Sunday – last day of the festival – started out as a total nightmare. The last thing you want when you’re in a field in the middle of nowhere – is rain! And it was pissing down. Vera didn’t even have a rain poncho or umbrella or anything, so we had to wait until the worst rain passed to we could go and get her a poncho asap. She would have been soaked without it.
And this last day we didn’t get any VIP-treatment, no backstage passes like the day before. Well – I had my press pass, I had that all 3 days, but Vera didn’t so we were out in the rain. I wanted to see Sebastian Bach but as the rain kept getting worse, even I wondered if I really wanted to see that show that bad…
The minute he got on stage, I knew what to do. I didn’t want to watch it. Actually, I was pissed off. No disrespect to Sebastian as an entertainer but the “problem” in this case was that I’ve seen SO many shows with Sebastian since 1989, I lost count already in 1992… He has ALWAYS been this bundle of energy, TNT dynamite on stage – I’ve come to expect that. When it was pissing down like this at Donington 1992 he ran out on stage, slid and fell on his ass – but continued singing! That’s what a true artist does.
But at Graspop he looked like a primadonna who didn’t want to get his hair wet! I’ve NEVER seen Sebastian act like that before. In 23 years this was the first time he had that attitude and I was disappointed.
When he just stood there, doing nothing, looking like he just wanted to go back to the backstage area it felt like it was anything BUT rock’n’roll. And when he stated “Belgium! This SUCKS!” I was even more pissed off because I was thinking to myself, as the water kept running into my eyes and my clothes were about to get soaked even through the rain poncho – “It’s not YOU standing out here getting soaked mothertrucker! I’m not gonna stand here if you’re not going to make it worth the trouble!”
[Seriously – what the hell was THIS all about…?]
THESE VIDEOS (each was less than a minute long) WERE REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE BY “GET OFF MY BACH PRODUCTIONS INC” (=Sebastian Bach).
Further comments not necessary…..
So I left. The first time ever that I walked out on a Sebastian Bach or Skid Row show. Later on I heard from somebody who had stayed through the whole thing, that it got better towards the end of the show… Well, too bad my patience or the lack thereof, got the best of me in the rain and the cold. The last thing I need is an artist with a bad attitude.
The Marquee tent was a lot better. I had no idea who was playing in there, I didn’t care. I just wanted to stand somewhere where it wasn’t raining. The only problem was all the SMOKING in there. I felt like I was gonna puke. I get sick from cigarette-smoke, I really can’t handle it, it makes me panic. And people were smoking EVERYWHERE.
I couldn’t hide from it, it was the same outside actually. Every time I wanted to take a deep breath of fresh air, I got a cloud of someone’s SMOKE in my lungs instead, which almost made me faint a few times. Smokers just don’t understand what it’s like to be subjected to their smoke. Some chick at Sweden Rock told me that “this is a festival, we SMOKE here!”. Okay – people pass out in their puke on festivals too, so what’s that got to do with anything?!
So I had my nose stuck in my jacket the whole time, the only way to avoid taking a deep breath of nicotine when I least expect it… Shouldn’t have to be that way. Maybe someday smoking will be a thing of the past.
Jan from JOP showed up, they had just arrived. Had a short chat with him, then he took off to check out the sound board the would be working with. I texted JOP’s former tour manager Anett to ask if she was there cause I knew she was going to the festival. She texted back saying she was up on the stage (Ugly Kid Joe’s stage).
Everybody’s impressed with UKJ – it’s like time stood still with those guys. They are still as cool and as valid as they ever were. There is still the naughty boyishness in them, the middle-finger teenage punkish attitude. They sound great and most of all I’m super impressed by drummer Yael Biz. She is freaking amazing!
