Best of 2020 Part 7: The Stats of Doooom

Big thanks to 2020 for making this our most successful year at yet.  The final tally is:

284,513 hits from 135,708 unique viewers.  This is a massive uptick from our previous best year, 2018, which received “only” 215,440 views.  Thank you pandemic, because that’s what this totally is.  I had no new ideas for 2020; I had given up on “growth”, only for 2020 to come to the rescue with a goddamn pandemic!

One way you can tell this uptick had nothing to do with me:  All the top hits are old, old posts with deep roots on Google searches.

  1. VAN HALEN – Zero – 2331 hits
  2. AMERICAN DAD – Persona Assistant – 2133 hits
  3. #551:  You’re Wrong on Unmasked – 1318 hits
  4. RAINBOW – Rising – 1076 hits
  5. KISS – Alive II (Re-review) – 891 hits
  6. KISS – Kissworld / Re-review directory – 831 hits
  7. TRAILER PARK BOYS – Season 11 – 761 hits
  8. KISS – Unmasked (Re-review) – 727 hits
  9. #425:  The Soup Nazi – 719 hits
  10. #774:  The Original Mustard Tiger – 718 hits

The death of Eddie Van Halen caused October to be our best month ever, and helped push Van Halen to #1 this year as well as contributing to the record hits overall.  The Van Halen Zero review is now the most popular thing I’ve ever written, having been read 12,294 times.

By comparison, the best-read “new” post this year was:

  1. AC/DC – “Shot in the Dark” – 574 views

I guess the message here is:  recycle, recycle, recycle!

Hits by country in 2020:  Top Five usual suspects – the same countries as last year, just in a barely different order!

I already posted the stats for Youtube views on live streams, and I’ve also already done my look ahead at 2021.

What do these stats show us?  The power of both Eddie Van Halen and a worldwide pandemic.  I’m pleased that people chose to read my stuff at those times, but I’d give just about anything to get Eddie and our normal world back.  Since I can’t, I can only tell you this:  I don’t plan on stopping in 2021!  And that’s about all I can say.  2020 taught us that life doesn’t give a shit about your plans.  I had plans in 2021 and they didn’t involve sitting in this little space live streaming.  This time there is no plan except give ‘er.  The universe tends to unfold as it does.

I wish you nothing but peace, happiness and harmony in 2021.  Let’s give ‘er together.


The Stats That Killed 2019

It’s a New Year’s Day tradition: sharing boring numbers while you nurse your hangover!

Top 5 New Posts of 2019:

1. TV REVIEW:  American Dad – “Persona Assistant” – 1517 hits

3. #738: Mike and Bob’s Cross-Kitchener Adventure – 857 hits

Old classics from past years continued to make a showing, year after year after year!

In general, views were down this year from 2017 and 2018, back to the levels of 2016 (which were not bad).  403 posts were published in 2019.

Top Ten Countries by Hits in 2019:

YouTube views:

For the first time, I have YouTube stats to share.  From the VHS Archives, here are the Top Five YouTube Videos by views:

1. VHS Archives #26: Motley Crue spill the dirt on Vince Neil’s car crash
2. VHS Archives #43: The best Blackie Lawless interview you’ll ever see
3. VHS Archives #38: Slash N’ Duff interview
4. VHS Archives #55: One of the best interviews with Bret Michaels that you’ll find
5. VHS Archives #53: Motley Crue interviews from Much Spotlight

Although the VHS Archives have been great for YouTube views, they don’t result in a lot of clicks directly on this site, which is the bread and butter.  That’s probably because I post them here without a lot of pictures, which tend to result in multiple hits from singular readers.  It’s also because someone watching on YouTube isn’t necessarily going to come to this site just because of a video they liked.  And no, I’m not changing platforms to a YouTube channel.  My videos aren’t monetised because they have copyrighted musical content.

Guest Shots of 2019:

There were new guest contributors in 2019, and plenty of regulars from the past too.  Not including the annual year end lists, we saw contributions by:

New guy Max The Axe’s Stunt Double with two Sunday Chuckles.

Thussy also had a Sunday Chuckle and wrote the true story of what happened to his Vince Neil guitar.

