Blog Archives

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 10/27/16


Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 10/27/16

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

This month’s theme is Halloween-related songs.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

ICED EARTH – “Dracula” (2001)

It’s hard to think of a better album than Iced Earth’s Horror Show to commemorate Halloween.  Every track on the album is based on classic monsters and horror movie icons, so choosing just one track was no easy task.  Ultimately, I decided upon “Dracula” for nostalgic reasons.

“Dracula” brings back memories of dressing up as a vampire as a kid.  I distinctly remember one Halloween where I had my entire face painted white, before adding the classic black widow’s peak on top of it.  There weren’t many hair styling products available back then, so I greased my hair back with Vasoline (which, by the way, was a nightmare to get out).  Thinking back to that Halloween, I can vividly recall the feeling of mumbling “trick or treat” over the plastic vampire teeth in my mouth, and the fake lines of blood that ran down the corners of my lips.  When I put on my black cape, I became Dracula.

Of course, “Dracula” is also a hauntingly powerful song that showcases the beauty of Matt Barlow’s natural voice, and his immense range with high notes that seem to cry out in pain.  It is an epic anthem that features the vastly underrated guitar playing of Jon Schaffer, and the drumming of Richard Christy (of Howard Stern fame).  Anyone who is familiar with Christy knows about his unbridled passion for Halloween.  This album was his first with Iced Earth (which seems appropriate).

THE WHO – “Boris The Spider” (1966)

The second track on The Who’s second album (A Quick One) is unlike anything else in their catalog.  “Boris The Spider” is the first song that bassist John Entwistle wrote for the band (after a night of drinking with Rolling Stones’ bassist, Bill Wyman, who just turned 80 this week).  Although the song is considered to be a “horror song,” you can’t help but appreciate the campy aspect of it.  As you might expect, “Boris The Spider” has a heavy bass line, but the part of the song that Entwistle is most known for is the low vocal bass tones that he hits when he sings the title of the song.  This is the first time that we’ve gone back as far as 50 years on Hard Rock Music Time Machine.  It’s hard to think of a song that better captures the spirit of Halloween than this classic song by The Who.



 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

KING DIAMOND – “Halloween” (1986)

Halloween just isn’t Halloween without the high falsettos, painted face and demonic portrayals of King Diamond.  From their debut album, Fatal Portrait, “Halloween” is classic King Diamond that features the intricate guitar work of Andy LaRocque and Michael Denner, and the furious drumming of Mikkey Dee.  This album (and song) is an essential piece of metal history as much as Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden.  King Diamond’s vocals are immediately recognizable.  His songwriting and compositions are eerie, filled with emotional dread and despair, and an overall evil mood.  Fatal Portrait remains as one of the classic albums of all time in heavy metal, and a perfect jam for Halloween.


MISFITS – “Halloween” (1981)

In the heavy metal and horror punk genre, there is no shortage of Halloween-themed songs.  Case in point, the classic “Halloween” and “Halloween II” by the Misfits.  Any band that can write campy lyrics about dead cats, burning bodies, candy apples and razor blades is a band that truly understands the meaning of Halloween fun.  Who better than the Misfits to write a song such as this?  The Misfits are legends in the punk genre, and probably one of the most influential bands in punk history.  Fronted by Glenn Danzig with Jerry Only, Bobby Steele, Doyle and Arthur Googy, this band made popular devilocks and their Misfits Fiend Skull (which can be seen on shirts and stickers everywhere).  The band recently reunited with Dave Lombardo on drums, which should prove to be very interesting.  Crank this up and scare your neighbors…Happy Halloween!




POWERWOLF  “When The Moon Shines Red” (2007)

In 2003, two guitar-playing brothers took on the pseudonyms Charles and Matthew Greywolf, and founded a German power metal band devoted to dark themes.  This song of foreboding comes from their 2007 sophomore album, Lupus Dei.  It’s a concept album about a wolf trying to free himself from his bloodlust.


AT VANCE  “The Evil In You” (1999)

In 1998, singer Oliver Hartmann and guitarist Olaf Lenk formed the German power metal band At Vance.  In 2003, Hartmann left the band to pursue his solo career, yielding vocal duties to current vocalist Mats Leven.  This is the title track from Leven’s first album with the band–and an excellent one for Halloween!




TROUBLE – “The Wolf” (1984)

A deep cut off of Trouble’s incredible, eponymous first album, “The Wolf” sets a menacing and sinister tone before the tempo takes off.  The great rasp of Eric Wagner adds even more depth to the mood of the song (along with Bruce Franklin’s excellent guitar work).  A worthy ode to all the werewolves out there this Halloween.


DIO  “Dream Evil” (1987)

Dio’s 1987 release, Dream Evil, was the band’s fourth studio album.  The title track is a classic, dark Dio tune, with his vocals shining through a murky rhythm line and ominous theme.  The song’s warning message is akin to “Don’t Talk To Strangers” from Holy Diver.  This great lineup featured Craig Goldy on guitar, Jimmy Bain on Bass, Vinny Appice on drums and Claude Schnell on the keys.  A little trivia: Dream Evil was Dio’s last album to feature Murray on the cover.

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 6/30/16

Hard Rock Music Time Machine - Ozzy Osbourne - 2002

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 6/30/16:  The Year – 2002

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

For this month’s theme, we take a journey back to the year 2002.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

Hard Rock Daddy was founded in March of 2013, but you might say that it was “born” in 2002 when I became a father for the first time, a bittersweet moment having lost my father the year before.  The songs that I’ve chosen this week bridge the gap between two years that brought both tragedy and a new outlook on life.  Both songs (which have specific meaning) were released in 2002, and each comes from an album that was released in 2001.


OZZY OSBOURNE – “Dreamer” (2002)

Ozzy Osbourne’s eighth studio album, Down To Earth, was released just a month after 9/11.  With the world still in shock and metal still far from the mainstream, this album is one that is under the radar to some degree. “Dreamer” – one of two singles from the album – is a song about Osbourne’s vision for a better world for his children where they were happy and safe.  The Prince Of Darkness refers to this song as his “Imagine” (John Lennon).

Bringing a child into a world that had lost all innocence for me was more than a little daunting.  Having experienced 9/11 in an up-close and visceral way, the thought of raising a child in a post-terrorist America nearly made me forgo the idea altogether.  Ultimately, the choice to proceed as planned ending up giving new meaning to a life that had been filled with confusion and loss.

For numerous reasons, Ozzy Osbourne has been a major part of my personal rock and roll journey, not the least of which is taking my son to see him perform live in concert (he was only 7 at the time).

It’s been nearly 15 years since “Dreamer” was released as a single.  To this day, it still conjures up bittersweet emotions.  In many ways, the song is even more relevant in today’s world of chaos than it was after 9/11.  The dream for a better world continues…

NICKELBACK – “Too Bad” (2002)

While Ozzy Osbourne’s Down To Earth was released a month after 9/11, Nickelback’s Silver Side Up was released on the same day as the most devastating act of terror on American soil.

