Tagged: Nikki Sixx

Rockers and groupies – why they need eachother

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My friend Vera from Russia came to visit me Friday & Saturday, and on Saturday morning she came out with this book that she found in my book- and magazine-piles. :) Well, I just had to buy a book that had a title like THAT…! She was flipping through the pages, changing her facial expressions for every new funny or interesting fact she read in the book, but there was of course a lot of laughing.

One of the things that one of the “rock stars” answered when asked what he thought was a complete turnoff, was that he didn’t like if the girl had any insecurities. She had to be confident, that was sexy.

It got me thinking. It’s a well known fact that the things you don’t like about yourself, are also the things you will dislike in other people. And it’s not really a secret that musicians aren’t necessarily the most confident people in the world.

Steel Panther used that as a joke at the show the other day – “Our drummer isn’t as handsome as the rest of us, yet he gets laid! Do you think he would ever get laid if he wasn’t in a band? Hell no!”

That was a joke, but musicians often admit that they became musicians because it would “get them chicks”. So, for some reason, they didn’t quite believe that they would be able to “get chicks” just by relying on their own personalities, by just being who they are – plain and simple.

I’ve written about this before, attention-seeking rock stars, who are addicted to the admiration they get from fans, and of course the kick they get from feeling desirable by women (preferably women that other men want). It gives them credibility – and insecure people need that.

That’s also the reason why rich and famous men tend to marry models and actresses – to show OTHERS what they got. It’s like any other posession – a new big TV, a flashy car… That generates more admiration, which in some cases seems more important than true love.

Which brings me to “part two” of the whole equation. Many groupies have the same issues – they are looking for validation just as much as the “rock star” is. By scoring a rock star, they think that “if I could get a guy like THAT who could have any other chick he wants, then I must be worth something!”. The guy is thinking the same: “If I can screw chicks like THIS one, who wouldn’t give a rats ass if I wasn’t in a band, I must be worth something!”

Probably not in those words, but you get my point.

[Jon Bon Jovi with some lady who most likely was not his wife ;) ]

Even Bon Jovi's groupies had big hair only their ones came in bikinis! (Getty Images)

There are quite a few issues on both sides, most likely. Why do rock stars screw around? Because they can, because it reinforces the idea that they need to have about themselves – that they are attractive and desirable.
They can brag about it in interviews (hello Motley Crue) and get little teenage boys to look up to them. Teenage boys who are probably being told to piss off when approaching a girl – so they need heroes to show them how to get away from that whole “evil circle”. 

It’s pretty interesting to witness the whole thing. Even more interesting when the rock stars are being treated like heroes for getting all the girls – whereas the girls are being treated like sluts for doing the same thing and for ,probably, similar reasons.

Human interaction and common psychology is probably the same everywhere, not just in music, but that short comment that “they must be confident” just got me thinking, Cause the question is if the girls are getting the same thing in return.…?

Small things are actually saying a lot about the “studs” in bands. I used to think Nikki Sixx was cool, but he is screaming so loud for attention on a daily basis that I’m beginning to feel sorry for him. I wonder if he feels his life would even be worth living if all that attention was taken away from him for a week or two? Would he survive

I don’t “look up” to rock stars the way I used to anymore. The internet has given away too much about them, When they’re not content with the attention and admiration they are already getting, but are begging for more through their Twitters and Facebooks, it just starts getting ridiculous.

I don’t mind the “normal” updates – I’m talking about those who need to let the world know when they went to take a dump and how much they produced, that sort of thing…Let us have a little bit of mystery at least, please. :-)

It’s just an interesting thing to sit and reflect on, on a Sunday evening….