Here she is with Alex Skolnick in a different project, she kicks major ass:
Whitfield Crane sounds great still, so all in all it was great seeing them live again. It was raining when they were playing Sweden Rock Festival as well, but at least this time they were in a tent. :)
When they finished their set I RAN out of the tent cause I could hear that EUROPE had started playing. It was still raining but I absolutely wanted to see them. Here is my shaky video of the powerwalk from the tent to the main stage – prepare to get sea sick! ;))
To be honest, I haven’t seeen Europe in many years because I chose NOT to. I remember them from their hayday, from the “hair-days” when they were on top and I didn’t want to ruin my good memories by seeing a bunch of old(er) family-guys with short hair. Just didn’t feel right. However, seeing them at Graspop was different somehow, it was a festival so I decided to go check it out.
Now I regret that I wasted so many opportunities the past few years to go and see them. They REALLY made me proud to be Swedish! There was nothing about them that felt “old” in any way, they are still great on a big stage.
Joey Tempest was strutting – owning that stage. Unlike Sebastian he didn’t give a fuck about the rain. He put on a show like there WAS no rain! And he looked like he loved every second of it!
It sounded great – Europe is a perfect old-school arena-band. They know how to handle a large crowd and a big stage. I’m glad that I went to see them and it was WORTH standing in the rain for! Joey Tempest still knows how to entertain, I’ll be back for more.
[Still kicking butt!]
After their show, I met up with Anett for just a few minutes and took a walk around the area. It was cold and damp so I decided to go back to the tent. Jon Oliva’s Pain was coming up.
Jan was busy working, Hanneke (light-tech) as well but she was so glad to see me, she jumped down to give me a hug. “You are welcome to join me up there if you want“, she said, so when she show was about to begin, I went up there. Hanneke rocks, always happy always up to something, it’s impossible not to like that girl. :)
Saw guitar-tech Fabio on the stage, haven’t seen him in ages, hoped to be able to get together with “the family” later and catch up a little! That didn’t happen though. I don’t know why, but at least I got to hang with the funniest bunch in the backstage bar afterwards – Fabio, Hanneke and Anett. We were laughing and having a great time, always a pleasure to hang out with them! :-D
The Jon Oliva’s Pain show…. Jon lost a lot of weight since I last saw him, he looked good. The new band sounded good but… I’m not sure why the band (or Jon) has chosen to just play songs from one album (Hall of The Mountain King).
Personally, I think it’s a step back, because this band has created some great music under the name Jon Oliva’s Pain since 2005 and I missed hearing those songs. Going back to the Savatage years feels unnecessary and wasn’t my cup of tea at all. Maybe it pleases the hardcore Savatage-fans but evenso they must have followed Jon’s work the past few years and learned to appreciate what he does now, so I don’t know who this was for, really.
But that’s only my personal opinion, it has nothing to do with the execution of the songs or the quality of the musicians. That is, as always, top-notch.
A bit sad and disappointed that I didn’t get to meet Jon this time. Maybe some other time.
Instead, I went to check out the merch, it had stopped raining. Met up with Vera, grabbed a bite and got ready to see Motorhead. But by the time they went onstage, it was raining again. I went to the VIP-bar and for the first time noticed that they had direct streaming of the show on the TV:s back there. Couldn’t be more perfect! I was under a roof and I could still watch the show! :)
What can I say about Lemmy…? Not too many surprises there. He is cool. He is very cool. He sounds like Lemmy and he gives the crowd what they want. Motorhead is a sure thing. You always know that they’re gonna deliver and WHAT they’re gonna deliver.
After Motorhead, I met up with Anett, Hanneke and Fabio in the backstage bar and nobody was particularly eager to see Guns n’Roses. First of all, we all expected them to be late as fuck, as usual. Then – we expected them to suck, like they have the past few years. Everyone I talked to that day hadn’t planned on seeing GnR. “Maybe the first two songs or something…” – that was the general attitude. Nobody had high hopes for Axl & co.
No wonder, he’s screwed up so badly so many times that people just got tired of it. You can’t act any way you want nowadays because there’s always gonna be some other band that will steal your fans. Not even if you’re Axl Rose, will you get away with just anything.
