Friday, September 14, 2018

Creating a New Documentary Film on the Boston Scene

It's time for a real film on the Boston Rock and Roll scene.

And we have the footage!

stay tuned

Chapter 4 - Famous Producer Furious That NARC Invades Chet's Last Call

Copyright  ©  2018 Joe Viglione, all rights reserved.

     So in the Chet's Last Call documentary they reference a famous record producer, one of the top 3 producers of the 1970s, but they air-brush out and revise history by not including this writer, who brought the famous producer to Boston.    

    The revisionist history of Dan Vitale of Bim Skala Bim was clearly due more to jealousy than some crazed woman abusing me because, oh my God, I'm kind and good and taking care of her pets while she was - and presumably still is as of this writing (9/14/18) - hospitalized.

     Purportedly she entered the hospital in April of 2015, the cats arriving at my home on or about August 3.  That she told me to contact Dan Vitale, and then went off her rocker claiming I contacted Dan behind her back (???) just shows the absolute lunacy surrounding the making of the Chet's Last Call documentary.  After all, the woman in question and Vitale were the two main flashpoints putting the project together, and that should say it all. 
    But a big part of the Chet's Last Call legacy - from the standpoint of one of the band's in residence - was about the community.  Here was an extension of what The Rathskellar and Cantones had created.  

    My relationship with David from Chapter 3 was going fine for David, but not for me.  After months and months of dating I still didn't have his phone # and, let's face it, having another friend staying with me from time to time, David wasn't a priority.  But he was beginning to push my buttons with his story about "living with mother."

    A local rock and roller, who became a sheriff and then a cop, was a private investigator.  Turns out he got his start - purportedly - as a cocaine dealer, allegedly.  You can't make this stuff up and, full disclosure, I had no idea that he was selling that stuff, ostensibly to fund his rock and roll career.

    So I call up my friendly private investigator and gave him David's license # to find out about "mother."  The P.I. says to me "Oh, this sounds like a marriage."

    "I don't think so, I believe him."

    The Private Investigator says: "I've seen this before. He's married."


     A notorious groupie made famous in the Aerosmith song "Back in the Saddle Again," (who had had a threesome with the private investigator...go figure) came with me as we had an address from the private investigator.   We go up to David's apartment.  We're in the car and a woman goes to the door.  My heart sinks.

     I get out of the car and say "I'm looking for David..."
She says "Oh, he doesn't live here anymore. I bought the apartment from them."

     I'm thinking, wow, he was telling the truth.

     "David lived with his mom, right?" I ask her.

     "No. He lived with another man."

I thanked her for her time and got back into the car with the groupie made famous by Aerosmith.  "HE LIVES WITH A MAN."

      David calls me again.  I said "I'm tired of this. No phone #, you call mysteriously and want to go out with me."  He said "Fine. I'll pick you up and we'll meet new people tonight."

      I said "That's a good idea."

So David picks me up and we go to the 119 Merrimac. We're actually getting along and a very handsome man comes by and asks me to dance.   I look at David and I accept.   His name is Vinny.   We have a nice dance and we go back to David and Vinny gives us his business card and says that he works on Newberry Street.  He invites us both for a free facial, but you know he was interested in me, not David.  We say thank you and that's that.

      The next Thursday night David calls.  "We're going out tonight."   

     I replied "I have plans."   

     "You're going out with Vinny" he said.

     "Don't be ridiculous" --- my best Jo Jo Laine before I met Jo Jo. 

      Of course I was going for my free facial.

      "You will be at the Merrimac" David said to me.

      "I don't take orders from someone who won't give me his phone #, but I will phone you tomorrow night and read you the riot act over the phone that you won't give me the number of."

     "Right" David said, thinking I'm joking, not realizing there was a P.I. giving me the information he refused to give me.  You've got to know who you are dealing with in a dating relationship that went on for months.

        So I'm on Newberry Street getting a facial and Vinny and I decided to go to the Merrimac. It was obvious that we liked each other and that we would start dating.  We waltz into the 119 Merrimac together and there's David ...sloshed, drunk out of his mind.  Over me.  And he sees me with Vinny.

       "You're not being honest with me" I tell him.  And you don't live with your mother, you live with another man. I can't date someone who lies to me."

