Ron O’Brian

Ron O’Brian
Traffic Weekdays 5:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Weekends 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

I love me some Seafood Fettuccine! And I guess when it comes to music, I’m the same…give me a good mix…portions of Led Zeppelin to U2, and stir in a big assortment of others (even outside of rock). You’ll find me at the gym, on a mountain bike, or hiking…when I get time away from work, which includes driving limousines part time. Biggest “stars” I’ve driven….Keith Richards and Ron Woods, and country artist Reba McEntire (all during my years in Portland OR).


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Back together!

Word recently came out that Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson would tentatively be a part of the Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts this fall, which sent a buzz to Rush fans. But the two recently took the stage, to the surprise of many, at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver! The event was called “South Park: The 25th Anniversary Concert”, and featured creators of South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, as well as Primus…long time friends of Rush. Watch the performance of “Closer To The Heart” below, and I imagine this was perhaps a little “practice” before we get to see Geddy and Alex next month at those tribute concerts to Taylor Hawkins. ~ Ron

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The vintage stereo system grows…

Ok, “no more honey, I promise”! I’m guessing you’ve said those very words to your partner at some point during the relationship…as you buy just ONE more little thing for your “collection” or hobby. Well, the only person I have to suck up to is ME…and I just couldn’t resist adding one more piece to what’s becoming a more vintage stereo set-up! I had purchased the Technics equalizer a while back (brand new in the box, 1984 era!), but recently decided the modern (2018) Onkyo receiver needed to be retired to a back-up role. Managed to pick up this fine Pioneer SX-780 receiver locally, and am just lovin’ the sound! Eventually I’ll get to some vintage speakers, but for now the Polk T-50’s do alright. ~ Ron O’

New addition to the stereo…

New addition to the stereo…

So why would I buy a vintage reel-to-reel…and a 4-track machine (record/playback in both directions) at that? Well, when you have some vintage classic air checks of some legendary DJ’s from back in the 70s recorded originally on the same type machine, and you haven’t been able to listen to them in 35 or so years, it was a gotta have! Take a listen to some real old school…

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Old school addition

This is the most recent addition to the growing O’Brian vinyl collection, and I decided to go way back…this was one I couldn’t resist! The stones 2nd album, from 1964 on Decca Records, original copy…and it plays like new! Disc Cover Records in Nampa is my go-to, as it’s not only close to the O’Brian Ranch, but Al is always getting some awesome material in! Click on my name for more of my blogs! ~ Ron O’

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YEARS in the making…

It was a big blockbuster hit after it came out in 2009…Avatar. Yah it’s been that long, thirteen years! This December (after numerous delays) we get to see the sequel, “Avatar 2: The Way Of Water”. Here’s the initial teaser trailer! ~ Ron O’

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They’re back at it, after a great one last fall.

Last October, the Ohio State University Marching Band did an awesome tribute to Rush, and during halftime of the spring game this Saturday (April 16), they were back, with a great tribute to Van Halen! Classic Rock has…and always will have “staying power”! ~ Ron

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The latest and pretty rare addition!

The newest addition to my vinyl collection…and a rare one indeed. The original 1977 Lp “Street Survivors” in near-mint, released Oct 17…and three days later on Oct 20, 1977 the bands plane crashed, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, Guitarist Steve Gaines, his sister Cassie, their assistant road manager, and the two pilots. At the request of family members, this album cover was changed shortly after the crash, using a plain picture of the band with a black background, which had been the back cover. Artimus Pyle was the bands drummer who survived the crash, and you can see he autographed this album cover in 2006, when Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. You’ll see the planned tour for 77-78′ on one of the album inserts…the tour starting just 5 days before the crash, and late in the schedule were to be dates here in the Northwest, in late January 1978. The seller also included this personal picture taken at the grave of Cassie Gaines, and her Mother (also Cassie), who died in a car crash in 1979. ~ Ron

