Tag Archive | Drummer

Tommy Ramone, Last of the Original Ramones, Dead at 62

Tommy Ramone 91
Tommy Ramone

Original Ramones Drummer and the last surviving member of the band’s original line up, Tommy Ramone (Real Name: Thomas Erdelyi) passed away on Friday, July 11th, 2014 after a battle with cancer. He was 62 years old. Tommy played drums on the first three Ramones albums and later became a successful producer. The Guardian‘s Music Blog has a lovely first person remembrance of Tommy and The Ramones at This Link. Rest In Peace.

Ramones Orignal Line Up
Together Again: Joey, Tommy, Dee Dee and Johnny (Image Source)

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Pink Thing of The Day: Neal Smith Vintage Premier Drum Ad!

Neal Smith Pink Premier Ad
Image Courtesy of Neal Smith

Currently Up for Auction on eBay: This vintage (circa 1973) Premier Drum Ad ran in all of the popular music magazines during the global Billion Dollar Babies tour featuring the original band called Alice Cooper. This Ad is signed personally by R&R Hall Of Fame inductee, drummer Neal Smith and is surely a very rare piece of Seventies Glam Rock History. The Auction runs through Monday December 9th, 2013. Bid Now at This Link!

Video Clip of The Week: Sirsy, “Cannonball”



Comprised of Melanie Krahmer on drums and vocals and Rich Libutti on guitar, Sirsy is a Rock & Roll force to be reckoned with! Their new video for the awesome song “Cannonball” is lots of fun in that it was shot entirely at live shows by fans using cell phones! I mean, I hate cell phones, but…Cleverness! I totally love Melanie’s smoky, sassy powerhouse of a voice that I would compare favorably to groundbreaking female rock vocalists like Brenda Lee and Dusty Springfield, but also modern soul singers like Duffy. And High Fives all around to Sirsy for being able to put so much swing into this tune with only drums and guitar — what a couple of badasses. “Cannonball”– from the CD Coming Into Frame (on Funzalo Records) is Super Groovy! Sirsy will be releasing a new EP with a new single and some live material in early December, 2013! Enjoy!

SIRSY PRESS PHOTO
Sirsy Press Photo By Julia Zave

Video Clip of The Week: Destruction Unit, “The Holy Ghost”



Well now. There isn’t much I don’t love about this simultaneously frightening and compelling, and all-together intriguingly atmospheric video for “The Holy Ghost” from Destruction Unit. I mean, you’ve got your deep and apparent influences from the likes heavy aural gloom masters Killing Joke and Bauhaus (check and check) and the drummer — who, by the way, is a total badass on the kit — gets serious bonus points for wearing a Brian Jonestown Massacre T-Shirt. I love this band! “Holy Ghost” is the brand new single from Destruction Unit’s latest CD, Deep Trip, on Sacred Bones Records. The band is currently on tour in Europe. Enjoy!


Destruction Unit Deep Trip Cover Art

Happy 66th Birthday, Alice Cooper Drummer Neal Smith!

Neal Drums Sepia Tone

I can’t let my good friend Neal’s Birthday slip by without giving him a shout out on the blog! Born on September 23rd, 1947, Neal turns Sixty-Six Years old today and still looks fantastic! Rock On Neal, and have a Billion Dollar Birthday!

Alice Cooper B$B Cake

RIP DEVO Drummer Alan Myers

DEVO
DEVO: Alan Myers is on the Far Right ( Image Source)

Alan Myers, drummer for the pioneering new wave rock band DEVO from 1976 to 1986, passed away on June 24th, 2013 after a long bout with Brain Cancer. He was 58 years old. Myers’ uniquely metronomic drumming style can be heard on now legendary DEVO albums such as Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, Duty Now for the Future and Freedom of Choice, the title track of which is one of my favorite DEVO songs. RIP Alan.

Video Clip of The Week: “She Does” By Influenced

Earlier this week, I  attended a party at The Cutting Room and ran into my friend Billy Amendola, who I got to know during my 13 years spent writing for Modern Drummer magazine. Billy is not only a fantastic writer and editor, but he’s also quite an accomplished working drummer, having racked up a couple of dance hits during the 70s with the band Mantus, as well as playing drums on many of Debbie Gibson’s hits. Billy told me about a project he just completed called Influenced, featuring a song he wrote with a couple of his industry friends called “She Does.” He turned me on to the video, and I was instantly blown away by how much this track sounds like The Beatles.

Actually, The Beatles comparison is not at all surprising, when you consider that they recruited producer Mark Hudson for lead vocals. I remember having a ridiculous crush on Mark Hudson when I was probably 13, and he and his two brothers, Brett and Bill (father of actress Kate Hudson) had a summer replacement television series, The Hudson Brothers comedy variety hour. I even owned a couple of the Hudson Brothers excellent albums, which I absolutely adored because all of their songs sounded so much like The Beatles.

