Tag Archives: 80s Rock

Twisted Sister – You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll : Classic ’80s Rock

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New York’s Twisted Sister became a household name in the mid ’80s with the success of their 3rd album Stay Hungry, and more so with the hit single “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and the comical videos created for the Stay Hungry singles, as well as the follow up album’s videos. But my favorite from Twisted Sister is their 2nd album – You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll in 1983. The album may not have been a huge commercial success, but it was the band at their best, before the hilarious videos, and the attempts at appealing to the mainstream. You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll was full of straight on edgy and angry TS rockers and anthems. You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll was actually the band’s first North American album release, as their debut Under The Blade was recorded in the UK and did not get a US deal & release until after the band had found commercial success; it was remixed and issued in 1985 in Canada and the US. It was produced by British producer / Engineer Stuart Epps who, at the time was producing Wishbone Ash and Vandenberg, and who’s previous engineering credits included Elton John, Chris Rea, Bill Wyman, and US band Shooting Star. Also recorded in the UK, where the band had built up a strong following and would issue 3 singles from You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll. The cover art was simple – with the band name in huge pink letters accompanied by the TS logo on a dark background, Difficult to miss, very to the point!

One thing Twisted Sister albums always had were great intro songs, Under The Blade had “What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)”, Stay Hungry and Come Out And Play both had strong intros with the title tracks, and You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll had “The Kids Are Back”. Drawing on those rebellious / outsider teen ideas, with a chorus (like many TS songs) that’s not overly complicated but easily burns into your brain. The next 2 tracks come at you aggressively first with the opening riff to “Like A Knife In The Back”, followed by “Ride To Live, Live To Ride” and heavy metal battle cry “The Power And The Glory”. “I Am (I’m Me)” went in to the band’s sorta poppier direction, catchy, but ..ok; was probably a good choice as a single.

Side 2 opens with “We’re Gonna Make It”; a good song, tho the riff reminds me of Sammy Hagar’s “There’s Only One Way To Rock”. A couple of solid rockers in “I’ve Had Enough” and fast paced “I’ll Take You Alive”, followed by the closest thing to a ballad in “You’re Not Alone (Suzette’s Song)” – penned by Snider for his wife; not one of my favorites here, but it’s a decent forerunner to future ballads “The Price” and “I Believe In You”. The album closes with the title track,; another great anthem, intro & title would’ve fit well on an AC/DC album! Cool video to boot.

The 2018 2 disc reissue contains 3 bonus tracks, as well as 1 disc being the band’s 1983 performance at the Marquee in London, UK.

The band followed this up with their break through classic album Stay Hungry in 1984. That album I remember picking up at the time, then later going back to get the previous 2 some time later. It was their biggest success with a couple of huge hits & videos, but the band’s next album Come Out And Play veered more in to the commercial direction, lacking a bit of the weight and anger, but heck I loved that album, and played the crap out of it! It is also notable for including the return of Alice Cooper (I was a huge AC fan then, and this was his first ‘new’ thing when he came back). The band’s last album was 1987’s Love Is For Suckers. And whether I wasn’t paying attention at the time or what, but I don’t recall hearing anything about it until I walked in to the local Sam The Record Man and saw it on display. I liked that one too, tho’ not so crazy about the production (heck, I don’t think TS ever found a great producer to capture them properly, and consistently). The band split after this album, and Dee Snider (who also wrote the band’s songs) went off to other projects, but by then I’d moved on and didn’t keep up. I have gone back and picked up some of the archived and later released live albums, as well as Dee’s last album For The Love Of Metal, and the excellent For The Love Of Metal : Live, released last year.

07 / ’21

Top 10 Canadian Albums Of 1985

Well, this is the year where things kinda took a turn, IMO. Not a huge list to choose from, and for the most part these are where bands got way more ‘commercial’ or pop oriented, more keyboards (or introduced keyboards)… Not the best from many. Considering I pretty much hated the ’90s, and there was less releases going forward; these lists may get tougher.

Rush – Power Windows

I thought “Big Money” was great as the lead off single here, and it’s still the stand out song for me on this. “Territories”, “Manhattan Project”, good songs, even if it was further into the use of keyboards, etc… but give Rush credit for always moving forward and doing something new – that is why they lasted. Released in October. I saw this tour at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Coney Hatch – Friction

The 3rd in the ’80s trilogy by the Hatch, and the 2nd with Max Norman. A very good album, though the focus on 1 lead singer lost a bit of the magic in the band. But, great tracks – “She’s Gone”, “This Ain’t Love”, and good singles “Girl From Last Night’s Dream” and “Fantasy”.

Headpins – Head Over Heels

The 3rd and final album from the Vancouver band fronted by the amazing Darby Mills, and lead by Brian “Too Loud” McLeod. This one seemed to come and go with less impact than the previous 2. Less of the heavy, a bit more ’80s pop driven, but plenty of good songs – “Stayin’ All Night”, “Never Come Down From The Danger Zone”, “Be With You”…

Helix – Long Way To Heaven

The 3rd Helix album during their heyday, released in November. My favorite one, with “Deep Cuts The Knife”, “The Kids Are All Shakin'”, “Without You”. I remember seeing these guys walking through a local mall back then – wearing their tour jackets! I got Brian Vollmer’s autograph on the back on gift card bag [I was Christmas shopping].

Loverboy – Lovin’ Every Minute Of It

The band’s 4th, released in August This one featured 2 top 10 Billboard hits, the title track [penned by Mutt Lange, who thankfully did not produce this album], and a ballad “This Could Be The Night” [with a co-writing credit to Jonathan Cain, uhg]. A bit heavier overall, another lame cover. I did like this album.

FM – Con-Test

The ‘reunion’ album w/ Nash The Slash returning. A definite more ’80s keyboard pop direction featuring a few hits like “All Of The Dreams”, “Just Like You”, and “Why Don’t You Take It”, as well as favorite “Distant Early Warning” [Ben Mink on guitar].

Kick Axe – Welcome To The Club

This Regina, Saskatchewan band’s 2nd album, and 2nd with Spencer Proffer producing. Some deliberate attempts at breaking the big time with a guest-list filled cover of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends”, but it’s the band’s own songs that I liked far better, like the ballad “Never Let Go”, “Comin’ After You” [single], the title track, and “Hellraisers”.

Saga – Behaviour

Released in August, the last to feature the ‘classic’ line up [for a few years]. Included the hits “What Do I Know”, “Listen To Your Your Heart”, as well as favorites “Here I Am” and the title track.

Orphan – Salute

The 2nd and final album from this Winnipeg band, released in the summer. Featured the hit “Lyin’ To Me”, as well as favorites “Open Up The Skies” and “Woman In Love”.

Aldo Nova – Twitch

Released in October. Not much hard-rockin’ here, with [again] way more keyboards and pop produced tunes. But, heck there are a number of very good songs, like the hits “Rumours Of You” and “Tonight (Lift Me Up)”, and rocker “Heartless”.

Other releases: Lee Aaron Call Of The Wild , Blind Vengeance Blind Vengeance , Hanover Fist Hungry Eyes , April Wine Walking Through Fire , Convict Go Ahead…Make My Day Touchdown Tricks Of A Trade

06 / ’21

Thor – Alliance

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Thor – the band formed around vocalist Jon Miki Thor, a former body builder turned rock star. Thor delivers heavy metal with some awesome riffs, some comic book influence, melodies as well as power metal rockers, and anthems…. Alliance features 17 tracks, as well as a lengthy and impressive list of guests, most notably Chris Holmes [ex W.A.S.P.] and ‘Ross The Boss’ Friedman, guitarist [and former bandmate] Frank Soda, Al Harlow [of Prism], and numerous others. Kicking off with the anthem “We Need Musclerock”, Alliance contains plenty of fun hard driving rockers, with favorites being “Power Hungry”, “Bounty Hunter”, and “Rock Around The World” [w/ Danko Jones]. “Queen Of The Spiders” is my favorite song here though, it’s with Frank Soda, a bit more laid back, a bit of a Doors feel. I am not so familiar with Thor’s back catalogue, but this is a mighty collection of hard rock & metal tunes that [presumably] anyone who’s familiar with these guys will enjoy, and a cool start for those unaware.

Metal Titan THOR Forges The Ultimate ALLIANCE With W.A.S.P.’s CHRIS HOLMES & ROSS THE BOSS In A New Video/Single From His Forthcoming Album!

