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Author Steve Rosen

And now, the sequel to Part 1 of Steve Rosen’s Behind the Curtain story of his trip to Kathmandu for the Waterbone music project … Prologue: So, if you tuned in last issue, you know I was air bound to Kathmandu, Nepal, with two friends and a National Geographic photographer to document their exploits as they recorded indigenous musicians. That’s the short of it. Following is the long of it … After gathering up our bags, our little troupe made its way to the Hotel Manislu, accommodations our world-wizened photographer Gordon Wiltsie knew about from his previous visit to the…

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Prologue: This is unlike any other story I’ve ever written here. Those of you who have followed my travails and triumphs here in our Behind the Curtain column — and I thank you for that — will recognize this as being different than what you’ve previously read. It is not a story about interviewing someone who plays guitar or writes songs or magazine articles or sitting in an office somewhere.  It is musical in nature but only in a roundabout sort of way. It’s more an exploration, an uncovering, a discovery. I know that sounds cryptic or–and I shudder to…

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In his latest Behind the Curtain entry, veteran rock music scribe Steve Rosen details run-ins with Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars that didn’t quite go as planned … (Photo: Glen Laferman) In a previous life before he began wearing makeup and outrageous clothes and was part of a hair metal band, Motley Crue, that celebrated sex, drugs and women with big breasts, Mick Mars was a mere mortal known as Robert Alan Deal. Born on May 4, 1951, he grew up in Terre Haute, Indiana, moved to Huntington about three hours away and then just prior to his ninth birthday…

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Back in late 1978 when I first interviewed Ace Frehley and found out I would be talking to him on the phone and not in person, I was relieved. I had no burning desire to meet him, and in fact I didn’t have much of a desire to talk to him at all. I didn’t much care for the music of KISS and in all honesty, I thought Ace was a mediocre guitarist at best and the rest of the band little more than marginal players. Not that technique alone was the only measure I used to quantify a player’s…

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Photo: Rosen, Leo Fender and Hyatt (Glen Laferman) I can’t remember a lot of things. I can’t remember my house in St. Louis, which is where I lived for the first six years of my life before my parents decided to relocate to California. I can’t remember what it was like sitting in a classroom when I was in the first grade or second grade. Hell, I barely remember high school. I mean I can recall being there but I can’t bring back more distinct memories of walking to classes or opening my hall locker or eating lunch or taking tests.…

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In which writer Steve Rosen recounts his adventures with guitarist/composer John McLaughlin …  This story was originally meant to begin with a short preamble about how human beings are creatures of habit and how we tend to do the same things over and over — the habits of creatures –because we know what we’ll find on the other side and that makes us happy and content.  I was going to say something about being drawn to things we understand and how if we dug dinosaurs and Jurassic Park and spaceships and Star Wars movies that we were unlikely to go…

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I remember it was a Wednesday night sometime in early 1980 when the phone rang. My friend, Craig, wanted to see a guitarist named Eric Johnson in Hollywood. I had probably been mindlessly watching some serial rerun of a ‘70s television show like Adam-12 [a cop show], Green Acres [a hilarious comedy about a hotshot lawyer who moves from New York to become a farmer in a small town called Hooterville] or Kung Fu [a program about a Shaolin priest-martial artist who uses his skills to right wrongs and beat up every bad guy in the Old West]. Or maybe…

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Behind the Curtain: Learning Important Lessons with the band Heart Down through history, some unbelievably outrageous things have been said … were likely to have been said … maybe were said … probably were said. We’re talking world class, top of the line, 24-karat gold-plated idiocy. In other words — or actually, precisely in these words — some real batshit, howling at the moon, straightjacket, drool dribbling down the chin unadulterated lunacy. These famous last words as they might be described were typically uttered in the face of unchecked hubris, an arrogance and ego so all-consuming that the speaker had…

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Those of an age likely have one enduring Carlos Santana visual indelibly stamped on their eyeballs. It is an image of the guitarist standing onstage at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. The date is August 16, 1969 and the time is roughly 2:00 p.m. in on what is becoming a cloudy Saturday Afternoon. He is wearing a sleeveless black vest, sporting a wispy black goatee and mustache, and his head is thrown back in a pose of spiritual bliss. A closer look at his eyes will reveal not so much an ecstatic reverie as a psychedelic one. He tears…

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Vinnie Vincent is a superhero. Well, in a way. He is part of a great and rare fraternity called the Secret Society of Six-String Supermen or S.S.S.S.S [imagine the sound of a pick sliding down a guitar string]. It is the most exclusive organization in the world—in the history of the world—and there is only one way to attain membership: You must be a legit, no arguments, bona fide guitar playing superhero. There is no club like this, though I’d like to believe there is one. If one existed, Vincent would be in it. Alongside him would be fellow guitar…

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