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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Divinyls- 'Pleasure And Pain'

"Lover lover why do you push
Why do you push, why do you push
Baby baby, did you forget about me

I've been standing at the back of your life
Back row centre just above the ice"

I was under the (wrong) impression that I didn't like anything at all by Divinyls.  Then I went back and listened to some of their earlier stuff and realized that I actually love some of it. I'm just not a 90's-era I Touch Myself fan. After a bit of a musical journey, I came to understand exactly how much Chrissy Amphlett contributed to the female rock movement.

Once the 90's rolled around Divinyls had totally embraced a pop music sound and image but the 80's were a different story. The band rocked and Amphlett was known for her sexy image. Most of the time she was wearing fishnets and a schoolgirl outfit and her style added to the uniqueness of the band. They eventually split in 1996 after a 16 year career together. 

Amphlett was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and couldn't undergo chemotherapy/radiation because she had Multiple Sclerosis. The singer eventually died in 2013 at the age of 53 but Divinyls music definitely lives on.  "Pleasure And Pain" is my favorite song by them. Check out the video below!

Currently Booming: Metallica- Behind The Music (Full Documentary)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Exclusive Interview: Whitesnake's Joel Hoekstra on 'Jukebox Heroes Tour', Playing with Cher & More

If you're a rock fan then Joel Hoekstra is a man who needs precious little introduction. He spent several years onstage in the Broadway production of Rock of Ages and used that experience to launch a career that has him now playing beside some of his childhood heroes. Hoekstra believes that greatness comes from playing as often as he can and working with bands like Foreigner, Night Ranger and of course, Whitesnake (to name only a few) has helped to shape him into a versatile virtuoso. 

Hoekstra has been busy with Whitesnake rehearsal's this week as the band is gearing up to hit the road for the Juke Box Heroes Tour with Jason Bonham and Foreigner, but he was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his time.

(Photo: Cate Meighan)

Cate Meighan: I know that Whitesnake's rehearsals just started a few days ago, how's it going so far?

Joel Hoekstra: We started on June 4th and it's really great to see the guys. Everyone in this lineup gets along so well and that makes it really great to be back together again. The band sounds really tight already. Everybody did their homework leading into rehearsal (laughing) and is remembering all of the songs. David (Coverdale) is in great spirits and is singing fantastic, so we're all excited to get back out on the road again.

CM: You were last on the road together for the greatest hits tour two years ago. How will this show compare to that one?

JH: It's different in that we're sharing the bill and playing the bigger venues this time around. It's going to be a great night of classic rock. Jason Bonham will be playing all of the Led Zeppelin stuff and it just doesn't get much cooler than that. Of course, then you'll get the Whitesnake catalog and the Foreigner catalog which means that it's realistically going to be a night where just about everyone knows every song played. That's the kind of show that just doesn't come around that often.

CM: There has been so much excitement and speculation surrounding the new album, Flesh & Blood, which recently had its' release date pushed back. Is there a chance that the first single from that project, "Shut Up & Kiss Me" might make its' way into the setlist?

JH: I'm not 100% able to discuss the setlist (laughing) because it might get me in a bit of trouble. I'm sure it'll be up online right after the first show so I've got to at least make you wait until then to find out!

CM: How does it feel to have the band back together again?

JH: It's really great to be back. I've spent a decent amount of time with David and Reb (Beach) over the last year working on the new music, which is cool. I feel like my relationship with both of them has grown. Just to finally see everyone else too and have us all together is truly the best part.

CM: I know that mixing it up and doing different kinds of projects seems to have really become your forte. Michael Sweet of Stryper recently mentioned working on something bluesy with you. Can you tell me more about that?

JH: It's in both of our plans to do that and hopefully while I'm out on this tour I can send him some ideas. We both like to work quickly and Michael is so talented and just a super nice guy. It's going to get done, I promise (laughing). We just have to find the time in our schedules to actually get together and do it. It'll be cool though because we're on the same page with exactly what we want to do.

I had a friend take me to see Stryper when I was a kid and still in school. They put on such a great show, I was totally blown away. They put on such a killer show even back in the 80's. Now to actually know the band and to be able to call them my friends is just incredible.

CM: I bet that kind of scenario happens to you a lot now!

JH: It really has been a recurring story over the last ten years of my career- getting to know guys that I looked up to as gods when I was a kid. There was a moment this year when I was out with David (Coverdale) for his birthday. It was just him, his wife, Reb and I at his birthday dinner. I sat there for a minute just thinking that if someone had ever told me when I was still in high school that this moment would eventually be happening I would never have believed it (laughing). I would never have thought that it would ever be possible. I have a lot of moments of clarity like that and it's really cool.

CM: I know that you've spent the early part of this year working with Cher and the rest of her band in Las Vegas. How was that experience?

JH: It was great. My interaction with her was so limited though. The most that I've talked to her is a minute before we would go onstage when we're in a circle exchanging pleasantries. That's literally about it (laughing). She's great to work for though and it's a very professional organization. The musicians are amazing and it has been a real joy for me to have a chance to get to know a lot of them.

It has been really nice to broaden my horizons during my downtime from Whitesnake and break that rock stereotype a little bit. There are showman moments in it where I get to step out and then there are moments when I get to step out with someone that's a pop icon. She's a legendary performer and the set is really diverse musically, which is fun. I get to play anything from 60's pop to disco, all the way up to her 80's hard rock thing. There's a lot happening stylistically and that's fun from a musical perspective for me to be able to play it.

(Photo: Jay Marz)

CM: Does mixing stuff up help you to stay creative?

