A residency that lives up to it’s name. Motley Crue Show 3 of 4.

This night started early.  About 3 and a half hours before show time. My partner in Crue crime, Kate and I,  wanted to submerse ourselves in all things Motley Crue and if you want to do that you’d better get there early.

Of course the best place to start at the Hard Rock is the Circle Bar and that’s what we did.  While sipping a few Captain and Cokes you could see, feel, and hear the iconic hotel start to fill up and the energy build as time passed and show time drew nearer. With the immersion fully under way I insisted that we visit Rock, Paper, Photo, the Hard Rocks fairly new art gallery which features professional Rock Band photographs that are available to purchase as well as to peruse gallery style.

A few days prior artist David Banegas and photographer Mark Weiss unveiled their Salute to Motley Crue: Theatre of Paint.  This display does not disappoint.  When I had my daughter at the show last Sunday we spent some time in the gallery and there was one photograph in particular I really wanted to see again. I loved it the moment I laid eyes on it and honestly I really want it for my house.  Oddly enough this is not a photo of Motley Crue or any member of the band.  Strange right?  It’s actually a photo taken of the protesters at the PMRC (parents Music Resource Center) Senate hearings in 1985.  Thsese were the hearings that Dee Snyder (Twisted Sister) “spoke on behalf of musicians Freedom of Speech and artistic expression.”  It’s just a very moving photograph that really captures what was going on in regards to rock music at that time.  I love it.  I want it.  When back in the gallery though it was gone. I was crushed as I was certain that someone must have already bought it.  And I really wanted to show it to Kate.  But, alas!  It was just moved further down in the display.  When I saw it I was a bit boisterous in my find and the man standing at the table next to it proceeded to ask me what I liked about the photo.  I tried to explain, but I had a minor alcohol haze happening, so not sure if my explanation came out exactly right?  But I digress.  I ended up asking him if he was the photographer and he was.  How very cool is that?!  We talked: He liked my pants and said they were very Kevin Dubrow.  I said “Thanks, but I was going for more of a Nikki Sixx circa Theatre of Pain look”. Kate jumped in stating I was originally planning to put the Nikki black stripes under my eyes, but I couldn’t commit.  Then it gets even weirder.  Weiss suggests I have the Mohawked man at the counter put the stripes on me while he takes pictures.  And what did you know I just happened to have a super sized, jet black, body crayon in my purse.  It was on.  How and why would I ever say no?  So that happened.  Then he had me stand in front of one of the killer new paintings of Nikki Sixx, while holding a photograph of Nikki  on the Theatre of Pain tour when he was  wearing very similar clothes to what I had on.  It was surreal. It was crazy fun.  But, I am most certainly not a model.  The “make this growly face” and “pout like Nikki” directives were lost on me I think?  Won’t really know until the pics are ever seen…so we “bid them a sweet farewell” and cruised on to our next destination unknown.

Except that we had somewhat of an idea.  The talented and beautiful Kerri Kasem had tweeted that she would be outside MR Luckys around 8 if anyone wanted to stop by and say hello.  Um, yes!  Kerri is  a former VJ and current radio co-host with Nikki Sixx on Sirius XM radio show Sixx Sense.  She’s super sweet, very funny, and an honest rock loving music fan. And although she is talented in her own right, she is also the daughter of legendary DJ Kasey Kasem.  I grew up listening to his voice on the radio and find it intriguing and inspiring that his children followed in his footsteps as well.  We had to meet her!

This meeting did not disappoint.  Kerri is gracious and genuinely nice. Had a moment to chat, let her know how much we enjoyed Sixx Sense, and took one of my new favorite photos.  She’s a girl you can totally envision hanging out with.  After a quick nod to her favorite band, Guns and Roses, we were once again off on our quest for total Motley Crue absorption.  And also, it was time to get to the actual show!

About 18 min past posted start time, to let everyone get in, the show blasts off again with “Red Hot”.  It’s awesome.  The set list is the same every night of the residency.  I don’t care.  It’s Motley Crue.  Vince can scream the phone book (haha, who’s seen a phone book lately?) and Nikki, Mick, and Tommy can play along and I’ll still go.  As long as they light everything in the room on fire of course.   So they rocked.  No major changes from day one except a short guitar solo by Mick Mars was added (this was in the Sunday show as well, so thinking it just didn’t make it into opening night only).

