“And the smallest streams, run to the rivers
 And every river, runs to the sea
 And every little bit of love I give to another
 You know what I believe, it comes back to me”

- Rick Springfield, Karma

Official Nonsense:

·      Editor & ? - Kurt Torster

More unanswered ?s:

·        Carrie Borzillo (All Star Daily News)

·        Marty Dodge (

·        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

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Kurt's Krap:

A first since we went over to HTML…I’ve included a picture below. Apologies if you cannot read it or it comes out all FUBAR.

God bless the individual who uploaded a perfect copy of Candy’s classic album “Whatever Happened To Fun?”, which has yet to see the light of day on CD. At least now I have something to tide me over until that day comes!

I must say, with the demise of Freaks & Geeks, I have found a new TV show obsession…Ed on NBC. Never minding the fact that it’s filmed all around NJ, this show is simply the funniest and wittiest on the tube right now. Never minding the fact that next to CSI (which uses the Who’sWho Are You” as it’s theme), Ed has the very excellent “Next Year” from Foo Fighters as it’s theme. Shave my poodle!

News Bytes:


So much for being mean AND lean…a pic of Axl Rose from the Rock In Rio festival, as my friend Dave Baldwin tagged, “Tons Of Roses”…

By now the word is out, but in case you haven’t heard, bassist Jason Newsted left Metallica last week after fourteen years with the band. No word on a replacement, but internet rumors are ripe, with Les Claypool garnering some strong support.

Kiss’ Gene Simmons will narrate a documentary for Court TV titled The Secret History Of Rock And Roll, which focuses on how crime influences popular music. He’ll also take part in the upcoming music edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Rumor has it that Dokken has been dropped from their label due to some substance abuse problems within the band.

Roxette will release their new album, “Room Service”, on April 3. First single, “The Center Of The Heart”, hits radio/video on February 19.

There will be a sequel to The Commitments, appropriately titled The Commitments 2, in which The Coors will have roles as well as perform four new songs. Their next single from “In Blue” will be “Give Me A Reason”.

Rhino will reissue the debut album from Foreigner on the new DVD Audio format. The album will include four bonus tracks in the form of demos of “Feels Like The First Time”, “Woman Oh Woman”, “At War With The World” and “Take Me To Your Leader”. Also included are videos for “Feels Like The First Time” and “Cold As Ice” as well as an audio track-by-track documentary.

Rapper/rocker Kid Rock hits the road over the next month with Buckcherry and Fuel in tow.

The debut album from Arabia, “1001 Nights”, will be out on February 26 with the following tracklisting: The Heart Is The Lonely Hunter, Darkside Of Love, Love  Me Do, 1001 Nights, Till The Day I Die, So Tired, Runaway Renee, I Wanna Be King, Waiting, Mariah and Brother Louie.

Vaughn are currently getting together new material for their next album. They play the following UK dates:
SAT 18TH: ROCK CITY, NOTTINGHAM [Ticket hotline 0115 9412544] 
SUN 19TH: KRAZY HOUSE, LIVERPOOL [Ticket hotline 01695 556302]
TUE  21ST: JB'S DUDLEY [ Ticket hotline 01384 253597]
THU  23RD: Venue TBC, CARLISLE [Ticket hotline 01697 746102]
FRI  24TH :  BASS MUSEUM, BURTON ON TRENT [Ticket hotline 01283 513938]
SUN 26TH:  CAMDEN UNDERWORLD  [Ticket hotline 0207 267 3939]

Christopher Cross has a duet on the new album from country act Alabama in the form of “Love Remains”.

Reissue masters Rhino has on tap for April a new best of collection from Michael McDonald.

A cool website I stumbled across…Yesterdayland. Relive your childhood.

The power pop store Not Lame’s website is up and running again, totally revamped with mucho new features.

Check out a new video for Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here Medley” at the band’s website.

