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Monday, September 24, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Van Halen 'Dreams'

"Run, run, run away
Like a train runnin off the track
Got the truth gets left behind
Falls between the cracks
Standing on broken dreams
Never losin' sight, ah
Spread your wings
We'll get higher and higher

Straight up we'll climb
We'll get higher and higher
Leave it all behind"

Thirty years ago this past summer Van Halen's "Dreams" was holding pretty steady on Billboard's Hot 100. It was the second single off of the band's 5150 album and it was performed during the Sammy Hagar era of the band. Nearly 20 years after the release of 5150 Hagar finally admitted that "Dreams" is one of his very favorite songs from his days in Van Halen. That might explain why he is prone to perform it in his solo gigs. 

There were actually three different videos made for this song but the MTV generation heavily favored the one that featured the Blue Angels so that became this songs' visual calling card. Do you agree with Sammy? Is "Dreams" really one of the best songs that Van Halen has in their catalog? It has actually always been one of my very favorites. I can remember listening to the album when it was first released and thinking that this song was IT. How about you?

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: XYZ - 'What Keeps Me Loving You'

Image result for xyz what keeps me loving you
"Every time I walk away it feels so wrong
Tell me why I never stay where I belong

Ohhh - Take me home
I dream of the town and the blue of your eye
Ohhh - Take me home
What keeps me loving you
It's easy to know when we touch
What keeps me loving you
It's easy to know when it's love."
XYZ was (and is) one of those 80's hair bands that broke through at the same time as powerhouse acts like GNR and Def Leppard. They were heavy duty enough to become the official house band for The Whiskey A Go Go but never ranked quite well enough on the charts. Not that it matters anyway because lead singer Terry Ilous' band was produced by Don Dokken and their debut album was truly great.
It also holds up. I remember listening to "What Keeps Me Loving You" on repeat back in 1989 and I found myself doing it again just now. For me, it's the kind of power ballad the rivals the best. It's right up there with Whitesnake's "Is This Love" or Def Leppard's "Love Bites", in my opinion. Ilous just takes me there. You know, to that place where you just know you're in the wrong relationship with the wrong person? Of course, you know what I mean.
XYZ as a band, still to this day, rivals some of the best that the late 80's brought us. If you're really lucky you might catch them at a hard rock festival or on a rock cruise! In the meantime check them out below!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: George Michael - 'Jesus to a Child'

"And what have I learned
From all this pain
I thought I'd never feel the same
About anyone or anything again
But now I know
When you find a love
When you know that it exists
Then the lover that you miss
Will come to you on those cold, cold nights
When you've been loved
When you know it holds such bliss
Then the lover that you kissed
Will comfort you when there's no hope in sight"

I jumped on the George Michael bandwagon the very first time that I heard "Careless Whisper" blaring through my father's speakers. He and Andrew Ridgely put out some of the best pop songs of the 80's but I always felt like Michael really hit his stride in the 90's. He was grown and had experienced the harshness of real adult life. By the time he released Older in 1996, he had already lost one of the loves of his life and was starting to see the downside of fame firsthand.  I think he poured everything into that album and you can feel it.

"Jesus to a Child"  is one of those songs. You can feel the fragility and the brokenness in him and in his lyrics. For every fluffy pop song out there, there needs to be something as deep as this to balance the scales. "Jesus to a Child" has a way of uniting anyone that has felt deep pain and unimaginable loss. Sooner or later, we all get there and connect with this. Check out the video, it's George at his most honest. 

Exclusive Interview: Danity Kane's Sisterhood is Strong as They Reunite for 'The Universe is Undefeated' Tour

Danity Kane fans were absolutely stunned last August when it was announced that Aubrey O'Day, Dawn Richard, and Shannon Bex had not only mended fences personally, but they were planning on hitting the road together with their The Universe is Undefeated tour. Fans of the girl group, originally formed as part of Diddy's Making the Band series back in 2005, already know the history and how by 2014 three members remained and DK3 was unveiled. A new album arrived as the group itself crumbled and in the four years since O'Day and Bex formed Dumblonde, a successful EDM duo while Richard has also thrived with her solo projects.

I don't think anyone was expecting a reunion of Danity Kane but everyone sure seems to be pretty excited about it. Fans of O'Day, Richard and Bex will have a chance to see and hear every bit of their musical stylings on this upcoming tour and the ladies themselves couldn't be happier about it. I had a chance to chat with them today in between rehearsals and they seem to be in a really great place. They've grown up and into stronger, more peaceful versions of their younger selves. Their differences are a strength rather than a fighting point and their sisterhood is fueled by acceptance and positivity.

Here's a glimpse of this conversation. Full audio will be coming soon as well.

Cate Meighan: I have to ask right off the top, how did you guys end up reconciling and then reuniting as Danity Kane?

Aubrey O'Day: I was in therapy for a while and kind of got to a place where I wanted to resolve the past wounds that were able to be mended, and so I reached out to Dawn. We ended up talking for hours, just reconnecting in an honest and sincere way. We worked past the damage and pain that we both felt until we found a place where we could really connect as friends again. We were in that place as friends for a while before we decided to get back together and do this tour. Repairing the friendship came first for us because it was the most important thing.