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Next best thing to GnR

Aside from his touring with the rest of Guns n’ Roses, Slash is on the road with Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators…and fans got a nice surprise Wednesday (Feb 9) in Seatttle at the Paramount, when Duff McKagan joined the guys on stage for a few tunes…including one of my fave GnR tunes, “Night Train”! The new album hits today (Feb 11), and you can catch Slash and they guys on tour…Vegas, Feb 19, Salt Lake Feb 22, and other spots across the country. More of my blogs by clicking on my name ~ Ron O’

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They’re back…no April fools joke here

It’s been a few years since the Red Hot Chili Peppers had a fresh album, and they return with “Unlimited Love” on April 1! Now, as you listen/watch this video of the first released tune “Black Summer”, and prefer a little more of the rock’n Chili Peppers…just give it a little time…you get your wish. ~ Ron O’

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Whooaaa, what just happened!!?

His name, Owen Davey…who hails from Canada, and I say “all hail to Davey”!! I challenge you to find anyone this young to duplicate this music like he does! Watch beyond the drums…it just gets better and better. Talk about amazing talent, I’m betting you’ll be hearing/seeing this kid for many years to come! ~ Ron O’

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Mike Campbell is back with new music…

Former Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist and his band The Dirty Knobs has a new album that hits March 4, called “External Combustion”, and features some great guest appearances…the likes of Ian Hunter, and fellow Heartbreaker Benmont Tench. Campbell and the band hit the road for a North American tour starting March 5…and I plan on being there, when they play____________________! Enjoy this great first tune “Wicked Mind” (sure reminds me of some drivin’ music of Petty & The Heartbreakers!) from the upcoming Lp. ~ Ron O’

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Funny from the start…

His career spanned 40 years, and right from the start he was a great comedian. RIP Louie Anderson, passing away at 68 from Cancer. Here is the video from his very FIRST national TV appearance (hilarious)…on the Johnny Carson show November 20, 1984. ~ Ron

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Rush’s Alex Lifeson is back!

If you were hoping for “Rush-like” music, well you are out of luck…but, if you’re curious as to another side of the legendary Rush guitarist and lyricist, then your in luck. Lifeson has a new band called “Envy of None” and the self-titled debut album hits April 8. Here is the first single, “Liar”. ~ Ron

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David Bowie’s spot on prediction!

Check out this interview from the BBC in 1999 when David Bowie basically predicted what would happen with the internet! This was a time when the internet was still very early in general public use…nothing like what we have today, yet Bowie is pretty much spot on and confident in what it “would” become…and sure enough, it has become as he predicted. ~ Ron

Mr. Grinch…rockin’!

Mr. Grinch…rockin’!

The band is from York Pennsylvania…”Small Town Titans”, and they ROCK this version of “You’re a Mean One Mr Grinch”! ~ Ron

The legend returns to stage!

The legend returns to stage!

It was back on July 22nd that Johnny Van Zant announced on stage that Gary Rossington was home resting following an emergency heart surgery. Saturday night Van Zant and the rest of Lynyrd Skynyrd welcomed Rossington back on stage! Rossington, the last remaining “original” member of Skynyrd, sounded great with his signature guitar work during the rock staple “Freebird”…enjoy the video. ~ Ron O’

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A quick trip to the post office, turned into…

I really hadn’t intended to do any vinyl shopping, but honestly something said “just swing by” to say hello to Al at Disc-Cover records, since it’s just a few blocks from the PO…and as it turned out, it was “buy one, get one FREE” Tuesday on all used-vinyl!! OK, to be honest, I knew if I walked in the place, I’d be walking out with at least one or two pieces, but when it’s buy one-get one free…that’s just too good to pass up! All vinyl was rated “Near Mint-, or Excellent”…yet another great find of vinyl. Now it’s time to find more space! For more of my blogs click my name…thanks. ~ Ron O’

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YES! A marching band doing classic rock…

If you’re a college football fan, you might have seen this over the past weekend…the Ohio State marching band doing classic Rush! I’m not big into marching bands, but I thought this was very well done, and very cool! ~Ron O’

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The latest vinyl additions!

