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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Timex Social Club - 'Rumours'

"How do rumors get started
They're started by the jealous people
And they get mad seeing something
They had and somebody else is holding."

The year was 1986 and rumors were a topic that any teenage girl was familiar with. Either you spread them, listened to them or were the subject of a nasty little story that was circulating, especially if you were in high school. When Timex Social Club's "Rumors" was released not only was it a huge dance hit, but it became kind of a sing-a-long for every teen girl that I knew. The fact that it landed in the top ten of Billboard's Hot 100 solidified the notion that this song was something that the masses connected to. Check out the video below. Is it one of those songs that you still know all of the lyrics to?

Friday, September 20, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Shannon- 'Let the Music Play'

"So we started dancing
And love put us into the groove

As soon as we started to move

As soon as we started to move

Love said

Let the music play

He won't get away

Just keep the groove

And then he'll come back to you again
(Let it play)"

I was always a disco kid. My first 45 single was Disco Duck, followed by Chic's "Le Freak" and Regina Ward's "Ring My Bell".  My dad would let me choose the last song that he played on his stereo every night and for years it was disco, until Pat Benatar came along, anyway.  Disco died a pretty fast death but in 1983 along came Shannon to remind us all that dance music was still cool. 

"Let the Music Play" has the coolest syth and drum machine beat and it drives the song all the way through. Decades later, this is considered one of the first freestyle songs ever made. What I know for sure is that when it comes on now, 32-years after first hitting the charts, everyone still gets up to dance. It's legendary.

As for Shannon, well, she's still out there doing her thing. She is still performing those songs that made her a household name and a whole new generation of freestyle fans have embraced her. More often than not Shannon is seen performing in a Freestyle Explosion show that features a whole roster of popular 80's acts like Expose`The Cover GirlsNu Shooz and more. 

Check out "Let the Music Play" the video that launched Shannon's career:

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Johnny Hates Jazz - 'Shattered Dreams'

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Exclusive Interview: Jim Peterik of 'Ides of March' (Formerly of 'Survivor' and '38 Special' Fame) on His New Projects, Writing for Legends and How That 'Vehicle' Turned Into a Time Machine

Photo: Jim Peterik's Official Facebook


I was first introduced to Jim Peterik's work when I was still in diapers. In the 1970s my dad was music-obsessed and used his gigs in local radio to justify his growing vinyl collection. Growing just as quickly was his literal wall of stereo equipment. He would make several trips to a store called Stereo House before finally plunking down a wad of cash and walking out with a big box of something that he would spend the next several hours agonizing over. The sound had to be just right and one of his favorite songs to use in order to achieve that perfect musical balance was "Vehicle" by The Ides of March, a group co-founded by Peterik 55 years ago.

Aside from playing guitar, keys and being a vocalist, Peterik is also considered to be songwriting royalty. His work with 38 Special, Sammy Hagar, REO Speedwagon, and more has been top-notch, paving the way to a Grammy win for a little ditty called "Eye of the Tiger", a song by Survivor (another blockbuster group that he co-founded).

After more than fifty years in the industry, Peterik still has plenty to do. He is writing for the likes of The Beach Boys, still performing with The Ides of March, and recently released a single, "Proof of Heaven" with Dennis DeYoung off of his latest World Stage release, Winds of Change. I had a chance to chat with Peterik recently and it was like climbing into a musical time machine that I didn't want to step away from. Check it out below.

Photo: Jim Peterik's Official Facebook

Jim Peterik on working with Dennis DeYoung on "Proof of Heaven":

"The song with Dennis DeYoung was a long time coming because we've been friends for forty years or something. I had my first hit "Vehicle" with The Ides of March when he was just getting started. He was making the transition from Tradewinds (later TW4) to a group called Styx, while we were at the top of the charts. Here they come with this song called "Best Thing" and I thought, 'Oh boy' (laughing). We became friends and very friendly rivals at the same time, but we've always had a deep respect for each other. He recently moved nearby, to the suburbs of Chicago, and so we started just going to dinner together with our wives, with absolutely no agenda. Dennis started to tell me about his new band that is kind of Styx-y that he plays with now, and how he has been doing theatrical work and solo work, but he started to get really excited when telling me about how he wanted to get back into rock and roll. Of course, (laughing) I was the final nail in that coffin because I told him he had to make a new record. Yeah I know, they don't sell anymore, yadda yadda, I know, but people want to hear his voice. They want to hear his music, and so I just kept hammering him (laughing). He'll tell you that if it wasn't for me he probably wouldn't have done the album, but once he got started then he really reclaimed that sound that he was such a big part of creating with Styx.

"Proof of Heaven" is really kind of like proof of Dennis because it so echoes the Styx sound. I co-wrote it with him and I was very supportive of that sound. He asked me to put it on my World Stage album and I was stunned because it was supposed to be for his album. He really wanted it on this album and he wanted to do the video together and to just make it great, and so, of course, I said 'Hell yeah', (laughing). It was a beautiful thing and then when he gave me the green light we went into the studio with some of his band and some of the people that I work with. It was like a collective when we finally cut it, a hybrid of Dennis' world and my world.

I'm anxious for people to listen to World Stage because it's one of my highest moments. I got to work with some of my heroes and I'm really thankful to be able to blend old friends with new friends on this project."