     Oh yes, the "Narc" was not only living with a man, he was living with a minister who had decided to come out to the congregation. That's why David was looking for a new lover, and David was good in bed, have to give credit where it's due, but who needed the clandestine meetings?  No thank you.

     The famous record producer who would frequent Chet's was both amused and feigned that he was furious "Oh, don't do drugs, but XXXX your neighborhood priest up the xxx"

     We both laughed at it.  It was amusing. The no-drug church-going (at a church that doesn't accept prescribed or any other kind of medication) representative and business partner of a legendary producer who had an addiction dating a NARC who is sleeping with a minister (not a "priest" as Jimmy put it) with the ex-cocaine dealer now private investigator revealing that the boyfriend was, indeed, "married" - you can't make this stuff up. 

      I found out the name of the "minister."  He was also frequenting the scene. Years later the minister / lover of David tried to pick up a bartender at the Napolean club who was interested in going out with me.  I wouldn't date the bartender because he lived with an older man named Jerry.  "When you and Jerry break up, I'll date you. I'm not going to wreck your marriage."

        A guy has to have standards.

        Vinny, by the way, turned out to be married too, but that's a story for another day, as we continue to reminisce about the days of our lives surrounding Chet's Last Call.

Joe Vig Live at Chet's Last Call.

All three events will be filmed for the documentary, according to a Kickstarter pagecreated by Dan and John Vitale.
"Dozens of Chet's old friends will be interviewed and share the stories of his kindness to young misfit bands in need of a venue to get their music out to the world," their description reads. "We will also have our interviewers doing several sessions with Chet's old musician friends, bar workers, and regulars telling wonderful stories about everything from Chet giving them their first headlining weekend show to Chet actually saving the life of one famous Boston musician."
For more on Chet's Last Call, check out this post from Freedom In An Unfree World, and feast your eyes and ears on some video and audio from its live yesteryear performances below.

Chapter 3 My NARC Boyfriend Visits Chet's Last Call

Copyright  ©  2018 Joe Viglione, all rights reserved.

  1. a federal agent or police officer who enforces the laws regarding illicit sale or use of drugs and narcotics.

       Over at the 119 Merrimac I met a good looking conservative chap.   On a number of levels we clicked, but there was something distant about him.  I knew he was falling for me as we started to date, have romance and see each other more often, but he said he lived with his mother and couldn't give his phone number out. So we would meet at the 119 - the Rifleman nightclub, and saunter over to The Penalty Box, Chet's Last Call, and hang out.    At the time I had no idea that the proprietor, Richard Rooney, had started generating income by dealing narcotics.   What my boyfriend David B. told me, though, was that he was a NARC (my assumption was that he worked for narcotic agents but was not an agent himself, probably a glorified desk worker.)  The symmetry here was not lost on me later, that you had some kind of drug dealing going on and one of the star performers who had a residency at the club was dating someone who arrests or works for people who arrest drug dealers.  

     There was also a handsome young man who would come to the club that I had befriended.  We met over a game of PacMan at the 119 Merrimac when I was hanging out with Helanie Saad, one of the early pioneers of the Boston rock and roll scene.    The young man told me he thought I was married to Helanie thus felt safe with me having met me in a gay bar.

      He became a long-time boyfriend of about six years. I hear from him from time to time, married to his second wife and having four kids, two from each marriage. I'm happy that he's found stability and happiness.

      So I'm on a date with David B., the alleged NARC, and David comes over to Chet's Last Call and he's fixing my stage clothing for me while sitting at the bar.  The band goes on and we're rocking the joint, and Chet suddenly comes over in between songs and says "The hustler is here."
     "The hustler" was what Chet called my young friend. He was certainly not a "hustler," but you had to understand Chet's sick, deadpan humor, and his vulgar way of describing people.  Remember, I was "Fag, cockxxxer, homosexual, fairy's me, Chet, call me" on a phone message, and the guy I was friendly with was "the hustler."

    So after the gig my young friend asked if I could drive him home, he lived the next city over from Woburn where I was living at the time.   

    "Well, I left my car home, David picked me up. I'll ask him, but I'm sure it's ok."

    We get into David's car and I ask "Can you drive xxxx home too."  

     "Oh sure!" David replied.

     When we're getting to my house my friend whispers "Can I come home with you?"

     "Where do we go?" David asked

     "David, xxxxx is going to sleep on the couch downstairs."

