Friday, January 30, 2009

metallica part two

source official fan club

Lars Ulrich
Born: December 26, 1963
From: Gentofte, Denmark
Personal: 3 Children
Instrument: Drums
Vitals: Green eyes, blonde/brown hair, 5'7"/1.7 meters tall

The oft-seen and heard dynamo of Metallica, when it comes to arranging all matters from songs to business, Lars is always at the epicenter. Indeed, constant activity has been a hallmark of Ulrich's life. As a child he saw his father Torben run a small jazz club in Copenhagen (sax player Dexter Gordon is Lars' Godfather) before following the family on the professional tennis circuit where Torben became an established figure.

Lars was nearly 10 when the sounds of Richie Blackmore and Deep Purple blew his little socks off at one of the first gigs he ever attended. It began a theme which has been recurrent in his life -obsession with a band- and having bought the 'Fireball' album, he began a Deep Purple love affair which continues to this day. At 13 his grandmother bought him his first drum kit, yet percussion vyed with tennis for priority. When the family moved to Newport Beach, CA in the late '70's, the seeds of priority scattered themselves in his field: girls, rock'n'roll and the occasional funny cigarette were all keys in turning Lars from the wooden raquet to full metal racket. He got so excited about metal music that he jammed a bit with a young lad called James Hetfield before taking a teenage trip to England during June of 1981 to see his newly beloved Diamond Head. He thus managed to finagle living with them for a while before returning to So Cal and the tape-trading he enjoyed with the likes of Metal Blade Records Brian Slagel.

Slagel was looking for bands to record cuts for an album he would release on the label (their first release). Lars got a slot but had no band. Remembering the less-than-awesome yet energetic jams with young Hetfield, Lars called him up and told him about the album. James listened. And thus was Metallica conceived.

These days, some 80-odd million albums worldwide later, Metallica might have undergone enormous collective and individual changes, but the essence of Ulrich remains. He is at once a loyal, attentive and determined person, one who locks in for the long-haul and one who's skin can achieve great thickness. He's also, in recent years, become even more comfortable saying exactly what he believes in regardless of the consequences (as evidenced by his willingness to be the band spokesperson on the Napster issue).

Music now shares the front seat with Lars' three sons Myles, Layne, and Bryce as well as his thriving interests in art and film. Busy? Of course. But would Lars have it any other way? The proof is there for all to see...

Kirk Hammett
Born: November 18, 1962
From: San Francisco
Personal: Married, 1 child
Instrument: Guitar, background vocals
Vitals: Brown eyes, brown hair, 5'8"/1.75 meters tall

Kirk Hammett, never without a grin or a curious thought, is the true Bay Area band-member. Born in San Francisco, and raised in the East Bay town of El Sobrante, he gained an interest in music from his brother Rick's extensive record collection, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and UFO. It all led to him properly picking up the guitar when he was 15, his first being a wholly unglamorous Montgomery Ward catalog special accompanied by a shoe box with 4 inch speaker for an amp.

After picking up a 1978 Fender Stratocaster, Kirk experimented by mixing and matching guitar parts to find his perfect sound before falling for a 1974 Gibson Flying V. In a determined (and successful) effort to upgrade his equipment, Kirk even took a shift at Burger King to get the cash together for his first Marshall amp. Around that time, Kirk also co-founded Exodus with Paul Baloff, and the East Bay thrashers crossed paths with Metallica twice, in late '82 and early '83, as a support act.

In April 1983, Kirk received a phone call from Metallica in New York. They were in the process of firing guitarist Dave Mustaine and wanted Kirk to fly out and audition. Kirk got the money together for the flight, left California for the first time and arrived in the late afternoon to find three guys who were still waking up. Immediately he, and they, knew the fit was right despite the fact nobody ever formally invited him to join.

A keen student of his instrument even today, Hammett followed his first 'Kill 'Em All' tour by taking lessons from Joe Satriani, and embarked upon a passage of guitar self-education that took in jazz, blues and classical styles. Indeed, education has always been Kirk's answer to potential burnout. After the marathon 'Black' album tour ended in 1993, he immediately went to the City College of San Francisco where he took classes, something he credits as the reason behind his reinvention as a guitarist on the 'Load' and 'Re-load' albums.

Kirk continues to bring not only a dazzling array of lead guitar parts to Metallica's music but also some savage rifferey, having started sharing 6-string duties with James during the 'Load' era. He is happily married to Lani, and lives in San Francisco along with a large collection of old Hollywood movie memorabilia, his two dogs Darla and Hoku, plus cats.......Oh, and for the record, Kirk plays his guitar at least 361 days a year.


Metallica part one

Robert Trujillo
Born: October 23, 1964
From: Santa Monica, California
Personal: Married, 2 Children
Instrument: Bass, Background Vocals
Vitals: Brown eyes, dark hair, 5'9"/1.75 meters tall

He's got rhythm, and he's most certainly got music. Now Robert Trujillo's also got the job of being Metallica's new bassist and family that will doubtless fit this most righteous and cheerful of Southern Californians like a glove.

Although he sometimes does use a pick, Trujillo is best known as a baaaad motherplucker, a finger-playin' bass monster who's dexterity, tones and attitude have seen him grace the bass of Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves and Ozzy Osbourne's band since his first professional work with Suicidal in 1989. It all stems back to a childhood filled with variety and spice.

Growing up in Venice Beach "Dog Town", Trujillo heard everything, from Led Zeppelin to Motown with a chunk of funk in between. Joined with a young love of surfing, Trujillo developed a rhythm and a vibe that saw him play with a variety of local bands through his early 20s until he met Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies via his High School buddy, Suicidal guitarist Rocky George. the two got on infamously well, and thus began a rich and fruitful relationship which saw Rob establish himself as one of the most exciting bass talents in the rock world.

In the early '90s, he and Muir formed the experimental funk-rockers Infectious Grooves, and then in the mid-'90s Trujillo joined up with Ozzy Osbourne. Together with drummer Mike Bordin, Trujillo formed one of rock music's most soild and reliable rhythm units.

