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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

KISS Singer And Guitarist Paul Stanley Stays Fit

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 19, 2013

By Ben Radding

Photography by Glenn La Ferman

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If you take away the black and white face paint, flashy stage outfits, and smoking guitars, KISS frontman Paul Stanley is an average guy—or at least he’s got average-guy priorities: staying fit, having fun, and enjoying his family. We recently caught up with the 61-year-old rocker, who told us why he stopped eating like a kid, how he balances his family with his tour dates, and his secret to avoiding drugs and alcohol when a rock-and-roll lifestyle practically spoon feeds you opportunities to indulge.

How would you say your diet and fitness routine today differs from your lifestyle in the 70s and 80s?

My routine then was: Eat whatever’s in front of you. Youth is incredible because you really do feel invincible. I had no real routine as far as diet; I ate what I wanted to. Back then I tended to eat a lot of sugars. I ate a lot of cookies, a lot of ice cream; I didn’t eat a lot of proper food. I started working out, doing a formal workout right around 1980. That’s when I really decided I needed to get in shape and it may have been because you just start to see a decrease—a change in your body. The workout I was doing then would kill me today.

What is your routine? Do you do it with a trainer?

It really depends. There’s certainly a time before a tour where you start to count days until you’re leaving and that’s crunch time—no pun intended. My workout is always with a trainer because, quite honestly, I don’t think most people are motivated enough to do what they need to on their own. You either need a spotter or you need a trainer. You need somebody there to push you to get that extra five.

Your performances often seem like workouts in themselves.

You can’t do that unless you train for it. You can’t enter the Olympics unless you do your routine to get in shape for it. The idea of going out on stage on a tour without having prepped for it would be suicide, literally.

How did you avoid alcohol and drugs in a culture that is surrounded by it—and it’s almost expected of you?

Common sense. You just have to look around you, and you have two choices. You either go “Gee, I want to be just like him!” or not. In the music business, I always go back to, if all those vices and excesses were so great, you’d probably be doing this interview with Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix or……

 

Read the rest of the interview here.

 

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Livan! At The El Rey Theater Tonight!!!

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 7, 2013

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Visionary without vision: David Hunt’s remarkable story.

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 6, 2013

By: John Compisi

David Hunt’s story is both fascinating and inspirational. Despite his loss of sight nearly 30 years ago, his story is a reaffirmation of the renaissance man concept of the 16th century. Game show contestant, musician, lyricist, successful entrepreneur, husband, father, vigneron, winemaker and recording artist are among the many titles he has on his curriculum vitae…so far.

I recently spoke at length with him and gained tremendous insight into the life and character of this passionate man. David is gracious, confident, focused and openly expresses his traditional values of hard work and personal responsibility. To add layers to this knowledge and insight, I also had the pleasure of listening to his recently released inaugural CD and tasting two of his most ‘memorable wines’.

Born in North Carolina over 6 decades ago as one of seven children, David began working at six in his father’s lumber business. After completing college in 1970 he was invited to be one of the three hidden bachelors on the television game show “The Dating Game”which was filmed in California (he never said if he was selected). Always a lover of popularmusic and a keyboardist, David remained an active musician in California with a show band while simultaneously building a very successful enterprise in home and business security systems. The home security and residential building boom of the 70’s offered the opportunity for David to contract with developers to install up to 500 home security units at a time in mega developments in southern California. As the enterprise grew he was bought out thereby accumulating some wealth for other new opportunities including real estate development.

Life was good for David and Debbie but then he began losing his eyesight in the early 1980s. A progressive degenerative retinal disease was, not too slowly, robbing him of his sight. He has not been able to drive since the early 80’s and has not been able to read a book since 1989. Not one to feel sorry for himself and with two sons (Chris and Derek) already on board, David and Debbie continued to move forward with their dream of some day owning a vineyard and making wine. In the mid 90’s they began in earnest to search for a property to purchase. Scouring the west coast of the United States, they finally settled on an old barley farm near Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County.

