STRIKTLY FOR KONNISSUERS 08-28-00

”There are three essential Commandments:

·        Respect The Elders.

·        Embrace The New.

·        Encourage The Impractical and Improbable, Without Bias.

-David Fricke”

Official Nonsense:

·        Editor and This - Kurt Torster

That:

·        Carrie Borzillo (All Star Daily News)

·        Marty Dodge (http://www.lupusandco.com)

·        Jason Grubbs

·        Tim Henderson (Brave Words)

·        Martin Hennessy III (80's Nuts)

·        Ian McIntosh (AOR Basement)

·        Mark Orsted (Heavens Smiling)

·        Dave Reynolds

·        Alex Richter (Hard N' Fast)

·        George Thatcher (Heart Of Rock)

·        Mike Waugh

All e-mail should be directed to ktorster@yahoo.com.

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Bloomfield, NJ 07003 USA

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Kurt's Krap:

Please know that the email address and website address over at Mindspring are no longer in service. My email address is ktorster@yahoo.com and the web address is http://sfkrock.web.com. Make a note!

Oopsies…last week I gave out the wrong web address for Michael Jahnz. This is the correct one.

Here’s an independent AOR artist’s perspective on Napster, as posted by John Taglieri to the AOR Mafia mailing list: “Metallica didn't start this because of royalties. It escalated to that. But what sparked the whole thing was the fact that their brand new album, that they had just completed and was still 6 weeks away from being released, was leaked onto Napster by someone at the studio and there were several million downloads of all the tracks. They never even had a chance to release the album and it was saturated already. As a performer, this would piss me off too. Metallica has always been for taping their concerts and has never had a problem with bootlegs...it's stuff that isn't for standard retail. But I have to agree that having their whole album downloaded for free 6 weeks before release is a bit annoying and it was wrong no matter how you look at it. That’s what started this whole thing.

How about this scenario...you have a regular day job and make decent money...well enough that you don't have to worry about paying your bills each month. Well then one day your boss says..."we think you should work the next 6 weeks for no pay, because we have others in the company who make less than you." That's what the music fans are saying..."We don’t make enough to buy all the cd's we want and well, Metallica can afford to give up royalties" Fuck that. No one can afford to give away what they create. I am all for promotion and I have given away my share of my tracks, But there's no way i'll give away the whole CD to everyone...it would be the last CD I’ll ever be able to afford to make. Do you know what it cost me to make a CD? If fans don’t care about the artists and have such a freakin' hard on for the major labels, realize that the artists aren't making anywhere near what the labels and the rest of the industry are...why do you think they tour so damn much...it's the only real money they make.

Metallica started this because they got robbed of being allowed to debut their new material their way. That's wrong and no one can say otherwise.”

News Bytes:

Producer Kevin Shirley has said that Journey’s Arrival” will now not be out until February of next year. I have also heard this is a hoax and that the release date is officially October 24. I can only hope as I've heard 12 tracks from the album and they all sound great.

Frankie Sullivan and Survivor have lost their bid to block CBS and TVT from using the band’s trademarked name on the soundtrack for the Survivor television show. Says Frankie, It's unfortunate that after 23 years of building, promoting and protecting the name of our band, someone can suddenly come along and release a recording that uses our name and take away everything we have worked for. This isn't a band. This is my life and this is my livelihood.”

Says Jon Bon Jovi on the current Oasis/Gallagher brothers feud: “the press should not pay any attention to them. Take it away and see how quickly they go into a room and make-up. Tell them nobody cared anymore, go play the pub, you’re done – just watch what happens. Then you realize they're just being spoiled brats. They're two talented guys and I buy their records. But someone needs to tell them to get in a room and pretend for a moment that none of this existed. What would they do, pump gas?”

Benny Mardones and Robert Tepper have started writing together for Benny’s next album.

David Coverdale’s Into The Light” is strictly a solo affair according to Coverdale, shedding the Whitesnake moniker and “putting his past glories behind him”. As for opinions on John Kalodner and John Skyes, "that was a Kalodner dream. John started a retro label (Portrait) and good luck to him, and good luck to all the bands of the '80s that he's got, but I said to him, 'John, you should know I don't go back.' I mean, how many versions of 'Still Of The Night' do you want? It's not interesting for me to do that. Writing to suit an image or an identity is not for me. I just want to write. If I write something that sounds a little country and western and I like it, I can put it out under my own name. If I play a concert I can do Deep Purple songs, I can play Whitesnake, Coverdale/Page, whatever. As Whitesnake I have a responsibility to play only Whitesnake songs. That's what people come for hundreds of miles in all weather to hear. I don't want to play fucking Britney Spears songs, but under my own name I can do anything."