Rob's name first floated by the Metallicamp during Suicidal's supporting role on the Summer Shed tour of '94, when all the band noted his enthusiastic style and performances. Thus when it was time to consider who could step up and take the bass full-time in Metallica, Rob's name was an obvious choice.

By all accounts, Trujillo's audition dared the band NOT to give him the job, and even producer Bob Rock was heard saying how complete and unequivocally whole the band sounded with Rob playing.

And so it was that on Thursday, February 24th 2003, Robert Trujillo walked in to the HQ and saw Ulrich, Hammett and Hetfield immediately start applauding him. Again, Rob is the perfect fit, a calm, even-keeled man with experience and full bass props...and genuinely one of the nicest guys around. It all adds up to the 4th member, an equal part of the Metallica family and an exciting new stage in Metallihistory.

James Hetfield
Born: August 3, 1963
From: Los Angeles
Personal: Married, 3 Children
Instrument: Vocals, Guitar
Vitals: Blue eyes, blonde hair, 6'1"/1.85 meters tall

When it comes to defining Metallica, most people use James Hetfield as their guide. There's never any bullshit with James and there's never any shirking of duties. Example? When he threw his back out on the Summer Sanitarium 2000 tour, James ploughed his way through three weeks of intense physical therapy in four days, according to his physical therapist. And when the going got really tough, and James needed help in 2001, he sought it out, took it on and came back stronger than ever. It is precisely this sort of fierce, unbending dedication, devotion and spirit which has made James such an inspirational focal point through the years for millions of fans.

Ironically, the voice of Metallica (indeed, a defining voice of his rock'n'roll generation) very nearly wasn't a voice at all, simply because in the early days, James Hetfield didn't fancy being a lead vocalist. Metallica tried a few different vocal/guitar configurations. Some of the options considered included adding another
guitar player, having then-lead guitar player Dave Mustaine play the sole guitar and asking John Bush from Armored Saint to sing for the band. Of course common sense prevailed, James decided to fight harder to establish himself as a frontman and the results are, ahem, history

To trace the roots of Hetfield's unflinching dedication and determination, you have to go back to a childhood that was often tough but laid a foundation, which underscores James today. Born to a truck driver and light opera singer on August 3rd, 1963, in Los Angeles, his family's Christian Science religious beliefs played a large part in the young Hetfield's life, and subsequently form a central point for many of Metallica's lyrics. He was 9 years old when he first took piano lessons before taking on brother David's drums and finally picking up a guitar in his pre-teens.

With the likes of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy providing inspiration, James quickly set about the task of becoming a rock star in his first band, Obsession. Made up of the Veloz brothers on bass and drums, with Jim Arnold on guitar, plenty of time was spent in the Veloz's garage jamming with Ron McGoveny and Dave Marrs acting as roadies. McGovney subsequently stepped in alongside Marrs and Hetfield when the Veloz brothers incarnation ended.

After moving to Brea, California, James attended Brea Olinda High School and met up with drummer Jim Mulligan. The two jammed at lunch time scaring fellow guitarists with their loud and heavy sounds before a guy called Hugh Tanner was seen carrying around part of a flying V guitar at school. Phantom Lord was born with Hugh on guitar, Mulligan on drums and James singing plus playing guitar. The group went through a few bass players until graduation when James moved back to Downey.

Back in Downey, James moved into a house owned by Ron McGovney's parents that was slated for demolition due to an expressway expansion. It was the perfect place for James and Ron to crash, rehearse and jam. James talked Ron into taking up bass, Phantom Lord was no more and the third band under Hetfield's leadership.

Leather Charm, was born. The only difference between Charm and Lord, was James singing without guitar and Ron playing bass guitar, Hugh Tanner and Jim Mulligan retaining their former 'Lord positions. Leather Charm was a largely hard rock combo, playing some originals and covers such as Iron Maiden's 'Remember Tomorrow' amongst others. The band managed to perform at a few parties and recorded a demo, but then began to fall apart.

First Tanner left the band (replaced by Troy James), then Mulligan left for a more progressive, Rush-like band. And with no drummer, the band was forced to call it quits. Although it was Mulligan's departure that led to James searching for a new drummer, we can safely say that Hugh Tanner was responsible for the catalytic moment which would change the course of James Hetfield's life and out him on the path to achieving his childhood ambition. How? Simple...Tanner introduced James to Lars Ulrich. The rest, as you'll read elsewhere, is a long, illustrious (occasionally curious) and still-evolving history...

James is the main songwriter in Metallica, co-creating the framework and structure for most Metallimaterial. When he's not writing, singing or playing, James enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hunting, snowboarding, water and jet-skiing, sketching, annoying neighbors with guns and loud pipes on his chopper "The Saga", watching his favorite Oakland Raiders and going to hot-rod shows. He also collects older guitars (particularly those from 1963) and enjoys working on old cars. Amongst his favorites are a '55 Chevy BelAir (which he helped built and restore himself), and 'The Beast', a fearsome all-terrain 4-wheel drive Blazer that is designed to survive everything from earthquakes to nuclear holocausts. Aside from these pursuits, James is often happiest spending time with his wife Francesca and three children, Cali, Castor, and Marcella.

source official fan club

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ibanez, heavy metal axe

beside the legendary guitar such as Fender stratocaster or Gibson les paul, there is also the "Ibanez". The main guitar that exclusively used by rock musician. here is a brief history of ibanez guitar, how can a japanese product used a spanish name and more.

The Hoshino Gakki company began in 1908 as a musical instrument sales division of the Hoshino Shoten bookstore company. In 1935 they began manufacturing their own stringed instruments. The company had little presence in the Western world until the mid-1960s.

In 1954, Harry Rosenbloom opened a music store in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, northwest of Philadelphia along with his main store on Arch Street. In the mid-1970s, Harry moved his entire operation to the location it is today, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Due to the post-World War II music boom, his sales soon outstripped his inventory, and he began a company called Elger Guitars (named so after his son Gerson who is now running the business and his daughter Ellen) in an attempt to manufacture enough guitars to fill his needs. The Elger Guitar company made a relatively small number of hand-built, high quality guitars through the early 1960s.

