Tuesday, November 27, 2018

PINK TUESDAY 2018: Today is the BIG Day!

Today is the BIG Day!

"Black Friday" — it doesn't sound
terribly fun or fabulous, does it?
Neither does "Cyber Monday."
And that's exactly why I created
"Pink Tuesday" back in 2011.

Just what the heck is Pink Tuesday? Well, it's a glorious celebration I dreamed up a few years ago — a heart-warming alternative to the otherwise soul-crushing holiday shopping experience.

While the average American "John" and "Mary" are content with fighting mobs for typical holiday gifts and deals at their local supercenters on Black Friday, others opt for the sterile safety of shopping from home on Cyber Monday. BORING!

Conversely, Pink Tuesday is a more interactive, peaceful, joyous option — the day when I personally dispatch the other people across the country (the groovy ones) out to their favorite thrift shops in pursuit of truly fabulous finds — always on the cheap, and always on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

I know, everybody is always searching for bargains and struggling with gift ideas at this time of year. But holiday shopping can be fun, and affordable. Let's be honest, what do your friends and loved ones desire most on Christmas morning  a new 72" flat screen with surround sound, or a slightly "previewed" Oak Ridge Boys cassette collection? Duh, the Oak Ridge Boys, of course! But you just  can't locate those types of hard-to-find treasures or super-rock bottom prices anywhere else but at your friendly local thrift shop.

The pastor's wife was delighted last
Christmas when I gave her this VHS copy
of BIG. Um, I think she was delighted.
I scored this CD by "rappin' trucker," Buck Truck
for my aunt on Pink Tuesday in 2016. She LOVED it!
I knew exactly to whom I was
gonna give this helpful audio book.

(Sadly, it didn't help.)
Yes, from monogrammed oven mitts and twice-worn intimate apparel, to Betamax machines and bestselling self-help books from 1993  I guarantee you can find it ALL at your favorite thrift shops on Pink Tuesday  AND you'll stay well within your budget. If you don't believe me, just take a look at all this incredible stuff I've scored over the years for the people who I love most — all on Pink Tuesday!
It was priceless - the look on my GF's face
last Christmas when I gave her this almost
like-new 1991 AM / FM portable blaster. She
had been hoping for Keith Urban tickets,
but I'm sure she liked this, just as much.
Since thrift store dolls aren't creepy at all,
I bought one for every little kid on my
2015 holiday list - even a couple of girls.
ome Pink Tuesday finds y
ou just gotta keep for yourself.)
So, today is the BIG day! You'll probably want to take off from work. And I suggest you get an early start. Gather up your closest besties for a soothing "pre-game" brew at your local independent coffee house at about 9am. By 10:00, you'll all want to be in action. A 1:00 lunch break is recommended, but you'll need to be back at it by 2:00. Come 5:00, your holiday shopping should be completed. You'll then be able to relax and enjoy the rest of the season, totally stress-free — sorta.

For just $1.99, who wouldn't want to play a
game with Desperate Housewives' dirty laundry?
This 8-track tape of Molly Hatchet's 1979
classic, Flirtin' with Disaster was a huge
hit with my teenage nephew last Christmas.
During a 2012 Pink Tuesday excursion,
I bought gifts for all the guys down at the
gym - and I got change back from a $5.
There ya go. Pretty awesome, right? Of course it is. Now, go out there today and make it the greatest, most joyous and prosperous Pink Tuesday ever! And afterward, I invite you to come back here and share your personal Pink Tuesday stories in the "Comment" section below.

M E R R Y  C H R I S T M A S !

-Christopher Long
(November 2018)

Score the latest books from author
Christopher Long NOW on Amazon!


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(Coming April 7, 2019)

Saturday, November 24, 2018

SWEET CHAOS: Dallas Duo Sets Sights on Global Glory

Dallas Duo Sets Sights
on Global Glory

Not for nothing, but if I was
an A&R guy working for a
forward-thinking record label,
I'd be taking serious look
at Dallas duo, Sweet Chaos.

Residing stylistically somewhere near the intersection of "Royal Blood Boulevard" and "Spinnerette Street," Sweet Chaos already has faced many of rock's most riveting realities — accolades and endorsements, perils and pitfalls. But as they say, "only the strong survive."

"There is NO 'Plan B'," drummer Payton Taylor confessed confidently of her band's uncompromising commitment during our recent phone conversation. Bassist / vocalist Sydney Hefley concurred that Sweet Chaos definitely is in it for the long haul.

