Blog Archives

Random Awesomeness (part 2019.3)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: Firefight: The Reckoners, Book Two by Brandon Sanderson.

Purchase the self-titled Black Robot album!

Remembering Ronnie James Dio: Various Hard Rockers (part 1)

On May 16, 2010, the heavy metal world lost one of the most powerful voices it had ever known when Ronnie James Dio passed away.

The Hard Rock Nights radio program, hosted at that time by JT Carter, paid tribute by playing the songs of Dio and allowing musicians that were influenced by Ronnie to share their memories with fans.

Sharing their thoughts and memories of Ronnie James Dio in this clips:

Black Robot is back!

Black RobotGot a press release from Black Robot today. Good news for hard rock fans! Read on…

Los Angeles based hard rock band Black Robot will release the first single from their forthcoming album Woman on October 19th. The song “Circlesƒ˜ƒ‹Žƒ„Ž‡ƒ•ƒˆ”‡‡†‘™Ž‘ƒ†‡š…Ž—•‹˜‡Ž›ƒ––Š‡„ƒ†” will be available as a free download exclusively at the band’s website When asked about the new single, singer Jeremy Aric says “Circles is song about my life-long struggle facing demons and coming full circle.” The melodic, riff–driven rocker was written by the band and produced by Dave Cobb in Nashville, TN.

Friends and fans will get a chance to preview “Circles” and other new tracks live on Friday, November 2 at the world famous Viper Room. This will be the first show with their new singer. “I’m very eager to share this music with everone,” continues Aric. “All along, I’ve been saying to myself, ‘I can’t wait to play these songs live! and I can’t think of a more perfect venue.” Tickets for the show are $10.00 in advance or $12.00 at the door and can be purchased at the Viper Room box office or online at The Viper Room is located at 8852 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069.

I became a fan of Black Robot as soon as I heard their AC/DC-ish cover of the J.J. Cale classic, “Cocaine.” The debut album was a straight-forward hard rocker with a definite 1970s vibe, and I hope the next release will follow that pattern despite the change in vocalist. I’m really really really looking forward to Woman.

Learn more about Black Robot.

Purchase Black Robot – Black Robot.

Killer contest from @BlackRobotMusic

Hard rockers Black Robot are asking fans to make parodies of classic album covers, and they are giving away a cool prize pack to the winner which includes an awesome Black Robot action figure! I’m definitely entering this contest, and you should too.

CONTEST TIME! While the artwork for our new album is being created, we decided to have a little fun with some classic covers. Use the Robot head provided in the folder and make your own (see our example Ramones Robot cover). Winner will be chosen by the band on March 25th and announced here. Black Robot prize pack is up for grabs!
Send your photos to to enter. All photos will be added to the folder on this page.
Good luck!

Be sure to “like” Black Robot on Facebook.

Day 18 of the 30 Day Song Challenge

day 18 – a song that you wish you heard on the radio

Black Robot “Cocaine”

So many great overlooked bands could be mentioned here: The Last Vegas, Endeverafter, Stonerider, Shredding the Envelope, Babylon Bombs, etc. Or you could go with formerly awesome bands who have new awesome CDs that are being ignored by the industry: King Kobra, Lynch Mob, Keel, Lillian Axe. Or you could go with guys who were in big bands back in the day who started new bands and are not receiving any attention: Souls of We (George Lynch from Dokken), Black Country Communion (with Glenn Hughes [Deep Purple/Black Sababth], Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham [Led Zeppelin’s drummer’s son], Derek Sherinian [Dream Theater]), etc.

I chose Black Robot (official site), who falls into that last category. Vocalist Huck Johns saw a bit of success with his solo effort in 2006, and Johnathan Brightman comes from Buckcherry. Together they have created something greater than Josh Todd could have ever imagined, yet Buckcherry gets all the attention.

Folks, BLACK ROBOT IS THE REAL DEAL. Buy the album. Multiple copies. One for yourself, and five for friends. Support good music.