Ibanez JEMBy 1965 Rosenbloom had decided to stop manufacturing guitars and chose to become the exclusive North American distributor for Hoshino Gakki instruments. At the time, the phrase "made in Japan" was considered to have negative connotations of low quality, so Hoshino Gakki and Rosenbloom wanted to distribute the instruments under a "non-Japanese" name. Hoshino had recently acquired a small Spanish guitar company named Ibanez, and it was decided to market the instruments under this brand name. In 1971 Hoshino purchased Elger Guitars, renaming the company "Ibanez U.S.A." and retaining the company headquarters in Bensalem, Pennsylvania as a distribution and quality-control center.

In the early 1970s Ibanez began making guitars that were almost exact copies of popular models by Gibson, Fender and Rickenbacker. Using somewhat cheaper materials and greater automation in manufacturing, they were able to sell these guitars for a significantly lower price than the originals. The low price combined with the relatively high quality of the guitars made these models very popular. Many guitar aficionados feel that the early- and mid-70s mark a low point in the quality of guitars from the major manufacturers, which helped contribute to the popularity of the Ibanez copies. These guitars have become known as "lawsuit" guitars and have become somewhat collectible.

The actual lawsuit referred to was brought by the Norlin Corporation, the parent company of Gibson guitars, in 1977, and was based on an Ibanez headstock design that had been discontinued by 1976. Ibanez settled out of court, and by 1978 had begun making guitars from their own designs.

Abandoning the strategy of copying "classic" electric guitar designs, the newer models began incorporating more modern elements into their design, such as radical body shapes, slimmer necks and flatter fingerboards (which allowed for faster playing), higher-output electronics and colorful finishes. This led to an increasing popularity with heavy metal musicians. The company also began an extensive program of consulting with well-known guitar players, such as Joe Satriani and Steve Vai and creating signature models made to the players' specifications.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Deep Purple biography

One of the longest running and most prolific of hard rock/proto-heavy-metal bands, Deep Purple appeared in the wake of the psychedelic era, sporting a harder sound than anything that had come before. The classic 1970s lineup (featuring virtuoso guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, wailing tenor Ian Gillan, and classically influenced keyboardist Jon Lord) established the template for countless metal bands that followed in their wake.

They went through numerous lineup changes over the years, with singers David Coverdale and Joe Lynn Turner and guitarists Tommy Bolin and Steve Morse all passing through the ranks. Since the 1980s, sporadic reunions have found key members returning to the fold.

Deep Purple evolved in 1968 following sessions to form a band around former Searchers drummer Chris Curtis (b. Christopher Crummey, 26 August 1941, Oldham, Lancashire, England). Jon Lord (b. 9 June 1941, Leicester, Leicestershire, England; keyboards) and Nick Simper (b. 3 November 1945, Norwood Green, Southall, Middlesex, England; bass), veterans, respectively, of the Artwoods and Johnny Kidd And The Pirates, joined guitarist Ritchie Blackmore (b. Richard Hugh Blackmore, 14 April 1945, Weston-Super-Mare, Avon, England) in rehearsals for this new act, initially dubbed Roundabout. Curtis dropped out within days, and when Dave Curtis (bass) and Bobby Woodman (drums) also proved incompatible, two members of Maze, Rod Evans (b. 19 January 1947, Slough, England; vocals) and Ian Paice (b. 29 June 1948, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England; drums), replaced them.

Having adopted the Deep Purple name following a brief Scandinavian tour, the quintet began recording their debut album, which they patterned on US band Vanilla Fudge. Shades Of Deep Purple included dramatic rearrangements of well-known songs, including "Hey Joe" and "Hush", the latter becoming a Top 5 US hit when issued as a single.

Lengthy tours ensued as the band, all but ignored at home, steadfastly courted the burgeoning American concert circuit. The Book Of Taliesyn and Deep Purple also featured several excellent reworkings, notably "Kentucky Woman" (Neil Diamond) and "River Deep - Mountain High" (Ike And Tina Turner), but the unit also drew acclaim for its original material and the dramatic interplay between Lord and Blackmore.
In July 1969, both Evans and Simper were axed from the line-up, which was then buoyed by the arrival of Ian Gillan (b. 19 August 1945, Hounslow, Middlesex, England; vocals) and Roger Glover (b. 30 November 1945, Brecon, Wales; bass) from the pop band Episode Six.

Acknowledged by aficionados as the "classic" Deep Purple line-up, the reshaped quintet made its album debut on the grandiose Concerto For Group And Orchestra, scored by Lord and recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (reprised in October 1999 at the Royal Albert Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra).
Its orthodox successor, In Rock, established the band as a leading heavy metal attraction and introduced such enduring favourites as "Speed King" and "Child In Time".

Gillan's powerful intonation brought a third dimension to their sound and this new-found popularity in the UK was enhanced when an attendant single, "Black Night", reached number 2. "Strange Kind Of Woman" followed it into the Top 10, while Fireball and Machine Head topped the album chart.

The latter included the riff-laden "Smoke On The Water", now lauded as a seminal example of the hard rock oeuvre and a Top 5 hit in America. The album was also the first release on the band's own Purple label.
Although the platinum-selling Made In Japan captured Deep Purple's live prowess, relations within the band grew increasingly strained, and Who Do We Think We Are! marked the end of this highly successful line-up.

The departures of Gillan and Glover robbed Deep Purple of an expressive frontman and imaginative arranger, although David Coverdale (b. 22 September 1951, Saltburn-By-The Sea, North Yorkshire, England; vocals) and Glenn Hughes (b. 21 August 1952, Cannock, Staffordshire, England; bass, ex-Trapeze) brought a new impetus to the act. Burn and Stormbringer both reached the Top 10,

but Blackmore grew increasingly dissatisfied with the band's direction and in May 1975 left to form Rainbow.

US guitarist Tommy Bolin (b. Thomas Richard Bolin, 1 August 1951, Sioux City, Iowa, USA, d. 4 December 1976, Miami, Florida, USA), formerly of the James Gang, joined Deep Purple for Come Taste The Band, but his jazz soul style was incompatible with the band's heavy metal sound, and a now-tiring act folded in 1976 following a farewell UK tour.

