Christmachine Easy On The Ears Debut Volumes – The Calm Before The Storm…

Christmachine Easy On The Ears Debut Volumes – The Calm Before The Storm…

The Calm Before The Storm Christmachine Easy On The Ears Early Volumes – Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza

 

Here we go, finally!  Tomorrow begins the reviews en masse.  The first new post review format (tomorrow) will be longer than others that follow because it will include all the information on the way this new format will be presented.  It will also include, most importantly, the specific album review itself.

How it will work is that I will name tomorrow’s review, “Christmachine Easy On The Ears Volume #30”.  The reason for this is that over the past few years we have done 29 reviews of albums (Located in past posts on this website), the thing is that they were not labelled and tagged with the new “Easy On The Ears Volume # xxx format.

So in this last post before the new series begins (tomorrow), I wanted to give direct links to  the previous reviews here on the website to make it easier for newcomers to understand how past legacy works relate to those that follow.  Further to make it easier for everyone to just click the links posted below, for those who want to view them without having to navigate the whole website.

So, here goes…

 

Christmachine Easy On The Ears Volume #00001

Beck – “Morning Phase” The Review: My Process ~ Vinyls Vs. Digitals CD/HD Tracks…

 

Christmachine Easy On The Ears Volume #00002 – #00004

The Beatles – “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” The Ultimate Review: My Process ~ Vinyls Vs. Digitals W/ Mono And Stereo Love!…Part #1

 

Christmachine Easy On The Ears Volume #00005

The Beatles – “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” The Ultimate Review: My Process ~ Vinyls Vs. Digitals W/ Mono And Stereo Love!…Part #2 [2 UPDATES]

 

Christmachine Easy On The Ears Volume #00006 – #00020

The Best Of “The Beatles” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special]

 

Christmachine Easy On The Ears Volume #00021 – #00029

The Best Of The “Led Zeppelin” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special] [Second Pass Edit 07/02/14]

 

 

So there you have it.  Nice and simple…hope we explained so as not to confuse others that are unfamiliar.  I look forward to this new format, as well as writing more in between over the coming years. Be well.

 

Love You Lots! Stay Well, Be Kind & Bless.

Tak Tak, Bless!

Grazie, Ciao!

Obrigadx, Tchau! Adeus!

Gracias, Adios!

(Vielen) Danke, Tchuss!

Merci, Au revoir!

Dank je…Bedankt, Alstublieft!

Merci Vilmal, Adeau!

Gracies, Adieu!

Gracies, Adeu!

 

CM ☕

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the (nutty) author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

Copyright © 2017 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine ☕

DAP’s, Portable Rig And Driveline Specs Updated For Reviews, Going Forward

DAP’s, Portable Rig And Driveline Specs Updated For Reviews, Going Forward…

The Updated Specs are in Bold below.

AK120 Portable Digital Audio Player and Amplifier Stack ©Christmachine 2017

 

VinylTransfer(Needledrop) / Reel To Reel Transfer/ HD TRAcks/ CD to FLAC/ALAC/ WAV/.mp3(320kbps) -> AK120 (No Mods) 24/192 Capable Portable Audio Reference Server (2 X Stock Wolfson WM8740 DAC’s [One For Each Channel]) w/ 3-ohm output impedance (64GB Onboard FLASH + 2 x 200GB San Disk Micro SDXC-10 Cards) -> ALO Audio SXC 22 mini to mini 3 Wire Silver Plated Copper -> ALO Audio International Headphone Amp w/ 24bit96kHz DAC w/ Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC Chip -> ALO Audio Green Line (balanced universal mini XLR) w/classic copper sends and silver-plated copper returns -> ALO Audio Green Line RSA 4 pin Balanced XLR -> Audeze LCD2 Bamboo rev. 2G w/mini XLR Metal Reinforced Male Input Connects.

Additional DAP Source Players: Fiio X5 & The Pono Player (For Cross Reference Listening).

Additional Headphones Used: Sennheiser HD700, Audio Technica ATH M50 (OLD Model w/ Coil Chord), Sony MDRV6 (Studio Monitor w/ Coil Chord).

Note #1…I do not use IEM’s (In Ear Monitors) so one has to know whether or not their particular IEM’s match with the 3 Ohm Output Impedance of the AK120.

Note #2…You will notice that the AK120 was not modified (for lower output impedance) as I did with the AK100.  The reason I chose not to modify is because I wanted to use a stock AK120 player…so others could hear what I was hearing if they so choose.

