Monday, December 8, 2008
We left from South Point at about two in the afternoon, and if you remember the weather on Saturday, it was a little crappy (to say the least!). Snow & ice! Should we have braved the roads? Probably not, but we're not the smartest guys in the world. It was like a graveyard of cars driving up U.S. 23 -- one spunout or stuck car after the other! But, we took our time and got up there safely.
We stayed with Woda' uncle -- who was an excellent host (had burritos ready for us, and fixed a great breakfast the next morning)! Because we're experienced roadtrippers -- we called a cab to take us to the show so we didn't have to worry about driving back.
Pop Evil Interview on "Stink Water"
I had an interview setup with the opening band, Pop Evil, so we needed to be down there around 6 p.m. We call the band's tour manager, and we got to sit in for the soundcheck, which was very cool. The interview took place on the band's bus/R.V. -- also known as "Stink Water."
The band was awesome to talk to -- we'll have the interview at www.planet927.com as soon as it's produced and ready to go. They're very hungry, and a diverse, great group of guys. Listen to the Planet for their latest single, "100 in a 55." Check 'em out at www.popevil.com.
Before the show, we had one of those WTF moments -- we're standing on the side of the venue, and in walk these two girls dressed as slutty nurses. We had to check our calendars to make sure it wasn't Halloween! Every guy there is starring with their jaws dropped, and every girl is giving them bad looks. Woda and I really didn't give them much attention, however, maybe because we acted like we didn't care, they walked up and started talking to us (girls like that never walk up and talk to me)!
They told us why they were dressed as slutty nurses, and maybe you already know, apparently in Theory of aDeadman's "Bad Girlfriend" video there are slutty nurses. That's cool, die-hard fans (or maybe they were just trying to get banged after the show). They were from Cincinnati, and when we told them we were from Huntington, they actually knew the town and some people pretty well. I'll have more on them later in the story.
Show starts -- Pop Evil does there thing, and definitely made some fans as the show went on. They are a killer live band. Then, it was the headliner's turn. Theory of a Deadman is a cool band. I love their style, and really liked the guitars they used (pretty Gibson's!). For the most part it was everything you'd expect -- all their hits and some cool guitar solos. Not that much interaction with the crowd, but I'm ok with that, if they want to just play, go for it!
After the show, a fight broke out! Yes! Right by us. Woda said he heard a punch land. I just saw a bunch of pushing and shoving, and people holding others back (you gotta love drunk people). We start to make our way out of the building and chat some more with the guys from Pop Evil, who are hanging out at the merchandise table (they were all pretty tuned up at this point). Leigh, their lead singer, tells us, drunkingly, that we are now a part of the Pop Evil Family! It was funny -- he signed Woda's CD twice. He's awesome.
Then, the slutty nurses walked through. Obviously they didn't get anywhere with Theory of a Deadman, so it looked like they would try with the opening band. However, they were getting no love! They were trying to get free stuff from the merchandise table, but Pop Evil were having none of that (what they sell at that table is pretty much their food and gas money!). I love when girls like that get rejected.
We get some food at the "legendary" Raisin' Canes, which is a chicken finger place right by the Newport. The food is tastey, no doubt, but Woda has been telling me how great this place is for months (his girlfriend was only jealous about our trip because we would get to go to Raisin' Canes!). Expectations were high, but it was good.
Taxi Cab Confessions
We hale for a cab and start to make our way back. Our cab driver was awesome. He was from somewhere in Africa. We could honestly understand every word he said except for his home country! We'd ask where he was from, he'd say the country and we would have no idea. Then he would tell us what it was near, like Sudan and Ethiopia -- we knew about those countries, but still couldn't make out his! Woda and I think it was either Uganda or Rwanda. We recorded the whole conversation for some reason, hoping we'd get some crazy story.
It wasn't our craziest road trip, but it was still a great time. I'm sure the next one will involve more awesome stories (ask me about our trip to Crue Fest this past summer, it was like a freaking circus).
Thursday, December 4, 2008
This past Thursday Staind, Seether & Papa Roach rocked Huntington, and we were fortunate enough to have a couple of the guys from Papa Roach in the studio. Check all of that out here: www.planet927.com. After the interview, their tour manager said he would leave me some tickets to come to the show, along with "VIP" passes to come back stage after the show. When he said VIP passes, I honestly just thought it would be like a meet and greet, or it wouldn't turn out to be much – man was I wrong, and what an adventure the rest of the night turned out to be!
