I LOVE ROCK AND ROLL
Had a great time this fourth of July holiday as Juanita and I joined some friends at a great concert triple bill featuring FOREIGNER (minus Lou Gramm and Bruce Turgon), STYX (minus Dennis DeYoung) and DEF LEPPARD (only missing an arm on their drummer). Foreigner only did their "rock" tunes, omitting such ballads as "Waiting for a Girl Like You" and "I Want to Know What Love Is." Perhaps the songs were out of lead singer Kelly Hansen's (formerly of the Quiet Riot spin-off band Hurricane) range. Turgon, who replaced a long vanished pal of many of us at the PCR, Dusty Hess, in the band Blacksheep left the band with Gramm in 2002. Gramm had previously left the band in 1990 but returned in 1992, only to leave again to pursue a solo career. Jiff Pilson, who played in Dokken and Dio, manned the bass this time around. A nice surprise was drummer Jason Bonham, son of the late, great John Bonham. Mick Jones is still around, though he's the only original member of the band still playing.
I was shocked to discover that this year marks the 30th Anniversary of the landmark STYX album "Grand Illusion," which was released on July 7, 1977. The band opened the show with the title tune and never looked back. Matt and I saw STYX in April 1978 (huh, huh, huh) and have seen them several times since. While the majority of the major players are still there (Tommy Shaw, James "JY" Young and, in a brief appearance due to health reasons, Chuck Panozzo), the very talented Lawrence Gowan is still taking the place of Dennis DeYoung. Though an accomplished musician and vocalist, I began to get tired of Gowan's constant spinning of his keyboard and running around behind the rest of the band when he wasn't the featured vocalist. WE SEE YOU! Now let JY play!
I was very impressed with Def Leppard's set. They were the quote - unquote headliners of the show so they got the majority of playing time. Of course they played all of their hits but also a few songs I wasn't familiar with that I quite enjoyed. While DeYoung and Gramm had some success as solo acts ("Desert Moon" and "Midnight Blue," respectively), it would be nice to hear them back where they belong. Both still perform regularly in concert. Of course, the last time I saw Dennis DeYoung he was whipping Ted Neely in the touring production of "Jesus Christ Superstar."
OH LUCKY DAY
Speaking of July 7th, today is thought to be a lucky day for many - 7-7-07 since 7 is thought to be a lucky number. Many couples, including San Antonio Spur Tony Parker and "Desperate Housewife" Eva Longoria, are getting hitched today. Ironically, my employee number at work is 7777. Can you guess who bought a ticket for the Powerball? More from my mansion next week.
According to the Department of Justice, a case that is sent to the President of the United States for consideration of commutation or pardon is submitted "after the convicted felon reports to prison." The guidelines also state that commuting a sentence is "an extraordinary remedy that is rarely granted." NOT! In what has to be the ultimate spit in the face of our judicial system, President Bush, who once stated that anyone found guilty would pay the price, decided he didn't want his pal to go to jail and commuted Scooter Libby's prison time. Bush did remind us that Libby's $250,000 fine was still in place, which Libby paid this week, no doubt with some of the blood money his boss Dick Cheney got from his pals at Haliburton. And the frosting on this cake is that, if Libby's appeal is not granted, Bush can just pardon Libby. Come on January 2009!
Does anyone else think it's just a coincidence that 2 cars packed with explosives were found in England the same week the Spice Girls announced they were getting back together?
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO...? CHAPTER 24: ROY SCHEDIER
WHERE YOU MIGHT KNOW HIM FROM: "Jaws", "All That Jazz", "Blue Thunder", "SeaQuest DSV"
Due to the lateness of The Rant, Chapter 24 will appear next week. Besides, I need to do my favorite actor justice!
Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!
"Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.