CD Review: The Knack – Normal As The Next Guy

CD Review: The Knack – Normal As The Next Guy
Omnivore Recordings
All Access Rating: A

The Knack - Normal As The
Next Guy 2015 
Normal As The Next Guy was The Knack's last hurrah, at least as far as studio albums go. Released in 2001, it was the follow-up to 1998's Zoom, a record that The Knack hoped would bring a resurgence of interest in their sparkling, girl-obsessed brand of power-pop. The silence that greeted Zoom, however, was deafening.

Bitterly disappointed by the reception, commercial and otherwise, for Zoom, members of The Knack threw themselves into outside projects, but Normal As The Next Guy eventually came together and was sent out into the music universe in 2001. Holding onto the belief that lightning would strike twice and they would rise to the top of the charts like it was 1979 all over again, when the listening public fell in love with "My Sharona" and found their debut LP as addictive as crack, The Knack had their collective fingers crossed for Normal As The Next Guy. Again, fortune did not favor them, and Doug Fieger's health declined, culminating in his death from cancer in 2010.

In the liner notes to Omnivore Recordings' expanded reissue, bassist Prescott Niles said that "Normal As The Next Guy should be remembered as a good album and the start of The Knack's last page." As endings go, this one had some interesting twists. Stepping lively, The Knack goes country on the infectious, honky-tonkin' "Spiritual Pursuit" and looks temptation square in the eye and succumbs, while the sublime psychedelia of "The Man On The Beach," a sophisticated, gorgeously arranged pop song full of winsome vocal harmonies, shaken bells and piano infused with wintry ennui, seems to have drifted in from The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds sessions.

Wonderfully diverse and absolutely charming, with The Knack seemingly liberated by the lack of expectations for this record, Normal As The Next Guy is a warmer, more down-to-earth record than Zoom. Here, the irresistibly lighthearted summertime anthem "Les Girls" takes a walk on a tropical beach and ogles all the pretty women, while "A World of My Own" and "It's Not Me" snap, crackle and pop with effervescent guitars and "Disillusion Town" jangles and gleams like shiny chrome when the sun hits it just right. Sighing and swooning in a lovesick lament, "Seven Days of Heaven" longs for its feelings to be reciprocated, and an aching remake of "One Day At A Time," from the band's Serious Fun LP, struggles to deal with a devastating break-up.

Augmented with insightful liner notes and three enjoyable songwriting demos from Fieger that shed some light on how "Seven Days in Heaven," "Spiritual Pursuit" and "Reason To Live" came together so magically, Normal As The Next Guy is actually rather extraordinary, its humility and candid, reflective nature revealing its authors to be vulnerable, tender souls who approach life with an open heart and a sharp wit. It's not just the little girls who understand them.
– Peter Lindblad

CD/DVD Review: The Rolling Stones – From the Vault: The Marquee Club – Live In 1971

CD/DVD Review: The Rolling Stones – From the Vault: The Marquee – Live In 1971
Eagle Rock Entertainment
All Access Rating: A

The Rolling Stones - From
The Vault: The Marquee Club -
Live In 1971
Still a month away from the hotly anticipated release of Sticky Fingers, the Rolling Stones – fresh off their "1971 Farewell Tour of the UK" – set up at London's famed Marquee Club for a rare intimate performance filmed for American television.

Eric Clapton was there to see it, and so was Jimmy Page, among others of similar stature. And the Stones showed them all how it was done, their swagger born of an innate knowledge that nobody, but nobody, could touch them on a good night, let alone a great one.

And to think, highly sought-after footage of that gig sat in an attic for two decades, just gathering dust. What better time than the present for its new unveiling, now that the Stones have reissued, in grand fashion, Sticky Fingers in all its gritty, cocksure glory.

Restored with loving care by Bob Clearmountain, its impressive 5.1 surround sound on the DVD and SD Blu-ray versions and rich, luxuriously colorful imagery capturing the essence of a band at the absolute peak of its powers, "From the Vault: The Marquee Club – Live In 1971" finds the Stones brimming with confidence and unafraid to mess around with songs considered sacred by many. They're almost cavalier in how they approach a rather ramshackle, easy-going version of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" that seems gleefully out of step with the urgency and the barely contained sexual frustration of the original. And after romping through "Midnight Rambler" with feverish energy, the Stones sounding as tight and industrious as ever, and Mick Jagger huffing and puffing away on harmonica, a wide, natural smile spreads across Keith Richards' face and it says, "That was pretty good, wasn't it?" Yes it was, Keith. Yes it was.

