VHS Archives

VHS Archives #123: Poison’s Bret Michaels and Rikki Rockett talk to Steve Anthony on MuchMusic – 1988

I love this vintage interview clip. If anyone in rock holds the title of “Captain A.D.D.”, it would have to be Poison’s Bret Michaels! This scattershot blurb on good press vs. bad press goes about a million miles per hour, but it’s all fun.

VHS Archives #122: Rockhead – Ear to the Ground

CBC had a music program called Ear to the Ground in the early 1990s.  Their Rockhead episode aired at the tail end of 1993 (judging by the New Year’s ads).  Rockhead, of course, included producer extraordinaire Bob Rock on lead guitar — and as a writer and musician, he’s as good as the bands he produced.  But what made Rockhead special was not Bob himself.  It was the singer he discovered, Steve Jack, a new screamer who could easily compete with the big boys on the scene.

Apparently Bob Rock experienced some resistance from people who thought being a successful producer should be enough.  This is discussed alongside some killer live and rehearsal footage.  Drummer Chris Taylor and bassist Jamey Kosh also get some camera time to talk about the boss!  Other topics:

  • Four years of effort to get the record out
  • Going from unknowns to opening for Bon Jovi in Europe
  • Being true to your roots
  • The evolution of the songs and trying to say something “a little more deep”

The problem with the show Ear to the Ground was that they played a lot of music, but not complete songs.  This meant it was both light on interviews, and light on music.  Sort of a soupy in-between.  You be the judge.

I left in one ad for the Kids in the Hall!  Enjoy.

Check out Deke’s awesome album review here.

VHS Archives #121: Hurricane’s Kelly & Jay show off new mascot

A quick clip with Kelly Hansen and Jay Schellen of Hurricane, talking about following trends and showing off their new mascot.

VHS Archives #120: Blue Rodeo – “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” live at the 1994 Juno Awards

Please enjoy one of Canada’s greatest bands, live or in the studio:  Blue Rodeo!  Pay special attention to master bassist Bazil Donovan, the elegantly complex slide work of Kim Deschamps, and ex-Andy Curran dynamo Glenn “Stumpy Joe” Milchem on drums!

Hosting the Juno Awards on this night was Roch Voisine.  Though they were nominated for three awards including Group of the Year (which they lost to the Rankins), Blue Rodeo went home empty-handed.

This was, in my humble opinion, the best lineup the band has ever had. I was fortunate enough to see them in this incarnation on the Tremelo tour in ’98.

Jim Cuddy – vocals/guitars/mandolin
Greg Keelor – vocals/guitars
Bazil Donovan – bass
Glenn Milchem – drums
Kim Deschamps – pedal steel
James Gray (RIP) – keyboards

VHS Archives #119: Rik Emmett of Triumph’s Solo MuchMusic Debut

The final of my three epic Rik Emmett interviews in the VHS Archives.

August 1990:  It was the Magic Summer Tour and the Perfect Gentlemen were opening for New Kids On the Block at the CNE in Toronto.  That was the big news.  With all that teenage hype looming outside the big glass MuchMusic windows in the form of young girls, in walked Rik Emmett with his first solo material since leaving Triumph in 1988.  Nobody knew what to expect!

Interviewer Steve Anthony is his usual goofy self and loosens Rik up with a few joke questions about New Kids, Perfect Gentlemen and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, before diving into the big ones.

Topics discussed:

  • What artistic expression was he not able to fulfil in Triumph but now can as a solo artist?
  • The new album Absolutely and the response from Triumph fans and the music industry.
  • The writing process.
  • Hair production.
  • The Judas Priest trial.
  • His (awesome) new six piece band.
  • Being a guitar player vs singer/songwriter.
  • The new song and video “Big Lie”.

That’s it for my Rik Emmett treasure from the Archives, I hope you enjoyed them.



VHS Archives #118: Ray Gillen & Jake E Lee of Badlands (1991)

Badlands made a great second record together, but the timing was all wrong.  If coming out in the summer of ’91 against Van Halen, Metallica, Skid Row, and Guns N’ Roses didn’t mean certain doom, then Kurt, Eddie, Layne and Chris would finish them off. On the road to promote the Voodoo Highway album, Jake E. Lee and Ray Gillen dropped by MuchMusic to chat.  The former Ozzy guitarist and former Sabbath vocalist might have had a sense that the album wasn’t getting the push that the debut received, but they don’t let on in this interview.  A goofy Jake plays with Ray’s head while Ray tries to answer a question.


  • Jake not being very good at returning phone calls (the formation of the band)
  • Diversity in music
  • “The Last Time” music video

VHS Archives #117: Fred and Tom from Cinderella 1990

Fall 1990!  Cinderella were in Hamilton Ontario to sign autographs and meet up with Dan Gallagher from the Pepsi Power Hour.  Fred Coury and Tom Keifer chatted with the Dan Man about their new album Heartbreak Station.  Other topics:

  • MC Hammer
  • A side project with Coury, Stephen Pearcy, Tracii Guns, Kyle Kyle and Taime Downe
  • Touring
  • Talking to the fans

Not a long interview but certainly a glimpse of times!


VHS Archives #116: Joe Elliott and Rick Allen of Def Leppard in June ’88

On June 10 1988, Def Leppard rolled into Toronto on their massive Hysteria tour.  Michael Williams of MuchMusic was on hand to ask them about Rick’s accident and remarkable recovery.  They also discuss writing with Phil Collen for the first time.

VHS Archives #115: Erica Ehm talks to Bret Michaels about Native Tongue while Richie Kotzen just sits there

1993:  Native Tongue was not doing well on the charts, but MuchMusic dutifully had Bret Michaels and new guitarist Richie Kotzen on hand for an interview with Erica Ehm.  It’s a pretty solid 10 minutes, touching on the following topics:

  • Getting “serious” lyrically
  • Safe sex
  • C.C. leaving the band, Bobby breaking his hand
  • Reasons for being in a band, still
  • The “Stand” video, and the Bill Clinton inauguration
  • Critics
  • Bret writing “country music”?
  • Toning down the image

Richie Kotzen utters one complete sentence the whole time.  This interview is remarkable not because Bret Michaels is always entertaining, but because Richie Kotzen didn’t fit in and it’s painfully obvious.

VHS Archives #114: Alice Cooper – The Trash Hour (1989)

September, 1989:  I raced home from school to watch the Pepsi Power Hour’s big Alice Cooper interview, called the Trash Hour.  Alice picked the songs, but they are edited out for YouTube.  You can see what he picked for yourself, as Alice literally takes out the trash.

Host Laurie Brown had a great rapport with the Coop.  Driving a brand new Trash Truck, Alice is funny and informative on the following subjects:

  • Trash rock
  • New album and signing with Epic
  • Writing 22 songs with Desmond Child
  • Saving the Hollywood sign
  • Cameos in Prince of Darkness and Shocker
  • Horror as comedy, staged violence
  • Band alumni gone solo

The Trash Hour works out to a tidy 15 minutes without the music and ads.  Make sure you catch the ending.  Have a good Sunday!