28 Years Gone: RIP Cliff Burton

For those who don’t know, Clifford Lee Burton was the second electric bass player of Metallica who served in the band for six years before his untimely and gruesome death on September 27th, 1986. Burton had the upper half of his body crushed in a tour bus accident after the bus hit black ice:

As a heavy metal bassist, I’ve always considered Cliff Burton to be one of my biggest influences next to Jason Newsted (also of Metallica) and Steve Harris of Iron Mainden. Cliff taught Metallica how to harmonize their guitars, and was a prolific song writer in how epic all of the songs he wrote sounded. Cliff was also very open-minded about different forms of music, so I’m sure he would have liked the idea of Metallica experimenting with different styles of music to some extent.

Some people feel that Cliff was an “overrated” bassist, but I don’t why they would say that since they never did anything better musically themselves and probably never will. To use a saying famous in my generation, “haters gonna hate.” Since I was born in 1989, Cliff died well before my time and I’m saddened by that fact. However, his influence lives on to inspire new generations of bass players (myself included). I’m also happy to know that he’s still recognized for his accomplishments and talents 28 years later.

RIP Cliff, I’m sure you’re jamming with other great musicians in the great beyond.


My Top Four Facebook Statuses (2011-2013)

As a writer I often have my moments of reflection and deep thought, and as a person I have my moments of simple emotion and impulses. In the digital age there is no better way to measure the human psyche than with social media. Enter Facebook; where everyone expresses their political, social, philosophical, personal beliefs and actions to a world of complete strangers. And here I am, basking in the warm glow of social media in my own selfish desire for attention.

Note: I would have had more than four posts but I recently cleared out my timeline of many statuses since I’m job hunting right now.

4. Working today at New Horizons, I went up to retired Naval Veteran and thanked him for his service to this country. He thanked me back saying “Thank you, too! Because you’re a great guy!” It’s the little things that go the furthest sometimes.

I work part-time as a Waiter at an Assisted Living facility called New Horizons right now, and I go out of my way to brighten up the day of the residents’ there anyway I can. In this case I was expressing my thanks to a Veteran around this past Memorial Day Weekend. It managed to brighten my day as well.

3. “The Newsted show was so amazing!! The opening bands were great, I got a fist bump from Jason and conversed with him like a doofy fan (forgot to give him my name, lol), and I heard My Friend of Misery and Whiplash LIVE for the first time ever. Additionally, Brad and I were up front and center the whole time so I got a great view of his new band and the gorgeous basses Jason Newsted was using. I’ll write the review tomorrow and post it to the Newsted FB in hopes of getting my name out as an entertainment writer!!”

This was me talking about my experience seeing Newsted live after I got home the night of the concert with a friend of mine. It was a truly amazing experience, one that I hope the review I posted last month captured pretty well. For reference, the whole concert at The Middle East was put up on Youtube (though Audio quality is rather poor in some videos, sort of like my camera work). The reason I chose this as number three on my list was because Jason Newsted is a personal hero of mine for how he rose to fame against really pressing odds, and has remained a genuinely nice guy despite it all.

 2. Instead of putting Whitey Bulger to death I say we make him listen to “Dinosaur” by Ke$ha for the rest of his life.

I was insulting Ke$ha’s music and Whitey Bulger with this Facebook status. I didn’t enjoy the terrible ear-bleeding quality of the Ke$ha song “Dinosaur”, which happens to be about a creepy old dude who hits on very young girls. I wrote my review of Ke$ha’s first album around the same time they caught Whitey Bulger down in Florida, and I was just being a smart*** to express my disapproval of a renowned criminal and cult icon pop star. However, I’ve since learned to appreciate Ke$ha as a living parody of all pop music today. For that I can at least appreciate that Ke$ha’s music still has some substance and can rouse emotions out of me (as I’m often a tough critic of top 10 songs). So, my apologies for associating Ke$ha with a murderer and being harsher than I should have been.

1. “There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery”. Dante pretty much explains how I’ve been feeling for the past five years while thinking of the Summer and Fall of 2008. My misery and pain in the present won’t just magically disappear as it supposedly does for some people (as if), but pain normally lies in the present so I pray for a better tomorrow. I guess the old saying “Time heals all wounds” is a good comeback to the saying Dante wrote, but “wounds never heal quickly” is my own comeback.

I’ve been through an interesting and very hard journey through my late teen years and my early 20s. The year 2008 is still very special to me since I finished High School and began College. I also met many friends and my ex-fiance that year in Salem so I still reminisce quite often about 2008. Looking back at that year now with how things have not been easy for me shows how true the quote by Dante really is. But, I’m a writer and amateur philosopher so I put my own spin it; that spin simply being that the past can’t be changed, but the future can be. However, change’s always a gradual process and in my case it will take me a while to embrace the future.

There we go. In the vast human experience I can be very wise about life, or wise when it comes music and other subjects I dislike making me all the more human. At the end of the day I am who I am, and I will always enjoy being the narrator of my own story.


Newsted Live at the Middle East Downstairs Concert Review

The recently formed band Newsted played The Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, Mass on May 22nd. For those who don’t know, Ex Metallica Bassist Jason Newsted started his new band “Newsted” for himself and his fans to show his love of rock. Its members include Mr. Newsted himself on bass and lead vocals, Drummer Jesus Mendez Jr., and Mike Mushok (from Staind) and Jessie Farnsworth on guitar. The band’s current goal is to bring Metal back from the underground to the world (sort of like what I try to do when I interview rock bands, haha).

Before the show, I caught a glimpse of Jason Newsted taking a photo with some fans (below), then managed to yell out to that he was my Idol. Newsted responded by saying “You’re my Idol too, man!” I then yelled that I’d be posting an online review of his Concert at The Middle East Downstairs, to which he threw me a peace sign. As a bass player and aspiring Entertainment Journalist (plus as someone who faced a lot of hazing in my childhood like Newsted did in Metallica), half the reason I took this career path was to meet with famous musicians whom I deeply respect.


The first band was a very Avant-Garde Metal-Core group named Acaro. They held a respectable crowd reaction; had a strong sound loyal to their genre, but managed to mix in some interesting riffs melodically. The lead guitarist, drummer, rhythm guitarist, and bass player were amazing. Notable songs include “For Ever” about lost loved ones, and a song where the bass player had this gorgeous bass intro on their last song. They have a strong future and tight sound.



The second band, a group named “Wilson” from Detroit was more classic/hard rock influenced (think Dead Kennedys, Rush, Motorhead, and ACDC). They had a strong set list. The front man was very personable via jumping out into the crowd, and allowing people to sing into the microphone. During one song, the lead singer brought out a few beer bottles and starting playing them like a percussion instrument, and one by one the four band members took the beers away to drink.

In Wilson’s last song the lead singer brought out a marching drum that said “Fuckery” on it to everyone’s amusement. Towards the end of the night Wilson did a kick-ass cover of “Back in Black” where people from the crowd were able to sing along during the chorus. They’re definitely a great band that pairs well with Newsted.



When Newsted (the band) came on stage, the crowd went WILD!! In fact, some people were escorted off stage (one fan allegedly tried to push Newsted off of the stage recently as well). Newsted (band) opened up with a free jam, then Played Solider Head. He also played Metallica songs like Creeping Death, and Whiplash along his songs off the Metal EP like “King of the Underdogs” and songs from his upcoming album. During the end of one song, Mr. Newsted referenced the Boston Strong motto and thanked the fans for their positive energy and enthusiasm.

In each song, Newsted presented himself very optimistically as a front man using very emotion filled vocals, and expressing very animated body language and facial expressions while playing to set the mood of the song (along with the music). Newsted explained the entire American tour was to be used as a launch pad before the band goes global, and the release of their first album in August of this year.

Towards the end of the show Newsted took out his bass, sat on the edge of the stage alone and played the opening to My Friend of Misery to everyone’s astonishment. MFOM was so awesome; I could have died a happy man at that very moment from hearing my favorite bass riff ever played live finally!

This was by far the best concert of my life so far, since I got a fist bump from Jason and my friend Brad caught Mushok’s guitar pic. My only two complaints are that the vocal mics could have been a tiny bit louder, and that I didn’t get to be a good fan-girl and get the autographs of the band members. The band Newsted closed with two more songs that rocked the crowd and got everybody in a great mood! As the show started to end, fans left feeling very happy about the music that was played in an effort to bring Metal back to the music world, and with that night as any indication; it will come back with a vengeance!!


*All photos and videos credited to me, names were not used.