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Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon - KIP WINGER & M3 Festival

Podcasts & Radio
On this episode of ROCK TALK WITH MITCH LAFON. New interviews with KIP WINGER and M3 Rock Festival organizer - ERIC BAKER. Trixter's Steve Brown co-hosts.
Before getting to our first interview Mitch and co-host Steve Brown discuss which bands should be invited to play the M3 Rock Festival in upcoming years.
Our first interview is with KIP WINGER. We talk M3 Rock Festival, Get Jack (A Musical Thriller), the experience of writing a play, new music coming in 2020, the importance of Winger, his upcoming solo album, working with the Nashville Symphony, writing with Reb Beach, working with Alan Parsons and Bob Dylan, why did he learn from Alice Cooper, having a Grammy nominated #1 Classical album, and much more. 
In our second interview, M3 Rock Festival event organizer Eric Baker discusses how the festival comes together, how bands are chosen, talks about LA Guns (approx. 1hr 09 minutes), Heaven's Edge and much more. 



ANGEL to Appear At The Vegas Rocks! Hair Metal Awards

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Legendary Rock Group ANGEL will appear at the 2016 Vegas Rocks! Hair Metal Awards in Las Vegas on May 15. The group will receive the Glam Rock Legends Award in honor of their contributions and influence in music. Accepting the award will be Punky Meadows, Frank DiMino, Gregg Giuffria, Barry Brandt, and Felix Robinson. This will be the first time all band members have been onstage together since 1980. From Frank DiMino: 'It's going to be lots of fun and we're all looking forward to seeing one another! It's been way too long.' Kalish Management confirmed the members are not performing at the event. The show will be held at the Eastside Cannery Hotel & Casino. Also appearing are Twisted Sister, Scorpions, Quiet Riot, Doro Pesch, Kip Winger, and more. For more info visit:
ANGEL Biography

ANGEL was formed in 1975 by guitarist Punky Meadows and bassist Mickie Jones in Washington, D.C. After becoming the house band at Bogeys the group built a strong following and eventually managers and record companies started to come around. Gordon Fletcher, a writer and reviewer for Rolling Stone and Creem Magazine would frequent the club and took notice of the band. Fletcher invited Gene Simmons from KISS to see them perform. Simmons was not only impressed, he was 'blown away'.

That summer, ANGEL signed a management contract and relocated to Los Angeles. Their manager financed the recording of their first album with producers Big Jim Sullivan and Derek Lawrence. Casablanca Records signed ANGEL to a multi-album deal upon the recommendation of KISS without hearing a single note or seeing the band live. On October 23, 1975 their debut album was released and ANGEL was voted best new band by the reader's poll of Circus Magazine. During that same year, ANGEL was awarded a gold record for the best and most promising new band in Japan. Their legendary live performances included an elaborate stage show incorporating magic tricks by magician Doug Henning, pyrotechnics, smoke, an incredible light show, a larger than life talking angel named Gabriel, members mysteriously appearing and disappearing onstage, and angelic all-white costumes. Many critics labeled them a glam band due to their flamboyant image. The progressive rock style from the first two albums would eventually evolve into mainstream hard rock on the 3rd and 4th albums. Later, due to record company pressure, the band adapted a more commercial rock sound with strong melodies and pop sensibilities as evidenced on their 5th album.

The group released a total of eight albums: 'Angel' which includes their signature song 'The Tower', 'Helluva Band', 'On Earth As It Is In Heaven', 'White Hot' 'Sinful', 'Live Without A Net', 'An Anthology', and 'In The Beginning'. Their television appearances included American Bandstand, Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, and The Midnight Special. The 'White Hot' album included a version of The Rascal's 'Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore' which became ANGEL's highest charting single reaching #44 on Billboard. ANGEL toured non-stop for years with such names as Rush, Aerosmith, Styx, Ted Nugent, Blackmore's Rainbow, Bob Seger, ZZ Top, Blue Oyster Cult, Judas Priest, Peter Frampton, and many others. The group traveled to Japan for a highly successful tour which included two nights headlining the legendary Budokan. Upon arriving at Narita Airport they were greeted by hundreds of screaming fans.

In the film 'Foxes' starring Jody Foster, ANGEL appeared as themselves and their songs '20th Century Foxes' and 'Virginia' were included on the film's soundtrack. 'Wild and Hot' from the 'Sinful' album was used in the KISS film, 'Detroit Rock City'. Finally, in 1980 the band decided to call it a day. Years later a revamped version of the group was formed featuring DiMino and Brandt along with several new members. This resulted in a new album and live shows in Europe and the USA.

Since the band's heyday each member has moved on to various music projects and business ventures. Frank DiMino became a well-respected vocal coach and in-demand session singer receiving a platinum album for his vocal contribution in the blockbuster film 'Flashdance'. In 2015 he released his solo album 'Old Habits Die Hard' under the moniker Dimino. Keyboardist Gregg Giuffria formed the AOR bands Giuffria and House of Lords resulting in several hit singles and international success. Bassist Felix Robinson toured with 707 and played on White Lion's album 'Fight To Survive'. Drummer Barry Brandt played on many LA sessions with different artists. Guitarist Punky Meadows whom Frank Zappa immortalized in the song 'Punky's Whips' will release his debut solo album in May, 2016. Tragically, founding member and original bassist Mickie Jones passed away from cancer in 2009.

