All posts tagged: Sammy Hagar

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The Vinyl Diaries: Aerosmith, “Done with Mirrors”

Remember when Aerosmith’s Music from Another Dimension was supposed to be the band’s return to rockin’ form, a Seventies-style throwback to the groovin’, Stonesy, Yardbirdsy, slap-happy lewdness of Toys and Rocks, complete with the full-album return of Jack Douglas, who’d been behind the boards for those early high-water marks? Remember when, with the exception of Douglas’ return, it wasn’t any of those things? Did we believe them? How could we believe them? How could we believe that Perry, Tyler, and the other three dudes (who don’t get to wander the catwalk), could channel their most triumphant moments as young men, into the creepy, over-slick mannequins they’ve become in their dotage? How could fans view the record as anything other than a cash-grab in the wake of Tyler’s American Idol experiment, or as an excuse to light out upon another headlining shed tour? And how could fans view the ballad “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You”—a duet with Carrie-freakin’-Underwood—as anything other than a thumb in the eye, a knee to the groin, and a full-body coating of methanethiol …

Kenny Aronoff

The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, Episode 19: Kenny Aronoff

Kenny Aronoff. For liner notes geeks like you and me, the name alone conjures up at the very least, the thought of that one really awesome drum breakdown, one which arguably put Aronoff on the radar of many for the first time. When you get the chance to interview someone like Aronoff, it’s a bit intimidating. Your mind starts to spin as you think about all of the records that this guy has been a part of…..and all of the people that he’s played with and still plays with. But as I discovered the first time that I got the chance to speak with Kenny, he’s an awesome dude. Mellow, humble and down to earth. Which is why when we started sketching out our wishlist of folks that we wanted to talk to here on the Radio Hour, I put Kenny on my short list. It didn’t take much more than sending an email his way to nail something down. From there, it was just a matter of finding a day that would work with …

Jim Peterik

The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, Episode 9: Jim Peterik

When you get an offer to speak with a guy like Jim Peterik, it’s an opportunity that you really sink your teeth into. As Jeff points out during our conversation, Peterik, whether he realized it at the time or not, was writing songs that were (and would become) the soundtrack to the youth of many. While Peterik is perhaps best known for his work as the keyboardist and songwriter for Survivor, his songwriting success extended well beyond that project as he wrote songs for artists ranging from .38 Special and Sammy Hagar to REO Speedwagon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Beach Boys in more recent years. Jeff and I really enjoyed having the chance to pick his brain on songwriting (something which he says is still “50% inspiration and 50% perspiration), the business side of things and more than anything, we just enjoyed the chance to hear Jim tell us a few of the stories behind the songs and at times, simply how he was able to get it all done. And how does he continue …

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Greatest Un-Hits: Nerf Herder’s “Van Halen” (1996)

In 1996, after a decade and a half of high but rapidly diminishing record sales and influence, Van Halen was suddenly a hot band again, and it was because of, and this almost never happens, a greatest hits compilation. It’s tough business, and usually involves aggressive, embarrassing levels of PR, to get fans of a popular band to repurchase songs they already own. That’s why greatest hits albums have those requisite, and usually mediocre “two new tracks” added on to the end. These new tracks were what got Van Halen into a lot of trouble and media attention. A brief primer on the Van Halen scandal: David Lee Roth left the band in 1985 for a solo career that only briefly materialized. The band then got Sammy Hagar, a great rock singer, but not quite as edgy or hard as Roth had been at the band’s peak. Van Halen sold more albums with Hagar than they ever did with Roth, but there was always an open nostalgia among fans for Roth. In 1996, Eddie Van …