David purchased the property in 1996, 10 years after his blindness had progressed to the point where he could only to see shadows and without the participation of Debbie who was pregnant and virtually bed-ridden with their 3rd child. The property had been dry farmed so they would need water to support vineyards. The soil was calcareous/chalky and questionable as a proper grape growing terrior. Despite the risk and potential for failure, they named the future vineyard ‘Destiny’ after their daughter who was born the same year.

Early on, David took courses at UC Davis to learn the technical basics of vineyard management, grape growing and wine making. Knowing the basics, he still needed to adapt for his blindness if he was going to be successful as a vigneron and winemaker. When I asked him how he is able to farm and make wine without seeing the vineyards, grapes or juice, he told me he believes that his other senses have indeed heightened and help him compensate. He said he smells the ripeness and, of course tastes and feels the grapes to decide when to harvest. He also asks his assistant to describe the color of the leaves to help him determine the stage of ripeness. With that depth of insight he does the blending with his assistant winemaker and employs all of his enhanced senses and his educated palate to produce memorable wines. (He laughingly told me that when he asks Debbie the color of the wine during the winemaking she says ‘red’.)

I asked David how being blind was a gift? I wasn’t surprised that he saw the positive angle of my question. He said, “I do enjoy the ability (italics added) to be an inspiration to people, sighted and sightless, who recognize what I have accomplished and how I live my life”. He did say that his biggest challenge is dealing with his trust issues. He expressed his discomfort with wondering who was actually doing what they say they are doing. “How do you verify that people do what they say?” I asked him if he felt like a Jedi warrior (Star Wars reference) in that he had to use ‘the Force’ to achieve what he has and to trust in others. His response was classic, “Its not a level playing field for anyone so you just need to be a better warrior!” When asked what he misses about being sighted, the answer came quick. “I miss the freedom that comes with sight. Driving a car, skiing and playing basketball with my children.”

His 550 acres range in elevation from 1550 ft to 2200 ft above sea level and contains at least 4 distinct terroir. Hunt specializes in mountain fruit for its intensity and because of his vineyard elevations. He produces Cabernet Sauvignon (~45%) and lesser amounts of Syrah, Merlot, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Franc in declining order. He also purchases Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to complete his portfolio. He believes passionately that ‘memorable wine’ begins in the vineyard.

Consistent with his personal values of self reliance, David encouraged his sons (Christopher now 28 and Derek 25) to start their own business when they were 11 and 14 respectively. That work ethic must be passed through the Hunt DNA as they have teamed up to form their own business and are successful in their own right. David hopes and believes that some day they will return to run the winery with their sister.

David’s goal is to produce ‘memorable wines’. And he does, between 6-13,000 cases annually depending upon vintage and mother nature. He ages his wines in barrel longer than most wineries in Paso Robles, or for that matter in California.. The wines dictate the specific time vintage to vintage and varietal to varietal. It usually takes 4-5 years from vine to market for his reds. He focuses on mountain fruit because of the intensity of flavors the environmental stress produces. Perhaps he is stressed with the same outcome – intensity and character. His winemaking style seeks balance: tannin, acid, alcohol, sweetness and oak all in harmony. He has most certainly achieved that with. his wines.

I have had the pleasure of tasting the 2006 ‘Thriller’ (note the music reference). This is a memorable blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc all from Destiny Vineyard. It is full bodied, well balanced, approachable and great with food. The flavors of tobacco, leather and licorice are complemented by the earthy aromas and cola notes.

Read the rest of the article in The Examiner

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Q&A: Randy Rhoads’ legacy comes to life in director Ron Sobol’s DVD

Posted by Levine Communications Office on March 26, 2013

By: Jay Nanda

Randy Rhoads

When Randy Rhoads died in a small-plane crash at age 25 on March 19, 1982, he left behind a legacy of guitar playing that was cut prematurely short in his prime. And when it comes to Rhoads’ skills, most metalheads think of his tenure in Ozzy Osbourne’s band.

But before that took place, Rhoads was the original guitarist in Quiet Riot. Thanks to Ron Sobol and the help of many others, Rhoads’ time in that band from 1975-80 is now available for fans to truly appreciate.