 

My Year In Rock – retrospect 2011 (part 3)

Geez, yeah I guess it’s been a pretty busy year. So, here’s the last part of the 2011-blog – part 3. :-)

[Part 1: HERE   Part 2: HERE]

I left Split, Croatia very early in the morning on October 1, think I got up around 4 am that day. With a stopover in Zageb, I landed in Copenhagen, Denmark early afternoon, took the train to Malmö, Sweden, went home, threw my suitcase in the hall, picked up my recorder and practically ran out the door while calling a cab on the way out because I didn’t want to waste any time on finding a parking space….

SEBASTIAN BACH visited Malmö, Sweden

Rockmässan in Malmö had a special guest: Sebastian Bach. He is an old friend, and I was glad that he finally came to my home town. He was glad to see me too, Baz is one of those people who I’ll probably be running into when I’m 80 somewhere in the world, and everything will be as if it was still 1989 and we just met yesterday!

[Baz and I 20 years ago… anything but sober, but definitely having a great time!]

And Baz and I – 2011 :-)

I had about a week off after the Baz-interview, living my “normal” life (whatever that is in my case…) before I got on a plane once again, and landed on the other side of the Atlantic – New York City. I just spent the first night at Hilton, then got on the first domestic flight to Tampa, Florida – a place I know very well, as I’ve visited it at least once a year for the past five years. It’s the home base of Jon Oliva’s Pain and a place where I’ve got good friends. Felt nice to be “home”.

FIREWIND kicked off their US-tour – and YNGWIE MALMSTEEN just kicked ass!

This time I rented a car and drove to a nice little hotel close to State Theatre where Firewind was kicking off the US tour. Much to my surprise, I found the guys of Nightrage staying at the same hotel. They were one of the opening acts on the Frets of Fury-tour. Really cool guys, drummer Jo played double duty on that whole tour – with Nightrage and Firewind, pheew! The guy is amazing though, he’s now officially the drummer of Firewind.

Singer Apollo was back for the US tour. Things back to normal for the FW-fans, in other words.
It was a tough tour for me though, dealing with a bad jetlag and very little time to get any sleep whatsoever, as I was flying from city to city three days in a row. Tampa – Atlanta and NYC. Zzzzzzzz…………

But once again – totally worth it! Here’s from the last Firewind-show I saw this year, at Gramercy Theatre, NYC:

Two weeks now, until I see these guys again, in Bob Katsionis’ (mr keyboard player) home town Athens. :-)

Anyway, after the three Firewind-shows, I stayed in New York an extra day because another one of my favorites was playing – the one and only YNGWIE MALMSTEEN! I havent seen so many people show up for a club gig in ages! One of the guys in front of me in the long line just said: “There are a lot of guitarplayers in New York City”.… No shit. :-)

Fantastic evening, Yngwie was my big idol in the 80’s and he still kicks ass! I filmed pretty much the whole thing – here’s from that show:

A classic guitar hero, how can you not love this man?! :-))

WRAPPING UP 2012 WITH WHITESNAKE AND THREE GIANTS IN THE UK

That was mid-October…. jumping straight to November and the WHITESNAKE-gigs. That wasn’t too long ago, so if you’ve followed this blog you’ve already read all about it. Whitesnake is probably the ONLY band I haven’t grown tired of. I could see them over and over and over again – and I HAVE for years. If you want the best of the best, go see Whitesnake. I just love everything about that band, so sue me. :-)

Another great thing is meeting new, cool people – Whitesnake-fans are super-nice. Three ladies that I met up in Kristianstad also came to Vega in Copenhagen and we shared a cab home in the middle of the night. I’m sure I’ll see them around somewhere as soon as there’s an interesting concert around here again. :-)

Last but not least…. Went to London/Manchester with my friends to see Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe and Steel Panther at MEN Arena. Steel Panther stole the show, no doubt about it. But Tommy Lee’s drum-solo and Nikki Sixx‘ Happy Birthday-singing crowd wasn’t half-assed either. :-)

That pretty much sums it up. It’s definitely been an interesting year and I’m convinced that 2012 won’t fall too far behind…! I’ve already planned a few things (check “My Concert Dates 2012” – maybe I’ll see you out there somewhere!).