Image may contain: one or more people and people standing
Photo: Jim Peterik's Official Facebook

Jim on the lightning in a bottle that is The Ides of March:

"It's a funny little story. I wrote the song "Vehicle" to try and win my girlfriend back and I guess it worked because 46 years later I'm still married to her (laughing). We never thought it was going to be a hit record. We already had one song out called "One Woman Man" which was great but it stiffed, so Warner Brothers dropped us. We were trying to win them back by putting a demo tape together and "Vehicle" was number four on this tape, out of four songs. It was decent and when we played it at dances the dance floor would fill up, so we saw it as that kind of song and not really a hit song. That's how much we knew (laughing). We cut it and the record company said, 'That's the song, guys!'. It was the fastest rising record in Warner Brothers history and suddenly I'm 19-years-old and on the road with Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, and The Grateful Dead wondering what just happened. The oldest guy in our group was only 21 and it was just incredible. Even more incredible is that the song is still around. You still hear it on the radio and in commercials on television. 

The Ides of March have now been together for 55 years and on August 15th we're releasing our anniversary album called Play On, with the original four guys. We're really proud of it and we're doing a double vinyl album with the fourth side being all of the classic masters. We have never stopped playing, even in the seventeen years that I was with Survivor. It went to the back burner for me, but we never stopped. I think we're the oldest living band with its' original four members."

Jim on Survivor and unearthed Jimi Jamison vocals:

"Oh, it was a great band and we made a lot of great music. The chemistry in a band isn't always smooth and sometimes the jagged edges are what help to really create that unique band. I think that kind of summarizes Survivor. There was a lot of tension, creative differences, and power struggles that were not pleasant at the time, but I think that those things helped to form what we were. I can't argue with the success and we created a real signature sound that was Survivor. We were blessed with two great singers, with Dave Bickler who sang "Eye of the Tiger", and the Jimi Jamison who sang so many great hits. I miss him every day, to this day. 

Flash forward to the present, the last track on the new World Stage album is an uncovered, lost Jimi Jamison track called "I'll Love You All Over the World".  I found this old tape from 2008 and it wasn't cut very well but his vocal is stunning so I asked his heirs if I could take his voice and build a new track around it, and they said absolutely. I wasn't prepared for being in the studio with his voice. There was that wonderful tenor in the room, which will never be heard again, and there was this enormous responsibility of building a great track around it. Most of the musicians were tearing up because it was so emotional. Everybody loves this song and there's no one else who sounds like Jimi Jamison."

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Photo: Jim Peterik's Official Facebook

Jim on his writing process and approach to working with legendary artists:

"I'm blessed because I'm a fan of so many different kinds of music. We all start as fans, I don't care how much success you have, you've got to be a fan. When I was five-years-old it was Elvis, The Everly Brothers, and Chuck Berry. I absorbed all of those styles and loved them all, even into the horn era when Blood, Sweat and Tears reigned supreme. You can hear that being channeled on "Vehicle". I'm a bit of a chameleon and I can kind of do it all because I'm a fan of it all. Writing with 38 Special was a really cool pairing. They first came to my house in 1981 and the first song we wrote was "Hold on Loosely", which was a pretty good way to start (laughing). 

It was like a blind date, I'm sitting there in my kitchen eating nachos that my wife made, with these guys that I don't know at all (laughing). I feel like if I can break the ice and become another member of the band while writing with them, then it all works out. Don Barnes had a title, he said, 'Hold on Loosely' and I said, 'Yeah, but don't let go,' and it just went from there. In about four hours time we had that song and sent a crappy demo of it to their manager. He listened and said, 'Well guys, you just got your first top ten'. I really try to bring out what each band is all about. I knew that they were southern rock and I also knew that they needed a commercial edge to make them accessible, so that's what I tried to do for them.

I was blessed to write with one of my heroes in 2012, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. We did "That's Why God Made the Radio" and it went to number two on Billboard for The Beach Boys. I'm a huge fan of theirs and always have been so it felt very natural to try and channel Brian. I felt like I was kind of reminding him of what made him so great. He was sitting at the piano just dorking around and I'd say, 'What's that! Let me turn the tape recorder on!' (laughing). I tried to capture some of the things that maybe he wasn't even aware of. He's a genius and just so good at everything that he does, that he almost doesn't realize how good it actually is. It was my job to capture the lightning in a bottle and that song is one of my proudest moments. 

You've got to be an open channel to other people's ideas. It can't be an ego trip. You've got to be like an antenna picking up everything and that's just how great songs are written."

Jim on how the older he gets, the more he stays the same:

"Nothing has really changed for me and that's a good thing. I've always wanted to write songs that meant something to me and I never looked at the bottom line. The bottom line will come if enough people relate to your song. I just always wanted to write songs that I would want to buy. I still get excited when I wake up in the morning and maybe there's a goal or a band who is looking for a song. Right now I'm working with a group that I can't mention, but we're writing songs for their album and that's what wakes me up in the morning. 

The performing still matters and it's certainly part of the puzzle for me. Like tonight, I'm doing a show with The Ides of March at an outdoor community college venue which holds about 6,000 people. That's a nice crowd and we're going to do our hits of course, but we're also going to do the stuff that I've written for 38 Special, Sammy Hagar, Survivor, and then three new songs from the new album. I gain so much from the live experience and the way people react.  I can ride on the high of just one show for a couple of weeks. That feeling of inspiration or of having really connected with that audience, that really inspires me to keep going. 