“Too Bad” – the second single off of the album – was released in February of 2002, a time when the raw, painful emotions of 9/11 had started to turn to a numbing disbelief.  Although the song has an upbeat, melodic feel, the lyrics address a different kind of hopeless feeling brought on by more typical trials and tribulations of life.

The summer of 2009 was a time period where my family was dealing with our own trials and tribulations during a time of change.  One of the brightest spots of that summer, however, was taking my son to see Nickelback (his first concert) at my favorite venue in the world.

For some reason, this band is often times ridiculed, but they will always have special meaning to me.  For what it’s worth, they put on a hell of a show (albeit less kid-friendly than one would expect).



 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

OPETH “Master’s Apprentices” (2002)

I wasn’t sure if 2002 marked the decline or the continuation of Nu Metal, but I’m glad that some of my favorite metal bands were making great music back then.  Case in point: Opeth’s sixth studio album, Deliverance, and this monster of a song, “Master’s Apprentices.”  This song has everything!  Heavy, crunchy guitar chugs? Check.  Double-bass, thrash drumming? Check.  Death metal growls?  Check.  Odd-time signature?  Check.  For good measure, Mikael Akerfeldt even sings clean while the song winds down to a progressive jazzy feel before exploding back to the death metal frenzy.  Seeing Opeth play this song live is a treat and an experience all fans of metal should witness at some point.  And yes, I was one of headbanging fans singing along at their last show.


KILLSWITCH ENGAGE “Fixation On The Darkness” (2002)

In 2002, metalcore started coming into the mainstream after being underground for several years.  Being a fan of both the metal and hardcore genres, I was immediately interested in this new mixture (similar to the crossover bands back in the ‘80s).  One of the first metalcore bands to come out around this time was Massachusetts’s Killswitch Engage, with their second album, Alive or Just Breathing.  “Fixation on the Darkness” is chock full of heavy emotional grooves, sing-a-long choruses and a riff that makes you want to move.  This song is a perfect example of metalcore at its finest.  Fronted by Howard Jones (who replaced Jesse Leach after recording this album), this song will have you screaming along and/or breaking something.




DARIO MOLLO & TONY MARTIN – “Poison Roses” (2002)

Italian guitarist Dario Mollo and ex-Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin teamed up in the late ‘90s to bring us a tour de force of melodic metal with The Cage.  The project was so well-received by fans that they teamed up a few years later for The Cage II, which included this reproachful masterpiece.  They would team up again ten years later, in 2012, for a third installment.  All three albums are highly recommended.


PRIMAL FEAR – “Silence” (2002)

Ralf Scheepers should have been the replacement for Rob Halford when Judas Priest parted ways with him in 1996.  Tim “Ripper” Owens is also an amazing singer, but Scheepers’s vocals were a perfect fit for Priest.  Instead, Scheepers would go on the following year to team up with bassist/vocalist Matt Sinner to found power metal giants Primal Fear, and never look back. This powerful selection comes from their 2002 album, Black Sun.




DIO – “Along Comes A Spider” (2002)

2002 saw the ninth studio album from Dio, Killing the Dragon.  The dragon in this case was a symbol of technology.  Dio was concerned for its misuse to perpetrate injustice, and warned that it could keep people enslaved.  “Along Comes A Spider” warns not to let this sneak up on you if you only hear and don’t listen.  This was the first album with Doug Aldrich (Burning Rain, Whitesnake).  There are plenty of thick riffs, zesty licks and terrific solos throughout the song.  Mainstays Jimmy Bain (bass) and Simon Wright (drums) rounded out the lineup of the band on this underrated album (which was produced by RJD).


W.A.S.P – “Shadow Man” (2002)

In their 20th year together, Blackie Lawless’ W.A.S.P. cranked out their 10th album.  2002’s Dying For the World was Blackie’s dedication to the victims of 9/11.  The album was produced from start to finish in less than a year, which is uncharacteristic for Lawless who usually takes years to perfect an album.  The album’s lead song, “Shadow Man,” is a driving, mid-tempo track that features Lawless’ signature rasp and growl vocals and infectious rhythm, plus plenty of hot guitar licks throughout from guitarist Darrell Roberts.


Music Discovery Monday – 2/1/16

Music Discovery Monday - Jimmy Bain

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 2/1/16.

Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.

In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the ’70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.

This week, Music Discovery Monday pays tribute to yet another fallen rock star – Jimmy Bain, bassist (Rainbow, DIO, Last In Line, and more).



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

The hard rock world suffered another tremendous lost recently with the passing of bassist Jimmy Bain.  Along with Ronnie James Dio, Bain was the only other musician featured on three of my all-time favorite albums (as seen in the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment of Music Discovery Monday). 

Bain’s most recent work was with a band named after one of those albums, Last In Line.  It was with this band that Bain died at sea while on the Def Leppard Cruise.  Since his passing, the band has released two videos from their forthcoming album to honor their fallen bandmate. 

In addition to his most notable work, Bain also played with Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott, Gary Moore and others.  Today, we celebrate his most recent work and the legendary albums where he played an integral role…



LAST IN LINE – “Starmaker”

When Ronnie James Dio left Black Sabbath, he took drummer Vinny Appice with him, and recruited former Rainbow bandmate Jimmy Bain to join him in DIO.  It was Bain who suggested Vivian Campbell to RJD.  In September of 1982, these four played together for the first time.  The magic was evident; the classic DIO lineup was born.  Together, this lineup created not only the three best DIO albums, but three of the best hard rock/heavy metal albums of all-time:  Holy Diver, The Last In Line and Sacred Heart.

Three decades later, with RJD having passed away in 2010, the original members of DIO reunited to play the songs that they recorded together, under the moniker Last In Line.  You can’t replace a legend like RJD, but you can find a singer that can not only do the songs of a golden era justice, but also take the band to new heights with original material.  Enter Andrew Freeman, a passionate, talented singer with a nice resume, but far from a household name.

Jimmy Bain’s recent unexpected passing on the Def Leppard Cruise thrust this band into the headlines.  Sadly, it was not because of the band’s vast talent or chemistry, but that doesn’t diminish the sound that they have created with their upcoming debut release.

This was the last video that Bain made before his passing.  It was scheduled to be released ahead of the release of Heavy Crown.  No one expected it to be done as part of a tribute to Bain, turning a celebratory moment into a bittersweet one.  Bain was incredibly proud of the music that Last In Line created.

“Starmaker” features the heavy bottom that Bain was famous for in his work with the likes of DIO and Rainbow.  It blends elements of each legendary band into something different and timeless.  It’s fitting that this song was Bain’s final video.  He is a “starmaker” who helped bring attention to Campbell, and now to Freeman.  This song is everything that you love about classic DIO and more.