Black Sabbath reunited, probably the first and the last time I’ll see THAT, and it’s going to be absolutely amazing. I know what they can do, separately (seen Sabbath a number of times when Tony Martin was fronting the band) and Ozzy solo, I have a pretty good hunch what they can do when they let the MAGIC begin!

Not to mention VAN HALEN hitting the road in 2012….! Holy shiiiit!

But first…. January with Firewind in Athens and Steve Stevens / Sebastian Bach in New York City. The rest will come as I go along… :-)

I hope you all had a wonderful 2011 too and I wish you all an even better 2012! :-))
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!!!!!

 

Steel Panther, Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard review from MEN Arena

Three band bill at the Manchester Evening News Arena (MEN Arena). Those names are GIANTS when it comes to live-performances, definitely among the best in the business. Without a doubt always worth a trip to anywhere!

STEEL PANTHER

When we were standing outside the arena, waiting for the doors to open, I admitted that I had never listened to Steel Panther. The clown-thing works in a movie but I didn’t think I would like it in a “real band”. So my expectations were down to zero. When you’ve got no expectations whatsoever, it’s usually a good thing. You can’t get disappointed.

I’ve heard about these guys a lot from a good friend who really digs them, and he’s sent me plenty of links to their videos on Youtube, even from back when they were Metal Skool.

As I was watching the arena fill up, it was crystal clear that a LOT of people had come to see Steel Panther. One silly bad wig after another and lots of tiger- and leopard-spandex everywhere.

Lights went out, intro voice started, crowd screaming…and out came Steel Panther – looking just as ridiculously 80’s as I imagined they would. But they were freaking great.

 Even if the whole point of this band is celebrating, or doing a parody of the 80’s glam and sleaze-scene, they are doing it damn well. Not that it’s surprising that the musicianship is top notch – after all it’s a bunch of former session musicians. They know their business and the songs were surprisingly good.

The band had a fantastic energy on stage that was really contageous. Most of all, I was laughing so hard at their silliness, they were too fuckin’ funny! I swear, my FACE was aching from the constant laughing and smiling – so I give Steel Panther a big, fat 10 out of 10 for entertainment value! 

Can’t wait to see them again, and next time not from the seated section, but from the front row!

MÖTLEY CRÛE

I’ve seen Motley Crue many, many times over the years – but I’ve never seen them do such an unexpected entry ever…! First there’s a bunch of roadies preparing the stage for the band, the arena is lit and music is playing, people out there buying merch and beer…. When out of the blue, we’re talking seconds, lights go out and the Crue runs in on stage – BAM!!

There’s Vince Neil! Uhm…. and yeah. That was pretty much the only person you really noticed throughout Motley Crues entire set.
Vince was all over the place. He might not be a Pavarotti and he never was – at times his voice sucked really bad. BUT – I salute him for his showmanship.

He is the only one on the stage, except for Tommy Lee, who genuinely seems to be enjoying himself and gives everything he’s got.

I was always a Nikki Sixx-fan, I guess the whole world is… Or was. But I don’t see him enjoying himself really. If he is, he hides it pretty well. There were times when I had to really look hard to find him on the stage from where I was. Even when I’m reading his posts on Facebook, he sounds more like a management than a musician with a true love for rock’n’roll. It shows on stage too.

Yet he is the star and the icon of the band – probably more because he is cool. And he’s hot. I’ll give him that. :)

The entertainers in Mötley are Vince and Tommy.

The drum-solo was WICKEDDDDDD!! It’s just so over the top insane. It’s what makes Motley Crue a band worth seeing – you can be sure that they will bring something new, something crazy, something wild, something that’s just nuts. If you want a SHOW, this is the band to go see. No expenses are spared. 

Super cool lightshow, good sound, the classic songs that we can all sing along to. I can’t say I was bored, but I didn’t get a huge kick either – except for maybe when they played my favorite songs.