 

Here Is a link to the Spec Sheet for the AK120 (PDF Opens New Tab).

http://www.soundfidelity.co.uk/media/downloads/products/AstellKern_AK120_Manual_English.pdf

 

Disclaimer:  As you know this site is not here to sell anyone anything, so I must disclose that the Pono Player was given to me, as I was an early stage beta tester.  I did not know I was going to be asked to be a beta tester nor did I know that we would be able to keep the player after testing was completed.  More on that another time…I will say that whatever you have read, the people behind Pono are well intentioned.  They created a damn good DAP…all criticisms aside, they really were and are (in the end) just trying to move Hirez forward.  This is a win for all.  The Pono Player will not be a main feature in reviews…I just wanted to let people know my source DAP’s for info.

 

As Far as the other DAP’s:

Some quick thoughts that might be helpful.  I never use the bundled software with the DAP units.  You want headaches…then use the software.  I simply use the DAP’s as default external drives, when plugged into the computer, just drag and drop my music files / folders into the onboard flash or memory cards.  I fill the memory cards by using the adaptor that comes with the cards and do the heavy transferring of music files via the memory card slot on the computer.

Another helpful hint, with the exception of the Pono Player which automatically scans my it’s memory at startup, I never ever ever scan my AK120 DAP…there is no need for me to do so.  I turn automatic scanning off on the AK120 and just remember where I put the files.  I just organize the folders in a way that makes it pretty simple to navigate.  On occasion it will take a minute or two to find something but it’s not a burden.

I don’t listen the way most people do…I do not use playlists, I tag my own files with mp3 Tag freeware, I listen to full albums (except for maybe electronic).  Every time I listen to an album I try to listen for something I never heard before, and every time…no matter how many listens, it presents itself.  I’m not trying to tell anyone how to listen to their music but I see people giving excellent DAP’s a bad review because the software was buggy, or they fill their memory cards with hundreds of GB of music while in the DAPs’ expansion slots.  Sometimes the GUI in the player itself is a little glitchy, but never miserable unless you’re expecting iPhone fast.

I Have had the AK120 for 2 years now and I use it daily with no battery issues…recharge is  slow, just plug in at night and it’s ready to go the next morning.  I do not use the DAP’s continuously all day, I switch between the phone to DAP’s throughout the day and they just work.  A little clunky but sounds damn good enough to make up for any shortfalls.

Next Up Reviews…

 

 

If there’s anything I forgot I will add to the update section below this sentence.

Update: 

As of today 02/23/17 No Updates At This Time.
Thanks For Reading & All Your Endless Support!

Love You Lots! Stay Well, Be Kind & Bless.

Tak Tak, Bless!

Grazie, Ciao!

Obrigadx, Tchau! Adeus!

Gracias, Adios!

Danke, Tchuss!

Merci, Au revoir!

Dank je…Bedankt, Alstublieft!

Merci Vilmal, Adeau!

Gracies, Adieu!

Gracies, Adeu!

 

CM ☕

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the (nutty) author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

Copyright © 2017 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine ☕

Now With That Out Of The Way, Back To Christmachine – Audio Reference Server

Now With That Out Of The Way, Back To Christmachine – Audio Reference Server

Ahhh… Where Do You Keep The Vinyl Rips and Hi Resolution Digital Files ? ——————————–>Photo Courtesy Of Doc KEYAZA!!!

 

So there has been enough (So much!) time passed, it’s blatantly obvious to me that no one else will create an Audio Reference Quality Standards Catalogue for individual album releases.  The powers that be have showed us time and time again that they feel that we should be left in the dark about the music we have purchased and continue to purchase.  It’s loud and clear, they do not have to, there is no other option.

All we asked for was lineage and provenance of recordings that we spend gobs of cash for, as well as the textual and numerical details as to how they mastered, remastered, and transferred the new releases. Once again we are left clueless as to what we are purchasing. We know it can be done, some releases have done just that, usually projects overseen by reputable audio engineers.

I do understand that in some cases they do not know some of these details as they have been lost to time, poor record keeping, lack of proper labeling, and a sad state of storage of the original master tapes.  In some cases they don’t even know whether they are the “original studio masters” or well travelled copies.  We saw that in the report on the sad state of historical music archiving, much has been lost or destroyed….as we know back just a few decades ago music industry analysts and label bosses went with the prevailing wisdom, why would we want to preserve all this music–who is going to want it?  What is the use?

