Brent Jensen

#1001: 50 (Or, Reading a Post in Real Time)

RECORD STORE TALES #1001: 50

Well, it happened.  After two and a half years of no illnesses whatsoever, this boy finally got sick a couple days before his 50th birthday.  Not Covid, thank fuck.  Just the cold that seems to be going around “like wildfire” according to our pharmacist.  Sunday night it hit like a ton of bricks and I was in bed by 5:30.  Monday I was coughing with a sore throat and spent the entire day in bed, a couple hours here and there aside.  Tuesday I was well enough to go back to work.  Dead tired though.

And so, this 50th birthday that was supposed to be a simple movie night with the parents is now a night at home by ourselves.  Can’t bring this cold into their house.  Additionally, because I didn’t go into work on Monday, I cancelled my planned day off on Friday.  Just not enough time left in the week to get everything done.  We were supposed to do a 50th birthday celebration at the lake but that won’t be happening.

As miserable as I felt, it’s nice to get the birthday messages.  Because I can, I’ll boast a bit about the celebrity birthday wishes.  I’m always a little shellshocked when guys like this wish me a happy birthday:

  • Brent Jensen, the author and podcaster who always makes my skin vibrate
  • Mike Fraser, world-class producer and mixer extraordinaire
  • Brent Doerner, Helix guitarist
  • Greg Fraser, Brighton Rock and Storm Force axe-slinger
  • Michael Willerding, former drummer for Russian Blue and Feel
  • Rik Fox, original W.A.S.P. bassist who messaged all the way from Facebook jail

Even though I feel like I need an extended

[cut]


That is the exact moment while writing this post on a snack break that my cell phone rang.

Same old, same old, same old.  The mall called.  My beautiful wife had a seizure.  This time, she fell flat on her face and cut her lip.  She looks absolutely brutal right now.  It hurts my heart.

Had to leave work early.  I’m exhausted.  She’s pretty sore.

Let’s focus on the good.  Trying to focus on the good.

OK, the good:

  • Happy birthday wishes from all my friends and relatives
  • Surprise birthday pizza and pasta from our pharmacist, Vu
  • Surprise birthday parcel from Thor, aka Thunder Blackmore (it’s just cool getting a text message that says “You have a parcel from Thor”)
  • Jen is safe

I was going to do a big unboxing of Thor’s parcel but I am dead tired now.  I need rest.  And what says “you’re 50 years old now” better than a nap?

It can only get better from here.  Happy 50th, to me.

#992: Long Weekend of The Lizard, Water, and the Scales of Justice

RECORD STORE TALES #992: Long Weekend of Lizards, Water, and Max

We rolled in Thursday night and it was so hot that we cranked open all the windows.  And that was it with any kind of warmth!  The rest of the weekend was cold, windy and required long sleeves!  Regardless of the hot and cold reception we received, I watched Brent Jensen and Alex Huard discuss Appetite for Destruction on Thursday Night Record Club outdoors as planned.

The music on the road up was, as always, good!  We started with Saigon Kick’s The Lizard, in anticipation of Friday night’s big interview.  It was tremendous fun to listen to such a great album, 30 years young, in the car.  Upon conclusion we played a tape of Max the Axe’s first gig with the present lineup, recorded August 4 2017.  Five years of Meat, Dave, Mitch and Max creating music together.  While the years have made them better, the live cassette of the first gig is good enough that we hope it will form the basis of their first live album.  The setlist consisted of eight tracks from the then-unrecorded Status Electric album, a Black Flag cover later finalized for Oktoberfest Cheer, and the Max classic “I Don’t Advocate Drugs” with Meat singing lead for the first time.

All Friday and Saturday, music took over the cold front porch.  It is hard to type with frozen fingers.  I am working on a major Kiss project that I will not reveal yet, but in preparation I played a ton of old Kiss on the porch.  Lick It Up, Creatures of the Night, Hotter Than Hell, Paul’s solo album, and plenty more.  When the Kiss was concluded, I moved on to Judas Priest (Point of Entry).  As always, it was a magical retro soundtrack that acted as a mental time machine.  I would have been playing those same albums back in ’87-’88.  The big difference being – I was stuck in my room!  Now the porch is my room.

One thing for certain. I would have loved it if I had the technology to do stop motion animation in 1987. All I had were my Transformers toys, comic books and imagination. Now I have that plus cameras and computers. I spent several hours working on animation. Let’s face it: It’s just an excuse to play with toys as an adult!  There’s nothing wrong with that and it was damn fun, especially with Judas Priest blasting in the background just like they would have in the 80s.