I’m impressed Mick Mars can do what he does, against all odds – that’s just amazing. 

But basically – the stars of the LIVE-band Mötley Crë were Vince and Tommy, for working their asses off on stage. Can’t wait to see them again at Sweden Rock Festival next year!

DEF LEPPARD

Def Leppard did everything right. Yet it didn’t go all the way. I’ve been trying to figure out why, because I can’t point out any particular reason. It was just that “THAT” was lacking. The magic wasn’t there – although everything else was.

Impressive stage production. Flawless sound. And Joe Elliott. He’s always impressed me, cause he’s a one-of-a-kind frontman who always OWNS his stage.

He still had the same presence, very confident, very intense. But it didn’t do anything for me. It felt like watching a Las Vegas-show. Everything picture perfect, yet it was just another day at the office for Def Leppard.

The only time they felt human and close to the crowd, was when they stripped down and performed an acoustic version of “Two Steps Behind“. Suddenly they made Europe’s largest indoor arena, with a 21,000 capacity, feel like an intimate evening at the local pub. That was impressive.

The songs are there and the Leps have done this shit since they were kids. They sure as hell know what they’re doing. It’s just that there always comes a time in every artist’s and every band’s career when they lose their magic – or when it temporarily disappears.

I’d say that this evening should have been reversed – Def Leppard should have opened, followed by Motley Crue and then wrapped up by the high-energy hungry Steel Panther. If performance ruled those things and not record sales, that would have been a lot more interesting. ;P

We left the show before it was over, had a night-bus to catch. When we walked out, it didn’t feel like I was missing out on a whole lot.

BUT – it was still worth the trip, no doubt about it.
Nothing was BAD it just didn’t quite go all the way up to eleven. :-)

Or maybe I’m just getting picky. :-D

Photos on FB: http://www.facebook.com/InTheRearviewMirror 

Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe and Steel Panther – let’s get ROCKED! :)

Just a few more days until the Steel Panther, Def Leppard and Motley Crue show in Manchester. Going with my friends “Catz” and “Sleazee” and a friend of theirs. Will be a fun trip with good friends. :)

I have to admit that for some reason, I haven’t cared to listen to Steel Panther much. A friend of mine is a huge fan, and he’s sent me links to some of their videos on Youtube but I never took time to really get into them. Guess I took them for another Spinal Tap sort of band but I guess they’re not..really.

So – it will be a nice surprise I’m sure. After all – with Russ Parrish, an ex-Fight member, in the band, it can’t be bad…!

Def Leppard – oh boy. An amazing live band. Probably one of the best live acts ever. First time I saw them was actually pretty late – it was back in 2006 when I flew to Las Vegas for just a few days to attend VH1 Rock Honors at Mandalay Bay. I was one of the chosen for a TV-audience, which means we were not a “regular” crowd per se, we got our tickets for free because we were being directed how to act, what to wear, where to be, by the TV-producers.

The “tryouts” took all day and I remember how surprised I was to learn how it all worked with these TV-galas. The “Black carpet”-thing wasn’t what you would think. It was filmed in the back yard of Mandalay Bay, we were placed where the TV-team wanted us to be and the bands “drove in” from around the corner in the same limo that just went for the next band over and over again. Actually it was a van and a limo and there was no real crowd, just us who were told when to scream and clap our hands, and when to shut up. That’s show business!

(Find the Def Leppard Rock Honors video here:)

http://video.tvguide.com/Def+Leppard+’Rock+of+Ages’+Live+at+Rock+Honors+2006/Def+Leppard+–22Rock+of+Ages–22+Live+at+Rock+Honors+2006/380245

Once we got in, I was actually told to stand somewhere that I didn’t think was close enough to the stage, so when the security guy looked elsewhere, I just sneaked in behind his back and blended with the front-row crowd! I hadn’t come all the way to Vegas to be standing somewhere way in the back like a moron.