We were just taking it easy back there when suddenly we heard this BANG and music from the stage. We all stood there with puzzled faces. “They started – already???” It was 20 minutes too early..???
I went out there to check if it was indeed GnR or something else. It WAS Guns…! They had opened with Chinese Democracy. I still didn’t think that they would deliver anything that would be worth staying for, so I stood there, far away from the stage with no intention of moving closer. I was sceptical.
The set continued with Welcome To The Jungle. At this point I was beginning to realize that Axl sounded freaking GREAT. He looked a lot better than the last time too – he lost weight and was actually MOVING on stage. Whooah!
A few songs later I was hooked. This was a different Axl than I remembered, and definitely a different Axl than I expected! It was as if he was pissed off at the criticism and had something to prove.
So you think I’m fat?
You think I can’t sing anymore?
You think I can’t deliver the goods?
WELL – TAKE THIS MOTHERFUCKERS!!!
He was on a mission and I was blown away! I’ve never even been a GnR-fan ever. Never in a million years did I think that Axl Rose, of all people, would get my attention and even have me contemplating to miss the early flight home…!
We had to leave but first Vera wanted to see “just one more song“. And then I ended up thinking the same “just ONE more song…”. And Anett, who was supposed to go with us so we could drive her to her hotel, didn’t want to leave at all..! She said she would grab a shuttle or something – at the time nobody cared HOW they would get back to their hotels or airports, it was just a show that you didn’t want to walk out from…!
It dawned on me, for the first time ever, why Guns n’Roses once became the biggest rock band in the world. THIS was the reason. Axl had a fantastic evening – he created magic!
I read a review in Metal Hammer UK that said he “had the passion of a dead sheep” at some other gig, and I had to wonder if this show at Graspop was just ONE great show that we would see in years…? Cause if the band would continue to sound like THAT and Axl continue to sing flawless – and communicate with the crowd – I would GLADLY travel to see GnR again.
But I guess you never know with that man. I’m glad and feel privileged that we got to witness a great GnR show that actually made people STAY and enjoy the show! I dragged Vera away from there somewhere after “Civil War” cause we HAD to beat the crowds and get out of there before all those thousands of people started heading for the exit.
We could hear Knockin’ on Heavens Door, Whole Lotta Rosie and Patience as we were walking to the parking lot.
The PERFECT ending to a PERFECT festival.
THE GRASPOP BLOGS:
Next up – Bang Your Head festival in Germany……….!
When it was time for Twisted Sister, the crew-guy Rob (who had invited us as his guests) showed up with a funny smile on his face. “Come on, I wanna show you something!”
So we followed him to the right side of the stage where he had placed a road-case on wheels right in front of the sound guy, yet still so perfect that we weren’t in anyone’s way. The BEST seats in the house! “This is reserved especially for you guys!” Jesus, I had to laugh, Vera couldn’t believe it either, that was just so great.
It didn’t end there. Only a few minutes before Dee & co were about to enter the stage, someone PUSHED the case so hard that I thought we were gonna end up ON the stage in front of all those thousands of people! I’ve got it on video – when I start screaming, that’s when the case is being pushed!
It was Twisted Sister’s manager Danny Stanton – a guy that I think everybody knows. He’s also managed Sebastian Bach, Lita Ford, just a bunch of bands over the years. “You can see EVEN better now!” he laughed. My god – crazy dude! :-))
Dee showed up and I could tell he was totally psyched. He was jumping and by the concentrated look on his face it was like a bomb ready to explode. “Let’s DO this!!”
And off he went – like a missile! When Dee enters a stage, it’s full speed ahead and he never stops!
I don’t know WHERE he gets all that energy from, but he’s amazing. Dee Snider is the epitome of rock’n’roll – he is the last genuine rocker out there. He will join anyone on stage if invited, because he LOVES what he does. Other rock stars won’t do shit unless they’re paid or unless they see a huge PR-value in their participation. That’s not rock’n’roll. Dee will do it because he honestly and truly LOVES being on stage and my god how we love him for that!