Latest trip to my Nampa record store…yielded these cool finds, and I could have easily doubled this with more excellent vinyl…had I robbed a bank. Don’t get me wrong, the prices are VERY fair, but if you want “original” vinyl in excellent condition/near mint…you’re gonna pay. The most expensive…you probably guessed it, this original copy of “Are You Experienced”, not a reprint…and they vinyl plays OH so sweet! I’m not a hard core collector by any means, but I tend to purchase no less than “very good+” when it comes to the cover/sleeve and I stick with “excellent/near mint(-/+) or mint when it comes to the lp…and these all fell in that range. I did grab the Eagles “On The Border” on 180gram. For more of my blogs head here: Ron O’

Original, and vinyl is “excellent +”

Hey Jude original (1970), vinyl is near mint (Apple label)
“Hey Jude” Lp, but label printed “The Beatles Again” (a great find!)
Original, and vinyl plays near mint!
Vinyl is excellent, with just a few faint “pops”, the way a Dylan Lp should sound!
The only 180 gram piece this time around, some you’ve just gotta have that crisp sound!
Believe it or not, this is an ORIGINAL…and the vinyl is MINT, a great find!
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4 Years ago…

Shortly after finishing the 40th Anniversary tour, Tom Petty passed away on October 2, 2017 at the age of 66. The tour had just wrapped on September 25th and according to his wife Dana, even though he was not feeling well, the day before he died, he stated “I’m on top of the world”! Dana said Petty was very much looking forward to what ever the future had to offer…Dana said that he had it in his mind that the tour was going to be his last. Petty suffered through a broken hip on the tour, and just before the tour started, he received the news that he had emphysema…but Dana said Tom was determined to do that tour no matter what. Rewind to August 5, 2014. Perhaps you were there…Taco Bell Arena (Now Extra Mile Arena). It was just the start of the “Hypnotic Eye” tour, which began just two days prior in San Diego. Steve Winwood opened the show, with a great assortment of songs from his long storied career, including “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys”, and “Dear Mr Fantasy” from his days in the band Traffic. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers sounded, well…awesome! I had never seen them in concert and of course, when Petty passed away, I was SO very glad I had gone to that 2014 show…I imagine, for those of you who were there, you feel the same. Here are a couple of short videos I shot that night (including Winwood) as we remember the music legend. ~ Ron

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GNR Hard Skool

Check out this new Guns N’ Roses song & them playing it live for the 1st time. I like it better than “Absurd”. – Ron

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Pretty amazing at this age…

Perhaps you were there, but if not…here’s just a few clips of videos of Sammy Hagar & The Circle from the Saturday night show, following golf that day at the Albertson’s Open. Sammy turns 74 next month, and he is still movin’ & grovin’ on stage…including his vocals AND great guitar playing! It had been a good 10 years since I’d seen Sammy, at that time with the supergroup “Chickenfoot”, and while my memory may not be as sharp as it once was…I can tell you that he’s still got it!  ~ Ron 

 

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And…they’re back!

The KISS Farewell tour has resumed…after the guys last played a live in-person show back in March of 2020. The tour kicked off in Mansfield MA, and rolls through Boise next month…a final chance to see KISS. And sorry for any hard core David Lee Roth fans…he’s NOT part of the tour. As KISS put it…he’s beyond his prime…and yah, I agree. More of my blogs by clicking on my name! ~ Ron

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I’m so easily amused…

OK, so this bird isn’t even close to the lyrics, trying to sing “Don’t Fear The Reaper”…but it’s still damn funny, and what an ending!  ~ Ron O’

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Paddle Boarding scare…

I’m getting set to head off on vacation, and will be doing some paddle boarding in a few spots in northern Idaho. I took up paddle boarding early last year, and had some amazing times! I stuck to lakes, including places like Redfish Lake and Stanley Lake. I have NO desire to venture elsewhere, as in bodies of water where creatures like SHARKS may be lurking! And I would especially suggest you think twice about “learning” out of the gate in the ocean, or even an ocean bay! This video shows a guy who is just learning, looks like perhaps his first time on a board, off of Virginia Beach. He’s got a GoPro type camera attached…and imagine having this happen! I’m betting he didn’t get back in the water for a second go of it, and if he ever ventured out in the future, he probably stuck to a lake or pond. ~ Ron 

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The latest vinyl addition, and ouch!

