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Corky Laing and the Perfect Child - Playing God (CD)

Genre:
Release Date: 15th July 2013

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST163CD
Price: £9.99
Available: In stock


Corky Laing and the Perfect Child - Playing God

London, UK - Mountain meets bioethics! Legendary Mountain drummer Corky Laing teams up with two internationally acclaimed philosophers (Prof. Matti Häyry and Dr. Tuija Takala) in this joint effort that brings together '70s style music and contemporary moral problems of gene technology. 'Playing God' is a concept album. 'Playing God' is a musical metaphor for today's attempt to attain perfection. Musically the album covers many feels and approaches from soft ballads to riff-driven guitar rock, from meditative instrumentals to operatic melody lines.

At its core, the guitar-bass-drums combo is complemented with powerful singing. While Corky Laing, the drummer, is known - and his forceful, innovative and mesmerizing drumming features heavily on the album - 'Playing God' also introduces Corky Laing, the singer. There is such strength and depth to his voice that one can only wonder why the world has not, prior to this, known him as the lead singer he is. The main female leads are sang by Maya Paakkari (an entrancing raspy voice from Finland), Bonnie Parker (a wide-ranging singer from the band Tang), and Denny Colt (another voice of power and attitude from Tang). The album also features Eric Schenkman (from Spin Doctors) on guitar. 'Playing God' was recorded and produced in Finland and further benefits from the local talent of Finnish musicians, singers, and sound engineers. While 'Playing God' is a rock album, it is also a soundtrack to a rock opera. It takes the listener to tomorrow's world by introducing the small town of Happyville, where the people have enjoyed the benefits of genetic engineering for years without any thought. There's a man who sells science and parents seeking to perfect their children, there are difficult choices and the need to find someone to blame when things don't go to plan. The choices these people are making are not new, it is just that the tools available are more sophisticated.

'Playing God' is a study of the human condition. The themes of the rock opera are based on theoretical research, but the practical questions it poses are relevant to us all. 'Playing God' is something new. It represents a crossover between academic research and rock. The ethical and philosophical questions raised by modern biotechnologies are made accessible by using rock music as a medium. On the surface, the storylines are easy to follow, but they also lend themselves to deep philosophical questions about the future of humanity. Just enjoy the music - or allow yourself to be taken on a journey into your own moral convictions. In both cases, you will find something new amidst the familiar.


Tracks:
1. God's March
2. Luke's Blues
3. Terrace of the Gods
4. Perfect Boy
5. Tony's return
6. College Girls
7. Silent Dream
8. My Brother's Gonna Die
9. Open Up Your Imagination
10. Here is Our Blood
11. Jupiter
12. Tim's Requiem
13. Not Good Enough
14. Father's Lament
15. Crying Shame
16. Journey
17. Sisterhood
18. Vital Stream
19. Revelations I
20. Meltdown
21. Revelations II
22. Eyes in the Mirror
23. Revelations III
24. Mr C's Demise
25. In This World

 



 Review: Finnish review of Corky Laing et al


There was a review of the album in the Finnish Rock Magazine, Soundi 
(1/2014). It's one of the biggest and most respected rock magazines in 
Finland.

The album reviews (in Finnish) are also available online.
http://www.soundi.fi/levyarviot/corky-laing-perfect-child-playing-god-original-music-test-rock-opera

Here's a rough translation of the review:

*************************
Corky Laing and the Perfect [sic!] child: Playing God, Original Music 
from Test, The Rock Opera

Is the much maligned rock opera making a comeback? Epic has been the  way go for some time already. If rock opera is indeed coming back,  then Corky Laing of one of the best bands ever, Mountain, and its successor, West, Bruce & Laing, is anticipating a trend.

The drummer, who also sings on Playing God has, together with a group of international musicians - many of whom are Finnish, put together a rock opera on a heavy topic that unfortunately is not merely utopian  in modern world, namely genetically modifying our offspring. Two  Finnish philosopher, Matti Häyry and Tuija Takala, who have written on the topic have been helping Laing in this. They both feature on the album also. In addition to the Finnish musicians - Maya Paakkari's intense vocals stand out - there are Denny Colt (vocals and guitar) and Bonnie Parker (vocals and bass) of the American band TANG. They  also play with Laing's Memory Thieves.

For a long time, the people in a fictional town of Happyville have used genetic engineering, but have kept quiet about its downsides.  Playing God approaches the matter in an unconcealed 70s -style,  producing a sound that combines prog rock, hard rock and folk - and  occasionally borders on punk and metal. Overall, this though-through project is actually pretty good. Journey hits you like Dead Kennedy's  at their best and the larger than life riff of Father's Lament won't  leave anyone cold.

It requires concentration to fully appreciate this monumental piece of  work, but that is not to be seen as a flaw. They are not going for  cheap entertainment. I'd be curious to see this performed live.

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: CORKY LAING: Dutch review


http://www.progopinion.blogspot.com/



Corky Laing - Playing God (2013) 

Label: Gonzo Multimedia 
Running Time: 62:03 
Reviewer: Harry 'JoJo' de Vries 
Rating:
 (Out of 5 Jojo's)


Corky Laing is well known for being a member of the legendary band Mountain, in which band he touched the drums. Their album 'Nantucket Sleighride' in 1971, I think still stand and is a hard-rock classic. He then went on to West, Bruce and Laing with which he was quite successful until 1974. After that there is very little heard of Laing and apparently his stay in Finland spheres. The occupation of 'Playing God' has also shown this. 
"Playing God" is a rock opera and a musical metaphor for the sickness of this society or the contemporary desire of many people to want to be perfect: mentally, physically, in work and private life. The text entered in the town of Happy Ville and its inhabitants who strive after perfection and are even subject to genetic manipulation. They want to determine how good and beautiful their children are physically and psychologically yourself. Hence the band name 'Corky Laing & The Perfect Child'. In writing this rock opera Laing has not only used his imagination, but also shows he is a good observer of the strange antics of the gay sapiens and in addition he has also based on scientific evidence. Either way, it is interesting given and for psychologists. 
And then the music. Besides drumming Laing takes some of the vocals in the 28 relatively short pieces that tell the story. That singing is nice on him, though there are better singers on this album as Bonnie Parker and Denny Colt (both from the band Tang) and the Finnish singer Maya Paakkari a delicious raw voice. The music well executed is a set of driven by guitar riffs (hard) rock, ballads and some spiritual instrumental pieces and depicts the story well, though of course I do not know if I would have experienced if I would not have known the story that so . 
My problem with this type of multiple shorter tracks existing albums is that it is patchy. This is also the case here. On the one hand makes sense because each miniature depicts a fragment of the story. Moreover, this perception is not the full benefit. Nevertheless, I think that Laing with 'Playing God' good rock opera has put down and the current version in the theater seems quite attractive. The story demands that theatrical imagination and perhaps some hungry, ambitious yearning for perfection citizens still learn from it too. Harry de Vries (02-2014) 

Personnel:
Corky Laing - drums, vocals, percussion, guitar 
Bonnie Parker - bass, vocals 
Denny Colt - guitar, vocals 
Lasse Vayrynen - guitars, guitalele, bass, keyboards, backing vocals Matti Hayry - guitars, guitalele, keyboards, vocals 
Tija Takala - guitar, vocals 
Maya Paakari - vocals 
Harri Vayrynen - guitar, bass, vocals 
Mikaela Mansikkala - vocals 
Hanna Paatero - backing vocals 

Discography:
Playing God (2013)
Posted by Afterglow on 12.2.14

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO:

Playing God
CD - £9.99


 Review: CORKY LAING: Review



*Corky Laing - Playing God **(2013)*

*Label:* Gonzo Multimedia
*Band Site: *www.facebook.com / playinggodrocks
*Running Time:* 62:03
*Reviewer:* Harry 'JoJo' de Vries
*Rating:*
*(Out of 5 Jojo's)*
*Corky Laing* is well known for being a member of the legendary band
Mountain, in which band he touched the drums. Their album 'Nantucket Sleighride' in 1971, I think still stand and is a hard-rock classic. He then went on to West, Bruce and Laing with which he was quite successful until 1974. After that there is very little heard of Laing and apparently his stay in Finland spheres. The occupation of 'Playing God' has also shown this.

*"Playing God" is a* rock opera and a musical metaphor for the sickness of this society or the contemporary desire of many people to want to be perfect: mentally, physically, in work and private life. The text entered in the town of Happy Ville and its inhabitants who strive after perfection and are even subject to genetic manipulation. They want to determine how good and beautiful their children are physically and psychologically yourself. Hence the band name 'Corky Laing & The Perfect Child'. In writing this rock opera Laing has not only used his imagination, but also shows he is a good observer of the strange antics of the gay sapiens and in addition he has also based on scientific evidence. Either way, it is interesting given and for psychologists.

