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Friday, March 2, 2012

Brief News for Friday March 2nd, 2012

Hi folks,
TGIF I hear it ringing all around the office!!

Sad time for my old football team, even Brian Howe's efforts to try and save Portsmouth Football Club by pulling together some kind of consortium, look to have been in vain. At this point, if no one comes in to buy the club within the next five weeks, they will no longer exist. The club was founded in 1898 ... That is seriously sad.
Looking forward to seeing Michael Schenker playing along Robin McAuley once more tomorrow night.
I've been seeing the setlists from this current tour and it's killer!
Can't wait!
Well, otherwise folks, have a great weekend.
Cheers, Al

Eagle Rock Entertainment forthcoming releases for 2012

~APRIL 3, 2012~

New York, NY--Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to continue its Jeff Healey Band archival series with the April 3 DVD-CD release of Live In Belgium.
Touring in 1993 in support of their Feel This album, The Jeff Healey Band hit The Peer Blues Festival in Belgium running! The double-disc package-which includes the show both visually and aurally-contains 12 tight, taut gems in Dolby Digital Stereo and Dolby 5.1. The songs are highlighted by Healey's soulful vocals and his wild'n'wooly over-the-top electric guitar solos, played in his inimitable style on his lap like a dobro. His visceral, energetic performance sets the crowd buzzing right from note #1.
The 82 minutes fly by as Healey really gets into his signature cover of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" as well as "Roadhouse Blues" by The Doors and some of his own classic tracks including "Angel Eyes" and "Full Circle." Making this particular performance special is the fact that the trio is augmented by two backing vocalists and a keyboard player. This takes the presentation up to a whole new level as the band is, in effect, doubled. Besides the Feel This material, Healey performs tracks off his very popular See The Light and Hell To Pay albums.
Jeff Healey (1966-2008) was a Canadian singer/songwriter/guitarist of mammoth talent who fused a love of blues and rockin' anthems into a jam-happy stew of crowd-crazy proportions. He could sing like an angel, sting like a bee on his axe and perform like he was born to do so.
CD and DVD Track Listing:

1.Baby's Lookin' Hot
2.The House That Love Built
3.Evil And Here To Stay
4.Confidence Man
5.It Could All Get Blown Away
6.Lost In Your Eyes
7.Heart Of An Angel
8.Full Circle
9.That's What They Say
10.Angel Eyes
11. Roadhouse Blues
12.See The Light
13.While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Also from Eagle Rock

Deep Purple/Total Abandon – Live In Australia ‘99/CD
Released April 24 2012
Deep Purple recorded live in Melbourne, Australia in April 1999, Total Abandon is exactly that: a wild onstage ride of epic proportions.
Vocalist Ian Gillan, guitarist Steve Morse, bassist Roger Glover, keyboardist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice pull out all the stops in a career-defining set that spans decades. This CD (with no overdubs), includes an eight-minute jam on “Pictures Of Home” and a seven-minute version of “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming,” in addition to favorites like “Smoke On The Water.”

Foreigner/Alive And Rockin’/CD
Released May 29 2012

The timeless rockin’ music of Foreigner has always thrived in a live setting and in this 2007 balls-to-the-wall performance, guitarist Mick Jones, singer Kelly Hansen, drummer Jason Bonham, keyboardist Jeff Jacobs, bassist Jeff Pilson and multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel absolutely roar on classic after classic to an ecstatic crowd. “Double Vision,” “Head Games,” “Feels Like The First Time,” and many others (including a mash-up of "Juke Box Hero" and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”) were all on the menu. Eagle Rock released a DVD version of this concert in 2007.

Whitesnake announces no touring in 2012

Whitesnake have announced the band will be on hiatus from touring throughout 2012 after completing their successful 'Forevermore World Tour'.

At this time the band plan to spend 2012 in the studio, mixing live recordings made during the 2011 tour.

There are also plans to edit and mix a live in-concert DVD from the tour.

Other 'Snake related projects are also in the works, including new material, though there are no definite plans to record a full studio album at this time.

Some of the band members will be keeping busy with other musical projects throughout 2012 and will try to provide information related to their activities, as well as the individual member's websites.

