While reflecting on the passing of another artist in the music industry, it brings sadness at the idea there will never be another live performance of Jimi Jamison best known for front leadman in Survivor. Jimi had joined Survivor in the early 80’s when their popularity was growing stale and with hits from the Vital Signs album including “High on You,” “I Can’t Hold Back,” and the love ballad of “The Search is Over,” Jimi Jamsion catapulting Survivor back to stardom.
Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee off the rural road of Highway 78 down the road from where Elvis once took residence, Jimi’s inspiration of music came from having relocated living with multiple relatives all under one roof to a new home when his mother remarried. With the lack of chaos and noise that once filled his home, he didn’t know what to make of this solace surrounding and turned to music.
Jimi never forgot where he came from. His dedication to benefits like St. Jude Children`s Hospital, The Special Olympics and the ARF Foundation, with Tony LaRussa of the St. Louis Cardinals emphasizes his compassionate and giving nature.
After leaving Survivor in 1987, his track record includes appearances on a number of television programs and half a dozen music videos. In addition to his solo recordings and his work with the bands above, he also contributed backup vocals to such artists as the Jeff Healy Band, Krokus, and ZZ Top. He is a founding member of the organization Voices of Classic Rock. In the last decade, Jimi reunited with his former band members for a reunion. Shortly following was a tour that included Styx and REO Speedwagon. He continued writing songs teaming up with former Survivor band member Jim Peterik and released a solo album titled “Crossroads Moment”. In 2012, he released another solo album titled “Never Too Late.” (see video clip)
His contributions to charity work, Jimi will be remembered as an inspiration.
As quoted by organizers of Monsters of Rock (MOR):
“Monsters Of Rock Portland is dedicated to joining some of the most accomplished local musicians from past to present. To foster an environment of unity and community that respects and celebrates the shared passion of Rock-N-Roll music. Monsters Of Rock Portland will be hosting events that bring this shared passion to the audience as well. The idea that the local music community should become closer is not new. Our team now can reach a variety and vast demographic that allows this dream to come true. The most important thing, is what we as musicians take away from these events: New relationships , old friends reuniting, and the bond of sharing music together while entertaining the most important thing to us as musicians..our FANS!”
MORPDX5 will be hosted at Dante’s located in downtown Portland on the corner of 2nd and Burnside. Ticket sales are only $10 and proceeds benefit ARRO Autism Research and Resources of Oregon. Check out the video produced and edited by George Sanders for a quick recap from last year’s MORPDX4:
Flashback! Big hair, mullets, spandex, vibrant colors, and teens rock’n to Night Ranger! I was still very young and just getting into the cool rock bands – Styx, REO Speedwagon, AC/DC, Scorpions, Van Halen, Aerosmith, and of course Bon Jovi! Dear friend of mine first introduced me to the group. Taking his cassette tape, he pops it in and When You Close Your Eyes played, I was hooked. I made him play it over at least three times.
The very next day I bought the Midnight Madness album. I had a scarce collection of cassette tapes, so when I took a trip to Greece back in 1984, the only music I brought with me was Night Ranger. The airflight was a 24hr excursion and I was there for an entire month. By the time I returned, I was able to cite every word, knew the order the songs came on, knew when the bridge was coming.
Making their peak of popularity in the mid 80’s , Night Ranger has hits that still rock generations: Sister Christian, patriotic tribute–(You Can Still) Rock in America, Don’t Tell Me You Love Me, Sentimental Street, and the beautifully crafted tribute to lost loves–Goodbye. Night Ranger has made their way back to Portland again where these memories came flooding back. When You Close Your Eyes has always remained one of my ultimate all time favorite songs fostering intense emotions.
Tracing their history, former band members of Rubicon Jack Blades (bassist) enlisted Kelly Keagy(drummer) and Brad Gillis (guitarist) to form a trio performing under the name Stereo. Adding to the mix was Alan Fitzgerald (keyboardist) and rounding off the group was Jeff Watson (guitarist). In 1982, the band was officially deemed Night Ranger.
Riding out the decade, Night Ranger faced their share of struggles with harsh critics comparing them to the likes of Motley Crue and Ratt. Despite the negative feedback, the fans proved this band was not going away anytime soon. Winning females over with the heartfelt lyrics, and the respect of performances of guitarists Gillis and Watson, Night Ranger pumped out continual hit songs making them one of the iconic bands of the 80’s.