March 27 see the long overdue release of “Greatest Hits” from Billy Idol. Tracks include: "Dancing With Myself", "Hot in the City", "White Wedding (Part 1)", "Rebel Yell", "Eyes Without a Face", "Flesh for Fantasy", "Catch My Fall", "To Be a Lover", "Don't Need a Gun" (single edit), "Sweet Sixteen", "Mony Mony" (live), "Cradle of Love", "L.A. Woman" (single edit), "Shock to the System", "Rebel Yell" (live acoustic) and "Bitter Pill" (new).

Rod Stewart’s latest, “Human”, will be out on February 6.

Also releasing a new album on that same date are new country rockers Diamond Rio, One More Day”.

Rock critic Jim DeRogatis has a hopeful prediction that the dot-com implosion will lead to hard times; formerly happy teen-pop listeners will graduate from college with few job prospects; and, inevitably, they'll turn to punk-rock desperation. Another radio programmer suggests teen-pop's replacement will be more "urban" pop artists such as Destiny's Child and Pink, or "hard" rock bands such as Three Doors Down. Anyone wonder where I’m going with this? Well, after punk came new wave and then…AOR. Hmmm….

The new Megadeth album, “The World Needs A Hero”, is due out on May 15. The tracklisting: 'Burning Bridges', 'The World Needs A Hero', 'Moto Psycho', 'Promises', '1000 Times Goodbye', 'Disconnect', 'Recipe For Hate', 'Losing My Senses', 'Dread And The Fugitive Mind', 'Silent Scorn', 'Return To Hangar' and 'When'.

A new Quiet Riot album should be out in June. According to Kevin DuBrow, seven songs are already finished and they head back to the studio in February to complete the rest.

Company Of Snakes will release a live album titled “Here They Go Again Live” on January 29. Tracks include: 'Come On', 'Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues', 'Trouble', 'Kinda Wish You Would', 'Rough And Ready', 'Don't Break My Heart Again', 'Moody's Blues', 'Slow And Easy', 'Sweet Talker', 'Ready And Willing', 'Would I Lie To You', 'Ain't Gonna Cry No More', 'Silver On Her Person', 'Lovehunter', 'Is This Love', 'Since You Been Gone', 'Here I Go Again', 'Wine Women And Song' and 'Fool For Your Loving'.

Sony has plans to remaster the entire Judas Priest catalog and reissue them with the requisite bonus material.

The release of the Dream Theater DVD/video “Scenes From New York” has been pushed back until March 20. Meanwhile, DT offshoot band Transatlantic played the NAMM show oN January 20 in Las Vegas with the following songs: All of the Above, Shine On You Crazy Diamond and My New World.

Brad Gillis’ Alligator” album will be released in February on Frontiers/Now & Then. It includes two new tracks, “Still” and “Bigger Than Life” (both sung by Gary Moon) as well as all the tracks from the Japanese release: Alligator, Heart-Shaped Wings, Survive, Circle Of Light, Eyes, Chain Gang, Tanbark Tyrant (Instrumental) and Leap Of Faith.

The current lineup for this year’s Ultrasound Festival: American Dog, Robin Brock(With Backing Band Of Tim Pierce, Jeff Pilson, And James Kottack), Burning Rain, Chain Link Faith, Cosmosquad, Jarra, Mitch Malloy, Onward, Rob Rock, Seven Witches, John Taglieri, Talon, Tribe Of Gypsies, Velocity, Warrior and Westworld (Tony Harnell And Mark Reale).

The reunited Britny Fox (with Tommy Paris, Johnny Dee, Michael Kelly Smith and Billy Childs) will release a live album, “Long Way To Live”, on February 6. The tracklist: "Six Guns Loaded”, "Long Way To Love”, "Lonely Too Long”,
"Liar”, "Dream On”, "Closer To Your Love”, "Black And White”, "Guitar Solo”,
"Shot From My Gun”, "Louder”, "Over And Out”, "Turn On”, "Girlschool"
"Midnight Moses".
The Japanese release has a bevy of goodies including covers of Slade's "Gudbuy T' Jane" and Nazareth's "Hair Of The Dog" as well as three videos and a special greeting. The band also plans a ‘best of’ and a tour in the future.

