Top 5 “Scruff Connors” moments

I just got news that a man I grew up listening to died today. David Jeffrey Newfield, better known as radio personality Scruff Connors was a comedic force on many radio stations across Canada. I remember him most on Q107 (Toronto), and 97.7 HTZ FM (St. Catharines).

5 – Scruff once locked himself into the Q107 broadcast booth and played Stairway To Heaven non stop until they had to break in and stop him.

4 – While at HTZ FM, Scruff mentioned to listeners he wanted to have Thanksgiving on the Mayflower. He had the lucky winners meet him down by the water in Port Dalhousie (the area that inspired the Rush song Lakeside Park) to have a meal on the Mayflower. Little did the listeners know that Jake had meant a Mayflower moving tuck and not the famous ship. I think the ship hit the fan on that one. He was quoted as saying “How did I know the Mayflower was a ship?”

3 – Another HTZ FM prank from the early 1990’s was having listeners come down to meet the “New Kids” on the front lawn of the radio station. The NKOTB just happened to be in Ontario for a concert. The station did not play their music, but hundreds of young fans showed up anyway. They had no idea he had arranged for mothers to arrive by limosine with their newborn babies. The “new kids” were not what these fans expected, and they rushed the radio station, and caused it to go into lockdown.

2 – While at a station in Winnipeg, Scruff asked for listeners to enter a contest to watch the Superbowl in Miami. The 30 winners were to meet him at the Winnipeg airport. Many arrived in the middle of winter dressed in shorts and flip flops. They were not getting on a plane however. They were boarded on a bus and transported 2 hours away to a bar in Miami, Manitoba to watch the Superbowl on the lone black and white tv. Again quoted as saying “How was I supposed to know Miami was in Florida?”

1 – In 2005, Connors lost his job in radio, had 2 heart attacks, tore both rotator cuffs, and was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Immediately after receiving the cancer news, he uploaded an image of himself in a coffin onto Ebay and offered to deliver a post-mortem message to the loved one of the highest bidder. He called the prank “Scruff In A Box”.

I’ll miss you Scruff. Thanks for all the laughs.

 

 

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New Deep Purple

I am stoked about this. Black Sabbath has pretty much called it a day and most of the forefathers of heavy metal are long gone, but Deep Purple keep soldiering on. They have a new album coming out on April 7, 2017. I will either pre-purchase, or be a first day buyer(I’m hoping for no vinyl delay). Below is a link to the new single released a half hour ago, and a video mentioning the new album coming out. Enjoy.

 

Album Review: Talas -Live (High) Speed On Ice (1984)

Mike from mikeladano.com was reviewing this album so I thought I would tag along. Please go over to his site and check his review as well.

Talas was a short lived Buffalo New York band that got pretty big in the Northeastern USA, and into Canada. They had been slugging it out for years touring in and around the Buffalo bar circuit and they released 2 albums between 1979 and 1982. This album was recorded on December 2, 1983 at the L’Amour East in New York City. Of note for this live album is the fact that Billy Sheehan had given the original drummer and guitarist the boot before this recording because he wanted the band to gain a wider audience, but this was to be the last album from the band. I think that the stadium rock style of the band was declining in popularity, and glam rock was taking over. Perhaps for Talas it was a case of bad timing.

Sink Your Teeth Into That – This song has elements of Kiss and Triumph but better bass playing than those bands. We can tell this is a live song since there are technical miscues with the instruments at times. Perhaps since this was basically a brand new band. The bass playing is a real standout, but the guitar work is pretty damn good too. The lyrics are a little repetitive for me, but a decent song to start us off.

Crystal Clear – This has a bit of very early Def Leppard and the bass playing has some Geddy Lee like tendencies. Besides the bass, the guitar is pretty sweet here too.

The Farandole – If I didn’t know this was Talas I would suspect it was Trans Siberian Orchestra. I’m suspecting TSO listened to this song and said “That’s how we want to sound.” At times I also get a little Iron Maiden vibe. Not a bad combination at all.

Do You Feel Any Better – This song has really good musicianship, but the vocals don’t really do it for me. I’m not sure why. Just not quite there. Both the lead and background vocals don’t cut it on this one.

Lone Rock – This song brings us right back up. It has a really cool beat. Wait a minute though. When Phil screams LONE ROCK it drops back down. Phil is an amazing vocalist(he is now in the Led Zeppelin cover band Ozone Baby), but the scream doesn’t cut it.

King Of The World – This song reminds me of a Spinal Tap song. This isn’t really a bad thing, as it seems to work here.

Inner Mounting Flame – A faster paced song that almost has a Dio or Sabbath quality to it. The guitar work here is unique. This may be both the heaviest, and best song on the album in my books.

7718(3AI7) – This sounds almost like a DLR era Van Halen instrumental track. It is as if Eruption is mashed up with Cathredral and Intruder. It’s pretty cool, but back in 1983, I might have been looking for the beer tent about half way though.

High Speed On Ice – Right up there fighting for the best song on the album. Great pace, amazing musicianship and the vocals sound better than most. The background vocals are a touch grating, but the rest of the song makes up for it.

Shy Boy – Another fast paced rocker. I could have done without the little drum solo at the start, but it was from 1983, so it was still cool. The song is a really great tune. It’s no wonder DLR let Billy Sheehan bring it along for another go.

