The best West End musicals on now

BILLY ELLIOT: THE MUSICAL (Victoria Palace Theatre, London SW1)

Set during the miners’ strike, young Billy Elliot is in mourning for his mother, and seeks solace, not in the boxing ring like his mates, but in ballet class. Written by Lee Hall and with music by Elton John. The Telegraph’s theatre critic, Charles Spencer, described it as “the greatest British musical I have ever seen”.

THE BOOK OF MORMON (Prince of Wales Theate, London W1D)

The Book of Mormon arrived in London from New York on a tidal wave of acclaim and has become an unstoppable hit on this side of the Atlantic, too. Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (they of South Park infamy), it has gained a reputation as one of the most offensive pieces of work out there.

MATILDA: THE MUSICAL (Cambridge Theatre, London WC2)

There is something miraculous about “the best new British musical since Billy Elliot”, which has been adapted by Dennis Kelly from Roald Dahl’s novel about a schoolgirl with extraordinary powers. Aussie comedian Tim Minchin has come up with a smashing score that combines take-home melodies with delicious lyrical wit in songs that consistently develop both the plot and our understanding of the characters.

THE PAJAMA GAME (Shaftesbury Theatre, London WC2; until September 13)

Richard Eyre’s production of The Pajama Game comes thrillingly close to his famous Guys and Dolls.

THE COMMITMENTS (Palace Theatre, London W1)

This “thrillingly brash and raucous” musical concerns a band who believe that the Irish are the “niggers of Europe” and gradually learn to belt out terrific covers of Tamla Motown, Stax and Atlantic soul classics. It’s memorably gritty at times (the swear-word count is exceptionally high) and also proves wonderfully funny and touching.

I CAN’T SING (London Palladium, W1)

I Can’t Sing, written by Harry Hill, is wildly eccentric and often wonderfully funny – as well as splendidly rude about Simon Cowell.

JERSEY BOYS (Prince Edward Theatre, London W1D)

Jersey Boys is “a blue-collar, straight-up-no-chaser kind of show”. Built on the hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, it tells the story of a group that hailed from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey.

THE LION KING (Lyceum Theatre, London WC2)

The Lion King has grossed more than £289m and been seen by more than eight million people. Assisted at every point by the lithe, energetic contributions of 46 performers, The Lion King’s broad brushstrokes deliver nothing less than a sweeping panorama of a continent in dignified motion and a deeply felt celebration of life.

MAMMA MIA! (Novello Theatre, London WC2)

Well before Pierce Brosnan, Meryl Streep et al took this to the big screen, Catherine Johnson’s Mamma Mia! had become an enduring hit in the West End. The superbly performed ABBA tracks and whimsical story line set on a Greek island add up to a thoroughly feel-good evening.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Her Majesty’s Theatre, London SW1)

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical about a disfigured man lurking beneath the Paris Opera House who falls for his stunningly beautiful protégée is both the most financially successful and the second longest-running West End musical of all time.


This production, which deals with an infamous episode in American legal history, when in 1931 nine black American teenagers riding on a train heading South were arrested in Scottsboro, Alabama, and accused of raping two white women on board is uncomfortable, edgy and more than a little self-righteous. But is also passionate, original, and at times deeply moving.

SPAMALOT (Playhouse Theatre, London WC2)

This should be prescribed to all on the NHS. It’s not just a singalong bout of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” that sends an essential fillip of happiness coursing through you – it’s every ruddy scene.

7 Rockers Who Went Broke

Many rock stars have learned that money doesn’t buy happiness, but raking in a bunch of loot and then and then losing it certainly can have you singing the blues. And while most indie and alternative rockers can only wish to amass the kinds of fortunes that bands like the Beatles and the Stones can boast, many of them do pretty well for themselves, earning enough from rocking out that losing their savings can certainly be a major blow. Just ask the subjects of the following list: 7 Rockers That Went Broke.

Cat Power

Cat Power (aka Chan Marhall) went broke while making her latest album, which she started working on back in 2006. “I got depressed and didn’t work on [songs for the album] for eight months,” Marshall told GQ in 2012. “I got the itch again, but then I ran out of money. I cashed in a bond and bought some gear and rented a house in Malibu and wrote these other songs.” The resulting disc, ‘Sun,’ dropped last summer.

