Reality and Sanity

June 13, 2007

A Band For Every Continent

It seems Al Gore has fulfilled his Live Earth promise: Antarctica Cements Act for Gore’s Live Earth. (HT: Drudge)

Make sure you click the link to check out the accompanying picture…words fail me.

In an effort to fulfill his promise of a concert on every continent for his “Live Earth” event on July 7 to 8, Al Gore approached the British Antarctic Survey in February to explore the possibility of flying a band in to its Rothera Research Station in Antarctica.

No, he was told, July is mid-winter in Antarctica, and no planes or boats can get in or out.

But all was not lost. BAS officials told Gore that a band was already in place on the South Pole. BAS press representative Linda Capper told blogger Tim Slagle, “We have a house band — five of our science team. They are very good indie rock-folk fusion. The remaining 17 will be the audience on location.”

They’ve never played in front of an audience. To make matters worse, the band, named after a Greenlandic word for “summit,” will be playing outside on the ice, where temperatures could be as low as minus ten degrees Celsius. One of their colleagues will film the performance for broadcast on TV and the Internet.

I don’t even need to make jokes or snarky observations since the commenters are far more clever than I am. A sampling of my favorites:

shapiro: Just wait 2-3 years and it will be as hot as Florida in Antartica, and make the concert then. June 13, 7:40 PM

Cici: They should dress like Devo and shoot it like old-style MTV. June 13, 7:15 PM

manny: It figures, A concert about global warming and its -10c. When will they get it, the earth warms, cools, warms, cools, and thats been going on millions of years before Algore invented the thermometer! June 13, 5:55 PM

Bob Kelly: As a musician myself, it is virtually impossible to play any guitar or keyboards with gloved hands, let alone thick mittens, which leads me to believe this is a farce. Or, on the other (frostbitten) hand, they could attempt to play w/o the gloves and risk having their blued finger snap off! The drummer may be the only fella out there who has a chance to jam! June 13, 5:08 PM

Guitarist: How do you fret an E-shaped barre chord with those mongo gloves on? I sure couldn’t do it without buzzing like a bee. June 13, 4:59 PM

Steve-O: Its rather ironic that a group of scientists are planning a “concert” against global warming in an environment where their very survival depends upon….massive and continuous consumption of fossil fuels! Bunch of losers June 13, 4:15 PM



June 4, 2007

I Wish I Was There, Carvin AE-185 in Hand

Filed under: Long Live Rock--Be It Dead or Alive — Paul @ 3:51 pm

1,683 Guitarists Play ‘Smoke on Water’.

Update: Charles Johnson of LGF says “I think I’ve discovered my own personal version of sheer hell”: Nightmarish Vision of Apocalypse.

Oh come on, Charles, it’s not that bad.

June 2, 2007

It Was Forty Years Ago Today (Yesterday)

Filed under: Long Live Rock--Be It Dead or Alive — Paul @ 7:40 pm

On June 2, 1967, The Beatles released the classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. according to this day in music.

But this article says it was June 1st (emphasis mine):

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was an immediate critical and popular sensation – described by fans, music critics and fellow musicians as innovative in every sense.

It was an adventure in concept, sound, song writing, studio technology – not to mention Sir Peter Blake’s eye-popping artwork on the cover.

Released on June 1st, 1967 the album launched the “Summer of Love” – the psychedelia, spirituality, and acid craze that swept the globe.

I’ll go with the article as the accurate one.

On One of Rock’s Biggest Long-Running Debates (and Soap Operas)

Filed under: Long Live Rock--Be It Dead or Alive — Paul @ 5:23 pm

No, not over analog vs. digital, although that deserves its own post.

No, the debate I’m blogging about today is old Van Halen vs. “Van Hagar.” David Lee Roth vs. Sammy Hagar. The Original Lineup vs. The Replacement.

I’ve heard many people say the like the “old” Van Halen. That the band was better with David Lee Roth singing, screaming, and goofing the vocals. My stance all this time: “Eddie’s still in the band. What, he forgot how to play when Roth left?” My argument fell on deaf ears.

This kind of thinking isn’t limited to the ordinary fans. Check out this review of The Best Of Both Worlds, a Van Halen collection out out by Rhino:

As the title suggests, this collection covers the high points of Halen’s Sammy Hagar years as well as many of the highlights from the David Lee Roth years. That means the only problem with this album is that there are Sammy Hagar songs on it. (Two words: skip button.) Anyway, sometimes you just want to hear Eddie play.
– Mike McGuirk

At least he got the ‘Eddie Play’ part.

A cursory look at the classic first six albums as well as 5150, the first Hagar album, I noticed something that I hadn’t before. A difference that would be huge had not Roth left: they changed producers. Ted Templeman worked on the first six. 5150 was produced by the band, Donn Lardee, and…Mick Jones.

Mick Jones of Foreigner.

No wonder. Jones bland playing and production were evident on the last two Foreigner albums, (with the exception of the brilliant I Want to Know What Love Is.) Plus, his band was a lightweight compared to Van Halen’s classic lineup.

