SNOWSHOE ARE BACK AND WE HAVE THE EXCLUSIVE!
The Snowshoe saga continues! The Canadian punk supergroup that suddenly formed, imploded, and bizarrely settled their differences in the wrestling ring, have reunited! They call it the “Fuck Covid Tour”, or for tamer markets, simply the “We Really Mean It This Time Tour”. We had the opportunity to chat with all three members of the band:
- Billy Sol Hurok (formerly of Dirty Slush) – guitar, vocals
- Irving Cohen (formerly of Dead Bird on a Wire) – bass, vocals
- John Y. Schmenge (formerly of the Schmenge Brothers’ Sons) – drums
LeBrain: You guys had a pretty serious fallout in 2018, leading to the infamous 2019 wrestling match in the parking lot of Deke’s Palace. Why reunite at all?
BILLY SOL HUROK – Simple answer to that. We need the money.
IRVING COHEN – That’s pretty much it. Covid wiped us out financially. Of course that was the “plandemic” all along wasn’t it? Make us all broke, living on credit from the banks. Slaves!
JOHN Y. SCHMENGE – Would you fucking stop it Irv?
BILLY SOL HUROK – This tour is going to be a lot of fun…not. Me, I don’t give a shit about vaccines and conspiracies. Irv on the other hand…
IRVING COHEN – Don’t you dare call me a conspiracy theorist or I’ll knock you the fuck out in this interview, I don’t care!
BILLY SOL HUROK – Irv’s not even the worst. Sure he’s antivaxx, but on the other hand Schmenge over there is so pro-vaxx that he got shot 10 times.
JOHN Y. SCHMENGE – 11 times. I got boosted again for the tour. I’m gonna be Superman on that fucking stage.
IRVING COHEN – You see?
LeBrain: You guys must really need the money. Back to the music, Eternal Winter is an album you recorded but never released. We’ve received the tracklist and it looks awesome! [see bottom] Any chance of it coming out for real this year?
BILLY SOL HUROK – Simple answer to that too. We need the money.
IRVING COHEN – That would be a yes.
JOHN Y. SCHMENGE – CD, vinyl, cassette, and 8-track. I’ve been on the internet a lot and 8-track is coming back. I insisted we release on 8-track, limited numbers. I’m having my car stereo guy put an 8-track deck in my Tesla so I can hear it as it was intended: with a break in the middle of every third song.
LeBrain: Wait…you guys are broke, but John drives a Tesla?
BILLY SOL HUROK – Irv and I are broke. John made a killing painting houses during the winters in Churchill Manitoba. He figured out a formulation for the paint not to freeze. His painting business runs 12 months a year. He was on Dragon’s Den and everything.
IRVING COHEN – Arlene even hit on him after the show.
BILLY SOL HUROK – After giving him a cool million for 50%.
LeBrain: So, John, obviously money isn’t a motivation for you. Are you doing it for the love of music?
JOHN Y. SCHMENGE – No. I love music but I hate these two assholes even more. I’m doing it for the Guinness’ Book of World Records.
LeBrain: Cool! What record are you going for? Loudest band? I hear that record was set by your former tourmates Inushuk in Thunder Bay at Deke’s Palace.
JOHN Y. SCHMENGE – No, no, no. I’m going for the vaccine record. Not only am I going to collect as many shots as I can, but I want to be the first Canadian to get one in every province.
IRVING COHEN – I’m not even going to comment. Keeping my fucking mouth shut as long as it gets us back on the road.
BILLY SOL HUROK – Right, so let’s talk about that. We start where we left off: Deke’s Palace in Thunder Bay, then we work our way west, then back east through Thunder Bay playing the Palace again, all the way to the east coast…
JOHN Y. SCHMENGE – There’s a place in New Brunswick called Tim’s 8-Track Heaven that I can’t wait to check out!
BILLY SOL HUROK – (Grumbles) …and then we actually go back through Ontario to Thunder Bay once more, playing the tour closer at Deke’s Palace for our third stop there.
LeBrain: Why three stops at Deke’s Palace?
BILLY SOL HUROK – Well you know the old saying, right? The only thing cheaper than the beer at the Palace is the women! Also the owner, Deke Williams, owes us. Three gigs is the least he could do for us after what happened last time.
LeBrain: What happened last time?
IRVING COHEN – Food poisoning. That’s the real reason I lost that wrestling match to Bill, was food poisoning. Bill ate McDonalds, I had salad bar. I have a really grainy video on my phone. There was some shady activist looking guy hanging around the salad bar. They cheated and Deke set it up. I rest my case.