Pete Doherty

Years of drug abuse and legal issues caught up to Pete Doherty in 2010, as the former Libertines frontman had reportedly resorted to playing low-key acoustic gigs along London’s Camden High Street to pay rent on the “grubby basement flat” he was calling home. But his money problems probably didn’t last long — the Libertines reformed that summer to play the U.K.’s Leeds and Reading Festivals, with the band hauling in more than $2 million for the appearances.

Goo Goo Dolls

Funny thing, the record business. The Goo Goo Dolls sold more than 2 million albums in the mid-’90s, yet thanks to a questionable contract with Warner Bros., they still owed the major label major money. Warner signed the Dolls for 1998’s multi-platinum ‘Dizzy Up the Girl’ and gave them a substantial advance, and the Dolls didn’t see a penny from the disc’s royalties until Warner had been paid back in full, a process which took several years.


Detroit’s MC5 were never just another rock band seeking fame and fortune; managed by former White Panther Party leader John Sinclair, they were a revolutionary force. But perhaps they took the second of Sinclair’s goals for the band — a nebulous combination of the “total assault on culture by any means necessary, including rock ‘n’ roll, dope, and f—ing in the streets” and “the end of money” — a little too literally. By 1970 the MC5 were reportedly $80,000 in debt and had filed for bankruptcy, with a combination of poor promotion, bad press, internal conflicts and terrible drug habits sealing their penniless fate.

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen is an iconic and massively successful rocker through and through, but when he returned to the road in 1998 after a 15-year absence, he had little to show for it. After years of mishandling by his former manager, Kelley Lynch, Cohen had almost nothing in the bank for retirement. Cohen took her to court, but following a 2004 ruling that she repay $9.5 million in losses accrued, Lynch ignored the order. In 2008, financial desperation forced Cohen to mount his first world tour in nearly two decades. Five years later, he’s still performing live — at the age of 78.

Roky Erickson

In 1969, 13th Floor Elevators frontman Roky Erickson pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to avoid a possible 10-year prison sentence for possession of a single marijuana joint and was placed in a hospital for the criminally insane, where he was subjected to forced electro-shock therapy and Thorazine treatments. Mismanagement of his estate while he was hospitalized left him nearly penniless when he got out, and Erickson has spent much of the time since digging himself out of the hole. Renewed interest in his music in recent years has certainly helping his plight.

Courtney Love

Courtney Love has probably never slept underneath a bridge, but Kurt Cobain’s widow has claimed that somewhere in the vicinity of $530 million was somehow stolen from the vast fortune she inherited from the late Nirvana frontman’s estate. “I have never seen such greed and moral turpitude,” said Love’s lawyer Rhonda J Holmes. “This case is going to make Bernard Madoff look warm and fuzzy.” Things got so bad, in fact, that in 2010, Love was forced to borrow $2.75 million from her daughter Frances’ own trust fund — or she could’ve ended up sleeping under a bridge. Or, at least crashing at Billy Corgan’s house.

10 Best Metallica Songs

Picking the 10 best Metallica songs might just be the hardest thing we’ve ever tried to do. As one of the most successful and internationally recognized bands around, Metallica’s discography includes nine studio albums and over 40 singles, all created and released over the course of more than three decades. This huge catalog is the foundation for Metallica’s success that has now reached beyond the world of music, whether it be a critically acclaimed documentary or their own music festival or an in-the-works 3D movie that showcases their one-of-a-kind live concerts. As fans eagerly await the band’s next studio album, we’ve racked our brains to a mushy pulp to come up with this list of the 10 Best Metallica Songs:

From: ‘ReLoad’ (1997)

‘Fuel’ is the most popular tune from 1997’s ‘ReLoad,’ and it is hard to argue against it being one of Metallica’s best songs. With the ferocious intro delivered a cappella by James Hetfield, the song never lets up for the four and a half minutes it runs. ‘Fuel’ definitely serves up the fastest-paced and most in-your-face song from ‘ReLoad’ – and arguably outshines any tune on the band’s previous album, ‘Load.’

