Tag Archives: Hollywood

Dear Mr. Rose,


Dear Mr. Rose,

Thanks for pissing on the remaining shreds of hope that I had that there could ever be an Appetite-era lineup reunion of the infamous Guns N’ Roses.  I wasn’t hoping for a world tour or anything.  Just a 1-time set at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame would have been gracious and exciting.

I watched as the band burned bright, then fell apart.  Illusions I & II are the sound of a band imploding, and Spaghetti Incident is the sound of a band phoning it in.  Chinese Democracy is the unsettling ranting of a lunatic.

I have read the biographies, and I have made a public plea for a reunionAppetite for Destruction floored me when I was a teenager.  The guitars were blaring and dancing around each other perfectly.  The drums made my heat beat faster.  The bass managed to weave it all together.  The vocals made me want to scream and yell.  Lies was absolutely brilliant.  The raw aggression of the earlier “live” tracks were the Guns, & the stripped down yet edgy acoustic tracks were the Roses.

You could have been a grown-ass-man, and set aside your ego, your demons, and whatever else is plaguing you.  You could have probably even gotten away with not showing up for rehearsal, sound check or even acknowledging the existence of the other guys off stage.  Everyone knows you’re supposedly some sort of “temperamental genius” by now, and would have let it slide.  I mean, you really never got much more than a monetary slap on the wrist for inciting multiple riots.  If you can get away with that, you can pretty much get away with anything.

It seems that you fear reuniting with the old lineup would invalidate the existence of the current lineup of Guns N’ Roses.  The only thing that invalidates the current lineup is one W. Axl Rose.  You have made it unequivocally clear that the founding members of the band who wrote the songs that you’re surely playing on tour & developed the sound that you try so hard to get away from are nothing but hired guns (pun intended) to your apparently infallible and virtually unreachable artistic vision.  Why should we put any stock in the revolving door of members that has been present since the departure of core members Duff & Slash?  Perhaps Izzy was the most intelligent of the bunch, getting out shortly after Adler was ousted.  Gilby Clarke sure was never given status as a full band member.  Even Buckethead was called out for his apparent inabilities to record or tour when he left the band.  It’s always someone else’s fault, isn’t it?  Does Dizzy Reed know any other words than “Yes, Axl”?  (Surely even you have to notice how terrible the piano sounds on live versions of “Patience” and “Paradise City“.)

By all accounts it’s Axl who was always late to the stage, Axl who left everyone hanging in Chicago, Axl & some guy that wasn’t even in the band that included a hidden Charles Manson cover on an album despite the rest of the band’s wishes, Axl who called in Paul Tobias without asking anyone else, Axl who demanded legal ownership of the band name at a time when it was impossible for the others to refuse (all aiming to keep the fans happy), Axl who put out no albums while former bands mates cranked out multiple albums from multiple projects, and Axl who consistently points out the shortcomings of his peers and former friends through some self-created veil of paranoia while never taking the time to analyze or even admit to his own self-destructive actions.

Thank you for destroying my favorite band.

I guess I do have to thank you for making sure that the last memory of my favorite lineup won’t be some half-hearted attempt at recapturing some inspirational spark or any multitude of possibly disappointing outcomes.

Former Fan,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

Appetite for Destruction

Appetite for Destruction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ink N’ Pages – The Guns N’ Roses Autobiographies


Slash

Slash

So, it’s no secret that I’m a Guns N’ Roses fan.  Well, a fan of everything up until The Spaghetti Incident.  I like both of Duff‘s solo albums, all of Slash’s Snakepit & solo material, Velvet Revolver, I even have Hollywood Rose.  I still need to pick up a Loaded album, but I do have the Neurotic Outsiders.  This doesn’t dig into bootlegs of live and demo stuff… of which I have a plethora.

Appetite for Destruction generally tops my “all time favorites” album lists.  I go back to it time and time again, & get lost in between Slash & Izzy’s guitars spiraling around each other.