JH: I really just want to keep working and mixing things up allows me to get paid while becoming a better player. That's how I've always wanted to establish becoming great on the guitar and I think that playing a lot is how you get really good at it. Wherever life takes you and whatever opportunity presents itself, that's how you're meant to get good at it.

I love actually making music. I love being part of a band and musical scenarios where I'm working with other musicians and doing the best that I can with that. I also live in NYC and so just the sheer expense of it means that I should keep working and making money to pay my bills (laughing).

CM: After all of these years of playing with so many great musicians, what inspires you these days?

JH: I keep going to improve.. My definition of success is to never have to do anything other than play guitar. That's the modern day musical dream for me. Forget about someday wanting to own a mansion with 17 sports cars that I can crash and replace whenever I want to (laughing). I'm just trying to work and have a good time while doing it. Hopefully, I'll even be considered a good guy in the process.

It really is a job for us. Sure there's a lot of fantasy to it because you get to be onstage in front of an audience and sometimes you're treated really well, but essentially, it comes down to working hard. I keep that in my head at all times because it's important to keep yourself grounded. Ego will kill your career. I think you need to work hard and then as opportunities present themselves, do what you can with them. That creates your life story more than just having one solid goal. You can't make your goals that narrow.

As a kid I never would have said that I wanted to play guitar in a Broadway show, it was not on my radar at all but doing Rock of Ages turned out to be a huge break for me. It was a six-year gig that changed my whole financial reality. I did the best that I could with it and it led me to right now. I think that you need to do your best with every single thing and then you'll see where it leads you.

It sounds like a cliche, but I do believe that the harder you work the luckier you'll get. Just about every big moment that I've had I can actually trace back to another moment that made no financial sense for me to be doing at the time (laughing). Sometimes you need to do things for the experience and to invest in yourself. You plant some seeds and then wait to see what eventually grows.

CM: What would you like to say to those fans that have supported and continue to support you in everything that you do?

JH: I appreciate their support so much and I try to be thankful every day for the chance to do all of this. I have a laundry list of things that I'm thankful for every day and the fans are definitely on it. It's amazing to be making a living playing music and to have the opportunity to do all of this. The fans are a big part of what makes it all possible.

If you don't already have tickets to the Jukebox Heroes Tour with Whitesnake, Jason Bonham and Foreigner then check out tour dates here. Visit Joel's personal site here to stay up to date 
on everything that he's doing.

Image may contain: one or more people and people playing musical instruments
(Photo: Allan Zilkowsky Photography)

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: D-Mob featuring Cathy Dennis 'C'Mon And Get My Love'

 I was on Facebook yesterday and saw a posting that reminded me of a long forgotten song. "C'Mon and Get My Love" was the track that introduced us to Cathy Dennis way back in 1989.

This thing was a club kid's dream and Dennis had a string of hits off of her Move To This album, all in a pretty similar vein. She released a follow up a few years later and then appeared to disappear from the charts. While she's not front and center onstage now Dennis has actually had an extremely successful career writing and producing pop songs. She is responsible for penning such tracks as Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head" and Britney Spears "Toxic".

Dennis has worked with just about every major pop princess within the last 15 years, but check her out here in her video debut.

Currently Booming: KISS on MTV Unplugged (Watch)

Monday, June 18, 2018

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.

Currently Booming: Live- Full Unplugged Concert (1995)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia 2Pac - 'Brenda's Got A Baby'

"I hear Brenda's got a baby
But, Brenda's barely got a brain
A damn shame
The girl can hardly spell her name
(That's not our problem, that's up ta Brenda's family)
Well let me show ya how it affects the whole community
Now Brenda never really knew her moms
and her dad was a junky
Went in debt to his arms, it's sad
Cause I bet Brenda doesn't even know
Just cause your in the ghetto doesn't mean ya can't grow
But oh, that's a thought, my own revelation
Do whatever it takes ta resist the temptation"

I gotta tell ya, when Tupac Shakur first arrived on the scene back in the early 90's I wasn't really a fan. I mean, it was obvious that 2Pac was a masterful rapper and he clearly had an agenda and a message to deliver, but I just wasn't ready to "hear" him. I knew about the east coast west coast rap rivalry because I think even if you lived under a rock in West Virginia, it had still reached you. Names like 2Pac, Puffy and Biggie just weren't in heavy rotation for me.

I recently went back and started listening to Pac and Biggie's catalogs of music and discovered that I'm a fan, especially of the former. "Brenda's Got A Baby" was 2Pac's debut single and it introduced him to the world as a young man that not only understood the issues of teenagers but he had issues with those problems. He didn't understand why more men weren't taking responsibility for their actions.

In the 90's I was probably too young and oblivious to really get the fire and intelligence that motivated 2Pac, but I see it now. Check out the video for "Brenda's Got A Baby" below!

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Another Bad Creation- 'Iesha'

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Currently Booming: NEW Chaka Khan- 'Like Sugar' (Listen)

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Thompson Twins- 'Doctor Doctor!'

I saw you there, just standing there
And I thought I was only dreaming, yeah
I kissed you then, then once again
You said, you would come and dance with me
Dance with me, across the sea
And we could feel the motion of a thousand dreams
                                       Doctor, doctor, can't you see, I'm burning, burning?
Oh, doctor, doctor, is this love, I'm feeling?

I often will say that 1984 was musically one of the best years of my life. In a matter of months Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, Cyndi Lauper and countless others were blaring from boom boxes while revolutionizing the fashion of an era. The group Thompson Twins can also quite easily be included in the mix of great music. 

