2016 Prince and the Death of Rock

“2016: The Death Of Rock”

BUZZ Newspaper Article (#62-pR) May- Jun 2016

By: RLSchwinden aka MrZerr0


Hey Rik! I hope all’s well with you. I’ve been working on coverage about Prince’s death for the New York Daily News, I was wondering if people are coming in to Mr. Zero’s to get Prince Memorabilia? I thought I’d check in with you and see if you’ve been seeing a noticeable demand there. Thanks for your help, Anna P. Mon 25 Apr 2016: 11:35am


Hello Anna,

On the death of any Rock Star, I have been in the “Record Biz” for 31 years now, I started with RecordShop, in 1986 from there Archives, then my own Mail Order Business “Dr. Rox Remember When?” (Pre-internet), Wherehouse, Musicland, BestBuy, Disc Jockey, fye, all of these in 5 different states, & then Discland & finally I opened Mr. Zero’s in Roseville 55113 in 2009. When I 1st started in “The Biz” all those years ago, Ricky Nelson was the 1st to die in ‘85, followed by Benny Goodman in ’86 & in ‘87 Maria Von Trapp,  Liberace,, Andreas Segovia, Buddy Rich & then Peter Tosh kicking off  the Reggae movement in Des Moines.


> Feels Like The 1st Time <

It wasn’t until Mar ’88 when Andy Gibb died & his old fans started coming into  RecordShop, where I was working  in W. Des Moines, looking to buy Gibb’s Cassettes, Vinyl & CDs. (this was long before the internet started robbing retail stores of sales & States of Retail Taxes, which began around 2000) so Buying Cassettes, Vinyl & CDs was still a HUGE Deal at the time, but there was a term back then for Catalog Titles “In Print” or “Out Of Print” & Andy Gibb was “Out Of Print” (meaning no real demand for any of his recordings) at the time of his death, so there was nothing to purchase, for some time by then, as his last release was in sometime in ‘81 & his next release was 3 years later, a CD Hits package in ’91. So this was my 1st real exposure to this trend.


The next one to go, was Roy Orbison, who died in Dec ’88, this is where we in “The Biz” really took notice of the trend. Roy had a newer “Re-Recorded” Greatest Hits Album, released in Sep ’87, about a year earlier. When that album came out it did not sell very well, Then Roy Died. The Demand for that Record & Cassette was staggering, so from then on we “In The Biz” watched very carefully who was “ill or about to die or had died”, we would then stock up on that Artists Titles: Cassette, CD (Vinyl if it was available as Vinyl was put to death in Dec ’87) so this tread is not a new one for those who have been around in the biz for decades.


> Top 5 Prince Memories <

My 1st Prince memory; was at West High in ‘79 a girl in my English class made a “Photo Image Book” to Prince’s song “I Wanna Be Your Lover” I remember hearing the song on the  radio & I thought it was pretty good.  My 2nd Prince memory; I was living in Bemidji, MN. in ’83, working on the cleaning crew at the local collage & our crew chief was playing Prince records he had taped from records onto cassettes on his boombox, I really remember liking “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” this made me seek out the LP ‘1999’. My 3rd Prince memory; was, my girlfriend at the time, Cathy & I going to see “Purple Rain” in the theatre & thinking this is the greatest film I have ever seen, & Apollonia , was  the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.


My 4th memory of Prince, was the song “The Cross” from 1987’s ‘Sign O The Times’ I thought how cool is this, an artist of his caliber wrote such a song about God. My 5th best memory of Prince is the song “Bob George” from 1988’s ‘Black Album’ my then Boss Matt M. gave me a recorded cassette copy of the album, as it was not released to the public until 1994 (on CD & Cassette). If you haven’t heard it give it a listen, I loved that song so much, I often quoted it, some years later my co-worker Damon, turned me in onto “Cloreen Baconskin” from ‘Crystal Ball’ (CD only), from ’83 with Morris Day on Drums.


However, my all time best memory  of Prince: Sometime in late ’08, Record Producer Greg H. had told me Prince was interested in playing on a Tommy Bolin Guitar Tribute CD: ‘Whirlwind’ which did not come to fruition, however shortly after this conversation Prince did perform Billy Cobham’s “Spectrum” live in Jul ’09.


> Back Where We Started <

Around the early 2000’s when “Hard Product” was being phased out in “New Retail Stores” we saw a “New Trend” in the “Used Stores” the availability of certain Artists product at all, whether Alive OR Dead, some artists were simply, very hard to have in stock, in any form in the “Used Shops”. Here’s a brief list in no Particular Order:



David Bowie

James Brown

Gram Parsons




Townes Van Zant

Tom Waits


Frank Zappa


SO … it was hard enough to get a hold of these Artists before they DIED, so when they Died…. Forget about it, that Very Limited Supply dries up in a hurry. So when I heard Prince died, that Thurs morning I knew what to expect. Since I have known about this trend for almost 30 years, I was not taken by surprise & on that, I think more Musicians have died in 2016 than any other year, one of my piers stated recently “2016 the year Rock Music Died” HOWEVER with PRINCE:
The Requests we received In Order Were:

  1. ‘Purple Rain’: DVD
  2. ‘Purple Rain’: Vinyl
  3. ‘HITS: 1 & 2’ on Vinyl BUT WAS ONLY MADE ON CD & Cassette: NO VINYL
  4. ‘Crystal Ball’: on Vinyl BUT WAS ONLY MADE ON CD! NO Vinyl or even Cassette
  5. ‘Black Album’ on Vinyl BUT WAS ONLY MADE ON CD & Cassette … NO VINYL
  6. 12″ Mixes on CD… BUT Only Made ON VINYL not Even Cassette
  7. Full Size Prince Posters 3 x 2 feet
  8. Prince T-Shirts
  9. ‘Hit & Run’ 1&2: on Vinyl, BUT Only Made on CD … NO Vinyl
  10. A DVD of all of “Prince’s MTV Videos” … which has NOT Been Made Ever (few artists have been)
  11. ‘Batman’ on Vinyl very hard to find (but at least made) as it mostly sold on Cassette & CD


I find it Strange in the “Information Age”, where people can “Google” anything & do all the time … it seems to elude them they are looking for & asking for things that were simply NOT MADE ….. So being in the Twin Cities we did try to always stock up on Prince, & we did have many Records & CDs, a few Cassettes & some VHS, & yes we did sell many of them. I write a monthly music column for St. Cloud’s “BUZZ Newspaper” (my 5th year) & “Roseville Patch” on-line, in June of last year I wrote an article on Prince (for his Bday), I was a little nervous to publish it, because Prince has his company closely monitor anything pertaining to him, though I never print “Gossipy” material I was still a little nervous to put something out there, the article was never flagged. I did re-run the Article upon Prince’s passing, because up to his death you could not find any on his music on “YouTube” (& why should you, NO Artist receives any money from being pirated on YouTube). Now that he’s gone you can find all sorts of video of Prince on “YouTube”

So there it is, my experience of the death of musicians in Rock N Roll over the last 3 decades. You can catch my Bi-Annual Radio Show “Mr. Zero’s: PsychoGello” Music from 1965 – 1972 on KAFI 90.3FM & 106.7AM at 12:01am till 2am (Mon) Tues 24 May 2016.

Prince 58-16

BUZZ Newspaper Article #62-pR

Mr. Zero’s *Est. 2009

1744 Lexington Ave. N.

Roseville- St. Paul, MN. 55113



Posted in Articles

Twisted Sister: 1982 -87

“What you don’t know (sure can hurt you)”

Twisted Sister: 1982 -1987

BUZZ Newspaper Article: (#61- tS Apr -May 2016)

By: RLSchwinden aka MrZerr0

For Mr. Zero’s 7th Anniversary & My 5th Anniversary of writing this Article, I am going to cover one of my favorite “unsung” bands: Twisted Sister. My good buddy Eric used to work at our local recordshop “Uncle John” one time when I was hanging out in there, I saw strange looking album by a band called “Twisted Sister” I asked Eric “So what’s with these guys” he said “Oh, they’re great, here I’ll put it on” & then “What You Don’t Know” “Shoot ‘Em Down” & “Under The Blade” came blasting through the P.A. & I was hooked …


> Sliver Star: 1972 <

The band started out as ‘Silver Star’ in 1972, essentially the New Jersey version of the ‘New York Dolls’ when their new guitarist John Segall later known as; Jay Jay French (20 Jul 1952; NYC)  who; was earlier passed over for joining ‘Rainbow- Wicked Lester’ (KISS) recommend a name change  to ‘Twister Sister’ in Feb ’73, after the current “Glam Rock Scene” happening in New York City, to compete with the local heroes like: ‘The Brats’ & “Harlots Of 42nd Street’ & ‘Teenage Lust’ well, that list goes on & on. There was no less than 10 different members of the band, before French recruited Eddie “Fingers” O’Jeda (5  Aug 1955; NYC) on Guitar in ’75, followed by Danial “Dee” Snider (15 Mar 1955; Astoria, NY) on Vocals, in ’76 & Mark “Animal” Mendoza (Glickman: 13 Jul 1955; W. Hampstead, NY) the Bassist from ‘The Dictators’ who joined in ’78  & finally  A.J. Pero (Anthony Jude Pero: 14 Oct 1959; Staten Island, NY – 20 Mar 2015) on Drums in ’81, there were 6 other members in the band from 1977 to ‘81 but this is what is commonly referred to as the classic lineup.

> Shoot ‘Em Down: 1982 <

The band released an Independent 45 Single in ‘79I’ll Never Grow Up, Now” on their own before their 1st official release ‘Ruff Cuts’ on Secret Records in 1982. Starting in Summer ’82 MTV started broadcasting “Music Videos” which by Dec ’84 had essentially replaced the 45 RPM, 7″ Vinyl Single as a viable marketing medium. ‘Twisted Sister’ released the 1st full LP on Secret Records  ‘Under The Blade’ in Sep ’82 (later re-issued on Atlantic) taking full advantage of the “Promo Music Video” the band released 2 videos for this LP; “Bad Boys” & “Under The Blade”.

> We’re Gonna Make It: 1983 <

The band gained some notoriety on the BBC program “The Tube” & was soon signed to Atlantic Records, releasing their 2nd LP ‘You Can’t Stop Rock & Roll’ in Jun ’83 with these 3 videos; “I Am , I’m Me” “Kids Are Back” & “You Can’t Stop R & R”. In the UK 12″ Vinyl Singles were more popular than traditional “Full Length Albums” & especially 45 singles. Since Twisted Sister was way more popular in the UK they released several 12″ Singles, on the “A-Side” was the featured song & on the “B-Side” they included up to 3 “Live” tracks from a 1983 Concert, so if you had all of the 12″ Singles (like I did) “I  Am, I’m Me” & “Kids Are Back” & “We’re Not Gonna Take It” you could assemble the “Live Show” that the band was so famous for! Here is the track list:

*1983 Mar 5 & 6 Marquee Club UK
What You Don’t Know

Bad Boys Of Rock N Roll

Run For Your Life

Tear It Loose
It’s Only Rock N Roll (Dee’s Rap)
Kid’s Are Back
Sin After Sin

Shoot Em Down


>  The Price: 1984 <

In 1984 MTV was at its zenith & so was ‘Twisted Sister’ they released their 3rd LP  ‘Stay Hungry’ in May ’84 with the videos; “I Wanna Rock” “We’re Not Gonna Take It” “SMF” & “The Price” & made an appearance in “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” film with “Burn In Hell”. In the mid 80s MTV was the driving force in the music industry (they could make you or break you) 1 of the unique programs they broadcast was the “MTV Saturday Night Concert” which, the band appeared; here’s the track list from the 19 May 1984 in San Bernardino @ the Orange Show Pavilion


Kids Are Back

We’re Not

I Wanna Rock

Under Blade


You Can’t Stop


Stay Hungry

Burn In Hell



> King Of Fools: 1985 <

With the band’s 4th LP ‘Come Out & Play’ released in Nov ’85 they also released 3 videos; “Leader Of The Pack” “Be Crool to Your Scuel” & “You Want What We Got”, unfortunately, the very thing that made the band so popular, was the very same thing that effectively ended their popularity, after 18 months (which is the average zenith of any Pop Star or Band) of humorous MTV videos, the band was now seen as a one trick pony, this LP did not do well at all, compared to the previous LPs sales. They did release 1 final LP under the ‘Twisted Sister’ name: ‘Love Is For Suckers’ which came out in Aug ’87 with the accompanying videos”Hot Love” & “Tonight” a departure from sound & image, just wasn’t enough, as the LP didn’t do anything for the band or the tour that followed for this LP, their final show was in MPLS: 10 Oct 1987 @ Orpheum, when, after the show Dee quit the band. They did reunite for a”911 Tribute” in 2001, but that’s another story. I do have a 45 Picture Disc signed by the classic lineup & I was able to catch them live in 2007 & 2015.

So until the next time Fans … Happy Anniversary to Mr. Zero’s


Mr. Zero’s *Est. 2009


1744 Lexington Ave. N.

Roseville, MN. 55113


Twisted Sister: 1984

Twisted Sister: 1984

Posted in Articles

Micky Dolenz: Circus Monkee

“Circus Monkee: Micky Dolenz Solo”

“BUZZ Newspaper Article (#60 mD) Mar 2016

By: RLSchwinden aka MrZerr0

Excerpt from the forth coming book: “Here We Come” 


When I was a kid in ’72 in Sioux City, my friends Spencer, Chris & I used to watch “The MONKEES” on Saturdays about noon, & I thought Micky Dolenz was about as cool as it got, (to me) he had a cool haircut (in the 1st season 66-67) he was the Lead singer & played Drums, on a cool Champagne Pink Gretsch 5 piece drum set & sang lead on songs like “Saturday’s Child” & “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day”.