Of course, when the autobiographies started coming out, I had to read them.  I got Slash‘s book, then Duff’s then Steven’s.  Slash was a rock n’ roll hero to me when I was in Jr. High & high school, but out of the three books… I think Duff comes off the best  and most entertaining.  The writing is very fluid.  I found it easy to imagine Duff in the early days.  The stories are blunt & sincere, and he ties it all back to where it has led him & where he is now in life.  Duff seems like a great guy to hang out with.

It's So Easy: and Other Lies

It's So Easy: and Other Lies

Slash’s book is an easy read, but it jumps around quite a bit.  His recollection of events is really questionable.  It doesn’t necessarily feel like Slash is remembering things correctly, or even the one telling the story.  I might have to give it a re-read after finishing the other two books.

Steven’s book, like Steven, is a mess.  I can’t help but feel pity for the guy, mostly because he professes to not have a “poor me” attitude, but every single action the guy takes screams “oh poor me”.  This guy just can’t get it right, but he still seems like a likeable guy.

It comes across in all of them that they had fun times in the early days, with a vibe that can never be repeated.  Sadly, all these guys seem to have a habit of burning bridges… yet posses a decent history of patching things up.  I mean, Slash & Duff have never really stopped working together.  Duff has been on-stage with Axl’s band recently.  They both patched it up with Weiland recently.  Duff, Slash, & Izzy have jammed with Adler’s Appetite.

My Appetite for Destruction: Sex, and Drugs, and Guns N' Roses

My Appetite for Destruction: Sex, and Drugs, and Guns N' Roses

One thing is clear from all of these books… Axl is an absolute wild man, and these guys love & fear him.  I really hope Axl & Izzy churn out books someday.  Maybe somehow all of the events can get plotted out & reconstructed correctly.

Maybe they’ll even get together for the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame ceremony.

I’d love to check out some of the other GN’R biographies (like Reckless Road), but if the guys in the band can’t even get it right… then what hope does an outsider have?

♧♠♡♦♢♥♤♣

Movies I’d like to see at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont


So, I like movies.  I’ve blogged about some childhood favorites.  I’ve blogged recently about the Hollywood Theater and In Person Productions.  Here I’d like to express my thoughts on what movies I’d like to see on the big screen in a little room over at the Hollywood.  All of these could only be enhanced by In Person bringing in a related actor, writer, director, producer, etc.  I don’t know if they take requests, but that’s not gonna stop me from blogging about it.

Kick him in the nards!

Wolfman's got nards!

Monster Squad Duh. This movie is perfect for the Hollywood Theater in Dormont.  It’s got a cult following.  I hear other theaters are doing it.  Wolfman’s got nards.  (I’ve never seen Dekker‘s other movie, Night of the Creeps… maybe that would be cool too?)  At any rate, this movie is fantastic.  The monsters come alive, they’re so evil and scary.

Boodie twaps!

Boodie twaps!

Goonies    Who wouldn’t wanna see this?  I want to say this was the movie for my generation.  It had a pirate’s treasure, kids as heroes, Sloth, and asthma.  I’m sure I wore out the local video store’s VHS when I was younger.  I’d love to see this on the big screen, in all of it’s sweeping epic glory.

C64

C64

Explorers  ⚡  I don’t think that I ever saw this film on a big screen.  I just saw it on VHS.  I’d love to see it in full-size.  I’d also like to know how many others dig/remember this film.  I mean, it had a Commodore 64 in it… and the kids made their own spaceship.  They made. their. own. spaceship!

Would you like to play a game?

Would you like to play a game?

War Games I still want to try that payhone trick.  How cool was that?  Talking computers?  So futuristic! Reminded me of SAM.  Global thermonuclear war was kind of scary, but I was too busy trying to figure out that modem.

The Crow

Can't rain all the time…

The Crow    This movie is incredible.  I saw in on VHS for the first time.  I’d love to see it in the theater.  It’s a story of revenge, it’s a story of love, it’s a story of some things being stronger than mere mortality.  The images & ideas from James O’Barr’s graphic novel were transferred quite well to the screen here, the violence was actually played down.  Making Eric a guitar player instead of a dancer is probably the only time I’ll ever say “yeah, good move” to a movie changing a comic book or graphic novel story.  T-Bird said “There ain’t no coming back. This is the really real world, there ain’t no coming back.”  But, we all know T-bird was wrong.  So, let’s bring this one back to the big screen.