Sir Elton John will be performing two concerts in Madison Square Garden next month, which will be recorded for his next CD/DVD release, “Greatest Hits Live”.

September 14, Radio City Music Hall in New York will be home to a fund raising concert for the Democratic National Convention, which will feature Bon Jovi, Lenny Kravitz and Don Henley, among others.

Catch Dokken on a live cybercast at the House Of Blues website.

Look for a Megadeth to release a best of collection as their next album to fulfill their Capitol obligations.

The next Velocity album should be titled “Universal”. You can sample a new song, “Stay”, at the band’s website.

Here’s the tracklisting for the new Foreigner Juke Box Heroes” anthology: Feels Like The First Time; Long Way From Home; Cold As Ice; Headknocker; Starrider; At War With The World; Double Vision; Blue Morning Blue Day; Hot Blooded; I Have Waited So Long; Dirty White Boy; Head Games; Women; Rev On The Red Line; Break It Up; Juke Box Hero; Luanne; Urgent; Waiting For A Girl Like You; All Sewn Up; The Hoofer; I Want To Know What Love Is; Down On Love; Street Thunder;  Reaction To Action; That Was Yesterday; Ready Or Not; Midnight Blue; Head Turns To Stone; I Don’t Want To Live Without You; Say You Will; Can't Wait; Just Wanna Hold; Everything That Comes Around; Just Between You And Me; Lowdown And Dirty; Soul Doctor; Until The End Of Time; Under The Gun.

Ex-Ten keyboardist Ged Rylands joined Heartland.

Look for a new album from the Little River Band, their first in twelve years. The album will include two bonus tracks of new arrangements of “Night Owls” and “Cool Change”.

The first single from Sammy Hagar’s upcoming “Ten13” will be “Serious Juju”.

Scattered, Covered And Smothered” is the title for the upcoming Hootie & The Blowfish rarities disc. Featuring fifteen songs, five of which will be fan picked, they comprised of live tracks, B-sides and unreleased demos.

The tracklisting for the upcoming Rick Springfield Behind The Music Collection” (another best of): Jessie's Girl, I've Done Everything For You, Love Is Alright Tonite, Don't Talk To Strangers, What Kind Of Fool Am I, I Get Excited, Calling All Girls, Affair Of The Heart, Human Touch, Souls, Living In Oz, Love Somebody, Don't Walk Away, Bop 'Til You Drop, Celebrate Youth, Lio (previously unreleased), State Of The Heart, Rock Of Life.

Capitol will release “The Very Best Of Badfinger” on September 12.

U2’s next album now has the title “All That You Can’t Leave Behind”. Look for an October 31 release. I just got a copy of their fanclub only live disc “Hasta La Vista Baby!”. It’s rather excellent.

Over at Catchy Hooks, some of the latest reviews: TEN - Babylon, T´BELL – Replay, UNION 3 - Frontiers Records, CLOCKWISE - Time is waiting, COPPER TREE - Left of Somewhere, JOE LYNN TURNER - Holy Man, BROKE-N-BLUE - S/T, VICK LECAR - S/T (better than JOLT?), HAREM, ROB HALFORD + many more.

AOR Heaven is saying that they will have the new album from Mitch Malloy within the next month, which is said to have the sound and vibe of his awesome debut.

Near Life Experience has two new members. Craig Nunenmacher and Jeff "Okie" Okoneski have left NLE for other ventures. The new members are Dennis Papaleo on drums and Paul Starnes on bass. More info can be found at their website.

If I Am” will be the second single from Nine Days’ The Maddening Crowd”.

Asia will release a new album, “Aura”, on October 4. Joining Geoff Downes will be vocalist John Payne, guitarist Ian Crichton (of Saga) and drummer Chris Slade. Guests include Steve Howe, Brian May, Steve Luthaker, Simon Phillips and Pat Thrall.

Rainmaker, featuring guitarist Tommy Denander, bassist Tony Franklin and vocalist Geir Ronning, release their debut album on Z on October 2. Tracks include: Rainmaker, Father Of Your Sins, Nancy Hold On, Kay, Seriously, Sound Of My Heart, Going Insane, Blood Brother Run, Passion Again, Bad Call and King Of Fools.

