Thanks to Marco D’Auria for the use of three exclusive movie clips in this review.
The Last Train – The MYSTIQUE Film
A big thanks to Marco D’Auria and special surprise guest Martin Popoff, for schooling us on Mystique! From Hamilton Ontario, Mystique were a metal band with a riffy progressive rock bent. Though they later evolved into a more hard rock sound, their metal side seems to be what has stuck with fans and collectors over the decades. Their highly sought physical product commands high prices for original copies. In this interview we covered:
- The starting point, and Martin’s role in the genesis of the film
- Mystique, their sound, image, and rare releases
- Exclusive clips from the documentary film Mystique: Standing on the Firing Line
- Rare memorabilia
- The Hamilton music scene
- The future
See what the fuss was all about in Standing on the Firing Line: the Mystique documentary! The film will be premiering in September:
1014 King Street West
Hamilton, ON L8S 1L4
Friday September 16, 7:30 PM
The band will be there, memorabilia will be on display in a “Mystique museum” of sorts. Martin Popoff will be on hand and Marco will be introducing the film in person. Tickets are still available. Get your tickets by clicking here.
Additionally, we made the difficult announcement that this episode will be the final LeBrain Train. Two and a half years ago, a pandemic changed everything about the way we interact socially. Now the world is changing again and I need to re-prioritise certain things in my life. I spent a lot of Friday nights in front of a screen talking to you, laughing with you, sharing with you and surviving a pandemic with you. Now I’d like to spend Friday nights looking at sunsets with Mrs. LeBrain.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege doing this for two and a half years, and I thank you all for making it possible!
Thank you to Meat, Harrison, Deke, Tee Bone, Kevin, Sarah, John, Geoff, Aaron, Marco, Tim, Rob Daniels, Robert Lawson, Max, Dr. Dave, Dr. Kathryn, James, J, Lana, Erik, Thussy, Dranovous, Michael Morwood, Mike Slayen, Brian, Brent, T-Rev, Scotty, Mom, and anyone I may have forgotten for coming on the show and bringing your own special sauce to the mix. And of course, to Chris Sarre who I could never get to agree to come onto the show, but was still part of the heart and soul of it anyway.
I love you guys. Truly I do. Towards the end of the show, we played a brand new Tee Bone song called “The Last Train”. It is a collaboration with Dr. Kathryn Ladano on bass clarinet. I think it’s one of the best things they’ve ever done.
The Last Train…wow that’s hard to believe. See you somewhere out there, some time, eventually!
The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike & Harrison
Episode 114 – MYSTIQUE – Standing on the Firing Line with Marco D’Auria
Canadian Filmmaker and Contrarian Marco D’Auria is back on the LeBrain Train tonight to discuss his new film Mystique: Standing on the Firing Line! Mystique was a progressive metal band that formed in Hamilton Ontario in the 1980s. They released a single, a demo, and an EP which today are highly valued collectables. Their image might have been more hard rock/hair metal, but their music was far more challenging than their look. Unfortunately the band never released their 1989 album, which was recorded but never properly mixed. Now Marco is bringing Mystique back to the attention of the metal masses with this documentary which will debut in September.
Harrison and I will be peppering Marco with questions about this band, their discography, and his film. It is something he is very proud of, and from what little I have seen so far, he should indeed be proud!
Marco will also be doing a giveaway! In other words – catch this one LIVE. This will be a special show, and we have more surprises up our sleeves. Clips from the film (including unreleased music) and more will be going down tonight. Seriously, don’t miss it. You know how we do things here. We like surprises. Expect surprises.
Thank you to Marco from the Contrarians for your awesome contributions to this week’s discussion: Alice Cooper Deep Cuts! And thanks as always to co-host Harrison the Mad Metal Man! Harrison really came out of the box with some obscure but still notable songs that you need to check out. The thing about Alice Cooper is…he’s so prolific, and even on the albums you might not like as much, there are always a standout song or two. I was surprised to find so much love for certain songs (“Roses On White Lace”, “Aspirin Damage”, “Make That Money (Scrooge’s Song)”, “Fresh Blood” and more). Alice’s albums were well represented on these lists, with only a handful going unmentioned. Even so, our runners-up lists covered the shadowy corners of the discography.
More thanks: Holen & Buried On Mars with two more lists of great songs that need to be heard and appreciated more often.
If you watched this episode live, I appreciate you too! Another great Friday night for the books!
The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano and Friends
Episode 107 – Alice Cooper Deep Cuts – Nigel Tufnel Top Ten lists
Tonight, please tune in to a list show over a year in the making! Harrison the Mad Metal Man has been asking to do this theme for ages now, and we finally got the right trio to do it. Marco from the Contrarians will be completing the panel tonight as we list off our Alice Cooper Deep Cuts. No singles, no live concert staples. Each of us will be listing 11 tracks for the full Nigel Tufnel Top Ten experience.
