Sometimes it’s sad to see guys who had a fleeting glimpse of glory milk it for all it’s worth. Like, I’m sure there is an ex-member of The Bulletboys or Britny Fox – a member who never appeared on any recorded material, especially not when those bands were signed to major label deals – booking shows at this very moment either as a solo act or with a new band and using their resume to secure a small guarantee from a club owner.
John Corabi is NOT one of these guys – he’s a got a legitimate resume including fronting The Scream (“Man in the Moon”, “Father Mother Son”), Union (with Kiss’s Bruce Kulick on guitar), ESP, Ratt (he’s toured off-and-on again since 2000 with the band as rhythm guitarist). But what Corabi is best-known for is stepping into Motley Crue as the lead singer after Vince Neil left in ’92. While his tenure was short (he recorded one full length with the Crue in ’94, a self-titled effort), the band produced a few memorable songs (“Hooligan’s Holiday”, “Power to the People”, “Driftaway”). With this extensive resume, Corabi’s got a catalog of hits to perform live and last week he hit Ohio with 4 shows in cities like Wapakoneta, Akron, Martin’s Ferry and Columbus.
I caught the Columbus show, at the Bethel Road Pub, on Monday night. This tour consisted of Corabi touring with just an acoustic guitar so each night was an intimate, storytelling-type affair with a guy who’s not shy. While the songs he performed throughout the night were great – and represented his entire body of work – the stories were just as good, Corabi talking about meeting Aerosmith, about writing songs after his girlfriend left him when he lost his Crue gig, about hearing himself on the radio for the first time.
To get an idea of what Corabi sounded like, check out this live cover of Aerosmith’s “Seasons of Wither” from Route 33 Rhythm and Blues (Wapakoneta, Ohio) as recorded by my buddy Dewey.
On tour this summer to promote a brand new album (their first in 10 years), Ratt rolled into Columbus on Friday night to play what I’m calling an “economical” set lasting about 75 minutes. Rumors are that things haven’t been great in the Ratt camp, especially with drummer Bobby Blotzer releasing a “tell-all” book a few months ago that cast some negativity on the band and, in particular, lead singer Stephen Pearcy. I will say that it was awesome hearing some arena rock classics (“You in Love”, “Lay it Down”, “Wanted Man”, “Round and Round”, etc.) in the intimacy of an (sold-out) 800-person venue. Highlight for me, actually, was seeing Carlos Cavazo (ex-Quiet Riot) serving as second guitarist.
Local (Columbus) band that has been inactive for 5 years due to a couple of the guys in the band settling down and having kids. In 2005 they had started a new album but broke up before it was finished. Earlier this year Kopaz decided to complete work on the album (about 85% was already recorded and mixed) and they held a CD release party this past weekend. Think Sunny Day Real Estate meets Juno meets Shiner.
Climber – The Mystic
Can’t get enough of this one. This Portland band reminds me of The Standard (maybe not so coincidentally from Portland as well). The vocals are a bit nervous sounding, a bit shaky, a bit paranoid. The first track on the new album – “The Simians Speak” – sounds like an MGMT song. Here’s the thing, I have NO IDEA how/where you can buy this – the publicist sent me a copy (maybe it’s not available yet … I haven’t checked iTunes yet). Definitely one worth tracking down if you can.
Black Mountain – Wilderness Heart
The new album is due in stores in mid-September. I’m a little late to the party but if you’re into Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, The Black Angels, Verbena, this’ll make your “Best of 2010” list.
Guns N Roses – Revisited EP
I’ll let the site that posted this EP explain what it is: “DJ 5agge has combined Axl Rose’s vocals from Chinese Democracy with tracks from Velvet Revolver (featuring Slash, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum and Dave Kushner) and Slash’s new solo album. You can tell by these remixes that a new album from Axl and Slash would totally rock and would beat anything either has done post 1993.” I’m not really sure this is what a 2010 original line up Guns N’ Roses would sound like but I concur that it’s better than anything Axl or Slash have done in 17 years.