Hard Rockin

Lost In The Land Of The Free…

OK, So I’ve had a couple of days to settle down & I’ve decided to re-write parts of my post. A good friend of mine made a statement while I was away that resonated & It just makes sense for me to change the vibe of my post (after all you get back what you put out & I don’t want any negativity). My friend said to me “I don’t do anything because I HAVE to, I only do things because I WANT to” – Although I generally try live this way it turns out I needed to be told that by someone else.

We started out trip in Sunny California, flying into LA early on a Friday morning. We did a few touristy things & then met up with LA based friends over the following days. We only spent a few days in LA before and after our week in Vegas & unfortunately we only managed to get to one gig in LA & that was Ultimate Jam Night – The Pink Floyd Edition. There were so many great musicians playing from some of my favourite bands. It was cool to see Sean McNabb, Keith St John (Who doesn’t look a day over 30!) & Chuck Wright of Quiet Riot! It was cool to listen to live jams of songs I know so well from spending weekends in my boarding school dorm room listening to Pink Floyd at maximum volume til the wee hours of the morning!
LA seems to have a huge scene for cover bands at the moment; there are so many killer musicians from bands I absolutely LOVE who are playing their old hits & then predominately covers. It’s cool that these guys are fitting the jam nights in with their touring schedules but it seems like this particular night was just for tourists if that make sense – keepin’ the hollywood rock dudes on the strip…there’ll be no complaints here!

Sticking to the cover band theme; while in Vegas we managed to get to a Sin City Sinners show at Count’s Vamp’d which was absolutely killer!! Needless to say I got a little excited with all the great tunes they were playing & the bar staff were just too good at making their drinks so thing got a little messy toward the end of the night but trust me I truly paid for it the next day which was punishment enough for being a drunken idiot…
That night’s lineup consisted of Frank DiMino of Angel (who was astonishingly amazing!), Blas Elias of Slaughter, Scotty Griffin of LA Guns, Jeff Duncan of Armored Saint & *ODIN! Odin! odin!*, Mark Boals of Yngwie Malmsteen, Howie Simon of Alcatrazz, Michael T Ross, Bianca Bananas &  Andrew Freeman of Last In Line! I can’t say enough about this gig -these musicians played so many amazing covers & really gave it all with feeling, a serious rock show that I would easily go to again (perhaps with less vodka involved – sorry boys!).

I can’t go on without discussing the whole reason for our return to the USA – Psycho Las Vegas! What a crazy 3 days of amazing bands, booze & all out debauchery. The lineup was amazing & the atmosphere was electric. Between the excitement of the crowd & the bands that were playing it was hard to find anyone without a smile (or a stoned grin). We stayed at the Hard Rock Casino where the festival took place & it was unlike anything I’ve experienced before. I’ve been to festivals but this was on another level it was a little overwhelming – seemingly everyone who was playing & partying were all together for 24 hours a day, for 3 days straight. I’m not sure much sleeping went on but it was mental! I maintained (restored) my dignity & didn’t party like everyone else but there is no denying fun was had!
My highlights were the legendary Blue Oyster Cult, Tribulation who delivered another beautifully heavy set, Danava who owned the festival with their drunken honesty & heavy heavy riffs &  Alice Cooper who well…Alice Coopered!  BUT My unexpected life changer was The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, I thought I was just going to see some wacky old dude but he made me feel like everything was alright (on this planet and whatever planet we visit next). He reinforced for me that age is just a number and what’s going on inside your own head is timeless, limitless and so damn valuable! If you ever get the chance to see him you can’t miss that opportunity!
I got the chance to meet Arthur Brown & Buck Dharma after their gigs. It’s been a long time i got nervous around musicians but they were true gentlemen! It was such an excellent experience.
tribulationI honestly felt more Australian (& a whole lot alien) in attitude than ever on this recent trip. Aside from my very obvious “Country Australian” accent my love & respect for all things Australian rock expanded – we have a stupid amount of amazing bands current & past. I heard more AC/DC, INXS & Rose Tattoo in two weeks in the states than I have in my entire life! I’m stoked because they’re excellent BUT it also makes me think that if America loves that stuff why aren’t they digging into the rest of our gold?! We have so many amazing artists from the 70s, 80s & beyond who are still out there playing, working with new bands & keeping music alive here in Australia! I know that in Australia the focus generally tends to be on international bands visiting Australia but it’s about time we promoted what we have here in Australia, own it & kick the “tall poppy” effect to the curb because we have so many amazing creatives in every field who deserve success – whatever that may be to each individual!

Although I mostly enjoyed my trip I definitely felt overwhelmed while i was there which brought out a few different emotions. By the end of the 2 weeks I was without a doubt ready to come back to the amazing lifestyle we have here in Australia. I arrived back in Brisbane at 7am on Saturday morning and as soon as I felt the fresh air in my lungs I felt instantly calmed. Yeah, yeah I’m back to my 9-5 job today but it’s a small price to pay for the lifestyle I get to have here in Brisbane! I’ve successfully managed to channel the emotions I was feeling in a more positive direction & I feel like the future should be interesting…



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