A collection of music blogs, album reviews and articles on various music and artists by NAMA's founder, Ellen Bello

A First Rate Solo Debut By Harry Styles 

A FIRST RATE SOLO DEBUT BY HARRY STYLES

http://crypticrock.com/?s=Harry+Styles

One Direction or 1D fans can rejoice with a debut album from Harry Styles, who now leads the way as the first member to release a full-length solo recording in 2017. The Rock star from the world’s biggest Pop group genuinely displays a sound and style (no pun intended) of his own as both singer and songwriter on the highly anticipated self-titled album, Harry Styles. Taking complete control, the album was released on May 12, 2017 through Styles’ own record label, Erskine Records Limited, under an exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment. 

Consisting of ten tracks in all with production by Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, and Drake) along with Alex Salibian, Tyler Johnson, and Kid Harpoon, the album’s cover art features a photo of Styles’ bare back as he is taking a bath and possibly washing away his past, or just brandishing raw, naked honesty. Younger 1D fans may find Styles’ new album a bit more serious and deeper than the days gone by. He emerges more wistful and downhearted, providing listeners with an intimate look into his past relationships. 

But why such a serious Harry Styles? Like all other One Directioners who found fame at an early age from their manufactured Pop band, Styles is also on new proving grounds. His baritone vocals and rolling falsetto remain intact while his music influences are clearly classic. Just maybe, this clever vocalist with a killer smile who swirled and twirled around the live concert stage as a member of the world’s biggest boy band, has truly matured into a 23 year old Rocker that just wants to be taken more seriously. It has been seven years since Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Harry Styles first auditioned as solo candidates for the British televised singing competition, The X Factor. When they did not progress, they were formed into a five-piece group for the competition. It was none other than Harry who came up with the name One Direction. One Direction achieved third place, signed with Simon Cowell’s record label, Syco Records, and immediately became an international success. 

They released five albums, topped the charts with numerous hit singles, received accolades of awards, and were the first band in US history to have their first four albums debut at number one. Their Where We Are Tour was also the highest-grossing tour by a vocal group. But in March 2015, member Zayne Malik, defected from the brotherhood. The band carried on as a four piece, released the album Made in the A.M. and toured before announcing in January 2016 they were taking a hiatus to individually pursue other projects. In March of last year, Malik released a solo R&B album, Mind of Mine, and more recently, a duet with Taylor Swift (a Harry ex), from the 50 Shades Darker soundtrack, entitled, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.” 

In 2017 alone, fans have witnessed a series of other solo material from One Directioners. Niall Horan, 1D’s main instrumentalist, became the group’s second member to release his own music with the hit single, “This Town.” Horan just dropped another new single on May 4th called “Slow Hands,” that is receiving plenty of Top 40 airplay. Liam Payne is also expected to release his own solo material this week. Louis Tomlinson’s collaboration with Steve Aoki, “Just Hold On,” debuted live on The X Factor just days after Louis’ mother had died from Leukemia with Harry, Niall, and Liam there in support. After a complete social media silence since last September, Harry Styles and his solo debut effort have arrived. 

In addition, back in April, fans were treated to the preview of two songs; the Pop single, “Sign Of The Times,” which almost immediately hit No. 1 in the US and UK on iTunes, and the slow melancholy acoustic track, “Ever Since New York,” which Styles performed on Saturday Night Live. Regards to the new full-length album, the ten tracks totaling 40-minutes on Harry Styles range from trippy Folk, Space Rock, to Alternative and edgy. Styles’ willingness to experiment with such diverse styles and put his heart and soul on his sleeve makes for an honest and trustworthy endeavor. You can time travel through all ten tracks starting from the sounds of his UK forefathers before him – Beatles, Rolling Stones, to David Bowie and Oasis. Retro, hip, Brit Pop, and just plain chill, this is authentic artistry coming from Styles. 

The countdown begins with “Meet Me in the Hallway.” The opening track is a bit spacey but builds intensity throughout. Styles’ lyrics hint of a struggling relationship with optimistic hopes for it getting better. The gravity of “Sign of the Times,” with its deliberately slow piano and aching vocals, immediately emits sadness and sorrow, an aesthetic far from what a 1D fan may expect in happier times. Styles’ high notes and pure vocal emotion are undeniably effective. Now, the fun begins with “Carolina,” a sexy Beatle-esque tropical groove with soothing beats and poetic phrasing. The intensifying chorus of “She’s a good girl,” and a lot of “la la la la’s” will quickly pull the listener into a sing-a-along-song with Styles. Like the title, some of Styles’ songs have sparked rumors and speculation that they were penned about former flames such as Caroline Flack and Taylor Swift. 

The tenderly reflective “Two Ghosts” is a soft and subtle easy listener stinging with sensitivity while Styles croons trying to remember “how it feels to have a heartbeat” as he falls out of love. The album’s third single to be released, a soft acoustic Folk song, “Sweet Creature” follows as Harry’s comfortably easing voice seems reminiscent of 1D’s “You and I” or “Story of My Life.” “Only Angel,” a meaner and rockier track that brings one to heaven and then thrusts you back to earth possesses Mick Jagger traits and a Stone’s-like “Honky Tonk Woman” guitar. 

Next up is the angst ridden “Kiwi” launching with a Punk attitude and spirit accompanied by a Hard Rock bite. Styles’ declarations and scathing attacks hint toward the possibility of fatherhood cut down and personally being shut down. “Ever Since New York” is a fuller and somber open tapestry of big sound with an orchestra interwoven throughout Styles’ varying vocal range and ability. Possibly providing some comic relief, the song “Woman” opens with a prerecorded discussion asking, “Should we just search romantic comedies on Netflix and then see what we find?” The last track, “From the Dining Table,” is a painfully sad and lonely song with Styles questioning “Where were you?/I fell back asleep and was drunk by noon/I’ve never felt less cool.” It is as close as Styles allows us to get. 

Styles’ transcendence as a solo artist, with original fans who can consider him a childhood friend that they have grown up with, will win everyone over, including their moms. His intimate and emotional aches and pains, although unexpected, are seductively soothing and enticing as he sings about loving and losing. Both old and new fans will continue to support their beloved Styles, whether he is jilted and weary with vulnerability, or confidently playful and brash. 

All this said, Harry Styles is a first rate solo debut giving Styles the credibility and leverage to stand on his own. He is now somewhat older, maybe wiser, certainly more experienced, and above all, an evolving artist. Styles can kick it live too as one of the best. All tour dates are already sold out for his international tour that begins in the U.S. in September and ends in Paris, London, and Japan. For all these reasons, CrypticRock gives his new album 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

REMEMBERING AC/DC’s MALCOLM YOUNG ON A JOB WELL DONE  

crypticrock.com/malcolm-young-rock-and-roll-salutes-you/

REMEMBERING AC/DC’s MALCOLM YOUNG  ON A JOB WELL DONE 

Malcolm Young, and his younger brother Angus, were the co-founders and driving force of one of the world’s greatest hard rock bands, AC/DC. The brothers shared a very special bond with Angus as the lead guitarist and songwriter and Malcolm as the rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist. Together, they remained the central source of the powerful, top-selling, multi-platinum rock band throughout four decades.  

On November 18th, Malcolm Young died of complications from dementia. He was 64 years old. He is survived by his wife O'Linda, daughter Cara and son Ross, son-in-law Josh, three grandchildren, a sister and his brother Angus.  

His passing was announced through a family statement posted on the band’s website. It said, “It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Malcolm Young, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother. Malcolm had been suffering from Dementia for several years and passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside.”  

Recognized as a masterful rhythm guitarist with notoriously inventive riffs, Malcolm Young was among the best and was largely credited with AC/DC's unique sound and international success.  

To date, AC/DC has sold over 200 million albums worldwide, with approximately 71 million in the US. Their album, Back in Black, has sold 22 million copies in the US and 50 million worldwide, making it the second highest-selling album in music history. With such hit songs as; “It's A Long Way To The Top”, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “Back In Black”, “Thunderstruck”, “Highway To Hell” and “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”, Malcolm Young leaves behind an enormous legacy with songs that will live on forever.  

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, the Young family moved to Sydney, Australia in 1963. Growing up, Malcolm was influenced by 50’s rock was influenced by Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Santana and Stevie Wonder. He developed a guitar technique of playing open chords through a series of Marshall amplifiers set to low volume with little or no gain. This apparently contradicted a common belief that the rhythm guitar should be played loud with overdriven power chords. Malcolm’s inventive rhythms and riffs formed the backbone of the AC/DC’s sound. He also made the important business decisions about the band, their managers, and producers. His brother Angus, who earned his own reputation as a virtuoso lead guitar player, became the most recognizable member of the group by wearing a school uniform on stage.  

Malcolm and Angus' first taste of rock stardom came courtesy of their brother George, who found international fame with his band The Easybeats and the song, "Friday on My Mind" released in 1966. Malcolm had said, "All the males in our family played. Stevie, the oldest played accordion. Alex and John were the first to play guitar, and being older, it was sort of passed down to George, then myself, then Angus."  

Malcolm was 20 years old when he and younger brother Angus formed AC/DC in 1973. After seeing the letters "AC/DC" on the back of their sister Margaret's sewing machine, they decided to make it their name. Angus was on lead guitar, Malcolm on rhythm guitar, Colin Burgess on drums, Larry Van Kriedt on bass guitar and Dave Evans on vocals. They released their first single, "Can I Sit Next To You Girl," which was later re-recorded with Bon Scott as their vocalist. Scott, another Scottish immigrant that went to Australia, replaced Evans the following year. “With Bon, that’s when the band became a band,” Malcolm had said. “We had a real character with his own style and his own idea for lyrics.”  

Several more line-up changes took place before the band released their first album. Also in 1974, Rob Bailey became the bass player and then Paul Matter and Bruce Howe. Mark Evans then took the position from 1975 to 1977.  

In 1975, AC/DC released their debut studio album, High Voltage which was produced by brother George and his Easybeats songwriting partner Harry Vanda. In 1976, the band signed an international deal with Atlantic Records.  

Drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Mark Evans played on three albums; T.N.T. (1975) which featured “It’s A Long Way to the Top (If You Want To Rock’n’Roll),” Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976) and Let There Be Rock (1977), before Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams for Powerage (1978). Williams remained with the band until 2016.  

In 1979, the band’s album, Highway to Hell came crashing into the rock world with the growling and howling of lead singer Scott. But tragedy struck when Scott died from alcohol poisoning. The band returned with their next album, Back In Black in 1980, a tribute to Scott, which new lead vocalist, Brian Johnson. The songs, “Hells Bells”, “You Shook Me All Night Long,” and the title song were instant rock anthems and sold more than 50 million copies becoming the second best-selling album in history.  

For Those About to Rock We Salute You, released in 1981 became another huge success for the group and gave AC/DC their first US chart-topper.  

After their albums with producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange, Malcolm led the decision to take a simpler approach with Flick of the Switch (1983) and Fly on the Wall (1985). On Who Made Who, the soundtrack to Stephen King’s film Maximum Overdrive (1986), the brothers mixed old and new material and put the band back in the charts. Their next album, Blow Up Your Video (1988) sold one million copies in the US.  

As the band was preparing for the Blow Up Your Video tour, Malcolm announced he needed a break to deal with an alcohol problem. “It caught right up to me and I lost the plot,” he publicly admitted. He followed the urging of his brother Angus who didn’t want Malcolm to share the same fate as Bon Scott, and successfully sobered up. During that time, his slot on the tour was filled by his nephew, Stevie Young, the son of their oldest brother, Stephen.  

Malcolm returned for the next album, The Razors Edge (1990). Produced by Bruce Fairbairn (Aerosmith, Bon Jovi), AC/DC returned to multi-platinum status, a common feat, selling five million copies in the US alone. The Razors Edge tour produced an acclaimed live album, Live.  

Featuring their first new material in five years, AC/DC released Ballbreaker in 1995. Five more years later, they released Stiff Upper Lip in 2000.  

In 2003, AC/DC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine stated that he considered himself, Malcolm Young, and James Hetfield of Metallica to be the best rhythm guitarists in the world.  

While their new material slowed in production, their back catalogue still turned big profits and rereleases were in the making. In 1997, they released the five-disc set Bonfire, featuring studio and live material. In 2002, they signed with Sony Music, which reissued expanded versions of their past albums. Plug Me in 2007, was a multi-DVD package of rare live footage. The band also licensed tracks for the Rock Band computer game.  

In 2008, the album Black Ice was released which debuted at Number 1 on the album charts in 29 countries and achieved multi-platinum sales globally. The band embarked on a 20 month world tour playing to more than five million people in 28 countries.  

In April 2014, AC/DC’s website announced: “Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health.” Singer Brian Johnson stated that AC/DC was not retiring. In September 2014, the band's management announced that Young would not be rejoining the band. Two days later, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Young had dementia and had been admitted to a nursing home where he could receive full-time care. Four days later, Young's family confirmed the story.  

In interviews following the announcement, Angus stated that his brother had been experiencing lapses in memory and concentration. He added, "Look, even with his health, Malcolm was touring until he couldn't do it anymore." Angus also stated that Malcolm was rehearsing AC/DC's songs repeatedly before every concert just to remember how they went.  

In November 2014, AC/DC released their sixteenth studio album in Australia and their fifteenth internationally, Rock or Bust. It is the shortest album ever released by the band at approximately 35 minutes in its entirety. Rock or Bust was the group’s first album without Malcolm Young although he co-wrote every track. Malcolm’s nephew, Stevie Young, continued to fill in for Malcolm and on the band's 2015 Rock or Bust World Tour.  

In March 2016, Brian Johnson stepped down from the tour due to severe hearing problems upon the recommendation of his doctors. AC/DC recruited Axl Rose to fill in on the postponed Rock or Bust tour dates while Johnson recovered from a potential career-ending issue. It's unclear if Johnson will return to AC/DC.  

Earlier this year, Gretsch guitars issued the Gretsch G6121MY, a signature guitar based on Malcolm Young’s modified 1963 Gretsch Jet Firebird.  

Throughout his life, Malcolm Young previously battled and beat other health issues. At the end of their Black Ice World Tour, Malcolm was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was treated early and the cancer was successfully removed. He also had an unspecified heart problem and wore a pacemaker. But his final diagnosis of dementia would have a graver outcome. Young died on November 18th 2017 at the age of 64, at Lulworth House in Elizabeth Bay. His elder brother, George Young, ironically died just a few weeks before him.  

His funeral was held at St Mary's Cathedral, in Sydney, Australia on November 28th. Rock royalty was in attendance including former members of the band; Brian Johnson, Phil Rudd, Mark Evans and Cliff Williams. Malcolm’s Gretsch guitar, known as “The Beast” was placed upon his coffin during the service. The family included a written statement in the service program thanking everybody for all of their love, support and overwhelming outpouring of kindness. They asked that we “remember Malcolm as a man who was generous and had immense talent. His enormous legacy to his family and the music industry worldwide will never be forgotten.” As guests were leaving the cathedral, a pipe band performed a medley of songs including AC/DC’s classic “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock’n’Roll).  

Angus Young had said, "As his brother, it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special. He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done."

Mark Slaughter – Halfway There (Album Review) 

Mark Slaughter – Halfway There (Album Review)

 

Charismatic Lead Vocalist and Guitarist Mark Slaughter sent listeners into flight with angels in the ’90s with the Rock band Slaughter. Now, over twenty years later, Mark Slaughter brings forth a progressive exhibition of his artistic talent and range, superiorly layered with various influences as well as innovative riffs on his new solo album, Halfway There. 

The band themselves, Slaughter, sold more than five million records worldwide in the 1990s. Mark Slaughter and Dana Strum (bass) formed the band in 1988 after leaving the Vinnie Vincent Invasion and their 1990 debut album, Stick It to Ya, spawned several major hits including “Fly to the Angels,” “Up All Night,” “Spend My Life,” and “Mad About You.” Their second album, 1992’s The Wild Life, was certified gold, and over the next few years, the band released several more albums; 1995’s Fear No Evil, 1997’s Revolution, 1998’s Eternal Live, featuring final performances by their guitarist, Tim Kelly, who was tragically killed in an auto accident, before 1999’s Back to Reality.  

Since then, Mark Slaughter has worked on dozens of other albums and projects for television, movies and sports. Then, in 2014, he began to embark on solo work and debuted the anthemic “Never Givin’ Up,” a tribute song to all who have served in the military. Next came the release of his first full-length solo album in 2015, Reflections In A Rear View Mirror. An impressive and robust effort, this was Mark’s first exploration as a solo artist. Ranging from the Pop sensibilities of “The Real Thing” to the fierce “Away I Go,” Mark confidently showcased his hidden talents while playing an assortment of instruments including guitar, bass, keyboard, mandolin, saxophone, and even Native American flute as heard in the instrumental “In Circle Flight.” 

Now two years later, Halfway There, set for release on May 26th via David Ellefson of Megadeth on the EMP Label Group (Ellefson Music Productions) in the U.S., Europe, and in Japan with Universal Music sees Ellefson and Slaughter’s thirty year rapport transform them into music business colleagues. Produced and co-mixed by Mark Slaughter with John Cranfield (AFI, Andy Grammer), the label describes the album as a “return to form of the classic Slaughter sound, but with some modern upgrades.” In addition, the album art was created by Sam Shearon (Rob Zombie, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Clive Barker). 

Ten tracks domestic, with an eleventh bonus track for the Japanese edition, Halfway There reveals a deeper, darker, and more reflective side of the Slaughter man who has masterfully expanded his role as singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist on the album. Here, Mark ventures further into his artistic genius, providing a thicker and more powerful sequence to his original sound and style. He takes full control of his varied talents and leaves no stone unturned as he extensively performs multiple roles on the recording. 

Upon putting on Halfway There, one quickly recognizes the soaring vocals and ripping guitars, but a further listen reveals a darker, more complex state, not heard on any of Mark’s previous work. His lyrics seem much more reflective and personal, often embracing love, life, and ultimately, loss. Mark’s true love of music and varied Classic Rock influences are also apparent throughout. That said, as one of the most anticipated Rock releases, previews of the songs “Hey You” and “Conspiracy” have already received plenty of positive action and reactions. 

The album’s opening track, the aforementioned “Hey You!” launches a power punch with colliding and coinciding guitars amid pronounced percussion from the double kick of the drum and choruses that make you want to sing along and raise your fist to the air. “All hands up, Rock n Roll forever…Hey You! Turn it up and sing it with the band” is a catchy Hard Rock chant. 

The growling lyrics of “Blackness and blackness” quickly set the doom and gloom mood of “Devoted,” a heavier, faster, and angrier thrashing piece that seemingly pays homage to Megadeth and EMP’s Ellefson. The album kicks back a bit with “Supernatural,” the third track and an inviting melody clearly possessing Pop appeal. More relaxed and slightly funkier, the song lifts the listener and trickles with classic Slaughter stimulus. 

Looming large into a big soundtrack sound is the album’s title-track, “Halfway There” where Mark manages to craft a cut of simple reflection (“going down the highway of life”) into a fight song. A powerful ballad with multiple vocal tracks and layers of instrumentation, it possibly provides a personal look into Mark’s life and his own mortality. Then, the guitars create a soundscape perfectly encompassing the vocal scope that is uniquely Mark Slaughter’s on “Forevermore,” the fifth track which is simply a love song. From here, the album turns heftier and grungier in both style and attitude with “Conspiracy” and “Reckless.” Interestingly enough, Mark has said that “Conspiracy” was built around a guitar riff that revealed itself off a distorted signal from his pickup. 

Furthermore, flawless production on “Disposable” weaves children’s voices seamlessly with strands of the Beatles’ Strawberry Fields era, into Brian May guitar, concluding with Another Brick In The Wall styled chorus of “I’m not disposable. We’re not disposable.” This is before the album’s sequence of “Turn It,” a perfect alignment of Mark’s vocals chords with his power chords and the final cut, “Not Here,” a despondent song of pure loss. 

Experimenting without alienating, Halfway There offers both Mark and Slaughter fans the strikingly familiar and the allurement of the unknown. Mark Slaughter’s Halfway There is a remarkable collection of songs spanning the gamut of his endless musical aptitude. To help celebrate its release, Mark will be hitting the road both as a solo artist and with Slaughter throughout 2017, so do not miss out on the album or tour. CrypticRock gives Halfway There 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Art of Anarchy Launch Tour In Amityville, NY  

Art of Anarchy Launch Tour In Amityville, NY 4-3-17 

Posted at 14:00h Ellen Bello cryptic rock, CrypticRock, Event Coverage

Collectively, Art of Anarchy’s band members have sold tens of millions of albums worldwide and are said to “have a Rock pedigree on which most artists would be content to rest their laurels.” Looking at their story, Art of Anarchy evolved organically out of an 18-year friendship between Lead Guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, who played with Guns N’ Roses and twin brothers Jon (guitar) and Vince Votta (drums), who were renowned fixtures on the New York music scene. Additional joining forces with them are Disturbed Bassist John Moyer, and most recent addition, Grammy winner Scott Stapp, who is making the right progression as both a vocalist and artist. 

Prior, the group, without Stapp, released their first self-titled album, Art of Anarchy, in June 2015, featuring another Scott on lead vocals; the late Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots). Unfortunately, Weiland recorded his part individually and remotely, never touring with the group. Jon Votta shared lead responsibilities and co-wrote the album with Weiland while Bumblefoot served as producer and engineer on the debut, and seeing the passion poured into the project, they were not about to just call it a day. 

Looking to keep it alive, Stapp states he was approached by the Art of Anarchy guys last year. Estatic to be a part of it all, Stapp says this project has been a very unique experience for him, especially collaborating with artists from such different backgrounds. While the band possesses their own star power, their focus is squarely on songwriting and musical craft. Bumblefoot says they have great chemistry together, and the songwriting process has been so natural and seamless. Moyer says they have all created a uniquely powerful album of songs with The Madness, which was released on March 24, 2017 Worldwide via Century Media/Sony. That said, after working on the record for over a year, they could not wait to test them out live. 

Which leads us to present day, where Art of Anarchy are currently embarking on their first ever headlining tour across the USA. Scheduled for ten dates in April, the band’s first live performance with Stapp as their vocalist came on Monday, April 3rd, at Revolution Bar & Music Hall in Amityville, New York. An exciting time for the band, it would mark the opening night of the tour, and kicking off on the right foot, the venue was packed with curious Rock fans.   

Getting the night started at Revolution was the first of three opening acts; Lubricoma, a hard, Progressive, Art Rock band from New York City with an extended and wide range of influences from Pink Floyd, to Nine Inch Nails, to David Bowie, Music, U2 Stone Temple Pilots, and Elvis Costello. Next up was Mother, voted one of the “10 Bands That Show Why Hard Rock May Be Getting Good Again” by Doc Coyle of VH1. Mother’s sound is pure Hard Rock intersecting powerfully textured guitar works, rock-solid rhythms, and driving vocals.  

The third opener, acting as direct national support for the tour, Madame Mayhem forced a noticeable change in the crowd. People began to creep more to the front of the stage, with many male members pulling out their phones and recording Mayhem’s slow seduction. 

Manhattan-born Singer-Songwriter Madame Mayhem first took the music scene by storm when she was featured on Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio. She has performed to packed rooms, including The Roxy, The Viper Room, Bowery Ballroom, Knitting Factory, and has recently performed and collaborated with respected, notable Rock talents including Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Winery Dogs), Ray Luzier (KoRn, KXM), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex: Guns N’ Roses/Art of Anarchy), Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Dio) and more. 

Her fanbase is said to be over 160 thousand strong, and growing rapidly. With her spiked wrists, Goth fashions, and a bold “I’ll love you but kick your ass” image with slight hints of Marilyn Manson and a heavier Evanescence, Madame Mayhem was certainly eye-catching. Performing original tunes including “Left for Dead” and “Monster,” she delivered a fearless and powerful performance for both herself as well as the crowd. Those still unfamiliar with the rising star, be sure to check out her exciting 2017 album, Now You Know.  

 

With the room now packed tightly, anticipation was high as the time drew closer for Art of Anarchy to take the stage. Interestingly enough, last summer, Creed co-founder and lead voice, the aforementioned Scott Stapp, launched his solo tour from the same club, Revolution. Robust and muscular with roaring and resonating vocals, here stood a newer and improved version of a man with conviction, and an uncompromising artist capable of delivering and giving much more. It was an important return for him after a publicized personal low fueled by substance abuse several years before. A healthy and sober Stapp not only pounded out an Arena Rock performance, but also proved he still had one of the greatest voices in Rock-n-Roll. 

This in mind, LED lights on the clear drum set now start to flash different colors, the fog machine hisses to form a cloud, and a new instrumental begins to play as Art of Anarchy takes the stage. Standing seemingly slimmer with hair slightly frizzier than his previous appearance, Stapp and Art of Anarchy arrived as a heavily concentrated, guitar-based Rock band. Adding to all the buzz, Art of Anarchy is the first band Stapp has fronted outside of Creed, and he launched it with his vision, powerfully disciplined vocal range, and rock star presence. Meanwhile, Bumblefoot played his trademark double-neck guitar throughout and, at times, shared vocals. This is while John Moyer and the Votta brothers fill in the layers with bass, more guitar (Jon), and light drums (Vince). All in all, each one held their own while contributing to a mega dose of music. 

Opening the set with “Echoes of a Scream,” the crowd clapped, following Bumblefoot’s guitar intro and dueling vocals. Then “1000 Degrees” hit some heavy rhythms while the waving, soaring, and roaring of “No Surrender” taunted. The addictive “Afterburn” continued the assault before some heavy-hitting “Won’t Let You Down.” Having complete control of the room, the band subtly slowed the pace with “Till the Dust,” a track from their first record with a darker Weiland. This is quickly contrasted by Stapp’s lyrically uplifting words and show of strength in “The Light In Me.” This led to shifting movements from each band member who, while holding their own, exchanged places on the stage. 

By this point in the night, anyone who came out with any doubts in Stapp and Art of Anarchy, could not help but surrender and be captured by the band as a whole. Frenzied, Stapp started circling his microphone stand repeatedly, like a shark before it attacks its prey, then lunged forward, coddling his mic and slicing the air with his open palmed hand over the audience’s heads. The other band members now took their own leads and thrusted their heads, like waves crashing to the shore with the audience feeling every surge. 

Taking a deep breath, on “Somber,” things start to slow a bit, before Stapp amped it right back up. This was before “Dancing in the Fire” came on with non-stop guitar and faint echoes of what could be Native American vocables with an inviting chorus of “Heya Hey.” Getting intimate, Stapp’s intro of the song “Changed Man” acted as a personal journal and message to his wife. Here, he bared his soul, providing a tender moment, seemingly out of place for Art of Anarchy’s rough and tough Rock assault, but a welcome turn by Stapp and Creed fans. Finally, Art of Anarchy closed with the title song, “The Madness,” a track about yearning for a better life while dealing with the irrationality that has personally plagued someone like Stapp. 

It became fully apparent that Stapp has battled and killed his demons, and a new project with Art of Anarchy has put order to any chaos. Art of Anarchy have the makings of a Rock juggernaut and The Madness unleashes one hit song after another like rapid fire from a fully automatic firearm. With a series of dynamic and melodic radio friendly Rock anthems in hand, fans should catch them live now, because it is only going to get bigger and better from here. 

Tour Dates: 
4/10/17 – Libertyville, Ill. – Austin’s Saloon 
4/11/17 – Chesterfield, Mich. – Diesel Concert Lounge 
4/13/17 – Fort Wayne, Ind. – The Rusty Spur 
4/14/17 – Ringle, Wisc. – Q&Z Expo Center 
4/29/17 – Henderson, Nev. – M Reso

Make America Rock Again Takes Over Long Island, NY 8-31-17  

Make America Rock Again Takes Over Long Island, NY 8-31-17 

Posted at 15:08h Ellen Bello cryptic rock, CrypticRock, Event Coverage,

Rock Music has consistently been perpetuated by the individual spirit of personal freedoms, but when tour promoters believe that Rock has dangerously remained too underground, then action must be taken. That action has materialized as a Hard Rock, high-velocity tour, called Make America Rock Again, or MARA, a crafty reference on the infamous campaign slogan used by President Donald Trump, Make America Great Again, or MAGA. Returning for a second year, this national tour package features five skillfully experienced rockers; Adelitas Way, Trapt, Sick Puppies, Drowning Pool, and headliner Scott Stapp of Creed and Art of Anarchy, all aimed at reinvigorating the Rock genre, and simply to live up to its name. 

The tour visited Huntington, New York’s own The Paramount on the eve of Thursday, August 31st, as one of the 40 cities across the country after kicking off in Sturgis, South Dakota and going until mid-October. The premiere Hard Rock tour of 2017, each of the five featured bands have each enjoyed their own mainstream success over the past two decades, cumulatively selling tens of millions of albums and earned at least 25 Top 10 hits. 

Kicking off the night was Adelitas Way, a three piece band originating from Las Vegas, Nevada led by founding Vocalist Rick DeJesus along with Drummer Tre Stafford and Bassist Andrew Cushing. The band was formed over a decade ago, breaking into the mainstream in 2009 with their debut single, “Invincible.” The song stirred the senses of self-empowerment, which made its way onto ESPN’s Monday Night Football and became the official theme song for WWE Superstars as well as in the Smackdown vs. Raw video game. Adelitas Way have become a well-known name in Rock, releasing four albums to date. Their fifth album, Notorious, is due out in October, and they were anxious to light up the stage.  

Veterans of the road at this point in their career, DeJesus repeatedly whipped the microphone cord around his left wrist with incredible speed while belting soaring, roaring, as well as echoing James Hetfield-like vocals. Always an entertaining frontman, he was surrounded by a high, Foo Fighters-type energy with ripping guitar solos filled with the baa baa boom of percussion. 

DeJesus’s unique lyrical phrasing and vocal harmonies remain a dominant force throughout their set with songs like “Bad Reputation,” “Ready For War (Pray For Peace),” “Notorious,” and big hit “Sick.” Playing other favorites including the beautiful “Alive,” heavy “Criticize,” and of course “Invincible,” they put on a stellar set. Sometimes, one just has to face the pain before being free, and that was exactly how Adelita’s Way set the evening’s tone. 

Amping it up next was Trapt, a successful Rock band originally formed in Los Gatos, California in 1995 and famously known for their 2002 chart-topping single “Headstrong.” Commanded by the handsome Lead Vocalist, Chris Taylor Brown, in the company of original Bassist Pete Charell, Guitarist David Sudock, and Drummer Brendan Hengle, they made their way to the stage. 

Currently supporting their seventh studio album, 2016’s DNA, Trapt continue to dish out catchy, melodic, and emotional Rock-n-Roll. Drawing all eyes on them, as the band took the stage they wasted no time to deliver, performing songs like “Still Frame,” “Who’s Going Home With You Tonight?,” “Waiting,” “Echo,” and “Contagious.” Fiery F-Bombs began to drop as a fighting spirit unfolded with Trapt moving the audience toward the experience of uncovering one’s own inner strength and unlimited potential no matter what is happening in the world. Then a highly charged Trapt closed by unleashing the aforementioned “Headstrong” and “Stand Up,” leaving the audience feeling what they just experienced would never run dry. 

As the breaking down and set up of each act moved with impressive skill and speed to keep the night on schedule, the youthful looking Sick Puppies were ready to go next. This Australian-bred, now California-based Hard Rock outfit dates back to high school music class with Shimon Moore on guitar and Emma Anzai on bass. In 2004, a video for their song “All The Same” was uploaded on YouTube and quickly grew to over ten million views and the band relocated to America. Traveling a long road, building a respected name in Rock with albums like 2009’s Tri-Polar, 2013’s Connect, and most recently, 2016’s Fury, Sick Puppies are a force to be reckoned with. With Anzai and Drummer Mark Goodwin sticking together, new Lead Vocalist/Guitarist Bryan Scott became their new lead singer last year, making an impact ever since.  

Retaining a similar fighting spirit, the band opened with the hard-hitting “War” and “Stick To Your Guns.” Ombre-haired Anzai moved and swayed while whipping her head, capturing the action in a more masculine fashion while seemingly staying feminine as she sang her way through ascending harmonies of “Riptide” along with the “Odd One.” Arguably the most energetic and alluring of this three piece, Anzai shares familiar features of both The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde along with Joan Jett. 

As if nothing was being threatened and nothing can be destroyed, the pace, along with the energy of their performance, started to change during renditions of “My World,” “Earth To You,” and “Black & Blue” before they ended the set with the high-velocity mosh pit induction of “You’re Going Down.” An entertaining band, Sick Puppies offered up one killer show. 

Following the three openers, Drowning Pool was about to enter; the fast and furiously-charged platinum-selling Metal act from Dallas, Texas. A true blue-collar band working hard for over two decades, Drowning Pool skyrocketed to fame in 2001 with their debut album, Sinner, which went platinum in just six weeks after its release. Sustaining the tragic loss of Vocalist Dave Williams, Drowning Pool still consists of original Guitarist C.J. Pierce, Bassist Stevie Benton, and Drummer Mike Luce. Having a revolving door of vocalist in the wake of Williams’ loss, in 2012 they found the right piece to the puzzle when they brought in Jasen Moreno. Since releasing two albums with Moreno, including 2016’s Hellelujah, Drowning Pool were anxious to return to The Paramount.  

Their second go around on this bill, last summer through fall, both Trapt and Drowning Pool took part in the first inaugural Make America Rock Again Tour. Unfortunately not making it to Long Island then, they made up for lost time with a presence that was undeniably bold and brazen as they seized the stage, starting things off with “Sinner” before “Think.” 

Inspiring the crowd to responded with raised fists, howling cheers, and more aggressive moshing, the robust, muscular Moreno had full command of the room. Appearing to be almost airborne leaping around the stage while roaring through “Step Up” and “We Are The Devil,” he and the band were in constant motion. Now spinning into a frenzy, Moreno engaged, and almost demanded the audience to scream as the band dug deeper into versions of “By The Blood” and “Feel Like I Do.” 

Simply put, Drowning Pool’s energy became contagious and powerfully defied physics when they unleashed “Bodies.” In fact, just into the first minute of the song, Moreno jumped off the stage while continuing to belt out “Let the bodies hit the floor!” among members of the audience. With a full assault, the band transformed the crowd, giving them one of the most exhilarating Rock experiences of the night. 

The time had now come for headliner Scott Stapp. The highly successful Stapp and his band Creed released a total of four consecutive multi-platinum albums, selling over 28 million records in the United States, over 53 million worldwide, and earned a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 2001 for “With Arms Wide Open.” Their debut album, 1997’s My Own Prison, was certified six times platinum and remains one of the top 200 selling albums of all time. Stapp’s first solo album, 2005’s The Great Divide, was also certified platinum one month after its release and has since gone double platinum. Currently, Stapp is also the lead singer of the band Art of Anarchy who recently released an album entitled The Madness in March to critical acclaim. 

Excited to be back on the road with his solo band, Stapp first appeared as a backlit shadow resonating the spoken words of Creed song “Bullets” as his mates kicked in, providing a full and flawless sound. Muscular, yet slender, Stapp’s presence clearly possesses a great command of the stage and a proven determination to take his audience higher. As Stapp moved on to “Slow Suicide,” he inadvertently gave a sharp reminder of the demons he has faced. He continued with the enticingly more upbeat Creed tune “Are You Ready?” before announcing that it was the 20th Anniversary of “My Own Prison,” then continued on with classic Creed hits such as “What If,” “With Arms Wide Open,” and “Higher.” Delivering a more personal and intimate performance, he shared the recent news of expecting another child and encouraged the audience to care for a child through the Child Fund charity. 

Stapp’s voice and stance held strong for the entire 60 minute set while the audience sang along in complete unison to his every word. With white light rays behind him with the makings of a spiritual experience, Stapp closed the night with fresher versions of “One Last Breath” and “My Sacrifice.” As if to bring hope to anyone facing their own struggles, Stapp showed that he has lived true to his own words, giving an infinite capability of inspiring all who came to listen. 

An exceptional show, everyone exiting The Paramount left with the feeling of a rejuvenating experience. Rock provides that aesthetic only if it is delivered by truly great artists without hindrance or restraint. Political scientists have been studying campaign promises for almost 50 years and their results show that on average only about two-thirds of all campaign promises are kept. That said, the Make America Rock Again Tour has held true to its promise 100%, making it America’s biggest and best Hard Rock tour package of the year. 

 

SINGER AND POP ICON DAVID CASSIDY GONE AT 67 

http://crypticrock.com/david-cassidy-forever-teen-heartthrob/

SINGER AND POP ICON 

DAVID CASSIDY GONE AT 67

David Cassidy, born David Bruce Cassidy, on April 12, 1950 had a music and acting career that spanned almost five decades. He broke box office records and sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums in the world. As both a TV show celebrity and a solo recording artist, he released a total of twelve studio albums, three live albums, six compilation albums, two soundtrack albums and twenty-four singles which sold millions around the world. 

To his fans of the early 70’s, David Cassidy was immortal. It was said he had a fan base bigger than Elvis or The Beatles and his pictures were postered on almost every teen's bedroom wall. Every one of his fans adored him and hoped to be only his. His phenomenal success, or, Cassidymania, as it was called, began with his role as Keith Partridge, the lead singer of The Partridge Family, a music group on the ABC network TV sitcom which ran 96 Episodes from September 1970 thru March 1974 that his fans watched every week religiously. 

On Tuesday, November 21st, David Cassidy, age 67, died of multiple organ failure while surrounded by family members. It was reported the weekend before his death, that he was in ICU and had been hospitalized for liver and kidney failure. Cassidy, who was also suffering from dementia, leaves behind his daughter Katie Cassidy, his son, Beau Cassidy, and half brothers Shaun, Ryan and Patrick Cassidy. 

Upon the news of his death, musicians, entertainers and fans began posting messages of love and condolences on social media including; Marie Osmond, Brian Wilson, Glora Gaynor and Rick Springfield. His TV show mother and real-life Stepmother, Shirley Jones paid tribute stating, "I will treasure the years we spent working and growing together.” Jones, who is 83 years old, told Entertainment Tonight, “I will also find solace knowing that David is now with his dad,” actor Jack Cassidy, to whom she was married for 19 years. 

To fans like myself, Cassidy, the biggest teen idol of the early 70's, and will be remembered most for his infamous shag haircut, those sultry hazel eyes, a beautiful smile, and such hit songs as "I Think I Love You" and "Cherish". Cassidy's mega stardom was mostly attributed his TV persona, smiling poster pin ups, and the lyric-friendly songs that he sang. At 20 years old, Cassidy, who played the TV family group's young heartthrob, ironically became one of the biggest pop icons of that decade. 

In addition to Cassidy and Shirley Jones, the touring musical family of a post Folk era included actors Danny Bonaduce and Susan Dey along with Brian Foster who replaced Jeremy Gelbwaks and Suzanne Crough. They were all key members of the cast but unlike Cassidy and Jones, they lip-synced. The Partridge Family was loosely based on a real-life musical family, The Cowsills from Rhode Island who sang in harmonies and were popular in the late 60's. 

The Partridge Family released a total of eight studio albums and eleven singles from 1970 to 1973 and five compilation albums from 1972 to 2005. The debut single, "I Think I Love You," composed by songwriter Tony Romeo which featured Cassidy on lead vocals and Jones on background vocals was a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and charted globally. The other chart-topping singles included; “Doesn’t Somebody Want To Be Wanted,” ”I Woke Up In Love This Morning,” ”Breaking Up Is Hard To Do,” "It's One of Those Nights," and "I'll Meet You Halfway". 

David Cassidy, the solo artist, released fourteen studio and live solo albums from 1972 to 2008, nine compilations and two soundtracks; one for the musical Blood Brothers, in 1995 featuring Cassidy, his brother Shaun Cassidy, and Petula Clark, and for EFX in 1997, the Las Vegas Strip production which Cassidy headlined. 

His debut album, Cherish, was released in February 1972 and was designed as a project by Partridge Family musical producer Wes Farrell to break Cassidy out as a solo star. It did just that and the album, which was Cassidy's most successful, reached Number 15 on the Billboard charts. Cassidy's other big hits included; “Cherish,” Could It Be Forever,” "How Can I Be Sure,” ”Rock Me Baby” and “Lyin’ to Myself". 

In one of his biggest performances of his career, and as my first concert and most memorable, David Cassidy performed live at a sold out show attended by 20,650 excited females (and their mothers) at Madison Square Garden on March 11, 1972. (I remember getting mad at all the screaming fans because I couldn’t hear David sing the words). Born in New York City, Cassidy's mother, Evelyn Ward and his grandparents were all in attendance. Over the constant waves of screams and hysteria with some fans as young as 8 years old like myself, Cassidy enthusiastically belted out his hits; "I Can Feel Your Heartbeat" "Doesn't Somebody Want to Be Wanted" "I Woke Up In Love This Morning" "I'll Meet You Halfway" and closed with, "Cherish" a word he helped define. In non-stop motion, moving and swaying on stage in a white one-piece fringed, he sang the songs that every one of his fans knew word by word. 

After countless covers on teen magazines with built in pin-up posters, a bare-chested (seemingly naked) Cassidy was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone in May of that same year. This cover story was different as it went beyond his role of Keith Partridge and embraced David, as the singer, actor and songwriter. 

I had the chance to meet David Cassidy briefly when I worked in the music industry. He was invited to speak on the New Music Seminar’s artist panel along with Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ice Cube at the Marriort Marquis in Times Square, New York in 1990. Cassidy, now 40 years old but his youthful image intact, had just released a new album entitled David Cassidy. His single, "Lyin' to Myself" would make it's way into the American Top 40 charts. I met him at a private VIP party for Cream Magazine. I told him how he was my first concert (but didn’t reveal he was also my first crush) and that maybe because of him, that’s why I was inspired to work in the music business. He seemed grateful and polite and he thanked ME. 

Through it all, Cassidy had claimed he never had control over his early fame and in the final years of his life. In a 1993 interview on the Arsenio Hall Show with Bonaduce and Jones, Cassidy said that he actually felt he was the living antithesis of Keith Partridge although Keith was all that mostly existed. Industry insiders say that throughout Cassidy's career, he never seemed truly happy on the inside. It's a tragic observation from someone who sang, "C'mon Get Happy" and uplifted millions. 

In recent years, Cassidy's personal struggles began to go public with several incidences of driving under the influence (DUI) and inpatient rehabilitation. 

Sadly, in February of this year, Cassidy revealed on Dr. Phil and to People Magazine, that he was suffering from dementia, a disease his mother and grandfather had, and that he was retiring from performing live. 

On November 18, 2017, news surfaced that Cassidy has been hospitalized in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with organ failure, and was in critical condition. On the early evening of Tuesday, November 21st, Cassidy's publicist JoAnn Geffen confirmed his death, releasing a statement from his family; “On behalf of the entire Cassidy family, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, our uncle, and our dear brother, David Cassidy. David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long. Thank you for the abundance and support you have shown him these many years.” 

David Cassidy will forever be held close to the hearts of his fans who will always LOVE and CHERISH him and his songs.

 

LONGER VERSION:

He was the irresistable hearthrob that gave every young girl their first crush growing up in the early 70's. His infamous shag haircut, those sultry twinkling hazel eyes, a soft voice and that big beautiful smile is what made David Cassidy the most popular teen idol with a barrage of  hit songs and a fan base bigger than Elvis or The Beatles.  

His album and concert stats proved the same. He became the first personality to be merchandised globally. He broke box office records and sold out concerts in the largest arenas and stadiums in the world.  He was the world’s highest paid performer by the age of 21. He released 14 studio and live albums that sold over a 30 million copies worldwide. 

  
Confirmation of his death was reported late Tuesday, November 21st as fervent fans posted messages of  love and condolences on social media. David Cassidy, age 67 died of organ failure surrounded by family members. Cassidy leaves behind his daughter Katie Cassidy and son, Beau Cassidy, half brothers Sean Cassidy, Ryan Cassidy and Patrick Cassidy and his ex-wife Sue Shifrin-Cassidy.  
It all began with The Partridge Family, an ABC network TV show  that ran 96 Episodes from September 1970 thru March 1974 about a family loosely based on a real-life musical family, The Cowsills from Rhode Island who sang in harmonies and were popular in the late 60's. The Partridge Family's pilot show became the highest rated pilot of its time.  

Cassidy's mega stardom was solely attributed to the role he played as Keith Partridge and the lyric-friendly songs that young girls across America memorized every word to. At 20 years old, he and actress Shirley Jones, his stepmother in real life, played mother and son.  Cassidy would play the family group's young heartthrob on the TV series, but life also imitated art, and he became one of the biggest pop icons of that decade.  

In addition to Cassidy and Jones, the touring musical family of a post Folk era included actors Danny Bonaduce and Susan Dey along with Brian Foster who replaced Jeremy Gelbwaks and Suzanne Crough. They were all key members of the cast but unlike Cassidy and Jones, the others lip-synced.  
A total of ten albums were released by The Partridge Family and David Cassidy released five solo albums during the series, selling more than a million copies each. His first solo album, Cherish, was released in February 1972 and was designed as a project by 

Partridge Family musical producer Wes Farrell to break Cassidy out as a solo star. It did just that and the album reached No.15 on the Billboard charts.  
The growing television poplularity of both the show and David Cassidy spawned seven chart-topping Partridge Family singles including in Billboard's Hot 100; “Doesn’t Somebody Want To Be Wanted,” ”I Woke Up In Love This Morning,” ”Breaking Up Is Hard To Do,” "It's One of Those Nights," "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do," "I'll Meet You Halfway," and the most successful, “I Think I Love You” which climed to #1 on the Pop charts in 1970. As a solo artist, Cassidy's hit singles included “Cherish,” ”Could It Be Forever,” ”How Can I Be Sure,” ”Rock Me Baby” and “Lyin’ to Myself" among others. His first solo album, "Cherish" released in 1972 was his most successful reaching #15 in the Billboard Top 200.  

All along, however, Cassidy may have been haunted by the fame he had no control over. Cassidy's exhausting regimented schedule forced him to not only fight hard to stay awake, but he also struggled to keep his own identity. In a 1993 interview on the Arsenio Hall Show with Bonaduce and Jones, Cassidy claimed that he actually felt he was the living antithesis of Keith Partridge although at one time Keith was all that existed.  

Performing live was what he enjoyed most. Cassidy hit the concert trail in 1971, with sold out stadium shows filled with screaming histerical fans. Over the decades, he continued to perform throughout the world, from New York to California, England, Australia, Germany to Japan 

.  
In one of his biggest performances of his career, David Cassidy performed live at a sold out show at Madison Square Garden on March 11, 1972. Born in New York City and raised in New York and New Jersey, Cassidy's mother, Evelyn Ward and his grandparents were all in attendance.  Over the constant waves of screams and hysteria with some fans as young as 8 years old, Cassidy estatically belted out his hits; "I Can Feel Your Heartbeat" "Doesn't Somebody Want to Be Wanted" "I Woke Up In Love This Morning" "I'll Meet You Halfway" and closed with the Top 10 hit, "Cherish" a word he helped define. In non-stop motion, moving and swaying on stage in a white one-piece fringed outfit that prompted screams of exhileration, he sang the songs that every one of his fans knew word by word.  

After countless covers on teen magazines with built in pin-up posters, a bare-chested Cassidy was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone in May of that same year. However, this cover story was different as it went beyond his role of Keith Partridge and embraced David, as the singer, actor and songwriter. The story also reported on the Madison Square Garden show attended by 20,650 excited females (and their mothers), his loyal audience, who never missed a Partridge Family episode, and who wallpapered their bedrooms with pictures and posters of  him. Ironically, Cassidy is quoted in the story as saying; There'll be a time when this whole thing will be over....I'll feel really good when it's over. I have an image of myself in five years. I'm living on an island. The sky is blue, the sun is shining. And I'm smiling, I'm healthy, I'm a family man. I see my skin very brown and leathery, with a bit of growth on my face. My hair is really long, with a lot of grey.  

Sadly, the image of himself in five years never came to be and would never come to be. Aging gracefully was not in his plans or his destiny. Not then, not now. Once again, David Cassidy may have become the antithesis of what he once desired from that Rolling Stone interview. By 60 years of age, his life was unravelling with several arrests for DUI's and and the breakup of his last and third marriage. Physically, the features that made him famous had faded and were gone. Cassidy was no longer recognizable, especially, those twinkling eyes now appeared swollen and tired and his famous hair was now thinned and receding.  
Cassidy may have been haunted by something he said he would never get over. In May of 1974 at his concert in London, a 14 year old girl suffered cardiac arrest and later died while 800 others were injured in a crush toward the stage. Cassidy, who sent flowers and contacted the family, stated at the time that this would haunt him until the day he died. The following month, Cassidy announced he was taking a break from touring and recording. Subsequently, three months later, the last episode of The Partridge Family, was now at the bottom of the ratings. 

It wasn't until 1978 that Cassidy made his first return to acting and landed his own television drama, David Cassidy - Man Undercover, in 1978, for one season.  Cassidy's credits include; the telefilm A Chance to Live, which earned him an Emmy nomination as Best Dramatic Actor. He also found work in musical theater performing in regional and touring productions; Little Johnny Jones, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor, in London's West End production of Time and returned to Broadway in Blood Brothers alongside his half-brother Shawn Cassidy, son of his late father Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones, where he broke box office records 

.  
In 1986, George Michael cited Cassidy as a major career influence. In 1990, Cassidy, now 40 years old, released a new album entitled David Cassidy, and was invited to speak on the Artist panel at the New Music Seminar in New York City along with Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ice Cube. His single, "Lyin' to Myself" made it's way into the American Top 40 charts. In concert performances that year, Cassidy's Partridge Family brother, Danny Bonaduce, was his opening act. 

In 1995, he hosted VH1's show 8-Track Flashback. In 1996, he had a successful run in Las Vegas, with the show EFX.  In 1999, Cassidy served as co-writer and co-producer for the Vegas production, The Rat Pack Is Back!.  The following year, he starred in At the Copa, which he composed with his third wife, Sue Shifrin-Cassidy.  

He released another album in 1998, entitled Old Trick New Dog and hit the Adult contemporary charts with the single, "No Bridge I Wouldn't Cross".  
By 2001, Cassidy's original audience came back for him, with the release of his CD, Then and Now, featuring re-recordings of old songs. The recording went platinum and Cassidy looked vibrant, healthy and energetic while his voice remained strong and untarnished.    

In 2005, Cassidy played a manager in the film Popstar. He also wrote a memoir that was released in  2007 entitled, Could It Be Forever? My Story.  In 2009, he co-starred alongside his half-brother Patrick in an ABC Family comedy series, Ruby and The Rockits, a show created by their brother Shaun.  
In 2011, Cassidy was one of the featured contestants on Celebrity Apprentice in which his daughter, actress Katie Cassidy fathered from his relationship with model Sherry Williams,  made an appearance. By 2013, Cassidy had accumulated a total of 30 television roles since 1969.  

But Cassidy's personal struggles also began to accumulate and go public. In 2008, Cassidy publicly admitted he had an alcohol and substance abuse problem. On November 3, 2010 at 60 years of age, Cassidy was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida after police found a half empty bottle of bourbon in his 2008 Mercedes. His mug shot went  public. In August 2013 he was arrested in New York and in January of 2014, he had his third drunken driving charge in Los Angeles. He was ordered to go to inpatient rehabilitation and was put on probation for five years.  

In May 2015, Cassidy was cited on charges of leaving the scene of a car accident, expired tags, improper lane change, and driving on a suspended license in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That year, Cassidy filed for bankruptcy and in 2016, he became divorced from his third wife, the mother of his son Beau, who he married in 1991. 

  
In February of this year, he revealed on Dr. Phil and to People Magazine, that he was suffering from dementia, a disease his grandfather and mother had.  Cassidy also announced that he would retire from performing.  

On David Cassidy's official website, www.DavidCassidy.com, he  posted on February 25, that he isn’t retiring, but that he still wants to hit the studio and make another record. However, the grueling days of "back-to-back-to-back" shows are growing too much for him. On August 9th, he posted about the passing of his old friend Glen Campbell who suffered from the same disease that killed his mother and grandfather.  

His last message was posted on May 5, 2017...I’m about to go to Chicago in the next 2 weeks to record ... I truly believe this will be my last recording, and it’s been something I’ve been thinking about for many years. Happy Trails, DC  

On November 18, 2017, news first surfaced that Cassidy has been hospitalized in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with organ failure, and was in critical condition in a medically-induced coma. When false reports of his death began to surface on Facebook, his son Beau posted on November 19;  
Unfortunately David is very sick. However he is getting the support he needs, surrounded by the people he loves most.  
Thank you very much for your love and concern that you have expressed in your messages to him.  

On the early evening of Tuesday, November 21st, Cassidy's publicist JoAnn Geffen confirmed his death, with a statement from his family. “On behalf of the entire Cassidy family, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, our uncle, and our dear brother, David Cassidy. David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long. Thank you for the abundance and support you have shown him these many years.”  

David Cassidy will forever be held close to the hearts of his fans who will always LOVE and CHERISH him and his songs.  

FAST FACTS ABOUT DAVID CASSIDY'S PERSONAL LIFE  
David Bruce Cassidy, born April 12, 1950 at Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital in New York City, the son of singer and actor Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward.  
He spent his early years being raised by his maternal grandparents in a middle-class neighborhood in West Orange, New Jersey.  In 1956, his father married singer and actress Shirley Jones, and they had David's three half-brothers: Shaun (1958), Patrick (1962), and Ryan (1966).  
In 1968, David moved into the rental home of Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones in Irvington, New York, where his half-brothers also resided. David remained there until his career began to flourish and moved to Los Angeles.  
Cassidy's father Jack is credited with setting his son up with his first manager.  Being underage at 19 upon being signed to The Partridge Family Cassidy was on a flat-rate contract with Columbia Pictures. At age 21, he renegotiated his contract to include payment of royalties for sales of recordings and merchandise, as well as control over his recording career.  
Cassidy's first wife was actress Kay Lenz,  whom he married on April 3, 1977 and divorced in the early 1980s  
His second wife was horse breeder Meryl Tanz, whom he married in 1984. His marriage ended in the mid 1980s.  
He has a daughter, actress Katie Cassidy, born in 1986, from a relationship with Sherry Williams Benedon.  
Cassidy married Sue Shifrin on March 30, 1991, his third and her second marriage. They had one child, Beau,in 1991. In August 2013 the couple had separated, with Shifrin filing for divorce in February 2014.  
Cassidy has lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, since 2002.

TENTH ANNIVERSARY  

NAMA'S TENTH YEAR ANNIVERSARY

NAMA 10: This year's awards show celebrated our Tenth Anniversary. Each year all of us leave our regular jobs, lives, and responsibilities and come together as a family to put together our Annual Awards show.  Only those that actually work the show truly know what goes into it and the stamina, stress, and committment involved. Seeing all the participants and nominees brings a feeling of unity among us - like an annual family reunion. We had a slightly different show this year - one we thought would be easier going in, but turned out to be a highly complex event to put together. We were truly honored by the contributions of all the Native artists, presenters, dancers and  mainstream artists that graced our stage, served as role models, and provided greater inspiration for our young and aspiring artists on the rez. We are extremely grateful and thankful for the wondrous hospitality and generosity of the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino, Karen Karsten, Dea Kuhl, Rob Armstrong and the Seneca Nation of Indians. They provided us all with first class accommodations.


The first half of the show had some technical and talent flaws.  Our video switcher was slightly off on imaging the beginning of Robert Tree Cody's Honor Song which showed photos of those that had passed on to the spirit world including Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Tree's friend Ruben Romero, Sharon Burch, and Jim Boyd Jr. As for the sound problems, they were shared by us, the house and the artists themselves. It wasn't just a problem of turning on or off a microphone - it was much more complicated to the point that the house production had to call the manufacturer of the sound board during the show.  The house sound system we were using was a $350,000 digital board that needed to be shut down and reset in order to fix the sound problem  (like a computer when it freezes). We waited until intermission to do so - which unfortunately was 2 hours later. Other sound problems existed with the artists - Edmund Bull's guitar volume button needed to be turned up, Johnny Curtis' pick ups had a bad battery and his guitar cable wasn't fully plugged into his amp. He finally remedied it by the end of his performance.We did have a house monitor problem - that one's on  the house. Thanks to the suggestion of Rob Robinson with Rickey Medlocke, we are currently discussing having a back up analogue sound board and hiring a Technical Stage Director since our technical needs are growing. Once the second part of the show commenced and our superstars took to the stage - all technical difficulties disappeared, the show became smooth sailing, and people got out of their seats to dance.

Some other talent glitches occurred such as the presenter of the Lifetime Achievement award not being in his seat when our escorts could bring him backstage. We even had the house ushers search with no avail. Thanks to Leon Thompson who ran on stage to read the teleprompter lines, Johnny Curtis was presented with his award. We learned, next time we skip the segment when we can't find the presenter and put it in later. Once we're done editing this show for the international broadcast - it will look perfect.  We also heard some rumblings why certain categories weren't presented in the show. Here's why - each year we try to alternate which of the 30 categories will be presented as we just don't have enough time in one evening to do them all. Winners and nominees who are in attendance are all given equal stage time - meaning if you perform its likely we will not present the category you are in. We like to give everyone there some stage time. Regardless, by the end of the evening we presented only 12 categories (there was a total of 35 this year) and our show was still 4 hours! 

 A couple of years ago we began to present some of the awards in a pre-event evening before show to help distrubute the awards better.  This year, many were still not in attendance by Friday and we're now considering doing these presentations during the day on Saturday after dress rehearsal and before the actual show.  But we'd need a seperate crew to do this as we are all tied up with preparing for the show itself. We're also discussing bringing back a Red Carpet Entrance for all the artists next year.

Here are the highlights - opening Thanksgiving Address by Seneca tribal member Clayton Logan.  Grand Entry style opening with the Tuxedo suited Young Gunz drum group joined by over 25 dancers. Thank you Jeanette Miller and Friends of Gonondagan for all your help and coordination.  Iroquois Dancers with Solon Spruce singing this year.  Robert Tree Cody's Honor song honoring those who have gone to the spirit world including most recently; Floyd Red Crow Westerman who was at our first show, participated in our NCAI show, received a Lifetime Achievement Award at our fifth show, and last year received his last honor with Best Country Recording. (He personally called us then to say how grateful he was and explained that he could not be there due to his ill health).

Buddy Big Mountain and Wendall Snobgrass are always a welcome addition.  This year, two of Buddy's new friends made their NAMA debut; Forest Red Lightning and the Red-Haired Lion. For the second time in our history, we had some hip hop dancers take the stage during a Rap/Hip Hop performance - made us really look Grammy-like. NightShield did a great job of producing the segment - thank you! The Cherokee National Youth Choir last performed on our stage five years ago when they were the Cherokee National Children's Choir and were later joined by Star Nayea and her friends. The Choir  were so happy backstage when they found out they won.  One of the most poignant and genuine moments was with Jan Michael Looking Wolf who accepted his Flutist of the Year award on behalf of JJ Kent's late wife who tragically died this year and embraced Kent there.

Following the announcement of the unpresented categories (only 11 of which were remaining unannounced as we presented 11 others in a private event on Friday night), we started the second half of the show with Native Roots opening - Joanne Shenandoah in a beautiful rendition of "At Last" with traditional dancers dancing slow style, and then on to our Hall of Fame inductions and performances of Felipe Rose (Lakota/Taino), Janice Marie Johnson (Stockbridge Munsee) who cried almost the entire time of her recipient speech, Redbone (Yaqui, Shashone, Mexican) and Rickey Medlocke (Lakota/Creek) who was presented with his award by Houston Geronimo & Lance White Magpie (descendants of Geronimo & Crazy Horse). For all of us working backstage and side stage, we truly can't hear what's happening on  the stage - we watch the monitors and keep on working to make sure everything is running as scripted.  We finally get to see the results of our efforts when we look at these pictures (Thankyou Kim!) and watch the video tape (Thankyou Andy!) afterwards.

This year we had a live internet broadcast thanks to Mike Kickingbear Johnson  and Andy Anderson (whose been with us since NAMA 1). We're just not so sure there was a place for a chat room during the broadcast. We know 3000 people watched directly from our site.  The jury is out on the others who were making offensive and distracting comments during an otherwise professional broadcast.  

As this was the 10th Anniversary, we wanted to do something BIG -so we had the four Hall of Fame inductions.  We originally were aiming at five with Jesse Ed Davis (Kiowa)  but John Trudell's band was already booked.  In previous years we've only done one HOF induction per show. Sometimes none.  Previous Hall of Fame inductees include:  Buddy Red Bow whose parents attended our first show, Jim Pepper who was inducted at our Third show with a  beautiful tribute performance, held by Mickey Hart, John Densmore, Rita Coolidge, BIll Miller, Joanne Shenandoah, Jim Boyd and many others. Crystal Gayle & Kitty Wells have both attended our shows and Richie Havens did an incredible tribute performance for Jimi Hendrix at our first show. Hendrix by the way inspired Redbone to put together their band. Full circle.

After it was all over, everyone's feet were throbbing but most of the staff went to the post show party including; our founder, Ellen Bello who stayed at the VIP party till closing - that was the first time she stayed out so late after a show.  She said the VIP party was incredible and loved watching all the evening jams including Jimmy Wolf & Chris Wray Webb (Link Wrays Grandson) go right into RUMBLE and Tracy Bone, Digging Roots' Shoshana Keech and Cheryl Bear do a closing finale of PROUD MARY. WOW! Thanks to Jan Michael Looking Wolf for coordinating it all.

After a couple of hours of sleep - some of the NAMA team regrouped, went to Niagara Falls and on a boat ride on Maid of the Mist. PURELY AWESOME TO SEE.  Later on Sunday evening, they saw the Village People perform at Seneca Casino (without Felipe with his swing Angel standing in, who turned out being a friend of Wayquay's) and all did the YMCA together. That night they shared jokes, exchanged stories, lived, loved and laughed and went home in all different directions the next morning.

Donald, Andy and Mike Kickingbear Johnson will soon start efforts about an edited version of the show to rebroadcast on the internet as well as Donald doing another edited version for national television and cable broadcast to resecure and expand our international audience, possible DVD and/or CD.

Now were all back to our day jobs and regular lifestyles, decompressing and hopefully resting until we start to regroup again  next year.

More pictures to be posted shortly. More Volunteers Needed!

All photos copyright 2008 Native American Music Awards Inc., 2008 Kimberlie Acosta, 2008 David Miller.

No photos may be used without written permission from the copyright owners.