Payton Taylor onstage in Los Angles - 2018.
As a result of friends' influence, Payton began taking piano lessons at age five. Her passion for piano led to her becoming proficient on multiple instruments. During her later involvement with School of Rock, Payton was encouraged by an instructor to focus on ONE instrument. She chose drums.

Seemingly artistic "soul sisters," Sydney also began her musical journey as a pianist at age five. The current college student also credits her involvement with School of Rock, four years ago, as a profound "game-changer," as it was then when she first met up with her creative partner, Payton.

Watch Payton Taylor's 2018 "Hit Like a Girl" competition video.

Pointing to her parents' classic rock LP collection as her primary initial source of inspiration (at age three), Payton's first favorite band was Led Zeppelin. While most any rock drummer will credit John Bonham as a "hero," for a 17-year-old drummer (in 2018) to credit Keith Moon, well, that just SCREAMS rock cred!

Claiming Led Zeppelin and Muse as two of her all-time favorite bands, 19-year-old Sydney also credits bass and drum duo, Royal Blood as a major Sweet Chaos influence — even before their (then) trio became a duo.

"We were shocked," Payton revealed, regarding the unexpected departure of the group's original guitarist earlier this year. "We had shows booked!" she added — still somewhat flabbergasted. Yet, after entertaining various options, Payton and Sydney opted to forge ahead, as a duo.

Sydney Hefley onstage in Los Angeles - 2018.
Onstage, their sound is as fat and full as most any larger combo configuration, with Sydney playing through both a traditional bass rig and a standard guitar setup — enhanced by an array of electronic pedals.

"It was so cool to play on the same stage that so many of our favorite bands have played on," Sydney commented, regarding the recent Sweet Chaos set at L.A.'s famed Whisky a Go Go. The band continues criss-crossing Texas, hitting just about any venue that has a stage and an electrical outlet  — performing with such up-and-coming acts as Arizona's Doll Skin and rock legends, including former Ramones drummer, Richie Ramone. The band also will be heading to Florida to play dates in December.

Watch "Again & Again" - the latest video from Sweet Chaos

Sweet Chaos traveled recently to Los Angles to shoot the video for their latest single,"Again & Again" — the explosive follow-up release to their self-titled, four-song 2017 EP. Produced by Matt Aslanian, the track was recorded at Aslan Studio in Dallas, Texas.

Sharing songwriting duties, Payton added that, "We have a ton of songs." And they seem quite eager for that "golden opportunity" to record a proper full-length sophomore set. Labels, take note.

-Christopher Long
(November 2018)


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Christopher Long NOW on Amazon!


C'MON! -

(Coming April 7, 2019)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

MY TOP TEN FAVORITE KISS SONGS (Guest Feature by Jesse Tanner Long)

Guest Feature
by Jesse Tanner Long

25-year-old pop culture
aficionado, ice cream
chemist, and one of my
favorite frequent guest
contributors, Jesse Long
returns with his latest
insightful Top Ten list.

Not REO Speedwagon… Not Journey… Not the Bay City RollersKISS, man! — a classic line from one of my favorite movies.

My parents actually deserve either the blame or the credit, depending on your perspective. I'd already met Peter Criss by the time I could walk. I was reciting the lyrics to "Deuce," “Firehouse” and “Cold Gin” before I knew my ABCs. And by the first grade, I'd seen the original KISS line-up in concert and had hung out with their manager, Doc McGhee — twice.

Having said that, here are my Top Ten all-time favorite KISS songs — no explanations necessary. SPOILER ALERT: they're ALL pre-solo album era classics.

"King of the Night Time World"
(Paul Stanley / Kim Fowley / Mark Anthony / Bob Ezrin)

"Hard Luck Woman"
(Paul Stanley)

"Rock Bottom"
(Paul Stanley / Ace Frehley)

"All the Way"
(Gene Simmons)

"Calling Dr. Love"
(Gene Simmons)

"100,000 Years"
(Paul Stanley / Gene Simmons)

"Love Her All I Can"
(Paul Stanley)

"Black Diamond"
(Paul Stanley)

"I Want You"
(Paul Stanley)

"I Stole Your Love"
(Paul Stanley)

So, what are some of YOUR all-time
favorite KISS picks? Feel free to post
'em in the "Comment" section below.

-Jesse Tanner Long
(November 2018)



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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

THANKSGIVING 2018: The Ten Blessings I'm Most Thankful For

The Ten Blessings
I'm Most Thankful For

Are you freakin' kidding me?
It's the holiday season again,
already? Excellent! It's the
perfect time to reflect on a few
of my best blessings of 2018.