Saturday night we went for some nice walks and I shared stories of the old days.  No phones, no cable, no digital music back then.  The only way to was to haul all my physical music, and associated players, up to the lake to enjoy.  And enjoy we did.  Nothing has changed there except convenience and sound quality.  Playing the music that I bought at the cottage originally sure brings the memories back.  White Lion’s Big Game and Jon Bon Jovi’s Blaze of Glory were two such albums that I spun again in the old original setting.  I bought ’em both in Kincardine on cassette.  Hanging out with Bob Schipper and picking our favourite new tunes…great memories!  I remember putting the sticker for the JBJ cassette on the bottom of the top bunkbed.  Jen and I talked a lot, and perhaps there’s a number of stories there to tell in the future.

Three days came and went as quickly as a cool summer breeze.  All I have left now are the photos and videos to keep the memories fresh.  You can watch them now too, all edited together to the sound of a new remix of “Scales of Justice” by Max the Axe!  I think it’s the best cottage video I’ve ever made.  What more could you want?

#978: Motley Imposter

RECORD STORE TALES #978: Motley Imposter

Has any band merrily skipped through drama like Motley Crue?  Very few.  From near death (Nikki Sixx) to actual death (Vince’s car crash), to all the women and parties, there are no bands like Motley Crue.  The drama overshadowed the music on many occasions, especially during the “Pam and Tommy” years.  One of the most bizarre Crue stories involved an imposter posing as Nikki Sixx.

The year was 1988 and his name was Matthew Trippe (reported in some articles as Matthew Von Trippe, getting his middle name John wrong).  We briefly discussed the Trippe-y story back in Record Store Tales #656:  The One They Call Dr. Feelgood.  Matthew’s claim was that the real Sixx had a dibilitating car accident in 1982, and so a lookalike (Trippe) was hired to play bass and write music with the band, with no one in the audience being any the wiser. Trippe had tattoos similar to Nikki and dyed his hair black.  The real Nikki Sixx was having his own issues, but being replaced in the Crue was not one of them.  Kerrang broke the story in March of ’88, with lawsuits a-flyin’.  Trippe wanted compensation for what he claimed were two or three years in Motley Crue.

You can hear all about the Trippe story tonight on Scotch on the Rocks, from the real expert – writer Brent Jensen.  Long story short – the lawsuits went nowhere because there was only ever one real Nikki Sixx.  Deke, Brent and I will have the whole story for you tonight, while presently I’ll take you on a somewhat different detour.

When this story hit all the rock mags, my regular publication Hit Parader ran with it as well.  The idea of a fake Nikki Sixx wasn’t all that unbelievable.  I had heard many stories about who really played on Kiss albums over the years.  Was it Ace, was it Vinnie, or someone else?  In the 80s these details were hard to come by and rumours flew.  If Motley had a fake Nikki, it didn’t seem unbelievable.  Kerrang ran the Trippe/Sixx story as if it were truth.  Visual differences from early Nikki to present Nikki added fuel to the fire.  But it was Vince Neil who was the subject of the imposter rumours in our neighborhood.

After reading the magazine, I approached my next door neighbour George to ask if he had heard the story.

“A Nikki Sixx imposter?  No, I never heard that before.  I thought you were going to say Vince Neil,” he said matter-of-factly.

I was surprised.  “No, the magazine said Nikki Sixx.  What’s up with Vince Neil?”

George got serious.  His eyes sometimes fluttered when he talked serious.

There was a girl he liked.  I don’t think she was ever his girlfriend, but he talked about her as if she was.  She was a rocker girl and she loved Motley Crue, especially Vince Neil.

“Well,” he began, “Angie knows Motley Crue.  There’s nobody in town who knows Motley Crue better than she does.  And she swears that Vince Neil is not the real Vince Neil.”

Really?  That’s a bombshell.

George continued.  “She’s studied pictures of Vince, and there are some where she has said flat-out, ‘that is not Vince Neil’.  And she would know.”

“This article says it was Nikki Sixx, not Vince,” I countered.

“Angie would know,” said George.  “She loves Vince Neil and she insists that the Vince Neil today is not the same guy that was in Motley Crue before.  If anyone has been replaced by an imposter, it’s Vince Neil,” he insisted.

“I guess we’ll see what happens next,” I concluded.

Of course the truth isn’t that confusing.  Vince Neil has had a few plastic surgeries over the years.  If George’s girl thought Vince looked different, that would be why.