Los Angeles, CA – Like the Heavy Metal Avengers, heroes and icons from all over the metal world have united behind the legendary god of metal thunder, THOR, on an epic new studio album, entitled Alliance! Only a figure of such mythic strength and power as the mighty THOR could unite such an astounding armada of artists including W.A.S.P.’s Chris Holmes, Raven vocalist John Gallagher, Soilwork singer Björn Strid, Danko Jones, Anthrax’s Neil Turbin, Ross “The Boss” Friedman and many more. Together, this battalion of champions fuse their talents to create one of the heaviest, most melodic THOR albums of all time! Just check out the album’s first single, “The Ultimate Alliance,” a heart-pounding, metal riffing powerhouse of a track that features some stellar guitar solos from Chris Holmes & Ross The Boss as well as the vocal talents of A Sound Of Thunder singer Nina Osegueda and Lords Of The Trident frontman Fang VonWrathstein! The track is debuted here alongside a superbly fun, special-effects heavy video.

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/eZASqUhTCcc

Stream/download the single: https://orcd.co/thor_the_ultimate_alliance_single

Alliance features stunning artwork from Timo Wuerz and will be available July 16 on both digital as well as on CD in a digipak and limited edition silver vinyl in a gatefold jacket! Watch for Thor to launch several shows and festivities in this year as he celebrates his 39th studio album and an astounding 50 years of metal mayhem as well as co-starring in a feature-length action movie “Pact Of Vengeance,” which will feature music from the new album!

Pre-order the CD & Vinyl: https://cleorecs.com/store/?s=thor+alliance&post_type=product

Pre-order/pre-save the digital: https://orcd.co/thor_alliance_album

Track List:
1. We Need Musclerock feat. John Gallagher (Raven)
2. Niflhel (Realm Of The Dead) feat. Björn Strid (Soilwork)
3. The Ultimate Alliance feat. Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P.), Ross “The Boss” Friedman (Manowar), Nina Osegueda (A Sound Of Thunder) & Fang VonWrathenstein (Lords Of The Trident)
4. Ode To Odin feat. Dan Cleary (Striker)
5. We Will Fight Forever feat. Neil Turbin (Anthrax)
6. Because We Are Strong
7. Rock Around The World feat. Danko Jones
8. Queen Of The Spiders feat. Frank Soda (The Imps)
9. Power Hungry
10. Bounty Hunter feat. Frank Meyer (The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs) & Dennis Post (Warrior Soul)
11. Battlements feat. Trevor William Church (Haunt)
12. Thor vs. The Juggernaut (War Of The Gods) feat. Sean Peck (Death Dealer)
13. Generation Now feat. Joey Killingsworth (Joecephus & The George Jonestown Massacre)
14. After The Laughter feat. Martin Gummesson (Thundermaker)
15. Good Stuff feat. Al Harlow (Prism)
16. Congregate feat. Joey Roads & Sheldon Byer (Roadrash)
17. We Will Fight Forever (Reprise)

The Ultimate Alliance” video credits:

Written by: Jon Mikl Thor / John Leibel

Lead Vocals: Jon Mikl Thor

Special Guests:
Lead Guitar: Chris Holmes
Lead Guitar: Ross “The Boss” Friedman
Lead Vocals: Nina Osegueda
Lead Vocals: Fang VonWrathenstein

Lead Guitar: John Leibel
Rhythm Guitar: Matt Hamilton
Bass: Ted Jedlicki
Drums: Tom Croxton

Video Directed by: Josh Grambo

Special Effects and Editing: Josh Grambo and John Magz
Videography: Josh Grambo, Javier Cedillo, Kevin Stuart Swain, and Lisa Freakrock
Additional Videography: Don Watson, Matthew Szablewicz, Ty Christian, Josh Schwartz, and Catherine Holmes

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

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Top 11 Canadian Albums Of 1980

This was a busy year in Canadian rock, but more so in ‘pop’ . Some great albums, but not a lot of heavy releases. A memorable pair of debuts here, and a couple of final albums from bands that split up. Yeah, this is supposed to be a top 10, but I gave in to a tie for my last choice.

Rush – Permanent Waves

Released in January, the band’s biggest success until the next one, reaching #3 & #4 in Canada and the US . “Freewill”, “The Spirit Of Radio”, “Entre Nous”, and the epic 9 minute + “Natural Science”. The first of my favorite trio of Rush albums.

Harlequin – Love Crimes

From Winnipeg, Harlequin featured the voice of George Belanger [still does]. This was their 2nd and biggest album. Released in the fall of that year, it featured 2 hits [and 2 of the band’s best known songs] – “Innocence” and “Thinking Of You”., as well as favorite aor-ish rockers like “It’s All Over Now”, “Wait For The Night”, and “Love On The Rocks”. A solid album, should’ve been huge.

Loverboy – Loverboy

These guys came out, featuring one-time Moxy singer Mike Reno, and former Streetheart members Matt Frenette and Paul Dean. A huge album released in October, featuring the top 10 hit “Turn Me Loose” , as well as 2 further hits “The Kid Is Hot Tonight” and “Lady Of The ’80s”. A solid album along with live favorite “Teenage Overdose”.

Teaze – Body Shots

The 5th and final album from Windsor’s Teaze. Coming off [arguably] their best – One Night Stands, Body Shots [only issued in Canada] was a good follow up, featuring favorites “Boys Night Out” [reworked from their first album], “Sure Thing”, “Calling All Nurses” and “I’m Not Gonna Cry Anymore”. Sadly, they packed it in after this. *I did get to witness their fantastic return show in 2019.

Max Webster – Universal Juveniles

The last album by the legendary Max Webster, released in October. It boasted favorites like “Check”, “April In Toledo”, “Drive And Desire”, and most notably “Battle Scar” – which featured Rush. +David Stone [ex Rainbow] on keys for much of the album.

Saga – Silent Knight

The band’s 3rd album, and first with the classic line up, released in August. Featured the classics “Don’t Be Late” [the single], “Careful Where You Step”, and “Compromise”. One of those few early Saga albums that saw no US release til years later. Great cover art.

Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush – What’s Next

Released in February, this was the last to use the Mahogany Rush tag for a number of years. Features one of Marino’s best recordings in the fast flying “Something’s Comin’ Our Way”. as well as favorites in the drivin’ “Finish Line” and “You Got Livin'”. Also includes a cover of The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues”.

Cruiser – Rollin’ With The Times

Montreal based Cruiser lead by singer / songwriter Don Beauchamp, and featuring original April Wine drummer Richie Henman. A very overlooked album full of great tunes – very catchy pop, rock, and a bit of prog … all very well produced with favorite tracks like “No Admission”, intro “R & R Survival”, and “Incident At New World Theatre”. A 2nd album was released in 2014. Brothers Tom & Wallie Rathie would later write a few tunes for April Wine.

FM – City Of Fear

Progressive trio FM [well before the British aor band of the same name!] released their 4th album in June. The band consisted of lots of keyboards, bass, drums, electric violins & mandolin. Closest band to compare I’d say is supergroup UK [with Cameron Hawkins even sounding a bit like John Wetton on occasion] One of their best, including “Krakow”, “Power” [the single], and the excellent title track. Would be the band’s last for a few years.

Toronto – Lookin’ For Trouble +

Originally called ‘Sass’, Toronto was [is] fronted by Holly Woods, the band’s debut was released in June. It featured the singles “Even The Score” and “Lookin’ For Trouble”, as well as a cover of The Rascals “You Better Run” [a hit for Pat Benatar a month later], and favorite “Get Your Hands Off Me”.

Triumph – Progressions Of Power+

Released in March. Not my favorite Triumph album [lacking something], but it includes the classics “I Live For The Weekend” [a minor hit in the UK], “I Can Survive”, and “Tear The Roof Off”.

+couldn’t decide, so I left it a tie

Other mentions: Zon I’m Worried About The Boys, The Kings Are Here, Prism Young And Restless , 451 451, Wireless No Static, Bryan Adams Bryan Adams

*Drop me a note in the comments with anything you feel was well overlooked or recommendations, and feel free to subscribe to my page.

KJJ, 04 / ’21

Lou Gramm – ’80s Solo Recordings coming in 3CD set.

Foreigner was a band I liked before I started buying albums! Those first 4 albums were huge, and all over the radio. But when Agent Provocateur came out after the massive success of Foreigner 4 I lost interest, the singles were a turn off for me.