*And then the* music. Besides drumming Laing takes some of the vocals in the 28 relatively short pieces that tell the story. That singing is nice on him, though there are better singers on this album as Bonnie Parker and Denny Colt (both from the band Tang) and the Finnish singer Maya Paakkari a delicious raw voice. The music well executed is a set of driven by guitar riffs (hard) rock, ballads and some spiritual instrumental pieces and depicts the story well, though of course I do not know if I would have experienced if I would not have known the story that so .
*My problem* with this type of multiple shorter tracks existing albums is that it is patchy. This is also the case here. On the one hand makes sense because each miniature depicts a fragment of the story. Moreover, this perception is not the full benefit. Nevertheless, I think that Laing with 'Playing God' good rock opera has put down and the current version in the theater seems quite attractive. The story demands that theatrical imagination and perhaps some hungry, ambitious yearning for perfection citizens still learn from it too. *Harry de Vries (02-2014) *

*Personnel:*
Corky Laing - drums, vocals, percussion, guitar
Bonnie Parker - bass, vocals
Denny Colt - guitar, vocals
Lasse Vayrynen - guitars, guitalele, bass, keyboards, backing vocals Matti
Hayry - guitars, guitalele, keyboards, vocals
Tija Takala - guitar, vocals
Maya Paakari - vocals
Harri Vayrynen - guitar, bass, vocals
Mikaela Mansikkala - vocals
Hanna Paatero - backing vocals

*Discography:*
Playing God (2013)

Posted by Afterglow on
12.2.14<
************************

 Review: CORKY LAING: Finnish Review


Here's a rough translation of the review:

Corky Laing and the Perfect [sic!] child: Playing God, Original Music from Test, The Rock Opera

Is the much maligned rock opera making a comeback? Epic has been the way go for some time already. If rock opera is indeed coming back, then Corky Laing of one of the best bands ever, Mountain, and its successor, West, Bruce & Laing, is anticipating a trend.

The drummer, who also sings on Playing God has, together with a group of international musicians - many of whom are Finnish, put together a rock opera on a heavy topic that unfortunately is not merely utopian in modern world, namely genetically modifying our offspring. Two Finnish philosopher, Matti Häyry and Tuija Takala, who have written on the topic have been helping Laing in this. They both feature on the album also. In addition to the Finnish musicians - Maya Paakkari's intense vocals stand out - there are Denny Colt (vocals and guitar) and Bonnie Parker (vocals and bass) of the American band TANG. They also play with Laing's Memory Thieves.

For a long time, the people in a fictional town of Happyville have used genetic engineering, but have kept quiet about its downsides. Playing God approaches the matter in an unconcealed 70s -style, producing a sound that combines prog rock, hard rock and folk - and occasionally borders on punk and metal. Overall, this though-through project is actually pretty good. Journey hits you like Dead Kennedy's at their best and the larger than life riff of Father's Lament won't leave anyone cold.

It requires concentration to fully appreciate this monumental piece of work, but that is not to be seen as a flaw. They are not going for cheap entertainment. I'd be curious to see this performed live.
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO:

Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: CORKY LAING: MOUNTAINís God of Thunder serves up a philosophical rock opera that puts morality to the test.


CORKY LAING and THE PERFCT CHILD - Playing God
CORKY LAING
and THE PERFCT CHILD -
Playing God

There’s much in the name of every collective Corky Laing’s ever been in, including ENERGY and this one, formed in Finland and giving a whiff about their studio debut’s drift. A version of the rock opera “Test” that hangs on the works by bioethicists Matti Häyry and Tuija Takala, who became the veteran’s artistic co-conspirators, “Playing God” relates a dystopian story from our alternative future and spans the many facets of the most fitting genre for such a narrative: the blues. It needs to be heard, then, as well as read for wordplay – where “split genes” sounds like “split jeans” – to add another layer to the music which runs from acoustic to metallic and provides a supple vehicle for Laing’s voice. Heard before, now Corky’s vocals are perky enough to portray an array of characters from the grizzled musician he is in real life to a buzzing teenager he’s remained in his heart

But, of course, it all starts with drums, Laing’s first weapon of choice, before “Terrace Of The Gods” waltzes off from onto the power prog plateau from the unplugged Delta swampiness to descend to the rockabilly of “Perfect Boy” and the BEACH BOYS-inspired punk of “College Girls,” female singers – among them TANG’s Bonnie Parker and Denny Colt – contrasting Corky’s incantations and going all riot grrrl in “My Brother’s Gonna Die.” Once the harmonies are reined in on a heavy level, so effusively riffy on “Crying Shame” and instrumental “Sisterhood,” SPIN DOCTORS’ Eric Schenkman spikes the desperate “Father’s Lament” and “Jupiter” with a heightened poignancy, whereas simple, if moving, percussion renders “Eyes In The Mirror” heartbreaking, and “Meltdown” turns the similarly folky flow into electric lava. With theatricality kept to a minimum and played out towards the end, in the choral “Mr C’s Demise,” this opera delivers its anxious message impressively, with not one iota of edification, and is another glorious achievement for Corky.

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: MOUNTAINís God of Thunder serves up a philosophical rock opera that puts morality to the test.


CORKY LAING and THE PERFCT CHILD – Playing God

Gonzo 2013

MOUNTAIN’s God of Thunder serves up a philosophical rock opera that puts morality to the test.
CORKY LAING and THE PERFCT CHILD - Playing God
CORKY LAING
and THE PERFCT CHILD -
Playing God
There’s much in the name of every collective Corky Laing’s ever been in, including ENERGY and this one, formed in Finland and giving a whiff about their studio debut’s drift. A version of the rock opera “Test” that hangs on the works by bioethicists Matti Häyry and Tuija Takala, who became the veteran’s artistic co-conspirators, “Playing God” relates a dystopian story from our alternative future and spans the many facets of the most fitting genre for such a narrative: the blues. It needs to be heard, then, as well as read for wordplay – where “split genes” sounds like “split jeans” – to add another layer to the music which runs from acoustic to metallic and provides a supple vehicle for Laing’s voice. Heard before, now Corky’s vocals are perky enough to portray an array of characters from the grizzled musician he is in real life to a buzzing teenager he’s remained in his heart
But, of course, it all starts with drums, Laing’s first weapon of choice, before “Terrace Of The Gods” waltzes off from onto the power prog plateau from the unplugged Delta swampiness to descend to the rockabilly of “Perfect Boy” and the BEACH BOYS-inspired punk of “College Girls,” female singers – among them TANG’s Bonnie Parker and Denny Colt – contrasting Corky’s incantations and going all riot grrrl in “My Brother’s Gonna Die.” Once the harmonies are reined in on a heavy level, so effusively riffy on “Crying Shame” and instrumental “Sisterhood,” SPIN DOCTORS’ Eric Schenkman spikes the desperate “Father’s Lament” and “Jupiter” with a heightened poignancy, whereas simple, if moving, percussion renders “Eyes In The Mirror” heartbreaking, and “Meltdown” turns the similarly folky flow into electric lava. With theatricality kept to a minimum and played out towards the end, in the choral “Mr C’s Demise,” this opera delivers its anxious message impressively, with not one iota of edification, and is another glorious achievement for Corky.
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO:
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: BELGIAN CORKY LAING REVIEW


http://rootstime.be/
Admit it, reader : it is something else , such a musical about the malleability of Man and Life . In my absolute ignorance , it is also just about the last thing I would have . Corky Laing heavily identified Corky Laing , you know, the schreeulelijke shouter drummer include Mountain.

And yet , this is exactly what this record is about. The full title , fine print included, is " Corky Laing and The Perfect Child perform Original Music from Test, the Rok Opera" and the title says it all about .

Laing teamed with a predominantly Finnish band and made with two of the band members , who are also philosophers prove , with high quality papers to their name , a musical about where it should with humanity back , if we look at the technical possibilities today there are all what was once simply called "nature" , to influence . in its course

Where we come out with a genetically engineered ? Man will remain human, or is it the product of a process that other people have set for him ? Well, children have always been (partly ) the product of their parents , but today the possibilities are so evolved that the human being you can order almost fabriceren.Vandaar also the short title of the album " Playing God " : people Godje can start playing , but the question arises , how will it ( can ) handle .

Best stodge so , but - and this will many a surprise - : it works in conjunction with the based mainly on heavy rock musical accompaniment : This is a classic rock opera , with all the trimmings , in seventies atmosphere , where the memories of precursors as " Tommy " are never far away .

I've never had much to the music of bands like Mountain, but I acknowledge with much eagerness that Laing surprised me here with his singing and I was particularly struck by the geloofwaazrdigheid of the whole project . You have to admit , it's got it all: a theme pack in rock music and still manage that here more than nice : the melodies of the female roles contrast beautifully with that of men , when disbelief and powerlessness must be imagined , that sounds Is this really by anger and rage , period.

I was blown out of my socks ? Not really . I am more than pleasantly surprised by this record? Absolutely do . I would look if the opportunity arises ? Without a doubt. So for my doing this is a very positive balance on a plate that is made by people from a genre which I have absolutely no affinity .

