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U.S. EXCLUSIVE: Paul McCartney Releases Never-Before-Seen Photos for ‘Flowers’ Re-Release


With a month to go until the release of the reissue of Paul McCartney’s classic album Flowers In The Dirt (the 10th installment of the GRAMMY Award-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection) – Paul has released some photographs taken by Linda McCartney during the recording of the album.

George Martin and Paul McCartney – Photo by Linda McCartney

The photographs show Paul working with Elvis Costello, who he collaborated with on four of the tracks featured on the album (“My Brave Face,” “You Want Her Too,” “Don’t Be Careless Love” and “That Day Is Done”) as well as a shared moment with The Beatles producer George Martin, who did the string arrangement for “Put It There.”

The majority of the album was recorded at Paul’s Hog Hill Mill studio in East Sussex in the UK. This is also where some of the tracks were written with Costello.

Collaboration – Photo by Linda McCartney

Recalling working with Elvis, Paul said: “I was looking for someone to work with, trying to think of something imaginative to do and one day my manager said ‘Do you fancy writing with Elvis Costello? It might be a great thing’.  I said ‘Yeah’.

“He (Elvis) came down to my studio and we sat opposite each other with our guitars because I had said to him early on that this is how I’d written with John, with me being left handed and him being right handed, it was almost like looking in a mirror.  We did virtually what John and I did which was just make up a song a day.”

Paul McCartney – Photo by Linda McCartney

Those who pre-order the album digitally from today will get Instant Grat tracks – previously unreleased original demo versions of My Brave Face and That Day Is Done – both recorded at one of the early writing sessions.

“Because we were working above the studio, we’d just go downstairs and make the record, just the two of us singing exactly what we had made up,” Paul said.  “So there were a few recordings that haven’t been released.  We keep saying to each other that they’re good because they are raw, it’s hot off the skillet.”

Paul McCartney – Photo by Linda McCartney

The reissue of Flowers In The Dirt is available from March 24th.

PRE-ORDERS: Super Deluxe (3CD/1DVD), Special Edition (2CD), Vinyl (2LP)

I saw Paul McCartney – Photo by Linda McCartney


Paul at the microphone – Photo by Linda McCartney

Cheetah Chrome Snarls His Way Through SoCal Swing at Whisky A Go-Go and Alex’s Bar in Long Beach

Cheetah Band Brings Life to Dead Boys Songs, New Tunes


Cheetah Chrome and his band got the crowd going at the Whisky A Go-Go and they’ll probably light up Alex’s Bar in Long Beach in much the same manner.

Cheetah, known as one of the original Dead Boys is single-handedly keeping punk alive with his cool demeanor and enthusiastic interaction with the fans.

Frontman Jake gets air during Whisky show - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Frontman Jake gets air during Whisky show – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Let’s face it, Cheetah’s no stranger to change, as he has played in a few extremely well-known punk groups and has introduced a cast of characters to his audiences time and again.

This time, enter via flying leap, Jake from the Undead Boys who took over fronting duties on Cheetah’s current tour.   The frontman really knows how to grab and hold the attention of the crowd who ate up his every move.

Cheetah and his undead band swing through SoCal - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Cheetah and his undead band swing through SoCal – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

It was hard to hold on to your spot on the floor as moshers took over the Whisky, colliding with everything and everyone in sight.

But Cheetah takes it all in stride and played a range of favorites and a couple of new tunes as well.  After all, this is a guy who was one of the original punks, and still today snarls his way through sets to the delight of the fans.

The band - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The band – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

On hand for this gig were some great friends of Cheetah, including Evita, Heather and Bruce Duff and his wife.  And we can’t forget to mention James Ames, his trusty roadie, who has a talent when it comes to creating cool punk clothes, all with the theme of each tour.





A Prince Tribute, The Red Carpet and Metallica Duet With Lady Gaga To Highlight 2017 GRAMMYs


James Corden hosts an ambitious GRAMMY broadcast this year, with highlights of the show including a Prince Tribute and a duet by Lady Gaga with Metallica.

“Prince is living through all of us and there’s not a day that goes by that his influence on us isn’t out there,” said Jimmy Jam, who with Morris Day, form The Time. “So this is for him our performance is something we know he would enjoy. We know he’s gonna have a good time because we’re gonna have a good time. And that’s just a reminder of how he is in everybody’s life. We’re going to celebrate.”

Morris Day and Jimmy Jam anticipate a great tribute to Prince - Photo courtesy

Morris Day and Jimmy Jam anticipate a great tribute to Prince – Photo courtesy

Robert Trujillo and Kirk Hammett of Metallica said their collaboration with Lady Gaga is going well.

“You know how the GRAMMYs have their duets thing, so when it was suggested that Lady Gaga do it,  I thought ‘That’s interesting,'” Hammett said. But when she came to work with us on the song last night it turned out really reaally really well. She was really open and willing to work with different arrangements and see what worked well over the course of the song.”

Robert Trujillo and Kirk Hammett - Photo courtesy of

Robert Trujillo and Kirk Hammett – Photo courtesy of

“She has a lot of edge and attitude which is important for what we do,” said Trujillo. “She actually came to see us play, we did a small show, at the Henry Fonda Theatre, she saw the whole show, stayed for it, enjoyed it, she started rockin’ out and magically this all started happening. discovered a tweet from producer Northern Lights that indicated the duet of Lady Gaga and Metallica would  perform “Moth Into Flame.”

The GRAMMY Awards broadcast begins at 8 P.M. ET/ 5 P.M. PT on CBS.


And Now Here’s a Truly MAJOR Nominee for Outstanding New Artist by the NAACP Image Awards

The California Rocker Q and A with The Musician Known as MAJOR


DB: How does it feel to be recognized as a nominee for Outstanding New Artist by The NAACP Image Awards?

MAJOR: It feels amazing. I’m thankful.

DB: Do you think it takes more than talent to make it in music today? 

MAJOR: Absolutely, it may sound cliche but ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. The talent may get you there but good character can keep you there.

DB: When did you first know you had what it takes? 

MAJOR: I’ve always believed I had “IT” (not perfect but great) from a young age … I just learned not everyone will get it at the same time – so I kept it excellent and just gave it time. Now more of the world is taking notice and I’m thankful for that.

DB: What role has the church played in your musical growth and inspiration? 

MAJOR: The essence of church is at my core. I learned the power of faith, belief, and unity from the church. Got NOTHING but love for the church. Always will.

DB: Who are your mentors? 

MAJOR: I get inspiration from any one who’s WINNING. I’m always taking notes. But the most recent heroes of my today are Elvin Ross (film composer) and Stevie Wonder (the legend). Mr. Wonder for obvious reasons including his recent public support of my career and Elvin Ross for all of the wisdom he gives me. I’m grateful. Like for real.

DB: What advice would you give a young musician today?

MAJOR: Keep it champion. That means excellent in every way possible. The world won’t be able to deny you.


NAACP Image Awards FAQ: The two-hour awards ceremony will be broadcast live from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium at 9 P.M. ET PT tape-delayed on Saturday, Feb. 11 on TV One.  A live 90-minute red carpet pre-show, co-hosted by Terrence J and Nischelle Turner, will begin at 7:30 pm.

LeBron James will be presented with the NAACP Jackie Robinson Sports Award, and Harvard Law professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. will be honored with the NAACP Chairman’s Award.

Other presenters are yet to be announced, as is this year’s NAACP Entertainer of the Year. Reginald Hudlin and Phil Gurin are the executive producers. Co-executive producers are Kimmie H. Kim and Byron Phillips. Tony McCuin is the director and Robin Reinhardt is the talent producer.


Best LA Concerts of 2016: Big Stars in Small Venues, Young Trailblazers, and California Rockers

Bob Weir, Desert Trip, Eagles of Death Metal, The Cure, Make Beautiful Music in 2016

Jesse Hughes and Eagles of Death Metal put on a high-voltage show - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jesse Hughes and Eagles of Death Metal put on a high-voltage show – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Eagles of Death Metal at The Teragram Ballroom

The band members in The Eagles of Death Metal have coped with a lot and keep going. The most recent excellent performance was a benefit for Dave Rosser, held at Teragram Ballroom. Frontman Jesse Hughes AKA Boots Electric, is one of the most compelling performers — or poseurs — today and holds the audience spellbound with his wild maneuvers, great voice and excellent guitar work. We got an extra bonus on this night: Josh Homme debuted a new song.

See the Review of Eagles of Death Metal



The Reluctant Apostles with Katey Sagal: An impressive crew - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Reluctant Apostles with Katey Sagal: An impressive crew – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Reluctant Apostles at Molly Malone’s

The Reluctant Apostles have come a long way in a short time.  The Katey Sagal and Bob Thiele-fronted band like to play at Molly Malone’s and was formed based on their teamwork during Sons of Anarchy.  The Reluctant Apostles are an offshoot of The Forest Rangers, which came to prominence during the uber successful run of SOA. But new things on the horizon from this star-studded cover band: A new Pledgemusic album and more shows to come.

See the Review of the Reluctant Apostles


Dick Dale gives his fans all he's got - Photo © Donna Balancia

Dick Dale gives his fans all he’s got – Photo © Donna Balancia

Dick Dale and Se7en Reasons Why at Whisky A Go-Go

Where would modern rock and roll be without remarkable performers Mick Scott and Se7en Reasons Why and the ultimate surf guitar master Dick Dale?  Dale’s varied health issues seem to fade away when Dale is on stage, never far from the watchful eye of his wife, Lana.  New Year’s eve at the Whisky A Go-Go has never been better. Dale comes from an era when you performed no matter what ails you. He led the way in the development of the California sound and he’s a true California Rocker.

