One of the flashiest guitarists (both visually and instrumentally) to emerge from the '80s rock scene was Steve Stevens. Born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 5, 1959, Stevens first picked up the guitar when he was only seven years old, and later became an avid prog rock fan, especially the likes of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Yes. Honing his craft while playing in Manhattan, Stevens recorded an unreleased album with his band, Fine Maribus, and also played as a session guitarist on Peter Criss' best forgotten second post-Kiss solo outing, 1982's Let Me Rock You (although Stevens did earn a songwriting credit for the track "First Day in the Rain"). It was also during the early '80s that Stevens hooked up with ex-Generation X singer Billy Idol, who had relocated to New York in hopes of launching a solo career. Idol found the perfect foil in Stevens, and with ex-Kiss manager Bill Aucoin backing them, Idol's career skyrocketed. Combining Idol's punk and Stevens' hard rock backgrounds with dance music, Idol became one of MTV's early video stars, as such albums as 1982's Billy Idol and 1983's Rebel Yell became blockbuster hits -- spurred on by Stevens' shredding guitar licks (and outrageous glam rock looks). It took an extended period for Idol and Stevens to offer a third album, 1986's Whiplash Smile, and although it was another big hit, Stevens longed to launch his own solo career, and exited Idol's band by the end of the decade. Stevens also remained an in-demand hired gun, as he guested on recordings by Michael Jackson (Bad), Ric Ocasek (This Side of Paradise), Thompson Twins (Here's to Future Days), and Robert Palmer (Don't Explain), among others. Additionally, Stevens appeared on the mega-selling 1986 soundtrack to the Tom Cruise movie Top Gun, for which he collaborated with keyboardist Harold Faltermeyer on "Top Gun Anthem" (which earned Stevens a Grammy Award for Pop Instrumental Performance that year). In 1989 Stevens formed his own group, Steve Stevens' Atomic Playboys, but despite all the hype, the band only lasted for a single release, Atomic Playboys. The early '90s saw Stevens keep up his busy schedule, as he attempted to form a new group with ex-Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe, named Jerusalem Slim, which to the dismay of fans never got much further than the planning stages. In a strange twist of fate, Stevens then signed on to back ex-Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil, the same man responsible for the dissolution of Monroe's previous band, Hanoi Rocks. Stevens hung in for an album, 1993's Exposed, and its supporting tour, before departing for greener pastures.
Wednesday 04 January 2023.Happy New Year to everybody.2022 was a great year for live music after it bounced back from that awful covid mess.I went to 187 live music events in 2022.Brings my gig total to 7372 since Sept 1973.Here are my fave gigs of the year.Gig of the year..TAYLOR HAWKINS Tribute Show at Wembley Stadium - 04 Sept 2022.Featuring 80 mins greatest hits set from The Foo Fighters + Paul McCartney + Queen +Rush + Liam Gallagher plus several other acts.-------Next best in no particular order...SIR PETER BLAKE 90th Birthday Tribute Show at Royal Festival Hall - 02 Dec 2022.Madness + The Who + Noel Gallagher + Paul Weller + Chrissie Hynde.ROBBIE WILLIAMS at The Royal Albert Hall - 07 Nov 2022.COLPLAY live at Wembley Stadium -17 Aug 2022.REBELLION PUNK FESTIVAL - Blackpool Aug 2022.Over 20 bands over the four days including Sham 69 + Gary Numan + Peter Hook & The Light.GUNS N ROSES at Tottenham Hotspur Football Ground - 02 July 2022.SAXON + URIAH HEEP at Hammersmith Apollo - 29 Jan 2022.ROLLING STONES at Hyde Park - 03 July 2022.STIFF LITTLE FINGERS + NEVILLE STAPLE BAND + PROFESSIONALS + TV SMITHat The Roundhouse - 27 March 2022.BLONDIE at The 02 Arena - 26 April 2022.GLEN MATLOCK BAND at The 100 Club - 16 Sept 2022.ROXY MUSIC at The 02 Arena - 14 Oct 2022.BILLY IDOL + KILLING JOKE + TOYAH WILLCOX at Wembley Arena - 19 Oct 2022.DAMNED + SKIDS + TV SMITH at Hammersmith Apollo - 28 Oct 2022.WHITESNAKE + FOREIGNER + EUROPE at The 02 Arena - 16 May 2022.ALICE COOPER + THE CULT at The 02 Arena - 25 May 2022.FLAMING LIPS at The Forum - 02 June 2022.HUMAN LEAGUE + MIDGE URE plus others at Henley Rewind Festival - 21 Aug 2022.CULTURE CLUB + BANANARAMA + LULU at Kenwood -17 June 2022.ABC with orchestra at Royal Albert Hall - 23 June 2022. PYSCHEDELIC FURS at Royal Albert Hall - 05 April 2022.SPARKS at The Roundhouse - 17 April 2022.THE VACCINES at Hammersmith Apollo - 21 April 2022.TOM MEIGHAN at Shepherds Bush Empire - 04 May 2022.ERIC CLAPTON at Royal Albert Hall - 08 May 2022.POWERWOLF at The Roundhouse - 29 Nov 2022.THE PROFESSIONALS at 229 Great Portland Street - 19 Dec 2022.BRYAN ADAMS at The Royal Albert Hall - 09 May 2022.MUSE + RAZORLIGHT at Hammersmith Apollo - 10 May 2022.ADAM ANT at The Roundhouse - 13 May 2022.PET SHOP BOYS at The 02 Arena - 22 May 2022.BEACH BOYS at The Royal Albert Hall - 24 June 2022.LADY GAGA at Tottenham Hotspur Football Ground - 30 July 2022. -----------------2023 is already looking good for another great year of live music.
