A Quick Site Update

It’s the weekend and I wanted to take a minute to go over a few things that are or aren’t happening around here, plus an update or two on other stuff.

An Album A Day – or not

So as you may or may not have noticed, I have ended the “Album A Day” feature. Simply put, it was taking up too much of my time that could have been used on other posts instead. Being “behind” by a week was what really threw me off – I started getting mixed up on what should be where and after thinking about it a bit I said the hell with the whole thing.

Now, I do like the “mini album review” format and will probably use it here and there. It just won’t be every week to keep track of something that doesn’t need to be kept track of. It’s a nice way to briefly cover stuff when I don’t want to write a ton of words about it.

Album Of The Week – still going

Speaking of writing a ton of words, the Album Of The Week series will go on but will undergo some tweaking soon. (Tweaking as in changes, not tweaking as in what a lot of my fellow proud Missourians do)

First I’ll be changing up the title to simply state what the album is. No less than three times already in 2023 I’ve almost started posts for albums I’ve already done, therefore time to get rid of the old title format. I probably should have done it that way in the first place but whatever.

Also, I’ll be slowly working on how I present the actual posts. I want to trim them up a bit and also just talk more about the music itself. Some of the posts have gone too far into facts and figures or whatever and it’s kind of boring and it doesn’t really communicate anything. This change will be more gradual and worked in over the next little while. Beyond that, everything remains as is for the AOTW.

A new thing? Yep.

I have a new post format I’ve wanted to do honestly since I started this site in ’21, but for various reasons I just never got around to it. By the end of March I hope to have it going. It will be a new every Friday thing and will mostly consist of blurbs, news and notes sort of things. There are times where some dumb or crazy music headlines hit and it’d be nice to discuss them, but it’s also a waste to dedicate a whole post to them. And a post format like that allows for including whatever other kind of stuff might pop up. Should be going before April on this one.

Iron Maiden, Iron Maiden, Iron Maiden, Iron Maiden…

Clearly I talk about Iron Maiden a lot and no, that isn’t going to change. The singles series is in full swing now. I have one more on the way and that will make 30 to write about. I will be capping the initial run at that – it will keep the series running through the end of July, if I counted right. I’m starting to run into a wall on getting more, that wall is called $$$$$. As time goes on I’ll probably accumulate a few more and at some future point I might revive the series to flesh out the ones I got after this first run. The Blaze era is especially underrepresented on the list now and some of those are not horribly priced, but my wallet has suggested I keep money in it for the time being so I can get to the other stuff later.

After the singles run is over I’ll take on another 13-week long or so series, that being the live albums. And at some point I’ll also make a very ambitious and probably stupid run through their list of songs – no, not my top 20 favorites or whatever, but all 180. Might as well rank them, they’re all sitting right there. When I do that I’ll blitz those posts out more than once a week to get it over with and it won’t replace either the singles or live album series. I’ll just have a shit ton of Maiden going at once I guess.

One more Maiden post is on the horizon, and fairly soon – I’m long overdue for a ranking of their studio records. I had planned to do that as one of my very first posts when I started this blog, but of course as I was in the setting up stage of that, they went and dropped Senjutsu and thus screwed up my plans. Now the album is over a year old so I have a window of opportunity to strike before they announce their next 10 LP box set of an album.

I think that pretty well covers everything. I expect to be posting 4 or 5 times a week here soon, with all this other stuff as well as my revolving series of other occasional posts. Once I threw out the Album a Day thing I also got hit with being far busier at work than I had been in winter, so that kind of screwed me up a bit but things are rolling along smoothly now. I’ll end with a clip of something NOT Iron Maiden just to mix it up a bit.

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 2023 Nominees

The nominations for the 2023 class of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame were announced last week. As always, the nominee list sparks a lot of outrage and argument. People love to get hot and argue over who should or shouldn’t be considered for induction, and this generates a lot of talk.

And that’s really the point – the more times the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame gets mentioned, especially on the Internet, the more they win. It’s been a series of heated arguments for many years now – the Rock Hall powers that be only select inductees based on marketability, they let in too many non-rock acts, such-and-such legendary artist should have been inducted ages ago, etc. It’s all over the place, both when the nominations are announced and the inductees are revealed a few months later.

I personally have wished to avoid talking much about the Rock Hall. I used to blog about it decades ago but it got old arguing over the same old things. It’s easy content, but it’s also just a hamster running a wheel. It never goes anywhere.

I’m not really talking about this today because I want to rehash a bunch of old arguments. I know the Rock Hall functions as a cash siphon, that much is evident in a number of high-dollar “lures” paid to the Hall to get them to set up shop in Cleveland and for hosting ceremonies, etc. I also know the Hall inducts non-rock artists and honestly I don’t care if they do. That ship sailed a long time ago and I’m not going to waste time worrying about rap and country acts being brought in today. It’s a pointless battle.

If it’s not already obvious why I’m writing about the Rock Hall in wake of the nominee announcement, l’ll go ahead and make that clear now. There are 14 nominees for the 2023 Class, the list of which can be found here if you’re interested. While there are a handful of stories among the nominees, my interest revolves around exactly one.