Foreigner peaked commercially at 4, but those first 3 albums were an amazing set, with lots of great rock songs, 4 was a pop album, albeit a very good and incredibly successful one. A shame it lead to more pop albums, much less memorable.

According to Lou Gramm’s book “Juke Box Hero” [2013], things were no longer equal and as they were years in the beginning between Mick Jones and himself, with Mick taking charge of the band’s direction. Gramm needed to get out and doing something on his own. Gramm teamed up with former Black Sheep bandmate Bruce Turgon [then of Warrior], who would co-write as well as play bass, rhythm guitar, and keyboards. Also brought in was Nils Lofgren on lead guitar, and British producer Pat Moran as co-producer and engineer. The album Ready Or Not, released in early ’87 was a big success, boasting 2 hits, most notably the Top 10 “Midnight Blue”, which along with the title track got lots of radio play. Overall it was a solid album with other upbeat tracks like ” Heartache”, “Arrow Thru Your Heart”, and “Time”.

Foreigner would release one more album late in ’87, and I thought Inside Information was a slight improvement over it’s predecessor but the band had clearly become more pop-hit driven with Gramm seeing little reason to contribute to the creative process, and the band content to coast along, as Jones had also become a producer of other bands in the ’80s; this allowed plenty of time for Gramm to start on a 2nd album.

Ready Or Not was followed up in 1989 with Long Hard Look. The title was likely what Gramm was thinking about his future at that point!? Austrian born producer Peter Wolf [also known for playing on a few Frank Zappa albums] handled production, as well as co-wrote some tracks and played keyboards on a few. This album featured more players, such as guitarists Vivian Campbell, Dann Huff, Peter Maunu, and Nils Lofgren. Bruce Turgon returned to co-write some songs, and play bass on most of the album, and [brother] Ben Gramm played the drums. Long Hard Look featured the top 10 hit “Just Between You And Me” [co-written with Holly Knight, who co-wrote a pile of hits in the ’80s for the likes of Pat Benatar, Tina Turner, Heart, and Kiss, among others]. It also featured the top 40 hit “True Blue Love”, punchy opener “Angel With A Dirty Face”, as well as a cover of Small Faces’ “Tin Soldier”. Though not as big as Ready Or Not, Long Hard Look still charted and was a fine follow up. Following this Gramm would team up with Vivian Campbell to form Shadow King.

Gramm’s ’80s solo albums, along with a 3rd disc of single edits, remixes, an interview, and the track “Lost In The Shadows” [from The Lost Boys soundtrack], are all compiled in a box due out next month. These are a must-have for any Foreigner fan. Interesting to note that without Lou, Foreigner struggled on with one more album, and Mick Jones’ 1989 solo album bombed, so the band really needed him more than he needed them; after all – Gramm was one of the most recognizable and premier rock singers of that late ’70s-early ’80s hard-rock / AOR era [along with Steve Perry and perhaps the late Brad Delp]. Following major health issues Lou Gramm would return to recording and performing , including another stint in Foreigner, as well as his excellent 2009 album The Lou Gramm Band. The package come with a 16 page books with quotes and liner notes from Malcolm Dome.

For more info & pre-order : Lou Gramm: Questions And Answers – The Atlantic Anthology 1987-1989, 3CD – Cherry Red Records

HOME | lougrammofficial.com

KJJ, 04/’21

Brian Greenway – An Exclusive Interview

photo- Valerie Provost

Canadian guitar player Brian Greenway jumped into April Wine in 1977, making the band a 5-piece at the time, and beginning a 7 year run of massive tours and 5 major release albums. They shared the stage with some of the world’s biggest bands, toured the US multiple times, as well as trips the UK and Europe. The classic 5 piece era came to an end in 1984 following the release of Animal Grace. Brian Greenway would go on to record a solo album a few years later, and return with a reformed April Wine in the early ’90s. The band recorded a few more albums, and Greenway remains still from those glory days, alongside the band’s founder – singer/songwriter/guitarist Myles Goodwyn. In this interview Brian talked album the April Wine albums he was on, as well as his solo album, and what he’s up to over the passed year, as the band’s touring has been postponed due to Co-Vid. *Check out the links below I’ve posted to other articles and sites of interest.

You auditioned for April Wine back in ’73?
I did. Well, Not with a guitar, I just had a meeting with Myles. and at the time I just wasn’t the person, Gary Moffett was also a consideration, and in hindsight he was the right choice.


You were in the last incarnation of Mashmakan around the same time!?Yes. The 2nd edition of Mashmakan, after Jerry Mercer and Rayburn Blake and all those guys had left, Pierre Senecal was Mashmakan.

All you guys seemed to know each other, even before you were in April Wine. You knew the Henman brothers before you were in the band.
Mashmakan had open for and toured with AW in the Maritimes, quite a few times. and I remember seeing April Wine in their first show actually, in Quebec in 1970. Jimmy Clench I knew from other bands in Montreal, and Jerry Mercer I knew. so it was just the Henmans and Myles that I got to know, really. and Richie and David are still good friends.


You just did the one single with Mashmakan?
Yes, “Dance A Little Step”, we did some other stuff… actually there was one called “Ride Johnny Ride” on Columbia, just after I joined. I’d forgotten about that.. but it didn’t do f**k-all. Pierre wrote the lyrics for it, and it was about my step-father, his name was John, and it didn’t go over so well in the house, because it wasn’t a positive song.

Interesting that he would write about your step-father.
Yeah, I suppose. He was always writing about family.

You went on to do The Dudes album.
Yeah. I got a call from Bob Segarini and he told me David and Richie Henman were going to join The Wackers [which became the Dudes], so I thought ‘oh I’ll join then’, and he told David and Richie that I was going to join – when neither of us had said Yes yet. haha

There was a lot of hype with that band!?
There was a tremendous amount of hype. We had some incredible demos, and the record companies were sort of fighting over us, and we ended up choosing the wrong record company. And the album went from being recorded badly, very badly at Le Studio.. It almost wrecked the name of Le Studio, itself! Andre Perry wasn’t happy about it. He offered to re-mix the album for free, but Columbia wouldn’t let that happen. I guess they didn’t want the album to happen, so they did everything they could to not let it happen.

At the time you got the call to join April Wine had you kinda given up on the music thing?
Well I’d got myself a day job because i needed to work. There was just nothing going on. So I was working in a warehouse, driving a forklift truck, and then eventually up to the head office, and in charge of inventory control – which is really bizarre because I’m terrible with numbers, and it was all about numbers, and there was no computers then, it was just a calculator and paper and writing it down in this card index box. there was a lot of scratch-outs!

What were sort of your first impressions when you met up with Myles about joining the band? What was the plan or how was it put to you?
Oh I thought I was joining the band, but in reality I was joining the band for the summer tour to see how it worked out, and if I’d fit in. and then I’d become a permanent member, so I was on trial for 3 months.

One thing I’ve been curious about with you guys during that era [I’m jumping ahead] – but what was the comradery like with you guys – was it all business or was there certain friendships, did you guys hang out much?
It mostly was business. I mean, Myles was married and having kids, I hung out with Gary a bit, ..Jerry was married and had kids, so there were families. Gary had a daughter that was much older. We would go cycling, but we’d never really hang out that much. Sometimes I’d see Myles at a club somewhere, and that’d be about it, but there was no plans, I’d go to his house – stop in and say Hi, you know – trying to build a friendship, and we did.

But it wasn’t a social club much!?
It wasn’t a social club, we weren’t best friends, but we liked each other and respected each other musically, and as people. But it wasn’t like ‘hey – what are you doing, let’s do this….let’s do that!’ … But, towards the end, as it is now, no one really hangs out, nobody drinks like we used to, there’s no social thing – now it’s all business. And it was also the ’70s – it was the party.

The first album you did was First Glance, and that was done in 2 studios…
Yeah. the band had already started that record, I wasn’t aware of it. But when I was brought in as a full-time member in the fall of ’77 we went in to the studio and worked on stuff like “Roller”, and “Rock n Roll Is A Vicious Game” was cut there, with Jimmy Zeller playing harmonica. and then “Roller” was actually re-recorded up at Morin Heights, at Le Studio, when we moved up there. And Nick Blagona took over engineering from Terry [I forget his name, we called him the Bearded Clam], and Bill Szawlowski. It was an upgrade.

