Tagged: sony music

Fake ex-rock star gets on Facebook

Today’s topic is “fake identities and accounts in social media”. And a great example of one that I came across last night.

I went to check out this guy’s Facebook page, and it sounded like a gold mine – he claimed to have had the same manager as Cream, BeGees and Beatles (as far as I know, the Beatles manager was Brian Epstein, but I might have missed out on some insider information, right?).

He had written hit songs for all the classic bands of the 60’s, been a session drummer with an alias (very convenient if you can’t think of a good lie when people start asking questions) he had played with Santana, Jeff Beck, Albert Hammond… I mean – we’re talking serious celebrity, RIGHT? ;)

But sometimes you gut instincts tell you that something is wrong. Something doesn’t make sense.
The guy had been on Facebook for 3 years and there were no family or friends photos on there anywhere.
He claimed to have worked for Sony Music for 35 years, but also to have founded a multi million dollar business which name I will leave out of this.

He said he was the co founder of that company and that he started working there in 1967. But when I found the company online, I found out that they had only existed since 1971 and this dude was not mentioned ANYWHERE in their company story. He said he was on the board of directors. Well – there were 4 people on there and he wasn’t one of them.

So I started reading his comments. Those who were asking concrete questions got vague answers or none at all. The photos were for the most part obviously not taken by him (you can tell by the various sizes and qualities. Usually you can tell that someone has taken pics with the same mobile or camera).

I ended up photo searching to see if I was wrong or if this person was a fraud. Of course I already knew the answer…

Let’s start with a few of these examples.

This photo for example. It’s supposed to look like he took it before a show. A very subtle way to make it look like the one doing the “rocking” is himself, while at the same time leaving the back door open if anyone should call his bluff – cause then he will just be able to say: “Well I never said that it was ME”… Right.
Now, scroll down a little to see where this pic actually came from.

brix2

 

 

 

 

 

 

…..

…..

…..

Here we go. The original photo is from a BON JOVI concert in Ottawa two years ago, in 2013. The “rock star” on Facebook posted it this year as his own.

BonJovi bonjovi2

 

That was the first “in your face” clue that something wasn’t right, but I kept digging.

This for instance. He says that it’s his daughter. I found this lady’s blog, I also found her name and her Facebook page. She does not have her “dad” on her FB-list. And he doesn’t have any colleagues from Sony Music on his friends list either for that matter. Or pals from Jeff Beck‘s band or any other band he says he’s friends with.

 

brixdaughter12

 

 

This is the actual person – taken from her blog profile. Wouldn’t a father have a more personal photo than that?

brixdaughter2

 

 

Oh and this one is my favorite! The guy is on TOUR – yee-haa, hey-ho, let’s go! He posts a picture of his tour bus, he’s on his way and everything. People are envious. Only…. That photo wasn’t his. And it wasn’t from that year either. It was from 2 years before and were taken by Nightranger’s tour manager (who’s working with Marilyn Manson nowadays). It’s the exact same photo, what a coincidence!

bus

 

 

 

And here’s where the bus photo actually came from – probably his good buddy! And two years earlier. :)
night ranger

The whole page was full of these pics – I found a few more but you get the idea. What’s even more amazing is that this guy has got over 4000 friends – and not ONE of them has questioned his stories! Not one has gone out of his/her way to check what he’s all about. His story lacks a lot to say the least.

All of the famous bands he says he played with, he was of course the mysterious “alias” guy, and of COURSE he changed his alias every time. Because a session musician doesn’t want to get credit for his work if he can avoid it. Or wait…?

Why don’t we take a look at some of the songs he’s written in his “undercover career”….

fake2

 

I suppose he failed to check who ACTUALLY wrote that song – Jesse Colin Young (who he’s probably refering to) didn’t write it. It was written and recorded before the Youngbloods did. Here’s the info:

youngbloods

 

How about the famous Albert Hammond song that this shy star wrote but didn’t want credit for (he’s not shy bragging about his accomplishments in the music world on Facebook though…)

fake3

 

First of all – even if an unknown writer would have sold a song to someone else, he would at least be mentioned as one of the session musicians, especially if he played not one but TWO instruments on it! Of course, the mysterious guy isn’t mentioned anywhere. Oh, that’s RIGHT – he used an alias (which changed for every recording of course. I’m sure he was actually the one who wrote Let It Be and Stairway to Heaven as well, he’s just too modest to admit it. Yeah, right). Here’s the real deal on that song:

albert2

The ONLY thing that seems legit – if this guy’s NAME even is what he says it is – is some obscure recording back in 1967 that his band won while they were still in high school in Saratoga Springs…! That’s IT! Far from the Doors, Santana, Cream, Beatles, Yardbirds or Jeff Beck! And what’s worse is that he’s taking credit for the work of dead musicians who can’t stand up for themselves.