Quote from Songfacts that explains the inspiration behind Jack Blades lyrics to When You Close Your Eyes:
“I thought about my old girlfriend, where we split up, and I wonder if she ever thinks about the past, and all these things you went through when you were growing up, and all these things you did when you were together, and your first love, and the first woman that I made love to. And then everybody moves on in their lives, and you just go in separate ways. And I always wondered, ‘When you close your eyes, do you think about me?’ So I finished the lyrics, flew back on Monday, and sang all the words.”
Night Ranger carries nostalgic memories for me. I want to send a personal acknowledgement to Jack and say thank you for creating a song that captures the reminiscing we all experience from time to time.
Harefest! What is not to love? Taking you back to my first Harefest experience…
It started out as my endeavor to participate in Portland’s music scene where my love of music sparked reminiscing of my days when I was a single girl. Leaving a marriage that was bad from the start (there’s a song in there somewhere!), I was excited to enjoy once again what was deep in my heart-music!
January of 2012, a co-worker had shared after hearing I favored 80’s tunes, that an event held was being held at the Crystal Ballroom featuring an 80’s band. Not quite a Cinderella story, but read on. Researching, I discovered the name of this all 80’s hits cover band was known as Radical Revolution- one of a list of many bands that are associated with J-fell productions. Moments later, I learned my supervisor was celebrating her birthday as well. Coincidently–she was hosting her celebration at the Crystal Ballroom the very night Radical Revolution was playing. No further prodding necessary, I was going!
Radical Revolution not only blew me away with the fun tunes that brought back so many fun memories for me, (Take on Me, Jack and Diane, Pour Some Sugar on Me to name a few)but the show was followed by a Journey tribute band-Stone In Love. Enticed to stay longer and listen to a band cover songs from one of my all-time favorite bands, I was hooked!
Call me a groupie, call me what you will, but I was on a high checking out the two bands calendar schedule, quickly added them to my facebook page, and signed up for the email list to be kept up to date of future events. There it was, another event produced by J-fell Productions, Harefest 2, 2012!
Reading the short excerpts about this event, I was stoked to explore this music festival making noise in Canby, Oregon. I was going to catch a glimpse of the two bands that re-ignited my passion for music. What I didn’t know was I was about to be rocked like a hurricane!
From the Friday night start, to the end of Saturday night, the weekend was one amazing tribute band after another. Radical Revolution was joined on stage with Stone In Love (Journey), Appetite for Deception (Guns ‘N Roses), Random Pressure (cover songs of various bands), and Jordan Harris who performs in a band Guy Dilly and the Twin Powers (originals), and more!
The show was tantalizing and enthralling playing non-stop aside from the transitions between bands. Food was available by the sponsoring business, The Wild Hare Saloon. A generous neighbor offered camping for all. Concluding my weekend, one of the best discoveries I made were the friendships I hold close to my heart to this day.
Harefest is the Woodstock of Canby, Oregon! Each year it has just improved its production from the years before and the bands get tighter. What is my regret? That I missed the very first one. It’s fun, it’s festive, it’s a great escape from the monotony of life, all within a short drive from Portland.
Maybe you have missed out on the prior years, but you are in for a RADICAL show! The lineup has added even more tribute bands than ever, the stage setting is stunning, and the performances are explosive! The countdown has begun for HAREFEST 2014!
This event information:
July 19th and 20th
WILD HARE SALOON
1190 SW 1st Ave
Their Alleged Album, appropriately named, took years in the making. With songs written with conviction, passion, and soul, one can not simply listen and not be impacted. Working with the growing show PDX Spotlight that focuses on Portland original artists, I have had the privilege and honor to meet with these four talented artists to ask about their album, challenges and successes along the way, and their future projects. You can check out the episode that features One From Many coming in September on channel 11.
Early dedicated fans may remember the band as FarCry. It was during this initial time that band members Supina and McCormick reached levels of success not easily obtained appearing as opening acts for headliners such as Everclear, 3 Days Grace, Landon Pigg, and Floater. They made appearances on the syndicated “Mark and Brian” radio show and received regional airplay for their two popular EPs. Suffering an internal breakdown, Supina and McCormick were highly motivated to re-establish a group they could develop a strong foundation with that collectively push through the difficult phases any artist have to contend with.
