Sunday, September 30, 2007

Movie Review - Once

So, to kick off my family vacation in Ireland this week, I thought I'd post a recommendation of this pretty cool movie I saw last month, called Once. It's set in Ireland (hence the connection) and revolves around a busker singer songwriter guy who falls for this girl. It's basically a romantic movie - no Jedi warriors or drunk dudes screaming "Fill it AGAIN!"

But it's a really unique film and it stayed with me after I saw it. This was because of the way it was filmed and put together, pretty much. That plus the music.

Very much a low budget, indie film, the thing was shot in two weeks with a crew of six who all agreed to work for free after the funding fell though. The actors are not really actors at all, but are friends of the director. It makes the whole thing feel very organic and home grown, which is my favorite type of movie after big budget over the top weirdo movies like Brazil.

Anyway, the other thing is that there is a lot of music in it. I would almost call it a "musical" but it's not. However, when the lead character, played by Glen Hansard (from the Irish rock band the Frames) breaks into a song on his beat to shit guitar on the street corner, you hear the whole song. All 3 or 4 four minutes of it. Good thing he's talented as hell because there are six or seven songs throughout the movie.

This makes for a slower pace, so be ready for that.

But this is also a musician's movie. For example, when the character played by Hansard (we never learn his or anyone else's name), finally pieces a band together and hits the studio, it's very realistic. The way the musicians interact, the way the for-hire producer is totally blase until he realizes that the band is's all very true to life.

The main woman character, played by newcomer Marketa Irglova, is also very believable. She has a great spirit and really drives the Hansard character to realize his potential. It made sense when I found out afterwards that the two knew each other before agreeing to the project. It's almost like the movie captured their budding relationship.

The songs are great too - they are a departure from what I usually blog about, but I got the soundtrack afterwards and they hold up. These songs are sung from the soul. This guy has music pouring out of him. He's incredible. But again be warned - even the upbeat ones are pretty melancholy.

Go to the movie's MySpace page and check out the song "When Your Mind's Made Up" and you will see what I mean. Make sure you listen to the whole song, past where it picks up. I wish I was uninhibited enough to sing a song like this.

Hansard and Irglova are also in a band called The Swell Season, on tour playing songs from the movie, plus others. They are playing in Portland in November and I am going to try my best to make that show.

Not sure if Once is on video yet but if you want something earnest, heartfelt and different, check it out and let me know what you think.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Well, Stamp My Balls!

Despite my vote to have the ball sent into space, it looks like Barry Bonds' record breaking home run ball will be stamped and sent to Cooperstown.

For those of you wondering how the "what do we do with Barry Bonds' home run ball" poll went, the people have spoken and it's going to be stamped with an asterisk and sent to the Hall of Fame, where they will presumably figure out how to display it in a way that will keep the stamp hidden!

The story announcing the news said:

Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey said accepting the ball did not mean the Hall in Cooperstown, N.Y., endorses the viewpoint that Barry Bonds used drugs. (Riiiight)

"This ball wouldn't be coming to Cooperstown if Marc hadn't bought it from the fan who caught it and then let the fans have their say," Petroskey told The Associated Press. "We're delighted to have the ball. It's a historic piece of baseball history."

Hall of Fame officials and Ecko are discussing how to affix the asterisk on the ball. It's not yet known when the ball will go on display.

The people have spoken. Suck it, Bonds!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

CD and DVD Review - Heaven and Hell at Radio City

Anyone who read my posting of the Heaven and Hell show earlier this year knows what I think of the Dio-led version of Sabbath. For those who need a reminder, I think it's one of the best hard rock lineups to ever grace the earth. Forget the Ozzy led Sabbath. Just forget it. That version is a whole other thing, great in its own way, and yes, OK they co-founded heavy metal. But the Dio era Sabbath built on those roots and just sledge hammered it out of the park.

The Mob Rules. Heaven and Hell. Children of the Sea. Falling Off the Edge of the World. The Sign of the Southern Cross. Die Young. Neon Knights. Need I go on? Forget about it!

In terms of the show I saw earlier this year, these guys were in fine form, clearly pleased as a cup of Jesus Juice to be playing these classic heavy duty tunes. Not to rest on their laurels, they also played three songs from their 1992 overlooked reunion album Dehumanizer and two of the three brand new songs recorded for the Dio Years compilation CD. Much to my amazement these non-classic numbers fit in with the classics like a hand in a well broken-in studded leather glove.

