Category Archives: Deaths


Hi folks. It’s nearly the end of 2017 and what a year it was. Actually, what a year it was for deaths in music and particularly, the two passings I’m focusing on today. We have had many deaths in the past couple of years of notible people in music but the ones which really made me stand up and say “what the fuck” were singers Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. Both of these deaths are linked together because of the methods of ending their lives, meaning suicide by hanging as well as their close friendship. Both these guys sang in more than one band and in fact, they sang in three bands each, during their careers as recording artists. Chester was lead vocalist for the bands: Linken Park, Stone Temple pilots and Dead By Sunrise. Chris was the singer for: Soundgarden, Temple Of The Dog and Audioslave and they both were working at the time of their demises.

The first to join the choir invisible was Chris on May 18th and he had just finished playing a show with Soundgarden in Detroit and was staying at the MGM Grand Hotel. He was found by his bodyguard in the bathroom with an exercise band around his neck, hanging, suspended . I had been a fan and a follower of his work since the Badmotorfinger album and the song Rusty Cage, especially. My first Soundgarden album I had bought was Superunknown and my favourite songs were Black Whole Sun and Like Suicide. I liked the vocals and how his voice sounded different with each octive of his range and in the case of Black Whole Sun, I liked the panning voices from left to right, when he sings the title of the song. That album made me want to get more Soundgarden songs and I continued buying CD’s until they broke up and the best of album A -Sides came out in 1997.

As for Audioslave, I had the first album and I liked a lot of it too but he sounded different in that he sounded like he had, or was getting over a cold. If you have the first Audioslave album, listen to his lower range especially and you can hear what I heard and still hear in his voice. The next two albums went bak to his normal voice but it also retained the nasally sound in the higher range. The sound would stay with him until his death.

As for his solo albums, I wasn’t interested in them at first and I don’t know why. I think it was because I didn’t have a place in my Collection for them. I was always organizing my music by genre and I couldn’t figure out where to put Chris Cornell and his solo stuff, alongside his work in Soundgarden and Temple Of The Dog. Even after Audioslave had been and gone, I had stayed away from buying his solo albums but I have always kept up with what he was doing.

When I had bought them (after he died) I began to gravitate towards Scream because of one song. I thought that Long Gone was cool because it reminded me of gnarls Barkley and what he was doing at the time with that song suited his voice, regardless of what he was supposed to be known for as a singer. I also began to listen to some of the Higher Truth album and the songs: Dead Wishes, Bend In The Road, Worried Moon and the single Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart are my current favourites from that album.

As for the last Soundgarden album, (King Animal)I think it is fine for what it is. It isn’t the same as the older stuff but everyone had changed in their playing style and Chris had that different sound to his voice. However, it worked with songs like: Bones Of Birds and Eyelids Mouth, as my current favourites.

When Chris died I was shocked and all the memories of my favourite songs came flooding back and even his influence on me as a musician. I had recorded a song in 1997 called No I Can Not Stay, which had a similar sound to what Chris did with his solo albums. It isn’t available anywhere as a Digital download and appears on a compilation put together bye Hamilton CNIB. For the record, I sing and play all the instruments on the song! Anyway, I went out and bought everything again, as well as albums I hadn’t previously bought by Chris and the bands he played in. Yes, it is the classic case of when someone dies, you go out and buy everything they put out or as much as you can find.

In the case of Lincoln Park and Chester Bennington, my love for his music took a lot longer to grow then with Chris Cornell. I couldn’t stand his voice at first and I didn’t much care for the songs either, at the time. However, they eventually grew on me but I decided not to buy an album and just follow on the sidelines. I grew to respect Chester and the rest of the band and continue to follow them and keep an ear on what they were doing.

When the album One More Light was to come out in 2017 I had a feeling that it was going to be a turning point for the band. Sometimes I can sense these things but I can’t really explain why, until it’s too late and whatever happens, happens. For example: when Korn released the album Take A Look In The mirror in 2003, I sensed something was about to change in the band but I couldn’t fathom what it was. It was because of the sound of the album and because of how poorly it did, compared to their past albums. Then in 2005, Brian Head Welsh left the band and didn’t return until 2013.

Another example of this is when Queen were not touring to support The Miracle and innuendo albums and obviously, singer Freddie Mercury had been sick throughout the making of both albums and he died in November 1991, of bronchial pneumonia. This was more sudden, much like The suicides of both Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington but, there were indications that something was about to change. For example: listen to Freddys voice and it is thinner on the more recent material but, he could still hit the notes. Also, lyrically on the song The Show Must Go On, it was about Freddys bravery despite what he was dealing with and again, he nailed that vocal and there is no indication that he was sick other then, his ailing voice. There was also the lack of touring which really got people going, with roomers about Freddie’s health and well… we know now why.