Official Sites:
ANGEL (Facebook):
Punky Meadows (Facebook):
Frank DiMino Website:
Frank DiMino (Facebook):


HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES Gather For Benefit Album Out Friday

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Hollywood Vampires are Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, Joe Perry
Featuring Perry Farrell, Dave Grohl, Sir Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Slash, Robbie Krieger, Zak Starkey, Brian Johnson and Kip Winger
Produced by Bob Ezrin
In 1972, on the Sunset Strip at a club called the Rainbow Bar & Grill, the Hollywood Vampires were born in the upstairs bar.  It was a gathering place for the rock stars living in or passing through L.A.  “To join the club, one simply had to out drink all of the members,” says Alice Cooper, a founding member of the Vampires.  “I would walk in on a typical night” Alice says, “and John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon who would usually be in aa costume like a maid or a chauffeur Bernie Taupin, Jim Morrison and Mickey Dolenz would be there. The next week might be Bernie Taupin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Mickey Dolenz.”
Three years ago, Alice and good friend Johnny Depp got together and decided the spirit of the Hollywood Vampires should live again (minus the drinking).  An environment for great artists to hang, laugh and play together. The Hollywood Vampires live again with the release of the Hollywood Vampires new album.  Alice and Johnny were joined by Joe Perry, who is an old friend of both of them, and the recording began: a tribute to the original Hollywood Vampires. 
For the next two years, Alice, Joe and Johnny, joined by producer Bob Ezrin and an amazing group of modern day vampires, including Perry Farrell, Dave Grohl, Sir Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Slash, Robbie Krieger, Zak Starkey, Brian Johnson and Kip Winger, recorded tracks by their dead friends and heroes.  Also included are two original songs that tell the story of the Vampires, one of which, “Raise The Dead,” has an intro by Sir Christopher Lee, recorded just prior to his death. 
The album package, an antique book, was created by noted men’s fashion designer (and rock fan) John Varvatos in his signature vintage style.  Alice and Varvatos, both Detroit natives, have been partners in fashion for several years with Alice lending his classic rock style as a brand ambassador. 
A sneak peek at the liner notes, penned by original Hollywood Vampire Bernie Taupin, “I’m not here to defend their vices. Over-indulgence of any sort does not ultimately constitute for a healthy mind and body. And while on the periphery of those involved, wives may have come and gone, career choices may have been deemed dubious, and heartbreak in some cases stalked a dark corridor, but in the lair of the Hollywood Vampires only joy and laughter reigned.”
“I’m not completely sure what constituted bad behavior back then, but in this lair it existed in a bubble, a hermetically sealed dome of fun. It may not have been the round table at the Algonquin, but these were witty, intelligent guys who often got raucous and loud, but rest assured there were no bystanders or animals hurt in the making of the Hollywood Vampires.”
All artist proceeds will be donated to MusiCares.
Track listing:
The Last Vampire   
Raise The Dead    
My Generation    
Whole Lotta Love    
I Got A Line    
Five to One/Break On Through    
One/Jump Into The Fire     
Come And Get It    
Cold Turkey 
Manic Depression
Itchycoo Park
School’s Out / Another Brick In The Wall pt.2
Dead Drunk Friends

DEF LEPPARD'S "Hysteria On The High Seas" Inaugural Fan Cruise On Sale Today

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Tour News
Def Leppard's inaugural fan cruise, "Hysteria on the High Seas," a unique, four-day, four-night voyage out of Miami next January 21-25, 2016 aboard the MSC Divina, goes on sale today (6/18).
One of the greatest rock bands of all time, Def Leppard, will sail with their fans aboard the MSC Divina for the entire cruise, as "Hysteria on the High Seas" visits Grand Bahama Island and the private island paradise of Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. Two payment plans are available for cabins aboard the full-ship charter, which are priced starting at $899 USDper person for double-occupancy cabins, and $600 USD per person for quad rooms (government fees, taxes, and gratuities not included). For booking and more information, visit:
This exclusive cruise is a fantasy camp for enthusiasts of Def Leppard, with non-stop entertainment, activities and fun. While this cruise is about all things Def Leppard, the "Hysteria" continues with some of the great names from the 80's and beyond, with an initial lineup that includes: Tom Keifer; Last in Line; Eric Martin (Mr. Big); Ritchie Kotzen; Kip Winger; Eddie Trunk and Luc Carl with more to come.  In addition, passengers sailing aboard the cruise will received complimentary admission to an exclusive pre-cruise event on Wednesday, January 20 in Miami, FL, featuring special guest artists and more (details TBA).
Def Leppard's "Hysteria On The Seas" fan cruise will include:
  • Complimentary admission to the Def Leppard Cruise Pre-Partyon January 20 (Details TBA)
  • Stops at two exciting ports of call, Grand Bahama Island and private island oasis, Half Moon Cay.
  • Def Leppard Theater Performance
  • Def Leppard "Storytellers" Performance and Q&A
  • Def Leppard's Vivian Campbell in Last in Line Performance
  • Eddie Trunk's "Def Leppard, Behind the Music"
  • Daily performances from support artists on four stages throughout the ship
  • Support Artist "Storyteller" Performances
  • Support Artist Meet & Greets/Photo Ops, Jams and Q&A Sessions
  • Special Events, Theme Nights and much more
  • Additional Def Leppard events to be announced
About Def Leppard:
Def Leppard--Joe Elliott (vocals), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick "Sav" Savage (bass) and Rick Allen (drums)--continues to be one of the most important forces in rock music. With 100 million records sold worldwide and two prestigious Diamond Awards to their credit, the group's spectacular live shows, filled with powerful melodic rock anthems, continue to sell out venues worldwide. For the past thirty years the band's epic live shows and arsenal of hits have become synonymous with their name, leading Def Leppard to be heralded as an institution in both the music and touring industry. For more information visit:, or connect on Facebook and Twitter.  