orphan

 

 

So… in conclusion – don’t just buy everything you hear – it if seems too good to be true it probably is. And it’s amazing that nobody – out of 4000 people, didn’t think it strange that the photos were so generic and impersonal – or the fact that he never gave a straight answer to anything! Or that it’s strange that he wasn’t sure what year he played Woodstock…

I was entertained today. But probably not the way the guy intended. :D

My year in rock – 2014 retrospect (Part 2)

Continued from part 1: https://intherearviewmirror77777.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/my-year-in-rock-2014-retrospect/

11111AAAAA

This is a screenshot from my Outlook e-mail. That’s where I organize all my trips. Every single event has its own file. That way I can keep track of things more easily, and also remember where I’ve been. I couldn’t fit everything in this shot but you get the idea…

So – moving on. MAY was a busy-busy month. That’s when the Gus G/Marty Friedman Guitar Universe tour kicked off. It started in Tampere, Finland on May 1st. I remember it well, because I took the train from Malmo to Stockholm the day before and was flying from Stockholm to Tampere on the day of the show.

When I woke up at my airport hotel that morning, it was snow all over the place! In MAY…!?
I remember walking around in the freezing cold city of Tampere, where I wouldn’t get access to my hotel room until late in the afternoon, and it was some sort of stupid automatic hotel without a front desk or PEOPLE to talk to, so…
I decided to just screw it, lose the money for the room I wasn’t going to use, and got myself a room at the Scandic hotel right next to the train station in Tampere instead. That was the best choice I could have made. WHAT a room! I loved it! Still remember it as one of my best stays this year.

It was good to see everyone when I was picked up by Andy, the tour manager, just as the sound check was about to finish. Gus and his crew, and band – it’s always great to see familiar faces no matter where you go in the world. :)

One thing that became pretty apparent already at that first gig, and that was that the “guitar geek” crowd wasn’t exactly the type of crowd that would blow the roof off a place. Some fans more than others perhaps, but it wasn’t a party animal type of crowd, for sure. Nevertheless, they WORSHIP their guitar heroes, they just show it in a different way. :)

The first round of this tour for me looked like this: Malmo – Stockholm – Tampere – Helsinki – Stockholm – Malmo (as supposed to be Gothenburg as well but that show was postponed and will take place in March this year instead).

Took a few days off the Gus/Marty tour but went to Copenhagen to see Reckless Love because I had seen them at the same festival as Gus/Marty (Stockholm Rocks) and though they were a great live band. They didn’t disappoint me in Copenhagen either, cool party band!

A few days after that I headed off to Germany for a new round of Gus and Marty shows. I started in Munich, travelled by plane and train, some great places, some less great places, but what I love about those trips are people I meet and places I see. Not the tourist thing but just everday things, everyday people. I don’t necessarily need to do tourist things, I can soak up the vibe of a place just by walking down the street – any street. Even just walking into the nearest grocery store. Doesn’t require more than that to experience a city the way I see it.

Met up with my friend Suuded again in Hannover for the show at Musikzentrum (which appears in the “Blame It On Me“-video, by the way :) ):

I came back home only to do a bit of laundry, work and maybe sleep a little. Then I was off on the next flight to London. This time it was at somebody else’s expense, namely Sony Music’s.
Judas Priest had invited a select few to listen to the new album, Redeemer of souls, at the Sony Music offices in London. I also got to meet Rob Halford again, always a pleasure. The album was great, the meeting with Rob was great. It was just a very memorable experience, the whole thing. :)

The Halford-blog can be found here: https://intherearviewmirror77777.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/hello-again-metal-god/

 

 

The next day I just moved from one part of London to another, to see Gus G and Marty Friedman at the O2 again. If I remember it correctly it was the last show of the tour. At least it was for me.
Marty recorded his video there and it was a great day and evening. Herman Li from Dragonforce joined the guys on stage that night.

 

As always, I hate it when a tour ends. While you’re in the middle of it, it’s always fun, exciting and always a new destination to look forward to (for a travel junkie like me). When it’s over, you go home and then you have to start all over again trying to find another interesting tour, festival or gig to attend…. I’m not much for sitting at home watching reality-TV. I’d rather live my own “reality TV”. :)

Anyway, the last Gus/Marty show on my schedule was May 21st. I had about two weeks to catch my breath before the next event was to take place: SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL. My second home, the yearly tradition that I can’t imagine a summer without. THIS year was memorable in many ways – not only for the gigs but also for the people I met and got to know, that have made some pretty significant marks in my life ever since!

All about that in part 3…….. Stick around.

