Category Archives: Blog

Interesting Article on the State of CDs

CNN published an interesting article on the state of the music industry.  You can read it here.  Of course, I’m an old school record guy, so I’d hate to see the CD phased out.  Although I download music, it’s just not the same as owning a physical copy of it, be it CD, record or whatever.  With a download, you rarely get the artwork either.

What do you think?

Reflections on Live Aid – 25 years later

It was one of the coolest days of my life.  It was a Saturday in the summer; no work and no school.  I knew it was going to be a big deal.  MTV had been hyping it for weeks.  But, here it was, July 13, 1985…Live Aid.  I camped out in front of the TV the entire day.  I was such a freak that I actually got up at 4am just to watch the start of things from Australia with INXS. I had my Beta machine rolling the entire day (I still have those tapes and they still look pretty good).  I pulled my speakers in from my bedroom to either side of the couch and there I sat while the greatest musicians on earth put on the greatest event in rock n’ roll history. Yeah yeah, I’ve heard lots of praise given to other events, most notably Woodstock.  But, line them up, band vs. band, and Live Aid has the much more impressive lineup.  Plus, Woodstock was a happening; it really didn’t DO anything (except maybe let people run around naked).  Live Aid actually FED PEOPLE.  And, it was broadcast on my favorite channel, MTV.  This world-changing event was being hosted by Martha Quinn and the rest of the crew.  It was also simulcast on my cool local rock station, so I had stereo sound cranking in the living room.

We were watching history, in so many ways.  Never before had this many people tuned in to an event (I believe it’s still the largest non-sporting related show in history).  Never before had so many famous musicians come together for such a worthy cause.  I also remember being awed by the technology, as MTV would switch back and forth between the concerts going on in London and Philadelphia simultaneously.  There was Phil Collins, who played with Sting at Wembley, got on a plane, and, although visibly haggard, played Philadelphia that night with Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin.

One of my first impressions was seeing Ozzy Osbourne reunited with Black Sabbath,  and thinking “geez, he’s fat.” Artist after artist rolled out.  Legendary, one of a kind performances were happening right before my eyes.  Sting performed on Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing,” Kiki Dee joined Elton John for “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”  Led Zeppelin reunited.  So did Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the Who.

Some of my favorite bands at the time performed: the Cars, the Pretenders, and the Who, who of course, we only saw part of because a fuse blew and they lost the feed from Wembley.  I remember being blown away by how this little band from Ireland, U2, stole the show. How Bono, against security’s wishes, jumped down into the immense crowd and danced with one lucky girl.   Queen was unbelievable.  I hadn’t heard from them in years.  Yet, here they were, mesmerizing the crowd.  I still remember all those hands in the air, clapping in time to “Radio Ga Ga.”  It gave me chills.

Of course, they saved some of the best for last.  When Led Zeppelin hit the stage, I could feel the energy.   Sure, they were not very good (apparently, they didn’t think so either, and have prevented their footage from being included on the DVD).  But, at the time, it didn’t matter.  It was an emotional reunion that only happened that night.  Hall and Oates jammed with the Temptations, and Mick Jagger & Tina Turner put on a smokin,’sex-charged performance.

Sure, check your listing for Woodstock. Here’s only a partial one for Live Aid: Led Zeppelin, the Who, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Santana, Tom Petty, CSN&Y, Phil Collins, Tina Turner, Hall & Oates, Madonna, Pretenders, Cars, Dire Straits, Sting, Duran Duran, U2, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Queen, Elton John, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Bryan Adams, Beach Boys, INXS, and Run DMC.

Live Aid was one of the greatest moments in music history.  Yet, here it is, 25 years later and where’s the publicity?  Where’s the specials on TV?  One of the reasons is that Live Aid was never intended to be released as a movie or soundtrack.  So, up until five years ago, no one had seen any footage of this show (unlike Woodstock, which is readily available on DVD).  Now, there is a four-disc set that covers most of (but not all of) the highlights of that remarkable day.  Do yourself a favor, and check it out.

