Category Archives: rock

Do you wanna get rocked? The biggest and best of Def Leppard

No band in the ’80s sounded bigger than Def Leppard, and that wasn’t because of their riffage; that was thanks to “Mutt” Lange, sprinkling his magic studio dust over them in his pre-Shania years. On their biggest album and crowning achievement, … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, best of, rock

First love, heartbreak, tough luck, big mistake — what else can you do?: Pat DiNizio, RIP

My heart hurt when I read the news, late Tuesday night, that the Smithereens’ leader, Pat DiNizio, had died at the age of 62. Besides R.E.M., there’s no band I more closely associate with that chiming Rickenbacker guitar sound, so … Continue reading

Posted in RIP, rock

Like a transmission from somewhere distant: on “You Got Lucky”

I highly recommend you read the entire TSJ tribute to Tom Petty, but I’m particularly pleased with what I contributed, on his late 1982 single “You Got Lucky,” so I’m reposting it here for posterity. ***** In the fall of 1982, … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, RIP, rock

He was born a rebel: Tom Petty, RIP

I grew up in the ’80s (I was born at the end of 1970), so Tom Petty was everywhere: on the radio, on MTV, and on the cover of Rolling Stone. His 1981 cover, where he’s ripping a dollar bill in … Continue reading

Posted in RIP, rock

You know I ain’t that handsome: the best of John Mellencamp

[Regarding the above image: John Mellencamp had to be the most unlikely three-time SPIN cover star, but thank god he was buddies with publisher Bob Guccione, Jr., who did some great interviews with him. (Especially as he only got a single … Continue reading

Posted in best of, lists, rock

Last of the rock gods: Chris Cornell, RIP

Chris Cornell was, indisputably, to the ’90s as Robert Plant was to the ’70s: a long-haired, handsome frontman with charisma and charm to spare, deep, soulful eyes, and a voice. Oh, that voice. A primal, erotic wail, really. Where Cobain … Continue reading

Posted in RIP, rock

These are a few of my favorite things: on Journey

[Written for the Stylus feature “The Diamond,” published 4/24/07. Seems fitting to republish this on Steve Perry’s 68th (!) birthday.] The Diamond is an apt name for albums certified for 10 million + sales by the Recording Industry Association of … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, favorite things, rock, Stylus