Mad Metal Man

The Replacements: Top Five Singers with John and Harrison

A huge thank-you to Harrison the Mad Metal Man and 2Loud2OldMusic’s John Snow for an awesome show this week.   At John’s suggestion we tackled our favourite replacement singers.  We don’t mean guys like Hagar, Gillan and Dio…those guys already get listed enough.  We wanted to go a layer deeper.

Get a pen to take some names!  We went slightly off the beaten track and came up with 15 unique replacement singers that, in one way or another, kicked our butts!

And if that wasn’t enough, check out our amazing list of runners-up at the end.  The cool thing is that we’ve talked to several of them on the LeBrain Train and Scotch on the Rocks!

See you again next week for another bunch of lists!

Top Five Replacement Singers on the LeBrain Train

Let’s try this again!

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike, John & Harrison

Episode 89 – Top Five Replacement Singers

This Cinco-de-Listo episode was planned for October, but due to circumstances beyond our control, had to be rescheduled.  So here we go!

The first time I posted this, I got so many comments about “Dio!”, “Dickinson!”, “Hagar!” and “Gillan!” that we decided on some ground rules.  Those guys are already well known for what they did.  They are like the Mount Rushmore of replacement singers.  We don’t need to waste valuable space in our Top Five lists on the obvious ones.  So these lists will be the other guys who deserve recognition.  You can name dozens of favourites, but who would make your Top Five?

Joining us tonight will be:

With those two guys, you know we will get a mix of the logical and the unpredictable!  Don’t miss this one.  Please like and share, and join the discussion live with your own lists.  Your lists will go up on the screen for discussion!  It’s gonna be fun, but the most fun can be had by watching live!

Friday December 3, 7:00 PM E.S.T. on Facebook:  MikeLeBrain and YouTube:  Mike LeBrain.

Take the LeBrain Train Time Machine back to 1981!

Won’t you take me back to school?
I need to learn the golden rule.
Won’t you lay it on the line?
I need to hear it just one more time.  — Justin Hayward

Truly awesome show tonight as we took our musical time machine back to 1981.  Thanks to the awesome panel:  Harrison the Australia Guy, Eric “Uncle Meat” Litwiller, and Dr. Dave Haslam.  Together we went deep on the following 12 albums from the year 1981 A.D.:

  • Oingo Boingo – Only a Lad
  • AC/DC – For Those About to Rock
  • The Who – Face Dances
  • Thin Lizzy – Renegade
  • Iron Maiden – Killers
  • Blue Oyster Cult – Fire of Unknown Origin
  • Genesis – Abacab
  • John Williams – Raiders of the Lost Ark soundtrack
  • The Moody Blues – Long Distance Voyager
  • Styx – Paradise Theater
  • ELO – Time
  • Rush – Moving Pictures

In addition, if you indulge yourself to watch the whole 3+ hour show you will also get:

  • an unboxing of the new Kiss Destroyer 45th Anniversary box set
  • history of the year 1981
  • a clip of Eric’s cinematic debut Raiders of the Lost Fart
  • lots of laughs
  • a list of virtually every noteworthy album of the year 1981

This show was a sequel to last year’s retrospective on the year 1980 with Deke and a spinoff of Deke’s excellent followup on albums from 1981.

1981: In Depth with LeBrain and Friends

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

Episode 88 – 1981 in Depth

For those about to rock, we salute you!

Last year, Deke and I went in-depth on key releases from the year 1980.  This year, Deke did an excellent followup with his friend Muc, on albums from 1981.  When Deke and I tackled 1980, we were still using Facebook Live, with all its limitations and frustrations!  We still did an incredible show, and I’ve been chomping at the bit to do it again.  This time I am able to beef up the panel to four.

These shows have a different format from the usual.  Each of us picks three albums from the year 1981, and we discuss them in depth.  From the facts & figures, to the historical context, and personal impact, we will cover it.  I won’t reveal the 12 albums total we will be discussing, but you won’t be disappointed.  Expect variety.  We will also tackle world history and pop culture of the year, and might even have early video footage of a very young Uncle Meat in his first acting role!