Tommy Denander wrote in to both correct and update me on his latest project (as reported on last week): I just wanted to give a little more info about my album. The name of the project is Radioactive and the album is called “Ceremony Of Innocence”. I started this as a solo album in 1991 when I recorded 10 tracks in Los Angeles with Jeff, Mike Steve Porcaro and David Paich from TOTO. Over the years it turned into this once in a lifetime project with a list of special guests that looks more like a west coast wet dream!!! If you like Toto's Isolation, Fee Waybill's Read My Lips and Giant two albums you should dig this! Some of the people involved -

Vocals: Bobby Kimball, Fergie Frederiksen, Joseph Williams, Fee Waybill, Jason Scheff, Greg Guidry, Geir Rönning (Prisoner, Rainmaker), Jim Jidhed (Alien), Pierre Wensberg (Prisoner), Andy Eklund (House Of Shakira)

Drums: Jeff Porcaro, Marcus Liliequist

Bass: David Hungate (Toto), Mike Porcaro, Abe Laboriel (Top session player), Neil Stubenhaus (Top session player)

Guitars: Bruce Gaitsch (Richard Marx), Michael Thompson (Top session player), Dean Parks (Top session player)

Keyboards: David Paich, Steve Porcaro, David Foster, Greg Phillinganes (Eric Clapton, Steely Dan), Randy Goodrum (Toto), Vince DiCola (Rocky 4), Mats Olausson (Yngwie M)

Some songwriters: Bobby Kimball, Fergie Frederiksen, Richard Marx, Fee Waybill, Bruce Gaitsch

Lion’s Share will release their fourth album in March on Massacre. Song titles include: Entrance, Shotgun Messiah, Waiting, Through The Clouds, Lost, Mystery, Believe, War Machine, On And On, Losing My Head and Free Your Mind.

New Jersey rockers Sinopoli will play a benefit on February 4 at the Bayville Firehouse. Those interested can contact Joey at 732-635-9595 or hit the band’s website.

Dan Harding’s Heavy Harmonies MP3 Of The Week: I remember the first time I listened to Artica. They reminded me of a blend of Survivor and Journey and a touch of Triumph. There was something about them that intrigued me though. Let's find out what everyone else thinks. From their 1995 (and as far as I know, their only) album As It Should Be, here is the track One Night.

Rare MP3 Of The Week:

BB Mak did a pretty decent cover of Extreme’s More Than Words” for the UK release of their “Sooner Or Later” album. Check it out…

Moldy Oldys:

[Five discs kicking old school on the SFK Deck O’ Death this week:]
Rick Springfield – Alive, Harem Scarem – Best Of, Stevie Wonder – Original Musiquarium, Elvis Presley – Top Ten Hits, Various Artists – The 70s Preservation Society Presents Disco Fever

Kurt’s Picks:

Griffin – No One Wants To Be Lonely, demo, 1999
[Similarities: Edwin McCain, Gin Blossoms, Toad The Wet Sprocket]
You know, I am becoming increasingly harder to impress. Not so much to the point of hearing something and thinking it’s pretty good, but to be flat out amazed…those discs are fewer and further between. Griffin has come pretty close to both amazing and impressing, and this is nothing more than a demo, which speaks volumes on the strengths of good songwriting. Griffin’s style is best described as acoustic driven pop, with both ballads and rockers receiving fair treatment. Though it slows down a bit towards the end, it’s hard to deny songs like “Who’s Gonna Love You Now”, the very romantic “She Can Take Me” and the up-tempo “Shadow Of Doubt” their proper due. Singer John Griffin has a great silky smooth voice that fits the music perfectly. This is certainly an act to keep your ears out for.

Robbie Nevil – Wot’s It To Ya: The Best Of, Razor & Tie, 1999
[Similarities: Hall & Oates, Richard Marx, Robert Tepper]
Anyone that grew up in the 80s will testify that there was some GREAT music that got sorely overlooked back then. Robbie is best known for his mega-hit “C’est La Vie”, but as this collection shows, his music was so much more. A diverse collection of sixteen songs, this is hi-tech AOR at it’s finest. With songs like the title track, the Corey Hart-like ballad “Back To You” and infectious “Somebody Like You”, it shows how good things can be when conditions are ripe for perfection (as in songwriting and production). And the ear candy of “Just Like You” is beyond description. Robbie’s vocals should also be noted as they come across a little like Richard Marx, only better. Best described as danceable AOR, this is essential for hi-tech fans. I honestly was not prepared for this collection to be THIS good, it’s about as perfect as they come.