CM: There seems to be a new sense of authenticity this time around.

AO: It's not an easy life working in this industry, to be completely honest. All of us have had bad experiences and I think that is part of what drives us to come back together and to perform onstage together. We're obviously all in love with art, creation and making music, but we also want to stand for a deeper purpose in life. The power that we have as women is that we're able to recover and come together, without needing to agree on every detail. We can just respect each others' experiences. It's so powerful in this day and age, visually to show women that you can prevail and support each other. We can operate as a source of strength for each other instead of tearing each other down.

CM: How is this reunion different from when you patched things up back in 2014?

Dawn Richard: I agree with what Aubrey said, we are now as women really able to talk to each other. We don't always have to agree, instead, we can just look at the bigger picture while respecting each other. We've always put so much out there for the fans and it has always been about them. Part of that now is setting an example by not always being up against each other. We want to show them that you can have disagreements and still be sisters and stand beside each other. We've always been told that there are things that we just can't do and we have always managed to overcome those things. I think in the bigger picture we are much stronger together and this time around we really understand that and can support each others' process.

AO: Something important that we've really understood this time around is that society in general, wants to box people in, especially women. They want to box you up and be able to define you because that makes everyone else's life a bit easier. We also had a tendency to do that, we learned it at seventeen years old, we internalized it and at times we stood against each other. Now, instead of boxing each other in we want to see each other alive in as many creative areas as possible. That has created a freedom that we weren't mature enough to understand until this point. Now all of us have this perspective and it has been a free and open exploration of ideas rather than a frustrating situation.

CM: Your fans are all wondering if you've got anything up your sleeve for DK besides this tour. Is there any new music or a reality series in the works?

DR: We are happy to have come back together and our focus is really on working on us. We're thrilled that the fans want us to do so many different things but we're just going to let our passion and our hearts lead us for now rather than having a specific blueprint.

CM: After putting out solo projects and literally creating Dumblonde from the ground up, has your approach towards DK changed since the last time you worked together?

AO: It's the same process as any type of soul work. It's a challenge and you have difficulties and strife that makes you stronger. It works for the soul and also for your craft. Any time I can't do something it becomes do or die time. I have a winners spirit (laughing) so I just always figure it out. Those moments have really defined my growth and my purpose. Life's not fair. Dawn and I talk about this all the time. We'll talk about different perspectives on what women go through and there are so many different struggles that aren't fair. Sometimes the way that things are handled just isn't fair and the bottom line is that life isn't fair and that's a hard one for me to swallow.

CM: It's especially hard when you have to work together and not everyone is on the same page.

AO: When you're on a path of bettering yourself and growing you really want everyone around you to step up and rise with you. Unfortunately, in life, everyone operates on different frequencies and what I've learned is that you need to stay in your frequency and not come down to make other people feel more comfortable. You need to trust your journey and you'll find people operating in your frequency or even higher so they'll lift you. You just have to trust the process no matter how alone or scared you may feel. Even if you fail it just means you're getting closer to a win. Failure is a really good thing in life, it sucks and it's hard but you have to try and take it with grace. It's really just a symptom of future success.

I used to think I had success in superficial things like getting more opportunities or digital fame, things like that. Now I think that those things revolve more around luck and timing than they do around abilities. So now that I've had to shoot music videos on my own, come up with the creatives, get behind the camera and direct it, then download all the programs and edit it- I understand the feeling of having success based on being capable. These are the kinds of things that all three of us have done now. Plus we're managing our own tour, the costuming and lighting designs. Everything from start to finish is within our control and there is power in that. They say that no one executes your passion better than yourself and so you get to a point where you embrace the difficult days because they are what make you the strongest. There are different levels of difficulties too and you have to learn which ones to take on. Difficulties that challenge your capacities are great, ones that are toxic and weighing you down are not.

CM: Is there any new music from either Dawn, Dumblonde or DK on the near horizon?

AO: Dawn's solo project will be releasing something next year and Dumblonde has something coming as well. Danity Kane is always working on music so you just never know there.

CM: What do you want the fans to know this time around?

AO: That we'll never give up on them and that we're so thankful that they've never given up on us. The true reason that we reunite and go through all the difficulties of working on bettering our relationship as sisters is not just for money. I mean the three of us are all about a paycheck (laughing), but it's always been about so much more than that. We've never been girls that have made tons of money. We had double platinum albums and weren't getting paid. We were going home and living under our parents' roof without cars. We have been in some bad business deals, just trying to make it while pursuing our dream. There is something in all of us that is just not willing to move forward if it's not sincere. The last time we had this completed album and we were still at a point of breaking. We weren't in the right place as women to continue because there is nowhere good to go if it isn't done with sincerity. A lot of people do compromise that in the entertainment industry and I'm really proud of the fact that we don't. When you see us back together it's because that is exactly where we want to be. The fans can count on sincerity and an authenticity from us. Most of all we want the fans to buy tickets and come to our shows. We can't wait to see them on tour!

Here are The Universe is Undefeated tour dates & you can grab tickets right here!

