Yep, 2007 is close to an end and it's time for yet another silly (and boring) retrospective look at some of the things here at RockUnited.com. You will find all these "amazing" quotes and many more at our INTERVIEWS section as well as other sections of this site. It's not always the "best" or even the "funniest" moments... but merely just a quick-peek at some of all the 1000's of "magical" special moments during a RockUnited year (yeah right, zzzzzz! just get on with the damn thing!).

RockUnited- We asked among other things 'GIRL-ie Gerry' about what memories he recalled on their visits to Japan in the early 80's.

"We loved Japan and they seemed to dig us. We were treated like rock stars and paid well for what we loved doing. I don’t remember any particulars about the show but I do remember a girl fan getting her hand caught in the limo window as we drove away. The girl wanted to give Philip (I think) a gift, someone wound down the window, she put her arm in just as the car took off, she was dragged along several yards with her face squashed into the glass, it was really scary. We didn’t open the windows in cars there anymore while there were fans about".
[Gerry Laffy], Girl

RockUnited- Oh... it's one of those 'Girl squashed by Girl' stories. Jaded Heart fans were sadly informed a couple of years ago that Mike's paths with Jaded Heart had been separated. Would he tell us with his own words what he think was the biggest reason for leaving?

"First of all I would like to say, that I am very sad about the way we split. I wished, it would have been in a normal, fair way. After 14 years been together, of course you miss something. As my exband didn´t have the guts to stand in front of me and confront me with their thoughts, I heard a lotta stories… So, still I don´t exactly know why they fired me. I think that sucks… The anger is gone, but still I am not pleased with the ending".
[Michael Bormann], Very-ex Jaded Heart

RockUnited- Yeah, we all wish for a 'happy ending'. Speaking of stories, here's songwriter/producer legend, Duane Hitchings, with the first of many great ones. We asked him about 'Cactus', any truth in that you guys were too arrogant and violent for your own good? I believe Ted "The Saint" Nugent was quoted saying something about this subject.

"NUGENT MENTIONED THAT SOMEBODY MIGHT BE MORE ARROGANT THEN HIM!!! WOW! Awesome!! AND the subject of violence – Ted got me in his Ford “off road monster” and tried, while running through his cornfields to run over his brother (on a very small off road motorcycle) during one of my visits to his farm!!! Since I was extremely hung over (I stopped partying MANY years ago), I was laughing so hard , I almost choked! Then did I mention he stuck me in a bedroom that night that had walls FULL of dead animals and stunk from formaldehyde! Hey, I am just getting started! LOL!!! Ted “ain’t right” which with the rest of my friends, makes him perfect! Ted is cool".
[Duane Hitchings], Cactus, Alice Cooper, Rod Stewart, etc.

RockUnited- Ted Nugent, violent and not quite right??? Nah... we do simply not believe ya'...

"I don't have any particular favourite bands. I must give credit to Malmsteen though for having such a long career, but his music doesn't touch me personally".
[Heidi Bergbacka], Moon Madness

RockUnited- oh, I'm sure that Yngwie would love to touch you personally. Just give him a call and ask him to 'unleash the fury'. Ehem, better not. And now quickly over to the question, do all rock heroes die young? or are they forever?

"Well, it's not meant to be taken literally (but in some cases they actually die; Rhandy Rhoads for example). What it means is that all the bands and rockers we looked up to growing up are gone, if not dead then they've went on doing other stuff. You can't compare the music of Bon Jovi or GnR during the 80s and 90s with the crap they're producing today. It seems that becoming well renowned takes away the spark that makes rock bands so great. So in a sence, they all die young". [Crazy Lixx],

RockUnited- We take everything literally. In fact, here's an ex-pumpkin head with enuff of ideas for new songs... or?