BILLY SOL HUROK – You lying fucking conspiracy theorist piece of shit!
LeBrain: Woah, woah, woah! Take it easy guys, or you’ll never make it on the road! Let’s end it here and…
IRVING COHEN – (To LeBrain) Fuck you too, media! (Punches LeBrain in jaw)
ETERNAL WINTER – Final Track List (8-track tape version)
The entire original 2018 recordings, newly remixed, with one new song recorded in 2022!
- Lock Up Your Sheep / Irving Had A Little Lamb
- Rolling Through the Hay River, NWT
- Eat My Poutine, Putin (beginning)
- Eat My Poutine, Putin (end)
- I Love Hating Your Guts
- Thunder From the Tundra (beginning)
- Thunder From the Tundra (end)
- Blowed Up Real Good
- The Smell of 1977
- Yellow Popsicle (beginning)
- Yellow Popsicle (end)
- Touch My Dink in the Ditch (The Legendary Klopeks cover)
- Current River Blues
- Three Bloodthirsty Women From the Land of Always Winter
- We Cairn A Lot (Inukshuk cover)
We know it as well as anyone: family must come first.
Deep Purple’s Steve Morse is taking a break from touring to care for his wife who is suffering from cancer. In a statement Morse said, “At this point, there are so many possible complications and unknowns, that whatever time we have left in our lives, I simply must be there with her.”
Replacing Morse on tour is Simon McBride who has previously worked with Ian Gillan and Don Airey. Morse notes that if his wife Janine gets a clean bill of health, he will re-join the tour.
It is heartbreaking how cancer can derail plans so suddenly. After two years of not touring, Morse is forced off the road again. We wish the Morse family all the best and Janine a swift recovery. We also wish Simon McBride all the best in what will surely be the biggest tour of his life to date.
Get well soon Janine Morse!
Though he hasn’t been in the best of health in recent years, I didn’t see this coming.
Because of his size, Michael (Marvin) Aday named his first band Meat Loaf Soul. The name stuck. He was offered recording contracts, but felt that he wasn’t being taken seriously. He worked in musicals, such as Hair and the The Rocky Horror Show, which gave him his big break. As Eddie, he was cast in the movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He was unforgettable even in that jam-packed film. Next came Jim Steinman, and Bat Out of Hell.
Bat and Bat II will go down as some of Meat Loaf’s most remembered albums, among Dead Ringer, Midnight at the Lost and Found, and Bad Attitude. His movie career continued to bloom with memorable roles in films like Fight Club and Spice World. He even sang and appeared as Jack Black’s dad in Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny.
Meat Loaf had intended to record seven songs for a new live/studio album this month. Sadly this will never come to be.
Rest in peace, Meat Loaf.
We all “knew” who Budgie was thanks to Metallica. Their cover of “Breadfan” was better than many of Metallica’s originals. Then, I came across Martin Popoff’s debut tome Riff Kills Man. The praise thrown at the Welsh trio got all our attention.
I always thought Budgie had elements of all the classic metal bands. Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Priest, Maiden, with a vocal vibe reminiscent of Geddy Lee.
Burke Shelley was the voice, the vision, and the rumble. He made basslines into hooks and had a knack for a long, twisted song title. “I’m Compressing the Comb on a Cockerel’s Head”. “Nude Disintegrating Parachute Woman”. “In the Grip of a Tyrefitter’s Hand”. Unforgettable! Metallica covered “Crash Course in Brain Surgery”. Maiden covered “I Can’t See My Feelings”. But not all the song titles were labyrinthine. “Guts” from the debut LP packed just as much punch in just four letters!
Budgie’s first album soared in 1971. They broke up in the 80s, but flew once more with 2006’s You’re All Living in Cuckooland and a new lineup. Now Burke has left us in Cuckooland, but at least we have a rich back catalogue of albums and singles to enjoy.
Fly high, Burke.
Fans of classic Canadian rockers Triumph are in for a special treat – the launch of the ‘Triumph Vault’ website on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021.
By accessing triumphvault.com, fans will be able to discover artifacts from the band’s career beginning with a celebration of Triumph’s classic 1981 album, ‘Allied Forces.’
This inaugural collection will feature a selection of newly discovered artifacts personally curated by Mike, Gil and Rik in collaboration with Definitive Authentic. Several pieces are partnered with new audio commentary directly from the band.
New collections will be added to the Vault regularly for fans which will unlock over 45 years of Triumph’s illustrious rock & roll history through rare photos, audiograms, video, behind the scenes content, and exclusive collectables.