09/28/18: Stamford, CT
09/30/18: New York, NY
10/02/18: Huntington, NY
10/19/18: Anaheim, CA
10/20/18: Las Vegas, NV
10/30/18: Chicago, IL

11/08/18: Washington, DC

11/09/18: Wilmington, DE

11/10/18: Freehold, NJ
11/11/18: Boston, MA
11/15/18: Cleveland, OH
11/16/18: Detroit, MI
11/18/18: Grand Rapids, MI
11/30/18: Pasadena, CA
12/03/18: Minneapolis, MN
12/08/18: Reading, PA
01/11/19: Dallas, TX
11/12/19: Houston, TX

Friday, September 21, 2018

Currently Booming: NEW Steve Perry - 'We're Still Here' (Watch)

Currently Booming: Prince- 'Piano & a Microphone' (Listen)

Currently Booming: Exclusive New Interview with Chip Z'Nuff of Enuff Z'Nuff

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Aaliyah Featuring R. Kelly- 'Back & Forth'

Image result for aaliyah

"It's Friday and I'm ready to swing"

Aaliyah is one of many artists that we lost way too soon. When she dropped her first single, "Back & Forth", with the help of R. Kelly back in the spring of 1994, it was clear the girl had talent. It was also pretty obvious that she was just starting to find her way in the music business and that first single was as good a calling card as any. It was simple, smooth and really blew up dance floors. I can remember the video in heavy rotation on MTV as well. It was clear that this chick was going to be around for a long time and we were lucky to watch her kind of grow up and into her own skin over the next eight years. Sadly, Aaliyah's life ended in a plane crash after filming her final video, "Rock the Boat", in Aug. 2001. Filming had wrapped earlier than planned and the plane that Aaliyah and her entourage boarded crashed only 200 feet from the runway just after takeoff. It was originally confirmed that the plane was over its' weight limits and that contributed to the deadly crash.

Years after her death, Aaliyah is still credited not only with leaving her own mark but also with changing the game for other women in music. Check out her first video below.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Miami Sound Machine - 'Rhythm Is Gonna Get You'

"At night when you turn off all the lights

There's no place that you can hide
No no, the rhythm is gonna get'cha

In bed, throw the covers on your head

You pretend like you are dead
But I know it, the rhythm is gonna get'cha"

Conga. That song was everywhere for months on end back in 1985. Gloria Estefan and the rest of the Miami Sound Machine made it impossible not to sing and dance along to their very first U.S. hit. If you got in the car it was on the radio, it was playing in the mall and you better believe there was a tamer instrumental version of "Conga" that played in doctor's waiting rooms. It really was everywhere and the energy was infectious.

I didn't think that the Miami Sound Machine could even potentially put out another song that I'd like nearly as much, but, they did it. In the summer of 1987 "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" dropped and I loved it. The synth, the Latin rhythm, her voice it was just all perfection. Every once in awhile a song is perfectly crafted to be strong across the board. There is nothing missing on "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You". It still holds up as a great dance classic. Check it out below!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Daily Boom Deep Cuts: Garbage- 'Cup Of Coffee'

Being an unapologetic vinyl junkie I was eventually going to get my hands on Garbage's 20th Anniversary remastered double album set. It took me awhile but my copy finally arrived this weekend and I have to say, it's most definitely worth every penny. The album art, lyrics sheets and detailing alone really does up the quality and really, who doesn't love colored vinyl?

(Photo: Twitter)

I'll admit, it has been a minute since I've listened to Shirley Manson and the guys and I really don't know why. Their tracks really do stand the test of time and are pretty ageless. I love music that you can't easily put a date on and that is Garbage to a tee. It might be a new song (new music, please???!!) or it could be a decade or two old, it's hard to tell.

This collection offers up all of Garbage's top songs like "Stupid Girl", "Only Happy When It Rains", "Queer" and more. The only thing missing is actually one of my very favorites- "Cup of Coffee".  I'm actually not sure why that didn't make the cut so rather than being predictable and going with one of Garbage's critically acclaimed videos, here's "Cup of Coffee" instead.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Kool & The Gang - 'Joanna'

"I'm in love, and I won't lie
She's my girl and always on my mind
She gives me her love and a feeling that's right
Never lets me down, especially at night

So, I'm gonna do the best I can
To please that girl and be her only man, see
She cheers me up when I feel alone
And that's why baby I've got to let you know

Joanna, I love you
You're the one, the one for me, my baby."

Unlike everyone else around me, I was never really a fan of Kool & The Gang's "Celebration". I know it was kind of dubbed the ultimate party song- for obvious reasons- but I never liked it much. But when they rolled out "Joanna" a few years later, I was completely sold. I remember being at my grandmother's on a Saturday afternoon watching videos and seeing this one for the first time. Joanna supposedly was an older woman who owned a diner, but flashbacks to her youth showed her being a dancer at The Cotton Club in Harlem. 

It was a love song really and the string of hits by Kool & The Gang that followed ("Tonight", "Fresh", "Misled") ended up being dance classics that I love to this day. Check out the video for "Joanna" below!