      David was furious - you could see it in his eyes, but as stated earlier, conservative, so he kept it in, but it was bubbling there.

      So I gave my friend the couch, where he had stayed over many times, and David and I went upstairs to the bedroom.  David takes his shirt off and is sitting on the bed.   

     He then blurts out: "You want the kid."
(The "kid" was 18, David and I in our thirties)

    "Don't be ridiculous" I said in my best Jo Jo Laine, about a year before meeting Jo Jo Laine.  

     'You want the kid" David said again.  I gave him a hug and said "let me get him settled on the couch and I'll be right back."

      * * * * * 
     I'm downstairs and my friend of some months then says "I have something to tell you."

     My reply "I know."  You didn't have to be psychic, I met him in a homosexual bar, after all.  And we obviously liked each other from day 1.  He tells me he's bisexual, so while David's waiting for me in my bed upstairs I've got two men with me that would come to my shows at Chet's Last Call here in my home.  We start hugging.  I tell him "You can always join us for a threesome."

     My friend thought about it and said "No, that's ok."

     I go back upstairs, David wants to leave.  Instead he stays and our romance continues.

     David leaves the next morning and my romance with my young friend begins.

        to be continued   

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Chapter 2 - Chet''s Bad Karma

Copyright ©  2018 Joe Viglione, all rights reserved


Film on Chet's Last Call Does Not Go Deep into the Impact of Richard Rooney's threat to human life, businesses and how the heroin sold at the upstairs of the Penalty Box ruined lives.

      One night I was walking down the street in between Chet's Last Call and the 119 Merrimac, also known as "The Rifleman" club - a notorious homosexual establishment on Merrimac Street parallel to Chet's / The Penalty Box.   I saw people that I knew from the Rathskellar days walking like zombies.  It was like being in Night of the Living Dead.  They were obviously high.   I would attempt to say "hi" but they were staggering down the street zoned out.  A health club Chet's Last Call wasn't.  Chet was selling poison and it was damaging our rock and roll scene in a pernicious and devastating way.

    Chet's bad karma was ruining the music scene. One fellow was jonesing so bad for a fix that he was drinking Bacardi 101 waiting for a new shipment of heroin to "get well."   Getting well is getting to a methadone clinic, not dealing with the devil - Richard Rooney - a.k.a. the mysterious "Chet."

    Chet came up to me, trying to get me to buy his product.  "Don't you try this, you will love it."

    Quite the salesman, talking to someone who goes to a Christian Science church, a church that does not subscribe to drugs.   But Chet was looking for subscriptions, and when we figured out what he was up to, when his "business" was getting out of control, the woman at the door started nodding out, looking like she was going to fall off the chair.

    "You know what, Chet" I said to him. "Why don't you put a sign outside - HEROIN, TEN DOLLARS - because the girl at the door nodding out is all the advertising that you need.

      It was obvious, the beloved music den that we cared about was a heroin den.  Chet Rooney had damaged the room that we bands worked so hard to promote and establish.  He turned our rock and roll venue into a drug den.  We had to start distancing ourselves from the rock and roll hall that we loved as the fat little drug dealer got deeper and deeper into his business of dealing narcotics and infecting rock and roll musicians with his poison.   Chet - Richard Rooney -  allegedly did more to turn rock and rollers onto smack and addiction than any single figure in the music scene.  

The 190th General Court of theCommonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 32E: Trafficking in marihuana, cocaine, heroin, morphine, opium, etc.; eligibility for parole
  (c) Any person who trafficks in heroin or any salt thereof, morphine or any salt thereof, opium or any derivative thereof by knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, distributing or dispensing or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense or by bringing into the commonwealth a net weight of 18 grams or more of heroin or any salt thereof, morphine or any salt thereof, opium or any derivative thereof or a net weight of 18 grams or more of any mixture containing heroin or any salt thereof, morphine or any salt thereof, opium or any derivative thereof shall, if the net weight of heroin or any salt thereof, morphine or any salt thereof, opium or any derivative thereof or any mixture thereof is:--

Section 32E: Trafficking in marihuana, cocaine, heroin, morphine, opium, etc.; eligibility for parole

