Monday, July 31, 2006

Autographed Judas Priest DVD Contest Winner!

The photo of the mystery '80s rocker is indeed that of Hiro Homma (EZO, Loudness, Anthem). Steve @ Heavy Metal Addiction was the first person to e-mail the correct name as I requested, while Fred Charles was the first one to post the correct answer on my blog several hours later. I truly appreciate the efforts of both gentlemen (and everyone else who either e-mailed or posted a response), so I've decided to reward them both.

Steve will receive the autographed DVD as promised, while I'd like to send Fred a runner-up prize -- an autographed Halford "Resurrection" CD single signed by the Metal God himself. I'll be in touch with both winners for their mailing addresses.

A little background on the mystery photo: I received it back in the '80s from my cousin (see my June 3 post). If you look closely at the picture, you can see Homma signed his name on it over his torso and drums. If you look even closer, you'll see he addressed it "To Cheo," which is very funny because Homma must have heard my name as "Cheo" instead of "Theo" when my cousin asked him to sign it. Or perhaps there isn't really a "Th" sound in the Japanese language, so Homma simply understood my name as Cheo!

Since running this contest gave me the most response to my blog yet, I'm going to be doing more giveaways in the future. Check back later this week for another contest. And in the words of David Lee Roth during his short-lived radio show stint: If you like us tell a friend. If you don't, tell an enemy!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Get High on a New Thing

From Debut to Death . . .

Around 2004, I began to lose touch with a lot of the great '80s music I love so much. When I finally got back into the swing of things in 2005, I was deeply saddened to discover that Enuff Z' Nuff guitarist Derek Frigo had died in '04 of an alleged drug overdose. When Enuff Z'Nuff hit MTV in 1989, I immediately dug the band's psychedelic glam shtick.

I don't know if it's too widely known, but Derek Frigo's father, Johnny, is a legendary jazz musician who spent most of his career playing bass but is equally adept at violin. I recently came across the elder Frigo's 1994 album, Debut of a Legend. The disc has some touching liner notes in it, including this message from father to son:
"Special thanks to . . . my young rock guitar whiz son, Derek, for putting my mind at ease with his (at last) remarkable, positive maturation."

Obviously very poignant and ironic words in light of the events of 2004.

While I wouldn't go so far as to say that Debut of a Legend deserves a place in any Enuff Z'Nuff fan's collection, I will say the stringwork on this disc is stellar. You can see why Derek emerged as such a formidable fretman after hearing his father play.

Note: Check back August 1 for the announcement about the winner(s) of the contest!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Who Am I?

The first person to e-mail the correct name of this drummer to will win a copy of Judas Priest's Rising in the East DVD autographed by guitarist Glenn Tipton. Only one entry per contestant please; multiple entries will be disregarded. Contest is only open to residents of the continental United States and ends July 31, 2006, at 11 p.m. ET. The winner will be announced August 1.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Gimme Some Lip

I'm going to be posting some blurbs about my favorite albums of this decade. All selections will be by '80s metal artists.

Stiff Upper Lip (2000)

Few bands with AC/DC's vintage still sounded this good in the new millennium. Stiff Upper Lip was the veteran rockers' first studio disc in five years, yet it was actually the sonic brethren to their 1978 classic, Powerage. Singer Brian Johnson's throaty, McGruff the Crime Dog-style vocals and the dual-axe attack of the brothers Young led the charge.

World Premiere

Iron Maiden
Brave New World (2000)

Maiden's 12th studio disc marked the return of vocalist Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith to the the fold. With seven of Brave New World's 10 tracks clocking in at more than six minutes each, the material also heralded Maiden's return to the epic masterpieces they perfected in the '80s. Up the Irons!

The Resurrection Won't Be Televised

Resurrection (2000)

2000 was the year Rob Halford reclaimed his metal god status. Resurrection is an aural revelry of meaty metal riffs, ear-shattering screams and dual-guitar mayhem. The disc allayed fears that Two, the short-lived late '90s industrial band the singer formed after leaving Judas Priest, has rusted the esteemed frontman's metal heart.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Queen of the Reinvention

Geoff Tate, Geoff Tate (2002)

Fans know Geoff Tate as the brooding frontman of Queensÿrche who boasts a multi-octave voice and a penchant for ponytails. But on his self-titled solo debut, Tate rarely lifts his throat to operatic heights, choosing instead to focus on clean, midrange vocals. Geoff Tate is an adventurous romp featuring tracks laden with keyboards and acoustic guitars that showcases a rarely seen side of this metal veteran.

Got Hammered?

Motörhead, Hammered (2002)

When was the last time you got Hammered? For Motörhead, it's a daily occurrence. Iconic frontman Lemmy Kilmister & Co. have survived the vagaries of the music business for more than three decades now, and continue to level their incomparable sonic assault on the eardrums of their faithful followers. Hammered's raw, thrashy rhythms and metallic boogies are a testimony to the group's staying power--for better or hoarse.