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Random Thoughts On The Rock Fest Program! 8/17/02



Since Metal Edge is sponsoring the Rock Fest tour with Dokken, Ratt, Warrant, Firehouse, and L.A. Guns, they made their own program for the tour. It has about 120 pages featuring all these bands and shit like that. After looking through it, I knew I had to review it.

I immediately open up the program and see this horrifying photo:

Who’s the funny guy who had the idea to use this photo? Gargano, was that you? Too bad Jani hasn’t looked like that in over 12 years!!!!

On the other side of the Jani photo is this photo of Firehouse:

What’s up with the dog? Is that the keyboard player or something?
Maybe their manager? Wife? Girlfriend?
I don’t get it.

Metal Edge "Executive" Editor Paul Gargano has some words that I have to write out because they’re good. Paul starts off saying:

The idea for a Metal Edge sponsored summer tour started as little more than pontification around a picnic table between Obi Steinman and myself, possibly the end result of too much to drink.

You ain’t kidding! Can you imagine the ‘pontification’ that must have taken place between Paul and Obi? It boggles the mind. Plus how many Warrant fans even know what ‘pontification’ means? This is Metal Edge, not the Wall Street Journal. Keep it simple, dude.

Or were we onto something?

More likely you were "on" something.

The talk shifted from a whole lot of, "You know what we could do?" to a lot more of "Why don’t we?" Once we brought the idea into our office, we knew we were in trouble…

Fuck yeah you were. You were booking Jani Lane on a 3 month tour and actually expected him not to snap. You were in big trouble.

Our motives were simple

I believe it’s called money.

– There aren’t enough fun, affordable tours out there. In these turbulent financial times, do we really need $75 concert tickets?

That’s easy to say now because nobody is going to pay $75 to see Warrant, Ratt, or Dokken. And if it’s to see Britney Spears fly above the crowd and roll around in the rain, then the answer is yes.

Not if we can help it. And we did help it- The results are this summer’s Metal Edge Rock Fest, the inaugural run of a concert package we expect to last well into the future.

That is, until the inaugural METAL SLUDGE Tour kicks off and beats your tour into the ground.

Metal Edge Rock Fest offers the best of both worlds for every fan of rock ‘n’ roll, whether their tastes lean towards the tight-packaged past, or trample into the baggy-bottomed future.

How do you figure? If a kid is into the "baggy-bottomed future" as you say, chances are he’s not into Dokken, Ratt, Warrant, LA Guns and Firehouse. This tour isn’t featuring any new bands, only 80s hairbands. It’s a hairband tour, end of story. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but don’t try to make it sound cutting edge or anything.

No, we’re not out to compete with any of the other tours out there,

Bullshit. If you weren’t trying to compete you wouldn’t be having low ticket prices or even having a tour.

we’re just out to make the summer even more of a season to remember, with a concert tour guaranteed to please fans young and old….Kicking off June 20 in Fargo, ND, and scheduled to run through mid-September, the inaugural Metal Edge tour features five of the bands that the magazine’s foundation has been built upon – Dokken, Ratt, Warrant, Firehouse, and L.A. Guns. Between them, they’ve sold more than 25 million records, tallied seven Top 10 hits at radio, 20 Top 40 singles, and more than a dozen Top 10 MTV videos. For those keeping score at home, that’s more hits than pretty much every other rock tour on the road this summer –

I thought you weren’t trying to compete.

David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar have us beat, as do The Who and Robert Plant, The Rolling Stones, and Aerosmith and Kid Rock,

And a little tour called OzzFest has you beat, and I believe another tour featuring Poison comes pretty close to those stats. But hey, that’s more hits than pretty much every other rock tour on the road this summer, except for the ones mentioned above, which basically means you guys are only ahead of the Tesla, Vince Neil, Jackyl, Skid Row tour. Way to go!

but I think that puts us in pretty good company for a first stab at turning a monthly magazine into an annual touring event.

Too bad half those bands on the tour can’t even get into Metal Edge anymore because it’s more important to cover Trik Turner or KMFDM.

The first article is on Ratt, and it’s decent. But in the middle of the Ratt article, I see this ridiculous ad for Tuff.

I like how a band with 2 studio albums has 5 CDs out and a box set! What the fuck is that? That should be illegal. Only bands with 10 or more albums should be allowed to have Box Set. Bands like Kiss, Aerosmith, or Motley Crue. What’s next, a Roxy Blue box set? It also says "Second release coming in 2000." That’s great, too bad it’s fucking Summer 2002! Update your fucking ad. What is this, Perris Records?