( Dani Heyvaert )

www.rootstime.be

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: CANADIAN CORKY LAING REVIEW


http://www.jerrylucky.com/
Band: Corky Laing and The Perfect Children

CD Title: “Playing God”

Band Website: www.playinggodrocks.com 
Label: VoicePrint/GonzoMultimedia
Label Websitewww.gonzomultimedia.co.uk 
Release Date: 2012
The musical form known as the “Rock Opera” has been with us since the Who created Tommy. It is a form that fits well in the progressive rock world because it is first and foremost a concept work. With that I’d like to introduce Corky Laing and The Perfect Children performing original music from Test: The Rock Opera ‘Playing God’. Yeah I know it’s quite a handle but then so is the musical result. Laing, music fans will know was the drummer with Mountain. Here for this project he’s gone off to Finland and surrounded himself with a number of other musicians and vocalists and created something rather unusual. 
Playing God features a whopping 25 tracks none of which is much over 4-minutes, in fact most are less than 3-minutes. Some are just short bridge pieces. As with any concept work – everything hangs on the premise and here it’s about genetic engineering in an attempt to create the perfect human, hence the title Playing God. The extensive cast all take on different characters in the story, while the music is extremely varied. You’ll find blues based rockers to short mood-pieces designed to create atmosphere to propel the story along. In some ways I’m reminded of Judge Smiths recent Rock Opera – Orfeas, where the music in and of itself may not always fit into any kind of progressive rock genre but rather the sum of the parts makes the end listening result most certainly fit in. The album opens with the fanfare-ish “God’s March” [1:26] and is probably the closest an individual track comes to prog. That’s followed “Luke’s Blues” [2:20] a blues piece where one of the main characters is introduced. Next up is a waltz-tempo guitar piece that introduces more characters. And we’ve only just begun because the next piece is a kind of surf-guitar tune called “Perfect Boy” [2:34]. It was at this point that I started to see/hear similarities in my head to the cult classic Paul Williams’ moviePhantom of the Paradise. It’s that kind of experience.             
I’m always a sucker for material like this. As I said, it’s not strictly progressive rock, but it certainly fits into the genre’s larger tent of styles. It’s good to see performers like Corky Laing still active in the industry and doing new things. Playing God is a disc that will appeal to fans of the artists or projects mentioned above as well as folks looking to see what happens when we start ‘playing God.’

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO

 
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: CORKY LAING REVIEW


http://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=15159

What do you get when you mix one part drummer and two parts philosopher? An album titled Playing God of course.

Corky Laing is a Canadian drummer for the seminal hard rock band Mountain and has been in the music business for over forty years. He has worked with the likes of Meatloaf, Ian Hunter, John Lennon, Ten Years After, Mahogany Rush and many others.

Laing calls his band The Perfect Child and includes Bonnie Parker (bass, vocals), Denny Colt (guitar, vocals), Lasse Väyrynen (guitars, guitalele, bass, keyboards, backing vocals), Matti Häyry (guitars, guitalele, keyboards, vocals), Tuija Takala (guitar, vocals), Maya Paakkari (vocals), Harri Väyrynen (guitar, bass, vocals), Mikaela Mansikkala (vocals) and Hanna Paatero (backing vocals).


 

Laing's latest Playing God is not prog but the concept certainly could be. Laing has enlisted the help of two professors of philosophy, who also happen to be in his band, Matti Häyry and Tuija Takala and has created a rock opera exploring the problems arising from genetic engineering. It is a concept that has much bearing on 'real' life so it was interesting following along with the lyrics. The album has a whopping twenty-five tracks all under five minutes. Describing individual songs would be futile as this is an album that needs to be listened to in one sitting. This is a rock opera in a Rocky Horror Picture Show kind of way and indeed some of the music did remind of that soundtrack. The music is bombastic, bluesy, 50 and '60s retro and pure rock n roll. The riffs may be heavy or acoustic and the playing is solid.

Playing God is a fun album and one I enjoyed listening to. A lot of detail went into this album and although this isn't prog, fans of the genre may find Playing God well worth their time, especially if you are a fan of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Give some samples a try and see what you think. Just remember the album flows better when taken in as a whole.


Track Listing:
1. Gods March
2. Luke's Blues
3. Terrace of the Gods
4. Perfect Boy
5. Tony's Return
6. College Girls
7. Silent Dream
8. My Brother's Gonna Die
9. Open Up Your Imagination
10. Here is Our Blood
11. Jupiter
12. Tim's Requiem
13. Not Good Enough
14. Father's Lament
15. Crying Shame
16. Journey
17. Sisterhood
18. Vital Stream
19. Revelations I
20. Meltdown
21. Revelations II
22. Eyes in the Mirror
23. Revelations III
24. Mr C's Demise
25. In This World
Added: September 29th 2013

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: GERMAN CORKY LAING REVIEW


http://rocktimes.de/gesamt/l/corky_laing_and_the_perfect_child/playing_god.html

What would be the result if you would imprison a North American musical genius with two Finnish philosophers for a long time in a rehearsal room? And what if these two distinguished scientists also were also musicians? An ambitious musical project with explorative claim? The answers could be present in the rock opera "Playing God" to find ...
The Mountain drummer Corky Laing has with the two Finnish professors of bioethics and philosophy, Dr. Matti Häyry and Dr. Tuija Takala critically with the subject of 'genetic engineering' set apart and created a musical that this summer as a "test: The Rock Opera" was performed at two professional conferences in Paris and Basel and received enthusiastically by the experts assembled there. That the two scientists in addition to the texts also guitar, keyboard and vocals could bring, is a quite remarkable side aspect. The old fox Corky Laing stood before the project as a musical chef.The three concept musical and visual implementation have developed together.
A young rock band, composed mainly of the two homelands of the protagonists was assembled relatively quickly, including the young bassist Bonnie Parker , otherwise in Corky Laing active band and the talented hard rock and metal guitarist Denny Colt . The main female characters are from the Finnish singers Mikaela Mansikkala and Maya Paakkari , sung, this year's Voice of Finland '. EvenCorky tries to the extent not always completely convincing results, but his character 'Luke'
- a 110-year-old bluesman - on a very emotional level play. Sometimes he reminds me of this - even in the credibility - of Tom Waits . 
Musically one uses deep into the bag of tricks of the seventies and so it is hardly surprising when one feels occasionally reminiscent of the "Rocky Horror Picture Show." Mainly it's classic rock, with elements from the fields of hard'n'heavy, country and North American and Scandinavian folklore, or even Spanish (sometimes oriental influences) feeds on. But the young participants have of course also leave their mark and - Finland is known to be a stronghold -. Too heavy metallic ("Vital Stream") or angry incorporate alternative rock ("Crying Shame") 
the shiny active 'spin doctor' Eric Schenkman is allowed not forget the "Father's Lament" puts his stamp as a musical guest "Jupiter" and and two of the notable songs from "Playing God" can grow.
The plot is illustrated and explained in principle relatively quickly in the title of this rock opera, "Playing God". It comes to the issue of genetic engineering and the fears of man could be tempted to play God. Corky Laing and his colleagues take the listener into the near future, in the small town of 'Happyville' - the brave new world of revolutionary treatment techniques , the perfecting of 'designer babies', the fountain of eternal youth and beauty. The carelessness and naivety of its inhabitants, the apparent benefits and the puppeteers in the background blindly trusting, has already Orwell believed 'sche trains. This is underpinned by the normal human emotions such as rivalry, love and jealousy.Times the intellectual level is touched with sociological and philosophical questions - sometimes the actors play highly emotional or just plain silly. Well, the raised index finger is ubiquitous, but with such a committed presented topic is hardly avoidable. Well, interested??
This project it would not be appropriate now to dissect it piece by piece at this point. More so than in many other concept albums should apply here: CD slide into the player, take the booklet with the complete printed text, including explanatory notes on hand and immerse yourself in "Playing God." 

High Tension is likely here is a publication of the stage putting on DVD/Blu- ray will, hopefully already in the planning of the men Laing, Dr. Häyry and Dr. Takala has matured. Maybe it comes in the near future to further live performances. Personally, I'm curious as to the effect of the infamous Flitzebogen!

 

Line-up:
Corky Laing (drums, vocals, percussion, guitar, musical director)
Bonnie Parker (bass, vocals)
Denny Colt (guitar, vocals),
Lasse Väyrynen (guitars, Guitalele, bass, keyboards, backing vocals)
Matti Häyry (guitars , Guitalele, keyboards, vocals),
Tuija Takala (guitar, vocals)
Mikaela Mansikkala (vocals),
Maya Paakkari (vocals)
Harri Väyrynen (guitar, bass, vocals),
Eric Schenkman (guitar - # 11.14)
Hanna Paatero (backing vocals)



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: FRENCH CORKY LAING REVIEW


CD to Hard Rock released in 2013 under the label Glass Onyon

Have you ever wondered what could result from crossing a veteran hard rock and two Finnish philosophers? If this crazy idea one day you crossed your mind, you hold the answer with this album: it would come out a rock opera dealing with ethical issues related to genetic manipulation, a "crossover between academic research and rock music" of words even three designers. 