Dr. Kathryn had some photos and words from a Cheap Trick concert.

Musician Derek Kortepeter returned with a killer Van Halen – Balance review.

Uncle Meat wrote the Claypool-Lennon Delirium concert review and also penned a review on the Mighty Kiss!

And finally Holen MaGroin went above and beyond as usual with some great stuff.  He wrote:

A big thanks to all these folks for their contributions in 2019!

A Look Ahead:

The goal in 2020 is to resume growth.  In 2019 I tried adding some new features and that maintained the status quo but didn’t really bring in new readers.  How do we do that in 2020?  I’m not a big fan of tagging artists for attention when I write reviews.  I write these reviews for you and for me, and artists can sometimes take offence, and I’m not here to put that in their faces.  A hard rock bass player contacted me because he was upset I didn’t mention his bass parts in a review.  Kenny Hotz once asked me how my show was doing when I tagged him in a review.  I’d rather just throw this stuff into the ether and whoever finds it, finds it.  I don’t want the niggling thoughts of an artists’ impressions in my head when I write.

How do you suggest we grow this site in 2020?

Unlike last year, I have don’t have new gimmicks lined up.  The only plan is to keep writing stories and keep reviewing albums.  The collection has many dusty corners yet to explore.  Many discographies yet to be written.  A number of good bands that remain untouched on this site.  Will this be the year I finish all the remaining Judas Priest reviews?  Or perhaps it will be one to write up all the Zeppelin deluxe editions?

Let’s see what 2020 brings and try to make it a big one.


Happy New Year!



#729.5: Silver Linings & Thanks 2018

GETTING MORE TALE #729.5: Silver Linings & Thanks 2018

This year, my wife beat cancer.  Her mom did not.  Those two things defined my entire year.

I kept up with this writing stuff the best I could, at the expense of reading and commenting.  For that I apologise.  For the first time ever, I even put this place in mothballs as I went on a summer hiatus to deal with everything else.  It was very necessary, even if it meant losing the chance to run an advertorial for my favourite band, Kiss.

By a strange happenstance, despite not being able to give you 100% in 2018, it was our most successful year in terms of hits.  With the exception of 2016, every year here has been an increase over the previous.  I didn’t expect that 2018’s numbers would be so high, so thank you for not forgetting about me!

Here are the Top New Posts of 2018 by hits:

  1. TRAILER PARK BOYS Season 12 (1420 hits)
  2. A Call from “Visa/Mastercard” (639 hits)
  3. JOHN CORABI – One Night in Nashville (603 hits)
  4. GUNS N’ ROSES “Not In This Lifetime” Tour advertorial (458 hits)
  5. READER SPOTLIGHT – Harrison from Down Under (307 hits)*

This doesn’t include old content from previous years that are still perennially popular:  Trailer Park Boys Season 11 (2350 hits, bigger than Season 12!), the Intro to the Kiss Re-Review Series (1650 hits), Van Halen – Zero (1170 hits) and many more.  The Van Halen post is the oldest (2014) and yet it still gets hits every year.

* These stats were compiled on December 29 and do not reflect the last two days of 2018, as if you care.

2018 wouldn’t have been as successful as it was if I didn’t have guest contributors.  A friend in need is a friend indeed?  These friends stepped up when I was unable to do it myself.  All these contributions were a big part of our successful 2018.  So let’s give a second look to the awesome work below!







Thanks to Derek, Harrison, Kovaflyer, Holen, and Dr. Dave for your help in 2018.  And also to Uncle Meat, Frank the Tank, and J from Resurrection Songs for your Top Lists of 2018!


Regardless of the setbacks, I did accomplish a goal this year.  I wanted to fight my fear of crowds and get back out there, and see some shows.  And I did that, twice!  Onto the next show…

…Which was supposed to be Sasquatch: The Opera, brought to you by Roddy Bottum of Faith No More.  Well, that won’t be happening:

This is truly unfortunate for me, as I planned to catch all four performances including an interview with Roddy.  I’ve been assured the interview will still go on, but I won’t get to see Sasquatch as part of it.

