Experience Hendrix: Power trio fantasy

From the first date of Experience Hendrix 2019 there was one point of consensus: the regular-set closing trio of dUg Pinnick, Joe Satriani, and Kenny Aronoff stole the show. The songs? ‘Crosstown Traffic,’ ‘Manic Depression,’ ‘I Don’t Live Today,’ ‘3rd Stone From the Sun,’ and ‘Voodoo Child.’ Not enough for you? Try Buddy Guy, Billy Cox, Taj Mahal, Jonny Lang, Dweezil Zappa, Doyle Bramhall II, Eric Johnson, and Chris Layton applying their skills to Hendrix as well.

Covering the eastern US in the spring, Experience Hendrix is now making its western run. Fall dates start Oct. 1 at the famed Paramount Theatre in Seattle and wrap up Oct. 22 in San Antonio.

Californian’s will be getting their second recent dose of dUg live in action, his having completed a late-summer trio of dates with 3rd Ear Experience, the desert jam collaboration led by long-time friend Robbi Robb. The two first met when both were on Megaforce and have had overlapping musical journey’s ever since (as chronicled in ‘What You Make It’).

dUg is also fresh off recording the first King’s X record in 11 years. Golden Robot Records will be releasing the still-untitled album worldwide, most likely in 2020. The band recorded at Blacksound Studio in Pasadena, Calif., with ‘Strum Sum Up’ producer Michael Parnin.

Only the tiniest snippets of music have emerged via the band’s social media pages but based on these the album sounds poised to exceed all expectations, offering both a throwback to the depth of King’s X earliest work and perhaps the band’s most modern, accessible, and varied album ever.

King’s X dates follow Experience Hendrix, starting Oct. 31 in Indianapolis (with Tommy Baldwin Band) and running through a Nov. 16 homecoming in Houston (with Karim K). New material has yet to be performed live, but it will debut sometime!

Enjoy the rock! Enjoy the read!

Experience Hendrix dates and ticket info below.




Oct. 1, Seattle, Paramount Theatre

Oct. 2, Portland, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Oct. 3, Eugene, Ore., Hunt Center For the Performing Arts

Oct. 4, Oakland, Paramount Theatre of the Arts

Oct. 5, Reno, The Expo at Silver Legacy Resort & Casino

Oct. 7, Davis, Calif., Jackson Hall at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts

Oct. 8, Santa Rosa, Calif., Luther Burbank Center for the Performing Arts

Oct. 9, Anaheim, Calif., City National Grove of Anaheim

Oct. 11, Indio, Calif., Fantasy Springs Resort Casino Event Center

Oct. 12, Funner, Calif., The Events Center at Harrah’s Resort Socal

Oct. 13, Mesa, Ariz., Ikeda Theatre at the Mesa Arts Center

Oct. 15, Denver, Paramount Theatre

Oct. 16, Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Center

Oct. 18, Newkirk, Okla., First Council Casino Hotel

Oct. 19, Tulsa, The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Oct. 20, Houston, Revention Music Center

Oct. 21, Austin, Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater

Oct. 22, San Antonio, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts


Tickets available here.


‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ available here.

Texas International Pop Festival, 1969

Two weeks after Woodstock, the Texas International Pop Festival occurred outside Dallas at a speedway in Lewisville. Among the notable acts available for a $6.00 ticket (but absent in New York) were Led Zeppelin, a brand-new act from Flint, Mich., called Grand Funk Railroad, and Chicago Transit Authority. Zeppelin’s set is generally considered one of the best from the band’s early US tours. Grand Funk made the most of the opportunity by opening the main stage on each of the festival’s three days.

Led Zeppelin performed the second night, wrapping up a five-week string of 23 US dates before returning to the UK the next day. They played five songs, starting off with ‘Train Kept A-Rollin’ and ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’ before launching into extended jams of ‘Dazed and Confused,’ ‘You Shook Me,’ and ‘How Many More Times’ (two parts and more than 22 minutes!). An encore of ‘Communication Breakdown’ followed.

Zeppelin and Janis Joplin were the festival’s two highest-paid acts, pulling in $10,000 each. Grand Funk, by contrast, played for free and paid its own expenses.

Camping was not allowed on the festival grounds, but The Merry Pranksters ran a nearby camp site and free stage. Hijinks were rampant but peace ruled the day, with no violent incidents reported. Hog Farm commune leader Wavy Gravy, there running festival security, got his name over the weekend. In addition to security, the Taos, NM,-based commune provided free food.

Participants who had also been at Woodstock, where this festival was promoted, found the “vibrations” better in Texas. “Things have been real smooth,” agreed Lewisville police chief Ralph Adams on the first day of the event. That night, a patrolman watched from a distance as 25 or so festival-goers swam nude at the camp site’s lake. “I don’t care what they do as long as they don’t hurt anybody else,” he said.1

Despite the tranquility, however, Lewisville’s Mayor held a press conference a few days afterwards to say he didn’t think there’d be another such event, explaining that “this type of thing just does not fit into our mode of living in this area.”2

An estimated 120,000 people attended the event. About one-quarter of 85 arrests made were for drug violations. No arrests were made at either the festival site or the campground.