The next album from Newman, Dance In The Fire”, contains the following tracks: Every Moment, Jealousy, Dangerous, Anything At All, Pray, Dance In The Fire, Love Is A Drug, Must Have Been An Angel, I'm Not Your Lover, Remember The Night, Call My Name, Follow Your Heart.

Last Chance Lounge”, the new album due October 10 from Michael McDermott, will contain five tracks remixed from his last album, “Bourbon Blue”. The first single is set to be “Junkie Girl”.

The MTV networks will be merging their MTV2 into the newly aquired Box Network. Can anyone say monopoly?

The video for Metallica’s single “I Disappear” will be included on the upcoming November 7 DVD release of Mission Impossible 2.

Punk poppers Blink 182 will release a live album in November.

Jon Taglieri and his Leap Dog Promotions are branching out and accepting clients. The company will embark on the challenging task of promotion for Rock, Melodic Rock, AOR, West Coast, Progressive, and Metal bands only. There will be several promotional schemes available to clients and all will be web based only promotions. “Knowing what it takes to get around the net has been what Leap Dog Music is all about. It has successfully built an impressive press kit for John Taglieri, has established many contacts, and has received many compliments on the quality of its interaction with members of the media. Knowing the promotional budgets of independent bands, the company is also offering its services for very reasonable costs. The programs will be very affordable for complete, detailed programs and will include follow up. Plans can also be detailed to fit clients needs.” Anyone interested should contact Leap Dog Music at LeapDogMus@aol.com, call 973-670-3906, or stop by the website at http://LeapDogMusic.com.

Rare MP3 Of The Week:

There were a TON of great soundtracks from the 80s filled with AOR. Here’s a tune from The Wraith…Honeymoon Suite’s Those Were The Days”. Look forward to more soundtrack gems in the future.

Noteworthy New Releases:

BRITNY FOX – Live

Moldy Oldys:

[What’s kicking old school on the SFK Deck O’ Death this week:]
Michael Jackson – Gold And Platinum Hits, Planet 3 – Music From The Planet, Bridge2Far – Bridge2Far, Benny Mardones – Benny Mardones, Asia – Then And Now

Kurt’s Picks:

Mark Bacino – Pop Job, Parasol, 1998
[Similarities: Kyle Vincent, Eric Carmen, Beach Boys]
Upbeat, ready for summer pop whose highlights far outnumber its lowlights. Mark has a writing style similar to Elvis Costello but musically this is pure sugar pop. Songs like “Baby Won’t Let Me Down”, “Kay” or “Sugary” should please any pop head. Complaints are few. One, the whole album (all twelve songs) clocks in at 28 minutes! Secondly, the songs all have such a similar feel that they tend to feel samey on repeat listens, as good as they are.

Brita – Britaworld.com, Future Venture, 2000
[Similarities: Roxette, 80s Madonna, Britney Spears]
Six song EP showcasing the talents of mega-babe Brita, who’s brand of dance pop/rock is catchy enough to merit inclusion in SFK. While not quite as high in production as something like Britney Spears, the songs all have the potential to be MTV-ish singles. The ballads are very Roxette-like and the upbeat numbers resemble much of the current teen-pop with a little bit of a rock edge. I must admit, this was a lot better than I was ready to give it credit for, and what’s more…I’ve been playing it a lot more than I ever thought too.

Danyluk – Under The Same Sun, TwinStar, 2000
[Similarities: Marillion, Pink Floyd, U2]
I had a really hard time with this one. It’s a good disc but the sound is really hard to put pen to paper. At times they have the sound of a hard edged prog-band ala Marillion but at other times, the music is more of a straight ahead classic rock vibe. Standing out above everything though is the exceptional guitar work of Mitch Danyluk, who puts me in the mind of David Gilmour. This is one of those strange releases that doesn’t do much for you first time around but something makes you keep going back to it again and again. Songs you dismiss at first become favorites a couple of spins down the road, like “Real TV” or “Crowded Mind”. Spend a little time with this one and give it the chance to grow on you.