Not only is his VOICE better than ever – it’s strong, clear and powerful, but he also has an endless energy, at 57 he is in far better shape than dudes half his age!
Watching the crowd was also a fantastic experience. I almost got tears in my eyes, it was mindblowing. Dee had every single person’s attention. Such total control of thousands of people, that’s something that you don’t see every day.
You can see some of it in this video for instance. First he introduces Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, now with Adrenaline Mob, among others…) – we were all standing there watching the show in awe. Mike P had his family with him, his beautiful daughter Melody and his son Max, and their mother. :) They were sitting right next to me on the road case, and I thought it was so cool to introduce the kids to the world of rock’n’roll at such a young age. :)
So anyway, after Mike & band were introduced, Dee barely even got a chance to start singing. Thousands of people started singing “The Price” with their hands and cellphones up in the air. At THAT point I was really glad that I had the privilege of being up on stage! What a sight that was! You don’t see that every day.
I got to hear some of my favorites – You Can’t Stop Rock’n’Roll (and nobody sings it with more conviction than Dee Snider!) Stay Hungry, Burn In Hell (another big favorite!) S.M.F and of course the Twisted Sister anthems that no TS show could ever be without: I Wanna Rock and We’re Not Gonna Take It.
The Graspop-crowd loved Twisted Sister – so much that when he introduced the headliners of the evening – Limp Bizkit, people booed…!
We went backstage after the show cause Limp Bizkit apparently didn’t allow anyone back there when they were preparing for their gig. Rob escorted us back to the artist room and the Twisted Sister band+crew, plus the Adrenaline Mob-guys had just ordered pizza – so there was a PILE of pizza boxes in there!
Vera stopped Dee as he was passing by, cause she felt she wanted to tell him how much he had affected her life with his writings and his music. Dee was super-cool, really took time to listen. There’s just something with his whole persona that makes you like him and respect him. He is tall and walks straight, he is confident without being arrogant, and he’s very bright.
One of the Twisted Sister guys brought me a glass of white wine in a champagne-glass, but I couldn’t drink it – I was driving. :-( I tried a little sip though and regretted even MORE that I was driving because the wine was fantastic! So the guy got up, went back to the room where he got me the glass of wine and came back with a whole bottle of it. “Here you are, you can have a bottle. Nobody’s gonna drink that now anyway, we’re leaving as soon as they’re done here….”.
[Gift from the Twisted Sister-guys – we couldn’t even keep it]
At first I was happy about the gift – then I realized that I couldn’t take it home because I wasn’t checking in any luggage and you can’t bring a bottle of wine on board in your carry-on. So…. we had to leave that great wine to whoever cleaned the AVIS-rental car the next day! :-(
We couldn’t even get out to the buses and vans because the whole area was closed until Limp Bizkit started playing. So we were just hanging there, and I was checking my Twitter on the Graspop artist-WiFi. Mike Portnoy was doing the same. Suddenly one of his Tweets showed up on my Twitter-timeline. I laughed and said “You just Tweeted!”. He leaned over to check my phone “Oh, it’s up now? Can I see how it looks on your cell?” Total nerding, lol!
If you think that people are partying and taking drugs and screwing groupies backstage in 2012 – forget it. They are TWEETING and updating their FACEBOOK-statuses! :-)
[Empty backstage-area, everybody’s leaving for the next gig]
When they finally opened the parking we went with everybody to the buses and vans to say goodbye and then continue on our own way back to the hotel. Said byebye to Rob who was really a cool and generous guy – we had a great time thanks to him. AND – he had worked for Lita Ford too, that gives him a few extra points in my book, lol! :)
The NEXT day (Sunday, last Graspop-day) was just RAINY – I’m surprised I didn’t get sick after that ordeal:
SEBASTIAN BACH, UGLY KID JOE, JON OLIVA’S PAIN, MOTORHEAD, EUROPE, GUNS N’ ROSES
THE GRASPOP BLOGS:
So…. I love Megadeth. Both Vera and Rob were giggling a bit at my teenage-happy face. I was really looking forward to the show and yeah I admit that I was almost terrified at the thought of bumping into Dave Mustaine somewhere back there. After all this time working in the music biz, I’m not easily impressed by “rock stars” anymore, and most bands are on a totally different level nowadays.