You had one song on that album, and you also sang another song – “Let Yourself Go”. I’m kinda curious what you brought in, I know Myles generally the writer, but were you guys sort of encouraged to bring stuff in, try new things..?
In the beginning I was told that they were looking for a 3rd guitar player who could sing, write, contribute, and play additional instruments – like I can with harmonica and keyboards. So that was the attraction there, and I already had some songs, and “Right Down To It” got on the record. But Myles was the chief writer.

Did you guys regularly write more than enough for an album or was it you got 9 or 10 songs ‘let’s go with those’. !?
Well, I never really knew because Myles always plays his cards close to his chest, and we’d always seemed to have just enough songs for the record. We would never record anything more than was necessary, looking back at it I can see that it would incur extra expense on the budget of that album. So maybe there was other songs that were there that I was never aware of. I just thought of that actually.

I’m curious how a song might’ve been presented, how Myles brought it in, maybe on acoustic guitar …
He would play it or bring it in on cassette. and we would learn the arrangement and the chords for the verses and choruses, and then we would put it together as a band and create our own parts – like with “Roller”, he brought in the lick, and that worked in to the 3 part solo – that was created in rehearsal. Plus we had the extra bonus of being able to play that on the road, live for about 2 or 3 months before we recorded it. So we could see what was working in the song and what wasn’t, from the live reaction. and not every song is like that.

There was a couple of songs that went on First Glance that were in the setlist before, right?
Yes, those first 3 albums we were playing a lot, we were on the road all the time, and we would try new songs. We would rehearse on the road, and try things.
From FG, what of those songs do you recall playing ahead of time? I read a set list with “Hot On the Wheels Of Love”
Yep, I was going to say that. That was created partly in the studio too with ideas ‘hey let go try this and go try that’ – like the ‘sheriff’ part, that was my idea. And that worked in to a neat live part, we had a white bar at the side of the stage that would swing out and there’d be a hat and the glasses there, and I’d put them on and the spotlight would go on. It was a part of the song that added a bit of theater.

How would you guys develop a song in the studio – was most of it laid out, or did you have much input?
On the first few albums, everything was rehearsed beforehand, ‘pre-production’ as we’d call it. So when we went in to the studio rarely was something torn apart and replaced and re-written. One instance was “Say Hello” from the Harder…Faster album. We’d recorded it, and Nick Blagona said ‘let me try some edits’. He was very good at editing – there was tape hanging everywhere in the bloody studio. And he cut out every 2nd or 3rd bass note, and created that bass part from edits. and then he said ‘let me try something with the guitars – -Gary go out there and record each guitar note 3 times’, triple it, and then the harmony on that, the 3rd and then the 5th, and that was the guitar part, he would mute it by gating it. that song was really structured technically and with technology in the studio. He was very talented at editing.

Back to First Glance…. You wrote “Right Down To It”.
Yes. that was originally with The Dudes.
Do you recall anything about writing that one, where it came from?
No, it’s just one of those songs that sort of jumped out. The same way with “Before The Dawn”, I just had an idea, and sat down in the hallway of my townhouse, and 20 minutes later it was written. I wish I could do more of those. We were touring a lot, so I had lot of ideas, lots of energy, you know.

How did you end up doing vocals on “Let Yourself Go”?
I wasn’t intended on doing it. It was Myles’ song, and he said ‘go sing this’, and while I was singing it he was still writing the lyrics. and I finished the first verse he said ‘ok I’ve got the 2nd verse, go do it’. and Nick said ‘try to sound like John Lennon on there in places if you can, and sound softer in places’.. so I said ‘OK, I’m a good mimic’, so I did it. I had no idea it was going to be on the record, it was just ‘go try and sing this’.

“Rock N Roll Is A Vicious Game” came out well before the album, and the band were still signed to London Records in the US. So when did Capitol thing come about? Was that well after the album was done and out [on Aquarius] ?
Well, “Roller” came out on Capitol …… Well we needed distribution in the States and London didn’t want to do it any more. We always had Aquarius [in Canada]. and then Capitol came in, and nothing was happening really – towards the end of 1978, and the band was seriously thinking about moving to Los Angeles. There was just nothing going on for us in the States – nothing. And we needed to reinvent ourselves. So everybody was actually making plans of moving to the States, and It was like ‘well I don’t know if I wanna do that’, it’s a long way to go. And then suddenly “Roller” became a hit, and that changed everything. At the very end of the year a station in Saginaw, Michigan, a big reporting rock station – reporting to the charts ya know; reported that it was #1 in Saginaw, Michigan. and other stations are going ‘What!? Who’s this?’ and then Capitol, Mike Dymond out of Detroit with Capitol Records, and Jeff the disc jockey up in Saginaw, and pretty soon everybody was loving it, and it became #1 in Michigan, and then it took off, and the rest of the stations started playing it across the country. And all of a sudden we had a good record going, and then Capitol became very interested, and the ball started rolling – ‘let’s get them out on the road.’

You guys did a lot of tours – with Rush and Styx…
Yes, in ’78, ’79, and then in 1980 we started headlining ourselves, but we would do some larger tours with Nazareth, or like double-billing [or triple billing, whatever]. the market was changing, so shows with multiple acts were starting to happen.

When you guys went in and did Harder…Faster, you had “Before The Dawn” on there, and you guys also did “21st Century Schizoid Man”. Who’s idea was that?
I can’t remember… Steve Lang, the bass player (God rest his soul, who died a few years back, a friend of mine for all my life), he was in a prog-rock band before April Wine called Devotion and I don’t know if they were doing it or not, but I believe he suggested it. And we messed around with it…


I think they [Devotion] were, because a buddy of mine, Derek, was familiar with Devotion because he had a connection there
And April Wine was by no means a prog-rock band. And once we did it, we did it well, and recorded it well, and oddly enough Nick Blagona who was engineering the album at Le Studio had been involved in the original recording with King Crimson, so he says ‘I know how they put the song together in the studio, so I’m going to do it the same way they did and see how it works for us’. And it came out pretty bloody well! And when I went to sing it, because it was different, I said ‘Nick – how do I sing this?’ And he said ‘I wanna hear teeth!’ , so I said ‘OK – teeth!’. and at the very end there was this high laugh that I did a mimic of a laugh I did by a fellow who used to own a club in Montreal, and whenever he laughed he’d laugh like that, so I did it, just as a mimic.

And that became a huge part of the live set..
It still is. And oddly enough Capitol records did Not want to release it on the album. They did not want to have it on the record at all; they thought it was just terrible! But it became a staple in the States, on FM. I only found out later that Capitol didn’t want us to do it. i had no idea.

On Nature of The Beast Nick Blagona was out and you had Mike Stone in for the next few albums.
Yes. Myles wanted to change things up, so he called Mike Stone and the 2 of them hit it off, and he started to help produce it. They wanted a bigger name producing the band. Nick was great, but he wasn’t as well known as Mike.

Now, NOTB you didn’t have any songs on…

No I didn’t.

“Sign Of The Gypsy Queen” was the Lorence Hud song. Were you familiar with the original?
Oh yeah, that was a hit in Canada, in the ’70s.

Who’s idea was that one?
Myles came in and said we’re going to try to record this. but I don’t know what talk went on beforehand.

Did you ever meet Lorence Hud?
No. Never have met him. He’s a bit of a recluse from what I hear. But I remember Myles used to say ‘he’s got so many royalty cheques waiting for him, if he’d just surface’.

What do recall of making NOTB. Were you guys aware it was going to be a big deal when you were making it?
We had gone to England and recorded it at the Manor studios, outside of Oxford, which was owned by Richard Branson, and I absolutely hated it! Le Studio was close to home, it was first class, it had modern comforts… The Manor was a 400 or 500 or 1000 year old bloody building that had been added on to and added on to, and it was in the middle of nowhere. We couldn’t go anywhere, and it was too expensive, I mean the English pound was like 3 Canadian dollars for 1 pound at the time, so ya know – hire a car and go where!? I walked down the canal to the local pub every night which closed at 9pm, and then sit up and do bloody nothing.

Did you get out and see the country much or any shows?
I went to Oxford and saw Billy Connolly, that was the biggest thing. Myles and Jerry would go out and play golf, but every day we’d be working.

