Tag Archives: heavy metal

New York Rock-N-Roll

NY Pic 1                                                                        Singer/guitarist Jimmy Ennis

It’s the mid 1980s, the height of hair-band-heaven. Every stage in every club across the United States sports a band dreaming of becoming the next Quiet Riot, the next Ratt, or maybe even the heirs apparent to the mighty Motley Crue. Most of those would-be rock stars fell well short of the ultimate prize. Lack of talent killed off many of those dreams. Drugs and alcohol took down others—a case of partying like rock stars before ever achieving the actual status.


But those of us old enough to remember wading into the crowded clubs of, say, 1986, remember some of the good ones; those bands that had the talent, wrote their own material, had the look. These were bands that should have made the jump to the big time.

NY Pic 2                                                                                  Bassist Freddie Foster

One band in particular was a four-piece from Rock Hill, South Carolina, called New York. I must have seen these guys a hundred times. I’d seen dozens of really good bands at the Silver Dollar Saloon in Lansing, Michigan, got to know many of the musicians, became supporters of the better ones. But New York had that something else that the others all lacked. When seeing them on stage, you just knew it was only a matter of time until they were snatched away to bigger and better stages. They even recorded a great EP, called Carry The Torch, which featured some truly amazing music. Then came a full-length album, entitled Electric Thunder, that they never released but shopped around for that inevitable record deal. 


And guess what? That record deal actually came. Yeah, a big label came snooping around and decided to give these guys a break. But this was the 1980s, the time of monster record companies dictating all the ins and outs of the rock and roll game. In their infinite wisdom, these boneheads convinced this amazing band to fire their bass player—a founding member—because he didn’t fit the newly imagined image. Enter a new guy. Good bass player but not one of the family. Things deteriorated quickly, the record deal went away, and the guys in New York eventually called it a day. A true shame, indeed. This was a talented band that deserved to be up there with Motley Crue and Warrant and Poison.

NY Pic 3 
Lead Guitarist Johnny Glover


New York had the music, the look, and the following. But they had something else that’s infinitely greater than what most bands brought to the table. These guys treated their fans like friends—some were even treated like family. Jimmy Ennis, the talented singer-guitarist, gave me and my then-girlfriend a bootleg copy of their unreleased album. I still own a bootleg of that bootleg on cassette (when the girlfriend left, she took the actual tape). I’ve also retained an ancient recording of their EP. This music still holds up today. Their songs are on YouTube, posted by Mr. Ennis. 

The others in this fantastic band included Freddy Foster on bass, Johnny Glover, an incredible lead guitar player, and Michael Constable on drums. There were other amazing drummers to play for New York, like Rikk Haynes, who can be heard banging the skins on the Carry The Torch EP, and Michael Scott Mills, who recorded most of the Electric Thunder album—late Kiss drummer Eric Carr plays on one of the tracks on the album—but it’s Michael Constable that I think of when I recall those wonderful times from so long ago.

NY Pic 4 
Drummer Michael Constable (w/ wife Valerie)


We were young back then, believing the fun would never stop, those nights would go on just the way they had been. But that could never be. This world doesn’t play by those rules. New York broke up, I’m nearly fifty years old, and the Silver Dollar Saloon closed its doors, the building demolished, and an apartment complex erected on the site. But there are still many fond memories to ponder. 

When I hear New York rock and roll, I can close my eyes and reconstruct that fabled club, those nights buzzed on pitchers of Budweiser and shots of tequila, the smell of my girl’s perfume, the warmth of her body next to mine as we moved across the dance floor. 

So, a big thank you to Jimmy, Johnny, Freddy, and Michael for being a major part of the soundtrack of my life—and the lives of countless others. New * York still ROCKS! Don’t believe me? Just have a listen for yourselves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFpaSU…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFzC_b… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZyUSy…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz8CRP… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxtD_H…

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This Is Rip ‘N Time

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I started my Twitter account @voiceofindie with the idea of helping indie authors and their work reach potential readers. It quickly morphed into a platform that includes indie musicians, photographers, and artists. Basically, I’ll tweet links and retweets for just about anybody with a creative endeavor needing a little extra word-of-mouth promotion. Because that’s all Twitter really is: word of mouth.

Recently, an EP came into my possession. This recording contains three fantastic tracks from a metal band called Rip ’N Time. But this isn’t your average band with the standard formation story.

Rip ’N Time began as a class project at a West Los Angeles high school. The course, taught by seventh period instructor Gunther Parigaliy, is called Multimedia Studies. The students in this small class were encouraged to create separate projects that would come together as a single affair. What they’ve accomplished deserves an A+ and the opportunity to record a full-length album.

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Rip ’N Time consists of Riley Ripintyme on lead and rhythm guitar, Langston LaBelle handling vocals and rhythm guitar, and the strong rhythm section of Vincent Tarrega and Akemi Lee on drums and bass respectively. They cite bands as diverse at The Beatles, Queen, and Smithereens as influences. Toss the Bangles and the Byrds into the mix and you’ll get a pretty good feel for this band’s sound.

The EP, entitled Playing Her Guitar Suite, is just a sample of Rip ’N Time’s potential. It’s a taste of dreamy guitars and rock-steady rhythms. I hear hints of eighties rock mingled with classic sounds reaching further back through the seventies and dipping into the sixties. These two girls and two guys bring it all together into a cohesive sound that takes listeners on a journey into a faraway land—perhaps even to another world.

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“Playing Her Guitar” is the lead-off track, setting the mood with its haunting melody and layered textures. The guitar work here is stellar, playing loose and sassy against the lead vocals, calling to mind a conversation taking place somewhere in the ether.

The middle track, an instrumental called “Twisting Road,” marches in on a great 1980s vibe with a twist of the modern. It’s the longest of the three songs, clocking in at just over eight minutes—and still not long enough. This one is my favorite of the collection.

Another instrumental closes out the EP. Entitled “Suite Dream,” this song is big and thick with sound. The press release that arrived with the CD refers to this track as a guitarchestral symphony. I’d have to agree with that proclamation.

The instrumentation on this project is solid. Riley Ripintyme can hold her own as a guitarist. Her style draws me back to another great female axe slinger named Lita Ford. Girls can play. Period. Riley seems poised to carry the proverbial torch into the next generation of guitar heroes.

Akemi Lee on bass and Vincent Tarrega on drums provide the very foundation on which this band rests. Good rhythm sections often take years to jell. These two sound like seasoned professionals.

The art work for the EP incorporates a storyline into the music via a graphic novel included as liner notes with the CD. This is a wonderful example of the talent that flourishes within every aspect of this project.

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If you’re a music fan, this is one you’ll want to check out. If you just enjoy the creative process, here’s a fantastic example of the finished product.

I would like to thank Emily G. Woodbind, the band’s publicist, for alerting me to Rip ’N Time’s existence. This is a very cool endeavor. I only wish my high school had offered such a class way back in those long-ago days of the 1980s.

Show a little love and get this CD. You won’t be disappointed.

Get your copy here: http://playingherguitarsuite.com/store.html