As for Trippe, who died in 2014, he never came clean about his ruse.  He did go down in history as the subject of a Motley Crue song called “Say Yeah”, which is better than he probably deserved!

“Get out, out of my face, get the fuck out of my face!”

Sunday Screening: Thursday Night Record Club – Fair Warning, Diver Down, 1984

Brent Jensen and Alex Huard have been, for several weeks now, discussing classic rock albums from the perspective of the veteran and the newcomer. It has been a fascinating series to follow and listen to albums with. This week they tackled an unprecedented three: Van Halen’s Fair Warning, Diver Down, and 1984. Have a look!

Birthday Rockin’, Skin Vibratin’, Guest Laden List Show

Another trip around the sun is always worth a celebration, and tonight we celebrated several birthdays!  Most notable those of Harrison and LeBrain.  As I say “happy birthday, to the Mad Metal Man”, I also thank Tee Bone for his two new music videos!  Tonight we premiered his latest hit “Fuck Pants”, and “HBD to the Mad Metal Man”.  Above and beyond the call of duty my friend!  Both songs were played multiple times during the show, so you can be sure not to miss them!

Party goers that were in for the long haul included:

We also had special surprise drop-in guests:  Scott Peddle, Michael Morwood, T-Rev, John Snow, and Brent Jensen himself!  Since the theme of tonight’s lists was “songs that make our skin vibrate”, we had to have Brent on, who contributed his own cool list.

Also thank you to Geoff Stephen, Deke, Kevin & Sarah, and Mike Slayen, who would have been on tonight if there were able.  And a huge thanks to Chris Thuss, who tabulated the panel’s picks at bottom.  Thanks buddy!

A great time was had by all, thank you for watching.  See you next week for Polychuck!

 

 

 

The LeBrain Train “Music That Makes Your Skin Vibrate” Birthday Party Extravaganza

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and Harrison

Episode 76 – “Music That Makes Your Skin Vibrate” Birthday Party Extravaganza

 

Both Harrison and LeBrain have chosen to celebrate their birthdays tonight, with the online party to end all online parties.  Because of this special occasion, we’re going with a Nigel Tufnel Top Ten theme of Harrison’s design this time.  In an effort to be inclusive, he picked a broad topic that anyone can contribute a list for:  music that makes our skin vibrate!  That phrase was originally coined by author and friend of the show, Brent Jensen.  And we couldn’t do a show about music that makes our skin vibrate without him.  Fortunately, Brent was available and he will be dropping in tonight!

It will be a fully packed, fully caffeinated show, and therefore tonight’s format will be a little looser than the usual.  Although we will be going in our usual rounds, we will also pause when surprise guests drop in to wish us happy birthday.  I expect this one to be a long, lively and dynamic show, with surprises.  Including two brand new songs by Tee Bone himself!  I can tell you right now that at least one of them is bound to be a hit.

Confirmed panel members include:

and, in her show debut…

Additionally I look forward to a visit from Brent and whoever else can make it!  While we’re at it, let’s wish Aaron and Sarca happy birthdays as they are both celebrating this week as well!  (Unfortunately Aaron is too busy partying in real life to make it tonight, but we wish him happy birthday just the same!

A huuuge thanks to Tee Bone for the music videos we are going to premiere tonight.  These are songs he wrote specifically for this show.  Videos he curated for your own entertainment.  Music that will hopefully make your skin vibrate.

See you tonight!

 

Brent Jensen and the Raiders of the Lost Mahogany Tape Case

Thank you Brent Jensen for appearing on the show a second time!  Although the conversation veered wildly from Cinderella to Raven and back again, we orbited around Brent’s mahogany box of cassettes.  Maybe you had one like it.  But was your stuffed alphabetically from Accept to W.A.S.P.?  Take a look inside Brent’s tape collection and listen to the amazing stories that unfold.

The chat with Brent commences at 0:23:00 of the stream.

As my One Year Anniversary Show, we are doing a CD giveaway too.  Next week we’ll draw a winner from a hat.  See bottom for the trivia question and submission form!

The trivia question was: What is the tagline on Brent’s No Sleep ‘Til Sudbury podcast? Watch the episode for some pretty obvious clues and submit your answer in the form below.  Really, really, really obvious clues.  Really obvious.

A winner will be drawn next week!

NEXT WEEK

Marco the Contrarian joins Uncle Meat and I for the Blackest of Sabbaths, only on a Friday!

Brent’s Back! Leftover People with Ladano, Deke and Brent Jensen

The LeBrain Train:  2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano…and Deke!