What stood out for you on that album?
Well, we did “Just Between You And Me” on that record, and that took a long time to record, just to get the feel right – to the point where I played rhythm guitar for hours and Gary played rhythm guitar for hours, and his was the track that stayed. So there was no need for me to play on it, so I’m not even on, except for a voice.


Did you guys ever have much input in to the album covers with Aquarius?
Yes. In-house was one of the owners of Aquarius Records was Bob Lemm, and he was a graphic artist, and he was very good. He would design all the covers.

Would you guys ever get a say in it? Was it presented to you guys…
It was presented to us and talk about it – ‘do you like this idea?’, and we would approve it eventually.

So did Bob do the lettering?
Yes, he created the logo.

Did anything change between NOTB and Powerplay? Because on Powerplay you had some outside written songs, and it seemed a bit softer, and maybe that’s the whole difference between Mike Stone and Nick Blagona.
Yes, and some input from the record company I imagine. And Myles became very controlling in that time. It started out – ‘everybody write’, and everybody did write; everybody brought in quite a few songs, and I think it probably shocked and surprised Myles because some of them were pretty good, and he said ‘No, I’m the only singer and I’m the only songwriter’. And that’s probably what the record company wanted too – because he was writing the hits, so that’s where they placed their bets. There was a lot of unproven songwriters and the record company might’ve said ‘no, we can’t afford to chance that, and we don’t want to spend the money recording it to find out.’

So there was nothing that might’ve been seriously considered – whether you had a song or Steve wrote a song…
I’d written one, but I hadn’t completed the lyrics, and it got rejected, so I just dropped it.

There are 3 outside written tracks here, which I find odd, with Myles being such a prolific writer and if you guys could contribute, why would you need outside songs. Particularly “If You See Kay” – where did that one come from?
That was from a writer in the States, and IMyles, I guess, was taken with the fact that it was a clever way to say Fuck and get it on the album. And I remember Steve Lang not wanting to have anything to do with this song.

Because of the title? Yeah. He was ‘I don’t want to be known as the fuck song band’, you know. And he had a point. And it was catchy in the same way that Billy Ray Cyrus had that first song of his, I forget the title.

And then The Beatles’ song. And I guess everyone wants to do a Beatles song at some point!?
Myles was always a Beatles baby, as all of us, and he took great interest in trying to re-write a Beatles’ song that would be a hit. He gave “Tell Me Why” the sort of same treatment as “You Won’t Dance With Me”, and that was a big hit, so maybe the record company was hoping the same thing would happen, but it didn’t.


There was a lot of good songs on it, but I think those covers made a little inconsistent. “Anything You Want, You Got it” was a great opener, “Enough Is Enough”, “Waiting On A Miracle”…
Yes, “Enough Is Enough” became a very popular song… “Waiting On A Miracle” – it was a good rock song at the time, but it was a bit dated.

And then you guys get to Animal Grace and the first thing I notice is the logo is changed.
Yes, and I and have no idea why.

And obviously there was a lot of turmoil amongst you guys during that album. You had another outside writer – Tom Lange with “Hard Rock Kid”, and then Myles wrote everything else. I actually kind of like that album but I wasn’t crazy about that ’80s production, but for me I liked the songs more than I did on Powerplay – “Sons Of The Pioneers”, “This Could Be The Right One”… I thought it was a fairly consistent album.
I guess It was, but there was a lot of internal strife, so the vibes weren’t all that good recording it.

Yeah, there was the article that came out around the time of the album, which Myles said some things that lead one to believe it would leading to the end of the band.
Yeah – New Music Express.

And when I saw you guys in ’84 at the Kingswood Music Theatre, you only did one song from that album. You only did the single “This Could Be The Right One”.
Yeah, the rest was garbage.

There was no discussion of playing any more of it!?
There was no mention, I can’t remember. There were better songs to play in the amount of time we were allotted to play.

By the time you guys were done the album was it kind of a done deal that you guys would be breaking up?
That was not known until the tour started in the spring – early summer of 1984. I was never an included business member in April Wine. I wasn’t included in April Wine Limited, the company. So at the beginning of that tour, it’s documented in books – Myles wrote and Keith Brown wrote that he demanded that everybody give him their rights or he wasn’t going to tour and it was going to cost a lot of money to the band. It was a capitulation. And he got what he wanted, and that was the end of the band there, so he was saying ‘that’s it – the band’s breaking up, I’m going on my own.’

But you came back for Walking Through Fire, which I assume was really of a solo album.
It was, but it was a contractual album for him, because he was April Wine – he owned the name, and he got some really good musicians, Jean Pelleran, Martin Simon, and Daniel Barbe – who played keyboards on “This Could Be The Right One”. and we did that at the studio at the Bahamas, in Nassau.
In the history of April Wine…. Forever For Now was originally going to be a Myles Goodwyn solo project, but it ended up being an album for April Wine. So he kept on wanting to do a solo project, and finally he moved to the Bahamas, but contractually he owed Aquarius another record, so Walking Through Fire was sort of made quickly.

How did you wind up on it?
I was never a partner, therefor I could never lose anything, other than a job. So when I was asked ‘Do you want to go down to the Bahamas? Here’s what we’ll pay you.’ I said Sure. I liked to the people, and it lead ultimately to my signing with Bud Prager and my solo record.

Now, I saw the One More For The Road show, and that was quite a lengthy show, around 2 hours, but then the album came out and it’s a single album.
Yeah. Again, it’s on vinyl right, so it was just ‘put the hits on it.’ Now, the Live From London video – that was the full show.

How did you guys like touring over there?
I loved it. I loved touring there. Especially Germany.

And you guys got kinda lumped in with all those heavy metal bands over there, seeing from some of the bands you were touring with there.
Yeah, they featured us as a heavy metal band, and maybe we were in Canada, but in England and Germany ‘heavy metal’ had a whole different meaning.

Who do you recall touring with that you particularly liked, or any friendships or guys you’ve kept up with?
Uriah Heep we played with a fare amount. We did a couple of shows with Motorhead… Wishbone Ash, there’s another band…. Yeah, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash, we had a good time together; we were all around the same age, and like the same things.

I want to talk a bit about your solo album. Were you happy with how it came out?
Oh I loved the outcome. Money was spent, we had great players, really great players. But unfortunately once again, there was politics involved, beyond my knowledge at the time. It wasn’t much about music at the time, it was about Bud Prager who was my manager, who was also Foreigner’s manager and also Ben E King’s manager in New York, and who was looking to become head of Atlantic Records, there was rumors’ of Doug Morris replacing Ahmet Ertegun, but that didn’t happen. So of course, all the projects that Bud had going, like me , were dropped. and although Atlantic records released it everywhere – they didn’t spend a dime on promotion. They turned to WEA in Canada, who I was not signed with, I was signed to Atlantic US. And it was ‘OK, we’ll release it Canada and see how it goes.’ And Bob Roper, who I knew well, in fact who I knew from his London Records days, he was the head of WEA at that point, and he rather unfriendly welcomed me to the office and said ‘Just because Atlantic calls us to promote you, what makes you think we have the budget?’, and I’m like ‘I don’t know, I’m just the artist’. But anyway, maybe I caught him on a bad day. But Kim Cooke, the head of WEA tried to make it work, but it just didn’t.

You had the video for “Danger Zone”…
Oh yeah, they tried. But it was expensive, but they also waited 6 months to release it after it was done. And in that 6 month window music had changed radically. and all the hits were like female and softer, like Tracy Chapman and My Name was Luka…. And I was all of a sudden very old fashioned overnight.

It’s a shame that it did, because obviously you guys had a great string of albums there.
Yeah, but we became old fashioned and out of style really quickley, all the bands did with the invention of the synthesizer and the Roland and the Yamaha. Bands like the Cars became the new wave, Elvis Costello, things changed – guitars became very unimportant, it wasn’t the sound. And the mega guitar solos like Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd had became famous for, it became old-hat, and nobody wanted to hear those any more. And the guitar became really unpopular.

Well, it eventually came back.
When you’re dealing with digital technology you can create a song without really having to play. And the guitar became something you had to sit down and learn, and spend time with, but nobody wanted to do that any more. And that lasted for a long time . The guitar slinger was unpopular. Now it’s coming back. But nobody wanted to take the time to learn. There was no guitar heros in the last 20 years… maybe 30 or 40.