The next article is on Dokken, and Don starts off saying, "I used to feel kind of pompous, ya know?" Noooooooooooo, not Don Dokken? Pompous? As opposed to what, being the asshole you are now?

I know that Don isn’t paying Mick Brown enough money either. How do I know this? Because it’s obvious Mick can’t afford mirrors in his house, because no way would anybody with a mirror have a hairstyle like this:

Somebody, please, buy Mick a mirror for his house. He still thinks it’s 1983. Help him. His hair looks like a fucking helmet.

In the Dokken interview, Don makes sure to mention that they are headlining and that they never toured with any of these bands before because they were always playing with metal bands like Judas Priest or AC/DC, Kiss, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Metallica, Scorpions, etc. Well guess what Don, you’re now touring with Warrant, Ratt, L.A. Guns, and Firehouse. Karma, ain’t it a bitch?

Now we come to Warrant. I like how a lot of the photos in this program are old school photos. Stuff like this:

Now if you hadn’t seen Warrant in years and looked through this program, you’d basically think Jani still looked like that. Imagine the horror when this hits the stage:

Jani says in the article, "Considering that Aerosmith and Van Halen are already considered classics, we’re only above five or six years away from being considered classics ourselves." That and maybe 50 million album sales, and you will be classics!

After Warrant comes a bunch of posters of the bands in their heyday. Other than maybe Lisa The Stalker and Chantel, who hangs this shit up in their rooms still?

After the posters comes an article on Firehouse. They kind of remind me of a laxative because they bore the shit out of me. Just like watching them live, it’s time to hit the bathroom and go grab another beer. I’ll be back.

Ok, I’m back and I see I didn’t miss anything. L.A. Guns are next. Phil Lewis is wearing a red dress in their new photo, probably because he’s a bitch. I shouldn’t say that since the banner up above is advertising the new L.A. Guns CD, but c’mon, the guy is a bitch. He recently puss’d out on a Rewind we had for him and that story will be up sooner or later. Somebody needs to check his green card and send him back to his rainy island.

I also love how all the bands are sort of bitching about touring with each other. I love that shit. Everybody thinks that they’re the exception to the hairband thing. Phil Lewis says, "I’d rather be going out with Deep Purple and Dio." Tracii says, "I don’t know what a good bill for L.A. Guns is, honestly. I don’t like going on at five o’clock in the afternoon, I don’t care who we’re playing for." Everyone wants to come off more important than the next band.

NOTE TO ALL 80’S BANDS: You’re all in the same boat. Get used to it. The radio of today isn’t going to play you no matter what you do, so play your music and be happy anybody shows up. Be it at 3 in the afternoon or at midnight. Either way you’re getting paid and it’s beats working at Applebees. Be happy.

The next section of the magazine are photos of each band. Each band gets two pages featuring various photos. Ratt is first and it’s all old shit. It even includes a photo of Pearcy. It includes silly ass photos like this:

What the fuck is this? David Lee Roth wouldn’t even be caught wearing that.

Nice mullet

The next photo section is with Dokken and his various wigs, but fuck Dokken, lets get to Warrant’s section because that’ll be more fun.

Back in the day, bands had such stupid photo shoots. For example, I don’t think you’d see bands of today like Creed or Disturbed looking like this:

Who’s idea was it to go, "Hey, we’ll put you guys in motorcycle helmets! That’ll be great. And you’ll do that gay thing with your arms. Kids will love it! It’ll make you guys look tough!" No, Nikki Sixx covered in blood looked cool. A bunch of goofs wearing motorcycle gear, with no motorcycles anywhere to be found, looks GAY!

Write that down.

Here’s another one that was popular with bands:

The photo with a street sign. Not outside mind you where you can actually find street signs, but inside a studio with a street sign. As if the stop sign just happened to be there. That makes no fucking sense. "Hey, lets get a stop sign and you guys can stand behind that." I didn’t think there was enough blow in the world to come up with an idea like that.

I’ve also seen more photos of Steven Sweet and Joey Allen in this magazine than Billy Morris and Mike Fasano. Billy and Sack must be stoked about that.

The Firehouse photos all look the same, so lets move on to L.A. Guns. Again, most of the L.A. Guns photos are really old, but here’s a stupid one:

Really, was running a photo with Chris Van Dahl necessary?
Too bad Tracii wasn’t throwing acid on him.

The program ends with a goofy photo of both Jani Lane and Bobby Blotzer, and then a group photo of Love/Hate and Warrant, which includes another picture of Joey Allen and Steven Sweet. Maybe they’re driving the buses or something and I don’t know about it.

I’m out like L.A. Guns’ previous six singers,


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