Vinny Appice: The John Lennon Connection

Vinny Appice: The John Lennon Connection
By Peter Lindblad


Going to high school was a drag for Vinny Appice. Absolute drudgery it was for the future Black Sabbath drummer, sitting in class listening to teachers drone on and on about subjects that bored him to death.
His only salvation was that in the evening hours the 16-year-old Appice could slip into a whole other world that was far beyond anything his classmates could imagine.

Holding down his end in a nine-piece rock band with full horns that also dabbled in funk and jazz, Appice was part of a group that was managed by the Record Plant Studios in New York City. It was called BOMF and Jimmy Iovine was their producer.

“So we used to rehearse upstairs at the Record Plant,” recalls Appice. “We had our room. And we’d be up there every night, like the boys’ club, hanging out. At night we’d rehearse and write songs.”

As it just so happened, at the time, Iovine was also working quite a bit with John Lennon in the same facility. Eventually, Appice would cross paths with the former Beatle.

“One night they needed handclaps, so Jimmy said, ‘Hey guys, come on down here. We need handclaps,’” said Appice. “All right. There were nine of us, so it was easy. And we get down there, and there’s John Lennon and Elton John in the control room, so we did handclaps on ‘Whatever Gets You through the Night’ for that song. Those handclaps are me and my band. So we left. We didn’t get to meet them, but I guess John said, ‘Who the heck is that? Who are those guys?’ We’d just done handclaps. ‘Oh … they rehearse upstairs. I’m producing them.’ That’s what Jimmy said. So, a couple of days later, [Lennon] came and hung out – came up to the rehearsal room, watched us play. He liked the band, and he’d come in. We’d smoke pot with him and shit. He actually always wanted coke, but I didn’t do that. But I always had good pot. And we smoked some joints with him, we played pool, we hung out.”

The story doesn’t end there. Later, Lennon would ask the band to back him during a TV performance, and they did three videos with Lennon, all of which appear on “The John Lennon Video Collection” released in 1994.

“So we played at The Hilton, the New York Hilton,” remembers Appice. “We had outfits made, we went to get fitted for them with him and a van… the whole week was us getting prepared for the show, hanging out with him. And then he asked us to do a bunch of videos, and we did that. And then … he produced the owner’s wife in the studio. She had eight songs to record. He was the producer. We were the band. So we worked with him as a producer, too, which was amazing. And we wound up playing live ‘Imagine’ and ‘Slipping and the Sliding.’ So we got to play that with him. So it was pretty cool. It was an amazing time.I was going to high school. I was doing that at night. I would hang out with him, and then the next day, I’d be in school, not paying attention.”

It being the 30th anniversary of Lennon’s tragic death, Appice can’t help but think back to what was going on in his own life back when the world was still in mourning over what had happened. And again, Appice found himself linked to one of popular music’s biggest icons.

Black Sabbath was in the midst of its tour supporting Heaven and Hell, the doom-metal architects’ first LP with Ronnie James Dio taking the place of Ozzy Osbourne. Original drummer Bill Ward had left the band, and Appice was called to fill in without much time to rehearse for an outdoor show in Hawaii. If ever there was a trial by fire, this was it, but Appice held up his end of the bargain.

“Yeah, on the first tour, until I learned those songs, it was a bit mechanical for me until I got the parts right, and then didn’t have to think about it and play it with feel,” said Appice. “So yeah, it became better and better.”

Out of the blue, Warner Bros. contacted Sabbath about doing a song for the soundtrack to the animated sci-fi movie “Heavy Metal.” During a break in the tour, Sabbath, with Appice in tow, took the opportunity to record the song “Mob Rules.”

“We had a couple of days off, somewhere,” said Appice. “And on those days off, we went to John Lennon’s house in England, and he had a studio in there. Ringo owned it at the time, but it was where John [did] Imagine. And it was right after John got shot, too. And it was weird going there. We stayed there for three days, and that’s when we wrote ‘Mob Rules’ and we recorded it there. So after we finished everything and listened back, obviously, it was a really strong song, a good song, and it came together well, and it was really cool. Everybody that brought the band together was like, ‘Oh, this is going to work with Vinny.’ And that reinforced it a little bit for everybody that, yeah, this could work. It’s not just playing a tour and playing the parts that Bill played. That was a turning point for us, becoming more of a band.

The specter of Lennon seemed to haunt Appice. Lennon’s death, in October of 1980, had occurred just a couple months prior to Sabbath’s session at his former house.

“And years ago, I played with John Lennon. I used to work with him,” emphasized Appice. “It was weird winding up … I actually met Lennon and hung out with him and knew him somewhat and then he got shot and now we’re in his house and I got assigned his room. Because you stay in rooms there, and on the front of the room, it said ‘John and Yoko.’ So I got his room, but I didn’t stay in it. I was afraid. I was a kid. I don’t know if I’d stay in it now either with somebody who just got killed, but it was an amazing house. And it was amazing to be a part of anything Beatles. Very cool experience.”

Most recently, Appice was part of Heaven and Hell, the new name given the classic Dio-fronted Black Sabbath lineup. Fans can see and hear Heaven and Hell, for all intents and purposes done now after the death earlier this year of Ronnie James Dio, one more time on CD and DVD versions of Heaven and Hell’s “Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven and Hell” that capture the band’s fiery live performance at the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany on July 30, 2009. 


CD / DVD Review: Heaven & Hell "Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell"

CD / DVD Review: Heaven & Hell "Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell"

Eagle Vision/Armoury Records
All Access Review: A-

Ozzy Osbourne was gone, and this time, he wasn’t coming back, at least not until the “all is forgotten” reunions that would, perhaps inevitably, come years later. Black Sabbath had moved on with Ronnie James Dio, but not everyone was ready to welcome the new vocal sorcerer with open arms.

As Dio remembers it, in an interview included with the new Heaven & Hell live DVD, crowds that came to the first shows featuring the reconstituted Sabbath lineup greeted him not with a pleasant “hello,” but with middle fingers pointed straight at him. Acceptance would come grudgingly, as fans started to realize that it was Dio who was helping usher in a period of restoration for Sabbath, the 1981 classic, fire-and-brimstone LP Heaven & Hell letting all know that a slumbering heavy-metal giant, wracked by substance abuse, personal problems and creative dissension, had awakened.

The world of metal is still in mourning Dio’s death, having lost one of its most spellbinding voices and imaginative lyricists earlier this year. On July 30, 2009, the Dio-period Sabbath, now christened Heaven & Hell, performed at the famed Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany, still riding high on the warm reception, from fans and critics alike, given their deliciously evil 2008 comeback album The Devil You Know. They had lost none of that old black magic, as the new “Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell” DVD and its companion CD so poignantly bears out.

Time stood still that night as Heaven & Hell, consisting of Dio, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Vinny Appice, bulldozed and bludgeoned its way through a set of well-chosen numbers from their glorious, and somewhat underappreciated, past. From the opening instrumental “E5150,” only on the DVD version, Heaven & Hell crash headlong into the violent brutality of “Mob Rules,” before steering their ship straight into the massive rogue wave of riffs and melodic undertow that is “Children of the Sea,” making it sound as epic and majestic as ever, and coming out the other end on the shores of some distant land as rampaging marauders in an especially mean version of “I.”