I would suggest this live album to anyone. it stands the test of time, and seems to have influenced other bands.

8.75/10

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Weiland – 1 year gone

I know. Another Top 10. I can’t bring him back, so I’ll just share a bit of his awesomeness.

10 – Art Of Anarchy

9 – Wildabouts

8 – The Tonight Show

7 – Letterman

6 – More Letterman

5 – Howard Stern

4 – Scott solo

3 – MTV Unplugged

2 – The Doors

And finally I had to include my favourite Scott Weiland song of all time.

1 – Creep

I miss you Scott.

Happy Birthday Ozzy

In celebration of this special Day I present to you a Top 10 Ozzy countdown.

10 – 1982 Night Flight Interview.

9 – Ozzy tries a health drink

8 – Ozzy interviewed about his book

7 – Ozzy and Zakk stoned on a plane

6 – Ozzy falls off a chair

5 – Who the fuck is Justin Bieber

4 Black Sabbath California Jam 1974

3 Speak of the Devil

2 Monsters Of Rock

1 Early Ozzy

Happy Birthday Ozzy. Keep on being awesome.

(Metallica Week) 4 Part Album Review: Hardwired…To Self-Destruct (2016 Special Edition Boxset, Album # 4)

This cd was added to the list later. Originally when this special edition was announced in August the added cd was supposed to be outtakes. Riffs and such. I thought ok. Then Metallica changed their minds. They would include a 3 tribute songs previously released, and 9 live songs recorded on Record Store Day (Saturday April 16 2016) at Rasputin Music in Berkeley, California. When the switch was announced I felt a bit slighted about not getting the added riffs, but I feel this extra disc is a better option. Who knows how random the riffs would have been, and what kind of quality. I’d rather hear a full songs than a bunch of riffs. I’m not sure what happened to those riffs, but I’m sure they’ll surface somewhere.

Ronnie Medley Rising – Metallica do great at covers. This one was for the amazing Ronnie James Dio -This Is Your Life 2014 tribute album. The 9 minute song includes snippets of 4 Rainbow songs A Light In The Black, Tarot Woman, Stargazer, Kill The King. A Light In The Black is barely featured with the band jamming for 30 seconds but not singing, Tarot Woman is much better. The star for me is the wah influenced guitar work of Kirk. James voice is in fine form here as well. A decent cover of Stargazer showcase James’ vocals. Kill The King is a really good cover. The guitar solo is the star for me, but all of the members are in peak form here.

When A Blind Man Cries – This cover was originally featured on ReMachined..A Tribute To Deep Purple’s Machine Head tribute album from 2012. What seemed like a bit of a strange choice for Metallica turned out to be a really great cover. This song was not actually on Machine Head. It was recorded during the Machine Head sessions, but only released as a b side to Never Before. Ritchie Blackmore disliked this song and never played it live, so this is probably the reason it was never on the album. That’s really too bad because it is a really good song. I’m glad Metallica brought it back into the limelight, even though it seems like a very un-Metallica song. Psychedelic and slower paced. James’ vocals are purposely restrained and sort of haunting. That is until 3 minutes in when he screams out his patented yeah-eahh heahhhh and the volume level goes up to 11. Right where the band likes it. This is a really great cover.

Remember Tomorrow – This cover was originally released on Kerrang magazine’s Iron Maiden tribute album Maiden Heaven(issue 1219) in 2008. As expected the guitar work is more Maiden than Metallica. Then highlight for me is the transition between hard, then soft, then rip roaring kick ass hard. The drumming here sounds kind of compressed. Almost as if Lars is planning in a bathroom. The wah influenced guitar work is awesome, and so is the straight ahead riffing. James pulls his weight here as well as Kirk. They need to be on sync to do that dual lead guitar Maiden thing. Too bad the drumming sound is so bad on this one. In fairness, that is the only one on the entire boxset, so Lars is still way ahead.

The final live songs are all very excellent. There are a few very minor glitches that remind us it is live, and for me minor miscues are perfectly fine. I would rather leave them in than have them edited out. I enjoy the banter between James and the crowd, especially when he dedicates Fade To Black to Cliff Burton. He mentions “for Cliff” at the start, and when he yells out “Hey, do you hear us Cliff? Do you hear Us Cliff? Also of note as Fade To Black begins to play a buddy yells out Sanatarium. Oops buddy. Don’t worry. There won’t be many copies of this sold worldwide.

During the start of Jump In The Fire, James mentions all of those that have passed on. He mentions Paul Baloff from Exodus(Kirk’s former band) in particular. At the very end of the concert, Lars gives a shout out to Jon and Marsha Zazula, Ray Burton, Mike Bordin, his dad, Kirk’s mom, and everyone else in attendance. That would have been a sweet show to see.

9.75/10 for this one.

So the totals are

10/10, 9.5/10, 9.5/10, and 9.75/10 for a total for the boxset of 9.6875/10.

I loved this boxset. I still love Metallica no matter how badly they snubbed me and the other fans waiting for a word outside of the Opera House on Tuesday. Oh well, at least I got a t shirt. Cheers boys. I hope you keep releasing albums like this. I’ll still keep buying them.