This:

https://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub148/pub148.pdf

And ESPECIALLY This (Re-Post):

http://www.billholland.net/words/Labels%20Strive%20to%20Rectify%20Past%20Archival%20Problems.pdf

 

Now that they realize the marketing and money making potential, oh the irony there, eh?  All we have asked for is crumbs; forget about the old arguments (for a moment) on the loudness wars, whether high rez audio can be heard by the human ear (The Nyquist Theorem), Wheather vinyl has more warmth and soul, whether expensive cables give a +/- better listening experience, The law of diminishing returns, “Sources? / Laws of Science?, Do CD’s suck, the failure of SACD, .mp3’s are garbage, etc.  Noel Gallagher saying there will be no more vinyl niche as an industry in a few short years as a result of streaming (He thinks? I agree, he is probably right).

With that said, our niche is just that–our niche, and it will continue as long as the electric grids are up.  Even then some of us crazies will be powering phonographs with a stationary bike, using a carefully sharpened fishbone as a rudimentary needle, a significant other propping up a makeshift jimmy-rigged cardboard cone to telescope and carry those wondrous melodies to the flash mobs in our living rooms.  Vinyl wear and tear bad, but for a time the ears are very good.

Remember what is normal any way, and relative to what?  With those previous dire predictions of the future, keeping in mind that some of us have never had or witnessed an argument on the early Yahoo and Alta Vista message boards about the wonders of Hi Resolution Audio (It will always be Hi-rez to me, soz!), I will try to parse mixed nuts.  Threading the needle like a steaming locomotive on crazy good meds, diplomacy will avail for all, no matter what our differences.  Joy!

 

Why don’t we focus on the things that which we do agree.

  1. We pay a lot of money re-purchasing music over and over.
  2. Music listening is a different subjective experience for each person.
  3. It “can” take a wee bit of trained ear (Not a B.S Degree), to hear improvements.
  4. The music is only as good as it’s source.
  5. ABX’ing can, not always, but “can” manifest as human listening fallibility & weakness.
  6. Placebo affect and bias are real “things”[sic].
  7. Provenance and Lineage of our recordings is Interesting and “nice” to have.
  8. There is such a thing as “brick walling”, “anti aliasing”, and de-noising”.
  9. There is more than one type of compression in music.
  10. Type A removes many of the tiny spaces to make music file formats smaller.
  11. Type B holds the fidelity of the performance together, Very Good!
  12. Good source players are available at many price ranges.
  13. There are good headphones and bad headphones at all price ranges.
  14. When in noisy public settings, audio nuances tend to decline.
  15. You Do NOT need to be an audiophile, to source good quality audio (If Available).
  16. Audiophiles can be nuts, same with Hi-Rez deniers. (In a good way 😉 )
  17. That said, Head-fi has it’s place, and deniers seem to hang around bigly.
  18. There are, subjectively to each of us, good mastering engineers and poor ones.
  19. We all have to listen to our source material and make our own judgements.
  20. I can have (IMO); my own vast archive of “self-proclaimed” Reference Quality Vinyl Rips, Hi-Rez digital lossless [FLAC 24/48, 24/96, 24/172, 24/192, 32 bit float, .WAV, even ALAC and DSD], quality sourced and mastered CD’s [16/44] etc., portable DAP’s/amps/DAC’s, and use .mp3’s and Youtube to preview and stream when need be.  It’s fine that you might consider this fodder, trendy, and hipsterish.  I often use apple ear buds while on the go with the mobile. I’m not a gobsmacked music snob…I listen to AC/DC cranked on the local radio in the car, beautifully overbearingly loud in all its overly-compressed glory.  I’d dance randomly in the street to an 80’s boombox with cassettes daily if these types of gatherings where more frequent.
  21. You can have 50,000 lossy .mp3’s on the go, with an excellent ear, sourcing quality CD’s and audio on your own volition (all without my schtick). You might even listen to vinyl for nostalgia purposes possibly.  Further you own low cost but excellent sounding source players as well as an expensive pair of headphones and/ or IEM’s. Even bluetooth love…it’s almost 5.0 (I too am sick of those frickin tangly chords). There’s nothing wrong with any of that.  What I’m getting at is it doesn’t matter.
  22. We can all site the Nyquist Theorem till we are blue in the face, and never get anywhere…agree to disagree perhaps.  If you’re happy, I am happy.
  23. Electronic music and Hip Hop does not and should not have to follow any of these rules.  Electronic music tends to sound great, almost always produced very well, unless it’s a very low bit rate or has been up sampled, but that is usually by design.  Hip Hop needs to be vicious or passive aggressive and Bassy…clean tight bassy…Superb dope! The only reservation I have is when either genre is too bright and shreds my ears. It’s rare, again unless by design.
  24. Classical music is on the other end of the spectrum…the rules DO very very very much apply. Soundstage and instrument separation are paramount.  Loud and soft, loud and soft just like The Pixies or Nirvana. A muddy midrange is a killer.  Attack, sustain, decay should be transparently punchy, grainy, and accurate.  The music has to breathe and pulse…ripping the heart right out your chest even with headphones on. Emotions, knocked about, tugged like a puppet to strings. It should convey an air of atmospheric space with perceivable parameters…and in a perfect world, pseudo-holophonic sound, as if you the listener can imagine you’re there live sitting center stage with the orchestra wrapped 180 degrees from ear to ear.  You’ll know something is wrong right off, a piano from each and every-little-single-ebony-to-ivory key is muddled together as one, or squashed in a constant spew of notes like an accordion. We should be able to perceive and hear milliseconds of spaciation[sic] and be acute to a differentiation between every single tapped key, no matter how fast the piece. I’ve said before piano is the hardest instrument to reproduce in recording with accuracy.  If that’s muddy then it’s all over.  I won’t get started on the pneumatic breath of the solo cello…you get my drift.
  25. Pop music…It depends on if it’s good! 😉 😉