Different producers can make a band sound completely different even with all other elements exactly the same. But because of the change in frontmen simultaneously with the producer change, it became very easy for many fans to place the blame squarely on the shoulders on Hagar, and why so many fans pine for the days of the classic lineup.

To those fans, careful what you pine for; this may be good…or bad. According to TMZ, David Lee Roth is rejoining the band:

Break out your spandex pants, start practicing your karate kicks; David Lee Roth is officially returning as the front man for Van Halen.Founding band member Eddie Van Halen made the first official announcement to TMZ, saying “It feels like a whole new beginning to be back with Dave and to be playing with my brother and my son. We look forward to going on tour.”

Roth, an original member of Van Halen, quit the group in 1985. He rejoined the band briefly in 1996, only to quit again a few months later. Roth hasn’t performed live with the group since 1984.

As TMZ first reported, Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, will be playing bass with the supergroup on their upcoming tour. According to the band’s rep, Janie Liszewski, the tour will cover most major U.S. cities, including L.A. and New York.

There is a poll running on the page that asks: Is the Van Halen reunion doomed?

68% of over twenty-one thousand votes say the reunion is doomed. “Dooomed!”

And if you check out this forum thread, you’ll find that people are not satisfied because Michael Anthony won’t be there:

Many of us are ‘flat’ on this Reunion because its not an actual ‘Reunion’ as such — re; Without Mikey (the original bass player).

I insist… F**k!!!!, I don’t know if I wanna see them together again without “Mad” Michael Anthony… mmm, it ain’t Van Halen without Mad!!!!

Some people are never satisfied.

Then, of course, this may all be a stunt. Check out this post from the same thread:

Something doesnt seem right here.1) Ive heard nothing from Dave – has anybody else?
2) VH hasnt exactly said that Dave is back in the band. I bet this is not a permanent deal.
3) Why such a low key press release with no video? This should have been big news, and all over the entertainment and music shows. Very wierd.
4) Dave must have no power, and is probably not even really in the band at this point, otherwise Mikey would be back in the band.

I would love to see a real VH reunion (mikey included). A new cd, or at least a Live cd of the classic stuff. The way this is being handled is lame. They should fire their management team. Its like they hired Dave to do this as long as he doesnt speak, which is exactly the wrong thing to do. And has anybody even seen a picture of them together? This doesn’t look good….

No ti doesn’t. So I googled Van Halen Tour Canceled and found that the tour was cancelled almost immediately after it was announced, due to ‘issues that need to be resolved.’ Interesting, since Rolling Stone had a pic of that lineup.

Van Halen 2007

This quote from the blog post where the pic came from is classic:

Wolfie looks like Eddie did way back in the day. Diamond Dave looks like he’s cleaned up his act, dig the jacket. Alex looks the same with a little less on top and Ed looks like a goof.How about we put Mike Anthony back on bass and put Wolfie on guitar? It would make a better picture.

Seriously, I want to see this show just to see Diamond Dave perform and to check out Wolfgang’s chops.

Then this from a commenter:

I’ll post more later but think about this: Dave was out, Sammy is out, Mike is out, Gary is out, and Alex says nothing without approval. What is the common factor?EVH and booze…..He’s a great player but he needs a reality check because he ain’t doing jack s**t without Dave or Sammy.

I agree.

So will there be a tour? No idea. But the Van Halen News Desk says Eddie’s been through rehab, and:

In addition, he will be on the cover of the September issue of Guitar World which is supposed to come out July 1 with an accompanying interview and first look at the 5150 III has posted some brief additional info today along with a photo and a snippet from Ed’s statement.

Who knows?

June 30, 2006

Legislating The Market

The French have many problems with their growing Muslim population, high unemployent and general lack of a spine; but they find enough backbone to brazenly pass a law aimed at one–that’s right, one–successful business to force marketing changes: French Lawmakers Pass ‘iTunes Law’.

PARIS (AP) – French lawmakers gave final approval Friday to government-backed legislation that could force Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) to make its iPod music player and iTunes online store compatible with rivals’ offerings.

Both the Senate and the National Assembly, France’s lower house, voted in favor of the copyright bill, which some analysts said could cause Apple to close iTunes France and pull its market-leading player from the country’s shelves.

Yes, Apple should exercise the Wal-Mart option and yank the product altogether.

You would think that the French political class have some more pressing issues to worry about.

June 7, 2006

Hell, Michigan Parties on 6-6-6

Filed under: General Nonsense, Long Live Rock--Be It Dead or Alive — Paul @ 6:39 pm

A road sign points the way to Hell, Michigan June 6, 2006.
REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Hell shines in its apocalyptic moment in the sun.

The road to Hell was crowded with the curious on Tuesday — as well as devils-in-disguise, hearse enthusiasts, Christian protesters and merchants trying to cash in on the apocalypse.

But no word if they took my suggestion of blaring a certain AC/DC song on the main roads.

June 3, 2006

Hell, Mich., Heats Up for 6-6-6 Party

Filed under: General Nonsense, Long Live Rock--Be It Dead or Alive — Paul @ 5:52 pm

Yes, this is a real story:

HELL, Mich. (AP) – They’re planning a hot time in Hell on Tuesday.