The commercial and critical success continues with their 'Forevermore' album which is still gathering accolades and awards from around the world.

Stay in touch with for any and all up to date news and information WHITESNAKE related ... And remember you can ask David (Coverdale) questions on his message board (theBBS).
See You There!

See us over at

Frontiers presents Diamond Dawn - Swedish Melodic Rock!

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the signing of the swedish Melodic Rock newcomers DIAMOND DAWN. The band was formed in early 2011 in Gothenburg and released digitally the song "Standing As One" which caused a great buzz in the underground scene in Melodic Rock.
It is possible to stream the track following this link on Youtube:

The sound of the group represents the best from the musical era of the 80's with a modern approach to Melodic Hard Rock. The band sent out the following statement: "We are incredibly proud to announce that we have signed a world wide record deal with Frontiers Records. This is an important milestone in our career and we are thrilled about this cooperation which we believe will take the band to a whole new level. Working with Frontiers Records is truly a dream come true for us since they are working with many of our musical heroes".

Diamond Dawn's debut album, scheduled to be released later this year, will be mixed by Tobias Lindell who has worked with artists such as Europe, Hardcore Superstar, Mustasch and H.E.A.T.

Also from Frontiers


It is now available the UNCENSORED version of the BEGGARS & THIEVES videoclip "We Come Undone" taken from the album "We Are the Brokenhearted" released last december on Frontiers Records.
The videoclip includes cameos from Jake E. Lee (ex Ozzy), Blas Elias (Slaughter), Ron Keel (Keel), Paul Shortino (King Kobra) and Sunset Thomas.
A new videoclip for the song "Innocence" is currently in the works!

Video link:

For further information go to:

Eagle Rock late additions

Twisted Sister/ Club Daze 2 and Live At Hammersmith/CDs
Released May 29 2012

Club Daze 2 continues the look back at the point in time when Twisted Sister was still just a local phenomenon on Long Island, New York. It picks up where last year’s Club Daze left off: back in the hot sweaty environs of loud, gin-soaked barrooms where the good times were earned via ear-bending power chords. You’ll hear Dee Snider, Jay Jay French, Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda, Mark “The Animal” Mendoza and A.J. Pero in all their youthful abandon and raw surging aggression.
Live At Hammersmith is vintage 1984 Twisted Sister recorded live at London’s famous Hammersmith Odeon.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

News Update for Thursday 1st March, 2012

Hi folks,

Where do these days go, look it's Thursday already and then tomorrow night, it's the weekend!
Alright then, well, I know there's been not so much news coverage lately, but sure enough, there's been a couple of new CD reviews and an interview, so I hope that sufficed a little?!

New DVD review should be up in a couple of days and I'll see which review follows.
Still need to get those three interviews typed up too, Howard Leese, David Paich and Joe Lynn Turner, phew ... Busy, busy indeed, but exciting too!

Rather sad to hear about the youthful Davy Jones passing away yesterday aged just 66.
I remember him living in the Portsmouth area, when I was living back in the UK, never saw him in the area, but he was often in the local papers doing charity stuff or his horses.
Let's face it, I think we all liked something by the Monkees too.
As a kid, I would watch their TV shows. Always amusing.
RIP Davy Jones

Well, without further ado, lets gets to the news items.
Hope the tail end of your week works out. Cheers, Al

First new music from Europe in 2012

Sweden's biggest rock band EUROPE “have arrived” – as per singer Joey Tempest.
Be it literal or in an abstract sense, the band is back on track with a new smash: Not Supposed To Sing The Blues.

The first single of the rock supergroup’s new longplayer, Bag of Bones released in the UK on Monday 30th April 2012, was produced by one of the hottest producers, Kevin Shirley, who was in charge of the overall album production as well.
"Kevin Shirley did such a great job capturing the spirit of this band. He just let us do our thing and then pushed us and our songs to the max,” states an enthusiastic Tempest. "Finally we express ourselves completely without restraint. Straight from heart and soul. It took some time but WE HAVE ARRIVED!"