‘Fade to Black’
From: ‘Ride the Lightning’ (1984)

Call it a ballad if you must, but ‘Fade to Black’ is one of Metallica’s best songs if for no other reason than it shows just how talented the band really is. Being Metallica’s first true slow song, it covers the theme of suicide and is the first track that guitarist Kirk Hammett received co-writing credit on. Despite being slow-paced, the tune still conveys brutality and intensity, whether it’s through Hetfield’s lyrics or Hammett’s guitar solos.

‘…And Justice for All’
From: ‘…And Justice for All’ (1988)

One of the most complex songs in Metallica’s catalog, ‘…And Justice for All’ stretches to nearly 10 minutes long. Due to its complexity and length, it has been a rarity for fans to enjoy the song live at Metallica concerts. However, the common absence of the song from setlists does not make it any less powerful. The band’s fans had high expectations following ‘Master of Puppets’ and with the ‘…And Justice for All’ title track, Metallica proved that they were still on top of the metal world.

From: ‘Master of Puppets’ (1986)

Selecting the order of tracks for ‘Master of Puppets’ was no doubt a hard task, but picking ‘Battery’ to open the album was a stroke of genius. The song opens with an acoustic guitar riff – just like the opening track of ‘Ride the Lightning’ — that leads into the band joining in with full-on power and intensity. The song is one of current bassist Robert Trujillo’s favorites as he requested to begin his audition with Metallica by jamming on the tune, further cementing late bassist Cliff Burton’s legendary status.

‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’
From: ‘Ride the Lightning’ (1984)

‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ is inspired from the Ernest Hemingway novel of the same name, and is one of the most-played songs at Metallica concerts. It has become a fan-favorite no doubt due to that unique opening that sounds like a guitar, but is actually the sound of Cliff Burton playing a bass fed through distortion. ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ was first released as a promotional single, which meant it never hit the charts.

‘Seek & Destroy’
From: ‘Kill ‘Em All’ (1983)

‘Seek and Destroy’ first made its debut on Metallica’s demo tape, ‘No Life ’til Leather.’ Thirty years later, it still stands out as one of the band’s premiere songs. Since around 2004, it has been the staple tune the band jams on to end their live shows. With obvious influences from bands like Diamond Head and Saxon, ‘Seek and Destroy’ has turned into an anthem for Metallica fans throughout the world. With the piercing opening guitar riff to the brutal lyrics of “Running / On our way hiding / You will pay dying / One thousand deaths,” everything builds up to the climactic and powerful chorus: “Searching / Seek and destroy!”

From: ‘…And Justice for All’ (1988)

The last single to be released from ‘…And Justice for All,’ ‘One’ sets itself apart as one of the best songs recorded by Metallica because of its build-up from a slow, clean, haunting opening to a heavy, fast and absolutely shattering ending. That ending features an unforgettable solo from axeman Hammett as well as an earth-shattering display of Lars Ulrich’s double-bass drum kit. To make the song even better, Metallica recorded their first music video around it, a dark video that splices together footage from the 1971 anti-war film, ‘Johnny Got His Gun,’ with shots of the band playing the song.

‘Enter Sandman’
From: ‘Metallica’ (1991)

‘Enter Sandman’ might have one of the most recognizable guitar riffs around, and as the first track, sets the stage for Metallica’s self-titled 1991 disc (aka The Black Album). With a dark theme that follows a child and his nightmares, one of the most memorable moments in Metallica’s career comes when producer Bob Rock’s son recites the line ‘Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep’ alongside Hetfield. Nowadays, fans can hear the song in a number of places outside of the album, including football games, baseball games and a slew of other athletic events.

‘Creeping Death’
From: ‘Ride the Lightning’ (1984)

Taking their cue from the Bible, specifically the book of Exodus, Metallica deliver an instant thrash classic from their second studio album. Packed with Metallica’s signature sound, the highlight of the song has also turned into a staple at Metallica’s live show. After a blistering guitar solo and about four minutes into the song, the chanting of ‘Die! Die! Die!’ makes ‘Creeping Death’ a song Metallica fans will always bang their heads to.

