Rest In Peace the Iron Sheik (1942-2023)

Sadly at the age of 81, Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, better known as the Iron Sheik, has joined the Squared Circle in the sky.

The Iron Sheik’s real name was Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri. Unlike many “foreign” WWF wrestlers, Vaziri was actually born where he was billed from: Iran. In his early years, he worked as a bodyguard for the Shah of Iran.

The Iron Sheik won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship from Bob Backlund on December 26, 1983 due to Backlund’s manager throwing in the towel during a vicious camel clutch. Sheik lost the title January 23, 1984 to Hulk Hogan and his atomic legdrop. Hulkamania had begun.

Fans of 80s wrestling knew the Sheik best for his tag team partnership with Nikolai Volkoff. Under the management of “Classy” Freddie Blassie, the Sheik and Volkoff took the WWF Tag Team Championship from the U.S. Express on March 31, 1985. The U.S. Express took the title back on June 17 of that year. The angle here was the US/Iran/Russia political rivalry, played out in the ring.

It was kind of a big deal when the Iron Sheik was caught doing cocaine while rival Hacksaw Jim Duggan was smoking weed in a car on the way to a match. For the WWF, an impact of this was that the Sheik was caught partying with his supposed enemy. This destroyed the illusion. The WWF let the Sheik go, and Duggan also temporarily left the organization.

Less than a year after the cocaine incident with Hacksaw Jim Duggan, the WWF deemed the public’s memory short and the Sheik made a triumphant return defeating “jobbers” (the guys who always lose to the bigger names). He bounced around other wrestling organizations, came back to the WWF in 1991, and then wrestled the independent circuit for almost a decade.

In his later years he enjoyed a pop culture status as a minor icon. In 2013 he challenged then-Toronto mayor Rob Ford to a match. Both men were caught doing cocaine during their professional careers. He has even appeared on the Canadian television program Kenny Vs. Spenny, attempting to sodomize Spenny with a bottle!  We loved ya, Sheiky!


Rest In Peace, Gordon Lightfoot (1939-2023)

When I saw Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. live for the first and only time about 15 years ago, I thought he was a goner!  He looked so thin and frail, and when he tripped over a cord onstage I feared, “Well, that’s it.”  The air went completely out of the room.  Fortunately and obviously it wasn’t the end, but it was also obvious that Lightfoot had been battling health issues.  His voice was thin and whispery; very different from those booming old 1960s folk records.

Gordon Lightfoot and I bonded over “Edmund Fitzgerald” like many others did.  The nautical theme struck a chord, and of course that guitar riff was unforgettable.

Even more than that unmistakable voice, Lightfoot might be better recognized for his songwriting.  “Early Morning Rain”, “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and “If You Could Read My Mind” are prime examples of perfect songwriting.  Elvis, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan all knew it.  That’s why they covered his songs.

Gordon Lightfoot will forever remain not just one of my favourite Canadian artists, but one of my favourite singers, period.  His lyrics will forever remain poems with dusty, buried layers of story that some of us will never even notice.  He educated me. Without Lightfoot I would have been ignorant of the name gichi-gumi, and possibly much of Canada’s history.  His records will be played infinitely.  He will live forever.

Rest in peace, Gordon Lightfoot.

SHOCKER! MarriedAndHeels becomes MarriedAndCrocs!

NEWS:  In a shocking turn of events, my good friend Married And Heels has now seen the light, and become Married And Crocs!

She has a large order of Croclights and Jibbets on the way, according to my sources.  Her husband is currently converting the famed Shoe Shed into a Croc Shed.  You read it here first, folks.  Photographic evidence below.  Please note that she wears them with the heel strap forward; I believe this is called “California style”.



NEWS: Scott Rockenfield opens his own online store

The (former?) Queensryche drummer who seems dedicated to chaos just opened his own selling crap artwork.  This is not to be confused with the official Queensryche store.

Bonus:  If you spend $250 or more, Scott will give you a personal phone call.

What would you ask Scott?  I have a few ideas. Maybe ask about that sweet new neck tat.


NEWS: Scott Rockenfield muddies the Queensryche waters further with “SuperHuman” announcement

(Former?) Queensryche drummer Scott Rockenfield has, shall we say, been a bit of a drama queen these last couple years.  In 2021 he announced his own version of Queensryche seemingly separate from the current version.  His supposedly included Michael Wilton and Eddie Jackson, but not singer Todd LaTorre.  Scott released a 2014 demo called “Days O’ Deth” as his only musical output so far, which ironically included LaTorre on vocals.  Scott’s dislike for LaTorre has been quite public in his social media.  The legit Queensryche have largely ignored Scott’s statements.