Slimer!

Slimer!

Ghostbusters double feature    OK, just the first one.  They came, they saw, they kicked some ass… and should have stuck with the cartoon instead of Ghostbusters II.  Maybe we shouldn’t cross the streams.  I think I did see this in the theater, but I don’t remember it.  I wanna see a life sized Stay Puft marshmallow man, please.  (Yes, I actually had a plush one when I was a kid.)

Flux Capacitor

Great Scott!

Back to the Future marathon    A perfect trilogy.  Goofy adventure, faulty science, crazy hair, the old west, 50′s cars, cowboys & Indians, hover-boards, poop jokes, futuristic home-faxing, temporal paradoxes, a Star Wars reference, a Chuck Berry song, ZZ Top in the old west, & Huey Lewis.  What’s not to love?  Oh yeah…  the AMC DeLorean is the coolest time machine ever, and there was a sweet guitar.

We named the DOG Indiana...

We named the DOG Indiana...

Indiana Jones marathon.    Or maybe Indiana Jones month.  Four weekends, four films.  Or, only 3.  It’s OK if there’s only 3.  Unless they hand out Crystal Skull Head Vodka at the event.  These stories are too epic for your TV, they need to be shown on a grand scale.  I can hear the music in my head as I’m typing.  Now you can too, can’t you?  I’m not sorry.  Maybe I can just bring the Wii over & play Lego Indiana Jones while no one’s using the theater?  Please?

Eborsisk

Siskel & Ebert... or Eborsisk the dragon.

Willow    I think I did see this on the big screen, but I’d like to see it again.  I feel like it’s an underrated movie.  It had great effects, a great fairy-tail type story with a literal little guy taking on the evil establishment, and a world in which you could easily get lost.  Also, the villain, General Kael was incredibly scary & awesome, even if he shopped at the same store as Skeletor.

STAR freakin’ WARS marathon    I mean, come on.  Do I even really need to even state a case here?  We have the movies proper, the animated feature film, the Ewok specials.  Play ‘em all!  Please, play the Star Wars Holiday Special.  It may have to be some secret underground invitation-only thing so George Lucas doesn’t hunt us all down & destroy us, but it’d be totally worth it.

Those WERE the droids I was looking for...

|-o-|

Never tell them the odds...

Never tell them the odds...

Fanboys  ⚡  See above.  It’s a fun movie.  I’d like to see it on a big screen, it never got a proper release.  I bet you could get more than a few of the actors to come down to the Hollywood.  Let’s do this.  There’s a kid named WindowsWindows, I tell you.  This is a great film for geeks & nerds of all kinds.

Shaun's Plan

Want to go to the Winchester?

Shaun of the Dead    Zombies, zombies, and more zombies… in a romantic comedy?  Yes.  Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, & Nick Frost are geniuses.  This movie is just absolutely incredible.  I bet people would be all about seeing this on the big screen.  We could watch the regular movie… or the one with pop-up trivia.  How fun would it be to see this with a room full of like-minded humorous zombie film fans?

Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, 'Aaaaaaah?'

Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, 'Aaaaaaah?'

Hot Fuzz    Yes.  And, whatever the 3rd movie is gonna be.  OK, the movie is a little slow in the beginning, but it’s absolutely necessary for the ridiculous pacing later in the film.  This is the buddy cop film of all buddy cop films, that unleashes ridiculous action like no other.  It’s great to see a movie that celebrates & pokes fun at an entire genre.

These guys are at the movies every time we go...

These guys are at the movies every time we go...

Gremlins double-feature    I think I saw these in the theater too, but I wanna see them again.  A mogwai would be the coolest pet ever, as long as you don’t feed it after midnight, or let it near your office supplies.