Into The Gap was the group's fourth album (led by Tom Bailey and Alannah Curie) and it cranked out a few hits that landed on Billboards charts, including my favorite, "Doctor! Doctor!"  The heavy synth song did incredibly well on both the Hot 100 and Billboard's dance charts. The video itself was made at a time when technical tricks were more important than any kind of story line. Clouds, pastel lighting and ice skaters all are heavily featured in between the Thompson Twins performing their song. Check it out for yourself below. Do you still love this new wave style?

Currently Booming: American Bandstand- Tears For Fears - 'Everybody Wants To Rule The World'

Friday, June 15, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Stacey Q -'Two Of Hearts'

"People get jealous 'cause we always stay together, yeah, baby.
 I guess they really want a love like yours and mine.
 Together, forever. I never thought that I could ever be this happy, yeah, baby.
My prayers were answered or you came in the nick of time."

Stacey Q burned up radio request lines in the summer of 1986 with her one hit wonder "Two Of Hearts". I remember the catchy hook, "I need you" being stuck in not just my head, but also my father's! It landed in Billboard's top three and also ended up being one of the biggest songs of the year. It still is one of those tunes that makes it pretty impossible to stay still and I think just about everyone has heard it at least once.

Every now and then Stacey Q will pop up on a stop of the Freestyle Explosion tour and when she does, "Two Of Hearts" is one of the biggest sing-a-long songs of the night!

Daily Boom Freestyle Friday: Giggles 'What Goes Around Comes Around'

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Currently Booming: VIXEN | 'Edge Of A Broken Heart' | 2018 Acoustic / Studio Version

Exclusive Interview: Enuff Z'Nuff Returns with New Music and a Spot on the 'SiriusXM Hair Nation Tour'

(Photo: Dave Steckert)

I think that most people believe that once you "make it" in the music industry you're sort of set for life if you handle your money properly. The actual truth is that the music business is at best, a harsh place to try and exist. You could be at the top of the charts and playing sold-out shows now and in six months you're back to waiting tables or washing dishes. The only solid guarantee is that every star eventually falls from the sky and then it takes talent, timing and unshakable determination to get back up again. That's why I love to see an old school band with a plan get another real shot to reclaim their spot amongst those stars.

Enuff Z'Nuff is the latest group to do just that. The band first formed back in 1984 with Chip Z'Nuff leading the way on lead vocals and guitar. They had a few solid hits like "Fly High Michelle" and "New Thing" that were in heavy rotation on MTV. Back in the day, being on MTV every four hours meant that you were part of the crop of headbanger heaven bands that sold out huge venues and raked in tons of cash from (actual physical) record sales. Enuff Z'Nuff may have fit into that mold but their sound has never actually just been straight metal. There also include pop, rock, blues and a touch of soul stylings in their songs and they have a catalog which runs 20 albums deep. Not bad for a band from Blue Island, Illinois. 

While band members have come and gone, Chip Z'Nuff's positive determination to continue writing and performing has not only remained, but it continues to flourish. Enuff Z'Nuff is not only back with a new album, Diamond Boy (due out on August 10), but its' first single from it, "Metalheart" is already catching fire. Last week it was announced that the band (Z'Nuff, Tony Fennell on guitar, Troy Stoffregen on guitar and Dan Hill on drums) will hit the road this fall as part of SiriusXM's Hair Nation 2018 Tour.

Clearly, it's a rebirth for the band and Chip couldn't be happier. I had a chance to speak with him this week and his excitement is infectious. A few minutes into the conversation I found myself really rooting for his band to take these new opportunities and turn them into something even better.

M3 Rock Festival 2016
(Photo: Dave Steckert)

Cate Meighan: Enuff Z'Nuff seems to be experiencing a bit of a rebirth and the fans are thrilled to see you guys back in a big way. How does it all feel for you now?

Chip Z'Nuff:  The fan loyalty level is just amazing, I mean let's face it, things change and as an artist, I'm still out here trying to figure out what will trip their trigger. So for our band to still have that kind of base after so many years, it feels really great. There's a lot of groups like us still out there pulling in great attendance at their shows and it's because the music is strong and has lasted the test of time. That really says a lot There aren't a lot of radio stations really supporting rock-n-roll, however, any of the big bands that are out there, they're selling out arenas and stadiums. I think guys like Guns N' Roses have really given rock the shot in the arm that it needed. If you put all of those bands from the 80's and 90's together, they sold hundreds of millions of records. I'm really rooting for the newer bands out there like The Struts and Greta Van Fleet. I'd like to see some of them get a big break because it's such a fleeting and difficult business right now.

CM: Record sales used to be the biggest part of the business!

CZ: Yeah and you're never going to see that now with groups because people don't always buy the music, they get it for free. It's something the fans need to realize, that it takes hundreds of hours to create the music and then it costs a Brinks truck full of money to actually pay for the record. It's a different business right now and while bands love to go out and play live shows and do meet and greets, they also HAVE to do these things in order to stay alive financially. You play a two-hour show and then you rush back to the merch booth to say hi to the fans. It's something you really have to do now and it's important to the fans because back in the old days they couldn't get near their favorite musicians. Thankfully I love meeting the fans and I appreciate them. Steven Tyler says it best, "If you want to be successful in this business you've got to want it 24 hours a day." and I think that's true so meeting those who support the music is really important. I also think that Enuff Z'Nuff fans know that they are a huge part of our existence and that's why they're still supporting our music.

CM: I know that you're excited because your twentieth album, Diamond Boy, drops on August 10th. Has your writing process changed over the years and what inspired you this time around?

