pepsi power hour

VHS Archives #117: Fred and Tom from Cinderella 1990

Fall 1990!  Cinderella were in Hamilton Ontario to sign autographs and meet up with Dan Gallagher from the Pepsi Power Hour.  Fred Coury and Tom Keifer chatted with the Dan Man about their new album Heartbreak Station.  Other topics:

  • MC Hammer
  • A side project with Coury, Stephen Pearcy, Tracii Guns, Kyle Kyle and Taime Downe
  • Touring
  • Talking to the fans

Not a long interview but certainly a glimpse of times!


VHS Archives #114: Alice Cooper – The Trash Hour (1989)

September, 1989:  I raced home from school to watch the Pepsi Power Hour’s big Alice Cooper interview, called the Trash Hour.  Alice picked the songs, but they are edited out for YouTube.  You can see what he picked for yourself, as Alice literally takes out the trash.

Host Laurie Brown had a great rapport with the Coop.  Driving a brand new Trash Truck, Alice is funny and informative on the following subjects:

  • Trash rock
  • New album and signing with Epic
  • Writing 22 songs with Desmond Child
  • Saving the Hollywood sign
  • Cameos in Prince of Darkness and Shocker
  • Horror as comedy, staged violence
  • Band alumni gone solo

The Trash Hour works out to a tidy 15 minutes without the music and ads.  Make sure you catch the ending.  Have a good Sunday!

VHS Archives #110: Waltzing With Helix (1991)

Not the only version online, but probably the best version for Helix fans! This is longer with more live footage (“The Storm”) and it also includes the opening MuchMusic “A True Story” sketch, depicting the moment that the Much studios got the invite to join the band in Vienna from Helix “roadlife specilist” Kenny Heague. All this version is missing is some of the interview with Sacred Reich, but for Helix fans, this is the one to watch.

“Waltzing With Helix” aired on the Pepsi Power Hour in early 1991. It depicts five days of life in the road with Helix in Hungary and Austria, opening for Sacred Reich and Ian Gillan. Supporting the excellent Back For Another Taste LP, this special includes loads of great live music, and chats with all the hilarious Helix boys.

New in the lineup was American guitarist Denny Balicki, and “Waltzing With Helix” was his introduction to fans nationwide. Drummer Fritz Hinz, bassist Daryl Gray, and singer Brian Vollmer are entertaining fellows to watch as they tour countryside and cathedrals. Late guitarist Paul Hackman gets the honour of interviewing both Ian Gillan and Sacred Reich.

Yes, this includes an Ian Gillan interview and some live footage of his band (including guitarist Steve Morris) playing “Black Night” and “Demon’s Eye”!

Food, culture, turnips, street music, beer, bus breakdowns, laughs, sandwiches and sweaty rock and roll!

On a personal note it’s really heartwarming to see Brian Knight, a kid from our neighbourhood who I went to highschool with, and later went on to roadie with Helix, standing right next to my hero Ian Gillan. What a cool thing to happen. Brian Knight died earlier this year. I still have his original Kenner Star Wars Slave I toy in perfect condition. I paid him $5 for it.

VHS Archives #109: Rik Emmett – The Axemen Cometh (1988)

Another true treasure from the VHS Archives.  When the Pepsi Power Hour ran this guitar-centric special in early 1988, my best friend Bob and I watched it religiously.  We drank up, though didn’t fully understand, every word from Rik Emmett.  The former Triumph guitarist was (and is) one of our favourites.  His knowledge is encyclopedic.  Laurie quizzes Rik on a number of the top rated electric guitar players of the time.

Rik demonstrates his favourite passages, and discusses with host Laurie Brown the following axemen in order:

  • Tony Iommi
  • Jimmy Page
  • Joe Satriani
  • Steve Vai
  • Kirk Hammett
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Angus Young
  • Eddie Van Halen
  • Yngwie J. Malmsteen
  • and, of course, Rik Emmett

Other topics to stay tuned for in this wide-ranging discussion:

  • Lefties (like Rik)
  • The 1988 Zeppelin reunion (Atlantic 40th Anniversary)
  • Two-handed tapping
  • A bold and accurate prediction about Steve Vai
  • The brown sound
  • Dwiddly-dwiddly
  • His “signatures”
  • Good “hair production”

VHS Archives #108: Brighton Rock on the Power Hour ’89

Gerry McGhee and Stevie Skreebs of Brighton Rock dropped by the Power Hour with Michael Williams in early ’89 to showcase their new music video, “Hangin’ High N’ Dry”.  World premiere!   The brand new album Take A Deep Breath was in stores and the band were on tour.  The affable group were questioned about such topics as:

  • Playing football with Steve Harris
  • Recording Take A Deep Breath with Jack Richardson
  • Lightening up or getting the sound they wanted?
  • Brighton Rock double live?
  • Why Stevie scratched the big VH logo on the hood of his first car25
  • Cool “Outlaw” T-shirt giveaway
  • The Boston Bruins
  • “Live” vs “studio” videos
  • The unreleased X-rated version of “Hangin’ High N’ Dry”


VHS Archives #107: Lee Aaron – August ’91 on the Power Hour

August 1991:  MuchMusic’s Angela Dorhmann visited Lee Aaron at Sounds Interchange for the Power Hour, to debut Lee’s new video “Sex With Love”.  Much also speaks with director Don Allan about the clip.

