star wars

REVIEW: The Max Rebo Band – “Jedi Rocks” (1997 CD single)

THE MAX REBO BAND – “Jedi Rocks” (1997 BMG CD single)

This is, in my humble fan opinion, one of the worst pieces of music ever included in a Star Wars movie, if not the very worst.

The 1997 Star Wars special editions are derided for many reason, but one that is not talked about nearly enough is the replacement of certain pieces of music.  In this case, “Lapti Nek” from the 1983 cut of Return of the Jedi was removed.  Why?  Because George Lucas loves to tinker.  He wasn’t happy that the singer in the band, Sy Snootles, didn’t have enough articulation and so thought to himself, “What could I do with a new song and a computer?”  The unfortunate results are called “Jedi Rocks”, by Jerry Hey.

The original song, “Lapti Nek”, plays in Jabba’s palace just before he feeds Oola the slave girl to his pet Rancor monster.  In universe, it is performed by the Max Rebo band, originally a trio featuring keyboardist Max, singer Sy and flautist Droopy McCool.  The band is expanded in the special edition to include more singers, including a really annoying big-mouthed Yuzzum named…uhg…Joh Yowza.  You can just tell that certain parts of the song were designed to show off what computers could make Yowza’s mouth do in the scene in question.

This is shit.  At least “Lapti Nek” sounded a little alien.  “Jedi Rocks” sounds like generic blues rock written by a highschool music teacher for his class to perform at the spring pageant.  And it sounds completely terrestrial, aside from the silly cartoonish vocals.  You can identify an Earthly harmonica, drum kit, organ, saxophones, guitars and bass.  That should never be the case when you’re talking about an alien band from a galaxy far, far away.  More than half the track is bland jamming that could have been on any soundtrack from virtually any Earth-bound movie with a bar and a band in it.

The only reason to buy this single, since you’ll never listen to it, is the clear picture disc.  The CD single released for The Empire Strikes Back was a shaped Vader-head disc, but they realized this were not good for the insides of your CD transport, which prefers a perfectly balanced disc.  Hence, they switched to clear picture discs that look shaped but are not.

Cool disc, bad song.

0.5/5 stars



#1060: Max the Axe’s Garage Sale (Trillion Dollar Treats)

RECORD STORE TALES #1060: Max the Axe’s Garage Sale

A huge thank-you to my host Max the Axe today at a fantastic garage sale!  BEHOLD!

“9:00 AM!” he said.  “Serving shots and weed to my Facebook friends starting at 9 AM!”

There was no way I was missing this garage sale.

I only had four hours sleep, and a large Tim Horton’s coffee, to prepare me.  I didn’t think I could make it.  After the events of last night, which left me rocked (in a bad way), I didn’t think I was up for it.  But at 9:00 AM I said “to hell with it, let’s go,” and Jen and I were in the car off to the Trillion Dollar Treats that Max had on offer.

First up:  cassettes!  I picked up six:

  • Poison – Flesh & Blood
  • Metallica – Metallica
  • Van Halen – Diver Down
  • Extreme – II:  Pornograffitti
  • Ozzy Osbourne – No Rest for the Wicked
  • Van Halen – Women and Children First

You can blame Tim Durling for my sudden interest in buying Cassettes That I Already Own On Remastered CDs.  He did point out the Diver Down cassette was an unusual cover variant, with the image slanted taking up the whole cover.

Speaking of Tim Durling…

  • Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV

I’ve caught the 8-track bug, baby!  Tim remarked that my copy was in better condition than his.  Max had more 8-tracks but none from bands that I collected.

So that’s cassette and 8-track.  What about CD and vinyl?  Maxie has plenty of both, but my tab was starting to rack up.  I gave him $20 for this rare AC/DC longbox, still sealed.

It’s the live “Highway to Hell” single, with long box intact and not in terrible shape.  I used to have CD longboxes, but I foolishly tossed them when I moved, assuming their were worth next to nothing.  Just paper.  But now…

Next up:  Max has been trying to sell me a tape deck for years.  This one was $20, a Kenwood.  My old Sony has seen the better of days, and Max says this one runs perfectly.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough, to try out these new tapes I just bought, huh?

Finally, we have the magazine scores.  Some MAD, some Cracked, some Star Wars, and some music!  Even a M.E.A.T Magazine!  A little bit of everything, and…woah, that’s Lee Aaron!!

Max has so much stuff, and you still have time to get down there.  Kites, speakers, tape decks, collectables, magazines, all killer deals!  Blank media galore.