In the case of Chester, I think it was his reaction to the critical reception to One More Light which should have tipped people off because he never seemed like someone who wanted to cause harm to anyone else, even if they spoke ill about the latest album. Yes, the death of Chris was on his mind and it changed him but I think that the negative reception to One More Light may have also pushed him over the edge. This is despite that Corey Taylor said that he should just give it time and let time change the minds of those who hated the album. Chester admitted that Corey was right and that he is a good dude. I agree that he is and having met him, I trust what he said to Chester, through the press.

fast forward, to July 20th, Chester was dead and I heard about it on Facebook first, before the radio. Obviously, I was shocked and sad to hear of this tragedy and it’s been on my mind, ever since then. I had bought all of Linken Park’s albums and I still have more to get if I wish to complete my collection. I grew to like most of One More Light and in particular, the song Sorry For Now, because of the sounds in the track. They remind ed me of today’s contemporary pop music and all of its quirks. I also became fond of the title track and even the first single Heavy. I also grew to like even more, songs such as: Lying From You, Waiting For The End and Burn It Down. All of these songs have great vocals and other sonic intricacies throughout them which also made me listen to them closer. For example: the samples in Lying From You and Waiting For The End. In the case of the latter, it was the remixed vocals from Chester that I thought was cool. Another song which is worth listening to is Robot Boy, from A Thousand Suns because it is mainly comprised of 3 part harmony, between Chester and Mike Shinoda. This song is (in a sense) completely different from anything in their discography or any band out of the alternative metal stew. It also reminds me of classic Genesis, from the progressive part of their career. For example: listen to most songs from the album Wind & Wuthering and pay attention to the keyboards. I hear some of that influence on the song too. Anyway, I digress.

In the case of tributes to him, my favourite one was from David Drayman from Disturbed, who wrote about going on tour with Linken Park and meeting him and his family. He made me laugh with all of his stories and you can probably still find his tribute somewhere on Google, if you want to look for it and read it.

Something else which made Chester’s death even more alarming was that when he spoke while being interviewed, he sounded like someone I had heard or known somewhere. It really hit me when he was doing an interview during the world premier for the album Minutes To Midnight in 2007. I can’t remember what he said exactly to trigger it but that voice always stuck in my head. Also, the day before Chris died, a panhandler came up to me while I was eating lunch at a donut shop. He asked me for money and said he was very hungry and when I heard him talk, he sounded similar to Chris Cornell. Of course, I didn’t think it was him but his death made me think of that guy.

Unfortunately, both these guys are gone and thanks to their deaths, the topic of depression was brought up in the media. Obviously, it’s very important to be there for somebody who is in the midst of depression and has suicidal thoughts. I’ve been there and thankfully, I am Lucky that mine was so mild that it didn’t require any drugs to alleviate it. Unfortunately, there are some people who are trapped in a more severe form of depression, it has become a source of conversation. It is so insidious that it takes iconic figures to die, in order for us to talk about it? There are warning signs for sure but they may not be obvious and if there is something going on with somebody we care about, we should just check in with them and see how they’re doing. Most importantly, listen to them and let them know that we’re there for them. It sounds so simple to do but it isn’t because of how fast paced our society is these days, with the immediacy of information at our fingertips and the addiction of social media and smart phones. Admittedly, I’m using mine right now to compose this blog post but, I am also aware of the human aspect of my being and that life is very fragile. After the deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, I value my own life even more and especially now that I am passed 40. Especially because of their ages being 52 for Chris and 41 for Chester, at the time they shuffled off this mortal coil. I hope that I can live at least to 62 or 80 because 8 seems to be a number which comes up in my own life. My birthday is June 2nd (6th month and 2nd day of the month) and I moved into my own apartment at the age of 26. I bring it up because of both Chester and Chris being born on the 20th days of the month they were born on, as Chris Cornell’s birthday was July 20th and Chester Bennington’s birthday was March 20th. I don’t know how much numerology go to this but because I’m 44 now, I’m in a year of my lucky number so… I wonder what they’re lucky numbers were!

