IS ROCK DEAD ?
Recently, I spent about an hour at the Firenze Hard Rock, long enough to see Accept’s, Teutonic Terror video. It was awesome; fiery energy and hard throttle, balls-to-the-walls charging front line, killer video except bass needed to be louder, louder, thunder… after all, it is TEUTONIC TERROR. Vocalist Mark Tornillo is quite effective and they are a heavy metal force. However, after 42 years as a member of Accept, Peter Baltes announced his departure in November 2018 – probably because no one would turn him up on recordings. Well, just a thought anyway. Likely not resolvable at this point.
Original Accept vocalist Udo Dirkschneider (born 6 April 1952) was Accept’s German heavy metal vocalist but left Accept in 1987 to form U.D.O. with whom he has enjoyed commercial success as well. Checkout the video from U.D.O. Steelfactory album: U.D.O. One Heart, One Soul (2018) // Official Clip // AFM Records, 3,053,458 YouTube views. This video includes strong heavy duty players that will undoubtedly go on to play more killer heavy metal.
Bassist Fitty Wienhold left U.D.O. who after 22 Years said recently in a Blabbermouth September 19, 2018 interview, “I decided to take a new way in my life and leave the band. I will not leave the U.D.O. family, because it was much more than just a business. I will be there when I’m needed — as a songwriter, as a friend, as an advisor… whatever…. And I always felt that to give a hundred percent is not enough. Anyway, the world doesn’t stop turning and life goes on — U.D.O. goes on, and so long Udo is alive he will be always a living idol. There are not so many out there like him — maybe nobody — and he never disappointed you — never — so enjoy every show, every moment you can be with him.” Read full article here.
But, of course the rock scene is not what it used to be. Neither is the Renaissance period, but I live in the remnants of the Renaissance in Firenze, and the remnants of the 70s rock era through my magazine, as admin of Pete Way Facebook Group and thankfully YouTube as many others do. And, we find our ways of acquiring that which we truly want. So do others, so do other artists/musicians. We find our way to make things happen according to our deepest needs/desires. And, while we search so are the artists/musicians searching for symbiotic fans.
Still some of the 60s, 70s & 80s “Old School” masters are out there playing like Judas Priest, Uli Jon Roth, UFO, Michael Schenker, Pete Way, Scorpions, Accept, Iron Maiden, and some players are replaced with very good players who will also go on to do their own work and they will be much better for having paid dues by collaborating with the best. But no, it is not what it used to be. Of course.
Quality is timeless though and that means well-crafted from all angles which “Old School” artists were/are the masters. Time changes things and new people cultivate their ideas, some based on the past, some based on the future, some based on now or all three. People die or evolve into someone else and abandon what was once a space of time that was more aligned with their ideas of who they were then.
However, from another perspective, what is happening in rock can even be looked at as a Woodstock scenario which I think is really just developing as everyone finds their way through the mazes of social media. In a lot of ways, it can even better than the “Old School” days because of opportunity potentials and networking channels especially in Facebook. What can evolve from that landscape if musicians and artists use it as such, and some will, could be incredible.
Those few, like the ones who lit up life in the 60s, 70s and 80s will surface – when the time is right. Life is cyclical. There was an ancient Greek God period, a Renaissance period and a rock star psychedelia period (70s). When the right period happens it will explode the music/art industry again, in a different way of course, but each of these periods I mentioned contained a few, extremely talented artists. Look at the list, it is small though they were/are bigger than life.
This time however it will be a longer list because artists, visual artists and musicians are discovering exposure venues, mostly through YouTube and Facebook and blockchain technology is on the horizon preparing to become a big part of the next rock wave which will be more visual – visual art combined with musical art will be permeated into society.
Print-on-demand merchandise is becoming a mandatory extension of music – and art. LOOK AT IRON MAIDEN. They are not just selling albums, they are selling an Iron Maiden World: merchandise, comics, games, tours. It is not just about making albums anymore.
Visual artists and creative management are as important as the musician in any serious professional group.
Our world is now Planet Internet. Technology is shaping the new mythology. It is an art and how it’s used will determine how successful artists/musicians/writers will be.
Mythology of the future is being born from cryptography – an integral part of technology powering music and art and including how we use money, how we are paid and what money we use – worth learning about sooner rather than later. The next wave of creativity will be based around blockchain engines, a foundation powered by the cyber republic and a new Internet infrastructure which will provide a virtual ecosystem, decentralized applications protected from the vulnerabilities of the existing Internet. All of this is happening now!