Monday, September 17, 2018

90's Nostalgia: Londonbeat- 'I've Been Thinking About You'

We must have been stone crazy when we thought we were just friends
'Cause I miss you, baby, and I've got those feelings again.
I guess I'm all confused about you.
I feel so in love, oh, baby, what can I do?

I've been thinking about you, I've been thinking about you.
I've been thinking about you, I've been thinking about you.

Do you guys want to feel really old? Remember Londonbeat's one-hit-wonder "I've Been Thinking About You"? Sure you do and if you're blanking on the song click play below and you're likely to remember it after just a few notes. Anyway, "I've Been Thinking About You" hit number one on Billboard's charts 27 years ago.

Twenty-seven years ago.

This song was huge and it really does stand the test of time doesn't it? Most 90's dance songs are either obvious house hits or else they have a new jack swing vibe. Londonbeat could have released this just last month exactly as is and it would still get a lot of radio play. It's just a great dance track, one that is a perfect way to start your Thursday morning!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Eddie Money- 'I Wanna Go Back'

Image result

"I wanna go back
And do it all over again
But I can't go back I know
I wanna go back
Cause I'm feeling so much older
But I can't go back I know."

I remember being 15-years old and in tenth grade when Eddie Money released Can't Hold Back, an album that had several breakout hits like "Take Me Home Tonight" and "I Wanna Go Back".  The video to the latter was all about a middle age man revisiting his high school, walking through empty halls and remembering his youth. At the time of its release, I was still that high school kid and so while my head got the concept, there was no way that I'd really get it.

Fast forward nearly 30 years and "I Wanna Go Back" can almost feel like an anthem on particularly lousy adult days. It's funny how, as a teen, you really don't understand how your life will change. Some of those turns will be natural and gradual while others feel like detours that lead to nothing but a dead end. But one thing is constant and that is that nothing really stays the same.

Not that change is a bad thing by any means, but it's amazing how those years just fly by and those teenage worries that were like life and death now seem pretty laughable. Check out the video below, what does it remind you guys of?

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Dino- 'I Like It'


"Take me by surprise
Look into my eyes
And show me that
Your love is real"

Remember back in the day when a great club song would get stuck in your head from the first spin? Dino (AKA Dean Esposito) had one of those in 1989. "I Like It" was that track. You could dance to it and whenever it came on you ended up in a better mood by the time it ended. Dino's career as a performer only last for a few years but he has remained active in the music business by writing and producing for other artists, such as Sheena Easton.

Dino is also connected to the music industry via his wife, Caroline Jackson. If her name doesn't ring a bell the fact that she's one of the original Cover Girls should help jog your memory. She currently performs at various freestyle shows across the country with the rest of the OCG.

Anyway, back to Dino. How much do you still love this song?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Currently Booming: NEW Ann Wilson- 'Immortal' (Listen)

Currently Booming: NEW Night Ranger - 'Truth' (Official Music Video)

Currently Booming Lost Hit: Andy Gibb- 'Shadow Dancing'

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Cathy Dennis -'Just Another Dream'

"The stars say you're my best lover
Matched up like sugar for a cake
They say our love could conquer anything
I'd always hide my feelings
Keep them so cool and so contained
This time it's something I just can't retain
Cos you give me a good vibe don't you know baby
You give me funky love, funky love
Could this be what love's all about baby
Or is it just another dream
Is this for real or is it just another dream"

Do you remember Cathy Dennis? She was a young singer that burst out of the UK around 1990 and hit the charts with a handful of hits before seeming to disappear. I say seeming to because she has never actually left the music industry. She has simply opted for a career as an award-winning songwriter and producer instead. Who better to guide others than someone who has conquered Billboard's charts themselves, right?

Just how noteworthy is Cathy? Well in 2006 she was named the UK music business's Woman Of The Year. Not too shabby.

But for today, let's kick it back to when her hair was on fire, she looked great in a catsuit and her dance moves were pretty impressive too. "Just Another Dream" found its' way to number 9 on Billboard's Hot 100 and spent a few weeks in the second spot on the dance charts. Check it out below!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Currently Booming: New Music by Tiffany- 'Worlds Away'

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: L.A. Guns- 'The Ballad of Jayne'

Now she's breakin' hearts in heaven
Shinin' bright in the sky
I still hear her voice in the wind
I still think of you in the night, oh yeah
Well I guess you'll never know
How much I need her so

I was trying to find the perfect power ballad for this morning and this song by L.A. Guns came to mind. Back in 1989 "The Ballad of Jayne" caused many headbangers to pause for a moment and think about the lyrics. While the guys admitted that the song was originally a tribute to Hollywood icon, Jayne Mansfield, who was killed in a tragic accident, the lyrics resonated with just about everyone.

If you've ever lost anyone too soon then "The Ballad of Jayne" will hit a nerve. Phil Lewis' haunting vocal makes this one of the best ballads to come out of the 1980's. Plus it is pretty timeless. After taking a listen to "The Ballad of Jayne" for the first time in a while it occurred to me that it could have just been released yesterday. 