Vinyl sales in 2020 surged almost 30 percent over 2019…and for the first time since the 80’s now outsell CDs! My latest addition is a single Lp, the most I’ve spent on just one album so far…and this won’t be happening often! The new pressings (180 gram) will typically set you back somewhere around $25 for a single Lp…BUT, if you want (and can find them) an ORIGINAL pressing, and something in very good condition, you will spend a considerable amount more! Such is the case with my latest, Motley Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood”, the original from Elektra in 1989, in what’s considered “near mint, or near mint -“…about 6 for sale in the world, via the Discogs site. With shipping this set me back $97 with shipping, and came from Germany. You can find some in lesser condition, but I like to stick with either the originals in Mint or Near Mint…or just go with the new 180 gram pressings, and many albums aren’t even available in the new pressings. At one point I had close to at least 100 albums, many of which were specialty copies from radio…and I sold that entire collection during the big recession, and that was one of those “ugh” moments, similar to when you look back on that classic car you once had, and sold. The new collection is slowly growing, but unless I hit a windfall of some sorts, it won’t be made up much of these spendy originals. ~ Ron 

 

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Golf season…FORE!

You may have heard of her…one of (if not THE) hottest lady golfers out there…Paige Spiranac. She’s not only gorgeous, but she’s a top notch golfer. Watch this video closely, and you might just improve your swing, or maybe you don’t golf…watch it anyway, trust me…you’ll be glad you did.  ~ Ron O’

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Is it getting better…

This one is called Mötley Reeves & the Crüellas – “Ten Seconds to Run”…one of the latest “mash ups”. I for one think these are pretty fun, and in many cases, VERY well done! As stretched as this one is (60’s vs 80’s) I think it is pretty cool. The Crue’s “Ten Seconds To Love” tied in with Martha Reeves & The Vandela’s “Nowhere to Run”! ~ Ron O’

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Dead man walking…oh wait,

Don’t know where this is at, but it’s legit…the man obviously loved his drumming, but wow…to be propped up behind your drum kit, when you’re DEAD!!? Imagine if you went to the viewing, and walked into this. ~ Ron O’

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Ann Wilson w/Gov’t Mule

Ann Wilson joined Gov’t Mule recently for one night of the bands 3 night stay in New Haven Ct. Now that is a show I wish I could have been at…especially coming off the whole “no-concerts” scenario during Covid! But we do have some decent video to share of just some of the AMAZING tunes that Ann and the band performed. The night included a number of Led Zeppelin covers (all done amazingly well, I might add!), Tom Petty’s “Luna”, and Heart’s “Magic Man”. Along with some of their original material of course…Gov’t Mule had also done numerous covers the previous two nights, the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Rolling Stones, and of course, The Allman Brothers Band. Gov’t Mule did a show here in Boise a few years ago, which I missed. Next time I get a chance, I WON’T miss one of their show! Enjoy a few of the videos below. ~ Ron O’

YES…I’m no longer a virgin!

YES…I’m no longer a virgin!