"I wrote all the songs already in 2005 when Jorn was still in the band. We had 12/13 songs and in fact the album was complete, but then Uli left and I asked him if I could have the songs he wrote for the new MP album. He told me that I could have them but not for free, so I told him to keep his shit!! However in the end I decided to use one song that I really liked and that is the one called “Masterplan”. So that one is more or less from Uli, the vocal parts are from Jorn and me and Mike wrote the lyrics. By the way Mike wrote all the lyrics for the new album, so his impact is already rather huge".
[Roland Grapow], Masterplan

RockUnited- Hang on a minute, Uli's stuff is shit, simply because he wouldn't let you have it for free??? Yeah... that makes sense... all shit should be free. Thus why everybody are downloading the Masterplan CD without paying a dime... nah, better not go there. Let’s just discuss some guitar playing techniques instead of d/l material.

"As far as guitar technique goes, my playing style is predominantly based around alternate-picking, sweep-picking, string bending and vibrato. I play a lot of emotive slower things, and I incorporate technique with melody. My sound these days is cleaner than it used to be, and my big reverb sound is all part of it. I get fan mail from around the world, and the reverbs and guitar tone are often mentioned".
[Mario Parga], guitar-wiz

RockUnited- Zzzzzzzzzzz!!! Ehem, sorry, all that picking and bending sure sounds interesting tho'... like... really... zzz...

"My electric guitar tone changed during the mid 90’s, I just wanted a cleaner and fatter tone. I achieved this by turning down the presence and using less distortion".
[Mario Parga], even more guitar-wiz than usual

RockUnited- Yes, yes, ok, ok... thank you! we get the picture. I'd also like a cleaner and fatter: Tone Norum. Singing: hey, can't you stay... you don't have to go away (with a rather heavy accent).

"All the lyrics are still based on Christian aspects, but on the new album we wanted to show a few other aspects. "Little Princess" is dealing with the topic child abuse and "War" - the heaviest song we ever did - is our statement against violence and war. We are a rockband that definitely has something to say, we are not only singing worshipsong".
[Juergen], Mad Max

RockUnited- Dude, you simply can't have a song AGAINST war with a moniker like MAD MAX. You know, beyond thunderdome... we don't need another hero? Geez, what ever happened to good, old, entertainment, and things like violence and bloodshed??? Okie-dokie. Here's a story about a "Pretzel". Suzy went to a concert and didn't fancy the drum-solo thing?

"Pretzel came from when I was touring with Powermad in 1989. We just were in the David Lynch movie Wild At Heart, with Nicolas Cage. We were touring constantly and getting great exposure but I remember having a huge drum kit and playing like crazy and after the show going out to the audience and people I would talk to would ask me, “how did you like the band?” Wait, I was in the band. So it's kind of a joke on that nobody watching the drummer and going to get a hot dog or pretzel when the drum solo came".
[John MaCAluso], ARK, Riot, Yngwie, Powermad, TNT, Spread Eagle, Starbreaker, etc.

RockUnited- Ehem, it's not really a joke, you know. It's a very sad and true story. I'm sure millions of drummers around the world can relate to this. Oh well, I believe it's time for another pretzel in shape of a Speedwagon???

“I stayed up all night one night with Klaus Meine (Scorpions) back in 1981 in Boulder, Colorado,” he says, smiling his oh so white smile at the memory. “We co headlined the Boulder stadium and 80,000 people came. Klaus spoke not a word of English, I spoke not a word of German, but some how we stayed up all night rapping. I'm not sure how...There might have been some sort of substance involved that I'd rather not mention!”
[Kevin Cronin], REO Speedwagon

RockUnited- What the??? a substance he rather not mention??? Oh, I think we all know what he's talking about... the village people??? Ehem, let's just ask Klaus about Michael Schenker instead. How has it been working with him again.

Klaus: "Like in the old days, an adventure".
RockUnited: he’s still the Mad Mickey Schenker of old.
Klaus: "I don't know. Actually, the only time on this short tour we met was last night during ' Holiday', where he showed up right in the middle of the song, unfortunately without a guitar".
Matthias: He seems to be disappearing a lot, so the band doesn't know where he is and whatever".
[Klaus Meine & Matthias Jabs], Scorpions

RockUnited- Oh, c'mon, it's your own darn fault for playing 'Holiday'. No wonder he didn't bring a guitar when you're all shouting: 'let me take you faraway, you'd like a holiday'. He brought a suitcase, right? All packed and ready to go. Anyhow, shooting videos in the 80's seemed to be cool for most bands, and everybody has an opinion about the style from that era.