Strutting and preening, as is his wont, the playful Jagger is a magnet for smartly directed cameras and close-ups, as he savors every line dripping from a slowly cooked "I Got The Blues," throws himself into a raucous cover of Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock" and, as Ian Stewart's high-stepping piano gets to work, infuses machismo, arrogance and sass into the ripping opener "Live With Me." Charlie Watt's drumming is clever, propulsive and rigorous, while Bill Wyman calmly and unobtrusively steers the ship with gripping bass lines, Bobby Keys and Jim Price assertively blow their horns with soulful conviction on command and Richards and Mick Taylor negotiate whatever issues they had with an uneasy mixture of toughness and licks that can be nasty or tasteful.

Packaged as a CD/DVD combo, and also available as a DVD/LP or Blu-ray/CD offering, "From The Vault: The Marquee Club – Live In 1971" is a true treasure, since much of material has gone completely unseen. Filmed professionally with a thirst for action and seemingly covered in a lush, early '70s patina that's almost glossy, it has great historical value. This is where the forbidden fruits of "Brown Sugar," "Bitch" and a crisply played "Dead Flowers" were first tasted, and they must have left the ragged company that witnessed it flush with excitement. Eagle Rock Entertainment ups the ante on this concise, yet explosive set, with alternate takes of "I Got The Blues" and "Bitch," plus a bit of the Stones doing "Brown Sugar" on "Top Of The Pops" in 1971 adding value. All these years later, the Stones are still delivering the goods in concert, but they were hitting on all cylinders in 1971, and this is the kind of show that made them legends.
– Peter Lindblad

CD Review: High On Fire – Luminiferous

CD Review: High On Fire – Luminiferous
eOne Music
All Access Rating: B+

High On Fire - Luminiferous 2015
Matt Pike's struggles with sobriety have been well-documented. If nothing else, the swarming, fire-breathing Luminiferous would suggest that his head is as clear as it's ever been.

Where High On Fire's previous effort, the violently turbulent epic De Vermis Mysteriis, seemed as if it was birthed in the eye of a violent hurricane, the latest album from Pike and his crew encounters its share of storms, but it rarely ever gets knocked off course.

There are exceptions, of course, this being Matt Pike we're talking about. The dreamy, psychotropic verses of "The Cave" trip balls, as mind-altering effects and vocal manipulations send High On Fire down the rabbit hole. Then come the slow-churning waves of skull-crushing riffs, enormously heavy and portending doom, as Pike's scabrous vocals cut through the seas of sludge like a man-o-war with a hull covered in barnacles. Meanwhile, "The Falconist," surging ahead methodically and relentlessly as it grows wings to fly, couches its story in a crawling, strong melodic current that's almost hypnotic, as High On Fire channels the spirit of Iron Maiden as they soar.

A raging, barbaric beast of a record, Luminiferous beats its hairy chest until its black and blue, roaring through the white-hot thrash of "Slave The Hive" and the album's furious title track. A direct assault, it charges ahead with little regard for whatever gets in its way, as High On Fire plows through "The Black Plot," "Carcosa," and "The Sunless Years" – the album's first three tracks – in succession, feeling the might and maniacal drive of its engine and pushing it almost beyond its capabilities.

It's a leaner, meaner and more focused High On Fire that emerges from Luminiferous; on the other hand, it's a less imaginative representation of the band. There's also a sense, at least half the way through, that they're stuck in one gear, unable or unwilling to deviate from a fairly predictable course they've charted. It seems as if Luminiferous is destined to be overshadowed by De Vermis Mysteriis, the sheer enormity and frenzied combustion of that record drowning in its wake all that comes after it. Still, with Pike's flesh-flaying solos and throat-shredding vocals, Des Kensel's pummeling drums and Jeff Matz's heavy, bombing bass runs, there is no more powerful metal force in the universe than High On Fire. Even if variety, insanity and unexpected maneuvers are sacrificed for pure power here, Luminiferous is another weapon of mass destruction in the High On Fire arsenal.
– Peter Lindblad

DVD Review: Slash – Live at the Roxy 25.9.14

DVD Review: Slash  –- Live at the Roxy 25.9.14
Eagle Rock Entertainment
All Access Rating: B+

Slash and Myles Kennedy
and the Conspirators - Live
at The Roxy 25.9.14
While plundering and pillaging the Sunset Strip in the '80s, the hurricane of debauchery and gritty rock 'n' roll that was Guns 'N Roses had occasion to roll through the famed Roxy Theatre, just as it had torn through places like the Troubadour and the Whisky a Go Go.