Europe 2012 - Photo by Fredrik Etoall

Yet the single title implicates little favor for Blues, the album sound actually does exactly this. Moreover, blues rock personality Joe Bonamassa also contributed guitar on the title track of the new Bag of Bones album.
Not Supposed To Sing The Blues will be serviced to radio this Friday, March 2nd and will be released digitally on March 9th.
EUROPE guitar virtuoso John Norum resumes single and album this way:
“Why drive VW beetle when you can drive a Rolls Royce! Bag of Bones is a classic rock album with lots of class. Even my mom likes it!”
Now let this sound conquer the airwaves again!
For more information on this press release go to:

Official Europe weblinks:









UK Classic Rock magazine's AOR Special Edition Issue # 6 now available in UK

The brand new edition of Classic Rock Presents AOR is on sale now – with a cover that celebrates Kiss’ career in the 1980s.

Stumbling into the new decade, Kiss ditched their iconic make-up and changed tactics to survive the 80s.
In an epic 12-page feature, we tell how Paul Stanley led Kiss’ MTV revolution. Discarding founder members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, the reinvented, reinvigorated band tore up the Top 40 with a string on AOR-friendly anthems including Reason To Live, Forever, Tears Are Falling and many more…

Also in AOR: a brilliant FREE CD titled Silk + Steel featuring 15 hot new melodic rock anthems, including tracks from UFO, Alfonzetti, Beggars & Thieves, Casablanca, Sencelled, De La Cruz, Sunstorm, Strangeways, The Magnificent

Elsewhere in AOR:
Loverboy – Canada’s blue-collar rockers chart their long journey to the Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame.
Air Supply – AOR’s soppiest superstars swear they’re a rock’n’roll band, not just multi-platinum balladeers.
Mike Tramp – Arriving penniless in New York in the 70s, White Lion made Mike Tramp a rich man. But did success make him happy?
Christian AORPetra, White Heart, Stryper … We meet the bands who played AOR for the glory of God.
Mama’s Boys – Only bad luck and agonising tragedy could keep the brothers McManus from the big time.
Timothy B. SchmitThe Eagles/Poco bassist retraces his charmed life within West Coast rock’s highest echelons.
Little Angels – Reunited for Download, Toby Jepson and co tell us how and why…
Spider – From South Africa via NYC and, bizarrely, Shanghai: a web of AOR intrigue is deftly spun.

Plus – features on Joe Lynn Turner, Backseat Sally, Dwight Twilley, Candy and Mark Spiro; new albums from UFO, The Morning After, Mr Big, Strangeways, One Man’s Trash, Drought and Lillian Axe; reissues from Jo Jo Gunne, Autograph and Gamma; live reviews of Def Leppard, Chickenfoot, Reckless Love, Bryan Adams and Paul Rodgers; Canadian AOR Buyers Guide featuring Triumph, Honeymoon Suite, Harlequin, Toronto
All this and more in AOR issue No.6, on sale now.
For more details:

FASTWAY To Release Eat Dog, Eat on April 10 (US)

British-based metal band featuring Fast Eddie Clarke (ex-Motorhead)
introduces new vocalist Toby Jepson (ex-Little Angels)

Listen to "Leave the Lights On" HERE

MVD AUDIO will be relasing the long awaited FASTWAY album Eat Dog, Eat on April 10 (US).
This is the first FASTWAY album in over 20 years.

After the shows of 2007, Fast Eddie Clarke (ex-Motorhead) and Toby Jepson (ex-Little Angels) began casually working on ideas and over time managed to gather enough for a full blown record. Toby took on the role of producer and also played bass and sang all the main vocals. Eddie and Toby were joined on the drums by Matt Eldridge whom has long been Toby's drummer of choice.

The record was created at Chapel Studios with Ewan Davies as the engineer and mixer.

Toby says: "We have collaborated closely on all aspects of the recording, specifically wanting to create a performance based, un-apologetically raw album that was song driven and above all made with passion. This we did, eschewing multi layered, heavily edited recording in favour of the simple 'warts and all' dynamics. I think the results are real. We hope you do to."