It’s a breathless beginning, and it only gets better from there. A punishing “Bible Black” is followed by an even heavier “Time Machine” and their latest crushing missive from the depths of hell, “Fear,” with Dio giving it his all and Iommi roaming his way through a tight, fluid little solo that packs a big punch. All of this is captured in crystal-clear video and rich sound, cameras sweeping over and around the action like fighter jets, providing wide views of both the colorfully lit stage – with a giant fiery cow’s skull above the fray – and the endless throng of people gathered at Wacken to get a glimpse of a band that was not at all ready for the grave. The editing is smooth and seamless, putting to good use the wonderful variety of camera angles to emphasize the band’s still potent musicianship – Appice’s thundering drum solo and the beautifully framed close-ups on Iommi and Butler blazing away are not be taken lightly, especially true with the mesmerizing sonic adventure Iommi takes listeners on prior to the raging “Die Young” – and its flair for the dramatic.

As an epitaph, this is as good as it gets, even if it’s difficult to make out what Dio is saying between songs and you can’t help but miss perhaps the greatest achievement of this Sabbath lineup, “Sign of the Southern Cross.” They make up for it, though, with a soaring “Heaven & Hell” that stampedes to a wonderfully chaotic meltdown.

Choosing between the two, the DVD – and its 13 songs, compared to 11 on CD, both including a nice color booklet with a few photos and a well-written history of Dio’s time with Sabbath – is the way to go here, though the CD is an aurally magnificent recording. Actually seeing onscreen this timeless foursome, still breathing fire, live again and enjoying the moment, is priceless, and 30th anniversary interviews with all four members, conducted by venerable metal media king Eddie Trunk, are full of great behind-the-scenes war stories from the past and the kind of wry humor that always comes as a surprise from four men known for some of the gloomiest, most horrifically doom-laden music ever conceived.

-Peter Lindblad




DVD Review: Jackson Brown "Going Home"

DVD Review: Jackson Brown "Going Home"
Eagle Vision
All Access Review:  B+


In the basement of his house, there are stacks of unopened boxes everywhere. Jackson Browne walks through it in one of the scenes from “Going Home,” saying into a camera he’s always had a place like this in just about every place he’s ever lived – be it a garage or even an otherwise empty living room. Somewhat sheepishly, the legendary artist admits he’s just never been able to figure out what to do with it all, and so there this stuff sits, closed up to the world and a mystery to it owner.

As for Browne, the singer-songwriter is an open book in “Going Home,” a scrapbook of memories and live performance clips – some of it fantastic vintage material – that makes up the recently reissued video biography that the Disney Channel originally broadcast in 1994. A long time in coming, this re-release is a beautifully edited, heartfelt look at the career of one of the most enduring artists to emerge from the Seventies singer-songwriter boom.

The concert material, both from Browne’s glorious past (the rousing closer “Running On Empty”) and his more recent 1990s’ resurgence, is seamlessly and artfully melded together, especially on the classic “Doctor My Eyes,” for a nostalgic and timeless document of his ability to recreate his richest songs in a live setting. A horde of rare home-movie footage, from little pieces of backstage and rehearsal room jams to snippets of private conversation and a piece that shows Browne with Graham Nash and Bonnie Raitt on an airplane talking about the horrors of nuclear waste dumping, fleshes out the tale and reveal much about Browne’s offstage personality. Going further afield, a variety of interviews with David Crosby, David Lindley, Don Henley and others, including Browne himself, dig deeply into Browne’s politics and his artistry. And all of it is pieced together so professionally that it doesn’t feel as fragmented or awkward as it could, which is sometimes the case with such documentaries.

The glue that holds everything together is the richly filmed 23-song concert – featuring cuts like “World in Motion,” “All Along the Watchtower,” “The Pretender,” and a host of others, culled mostly from 1993’s I’m Alive album – from the Nineties that is a simply magical, nuanced performance that speaks to that hauntingly melodic quality that pervades Browne’s best work. Watching Browne and Lindley play “Lives in the Balance” with Crosby and Nash is at first a funny little interlude of friends joking around, but then it grows into something that is particularly moving and inspiring, and the wonderful interplay of vocals is mesmerizing.

What we get from “Going Home” is the good stuff. The bad, in particular the troubling domestic violence episode between Browne and Daryl Hanna that happened around the time of this film, is not addressed here, and perhaps this is not the venue for that sordid affair, though it feels like an opportunity was missed to put that matter into perspective. Still, this is a celebration of Browne the songwriter and the activist, the poet who articulates matters of the heart with great sincerity, humanity and passion, and the friend, the band mate and the performer who is as smart as anybody in the room and an artist of inestimable talent.
-         Peter Lindblad

A Tribute to Ronnie James Dio from Vinny Appice

Famed drummer also unveils new Kill Devil Hill project and reveals what’s in his memorabilia collection


By Peter Lindblad


Tributes for Ronnie James Dio have been pouring in since the iconic heavy metal singer’s death back in May. The sense of loss throughout the metal community is still palpable, and even now, one of his closest friends and musical conspirators can hardly believe he’s gone.

“He was a leader, a father figure, a brother, musician … it was like he was going to live forever,” said Vinny Appice, who served as drummer for Black Sabbath during the Dio years and subsequently followed Dio when the singer left Sabbath in the acrimonious aftermath of Live Evil to form his own project, the hugely successful fantasy-metal outfit Dio.

Sabbath was in a state of flux when Vinny Appice joined the band in 1980. One year earlier, following the unceremonious dismissal of Ozzy Osbourne, Dio was plugged in to replace the legendary wild man as the band’s singer. Beset with personal problems of his own, bassist Geezer Butler exiled himself from Sabbath during the lion’s share of the writing sessions for Heaven and Hell, the band’s first album with Dio, with Geoff Nicholls of Quartz at the ready just in case Butler wasn’t coming back – he would eventually become Sabbath’s keyboardist, however. And then there’s the fuzzy evidence of the involvement of former Elf and Rainbow bassist Craig Gruber in Sabbath during the whole Heaven and Hell period; he left when Butler returned.

As for Appice, he had to fill the shoes of none other than Bill Ward as Sabbath’s drummer in the middle of the band’s tour backing Heaven and Hell. He had to learn the songs on the fly as Sabbath was preparing for a huge outdoor show in Hawaii. As time went on, Appice and Dio grew close, understandable considering their similar East Coast backgrounds.

“We’d always say, ‘I’ll kick you in the ass.’ He’d kick me in the ass onstage. We had the same New York attitude,” said Appice.

On the other hand, Butler and Iommi were British, born and bred. And when arguments erupted over the making of Live Evil, it was Iommi and Butler on one side and the Americans, Appice and Dio, on the other. So, when Dio left Sabbath, it was only natural that Appice would go with him, even though, according to Appice, he didn’t really take sides in the dispute and had gotten along with everybody in Sabbath.
In Dio, Appice saw something special, and it wasn’t just that magnificent voice.