They say you can never go home again, but Slash and his band, The Conspirators, featuring Myles Kennedy, did just that last fall, slamming into the Roxy again like a Category-5 storm five years after the cozy, intimate club played host to their first-ever gig together. A powder keg of a concert DVD, "Live at the Roxy 25.9.14" – coupling rich, robust sound with dramatic camera work that puts viewers right in the middle of the crowd and shoots the action from well-chosen angles – captures them in all their blazing glory, just inches away from fans hanging on every nasty, dirty riff and searing lead.

Trading the thrilling unpredictability and reckless danger of Guns 'N Roses' salad days for tidy professionalism and sobriety, Slash whips his charges through a sweaty, rip-roaring set of old favorites and new material that spans the legendary guitarist's entire career. Ballsy, swaggering, full-throttle rockers like "Rocket Queen," highlighted by Slash's dynamic, smoldering soloing, and "Nightrain" get a vigorous workout, as do "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City," an exhilarating encore that shakes the rafters. Frenzied and full of piss and vinegar, "You're Crazy," where bassist Todd Kerns admirably takes over singing duties, stands out among the four bonus tracks on "Live at the Roxy 25.9.14" – which includes an electrifying take on "Stone Blind" from Slash's latest LP – but it's Kennedy who shines on the vicious kiss-off "You're a Lie" and a swinging "Back From Cali," his clarion voice cutting through the raucous din.

And for Slash, for this performance, the opportunity to show off his acoustic Spanish guitar licks during a rousing "Anastasia" is one he couldn't possibly turn down, and it's a beautiful moment, as its mix of infectious riffs and classical elements soar in this environment. Available in multiple formats from Eagle Rock Entertainment, including an innovative Bit Torrent bundle, a three-LP set and a two-CD version, as well as a DVD, "Live at the Roxy 25.9.14" catches Slash and company on a celebratory night, their cohesion, skilled chops and energy making up for the nagging feeling that maybe this particular collection of musicians is growing too comfortable, too complacent, too satisfied with itself and what it's already achieved. Maybe the next album will push the envelope a bit. If not, at least Slash and the boys seem capable of producing good rock 'n roll, and these days, that's nothing to take for granted.
– Peter Lindblad

Book Review – Primus, Over The Electric Grapevine: Insight Into Primus and the World of Les Claypool

Book Review  Primus, Over The Electric Grapevine: Insight Into Primus and the World of Les Claypool
Author: Greg Prato
Akashic Books
All Access Rating: A-

Greg Prato - Primus, Over
The Electric Grapevine
Most recently, noted music writer Greg Prato chronicled the heady early years of Iron Maiden, compiling a fast-paced, absolutely engrossing oral history of the brief, but explosive, Paul Di'Anno era. Last fall, the ever prolific Prato meticulously traced the long, strange trip of Les Claypool and the oddball alternative-rock circus called Primus in "Primus, Over The Electric Grapevine," out via Akashic Books.

While the Iron Maiden book was more of a snapshot of a band on the brink of greatness, just as the movement that would become known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was gathering strength, Prato's Primus primer covers the entire history of this wildly original combo and one of the most unlikely success stories to emerge from the '90s alternative-rock zeitgeist.

A master storyteller, skilled in the art of assembling oral histories that not only examine their subjects in great depth but also spin a great yarn, Prato is able to combine a thorough study of Claypool's eccentric genius with a relaxed, free-flowing narrative of the Primus' origins story, detailing influences and lineup changes, early performances and the making of landmark Primus albums from Suck on This to Frizzle Fry and the breakthrough LP Sailing the Seas of Cheese on through Tales From the Punchbowl and more, while also tracking their rise to fame and tours with Rush and U2.