When I was a kid I was a worrywart. I mean I worried about tornadoes, hurricanes, getting cancer, just everything (laughing). Even if I was right with all of them, I was paying too much attention to the worries and once I found my calling and stepped on stage to play "Kansas City Here I Come" for the Talented Teen Search in my hometown, I wasn't worried. I would ride on the energy of a gig like that for two weeks and then the worries would come back, so I'd have to do another show (laughing). In a way, I'm still that kid and I need music to put that shit into remission."

Jim on what will fill his time these next few months:

"I'm always playing everything by ear (laughing), but this fall will bring a lot of Ides of March shows because that new record is coming out. Then starting in January, we're doing some World Stage shows. The bill has not been firmed up yet, but it's going to include at least some of the prime people on the new CD. We're thinking of videotaping the first show for a World Stage special. I also think there's going to be a video for another song on the album. I'm not yet sure which one or how big the budget will be (laughing). It may be a lyric video but hey, they're effective! Frontiers Records have been really good to us and if you had a hit in the 80's that Serafino (Perugino, Frontiers founder) loves, you're golden forever. 

Just to have someone who still cares means a lot. Believe it or not, we rockers can get really down in the dumps after our glory days are behind us. Serafino is like a cheerleader because he reminds us of what we meant to people and that's worth a lot. Memories are such a big part of the sound print of a song. I have a jukebox in my house and I have it stacked with my favorite memories. When I hear Elvis Presley and I can almost put myself in my parents living room with my sisters there, music is like a time machine. If you love music then it's your own private time machine and one familiar song can just change the course of your entire day."

Check out Jim's official site for updates on everything he's doing, plus info on upcoming shows. Also, check out The Ides of March's official site.  Don't forget to follow Jim on Facebook and Twitter too!  

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, playing a musical instrument and guitar
Photo: Jim Peterik's Official Facebook

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Eddie Money- 'Endless Nights'

Eddie Money~:

"Here I am, just standing in circles
And the logic is turning me round
My mind keeps holding
Only one thought

When you gonna call
I think it's worth the time
How you gonna change
All these endless nights

If you could stop
Leading me around
You're never gonna change
All these endless nights"

My sophomore year of high school was loaded with Eddie Money tunes. His album 'Can't Hold Back' was heralded as a huge comeback for him and that meant a string of hits that flooded my radio. "Endless Nights" was not the biggest single, it cracked Billboard's top 40 but compared to tracks like, "Take Me Home Tonight" it was the hidden gem of the album. I had honestly forgotten about it until a few days ago when it came on my radio at work and rather than think about it, I kind of felt it.

Even though it's a bit of an angst-y tune it still for whatever reason reminded me of car rides through the country with the windows down, sun blaring and the radio cranked. It brings me back to stonewashed jeans, big sweaters and banana clips. Back to a moment in time when every little thing felt like the end of the world, even though those things would eventually amount to nothing compared to real adult life in the years to come. "Endless Nights" feels like four minutes of everything that felt good about 1987. Check it out below.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Exclusive Interview: Robin McAuley Talks Schenker Fest, 'Rock Vault' & That New Side Gig with Jeff Pilson & Reb Beach


Robin McAuley has been a steady fixture on the hard rock scene for close to 40 years now and if you think that he is ready to slow down you'd be completely wrong. He has spent the last five years performing several nights a week on stage in Vegas while also touring the world once again with Michael Schenker (the McAuley Schenker Group- or MSG first shot to fame in the states back in the '80s). Add to that a sweet side project with Jeff Pilson and Reb Beach and you've got an incredibly fruitful career. 

I had an opportunity to chat with Robin this week and listened as he grieved the loss of a bandmate, anticipated the release of new music and reflected on what keeps him centered in that crazy rock and roll world. 

DailyBOOM: So tell me, how are you? What have you been up to?

Robin McAuley: I haven't had new material out myself in a while, but I've been very busy.  I spent nine hours recording just yesterday for the new Michael Schenker Fest cd. The deadline for that has been overshadowed by the fact that we lost our drummer, Ted McKenna, in a freaky routine surgery just a few days ago and it has really devastated everyone. It's the most routine, piece of cake surgery (hernia repair) usually but he hemorrhaged and they couldn't stop the bleeding. He was just the nicest dude, an absolutely gentle, kind man. A powerhouse drummer and a force to be reckoned with up there behind us, just so easy to work with. God rest Ted McKenna. 

We've been out there with Schenker Fest for almost three years now, it first began at the Bang Your Head Festival in Germany and we're scheduled to do that one again this year. We've toured Japan and did a live DVD out of Tokyo that got a great response. Then we toured in support of our Ressurection album, again in Japan, then also Europe, the U.K and the states. We're scheduled to kick off our U.S. dates for this year on April 15th at The Whiskey in Hollywood. It'll be chaos and I think that's the whole idea (laughing). There's a lot of people in the band so it'll be a cluster (laughing) and that's what we want. 

(Photo: Paul Bossenmaier)

DB: You're still working in Vegas too, aren't you?

RM: I've been working with Raiding the Rock Vault for a solid five years now. It has been voted the best in Vegas for five years in a row and that show keeps us really busy. We do five nights a week and it has an ever-evolving lineup. When I'm in town and not on tour, then I'm there onstage five nights a week Saturday through Wednesday. You get into an automatic mode when doing a five night a week show and you really have to stay on top of things. Your voice is a different kind of instrument and you're totally reliant on your health and the conditions around you, so Vegas is not an easy place to work. The air is very dry and it's windy, plus the casinos are very smokey. You get into a routine and you know what you have to do in order to maintain yourself to do this job, but I choose not to live in Vegas. Instead, I live in California with my family, so I drive home on Wednesday nights and roll in at around 3am. 

