Sunday August 27, 2006

LeToya tries to convince the audience that she's not related to Michael Jackson.



We had rehearsal today and might I say, it was a great one. Things really seem to be getting back on track thanks to Joe. Sure, he had a few errors here and there but I still can't believe how fast he's picked up a whole set's worth of material and gotten the little details. This was the first practice with all 4 of us actually knowing the songs. I was a bit shocked when I remembered how heavy some of those pop songs are live with two guitars. It rocked, baby!

When we were setting up, I pulled out the skeleton of "The Only Way" and even broken down to its basics, it worked great. That's gonna be such a kickin' addition!

In the evening, Amanda and I went back out to Hi-Fi Buys for the Mary J. Blige / Jaheim / LeToya (no, not Jackson) show. I went because I believe LeToya's gonna be a great one to get. She was the fourth member of Destiny's Child (who co-wrote most of their early hits). She was ousted because she wanted a manager that didn't share a last name with Beyonce (Imagine that!). On top of that, they replaced her in the "Say My Name" video even though her voice was on the track. Well, LeToya looked great but her set was pretty lame. I only saw a few minutes but, um, yeah...right now, she cannot compete with Ms. Knowles in any way.

Jaheim was one of those soulful, r & b crooners. He had the ladies swooning and an amazing voice. The truth is, though, that I didn't remember a single song a few minutes later.

Mary J. Blige was the headliner. She had a massive, elaborate stage that surprised me. Of course, she wore all white which made metering off of dark skin nearly impossible. I did okay but I'm certainly not as happy with the pics of her as I was with the other 2 sets tonight. For the bit I saw, she was amazing. I'm glad I came tonight.

For some reason, we never did come across our tickets to this one, so Amanda and I took off and got home relatively early. I'm tired. I'm going to pull back a bit next week or I'm going to be totally burned out again.

And for my last WKRP offering, I give you the Big Fat Muffin.




Saturday August 26, 2006








Here are my pics of Poison from last night's already infamous show.

To see the pics from the less crazy Cinderella set, this is yer place.

When I got home I had an email that Pollstar wants to use one of my Carlos Mencia pics for a cover. Cool! It's been a while since I've had a cover. So I spent my morning resing potential covers up before getting the Poison / Cinderella pics turned in.

Today I took the time to arrange "The Only Way" for guitar. It actually seems to work pretty well. I was surprised. I re-arranged it a bit too. I made it a bit less repetitive and made the vocal hook stronger. Oooohhh...I can't wait to revive this one. The keyboard-transferred-to-guitar part reminds me of something Lindsey Buckingham might play. I hope the arrangement will work with a live band.

Oh and I've enjoyed posting the WKRP clips this week. Here's one of my favorites.

"Monster Lizard Ravages East Coast"





Friday August 25, 2006

Here's Bobby and Bret a little more than an hour before "the incident".



Well, my big diary update went live today. I'm as surprised as anyone. Oh to have it all caught up. The problem is, I'm too busy living life to write about it right now!

You wanna see what I did last night? Click here for my pics of the James Gang.

You can also go here for the Roger McGuinn pics!

Today, Amanda and I went out to Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre for the Poison / Cinderella 20 Years Of Rock spectacular. And man did it turn out to be an event! First off, I didn't realize how many young people have taken to dressing like 1986. There were a whole lot more girls between the ages of 18 - 25 with insane amounts of hairspray than I remember the last time I went to an '80s style show. Of course, the middle-agers were out in force...and they really, REALLY shouldn't be dressing that way in '06! God help us all.

First off, I ran into Skid Row's Rachel Bolan at the bridge gate. What else can I say? We said "Hi" and went our separate ways.

As for the show, Cinderella and Poison both looked well preserved. You wouldn't really know the year by looking at 'em. Of course, Tom Keifer's voice was shot. He apologized and said he messed it up before the tour even started. He could hardly even speak. They got through most of the songs but it looked like torture for him. I admire his willingness to try (he especially pushed hard on "Nobody's Fool") but he really should've cancelled. The didn't even attempt "Somebody Save Me". I don't blame 'em.

As for Poison, well, I've seen 'em a few times before. The last time was opening for KISS. They've never been as good as they were tonight. They put on a heck of an old fashioned rock show. And this is coming from someone who is (to put it mildly) NOT a Poison fan. They even brought back "Cry Tough" for this show. I'm almost embarrassed to say it, but I dug this 'un.

Of course, the end is where it got truly, truly bizarre. Here's the simplified version of the story as I wrote about it for Billboard's "Jaded Insider" column.

Poison bassist Bobby Dall and singer Bret Michaels got into a bit of a scuffle during their encore in Atlanta. It seemed as if Michaels threw his microphone in the direction of Dall and Dall responded by taking off his bass, winding it up and slinging it at Michaels, hitting him in the legs. The other band members and security intervened as the 2 confronted each other with Michaels going into a boxing stance. After briefly leaving the stage, Michaels returned to apologize and said "That's been building up for 20 years" and "You might have just witnessed the final Poison show with this formation."

As Michaels continued to apologize, Dall came from the wings, ran up to the mic and said "I'll do one more song". They closed with "Talk Dirty To Me", Dall threw a peace sign and walked off, leaving the rest of band to take the final bows.

The rumor is that Michaels wound up leaving the venue in an ambulance. Poison did play the following night in Memphis and Bret Michaels was sporting a brand new full-leg brace.

For the record, the tour is over in a few days. I wouldn't expect to see these 4 guys onstage again...

For a whole heck of a lot more about this, click here.