Philosophers are Matti Häyry and Tuija Takala which they cease to ask metaphysical questions, incidentally fumble guitar and push the song. The veteran is Laurence "Corky" Laing who tortured a whole generation of drums and cymbals from the 70s. The three men are accompanied by a host of musicians (mostly guitar and vocals) grouped under the collective "The Perfect Child"."Playing God" contains 25 tracks. Besides the fact that it would be indigestible to make a detailed analysis of one track, it would be even more useless than the album covers as a single entity that can be enjoyed as such. Few titles stand out to stand on their own, the pleasure is to listen verbatim disk. because there will be fun for all those who greedily sucked in the hard rock of the 70s. 

The music is full of heavy riffs, thick vocals, choirs kitsch, but also melancholy ballads and gorgeous arpeggios. The humor and derision alongside moments of emotion, leaving the listener with a final bittersweet at the bottom of the ears. This is the intersection of "Welcome To My Nightmare" 's Alice Cooper , from "Phantom Of The Paradise" by Paul Williams and "Jesus Christ Superstar". It is believed to recognize multiple influences, Marylin Monroe to David Bowie , to the Who , the Sparks , Sabbath Black , Deep Purple andKiss . "Playing God" is not reserved only for fans of hard rock. It is also highly recommended for those who love fantasy, pastiches, musicals or their alter egomuscular, the rock operas, and who yearn 70s. To all those, Corky Laing & The Perfect Child make a very nice gift. Chronicle written by Corto1809 on 14.09.2013 

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: PORTUGUESE CORKY LAING REVIEW


 

Excelent álbum! Congratulations!
Known for his work in the blues -rock power trio Mountain drummer Corky Laing has just added to its laudatory career one of the most brilliant chapters in the creation of this amazing rock opera God. Playing With the collaboration of Professor . Matti Häyry and Dr. Tuija Takala , two internationally acclaimed teachers , it was possible to create a story where genetic engineering crosses the rock . Accompanying Laing 's The Perfect Child , an incredible ensemble of musicians and vocalists that help transport Playing God for a superior level of quality . More than just a rock opera , Playing God approaches often of great musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber , for example , revealing a bright and exciting musical journey both in instrumental terms as lyrics and vocals . Highly theatrical , crosses various musical fields ranging from an opening symphony , the acoustic blues of black soul , punk and metal, with heavy riffs crossed with atmospheric passages , moments of high musicality and even oriental notes . The vocal structure , extraordinarily rich features choirs , vocal polyphonic games , dialogues and narrations . In summary , in this work the rock serves as a means for current ethical and philosophical issues raised by developments in modern biotechnology . Whether in the field or in another , highlight the high quality achieved with this project , pleasing the most demanding listeners not only in terms of construction of history as musical creation , and execution .
tracklist :
1. Gods March
2 . Luke 's Blues
3 . Terrace Of The Gods
4 . Perfect Boy
5 . Tony 's Return
6 . College Girls
7 . Silent Dream
8 . My Brother's Gonna Die
9 . Open Up Your Imagination
10 . Here Is Our Blood
11 . Jupiter
12 . Tim's Requiem
13 . Not Good enouth
14 . Father's Lament
15 . Crying Shame
16 . Journey
17 . Sisterhood
18 . vital Stream
19 . Revelations I
20 . Meltdown
21. Revelations II
22. Eyes In The Mirror
23. Revelations III
24 . Mr. C 's Demise
25 . In This World
Line -up :
Corky Laing - drums, vocals and guitars
Bonnie Parker - bass and vocals
Denny Colt - guitar and vocals
Lasse Väyrynen - guitars, bass , keyboards and choirs
Matti Häyry - guitars , keyboards and vocals
Tuija Takala - guitars and vocals
Maya Paakkari - vocals
Harri Väyrynen - guitars , bass and vocals
Mikaela Mansikkala - vocals
Hanna Paatero - choirs
Internet:
www.playinggodrocks.com


CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: Corky Laing review


When I threw on Playing God, Original Music from Test: The Rock Opera, I wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen. Several classic rock outfits popped into my head; Pink Floyd and The Who of course, as well as other known rock opera’s such as Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Then again maybe it was just going to be moody instrumental music and or classical orchestrations. Either way, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. 
The album is headed by Mountain drummer Corky Laing and is in conjunction with a concept thought up by Prof. Matti Häyry and Dr. Tuija Takala about Genetic Engineering, their idea’s manifested through this rock opera. I would say I was surprised but I’ve been here before. 
The album is silly, explosive, intellectual, and all around madness as we explore sociological issues, suicide, the afterlife, the God’s, and so much more with the rock opera’s characters as they toy with human creation, struggle with the human condition, and watch on as they reap what they’ve sown. 
The music on the album is an eclectic mix of metal, 80’s glam rock, even some Spanish sounding guitar work, as well as the usual style of operatic rock genre music that can only be found in a rock opera. To add to the amazing factor are the vocals. Corky Laing’s voice is raspy, reminded me of Tom Wait’s a few times, but also, Laing is in that category of singers that has a unique voice that isn’t quite right, but is totally acceptable in contrast with the emotional levels found within. He’s tired, depressed, insane, but all together simply a character voice that’s been through the ringer and isn’t afraid to be heard. 
While I started this album off feeling a bit meh with the vocal work and the overall style, by the second song I was all in and looking forward to listening to the album all over again. Great story work, fantastic vocals, incredibly good backing music. Now if only I could find this on a stage somewhere. Believe me I looked to see if the opera was on DVD, a bootleg recording on you tube, anything. The mad search continues, but I’ll always have this excellent album to fall back on. I highly suggest to any fan of the rock opera. Perfection.  
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: CORKY LAING REVIEW


 

Corky Laing and the Perfect Child - Playing God Album CD Review

Corky Laing and the Perfect Child:
Playing God

Melodic Progressive Rock (Opera)
4.0/5.0
Perhaps the best place to start with this review is to explain what this album is about by lifting information from the press material. First, the proper title is Corky Laing and the Perfect Child Perform Original Music from Test: The Rock Opera. Laing, of course, is the legendary drummer from Mountain fame.
Corky Laing and the Perfect Child Playing God Band Photo
Corky Laing: playing drums.
Laing teams up with two acclaimed philosophers, Prof. Matti Hayry and Dr. Tuija Takala, in a joint effort that brings together '70s style music and the contemporary moral problems of gene technology. Additional PR notes add: "While Playing God is a rock album, it is also a soundtrack to a rock opera. It takes the listener to tomorrow's world by introducing the small town of Happyville, where the people have enjoyed the benefits of genetic engineering for years without any thought. There's a man who sells science and parents seeking to perfect their children, there are difficult choices and the need to find someone to blame when things don't go to plan." Hopefully, some of this is beginning pique your interest.
From the concept then to the vehicle that delivers it, the music, Playing God is a rock opera in the true sense of the word. There are players and parts voicing characters and telling the conceptual story. Corky Laing is one of them, and has a surprisingly good singing voice, a bit raspy, still melodic.
The music itself ranges in flavor and tempos, but could simply be best described as classic melodic rock with some light prog nuances. While it definitely has a Seventies to early Eighties vibe, it sounds fresh. There some heavier songs like Crying Shame or Here Is Our Blood, but also lively and brisk like College Girls. Sometimes the two styles merge as with My Brother's Gonna Die, effectively communicating the character's anger about the impending death of her brother. There are several rather short pieces that are used keep the story flowing or offer more detail such as Revelations 1 with a voiceover acoustic guitar. Ultimately, while listening to the music, it's best to have CD booklet in hand to follow along; the formatting is clean, clear, and easy to read.
It's unclear what direction the project is taking. It has been performed live at a premier in Basil, Switzerland this past month. Unless a tour is in the future, you'll have to settle for the CD. Playing God is definitely novel and quite entertaining, and certainly honors the tradition of classic rock operas like Tommy or Jesus Christ Superstar. Recommended. Check out the medley below.