Division Street – Harbour In The Static, Plaid Cat, 1997
[Similarities: Sister Hazel, Vertical Horizon, Matchbox Twenty]
Driving roots rock built upon the excellent songwriting and lyrics of Jeff Bluestein and Isaac Hansson (piano and vox respectively). Overall, this is nothing earth shatteringly original but it’s well done if a bit on the average side. Problem is, there’s not a single song on here that grabs you enough to really take notice…nothing stands out. It’s the kind of album that is enjoyable on listening but when you’ve moved on from it, it just doesn’t stay with you. Having said that, after a few spins, “Water’s Edge” and “Left Behind” start gnawing away at your brain. Maybe with even more spins, this will continue to grow on me as I stated previously, this is well done, just missing a sort of spark to boost it to the next level. That may (and probably will) come in time…

Johnny Smoke – Crime Don’t Pay Yet, JS, 1999
[Similarities: Krokus, Helix, Scorpions]
Back in the early to mid 80s there were dozens of hard rock bands that all had their moments of good that were far outweighed by the sheer crap they produced. Not exactly a blueprint you want to be influenced by. So imagine my surprise when I popped Johnny Smoke into the play…it was 1983 all over again. Somewhat decent riffy and hooked filled tunes surrounded by some of the most God-awful lyrics this side of Danger Danger, sung with conviction by gruff Garrett Crumb. I’ll let some of the song titles speak for themselves: “Resist”, “Gimme What I Need”, “Do Ya”, “Never Easy”, etc. I think you get the point. Crime may not pay, neither does producing crappy music.

Jeff Larson – Room For Summer, New Surf, 2000
[Similarities: America, Christopher Cross, Venice]
Superb Westcoast affair built on layers and layers of acoustic guitars, that’s not to say this is boring or quiet by any stretch. Though it does fall on the mellow side more often than not, songs like “Hey!”, “Sarah’s Song” and “The Word Go” are bouncy upbeat numbers that seem prime for summer. And when Jeff does take it down in volume, like on “Carol Ann” or “Postcard”, the results are equally as worthy. The whole album has a vibe of a “greatest hits” collection from the 70s though the sound is firmly rooted in 2000. Jeff has got a gorgeous voice and his songwriting and melody skills are excellent and remind me of Brian Wilson.

Niacin – Deep, Magna Carta, 2000
[Similarities: Dream Theater…]
More instrumental prog from Magna Carta, this time featuring Billy Sheehan along with keysman John Novello and drummer Dennis Chambers. Again, good for what it is and totally not for me. Eleven jazzy bass driven (?) fusion jams that have no guitars or vocals (except on one track featuring Glenn Hughes and Steve Luthaker). You like those long-winded Dream Theater passages? You will like this. Yawn.

T-Bell – Replay, AOR Heaven, 2000
[Similarities: Foreigner, Franke & The Knockouts, Hall & Oates]
In this day it’s getting harder and harder to find fresh sounding AOR without it being regurgitated. Somehow, T-Bell has done it though. At once they sound like dozens of other acts but if pressed, I couldn’t single any one particular artist out of the mix. Built behind the excellent Lou Gramm-like vocals of Patrik Tibell, the songs are all instantly likable yet have seemingly endless replay value. It’s also hard to single out any song as a highlight because I cannot remember the last time an album so devoid of filler hit my deck (though the absurd lyrics of “Postman” are ultimately saved by the great music). Big harmonies, original sounding keyboards and bottom line…GREAT songs. Maybe the best AOR album this year, if not best overall album period.

Toploader – Onka’s Big Moka, 2000
[Similarities: Jamiroquai, INXS, Black Crowes]
This is an album of catchy (and sometimes funky) Brit pop that for once owes more to 70s artists than they do the Beatles. Behind a faithful if modern cover of the 70s AM Gold classic “Dancing In The Moonlight”, the rest of the songs are filled out by a blend of Stevie Wonder meets the Partridge Family vibe that amazingly works. Then again, I don’t know. I cannot remember the last time I heard an artist that was so difficult to categorize. It’s danceable classic rock (?). Whatever…bottom line is that the songs are good enough that you needn’t worry yourself…just sit back and enjoy songs like “Achilles Heel”, “Breathe” and “Floating Away”. The album does lose a little bit of steam towards the end but it’s nothing too major. You know, I think the music is probably about as schizophrenic as this review. I like…a lot and I’m betting a ton these guys will be huge.

UFO – Covenant, Shrapnel, 2000
[Similarities: Def Leppard, Thunder, Dokken]
Their last studio album, “Walk On Water”, was an unexpected surprise. Simply classic hard rock. So to hear that once again Mogg and Schenker were working together had me drooling. But there is something just not right here. The songs seem to be missing those big hooks that UFO always had going for them. The guitar playing is incredible as expected and Phil Mogg’s lyrics are up to scratch. But the melodies seem to be lacking. That’s not to say though that the album doesn’t have it’s classic moments. They just seem few and far between. Opening track “Love Is Forever” is an example of the better. “Rise Again” on the other hand is a pretty good summation of one of those hookless melodies. Disappointing for the moment, but I’ll continue to give this one a spin hoping for some change.