But the crowd at this show was the best so far!  I was mildly disappointed at crowd participation and excitement levels on 9/18 and 9/22.  Not this time!  People were giving their heart and souls right back to the band and it made the entire experience that much better. The Crue even pointed out a group of about 6 guys, dressed as Nuns, hanging off the middle balcony.  Awesome.  Love the foresight and dedication from these guys!  These are the little nuggets of inspiration that make a residency more than just a stop in any random city on any random tour.  Those times are fun, but they can never measure up to an experience like this.  Cue piano on fire, confetti, and the most pyro you’ve ever seen and the show is over.

We are dead.  I feel like I just worked out for 2 hours.  I’m silently contemplating opening a Motley Crue themed, arena rock style gym as I shuffle through the crowd and into the casino.

We blindly walk to the circle bar for drinks because our throats are burning with butane and hoarse from Shouting at the Devil.  It’s very loud and crowded and it hit’s me that I’m starving.  Like I had a piece of French Toast at 11 am and now its 11 pm type starving.  Bolt to MR Luckys, devour said cheeseburger while waited on by server extraordinaire Bradley Sean Kennelley, and we’re out. Oh, but wait!  While we were waiting for the food to arrive I dug out of my purse the card that Weiss had given me in the gallery.  When he originally handed it to me I just put it in my purse without looking.  I had time now, so when I took it out I read the short bio and flipped it over.  Guess what was on the other side?  The PMRC protester photograph!  Score! Now I have the photo.  I still want the framed, beautiful, full sized one of course…but, this should hold me over.

Next we head to Vinyl to try and sneak a peak at Street Drum Corps.  We were fortunate enough to see Tommy Lee perform with them while standing at the front door, run into the most talented Mark Weiss again, grab a quick photo with him cuz I forgot to earlier and then couldn’t find him later…and he conveniently shows up there…sweet.

And we really are fading fast at this point.  I joke that the way things are going we might run into Nikki in the hallway on the way out.  We actually run into his dog.  Not sure who was walking him, but I recognized that well groomed, shimmering, golden retriever from a mile away.  Or from up the hallway in front of the tattoo shop if you want to get technical.  I bend down, ask if this is Leica (which I of course knew that it was) gave him a quick pet and scratch behind the ears and that was that.

Another epic night spent at the Hard Rock immersed in Motley Crue.  I love that they do this.  If you haven’t gone to a show yet hurry!  Only one week left and it’s so worth it.

***On a side note: At this point I have met every member of both Nikkis’ bands (Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, DJ Ashba, and James Michael) his radio co-host Kerri Kasem, his long time band photographer Mark Weiss, and his dog Leica. Will I EVER meet the elusive Mr Sixx?  Stay tuned.***


Please see all corresponding photos on my instagram: Kellycrue

An Evening in Hell: Opening Night Review

My favorite band of all time is back!

Wednesday September 18 had been a date stuck in my head for months as it marks the opening night of Motley Crues second residency at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Of course I had to work that day, but the ever moving mobile billboards touting the show dates kept me focused on the task at hand: getting out of there in time to get ready for Crue!

The Hard Rock was completely abuzz by the time we rolled in about 7:15pm. Just enough time to grab a couple 2 for 1 cocktails and get in line for General Admission.

This is the only sore spot for me. I bought these tickets on American Express Presale and shelled out who knows how much in Ticketmaster fees to be the first to buy tickets. Bad mistake. I bought GA, based on the venue setup of the first residency. At those shows GA was right up front, exactly where it should be. This keeps the true, diehard, and dedicated right where we belong…in the front!

The current set up puts about 15 rows of Gold Circle seating up front, then some space and THEN General Admission behind the sound board. Sucks. This might be acceptable for some, but not for me. Not after last time right at the end of the stage. But, whatever. I learned this the hard way and my next 3 shows will be seen up close in Gold Circle seating.

I’m not sure why they changed the setup? Rumor is that the band wanted more money and they are able to charge more for the Gold Circle seats. If that’s the case they should’ve just charged $130 for GA and left it the way it was before. According to a Tweet some time ago from Tommy (@mrtommyland) this was not a band decision, but a promoter decision. That makes more sense to me. I happened to be surrounded by more than a few high rollers last time that were less than happy about their pricey suits being blood splattered (the blood was later ceased all together). These same cry babies probably didn’t want to stand either. Whatever. We were still in the very front of GA and the Joint isn’t that big so the show kicked ass regardless of the fact that I couldn’t look directly into Vince’s eyes. I did feel badly for the fans that were surprised by this though. I was the bearer of bad news to many in line about the set up change and none were pleased. These were all fans that had been at the previous residency so they really had no idea until I filled them in. For me I had a few months to become used to the idea. Also, I had 3 more shows coming up so cie la vie.

Sooo… on to the show! The ushers were dressed in a sort of flowy, gothic, gate keepers of hell attire. I love it. I seriously enjoy that during these Crue residencies their theme is detailed and carried through every aspect of the experience and every corner of the hotel.