People think I'm crazy for driving but there are no late night flights into Burbank and if I flew into LAX and then had to drive from there it's still going to take me four hours to get home. Driving is almost like detoxing for me, I don't mind the trip through the desert. One of my brothers will usually call me from back home in Ireland and we have a good old chat. I also listen to talk shows and wonder if some night I'll stumble across some sort of alien being while driving (laughing). It hasn't happened so far, that I know of, so I guess I'm of no interest (laughing).

DB: A little birdie by the name of Jeff Pilson told me that you're working on a project with him and Reb Beach. I think I need some details on that (laughing).

RM: Ah Mr. Pilson, the crazy Jeff Pilson (laughing). Maybe about 2 months ago he said he had this thing going on that he wanted me to do and I said, 'Nah' (laughing).  He said, 'Please do it' and then he told me that Reb Beach is in it and that he thought that it was something that I should do. I then asked what he was doing in it and he said that he would be producing it and co-writing. I procrastinated a bit and then we got together and I wondered how we were going to do this. Reb is in Pittsburgh and he has Winger shows, I've got my stuff and Jeff, of course, he has Foreigner, but we're deep in the hole. We've made it all work and we're almost done,  with a release date scheduled for later this year. It's really, really good. One of the most fun things and probably one of the very best things I've ever gotten into. When we heard the material we realized that it's great. 

I'm absolutely stoked, hyper even because Reb and I managed to talk Jeff into playing bass with us. He wanted to take a backseat on this one and we basically said sure, take a backseat on this just bring your bass guitar with you (laughing). He agreed to play and at the moment it looks like we'll have Mark Schulman (Pink, Cher, Stevie Nicks) playing drums. We do have a band name but it has to stay under wraps for now. The material is just great and I can't wait for it to come out. 

DB: How will you orchestrate this when like you've said, you're all already ridiculously busy?

RM: One of the biggest difficulties is to have us all in the same place at the same time but we have pledged to make it all work because it has to see the light of day (laughing). We have discussed it at great length though because we all have our own things to do. I hate that it's referred to as a side project because it makes it sound secondary or meaningless and I believe that it's a lot more than that. We've put a lot of work into it and so it really does mean a lot. Reb Beach is just a son of a bitch guitar player, he's just awesome. Jeff Pilson knows how to work on a level ten all the time. He's always on ten and ya know, I've known him for a very long time. Not many people know but Jeff was our chief witness when my wife and I got married. I've been married for 25 years and Jeff and I go back even way before that because he did an unplugged tour with Michael (Schenker) and myself. 

DB: How do you do it all and still have so much positive energy just bouncing off of you?

RM: I love waking up to a good day. Life's too short. My family is my core and my foundation. I'm Irish and come from a very large family and that has always been my backbone, it's family first. Knowing that I have such a solid family is what allows me to step forward and not only do what I do but also really enjoy it. It's great to do what I'm doing because I know that I have a great family to come home to. We make more than the best of our downtime and personally I would be lost if I didn't have someone to come home to. I've always been like that, going home to a great one-bedroom place would depress the shit out of me (laughing). I couldn't live like that. The family balances my work and my work makes me grateful for my family.

Schenker Fest will hit the road this spring with about 25 U.S. dates coming your way. Grab your tickets here.

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: En Vogue - 'Hold On'

"The art of playing games now
Is not the hearts you break
It's bound to good love you make
When it's heart's on fire
Give him love evryday

Remember he needs space

Be patient and he'll give his heart to you
Don't waste your time

Fighting blind minded thoughts of dispair

Hold on to your love

You gotta hold on"

The late 80's music scene featured several pop girl groups. You had The Bangles, Expose, The Cover Girls, Sweet Sensation... all of them had radio and chart success but there was a formula to it. I don't think that anyone really anticipated the change that was coming when the calendar flipped and a new decade began. The 90's ushered in an era of New Jack Swing, slowjamz and R&B that was just amazing. Groups like TLC, SWV, and Xscape kept women front and center.

En Vogue was a major player at the time. Dawn Robinson, Cindy Herron, Terry Ellis and Maxine Jones teamed up in 1989 and by 1990 they had a bonafide chart hit with "Hold On". It was completely different from everything else that was getting airplay and that's what grabbed my attention immediately. To me, this video and song kind of drew a line in the proverbial sand and from this point on women had to really step up their game in order to compete musically. Check out "Hold On" below. Do you think it was a game changer too?

Daily Boom Lost Hit: The Cars- 'Moving In Stereo'

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Queensryche - 'Jet City Woman'

"Wonder where I'd be, you're the air to me."

Why crawl into Monday morning when you can kick it off with a great rock track from Queensryche? "Jet City Woman" was the fourth single off of the progressive metal bands' 1990 album, Empire. It was a top ten mainstream rock track and the song that prompted me to buy the album. Pulling the trigger and doing that was a real investment back then. I think that I had really liked the other singles up until this point and so when "Jet City Woman" dropped it was just obvious that I needed a copy of Empire.

The thing was, once I bought it I realized I was absolutely in love with Geoff Tate's voice and so the album was played nonstop for months by me. The band has been around since 1981 and continues to tour but not without a bit of drama. Tate was fired from Queensryche back in 2012 after some questionable clashes with group members. Things got all kinds of ugly before they improved and a court battle left the current roster of Queensryche owning the rights to use the band's name for professional use. Tate now tours with his band under the name Operation: Mindcrime (after Queensryche's popular 1988 release) and sounds really fantastic. 