Coverdale formed Whitesnake, Paice and Lord joined Tony Ashton in Paice, Ashton And Lord, while Bolin died of a heroin overdose within months of Purple's demise.
Judicious archive and "best of' releases kept the band in the public eye, as did the high profile enjoyed by its several ex-members. Pressure for a reunion bore fruit in 1984 when Gillan, Lord, Blackmore, Glover and Paice completed Perfect Strangers. A second set, The House Of Blue Light, ensued, but recurring animosity between Gillan and Blackmore resulted in the singer's departure following the in-concert Nobody's Perfect.

Former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner (b. Joseph Linquito, 2 August 1951, Hackensack, New Jersey,
USA) was brought into the line-up for 1990"s Slaves And Masters as the band steadfastly maintained their revitalized career.
Gillan rejoined in 1993 only to quit, yet again, shortly afterwards, while his old sparring partner, Blackmore, also bailed out the following year, to be replaced briefly by Joe Satriani (b. 15 July 1956).
The line-up that recorded the credible Purpendicular and Abandon in the late 90s comprised Steve Morse (b. 28 July 1954, Hamilton, Ohio, USA) on guitar, with Lord, Gillan, Glover and Paice. At the start of the new millennium, Lord announced his retirement and was replaced in the line-up by rock veteran Don Airey. He was featured on the band's 2003 studio album, Bananas.

Time and time again Deep Purple is cited as the band that crafted heavy rock to a fine art. Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath they remain the genre's undisputed leaders.

taken from

KISS short biography

taken from

Big Apple Beginnings
Hard rockers Kiss were formed in New York City in 1973 by schoolteacher/bass player Gene Simmons and guitarist/singer Paul Stanley, who'd played together in the band Wicked Lester. Influenced by rock n' roll outfits ranging from The Rolling Stones to Alice Cooper, the pair took the bad boy image of the former and the glam/horror style of the latter to create one of the biggest bands in the history of popular music. Recruiting drummer Peter Criss and axeman Ace Frehley through newspaper and magazine ads, Simmons and Stanley set out to do nothing less than conquer the known rock world.

1973-75: Dressed To Kill
Donning face make-up and suggestive black leather outfits, the quartet adopted stage names and personas (Simmons as The Demon, Stanley as The Star Child, Frehley as The Space Man, and Criss as The Cat) and honed their raw, original rockers in local clubs and bars. By the end of 1973, they'd managed to impress respected band manager Bill Aucoin and ink a deal with Neil Bogart's Casablanca Records.

Their self-titled debut album came out in early 1974, followed later that year by Hotter Than Hell. Both albums were packed with crushing hard rockers that would later become Kiss classics, including "Strutter," "Cold Gin," and "Hotter Than Hell." Their first real commercial success, though, came with 1975's Dressed To Kill, which featured the timeless anthem "Rock And Roll All Nite." That song not only gave the band their signature tune, but became a rousing battle cry for a generation besieged by disco, sappy AM Top 40 acts, and polyester.

Capitalizing on the runaway success of the single "Rock And Roll All Nite," Simmons and Stanley (who are as adept at business as they are rock n' roll) pulled out all the stops on their Dressed To Kill tour, taping shows and winning new fans across the country. 1975 saw the release of Kiss Alive!, a double LP party on vinyl that included now-famous photos of Simmons spitting blood, blowing fire, and wagging his legendary long tongue.

1976-79: Shout It Loud
1976's Destroyer cemented the band's hard-won image as the greatest rock n' roll band in America (a 1977 Gallup poll of the USA agreed), with numbers for their official fan club,
The Kiss Army, growing into the millions. Marvel Comics featured the band in two comic books- the first allegedly inked in the band members' own blood. Kiss albums, dolls, pinball machines, buttons, banners, T-shirts, and makeup kits sold at a heady pace. Their randy lyrics and the undeniable sexual energy of both Simmons and Stanley also gained them a respectable female fan base. And the outfit finally got their first Top Ten hit with drummer Criss' throaty ballad, "Beth."

Kiss' next two albums, Rock And Roll Over and Love Gun, also went platinum. In 1978, they issued Kiss Alive II, followed by solo records from each of the members. 1979's Dynasty produced a couple of popular numbers, but a slight disco edge to the music and an obvious, increasingly strained relationship between the members saw their original fan base beginning to erode.

1980-82: Unmasked
In 1980, original drummer Peter Criss left the group; session skin-man Anton Fig filled in for the recording of Kiss Unmasked later on that year. Official replacement Eric Carr joined the band in time to perform on their 1980 world tour. 1981's Music From The Elder received disappointing sales and fan reaction, and guitarist Ace Frehley was the next to jump ship. Vinnie Vincent took up axe duties for 1982's Creatures Of The Night, which would be their final album for Casablanca.

1983-1990: Crazy Nights
By 1983, Kiss had dropped the make-up and revamped their sound for a new decade, resulting in the platinum-selling Lick It Up, their first for Mercury Records. Music videos and more touring followed, with Vincent replaced by first Mark St. John and then Bruce Kulick in 1984. For the remainder of the ‘80's, Kiss' albums sold well and they became regulars on MTV with hits like "Heaven's On Fire," "Tears Are Falling," "Crazy, Crazy Nights," and "Forever." The latter, a spicy power ballad in the vein of "Beth," once again propelled them to the top of the charts.

1991-97: Revenge
In 1991, drummer Eric Carr passed away from cancer at age 41. He was replaced by Eric Singer, who played on 1992's Revenge. That album went gold, and the hits kept coming, with "Unholy" and a cover of Argent's "God Gave Rock And Roll To You" becoming concert staples. Kiss Alive! III was issued in 1993, but failed to achieve the success of the first two.1996 saw the first official reunion of all four original members since 1980, with the set filmed for MTV's Unplugged and released internationally both on video and record. A wildly successful world tour followed, culminating with the band returning to the studio.