Hello again, Metal God…! :)

I arrived at my hotel fairly early. Luckily, those “nicer”, more expensive hotels are more likely to have a room available even if you show up early, so I kept my fingers crossed. Unfortunately, they didn’t have anything, but we got all the paperwork done and they asked me to come back around noon. That was still 3 hours earlier than regular check-in time, so I call that flexibility and good service. :)

I went to the little cafe in the back behind the elevators, to grab a croissant and a cup of tea and thought I’d be able to hang online for a while – but since the room wasn’t ready, I wasn’t “officially” checked-in, which in turn meant that I had no room to charge it to. So, I went back to the reception. One of the girls took a quick look around and whispered: “If you don’t tell anyone, I’ll give you this for free“. It was a £10 worth Internet code for 24 hours. :)

I’m lucky on this tour with the free internet. It was the same in Hannover, the hotel charged 1 euro per hour and the older lady gave me a 1 hour code. That didn’t last long – so I went back to the front desk and this time there was a young girl there. I told her that 1 hour was nothing for me, I was online like…ALL the TIME. She smiled, looked around and said the same as this lady today: “Here. It’s a 48 hour code, for free. Shhh….“.
I must look like someone who REALLY needs it, haha! But I appreciate it so much. Those kind ladies deserve a hug and a medal! :D WiFi when you’re out travelling is a lifesaver in so many ways – as an information source and as a way of killing time and getting in touch with people. It SHOULD be for free for travellers…! Always!

Anyway, my room wasn’t ready at noon but the same girl who gave me the free internet code, helped me once again. “I have a different type of room available if you don’t mind being on the 4th floor instead of ground floor?” I took it.

I had very little time to throw more “representative” clothes on and run off to find Sony Music’s London office. It was right on Kensington, and quite an impressive office I must say.

The talks about the music industry walking on their knees financially wasn’t evident there at ALL. On the contrary. The ladies at the reception had me sign in and I got my visitor-ID. “Please sit down and someone will come for you”.


There were lots of screens up in the ceiling, showing music videos, it was VERY spacious, had modern, leather couches, red designer swivel armchairs and wooden floors.
I was given a guest WiFi code so I could kill some time. Nice touch. :)

Eventually, a young lady with an orange file that contained a bunch of papers showed up and asked the guys next to me if they were there for the Judas Priest album-listening. There were 7 of us, some guys from Finland, one from Metal Hammer Germany, a radio station from somewhere… I don’t remember now but I recognized all those names/publications.
“Follow me”, she said.
And like a line of ducks, we followed her through the Sony offices, like through a maze. She stopped a few times to make sure everybody was still following.

We eventually reached a room with a huge, sliding door that she slid open, and it looked pretty heavy.
I walked in, and it was a big room, very modern and very expensive looking. Three leather couches, placed like an “U” around the table, looked like brand new, a big beige thick rug and a low black sofa table.
On one wall, there was this huge flat-TV (a Sony, of course) and speakers. When she turned up the volume, those things almost blew my ears out…! Not that I complained…! :D

We all took our pens out to make notes when she turned the new Judas Priest album on and left the room. After a few minutes she came back with the track-listing, but the paper also said that we weren’t allowed to take it with us. I wonder what the point of that was, as the tracks have already been revealed on Blabbermouth??

It was just a weird thing to experience a brand new Priest-album in the company of strangers and like THAT. I’ve always made sure that my “first
time” hearing a Priest-album was in a relaxed environment (=my home or my car) but this was…different.
Some songs sounded like they were off Painkiller. Some were so-so and some were absolutely killer. My verdict, all in all, is that I will love this album.

I wasn’t a super fan of Angel of retribution and I definitely wasn’t a huge fan of Nostradamus either. But THIS I do like! Rob’s voice is still great and because he can’t sing those high pitch songs anymore, he’s found a different way to sing and THAT makes it new and interesting! He does some “clean” singing on one or two songs, and he’s got such a beautiful, soulful yet powerful voice on those. It was such a pleasure to hear that. I must have smiled there in my left corner of the couch.

I quickly got a favorite song, which I can’t WAIT to get so I can blast it on repeat: Secrets of the dead. LOVED it!!
A few seconds before the last song had finished playing, our hostess sneaked into the room again (if there’s one thing label people are good at – it’s keeping track of  TIME…!) :D

Some had interviews scheduled for later, some didn’t. I think that out of the 7 of us that listened to the album, 4 had actual interviews. The guy from Metal Hammer had a chat with Rob, Ian and Richie at the same time (personally I prefer one person, eye-to-eye). Another one said he was talking to Ian and Richie. So I’m guessing I was the only one who “got” the Metal God himself- Rob Halford – only…..

After the listening-thing, I asked if there was somewhere I could work (wanted to polish my interview a little) and she took me through the whole office once again (I think I would need a compas to find my way around there…!) and to the lunch room.
And when I say “lunch room” I don’t mean a tiny room with five tables. It was HUGE! Like an art gallery/industrial building type of huge, very bright with a ceiling that I wasn’t sure if it was actual daylight or “fake” light, but it was bright… Video screens playing music videos everywhere – a big billboard Elvis-sign in one corner, a slate that people “doodled” on… People having meetings in glass offices when I looked up and around… A very dynamic and cool workplace, I would have loved to work in a place like that.