Both groups do a version of that great catalog you'll no doubt remember so well. Check out "Jet City Woman" below!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Exclusive Interview: Ron Keel on Turning a Difficult Season in His Life Into a Musical Treasure with 'Fight Like a Band'

The Ron Keel Band- Official Photo


When I say "metal cowboy" the first name that springs to mind for veteran rock fans is singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Ron Keel.  Not only has he been a constant on the rock scene with bands like Steeler, Alcatrazz and of course, Keel, but he has sold millions of records and had two albums produced by Gene Simmons. While his resume is impressive it's not complete yet. 

The Ron Keel Band released their first album, "Fight Like a Band" back in February to rave reviews. The eclectic mix of metal, southern rock and a bit of country may make the music tricky to categorize but the quality of the music will keep you listening on loop for quite a while. I had a chance to catch up with Ron earlier this week and his stories behind the making of "Fight Like A Band" make its success that much sweeter. Check it out below.

Ron Keel Promo Shot

Ron Keel on his current band: 

"The Ron Keel Band formed four years ago when we were all hired to be the house band for a major midwest entertainment complex. It was a $70 million dollar business with a pawn shop, a radio station, and a concert venue. As the house band, we would travel around the country representing that brand and we would back up major acts like Paul Stanley and Jack Blades from Night Ranger. The money was fantastic and I was able to put together my dream team. We had one hell of a ride for about a year with the tour bus, the crew, even the pyro (laughing). Then it imploded and we were left with nothing. They pulled the rug out from under us, pulled the plug and we were left with nothing but each other. 

The band was so strong and the chemistry was so great that we decided to stick together and rebrand it as The Ron Keel Band and just keep going. Within weeks of that decision, my wife was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Most peoples' lives have been touched by cancer and so everyone knows that it's a life changer, you're going to war and you've got to be ready to fight. So I had to be there with her through chemotherapy, radiation and seven surgeries. Everyone always asks how she's doing and Renee is great, we had a happy ending to this story but it was hard. The band was my support group and they stuck with me even though we were looking at a year of not many gigs." 

Ron on digging in and creating new music:

"We decided since we couldn't tour that we would get together and write. The songs on "Fight Like a Band" are what came out of that time of hanging tough and hanging together. We were able to create songs that I believe are my best work. I know that I'm supposed to say that with every album you know it's the, 'my kid is the most good looking kid' thing (laughing). In this case, though, it's really true (still laughing), it's my baby and I'm so proud of the end result. I still listen to it every day in my truck because I make music for myself so that I can listen to it and enjoy it. I put it all in perspective a long time ago. I've sold 3 million records and so if you love music as much as I do then come along for the ride.

We spent a long time on the arrangements and how the guitars work together and a bunch of other things that you do to prepare for a session, but I had never sung the vocals on that lead track before with the band. The whole first verse is about fighting like a girl and it was all about my wife getting that diagnosis and deciding to fight and so there I was in the studio just losing it, an emotional wreck while trying to sing that verse. Once I got through that then the rest was fine but it was really an emotional experience singing that song for the first time in the studio. The second verse goes on to tell the story of my life back in the 80's so it's all very autobiographical and personal.

"Good Songs Bad Times" was the first song that we wrote and I don't know how you'd classify it (laughing). It's not country and it's not southern rock, it's just good. These days you kind of have to label stuff so that people know what they're getting but with this new record, I can't tell you exactly what it is other than hard rocking, hard-partying good old rock and roll. I grew up in a time when the term rock-and-roll encompassed everything. I listened to Black Sabbath and The Eagles and both were the same, they were rock-and-roll."

Ron Keel Promo Shot

Ron on how his audience has grown:

"I love that we've got 25-year-olds in the audience just eating it up and loving what the new band is doing without knowing my history or what I did before they were even born. They get to go back and visit where I've been and then they can go along for the ride to wherever we're headed. The old fans have been very tolerant as well. Those people that have followed me since the '80s, that have been around for all the twists and turns that my career has taken and that are still there, just enjoying the music, I'm so grateful for them. 

This record really resonates in the heart of all kinds of people. Rock fans, southern rock fans, and even country fans will enjoy it. It's hard and heavy arena rock, but it is also cowboy rock with screaming vocals, screaming guitars and those thunderous drums. It has a little bit of the wild, wild midwest in there too. We had absolutely no preconceived notions of what the album would be or what it would sound like or the direction that the songs would take. We just got together and wrote the best songs that we possibly could. Some of the songs are very reminiscent of the commercial rock that I was known for in the '80s.

There are always predominant themes in my lyrics and one is the struggle to survive and the right to be who you are and to express yourself. "Fight Like A Band" is really about the struggle to survive and then the struggle to succeed. We're all in the same boat. We all want to be happy and there are so many songs on this record that embody that." 

Ron on his extensive love of music:

"When I first heard the term heavy metal, as it pertains to music, I thought it sounded cool and I wanted to do that. It sounded so exciting and wild to me. The music that I was listening to at the time was Van Halen, Led Zepplin, Sabbath and the other first generation of metal bands. They really struck a note with me and I wanted to hear the music louder, faster and stronger. I love the excitement and electricity of metal and arena rock in general. 