Now the band's performance at Radio City Music Hall from this tour is out on CD and DVD and needless to say I bought both and whole heartedly recommend that anyone with even a cursory interest in Sabbath or hard rock go out and buy them right now.

I started with the CD. It's excellent. The same set list I saw, plus Lonely Is the Word. Nothing really to say about the CD except it is an accurate sonic snapshot of the kick ass tour. Dio's voice is soaring and powerful, he hits all the notes and just delivers. Iommi and Butler are playing better then ever. It's all there.

These guys sound like they have something to prove and are out to convert the masses, when really they could have just trotted out and farted through it all. They didn't. Oh, and Dio's scream at the start of The Mob Rules made the hair stand up on my arms. I'm not kidding. I actually laughed at how killer some of this stuff was. Iommi plays a LOT of guitar on this tour and the CD performances are blistering. And I am still amazed at how good Geezer is on this stuff.

The DVD is a must have as well. Same audio, obviously, but the company that filmed the thing really understands how to do it right. From a musician's standpoint, you can't beat it. There are loads and loads of close ups of Geezer, Iommi and Appice actually playing. For example, I am thinking, "Here comes that killer Geezer Butler bass fill at the end of the verse in Die Young," and bang, the camera is on his fretboard and you see him do it. Very nice.

I am so sick of DVDs that don't show the band PLAYING. Paul McCartney is the worst offender. His live DVDs are shot after shot of the audience singing along. Kill me now, man.

No, we get to see the prosthetic tips of Iommi's fingers blaze through the riff in Falling Off The Edge of The World. We get to see how fast poor Geezer has to play for all 5 minutes of Neon Knights. We get to see Appice trot out his fills in the new songs. Lots and lots of close ups.

Now if you don't care about this crap, there are loads of shots of the stage from all angles, and plenty of Dio devil horns. That's the one thing - he didn't hold back on his use of the 'horns' and at some points he is a little bit campy. Heavy metal, but campy. Heavy metal campy!

It's the one area where I have a critique of the band. Dio is a little bit on the edge of Spinal Tap with some of his antics and his overall look. My buddy Dave said it best when he said "The whole wispy hair elfin thing just isn't really doing it for me." But, hell, it's Dio. What are ya gonna do? He's always been true to himself, so good for him. I'll accept it.

Side note: You know how Johnny Depp based his character in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies on Keith Richards? I think they based Gollum in the Lord of the Rings on Dio. I'm just saying...

Back to the DVD. The audio is great. Geezer is mainly in the left speaker and Iommi is to the right. If you unplug one of your speakers you can hear the other guy shine. I suggest you unplug Iommi's side and bask in the insane talent that is Geezer Butler.

But you will also note when you take Iommi's side out of the mix that there are a lot of keyboards and even some guitar in the background that is being supplied by someone offstage to help fill in the sound. We actually meet this guy in the bonus material. His name is Scott Warren and he's been playing with Dio for years.

The bonus material is pretty good. You get the story of how they got back together and how much they love this music. Iommi says about five times that he was sick of playing the same 10 songs with Ozzy for eight years, and even notes that when the Ozzy reunion started, the shows were two hours but slowly whittled down to an hour or less. He clearly savors this version of Sabbath.

Which makes me wonder what is next? They could easily crank out another album. Or maybe they will let it go for a few more years. For sure there is no bad blood between these four. One can hope they'll do another tour at some point. I'll be there. In the meantime, we have the DVD!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Good Morning from Dio

I am sure this has been Photo-shopped, but it's still funny.

Have a nice day!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Concert Review - The Renegade Saints

Neil Young used to call his backing band Crazy Horse the "3rd Best Garage Band in the World" behind the Stones (#1) and whoever was the hottest in the world that night (#2).

I think I might have witnessed the #2 spot for Sunday Sept 23. Except they aren't really a garage band. A guy I was with said the sound was like "The Allman Brothers meet The Dead" but I prefer to call them "Oregon's first and best Supergroup."

The band is The Renegade Saints, and my disclaimer is that I know all of these guys and have played in bands with most of them, stretching way back to the early 90s. My old band, The Strangers, toured the same circuit as the Saints in the 90s, and we even jammed in each other's sets when we shared bills or happened to be in the same town.