The Review of Dick Dale at the Whisky A Go-Go


The mystical Robert Smith and The Cure are enduring - Photo by Craig Hammons for

The mystical Robert Smith and The Cure are enduring – Photo by Craig Hammons for

The Cure at The Hollywood Bowl

On one of three sold out nights at The Hollywood Bowl, The Cure would cover over 37 years of Cure songs including the hits, rarities and two unreleased tracks. Reviewer Craig Hammons noted that the set list changed each night with The Cure digging deep into their catalog of impressive material.  Robert Smith and the crew would cover 35 songs in just under 3 hours.

See the Review of The Cure at The Hollywood Bowl


Nick Waterhouse fuses jazz blues and rock and roll, he's depicted here performing from his Never Twice album - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse fuses jazz blues and rock and roll, he’s depicted here performing from his Never Twice album – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse at The Regent Theater

We can’t say enough good things about Nick Waterhouse and His Tarots.  Every time we see Nick, the performance gets better if that’s possible, as was demonstrated at The Regent Theater a couple of weeks ago.  A multi-faceted musician, who writes, performs, and produces others, Nick is a California Rocker on the rise. Openers Sad Girl and Cutty Flam impressed.

See the Review of Nick Waterhouse, Sad Girl and Cutty Flam


The Black Angels were among the bands at Desert Daze - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Black Angels were among the bands at Desert Daze – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Desert Daze

Desert Daze, the enduring fest where up-and-comers and veterans alike kick around in boots, bandanas and shorts still reigns supreme.  An eclectic mix of newbies and veterans, the fest offers a chance to hear new music and gives veterans a chance to show their stuff. Television, Primus and Thee Oh Sees mingled with Brian Jonestown Massacre, L.A. Witch, and Thee Commons.

The Review of Desert Daze


Gavin Rossdale of Bush on a speaker at The Observatory - Photo © Donna Balancia

Gavin Rossdale of Bush on a speaker at The Observatory – Photo © Donna Balancia

Bush at The Observatory

Gavin Rossdale is a high-energy performer, leaping into the audience and jumping on speakers.  Bush performs all the favorites and this particular show at the Observatory was extremely interactive. After a few rounds of hugs and kisses among his fans, Rossdale jumps onto a speaker and finishes “Monkey” from high above.

See the Review of Bush at The Observatory


Robert Plant - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Robert Plant – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Robert Plant at Theatre at the Ace

Robert Plant and his audience share a special bond and that was illustrated clearly at the Theatre at the Ace.  Bringing flowers, love letters and gifts, Robert still has the gals on the edge of their seats.  Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters put on a show that is Led Zeppelin inspired, but takes us to a new and earthy place.

See the Review of Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters


Soul Asylum takes off at Whisky A Go-Go - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Soul Asylum takes off at Whisky A Go-Go – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Soul Asylum at The Whisky A Go-Go

Dave Pirner keeps going. Whirling around with his guitar and speaking honestly to the audience, with little regard for his sweaty appearance, Pirner is happy to be on stage.  If nothing else Pirner and Soul Asylum are truthful in their performance and the crowd appreciates it. Soul Asylum’s tour started with The English Beat and wrapped solo.

See the Review of Soul Asylum at The Whisky A Go-Go


The English Beat draws the crowds with great performances - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The English Beat draws the crowds with great performances – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The English Beat at The Canyon Club

The English Beat hits a home run every time.  There is not one song from all their famous hits that goes unheard at an English Beat concert and the crowds are devoted.  Dave Wakeling drives the band that has undergone some changes over the years, but the musicians on board are top talents.  Fortunately, The English Beat plays a lot of dates and 2017 shows are all set.

See the Review of The English Beat at The Canyon Club


Michael Franti and the Soulrocker tour - Photo © 2016 Craig Hammons

Michael Franti and the Soulrocker tour – Photo © 2016 Craig Hammons

Michael Franti and Spearhead

Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Pacific Amphitheatre spreads the message of love and compassion for all. The show was such a warm experience that reviewer Craig Hammons said he felt like he left the stadium with 7,000 new friends.  The crowd interlocked arms, danced and sang songs of inclusion and love.  What’s better than an uplifting performance?

See the Review of Michael Franti and Spearhead


Fartbarf puts all the electronic bands to shame - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Fartbarf puts all the electronic bands to shame – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

FartBarf, David and The Curse at El Cid

Who would think with name like Fartbarf this band would be amazing?  Something must have happened along the way for three guys in caveman masks to call themselves something so silly but play so good.  The electronic music we heard at El Cid blew us out of our shoes.  This is a talented group that does the creators of the Moog proud.  Opener David and The Curse shows how it’s done as this young veteran gives us a new sound that blends Americana with pure rock.

See the Review of Fartbarf and David and The Curse


Kam Franklin and The Suffers triumph at The Echo LA - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Kam Franklin and The Suffers triumph at The Echo LA – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Suffers at The Echo

The Suffers bring you to your knees, they’re that good.  Whether you call it, “Gulf Coast Soul” or good ol’ rock and roll, Kam Franklin and the band bring a blues-influenced power sound to the masses. We caught The Suffers at the Echo, one of our favorite venues, and the place was busting at the seams trying to contain the adoring fans.

The Review of The Suffers at The Echo


Sad Lovers and Giants - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Sad Lovers and Giants – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Sad Lovers and Giants at The Echoplex

Sad Lovers and Giants put on a show for a lifetime at our well-loved venue the Echoplex, bringing 80s new wave to a young, enthusiastic crowd. It’s sad for fans that this beloved British band may not return to the U.S. any time soon, but we are thrilled to have caught Garçe Allard, Tony McGuinness, Nigel Pollard, Ian Gibson and Will Hicks at least once. Review of Sad Lovers and Giants at the Echoplex


The Who - Photo courtesy of Desert Trip for

The Who – Photo courtesy of Desert Trip

Desert Trip

Reviewer Bob Busby called Desert Trip one of the best experiences of his life.  That comes from someone who has been to thousands of shows and festivals. Aside from Roger Waters’ rantings, the moon appearing during Neil Young’s performance of “Harvest Moon,” was a highlight.  And how can you do much better than Sir Paul McCartney sharing the stage with the pop princess Rihanna? Stay tuned for next year.

See the Review of Desert Trip


Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

The Dirty Knobs at The Echoplex

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs put on a fun, upbeat show, complete with cover songs you haven’t heard in a while. Jason Sinay and Campbell play off each other as “Gator” and “Ape” in a band where nicknames are abundant as dolphins in Florida.  The Dirty Knobs is a band to check out when they play their few gigs every year. They haven’t recorded anything so go live or go home.

See the Review of The Dirty Knobs at The Echoplex


Bob Weir on tour with 'Blue Mountain' album - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Bob Weir on tour with ‘Blue Mountain’ album – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Bob Weir at The Wiltern

The well-worn co-founder of The Grateful Dead only gets better as the years go on. He introduced a new album and played to a crowd at The Wiltern that was comprised of not only Grateful Dead veterans but young, rainbow-clad and dread-sporting fans. Bob still has the verve and enthusiasm and the sounds ring true.

See the Review of Bob Weir at The Wiltern


Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In leaps into the air during a performance at the Hollywood Palladium - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In leaps into the air during a performance at the Hollywood Palladium – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

At The Drive-In at Hollywood Palladium

It’s a rare treat to get to see At The Drive-In, but frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala is one of the most entertaining performers in the business. It’s clear from his leaping at The Hollywood Palladium last summer that he’s got a background in skateboarding and he’s a no-holds-barred, balls-to-the-wall musician, saving nothing for himself and giving the crowd his all.  See our award winning-shot of Cedric Bixler Zavala.

The Review of At The Drive-In


Teri Le Butcherettes Photo by Donna Balancia

Teri of Le Butcherettes surfs the crowd – Photo by Donna Balancia

Le Butcherettes at Hollywood Palladium

Teri Gender Bender is the most physical female performer out there and her shows at The Regent Theater, The Echoplex and opening set for At The Drive-In prove it. There are few who can compare to this precious young rock and roll veteran whose demeanor after the show is remarkably calm compared to her rebellious and taunting onstage persona.  Despite personnel changes over the years, one thing remains a constant: Teri’s talent. Review for Le Butcherettes


Joe Bonamassa performs during celebration of B.B. King - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Joe Bonamassa performs during celebration of B.B. King – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

GRAMMY Foundation Honors BB King at Wallis Annenberg

BB King may be gone, but The GRAMMY Foundation hosted a bevy of blues slinging rock stars to honor him at The Annenberg: Slash, Tedeschi Trucks, Joe Bonamassa and a heavenly host of blues performers sang and played the blues in BB’s honor. Review for B.B. King at the Annenberg


Wayne Kramer and Marshall Crenshaw - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Wayne Kramer and Marshall Crenshaw – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Wayne Kramer’s Jail Guitar Doors at The Ford Theatres

Wayne Kramer, Don Was and pals put on an amazingly entertaining show at The Ford Theatres to raise money for their charity that serves those behind bars.  The show featured Marshall Crenshaw and a slew of talent to help Wayne raise money for the charity that is close to his heart. Review of Wayne Kramer and Jail Guitar Doors


Bad Boy Eddy - Photo by Donna Balancia

Bad Boy Eddy Rocks Cruefest – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cruefest 2016 at Whiskey A Go-Go