Sobol, who was Quiet Riot’s photographer and best friend of late original singer Kevin DuBrow, has directed and written “Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years.” Available in DVD and book form through Red Match Productions, the documentary features never-before-seen video and photographic footage of how Rhoads, DuBrow, and original drummer Drew Forsyth and bassist Kelly Garni endured through friendship and hard times in their never-ending quest to obtain a record deal. It also includes the band recounting in a radio interview what they were known as before Quiet Riot. But let’s not give everything away.

Interviews with the likes of DuBrow’s mother, Rhoads’ guitar tech, fan club president Lori Hollen, the ex-girlfriend of DuBrow and later Rhoads — Jodi Vigier — and others give a fascinating insight into the life and times of those involved. The DVD has bonus footage that features an approximately 10-minute segment on Rhoads giving a guitar lesson that shows him somewhat reluctantly, yet graciously, teaching his student songs by a band with whom Quiet Riot had a rivalry — Van Halen. Click on the video box at the bottom for a trailer of the DVD and here for a look at who showed up and spoke at the film’s recent premiere.

Last week marked the 31-year anniversary of Rhoads’ death. The day after that milestone, I phoned Sobol:

Q: Randy died 31 years ago yesterday. Most of us tend to think of his guitar playing when it comes to his legacy. As someone who knew him the way you did, what’s his largest lasting impression to you?
A:
 We lost a true body of work for his massive talent. He was a great guy that was very humble. At the same time, he was really funny and an overall fantastic person. There’s not a lot of people with that much talent that are so humble. He didn’t even know how good he was.

Q: How long of a process was it for you to compile photographs, video footage and interviews for the DVD?
A:
 Well, I’ve had all the stuff. All the material I had, I just had to put them in a pile, you know what I mean? It took about two years.

Q: On the DVD it is said that the fact Jodi dated Randy after having dated Kevin may have hurt Kevin’s ego, but it didn’t affect him musically. Then on Randy’s final night with the group, it showed how everyone was truly friends again at the party and having a great time. Can you give me some insight as to how unusual, awkward and tense that period might have been for the three of them and the band?
A:
 There wasn’t any awkwardness (laughs). It was like, kind of a natural thing. Kevin was friends with Jodi. Kevin had the ability to remain friends with someone he broke up with. That wasn’t the first time he had broken up with her. Before Jodi went out with Randy, her and Kevin would get in a fight, but they were both still professional enough to keep the job going. It wasn’t like a job where she got paid, but, she was still doing her thing. Everything was on a professional level. That wasn’t brought into rehearsals or the show. There wasn’t really any tension, I’m sorry to say (chuckles). I know it would make a good story, but there just wasn’t. Unusual for people that age, in their early 20s.

Q: Was there anything said by the interview subjects that surprised you?
A:
 I was never sure exactly how Lori became the fan club president. Her telling that story about seeing (the band) in the car and them saying, “Hey, come on over to my house,” I didn’t know that exactly. I kind of knew everything. I’ll tell you what was surprising — Drew. I didn’t know Drew had those feelings. I did not know he was that angry about the whole thing.

Read the rest of the interview in The Examiner

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Where Have All the Rock Stars Gone?

Posted by Levine Communications Office on March 15, 2013

Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years Book and Official DVD Documentary