In his career, Mark has worked with huge hit makers including Ringo Starr, and I know Billy is also a huge Beatles fan, so, again, the similarity is no surprise. What’s also a standout on this track is how guitarist Vinnie Zummo (formerly with Joe Jackson) completely channels George Harrison’s Elmore James-influenced slide guitar.

The track was produced by Billy’s son, Matty, who I used to fondly refer to as “Matty’s Fro,” owing to his impressive Afro hairstyle! Matty has gone on to become quite adept producer and multi-instrumentalist in his own right, and it’s fantastic to hear father and son working together on such a solid track. Please enjoy!

Rare Video from 1971: Alice Cooper Band Record “The Ballad of Dwight Fry”

Neal Smith, drummer for the original Band called Alice Cooper sent me the link to this video a couple of days ago and told me it was a clip he had never even seen before. Knowing how many fans of that awesome band I have as readers, I knew I had to post this as soon as I could get it together. This clip is especially great because you get to hear Neal and guitarist Michael Bruce have a very candid conversation about whether Neal or bassist Dennis Dunaway will provide the voice of the little girl in the song’s introduction. Neal twirls his sticks a lot and Kachina the snake also makes an appearance! Enjoy!

Happy 40th Birthday, Billion Dollar Babies!

Billion Dollar Babies Cake

The original band called Alice Cooper released its sixth studio album, Billion Dollar Babies, on this date, February 25th, in 1973. Billion Dollar Babies, which went to the Number One position on every chart, is a very special album for me. Favorite Song: “No More Mr. Nice Guy.”

Gail on Neals Drums

Here I am on one of Alice Cooper Drummer Neal Smith’s drum kits. All of Neal’s Gold and Platinum Albums earned for sales of Alice Cooper band records are on the walls behind me. Billion Dollar Babies is in there, somewhere.

Gail's Top Ten Favorite CDs of 2012

Tame Impala Lonerism CD Cover

Tame Impala, Lonerism

People who’ve taken a lot of psychedelics (raises hand) and listened to way too much music while lounging in a room lit only by a black light bulb will often talk about how certain albums sound like they were made while the band was on drugs. Tame Impala’s sophomore album, Lonerism, is drugs.

Read my awesome review of Lonerism at This Link.

Darkness Hot Cakes CD Cover

The Darkness, Hot Cakes

Hot Cakes is my favorite Queen album since A Night at the Opera.

Read my amazing review of Hot Cakes at This Link.

Little Barrie King of the Waves CD Cover

Little Barrie, King of the Waves

Little Barrie’s King of the Waves was Number One on the list for most of the year until The Darkness nudged it from the top spot, only to be further nudged by Tame Impala. This only means it was a pretty fucking great year for Rock & Roll.

Read more of my opinion on how Little Barrie Saved Rock in 2012 at This Link.

Sheepdogs CD Cover

The SheepDogs

It is my belief that The SheepDogs operate in this realty via  adept use of a well-oiled Time Machine.  Read more about my hypothesis at This Link.

Matt Boroff's Filling In The Cracks CD Cover

Mott Boroff, Filling In The Cracks EP

My mind was blown away last year by the discovery of Matt Boroff, an artist who refers to himself as a “Gold Medalist in the Best Kept Secret Olympics.” Read more at This Link.

Killers Battle Born CD Cover

The Killers, Battle Born

I like This Album.

Bento Diamond Days CD Cover

Bento, Diamond Days

I was in the process of reviewing Diamond Days when I was unexpectedly evacuated from my apartment due to the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy. Drama! Bento is the solo project by Ben Gillies, former drummer for Silverchair. I interviewed Ben once and he was hilarious. If you enjoyed Siverchair’s artsy fartsy 2007 Swan Song, Young Modern, you will probably dig this album.

Vaccines Come of Age CD Cover

The Vaccines, Come of Age

The first time I played this CD each song managed to distinguish itself from the next, so it gets to be on this list.

Lita Ford Living Like a Runaway CD Cover

Lita Ford, Living like a Runaway

No pain, no gain. Guitarist and Rock Godess Lita Ford bounces back from a messy divorce to make the album of her career. My indepth review of Living Like a Runaway can be found at This Link.

Mike Viola Acousto de Perfecto CD Cover

Mike Viola, Acousto De Perfecto

If real musical talent – quality songwriting, musicianship, charisma – were still rewarded with popularity and financial success in the way they were back in the ‘70s, Mike Viola would be as revered as Elton John and sell out bigger concert tours than Lady Gaga.

Read more from me about Mike Viola and Acousto De Perfecto by clicking Here.