Pilot – Magic, Collectibles, 2000
[Similarities: ELO, Jellyfish, Wings]
I picked this up on a whim the other day after hearing their one real hit, “Magic”. I was shocked to learn how many good songs these Scottish lads had. The band, which features one time members of Bay City Rollers, Alan Parsons Project and Fish’s band, cranked out some lush keyboard loaded melodic rock. Songs like “Just A Smile”, “Girl Next Door” and “Never Give Up” leaving me a bit surprised that they weren’t bigger hits. Some of the material is very dated as the spacey sounding keyboards on a few tunes do them in, but overall the more guitar driven songs counter balance that. Maybe a bit too quirky and uneven for repeated listens, and it feels like it outstays it’s welcome, it’s has enough good tracks to merit a listen, even if just to hear some of those hidden gems that seemed to fly under everyone’s radar 25 years ago.

Various Artists – 25 All Time Greatest Bubblegum Hits, Varese Sarabande, 2000
OK, it’s no secret I’m a sucker for this stuff but what really hit home as I was listening to this is that these tracks are the forbearers of practically all the great power pop that followed. The songs were nothing more than three minute blasts of fun, much like something from the Marvelous 3 or Tsar, that aren’t meant to change the world…just make it a more comfortable place to be for a bit. Whether your childhood memories recall the Monkees, the Banana Splits, the Archies, Dawn, Tommy James, Ohio Express or the Sweet, they are all represented here in some of their most well known tracks. Sure, a lot of this is goofy but bottom line…it goes down very easy and power pop diehards should consider this a history lesson.

Vox Pop – Vox Pop, Sandbox, 1998
[Similarities: Kyle Vincent, The Knack, Cheap Trick]
Featuring lead Rubinoo Tommy Dunbar (as well as two other ‘Noos), this is an incredible collection of power pop that without sounding dated, easily could have stepped out of the skinny tie era of the early 80s. From the opening killer track, “Must Be A Word”, on, pop fans will think they’ve died and gone to heaven. It’s just one monster after another. “Ink & Paper”, “Grey On Grey”, “Rosetta Stone”…the syrupy harmonies, the jangling melodies, the crashing choruses…it’s all so damned good. Though I could have done without the kooky “Cool And Crazy” or the seeming Beach Boys clone “Home To You”, at the least it brings variety to the mix. I’m starting to come to the conclusion that Tommy Dunbar is a genius on par with Lennon/McCartney.

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

Moody Blues: Hall of Fame, Ark21 Records
This greatest hits disc was recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall in London, on 1st of May 2000. It is a nice easy, well-recorded trawl through the bands hits and best known music. The recording is excellent; there is no screaming crowds, annoying drum solos or vacuous rants from the lead singer. In fact its down right pleasant, too bloody pleasant for this leather clad hard rocker. However on a Sunday afternoon with a mug of tea in the middle of the winter it’s rather nice.

Unfortunately, there is not much in the CD booklet of this one, just a run through of the songs, the other musicians and a few thank-yous. Rather amusingly none of the songs are dated or are credited to one album or other. This is either due to contractual obligations or to save the feelings of the ole' duffers that might be buying this album. ("Knights in White Satin" was recorded when? Oh my god I am getting old, cue: mid-life crisis. Next thing you know there is a Corvette and an affair with the secretary!) I digress. But the amount of gray hair on the cover is simply amazing.

This CD contains all the songs you know by the Moody Blues, "Knights in White Satin", "Tuesday Afternoon", "I'm just a Singer" and two of their hits from the 80s "I know you're out there Somewhere" and "You're Wildest Dreams."  There are 14 tracks in all, and there is absolutely no filler.  To help get you in the mood for what is to come the first track is an overture featuring some of the biggest hits.

