R.I.P. – Mark St. John

KNAC.com broke the sad news today that former KISS guitarist, Mark St. John, died this morning of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 51. My sympathies to Mark’s family and friends for their loss.

markstjohn2.jpg   markstjohn.jpg

I remember when Mark was brought into KISS to replace Vinnie Vincent, I was dead against it because it was beginning to be a revolving door at the guitar slot. Then I heard ANIMALIZE (1984) and I realized that this “unknown” had some serious skill. Unfortunately, he developed Reiter’s Syndrome and found himself unable to play and ultimately replaced as KISS’ lead guitarist. Everything I’ve read on Mark has said that he was very talented and that he was a really great guy. I wish him peace wherever he is and thanks for some great music and memories.

For more information on Mark St. John, there is a biography section over at KISSFAQ.com

CD Scavenger Hunt – “More Redemption” – 4/4/07

I was back at the store today with my inside information to pick up…..

Saxon – The Inner Sanctum (CD/DVD Ltd. Ed.) – $10.88: As I mentioned yesterday, Saxon is one of my favorite bands and any new album is a mandatory purchase. Saved $6 by catching it on sale. Even at $17, a CD of new material and a DVD of a live show is pretty good value. Listened to it three times already, it’s great. A review is coming!

Total w/tax = $11. 40

CD Scavenger Hunt – “The Redemption” – 4/3/07

A huge New Release Tuesday today for the Heavy Metal faithful in the U.S. New releases from Saxon, Black Sabbath, Manowar, Primal Fear, Shadows Fall, Threshold, Onslaught, Dew-Scented, Solitude Aeturnus, Static-X, and David Lee Roth all graced new release store displays across the country…..

…..all subject to availability!

I knew that this was going to be a big day so my ban on Newbury Comics was lifted. It’s the only game in town so I had no choice. The Monday e-newsletter had some great sale prices for everything on my list, the only thing standing in my way was how many copies they ordered. My list was simple: the deluxe CD/DVD versions of the Saxon and Manowar, the new Sabbath, Primal Fear, and Diamond Dave’s Spanish version of EAT’EM AND SMILE.

Manowar – Gods Of War (Deluxe Edition CD/DVD) – $17.99: “Death to false Metal!” That was the warcry I was trying to teach my 3 yr old daughter as we walked into the record store and noticed only the regular version of GODS OF WAR on the rack. As my blood pressure began to rise with thoughts of a shutout, Sabrina knocked half the rack over, revealing the deluxe edition behind the other 10 copies of the regular. I give Manowar credit, they may not be the best band, or the most serious, but they certainly give definite bang for your buck. The deluxe edition is a leather bound book encased in a metal slipcase that has a raised Manowar logo. Inside is a very elaborate booklet full of photos, artwork, and Greek lettering. At least I think it’s Greek, pardon my ignorance if it’s not. The full booklet is in this lettering and you need to use the letter-key on the last page to translate it. I think it’s brilliant that a band would go through so much to create an interesting package. I’m sure a full translation is online somewhere already. I hope so because I have no idea what is on the DVD and I don’t really want to transcribe everything.

Black Sabbath – The Dio Years – $11.88: I’ve always preferred the Dio years to the Ozzy years and I was on this new compilation for the three new songs. I would have liked to have been able to get a boxed set like the Ozzy years had but that plan was scrapped months ago. Nice to see plenty of copies in stock today, hopefully the casual fan will see that there was more to Black Sabbath than just Ozzy Osbourne.

Primal Fear – Metal Is Forever (The Very Best Of Primal Fear) (2 CD) – $9.99: I still say that vocalist Ralf Scheepers should have gotten the Judas Priest gig over Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, the man is Rob Halford II, a true Metal singer. I have been a fan right from the start and Primal Fear hasn’t disappointed me yet. I have all the albums and the DVD so the reason for picking this up was the bonus disc of covers that were used as B-sides on several tributes and singles. I know I bitch about covers but these are not part of an actual album, they are B-sides. 16 tracks in all with the band using at least two songs from each of the six studio albums. The booklet also has a timeline-ish feel with many pictures of the band over the years.