That’s right, Iron Maiden are again up for Rock Hall consideration. They were nominated but not selected a few years ago. Things on the surface look brighter in the wake of the Judas Priest induction last year. The (nearly useless) fan vote sees Maiden presently in 6th place in voting, just a spot out of the top 5 cutoff. (The fan vote does not guarantee induction, it’s just some BS they put together to make people feel like they have a say in the matter).

While I don’t consider the Rock Hall a huge part of my music life, or a part at all, I’m not going to just sit idly when my favorite band is up for consideration. I did finally give up on the Hall after the ignorant sagas of bands like Kiss, Rush, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper and others who took far too long to be inducted, as well as some deserving acts that still aren’t in (Steppenwolf, hello?). But the new interest in and drama of the British metal bands has me casting an eye back in the Rock Hall’s direction.

The Hall seems to have softened on their “no heavy metal” stance. Judas Priest was inducted last year when an old award was repurposed as the Musical Excellence award to bring in acts who maybe fall under the “mass appeal” radar, as Priest fell short in the fan voting. I’m sort of expecting Iron Maiden to get in under that same banner this year if they aren’t selected for outright induction.

There is an additional wrinkle to Iron Maiden being selected – the Rock Hall powers that be are very shy of controversy and also can tend to be vengeful against those musicians who speak out against it. Well, bear witness to this 2018 quote from Bruce Dickinson, as found on a NME article

“I actually think the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is an utter and complete load of bollocks, to be honest with you. It’s run by a bunch of sanctimonious bloody Americans who wouldn’t know rock and roll if it hit them in the face.”

I’m gonna guess that the Rock Hall elite didn’t take kindly to this, or the other times Dickinson has railed against the institution. Now, this is mitigated by the fact that a Maiden induction would be drama free, the only question being if the living former members up for induction (Paul Di’Anno and Dennis Stratton) would join Maiden for the live performance. Whether they did or not would not lead to any drama, the likes of which poisoned the inductions of Van Halen, Guns N’ Roses and others. That might work in Maiden’s favor.

Some have wondered if Iron Maiden would even show up for a Rock Hall induction. Bruce’s comments don’t lead anyone to think so, but at the end of the day Maiden are savvy marketers and the Rock Hall is a marketing opportunity, if only a fleeting one. My guess is that the band would attend the ceremony, then Bruce could give his full thoughts to the press later if he wished.

So the big question remains – will Iron Maiden get into the Rock Hall this time around? We’ll find out sometime after April so we’ve got a minute. I think it’s more likely than not that they do, but I could also see them missing again. If anything, I feel like they’ll get put in with the same Musical Excellence thing Judas Priest got last year.

And yeah, I really hope Iron Maiden gets in the Rock Hall. Because once they’re in, I honestly never have to give a damn about that place ever again.

A Salute To Mick Mars

A very quick post today, I booted what I had originally planned in order to address this.

Just a few days ago, it was officially announced that Mick Mars would no longer tour with Motley Crüe. Mick is still a member of the band, but due to his long-running health issues, he is bowing out of the planned 2023 world tour and future speculated touring activities, which include a possible Las Vegas residency.

This news is not sudden – the rumor mill was churning for awhile that Mick would step aside as the touring guitarist, and his replacement was already named. And last night that news came to official light – John 5, a long time collaborator with Rob Zombie and with a resume that includes David Lee Roth and other luminaries, will be assuming the mantle of Crüe guitarist.

Mick joined the group very early on after Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee had something going. Mick was a few years older than the rest, hell the dude is 71 now (at least). He has been the sole guitar player for the band in all their existence – while both Vince Neil and John Corabi have contributed on the instrument, the guitar in Crüe is purely a Mick Mars experience. Mick is one of the band’s two constant members, along with Nikki.

Mick’s retirement is well-earned. His guitar work set the stage for what would become a pioneering act in 1980’s metal. And even when certain albums didn’t offer the best we thought the group had, we often fell back to “at least Mick is going off on this stuff.” On their most filler of filler tracks, there was still Mick giving it his all and making his playing the highlight of the song.

Mick has fought a decades-long battle with Ankylosing spondylitis, a serious condition that affects the spine. While this issue is the cause of Mick’s retirement today, it was also the catalyst for the band’s reunion of the original line-up in the early 2000’s. It’s no secret that certain members of the band don’t get along with each other, but “doing it for Mick” got everyone on the same page enough to get out rocking again in the way the fans wanted.

And don’t forget this point – the four members of the band decided to tour on four separate busses when they got back together. While one part of that might have been to mitigate the tension between people, one other reason for it was so Mick could have access to the care he needed.

It is a sad day that Mick can’t continue on. But he is still with us, and hopefully life away from the road will afford him the care and comfort to live in a satisfying way. It’s been an honor to have Motley Crüe around all these years, and Mick is a huge part of what made the music work. And maybe there will be some new studio music that Mick can contribute to that will give some new Crüe memories for the faithful.

Thanks for everything, and may your days be filled with peace.