Bootleg City: Tonic in Minnesota, July ’10

Let’s cut to the chase on today’s edition of Bootleg City. While I could tell you a story about the time that Mayor Cass took a bunch of taxpayer money and decided to build a heated ice rink, I’m not going to do that. Instead, we’re going to take you to another place where it gets really cold and only occasionally warm in the summertime. Actually, from my experiences in Minneapolis, I can tell you that it seems to get hot as hell in the summertime to make up for the “you ain’t goin’ outside during this time of the year” weather that happens during wintertime. In Walker, MN, at least, they make really good use of the warm weather period and hold an awesome rock and roll festival called Moondance Jam. For years, the festival has been made up of a lot of the standard classic rock fare, from Sammy Hagar to REO Speedwagon to Foghat, etc. etc. (In other words, it’s my dream festival that I have yet to attend!) In recent years, …

CD Review: Billy Squier, “Don’t Say No: 30th Anniversary Edition”

30 years.  Jesus. Really?  I was in Chicago earlier this summer and had a brief visit with my longtime frenemy and Popdose colleague Robert Cass.  During conversation, I was expressing to Cass how many of the Flashback posts for this year are hitting home, as all of my favorite albums from 1990 turn 20.  And then, I got the 30th anniversary edition of Don’t Say No by Billy Squier in the mail.  To be fair, they’re blowing out the candles a little bit early, since the album was originally released on April 13th, 1981.  By the time Don’t Say No was released, William Haislip “Billy” Squier (yeah buddy, that’s his own hair….oops, wrong band) was already three albums into his professional recording career. The first two albums came in the mid ’70s under the band name of Piper, including their self-titled debut, which Circus Magazine labeled as the greatest debut album ever produced by an American rock band (we’ll let the judges think about and weigh in on that one).  As the chief songwriter, lead …

DVD Review: Chickenfoot, “Get Your Buzz On Live”

Chickenfoot.  When word of the band name of Sammy Hagar’s new “supergroup” leaked out, half the internet responded by saying “that’s the dumbest band name I’ve ever heard…..and just when I thought Sammy couldn’t get any cornier!”  The other half of the internet said “you know what?  That band name is pretty funny.”  The official word from band camp was that “Chickenfoot” was merely a working title for the project, and the real band name would be revealed later. But the buzz about the “name” was large enough, that Hagar and crew quickly realized that they had the attention of their audience, and when you’ve got that, you pick it up and you run with it.  So “Chickenfoot,” the temporary working title, became Chickenfoot, the band. (And for those that remember Sammy’s HSAS project from the ’80s, take note that the members of Chickenfoot happen to spell out H.S.A.S. as well.  Cool!) And what a band it is!  After an aborted attempt at a similar project a few years back underneath the name of Planet …

Ticket Stub: Sammy Hagar in San Francisco, May ’79

Walking through the mobile home that functioned as the broadcast headquarters for the West Texas radio station KWES-FM, we made a stop in the middle room, which was the “promotions department” for the station. Meeting the promotions director, opened my eyes wide to the concept of radio stations and “free stuff.” She rummaged around in the office and gave me a station bumper sticker, plus the ultimate prize, my very own circular Sammy Hagar “I Can’t Drive 55” button. Hagar was still a little bit off of my musical radar at that point – I knew “I Can’t Drive 55,” but not much else about the catalog of the so-called “Red Rocker.” During visits to the record store, I had looked many times at the album cover for Hagar’s latest album VOA, and snickered at the inclusion of a song called “Dick in the Dirt” in the track listing. Although I didn’t know it at the time, Hagar was about to make a really big impression in my world. Shock waves moved through the rock …