[Joe Elliot, Def Leppard – VH 1 Rock Honors, Las Vegas 2006. And me – somewhere uh…Yeah.]

Joe1

And when PRIEST played…. There was no happier fan anywhere in Vegas! It’s been caught on camera, I remember the camera-guy came running with this huge camera that he pointed straight in my face when I was going crazy over Priest…! :-) It’s out on Youtube somewhere, I’ll see if I can find it.

L_1

As for Motley Crue – that’s a band I’ve seen a bunch of times through the years. And some funny memories too. I remember the Dr Feelgood tour in 1989 – Copenhagen, Denmark. They were having a meet and greet-thing organized by the record company at the KB-Hall (which burned down recently…) and they put all of us journalists in one room with the free snacks and drinks.

I think most of the people there were there for the free food more than for the band, because when Nikki, Vince, Tommy and Mick walked in, one of the reporters had the nerve to ask for more peanuts….!

The one detail I remember the most was Mick Mars – cause he had makeup on, some sort of foundation and powder, and when he was that close, you could see how it was all stuck in his bristles…! :-) Not too classy. 

The record company representative came over with Nikki and Vince and introduced them to me. “This is Daniela, she came over here from Malmo, Sweden…” and they both went: “Ooooh, wow, all the way from SWEDEN??” It’s like they had no clue it was only 45 minutes away by airboat (this was before the bridge was built).

The meet and greet was a pretty meaningless event actually. They shook hands with people who didn’t really give a shit about them, and then they left. They signed a few things for those who wanted something autographed, but that was about it.

The show that night rocked. But funny enough, the opening act, Skid Row, a new up-and-coming band in 1989, gave them a good run for the money!

It was fun – Motley Crue is always about party, having a good time, over-the-top stage effects…! In Washington, 1998 I think, they shared the bill with Scorpions and a lot of families had shown up to see the outdoor concert. What they didn’t realize was that Motley had some pretty….explicit parts of the show. Two strippers not only getting almost totally naked, but also doing a….ehm, show with eachother. Not sure how to describe it without getting too visual. ;) Use your imagination. I saw mothers dragging their kids out of there covering their eyes with their palms. :)

Many were pissed off, but what the hell, if you don’t know what Motley Crue is about by now, don’t take your KIDS to their gigs! Five-six year olds are not supposed to be at Motley-shows, period.

Vince is not the greatest singer and he never will be. But he’s a great entertainer, the perfect frontman. Nikki used to be hot. He’s not anymore. But it’s still a band that knows how to entertain. And with Def Leppard setting the bar high, there is some healthy competition going on which will most likely bring out the best in both bands!

Looking forward to getting ROCKED on Sunday!

 

 

 

http://www.facebook.com/InTheRearviewMirror

 

 

Rock stars – to the core

Went to the annual book-sale and bought “I am Ozzy“. I know it’s long overdue but I rarely have the time or energy for reading nowadays.

I love biographies, especially rock-bios. They can shed a new light on the artist’s music and make it even more interesting.
Suddenly, you get those subtle little things, you understand bits and pieces in a song that you only interpreted your own way before. When you get somebody’s background, and a clearer idea of their personality, it just kinda changes the interpretation of their music a bit. Well, that’s the way it works for me anyway.

One of the first rock’n’roll biographies I ever read was “And I Don’t Want to Live This Life“, about Nancy Spungen, Sid Vicious’ girlfriend. I read that book over and over again, it looked like shit after a while, it was all worn out. Not that she had anything to do with the actual music but she is a part of music history in a way, the more tragic part of it.

The second one I think was “No One Here Gets Out Alive“, about Jim Morrison. He was just… crazy. I’m not even sure I liked the person he was described as in that book, but I think I might have been too young when I read it. Some things are easier to understand when you get older and have a bit more experience… I might read that again someday.