(click here for the 30 Day Song Challenge)

(Note: The band recently announced that Huck Johns has resigned as vocalist and is starting a new band, but they will continue as Black Robot with a new singer. I can’t wait to hear what JB and the guys come up with next.)


Just closed on a house over the weekend, so we’ve been busy packing and making moving plans. Between that and working 8-12 hours a day (including weekends), I haven’t had much time for blogging. My apologies. It’s just too difficult to write a coherent post with pretty pictures and such at work.

But I have been keeping up on my reading. There is a new blog out there, bdj610’s “The Topps 300 (and then some…)”…a response to Topps’ awful attempt at a “top 60.” Get over there and comment on Jaybee’s selections so far, make some suggestions and let’s show Topps how it should have been done!

I would also like to ask you a personal favor to me. Would you be so kind as to take a few seconds to vote for Hard Rock Nights as “best radio show” in the Kerrang! Readers Poll 2010? You do not have to register or even give your e-mail address…just click on that link and fill in the box with “Hard Rock Nights.” Then you can go back and vote on other categories (like Black Robot for “best band”…hint hint).

I do not host the program anymore due to my hectic schedule and the fear of burning out, but it is still alive and well in the capable hands of Brian Basher (who was threatened by Hard Rock Cafe last week…but he stood his ground and they backed down!) and I would really appreciate your continued support. I am still involved with the program, but to a much lesser extent than before.

Speaking of Hard Rock Nights, there is a brand new website for the show! There’s a lot of work left to be done, but it is now live and will be improved over the coming days and weeks.

Ok, now that I’ve got all that out there, I need to get back to being busy doing nothing.

Listen to Hard Rock Nights NOW!

Hard Rock Nights is airing right now on Stickman Radio. Yes, right NOW…and every Friday afternoon beginning at 1 pm EST. If you miss this afternoon’s show, you can hear it tonight beginning at 10 pm EST on KWTF The Edge, or tomorrow night at 9 pm EST or Sunday at noon EST on Rock Hard Radio!

Buying Baseball Cards

It’s been a while. I made a decision quite some time ago that I was going to stop buying packs because the prices are so high and the chances of pulling Reds so low. I’ll wait until the end of the year and just pick up the team sets and a few singles here and there. After making this decision though, I lost interest in cards. So I haven’t really bought many this year. Until today.

We stopped at the baseball card/coin store first. Not a lot of selection, and the single cards are pretty high at this particular store. But they did have 1991 Leaf packs for 50 cents a pack. I know, I wasn’t going to buy packs. But 50 cents, man. 50 cents. They only had 6 packs, but I figured with 15 cards per pack, surely I was going to pull a couple of Reds, right? Um, no. Instead, out of one Series 1 pack and five Series 2 packs, I pulled FOUR, yes FOUR Randy Johnson cards. It would be great if I was a Randy Johnson fan.

And THREE, yes THREE Curt Schilling cards. Too bad I don’t really like Curt Schilling.

And ZERO, yes ZERO Reds cards. Bummer.

But with my purchase I also got a pack of twenty Ring of Honor cards for free. They are all of the even #’d cards from 12-50. Jermaine Dye has already been offered to (and now packaged for) Steve, and I’m going to hang on to Clemente, Frank Robinson, and the two Reggie Jackson cards, but the rest are up for grabs.

After the card shop, we drove down the road and decided to check out the Florence Antique Mall. I will definitely be returning to the Antique Mall in the near future as there were several displays of baseball cards, very cool stuff, mostly reasonably priced. Among my purchases were:

Chico Cardenas 1960 Rookie Star

Don Gullett 1971 Topps (rookie!)

Cesar Geronimo 1979 O-Pee-Chee

George Foster 1980 Kellogg’s

Ted Kluszewski/Gil Hodges/Mickey Vernon 1986 Sportflics

I had to take a photo of this one, because when I scanned it Klu didn’t show up. It was the Dodger guy. And I don’t post Dodgers here. That’s someone else‘s job.