Batman night!    Any/all of them, please.  Why not play some of the serials or Batman: Dead End too?  Batman is the coolest comic book character ever.  He’s smarter and more cunning than all of them combined.  Sure, he’s just Zorro with ears & more toys… but it’s such a great story & way easier to relate to than something like Superman or the X-Men, unless you’re an alien or some sort of mutant.  I mean, there’s a plethora of cartoon movies too.  It could be Batman movie day every day.

Batman Evolution

Batman Evolution

The LONE Rangers?  There's 3 of you...

The LONE Rangers? There's 3 of you...

Airheads    Some day, I’m going to write a letter to Santa, and my wish list will be as follows:  Radio Airplay, a football helmet full of cottage cheese, naked pictures of Bea Arthur, A Zon walnut bass, a PRS guitar with dragon inlays, 67 copies of Moby Dick, and a six-foot baby bottle.  You dig?  Who has ever picked up a guitar, bass, or drum sticks & didn’t love this movie?  If you just thought “me”, you might as well just quit reading now.

He was the patron saint of quality footwear.

He was the patron saint of quality footwear.

This is Spinal Tap    This movie goes to 11, and has incredible sustain.  Why wouldn’t we all want to watch & laugh together?  In 1984, everyone in a band thought this was poking fun directly at them.  And, while it was… that’s why it’s hilarious.

It Might Get Loud

It Might Get Loud

It Might Get Loud    Great movie.  I’m not a U2 fan, and I thought that Jack White was slightly annoying before this… but it was just a cool tale of the evolution of the guitar and the individual players.  It gave me insight into the three guitarists and their influences. And really, who wouldn’t want to be in a room with the opportunity to jam with Jimmy Page?

Berserker

Actually any rock docs or even concert movies being regular would be quite cool.  I just missed Purple Rain, damn it.  Anvil! The Story of Anvil and Lemmy would be great movies to see in the theater.  Why not a whole series of Kevin Smith films?  I love the adventures of Jay & Silent Bob.  Even stand-up comedy films might be cool as long as they don’t involve any of the Blue Collar guys.  Maybe even The Princess Bride, The Last Dragon, Flight of the Navigator, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure & Bogus Journey, & any of the Star Trek movies.

Bruce Leroy | The Last Dragon

He ain't no cornball! He's my brother. And he's the master.

A bad movie night with Leonard Part 6, The ‘Burbs, or Howard the Duck would be excellent.  Maybe even Pluto Nash?  (I’ve never worked up the courage to see that one.)

She's Out of My League

She's Out of My League

What about Pittsburgh set or filmed movies, like She’s Out of My League, Adventureland, & so many more?

Would you like to see any of these at the Hollywood or a theater near you?  What have I missed?  What do you wanna see on the little big screen?

A Christmas Story in Dormont


A Christmas Story

Image via Wikipedia

So, last night we went to the Hollywood Theater in Dormont to see A Christmas Story.  It was a joint venture with In Person Productions, and they brought Ian Patrella (Randy) to the theater for a meet n’ greet & commentary.  It was a great time, despite a few little quirks in the evening.

The Hollywood itself is a cool little theater, the first time my wife & I had gone there, we saw Inglourious Basterds, and we sat in the balcony.  It was very cool to see that movie in a little local theater.  Although we didn’t, we could walk there.  Ha ha.  It’s a great thing to have in your neighborhood.

Last night, there was a decidedly different atmosphere.  Of course, Christmas decorations and attire were everywhere… it was quite festive.  We arrived and were ushered in, and moved on to the concession stand.  We decided on just a large Coke to share, and were greeted warmly & quickly, although the woman made sure to note that we had several scary movies coming up in December.  Ha ha.  Do I look scary, or like a horror fan?  Maybe it’s the facial hair.

We got inside & chose some seats on the floor, near the middle in the back.  There were quite a lot of people there already when we arrived, and many more flocked in behind us.

Before the movie, Mr. Bending form In Person Productions introduced a representative for local EMT’s, as they were benefiting from a Red Ryder B.B. Gun raffle, and then introduced Ian Patrella and a gave a little talk about how the evening was going to run.

