So Old It’s New set list for Monday, Jan. 2, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Fight, Into The Pit
  2. Queen, We Will Rock You (fast version, from Live Killers)
  3. Alannah Myles, Rock This Joint
  4. Triumph, Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine
  5. Montrose, Space Station #5
  6. Stray, Feel Like I’ve Been Here Before
  7. Hawkwind, Silver Machine
  8. Judas Priest, Painkiller
  9. KK’s Priest, Hellfire Thunderbolt
  10. Ted Nugent, Stranglehold
  11. The Beatles, Helter Skelter
  12. The J. Geils Band, Musta Got Lost (live, including Peter Wolf stage rap, from Blow Your Face Out)
  13. Midnight Oil, Redneck Wonderland
  14. Status Quo, Big Fat Mama
  15. Deep Purple, Lady Double Dealer
  16. The Rolling Stones, Lies
  17. Budgie, Crash Course In Brain Surgery
  18. Black Sabbath, Supernaut (Ozzy Osbourne vocals)
  19. Black Sabbath, Neon Knights (Ronnie James Dio vocals)
  20. Black Sabbath, Digital Bitch (Ian Gillan vocals)
  21. Black Sabbath, Get A Grip (Tony Martin vocals)
  22. Thin Lizzy, The Rocker
  23. AC/DC, The Furor
  24. Headstones, Flight Risk
  25. Iron Maiden, 2 Minutes To Midnight 

    Set list with my track-by-track tales:

    1. Fight, Into The Pit . . . A thrash metal scorcher from Rob Halford’s short-lived band, early 1990s, during a period when the lead singer left Judas Priest. Priest carried on for two studio and a couple live albums and concert video releases with Tim “Ripper” Owens, a Halford sound-alike recruited from a Priest tribute band, on lead vocals. Owens departed when Halford returned but has since returned to the Priest fold as that band has splintered. Owens is now lead singer for former Priest guitarist KK Downing’s band KK’s Priest, a track of whose I’m playing later in the set.
    1. Queen, We Will Rock You (fast version, from Live Killers) . . . I’ll never forget them opening with this when I saw the Jazz album tour at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens in early December, 1978, a couple months after the album’s release. In those pre-internet and instant information availability days, the speeded up arrangement version was a total, fantastic surprise in what was one of the best concerts I’ve seen. Blistering. Queen closed the show with We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions in the version as it appeared on the double single from 1977’s News Of The World studio album, followed by their usual instrumental closer, God Save the (then) Queen.
    1. Alannah Myles, Rock This Joint . . . The song and the title fit my mood in putting this show together. It’s from her 1989 debut album, the one featuring the blockbuster single Black Velvet.
    1. Triumph, Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine . . . Title cut from the Canadian hard rockers’ second album, released in 1977. I’m not a big Triumph fan. I thought a lot of their later stuff – when they were actually more commercially successful, certainly in the US market – suffered from 1980s overproduction, although I probably haven’t investigated it thoroughly enough although I just checked out one of their, apparently, hits, A World Of Fantasy (it’s on their first compilation album) and, ugh but it’s approaching Starship schlock, to my ears. To each one’s own of course but how does such shit appeal to people?All that said, I do like Triumph’s earlier material, like Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine. I suppose it comes down to four Triumph tracks, for me, counting Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine. The other three, in no particular order, if anyone’s interested:

      * Lay It On The Line – which, music often being a place and time thing, reminds me of a college girlfriend and our relationship. I remember the song playing one night, on the radio, when I was at her place and how it resonated. We broke up soon after, maybe due to the song, maybe not, but in some ways, although never look back, one of those ‘what-if’ scenarios albeit in what was in the end an insignificant, early relationship.
      * Rocky Mountain Way, Triumph’s cover of the Joe Walsh/Barnstorm band tune.
      * Blinding Light Show/Moonchild, an epic hard rock/prog combo track from the debut album that I’ve previously played on the show, and will again.