This album is the comfortable pair of slippers, jumper and pipe of recent CDs. I may scoff but I enjoyed this a lot and will probably listen to it very soon. This is an extremely well put together disc that would be a great addition to anyone's CD collection, especially useful for those who Moody Blues albums are all on vinyl. ( - Marty

AOR Basement (Ian McIntosh):

Something is beginning to surprise me. The quality of European melodic rock releases seems to be improved, at least I hope it's that and not just that my musical taste buds have become dulled.

Current releases from the likes of Dogface and Alfonzetti have a strength and originality to them that I'm frankly rather surprised by, especially given the track record of some of the musicians involved! What is weird though is that those better releases are still getting mislabeled by the media here. Anything that has even the odd hint of a Hammond organ sound anywhere is labeled as "like Deep Purple or Whitesnake" when nothing could be further from the truth. They're just good rock records that sound "European" rather than trying to be a pale imitation of something else.

But it's not all good though. Some of the release on Escape and Frontiers (to name but two) are still rather weak and being sold purely on the basis of having a "name" involved, and often those supposed "names" are rather obscure. And for the life of me I can't fathom who'd want to listen to yet another boring Joe Lynn Turner album that would have sounded dated and dreary 15 years ago!

The things that have been taking all my time away from the AOR Basement web site and finally tidied up - so there should be some new reviews there soon, at long last.....


From: From:

Kurt, Thanks for the review!! Sorry about the production. The entire thing was recorded on a Tascam 488 8-track cassette Portastudio. I would love to re-record everything in a nice studio with a great producer.

Hey...if you know of any artists looking for tunes for their CDs, and you think that my songs would fit their style, please point them in my direction. I'd definitely be interested in working with them.

Thanks again for your time!

Ed James

From: Russ Blomstedt

Subject: from Pete Townshend's diary

10 January 2001 - Napster

I checked out the site yesterday with my son.  I was amazed how quickly one can gather together good quality tracks.  This is because a lot of people in the USA have their Internet service provided by cable companies, and their lines are open pretty much all the time.  It's usually possible to find a copy of what you want to listen to. My son regarded what we did as illegal.  He kept saying it was wrong to steal the music.  I told him we were listening to it, just that.  When we were finished we could trash it if he preferred. If he wants to fight for my rights he could call up BMI and ask them why my broadcast-related payments were so low during the years The Who were in the top 10 AOR playlists.  He might ask them why during the 1989 Who tour, when we paid a huge sum of money to BMI for the right to perform songs I had written, they eventually paid me (after a lot of complaining from my manager) a tiny portion of that sum, excusing themselves because their main payout area that year was Nashville.  Two things struck me looking at Napster.  One was hooray - at last I might as well say fuck BMI.  They are not protecting me any more, if they ever did.

The other was ..... now I have BT openworld ADSL (which runs at about 500kbps at its best) everything seems easier simply because it's so much faster.  When your computer hangs, you know about it sooner.  When you've connected to a server you know straight away.  Even if some downloads still take time, getting hooked up in the first place seems so much quicker.

What is immediately clear is that the future is Broadband entertainment.  There is now no question in my mind.  I wonder who will be the first artist to offer a daily live performance programme?

The second fact was that when I typed in my own name there was such a lot of stuff.  Even very obscure material was there.  This raises an interesting hypothetical point.  Supposing a bootlegger gathered up rare tracks and put together some interesting artwork, and - with a limited edition - managed to sell say 2000 to Japanese collectors.  Does the involved editorial and graphic creative work (necessary to make the package interesting enough to sell) justify the rip?

As things stand I think there is enough for everyone.  Many bootleggers do better work repackaging than record companies.  That's because they are often fans.  But many bootleggers are not fans.  They produce counterfeit CDs in huge volume. Mo Ostin admitted as much to me once back in 1982 when WB were chasing Pacific rim bootleggers who were producing better quality vinyl than they were.

Ultimately, in the face of all this exploitation of my art, whether by fans, criminals or incestuous and lazy institutions like BMI, I do feel gently forced into reliance on what only I can do - that is, to perform live, and to constantly produce new work.