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Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper…You all know what follows when articles begin like that. Yes, Randy Rhoads was another one in a too-long line of musical giants whose careers got nipped tragically in the bud, killed the lot of them in fiery plane crashes. Rhoads was a great heavy rock guitarist, a wonderfully idiosyncratic, dramatic and way influential one at that. His early life, and death during a tour as lead ax man for Ozzy Osbourne in 1982, is portrayed in loving detail in Ron Sobol’s recent Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years Book and Official DVD Documentary. The book is, fittingly, a vinyl-album-sized photo journal-type experience filled to brimming with longtime Rhoads confidante Sobel’s previously unpublished photos and memorabilia, which map out Rhoads’ rise to the pantheon reserved for the mightiest of ax gods, focusing on his hungry early days with Quiet Riot before his ascent (or descent) to the heady, dangerous heights of the Ozzy years. It’s that caring detail the book generously provides that makes it such a nice thing to have in your hands; it’s just plain beautiful to look at, too. The 90-minute documentary DVD that accompanies this warmhearted tribute is a fast-paced, energetic delight, featuring beautifully restored and digitally enhanced live performance reels and insightful interviews with Randy’s friends and colleagues, along with perceptive commentary by Sobel in voiceover. The doc too is a deeply touching time and place in which to immerse, especially moving in its intimate look at Rhoads’ seesawing but steadfast friendship with his Quiet Riot mate Kevin DuBrow. Fact is, you wouldn’t even need to have been a fan of Randy Rhoads to get a lot out this book and DVD, as taken all together they’re a valuable glimpse at a genuine piece of pop culture history, bringing to life an olden, golden age when the stakes were high and our rockers reached for the stars.
–– John Payne

Book and DVD available for purchase at www.redmatchproductions.com

 

Read the article at Bluefat

 

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Kevin Michael Richardson Featured in Locale Magazine

Posted by Levine Communications Office on January 19, 2011

LCO Client, funnyman and extraordinary voice over talent Kevin Michael Richardson recently sat down with Local Magazine.  The vocal powerhouse and star of FOX’s The Cleveland Show (he voices 14-year-old Cleveland Jr.) discussed how he got started, why he decided to go “off camera” and what he does to relax on the weekend.  Click here to see the article (jump to pages 152-153).

Follow Kevin on Twitter @ClevelandJr and visit him at KevinMichaelRichardson.com

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Doonby Star John Schneider Sings The National Anthem at Lakers vs. Nets

Posted by Levine Communications Office on January 18, 2011

Actor, singer, heart-throb and star of the soon to be released Doonby (www.doonbythemovie.com) sang the National Anthem at the LA Lakers game on Friday Jan. 14th.

Check out John’s patriotic performance below!

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Celebrate New Years Eve With Us!

Posted by Levine Communications Office on December 27, 2010

To RSVP send your request to mlasst@lcoonline.com

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Dave Vescio is Taking the Media by Storm

Posted by Levine Communications Office on December 21, 2010

Leading man and LCO Client Dave Vescio is taking the media by storm appearing in several publications this month (and the month isn’t even over yet??)

Dave sat down with Exclusive Magazine, TOMI Magazine, and Geekadelphia to discuss his upcoming role in the Sci-fi thriller “Gemini Rising” (2011).  He also discussed the career risk he took in moving from journalism to acting.  His transition was emotionally motivated.

When recalling his military upbringing (his father was a fighter pilot in the air force) the actor who is also a veteran told TOMI Magazine, “ I joined the Army when I was 18.  I realized Wow I’m not really feeling the emotions of life that these characters in these stories are feeling in front of me.”

And he wasn’t content in hiding those emotions any longer.  Journalism called for him to impartial, stoic even.  He continued by saying, “I just wanted to truly feel life.  All the careers I had up until that point, I just can’t, you know?  In the military you can’t.  In photography you can’t.”

But now with over a dozen Sci-fi roles and nearly 50 appearances under his belt, its pretty safe to say that Dave has finally found his stride.  He can outwardly embrace his emotions and put them into the stories that he tells and the characters he portrays.

Check out these great in-depth articles about this extraordinary talent.  Dave Vescio is definitely one to watch in 2011.

Exclusive Magazine :  “The Ultimate Rising Star”

TOMI Magazine:  “Reinventing Yourself” (on page 42)

Geekadelphia –  Philadelphia’s Premiere Geek Blog:  “An Interview with Dave Vescio of Gemini Rising”

 

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Paul Stanley on NBC Tonight

Posted by Levine Communications Office on December 15, 2010

Don’t forget to tune into KNBC tonight @ 11pm PST to watch Paul Stanley of the iconic rock band Kiss.  Paul talks about his art, his philanthropic efforts and why family is always first. He’ll also be on KNBC TV “Prime Time LA” with host Colleen Williams on Sunday at 9 pm PST following the football game.

 

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