About The Book

Tales from the Stage will take you on a vivid journey through the hard rock/heavy metal movement, with 15 of the best tour guides in the business. They helped develop it, they thrived in it, and somehow survived it. These are their stories.  Read more.

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Chris Holmes WASP

Another Incredible Trip to LA

12/4/12-It’s the season that the reflection of ones life becomes almost overwhelming. The holidays are a hectic time for most of us, but driving back from LA Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure of replaying the weekend, and even most of the last year in my head. I had to sit back and pinch myself. How lucky can one guy get?

It’s hard to believe that less than a year ago, I was jobless and incredibly curious as to what the ambiguous future had in store for me.  I have always been conservative financially, so I wasn’t in fear of loosing my home or vehicle, but the uncertainty was still unsettling. Realizing that I would have some free time on my hands, I turned to my passion; hard rock/heavy metal music. The idea to write Tales from the Stage struck me almost one year ago…and changed my life forever.

So, there is a dose of color to the story before I divulge the details of our trip to LA!  The main purpose of the trip was to attend Metal Blade Record’s 30th Anniversary Show, with Armored Saint headlining at the House of Blues on Sunset. AS has been one of my favorite bands since the mid 80s, and they rarely play US dates, so the four hour drive was a no-brainer.

The night before we took off, I sent a text to Eddie Trunk as he was in LA preparing to emcee the Metal Blade event.  I figured we might be able to grab a bite to eat at the Rainbow for lunch. He was uncertain of his schedule at the time, and told me he would circle back with me.

The drive from Las Vegas was an interesting one, as the rain beat down on us for the last 50 miles heading into LA. About 20 miles out from LA, true to his word, Eddie reached out to me and asked if 1p would work for lunch. Don Jamieson would be joining us as well. Needless to say, we had an awesome lunch full of all sorts of music stories, and sub-par service, but it was ok. Talking metal with Eddie and Don at the Rainbow was a cool experience indeed!

After lunch, we swung by the HOB to hear Armored Saint’s sound check and to say hello to friend, Jeff Duncan. Jeff joined Armored Saint more than 20 years ago, is featured in Tales from the Stage, and has become a friend. As always, the band was right on, and the sound check served as an appetizer for the forthcoming gig.

Later that night, we arrived back at the HOB only minutes before Armored Saint went on. Jeff had left us VIP tickets in the balcony, which were awesome. It was there that I met Brian Slagel, founder of Metal Blade Records. Although Brian is featured in the book as well, I had never met him in person. It was his night, and it went off without a hitch.

Armored Saint’s show was so intense the entire crowd was suffering from whiplash by the third song. Eddie and Don were blown away as well. Neither were huge Armored Saint fans prior to the show, but I think that the band won them over.

As the smell of high grade ganja started to overwhelm the balcony, I noticed the crowd in the area parting like the Red Sea. The arrival of rock n’ roll royalty? You bet! James Hetfeild, Lars Ulrich, and Robert Trjillo walked over to Brian, gave him a hug, and took a seat.  It was just cool, man. I don’t know how else to describe it.

We took it easy “the day after,” with the exception of doing a brief video interview with the Mean Man himself, Chris Holmes, formerly of WASP. Chris has a new CD coming out, we discussed it and his new-and somewhat controversial- video that was released in early November. You can find the interview in the “Video Series” tab of this website.

The next morning we awoke, and started our journey back to Las Vegas. This time we had an additional passenger, as Jeff Duncan joined us for the Sunday drive back to Sin City. Jeff now calls Las Vegas home, so it only made sense to carpool it back together.

How things can change in just a year–or less. As I reflected during the four hour drive back, I did pinch myself a few times. I have a career people would die for, and have had more unforgettable experiences in the last year than imaginable. But, I am most thankful for the love of my life who puts up with my work and I 24/7. Thank you, Jennifer. Happy Birthday, and Merry Christmas. I am most thankful for you. I love you! 


Can you define “Publishing?”

8/12/12-One of the more exciting components to authoring a book is receiving feedback. Positive or constructive, I always enjoy receiving it. This past week I received several emails with a the same question attached to them; Can you define “publishing?”

A standard question I asked the majority of the musicians in Tales from the Stage was how their publishing worked? Publishing is short for publishing revenue or publishing split. You could write chapters explaining the process, but in a nutshell publishing is the money made via the selling of the musicians recorded music. Most commonly it comes in the form of CD sales, but monies are also paid for use of the musicians work in a public format; TV commercials, radio play, large sporting events, etc. Publishing is typically broken down by the individual song, and what part the musician had in writing it.

There is no standard formula for the split. Chris Holmes explained that it was 33/33/33 in WASP. In this case it translated to 33% to whoever came up with the melody of the music for the song, 33% for the melody of the lyrics, and 33% for the origination of the lyrics.  Some bands split publishing even across the board.  Again, it will vary from band to band.

Most participants in the book were asked, “Are you in a financial position that you never have to work again?” Only one person said “yes”. If you haven’t read the book I wont give it away, but this musician has made the vast majority of his income from publishing over the years. He wrote the lyrics to some of the biggest hits of the 80s, and his songs continue to be played regularly on the radio, and have been used in numerous national television ads. As a point of reference, I know of a Las Vegas based company that ran a short, regional TV ad featuring a Queen song throughout the ad. They paid $50,000 for the use of the song. My point is that it can amount to big bucks! Bob Seger’s tune, “Like a Rock” was used by Ford Motor Company for years in their TV ads, in the promotion of their pick up trucks. This was a long running, national ad which Ford paid Bob considerably more than he made for the song via CD sales or radio play. You just never know where your song will end up!

Keep the questions coming, as it is always a good time visiting with fellow music fans. Also, if you are heading into the studio in the near future, make certain that you are getting your fair share of the publishing split after you record your work. You never know when Monday Night Football might come knocking, right Joan Jett?