Casting a wide net in terms of interview subjects, Prato weaves together commentary from a multitude of sources. Everyone from former and current Primus members to Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett – a friend of Claypool's from childhood – and Rush bassist Geddy Lee, Public Enemy's Chuck D, "South Park" creator Matt Stone, Phish's Trey Anastasio, and Tom Waits, just to name a few, gets a say and contributes to the tale, but Prato doesn't stop there, interviewing less famous friends and associates, including "Trouz," the band's road manager to develop a well-rounded and rich portrayal.

Done in conjunction with Primus, "Primus, Over The Electric Grapevine" doesn't get bogged down by minutiae, and although it could called an "exhaustive" work, it's far from an exhausting read. It is dense with anecdotes and behind-the-scenes revelations, the whimsical, all-over-the-map read revealing how music videos for "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" and "Tommy The Cat," among others, were created, while sharing tales of the characters that inspired such classic songs as "Fish On" and "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweakers."

And yet for all the conversation regarding their insane musical chops and the hilarious mayhem caused by the inimitable Bob C. Cock, the greatest accomplishment of Prato's work is how it paints Claypool as an artist able to craft something sublime and absurdly funny out of the mundane, all while staying surprisingly grounded. Remarkably candid and often irreverent, Claypool and the universe he inhabits – where fishing is not only a favorite pastime, but also provides comedic fodder, and people like "Flouncin' Fred" play key supporting roles – could be the subject of a Fellini movie. Not that Hollywood would ever have the gumption to turn Prato's book into a screenplay. Or, would they?
– Peter Lindblad

CD Review: Lucifer – Lucifer I

CD Review: Lucifer – Lucifer I
Rise Above Records
All Access Rating: A

Lucifer - Lucifer I 2015
Having buried The Oath a year ago, witchy singer Johanna Sadonis ran straight into welcoming embrace of Lucifer, demonic necromancers that have resuscitated the hoary corpse of '70s proto-metal and tortured blues for nefarious purposes.

A three-piece she formed that includes Garry Jennings, formerly of U.K. doom-metal mongers Cathedral, as co-songwriter and studio guitarist, Lucifer is the cover subject of the latest issue of Decibel magazine and Lucifer I, from Rise Above Records, is the first spell they've cast.

Heirs to the fuzzed-out, doom-laden stomp, sinister swing and distorted propulsion of Black Sabbath, the "occult-rock" revivalists also pay their respects to Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, Blue Cheer and Led Zeppelin on a spectral, yet ruggedly heavy, debut album cloaked in gloom. Seeming to ring out from beyond the grave, Sadonis's distant, haunting vocals only enhance the chilling effect of Lucifer's sinister lyrics, and for everything else about Lucifer's birth that make black masses salivate, it's her singing that calls us to worship.

Lucifer's Decibel magazine cover
Their hotly anticipated maiden voyage of the damned is full of dark, slowly churning dirges, such as "Purple Pyramid" and "Sabbath," where eerie church bells predict a funereal descent. What separates Lucifer from the horde of Sabbath pretenders is the songwriting wizardry of Lucifer I and its ability to authentically conjure the black magic of influences such as Pentagram, as they wickedly unleash the hellhounds in the gathering momentum of opener "Abracadabra" and "Izrael" embeds the mournful, spine-tingling wail of Sadonis in solemn, melodic sacraments and seductive hooks.

What lessons Lucifer learned from grandfathers Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler are ingrained in "Morning Star," "Total Eclipse" and "A Grave For Each One Of Us," all of them blustery cauldrons of evil riffs that suddenly, but artfully, shift gears and hijack these songs, demanding they go to places – driven in a hearse, of course – that are similar, but different, from those already marked on whatever map they're following. In the process, the tracks complete metamorphoses into strange, compelling new shapes and personalities. Somebody has made one incredible deal with the devil.
– Peter Lindblad

KISS Collectibles To Invade The 2015 Rock Gods & Metal Monsters Auction

Gene Simmons' full KISS Psycho Circus Tour Worn Body Armor

Backstage Auctions is hosting its annual Rock Gods & Metal Monsters Auction - an epic event of authentic memorabilia that comes directly from bands such as Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, Lita Ford, Exodus, Ratt, The Cult, Slipknot and many others.
With over 1,000 auction lots, this annual spectacle is a highlight moment for collectors around the globe - and the party wouldn't be the same without KISS! 

