The Bobby Rock Newsletter #12 (5-19-2021) - All Systems Rock!
The Bobby Rock Newsletter #12 (5-19-2021) - All Systems Rock!
Hey friends -
We are back to our longer-form Newsletter this week with some cool shit for you. Let’s jump into it.
In this Issue:
This past week saw the 33-year anniversary (5-17) of the second Vinnie Vincent Invasion record, All Systems Go, and the 3-year anniversary (5-15) of my book, The Boy Is Gonna Rock, which, of course, covers the entire era of the band—including the making of this record. So… I figured I would share one of my favorite excerpts from the “Systems” part of the book. It’s a personal favorite because it encapsulates that joyous “endless summer” of ’87 when we were working on the record. Mark Slaughter and I were rooming together, and really enjoying LA and the unmistakable flavor of the infamous Sunset Strip. In many ways, this was the apex of Hollywood hard rock culture, and I hope this brief excerpt paints a worthy picture of the vibe for you. It was an absolutely electric time to be a part of that scene!
33 years later! VVI’s second record lives on….
The Sunset Strip was the world epicenter for all things rock-and-roll decadent. Cruising west from La Brea, you had the fiery bright neon of the infamous Seventh Veil on the left—just one of several lovely such adult entertainment establishments in the area. A bit further down on the right, you had what was known as “rock and roll Ralphs”: a popular Los Angeles grocery store chain that, at this location, featured any number of long-haired rock guys in eyeliner, pushing carts around the aisles at all hours of the night. From there, you had the relatively new Guitar Center, followed by the eclectic Chateau Marmont hotel a mile down on your right… just before Sunset zagged southward, and the Body Shop (another strip club on the Strip) awaited your return on the left.
Next was the upscale restaurant and bar Le Dome, at 8720, where the TV/film, fashion, and music industry peeps all cordially intermingled. To us young rockers, this place was a bit stuffy and only patronized on special occasions, like when the Chrysalis brass took us along with them. I think our rock-and-roll ways annoyed the staff but amused the regulars. And if a rock guy was looking for his best chance to become some actress or model’s “bad boy” rendezvous for the night, Le Dome offered your greatest odds.
And then, just past the iconic yellow and red signage of Tower Records, starting from the Whisky on your right, you had a two-and-a-half-block encapsulation of the entire scene, which included the Roxy, the Rainbow, and Gazzarri’s—all historical landmarks of Los Angeles rock culture.
But really, it was all about the people who crowded those walkways seven nights a week. On any given evening down there, you could spin around in a 360-degree circle and see nothing but long-haired beauty, everywhere. And then there were the girls! Seriously, the band guys had to “represent,” especially if they were hitting the pavement, promoting an upcoming show by handing out flyers or selling discounted tickets. This, along with plastering posters and more flyers on virtually anything vertical in Hollywood was the lifeblood protocol of guerrilla marketing back then. Pretty much every new band who hoped to conquer the Strip had to press the flesh like this… at least until they became headliners.
Otherwise, everyone dressed up back then, as it was virtually a foregone conclusion, on most occasions, that you were going to hook up with someone. In fact, it wasn’t a question of if, it was a question of who. That is, would you connect with someone new, or reconnect with someone you had already connected with before? That was largely the culture back then. And, astonishingly, condoms were rarely, if ever, part of the mix. I call this the “pre-Magic Johnson era.” There just did not seem to be any real consciousness surrounding safe sex back then… particularly in the rock community. Those of us who would emerge unscathed by the potential hazards of such recklessness would count our blessings more than once.
Despite the Sodom and Gomorrah charm of the Strip, there was also a urine-soaked seediness beneath the surface and between the well-lit landmarks back then. (Yes, even more so than now!) You always had the sense walking around down there, that if you took a right turn down the wrong alleyway, you might find yourself in a fight-or-flight situation in a hurry. This was the “dark side” of the scene rarely associated with the popular perception of Hollywood elsewhere around the country. But it was painfully evident, even as you drove west on Sunset and cruised past those pockets of ugliness… that is, until you got to the Chrysalis building near the Hamburger Hamlet on your right.
Just beyond there marked the end of Hollywood and the entrance into Beverly Hills. This is where an actual shift in atmosphere took place: the cracking, pitted concrete street smoothed out into a perfectly flat and even road; the candy-cane streetlamps illuminated the pristinely manicured grass, bushes, and trees of the median and walkways; and the molecules in the air shifted from a supercharged party zone to a veritable ghost town of booming opulence. BH was calm and quiet and seemed like all of its old-money residents had gone to bed hours prior, right after the eleven o’clock news. Such was the difference, I suppose, between the community where the music was made, and the community where the money was made from the music.
(Get your autographed copy of the book HERE.)
Five Steps to More Training Intensity
There are two primary ways to ensure that you will continue to make progress at the gym (or wherever you prefer to lift): 1) Vary your routine from time to time so your body won’t develop an immunity to your training, and: 2) Utilize some time-tested intensity techniques regularly to fully engage hypertrophy, the body’s natural mechanism for producing stronger, better-conditioned muscles through resistance training. The intensity techniques we’ll get into today will help you on both counts.
Intensity has to do with the amount of effort you exert while training, and it is usually characterized by feeling an extreme pump at the gym, followed by a couple days of manageable soreness. If you have a decent routine, this is likely already happening to some degree. However, it is advisable to “up the ante” every few workouts or so and make things even more intense. Here are 5 of my favorite techniques for doing just that. Try one or more at your next workout:
1. Weight: Increase the amount of weight you normally use on a given exercise, but try to get at least the same amount of reps.
2. Reps: Increase the number of reps you usually do for a given exercise, but use the same weight.
3. Volume: Increase the number of sets you typically perform of a given exercise.
4. Rest: Decrease the amount of rest time between sets.
5. Compound Sets: Select between two and four different exercises that work the same body part and perform them back-to-back, with little rest between sets. (Do at least two of these compound set cycles for best results.
In a future issue, I’ll have 5 more for you that are a bit more advanced. But the simple, time-tested nature of these first 5 will get you great results if you make it burn!
Hot Links at Hand!
My main website at www.bobbyrock.com is constantly being updated with cool new stuff. Here's a quick reference guide for finding a few different things:
Tour Dates: Bunch of dates coming in! If you are signed up to the site (upper right-hand corner of any page), you will receive an automatic email notification anytime I'm playing within 150 miles of your crib.
Newsletter Archives: Scope all the back issues here. Tons of content! There is even a Table of Contents reference so you grab an "at-a-glance" view of what's in each issue.
News Feed: Stay in touch! Think of this as Facebook and Instagram rolled into one location, plus extra posts exclusive to the site.
The Bobby Rock Store: Books, Music, BR drumsticks (stage-played and brand new), T-shirts, Signed 8x10s, Dragon Dirt and more...
Dragon Dirt: My brand new custom superfood powder. Scope the site for tons of info!
Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate you scoping out this Newsletter.
Until next time,