Tag Archives: Black Halos

Video Clip of the Week: Michael Monroe, “Old King’s Road”

Joan Jett isn’t the only one who loves Rock & Roll, bitches. Former Hanoi Rocks front man and, let’s face it, Glam Rock Legend, Michael Monroe seems to be fond of it as well. And who could blame him. While Monroe should have been as big of a household name as, say Steven Tyler, it didn’t quite work out that way. But Michael Monroe has always played the hand he was dealt. Looking back in anger is for pussies.

Everything about “Old King’s Road” — aurally and visually — is amazing, but I admit that the ultimate deal clincher in choosing it as this week’s Clip was the fact that I recognized a FaceBook friend in the video, because he is one of Michael’s guitarists. There are no accidents. “Old King’s Road” pays tribute to the famous shopping street in London, where the first wave of British Punk Rock was basically born at the tail end of the ’70s. It makes sense then that everyone in the video is dressed to the nines of Rock & Roll fashion. Because if you are a Rock Star, you need to dress like one. Digging a bit deeper, the lyrics make a series of a vague references to Monroe’s early career in Hanoi Rocks, when the band all lived in London in the early ’80s. Good times, bad times; you know he’s had his share.

As a high-energy tune that rocks hard enough to crack a skull, “Old Kings Road” blends the ferocity of punk with the keen melodic sensibilities of classic power pop bands like The Flamin’ Groovies and The Records. The combination of the two musical forces coming together is irresistible.

Michael’s relentlessly ass-kicking band features the dual guitar assault of Rich Jones (ex Black Halos, a Vancouver-based garage rock band that will forever be near and dear to my heart) and Steve Conte (New York Dolls), plus fellow Hanoi Rocks bassist Sami Yaffa, and Swedish Drumming Juggernaut Karl Rockfist, who has played with just everyone, it seems.

“Old King’s Road” is a tasty rock morsel from Monroe’s forthcoming record, Blackout States, available starting October 9th, 2015 via Spinefarm Records. Enjoy!

Michael Monroe Band

Black Halos Gear Stolen in Montreal!

Black Halos

The Black Halos are an awesome bunch of guys that are one of my favorite garage/glam rock bands as well as being good friends of mine. A couple of nights ago the band’s van was stolen after they played a gig in Montreal. The van contained all of their equipment and merchandise. Like all working bands, the Halos do not have the funds to replace this equipment and are both emotionally and financially devastated. Those of you who know me well know that I have in the past been the victim of grand larceny and that my feeling on the subject is that stealing is just as bad as murder.

While the thieves responsible deserve to be apprehended and thrown in jail for life, the important thing now is trying to recover this equipment and get the Halos back out on the road bringing the rock to the masses. Below is a list of everything that was stolen, along with contact information for the band should you have any leads. Please feel free to repost this list on your blog and to circulate it among the rock community in case musicians might see these items in local pawn shows along the east coast (but likely within the Canadian border). Good Luck Black Halos. I will love you guys forever.

Continue reading Black Halos Gear Stolen in Montreal!

Robbie Z, Drummer, Black Halos

Billy Hopeless Gail Robbie Z
Billy, Gail, Robbie

Gail has been a friend for a few years now. She has fantastic energy and is a pleasure to talk to and be around. Since the interviews she did with me for Modern Drummer and Metal Edge last year, I have had many compliments from friends, fans and industry folk still to this day. I very much appreciate her help in getting my name out there and hope that we can connect again in the near future. We should be thankful that she is a fan of the music and wants to write about people she cares about whether they are of mainstream success or from the underground. Thanks again, Gail . . . keep up the great work!

Robbie Z, Drummer, The Black Halos


What can I say about Gail except for that she’s picked an obscure kid out of the underground and brought me to the forefront of the highly respected pages of Modern Drummer because she’s a fan of the music. She’s right in the front row of the pit, sweating it out with all the other misfits because she wants to be there experiencing the full impact of what a band can generate on stage! My interview with Gail was comfortable and fun and I can’t thank her enough for all the help and advice she’s given me. It’s because of her that my Mom can now look at the pages of Modern Drummer and think that I’m not a complete failure . . .thank you Gail!

Gail’s Top Ten CDs of 2005!

Top Ten

As a special New Year’s treat, here’s a preview of my Top Ten Favorite CDs of the year, to be elaborated on in my upcoming 2005 Year End Rewind! Enjoy!

Crash Kelly Penny Pills

1. Crash Kelly, Penny Pills (Liquor & Poker)

When I got the advance of this album last winter, I predicted that Penny Pills would be my favorite CD of the year 2006 and, no surprise here, I was right. Embracing a full-on 70s sensibility of Alice Cooper’s School’s Out and T Rex at its most glam, Penny Pills is the only drug you need.

Lake Trout
2. Lake Trout, Not Them, You (PALM)

Baltimore’s Lake Trout bring us acid rock for the aughts and are one of the best live bands around.

Kasabian ST
3. Kasabian, S/T (RCA)

Kasabian are such a great band I can’t even believe they’re signed to a major label, let alone RCA. Which reminds me of joke:

Q: How do you stop the spread of AIDS?
A: Let BMG distribute it.

Eric Anders More Regrets
4. Eric Anders, More Regrets (Baggage Room)

Eric Anders is an obscure, independent singer songwriter whose unaffected ability to turn a phrase and otherworldly knack for arranging transcendent, melancholy melodies would have made him superstar, you know, if records still sold based on talent.

Porcupine Tree Deadwing
5. Porcupine Tree, Deadwing (LAVA)

I still love the Prog rock and nobody bends the mind quite like the dark masters of the genre, Steven Wilson’s Porcupine Tree.

Turbonegro Party Animals

6. Turbonegro, Party Animals (Liquor & Poker)

What’s going on up there in Scandinavia that gives bands hailing from that part of the world such superior ass kicking power in the Rock & Roll arena? Norway’s Turbonegro might say it’s a higher tolerance for alcohol.

The Greenhornes East Grand Blues EP

7. The Greenhornes, East Grand Blues EP (V2)

The Greenhornes play fuzz-toned garage rock that’s impressively faithful to the sonic hallmarks of the classic British Invasion bands (Beatles, Stones, Yardbirds) and their counterparts in the original wave of American garage rock. East Grand Blues EP completely obviates the need for The Strokes to ever make another record.

Fear Factory Transgression
8. Fear Factory, Transgression (Liquid 8)

Managing to stay authentically dangerous without becoming a parody of itself, heavy metal juggernauts Fear Factory have in Burton Bell and Raymond Herrera the best lead vocalist and the best drummer, respectively, in the genre today.

Black Halos Alive Without Control

9. Black Halos, Alive Without Control (Liquor & Poker)

My hands down favorite band to see live and, individually, my very favorite group of band dudes to hang out with, Vancouver’s Black Halos sweat Rock & Roll from every pore. I just adore them.

Peppers Ghost Shake the Hand
10. Peppers Ghost, Shake The Hand that Shook The World (Hybrid)

Five words: Ziggy Stardust meets Sergeant Pepper.