Your panel are as follows:

  • Myself (LeBrain)
  • Australia Guy (Harrison — who was not even born in 1981)
  • Dr Dave (Dave Haslam)
  • Uncle Meat (Eric Litwiller)

This Is Max the Axe, on the LeBrain Train

Max the Axe went off the rails of the LeBrain Train, and we were hanging on for the ride!

This wide ranging interview with all four Max the Axe band members included the following subjects:

  • How they got their nicknames (fan question from Jeff Taylor and Tee Bone)
  • Drinking
  • Recording on 1″ analog tape vs. digitally
  • Trying to make a record during the pandemic
  • Gigs (or lack thereof)
  • Cover tunes
  • A 40 year-old tune that sounds current today
  • New track “Iron Cross”
  • New track “Droid” (which neither Meat nor Dave heard of before tonight)
  • Remixes of “Scales of Justice” and “Randy” for a new release
  • Lyrics, storytelling and getting political
  • LeBrain’s Cinco De-Listo Top Five Max the Axe songs
  • Meat’s “retirement” & future of the band

Thank you to Harrison the Mad Metal Man who helped me helm this car crash that you just can’t look away from!


Harrison and Uncle Meat back to discuss key albums of the year 1981!  This is both a sequel to a show I did least year with Superdekes, and also a sister show to Scotch On the Rocks’ own special on the year 1981 featuring Deke and Muc.  I was unable to participate in that show myself, but still wanted to celebrate four decades of great albums from that year.  Join us next week!

Max the Axe brings the Oktoberfest Cheer on tonight’s LeBrain Train

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

Episode 87 – Max the Axe band interview

Hear ye, hear ye!  One band has consistently rocked us all since before the start of the pandemic.  That band is Max the Axe, and tonight we will have 3/4 of the group with us.

They are:

  • Mike Koutis/Max the Axe – lead guitar
  • Eric Litwiller/Uncle Meat – lead vocals
  • Dave Haslam/Dr. Dave – lead drums

This will be their first-ever interview together, and Harrison the Mad Metal Man will be with me to quiz the band on the new EP Oktoberfest Cheer.  The current crisis had a huge impact on its making and eventual release, and Max is eager to tell the story.  The EP certainly brought a lot of joy as we crawled through the second year of this pandemic.

On a serious note:  Please give this a “share” on your social media and help the guys out.  It’s no secret that views have been down, but every time we do an interview show, we sell a CD or two to a viewer.  You can help by sharing this show and maybe some of your friends will watch too.  I guarantee a great night and some great tunes!

Top 5 Album Openers, on the opening of the new LeBrain Train

Streamlined lists, and three of the most passionate rock fans on the planet came together last night for the relaunch of the new LeBrain Train!  The topic was Top Five Album Openers, and the guests were Uncle Meat and Harrison the Mad Metal Man! We call it “Cinco De List-O” and although the lists were shorter, we made sure we didn’t skimp on the analysis and appreciation.

Every one of the songs listed tonight deserve some time in your ears.  You can read the lists below, or have some real fun and watch the show!

Big thanks to my two co-hosts tonight, for what I think was a pretty damn good re-launch.  Let’s pour on the steam and this train a-rollin’ again.

Note:  Apologies to Max the Axe for playing the wrong version of “Pygmy Blowdart” at the top of the show.  I loaded the early cut into Streamyard.




Cinco De List-O: The New LeBrain Train

It’s back!

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano

Episode α – Cinco De List-O – Top Five Album Opening Tracks


Welcome back to the show, everyone!  Break time has been fruitful, and working closely with the Meat Man, we’ve decided to set aside the Nigel Tufnel Top Ten for now.  In the effort of revamping and streamlining the show, as painful as it is, we have to let go the lists of 11 for the time being.  It was our gimmick, a gift from Uncle Meat, and it worked brilliantly. We did some amazing list shows over the last 18 months and we have the graphs to prove it.  But I need the episodes to run under three hours if I’m to come back to do this again.

