Meister's "Views of the Cruise" – Volume #8 – The Ballads

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Hello all and welcome to my Monsters of Rock: The Lost Weekend pre-cruise series of blogs and articles.  I am commonly known as The Meister and I had the distinct pleasure of taking part in last year’s inaugural Monsters of Rock Cruise.  This year’s voyage promises to be bigger and better, already planned to be a full day longer with more bands, a full rockin’ day at sea and two port stops
in Nassau, Bahamas and Coco Cay, Bahamas.  The much ballyhooed official Monsters Of Rock Pre-Party event (which I unfortunately had to miss last year as I had been fairly late in the game in discovering the cruise and joining the ship’s registry, by which time it was sold out) has now been announced.  This year the pre-party will be held at Exit 66 on the Fort Lauderdale beach and boasts performances by Enuff Z’nuff
and JSRG, which are 3/4 of the original Vixen (see my Views of the Cruise – Volume #3 for more details on JSRG as well as the other leather clad ladies on board this year – VOLUME #3).  One of the cruisers has worked very hard putting together another event called the Rockerz Gone Wild Pool Party, which promises six bands and a plethora of antics to get cruisers warmed up for the voyage.  This non MOR affiliated party has a complete bill featuring L.A. Guns, Ted Poley, Bang Tango, Liberty Lush, Pretty Little Suicide and Glitter Boyz.  Keep watching the Decibel Geek website for my reports of all of this pre-cruise debauchery.

As I anxiously await the release of the band performance schedule so that I can start planning my shows and events for this year’s trip, I listened to the current episode of The Decibel Geek Podcast, as I do each week.  I decided to deviate from my original thoughts and plans for this week’s article of talking about some of the Fresh Faces or new artists aboard the MSC Poesia this year.  This past week’s podcast, Episode #72 is entitled “For The Ladies” and is, of course, a Valentine’s Day themed broadcast focusing on the infamous power ballad.  The reason I decided to switch up the plan was that of the ten songs and bands that hosts Chris and Aaron feature and discuss in the episode five of them are directly related to this year’s Monsters of Rock Cruise.

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The first track featured in the episode is John Corabi’s If I had A Dime from his recently released Unplugged CD. For more on the CD, here’s a link to my esteemed colleague Wallygator’s review (JOHN CORABI).  John was a part of last year’s shenanigans and it was the first time I had seen him perform live.  His acoustic set took place in the small and intimate Bar Dei Poeti Lounge area and it was packed on that first night of the cruise as John played hits from many of his bands including Motley Crue, Union and The Scream as well as his own compositions.  I’m glad that John is back for this year and I would love to see him perform again as I feel that I did him an injustice
last year and this time promise to give him my full attention as last year’s adult beverage consumption on the first night (who am I kidding….whole voyage) was a bit over-the-top.  John’s new acoustic CD, Unplugged, is an awesome offering and I look forward to hearing some of the songs live, especially If I Had A Dime which was co-written with D.A. Karkos, good friend of The Decibel Geek Podcast and I’m hoping he’ll be accompanying John aboard ship.  If you haven’t picked up Unplugged yet, I strongly recommend that you consider doing so.

John’s Website     John’s Facebook Page

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L.A. Guns also graced the airwaves of the podcast this week featuring a lesser known deeper cut with The Ballad off of the Waking The Dead CD from 2002, the last to include Tracii Guns I believe.  L.A. Guns are a band that I’ve never had the opportunity to catch live even though they have been to Toronto on several occasions with several different incarnations of the band and I’m looking forward to my first experience especially on the heels of the newest CD, Hollywood Forever.  I was a little unsure of just what to expect from this latest Guns offering being as though it had been quite some time since we’d seen a release from them, but the album gets going right away and doesn’t let up.  I even saw Hollywood Forever appear on at least one “Top Ten List of 2012”!  Now, I know that there are a lot of
 purists out there that think that L.A. Guns is not the same without Tracii, as there always are when any band splits up like this.  Especially if there are two incarnations using the name at the same time (another thing that
a lot of this year’s line-up has in common, but that’s another article for another day), but if this album is anything to go by the live set will be extraordinary.  L.A. Guns is also playing at the Rockerz Gone Wild Pool Party, so I should have many opportunities to catch them during this “Lost Weekend” which has turned into more of a “Lost Week” for me!   Unfortunately, my fellow countryman Stacey Blades, a long time member of the band has decided to move on to new ventures and will not be aboard ship.

