David "Alligator Jackson" Williams wrote for a music website he had with Jeff Westlake and the Pig called The Music Hotwire.  Here are some of his articles and some other he has written on rock music,  Alligator Jackson celebrates the great music of the past.  He is also trying to keep it alive and share the great music with fans who were too young when it came around the first time.  These are blogs by Alligator Jackson.

Guitarist Jeff Westlake speaks on the passing of Eric Moore 

Hydrogyn guitarist Jeff Westlake who also joined The Godz a few years ago, posted on the passing of his friend Godz vocalist Eric Moore

 

"Today was a day of celebration . As I made my way up to The Barn in Zanesville it was a beautiful day. I had Timothy Hart with me for the trip to talk about all the things we are doing and document the days activities at GODZFEST.

Upon arriving at THE BARN the first person I would see is John Gard . John runs the GODZ show , he is Eric’s right hand. On stage was the power band from North Carolina, KIFF. After their blistering set I met Edward Warner and Jason Wheeler from the band. Great bunch of guys and a pleasure to talk with them.

I then went inside to get a bite to eat and ran into Brenda Pack. Brenda is just awesome and looked forward to seeing her. It was at this time that John Gard came in and told me Eric Moore has passed.

After that the event got a whole new meaning. I then met up its Steve Theado and Michael Hannon of American Dog. Great guys and fellow Machines. Then Ran into Mike Paradine another fellow Machine. I talked with so many great people today nd signed product and we talked About Eric and what he meant to them and Rock and Roll.

God speed Boss , thank you for bringing me into this brother hood , chaos and MACHINE. I was given a might task that I hope I did justice for you and now I will embark on doing further justice in your Stead with the guidance of John Gard and keep the machines rolling . R.I.P. Eric Moore."

 

Jeff Westlake with Eric Moore

Eric Moore of The Godz Passes Away 

Eric Moore, lead singer of The Godz, has lost  a long battle with bladder cancer and has passed away 5/18/19. The Godz were signed to Casablanca Records in the 70's.

 Godz rode out of the heartlands of Columbus, Ohio, in the middle seventies and onto Casablanca Records and the opening spot on the Love Gun Tour for KISS with fellow opening act Cheap Trick. 

  The Godz were more like a motorcycle gang than rock band in looks, attitude, and hard party lifestyle. But, oh, could they rock!  Sounding like Chuck Berry on steriods at time, they took a simple pure rock and roll beat, cranked it up, and turn it into whiskey-soaked, pure rock and roll joy.

A real rock and roll celebration.  As can be expected, critics hated them, radio wouldn't play them, but grassroots rock and roll America gave them a cult following. The 1983 Rolling Stone Record Guide described them as a "Miserable hard-rock quartet from Columbus, Ohio, epitomiz[ing] the most wretched excesses of Seventies rock," and rated both of their first two CDs as "worthless." But fans loved them and followed them on the road. 

The orginial lineup consisted of Eric Moore, Mark Chatfield, Glen Cataline, and Bob Hill. In addition to touring with Kiss, they embarked on a tour with glam rockers Angel, which was dubbed the Heaven and Hell tour.  

The Godz website says the following about the band's leader Eric Moore: "Eric Moore was the real deal, the genuine article - the true embodiment of the sex, drugs and rock and roll credo. And, he's as American as apple pie and Chevrolet, with a slightly different viewer rating. His songs and his on-stage banter relating war stories of drugs, women, guns, and freedom have won him devoted fans everywhere he performs. Eric's notorious partying and rock and rolling exploits are legendary throughout Ohio and beyond."  There was a psychedelic band out of New York that had the same name, but after a cash payoff, the Columbus band was able to remain The Godz. 

The Godz disbanded in the early eighties. Eric Moore was in and out of jail and spent some time in the Mansfield, Ohio Reformatory for allegedly shooting someone in a barfight. 

Eric Moore has been rocking again.  They recorded two new studio albums this century and remixed old classics and live recordings.  They released several vault releases and tribute albums of bands inspired by The Godz performing their classics.

 

Molly Hatchet singer passes away 

News is breaking of the passing of Molly Hatchet frontman Phil McCormack. We’ve spotted the story on 102.7 WSNR’s facebook page (a New York radio station) and it’s appeared in the feeds of a couple of Phil’s friends also. Phil had been the singer of the band since 1995, taking over from Danny Joe Brown who had been a near-permanent fixture since 1976. The band have been a constant on the touring circuit in recent years with Phil giving his all each and every night. Reports are that he died from a heart attack.