Once our spot was secured and the countdown on my iphone had reached 0 days 0 hours 0 minutes and 0 seconds, the Crue exploded on stage about 10 min later.

They opened with Red Hot! Red Hot people! This is epic. The set list was made for the Crue fan that has been with the band from the get go. Red Hot turned into Wildside and Louder than Hell (are you catching on to the old school theme?). From here Saints of Los Angeles, Too Young to Fall in Love, Same Ol Situation, Looks that Kill, Don’t Go Away Mad, Livewire, In the Begining, Shout at the Devil, Motherfucker of the Year, Too Fast For Love, Primal Scream, Dr Feelgood, Girls, Girls, Girls…and then they said goodnight. Of course this couldn’t be the end though?! Tommy had to come back out and play a baby grand that was smoldering under flames and then the show finished up with the most appropriate Kickstart My Heart.

During this monstrous two hour set the stage lived up to the hype.

The show was inherently more stripped down than the previous residency. Gone are the aerialists, stilt walkers,the backup dancers and backing vocals. This show was the most stripped down I have ever seen Crue. It was gritty and fantastic. In the end what I want to see and hear is Crue and with this new, industrial look inside Hell, that is exactly what you get. Tommy was a bit lost in the hellfire and without the drum roller coaster of the past few years, or the overhead spinning drum sets of many, many, tours ago, and the immense amount of fire all over the entire stage as well as the air above it, visually Tommy was a little lost. Not sonically of course. Just not as visually present as I’m used to seeing him. Also, no drum solo!? In the 20 or more times I’ve seen Crue I cannot recall a time when there was not a drum solo. Not sure if this will remain the same throughout the remaining show? I had heard that there was initially supposed to be some sort of dancing robot situation happening that was nixed by the Clark County Fire Dept. Perhaps they hadn’t had time to develop something new? Perhaps Tommy said “Fuck you. If I can’t do what I want then I won’t do anything at all?” I don’t know. I’m guessing. Makes sense though. On that note, there wasn’t a guitar solo either. Weird. Like I said before: It was a stripped down Crue. It was awesome. The “Evening in Hell” moniker was right on point. There was certainly more fire than I’ve ever seen at a show. Ever. It was hot. It filled the room. I smelled like butane the next morning when I woke up. This is not merely marketing. My friend Monica who was with me that night even looked a bit afraid while she scanned the Joint for emergency exits just in case. I informed her to save herself if necessary. There are worse ways to go out then rocking out at a Motley Crue show. But truly it’s safe. The fire dept is on hand at each show. Don’t be afraid! Although at times the fire seemed to be breathing, it was apparent that things were under control. Twice it appeared that a few spots of fire (one on the drum riser and later one at the top of the back curtain) were not part of the show and they were quickly put out by stage hands. No harm done.

And that bass. Nikki debuted his bass that shoots flames last year. In this show that beast was put to some serious use. Flames were shot out of its neck of whenever Nikki got the chance. Killer!

All in all this show amazed as only the Crue can.

I’m looking forward to Sept 22, Sept 28, and October 5. Last time there were many elements added and deleted between Opening Night and Closing Night. The show evolved and I’m thinking that may remain true this time as well.

But even if nothing changes at all I’m happy with that.

Long live Motley Crue. See you on Sunday!

Concert Season is Here!

Even if you took Christmas, New Years Eve and every Sunday Funday of the year and mixed them all together you still couldn’t top the next two months of Concert Season in Las Vegas!

Sure we are technically on the downslope of 2013, but we’re goin’ out with a bang.

09/01/13  Black Sabbath-–  This Labor Day Weekend (the unofficial end of Summer) in true Metal fashion Black Sabbath will be taking over the MGM Grand Garden.  Truthfully speaking, the MGM Grand is my least favorite venue in town.  I’ve been spoiled by intimate venues like The Joint, Vinyl, HOB, and the Pearl.  But an arena band calls for a true arena and there’s no better  act than Black Sabbath to make the MGM Grand the ideal loacation for a rock show of this scale.  A perfect way to start off the season.

(Update: One of the BEST shows I’ve ever seen.)

09/06/13 The Cult-– Since they are performing the entire Electric album, it’s one of my husband’s favorite bands ever, and back in the late 90’s they broke up the night before I was supposed to see them, there’s no way I’m missing this one!  Hopefully the HOB won’t be quite as oversold as Slash was and we can just claim a space at the bar and take in the magic of the Cult’s Electric album in style!