One goal that went unaccomplished was finishing the Kiss Re-Review Series.  When it does finally conclude, it’ll be two years in the making.  At least I’ll be able to coincide it with the farewell tour.  This project is not abandoned but I must be able to do it right and that takes time.  It’ll happen, so thanks for your patience.

I’m also planning on launching a series of shorter posts called Just Listening.  This won’t replace reviewing, but any music is on the table for Just Listening, even ones I’ve reviewed before.  I hope you enjoy when it debuts in early 2019.

Have a safe and happy New Year!  If you need some entertainment, then check out the videos below.  These are my Personal Favourite Videos that I Made in 2018!  Please watch and if you’re so inclined, subscribe to my Youtube channel.  See you next year!

1. Sausagefest 2018

2. Mike and Aaron do Taranna 2018

3. Max the Axe – “Randy”

4. Star Wars Black Series random unboxings

5. A Tribute to Superdekes

#626.6: The Big Lists of 2017 Part Six: The Return of the Stats of Doom

TOP TEN 2017 REVIEWS (by hits)

Trailer Park Boys – Season 11 (5692 hits)

Deep PurpleLimitless (591 hits)

The KinksThe Essential (509 hits)

SwordLive Hammersmith (430 hits)

Max WebsterThe Party (356 hits)

KISSDynasty re-review (297 hits)

Deep PurpleTime for Bedlam (297 hits)

KISSMusic From the Elder re-review (282 hits)

Greta Van FleetBlack Smoke Rising (281 hits)

KISSLove Gun re-review (278 hits)

Old reviews from years past such as Van Halen – Zero also made strong showings (1343 hits).  2016’s Trailer Park Boys – Out of the Park – Europe recieved 4753 hits!


TOP FIVE “GETTING MORE TALES” of 2017 (by hits)

#551:  You’re Wrong on Unmasked (932 hits)

#625:  The Last Fanboys (428 hits)

#546:  Worst. McDonalds. Ever. (310 hits)

#575:  The Chris Cornell Obsession (194 hits)

#619:  State of the Rock – FYC! (132 hits)

Strong showing on The Last Fanboys, a Star Wars rant that was only posted on December 27 with only a few days left in the year to rank!  Thanks, fanboys!


United States – 73,014 hits

Canada – 31,064 hits

United Kingdom – 15,692 hits

Australia – 10,969 hits

Spain – 5744 hits

…and 1 hit from Greenland!


Unfortunately, WordPress no longer allows us to view Top Commentators of the year.  Boo!  So instead, you all win!  Everyone who posted a comment wins Top Commentator.  I call it the Deke Award of Deke-ness, because good ol’ Deke at “Arena Rock” used ta rank #1 every year!


…And On A Personal Note

I don’t mind admitting that 2017 kicked my ass.  In terms of growth, in both quality and in traffic, it was our best year yet.  I’m 45 years old and I feel our best is still ahead.  With music as inspiring as it was in 2017, it’s inevitable that I will have some amazing things to write about in 2018.

But 2017 flat-out kicked my ass.  Finding out your wife has cancer, yeah, that’s what did me in.  By the end of December my immune system was ripe for the pickings.

The non-stop support at home has been essential to getting back on my feet, but don’t underestimate your own role in this.  Though I have not been able to respond to individual comments, they’ve all been appreciated.  Every single one.

As we all head back to the grind tomorrow, remember none of it means anything if you don’t take care of yourselves.  That’s what I’m going to pledge to do better in 2018.




#459.5: 2015 Year-End Lists, part 5 – site stats!


2015 Year-End Lists, part 5 – site stats!

In the annual tradition, let us have a look at the site stat highlights for 2015!


I was really hoping that one of those legendary Joey Tempest Conspiracy (™) posts would have made the Top 5 posts of the year by hits. Sadly, none did — but one did make it to #6!  So close!

Even though they did not come in with the #1 spot, 2015 was clearly the year of Van Halen.