As for L.A. Guns, well they're still around playing shows here and there. I'm pretty sure that "The Ballad of Jayne" ends up being one of the best songs in their setlist to this day. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Billy Idol- 'Cradle Of Love'

Cause love cuts a million ways
Shakes the devil when he misbehaves
I ain't nobody's fool
Come on shake it up
Whatever I do
Rock the cradle of love

Can you believe that Billy Idol is 61? Sixty-one?! How does that even seem possible when, in my mind, Idol will always be shirtless, in leather pants, bleached hair and of course, doing a lip curl? Then again, when I think of my own actual age... I guess the math does kind of work.

Idol is one of those artists that really helped to revolutionize the music industry during MTV's infantile stages. His videos were sharp, his songs were catchy and he was the kind of bad boy that wasn't trying to be one. Idol was just living his life and we were all happy to watch. Normally I'd be linking "Rebel Yell" or "White Wedding" for a throwback but "Cradle of Love" really seems like the best way to go.

Technically, the video didn't come out until May of 1990 but it the song was recorded in 1989 so I'm going to use that loophole. The video was unforgettable for several reasons. It was loaded with sexual innuendos when a teenage "Devin" from down the hall needed to use her uptight businessman neighbors stereo. Of course, she stripped her way through the apartment while demolishing everything in her path, that was kind of predictable.

But "Cradle of Love" was filmed differently because Idol was recovering from a motorcycle accident that nearly cost him both legs. He is seen only from the waist up performing in pictures hanging on the walls. What's really ironic is that this video won so many awards and was considered a turning point in the evolution of MTV, yet it also was kind of the beginning of the end of Idol's hot streak. He was no longer needed dancing around, being the center of attention in his own videos, bringing his decade-long run on MTV to a pretty abrupt end.

He's SIXTY-one. Can you believe it?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Currently Booming: New Music by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts- 'Fresh Start'

Currently Booming: Enuff Z'Nuff - 'Diamond Boy' (Official Music Video)

Exclusive Interview: Jack Russell on 'Great White', His Upcoming Book and Living a Transparent Life

(Jack Russell's Great White Promo Shot)


I have to admit absolutely nothing could have truly prepared me for my lengthy recent conversation with Jack Russell. I mean, technically I came prepared because Great White's "Once Bitten" cassette lived in my Walkman for a nice chunk of my junior year of high school, plus my connection to the music came with a head full of details. As a fan, I am aware of Jack's troubled past which includes things like drugs, comas, death and of course, that horrific fire. If you're a fan then you're likely aware of these things as well. I decided that I needed to learn more about Jack Russell the man, not the headline and so we talked.

What unfolded was well over an hour of kindness, insightfulness and a deep understanding on Jack's part about how hard life can be and then how beautifully it can unfold for you if you hang on long enough. He carries with him a depth that only comes from a life that has been saved at the last minute. He is still here, making music, loving his wife Heather and giving back everything that he can muster to those who have supported him through everything.

Jack's transparency and intelligence are quite beautiful and I can only hope that his words resonate here the way that they did in person.

Cate Meighan: You have one of the most supportive fan bases that I think I've ever seen!

Jack Russell: They're really great people and they've stuck by me through thick and thin. Through all of the trials and tribulation, drunk or sober, falling down and then getting back up, they've all really been there. I've been sober for over three years and my voice is doing great so now I get to give back to the fans every night. I've watched the audience grow and it's cool to see the younger fans now with our t-shirts on, down to their knees (laughing). They'll know every word to songs that I wrote before they were even born and that's really amazing to me, to see that generational transition. I remember it used to be all high school kids when I was on stage and just five or ten years older than them. Now you see them plus their kids- and then their kids, so to have three generations come to a show just makes you feel great, a little old (laughing) but great.

Thank god that the fans come out to the shows because our business really has completely flip-flopped. As an artist, you used to tour just to support your album and you didn't care if you broke even. We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on tours back in the day and if we broke even then that was cool because it promoted your record. Now it's exactly the opposite and you make your money off of touring, so thankfully the audience is there and they're still following us. When people ask me now what advice I'd give to a young musician I tell them to get a real job (laughing) and I say that half jokingly because I do believe that if you really want to do it, then you can accomplish anything. Go for it but understand that it really is a lot more difficult now.

CM: I think that a lot of people have misconceptions about the streaming services and how much artists are actually paid by them. 100k streams are worth little more than a large cup of coffee now, right?

JR: Oh we get paid nothing on those things really at all. You can go on YouTube and see that we have a million views but it's not even worth a cup of coffee in terms of getting paid. People wonder why their favorite bands break up and maybe it's because everyone steals their music and doesn't go to the live shows, so they couldn't afford to feed their families. Artists need people to buy the albums and buy the cd's and then even when they want to there are very few outlets left actually selling them in person. So many people want the instant gratification and they don't want to wait for their music to come in the mail. They don't care about the cover art, the liner notes or the lyrics and it's so sad.