Nigiri, Dragon Rolls, California Rolls,
Rainbow Rolls — you name it — I'm
ALL in! Yes, in 2018, I continued to be
thankful to consume copious amounts of
dee-licious raw fish on a frequent basis.


I feed him every morning. I let him out
to go potty every afternoon. And at night,
we hang out together, binge-watching
episodes of House of Cards, Ozark and
Shameless. Also known affectionately as
"Boo Boo," Buddy is my "buddy," for sure.


To survive in this crazy world, you gotta
establish solid, personal relationships with
the right people — a compassionate dentist,
a pit bull attorney, an ace accountant and
an honest, reliable, experienced mechanic.
Owned and operated by master technician,
Thomas Gerding, Rockstar Automotive
kept my wheels rollin' all year long. Top-
notch service, and he doesn't rip folks off.
Ahh, my hero!


Rush, Queen, Pablo Cruise — if these
worshiped rock icons were twice as cool,
they'd still only be half as cool as Foghat.
And when I interviewed current bassist
Rodney O'Quinn recently at a Florida
coffee shop, I was reminded once again
of the band's bona fide bone-crushing
badness. Go dig on Foghat Live — if
"Fool for the City," "Honey Hush" and
"Slow Ride" don't make you drop to your
knees and thank Jesus, somebody better
dispatch an EMT, 'cuz you're flat-lining!


I didn't see it coming. Truth be told, the
last thing I expected (or wanted) this
year was to join a new music project.
But when founding frontman Thomas
Tritt called up and asked me to play
drums for his budding Outlaw Country
combo, The Blue Diamond Band, I
just didn't have the heart to say, "no."
And what an incredible experience it
has been. The camaraderie and creative
chemistry between the members has
been incredible. And getting out and
playing live has provided me a "shot
in the arm" that I apparently needed
— just at the time I needed it most.


In 2018 I was blessed to find Palm Bay,
Florida's Centerpointe Church. Led by
Pastor Tom Walker, this wonderful
nondenominational church possesses
a pure passion for worship, while also
focusing on youth ministry, adult life
groups and global missions efforts.
Centerpointe's constant commitment
to community through various local
outreach programs is equally inspiring.


The publishing industry probably is more
of a heartbreaking soul-crusher than even
the music biz. Through the release of three
non-fiction titles, I've walked through the
publishing experience on both sides of the
fence — traditional and independent. As a
result, I was delighted and thankful in 2018
when South Carolina-based Moonshine
Cove Publishing requested a manuscript
and ultimately agreed to publish my latest
work. Entitled Superstar, my long-awaited
fiction debut will drop in April 2019.


I've been the resident DJ at Siggy's in
Palm Bay, Florida for an astounding
21 years. During that decades-long
roller-coaster ride, I've enjoyed an
incredible personal relationship with
owner, Amy Sigafoos. Much more
than my mere employer, I call her
"Mama" Siggy for myriad reasons.


It ain't easy being in a relationship with me.
In fact, it's gotta suck. But for some reason,
Diana continues to stick with me. Could it
be my chiseled good looks? Probably. All
I know is, I'm indescribably thankful for her.


My son Jesse turned 25 just recently.
Holy cow, where did the time go?
After all these years, he remains my
closet friend and confidant — despite
now living thousands of miles away.

Okay, now it's YOUR turn. What all are
YOU thankful for this year? Feel free to
share in the "Comment" section below.

-Christopher Long
(November 2018)


Score the latest books from author
Christopher Long NOW on Amazon!


C'MON! -

(Coming April 7, 2019)

Saturday, November 17, 2018

(NOT) FOR DRUMMERS ONLY: 20 Hard Hitters Who Hit Me Hardest

20 Hard Hitters Who
Hit Me Hardest

This is NOT some inane
"Best Drummers" list.
It merely is a personal
overview of some of the
players who influenced
me musically as a kid,
inspired me as a young
adult and who motivate
me to stay in the game
during my golden years.

It was an unexpected scenario. After being out of the drum game for the last several years, I found myself being offered a recent opportunity to join a developing new music project — a Florida-based country combo called the Blue Diamond Band. Truth be told, at age 55, I simply no longer had any interest in joining any band — especially given my alarming array of escalating physical limitations. Heck, my hands barely even work anymore. And often, my arms now go numb to the point of not even being able to clutch my coveted Hello Kitty coffee cup. My kick foot is solid as ever, it's just the rest of my body that's disintegrating. Oh, to be young again! But Blue Diamond's founding force, frontman / guitarist Thomas Tritt delivered a heartfelt pitch. And he clearly wasn't gonna take "no" for an answer.