Formed in 1983, FASTWAY's self-titled debut album entered the U.K. charts at No. 43 and received very good reviews. One year later, "All Fired Up" was released and was a great success, thanks in no small part to high-profile support tours in the U.S. with SCORPIONS and RUSH. In 1985 "Waiting For The Roar" saw the light of day and was followed by dates with AC/DC on the "Fly On The Wall" tour.
In 1986 FASTWAY wrote the soundtrack to the horror movie "Trick Or Treat" starring Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons.

After 1986, FASTWAY released two more studio albums with a different lineup and issued several live and best-of LPs.

Link to Purchase:

Available Now on iTunes:

VIDEO: "Making of" at Chapel Studios 2011:


Deliver Me
Fade Out
Leave the Light On
Loving Fool
Dead and Gone
Sick as a Dog
Freedom Song
Who Do You Believe
Love I Need
On and On
Only If You Want It


 Thin Lizzy offers up signed guitar on eBay for childrens charity

Official website:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

UFO – 'Seven Deadly' album review

UFO – 'Seven Deadly' album review
Released through: SPV / Steamhammer. Release date: Available now!

One of, if not my all time favourite band, UFO are back with a new album in ‘Seven Deadly’ with the same line up that recorded the last two releases from the band.

The two original members in Phil Mogg (Vocals) and Andy Parker (Drums), alongside Paul Raymond (Keys, Guitars, vocals) from the ‘classic’ UFO lineup that recorded ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Obsession’ as well as the live gem, ‘Strangers in the Night.’
Rounding  things out here is guitar maestro Vinnie Moore, who has in fact played on the last three studio releases prior to this, as well as the live ‘Showtime’ release.
Special guest on bass for the album is studio session man Lars Lehmann from the Hanover area.

Pete Way it sadly seems is now quite out of the picture, due to his health and shall we say ‘habits.’ I wish you well Pete. I hope you can get yourself sorted mate.
So this being the 21st studio release from UFO, what new gems do they bring?
Read on folks and I’ll tell you!

Opening number ‘Fight Night’ has a riff and chorus that actually at times reminds me of AC/DC, but Phil Mogg stays true to his completely unique vocal phrasings and vocally does sound on form.
Otherwise it’s certainly on a par to me with anything from the (Paul) Chapman era.

Oh yeah, I love ‘Wonderland’ right off the bat! It comes off the starting blocks as it means to continues, rockin’ and kickin’ some serious arse or ass for my good old American friends and family!
It actually reminds me a little of ‘Pushed To The Limit.’ Excellent stuff!

I have to say, the band tends to take on an almost (Led) Zeppelin grooving hard rocking blues swagger with ‘Mojo Town.’
Steady enough number ...

‘Angel Station’ is a slower number, nice kind of ballad like number, although can’t help but be reminded of the Collective Soul number ‘Shine’ but I still really like the number, especially Vinnie’s solo.

There’s a great, cool groove to the mid-paced ‘Year of the Gun,’ almost kind of funky feel about it, also little reminiscent of the later Chapman years sound. Nice one.

‘The Last Stone Rider’ starts laid back, before getting into its rock groove, but do they also give a slight nod towards the Allman Brothers ‘Midnight Rider’ in the verse? I could almost sing, ‘I’ve got one more, silver dollar here!’
That’s OK, people like familiarity right?!

There is certainly more of a laid back style groove about this album, as ‘Steal Yourself’ continues to prove.
Not so many real hard rockers on here, but then the band has so many of those in its back pocket, so why not ease back a little, eh?! Another nicely done solo from Vinnie here too!

Wow! Check out the big old harmony backing on ‘Burn Your House’ down, haven’t heard the guys do anything like this in some time. Another slower, steady number and the album I would say has a very almost kind of bluesy feel to it, in it’s presentation, but it’s not the heavy blues. The magic of UFO has always been to capture so much melody in what they write.

‘The Fear’ even brings a little harmonica into the blues equation and this has a wonderfully, blatant blues groove to it.
It’s all good stuff though. Enjoyable to a fault!

