Tag Archive | Tommy Lee

Black Stone Cherry at NYC’s Beacon Theater

Black Stone Cherry Press Photo
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A publicist recently asked me what bands I’m currently listening to – and I know she expected me to name some “new” bands, but I had to confess that the bulk of music I’ve been loading on my iPod or adding to my collection in recent months is music from the 1970s. Because, from The Beatles through Glam, Prog Rock, Classic Rock, Hard Rock, the onset of Electronica, Punk Rock and New Wave, the Seventies really had it all. This realization actually brought back an awkward memory of the time an editor (whom I still affectionately refer to as Iron Nuts) accused me of being “desperate to like a modern band.” Okay, guilty as charged. Still, I’m not going to apologize for it.

One modern band that I do like a lot is Black Stone Cherry. I’d own all of their records even if I didn’t get them for free from their label, and I try to see the band play live when they come to New York City. So, I felt very fortunate to get on the guest list to see these remorselessly southern rockers from Kentucky kick out a super tight but exhilarating 45 minute set last week, in support of the Sammy Hagar-fronted all star contingent Chickenfoot. Making sure to please both faithful and new fans, Black Stone Cherry’s three albums (2006’s eponymous debut, 2008’s Folklore and Superstition and 2011’s Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea) were equally represented within an eclectic 10-song set list.

Black Stone Cherry maintain a gritty enough modern edge to do battle with the fiercest head bangers, but what they remind me of at their creative core is The Allman Brothers with a touch of Hendrix. Surely no one could find fault with that. And any doubt of the veracity of this groups’ southern rock roots is laid to waste with Deep Blue Sea’s exceptional cover of The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” on which Black Stone Cherry pay deep homage to the original tune while completely making it their own. It’s easy enough to casually toss out a phrase like “The Real Deal” when describing a blues-based rock band, but I’m not fronting when I say that Black Stone Cherry does their old school mentors proud in their ability to rock out and entertain without the need for any added bells and whistles. These guys just love music; and it shows. Front man Chris Robertson, who effortlessly tackles lead vocals and lead guitar owns a seasoned but fluid voice that delivers both rockers and ballads with equal power and finesse. As a front man, he’s cute but also burly and masculine. I dig his vibe. While bassist Jon Lawhon stays mostly anchored to the stage, his fretwork is top shelf, and it’s a lot of fun to watch rhythm guitarist Ben Wells work the stage, tirelessly leaping atop monitors, engaging the audience and heightening the energy of the room. But for me, the superstar of the band is drummer John Fred Young, who channels the thunder power of John Bonham in his attack on the kit while fully capturing the showmanship of a crowd-pleasing player like Tommy Lee. Young’s arms never stop moving. I could watch him play drums all day. Plus: Hot.

Black Stone Cherry had me and the rest of the crowd on our feet for most of their set (impressive for an opening act), and I love all of their songs, but the most memorable tune of the evening, I think, was “Blame It On The Boom Boom,” which, despite being somewhat dorky, keeps the decadence of the Rock Star Lifestyle alive with its message about the joys of bonking and getting wasted, or something like that. I doubt that any of these guys are Motley Crue-level partiers, but it certainly wasn’t lost on me that they chased “Boom Boom” with few bars of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” – a song I would love to see them cover on a future album.

See the Set List after the Jump!

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Happy Birthday, Tommy Lee!

Motley Crue Drummer Tommy Lee was born on this day, October 3rd in 1962. You can read an hilarious interview I did with Tommy way back in 2002 at This Link. Happy Birthday, Tommy!

Motley Crue Kick Start My Heart at Madison Square Garden!

(All Photos by Geoffrey Dicker)

I have said it many times before – and I am saying it again right now – that I would rather listen to Motley Crue songs like “Dr. Feelgood” or “Shout at the Devil” one hundred million billion times than be forced to listen to the majority of today’s shitty, modern alternative trash rock for fifteen seconds. Because, here’s the thing, Motley Crue – undeniable walking punch lines that they are – are nevertheless a bonafide gang of dangerous, ex-drug addict rock stars from an old school of Rock with a Capital R that, really, does not exist anymore. And for this, I worship them openly.