Godz Legend has cancer 

GODZ NEWS: Legendary founding member of the Godz, Eric Moore, has been diagnosed with stage 4 bladder cancer. Eric Moore is one of Columbus Ohio’s icons leading the Godz fans, known as Rock-n-Roll Machines, down a path of hard-core partying and debauchery, over the last five decades. Signed to Casablanca Records in the late 70’s, the Godz were to be the antithesis of Kiss (also signed to Casablanca Records). Eric was also signed to Electra Records in the early 70’s with his band, The Capital City Rockets. Eric is in failing health and he would love to see all the Godz fans and friends one last time. There are two scheduled dates where Eric will make an appearance. The first is on April 28, 2019 at the Summit County Fairgrounds located at 229 E. Howe Road, Tallmadge, Ohio 44278. The second appearance is scheduled for Godzfest on May 18, 2019, being held at the Barn located at 1947 Linden Ave. Zanesville, Ohio 43701 Eric has two releases coming out this year: a Live 2018 CD and Eric Moore & The Legion of the damned CD. It is also rumored that a very limited edition 45 will be released, hand signed by Eric himself. The 45 will contain two of Eric’s favorite songs from the Rare 4 disc Vault series on FnA Records (www.fnarecords.net). A portion of all Godz sales will be donated towards Eric’s mounting expenses. Additionally, a Best Of album is available through RFL Records. Donations can also be made directly to Eric’s management team located at: John Gard, c/o Eric Moore, P.O. Box 2384, Heath Ohio 43056. Donations are also accepted via paypal: send via paypal to Johngard33@yahoo.com. Eric Moore has given so much to the Hard Rock community and legions of Rock-n-Roll Machines around the world. Let’s share some of that love back with Eric by giving back to him. Eric would also love to receive cards and letters from his fans at John Gard Management sent to the aforementioned address. May Eric have peaceful moments and pain free moments as he embarks on his final journey – Raise one high for Mr. Eric Moore.

Remembering my cousins Scott and Michael Weiland 

In the middle, Sharon Weiland born Sharon Williams to my unle Rupert Williams who I called Uncle Rip and my Aunt Verna Williams. She is surrounded by her by her two sons. On the left Scott Weiland who sang for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. On the right her son Michael Weiland who drummed for Whiskey Biscuit. I found this picture from a magazine online. The last time I was with all of them, I was around ten. Both of her sons, my second cousins, tragically died from complications of drugs.

The Death of Randy Rhoads....a true guitar legend 

Randy Rhoads, a twenty-five year-old guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne died on March 19, 1982.  The young guitar wizzard had laid some legendary guitar licks and solos on Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman.

Rhoads had a fear of flying but was on a small aircraft, a Beechcraft Bonanza, over Leesburg, Virginia.  The pilot was Ozzy's tour bus driver Andrew Aycock, who had an expired pilot's license.  Rachael Youngblood, Ozzy's cook, also died.

 Aycock had, according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board, " piloted the 1955 single-engine aircraft from the nearby Flying Baron Estates after deciding to stay the night at plane owner Jerry Calhoun's home -- a Georgian-style mansion adjacent to the airstrip. Aycock, who lived nearby, was reportedly friends with Calhoun, a country singer. Osbourne, his manager and future wife Sharon, bassist Rudy Sarzo, drummer Tommy Aldridge and keyboardist Don Airey were asleep in an adjacent tour bus. Aycock made as many as three passes over the home, apparently in a joy-riding attempt to buzz over the other band members. On the final pass, the plane clipped the tour bus, spun out of control, hit a nearby pine tree and then nose dived into the house. The ensuing fireball killed all three passengers, who were left unrecognizable by the flames. Rhoads had to be identified by his jewelry."

 

 

Progressive rock: thinking man's rock or does it suck? 