Closing track on my version – The regular one … The digi-pack has two bonus tracks. – is ‘Waving Goodbye.’
It’s a partly acoustic driven, but the levels change throughout so electric takes over in places and just after the bridge about halfway through, Vinnie plays a class solo once more.

Good solid performance in my mind and it kind of made a change to me, as although ‘The Visitor’ and ‘Monkey Puzzle’ were good releases I personally think this one perhaps has a slight edge for me.

Andy Parker is solid, Phil is in good form, Paul Raymond is right there – Although would’ve liked a little more Hammond here and there! – Vinnie, very good and guest bassist Lars Lehmann does exactly what’s needed.

I for one really have enjoyed listening to this one, now what would make my year would be for UFO to finally come back through Detroit for the first time in eight years!
Yes guys, it really has been that long!
It was the ‘You Are Here' tour in 2004. Come on, you won’t regret it!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Official band website:

Interview with Joe Retta – Singer with 'Heaven and Earth' and 'The Sweet'

Interview with Joe Retta – Singer with 'Heaven and Earth' and 'The Sweet'

Joe Retta fronting Sweet in Mt. Clemens, MI - Summer 2011.
Photo by Alun Williams©

Well, after some short calls between Joe and I and then phone tag on trying to do the phone interview and me screwing up the timezone that Joe was in at the time, finally ... Joe and I got through a series of questions about a lot of what he's been involved in.

Joe Retta has been the lead vocalist of the US version of The Sweet, led by original Sweet bassist / vocalist Steve Priest for about five years now and it has also featured a certain Stuart Smith, the main man behind the excellent Heaven and Earth project.
Drummer Richie Onori, is also a member of both the aforementioned bands and with Heaven and Earth from the start.

Before Joe hooked up with Sweet though, he had been in some pretty seriously good tribute bands, that the video's on You Tube prove, are worth checking out!
Right now though, he's working on the latest Heaven and Earth album as lead vocalist,  following some serious big name vocalists that have appeared on the last two albums and E.P., such as Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple, Yngwie Malmsteen, Sunstorm), Kelly Hansen (Hurricane, Foreigner), Bobby Kimball (Toto, Yoso, Kimball / Jamison), Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot, King Kobra) and Kelly Keeling (Baton Rouge, MSG, John Norum, King Kobra, George Lynch).

I do know that they already have four songs, pretty much there, a fifth needs a little more work and then the rest, well ... Joe will tell you more on, further on in the interview, so off we go! 

AW: Hi Joe thanks for your time with this.
So Queen Nation, Holy Diver, Led Zepplica how did those two projects come about, who’s idea and what drove you to do that and are they projects you’re still involved with?

Joe: The tribute stuff was pre Sweet. Holy Diver was just plain fun. It’s a blast for me to sing “Dio” songs.
What can I say about Led Zeppelin? It’s also super fun to sing!
I love singing those ultra high bluesy notes Robert (Plant) gave us on vinyl.
The Queen thing I don’t do much anymore, but great songs from another great singer.
RIP Freddy. A couple of songs still choke me up when I sing them, probably because of thinking of Freddy’s passing …

AW: Are there any other projects that you front?

Joe: I have an R&B band called “Jomama” that I play with from time to time. The players are all from Ventura and the song list is mostly cool old R&B. Lots of Stevie Wonder, Al Green, The Spinners etc.

I have always been a bit of a chameleon. I have sung such a wide variety of covers throughout the years. It’s really good training. It taught me how to manipulate my voice in al lot of ways, from soft breathy Jazz, to Gritty R&B, right through to Metal!
I also toured with Gregg Rolie of Journey fame, singing the Steve Perry tunes.

Singing stuff I know and grew up with has always been fun which is why I dig fronting for Sweet so much.
I just love to sing and I don’t trip on the “Tribute” thing, although some people look down on it, Brad Delp of Boston did a Beatles tribute after Boston and he was one of the all-time best.

There is a huge market these days for it and it’s taken me to India several times and toured all over Canada doing tribute shows. People love the old stuff and the 70’s were the f**king best!
Although …, I also have a big love of the 60’s
 AW: OK, silly question now, for the Queen Nation gig, when did you last do that, I ask, because of the hair man?!

