This journal of the comings'n'goings and musings'n'enthusings of Dave Ling
will be updated daily - except after days of stress and nights of excess.
Wednesday 11th November
What great news... a brand new indoor festival called Stone Free is happening next summer a mere busride away from Chateau Ling. Marillion and Rick Wakeman, the latter peforming his multi-million-selling album 'The Myths & Legends Of King Arthur & The Knights Of The Round Table' for the first time since 1975, are among the acts confirmed. Awesome! Details are here.
Anyway, I'm suited n booted and off to do some interviewing at this evening's Classic Rock Awards. Do I scrub up okay?
Tuesday 10th November
How great was last night's sold-out headline gig from The Cadillac Three at the Islington Academy?! They're a band who I first saw at the same London venue as complete unknown, last minute additions, kicking off a three-act bill topped by Blackberry Smoke in March 2014, but you know what? I think that they boot BS's ass to kingdom come and back. The Cadillac Three are ten times as exciting and fifty times more charismatic. Don't miss 'em in Jan/Feb with the brilliant Whiskey Myers as support!
Monday 9th November
Jurgen was well and truly Klopped yesterday evening at Anfield!!! Liverpool 1, Crystal Palace 2. Defender Scott Dann (a boyhood LFC season ticket holder) scores the winner as the Eagles overturn the Reds *yet again*. The best song of the afternoon: "You must be sick of us!!!" The infamous 9-0 rout now seems like a previous lifetime ago... and we've been paying the bin-dipping Scousers back in steady instalments ever since... Long may it continue.
Sunday 8th November
The name's Ling. Dave Ling. I like my cider stirred but not shaken. Or something. Saturday night was movie night with the Linglets, taking in the new Bond blockbuster at our local cinema, Greenwhich Picturehouse, preceded by a lovely Chinese meal. I really enjoyed it, and getting way from the desk for an evening proved a most welcome distraction in what's otherwise been a focused weekend of work. I've been writing new sleeve essays for the next batch of Quo re-issues, transcript of interviews with Rossi, Lancaster, Coghlan, Bob Young, Andrew Bown and Pip Williams (Rick declined this time - s'okay, I've got bags of old quotes). The bonus discs of extras are superb!!!! Did I just write that this was 'work'??!!
[Edit... Sunday... Back at the PC at 7.21am for yet more Quo transcript. Okay, it feels a bit like work now, haha].
Saturday 7th November
So... my trusty BlackBerry captures the moment that Mötley Crüe leave the stage in London for the final time, having encored with 'Home Sweet Home' on a podium behind the mixing desk. I enjoyed their Wembley show much more than expected. The set-list, which contained just about all of their classics plus a couple of token latterday tunes such as 'Motherfucker Of The Year' and 'Saints Of Los Angeles', ticked the required boxes, Vince Neil sang adequately (though quite possibly with some assistance) and the presentation was, of course, out of this world. Much has been written about Tommy Lee's drum solo which takes place on a rollercoaster and sees him playing upside down on his journey to the centre of the arena and back, and save for the hip-hop soundtrack that acts as its soundtrack it's undeniably impressive, just like the moment that Vince and Nikki Sixx are swept out above the audience's heads on gigantic mechanic arms. Downsides? Mick Mars' guitar solo... turgid, just turgid. And I could never forgive the stealing of Sweet's 'Hell Raiser' for 'Kickstart My Heart', but *that reaction* from the crowd... what an outpouring of love. Enjoy the retirement you silly ol' sods. Contract or no contract, I have little doubt that we will see you again in around 2020 when the pension fund needs a top-up.
Oh... and an honourable mention to Special Guest star Alice Cooper, who delivered 55 minutes of almost uninterrupted, undiluted catalogue gems and damned nearly stole the show. Anyone who can come out onto the Wembley stage and barrel through 'The Black Widow', 'No More Mr Nice Guy', 'Under My Wheels', 'I'm Eighteen', 'Billion Dollar Babies' and 'Poison', seemingly without drawing breath, truly deserves the accolade of living legend.
Friday 6th November
That unexpected moment when you begin the day by interviewing Andrew Bown, the keyboardist that supposedly "ruined Status Quo", for the next set of re-issues ('Long Legged Linda' from 'If You Can't Stand The Heat...' is such an underrated tune) and he turns out to be a bloody good bloke with some wonderful stories and a great sense of humour. #knockmedownwithafeather
Saying goodbye to Mötley Crüe at Wembley this evening is bound to bring back loads of great memories. I've been going to see them since Donington '84. I've interviewed them on both sides of the Atlantic, including one memorable time in the boardroom of Geffen Records in Hollywood circa 'Girls, Girls' and on other numerous occasions. I even followed them around on the entire UK leg of the 'Theatre Of Pain' tour in '86 (supported by Cheap Trick) with a gang of mates including Ian Taff Mansell in a vehicle that Dee Snider later named "the Bad News Van". In Edinburgh, never having experienced 11am-11pm drinking, I had to be carried out of the Playhouse. They're well past their sell-by date in 2015 – barring any great shocks – but I'd like to thank them for some downright lüdicröus entertainment.