Cruefest Hollywood 2016 brings the kindest hearted metal performers to the Whisky A Go-Go stage each year.  It was a Who’s Who of metal with  Heartbreak Heroes from Oklahoma and Los Angeles; Snake Bite Whisky from Brisbane, Australia; Bad Boy Eddy from Northern California; Stonebreed; Wreking Crue from Detroit, and Mick Scott and Se7en Reasons Why; Blacklist Union, Lunden Reign, Westfield Massacre, and L.A. Story; all of whom are from Los Angeles. Review of Cruefest 2016 at the Whisky A Go-Go


Brian Wilson and band at Hollywood Bowl - Photo by Craig Hammons

Brian Wilson and band at Hollywood Bowl – Photo by Craig Hammons

Brian Wilson at The Hollywood Bowl

Brian Wilson never disappoints and his performance at reviewer Craig Hammons said his performance at the Hollywood Bowl was one of his best.  Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pet Sounds, considered a unique collection at the time of its release, Wilson held the Hollywood Bowl audience enraptured. Review of Brian Wilson at The Hollywood Bowl


Iggy Pop destroys the mic stand during his show at The Hollywood Bowl - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop destroys the mic stand during his show at The Hollywood Bowl – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop at The Greek Theatre

At a time when most people are slowing down, Iggy Pop is going strong, having his best year yet. The “world’s forgotten boy” has a GRAMMY nomination for Post Pop Depression, there’s a Jim Jarmusch movie out about him, and also a new book released about his life.  He’s a 69-year-old anomaly in the world of rock, proudly resplendent in his hard-earned success. Via his partnerships with the young and hip, Iggy continually adds new admirers to his list of longtime fans. It doesn’t hurt to have the “Ginger Elvis,” Josh Homme and the rest of the crew on stage with you. Review of Iggy Pop at The Greek


Burning Spear, the legendary reggae rocker - Photo by Craig Hammons

Burning Spear, the legendary reggae rocker – Photo by Craig Hammons

Burning Spear at The Hollywood Bowl

Reviewer Craig Hammons says Burning Spear is one of the best shows of the year simply because Burning Spear is a solid reggae performer.  The legendary musician among a sea of young upstarts bid adieu to his fans as “I Man” takes a step down from the stage. Over the many years, with grace and dignity Burning Spear has brought new fans to the reggae flock. Review of Burning Spear 

Jackson Browne at Lucky Strike Live - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jackson Browne at Lucky Strike Live – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jackson Browne at Lucky Strike Live

It was a pleasant shock to find Jackson Browne appearing at Lucky Strike, which hosts mostly metal-style rockers every Wednesday night during its weekly Lucky Strike Live events.  Browne is a good-hearted type who shows up for a good cause and for the fun of the performance.  At Lucky Strike Live, he gave the regulars — plus about 600 others — a thrill, jamming with some regular players and he had fun to spare. Review of Jackson Browne


Glam Skanks release new album, "Glitter City" - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Glam Skanks release new album, “Glitter City” – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Glam Skanks at MIME

Where are the young women in rock and roll? Answer: The Glam Skanks are right in Los Angeles and they put on a terrific show each and every time. Climbing on speakers, throwing glitter, taunting the audience. Their show at MIME in Echo Park put on by Echo Box heated up the room and had fans screaming for more. There’s a new album and they’re going on tour with Adam Ant.  Stay tuned! Review of The Glam Skanks 


Smash Mouth duo Steve Harwell and Paul DeLisle hang together - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Smash Mouth duo Steve Harwell and Paul DeLisle hang together – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Smash Mouth at The Canyon Club

Say what you will about the in-your-face frontman, but Smash Mouth has made it in a tough rock and roll world. When Paul DeLisle teamed with Steve Harwell, as odd a combination as that may have appeared it worked.  With a little help from a hit animated movie, Smash Mouth reinvigorated “I’m a Believer” from The Monkees and a whole new generation was jumping at The Canyon Club. Openers Paper and Strange Case lit a fire. Review of Smash Mouth, Paper and Strange Case

Editor’s Note: The “Best Concerts of the Year” coverage only includes the performances staff attended during 2016.

Smash Mouth Plans to be ‘Walking On The Sun’ at The Canyon Club and at The Rose This Weekend


Smash Mouth, known for its hits “Walking On The Sun” and “All-Star” will play the Canyon Club and The Rose this weekend.

The band, led by Steve Harwell and Paul De Lisle, have endured the ups and downs of rock stardom. Their music has become synonymous with the movie Shrek, which featured their Monkees cover of “I’m a Believer.”

Smash Mouth: More than 'Shrek' - Photo by Eva Rinaldi

Smash Mouth: More than ‘Shrek’ – Photo by Eva Rinaldi

But Smash Mouth never intended to be the heartthrob of youngsters and their parents worldwide.  Co-founder Harwell started out in a rap band called Freedom of Speech.  Harwell got together with De Lisle, a punker, and Smash Mouth was formed. Their 1997 album Fush Yu Mang went double-platinum powered by ‘Walking On The Sun.”

The current incarnation of the band, is Harwell, De Lisle, Jason Sutter, Michael Klooster and Sean Hurwitz.

Harwell and crew are no newbies to touring and recording as the group has been on the road and recording since they formed in 1994 in Northern Cal.

Smash Mouth plays the The Canyon Saturday night and The Rose Sunday. For more information go to The Canyon website.


Mick Jagger-Peter Tosh Song Lives on With Mick’s Video for Tosh Museum in Kingston, Jamaica

Mick Jagger and Peter Tosh Famously Collaborated on ‘Walk and Don’t Look Back’


Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones sent congratulations and delivered a video message to family and friends in Kingston, Jamaica for the new Peter Tosh Museum.

The museum honors the famous Reggae musician, whose works and memorabilia will be on display at the newly opened collection.  That includes work with the Rolling Stones frontman.

Peter Tosh Museum Grand Opening from PeterTosh on Vimeo.

The museum hours of operation are Monday-Friday: 10:30 AM to 7 PM and Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM at Pulse Centre – 38a Trafalgar Road, New Kingston, Jamaica.

The Mick Jagger-Peter Tosh collaboration began as Tosh was also the only reggae artist signed to the Rolling Stones record label from 1978 to 1981. The Mick Jagger-Peter Tosh work resulted in the 1978 hit “Walk and Don’t Look Back.”  Tosh opened for the Rolling Stones throughout their 1978 U.S. tour, and is featured in the opening scene of the group’s video for “Waiting On A Friend.”

A self-taught guitar and keyboard player, he and The Wailers became pioneers of the burgeoning reggae scene in the late 1960s, and together they toured the world for over ten years. He left the band in 1973 to pursue his solo career and earned huge success with “Legalize It” and later solo releases.

The Museum gives fans a deeper look into the man behind the music. Tosh died at the age of 42 in 1987 during a tragic home invasion.


Peter Tosh and Mick Jagger / “Walk (And Don’t Look Back)” SNL 1978 from on Vimeo.

Eagles of Death Metal Rock, Josh Homme Goes Solo, at Teragram Ballroom Fundraiser for Dave Rosser

Josh Homme premiered a song or two and covered others in acoustic set - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Josh Homme premiered a song or two and covered others in acoustic set – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Gutter Twins and Pals Play for a Cause


Eagles of Death Metal, The Gutter Twins, Josh Homme and more top musicians donated their time for Afghan Whigs guitarist Dave Rosser.  Rosser has stage 4 colon cancer.

The Gutter Twins opened with Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan and were joined by musicians including Duff McKagan and Petra Haden.

Greg expressed his concern over Rosser’s condition and thanked the audience for participating in the evening. Many of the audience members paid for VIP tickets and the money goes to the care Rosser and expenses he’s incurring from what doctors say is inoperable cancer.

The Gutter Twins and friends took the stage - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Gutter Twins and friends took the stage – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Gutter Twins

To call The Gutter Twins alternative is like calling Beethoven a piano player. The band had its faithful in the audience who sang along to most of the tunes in the set, including “Belles,” “God’s Children,” “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory,” and Twilight Singers cover “Number Nine.”

The voices and guitar work by the remarkable musicians were intertwined to present a collaborative effort that appeared long-rehearsed.  The end result was obviously made with love and respect for Rosser.

Eagles of Death Metal – “Save A Prayer” LIVE from Teragram Ballroom LA here:

Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Headliner Eagles of Death Metal put on an excellent and appropriately raucous show that covered the bases. The set didn’t kick off until 11 p.m. and two set lists later.  Jesse wore a white suit with trademark suspenders and was his usual friendly self, greeting audience members with handshakes and blowing kisses.

Josh Homme and Matt Sweeney - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Josh Homme and Matt Sweeney – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Josh Homme

The star of the night was Josh Homme who did a acoustic set and was later joined by Matt Sweeney.  He was relentless with the kid in the pit right in front of him, named Diego.  And try as he may have he could not censor his language and that was a source of many jokes. He played “Villains of Circumstance,” and with Matt performed Cab Calloway’s “Minnie The Moocher,” and Johnny Cash mining song “Dark as a Dungeon.” One of the highlights of the set was “Spinning in the Daffodils.”

The Eagles of Death Metal came on a 11 p.m. and put on a crowd pleaser - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Eagles of Death Metal came on a 11 p.m. and put on a crowd pleaser – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

And Josh swigged from a bottle and joked during the night but said Rosser’s affliction was a sad matter and he appreciated the audience coming to celebrate his friend.

To contribute to the Dave Rosser GoFundMe page go here.

The GoFundMe page reads:

“Every once in a while a human being comes along that transcends everything: life, art, friendship, wit, music and love. They are among the true ‘one of a kinds.’ Dave Rosser belongs to that category.  A New Orleanian for nearly 25 years, he is widely considered to be a true virtuoso guitar player by some of the most influential artists in the industry.