“First of all, it’s just the way he sang, you know,” said Appice, when asked what it was that made Dio such a unique talent. “I’ve never been around anybody who sang like that – just soul and heart, you know. The way he sounded, the sound of his voice, and then he was just totally into his music – totally loved it. And it was just nice to be around somebody so strong. He was a great leader, and just an incredible voice. It made you feel secure. You know, if I stay with this guy, nothing’s going to happen. That’s why his death was a shock. Man, this is one of the strongest persons I’ve ever met in my life. He was a leader, a father figure, a brother, musician … it was like he was going to live forever. Or if he got sick, he’ll beat it. And that’s why it’s a shock. Man, he went down. He had so many qualities. It was so easy to be drawn to him.”

As so many people were, be they fans or fellow musicians who idolized Dio. Not surprisingly, Appice has wonderful memories of his days with Sabbath, Dio and Heaven and Hell. And, as expected, over the years, Appice has accumulated many prized mementos from those halcyon days.

“Obviously, I got gold and platinum records,” said Appice. “And then I got different things that were given to the band, one from Madison Square Garden in 1980 [that marked how the band] sold a million dollars worth of tickets, cool stuff. Years ago, you used to get a lot of swag; there were Black Sabbath bags that only the band had, Black Sabbath robes … it was like that kind of stuff, some old posters, not a lot. And Dio, I got a lot of the same kind of stuff, plaques and different things like that. There are some pictures, but that’s about it. Not a whole bunch of stuff.”

What are the pieces that mean the most to him?
“Well, all the gold records,” says Appice. “So, all the gold records and platinum records; those are priceless."

As has been reported recently, Appice has a new project going called Kill Devil Hill with former Pantera bassist Rex Brown “ … and two unknown guys – Dewey Bragg on vocals and Mark Zavon on guitar. And this stuff kicks butt. Right now it’s called Kill Devil Hill, but we might change the name, so we’re working on that right at this moment and it’ll be out next year. So there’s a lot more stuff coming along.”

And Appice isn’t closing the door on his days with Sabbath’s survivors. “We might continue. Who knows?”

  

DVD Review: The Rolling Stones "Ladies And Gentlemen...The Rolling Stones"

DVD Review:  The Rolling Stones "Ladies And Gentlemen...The Rolling Stones"
Eagle Vision
All Access Review:  A


The shock and horror of Altamont had subsided, and to avoid a tax hell in England, the Rolling Stones had reluctantly taken their rock and roll circus to France. And somehow, in that crumbling palace of sin and dissolution known as Nellcote villa, where Keith Richards lived and did an obscene amount of drugs and parties went deep into the night, as did the occasional recording session, the Stones created a masterpiece, Exile on Main Street.

As the recently released documentary “Stones in Exile” so eloquently illustrates, the hazy, elegantly wasted atmosphere was hardly conducive to focused, intense work. Indeed, the Stones took their own sweet time in finishing the album, and by all rights, considering the environment, Exile on Main Street, a double album of all things, should have been a mess. And it was … but what a glorious mess it was.

Released to lukewarm reviews initially, the fabled Exile … would, as everyone knows, become one of the most revered albums in rock history, but then came the supporting tour. By Mick Jagger’s own admission, the far-flung band, spread out all over France, wasn’t always on its game every night. They could be sloppy and uninspired, but by the time they got to Texas, the Stones had transformed, once again, into the raucous, energized and tight-as-a-corset unit that made them one of rock’s greatest ever live acts.

Filmed over four nights in the Lone Star State in 1972, “Ladies And Gentlemen … The Rolling Stones” was original released theatrically for limited engagements in 1974. Few eyes have seen it since. Hidden from the public for 35 years, “Ladies And Gentlemen … The Rolling Stones” is an absolute treasure, a beautifully shot concert film – the colors rich and dark, and the camera angles varied and placed just right – that captures the Stones at the height of their live prowess. If previous shows on the Exile tour didn’t exactly set the world on fire, the performances here are the work of gleeful arsonists, the Stones blazing from the onset through such spirited numbers as “Brown Sugar” and “Bitch.” 

Cameras hone in on the flashy Jagger as he prances and crows with undisguised enthusiasm for the material, and he never lets up, even when sharing the spotlight with Richards on a rip-roaring, horn-splashed version of “Happy.” And his deliciously mischievous drawl wraps around every word of the acoustically tangled country gold of “Sweet Virginia” and “Dead Flowers” with equal doses of pleasure and pain.

In sharp contrast to Jagger’s attention-grabbing histrionics, Mick Taylor stands in stony silence off to one side, fluidly wringing out guitar leads that curl up and around Richards’ rhythmic stabs like ivy, while drummer Charlie Watts and bassist Bill Wyman set a quick pace for every song, handling their melodic contours with grace and toughness. An absolutely joyous “All Down the Line” chugs into the evil blues of “Midnight Rambler” like a runaway train, and the Stones inject a shot of adrenaline into Chuck Berry’s “Bye Bye Johnny” to name just a few of the many highlights here. And though the absence of the soaring female backing vocals on the recorded version of “Gimme Shelter” might be missed here, the band’s electrically charged performance will make you forget they were ever there. Every song is pure dynamite, the playing dynamic and forceful and Jagger rallying the troops with that trademark herky-jerky vim and vigor is a total delight.

An “Old Grey Whistle Test” interview with Jagger that’s included with the DVD isn’t very interesting, except as a piece of nostalgia from the period. Jagger’s 2010 interview about the film serves as a better companion piece, as do tour rehearsals from Montreux that find the band working through “Shake Your Hips,” “Tumbling Dice” and “Blueberry Jam.”

A deluxe edition box set of “Ladies And Gentlemen … The Rolling Stones” is also out. It includes additional bonus material and memorabilia. But if that’s a little out of your price range, this DVD is an essential historical document all on its own. 
-         Peter Lindblad


CD Review: Rory Gallagher "The Beat Club Sessions"

CD Review: Rory Gallagher "The Beat Club Sessions" 
Eagle Rock / Capo
All Access Review:  B+


No stranger to cameras and lights, Rory Gallagher was a regular on the German TV show “Beat Club” in the early ‘70s, appearing four times over a span of two years, once with his band Taste in 1970 and three others in 1971-72 to showcase material from his brilliant first two solo albums. Listening to The Beat Club Sessions, it’s easy to see why he was asked back time and time again.

From the vaults come 90 minutes of sensational unreleased live material from those shows, all pulled together for this latest testament to Gallagher’s mastery of blues guitar. Intended as a companion piece to the two-DVD “Ghost Blues” package Eagle also released in September that is purported to be the first complete and fully authorized documentary of Gallagher’s life and career, The Beat Club Sessions provides a taste of Gallagher’s inestimable live prowess and a remarkable look at how the Irish guitar gunslinger reinvigorated favorites from his small, but magnificent catalog on stage.

And what a flavorful sampler this is, from the propulsive, double-barreled blast of “Laundromat” and “Hands Up” to intricate and wistful acoustic readings of “Just the Smile” and “I Don’t Know Where I’m Going” – every piece is powerful, beautifully played and joyously articulated. The slow stomp and slide guitar frenzy of “I Could’ve Had Religion” brings to life the ghosts of the Delta blues heroes Gallagher worshipped, and “Used To Be” smolders with intensity, with Gallagher’s slashing solo a stiletto across the neck and his coal-fired band playing with verve and passion, the trio closing the song with a raucous meltdown of pounding drums, thumping bass and soaring six-string magic.