CZ: It has changed a little bit. There are so many great songs already out there, how many times can you say the same things? That's the biggest fear for any musician, just running out of material. When you look at bands like Aerosmith or Cheap Trick it's amazing how they keep coming up with songs and material. But there really is inspiration everywhere if you pay attention. Whether it's lipstick on a glass or something that someone else says that catches your attention as it slips off their tongue. The world is full of inspiration and you just hope that the songs come to you. For me as an artist, I might go a month without anything and then bingo, I'll write 3 songs in one day. I can't always explain what triggers it but I'm grateful that the songs still come to me.

This record was no exception. When Frontiers Music said that they were going to up our deal to include three records, that made me so excited and I just started to write about everything going on in my life. It's like an autobiography of things that I've been through and things that I've seen. The way the world has changed gave me tons of ideas for songs and we hashed out this record in about 17 days. It was incredible and we recorded it fairly quickly on two-inch tape like the old guys did. In the early days Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Queen and all of those great bands recorded on two-inch tape and so we decided to do the same. We played it live, had no room for error, no pro-tools stuff, and very minimal overdubs. We didn't want to overproduce this record and go crazy on it because we wanted to be able to go right out and perform it live. We wanted to sound just like the album live and so that was a big challenge, to not go overboard with production and I think we nailed it.

CM: That worked out pretty perfectly since you'll be performing on the SiriusXM Hair Nation Tour from September through November.

CZ: This is the first time in twenty years where we have just made a record and the label has us already set up to tour. Usually, you make the record and watch for the first 4-8 weeks to see if there's any traction. If the spark doesn't cause a fire then maybe you'll do a few shows but you're going to be making another record sooner rather than later, and that's if the label even still has confidence in you. The last record, Clown's Lounge, did well enough for them to tell us to make another one. We gave them the new album Diamond Boy and right away they got us on the Hair Nation Tour, which made us realize we actually have a chance again.

In the old days you had to sell 50,000 albums to make Billboard's top 200 album list, now with our album coming out in August and this tour starting in September, there's actually a chance for Enuff Z'Nuff to see a little bit of action. We hope that people will buy the record and it'll make them want to come and see us play live. Maybe we'll make some noise, move some units and get to do another tour after the Hair Nation Tour wraps up.

(Photo: Dave Steckert)

CM: I love your excitement right now, it really feels like a fresh start, doesn't it?

CZ: This is a real test for Enuff Z'Nuff right now because it really is a new chapter in our band life. Everything is new and some great things are happening for us. If you told me ten years ago that this would happen for us again I would never have believed you, so I'm determined to work my ass off now to make sure that we make the most of this opportunity. This is our 20th album and there's never a guarantee that you'll get to do another, so it's truly amazing to get to keep doing this. I give so much credit to the band for wanting to continue to make new music with me. A lot of the guys our age are living in the past and playing their songs from a long time ago. It's an honor to be able to play stuff that's decades old, especially when you know that people still love it, but it's risky and a real challenge to put out something new. I give my band credit for being bold and brave enough to do it.

CM: As a band, do you plan ahead or do you just go with the flow and let things unfold for you?

CZ: Obviously, I'll have ideas or a template for what I hope to do but some things just come to you. There's no way to plan things out to perfection so as I sit here, the glass is half full. It's a positive vibe every single day and I wait for the team (laughing). The inmates are no longer running this asylum. I listen to my management team, the booking agent and anyone else that is truly looking out for our best interests right now. I look at what they suggest and generally go with it and it seems to work out well that way.

Obviously, some things come in at the last minute because this business is predicated on friendships and years of business relationships, so we'll show up and support each other.  You can never plan completely what you're going to do because we're living in a time of too much product and not enough demand. So when someone asks, you get on that plane and go. If you want it then you better get out there and hustle for it because no one is just going to hand it to you.

We're going to make the most of things right now. The band is sounding stronger than ever live and we have a ton of shows happening, aside from the Hair Nation tour. We're going to take this new record and bring it to South America, Mexico, Europe and wherever else. We know that there are fans all over the place and I want us to really reach them.

M3 Rock Festival 2016
(Photo: Dave Steckert)

CM: The first single from Diamond Boy, "Metalheart" has been well-received by both the fans and the critics. That has to make you feel pretty good.

CZ: "Metalheart" is doing really well and I never would have guessed that it would (laughing). I write the songs but I don't pick what comes out as a single, the record company basically comes in and tells us what will be the first song. We can give a suggestion but that's it, they do have the final say and they were really smart to put that one out first. "Metalheart" is getting some real traction because the pop fans like it as well as the rock fans. We're not really a metal band, or just a rock band, or a pop band. We end up with all three of those elements in our music, which is great for us, but I think it's hard to actually categorize Enuff Z.Nuff's sound. They say you are what you eat and we definitely have moments of resembling the sound of those groups that we grew up on. You might hear something Beatles-esque in our music, or a riff might remind you a little bit of a Zeppelin song. That's what we were raised on and those stylings have stayed with us. It's not just metal or just rock for us. We love it all and to not fall into just one category for our music is really a compliment that we love hearing. Sounding unique is what keeps people interested.

CM: So, the album is out on August 10th and the tour starts in September. Are there any other surprises coming for us?

CZ:  Actually, we just finished shooting videos for two singles with Paul McCartney's videographer here in New York, which was amazing. The guy is terrific and he has a wonderful sense of things and so I'm really excited to have these videos come out in conjunction with the record. I think the fans will love them!

M3 Rock Festival 2016
(Photo: Dave Steckert)

CM: What would you like to tell those fans that are so excited to see Enuff Z'Nuff thriving again?