I always thought these guys were special. In this five piece band, you have three prolific singers, two smoking guitarists, a super epic rhythm section and to top it off, one of Oregon's best (if not THE best) Hammond organist. And four superb songwriters. That might have been the problem in the 90s, as tensions around direction pulled the band apart more than 10 years ago.

But time heals all ills, and over the last three years, the Saints have re-grouped to do one off shows here and there. The bio on their MySpace says "Recently, they’ve dusted off the old material, with better musical chops, better voices, better clothes (but less hair and shorter solos)."

I got to see the reunited Saints last night at the final gig of a string of shows they did around the State. I am not going to do my usual play by play review of who did what and how killer one song was over the other because frankly I don't know all the song names, and I am not sure my faithful readers would appreciate the granularity about a band they don't know!

However, I will say that the band has always excelled at alternating between acoustic based country-ish songs and riff laden, dual guitar heavy monsters. And some seriously ferocious jams.

I got all of that last night. But I got more. A lot more (OK, enough with the Spinal Tap quote - sorry, I got off track).

Anyway, check out the clip of the song "Delivered" on the band's MySpace page and you will see what I am talking about. And if you like that, order their 90s epic, Fear of the Sky. There is not a bad track on this CD and it is very well produced. Every time I hear it, I wonder why the hell they didn't go right to the top (or at least closer to the top). And then I remember, in the time period this came out, anything that wasn't "grunge" was ignored by the industry.

Typical short sighted BS.

The band was recording the gig last night for a future live release. I can do this more justice with a proper CD review when it's out, so watch for that in a few months.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Way back, Way back - It's GONE

As some of you know, I was at the Giants game when Bonds hit his record breaking homer #756. It was so exciting I forgot for a while what an asshole he is.

There was a lot of speculation over what was going to happen to the ball. Bonds didn't want it, and the guy who caught it was a Mets fan who happened to be coming through town on his way to Australia. Talk about dumb luck.

So what happened to the ball? Mets dude sold it this week via an auction, and made a hair more than $750,000. Holy crap. That is a boat load of money for a baseball.

But it gets better. The guy who bought it, who clearly has a sense of humor to match his bank account, has posted a Web poll, asking fans what he ought to do with the ball.

The choices are:
1) Bestow it: Give it to the hall of fame
2) Brand it: Stamp an asterisk on the ball (indicating that it was a record won under fishy circumstances - the steroid scandal of course) and then give it to the hall of fame
3) Banish it: Have it blasted into outer space

Whichever option gets the most votes is what he's going to do. Man, do I love democracy.

In typical asshole fashion, Bonds commented, "He's stupid. He's an idiot. He spent $750,000 on the ball and that's what he's doing with it? What he's doing is stupid."

Maybe, but it's also funny. When I voted for #3 tonight, more than 2.5 million other votes had been cast. If only we could get those kind of numbers in the off year elections...

Thanks to John C for the tip!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More Reasons To Hate Journey

Journey is often lumped in with "corporate sell out bands" like Foreigner, Asia, Loverboy and Boston, most of which are good bands with bad raps, in my book - including Journey.

But there is a form of cheesy power ballad/over the top arena rock that was mastered by Journey on their mega hit albums Escape and Frontiers. The music biz has never been the same sense (and not in a good way).

Some late night Web trolling led from one site to the next and I stumbled on an in depth interview from 2001 with the guy who hand-assembled and managed Journey from its early 70s start to 1993, Herbie Herbert.

This guy himself is a total piece of work, as you'll see. Among his other accomplishments are the first use of video screens at stadium gigs and the success of 80s bands Europe and Mr. Big. Make of that what you will.

The point is, aside from being a no bullshit, tough as nails relentless business man, he is brutally frank about the ups and downs of Journey. And even though he created the band and managed them for 25 years, he sure doesn't have much good to say about them.

Especially wrathful are his comments about Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain. The crux is that Journey was a band made of mostly ego-centric megalomaniacs that make Roger Waters look like a diplomat.