Their album appropriately titled “The Alleged Album” was named as the project took so long in the making that everyone kept asking about the progress. Although sharing which song I favor the most is close to impossible, I take favor to two in particular, “Shape of Your Heart” and “Your Eyes.” I don’t deny I am “mesmerized” (there’s an intended use of this word) by lyrics. When a song can reach into my soul and make me feel the story the writer is conveying, I make a connection and it touches my heart. “Your Eyes” had me from the first lines. Sorry, but I’ll save the details on this. If you want to know, you’ll have to listen to the song. wink! But, it’s a beautiful love ballad poetically written by Supina. To correct the guys on this, it is NOT because I am a chick and “chicks dig those love ballads.” It’s all about the lyrics gentlemen! “I swear it wasn’t a lie, you’re on my heart for life!” When the connection is something I personally have experienced, then the song is added to my top faves.
Although the men are on a journey of continued growth and success, tragedies and trouble have not eluded them. I will not go into great detail on the specifics of the circumstances as you can go to their link and read their bio. They openly share their trials and tribulations ranging from broken homes to near death vehicle crashes, addictions to divorces. After the extensive behind the scenes interview, I can see that they have this resolution from these experiences resulting in true compassion, acceptance, and patience for others. One thing I can say for this group is that they have an innate sense of humor. I think it helps get them through their stressful moments any band family can have. I don’t think I lasted five minutes without laughing at something they said or did. A question I had to target to Trigger, as he is affectionately known as, “what kind of product do you use in your hair?” His reply, “any and all kinds.”
So what’s ahead for One From Many and where can you find them? For starters you can visit their website at ofmmusic.com for the latest on their upcoming shows. They are currently working on a second album. To add to the experience and truly embrace the name “One From many”, they are planning on involving fans in the process. A kickoff show is set for Aug 16th where fans can preview tracks and help decide on which songs they want to be a part of the album.
Joshua “Trigger” Elie-guitar/vocals
Joe von Hagen – bass
Joshua McCormick- guitar/vocals
Bobfather Gracenote Lynn – drums
My first time seeing Black Powder County, they certainly blew me away! With music that just magnifies the talent behind the instruments, BPC rocks every show and captures the audience from the very first song. It didn’t take me long to introduce myself to this young band eager to learn their upcoming calendar dates. I have since become friends with the guitarist from down under, Tim Deq, and invited him to share some background as well as the future of BPC. His charismatic personality in addition to the Australian accent made every conversation with this mate entertaining from the get-go. Tim stands proud performing live all over PDX and beyond with fellow bandmates Jake-Lead vocalist and guitar, Manny – Bass, and Josh -Drummer.
How did you come up with your band name? -Painfully! But we all met on the plain of enlightenment, where we meditated for several months. It truly was a mash up of names we all liked.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together? – It still continues to evolve every writing session, but we have seen how we have become more in your face and more technically driven.
What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences? – Our music is definitely Hard/Heavy Rock bordering on Metal. My major influences are too many to list, but the top ranking artists are: Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slash, Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Buckcherry.
Where have you performed? What are your favorite venues? – Our favorite shows/venues were the Collective Soul, Kansas & Blue Oyster Cult Opening/Closing performances we did for them. We also have been playing some of the awesome venues in Portland like The New Copper Penny, Hawthorne Lounge/Theater, Ash Street Saloon to name a few.
What has been the best thing about being a musician? – Being able to express myself in ways that cannot be relayed using normal communication methods. And to entertain!
If you could play with another artist, who would it be/why? – It would be Slash as he has been the biggest inspiration to me as a guitarist & it’s on my bucket list!
What is the most memorable “fan” moment? – Having a young bloke (note the Aussie term) in the audience telling me that I inspire them! Mostly it is every moment seeing the joy on their faces.
Do you have a record label? Are you a member of any music organizations? – No we are currently an Indie band, but are produced by Kevin S. Hahn (Opal Studios) who has worked with the likes of The Scorpions & Floater. The only music based organizations we are a part of are all social media based, like Reverbnation.