Anyway, I’m glad they were here to give us all music listen to and unfortunately because they’re gone, we have something to talk about and I’m sure there are others out there, who have depression and may or may not die because of it. Hopefully, we can save lives of others by just being there for them and let them tell us what’s going on and not forced to talk about it. I can say for myself that I want to live as long as I can and be happy, for as long as I can be and hopefully, we can help to save more people from this insidious mental illness. Unfortunately, we’re going to see more people dying who are celebrities by various forms of suicide because of depression and it’s going to be repeated again and again, that we should be there for each other. Hopefully I’m wrong and there will be less suicidal deaths in the future. As for Chris and Chester, they are gone but not forgotten you and the music will live on for as long as we live in as long as the fans want to hear their songs either on the radio, via streaming services or to purchase them on iTunes or on cd or vinyl.


How Many People Have Died This Year

Hi folks. It is near the end of 2016, the year of the Grim Reaper. Yes, this year will go down as the year the Grim Reaper made headlines by killing off many celebrities who have entertained us throughout our lives. Can you possibly count how many people have died this year? I mean, counting all the big-name celebrities who are no longer with us. Just recently within the past hour or so I learned that Debbie Reynolds, the mother of Carrie Fisher, the voice of Princess Leia has just died, shortly after her daughter has joined the parade of dead people.
Obviously, death is a natural part of life but let’s be honest here, this year was a real downer, if you are a fan of nearly all kinds of music: from country to metal, from jazz pop to dance Pop. Let us not forget the actors who have passed on leaving their mark on such things as the Harry Potter movies, the TV show Growing Pains and The Brady Bunch. We are being robbed of our favourite entertainers and unfortunately, that is the way the cooky crumbles for this year.
Let’s not forget how young most of the people who have passed on. Most of them haven’t even reached the age of 70 and David Bowie, who was the first one to fall this year was only 69, along with Alan Thicke. Singer George Michael was only 53, when he died Christmas Day. Even the two recent passing of legendary North American broadcasters (Bob Coburn and scruff Connors) were only 68 and 64 respectively. I’ve talked with both men on their respective radio shows at least once and in the case of Bob Coburn and his radio show called Rockline, I managed to call in and talk to The Cult. Actually, I had a chance to ask Singer Ian Asberry and guitarist Billy Duffy about writing songs on the road. I should also mention that this was when the album Electric was out and I was 14 years old and, my voice hadn’t changed yet.
In the case of scruff Connors, I had heard him on at least three radio stations in my lifetime and his lifetime, for that matter. I called in when he was working at Mojo Radio and his guest was David Phillips of Environment Canada. I never got to meet either of those people but they both left an impression on me, which was positive and I’m very grateful that they were in my life, if even only from a distance via the radio.
Even The Simpsons wasn’t spared from the year of death. A couple of guest starres and a writer had been taken from us, way too soon. I’m just glad that none of the voice actors have bought the farm yet and I hope they are with us for a long time.
If we could stop all these deaths from happening I would be the first one to try and do it.  I’ve never had to touch a dead body and I don’t want to either. I’ve heard about what it is like and it sounds really awful, that someone you knew and loved who was breathing is now lifeless and their skin is all dry, with all the moisture taken out of their body. The death that surprised me the most  was Frank Sinatra Junior. From where I sit, he sounded to me like a very nice man, compared to his father and people had said he was one of the good ones. how many good guys do you know who have passed on? My guess is many, especially in the entertainment business. somehow I believe that George Carline was also a good guy, despite that his comedy in his more recent years was very dark. oh yeah, let us not forget that the album I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die came out this year, as George Carlin’s second posthumous release. His first was his 2008 album It’s Bad For Yah. All though it could also be his final album, recorded while he was alive. Anyway, I digress.
Will 2017 be another year of entertainers buying the farm at a high rate? I don’t know but I have to say possibly yes. We are going to see more and more of our celebrity heroes dying off and there will be more and more people from the current generation, paying tribute and talking about how they grew up with the celebrity Who had just died. Also, some talkshows Will focus on how people died and they already are, in some cases. For example: after Alan Thicke, George Michael and Carrie fisher had died, a talk radio station in Toronto, focussed on how they died and that their deaths were caused by either heart attack, heart failure or aortic dissection, which I had never even heard of until Alan Thicke passed away.
I wonder who will buy the farm this year. There are many big names reaching past 70 years old and some are even hitting 80 this year. Bill Cosby will be 80 years old on July 12 and Tommy Chong will be 79 this year, although he sounds years younger than that. We even have many people who are just turning 90 this year or older and could they be on the way to see the Grim Reaper? Even vera Lynn is still alive and she was one of the big singers during World War II And she is well into her 90s.
Anyway, let’s hope this year is done with, without anybody passing away today, tomorrow or New Year’s Eve.