LAST IN LINE – “Blame It On Me”

“Blame It On Me” was also slated to be released as a single ahead of Last In Line’s debut album street date.  The release of the lyric video went on as scheduled as a tribute to Jimmy Bain.  The song has a more ominous, angst-ridden feel than “Starmaker.”  Lyrics like “but I remember when I was the cancer” and “it’s a God damn shame” end up being prophetically painful in light of the loss of Bain.

It was revealed today that the cause of Bain’s death was lung cancer.   This dreaded disease has hit this band hard.  RJD died of stomach cancer in 2010, and Vivian Campbell has been battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on and off in recent times.

Amazingly, Bain played a rehearsal on the day of his passing; sang backing vocals and had a heavy bass strapped to his neck.  He was being treated for pneumonia, and never complained about any illness that he was dealing with.  Bain embodied the spirit of rock and roll.


The tribute to Jimmy Bain continues in the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment, as his work with Rainbow and DIO is highlighted, as well as parting thoughts from his Last In Line bandmates, still in shock over his sudden passing.





MEGADETH – “Dystopia”

While I was not among those particularly disappointed by Supercollider, it does not feel like a stretch to describe Dystopia as a “return to form” for this legendary “Big Four” band.  The addition of two new members somehow resulted in a more traditional Megadeth sound and, when you’re Megadeth, tradition is business…and business is good.


THE TREATMENT – “Let It Begin”

Despite the presence of a new singer and a new guitarist, the first track from the forthcoming album, Generation Me, is in some respects, the same ol’ Treatment.  I mean that in a good way.  After all, their (most recent) previous release landed at #10 in my 2014 albums of the year list.  The same AC/DC vibe present on the previous record remains in evidence instrumentally this time around, while new lead vocals from Mitchell Emms (as seen on the U.K. version of The Voice) adds a different spin to the sound.





INNERWISH – “Rain Of A Thousand Years”

Greek power metallers Innerwish return this March with an eponymous new album.  The musical landscape of this first release from that album switches between light plucking acoustics and full blown electric riffs with soaring vocals and hammering bass and drums, for a promising taste of what’s to come.


ELEVENTH HOUR – “Long Road Home”

Plaintive strings punctuated by resonant brass yield quickly to layered symphonic metal in this Italian melodic metal band’s first single from their debut album.  Guitarist/composer Aldo Turini has joined forces with producer/vocalist Alessandro del Vecchio and a host of other talent on Memory Of A Lifetime Journey.






2016 brings a brand new album (The Art Of Loss) from one of my favorites bands…Redemption.  I wasn’t sure how this great band could get any better, until I saw Marty Friedman (Megadeth, Cacophony) featured on this track.  “Damage” is yet another musically brilliant, captivating track that features Redemption’s signature progressive metal sound and the distinctive vocals of Ray Alder (Fates Warning).  The additional firepower and expertise from Friedman puts this one way over the top.


SUNRISE – “Tower Of Fear”

Sunrise is a melodic power metal band from Kiev, Russia that has been around since 2003. “Tower of Fear” is the lead song from their new album, Absolute Clarity.  Lots of good things here: the powerful intro, lead and chorus vocals, intricate guitar work and the adept tempo changes of the tight rhythm section.



To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to –





RAINBOW – “Stargazer” (1976)

When you’re teamed up with one of the greatest singers and guitarists in hard rock/metal music history, in Ronnie James Dio and Ritchie Blackmore,  it’s easy to get overlooked.  Factor in the intense drumming of Cozy Powell, and getting noticed as the bass player becomes increasingly more challenging.  But, if you listen to this epic song more carefully, you can easily lock into the importance of Jimmy Bain’s bass playing within the confines of the music.  Bain not only locks in perfectly with Powell, he lays down a rock solid foundation that allows Blackmore the freedom to fly.  This was my first exposure to Jimmy Bain.  And though his time with Rainbow was short-lived, his impact cannot be understated.  Sadly, Bain joins Dio and Powell as departed members of an incarnation of Rainbow that produced an album for the ages in Rising.  The album cover is the band’s most iconic, and the music is still holds up as one of the greatest albums of all-time (Rainbow or otherwise).



DIO – “Straight Through The Heart” (1983)

 As mentioned above, Jimmy Bain’s time with Rainbow was limited to one iconic studio album (Rising) and one live album (On Stage).  His limited tenure was more than enough time to make an impression on Ronnie James Dio, who recruited his former bandmate to be the bass player in DIO.  Once again, paired up with a dynamic guitar player in Vivian Campbell and a punishing drummer in Vinny Appice, Bain’s playing is not the first thing that you notice when listening to this balls-to-the-wall track, but when you listen for it, you’ll see exactly why RJD reunited with Bain when he went out on his own.  But it was more than just Bain’s bass playing that made him such a valuable asset to Dio.  In addition to a number of other songs on Holy Diver, the duo collaborated to write transcendant, timeless music that sounds as fresh today as it did in 1983.



DIO – “Mystery” (1984)

Normally, I only feature two songs in the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment, but the shocking loss of Jimmy Bain has caused me to deviate from the rules a bit.  As the song says…“when there’s thunder, there should be rain, but it don’t always follow the rules, no.”  Like the Holy Diver album, Bain’s writing stamp is all over The Last In Line as well.  Any number of songs could have been chosen – most of which are much less popular than “Mystery” – but this was chosen because it seemed a fitting tribute to use the one song on the album that was a pure collaboration between the duo.

The music that Bain and Dio created together goes well beyond the handful of songs that were featured in this forum.  If you’re a fan of hard rock and heavy metal, it’s likely that none of these songs were actual discoveries, but they were chosen to show the hand that a vastly underrated musician had in creating them.  It seems that too many rock stars these days have become “Hungry For Heaven” way before their time.  Jimmy Bain’s passing didn’t send shockwaves through the rock and roll world like some of the more high profile names of late, but his loss is equally as great to those who were fans of his music.  RIP Jimmy!  Thank you for writing so many of the songs that made up the soundtrack of my youth.


Last In Line parting words…

 “Jimmy Bain – friend, brother and band mate passed away on Saturday January 23, 2016. 

The Medical Examiner report states the official cause of death was lung cancer.

Jimmy didn’t know he had lung cancer, but he did know he had pneumonia and was receiving treatment for it. This didn’t stop him or slow him down, we had four rehearsals 4 hours a day, then a flight to Miami for The Def Leppard Rock Cruise.  A pre-sail gig and sound check was scheduled for the following day.  At the gig Jimmy played great and even sang that night while holding a heavy bass guitar on his back, never complaining or asking for help.

Next day we preceded [sic] to board the cruise ship for a 5 day voyage of which we were scheduled to play Sunday the 4th day. That gig never happened as Jimmy passed away in his cabin the night before, we were devastated.

Jimmy was a trooper, he gave his all to the band he loved, the music he loved and the fans.  He didn’t want to let anyone down. I don’t know anyone that would have attempted this schedule while being this sick and not feeling well, a trooper.