Very few still make me feel like a nervous, stoked teenager…!
Megadeth and Whitesnake (what a combo by the way…lol!) are two bands that I still have a lot of respect for.
[From WAY back when I was hanging with Megadeth because former guitarist Marty Friedman was a super-great guy who also happened to be friends with Anders Johansson (former Yngwie-drummer) who in turn happened to be a friend of mine also….:-) So he would get me passes and stuff, very kind person. Maybe I’ll write about those “old” Megadeth-memories some other time! :-)
(Hanging around Megadeth’s stage hours before they showed up)
People around us were working, so the breaks inbetween bands were slightly boring at times. While I was sitting there, overlooking Megadeth’s drumset – somebody got up there and started playing. First I thought it was a roadie or something – but when I took a closer look, it was Shawn Drover himself. He smiled and left. A few minutes later, I bump into Chris Broderick who’s also smiling, warming up right behind the Megadeth backdrop.
(Chris warming up minutes before they hit the stage)
I asked Ellefson’s tech where I could stand so that I wouldn’t be in anyone’s way, cause I saw that people had been told not to stand here or there because the sound-guy needed to see what was going on on stage. I just wanted to enjoy the show without being told to move. “If you stand over there you’ll be good”, he said and pointed at a spot right behind the sound-guy.
Just as I was adjusting my camera – Dave Mustaine suddenly walks right out on stage. I’m glad the camera was on so I didn’t miss anything…!
And the show was….? Well, for me it was freaking great, but it’s the last time I’m ON the stage during a Megadeth concert. There’s something about being in a crazy crowd that’s going insane – that feels right when it comes to Megadeth. Standing there, civilized without as much as sweating, felt kind of snobby and not-so-rock’n’roll.
As much as I realize the privilege of being so close to the band up on stage, it’s still not the way a show is supposed to be experienced.
I love everything about Megadeth – they sound brilliant, and the angry Mustaine-vocals make every syllable believable. I kept hearing from people what a “dick” he supposedly is and that’s something I’ve heard as long as I can remember. There’s always been people disliking him. Not saying that they’re wrong, I don’t know him personally to state otherwise, but if he hadn’t been arrogant, his music wouldn’t have been what it is. It’s the anger and the arrogance that does it.
And maybe I simply LIKE people with an attitude problem. :-)
Back in 1999 I went to Vegas to see Megadeth at The Joint (Hard Rock Hotel). and some chick tried to impress Dave by flashing her boobs. Dave just looked at her, being anything BUT impressed, and said: “You know… if you water them, they might grow.” OUCH! :-)) See, I likethat kind of sarcasm, call me crazy. ;)
The guy doesn’t give a rats ass about anything, I think that most people secretly admire people like that.
So anyway – “the new” Megadeth is better than ever. I used to think they were boring live, but that has changed in the past few years. I don’t know what happened, maybe it’s the chemistry between the current band members, cause it works really well.
But again, watching Megadeth from the side of the stage might be a privilege and I know that – but it’s not the ideal place to actually experience a gig. You’re supposed to be in the mosh pit with a few thousand other maniacs, getting all your aggressions out, getting your ass kicked, sweating and jumping and – all that.
Last year I took the day off to go see Megadeth in Aarhus, Denmark. It was amazing – there was all that aggression in the music that got your adrenaline pumping – it gave you strength and it was like some sort of mental cleansing.
Even at Graspop I was filled with that feeling, but in a less physical sort of way. Any band that can bring out emotions like that, is worth following.