(Update: Missed it…)

09/14/13 Sin City Sinners w/ Special Guest Sebastian Bach— My favorite local band the Sin City Sinners at my favorite local bar, Vamp’d with one of the most amazing lead singers in all of rock music Sebastian Bach!  I’ve seen this match up before and it does nothing but kick major ass!  On top of all this amazing, tickets are only $15.  What a way to keep the ball rolling from Sabbath and hold me over til Crue.  I feel blessed.

(Update: Totally amazing show. Bas was on point as usual vocally. Wasn’t a fan of the “fight” currently waging between Sebastian Bach and Nikki Sixx which was brought up repeatedly, but hey what are you gonna do? It’s Rock and Roll and sometimes it’s messy. Especially when memories are harbored in a haze of drugs and alcohol.)

09/15/13  Carnival of Madness In my attempt to keep current and abreast of new music, I’ll be taking in the Carnival of Madness tour when it comes to The Joint.  Headlined by Shinedown and Papa Roach, the tour will also feature Skillet, In This Moment, and We as human.  The only one I haven’t heard of is the last band, but hey why not?  I first saw Shinedown open for Van Halen, back when Sammy was still playing with them, and I was pretty impressed.  Since then I’ve only heard good things.  These bands area all on heavy rotation on Sirius XM Octane channel , so needless to say I’m pretty psyched to catch them live.  Especially in a general admission crowd at the most amazing mid size venue in town, The Joint!

(Update: It starts in about an hour and no way I can make it. Had too much fun last night at the Sinners show).

09/18/13 Motley Crue–  This is just THE BEST THING EVER!  As if catching 4 shows of the previous residency were not enough, CRUE is COMING BACK.  It’s really almost beyond words how exciting this is for me.  September 18 is the opening night of the tour so there’s no way in Hell I would miss this.  Only downside is that I have GA tickets.  I bought them on pre-sale because at the last residency we would just walk right up to the front of the stage and that was that.  I didn’t realize when I purchased these that they flipped it this time.  There is Gold Circle seating in the front, then GA behind that.  Sucks!  Especially since, had I know, I could’ve just bought the damn seats up front.  Whatever though.  I have 3 other shows where I have the Gold Circle seating.  The point is that it’s opening night and I’ll be there. Enough said.

(Update: Show starts in 3 days, 3 hours, 23 minutes, and 40 seconds).

09/21/13 iheartradio Village-  Every year that iheart radio festival comes I’m always sitting without tickets. Not that I really care to go…although I see they have now added Paul McCartney!  But mostly because it’s a combo of many acts taht my daughter really likes and I’m itching to get her to some live shows now that she’s almost 13.  Alas, tickets generally sell out in like 3 seconds and they are really expensive. This eyar though they are doing some sort of daytime parking lot show with Miley Cyrus, Avril Levigne, Neyo, Jason Derulo, The Wanted, The Band Perry, Twenty One Pilots, Krewella, Pete Tong, Awolnation.  Seems like a good time and after the whole Mileygate at the VMA’s who know what might go down?  Actually kinda looking forward to it.

09/22/13 Motley Crue—  This will be a most special Crue show for me as it is the first time I will get to take my soon to be 13 year old daughter to see them!  Of course she has been blessed with growing up with Crue tunes her whole life.  Even so, she hasn’t embraced them as a fan.  With this show I hope she finally does. At the very least she will get first hand knowledge of what a rock show should be.  She is really into bands like Black Veil Brides, whose are greatly influenced by the Crue.  She doesn’t believe me…probably becasue I am her Mother so I am not cool….after this show she will realize a few things 1) Her bands are most certainly influenced by mine 2) I am super cool.  The show is on a school night.  That’s rock and roll!

09/28/13 Motley Crue–  Another Crue show of a whole other level.  It’s a Saturday Night.  No work the next day. Nothing to do but Rock.  Just me, Kate, and whoever else wants to have the most fun you can have with Motley Crue, in Vegas, on a weekend.

10/02/13 Saxon/Fozzy—  I’ve never seen either of these bands, but I love Vamp’d and I’m a big fan of Chris Jericho (lead singer of Fozzy and ambassador of Rock and Roll, host of the Golden God Awards, former WWE wrestler and alum of Dancing with the Stars).  As for Saxon, Crue actually used to open for them, and they were at the forefront of the 80’s rock scene.  Must go to pay my respects.