So with all that said we arrive at the conclusion that we may not agree subjectively.  Please forgive me, as I was being purposefully presumptuous in some of the things I said above… but that is not the point.  I’m just generalizing for the sake of getting at the crux.  Most of the people reading this will not care one way or the other.  Some will be bored to tears as to, “what is the going on and on about”.  In the end we all just love music and are devilishly passionate about it–Pretty simple, no? 🙂

So, in the past I did some reviews….Beck, The Beatles Catalogue, Led Zeppelin Catalog, etc., they each get hundreds of hits daily as reference, awesome.  I also posted full album playlists (with some lineage)…it was quite subtle, again on purpose as to what I have deemed a Reference Quality Audio Recording.  I don’t know if I said it outright, I may have…If not my tongue in cheek went over people’s heads. A failed attempt by me.  Yes, you are left to taking me at my word, have to search for it yourself, and availability is spotty.  I know it’s somewhat authoritarian but let your ears be the judge.  There were many times I have searched for a single particular recording over weeks and months before finally getting a hold of it.  Time well spent!

If you search hard enough you will be able to get a hold of same source as I did, some searches will be easy, others will require patience and time.  Moderately I will recommend the High-Rez digital transfer available for everyone to purchase with a quick download and some cash.  I have no stake in this…no adverts, self funded hosting and servers.  I’m just passionate about music and everything else, and I know you are as well, or you would not be reading this.

Just a note **** again, the night site is under maintenance (The links from here the day page are static as of writing this)…It will be up again soon enough.  I’m going to do all those recordings here on the main page individually anyhow.  So there will probably be some updates as well.  When live, it will give you an idea of some of what I will cover, and it is only a small part of projected works.

From now on instead of taking a few months to do mega reviews, although I will someday do the Complete Pink Floyd Archives Posts (Damn there I go again, that’s one exception), from now on there will be single album releases (From past and present) which a single post can be done in one day.  I will do whatever I am listening to and I have in my wheelhouse as the best recordings and rips / digital to date.  The posts will vary widely in style, genre, and medium.  One day or two could be Thrash, the next Classical, Jazz, Electronic, Pop, wherever the music takes me.

In between I will continue to do my sordid stories, post mixes, photos, memorabilia, any type of art really.  I intend on making this site better by making it a reference site for individual albums.  In that vein It would make it possible for those who do not want to read my silly erotica, still be able to come here intentionally via direct link or search engine in order to just browse my reviews and recommendations on specific albums…quick and easy.

In conclusion, each album will have an easy to read, specific format that I have worked out, and tweak things as I go along.  If there is anything extra about a specific release that you would like to see, send me an email or message.  If I can get the info – I will post it or write you back.  Understand that I cannot council and/or recommend file sharing or piracy, so do not ask…messages from readers as to these types of questions will go unanswered.   No disrespect…just being clear.