CZ: I hope all of our fans live to be 100 years old (laughing), I really do. I also hope that their worst day of this year is like the very best day that they had last year. Nothing but great, positive things for our fans. To say thank you is not nearly enough. I'm going to keep writing the best songs that I can and putting out the best music possible. I want our fans to know that it's a new chapter for Enuff Z'Nuff, we're back and we can't wait to see you all at the shows.

Head over to Enuff Z'Nuff's official site to keep up to date on everything that the band has going on. Check out upcoming tour dates here and support the band by buying a copy of Diamond Boy here!

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Jeffrey Osborne - 'Stay With Me Tonight'

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Exclusive Interview: The Doobie Brothers Tom Johnston Talks Touring with Steely Dan and New Music to Come

(Photo: Andrew Macpherson)

When I was growing up in the late seventies The Doobie Brothers were truly a staple in my house. My dad was WAY into classic rock and for two hours each night (like it or not), I was given the kind of musical education that will truly last for my entire lifetime. The older I get, the more I realize just how much I love songs like "Long Train Running" or "China Grove" and it's not just because the bands' four Grammy's and 48 million records sold tell me that I should. I genuinely appreciate the intricacies of their work.

 The Doobie Brothers are spending their summer on the road co-headling a tour with Steely Dan, a combination that sounds like nothing short of perfection to me. While their styles are technically different, they compliment each other fantastically. Somewhere between tour stops in Utah and Colorado, Tom Johnston, founding member/lead vocalist/guitarist, gave me a few minutes of his time to discuss life on the road and new music to come from The Doobies.

(Photo: Andrew Macpherson)

Cate Meighan: I know that you've been out on tour with Steely Dan for a while now. How is that going?

Tom Johnston:  We've been out on the road for about a month and a half now and we've got another month and a half to go. The crowds have been great and I'm happy to see that they're embracing a wide spectrum show like this. There's quite a difference in our musical styles, but somehow they seem to really compliment each other and I think it's great. We've played with Steely Dan as recently as last year, but this is the first actual tour that we've done with them in many moons (laughing). We played with them back in the 70's and now Donald (Fagen) has got something really great going on with a very large group of exceptional players and they put on a great show. The crowds have been very into it and vocal- dancing around having a great time and so it has been a lot of fun interacting with the crowd.

CM: It seems to be a great summer in general for rock tours and the fans are truly excited about the shows coming to venues near them.

TJ: I think besides being a great escape mechanism, the idea is always for people to just come out and have a great time. Forget about your troubles for a little while and just immerse yourself in the music. In this case, they know songs from both bands so it's not like their going to a show where they won't know a portion of the music. They're already familiar with it and it's already a bit of a comfort zone for them. We're very fortunate to still be on the road and doing this after so many years.

CM: Are you seeing a variety of different generations at your shows now?

TJ: We generally see people at our shows ranging from their 30's to their 60's, but we're also seeing some kids who are big fans of both bands and really into the music. That's gratifying when you realize that you've reached that many people with your music and that it means something to them. It's nice when they decide to take the time out of their busy lives to come and see a show. I think it's great when people go back and check out music from the past and the ability is definitely there, most notably by downloading it. That has become the go-to way for most people to listen to music and it has changed the way that music, be it old or new, is presented to the public.

CM: Everything changes and evolves over time so how has life on the road changed for you over the years?

TJ: In the 70's we flew, I mean early on we were in a Winnebago (laughing), but then we flew. Quite frankly that was great and I loved it. Nowadays it's all buses and it has been since we reformed back in 1989. That's basically how most people tour unless of course, you're in the top echelon because then you've got a private jet. We're not there just yet so we're on a tour bus like most everybody else.
We play an hour and a half every night and then Steely Dan comes out and I think that they play for about two hours. After that, we all head to our buses and hit the road for the next town. It's not nearly as glamorous as people often think (laughing).

CM: It's not all glamorous, so what keeps you out there on the road?

TJ: It's the playing for sure. I'll always love playing the most and then interacting with the crowd. The best moment of the night for me is always when the crowd starts responding. When they're singing the songs and they know the words. To me, that interaction is what it's all about and it makes all of the traveling worthwhile.

We're very fortunate to be able to do this because there is a demand for this show. People want to see the bands that are out on this tour and so it's a joy to get out there and play every night. I guess people look at it as a job, but we really don't see it that way because it's more of a privilege to get paid for doing what you love.

(Photo: Kelly A. Swift)

CM: I know that the band has been working on new music. Is there an update on the status of the next project?

TJ: It's really in progress and I have no idea when it's going to come out. We started working on some things last year and we've also been writing on our own. One song is semi-recorded for demo purposes. I'm not anxious to get off this tour, but when I get home I am looking forward to going back and working on the new stuff. I think it's imperative that we put out new material.

Technology has really changed how we do things too. In the old days, you had yourself and a guitar. You came up with chord changes and lyrics. Nowadays with the software that exists you can have your own studio in your house. You can lay down the track- play the drums, you can play the bass,  the keyboards. Then you can also play guitar right into the computer and you can sing into the computer as well. Back then, you would grab maybe a drummer to work with and take a song as far as you could. Then you would bring it to the studio with a producer and the whole band so that everybody could come up with parts. The producer would come up with ideas and the song would come to fruition that way. Now with all of the technology, you can walk in with a complete idea of what you have in mind. It doesn't mean that it won't get changed, but you're able to present a much more detailed version of what you're trying to do and I absolutely love it.

(Photo: Kelly A. Swift)

You still have to start with a good idea though. You need chord changes and an idea of where you want the song to go. That part of it is still the same.