Joe: The hair is easy. A tight cap stuffed with my hair and a short wig on top. Voula!
Once I used a stick on mustache during a show and the thing started to peel off. Ridiculous!

AW: Who were your biggest influences Joe or do the tributes bands answer that for you really?

Joe: Biggest influences: EVERYONE! I grew up on 70’s R&B, Rock, Latin, jazz,  fusion, World, everything.
But early on it was Edgar Winter and the ‘White Trash band’ playing ‘Tobacco Road’ on the double live record ‘Roadwork’ and all the early 70’s radio play. After that …? Wow, everyone!

AW: So Joe you joined Sweet in early 2008, how did it actually come about, did one of the guys see you playing in one of the tribute acts or did it come about another way?

The Heaven and Earth guys, Stuart, Richie and Joe live with Sweet, Michigan 2011.
Photo by Alun Williams©

Joe: I joined Sweet after working with Stuart in a Jam band in Beverly Hills. It just went from there …

AW: Has there been any discussion about Steve (Priest) recording any new material with you guys, towards a new Sweet album or is that considered kind of taboo to Steve?
You obviously recorded ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ as a bonus track for the ‘Are You Ready ... Live,’ album, how long ago did you get that done?

Joe: I don’t think a Sweet record will ever happen…
I’ll always be writing and playing. Whoever wants to play ...
“Let’s play”.

 AW:  I thought the show last summer here in Michigan was fun, at least until that storm hit, but Stuart was telling me you guys were having a nightmare with the sound at the show. Being side stage, after the storm passed I couldn’t have a clue what you were hearing, so it was hard to tell. Was it that bad?

Joe: The Michigan show was crazy! I loved the storm and I had a blast.
Those people stayed front and center. True Rockers I bow to them.

Heaven and Earth 2012 - L to R - Chuck Wright, Stuart Smith, Joe Retta, Richie Onori and Arlan Schierbaum

AW: So, to Heaven and Earth, now you can sing it exactly how you want, being yourself … Are we all in for a surprise?
I mean with each of the other projects, you’re really guided to sing a specific way.

Joe: Heaven and Earth: Yes it’s nice to sing my songs, my way.

AW: First off, are you enjoying yourself? When we spoke last, you were buzzed about how it’s coming together, so it’s all good right?

Joe: It’s nice to be writing and recording again.
We are really focused. I’m staying away from clubs and parties these days.
There is always something going on out here, even on weeknights, so I have to remember what’s most important. So taking care of myself and doing a lot of healthy cooking.

AW: Now I know the main line up is yourself, Stuart, Richie, Arlan and Chuck, but you’ve had at least 2 special guests involved with Howard Leese (Heart / Bad Company, Paul Rodgers) and David Paich (Toto), anyone else you can tell us about? Richie (Sambora) maybe?

Joe: As far as album guests we’ll have to wait and see.
However, I will be playing percussion, harmonica and slide guitar on the record.
Richie Sambora is in! David Paich did a string arrangement for us and Howard Leese of Heart / Bad Company  Is playing some guitar and co producing one of the tracks …, so far.

AW: The Heaven and Earth stuff, I know the album is still not done but has there been any consideration of doing any live shows? If not, what will be your plans next Joe, as I mentioned before, Sweet doesn't tour that much does it?

Joe: Yes I can’t wait to do the Heaven and Earth songs live …

AW: I guess during the recording process you’ve encountered both some happy and sad life experiences with Arlan and Dorothea’s wedding, but then sadly Richie's Dad passed away. Please pass on my sympathies to Richie and of course congratulations to Arlan and Dorothea.So how far along is the album right now and when do you plan on getting back to recording?

Joe: I am working every day, either in the studio or on my own set up. Arranging harmonies and working out the new melodies. We have 5 more songs half done.

AW: Any thoughts towards a Joe Retta solo album at all, at any time or is it something you've not really thought about?

Joe: I am writing every day and yes some Ideas are not of this Heaven and Earth, ha!
I love of all styles of music, so I'm just gonna follow my flow and keep on.

AW: Finally Joe, what do you do, when you're not doing music, any other loves?