  (1) Eighteen grams or more but less than 36 grams, be punished by a term of imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 31/2 nor more than 30 years. No sentence imposed under this clause shall be for less than a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 31/2 years, and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000 may be imposed but not in lieu of the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment, as established herein.
  (2) Thirty-six grams or more but less than 100 grams, be punished by a term of imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 5 nor more than 30 years. No sentence imposed under this clause shall be for less than a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 5 years, and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000 may be imposed, but not in lieu of the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment, as established herein.
  (3) One hundred grams or more but less than two hundred grams, be punished by a term of imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 8 nor more than 30 years. No sentence imposed under the provisions of this clause shall be for less than the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 8 years, and a fine of not less than ten thousand nor more than one hundred thousand dollars may be imposed but not in lieu of the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment, as established therein.
  (4) Two hundred grams or more, be punished by a term of imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 12 nor more than 30 years. No sentence imposed under the provisions of this clause shall be for less than a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 12 years and a fine of not less than fifty thousand nor more than five hundred thousand dollars may be imposed but not in lieu of the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment, as established therein.
[ Subsection (c1/2) inserted by 2015, 136 effective February 22, 2016.]

The Night Alleged Heroin Dealer "Chet" Richard Rooney Attempted to Stab Me To Death


Copyright ©  2018 Joe Viglione, all rights reserved




 Chet Rooney on the phone: "When I came at you, I had a knife. I was going to stab you."

Joe V: Some friend you are. You are interfering in my business (record production.)

Chet: You are interfering in my business.

Joe V: "Your business (dealing heroin) is illegal,  mine isn't."


    One night we were in Boston recording an important artist.  The phone rang.  I picked it up.  It was Richard "Chet" Rooney looking for a producer.  I told him that he was not in.   Chet rang the phone repeatedly, I repeatedly said that the producer - who was working - was not in.

     I knew exactly what Richard Rooney was up to.  He wanted to interfere with the recording session to bring heroin into the picture and destroy the evening's work.   

     Finally I went upstairs to the door and Rooney was there with two thugs.   He said "Let me in" (was he paying for the recording time? Of course not. Richard Rooney was trespassing  ... and he was breaking the law, Controlled Substances  Chapter 94C
Section 35

Section 35: Unlawful presence at a place where heroin is kept or being in company of person in possession thereof

Section 35. Any person who is knowingly present at a place where heroin is kept or deposited in violation of the provisions of this chapter, or any person who is in the company of a person, knowing that said person is in possession of heroin in violation of the provisions of this chapter, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both; provided, however, that the provisions of the third paragraph of section thirty-four relative to probation sealing of the records and repeated violations shall apply to him.

A record producer was working hard creating music.  Chet kept repeatedly calling the studio.

Fast forward to 2017, 2018... a woman "producing" the Chet's documentary from a sick bed begged me to help her with her pets.

No one would help her, so she took my kindness and she abused it.

She refused to help with a "Go Fund me" for her pets, but then cried wolf and told people that the man helping her was hijacking her pets.

She was in the hospital.

She called the MSPCA and LIED.  They refused to take her calls after twice they realized she was a liar.   

She had people on Facebook threaten to kill me.
The ghost of Chet who attempted to stab me to death.

Then she had Dan Vitale of Bim Skala Bim take advantage of the people funding the event and pull the interview that they did with this resident at the club out of the video, air-brushing Boston history.   

So I will create the ACCURATE Documentary on Chet Rooney, one that tells of drugs, attempted murder and a crazed woman who asked for monies on the internet, monies that never went to her pets.  Did they go into her pocket?


    Praising the alleged heroin dealer who did so much damage to so many people, putting time and energy into praising someone who made money off of other people's misery, is an indicator. 

     Look, a documentary on The Penalty Box upstairs - where musicians performed and became part of Boston history - is one thing. It's part of Boston's legacy, and my band had a residency there.

    Of course in the days of the #MeToo Movement phone calls that I would get from Chet would make your head spin.

     Here's one typical phone call from "Chet," the code name for Richard Rooney:

     "'s me, Chet.  Call me back."

Or how about this gem that the manager of Girls Night Out, who I was in business with at the time, heard and was horrified by:

    "A fag and a dyke.  Great."   Phone call from Richard Rooney a.k.a. "Chet."

    That's what Chester Rooney thought of myself, an openly homosexual male, being in business with  an openly homosexual woman.
In days when there was still so much discrimination.

    So now there's this video which I was invited to be videotaped for (of course, I was a performer with a band in residence) and so I thought it would be good for historical purposes.  