Bootleg City: Night Ranger in Los Angeles, September ’85

This holiday season will offer you 7 Wishes. But what will you wish for first? Will it be the Jack Blades posable action figure? Dressed in authentic Midnight Madness-era stage attire, this incredibly lifelike replica of Night Ranger®’s bassist-vocalist comes preloaded with seven Jack Blades catchphrases. Pull his string and you’ll hear these unforgettable classics: “You can stiiiiiilllll ROCK in Amer-i-caaaaaa!” “DON’T tell me you love meeeeeee!” “Looks like what you need right now is a TOUCH of mad-ness!” “You still got some more RAWK left in you to-night?” Plus three more exciting Blade-isms, all delivered by the unstoppable Jack Blades! (Requires two AA batteries to start. Batteries not included.) But wait — there’s more! New for the holidays, Dawn Patrol Toys is pleased to unveil the first-ever Alan “Fitz” Fitzgerald action figure. Modeled after Night Ranger®’s legendary keyboard player, often referred to as “the original Silent Bob,” Fitz comes with his own miniature synthesizer, shades, and beret. And you’ll be lookin’ extra cool wearing the bonus pair of signature Alan “Fitz” Fitzgerald aviator sunglasses. These super boss blockers …

CD Review: Kiss, “Sonic Boom”

Any good label manager would tell you: don’t name your album something a reviewer could turn into a catchy, snarky counterpoint. But as we know far too well, most of the labels are hanging by a thread, the management inside reduced to bean counters versus quality controllers and, heck, if Hollywood keeps naming their movies in blindly self-insulting ways, why can’t the record industry follow suit? Besides, we’re talking about Kiss here, who have built an iron-clad and insular fanbase that views such flaunting of common sense as an act of rebellion. Who cares if the new album Sonic Boom, the first since 1998’s Psycho Circus, opens itself up to opening paragraphs such as this, begging the question, “Boom or Bust?” What really matters is if the band has spent the decade-long downtime productively or not, and luckily for you, the Popdose staff has gone through the work of sussing it out so you don’t have to. Strap on your steel dragon-face boots, smear on your kabuki greasepaint and shake off your love gun. It’s …

The Friday Mixtape: 7/17/09

“Favorite Zeroes” “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.”—Sergei Rachmaninov “Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.”—Plato “A wop-bop-a-loo-bomp. Alop-bam-boo.” —Little Richard Fall Out Boy – Thriller (Rob’s Brady Mix) original track from Infinity on High (2007) Peter Gabriel – On the Air from Peter Gabriel 2 (1978) Kelly Buchanan – Favorite Zero from Kelly Buchanan (2008) Lucky Soul – My Brittle Heart from The Great Unwanted (2007) Sleater-Kinney – Light Rail Coyote from One Beat (2002) Bob Mould – Underneath Days from Body of Song (2005) Magnolia Electric Company – The Dark Don’t Hide It from What Comes After the Blues (2005) Rancid – Disconnected from Let the Dominoes Fall (2009) Red Light Company – With Lights Out from Fine Fascination (2009) Social Distortion – Highway 101 from Sex, Love, and Rock ‘N’ Roll (2004) Hold Steady – Yeah Sapphire from Stay Positive (2008) Audioslave – One and the Same from Revelations (2006) Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Too Lonely …

Mix Six: “Supergroup … or Superdud?”

DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE On paper, it sounds like a moneymaking formula: take individual members from successful bands, put them together in a supergroup to make music, record the magic, and watch album sales go through the roof.  Yes, the Supergroup can, at times, be seen as a crass money grab, and at times it is.  However, there are other times when the result of these ventures bears some tasty fruit. Now, people’s taste being what they are, it’s going to be an argument without end as to which of the groups represented here are Supergroups or Superduds.  I certainly have my opinions, but don’t let that dissuade you from defending or slamming the six in this mix. “Sole Survivor,” Asia (download) Back when Asia made their debut in the early ‘80s, they were touted as the next big thing that would define rock music for the decade.  Think about it: you take a little bit of Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and King Crimson, put them in a blender of sorts, serve up …

Mix Six: “Cinco de Mayo!”

DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE You know, of all the alcoholidays that grace us yearly, I would venture to guess that Cinco de Mayo is going to eclipse St. Patrick’s Day in the American Southwest very, very soon. It’s one of those days that certainly has a lot of cultural significance to Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the U.S., but for those who just love a good celebration, Cinco de Mayo is a great one.  The liquor isn’t limited to Tequila or Mexican imported beer, and the food is just sublime-or just meh depending where you’re eating. So to get you in the mood for a good party, I’ve assembled a little mix while you eat, drink and be merry. “Mas Tequila,” Sammy Hagar and the Waboritas (download) Might as well start with a gringo tune that celebrates multiculturalism as the act of switching from Scotchy Scotch to Tequila.  I’ve actually had one of Sammy’s Waboritas at a party once, and I gotta say that if you want to get drunk fast, try this potent cocktail.

DVD Review: “South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season”

South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season (2009, Paramount) purchase this DVD collection from Amazon: DVD | Blu-ray I haven’t been a steady watcher of South Park since its early days, right after Jesus and Santa Claus fought and Kenny died in every episode. Some time after the brilliant movie musical, South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, catching new episodes became difficult, what with children running around and Comedy Central being broadcast on an east coast feed here in Los Angeles. By the time TiVo came around, South Park was off of my radar. Now in its 13th season, South Park continues to be the most consistently rude, obnoxious, vulgar and funniest damn show on television. What amazes me about what creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone pull off each week is how topical and current their storylines are. As Comedy Central began airing new episodes last week, they also released the 12th season as a three-DVD collection. When the opportunity presented itself to review this latest season of South Park on DVD, I was excited …

Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’80s, Part 38

I’ve gotten bored with what I’ve been listening to lately, so recently I went back into my collection to dig out CDs I haven’t spun in a while, like De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, an album I haven’t listened to in at least four or five years. Hearing this excellent disc again piqued my interest for two reasons, the first being that I didn’t realize the direct influence it most likely had on my love of both Urban Dance Squad and P.M. Dawn. Urban Dance Squad brought rock, ska, and funk to their rap, throwing together bits and pieces of sounds that didn’t seem like they’d flow as one — sort of what Prince Paul does these days. 3 Feet High and Rising is one of the first albums he produced and a starting point for his future sound collisions. Then there’s P.M. Dawn, who happen to be one of my all-time favorite groups; there are at least three or four tracks on 3 Feet High that could have fit nicely on …

Mix Six: “45s, A and B Sides”

DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE I was getting wistful for 45s the other day and went hunting through my old Grundorf cases that I used to lug from DJ gig to DJ gig back in the day.  While flipping through those “back stacks of wax” it was somewhat shocking to see the vast amount of crappy singles I bought for God knows what reason.  Some of the singles aren’t danceable, and some are so badly scratched and cue burned that I wonder why I didn’t toss the singles out years ago. But there they were: relics of an era in the music industry long since past, but also historical markers of the ’80s, when my brother and I trudged off to gig after gig with cases of 45s and LPs on the weekends. Oh, and regarding the, um, preponderance of crappy 45s in my collection, I offer this defense:  My brother had a 10-watt pirate radio station in his bedroom in the mid to late ’80s, and during the week we’d broadcast shows in the …

Unsolicited Career Advice for… Jimmy Buffett

Here’s another missive from the Skwatzenschitz archives, which I explained a bit last time. I’m not sure how Jimmy Buffett reacted to Uncle Donnie’s advice, but, to the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t taken action on any of it. —RS TO: Jimmy Buffett FROM: Don Skwatzenschitz RE: Career advice Jim, babe, hope your winter is going well, and that you’re staying out of the cold and getting plenty of light, even on these overcast days. We’ve had a bunch of them lately. Mitzi gets that seasonal affective disorder, goes all lethargic and depressed on me. She has a special lamp she sits in front of for a couple hours every day, and we have to keep the house temps at 78 degrees, or she won’t get out of bed. Hope you’re dealing with winter a little better than Mitzi. Anyway, Jim, the music business sucks. I don’t need to tell you that. Downloading rules, but it simultaneously sucks, because the artists can’t make any money off it. Not that they made any money off …