    1. Montrose, Space Station #5 . . .Well, I spent way too much time on Triumph than I intended to. Might happen with Montrose, too. It’s how my mind sometimes works. Originally, I just had that Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine was the title cut of Triumph’s 1977 album, but reconsidered and thought I should say more, so then my stream of consciousness thought process got the better of me, perhaps. On to Montrose, which reminds me of what I love about music, almost as much of the actual music and that’s the various threads and connections, which results in people (not me, so far) making money from things like designing and writing about rock family trees. It’s true of any industry, of course, but music is a popular culture thing so it’s arguably of more interest, especially to obsessives like me. So . . . Guitarist Ronnie Montrose, the titular head of the band, was originally a session musician and played on such albums as Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey (one of my favorites), which was produced by Ted Templeman, who produced the first Montrose album, and later produced the early Van Halen albums and then co-produced For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, by which time Sammy Hagar, Montrose’s original lead singer, was three albums into and firmly in place replacing David Lee Roth as Van Halen’s singer. Montrose was also in Edgar Winter’s band, specifically for the album They Only Come Out At Night and hit singles Frankenstein and Free Ride. As for Space Station #5, the title says it – a ‘spacey’ rocker, and a good one.
    1. Stray, Feel Like I’ve Been Here Before . . . Perfect song, because I’ve said this before but bears repeating. I discovered Stray via a compilation, I’m A Freak, Baby – A Journey Through the British Heavy Rock and Underground Scene, 1968-72 that a friend excitedly recommended to me years ago now. “You have to get this!’ he advised me one night on Facebook Messenger. So, I got it, the 3-CD compilation that was released in 2016. Later, I was the one recommending he get the subsequent “I’m A Freak Baby 2” comp that came out three years later, expanding the palate to include 1973. And there’s a ‘Freak Baby’ third compilation, issued in 2021, all of them excellent. As for Stray, I liked the band so much via the one track – All In Your Mind which I’ve played before – on the original Freak Baby comp that I bought a Stray anthology, from which I discovered this ‘galloping’ track. Future Iron Maiden members were probably listening, and planning.
    1. Hawkwind, Silver Machine . . . Lemmy Kilmister’s band before he formed Motorhead. And, in a hard rock show, I forgot to play Motorhead, today at least. Next time. Which might be as soon as Saturday morning’s show. Or not. I might go totally singer-songwriter acoustic, depends on mood. Stay tuned.
    1. Judas Priest, Painkiller . . . And so it is, intentionally, that after my opening cut, by the Rob Halford-led Fight, we come ’round to Judas Priest via the thrash metal title track to arguably Priest’s heaviest album, from 1990. Intense stuff.
    1. KK’s Priest, Hellfire Thunderbolt . . . And intense is also this, from the aforementioned band formed by former Priest guitarist KK Downing, featuring former Priest singer Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens. As someone on YouTube commented: ‘there’s now 2 Priests? I’m in heaven!’ Or hell. I agree.
    1. Ted Nugent, Stranglehold . . . Heavy, hypnotic riff. Not necessarily a fan of the man’s politics but his music that I like, I like, a lot. Always cracks me up with some people who, when an entertainer comes out with views they might disagree with, state (usually in self-righteous public fashion these days on social media) that said entertainer is dead to them. Fine, whatever. But you’re going to give up what entertains you simply due to a differing point of view? 1. Sounds strange and narrow-minded to me. 2. I doubt such people actually do give it up, although they’d never admit to it.
    1. The Beatles, Helter Skelter . . . The Beatles were often trailblazers and some have suggested this might be the first heavy metal tune, from 1968’s White Album albeit I’d dispute that given some prior work by the likes of, say, Link Wray and so many others. It’s actually hilarious, at least in one video I’ve seen, which purports to reveal who originated heavy metal but no answer is arrived at after the host goes through just about anyone with even the slightest connection to the genre. Put it this way: stuff evolves; everything is influenced by everything else, the present is built on the past. In any event, obviously a great tune, blisters on Ringo’s fingers included.
    1. The J. Geils Band, Musta Got Lost (live, including Peter Wolf stage rap, from Blow Your Face Out) . . . This might actually be the slowest-paced song among all these fast songs today, in part due to the inherent slowdown of Geils’ lead singer Peter Wolf’s classic rap to open the song, which was one of the fairly successful hit singles Geils had before the massive commercial heights of the Freeze Frame album era that featured such hits as Centerfold.