Joe: I love to cook, and I really miss drawing, painting and sculpting.
I love to scuba dive. I'm such a fish.
I still feel like I'm ten years old I'll play Frisbee for hours with anyone I can corral.
Love to water ski (I was brought up in upstate N.Y. right on a lake)
and snow ski.
My Mom still water skis and snow skis almost every day during the season,
I get my energy from her, anything physical and childish...I'm in.

A lot of people I meet in Hollywood ask me “where have I been” or where did you come from?”  
Well, I raised two girls on my own when they were very young so I couldn’t really go head first into my singing career. The Hollywood scene, touring and recording took a back seat to my kids. I have zero regrets but got a late start.

Well my thanks to Joe for his time, I for one greatly look forward to the forthcoming Heaven and Earth album and hopefully tour dates too.
Maybe they’ll even be a Joe Retta solo album down the road too, can’t wait!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Additional News item for Monday February 27th, 2012

Foreigner's Mick Jones recovering from heart by-pass surgery

Mick Jones live at DTE, Clarkston, MI - June 2010. Photo Alun Williams

Last year suspicions were rife as to what was wrong with Foreigner's guitarist and sole original band member Mick Jones, after he was absent from a bunch of live shows.
It now appears that Mick was admitted to Mount Sinai hospital in Miami Beach last week and proceeded to undergo 'aortoiliac bypass surgery' but is said to now be recovering well. 

Foreigner last year toured as special guests of Journey and Mick Jones was unable to perform at certain dates and the band called upon opening band Night Ranger guitarist Joel Hoekstra to cover for him.
During an an interview I did with Joel late last year, he was totally respectful of Mick when I asked the questions about Mick and what was wrong, Joel was very diplomatic.
Here's a snippet from that:

AW: So, you’ve had to step in for Mick (Jones – Foreigner) on a couple of shows too haven’t you, so what was that like …?

Joel: Totally an honour man! Mick’s a rock legend you know, he’s written some of the best songs that I’ve ever heard so … It went down real quickly. I basically had a day to learn it, you know it reminded me of when I learned the Night Ranger set, so I learned their set and it was like trial by fire man, it was right in and we played it down and once again, there was something about those gigs that you’re able to survive them, (Laughing) they feel so rewarding you know?! But you know really, it’s just like an amazing because I’m no one in the rock world compared to Mick Jones and so for somebody like me to get an opportunity to do that is just like a complete blessing and it’s like … I appreciate it and I just wanted to make sure that everything was exactly as he would play it, but the guys did encourage me to go ahead and be myself and have fun with it here and there as well, but I definitely want to thank whatever fans were at those shows for their support and their understanding and that Foreigner just felt that it was best to give them a show rather than totally 100% disappoint their fans and that’s really that.

AW: Right … So they probably changed the set around a little bit didn’t they right, because obviously there’s certain things Mick does and so on that …

Joel: Luckily Tommy Gimbel (Foreigner’s Keyboards / Guitars / Sax player) is like just so talented that he was able to hop over and cover Mick’s keyboard parts, so that was the only thing that was different that on like ‘Cold As Ice’ or ‘Waiting For a Girl Like You’ or ‘I Want To Know What Love Is,’ Tommy came over and covered Mick’s parts on keys, while I covered his guitar parts.

AW: Oh OK, well that’s cool, hopefully Mick’s back on track again soon … Sounds like maybe he needed a breather?

Joel: He’s going be cool, he’ll be fine ...

And that was really all I learned from Joel at that time ...
That full interview can be read here:

I also understand that during the summer Mick had undergone a bunch of tests and the story then was pretty much that he was suffering from a level of exhaustion.

The current situation of Mick needed bypass surgery and his subsequest recovery period, I hope work out well.

Story links:

Rhonda and I were fortunate to have met up with Mick backstage in 2010, here in Detroit and had a great chat, as brief as it was, about our shared home tome of Portsmouth, England, Foreigner and on the state of our favourite football team, Portsmouth Football Club, at the first time they went through administration and are sadly going through it again now.

We wish Mick nothing but the best for a speedy recovery period.
Get well soon mate!