‘Master of Puppets’
From: ‘Master of Puppets’ (1986)

One of heavy metal’s best songs ever, ‘Master of Puppets’ opens with a crushing guitar riff that carries the tune for over eight and a half minutes. The dynamic opus that covers the theme of drugs and addiction has become a mainstay in Metallica’s live set. It’s been covered an innumerable amount of times by bands of several different genres, and was reportedly Cliff Burton’s favorite Metallica track. While fans will argue over this for years to come, ‘Master of Puppets’ tops our list of the 10 best Metallica songs of all time.

The “27 Club” — curse or myth?

Janis Joplin. Jim Morrison. Jimi Hendrix. Brian Jones. Kurt Cobain. Amy Winehouse.

As we all now know, these influential rock and blues stars all died at 27 and are some of the most famous members of the “27 Club” (also known as the Forever 27 Club). The media’s been obsessed with it since Winehouse died Saturday. But musicians are aware of it, as well. Kurt Cobain knew about the curse of 27: His mother, Wendy O’Connor, famously said after his death: “Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club, I told him not to join that stupid club.”

But though the curse might bring chills up your spine, all it takes is one look at someone like Mick Jagger, Lou Reed or Iggy Pop to remind you that death doesn’t work in real life the way it does in the fatalistic “Final Destination” films. For every famous musician or artist who has died at 27, of course, hundreds more, many with personal problems just as significant, have not.

Yet something about this legend persists even today with Winehouse’s death, despite the fact that the majority of the infamous 27 Club members died within a two-year span in the late ’60s and early ’70s. (Creepy footnote: The two bookends to that period — Brian Jones and Jim Morrison — both died on July 3 … exactly 24 months apart.)

So what are we so scared of? I asked some of rock music’s leading experts for their take on the 27 Club. Was there some truth behind the mythology?

Sara Marcus, author of “Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution“: The late 20s are a time in our lives when we try to figure out how we’re going to grow up. The people who believe in astrology call it the “Saturn return” theory, which I just think is one way of talking about a psychological truth in the way that the progression of age goes in our culture.

I think that even if you’re a star very young, 30 is the age where you feel you need to have everything figured out. So as you approach your late 20s and you don’t have things figured out yet, it becomes more apparent. That’s why you see people around that age go to grad school.

I’m not at all an expert on addiction, but with Amy, there was this sense that she reached this level where she couldn’t figure out how to get to her next “thing.” The potential for self-destruction as a musician is greater than for a movie star. Physically, the mechanical requirements of being a movie star require you to be on sets for long periods of time. For rock stars, your life consists of a lot of waiting around — of idleness of the day coupled with the pressures of performing at night. It’s destabilizing, it’s dead time, and it’s very easy to fill with addiction.

Charles R. Cross, author of “Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain“: No person, no matter how many demons they had at age 27, would want that club in their obituary. I’ve seen some people who think that these deaths are intentionally timed. Like Kurt Cobain intentionally killed himself at that age simply to be in that club. You know, he suffered from depression, drug addiction and numerous other issues. He tried to kill himself at 17, 25, 26 as well, so it’s not like he did it just to join a club. It’s unfortunate that as a grieving mother, [O’Connor’s] quote about the “stupid club” is what made it into the press, because now that’s what we think of when people die at that age.

So no, I don’t think there’s a curse. My argument would be that around 20, 21, these particular people found fame. Coupled with other demons, that access to fame can make 27 something of a milestone. But it’s not just that age: 32 and 45 are just as common; you could go back and find other significant rock stars that died at those ages. And not just musicians die at 27: Basquiat, one of the romantic poets … people die at all ages. What makes the 27 Club so infamous is that in the ’60s, three of the top-10 selling stars of that era died at that particular age.

Sasha Frere-Jones, music critic for the New Yorker: I think [the number] is meaningless. What we’re talking about are extreme accounts of extremely troubled young people, which I don’t think is a phony category at all … I don’t think it’s hogwash to correlate people who fit into that “burning brightly” cliché; I think that means something. But the number itself is meaningless.