A phrase that puts it in perspective: “Art, Music & Technology is Cryptography: The art of writing codes or solving codes.” “Is rock dead?” It’s like the Renaissance period, as much as I would like to hang on to that era and the 70s era, we have not discovered a way to do that – yet. But as long as there are writers, visual and performing artists to keep mythology/marketing going forward – with quality – no, rock and roll is not dead, but old style management is!
OLD SCHOOL PLAYERS: Aside from the “Old School” players there is now an interim to what I think will be the new breed of rock stars. Usually a huge gap in eras of mythological importance takes place over many years. Most of who are playing now are either copy bands or their ‘original music’ is a composite of 60s, 70s and 80s music. An era of change is generally not that apparent, not markedly unique, or even branded in some way like the Woodstock days, like the Renaissance days, like the Greek mythology days, for example. It is like the 50s & 60s were the lead up to the 70s then it hit.
The 80s was a fading out of the 70s and the 90s began the Internet changes. Since then everyone has been going “Um, the Internet, okay, how do we adjust?” That is still happening because the Internet is akin to landing on a new planet and trying to figure out how to live according to their ways and try to incorporate your ways and ideas from another culture, another time, and what we have been taught into the new culture as all has to gel. Life is mutating and integrating with AI and other forms of technology. Still we will cling to our old ways while some strong force builds enough power to sweep us all into that new era of music and art.
The Internet as we know it today really started only 22 years ago when it was entered through AOL which had a manual the size of a Los Angeles telephone book or bigger to learn how to work with it. That was around 1995/96 after 80s glam band era. Hopium is a dangerous emotion but I seem to have an addiction to it because I spend a lot of time hoping to find new music, obscure music or music on the level of the 60s and 70s because of the originality that was the force then but some submissions to Rock Legend News can make my day and shows me that the process of metamorphosis is unfolding.
PETE WAY UNDER THE RADAR: Not everyone knows about all the mythological gods/rock stars and some of the work they have done or are doing. There will always be a radar that does not find certain frequencies or energies or details about our mythological gods.
Joe Rogan recently talked with Henry Rollins: “I’m always trying to slip through crowds, head down…” Henry said. At times Henry is considered under the radar too. He discussed how he doesn’t have friends because he doesn’t really get into talking about the ‘mundane’ aspects of life. He is on a mission but being on a mission for some artists can require lots of alone time to just recharge. And, though not everyone knows who Henry is, he has a plethora of major projects behind him such as: MTV’s 120 Minutes, he hosts a weekly radio show on KCRW, is a regular columnist for Rolling Stone Australia and was a regular columnist for LA Weekly. Henry fronted the California hardcore punk band Black Flag (August 1981-1986).
Being under the radar can be said about the whole band UFO. Even when Pete was in the band with Michael Schenker, Phil Mogg and Andy Parker, UFO was not as big as they should have been; under the radar then too. But, what was the reason in the USA? It always comes down to management that did not push hard enough, believe in them enough or even understand what they were managing. As an avid radio listener myself, I did not hear UFO enough in the USA.
The magazines did not publish them enough, not on TV in the states that I am aware of. But, it comes down to management. The amount of work UFO created is immense and on the level of any superstar band. I have listened to most all of their albums. Frankly, there is not a bad album and though I have my favorite songs they are all well crafted and talent beams from their work. UFO has had success though.
From Billboard magazine January 24, 1987, they said, “Pete Way, the bass player from UFO is back with a vengeance! Heading up WAYSTED, he and fellow band members have created “SAVE YOUR PRAYERS” — a pop rock album just made for radio airplay. When rockers hear the single, “Heaven Tonight” they’re definitely going to want to get Waysted!
As early as UFO 2: Flying, released October 1971, in German singles charts “Prince Kajuku” reached No. 26. Both UFO 1 and its follow-up UFO 2: Flying, were successful in Japan (especially the single “C’mon Everybody” which became a huge hit there) and Germany (the song in 1971”Boogie For George,” also from the first album, reached No. 30 in German singles charts as well as “Prince Kajuku” from Flying reached No. 26), but generated poor interest in Britain and America. Strangers in the Night peaked at No. 7 on the UK charts and No. 42 on the US charts.
Kerrang! magazine listed the album at No. 47 among the “100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time.”
Slash, guitarist for Guns N’ Roses, has stated that this is his favorite live album.