   Along with being one of the major bands at the club I also wrote for the Beat magazine.   Side note on that, I put a really funny joke in The Beat which stated, in a fun and non-offending way:

     If Mickey O'Halloran married Chet Rooney

 he'd be Mickey Rooney.

    Well Chet went ballistic.   He didn't want anyone knowing his last name (which I printed in the joke) or where he lived (which I knew but did not print.) He was FURIOUS with this writer for a funny joke.    Now think about this, you are in business at an alcohol establishment which has strict laws surrounding it.  Not letting people know your last name when you "own" a nightclub and sell alcohol?

     Is that in the documentary?  That the mysterious "Chet" wouldn't use his birth name or his legal name or his home address? yet he ran an alcohol establishment across the street from the Boston Garden?

     Dan Vitale of Bim Skala Bim is obviously jealous.   He threatened to take my work out of the documentary film, and I have heard from colleagues that they did remove the hard work and honest effort that I put in to the documentary on Chet's Last Call.


   Because a woman cheated me and her pets out of thousands of dollars.  Monies that I paid for those beautiful animals that she did not care about.  She just wanted to cart them around in the cold to play with them and terrify them when cats are creatures who like to stay in one place that makes them safe and secure.

     Those cats got the best care, a roof over their head, plenty of food and attention.   

     But the maniac who adopted them was cruel to the person who helped her, and Chet Rooney tried to stab me to death outside of a recording studio in Boston.

     I hate drugs.  

    How many lives did Chet's "business" interfere with.

    All Praise the Heroin Dealer who tried to kill me.

   Welcome to Chet's Last Call

  The night of one of the "benefit concerts" at Once Ballroom the woman was upset because she couldn't attend.   She had an open invitation to visit her pets at my home; she refused to take me up on that.  The documentary on a heroin dealer was far more important to her than her pets. 

    While promoting the dead heroin dealer the woman harassed me on the internet to keep me out of the film. That was her plan, because after she told me to contact Dan Vitale of Bim Skala Bim to discuss my interview, she went insane in e mails to me lashing out saying that I had no right to contact Dan Vitale.

     I'm taking care of her pets, spending thousands of dollars in veterinary care, food, shelter, and she harasses me in private texts and defames the person taking care of her pets on the internet, facilitating hate speech and threats to harm me at my home.

    That's the bad karma of Chet and the bad karma surrounding this documentary film.

So for my contributions to the Chet's Last Call video, I was taken advantage of by one of the producers who begged me to take care of her cats, and cheated and harassed me.

Dan Vitale threatened that he would pull my video, and then - allegedly - he did.

So how is this "good karma" for the film of a heroin dealer who damaged so many musicians in Boston with his toxic heroin?

How about a real film on the Boston scene and a good and honest promoter who ran a club for 25 years.  We have that footage, and that film will be forthcoming soon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Audioscam Kicking and Screaming

Five New Tracks from Audioscam

New music from Australian pop maestros touches on a number of genres to great effect.

Australian Rock Band Creates More Driving, Memorable Pop Rock with Exquisite follow-up to Audioscam 3

going TRACK BY TRACK  Kicking and Screaming from AUDIOSCAM 4

Batesfield 3:58
The angst found in Audioscam's approach to the music of Abba gone hard rock comes back with a vengeance on this original.  In fact, it rocks harder, with an edgier feel and real determination.  The guitar underlines and defines this new five song e.p. in a majestic yet cutting way.   Songs about girls and their complexities continue the Audioscam saga, but Batesfield opens it up and lets it rip.  It's Americana for the folk rock of the United States, but down under it's Australiacana - imagine the Allman Brothers deciding to go Tom Petty as the guitar battle leads the way on the fade out at 3:58.

"Awayo" on Audioscam 3 contains a lighthearted froth that was fun pop with a quasi Caribbean, perhaps even a Mediterranean flavor, as does "Bridgetown Girls," but here with Just like Jamaica the band redefines its approach.   For those who felt Colin Hay and Men at Work went too far to the musically conservative right, Brian Pitcher and Brad Wallace of Audioscam keep the edge and the underground front and center. That doesn't mean the song doesn't have the potential to pop into the mainstream, it does. For those awaiting the sequel to one of Elton John's finest song, "Island Girls," this writer feels "Just Like Jamaica" is it.  Simply terrific.

