and Geoff Tate who were my stand-outs.Thankfully Ronnie did not let Vince Neil near the mike – his scalded cat-like vocals were not required on this offering. The blazing guitar solo’s are all lightning quick and were laid down by some of rock and metal’s hardest hitters like Neil Schon, George Lynch, Buck Dharma and Craig Goldy. Former Ozzy and Night Ranger axe man Brad Gillis’ whammy bar antics had me spellbound back then, and the signature Yngwie sound stands out from the rest. Maiden’s Smithy and Murray broke away from the World Slavery tour to lend their talents as well. The tune is an anthem. It is as catch as all hell. It also represents an era in loud rock n roll which no longer exists. Guns n Roses were still playing to no one at the nearby Troubador. Metallica were still underground, long-haired lager louts and pushing their Ride Tthe Lightning album. Bon Jovi meanwhile were busy recording Slippery When Wet. These three bands would – in three or four short years – be the new rock heavyweights.

Yet in the mid-80’s my friends, this record had heavy rotation on the Rockbrat stereo – a time when metal was still underground – when we really all were ‘stars’.

Metallica and Lou take a walk on the wild side: One wonders what Cliff Burton would make of this collaboration ?

Sometimes I see things occurring in the music world in 2011 that leave me scratching my head. Metallica for one thing. I haven’t bought a Metallica album since 1989’s, “And justice For All”, and although I’ve been vaguely aware of the bands musical output since that time, let’s just say that with the exception of the ‘None More Black’ album,  most of it has left me a little cold. Who can forget ‘alterna’ Kirk with his makeup and facial piercings in the mid 90s? Or the teaming up with an orchestra? Like Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica is a word that is common place nowadays, a brand name as common as Corn Flakes, Arnott’s or Dr. Pepper.  They are all squillionairs, so what do I know huh? Well, I have an opinion, and in my mind, musically, they ain’t a pinch on what they used to be. Yes I recognise that they can’t keep rehashing “Puppets” type material, and they needed to grow artistically etc, but an orchestra? Can you imagine Ronnie Van Zant singing with an orchestra? Or Malcolm Young? Nope. Yet now, the band has been recording with Lou Reed. Huh? Lou Reed? I remember Diamond Head, Venom and Raven being influences on the band, but the Velvet Underground?  Being back on the ‘Big 4’ bill may have allowed the band to reel back in some much needed and long lost credibility, but Lou Reed? According to Kirk Hammett, both he and James Hetfield were both brought to tears during the sessions for the band’s upcoming collaborative album with Lou. Hammett added, “Lou managed to take out both guitar players in METALLICA in one fell swoop, with his amazing poetic lyrics.” Amazing poetic lyrics? Right on Kirk. He’s right up there with Dylan, Lennon and McCartney. Although I dunno why I’m so surprised at the pairing of the Bay Area’s finest with Lou. Remember that when Lou released his “Metal Machine (66 crush) Music” album he claimed to have invented heavy metal music and asserted that Metal Machine Music was the ultimate conclusion of that genre. Nuff said Lou. The album made Reed a laughing stock in the rock industry while simultaneously opening the door for his later, more experimental material. Historically, Metal Machine Music is now considered (by some), as a seminal forerunner of industrial music, noise rock, and contemporary sound art – which is all just different superlatives for “sounds like shit” in my language.

Another crossover also had me wondering whether the lines of division in the rock world no longer exist. Nothing gives an artist more credibility than hanging around the cool people. That is, musicians who have stayed cool over the years and never change despite the trends. Which is why you have so many wannabes nowadays hanging off Lemmy’s arm. Remember when Eddie Pearl Jam was hanging around the death beds of the Ramones? Sickening. How about this one?  Alterna country and ex Whiskeytown main man Ryan Adams covering a Maiden tune?  Yep, he recently recorded an acoustic cut of ‘Wasted Years’ (which originally appeared on the bands “Somewhere In Time” album). I find it all very bizarre. Seems to me that all and sundry want to hitch a ride on the metal bandwagon now, particularly with now celebrated bands such as Maiden (Hello Lady Ga Ga), Priest and Motorhead the prime targets. Not just good for the credibility – but it also doesn’t hurt the mechanical royalties either huh. I wonder if anyone’s knocking on Lizzie Grey’s door nowadays?

I’m an analogue guy in a digital world, so I grow weary of most of the dross that people listen to and watch nowadays. Facebook, Twitter, IPod, reality TV etc etc. Like all those talent shows, the Idol shows, Americas Got talent etc. Here’s a case in point. Eleven year old  contestant Anna Graceman recently performing a cover version of MOTLEY CRUE’s “Home Sweet Home” on America’s Got Talent”. An ELEVEN year old covering a tune by the supposed baddest of the bad boys. Mmmm, well. I suppose it’s good for Frank’s royalties or helps with his large food bill, but this kind of stuff is what’s wrong with the world today. Rock n roll is so homogenised these days. The ever present opportunist Sharon Osbourne stated that MÖTLEY CRÜE will find the performance “absolutely amazing”. Why Shaz ? Because it’s an eleven year old kid covering a tune with a complicated piano piece that Schroder could have knocked out on his toy piano? Nope, it’s got the cute factor. Tie it up with nostalgia and it’s a sure fire marketing winner. Motley Crue, come hell or high hells, I mean water, will push forward into the next generation if not buy their own “talent”, than by tweens and their techno loving parents who lap it all up. Nostalgia, that’s all it is my friends. I bet Lizzie Grey wouldn’t have minded a cover of “Public Enemy #1” though!

