- New music from He Is Legend and Babylon AD vocalist gone solo, Derek Davis
- Rare Hair from The Cult, Loudness, Babylon Bombs, Winger, Crazy Lixx, Babylon Shakes, and LA Guns
- Hits & Deep Cuts from Def Leppard, Kiss, Badflower, Poison, Trixter, In This Moment, Theory of a Deadman, AC/DC, Danzig, Five Finger Death Punch, Vince Neil, Rainbow, Babylon AD, Faster Pussycat, and more!
- Hair so rare, it was never released in America or the UK!
- A royal Cover Song of the Week—covered by a saint
- Pick up Derek Davis’s first solo album Resonator Blues
- Indie & Unsigned: Merryweather Stark
Visit Merryweather Stark’s Facebook Fan Page
Own the hits and deep cuts you hear on Hard, Heavy & Hair! Click the iTunes/Apple Music or Amazon Digital Music icons to the left of each song.
Beds by Audionautix.
Transcript of the Show
This is Hard, Heavy & Hair show number 203 and it’s titled “Babylon.”
Move closer to me
I am not just anyone
You’re about to see
The gates of Babylon
Rainbow – Gates of Babylon
A long start, but a good one. The 6 minute 48 second “Gates of Babylon” from Rainbow’s 1978 Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll LP. Like much of Rainbow’s work, that song has elements of epic storytelling. That album, by the way, was the one where Ritchie Blackmore fired Rainbow’s original bassist, Mark Clarke, formerly of Uriah Heep. Blackmore hated Clarke’s style of finger-playing, so Blackmore fired him and played bass on most of the album. “Gates of Babylon” is one of four songs Blackmore didn’t play bass on. Instead, he brought in Widowmaker bassist Bob Daisley. Daisley, of course, only lasted a year before he was fired and replaced with Roger Glover from Deep Purple.
Hello you headbangers and horn throwers, my name is Pariah Burke. I’m your hard talking, heavy drinking, hairball of a horny hedonistic host for the Hard, Heavy & Hair Show, your weekly dose of Hard Rock, Metal, and Hair bands from the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, and 20-teens.
Thank you for joining me.
Before I tell you what’s coming up on this show, let’s hear from Def Leppard on the genesis of my favorite subject. From Hysteria, this is “Women.”
Def Leppard – Women
Trixter – Bad Girl
“Bad Girl” from Trixter following Def Leppard’s “Women” and helping to set the tone for the show.
So, I’ve been jonesing to play Babylon AD because, well, I like Babylon AD, and I know a lot of you listeners do, too. So I add “The Kid Goes Wild,” a track from their ’89 debut record, to the show. I then add the week’s new releases, throw in some tunes from the 70s, 80s, 90s, Aughties, and Aught-teens, and I’ve got a show ready to broadcast. THEN Facebook suggests a “People You May Know” and it’s Derek Davis, lead singer of Babylon A.D. We have a lot of friends in common, so I send a friend request and Derek confirms it. Then I see that yesterday morning Derek dropped a single off his upcoming solo album. Of course I’m going to play it!
I’m thinking that Babylon AD track, with Derek singing, will be a nice setup and lead-in to Derek’s new single.
THEN I get a reminder from an intern that I wanted to play Merryweather Stark on this week’s Indie & Unsigned. Merryweather Stark Has a song called “Babylon – Sin City.” THAT ties into the Cover Song of the Week, and the next thing I know, I’m reworking the whole playlist– I’m even playing a different Babylon AD song—and the entire show has become about Babylon, the Whore of Babylon, and the references to either in hundreds of songs and even band names.
What do you say? Want to help me celebrate the sublime and naughty nature of Babylon? Let’s start with some unskinny bop.
Poison – Unskinny Bop
Babylon Shakes – Velveteen Libertine
Combining the rollicking funk of vintage Aerosmith, the reckless punk edge of the New York Dolls, and a good dose of straight up Hanoi Rocks, that was the band Babylon Shakes from Central Virginia and their very on-topic song “Velveteen Libertine.” Before that was Poison’s 1990 hit “Unskinny Bop.” I’ve told you the story behind “Unskinny Bop” on previous shows, so I’ll spare you the repetition. Instead, I’d like to tell you what else you can look forward to on this show.