Jesse Hughes, AKA Boots Electric of Eagles of Death Metal - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jesse Hughes, AKA Boots Electric of Eagles of Death Metal – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“He has toured the globe extensively with The Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers, Mark Lanegan and Marc Broussard.  He’s worked on projects with Ani Difranco, Joseph Arthur and a list of who’s who in music.  He’s played with local bands too numerous to mention.  A working man’s musician.  If that wasn’t impressive on its own, he is also one of sweetest human beings on the planet.  His sense of humor and generosity rival his musical prowess.”



“Save A Prayer” VIDEO

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”62″ gal_title=”Eagles of Death Metal at Teragram Ballroom”]

Virtuoso Frontman and Producer Mike Patton Picks Up Dead Cross For Drummer Dave Lombardo

Dave Lombardo's project, Dead Cross picks up Patton - Photo © Donna Balancia

Dave Lombardo’s project, Dead Cross nails down Mike Patton – Photo © Donna Balancia


Accomplished musician Mike Patton, perhaps best known for his wild performances as frontman for Faith No More, will take on the vocal duties for Dave Lombardo’s punk project Dead Cross.

Lombardo (Suicidal Tendencies, Misfits, Slayer) made the announcement on his Facebook page. Lombardo and Patton are joined by bassist Justin Pearson (Retox, Head Wound City, The Locust) and guitarist Michael Crain (Retox, Festival of Dead Deer).

Mike Patton speaks several languages including punk - Photo by De Falso

Mike Patton speaks several languages including punk – Photo by De Falso

Dead Cross: 2017

Dead Cross already recorded its first album, but substituted Patton’s vocals for recorded tracks by Gabe Serbian who left the band. The record is expected in early 2017.

Lombardo is sitting in as guest drummer in the band on Late Night With Seth Myers.

Patton is co-founder with Greg Werckman of the Ipecac Recordings label. Ipecac Recordings is the label of The Melvins, Le Butcherettes, Queens of the Stone age, Faith No More and many others. Dead Cross will be released on Ipecac Recordings.



Music Producer Jason Cole In Critical Condition After Hit-And-Run With Dump Truck in Hollywood


Music producer Jason Cole remained in critical condition Thursday after he was run over by a dump truck while riding his motorcycle in Hollywood.

The accident happened at around 12:30 p.m. Dec. 2 near the corner of Franklin and Highland in Hollywood.  Cole’s partner, Danielle McCleerey, is asking anyone who has any information to come forward.  The driver is still out there.

Jason Cole, music producer. His family has started a Go Fund Me campaign.

Jason Cole, music producer, who was critically injured in a hit and run accident in Hollywood. His family has started a Go Fund Me campaign.

The family has started a Go Fund Me page and you can contribute or find out more information here. Cole’s injuries are severe and the Go Fund Me goal is $150,000.

Cole, who has worked with musicians including Katy Perry and The Killers, is the father of baby Owen and is an avid motorcycle enthusiast.  The dump truck driver who is still at large, crushed him against a car and ran him over.

The family is asking for help in solving the hit-and-run crime.  Check out the Go Fund Me page for Cole.


VIDEO: Kanye West Stops San Jose Show for 25 Minutes: ‘I Would Have Voted On Trump’ He Says

VIDEO courtesy of KMEL


Never one to shy away from controversy, Kanye West drew boos at a San Jose, Calif., concert when he told the crowd he ‘Would have voted for Trump’ … that is, if he had voted.

West, who has announced that in 2020 he would run for president, used up 25 minutes of ticketholders’ time, apparently to prime the pump for his own political career. He went into his speech after a fan threw something at him while he was on stage at the SAP Center.

“You threw something at me,” he asked, singling out the alleged perpetrator. “Does someone else want to throw something at me? I’ve got the power to get that guy kicked out, roughed up, whatever. But stay here. That’s your opinion. Express your opinion,” he said.

Kanye West fele photo by Jason Persse

Kanye West file photo by Jason Persse

“That’s a woman right there saying ‘I love you,’ after I just said there were things that I liked about Trump’s campaign,” he said. “That’s not supposed to happen, right? Case in point they’re saying ‘I want that old Kanye not that new Kanye.’ I guess we’re not gonna sell out the rest of the tour now.”

“Sometimes things you don’t like to happen, need to happen for change to happen,” he told the crowd.

“There are things that Benjamin Carson believes in that I believe in,” he said. “I think that Benjamin Carson should be a consultant. I think HIllary Clinton should still be a consultant, I think Bill Clinton should still be a consultant. I think Obama should still be a consultant. Instead of (I didn’t vote for you for) president so now I’m not gonna give you information that could help you help all of us. … I loved the debates.

“This is already the beginning of change. Sometimes you think things that are bad have to happen in order for change to happen,” he said. “Sometimes you might have to not get your way to really understand what to do in the future to be able to get your way.”

Shirley Manson, Lita Ford and Esperanza Spalding Among 2017 ‘She Rocks Awards’ Honorees

Shirley Manson, Lita Ford and Esperanza Spalding have been named among the honorees for The 2017 She Rocks Awards, it was announced.

Presented for the fifth year by The Women’s International Music Network, the event pays  tribute to women in the music industry and will take place on Jan. 20, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel during the NAMM Show.

The 2017 She Rocks Awards recipients include:

•    Monique Boyer, global artist relations at M.A.C. Cosmetics

•    Rebecca Eaddy, marketing communications for Roland Corporation U.S.

•    Lita Ford, legendary rock guitarist, vocalist and songwriter

•    Beverly Fowler, director of artist relations and events at PRS Guitars

•    Lisa Foxx, radio personality at MYfm on the iHeartRadio network

•    Charyn Harris, conductor of music programs at A Place Called Home

•    Karrie Keyes, founder of Soundgirls and sound engineer for Pearl Jam

•    Tracy Leenman, owner of Musical Innovations music retailer

•    Dani Markman, director, A and R, Disney Music Group

•    Shirley Manson, lead singer from multi-award winning band, Garbage

•    Esperanza Spalding, GRAMMY-winning bass player, singer/songwriter

•    Leanne Summers, president/CEO of LAWIM (Los Angeles Women in Music)

“We are excited to recognize our 2017 honorees, who come from diverse areas of our industry,” said the WiMN founder, Laura B. Whitmore. “Each has made her contributions in her own, unique way, inspiring and energizing others. We look forward to honoring them all and sharing this celebration of women in music.”

In addition, the She Rocks Awards will host the album release of She Rocks Vol 1, A Collection of Kick-Ass Guitar Goddesses, a compilation of eleven virtuoso female guitarists produced by Brad Tolinksi and released on Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label. Performances from the artists on the CD will be included in the program.

Esperanza Spalding - Photo by Andrea Mancini for

Esperanza Spalding – Photo by Andrea Mancini for

The She Rocks Awards will open with a performance by Brandy Robinson, winner of the #SaveAGuitar opening act contest. The house band for the show, Rock Sugah, is led by bassist Divinity Roxx and features Kat Dyson on guitar, Benita Lewis on drums and Lynette Williams on keys.

Gearing up for its fifth consecutive year, the She Rocks Awards pays tribute to women who display leadership and stand out within the music industry, and has become a standard at the NAMM Show. Previous award recipients include female industry leaders such as Chaka Khan, Jennifer Batten, Karmin, Colbie Caillat, Sheila E, The Bangles, Orianthi, Dinah Gretsch, Craigie Zildjian, Janie L. Hendrix, Amani Duncan, Mary Peavey, and more.

With featured performances, food and beverages, giveaways, networking opportunities and more, the She Rocks Awards brings together industry professionals, music icons, artists, fans, and media to celebrate women in music.

This event has sold out for the past four years and does not require a NAMM badge to attend.

Tickets are on sale now at For more information visit The Women’s International Music Network.

The 2017 She Rocks Awards is sponsored by Neumann, Gretsch, Seymour Duncan, Avid, PRS Guitars, Roland, #SaveAGuitar, Breedlove, Zildjian, Guitar Center, Casio, 108 Rock Star Guitars, Sabian, Linear Integrated Systems, Schecter Guitars, Gator Cases, Berklee College of Music, The Music People, LAWIM, Music Inc., Music & Sound Retailer,, Premier Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player, Keyboard, Bass Player, Electronic Musician, and more.


La Paloma Theatre Shines on Benefit Night as Jack Tempchin and Musicians Sing Her Praises

Concert to Raise Money for La Paloma Wildly Applauded

Jack Tempchin - Photo by Donna Balancia

Jack Tempchin – Photo by Donna Balancia


ENCINITAS, Calif. – Musicians Jack Tempchin, Cindy Lee Berryhill, Keith Harkin and Darius Degher electrified at Love The Dove, a benefit concert for La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas Saturday night.

Tempchin, the renowned songwriter who crafted tunes for the Eagles and others, headlined a night that mixed legacy with compelling new performances.

He introduced Keith Harkin, an outstanding Irish performer whose agressive guitar playing is unlike anything we’ve heard. He plucks the strings so hard they break — often he says — and from his work he elicits a great deal of emotion.  Harkin is a true music star and was an unexpected surprise in a night of beautiful work.

Strong Collaboration: Tempchin and Harkin

Jack Tempchin and Keith Harkin - Photo and video by Donna Balancia

Jack Tempchin and Keith Harkin – Photo and video by Donna Balancia

Tempchin on harmonica and Harkin on guitar performed songs they wrote together including the upbeat “Ring Tail Rat.”

Berryhill, the tall singer-songwriter veteran performed the Beatles cover, “Revolution,” which got rousing applause from the audience, which was comprised mainly of Encinitas locals who packed the room.