So me, Nate and a couple of buddies of ours went to the show, and had a blast watching three killer bands – there was a fourth band to start the show called State of Shock, but we didn't get into the arena until closer to 7 p.m. as they were wrapping up. So, after the show, we decided to see what these VIP passes are all about. We wondered down to the side of the stage, ask some security people where we needed to go, and we were told the passes didn't mean anything, “the bands had already taken off, and that the ‘after show party’ was at Fluid!” I called B.S. and we left. We then walked completely around the arena to the other side and found some smarter security guards who showed us where to go, kind of.
We get backstage, and like most arenas, backstage is just concrete, a bunch of chairs, forklifts, and that kind of stuff. Where we were standing, we saw some of the guys from the bands, and members from the road crew – didn't really recognize any faces. They were all going in and out of the dressing rooms, talking, looked like they were having a good time. I asked a security guard nearby where we now go with our VIP passes; he said this was as far as we could go. We all felt awkward and like losers. We were like 30 feet away, staring at where the party was! Have you seen Wayne’s World 2? Remember when Wayne was trying to get backstage and said "my girlfriends back there!" "A lot of people's girlfriends are back there." It was totally like that.
But then, we saw our savior – Eddie. Eddie is the tour manager for Papa Roach, the guy that gave us the tickets and the passes. I shouted for Eddie, he came over, we talked about the show, and I thanked him for the tickets, the passes, and for letting us interview Papa Roach. I then asked him if we could get a drink. It was like the secret code. He said “of course, come on.” So we start heading into Seether's dressing room. While we are walking in, we all give devilish grins to the security guards who kept trying to keep us away from the fun!
We get inside, it's dark, there's random songs playing over the speakers, and holy cow, there's everyone – Aaron Lewis from Staind, Shaun Morgan from Seether, and Jacoby Shaddix from Papa Roach. We were literally at the "after show party." We all just kept looking at each other like, “are we really here? Seriously?” Eddie grabbed us a couple of beers, and we just kept starring at everyone! We were such tourists.
Then, Jacoby came by and I introduced him to everyone (as if we were best friends, close enough, I interviewed him on the air for about a half an hour!). He's a great guy to talk to.
One thing I learned backstage, when Nate gets a little alcohol in him, he also gets confidence in him! He became everyone's best friend! He would just go up to everyone, introduce himself, say that he was from the Planet and told them he loved the show! It was hilarious to see. He had no fear at all!
To prove how confident the guy is – later on, Aaron Lewis was playing the music, and like I said, everything was very random. You would hear Led Zeppelin followed by a-Ha's "Take On Me!" I told Nate, "it would be awesome if Aaron played some Oasis right now" (which is my personal favorite band – grew up listening to them in my "formative" years). Nate said, "you want some Oasis, I'll make it happen." Before I could stop him, he walks to the front of the room where Aaron is messing with the computer, and apparently introduces himself and says "my buddy back there would really love to hear some Oasis." Aaron was down with the request. Nate walks back and about 30 seconds later "Champagne Supernova" comes over the speakers. Wow.
The night was awesome. We totally didn't belong back there, but no one questioned us, and everyone was extremely friendly. It was getting late, all the beer was gone, and it was definitely time to get rolling. On our way out, we saw Eddie and Jacoby, and we spent the next 30 minutes talking music, and about this band Parmalee, which they managed and are working on getting a record deal. Check 'em out: www.myspace.com/parmalee. They're going somewhere. We then said our good-byes, and we were out.
This next part of the story isn't as cool as the earlier parts, but it makes me freaking laugh: Nate had a few too many beers, and definitely didn't need to drive home, especially to Crown City, Ohio at 2 a.m. He had to be at the station at like 5:30 a.m. So he stayed on my couch for basically like a two hour nap. He drove my car to work the next morning, then came back and got me around 9 a.m. Early in the morning, he didn't sound too good. He didn't smell too good either – had the same clothes on from the night before, and no shower! He was dragging a little bit to say the least.