Think about it a minute. There are all the classic Alice Cooper Band records, including the obscure opening duo of Pretties For You and Easy Action. Not long after the classic run, the “blackout” albums that Alice doesn’t remember making. The late 80s had their fair share of great deep cuts on Coop’s horror-themed Constrictor and Raise Your Fist and Yell. Then we have Cooper’s entire output for the last 30 years with plenty of hidden gems. Add in some pretty cool soundtracks and B-sides. Yes, there will be a wealth of Alice riches tonight.
Your live participation means all the world to us, so I hope you can make it. Go Leafs?
Creating your own “Worst Of Kiss” album is a fun concept. I could certainly come up with some variations on that theme! In this Contrarians episode, Marco and Bret each picked five songs for their Lazy Nights: The Worst of Kiss compilation. Marco did one side, Bret the other. And Bret is right that you could pick all Gene songs! But that wouldn’t make for a real Kiss compilation.
Marco and I have some disagreements here. I’m more in tune with Bret. See what you think!
Every collector is different. We cannot be painted with a single brush. I, for example, collect music formats that I have the equipment to play. I don’t own any reel-to-reel and only a couple 8-track tapes for that reason. Tim Durling on the other hand doesn’t care. He loves 8-tracks even though he has no way to play them, nor does he really have any interest in getting into the players. Restoration of the players and tapes themselves is a expensive hobby that many do enjoy, but Tim is all about the collecting.
A single Journey tape sitting in a desk drawer was the modest beginning, years before Tim really dove into it. His passion for collecting the bands he loves is at the heart of Unspooled, Tim’s first book and a great resource for 8-track tapes. If the praise that Martin Popoff throws down in the forward isn’t enough to convince you, then I give up!
Unspooled is a visual feast. Every page pops with vivid print, and many are loaded with photos of tapes that you never knew existed on 8-track. Tim was fascinated early on to learn that record clubs such as Columbia House sold 8-track tapes through the mail, long after they were available in stores. These “RCO” tapes can be very difficult, but rewarding to find, especially when you have a love affair with collecting. See for yourself, how pretty the 8-tracks look when photographed next to their cassette, CD and LP counterparts. How many albums do you own in four formats?
Tim includes lists of known RCO tapes from 1981 to 1988. Wait…1988? Yes, somebody in 1988 was still ordering 8-track tapes from record clubs! Astounding. And Tim’s got the proof. He also has pictures from his childhood (sweet GI Joe’s, dude!) and of obscure tech like the infamous 8-track to cassette car adapter. Chapters are named after related songs, but there are plenty of surprises along the way. I’ve never seen a Bruce Springsteen box set on 8-track before.
Interviews and stories from friends and experts help colour in the picture a bit. Information you wouldn’t just find yourself. For example, what is a “coffee can tape”? 8-tracks were notorious for unspooling and being difficult to fix. Often customers would carry the mass of unspooled tape in a coffee can to be repaired. And here’s something else I didn’t know, but should have expected. Counterfeit tapes are a problem now in the collector’s market. Some of these tapes go for serious coin today. Stuff that you used to find at a garage sale for 10 cents, or worse, in the garbage. Contributions comes from characters such as Marco D’Auria the Contrarian, Ryan Murphy from RushFans, and yours truly, LeBrain.
Yes, that means I am biased, but I don’t think my review would be any different otherwise. Take Martin Popoff’s word for it. Limited copies of Unspooled are still available. Contact Tim’s Vinyl Confessions to order yours.
Last week, I asked Marco from the Contrarians to sit in with us for our Top Five Tony Martin albums. Unfortunately he could not join us live due to a taping of the Contrarians that night. Instead he sent us a great video that allowed him to participate, a highlight of the show. And as an added bonus, Marco asked me to participate in his Contrarians taping! My very first Contrarians appearance. The subject was Judas Priest’s Rocka Rolla, an album I have been playing a lot recently due to my recent acquisition of the 50 Heavy Metal Years of Music box set. My part is right near the beginning. After watching the in-depth analysis the group did, I wish I had contributed something a little more insightful. However, this is such an honour and privilege to participate. I can’t thank you enough Marco!
Great set of lists tonight from Harrison and Marco as we dug deep on our favourite Tony Martin albums! With Thorns fresh on store shelves, and the prospect of Martin-era Sabbath reissues, it’s the perfect time to talk Tony.
We also played an old track from Slam Glory, featuring Marco’s uncle Ray D’Auria on lead vocals. Great band from the Raw M.E.A.T Vol 3 CD.
The comments were terrific once again, and thank you all for watching! See you next time!