Dream Warriors

   
Through various reasons I’m staying home tonight rather than heading to the Amon Amarth show tonight – that can edit to Saturday, so you lucky people get to have a third Halloween related instalment to finish off October 31st. 

This track by Dokken was an easy one for me to pick, but not necessarily an obvious choice to post. Heavy metal and the horror genre go hand in hand and it feels like it’s been that way for eternity. Maybe the metal community is an already made fan base for horror films? A lot of bands use the occult as themes and imagery so why wouldn’t a metal head like something The Omen?  

I reckon I could fill this blog on an almost daily basis of random words for a year just with songs featured in films or their soundtracks. There are so many I could use and a lot that aren’t exactly obvious choices, Saraya, Romeos Daughter and Dangerous Toys are just three that you wouldn’t expect to hear during a horror flick. 

The metal and horror film highway isn’t just one way traffic either. If I had the time today I’d probably just chill in front of the TV armed with Trick Or Treat and Strangeland on DVD which have significant roles for Gene Simmons, Ozzy Osbourne and Dee Snider rather than just a brief walk on cameo. Then again I might just binge watch the Elm Street films. It’s been such a long time since I watched any of the first six films, but I can easily say the same for the Jason Voorhees and Pinhead franchises. A Christmas time project maybe?   
  

Dream Warriors is the theme song from the third instalment of the Nightmare On Elm Street films, released in theatres in 1987. The song is also featured on Dokken’s fourth album Back For The Attack released in the same year. I’ve got a soft spot for this band and I’m very confident they will be featured again in the not to distant future. 

May the power of Don Dokken and George Lynch compel you…

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Time Warp


 

Next week may see me donning the lab coat, fishnet stockings, basque and high heels for the first time in years*. The Rocky Horror Show is in town for eight performances, and if I can fit in an available showing on an evening when I’m free I think we’ll be heading off.

I saw the film way before I saw the stage show, but it’s one of those curious things as I don’t recall why I actually watched the film in the first place. On reflection I can’t actually tell you why the film appeals to me, but how can you go wrong with a kitsch horror and science fiction transgender cross over show set to music?  Whatever the reason may be its great fun.

I’d hazard a guess as it was down to Richard O’Brian’s association to it as I enjoyed the way he hosted the TV game show The Crystal Maze back in the early 1990’s. More often than not he was more entertains that the group of contestants he lead through the maze.

Maybe it was Meatloaf’s portrait of biker zombie Eddie that drew me to it, as Bat Out Of Hell is a favourite song of mine (which I need to get around to posting!). Or possibly I was intrigued in seeing Tim Curry in it after watching him portray Pennywise the clown in Stephen King’s It? I might have even been expecting more of a hammer horror style film?

Whatever the reason is for me watching it on TV for the very first time it left an imprint on me and I’ve liked it ever since. I’ve seen the theatre performance locally at least twice, maybe more, and it’s something I’d love to see in London’s West End or Broadway in New York. Failing either one of those one of the midnight shadow cast cinema showings would suffice.

Anyway, you know what’s next. It’s just a jump to the left…

 

* I actually haven’t got the self confidence to wear the outfit in the house, let alone entertain the idea of going out in public dressed like that, fair play to those that do though. But it’s an image now imprinted on my brain that I can’t shift.

Woke Up This Morning

Well today’s events didn’t go as planned, due to a perceived lack of interest from the others I was due to be out with today. So instead of attending the Wales Comic Con in Wrexham I’m spending the day trapped inside the four walls of my house watching odd bits of TV programmes, lots of people running around London and meaningless football games, whilst it’s dull and rainy outside.

So let’s do an iPod shuffle….

First song to play from the library is Woke Up This Morning by Alabama 3 (or A3 as they are known in the States). It took me a while to think why I even have this song in my iTunes library, then it clicked. The song was used in the Sopranos TV series. I watch probably too much TV when I’m home, but it keeps me out of mischief. I’m still to get into the Sopranos, I got a DVD set of series 1 what seems like years ago, but so far I’ve not progressed past episode 1.