 

Corky Laing and the Perfect Child: Playing God Medley

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: Corky Laing review


When I threw on Playing God, Original Music from Test: The Rock Opera, I wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen. Several classic rock outfits popped into my head; Pink Floyd and The Who of course, as well as other known rock opera’s such as Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Then again maybe it was just going to be moody instrumental music and or classical orchestrations. Either way, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. 
The album is headed by Mountain drummer Corky Laing and is in conjunction with a concept thought up by Prof. Matti Häyry and Dr. Tuija Takala about Genetic Engineering, their idea’s manifested through this rock opera. I would say I was surprised but I’ve been here before. 
The album is silly, explosive, intellectual, and all around madness as we explore sociological issues, suicide, the afterlife, the God’s, and so much more with the rock opera’s characters as they toy with human creation, struggle with the human condition, and watch on as they reap what they’ve sown. 
The music on the album is an eclectic mix of metal, 80’s glam rock, even some Spanish sounding guitar work, as well as the usual style of operatic rock genre music that can only be found in a rock opera. To add to the amazing factor are the vocals. Corky Laing’s voice is raspy, reminded me of Tom Wait’s a few times, but also, Laing is in that category of singers that has a unique voice that isn’t quite right, but is totally acceptable in contrast with the emotional levels found within. He’s tired, depressed, insane, but all together simply a character voice that’s been through the ringer and isn’t afraid to be heard. 
While I started this album off feeling a bit meh with the vocal work and the overall style, by the second song I was all in and looking forward to listening to the album all over again. Great story work, fantastic vocals, incredibly good backing music. Now if only I could find this on a stage somewhere. Believe me I looked to see if the opera was on DVD, a bootleg recording on you tube, anything. The mad search continues, but I’ll always have this excellent album to fall back on. I highly suggest to any fan of the rock opera. Perfection.  
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: CORKY LAING REVIEW


 

Corky Laing and the Perfect Child - Playing God Album CD Review

Corky Laing and the Perfect Child:
Playing God

Melodic Progressive Rock (Opera)
4.0/5.0
Perhaps the best place to start with this review is to explain what this album is about by lifting information from the press material. First, the proper title is Corky Laing and the Perfect Child Perform Original Music from Test: The Rock Opera. Laing, of course, is the legendary drummer from Mountain fame.
Corky Laing and the Perfect Child Playing God Band Photo
Corky Laing: playing drums.
Laing teams up with two acclaimed philosophers, Prof. Matti Hayry and Dr. Tuija Takala, in a joint effort that brings together '70s style music and the contemporary moral problems of gene technology. Additional PR notes add: "While Playing God is a rock album, it is also a soundtrack to a rock opera. It takes the listener to tomorrow's world by introducing the small town of Happyville, where the people have enjoyed the benefits of genetic engineering for years without any thought. There's a man who sells science and parents seeking to perfect their children, there are difficult choices and the need to find someone to blame when things don't go to plan." Hopefully, some of this is beginning pique your interest.
From the concept then to the vehicle that delivers it, the music, Playing God is a rock opera in the true sense of the word. There are players and parts voicing characters and telling the conceptual story. Corky Laing is one of them, and has a surprisingly good singing voice, a bit raspy, still melodic.
The music itself ranges in flavor and tempos, but could simply be best described as classic melodic rock with some light prog nuances. While it definitely has a Seventies to early Eighties vibe, it sounds fresh. There some heavier songs like Crying Shame or Here Is Our Blood, but also lively and brisk like College Girls. Sometimes the two styles merge as with My Brother's Gonna Die, effectively communicating the character's anger about the impending death of her brother. There are several rather short pieces that are used keep the story flowing or offer more detail such as Revelations 1 with a voiceover acoustic guitar. Ultimately, while listening to the music, it's best to have CD booklet in hand to follow along; the formatting is clean, clear, and easy to read.
It's unclear what direction the project is taking. It has been performed live at a premier in Basil, Switzerland this past month. Unless a tour is in the future, you'll have to settle for the CD. Playing God is definitely novel and quite entertaining, and certainly honors the tradition of classic rock operas like Tommy or Jesus Christ Superstar. Recommended. Check out the medley below.

 

Corky Laing and the Perfect Child: Playing God Medley

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: CORKY LAING REVIEW


 

Corky Laing and the Perfect Child : Performs Original Music From Test : The Rock Opera
04/09/2013
Corky Laing we will probably always associate as the drummer of the American rock band Mountain ( with Leslie West and Felix Pappalardi ) but that would not really correct. He has be imagined. More to answer for than many music He belongs to the elite of contemporary drummers all over the world and we know him , of course, also of his side projects as West , Bruce & Laing , Noel Redding, Mahogany Rush , Ten Years After , Ian Hunter , Mick Ronson , Bo Diddley and even Gov. ' t Mule , we add to this list . Outside drummer he is also a producer and composer and wrote the big hit Mountain " Mississippi Queen " .
To realize this new project he shares the vision of two contemporary philosophers namely Finnish Matti Hayry and Tuija Takala because they were actually the conspirators behind the project that they call a crossover between academic research and rock music and to stay in Finnish hills invited Laing various musicians to work in this project . Outside the Finns we hear even as a special guest Eric Schenkman ( guitar ) of the Spin Doctors , Bonnie Parker ( bass , vocals ) and Denny Colt ( Van Helsing 's Curse - guitar , vocals ) .
Corky Laing and the Perfect Child are ... Corky Laing (drums , vocals, percussion , guitar ) , Bonnie Parker ( bass , vocals ) , Denny Colt ( guitar, vocals) , Lasse Väyrynen ( guitar, bass , keyboards , backing vocals) , Matti Hayry ( guitar, keyboards , vocals ) , Tuija Takala ( guitar, vocals) , Maya Paakkari (vocals ) , Harri Väyrynen ( guitar, bass , vocals ) , Mikaela Mansikkala (vocals ) , Hanna Paatero (backing vocals) .
Corky Laing has added to his illustrious musical career with this production a brand new chapter. This project , in collaboration with professors , Prof. Dr. Matti Hayry and Tuija Takala , is actually a form of mixing of genetic engineering with rock opera music . At the core of this musical prose is Corky Laing instrumental baffles , but he shows his best side . Lyrically and vocally It is a rock musical production with a cross between Alice Cooper's " Welcome to my Nightmare " , Pink Floyd's 'The Wall ' and 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show ' . But also elements of ' Jeff Wayne's ' War of the Worlds' sit here secretly intertwined .
Do not expect long songs , the longest here is only a short five minutes. You can not evaluate the CD song by song because then you 'll be disappointed , it is the whole project you deserve attention and then you come to the conclusion that you love here a masterpiece in your hands .
Some very melodic lines alternate with slightly more rock -oriented musical delights (mainly vancde Finns ) but we are therefore no denying that many many metal riffs emerge. Listen especially to " Terrace Of The Gods ' , ' Jupiter ' and the magnificent 'Journey ' and you will immediately understand why this has become a beautiful drive .
In summary, this CD is without a doubt become a hussar work that we will not soon forget , you have to have the chance just like we did with ao 'The Wall ' and ' War Of The Worlds ' because that hear the CD at home. Beautiful work , Corky .
Alfons Maes ( 4 )
Some very melodic lines alternate with slightly more rock - oriented musical delights but we can not deny That some metal riffs emerge here and there . Listen carefully to ' Terrace Of The Gods ' , ' Jupiter ' and the magnificent 'Journey ' Immediately and you will understand why this CD has become a beautiful piece of art already. We will never forget this project easily , but you have to give it a chance just as we did with ' The Wall' and ' War Of The Worlds ' . Beautiful work , Corky .
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Playing God
CD - £9.99

 Review: CORKY LAING: Playing God Review


http://www.drummerszone.com/news/article/music-news-2-12370/2/corky-laing-'playing-god'-on-new-concept-album


Corky Laing 'playing god' on new concept album
'70s style music meets contemporary moral problems


Corky Laing, the legendary drummer of Mountain, teams up with two internationally acclaimed philosophers, prof. Matti Häyry and dr. Tuija Takala, for his new concept album 'Playing God', a musical metaphor for today's attempt to attain perfection. Their joint effort brings together '70s style music and contemporary moral problems of gene technology.

The album by Corky Laing and the Perfct Child (no, that's not a typo) covers many feels and approaches from soft ballads to riff-driven guitar rock, from meditative instrumentals to operatic melody lines.

The world already knew Corky Laing the drummer, but 'Playing God' also marks the debut of Corky Laing as lead vocalist. The main female leads are sang by Maya Paakkari (an entrancing raspy voice from Finland), and Bonnie Parker (wide-ranging singer from the band Tang).

While 'Playing God' is a rock album, it is also the soundtrack to 'Test: the rock opera'. According to Corky, 'Playing God' is something new:

"It represents a crossover between academic research and rock. The ethical and philosophical questions raised by modern biotechnologies are made accessible by using rock music as a medium. On the surface, the storylines are easy to follow, but they also lend themselves to deep philosophical questions about the future of humanity."

Check it out at Gonzo

 Review: US interview online


West, Bruce And Laing. He wrote the song "Mississippi Queen", which became such a huge hit for Mountain that you could almost say it's their theme song. He's recorded with Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Bo Diddley and Ozzy Osbourne. He's performed with Meat Loaf, Gov't Mule, The Allman Brothers, Voivod, Teenage Head and so many others. According to Modern Drummer magazine, he's "done as much as anyone in Western culture to turn the cowbell into a Rock 'n' Roll staple." The man we are talking about is Mr. Corky Laing.


Q - Corky, you recently received this "Legend" award at the John Bonham Bonzo Bash. Now, I never knew such an award existed. Did you ever meet John Bonham?

