Wednesday, December 8, 2010

# 53rd Birthday :: Phil Collen

Today, Dec 8, 2010, marks the 53rd birthday for Phil Collen, who has been rocking with Def Leppard for the past 3 decades and being among the bandmates of the Lepps who have been inspiring the fans in many ways.

Have a very BLESSED Birthday, Phil !

More up next.. Stay tuned..

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

# Switch 625 ... COVER - Benjamin Spence

It has been a while since my last post here. Life is hard, yeah. But i have not been hit to the ground.. No, not yet. At least Def Leppard is still there being part of me that has been standing by me along.

So it's always Def Leppard's music that bring me back to my feet. And by god's grace and blessing, comes along the discovery of a Swtich 625 cover, by Benjamin.

Switch 625 COVER - by Benjamin Spence

The effort and secret behind the cover ...

"Tone for this song was HARD to get.. I recorded everything direct out from the Slave Out on my Mesa head, So it normally sounds really crappy but I used my Logic's Amp/Cab/Mic simulators and EQ to sorta make it sound a lot better."

"I've been meaning to cover it for a few years, but it was a MONSTER to try and match tones with, Not to mention it's not that easy to play either."

"I also recorded this both direct out of my amp into my computer and with a mic, So it was EQ'd in every possible way."

"... People ask me this question all the time, And by now I should actually be endorsed by BOSS.


Mesa S1 Road King Head and 4x12 Recto Cab


BOSS ME50, MXR Distortion+, MXR Dyna Comp, Slash Wah

In here I probably used a mix of everything except the wah, If you notice the effect changes, The audio for this was shot in many takes before the video, So I changed my tones around a lot."

- Benjamin

It's stunning ... from the first note & riff till the end. .. By far a 625 cover that is out of this planet. The tone, the effect, the riff are captured so right. And just waiting for Steve's soul to flow thru..

i guess Steve would be very proud of this freaking awesome job.

R.I.P. Steve.

More posts coming in. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

# You're Always In Our Heart ....

.... from video: Steve Clark Remembered in post

"Steve was my friend, my brother, part of the family. I'll miss him like a brother."

"Ha had so much to offer, that'll never have the chance to express now. I believe if you've got it, flaunt it. And he had it."

"He'd be so quiet offstage. Then he would get up there and explode into this guitar god."

"He could really fill the stage. He used to do the Chuck Berry thing, strutting across the stage ... Where Chuck would do it 5miles an hour, Steve would do it 90in reverse. You had to get out of his way or you get knocked offstage."

- Joe Elliot

"We certainly remember him with a smile on our faces. Obviously there's regret.. we wish him were still here ..."

"I remember him as being a very affectionate, very funny guy. I remember him on stage as being the typical showman."

"He brought a lot of happiness to millions of people. He also brought happiness to us, that's what we want to remember him by. "

"He was very shy, very funny, and very warm person. There ware so many more happy
moments we shared with him than we shared bad ones ..."

"... he was completely unique. He was an inspired genius."

- Rick Savage

"I miss him, I think about Steve every single day. It's been 13 years but i still do, I always will."

"It was really frustrating seeing your best friend dying basically, you know, not being able to help him ..."

"It was a complete hoot! I loved it! Me & Steve got into a lot of trouble usually involve drinking, girls, the usual stuff."

"I was in a group called GIRL before this, but me and Steve knew each other and we used to have this silly jams in the clubs."

"It all started because we were sharing rooms on tour. We had a real laugh. Joe & Sav roomed together, Rick shared a room with his brother Robert, and that left me and Steve. We had such a laugh we would just hang out all the time!"

- Phil Collen

"We realized that Steve would've wanted us to go on. We made Adrenelize for him."

"He was a really nice guy, but had major problems. It got worse and worse, and there was nothing we could do."

- Rick Allen

"There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him, speak of him, or miss him."

"He did not get a lot of support for his dreams, especially from his father."

"He played a mean Les Paul and with every note he bent, with every shape he threw, and with every toothy grin, he won a heart."

"Thanks to those people,(you know who you are), for helping to keep Steve's memory alive. I'm sure he is grateful and so am I."