Commemorating the launch, the Triumph Vault will offer signed and numbered limited-edition memorabilia that have never been made available until now. And as part of the celebration and in keeping with the iconic ‘Allied Forces’ cover, fans who sign up for updates via the site are automatically entered to win a Dean Flying V guitar with a personal note from the band!
“We’re super excited to have our loyal fans experience the launch of the Triumph vault. Finally, after years of touring and recording, we’re able to unearth and display rare elements and artifacts from Triumph’s history. We can now share with our fans what we’ve been stowing away for years at Metalworks Studios.” –Gil Moore
The Triumph line-up – Rik Emmett, Gil Moore, and Mike Levine – rocked the world, and in the process, gave us countless classic hard rock anthems (“Fight the Good Fight,” “Hold On,” “Magic Power,” “I Live for the Weekend,” “Lay It On the Line,” and of course, “Rock & Roll Machine,” and albums (Just a Game, Progressions of Power, Allied Forces, Never Surrender, Thunder Seven, etc.).
Originally formed in 1975 and hailing from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, the trio was always proud of their Great White North roots. And seemingly ever since their inception, Triumph was on the cutting edge of technology when it came to their live show – particularly lighting, sound, and effects. Sophisticated lasers, pyrotechnics and moving lighting rigs, all computer-controlled – Triumph was one of the first arena rock bands to incorporate all of these elements into their shows.
Triumph’s headlining tours were legendary, and the band was featured on many memorable stadium/outdoor shows – including the US Festival, the World Series of Rock, the American Rock Festival and Texxas Jam, Day on the Green, to name but a few. And earlier this year, the band was the focus of a documentary, ‘Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine,’ directed by Banger Films’ Sam Dunn and Marc Ricciardelli.
And now, Triumph fans will be able to celebrate the history of the band – with the launch of triumphvault.com.
Norm Macdonald had been fighting cancer for nine years, and none of us knew about it. That takes guts, to just keep on keeping on. What a man Norm Macdonald must have been.
Side-splittingly funny. Like most of us, I first saw Norm on Saturday Night Live. Then came my favourite, Dirty Work, and of course all the understated brilliance that’s waiting on YouTube for you to discover.
His style was like his fingerprint. Laid back. Meandering. Riveting.
There are others who can say it better than I can, so go on Twitter and read what they wrote. Seth Rogen cites Norm as a prime influence. Tom Green counts him as a friend. Hearts are broken today. So have a laugh courtesy of Norm Macdonald. Rest in peace
Charlie Watts, the legendary Rolling Stones drummer, has passed at age 80.
While not the original drummer, Watts joined the fledgling Stones in 1963 and played on every album they ever recorded. He was as steady as the morning star, and the Stones often said if Charlie wasn’t there, then the Stones weren’t either. However in recent weeks doctors advised Watts that he should not tour with the band and they enlisted Steve Jordan as a fill-in. Watts never recovered and passed away in hospital.
The Stones have sold 200,000,000 albums over the last 57 years. Watts’ steady beat was behind them all.
His style was simple yet essential. Charlie was one of the steadiest drummers in rock history. Perhaps his greatest performance was on “Gimme Shelter”, his unmistakable rhythm propelling the song.
Of all the rock star deaths in 2021, this could be the most devastating. Rest in peace, Charlie Watts. You helped make rock and roll what it became.
The band that has had the same three members for 50 years has lost a brother. ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill is gone, in the middle of an absolutely brutal week for music. Joey Jordinson, Mike Howe, Don Simmons, and now Dusty Hill.
The bassist with the groove. The mover and the shaker. The guy who sang “I think it’s time to spank my monkey” on a mainstream rock album. He’s gone.
Dusty missed a show earlier and it was most likely the first time ZZ Top ever played without the bearded bassist. After 50 years in the same band together, you can bet that Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard are going to miss their brother.
Rest in Peace, Dusty Hill, May 19 1949 – July 28 2021.
Late yesterday we were informed that Don Simmons, the original founding keyboard player from Helix, had passed away. He was 64.
Simmons played in the original Helix band, with singer Brian Vollmer, drummer Bruce Arnold, guitarist Ron Watson, and bassist Keith “Burt” Zurbrigg. Simmons gigged with Helix from 1974-1976, and was still in the group for a short time when Brent “The Doctor” Doerner joined, beginning the transformation into the modern band.
In 2004, Helix staged a massive reunion that included many of their former surviving members. The original band, including Simmons on keyboards, got up on stage for the first time in 30 years and played “Buff’s Bar Blues”, a mainstay of their early sets. The show was released as the 30th Anniversary Concert.
Don never stopped loving music and continued to play keyboard and guitar. Rest in peace, Don Simmons.