Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Rocktober Three For All. Sleep, Alice and Adler

Not in the mood to wax poetically on any certain subject right now, but there’s been a few things on the back burner I’d like to at least get out of my head.  So here’s a combo-post of a few of the sights and sounds and thoughts of the past few weeks. 

SLEEP: September 9, Logan Square Auditorium
Wow, did I screw the pooch on this one!  It being a weeknight and time is tight I called the venue to try to get an idea of what time SLEEP would be performing that night.  Guy said 10PM sharp!  So with that knowledge, I took my sweet ass time in getting into the city. 

We arrived at around 9:30-ish and lo and behold, we’re a half hour late.   What the fuck, right?  So with that, I never got to really enjoy the show.  It was heavy, it was louder than shit and it was admittedly really fucking awesome, but the showing up late shit never left my mind.  As good as it was to see the rest of the gig; it was fucking lame to have missed the beginning. 

Ah, fuck it, that’s what You Tube is for. 

ALICE IN CHAINS: September 16, Charter One Pavilion
Any background info on what Alice In Chains, their records and their live shows mean to me can be found here and here.  If you read or have read those, chances are you’ll say I had a different view on the most recent Alice visit to Chicago. 

I’m not sure if it was due to this being the kick off of the tour, first night bugs or it being an outdoor venue but whatever the case may be, but I have to say this was the least enjoyable Alice show I think I’ve ever seen.   Maybe that’s due to the absolute perfection that was brought forth back in March at the Aragon, so maybe it’s a “feel sorry for the fanatic” type of thing.  People that missed that show might have loved tonight’s performance?  Regardless, I was probably in the minority that left the show underwhelmed. 

I understand that bands on their time off the road, the last thing they want to do is sit down and learn “new” songs from their catalog.  I can see how that might not be their first choice of things to do while on “vacation.”  However, when a band is trying hard to establish itself as something other than a nostalgic act, I think it’d be an important task to tackle at some point.  Alice In Chains has done some of that with the release of the incredible ‘Black Gives Way To Blue’ a little more than a year ago and picking up where the left off many years ago as a staple and dominant force in rock radio. 

So with that knowledge, I think they desperately need to change up the set list to really seal the deal on where they’re at, where they’re going and eventually where they’ll end up.  Like I mentioned ‘Black Gives Way…’ is incredible and I think they could easily feature way more new songs and replace some of the “staples” which would have corrected any technical issues that plagued the Chicago kick off of the ‘Black Diamond Skye’ tour. 

If you’re a regular reader here you know how I feel about Rock/Metal Media, from books to movies to this and that, I love this stuff and it’s because of my love for these things that I feel at home blogging instead of doing actual magazine work.

I was pretty anxious to read Steven’s book.  I was a big GnR fan back in 87/88 and I was looking forward to being a fly on the wall during the formation of one of the biggest (and at the time) best Rock and Roll bands of all time.  I knew there’d be a hefty amount of excess, after all the title pretty much guarantees it.

The book starts well enough.  You do get the adolescent years, the family ground rules and the dynamics between Steven and his Mother.  From there it blossoms into the pre-teen bonding with Slash, which is some rather remarkable stuff in and of itself.   You get an idea of the hunger that Adler possessed the drive that planted the dream of rock stardom deep in his heart and lo and behold it’s, as we all know what ended up happening. 

The formation of Guns N’ Roses, to me is some of the best stuff in the book.  His insights to what made the band as well as individual members click and how all these misfit pieces came together was something out of a Hollywood fairy tale.   Steven takes the reader to the writing, recording, touring and like I said earlier you get to be the fly on the wall as the band goes from ultra shitty rags to countless riches seemingly overnight.  From the years 1985-1989/90 the dream was in full-motherfucking-effect as it pertains to Adler and he thought that ride would never end.

But during those years, especially 87/90, the World was Adler’s candy store.  Well, if that candy store sold weed, cocaine, crack, heroin, and pussy, you’d have a good idea how Steven rolled when he was on top.  Trouble is, as quick as that rocket ship of fame took off, for Adler it seemed to land even quicker not to mention a fuck of a lot harder. 

If you’ve paid any attention to anything Rock and Roll related over the past 20 years you know what happened to Steven Adler.  This book succeeds on a weird level, this I’ll let you know right away.  It’s not really a well written book, the drug use is absolutely fucking ridiculous, I mean this is the first Rock book I think I’ve ever read that (if it were possible) would have scared me straight.  Some of the stories are just so out there you wonder when some of it was written. 

The thing that saves ‘My Appetite’ is the fact that Adler is currently clean of hard drugs and his rehabilitation has allowed him to move forward in his life and look at certain situations and find himself at fault.  Sure he does a lot of talking about members, and ex-members of GNR, but when it comes to admitting his role in a LOT of the turmoil surrounding his time in the band, he can now see both sides of the coin.  Is this a “must read?”  No, not at all but it does hold some merit in a historical sense.  I’ll give it that.