A - Yes, way back. But when you talk about crossing paths with bands in those days, it was quick. It was prejudiced by certain outstanding medications sometimes, so you don't really know if you're impacting people and vice-versa, you don't know if people are impacting you. He was quite a wild child when I met him during that time Led Zeppelin was really blooming at the same time Mountain was trying to bloom in England and worldwide. So, I never participated in playing cover songs by Led Zeppelin because at the time we were doing our own material. So, being invited to the Bonzo Bash was quite unique for me because although I knew all the Zeppelin songs, I never really played them on the drums. I loved their vocals and their writing and their records were amazing. The reason I mention the Bonzo Bash is basically you choose the song, a favorite, and you play it at the Bonzo Bash. You play one, maybe two songs and they have I guess what you would call a Zeppelin cover band, they're called Moby Dick. They're great! They play it (the music) perfectly. So it's kind of a challenge if you're not used to playing like John Bonham, which I wish I could. He was the guy who set the bar for Heavy Rock drumming. In other words, before the end of the '60s, I never liked Rock 'n' Roll. I liked just to do the Rock. In the early days I played cover songs 'cause I played weddings, bar mitzvahs, Sweet 16s. whatever it took. And you had to play the Pop songs but that was Pop. That's the sound you hear when you put milk in cereal. So, when John Bonham came up, you had Ginger (Baker) and you had Keith Moon. There was no click track. It wasn't Poppy. It was Rock. So you rocked the boat. You rocked whatever it was and he set the bar along with the kind of material he played. Robert Plant and Jimmy (Page) jammed a lot and Mountain was a jam band too. Not withstanding, it was a challenge. It was a wonderful challenge. I've been to about four or five Bonzo bashes. I took it as an honor. There were some great drummers. They had a lot of great drummers showing up from overseas. You come in and you hang out. Maybe fifteen to twenty drummers. They play Led Zeppelin songs and the drummers sit in with the cover band for a song or two. So it's kind of like a tribe of drummers. It's a real honor to be part of the kind of group. I guess getting the Legendary Award, and by the way Gary, it was a huge surprise to me. I had no idea what was going on let alone that Peter Criss from KISS was going to present it to me at the Bonzo Bash. I was sort of going back to my dressing room. I loved playing. I listened. I learned a great deal by the way when I watched these other drummers. It's just an education on different styles. It's not like The Super Bowl of drummers. You just learn new things. Everybody has uniqueness. During the show at the Performing Arts Center, there must have been 1,000 people there. They really draw well. They called me up and said, "By the way, Peter is saying something, you may want to hear it." Just like that. I said, "Great." I'm just standing on the side and they sort of pulled me out and Peter's conversation was how much basically my drumming influenced him. I never knew that. I don't know who I influenced. I just have a great fucking time. Excuse my Shakespeare. But it was quite something. To receive an award like that, which by the way it was a new award. I believe Billy Ward from Black Sabbath got the first one. I take it as you work 150 years on the road, it's nice to get a little accolade. And then I think Carmine (Appice) got a second one. Peter Criss got one. It's an honor to get that award. It was a total surprise. It's one thing if I would've prepared a speech, but I think they realized had I prepared a speech it would've been like the fucking war on peace speech. It would've gone on for hours. So they surprised me and I wasn't ready and I didn't know what to say.

Q - As long as we're on the topic of crossing paths with people, did you ever meet Jimi Hendrix?

A - Yes. Another timely thing. Very lucky that when he came to play Montreal, they had to get visas, these bands. The Who, Cream. All those guys back in the early '60s had to get visas for the U.S. and they came through Montreal. There I was in Montreal in my local band, Energy. We had a rehearsal studio that was open 24 / 7. So then these guys came over from England, literally month after month in the early '60s to get their visas, they wanted to launch their first major tours in the States. So, Jimi came by and he jammed all night at this place. We hung out. This is right after he was just breaking with "Are You Experienced". He had just finished recording "Axis Bold As Love". So, that was the era. I don't know the exact year right now. But yes, it was wonderful. I had a chance to play with him. But again it was before they were gods.

Q - Before it was a big deal?

A - It was a big deal to them just to play. It was all about passion. They had no idea what they were in for, the ride of their lives. This is the dream, to come to America. In this case it was Montreal first. And Eric Clapton came through to do the Festival Express when we went across Canada. Mountain played a lot of shows. In those days we played a lot of packages with those bands. I was very fortunate. For me it was great. I'm a groupie. I've been a groupie my whole life and still am. I always felt, get near the best musicians. Let it rub off. Learn shit. I was very lucky. I don't say that with any kind of ego or conceit. It's just timing, being in a place and time and meeting a lot of these people.

Q - You were fortunate to live in the "Golden Years" of Rock music.

A - That was the explosion and then things started becoming corporate, the '70s and '80s. But Lennon was coming through town. The Stones. We hung out together. We used The Stones' truck. I'm saying that because of these episodes, these kind of stories come from crossing paths in the studio. It was all going on. You just had to be there. I think Bill Buford said it best, "It all comes down to when you were born." (laughs)

Q - He's right.

A - Yeah, it's right. To be a teenager in the '50s was to be a nobody. To be a teenager in the '60s was to be an everybody. To be a Rock musician in the '60s was an honor. If you could rock in the '60s, there was no downside. It wasn't about how much money you made. Yeah, it was about how many times you got laid, but that's another story. That's a different neck of the woods.

Q - It sounds like you have a book full of stories.

A - I do. Good news is I think my memory is okay too. I actually do a show called "Under The Rock". It started off as being "Best Seat In The House". When Steve Knight passed away last year (2013) and of course Felix had been dirt napping for awhile since he had been shot by his wife, and Leslie lost his leg to a medical situation but then was no longer, so to speak. So there I was, the last drummer sort of sitting or standing, so I did take advantage both of these stories and playing. I had an opportunity to lecture at universities about it. It wasn't about music. The lectures had to do about philosophy, the ethical lifestyle of Rock. At the universities the last ten years they've been taking Rock music, Metal, whatever it is, and studying it as a subject matter. I got caught up in it and I really loved it. My brother was a professor at McGill (University) and he asked me to do some guest lecturing. I fell into this lecturing thing and I went to Helsinki and I went over to the U.K. In Europe they take their Rock very, very seriously. It's a subject matter. I had written a book way back in the '90s when I couldn't get arrested called Stick It. Some guy said, "You want to tell some stories?" I was sitting in a pub and I would tell stories. Anything but a serious approach to Rock. They were all after hour stories. It got published in England and that sort of set up the lecture thing. Leslie West came in and said, "Why don't we do a book about now?" So we wrote a book that was published in England called Nantucket Sleighride And Other Rock And Roll Storiesand it did very well. As a result, there you go. A lot of rockers are writing books. Everybody's got a book and why shouldn't they? There's a lot to say. A lot of it is redundant. No question with the drugs and all of that, but there is an undercurrent of divinity in some way without being too over the top about it, but the fact that you could survive a lifestyle that never existed. I would equate it to the guys that walked on the moon. They're the only ones that did that at the time. In the late '60s it was all new. It was all the first time for everybody. I originally named the show "The Best Seat In The House", which is the drummer's throne, because from that seat you can travel around the world. You don't have to get up and do anything.

Q - I actually interviewed a group that took their name from Nantucket Sleighride and that was the North Carolina group, Nantucket.

A - I remember them. This goes back to the '70s, right?

Q - Right. Late '70s, '78, '79.

A - They were very cool. Nantucket was a place I went to in the Summer from Montreal to play the beach clubs way before Mountain. But I'm changing the show. I'm doing a show in the Hamptons at the Performing Arts Center. I changed it to "Under The Rock". So, I'm just sort of giving it a new swing. Basically it's some stories of on the road. I play the songs that I co-wrote that had some success and I play a lot of drums 'cause I love playing drums. It's a lot of fun. It's just me on stage basically and there's a bass player and guitar player that join me at the end for an encore. But what I'm saying is, I do use the stories on a professional level. I think people like it. I don't know about a career doing that, but it's fun. I did the Montreal Jazz Festival a couple of years ago which jump-started this whole idea and I've been doing these universities. I did Manchester University. They like it. Nobody will ever know or feel the way it was like for the last 50 years in the music corner. It's never going to be the same. Nothing will ever be the same, but especially that era of music. It's over and it's wonderful to be able to check into it through a catalyst like yourself and ClassicBands.com. It really works because there's a lot of kids out there and they want to know as much as they can. It's good that you're providing that service so to speak and it's good for you. It's kind of redeeming to remember that. With everything going on these days, memories are a very good thing to have, especially if they're good memories.

Q - You've also written a Rock Opera, "Playing God".