So that's it. It was the most surreal night of my life, and it was freaking fantastic. I've told the story to my fiancé, friends, family members, and now to you, and after hearing about it, you still don't understand what it was like. It was freaking unreal!
The entries are in for The Best Tattoo on the Planet contest, and I have to say, I am very impressed! When we came up with the idea for this contest, I was hoping to maybe get 10 entries, but we got that in the first weekend! So then, I was hoping we could get 20. We ended up with 27, and you have to admit some of the entries are badass!
So, I started thinking, should we ever do a contest for the Worst Tattoo the Planet? I'm sure we have a few listeners that might have one or more tattoos that they kind of regretted getting.Maybe give away some tattoo removal procedures. Would the Worst Tattoo on the Planet Contest look something like this?:
Green Day is one of my favorite bands, and this dude's tattoo makes them look like choads!
Native Americans are still getting oppressed!
The guy died for your sins, and you honor him with this?!
Clay Aiken? Seriously?
Hey look, Jabba the Hutt has a crappy tattoo of everyone from Star Wars on his back!
Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you!?!?
This one is funny, but is it funny enough to have on your leg for the rest of your life?
What are the odds of this guy being a Kindergarten teacher?
So, to wrap this up, before you get a tattoo, make sure it's the Best Tattoo on the Planet, and not the Worst. Girls, don't forget, this is so true:
|SNL Tattoo Removal|
Funny tattoo removal bit that was done on Saturday Night Live. This video really makes a good point about girls with tattoos. They might look cool now but just about how you will look when you are a grandma!
Over the weekend, I did my American duty. No, I didn't vote early, I went to Wal-Mart and picked up the new AC/DC album Black Ice. I haven't listened to every track yet, but I really dig what I've heard so far. The guitars, the rythms and the vocals all sound great! "Anything Goes" gives me a "Moneytalks" feel; "War Machine" makes me want to get into a fight. Any time I play the lead single "Rock N Roll" train, I turn the studio speakers up to 10! They may all be over 50 years old, but they can still freaking rock!
Then I started thinking about some of the other "new rock" that is out – “new" as in new Metallica, new Tesla, new Queen, new Guns N' Roses, new Motley Crue, along with the previously mentioned new AC/DC. Is this 2008, or 1988? Seriously, think about it! If I asked you, Metallica, Tesla, Queen, Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue and AC/DC all have new albums out (or coming out, Guns N' Roses is out in November), what year is it, you would probably guess a year in the 80's!
And I'm not complaining, all of the old dude, new rock is great!
Metallica's new album Death Magnetic is killer, especially if you're a fan of 80's Metallica, going back to their true thrash metal days of Kill 'em All, Master of Puppets and And Justice of All. The average length of each song is more than seven minutes long. The songs go back to the days of telling cool stories, complete with epic guitar solos and riffs! The first single, "The Day That Never Comes," is a prime example of what the whole album is all about.
Tesla, one of the most underrated bands of the 80's, has made a statement with their latest effort, Forever More, featuring the song "I Wanna Live." To me, Tesla sounds like a new band! The album is great. You feel some of the sounds from their roots in the 80's, but it sounds just as current as some of the new bands out today. The album has everything you'd want and expect from Tesla – anthems, power ballads, and straight up rock 'n' roll tunes.
"New Queen? Isn't their lead singer Freddy Mercury dead?" Yes, he's dead. "Then, who's singing for them?" Paul Rodgers. "The lead singer of Bad Company?" Yep, that's the guy. To bring you up to speed, a few years ago, a couple of guys from Queen wanted to get back on the road and play the music of Queen. And literally, just a couple, only guitarist Brian May, and drummer Roger Taylor are still with the band, original bass player John Deacon wanted nothing to do with this. They decided to get Paul Rodgers on vocals. May & Taylor said they didn't want anyone to sound remotely like Mercury, and they definitely got that in Rodgers. So they toured, doing old Queen and Paul Rodgers songs. Let me say, I'm a HUGE Queen fan, but I wasn't a fan of the live album they released. It just didn't "sound right." But if you put Queen & Paul Rodgers in the studio together, it sounds awesome! It sounds like the music of Queen and the vocals of Paul Rodgers, and it does "sound right." The new album, The Cosmos Rocks, was made for the hardcore fans of both Queen & Rodgers. It features the weird, but cool effects Queen were known for, the killer guitar licks from May, and some strong vocals from Rodgers. Check it this one out if you're a true classic rock fan, or a fan of Queen or Rodgers.