Eric Davis 1989 Topps Coin

Fun fact on the back of the coin: “Eric led NL with 21 Game-Winning RBI in 1988.” Of course, as we all know today, GWRBI is no longer an official stat. But wasn’t it one of the most fun stats in the 1980s?

Ken Griffey, Jr. 2009 Topps

I also rolled the dice with a couple of “surprise” packs for 25 cents. Hey, it’s 25 cents. One contained 6 or 7 All-Star stickers from 1981, including the late, great Tug McGraw.

The other 25-cent pack included 10 Pro Set MusiCards. In addition to Nelson, LL Cool J, and a few MC Hammers, I also got a promo card for Bill & Ted…

…and a Vanilla Ice card!!!

That reminds me, Vanilla is coming to Cincinnati soon. I’m still undecided on whether I will go to the show, but I just might go and try to get this card autographed!

In addition to all this, I got two packs of 1981 Donruss for a mere $1 each. Yeah, baby. Vintage cardboard. Gotta love it. 18 cards per pack…let’s rip in, shall we?

Pack #1
461 Larry Gura – Unfortunately the gum was stuck to the front of Gura’s card, and when I ripped the gum off part of the card came with it.

460 U L Washington
465 Bucky Dent – Why was this guy so popular? Was it his tough-nosed play, or his former career as Captain America’s sidekick?

463 Hal McRae – A former Red! But not in a Reds uniform, so who cares?

464 Jim Frey
350 Dave McKay
110 Mickey Klutts – Apparently he lived up to his name. The back of the card informs the collector, “1980 – Avoided the serious injuries that plagued his previous seasons and appeared in his most games ever.” That was, by the way, 75 games. Don’t be such a klutz, Klutts.

120 Mike Heath
238 Rick Langford
237 Wayne Gross
236 Benny Ayala
235 John Lowenstein
234 Mikw Flanagan
233 Dan Graham
232 Rich Dauer
231 Luis Tiant – I had no idea Tiant played for the Yankees. He’ll always be a Red Sox pitcher to me.

nno Checklist
360 Brian Kingman – The 20-game loser. What’s amazing is that his ERA was only 3.83 in 1980. Which means the A’s offense must have been terrible when he was pitching.

Pack 1 Team Count: 4 Royals, 2 Yankees, 6 A’s, 5 Orioles, and 1 Checklist. Wow, talk about terrible collation. (Is that even the word I’m looking for?)

Pack #2
582 Dave Stieb – Unfortunately Stieb suffered the same fate as Gura from the first pack.

581 Andy Hassler
580 Mark Littell
579 Greg Minton
224 Clint Hurdle
230 Jeff Cox
229 Oscar Gamble
228 Reggie Jackson – Until I got to this card, I thought, “Wow, these packs have definitely been searched and re-sealed. The collation is terrible, and there are no good players at all.” That all changed with this pack.

227 Ron Guidry – Yeah, big Ron was awesome.

226 Jim Spencer
470 Mike Davis
469 Bobby Brown – Prior to his days as a Top 40 Superstar, Bobby roamed the outfield for the Yanks. I did not know that.

468 Reggie Jackson – Wait, what? How great is this? Two Reggies in one pack! Awesome!

This is the card that commemorates reaching 400 home runs. Back when that number mattered.

467 Ron Davis
466 Dennis Werth
465 Bucky Dent
464 Jim Frey
463 Hal McRae
462 Rich Gale

Pack 2 Team Count: 1 each Blue Jays, Angels, Cardinals, Giants, 2 A’s, 4 Royals, 9 Yankees. NINE YANKEES??? Wow. Too bad I’m not a Yankees collector. Any Yankees fan want them? All but the Jacksons and Guidry I’m willing to part with. Leave a comment or e-mail me.

Driving music was provided today by Black Robot, featuring former members of Buckcherry. Black Robot is a rock band that has a 1970s vibe to it, with shades of The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Aerosmith. Of note are “Cocaine” (a rugged cover of the JJ Cale piece), “Love on a .45,” and “In My Car.” Hear song samples and find more information about Black Robot at …if you think you’re cool enough.

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