I recall, after moving to the Treasure Valley in late 2005, going to one or two of the then “Boise Burn” games. At that time it was arena football played at Century Link Arena. The league (Arena Football 2) wouldn’t last, and the Burn were defunct after the 2009 season. But over the past few years, another league returned…and while the season was cancelled in 2020, the now “Idaho Horsemen” are back for the 2021 season! The Horsemen went 13-0 and were the league champions in 2019. I have yet to make it to a Horsemen game, so I decided to jump in this year, and bought my season tickets! And if you’re wondering just how popular “arena” football is here, the two lower (best) sections at the Ford Idaho Center are sold out! I’m looking forward to being at each of the 6 home games starting May 8, and running through July 10 for the regular season. ~ Ron O’

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I just ordered my copy on vinyl…

It’s gone down as one of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s greatest performances, the original lineup in front of an estimated crowd of between 150,000 and 200,000 at Knebworth Park in England…August 21, 1976. One of my favorite albums in my vinyl collection is “Gold & Platinum”, but I get the feeling this one is going to top that. I just ordered the 2 Lp set which comes with the DVD, and Lynyrd Skynyrd “Live at Knebworth” is now out on multiple formats, including Blu-Ray/DVD…and you can win the DVD all this coming week (April 12-16) during Name That Movie with Forrest around 4:30pm. I’m so looking forward to putting this on the turntable, and spending a evening watching the DVD! This video is the trailer of just some of what you can expect on this new release! Click on my name for more of my blogs!  ~ Ron O’

 

 

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Talk about a clashing mash up!

No, we don’t play either of the artists that make up this “mash up”, but I thought it was pretty damn funny, and well done! And talk about a weird combo…Megadeth and The Jackson 5! Megadeth’s “Sweating Bullets” and The Jackson’s “Rockin’ Robin”…I had to laugh. ~ Ron O’

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A tribute to EVH, and they do it SO very well!

Steel Panther recently released two videos as a tribute to Eddie Van Halen, and they absolutely are spot on! But then again they have no excuses for NOT nearly playing and singing these two note for note. You see, two of the band members, singer Michael Starr (Ralph Saenz) and guitarist Satchel (Russ Parrish) were once members of a tribute band called Atomic Punks…the title of a Van Halen tune from Van Halen’s debut album. WELL done glam rockers! ~ Ron O’

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It never gets old…

While she might look a bit different, and by NO means in a bad way (wow)…yes, this is THE April Rose, when she appeared in the 2013 movie “Grown Ups 2”. Not only sexy, but a hilarious scene as well…you’re welcome. Ron O’

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Possibly the greatest guitar jam!?

There have been numerous times when we’ve had some amazing all-star line ups for rock events…and while this might not be #1, it’s right up there! It’s THE one good thing about the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame…for the most part, the music usually is fantastic! This line-up is from 2009 when it was guitar heaven, and one of my favorite rock tunes in “Train Kept A Rollin”! How do you beat Metallica, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Ron Wood, Joe Perry, and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)! ~ Ron O’

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Could you use a good laugh!?

When it comes to comedians, I personally don’t know ANYONE who doesn’t enjoy some Gabriel Iglesias!! And this is one of many hilarious bits from “fluffy”…and I’m betting some of you have experienced this nearly spot-on! ~ Ron O’

All-time great commercials for the big game…

All-time great commercials for the big game…

Pretty much every year, there is at least one commercial in the Super Bowl that features classic rock music. This is one of my all-time favorites…in 2016, “Sheep Singing Queen”! And a talking dog to boot! I find it pretty damn funny…but then again, I’m easily entertained.  

 

 

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Wayne & Garth return!

So, this is apparently just a “tease” for what will be a longer commercial during the “big bowl”, as they two characters put it. I’m guessing there may be a few different ads, featuring Wayne & Garth. Rock on dudes! ~ Ron

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Another great mash-up!

What do you get when you mix up some Metallica with Huey Lewis & The News…why, “Hip To Be the Sandman” of course! Another well done mash-up! ~ Ron O’

Reunited!

Reunited!