You could draw parallels here — and I’m not trying to be funny at all — that as certain drugs have become way more potent in the last 10 years, fame itself became much more potent. I do worry that this new speedball combination of fame, talent, sensitivity and a chemical predilection is something that most people won’t be able to handle. Fame looks like literal torture these days.

So does the 27 Club exist? I don’t know. It kicks in when it kicks in. How old was Elliott Smith when he died? He was a little older. Hendrix, we have no evidenced that he was depressed. Brian Jones and Morrison I don’t know that much about. A lot of those people in the ’70s, it might have just been crap luck. But we know how unhappy Cobain was. It’s really like comparing apples to oranges.

If we’re just spitballing theories here, we know that medically, stress is a very real thing. This doesn’t happen during the first flush of success, when people are very young. It happens when the expectations are gigantic. That’s the thing they all have in common, you can say. You don’t hear his name that much because he didn’t die, but Michael [Jackson] started going off the rails around this time, when “Thriller” came out. [Note: Michael was 24 in 1982.] You can’t get much more pressure than having just made “Thriller,” and that’s when his hair caught on fire and he — by his own accounts — started taking the painkillers.

If you want to come out of this with one theory, it’s that when the expectations reach a fever pitch, it becomes its own disease. Not to get all smoke monster on it, but I’m only half-bullshitting when I say I think it’s going to take the weak ones first.

The Magic of Classical Music

It’s the piano in classical music. The soft drifting from key to key, the light timidity, and then the majesty of the melody. In my mind I can see the player’s fingers dancing across the white expanse, their figure hunched over the keys, their eyes half-open, lulled by their own song. Then the strings emerge. Bright. They weave around the piano, like a braid, twisting and spinning, but never touching. Together they sing, their voices intertwined and soaring. They dance, first apart and then closer and closer until they come nose to nose, two halves becoming whole for the briefest moment, only to drift apart once again.

Classical music evokes something visceral within. A subconscious animal we all have that gives us to the impulse to jump in puddles, kiss with passion, and lie on the ground and stare up at the stars. It has the ability to tap into that primal nature within as very few mediums can.

Tonight, as I walk home after three hours in lecture, it’s the haunting melody in classical music that transports me. Who knew how magical the College of Arts and Sciences could look in the streetlight, its sharp edges dulled by the night. Classical music, unlike any other medium, has the ability change something mundane into something otherworldly. It can turn a simple walk back home into something more- a world of soft pools of streetlight and golden shadows. It can make you look up at the sky, see a star, and smile.

I realize that listening to classical music isn’t something you normally just do. In fact it may seem strange at first. But really, just try it. It’s a surprisingly emotional experience. Calming. Thoughtful. Reflective. And at times… magical.

Punk and New Wave music have strong roots in NE Ohio

A new movie follows the beginnings of punk and New Wave music in America.

“CBGB” is about the club in New York City that gave such bands a place to play and launched a revolution in rock. But the first shots in that revolution may have actually been fired in Northeast Ohio.

In the early 1970s, Cleveland and Akron became a crucible for rock bands looking to try something new.

Maybe it was the industrial landscape or the weather or – as we told you earlier – the influence of TV host Ghoulardi. But something sparked a new way of rock and roll in Northeast Ohio in the early 70’s and that sound still echoes as now classic punk or New Wave songs get covered by new groups.

The film “CBGB” focuses on club owner Hilly Kristal and a band from Cleveland: The Dead Boys. Their guitarist was Gene O’Connor, who changed his name to Cheetah Chrome. He recalls the first time he stepped into CBGB.

“Walk in the front door and the first thing I do is step in dog crap. And the second thing is: There’s Hilly. ’Hey, howya doin? I’m Hilly.’”

In the film, Kristal is played by Alan Rickman and Chrome is played by Rupert Grint of Harry Potter fame. Kristal noted that these Midwestern boys, for all their attitude, were always very polite.

Kristal: “Where are you guys from?”

Chrome: “Cleveland, sir.”

Kristal: “Well, I’m impressed with the youth of Cleveland.”

Chrome: “Oh, you shouldn’t be … lot of losers.”

At the time, the Beatles had made their American debut only 10 years earlier but O’Connor and his friends had already decided that was music for an older generation.