Tune in for the fourth and final instalment in a series of shows – where Cowboy Col remembers Sydney’s heavy metal years of the 1980’s. That’s right, we were metalheads who grew up in Sydney, Australia and in this series we have been focusing only on Sydney bands, and bands who predominantly didn’t sign with major labels or make it big!  Tune in this Wednesday night the 29th of June at 8.30pm to hear some of the best  thrash metal to come out of Sydney from 1985-1989. When To Tune In? This week, Wednesday 29th June, 2011 8.30 PM      Rockbrat Radio

2010 and Ozzy Osborne and Metallica are household names, and everybody’s a freakin’ Maiden fan. Well let me tell you friends, 25 years ago the landscape looked a little but different to what it does today. Growing up a metal head in Sydney’s early to mid 80’s – metal was underground, which you might find hard to believe, but it was. That all began to change a couple years later with the more digestible and light metal sounds of Jon Bongiovi, which made hard and heavy rock accessible and radio friendly. Yet I was a Saxon fan, and Maiden too, and Ozzy, and Randy Rhoads for pete’s sake – not Sambora. There was no internet, no instant download of any of these artists entire catalogue – you joined fan clubs and wrote away to addresses that were on the back of album covers. The thrill of getting a letter or newsletter in the mail from your favourite band was something today’s generation of kids don’t quite understand. I remember Mr. Rockbrat received a Xmas Card once from Mark Slaughter of Vinnie Vincent’s Invasion and let me tell you, that was a buzz.  Anyways, the point of all this is that I was once in the Maiden fan club, and I recently unearthed my fan club application letter from 26 years ago.  You think you’re a Maiden fan ? As Izzy Stradlin once sung, ” I was here before you”.  By the way, you’ll notice that the letter is signed by Keith Wilfort. Wilfort was one of Maiden’s  earliest fans and caught Maiden’s first ever performance at the Cart & Horses tavern by accident. As the story goes he was giving a barmaid’s boyfriend the slip at the time after getting caught taking her out, and came in. He was completely blown away by ‘Transylvania’ and was converted on the spot. One night Keith walked into the Bridge House (another popular early gigging spot) with a home-made t-shirt proudly proclaiming ‘Charlotte Rules OK’, and soon followed it with a more elaborate ‘Invasion’ t-shirt. So, he is pretty much the inventor of the first Maiden t-shirt. He later ‘graduated’ to pushing the band’s merchandise, turning his home into a pit with thousands of copies of THE SOUNDHOUSE TAPES E.P. This EP never went on retail sale, but was distributed by Keith and and his mum from their house in Beaconsfield Rd, East Ham. They shifted 3000 copies in the first week alone which gives you some idea of the demand. So now you know….

On the 1st of May, 1989 brother of Rockbrat received a call at work from Triple J’s Tony Biggs informing him that he had won first prize in the Metallica Damage Inc. competition, which meant backstage passes to the Sydney show. We got to meet the band backstage, and I have clear memories of opening act Mortal Sin skateboarding backstage. Nowadays, every man and his dog is a Metallica fan. It’s a brand name, part of the venacular. But back then, I was buying import Metallica albums from Utopia as early as 1985, and though I dont really care much for the band nowadays, in 1989, they were THE BAND on everybodys lips. Now you can listen to the moment back on the 1st of May, 1989 when we won backstage passes to Metallica’s first Sydney show of their first Australian tour. Metal up your ass! Check it out here.

Who: AC/DC
When: Donington Park, UK – August 17, 1991
 
Always great to see Angus and Malcolm live – and this gig is memorable. In the early hours of a cool August morning in 1991, the Rockbrat began making his way from the capital to Leicestershire. Donington Park to be more accurate, as that was the day of the Monsters of Rock Festival – headlined by Australia’s favourite sons. If you’ve never been to this venue, image a large open grass area with a massive stage and amps ! The line-up that day was Black Crowes, Queensryche, Motley Crud, Metallica and AC/DC – headlining for their 3rd time.  It was tedious at times (ie sitting through the whining Vince Neil) but eventually  dusk hit and Angus was up on stage riffing away to ‘Thunderstruck’. Released as a video/DVD/Blue Ray the set-list is well-known, but boy, being there to see this set was truly great and the band cooked. I do recall that by the time the final cannon had been blasted in ‘For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)’ that the temperature had dropped somewhat and several fires were lit for warmth. I made my way to the bus for the return trip to London. From the bus window I could see posters advertising the debut Screaming Jets album…..Newcastle’s finest who trod the same path as today’s headliners.  ‘Interesting’ I thought.  It was a long day and although tired with ringing Rockbrat-ears, I allowed myself a smile – because it ain’t every day you get to experience rock n roll magic with 100’000 strangers – in the shape of AC/DC.