- Lorelei Shellist (Steve's fiance)

"When Steve played soccer with us, you could never tell what he would do or where he would go next ..."

"He was real fan though and could actually play pretty good(if he could manage to stop laughing for a few seconds)."

"My daughter's first steps, a trip of around 5 feet, which she made between pillars formed by Clark and Collen ... They both spent a few minutes on their knees encouraging her to let go and take the walking plunge."

"Helping him to pack his suitcase, at my insistence, whenever we were in a hurry..."
"...Steve, you can't check that bag with a cowboy boot hanging out of the zipper.. "

"I remember lighting a cigarette for him before God of War .... Something he really looked forward to .... 'cos he thought it looked cool (it DID!). "

"I shall always remember his smile. I shall never forget his kindness."

- Malvin, Steve's guitar tech

"Some say he died because of his dad, some say he was haunted. Those things could of contributed to his death, but the truth is, we will never know and fully understand unless we hear him tell us himself. But that won't happen anytime soon.

He was such a lost soul, searching for his path in this world. And it was right in front of him. He was searching, but he just ran out of time. His guitar shown though his spirit like sun shines through crystal glass windows. He played with such fire, and such passion, everyday out on tour. It was his way of escaping just like we have ours.

The world can be very dark. So dark, we can't find our way. Steve was looking in so hard, searching, but yet he was haunted by his lost soul."

- WhiteLightningSMC
Original text :

"As Steve would say, Martha(Lorelei), I love you!! Someday you two will be reunited in pure peace and harmony without any demons eating away at Steve and it will be the most blissful thing to ever happen to you. Reminds me of the night you two met in '83 I believe was the year. God bless Steve! May you always rock on in the big blue sky and the heavens above!!"

"I personally wish I had been old enough to seen him and Phil play live. I think they were so truly amazing together and the way they read each other and played together and they will always be brothers beyond this lifetime as well. Steve played with his HUGE heart and he loved every single minute of his playing live. Playing to his fan was so important... See More to him and he cherished EVERY SINGLE SECOND and never took it for granted.

I wish his demons never got the best of him but at least his heart, body and most importantly, his soul are at peace now."

"He is my favorite member ever of Def Leppard. The riffs that he came up with, you could ALWAYS tell that Steve played them, because he played so much with his heart out there and it was so amazing and the songs that he would write and help write. That sound will never ever be the same with Def Leppard. He was such a live performer and that was his favorite thing to do, play live for all of us, the Leppard fans.

It's too bad that family problems lead to his demise in the long run. I don't think he intended to kill himself at all. I think that he was in so much pain, mentally, emotionally and physically because of the broken ribs, that he just wanted to be in peace.

I hope that he finally found peace up in heaven, where his mind and soul are at ease. God bless "Steamin" Steve Clark, the one and only, "Riff Master"

- Andrew McGinnis

Friday, April 23, 2010

# Best of The Best: The Riffmaster & Stage Moves

Some of the best live shows that demonstrated Steve's greatest riffs, song composition and stage moves ..

Def Leppard - Too Late For Love (Live @ In The Round 1988)

... VERY stunning opening Riff ...that send chills down the spine ..

Def Leppard - Hysteria (Live @ In The Round 1988)

...the best of all versions of Hysteria, especially the opening riff.

Def Leppard - Gods of War

MORE coming next ...

# Golden 50th :: The Riffmaster

Steve_under stage light
Today, Apr 23rd, marks what would be the 50th birthday of Steve, if Steve still alive.

How many 50 years does one has in his or her entire life time ? Once in a life time is the normal, and if one's life is long enough, maybe twice; and 3 times in a life time is pretty rare. Unfortunately, Steve had neither.

19 years on the road, have all the tears dried up ? Have all the pain, grief and suffering been washed away ? Have all the pieces been picked up ?

It is kind of hard to believe that it has been these long since the passing of Steve. That the tragic passing of Steve meaned the lost of a great friend, guitar legend and a kind humble soul; that it's a shame Steve didn't get enough credit in the world of greatest guitar legends in the past and only the good die young; that it is a kind of incompleteness for the band to lose an unparallel bandmate ...