(Re)Views From The Hill:
[Note: these are reviews done by outside contributors and not myself – Kurt]

In Extremo: Weckt die Toten!, Metal Blade Records
[similarities: Therion, Skyclad]
Started as a neo-folk group, using pre-15th century (from the 8th century on), somewhere along the line, In Extremo went electric. They have two acoustic records, before releasing this their first full electric album.  Having recently totally bamboozled metal fans at the Milwaukee Metal Fest, in the end leaving the throng totally bemused with their bagpipe, flutes, and shawns combined with traditional rock instruments. Amongst the black leather clad and face painted metallers, these kilted barbarians certainly got attention. So unusual this lot, that MTV devoted an entire MTV news brief to the band.

While hard to peg down, it could be argued that this band produce symphonic folk metal along the lines of Therion and a bit like Skyclad. There is a lot of melody involved in this disc, and much of the tracks are deceptively catchy. The songs on this are pre-14th century northern European fighting and drinking songs, the type that you could imagine signing wrecked in a tavern after a long day’s battle. All of these songs are sung in German, but the chorus’ are catchy enough, that I defy you not to sing-along. In a sense this is Blackmore’s Rainbow on steroids, with as much charm as the aforementioned folk rock troupe.

Metal Blade has just released their latest album Verehrt und Angespien, that was released in Germany in 1999. Hard to describe, hard to pigeon-hole, these guys are melodic, hard and folky all at the same time. Said to be killer live, they are a wonderful break from the bog standard, hard rock/heavy metal. So go on, give In Extremo a chance, you wont be disappointed. A Therion/In Extremo tour, now that would be a treat. – Marty

Alan Frew: Wonderland (EMI Music Canada, 2000)
[Similarities: Richard Page]
In a case of where are they now, Alan Frew, the voice of 80's successful Canadian pop group Glass Tiger returns to action with his second solo outing, Wonderland.

Alan first returned to the scene with his solo debut, Hold On, in 1994. While the album produced a single, 'So Blind', which reached the #1 position on Canadian radio, the album was not promoted by the record label or made widely available within the U.S and unfortunately went unnoticed in the states.

Wonderland builds on the promise of Hold On. An album of exquisitely crafted, adult oriented pop songs with a subtler touch than the powerpop which defined Glass Tiger. Wonderland is comprised of balladesque songs and melody driven pop numbers which retain the essence of a sound defined by Alan's vocals.

The title track is appropriately centered in the middle of the twelve new songs. It is an undeniably defining moment, with the other songs flowing from it, like tributaries from a river. Balancing a strong vocal performance with a lush musical backdrop, Wonderland is simply spellbinding.

Another defining moment comes at the end of the album, with a short, emotionally poignant number, 'Everybody Sing', which attests to the brilliance of the songwriter in its very simplicity.

Four bonus tracks are included with the album. The first two revisit the Glass Tiger era with the hit 'Someday' and the wonderful vocal collaboration between Alan and Rod Stewart on 'My Town'. The final two tracks include the aforementioned single 'So Blind' as well as 'Falling At Your Feet' both of which were included in Alan's solo debut, Hold On.

Now available from several online retailers, a highly recommended site where you can find not only Wonderland and its predecesor, Hold On, but all of the Glass Tigers albums as well is Willow Music. - Jason

AOR Basement (Ian McIntosh):

MIA

Reader profiles:

Name: Bill Steh

Place where you live: Los Angeles, CA

Age: 28

Favorite Artist: Foreigner

Favorite Song: Foreigner - Beat of My Heart

Favorite Ballad: Foreigner - Until the End of Time

10 Albums You'd Bring If Stranded On A Desert Island:

Foreigner - Head Games
Foreigner – 4
Shadow King - s/t
Survivor - Vital Signs
Loverboy - Keep it Up
John Wetton - Battle Lines
Def Leppard – Hysteria
REO Speedwagon - Hi Infidelity
Devo - Freedom of Choice
Steely Dan - Can't Buy a Thrill

Others groups I would miss desperately - Giant, Ten, The Storm, Rainbow, etc.

[If you’d like to be featured in SFK’s Reader Profile, drop me a line at ktorster@yahoo.com.]

Feedback:

From: "a berry" adyb@mcmail.com

Subject: flogging a dead horse?
Lots of comments have been made over the last few months regarding the state of AOR and melodic rock- lack of new quality releases, poor reviews etc. Painfully, these comments are generally true- can you remember the last great AOR cd you bought? I think mine was The Storm. 8 years ago?