Topics discussed with the charismatic Lee Aaron that day:

  • Lee’s philosophy with making records
  • The “Metal Queen stigma”
  • The new album Some Girls Do
  • Pee Wee Herman
  • What “Sex With Love” means


VHS Archives #104: MuchMusic ads for the Pepsi Power Hour, Springsteen, Michael Jackson, U2 and GN’R

Here’s a grab bag of ads from MuchMusic from 1988 and 1992. They are:

  • A bumper for the Pepsi Power Hour (Molten Mondays!) featuring Metal Tim (the blonde guy).
  • Bruce Springsteen’s “only televised concert ever”!
  • Guns N’ Roses Live at the Ritz on the Miller Big Ticket, a legendary concert.
  • Michael Jackson’s Dangerous tour
  • U2’s Zoo TV tour.

A fun little collection of ads that bring back the memories.

#926: The Things We Took For Granted

RECORD STORE TALES #926 The Things We Took For Granted

The regular car trip to the lake was either tremendous fun or terrible torture.  It all depended on what kind of mood I was in, I guess.  I’d pester my sister and my dad would threaten to pull over.  Or, I’d be occupied reading a novel or comic.

If we were lucky, the trip would start at McDonalds.  I would always get two cheeseburgers.  Those slippery little burgers were always so good.  I could eat about 10 in a row right about now.

Keeping two kids entertained on a two hour drive isn’t easy but my parents did a good job.  First there was the radio. When Mom wasn’t listening to the ball game, my dad would put on something more entertaining.  In the 70s, it was the Star Wars radio drama.  Later on it was CBC and the pre-TV Royal Canadian Air Farce, or the science show Quirks & Quarks hosted first by David Suzuki, and later by Jay Ingram.

My dad took advantage of my early fascination with maps to keep me occupied.  He would pull out the road map, show our route, and have me track our progress.  He helped me memorize the way to the lake:  Dorking, Listowel, Molesworth, left turn at Bluevale, then Wingham, Whitechurch, Lucknow, a right at Amberley and finally Kincardine.  Thirst would kick in mid-way (probably from all that McDonalds) so a regular stop was made at this lonely pop machine in the middle of Lucknow.  Lucknow used to be the deadest of towns, not that it is very happening now, but it used to be you’d never see a soul there.  But they had this one pop machine in the middle of town.  Just as it was starting to get dark, Dad would pull over in Lucknow and get me a pop to tide me over.  Eventually that road map became too tattered and torn, but that’s how I learned to get to the lake from home.

Upon the advent of the Walkman, my sister and I were better able to entertain ourselves.  Two and a half tapes were what it took to get you from home to the lake.  We had to remember fresh batteries.  Remember those awful Walkman earphones?  It seemed all you could get were those terrible foam-padded rinky-dink things that came free with every player.  The wires were always shorting out to mono and you couldn’t keep those things secure on your head.  Not to mention the quality of the tapes and players could afford.  But it kept us entertained.  We didn’t know any better.

Those crap kind of earphones!

Every time we went to the lake as kids, I felt a certain pang for home.  When we were there for any significant time, there were things I hated about being away.  I missed my friends, my Atari games, my GI Joes, my comics.  I missed well-kept green city grass to lie down on, not the stony sandy lawns at the lake.  I missed cable TV and the good stores with all the cool stuff you couldn’t get in the country.  We didn’t appreciate what we did have in the country.  So it was no surprise, when I got old enough, that I stayed home more and more often.  There was a trial run in grade 10 when they left me home one Sunday, while they went up for a day and back in the evening.  I think I spent it working on my cardboard air guitar.

In August of 1991 my parents let me stay home for two weeks alone while they went to the lake.   And it was actually pretty awesome.

I had all kinds of plans.  Movie nights every night, with snacks.  I went to my friend Peter’s house, who had a massive VHS collection from working at Steve’s TV, and I borrowed at least a dozen films.  I remember two impactful flicks: Tremors and The AbyssTremors was an enjoyable popcorn movie, but I was blown away by The Abyss.  I couldn’t wait to tell my sister about this cool science fiction movie I discovered.  It had a reputation as a flop.  It defied expectations  A surprisingly excellent movie.