The highly amusing four part interview is here (allot some time for yourselves - this is a long interview), but my favorite bits are:

--I'm picking up Jon (Cain) at the Oakland airport…The doors aren't even closed - I haven't closed my driver door, he hasn't closed the passenger door - he hands me a tape, and says 'this is a tape of my wife, Tané. Now, here's the deal - you manage her, you get her a label deal, you make her career happen, or take my keyboard out of the back, I'm out, I'm going right back to LA, no Journey.'…Do I get out of the car, or do I stay in?' And, so I said, 'Well, I will get her a label deal. I'm sure it won't be because she deserves it.' And he said, 'Let's listen to the tape.' and I said, 'No, let's not. Just shut the door.' And so, I gotta tell you, in no uncertain terms, I knew what Jon Cain was like day one. Day fucking one.

--(Steve) Perry - he's got the bulk of the world fooled. And he had you fooled until tonight.' That was it. That was the beginning of the realization for Jon Cain. I betcha right then and there he said 'I wonder a little bit less why Gregg Rolie walked away from such and incredible enterprise, at such an incredible point in their history.' It was just a no-brainer. Stadium act. How do you walk away? I'll tell you how you walk away. If you were drowning in the ocean, and Steve Perry came along in his luxury liner, he would offer you a life raft in such a manner that you would decline it. I'm not just talking about you; I'm talking about anybody. The terms and conditions would be such that you would pass.

--...all of a sudden they call me over to Sausalito for a band meeting on the waterfront. I'm sitting there with Neal Schon, Jon Cain, and Steve Perry. They inform me, 'We're struggling, and Steve doesn't feel right about these recordings.' And I go, 'All the tracks are finished!' 'Yeah, he doesn't like them. He wants to replace Smith and Valory [bass and drums].' Replace Smith and Valory? Over my dead body! What the fuck - this is a group, this is a band! This isn't Steve Perry and his side band. He had corrupted Jon Cain, but the two of them (had) damaged Neal Schon so bad that in his darkest moments I fear that Neal Schon is suicidal over the primrose path he let (them) take him down. That turned out to be a brutal mistake. I said 'OK, but these guys are going to be paid as if though they were here. And we will all eat the cost of this stupidity, and the cost of these sidemen.'

The interview is about as one sided as it gets, but that's entertainment! Enjoy.

PS - I still like Journey (gasp!)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Producers Blame iPods for Thier Crappy Sounding Mixes

In this article in the Wall Street Journal this week, music producers, artists and other people who ought to know better said that they are starting to mix music to sound best over earbuds and iPods because that is how the majority of people consume music these days.

This is leading to mixes that are compressed and one dimensional, and sound particularly bad on any system higher end than an iPod (95 percent of everything else). Here are some of the more potent quotes:

"Right now, when you are done recording a track, the first thing the band does is to load it onto an iPod and give it a listen," said Alan Douches, who has worked with Fleetwood Mac and others. "Years ago, we might have checked the sound of a track on a Walkman, but no one believed that was the best it could sound. Today, young artists think MP3s are a high-quality medium and the iPod is state-of-the-art sound."

For example, says veteran Los Angeles studio owner Skip Saylor, high frequencies that might seem splendid on a CD might not sound as good as an MP3 file and so will get taken out of the mix. "The result might make you happy on an MP3, but it wouldn't make you happy on a CD," he says. "Am I glad I am doing this? No. But it's the real world and so you make adjustments."

"Ten years ago, music was warmer; it was rich and thick, with more tones and more 'real power.' But newer records are more brittle and bright. They have what I call 'implied power.' It's all done with delays and reverbs and compression to fool your brain."
All these engineers tend to be audiophiles, the sort who would fuss over a track to make it perfect. But they're beginning to wonder if they should bother.

...engineers experience some nostalgia about earlier technologies. Says Mr. Saylor, "What we've lost with this new era of massive compression and low fidelity are the records that sounds so good that you get lost in them. "Dark Side of the Moon" -- records like that just aren't being made today."

This is so flipping sad and pathetic. And it's short sighted. Who's to say that the MP3 format and iPods aren't going to go the way of the Betamax in a few years?

As all of the reissued Beatles albums and especially the ones that were remixed (Love, the Anthology Series and Yellow Submarine) have proven, if you shoot for the highest possible sound quality at the source, no matter the popular media of the day, your audio can sound rich, warm and timeless decades after it was recorded and the artists are long gone. That was the LAW at Abbey Road studios in the 1960s.