Grand Funk had released its debut album, ‘On Time,’ via Capitol Records earlier in August 1969. Produced by Terry Knight, it went Gold, peaking at #27 on the Billboard charts and kicking off Grand Funk’s multi-platinum, stadium-headlining career. Knight (former bandmate of Brewer’s in Terry Knight and the Pack) produced the band’s first seven albums, through 1972’s greatest hits compilation, ‘Mark, Don, and Mel: 1969-71.’ The band self-produced ‘Phoenix,’ released later that year, before turning the reins over to Todd Rundgren for ‘We’re An American Band’ (1973) and ‘Shinin’ On’ (1974).



Saturday, Aug. 30, 1969

Grand Funk Railroad
Canned Heat
Chicago Transit Authority
James Cotton Blues Band
Janis Joplin
B.B. King
Herbie Mann
Rotary Connection
Sam & Dave

Sunday, Aug. 31

Grand Funk Railroad
Chicago Transit Authority
James Cotton Blues Band
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
The Incredible String Band
B.B. King
Led Zeppelin
Herbie Mann
Sam & Dave

Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 1

Grand Funk Railroad
Johnny Winter
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
BB King
Sly and the Family Stone
Ten Years After
Tony Joe White


‘Got No Shoes, Got No Blues’ festival film


Grand Funk Railroad


Led Zeppelin


King’s X – ‘Closer/Captain’ cover – Cardi’s, Houston, 1996



  1. Kifner, J., “Texas Pop Fans Don’t Have Bethel’s Problems,” New York Times, Aug. 31, 1969, p. 46.
  2. “Pop Festival The Last, Mayor Says,” Reading Eagle, Sept. 5, 1969, p. 3.

King’s X hits the road as ‘Gretchen…’ turns 30

Buy ‘What You Make It’ here to read it before the show.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, King’s X has been working hard on its first album since ‘XV’ (2008). The band recorded at Blacksound Studio in Pasadena, Calif., with ‘Strum Sum Up’ producer Michael Parnin. Details have been kept very close to the vest, but to a person the band seems very pleased with both the process and the results.

One thing did emerge, thanks to the keen eyes of an Aussie King’s X fan, an in-studio whiteboard list of potential working song titles:

New Joys for The World
Basically Saints
She Called Me Home
Flood Pt. 1
Sister Geno
The Whole World Is Crying
Unfiltered Luv
Take the Time
All Gods Children
Give It Up
Jesus He Don’t
Keep on Goin’
Let It Rain
Nothing But The [illegible]

Roy Turner was in town, gathering footage for the King’s X documentary he’s making. Along the way he captured these in-studio progress reports. Yes, they’re from Week 1, but Turner promises he’ll release another installment once this one reaches 1,000 views

And now the road beckons. The first leg, detailed below, hits the northeast US. Who knows, maybe they’ll perform some of the new material. And you’ll definitely hear songs from ‘Gretchen Goes To Nebraska,’ which turns 30 today! Europe follows in the fall.

6/28 – Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
6/29 – Tail Winds Music Fest – Wappingers Falls, NY
6/30 – The Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY

7/9 -@- The Vault Music Hall & Pub at Greasy Luck New Bedford, MA
7/11 -@- Wally’s Hampton Beach, NH
7/12 -@- Aura Portland, ME
7/13 -@- Granite State Music Hall NH, Laconia, NH

*Sound & Shape will be support on these shows!

7/18 – Turnbuckles – Dayton, OH *
7/19 – The Token Lounge– Westland, MI *
7/20 – The Odeon – Cleveland, OH*

7/30 – Sharkey’s Bar & Grill, Syracuse, NY
8/1 – The Queen, Wilmington, DE *
8/2 – Sellersville Theater & Washington House Hotel & Restaurant, Sellersville, PA *
8/3 – The Newton Theatre, Newton, NJ *

Buy ‘What You Make It’ here to read it after the show.


‘What You Make It’ turns 1!

‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ is 1-year old today! And what a year it’s been. Without doubt, the highlight was getting to experience more directly than ever the ardent devotion of dUg’s fans. It’s never-ending.

But passion will only get you so far, and one of the biggest things dUg’s fans have in common with the man himself is kindness. Add a good dose of fun on both sides and a special bond is formed. It’s been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity being along for the ride.


More importantly, since ‘What You Make It’s’ release, King’s X signed with Golden Robot Records and has been in Pasadena, Calif., at Blacksound Studio, with Michael Parnin making its first album in 11 years.

Once its final touches are in place, King’s X hits the road, crisscrossing the northeast US during the summer before heading to Europe for the month of September. A trio of Texas dates already scheduled for mid-November could coincide with the new record’s release, but that is just this writer’s speculation.