It’s still inexcusable that at least one station doesn’t devote some of their programming to that remarkable day.  But, when’s the last time MTV actually played a video?

He Managed the Stones & the Dead

Sam Cutler is a rather interesting guy.  I talked to him from his home in Australia (isn’t Skype a wonderful invention?).  Sam has a new book out called “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” where he chronicles his time as tour manager for two of the greatest rock bands of all time, the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead.

His tenure as road manager for the Stones was brief; he handled one tour of America in 1969, which went well until the Altamont free concert, which turned incredibly ugly, resulting in several deaths.

The thing is, history has it wrong, according to Sam: everything written about Altamont usually involves Hell’s Angels, the Stones and a racially-motivated murder.  Cutler explains his side of the story (he was actually there at the concert) and points the blame at some rather unusual suspects, including some young, Hell’s Angels Wannabees, and the FBI.

He also talks about the similarities and differences between the Stones and the Grateful Dead.  Sam also had a chance, while living in San Francisco, to become good friends with Janis Joplin.  He talks candidly about what kind of person she really was.  Of course, touring with the Stones and the Dead, there’s plenty of the rock n’ roll lifestyle; stories of partying, drugs and women.  Surprisingly, hallucinogens haven’t seemed to affect his memory one bit; he remembers these occurrences like they were yesterday.

Great guests coming up

Earlier this week, I talked with Peter Case, a great solo artist, who also was a member of the seminal bands the Nerves and the Plimsouls.  The next day, I rocked it up with Jesse James Dupree of Jackyl, who also have a new CD out.  I’ve got interviews set for next week with Sam Cutler, the Stones road manager during the Altamont free concert debacle; and Peter Parcek, a great blues guitarist.  Keep it locked on Icon Fetch!

Michael Jackson Tribute

I helped host a special two-hour program on blogtalkradio called “Michael Jackson Remembered,” on the one-year anniversary of his death.   I talked  to Tommy James about his thoughts on Michael as a performer.  Also on my segment is Dennis Coffey, a guitarist who played on many of the Motown hits of the early 70’s. My segment is about 40 minutes into the program.

Ronnie James Dio – RIP

Sad news this week that one of the all-time great heavy metal voices, Ronnie James Dio, succumbed to stomach cancer.  In his honor, we’ve Fetch’d some of his best stuff for you:

Ronnie James Dio – Fetch’d

Rainbow in the Dark” (Dio solo)

Man on the Silver Mountain” (Rainbow)

Heaven and Hell” (Black Sabbath)

The Last in Line” (Dio solo)

Long Live Rock n’ Roll” (Rainbow)

Holy Diver” (Dio solo)

Lady Evil” (Black Sabbath)

Mask of the Great Deceiver” (Kerry Livgren)

Hungry For Heaven” (Dio solo)

Odd Concert Experience


I attended the first two concerts of the season (Goo Goo Dolls & Gregg Allman) at Fraze Pavilion over the weekend.  For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed myself at both shows.  But, I have to say that I had something happen to me that has NEVER happened before in my almost 30 years of concert-going: I was asked by the staff to SIT DOWN.   I was not drunk, belligerent, or standing on my chair,  I wasn’t even flailing about.  I was standing up because I was excited by what I was seeing on stage, and I was told that I had to take my seat.


My seats were in the second row of the pavilion, just behind the folding chair section.  I turned around and looked back at the crowd behind me.  Almost all of them were sitting down.  This wasn’t during a slow song or even a new one that no one knows (we all sat down through those), this particular song was “Statesboro Blues,” a highpoint of ANY Allman Brothers show for years (and I’ve been to six previously).

The staff person later apologized and said that she only tells people to sit down when she’s had five complaints.  Complaints for standing during a concert?  I didn’t see this in the list of Fraze “Do’s and Don’ts” To compare, the night before at the Goo Goo Dolls, everyone stood THE ENTIRE TIME. There were times when I needed to sit down and take a break.  I didn’t complain, if I wanted to see, I stood up!