A superbly blitzing opening riff has this track rocking like early Kinks fighting off the Beatles, the guitars keep their short bursts blasting with a melody that could be a second cousin to Humble Pie's classic "Thirty Days in the Hole."   "Baby done bad, baby done good" with a little sensual schizophrenia.  Short and sweet and to the point.

Thirty Days in the Hole - Humble Pie

Hand of Sin   3:59

Smart, techno moves and grooves this stunningly different approach from Audioscam, "Hand of Sin" can charge up the dance floor and begs for a lengthy dance mix.  The production is pure dynamite and the song structure, melody and theme all dynamic and extremely appealing.  

Get Used To This   3:59

The rhythmic guitars and leads dominate on an equal setting with the vocals, but it's the keys and jingle jangle guitar that beg for more airtime.   There are all sorts of musical delights that weave in and out of the production, and this tune in particular would work with multiple mixes. There's so much on the buffet platter, tasty sounds that buoy the song

Sweetzerland Manifesto from Joe Perry

Artist: Joe Perry
Album: Sweetzerland Manifesto
Produced by Joe Perry and Bruce Witkin, Executive Producer Johnny Depp, Associate Producer Jack Douglas
CD Review by Joe Viglione

·         Rumble in the Jungle
·         I'll Do Happiness
·         Aye, Aye, Aye
·         I Wanna Roll
·         Sick & Tired
·         Haberdasher Blues
·         Spanish Sushi
·         Eve of Destruction
·         I'm Going Crazy
·         Won't Let Me Go

     Sweetzerland Manifesto is Joe Perry having fun again, as he did with 1982/1983’s Once A Rocker Always a Rocker, only more so.  “Rumble in the Jungle” is no relation to Jethro Tull’s 1974 epic, “Bungle in the Jungle,” it is ­­­an exciting soundscape arranged by the Aeromsith guitarmaster with drums programmed by one of Joe’s sons, Anthony Perry, percussion and vocals from Colin Douglas with backing vocals by Colin and co-producer Jack Douglas.    It is both highly entertaining and not anticipated music, the avant garde approach(for you young readers “new and unusual or experimental ideas, especially in the arts, or the people introducing them”) that permeates the entire album in a surprising and very positive way.    JP’s arrangement is sublime with a descending line straight out of the late producer Jimmy Miller’s Spencer Davis/Chicago classic “I’m a Man.”

     Growling Brit vocalist Terry Reid brings his talents to “I’ll Do Happiness,” and it is a revelation with magical quasi-gospel backing vocals, Zack Starkey’s drums and riveting guitar work from Perry.  The album is a montage of different vibrations, much like – coincidentally – the current release from Jimi Hendrix – Both Sides of the Sky.  The difference being, of course, that the Hendrix disc is a compilation (the third and concluding part of an amazing trilogy of releases from Jimi for we musicologists) whose titles would most likely never have been placed in this order by the artist - because they would have appeared in different spaces of the Hendrix catalog, if at all…  Joe Perry gets to place his work carefully, and the sequencing grooves very nicely.

     “Aye Aye Aye” features Robin Zander on vocals and is a co-write with JP.    *The song and Robin’s appearance reminds me of a Cheap Trick Orpheum show where a young lady had her breasts autographed by Zander (???)…she saw me and said “Joe, what are you doing here?  You don’t like Cheap Trick!”  I replied “I’ve come to Fxxx Robin Zander,” which, of course, wasn’t true because he’s not my type…except for his being featured on this disc, which is how we want him, adding spice to this most recent “Perry Project,” which IS a project and unfolds with all sorts of amazements.   “I Wanna Roll” is a co-write with David Johansen, the New York Dolls singer on vocals, co-produced by Jack Douglas with Zak Starkey’s boom boom jungle beat drumming throughout  and a beautiful interplay between dad Joe Perry’s guitar and son Roman Perry’s synth.

     Aerosmith fans will be delighted with the album’s independent identity and image. “I Wanna Roll,” “Rumble in the Jungle,” “I’ll Do Happiness,” the convergence of multiple voices – Johansen, Zander, Reid on their respective contributions with Joe Perry  singing P.F. Sloan’s immortal classic, “Eve of Destruction,” brings a cohesive variety that makes the appeal great for the audience beyond the millions and millions of Aerosmith fans out there.

