Archive for March 2009
Seriously. Dude. Please come out of retirement and rock out for us one more time. I honestly don’t really care if you’re doing metal or some rock stuff, just grant us the privilege to hear that voice again. Some of your counterparts did it like John Arch and Michael Kiske and their stuff sounds pretty good. I know you still have the pipes.
I remember when I first heard Heretic’s Breaking Point and thinking, “Damn, this dude’s got a unqiue voice.” I really liked that album too. When I read that he had joined Metal Church to replace David Wayne (RIP), I was looking very forward to it even though I was a huge Wayne fan.
So Blessing in Disguise comes out and me and all of my metal friends were toally into it. They had a video on Headbangers Ball regularly (Badlands) and went on tour. When they rolled through my area of Virginia they did an in-store autograph signing at Tracks Records at Wards Corner. So some friends and I pile into CK’s truck (Alice) and head out there to meet the guys. They were super cool. Small crowd to meet them but it worked out to our advantage. Craig Wells and Mike Howe asked us to hang out after the signing to share some pizza with them. How cool?! So after the signing was completed, the band was allowed to get 2 CDs of their choice and then headed back upstairs for the pizza. Kirk Arrington was sick as a dog, looking like death warmed over. The other guys seemed healthy enough. They were great fun that afternoon and it was an experience I’ll never forget for sure.
That night we headed over the The Boathouse in Norfolk to see the show. It was Metal Church/Meliah Rage. Both bands kicked ass. We hung out with them again after the show outside of the tour bus. I have a slew of photos somewhere that I need to get scanned in.
I ws looking forward to the Human Factor album but was greatly disappointed when it came out. Honestly I cannot tell you the name of any song besides Date With Poverty and I really don’t even remember how it sounds. I should revisit that one, eh? When I saw Hanging In The Balance came out, I was pretty much disinterested and didn’t bother picking it up until years after its initial release. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by it. Good production and the songwriting was good. I think the production on Human Factor is what turned me off. It seemed too muddy for me.
Shortly after the Balance tour, Mike was gone. What a pisser that new was. I remember reading an interview with him within the last 8 or 9 years and he said he’s hanging out in Kentucky or Tennessee doing carpentry work. Wait, isn’t that what John Arch is doing too?
So please, Mr. Howe…please come out of retirement and give us one more.
Written by The Metal Files
March 30, 2009 at 1:02 pm
Tagged with badlands, blessing in disguise, craig wells, david wayne, duke erickson, hanging in the balance, headbangers ball, human factor, jim marshall, kirk arrington, metal church, mike howe, norfolk, the boathouse, the metal files, tracks, virginia, wards corner, www.themetalfiles.com
One of my older brothers, Robert, was a pretty big influence on me musically in my pre-teen years. He was the one who got me into KISS, Priest, RUSH, Uriah Heep, The Stones, The Who and thankfully Alice Cooper.
Now, I’m not the biggest Cooper fan in the world even though I own pretty much everything up to and including Constrictor. But some of his albums are very special to me…especially From The Inside. This seems to be one that alot of Cooper fans love to hate. For me it’s brilliant. Sure it got slick production and had songwriting credits from Bernie Taupin (Elton John) and guitar work from Steve Lukather (Toto). Philip Bailey even adds a cameo falsetto on the album albeit uncredited.
Throughout the late 70s and early 80s I spun this album a lot. I know every lick and sound on this album by heart. I can recite it in my sleep. When we lived on the farm, Thomas would come over from time to time and hang out and we’d spin this one. I remember he especially liked the closing track “Inmates (We’re All Crazy)’.
There’s not a stinker on here. As a kid I didn’t get some of the references on this album like this from “Nurse Rosetta”:
I’m suddenly twice my size
My pants are all wet inside
C’mon. I was under 12 years old, I had no clue. haha.