Guns N' Roses. You know the story, Chinese Democracy, Axl's been working on it for 15 years, it's cost over $20 million to make, half the album has leaked online, and there have been multiple rumored release dates. However, the end of the story says the album will be released in November exclusively through Best Buy, and we all get a free Dr. Pepper. With all of that, let the debate begin – is this really Guns N' Roses. No, not even close, but I'm just hear to talk about the music, you can sort that out amongst yourselves. The first single is the title track, and it rocks. It does, you have to agree. Does it sound like vintage GNR? No. Do the guitars and vocals sound a little funky? Yes. Does it lack a chorus? Yes. Is it the best song on the album? Hell no. Based on the leaks, there are some killer songs on this album. The power ballads "Better" and "Madagascar" are tunes straight from the Use Your Illusion days. "Shackler's Revenge," which is on the video game Rock Band 2, reminds me of "Nightrain" and "It's So Easy" but sounds “new.” "I.R.S." shows how great of a songwriter Axl really is. You'll dig it. The first single, "Chinese Democracy," is just Axl's way of saying, "no really, we are going to release this album."
How are all of the members of Motley Crue still alive and able to like each other long enough to record an awesome album, their best since 1989's Dr. Feelgood? Well, that's what the most decadent band of the 80's did with The Saints of Los Angeles. All of the members may be approaching or over 50, but they still have something to say, and that something is "we are still badass." The singles, "The Saints of Los Angeles" and "Motherfucker of the Year," certainly say that, along with "Welcome to the Machine," "This Ain't a Love Song," and "Face Down in the Dirt." Turn this one up real loud!
So there you go, the spandex and the big hair may have gone away, but the bands and the music are definitely here to stay! Makes me wonder what will happen to the bands of today? Do you think Nickelback, Three Doors Down, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Staind, Seether, Breaking Benjamin, and Buckcherry will be making "new" music in 2028? Time will only tell.
Had a good weekend, went to my fiancé’s mother's 50th surprise birthday party. I was in charge of getting the keg, so that's always fun. I'm also proud of myself, we had a pony keg of beer, along with a bowl full of spiked punch, but I didn't go "over the limit."
“Over the limit:” you know, when you have five or six more beers or drinks than you really should have had and you start to black out, throw up on the kitchen floor, you pee on the side of the house, you demand that you sleep on the bathroom floor, and your friends don't talk to you for a few days? I haven't been to that point in a while, and I promise you, I'm not complaining!
The last time it got that bad was probably back in March. Went to a show at the V Club in Huntington, the band was great, and the beer was better. The night ended with me ear-banging the lead singer, Chris Batten of Chris Batten & the Woods, telling him that they were the best band ever! That picture is me with Chris; I'm all bloated and pudgy just about to explode! Then, my soon-to-be fiancé drives me home, and we stop just off of the interstate so I can throw up. Then, we get to her house; I pee on the side of the house, and sleep on the bathroom floor. Yeah, she wasn't too happy with me. I made it up to her by buying her a milkshake the next day (remember that guys, girls loves sweets).
Yeah, those nights and next mornings aren't fun. I've got a very similar New Year's Eve story, which had me spending a few hours of the new year on a hardwood, bathroom floor (aren't cold floors the best in those situations?). And there was one time I saw Seven Mary Three at the old Monkey Bar in Huntington on 3rd Avenue when I woke up in my bed at Courtyard Apartments to find a trail of vomit leading into my bedroom all the way from outside! It was like solving a mystery the next day.
This past Labor Day weekend, I hosted a cookout at my house with my family and my fiancé’s family. It was really the first time our families had hung out like that, and it was a true success! So I celebrated...a little too hard. I was actually drinking my own beer that I had brewed (that's a totally different story), along with wine (I think that was "the" mistake), and miraculously, I didn't puke, but I wish I would have. The next day was the worst day ever! I was in the fetal position from like 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.!