These days, I gotta clutch Kitty with BOTH hands!
So, there I was late last summer, learning a host of new "outlaw"-type country tunes and a fistful of timeless classics, as well as original material. And before I knew it, I'd pieced together an adequate "practice" kit and was attending weekly rehearsals. A pro photo shoot and a live debut showcase performance followed in short order. I also began perusing area music stores and gear-related websites, pondering which "proper" new kit I wanted to purchase — cymbals, hardware etc. I also began reflecting on the players who inspired me to first pick up a pair of sticks in the first place — at age 16, back in 1978.

Onstage with my short-lived band,
the Glitter Dö
llz back in 2006.
Looking back, there were so many amazing drummers in those days who first energized me. There also were many cats who captivated me further during the '80s — not to mention the myriad heavy hitters who continue to ignite my current percussion passion.

Be sure, this is not a numbered ranking, but rather a simple chronological overview. And while I'm barely qualified to change out their drum heads, they're the artists who have made the most impacting personal impression on me. It's an eclectic collective — and there are SO many more I could have included, but that list would easily have surpassed 100. So, in the interest of time, I ramped it back to a concise 20. Dig it!



While the Carpenters were known
primarily for producing sugar-coated
pop confections, Karen Carpenter
was a jazz / rock virtuoso. And she
pulled it all off while dropping pitch
perfect lead vocals. My first drum hero!

Watch the Carpenters live - 1971


Combing heavy guitars with nasty
grooves, the Ohio Players were my
"Led Zeppelin." Driving this down
and dirty Dayton troupe was monster
badass, James "Diamond" Williams.
I recall clearly first getting knocked
out by Skin Tight. 45 years later,
I still can't cop any of "Diamond's"
licks, however, he remains one of
my all-time favorite "players."

Watch Diamond getting hot with
the Ohio Players on "Fire" - 1974


The perfect rock drummer, playing
in the perfect rock band that had just
released the perfect rock record. When I
first discovered Bun E Carlos' irresistible
work on the 1977 Cheap Trick album,
In Color, it was "game on." I had to
get a kit and start a band, posthaste.

Watch Cheap Trick live - 1977 


Possessing a stylistic feel similar
to John Bonham, Heart drummer,
Michael Derosier was my guy.
Truth be told, "Sing Child" and
"Kick it Out" just spoke to me in
ways "Dazed and Confused" and
"Whole Lotta Love" never could.
An equally masterful live player,
Derosier energized my passion
every time I saw Heart perform
in concert — particularly on the
band's 1980 Bébé le Strange tour. I
left that show literally spellbound.

Watch Heart playing "Barracuda" - live 1977


Executing crisp, concise tracks at break-
neck speed, drummer Marky Ramone
crushed many of my favorite Ramones
records, including Road to Ruin, End
of the Century and Pleasant Dreams.
I'm forever thankful to have seen the
band play live during that glorious era.

Watch the Ramones live concert performance
from the movie Rock and Roll High School.


In December 1978 I saw a promising
combo called the Pat Travers Band
perform in concert. Behind the white
Sonors  red cotton-headed former
Black Oak Arkansas drummer,
Tommy Aldridge. I'd never before
seen anybody play like him. After
buying my first drum set in 1979, I
spent most of the summer trying to
copy his licks. I still haven't come
close. His subsequent work with
the likes of Ozzy and Whitesnake
— also frustratingly magnificent.

Watch Tommy Aldridge playing
"Crazy Train" with Ozzy - live 1980


I must have gone to see the movie,
The Kids Are Alright more than
a dozen times back in 1979. As a
result, Who drummer Keith Moon
became a major hero of mine. To
this day, I still fantasize about living
in a perfect world where I can nail
"Won't Get Fooled Again."

Watch the Who performing
"Won't Get Fooled Again" - live 1977"


The guy with the big beat, playing the
little kit — Charlie Watts of the Stones.
But he's a tricky one — although his stuff
seems simple from a distance, playing
those songs always is more complicated.
He's reason I still play a four-piece set.

Watch Charlie and the Stones
"getting Happy" - live 1972


While many of my fellow teenage drummers
were hanging out with "Tom Sawyer," I was
double-parked on "157 Riverside Avenue."
The co-founding REO Speedwagon drummer,
Alan Gratzer's rock cred can't be calculated
by their cotton candy '80s content, but rather
by the punch and crunch of such '70s staples
as You Can Tune a Piano and Nine Lives.
NOTE TO SELF: Seek out Alan Gratzer.
Give him a hug and say, "I love you, man!"