New music from He Is Legend and Babylon AD vocalist gone solo, Derek Davis
Rare Hair from The Cult, Loudness, Babylon Bombs, Winger, Crazy Lixx, and LA Guns.
Hits & Deep Cuts from Kiss, Badflower, In This Moment, Theory of a Deadman, AC/DC, Danzig, Five Finger Death Punch, Vince Neil, Babylon AD, Faster Pussycat, and more!
Hair so rare, it was never released in America or the UK!
A royal Cover Song of the Week–covered by a Saint
Your first Cover Song of the Week clue is up after KISS and the premiere of a previously unaired Badflower track off their 2019 debut record. Let’s start with KISS from Creatures of the Night. This is “Saint and Sinner” on Hard, Heavy & Hair.
Kiss – Saint And Sinner
Badflower – Girlfriend
A deep cut from Badflower’s debut album on Big Machine records.
Ready for your first Cover Song of the Week clue? The first one is always the toughest, the one to challenge the most knowledgeable of Rock trivia buffs. The clues get easier as we go.
Here are a few facts about the song being covered this week.
On the original version, which is sung by a famous musician and actor, Billy Strange plays lead guitar, though many people think it was Glen Campbell.
The song was actually written to be the title track to a film featuring the musician who sang it in the lead role. It was the most popular of the 31 films in which he starred, making the song one of the most popular in his catalog, too.
Despite that, that original recording artist never played the song live at any of his concerts.
The Dead Kennedys recorded a cover version on their 1980 debut album, though the hardcore Punks changed some of the lyrics.
The song appears–twice–in The Big Lebowski, first performed by Bunny Lebowski’s band Big Johnson, and then in the closing credits as a softer version done by Shawn Colvin. Bugs Bunny also sings the song in the 2003 Looney Tunes: Back in Action film.
The clues get easier as we go along.
Time for some Swedish Glam. This is Crazy Lixx from their 2010 New Religion album on Frontier Records: the “Road to Babylon.”
Crazy Lixx – Road to Babylon
So what’s so special about Babylon that it’s part of, or referenced by, the name of half a dozen bands and is sung about in several dozen songs? I’ll tell you right after this brand new track from American rockers He Is Legend. This is “Boogiewoman” from their upcoming album White Bat.
He Is Legend – Boogiewoman
New He Is Legend there.
So, what’s the big deal about Babylon that so many bands, albums, and songs reference it? Why is it so big that I was easily able to build an entire show devoted to Babylon? There are two Babylons, actually, both informing creative choices in all kinds of art, not just music.
Historically, Babylon was a kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia back from the 18th through the 6th centuries BC. It became the Ancient world’s largest, most powerful, most culturally influential, and richest city for 12 centuries.
Roughly 1400 years ago, the city was apparently bulldozed and redeveloped like a modern single-family home lot getting turned into an apartment complex.
Babylon was a center of culture and beauty that thrived on the diversity of peoples from all around the ancient world. It was the destruction of this version of Babylon that inspired this next song AND the band’s name. This is Swedish hard rockers Babylon Bombs with the title track to their third album, “Babylon’s Burnin'”.
Babylon Bombs – Babylon’s Burning
Faster Pussycat – Babylon
Faster Pussycat there with “Babylon” alluding to the first of two Biblical descriptions of Babylon.
In several different passages in the Old and New Testaments, Babylon is referenced usually not in a positive light.
First, in Genesis 11, humankind is united and all speaks a single language. They get together and build the city of Babylon centered around the Tower of Babel. God came down to take a look, and, according to the Bible, realizing that humans united in a single purpose could do anything they set their minds to, scattered them around the earth and made them all speak different languages so they couldn’t work together.
That’s where we get the term “to babel,” from someone speaking but others not being able to understand them.
The OTHER big Biblical reference to Babylon is this one, musically described for us by In This Moment and Danzig on Hard, Heavy & Hair.