 

Thanks For Reading & All Your Endless Support. My Readers Are Awesome!

Love You Lots! Stay Well, Be Kind & Bless.

 

Tak Tak, Bless!

Grazie, Ciao!

Obrigadx, Tchau! Adeus!

Gracias, Adios!

Danke, Tchuss!

Merci, Au revoir!

Dank je…Bedankt, Alstublieft!

Merci Vilmal, Adeau!

Gracies, Adieu!

Gracies, Adeu!

 

CM ☕

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

Copyright © 2017 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

 

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine ☕

What do Sharon And Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads, Def Leppard, Anthony Bourdain, And Deep Sea Fishing All Have In Common – Cape Cod Massachusetts

[FIRST PASS EDIT – July 18, 2015] I will add more to this Article & Edit in the coming days!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

It’s that time of year, time to head to the beach, sand, water, and sun of your local beach haunts for vacation.  It’s my favorite time of year to sit by the shore and listen to the soft splash of tiny rippled waves on the shore of the inner bay of Cape Cod. Only one of two places for east coasters to see the sun setting into the water to the west from the arm hook of the outer Cape in Truro, MA.  I have spent a week or two here every summer ever since I can remember.  The cottages are rustic and look to be built of driftwood, and overlook the Cape’s inner bay from atop a huge cliff, where one can sit and on a clear day and see the the full length of the inner arm of land from Sandwich to Provincetown.  I can assure you that it is absolutely breathtaking.  The cliff is so high that adjacent to our usual cottage on the hill, all day long, hand gliders launch from the peak and wind back and forth over the water until they descend back onto the sun dried black sea weed laden beach.  There is a winding wood stairwell that allows beach goers to go down to the tepid sea, so long is the stairs that there is a rest stop with benches about half way down the winding stairwell.

My time is based on the tidal schedule for each day, two high tides and two low tides, each separated by a six hour push and pull from the moon.  High tides are for catching rays, swimming, and beach volleyball…and on occasion fishing.  Low tides are for exploring and catching dinner.  What makes the low tides so special is that the ocean retreats for a good mile leaving teaming tidal pools of fish and sandbars loaded with Steamer Clams, Quahogs, Scallops, and large Red and Blue Crabs.  Just grab the rake out of the boot and a five gallon bucket with floaters and go nuts.  You can get the famous Wellfleet Oysters and Cherry Stones a few miles up the beach at the local seeding grounds.  The beaches are private but not exclusive as anyone can walk the length of them all the way to the tip of Cape Cod’s Race Point in Provincetown.  The good thing about this is that the beaches are not crammed with people and allow for a healthy catch of the sea’s bountiful fruit.

Every other year or so we get an extra special treat when millions of baby White Jellyfish are born and as you swim, all around you is an electric ocean full of gelatinous glee.  The just-born Jellyfish are only an inch to two inches in diameter and do not have the ability to sting yet.  I tell you friends this is nature in it’s most infinite form.  Yes I was intimidated at first being surrounded by these strange creatures, but as you swim and a sense of wonder takes over, one realizes that Rachel Carson is alive and well beside these wonders of nature.  The woman who owns all the cottages (who is legally blind by the way), every day runs her medium size metal boat with a yacht sized Evinrude Outboard Motor onto the shore and takes anyone who wants to go out deep into the bay to go fishing.  When the Bluefish are running there are so many wildly whacked out fish, that they sometimes jump right into the boat. Can it get any better than that?

I remember my Grandparents and the rest of my family sitting on the beach wasting the days away.  My grandfather would have on his pork-o-pie hat and a frosty cold cracked Black Horse or Ballantine Ale.  With a cooler by his side, under his beach chair he would always have his beloved heartbreaking Sox on a single speaker AM transistor radio.  Finishing off the look, rocking a hand carved Italian Briarwood Pipe packed with Sir Walter Raleigh Tobacco.  The thick grey smoke curled locks into the air and left a nutty sweet aroma on the beach which along with the salty brine air left me with an impression that I can call forth any time I want to experience it with eyes closed and a sly wry smile.