Watching Motley Crue play live is like driving a Ferrari at 100 miles an hour or having endlessly orgasmic sex with the hottest partner imaginable (me: Gael Garcia Bernal). NONE of these emo/screamo “Mommy didn’t love me” bullshit bands get me off at all. None of them have the balls of a Rock God like Nikki Sixx, who is one of the most original, charismatic figures in rock music since John Lennon. None of these new “excuses for musicians” have any rock star cache. And man, I miss that more than you could even imagine.

Today’s pop music sounds like it came from a can, and 90% of these young bands are just a bunch of whiney brats with guitars who aspire to sound like The All American Rejects (worst band ever) because that’s what the little emo kids are downloading from iTunes. Geesus god, when did rock music get so fucking lame? You can keep Panic at the Disco and The Academy Is and I’ll just curl up with Girls Girls Girls and my copy of The Dirt and be just fine, thank you.

I had a fucking blast last night and so did my plus one, Geoffrey, who I brought along with me since he had never seen The Crue before. I figured he’d appreciate their deal, as he is the only gay guy I have ever met whose favorite band is The Doors. Geoffrey knows his shit when it comes to what rocks and what does not rock. I have very few issues with Motley Crue as people, their showmanship or their set list. They played all the hits you could want to hear as a 20-year fan and very few songs from their new CD, which I do not know. Their stage set was awesome. They had so many explosions and bright lights and shiny visual distractions that I’m still deaf and seeing trails. Mick Mars can play his ass off despite being practically turned into a living statue from ankylosing spondylitis (look it up) and both Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee have life-long “Get Out of Jail Free” cards as far as I’m concerned. But…I have an issue with Vince Neil. Please allow me to share.


Vince, Nikki & Mick

Before their set even started (and remember that we had to sit through three opening acts, all of which – thank Christ – were at least pretty decent in the “ability to rock” department), Geoffrey and I were taking bets about whether or not Vince Neil would be fat. “I bet he’s fat,” said Geoffrey. “I bet he’s fat, too,” I admitted. So you can see there was no real betting going on there, since neither one of us had any faith in Neil’s ability to stay away from the pork rinds. But – surprise – Vince is not only slender-ish, but looking quite fit these days. He was full of energy as he danced and pranced about the stage in a manner that immediately brought to mind Billy Squire’s performance in the video for “Rock Me Tonight.”


Tommy Lee

But the gigantic bone I have to pick with Vince concerns his unwillingness/inability to sing any Motley Crue song all the way through from beginning to end without taking a hundred breaks in between. Basically, he sings about every third or forth word and leaves it up to the audience to fill in the gaps. WTF? He has been doing this for about ten years and it makes me want to smash him in the face. Vince, dude, get a little bit friendly with reality here: nobody in Madison Square Garden last night paid $90 for their ticket so they could hear the drunk guy next to them sing the chorus to “Kick start my heart.” I mean, that’s the pay off! If you just sing every other word to the verses and then hand off the mike to the audience to sing the chorus – like a lame, douche bag jagoff – that’s completely unacceptable! I refuse to pretend that we should not call shenanigans on you for this heinous, repeated transgression! I would rather have Vince LIP SYNC the fucking songs then just not sing. Nikki Sixx must agonize over a desire to kick your not-that-fat ass out of the band for how you butcher his music. Fuck you, Vince Neil for not singing the songs!

Thank you for reading, and please continue to rock.