What is the most out of date piece of music you have and what band is it? – Crikey that is a hard one! Well I have still over 500 cassette tapes so in today’s day and age that is all out of date. If we are talking the oldest music, it would have to be my classical collection, as I have pretty much every composer.
Does this Aussie like sports? -Yes, Basketball, Rugby League and AFL Football (Not Soccer)
What is your favorite clothing item/why? – My hats/beanies, cause they cover my aging receding hairline and baldness, that’s why I shave it!
What kind of pets do you have and what are their names? -Well geez, I have a farm so essentially have a lot of critters, 3 Chickens, 4 Dogs, 5 Cats, 6 Horses. My Dog’s name is Marla.
Outside of music, what is the best job you ever had? – Being a Dad, but on the money making job side it is being a Server Engineer (IT Industry)
(Most of us have been there at some point) So-worst breakup ever? -My first Divorce.
If you had a million dollars but could not spend it on yourself or your family, can’t invest it, what would you do with it? – I would use it to help all those in need from all walks of life, but mainly anything to do with helping disadvantaged children & their families.
What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune? – We are wanting to share our music to the masses and continue to set goals to perform at higher levels enjoying the musical journey on the way, now if the fame and fortune were to eventuate from our hard work, then that is the bonus to what and why we do what we do!
What is the best advice you have ever been given? -Be Authentic in everything you do!
What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands? – If your wanting to make it, like life you have to have somewhat of a plan. Find members with the same drive, enthusiasm & commitment. Be committed yourself & practice hard. Don’t force the creativity & be open to suggestion. Be authentic in approaching the music. And most important of all, have a bloody good time, as it is an awesome journey, where even if you were not to succeed to a high level, you sure as heck had fun doing it!
I want to thank Tim for taking his time out for me and opening himself up to the fans. For those who want a great night of some heavy rock sound, go check out Black Powder County!
For those who may not have heard of this band, if you are a fan of the movie “Rock Star” starring Jennifer Aniston and Mark Wahlberg, you most likely recognize their hit song, “We All Die Young.”
Born in 1964 in Croatia, Miljenko Matijevic recognized his influence of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath were not paralleling the likes of his father. Constantly battling with the approval of their father, Mil and his brother formed a band called Teazer when producer Morgan Walker took note. In a glimpse, New York City they were bound but it all soon fell apart.
Using The Mission and Red Alert as stepping stones, Mil and half the band took off for LA. With a month behind them, a new agent, and a record deal, they recorded their debut album “Steelheart.” With another album behind them, Tangled in Reins, and successful tours, Steelheart was invited to open for a band called Slaughter. It was Halloween night, the Denver based fans at The McNichols arena would never forget.
While performing the song “Dancing in the Fire” Mil climbed a lighting truss not knowing it was improperly secured. The falling rig struck Mil on the back of his head crushing him to the stage face first. Mil suffered a broken nose, cheekbone, jaw, twisted spine and needed 28 stitches in the back of his head. What should have rightfully taken Mil’s life immediately, left him to stand to his feet and walk off the stage leaving 13,000 fans with memories of that performance that would never be forgotten. Steelheart died that night.
The next few chapters of Mil’s life was filled with bits of betrayal by his manager, loss of family members close to him, and attempts at picking up where he left off he finally completed the album Wait, appropriately titled because it took him so long to win his freedom from the record company as well as his manager.
In the recent past, Mil made attempts at forming new bands but nothing came close as the original albums that brought Steelheart its fame. After losing his father in 2003, Mil worked on a new album Good 2B Alive, thoughtfully named for having to learn that everything that has happened in Mil’s life prepared him to what he feels is his best work yet.
Steelheart has been on tour in the last few years, although currently there is no schedule listed.
I leave you with this quote from Mil:
“From anger to peace, through pain to understanding, with patience to victory.”
For more information:
Come party with the boyz from Shoot to Thrill – An ACDC Tribute up close and personal!
Music starts at 9pm
$10 Cover (no advance tix, so get there a bit early!)
The Gemini in Lake Oswego!
- This group is explosive! Black Powder County!February 6, 2014 - 3:22 am
I was blown away when I first saw this band’s performance! They have infectious energy powered with technique and skills that give the audience a spontaneous combustion show!Their soon to be released Debut album is a rock & roll eulogy with a natural raw feel with sonically inspired edginess. It’s a Hard Rock rebirth for […]