He was so happy and proud of the new album we recorded, it so unfortunate and sad he didn’t live to see it released. We were all looking forward to being on the road and playing together again, there was such a magic between us.

Our prayers go out to his family and so many friends and fans who will miss the amazing person that was Jimmy Bain.”-  VINNY APPICE





TANK – “War Nation” (2012)

Title track from the last album to feature Doogie White on vocals, “War Nation” is just a great example of how the classic sound of the NWOBHM era can still sound strong three decades later.


MOTLEY CRUE“Keep Your Eye On Your Money” (1985)

Unlike the albums that immediately preceded or followed, Theater Of Pain only featured two official singles.  While “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” and “Home Sweet Home” helped the album to reach quadruple platinum sales (and certainly served their purpose), this track could have easily served to further highlight the more glam style of the record.





IRON SAVIOR – “Titans Of Our Time” (2002)

These German power metallers have been pairing heavy riffs to science fiction and mythical themes since 1996.  Here is the soaring anthem that launched their 2002 album, Condition Red.


FROZEN RAIN – “The Last Dance Ain’t Over” (2012)

Belgium’s Kurt Vereecke put together this AOR project in 2008 with various musicians and five different lead singers.  For their 2012 follow-up, he settled on Carsten “Lizard” Schulz for all of the vocals.  This rocker highlights those great vocals and the energy of the band.





SUPREME MAJESTY – “Fallen Star” (2003)

Melodic, fantasy-themed power metal outfit Supreme Majesty has an odd genealogy; they were born from two death-metal bands (Mortum and Non Serviam).  Bright and driving in both lyrics and music, “Fallen Star” has an instant appeal, and is a perfect lead track for the Danger album.   Joakim Olsson does a terrific job leading a talented bunch with his powerful, ranging vocals.


FATES WARNING – “One” (2000)

“One” is a great track from one of the flagship bands of progressive metal, Fates Warning.  Expert time changes and skilled musicianship (as expected), with a highly polished, refined production sound.  Mark Zonder’s work on the drums is fantastic.  This track, (from the Disconnected album) also features frequent guests of the band: Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Anthrax) on bass and Kevin Moore (Dream Theater) on keyboards.


Music Discovery Monday – 11/16/15

Music Discovery Monday - Shaman's Harvest, Revolve, RJD Cancer Fund

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 11/16/15.

Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.

In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the ’70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.

In this special edition of Music Discovery Monday, we celebrate rock and roll cancer survivors, and the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.  For the first time ever, we have two featured artists…Shaman’s Harvest frontman Nathan Hunt and Revolve guitarist Debbie Barlow.  Both of these cancer survivors (who are about to go on tour together) share their personal battles in a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive.



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

***NOTE:  As mentioned above, this is the first time that Music Discovery Monday has two featured artists.  The featured artists (Shaman’s Harvest and Revolve) are about to go on tour together.  Each band features a cancer survivor (Nathan HuntShaman’s Harvest and Debbie BarlowRevolve). Beneath each of their featured songs, Hunt and Barlow share personal stories about their respective battles, and the role that music played in their healing process. Please make sure to check out the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment as well for more rock and roll cancer survivors, and a very important fund that was established after the passing of Ronnie James Dio.***



If there is one word to describe Shaman’s Harvest, it would be “diverse.”  It would be easy to shower them with a number of other positive adjectives, but what sets them apart from most is their ability to deliver a variety of musical experiences on one album and make it work so well.  The two previous singles (“Dangerous” and “Dirty Diana”) off of Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns both garnered radio attention, and it looks as though they are poised to enjoy similar success with “In Chains.”   Whereas “Dangerous” was a straight-forward southern rocker and “Dirty Diana” was an inspired, bluesy cover of a classic Michael Jackson song, “In Chains” offers yet another side of Shaman’s Harvest.  There is a seamless transition between the verses (which would be an ideal fit for a modern western film), and the choruses, which feature larger-than-life gospel theatricality.  Need more?  How about some soulful blues shredding thrown in for good measure?  Nathan Hunt’s vocals are impressive enough on their own.  They become even more awe-inspiring when you take into account that he was receiving treatment for throat cancer during the recording of the album.


In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Nathan Hunt discusses his battle with cancer…


What role did music play in your life when you were battling cancer?

“Making music was everything in getting over that darkness…that feeling of being alone.  I was fortunate enough to be making a record at the time. So, the cancer and treatments took a back seat (at least in my mind) to the studio work.  I didn’t have to focus on being sick or how my throat felt like sandpaper from the radiation.  I just found ways to sing around it and get it done.”


What challenges did you face with your music career after being diagnosed, and how did you overcome those challenges?

“Well, I kept it a secret for as long as I could (a year or so).  I wanted the record to be out, and the world to hear it before they took any other factors into account.  The songs needed to speak for themselves.  And besides all that, I wanted to deal with it privately.  It was aggressive and experimental treatment, and I reckon that I didn’t want to field the questions and awkward well-meaning hugs ‘n’ shit.”


What does it mean to you to be touring with a fellow cancer survivor?

“Debbie (Barlow) is a great person.  I don’t think of her as a cancer survivor; nor myself.  She’s good people; and I like touring with good fuckin’ people.”


What advice would you give to others that are battling cancer right now?

I’d tell them find something bigger than themselves to focus on.  I truly believe making Smokin’ Hearts n Broken Guns saved my life.  It gave me the will to deal with those pesky docs ‘n’ shitty treatments, cuz I knew that after, I could head to the studio.  Doesn’t have to be music, but if there’s somethin’ there that’s pushing you to fight, I figure it wills that cancer bullshit right on out of ya.”


REVOLVE – “Believe”

Talent and connections only take you so far in today’s hard rock music climate.  Though the days of huge record deals have long since passed, the reality is that it still takes money to rise above the din in a very crowded genre.  Since their inception, Revolve has been one of the ultimate DIY bands.  Much of the burden to promote the band thus far has fallen on the strong shoulders of guitarist, Debbie Barlow.  Her hard work is finally beginning to pay off in a meaningful way, as this independent band is about to hit the road with Hinder and Shaman’s Harvest.  Like Shaman frontman Nathan Hunt, Barlow is also a cancer survivor, and a testament to what can be achieved in the face of adversity.  Revolve’s entire debut EP is rock solid.  Any of the songs could have been chosen for this forum, but “Believe” was selected because it fits so well with the cancer survivor story, and the fact that her unwavering belief in Revolve is now taking the band to new heights.  This hard-hitting tune features an infectious melody to go along with impressive guitar work and vocal harmonies.  If you’re a fan of bands like Sevendust, Shinedown and Breaking Benjamin, make sure to check out Revolve!


In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Debbie Barlow discusses her battle with cancer…


What role did music play in your life when you were battling cancer?

“Music has always been my saving grace in life, with many things that I go through.  When I wasn’t writing music during treatments, I was staying inspired by listening to some of my favorite music.  It was truly one of my main motivators to stay focused on battling cancer. Music was never what I did, but rather ‘who I am,’ and I used it to fuel my will for life to be able to come out a survivor.”