"Yeah, they always had to have a girl in them and there was always good looking girls. We weren't quite as kitch as say Poison was, those boys could strut, with a camera following them on the track. We were experimenting what some would say too much, but we were experimenting to amuse ourselves at fashions, musical styles and lots of things".

[Paul Quinn], Saxon

RockUnited- Thank God, I'd say. Nobody likes to watch a Poison strut and even less a Biff Byford wearing spandex moment. Speaking of dodgy styles and fashion, here's 'Glam' with an answer to the question: What was the name of the first real rock band that you played with?

"It was a band called BATHORY from Norway. I had bought my first electric guitar and also knew I could handle the vocals, still I didn’t know anybody who played bass or drums. So when I saw this ad from a band called Bathory I got in touch with them. The only problem was that this really wasn’t my kind of band. Actually it wasn’t a band at all, just a crazy bass player who wanted to start a band like Venom".
[Glam], Wig Wam

RockUnited- Quorthon??? Anyhow, What did a Grammy for the FLASHDANCE movie, mean to you as a songwriter and person. I guess it opened up a lot of previously locked doors?

"Yes, it did! I went out and bought a special table for my new and ultimate PRIZE. I WAS Mr. HOT SHOT! And you know what? I put the son-of-a-gun on the table in the sun and everything that was clued together (the sun was hitting it) melted the glue and it fell apart and was on the carpet! MY GRAMMY WAS A PIECE OF CRAP ---CHEAP Turkeys! LOL! I was definitely honored BUT the “melting Grammy is for real! Hilarious! I use it for a tooth pick holder now. When music folks from Nashville come into my studio and see the Grammy full of tooth picks, they hit the floor!! However, I was very honored to receive the Grammy – I just like having fun with it".
[Duane Hitchings], songwriting legend

RockUnited- :-)) :-(

"A Dutch magazine already rated my pre-release CD in the top 10 albums of the year. So far there has not been a single negative feedback. People really dig the songs and my voice gets compared to a lot of different great singers".

[Milan Polak], string-bender supreme

RockUnited- Not a single negative feedback? Dutch? the world capitol of pot and bong stories? I rest my case...

RockUnited: What sort of music do you listen to at home or in your car?
Derek: Lots of classical music really, jazz and hip hop.
RockUnited: And Dream Theater?
Derek: No, not really...
[Derek Sherinian], Planet X, and v-e-r-y ex.Dream Theater

RockUnited- Last time we spoke to Dave Meniketti his old faithful Gibson Les Paul had to have neck on it, we never realized how fanatical Y&T fans are until we asked him after the show if it came back ok?

“Yeah I got it back and you know what? I brought it out onstage and it got a bigger cheer than I did ha, I’m not joking, fans were emailing the Gibson custom shop when it was being repaired saying ”Hey guys you had better do a great job, don’t mess up his sound” and all this crazy stuff".
[Dave Meniketti], Y&T

RockUnited- Yep, the sustain, tone and controllability Dave Meniketti gets from his Les Paul is admired not only by the fans but by musicians alike. The Tigertailz guitar slingers, Kim Hooker and Jay Pepper are in awe.

Jay: “The sound he gets from that guitar and amp is amazing, he doesn’t even bother with the clean channel, I got 95 channels to choose from and I can’t make it squeal like that”
Kim, “Yeah yours is like a TV, 85 channels and nothing to watch ha”
[Jay & Kim], Tigertailz

RockUnited- Which do you prefer to sing, a ballad or an up tempo rocker?

"Ha ha ha, good question... Ballads are almost very emotional and it is really nice if the audience knows the lyrics and sings a long to it. You get gooseflesh all over then, which is nice. During up tempo songs you go crazy and wild and bang your head till it hurts, ha haha.. I love to sing them both really".
[Mark Fox], Shakra

RockUnited- Tigertailz & Bang Your Head... let's just stop for a while and think about Pepsi Tate, Kevin Dubrow, and all the other rockers that sadly died in 2007.