Possible Replacements for Bret Michael's on the Next Rock of Love

There He Goes Again…

Whitesnake’s Vocalist Does his Best Molly Shannon Impersonation on Here I Go Again With David Coverdale

I don’t know how may of you enjoyed the almost embarrassingly guilty pleasure of watching the past two seasons of VH1’s Rock of Love with Brett Michaels as much as I did. But if you’re already jonesing for Season 3, it’s kind of a bummer to know that, as of this juncture at least, Brett and his chosen “Rock of Love,” Ambre, appear to still be together. So, while the producers handle their negotiations with the next victim lucky bachelor (Tommy Lee, anyone?) Television Without Pity Dot Com has worked out this beyond hilarious list of Possible Replacements for Brett Michael’s on VH1’s next installment of Rock Of Love. Wait ‘til you see what Andrew Ridgely looks like now…

It All Went Down While I Was Watching Survivor

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God’s Idea of a Cruel Joke: Lukas Rossi wins Rock Star: SuperNova

Please do rush right over to this awesome, deliciously scathing editorial in the Village Voice that wraps up last night’s uber lame finale of Rock Star: Supernova — the worst show on television since the first season of Big Brother. My favorite parts are where author Tom Breihan refers to winner Lukas Rossi (the guy I pegged as the suckiest of the bunch right from the start!) as “an angry Canadian goth dwarf with creative facial hair” and later offers that, “Rossi is like what would happen if Orgy’s cover of “Blue Monday” somehow took human form.” Sweet!

In other fun news, CBS’ Supernova (Tommy Lee, Jason Newsted and Gilby Clarke) just lost the lawsuit brought against them by an Orange County, CA punk rock band called Supernova and thus will have to change their name to…whatever. As Briehan says in the conclusion of his piece, “Maybe they can have another Reality Show to pick their new name”!

Rock Star SuperNova: The Worst Show on TV!

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We Will Not Rock You

Despite its very happening website , Rock Star SuperNova is easily the worst show on TV. I’m serious; there is nothing worse on television that you could possibly find to watch. It makes American Idol look like The Sopranos by comparison. Suck City.

Even Hell’s Kitchen – with all of its screaming, backstabbing and chain smoking – has a higher entertainment factor.
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Gail Receives Email From Tommy Lee!

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It’s been traumatic enough for me to handle the fact that CBS couldn’t even get their shit together to air a season of either The Amazing Race or Survivor this summer. That’s just plain lazy. But I realized that summer 2005’s TV programming had hit really hit bottom and stared to dig when I found myself tuning in to the premiere of NBC’s Tommy Lee Goes To College this past Tuesday. I expected to witness a total train wreck, but instead I was oddly compelled to watch back-to-back introductory episodes of Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee’s highly contrived bout with higher education. Honestly, this show reminded me a lot of this reoccurring dream I have, where I’m back in school and it’s one week before final exams. One day I wake up and remember that there’s this math class I’ve somehow forgotten to attend all semester…

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So not only am I trying to figure what the fuck I’ve been doing all semester that’s kept me from going to this one class, but I’m in a total panic over how I can possibly make up an entire semester’s worth of homework assignments, take the final and possibly swing an incomplete in the course. Jesus god, what a nightmare.

But Tommy Lee Goes to College, which depicts affable rock n’er do well Lee as a sort of ‘Curious George’ of The University of Nebraska, kept me entertained with just the sheer hilarity of putting a high school drop out in an organic chemistry course that would put me in a coma and expecting him to stay awake. It didn’t hurt that Lee also looked really hot in nearly every scene where he wasn’t wearing some kind of stupid hat. I think I’ll be tuning for the entire 6 week (or however long it runs) season. I mean, hot rock stars are in short supply on TV these days. And Survivor doesn’t start for two more weeks.

The craziest thing about the show, however, is the fact that it induced me to have sex dreams of Tommy Lee all night long. Needless to say, I did not awake in the morning feeling well-rested. Thoughts of jumping Tommy Lee’s hotness continued to distract me at work all the next day and then suddenly I remembered: I have Tommy Lee’s email address. I decided to write him an email:

“Hey Tommy,” I wrote. “I watched your TV show last night (you looked hot) and then I had sex dreams about you all night. HOT!
Ok, rock on.”

Several minutes later I received the following reply from Tommy:

“Hahaha!! Nice!…gotta love those sex dreams!! I’m so pumped dude!!…the NBC show was their highest ratings this summer!!!…Can I get a “FUCK YEAH.”

I love that Tommy called me “Dude.” Anyway, that’s something fun that happened this past week.