As I matured I needed to explore different musical landscapes. I grew up playing the blues, jazz and even classical music. I was classically trained and listening to all of those British bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I just love music. I'm never going to write a jazz album or a classical piece, that's not me (laughing), I'm a regular guy. I'm making music for the common man and the common woman. Songs that mean something and make you feel something, and also entertain you. This is entertainment and it's supposed to be fun. You want to make them feel something but you also need to take them away from the daily grind. Music can be an escape and for a lot of us, it's a sanctuary." 

Ron on what keeps him making music after all of these years:

"The same burning desire that I had when I was 2 years old, or when I was 17 years old, I'm the same guy. I'm a little more mature, a little smarter and I've got a lot more experience, but that drive to succeed has always been there. It's what I'm all about. The business has changed completely, it's not the 80's and we're not selling millions of records anymore. It's much more difficult to sell music because people think that it's free. They wouldn't even consider spending a dollar on a song so it's a really tough business to make a living in.  What drives me is the desire to succeed, not the desire to sing and play because I can always do that, I can go right downstairs and grab my guitars and sing and play. I always will do that, but success is the thing. Success for me right now is having a record like this one out, being able to touch the media and the fans, and then still travel the world. I still believe, even at this age, that the best is yet to come. I've got to believe that. I know that father time wins every day and one of these days he's going to catch my ass, but not today.  I know that there is more time behind me than there is in front of me at this stage of the game, but I'm happy, healthy, I've got a great band and we've got great opportunities in front of us."

Check out Ron's official site for updates on everything he's doing, plus info on upcoming gigs. Also, keep an eye on The Ron Keel Band's official site for updates on new music & tour dates.

Daily Boom 80's Throwback- Skid Row 'Youth Gone Wild'

"They call us problem child
We spend our lives on trial
We walk an endless mile
We are the youth gone wild
We stand and we won't fall
We're the one and one for all
The writing's on the wall
We are the youth gone wild"

The year was 1989 and you probably were walking around in acid-washed jeans with a huge vat of Aqua Net in your purse, for both your hair AND your boyfriend's. Hairbands ruled the airwaves of Skid Row burst on the scene and instantly felt like they belonged amongst heavy hitters such as Whitesnake and Guns & Roses. They announced their presence with a single called "Youth Gone Wild" which instantly became an anthem for teens everywhere. Ironically, it didn't make the same impression on Billboard's Hot 100 and only charted as high as #99. Not that it really mattered. "Youth" was re-released by Skid Row a few years later and did well. It also became an anthem at sporting events and has been covered by numerous other hard rock bands.

Sidenote, lead singer Sebastian Bach's poster hung in many teen girl's bedrooms way back then. Total hotness.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Cinderella - 'Shake Me'

Image result for cinderella band

No pullin' teeth, she didn't want to fight, she said
Shake me, all night, she said
Shake me, shake it, don't break it baby

You already know that I've basically never encountered a hair band that I didn't eventually have a soft spot for, right? So why wouldn't I love Cinderella, still? I can't think of a single reason. Their first album Night Songs first dropped in 1986 and the boys made good use of their band name when it came to creative videos. "Shake Me", "Nobody's Fool" and "Somebody Save Me" all included a play on the Cinderella character and her evil step sisters. Back then it was a pretty clever move and all three videos were given a lot of play.

Sometimes even the best hair bands will feel just a tiny bit dated to me but never Cinderella. Tom Keifer's voice sounds as good today as it did thirty years ago. Here's their first video, "Shake Me". After you watch it then click through and watch the other two that followed it for the full effect!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Madonna - 'Lucky Star'

"You must be my Lucky Star
'Cause you shine on me wherever you are
I just think of you and I start to glow
And I need your light
And baby you know
 Starlight, star bright first star I see tonight
Starlight, [star bright] make everything all right
Starlight, star bright first star I see tonight
Starlight, [star bright] yeah."

It's funny because when I hear the name Madonna the first visual that comes to mind is the early-80's version. Something about the "Lucky Star" video has stuck with me for all of these- decades! I still associate Madonna with her dancers doing choreography to the heavy synth and drum track- and that's just fine with me. I loved those days of suddenly needing lace bows and lace gloves. Piling neon and rubber bracelets on my arms and thinking just about everything in my closet would look better if I chopped off the bottom of it and turned it into a belly shirt! I love the era of my own life that vintage Madonna conjures up for me!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Currently Booming: NEW Prince- 'The VERSACE Experience (PRELUDE 2 GOLD) - Listen

Currently Booming: NEW Tom Keifer Band- 'Rise' (Listen)

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Olivia Newton John - 'Physical'

"I'm sayin' all the things that I know you'll like
Making good conversation I gotta handle you just right, you know what I mean
I took you to an intimate restaurant, then to a suggestive movie
There's nothing left to talk about 'less it's horizontally."

Olivia Newton John was the perennial girl next door in the '70s. Her string of soft rock hits gave no advance notice of what was to come from her in the '80s. "Physical" was originally intended for Rod Stewart, who in 1981 was the king of raunch. Somehow, Olivia ended up recording the song and before she could pull it (something she actually tried to do), "Physical" took off. It skyrocketed up the charts and sat at number one on Billboard's Hot 100 for ten weeks. The video really raised eyebrows as the singer worked overtime in the gym trying to whip a bunch of men into shape. She gave up just as their transformation into hot, muscular dudes occurred. Of course, there was a catch, they all appeared to be gay, except for one.