I have mixed emotions about progressive rock.  When it is done right.......whoa!   When it misses the mark, it can be bloated and weak.  When I think of progressive masterpieces I think of early Rush or Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of The Moon".  Rush's "Hemispheres" was a sterling progressive release.  Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's "Brain Salad Surgery" and King Crimson's "Court of the Crimson King" were progressive classics as was Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick. Yes,The Moody Blues, Kansas, and Genesis were excellent examples of progressive rock in the early 70's until they sold out and produced pop music for the masses in the 80's An example? Roundabout by Yes is pure progressive genius.  "Owner of a Lonely Heart" is annoying empty pop fluff.

Prog rock was experimental music.  Musicians making music for other musicians rather that short poppy one size fits all music for radio.  The songs were usually quite long, had big concepts, complex musical structures, and fantastical lyrics. They usually took on themes grander than love songs.  At times, bands like Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention could get so over the top creatively that they borderlined on silly.  The music though, was always big and unmistakenly inspired by classical music.  Most prog rock features extended use of keyboard  instruments.

 

New Yorker Magazine said in the article "The Persistence of Progressive Rock":  "Most of these musicians took seriously the “progressive” in “progressive rock,” and believed that they were helping to hurry along an ineluctable process: the development of rock music into what Jon Anderson, of Yes, once called “a higher art form.” Even more than most musicians, the prog rockers aimed for immortality. “We want our albums to last,” Robert Fripp, the austere guitar scientist behind King Crimson, said."

Some music fans call progressive rock pretentious, over-blown, bombastic, and seif-important.

Although progressive rock was biggest in the late 60's and 70's, there are still prog bands around today like Dream Theatre and Porcupine Tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Godz are still running 

 

It was the late 70's when my best friend Jeff Westlake got an 8 track tape called The Godz.  His sister was attending Ohio State.  She gave her brother the tape of the band that Columbus fell in love with.  Jeff and I went to the record store a couple of years later and Jeff bought their second album Nothing is Sacred the day it was released.

The ironic thing about this story is just a few years ago I saw the Godz were asking for submissions for a tribute cd.  I told Jeff.  He submitted a track.  Not only was it accepted but he formed a friendship with the singer Eric Moore.  Jeff Westlake joined The Godz!  He recorded with them, performed with them, and even helped remix classic shows and tracks.   

The Godz rode out of the heartlands of Columbus, Ohio, in the middle seventies and onto Casablanca Records and the opening spot on the Love Gun Tour for KISS with fellow opening act Cheap Trick.   The Godz were more like a motorcycle gang than rock band in looks, attitude, and hard party lifestyle. But, oh, could they rock!  Sounding like Chuck Berry on steriods at time, they took a simple pure rock and roll beat, cranked it up, and turn it into whiskey-soaked, pure rock and roll joy. A real rock and roll celebration. 

As can be expected, critics hated them, radio wouldn't play them, but grassroots rock and roll America gave them a cult following.

The 1983 Rolling Stone Record Guide described them as a "Miserable hard-rock quartet from Columbus, Ohio, epitomiz[ing] the most wretched excesses of Seventies rock," and rated both of their first two CDs as "worthless." But fans loved them and followed them on the road. 

The orginial lineup consisted of Eric Moore, Mark Chatfield, Glen Cataline, and Bob Hill. In addition to touring with Kiss, they embarked on a tour with glam rockers Angel, which was dubbed the Heaven and Hell tour.

  The Godz website says the following about the band's leader Eric Moore: "Eric Moore was the real deal, the genuine article - the true embodiment of the sex, drugs and rock and roll credo. And, he's as American as apple pie and Chevrolet, with a slightly different viewer rating. His songs and his on-stage banter relating war stories of drugs, women, guns, and freedom have won him devoted fans everywhere he performs. Eric's notorious partying and rock and rolling exploits are legendary throughout Ohio and beyond." 

There was a psychedelic band out of New York that had the same name, but after a cash payoff, the Columbus band was able to remain The Godz. 

The Godz disbanded in the early eighties. Eric Moore was in and out of jail and spent some time in the Mansfield, Ohio Reformatory for allegedly shooting someone in a barfight. During this downtime for The Godz, Mark Chatfield joined Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band. The Godz reformed in 1987 and released “Mongolians.” The album was a rerecording of a indie release two years earlier and contained the hard charging rock classic “Criminal Mind (Rock and Roll Heart).”  

The Four Horsemen: The best classic rock band you never heard 

 

The Four Horsemen were southern rock’s bad boys. They added Lynyrd Skynyrd flavor to AC/DC styled boogie rock and came out rocking like a reckless Black Oak Arkansas. The band only released two albums, a ep, and an anthology cd/dvd in 2007.