Not only will there be KISS memorabilia...there are nearly 250 lots, making KISS the # 1 supplier of collectibles in the auction. That little fact is hardly a surprise; the contents of the auction however are nothing short of spectacular.

With consignments coming from Debra Svensk (Peter Criss' 2nd wife), the estate of Eric Carr and several former KISS crew members, the auction spans 4 decades of KISStory.

Among the many highlights are several incredible Peter Criss mementos that range from worn KISS jackets and 1970s era jewelry, to handwritten lyrics and original artwork. His 1978 drawing of Gene Simmons is especially noteworthy.

The Eric Carr estate managed to supply some never-before-offered items such as clothing, artwork and signed pieces. There is also a slew of new memorabilia and beautiful record awards.

From the group of former KISS crew members there is a host of picks, sticks, itineraries, shirts and other mementos, including an Ace Frehley worn Reunion Tour bathrobe, a fully signed 1979 Bally pinball machine, the oldest set of KISS signatures known-to-exist and even Gene's full Psycho Circus tour worn body armor. There are historic documents, awesome posters, prototype toys and many autographed pieces.

Special mention is to be given to an impressive offering of KISS vinyl, as well as a large collection of official Reunion era merchandise that knows no boundaries.

The Rock Gods & Metal Monsters Auction will be live from June 20th – 28th with a special VIP Preview that starts June 13th. If you are not registered for your All Access Auction Pass, rock on over and sign up today – it takes just a minute and there is no fee to sign up.
Link: All Access Registration

Follow Backstage Auctions on Twitter and Facebook for auction highlights before, during and after the event. 

Drumroll Please...Welcome The Many Heads Of Mike Portnoy

He doesn't always take a break, but when he does, he will be in two continents at the same time, recording with one band and performing with two others.

Mike Portnoy is the heavy-metal personification of the energizer bunny. With arms like an octopus and the brains of a polymath, Portnoy is as versatile as they come. And the beauty of it is all driven by his unrelenting passion for (making) music.

Mike recently found 23 minutes of unexpected free time and decided to pull the rake through his closet to select an impressive assortment of high-caliber collectibles that will hit the auction block next week.

Partnering with Backstage Auctions, Portnoy is offering a wide range of recording used drum sticks and drum heads, as well as a jaw-dropping collection of concert used bass drum heads, that include tours with Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, Transatlantic, Flying Colors and even Yellow Mellow Custard.

But why stop there? If a G3 tour used bass drum won't fill your appetite, or a complete set of his very first ever drum road cases, Mike has done something that's even a first for him; letting go of a complete drum kit. And not just any kit - we are talking about his legendary Mapex kit as used on the 1994 - 1995 'Awake' album recording and tour.

Mike Portnoy's Mapex Drum Kit
Owning a true piece of Mike Portnoy memorabilia does not come with the guarantee that you will end up being the virtuoso he is, but it does come with a signed Certificate of Authenticity, a great deal of history and the spirit of passion and inspiration!

The Rock Gods & Metal Monsters Auction will be live from June 20th – 28th with a special VIP Preview that starts June 13th. If you are not registered for your All Access Auction Pass, rock on over and sign up today – it takes just a minute and there is no fee to sign up.
Link: All Access Registration

Follow Backstage Auctions on Twitter and Facebook for auction highlights before, during and after the event. 

Mustaine and Ellefson Memorabilia Featured in Rock Gods & Metal Monsters Auction

Vics Garage Panel
Following last years' downright epic Megadeth auction, fans and collectors should get ready for an encore auction event in this years Rock Gods & Metal Monsters auction set to go live June 20 - 28th, 2015.

The historic December 2014 Megadeth auction offered a massive range and assortment of authentic touring and recording gear and equipment from the past two decades. Rather than collecting unnecessary dust, Dave Mustaine lead the initiative to put these trusted road warrior pieces in the hands of his loyal fans and followers. The result was that nearly 90% of the inventory found a new destination - to all four corners of the world!