“It was just overblown. It was tired. It didn’t really belong to us. What was coming out then was still part of the 60’s, it seemed like.”

A writer at Scene Magazine was feeling the same way. David Thomas was writing about local music and then decided he could do it better.

“It seemed to be, in the early 70’s, in need of a kick up the pants. It seemed to need to go somewhere new. Everyone seemed to be safely settling into a way to do things, and it didn’t seem satisfactory to me.”

Starting their own bands
Thomas ended up forming a band called Rocket From the Tombs with O’Connor on guitar and notable musician Peter Laughner. What was lighting a fire under these guys was hearing the wild abandon of Detroit’s MC 5, the edgy monotone songs of New York’s Velvet Underground, or the wackiness of California’s Captain Beefheart. Lakewood High School grad John Morton recalls the day that he and classmates Dave E. McManus and Brian McMahon decided that they could be in a band.

“Dave E and I went to see Captain Beefheart and a band from Youngstown opened for them. And I just said, ‘These guys stink! We can do better than that.’

It was one of those things. Brian played guitar, kind of, nobody had an amp and Dave E couldn’t play an instrument — so that’s how he became the singer.”

They became the electric eels and wrote what many believe to be the first punk song, “Agitated.”

Morton played some gigs in Cleveland and Columbus wearing old torn clothing, held together with safety pins. It was a look that would later sell very well in London boutiques. Other Lakewood friends Paul Marotta and Jamie Klimek formed another proto punk band, Mirrors, and the new wave band The Styrenes.

So what was their big plan for success? Jamie Klimek of Mirrors explains there was none.

“Because it was so early in the game there was no path to follow. I mean everybody was making it up as they went along.”

Adds Morton, “I wasn’t following a path either but I was not following the same path he wasn’t following. … I had a lot of disdain for anyone who didn’t think exactly like I did.”

Disdain? John Morton and all the electric eels became known for fighting with the audience and themselves.

“Everyone was pretty violent. It was OK to punch someone, things like that. But I was pretty much bigger than everybody else. I can’t say I’m happy about that. It was one of those things that I doubt we could have existed if we weren’t so violent and nihilistic and screwed up. but that was also the cause of our demise.”

Well, that and the lawnmower
The eels helped established a look, a sound and an attitude that English kids would adopt a few years later. But they only played about five shows. The last was at the Viking Saloon with Mirrors and Rocket From the Tombs. Morton fired up a gas-engine lawnmower on stage and the owner threw them out. Gene O’Connor was a guitarist for Rocket at the time.

“You know, sitting up there on my stool running lights for a guy who’s singing and running a lawnmower on the stage – I wasn’t really thinking there was going to much acceptance for it. But it was fun.”

O’Connor met Peter Laughner of Bay Village through an ad in the paper. He, Thomas and Laughner wrote songs that became punk anthems.

“It all came together pretty quick. It was amazing that in about two-three weeks we had written most of the strong stuff like ’What Love Is,’ ‘Final Solution,’ ‘Ain’t it Fun,’ ‘Down in Flames.’ A lot of that stuff came real fast.”

“Ain’t it Fun when you know you’re gonna die young …”
Laughner was considered brilliant but drugs and alcohol took over and musicians refused to work with him. He died at age 24.

These trailblazing bands, including the Pagans, shared members but also competed. They all had trouble getting gigs and attracting audiences. But David Giffels, coauthor of the book “Devo,” says Akron had its own version of CBGB, a bar called the Crypt.

“It’s generally taken as fact that the first punk rock club outside of New York was the Crypt in Akron and those were the only two. There’s no way to explain that.”

Except that the owner handed over the keys to an Akron punk band, the Rubber City Rebels.

“By being marginalized these bands were inspired to try even harder. They couldn’t get gigs in clubs, so they made their own club. They couldn’t get played on the radio, so they played for each other.”

30 seconds over Akron
Cleveland had a cadre of young, smart kids trying to do something different, and Akron did as well. Brothers Bob, Jim, and Mark Mothersbaugh were playing music at home, sometimes with high school friend Chrissie Hynde. Then Mark met Jerry Casale at Kent State and they ended up forming Devo. Casale was an art major.