      Where the successful 1999 Supernatural disc from Santana (15 times platinum in the U.S.) was intentionally jolting, reaching a massive audience but flowing in a jagged fashion, Sweetzerland Manifesto brings the dissimilar chord changes into the fold smoothly, allowing for a good listen from track to track without the lurching that Santana’s masterpiece felt for the listener over the first few spins.

    Back to “Eve of Destruction,” that 1965  #1 hit from Barry Maguire of the New Christy Minstrels, great choice for a cover in these times, the dark, blues-based pop song  is portrayed here as a slow, methodical stomp, and a “180” from the opening neo-science fiction aura of “Rumble in the Jungle.”  Speaking of Neo (from the Matrix this time,) Perry’s attire within all five photos of the album jacket and panels has Perry as the dominant force that he is.   Each Joe Perry solo project has merit, and where out-takes from 1983’s Once a Rocker would make for an impressive re-release of that outing, Sweetzerland Manifesto is something more.  It is one part incredible blues album with “I’m Going Crazy,”  “Haberdasher Blues,” “Sick and Tired ”(you won’t be able to get Terry Reid’s angry and naughty vocal out of your head) all morphing on track 10 back to hard rock as “Won’t Let Me Go” is straight out of Deep Purple’s “Perfect Strangers,” and equally as memorable. 

    There are two bonus tracks on the Record Store Day release (April 21, 2018)that we can all look forward to while Perry appears at the House of Blues in Boston on April 18, 2018, with a band that we hear is full of big surprises.   All in all, Joe Perry has delivered the unexpected with this disc; it is one of those albums that you will pull out and play repeatedly.  It’s not just very, very good, Sweetzerland Manifesto is extraordinary.

(*a Boston Globe critic of the day had passes and invited me to the Cheap Trick show. Honestly, the only thing I remember about the night is the magic marker on the young lady's breasts with Robin Zander's name...I still can't get into Cheap Trick's music) 

Won't Let Me Go


AllMusic Review by   [-]

Australia's Raven Records has released another important retrospective -- a focus on guitarist Joe Perry's three solo albums and the three frontmen who put their voices on those discs. Ralph Mormon performed on Let the Music Do the Talking prior to his stint in Savoy Brown, and that may have been the better band for his bluesy voice. The excellent liner notes by Ian McFarlane give a very clear history of "The Project" and their accuracy is amazing. Given Aerosmith's success, it is odd that Sony hasn't released a similar compilation -- or that this one isn't being imported in droves, since Perry is a legend, and his work while estranged from the hard rock phenomenon that is Aerosmith deserves attention, no matter how dark the period was for the guitarist personally. The album is a very good overview while purists and fans would, of course, prefer two CDs and all the tracks. "Listen to the Rock" from I've Got the Rock & Rolls Again is missing, and that was one of their key tunes; also, there were numerous outtakes or demo tapes from the period of Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker -- lead singer Mach Bellplayed one for this writer called "When Worlds Collide" and it is incredible -- those aforementioned tracks and other goodies would have really rounded this out. But these are minor quibbles. Hearing each phase of the Joe Perry Project from start to finish is textbook rock & roll and highly enjoyable. Charlie Farreneventually landed his own deal on Warner Bros. with Farrenheit, but imagine if Perry had stayed along for that ride? The music in the middle of this disc -- "East Coast, West Coast," "Buzz Buzz," and "I've Got the Rock & Rolls Again" -- were indicators of a developing sound, and Farren was the perfect partner for Perry to develop a sound to rival, not revisit, Aerosmith. Thundertrain lead singer Mach Bell, on the other hand, is truly the guy to add chaos to this touring unit. Bell is one of the most charismatic frontmen from the New England music scene, and his Thundertrain band mixed Rolling Stones with Slade, so Perry traded a vocalist/songwriter for a total madman. The video of track 16, "Black Velvet Pants," is a story in itself, and it shows Bell in all his rock & roll glory, while the inclusion of T. Rex's "Bang a Gong" is the one cover, and perfect for Mach with his British rock leanings. The three phases of the Joe Perry Project -- blues singer Mormon, songwriter/vocalist Farren, and stage performer Bell -- is a vitally important chapter in American rock & roll, which Raven and McFarlane have lovingly packaged and preserved. If any reissue has a chance of finding a new audience, this is it.