The Day The Music Was Murdered

Hi folks. Today is a sad day for me, when it comes to some of my favourite bands and I will explain why, as you read the rest of this post.
Today marks the anniversaries of two murders in rock and heavy metal music and they have both affected me in varying degrees. On December 8, 1980 John Lennon, probably the most famous of the Beatles was shot and killed by mark david chapman, outside of his apartment in New York City. This took place after both him and Yoko Ono had finished a recording session for a song, which would appear on a Yoko Ono album years later. It’s all there on Wikipedia if you would like more information about the events that day. However I will say that John conducted his last interview that day, a few hours before mark david chapman murdered John. You will notice I didn’t capitalize his name because like the other murderer in this post, they don’t deserve to have their names written out properly, as they have killed two important iconic musicians who were and are loved by millions around the world.
Also on December 8th 2004, guitarist Dimebag daryl Lance Abbott was also murdered by a piece of nothing named nathan gail. The difference being that this murder took place in full view of everybody, who was at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus Ohio. This merger took place while Daryl was on stage with his band Damageplan and his brother Vincent Paul Abbott on drums, as they both were on their respective instruments and Pantera. The other big difference with the story is that in this case the murderer was killed, after he had shot, killed and or wounded various members of the road crew or fans. Then, a policeman came in and fired one shot and killed nathan gail, thus saving the lives of many people including Vinny Paul.
Now I will talk about where I was when I heard about both murders. In the case of John Lennon, I heard about it when I was at school when one of the staff mentioned it to me. He said something like “he was shot and he fell down” and I immediately thought that he was killed. I didn’t know yet that you could be shot and survive! I and many other fans of The Beatles were very saddened to hear of this and years later, it finally clicked and how important a figure John Lennon was to not just music but other things like politics. We’ve been robbed of a man who was a very good wordsmith and brought genres like musique concrete almost to the mainstream. If he was alive today I think he would be quite impressed with all the music out there, including the grunge, industrial, Brit pop and even ban such as Radiohead. Of course, he would always go back to his childhood music such as: Gene Vincent, Elvis Presley, buddy holly and the other people he listen to before getting full-time into music. Also, I learned to write songs through a radio program about him called The Lost Lennon Tapes. Most of the demo recordings ended up on the Beatles Anthology albums and elsewhere and that gave me more of the drive to want to try to be a musician.
In the case of Dimebag Darrell, I had actually seen him back in June 2001, when Pantera and a number of other bands played at what was then known as Copps Coliseum, now known as First Ontario Center in Hamilton Ontario Canada. One thing I can talk about is that some asshole threw a beer on me during the first song of one of the opening bands sets. In case you’re wondering, I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt plus my shoes and socks at the time and yes, I did kind of smell like a brewery for a while. However, it was a great show and of course, the last time Pantera would set foot in Canada before both the September 11 attacks and their break up.
 When the album New Found Power from Damageplan was released in 2004, I bought it on CD the day it came out and I loved it instantly. A highlight for me is the guitar solo on the song Moment Of Truth, which should have been released as a single. Then December 8th happened and I had actually heard about it the next morning at home on the radio. At first nobody said if any one was killed but I learned soon after hearing about it that it was Daryl, who had been murdered. It also happened that I was doing my grocery shopping that day and as you can imagine, it was difficult to concentrate after hearing such tragic news.
As for how heavy music has changed since then, not much has changed except the increase in guitar solos from newer bands like: Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch. Even bands like Mud Vayne decided to start putting guitar solos on their albums to augment the sound.
As a guitar player, I was and still am impressed with all the things he is done on Pantera albums and on New Found Power. I’m also quite happy that Brian May of Queen spoke up about the death of Daryl and I have a sneaking suspicion that Daryl was influence partly by Brian and his playing as well. However, he has never said that in interviews that I know of. If Daryl was alive today, I think that he would still be making music and still have the chops. Both of these guys were taken from us too early and if I could go back in time, I would make sure that they were both out of the way, of any danger to their lives.
As for the killers, I am glad that mark david chapman hasn’t been allowed to be paroled and I hope it stays that way. He can say sorry for what he did all he wants but it won’t change the fact that he did what he did to John Lennon. As for nathan gail, he got what he deserved and I’m happy. As for the families, I am glad that everyone is doing what they are doing and I am on their side, with all the annual events and such. I the case of the Lennon estate, keep fighting to keep mark david chapman behind bars and when he dies I will be happy. Shouldn’t he be on death row? After all, he did kill somebody and he knew what he was doing.
Anyway, I will be listening to an album with John Lennons last interview, which is available on iTunes and as for Daryl, I will probably be listening to New Found Power today as well.