A - Yeah, that was something. It came again through the university situation because the two professors, philosophy professors are heavy, heavy Rock fans. I met them when I was doing some shows with Leslie. They have this boat that goes back and forth from Copenhagen to Helsinki and it's called The Rock At Sea. They have some major acts that play on the boat. I met these professors and they said "We've written books." They have these academic books. That's where they're from. They teach at the University Of Helsinki. They said, "Would you be open to helping us do some music for an idea for a Rock opera? The topic is the bio-ethical research of genetic manipulation." I basically couldn't understand any of that. I said, "What would you like from me?" They said, "The topic of this opera is very involved. It's very eclectic. It's pretty heavy." I said, "Sure." We started a few years ago and it developed really nicely 'cause there's some great musicians over in Finland and Scandinavia and they love their Heavy Metal. They love that stuff. There are more Heavy Rock bands in Finland per capita than any other place in the world. They live and breathe that stuff over in Scandinavia, Finland, Norway. So, they're huge Mountain fans. That was helpful. They said since the subject matter called "Playing God", about bio-ethical research was so involved, they wanted to keep the music simple. They didn't want to get involved in what kind of, I guess you would call a Progressive Rock thing which by the way is pretty cool, but they wanted to keep it simple. They knew the songs I had co-written. As a drummer, I keep everything very simple and it worked for the story line. The actual reviews dug in to the fact that it was a lot more than just Rock music. There's a controversial topic, stem cells, the whole thing about being perfect, about genetic manipulating the perfect race. I mean, it's pretty heavy shit and they're already doing that over there. I was delighted that they reviewed it that way because it wasn't meant as a commercial kind of record. The professors were using it and the Rock opera as a catalyst at the different universities around the world for discussion. There's no judgement on it. It's kind of like philosophy. It's a subject matter you have to stay awake for. These professors said, "Wait a second. If we can get an interesting approach to philosophy and ethics with the music then maybe that's kind of cool." They were right. It was a long shot. A real long shot. But we did something called Power Point. We played music in Paris for the University of Philosophy Department. Then we went to Basil, Switzerland last Summer (2013). It's blooming nicely and again I'll say there's no heavy marketing behind it. It's simply meant for academic reasons, to play it at the theatre's in the universities. It's quite something. It's really a sleeper for me. It's been a surprise. Life is great when the surprise feels like new again. It's always great when it feels like the first time.

Q - Speaking of the first time, your first big break came when you were playing with The Ink Spots? That's The Ink Spots that was the vocal group?

A - Yeah. When you say "big break", some people interpret it musically in terms of getting out there. It was a break for me 'cause it was the first time I ever sat behind a drum set. I was 12 years old. As it turned out, I got the real bug when I was asked to play with them because the musicians in Montreal where they were playing were on strike. One of the fellas plays guitar. So they asked me if I'd do some brush work. You can imagine getting up in front of an audience and the reason I was even there was I was cleaning the stage. That was my job. Twelve years old. Cleaning the stage for this Riviera Country Club out in the country. It was a Saturday night and there was a drum set there. One of those things. Your first job in life, right? That's when I realized how much I loved drums.

Q - Had you played the drums before that?

A - No.

Q - In other words, you just sat down at a drum kit or behind a drum kit and you were able to play?

A - Yeah, well, that's pushing the envelope. (laughs) I got the feeling. I had the brushes. I watched a lot of drummers. I played bongos. I used to play to "Runaway" all the time, Del Shannon. So I had the experience of playing along with bongos, but I never, ever played drums. I was just a kid. It's the most beautiful instrument in the world anyway. I don't think you've ever seen a set of drums that wasn't beautiful, old ones, young ones. I remember the feeling. When you go to a show, what do you look at first when you see a band? Unless you have a beautiful lead singer. I used to always look at the drummer. It's kind of like choreography. The guys playin'. It's a beautiful sight. To look at the guitar player is one thing. All you have is a fret board with the fingers going. It's hard to fall in love with that.

Q - You'd look at the drummer because he's usually got the name of the band on his bass drum.

A - That's true.

Q - And when you go to see a band like KISS, you're looking at everybody!

A - That's a production. You're right. I was sort of referring to not so much a production. A good deal of guys I know, and girls as well, were just attracted to the drums. How could you not want to be Keith Moon when you see him? He's having the most fun of anybody on stage. That's what drums are. It's like an amusement park if you use it right. You have your own party. It's great back there. When you say "big break", I would just say that's when my head said, "Wow! This is fun." I got the bug, the performance bug. It's not very often that you find a drummer who doesn't want to perform. There are great Jazz drummers who are low key and inside, but that's why I said I like Rock. That's where I went and that's what I do. I was very fortunate to hook up with Leslie and Felix when we put Mountain together. We didn't use click tracks. I had the freedom. That's when drums were free. That's why John Bonham was free to do whatever he wanted and he knew what to do. He worked inside the envelope and then he worked outside the envelope. I sat behind Keith Moon at Madison Square Garden because we did become friends through a series of events 'cause we were managed by the same people. Mountain was managed by the same people as The Who. I was sitting right behind Keith Moon and I was watching him. I consider myself pretty good at seeing something and being able to understand it. Maybe technically I can't do it, but I know what he's doing. I had no idea what Keith Moon was doing. Nothing. I remember telling him, "Keith, I have no idea what you're doing," and he would say, "Hey mate, you and me both." He just did it. It was the freedom. There was tremendous freedom in that era.

Q - You're saying you were managed by Peter Rudge?

A - That's right, and he had Mary Beth as his assistant. Mary Beth was our Road Manager and Peter Rudge was our Road Manager in England, but he wasn't with The Who. As a result of the success he had with Mountain over in England, The Stones took him on right after that. We were using The Stones' truck to record in England. There was sort of a loop of players and musicians. Peter Rudger was a formidable manager. A great guy. Crazy as a loon, but really good.

Q - As good as he was, he should never, as the manager of Lynyrd Skynyrd, allowed the group to get on board that flying Titanic.

A - I was very close to Peter and Mary Beth and Lynyrd Skynyrd were just starting to break big. Believe me, he paid for that, personally. You're right, it was his thing to say, "Absolutely not. We're not going to get on this plane." But he went along with the band. They were a funky group. They were cutting edge. They wanted to live on the edge on a lot of stuff. We did a lot of touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd. It must've been awful for him to deal with that because ultimately the manager is in charge.

Q - Had they survived they were looking at 62 sold-out concerts. Their career ended before it started.

A - That's happened historically to quite a few Rock acts. It was a brand new life out there. In that era there was no formula for it. We had a Lear jet and we crashed with Mountain. You don't know. You're out there. You're not in control of your travel. That's what you do. You spend your time, 23 hours a day, traveling to get to one hour shows. But the point is, it was like that with a lot of bands. If you're not in charge and you don't quite know what's going on, you're gambling. It's a gamble. I knew Peter years after that. He was going through a lot of changes about the whole thing. My take on Peter is total respect.

Q - Are you the sole writer of "Mississippi Queen"?

A - No. I'm the major writer of "Mississippi Queen". "Mississippi Queen" was written as a Rap song.

Q - How did you write the guitar parts? You're a drummer.

A - I didn't. That's Leslie's part. I would never imply that I had anything to do with the music. I'll say it again, it was a Rap song. The lyrics and the drumming were written in a local band. Then when Mountain came together, Felix said, "Do you have any ideas?" I said, "Well, I've got this lyric" and I had this drum feel. The drum feel is the same as "Cripple Creek". If you listen to it, it's got the same feel. I had it written. Everything. The melody, Mississippi Queen, you know what I mean, melody, pushing the envelope there, but the guitar part is essential, but as a result of doing the melody and words I had the largest part of the song, which by the way I didn't ask for. Felix was the publisher and that's what happened. Keep in mind, when you're doing stuff like that in the late '60s you didn't think about the money. I was just thrilled when Leslie came up and I said, "Leslie, this is it." We were in his room and he said, "Well, let's put a Blues lick to it." I said, "Okay." It really wrote itself. It was one of the easiest songs in the world because the lyric was there, as silly as the lyric is. And Leslie sang the shit out of it. He did a great job.

Q - Did you guys do a lot of road work? I'm talking about both Mountain and West, Bruce And Laing.

A - Yes, we did.

Q - How many days a year would you say?

A - I never really counted it because when you weren't on the road, you were in the studio and sometimes both. But I would say 75% of the year. From 1969 to 1975. I never really thought about it. I don't know why. You play music. It's in the air. You don't really keep track. I actually still have quite a few of my itineraries that I kept for some reason. And when we weren't on the road, we were in the studio on the road. Like if we were in England, we'd be in the studio. But it wasn't work. I don't think we ever got tired. You do get weary from the traveling, but you don't get tired of playing. Dizzy Gillespie says, "I don't get paid to play. I get paid to travel." That's what it comes down to. Of course as the decades went on, traveling became a real pain in the ass, hence Felix would rent the Lear jet. We'd take props. We'd take private planes because we had to be at three festivals in one day. It was Atlantic and then the Cincinnati Pop Festival. So you couldn't take commercial airlines. Of course, keep one thing in mind, we were in our twenties. If you're going to expend yourself, that's a good time to let it rip 'cause your body and mind in most cases can take it.