1998-Present: Psycho Circus
In 1998, the reformed original Kiss released Psycho Circus amidst a massive PR blitz. They once again wore make-up and outlandish costumes, produced a cornucopia of Kiss memorabilia (including 3D glasses to view the live show), and undertook a highly successful tour. They continued through 2001, at which time Peter Criss again quit- reportedly due to financial issues. Frehley left in 2002, amid rumors of acrimony and dissent. In 2003, Polygram released Symphony: Kiss Alive IV.

Through major line-up changes, evolving popular music, and a plethora of copycat acts, Kiss have survived into the 21st Century with a massive fan base, millions in sales, and that famous, edgy New York sense of humor. They may not be the most critically-acclaimed act of all time, but in the end, the music speaks for itself- to their fans, the Demon, The Starchild, The Space Man, and The Cat remain the greatest rock and roll band in the world.

""I'm in a weird band. We've done very well. The American dream is alive and well...""
Gene Simmons

Led Zeppelin, biography and discography

Continue ...

IV was certified as having sold 16 million copies in the USA by March 1996. However, the effusive praise this album generated was notably more muted for Houses Of The Holy. Critics queried its musically diverse selection - the set embraced folk ballads, reggae and soul - yet when the accustomed power was unleashed, notably on "No Quarter", the effect was inspiring. A concurrent US tour broke all previous attendance records, the proceeds from which helped to finance an in-concert film, issued in 1976 as The Song Remains The Same, and the formation of the group's own record label, Swan Song.

Bad Company, the Pretty Things and Maggie Bell were also signed to the company, which served to provide Led Zeppelin with total creative freedom. Physical Graffiti, a double set, gave full rein to the quartet's diverse interests, with material ranging from compulsive hard rock ("Custard Pie" and "Sick Again") to pseudo-mystical experimentation ("Kashmir"). The irrepressible "Trampled Under Foot" joined an ever-growing lexicon of peerless performances, while "In My Time Of Dying" showed an undiminished grasp of progressive blues. Sell-out appearances in the UK followed the release, but rehearsals for a projected world tour were abandoned in August 1975 when Plant sustained multiple injuries in a car crash.

A new album was prepared during his period of convalescence, although problems over artwork delayed its release. Advance orders alone assured Presence platinum status, yet the set was regarded as a disappointment and UK sales were noticeably weaker. The 10-minute maelstrom "Achilles Last Stand" was indeed a remarkable performance, but the remaining tracks were competent rather than fiery and lacked the accustomed sense of grandeur. In 1977 Led Zeppelin began its rescheduled US tour, but on 26 July news reached Robert Plant that his six-year-old son, Karac, had died of a viral infection. The remaining dates were cancelled amid speculation that the group would break up.
They remained largely inactive for over a year, but late in 1978 they flew to Abba's Polar recording complex in Stockholm. Although lacking the definition of earlier work, In Through The Out Door was a strong collection on which John Paul Jones emerged as the unifying factor. Two concerts at Britain's Knebworth Festival were the prelude to a short European tour on which the group unveiled a stripped-down act, inspired, in part, by the punk explosion. Rehearsals were then undertaken for another US tour,
but in September 1980, Bonham was found dead following a lengthy drinking bout. On 4 December,
Swan Song announced that the group had officially retired, although a collection of archive material, Coda, was subsequently issued.
Jones went on to become a successful producer, notably with the Mission, while Plant embarked on a highly successful solo career, launched with Pictures At Eleven. Page scored the movie Death Wish 2 and, after a brief reunion with Plant and the Honeydrippers project in 1984, he inaugurated the short-lived Firm with Paul Rodgers. He then formed the Jimmy Page Band with John Bonham's son, Jason, who in turn drummed with Led Zeppelin on their appearance at Atlantic Records' 25th Anniversary Concert in 1988.

Despite renewed interest in the band's career, particularly in the wake of the retrospective Remasters, entreaties to make this a permanent reunion were resisted. However, in 1994 Page and Plant went two-thirds of the way to a re-formation with their ironically titled Unledded project, though John Paul Jones was conspicuous by his absence (for want of an invitation).
The duo cemented the relationship with an album of new Page And Plant material in 1998.
The discovery and release of live tapes and video footage in 2002 carried the Led Zeppelin phenomenon over into the new millennium. Decades after their demise, the triple-live CD How The West Was Won entered the Billboard chart at No 1 in June 2003. [COLOR=blue]Although their commercial success is unquestionable, Led Zeppelin are now rightly recognized as one of the most influential bands of the rock era and their catalogue continues to provide inspiration to successive generations of musicians.

Led Zeppelin (Atlantic 1969)****, Led Zeppelin II (Atlantic 1969)****, Led Zeppelin III (Atlantic 1970)****, Led Zeppelin IV (Atlantic 1971)*****, Houses Of The Holy (Atlantic 1973)****, Physical Graffiti (Swan Song 1975)****, Presence (Swan Song 1976)***, The Song Remains The Same film soundtrack (Swan Song 1976)**, In Through The Out Door (Swan Song 1979)***, Coda (Swan Song 1982)**, BBC Sessions (Atlantic 1997)****, How The West Was Won 3-CD live set (WEA 2003)****.

COMPILATIONS: Led Zeppelin 4-CD box set (Swan Song 1991)****, Remasters (Swan Song 1991)****, Remasters II (Swan Song 1993)***, Early Days: The Best Of Led Zeppelin Volume One (Atlantic 1999)****, Latter Days: The Best Of Led Zeppelin Volume II (Atlantic 2000)****, The Very Best Of Led Zeppelin: Early Days & Latter Days (Warners 2003)****

VIDEOGRAPHY: The Song Remains The Same (Warner Home Video 1986), Led Zeppelin (Warner Music Vision 2003), Inside Led Zeppelin: 1968-1972 (Classic Rock Legends 2004).
taken from

Led Zeppelin, biography

Formed from the ashes of British blues-rockers the Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin shot to the stratosphere in the early 1970s. With Dionysian frenzy and a blast of blues-drenched riffs, they became one of the biggest bands of the era. Their intense musical excursions helped define the sound of hard rock, while their penchant for folk balladry added to their mystique as rock gods. The group called it quits after the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, and remaining members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones pursued (mostly) separate musical ventures.