Then, they trotted out Dormont’s mayor, Tom Lloyd, to present a key to the city to Mr. Patrella.  Mayor Lloyd is a bit of a hot-button issue ’round Dormont if you’ve been paying attention to the news.  I know Mr. Lloyd has been pushing for revitalization of small businesses in Dormont… or at least that’s what his bio says, but there’s also been a quite public pissing contest (for lack of a better term) between the Mayor & the Police Chief, or maybe even two at this point.  I know it has to do with GPS units in local police cars, who can use what door to go in & out of the municipal building, and who has the power to cancel parking and/or other traffic citations… and I think even who the fines should go to, if they’re local or state violations.  Also, apparently who has the biggest cojones.  My bet’s on Mr Lloyd’s, as they’re probably dragging on the floor at this point.  Pardon my vulgarity, but really… I’ve gotten way to many impeach the mayor post cards in the mail, and too many letters to the editor in the local quarterly newsletter to take either side seriously at this point.

Speaking of point… I’m leading into the fact that Mr. Lloyd presenting a key to the city to Mr. Patrella may have not been a great decision at this point in time.  The mayor was visibly physically in distress, and I know you’re not supposed to discriminate on age, but I found myself wondering aloud how he’s able to carry out official duties.

Also… upon presentation of the key to Mr. Patrella, he proceeded to tell him that he’s never seen the movie.  Yes, we’re talking about A Christmas Story.  Yes, Mayor Lloyd looks about 347 years old.  Yes, they run A Christmas Story for 24 hours every Christmas on TBS or TNT or whatever channel.  Yes, he actually told the actor from the movie that he’d never seen the movie.  It was all very odd.  Then, he very conspicuously ambled up the aisle after presenting the key… taking his 4-5 person entourage with him.  So, apparently he couldn’t spare a few hours to watch the movie now?  I found the whole ordeal quite disrespectful to Ian, In Person Productions, and the Hollywood Theater.  Perhaps he has political or social ties to the FOHT, but they ought to reconsider letting him embarrass the city in the future.

Ian Patrella (Randy from A Christmas Story) & Me

Ian Patrella & Me

Mr. Patrella was going to provide commentary during the film, but they apparently had mic or PA issues, and he wasn’t able to really shout over the film.  I hope they got the issues resolved for the rest of the showings this weekend.  I did really appreciate the Q&A at the beginning of the evening.  Ian is a great public speaker & Q&A guy, & seemed to be genuinely having a great time.  He’s currently giving tours at the house used for the outdoor scenes which is now an A Christmas Story themed museum.  He was very cool at the meet & greet after the movie, and took the time to pause with me for a photo and sign my DVD.  I hope to make the road-trip out there some time soon!  You can also win an all-inclusive package trip by reenacting a scene from the film at AChristmasStoryScene.com!

The other interesting part of the evening was a little troll that sat behind us during the film, mouthing off how incredibly bored he was not only at the pre-film ceremonies, but during the actual film viewing itself.  He continued to ramble & talk about totally unrelated things.  After a while, my wife had enough, turned around, and asked him to please be quiet.  He mumbled inaudibly as he was scolded by the woman he was with and giggled-at by the couple they were with.  Then the big shot said “I asked ‘what is she gonna make me?’”  Yes.  This was a grown man.  I was turning to look as he asked “Is he gonna make me?  I raised up slightly in my seat, as he slouched in his.  He didn’t say one more word for the entire duration of the film.  Apparently I do look scary.  We saw the little guy afterward, and he was just under 5 feet tall.  Apparently he had something that he though he needed to prove, then decided it wasn’t that important.  I’d love to know out of a theater full of people, why people like this seem to gravitate towards wherever I’m sitting.

All in all though, the idea & the execution of the evening was great as far as the Hollywood, In Person Productions, & Mr. Patrella went.  I’d like to catch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation there later in December.  I also cant wait to see who In Person brings around in the future.  I shot off an email when we got home to let the Hollywood & In Person Productions know what a great time we had, and Mr. Bendig from In Person wrote back very quickly, with another message to follow.  I look forward to some of the movies and personalities that they’re looking to bring to the Hollywood.  (Did somebody say… Monster Squad?)