Alabama 3 are a band I know nothing about. Until I had a quick look on Wikipedia I didn’t even know they were from London, I just assumed they must be American, probably from the state of Alabama somewhere. For a band that have been knocking around for a surprising 21 years they’ve not even troubled the UK singles charts. It’s the only song of theirs on my device and I’d be highly surprised if I had the whole album on the PC.

The Shazam app is the second most used app on my phone when I’m watching television after IMDB. The IMDB app is especially handy when you have those “that face looks familiar” moments when you are watching a film it TV show, or Wikipedia if it happens to include “celebrities”. I might hear a song that sounds good, hit rewind open up Shazam and hey presto there’s a new song to track down.

My Plague

On Friday I’m off to the Genting Arena to watch Slipknot. Yes, I have willingly purchased a ticket for a Slipknot gig! Well, I have a ticket to see Slipknot, how much of their set I stay to watch is a completely different conundrum.

This will actually be my second time that I possessed a ticket bearing the Slipknot moniker. The first time was back in October 2004 at the Manchester Arena. On that night I’d left the building before their intro tape ran! At the time they were rolling through Europe with Hatebreed, Mastodon and Slayer on the Unholy Alliance tour. Bizarrely the masked men of Iowa headlined the UK dates whereas Slayer had been closing out on mainland Europe. At least it gave me an excuse to leave early as the day after we flew out to New York for our first visit to the States and Canada.

In reality, on Friday I have paid more than you should do for a short Suicidal Tendencies set. Mike Muir and his crew don’t venture outside of London or the festival circuit much nowadays when they pass through Her Majesty’s border control, so any opportunities to see them have to be taken.

I don’t know why but in the two decades that they have been a band they have never piqued my interest. Trust me, I have tried. I like an odd song here and there, but listening to their relentless racket just doesn’t click with me, and that’s coming from someone who does enjoy an unholy row. I think in the early days they came over more image than content. And as said previously I haven’t bent to journalistic recommendations for a long time, so since then I’ve just had a couldn’t care less attitude towards them.

None of the so called nü-metal bands have ever given me any reason to be overly interested in more than a few songs by them. I’ve listened to Korn, Limp Biscuits, System of a Down, Coal Chamber et al and thought to myself I’ve been listening to what these bands are trying to amalgamate and everything else sounded much better individually. I grew up with the extremity of Floridian and Swedish death metal and the industrial rhythmics of GGFH, Pitchshifter or Swamp Terrorists. I’ve even seen a band whose instruments included beer kegs years before hand.

I might be wrong. You know what they say about old dogs and new tricks. When Saturday morning comes along I could be a fully paid up maggot, but I doubt it. Here’s one of the few songs of theirs that I can tolerate, My Plague taken from their second album Iowa and featured in the Resident Evil film.

 

Blade Runner Theme

January 8th 2016 we say Happy Birthday to Roy Batty (or happy activation day). Less than four years from now you and your Nexus-6 replicant renegades will be the scourge of an extremely grim Los Angeles, where it seems like it rains all day, every day. Just a hint though, if you really want to extend your lifespan I suggest you steer clear of LAPD’s special agent Rick Deckard.

When I started tagging the countries of origin in this blog I honestly didn’t envisage the first entry from Greece, especially with it’s current batch of fantastic thrash metal bands, would be Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, but to his friends we all know him as Vangelis.

Vangelis composed and performed the dark and brooding futuristic score for Ridley Scott’s 1982 neo-noir sci-fi classic Blade Runner, based on the Phillip K. Dick book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? A dystopian vision of 2019 Los Angeles sees an almost retired blade runner (Deckard) reluctantly taking on one last assignment by hunting down and “retiring” Batty’s gang of genetically engineered replicants.

If you like science fiction and want to see what the future has to offer us in three years, along with a spare two hours, I highly recommend watching Blade Runner. A bit of a slower burner, but such a visually stunning watch and often thought provoking. Oh, and Harrison Ford and Daryl Hannah might be a draw for some people.