If you’re a regular viewer of the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” you most likely saw this episode…I never did! This is just so VERY cool! It runs just over 6 minutes…WELL worth the look! ~ Ron O’

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Two guitar greats we lost

Unless you’re a deep classic rock listener, or perhaps a guitar player, you may not know just how great Leslie West was. West was a founding member, guitarist and co-lead vocalist of Mountain (formed in 69′), who had their biggest success with “Mississippi Queen”. Leslie West just passed before Christmas at the age of 75, just two months after guitar legend Eddie Valen died (Oct 6). West, like many rock stars had some major issues with drug addiction…and at one point had given up guitar playing altogether. It was when Van Halen was opening for Journey, that Neal Schon told Leslie to come hear Eddie…as Neil put it, “this kid plays guitar like an organ…”. After seeing Eddie play at a show, West said he was impressed like he was when he’d seen Eric Clapton…and seeing Eddie, influenced Leslie West to pick up his guitar once again. West joined Van Halen (w/Sammy Hagar) on stage in August 1995 at the Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, N.Y., doing Mississippi Queen, as seen in the first video here. As recently as 2013 Leslie West joined Peter Frampton for the same tune, and shared a bit of their connection (LANGUAGE WARNING on this video). R.I.P. Leslie West and Eddie Van Halen. ~ Ron 

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Gator golf’n…

What’s the worst thing that could happen, really!? Out for a great day of golf, and your ball ends up on the tail of a gator…no problem, you get a free drop…or you just go for it, and retrieve your ball! ~ Ron O’

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Tis the season…

You can’t see this in person here in Idaho…it’s a home in North Carolina, but MAN, they did this up right! An awesome mix of lights synced to Randy Bachman doing “Takin’ Care of Christmas”…enjoy! ~ Ron O’

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TSO, they are AMAZING…

While they can’t be here live this year, I would seriously encourage you to get in on the live streaming event coming up on the 18th, 6pm our time! Fortunately last year, I did get to attend in person, and it was nothing less than AMAZING, as they always are! And I’m not afraid to admit, I have a HUGE crush on the beautiful and EXTREMELY talented Chloe Lowry…there is just something about her…primarily her voice, that actually gives me goosebumps! Anyway…here are some videos for your enjoyment…the first, one I shot from last year’s show, and the second from the Denver show last year, just days before the Ford Idaho Center show. I had shot the video here, up front and center…but I somehow managed to delete it from my files! I’ll be getting in on the live streaming event on the 18th…and yes, I know it’s not quite the same as actually being there in person, but stream it on your big screen, sit back and you WILL enjoy! And it’s a great way to support TSO, who’s been so VERY good about coming here to the Treasure Valley nearly every year, to put on a great show for us! Click on my name for more blogs…and thanks!  ~ Ron O’

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Angus Young gets emotional

In this recent interview from 60 Minutes Australia, Angus Young and Brian Johnson talk about Ac/Dc returning, and Angus talks about the period of time when his brother Malcolm was suffering from dementia, and his passing. You’re used to seeing Angus up there rock’n, but this shows a bit of his personal side. ~ Ron O’

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Another little taste of Ac/Dc

It’s new, “Realize”, the second song to be released from the upcoming new album…and yes…it’s pure Ac/Dc, but great to hear the guys back, and looking forward to hearing the rest of “Power UP”! ~ Ron O’

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We don’t do politics here…but,

I think most of us have seen the NFL “bad lip reading” episodes in the past, which are always entertaining. Well now, we have the 2020 Presidential Debate version for your listening pleasure. I have to say, if this doesn’t at least give you a little laugh…you might want to check your human meter, lol. ~ Ron O’

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And yet another show is a NO GO…

It was September of 2019 when Black Jacket Symphony played the Egyptian in Boise…perhaps you were there. It was a night of Pink Floyd, with the performance of “Dark Side of The Moon”, in it’s entirety, note-for-note, then other Pink Floyd greats…what a night. It was my first exposure to this amazing group of musicians, and they just nailed it. There are actually a huge number of musicians that do different album performances around the country, and at the Pink Floyd show the group promoted that they would be performing Led Zeppelin IV in Nampa, November 1 of 2020, and offered tickets…which I dove into without hesitation! Just the other day, word came that the show has now been postponed into late 2021…and I am SO BUMMED! But through the magic of modern technology…I bring you Black Jacket Symphony doing “Black Dog”, enjoy…as will I. ~ Ron O’