At the end of the day we would head back to the cottage for dinner and my grandmother would boil and fry anything I caught and we would all partake. Usually we would be eating   plenty of Cod, Flounder, and Fluke, but one time I caught a six foot Bull Shark and I ate shark steaks for weeks.  The Quahogs I dug up would be chopped up for New England Clam Chowder set in a stew of Pork Belly, Sweet Vidalia Onions, fresh Cream, Salted Butter, and hefty amounts of thyme and tender chunked potatoes. Raw Oysters and Cherrystones (Littleneck Clams) would serve as appetizer for a chocked meal of Lobster, Crab, Scallops, fresh shucked sugar corn (on the cob) along with the daily catch.  My favorite though was always the Steamer Clams, with purified drawn butter dipped in Steaming Clam Broth which I would drink down by the cup along with my every meal…even cold as a chaser for breakfast with endless wild blueberry buttermilk pancakes and tons of hot coffee.

After dinner we would go out and fly kites off the edge of the cliff as the sun went down in the distance.  One time a plane flying directly over us clipped one of the kite’s lines and flew away with it trailing and flailing in tow for a short while and then after a minute or so we watched the kite let go from the plane and slowly drift it’s way down into the deep ocean.  We would sit on picnic tables and plan the most exciting part of the day which would come right before sundown.

As I said at the point of twilight we would have a brigade of vehicles drive the few short miles to the tip of the cape at Provincetown.  This eccentric little enclave would provide us plenty of hand packed home made ice cream loads of salt water taffy, fried dough, and an assortment of other treats ( I loved the fruit slices, no pun intended).  What was so great about Provincetown besides the food and drink, was the eclectic people who at the time were a rare crowd based on respect and tolerance of “alternative lifestyles” (silly moniker that) but I remember a day when people were afraid to go there, worried their kids might catch some of the “good vibes” eminating from it’s core.  This was decades before celebrities would come out of the closet and it became trendy to do so.  The drag queens and leather bears would be out in full force…but one would quickly learn they were only the nicest and coolest crowd ever.  They would have DJ’s and bands playing music in the streets with parades and floats overflowing with gay pride.  How wonderful that there was such an oasis at that time…when it was considered taboo and even criminal in many other places.  Oh and by the way I never caught “gay” or felt intimidated or creeped out even as a child.  One thing that has changed as of today is that the crowd at that time who was struggling to be accepted by society are all now professionals and as a result, Provincetown has been affected by gentrification, sounds familiar…pretty normal.

Provincetown was originally a Portuguese Fishing Villiage for hundreds of years and you only had to go through one blinking yellow light all the way, several miles from Wellfleet to Provincetown.  Although fishing has become secondary to the town economy as a result of catch limits and overfishing, there are still the fighting few who live from year to year on the edge of defeat.  Provincetown was and is also a place where some of the most influential artists, writers, and playwrights in America have come seeking solace and solitude to live in totem pole shacks amongst the voracious dunes on The Cape Cod National Sea Shore.

I was prompted to write this piece recently for a few reasons…first it was one of my feel good summer posts, the next of which will be about another of my summer getaways, Maine.  After that I’ll focus on my trek across Canada and the Northwest US, with a few tour posts in between.  Second I was recently watching one of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown Episodes (On CNN) about the Outer Cape, Cape Cod, and Provincetown where Bourdain began his cooking journey in the early 1970’s.  Standing on the beach in front of the yellow house he and friends rented for a summer, Bourdain talked about his first bag of dope and his foray into cooking and washing dishes, learning the ropes at a Provincetown restaurant.  I wonder if they ever hazed him and sent him to another restaurant to get “The Fry-o-Later Key”.

The funny thing was while he was pointing out the house…I knew exactly which one it was in Truro, right were I always vacation.  I used to walk by his back door almost every day during my long walks on the beach (he did say that he was only there for a summer methinks).  Trying not to be creepy or stalkerish here-as I am a fan…heheh!  I got to thinking will this house one day be a point of pilgrimage for aspiring foodies…don’t worry I will not post the address…saving the poor owners of that cottage a whole lot of headaches.  We all know what it’s like at Jim Morrison’s[sic] grave in Paris.  Silly to go there I know…I don’t know Bourdain although we were “friends” on Facebook (until I shut it down)  a few years back, but now as his legend has grown he seems to avoid me like the plague on twitter, although I have gone back and forth with Zamir (that’s just as good).  I just dig his writing and travels…maybe it’s the cavalier drug references I make with so many dying in it’s wake of destruction.  I know it’s a serious subject, drug addiction in MA, people are overdosing and dying all the time.  I have been there myself and it’s very sad the damage it’s causing, sucks. My writing is nowhere near as good as his so why would he notice anyway. His publicist is probably thinking in his hashtag feed, who is this douchebag who mentions his name. Note to self…do not go on tangents.