In This Moment – Whore
Danzig – She Rides
“She Rides” from Danzig following In This Moment and their song “Whore”. They reference and celebrate the Whore of Babylon, the Biblical allegory vilifying feminine power. In This Moment and others flip the symbolism of the Whore of Babylon on its head, making her an icon to rally around for women’s rights and the fight for equality.
Pull together all the meanings of Babylon–a historical city of great culture and racial harmony; a Biblical city where all people came together toward a single purpose, which ticked off God enough that he scattered them and cut off their ability to communicate with each other; calling a woman evil because she’s strong and independent; and combining them into the idea that Babylon was a place of knowledge, unity, and sexual liberation–and you’ve got plenty of reasons why hundreds of band names, album titles, and song lyrics reference and allude to Babylon.
And here’s the whole reason I got started down the road to Babylon on this show. This is Babylon A.D. from their self-titled 1989 debut album followed by a brand new song from their singer’s first solo album, a Blues-Rock tune you don’t want to miss on Hard, Heavy & Hair.
Babylon A.D – Back in Babylon
Derek Davis – Mississippi Mud
“Mississippi Mud”–m-i double-s-i double-s-i, double-p-i. That was Derek Davis, lead singer for Babylon A.D., going solo on his first album. The record, Resonator, is out now. Check it out from this show’s show notes on PariahRocks.com. I haven’t had the chance to listen to the whole record yet, but I hope it’s like “Mississippi Mud,” Hard Blues Rock with a jug-band. It reminds me of Cinderella’s “Bad Seamstress Blues” way back on Long Cold Winter.
From the voice of Babylon back to celebrating the feminine power of the Whore of Babylon, this is Theory of a Deadman, “Bad Girlfriend,” a song about a woman not afraid to be as sexually free as a man.
Theory of a Deadman – Bad Girlfriend
L.A. Guns – Original Sin
From 2005’s Tales From the Strip album on Shrapnel Records, that was Phil Lewis’s version of LA Guns featuring Stacey Blades on guitar. If you liked the guitar work in that song, “Original Sin,” I might just have another shot of Stacey Blades for you next week.
What I have for you right now is Indie & Unsigned. This week, I get to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming artist Merryweather Stark. Collaborating between their hometowns of Las Vegas and Nyhamnslage, Sweden, vocalist and bassist Neil Merryweather and guitarist Janne Stark, plus drummer Peter Svennson, play a modern mix of melodic, riff-heavy guitar Rock and 70s Hard Rock with bluesy licks and crunchy riffs. They’re currently signed to indie label GMR Music and are working on their second album.
This song comes from Merryweather Stark’s first album. Along with the Derek Davis/Babylon A.D. tie in, it was this song, which relates directly to the Cover Song of the Week, that lead to this entire show being themed after the dual meanings of the historical and Biblical cities of Babylon. This is “Sin City.”
Merryweather Stark Babylon – Sin City
“Sin City” from Merryweather Stark in the Indie & Unsigned spotlight on Hard, Heavy & Hair. To get YOUR music on Hard, Heavy & Hair, broadcast to five continents all around the globe, send it to me from the form on PariahRocks.com slash I-N-D-I-E.
Now it’s time for your second Cover Song of the Week clue.
The artist doing the Cover Song of the Week is a perfect choice to cover the song, which names and celebrates a particular, famous American city–a modern day Babylon. That city has been the covering artist’s home for many years, and he’s become something of a fixture there despite his being musically named one of four unofficial saints of another American city. This artist has been such a part of this Cover Song of the Week titular city that he opened there a tattoo parlor, a night club, a restaurant, and a strip club; he founded a poker tournament; and, he owned the city’s Arena Football League team.
We’re continuing with the theme of Babylon, the empowered woman AND the city of unprecedented human cooperation, learning, diversity, and sexual freedom with AC/DC and a rare track from the Cult. First up is “Girls Got Rhythm” on Hard, Heavy & Hair.
AC/DC – Girls Got Rhythm
Cult – Libertine
Rare hair there. “Libertine” is a bonus track available only on the Australian and Japanese releases of the Cult’s 2001 LP Beyond Good and Evil.
I’ve got more rare hair for you right after your third and final Cover Song of the Week clue.
