Eddie Money

R.I.P. Eddie Money (1949 – 2019)

Edward Mahoney was a cop.  As Eddie Money, he was a star.  “Take Me Home Tonight” and “Two Tickets to Paradise” will be played on radio stations forever.  Thank you for the music Eddie Money.

At age 70, Eddie succumbed to cancer of the esophagus.  A long hard struggle.  We hope his family finds peace in this difficult time.

 

Rest in peace Eddie Money.

 

 

 

REVIEW: Ace Frehley – Spaceman (2018)

ACE FREHLEY – Spaceman (2018 eOne)

Ace is back and he told you so!…with a new band.  It’s true.  One of the of the players on Ace’s new disc Spaceman (Scot Coogan) was in his band…until last week.  And that’s all we’re gonna say about that.  Anton Fig and Matt Starr of Mr. Big also handle drum chores.  Ace steps up with new songs, stacks of guitars, and bass too!

Perhaps the showcase moment of the new album is the first Simmons/Frehley co-write in forever, a stomper called “Without You I’m Nothing”.  Almost immediately, without even knowing the details, there is something “Simmons sounding” about it.  Probably because he’s also on bass.  There is something primitively unique about a Gene Simmons bass line.  Ace’s guitar solo, the first of the album, is pure wicked electricity, though he struggles a bit vocally.  It’s a solid opening though, followed by the old-styled “Rockin’ With the Boys”.  It sounds like something written for 1987’s Frehley’s Comet.  It’s all about the chorus.  Then Simmons is back with another co-write (no bass though) on “Your Wish is My Command”.  Ace’s guitars have a crunchy chime, and the focus is catchy melody.

Spaceman was preceded by an excellent EP, Bronx Boy with a brilliant title track.  “Bronx Boy” is back.  That’s Scot Coogan on drums and backing vocals…no wonder he’s pissed about being fired!  Make way for the crunchy stomp “Pursuit of Rock-N-Roll”!  You don’t have to read the credits to know that it’s Anton Fig playing that tricky rhythm.  His unique playing plus Ace’s crunch make this another album highlight (and a song that Ace wrote solo).  That’s followed by a song he didn’t write:  Eddie Money’s “I Wanna Go Back”!  When Ace covers a song, he tends to go for poppier things than you’re used to hearing from him.  Think “Do Ya” from Trouble Walkin’.  This one has the potential to be as fondly regarded.

“Mission to Mars” rocks.  It’s a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am rocket ride to the red planet.  Another potential album highlight.  “Off My Back” (Anton Fig on drums) is really strong as well.

Finally (technically) the next in the instrumental “Fractured” series:  “Quantum Flux”.  Technically, because the word “Fractured” isn’t in the title, but it could be considered a spinoff of “Fractured Quantum” from Anomaly.  It’s heavier than the usual, so “Fractured” doesn’t quite suit it.  The acoustic guitars are only a small part of this wide-ranging instrumental.  Songs like “Quantum Flux” are levels above the rest musically.  It’s a tour-de-force.  Ace Frehley is an instrumental genius.  Yeah, we said it!

For Ace Frehley in 2018, Spaceman is a delight.  It is a true fact that the human voice changes as we age, and Ace’s is lower and less dynamic.  Instrumentally he’s never been better, and as a songwriter, he’s done well.

4.25/5 stars

#443: Touched by the Music

TOUCHED BY THE MUSIC

GETTING MORE TALE #443: Touched by the Music

I recently attended a memorial service for a friend of my wife’s, who was a local musician.  His chosen genre was considered “dark synthpop”, something I don’t have a lot of in my collection.  In the 80’s, he released a few records with his brother – actual vinyl records!  I first met him through the Record Store, as he was a customer.  I didn’t know the man very well.  I knew him to see him and say hello, but it was my wife who really befriended him.  They had become close, playing cards weekly with other mutual friends.  She had come to really love his understated but sharp wit.

A few months ago, when she was told that he had passed away peacefully, she was absolutely gutted.  Neither of us can really understand how a kind gentle soul can be taken too soon, but it happens every day in this world.

The memorial service was very emotional, and for me, I felt like I was getting to know him for the first time.  His family made it a musical service.  His younger brother, who described him as a genius, sang a modified version of Eddie Money’s “Baby Hold On” for him, one of his favourites.  We also heard a lot of his own compositions.  Even though synthpop isn’t a genre that struck a chord with me before, I found myself entranced by his music.  It was remarkable in ambient depth, melodic composition, and feeling.  His best friend spoke at the service, and described him as a science fiction and horror movie buff, as well as a music nerd extraordinaire.  In his music, I could hear that.  I picked out influences from Dr. Who, Friday the 13th, and other cinematic sources.  In short I loved what I heard.

But there was more to it than just enjoying his music.  At the service, his family said that he expressed himself mostly through music rather than words, and I could hear that.  I felt like I was getting to know him a little bit better through his melodies, rhythms and arrangements.  It is arduous, trying to explain just how I felt like I was really recognizing him for the first time.  All I know is, I could hear him there.  It was as if he was in the room, but unable to speak beyond the notes he had recorded.  The music was enough and I think everyone in that room felt it.

He was gifted; a musical genius in fact.

I wish I had that gift, of being able to musically represent myself and my feelings the way he could.  I’m glad that, for a moment, my soul was touched by his through music.