I’m not sure where to direct my anger at this, the people who complained or the staff person that actually listened.  Why go to a rock concert if you’re going to sit down the entire time?  I’ve been to concerts where the experience has been ruined by that wasted, out of control fan.  But, this was different.

Note to those fans who want to sit down the entire time: next time, buy the DVD, and stay home.

Tony Peters
Kettering, OH

Concert Review – Gregg Allman

Gregg Allman – Fraze Pavilion – Saturday, May 15, 2010

Another great night for a show.  It rained in the early evening, but the clouds went away and it ended up being a beautiful night to watch some great music.

First thing I noticed was that Gregg Allman had his hair down.  At several of the recent Allman Brothers Band shows, he’s worn his hair in a ponytail.  Having his hair down actually made him look younger.  The second thing was his voice.  Gravelly, but still very strong, probably the best I’ve heard him sound in years.


He began the show with “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin‘” from Idlewild South, the second LP from the Allman Brothers and followed it with his biggest solo hit “I’m No Angel.”  And thus began a night which alternated between hits and new material from an upcoming, as yet untitled solo album.  In fact, Allman played more hits in one solo night than you might see in several nights with the Allman Brothers Band.  “Melissa,” “Midnight Rider,” “Whippin’ Post,” and “Statesboro Blues,” all sounded great.  He had a way of re-arranging the classic songs that breathed new life in them.

A welcome surprise was Allman’s take on the Bob Dylan song “Just Like a Woman.”  He gave it a tenderness only hinted at in Dylan’s original from Blonde on Blonde.  Another nice addition was saxophonist Jay Collins, who added a different element to many of the familiar songs.

Rumor has it that Allman’s forthcoming CD is going to be titled Your In Good Hands With Allman.

Concert Review – Goo Goo Dolls

Goo Goo Dolls – Fraze Pavilion – Friday, May 14, 2010

Opening night for the Summer Concert Series at Fraze Pavilion in Dayton.  Perfect night for a show, cool without being uncomfortable. I remember the Goo Goo Dolls from their punky pop stuff of the early 90’s, and albums like Superstar Car wash, and A Boy Named Goo.

First thing that surprised me was how old many of the concert goers were.  I thought I’d be the oldest one there, but wasn’t by a long shot.  Second thing I noticed was how I had completely lost touch with this band.  I didn’t recognize hardly any of the songs that they played.  I’ve never been to a concert where you could hear the crowd talking over the band.  That’s how it was when the Goos played anything unfamiliar.


It occurred to me what had happened: the Goo Goo Dolls began life as a punkish pop band that only got played on college radio.  Their ballad, “Name,” from A Boy Named Goo, changed all that.  Constant MTV airplay rocketed that song into the top five.  The band decided to shed their underground skin and embrace the mainstream.  Their song “Iris” from the Nicolas Cage / Meg Ryan movie City of Angels solidified this transformation.  From this point on, the Goo Goo Dolls became the darlings of Adult Alternative.

But there’s a cost to this sort of fame.  Everyone knew the hits, but when it came to the album cuts, people could care less.  Their college radio fans of old would’ve known every track of every CD, but the top 40 crowd only knows the hit that they’ve downloaded from Itunes or heard on the radio.

While some bands throw in a bone or two for the fans that have been with them from the beginning, the Goo Goo Dolls preferred to completely forget their past, playing only “Name” from A Boy Named Goo.  Everything else from the evening centered around their post-transformation period.  And, why not?  I’m probably the only one in the audience who would’ve cared.

He Almost Drowned

Justin Currie called me from his home in Scotland for an interview with Icon Fetch.  He’s just released his second solo disc, The Great War, a return to the melodic pop he perfected with his band Del Amitri.  For a review of his disc, click here.  Among the many topics covered in our conversation, Currie confesses that he almost drowned during the shooting of the front cover photo, for which he is underwater, fully clothed I might add.  He also talks about his biggest hit, “Roll to Me,” a top ten smash from his former band in 1995, and his upcoming solo tour that hits the States in June.  He also weighs in on the current social networking craze, and on hearing his music over the speakers in K-Mart.