Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dreams I'll Never see by Molly Hatchet

I jammed for many years with some high school buddies of mine. We played at my high school and college graduations, my going-away party when I left Wisconsin for my Master's Degree and other events over the years. When I got back to Wisconsin we actually tried to be a band for a while (Bottom's Up). We played only a handful of gigs but they were very fun. One of the songs that we just nailed was Dreams I'll Never See by Molly Hatchet. I had never heard that song before the singer brought it up to play. His voice fit that southern rock vibe very well. The guitar player was a virtuoso and could play nearly anything (he especially like Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhodes) and played the guitar parts flawlessly. Although I had more fun playing Flirtin' With Disaster (which is STILL on of my all time favorite songs to play on the drums) I always felt Dreams was the best song we did. Everybody really got into it. Lyrically, I can relate a bit because I never was able to pursue music as much as I would have liked but I am not complaining in the least.

The song starts with some bass harmonics with the guitar riff joining in soon thereafter. After a few measures the drums kick and the song feels full and the vibe is great. The singers tone is a bit muted, as if the song is speaking directly to you – the listener. Along the way the song has some nice twists ant turns. The end of the lead is a fun bit to play and then there is a solid break, followed by the bass coming back in like the beginning of the song. Rinse and repeat a few verses and another lead to build up to the end. The song is relatively simple but really hits me every time I play it (which I don't don't do very often anymore since no of us see each other anymore).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Shout At The Devil by Motley Crue

Being that my wife and I are going to see Motley Crue here in Milwaukee for our anniversary (romantic, I know :), I thought I would discuss a few memories I have of Shout at the Devil by Motley Crue. I remember hearing this song right around the time it came out in 1983. I was hanging out with an older kid named Karl who had the tape. I would go over to his house and we played band. In a bit of foreshadowing for the future, I would play drums on some pillows to the song. I thought the drums were cool with the fast double hi-hats. Karl actually played drums so he had sticks for me to use. Man that was a long time ago.

Another memory I have of this song was going to Wilson Park for the 4th of July fireworks. People got their early to grill out and play frisbee. This particular year there was a talent competition held in the park. I can't remember any of the other acts but there was an air band that played Shout at the Devil. They had the full dress with the leather pants and hair down perfectly. The drummer flailed around just like Tommy Lee with perfect timing for those said double hi-hat hits and all the stick twirling. That really stuck with me for some reason. Looking back over my childhood, there are so many events that should have told me that I would eventually play the drums.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Just Don't Get It: Kiss

 OK, so I have been thinking about other types of posts that I could include on this blog and then Kiss came on the radio and the light bulb went off: I could talk about bands or artists that I just don't get why people seem to like them so much. I am sure these entries will insight a few opinions. I am very opinionated when it comes to music and although that is not the main theme of this blog, I thought it would be fun to stir the pot a bit. As always, if you have a band or artist that you don't understand their popularity, let me know and we can banter either for or against each other.

So Kiss is definitely one of those bands I just don't get. I a have several reasons for this as I will explain.

  1. I was young when they were popular and my dad was not a fan so I did not hear them much. I do remember the cheesy show they did. I was scared of Gene Simmons the first time I saw him spit blood on stage. Kind of freaked me out.
  2. While in high school (before I started playing music) I was a Zeppelin freak and had several arguments with this idiot who thought that Kiss was the biggest band ever because they dressed up on stage and might have made more money. But I kept on him saying, yeah , but what about the music. He tried in vain to convince me that Kiss had better songs. Like I said he was an idiot. I will bet money that if you asked any member of Kiss and ask them who has better music they would probably all say Led Zeppelin.
  3. Once I did start playing drums, I never had the urge to play any Kiss. To me they were a basic rock band that was all about the show (which they did very well). I could appreciate a few of their songs (God of Thunder is cool), but for the most part I can't leave them on the radio to this day.
  4. Another irritation I have about Kiss is the whole collectable crap. Don't get me wrong, I like band shirts, but Kiss caskets and Kiss condoms, really!? They are such money whores now that the music is an afterthought. My wife is amazed at the amount of collectables that she used to sell at her store (Spencer's).
  5. Finally, the whole Kiss Army thing. Do you really need to name your fans? I liken this to Lady Gaga calling her fans her little monsters – lame.
So there you have it. Kiss isn't all bad, they do have a few good songs but for the most part I just don't get it. Do you?