There’s a hard edge to Gallagher’s playing here, and he’s at his sharpest on a dynamic, serrated version of “Messin’ with the Kid” that serves as the live collection’s blistering finale. Handling “Crest of a Wave” with a more melodic touch, Gallagher reveals a less bombastic, more fluid and artful aspect of his instrumental genius. If only the package had more to it.

The liner notes are too short to be sweet and more detailed historical context for Gallagher’s performances on “Beat Club” would have made this essential. Perhaps “Ghost Blues” will fill in the cracks.


-Peter Lindblad

DVD Review: Rush "Classic Albums: 2112 & Moving Pictures"

DVD Review: Rush - "Classic Albums: 2112 and Moving Pictures"
Eagle Vision
All Access Review: B


Perhaps predictably, Rush took a lot of heat for throwing in their lot with Ayn Rand as they did on 1976’s 2112. Her controversial writings were viewed by many as promoting a selfishly individualistic philosophy that sanctioned greed and scoffed at the notion of a common good.

Drummer/lyricist Neil Peart and the rest of Rush looked at Rand and saw something different in works like “Anthem” and “The Fountainhead.” In Rand, they found something of an intellectual freedom fighter, a warrior of strong mental fortitude in the fight against repressive totalitarianism and mind control. What they had, in essence, was an ally.

Influenced by the writings of Rand and those of science fiction writer Samuel R. Delaney as well, Peart constructed for Side 1 of 2112 an epic futuristic tale of a world where technology reigns supreme and art – music especially – is crushed under the heels of priests who knew, implicitly, what was best for the people. And yet, somehow, as told in this latest installment of Eagle Vision’s Classic Albums series, Rush was demonized for it. Critics went so far as to call them right-wing extremists and even Neo-Nazi sympathizers, when all Rush wanted to do was say a little something about staying true to yourself and your artistic vision.

2112 was the epitome of transitional records. On one side, there’s a conceptual suite, at once angry and piercingly loud, but also contemplative and melodic, pieced together in defiance of record company mandates to be more commercial. Once the rebellion had ended in the crashing chaos of “Oracle: The,” which Peart sees as the cavalry coming to save the day, Rush moves on to the shorter, more compact songs – the ones Mercury Records wanted more of, particularly after the weird and incomprehensible Caress of Steel – that make up Side 2.

Exploring the exotic, drug-fueled nature of “A Passage to Bangkok” and the contrasting lightness and dark shadows of imagination in “The Twilight Zone,” the DVD goes into great detail in telling the story of 2112. Peart, guitarist Alex Lifeson and bassist Geddy Lee all end up sharing fascinating memories of the making of 2112, with producer Terry Brown also revealing much about the studio process. Context and insight provided by esteemed music writer David Fricke and Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins flesh out the history of Rush’s break-though record, while Mercury promotions man Cliff Burnstein explains how tough it was for him to sell a conceptual record, or at least half of one, to a label that wanted no part of that.

What feels ham-fisted is how the film segues into Moving Pictures. In a sense, it tries too hard to find a connection between the two landmark records. History has shown that 2112 and Moving Pictures are clearly the most important works in Rush’s catalog, but, maybe due to time constraints or the lack of supporting material, the filmmakers gloss over how the band evolved between those works. And where they artfully lay the foundation and backdrop for 2112, less attention is given to what led up to Moving Pictures, though passing mention is made of Rush’s interest in New Wave and Punk and how that helped inform the record. The Moving Pictures segment is salvaged, however, by the deep, expansive analysis of “Tom Sawyer,” “Limelight,” “YYZ” and “Red Barchetta.”

While “2112 & Moving Pictures Classic Albums” does much to celebrate Rush’s musicianship and the complexity of their compositions, perhaps the film bit off more than it could chew here. Maybe separating the stories behind both records would have made for fuller, richer and more satisfying storytelling. Still, if you’re a Rush fan and these two records are among your favorites, there is much here to enjoy, especially the interviews. Candid, open and refreshingly defiant, Peart, Lifeson and Lee are engaging subjects, and watching them, up close, work through some of the most interesting parts of these great songs on their instruments is an absolute pleasure.

-Peter Lindblad 

Links: 

Riff This! Rock Gods' Guitars Hit Auction Block

KIP WINGER PERSONAL CONCERT USED WARWICK BASS GUITAR

Kip Winger Warwick Bass
The bass guitar that Kip offered up - an authentic Warwick Corvette ProLine - left us speechless.......and we're sure it will make your head spin as well. Ever since the start of the 2002 Summer tour with Poison, Kip has played this very guitar extensively. For eight years, it has been his most trusted sidekick, as is easily evidenced by the countless photos and videos. Better yet, Kip walked off stage with it after the most recent Blackwood Creek show in Denver.

To quote Kip; "Man, this really has been one of my all-time favorites. Originally, it had a green finish but I painted it black right after the tour with Poison. It's been with me ever since and anyone who's been to a Winger show in the last 8 years, here or overseas, has seen me playing it. During the last show, the front pick-up crapped out on me and I intended to have it repaired. But now that it's going in the auction, I'll let the future owner decide what he or she wants to do."

The bass does indeed show the type of wear one would expect from extensive use. There's the usual (minor) dents, scratches and even some missing paint chips but in all fairness, the guitar wouldn't have character without it. And speaking of this particular model - which ranks among the elite in the vast line of Warwick bass guitars - this rather pricey instrument trademarks are its well-balanced attack and starting transient, with a consistently clear deep bass register, a warm gently growling mid-range and pleasant soft highs. The Corvette ProLine's body consists of two pieces of hard, Flamed Maple. A Wenge fingerboard is glued to the five-piece Ovangkol neck, which slots neatly into the body and is secured by four bolts in individual recessed metal bushes. Kip replaced the standard MEC pick-ups with two EMG pick-ups. It has gorgeous gold hardware and comes in the original "Rockbag" soft travel case, which has some light damage across the bottom but is overall in excellent condition.

Warwick basses has endorsed the greatest bass players over the years such as Jack Bruce, John Entwistle, Adam Clayton, Bootsy Collins and Robert Trujullio. It is no surprise to see Kip playing this majestic and exquisite instrument. Kip signed the bass on the back, which makes this without question the single most exclusive and desirable Kip Winger collectibles one could ever own.

Included is a Certificate of Authenticity, signed by Kip Winger.

Auction Link: Lot 1189

MINISTRY AL JOURGENSEN FAMOUS 'BUCK SATAN #1" GUITAR

Al Jourgensen Buck Satan # 1
Each auction has it's 'crown jewels' and as far as the Al Jourgensen collection goes, this very one might just be it. Offered here is Al's infamous "Buck Satan # 1" Ibanez custom made guitar, which he used extensively for touring and recording between 1996 and 2006. This guitar can be seen in many concert photos, as well as in the 'Lay Lady Lay' video.

Equally impressive is the fact that this prototype guitar is only of ONLY two ever made by Ibanez, exclusively for Al Jourgensen. The second one, aptly titled Buck Satan # 2, is also offered in the auction.