Top 5 posts of 2015

REVIEW: Trailer Park Boys – Season 8 (Netflix) 1 3,414
GUEST REVIEW: Van Halen – Tokyo Dome Live in Concert (2015) 2 3,397
REVIEW: Van Halen – Zero (1976) 3 3,078
REVIEW: KISS – Greatest Live Hits (2015) 4 2,361
REVIEW: Van Halen – Tokyo Dome Live in Concert (2015 – LeBrain’s review) 5 1,576
GUEST REVIEW: Europe – War of Kings (2015) by Jesse A. Jones 6 1,293

2015 kiss


In 2015, there were 370 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1,707 posts!  Despite my pledge to slow down, that’s still a post a day on average.

The most commented-on post in 2015 was GUEST REVIEW: Europe – War of Kings (2015) by Jesse A. Jones, with 162 comments from a, err, variety of interesting and possibly unstable personalities!

Top 5 most active commenters of 2015

Ooooh.  Deke takes a mighty fall!  But a big thanks to him just the same, and everybody who dropped even just one comment here!  Especially Joey Tempest…I think.  But seriously, thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  I don’t always have time to respond to every comment but I appreciate them all!


Top 5 personal highlights of 2015

  • It is always a pleasure to be asked to be a guest on the radio.  I love doing radio and this year my highlight was appearing twice with Rob Daniels on his program Visions in Sound, talking about Star Wars music.  I’m happy to announce that I’m booked to do it again this month for Rob’s anniversary show.
  • 23 of the biggest music fans on the web participated in the Top 15 on the 15th, a collection of top 15 music lists from around the world.  What a fun experiment that was!  (Thanks to Geoff Stephen, Aaron & Deke for coming up with it!)
  • A Holy Grail item was acquired at a reasonable price.  I have not discussed this publicly yet (two people know what it is), but there will be a review in 2016!
  • Sausagefest 2015 was another successful raging boner of rock.
  • Every year, you can count on the Mike and Aaron go to Toronto expeditions.  This year was probably my most fun yet.  I say that every year!  But I think it’s true.

Final words

I predict that 2016 will be a simply destructive year!  #gnr2016

Top Stats of 2014

Here’s the same boring blah blah that everybody is posting — site stats! The best part of site stats are the Top Commenters of 2014, so I’ve saved them for last.  There are also the Top Search Terms of 2014, which hold a few real WTFs…

  • The busiest day of 2014 at was July 16th with 1,490 views. The most popular post that day was GUEST CONCERT REVIEW: Queen + Adam Lambert 7/13/2014 (by Boppin).
  • In 2014, there were 430 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1,344 posts.

Top Ten Posts of 2014 by hits

  1. REVIEW: Trailer Park Boys – Season 8 (Netflix) – 4,593 hits
  2. GUEST CONCERT REVIEW: Queen + Adam Lambert 7/13/2014 – 1,420 hits
  3. Editorial: Paul Stanley’s voice problems – 1,253 hits
  4. REVIEW: Van Halen – Zero (1976) – 1,215 hits
  5. REVIEW: KISS – The Ritz On Fire (2013) – 1,014 hits
  6. REVIEW: Deep Purple – Machine Head (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, vinyl, In Concert ’72 vinyl) – 895 hits
  7. REVIEW: KISS – Carnival Of Souls (The Final Sessions) (1997) – 811 hits
  8. REVIEW: KISS – Creatures of the Night (1982, 1985, 1997 editions) – 671 hits
  9. Pre-Ordered: KISS 40 (Japanese with bonus track) – 645 hits
  10. REVIEW: Helix – half-ALIVE (1998) – 586 hits

Top Videos of 2014

Top Ten Search Terms of 2014

  1. trailer park boys season 8 review – 70 hits
  2. alice cooper old school review – 62 hits
  3. 69porn – 49 hits
  4. greatest kiss – 48 hits
  5. lp ts com musica we re gonna make – 40 hits
  6. dale sherman kissfaq – 39 hits
  7. how many iron maiden action figures did todd mcdarlane toys make ? – 39 hits
  8. farrel mitchner – 38 hits
  9. van halen zero – 38 hits
  10. boobsy animation whores wearing glasses acquire screwed hardcore – 31 hits

And lastly…

Top 5 commenters of 2014*

  1. keepsmealive – 1116 Comments
  2. Heavy Metal Overload – 749 Comments
  3. Sarca – 631 Comments
  4. 1537 – 471 Comments
  5. Jon Wilmenius – 436 Comments

 * NOTE: I believe that Deke would have made the Top 5 again this year, but his comments were split into two because he stopped commenting as a “visitor” when he started Arena Rock – Thunder Bay and Beyond.