This pivotal heavy rock quartet was formed in October 1968 by British guitarist Jimmy Page (b. James Patrick Page, 9 January 1944, Heston, Middlesex, England) following the demise of his former band, the Yardbirds. John Paul Jones (b. John Baldwin, 3 June 1946, Sidcup, Kent, England; bass, keyboards), a respected arranger and session musician, replaced original member Chris Dreja, but hopes to incorporate vocalist Terry Reid floundered on a contractual impasse.

The singer unselfishly recommended Robert Plant (b. 20 August 1948, West Bromwich, West Midlands, England), then frontman of struggling Midlands act Hobbstweedle, who in turn introduced drummer John Bonham (b. 31 May 1948, Birmingham, England, d. 25 September 1980), when first choice B.J. Wilson opted to remain with Procol Harum. The quartet gelled immediately and having completed outstanding commitments under the name "New Yardbirds", became Led Zeppelin following a quip by the Who's Keith Moon, who, when assessing their prospects, remarked that they would probably "go down like a lead Zeppelin".

They were guided and managed by Peter Grant (b. 5 April 1935, London, England, d. 21 November 1995). He was best known as the heavyweight manager of all UK rock groups, both in size and stature. Armed with a prestigious contract with Atlantic Records, the group toured the USA supporting Vanilla Fudge prior to the release of their explosive debut, Led Zeppelin, which included several exceptional original songs, including "Good Times, Bad Times", "Communication Breakdown", "Dazed And Confused' - a hangover from the Yardbirds" era - and skilled interpretations of R&B standards "How Many More Times?" and "You Shook Me". The set vied with Jeff Beck's Truth as the definitive statement of English heavy blues/rock, but Page's meticulous production showed a greater grasp of basic pop dynamics, resulting in a clarity redolent of 50s rock 'n' roll. His staggering dexterity was matched by Plant's expressive, beseeching voice, a combination that flourished on Led Zeppelin II.

The group was already a headline act, drawing sell-out crowds across the USA, when this propulsive collection confirmed an almost peerless position. The introductory track, "Whole Lotta Love", a thinly veiled rewrite of Willie Dixon's "You Need Love", has since become a classic, while "Livin' Lovin' Maid (She's Just A Woman)" and "Moby Dick", Bonham's exhibition piece, were a staple part of the quartet's early repertoire.

Elsewhere, "Thank You" and "What Is And What Should Never Be" revealed a greater subtlety, a factor emphasized more fully on Led Zeppelin III. Preparation for this set had been undertaken at Bron-Y-Aur cottage in Snowdonia (immortalized in "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp"), and a resultant pastoral atmosphere permeated the acoustic-based selections "That's The Way" and "Tangerine". "The Immigrant Song" and "Gallows Pole" reasserted the group's traditional fire and the album's release confirmed Led Zeppelin's position as one of the world's leading attractions. In concert, Plant's sexuality and Adonis-like persona provided the perfect foil to Page's more mercurial character, yet both individuals took full command of the stage, the guitarist's versatility matched by his singer's unfettered roar.

Confirmation of the group's ever-burgeoning strengths appeared on Led Zeppelin IV, also known as "Four Symbols", the "Runes Album" or "Zoso", in deference to the fact that the set bore no official title. It included "Stairway To Heaven", a group tour de force. Arguably the definitive heavy-rock song, it continues to win polls, and the memorable introduction remains every guitar novice's first hurdle. The approbation granted this ambitious piece initially obscured other tracks, but the energetic "When The Levee Breaks" is now also lauded as a masterpiece, particularly for Bonham's drumming. "Black Dog" and "Rock 'N' Roll" saw Zeppelin at their immediate best, while "The Battle Of Evermore" was marked by a vocal contribution from Sandy Denny. IV was certified as having sold 16 million copies in the USA by march.

25 guitar top riffs of all times

Doo doo doo: "Smoke on the Water" still top riff

By Atholl Simpson

LONDON (Reuters) - Deep Purple's 1973 hit "Smoke on the Water" is the greatest guitar riff of all time, according to a poll by a London music school that has taught members of top bands like Radiohead, The Kinks and The Cure.

The majority of the 25 songs selected by current students of the London Tech Music School, were recorded in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Only seven were recorded in the last 20 years.

"It was the iconic era for the electric guitar." head of the school's Guitar and Bass section John Wheatcroft told Reuters.

"A lot of our students started listening to their parents records and discovered these bands through them."

The most recent song selected was "7 Nation Army" recorded by American rock duo The White Stripes in 2003.

But Wheatcroft does not believe this spells the end of modern music.

"The great riffs can simply be the ones that withstood the test of time." he said. "It might just be a question of waiting till the dust settles and in 10 years time it could be completely different."

Other songs include "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix (1967), "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith (1975) and "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits (1984).

A list of the top songs chosen follows:

1. Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple (1973)
Ritchie Blackmore
2. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana (1991)

3. Walk This Way - Aerosmith (1975)

4. Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix (1967)
jimi hendrix
5. Sweet Child O Mine - Guns N' Roses (1987)

6. Paradise City - Guns N' Roses (1987)

7. Ace Of Spades - Motorhead (1980)

8. Enter Sandman - Metallica (1991)

9. Under The Bridge - Red Hot Chilli Peppers (1992)

10. Welcome To The Jungle - Guns N' Roses (1987)
guns n roses appetite
11. Run To The Hills - Iron Maiden (1982)

12. Walk - Pantera (1992)

13. Johnny Be Goode - Chuck Berry (1958)

14. Back In Black - AC/DC (1980)

15. Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin (1970)
jimmy page
16. Wake Up - Rage Against The Machine (1992)

17. Highway to Hell - AC/DC (1979)

18. My Generation - The Who (1965)

19. 7 Nation Army - The White Stripes (2003)

20. Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf (1968)

21. Give It Away - Red Hot Chilli Peppers (1991)

22. Paranoid - Black Sabbath (1970)

23. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix (1967)

24. Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor (1982)

25. Money For Nothing - Dire Straits (1984)


Monday, January 26, 2009

iron maiden, a short biography

The early years of Maiden were tough. When you consider not only that they formed just as the spectre of punk loomed large on the horizon but also that heavy metal, and in particular British Heavy Metal was considered to be on its last legs, it is no small miracle that the band survived past ’78.