The Cover Song of the Week, in the original and cover versions, begins with the following hopeful lines:
Bright light city gonna set my soul
Gonna set my soul on fire
Got a whole lot of money that’s ready to burn,
So get those stakes up higher
Toward the end of the song is a line meant to be a consolation if the house, as they say, wins. It goes:
If I wind up broke up well
I’ll always remember that I had a swingin’ time
That’s your final clue. Good luck guessing!
The Cover Song of the Week is coming up in just a few minutes. Also coming up is Five Finger Death Punch, Loudness, and more.
Winger’s last album, 2014’s Better Days Comin’, is underrated. It gave us “Midnight Driver of a Love Machine,” another song I’ve played on the show. This is “Queen Babylon.”
Winger – Queen Babylon
How did you do guessing the song, the original recording artist, and the covering artist?
Did you figure out that the song, which was written specifically for a singer-actor, was “Viva Las Vegas”? Billy Strange played lead guitar on the song, and the King of Rock N’ Roll, Elvis Presley, is the original recording artist. It’s one of the biggest hits of Elvis’s career, owing in part to it being the title track to his most popular film out of the 31 movies Elvis lead. Oddly, though, Elvis has never played the song live–at least, not that I can find a reference to. I went through the set lists for a bunch of his live albums and concerts, but no “Viva Las Vegas.”
It’s appeared in plenty of films, including the Big Lebowski and Looney Tunes: Back in Action–in fact, in nearly every film set in or featuring Sin City–and Viagra has used the song in its commercials.
Despite being named a Saint of Los Angeles, at least according the title and title track of Motley Crue’s last studio album, 2008’s Saints of Lost Angeles, Crue frontman Vince Neil has long since called Las Vegas his home. He’s owned a number of businesses there and participated in poker and golf tournaments in and around that American desert Babylon. It’s only natural, then, that his 2008 third solo album of mostly covers, Tattoos and Tequila, features Vince belting out the King of Rock n’ Roll’s “Viva Las Vegas.”
Though not released as a single, it’s definitely a hard rocking version that could have repped the album. Featuring Zoltan Chaney on drums and Slaughter’s Dana Strum on bass and Jeff Blando on lead and rhythm guitars, this is Vince Neil and his band covering Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas” on the Hard, Heavy & Hair Cover Song of the Week. The original Elvis version immediately follows the cover. After that is more metal and hair.
Vince Neil – Viva Las Vegas
Elvis Presley – Viva Las Vegas
“Viva Las Vegas,” the Hard, Heavy & Hair Cover Song of the Week. You just heard the original by Elvis Presley following Vince Neil’s harder cover.
Las Vegas is definitely a modern day Babylon, so let’s keep the theme rolling with another cover, also about Sin City. This is Five Finger Death Punch and “House of the Rising Sun.”
Five Finger Death Punch – House of the Rising Sun
You’re listening to Hard, Heavy & Hair show number 203, titled “Babylon.” I’m your hard talking, heavy drinking, hairball of a horny hedonist host, Pariah Burke. I’m a libertine and a celebrant of Babylon in all its forms. In fact, a few minutes ago, two guests joined me to help me celebrate Babylon.
Brittany, who’s local to Portland–say hi Brittany
… and Hanna from Berlin. Why don’t you say hi, Hanna?
The ladies are here to help me pay homage to, well, to the Biblical associations to Babylon. Who knows? We might even pay our respects to Sodom while we’re at it.
You can hear this show again, as well as more than 100 previous Hard, Heavy & Hair Shows, on PariahRocks.com, that’s P-A-R-I-A-H-R-O-C-K-S-dot com and the MixCloud mobile app, streaming from both 25 hours a day, 8 days a week.
This is Pariah Burke reminding you to keep the spirt of Babylon–in all its incarnations–in your heart and in your head. When people work together toward a common goal, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish. Instead of reviling the Whore of Babylon just for being a strong woman, celebrate the strength and independence in the women you know. And, finally, my favorite meaning of Babylon: Eat! Drink! Shag! and Be Merry!
One final Babylon track is going to play us out. From a 1998 Heavy Metal album available only in Japan, but one that long, long ago found its way into my massive music collection, this is Loudness with “Babylon”.
Loudness – Babylon