AC/DC at Wembley Arena were fantastic. Loud and distorted classic rock heaven. The Who did a full UK tour with Joe Strummer as a great support and they finished off with a special show at RAH with guests Eddie Vedder Noel from Oasis etc. Foo Fighters did a superb small gig for XFM radio. David Bowie was my highlight at Glastonbury as he did a brilliant greatest hits set. Oasis at Wembley Stadium had a mental atmosphere. On the first night Noel and Liam were not on the best of terms but it made the show even better Other highlights I saw this year included Bon Jovi at the last ever show at Wembley Stadium before it got bulldozed. In Nov I saw Bon Jovi do a show in New Jersey, USA. Tina Turner, Lionel Richie, Robbie Williams, Dressed To Kill (KISS tribute band), Sting, Dee Dee Ramone, Lou Reed, Pearl Jam, Shirley Bassey, Iron Maiden, Santana, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nine Inch Nails, Travis, Alarm, Halford and Rage Against The Machine.
For me this was a very special year indeed. The highlight was The Sex Pistols to reform with original members for the "Filthy Lucre" world tour. Alan McGee who was Creation Recordsand Oasis boss paid £5000 for a full page ad in NME to say that The Sex Pistols at Shepherds Bush was simply stunning. It was one of the greatest gigs of all time. KISS would also reform with all their original members and put the costumes and face paint on for their world tour which would be the No 1 grossing tour worldwide in 1996. These line ups were both from the classic late 1970s period when I was a teenager. Was a dream come true for me that's for sure. AC/DC at Wembley Arena was superb and I can remember they played a second date the day after but it was the same day as Sex Pistols at Finsbury Park. What a weekend. Neurotic Outsiders were the supergroup made up of Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), John Taylor (Duran Duran) and Duff and Matt (Guns And Roses). They were brilliant and apart from a short gig at The Borderline earlier this year this was their last UK performance as they sadly called it a day after one album. For the encore Simon Le Bon came on and sung punk gem "New Rose " by The Damned. Ice T at the small Subterania club in West London was a mega show by the OG. Fantastic lyrics, crazy atmosphere, boxer Lennox Lewis was here to watch as well. Other highlights I saw this year was Sting, Def Leppard, Pulp, Metallica, Rolf Harris, Social Distortion, Coolio, Henry Rollins, Jazz Passengers With Deborah Harry, Slade 2, Godfathers, Gwar, Damned, Stiff Little Fingers, Marianne Faithful, ZZ Top, Gary Numan, Bad Manners, Mike And The Mechanics, Trextasy, Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Manic Street Preachers, Eric Clapton, The Who playing Quadrophenia, Neil Young, Alanis Morissette, Bjork, Massive Attack, Bryan Adams, Patti Smith Group, Steely Dan, Big Country, Powerstation, Peter Perrett.
Well there is no doubt that the LIVE AID was the greatest live event I have seen. It started at noon with Status Quo and finished 11 hours later. The show was full ofthe biggest acts in the country and it was for charity as well. A few days before at the same venue Bruce Springsteen was massive at the time as his "Born In The USA" had gone mega and the show I went to was on July 4 as well. Other highlights I saw this year were Cult, Reo Speedwagon, Saxon, David Johansen, Paul Young, Blue Oyster Cult, James Brown, Motorhead, Kid Creole And The Coconuts, Bobby Womack, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Dire Straits and Madness. 2b1af7f3a8