Ok…to get to the title of this article.  It was August 7, 1981 and I was staying at the usual summer cottage in Truro, Cape Cod.  Across the sand packed road from our humble abode I met another kid who was staying in the cottage across the street.  So we were hanging out listening to music in his room when his uncle showed up to stay with his family.  He comes in the room and says something to the effect ‘that they were going to have a blast this vacation, that he brought all his Warren Zevon, Boz Scaggs, and Journey Albums on Vinyl.’  After that announcement he tells us what we’re doing tonight, “going to see Ozzy Osbourne and Def Leppard at The Cape Cod Coliseum.”  At first I thought he meant just them, but he then pulled out four tickets and demanded that I go too.  I was a big Ozzy fan but I had never heard of Def Leppard.  Go figure, I did not know anything about Randy 810Rhoads either, except that he was the guitarist on the album.  For some reason I thought of the Blizzard of Oz band was all Ozzy for some reason…I was a big Sabbath fan as well.   It was the Blizzard Of Oz Tour and I did have the Blizzard of Oz album which my aunt had bought for me and I had listened to over and over a thousand times in the previous few months since it’s release.

The problem was that there was no way my parents were going to let me go to an Ozzy concert at such a young age.  I did not even know they were playing practically up the street from us in South Yarmouth, MA.  I remember seeing a flyer at the time for the tour in a rock magazine and it specifically stated “Do Not Come To This Show If You Have Mental Tendencies Because You Will Leave Even More Mental” which we all know now that was all just publicity fluff, but the word going around the neighborhood at home at the time was that it was true and Ozzy killed animals live onstage.  All silly hogwash (pretty much anyway lol). There were tons of rumors floating around at the time that Ozzy would throw live puppies into the audience and would not perform unless they came back onstage dead.  Oh and there where the Alice Cooper Vs. Ozzy gross out challenge rumors.  You get the picture…all a load of shit of course.

So when I said there was no way I was going to be able to go, my new friend replied …’Just tell your parents you are going to stay here for the night and then you can come.’  Ah ok…good one, I thought.  So I went to our cottage and went through the motions and the rents were fine with that outright lie.  I grabbed a sleeping bag and pillow and went back to my friend’s cottage…we cranked up some Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, one last problem, I had no money.  My friend’s uncle said ‘Don’t worry about it…the ticket is on me’.  So soon after, we hopped in the back of my his uncles pickup truck and took off for the 815show.  We got there a little early for the tailgate party and the air was ripe with dope smoke and everyone was pounding beers.  I think it was probably the only show I’ve ever gone to sober.  You know how metal shows are…everyone was screaming obnoxiously great stuff. Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy, ya know!

So we went into the show and I now know it was Def Leppard’s High ‘n’ Dry Tour.  They came out and tore the roof off the place…they fucking rocked.  My God, Steve Clark was something else, and Joe Elliot’s voice was hitting all the high notes solid! Remember I had never heard of them, so I got on them real quick.  Then when “Pyromania” came out a few years later and blew the doors of America…I mean wow, just wow.  They were no Clash or anything but they were a fun party band for sure.

I said ‘a’ WELCOME TO MY SHOOOOOOOOW!!!

Def Leppard Setlist at Cape Cod Coliseum, South Yarmouth, MA, USA Aug 9 1981
Venue: Cape Cod Coliseum, South Yarmouth, MA, USA
Tour: High ‘n’ Dry Tour

On Through the Night
It Could Be You
It Don’t Matter
Another Hit and Run
Lady Strange
Rock Brigade
High & Dry (Saturday Night)

Note: People were screaming “Ozzy, Ozzy” throughout their whole set…the band played on undeterred.