"Gregg actually came up with the idea to form a new band and Wayne said that we could call it Temple Within. But after a while when we wrote songs and were rehearsing them the musical direction changed little by little and so we had to come up with another name for the band. The music in the end became more intense, rockier, so Slavior is a much better name. It is a great name for a band, it has a certain edge and it is a true modern name and most important the music we play really fits to the name, don’t you think?"
[Mark Zonder], Slavior, Fates Warning

RockUnited- Nope. Let's ask Udo the following question instead: how do you keep your voice in shape (this surely must be some kind of trick question?)

"Not, ha ha ha... No, I really do not do anything special with my voice. I must say that since I stopped smoking my voice regenerates better and faster after a show. I am also more relaxed now since I quit smoking. I do not practice and it is sheer luck that my voice never lets me down, I have never ever cancelled a show."

[UDO], Accept

RockUnited- In the documentary it shows you learning the Japanese language so you can sing the chorus of In My Dreams in Japanese. You sung the English version then sung it in Japanese and invited the audience to join in. They all sang back in English, which was amusing! Do you wish you had just spent the time having a sushi instead?

"Ha ha ha no way. I really think it was worth it. But I must admit it felt a little bit funny when they sang back in English you know. So I guess I tried to improve them by singing in Japanese, and they tried to improve us by singing in English ha ha".
[Glam], Wig Wam

RockUnited- What's your opinion about "The 80's" in a retrospective view? Are you still just as fond of your material or have you been listening to the "let's bash everything from the 80's" people?

"What on earth is the “lets bash everything from the 80’s people”?? – oh yes, the reviewers from Rolling Stone or most music reviewers – I did not say all, the musicians who are pissed they did not get a record deal- 80’s bashers, most kids who go to “music business school” these days and get A & R jobs and don’t have a clue and end up signing the HORRIBLE BANDS that appear on David Letterman’s show most nights – those 80 bashers?? And the “college crap bands” that would not know a melody or lyric if it sat on their face “80 bashers” – those guys????? Wally, don’t get me going".
[Duane Hitchings]

"I think from now on we should guarantee that if you bring a woman to one of our shows, by the end of the concert you'll be getting some!” laughs KC. “The REO Guarantee – you will get laid!”
[Kevin Cronin], REO Speedwagon

RockUnited- The good news: yes, bring a woman and you will probably get laid at a REO concert. The bad news: applicable to very mature women only (no chick younger than 52). I heard it from a friend, who heard it from a friend, who, heard it from another you've been messin' around. Next Q: When you go on stage, how do you prepare yourselves mentally?

"What I actually do is just put on some red lipstick, put on my dress and shoes, and I always make some tea. Then I walk to stage. I don't make any preparations for my voice, because I've been singing all my life and I trust my vocal chords (laughs), and so far I've been very lucky".
[Liv Kristine], Leave'S Eyes, Theatre Of Tragedy

RockUnited- Lipstick, dress, shoes & Tea. Now that's weird... the next person we spoke to can relate to all above... take it away 'mutha'.

"They tried a reality show, they were looking for the next Osbournes and they did a test with us. They aired the show and I got a call the day after saying ‘We’ve got bad news and good news, Dee. The good news is they love your family and the ratings were great, the bad news is there’s no show – you guys get along, you love each other, your kids said you were cool on the air, nobody’s in rehab… there’s no programme!’
[Dee Snider], Twisted Sister

RockUnited- Ahem... wow... like, for real???

"Now they’ve come to us with a new show we’re doing a pilot for, where we’re gonna help other families – think Supernanny for teens, but they’re gonna send me into the house! In America adults and kids respect me and relate to me, and I’ve got half a brain. So they’re gonna send me in, and I’m gonna fix the families, with my family helping.”
[Dee 'The Saint' Snider], Twisted Sister

RockUnited- OK, that's it, it's now officially a world gone mad, Twisted Sister are supposed to mess up your family, not 'fix 'em' (in a good way of speaking). Well, that's pretty much it for now... C-Ya in 2008!!! Just one more quote... here's Mat: Did you feed Ralf on helium and gasoline before entering the studio? It's like he's managed to deliver something even more impressive than usual this time.

"Both... and afterwards he's singing out of his asshole!"
[Mat Sinner], Primal Fear

Article by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,

www.RockUnited.com (c) 2007