Tuesday, November 11, 2014
News Feed
An important news update from Cenk Eroglu:
"As you may know we had a big freedom movement in Turkey in 2013 against our current government... It was a peaceful uprising to protect a little nature Park called Gezi Parki which is in the center of Istanbul.

And it turned into a hell when police came with Gas capsules and tanks. During those events we lost a lot of young people because of the violent police force. A lot of people injured, too many arrested! for what? For protecting the trees in that park!

Nobody wanted another shopping Mall! And then we all realized our freedom is in danger..So that park was only the beginning for them...
(Check the video to see the pictures of those who lost their life)

Thats when I wrote this song! I wanted to tell the world whats going on here!

So I called my dear friends for a little help ... Kip Winger / Richard Page / Pat Mastelotto / Reb Beach / John Roth / Howard Leese / George Gakis / Blanc Blanc / Steve Lukather and many others. Some donated their time and recorded for me some supported me with
other things...So I did 6 different versions of this song with different artists.. This one is Version 1 with Kip Winger and Richard Page on Lead vocals / Pat Mastelotto on drums and me on Lead Gtr and all the other instruments.. I will share the other versions very soon.

Well this song is for everyone who are standing tall to protect their freedom!
We were all born Free! So..... Long Live Freedom!

Please share with everyone!"

Music & Lyrics by Cenk Eroglu
Arrangement and all instruments / Cenk Eroğlu


Lead Vocals / Kip Winger & Richard Page

WINGER - Better Days Comin' (Review)

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Another cracking Winger album. I'm probably favoring Karma narrowly ahead of this, but either way it's all class. It's a musically diverse album that if done by any other band probably wouldn't work. You need something special for the style changes between songs to work and that special something is Winger. 

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1. Midnight Driver of a Love Machine
2. Queen Babylon
3. Rat Race
4. Better Days Comin
5. Tin Soldier
6. Ever Wonder
7. So Long China
8. Storm In Me
9. Be Who You Are, Now
10. Another Beautiful Day (Deluxe Edition Bonus Track)
11. Out Of This World
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Release Date: 
April 18
Musical Style: 
Melodic Hard Rock
Frontiers Records
Tuesday, May 6, 2014


It still baffles me why the credibility challenged MTV decided to use Winger as the genre's whipping boy back in the 90s. The collective musical talent of these 4 guys was and remains beyond the grasp of 99% of the bands elevated to hero status during the 90s on that network. And as if to prove the point, Winger remain actively kicking ass in their 26th year.

Better Days Comin' is the new album, the band's 6th studio album and one that fits snuggly between the darker vibe of IV and the looser, old-school sounding Karma record.
In fact, Better Days Comin' almost sounds like a greatest hits album for the band.
Of the 11 tracks on the special edition, there's something touching each facet of the band's styles over the years. It is a compelling record that boasts musical intelligence, awareness of what the fans want and a touch of adventure.
Within the record you get the best of early Winger - the hard rocking party boys that seemed a step ahead of the pack musically - with the anthemic driving trio of ass-whipping tunes Midnight Driver Of A Love Machine, Queen Babylon and Rat Race (possibly the most furious Winger tune yet). Better Days Comin' is something new and fresh with its quirky chorus and breezy pace.

Winger IV gets a nod with the dark, progressive and technical rocker Tin Soldier and Ever Wonder reminds me of the mature and atmospheric ballads from Karma.

So Long China has a hard edged verse, yet a breezy melodic chorus – the contradiction of the two aspects and the layered instrumentation making the song a highlight.

Latter day Winger gets another nod with the distorted, effects heavy modern rocker Storm In Me which contrasts starkly with the orchestral influenced moody ballad Be Who You Are, Now.

The bonus track Another Beautiful Day is another dirty modern rocker which leads into the also dark, but optimistic Out Of This World – a soaring ballad that oozes class and instant appeal.

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