“It wasn’t until ’72 that I consciously went, ‘Well, music should be art. In other words, this visual art I’m doing is nothing like this blues/roots music I’m doing. I should do music that is the musical equivalent of the art that I’m doing.’ And I had no one to do that with until I met Mark.”

Devo heard that Akron and Cleveland bands were getting a chance to play in New York so Casale pretended to be the band’s manager and went to New York with clips and records. They got a chance to play at CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, where they were introduced by David Bowie.

“We didn’t sound like any of those people and we weren’t trying to. What we brought was a fully formed aesthetic because we were in an incubator in Akron where nobody gave a s***. So we really honed our craft and what we did we did completely.”

Casale says the more aggressive they got on stage, the more the audience liked them.

Akron guitarist Robert Quine joined Lou Reed and a number of top bands in New York and never came home. Cleveland’s Dead Boys were popular in New York but they never left Cleveland. Cheetah Chrome recalls the day Hilly Kristal called and told them to rush to CBGB for a live a recording.

“We literally stole Stiv [Bator]’s roommate’s car to go do this. We told her we were going to run for cigarettes. We didn’t have a way to get to New York. We said ‘Barb, can we borrow your car? We need to get cigarettes.’ We took the car, went and got a U-Haul, got the equipment, drove into Pennsylvania. About a half way there we called her and said, ‘Look, we had to borrow your car.’”

Down in flames
Soon notable music journalists and record producers came to check out the Northeast Ohio scene. Village Voice rock critic Robert Christgau wrote a glowing review after seeing the Akron New Wave band Tin Huey play in Kent. The band ended up getting a record contract with Warner Brothers.

But Ralph Carney of Tin Huey says the oil embargoes of the mid 70’s forced vinyl record companies to start dropping bands.

“The record companies were having their first crash since the giant boom starting in the late 60’s, especially Warner Bros. We were like ‘Up and up and up, records man.’ Then suddenly, ‘We’re gonna cut a lot of bands that aren’t really selling a lot.’ And we were one of them.”

There was one last hurrah when the independent British label, Stiff Records, issued a compilation album of Akron bands in 1978. That was the one with a scratch-and-sniff cover that smelled like burning rubber.

The surprising number of women-led bands like Rachel Sweet, the Waitresses, Jane Aire and the Belvederes, and Chi Pig were getting big radio play in the U-K, just not home in Akron.

There was a similar lack of support in Cleveland. The electric eels were out of business. Paul Marotta says the Styrenes were paid by a record company but then never recorded.

“There was virtually no support. I always felt like an outsider. We sat alone in our loft and we played what we wanted to play. Any musician wants people to like it. You can pretend that ‘I don’t care what the audience does.’ But then, why would you do it in front of an audience if you don’t care whether they like it or not?”

The good news for music lovers is that many of these bands reunite and play locally on occasion. The Mirrors just played Cleveland in September, the Styrenes played earlier with John Morton on guitar

“Now it feels right. I’m really happy for the opportunity to play. You know now we’re appreciated to some extent. That’s very gratifying.”

Of that era’s local musicians, only Chrissie Hynde has been inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. But their influence continues. The Dead Boys are portrayed in the “CBGB” movie but you can see the real band in a TV commercial for Sonos speakers.

And new artists come along. The late Robert Quine had a nephew who got together with Ralph Carney’s nephew. They’re called the Black Keys.

Music is healthy for the mind and soul

Music is healthy for children. The piano makes children smarter.Musical activity is characterized in that it appeals to many senses at once. However, the music centre there is not in the brain. Instead, the music is an extraordinarily comprehensive connection between many sub-areas of the brain.

It is not surprising that neuroscience with active musicians in the hearing and movement areas a higher density of neurons was observed, which corresponds to a higher performance. These effects can be observed after a few weeks of piano playing. Also interesting is the connection between linguistic and musical skills. The brain areas for speech and music processing overlap largely.Why the choral singing and orchestral playing have positive social behaviour? In fact, conditions for a successful musical promotion of the child are well known: a separate instrument, a space and enough time for private practice, a good teacher and parental support.

Examples of certain young musicians there is enough.