Berryhill has a new album coming out in March and her new songs including “Somebody’s Angel,” sent chills through the crowded room.

Love The Dove

La Paloma Theatre is a staple of San Diego County culture.  It has been around since the early 1900s and was a stop on the train by movie stars, celebs of the day, musicians and other notables.

Cindy Lee Berryhill - Photo by Donna Balancia

Cindy Lee Berryhill – Photo by Donna Balancia

Locals remember the days it had “couches” and was the gathering place for North County music lovers.

Emcee Danny Salzhandle recalled the theatre has hosted the best in the arts over the years. La Paloma is in need of repair and the tireless Alan Largent and his crew are thinking outside the box to get the funding to restore the jewel in the rough to its former grandeur.

The group is planning to have a fundraiser concert every quarter “or every three months,” if possible.

Musicians Giving Back to La Paloma Theatre

Degher led the night off with his folksy tunes that had people smiling and tapping right along.  He was a gracious leadoff artist joined by Micheal Packard and Ellen Maisen. His debut poetry collection was published in 2014; he has released five CDs and played on many stages.

Darius Degher opened the night at La Paloma Theatre - Photo by Donna Balancia

Darius Degher opened the night at La Paloma Theatre – Photo by Donna Balancia

Degher, Harkin and Berryhill joined Tempchin for a heartfelt finale that included “Already Gone,” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling.”

In a world of free downloads and where there’s an overabundance of worship of all things new, the historic La Paloma took the spotlight, hosting this unique night of touching performances.

The musicians reached receptive audience members who gladly paid $20 a head to enjoy rare performances.

Being able to repay La Paloma for all the joy she has brought Southern California was an honor for both performers and attendees.  The La Paloma which has stood so proudly for almost a century, will graciously continue on, through the generosity of the musicians and art lovers.  A night like this is what it’s all about.


Jack Tempchin leads 'Peaceful Easy Feeling' - Photo and video by Donna Balancia

Jack Tempchin leads ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ – Photo and video by Donna Balancia

Television, Primus, Brian Jonestown Massacre Bring The ‘Cool Factor’ to Hot Desert Daze Festival

In Its Fifth Year, Desert Daze Growing in Status

The Black Angels were among the bands at Desert Daze - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Black Angels were among the bands at Desert Daze – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia


Desert Daze 2016 brought a top lineup of bands and a wildly eclectic, 3-day fashion show to the normally low-key Joshua Tree, and the desert might never be the same.

In its fifth year, Desert Daze brings out the best in music and desert fashion as well.

With thousands of attendees kicking up dust in work boots, shorts, caftans, scarves and western garb.

“It’s like bedoin-style meets western wear because you’ve gotta protect yourself from the dust,” said one lady concert-goer who sported dyed red hair, shorts, leather work boots and knee-high socks. “It’s all worth it for the music.”

With Television headlining the event, the 1970s-era band cranked out some of the tunes that made them famous in the hazy days of Greenwich Village, including “Marquis Moon” and “Elevation.”

Tom Verlaine - Photo © Donna Balancia

Tom Verlaine – Photo © Donna Balancia

“It’s amazing they got Tom Verlaine out of the big city,” said concert-goer Corey, who in his days off from festival-going, practices with his band. “I’m sure he was amused by this experience.”

Not in recent memory can anyone remember Television playing a desert festival, so score one for the the Desert Daze bookers.

Saturday night headliner Primus, was in prime shape.

Les Claypool and his band of alt-rockers took the stage late night and played the tunes they’re known for. Primus opened with “Those Damn Blue Collar Tweakers,” then going into “Last Salmon Man,” and “Groundhog’s Day,” and wrapping with “Mr. Krinkle,” “Jerry Was a Racecar Driver,” “My Name is Mud,” and and “Southbound Pachyderm.”

Sade of LA Witch - Photo © Donna Balancia

Sade of LA Witch – Photo © Donna Balancia

And leading up to the headliners were some of the best in local and not-so-local talent, but those who would be familiar to Echo, Echoplex and Regent Theatre-goers. Thee Oh Sees, Radio Moscow, Brian Jonestown Massacre, LA Witch, Cherry Glazerr and Mind Meld brought out their best for the festival.

Of special note: Thee Commons, a Mexican-American alt-punk band, got physical, dropping to their knees stage, and taunting the audience with their pink gorilla pal.

The Bodegas kept their cool through the afternoon wind bringing their punk style to the fans. The bands were hot and Desert Daze 2016 was cool.

Desert Trip Dispatch: Our Ace Reviewer Bob Busby Gives A Thumbs Up Wrapup From ‘Oldchella’

Busby: ‘One of the Best Events I’ve Ever Attended’

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-12-25-35-amBy BOB BUSBY

Roger Waters kept his politics in check during weekend 2 of Desert Trip, but did basically tell the crowds that he would still support the Palestinian people and their causes.

Nobody yelled anything at him. There was no discomfort in the crowd. Some people left a little earlier; he finished at 12:35 a.m.

Bob Dylan opened and he was great, of course.

The people said he was better than last week. He was really good, he opened the first set and the show in fact with “Everybody Must Get Stoned,” he did “Tangled Up in Blue” and he did five or six songs that were popular. The band sounded great.

The Rolling Stones: Still Smokin’

Keef and Mick are still smokin' hot - Photo and video courtesy of Prestoff2000

Keef and Mick are still smokin’ hot – Photo and video courtesy of Prestoff2000

The Rolling Stones were The Rolling Stones, of course they were great. Mick made a funny joke to the effect of “I know people are calling this ‘Oldchella’ but maybe they should call it ‘Who’s gonna croak first?’  He also said, “I can’t help call attention to the fact that we’ve never shared the stage with a Nobel Prize winner before,” referring to Dylan.

On Saturday night Neil Young opened with classic acoustic songs and the favorite, “Sugar Mountain.

By coincidence it was a full moon, which rose huge with great light to the side of the stage while he was playing, “Harvest Moon” and the cameras went to the moon and put it on the screens. It was a crystal clear moon, it was very emotional. It was literally magical. Other people were affected in the same way. It was the most magical thing. Neil was just really on.

Sir Paul With Neil Young at Desert Trip

Photo by Kevin Mazur

Photo by Kevin Mazur

Then Paul came on, and these guys are not retired, they do this all the time and it shows. Then he brought out Rihanna.  I didn’t know the song, “FourFiveSeconds” but she was really good. Then she left. Right after that he brought Neil out and they did “A Day in the Life,” and it was a fantastic version. Neil just rocked. Paul was like, “This is Neil fucking Young!” Neil went apeshit on the guitar and Paul looked at the audience like “I hope you realize what you’re watching.” And Neil was saying “This is Paul McCartney!” It was two icons.

Saturday was the best. The Who complained before they sang a note. Roger Daltrey said, “Can somebody please turn off the fan?” That’s because it was windy and like 90 degrees at 6 o’clock still.  Not only was the heat holding, the heat held all the way through the night, it cooled down and then at 10 o’clock it warmed up again.

The real star of the show was the venue.  And the screens and the speakers. The screens were at least 10 stories tall and 100 yards wide.  The screens were so big.  We just kept remarking on how incredible the video production was. It was so crystal clear. The real star of the whole thing is the venue for sure.

The Venue at Coachella

The Who - Photo courtesy of Desert Trip for

The Who – Photo courtesy of Desert Trip

You know you can put thousands of people into Giants stadium it’s tiered so it doesn’t look like this. Believe me, 85,000 people on a flat surface goes way the heck back. My friends were in the back. They had four giant screens in the back too. Four huge screens, and there were amazing speakers every 25 yards in every direction and Roger Waters made full use of those speakers with sound coming from all directions. You’d be hearing sounds like a taxi cab coming from a thousand yards to the left.

All in all, musically it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended.

The Great 1960s Musician Donovan Celebrates 50th Anniversary of ‘Sunshine Superman’ with Tour

The Rose, Saban, Highlight California Shows

donovan-sunshine-albumBy DONNA BALANCIA

In 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson was president, the Vietnam War was raging, astronaut Buzz Aldrin was tackling the final frontier and campus protests were daily occurrances.

Those are a few reasons why Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman” single was such a hit.

The unique new sound that emerged as a result of psychedelia and anti-establishment peace movements had teens around the U.S. huddled around transistor radios for escape. Donovan was a leader in the mellow, upbeat sound that was making a mark.

‘Sunshine Superman’ Tour

Donovan, 70, presents the “Sunshine Superman Tour” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his hit single “Sunshine Superman,” when it reached No. 1 on the charts. The album of the same name is considered a classic masterpiece. You can see Donovan at The Rose and The Saban Theatre while he’s wrapping up the West Coast swing on the tour.

The psychedelic style put forth by Donovan, whose real name is Donovan Leitch, was a refreshing break from the daily pummelling the public received from the news of war, social injustice and “the man” in general.

Donovan’s hippie-style music gave listeners pause and conjured up images of the musician smoking banana leaves and morning glory seeds to derive inspiration for the groovy songs.


Donovan’s music helped young people cope with war and riots – Photo courtesy Donovan

But whatever his inspiration, his songs were influential and fun. He was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

Audiences during the Sunshine Superman tour will be treated to Donovan’s history of hits, including “Mellow Yellow,” “The Hurdy Gurdy Man,” “Jenifer Juniper” as well as his legendary storytelling and other cult classic songs.

In addition, Sony/Legacy Recordings will present The Essential Donovan, a collection of his hits and other innovative album selections.

Gibson Guitars has created a special Donovan Model J45 Guitar, the guitar on which Donovan composed, recorded, and performed all his 1960s work.

For Donovan tickets go here.