Yet when seen in a positive ground, it is this incompleteness that knocks some senses into us; that allows the rest of us to discover, over time, all the most remarkable and finest music pieces, in addition to the gracious heart of Steve; that inspires us how far we could go in doing our best as a buddy, as a companion, as someone who feels for, thinks and cares about those suffering in pain and in silence, in their life.

In god's grace and blessing, Steve has finally found peace in heaven and realized that his life had been shined with much light and love..

A man with a much larger heart than most of the rest of people, and who had blown his soul into his music creation and riff. We know that Def Leppard love Steve and will always have his legacy to carry on..

Phil Collen has always been keeping Steve in mind and here's the heartiest birthday wish from Phil on his Facebook on 23 Apr 2010 ...

"Me and Helen are heading down to the Palms Studio in Vegas where I'll be playing live guitar that will be broadcast at the 'Prophetik' fashion show in Nashville. It'll be shown at 8:35pm Nashville time. It'll be coming to Nashville via Fender's 'E-Jamming'. If ur in Nashville head out to 8th & Commerce to see it. Happy Birthday Steve!"

This is the song Vivian Campbell, Def Leppard's current guitarist, wrote in dedication to Steve ..

To Be Alive - Studio version : album Euphoria

To Be Alive - Vivian Campbell's acoustic version - Live @ Mint, LA.
... credit to bigdigs26 ... Listen what Viv said : 0:09 - 0:10

Steve Clark Remembered - Watch the heart-wrenching comments quoted from the lepps ..and .. from Lorelei

Remembering Steve Clark (1960-1991)

"White Lightning - On a dead end street
White Lightning - Where the deadbeats meet
White Lightning - It's a one way ride
White Lightning - Oh, there's nowhere to hide
Such a lonely road you ride"

... credit to WhiteLightningSMC

Frank Hannon, Tesla's guitarist, talked about Steve
... mp3 streaming

And this is the song written by Tesla dedicated to Steve ...

Tesla - Song and Emotion

"Then he starts to play
Suddenly the pain slowly fades away
Tattered, torn, and frayed
There's a place within his heart he'll always save
For the song and emotion ...."

"Where are they now?
Where are those people who promised him his dreams?
Where are they now for this lonely creature on the streets,
Broken, humbled by the cold reality?
Life at the top ain't always what it seems"

The solo which represent Steve, The Riffmaster -- composed and played by Steve ...

Steve Clark - Switch 625

The last solo Steve recorded ...

Def Leppard - When Love and Hate Collide - DEMO

And lastly, my humble dedication to Steve, Happy Golden 50th Birthday and keep heaven rocking!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

# Phil Collen at NAMM 2010 - Abaheim

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen brought some surprises to fellow fans and visitors in NAMM 2010, Jan 16 at Abaheim with his custom hand-painted anniversary Jackson guitars, live performance on stage with his own group Man Raze, not to mention the offstage interaction with his fans ! We could see Phil is very much energetic at his age..

NAMM 2010, Phil Collen video documenting building of the 30th Anniversary PC1

Video courtesy of Jackson Guitars &; showcased Phil's unique skills in guitar painting, this time on Jackson PC1 guitar. Only 30 of these guitars have been made, as it is to celebrate Jackson's 30th anniversary.

In this clip, Phil even paint Japanese & Chinese word & having fun time with Japanese guy besides him :-
-his name Phil in Japanese, which he had been practicing for some times ...
-number (six in English) on the guitar !
-followed by some guitar shredding session

As Phil put it on his Facebook page ...
"The Jackson Splatter PC1 30th Anniversary History....These are 30 guitars that I painted myself to celebrate 30 years of Jackson guitars. I signed each one with my name in Japanese. I chose Japanese because it looks cool and I have a really good history with Japan; great memories as well as really loyal fans. "

Phil Collen visits the Jackson booth

Phil, in his usual personable & humble way, demo & talked about his hand painted,Custom Shop Dinky and other PC1 models at the 2010 Jackson Showcase booth.

Phil Collen talks about his PC1 guitars

Phil explained to visitors and fans about his hand-painted, Custom Shop Dinky and other PC1 models at the 2010 Jackson Showcase booth. Listen to Phil's humor about his hand-painting -- he used the word "splashing" !!