The video is pretty iconic but I always appreciated Olivia's live (okay lip-synched) performances in workout gear. The only thing that makes this clip better is the Solid Gold dancers! Check it out below!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Daily Boom 70's Throwback: Evelyn Champagne King- 'Shame'

"Shame, ooh
My mother says you're playing a game
And what you do to me is a
Ooh, gonna love you just the same
Mama just don't understand
Wrapped in your arms
Is where I want to be
I want to be, want to be
Wrapped in your arms
That's my high, my high
I can't get enough, ooh baby
Enough of that magic touch
Love is in my heart
Tearing the rules apart
So, why should I be ashamed"

I make absolutely no apologies for my to-this-day love of disco. The very first 45's that I bought with my own money were Chic's "Le Freak" and Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell"- and I still love them both. I also love how when a classic disco song comes on now and everyone floods the dance floor. The appeal is still there. Evelyn Champagne King's "Shame" is a perfect example of this phenomenon. It's just a great song with a great beat and when you throw in a bit of a cautionary lyrical tale, well you've struck 40 years worth of musical gold. 

Click play below and I dare you to try and stay still. You can't do it either, can you?

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

90's Nostalgia: Tori Amos- 'Crucify'

"I've been looking for a savior in these dirty streets
Looking for a savior beneath these dirty sheets
I've been raising up my hands, drive another nail in
Got enough guilt to start my own religion

Why do we crucify ourselves?
Every day I crucify myself
And nothing I do is good enough for you
Crucify myself"

Tori Amos has always been the kind of woman that leaves a lasting impression. Her song "Crucify" was the breakout song from Tori's Little Earthquakes album back in 1992 and it also served as a bit of a calling card. In a sea of grunge bands and flannel, this redhead armed with a unique voice and piano really stood out. She became the alternative to what we already had established as, alternative music. Over the years Amos has always remained true to the style that brought her to our attention in the first place. 

I remember "Crucify" being played like crazy on college radio and wondering if everyone would ever catch on to how great of an artist Tori was. Then one Saturday morning after an episode of Dance Party USA a teen interview show featured a whole segment on her. I don't remember details of the interview but it made me like her even more. Check out the video that kicked off Tori's career below!

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Electric Light Orchestra- 'Strange Magic'

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Exclusive Interview: Vivian Campbell on Revisiting His Youth Via the Dio-Inspired 'Last In Line' & Enjoying the Evolution of 'Def Leppard'

Photo: Ross Halfin


Vivian Campbell is arguably one of the busiest men on the rock landscape right now. He just wrapped up playing a string of dates with his Dio-inspired bandmates from Last in Line and he will barely have a chance to catch his breath before joining Def Leppard for the European leg of their current tour. His year is booked solid and at least for right now, the iconic guitarist would have it no other way.  It seems that he is quite content to be literally revisiting and honoring his early years with Dio while embracing younger generations of fans that show up night after night to hear the Def Leppard classics.

I caught up with Vivian the other day for a quick chat and discovered a man whose search for inner acceptance seems to have made his current joy that much more palpable.

Last In Line Promo Shot

Vivian on making the juggling of Def Leppard and Last In Line look easy:

"It's not easy I've got to say that, but I've always enjoyed my work and I think now I'm enjoying it more than ever. Over the last couple of years, and for the first time in my career, I'm happy with my guitar playing (laughing). It has always been a struggle for me because I've never really been content with what I did and finally after all of these years I realized that it's okay. We're all individuals and we all bring something to the table and while I may not be the worlds greatest guitar player, nobody sounds like me. We all have a unique voice and I'm happy with mine so I'm really enjoying my work.

I've also realized that while the Last In Line project is a side project, it's a very serious one to me. Especially in this day and age, you can't just phone it in. You really have to manifest it and do live shows to make it a real thing, so I've been committed to doing their tour. I am quite literally working all the time- I'm either working with Def Leppard or working with Last In Line. It's work that I really enjoy but it has also taught me another life lesson (laughing) and that is that I do finally see the importance of scheduling time off. I am intending to do that next year (laughing) because this year is already booked with both bands but next year I will plan a vacation."

Vivian on the differences between playing in both bands:

"I really enjoy both Last In Line and Def Leppard because they are two incredible bands filled with incredible musicians that I get to play with. I also get to exercise different muscles because, with the Leppard thing, it's the vocals that we're really known for. It's a high production show and very well oiled machine with two guitarists and Phil Collen really does all the heavy lifting. It's the vocal aspect there for me and being a rhythm guitar player, something that a lot of guitar players don't focus as much on, so I'm very proud of my ability in that. In Last In Line I'm not just the only guitar player but I'm the only melodic instrument in the band, we're not even touring with a keyboard player. That puts a lot of pressure on me as a guitarist but it's also very rewarding and it challenges me.

It brings me back to the origins of Last In Line, which goes back to the original Dio band. We took the name from Dio's second album and so this band is a great way for me to reconnect with that part of my life and that band. It's a challenge to play like that and I take pride in trying to nuance my performance night after night. Some of those guitar solos from those early Dio albums, in my mind I still haven't played right (laughing). I've played them 96 or 98 percent right but I'm still looking to get to a hundred percent. It's not even big things, it's tiny little things (laughing) but I need to challenge myself. I think that if you're not moving forward then you're standing still in life so I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel but I am always trying to make things better.

The same is true with Def Leppard. Joe (Elliott) and I talk about it some nights right when we come off stage. I really do think that sometimes it's only us guys in the band that notice the details. As professionals, we all do have that desire and goal to make things better rather than just phoning it in and taking the easy road. I think that is the difference between bands that are successful and bands that maybe aren't doing well. It's a matter of professional pride."