Episode 55 – The Return of Brent Jensen

** One Year Anniversary Episode **

 

Brent Jensen is one of my favourite people.  His No Sleep ‘Til Sudbury podcast is essential listening.  I’m currently working my way through the book No Sleep’Til Sudbury, a story I really identify with.  Though Brent is a couple years ahead of me, I really see myself in his story of discovering hard rock and heavy metal in the early 80s.  Seeing bands for the first time, the contrived origins and evolution of Motley Crue, cassettes, video tapes…it is a great read.  One that has me stroking my beard in deep thought, as I am forced to consider heavy metal history from a different angle.

Superdekes will be back as your co-host for what we hope will be another excellent free-form conversation about the subject we all love:  music that makes our skin vibrate.

In addition:  this will be my one year anniversary show!  Ontario went into a state of emergency on March 17, 2020.  I went live that Friday.  And here we are a year later!  To celebrate, I’ll be doing a CD giveaway (details at bottom), and showing clips from the very first show a year ago.

Not only that:  Brent is celebrating four years and 200 episodes of No Sleep ‘Til Sudbury, the podcast!  He just opened a new Patreon membership too, so we will be talking about that and plenty more.  This is an episode you don’t want to miss.  You want to catch it live!

7:00 PM E.S.T.
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CD GIVEAWAY CONTEST 

We will be asking a skill-testing question about Brent Jensen on the show.  Submit your answers in the form below.  We will be giving away two sealed CDs:  The Cars’ debut (remastered), and a signed copy of Jim Crean’s excellent Insatiable.  I will be doing a random draw from a hat next week!

Awesome Music That Makes Your Skin Vibrate: Two Hours of Brent Jensen on the LeBrain Train

A million thank-you’s to Brent Jensen, the author of No Sleep’Til SudburyLeftover People: A Journey Through Post-Rock & Roll America and All My Favourite People Are Broken.  Chatting music is what we love to do here, and it was a privilege to speak with someone so saturated with musical knowledge, stories and connections.  When you watch this show, I hope you feel the kinship that we music diehards share.

Obscure format junkies:  Check out 0:24:10 of the video for info on a format Sony were working on called “The Cube”.  It would have been a six-sided format around the time of the compact disc.

You can buy Brent’s books at Amazon, and you can check out his podcasts at nosleeptilsudbury.libsyn.com.  (I’ll be checking out the Sandy Horne from the Spoons episode ASAP!)   If you’d like some merch, contact him directly and he’ll hook you up.  Details at the end of our video.

A million more thanks to Superdekes for setting this episode up.  My brother from Thunder Bay should be known as “Superfan” after his meticulous homework and attention to detail!

There will be no sleep tonight as I hit the web looking for all these tunes!  From Saxon, to Kick Axe, to Maiden (with and without Blaze), to Priest (with and without Ripper), please enjoy the music that makes our skin vibrate.

 

 

For those who missed it, here is the 11 minutes that Youtube missed, but Facebook had. Unboxings: Jeff Scott Soto, John Norum, The Black Crowes, Frank Zappa, Def Leppard.

Brent Jensen and Music That Makes Your Skin Vibrate – Tonight on the LeBrain Train!

The LeBrain Train:  2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano

Episode 38

Music writer Brent Jensen is the author of No Sleep’Til Sudbury, Leftover People: A Journey Through Post-Rock & Roll America and All My Favourite People Are Broken.  He also hosts the excellent No Sleep ‘Til Sudbury podcast, which, believe me, is a a rabbit hole with (currently) 184 episodes.  Brent does a lot more than just talk about music.  He digs deep into the history, the stories and most importantly the people.  It is going to be an honour and privilege to talk music and pick the brain of Brent Jensen on tonight’s show.

Tonight’s guest host Superdekes has challenged me to come up with five songs that “makes my skin vibrate”.  After several days of brainstorming, changes and second-guesses, I think I have done just that.  It might get heavy!

It truly is an honour to have Brent on our little show.  I mean, this is a guy who has interviewed Ron MacLean at least four times.  Can you say “we’re not worthy”?!  Either way, tonight is going to be awesome.  Get ready to dig deep into tunes that make your skin vibrate.

Tune in tonight at 7:00 PM E.S.T.!

Bonus for early birds:  Regular viewers know that I usually go live before the show officially starts at 7:00 — usually around 6:40 PM.  This is so I can do some unboxings and new music reveals before the guests arrive.  Tonight I’ll be unboxing a parcel from CD Japan and showing off my latest purchases from Encore Records!

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