After giving it a short break - and spending time in the studio to work on the next Megadeth album - Mustaine is putting the remainder lots back on the auction block in the coming week. And we're not talking about leftovers here - these are prime-time mementos that will elevate the prestige of any Megadeth collection.

Included are several impressive road cases, amps & cabinets, huge stage backdrops and even acoustic panels from Dave's legendary "Vic's Garage" studio. Adding a personal touch to the inventory, Dave has made a great selection of concert used guitar strings and guitar picks used throughout the years in virtually every continent.  Dave Mustaine's Megadeth memorabilia can be found in the Megadeth - Dave Mustaine category.

Dave Mustaine's Big 4 Guitar Strings

David Ellefson is also pitching in with two of his personal tour and studio signature bass guitars which are both absolute monsters! These Jackson custom shop guitars are not for the faint of heart. Ellefson's guitars can be found in the David Ellefson category.

David Ellefson Bass Guitar

The Rock Gods & Metal Monsters Auction will be live from June 20th – 28th with a special VIP Preview that starts June 13th. If you are not registered for your All Access Auction Pass, rock on over and sign up today – it takes just a minute and there is no fee to sign up.
Link: All Access Registration

Follow Backstage Auctions on Twitter and Facebook for auction highlights before, during and after the event. 

Anthrax Metal Gods Ian, Benante and Bello Have More to Offer at the Auction Block

Benante, Bello and Ian - The Anthrax Triangle
The inseparable triangle of Anthrax -  Ian, Benante and Bello - have once more raked through their closets to put some historic Anthrax gear and collectibles in the hands of their fans.

There is no denying that Anthrax is and probably always will be one of the top collectible metal bands around. From guitars, drum heads, stage worn attire to promo items, passes, picks and sticks, fans and collectors snatch up Anthrax memorabilia – regardless of price or age, it simply doesn't matter.

Partnering with Backstage Auctions, Scott Ian has selected no less than seven historic tour and album recording used guitars that will make you go all 'Air Ian'. From one-of-a-kind 'Zombie' and 'Dharma' guitars to unique prototypes such as the infamous Murder Weapon and Urban Camo.

Ian's Concert Used Custom Designed 'Zombie' Guitar
And if winning one of his guitars wasn't enough...the winning buyer (+1) will be invited to meet Scott Ian "anywhere, anytime" on tour. You will get the opportunity to meet Scott, take pictures with him, have him sign your memorabilia and be treated like a true VIP!

Benante's Stomp 442 Drum Kit
Charlie Benante is parting with something that he has never done before - his supply of coffee! Of course we're kidding - but his complete 'Stomp 442' Kit is no joke. Used for the entire album recording, as well as the subsequent two-year world tour, this kit is of 'Rock Hall' worthy proportions. 

And if the kit is too much for you (or your neighbors), no fear, as there is a great selection of used drum heads, sticks, stage worn shirts, tour itineraries and an impressive collection of vintage laminated passes. Charlie's original artwork for the Dimebag Darrell tribute deserves special mention - and a special place in a special collection of a special fan.

Frank Bello completes the offering a cool memorabilia with tour used shirts and shoes, a signature bass guitar and a highly collectible, classic Anthrax line-up signed lithograph.

Bello Signed Signature Bass Guitar

The Rock Gods & Metal Monsters Auction will be live from June 20th – 28th with a special VIP Preview that starts June 13th. If you are not registered for your All Access Auction Pass, rock on over and sign up today – it takes just a minute and there is no fee to sign up.
Link: All Access Registration

Follow Backstage Auctions on Twitter and Facebook for auction highlights before, during and after the event. 

Alex Skolnick Unlocks His Vault Of Vintage Testament Treasures for Auction

Alex Skolnick
For more than 3 decades Alex Skolnick has shared his near immeasurable talents with all of us.  Known as one of the fastest and technically skilled guitarists in modern rock history, it takes all but one Testament live gig to be left in awe!

Like many great minds, Alex didn't limit that sharing to touring and recording with his legendary Bay Area Trash band; from writing columns in Guitar magazine and offering lectures, to penning down his memories in a must-read book and straight-up, old school sit-down guitar lessons with aspiring shredders, Skolnick has made it a goal to spread his 6-string gospel.