Regarding Serious Business, do you have any control over that album still?
No. Atlantic owns it, and when I called them they never heard of me. A friend of mine has a label called Pace Maker Records and wants to put it out on that. He’s out of Toronto, but he also doesn’t want to get sued by them. But eventually if they don’t want to listen to us, we’ll just go ahead and do it, because sometimes it’s easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.

Now, you had a few years off. What was the difference when you rejoined with Myles and the new line-up in ’91-92? Well, originally when we started rehearsing, it was the original 5 piece. And we were told that perhaps we could get maybe 3 weeks of shows. And just before we said Yes to the tour, Gary and Steve said No – they didn’t want to be apart of it. Steve, at that point had gone in to the financial world and he had a very well paying high position job that he didn’t want to give up, and Gary just didn’t want to do because of what had happened in the old days with April Wine breaking up. He never really said, I don’t know what was on his mind. He never really said unless he wanted you to know. But he said ‘No, I don’t want to do it’. And that is when we got Jim Clench and Steve Segal. And Myles had been working with Steve Segal. who I knew and we had 3 guitars again, but I was the bottom guitar guy, Steve was getting the solos, so I wasn’t a very happy player. and it’d changed quite a bit. and people were saying ‘oh this isn’t April Wine’ and I mentioned that to Myles, and oddly his friends said the same thing, so eventually we went back down to a 4 piece. And that’s when the band started sounding like April Wine again.

Were you happy with Attitude?
Not really.

It did pretty well, it brought you guys back a lot of attention.
Yeah, but I didn’t really like any of the songs. There wasn’t any I could really get my teeth into. I mean if you listen to the songs I had on Back To The Mansion they’re so different.

For you guys – going from playing the arenas in the ’80s and being that headlining band, then going back to playing the clubs….
We were doing anything we could. What had happened was we would go in to these smaller places thinking they were still arenas and blast the hell out of them, and not just us, but the sound technician, and people would complain and we wouldn’t get invited back. We were just too loud, and nobody wouldn’t change. People were saying we were the loudest band they ever saw, and it’s not a badge of honor. Even on stage it was too loud. Jerry at one point, used to have 15 thousand watt monitor just for the drums. It was crazy. I used to hate it. But then again I was drinking a lot, and that was my way of getting through it – I used to have 5 or 6 beers before the show, and go out, shake my little butt, and smile and play guitar.

I saw a couple of shows at Front 54 in Thorold and can attest to that. Was it a kick to the ego playing the smaller venues as opposed to playing the arenas?
I didn’t mind. I always gave the same show. As I said, I drank my way through the ’80s and mostly through the ’90s, and mostly the whole band did. And finally Myles stopped first, then I stopped 6 years ago. And then things became very clear – you just don’t go out and do that anymore. And we started working with a younger crew that would educate us on this. ‘No this is not how you do it anymore’. Plus, places we played now had decibel levels, limits that you couldn’t go over or they’d stop the show. People would complain, say ‘we’re not coming back’, and that would hurt the places we played rather than us, so people were voting with their dollars. And places were ‘there’s a 95 db limit – if you go over it you get fine heavily or we stop the show.’ It became politically correct, volume became a danger, and well so, I mean if we wanted to be that loud on stage that’s one thing, and lose our hearing, but don’t make everybody else do it.

The last think you did in the ’90s was the Frigate album. And that was kind of a mish mash …
That was done in Myles’ house, and that was a mish-mash, yeah. Once again – contractual.

There was a couple of great heavy songs, then was a couple of odd things at the end of it, there was one that was all keyboards, and you had a couple of covers…
There was one on there I called “Carrie” that I wrote, but it became something else and Myles sang it. It was a very grandiose type keyboard with a 12 string in it, it had a repeating chorus at the end. I forget what he called it. ..
“Whatever It Takes” !?
That’s the one.
There wasn’t much on it. Back To The Mansion was sort of strange too. I had 2 songs on there that I was quite proud of actually.

Yeah, “Holiday” was a great song.
Thank you. And I worked up a really neat acoustic version when I play it… well, when I used to play [haha]… when everybody used to play live shows. And the other one I wrote for my kids. It was about life experiences, but it was inspired by the George Harrison and the Beach Boys, the George Harrison song “Cheer Down” and the Beach Boys song “In My Room”.

With Back To The Mansion did you guys kind of do it like patchwork?
Yeah, we did it in between shows. We did it at Myles’ house. I would come in and do a few song, and we’d rehearse, but the rehearsal was nothing, nobody was coming up with any ideas, so it was a waisted effort and I would leave.

You also did the cover of “I Am A Rock”…
I thought that was very strange. At that point I thought you know, any song with the word ‘rock’ in it was a contender for an April Wine song.
You guys were competing with AC/DC for using that word in titles?
Yeah, or geologists – one of the two!

I thought it was a good album, but for me it lacked a real hard-rocker.
It did. The single, we were on the TV show with it – “Won’t Go There”, but it wasn’t rock though, but then again, there was no rock at that time. We were trying to fit in where we couldn’t.

Then there was the Greatest Hits Live.
It was at the Tournaments of Hearts, we recorded that live. That didn’t come out that well.

At that point you had Carl (Dixon) in the band for a couple of years, as well. How did you get along with him?
All right. It’s a funny story, Myles thought he had called somebody else, so this guy came to the door, and it wasn’t the guy that Myles thought. You know, they set up a meeting and this guy arrived and Myles says ‘who are you?’ But he couldn’t play keys that great, and he couldn’t play guitar like us, so it was kinda weird. But he did make up for it by being the band’s opener for a year or 2, so it was all a self-contained show. But he was all right. He had a terrible accident and I was happy that he recovered from it. It was just strange times the band was going through; nothing against him personally, but it was like ‘what are you doing here?’, ya know.

And since then, there was one further album, and then you guys have just been touring since then.
Yeah. And we were gaining some traction, in ’18, ’18, and ’19 we were doing bigger and bigger shows and then CoVid came along. I don’t know what will happen when we get back together; we still have shows booked, and they keep on getting postponed and put off. Ya know never in the history of music has it just closed overnight.

Brian & Myles Goodwyn on stage in Toronto, CNE. 2018. (Photo: Gordon Enright)

Myles has kind of talked over the years about doing another April Wine album.
Oh yeah, we still talk about it, and just recently too. We’ve been sending songs back and forth and trying to figure out how we can get one done before the end of the year. And I’ve got a good little studio set up now, so I could do it properly; I can send my parts out, and everybody can. So it can be done.

If there’s a new album, is there potential you’ll have anything on it?
I hope so. My whole style of writing has changed, I’ve been working on putting out a blues record. That’s my original roots, back in 1965 when i first heard John Mayall with Eric Clapton. Sort of British blues … I have a band called The Blues Bus, and I call it ‘British and American Blues served with a touch of Wine’. And I do my own April Wine stuff, but it comes off sounding so heavy, I’ve sort of brought down my intensity, I’m more like a JJ Cale.

So are you recording at home?
Yes I am. Right now, I’m working on a bucket list thing me, which is an old instrumental that was on a John Mayall album, with Eric Clapton called the Bluesbreakers, but most people ended up calling it the ‘Beano’ album. And it’s an old Freddie King song, an instrumental called “Hideaway”. And I was always stunned by Clapton’s performance on it, and I said ‘one day I want to record that’. So i sat down in the beginning of February and learnt it note for note, and I’m just working on recording it. I’ve got bass and drums down, and keyboards, I’ve just got finish getting the guitar down.

Who else plays on it with you?
A friend of mine, Lloyd, from The Blues Bus, Lloyd Dellaire is on it. He also filled in for Richard when Richard had some surgery, in 2019. Lloyd filled for a month with us. And right now it’s just a software program from Superior Drummer, but to me it sounds like a real drummer. Superior Drummer is a great program because what they did was they actually had a real drummer go in and do parts, in a very well known studio, so it sounds like real drums, it Is real drums.

Do you have a plan on when you want to get something out under your own name?
No, if no label signed, we’ll just throw it at the world or get some small label to release it, maybe through the blues world. I really don’t care at this point, I’m going to be 70 this year and whatever happens, happens. It’s just like I did when I was 17 or 15 – ‘Gee, it’d be nice if this happens but I don’t know how to do it so let’s just see what happens. I’m sort of starting over again, just having fun for the enjoyment of playing music. And during CoVid, I said ‘I’m going to learn how to use my studio properly’, so I did. I’ve learned an awful lot in the past year, which I wouldn’t have done without CoVid, . and an awful lot about myself. A lot of time to reflect. .. Well my wife went back to work, and she’s working from home and we have a 2 year old Labrador and he follows me around everywhere, and he won’t go downstairs unless i go downstairs. So everyday I’m spending most of my time dog sitting to prevent him from barking because she spends most of her time on the phone. (Dog talk ensues).