The writing process is a bit different for me now though because I used to write alone. Now I'm realizing that to do it with other people that have ideas when you're stuck, is a real blessing. It moves the process along and they may have some really great ideas that I would never have thought of, so it's great. Sometimes when you're writing alone you find yourself running into a wall, for whatever reason,  that you just can't break through. Then when you get with someone else they'll break that wall right down for you which is fantastic. I'm looking forward to getting as many songs written as possible and then choosing what songs to use and getting them out. I think it's imperative for a band to keep moving forward. It doesn't matter how long you've been doing this, you still need to stay as fresh as you can. I think if you rest on your laurels you're giving up something, so moving forward helps to make it all valid for me.

CM: How far in advance do The Doobie Brothers plan their next career moves?

TJ: Well planning a few months ahead happens, like now we know that we'll be out on the road this summer with Steely Dan. Then in the fall, we have another tour and in the interim, we know that we're going to be working on new stuff. We're busy all the time, doing different things in different places but I can't imagine ever planning a whole year in advance. Life kind of handles itself sometimes and you just have to go with it.

(Photo: Andrew Macpherson)

Keep up to date on everything that The Doobie Brothers have going on by bookmarking their official site. Check out their tour dates here and grab some of the bands' merch too!

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Journey- 'Who's Crying Now'

Journey with Steve Perry...I lost a lot of things to this band

"It's been a mystery

But still they try to see

Why something good can hurt so bad
Caught on a one-way street
The taste of bittersweet
Love will survive somehow, somewhere

One love, feeds the fire

One heart, burns desire
Wonder, who's crying now?
Two hearts, born to run
Who'll be the lonely one?
Wonder, who's crying now?"

I was having a conversation with someone about music the other day and they said that if they never heard another Journey song for the rest of their lives they'd be okay with that. It made me think a little and I realized that people do seem to have a kind of black or white reaction to the band. It's love or hate ( not even touching the debate over Steve Perry on vocals vs. anyone else) and I suspect it's based on the overkill of songs like "Don't Stop Believin'", "Lovin', Touchin' Squeezin'" and "Faithfully".

I mean, we do realize they had several albums filled hits, right? Journey's catalog of music is massive and filled with a lot of really great songs. I can remember being about ten years old and listening to "Who's Crying Now" on my little transistor radio and being blown away by the vocals. Check out the live clip below and then tell me how much you hate Journey. I dare ya.

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Atlantic Starr - 'Secret Lovers'

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Currently Booming: Journey and Def Leppard Bring Classic Rock 'Hysteria' to Philly Tour Stop (6-11-18 Review)

(Photos: Cate Meighan)

Philadelphia audiences are always something special. If you are an artist rolling into a local venue then you can pretty much count on having a great gig. I was reminded of this last night as two monsters of rock, Journey, and Def Leppard played a three-hour show that kept the near-capacity crowd on their feet in the Wells Fargo Center. More than 16,000 people showed up to relive a bit of their youth and both bands delivered.

Journey was up first and I really wish that people would back up off of Arnel Pineda. I understand that Steve Perry fans will always rally for him to come back but clearly, he has no interest. Pineda has been slaying on lead vocals for more than a decade.

More than ten years.

I've seen him likened to a Steve Perry impersonator which is crazy to me because nothing that he does will ever be right for a particular group of people. If he nails the lyrics like Perry then he is copying him, but if he were to totally switch it up those same people would say that he ruined the songs. So, let's stick with the solids. Pineda is fantastic. The range of his voice is amazing for tracks like "Separate Ways" and then he has just enough emotion to hit those warm and fuzzy nerves in songs like "Faithfully".

I've also seen some critics question whether or not the band should hang it up already and I have to wonder if they've ever actually seen Journey play because not only do they sound fantastic, but they are clearly enjoying themselves. Neal Schon's TWO guitar solos show why he was considered to be a prodigy by age 15, Jonathan Cain's work on the keys can literally break your heart and Steve Smith with his 70's butterfly collar and yellow Converse will remind you that the drums are absolutely everything in a rock band.

Throw original bassist Ross Valory into the mix and you get some authentic jam band moments that likely grease the wheels of this finely oiled machine.

It was a string of radio hits and that was exactly how the Philly crowd wanted it. They opened with "Separate Ways", barreled through "Stone in Love", slowed things down a bit for "Lights" and "Open Arms" (by the light of cell phones, of course) and then cranked everyone up again for "Don't Stop Believin".

If you came out to see a band that delivers some great classic rock then there is no way that you were left disappointed. Journey still throws down. Period.

It didn't end there. Def Leppard is a long time Philly favorite and you could feel the love for them just while crossing the parking lot. Def Leppard merch was everywhere. People came prepared with their classic t-shirts, pins, and then there was the dude wearing an authentic 80's jean jacket with a huge Hysteria logo ironed onto the back of it.

Yeah, Philly was ready and the band did that thing they do best, they rocked it.

While Arnel Pineda plays with the audience, Joe Elliott commands its' attention- something he has been doing for nearly forty years now. Hysteria is one of those few legendary albums that I still listen to all the way through because each song is somehow better than the one before it. Listening to the band steamroll through songs like "Rocket", "Animal" and of course, "Pour Some Sugar on Me" live never ever disappoints.

Phil Collen is back in the mix after missing a few shows for a family emergency and his guitar solos are some of the best in the business and Vivian Campbell more than pulls his musical weight on the opposite side of the stage. Rick Savage, Def Leppard's bassist since 1982, jams with everyone and has a personality that jumps off of the stage.