What challenges did you face with your music career after being diagnosed, and how did you overcome those challenges?

“I was in a band at the time that was heavily writing recording and touring. We had big dreams to take over the music world (laughs).  Sadly, it was all to be put on an indefinite hold after hearing that ‘C’-word.  I was diagnosed with, and began treatment for, ovarian cancer.  Statistics show that most ovarian cancers are more common in women in their mid-late 50s.  I had just turned 30, so it was a rare find, and the treatment was pretty damn aggressive.  I had to make one of the toughest decisions of my life, and step down from the band, so that I could really focus on kicking cancer in the arse!  When I could find the energy in between treatments, I would grab my guitar and write a little…one song turned into two, and soon, more.  At some point, my focus changed from fear to being sort of fearless.  I think in creating music (or any art), you have to be fearless, you know?”


What does it mean to you to be touring with a fellow cancer survivor?

“I’m just excited to be heating up stages before Shaman’s Harvest’s set on this winter tour.  They’re a great band!  I met Nate (Hunt) at the KROCKATHON festival that we played together in Syracuse, NY over the summer…amazing pipes!  I later found out he was a cancer survivor too.

Since then, It had been on my to-do list that, if we ever had the opportunity to share a stage again, we would shed some light on being cancer survivors and working musicians.  I think that we both know that it takes a lot to overcome the diagnosis and treatment.  I went through some dark days, and I’m sure that Nate did as well.

Coming out a survivor is like a HUGE fist punch in the air that screams…‘hey  look, we  went through this crazy time of uncertainty, fear and sometimes broken confidence, but guess what, we’re not done yet…so much more music to make and stages to play!’  I really hope that more musicians/artists will share stages and their stories and be a source of encouragement.  It’s real life for us all.”


What advice would you give to others that are battling cancer right now?

“FIGHT!!  Stay in faith (if you are a believer).  Don’t let the disease and treatment define you, or who you really are.  You are still the same person on the inside.  You may temporarily look and feel a little different, but you’re still YOU!  Find others who are going through (or have been through) battling cancer.  There are some great stories and strengths to be shared.”





CYBERSTAR – “Eye For An Eye”

Drowning Pool vocalist Jasen Moreno and Fozzy guitarist Billy Grey are joined by Allele drummer Dusty Winterrowd for the lastest supergroup configuration to arrive on the scene.  The debut single is on target for Active Rock fans, and provides a promising introduction to this talented trio.


MAVERICK – “Got It Bad”

The third single from the debut album of this U.K. band is a straight-ahead rocker that puts a bit of a fresh spin on a familiar sound.  The guitar work is a particular highlight to me on this one, but there are no obvious weaknesses on display across the lineup.  Just a nice, solid track that could (unfortunately) fly under the radar far too easily in today’s crowded rock scene.





DIVINER – “Come Into My Glory”

Guitars are chugging and heads are banging in Greece, with the release of this first single from Diviner’s first album.  Set for a November 20th debut, Fallen Empires promises metal in the tradition of Judas Priest and Ronnie James Dio, but with a modern twist.


DARK MOOR – “In The Heart Of Stone”

Spain’s Dark Moor has been delivering power metal with symphonic influences for 20 years. Their tenth album, Project X, continues to match the guitar of founder Enrik Garcia with the smooth vocals of Alfred Romero, and various other elements layered behind them.  A science fiction theme permeates most of the album, but is not as noticeable on this song, which gallops along playfully with some classical influences.






Alabama rockers Shallow Side deliver on “Stand Up,” an upbeat, alternative, hard rock tune that is the title track off of the band’s latest EP.  Aggressive, driving rhythms, with really good, active guitar work accompanies the bright vocal delivery of Eric Boatright that is both melodic and inspiring.



A “beauty and the beast” track here, with delicate lead vocals in front of rough power/symphonic metal behind it.  The contrast works well on “Fire & Ice.”  Italy’s Sleeping Romance showcases their precision and talent on this up-tempo track from their sophomore EP.


To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to –





BLACK SABBATH – “Children Of The Sea” (1980)

In 1979, a legendary vocalist (Ozzy Osbourne) was replaced by another legendary vocalist in Ronnie James Dio (who had parted ways with Ritchie Blackmore and Rainbow).  In an ironic, serendipitous twist of fate, Dio first met Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi at the Rainbow Bar & Grill (a.k.a. “The Rainbow”) on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.  At their first “getting-to-know-you” session in Iommi’s Los Angeles home, the duo collaborated on “Children Of The Sea.”  The rest, as they say, is history.  This incredibly moving song, brought to life by Dio’s soaring vocals, was featured on Heaven & Hell, one of the defining albums of each of their careers, and of heavy metal for that matter.  This song probably doesn’t fall under the “discovery” category for most hard rock and metal fans, but the interesting backstory and significance of the song cannot be understated.  This dynamic duo would go on to make music history together.  They would also both go on to be diagnosed with cancer later in life.  Like our two featured artists this week, Iommi is also a cancer survivor.  Unfortunately, Dio succumbed to this dreaded disease on May 16, 2010.  Though he has been gone for over five years, Dio’s legacy remains, as does his impact on funding for cancer research.  After his passing, Dio’s wife, Wendy, launched the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.


DIO – “Gypsy” (1983)

After a short (but memorable) stint with Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio went on to form Dio, a band that bared his name, but was much more than a solo project.  Although much of the band’s first album (Holy Diver) was already written before his arrival, guitarist Vivian Campbell was thrust into the spotlight of hard rock and heavy metal upon its release.  Campbell and Dio did, however, collaborate on “Gypsy” (one the classic album’s more underrated songs).  Some guitarists have a sound that is so distinct that you recognize their playing from the first note.  Campbell’s work with Dio absolutely falls into that category, particularly on Holy Diver“Gypsy” not only features signature Campbell riffs, but also impressive leads surrounding Dio’s stellar vocals.  Like Dio’s former bandmate, Tony Iommi, and the two featured artists on Music Discovery Monday (see above), Campbell is also a cancer survivor (although he has had to fight another battle this year when the cancer returned).  In keeping with the Dio influence, Campbell will be releasing the first single from his latest band, Last In Line, on November 17th.  The band’s debut album will be released this coming February.





ART OF DYING“You Don’t Know Me” (2011)

From the album Vices and Virtues, this cut has an almost punk-influenced feel to me, but this talented Canadian band makes that work for them well enough, keeping the song accessible and listenable.   “You Don’t Know Me” is a deeper cut from a strong album.


NONPOINT“Hands Off” (2007)

From the album Vengeance (which featured “March Of War” as the lead single), this album cut has become one of my favorite songs from this Florida band’s entire catalog, which spans almost two decades.  Nice hard edge to the song, with a lot of energy.  There’s just a lot to like about this hidden treasure.