The guitar features mother-of-pearl inlay around the entire side of the body, silver hardware, 2 Humbucker pick-ups and 2 tone/ volume knobs.

The E-string is broken but is included in the original guitar case, which further contains a pack of D'Addario string and the original guitar strap. The guitar shows moderate surface wear but is overall in excellent condition.

Not only is this an amazing collectible for guitar collectors - after all, no other Ibanez of this kind is in circulation - but this is also the very first time that Al has offered a guitar from his private collection in public.

You wanted a 'Holy Grail' item.....well, this is it!

Included is a Certificate of Authenticity, signed by Al Jourgensen of Ministry.

Auction Link:  Lot 1026

MINISTRY AL JOURGENSEN RARE 'BUCK SATAN # 2" GUITAR

Al Jourgensen Buck Satan # 2
Equally rare as its bigger brother - the Buck Satan # 1 - is this amazingly stunning and flat-out super-cool 'Buck Satan # 2' guitar, which was exclusively designed as a prototype for Al Jourgensen by Ibanez.

Al passionately loved this guitar and used it extensively on the road. It was used between 1996 and 2006 on tours such as 'Sphinc Tour' (1996), 'Clitour-US' (1999), 'Evil Doer Tour' (2004) and the 'Masterba-Tour' (2006).

The guitar features mother-of-pearl inlay around the entire side of the body, silver hardware, 2 Humbucker pick-ups and 2 tone/ volume knobs. It comes in the original case and shows moderate surface wear from stage and studio use. Overall however, this true museum piece is in excellent condition.

Not only is this an amazing collectible for guitar collectors - after all, no other Ibanez of this kind is in circulation - but this is also the very first time that Al has offered a guitar from his private collection in public. Will you be one of the very, very lucky few?

Included is a Certificate of Authenticity, signed by Al Jourgensen of Ministry.

Item Link: Lot 1027

ANDY LAROCQUE KING DIAMOND ALBUM USED GUITAR

Andy Larocque Guitar
Known for his signature guitar style of incorporating neoclassical elements into his playing, Andy LaRocque career began in the early days of the N.W.O.B.H.M. as the lead guitarist for metal horror band King Diamond, with whom he has been a member since 1985.

In addition to over two decades of touring and sharing stages around the world with Metal's most outstanding musicians, Andy has produced and engineered top metal bands like Falconer and Evergrey. Bands like Death, At The Gates, In Flames and Dimmu Borgir have called upon Andy as a guest musician to deliver a dose of fierce, lightning fast, heavy guitar. His peerless and influential playing style is admired by so many and without a doubt has earned him a place in the immortal ranks of heavy metal's finest!

Andy is also a Grammy nominated artist for the song "Never Ending Hill" from the King Diamond album "Give me Your Soul...Please" (2007).

Featured here is a most remarkable guitar that will appeal to King Diamond fans, as well as guitar aficionados; Andy's very own Caparison TAT II, which was used during the recording of "Give Me Your Soul....Please".

Caparison Guitars is a Japan-based manufacturer of high-end custom shop electric guitars and endorses a growing numbers of top guitarists and "shredders". The TAT II is an arch top 'Soloist' type guitar that features neck-thru maple construction, 24-fret ebony fingerboard with abalone inlays, alder body wings, Schaller bridge, bound neck & headstock, and a unique one-of-a-kind ' Eastern Red Sunset' finish. The TAT II has a custom made Humbucker (Caparison) and 2 single coil pick-ups with a push/push coil tap switch. This along with the 3-way toggle gives you six distinct tones. Even unplugged, the guitar sounds very loud!

Andy received this guitar from the owner of Caparison in 2002 and will include the personal letter and original documents. Most recently, Andy used the guitar for composing some of the upcoming King Diamond material.

In all, this is a top-tier instrument with great history and provenance. The guitar will be shipped directly from Andy's recording studio in Sweden.

Included is a Certificate of Authenticity, signed by Andy LaRocque.

Auction Link: Lot 1234

JOHN 5 CONCERT USED & SIGNED BROKEN GUITAR WITH CAST

John 5 Fender Telecaster & Foot Cast
Pete Townsend started it, Paul Stanley perfected it and John 5 has taken it to a new level! Yup, we're talking about the art of smashing guitars. Where Townshend's were unpredictable and spontaneous, Stanley's were highly choreographed and intended as a fan souvenir. Our man John 5 however doesn't simply smash his guitar....he beats the living daylight out of it with the same aggression, passion and madness he bends his strings and shreds his way through the night.

During several shows on the summer 2010 tour, Rob Zombie would challenge John 5 to a bet, with the livelihood of his guitar at stake. John would lose the bet and consequently smash it, much to the joy of the audience (and Rob). Now, before y'all get carried away, John wouldn't smash his own J5 Fender Telecaster but would instead reach for the more economically priced Squier model.

Since pitching a broken guitar (or parts thereof) into the audience has because a bit hazardous (people do get injured in the fights that break out over getting a piece of it), John would instead toss the scraps to his tech and that was pretty much the end of it. On rare occasions the body or neck would stay somewhat intact and the few that survived were offered by John to his fans.

However, he saved a special one for a special event and that's what we have up for grabs in this fantastic lot. On the eve of the August 3, 2010 show in Raleigh, North Carolina, John broke his foot and initially feared that he wouldn't be able to do the show. A quick trip to the hospital and a cast later, John was good to go. For John 5 fans you know that "taking it easy on stage" would prove to be a challenge, but he managed to do the full show, including the "smashing of the guitar", which is the one featured here. The guitar is broken in several places but is complete and was signed by John on the chrome pick guard.

Agreed, this by itself would be a prestigious memento for any collector. After all, John 5 is one of today's absolute premier guitar players; period! Owning one of his very few 'battle axes' is plenty reason to draw envy and admiration but why stop here? To make this lot unparalleled, John has added the cast for his broken foot that he got prior to the Raleigh show and supported him for the remainder of the tour. The cast too has been signed.

Whether you're a John 5 admirer or a guitar aficionado, you're not going to find anything like this ever again. Talk 'bout a true one-of-a-kind item....it doesn't get any more authentic than this!

Auction Link:  Lot 1241

PANTERA FULLY SIGNED DIMEBAG WASHBURN GUITAR

Pantera Fully Signed Guitar
If there ever was a 'Holy Grail' Pantera collectible, then it is this amazing, fully-signed Washburn 'Dime Slime' guitar! Out of appreciation for all the years of hard work, support and tremendous successes, all four Pantera band members signed this killer Dimebag signature model Washburn guitar for their manager Walter O'Brien back in 1998.

The signatures read;

* Dimebag; "To Waltino O.B.! Light It Up, Watch It Go, But Don't Make Me Hot. Ya' Boy, Dimebag, CFH '98"
* Rex: "Walt - Here's To Good Times, Love Bro - Rex"
* Phil: "Walt, May We All Die In The South (O.K., Not Really!) P.'98"
* Vinnie: "Thanks For Everything!! Vinnie Paul 1998 X"

The guitar (serial # S97117040) is in absolute mint condition and comes complete with a Dimebag guitar pick, a Dimebag signature guitar strap, a sealed pack of 12 Dimebag signature guitar picks in the original packaging and a brand new 'Dime Cry Baby From Hell" wah pedal (in the original box, complete with inserts).