Conversely, certain CDs, when they were first issued in the 80s and not fixed up in any way, had pops and cracks on them because some producers in the 60s and 70s knew that the vinyl LP turntable and needle based format would cover up noises and imperfections. On CDs those same 'inaudible imperfections' are loud as day.

This proved to be short sighted, so why are we doing it all over again? Come on you lazy fuckers, don't cater to the lowest possible denominator!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Blog Link - Check It Out

I added the Front Parlour Blog to my links list today. Blogger Michael Fortes' posts are in line with what you get here, with maybe a bit more jazz and blues and a bit less KISS (although he did post on tribute band Destroyer's recent SF gig). He also shares my fascination and disdain for the SOON TO BE RELEASED (yeah right) Chinese Democracy from Guns and Poses.

Poke around and leave him some comments!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Zepplin Reunion Gig Confirmed

Don't say I didn't tell ya, because I told ya.

The three living members of Led Zeppelin are teaming with the late John Bonham's son Jason on drums to play a one off gig on Nov. 26 in London, at a tribute to the late founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun, who signed Led Zeppelin in 1968.

From the Reuters article, concert organizer Harvey Goldsmith said:

"They thought about it very carefully, and even decided to actually rehearse for a few days to see if they could play together again," he told Reuters Television in an interview.

"I only asked them to do 30 minutes and they came back after a week's rehearsals and said they wanted to do a full show.

"So they obviously started to bond back together again. As far as I'm concerned, this is a one-off show, if something materializes after that, I'll be thrilled," Goldmsith added.

It's all very exciting but I just wonder if Plant can still sing any Zep songs? They have a lot to choose from, and I am sure they could put together a great set of songs that Plant can still sing. Still, I'd imagine there are many classics that are off limits to his voice, unless they tune down like the Police did.

So with The Police, Van Halen and now Zeppelin getting back together why oh why, Peter Gabriel, will you not just eat it and get back with Genesis to do some Lamb shows? I'd actually go see that one!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Music Industry Sucks - A Different View

There has been a lot of bashing of the music industry by me and my buddies on this blog, in the comments posts and offline.

The general consensus is that the industry is going toes-up into the bottom of a shit hole it slowly dug for itself over the last two or three decades via general greed and cluelessness.

I still stand by that opinion and until the RIAA stops wrongly suing citizens for 'stealing music' I won't change my mind.

There are other views, however.

I usually discount anything KISS' Gene Simmons says as something crafted to sell more KISS merch or put Gene one step closer to ubiquitousness (KISStianity he calls it). But in this case, I actually stopped and thought about what he said, and it actually made some sense:

"Yeah, but whoever invented the idea that a record company should support a band? What lunatic ever expects that? Imagine being in a business where you have to pay money, an advance, cash, to a band. Record companies were the best friend you and I ever had. They give you a big advance, you never have to pay the money back. If it loses and it bombs, you never pay the money back. They'll earn back their money, then they continue to pay you royalties. That's the best friend you ever had. Then they have to go manufacture it, promote it, advertise it, PLUS they want to get you out on tour and they'll pay you to go out on tour. They don't participate in your licensing, your merchandising or your live ticket sales."

I've heard Gene say the same thing, but better. The point is, the music industry does put its balls out there and generally loses money, so when it finds a cash cow, it milks it for all its worth. It's understandable - it's the music BUSINESS after all.

I guess that's the problem. It's not a supportive environment for the artist, despite what Gene said. It is a money making venture. If you are an immediate hit, great. If not, you are done.

Thankfully, the Internet has opened up new avenues for bands to make themselves heard. But now the problem is, it's so crowded out there it's hard to hone in on what's good. To get in front of enough people to move the needle, you need to be on the Web for hours a day, promoting yourself and posting links to your music, Web site, etc. Who's got the time for that? Not me!

Gene's comments are from an interview he did with Dave Navarro, some of which is posted here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Van Halen Reunion Rehearsal

Eddie Trunk's site re-posted an entry from a fan who was able to attend a recent Van Halen rehearsal for the upcoming reunion tour. The entry contains a number of spoliers, including what songs they rehearsed and link to a number of photos, one of which I copied for this posting.

But I did not want to wreck it for anyone who doesn't want to know ahead of time, so if you want more info, hit this link.

I wonder if I ought to try and go to this? The list of songs is astounding and it sounds like spirits are high in the camp.

MTV Video Music Awards - Who Gives A Crap?