When I was a teenager growing up I was listening to bands like Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple and we would literally go down to the record store with blankets and stuff and wait for it to open. We wanted to be the first ones to race back to the display and get that brand new, just released album. I'd race home on my bike and take a razor blade and gently remove the shrink wrap from the record and pull the vinyl out with reverence. I'd pull out the sleeve and read every single liner note and credit. Even though I didn't know who any of these people that wrote it or produced it were I still wanted to know who did it. The album covers were beautiful works of art and I used to have this little shelf on my wall that held an album cover and it said 'now playing' on it. I used to put the album cover up of whatever I was listening to at the time. There was a ritual to music that has been lost in the age of streaming and you had something tangible. You could hold it in your hands and it made the music physically real too.

The technology is great but it's also a curse depending on the moment or the situation. I believe it'll eventually be our undoing because we've become so reliant on it and eventually it's going to fail. Then what, we're not going to know what to do. People are streaming their whole lives and what's going to happen when they can't? How will they deal with it? It's a whole different world now, some of it's cool and some of it is ridiculous.  Music though, that'll always be there. The kind of music that we grew up on and the kind of music that I still make will always have a place in the world, even long after I'm gone. I want to leave that as my legacy and to have people be able to say, "Yeah that Jack Russell was a great singer while he was alive".  What more can I ask for?

CM: Your latest album 'He Saw It Comin' feels like Great White evolving into something modern while carrying with it undertones of influences by some of the rocks' most noteworthy heroes. Was that the goal?

JR: Yeah there's a little Beatles, Queen, and the Stones vibe is thrown into it. We wanted to make something reto modern. We didn't set out to sound like anyone in particular but when Robby (Lochner) and I sat down together to write it was amazing. When we came up with "Godspeed" it was initially a ballad but Robby wanted to take it and make it acapella, like a 50's doo-wop. I wasn't too sure about that (laughing) but he put it together and played it for me and it was just brilliant. Everything on that song is just our voices, I mean everything and I was just blown away when I heard it.

To me, it's the best record that the band has put out as an album, as a whole. Yes, the "Once Bitten" album is just a beautiful record with great songs on it but "He Saw It Comin" has real substance and the songs on it have lyrics that mean something. I'm more mature in my writing and the lyrics are a little deeper now because I'm trying to get more transparent. I want people to know who I actually am now as a human being and as a soul.

CM: Do the honesty and transparency come easier as you get older?

JR: They do and I let my guard down more and more with every record because the older I get the less I care what people think of me. I've got a book coming out at the end of the year and it's basically naked and unafraid because I put it all out there. This is who I am, this is what I've been through and I've had a very full life. I give all of the credit to god because I see his signature all through my life. My voice is a gift, every song that I write is a gift and I have to give credit where credit is due, at least that's what I believe.

One of my main reasons for doing the book is because I want people to know that no matter how far down the ladder you fall you can always climb back up. You don't have to stay down. Whether you have a drug an alcohol problem or anything else for that matter, you can pull yourself out of it. You can accomplish so much in life if you just believe in it and visualize it.

Nothing happens by chance and I believe that everyone that you meet has some sort of message for you, if you listen closely enough. It might be a stranger that says something random to you that you shrug off, but if you sit and think about it, maybe they said something that you were supposed to hear. You just never know when you are being used as that voice of encouragement for someone else. I don't believe that anything happens by coincidence, it's all for a reason both good and bad. Life isn't random, it's very well choreographed and we're here to learn.

CM: Did you always know that music was going to be your life?

JR: When I was five years old I wanted to be an archaeologist, it was my dream. I wanted to go to Africa and dig up bones or discover a new species. For my sixth birthday, my parents bought me The Beatles "Help" album and I remember this day like it was yesterday, I can tell you I had my pajamas on and I had this little record player that was black with a motif of silver knights jousting and the inside of it was gray. I put this record on and I literally had a spiritual experience that I couldn't explain then because I was six years old. I just felt this power and I was given this information that my life was going to be in rock n' roll and I didn't even know what a rock star was. I knew who The Beach Boys were and I loved them and The Beatles blew me away, but I didn't understand how grand of an idea it was to be a rock star (laughing). That was it though, from that point on I abandoned archaeology in favor of music.

CM: Ah, and then it all began for you.

JR: Yeah, I started my first band when I was eleven years old and then I met Mark Kendall when I was seventeen and I joined his band, but I ended up going to jail. I got eight years for shooting somebody in a drug robbery, I was on PCP and blacked out. Through a series of events, I ended up doing only eleven months and a year later I signed my first record contract. My life has truly been a series of moments where God has literally pulled me out of the pit.

I remember being at my first concert at The Forum in Los Angeles watching Blue Oyster Cult play. I was sitting with my friends and I said, 'One of these days I'm going to be on that stage and you guys are going to be asking me for tickets' and they looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my head (laughing).  But on April 6, 1988, I walked into my hotel room, I opened up the curtains and there was The Forum all lit up right across the parking lot. We were playing and the place was sold out. I sat there for maybe an hour in my chair just thinking, you pulled it off dude, you pulled it off.

