Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy, aka the Joyful Gadfly! Musician, podcaster, writer, historian ... here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)
Monday, February 1, 2010
(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: heavy metal, shock rock, live, 80's rock
Home: Los Angeles
Members: Blackie Lawless ~ lead vocals/guitar
Chris Holmes ~ guitar
Mike Duda ~ bass/backing vocals
Stet Howland ~ drums
W.A.S.P. is undeniably a band of the 80’s L.A. circuit in sound & style. Whatever music they create today or in the future, their reputation, like Lizzy Borden, will always be linked to the 80’s. But, that was such a powerful & revolutionary era for rock music that sometimes it’s good to pull a record out of the box, brush it off & crank up the volume & remember why that era was a great one. W.A.S.P. is a good band to brush off. This is W.A.S.P.’s record of the Helldorado tour, an album that got mixed reviews as many old fans didn’t like the new screaming vocal technique while headmaster Blackie himself didn't approve of the production quality of either the album or the also available DVD. Ironically, listening to The Sting years later one might consider this a live dish from any number of current bands now on the scene, showing Blackie's ahead of the times musical ingenuity & just how much this arena sound remains a coveted staple in rock … white the string of nearly pornographic song titles shows that this is not just another band. Eleven Lawless originals bookend a cover of The Who’s "The Real Me", an aptly chosen song for a singer that has always followed his own vision & vision regardless of mainstream success or lack of. If you haven’t listened to W.A.S.P. in a while may this CD inspire you to break out the air guitar & crank up the volume for some old-fashioned guts rocking! This tour also featured returning founding member/guitarist Chris Holmes, famous for floating drunk in a pool with mom onlooking in the legendary rock documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, who'd previously left the band to be with his then wife Lita Ford & would leave for good a year later.
(originally featured in the Roman Midnight Music newsletter: Issue 1, Summer 2009, expanded for blog Feb 2010)
CONCERT REVIEW: Blender Theater at Grammercy, NYC, March 2010. This now infamous show was cancelled by Blackie when the theater didn't tell him he had a pre-show meet & greet. He was willing to move the meet & greet to the tour bus post-show, but then he was told that about 50 people in the audience had paid extra for the opportunity. With the line "my fans don't pay extra to see me" he demanded a complete refund for these fans. The theater refused & Blackie stormed out on the sidewalk to the bus, where he signed autographs for anyone who approached & cancelled the show. This story comes from those in line who got the autograph & came back to await official news from the venue. I was among the first 5 people in line. Am I upset? Not really, cause at least he cancelled the show for what he felt was moral business ethics & not because his fruit basket was too small. Albeit, some of us have wondered if it was easy to cancel because the show was seemed far from sold-out. I got to see Blackie, though I didn't hear him. It was an unforgettable show.