Monkey Magic

New Years Day has turned into such a lazy day, basically just sitting at the computer and listening to music through iTunes.  Earlier the track Havoc In Heaven was played by Japanese band Godiego.  Those of us at that “vintage” age who were kids (mainly male) in the British Isles in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s will hopefully know Godiego from the theme tune that they wrote and performed for the programme on the 6pm slot on BBC2.  That programme was Monkey (or known by some as Monkey Magic). My wife loses “cool points” for her downright derision and hated towards the whole concept of the show! How cool would it be to be able to fly away on your own cloud? She basically bet me that I wouldn’t post this.  I have no shame.

 In the worlds before Monkey, primal chaos reigned. Heaven sought order, but the phoenix can fly only when its feathers are grown. The four worlds formed again and yet again, as endless aeons wheeled and passed. Time and the pure essences of Heaven, the moisture of the Earth, the powers of the Sun and the Moon all worked upon a certain rock old as creation, and it magically became fertile. That first egg was named Thought. Tatagatha Buddha, the father Buddha said “With our thoughts, we make the world.” Elemental forces caused the egg to hatch. From it then came a stone monkey… The nature of Monkey was irrepressible!

The original Japanese series Saiyūki was based on the 16th century Chinese Wu Cheng’en novel Journey to the West. The abridged English translation is entitled Monkey (or Monkey: A Folk-Tale of China) and is considered a literary classic.

The synopsis of the programme, and indeed the book, is about a young monk named Tripitaka, who volunteers to endure a pilgrimage set by Buddha to retrieve sacred scriptures from India so that the Chinese people can be enlightened.  On his travels he frees the Monkey King and they recruit Sandy and Pigsy on the way. During their travels they rescue a captive princess, reinstate her father as king and fight numerous fierce monsters, all before returning to the palace.

To be fair, the programme hasn’t aged well, but for something that the BBC aimed at kids, who had no clue what the hell was going on, it was great fun to watch, just for the completely over the top acting, and we all wanted a flying cloud, didn’t we? This was definitely one for the boys from the library of the BBC’s  foreign dubbed archives as Silas and Heidi – both of German origin – appealed to the girls more. In my house they did anyway.

The dubbed UK version has a few ties to Doctor Who coincidentally, and that was also at it’s peak at the same time.  David Collings (Mawdryn Undead) voiced Monkey and Gareth Armstrong (The Masque of Mandragora) was the dubbed Sandy.

For a peak at this classic 70’s TV show heres a link to the opening credits.

Right I’m off to look on Amazon and hover my index finger over the add to basket button for the 13 disc compete series DVD set. A bargain at £39.99!

 

Theme from M.A.S.H. (Suicide Is Painless)

 

Checking social media in 2016 is our generations version of my dad sitting reading his newspapers from cover to cover seven days a week, every day of the year apart from Christmas Day. whilst perusing the overnight news this morning I came across the passing of American actor Wayne Rogers. You will certainly know him by the portrayal of Trapper in the US TV series M*A*S*H* that ran for a decade during the 70’s and 80’s. Even though my dad, on the surface, is a complete Ameriophobic, this programme was viewed in our house almost religiously when I was a kid.

I never knew the original theme to this was released as a single over here in 1980 and actually reached number one. It was credited to a band called The Mash who were made up of studio session singers.  Interestingly the co-writer was 14 year old Mike Altman, son of the films producer Robert Altman.  He ended up writing the lyrics when his father couldn’t write the lyrics for what he wanted to be “the stupidest song ever written”.  In turn the son made more money than his dad did from producing the 1970 movie.

 

My link to the track is again from my college days of the early 90’s when I mixed with fellow students who had more of an interest in the indie scene at the time and I briefly dabbled with New Musical Express magazine for a while.  Sitting on a bus with no iPod or anything was so boring and red top newspapers always seemed so cumbersome!

I was introduced to the first Manic Street Preachers album, Generation Terrorists, in class and I quite liked it.  It combined the glam rock sound with a punk attitude pretty well.  Suicide Is Painless was released as a charity single for the Spastics Society and the other track on the CD single was a cover of Bryan Adams’ (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, performed by The Fatima Mansions.  I know I don’t have this in my collection anymore as I stuck it on eBay some years ago and I think it sold for a pretty decent amount.

 

 

R.I.P. Wayne Rogers

  

(April 7, 1933 – December 31, 2015)