Phil Collen Signs Autographs

Phil was signing autographs near the Jackson booth, chatting and posing with fans for photo shoot.. 0:42 onwards ...

Mick Mars meets Phil Collen - Backstage @ Fender Booth NAMM 2010

Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars greeting & posing with Phil for some photo shoot !!
"dark side meets the good side" -- as a fan GibsonWpg put it.

Phil as the frontman with his side-project, Man Raze team, showcased his unique vocal along with his great guitar riff on his signature Jackson guitar, the PC-1. It was in a small room at Fender area of the convention center during NAMM 2010 and Phil played Hendrix's classic "Fire" :-

Phil in Manraze @ NAMM 2010 by Margaret

Phil Collen @ Fender_NAMM 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

# Interview with Jason Becker : "try to find a way, no matter what..."

Jason Becker shared with on December 08, 2008 about his music making in challenging conditions. Well my dear readers, this interview looks exactly as normal as any other musician interview. The truth is, this is an no-easy interview as both Jason and the interviewer had to go extra miles in order to make the interview possible. The following is courtesy of :-

Metal-Rules : Hello Jason, I just want to say starting off you are an inspiration to many musicians and people in general.

Jason : Thank you. That is always sweet to hear.

Metal-Rules : Can you tell us a bit about your communication technique that was developed by your dad?

Jason : When I was losing my voice in 1996, only a few people could sometimes barely understand me. My dad was afraid I wouldn’t be able to say anything very soon. He went into his art studio one day and invented it in maybe an hour. He brought the “alphabet board” out to show me. I avoided it for a while because I didn’t want to stop exercising my voice.
Each letter requires me to make two eye movements. The first movement is to point to one of the six squares. The second movement is to point to one of the four letters in that square. It takes a bit to get it fast, but after two or three weeks of doing it, the “Patient” and “Caregiver” memorize it and don’t need the “board”. Then you start talking faster than any computer could. We made kind of an
instruction video of the system. Search Jason Becker+vocal eyes on Youtube.

Metal-Rules : What does it mean to you to still be able to create music?

Jason : It is big. I had forgotten how incredible it feels to create music, no matter how slow the process is. It is beautiful being able to continue doing what I love and had worked so hard on in my life.

Metal-Rules : The new COLLECTION disc has a couple of new songs on it. How do you manage to still write music?

Jason : I took a break from it for a while because I didn’t think the technology was good enough. I finally went crazy enough to try using my communication system to instruct my caregivers what to play on the keyboard. My buddies Dan, Mike and Franklin taught me how to use the music software called LogicPro with a Mac G5 computer. My dad. mom and girl friends aren’t keyboard players, so once they record a few notes, I can go into a “matrix” and see the notes. Once there, I can direct my peeps on how to edit the notes to be in the correct spots, with the right volume, velocity, length, instrument, and so on. I eventually wound up with hundreds of tracks on the piece “Electric Prayer For Peace”. Since I can usually hear a kind of final result in my head, it isn’t frustrating to go at a slow pace. The only bummer is when my dad and I run into computer difficulties and start arguing. Ha!

Metal-Rules : How did you convey to the players on the new music what to play?

Jason : Well, first of all, my co-producer, Dan Alvarez and I get together with what I have written and he makes some great suggestions. He is a brilliant keyboard player and composer himself. We try to get the arrangement and instruments as close to done as possible. With the guitar players, I just told them the mood that I wanted. I wanted them to have their own interpretations of what I had written.
For most of the vocalists, I had specific parts written that I wanted them to sing. Dan and I gave them sheet music and a CD of their parts played on a harp sound. It is interesting that when I write for voices, I always use a harp sound. On Electric Prayer For Peace, Raz Kennedy did some improvising with directions from us.

Metal-Rules : Did it come out exactly as you envisioned it in your mind?

