In September, my wife and I went to Nashville to celebrate our one-year wedding anniversary. We chose Nashville because we wanted to go someplace that felt new but didn’t require a ridiculous amount of travel time or money. Also, everyone I’ve spoken with that’s been to Nashville has enjoyed their time there. In addition to eating an insane amount of fried food and meat, our trip was punctuated by several music-related excursions, which I detail below.
Neal Schon is the founding member and lead guitarist for Journey, one of the most successful and beloved rock bands of all time. In addition to his amazing work with Journey, Neal is a former member of Santana and Bad English, and he’s had a prolific career as a solo artist as well. Journey is touring this summer with Def Leppard, and, following the tour, Neal is releasing a new solo album: Universe.
Rod Stewart is the first concert I ever attended and I’m a big fan of The Babys, so it was a pleasure to speak with Tony Brock. He is a founding member of The Babys and the band’s drummer, and he spent 12 years drumming for Rod Stewart, starting with the 1981 album Tonight I’m Yours.
The Babys have a new album coming out, Timeless: Anthology II, and you can be a part of it. Check out the band’s Pledge campaign for all of the great reward and benefits you can get by support this effort. It’s going to be a fantastic record, and I highly recommend that all music fans check it out.
Four By Fate, the killer new hard rock band started by Tod Howarth and John Regan of Frehley’s Comet, is releasing its debut album, Relentless, on June 3. Howarth and Regan are steeped in rock and roll history. These two rock veterans have worked with some of the biggest names in the business over the past 30 years, including Ace Frehley, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Cheap Trick, John Waite, Billy Idol, and Davide Lee Roth, just to name a few. The group is rounded out by Patrick James Gasperini (Pound, Flywheel) and former Skid Row drummer Rob Affuso. Other contributors include Stet Howland (drummer for WASP), Sean Kelly (guitarist for Helix and Nelly Furtado) and celebrated Twisted Sister drummer AJ Pero, who recorded six tracks on the album before his untimely passing in 2015. The drum tracks that Pero recorded for Relentless are thought to be his last recordings.
This past Tuesday night John Waite kicked off his acoustic “Wooden Heart” tour in New Hope, PA and I was fortunate enough to be front row for the show. As with the three previous times I saw John live, this concert was excellent. However, it being an acoustic performance made for a much different atmosphere. This time around the performance was more intimate and the softer guitars placed John’s voice front and center, which is a good thing because the first time he sang a note it blew my mind how good he still sounds. The man is 63, yet his voice barely sounds any different than it did back in the 1980s. His tone is perfect and he emotes in a way few of his peers can. It’s really something to marvel. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
Neal Schon is my favorite guitarist and, in my opinion, the greatest melodic rock guitarist of all time. He’s written classic songs, played legendary riffs and had a prolific solo career that is unparalleled in the music industry.
On the heels of the release of his latest solo album, Vortex, which is terrific, Neal took the time to grant me an interview. Speaking with him was an absolute honor, and we covered a lot of ground in our discussion. We spoke about everything, including his thoughts on working with Steve Perry, John Waite and Deen Castronovo, as well as how his latest masterpiece, Vortex, came to fruition.
I hope you enjoy the interview. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of Vortex. If you’re a classic rock fan, or just someone who appreciates inspired instrumental music, you’ll love it.
If you’re a classic rock fan there’s a lot of good music that was recently released or is going to be released soon. Three of my favorites include a double-album by Journey guitarist Neal Schon, an album of all-new material by Rod Stewart and a remastered deluxe edition of a live album by John Waite.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite classic rock bands perform live: The Babys. No, this lineup doesn’t include John Waite, Jonathan Cain or Ricky Phillips, but that’s OK. All of these former members of The Babys are flourishing in their musical journeys and the current lineup of The Babys is doing the same. With Tony Brock on the drums, Wally Stocker and Joey Sykes on guitar and John Bisaha on lead vocals and bass, The Babys’ know how to bring it live.
I’ve interviewed many authors over the past few years, but it wasn’t until recently that I got to interview my all-time favorite: Harlan Coben. With over 60 million books in print and his last seven consecutive novels debuting at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list, you could say Harlan is a favorite among many readers, and with good reason. His thrillers are unpredictable and compelling, and they feature fully-realized characters that stay with you after the final page has been turned.
Harlan’s newest novel, The Stranger, is being released in the U.S. on March 24. Stay tuned for my review of the book, which I’m sure is fantastic. Until then, check out my interview with Harlan below, where we discuss everything from Governor Chris Christie to driving in the fog with your headlights on. Enjoy!
Today, I interviewed one of my all-time favorite drummers, Deen Castronovo of Revolution Saints, Journey and formerly Bad English. Deen was a pleasure to speak with and we covered a lot of ground, everything from his drumming as a child to his current project with Revolution Saints. Speaking of which, make sure you pick up a copy of their debut album when it’s released on February 24. It’s the greatest melodic rock album I’ve heard in years – stay tuned for my review of it. Until then, enjoy my interview with Deen.