Southern rock folklore consists of many legends of bands who faced their demons and overcame tragedy. Sadly, The Four Horsemen lost their battles with the destructive side of rock and roll. In the liner notes to their new cd/ dvd anthology “Left For Dead”, writer Steffan Chirazi describes The four Horsemen: “You couldn’t have made up the cast. A convicted felon (with a penchant for guns), a Kiss freak who’d embarrass mensa academics. A crazy DC runaway, a British ex-pat former Zodiac Mindwarp psychedelic fuzz rocker and a Canadian mental hospital orderly. It’s the sort of history most bands pretend to have. And I clearly remember how excited Rick Rubin was to find them.”

The legend of The Four Horsemen has bassist Haggis (birth name Stephen Harris) and producer Rick Rubin deciding to form a band. Haggis had been the bass player with The Cult when they recorded their “Electric” album. Rubin had been the producer and the two became close friends and that they would assemble a band and make a classic recording.

According To Chirazi in the cd liner notes: “He’d (Rubin) had been at The Rainbow on Sunset with Haggis when a bloodied man in brown corduroy flares had strolled in after winning a punch-up in the parking lot; when Rubin asked his name: Frank dropped his shirt to reveal STARR tattooed on his back. He and Haggis recruited him on the spot.” That’s how Frankie Starr became the lead vocalist of The Four Horsemen.

In “The Four Horsemen: Everything They Did Really” by Pepsi Sheen, the author writes about Frankie Starr.:  “Frankie Starr was the quintessential sleaze rock singer, equal parts W.Axl and Ronnie Van Zandt. A career criminal-in the words of all his closest friends…Frankie truly was one in a million. He was like David Allen Coe with a Jason McMaster/Axl Rose high-end screech and a Motorhead's road crew attitude. A fun lovin' guy livin' out Kid Rock's wildest dreams--back when that dweeb still had his Kid N Play haircut. Guitar players ALL think they're natural-born front-men nowadays, but you don't see nobody nowhere who had a tenth of what Frankie C. Starr had no more.”

Dimwit (Ken Montgomery) became the band’s drummer. Dimwit was the Canadian mental hospital orderly that Chizazi referred to in the liner notes. He had played in bands such as D.O.A. and The Skulls. He was a powerful drummer. Some people said that only his brother Chuck Biscuits was better. Chuck Biscuits had played in Danzig, Social Distortion, Fear, Black Flag, as well as others.

Dave Lizmi was the lead guitarist. In the cd liner notes for “Left for Dead”, Chizazi had this to say: “Dave Lizmi was in college at age fifteen. He was in Hollywood delivering pizzas at age twenty, having shown ‘the man’ the finger when they asked him to work on nuclear submarine missile systems. Haggis and Dave met when a large Canadian bacon, pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, and fresh tomato pizza was delivered by Dave to the Welshman’s doorstep after his boss ordered him there despite that Dave’s shift had ended.”

Ben Pape was the bass player. He had played for a psychedelic fuzz band out of Washington, DC called the Scream.

The Four Horse released their debut ep called “Welfare Boogie” in 1989. This ep was very well received. The first full length album was delayed when Frank Starr went to jail.

“Nobody Said It Was Easy” was finally released in 1991. Rumor has it that Frank Starr recorded the vocals for a Four horseman track from a jail phone.

“Nobody Said It Was Easy” Tracklisting

01. Nobody Said It Was Easy

02. Rockin' Is Ma' Business 

03. Tired Wings

04. Can't Stop Rockin'

05. Wanted Man

06. Let It Rock

07. Hot Head

08. Moonshine

09. Homesick Blues

10. 75 Again

11. Lookin' For Trouble

12. I Need A Thrill/Somethin' Good

Here is a review that was posted in Entertainment Weekly:

The Four Horsemen are five filthy, lusty lowlifes who play grungy, sleazy, brutally frank rock & roll -- at least that's the impression they give on their debut album, which was released three months ago and ranks as one of the sleepers of the year.

Calling their record delightful and refreshing may seem like a contradiction, but delightful and refreshing it is. That's because these guys have a broad humor that's rare in hard rock. ''Rockin' is ma business -- business is good!'' singer Frank Starr robustly wails, then grumbles, ''And if it's so good then why am I still f---ing broke?''