Watch REO Speedwagon performing
"Flying Turkey Trot" - live 1982


I've burned through more copies of
Foghat Live than I can count CDs,
8-tracks and vinyl. And I got so tired
of replacing Stone Blue, I finally just
broke down and bought it off iTunes.
So, what's my insatiable fascination
with this legendary British boogie
brigade? Well, aside from Foghat's
iconic songs, it's (for me) ALL
about drummer, Roger Earl. Back in
the day, he had fat chops, a bitchin'
stache, a cool kit, hot chicks and
groovy threads. What else does a
guy need to be a legend? To this day,
"Honey Hush" (live) can still make
my heart race, while "Stay with Me"
still makes me weak in the knees.
The last surviving member of the
band's classic line-up, Earl continues
to carry on the proud Foghat tradition.

Watch Foghat playing "Stone Blue" live



Eric Carr gave KISS the kick in the
ass the band needed exactly when
it was needed most. While his first
KISS record hardly was a landmark
effort, his second set, Creatures of
the Night brought him worldwide
acclaim. Carr also was a consistent
live tour de force. I began playing
Ludwig drums because of Eric Carr.
Ludwig remains my go-to brand.

Watch this fantastic Eric Carr
drum solo - live 1984


Holy crap! NOBODY rocked with the
unbridled, shirtless ferocity of Romantics
drummer, Jimmy Marinos. The sky-high,
jet black coif, the skintight leather pants,
the Zebra-striped, four-piece Ludwigs and
the left-handed caveman-caliber chops. I'd
have given my "left one" gleefully to be
 Jimmy Marinos back then. I still would.

Watch the Romantics playing
"Rock You Up" - live 1984


Poison drummer, Rikki Rockett
is a superstar showman / musician
of the highest order. THIS guy still
inspires me like NOBODY else!

Watch this glorious Rikki Rockett
drum solo - live 2007



I first had the privilege of seeing
Darla Rae Perlozzi perform live
in 2017, as the drummer for
country legend, Mark Chesnutt.
Simply put, Darla "plays for the
song." Her tasty style is based on
skintight kick, snare and hi-hat.
Sometimes, less IS more, indeed.
And when I started shopping
recently for a new kit, I asked
myself one question  WWDP?
(What Would Darla Play)

Watch this cool set-ending live
snippet of Darla Rae Perlozzi 


I've admired Tommy Craig for years,
as I've watched him work his way up
through the ranks — from the L.A.
club scene in the '80s to his recent
international notoriety. But it wasn't
until we worked on a studio project
together a couple of years back that
I truly appreciated his impeccable
talent. As the current drummer for
the chart-busting Pat Travers Band,
Tommy is crushing it, unmercifully.

Watch the Pat Travers Band playing
"Snortin' Whiskey" - live 2017


As the drummer for sizzling So-Cal
punk sensation, Bad Cop / Bad Cop,
Myra Gallarza is one of the most
exciting players I've discovered in
a VERY long time — on record
and on stage. She hits like a beast
and she makes every whack count.

Watch Bad Cop / Bad Cop - live 2018


Tris Imboden: "Go fetch my
sticks and an ice-cold beverage."

Me: "Yes, Master!"

Watch Tris' "master"-ful solo - live 2013


On record, Jule Vera drummer, Kyle Horvath
always is on point. On stage, he delivers the
goods and always leaves behind a quart of
sweat. His style is intense. He packs plenty
of punch, while refusing to overplay. In
other words, he gets it ALL right. PLUS,
he plays Gretsch, which is completely cool.

Watch Jule Vera - live 2016


Don't be fooled. Doll Skin drummer,
Meghan Herring might be petite, but
holy Toledo — she's a powerhouse, fully
capable of unleashing mass destruction.
She also has restored my passion for
playing — single-handedly. Thanks!

Watch Doll Skin in concert - 2017



For years, the top item on my personal
bucket list was to seek out co-founding
Fleetwood Mac drummer, Mick Fleetwood
— hug him, and tell him I love him. And
in 2015 that mission was accomplished.
His reaction? A reciprocated hug, along
with his seemingly heartfelt reply 
"I love you too, mate!"

Watch Fleetwood Mac performing
"World Turning," featuring a brilliant
drum solo from Mick - live 2015

I hope you had fun with this feature. I sure did. Maybe you even discovered a couple of new names. Okay, drummers — now it's YOUR turn. Who has influenced YOU the most. See the "Comments" section.

-Christopher Long
(November 2018)

Score the latest books from author
Christopher Long NOW on Amazon!


C'MON! -

(Coming April 7, 2019)