Saturday, July 30, 2011

Trouble in Journey-Land?

Word is starting to get around that Journey may be, yet again, in the market for a new lead singer. Rumors are beginning to swirl that Arnel Pineda is becoming less enthusiastic about being the band's front man allegedly due to the demands of Schon, Cain, and Valory. He's also rumored to be quite homesick and talk has been increasing about him possibly leaving the band.

The following video does nothing to help matters as Arnel looks almost robotic on this Today show performance. Going through the motions anyone?

While Steve Perry will always be the true lead singer for Journey, it's highly unlikely that he'll join the band again. I enjoyed seeing the Jeff Scott Soto version of the band a few years back. Wouldn't mind seeing him come back into the fold.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Stuffy News Network Don't Know Rock


I know that CNN is not considered a breeding ground for great music writers but I have to take issue with a recent entry on their Marquee Blog section that lists writer Josh Lubin's Top 5 Rock Movies.

While there are some pretty decent picks for Rock movies here some stuff just plain sticks out like a fungus-covered thumb. Here's my opinion on Lubin's (unfortunate name) opinion:

5. Almost Famous: One of my all-time favorite music-related movies and an inspiring story for me personally since I embodied William Miller's dorky shyness growing up while dreaming of being the next Lester Bangs. This one is fine.

4. Ray: Are you fucking kidding me??? I have NO problem giving Ray Charles praise and his songs are legendary and his story is a natural for a classic movie. Unfortunately, this film lacked clear direction when it was made and honestly bored the hell out of me. Jamie Foxx was impressive in the role but something was just "off" about this film and I never could get into it.

3. La Bamba: Pretty good choice but I'm still burned out on this one from when HBO used to show it about 7 times a day when I was a kid. Also, what the hell happened to Lou Diamond Phillips? Oh yeah....nothing.

2. The Last Waltz: A solid pick here. I'm not even a fan of The Band but Scorsese makes this legendary concert riveting from start to finish. Love this one.

1. The Doors: A rock film that hasn't aged well at all. This movie was a big deal at the time due to the massive stardom of Val Kilmer at the time but it does little to portray the accurate story of  The Doors. The other guys in the band are portrayed pretty poorly and things are blown waaaaayyyy out of proportion in parts.

Here's where I'm gonna blow my top:

On Lubin's "Honorable Mention" section, he picks 'Oh God, You Devil'.

Seriously?? This movie causes George Burns to roll around in his grave to this day! A film that portrays a down on his luck moron making a deal with the Devil to become the next Rick Springfield? No thanks!

You can check out Lubin's full list at this link

State of the Geek Union


I've had quite a few folks wondering when I'm going to get off my ass and put up a new episode and to those I say "whenever I feel like it!"

Actually, things have been in motion this whole time and I think there's some great stuff coming in the future. Expect a new episode within a week.

At this time I want to welcome Marc Bullard into the fray. No, not that douchey group of jackasses that know how to save a life. Marc is a very knowledgeable rock fan that is just as nutty about this stuff as I am and we are in the middle of organizing this chaos so you, the listener, will be receiving regular episodes as well as more direct contact with me (aren't you thrilled?) and consistent content right here on the site as well as in the social networking stratosphere.

A lot of folks have asked if I've been sued yet by Vinnie Vincent since the 2-part episode was released a couple weeks ago. Well, you'll have to wait until the next episode to find that out. All that I'll say is that it definitely elicited a reaction.

I want to thank everyone that has made doing this podcast so far so fun and successful. Hearing the great comments and criticism is what makes this worth doing. I love loud music and love talking about it but it's just me talking into a mic if I don't have feedback and I've been blessed to have so much in the past month.

I think that this show may have some legs and I'm gonna do everything I can to make it as entertaining for you guys as I can. Thanks again for listening and check back here on the site often as you will be hearing for Marc and others as they become contributors to the Decibel Geek world!

If you are interested in joining the team shoot me an e-mail or comment here and I'll get back in touch.

Hang loose....and to the left.

Chris Czynszak

Monday, July 4, 2011

Vinnie Vincent Special - Part 2

Music Featured:

Theme Song: Manic Bloom
1st & 5th Break: Piranah
2nd Break: Absinthe Junk
3rd Break: Fist of the North Star
4th Break: Oblivion Myth
Outro Song: Mindset Defect

Well, consider my mind blown!

I had a feeling that this 2-part special would generate some interest but never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned the amount of downloads that Part 1 has received. I'll never compete with Adam Carolla or Chris Hardwick's Nerdist podcast in download numbers; but to give you an idea of the impact that part 1 had on my statistics, the peak download numbers for a single day for any of my previous episodes (& there are only 4 of them) was 15 downloads in a day. The Vinnie Vincent Special Part 1?......over 300 downloads in 24 hours! We're well over 600 downloads for this episode and that's just during a holiday weekend!

I want to thank everyone that's downloaded the show and especially thank all of you that have sent me e-mails & facebook/twitter feedback (good AND bad). Feedback is what helps drive all of us that do podcasts to keep doing the work. So, if you want me to stop then don't leave any comments! I kid, I kid.