10/04/13 The Winery Dogs–I was turned onto this band by Eddie Trunk, whose opinion on music I whole heartedly respect.  He talked these guys up so much on That Metal Show on VH1 Classic and his weekly radio show on Trunk Nation, Sirius XM Radio, that I had to check them out.  They rock.  Just real, straight forward rock played by professional and technical rock music geniuses.  It’s a 3 piece if you can believe that. Mike Portnoy (of Dream Theater)  on drums, Billy Sheehan (David Lee Rith, Steve Vail, Mr Big) on Bass and Ritchie Kotzen (Who’s basically played with anyone and everyone) on guitar and vocals.  I jsut really, really like these guys.  I’m excited for something new and they are playing at Vamp’d.  Awesome.  Again tickets are only $15…what a steal!

10/05/13 Motley Crue-–  The last  Saturday of the last weekend of the residency.  Super excited that my husband and one of our best friends in the world, the amazing Darren Weiler and his lovely girlfriend will be joining me for this final performance of “An Evening in Hell”, which Nikki Sixx assures will be intimate: “Last time our goal was to [be] theatrical …  giving [fans] more eye candy than your usual rock show. This time our feeling is to bring it back with the four band members and the songs,” Sixx said. This time around, “Everybody has a view of the band members and everybody can make eye contact with us.”  We are  moving into a suite at the Hard Rock for this show since I just can’t bear to leave when it’s over.  Lots of friends coming down for this one, so it’ll be rock and roll debauchery with a group of many.  Can’t wait!  It’ll be our last opportunity to absorb all things Crue!

And that’s that.

11 show in 35 days.

Starting now….see you on the other side!

Book Review: Sex, Drugs’ Ratt & Roll My Life in Rock” A Memoir by Stephen Pearcy with Sam Benjamin

Not since 2001’s Motley Crue Bio “The Dirt” have I been so vividly transported onto the Sunset Strip of the early 1980’s.  In Stephen Pearcy’s Memoir “Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll My Life in Rock” written with “American Gangbang” author Sam Benjamin, the notorious lead singer of Ratt, really does “lay it down”.

Nothing is left to the imagination here and that’s what is so fun about it!  You can almost smell the Aquanet coming off the pages.  For die hard members of the Ratt Pack, or anyone just mildly interested in the Sunset Strip scene of the early eighties, this book will not disappoint.

Personally, I’m a fan of biographies that follow a natural flow from beginning to end and this memoir does it flawlessly.  The memories are tied together by therapy excepts from Stephen’s time spent in rehab at Pasadena Recovery Center (later of Dr. Drew fame).  I’m not sure the good Doctor in these sessions knew quite what he was in for when asking seemingly innocent questions and getting anything but innocent answers, but what the reader receives is the uncensored, inside scoop, and it’s priceless.

Not only will you feast on the full Ratt story from San Diego, back up north to Hollywood, but you will also be treated to the earliest Van Halen moments, the mayhem of Motley Crue, and more Ozzy debauchery.  Add to that a little bit of Poison, Rough Cutt, and GNR.  You just can’t go wrong with a line up like that.

Now if you’re shy be weary, because sex is the first word in the title  for a reason.   Sex, almost as much as the music itself, is the predominant theme here.  This is to be expected and appreciated (if you take into account Pearcy’s meticulous organizational skills and rating system to keep them all straight).  Not bad for an alcohol and pain killer fueled Rock God.

You’ll be awed by Pearcy’s drive, saddened by Crosby’s downfall, and left breathless by the “Rolling Hilton” of tours past.

I didn’t go into this book as a tried and true Ratt fan.  Of course they were always around: MTV, Radio, Metal Edge, Hit Parader…if you were a rock fan in the 80’s and 90’s Ratt was certainly a part of your world, but I wasn’t one of the die hards.  I actually never even saw them live until this year, but after this book, I just may be now.

Don’t wait for paperback.  Get it now and prepare to be whisked back to a time where the only thing that mattered was Sex, Drugs, and Ratt & Roll.

Book Review: “Bringing Metal to the Children, The Complete Berzerkers Guide to World Tour Domination”

As if dropped from the Heavens of Asgard and heaved down the mountains of Valhalla by Odin himself, heavy metals reigning Viking presents to  us “Bringing Metal to the Children, the Complete Berzerkers Guide to World Tour Domination” from Zakk Wylde and his partner in literary crime, Eric Hendrikx.

“Bringing Metal…” is less like a roller coaster and more like the tilt-a-whirl in a grocery store parking lot.  There’s much to be learned from this guitar genius who has been playing professionally since the young age of 19.

Zakk’s stories of road excess and pure “GIFD” determination are jaw dropping.  Literally.  He’s got a mouth on him that isn’t for the faint of heart.  Sometimes you feel like shutting your eyes at the pictures of disgust that are laid before you. But, just when you can’t possibly take any more, that crazy tilt-a-whirl spins you the other direction and you find yourself faced with some serious, real life, wisdom.  Things you want to write down, remember, and live your life by.