In case you didn’t know and have been living under a rock, this is a concept album about living in a mental institution. Sure, a bit cliche for Cooper but it worked. I really like “Millie and Billie”, “For Veronica’s Sake” and especially “Jackknife Johnny”, “How You Gonna See Me Now” and “The Quiet Room”. Cooper really displays the sadness and depression of the characters in these songs.
And of course when I spin this on CD now, it really takes me back to those days in the late 70s and early 80s…far simpler times. I mean really, what worries did I have when I was 10 or 11? Not too many. Mostly just worried about my brother and the trouble he was getting into. That really did take a toll on me at a young age. I looked up to him a lot and watched him go down some pretty bad paths. Unfortunately I couldn’t help him although I wanted to. I felt it was my job. But there was nothing I could do, especially being 6 years younger than him. I was his bratty little brother and with the things he was getting into, we weren’t as close as we were when we were both younger.
I will say that even today I am surprised that he’s still alive. I had to learn at a young age that I couldn’t live his life for him…a life lesson for me. A difficult lesson when it’s about someone that you love and looked up to.
So again, when I listen to this album and think about the time when I first heard it (I was 8 and he was 14), those were good times…sunny days…but really the beginnings of some dark years ahead.
Dear Mr. President and Congress:
Don’t you have better things to do with your time and our tax money? Thought so.
I guess it was late 1987. I went over to my friend Don’s house to see River’s Edge on HBO. He had cable and I believe it was a Sunday night showing of the flick. Unfortunately it was a 9PM showing and it was also a school night. I only got to see the first hour of it because of my stupid curfew.
The main reason any of us wanted to see the movie is because we had read that Slayer and Fates Warning were in the soundtrack. I finally got to see it in full about a year or 2 later when I found it for rent on VHS…or maybe I bought it. I don’t quite remember. I just remember watching it several times; both then and now.
This is in my top 5 or 10 movies of all time. not only because of the soundtrack, but because of the movie itself. Crispin Glover and Dennis Hopper have some great one-liners. “I know, Feck. You had to kill her. Women are evil.” “You…know this?” and the greatest line delivered by anyone in the flick was by *gasp* Keanu Reeves (worst actor ever? maybe). The scene (shown below) is between Matt and Jim (Matt’s mom’s boyfriend). Really it’s the whole conversation, but when Matt replies to Jim calling him a “mother fucker” with “foodeater!”, it’s simply awesome.
But yeah, the whole movie rules. I think I have watched it at least 50 times and watch it at least twice a year. Really, Glover’s character makes this movie what it is and Hopper’s performance is right behind it. Daniel Roebuck plays a perfect role as someone who really doesn’t give a damn about anything. The character of Tony has a great line too. He’s getting interviewed by a reporter talking about how it’s hard to be subjective because he knew the perpetrator in question…then he stops and says, “Oh, by the way I play guitar.” hahaha. Awesome!
Glover has another great line when he’s asking for gas money for his baja VW…”What, do you think this car runs on God’s own methane?”
Here’s a list of quotes: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091860/quotes
If you’ve never seen it, please do so, especially if you were a metal kid of the 80s.
Written by The Metal Files
March 18, 2009 at 12:03 pm
Well, he is a legend to me. My Dad. 1942-1997.
Around the time that my Dad was dying of cancer, I was living at their house in North Carolina trying to help out a bit. My drive to and from work was an hour each way so I was listening to music for the drive. At that time I was really into Amorphis’ Elegy CD. It’s very folky, heavy, dark and moody and seemed to be the perfect enabler to the sadness I felt knowing that my Dad wasn’t going to be around much longer.
I absolutely love this record but even now, some 11 years after the fact, this album reminds me of my Dad. There’s no real lyrical connection or anything like that, just one of those things that reminds you of an era in your life, good or bad. I was also listening to Nocturnal Rites’ Tales of Mystery and Imagination. Both kept steady rotation in my minivan for months on end and both remind me of Dad.