> Count of Monte Cristo: 1956 -1965 <

He was born George Michael Dolenz Jr. on 8 Mar 1945 in L.A.CA. his parents George Sr. (Jure Dolenc: 5 Jan 1908; Triste: Slovene: Austria-Hungry – 8 Feb 1963; L.A.) appeared in some 45 films & TV shows, & his mother Janelle Johnson (2 Dec 1923; Austin TX. – 2 Dec 1995 CA.) was a singer with her own radio show in Austin & an actress in a couple of films, his younger sister Coco (Gemma Marie Dolenz: 5 Apr 1949) is also a talented singer who appeared in the TV show “Circus Boy” with her brother & sang on several MONKEES recordings.

Micky, then known as “Micky Braddock” (to avoid confusion with his father who was also still active actor) landed the role as “Corky” in the  NBC TV show “Circus Boy” for  49 Episodes from Sep 1956 to Dec 1957, there was a soundtrack 45 Single with Picture Sleeve released for this TV show, however; though Micky is pictured on the cover, he does not appear on the record, after that show ended he appeared on the “Zane Gray Theater: The Vaunted” in ’58 as “Ted Matson” then in ’59 he appeared as “Melvin” on “Playhouse 90: Velvet Alley”. Micky took some time off from acting & went to technical school for drafting, until the early 60s, when Dolenz took up singing, his 1st band was “Micky & The One-Nighters” where they mostly performed 50s Rock & Roll Covers, such as “Johnny B. Goode”, “Too Much Monkey Business” & “I Got  A Woman”.

In Feb ’64 The BEATLES hit America, & Dolenz finds himself back on the small screen in Dec ’64 as “Ed” on “Mr. Novak: Born Of Kings & Angles” followed by a 3 episode stint on “Payton Place” as “Kitch Brunner” in Mar ’65. Improving his guitar skills he was the Lead Vocalist & Rhythm Guitarist for “The Missing Links” (at this time there was no less than 3 different bands with this name; including 1 in NYC with a young man named Eugene Klein who eventually became Gene $immons of “KISS”) this band cut a 3 song demo for “Challenge Records” which was eventually released when Dolenz was famous for being in The MONKEES. There was another 45 Single released under the name “Missing Links” however when I gave a copy to Dolenz in ’93 in Lincoln NE, he stated “Thanks for that, but those 2 songs are not me, I remember my 1st recording sessions, & it wasn’t either of those 2 songs”

> I’ll Meet You At The Station: 1965 -1970 <

In the Fall of ’65 Dolenz auditioned for a TV show titled “The MONKEES” & won the role as the Lead Singer & the Drummer, signing a 7 year contract, they filmed 58 TV Episodes, 1 Film & a TV Special, as well as 13 single 45s, 10 LPs & 4 CDs, & 4 concert tours for the band, Dolenz also appeared in Sonny & Cher’s 1967 film “Good Times”. It was during the height of Dolenz’s popularity his 1st 45 Singles were released “Don’t Do It (Dolenz) b/w Instrumental” in 1966 & “Huff Puff b/w Instrumental” in 1967 both 45s were released on Challenge Records. Dolenz last official job for The MONKEES was a concert with David Jones on 16 Sep 1971 in Philadelphia for the radio station WFIL, and then, The MONKEES were no more.

> Don’t Care Who’s Side You’re On: 1971 -1972 <
Dolenz’s mother helped Micky invest his MONKEES’ money wisely, so he didn’t really need to work, after about a year of rest & relaxation, Dolenz went back to work as “Skip” on the “Funky Phantom” in 1971 he also released his 1st post MONKEES solo single “Easy On You b/w Oh Someone” in Oct 1971 on MGM Records, the president of MGM was Mike Curb (24 Dec 1944) an old high school buddy of his, & signed him to a recording contract. The “A -Side” was entirely done by Dolenz himself, it seems Dolenz liked a little bit of comedy or goofiness to his original compositions. & the “B-Side” was his 1st work released with MONKEE: Peter Tork since Dec ’68.

In 1972 Dolenz really kept himself busy, cutting a version of “Family Of Man” (released by: Three Dog Night) in Jan (still unreleased) & then appearing in 3 TV Shows “My Three Sons” in Apr,“Adam 12” & “Canon” in Sep & the Film “Night Of The Strangler” as “Vance” which was released in Oct ’72. His 2nd MGM 45 Single “Unattended In The Dungeon b/w A Lover’s Prayer” (Randy Newman) was released in Jun ‘72, Oddly enough there is a lyric in the song “Unattended” that Dolenz expressed a little concern over being released, as it was written “I’d rather be kicked in the groin, than Make me play another gig in Des Moines” now I lived in Des Moines, Iowa from 1984 -99, I finally got a copy of this song in Apr ’87, & I played this record to death, & I never caught the lyric, even after having written an article for “Monkeeshines” in Sep 1991 on Dolenz’s Solo recordings. Several other songs were recorded at this time (Jun ’72) with a 7 piece band & 26 piece orchestra “Since I Fell For You” “A Long Time Since St. Louis” “Love Is All I Have” & “It’s Amazing To Me” (ver #1)


In the summer of ’72 Dolenz teamed up with MGM House Producer Michael Lloyd (3 Nov 1948)& several members of: “Superband” (containing 2 members “3 Dog Night”) to create the band “Starship” (in an effort to hide Dolenz’s identity) to release the single “Johnny B. Goode b/w It’s Amazing To Me” (ver #2) (Dolenz)  in Oct ’72 on  Lion Records from the forth coming album “Future Rock” here are the other songs recorded for this unreleased LP: “Monkees Medley (4 songs)” “Long Tall Sally”  “Little Bitty Pretty One” “Fools Gold” “Apple Cart” “What Can I Do” “When I’m With You” “Let The Good Times Roll” (released by The Osmonds), once the LP was released the band was to open for The Osmonds on the ’72 -73 “Crazy Horses Tour” unfortunately the LP was never released therefore they were unable to participate on the tour & the project disbanded.

> Where You Been: 1973 -1974 <
Things began slowing down for Dolenz in ’73, for his next single he teamed up with his old friend Harry Nilsson (see BUZZ Article #40-Nn) “Daybreak b/w Love War” (Dolenz) was released in May ‘73 on Romar Records. Nilsson had a new film “Son Of Dracula” coming out in Apr ’74, a 2nd promo copy of “Daybreak” remixed & was sent out to radio stations to promote the film. MONKEES Producer Chip Douglas (27 Aug 1942) created a promo video for this song, being the very 1st Dolenz solo video. The “B-Side” is another Dolenz original, hysterical, lyrically, there were 2 other songs recorded during these sessions “(listen to the) Mocking Bird” & “Long Time St. Louis (ver #2). In Sep ’73 Dolenz auditioned for the role of “Fonzie” on “Happy Days” he lost out to Henry Winkler. Micky did make 2 TV appearances on  the TV shows “Butch Cassidy” & “Owen Marshall Attorney At Law” in Oct ’73, from here on out Dolenz usually did voice over work in cartoons. Dolenz’s final single for MGM was released in Mar ’74 “Buddy Holly Tribute:”PeggySue, EveryDay, Maybe Baby, That’ll Be The Day” b/w Ooh She’s Young” (Dolenz) on Romar Records to capitalize on the “American Graffiti”  film trend, he also appeared on the TV shows: “These Are The Days” & “Devlin”. Sometime in ’74 Dolenz traveled to London to begin work on a 50s Covers album tentatively titled “I Hate Rock & Roll” along with the title song, these other songs recorded for this LP  “Purple People Eater” “Splish Splash” & “Wing Walker” a song written by former MONKEES songwriter Bill Martin (R.I.P. 27 Jan 2016), legendary “RAINBOW” member Cozy Powell (1947-1998), provided the drums for these tracks.


> I Remember The Feeling: 1974 -1977 <

The McDonald’s company had the idea to unit all 4 original MONKEES for a TV commercial, at the exact same time a promotion company offered all 4 original MONKEES a US Summer Tour, problems arose when Tork informed McDonald’s he was a vegetarian & would not be part of the commercial & Nesmith would only do a tour if a new album was part of the deal, the company only wanted a tour & did not want to fund a new LP. Dolenz & Jones, now seasoned entertainers & never afraid to work, contacted their former MONKEES Songwriters, Producer & Musicians Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart (see BUZZ article #11-K) to form “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart” from 1974 to 1976 for  2 Concert Tours 1 LP (with 1 song being written in a Des Moines airport) & 2 Singles & 1 TV Special (Betamax). Dolenz in his down time appeared in 2 films:”Keep Off My Grass” in Mar ’75 & “Linda Lovelace For President” in Apr ’75. Boyce & Hart hung with the project long enough to complete their 2 year contract, where as the other 2 continued as “Dolenz  & Jones (w/ Coco)” from 1977 -78 releasing 1 LP & performing 2 Concert Tours & 2 Musicals & a couple TV & Radio appearances (once on Rodney Bingenheimer’s KROC Dolenz confessed he was a fan of the band KISS). Dolenz also did voice work in “Skatebirds” “Captain Caveman” in ‘77 & “Scooby Doo & Dynomutt Hour” in Nov ’78.


> Me, I Got Nothin To Do: 1979- 83 <

Dolenz & Jones went to the UK to perform in Nilsson’s “The Point” Musical, when the play ended Dolenz stayed in England, he did release “Love Light b/w Alicia” (Dolenz) on Chrysalis Records in ’79 with a Promo Video starring his wife Trina, before hanging up his musical & acting career to become a  BBC director for the next few years. Then Kodak in Japan used a MONKEES’ song in a 1981 TV commercial which launched the 2nd big MONKEES’ resurgence. Dolenz came out of musical retirement to do his very 1st solo tour in ’81, unfortunately it was only in Japan, followed by a Japanese only LP release of “Micky Dolenz & Davy Jones: MGM Years” in 1982 followed by his 1st single in 3 years “To Be Or Not To Be b/w Beverly Hills” (Dolenz) on JARMC Records in ’82, followed by his 2nd solo tour of Japan with the backing band “Marlboro” here is the setlist for a show in Jan 1982:

Theme From The Monkees: (Boyce & Hart)
Sunny Girlfriend: (Nesmith)
Last Train To Clarksville: (Boyce & Hart)
You Just May Be The One: (originally sung by:Nesmith)
I’m A Believer: (Neil Diamond)
Randy Scouse Git: (written By: Dolenz)
Zor And Zam: (Bill Chadwick)
Mary, Mary: (Nesmith)
I Wanna Be Free: (originally sung by: Jones)
Pillow Time: (written By:Janelle Dolenz)
Shades Of Grey: (originally sung by: Jones & Tork)
No Time: (written By: Dolenz & Nesmith & Tork)
Daydream Believer: (originally sung by: Jones)
(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone: (Boyce & Hart)
Goin’ Down: (written By: Dolenz & Nesmith & Tork)
Pleasant Valley Sunday: (Goffin & King)
Beverly Hills: (written By: Dolenz)
To Be Or Not To Be: (Britten & Robertson)

While on tour in Japan Dolenz appeared on several TV shows, 1 Variety show he performed “I’m A Man” Live (written by the same person who wrote his last 45 release). Upon his return to the UK he was in the Paul Williams (19 Sep 1940) Musical “Bugsy Malone” & released his final single “Tomorrow b/w Fat Sam’s Grand Slam” on A&M Records in 1983, where upon he returned to his BBC Director status, some of his credits included “Metal Micky” & “Spitting Image” where he worked on 1 episode with Nesmith. Dolenz has a new 45 to be released in Apr 2016 “Chance Of A Lifetime b/w Livin On Lies” his 1st in 33 years!

> That Was Then This Is Now: 1986 & On <

As the 20th Anniversary of The MONKEES TV show was approaching in Sep ’86 David Fischoff was able to get 3 of the 4 MONKEES back together Dolenz, Jones & Tork, (remember Dolenz, Jones & Nesmith toured as a trio in ’69) & thus a whole other chapter of the MONKEES began from 1986 to 1989 (see future BUZZ article) a Dolenz solo EP was released “Don’t Do It” on Vinyl in ’87. In 1991 Dolenz embarks on his 2nd solo career finally releasing several solo CDs (no vinyl) ”Puts You To Sleep” in 1991 & toured with Donnie Brooks for the “30 Years Of Rock N Roll Show” I saw Dolenz, 3 times on this tour in Burlington, IA. Merrilleville, IN. & Okaboji, IA. I was able to speak with Dolenz several times & give him several cassettes of his solo records “Thanks man, I don’t have any of that stuff anymore, I have been divorced twice!” Micky appeared on the “Ben Stiller Show: With Rob Marrow; The Grungies” in Nov ’92, (this is absolutely worth watching) & “Batman: Animated Series” & once again touring with the “Classic Rock All Stars” in ’92 I saw him in; Des Moines, IA. Williamsburg,  IA. & Lincoln, NE. He appeared in the film “Deadfall” in Oct 1993,  & released his book “I’m A Believer” also in ‘93  followed by his 2nd solo CD “Broadway Micky” in 1994 & also appeared in the TV series “Monty”, “Ah, Real Monsters”, & “The Tick” & “Boy Meets World” in ’95.


