Life Music

Also Known as the Ten Commandments of High School

Photocopied list: "The Ten Commandments of Rock and Roll - 1. Suck up to the top cats / 2. Do not express independent opinions / 3. Do not work for common interest, only factional interests / 4. If there's nothing to complain about, dig up some old gripe / 5. Do not respect property or persons other than band property or persons / 6. Make devastating judgements on persons and situations without adequate information / 7. Discourage and confound personal, technical or creative projects / 8. Single out absent persons for intense criticism / 9. Remember that anything you don't understand is trying to fuck with you / 10. Destroy yourself physically and morally and insist that all true brothers do likewise as an expression of unity"

A reader named Simon sent this photo to Boing Boing, saying that he took this picture of the Ten Commandments of Rock and Roll while visiting an old roadie’s house, as he regaled him with stories of working with The Who and Iron Maiden.

They could just as easily be the Ten Commandments of High School. Or the Ten Commandments of the Working World, since the working world is often like high school, just with more money.

I much prefer Henry Rollins’ rules for live rock musicians:

"Listen to the stage manager and get onstage when they tell you to. No one has the time for your rock star bullshit. None of the techs backstage care if you're David Bowie or the milkman. / When you act like a jerk, they are completely unimpressed with the infantile display that you might think comes with your dubious status. / They were there hours before you, building the stage, and they will be there hours after you leave, tearing it down. They should get your salary, and you should get theirs. -- Henry Rollins"

Music Play

Goodnight Keith Moon

As a reader of this blog, chances are that someone read Goodnight Moon to you when you were a child:

goodnight moon

And as a reader of this blog, chances are that you like offbeat humour and have at least a passing interest in rock and roll. This means that chances are you might enjoy the darkly amusing parody Goodnight Keith Moon: 

goodnight keith moon

Here’s a snippet showing the opening spread:

in the great green room

Quick cultural references: Keith Moon was the drummer for The Who and died of a drug overdose in 1978 in the same flat where “Mama” Cass Elliot (of The Mamas and the Papas) died four years earlier


Anvil: Toronto’s Real-Life Spinal Tap Gets Their Break

Poster for "Anvil! The Stroy of Anvil"

Anvil! The Story of Anvil was the one documentary I really wanted to catch at last year’s Hot Docs film festival. If you watched Canada’s MuchMusic station in the 1980s and its heavy metal segment, The Pepsi Power Hour (hosted by the mullet-sporting JD Roberts, who later became CNN’s silver-haired John Roberts), you might have some dim memories of Anvil and their hits Metal on Metal and 666. It was pretty cheese-a-riffic Canadian metal; when I was a DJ at Crazy Go Nuts University’s Clark Hall Pub, I used tracks from promo CDs of Anvil’s Strength of Steel and Annihilator’s Alice in Hell to get people to leave the pub after the lights had gone on so we could mop the floor.

(Okay, I’ll admit that I sort of liked their hit Metal on Metal.)

Anvil might have remained a footnote in metal history had it not been for a teenage roadie named Sacha Gervasi, who helped lug around gear for the band in the 1980s. Gervasi would later go on to become a screenwriter for movies such as Spielberg’s The Terminal. When Gervasi heard that Anvil were doing a big tour in 2005 and had landed the headline spot at the Monsters of Transylvania Festival, he asked their frontman, “Lips” Kudlow if he could film a documentary of them. “Lips” said yes, and a real-life This is Spinal Tap “rockumentary” ensued.

Every review of Anvil! The Story of Anvil points out that a lot of the mishaps experienced by the fictitious band Spinal Tap actually happen to Anvil, a real-life band. There’s the lifelong “David St.Hubbins/Nigel Tufnel-esque” friendship between the two founders of the band. The guitar player’s fiancee can’t speak English and mismanages the band into disaster. There’s a concert scene where the camera starts with a tight shot of a crowd near the stage and then zooms out to reveals that the band is playing to an audience of 200 in an arena that holds 10,000. The band memebers make ends meet through their day jobs: telemarketing and serving school lunches. There’s even a stranger-than-fiction scene where the owner of a club in the Czech Republic tries to pay the band in goulash rather than cash.