Am I ever glad I went to Trillion Dollar Treats to see Max the Axe on my Saturday morning.  My Friday was brutal – absolutely brutal.  I am sure you will eventually be reading about it in one way or another.  My real life has a habit of becoming public knowledge, because when I’m hurting inside, I need to get it out.  My only weakness.  Thank you to everyone who sent helpful messages and offered to talk.  I need to single out Boppin, Jex, Tim, James and especially Jen for talking to me last night and this morning.  I love you all.


Lego California Girl dressed up for the Oscars

She tried on some black heels, dressed up as 3P0, and Princess Leia.  Baldy Mike joined her as a Stormtrooper.


VIDEO: Lego Search! Death Star Trash Compactor found at crappy Walmart!

Youtubin’: Jang’s Lego Reviews – Star Wars TIE Bomber

If you caught this week’s episode of Grab A Stack of Rock, then you know that California Girl showed off a brand new (January 1) Lego Star Wars TIE Bomber.  This baby first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980.  I had the original blue & black Lego version, but this is the first update since that edition.

If you’d like a closer look at this beast, check out Jang’s Lego review below.  Jang is one of the most thorough and intelligent Lego reviewers on YouTube and I always check out his content when I’m curious about a set.  Here he breaks down the build, the parts, the features, the value, and the problems.  Check it out.

Grab A Stack of Lego and Heels with Mike & Married And Heels!

GRAB A STACK OF ROCK…with Mike and the Mad Metal Man
Episode 10:  MarriedAndHeels AKA California Girl!

A very special episode today for you Lego lovers, music fans, and connoisseurs of high fashion!  I was planning on taking this Friday off, but then suddenly had the opportunity to tape an episode of Grab A Stack of Rock with good friend MarriedAndHeels on the west coast — also known as California Girl and Edie Van Heelin.  I’ve been working on getting her on the show, and this week everything fell into place.  Unfortunately, Harrison could not make it but he was certainly with us in spirit.  CG rolled out some hot new Lego sets, just released January 1!  Star Wars and Marvel fans, pay attention!

Meanwhile the Australian Mad Metal Man flipped it around, and submitted questions for us!  One for me, one for her, and I hope you like our answers.

Of course music was a topic that we continually circled around, and this is where we may earn some hate.  Hendrix fans, skip past this part.  But one thing we share in common is that we love what we love, and we have our reasons.  What it turns out to be, is that we both tend to love the older tunes the most.  Have I officially become an old fart?  Possibly.  Watch and let me know.  It’s an interesting discussion that we could easily have expanded on.

A big thanks to California Girl for joining me this week.  We’ll have to have her back with Harrison.

Enjoy the episode!  Next week:  Star Trek with Mike, Rob, Tim, Harrison and Kevin “Buried On Mars” Simister!

Impromptu Friday Night Stream with Harrison and Mike – Oct 28 2022

As I was leaving for work on Friday morning, I thought to myself, “You know, I wonder if Harrison or anybody would feel like going live tonight.  Just shoot the shit for an hour.  It might be a fun way to be social on a Friday night and it only has to be an hour.”

I messaged Harrison in Australia just as he was tucking in for the night, and he graciously agreed to get up early and join me for an impromptu live stream.  Setting his alarm clock, Harrison prepared for our first live show since July!

In this hour we discussed the following subjects:

  1. Lego Optimus Prime
  2. Transformers/Back to the Future Gigawatt
  3. Star Wars Black Series Dark Trooper, Marvel Wakanda Forever Ironheart
  4. Recent Japanese import CD arrivals
  5. New acquisitions by Harrison
  6. Black Sabbath/Ray Gillen – Dio/Craig Goldie
  7. Surprise guest appearance by the Meat Man discussing the Dio movie Dreamers Never Die, and Death Angel/Exodus/Testament live in concert
  8. Meat’s next concert, The Musical Box

This was great fun and I hope to catch up to the guys again in the near future.  Thanks for watching everyone!

#989: Moving In Stereo

RECORD STORE TALES #989: Moving In Stereo

It was May 2002 and I was a first-time homeowner.  My dad taught me, “Never rent!  Only buy.  Put your money towards something.”  So I trusted his advice and lived at home as long as could I possibly milk it!