Any road stories?
Nazareth was always fun. They were so Scottish, right out of Glasgow. And we would be touring in the States, and Americans – the mid-west especially, just did not understand that thick Glaswegian accent. And I remember sitting with Danny McCafferty in a Holiday Inn once, by the swimming pool, because all Holiday Inns had swimming pools back then, in the ’80s. And the waitress came over with her little Farah Fawcett clip up hair-do and asked what we wanted, and I said ‘I’ll have a hamburger’, and Dan said – ‘[groans, grumbles..] with a sandwich’ – and she didn’t understand a word of it. So I translated for him [haha]. And i said ‘oh he’s from Glasgow, Scotland.’ And when she came back with his drink she said ‘If you’re from Scotland, why is everything on your t-shirt written in English?’ . And she walked away and he looked at me and said ‘so where are you from?’, and I said ‘well, I’m half Scottish myself’. And he said ‘you’ve lost your brogue, and I said ‘well I was born in Canada, and my mother was born in Canada, so I never had any other accent than the one I have now.’ And he says ‘I’ll tell you what, it’s real easy to get it back.’ and I said ‘how’s that Danny?’, and he says ‘it’s simple – just with everything you say – make it sound like a threat! – ‘Hey You! Git over here – Now!’ And I thought it was very funny, very Scottish. There was other times, the food fights and funny things that would happen on the road. that you really don’t want to say because they could embarrass someone, you know.

Lastly, after everything that’s gone on over the years with Myles, how do you guys get along now?
We get along OK. He’s made me angry, he’s made me sad, we’ve had some happy time. And we call each other friends, and we are after all these years – 50 together. There’s things that have happened that make me angry -still, and there’s others, but you become older and you say ‘Hey, we’ve been together for so long, let’s finish this on a friendly term, now’. So, that’s my take.

Links:

(9) Brian Greenway’s Blues Bus | Facebook

50 Years of April Wine Provides Brian Greenway With Plenty of Great Memories | 519 Magazine

Rick Keene Music Scene -April Wine’s Brian Greenway; Part of Canadian Music History – Rick Keene Music Scene

http://www.aprilwine.ca

Valerie Provost Photography – Brian Greenway, musician.

Another Success For Kemptville Live – Sound Check Entertainment

one in ten words: April Wine at The Bandshell at The Ex 2018 – Concert Photos

Brian Greenway (travellersintime.com)

KJJ, 04/’21

Top 10 Canadian Albums of 1981

This year [1981] was a big year for Canadian rock, Canada’s biggest 3 hard-rock acts at the time all had their biggest selling albums – April Wine’s Nature Of The Beast; Rush’s Moving Pictures and Triumph’s – Allied Forces. So 1981 may have been one of [or the] best years in Canadian rock [!?] But I’m already thinking of 1980 & ’82 – an amazing period for bands from this country. I’ve compiled a list of a 10 great Canadian albums released that year, and that was cutting it down from a list of about 20 [ok, most I have on vinyl].

Feel free to chime in with your own favorites from 1981 in the comments… anything at the top of your list you think I need to check out?

Rush – Moving Pictures

Released in February, and would feature such classics as “Tom Sawyer”, “Limelight”, “Red Barchetta”, “YYZ”, etc…. The band would follow this up with the double live Exit…Stage Left released later in ’81.

April Wine – Nature of The Beast

This came out in January, 11 great tracks on this album, with notable hits “Just Between You And Me”, and a remake of Lorence Hud’s “Sign Of The Gypsy Queen”; plus hard rockin’ favorites like “Big City Girls” and “Future Tense”.

Triumph – Allied Forces

Released in September, and featured the hit “Magic Power”, as well as other classics “Fight The Good Fight” and “Fool For Your Love”. 40th Anniversary box set coming this summer!

Loverboy – Get Lucky

Loverboy’s 1980 debut album was huge, included 3 hit singles, and the band won a few Juno’s (Canadian music awards) from it. This follow up was nearly as big, with another string of hit singles, most notably the anthem “Working For The Weekend”.

Santers – Shot Down In Flames

Toronto hard-rock trio’s debut LP, late in the year. Featured the title track (dedicated to Bon Scott), as well as rockers like “Caught In The Wind” and “Crazy Ladies”, as well as a cover of Donnie Iris’ “The Rapper”.

Frank Marino – The Power of Rock n Roll

Marino’s first album labelled as a solo album (minus Mahogany Rush, though he used the same rhythm section and engineer) from the summer of ’81. Marino, from Montreal, influenced by Hendrix, killer guitar playing here and some cool tunes like “Play My Music”, “Stay With Me”, “Crazy Miss Daisy”, and “Ain’t Dead Yet”. This album, wasn’t a huge commercial success, but it’s follow up would be.

Saga – World’s Apart

Saga’s 4th and biggest album as well, released in September. It featured the hits “On The Loose” and “Wind Him Up”, perhaps the band’s best known songs, as well as the ballad “No Regrets”. Hugely successful overseas, particularly in Germany.

Frank Soda – Saturday Night Getaway

Frank Soda & The Imps were backing band for Thor in the mid 70s, then went off on their own to make a few albums. This, released later in ’81 was the first just credited to Frank, as it sees him re-do a number of tracks from the band’s 1979 [live] debut. If you’re not familiar – check it out,

Anvil – Hard N Heavy

The first (and arguably) the best from this Toronto Heavy metal band. Originally released independently under the band name of ‘Lips’ before signing to Attic and changing the name. Released in May, and featured the classics “School Love”, “Bedroom Game”, “Ooh Baby”, as well as the band’s metalized pounding of the Stones “Paint It Black”. A very influential band on many thrash metal bands to come.

Red Rider – As Far As Siam

From June, this cleverly titled 2nd album featured the hit singles “What Have You Got To Do (To Get Off Tonight)”, as well as the band’s best known song “Lunatic Fringe”, which featured in the movie Vision Quest, as well as a few TV shows like Miami Vice and My Name Is Earl.

Other mentions: Toronto – Head On , The Kings – Amazon Beach , Goddo – Pretty Bad Boys, Pat Travers – RadioActive, Butler – Butler , Bryan Adams – You Want It You Got It, The Guess Who – Now And Not Then .

KJJ, 04/21

A Pair Of Classic Albums: Blizzard Of Ozz & Diary Of A Madman

You know, those albums that go together as a set, if you have one – you got to have the other[?] They are linked in some way, be it – cover art, band line-up / personnel, success, sound, lyrical themes and song titles, etc…

So, I’ll start with one of the easiest pairs of albums for me, and that is the first 2 Ozzy Osbourne albums [aka the Blizzard Of Ozz band]. 1980’s Blizzard Of Ozz and 1981’s Diary Of A Madman – the same band, written & recorded less than a year apart, for the same label. These 2 go together as a set, more than anything else in Ozzy’s career, and for me it was all downhill after these 2 albums. Both were major successes, and gave Ozzy’s post-Black Sabbath career a huge lift-off. (I’ve also added in some detail & recall).