It’s funny, yet heartbreaking at the same time, because while Spinal Tap’s over-the-top problems were make-believe, the guys in Anvil were experiencing them in real life.

Here’s the UK trailer for the movie:

It looks as though Anvil will finally get their break. The movie is getting a lot of praise, people are actually coming to see their shows, and a number of their songs will soon be available as downloads for the Rock Band videogame.

I’m definitely catching the movie once it hits the theatres here.

It Happened to Me Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Rock4theKids: “Rock Band” for a Good Cause, Tuesday April 7th

Rock4theKidsIf you like playing Rock Band and supporting good causes, you’re going to love Rock4theKids, the Rock Band competition taking place on Tuesday night whose proceeds are going to “Sick Kids”, a.k.a. the Hospital for Sick Children.

At Rock4theKids, 15 teams – or more accurately, bands – of all skill levels will compete by playing Rock Band or Rock Band 2. They’ll be judged not only by the machine on their score and playing skills, but also by human judges on their onstage presence, costume and attitude. The judges announced so far are:

Rock4theKids takes place on Tuesday, April 7th at 7:30 p.m. at the Revival Club (783 College Street, at Shaw). This is a 19+ venue; it’s a licensed establishment, so you’ve got to be of legal drinking age to get in. If you’ve always wanted to rock out in front of an audience but don’t play any instruments, this is your chance! I want to see the club packed so that the event is a spectacular rockstravangaza and so that lots of money goes to the Foundation for the Hospital for Sick Children. It’s a great idea for a great cause that promises to be a great night out.

If you want to register your band to compete in Rock4theKids, here’s the signup form. Hurry – the event’s this Tuesday!


Queen’s Opening Acts

Queen, live in 1984

For no reasons other than I love the band and my stumbling across this list, here are the names of the bands who’ve opened for Queen:

  • After The Fire
  • Airrace
  • Al Stewart
  • The Alarm
  • Alvin Lee & Ten Years After
  • Ambach Circus
  • Andy Fairweather-Low
  • Angel Child (Änglabarn)
  • April Wine
  • Argent
  • The B-52s
  • The Bangles
  • Belouis Some
  • Big Country
  • Billy Squier
  • The Blasters
  • Bloodrock
  • Bob Seger & Silver Bullet Band
  • Bow Wow Wow
  • Brownsville Station
  • Bullitt
  • Cate Brothers
  • Cheap Trick
  • Chris Rea
  • Cold Chisel
  • The Commodores
  • Craaft
  • Dakota
  • Eduardo Dusek
  • Erasmo Carlos
  • The Exploited
  • Foghat
  • Fountainhead
  • Frankie Miller’s Full House
  • Fruupp
  • Full Frontal Nudity
  • Gary Moore
  • General Public
  • The Go-Go’s
  • Head East
  • Heart
  • Hustler
  • INXS
  • Iron Maiden
  • Joan Jett And The BlackHearts
  • Kansas
  • Kayak
  • Kid Abelha and Os Aboboras Selvagens
  • Kiki Dee
  • Lancelot
  • Level 42
  • Lucifer
  • Lulu Santos
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Mahagony Rush
  • Manfred Mann
  • Marillion
  • Molly Hatchet
  • Mr. Big
  • The Narcs
  • Ney Matogrosso
  • Nutz
  • The Outlaws
  • Pepeu Gomes and Baby Consuelo
  • Ray Burton Band
  • Red Baron
  • R.E.O. Speedwagon
  • Rory Gallagher
  • The Royal Dragoon Guards
  • Sea Level
  • Seger
  • Solution
  • Sport of Kings
  • Status Quo
  • Steve Hillage
  • Straight 8
  • Storm
  • Styx
  • Supercharge
  • Taste
  • Teardrop Explodes 
  • Thin Lizzy
  • Tombstone
  • Treat
  • Voyager
  • Whitesnake
  • Yesterday And Today
  • Zas
  • Zeno
  • ZiZi Labor