I find it disturbing that many of us are waiting with baited breath for the new Journey cd- hoping that it will bring back echoes of their (undeniable) glory days. Remember the last cd? No, neither can I.

The truth is that the AOR genre is in a complete mire- with a desperate lack of truly original bands or cd's and that simply rehashing, re releasing early 80's music or relying on Japanese sales will not be enough to allow it to continue. Several labels have bought a ray of light but in all honesty who didn't already have most of the artist demos that they are releasing? Hardly original (but welcome nonetheless).

I have spoken to lots of people who are finding AOR and Traditional Melodic Rock more and more stale and like myself are looking towards the newer pop rockers for originality. We're starting to see bands like Lit and Marvelous Three more and more on TV- isn't that a pointer to where melodic music should be going?. In order for melodic rock to succeed it has to embrace these new styles, it has to "modernize" itself. Without this it will become more and more insular and the interest of a select few rather than the masses.

Don't get me wrong I still love 80's AOR (listening to Michael Stanley while I write this!) and if a new cd is good enough I will definitely buy it- but the painful truth is that there isn't really anything that good out there.

PS Kurt get the new cd by Wheatus it's an absolute monster! cd of the year.

[Up until I heard T-Bell, I would pretty much have to agree with all this.]

From: Serbst.Jonathan@epamail.epa.gov

Subject: Honeymoon Suite show review
Honeymoon suite had two US dates last week...one in Virginia and one in (of all places) West Warwick, Rhode Island, 30 minutes from where I live. I had never seen them live before and to be sure never thought I would. Damn, but they were good!  A shame there were only maybe 125-150 people in attendance. They had excellent sound and appeared to be enjoying themselves, despite having gotten lost on their way, and the low attendance.  They tore through all their hits and played the one song I had hoped to hear but never thought I would.... "All Along You Knew". "Stay In The Light" also grabbed me as a great song live.  I never really noticed how 'bouncy' their music is...the whole crowd kept bouncing all night, song after song. Its always easy (and clichéd) to laud praise on just the lead guitar player, but I have to say that all of HS's band members deserve such praise...I was surprised especially by how good the drummer was, as well as how strong and 'dead on' Johnnie Dee's vocals were...(and yes, Derry Grehan has to be one of the most underrated players I've ever heard...very tasteful and creative). They did mention that a new album was in the works and I believe they mentioned Fall for a release date. Now if I can just find a copy of the very elusive '13 Live' album, I'll be a happy man!

Cheers, and thanks for keeping your most excellent web pages up to date!

From: "Pat Lieberg" kilroy@winternet.com

In response to your opinion on Tommy and JY coming off as immature assholes (RE: Styx: Behind the Music), I think they are completely justified in their actions and their attitude toward Dennis.  I've been a long-time fan of Styx since my early child-hood (around The Grand Illusion) and find everything pre-Cornerstone to be much more enjoyable.  I do not discount Dennis' talents in songwriting, singing, or musicianship.  Quite the contrary, I think his talents in creating number one albums (Paradise Theatre) and singles (Babe, <insert barfing noise here>) in the post-Pieces of Eight days of Styx is quite impressive (despite my preference to the earlier music).  He clearly found a way to reach out to the masses that suck that kind of stuff up.  However, his egotistical opinions on his "leadership" of the band were out of line and unwelcome by this fan.  I also believe he quit Styx rather than accept a position of less than Dictator and in his self-righteousness believed the band could not go on without him.  I find *that* to be very immature.  I, for one, am glad to see the band continue, even without Mr. DeYoung.  I've seen them in concert with Lawrence Gowan, and while it is a different experience, it is one not any less enjoyable for me.  I've met both Tommy Shaw and James Young a few times and found them to be very receptive to their fans. 

[It seems that even many Styx fans have been divided into two camps, one for DeYoung and one for Shaw/Young. I’m simply stating that what I got out of viewing the Behind The Music episode was that Shaw and JY came off as jerks. I think too that DeYoung did have a bit of an ego as well but I chose neither side.]

From: Stacy Jenkns stacy@stomachmonkeys.com

Actually Gene Marchello is the SON of Peppi. They had a band called "Popzarocka"  (not sure of the spelling) back in the mid 80s or so, and Gene put out an album under the name Marchello  before they decided to re-hash the Good Rats name again in the late 80s early 90s..