If everything I do is immediately used by others for their own collateral will there be an inevitable fall in quality in what I do?  By turning out too much, will I fail to honour my audience?  I think not.  As things stand I am aware I rarely do enough.  And, as so many artists have said, radio stations, newspapers and magazines have freely used and abused the reputation, work and images of pop artists for the last 50 years.  Artists cannot control over-exposure of their image.  They can only run with publicity and hope for the best.

What's my reality?  My reality is that because of the certain knowledge (gathered in the main from the internet) that people want to hear my music, I am writing today.  I run a web site.  I give away some of my music.  If it is packaged well I sell it.  I was armed with information gathered from the internet when I approached last year's Who touring work.  I was certain we would sell out wherever we played, and barring the loss of a ticket here or there, we sold out.  (How nice for BMI).

There may be a fall in quality if I try to do too much.  A performance on the web every day might be a little crazy.  But many pop and country artists have played hundreds of shows a year all their lives.  An album release every week is too much. But most musicians play constanly, and as I have found, generate a huge volume of recorded material that is never released.  This is not always because it bad.  Sometimes it is not released because it is not properly targetted, or is ill-timed, doesn't fit the mood of the day.

When you spin live televisual webcasting into this soup, and only universal Broadband will make this financially feasible, everything starts to look even more challenging for the artist. 

When to write, work and rest will be an even tougher question when any market gap you leave is filled not only by copycat artists, but also by bootleggers.

Seriously, can I expect an organisation like BMI, who are merely assigned collectors (and sometimes distributors) of cash to protect me?  I think not. It seems that if I rest today, I may be exploited by bootleggers, but at least I am not forgotten. The way it used to be was that if an artist took two or three years out, they might never get back, not without a huge touring audience behind them. Today the problem is a different one.  If I wish to take time out, how can I influence the way my work is exploited by others?

Answer - I can't.  But in fact I have never been in control of that.

Russ Blomstedt - "Klaatu, barada, nikto"
AIM – ariastrydor
home page -

From: "Waugh, Mike"

Subject: CD review
Kurt, here's my review of Jaime Kyle's "Untangled". I'd appreciate if you'd run it in the next issue of SFK. I noticed in the feedback area a couple of weeks ago, that a reader was asking about info on this album.

Jaime Kyle  - Untangled, Kentucky Girl Records, 1999
This album (Jaime's fourth) features a different style than her previous work (i.e. Best Of My Heart). The material falls towards a softer, acoustic oriented production, yet still  features a full band arrangement, as opposed to a stripped down, unplugged mix.  The overall sound has the current "Nashville" sound, no doubt due to the Nashville studio musicians playing. I can picture artists such as Sherrie Austin (one of the co-writers), The Kinleys, or even The Coors covering some of these songs. The album starts off with some upbeat rockers (Sentimental, Cry, Revelation) that feature some different intro drum beats along with acoustic and electric guitars, (but no heavy guitars as on "Bomb's Away"). There are some mid tempo songs (Middle Of A Mystery, Simplify, Better Than This) as well as some very intimate/personal songs (Beautiful Lies, Untangled). Jaime covers a wide range of both musical style and emotion throughout the material.

The production sound is very clean and punchy. You can hear every instrument clearly, and there's no muddiness. Her vocals are tight and crisp - quite perfect. These songs quite possibly feature her best vocal performance yet.

The song writing is very strong, arrangements are complex and well thought out, and the lyrics are fresh and interesting. The strength of Jaime's song writing shows why so many other artists have recorded her songs.

Jaime co-wrote all the songs, and also produced the album (with co-production on three tracks). Although this isn't a high-energy rock album, it is a well-crafted, more personal, lighter side of Jaime's style, which compliments her previous work, and is a worthy addition. The CD clocks in at a respectable 57:17, with enough songs (15) to leave you feeling satisfied, but still not falling into the "long listen" category.

Untangled is available through her web site (, along with her previous CD's (Passionate Kind, Back From Hollywood, Best Of My Heart). She is currently working on a new rock album, described as being closer to her previous work. - Mike