Two live EPs in 1979 also proved successful for the band. In February, “Doctor Doctor” (taken from the album), coupled with “On with the Action” (recorded on the same 1978 US tour) and the studio cut “Try Me”, reached No. 35 in the UK Singles Chart; this was the first time the band had made the UK Top 40. “Shoot Shoot,” coupled with “Only You Can Rock Me” and “I’m a Loser,” would make No. 48 in the UK in April.
Kirk Hammett (METALLICA) Official Facebook: “My rare JAPANESE UFO Concert Poster that I had to share with all my fellow diehard UFO fans!”
The Record that Changed My Life: Kirk Hammett Discusses UFO’s ‘Force It’ By Kirk Hammett September 10, 2013 GUITAR WORLD Feature FROM THE ARCHIVE: Metallica’s Kirk Hammett chooses (and discusses) the record that changed his life.
100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time (Published January 1989)
1. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti
2. Van Halen – Van Halen
3. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
4. Montrose – Montrose
5. Guns n’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction
6. Def Leppard – Hysteria
7. Metallica – Master Of Puppets
8. Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland
9. Aerosmith – Rocks
10. AC/DC – Back In Black
11. Aerosmith – Permanent Vacation
12. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II
13. Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols
14. Rainbow – Rising
15. Deep Purple – In Rock
16. Metallica – Ride The Lightning
17. Judas Priest – Sad Wings Of Destiny
18. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin
19. Def Leppard – Pyromania
20. Aerosmith – Live Bootleg
21. Kiss – Alive
22. Blue Öyster Cult – Secret Treaties
23. Motörhead – No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith
24. Rush – 2112
25. New York Dolls – New York Dolls
26. AC/DC – Powerage
27. Slayer – Reign In Blood
28. UFO – Lights Out
29. Metallica – Kill ‘Em All
30. Van Halen – Women And Children First
31. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
32. Journey – Escape
33. Legs Diamond – Legs Diamond
34. Queensrÿche – Operation: Mindcrime
35. Deep Purple – Machine Head
36. Kiss – Destroyer
37. Aerosmith – Draw The Line
38. Meat Loaf – Bat Out Of Hell
39. Black Sabbath – Paranoid
40. Bad Company – Bad Company
41. Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced?
42. Metallica – … And Justice For All
43. Rush – Moving Pictures
44. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet
45. Motörhead – Overkill
46. Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance
47. UFO – Strangers In The Night
48. Black Sabbath – Vol 4
49. Bryan Adams – Reckless
50. Thin Lizzy – Live And Dangerous
51. Moot The Hoople – Live
52. Aerosmith – Toys In The Attic
53. Black Sabbath – Master Of Reality
54. Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi
55. The Stooges – Funhouse
56. UFO – Obsession
57. Black Sabbath – Sabotage
58. Motörhead – Ace Of Spades
59. Ted Nugent – Ted Nugent
60. Iggy And The Stooges – Raw Power
61. MC5 – Kick Out The Jams
62. Blue Öyster Cult – Agents Of Fortune
63. Angel – Angel
64. Judas Priest – Unleashed In The East
65. Iron Maiden – The Number Of The Beast
66. Def Leppard – High ‘n’ Dry
67. Van Halen – 1984
68. Magnum – Chase The Dragon
69. Iggy Pop – Instinct
70. David Lee Roth – Eat’em And Smile
71. Thin Lizzy – Thunder And Lightning
72. Blue Öyster Cult – Some Enchanted Evening
73. Judas Priest – Stained Class
74. Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies
75. Deep Purple – Made In Japan
76. Van Halen – Van Halen II
77. Magnum – On A Storyteller’s Night
78. Michael Bolton – Everybody’s Crazy
79. Black Sabbath – Mob Rules
80. ZZ Top – Eliminator
81. Whitesnake – Ready An’ Willing
82. Iron Maiden – Live After Death
83. Boston – Boston
84. Starz – Violation
85. Rush – Rush
86. Anthrax – Spreading The Disease
87. Foghat – Foghat Live
88. Queensrÿche – Rage For Order
89. David Lee Roth – Skyscraper
90. Mother’s Finest – Iron Age
91. Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden
92. Blue Öyster Cult – On Your Feet Or On Your Knees
93. Jimi Hendrix Experience – Smash Hits
94. Starz – Starz
95.Saxon – Wheels Of Steel
96. AC/DC – If You Want Blood – You Got It
97. Uriah Heep – Look At Yourself
98. Queen – A Night At The Opera
99. Iron Maiden – Killers
100. Vinnie Vincent Invasion – Vinnie Vincent Invasion