Live from Maxwell’s in Waterloo Ontario, it’s Coney Hatch with “Devil’s Deck”! Andy Curran – bass & vocals. Carl Dixon – guitar & vocals. Dave Ketchum – drums. Sean Kelly – guitar. Rock n’ Roll!
That. Was. Epic!
0:32:00 – Andy Curran (Coney Hatch/Soho 69/Caramel/Leisureworld) joined us with a flawless connection! We picked up where we left off last week. We also got a couple exclusives from Andy! Stories you won’t read on the internet. Stuff like: auditioning for Doro Pesch in the mid 80s. A project with Adrian Smith that never came to fruition. Playing tennis with Steve Harris. Working as A&R with Rush. A wealth of information!
1:49:30 – Get ready to have your minds blown. Mike Fraser joined the show, and we got to sit and watch as he and Andy bantered back and forth — old friends reunited. This was truly a special moment to watch. From there we questioned Mike on the new Lee Aaron, and his work with Thunder, Dio, Satriani, Malmsteen, Black ‘N Blue, Power Station, The Wild!, Jackyl, the Crue, Metallica and AC/DC among many. This was Mike’s second appearance with us and we still had so much ground to cover!
I hope you enjoyed this supersized show. Four hours of rock and roll for you!
List shows return with Desert Island Discs! Featuring: Harrison Kopp, Uncle Meat, John Snow, Rob Daniels and a bonus list from Holen. Don’t miss it!
April 30: T-Bone is back to talk Van Halen’s 5150 with myself and the Meat Man.
May 7: Paul Laine with your co-host John Snow!
May 28: Dave Lizmi of the Four Horsemen!
The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and Superdekes
Episode 60 – Andy Curran and Mike Fraser double header
It’s the first ever double interview show on the LeBrain Train this Friday night! Warm up your coffees.
First up, we have Andy Curran back from last week to finish up our chat! The focus will be on the latter part of his career that we didn’t get to. Caramel, Leisureworld and beyond. Andy will be on at 7:00 PM E.S.T.
Second, it is the return of engineering wizard Mike Fraser! Although we quizzed him for a couple hours last time, we only scratched the surface. We didn’t get into Dio, The Wild, Satriani or Chickenfoot. Expect lots more great musical memories with Mike this Friday at 8:30 PM E.S.T.
Apologies in advance for the technical issues on this week’s program. We did our best, and fortunately Andy has agree to come back next week and talk about the latter half of his career!
This week we discussed:
- The new forthcoming album Coney Hatch Live at the El Mocambo
- A second live album in the can
- The first three Coney studio albums: self-titled, Outa Hand and Friction
- Road and studio stories
- Andy’s first two “solo” albums, Andy Curran and Soho 69 – Scatterbrain
And next week we’ll be back to discuss Caramel, Leisureworld, Four and beyond.
I really want to thank Andy for his patience this week. Hopefully we can get a better stream next week. When it worked it kicked ass!
Tune into the stream at 0:36:45 for Andy’s arrival and interview.
Thanks for watching, and thanks for your patience everyone!
The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and Superdekes
Episode 59 – The Earl of the 8th Note – Andy Curran
His name is on so many albums in our collections, from Coney Hatch to Soho 69 to Caramel and beyond, to writing with Kim Mitchell and helping to put together Rush and Max Webster box sets. His bass is literally made of the floor of the El Mocambo club, and now Coney Hatch have their first official live album recorded in that same club.
We come at Andy from two perspectives. Deke has questions he has been burning to ask for 40 years. Mike is the new fan whose first Coney Hatch purchase was pre-ordering the live album in late 2020. That groundbreaking concert was live streamed during the Covid pandemic and then prepared for the imminent CD and vinyl release of Live at the El Mocambo.
Please give a huge welcome for Andy Curran on the LeBrain Train!
It didn’t come as a surprise when the province of Ontario went back into the “grey zone” again last week. But sad to say, when I asked myself “How will this change my daily routine?,” I had to admit that it wouldn’t. Easter wasn’t that different from last year. I did some live streaming, I did some listening, I did some writing.
Actually I did a lot of listening and writing. Andy Curran (Coney Hatch, Soho 69, Caramel) will be on the show this Friday April 9. The guy is fount of rock knowledge so this will be quite a tour-de-force, and I have been doing my research. I’ve been listening to Coney Hatch and solo Andy, on repeat. I have three Rock Candy remasters here with valuable liner notes and bonus tracks. I’ve been reading. Deke will be in seventh heaven getting to talk to one of his heroes. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and that’s one reason I do this. It’s fun.
Friday afternoon I went over to my parents’ house to pick up some mail. Mail theft became a serious issue last year so now I have my mail delivered elsewhere to be collected. In the mail were two Star Trek movies that I haven’t seen in a long time. Two years ago, I made the mistake of donating all my Star Trek DVDs while doing a big purge. I said “No big deal, I’ll just buy a Blu-ray set.” But none of the Blu-ray sets had the features I wanted from the DVDs. I have been slowly buying them back, and this weekend I got to star Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
It has been literal years since seeing The Voyage Home, or “the one with the whales”. Perhaps a decade. What a perfect film, at least as perfect as any movie with time travel conundrums can be. I smiled and chuckled the whole way through.