Spiritual advancement

In terms of a comprehensive promotion of mental-emotional development of children, this question is clearly affirmative. That learning an instrument or singing in a choir opened the regular children the opportunity to differentiate themselves emotionally without express language in another communication system.

Music is a balm for the soul

Music can change the world because it can change people. Music that pleases is balm for the soul. Music can make us forget music can comfort, music can bring to dream, music exudes joy music can help to forget problems, music can heal, animated music, music asks you to dance. Music has a tremendous effect on short mind, body and soul.

The healing power of music was demonstrated by neurological studies. The musicianship is not merely limited to a specific region of the brain, but it also speaks to the hearing the musculoskeletal system, the mind and feel. This means that the different brain regions work together as in a concert. This happens not only when a person plays an instrument, but also even if he only listens to music.

What music has a positive effect?

While noise may cause significant adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, melodious music is able to lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate and to influence cardiovascular disease low. The most powerful healing force there has classical music.Music can be very different effects on the body. What effects can be attributed to the different types of music, shows the following overview: Which composers in heart disease? Classical music is one of the most commonly recommended styles of music for people with cardiovascular disease.

Classical music

Classical music has undoubtedly beneficial effects on anxiety, depression, and diseases of the cardiovascular system, leading to the increase of concentration, memory, creativity and energy, influences the immune system and is helpful in pain, stress and insomnia.

Rock and Pop music

This music is mood lifting, motivation levels and stimulating with fatigue. It helps to stay in a good mood and not tiring as quickly.

Meditation music

Meditation music is calming; the sounds are all rather slow and have little rhythm. It helps to relax and calm, especially after hectic and strenuous activity. Meditation music is mainly used in yoga and tai chi to cause a calming mood. It is favourable to spiritual deepening, to meditate, is effective against stress, sleep and leads to calm and harmony.

Heavy metal

Heavy metal has no therapeutic healing power, just as techno music. While with heavy metal part still real instruments are used, is techno music synthetically. This music can help in some cases, reduce aggression, to better handle anger, disappointment and frustration, but heart rate and blood pressure are increased physiological stress builds up, so this music is rather destructive.


Jazz speaks to the intellect and needs when listening to a certain concentration. Who does not like jazz, feels annoyed and overwhelmed. For therapeutic purposes, Jazz is hardly used.

Latin music

Latin music is usually lively, very rhythmic, lifts the mood and lifts the mood. It is suitable to increase motivation to bridge especially around melancholic moments, and increase vitality.

Music and Harmony

Music and harmonic sounds affect all levels of human existence. They therefore also forms an important part of our lives. Music can really be beneficial. At least we know that in the course of human history, the ancient sages and saints have composed over the world spiritual songs and mantras to use them for healing purposes. There is a wide range of healing composed music for different occasions, so you can enjoy these sounds in daily life for inner balance and peace of mind.

Cosmic Energy – manifested in sound

These sounds are based on extensive research on the therapeutic effects of different ragas. In combination with specially selected rhythms and lyrics, they develop a special healing effect. Because this music is able to harmonize the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and space) and the chakras to bring about (energy centres) in the body.The cosmic energy manifests as time and space and penetrates the elements up to the earth element to the sound as a product of the room there are no limits so set, and he is an excellent medium for any type of energy work.Music has the ability to work both destructive and creative.

The human voice as a medicine?

The human voice is used here as a versatile and powerful tool. The ancient Vedic rituals and spiritual songs are originally built up to this, and are still used today as in the form of mantras.The music has a holistic and healing effect on body, mind and soul and making it an ideal supplement for the treatment of many serious illnesses.

The ancient lyrical texts are similarly constructed as computer programs. It comes to a well-defined sound and speech sequence. Both the phonetic sounds and the notes, in which they are sung, have great influence on the balance.The singing and listening to monosyllabic “bija” mantra, such as the (great) mantra “AUM” may bring an extremely effective healing effect.

According to the ancient Indian philosophy, the sound sequence “AUM” is the primordial vibration, which symbolizes the creation of the universe. Meditation and chanting of “Aum” will help the individual to exceed its limits and to tune into his self, which in ayurvedic medicine has great importance.