Pete Rizzo 

Invading America by Way of CBGB

  • 8:54 am Thursday, October 18th, 2018 by Pete Rizzo

So much for Country, BlueGrass, and Blues!

CBGB very quickly became a hotbed of punk rock in the late 1970s. And The Police have Hilly Krystal to thank for their US breakthrough. Stewart, Andy and Sting played their first US show at the legendary dive bar 40 years ago this month.

The first song they played on US soil? This one!

Not surprisingly, they are one of the gigs that helped earn CBGB its legendary billing.

It wasn’t long after that gig that their first album, “Outlandos d’Amour”, came out. On it were classic gems like these (my favorite tunes off the album).

From Twisted Sister to The Tempest

  • 8:50 am Thursday, October 18th, 2018 by Pete Rizzo

Who knew one of rock and roll’s best screamers could sing for real?!

Twisted Sister legend Dee Snider been special guesting with Rocktopia during select shows for most of this year, the third such guest after Pat Monahan and Robin Zander. And they hit LI as well, the Tilles Center in Old Brookville, to be exact.

Here’s Dee channeling his inner Robert Plant,…

Turns out Dee is a classically trained all-county countertenor! This is the same guy who’s known for belting “WE ARE TWISTED SISTER” at the top of his lungs.

When Def Leppard and the Number ‘13’ Collide

  • 2:42 pm Thursday, October 11th, 2018 by Pete Rizzo

Sometimes “13” can be a lucky number after all. Ask the guys in Def Leppard!

13 years after they were first deemed eligible for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Joe, Rick, Sav, Phil and Viv finally made the ballot for the Class of 2019.

I’d say it’s a safe bet they get in alongside Stevie Nicks (a more than deserving HOF two-timer).

As a lifelong fan, it’s especially gratifying for Rick Allen, already author of the one of the greatest comebacks in rock history following his horrible accident that robbed him of his left arm. I say he [More]

From Tommy to Jimmy

  • 2:40 pm Thursday, October 11th, 2018 by Pete Rizzo

“Love is lovelier the second time around”

This Sammy Cahn lyric may have been what Pete Townshend was banking on when he unveiled his second rock opera for The Who, “Quadrophenia”, which came out 45 years ago this month.

Critics loved this whopper of an album. Playing it live, however, did not come without some bumps along the way whether they were technical (backing tape issues during some shows) or medicinal (Keith Moon passing out after taking a few tranquilizers too many the first night of the US tour).

What’s more, there was quite a bit of strife among the band themselves [More]

Cracking America “By the Pound”

  • 10:29 am Thursday, October 4th, 2018 by Pete Rizzo

Name-dropped by many as the best Genesis album of the Peter Gabriel era (a close second for me, right behind “The Lamb…”), “Selling England by the Pound” was released 45 years ago this month, the first album by the classic lineup to crack the US charts.

This was thanks in large part to their lone single to crack the charts during the Peter era:

Owing true to my proggy proclivities, my favorite tunes off of “Pound” are among the album’s longest.

The guys in the band thought this about the album

And whenever The Musical Box comes to town, this album is a favorite [More]

A Place for my Movie

  • 10:21 am Thursday, October 4th, 2018 by Pete Rizzo

So much for the “IT” sequel and “Bohemian Rhapsody”! This just-announced movie has vaulted to the top of my must-see list of movies! A biopic of the late, great George Carlin has now been green lit.

This is my pic to play what Adam Ferrara called the “Babe Ruth of stand-up comedy”.

I think he would nail the various iconic stages of Carlin.

Monsters Invade LI

  • 3:31 pm Thursday, September 27th, 2018 by Pete Rizzo

If you weren’t around for the Monsters of Rock festival when it came to Giants Stadium 30 years ago, four tribute bands brought it back last night to the Patchogue Theater.

Damage Inc., Mr. Scary, Blackout and Van Hagar brought the music of Metallica, Dokken, the Scorpions and VH, respectively, to one of my favorite venues on the island.

Nice to see all of those bands are still rocking today!

A Room with a Smashing View

  • 12:44 pm Thursday, September 20th, 2018 by Pete Rizzo

So there’s a rec center in Chicago that has something called a ‘Rage Room’ in which you pay money to demolish a room to your liking with your choice of sledgehammers, golf clubs and baseball bats, among other household weapons of destruction.

One need look no further than the Michael Jordan of smashing hotel rooms to see how the pros do it, Keith Moon, as seen in this clip from the 1977 Rolling Stone Anniversary special.

**By the way, I included this next video just because it’s Keith Moon acting alongside Mae West and Timothy Dalton. This looks like a [More]

The Men Behind the Masks

  • 11:25 am Thursday, September 13th, 2018 by Pete Rizzo

I only need watch a few seconds of dreck like “Jersey Shore” to think back to when MTV was great. And few moments on MTV were as legendary as when the guys in KISS appeared without their makeup for the first time.

The date: September 18, 1983. Where was I? As a proud MTV-aholic as a kid, where else was I? Watching it go down live thinking the same thing I imagine you hardcore KISS fans were thinking at the time (“Holy shit!”)

Granted, the 80s didn’t start very well for KISS. But if you were thinking “career suicide”
at the sheer [More]

Remembering Lynott’s Last Stand

  • 11:25 am Thursday, September 13th, 2018 by Pete Rizzo

We said goodbye to one of the more underrated and harder working bands around 35 years ago this month. Thin Lizzy played their last show with Phil Lynott September 4, 1983.

Though Lynott himself was not in top form at the end, it’s tough to ignore his natural charisma onstage. And the band as a whole sound great. “Emerald”, one of my all-time favorite Lizzy tunes, sounds especially good!

Shortly after this interview less than three years later, he was gone (too soon) at the (too young) age of 36.

Which is why it’s great to see the Black Star Riders carry [More]