Whew, strange but true. There's a very, VERY grainy cell phone video of the whole thing here.

If Bobby had aimed a little higher, perhaps they would've needed to call Ferryman's.



Thursday August 24, 2006

The James Gang rides again...but now they do it with as little front light as possible.




I got most of the diary caught up today and that's all I had time for! I knew I had to get to it before my shoots this weekend 'cause then I'll be an editing fool.

Tonight, I went to Chastain to see The James Gang reunion tour. I've never shot Joe Walsh before (for some reason I haven't seen The Eagles since I've been shooting) and I do like the James Gang songs that I know. I was really surprised to get cleared to shoot this one for WireImage. I can only assume that Holli's looking out for me. In fact, I was the only photographer there. The show was great considering these guys haven't done an actual tour in 35 years or so. They were rock solid. Of course, Joe was the star. I sometimes forget just what an amazing guitar player he is but hearing him tear through "The Bomber" (especially the "Bolero" section) was simply stunning.

Oh - and we got a bonus in the form of Roger McGuinn (y'know, The Byrds frontman). He opened the show - just him and his guitars. He started with "My Back Pages" and hit most of the important songs. Amanda was pleased to hear "The Chestnut Mare" and I was pleased to hear "The Ballad Of Easy Rider". I'd still love to hear "5-D" and "Goin' Home". I'm not sure but I don't think I've ever heard those. Maybe I should check the old lists! The surprise for me was "You Showed Me". I never even knew McGuinn wrote that one. That's pretty much my favorite Turtles song. Man, what a great melody. Of course, McGuinn ended with "Turn, Turn, Turn." The final words were "A time for peace, I swear it's not too late." He didn't say goodnight. He let the final line of the song speak as he threw a peace sign and walked off. Amanda looked at me and said, "I'm afraid it is too late." I hope she's wrong.

To get a more balanced perspective, let's go to Les Nessman for his opinion on how Iraq and Iran should be handled!



Wednesday August 23, 2006



Wow! I've been putting in for shows as a WireImage photographer for the last week. I'm surprised to say that I've gotten the word that I'm cleared for all of them. Maybe I'll even be able to make a few bucks!

I got a lot of background updating done today, too. I should be close to caught up in the near distant future so that I can get behind again. Ain't that the way?

Speaking of "the way", there was a Q-Sign song that Tom O'Gorman and I wrote right before the band broke up called "The Only Way". It was one that everyone in the band really liked and went over well whenever we played it. For some reason, it's been stuck in my head lately. I'm taking that as a sign (a Q-Sign!). The problem is that it's a piano based song and we don't have a keyboard player. I'm going to attempt to arrange it for guitar and see if it's workable. Ah, the joys of having a second guitarist / vocalist (I wouldn't want to do this one without the harmonies).

Joe's also got some ideas for "Everybody's Trying" (which he really loves). I also think that one needs a little something extra to push it over the top. I'd love to come up with a hook or a stronger chorus. It's a good song as it is but it can be better.

Check out "The Tarleks" by Rheostatic. This is my kind of video. If you don't get it, you need to start watching WKRP if you can find it!



Tuesday August 22, 2006






Finally, Grandma got the yard work done. I'm so glad. And she even found a semi-reasonable deal. Now that we know where the other relatives stand, we're going to go on like we always have. And guess what? While it might be more difficult, we'll get through without you just fine. Have a nice life.

Joe came over in the afternoon for some more fine tuning. Things are coming together so great I can't even put it into words. At some point, though, the whole band's going to have to start thinking about marketing and image. With Tom, we had a very specific style. Now, we're kind of half and half. I don't know how to approach it yet but it may call for some desparate measures. We'll see. Right now I just wanna keep getting the music better and better and better. And we are.




Monday August 21, 2006



Frank came over this afternoon. Yet again, we didn't play. He did get a lead on a job here in Athens that came in a strange and mysterious way...but you'll have to ask him about that!

I got the Snow Patrol CD in the mail today along with several others. It didn't take a full minute before I had to say "This is a hit". That first song will be a smash. There's nothing special about it but there's nothing at all wrong with it. That's the perfect criteria for a mega-hit in 2006. Mark my words.

We also listened to a few other discs that showed up. The only other one that interested me was Adam Green's new CD. He's come a long way from his Moldy Peaches days, lemme tell you. I may actually like this disc!

I also got a chance to spin Paul Stanley's new album, Live To Win. I'd prefer not to talk about it but I guess I will. Oof...well, let's just say that I prefer Simmons '04 solo album. At least he had a sense of humor. For what it's worth, this is not an album by the guy in KISS with a star on his face. This is an album by the guy who paints the star on his face to become that guy in KISS. Granted, the opening and closing songs could fit on a KISS record but they'd be better off on a modern Bon Jovi album. The power ballads are very well done but would be better served by Kenny Chesney or an American Idol finalist. Basically, 9 of the 10 songs sound like massive hits...but not for Paul Stanley. To me, this is a collection of well-produced songwriting demos and that's the way I'm going to choose to look at it. By the way, don't get me started on that 10th song. "Bulletproof" is nothing short of totally embarrassing. It would've been a bad cut in the hair metal days. Now it's totally inexcusable. It makes "Let's Put The X In Sex" come across like "Imagine" by comparison. I hope I'm exaggerating a little. I'll do a full review soon.

To cleanse my KISS palate, I watched Gene Simmons' Family Jewels before bed. It was quite an amusing one where Gene was basically tricked into going to a fat camp. You had to be there, I guess...

Click here for last week with Carlos Mencia, Brad Williams and a life-altering look into the Star Wars Holiday Special!