Vivian on the creativity that still is running through his veins:

"A lot of people ask why Def Leppard even bothers making new records in this day and age when people just want to hear hits from the '80s. It's important to us. We make them for that percentage of our fan base that is really excited about new Def Leppard music but more importantly, we do it for selfish reasons. We do it because there is a creative element to what we do. We want to get better at the songs that are decades old but at the same time we have a creative muscle that we all need to exercise and so we still strive to make great new records too.

It's a strange time because back when Def Leppard or even the old Dio band were first starting out we had the ecosystem of MTV and of FM radio that actually programmed their own music nationwide and even worldwide. The digital age is so different and even with all of the media, it's actually very difficult to get new music out there. There's a percentage of fans of any band that really want that new music but struggle to find it."

Def Leppard Promo Shot

Vivian on watching the Def Leppard audience evolve over the years:

" It's interesting and also a good situation for a band like Def Leppard that has been growing our audience for years now. There's a strong percentage of that audience that is like our children's age now and they come to the shows all excited to hear the hits of the '80s (laughing). It's so nice to reach beyond your own generation and see your audience grow. It's such an exciting thing and it has been happening for us for the last decade or so. We really feel the energy and as our audiences get younger they also are more energetic and we feed off of that and it makes our performance more energized.

Def Leppard was obviously very big in the '80s and then the '90s were rough because the musical landscape changed so much that we were playing live just for our core fans. The late '90s brought a change in the wind and more people started showing up and we noticed that a lot of them were younger. Last year we did 60 dates in North America on a co-headlining tour with Journey and probably 40% of that audience was younger. The energy that young people bring to the show is very palpable and we really feed off of that. Especially when your playing songs that are thirty years old (laughing), we are playing them for the audience and their excitement fuels us to make things even better. It's such a good thing and it makes us really happy."

Vivian on The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction:

 "It's a great honor to be in the hall of fame and I definitely think Def Leppard deserves it. I'm happy because now I get to vote and have a say from the inside (laughing), but personally, I've never put a lot of stock in the industry awards. Being the new guy in the band (laughing) and it has been 27 years for me, but as a fan first, I remember buying the Hysteria album. I wore it out on cassette and then I bought it on cd, and I can remember being amazed that this landmark rock record wasn't even nominated for a Grammy. It had seven hit singles on it! That kind of framed my whole reference point for industry awards and I just don't think that they're totally reflective of merit. I will say that the thing that resonates with us is the fact that we got the biggest ever popular vote. The fans are very loyal and they made that happen. The people who have been with Def Leppard since day one are really the ones who put us here. I believe they're the ones who brought us to the attention of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

Vivian on the fans:

"The audience is vital. If there's no audience then there is no band and so that means there's no show. They are like an extra member of the band and if they aren't excited about the show then we're not so excited about playing it. We're kind of like vampires now, we feed off of that energy and if they're giving us a lot when we're giving even more back. There are certain cities all around the world that I really love to play because of their energy. There's really no such thing as a bad audience it's just a matter of how excited they can get, and then in turn how the can excite us."

Check out both Def Leppard's official site and Last In Line's official site for tour dates, merch and more! Also, keep an eye on Vivian's official Facebook page for updates. 

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Paula Abdul - 'Cold Hearted'

Image result for Paula Abdul Cold hearted

"It was only late last night he was out there sneakin'
Then he called you up to check that you were waiting by the phone

All the world's a candy store

He's been trick or treatin'
When it comes to true love girl with him there's no one home
He's a coldhearted snake look into his eyes
Oh, oh he's been telling lies he's a lover boy at play."

Who didn't love Paula Abdul back in 1988? The media had her pegged as a sweet, girl next door type that just so happened to dance her ass off. She was a former Laker girl that had already choreographed for Janet Jackson when her own solo album dropped. Forever Your Girl was a bonafide hit. By the time the third single, "Cold Hearted" was out, Abdul decided that it was time to sex up her image a bit.

She mixed Bob Fosse inspired choreography with moody lighting a barely-there costumes and the result, well it was magic."Cold Hearted" is one of those videos that trained dancers consider memorable. I appreciate how timeless it is. If you were to watch it for the very first time today you would never know that it's 30 years old. Abdul and her crew create frozen moments that are memorable even after a few decades. 

I also like to kick the weekend off with something fun and this sure fits the bill. Check it out below.

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Jefferson Starship- 'Miracles'

Monday, September 9, 2019

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Poison - 'Life Goes On'

"Life goes on while you're miles away
And I need you
Time goes on as night steals the day
There's nothing I can do
You heal up my wounds
I tasted your tears
You spilled out your heart
So I let out my fears

But one fear that I kept to myself
Was how I prayed that you'd love no one else
Like you're saying you love me"

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. You already know how much I love hair bands (and if you don't know then just click the link at the bottom of this post to view the archive) but Poison has never been a favorite. Not even a little. Sure everyone around me was obsessed with them especially in the late 80's, but it took me a little longer.

My turning point came in 1990 when Poison released "Life Goes On". That song was and is even to this day, a pure rock ballad. It includes one of the best guitar solos of that era. It was also a turning point for the band because they were starting to trade in some of the glam elements for a more masculine vibe.

"Life Goes On" is almost like a lost hit because of so many of Poison's earlier tunes out-selling it. The thing about lost hits is that they are always a gift to rediscover, so enjoy this one!