Jason : Well, most things did, but part of the beauty of the creative process for me is getting inspired by what I am doing along the way. I might hear something I have just laid down and think, “Wow, that is cool. What if I tried this on top of that?” Also the guitar players sometimes surprised me. Dan and I were thinking that the Reprise of River Of Longing needed an intro to build up to Steve Vai’s solo. I went home and wrote a part with strings, koto, snare drums and harp. It was a cool part. Dan and I were in his studio putting it with the song and I got the feeling that it was too “New Age” for an intro to a cool tune. I thought about how much I dug the keyboard sound on old 70’s tunes and on Jeff Beck’s “Wired” album. I told Dan what I was thinking and he immediately got what I was talking about. I guided him through the feeling and some licks that I wanted, and once he nailed that, I just let him do his thing. He would be playing and I would say yes when I heard what I liked.

Metal-Rules : Any advice you give to others who are physically challenged in some way, who can no longer play their instrument of choice, to carry on creating music?

Jason : That all depends on the circumstances. I would say try to find a way, no matter what. As they already know, music is powerful stuff. It can bring you close to the universal power. Being creative is so important. Your process might change, but don’t let that stop you.

Metal-Rules : Do you listen to the guitar shred genre anymore and do you feel it has progressed much since the late 80's?

Jason : I rarely listen to it anymore. I still listen to guitar music, but only shred stuff for nostalgia. Sometimes it is fun throwing in Marty Friedman’s “Dragon’s Kiss”. That brings back memories, but I don’t exactly consider that shred. Every now and then I want to hear Yngwie to take me back to high school. I do think there are some good shredders now a days. Jeff Loomis, Shane Gibson, and Rusty Cooley have something to say. I think there should always be room for all kinds of music.

Metal-Rules : Any current guitar players out there you admire?

Jason : Well, as I mentioned before, Jeff Loomis, Shane Gibson and Rusty Cooley. Oh yeah, one guy who I love is Mattias Eklundh. He is pretty wacky and unique. I think John Mayer is great. Also look for a player named Freddie Everett. He has tons of soul. He also has ALS. We hope to work together in the future.

Metal-Rules : Could you tell me a little about the Jason Becker Guitar? Is it exactly the same as the one you used many years ago? (The plain wood body with bright color pickups)

Jason : Paradise Guitars and I have worked together to make a guitar that I absolutely love. It is that plain wood body with the bright colored pickups and numbered fret board. The body is alder wood. The pickups are Dimarzio. I designed the headstock. It plays so nice and easy. My guitar player friends compared it to my favorite guitars. The Floyd Rose Pro bridge can either float or be locked in place. It is available to buy from Paradise Guitars. Some of the proceeds will go to the ALS-TDI (ALS Therapy Development Institute). There is nothing better than having a beautiful guitar. I hope people love it as much as I do.

Metal-Rules : How is the autobiography you are working on coming along?

Jason : I actually have most of the first draft done. I just need to find the time to finish it all. I am finding out that people don’t know the whole scoop on my life. It will be fun to get out there.

Metal-Rules : Anything you would like to say to the readers of

Jason : Metal is for chumps. HA HA...did I get you? Seriously, I am so grateful to all of my fans. You guys and girls make it possible for me to continue making music. Metal fans are the coolest and most loyal fans there are. Thank you so much for your love and support.

Metal-Rules : Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

Jason : No no, thank YOU!

Original interview :

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

# Jason Becker: A Strong Spirit Transcends Every Other Physical Incompleteness

Jason Becker is a life warrior. Diagnosed with ALS -- Lou Gehrig's Disease -- a degenerative disease that causes a person to eventually lose control of his/her body, since around the age of 21 & has been crippled head to toe by it from then on. He can no longer move even though his condition has been stable since 1997. Yet he still writes & makes music till today.

i first came across the name "Jason Becker" in a comment of Rick Renstrom Youtube video. i'm always on the look out for any other great yet underrated guitar players and thought this name might well be a name that i haven't seen elsewhere. So i put "Jason Becker" on the Youtube search. It turned out that this simple search made my day; in fact a stunning day.

i have Rick Allen of Def Leppard as my very first respected hero musician for his resilliency to bounce back after the lost of 1 arm and keeps rocking against all odds, and even go far in life by empowering the rest of the living souls. Then i came across Rick Renstrom. And then from Rick Renstrom i saw Jason Becker, a great but very much underrated guitarist who used to play with SOUL.