I finished writing down a few more questions, when I looked around the lunch room and saw some blonde, long-haired dude. I thought it was Richie but wasn’t sure. Then I saw Ian Hill, elegantly dressed, getting himself a Fanta.
And a few seconds later – there’s Rob Halford as well. You can’t miss him anywhere. :) A tattooed bald guy with tats on his head and arms, and sunglasses. It was the Metal God alright.
And there I was, trying to look casual and cool. Oh,I don’t care, it’s just some BAND…. Yeah, right…!
I honestly didn’t know where to look. My gosh.

When they finished their lunch, they left – and I sat there for another 2 hours before it was my turn. The Metal Hammer guy kept me company for a while, talked a bit about festivals and the Priest album and stuff. I told him I was also going to the Gus/Marty show and he said he had no idea they were playing. He also happens to be writing for a German guitar magazine. I told him to go check out the Symptom of the universe cover from Tampere that I had on Youtube, if he wanted to know how those two guys sounded together and he seemed like he actually really wanted to see and hear that so… I think that if he hadn’t had his ticket back paid already, he would have gone to the Guitar Universe thing as well.

And THEN……..the girl came to pick me up and “take me to a room”. She showed me to a tiny room that had a TV, DVD, a conference call phone, two leather couches but no windows. Then she left with the words: “I’ll go get Rob for you”. And there I was, alone. It’s like waiting for a doctor. You’re in there getting nervous as f**k…!
I couldn’t sit, I walked back and forth getting more and more jumpy, getting a stomach-ache and the whole deal. Why, I don’t know. I’ve met Rob so many times, I’m a jaded rock journalist (pah…! I SHOULD be by now!) yet I get this way every damn time when it comes to any Priest-member…! ESPECIALLY Rob! I guess it has to do with the huge impact they’ve had on my life. No other bands have that kind of importance.

The door opened and there he was! He entered the room with the words: “Hi, it’s nice to see you again!” And all the nervousness just went away. He has a very calming effect (believe it or not) because he’s just so easygoing, so easy to talk to, no rockstar bullshit at all, no “are you an idiot or what?”-vibes. You can ask him anything, so far I’ve never seen him as much as frown, and it’s been 25 years since the first time I met him for an interview.

He spotted a chair and said he prefers that, for his back. And we went straight to business as to not waste any time. The interview will be published eventually, so I’ll just skip what the conversation was about. But I will say, that this man really makes me happy in so many ways. With the music he has brought to my life since I was a teenager, with his voice, his performances and the inspiration that he is as a person. I so enjoy talking to him, and I would love to just be able to sit there for hours and just talk.
You just feel very relaxed and comfortable with the man, and he has an interesting way of looking at things. Sometimes he says things here and there that just makes me smile. I mean, his attitude to stardom, life and whatever, is inspiring and sometimes while he’s sitting there talking, he says something that just makes me want to hug him! :)

Needless to say, it felt like we only just BEGUN when a label-guy knocked at the door and said: “Last question!”. My first thought was: “What?? We only just got STARTED!”
Even Rob was slightly annoyed, rolled his eyes and sighed “oh my god, aaah – never mind, ask me another question…!” But at that point I just felt like I had a million things to ask and I was nowhere NEAR being finished, which meant that I had no idea which question was the most “important” one. I just took whatever was right under my nose, about one of the songs I had heard three hours before. Suddenly it wasn’t a relaxed conversation anymore, it was stresssssful.

But I guess, looking back – Rob deserves a break. He had been talking for a few hours himself so if he had to be stuck with enthusiasts like me all day long, he would never get a breather…! :)
We took a few photos with a CD that was released through Sweden Rock Magazine, that included an obscure, unreleased Priest-song. He was happy to pose and help getting the best picture. Once again, no sign of stress – everything cool, just take your time… Did I mention that I love the man?? :D
He asked where I was going next, I said I was going back to Sweden, but first I was going to see the Gus G/Marty Friedman gig here in London. “Gus G? Give him my love. I love his style!” Those were the last words he uttered before he left the room.

The label guy once again entered and asked me to wait outside so I could be escorted to through the building (thank god, I had no idea where I was).
It still annoys me a bit – it’s such a privilege to talk to Rob Halford. I think that even if I hadn’t been a fan (which is hard to even imagine) I would have loved the conversations with him. I was just so glad that I got a good interview – for as long as it lasted, that I went back to the hotel to relax – and smile. :)

Today, I’m switching hotels and looking forward to the last Gus/Marty show of this tour (well, they’re finishing tomorrow but I chose London as my final destination).

There will be more stories to tell. :)