I had enough food to eat like a king for a week, plus pop and chips.  I checked out late night television.  I discovered the Metal Mike show.  I listened to music in the living room, not just my bedroom.  My dad usually monopolised entertainment in the house.  The TV remote was his.  The VCR was under his jurisdiction.  To have all this time to myself, and have movie nights and watch TV shows I’d never seen before, was exciting.  Plus I’d get to tape stuff from Pepsi Power Hour that week while it was still on the air.

I did have one ulterior motive.  There was a girl I like named Tracey.  I was introduced to Tracey by a school friend.  I had a limited amount of summer left to try and hang out with her.  She was playing hard to get.  I was determined to get some time with her while I was home.  Finally she committed to a date.  We met up at Stanley Park Mall and walked from there to my place to watch music videos.  And that was about it.  I remember she liked the looks of Mike Howe from Metal Church.  That was the most memorable thing about that day with Tracey.  Watching the Pepsi Power Hour, and her liking Mike Howe.  I distinctly remember they were covering the Operation Rock & Roll tour with Alice Cooper, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Metal Church and Dangerous Toys.  That would have made it the week of August 19, 1991.  Toronto was the final date on the tour, and infamously the last Judas Priest show before Rob Halford quit to go solo.  MuchMusic had an interview by Michael Williams with Rob, pre-accident.  Yes, pre-accident:  Rob hit his head on a lighting truss, riding his motorcycle out on stage during the opening number “Hell Bent For Leather”.

Mike Howe

The chance to hang out with Tracey was the main reason I stayed home that August, but regardless of the obsession with Mike Howe, not Ladano, I had an amazing time.  School was starting soon, and I’d be entering a new world at Wilfrid Laurier University, where I knew nobody and had no idea what to expect.  The remaining days of summer were a cherished time.  Every last moment was savoured.

I spent the balance of my time alone walking to the mall, checking out music, and just enjoying having the house.  I relished being able to play my music as loudly as I wanted, and stay up late every night, checking out whatever happened on TV after that hour.  The barbecue made many, many hot dogs.  I’m sure they made me do stuff like mow the lawn while they were gone.  I did all the dishes by hand because I didn’t know how to use the dishwasher!  I might even have done laundry.  I wasn’t bored!  But I missed them and was glad when they got home.

After all I had to tell them all about The Abyss!

VHS Archives #103: Paul Stanley of KISS with Slaughter & Dan Gallagher (in full Gene makeup)

“In case you tuned in, we’re here with Gene Simmons right now.”

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Deke’s favourite video. The legendary Dan Gallagher put on some Kiss makeup to talk to Paul Stanley. It was such a party that Slaughter dropped in too! It was the infamous gig opening for Whitesnake, and you can get a sense of Paul’s anger that Kiss were not allowed to do their full stage show. David Coverdale’s ego is alluded to.

Best quotes:

“If I was gonna paint the Sistine Chapel, I’d do it with a roller. I’m not a fine artist folks!”

“Everything we did was always in addition to what the music was doing. We never did it in place of the music.”

“Whenever people put out sequels to movies, they’re usually not as good as the original.  Alive II was pretty much as good as Alive I.  When gotta make sure Alive III isn’t…Jaws 3D or something.”

“Michael [Bolton] used to have the mic in his hand and strut around…he’s a rocker!”

When Mark Slaughter and Dana Strum show up, it becomes a bit of a party.


NOTE:  There are a couple audio glitches here that I didn’t notice until too late.

VHS Archives #102: Rob Halford Interview ’91 (The day of his last gig with Priest before quitting!)

19 August, 1991.  Operation Rock and Roll, featuring Alice Cooper, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Metal Church and Dangerous Toys rolled into Toronto.  The last show of the tour.  Unfortunately the day lives on in infamy.  It was the day Rob Halford hit his head (right on the bridge of the nose) on the drum riser, knocking him out cold!  Priest performed “Hell Bent for Leather” as an instrumental while Rob lay unseen in a cloud of artificial fog!  On top of that, and unbeknownst at the time, it was Priest’s very last gig with the Metal God for a decade.

This pre-accident Pepsi Power Hour interview by Michael Williams is interesting because Rob discusses their forthcoming compilation Metal Works a full two years before it was out.  At that point the plan was to try and write a couple new songs for the compilation, and then go back into the studio to record a brand new Priest album some time in 1992.  Needless to say, that did not work out!  As the last show of the Painkiller tour, this day was actually the last time Rob even saw his bandmates until they reconciled!