Tunes like ''Let It Rock'' and ''I Need a Thrill'' recycle AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but these guys turn potential imitation into sarcastic homage. Besides, how can you not love a band with a drummer nicknamed Dimwit?” Nov 22, 1991 "

 

The band toured extensively. They became great live entertainers but the time spent together on the road began to cause friction within the band. As the band began to get ready to record their next studio effort, Frankie got arrested again. He had to spend another year in jail, which again delayed the recording process. This definitely did not ease tensions among the band members.

They began recording the next album in 1992 but the sessions did not get very far as Starr went to jail in 1992 and did not get out until late 1993. By the time Starr got out of jail, the band was having serious internal problems. There was constant fighting between the group members and the band was at odds with their management. The problems wore down the group. Haggis and Ben Pape decided to leave the band.

Instead of replacing the two members, the band actually only added one and became four Four Horsemen. The bass player that replaced Pape was named Pharoah. Pharoah have been in a band previously with Frankie Starr. The band embarked on a tour of Canada and the United States.

They had started selling records in both countries and were becoming wide known. Just as it appeared things were coming together for The four Horsemen, tragedy struck. The drummer, Dimwit, od’d on heroin in Vancouver, Canada. Dimwit’s brother, Chuck Biscuits temporally takes his brother’s place to finish the tour. He does not stay on for the next album, though, and is replaced by drummer Randy Cooke.

The band finshes the album “Getting Pretty Good at Barely Getting By. But while they are waiting on the album to be mastered and released, tragedy strikes the band yet again. Frank Starr was riding his motorcycle down Sunset Strip when he was struck by a drunk driver. He was reportedly going twenty five miles an hour and wearing a helmet, but he still suffered severe head trauma. He came out of a coma but never left life support. He died four years after the accident on June 18, 1999. Here is an obituary and eulogy from Rik fox Rik Fox