The MONKEES Trio reunited from 1996 -97, & Dolenz was directing the TV series “Pacific Blue” & then surprisingly Nesmith joined them in ’97, releasing a CD, a TV Special, a Rockumentary & a Concert Tour, until they called it quits in late ’97. Dolenz made an appearance in the TV movie “Love Bug” also in ’97. Then Dolenz embarked on his 3rd solo career releasing his 3rd solo CD “Demoiselle” on his own in 1998 & was in the TV show “Secret Files Of Spy Dogs” & “Invisible Mom 2”. The Trio: Jones, Dolenz & Tork reunited from 2000 -2001, after this last tour Jones had no interest in working with the others again until 2011. Micky appeared in “Power Puff Girls” in 2000 & in the “Drew Carey Show” in 2001 & & in “As the World Turns” in 2002, I myself saw Dolenz in 2002 & 2003 in Mille Lacs, MN. @ The Grand Casino.

In the last few years Dolenz appeared in “Johnny Bravo” in 2004. He was in Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” in 2007 & released his 4th solo CD “King For A Day” in 2010, shortly after the final reunion with Jones, Dolenz & Tork. Micky released his 5th solo CD “Remember” in 2012, about the same time the 3rd version of the MONKEES Trio emerged: “Dolenz, Nesmith & Tork” which performed 2 separate concert tours in 2012 & 2014. Dolenz released his 6th solo CD “A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock N Roll” in 2015 & most recently his 7th & yet 1st solo LP “MGM Singles Collection” Fall 2015.

So you see Micky Dolenz, was not just an Actor or Musician or a Director, he has spent his last 60 years working at all 3 roles in his career !

See you in St. Cloud on the 26th of March, KISS fans ….

Mr. Zero’s *Est. 2009 “Some People, Just Don’t Get It”

1744 Lexington Ave. N.

Roseville, MN. 55113
651. 489. 0207


KISSin Time “fb”

In Lincoln, Neb.

In Lincoln, Neb.

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , ,

Clear Lake, Iowa ’59

“Clear Lake Iowa ’59”

BUZZ Newspaper Article (#59 -cL) Feb -Mar 2016

By: RLSchwinden aka: MrZer0
When I was a kid in Sioux City, I was really into music & records, I still am, I once asked my Mom “Why can’t I find any Monkees’ records at any of the stores?” she said “Because they only stock the titles that sell” I asked “How do you know that?” she answered “Because I used to run the “Record Dept.” @ Kresge’s downtown” then in  1986 I started working at “RecordShop” in W. Des Moines, Iowa until they were purchased by “Wherehouse” in 1993, I worked there at Southridge until they filed bankruptcy in 1995 & closed 1/3rd of their chain, I then worked at “Best Buy” on the south-side of Des Moines from 1995 -98, until I left to work for “DiscJockey- Wax Works” at Merle Hay until 2000 when they were purchased by “fye -Trans-World” where I worked in Burnsville until 2005, though down-sizing I was laid-off & worked for “DiscLand” in Bloomington, until I left to open my own MusicShop “Mr.Zero’s” in 2009 &  I have managed to keep it open for the past 7 years, despite all the obstacles  & competition, so see I have literately done one job my whole life retail sales of Records, Cassettes & CDs, & for the past 5 years I have authored this Music Article.

The thing I have found most interesting over the past 7 years is the gross misinformation the internet has created about music history. Every Feb we get a lot of people coming in looking for “Original” Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & Big Bopper Vinyl Albums. So with this article, I decided to cover the original records of the artists from the “Clear Lake, Iowa Plane Crash” the 1st of many plane crashes that killed Musicians. Here are some of the others who also died in plane crashes: Patsy Cline: 1963 in Tennessee, Otis Redding: 1967 in Wisconsin, Jim Croce: 1973 in Louisiana, Lynyrd: 1977 Skynyrd: Ronnie VanZant,Steve & Cassie Gaines in Mississippi, Ricky Nelson: 1985 in Texas, Stevie Ray Vaughan: 1989 in Wisconsin, John Denver: 1997 in California & Aaliyah: 2001 in the Bahamas


*Buddy Holly: 1936 -1959

He was born Charles Hardin Holley on 7 Sep 1936 in Lubbock, TX. His nickname “Buddy” was given to him at an early age. Buddy learn to play piano at age 11 & about a year later learned to play guitar, influenced by Country & Western Artists from the late 20s to the early 50s. In ’49 Buddy made home recording of Hank Snow’s song “My Two Timing Woman” on “Wire Recorder”  Buddy started performing as a Country & Western Duo in ’52 -53, then in ’54, Buddy started adding R&B into his Country music, thus creating his style of Rockabilly fully developed by ‘55. Buddy opened up for Elvis & Bill Haley’s Comets several times in 1955, which lead to Holly being signed to Decca Records in 1956, & 2 singles were released “Blue Days, Black Nights b/w Love Me” & “Modern Don Juan b/w You Are My One Desire” it was Decca who misspelled “Holley’s” last name on the record labels, therefore changing Buddy’s professional name. In Jan ’57 Holly was dropped from Decca. Then Holly meet producer Norman Petty (27 May 1927 -15 Aug 1984) who was impressed with Holly’s music & recorded some demos for him, & eventually was able to get Holly signed with Brunswick Records in Spring ’57.


As Brunswick was part of Decca Records, the new single “That’ll Be The Day b/w Looking For Someone To Love” released in May ’57 (& went to #1), would be under the band name “The Crickets” as suggested by their drummer Jerry Allison (31 Aug 1939; Hillsboro, TX) which consisted of Joe (Joseph Benson Mauldin, Jr. 8 Jul 1940 – 7 Feb 2015) on Stand-up Bass & Niki Sullivan (23 Jun 1937 – 6 April 2004) on Guitar, while Buddy’s Solo Records would be under his own name on Coral Records. The next single “Peggy Sue b/w Everyday” was released in Sep ’57, & hit #3 on the Billboard Charts, the song was re-named for Allison’s girlfriend, (I remember this was one of my Mom’s favorite songs, & she used to sing it to me, I asked why are you singing that way” (with a sort of hiccup), she answered “Because that’s the way he (Holly) sang it”). The next single “Oh Boy b/w Not Fade Away” was a #10 hit in Oct ’57. His next charting single was “Maybe Baby b/w Tell Me How” & hits #17 on the charts in the Fall ’57. Holly’s 1st “Long Player” album ‘Chirping Crickets’ was released in Nov 1957 on Brunswick, as well as a total of 7 singles was released in the year of 1957. Holly & The Crickets made 5 TV appearances in ’57 & 11 more in ’58.

Holly’s 2nd LP ‘Buddy Holly’ was released in Feb 1958 on Coral Records followed by the #37 hit single “Rave On b/w Take Your Time” in Apr ’58, his 3rd LP ‘That’ll Be The Day’ was released on Decca with Sonny Curtis (9 May 1937; Meadow TX) on guitar, who had played with Holly since 1951 & who wrote many well known songs like the theme to “Mary Tyler Moore Show” Sonny took over lead vocals in ‘The Crickets’ when Holly died. Holly & The Crickets played Minneapolis for the 1st time on 25 Apr 1958 @ the Municipal Theatre. Their single “Think It Over b/w Fool’s Paradise” hit #27 on the charts, was released in May ’58. Holly made a 2nd appearance in Minneapolis on 11 Jul 1958 @ the National Guard Armory, remarkably I can find no set-lists for any concerts he performed, although it’s safe to say they probably played 2 shows a night averaging 20 to 30min a set, which back then equated to about 10 songs. Buddy’s next charting single was the #32 hit “Early In The Morning b/w Now We’re One” was released on 30 Aug 1958, a total of 8 singles were released in 1958.

In Dec ’58 Holly split with ‘The Crickets’ & their Manager- Producer Petty, over unwarranted song writing credits & unpaid royalties. His single “Heartbeat b/w Well Alright” was released on 24 Jan 1959 & hit # 82 on the charts, Holly assembles a new band with Tommy Allsup (24 Nov 1931; Owasso, OK) on Guitar, Waylon Jennings (Waylon Arnold Jennings: 15 Jun 1937 Littlefield,TX -13 Feb 2002) on Bass & Carl Bunch (24 Nov 1939; Big Springs, TX – March 26, 2011) on Drums to embark on the “Winter Dance Tour” stopping in St. Paul on 28 Jan 1959 @ the Promenade Ballroom, & only 5 days later was killed in the now famous plane crash just 132 miles south of MPLS. Holly was quite prolific in his short recording career of; Jan ’56 – Dec ’58 (unlike most other artists of the day) he released 17 Singles (32 songs) & 3 LPs before he died. Here’s some Buddy trivia for you The Beatles recorded a very loyal cover of  “Words Of Love” in 1964, Don Mclean: recorded “American Pie” in 1971 which was his telling of the day he found out about the plane crash, the song went #1 in Jan ’72. Micky Dolenz of The Monkees recorded a single “Buddy Holly Tribute” in 1974 on Romar Records, as the  50s revival was in full swing by then. In 1975 Paul McCartney bought publishing to Holly’s songs as part of MPL Communications & then in 1978 “The Buddy Holly Story” biopic film was released starring Gary Busey. I 1st saw ‘The Crickets’ in the Summer of ’93, a 2nd time in W. Des Moines, When I spoke to Mauldin, Allison & Curtis in 2005, Mauldin: told me “Well, that movie was more of Gary’s (Busey) version of the Buddy story, Buddy wasn’t confrontational like that movie depicted him to be” Allison: “It was probably as close as it was going to get, better than not being made at all, they didn’t use my real name because I had already sold the rights to someone else, before that movie was made”  


Ritchie Valens: 1941 -1959


He was born Richard Steven Valenzuela: 13 May 1941 in Pociama,CA. (3 Feb 1959) a Mexican- American, a son to migrant workers, who spoke no real Spanish. At the age of 5, though he was left handed learned to play Guitar right handed, he also learned to play Trumpet & Drums. Ritchie’s 1st band was ‘The Silhouettes’ he was hired 1st as Guitarist, Valens being from a meager background played a low-end Harmony H44 Stratatone originally a Bronze finish  he had it painted (probably because of wear) Chrysler forest green in shop at school.  Later he took over Lead Vocals in the band, they 1st performed live in Oct’ 57. As he was gaining a reputation, it was suggested to Bob Keane (Robert Verrill Kuhn: 5 Jan 1922 Manhattan Beach, CA. – 28 Nov 2009) that he should check out the new “Little Richard”. Keane saw Valens perform at a Sat. Matinee, impressed with what he heard, Keane convinced Valens to come down to his ‘Gold Star Studios’ & cut some Demos, Keane became Valens Record Producer & Manager & signed Ritchie to “Del-Fi Records” in May ’58, it was Keane who changed Valens name to be less ethnic, for a broader appeal.

Valens 1st 45 Single “Come On Let’s Go b/w Framed” a #42 hit on the charts, was recorded & released in Jul ’58 featuring a backing band of the legendary session people Carol Kaye, Earl Palmer & René Hall. Valens 1st TV appearance was on “American Bandstand” 6 Oct 1958 & his 2nd single “Donna b/w La Bamba” #2 & #22 charting hits; respectively was released on 18 Oct 1958. Donna was Valens’ real life girlfriend Donna Ludwig. In the Fall of ’58 Valens quit school to make music full time. Valens 2nd TV appearance was on “Saturday Night Beechnut Show” on 28 Dec 1958. There is a 30 second “Home Movie” in 8mm color, taken in his Mother’s home in L.A. at a party playing a Tobacco Stratocaster  & singing wearing a blue satin frilly shirt & horsing around with his brother Robert, from about this same time period, it really gives you a sense of what Ritchie looked & moved like. Sometime in late’58 or early ’59 Ritchie filmed a scene in the movie “Go Johnny Go” for the song “Ooh My Head” released in Jun 1959..

Valens released a 3rd 45 single under the name “Arvee Allens” titled “Fast Freight  b/w Big Baby Blues” on Del-Fi #4111, but this was re-issued under Valens’ name after his death, Actually the real “Star” of the 3 who died in the plane crash; at this time was Valens who was currently on the top of the charts. Valens won a coin toss over Allsup on the morning of the 3rd that resulted in his death. In summation, Valens released 3 singles before he died, his 1st LP was released a month after his death. Here’s some Valens Trivia; Led Zeppelin’s 1975 song “Boogie With Stu” is based on “Ooh My Head” a lawsuit was filed (1 of many) & Zeppelin lost, & had to give credit to Valens. A Biopic film “La Bamba” was released in Jul 1987, which was fairly accurate as it had Valens Family involvement (& Local Hero Brian Setzer). I spoke to Valens older brother Bob in 2008 about the film & the scene where Ritchie tells Bob he doesn’t want to use him on drums. Brother Bob Morales: “Yes I was a great artist like the film depicted I was a good musician too, it’s just Ritchie didn’t want to play with me, because I was his older brother” at the time I saw the film with my girlfriend at that time, this was the impression she walked away with Michele: “Can you believe he (Valens) was afraid of flying & that’s the way he died”


Big Bopper: 1930 -1959


He was born Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson, Jr. on 24 Oct 1930 in Sabine Pass, TX. & was primarily known as a Disc Jockey on Station KTRM in Beaumont, TX. & a Novelty Song Writer. He served 2 years in the US Army, before becoming a full-time DJ. J.P. at a function he hosted, had seen some collage kids doing a new dance, they called “The Bop” & he decided, because of his size, to go under the moniker “The Big Bopper”, prior to his very short recording career, he broke the “Continuous On-Air Broadcasting” record, by broadcasting live for 5 days & 2 hours & 8min. in May ’57. While Richardson was a musician, he mainly wrote songs for other people, some 18 in total, his most famous being “White Lightning” a #1 hit in Feb ’59, “Running Bear” (which he sang back-up on the record) also a #1 hit in Jun ’59, & “Purple People Eater Meets The Witch Doctor” released in Jun ’58.

