Tommy Rock, singer/songwriter, guitarist of Rockstar Barbeque

What the hell are you listening to?

Photo by Jeanne RiceThe Pixies, Come On Pilgrim. "I've always been a fan of the 4AD label, but the Pixies more than any other group have had a profound influence on me. The album Come On Pilgrim spun my head around. When it came out, I thought to myself, 'Wow-the rules have changed again.'"

Roger Waters, Amused to Death. "Roger Waters is Pink Floyd. That jackass, watered-down (no pun intended) faade that David Gilmour calls Pink Floyd is like dressing up like your mom-it's cute, but it just doesn't work. If you want the real deal, check this CD out."

Tom Waits, Rain Dogs."One of the only musicians or lyricists who can truly make me see and feel what he is saying. I love all his work, whether it be music or film, but I'm sure I've spun the Rain Dogs CD more than any other."

David Bowie, Young Americans. "Featuring artists like John Lennon, backing vocals by Luther Vandross, guitar work by Carlos Alomar and Earl Slick, and David Sanborn on alto sax. When I was younger, I had two albums that I listened to almost exclusively for what seemed like years. One was Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and the other was this one. Although Yellow Brick Road is a classic, Young Americans became very special for me. It made me want to write and perform music. I still listen to it often. Very Philadelphia, very '70s, and very cool."

Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks. "I was such a little shit by the time this album reached the U.S. that I'm amazed I even lived through it. If Bowie's Young Americans made me want to play and write, this album made me want to piss, spit and throw beer on people. So I did. Sorry to those who got in the way."

Peter Gabriel, Us. "I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Gabriel after a show he did at the Greek Theatre. What a cool guy he was. I had always been a Gabriel fan, going back to his Genesis days, and the time I had conversing with him that night made me even more of one. And kids, 'Come Talk to Me' isn't just the background music for a phone-company commercial-it's a real song."

Cocteau Twins, Victorialand. "Another 4AD band. Completely the opposite of the Pixies, but then that's the beauty of 4AD. Complete, unadulterated fuck music. What else can I say?"

Devo, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! "Somehow I found myself listening to Never Mind the Bollocks and this album at the same period in my life-I was a very confused individual back then. This album made me ponder the shape of modern music as much if not more than Bollocks did. Like many others, I first saw Devo on Saturday Night Live, doing their version of 'Satisfaction.' I was sold."

Frank Black, Teenager of the Year."I'm convinced that Frank Black will be eventually be revered as one of the great songwriters of our time, from his days with the Pixies on down to his terrific solo career. If you have Teenager of the Year, play it. If you don't, get it!"

The Casbah Studio in Fullerton. "Many have heard of the Casbah because of its affiliation with Social Distortion-Pablo Star, Salty B. and myself had the distinct honor of working with Social D's Dennis Danell on our debut CD, Blame It on Eve. This was by far one of the greatest experiences of my life. In fact, I often wonder if we'll ever be able to capture that kind of magic on tape again. I miss you, Big D."

Balm, Bike Racks. "Straight out of Long Beach, with lyrics like 'I love you so much I just want to strangle you' and songs like 'Van Morrison on Bad Acid' and 'Getting Ice Cream With Dad.' You've gotta dig their approach-kind of humorous, kind of mischievous and always creative."

Lefty, Lefty. "We've had the opportunity to do shows with Lefty on a few occasions. The first time I heard them, I knew they had something special going on. It's good, tough rock at its best-great songwriting and they kick ass live. The best local band I've seen in years!"

Motorsoule, Welcome to the Motorshow."Twelve songs straight from your engine compartment. Bad boy Ricky Menace and his Motor City Madmen (and Woman) have put together a blistering arrangement of hard-charging, hell-bent tunes not meant for the Sunday driver. This one's great for those power-trips to Vegas."

 
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