Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – Just For You

CamWell the stars did align last Saturday night for the family Segarini. As you may have read in Bob’s column it was going to be Daddy/Daughter night at the Slaughter show at the Phoenix in Toronto. Bob’s daughter Amy became enamoured with the band in her pre-teen days and I had the chance to introduce her to them at the Hard Rock Café way back in the day. She had purchased a star for the band and never had the opportunity to give them the certificate and coordinates. Last week was the first time the band would be playing in Toronto for the last dozen or so years, and Amy, in anticipation, purchased another star for them and hoped she would get the chance to present it.

Slaughter at the PhoenixThe doors for the show were at 7 PM and I figured there would be an opening act and then the boys would hit the stage around nine. There was a time that weekend live shows were early in the evening and then the club would flip over to the dance crowd and the tunes of Martin Streek.  Hoping to have a little face time I arrived at the club at 7:30 and headed over to the bus parked backstage. I sent a text to Dana Strum and another to Mark Slaughter asking their whereabouts. Dana texted back they were at an airport hotel and would be back to the venue around 10 PM and Mark replied in a similar way. There were three or four opening acts. Uggh. I headed in, ordered a 50 and soon found Amy in the crowd. We had a little chat and then between cigarette breaks and arriving friends went our separate ways. Bob had yet to arrive. Just before 9 PM Mark texted that he was on the bus and for me to come join him, great news as I was very unimpressed by the first act and was not looking forward to sitting through a couple of more. Mark had arranged a private drive from the hotel to the venue Cam Dana Markso he could spend some time with me. Although Dana and I see each other each time Motley Crue come to town (he manages Vince and also plays bass in Vince’s solo band) Mark and I had not seen each other since the last time the band were in town at The Generator on Queen Street West sometime in the nineties. We had a great catch-up and after an hour Dana and the rest of the band arrived. Knowing they may not stay too long after the show (which was being pushed back by the minute by the plethora of openers) I broached the subject of the Segarini family and their gift and was told to round them up and bring them to the bus. I sent a text to Amy and Friends with Mark and DanaAmy and asked her to corral her Dad and meet me at the soundboard in five minutes. Slipping in the back door of the club I quickly found Bob at the bar, told him to guzzle his beverage and then found Amy and her friends.  The presentation was made, photos and videos shot, beers had and travellers secured in little red cups.  As the star struck younger set headed to the front of the stage Bob and I settled in beside the bar Slaughter onstage at the Phoenixaffording us a great view of the world’s most entertaining drummer Zoltan Chaney (who, like Dana, plays for both Slaughter and Vince Neil).

Behold the awesome Zoltan!

After the show we headed back to the bus for another beer or two and then the boys were off to Ottawa. It was a great night and I was very happy everything went according to plan. The next day it was touching to receive a call from Mark who, now in Ottawa, just wanted to say thanks for coming to the show and how great it was that we got to spend some time together. It is very gratifying when the work relationship ends and the real friendship begins.

Now, back to the alphabet. The second time around is about to come to an end and we are looking at the letter Y, and, more specifically the word You. Here are ten tracks beginning with You.

“You Really Got Me” – The Kinks/Mott The Hoople/Van Halen

Depending on your age one of these versions will be the one you call your own. Van Halen did a great rocking version on their 1978 debut album but did you know that there are two versions by Mott The Hoople? They recorded a fantastic instrumental on their 1969 self-titled debut album and there is also a rare vocal version with guitarist Mick John Hiatt - Slug LineRalphs (later of Bad Company) singing lead.

“You Used To Kiss The Girls” – John Hiatt

The lead off track from my favourite John Hiatt album “Slug Line”. Of his twenty or so albums this is the one that I always head back to. Very underrated album from a much overlooked artist.

“You Remind Me” – Jewel/Steve Poltz

Steve Poltz might be the best solo entertainer in North America. His one man shows are hilarious as he sings about baseball, drug arrests with Jewel, kids songs and pretty well everything in-between. Although Jewel had the hit I prefer Steve’s version.

“You Know I’m No Good” – Amy Winehouse

One of the things I like about Indie 88.1 (our new Toronto station) is the way they are dropping in songs like this from Amy Winehouse as well as a couple of Lana Del Ray songs. Nice to hear them in the mix.

“You Do Run” – Cocktail Slippers

I first heard this a couple of years ago on Little Steven’s Underground Garage and fell in love with the all-girl group from Oslo, Norway. Lots of fun.

“You Can’t Be Too Strong” – Graham Parker & The Rumour

From their very best album “Squeezing Out Sparks”, this is Graham at his lyrical best.

“You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory” – Johnny Thunders/Guns’ n’ Roses

The signature song of former New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders. Has been covered by many (The New York Dolls still play it live) but the best known version was on the Gunners album “The Spaghetti Incident”. Hats off to the music supervisor from “The Sopranos” who used the song in a season two episode.

“You Wear It Well” – Rod Stewart

From his 1972 solo album “Never A Dull Moment”.  Not his best album from that era but one of his best singles.

“You Broke My Heart In 17 Places” – Tracey Ullman

The title track of her 1983 debut album. Best known as a comedienne this Stiff Records release was a surprisingly good pop album.

“You Keep It All In” – The Beautiful South

From the brilliant first album “Welcome To The Beautiful South”. Chock full of hits which very few people ever heard.

I just heard that my pals The Proclaimers will be performing for free at The CNE Bandshell on the evening of August 16th. Take my word for it that the boys still have it and check them out if you are in town.

The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll are proud to be presented by The Bovine Tiki Bar. The bar and BBQ opens daily at 4 PM and the BBQ rocks until 10 PM. Cocktails available after 10. You can vote The Tiki Bar Toronto’s best patio at


Follow Cam @CC59 on Twitter.

Cam’s column appears every Thursday

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DBAWIS ButtonCameron Carpenter has written for The New Music Magazine, Music Express, The Asylum, The Varsity, The Eye Opener,  The New Edition, Shades, Bomp!, Driven Magazine, FYI Music News, The Daily XY, New Canadian Music, NXNE Magazine and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.


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