Regardless, all six of the above (Arena Rock included) are excellent sites that have supported me, and I support in turn.  I recommend that you check each one of them out.  Aaron and James at keepsmealive write mostly about music, and music related anecdotes.  Their site goes back to 2007 and there is plenty of content there.  Scott, our Heavy Metal OverloRd, always has something interesting to check out in his Buying Round-Ups and reviews.  If you like music, books, video games and coffee (who doesn’t), then you need to check out Sarca at Caught Me Gaming.  She is also the founder of the #cupfacecrew.  If you like quirky music reviews with Lego re-enactments, then the fine 1537 is the site for you.  Joe’s photography is just as interesting as his writing.  Then for everything in the Swedish and world hard rock scenes, Jon Wilmenius runs e-tainment news and reviews.  I swear to God, I had no idea Sweden had so many rock bands!  His annual Sweden Rock Festival reviews are always a treat.  And finally there’s our favourite hoser, Deke, over at Arena Rock – Thunder Bay and Beyond (1979 – and on).  It is exactly what it sounds like: stories and reviews straight out of the Canadian tundra.  Deke puts humour into every thing he writes, so you gotta check ’em!

Happy New Year to you, and keep on rockin’ in the free world!

Top Five(s) of 2013 – Part 3: 2013’s Rockin’ Stats

What Do the Stats Say?

I always enjoy doing these year-end lists.  I’ve compiled some of the stats from the last 12 months for you, and for my own amusement.  For the 2012 installment click here.

2013 was an exciting year for me.  I enjoyed reviewing some great albums, although I only did one real “series” in 2013 — Ace Frehley.  I did some mini-series such as the Week of Singles, but nothing as epic as the 50 part Maiden series from 2012.

In 2013, I took a bigger leap into making videos.  Three this year that I was particularly proud of:

1. Toronto Record Store Excursion 2013
2. Sausagefest XII Video Report
3. Top Five Discs that Got Us in Shit at the Record Store

Not including these end-of-year lists, 2013 had only 9 Guest Shots.  I’d really like more in 2013, so drop me a line if you are interested in contributing.  Uncle Meat was the most prolific contributor this year, with notable work also posted by Mrs. LeBrain, Lemon Kurri Klopek, and Tommy Morais.

In 2013, I posted 103 installments of Record Store Tales, 12 editions of the ever popular WTF Search Terms, and a whopping 275 Reviews.

My biggest personal blogging achievement this year however was the completion of a massive project:  A Table of Contents!  It was a mind-numbing task in its monotony, but rewarding in its final form.  Finally all Record Store Tales and Reviews are listed and easy to find in a couple clicks.



United States FlagUnited States 31,256
Canada FlagCanada 24,154
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 9,884
Germany FlagGermany 3,479
Sweden FlagSweden 3,080


Queensryche absolutely dominated this year, their combined hits overshadowing even the mighty Iron Maiden.

1. Iron Maiden – Maiden England ’88 (2013 CD reissue)…1,391
2. Marillion – Radiation 2013…1,240
3. Queensrÿche – “Redemption” (2013 single)…927
4. Queensrÿche – Queensrÿche (2013 Japanese edition with bonus tracks)…907
5. Geoff Tate’s Queensrÿche – “Cold” (2013 single)…737
6. (Runner-up) Brian May & Friends – Star Fleet Project…691


1. marillion radiation 2013…145
2. queensryche redemption…127
3. 69porn…118
4. paul stanley voice problems…90
5. mike ladano…75


1.  Aaron! 1047 comments

2.  Heavy Metal OverloRd 817 comments

3.  Deke 407 comments

4.  Jon Wilmenius 355 comments

* Because of a glitch I only have a Top 4

Tomorrow, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming with a new Record Store Tale. Thanks for reading in 2013, and I promise more fun in 2014!