L.A. GUNS WEBSITE     L.A. GUNS on FACEBOOK

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Coming Home from Cinderella’s Long Cold Winter record also got the Decibel Geek treatment for this week’s episode.  Cinderella was one of the first bands that my best friend and I discovered when we were thirteen or fourteen and picked up the Night Songs record.  The song Fire & Ice from the sophmore release Long Cold Winter was a regular staple in my car as a part of my driving songs playlist and now finds itself nestled among the other selections contained in my MP3.  I’ve had the opportunity to see Cinderella on more than one occasion back in my younger concert going days and they always put on a great show when I went to see them.  I was a bit nervous about seeing them on last year’s cruise as I had heard some things about Tom Keifer and his voice, including all the talk after their first set aboard ship claiming that he had been inflicted with sea sickness and sounded horrible.  Whether this is true or not, I’m happy to report that I caught a good portion of their second show last year and he as well as the
rest of the band sounded amazing, just as they had in the years of my youth.  I just wish that Tom would venture north of the border and play a show in Toronto on his new, first ever solo tour.  In any event I’ll be at one of their shows sporting my Night Songs record and I was even able to locate and dig out my Heartbreak Station concert tour book to bring along on this year’s cruise in search of autographs.  I look forward to their set as being from Canada I certainly understand a Long Cold Winter.

Cinderella’s Website     Cinderella on Facebook

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Don’t Close Your Eyes was probably KIX’s most commercially successful offering and please check out fellow Decibel Geek Cynthia Johnson’s KIX story (KIX SAVED ME).  I’ve covered KIX in a couple of my “Views of The Cruise” blogs so far, but it never hurts to mention them again as they put on a fantastic show last cruise, cementing me as a fan and I will make sure to grab one of their sets this year as well.  KIX was our sail away from Key West performer and I have
long been a mediocre KIX fan, owning the Blow My Fuse and Hot Wire CD’s, but never having delved further into their catalogue.  I’m proud to say that all that has changed and I have now searched out and purchased the entire KIX discography including the recently released Live In Baltimore.  This drive to complete my foray into the KIX library was a direct spawn of catching their live performance as the MSC Poesia floated away from the Key West docks.  They were simply captivating during this performance with the extremely charismatic front man Steve Whiteman leading the
way and regaling us with stories of shitting his pants on stage one night.  I did read somewhere that Poison actually copied a lot of Steve and KIX’s stage moves!  One thing that I was a bit put-off about however was Steve’s short rant about his unpleasant feelings towards fans stopping him for pictures and autographs during the cruise.  I got news for ya Stevie-boy…..I’ll be looking for you with “sharpie” markers in hand and camera ready to sign my newly acquired KIX collection and pose for a photo!

KIX Website     KIX Facebook Page

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New aboard this year’s cruise is Enuff z’ Nuff and they were one of the first bands announced even before we disembarked from last year’s marvellous metal mayhem.  They are not a band that I’m at all familiar with, of course being the music efficianado that I am, I’ve heard of them, just not heard their music.  I picked up the Favorites CD released in 2004 and have spun it a few times, familiarising myself with the music, not falling into the fan category just yet, but sometimes a live performance can transport me into that realm quite quickly and I’ll definitely be catching them at the official Monsters Of Rock pre-party at Exit 66 on Fort Lauderdale Beach on March 15th, the nig
ht before embarkation.  The track featured by the boys this week, called How Am I Supposed To Write A Love Song, was not an inclusion on Favorites.

Enuff Z’nuff’s Website     Enuff Z’nuff on Facebook

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Tuff’s Hate Kissing You Goodbye is a great song and I’m sure that a few of you reading this are shaking your heads as Tuff is not aboard the MSC Poesia this year and you’d be correct.  Tuff however features the drumming skills of one Trent Anderson, who until recently was a member of Bang Tango who are returning for this voyage as well as playing the Rockerz Gone Wild Pool Party, unfortunately Trent has now moved on from Bang Tango.  In talking with Trent he seems to be a very real and down to earth guy and I was looking forward to meeting him aboard ship and shaking hands, but I guess that’ll have to wait until I’m able to catch a Tuff show.

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Jizzy Pearl was also featured this week with the song How’d I Get So Lonely and again, while not aboard the cruise this year is certainly relevant for his stint in L.A. Guns among other great bands.  There have been a couple of other notable and cruise related L.A. Guns members according to Wikipedia which cites Joe Leste of Bang Tango on lead vocals in 1998 and original Faster Pussycat member Brent Muscat on rhythm guitar in 2000 and again in 2002/2003.