As for Khan, I know I streamed it somewhere fairly recently, but it has been just as many years since I watched the extended director’s cut. It only adds up to a few minutes here and there, but it was all fresh and new to me. The restored scenes help clarify the identity of young Peter Preston, who dies in the first attack. “He stayed at his post, when the trainees ran!” mourned Mr. Scott. A restored line reveals Peter Preston is Scott’s nephew. “My sister’s youngest,” he says. “Crazy to get to space.” Lines such as this add value to the already perfect film. Others do not. Additional exposition was probably cut because it wasn’t necessary. I did like one in which Kirk explains to Spock who David Marcus is. “That young man is my son”, says Kirk. The only reply necessary from Spock: “Fascinating.”
So I had fun. I made lots of time to play some music. I listened to Paul Stanley’s Soul Station, and I’m trying to find a way to be objective about reviewing it. I like it a lot. But if anybody else with a better voice put out a similar record, would I give it the time of day? Unlikely. So there is a certain hypocrisy there that I must address before I attempt to review it. But I will. I genuinely like the album. But I like it on the same level that I like the Peter Criss solo albums: as a reasonable facsimile of the real article. A forgery through the lens of somebody I already like and am familiar with. Easier to digest.
Tonight: Easter dinner courtesy of Golf’s Steakhouse, via the generosity of my mom who always spoiled us. Friday night’s live stream was Easter themed, and viewers were shocked at how spoiled we were as kids. We got great Easter gifts while other kids got a chocolate bunny. My sister and I didn’t question it, we just went with it!
Thanks mom for dinner tonight. I ordered a porterhouse. It’ll be here in 10 minutes.
Happy Easter my friends.
METAL ON ICE – Tunes from Canada’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal heroes (2013 Warner Canada)
Good Sir Aaron purchased this for me at his local establishment for the low, low price of $5. In Aaron’s review, he stated, “This is the best $5 I’ve spent on spec in ages. Bar none.” That’s mighty tribute from a guy like Aaron, who buys a lot of CDs on spec.
What is Metal On Ice? The talented guitarist Sean Kelly (Crash Kelly, Four By Fate, The #1 Classical Guitar Album) put together a book of rock tales from Canada’s best of the 80’s: Helix, Anvil, Coney Hatch, Killer Dwarfs, Kick Axe and more. To go with it, he also produced this EP. Metal On Ice, the CD, consists of remakes of Canadian heavy metal classics. For all but one song, he has the original singers from the bands singing lead vocals. For the one that he doesn’t, (Kick Axe’s “On the Road to Rock”) he has Nick Walsh from Slik Toxik. Then to top it all off, he and Walsh wrote a new song called “Metal On Ice” featuring vocals from almost everybody.
Many of these songs are radio staples. “Heavy Metal Love” is one of those Helix classics that has endured. Written by Brian Vollmer and the late Paul Hackman, I think it’s one of Helix’s best tunes, period. Vollmer’s pipes speak for themselves. Sean Kelly was in Helix, on bass, for a few months before Brian reunited the classic lineup. Playing bass on this version however is Helix bassist Daryl Gray. It’s a pretty authentic remake.
I found “Metal Queen” by Lee Aaron to be the most impressive track. I cannot believe Lee’s voice, powerful as ever! With the new production and guitars by Sean Kelly, “Metal Queen” has actually been improved. It’s still an old-school metal chugger, but you can actually hear the lyrics now! What is important is that Kelly has not changed the songs very much at all. His impressively tasteful playing is enough to make each one shine just a little more. Each solo is 100% appropriate to the classic songs.
A great example of this is the Headpins’ “Don’t It Make Ya Feel” featuring Darby Mills. He has captured the vibe of the original guitar tone, and the song is very authentic. Similarly, Nick Walsh does not deviate too much from George Criston’s lead vocals from “On the Road to Rock”. When Walsh screams the high notes, it’s perfect. Carl Dixon sings lead on Coney Hatch’s classic “Hey Operator”. Dixon nearly died in a car accident not too long ago; it’s great to hear his voice as strong as ever. How do these Canadian singers stay perpetually young sounding? Is it our cold, frosty air?
Russ Dwarf returns to remake the Killer Dwarfs favourite, “Keep the Spirit Alive”. This has always been my favourite Killer Dwarfs song, right from the very beginning. It’s absolutely wonderful to hear a well produced updated version. I admit that when I first got this CD, I went back and played “Keep the Spirit Alive” four or five times in a row.
Finally, there is the new original song “Metal on Ice”. This ode to the road features lead vocals from Dixon, Vollmer, Mills, Walsh and Aaron. I love the lyrics: “Hello Kelowna, goodbye Kenora, but we do it all tomorrow in Thunder Bay,” for example. It is these kinds of Canadian towns that has kept the rock alive through trends and changing winds. Walsh proudly proclaims that even though they may never make it to the top, they’re never going to stop.
A great sentiment on which to end a great CD.