Well, the sharing has taken on a new dimension as Alex has opened the doors to his vault of vintage touring and recording memorabilia! In partnership with Backstage Auctions, Skolnick is offering up a most impressive collection of vintage guitars, gear, stage worn clothing and historical ephemera that is set to hit the auction block.

Skolnicks pre-Testament days guitar
Among the highlights are three of his oldest guitars that date back to the pre-Testament days when the band was locally known as Legacy. Each of these guitars has a phenomenal touring and recording history and are absolute crown-jewels. In addition to several sets of Marshall amp & cabinet combos and a colorful array of vintage pedals, the auction will also feature a unique assortment of recording and sound equipment.

And then there are the shirts and jackets...from vintage mid 1980s stage worn shirts to exclusive leather Testament tour jackets, it's all there. Coupled with rare paper goods such as itineraries, tour programs, signed vinyl and vintage Legacy concert handbills, Testament collectors will have to pinch themselves more than once to realize that this is not a dream. Rounding out the auction are cool mementos from the time Alex was carrying the guitar torch for the likes of Savatage and Ozzy Osbourne.

Owning a true piece of Alex Skolnick memorabilia does not come with the guarantee that you will end up being the virtuoso he is, but it does come with a signed Certificate of Authenticity, a great deal of history and the spirit of passion and inspiration!

The Rock Gods & Metal Monsters Auction will be live from June 20th – 28th with a special VIP Preview that starts June 13th. If you are not registered for your All Access Auction Pass, rock on over and sign up today – it takes just a minute and there is no fee to sign up.
Link: All Access Registration

Follow Backstage Auctions on Twitter and Facebook for auction highlights before, during and after the event. 


Lita Ford Set To Auction Historic Collection of Guitars and Stage Worn Clothing

Lita Ford
You can call her the Queen of Noise, you can call her the Queen of Metal. Heck, she will even refer to herself as ‘The Bitch with the Hot Guitar’. But whatever the name, Lita Ford is one of the all-time premier female rock stars!

With a career that started 40 years ago as the lead guitarist for The Runaways, Lita Ford has maintained herself on the basis of a strong recording catalog, relentless touring and a loyal, world-wide fan base. She is easily one of the hardest working female rockers in the business and there is no break in sight anytime soon.

To celebrate those four decades of being a highly visible musician, Lita is opening her cramped closets to share a great selection of treasures with her fans. Partnering with Backstage Auctions, she has personally put together nearly 100 lots that include guitars, road cases and laminated backstage passes, all the way to stage worn clothing and even a selection of historic wear from her years with The Runaways.

The Runaways 70s black cat suit
Among the highlights are her famous The Runaways black cat suit that dates back to 1976. Also from those ‘Cherry Bomb’ days is an impressive selection of stage worn t-shirts, as well as several great pieces from the legendary 1977 Japan Tour, including an exceptionally rare tour jacket and promoter shirt.

From the 1980s all the way through current day, Lita has put together a jaw-dropping array of recognizable and iconic clothing items that were worn in videos, album covers, promotional events and on stage. From dresses, jackets, pants, tops and shirts, all the way to shoes, boots, belts, bracelets and bras! It would be unfair to highlight just one or two of them, but the ‘Wicked Wonderland’ wedding dress is as intimidating as it is visually stunning.

And if guitars are your thing – there are no less than 10 great models to pick and choose from, including Lita’s famous red B.C. Rich. Only two of these were ever made – and Lita is breaking up the twins exclusively for this event! Equally great are her famous Alvarez guitars from the early 1990s or her ‘Vixens’ from more recent years. The auction also features several road cases, a phenomenal amp, and a fine selection of Lita’s own laminated ‘Artist’ backstage passes.

Lita Ford's famous red B.C. Rich guitar

All items have been personally signed by Lita and will also include a separately signed Certificate of Authenticity. This is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to own not only a personal item from the Queen of Noise, but a piece that has played a role in music history!

The Rock Gods & Metal Monsters Auction will be live from June 20th – 28th with a special VIP Preview that starts June 13th. If you are not registered for your All Access Auction Pass, rock on over and sign up today – it takes just a minute and there is no fee to sign up.
Link: All Access Registration

Follow Backstage Auctions on Twitter and Facebook for auction highlights before, during and after the event.