After the show, I met Vera behind the backdrop – and she started laughing. “My god, Daniela, you look like a happy child!” I guess I must have had that “holy shiit they rule!“-face and yes I was definitely happy. Can’t wait to see them again.
MEGADETH photo album on the FB-page: www.facebook.com/intherearviewmirror
A few of the highlights:
Ooooh – myyy – goood! :)))
One of my absolute favorite Megadeth-songs, great lyrics. The filming is terrible but I was trying to actually watch the band without the camera being in the way – and record at the same time. Didn’t work out so well :-D
THIS is when you wish you were in the crowd!
THE GRASPOP BLOGS:
An unexpected e-mail popped up in my e-mail today.
It was from Playground Records, old business-friend Suzan who I’ve actually known since we were just teenagers back in the early nineties and bumped into eachother at every gig from Skid Row to Mr Big. :)
There was a link to the new Lita-album with a short message that said: “Enjoy!”
Man, I so wished that I could have left the office right away to just go home and BLAST it!
I couldn’t get home fast enough, and I have to admit that I’ve still got my shoes on – and bag, coat and everything else in a nice trail on the floor all the way from the hall to the computer…!
I clicked on the link to the streaming-page and turned it up to eleven.
The first three tracks left me disappointed. I mean, eventhough I love Lita’s eighties albums the most (Lita, Dangerous Curves and Stiletto), I do realize that she’s not going to sound like that again.
Especially not now, it’s not her thing to be a nostalgia-trip. She wasn’t on Wicked Wonderland and she certainly isn’t on Living Like A Runaway.
But thank GOD – after the three first less impressive songs, it totally turns around. With the title track Living Like A Runaway she delivers a great melodic song that’s not just tasteful in terms of music/melody but most definitely also lyricwise.
Quote from the bio:
“There have been days in my life when I ran away, when I was unhappy and had to get out of my previous life,” LITA confesses. “It‘s like walking through fire and being able to come through the other side unscathed.”
And it continues like that. Vocally – she’s still got it. She says that her aim with this album was to give people courage and inspire, and she does that by opening up and being very personal in her lyrics. The more personal, the more people can relate and make it their own. I for one, love it.
It’s a very versitile album. It spans over several areas of rock – traditional rock, ballads, metal, even industrial, it’s a smorgasbord of styles, yet they fit together perfectly as it’s an indirect concept album with a clear goal.
Nikki Sixx contributed to the album with the song A Song To Slit Your Wrists By, a cool, heavy tune with MUCHO attitude! :)
If you get the Limited Edition digipak, you’ll also get the bonus song Bad Neighborhood, where no other than Whitesnake-guitarist Doug Aldrich provided the riffs and the chorus melody.
When Lita sings a ballad, she does it with such passion, it always moves me – and she delivers the ballad Mother straight from her heart. Beautiful.
If you’re looking for heavy guitars, hell man, you GOT it…! Lita is definitely not getting older and softer, she’s getting rougher and tougher, as befits the one and only, ultimate true metal-goddess that she is!
LITA FORD “Living Like A Runaway”
Release Date Europe: June 18th, 2012
Release Date Germany: June 15th, 2012
Release Date US/Canada: June 19th, 2012
LITA BACK IN THE BEST OLD DAYS………:
When you write a review, whether it’s a CD- or a concert-review, you can be sure that there’s going to be lots of people having opinions about it. They don’t always realize that it’s all part of the game.
Reviews are nothing but one person’s simple opinion, written for the sake of entertainment and, to a degree, guidance. But there are always going to be fans out there who think that a review is a scientific essay. They want it to be “objective”. You can’t be objective in a review, that’s the whole point! :-)
When I got my first job writing for Swedish newspaper Kvällsposten, I received tons of records from all the major record companies. I didn’t have my own post-box at the editorial office cause I was working from home. I just went there about twice a week to pick up my mail and submit the material of the week.
Every time I got there, there was a sack full of LP’s waiting for me on the floor behind the film-editor. Back in 1988, vinyl was still the main material that people wanted their music on. :-) The CD’s had been introduced but it took a few years before the music that we got went from vinyl to CD altogether.