My dad used to tell me that I needed to have something to fall back on in case I didn't make it in music and I refused. Nature dictates that when things get hard if I have something to fall back on, then I'm going to fall back on it. For me, it has to be, do this and be successful or starve. I left myself no choice. The universe has a way of turning things to accommodate you and your goals if you believe in it. People don't realize how powerful they are and how powerful our mind is. You can manifest anything, good or bad if you really want to. You have to trust your inner voice because it usually knows what you're capable of doing. If you're happy serving french fries, then you're successful. If you're miserable making millions of dollars a year then you need to change something.

(Jack Russell's Great White Promo Shot)

CM: You're onstage almost every weekend now, how are the shows going?

JR: The shows have been great. The band is getting more and more popular and people realize now that there are two Great White's on the road. Jack Russell's Great White is the actual, real voice of the original band that you know from the albums. I was a really big part of the sound and totality of early Great White, regardless of what has been said. I know the truth and I know what was what.

I actually heard (for the first time) one of their more recent songs about a month ago and I have to admit that Terry Ilous' voice sounded really good on it. I was really surprised that they (Great White)  let him go recently and so I got in touch with him because I've heard he's a really nice guy. I have a feeling we're going to end up being friends. We're both singers and we've both got lead singer disorder (laughing) and I don't blame him for anything. He just took an opportunity that was offered to him and it was a good career move so why not? He wasn't being deceptive at all, it was my dear friends that were.

They turned around and did this lousy thing to him and he was totally blind sighted and I feel really bad for him. I saw the video of them with their new singer and Terry onstage together, showing that it was in the works for months and to me that just made it such a despicable act. They couldn't tell him in person or even make a phone call and that was exactly how it happened to me. That was what upset me. It wasn't the fact that they didn't want to play with me because I get it. I was a mess, I was a total wreck, but rather than have that conversation, they kept dodging me. I know what that's like to be treated that way and I felt bad for him. Terry is a good guy and I wish him the best. I have no ill will towards anyone at this point and I wish them all the best, but Terry maybe just a little more success than the others now.

CM: You have so many great things going on, what are you most looking forward to?

JR: I love that the music of Jack Russell's Great White is getting great reviews. Honestly, I'm looking forward to the day when I can just be billed as Jack Russell. That's the goal. I actually accepted an offer next year to do one of the rock cruises, something that I never wanted to do, but they persuaded me. It's a legends cruise in February with people like Roger Daltrey and the caveat was that I get to steer the ship because I'm a certified captain, and I'm billed as just Jack Russell and not Jack Russell's Great White. Sure, I'll steer the cruise ship (laughing) and sing a little, it's going to be a lot of fun.

The Hair Nation Tour this fall is another thing. Especially since Enuff Z'Nuff is going to be playing with us. Chip Z'Nuff and I are really good friends and I love that band. They have such amazing music and it saddens me that they've never had the opportunity to be as big as they should be. They're like a modern day Beatles and the album that they released in 1999 has some of the most amazing songs that I've ever heard, from start to finish. It was a brilliant record and Chip is just the sweetest guy and I love how he keeps that band going.

My first solo album, "Shelter Me" was just released last month and it's doing great. It was released in 1996 in Japan, but it was never released in the rest of the world until now. It features some really great musicians and has gotten rave reviews. It's probably one of the best sounding records I've ever done and it was cool because I got to sit and control the production side of it too so it came out sounding the way that I wanted it to. The drums are really upfront and in your ear which is cool.

CM: Looking a little further down the road, what is next for you?

JR: I'm gonna go pick up my laundry and (laughing)... We've got this tour coming up and a lot of shows this year. We're doing a tribute to Zeppelin starting in December based on the record that we did back in 1996. I've always wanted to bring that collection into different cities and so this year I said, just book dates for it, book away! I just want to be out playing because god knows how long I'm going to be able to use this voice. It's on loan ya know, God can take it back whenever he wants to so I want to use it while I still have it. I'm pretty beat up, I've put my body through a lot of stuff over the years so it's amazing that I still have it at all.  The drugs and alcohol, falling down here, breaking this and that, I've really learned the hard way how important it is to treat your body well. Somehow I'm still here and so while I am I'm going to keep making music and hopefully helping people to forget their problems and have a good time for a little while.

CM: What would you like to tell those fans that love you so much?

JR: I want them to know how much I love and appreciate them. They've been so kind and supportive over the years and I owe them a debt of gratitude. If it wasn't for the fans I would never have been able to accomplish my dream and that is so precious to me. It's everything. When people come up and say that my music is part of the soundtrack of their lives you know, something was a wedding song or another song helped them to get off drugs, it's just everything.  It means my life has meant something and I've somehow helped somebody and that's a gift that also gives me purpose. I'm here for a reason.

Please be good to each other because we're all we've got. We don't need to be haters or bullies or to treat each other badly, we need to help each other out. Life IS hard and everyone needs a helping hand at some point so you need to be there for your brothers and sisters.

(Jack Russell's Great White Promo Shot)

Check out tour dates for Jack Russell's Great White here, pick up some official merch here, and head over to Jack's official site to check out videos and more!