The day bears the once-in-a-millennium date of 6-6-06, or abbreviated as 666 – a number that, according to the Bible’s Book of Revelation, signifies the devil.

And there’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell that the day will go unnoticed in the unincorporated hamlet 60 miles west of Detroit.

Nobody is more fired up than John Colone, the town’s self-styled mayor and owner of a souvenir shop.

“I’ve got ‘666’ T-shirts and mugs. I’m only ordering 666 (of the items) so once they’re gone, that’s it,” said Colone, also known as Odum Plenty. “Everyone who comes will get a letter of authenticity saying you’ve celebrated June 6, 2006, in Hell.”

Most of Colone’s wares will sell for $6.66, including deeds to one square inch of Hell.

Live entertainment and a costume contest are planned. The Gates of Hell should be installed at a children’s play area in time for the festivities.

I envision a certain AC/DC song blaring on the main road into that town.

May 29, 2006

The Nuge Turns Yet Another Interviewer Inside Out

Betsy Newmark comments on an interview of intense, insanely-talented guitarist and Second Amendment supporter Ted Nugent. The exchanges between Ted and the writer are classic Nuge vs. pacifist, served up like fresh killed-n-grilled meat. Some of the choice cuts:

We sit down to coffee, eggs and grits. Ted is 6ft 3in; to get a sense of his general demeanour you could do worse than imagine the body of John Wayne possessed by the spirit of Ian Paisley in one of his less conciliatory moods. He launches into a fevered monologue about how much safer Britain would be with more guns on its streets.

“Never has there been such an upsurge in crime since they confiscated all your weapons. Why don’t you arm yourselves? You Limeys have a zipper that’s locked in the closed position, because you don’t have a constitution. You’re rewarded for shutting the f**k up.”


British police who don’t want to carry firearms are, Nugent says, “out of their minds. I say if somebody robs you, shoot ’em. I’d like all thieves killed. And all rapists. And carjackers. No more graffiti. No more…” – this next phrase is a Spoonerism, rather than some Texan term for gross indecency – “snatch-pursing.”

“For an unarmed force,” I suggest, “the British police have shot quite a few people. Did you hear about Jean Charles de Menezes?”

“That was horrible. An American cop would have just beat the s**t out of him.”


“This would be a far safer country without weapons, and you know it.” “And there’d be fewer drownings if we got rid of lakes. There will be accidents! Leave me alone!”

Oooooh, do we see some temptation here?

He teaches me how to shoot an AK-47, and I have to admit that firing a fully automatic machine gun at a target is fun.

On deer hunting:

“What do these deer think when they see you coming?” I ask him. “Here comes the nice guy who puts out our dinner? Or, there’s the man that shot my brother?”

“I don’t think they’re capable of either of those thoughts, you Limey a**hole. They’re only interested in three things: the best place to eat, having sex and how quickly they can run away. Much like the French.”

Describing a compliment on Ted’s playing after appearing on stage with the Lourdes to support the Supremes at Detroit’s Cobo Hall:

This was the night, Nugent recalls, when he received “the pivotal confirmation of my musical touch and my life overall. The mighty funk brother God of Thunder [Benny Benjamin, drummer for Motown house band The Funk Brothers] told me: ‘Boy, keep playing like that and you’z gonna be a n*****r when ya grows up.'”

This is vintage Nuge. In fact, his website has a collection of interviews and news clips that he displays like trophy kills. Here’s my personal favorite.

Back to the writer, who makes this interesting observation:

I’m not sure that I’ve ever met anybody whose opinions and instincts are more directly opposed to my own. And yet, in some odd way, I find Ted Nugent impossible to dislike: I think because I consider him to be a psychotic – by the classic definition that he does not perceive the world as others do.

This is why I’ve found the Nuge to be so fascinating; especially since I made the switch from liberal to conservative. He has his own worldview built on uncompromising principles that horrify elitist liberals. Such a spectacle is always entertaining for me.

May 28, 2006

Poor Chrissie Will Have to Endure More Ribbing From Liberal Friends

Filed under: Long Live Rock--Be It Dead or Alive — Paul @ 1:00 am

A Top 50 rock song list for conservatives: Rockin' the Right.

My personal favorite (not simply to listen to, but becaue I know it will annoy the songwriter): #13. “My City Was Gone,” by The Pretenders.

Virtually every conservative knows the bass line, which supplies the theme music for [Rush] Limbaugh’s radio show. But the lyrics also display a Jane Jacobs sensibility against central planning and a conservative’s dissatisfaction with rapid change: “I went back to Ohio / But my pretty countryside / Had been paved down the middle / By a government that had no pride.”

Here's the best part: the song's writer, lead Pretender Crissie Hynde is a down-to-the-bones LIBERAL.

For this song to make the list is simply classic. Limbaugh chose the song partly for that great bass line; he also chose it to tweak liberals. Even better, Hynde got so much grief about the Limbaugh connection that she tried to prevent the EIB Network from using it, succeeding in getting it pulled. To her dismay, she was overruled by her record company only two days later, and the song has continued to be the theme music for Limbaugh's show.

So this will surely annoy Hynde as she has to endure more questions about his song from other liberals.

Blog at