DONOVAN initial SUNSHINE SUPERMAN TOUR dates are as follows below, with more U.S. dates to be added.

August 30: The Guild Hall (East Hampton, NY)

September 4: Sondheim Center (Fairfield, IA)

September 7: Capitol Theatre (Clearwater, FL)

September 8: Parker Playhouse (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

September 10: Landmark (Port Washington, NY)

September 11: SOPAC (South Orange, NJ)

September 14: Troy Music Hall (Troy, NY)

September 15: Carnegie Hall (NYC, NY)

September 17: New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall (Boston, MA)

September 20: The Majestic (Dallas, TX)

September 21: Wortham Center’s Cullen Theather (Houston, TX)

September 22: The Tobin Theatre (San Antonio, TX)

September 24: The Paramount (Austin, TX)

September 25:  Boulder Theatre (Boulder, CO)

September 27: The Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ)

October 7: The Rose (Pasadena, CA)

October 8: The Saban Theatre (Beverly Hills, CA)

October 12: The Regency Ballroom (San Francisco, CA)

October 13: The Regency Ballroom (San Francisco, CA)

October 15: Neptune (Seattle, WA)

October 16: Neptune (Seattle, WA)

October 21: The Danforth Music Hall (Toronto)

Get Your Amoeba Music While You Can: Inevitable Closing of Hollywood’s Indie Icon on Horizon

Amoeba Music To Ride Off From Sunset

By JOHN DALY – Everyone is making a hoopla of Amoeba Music going away and we will miss the place, but when the owner sells to a multimillion-dollar developer what do you think happens?

Instead of lamenting the loss of an indie icon, customers should be cheering that the store is moving, after all, there are plenty of sales inside.

While Amoeba Music has hosted a variety of great musicians and has held super events over the years, there doesn’t appear to be a reason the recently-made-rich company won’t appear somewhere else.  According to reports, Amoeba Music was bought for $34 million and has been paying rent back to its landlord, GPI properties, since the deal closed one year ago.

In the meantime, we’re going to head over to the store and get the lowdown, and a few choice deals.

As for upcoming events, on Sept. 16, New Music Friday, Amoeba celebrates Mexican Independence Day with Mariachi Voz De America and students from the The Mariachi Conservatory in Boyle Heights. Also on Sept. House Shoes will spin the discs. On Saturday, Amoeba Music will host a sidewalk sale from noon to 4 p.m. and a BOGO Red Tag sale on Monday, Sept. 19.

For more information go to the Amoeba Music website.


Don Was, Marshall Crenshaw Headline Wayne Kramer’s Jail Guitar Doors ‘Rock Out 3’ Concert

Jail Guitar Doors Returns to Ford Theatres on Sept. 9

Wayne Kramer has invited an impressive lineup of musicians for Jail Guitar Doors’ ROCK OUT! 3, which will be held at the Ford Theatres on Friday, Sept. 9.

Featured performers are Don Was; Marshall Crenshaw; Jill Sobule; Keith Morris of Black Flag; Jason Heath And The Greedy Souls; The Wild Reeds; and special surprise guests.

In 2009, musicians/activists Kramer and Billy Bragg joined forces to create Jail Guitar Doors USA, which organizes prison outreach programs and advances new solutions to diminish prison violence. JGD-USA works for justice and prison reform in the United States while partnering with social service groups to help people in prison reconnect with the outside world.

Jail Guitar Doors has been on the front line lobbying against unjust lengthy prison sentences, the privatization of prisons for profit, and actively seeking to restore humanity in a forgotten segment of our citizens: Those incarcerated. From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled, skyrocketing from roughly 500,000, to 2.3 million, according to the US Bureau of Statistics.

Jail Guitar Doors is a California non-profit organization that provides musical instruments and opportunities to help rehabilitate prisoners.  In 1977, punk rockers The Clash, recorded “Jail Guitar Doors,” a song detailing the imprisonment of their hero and fellow musician, MC5’s Kramer.

Tickets are available at or by calling (323) 461-3673. Discounts are available for groups of eight people or more by calling (323) 461-3673. The Ford Theatres are located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068, just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway between Hollywood Blvd. and Barham Blvd. in the Cahuenga Pass.


Lemmy Statue Unveiled, Motorhead Rocker Honored with Celebrations at the Whisky and The Rainbow

Motorhead Rocker Honored at His Sunset Strip Hangouts

The crew celebrates the Lemmy Statue - Photo by Donna Balancia

The crew celebrates the Lemmy Statue – Photo by Donna Balancia


If Lemmy Kilmister were alive, he would probably would have been overwhelmed by the love of fans at events held in his honor on the Sunset Strip.

On Wednesday night hundreds gathered to see the unveiling of a statue created in Lemmy’s image. That statue now has a permanent residence at Lemmy’s favorite place, The Rainbow Bar and Grill.

The night before, there was a Lemmy Tribute night, complete with musicians and a few special guests including Tracii Guns and Dug Pinnick.

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Tracii Guns performs at Whisky A Go Go – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“I’m here because I loved Lemmy’s music,” said Debby Cincianella who came from New York City for the unveiling. “Lemmy meant a lot to a lot of people and we want to honor him.”

John Hammer drove all the way from Bakersfield to get the event in time for the presentation.

“I drove like crazy to get here,” he said. “I had to see this.”

Most of the attendees came from the Los Angeles area and came dressed in their rock n roll finest, many wearing Lemmy-style hats, leather and some form of Motorhead T-shirts, jewelry or jackets.

When the time came to unveil the statue, people were poised to take pictures and get a selfie with the life-size bronze replica of one of the most beloved rockers of our time. There were plenty of photo opportunities with the bronze Lemmy.

The Lemmy statue is in the back of the Rainbow patio area and permanently rests in what many said resembles a black marble upright open tomb.  The likeness is appealing and rest assured there will be plenty of photos around with your favorite pal by the bronze Lemmy’s side.

“It’s been a wonderful way to celebrate the life of one of our favorite musicians,” said Sandy. “I love the Lemmy statue and I went to the show last night at the Whisky. I’m here tonight because this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance.”

Lemmy's widow, Cheryl, gives a kiss to author Sonny Donato - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Lemmy’s widow, Cheryl, gives a kiss to author Sonny Donato – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Whisky on drew a big crowd, proving the popularity of the “Ace of Spades” musician.

Even Lemmy’s girlfriend, Cheryl, was on hand and she was touched that the musicians performed his songs throughout the night.

The concert event was live-streamed on Facebook so that people around the world could see the show. It’s been a tough year for rock lovers.  David Bowie and Glen Frye were among the other major rock stars to pass away this year.

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Kitty Cadillac and Ruby Carrera at The Rainbow – Photo by Donna Balancia

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Courtney Cox of Iron Maidens at The Whisky – Photo by Donna Balancia

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The cool guys turn out for Lemmy – Photo by Donna Balancia

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Kenny Kweens and a couple of dolls – Photo by Donna Balancia

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He didn’t drive from Bakersfield – Photo by Donna Balancia

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Pharoah Barrett of Kraterface – Photo by Donna Balancia

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Carla Harvey and Tracii Guns – Photo by Donna Balancia

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Walter Ino and Howie Simon – Photo by Donna Balancia

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Seann Nichols – Photo by Donna Balancia

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Carla Harvey gets the approval of Cheryl, Lemmy’s widow – Photo by Donna Balancia

Setting the Standard: James Williamson Engineers Unique Sounds with New Collaborations

‘Blues Jumped The Rabbit’ is Williamson’s Latest Single


James Williamson believes that change is energizing.

“I like to collaborate with different people and this was a great opportunity,” said Williamson of his newest work with multi-talented musician Petra Haden, on their single called “Blues Jumped The Rabbit.”

“Blues Jumped The Rabbit,” taken literally on Williamson and Haden’s cover art, is believed to be originally recorded in 1926 as “Rabbit Foot Blues.” It received a new turn in 1970 by Bob Dylan collaborator Karen Dalton. The B-side of Williamson’s new vinyl is another interesting find, “Last Kind Words.” The single is out on iTunes and will be available on seven inch vinyl on August 19th.

Collaboration is the key for Williamson, a prominent player with Iggy and the Stooges, who says working with new people has been a great experience for him over the last few years.

Blues Jumped The Rabbit - Album Cover by Heather Harris

Blues Jumped The Rabbit – Album Cover by Heather Harris


Talent Scout

Williamson’s become somewhat of a talent scout in the few years since the release of the last Iggy and the Stooges album, Ready to Die, in 2013.  He seeks out collaborators, traveling around to find musicians that are suited for certain projects. Williamson is exacting about the talent he uses on his projects.

In most music lovers’ books, Williamson had already accomplished more than the average superhuman: He’s the co-creator of arguably the most revered American rock anthem of all time, “Search and Destroy.” As a member of Iggy and the Stooges, he basically introduced an entirely new guitar sound to music and lived a parallel life as an accomplished computer engineer and family man.

As for his music, there is more to Williamson than his vast work in the world of punk. With “Blues Jumped The Rabbit,” he puts out an interesting collaboration with violinist and vocalist Haden that has a unique bluesy feel and has a purpose.

James Williamson and Petra Haden - Photo by Heather Harris

James Williamson and Petra Haden – Photo by Heather Harris


The Charity Factor

“The fact of the matter is nobody buys records anyway,” Williamson said. “If we can get people to be aware of these charities, it’s great, it brings awareness of great causes.”

The money raised from the sale of the vinyl single goes towards the Tazzy Animal Rescue Fund in Burbank.

Williamson was impressed with Petra’s work on The Who Sell Out and he asked a Stooges pal for an introduction.