For Independence Day, I thought I would go ahead and take a break between grilling and swilling beers to upload Part 2 of the Vinnie Vincent Special!

This segment of the show has more guests, more stories, and more buffoonery that Part 1. We start off with my update of how the Vinnie Vincent story helped put me in print with a quote of mine being used in a local Nashville publication. I also delve into the recent developments of Vinnie's comments on his recent "settlement", a deeper look at what the charges really mean, and a look at the bizarre treatment of many of his fans.

The message forum stuff is compelling due to the fact that one of Vinnie's biggest fans, Vic Radacic, started up a message board last year after Vinnie locked everyone out of his forum. The subsequent fraternization and open conversation between members seems to have caused Vinnie to label this forum a "Hate Group." We get the low-down from Vic about how both forums came to be and all of the drama surrounding them.

Bravewords' Mitch Lafon checks in from Canada with his take on Vinnie Vincent. Mitch was one of the few that got to see Vinnie on KISS' Creatures of the Night tour and explains his dismay at finding out that Ace Frehley had left the band just before seeing Vinnie hit the stage.

Alexx Michael from Shameless jons us next for an in-depth discussion about his involvement with Vinnie's appearances during the 1996-97 European KISS Expo tour. Alexx has plenty to share with us about his time dealing with the Ankh Warrior and the business transaction that went sour over a guitar in which he believed Vinnie was attempting to dupe him. Alexx was helping Gerhard Wimmer with these events. Gerhard is the head of and issued a very detailed accounting of what it was like dealing with Vinnie during these KISS expos. You can read the full press release HERE

We also hear briefly about Vinnie's "almost" re-emergence at Ed Roman's guitar store in Las Vegas in 2006. It appeared there was a deal in place for Roman to produce a line of Vinnie Vincent signature model guitars and an upcoming appearance was being advertised in the media at which Vinnie would show up and perform at the store. Suddenly, the advertising for the event vanished and nothing else was said on the subject. We hear breifly from Ed Roman about what happened.

Wrapping things up, I explain my personal feelings of what the past 2 years of research has been like and how it has felt to enjoy the music so much yet feel so drained from many of the stories that I've heard.

I'm not shutting the door completely on the idea of a Part 3.....but I definitely need a break! Hope you enjoy listening and rock on!

- Chris Czynszak

Friday, July 1, 2011

Vinnie Vincent Special - Part 1

Music Included:
Show Theme: Manic Bloom
1st & 2nd Breaks: 3 Minutes to Live
Outro Music: Mindset Defect

Direct Download

I think Hell has officially frozen over!

This episode is a long time coming and I hope it will inform people that have always wondered "What the hell happened to Vinnie Vincent?"

The show begins with a quick recap of how I had the seedling of an idea of finding out what happened to Vinnie Vincent and turning it into a writing project. What began as a quick idea that would make an interesting magazine article snowballed when I received so much information from so many angles that I began to entertain thoughts of turning the story into a book.......then, I got realistic. A book at this point in time about a recluse guitarist who's 15 minutes of fame ended in the 1980's just wasn't practical; no matter how much I loved his music, songwriting, and intriguing story.

I launched the Decibel Geek podcast when I remembered how much fun it was to interview some of the people that I grew up listening to and artists of today that I dig. I had already conducted some interviews for the Vinnie Vincent project at the time and figured I could use some of those and add some new ones for a big episode on Vinnie.

Little did I know at the time that Vinnie Vincent was about to be a public figure again in a big way; not one of his own choosing. From seemingly out of nowhere, Vinnie Vincent appeared on TMZ due to being arrested for a domestic violence episode with his wife. Within 24 hours his mug shot was all over the place; the first photo seen of him in almost 7 years!

The 2 years that I've spent researching this troubled virtuoso's history has been uplifting at times (when discovering his music post-KISS) and depressing at others. This episode of the Decibel Geek Podcast seeks to give a glimpse into what some of Vinnie's peers over the years have experienced working with KISS' former Ankh Warrior and provides me with a chance to speak as a voice of the fans who are trying to navigate this strange situation.

Joining me in part 1 of this Vinnie Vincent Special are former WASP, Steeler, & SIN bassist Rik Fox who shares with me his shock at, what he claims, was his song being ripped off by the Vinnie Vincent Invasion shortly after letting Vinnie and band mate Dana Strum listen to his demo and the icy reception he received when trying to settle the dispute.

Also joining me is Keli Raven, a veteran Los Angeles musician that was breaking into the scene back in 1991 and worked with Vinnie Vincent on the still-unreleased Guitars from Hell album. Raven also was involved with some of the music for writing sessions for KISS' Revenge album and was witness to Gene Simmons & Vinnie Vincent's creative process. Unfortunately, Keli states that Vinnie continuously lived up to a bad reputation that he had built by that time.

This episode is just the tip of the iceberg and will leave you wanting to hear more (we hope!). Part 1 of the Vinnie Vincent Special is your ticket to a behind the scenes look at one of the most intriguing rock personalities of the 1980's. Get ready for an audio Invasion!

- Chris Czynszak

Keli Raven:

Rik Fox:
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