Structurally this book tends to jump around a bit and it doesn’t quite follow a time line.  It has a tendency to grab you by your throat and drag you into a Black Label mosh pit.  But it’s fun. Even laugh out loud funny.  It’s full of love, respect, and an undying work ethic.

There were a few stories that I wished had been told, some back story I wanted and didn’t get, but what I was given was good.

Without having to say it, but saying it anyway, Zakk is a legend.  If you’re a metal fan this book is required reading.

Just don’t read it on a stomach full of spicy chinese food.  That, my friend,  you may regret.

Book Review: Tales From The Stage by Michael Toney

Well, not every musician that came off the Sunset Strip in it’s heyday became a household name and not every book about rock musicians needs to focus on the 1% that were.

With “Tales From The Stage” what you’ll get is a real life look at the 99% that helped to shape the scene, but have faded a bit into the real world that most of us fans live in.

Author Michael Toney asks the questions that no one else seems to.  How much of your current income comes from music?  How big is your house?  What kind of car do you drive?  These answers will likely surprise you as much as they did me!

Although you may be hesitant to pick up a book who’s main “characters” are the guitar player from Stryper or a drummer from Foreigner, don’t be so quick to judge.  The stories these guys (and one girl) will share with you may just shed some light on those big names that you do know by heart.

And Eddie Trunk is in it.

Enough said.

Pick up your copy at http://www.talesfromthestage.com

Book Review: Rex Brown’s “Official Truth, 101 Proof, The Inside Story of Pantera”

Book Review: Rex Brown’s “Official Truth, 101 Proof, The Inside Story of Pantera”

For anyone that has followed Heavy Metal Icons, Pantera, from their humble Texas beginnings to the stratosphere of a Billboard Number One Album and through the untimely and horrific murder of guitar hero Dimebag Darrell Abbott one thing has remained clear- bassist Rex Brown has never said too much of anything.

Until now.  With the recent release of “Official Truth, 101 Proof, The Inside Story of Pantera” written with  biographer Mark Eglinton, Rex finally gets his say.

Although the story begins with a 2003 phone call between Rex and Dime, the majority of the book follows a set chronological order that’s easy to follow and makes perfect sense.  Of course there are the secret little nuggets of information on Rex’s life before Pantera, (Rex played tuba?! Who knew?!) to the inevitable destruction of the band, it’s all in there.  And from all accounts Rex has a phenomenal memory.

Rex’s tales of his time in Pantera focus mostly on his role as the “middle man” for basically every band dynamic, most notably the he said / he said of Drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott and Vocalist Philip Anselmo.

Although there is the ever pressant undercurrent of alcoholism and Texas sized partying, this book lacks the fireworks of bios such as Nikki Sixx’s “Heroin Diaries” or Anthony Kiedis’s “Scar Tissue”.   It didn’t draw me in relentlessly as other books of this nature have (even though I have spent many a time in a head stomping Pantera mosh pit) I still found it to be a poignant and heartfelt account of life in a monstrous heavy metal band.

Maybe it’s just a little more sad since you know how the story ends?

But seriously, read the book. It’s like finally getting the quiet kid in class to open up. You may not like everything he has to say, but as Rex repeatedly states “…I felt that the real story of this band – at least from where I was standing – needed to be told.”

Vegas Rocks Awards!

“Here I go again on my Own”

The night started off with few expectations on my part.  A bit bummed out that the event fell on the night before the first day back to school, I was left with 4 tickets and no one to join me.  But, hey, I’m enough company for myself, so I threw on my trusty Motley Crue tank and set out for the Joint. 

After picking up my tickets from the Red Rocker VIP table I wandered inside to check the scene out, not exactly knowing what to expect.  The Red Carpet had been almost two hours before I got there and the awards were scheduled to start at 8, it was currently 7:45.

My tickets were general admission and I had thought that the general admission area would be on the main floor in front of the stage, but this being an Awards show, they had tables and chairs set there for the nominees and the general admission area were the seats behind the sound booth and the bar area in the back.

There was a pretty good sized crowd, the main floor of nominees and guests was full, as were most of the seats for general admission.

Plenty of people in the standing/bar area as well.  The crowd was the perfect size to feel energy and excitement, but not so crowded as to make things awkward or uncomfortable.

I chose to stand in the back for full immersion in the scene and not wanting to commit to an actual seat. Being in the back  did make it pretty difficult to hear the speeches, but that was the only downside.  The energy was great and drinks were easily accessible!