Jason is still composing, and he said himself, that when he got diagnosed with ALS, his guitar skills got worse, but something in his music, something beyond words can say got better.

It stunned me that someone in a serious paralysed condition could keep fighting in life way far from any others who could freely move and talk like us. His spirit never die. He composes only by moving his head and by opening his mouth, and with the assistance of a special computer software which responds to a visor he wears in order to control the cursor on the screen.

How his mates help him to play out his songs ? Good friends of his like Marty Fredman, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani would baseon the song and in piano, or other stuff in the special computer program Jason uses to tell his father or his friends what key to play. Then save it in the computer memory. Then they put the speed that Jason wants the song to be in.

Jason Becker - ABC2008 Update

Jason Becker Documentary

Jason Becker - Altitudes (Tribute Video)

Jason Becker plays Black Star (Yngwie Malmsteen cover)

A strong spirit transcends every other physical incompleteness. ALS crippled Jason's body, but not his mind.

Biography :

Homepage :
Message Board :
Myspace :

Influence : Yngwie Malsteen, Steve Vai
Guitar : the plain wood with the multi-colored frets ... used a Carvin, and is currently making a guitar with Paradise guitars to make a signature.

Jason-style Humor :
Hey you Wacky Cats! (when greeting the fans on message board)

Jason Becker signature guitar :

Friday, January 8, 2010

# Keep Rocking Heaven :: Stephen Maynard Clark

There where too many demons, too much pain.
Now the music has stopped. Your guitar no longer reverbs from your fingers. Your song is done.
But we will forever have you close to our hearts. For you left us with wonderful melodies that play on.

We thank you as we miss you.

Keep Heaven Rockin' Steve.

- White Lighning With Love -

It was a tragic day for the band and the fans, for many looks like it was yesterday.
the band was working on adrenalize album, he couldn't finish the album but he contributed on the most part of the songs, he did't record it but his riffs master are on those songs.

He was replaced by Vivian Campbell next year, is ironic but vivian is the new guy and he has more time in the band than Steve, so weird.

Fortunately the band has never stopped, they still making records and tours, thank you guys.

Steve thank you for all those years of Pyromania and Hysteria days you were the man.
We miss you, and you are two steps ahead, god bless you.


- Eddieleppard on TODAY 19 YEARS AGO STEVE CLARK FROM DEF LEPPARD PASSED AWAY, Mama's Fallen January 8,2010


hi Steve,

It is your day again of the year. i hope you are doing great in Heaven.
19 years on, but you are still deeply missed, cherished and remembered by us the Def Leppard fans. A good friend of yours, of Tesla, wrote Song and Emotion; and Vivian Campbell, the new bandmate of yours, wrote the song To Be Alive ... both of which for the remembrance and tribute to you.

i've read of fans of Def Leppard out there who can't believe it has been 19 years... it feels like just yesterday, and it's still shocking.

A lot of them think you are the reason they picked up the guitar for the first time, for you have been an extremely underrated guitarist and a true legend.

Some said they still have the AP report that it came across over while they were working at a radio station in Portland,Or.

Some said every time they saw Def Leppard live, when Joe sang Armageddon It, they heard the line "C'mon Steve, get it" in their head, and felt your spirit there at every show.

Some said they miss you every now and then... that smile of your style, that Gibson hanging down to your knees twisting and spinning, and that side step march you had.

Some of them shared their story of walking a couple blocks in the pouring rain to a pay phone and called the radio station, as they thought they heard it wrong about the news of your passing on the radio ....

If tears could make a staircase and heartaches make a lane, we shall walk the path to heaven and bring you back with us again ..

Despite the awfulness we feel for the loss of you, we remember you as an unparallel guitarist, a great band mate, and a true friend who was best at what you did and loved.

Your legend is still living on, through your music.
Keep Heaven Rocking, the Riffmaster.

Friday, January 1, 2010

# Blessing New Year 2010

The year is gone but it has also made us strong
The path was long but we walked along it with a song
There were tears and fears but we also had reasons for cheers

... May u all have a grace-filled 2010. GOD Bless Always...