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A Year to the Day: Rest in Peace, Eddie Van Halen

‘Twas only a year ago I wrote these words:

There will never be another Van Halen.  No player before or since will have the ingenuity and influence he did.  From modifying his own guitars and amps to achieve the perfect “brown sound”, to brutalizing the strings with a drill, he was an innovator.  He was the most important of all the guitar innovators. And he sheepishly grinned through the whole thing as if to say, “Who, me? I did that?”

A year later, it’s only more certain that there will never been another Eddie.  You can read my full memorial here:  Rest in Peace to the greatest guitar player of all time.

The week Eddie passed, we did a tribute to him on the LeBrain Train.  You can watch that tribute below, starting at the 20 minute mark.

As if that wasn’t enough, we followed that with another Van Halen show: VH deep cuts!  One thing for sure, Eddie certainly inspired a lot of conversation on the LeBrain Train over the past year.  You can watch the deep cuts below, starting again at 20 minutes.

Let’s all take a moment to reflect, and play some Van Halen tonight.  Tonight, I’m going to go with “Dirty Movies” from Fair Warning to spotlight the greatest gee-tar picker of all time.  What song or album will you play for Eddie tonight?

Long Live the LeBrain Train

The weekly LeBrain Train has come to an end after 18 solid months.  I’ve done what I wanted to do — keep you entertained and connected during this pandemic.  I’ve not missed a week, but my fuel tanks need refilling and now’s the time to take a break.  But not to fear — as we announced, there is an alternative.

Darr Erickson said, “What about re-running classic episodes instead of going live?”  So that’s what we’re doing!  Special and well regarded past episodes will be repeated on Friday nights at the regular time and regular place.  The shows aren’t necessarily easy to find so we’ll do the searching for you, and play the best of the best one more time.

Next week tune in for the ZZ Top Deep Cuts episode, which made many lists tonight.

Oh right, the lists!  Joined by Harrison the Mad Metal Man, we listed the Nigel Tufnel Top Ten episodes of all time.  Lists submitted by:

  • Tee Bone (x 2)
  • Rob Daniels
  • Uncle Meat (x 2) – special cameo appearance
  • John T. Snow
  • Scotty Peddle
  • and me (x 2)

We also had plenty of special features!

  • Harrison’s Top Albums He’d Save From a Fire (0:08:00)
  • Brand new Tee Bone song “Ode to Darr” (0:29:00)
  • Special Sausagefest 20 highlights & video from Uncle Meat (0:31:15)
  • Lego LeBrain Train diorama & Easter Eggs with Harrison (1:01:30)
  • Not one but two new LeBrain train intros, adding new faces

Watch the video to learn who’s who in this Lego diorama by Harrison!

 

Discussion in the comments was lively and made me wonder if more people are still home on a Friday night than I assumed.  I hope you enjoy next week’s repeat of the ZZ Top episode.  With Dusty’s recent passing, it will be interesting in retrospect.

And we’ll be back with Superdekes on September 24 to talk to Storm Force one more time.  Our first interview was Storm Force so it’s full circle.  Stay tuned for plenty more list and theme shows.  The ideas flowed in the comments section so there is no shortage of potential themes!

‘Til next time….

A LeBrain Train Retrospective

Lego by the awesome Harrison

 

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano

Episode 81 – A Retrospective

When you put as much into something as I have with this show, you eventually need a break.  I said I would keep doing this every week so long as Covid is keeping people stuck at home with nothing to do on a Friday night.  I think I’ve done that.  While not 100% of us are back to situation normal, it’s clear that most of us have had other things to do on the weekends.  And that’s awesome.

Given that the landscape has changed, and I’ve been at this for 18 solid months, changes are coming.  This show is to honour the past and look to the future.

Tonight, Harrison and I shall discuss our Nigel Tufnel Top Ten LeBrain Train Episodes of all time.  We’ll also run down the show’s history from its debut on March 20, 2020 to the present.  The fun, the ambition, the setbacks, the wins, the losses, and the memorable.  And what is to come!  We have something very, very cool planned.  You have Darr Erickson to thank.

I’ll be back September 24 with Superdekes to talk to Greg Fraser of Storm Force.  And we’ll be back again and again, any time a bunch of us want to talk about music on a Friday night.

As Ozzy would say, “Thank you, goodnight, I love you all.”

And you know about Ozzy and farewells.

 

Friday August 27, 7:00 PM E.S.T. on Facebook:  MikeLeBrain and YouTube:  Mike LeBrain.

 

Complete Show List

 

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.
Facebook:  MikeLeBrain  YouTube:  Mike LeBrain

 

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!

Surprise Live Unboxing

The LeBrain Train:  2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano

Went live for a short stream yesterday, just to unbox some stuff that I didn’t wanna wait until Friday to do. You’ll have to watch to see the three special new arrivals.