http://www.geocities.com/urthspryte/eulogy.html FRANK STARR BORN: FRANK CASAMASSINA OF LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK 1958, PASSED AWAY JUNE 18th, l999.  Frank Starr is scheduled to be Buried Wednesday, July 21st 9:30 AM at Oakwood Cemetary, Chatsworth, CA "An Ode from a Bro." FRANK CAME TO LOS ANGELES, IN 1984, UPON THE BREAK-UP OF HIS BAND, MONGOL HORDE RECORDING ARTISTS, "ALIEN". FRANK WAS BROUGHT WITH GUITARIST RICHIE PAGANO, FORMER "SIN" GUITARIST, J.J. KRISTI, TO ASSIST IN RE-FORMING "SIN" WITH BASSIST/BAND LEADER RIK FOX. FRANK'S NOTORIOUS "SMART-ASS NEW YORK ATTITUDE" COMPETED WITH RIK FOX'S, BONDING THEM IMMEDIATELY INTO "SOUL BROTHERS". ANYONE CAUGHT SLANDERING RIK, WAS THREATENED WITH A BEATING BY EX-BIKER FRANK, LIKE HIS BIKER DAD BEFORE HIM. WITH THE ADDITION, AND EFFORTS OF FRANK STARR, JAY, RICHIE, AND DRUMMER MARX ANTHONY BENCACHEA, THE RE-FORMED "SIN" LINEUP WENT ON TO BECOME AN EXTREMELY POPULAR AND EXCITING ACT ALL OVER LOS ANGELES, PLAYING TO SELLOUT CROWDS. SOON, FOLLOWED BY BEING VOTED ' THE' TOP DRAWING HEAVY METAL/HARD ROCK ACT BY LOS ANGELES' MUSIC CONNECTION MAGAZINE FOR 1984. "SIN'S" FAN BASE SPREAD RAPIDLY THROUGHOUT JAPAN, EUROPE, AND MOST OF THE MIDWEST, ALL WITHOUT A RECORD DEAL. FRANK STARR'S CHARISMA, AND STAGE PRESENCE WON HIM HUNDREDS OF FANS EVERYWHERE HE WENT. AS "SIN" BEGAN RECORDING MASTER DEMOS FOR THEIR ILL-FATED FIRST ALBUM, FRANK TOOK UP THE OFFER TO RECORD, AND TOUR WITH DEF AMERICAN RECORDING ACT "THE FOUR HORSEMAN". AMONG FRANK'S OTHER BANDS WERE, "BONE ANGEL" (WITH RANDY CASTILLO, OF OZZY OSBOURNE), PIRATE, BOOTLEG, AND L.A.M.F. IN NOVEMBER l995, WHILE RIDING HIS MOTORCYCLE DOWN THE SUNSET STRIP, A DRUNK DRIVER SUDDENLY PULLED HER CAR OUT IN FRONT OF FRANK, WHO HAD NO TIME TO AVOID THE COLLISION. HIS BIKE STRUCK HER CAR, SENDING FRANK FLYING THROUGH THE AIR BETWEEN 50-100 FEET, LANDING ON HIS HEAD. ALTHOUGH FRANK WAS WEARING HIS "BRAIN BUCKET" HELMET, HE SUFFERED MASSIVE HEAD TRAUMA, AND WAS TAKEN TO CEDAR-SINAI HOSPITAL, IN A COMA, WHERE HE REMAINED FOR SOME TIME. FRANK WAS MOVED TO BAY HARBOR HOSPITAL, IN TORRANCE CA, AND EVENTUALLY CAME OUT OF HIS COMA, HOWEVER, FRANK WAS LEFT WITHOUT NEARLY ALL OF HIS MOTOR FUNCTIONS, INCLUDING WALKING, AND TALKING, AND REMAINED ON LIFE SUPPORT, AND A RESPIRATOR. RIK WAS AMONG HIS MANY FRIENDS TO VISIT FRANK, AND BROUGHT FRANK PHOTOS OF "SIN", AND PLAYED THEIR OLD SONGS FOR FRANK ON A WALKMAN. UPON BEING ONE OF THE FIRST INFORMED BY FRANK'S EX-WIFE, KIM CASAMASSINA, BY PHONE, THAT THE DOCTOR WALKED INTO FRANK'S ROOM, AND FRANK HAD ALREADY PASSED AWAY. THE DATE WAS JUNE 18TH, 1999. KIM INFORMED RIK, SHE COULDN'T FIND ANY OF FRANK'S PHONE BOOKS, AND ASKED FOR HELP TO "GET THE WORD OUT". SO RIK CALLED ALL THE OLD NUMBERS HE HAD TO FRANK'S FRIENDS TO PUT THE MESSAGE OUT OVER THE GRAPEVINE. FRANK IS SURVIVED BY HIS FAMILY IN NEW YORK, AND HIS EX-WIFE, AND DAUGHTER IN LOS ANGELES. HE IS TO BE BURIED IN OAKWOOD CEMETERY, IN CHATSWORTH, CA., AND DONATIONS ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED, AND MAY BE SENT TO P.O. BOX 287, CANOGA PARK, CA. 91305, PAYABLE TO: KIM MCINTIRE, IN CARE OF FRANK STARR. A MEMORIAL BENEFIT IS PLANNED FOR SOMETIME IN AUGUST 1999 TO HELP PAY FOR THE FUNERAL, AND BURIAL COSTS. FOR FURTHER UPDATES, CONTACT RIK FOX, AT: (81 805-8455, OR KIM CASAMASSINA AT: (81 819-6989. WE MOURN THE PASSING OF FRANK STARR. SON, HUSBAND, FATHER, SINGER, BIKER, BEST FRIEND, AND, MOST OF ALL... "BRO". FRANK, YOU WERE TRULY A 1% ER... "THUMBS UP" IT WAS A PLEASURE TO SHARE THE STAGE, AND A 'CHEESE SANDWICH' WITH YOU... LOVE, YOUR BRO, RIK

“Getting Pretty good At Barely Getting’ By Released 1996 Track List: 1. Still Alive And Well