Also included is a clear display case (with black backing), which measures 50 x 20 x 7 inches. The case is optional as its significant weight will ass substantially to the cost of shipping.

All together, you'll be hard pressed to find a more prestigious Pantera collectible than this!!

Included is a Certificate of Authenticity, signed by former Pantera manager Walter O'Brien.

Auction Link: Lot 1140

MINISTRY AL JOURGENSEN CUSTOM 'COFFIN' SCHECHTER GUITAR

Al Jourgensen Coffin Guitar 
Designed by Al Jourgensen himself, Schechter guitars made a half-dozen 'Coffin' guitars exclusively for the 2008 Final World Tour (also known as the C-U-LaTour). The guitars were made in three colors; black (of course), white and cherry red.

Al took the black and red guitars on the road with him, leaving the red one back in El Paso for studio work. The cherry red guitar as featured in this lot was used by Al for recordings over the past 2 years. Judging from the height of the bridge - which is slightly elevated - Al most recently used it for "slide" work.

The guitar, which is also signed by Al on the back, has gold hardware, mother-of-pearl inlays and Gibson 500T Humbucker pick-ups. It comes in the original case and is in pristine condition.

Al's gracious decision to offer one of his only six in existence beloved 'Coffins' to the public, which makes this one of the most prestigious Ministry collectibles to own. Naturally, for guitar aficionados this guitar is equally thrilling, knowing that you will own this high-end piece of art, of which only two in this color were ever made....and only one will ever belong to anyone else than Al Jourgensen.

Included is a Certificate of Authenticity, signed by Al Jourgensen of Ministry.

Auction Link: Lot 1029

The Rock Gods 'n Metal Monsters Auction also features additional instruments and gear, including artist used keyboards, speakers, mic stands, drums and complete drum kits, percussion items, flight cases and more. Check out the complete collection of auction items in the Instruments & Equipment category at Backstage Auctions.

Auction ends on Sunday, November 7th. Rock on Over to the Auction Tab and register for your VIP All Access Pass. 

Over 200 Sealed NWOBHM Records Head to Auction

The Rock Gods 'n Metal Monsters auction is offering more than 200 sealed records from illustrious record labels such as Neat Records and Heavy Metal Records in its Rock Gods and Metal Monsters Auction, which ends Nov. 7, 2010.

“At the 11th hour, we received an incredible collection of sealed — early 1980s — heavy metal albums that is so impressive, it is sure to spin some heads,” said Backstage Auctions founder and president Jacques van Gool. “We’ve got sealed albums from some of the most notable metal lables of the past few decades, including Neat Records, Roadrunner, Metal Blade, Shrapnel, Heavy Metal Records and Enigma, among others — which are a goldmine for the true metal music collector.”

Good- condition vinyl is selling for record prices, and the growing demand easily outranks the supply. As such, Backstage Auctions was elated when it received this truly “last-minute” consignment from a now-defunct import record distributor in Asia, which consigned more than 200 of these elusive gems, highlighted by the fact that each and every copy is still sealed. Once metal icons such as Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Judas Priest and Def Leppard had kicked the doors wide open to the glorious days of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, small and independent record companies mushroomed across Europe and America, giving birth to legendary labels such as Neat Records, Heavy Metal Records, Killerwatt, Roadrunner, Metal Blade, Megaforce and Shrapnel. The legions of metal fans around the globe were so vast and hungry that — weekly — literally dozens of new releases were pressed and distributed to thousands of records stores.

Few things back in the early 1980s were as exciting as rushing home with the newest Neat Records release, just to hear what the next New Wave Of British Heavy Metal band had to offer.

“Even for the most seasoned metal collector, this treasure chest of records contains an unmatched depth of obscure titles,” van Gool said. “Truth to be told, I would have the hardest time to decide what to do with any of these records — keep them sealed or set ‘em free and soak up the sounds that defined the ’80s. And yes, those sounds royally ticked off our suffering neighbors downstairs. I vividly remember how much my parents resented my Friday afternoon return from my local record shop, armed with a bag full of fresh metal, ready for another weekend of headbanging and air-guitar. I suppose I learned early on that the more your parents hated it, the better the album probably was.”

In addition to precious discs by Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Ozzy Osbourne, KISS, Judas Priest and Saxon, the collection is loaded with exceptionally rare releases from historic labels such as Neat Records (18 titles), Roadrunner (28 titles), Heavy Metal Records (12 titles) and Metal Blade (15 titles), featuring illustrious names such as Venom, Jaguar, Tygers of Pan Tang, Angel Witch, Cirith Ungol, Bitch, The Rods, Raven, Pandemonium, Armored Saint, Tysondog, Anvil, Trouble, Blitzkrieg, Battleaxe, Tokyo Blade, Chastain, Mad Max, Fates Warning, Avenger and War Machine.

The complete auction catalog showcases amazing pieces direct from the private collections of Al Jourgensen (Ministry); Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Ozzy, Whitesnake, Dio); Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Alcatrazz, Impellitteri); Scott Rockenfeld (Queensryche); Kip Winger (Winger); Bobby Rondinelli (Black Sabbath, Aerosmith); Andy Laroque (King Diamond); John 5 (Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson); and Walter O’Brien (Concrete Management).

Whether you’re in the market for a smashed John 5 guitar, vintage concert photos of KISS, Black Sabbath or AC/DC, original art by Marilyn Manson, RIAA record awards or Ministry master recording reels, this auction has just about everything to get a metal fan or collector excited.

 Lots include rare artist-signed collectibles, recordings, concert photos and negatives, original artwork, promotional and concert posters, record awards, backstage passes, promotional merchandise, stage gear, artist-worn apparel, drumsticks, exclusive ephemera, tour books and some really cool road cases.

For more details on the more than 500 lots featured in this auction simply click on the AUCTION tab at the top or click here: Rock Gods 'n Metal Monsters Auction.

This article was written and originally posted by Goldmine Magazine. 

Andy LaRocque - All Aboard the Sonic Train

Andy LaRocque

Andy's career began in the early days of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal when he played guitar along side Bengt Fischer in EF Band. Andy is most famously known for his fast, distinct and melodic sound as the lead guitarist for the legendary metal horror band King Diamond, with whom he has been a member since 1985.

In addition to over two decades of touring and sharing stages around the world with Metal's most outstanding musicians, LaRocque has played as a guest musician with At The Gates, In Flames and Dimmu Borgir, delivering a dose of fierce, lightning fast, heavy guitar.

When he is not playing, Andy also produces metal masterpieces at his Sonic Train Studios in Sweden. He has produced hundreds of tracks for bands such as Falconer, Evergrey, Trident, In Flames, King Diamond, Ancient and more, but the list would not be complete without mentioning Dragonland, Witchery and Deathwitch.

But it' his peerless and influential playing style that is admired by so many and without a doubt has earned him a place in the immortal ranks of heavy metal's finest!

LaRocque has put one of his most prized possessions in the auction, his very own Caparison TAT II, which was used during the recording of the Grammy nominated album "Give Me Your Soul...Please". Andy received this guitar from the owner of Caparison in 2002 and will include the personal letter and original documents. Most recently, he also used the guitar for composing some of the upcoming King Diamond material.