So much has been said about drummer Rick Allen losing his arm in a car accident and learning to play in spite of it, but I still think he is underrated. Back there behind the kit, Allen kind of feels like the gorilla glue that holds everything together. Elliott freely admits that the band has "been through some real shit and always comes out the other side" and I think Allen is the living, playing proof that they can overcome anything.

If you love the band's early stuff then you'll be thrilled to know that they march out a string of tunes like "Foolin'" and "Bringing on the Heartbreak" and eventually encore with "Rock of Ages" and "Photograph".

Like I said, Philadelphia loves their rock stars and I'm grateful to have been a part of that love in The Wells Fargo Center. If you're looking for 3 hours of throw down, singalong rock then you need to grab yourself some tickets and catch a show. The Journey and Def Leppard Tour will be rolling across the country until October so check it out!

Journey Setlist

Separate Ways
Only the Young
Be Good to Yourself
Stone in Love
Any Way You Want It
Neal Schon Guitar Solo
Jonathan Cain piano solo
Open Arms
La Do Da
Steve Smith drum solo
Neal Schon guitar solo 2
Wheel in the Sky
Don't Stop Believin'
Lovin', Touchin, Squeezin'

Def Leppard Setlist

When Love and Hate Collide
Let's Get Rocked
Armageddon It
Rock On
Two Steps Behind
Man Enough
Love Bites
Bringing on the Heartbreak
Switch 625
Pour Some Sugar on Me
Rock of Ages

Currently Booming: The Top Old School Beach-Themed Videos (Watch)

Madonna Cherish by Herb Ritts

For many of us, life just seems a whole lot better when we're surrounded by sun, sand and of course a great big ocean. Salt life is a real thing and it has been featured in music videos almost since the very start of MTV.  Some of the most memorable visuals by music artists have featured the ocean as a backdrop. Since it's the unofficial start of summer I thought it would be fun to revisit some old MTV favorites. Each of these videos has a beach theme and really stands out in my memory (hopefully yours too). So here we go and in NO particular order...

Debbie Gibson- "Only In My Dreams"

Every time I'm telling secrets

I remember how it used to be

And I realized how much I miss you

And I realize how it feels to be free

This was actually Gibson's debut single. It was released in late 1986 but was written by the then-young star herself two years earlier. The video was shot at Asbury Park beach in New Jersey and helped to launch Gibson's career.

Belinda Carlisle- "Circle In The Sand"

Sundown all around

Walking thru the summer's end

Waves crash baby, don't look back

I won't walk away again

Oh, baby, anywhere you go,

We are bound together

I begin, baby, where you end

Some things are forever!

This was released in May of 1988 with Carlisle singing as various layered beach scenes flashed behind her. This song came at a time when the former Go Go's frontwoman could do no wrong musically. She had a string of solo hits, including "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" and "Mad About You" that all charted well.

The Fat Boys- "Wipe Out"

For three years straight we toured the nation

When we get through we needed a vacation

We wanted to party and get a little rest

So we packed our things and headed out west

We got our surfboards took the beach ball out

Jumped in a limousine ready to "Wipe out"

The Fat Boys were a hip-hop trio from Brooklyn that first emerged in the early 80's. Their 1987 cover of "Wipe Out" was one of the biggest songs of the summer and this video was in heavy rotation on MTV.

Huey Lewis And The News- "Stuck With You"

Yes, it's true, (yes it's true) I am happy to be stuck with you 
Yes, it's true, (yes it's true) I'm so happy to be stuck with you 
Cause I can see, (I can see) that you're happy to be stuck with me
(yes it's true) I'm so happy to be stuck with you 
I'm happy to be stuck with you
Happy to be stuck with you.

What guy wouldn't want to be stuck on a deserted island with Keely Shaye Smith circa 1986? Huey Lewis was probably thrilled to get to play in the sun and sand with the then-model for hours while filming "Stuck With You". The song itself spent 3 weeks at number one on Billboard's Hot 100 and the video was one of the biggest of the year. The desert island in this is actually about ten miles from Paradise Island in Nassau.

Bow Wow Wow- "I Want Candy"

I know a girl who’s tough but sweet
She’s so fine, she can’t be beat
She’s got everything that I desire
Sets the summer sun on fire

If you're going to have a one-hit-wonder then you can only hope that the video that accompanies it also leaves a lasting impression, right? Well, Bow Wow Wow managed to do just that with "I Want Candy". I think when a lot of us think of the song we instantly picture the band buried up to their necks in the sand!

Duran Duran- "Rio"

Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand
Just like that river twisting through a dusty land
And when she shines she really shows you all she can
Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande

While Duran Duran was picking up momentum in the early 80's their second studio album, Rio didn't really click here in the states- until their flashy video for the title song. "Rio" eventually became a visual example of all of the excesses that the decade became synonymous for.  This features the band is slick suits speeding through the Caribbean on a yacht surrounded by beautiful women. Once the video was picked up by MTV then people realized what a great song this really was.

Bon Jovi- "In And Out Of Love"

Young and wired 
Set to explode in the heat 
you won't tire 
Cause baby was born with the beat 

Do you guys even remember this video from 1985? I had actually forgotten it but it has to be included here because it features the original Jersey boys playing on the boardwalk and in the sands of Seaside Heights!

David Lee Roth- "California Girls"

Well, East coast girls are hip,
I really dig those styles they wear;
And the Southern girls with the way they talk, 
They knock me out when I'm down there,
The mid-west farmers daugh-ters
Real-ly make you feel alright,
And the northern girls with the way they kiss
They keep their boyfriends warm at night.