“I was so impressed with her, and then I found out Mike Watt knows her,” Williamson said. “I started using her on different things. I had her to something on Ready to Die. I liked her work on Ready to Die so much, she would do backing vocals and violin, I thought, she’s so good and so versatile I always though she should have a lead vocal.”

Historically, “Blues Jumped The Rabbit,” is an important song, recorded several times over the course of the 1900s.

As for the literal adaptation of the blues on the album cover, it came from an idea James had a while back.

“I saw this picture of a model with a rabbit on her head,” he laughed. “So I floated the idea by my artistic director, photographer Heather Harris, and she came up with the blue rabbit. It’s different.”

Lisa Kekaula and James Williamson work

Lisa Kekaula and James Williamson work


Re-Licked and Lisa Kekaula

Williamson’s made some other impressive moves into the collaborative world of independent musicianship.

He and Lisa Kekaula of the Bellrays released a single called “I Love My Tutu,” a release that benefits Project, Hawai’i, for homeless children in Hawaii, where Williamson lives part of the year.  Kekaula was a prominent player in Williamson’s Re-Licked project.

Last year, Williamson released the album Re-Licked, bringing together alternative A-Listers in an award-winning one-off concert at The Bootleg in Los Angeles. He met with many musicians before finalizing the lineup for his Re-Licked recording.

Williamson relies on another Re-Licked musician, Joe Cardamone of Valley Recording for his projects. And Williamson’s son, Jamie, is also getting into music more and more — he was also involved in the collaboration with Kekaula. Williamson hinted that another single would be coming soon, this one an up-tempo original tune that he wrote with a young musician.

Petra Haden - Photo by Heather Harris

Petra Haden – Photo by Heather Harris


Getting Recognition

The award-winning computer engineer, who was honored in Washington, D.C., last year by the American National Standards Institute, Williamson has been realistic about his music career. There were times when it was not easy. And he balanced the unpredictable music business by starting a successful engineering career.

Though he thinks it’s even harder to make it in music today, relationships and persistence matter, Williamson says.

“The only game these days is playing live,” he said. “And of course live requires you to have enough recognition to get a gig … or at least get a break. In that sense it’s always been that way, however, no promotor wants to risk their money on an unknown because they’re in it to make money.

“But that said, the best avenue is to somehow get into an opening slot for free or whatever and kick some serious butt, such that the audience wants you back and the promoter takes notice. That’s the old school way, and it works, if you can survive long enough.”

DOWNLOAD “Blues Jumped the Rabbit” at ITUNES

Jonathan Butler and Gerald Albright Kick off the 29th annual Long Beach Jazz Festival in Grand Style

LONG BEACH – Legendary musicians Gerald Albright and Jonathan Butler launched the 29th annual Long Beach Jazz Festival at Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach Friday night.

The Long Beach Jazz Festival runs all day Saturday and Sunday. It features top jazz performers and a range of vendors co-mingling to celebrate beautiful music under clear skies.

Jonathan Butler

Jonathan Butler – Photo by Donna Balancia

Other headliners performing throughout the weekend include Jeffrey Osborne, Dave Koz and David Sanborn, Side by Side, The Rippingtons, Michael Lington and Kenny Lattimore. Attendees can also expect appearances from world-renowned speakers, authors, innovators and celebrities for A Healthy Taste of Jazz, bringing Music, Health and Wellness together. The activities are brought to you by Rainbow Promotions LLC, Benoit Entertainment Group LLC in partnership with McDonald’s and other sponsors.

The Long Beach Jazz Festival hosts top global brands for a weekend of great music, rich cultural experiences, celebrity meet-and-greets and more. At this year’s event, attendees will have the opportunity to experience their favorite jazz musicians who will be on full display each day. In addition, attendees have a chance to purchase official merchandise and for those with VIP access, an opportunity to engage with celebrities and personalities backstage.

Long Beach Jazz Festival - Photo by Donna Balancia

Long Beach Jazz Festival – Photo by Donna Balancia

“We are excited to bring new and exciting experiences to complement our music programming,” said Kimberly Benoit, president of Rainbow Promotions LLC. “With more than several thousand attendees visiting Long Beach throughout the weekend, we’ve created unique experiences and entertainment tailored to our audience with the help of our sponsors. This will truly be a celebration of how far we’ve come in the last 29 years.”

The Long Beach Jazz Festival, along with our sponsors, will offer fans unmatched consumer engagement experiences each day, including health and wellness programming at the Vendors’ Pavilion.  For tickets or more information go to the Long Beach Jazz Festival website.

Jazz Fest marketing pro and interviewer extraordinaire, Ms. Blair and opening act, Major share a moment at Jazz Festival - Photo by Donna Balancia

Jazz Fest marketing pro and interviewer extraordinaire, Ms. Blair, and opening act, MAJOR, share a moment at Long Beach Jazz Festival – Photo by Donna Balancia

Echo Box: An Innovative Concept That Brings Together Fans and Bands For New Music

Echo Box Music Hosts Glam Skanks “Glitter City” Show

By DONNA BALANCIA – Nolan Jamora and Bruce Witkin have some big ideas to help young bands get exposure.

They’re the duo behind Echo Box Music. Echo Box is a label, but it’s also a lot more. It’s a new concept in concert promotion.

The idea is simple: Nolan and Bruce want the bands that perform to get a following and they don’t want concert-goers to have to pay.  They would rather that money be spent on the band’s merch, though.

Saturday night Echo Box will put on its second showcase event, a record release party for The Glam Skanks to celebrate their new EP “Glitter City.”  Other bands on hand are Grapevine, The 4 Skin Five and Justine and The Highs.  The show starts at 9 and it’s free with an RSVP.  For details check out the Echo Box Facebook page.

The Glam Skanks

Glam Skanks pack the house during Echo Box Music event last April - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Glam Skanks pack the house during Echo Box Music event last April – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia


‘A Moving CBGBs’

“Our first event was great,” said Nolan of the first concert last April at The MIME in Echo Park.  “We had more than 200 people there and it was crowded. The bands that played all wanted to come back for this upcoming show. It was a lot of fun.”

Performers at the April event were The Glam Skanks, The Brothers Collective, Kid Bloom and Hypnotic Hyena.  They were all along the same style of music and kept the audience on their toes throughout the night.

Bruce said the idea is to gain a following for the bands and to enable Echo Box to gain a reputation among concert-goers.

“We want Echo Box to be like a ‘Moving CBGB’s,'” Bruce said. “We want that kind of enthusiasm and that feeling.  We want people to say, ‘Hey, what’s going on at Echobox tonight?'”

Alan Rickman as Hilly Krystal in CBGB the movie - Photo courtesy of CBGB the movie

Alan Rickman as Hilly Krystal in CBGB the movie – Photo courtesy of CBGB the movie


Cohesive and Free

With a selection of bands from arguably the biggest music city in the U.S., Echo Box will have the pick of young up-and-comers.  And not only can a showcase at Echo Box gain a new band a lot of followers, the events are typically filled with fans and industry people alike.

“The clubs in Hollywood have to do what we’re doing every night so that’s difficult for them,” Bruce said. “But many times you’ll see a lineup of bands that’s not cohesive.  One time, for instance, in a soul and blues band I play in, they had a metal band come on after us.  If the bands are the same genre we’ll keep the crowd.”

Money is the likely culprit in keeping kids away from checking out new bands.

“A typical night in Hollywood costs you for parking and for drinks and before you even hear the music you’ve spent your money,” Bruce said. “We want the people to hear good music and we want the bands to get exposure, but it shouldn’t have to cost a lot.”

Brothers Collective perform at Echo Box Music event - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Brothers Collective perform at Echo Box Music event – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia


Music Lovers

Bruce knows what he’s talking about. He’s one of the Hollywood Vampires, the supergroup that includes Joe Perry, Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp.  Bruce is also a GRAMMY-nominated music producer.

Nolan is the director of research and development for Isky Racing Cams.  He designed engine camshafts for Formula 1, Indycar and NASCAR among other racing series.

These two men from very different worlds were introduced by Carlos Orellana, a studio engineer who has worked with Joe Perry, the Hollywood Vampires and beyond.  He’s the one behind the scenes who enables the whole production to run smoothly.

“Carlos is a big part of this as well,” Bruce said. “He’s the sound guy. There are very few places that care about the sound. Our sound is good. And also, there are only a few places that are for all ages. We want to turn Echo Box into a scene — a scene with good sound — and we’re going to keep doing more shows.”

Important to establishing that scene are Ryan Rice and Lily O’Brien, who are basically the artist relations department.  Ryan and Lily recruit and promote the performers.

Glam Skanks to release new album, "Glitter City" - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Glam Skanks to release new album, “Glitter City” – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia


Spotlight on New Bands

Nolan, meanwhile, has additional reasons why this project is worthwhile.

He’s from the South Bay — the birthplace of great bands like Black Flag and The Descendents and one of the reasons he’s created the Echo Box project is to give the younger people today a taste of the fun times he used to have.

“We would party under the Redondo Beach Pier, we’d find places to put together a band and a party,” he said. “I remember Black Flag playing in garages, and The Descendents and Circle Jerks would play in warehouses. We had a lot of fun. It was free, and the bands would be selling stuff out of the trunk of a car. Very guerilla style.”

As for the future?

“Over the long term we’d like to make it a thing where people know Echo Box is the place to be,” Nolan said. “We want people to think of Echo Box and know they’re going to see up-and-coming and bands, and where the bands know they’ll have a good experience playing.'”

Echo Box is always on the lookout for new bands to promote.  If your band’s got what it takes, contact Echo Box through the Facebook page.