In all, this is a top-tier instrument with great history and provenance. The guitar will be shipped directly from Andy's recording studio in Sweden.

The auction event, aptly titled the "Rock Gods and Metal Monsters Auction", is a not-to-miss opportunity for fans and collectors around the world to own an authentic piece of one of the most significant genres of music history.

The auction, which will be held on-line at www.backstageauctions.com starts on October 31, 2010 and will run through November 7, 2010. A special preview of the entire auction catalog is available now for viewing.

Artist Links:
Andy Larocque Official Website
Sonic Train Studios

Marilyn Manson's "Grey Daisy" Original Artwork Hits the Auction Block

Marilyn Manson is known for many things: his music, his controversial persona and his artwork. He is less known for his painting, though, to which he has been devoting himself for many years, sometimes exclusively and over long periods of time and without making music. His watercolors are very emotional and gentle in a formal way, which stands in sharp contrast to the themes and motifs they deal with: grief, loss, despair, self-alienation enhanced by pain, but also self-discovery through agony.

The "Grey Daisy" was unveiled in Manson's first art exhibit, The Golden Age of Grotesque, held September of 2002 in Los Angeles. Among the invited guests on the opening night were Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea with singer Tobey Torres, Korn drummer David Silveria, Dave Navarro, Johnny Ramone, Charles Fleischer, Carrie and Chris Vrenna, Puddle of Mudd guitarist Paul Phillips, Nicolas Cage with Lisa Marie Presley, Andy Dick and Crispin Glover. Ozzy Osbourne's son Jack was there with his MTV camera crew in tow.

Manson sold several of his paintings the first night, notably the "Harlequin Jack and the Absinthe Bunny" which was purchased by Jack Osbourne. Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea picked up "Elizabeth Short as Snow White" and the "Grey Daisy" was acquired by a private collector.

Since his first show, Manson's paintings have become increasingly popular and highly desirable by contemporary art collectors around world. In 2007, Manson's original "Die Deutsche Kampferin" was purchased by a private collector for $105,000. Phillips du Pury & Company auction house sold one of Manson's originals in an auction late last year, yielding a realized price of nearly $50,000.00.

In a MTV news feature Manson had this to say about the Grey Daisy. "Someone said, 'why don't you ever paint something nice like a flower?' so I painted one, but I ended up using only the dirty water from another painting. If I wasn't me, I would probably want this one. The "Grey Daisy" was Manson's first "nice" painting.

In 2006, following the untimely death of legend Dimebag Darrell Abbott, curator Curse Mackey commissioned Marilyn Manson as well as over 50 other musicians to contribute custom hand-painted Dean ML guitars to create a touring art exhibition tentatively titled, Six String Masterpieces which toured alongside American music festivals Ozzfest and Family Values. Manson's contribution was a watercolor-esque stained Dean ML that paid homage to Manson's painting "Grey Daisy" painted in acrylics. This piece was sold at auction for $6,250.00 with the proceeds going to support the Little Kids Rock organization.

The "Grey Daisy" is widely recognized as one of Manson's most documented original artworks. This piece of contemporary art will certainly appeal not only to far reaching Marilyn Manson art fans, but to the contemporary art collectors as well.

The "Grey Daisy" is currently showcased in "The Gods 'n Metal Monsters Auction", which also features the personal collections Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Ozzy, Whitesnake, Dio), Kip Winger (Winger), Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche), Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Alcatrazz, Impellitteri), Bobby Rondinelli (Black Sabbath, Aerosmith), John 5 (Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson) and Walter O'Brien (Concrete Management, Co-Founder), just to name a few. "When we designed the hard rock and heavy metal themed auction, we really tried to build an event that was not only unique but give fans and collectors access to pieces of rock history that were equally rare and one of kind and we have definitely achieved that goal," says van Gool.

The auction will showcase over 500 exceptionally rare pieces of rock memorabilia,  including over 50 gold and platinum records awards, an awesome selection of artist used guitars, stage props, drums, artist stage worn apparel, master recordings, rare concert posters and original photos, promo vinyl and loads more!

The entire auction catalog can be view online at Backstage Auctions. Bidding opens up on Sunday, October 31st and the auction will close on November 7th, 2020. 









Bobby Rondinelli - The Strong Arm of Rock

Bobby Rondinelli

Rondinelli is not only a true New Yorker but a guy that has been beating the drums since he was 11 years old.  He is best known for his work with hard rock / heavy metal bands Blue Oyster Cult, Rainbow, Quiet Riot and Black Sabbath.

A few interesting facts about Rondinelli that people may not know is that Rondinelli was on the short list for replacing Peter Criss of Kiss in 1980. There were hundreds of drummers that auditioned for the spot but in the end it came down to Rondinelli and Eric Carr. The spot obviously went to Carr but Rondinelli already had a Plan B - which was joining Rainbow at the request of Ritchie Blackmore. 

Aerosmith Tour Used Maracas
Another interesting Rondinelli factoid is during the Aerosmith '82 - '83 tour "Rock in a Hard Place", Rondinelli temporarily replaced Joey Kramer while Kramer was recovering from a health issue.  Years after his gig with Aerosmith, Rondinelli cleaned out his road cases and came across a pair of maracas used during the tour by Tyler. Rumba shakers have been used by Tyler ever since the late 1970s and are most recognizable in "Sweet Emotion". The maracas / rumba shakers, which he considers to be a treasure from one of the most memorable times in his legendary career, are featured in the auction.

Rondinelli has quite a few personal treasures featured in the auction including a pair of signed sticks and a cymbal used during his time with Black Sabbath, a signed cymbal from his Blue Oyster Cult days and he has even put his personal drum kit in the auction that was used on tour and in the official "Cross Purposes" Black Sabbath live video.

The auction event, aptly titled the "Rock Gods and Metal Monsters Auction", is a not-to-miss opportunity for fans and collectors around the world to own an authentic piece of one of the most significant genres of music history. The auction, which will be held on-line at www.backstageauctions.com starts on October 31, 2010 and will run through November 7, 2010. A special preview of the entire auction catalog is available now for viewing.

Artist Links
Bobby Rondinelli Official Myspace Page

Scott Rockenfield – The Rise from the Dungeon

Scott Rockenfield

Rockenfield began playing the drums at age 12. With no formal lessons, he simply taught himself to play by listening to bands such as KISS, RUSH, Van Halen, etc. He and some friends from high school formed Queensryche in 1980 and from the basement of the Rockenfields' home, nicknamed "the Dungeon"; the boys dedicated themselves to endless hours of writing, practicing and recording. Then in 1983 they released their first self-titled 4 song EP, featuring the epic 'Queen of the Reich'. This launched their career and resulted in securing a deal with EMI/Capital. They continued to use "the Dungeon" all the way up until 1995 when 'Promised Land' was being finished. Now 28 years later, Queensryche is still selling out shows and doing what they love to do best, play! And "the Dungeon" remains intact still to this day.