Also just building the hype for March. The whole month is already booked up and I’m really excited. Watch the video and check out what we have in store. It’s not a spoiler to tell you that this Friday is Riffs of the 80s with Mike Slayen!  This is a followup to our very popular Riffs of the 70s show back in January.  Mike will demonstrate some of the riffs we’re going to discuss.  As an added bonus we’ll also have Rob Daniels with us, who always has an interesting set of picks.

Check out the video, and subscribe to my channel so you never have to worry about missing one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

And speaking of…

Martin Popoff chills with the Three Amigos at the Rock and Roll Highschool

Thank you Martin Popoff for a thunderous rock and roll chat on a locked-in Friday night!  Confronted by three Top Five Popoff lists, Martin threw it down!  From his books to his Youtube shows, we tried to cover a bit of everything.  Thank you Martin for giving us an hour of your Friday night.  If you haven’t read one of his terrific tomes yet, check out what’s available at martinpopoff.com.  Money well spent!

We decided to take a three-pronged approach to the discussion by focusing on three Top Five lists:

  1. Deke – Top Five Martin Popoff Books
  2. Mike – Top Five albums I bought because of a 10/10 review in Riff Kills Man
  3. Eric – Top Five Martin Popoff YouTube appearances

From there the discussion flowed like a gin & tonic.

Hope you enjoyed the show!

 

 

REMINDER: Martin Popoff on tonight’s LeBrain Train!

The LeBrain Train:  2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano

Episode 46 – A Chat With Martin Popoff

Join SuperDekes, Uncle Meat and myself TONIGHT as we talk to the guy who, frankly, got me writing reviews in the first place!  It was Riff Kills Man that inspired me, a book that I’ve been re-reading this week only to find new revelations.  I love when I feel validated by a review in one of Martin’s 90-odd books.

Martin’s extensive bibliography (he is the Isaac Asimov of Heavy Metal) includes definitive tomes on Accept, Rainbow, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and just about every other band with legendary status.  As my re-reading this week has shown me, Martin has a way of describing music that just resonates.  It’s a talent that I have long envied.

Please spread the word, and welcome Martin Popoff to the LeBrain Train tonight!

7:00 PM E.S.T.
Facebook:  MikeLeBrain  YouTube:  Mike LeBrain

Martin Popoff – Top of the Bill on this week’s LeBrain Train – Friday Jan. 15

I am pleased to announce this week’s guest:  none other than Martin Popoff, Canadian music scribe extraordinaire!  Martin will be joining us to talk about his many books, YouTube shows, and assorted awesomeness.  It is a conversation I have been hoping to have for, oh, 20 years (give or take).

The LeBrain Train:  2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano

Episode 46 – A Chat With Martin Popoff

Join Super “Ironballs” Deke (who hooked it up with Martin), Uncle Meat and myself this Friday as we talk to the guy who, frankly, got me writing reviews in the first place!  It was Riff Kills Man that inspired me, a book that was passed around from friend to friend like a kid passes along a nudie mag.  “Have you ever heard Gillan?  Budgie?  Thin Lizzy?”  These were the words muttered as we handed the book onto the next recipient!

Martin’s extensive bibliography (he is the Isaac Asimov of Heavy Metal) includes definitive tomes on Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Rush, Motorhead, Max Webster and just about every other band with legendary status.  Through all that I kept my treasured copy of Riff Kills Man safely in my desk at work.  I’d write Amazon album reviews on my lunch break, and I had to have Popoff nearby to consult in case of confusion or doubt.

Please spread the word, and welcome Martin Popoff to the LeBrain Train on Friday January 15!

7:00 PM E.S.T.
Facebook:  MikeLeBrain  YouTube:  Mike LeBrain

Art by:  Saige from Weeping Willow Creations

I will be taking the next few days off from writing and posting so I can focus on preparing for this show.

Tres Hombres talk ZZ Top Deep Cuts on the LeBrain Train

Tons of fun, both on and off topic tonight, on the LeBrain Train.  Aaron from the KMA and Kevin from Buried On Mars were on board with some killer lists of ZZ Top’s best deep cuts.  A lil’ bit of overlap but not too much!  We also read off some guest lists:  San Diego guitarist Mike Slayen, and a local Kitchener singer named Mike Mahler.  Check out their lists as well as ours!

Show time index:

Watch from the start to see the latest CD unboxing from Encore Records.

To check out the new music video by Current River called “Hodder To Hell”, skip to 0:16:45 of the stream.

The ZZ Top talk commences at 0:22:20.

At the end of the show I spun the Loudness video for “Black Widow”.  Find that at 2:32:36.  (No copyright strike, yay!)

I hope you enjoy this week’s show as much as I did!  The 2021 season is off to a great start.