Birthday Power Trio Of The Day:
Albert Bouchard(1947, Blue Oyster Cult) on drums, Guy Fletcher(1960, mostly notable with Dire Straits) on keyboards, and Patti Labelle(1944, cocaine and soul food) on vocals.
Patti’s gonna want to have her way, and I’m not gonna stop her. No funny business here; those other two guys are just there to help her burn the fucking house down with a version of “You Turn Me On”. I’m just gonna leave this right here:
Let’s All Die In 2016: Nick Menza
Nick Menza’s rock and roll life had some spectacular near misses; nearly played with Slayer before Dave Lombardo showed back up for South Of Heaven, nearly lost his leg to a tumor and his arm to a power saw accident, and nearly drew the short straw, seeing two of the members of his band touring a show called, of all things, Menza: Life After Deth, die one after another in the space of a year(the second one to heart failure, the first one to Great White’s pyrotechnic disaster), just after Menza left Megadeth.
Well… not “left”. Although he was partly responsible for the sound of Megadeth’s most iconic period from 1990-1998, Dave Mustaine, whose asshole period will last to the eventual entropy destruction of planet Earth, fired Menza while he was recouperating from having the aforementioned knee tumor removed(Mustaine also re-fired Menza in 2004 after re-hiring him. He was back in Megadeth for the length of one rehearsal.).
Menza stayed close with Marty Friedman, playing on some of his first solo albums, including the weird(I know Friedman has ties to Japan, but have you heard the thing?) album Introduction, which features Nick Menza’s dad, famous tenor saxophonist Don Menza, on the shakuhachi of all things. Nick Menza stayed active in music until the very end, too, and I mean the literal, actual terminal end of his life: he collapsed on stage and died. I feel for his family, but that’s how to do it. RIP.
Also Dead: Elvis Presley
I almost, but not quite, got ran off the road last week thanks to the King’s mighty catalog.
There’s so much after-death garbage out there recorded, remixed, and “modernized” that I’ve never tried to listen to it in earnest. Normally I’m pretty sensitive to it and just turn the channel(SiriusXM radio has its own music/propaganda station devoted to Elvis), but this song, a slyly re-recording of “Now Or Never”, one of my favorites, arranged very subtly at first, caught me off guard. Of course, being 2016, it didn’t take long for them to muck it up(“them” being the Italian pretty-boy pop-opera Eurovision entrants Il Volo, and, to a lesser extent, Priscilla Presley, who gave her blessing to this recent recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), and when my brain snapped to attention to frown at the radio because my ears are not capable of frowning, I also noticed a Mack truck with 11 tons of fill dirt drifting into my lane. Thanks, E!