Anyway, as I was the rookie up there, the other music reporters taught me that as far as reviews…. I was not allowed to like too many records – which means I was not allowed to rate something 10 out of 10 too often. I don’t remember the exact quota, but it was strictly limited.
I was told that I would not be taken seriously if I liked everything, especially not if I wrote positive reviews too often. They wanted me to write negative, nasty reviews as much as I could, because not only did it trigger people to react – it was also good publicity for the band/artist. If people get upset, they tell their friends, or they write letters to the editor, they simply do unintentional PR for the publication!
And as weird as it sounds – when you write something really nasty about a band or an artist, people will get curious to hear it. “Is it REALLY that bad? CAN it be that bad?”
So, they try to get a listen if they can, or they talk to other people about it. EIther way – everybody wins.
A bad review doesn’t necessarily ruin sales, if done right. It can do the exact opposite.
I think that a band like W.A.S.P is the perfect example of that. There was not one “serious” music journalist out there that wrote anything good about “Fuck like a beast“, but all the bad publicity got people running to the stores and the record just flew off the shelves!
As I grew older and started to see music more objectively – not just in black and white, like when I was younger – it got harder to write strict “good” or “bad” reviews.
The review-editor at Sweden Rock asked me what I REALLY thought about one album that I had written about, because he couldn’t figure out if I liked it or hated it, I was beeing too diplomatic about it.
I told him that personally, I didn’t like it. No reason, it just wasn’t my taste. It was well played and for those who like that kind of music, I’m sure they would love it. It’s just that I didn’t and I didn’t want to be unfair and rate something low, when I knew it wasn’t really BAD…… It was a tough situation.
He told me it wasn’t about being fair. It was about having a personal opinion. If I didn’t like it, I should just say so, straight out, no excuses, no “buts” or “ifs”. That helped me get over the “objectivity-barrier”. Thank god. But he has actually been great with constructive feedback on my writing, I’ve learned a thing or two just by small details he’s mentioned from time to time. I like working with people like that.
One of the most memorable reviews I’ve written through the years was for “Hot In The Shade” by Kiss.
That, I will never, ever forget.
I wasn’t particularly impressed by the album, and wrote somewhere that Paul Stanley couldn’t sing…. And used some pretty undiplomatic expression to illustrate exactly HOW much I thought he sucked.
Mind you, this was before the internet – back in those days, people wrote regular letters. When I got to the office a few days later, there were TWO FULL POST BAGS there with my name on them.
It took me FOREVER to open all those letters! I had pissed off the whole RAGING Kiss Army! I think every Kiss-fan from north to south had a thing or two that they wanted to…uhh, “share”… :)
I got the message – loud and clear – oh boy, it couldn’t have been ANY clearer!
Lesson learned: There are some bands that can not be criticised unless you want to get a secret identity and move to Vladivostok! Don’t ever say that Paul Stanley can’t sing and don’t ever say anything bad about Metallica or Slayer if you want to live. :)
Another time, I wrote a review about a GWAR-concert at club Stadt Hamburg in Malmo, Sweden… That review led to local authorities CLOSING DOWN THE PLACE! I was not popular by some people after that. Like I had any idea what a simple review could cause!
[I actually found a video where that whole thing was mentioned…. only, there were no “local authorities” at that show that could be spat on… they based it solely on my review. Ouch..
See it mentioned in the info text to this video. ]
I don’t know, it’s as if some people have their whole life hung up on their favorite bands. So when you criticise the band, they take it dead serious and dead personal – as if you’re criticising them.
I still think it’s fun to write reviews though. It can be diffucult after more than 20 years, finding different ways to describe something GOOD or something BAD, because you don’t want to keep repeating yourself. Yet, there are only so many superlatives you can use. It requires creativity. Sometimes you have a good day, sometimes you don’t. But in the end – it’s all just entertainment.
Or… is it? :-D