Moving in to my new place took a day.  I had a lot of help from family and friends.  We probably had 10 or 12 people total.  I packed up all my CDs and insisted that only I handle them.  It caused me more than a little anxiety.  I figured a few jewel cases would crack, but there were some special ones I took extra precautions with.  Coloured jewel cases are hard to replace.  The most precious CD case to me is the 1996 Deep Purple In Rock anniversary edition.  The case comes etched with signatures and other text.  Breaking one of those means either living with it, or trying to find another copy with case intact.  I desired to do neither.  In Rock survived the move intact.  I would not be lying to you if I told you that this one little item was of more concern to me than anything else I moved that day.  My stereo equipment came in second.

Some people say they have a hard time sleeping, their first night in a new home.  I did not have that problem.  After a full day of moving, I was wiped.  But also eager to get going the next day and set up my new place.  Against the better judgement of everyone who helped me move, the very first thing I did was set up my CD towers.  Having those discs sitting in boxes really bothered me.  I wanted them out, so I could inspect them and ensure they all survived intact, and I wanted them accessible.  A long day of painting was ahead!

I cannot remember the first album I played in my new home.  Strange, because normally I’d commit that sort of thing to memory.  It was probably Kiss.  I like to use Kiss for firsts.  I do remember the first movie I watched.  It was The Phantom Menace.  I wanted my first movie to be a DVD, and I wanted it to be a Star Wars.  The older Star Wars films would not exist on that format until 2004.

I set up the CD towers, put the discs back in their alphabetical homes, and was relieved that only a couple cases broke.  I then painted around them.  Priorities.

The funny thing about these memories is how much space I thought I had back then.  I had so many empty closets.  I didn’t have enough stuff to put on my shelves.  To say things have changed would be an understatement.  Due to lack of storage, there are CDs everywhere in random order.  We need to hire a carpenter and get some proper CD shelving made for this place!

After a solid weekend of working, painting and assembling, I was settled into my new place.  I had my first guests over that Monday.  I loved my new place, but I did not have long to enjoy it.  The following week, I was on my way to Prince Edward Island, determined to find the home of Stompin’ Tom Connors, and eat lobster at least once a day.  Success on both counts.  But I couldn’t wait to get home again.  I had a new Deep Purple box set of official bootlegs waiting for me to finish listening.  12 CDs.  I only had time to hear the first three discs before departure.  And you can bet your last dollar that I picked up where I left off, with disc four.

Jen moved here in 2008.  It’s cramped but we make due.  Her illness set us back in the sense that we haven’t been able to move somewhere bigger.  But it’s home.  It’s our home.  It has 20 years of memories.  I’m proud to say that many of them are musical in nature.

Revenge of the Lists: All 11 Star Wars films discussed in detail!

Did Harrison really cause Erik and Rob to walk off the show?  Did Rob drop two “F-bombs”?  Did Harrison actually smile in the featured image?  Was this one of our best shows ever?

“It’s true.  All of it.”

Our esteemed panel of Jedi masters tonight were:

  • Erik Woods – movie and soundtrack expert
  • Robert Daniels – movie and soundtrack expert
  • Harrison Kopp – young fella who grew up on prequels and Clone Wars
  • LeBrain – old fart

Opinions veered wildly on the 11 Star Wars films we examined in great detail tonight.  While you may never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, I also will contend you will not find a more passionate Star Wars discussion than the one we had this week.

Truly one of our best shows, and we barely scratched the surface of these films.  Perhaps a deeper dive is in order for the future.


Tonight! May the Rankings Be With Us: All 11 Star Wars films rated by our panel of experts!

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

Episode 108 – All the Star Wars films, ranked!


This is a show that has been in the works a long time.  A long time.  I understand you’re Star Wars fans yourselves!  Then you will love this show we have lined up for you tonight.

The Nigel Tugnel Top Ten list format — a top 11 — is perfect for cases like this.  Tonight our panel of experts (top men!) will rank all 11 films (9 Saga movies plus 2 spinoffs).  This is sure to get hairy (Wookiee style) due to the diversity of the panel:

  • Erik Woods – movie and soundtrack expert
  • Robert Daniels – movie and soundtrack expert
  • Harrison Kopp – young fella who grew up on prequels and Clone Wars
  • LeBrain – old fart

Note:  We are only counting the 11 live action theatrical films, not any made-for-video films, or the animated Clone Wars (which did have a brief theatrical run).  Oh sure, Harrison might try to throw a curve ball but the rules are clear.

At the end of the night, will we have consensus?  I sure hope not!  What I do expect is plenty of lively conversation with maybe a little trash-talk.

Friday May 13, 7:00 PM E.S.T.  on YouTubeFacebook and also Facebook!