Tonight is a trial run.  We’re going to try lists of five instead.  (This is something Martin Popoff suggested to us a year ago.)  Tee Bone calls it “Cinco De List-D” and that’s just too good to pass up so we’re going with it.  Harrison and Uncle Meat will be on hand to discuss our Top Five Album Opening Tracks.  What a great subject for “opening” this new era of the LeBrain Train.

Friday October 1, 7:00 PM E.S.T. on Facebook:  MikeLeBrain and YouTube:  Mike LeBrain.

#935: LeBrain Train Finale Stats and Analysis

RECORD STORE TALES #935: LeBrain Train Finale and Stats

A week ago we wrapped up the weekly LeBrain Train series to take a nice break.  This has allowed me to devote more time to listening and writing and living!

It’s also been enlightening to look at the last 18 months of shows, and the feedback of viewers and my fellow co-hosts.  Harrison the Mad Metal Man went to the trouble of graphing everyone’s picks for favourite episodes — 11 lists total.  Have a look at the stats and click to zoom in for details.

It’s rewarding to see that most of the shows were on somebody’s favourite list.  Even some of the shows I thought were not very good.  Even one of the early shows, pre-Nigel Tufnel Top Ten, made a list thanks to Harrison.  The very first Tufnel list show was Rush, which showed up on three lists.  This must be heartwarming for Uncle Meat, who was the originator of that Nigel Tufnel Top Ten list idea.

In the beginning I was resistant to doing list shows.  “I hate lists!” I complained.  (Because they’re hard — I could do five Rush lists in one night, all different.)  But Meat persisted, and came up with the Tufnel gimmick.  The concept, based on everyone’s favourite scene in This Is Spinal Tap, is that we call it a “top ten” but we really go to 11.  The gimmick appealed to me, and when we actually went live that day, the Meat Man and I had some great lists.  We also had a Rush list from Michael Morwood making it a nice tight three.  The next week we did Kiss and brought more people in.  The ability to bring in participants this way really appealed to me and the show began to take off.

That Rush list show could definitely use a re-visit….

Votes for favourite shows are clustered on the latter half.  The votes focus mostly on shows from late November 2020 onwards.  At that point streams starting getting a lot longer with more guests.  What do you think is the ideal time for a live show?  I think two hours is prime, but we’re a talkative bunch and most of the later shows clocked in over three hours.  Viewers seem to like a variety of guests with a lot of conflicting opinions, but keeping it to two hours is impossible!

Another interesting thing about these statistics is the way the interview shows break down.  Most of us decided to choose only one show per celebrity — so even though Andy Curran appeared three times, we only picked one each.  So it might appear bizarre that some great, great interviews got no votes:  Brent Jensen’s first visit, and Andy’s first and third did not make any lists.  Only because each of those guys did one show that was far and above some of the best stuff we’ve ever done!

Overall there were six shows tied for first place:

  1. One Hit Wonders.  Probably due to Max the Axe’s hilarious appearance that night.
  2. Top Maiden Artwork.  A very visual show with some serious fans.
  3. Andy Curran/Mike Fraser double header.  A magical moment when the two guys got to talk to each other while Deke and I just sat back and smiled.
  4. Paul Laine.  Truly a special interview and special moment for John Snow and I.
  5. Top Spielberg Films.  A recent show.  The velvety voice of Erik Woods had a lot to do with this!  But it was also truly a great set of lists.
  6. Top Animated Films.  Another recent show (with Woods!) and one I went into with barely any knowledge of animated films at all.

It’s very pleasing to see those last two shows on so many lists.  It proves we were doing quality work right to the end.  I have no doubt the final episode would have made lists too if we could do it again!

Mostly, Harrison’s graph tells me yet again that it wasn’t for nothing.  It meant something to people, and it was consistent if not growing.  We didn’t do a handful of great shows.  We did a series of consistently great episodes.  Peaks and valleys, yes, but lots of peaks.




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….