The show started off with a spot on performance by Dead Sara and there were some killer moments to keep things rocking:  Dj Ashba receiving the Best Guitarist Award, David Coverdale taking the stage (although only playing half of “Slide It In”), Michael Schenker, Geoff Tate, Eddie Trunk, and of course the Guest of Honor Sammy Hagar!

The All Star Jam at the end included all of the above as well as Michael Anthony!!! Very cool and certainly something you don’t see every day.

There was a slightly awkward Kiss inspired wedding that took place on stage, but it was probably better up front.  In the back the only way you knew what was going on was if youwere aware ahead of time that it was going to happen.  I did know, but again being in the back you couldn’t really hear the ceremony or anything, but the visual was good enough. Kiss makeup, whether actually on the members of Kiss or any number of Kiss impersonators, will always show up on stage!  I’m going to try and catch the broadcast online as the show was filmed live for AXS TV, and then I may get a better feel for that that part of it.

The show itself was just long enough to be entertaining and just short enough to never get bored. I think it ran about 2 hours, but with the mix of live performances and awards, it went by really quickly.

Several local bands were honored as well, although I did hear talk amongst many afterword that they felt the voting was rigged, but I’m a bit removed from the local music scene, so I’m only reporting hearsay.

All in all an ample dose of Rock and Roll which I value being a part of.   

But the After party….that’s where the real fun was!

Rock and Roll All Night and Miniature Golf All Day

This week marked the much anticipated opening of “Kiss, by Monster Mini Golf”.  Thursday was the official Black Carpet opening event, complete with all current members of Kiss, local celebs, and the winner of the “Kiss Off”  Kiss cover band contest, Mr Speed.

I wasn’t able to attend the Grand Opening, but I did make it out Sunday to experience what was sure to be the most rockin Mini Golf experience ever!

The weather was perfect for an indoor adventure as Sunday proved to be cold, cloudy, and windy here in Vegas.

My expectations were pretty high for this place.  They have been hyping it up for months.  Starting with the Kiss Cover Band Contest at the Hard Rock Hotel (which we attended and it was pretty fun, especially considering it was a free event and open to kids!) a contest to crown Lady Demon, who will be the representative of Kiss Mini Golf, the press releases, Twitter Posts, and Facebook page countdown, all promised not only Mini Golf, but a Kiss store, Cafe, Arcade, and Wedding Chapel.

Although I over all had a great time here, and believe they will do well, I also feel that some of these promises are  loosely interpreted.

When you enter Kiss Mini Golf there is a very impressive aquarium surrounded by a wall of Amps.  Super cool and ff to a great start!

Straight ahead and up a few stairs is the Kiss gift shop.  Here they had the usual Kiss stuff and also some things I had not seen before. The shop wasn’t too big, but big enough, and also had some higher end items like limited edition bass guitars, jewelry, and custom made feather purses, which I would’ve picked up if I had an extra $400 on me!  They also had some crazy stuff like Rice Krispy treats with Kiss stickers on them, but if you know Gene then you know that dude will brand ANYTHING!

To the left of the door, across from the aquarium is the counter to get cards for the video games, pay for mini golf, and turn in your tickets for prizes.  Every employee that we had contact with while we were here was really great.  Very friendly, very helpful, and appeared genuinely happy.  I was really a pleasure dealing with the staff and I hope they stay that way! A golf game per person is $11.95 and they offer $2.00 off if you’re local, so that was pretty cool.  Also, at the counter was a sign promoting a Kiss iphone App to keep score, which seemed intriguing. I thought it was free, but I forgot I was dealing with Gene Simmons!  I sucked it up and bought the App since A) that’s a pretty cool idea B) I REALLY hate pencils and C) they promised Kiss trivia at every hole.

Of course I’ve been a Kiss fan for a long time so most of the trivia was a refresher, but what I didn’t know is that when Kiss tours in Germany they use a different “S” than everywhere else.  Hey thanks for the info Kiss Mini Golf iphone App! Anyway, it was fun keeping score on the phone, but a bitch taking my phone in and out of my purse 100 times.  Note to self: pockets next time.

Beyond the counter is the arcade.

Really  this was not a dedicated arcade, but more of a pass through to the golf area.  They had a few driving games, Deal or No Deal, a couple shooting games (where my husband and daughter proceeded to kill an hour and a half) and a few other random games.  Honestly I was expecting more out of this.  My vision was more old school and pin ballesque in nature.  They did have a vintage Kiss Pinball machine up front, but for  display purposes only.  I was thinking they could at least get a replica to play in the arcade and as I said, I thought that space would be a bit bigger and more of an actual arcade, but I guess it gets the job done.  There’s a lot to look at anyway:  Kiss themed glow in the dark painting on the walls, which is always a pleasure!  I especially enjoyed  the Kiss Army story  re-told along the far wall.  I love that story!