For the same reason people slow down on the highway when passing an accident (to take a better look at the carnage), I tuned into the MTV Video Music Awards last night to watch Britney Spears' catatonic shadow of her former self stagger through her new 'single' at the opening of the show.

She's done. Her career is over. Wow, I really give a shit.

It was perplexing. I mean, when in the hell did music turn into this? There were 20 or 30 dancers gyrating all over the place, light show, 'music' etc. Britney was doing such a bad job lip syncing that I guess no one really expected her to actually sing. My wife pointed out that this type of choreographed stuff is part of the 'show' but when did these performances turn into basically lip synced strip club dance routines with the only thing "live" about them being the dancers (sort of)?

Disclaimer: My wife loves a lot of these artists - from 50 Cent to Kanye West to Justin Timberlake - so I hear this stuff now and again. And I actually think Timberlake is pretty talented. He does the same choreographed crapola live but at least he can sing and put some attitude and even humor into it. I bring that up to illustrate that I am not just jaded against new artists.

It's just that I have never like the VMAs. They always make me wretch. Maybe it's that last night made me feel acutely how totally disconnected I am from the music industry.

Or maybe it's the other way around. The ratings for the VMAs have tanked over the years, and hmm, maybe it's because MTV doesn't actually play music videos anymore. And when they do, they suck. Maybe it's just another example of how the industry has cannibalized itself by training generations to consume music and video in 10 second bites. Our attention spans are so short, it's no wonder we can't make it through a two hour program.

Stuff like the VMAs make me want to take a "media time out" for a while and seek out simple things that are not designed to sell me stuff. Turn off the computers. Take a jog without the iPod. Take a hike and don't say a word.

It also makes me glad I live in Portland, where everyone is a singer-songwriter, as someone pointed out to me the other day. Where there are tons of bars and venues that support live music. Where you can book a gig at the drop of a hat if you want to get out and express yourself musically.

In a lame assed ploy to get people to watch the show, MTV said there will be no encore presentations of last night's VMAs. You had to watch it last night or you'll never see it again. That is the best idea they have had in a while! It's the last thing I would want to see again the next time I turn on my TV. I can only wretch so many times before pulling something.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Maiden Flight?

I love Iron Maiden. I have seen them seven or eight times and they never let me down. Of course, I skipped their weaker periods in the 90s but think their new album "A Matter Of Life And Death" is genius. And I guess they do too, because they played the whole album end to end on their latest tour, pissing off loads of fans who wanted to hear the hits and classics.

That takes serious balls.

So to reward everyone who put up with this self indulgent exercise, Maiden announced this week a full blown 2008 world tour called the "Somewhere Back in Time Tour." This tour will visit all of the band's classic 80s albums - from Iron Maiden to 7th Son - and will re-introduce the insanely over the top Powerslave stage set (see photo).

And how does a band travel with all of the crew and gear required to put on such a spectacle? Why, in their own jet of course, flown by lead singer/airline pilot Bruce Dickinson. This is not a joke. From the band's announcement:

Comments Bruce Dickinson, "We had the idea last year of converting a jumbo jet into effectively what would be a flying 113 ton 'splitter bus' for touring and we have been working seriously on it ever since. It's pretty complex but in the end we were able, with a lot of help from Astraeus Airlines, to overcome all the technicalities of customising the plane for our purposes.

We are taking out the back 10 rows of seats to fit in a customised cargo hold that we can use again in the future if this jaunt works. This is in addition to all the standard storage holds. By taking band, personnel and equipment in one form of transport it makes all the touring so much easier and overcomes the logistical difficulty of people and equipment going in different planes. We can even work out exactly how big our carbon footprint is and take care of that responsibility! We will be packing as much of the show into the plane as we possibly can for this first leg and intend to give the fans something very special to remember. And it allows me to combine 2 of my greatest passions, music and flying!!

Let's see, how will that work? Bruce will scream "Goodnight Swansea," run off stage, grab a quick shower and a cup of joe, change into his pilot outfit and soon begin shouting at his band mates "Fasten yer seatbelts ya cunts!" This is like some crazy version of Pirates of the Caribbean with wings.

Anyway, I have two wishes, Iron Maiden. 1) That you bring this metal fest to the Northwest, and 2) You play Rime of the Ancient Mariner - all 18 minutes of it.

Yee hoo!