 

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

Then It was time for Ozzy…wait a second, it was time for Randy Rhoads.  Randy came out, this tiny figure with bushy blonde hair (he looked like a girl) and I was right in front of him about ten rows back in General Admission, and once he started to play no one in could take their eyes off him.  He was the star that night!  The sound, the phrasing, the tone (for the time) was massive and precise. I am a BIG Eddie Van Halen fan, and I was watching Randy and all I could think was this guy is at least as good, if not better (could it be true or contact high).  When I look back I think it was just a different style of playing as Randy wrote all his riffs in the vein of a  Classical Music Trained Musician…really EVH was still the technical king, I just preferred Randy’s style more, as I had never heard a guitar played that way in America (A few guitarists at that time in Europe Like Blackmore, Schenker, and Roth were blending hard rock with classical guitar, but it was new).  It was really cool to hear two tracks of Diary Of A Madman which had already been recorded but not released yet.  “Believer” and “Flying High Again” really stood out because they were awesome tracks but I had never heard them before.  I remember thinking where the hell did these songs come from…years later it would be common knowlege that both “Blizzard” and “Diary” were recorded right after the other, I think within the same year.

So I had seen Randy’s name on the album but it did not connect with me at the time at just 5970_1187535964119_7451457_nhow special he really was.  As a matter of fact it is common knowlege that Randy was talking of leaving Ozzy’s band because he wanted to explore new avenues of playing guitar.  It was also in his nature that he never stopped yearning to learn new ways of playing the guitar.  It was a running joke in the band the lengths he would always go to take lessons from other guitarists while on tour with Ozzy. Truth is he was just plain happy with teaching guitar to others as he had done for many years at his mother’s music school (Musonia) before joining Oz.  Sadly Randy was just on the cusp of shaking up the guitar world when he was killed at the age of twenty-five in a senseless plane crash on March 19, 1982.  He was gone way too soon but he left a legacy that shook the music world to the core, that can still be felt to this day.  Whenever I hear “Crazy Train” played at like every sporting event in the US, I say to the people around me, “That’s Randy Rhoads”…I get the usual reply “who is that”, and I think to myself he’s only the guy that wrote the guitar for that song and every other song on “Diary Of A Madman” and “Blizzard Of Oz”…and they subsequently insist that the song is by Ozzy Osbourne.  I say politely in return “No it’s not. He’s the vocalist.”

I love you Oz…no offense…I just use that twist to drive home a point. Bless!

Randy lives in spirit with His Mother Delores Rhoads, Brother Kelle Rhoads, Sister Kathy Rhoads D’Argenzio, & His Fiance Jodi Raskin Vigier. Bless!

Yes, I have had a good chat with his Sweet Mother Delores Rhoads several years back, it’s pretty cool…someday on an anniversary I will publish part of the text.  She is an Amazing woman and Music Teacher at the age of 95 years young.

 

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Ozzy Osbourne Setlist at Cape Cod Coliseum, South Yarmouth, MA, USA
August 9 1981
Venue: Cape Cod Coliseum, South Yarmouth, MA, US
Tour: Blizzard of Ozz (Second Leg)

O Fortuna (Carl Orff song)
I Don’t Know
Crazy Train
Believer
Mr. Crowley
Flying High Again
Revelation (Mother Earth)
Steal Away (The Night)
Drum Solo (Tommy Aldridge)
Suicide Solution
Guitar Solo (Randy Rhoads)
Iron Man (Black Sabbath song)
Children of the Grave (Black Sabbath song)

Encore:
Paranoid (Black Sabbath song)

 

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

 

These are a quick sampling of Randy’s Solo’s that I heard that night…I shall never forget!

 

 

 

How Randy Rhoads Passed…

 

Note:

The next day after the show on Cape Cod in August of 1981, Ozzy wanted to go deep sea fishing and as they had the following day off… Ozzy, Sharon, Rudy, & Ross +2, chartered a sailboat to go deep sea fishing in the waters off Cape Cod.  There are several photos of them that exist from this trip (I have them in my possession) but I could not get the go ahead from the photographer, Ozzy caught a small fish and passed out on the deck drunk. Everyone looked like they where having a great time…Mr. Bourdain knows a thing or two about catching live fish while taping for a show. Respect.

Anyway here’s a link to a few of the photos on the boat off Cape Cod from Rudy Sarzo’s Book – Off The Rails.  Rudy’s a great guy and his book is a great read…he was close to Randy and has the deepest respect for him. So here’s a link to his book as well. Bless!!!

Cape Cod Deep Sea Fishing Boat Photos:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29751236@N05/

 

 

Rudy Sarzo – “Off The Rails”:

http://www.rudysarzo.com/book/

or @ Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Off-Rails-Aboard-Crazy-Blizzard/dp/097969289X

 

More on Randy Rhoads:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Rhoads

randyr

 

 

More Interesting Articles and Reviews to come.

Cheers and Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

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