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: New Edition- 'A Little Bit of Love (Is All It Takes)'

Image result for new edition a little bit of love

"If you want to make things right
Love can make a way
If you want to take the timemKAct like what you say, yeah

A little bit of love is all it takes
A little bit of love goes a long, long way
A little bit of love is all it takes
A little bit of love is lovely"

I'm going to be totally honest here. I don't remember New Edition's "A Little Bit Of Love (Is All It Takes)" at all. Not a single bit. Nothing from my archive of 1985 memories screams New Edition either. But I recently had MTV Classic on and the video came on and I was hooked. I have a hard time believing that I didn't like this song. I mean, I must have, right? This was the last album before Bobby Brown left for his run at a solo career and it was at a point in time when things behind the scenes seemed to be going pretty smoothly.

I think I almost have more appreciation for New Edition and other boy bands more now than I did 20 or 30 years ago. Back then the market was saturated with groups of guys that could sing and dance to the point of normalcy. It's just not the norm anymore. Pulling together a bunch of guys and getting them to move as one while harmonizing isn't an easy task. Since my radio is no longer blowing up with a bunch of 20-year-olds put together to sell records I really appreciate the originals. Say what you want about New Edition or NKOTB or Backstreet Boys but the fact is, they've had longevity for a reason. The music was and still IS good. Check out "A Little Bit Of Love (Is All It Takes)" below!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: The Breakfast Club - 'Right On Track'

Image result for The Breakfast Club Right On Track

"Gonna make a move that knocks you over
Watch this turn one's gonna put you away
But I'm doing my very best dancing
Every time you're looking the other way
I could move out to the left for a while
I could slide to the right for a while
I could get up and back
Right on track
But is right on track
Is that gonna get you back"

I'm kind of surprised how much airplay that The Breakfast Club's "Right On Track" still gets. Or I was until I did a little bit of reading. I remember the song well because it got constant radio playback in 1987. It was that perfect dancey synth that was everywhere at the time. While it seems like this song was just another one-hit-wonder, it was created by a group that was together for 11 years. The Breakfast Club first formed back in 1979 and in its' earliest years it included Madonna in the lineup. She was dating Dan Gilroy, the lead singer at the time. His brother Ed Gilroy and Angie Smit rounded out the first lineup. Madonna eventually left and I love the fact that the group found success a few years later, without her. They were even nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy in 1988 which speaks to their success.

The Breakfast Club did put out several songs and had a second album that was shelved for nearly 30 years. Percolate was eventually independently released in 2016 with minimal fanfare. That may have been a bit of a disappointment for them, but they'll always have this great song that many people still seen to love. Check out the video for "Right On Track" below!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Chicago - 'Hard Habit To Break'

Image result for chicago band 1984

"I was acting as if you were lucky to have me
Doin' you a favor I hardly knew you were there
But then you were gone and it was all wrong
Had no idea how much I cared
Now being without you
Takes a lot of getting used to
Should learn to live with it
But i don't want to
Living without you
Is all a big mistake
Instead of getting easier
It's the hardest thing to take
I'm addicted to ya babe
You're a hard habit to break"

I'm still a sucker for a great 80's ballad and Chicago's "Hard Habit To Break" will probably always hit a nerve with me. I have no gut level love story connected to it. In fact, I was in seventh grade when it reached number three on Billboard's singles chart. But the lyrics? Well, I still always kind of got them. Back in 1983, MTV was enough of a novelty that even the videos for ballads like this one were watched with such interest. I remember my parents hadn't invested in "the music authority" yet so I lived to watch at my best friend's house after school. And it's funny because the very first memory that I have when "Hard Habit To Break" comes on is of sitting on the living room floor with my friend and her older sister and demolishing a bag of Middleswarth chips while watching the video. 

Great memory. Great song. Chicago have had so many hits since the late 60's that's it hard to pick a favorite but this really is mine. Check out Peter Cetera and Bill Champlin sharing vocals below!

Currently Booming: 80's Hair Band Quiz

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Sweet Sensation - 'Sincerely Yours'

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"Dear I write you this letter

To show you how much your love means to me
I wish we could be together
I need you in my life oh can't you see

You promised we would be together

But you still haven't answered my letter

Oh, oh, I'm sincerely yours

The one my heart beats for, the one I adore
Oh, oh, I'm sincerely yours
The love that you gave I've never felt before."

Latin freestyle seems to go hand in hand with Friday, at least in my mind. If Friday is really the day to celebrate the weekend ahead then that means club songs, freestyle and old school house music are the very best way to kick it all off. Let me take you back to 1988 when Betty Dee and her girls stepped out from the shadow of Expose` and The Cover Girls and made their own mark in the dance world. 

Sweet Sensation had the hair, the clothes, and all the moves. But they seemed like the chicks down the street. This was the girl group that you really could have gone to school with or partied with. And their music rivaled other dance floor anthems. Songs like "Take It While It's Hot" and "Hooked On You" were featured on Open House Party and Dance Party USA, making the ladies a pretty hot commodity leading up to their number one single, "If Wishes Came True"

Betty Dee, Jenae Colon, and Belle Ritter reunited a few years ago and on any given weekend you're likely to find Sweet Sensation hitting the stage somewhere on the east coast. "Sincerely Yours" remains one of their most popular hits. Check out the video below.