The last book I read was Lemmy’s bio “White Line Fever“. It was funny, definitely different from most biographies and just very… Lemmy. He has a kind of arrogant sarcasm that you associate with the person he is known as, that cool rocker who personifies rock’n’roll. It was a lot more interesting to go back to old Motorhead albums after reading that book. Once you think you understand the person better, you also understand his music better.

A biography that really moved me was Nikki Sixx’ Heroin Diaries“. It was so naked, so stripped down, so dirty and raw. It is extremely touching because you can clearly see the tormented soul behind all that rockstar-drug-addict-crap.

He was hiding nothing in Heroin Diaries. It must have taken a lot of guts to do it, and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have published that book if he hadn’t grown as a person, become more confident and more secure with who he is.

I was bawling my eyes out when I read it, cause a lot of it also reminded me a lot of someone I knew. That book actually helped that friend of mine and I’m eternally grateful to Nikki for writing it.

And now Ozzy. I’ve only just started reading it, but I already get an idea of who he is and the chaos he’s been dealing with his whole life.
He admits to insanity running in the family, but at the same time I can’t help wondering if his insanity is actually more sane in some strange way, than what we call “normal“…

He might be crazy, but there is a lot of logic in his perception of the world and his reality. Most of all, dispite all that madness that he has made his trademark over the years, he comes across as a very warm and caring person, in his own Ozzy-way.

[@ 2:45 approx…]

I immediately thought of a segment in one of the OzTV-episodes when he was praising Gus G for his playing, trying to encourage him to take his rightful place in history as a great guitarplayer in his own right. He is not just Zakk Wylde’s-successor – he is Gus fuckin’ G!

That part moved me to tears. Like a father-figure, Ozzy was trying to teach this young guy how to fly, how to spread his wings and go wherever he wants to go. It was a wonderful moment.

 I can’t wait to finish the book.

I started reading Bruce Dickinson’s bio too but never finished it. Same with Rick Springfield’s Late, late at night“. I will. I find it inspiring to read those books.

What I’m looking for is never the scandal stories, although you usually get those anyway, it kind of comes with the territory, but I’m looking for a portrait of the person behind the music. The person, when he’s stripped down to just being a PERSON instead of being a “rockstar“. That’s when it gets interesting. That’s when I can connect and relate, and understand. I admire those who have the balls to put themselves out there and open up to the whole world without fear.

I respect and admire those who can express their thoughts and emotions, without restrictions, without limits and most of all those who are brave enough to leave the image and the rockstar pesona that they created – or just somehow became victims of.

I would really like to write Gus G’s bio, because he is an interesting person. He is mysterious in the sense that he never talks about himself on a personal, deeper level, or maybe people are just too afraid to ask.

It feels like such a waste when the only thing people ever want to know when they’re interviewing Gus, is what strings, amps or pedals he uses. Of course they do, he’s a guitar hero. But he is exactly the kind of artist that I would want to know more about as a person.

I was sitting there one day with tons of questions buzzing through my head. I wrote them down and next thing I knew, I had 3 pages with questions. The path from Thessaloniki, Greece to the world arenas with Ozzy... You tell me there’s not a damn interesting story there already!

 Gus felt it was too soon for a bio, he was “just beginning” to build his career. “Maybe in ten years”.

I will be following his career with great interest, not only because he’s an amazing guitarplayer, but because he sticks out as the down-to-earth guy. I hope someday to be able to find out who the man behind the guitar really is.

 Even if I don’t get the honor to write the story of his life, but someone else does, I hope it will reveal who this guitar-wiz truly is. That’s something that I’ll be looking forward to.

That might be a future project, to write biographies. It takes a lot of time and and patience to do all that background research and then put it together to something that people will enjoy reading – just the way I love to lose myself in these biographies.

But for now, I’ll leave the PC to go enjoy my copy of “I am Ozzy“….