Thursday, September 14, 2017

Michael Monroe - The King of Finland

Matti Antero Kristian Fagerholm  OR Michael Monroe, if you like first showed up on my radar as the lead singer for Hanoi Rocks , who, to be fair, were one helluva band , but like another favourite of mine Jetboy, they couldnt seem to crack the states huge, for some bizarre reason



Hanoi Rocks broke up in 1985, Monroe decided to go solo , But first Monroe was asked by Steven Van Zandt to record backing vocals in London and then fly to New York to appear on his song "Sun City" and in its music video. Monroe agreed and recorded backing vocals for the song, and both can be seen in the music video



After moving to NYC  and forming his first band  In 1987, he released his first solo album, Nights Are So Long. The album was a sort of a  hit, but it attracted big record labels: In 1988, Monroe signed to Mercury Records. In 1989, Monroe's second solo album was released, titled Not Fakin' It. The album featured guest appearances by Monroe's friends and fellow musicians, including Steven Van Zandt, Ian Hunter and Nasty Suicide. The album reached number 161 on the US Billboard Charts,  Music videos were shot for the singles "Dead, Jail or Rock 'N' Roll" and "Man With No Eyes".Axl  appeared in the music video for "Dead, Jail or Rock 'N' Roll". At that time, Michael Monroe also hosted MTV's Headbangers Ball where he got to show the new videos 


Monroe's solo career didn't prove to be as successful as he'd hoped, so in 1990 he decided to put together a new band. The band was called Jerusalem Slim, and was completed by former Billy Idol-guitarist Steve Stevens, Sami Yaffa, Greg Ellis and Ian McLagan.
In 1991, Monroe was asked by Guns N' Roses to appear on their Use Your Illusion I album, where he plays the harmonica and saxophone on the song "Bad Obsession". Monroe also later appeared on GNR's 1993 album, "The Spaghetti Incident?", where he sang on the cover of The Dead Boys' "Ain't It Fun". At the time, Monroe also joined Guns N' Roses on stage performing Honky Tonk Women together with the band members and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones.

Jerusalem Slim released an album titled Jerusalem Slim but broke up in 1992, due to Monroe and Stevens' musical disagreements. Next, Monroe tried to form another band called Demolition 23. with Yaffa, Jimmy Clark and ex Star Star Guitarist Jay Hening, who was eventually replaced by Nasty Suicide. Demolition 23. did release an album, titled Demolition 23. and they toured until Nasty announced his retirement
During the rest of the 1990s and the early 2000s, Monroe released four more solo albums before re-forming Hanoi Rocks with Andy McCoy.


In 2002, McCoy and Monroe started working together again and decided to reform Hanoi Rocks with two new members on guitar and bass, and with Michael Monroe's solo career drummer, Lacu. Hanoi Rocks released Twelve Shots on the Rocks in 2003. In 2005 Hanoi Rocks released Another Hostile Takeover replacing the two former members with Andy Christell on bass and Conny Bloom on guitar (both formerly of the Electric Boys). In 2007 the band released the album Street Poetry. In 2008 Andy McCoy and Michael Monroe stated that they had taken the band as far as they could, and so they decided to end the band. In April 2009, Hanoi Rocks played 8 AMAZING sold out farewell gigs in 6 days at the Tavastia Club, in Helsinki. The band's original guitarist Nasty Suicide appeared as a special guest on 3 of the last gigs.


Michael Monroe's and Andy McCoys's book All Those Wasted Years was published later in 2009 in Finland, telling the story of Hanoi Rocks from the beginning to the end.
In 2009, Monroe also shared the stage for the first time in many years with Sam Yaffa when his band, the New York Dolls, were performing in Helsinki. After these performances with Yaffa and Ginger, Monroe and Yaffa started discussing the possibility of working together again. In December 2009, Monroe met Ginger again while he was playing in Alice Cooper's band.  After the show, Ginger and Monroe discussed the possibilities of working together, and soon afterwards, Monroe, Ginger and Yaffa decided to line up a band together.


On 25 January 2010 Michael Monroe held a press conference in Los Angeles, where he unveiled his new band featuring Sam Yaffa on bass, guitarist Ginger from The Wildhearts, Todd Youth from Danzig and Samhain on a second guitar, and Jimmy Clarke on drums.  The band started touring on 11 March at San Francisco's Paradise Lounge and toured the US until 21 March. After some of the first shows Todd Youth and Jimmy Clark were replaced by guitarist Steve Conte of New York Dolls and drummer Karl Rosqvist.


During the summer of 2010 Michael Monroe band played a number of festival gigs all over the world,  At the Ankkarock festival in Finland, Steve Conte couldn't perform and he was replaced for this one show with the ex-Hanoi Rocks guitarist, Nasty Suicide. 
On 28 June 2010 it was announced that the Michael Monroe band would be supporting Motörhead on their 35th anniversary UK tour.


The first album of Michael Monroe's new band, the live album Another Night in the Sun was released in September 2010. The album was recorded at the Tavastia Club in Helsinki
In September 2010 the band went into a studio to record their first studio album, Sensory Overdrive. The album was recorded in Los Angeles and it was produced by legendary producer Jack Douglas (Aerosmith, John Lennon). The first single, "78", was released in January and the album is set for release on 14 March 2011

On 9 November 2011, Sensory Overdrive won the "Album of the Year" award at the 2011 Classic Rock magazine awards.


In the fall of 2012 Michael Monroe announced that the band would be back in the studio recording new album released in 2013. By July Steven Van Zandt played the well-received lead single, "Ballad of the Lower East Side," on his radio show almost weekly. On 23 August 2013 the band released Horns & Halos which went straight to number 1 in the Finnish album charts and was certified Gold in four days in Finland.

On 6 March 2014, it was announced that guitarist Dregen was leaving the band to focus on his solo career. He would be replaced by former Black Halos, Amen and Ginger Wildheart guitarist Rich Jones

The latest  album is called Blackout States . It was recorded in March under the guidance of producer Chips Kiesbye in Gothenburg and contains my new favourite RAWK tune "OLD KINGS ROAD" 

Solo albums
Nights Are So Long (1987)
Not Fakin' It (1989)
Peace of Mind (1996)
Life Gets You Dirty (1999)
Take Them and Break Them (2002)
Whatcha Want (2003)
Another Night in the Sun: Live in Helsinki (live album) (2010)
Sensory Overdrive (2011)
Horns and Halos (2013)
Blackout States (2015)

SO there you go , Tell you what, if you aint rocking after them videos , go get ya pulse checked

WELL, go listen to some Monroe whydontya