Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 7/20/17
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
ICED EARTH – “Ghost Of Freedom” (2001)
“Every time you think about it…it tears you up inside…you curse the day your mother told you…your father died.”
It was this date in 2001 that my family and I were told to say our goodbyes to my dad. After a battle that lasted for five days following a tragic accident, my father was gone. My world would never be the same.
Less than a month before losing my father, Iced Earth released their concept album, Horror Show. Although the title is more about fictional horror characters, it’s an accurate description of what life was like for me in the days, months and years that followed the day that my personal innocence died. Not long after, I witnessed the tragic events of 9/11 firsthand.
“Ghost Of Freedom” is actually written about a father being killed during war. Early on in the song, the lyrics are written from the perspective of the father telling his son that he will always be with him…
“Now you’re always searching…you’re searching for the reason why I’ve gone…but I will always be by your side through the darkest nights.”
When Horror Show was released, “Ghost Of Freedom” instantly became my favorite song. I had no idea that the song that brought me such joy would bring me such pain not long after its release. It’s been 16 years since the end of the innocence, but hearing this song still brings tears to my eyes.
“Every night you go to sleep you pray the lord my soul to keep…you don’t know I’ve not gone away…I’m the ghost standing next to you.”
Even in retrospect, it’s hard to believe the foreshadowing of this song, both for personal reasons, and even more so for what would happen in the U.S. not long after it was released.
ICED EARTH – “Watching Over Me” (1998)
Even though it was their fifth studio album, I didn’t discover Iced Earth until 1998 when they released Something Wicked This Way Comes. The entire album is a masterpiece, but two songs really stood out for me early on, and still do to this day…“Melancholy” (which perfectly captures the mood of this day for me), and “Watching Over Me” (which gives me hope that my dad has experienced all of our family’s special moments even though he’s no longer with us).
“Watching Over Me” was written by Iced Earth founder/guitarist Jon Schaeffer about a childhood friend that was tragically killed, but the lyrics are relatable to anyone who has suffered a tragic loss.
“I had a friend many years ago…one tragic night he died…the saddest time of my life…for weeks and weeks I cried. Through the anger and through the tears, I’ve felt his spirit through the years…I swear he’s watching me…guiding me through hard times. I feel it once again…it’s overwhelming me…the spirit’s like the wind…an angel guarding me…oh, I know…he’s watching over me.”
Before my dad was taken from us way before his time, I had never given much thought to anyone “watching over me.” I never had a reason to, quite frankly. Whereas “Ghost Of Freedom” is still painful for me to listen to years later, “Watching Over Me” brings a sense of peace (even though it is written from a painful place). That’s the power of music. Depending on your perspective, it can tear you down or lift you up. Knowing that others relate to your feelings of loss is comforting in some way. It takes away the feelings of isolation that come when you’re dealing with grief, while the rest of the world seems to be going by unfazed.
RIP Dad. Thanks for “Watching Over Me”…
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
KORN – “Freak On A Leash” (1998)
In the nu-metal genre, Korn was one of the top bands back in the late ‘90s. Although I was never a huge fan of the genre, I have always respected their contribution to the metal scene. My respect doubled for the band ever since I saw this video of their current drummer Ray Luzier performing “Freak On A Leash” live. Having listened to the original recording and comparing it to this live performance, Luzier adds such a different level to the dynamic to the song. He is flashy, but not unnecessarily fancy. One of the best drummers in the genre, Luzier has breathed new life into this band.
WHITE ZOMBIE – “Welcome To Planet M.F.” (1992)
My introduction to White Zombie was the album La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One. The opening track, “Welcome to Planet Motherfucker,” made me a fan immediately. Rob Zombie’s gruff vocals and the heaviness of the band, coupled with the dirty sounding groove metal vibe and ‘50s era B-horror movie imagery, made this album a classic. Adding in excerpts of old time classic cult movies in their songs such as Dawn of the Dead, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! gives their music a whole other level of imagery that makes their songs even cooler. I wish that the band still existed to write more classics like this.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
MCAULEY SCHENKER GROUP – “Time” (1987)
When the Michael Schenker Group needed a replacement for vocalist Gary Barden, they turned to Robin McAuley. The chemistry between McAuley and guitar virtuoso Michael Schenker was so strong that the band actually changed its name to the McAuley Schenker Group. This favorite comes from their first album together, 1987’s Perfect Timing.
MCAULEY SCHENKER GROUP – “Never Ending Nightmare” (1992)
This haunting ballad closed out McAuley and Schenker’s third album together, M.S.G. This would be their last studio album together. They reunited to tour together, though, in 2012, to the delight of their fans. They will be reuniting again next year, as Michael Schenker tours with all three of the band’s famous vocalists at once: Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, and Robin McAuley.