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There will certainly be more ballads aboard the cruise ship with all the great bands on the line-up, but I can honestly say that ballads and Valentine’s Day don’t mean a whole lot to me.  I guess it’s because I’m a single guy, but then again you never know, maybe I’ll meet my Valentine aboard ship this year.  We could share in some of the planned activities aboard ship like, Band Meet & Greets, MOR Prom 1987, Celebrity RNR Bingo or even the Mark Weiss Photo Gallery, but I think we’ll avoid the Shotgun Wedding Vows even if it is hosted by Luc Carl and John Corabi, at least until next year’s voyage any way.

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“CRUISE NEWS”

To catch up on your cruise reading check out the previous volumes of Meister’s “Views of the Cruise” with the links below:

Volume #1
Volume #2
Volume #3
Volume #4
Volume #5

Volume #6

Volume #7

*****The Monsters of Rock: The Lost Weekend Cruise is now sold out, but you still may be able to find a cabin on this rock & roll party boat through Facebook’s find a cabin mate page.  Check it out and join me aboard the MSC Poesia in March 2013*****

*****There has been an adjustment to the ship’s registry!  I have heard rumours that Arcade (featuring Stephen Pearcy of Ratt and Fred Coury of Cinderella) has been removed from the roster!  While I have not personally seen any confirmation from the Monsters of Rock organisation, their band photo has been removed from the official Monsters of Rock website.  I was looking forward to seeing them and they were a band that I had not been exposed to prior to seeing them on the cruise roster and featured them in Volume #4 even!*****

*****If you can’t join us on the voyage, but still want to catch some of the bands live in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas as cruise bands roll into town and play gigs before and after the voyage.  Here’s a few that I know about so far:
March 12th – L.A. Guns rocks Club L.A. in Destin
March 13th – Faster Pussycat was to be playing in Cape Coral at the Dixie Roadhouse, but this show has been moved.  They are now playing in Edgewater and a few of us “crazy cruisers” are planning to make the trek to the show……I’ll let you know how it turns out!
March 13th – L.A. Guns will be at Dirty Harry’s in Daytona for Daytona Bikeweek.
March 14th – Faster Pussycat plays Club L.A. in Destin as support for Jack Russell’s Great White
March 15th – L.
A. Guns takes the stage at Jake’s Tavern in Sarasota
March 15th – Bang Tango is at The State Theatre in St. Petersburg
March 15th – Queensryche plays The Ritz Ybor in Tampa.
March 15th – Frank Hannon (of Tesla) at Brewster’s Roc Bar in Jacksonville.  FASTER PUSSYCAT HAS BEEN ADDED TO THIS SHOW!
March 22nd – sees Bang Tango in Jacksonville at Brewster’s Pit & Pub
March 22nd – has Queensryche playing H.O.B. in Lake Buena Vista Florida.*****

……..And the most exciting pool party…….

March 14th – has a packed bill for the Rockerz Gone “Wild” Pool Party at the Days Inn Bahia Cabana along with L.A. Guns, Bang Tango, Ted Poley, Glitter Boys, Pretty Little Suicide and recently announced Liberty Lush (who are currently touring with L.A. Guns).  Tickets are still available for the pool party with this link: Rockerz Gone Wild Pool Party. Big John, Brett’s right hand man from The Rock of Love will be on hand autographing 8×10 photos for $10.00 each with every dollar of proceeds going to The Wounded Warrior Project.  This pool party keeps getting better and better with L.A. Guns now raffling away an autographed guitar and CD for $20.00 a ticket with only 50 tickets being sold!

……..And the Official Monsters of Rock pre- party has been announced……

March 15th – The official Monsters of Rock pre-party has been announced to take place at Exit 66 and features Enuff Z’ Nuff and JSRG (3/4 of the original Vixen-see Volume #3 above for details).

……..For those in the Toronto area…..

March 7th – Queensryche will be at The Phoenix Nightclub in Toronto.
March 23rd – Bang Tango is rocking the Rockpile Bar & Nightclub in Etobicoke.
March 23rd – Y&T comes to the Rockpile Bar & Nightclub in Etobicoke.
March 31st – The Rockpile is yet again invaded by Faster Pussycat with incredible local act Diemonds as support.

*****Watch for next week’s “Views of the Cruise” as I explore the music of some of the brilliant new additions to the ship’s registry for this year’s voyage aboard the MSC Poesia in Volume #9*****

Cheers,
The Meister

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