Richardson himself was  signed to Mercury Records in early ’58, he only recorded & released 4 Single 45s, the 1st being “Beggar To A King b/w Crazy Blues” on the “D Records” label. Big Bopper’s 2nd record is of course what he is most famous for “Chantilly Lace b/w Purple People Eater Meets The Witch Doctor” a #6 hit in Summer ’58 (interesting note; Jane Mansfield cut a response record to this titled “That Makes It”) Richardson is given the credit for creating the 1st “Music Video”, filming himself for a potential TV appearance. His 3rd single release

“Big Bopper’s Wedding b/w Little Red Riding Hood” Mercury in the Fall of ’58. Richardson made 2 TV appearances on the “Dick Clark Show” Sep & Nov ’58, whereas upon his 4th single “Walking Through My Dreams b/w Someone Watching Over You” was released in the Winter of ’58, just before the “Winter Dance Party”, as far as I can tell this was Big Bopper’s only tour, which he had come down with the flu & was able to secure a seat on the Beechcraft Bonanza, which tragically crashed only a few minutes after take-off. In his life-time he released 4 singles, his 1st & only LP (Long Player) was released a month after he died.

You see fans, back in the olden days, Artist released 45 Singles, & once you had 2 or 3 big hits their Record Label would release an Album ….

Stay tuned for next month’s installment … Also

You can catch my Band “KISSin Time” @ The Pickled Loon – Nest in St. Cloud on Sat 26 Mar 2016

Rock N Roll '59

Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, Big Bopper

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , ,

The Cat has Nine Lives; Criss of KISS

“The Cat has Nine Lives; Criss of KISS”

Post- KISS

Peter in the “Criss- Penridge Alliance”

What Peter Criss did outside of KISS: 1967 -2012
“BUZZ Newspaper” Article (#58 -pC) Jan- Feb 2016

By: RLSchwinden aka MrZerr0 & Starchild of: KISSin Time


As this is my 1st article in the new year of 2016 & approaching my 5th year of writing these things for you all, I will address one of my favorite drummers from one of my favorite bands: Peter Criss #3 as he just turned 70, last month.


> Barracudas: 1965 <

He was born George Peter John Criscuola in Brooklyn NYC, on 20 Dec 1945 the oldest of 5 kids from an Italian Father Joseph Sr.  & a Irish Mother Loretta, (his younger brother Joey would be 1 of the 1st roadies for ‘KISS’) “Georgie” as he was called then, received a toy drum-set at the age of 7 & then his 1st real kit a Slingerland Radio King in 1960. Peter’s best friend & partner -in -crime Jerry Nolan (7 May 1946 – 14 Jan 1992) gave him his 1st real lessons, Jerry & Peter were childhood friends, they were in the street gang “Phantom Lords” together, also Peter lost out to Jerry to join the ‘New York Dolls’ in Fall ’72. “Georgie” wrote his 1st song @13 “Oh, Honey, You Know I Love You Baby” Peter’s 1st real band was ‘The Barracudas’ in the early ’60s, they were already a band before Criss joined in 1962 or 63 with Carlos Cancel on Vocals & Guitar, Alan Rosen on Lead Guitar & Criss on Drums they had a regular gig @ ‘The King’s Lounge’ where they played songs like “Wipe Out” “Tequila” “In My Life” & “Green Tambourine” in 1965 they put out a 45 Single on M.F.T. Records #102 “It’s Been So Long b/w Affection” Produced By: Marty Craft, a 2nd single followed in 1966 “Chicken b/w No Use” on Delite Records #DE-502. While playing with Buddy Greco @ ‘The Metropole’ Peter was able to open for his Drummer Hero Gene Krupa (15 Jan 1909 – 16 Oct 1973) where eventually Peter was able to take lessons from Krupa.

> Sounds Of Soul: 1967 <

While playing the local NYC circuit Peter ran into his friend Joe, the 2 got to talking & they decided to form ‘The Sounds Of Soul’ with Joe Luceti on Guitar, PepeGenneralli: Organ, Angelo Opper: Bass, Tommy Ventimiglia: Sax & Jack on 2nd Guitar, this R&B band played the NYC club circuit of “Trudy Heller’s” “Night Owl” “Purple Onion” & “Cafe Wha?” they recorded a EP @ Gotham Recording Corporation on 2 West 42nd St. consisting of: “Since I Fell For You” “My Girl” & “Respect” Criss sang lead on the last song. Sometime in ’68, Ventimiglia was drafted & they renamed themselves ‘Brotherhood’ this was the 1st band Criss was in, where they really started to work in “Originals” apparently Opper then left the band in late ’68 & they evolved into ‘The Vintage’ with John Balsamo on Bass, they recorded 1 original “What Is A Man”.


> Nautilus: 1969 <

As with most bands (even into today), they evolve from1 band to another & so Genneralli & Criss went on to form ‘Nautilus’ in late ’69 with Kevin Reese on Guitar &  Peter Shandis on Bass, playing mostly originals & usually playing @ ‘The Headliner’. Peter married his 1st wife Lydia Di Leonardo on 31 Jan 1970 (with Jerry Nolan as his “Best Man”) the 2 took a trip to the UK as part of their honeymoon (where Peter picked up the exact same type of shirt white long sleeve with red stars, that Bill Ward of Black Sabbath made famous), when Criss got back to the USA he left ‘Nautilus’.

> Chelsea: 1970 <

Having left his last band, Criss ran an ad in “Village Voice” where he was called by: Peter Shepley: Vocals & Mike Brand: Guitar, they asked Criss to join with Michael Benvenga (1949-1977) on Bass & Chris Aridas on Lead Guitar, they called themselves ‘Chelsea’ & were signed to a 2 record deal with Decca Records (at the time Decca was a huge record label) they released their 1st LP: #DL-75262 in Feb ’70, the LP did not do well & the band had some issues when performing live, Aridas left the band & was replaced by; “A Greek kid from the Village” Stan “Doc” Penridge (1951- 2001) who took over on lead guitar, demos were written & recorded for a 2nd LP; “Beck” “Run Mr. Greene” “You Make Me Feel” & “Heaven With Stars Above” however Decca suffered financial difficulties in 1970 & the band were dropped in Aug ’70, & so, no 2nd LP was released. The band limped along until 1 night in Oct ’71 in Fort Lee, NJ, Brand & Shepley were late & the trio of: Penridge, Criss & Benvenga went on & decided to move forward & from then on known as ‘LIPS’.

This lineup ‘LIPS’ recorded a demo for “Buddha Records” (Neil Bogart was president of the label at this time) consisting of:  “Baby, Don’t You let Me Down” “I’m Gonna Love You”  “Hooked On Rock N Roll”That’s The Kind Of Sugar Papa Likes” “Beck” “Don’t Let The Blues Surround You” & “You’re My Woman” in the studio they used John Amato also on guitar, the band played some important gigs like ‘St. James Infirmary’ in Jan ’72, however disenchanted with the progress of the band Benvenga left, leaving ‘LIPS’ down to 2 members. Around this time Criss ran into Joey @ ‘The King’s Lounge’ & was asked to sit in with ‘Infiniti’ for a few weeks. Frustrated with going nowhere Criss ran an ad in the east coast printing of “Rolling Stone” in Apr ’72 & his brother Joey had business cards made up “Have Drum, Will Travel: Peter Criss” Joey had added the Extra “S” to Peter’s name, “It looked cooler”. This lead to a phone call from Gene Klein (Simmons) & a chance meeting at ‘Electric Lady Studios’ where Criss performed on Lyn Christopher’s 1972 Paramount LP #PAS-6051 on the song “Celebrate” (also with Stanley & Simmons), before he was hired in ‘KISS’. Criss was hired as the drummer in ‘Wicked Lester’ sometime in Jun 1972, which eventually became ‘KISS’.

> KISS: 1973- 1980 <

When Criss was in KISS he sang on these 13 songs: 1974: “Nothin To Lose” Black Diamond” “Kissin Time” “Mainline” “Strange Ways” 1975: “Getaway” 1976: “Beth” “Hard Luck Woman” “Baby Driver” 1977: “Hooligan” 1979: “Dirty Livin” 1998: “I Finally Found My Way Back To You” “You Wanted The Best” there were 5 other songs Peter demoed but not used 1976 “Ain’t None Of Your Business” “Bad Reputation” 1977 “Love Bite” 1978 “Beth (acoustic) 1979 “Rumble”. While Peter was in ‘KISS’ he released his 1st Solo LP in Sep 1978 ‘Peter Criss :KISS’ his was the only 1 of the 4 ‘KISS’ Solo LPs to have 2  singles released “I’m Gonna Love You b/w Hooked On Rock N Roll” & a short time after that followed “You Matter To Me” there was 1 out-take “Spotlights” written with Sean Delaney (1945 -2003).

Johnnie Bolin: ‘SIR Studios story’I (Bolin) was the drummer for Richard T. Bear who had played keyboards on Gene’s solo LP, who (Bear) at the time had a hit with “Sunshine Hotel” on RCA Records, Bear’s band, which included Bob Kulick (wearing a wig) was rehearsing for a tour at SIR Studios in NYC & in the main room, which was the largest room KISS was rehearsing for their “Return Of KISS Tour” in May 1979, I (Bolin) was walking through the hall & sitting there  on a bench was Peter Criss, with his right arm in a sling, & smoking a cigarette, I stopped & introduced myself & asked him how it was going? Peter said ‘Like shit, my arm is broken, I’m playing like shit, we sound like shit, awful, that’s how it’s going’ I (Bolin) ask “So is your arm really broken or are you giving it a rest?” Criss replies “Yea. its broken, what d’ya think, I got it in a cast” then Bolin asks “Well are you ok, how are you playing, if your arm is broken?” Criss fires back ‘Yea, I’m playin ok, It’s f******** rock n roll, not rocket science’
Later in 1979 Peter appeared “Sans- Makeup” on the “Lenny & Squigtones” LP #NBLP- 7149 on Casablanca Records, Criss under the name “Ming The Merciless “.

> By Myself: 1980 <

Criss was effectively fired from ‘KISS’ in May ’80 which he immediately began work on his 2nd Solo LP, but his 1st outside of ‘KISS’ in Sep 1980 ‘Out Of Control’ was released utilizing his long -time music partner Stan “Doc” Penridge & several songs not used by ‘KISS’ one 45 single “By Myself b/w I Found Love” was released there were 2 out-takes from this session:”Could It Be Love” & “You’re My Girl“. Sometime in 1981 Criss & Penridge recorded 2 versions of a “Budweiser” Commercial “This Bud’s For You” one at: 30 & 1min. In 1982 Criss 3rd Solo LP ‘Let Me Rock You’ was released in Europe only with the 45 single “Tears b/w Jealous Guy” this LP features songs by Gene Simmons & another by Vinnie Vincent, there were 2 out-takes “Jenilee” (Peter’s daughter) “Rock N Roll Survivor”. I talked to Peter about this LP in Dec ’93; Criss “It was only released in Europe, because at the time Paul & Gene felt it would interfere with ‘KISS” record sales, “Feel Like Heaven” was a song, I really liked, that Gene had from a ‘KISS’ LP that never materialized (“Louder, Harder”: 1981) since they didn’t use it I asked him if I could, no I didn’t use Doc on that album, we weren’t talking for a awhile, back then because of some stupid argument.”


Criss had not toured since Dec ’79 with ‘KISS’ so he & his musical partner Stan Penridge, of the past 14 years formed the “Criss-Penridge Alliance” & hit the road, 1 of the shows on the tour was 3 Mar 1984 in Newton, NJ. with Mike Hutchens: Guitar, Allen Woody: Bass, Tony Crow: Keyboards & John Moss: Drums, the band primary played late 50s & early 60s R&R standards, this line-up did record 4 originals: “Blame It On Love” “Run For Cover” “Tell The Valentine” & “Times Of  Our Lives” soon after in May ’84 the band got 2 new members: Benny Harrison: Keyboards & Tony Mercadante: Guitar, Stan & Peter appeared on a local Nashville TV show plugging their new band “Desperate Men” & new LP “One For The Sun” & then in Oct ’84 cut these originals: “Never Met A Woman” “Baby Hold On” & “Forever With You”.


> Face Without A KISS: 1987 <

By the late 80s Peter was not very prolific, he joined ‘Balls Of Fire’ in Aug 1986, & left after a few months. He sang with ‘Black N Blue’ on the song “Best In The West” from the LP ‘Nasty Nasty’ on Geffen #GHS-24111 with Gene Simmons & Tommy Thayer. He began work on the 1st draft of his book “A Face Without A KISS” in the Fall of ’87 & recorded the song for”Days Of My Greasepaint” to coincide with the book. In 1988 he sang on the song “Take It Off” from the ‘King Kobra’ LP “III” on New Renaissance Records. Then in 1989 Criss formed “The Tree” with Kevin Russel of “707” which soon became “The Keep” as 3 members of ‘White Tiger’ joined Criss; Mark St.John: (7 Feb 1956 – 5 Apr 2007) Guitar, Mike Norton: Bass & David Donato: Vocals, this line-up recorded these songs: “Love For Sale” “Do You Know What I Mean” “”All Night Long” “Between The Lines” & “(been a) Long Time” (several of these songs were released on St. John’s 1999 EP  “Project”) the band’s premier gig was 2 May 1990 in Lawndale, CA.