Thursday 5th November
I'm very happy to have received Classic Rock's fan pack edition of the brand new self-titled Def Leppard album (thanks to Alex Burrows). I have been dying to hear the music, dip into those exclusive interviews, also re-read the waffle wot I wrote. Paul Elliott's interview with his vocalist namesake Joe is a massive 10,000 words long... Jeez! And Malcolm Dome goes into his best Paxman-style mode with Vivian Campbell, who spills the secrets of his relationships with RJD and Old Cov, also the *real* reason why Shadow King split up. It's grisly but unmissable stuff (is that a bag of cocaine see before me?!)... fair play to everyone for partaking in the true spirit of honesty, we're all grown-ups here, ain't we?
Wednesday 4th November
It's a bit of a quiet few days for gigs, and today, whilst surfing at Girlschool bassist Enid Williams' new website [www.enidwilliams.com], I've found myself reminiscing about Motörhead's quasi-legendary Heavy Metal Barn Dance at Stafford Bingley Hall back in July 1980. What a bill: Lemmy and company as headliners, Saxon, the Gals, Angel Witch, Mythra, Vardis and White Spirit. I went with my school friend, Dave Gray. We lied to our parents and said we were staying at each other's houses... we slept on Stafford Station. *Sighs nostalgically*.
Tuesday 3rd November
In yet another of those 'didn't see that coming' moments, Vardis have signed a deal with SPV Records for their comeback disc – the reunited NWOBHM group's fifth in total. Titled 'Red Eye', it will be released in 2016, with guitarist/singer Steve Zodiac promising: "The most heartfelt, hard-edged Vardis record yet, with that same rock n roll spirit at the centre of everything we do."
Meanwhile, here are the latest updates at the Playlist and YouTube pages.
Monday 2nd November
Wow, last night Glenn Hughes and Doug Aldrich tore the Electric Ballroom a brand new rectum. There was also a livewire opening set from Jared James Nichols, whose debut album 'Old Glory And The Wild Revival' has been spinning here at Chateau Ling (on glorious cherry-red vinyl) for the past few months. The Wisconsin-born, LA-based singer-songwriter/guitarist has the look of a young Ted Nugent crossed with Glenneth circa 1975, and his music kicks serious quantities of butt. Along with covers of 'Rock 'N' Roll Hoochie Koo' by Rick Derringer, the slow blues of Robert Johnson's 'Come Home In My Kitchen' and the Mountain standard 'Mississippi Queen', self-penned selections such as 'Blackfoot', 'Crazy' and 'Playin' For Keeps' really connected with the steadily growing crowd. Jared James Nichols – a real name to watch out for.
Singing the way he still does at 64 years old, Glenn Hughes is nothing less than a biological freak of nature. Okay, here's still a worrying tendency to remind us of his prowess, and the solo segments of the show left something of a sour taste in the mouth, but the chemistry between Hughes and ex-Whitesnake/Dio guitarist Aldrich was apparent for all to see. It ain't often that you get to experience such effortless, primal groove.
Though his most contemporary group California Breed went unrepresented, the show's repertoire tapped into the lion's share of Glenn's adult professional catalogue, from Trapeze's 'Way Back To The Bone' and 'Touch My Life' to the criminally underrated Hughes/Thrall ('First Step Of Love'), a hatful of Deep Purple classics ('Stormbringer', 'Sail Away' and 'Burn', and what a fabulous version of 'Mistreated'... compared to the one that's out there on YouTube by Whitesnake 2015 we are talking a Rolls Royce-roller skate scenario), plus the solo tracks 'Orion', 'Can't Stop The Flood' and a hip-shakin', ass-wagglin' 'Soul Mover'. Hughes also revisited his more recent past with a couple of Black Country Communion tunes, 'One Last Soul' and 'Black Country'. Perhaps surprisingly, in honour of Aldrich, there was also a stab at Whitesnake's 'Good To Be Bad'.
"This train's not stopping, we're going to be touring all next year. I'm going to do this until they put me in the dirt," The Voice Of Rock roared from the stage. That's great news.
Meanwhile, still in Purple-associated territory, Ritchie Blackmore has announced that his UK show will take place at Birmingham's Genting Arena on Saturday 25th June. That location, in the heartland of England and easy to access for those from all over the country, makes good sense, and at least it's indoors! According to the press release, the Man In Black will be playing "the classic rock anthems of Rainbow and Deep Purple". The line-up for his summer shows, including the identity of his all-important mystery frontman, will be announced on November 4.
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