LAST TRIBE – “The Chosen One” (2008)

Magnus Karlsson wrote all of the music and played nearly all of the instruments for Sweden’s Last Tribe.  Vocalist Rickard Bengtsson shines along with Karlsson on this power metal tune from their 2008 album, Uncrowned, which features some aggressive riffs and a killer guitar solo.  Karlsson has since moved on to other projects, including Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall and Primal Fear.


LAND OF TALES – “Fading Away” (2008)

In 2008, Finnish melodic rockers Naiskala looked to broaden their audience by appealing to the English-speaking world.  The band was renamed Land Of Tales and singer/guitarist Kristian switched his vocals to English.  He sounds amazing in any language; even moreso on this beautiful ballad, with bandmate Palle contributing some haunting keyboards.





AXEL RUDI PELL – “Hole In The Sky” (1996)

Classic ‘90s metal from Axel Rudi Pell, who has always surrounded his fantastic guitar-work with talent.  This is especially true of Jeff Scott Soto’s vocals, which are front and center on this great track from Black Moon Pyramid.  Excellent rhythm and the requisite killer guitar solo make this an overall stand-out track.


AMOPRHIS “Silent Waters” (2007)

Amorphis has been around since 1990 (originally as a death-metal band).  However, with time and line-up changes through the late ‘90s, their signature sound has evolved into cleaner, more melodic, progressive metal.  This track is indicative of the shift.  There is a grave undertone of loss to the story line of “Silent Water,” but also a determination to retrieve what was lost.  The vocals and musicianship are both very good, conveying passion and power while also featuring an excellent guitar solo.

Music Discovery Monday – 5/18/15

Music Discovery Monday - Burnos

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 5/18/15.

Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.

In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the 70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.

This week’s Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Melissa Burnos, who shares the inspiration behind Burnos’ single, “Syndrome Of Decay.” 



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

BURNOS – “Syndrome Of Decay”

When you think of hard rock, two things that probably don’t come to mind are the Miami Dolphins and The Bee Gees, but both have a connection to this week’s featured artist, Burnos (fronted by Melissa Burnos).

Like The Pretty Reckless’ Taylor Momsen, Burnos’ first exposure to the public did not begin with music.  However, her time as a Dolphins cheerleader helped with her music, as cheering in front of a stadium full of people taught her how to work a crowd.  Also giving her a boost of confidence was her association with the late Maurice Gibbs, who read some of her writing and told her that she could write songs.

Burnos was first heard on SiriusXM’s Octane with a song called “Octane.” Perhaps it was a serendipitous coincidence; perhaps it was a clever way to grab the attention of the most powerful Active Rock station in the country.  Either way, it got her noticed.  Her follow-up single, “WarShip,” also received attention from Octane, and was included in Hard Rock Daddy’s Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014.

Burnos’ latest single, “Syndrome Of Decay,” from her forthcoming debut album, is once again getting airplay on Octane, yet she still remains under the radar to a large degree.  Burnos’ powerfully melodic, sultry vocals are delivered over a sound that is reminiscent of Alter Bridge and Tremonti, which is not surprising given that she is writing and recording her album with Michael “Elvis” Baskette, Eric Friedman and Garrett Whitlock.


In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Melissa shares the inspiration and meaning behind her latest single…

“Although I feel that all poetry and lyrics are open to interpretation by readers and listeners from their own unique perspectives, I was inspired at the time by my own perspective. ‘Syndrome of Decay’ is definitely one of my favorite songs out of the ones we’ve written and recorded so far.  I was inspired by some darker life experiences and observations.

The song is about some people’s need for, and affinity towards, the destruction of happiness, which is the opposite of life.  It’s about the weak, inexperienced, unwilling, fearful observer who is constantly judging, naysaying, tearing down, and is throwing away all hope and ambition for his/her own life, ultimately projecting that onto the dreamers and go-getters.  Simply put, it’s about attempts by those who gave up on their dreams to berate and destroy those who refuse to do so.

‘Syndrome of Decay’ is about coming to terms with the fact that these people won’t ever change and basically can’t help themselves.  Coming to this conclusion, the dreamer and go-getter walks away leaving the destructive person flailing pitifully in their own negativity and darkness.

Erock (Eric Friedman) and Garrett Whitlock crafted and laid the perfect blend of dark and heavy riffs and rhythms, which drive home the story of ‘Syndrome of Decay.’  I think it’s the perfect marriage of music, melody and lyrics.  What the guys are playing is aggressive and eerily haunting at the same time.  I really love how Erock launches the song out of the gate and his ethereal guitar solo.  Garrett’s attack and sick combinations really drive it!  I hope everyone enjoys this one as much as we all do!”


SISTER SIN – “Chaos Royale”

Although I discovered Sister Sin on Octane (like I did Burnos), this is not a band that is likely to ever get tons of radio airplay.  Based on the lyrics to “Chaos Royale,” you have to believe that suits the band, more specifically, front woman Liv Jagrell just fine…

“Enslave the earth with an iron fist, now the whole world is my personal bitch…I’ll put an end to all music that sucks, according to my flawless taste…No hipster shit, radio rock, bubble gum, DJ pop…Heavy metal all the way…make no fucking mistake!”

Deeply rooted in 80s heavy metal (not hair), Sister Sin is a Swedish powerhouse that takes no prisoners with their aggressive sound.  Though their original plan was to have a male singer, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Jagrell at the helm because she is such a perfect fit (and I’m not just saying that because I fear that she will hunt me down with her iron fist and make me her “personal bitch”).  If there was a sub-genre called “ballsy female-fronted metal,” Sister Sin would rule the throne.  From their latest album, Black Lotus, “Chaos Royale” is an ideal introduction to this vastly underrated band.





ONE BAD SON – “Black Buffalo”

While there seems to be no shortage of bands displaying 70s rock influences lately, most simply aren’t as good at doing so as this quartet from Vancouver.  That skill has made them one of the more consistent rock radio performers in Canada over the past couple of years.  Yet another “ten year overnight success story,” they’re a band that – if you appreciate a more straight-ahead traditional rock sound – really deserves more attention outside their native country.



Thoroughly modern sounding (in a good way) five-piece from Orlando, Florida has recently released the first single from their new album RegeneratE, and it’s a solid effort.  If released by one of the Active Rock format staple “big name” bands, this song would be all over the radio in a hurry.  Instead, it’s a good song with some teeth that has to hope to get that breakthrough by being in the right place at the right time just as all the stars align.  In the meantime, there’s no reason that any fan of good work should miss out, so take a listen.





SANDMARX – “Band On Fire”

Vocalist Sandra Szabo gets gritty in a commanding performance on the bluesy, modern rock song “Band On Fire.”  With shades of Guns N’ Roses and even some Black Crowes, the Norwegian band Sandmarx finds a sweet groove and hits on some addictive riffs. The other songs on their album, The Perfect Storm, vary at times in style, but rarely in intensity.