> Bad People Burn In Hell: 1993 <

The early 90s find Peter back with a vengeance, as he puts together “CRISS” with Ray Carrion: Guitar Mark Montague: Bass &  Phil Naro: Vocals, in  Nov ’91, the band’s premier gig is @ “Exposure 54” the band record these songs: “Wait For The Minute (to R&R)” “No I’m Not Afraid” “Spread The Word” “First On To Admit” “We’re All In This Together” before several line-up changes, then in the Fall of ’93 they release the ‘Criss EP’ #0004-2SE Tony Nicole Records which contains “The Cat” “Show Me” “Good Times” “What You’re Doin” “Beth” with Mike Stone: Vocals & Kirk Miller: Guitar. I saw Peter sit in with the KISS Tribute Band ‘STRUTTER’ in Dec’93 in Chicago, ILL. they performed “Strutter” “Let Me Go Rock N Roll” & “Love Gun” I had him sign a couple LPs & was able to ask him a few questions, Criss: “I plan on doing another Lennon cover for my next CD (1995) maybe “Oh, Yoko”, I was born in ’45 but they always list ’46 because I was born in Dec. age is just a stage, ya know, a frame of mind. Yea, Bogart had a statue of a maid leaning over dusting in his window to keep burglars away, (laughs). Still in touch with Glickman- Marks, no way they ripped me off for millions”

Then in the Spring ’94 the CD ‘Criss Cat #1’ on Tony Nicole Records, now with; Mike Mc.Laughlin on Guitar. In May through Dec ’95 Peter Criss & Ace Frehley embark on “The Bad Boys Tour” performing some 49 concerts together getting ready for the ’96 KISS Reunion. Criss’ performed these songs all of which were unreleased & played live: “Beg Borrow Steal” “Called You Crazy” “Crazy For Your Love” “Dont Come Crying To Me” “Knock Out” “Leave Me Alone” “My Reality” “Seeds (no evil)” “Wasting Love” “Adalyne” & “Shut Up”. This line-up did record these songs; “Surrender (in the name of love)” “Golden Arm” “The Shooter” “U Gotta Know” “Zig Zag” for a potential new CD slated in ’95, however the next CD was a Interview/Story CD, ‘Past, Present & Future’ on KISS Army International Records as Peter was unable to find a publisher for his book he had in progress, 1 demo was recorded “Easy Goin Guy” intended for the CD, but the song went un-issued.

> Found My Way: 1995 <
In late ’95 Criss rejoined ‘KISS’ from 1995 -2004, he made an appearance on the TV Series “Millennium” in 1998 as “Nice Cop #1” then on the “Family Guy” TV Series in 2001 as “Himself” , then in 2002 on the TV Series “Oz” as “Martin Montgomery” for 2 episodes. I was able to met Peter for a 2nd time in Nov. 2003. Finally in 2007 Peter’s 6th & final (so far) CD ‘All For One’ on Silvercat Records was released, this is primarily a “Easy Listening” CD, there were several other songs recorded for a pending “Rock” CD due out in 2009, those songs were “Bohemia” “Cat Nip” Crossroads” “Falling All Over Again” “Last Night” “Reason For Living” “What Does It Take” & “Whisper” so far this last CD has not been released; Criss: “I’m gonna take my time, as it isn’t really fair to the artist, you put out a record & it gets down-loaded for free & the artist doesn’t get paid”. Peter appeared in the Film “Frame Of Mind” in 2009 as “Mike”, then finally in 2012, Peter gets his book released “Makeup To Breakup” after 25 years in the making, it’s a good read, about a poor kid from Brooklyn who becomes 1 of the most famous musicians of all time.

Some of you know, some don’t, I own a Recordshop “Mr. Zero’s 55113” & I am in a KISS Tribute Band “KISSin Time” (with Peter Campbell: Catman, Anthony Wright: Spaceman & Joe Masanz: Demon) that covers the 1st 2 tours that KISS performed, so if you want to know more about KISS stop in the store, if you want to see what KISS was like in the very early years, you can catch us live in MPLS, St.Paul, Mankato or St. Cloud

Until the next time ….


Mr. Zero’s *Est.2009

1744 Lexington Ave. N.

Roseville- St.Paul, MN. 55113


Posted in Articles Tagged with: , ,

Beatles: 1970 Christmas Album

Beatles 1970 Christmas Album:

1963-  1969

The Beatles: 1965

“BUZZ” Newspaper Article (#57 Dec 2015)

By: RLSchwinden aka MrZer0


When I was a kid growing up in on the Westside of Sioux City, my favorite time of year was Christmas, I loved the snow on the ground, the 2 weeks off from Smith School (I hated  school, & it hated me), I loved going to pick out our “Real” Christmas tree, though I was never allowed to decorate it, (in all fairness my Mom is a wonderful artist & no one else really could compare to her when it came to her creating anything) I would sit & stare at the Christmas tree lights for hours on end (in fact my Grandpa & Grandma Kessler would call the Christmas tree “Ricky’s Baby sitter”, there’s even 8mm film footage of me in front of their Xmas tree as a toddler), it was 1 of the 2 times a year we really got any toys, oh, yea & the candy & cookies!!!

The other thing I loved about Christmas time, was the Christmas Music (so does my youngest sister Carrie as she starts listening to Xmas music in Aug.), I don’t really remember the AM radio stations playing too much Christmas music, back then, & if they did it was usually the old “Easy Listening” standards of yester-year: Ray Conniff, Harry Simone, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, etc. Never any other the artists I loved, Monkees, Beatles, Partridge Family, Osmonds, ELP, Jethro Tull , etc. It wasn’t until I started in the “Record Biz” back in ’85, I was able to get a hold of some of the “Pop Rock Artists”, that I loved, some of them recorded Xmas Songs, that I had discovered in later years, 2 friends of mine (Bob A. & Marc H.) made yearly “Christmas Cassettes” so started my yearly tradition of “Dr. Rock’s Time-Machine To Xmas Past” & so this marks my 30th Year making these Xmas Mix CDs (tapes).

Of course I had heard Lennon’s “Happy Xmas” but it was my friend Ace (not Frehley) who clued me into the fact ‘The BEATLES’ had a “Christmas Album” well sort of, anyway. So here’s how the story goes. Starting in 1963 ‘The Beatles’ recorded a special “Christmas” message & this was sent out to the UK members of their “Fan Club”. Now they were not pressed on standard “Vinyl Records” but on what was referred to as a “Flexi-Disc” or a “Sound-Sheet”

“Flexi-Discs” were introduced in 1962, a thin vinyl sheet, with grooves pressed in the vinyl sheet, some were 1 sided with 2 songs or they were 2 sided with 1 song per side. One inherent problem with “Flexi- Discs” were the lack of mass, not having enough weight to properly spin on a turntable, therefore they had a spot for a coin, to give them more weight to spin properly, this eventually lead to people putting coins on the tone-arm of inexpensive record players in order to cut down the “skipping” on well-played records. Flexi-discs were generally “Premiums” or “Give-aways” in magazines or books, production on Flexi-Discs roughly ended about 1999 then recently brought back sometime in 2010.

In 1990 Glen Buxton (10 Nov 1947: Akron, OH – 19 Oct 1997: Clarion, IA) (Alice Cooper Group) told me he wanted to release a couple of songs on a ‘Flexi- Disc’ that ‘The Spiders’ had recorded in 1967 in Phoenix. We had to inform him; (at that time) no one really used turntables anymore & therefore probably would not buy these rare recordings if they were on Flexi-Disc. To my knowledge, Buxton died with those songs still being unreleased.


So once a year generally in the Fall, The Beatles would record a “Thank you Message” to the fans & then the Flexi-Discs were mailed out to the UK members of The Beatles: Fan Club. So here are the years they were made a brief description of what the recordings were, as the band were from Liverpool the Mid West Coast of the UK, they had Very British humor. As much as The Monkees: (1966-68) were a TV Show that released Records, The Beatles were a Musical Band that release Comedy films, much like Monty Python that was formed in 1969, however the Beatles started recording these comedy recordings a full 6 years before Monty Python, needless to say if you do not get or enjoy British humor, you may not enjoy these recordings, as they are more comedy than musical, there are some bits of improvisational songs contained on them, however, they are, by in large comedy recordings, each came with a cardboard photo cover & a flexi-disc inside.

1963: The Beatles’ Christmas Record (5:00min)

This being the 1st one of the 7 starts off with “Good King Wenceslas” John then remarks “I’d like to personally thank everyone, but I haven’t enough pens” then breaks out into “Garry Crimble”. Paul then comments on how they used to love “Jelly Babies” but now they have had their fill, & then breaks out into ”Good King Wenceslas” in German followed by Ringo who states he was “The last one to join in 1962” & then he breaks out into “Good King Wenceslas” with a Lounge delivery, followed by George who offers “Thank you Ringo, we’ll phone you” then they all break out into “Rudolph Red Nosed Ringo” with Lennon singing “When everybody picked it”
1964: Another Beatles’ Christmas Record (3:58min)
This 2nd Beatles Christmas Flexi opens with “Jingle Bells” using a hand written script by the band’s press agent Tony Barrow the members have some trouble reading what’s been written for them as Paul says “It’s been fun melting them, no that’s wrong, & we wish you a  very new year” followed by John who had fun with the script “Thanks to you bought my book, there’ll be another out soon says here, it’s the usual rubbish” it would seem George read over his part as he has less trouble “Thanks for seeing film, we have another one out next year ‘cept this one  will be in a colour” & finally Ringo “Thank you for being fans”

For the USA fans, opposed to using flexi-discs, the US fan-club sent the ‘63 message (in ’64) in a tri-fold cardboard mailer, with the “record” embedded in one of the flaps of cardboard, it was only about 3 x 3inches, the bottom held the vinyl record, the middle, which is the speaker, folded up, making the top fold straight down, into the tone arm, holding the metal stylus, you operated the device by turning the record with your finger! Very Low Fidelity, but Really Cool!

The film the band refers to is “A Hard Day’s Night” a “Black & White” comedy film released in July 1964, & the book Lennon refers to is “In His Own Write” also released in1964 a collection of abstract art & ironic stories such as “No Flies On Frank”
1965: The Beatles’ Third Christmas Record (6:20min)

This one starts off with the boys singing, “Yesterday” intentionally off key, with an opening Ringo “Well, thank ya Johnny it’s been a nice to know ya”  followed by Paul, as always John is his usual sarcastic self thanking the fans for “Playing card make out of knickers” (knickers = underwear) then George says “On behalf of John  & I we’d like to thank you for cards presents” (seems the John & George pairing up as a team started very early on) Lennon breaks out into “Bonny Christmas”  & then into “Auld Lang Syne” & then the old standard “It’s The same Old Song” at which point Harrison blurts out “Copyright Johnny” to which John spouts out “How about we’ll gather lilacs in a Old Brown Shoe” (later in ’69 a Harrison song) then the guys goof on some loosely constructed songs, “Christmas Comes But Once A Year” & “Christmasday” signing off Lennon proclaims “This is Johnny Rhythm saying goodnight to ya”.

In ’65 Lennon releases his 2nd book “A Spaniard In The Works” followed by the band’s 2nd comedy film, a spy thriller; “Help!” released in Aug 1965. Lennon made his 1st appearance as a guest on the BBC TV Show “Not Only … But Also” in Season 1; Episode 1.
1966: Pantomime: Everywhere It’s Christmas (6:36min)

This next one begins with Paul & John singing “Everywhere It’s Christmas” right into the song “Oh Louania” Ringo then beings to tell the tale; “2 elderly Scott’s men munch on a rare cheese” sort of a radio play, in the UK referred to as a “Pantomime” set in Corsica & the Swiss Alps & on the HMS Tremendous with the improve song “If I ever see another Banjo”

Also in Winter 1966 McCartney wrote the soundtrack for the BBC “The Family Way” & Lennon made his 2nd appearance on the BBC TV Show “Not Only … But Also” on the Christmas Episode as a “Lavatory Attendant”
1967: Christmas Time (Is Here Again) (6:06min)

This ’67 flexi disc, is probably the most musical of them all in the vein on “You Know My Name” with the reoccurring theme song “Christmas Time Is Here Again” played throughout the recording , it starts off with “The boys arrive at the BBC House” a sort of musical & radio play of a mock BBC radio show written by Lennon & Victor Spinetti, with commercials like; “Get one of us for your trousers, get one of us for your homes” & ‘The Ravellers’ sing “Plenty of Jam Jars” towards the end  Lennon reads a poem “When Christmas time is over” as the cracks in the band begin to show this will be the last one to be recorded as a band.