Not long after leaving Van Halen in 1984 David Lee Roth returned to the airwaves with 1985's Crazy From The Heat. All four songs on the EP were covers of already established hits from the past. "California Girls" was kind of a no-brainer and the video loaded with chicks in bikinis became a summer staple.

Expose`- "Seasons Change"

Seasons change feelings change
It's been so long since I found you
Yet it seems like yesterday
Seasons change people change
I'll sacrifice tomorrow
Just to have you here today

In 1987 Expose` took their Miami freestyle sound and delivered it to the masses, with great success. Hits like "Come Go With Me" and "Let Me Be The One" landed in Billboard's top ten and solidified their run as a great dance band but that wasn't all that they were capable of. Their ballad "Seasons Change" earned the girl group their first number one single and just as the song was a bit of a departure, so was the video. Instead of being a flashy, fun live performance "Seasons Change" was set in a beach house. The girls are seen packing up their summer house while singing and eventually a run on the beach is of course in order.

Chris Isaak- "Wicked Game"

What a wicked game you played to make me feel this way
what a wicked thing to do to let me dream of you
what a wicked thing to say you never felt this way
what a wicked thing to do to make me dream of you

Take a sultry, haunting song, a topless Helena Christensen in Isaak's arms and film it in black and white. The result? Perfection, the kind that even 27 years after its' original release still makes you stop to watch.

Wreckx-N-Effect- "Rump Shaker"

All I wanna do is zoom-a-zoom-zoom-zoom
And a poom-poom - Just shake ya rump! 

The year was 1992 and Teddy Riley's production and guest vocals made "Rump Shaker" a club classic for Wreckz-N-Effect. The visual of a hot chick walking in the sand playing a saxophone is probably still cemented in the minds of many men out there.

Madonna- "Cherish"

Cherish the thought 
Of always having you here by my side 
(Oh baby I) cherish the joy 
You keep bringing it into my life 
(I'm always singing it) 
Cherish the strength 
You got the power to make me feel good 
(And baby I) perish the thought 
Of ever leaving 
I never would 

This was the third single off of Madonna's 1989 Like A Prayer release. After two controversial songs in a row, it was nice to see Madonna take on something as simple as love. Watching her play in the surf in "Cherish" was a nice reminder that while the diva was certainly issues-oriented, she still had a fun side.

Don Henley- "Boys Of Summer"

I can see you,
Your brown skin shining in the sun.
You got that top pulled down,
And that radio on, baby.
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong,
After the boys of summer have gone

Can you believe that this song is 32 years old?  Well, it is and I think that "Boys Of Summer" might be one of the most timeless videos around. The black and white imagery flashes through the different stages of a man's life, from boyhood to middle age adulthood and you can feel the major flashback unfolding in front of your eyes. This is undoubtedly one of Henley's best songs, don't you think?

There is just a sampling of some of the best beach videos in old school pop culture history. What are your favorites?

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Jefferson Starship - 'No Way Out'

Monday, June 11, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback- Def Leppard "Hysteria"

It's really rare for me to love just about every single song on any album. I really do cherry pick most of the time and so when something is good all the way through, I remember it.  I'm currently working on something that requires quite a bit of research on the mid-80's so I ordered a bunch of old magazines off of eBay to take me back in time. The best way to get into the right mindset seems to be a combination of forgetting what I think I already know and reading what was actually written way back then. Yesterday I was flipping through a copy of Rolling Stone from 1987 and came upon a piece on Def Leppard.

Now, flash forward 30 years and we already know that their Hysteria album is considered to be one of the best rock albums in history. It went 12x platinum and spawned 7 singles over the course of about 18 months. To this day, "Pour Some Sugar On Me" remains a rock party anthem that nearly everyone seems to know the lyrics to. Ironically, the album's producer, Mutt Lange set out to help the guys create the rock equivalent of Michael Jackson's Thriller, meaning that nearly every track on it could be released as a successful single. Mission accomplished.

But back in 1987 when Hysteria was first released, Def Leppard had no clue of what was really to come. Instead, all that the guys knew for sure is that it took them three years to complete the album and that no one deserved the amount of bad luck that they had to persevere through in order to complete the record. It was during this time that drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm after a car accident and had to learn how to play all over again, using his left foot and pedals. That crisis was the clincher and from it the title Hysteria was born. The media was all over the group at the time of Allen's accident and it was the one word that seemed to sum up their lives.

I still love nearly every song on this album and at least half of them have a specific memory attached. While Hysteria is not my favorite track, it is a great one, especially knowing a bit of the backstory.

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Skid Row - 'Wasted Time'

Friday, June 8, 2018

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: George Michael - 'Fastlove'

I won't bore you with the details, baby
I don't even wannna waste your time
Let's just say that maybe
You could help to ease my mind
Baby, I ain't Mr. Right
But if you're looking for fast love
If that's love in your eyes, it's more than enough
Had some bad love
Some fast love, is all that I've got on my mind

There's something really refreshing about a person that just owns their stuff and says exactly what they mean, isn't there? You don't have to agree with or even like the message, but to have the nerve to do it is really something. So back in April of 1996 when George Michael finally put his real cards on the table I was impressed.

Of course I'm talking about "Fastlove" one of the best tracks off of Michael's Older album. Rather than wishing for love or trying to mend a broken heart, he knows exactly what he wants- a no strings attached fling. What's interesting is the way that people really embraced this song in spite of it being about a one night stand. Michael is smooth, risque and kind of at his best on this dance song, probably because of the authenticity.

What are your thoughts on 90's George Michael? Do you prefer this sexier variation or do you rather him from his days fronting Wham?