I've got plenty more stories like this, but I'm trying to slow down! My stomach and body can't handle that anymore (not that it ever really could!).
I may seriously considering quitting watching sports! This past weekend was not a great one for me and my teams. It started Saturday afternoon in Morgantown. I went up for the annual Friends of Coal Bowl between Marshall and West Virginia. And for the first time in this series, we, Marshall, actually thought we had a chance to win, but after that first quarter, it was like déjà vu from the last time we were up there. As you know, the Herd went down 27-3 (Three points, that's it, we scored 14 against Wisconsin, and we had so many trips into their red zone, and just came up empty!).
I do have to say the West Virginia fans were much more courteous this year. I only had two fans say "f&#k the Herd!" Way to step it up. Two years ago, it was horrible (I guess that's what happens when you're not doing as good as you thought you would this year!).
Then, Sunday, back from Morgantown, it's time to watch my beloved Cincinnati Bengals. What a match-up – Bengals versus the Cleveland Browns, in the Battle of Ohio. Both teams were 0-3, somebody had to win! And that somebody was the Browns.
Should I quit watching sports? No, that's impossible. Should I be a bandwagon fan and just cheer for teams that consistently win (like North Carolina, Penn State, Duke, Steelers, and Cowboys fans)? No, losing just builds character. Go Herd, and Go Bengals.
To wrap this up, today Nickelback released their new single, "Gotta Be Somebody," and it's a killer track. We've got it setup where you can download it for 24 hours through our website. In my last blog, I talked about how I got to hear, what I thought was, the new single, "If Today Was Your Last Day." At the last minute the record guys decided to change singles and go with "Gotta Be Somebody." I was bragging on here that I heard the new Nickelback single before everyone else, but in the end, nope, I heard it today just like you! Both are hits, so it’s all good.
The highlight of the convention for me was the fact that Motley Crue & Sixx: AM's Nikki Sixx was featured at one of the sessions. He talked about his career, which includes being the leader of Motley Crue, an author, a fashion designer, and more. It was very cool and interesting. After the session -- I had to try to get an autograph and a picture, right? It's Nikki Sixx! So, like a groupie, I stood by the door that he would be coming out of for about 20 minutes, and finally got to meet him-- had him sign my "Heroin Diaries" book.
Earlier that afternoon at one of the luncheons, we had Wayne Brady as our entertainment. You know, the guy from "Whose Line is it Anyway," "The Wayne Brady Show," and other shows. I kept thinking about when "The Dave Chappelle Show" said "white people love Wayne Brady because he made Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X." He has a new album out and he's trying to get some pop radio stations to play it, so he performed a few songs, and I've got to say, it's not my favorite type of music, but it was a helluva performance -- great band, and he's got a great voice. "I'm Wayne Brady bitch!"
One night I was having a couple of beers with some radio and record dudes, when I was invited up into a hotel room. I won't lie, I was a little nervous, it was my first convention, I was thinking there was going to cocaine, heroin, and hookers up there...sadly it was just an empty hotel room. But one of the record guys took us up there to hear the new Nickelback song "If Today Was Your Last Day." It's not even out yet, but we'll have it on the Planet in less than 10 days, and we're even working out a way for you to download it for free at Planet927.com all day when it first comes out. If you love Nickelback, you'll love the song. I got to hear it twice, and it's been stuck in my head all week. It sounds like a cross between "Someday" and "Photograph." The album will be out in November, tour to follow this winter.
If you love beer, live music and bars, then you need to move to Austin! That's all it is! It is the self-proclaimed "Live Music Capital of the World," and I'm not disagreeing. Every type of band was playing every where, and best of all, no cover charges!
One last celebrity sighting. Down in the hotel lobby, and there was this tall, blonde hot chick getting a drink right in front of me. I thought she was just another hot Texas cowgirl, but a someone pointed out to me that she was Adrianne Palicki, one of the stars from the TV show "Friday Night Lights." I guess she was staying there, because apparently they film the show in Texas. Google her if you don't know what she looks like -- hot. She also has a nice lower back tattoo (tramp stamp!).
To wrap this up, I saw one of the coolest shock-value t-shirts I've ever seen in my life. It simply said, "F#&k Ya'll, I'm From Texas." I hope you enjoy your new t-shirt, Dad!