This year 3 different films were released “The Beatles At Shea Stadium (Aug 1966 NYC)” in Jan 1967 the 5th to last Beatles concert ever performed & “How I Won The War” hysterical British humor about WW2 in Oct 1967 with Lennon as “Private Gripweed”“Magical Mystery Tour”  released in Dec 1967 directed by: McCartney; a musical journey on a psychedelic bus.
1968: The Beatles’ 1968 Christmas Record (2 sided @ 7:48min)

This year’s message was recorded separately by each Beatle then was compiled by The Beatles friend & DJ Kenny Everett, in the vein of “What’s The New Mary Jane” starting off with “Ob La Di Ob La Da” Ringo is the 1st to speak followed by Paul’s “Happy Middlemas” & a snip-it of “Helter Skelter” is played, then Lennon reads the poem of “Jock & Yono: “Once upon a pool table” George adds in a snip-it of “Music from “Wonderwall” & then Mal Evans says “Merry Christmas” followed by Ringo who does a very “Monty Python- ish” skit, & then the only other musical artist to appear on the Beatles Christmas recordings, George has Tiny Tim (Herbert Khaury: 12 Apr 1932: NYC – 30 Nov 1996: MPLS) sing “Nowhere Man”. I had my Album signed by Tiny Tim, as I lived in Des Moines, IA for a number of years & he lived downtown @ the Savary Hotel, Tiny used to play the “Holiday Inn South” once a month in 1992, he had an amazing memory for pre- “Rock & Roll” music history  the recording closes with “God bless you TinyTim”.

This year Harrison wrote the soundtrack for the film “Wonderwall” (1968) released in Jan 1969 followed by the cartoon feature film “Yellow Submarine” released in Nov 1968 (my RecordStore Mr. Zero’s was able to get famous DC Comic Artist Jose Delbo (9 Dec 1933: Argentina) to create our mascot, as Delbo’s 2nd job was for the “Gold Key” comic book of “Yellow Submarine”
1969: The Beatles’ Seventh Christmas Record (2 sided @ 7:39min)

The final Christmas Felxi was done very much in the style of “Revolution #9” John & Julian, being with Yoko & her asking John “If he had any special thoughts for Christmas” Lennon: “Any special thoughts towards Christmas are eating, I’d like some cornflakes” followed George & George Martin commenting “Christmas comes but once a year” then Ringo sings “Good Evening To You Gentlemen” then a snip-it of “The End” is played, Paul then sings “This Is To Wish You A Merry Christmas” it’s too bad they didn’t finish up some of these bits of songs, some of them could have been quite good. John interviews Yoko “I was wondering Mrs. Lennon what do you foresee in the 70s” Yoko “Everybody will be just flying around” & as with the very 1st one Lennon breaks out into  “Good King Wenceslas”. Then John & Yoko go into a very “Two Virgins” -ish “Happy, Happy Christmas”. Ringo does a plug for his new film in the form of “Merry Christmas warping into Magic Christian” finishing out is John & Yoko playing “What do you want from Santa” Lennon “Mommy, I want a man on the Moon” This is the only actual Flexi I own of the 7.

This year it’s Ringo’s turn in movies as “Magic Christian” is released in Dec 1969 , Ringo appears as “Youngman Grand” a homeless boy.

In 1970 The Beatles call it day & release the film “Let It Be”  a documentary about recording an album, in May 1970 to mark the end of an era, in addition too they do not record a 1970 Christmas flexi, but instead compile all 7 messages into 1 LP in the UK, titled “From Then To You”  with a black & yellow photo from ’63, this was also only sent out to “Fan Club Members’ in Dec ’70, in the USA the LP was sent out to fan club members in the Spring of ’71 as “The Beatles Christmas Album” with a blue collage cover.

> In The Aftermath: The 70’s <

In the ’70s three of 4 the Beatles recorded & released “Holiday Songs” in order;


>John Lennon: 1971<

“Happy Christmas (war is over) b/w Listen The Snow Is Falling (Yoko)” released in Dec 1971 as a 45 single & the original version, a #36 Hit on the charts, as with all Lennon singles from that time a Lennon song was on the “A-Side” & an Ono song was on the “B-Side” Then a 2nd version was released on the LP ‘Shaved Fish’ in Oct 1975, a “Best Of LP” as Lennon had retired from the music business to be a full time Father to his 2nd son Sean.

Worth noting The Monkees: Jones, Dolenz & Tork reunited in 1986, & filmed a Christmas video for MTV with Nesmith making a surprise appearance, the video was a medley of several Christmas songs, Tork sang this song as part of the medley.


>George Harrsion: 1974<

“Ding Dong Ding Dong b/w Hari’s On Tour (express)” Harrison’s “New Year Song” was released in Dec 1974 as a 45 single & hit #36 on the charts & was included on the LP ‘Dark Horse’ Harrison made his 1st Promo Video Clip for this song. Harrison wanted to release a “New Year’s Song” in celebration of the beginning of his new found life at the time.


>Paul McCartney: 1979<

“Wonderful Christmastime b/w Rudolph Red Nosed Reggae” from Nov 1979 a #6 hit in the UK, where every year since 1973, they have a race for the “Christmas #1”, unfortunately Paul missed, they did film a “Promo Video” for this song featuring ‘Wings’ though they do not play on the recording, as it was recorded entirely by McCartney himself, something he had been doing for over 10 years by this time. I met the drummer for ‘Wings’ Steve Holly while he was playing in Ian Hunter’s band in 2001 @ ‘1st Ave’ in MPLS. He didn’t have a whole lot to say about his time in ‘Wings’.


>Ringo Starr: 1999<

The only Beatle to release a whole “Christmas” CD, ‘I Wanna Be Santa Claus’ came out in Oct 1999. 2 songs “Dear Santa” & “Christmas Eve” were recorded in 1998 & then the rest of the CD followed it contains 6 originals & a cover of The Beatles “Christmas Time Is Here Again”

In ’95 The Beatles ‘Anthology 1’ was released with the CD Single “Free As A Bird b/w Christmas Time Is Here Again (remix)” in Dec 1995 the re-mix was pulled from 3 different flexi discs to make an all new recording.


Sometime in the early 80s a Vinyl Bootleg Album ”Sessions” contained a 1 minute version of “Christmas Time Is Here Again” & another Bootleg contained the un-cut 5 minute backing track, version of the song.

So there you have “Beatle Collectors” as fairly complete list of the Beatles Christmas Recordings, Books & Films.

So we shall see you in the New Year 2016 to celebrate my 5th year of writing these articles.

Mr. Zero’s Inc.

*Est. 2009

1744 Lexington Ave. N. & Larpenteur

Roseville- St. Paul, MN. 55113


Classic Music, Vintage Video Games, Retro Toys & Movies too …

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , ,

“Hello, world, here’s a song that we’re singin”

TV Show: 1970- 74

TV Show: 1970- 74

“Hello, world, here’s a song that we’re singin”

The Partridge Family: 1970- 1974

“BUZZ” Newspaper Article Nov 2015 (#56-pF)

By: RLSchwinden aka MrZer0
In Jun 1970 as The Monkees, called it a day, I was really bummed, But, then some salvation was on the way, because in Dec 1969 Columbia Pictures- Screen Gems (who also filmed The Monkees) started filming a New Replacement Musical TV Series in “The Partridge Family” remarkably (or not) about 60% of the song writers & musicians moved from “The Monkees” to the “Partridge Family” although instead of Don Kirshner, Wes Farrell would be in charge & instead of Micky Dolenz, David Cassidy would be the Lead Vocalist. However Bobby Hart would still be a main songwriter. And the new TV Band would be on the same record label as the old Monkees as Bell Records, purchased Colgems Records.


The series was loosely based on the real live “Family Band” The Cowsills:from Newport, R.I. with 7 family members & 8 LPs on MGM Records from 1967- 71, with 3 Top #2 Billboard Hits. The series starred David Cassidy (David Bruce Cassidy: 12 Apr 1950; NYC) & his real-life Step-Mother Shirley Jones (Shirley Mae Jones: 31 Mar 1934 Charleroi, PA) with Susan Dey (Susan Hallock Dey: 10 Dec 1952 Pekin, Ill.)  & Danny Bonaduce: (Dante Daniel Bonaduce: 13 Aug 1959; Broomall, PA) & Dave Madden: (17 Dec 1931- 16 Jan 2014).

While Cassidy was a good guitar player & a great singer & Jones had been in many musicals with soundtrack LPs; such as “Oklahoma” in 1955“Carousel” in 1956 & “Music Man” in 1962 & countless others, only Jeremy Gelbwaks: (22 May 1961; L.A. CA.) had any musical experience by learning  to play the drums for the filming of the TV Show. The others all faked it for the camera. Never-the-less this made for TV band released 10 LPs & 11 Singles from 1970- 1974 as well as several Solo LPs.
> 1970: I Can Feel Your Heartbeat <

The 1st LP was released in late ’70 (back then there were no hard release dates) made to look like a “Photo Album” it did contain the “Premium” of an 8×8” color photo for the fans to frame, the single “I Think I Love You b/w Somebody Wants To Love You” (one of 2 picture sleeves) was a #8 Billboard Hit on 5 Dec 70, to me, the stand out tracks are “Bandala” & “I Can Feel Your Heartbeat“, I feel this is one of the weakest releases from them as several songs were recorded without Cassidy & Jones, Trivia: one of the Keyboard players on this LP was Mike Melvoin the father to Prince’s guitar player “Lisa”. There were 4 out-takes from this LP “Com’on Get Happy” “Baby I Love, Love, I Love You” & 2 sung by Ron Hicklin “Together” & “Let The Good Times In” There were 13 TV episodes released this year, my favorite being episode #7 from 6 Nov ’70 “Danny & The Mob”.


> 1971: Summer Days <

Their 2nd LP ‘Up To Date’ was released in 1971 designed to look like a “Calendar” this LP contained the “Premium” of a “Book Cover” Cassidy had an original song on this one “Lay It On The Line”  2 singles were released from this LP;  “Doesn’t Somebody Want To Be Wanted b/w You Are Always On My Mind” which had the 2nd of 2 picture sleeves & a #6 hit on 13 Mar 1971, followed by “I’ll Meet You Halfway b/w Morning Rider On The Road” which was a #4 hit on 29 May 1971. There was an out-take “Stephanie” written by “Monkees” side-men Ric Klein & David Price. The TV Episode  “Knight In Shining Armor” from 19 Mar 1971, launched another TV Show starring Bobby Sherman: (22 Jul 1943 Santa Monica) “Getting Together” for 14 Episodes in  fall ’71 & winter ’72, Sherman released 8 LPs & 15 Singles on Metromedia, spawned from the 2 TV Shows.

Their 3rd LP ’Sound Magazine’ was released in late ’71, designed to look like a “Teen Magazine” of the day, with the #18 single “I Woke Up In Love This Morning b/w 24 Hours A Day” on 18 Sep ’71, Cassidy had his 2nd song on this one with “Love Is All That I Ever Needed” the 1st of many Bobby Hart songs “I’m On My Way Back Home” is also on this LP. There were 2 out-takes for this LP”I’ll Be Your Magician” & “Warm My Soul”.  Their 4th LP was ‘Christmas Card’ the “Premium” for this LP was an actual “Christmas Card” tucked into a slot on the cover, Jones got her 1st lead vocal on the LP with “Christmas Song” For the TV Show there was 26 episodes released this year, my favorite being episode #21 from 19 Feb ’71 “Partridge Up A Pair Tree” starring the love of my life Annette O’Toole: (1 Apr 1952; Houston, TX)   For some reason Bell Records would not give Jones a Solo LP deal but did release 3 singles the 1st being “I’ve Still Got My Heart Joe” b/w “Everybody’s Reachin’ Out for Someone” Bell #119. Cassidy scores a “Christmas #1” with “Cherish b/w All I Wanna Do” (a Non-LP song) on 25 Dec ’71.

> 1972: Something New Got Old <

As if this project did not have enough success ’72 would be the year of all things Partridge Family- David Cassidy, Bell Records really stepped up the musical output, this year starting with a #2 hit with “It’s One Of Those Nights b/w One Night Stand” on 22 Jan ’72, followed by Cassidy’s 1st Solo LP ‘Cherish’ in Feb ’72 containing a Cassidy original & another Bobby Hart song. Followed by ‘Shopping Bag’ in Mar 1972 this LP’s “Premium” a real plastic Shopping Bag, this  LP contained 1 Cassidy original & 2 Bobby Hart songs, “Am I Losing You b/w If You Ever Go” #39 29 Apr ’72. On 1 Jul ’72 “How Can I Be Sure b/w Ricky’s Tune” hits the #25 mark on the charts, quickly followed by “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do b/w I’m Here You’re Here” a #30 hit on 5 Aug ’72. Incidentally Wayne Newton’s #3 hit “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast b/w Echo Valley 26809″ from Aug ’72, contained a “Partridge Family” song on the B-Side. I own a “Gold Record Award” for this 45 Single, I was able to get Wayne to sign it, Newton: “Where on earth did you come across this?”