But survive they did. Their early line-up consisted of Steve Harris (bass), Paul Di’Anno (vocals), Dave Murray (guitar), Doug Sampson (drums) and Dennis Stratton (guitar) and after three years of near continuous touring the band finally set about recording their self-titled debut.

Iron Maiden was nothing less than a statement of intent. Merging heavy metal power and riffs with the energy of punk, this is undoubtedly one of the finest and most important debut heavy rock albums of all time.

Recorded in just a few weeks in January 1980, the record contains more straightforward compositions than fans of their later work may expect. Classics such as ‘Prowler’ and ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ showcased the raw vocal talents of Di’Anno, while the album was a great starting point for main songwriter Harris to hone his skills. The album was an instant smash in the UK reaching number 4 in the charts.

Rather than resting on their laurels, though, the band looked to ramp it up a notch. With a new guitarist on board (Adrian Smith in place of Dennis Stratton) and a renowned hard rock producer Martin Birch (Deep Purple) at the helm, the band’s sophomore album was a much more polished and focused affair.

Killers was released less than 12 months after their debut, but was clearly a huge leap in the development of the band. The new twin guitar attack coupled with Harris’s newfound songwriting confidence combined to produce an energetic and powerful record that practically burst from the record decks. The album was another instant hit in the UK and it even made headway in the US chart – a veritable wasteland as far as British heavy metal acts were concerned at that time.

However, trouble was just around the corner for the band. Di’Anno lived the rock & roll lifestyle too fully for the rest of the band and his problems with cocaine and alcohol forced a “parting of ways” in the middle of a tour in 1981.

Enter Bruce Dickinson

In 1982 Samson were a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal mainstay. They produced fine, if not great material, but as with many of their contemporaries commercial success was lacking. Support slots with Iron Maiden were as mainstream as it got for the band and their frontman, Bruce Bruce.

Of course, this "Bruce Bruce" was better known as Bruce Dickinson and when a support slot with Maiden led to the offer of frontman with the country’s biggest metal band the decision was a no-brainer. The puzzle was now complete.

Work was already underway on the band’s third album, Number Of The Beast, when Dickinson joined in 1982. The album would prove to be their biggest yet, and any fears that the departure of Di’Anno would affect the momentum gathered so far were quickly dispelled.

Number Of The Beast heralded the arrival of the progressive sound that would go on to define the band for years to come. ‘Run to The Hills’ and the title track are now signature tunes for the band at any live show. The album hit the top spot in the UK and went top 40 in the US. It was their first true classic.

Former Pat Travers drummer Nicko McBrain joined the ranks in 1983 to complete the “classic” Maiden line-up that would stay in place until 1990. He joined at the best possible time. The band were unstoppable by the time they released their next album, Piece Of Mind.

The record followed the same pattern of its predecessor despite owing much more to group songwriting than any of the band’s previous efforts. Smith, Dickinson, Harris and Murray all had songwriting credits on this one. The album, which contains the classic tracks ‘Flight Of Icarus’, ‘Where Eagles Dare’ and ‘The Trooper,’ was another huge success and confirmed the band as the biggest heavy metal proposition on the planet.

As a renowned touring band, it was no small miracle that they managed to find time to put out so many albums in such a short time. After Piece Of Mind Maiden managed to fit in two huge world tours, and still find time to record Powerslave in 1984.

While other bands in the NWOBHM scene chased success with bitesize singles and commercialised sound, Maiden went in the opposite direction and embraced a much more progressive approach than they had previously exhibited. The epic ‘Rime Of The Ancient Mariner’ weighs in at just over thirteen minutes, while several others could easily be described as “epic”.

The move paid off – Powerslave was a massive hit. Each of Maiden’s records to this point had outsold its predecessor and this one was no different. This is widely regarded as their classic album by fans and critics alike.

The World Slavery Tour that followed Powerslave lasted from August 1984 to July 1985, and remains to this day one of the longest continuous tours by a rock band. The stage set used on the tour was based upon the pyramid that graced the cover of the album, and is one of the most iconic stage sets ever built. In recognition of this the band have recreated the set for their 2008 World Tour.

A live album, Live After Death, was put out in 1985 and was as close as the band had had to a “Best Of” at that point. Recorded during a four night stint in LA and at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, the album was released as a “thank you” to fans and remains to this day one of the best loved live albums of all time.

When the band returned with yet another new album in 1986 (their 7th since 1980) it took many by surprise. The high watermark set by Powerslave was always going to be difficult to reach, so in keeping with the band’s capacity to surprise they tried something completely new.
Somewhere In Time saw the band embrace synthesisers for the first time, although unlike many other rock bands at that time Maiden didn’t go overboard. The album didn’t quite reach the high critical acclaim of their previous albums but it at did at least lay the groundwork for the band’s next classic.

Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (1988) built on the newly lavish soundscapes set up on Somewhere… but did it better than anyone could have predicted. Seventh Son… is a concept album based upon the story of a prophet trying unsuccessfully to warn a village about an impending holocaust. The record produced four top ten hits in the UK ('Can I Play with Madness?,' 'The Evil That Men Do,' 'The Clairvoyant,' and 'Infinite Dreams') and was one of the band’s biggest worldwide commercial and critical successes to date.

Unfortunately the album also marked the end of an era for the band. A gruelling tour followed the release of the album and it would take its toll. The first member to leave was Adrian Smith in 1989. The band took a year’s hiatus, and despite the addition of Janick Gers in 1990 and the release of the decent, if not groundbreaking, No Prayer For The Dying, Maiden were crumbling.

Dickinson lasted for one more album, the slightly lacklustre Fear Of The Dark (1991) before he left to work on his solo material and a new band. Incidentally the album was still one of the band’s biggest to date and hit the top spot in the UK

It was the end of an era. The rest of the Maiden story is one of line-up changes and reconciliation, and although they still produce fine material even today the band will always acknowledge the 80s as their finest hour – and rightly so. Their achievement was immense.