NEAL MORSE – “Doomsday Destiny”

Progressive rock superstar Neal Morse (Spock’s Beard, Transatlantic, Flying Colors) scores again with his latest solo release, The Grand Experiment.  Bonus track “Doomsday Destiny” is a highlight, opening with some light keyboard before launching into a fuller, funkier orchestration and some striking vocal harmonies. Mike Portnoy mans the drums with the precision and flair he’s renowned for.





BLACK FATE – “Lines In The Sand”

Terrific power/progressive metal from Greece.  Black Fate’s “Lines in the Sand” is a well-executed, driving track about the subject seeking out their destiny.   Great rhythm line (Nikos Tsintzilonis -drums and Vasilis Liakos- bass) showcases the progressive talent through timing shifts, and sets the stage for Gus Drax’s screaming guitar work.


DAMNATION ANGELS – “Everlasting”

From Damnation Angels’ upcoming US album, The Valiant Fire, “Everlasting” showcases great lead vocals from Per Fredrik Asly (aka PelleK) and vocal harmonies, along with background orchestration overlaid onto smooth, driving, impassioned power.  This is the second full-length album from this symphonic metal band from the UK, led by Will & John Graney (on drums and guitar respectively).






THE LETTER BLACK – “Pain Killer” (2013)

From The Letter Black’s 2013 album, Rebuild, “Pain Killer” features a perfect blend of power, beauty, mystique and melody.  Sarah Anthony’s angelic vocals shine as she taps into the emotion of the lyrics over churning power chords.  When the band (which includes Anthony’s husband, Mark on guitar), dials up the intensity, Sarah follows suit with melody-drenched, anthemic vocals.  Like, Skillet (another Christian rock band that features a husband and wife team), The Letter Black aspires to give people hope with their lyrics.  Personally speaking, “Pain Killer” is a song of hope, but not because of the lyrical content.  This is the one hard rock song that my daughter – whose taste has unfortunately shifted to mainstream pop – will listen to on her own.


MARAGOLD – “Evergreen Is Golder” (2013)

When it comes to music, sometimes less is more.  AC/DC has built a legendary career by adhering to this adage.  Aside from their approach on “Evergreen Is Golder,” Maragold’s similarities to AC/DC end there.  The straight-forward groove of the song provides an ideal canvas for Meghan Krauss to bring a mental picture to life with her incredibly powerful, raspy, melodic delivery of poetic lyrics. Krauss is a star in the making. Guitarist, Greg Howe, has collaborated on numerous projects ranging from jazz fusion to hard rock (Richie Kotzen, Jordan Rudess).  There is no telling how far this band can go if they are able to build a fanbase worthy of their talent.





IRON MAIDEN – “Still Life” (1983)

Released 32 years ago this week, the album Piece Of Mind added several notable songs to the list of Iron Maiden staples.  This particular track isn’t considered as classic as, say, “The Trooper,” but is not only a worth a nod musically, but also for the cheeky bit of blatant backwards masking that takes place at the beginning as a shot across the bow of their detractors at the time.


DIO – “Killing The Dragon” (2002)

Title track from the next-to-last studio album from the iconic Ronnie James Dio, who left us five years ago this past weekend.  I chose it to mark the passing largely because it provided the backdrop for the first time my son saw the legend in person, a moment that I’ll always treasure.  Rest in peace Ronnie…never forgotten and sorely missed.





BUDDY GUY, B.B. KING, ERIC CLAPTON – “Let Me Love You Baby” (2005)

The music world was devastated last week by the loss of the great and prolific B.B. KIng.  Here he shares the stage and shines with two other modern legends, capturing the heart and emotion of every note like only he could.  Buddy Rich improvs during their jam…“I say B.B. King, man, play that thing for me.” Nothing more needed to be said.


LANA LANE – “Someone To Believe” (2005)

When it comes to the lesser known but greatest female rock vocalists, Lana Lane ranks near the top of the list.  Here she demonstrates her full power in a gripping, yearning piece. Comparisons to Heart (whose music she covers on other albums) are probably unavoidable. Husband, Eric Norlander ably mans the keyboards.





AIRGED L’AMH – “Glide On The Wings” (2008)

More metal from the Greeks!  A great find from back in 2008, “Glide on the Wings” is straight-forward, gritty, energetic heavy metal with themes of glory and heroics.  Curiously, this Greek band used to be called Ragnarok – of Norse, rather than Greek Mythology – but changed to Airged L’ Amh (Gaelic for “Silver Arm”) because of other bands with the same name.  Stand-out guitar work from Alexander Vasilopoulos and George Sofikitis, plus great work on the skins from George Thanasopoulos.


DIO – “My Eyes” (1990)

An ode to great Ronnie James Dio’s on the 5th anniversary of his passing (May 16th, 2010).  “My Eyes,” – from Dio’s 1990 release, Lock Up The Wolves – is complete with the styles and references you need to know about his great legacy in rock & metal. ‘Nuff said…


To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…

Three For Throwback Thursday: Twisted Sister, Dio, Black ‘N Blue

Three For Throwback Thursday - Twisted Sister, Dio, Black 'N Blue

Three For Throwback Thursday featuring:  Twisted Sister, Dio and Black ‘N Blue.  The theme of the week is revealed below the last video.


This week’s “Three for Throwback Thursday” songs:

ARTIST:             Twisted Sister

SONG:               “We’re Not Gonna Take It”

ALBUM:              Stay Hungry

RELEASED:          May 10, 1984




ARTIST:               Dio

SONG:                “The Last In Line”

ALBUM:               The Last In Line

RELEASED:           July 13, 1984




ARTIST:               Black ‘N Blue

SONG:                 “Hold On To 18”

ALBUM:                Black ‘N Blue

RELEASED:           August – 1984


This week’s Three For Thursday theme is…

Summer of ’84 Hard Rock Anthems



Hard Rock Music Time Machine – Summer of 1984  – We’re Not Gonna Take It!

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 1996: Hanging Out With Ronnie James Dio

Three For Thursday Archives

Hard Rock Daddy – Three For Thursday: Judas Priest, KISS, Dio

Three For Thursday Judas Priest, KISS, Dio

Every Thursday, Hard Rock Daddy features three hard rock songs/artists/albums with a common theme. This week’s “Three For Thursday” lineup consists of Judas Priest, KISS and Dio. The theme is revealed below the last video.


This week’s “Three for Thursday” songs:

ARTIST:             Judas Priest

SONG:               “Victim Of Changes”

ALBUM:              Sad Wings Of Destiny

RELEASED:         March 23, 1976




ARTIST:              KISS

SONG:                “God Of Thunder”

ALBUM:              Destroyer

RELEASED:          March 15, 1976




ARTIST:               Dio

SONG:                 “Straight Through The Heart”

ALBUM:                Holy Diver

RELEASED:           May 25, 1983



This week’s Three For Thursday theme is…

“SHARED ROCK STAR BIRTHDAYS” –  Rob Halford, Gene Simmons and Vivian Campbell all celebrate their birthday on August 25th.