Today Rockenfield is announcing something in 2023 called “SuperHuman” with someone called Damien Krane.  The artwork recycles the album cover for the 2013 self-titled Queensryche CD.

Who knows what the hell is actually going on, but the possibility of two Queensryches has once again reared its ugly head.  Stay tuned in 2023 for more drama.


NEWS: Coney Hatch to play entire debut album at El Mocambo – 40th anniversary

Be there December 29 in Toronto! From there, the Hatch is off to the UK to open for Steve Harris’ British Lion!

NEWS: Loudness release new video for “Tengoku No Tobira (Heaven’s Door)” from new album Sunburst

Loudness have released a new DOUBLE album called Sunburst, and in support of that new album comes the music video “Tengoku No Tobira (Heaven’s Door)”.

There’s a very 80s vibe to the music, while the production is modern and tough. The band still consists of original singer Minoru Niihara, shredder Akira Takasaki, bassist Masayoshi Yamashita, and drummer Masayuki Suzuki. What do you think of this track?

NEWS: Jethro Tull finish work on their 23rd studio album, due for release in Spring 2023

Press release from Chipster PR below.  We waited 19 years for a new Jethro Tull album in The Zealot Gene, but now we are only waiting a year between albums for the next one!

Jethro Tull finish work on their 23rd studio album, due for release in Spring 2023


Jethro Tull have completed work on the recording of their 23rd studio album, following swift on the heels of their critically-acclaimed return earlier this year with ‘The Zealot Gene’, their first album in two decades.

Ian Anderson checks in with the below:

“We have been putting the finishing touches to the artwork for the album cover and wrapped up the recording and mixing a few weeks ago. Due to the usual long wait for vinyl pressing and manufacturing, we are scheduled for an Spring 2023 release but, during the weeks and months to come, you will be hearing more about the record and the various formats which will be available.

It’s a little too early just yet to tease you with titles, tracklists and content, but rest assured that it is all done and dusted as to mastering and the main elements of art and packaging. I hope you will like the concept and themes when I am ready to tell you more. It has been a long and tricky job to get the material recorded during a hectic schedule of touring in these last months. A day here, a day there and the odd burst of a few days together at some points along the way.

I wrote the main themes and lyrics back in January of this year and sent the first demos to the band in February and March, much as I did with The Zealot Gene, back in 2017. Most of the recording took place in June and August with the stereo mixing done in September. My new pal Bruce Soord of The Pineapple Thief undertook to create the surround sound mixes and an alternative stereo mix too.”

Jethro Tull continue live dates this year, with shows in mainland Europe before returning to the UK for their annual Christmas shows, and then further dates in 2023.

‘The Zealot Gene’, released in January 2022, was Jethro Tull’s 22nd studio album and it garnered critical acclaim across the board. Reaching #9 in the UK album charts, a feat the band hadn’t reached since 1972, it also debuted at #4 in Germany, #3 in Switzerland, #5 in Austria, #8 in Finland, as well as top 10 in the US Album Charts, Current Album Charts and Rock Album Charts.

With more than 30 albums to their credit and sales totaling more than 50 million, Jethro Tull are one of the most successful rock bands of all-time with a catalog that contains classics that still resonate today. Led by Ian Anderson, Tull still continue to tour throughout the world, entertaining audiences of all ages.

The band consists of:
Ian Anderson – Flute, acoustic guitar, harmonica, vocals
David Goodier – Bass guitar
John O’Hara – Piano, keyboards and accordion
Scott Hammond – Drums.
Joe Parrish-James – Guitar



Rest In Peace, Queen Elizabeth II

Canadian supergroup SNOWSHOE reunite for “F*** C***d” tour – exclusive interview



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.


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!


Program 1

    1. Lock Up Your Sheep / Irving Had A Little Lamb
    2. Rolling Through the Hay River, NWT
    3. Eat My Poutine, Putin (beginning)

Program 2

    1. Eat My Poutine, Putin (end)
    2. I Love Hating Your Guts
    3. Snoeshow
    4. Thunder From the Tundra (beginning)

Program 3

    1. Thunder From the Tundra (end)
    2. Blowed Up Real Good
    3. The Smell of 1977
    4. Yellow Popsicle (beginning)

Program 4

    1. Yellow Popsicle (end)
    2. Touch My Dink in the Ditch (The Legendary Klopeks cover)
    3. Current River Blues
    4. Three Bloodthirsty Women From the Land of Always Winter
    5. We Cairn A Lot (Inukshuk cover)