“I went to a gig in London, and there was a band called ‘Girl’ playing, and they were a Jet Records band; Widowmaker had also been on Jet Records (as you probably know). I was looking for work myself, and I thought ‘well, it’s always good to put yourself around and see who’s about!’ I met Arthur Sharpe – who had been working for Jet Records, and it was Arthur who introduced me to Ozzy. Ozzy told me he was about to form a band and would I like to go up to his house in Stafford, and have a play, and he’d get a couple of local musicians in, and I said ‘Yes’. So I went up there, and he knew I’d just come from Rainbow; he said he liked my playing and would I be interested [?]. And I said ‘yes, I’d be interested in getting a band together with Him, but I wasn’t so sure about the local drummer and guitar player that he’d got in. And he said ‘OK, leave it to me, hang on a minute.’ And he walked out of the room and in to the studio that was in his house and said ‘OK guys – it’s not working out – Now pack up your stuff and go!’ [laughs]. And that was how he told them, which I thought was quite funny. Then he got on the phone to Arthur Sharpe and said ‘Bob and I get on like a house on fire, and the fire-brigade’s just left!’ And we went from there. He said he knew a guitar player that he’d met in LA called Randy Rhoads, so Jet Records flew Randy over and we started auditioning drummers…. He [Lee] was the last drummer we auditioned, and we must’ve auditioned 30-40 drummers at that time. We almost decided on 1 or 2, but they didn’t work out, and we had one more to audition and that was Lee Kerslake…. We auditioned down at The Who’s rehearsal place at Shepperton in London, and he perfect within the first number! I think the first song we did was ‘I Don’t Know’, and as soon as Lee started playing he just went for it ‘big time’, broke sticks, bits of sticks were flying everywhere, and Randy and I looked at each other and thought ‘this is the guy!’. He was like a bull in a China shop – he was perfect!” – Bob Daisley, 1999

To start you had a new band [for any doubters, look up earliest band photos] that featured the line up of Ozzy Osbourne [fired from Black Sabbath, but who had a distinctive voice and was a major character], along with Bob Daisley – ex of Rainbow, Widowmaker, and whom would pen most of the lyrics on the 2 BOZ albums], Lee Kerslake – the last to join, had been a huge part of Uriah Heep’s classic line-up having played on their biggest albums, And a young American guitarist named Randy Rhoads – Rhoads was a guitar teacher, and previously played with LA glam rock act Quiet Riot; he could play classical guitar, as well as contributed huge riffs and solos. He had a sound of his own, and as far as ’80s guitarists go, he was #1 for me – NO one sounded like him, or was as creative.

“He [Randy] was admittedly influenced by Ritchie Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix, and certainly Eddie Van Halen, you can hear a bit of the Van Halen thing in his playing. But he had his own interpretation, and he had a great musical background, having come from a musical family – his mom ran a music store and Randy had been a teacher for quite a few years himself. It really fell together right, the chemistry was right, we got on well as personalities.” – BD

Although the band would co-produce both albums, Max Norman engineered Blizzard, while serving as co-producer on Diary [while Lee & Bob were cut out of the credits on this album]. You had Don Airey playing keyboards on the first album, while Johnny Cook played on the 2nd [uncredited]. And even though the album covers aren’t very similar, they do feature what would become Ozzy’s classic logo, as well as a photo of Ozzy in some scary setting [with upside down crosses], taken by legendary rock photographer Fin Costello.

(5) Ozzy Osbourne – Mr. Crowley Live EP (with Lyrics) – YouTube

“That was the idea – to make it a sort of comic book image. It took on legs with ‘Diary Of A Madman’ and with ‘Bark At The Moon’… It worked in establishing Ozzy after the Sabbath imagery. It’s the same stuffed cat on the first two. The cover for Japan’s Tin Drum cover was shot on the Diary set on the first day of construction.” – Fin Costello

I can put on either of these albums any days, both feature 8 classic songs [OK, Diary features a short guitar piece by Rhoads titled “Dee” for his mom, and “No Bones Movies” may have been a later add on that isn’t quite as outstanding]. But, both featured killer intro songs [“I Don’t Know” vs “Over The Mountain”], followed by a classic rocker that would be the major hit single off the album [“Crazy Train” vs “Flyin’ High Again” and become one of Ozzy’s trademark tunes, followed by a ballad [or lighter track\ featuring Randy Rhoads on acoustic guitar [“Goodbye To Romance” vs “You Can’t Kill Rock n Roll”]. Each featured another killer rock song with lyrics based on dark subjects to kick off side 2 [“Mr Crowley” vs “Little Dolls”.] “Little Dolls” would feature 1 of 2 big intros from the drummer.

It was just on the spur of the moment. And as we were writing it, and I went ‘I’ve got an idea for this’, and I did, as simple as that!”  – Lee Kerslake, 2014

(5) Little Dolls – YouTube

Also included would also be a fast paced rocker [one that is under appreciated IMO – “Steal Away” vs “S.A.T.O.”] , as well as an epic track featuring classical guitar and strings [or synths resembling strings] [“Revelation (Mother Earth)” vs “Diary Of A Madman”] – both have the band coming off like an metal orchestra! And not to be forgotten were 2 other fan favorite / classics [“Suicide Solution” vs “Believer”].

(5) Revelation (Mother Earth) – YouTube

Unfortunately, the band would be split with Daisley & Kerslake being fired before the release of Diary Of A Madman [hence, no credits and a photo of the ‘new’ Ozzy solo band on it]. A shame there are no official live releases from the one UK tour this band did, though there was a 12″ Live EP released between albums featuring live versions of “Mr Crowley”, “Suicide Solution”, and the non-album track “You Said It All”. The BOZ albums stand above and apart from anything else Ozzy did in the years [and decades] to come, and I eventually lost interest.

(5) Ozzy Osbourne – S.A.T.O. – YouTube

Over the Mountain, Flyin’ High …- They’re great tracks, they’re so different. And I was the first to ever put triplets in to an introduction of a song, also a single on Over The Mountain.”  – Lee K.

Randy Rhoads was tragically killed in a plane crash on March 19, 1982. A live ‘tribute’ album w/ Randy was eventually released, featuring much of these 2 albums, but with Ozzy’s US touring band.

“He was a very dedicated musician; he practiced a lot, he was really in to music. He was a very young up and coming guy. I think he got an award as one the ‘best new talents’. He certainly was and still is an influential guitarist for that sort of music, and he certainly had a lot to do with the success of Ozzy’s career as well!” – Bob D.

Bob and Lee went on to join a reformed Uriah Heep after their departure from BOZ, and .bring some of that ‘heaviness’ and energy to the albums Abominog & Head First. Bob would return to work with Ozzy, while Lee stayed with Heep for the remainder of his career. The pair reunited for 2004’s Living Loud project [along with Don Airey, Steve Morse, and singer Jimmy Barnes] where they did an album which included a number of remakes from Blizzard Of Ozz & Diary Of A Madman. In 2007 Lee was forced to retire, due to health issues, and sadly passed away September 19, last year. He made record a solo album in his last few years [recently released] titled Eleventeen.

Following the loss of Randy Rhoads, Ozzy carried on – first with a live album of Black Sabbath tracks [guitarist Brad Gillis doing an excellent job], followed by 1983’s Bark At The Moon. By this time Bob Daisley had left Heep and returned to write [uncredited for a few more Ozzy albums]. Max Norman was also back for Bark At The Moon, and the live albums, as was Don Airey. I liked that album [Bark] at the time, to me it tried to keep to the pattern of the 2 BOZ albums, and Jake E Lee [who would also get hosed, as well as not credited for his writing] did a great job. But the album was less heavy and less consistent, as well as including the ridiculous sappy ballad “So Tired”. Bob would go on to work on Ozzy albums The Ultimate Sin and No More Tears, as well as record with Black Sabbath, Gary Moore, and The Hoochie Coochie Men. He also wrote his book “For Fact’s Sake”, published in 2013, which detailed his career, with plenty of insight and stories into his time writing and recording Blizzard Of Ozz & Diary Of A Madman, and generally setting the record straight about his years working with Ozzy – a must read, really. Don Airey would eventually join Deep Purple, and Ozzy would carry on recording solo albums [with one released last year]. and with much of his live repertoire reliant on classics from the albums the original band created. I haven’t bought an Ozzy album in years, [mainly, but] not just for it being that last few I heard sounded forgettable, but the treatment of former band members [Sharon once referring to Lee & Bob as ‘session players’], the re-writing of Ozzy’s early history by Sharon, and Ozzy’s overall rise to fame as a TV star / celebrity, with his ‘metal’ persona and music taking a laughable back seat were about it for me. I was happy to see him with Black Sabbath 4 or 5 years ago, but I’m done with adding to my Ozzy collection in this lifetime – unless I come across something already out there of the original BOZ band I haven’t heard or have.

RIP Lee and Randy.

Additional links:

(5) Ozzy discusses the Blizzard of Ozz band BBC Aug 1980 – YouTube

(5) Over the Mountain featuring Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake only – YouTube

The Official Bob Daisley Website

Randy Rhoads: “I started tuning up and Ozzy said, ‘You’ve got the gig.’ I didn’t even get to play!” | Guitar World

CRR Interview – Bob Daisley: Diaries of a Madman! (classicrockrevisited.com)

Lee Kerslake: the last interview | Louder (loudersound.com)

KJJ, 03/21