Masterplan – MK II – $9.99: “Good things come to those who wait”…..the boycott is officially lifted! My online order for this album was delayed so I cancelled it late last night. I figured I would check to see if a copy made it’s way from the Newbury Comics warehouse to North Attleboro. Nothing under ‘Misc M’ or ‘Masterplan’. As I was walking toward the counter, one of the regular clerks came up to me with a copy. This guy was behind the counter the day I got shutout, he went out of his way to order it for me and was waiting for me to come in again. Now that’s service and a pleasant surprise!

Total – $50

Not a bad day of shopping. Unfortunately, the new Saxon album wasn’t in but my spies in the store told me one copy was to be delivered Wednesday morning. The price for the CD/DVD deluxe edition is $10.88, just another reason to go back in the AM. Saxon is one of my Top 5 favorite bands so THE INNER SANCTUM is a mandatory purchase. I passed on the Spanish version of EAT’EM AND SMILE for $9.99. Even though it’s been a collectible for twenty years, and the completist in me wants it, why would I listen to it when I don’t understand Spanish? Diamond Dave in Spanish = a great conversation piece, just not a smart buy. Of course, there is always tomorrow!

Gene Simmons facelift post-op picture

Gene Simmons facelift post-op picture

I’m sure you’ve already seen this around the Net and on Gene’s A&E TV show but, for those who haven’t, here is Gene Simmons post-op after a facelift.

Now that looks gruesome. When I first saw this, I didn’t even recognize him. I hope it was worth it because that looks painful. I haven’t seen the latest episodes but I’m intrigued. I stopped watching Family Jewels last year but you can bet I will go find it on DVD this week.

Now if he could only go under the knife to get his singing voice back…..

Storage issues

It’s been five months since we moved into our new house and my CD and DVD collection is still in boxes and Rubbermaid containers. I have access to my full collection but they just aren’t displayed properly.

At our old apartment, the CDs were stored in these really nice unfinished wood cases by Bostonwood in Boston, MA. I have two that hold 750 CDs and one that holds 900 and they are still sitting in the basement. The wife and I took over the second floor double bedroom but the ceilings are too low and they slope on the sides. The previous owners re-did this part of the house (formerly the attic) for their two boys but they took no consideration for large media collections, LOL! The bottom line is that the cases just don’t fit against any wall due to the slopes.

So I’ve been searching…..and searching…..and searching for a solution. Money isn’t tight but it needs to be used wisely so the ultra-expensive cabinets aren’t part of the solution. Nice dream though! One idea my wife had was to cut the tops off the cases I have. The highest I can go on any wall with the slope is 38″ so I would need to take off three shelves off the 750s and five off the 900. I have a problem with that because I spent about $400 total for all three cases over the years, I’d hate to see them ruined. It’s the most practical and economic solution but I’m resistant. I’m also not a handy kind of guy so doing it on my own requires a ton of work and learning on the fly. I’m more inclined to pay someone to do it but that money could be spent on a new shelving system and I could sell the ones I have.

Aside from the normal Google search of “media shelving” and “CD storage”, my main resource has been Living With Music. My friend Volkher Hofmann has a very useful section on Storage & Display that has many unique ideas. Two features I’ve been researching today are the Ikea Ivar shelving and Boltz. Boltz CD Racks are very nice but still pricey. I’m also not sure if they are sturdy with all of that weight on those pointy slim “feet”, I’m nervous about them with two small kids and a dog. The IVAR system looks like the way to go, especially when you see Volkher’s pictures of his system. This is exactly what I need.

If I’m right, I will need six shelves and two side units to make one set 29″H, 33″W, 12″D. Total cost will be around $52 per unit. Capacity would be 400 CDs per unit.

Cross your fingers…..all I need is the wife’s OK!