The 1st “Greatest Hits LP” titled ‘At Home’ was released in  Sep ’72, because so many 45 Singles were released with songs that were not contained on a LP, however several songs on this LP were not singles or hits at all, but featured in the TV Show. Cassidy’s 2nd Solo LP was released in late ’72 ‘Rock Me Baby’ this time Cassidy had 3 originals included, & the #38 Hit “Rock Me Baby b/w Two Time Loser” on 14 Oct ’72. The 6th studio LP ‘Notebook’ was released in Nov ’72,  When I meet Cassidy & got him to sign my copy he said “That’s why it’s blank on the front, so the kids could write on it” Jones 2nd Bell single “Ain’t Love Easy” b/w “Roses in the Snow”  Bell #253 was released sometime in ‘72 & Jones had a duet “Girl Land” with her husband & David’s real-life Father Jack Cassidy: (1927- 1976) on the various LP ‘Free to Be… You and Me’  23 TV episodes were released this year, my favorite being from; 21 Jan ‘72 “Waiting For Bolero” Keith Partridge “These aren’t potato chips, it’s potato dust”

> 1973: It’s A Long Way To Heaven <

As ’73 opens “Looking Through The Eyes Of Love b/w Storybook Love” hits #9 on the charts on 27 Jan ’73, this will be the last song to hit the top of the charts, ending the “Top 40” reign of the project. The next 2 LPs both released in ’73 are by far the hardest to locate in the wild (before the Intronetts that is) their 7th LP ‘Crossword Puzzle‘ is released in  Jun ’73 with an actual “Crossword Puzzle” for a cover containing the final 45 single “Looking For A Goodtime b/w Money Money” this LP contains 3 Bobby Hart songs. Followed by the 8th & final LP ‘Bulletin Board’ in Oct ’73, the cover looking like a household bulletin board,containing the final 3 Bobby Hart songs, strangely Cassidy’s 3rd Solo LP comes out in the same month ‘Dreams Are Nothing More Than Wishes’ is also released in Oct’ 73 with a remake of an earlier Partridge Family song “Summer Days” this LP does have the 45 single “Daydreamer b/w Puppy Song” this LP contains 2 more originals by Cassidy & his main song writing partner at the time Kim Carnes: (20 Jul 1945 Hollywood).

Shirley Jones 3rd & final single is also released in ’73 “Walk in Silence” b/w “The World is a Circle” Bell #350. While Jones did not get a solo album deal, Danny Bonaduce did, with Lion-MGM his only solo LP contained the 45 single “Dreamland b/w Bluberry You” & 2nd single a Partridge Family out-take “I’ll Be Your Magician b/w Fortune Lady” even more odd Ricky Segall: (10 Mar 1969 NYC) was given a solo record deal on Bell Records, after appearing in only 10 TV episodes of the show. 24 TV episodes are released this year my favorite being ”I Left My Heart In Cincinnati” from 26 Jan ’73.


> 1974: Where Do We Go From Here <

This will be the last year for the project, as the final 10 TV Episodes are released my favorite being “Two For The Show” from 19 Jan ’74, as is the end of any project a “Hits” LP is released, & in Apr ’74 ‘World Of’ a 2 LP “Best Of” is released. From Sep – Dec ’74 the cartoon “Partridge Family 2200 A.D.” was aired for 16 episodes, Starring: Dey, Bonaduce, Brian Forster (14 Apr 1960 L.A.) the Great- Great Grandson of Charles Dickins & Suzanne Crough: (6 Mar 1963- 27 Apr 2015) as the voices of their TV characters.
This same year David’s 4th & final solo LP is released ‘Cassidy Live’ with the 45 single “Please Please Me”. It’s worth noting that a myriad of merchandise was released in conjunction with the Partridge Family, enough to rival their predecessor The Monkees; the coolest & most sought after being the Lunchbox w/Thermos, Trading Cards, Board Game, & View-Masters. As Wes Farrell produced all 8 LPs he co-wrote many of the projects songs besides him Tony Romeo wrote some 16 songs, followed Terry Cashman & Tommy West, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil & Gerry Goffin. Bobby Hart released a book “Psychedelic Bubblegum” earlier this year where he details his work with The Monkees & Partridge Family, Hart to me in 1990 “(Wes) Farrell, kept me working in the early 70’s working on TV Shows like Partridge Family, Sigmund & The Seamonsters & Josie & The Pussycats”

Many of my friends ask me “How can you be into that kid’s music?” I respond “It’s simple, I am a little older than you, it was on TV, there wasn’t “KISS” yet & more importantly, good songs are good songs”

So see you for our 7th Xmas @ Mr. Zero’s 55113

Mr. Zero’s *Est. 2009

1744 Lexington Ave. N.

Roseville-St. Paul, MN. 55113


TV Show: 1970- 74

TV Show: 1970- 74

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , ,

Mr. Zero’s “PsychoGello Radio Show Vol.4”

Mr. Zero’s “PsychoGello Vol.4”
“BUZZ” Newspaper Article Oct- Nov 2015 (mZp- #55)

So as some of you know I have a Annual Radio-Show, this year I was lucky enough to be on a 2nd time this year for “Pledge Drive” week, so a nod to Liberty Finch & DJ Izzy, I thank you both.
For this show I dug deep for my fans of The Monkees, KISS & Tommy Bolin, so here’s a breakdown of the songs I chose this time & their significance. Also many of these Artists, I have previously written “BUZZ” Articles on in the past 4.5 years, you can read past articles @ www.MrZeros.Com “Blog” there’s only about 55 of them to pour through.

“Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again” The MONKEES: 1968 “Head” This is only 1 of 2 Peter Tork solo lead vocals released while he was in ‘The Monkees’ while he wrote 12 songs for The Monkees, most of them went unreleased until the Rhino “Missing Links Vol: 1- 3” series & the 2 “Anthology Box-Sets” that were also released” I just love this song it’s got a get beat & bass line, although Tork played guitar on this one, the bass was played by Lance Wakely, the “HEAD” Soundtrack was Tork’s shining moment as he had 2 original songs on the LP, it was also his swan song, as Tork did not appear on the last 3 Monkees’ LPs, while he did appear in the TV Special “33 1/3 Monkees Per Revolution” in Apr ’69, singing on “I, Prithee” “California, Here I Come” & “Little Darling” there was no LP released for this show.

“(I’m not your) SteppinStone” The TRASHMEN 1967 “Bird Call” as I had written in another article my Dad Dr. W. A. Schwinden had sat in The Trashmen, before he was shipped off to Viet Nam in ’64. I have to wonder if the Trashmen chose this one because of The Monkees’ or The Raiders’ version, in any case it was cool to hear a “Surf Band” perform a 60’s Pop tune.

“Pretty Thing” Tommy Boyce: 1965 “Tribute” on the day we were broadcasting it happened to be Boyce’s birthday, so we had to play 1 of his songs, here’s Boyce doing his best “Dylanesque” the 1st time I met Boyce was in Jun ’86 he told me himself, “I, we would listen to the radio, to hear what was the current popular, types, of songs that were being played, & I, we would try to copy them in our own style” I dedicated this one to my favorite waitress Diana.

“If You’ve Got Trouble” The BEATLES: 1965 “Anthology 2” while Ringo was in The BEATLES he sang only 10 songs, this would have been #11, originally intended for the LP “HELP” it was left off. I love it; it’s a good rocker with a great riff.

“Buddy Holly Tribute” Micky Dolenz: 1972 “MGM Singles” while Dolenz & Jones continued to work for The MONKEES until early ’71 both Jones & Dolenz were then picked up by the Record Label MGM, who also handled other “Teen” oriented artists like The OSMONDS & Danny Bonaduce. The legend goes that Dolenz recorded an entire LP for MGM titled “I Hate Rock N Roll” with the tracks “Wing Walker” “Purple People Eater” & the title track, it’s recently be written that Dolenz recorded up to 31 tracks for MGM, because of the “50’s Resurgence” he recorded this tribute to Buddy Holly.

“Gentle On My Mind” Leonard Nimoy: 1968 “Two Sides Of” Micky Dolenz once said “It’s The Monkees & Star Trek, who can figure it out?” so I thought I would play them back to back, this track was a little more palatable then I remembered.

“2000 Man” ROLLING STONES: 1967 “Their Satanic Majesties Request” this song is perhaps best known for the ’79 KISS version adopted by Ace Frehley, so I thought I’d throw the KISS fans a bone. Also I played this one for a certain blond lady I used to know.

“Bama Lama, Bama Loo” Little Richard: 1964 “Well, Alright” this song was recorded & released during the “Architect’s” 1st return to rock n roll. Incidentally, The BEATLES opened for Little Richard in ’62 on his UK Tour. Like I said on the show “If this one doesn’t make you get up & dance… there’s something wrong with you”

“Stars That Play With Laughing Sam’s Dice” Jimi Hendrix: 1967 “B-Side” to “Burning Of The Midnight Lamp” one of the 7 Non-LP songs Hendrix released while he was alive, & then released only on the UK Version of “Smash Hits” I am always really interested in any Non-LP song. In doing my research I found out the title is for the initials “STP- L.S.D.” a very popular mind altering drug at the time.

“Mr. Zero’s” WestSide Mikey: 2015 “Magic Acid Band” My old high school buddy Mike Langley & 1st ever band mate, wrote this for the shop just in time for this broadcast, it was also used on the local CTV-15 Show “NSB” that did a 3 minute special on our Shop “Mr. Zero’s” the following day.

“London Bridge” BREAD: 1969 “1st LP” In ’69 when Nesmith was recording songs for the “Next” MONKEES LP “Present” this song is 1 he started, but never finished, perhaps because the proposed “Double LP” was cut down to a single LP. This was the 2nd song David Gates had recorded by The MONKEES.

“That’s Enough For Me” Paul Williams: 1971 “Just An Old Fashioned Love Song” I 1st knew of Williams from being “Virgil” in “Battle For The Planet Of The Apes” (I had him sign my DVD of this film) then came to find out he wrote a song for The MONKEES “Someday Man” in ’69. This particular song comes the 1977 film “First Love” with Susan Dey of the “Partridge Family” I really like the film, & think this is a great song.

“If I Were A Carpenter” The FOUR TOPS: 1967 “Anthology” As a kid most people I knew were into the TEMPTATIONS, where as I liked ‘The Four Tops’ I 1st heard this song on “The Wonder Years” in Oct ’91, I have yet to hear a bad version of it, so here is another one.

“Pretty Polly” The BYRDS: 1968 “Sweethearts Of The Rodeo” At the Shop (Mr. Zero’s) we get asked for this LP all the time, I am not exactly sure why, as I feel this is the only song worth listening to off of this LP. I do love The BYRDS though; enough that I named one of my birds after this song. McGuinn probably heard this song from Pete Seeger, although Judy Collins had performed it too, McGuinn had played on Collins LPs in ’63, before forming The BYRDS.

“I’ll Believe In You” Davy Jones: 1972 “Bell Years” In ’71 when Jones was released from the MONKEES, he signed with Bell Records, who currently had the “Partridge Family” he released 1 LP & 4 singles this was his final 45 for Bell, before signing with MGM, like his former partner Dolenz. A lot of people think this is just too sappy of a song, but it reminds me of the current Pop Music that was on AM Radio at the time, & believe it or not, I really enjoy this song.

“Rainmaker” The PARTRIDGE FAMILY: 1971 “Sound Magazine” In the early 70s No One out sold the ‘Partridge Family’ with 10 LPs & 11 Singles in just 4 short years including 4 Solo LPs from David Cassidy & 1 from Danny Bonaduce. When ‘The Monkees’ project came to an end in mid ’70 about 60% of the song writers & musicians moved from that project to the ‘Partridge Family’ with an updated sound for the early ’70s, so if you liked the MONKEES, chances were you were going to like the ‘Partridge Family’ too & I did, I love this song.

“Sweet Ophelia” Barry Mann: 1971 “Lay It All Out” A major “Hit Maker” for others Barry did release 3 Solo LPs himself, & oddly enough a pre- KISS: “Wicked Lester” recorded 2 songs off of this LP for their 1st LP, this song & another titled “Too Many Mondays” yes they are good songs & Barry being 1 of the best, but to record 2 songs off of the very same LP, now there’s a question I have for Gene & Paul.

“Faded Satin Lady” Max Gronenthal: 1979 “Whistling In The Dark” Just before Tommy R. Bolin passed away in Dec ’76 he had updated his band with Max Carl Gronenthal on Keyboards & 2nd Lead Vocals, this last line-up of the “Tommy Bolin Band” had been writing songs for Bolin’s 3rd Solo LP, & this was one of them, along with “Down In The Dungeon” “Blues Gonna Take Me Away” & “Don’t Hide From Me” unfortunately Tommy did not record this song before he died, but Max did & released it on his 1st Solo LP, before he joined ’38 Special’.
“Savannah Woman” Tommy R. Bolin: 1975 “Teaser” Tommy was from Sioux City & so am I, it was a proud day when Tommy released his 1st band LP “Zephyr” in ’70, but that escalated when his 1st Solo LP “Teaser” came out, the thing I love about Tommy’s music is he has this mellow jazzy quality to some of his songs, & they can really take you to another place.

“Golden Rainbows” Alphonse Mouzon: 1975 “Mind Transplant” In late ’74, after ‘James Gang’ but before ‘Deep Purple’, Bolin hooked up with former McCoy Tyner & Weather Report jazz drummer Mouzon they created what I think is the greatest fusion jazz LP of all time. I was able to hang out with Mouzon in Aug of this year, he told me “Bonham used to set up his drums in his hotel room trying to get down my beats” I mentioned “I believe this LP had a influence on Neil Peart of RUSH” Mouzon “You know if Bonham was listening to it, Neil was too … funny thing so many people had mention Neil to me, I thought I better find out who this guy is” me “So when was that?” Mouzon “A few years ago”

“Baby Blue” BADFINGER: 1971 “Straight Up” I always loved this song as a kid & I got to jam on with an old friend of mine from “The Suburbantors” in Des Moines in Aug. Joey Molland still lives in town & I was able to get him to sign a “Sealed” 8-Track for the shop, we gave him a “Mr. Zero’s Shirt” as he was off to the UK to do a few shows over there, he said “I’ll try to remember to wear it over there for ya”

“Hard Way” The KINKS: 1975 “School Boy’s In Disgrace” Yet another song I got to jam with my friend Jon in Aug. this is by far my favorite “Concept LP” by the KINKS, so many great songs on the LP, but I had to pick one. Back then Dave used to play an L6-S, just as I still do.