‘We All Bleed Red’ by Jim Peterik Takes a New Approach to Honor Those Who Need it Most

By DONNA BALANCIA – Jim Peterik is not only one of the most prolific songwriters of our era, but he he has given a new voice to those who can’t speak.

Peterik was so impacted by the Orlando shootings, that he wrote a song called “We All Bleed Red,” and his team created a video to go along.  The song brings a fresh approach to the topic of mass shooting with a driving beat and a rock-style adaptation.

Peterik, prolific songwriter and founder of the band Survivor, recently released an album called “The Songs,” an acoustic collection of the mega-hit high-amp songs he has written and performed with his illustrious rock n roll colleagues.

“We All Bleed Red,” came about after the June 12 mass shooting of innocent people at the Orlando nightclub, Pulse.


But rather than taking a heartbreaking event and creating a song that was on the downbeat, Peterik created something that fans can actually hear and be empowered by. “We All Bleed Red” is a song that can be enjoyed while bringing to mind the issues that affect us all.

“I wanted to do a uniting type of anthem,” Peterik told “After all, we all bleed red man. I wanted it to be celebratory only because we should celebrate that we all live together. It all came to me in one day, it took three days to record.”

Peterik is smart.  After all, should only sad songs be created in commemoration of a tragic event?

Peterik recently released his album, “The Songs,” which was funded through a Pledgemusic campaign.  If you want to be impressed by one of the most outstanding singer-songwriters, check out the album at the Jim Peterik website.

Peterik, whose works include the GRAMMY Award-winning “Eye of The Tiger,” and some of the most famous hits from the radio, considers his style “melodic” rock.

His group, Pride Of Lions, tours Europe regularly, and their albums and DVDs are best sellers. The new POL CD “Immortal” was released in Septermber 2012.

The Phantoms Release New Album, Perform at The Black Cat in San Diego Tomorrow Night


The Phantoms album

Phantom Rock


The Phantoms have a punk pedigree with a rock n roll heart.

With frontman and songwriter Victor Penalosa, guitarist Xavier Anaya, Chris Iandolo on bass and Ed Masi on drums, the band is committed to making the music a celebration.

“We’re not into the political message, we’re into having fun,” said Masi of The Phantoms, whose home is San Diego. “We have different backgrounds but we love the music.”

The San Diego Boys Know How to Rock N Roll

The Phantoms self-titled album is the roadmap any thirsty music lover can use to find their way back to truly quenching Rock N Roll.  This record satisfies.

The Phantoms album has songs ranging from upbeat rock to twangy working class tunes and a lot in between. Drummer Masi said there’s a reason why at least a few songs on the new album sound like T-Rex.

“You’ll be able to tell, we really like T-Rex,” he said.  At least that’s one thing they all have in common.  The guys collectively have played in a bunch of different bands.

Frontman Penalosa is known for his band the Zeros and also plays with The Flamin Groovies.  Anaya is known for The Trebles and The Hoods; Iandolo is known for Dizzy and Masi has played with Ghosts of California and Sleeping Cranes. But the The Phantoms album is bound to be one of the most fun projects, maybe because the guys are all longtime pals.

“We went into the studio and banged it out,” Masi said. “We used none of the tricks they use nowadays. It was a lot of fun.”

The band signed with Rum Bar Records in 2015. The first thing they did is remaster some of the songs they loved and put out the 11-track album on Rum Bar Records.

“We’re really happy about how it sounds,” said Masi.  “I really like the song, ‘Stab Me in My Broken Heart,’ the unlikely hero of the album.”

The guys released a video for the song SEE THE WORLDWIDE PREMIER OF “STAB ME IN MY BROKEN HEART”

It’s definitely one of the weirdest videos ever.  But in a strange way, it’s kind of cool.

“We’re huge B-movie fans,” Masi said of the video created by Iandolo. “The song was written and when I put drums to it, I was thinking along the lines of Joe Jackson with punkish feel.  I think Chris wanted to capture that. I think he did a great job putting the video together.”


The Phantoms … Different

The Phantoms Gig Tomorrow Night

The Phantoms make for strange band fellows: It’s an diverging group of characters, but somehow everyone gets along, Masi said.

“Victor and I have known each other for about 20 years,” Masi said.  “We played in the Melanies together.

“He was into T-Rex, Big Star, he never really tried to get the chicks.  He always wanted to have this big Rock N Roll sound.  It was never about girls. He never really wanted to be a chick magnet.

“Then Chris is more like a sophisticated guy, he’s an accomplished bass player and just as goofy as we are.  I’m lucky to have these guys.

“Xavier is the gentle soul, like a George Harrison mixed with Keith Richards. He’s not the typical lead guitarist.

“And me? I’m just a drummer.  I was always the class clown trying to keep the rest of the guys on track but these guys do a fine job by themselves. I just enjoy the show, playing.

Rate the Album

The music on The Phantoms is driving and fun.  There isn’t a song on the album that isn’t a rocker.

“Tears Me Up” has a nice twangy rock and roll feel to it, “Atomic Fireball” has got a T-Rex vibe.  Anaya’s guitar work is impressive. “Chump Change” is about the working class stiff. and “One for the Road,” gives the impression you’re in a bar putting more money in the jukebox a la Johnny Cash.

“Tears Me Up,” is heavily influenced by the Rolling Stones and “Heavy Traffic” is like a Foghat style of rock.

Masi likes a lot of different music, but he doesn’t necessarily feel music has to be message or politically driven.

“With folk music, lyrically it was speaking to social issues that hadn’t come up before,” he said. “And today, I think some of the bands are trying to incite a reaction in the listening audience. I believe music should be a celebration. We like what we play, and if they like it cool. We’re just writing songs that feel good to us and if other people like them, it’s great.”

Lemmy Statue to Be Unveiled at Rainbow Bar and Grill Public Celebration on August 24


The much anticipated memorial statue of rocker Lemmy, the Motorhead frontman, will be unveiled at the Rainbow Bar and Grill next month, it was announced.

The Rainbow made the announcement on its Instagram page, with a poster announcing a celebration for the iconic rocker.  The establishment was Lemmy’s favorite hangout.

The life-size bronze sculpture is the work of Travis Moore, who was commissioned to create the honorary figure after a kickstarter campaign started by Katon De Pena reached its $20,000 target for a total of $22,771.

Lemmy died last December.

The Rainbow will hold — what else — a celebration of the unveiling of the patio-bound statue on Aug. 24.  The party is open to the public.


Ted Nugent Feels the California Love During His Nationwide ‘Sonic Baptizm’ Tour 2016

Like His Politics or Not, Nugent’s Music Hits the Mark


Ted Nugent had audiences applauding wildly and jumping for joy during the Southern California swing of his Sonic Baptizm Tour.  Now it’s on to the East Coast.

Since the 1970s, the 67-year-old “Motor City Madman” from Detroit has been rocking harder than most of his peers. His wild antics and promotional stunts have enabled him to cash in handsomely on his musical talent.  But this guy isn’t blowing smoke or hiding behind his politics. Nugent’s guitar playing is amazing and his voice is strong and clear.

Those who don’t know his music, know him for his outspoken political viewpoints.  But there were a lot of people at the Saban Theatre performance last week who didn’t seem to mind his politics. Nugent’s Sonic Baptizm 2016 Tour, which started out with a modest number of dates has grown into a massive cross-country campaign and his fans couldn’t be happier.

Ted Nugent with drummer Jason Hartless - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Ted Nugent with drummer Jason Hartless – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nugent Outrocking Those Half His Age

Nugent holds his own against young rockers and would put any veteran rockers to shame.  If you insert some patriotism, a few American flags onstage and a little political rhetoric, it’s a great show, directed mainly at his certain audience.

All the favorite Nugent songs including “Cat Scratch Fever” are on the set list and so is a persona that’s bigger than life.  Nugent called the people who come to see him the “real Californians” and appreciates them because they appreciate the “shitkickin'” music he plays.

“I love him,” said fan Debby Kraigen of Sherman Oaks, Calif., during the show in Beverly Hills. “Some of my friends really don’t care for him, and my daughter and her friends aren’t really fans, but I’ll always love him.”

Kraigen attended the show with several pals, all of whom have been to more Nugent shows since 1980 than all shows combined that the average concert-goer sees in a lifetime. Kraigen’s pal Ralph Martinez said:  “Ted’s almost 70 or something and he’s amazing.  I hope I have that kind of energy when I’m his age. We’re going to three of his other shows too.”

Kraigen echoed the sentiment of several people during the show: “I don’t like his politics but I love his music.”

ted-nugent-24-set-list (1 of 1) donna balancia

The set list from Ted Nugent’s show at the Saban Theatre

‘Ted Nugent: Political Activist’

Even though he calls himself a political activist, Nugent is a musical performer first and foremost.  Not only has he been been drawing lots of “regular” fans to  good-sized venues, but people are shelling out big bucks for “Dangerzone” VIP Meet-and-Greet packages.

Many think “Uncle Ted” is a turn-off.  His words are too strong, he’s a super-conservative, he hunts animals, and he’s aggressive. But criticism has also been directed at “raging” groups who profit from rhetoric related to shooting people and members of law enforcement.

From what our friends at some of the other shows in SoCal have told us, Nugent was out in full force at other venues including Canyon Club in Agoura Hills and The Coach House in Capistrano. Whatever the people in the audience think of his politics it was clear they were there for the music.

With his rockin’ ensemble of bassist Greg Smith and drummer Jason Hartless, seeing Nugent live is a step back into when rock concerts were true events, when the performer got to speak his peace … regardless if it’s accepted by all, none or some.



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