September 11 15 years later

Hi all. Obviously I don’t need to remind you all who are reading this post, that today is the 15th anniversary of that terrible day. Yes, when the World Trade Center was collapsed by planes flow’n by terrorists. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I found out what had happened.I was doing my grocery shopping and I was having a great time. I had decided to take a taxi home and the cabbie was trying to find news of what was happening. Naturally, I thought it was another suicide bomber in Israel or something like that. I had heard about a lot of them on the news, from about September 2000 up until then. When I got home, I had no idea of what I was in for, while listening to the radio.

Eventually, I had heard about it on all radio stations and even when Howard Stern was on local Toronto radio station Q107, his show was talking about it and had people in the area helping him cover it. Obviously, his show was right in New York City so it made sense. Even the Crazy Cabbie was covering the story, less than a week or so after crying on the air when discussing a personal issue.

I was glued to my radio all day and most of the week with more information and repeated information on what had happened coming at me. After that I was thinking about how it was going to affect our entertainment. In my case it was New Metal that I was listening to at the time. I was afraid of the music being watered down to the point of being rather tame. Another way to go is to go all angry and write all about how we should kill others, who don’t like our open society. I was interested in how bands such as: Slipknot, System Of A Down and others who had released albums in the past year were going to react, when their new albums came out. In the case of System Of A Down, they wouldn’t be releasing any newmy written songs until 2005. All though Steal This Album was released a year later, with the song Boom which had somewhat of a related theme to what was going on politically.
I was also thinking about how much bands would have to scale back on pyrotechnics, particularly concussive Pyro which makes a loud booming sound at appropriate parts of songs to get the audience to make a lot of noise. When I saw Rob Zombey in April 2002 there were a lot of explosions but no booming, which disappointed me. However, other bands were using it still like Green Day and Slipknot, but not in Canada. I miss that and I hope it comes back, despite everything.
Another thing that also concerned me was how much things would change when I was traveling on the bus, whether it was public transit or intercity transit. Obviously, the July 30th 2008 murder on a Canadian Greyhound bus would be years away but I had thought that things would change at the bus station too. I have traveled much since then and not much has changed except for the rising price of tickets.
As for flying, I can’t speak to that because I haven’t flow’n since 1990 and that was only because I was on a sports trip with my school. Would what happened 15 years ago today Deter me from flying ever again? I can tell you emphatically no. Although, it would make me more vigilant but not vigilante.

Anyway, for me things haven’t changed all that much but I still think about that day every so often and wonder what would have happened if the flight from Boston was delayed or canceled. Would it have changed everything? I don’t know but it does make you wonder what would have been if things had been different that day, before the first plane hit at 8:46 AM. Let’s all try to remember that day and be glad that we’re still here and can live to talk Or think about it, from where we stood or sat that day.

Slipknot Iowa, 15 Years Later

Hi folks. This is an update of a post from a year ago today, looking back on my favourite album by Slipknot, released 15 years ago today. Iowa came out as the band were touring to promote it and while the band were further emerging from the success of their first and self titled debut album. We were promised a heavier and darker album and boy… did we get it and it was good too.For me, this was a turning point in the band because of how heavy it was, both musically and vocally for singer Corey Taylor. If you have it just listen to how hard he screams on the album and then, listen to his work after that on Stone Sour and later albums by both bands. You can hear the evolution in his singing and screaming from Iowa onwards and I think he has it all down to a science.
I remember the track Heretic Song was released to Radio as a rough mix of The Heretic Anthem, in June 2001. I actually like that version better than the one we get on Iowa, because there are more sounds at the end of it and that is my favourite thing about Slipknot. They weren’t afraid to put in such sounds as groans and screams just to give the song more energy. On later albums this happens sometimes but not as often as it did on the first two. Just think who they were working with at the time, to produce both albums! After all, Ross Robinson did produced the first two albums by Korn and the debut album by Limp Bizkit, as well as Roots by Sepultura and the sound was just as wild and live as was Slipknot’s sound at the time.

I was waiting all summer for the album to come out and when Left Behind was released as the first radio single, I was okay with it. Especially considering how heavy it and other songs I would hear on the radio from it, before the album was released. The songs: People = Shit, Disasterpiece, The Heretic Anthem, The Shape, I Am Hated, Skin Ticket and New Abortion were played on metal shows that I would listen to. There weren’t many interviews about the album that I heard before it came out but it didn’t matter because I didn’t expect to hear much from the band. They didn’t talk that much and that was fine with me at the time. Now they talk about a lot of stuff from their careers and that’s OK too.

This album is also significant for me in that it was the first one ever, that I actually purchased at midnight, the day of the release. I actually went downtown to the record store and bought it then and went home and gave the CD a spin or two or more, over the past 15 years. I can’t possibly go through the album track by track, so I will talk about as many songs as I can get my teeth into .

515 opens the album, with screams and sounds from DJ Sid Wilson. His Grandfather had recently died and all the emotion from that came out in that short avant-garde track.

People = Shit opened the album with the first full song, which came at the listener hard and fast, like Death Metal and it is certainly relentless. With fast vocals and intense screams and growls the song pummeled you into submission. It became a fan favourite immediately and is one of my favorites along with the track Eyeless from the first album.

Disasterpiece is much the same but a bit slower, with a slight let up in intensity in the breakdown. There is a bit of melody coming through in the vocals this time but after a reprieve the song goes back to its original high intensity. Much like the previous track it incorporates some elements of Death Metal but I think that Thrash Metal is more what is heard in this song.

My Plague is the second single and one of the few songs with a melodic chorus. However it still is as intense as the previous tracks. The single version has a much less intense lead vocal from Corey but despite that it still retains the same ferocity. It appears on the soundtrack of resident Evil, as well as the deluxe version of Iowa and the 2012 compilation Antennas To Hell.

Everything Ends goes back somewhat, to People = Shit and Disasterpiece but has some of the melody of My Plague in it. It is missing any trace of Extreme metal in it. However, it still is as angry and intense as anything else previous to it or yet to come.

The Heretic Anthem was the first single… sort of, but it was the rough mix that came out first with the slightly different title that I mentioned earlier. When it was played it also became a fan favourite just like People = Shit and Disasterpiece. I think the main reason for this is because of the chorus: “if your five five five then I’m six six six” which Corey would have the croud respond to before going into the song, with the sampled countdown from 8 to 0. As I said earlier, I like the rough mix because there was more sound effects at the end of the track like breaking glass and screams and grunts from Corey.

Gently is also another favourite of mine because of how it is structured. It starts off quiet and haunting then it builds to a Slipknot like crescendo at the end. It had been around for a few years, ever since before Corey joined the band and it was recorded for their debut EP Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. which came out in 1996 with original vocalist Anders Colsefani. He later stated that he had no problem with Corey taking over for him and called him a good guy. I’ve met Corey and despite what he is being known for now, (I-E) throwing fans out of Slipknot shows and dowsing people with bottles of water, who are using their smartphones at said concerts I agree.

Left Behind was the first single for radio but despite it’s melody it didn’t translate well to it. Thus, it was made a fan favourite. The strange thing about the end of the song is that it had a sound of an airplane and that was certainly scary For some people to hear that, especially after the September 11 attacks.

I can’t really say too much about: The Shape, I Am Hated, Skin Ticket, New Abortion or Metabolic because there really isn’t that much to say about those songs. All though if I had to talk about any of them, The Shape incorporates a loud quiet dynamic with the quiet verses and of course, the loud choruses. Skin Ticket does show a slower trippy side to the bands music and that later appears in songs like Iowa and Gehenna from All Hope Is Gone.

The final track Iowa is one that I can speak to because it is also a favourite of mine and I think it should have been released as a single, just to piss off some people if for no other reason then to just make them angry. It is such a long song with many ebbs and flows within it but it isn’t an easy ride through it. The song even includes back masking with the words “shit don’t look at me” being heard backwards during the second half of the song. The only reason I know what Corey is saying is that there is an iOS app called R-Player, which allows you to listen to your music backwards. I used it on my Beatles songs that had backwards singing and sounds and well… why not Slipknot?
The song has many sounds like sampled screams and evil laughs throughout. The other thing about it is that singer Corey Taylor has talked about how he recorded the vocals for it. He recorded the song While naked. He threw up all over himself and cut himself up with glass, just to bring out more intensity. Even other members of the band thought he was crazy to do this. But hay… it worked for the song and was a perfect way to end the album on a rather chilling note.
This album is my favourite and is indeed, the quintessential Slipknot album. After all, Iowa was named the greatest album of this century so far. Others are good but this one tops them all in the energy and in the musicians developments. There may not be any guitar solos on this album but there is some technicalities on this album musically. Just listen to the breakdown of My Plague and you will hear a slint of musical sophistication. Even the guitar riff for Left Behind has a degree of technicality to it. It reminds me of The Smashing Pumpkins 1996 single Zero but unlike that song, the riff goes up and down like a roller coaster. Yet, it is a relatively easy riff to play on guitar, if you listen to how it is being played. I won’t get into it here but just trust me on this.

Even the members of the band look to cull inspiration from this album for future albums with songs from All Hope Is Gone and .5, The Grey Chapter having elements from it on some songs on both albums. The track Goodby is a perfect example of how similar it and Gently are to each other in that they both start off quiet and haunting and build up to being heavy. All though in the case of Goodby, it goes into another song entirely, while Gently has a section which brings the song to its close. Even the track Gehenna from All Hope Is Gone sort of picks up where Skin Ticket left off but is much more subdued and trippy, yet still intense. Also, Corey has said that .5, The Grey Chapter would take elements from Iowa and Vol. 3, The Sabliminal Verses which they have done.

Will Slipknot ever try and perform Iowa in its entirety like other bands have performed full albums on tour? I can’t see it happening but you never can say never with them. They just might try it one night out of the blue and surprise all of us. I don’t put anything past them, even doing guest spots on animated TV shows. After all, most of the band our fathers and have offspring who are either fully grown or are still growing up. I can invision them on a Simpsons Treehouse Of Horror episode or a musical episode involving Otto, Bart or Homer. Well, I can dream… can’t I?

Well, that’s about it for todays entry. Talk to you sooner than you or I think and stay sic.

The Simpsons Gift Of Life

Hi folks and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. Okay, another death in the music industry to talk about and this one will be known to fans of 1980s heavy metal and in particular, fans of Ronnie James Dio. Former basest Jimmy Bain died earlier this week at the age of 67 and his best known song in North America is Rainbow In The Dark, from Dio’s first album Holy Diver back in 1983. He also participated and helped with putting together Hear ‘n Aid, which was heavy metal’s response to Do They Know Its Christmas and We Are The World. The song was called Stars and featured musicians from many of the bans around at that time. Even future Simpsons guest star Rob Halford was one of the main vocalists on the track. RIP Jimmy and I hope that you and Ronnie are jamming together where ever you are.

This weeks post is about the gift of life on The Simpsons. We have witnessed the births of all 3 Simpsons children on the episodes: I Married Marge with the birth of Bart, Lisa’s First Word with the birth of Lisa and And Maggie Makes Three with the birth of Maggie. They all have great stories to go along with them, including the marriage of Homer and Marge, Bart going through the terrible two’s and Homer quitting his job at the Nuclear Plant and working at Barney’s Bowl-A-Rama until he learns that Marge is pregnant with Maggie. Then he returns to the Nuclear Plant, where he is given a large plaque which says “don’t forget: you’re here forever” by Mr. Burns and Smithers, for his desertion earlier in the episode And Maggie Makes Three. This plaque was placed in front of Homer’s desk, in order to break what was left of Homer’s spirit and he keeps baby pictures of Maggie there to cover up part of the message saying “do it for her”.

The show has also had some other births of not only people but of other animals. Santa’s Little Helper and his mate gave birth to a litter of puppies in the episode Two Dozen And One Greyhounds, Bart killed a Mother bird who would have given birth to lizards that would have eaten her too in the episode Bart The Mother. Even Homer helped a woman give birth to a baby boy in an elevator in the episode Labor Pains named Homer Jr. Let’s not forget to remember Troy McClure’s short film “Fuzzy Bunny’s Guide To You Know What”, when Bart’s fourth grade class saw Fuzzy Bunny and his mate Fluffy Bunny give birth to 14 beautiful bunny’s and 8 survived. This was in the episode Bart’s Friend Falls In Love and Milhouse had a brief relationship with Samantha Stanky, until Bart told her strict father about the two of them kissing in his treehouse.

Those are some examples of births on The Simpsons, whether they are in flashbacks, sex educational films or one time characters. I may have actually covered them all I’m sure but I haven’t really mentioned all the names involved. Speaking of birth days, Chris Ladesma turned another year older on Thursday. If you don’t know who I’m talking about you may have noticed the link to his blog at the end of each post. He is the Music Editor on The Simpsons from day 1 and he has great stories to tell. I’ve read a few of them and well, as a music fan and a musician I find them very interesting.