“Jump Into The Fire” NILSSON: 1972 “Son OF Dracula” I always liked this song but when Robin Zander of CHEAP TRICK, covered it for his ’93 Solo CD, he took it to a new level, this is also a song I was trying to get my band ”MrZERo” to cover. When I asked Zander in Omaha in ’94 “Why did you pick that song to cover” Zander “Because I love Nilsson, that’s why” me “Did you have to get him to sign off on it” Zander “No, just pay him” This might be the only “Rocker” I know of that Nilsson ever recorded.

“Green Shirt” The TREMBLERS (Peter Noone): 1980 “Twice Nightly” I saw them do this on TV back in the day, I just loved this song, when I asked about it @ “Uncle John” (our local recordshop) Mezmer told me “Elvis Costello” so I got “Armed Forces” & thought “This IS NOT the artist I saw?” when I met Costello in 2002, I did have him sign my copy though. Peter Noone of ‘Herman’s Hermits’ had just left the band & gone solo for awhile, then formed the short lived band ‘TREMBLERS’

“Like Dreamers Do” APPLE JACKS: 1964 Many do not realize exactly how proliferate Lennon & McCartney were @ writing songs, so many that they gave many away to other UK artists @ the time. This being 1 of them. This band had 1 LP & 8 Singles. I always wished EMI had recorded & released an LP of The BEATLES performing all the songs they gave a way, we would have a whole other BEATLES LP.

“Keep Me Waiting” WICKED LESTER (KISS): 1972 “Box Set” Many of the casual KISS fans do not realize there was an LP recorded before KISS’ 1st LP, true it was never released, however there are tracks floating around out there. Of the 11 songs recorded 5 were covers, (I mentioned 1 earlier) this particular song, written by: Paul Stanley, was kept in the live set list of the very 1st KISS shows ever performed. This one is dedicated to my band mates: (in “ROCK and ROLL all NITE”) Cat, Pete & Tony, as we have a ’74 KISS Tribute gig Fri 23 Oct 2015 in Bloomington, MN @ the Ramada Hotel Ballroom 10pm

“Faith In You” Matthew Sweet: 1999 “In Reverse” When I 1st heard this song on the “Drive Me Crazy” CD soundtrack, I was blown away, I immediately started collecting EVERYTHING by Matthew. I just love this song, when I got to ask him about it I said “You know I discovered your music by the song “Faith In You” on the “Drive Me Crazy” soundtrack” he replied ”Oh, is that on there?” I said “How do you not know?” he replied, “That’s up to my management & the record company, I really don’t have a say in that, also, I don’t really keep track of those things, because, well, I’m me, so I don’t need to”


MrZer0 on KFAI 90.3fm & 106.7am

Ok kiddos that’s all for now … Have Happy Halloween, until the next time … MrZer0

Mr. Zero’s Inc.
*Est. 2009
1744 Lexington Ave. N.
Roseville- St. Paul, MN. 55113
651. 489. 0207

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , ,

He Named Me Malala

Mahala Yousafzai: (12 July 1997)

Mahala Yousafzai: (12 July 1997)

” October 2015
“Mr. Zero’s Time Machine Film Review” (#15-hNm)

So Mr. Zero’s Inc. *Est. 2009 has been working with “Allied Ent. & GoFoBo” for over 4 & 1/2 years now … our most recent Co-Op was a film titled “He Named me Malala” a film- documentary about Nobel Peace Prize Winner: Mahala Yousafzai: (12 July 1997: Mingora, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan) who was shot on 9 Oct 2012 by the Taliban for attending school in her home town, Swat. Her father Ziauddin Yousafzai (20 Nov 1969: Pakistan) named her “Malala” after the legendary Afghani woman warrior “Malalai of Maiwand” who inspired her country’s army to stand up to the British invaders.

After watching the film, it is clear to me her father who has a stammer, but over came the affliction to become a diplomat & public speaker, had aspirations of her daughter to become a great figure, as she did, I am sure he groomed her in that direction, however it was also Malala’s own personality that also drove her & used what her father taught her, to rise to the great public figure that she currently is.

I went to this film not knowing what to expect, & every once in a great while, I am pleasantly overwhelmed, what a fantastic film, it is, moving, inspiring, tragic & funny. It moved me to realize how very important it is for all people to be & receive an education. This film really does put a person in their place, if a person is feeling down & out by the things in their life, watching this film will make you realize, how things can be so much worse & as well as, remind you how well off you really are & then will inspire you to overcome whatever obstacle you may be experiencing currently.

In my opinion this film is a must see … MrZer0

Mr. Zero’s *Est. 2009
1744 Lexington Ave. N.
Roseville, MN. 55113

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , ,

KISS & The Order Of The Rose: 1981-82

Patch Elder 3“Now before you lies the quest at hand”
KISS & The Order Of The Rose: 1981-82

“BUZZ” Newspaper Article (#54-kE) Sep- Oct 2015
By: RLSchwinden aka MrZer0

So Halloween is approaching us & so we will continue our 4th annual tradition of another installment on KISS, this time will be one of the least known eras of KISS “1981- 82” but in fact one of my favorite periods. Frankly I did not care for the glitzy “Dynasty & Unmasked” period, the 1979 LP had some pretty good songs, but the 1980 the songs were lackluster & the production was flat, far too compressed for myself (& I am a Monkees fan).

> Who steers the ship through the stormy sea <
KISS had great sales with the ‘Dynasty’ LP (platinum), but the ‘Unmasked’ LP sold half as much. I personally think, KISS were wondering how to regain some ground, & since, at the time ‘The Wall’ was doing so well I think KISS decided to change their look & get more with the times of the “New Wave” image, that was currently popular & bring back the ‘Destroyer’ producer Bob Ezrin (who produced Pink Floyd), & record their own “Concept” album, based on a story Gene Simmons had written.

I can still remember in fall ’81 my buddy Russ S. (the Gene in my 1st KISS cover band) picked me up @ my Mom’s house, in his white Impala & plugged in the new KISS 8Track, ‘(Music from) The Elder’ I shouted “So, how is it?” Russ replied “Get ready, it is really different for a KISS album” then “The Oath” came on & I said “This sounds great to me” & Russ replied “Oh, just you wait” then came “Fanfare” & “Just A Boy” & I responded “what is THIS!” he said “See, I told ya”

So I went to ‘Uncle John Records’ & bought my vinyl copy (I did not have a car or an 8Track player) of ‘(music from) The Elder’ which was released in on 10 Nov 1981, & here’s where the story unfolds; the very 1st pressings had the songs on the back listed in a different running order than the LP (not unusual for KISS) & a poly-bag sleeve & No lyrics, also for the 1st time, NO Photos of KISS, you had to go check the current magazines to see the “New” KISS costumes, shockingly they had all cut their hair short (for them anyway) & were back to black leather & silver accents. I wasn’t sure what to think, I was thankful the “Vegas Look” was gone, but I was not sure about the “New Wave” look, once I thought about the new look, it really did reflect the new direction in music, so I was ok with the changes. I was right out of High School & not really knowing what to do with my life, I listened to this “New” KISS album over & over because it really spoke to me, it was the story of a boy & his journey in life & most importantly “To believe in yourself” I used this LP as a mantra over the next couple years.

> I never said I was more than I am <
The P.R. for the LP at the time was; the band released the 1st part of the soundtrack, in Nov 1981, to be followed by the film in early 1982, starring Christopher Makepeace: (22 Apr 1964; Montreal) as: “The Boy” & Anthony Parr (RIP:2002 Ontario) as “Mr. Blackwell” (both were on TV Series ‘Littlest Hobo’) Robert Christie: (20 Sep 1913- 1996; Toronto) as “Morpheus”. It is a documented fact Makepeace recorded dialogue for the LP, but it was left off of the released version, it is disputed whether “Morpheus” on the last track “finale” of the LP is Simmons or Robert Christie. Additional rumors were the band members themselves would appear in the film as their ‘KISS’ personas as characters in the story, & this would be the theatrical “Unmasking” of KISS as they would play other characters in the film “Sans Makeup” therefore the fans would flock to the film to “See What KISS Really Looks like without makeup”
Here’s the track listing for;
The US Version:
The Oath
Just A Boy
Dark Light
Only You
Under The Rose (Carr plays acoustic guitar)
A World Without Heroes
Mr. Blackwell
Escape From The Island

Then after telling my friend Paula how much I loved the album, she bought a copy much later than I did, her’s, the 2nd pressing came with the songs printed in the correct running order on the back, but with a paper inner sleeve with the printed lyrics. This is decades before the “IntroNetts” so I came to find out there was a different version released elsewhere.

Japanese Version: (when part 2 was still planned to be released)
*fanfare (almost 1 min longer on this version)
Just A Boy
Only You
Under The Rose
Dark Light
A World Without Heroes
The Oath
Mr. Blackwell

“Escape From The Island” was left off of the Japan version

> I just need a will of my own <
One 45 Single was released in the USA “A World Without Heroes b/w Dark Light” & hit #58 on the charts in Nov ’81 in Europe a single of “I b/w The Oath” was released in Jan ’82. There are 3 different Vinyl LP versions: 2 for USA & 1 Japanese, there is an 8Track (remarkably in the same running order as the LP), & 2 different cassette versions: 1981 & 1989 & 3 different CD versions 1986 Japanese, 1989 USA & 1997 USA. Songs for 2 videos were filmed “A World Without Heroes” & “I” supposedly taken from the film & used as “Promo Videos”

The origin of “Only You” from an interview I conducted with Simmons in Jun ’90 “The song was originally written about Diana Ross in ’80 or so, for the album @ the time with totally different lyrics, it was a love song “Only you can complete me” Doro (in 1990) sang the original lyrics for her version, along with some other songs (4 in total: “Something Wicked This Way Comes” “Rock On” & “Mirage”) I wrote. Lou (Reed), yes he did contribute to a couple songs, but not as much as some would like to think” 2 other songs
“Every Little Bit Of Your Heart” (Just A Boy) Stanley wrote this love song, perhaps about “Donna Dixon” about the same time as Simmons “Only You” Anton Fig & Frehley wrote “Don’t Run” (Dark Light) at roughly the same time as these other 2 songs. From an interview I conducted with Anton Fig in Fall 1987, Fig: “I do not play on “The Elder”, but a song I wrote is on that one, I did play on the 2 LPs before that, “Unmasked” & “Dynasty” you can tell because I play a double bass & Peter (Criss) doesn’t” Tony Powers (1938 Bronx) released his own version of “Midnight Trampoline/Odyssey” in 1982 a reworking of “Odyssey” & Cher released “A World Without Heroes” in 1991.

Then later in ’82 the 2nd part of the film soundtrack would be released with the other songs used in the film, many just being score or incidental music used in the film. The songs from the 2nd LP are:
Council of the Elder: (Stanley)
Unknown Force: (Simmons- Stanley)
Heaven: (Carr- Frehley) eventually released as “Breakout” by :Frehley in ’87
& “Carr Jam” by: KISS in ’92
Kicks Are For Kids: (Frehley)
Difference Between Men & Boys (is the size of their toys): (Simmons)
Nowhere To Run: (Stanley)
I’m A Legend Tonight: (Stanley & Adam Mitchell)
& 3 different untitled instrumentals (Ezrin, Stanley, Simmons)

>Your glory, I swear I’ll ride for thee <
Since “The Elder” performed below expectations, the band scraped the “2nd LP” altogether. To promote the LP the band made several TV appearances; on 15 Jan 82 the band appeared on the the TV show “Fridays” performing the songs “The Oath” “A World Without Heroes” & “I” live, this same month the show “Solid Gold” ran the 2 promo videos mentioned, they did band interviews on “American Top 10” & “Entertainment Tonight” & Gene & Paul made appearances on the “Flo & Eddie Show” “Strom Field Show” & a “Cerebral Palsy Telethon” & finally on 28 Jan 82 the trio, sans Frehley, who was rumored to be home with the flu, performed an alternate version of “I” as they substituted the word “Guts” in place of the word “Balls” from ‘Studio 54’ in NYC.

One thing I have come to learn about KISS is; when they 1st roll out a “New Look” the 1st set of costumes are usually “Prototypes” for the initial photo session, followed by a 2nd more functional or updated version of the costumes, this set is no different, for the “Live” costumes; Simmons has dropped the chain-mail pants for leather pants & changed shoulder-pads, Stanley essentially dropped his satin shirt & pants for a leather shirt & tights & swapped out his boots a shorter pair for a thigh high pair, Paul did keep his purple bandanna, so he could hid his Microtia (missing right ear), not surprisingly Ace’s & Eric’s costumes remained the same. For the 1st time since 1974, there was no KISS Tour for a new LP; in fact they would not tour again until Dec ’82. See you on the “Flip-side” next month.

The “KISS ’74 Tour; Tribute Band: ROCK and ROLL all NITE” will be performing @ this year’s “Crypticon: MPLS” on Fri 23 Oct 2015 @ the Ramada Ballroom in Bloominton, MN @ 10pm also on the bill “Metal Ships” & “Devil’s Rejects” & “Maiden MPLS”
So kidz lets Rock and Roll Over right into Halloween!

Mr. Zero’s Inc. *Est. 2009
1744 Lexington Ave. N.
Roseville, MN. 55113
Music, Movies, Toys & Video Games

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , ,