Posts Tagged ‘Classic Rock’



Chris Shapiro
September 2014

The first note of “Rock and Roll Band” electrifies that part of your brain that made you a Boston fan in the first place. Hearing it live is like hearing it for the first time even though you’ve pressed play so many times you can hear the guitars in your sleep.

Hearing Boston’s music live and feeling its power as it echoes out into the summer evening charges the atoms in your being. It’s as though Scotty has beamed you aboard the U. S. S. Enterprise only there’s been a reassignment and you’re onboard the Boston spaceship.

It’s a journey like no other. (more…)


ShapiroChris Shapiro
March 2014

From the first chords of “Heaven on Earth,” it is immediately recognizable that this song comes from a Boston album.

It’s not because of the amazing vocal harmonies, the freight train powered guitar riffs, lyrically moving songs or the atmospheric soaring guitar solos.  Sure, those are the components of the songs on the album but that’s not what makes Life, Love & Hope a Boston album.

You see, what makes a Boston album a Boston album is very much what makes a Mercedes-Benz a Mercedes Benz.

When a person purchases a Mercedes-Benz E Class, S Class or any model for that matter, they’re not just buying a steering wheel, seats, the metal frame or the engine but they are buying the entire package.  A package sealed with the star emblem on the hood that lets it be known to the world the vehicle meets the standard of Mercedes. 

With the star on the hood, that seal, a client is not just buying a car, they’re buying innovation dating back to 1886.  They’re buying into the leading auto manufacturer of performance and safety.  They are getting over 80,000 patented inventions with their purchase.  They’re buying a level of quality in a class of its own. 

So is the same when you purchase a Boston album.  You’re not buying a corporate rock album conceived and packaged by men in business suits who care more about the bottom line than the track listing. (I should note that I don’t know if Tom Scholz wears suits while recording his albums but you get my drift). (more…)

ShapiroChris Shapiro
June 2013

Saturday June 15th the Down Boys of rock ‘n roll are taking Pittsburgh Raceway Park by storm.

Warrant and their fellow brothers in rock, Firehouse and Trixter, are performing at the raceway as part of their Cherry Pie Tour.

Erik Turner co-founder of Warrant

Erik Turner co-founder of Warrant.

The history of the Cherry Pie Tour goes back to the early 1990’s when Warrant released their hit album of the same name.

“Well, in 1991 I believe it was, we did a tour with Firehouse and Trixter.  Our Cherry Pie CD was out at that time and so it’s fun whenever the three bands can get together and put a show on together,” Erik Turner, co-founder of Warrant, said.

Turner said the three bands have a lot of history together and he enjoys any chance he gets to do a concert with them, which tends to be periodically.

He said out of the fifty shows Warrant performed last year roughly fifteen of them were with the Cherry Pie Tour line up.

“It’s a lot of fun playing with those guys.  We’ve known them obviously a long time.  Trixter has a platinum record and Firehouse has had platinum records and we sold a boat load of records.  So there’s a lot of hit songs between the three bands and it makes for a great evening of 80’s rock ‘n roll,” Turner said.

Though Warrant’s love of music has remained, the way the band gets to the shows has changed quite a bit since their early days. (more…)

By Chris Shapiro
April 2013

Gary Markasky

The Gary Markasky Project.

It’s a bar very similar to that of NBC’s sitcom Cheers.  You’re there once and everyone knows your name.  The place is Belmont Stakes.

Cookie, the owner, is talking to customers, to friends.  He and his wife run the neighborhood bar.  It’s one that’s nestled just off Belmont Avenue and easy to past by if you’re not paying close attention, as most treasure is.

The people in the bar are friends and close relations.  There’s a sense of family among them.

In the corner, there’s a band setting up.  Flood lights on the floor project larger than life shadows of five band members onto a wall behind them.  Their shadows symbolize their greater calling.  They’re knights who crusade to keep a treasure alive.  A treasure that is stored in the temple of the heart.  They are of the brotherhood of Rock ‘n Roll.

These men call themselves The Gary Markasky Project and leading the crusade is Markasky. (more…)

ShapiroBy Chris Shapiro
December 2012

In a world where entertainment has become consumed by over-the-top effects, it is seldom that you find a pure act with real talent.  SuchIMG_1307 is the case for Jack Russell.  Russell proves that an act doesn’t need twenty-eight back up dancers, pyrotechnics that rival a 4th of July celebration, or voice alteration that changes the singer’s voice to an unnatural tone.   Deep at its core, what an act needs is talent and the ability to entertain an audience through that talent.  This is exactly what Russell has.

As part of the Story Tellers series, Russell performed an acoustic show with his guitarist Robby Lochner at the Dead Horse Cantina on December 9th in Pittsburgh.  Throughout the night, Russell shared stories, some very humorous, regarding the origins of many of the songs he played.

He opened the show with the crowd arousing “Call It Rock & Roll” off Great White’s 1991 Hooked album.  Russell performed the song with his signature and spot-on vocals that matched the recorded version of the song.

IMG_7018Russell took a moment to explain his next song “Rollin’ Stoned.”  The “Gary” figure mentioned in the song was a friend of his from his high school days. (more…)

Chris Shapiro
October 2012

Warrant guitarist Erik Turner with his Erik Turner Wine collection available at South Coast Winery

I’m sure it’s happened before in the music industry.  An artist, producer or engineer is in the studio and they record what they believe to be their best take of a song only to find out that when they play it back there’s a glitch.  Whether the glitch is through faulty equipment or human error, the artist or produce has to go back and recreate their master piece.

Such was the case for me, yet under slightly different circumstances.  Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of conducting a follow-up interview with Erik Turner of Warrant during my radio show on 88.9FM WFSE.  However, after the interview I tried playing the interview only to have the message “File Corrupt” appear on the computer screen.  I tried my luck on another computer.  Lightning struck twice. (more…)

Music without passion is nothing but noise. It takes a skillfully learned musician to induce passion into a musical piece, therefore, giving it a life that transcends the musician’s realm. The life of the musical piece carries it beyond the audiences of the musician and resonates with people of all backgrounds. Cultural barriers, political ideologies, personality differences and other such human like constructed walls are toppled when a musical piece, with a life of its own, is created by a passionate musician.

Musicians of this nature are instruments to their instruments. When they pick up a guitar or sit down to a piano, they unlock the stories hidden in the instrument. This, fused with their creative nature, is the birthplace of music. The work finds the musician and, a true musician, strives, exhaustively, to give that work life. So that, the story hidden in the work may leave the piano, guitar, violin, etc. and tell its message to those who need it most.

Such is the case for John Parr’s new album, The Mission, where every track is a story come to life through the highly talented skills of Parr. I could list reasons and give examples from his work but I would much rather allow Parr to explain in his own words the story behind the stories told on The Mission.

Above is an interview I conducted with Parr a week ago where we discussed, in detail, his most current work The Mission.