The music was great, but since we were there probably longer than most would be, I think they just loop the same set of songs over and over even though they have a live DJ on site.  That was a bit disappointing as it’s a rock themed venue and there are enough rock songs around to not have to get repetitive. Technically there are enough Kiss songs alone that they wouldn’t need to repeat and Kiss is touring with Motley Crue this summer, can we get a few Crue tunes thrown in 🙂

As for the rest of the place the cafe is NOT a cafe.  It is a snack bar. Do NOT be fooled.  I didn’t go there to eat, but if I had I would have been hugely disappointed. I think the wedding chapel should be enhanced.  It looked very plain and not “Kissed” enough by any means and the restrooms should’ve had the theme carried on in there as well.  It’s the little things ya know?  Especially in Vegas.  There’s a lot to live up to here.

And finally the golf.  The course was laid out very well to make the most of space.  I thought it would be bigger, but  the props were huge and looked great so all was forgiven.  The 18 holes were challenging, but not too hard and there were employees roaming the course showering free tickets on everyone that got a hole in one…Craig and I each got one and Morgan got two!

Finally, after putting up a giant replica of Gene Simmons tongue, the course was over and it was time to head home.

On the way out they asked us what our scores were, and gave the person with the  lowest score  (Morgan, she  lost by 2)  a card to come back and play for free cuz she needed more practice!  Another cool bonus.

Also, they had mentioned to let the staff at the prize counter know your scores to see if you won the prize of the day or something to that effect.  Bascially what they ended up doing was adding your score to the amount of tickets you turned in so that was another surprise and a very cool thing for them to do!

So after raking in the prizes: a light up spider necklace, plastic purple glasses circa 1985, a guitar pencil, and a few temporary tattoos, we left smiling.

Even though it wasn’t quite everything I thought it would be I loved it none the less.  What can I say, Kiss does things on a huge scale so I went in with Kiss sized expectations!

But I will go back.

It’s perfect for those cold, windy desert days and the summer days when it’s even Hot In The Shade!

One Week Post Crue


It’s been a week since the Motley Crue residency in Vegas.  I miss it! The cabs driving around town still plastered with Motley Crue signage taunt me.

I’m supposed to use this blog for ALL  things rock, but for now I’m still stuck in the glory that was three weeks of Crue in my city.

I just can’t seem to let it go. I don’t want to let it go. Some say I haven’t let go of the 80’s and the 90’s at all, but really this residency and the summer tour of 2011 just happened.

As in 7 days ago at 10:43 pm  the fist guitar riffs of “Kickstart my Heart” were screaming out of Mick Mars hands!   I say I am living in the now.

As I write this James Michael, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, and Mick Mars are busy writing and recording NEW CRUE at Tommys studio (www.theatriumstudio.com) and Vince will fly in to lay down vocals this week.  In a short time we will have a NEW Motley Crue single.  This is real, it’s happening, and it’s current.

Nikki is up for Bassist of the Year at the Golden God Awards and will be making his acting debut in P.R. Browns full length film “Shooter”.  Don’t forget we have Sixx Sense radio too, even though it isn’t syndicated on Vegas radio yet, iheart radio will suffice until then.

Tommy is always off doing his DeadMau5 gig, Vince continues to tour Solo (and fish and “chat up” busty blondes!) and there’s rumours Mick is working on his first solo album and maybe even that book I urged him to write!

Collectively, “The Dirt” movie is likely coming out in 2013 too.

Motley Crue isn’t going anywhere.  They are feeding the fans addiction to rock.  Thank God cause we need it!

Back to the show, because really it’s never far from the forefront of my mind, I’m able to access everyones photos, professional (BABAK you know you are amazing)  and amateur,  Videos, and stories of various fans interactions  and experiences over the span of the residency.  It seems that as much as I can’t give up the Crue, no one else that experienced it can either.

When I’m done feverishly clicking through Tweets to stay up and current, I can run through memories of each performance, the Valentines Day meet and greet with Tommy and Mick, and the most amazing Motley Crue date my husband and I have ever had.

We can all relive this magical time through the memories of those that were there around us.  Although I spoke to many new people and made many new friends it’s still crazy to click on a random picture or youtube video and see yourself there!  If I could go back I would try to find some of those amazing people too!

My signed copy of “Heroin Diaries” and Crues’ greatest hits will be here tomorrow!  I may not be able to stop posting about Motley Crue until Van Halen comes around in May….and that’s ok with me.



Ms Kelly G