Q - Besides Skynyrd, you toured with who?

A - You name it, we toured with 'em. Jethro Tull, Traffic, The Stones, Pink Floyd, Rod Stewart. It was the Classic Rock era, from '67, '68 through '75. There was nothing but all these bands on the road. Procol Harum, Van Morrison. We didn't tour with The Monkees because...

Q - Jimi Hendrix beat you to the punch.

A - Yeah. (laughs) He did. That's chaotic. That's when there were no rules. Even packaging sucked. But we did a lot of shows. That was a time when everyone was touring. Mountain itself and West, Bruce And Laing, we either headlined or we were Special Guests. But it was quite cool.

Q - You worked with John Lennon?

A - I actually sang background on "Do You Wanna Dance?" and "Stand By Me". I sang on his records, but so did a lot of other people. That was the Rock 'n' Roll record that John Lennon did. He wasn't in a great mood on that one because he was just completing a contract with Allen Klein. He had people come in and out and do that record. Alice Cooper was there. It was actually a lot of fun, but he was just at The Record Plant knockin' 'em off. Jim Keltner was on drums. It was a lot of fun. I did not play in his (John Lennon's) band.

Q - I take it you spent a few hours in the studio.

A - Yeah. It would be over a period of an afternoon we would hang. That was when John Lennon was with May Pang. It's hard to discuss when you're talking about some of these celebs. Before they were gods, as I like to say, there was a humbleness about everybody. Once you've reached a certain status, there's a guard between remembering or trying to get familiar with too many people. At that particular time John Lennon wasn't a social animal. He was very nice. As a matter of fact, I had met him in Montreal when he was doing the "Give Peace A Chance" tour. I was in Montreal. I was at the University. I got a fake I.D. as a journalist and I just had to meet him. Somehow I scammed myself up to the room when they were recording "Give Peace A Chance". They just finished recording it. I felt so guilty about bull-shiting that I had to admit to him that I wasn't a journalist. I just wanted to meet him, therefore I will leave, but at the time there was something going on with some French guy before me who was trying to sell John and Yoko a photograph, a poster of them called Hair Peace and he flipped out. This was right before I went to see him. He threw the guy out because he thought he had a lot of nerve and the poster lay on the floor. There I was, walking up and I said, "I'm sorry Mr. Lennon." I think I was 18 years old, "I'm not a journalist. I'll leave." He said, "No, no. Sit down." He explained what this guy had done. And I see the poster on the floor. I don't say anything. So he says to me, "You're in a band?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "What's the band called?" I said, "The band is called Energy. And he went, "Wow!" He sort poked Yoko and said, "Yoko, this guy's got a band called Energy. Isn't that cool?" She said in her squeaky voice, "Yeah, that's really cool." So I picked up the poster and I remember saying to him, "It doesn't look bad. It's kind of cool." It had a picture of their hair. They were in a bag with a white background and a big thing saying Hair Peace. I said, "It looks pretty cool actually." He said, "Yeah, I'm not paying $15,000 for it. Do you want it?" I went, "Yeah. I love it! Thank-you!" I was walking out with it and then he said, "Wait a second Energy, come here!" I thought, oh, he wants it back. He said, "Let me sign it for you." And he signs it "To Energy, Love And Respect, John." And Yoko signed it. John Lennon made a little picture, that little face he puts on his logo. And I still have it. That's what I walked out with. Now that was the first time I crossed paths with him. And he remembered that when I was in the studio. He looked at me and said, "Do I know you?" At the time I thought he knew me from Mountain 'cause Mountain was just breaking. I said, "I'm playing with Felix and Leslie West." He said, "No." And I reminded him. He said, "Oh shit. What a fucking time that was!" I'm not blaze about any of that stuff. You really have to be blessed to do those things and really get them for what they are. They're real people, but there is something divine about those guys who have done what they've done. In those days it looked frivolous. I remember I was hanging with Steven Tyler during his grey days. The band had broken up and we were hangin' and writing songs because we had the same management, Leber - Krebs. I remember a song, "Walkin' In The Sand" and I'm saying to myself, "That's ridiculous." It turned out to be one of my favorite songs. It's kind of like you look at it and say "Why are you doing that?" You're sort of thinking, who knows what you're thinking? But nobody had any idea of what was going to happen. When I say nobody I'm being general about it. People like Elton John knew exactly what was going to happen. He knew exactly how to write a commercial song, but the rockers just rocked and sometimes fell into a loop. They did write their anthems and yes when you sat down you told the drummer "Do it at 122 BPM (beats per minutes) because that's the way people bop their heads. It started to get a little technical, but basically nobody knew what the fuck they were doing. They were just feeling it. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. And as you see, when it worked, it really worked.

Q - I don't see bands like Mountain or West, Bruce And Laing around today. Why do you suppose that is? Has technology ruined creativity?

A - Well, here's the thing, I don't know that I can answer that question. I'm not in that position. There are probably some great bands I haven't heard of. To give you a perfect example of someone that felt that way would be Warren Haynes from Gov't Mule. He was a huge Mountain fan and as a result, he put together Gov't Mule because he wanted to do that kind of band. Now, he did come from the South, Asheville, North Carolina, and he did join up with The Allman Brothers, but he was, the last time I heard of someone who said, "We want to have a band just like Mountain." Warren Haynes is a good friend by the way. That must've been fifteen years ago. That was a great compliment. They invited me to play quite a few times on stage. I played The Beacon Theatre. That was an honor because that band was really a great band. What we did was he took the best of Mountain and made it even better. These days, 2014, there are just different kinds of bands. When I think of West, Bruce And Laing I just think of the rawness of the band and these days the most raw band I've heard in the last ten years would be Nirvana. That was a raw band. David Grohl is instinctively like that. He gravitates towards what I would consider the real feeling of Rock. But that's my feeling. I never was a big Foo Fighter fan at all until I went to see their show. There are bands, I don't know if they're huge or not. I don't know if that generality applies. There are probably bands that love playing stuff. Whether they're successful has a lot to do with the bullshit paradigm that is now the music business. That's the issue right now. There's probably a lot of bands that can't cut through because, I don't know, they're not perfect, they're not a damn band, they don't have the technology. Linkin Park, take that for example. I listen to some of their stuff in there, but I'm not sure I would go see them 'live' for the sake of I don't know what the fuck they're doing up on stage. First, I like to look at the three or four people and know what they're doing on the guitar. That's what I never liked about the keyboards. Organ is one thing. I'm talking about keyboards when you have all the sequencers going. Gary Wright was the band we were on the road with when he did "Dream Weaver" and I remember it was a big deal 'cause he didn't have any drummer. It was just four keyboards. It was the most boring, fucking show I'd ever been to. Now, if you like the music, it was kind of new at the time. But to answer your questions, I'm not quite sure that's an accurate statement because I'm hoping there are kids out there that are just playing their hearts out for the sake of that. I'm not sure that a lot of these guys will ever surface either visually or on YouTube. But it does cut through when someone like Nirvana come out and there's emotional, passionate, reaching for something and people are just changing people's minds in certain ways. They do appear. Those times do come. Again, Nirvana was awhile back. These days I don't know what to say about that. I've heard a lot of really good bands. West, Bruce And Laing had three people that were just peaking in terms of energy. There was so much potency in the fact we had it. I think it was a let down on a creative level 'cause we never gave it enough time to write some great songs. We did write a lot individually and together, but it was so neurotic. It was so temporary, momentary that it was kind of frustrating. I never thought West, Bruce And Laing was a great recording band. I had a great time. It was probably the best time of my life just playing whatever the fuck I wanted to play and people liked it. And vice-versa. It was a time when technique was out the window. Anything with any organizational aspect to it was out the window. It was anything you could do to do anything and it was a lot of fun. I don't know that there's a lot of guys that subscribe to that anymore. Where do you go these days when you're a musician?

Q - You hire someone who specializes in Social Media, the new, fancy term for marketing. Without that, only one in twenty-five thousand bands will succeed.

A - You gotta look at the interpretation, the definition of succeed. I look at succeeding as just sitting down and playing our heart out and feeling really great about it. There's a whole lot more that goes along. It's called survival and paying the rent. Succeeding for me is playing and having the opportunity to play. Of course it's totally embellished when you're playing in front of a crowd because that's what communication is about. It's what creativity is about, to transform someone out there whether it's a photograph or a painting or a drum solo and have somebody say, "Wow! I'm gonna walk out of here being a different person 'cause of that." When I say different person I'm hoping we're talking better. Just different. In other words just shaken up a bit. These days to shake it up is very hard. There's so much shit going on in everybody's head. It's hard to get the attention. So, that being said, I don't know about Twitter and Facebook. I just don't get it. I wish I did. I wish I really got it. Frankly, my time is taken up just doing the best I can to get to play, perform and record. I'm very happy to report that I'm able to do that.

Official Website: www.MountainRockBand.com 

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