Well that’s about it for this weeks post. Check out Chris Ladesma’s blog. He is the Music Editor for The Simpsons and has been since day 1.
Also, check out Yeardley Smith’s blog at
Don’t forget about Marchez Vous, which is her women’s shoe designer company, which she started earlier in the decade. You can check out their website at
Additionally, for more news on The Simpsons, you can go to
You can also comment here or you can email me at and I will reply as soon as I can to all messages I receive. If you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on Facebook you can comment directly to me that way too.
You can follow Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean on Twitter and his Twitter handle is @AlJean.
He has ran the show since Season 13 and has ran it during Seasons 3 and 4.
Anyway, that is it for this weeks post. Talk to you again next Sunday

Let’s Talk About Death

Hi folks and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. Okay, we have another death in the entertainment industry to talk about and that is Glenn Frey of the band The Eagles. He was 67 years old and sang the lead on such songs as: New Kid In Town, Take It Easy, Already Gone, Heartache Tonight, among others. He also had some success as a solo artist with hits like: Smugglers Blues, The Heat Is On, You Belong To The City and True Love in the 1980s on movie soundtracks and on his solo albums.

I’m glad the Eagles reunited when they did for the fans in 1994 and even released new music since then too. The other thing that was good is that nothing really was tarnished from what we remember them for because everyone was in great health and sounded great on their instruments. Sadly, Glenn is gone now and I was shocked to hear that he died because he has always had a great healthy body, with the exception of some stomach problems in 1994. He was one of the driving forces of the band, along with Don Henley and will be missed.

Speaking of death, this weeks post talks about such deaths which have occurred in The Simpsons timeline. I have a few that are of significans to characters in the sho Which I will acknowledge here.

The first one is Bleeding Gums Murphy, who appeared in the episodes: Moaning Lisa, Dancin’ Homer and ‘Round Springfield. This last one was when he met his unfortunate demise in the hospital, after he loaned Lisa his saxophone so she could play it with her school band; most of whom were getting their appendix taken out, after Bart had his taken out. This death obviously hit Lisa pretty hard and I don’t blame her for wanting everyone in Springfield to know all about Bleeding Gums, especially after Reverend Lovejoy screwed up his name And ocupation, while conducting the funeral service for him. It would have been nice if the joke was actually revealed that Dr. Hibburt and Bleeding Gums were actually long lost half brothers before his death. But how would this have shaped the rest of the show from there on in?

The second death may not have been as important to Homer as it is to his son. Frank Grimes appeared in the episode Homer’s Enemy and had been driven crazy by the incompetence of Homer and how he had everything he wanted despite his short comings. This is while Frank had to work for everything he had and after trying to make a fool of Homer by entering him in a contest for children, Homer wins. Frank runs a muck throughout the plant and comes across a sign saying “very high voltage” and decides to touch the wires anyway and dies as a result. What if Homer and Frank actually liked each other? Would it have been as funny? What if Frank Grimes Jr. Hadn’t tried to kill Homer in a later episode and just fixed his car, while introducing himself. Homer seems to have no recollection of Frank Grimes when he is mentioned so, I’m not sure how I would approach it if I was to write a fan fiction story about Frank Grimes Jr in Homer’s life. However, I have been thinking about it ever since watching the episode Homer’s Enemy.

The third death which is important to not only Ned Flanders but to the show itself is Maude Flanders. She was killed after a volley of t-shirts hit her, as she was going to get hot dogs for Ned and the kids. Homer even felt remorse for what happened and tried to help Ned anyway he could, in his own idiotic way. He made a video revealing dangerously personal information about Ned and somehow, Ned had some dates but nothing ever really panned out. Until he met a Christian Rock singer who was playing a song at the church service that week, after Ned almost didn’t go. He found love later of course, when he met and married Edna Krabappel and now she’s gone too. Will Ned remarry again?

There are other deaths I could have mentioned here but these are the 3 most important ones which have happened within the timeline of The Simpsons. I made sure not to include any deaths from the Treehouse Of Horror series because they are not within the timeline and they only happen for that short within the episode. For example: Groundskeeper Willie was killed 3 times during Treehouse Of Horror V and Homer and Bart have died a few times within varius Treehouse episodes too.

Well that’s about it for this weeks post. Check out Chris Ladesma’s blog. He is the Music Editor for The Simpsons and has been since day 1.
Also, check out Yeardley Smith’s blog at
Don’t forget about Marchez Vous, which is her women’s shoe designer company, which she started earlier in the decade. You can check out their website at
Additionally, for more news on The Simpsons, you can go to
You can also comment here or you can email me at and I will reply as soon as I can to all messages I receive. If you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on Facebook you can comment directly to me that way too.
You can follow Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean on Twitter and his Twitter handle is @AlJean.
He has ran the show since Season 13 and has ran it during Seasons 3 and 4.
Anyway, that is it for this weeks post. Talk to you again next Sunday