Category: Music


Quitting Metal Bands

It seems like tumultous times for quite a few metal bands.

First, Florida band Kamelot has been touring without Norwegian singer Roy Khan since last September, so that he recently officially quit comes as no surprise to many. He’s been in the band since 1997 and has recorded seven studio and three live albums with the group. Maybe he’ll return to his original band, the godly Conception (their CDs are so rare I actually made a bit of money buying then selling them).

Second, guitarist Jeff Loomis and drummer Van Williams of Seattle’s Nevermore are quitting after founding the band in 1994 and also seven studio albums. The tension could be felts since 2005’s This Godless Endeavor, and it was stated in interviews that the band needed long breaks or they’d a) kill each other or b) break up.

Third, seminal rockers Judas Priest’s founding member KK Downing has announced he will retire from a band that was already on a worldwide farewell tour. He founded the band in 1970 and has been on all sixteen albums. He’s already been replaced, and while the band plans to quit touring, a new album is slated for 2012.

In the case of each of these bands, I feel they should quit. With the exception of Priest and Kamelot, who are already in the middle of tour cycles and would face huge financial penalties to quit midtour, the others should end when the tours are finished. Each of these bands needs to change the name if they’re going to continue, but there’s more money in name recognition, so they won’t.

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New Music

Getting (well, downloading) new albums is always a test: either it’s a new classic or it’s trash. In terms of the new classics, there are a potentially limited number of songs I adore right away and those are the ones I listen to over and over again until they get old quick.

The albums I’ve loved this year have been the two Avantasia ones, especially the ten minute epics, a handful of songs from Kamelot, the entire Accept album (which is so heavy and generally excellent), the new Masterplan and Nevermore. Still love Whitesnake’s 2008 album and just discovered Greg Howe II’s two albums from ‘89 and ’91.

But all of this awesomeness will soon fade and I’ll find myself listening to old favorites soon enough. But new Star One and Symphony X to look forward to—so there’s always more!

Ozzy

Watching Thai music television and the Thai announcer says, “Ozzy Osbourne,” so we’re graced with the new video, “Scream.” Guitarist Zakk Wylde had been in his band since 88 and was recently replaced with Gus G of Greek band Firewind.

Ozzy should retire… should have in ’92 when he first stated he would. His wife Sharon (is she human?) will probably milk him until he’s dying, and even that she’ll film. Let it be known that I foster no support of this talentless hack who has thrived using others.

Ronnie James Dio RIP

Can’t even try to listen to his music for a long, long time.

Knew this would happen—his favorite food was spicy Indian curry—he especially loved it on tours.

He’ll live forever in the music and minds and hearts of all the fans throughout the world.

DIO

Had a dream about Ronnie James Dio this morning. Wrote him a letter and he sent me some never released CDs that were also signed, and a very nice letter. Then he also called and we chat for a while.

I hope he’s okay in his cancer battle…

Hall and Oates

Liked Hall and Oates since I was a kid, and really got into them about two years ago while living in Boulder. Started with their popular 80s albums, then discovered the brilliance of their 70s output, especially their least favorite album: 1974’s War Babies. Produced by Todd Rundgren, it also features him on guitar.

Speaking of guitar, the legendary Robert Fripp produced and played guitar on Daryl Hall’s first solo album, Sacred Songs (recorded in 1977 but not released until 1980). Knowing Hall’s extraordinary talent, Fripp seriously considered a King Crimson lineup with Hall on vocals!

I saw John Oates play a solo show at the Boulder Theater in April 2008. Though it was only acoustic, I was able to witness his talent, which I always considered to be secondary to Hall. One day I hope to see the duo live.

Black Sabbath

Tony Iommi just had surgery because he had no cartilidge in the thumb of his picking hands. Dio has been diagnosed with cancer. Vinny Appice is having surgery on his shoulder tomorrow. And Geezer Butler’s a vegan. Iommi’s 61, Dio’s 67, Appice’s 50 and Geezer’s 60.

Michael Jackson

Ever since watching the movie “This is It,” I’ve been listening to Michael Jackson just about every day. Dangerous was my first musical purchase ever (on cassette in ’92), so I’ve been a fan since I can remember. And that album is probably my favorite of his, overall.

Ronnie James Dio

Dio was diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer this week after his European tour was cancelled and he was admitted to the hospital. He’s 67 now, and says he’s already changed his diet, wanting only to get back on stage. This is exciting, as word is there will be another Black Sabbath w/ Dio (Heaven and Hell) album and two more Dio albums (at least). Let’s all hope and pray.