Scott has placed some amazing pieces with Backstage Auctions, all to be featured in the Rock Gods 'n Metal Monsters Auction; including a pair of personally used gloves (signed of course), a Zildjian gong sheet and 5 drum kits - even one from the 2010 official Queensryche tour.

BUT WAIT.....If that wasn't enough to get you excited, the winning bidder on each of the 5 drum kits up for auction will be personally invited by Scott Rockenfield as a VIP during the current Queensryche tour. You will be treated to a VIP meet & greet and even better, you get to sit in during the sound check and receive some personal tutoring while you're working with Scott to get the sound right for that evening!!

This VIP offer is valid through 2011. In the event you can't make it to a Queensryche show, Scott will alternatively schedule a personal phone call with you to talk about this magnificent drum kit, provide some tips and suggestions and answer all your questions. Seriously! Now that ROCKS!

The auction event, aptly titled the "Rock Gods and Metal Monsters Auction", is a not-to-miss opportunity for fans and collectors around the world to own an authentic piece of one of the most significant genres of music history. The auction, which will be held on-line at Backstage Auctions starts on October 31, 2010 and will run through November 7, 2010.

A special preview of the entire auction catalog is available now at www.backstageauctions.com

Artist Links: 
Twitter   


Rudy Sarzo - A Man with a Story to Tell

Rudy Sarzo

For over 25 years Rudy has been playing bass and recording hits with Ozzy, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Dio and Blue Oyster Cult, just to name a few. In the early 80s he was a member of Ozzy Osbourne's band, playing alongside the legendary Randy Rhoads and then later with Quiet Riot. Moving into the late 80s, Rudy landed a spot with Whitesnake, where he remained until the mid 90s and then in 1997 reunited with Quiet Riot. In 2004 he became a member of Dio and also plays with Blue Oyster Cult when his schedule permits.

His recordings with all of these artists combined have sold over 30 million copies and when you add up all the tours and videos he did to support those albums it's no wonder that Sarzo's career as a bass player, earned him the reputation of an accomplished musician. Sarzo is also involved with the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp as a camp counselor and can be seen on the new reality show currently featured on VH1 Classic.

Rudy's latest project, "Off The Rails: Aboard the Crazy Train in the Blizzard of Ozz" is his personal account of his friendship on and off the road with Randy Rhoades and Ozzy Osbourne.

Sarzo has put several iconic pieces in the Rock Gods 'n Metal Monsters Auction from the Whitesnake and Dio era. One of the pieces is a denim jacket that he wore on stage and in various official videos while playing with Whitesnake and another rock relic is a studded cross shirt that he wore while performing with Dio. Both of these items are very well documented and photographed. All of Rudy's items can be easily found in the auction by doing a quick search of the auction catalog.

'87 - '88 Whitesnake Era
The auction event, aptly titled the "Rock Gods and Metal Monsters Auction", is a not-to-miss opportunity for fans and collectors around the world to own an authentic piece of one of the most significant genres of music history. The auction, which will be held on-line at www.backstageauctions.com starts on October 31, 2010 and will run through November 7, 2010. A special preview of the entire auction catalog is available now for viewing.

Artist Links
Rudy Sarzo Official Website 
Facebook
Myspace

Graham Bonnet - The James Dean of Rock

Graham Bonnet

Like most English-born musicians, Bonnet was influenced by The Beatles. And his interest in the blues was heavily influenced by legendary singers Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly. Graham's first single with The Marbles found great success in the UK and in 1977 he cut his first solo album.

In 1979 he auditioned for the frontman position in Rainbow. With his James Dean image, the choice of Bonnet to replace Ronnie James Dio was subject to some questions. However, once the band heard Bonnet sing it they knew they had their man. They recorded The Down to Earth album, which was one of Rainbows most successful albums.

He moved on from Rainbow in the early 80s to work on his solo career. He also played with Michael Schenker Group, recorded several albums with Alcatrazz and did a short stint with Impellitteri.

Graham has put a few of his personal rock relics in the Rock Gods and Metal Monsters Auction that he has held onto for years until now. There are a few vinyl lots featuring Alcatrazz, Rainbow and Graham Bonnet (solo works). But if you are looking for the rare and unusual, you are in for a treat.

Graham Bonnet's "prison" Shirt
In 1983, Alcatrazz shot a music video for their song "Island in The Sun" (off of their No Parole for Rock 'n Roll album) which aired heavily on MTV. The video featured all 5 members of the band locked up and incarcerated in….(wait for it)… Alcatraz. The shirt that Graham wore in the "Island in The Sun" video is featured in the auction.  Now, how cool would it be to own this shirt.

video


Graham has other iconic and historical pieces of rock and roll attire featured in the auction, all of which are well documented and photographed throughout his career.

The auction event, aptly titled the “Rock Gods and Metal Monsters Auction”, is a not-to-miss opportunity for fans and collectors around the world to own an authentic piece of one of the most significant genres of music history. The auction, which will be held on-line at Backstage Auctions starts on October 31, 2010 and will run through November 7, 2010.

A special preview of the entire auction catalog is available now at www.backstageauctions.com

Artist Links: 

Kip Winger - No Boundaries

Ghosts - recording session

The multi-platinum recording artist, may be know best for his success with Winger and his early days as a bass player with Alice Cooper has also performed or recorded with Mark Farner, Roger Daltrey, Neal Schon and Bob Dylan. His passion for music however is most evident in his solo albums.

What you may not know about Kip, is that besides being a phenomenal "rock" musician he also composes orchestral pieces. His most recent composition, Ghosts, was choreographed as a ballet and most recently performed at the Opera House in San Francisco. In an interview with Noisecreep, Kip explained "rock is my day gig, and I'm a phantom composer by night." 

Kip's Warwick Bass
Kip has offered up an impressive array of highly personal items, for The Rock Gods 'n Metal Monsters Auction. But most notably is his Warwick bass guitar. Ever since the start of the 2002 summer tour with Poison, Kip played this very guitar extensively. For the last eight years, it has been his most trusted sidekick, as is easily evidenced by the countless photos and videos. Better yet, Kip walked off stage with it after the most recent Blackwood Creek show in Denver.

To quote Kip; "Man, this really has been one of my all-time favorites. Originally, it had a green finish but I painted it black right after the tour with Poison. It's been with me ever since and anyone who's been to a Winger show in the last 8 years, here or overseas, has seen me playing it. During the last show, the front pick-up crapped out on me and I intended to have it repaired. But now that it's going in the auction, I'll let the future owner decide what he or she wants to do."
Madalaine - Handwritten Lyrics

In addition to touring with Winger and as a solo artist, composing classical music pieces and his gig as a camp counselor for the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, Kip's passion and love for music knows no boundaries.

Whether you collect instruments, handwritten lyrics, personal items, vinyl or signed pieces, Kip's collection has something for everyone in the auction and can be viewed in the auction section of Backstage Auctions under the Winger category. 

The auction event, aptly titled the “Rock Gods and Metal Monsters Auction”, is a not-to-miss opportunity for fans and collectors around the world to own an authentic piece of one of the most significant genres of music history. The auction, which will be held on-line at www.backstageauctions.com starts on October 31, 2010 and will run through November 7, 2010. A special preview of the entire auction catalog will be available to view beginning Sunday, October 24.


Artist Links: