4/2: BACK FROM THE CRUISE, FULL UPDATE ON ALL KINDS OF STUFF!
Just back from hosting this years MOR Cruise. Amazing 3 1/2 days hanging with so many fans and bands! I can not thank all the fans on board for the amazing love and support they show me. Pretty sure I took photos with every person on board! Was an honor indeed! SO many highlights, way too much to type here. This is very much a working gig for me running around this huge ship and hosting shows and Q&As, so I don’t get to see every artist or band sadly because the promoter makes my schedule. But some things I did se that I can comment on:
*Tesla: Did one acoustic and one electric set. Still one of the best bands to come from the 80’s. They also played me their new album coming in June called “Simplicity”. Really strong!
*The Winery Dogs/Richie Kotzen. Kotzen was THE guy everyone was asking me about. So many people are now discovering him after more than two decades because of TWD and are being blown away. Since my involvement with the band was mentioned often in the press by the guys everyone was asking where he came from. So thrilled to see so many finding out about his brilliance. In addition ton two TWD gigs (both AMAZING), Kotzen also did two shows with his own band and just annihilated the room! Every guitar player on the ship was watching and amazed. Many joked after seeing TWD they are wanted to toss their gear overboard and give up. Amazing and so happy for Richie to finally be getting the attention he is long overdue through TWD success. Contrary to what some think I have NO business dealing at all with this band, just a fan who helped out three friends and glad to see it working so well for all. The cruise performances were the latest example.
*Loudness. One word: Akira. The guy is unreal to watch play and the band is so good and so heavy. They come from Japan just for the cruise and kill it every time. New album coming soon.
*Y&T: Meniketti still delivers vocally and playing. Band sounds great and so many great songs. See them this Saturday at Stage 48 NYC.
*Kix: They are still so much fun and great energy from Steve as always.
*Red Dragon Cartel: Night and day difference from the first show. More energy from Jake and singer Darren Smith WAY better. I knew as I stated earlier he would be fine with a little more experience and he is now dialed in. Jake has cancelled some dates due to some back pain issues but has really gotten this band humming. Great set of material too.
*Faster Pussycat: Played two late night sets and KILLED it. This is a perfect band to play late when everyone is buzzed and wants sleazy hard rock and Taime and the boys were great both shows I saw!
*Cinderella: Only shows of the year for them on the cruise. Band was tight and Tom sounded great.
SO many bands on this cruise. If I didn’t mention them it’s because I didn’t see them or saw much of them. There is stuff overlapping and going non stop so very tough to get it all in. Also had a great chat with industry legend Tom Zutaut who signed Tesla, Motley and GnR to name a few. Great swapping stories over lunch. I’ll get into more when I can. Just wiped out now and preparing to leave for Seattle tomorrow where I have gigs with Don and Jim this weekend (Portland on Saturday, see the home page). Thanks to all who came out to MOR Cruise, was a blast!
Live SiriusXM show this Monday with Ace Frehley in studio! As has now been announced Tom Morello is inducting Kiss. Not what many guessed but I can tell you the HOF loves Tom and he had a big role behind the scenes finally getting Kiss in. The Kiss drama is reaching new heights of craziness as the HOF draws closer. Unfortunate to see some of the barbs being tossed in so many directions with these guys. Even Paul selling his book has said stuff about Gene that surprised me. Not to mention the harsh critique in Guitar World of Mark St John, a guy they hired and who sadly passed away. I will be attending the ceremony as a guest of Ace and Peter and will keep you posted as I learn more and as things transpire that night best I can. Just hope for us fans the night is respectful for the legacy of the band and glad to hear Bruce Kulick will be in attendance. He deserves it for sure, as well as some acknowledgement of the late great Eric Carr.
More soon including tons of pro photos from the cruise. Updates when I can and see you this weekend I hope if in Seattle or Portland. Also a quick thanks to all who came to my signing in Largo FL last Friday and the Cultural Center for having me. Great venue!