Rock and Roll Children

Rock and Roll Children

When I was a kid, I was exposed to a lot of Doo-Wop music, especially on car trips.  My siblings and I didn’t have iPods to listen to our own music.  Truth be told, we were happy just to have a window seat to avoid “the hump.”  If my kids are in the car alone with my wife, she will give them a chance to pick the music, whereas I have carried on the tradition of my dad.  You can probably imagine what is being played on the radio when Hard Rock Daddy picks the music.  For a while, my kids were truly rock and roll children, but like all kids, they have started to discover music on their own as they are exposed to other influences.

As a 6-yr old hip-hop dancer, Little One has started to gravitate towards music that she can dance to, and also to the songs that she hears on the television shows that she watches.  My 10-yr old son, on the other hand, has been influenced by his older cousins and has started delving into the world of underground hip-hop.  While I can’t fault them for going out on their own and developing their own musical tastes, I wasn’t going sit idly by and let them forget their hard rock roots.

In an effort to rekindle their interest in hard rock music, I decided this weekend to let them each create their own playlists on the Hard Rock Daddy YouTube channel (  The only caveat was that the songs that they chose had to fit in with the other music featured on Hard Rock Daddy.

My son created his playlist first.  He had a number of songs that he was able to name right away, and then began to increase his list as I reminded him of others that he had forgotten about.  By the time we finished, his playlist had 60 very worthy hard rock songs on it ranging from his favorites of today like Rob Zombie’s “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown” to classics like Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” and Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”  His list also includes the latest Sabbath release “God Is Dead?”.

Little One needed a little more guidance when it came time to make her playlist.  She likes a lot of songs, but couldn’t recall the names of most of them very easily.  Her playlist also ranges from songs of today like 10 Years’ “Fix Me” to Guns N Roses classics like “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Welcome to the Jungle” and Ozzy Osbourne’s “Mr. Crowley.”  Her list is significantly shorter than my son’s (20 songs), but she ended up with a very cool playlist, especially considering that she is a 6-yr old hip-hop dancer.

Both rock and roll children have songs on their respective lists that hold special meaning to me.

My son’s list features songs from concerts that we have seen together, the most meaningful being Nickelback’s “Rockstar.”  It was the first concert that he ever saw when he was 7-yrs old, but more importantly, he used to sing the entire song when he was 3-yrs old.  Needless to say to anyone who knows the lyrics, it was the source of a lot of laughter at family get-togethers.

Little One’s list features songs that made an impression on her at the age of three also.  She used to sing parts of “Mr. Crowley” and get excited that “Ozzy Osbournes” was on the radio.  In her version of name that tune, after a few guitar notes of “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” she would yell out Guns N Roses and make her rocker face while flashing Dio’s horns up (a.k.a. metal fingers).  The song that will always remind me of her is “Fix Me.”  She was only 5-yrs old when it was on the Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown.  Whenever she heard the chorus, she would scream and clap uncontrollably.  It was a moment of pure joy that I will always remember as long as I live.

Check out the playlists that my rock and roll children have put together.  Please feel free to share any thoughts about their selections.



Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 1996: Hanging Out With Ronnie James Dio

Dio Horns Up

The year was 1996.  Hard rock and heavy metal had fallen out of favor during the heyday of grunge, especially with the major record labels.  After a successful 15-year relationship with Warner Brothers Records, Ronnie James Dio was unceremoniously dropped from the label.  As a rock God to a generation of fans, Dio would have been justified to carry a chip on his shoulder, but he didn’t let the calculating side of the music business dampen his spirits.  After major label releases with Dio, Black Sabbath and Rainbow, he signed with an independent record label called Mayhem Records.  For the first time since the Elf days, Dio was going to release an album with an indie label.

Mayhem Records was one of my clients when I worked at Billboard Magazine.  It was a cool, scrappy label with a barebones office in New York City, the polar opposite of typical major label offices.  What they lacked in personnel and clout they made up for in passion for their artists and dedication to getting the job done.  It didn’t take long before I became friends with the people who worked there, some of whom I am still friends with to this day.

Prior to Dio’s release of Angry Machines – the first on Mayhem Records – the label held a record-release party in a dive bar in the East Village of New York City, a setting befitting the Mayhem personality.  It was an up-and-coming area at the time, but certainly not a location that would have been chosen by a major label for any kind of event.

Having already gotten a sneak peek at the record, I attended the party to support my client, and also to shake the hand of one of my favorite singers of all time.  I figured that Dio would make a quick appearance, shake some hands, sign some autographs and be on his way.  Clearly, I didn’t know anything about the man whose musical legend made him seem larger-than-life.

When Dio walked in, I was introduced to him by my friends at Mayhem.  I told him that he was one of my favorite singers, and that I was a huge fan of everything that he had done going back to his days with Elf.  I expected a gracious show of thanks, but what I got was so much more.  Dio, the legendary rock star of mythical proportions quickly became Ronnie, the kind-hearted man who truly appreciated his fans and was interested in speaking to me as a person about all things, music or otherwise.  The hour, or so, that we spent talking over a drink or two at the bar is one that I will never forget.

I’ve met many musicians whose work I admire greatly, but few have made a lasting impact on me like Ronnie James Dio.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried on May 16, 2010 when I heard of Ronnie’s passing.  Like most hard rock and metal fans, I was saddened that there would be no new music from Dio in the future, but the tears that I shed were for Ronnie, the man who I only knew for about an hour, but made me feel like we were lifelong friends.  \m/ \m/

Hard Rock Daddy – Three For Thursday: Dio, Rainbow, Black Sabbath

Every Thursday, Hard Rock Daddy features three hard rock songs/artists/albums with a common theme. This week’s “Three For Thursday” lineup consists of Dio, Rainbow and Black Sabbath. The theme is revealed at the bottom of the page.


This week’s “Three for Thursday” songs:

ARTIST:             DIO

SONG:               “Hungry For Heaven”

ALBUM:             Sacred Heart

RELEASED:         August 15, 1985




ARTIST:              Rainbow

SONG:                “Gates Of Babylon”

ALBUM:               Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll

RELEASED:          April 9, 1978




ARTIST:              Black Sabbath

SONG:                “Heaven and Hell”

ALBUM:               Heaven and Hell

RELEASED:          April 25, 1980


Scroll down to see this week’s Three For Thursday theme…




This week’s Three For Thursday theme is…

RONNIE JAMES DIO – This week’s Three For Thursday is dedicated to Ronnie James Dio, who lost his battle with cancer three years ago today (5/16/10). He is one of the greatest singers in hard rock music history, but more importantly, an incredible person who truly appreciated every one of his fans. He left a mark on hard rock music like few others. The horns up sign that he introduced has become the signature gesture for every metal band and every metal fan in the world.  

R.I.P. RJD – you may be gone, but your legend will live on forever. \m/ \m/