2. Gettin' Pretty Good At Barely Gettin' By

3. Drunk Again

4. Livin' These Blues

5. Song For Absent Friends 

6. Keep Your Life

7. Hot Rod

8.Rock My Universe

9. Back In Business Again

10. Hit The Road

11.  Keep On Keepin' On

12. My Song

13. What The Hell Went Wrong

Here’s a review from the All Music Guide The Four Horsemen were quite literally a shattered band come 1996. Five years on from their simplistic but infectious retro-rock debut, they'd been dropped by Def American, been abandoned by their main songwriter guiding force in founding guitarist Haggis, and, most heartbreaking of all, lost drummer Ken "Dimwit" Montgomery to a drug overdose. As the band's last remaining original members, it came down to guitarist Dave Lizmi and troubled singer Frank C. Starr (more on him later) to assemble a new lineup and attempt to shoulder the load themselves on the snidely named Gettin' Pretty Good at Barely Gettin' By. And they did an OK job. The album still featured much of the Four Horsemen's stripped-down, hard-rocking style, but standout cuts such as "Hot Rod" and the poignant "Song for Absent Friends" generally lacked the Southern Skynyrd flavor, and especially the power boogie AC/DC crunch of old. Instead, the album mostly resorted to a mellower, more soulful, decidedly sleeker Black Crowes-type groove for tracks like the title song and "Drunk Again" (note background lady singers). A few songs also forced the "we're still rockin''' storyline ad nauseam (see cheesy opener "Still Alive and Well" and the edgier, frankly biographical "Back in Business Again"), while others simply lacked originality (for example, "Livin' These Blues," which apes the debut's hit, "Tired Wings," a tad too closely). Still, the fact that's it's clearly inferior compared to its predecessor shouldn't entirely detract from this album's good-time blue-collar rock & roll, and fans of the Horsemen will likely want to give it a chance anyway." 

Sadly, Gettin' Pretty Good at Barely Gettin' By proved to be the final musical testament for singer Starr, who passed away under tragic circumstances a few years later. ~ Ed Rivadavia, All Music Guide The band toured with Ron Young of Little Ceasar replacing Starr as vocalist but they never released any new material. The internet has helped the music of The Four Horsemen to resurface and to be introduced to new legions of fans. Internet radio stations such as www.allsouthernrock.com have helped bring The Four Horsemen back to the spotlight. Because of the renewed interest in the Four Horsemen, a new website www.thefourhorsemen.com has been opened and a new cd/dvd featuring live recordings from 1992 have been released. The anthology dvd and live cd is called “Left For Dead.” A true reunion can never happen because two key parts are forever the lost. But the legend and the music of The Four Horsemen will live on forever. 

 

Triumph - The great 'forgotten" band of the 70's and 80's 

 

I am amazed how when I talk about one of my favorite bands from the 70's and 80's....people look at me like they don't what I am talking about.  In fact, most people only know about Triumph because of the Adam Sandler movie "Grown Ups" because "Lay It On The Line" was on the soundtrack in 2010.  Way before the movie, the tune hit Billboard's single charts at number 86 in 1979 as it was released as a single from their second US album "Just A Game."

"Hold On" from the same album hit number 38.  "Lay It On The Line" has become a staple on classic rock radio.  "Hold On" appears occasionally as does "Magic Power."  from 1981's "Allied Forces".  The single only hit 51 but the song hit 5 on the Mainstream Rock Charts.  

Triumph came out of Canada, where they had much success.  While guitarist and vocalist Rik Emmett brought in a progressive influence when he joined the band after their first single, original members bass player Mike Levine and drummer/ singer Gil Moore had a more blueish background and influence.

I saw the band on their Allied Forces tour at The Huntington Civic Center around 81-82.  They put on a great show and were known for their great lights show.  In fact, they had a song called "Blinding Light Show."  This song was contained on their debut US release "Rock and Roll Machine" which also featured a powerful cover of Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way."

Their biggest hit is a song that never really caught on classic rock radio.  It was "Somebody's Out There" from the album "Sport Of Kings" which hit 27 on Billboard's single charts and received airplay on MTV.

The band notched 4 gold albums and one platinum album in the United States.  For some reason, Triumph is a band the many followers of classic rock and today's fans are not familiar with.

I was fortunate enough to interview bass player Mike Levine on an internet radio show I had with my buddy The Pig and asked him what Joe Walsh thought of their cover of his Rocky Mountain Way.  Levine talked about running into Walsh and The Who's John Entwistle at an awards show and Walsh kept bumping into him a few times and acted like it was the first time he had seen him in a while.

If you have not ever heard of Triumph and are a fan of 70's and 80's classic rock, definitely pick up Classics or Greatest Hits remixed or one of the other compilation cds featuring Triumph that are out there.  Definitely one of the top classic bands that deserve more respect.