    1. Midnight Oil, Redneck Wonderland . . . One might not typically think Midnight Oil belongs in a hard rock set but they went close to metallic on this title cut from the Australian band’s 1998 album. Love it. And I love the cover art – a kangaroo toting a rifle. Two years later, I was covering the Sydney Olympics for my newspaper and saw such a kangaroo employed as security. Just kidding. I did see kangaroos, in an enclosure at the media village. No rifles.
    1. Status Quo, Big Fat Mama . . . Another kick-butt rocker from the appropriately titled Piledriver album.
    1. Deep Purple, Lady Double Dealer . . . Aren’t they all? Kidding. Maybe. From the Stormbringer album. I, and I think a lot of Purple fans, have never understood Ritchie Blackmore’s dislike of the 1974 record, the last of the so-called Mark III version of Purple with Blackmore on guitar and featuring lead vocalist David Coverdale and bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes. Too funky for Blackmore’s tastes yet, and I’m no guitar expert, his playing seems more than fine to me including on this rocker. Who can truly know the creative, mercurial mind? In any case, Blackmore was soon on to form Rainbow.
    1. The Rolling Stones, Lies . . . Stones go particularly punk on this one from Some Girls. I used to consider it one of the weaker cuts on the excellent album, too overtly an attempt at putting it to the punk rockers who had called out by then establishment bands like the Stones, who of course were among the original punks, but it’s grown on me over time. Had it been, say, a Ramones song, it likely would be on a greatest hits compilation by that band which, while great and influential and I like them, arguably just did the same song over and over.
    1. Budgie, Crash Course In Brain Surgery . . . Short, sweet, typically great riff rock from Budgie.
    1. Black Sabbath, Supernaut (Ozzy Osbourne vocals) . . . I probably play this too often but can never get enough of it and that great riff courtesy guitarist Tony Iommi. First of a set of four Sabbath tunes, with four different singers, over time and various lineup changes.
    1. Black Sabbath, Neon Knights (Ronnie James Dio vocals) . . . Ozzy leaves, in comes Dio, at the time most recently with Blackmore’s Rainbow. As with any big band getting a new singer, people wonder. So the band places this as lead cut on the Heaven and Hell album and, people no longer wonder. Sabbath sailed on.
    1. Black Sabbath, Digital Bitch (Ian Gillan vocals) . . . An almost out of control vehicle of a song screeching along, on the one and only Sabs album fronted by Deep Purple’s most renowned singer. Gillan apparently joined the band sometime amid a drunken evening with Sabs’ guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler, after which Gillan’s agent lamentably advised Gillan to please consult him in such future decisions. In any event, out came the what I think is the brilliant Born Again album in 1983, all of this despite Gillan’s hilarious struggles with lyrics and such on the subsequent tour – read his book, Child In Time, or various other accounts of a tour which at least in part inspired the classic rock spoof movie This Is Spinal Tap. The amp goes to 11! Etc.
    1. Black Sabbath, Get A Grip (Tony Martin vocals) . . . The Tony Martin era, where Tony Iommi soldiered on with assorted players, with original bassist Geezer Butler in and out on various albums, is generally considered the runt of the litter of the band’s output but I like the Martin albums as much as those done with the other various vocalists. Really. Worth checking out, if one has an open mind. Some of Iommi’s most prodigious riffs lurk, largely unheard, on many of the Martin records.
    1. Thin Lizzy, The Rocker . . . Title says it all, really. What a great band Lizzy was, so much more than The Boys Are Back In Town. “In walks this chick and I knew she was up to something . . . “ Probably would be held to account on misogynist grounds for such an obvious realistic situation lyric, these days. It’s the birds and the bees, you know? Amazing guitar, too, by Eric Bell.
    1. AC/DC, The Furor . . . Love this cut from Ballbreaker, just the way it opens, the arrangement, the lyrics, Phil Rudd’s solid, serve the song drumming, all of it. Saw the tour. Great stuff. Two hours of power, as the friend I went with termed it.
    1. Headstones, Flight Risk . . . Another blistering cut from Headstones, this the title cut from their most recent, late 2022-released album. I’ve said it before, but a very consistent band, rarely an easily-dismissed track, their albums are always good, front to back listens, to my ears.
    1. Iron Maiden, 2 Minutes To Midnight . . . I suppose I should have played this on my Saturday morning show, which was New Year’s Eve. But, I didn’t. In any event it’s about war, the threat of wars, not new years, none of which ever seem to change much.

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