Maiden had been born in an era where they shouldn’t have survived. They trod a path that others followed. They found success where they shouldn’t and kept on evolving when they did.

A simple test of how important they were to rock music between the years 1980 - 1989 is to try to imagine a world without Maiden. Imagine a world without their iconic record sleeves; without their huge success at home and abroad which paved the way for so many other acts; without their image and their iconic stage shows; without “that sound” and without those bands that tried, and failed, to copy them.

New Guns n Roses song heads to "Rock Band 2"

NEW YORK (Billboard) - A new Guns N' Roses song, "Shackler's Revenge," apparently from the decade-in-the-works album "Chinese Democracy," will be included in the video game "Rock Band 2," according to a report in the New York Times.

The game will be released in September.

The news makes it seem increasingly likely that "Chinese Democracy" will finally see the light of day before year's end via Interscope. Nine seemingly complete tracks from the album, not including "Shackler's Revenge," leaked online earlier this summer.

"Rock Band 2," developed by MTV and Harmonix, will support all songs downloaded for the game to date and will also support the original game's instrument controllers. But it will also introduce new controllers for drums and guitar and boast a soundtrack of more than 100 master recordings.

In April, Motley Crue made its new single, "Saints of Los Angeles," available for download "Rock Band" well in advance of the release of the album of the same name. The only other place to obtain the track was iTunes.

According to data provided in late May by the band's management, Tenth Street Entertainment, the track was downloaded more than 47,000 times via the Xbox 360 version of the game alone in the first week after it became available. ("Rock Band" publisher MTV Networks was unable to independently verify these figures, and total downloads that include the PlayStation 3 version of the game were not available.)

By comparison, the same track received slightly more than 10,000 downloads via digital services like iTunes and Amazon, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The track has now sold more than 62,000 downloads.


iron maiden arts, album covers

Iron Maiden album covers

from Killers, the number of the beast, power slave

1981 Killers

1982 the number of the beast

1983 piece of mind

1984 power slave

1985 live after death

1986 somewhere in time

88 seventh son of a seventh son

90 no prayer for the dying

91 running free to the hills

90 wasted years

OOOOOOPS sorry I have not got the chance to get Rock in Rio

All through the years Iron Maiden has produced magnificent albums, but for my personal favourites I think its the "Power slave" that is on my toplist

official Iron Maiden fan club


AC/DC... We Salute You!
"She was a fast machine, She kept her motor clean, She was the best damn woman I had ever seen, She had the sightless eyes, Telling me no lies, Knockin' me out with those American thighs"
AC/DC - 1986

rock, rock band, rock legend, rock star


Widely regarded as one of the most influential bands in the history of rock, AC/DC pioneered the sound of hard rock and heavy metal music together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. The band was formed in 1973 in Sydney by Scottish-born brothers Angus and Malcolm Young. An early influence to the band's career was their sister Margaret that came up with both the band's name AC/DC (meaning alternating current / direct current) after she read it on an electrical machine and Angus' trademark school uniform look (he was still a school student at the time).

Bon Scott Era (1974 - 1980)

After a number of member changes in the first year, the band settled with lead singer Dave Evans, Rob Bailey on bass, Peter Clarke on drums and the Young brothers on guitars. With this lineup they did some touring around Australia, however, when they started recording for their debut album Evans, Clarke and Bailey were let go and replaced by their bus driver Bon Scott on vocals, Phil Rudd on drums and Mark Evans on bass guitar.

Under this lineup the band recorded their first three albums "High Voltage" (1974), "TNT" (1975) and "Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap" (1976). Considerable success was achieved by touring Australia, the UK and US and in the process the band cemented their image as wild, crazy and fun, lead by Bon Scott's charismatic voice and Angus' powerful guitar play. In early 1977 Evans left the band and was replaced by Cliff Williams. Under the new lineup AC/DC recorded their next album "Let There Be Rock", their first one to chart in the US. The band's fan base was expanding quickly and was given a further boost by the 1978 album "Powerage" and live album "If You Want Blood, You Got It".

It was in 1979 and 1980, however, that through a couple of landmarks in rock history that AC/DC truly became superstars. The first one was the release of the all-time classic album "Highway To Hell" that became their first million selling album. Tragically the second one was the death of their frontman Bon Scott. He was found dead at the backseat of a friend's car after a wild night of drinking.

rock, rock band, rock legend, rock star
rock, rock band, rock legend, rock star

Brian Johnson Era (1980 - present)

At the time of Scott's death the band already started working on their next album, however, they decided to start from scratch with new singer Brian Johnson. In record time the band released "Back In Black", an album titled to reflect Scott's loss. What they didn't know at the time was that they recorded an absolute masterpiece that went on to sell 42 million copies worldwide! For the next few years the band dominated the world and with 1981's "For Those About To Rock We Salute You" they topped the US charts once again.

In 1982 while recording "Flick Of The Switch" Rudd left and with new replacement Simon Wright the band recorded "Fly On The Wall" (1985), "Who Made Who" (1986) and "Blow Up Your Video" (1988). As by the mid-80's the music stage was dominated by the new wave of heavy metal bands lead by Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Guns N' Roses, Metallica and Van Halen, AC/DC's powerful machine begun to decline. In 1988 Wright was replaced by Chris Slade who in turn only participated in 1990's "Razor Edge", the big comeback the group was looking for. By 1994 Slade was gone and Phil Rudd returned. With the reformation of the classic 1980-1983 lineup, the band recorded "Ballbreaker" in 1995 and "Stiff Upper Lip" in 2000.

rock, rock band, rock legend, rock star

New Millennium

As the new millennium entered, AC/DC were still going strong. In 2003 the Recording Industry Association Of America upgraded the group's US sales figures to 63 million, making the band the fifth most successful in US history behind The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Eagles. The same year in March, the band rocked New York's historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel as they performed "Highway To Hell" during their induction in the Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame. Also in July the band played alongside the Rolling Stones in front of nearly half a million people in Toronto to help the city recover from the effects of the SARS outbreak. More than 30 years on, AC/DC are still inspiring rock fans all around the world with their unique sounds and powerful lyrics.

AC/DC... We Salute You!
ac dc