Between Europe and Texas, dUg heads out for the second leg of the Experience Hendrix tour, having garnered rave reviews during the first leg for his show-stealing set with Joe Satriani and Kenny Aronoff.


With this much action ahead, I want to take advantage of the current calm to thank you all for buying ‘What You Make It,’ telling your friends about it, posting about it…everything.

It’s been beyond anything I expected.

If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, you can buy ‘What You Make It’ here. And fittingly enough, given that we’re on the cusp of what could end up being King’s X biggest year in decades, there’s a band biography available as well. Read ‘em both!

See you out there.


Review: Machete, Willbringer (by Trevi Biles)

I’ve never reviewed a children’s book. But there’s never been one that moved me the way this one did. Appropriate to the genre, I’ll keep it short and sweet.

Each children’s book has three essential components: a message, a story, and pictures. I’ve ranked ‘Machete,…’ for each. It did very well. I’ve also attempted to summarize what you and your child will take away from the book.


Scores: 1-5 scale

Message – 6

Narrative – 6

Illustrations – 6


Bottom line: Deep human contact is more needed than ever.



The important themes touched on by ‘Machete,…’ include proper behavior in group settings, finding music in nature, the importance of both the arts and determination, leading a simple life, and the fulfillment found in following one’s passions. Biles has triumphed on debut by crafting these lessons without either lecturing or beating the reader over the head. Visually, the use of crayons and colored pencils throughout creates a relatable environment for the younger reader. Bonus points for trusting these readers to be excited about expanding their vocabularies.


Machete bio (2)


[In addition to what’s shown on his bio, Trevi plays bass guitar (And Darkness and Decay, Whorehound, Venomous Maximus), runs an award winning hot sauce company (Big Daddy’s Hot Sauces) with his wife, Becky, and teaches calculus.]

dUg, Satch, and Aronoff highlight Experience Hendrix

From the first date of Experience Hendrix 2019 there has been one point of consensus: the regular-set closing trio of dUg Pinnick, Joe Satriani, and Kenny Aronoff steals the show. There is no recreating Hendrix’ alchemy (and everybody involved in the Experience tour seems to realize this) but the sheer rock joy with which these three attack their portion of the set has an affirming power all its own.

The songs? ‘Crosstown Traffic,’ ‘Manic Depression,’ ‘I Don’t Live Today,’ ‘3rd Stone From the Sun,’ and ‘Voodoo Child.’

It’s also been great seeing Doug gush over finally meeting and hanging with Band of Gypsys’  bassist Billy Cox. Mutual respect seems to abound between them. And why not? As Doug put it on social media:

“I remember back when Band of Gypsys live was released. I was a beginning bass player, I learned the bass on the whole record. And now we got bass rigs side by side!!! And he’s buying the DPX3 [pedal], talk about full circle…what an honor!!!!”

Experience Hendrix continues across the eastern US through an Apr. 6 stop in Wallingford, Conn., so get out and shake that thing!

More good news? Once the tour’s done, recording of the NEW KING’S X RECORD gets underway in Los Angeles. The band’s management company “will be making an announcement soon” regarding studio and producer.

And finally, King’s X leaps back into live action with a string of northeast dates at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ; NYC’s Gramercy Theatre; the Tail Winds Music Fest with The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Black Stone Cherry, Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime, and Sass Jordan; Wally’s Pub in Hampton, NH; Aura in Portland, Maine; and Granite State Music Hall in Laconia, NH.

Buy ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick here!

Enjoy the rock! Enjoy the read!

Doug Pinnick bio ‘What You Make It’: heavy metal cruise reading

(you know, for the all that time you’ll be spending in your cabin!)

Click here to buy!

Doug has earned a vacation, right? He’s been working in one band or another for as long as most of us have been listening to music. And he’s done nothing but pick up the pace of late, writing, recording, and touring in multiple acts over the course of any given month.

Well good news! In nine days (Feb. 24) Doug leaves from Miami on a cruise to Jamaica.

No. It’s not quite a vacation. He and King’s X are one of the featured bands on the Monsters of Rock Cruise (MORC) 2019. But still, I’m sure it’ll be nice.

This isn’t his main band’s first performance as part of a floating festival either. Back in 2016 King’s X was part of KISS Kruise VI, joining Whitford/St. Holmes, Skid Row, The Dead Daisies, and others on the featured act’s undercard.

Tesla is headlining MORC. Skid Row is part of the festivities again. New to sharing a boat with King’s X, but familiar to all dUg fans, is Richie Kotzen.

Also new for this voyage is the perfect onboard reading material: ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick.’ You can download it for Kindle or buy a hardcopy in case you get a chance to grab an autograph from the man himself.

Either way, if you’re going on this cruise you’re in for a treat. Just look at the lineup!


Tesla, Tom Kiefer, Extreme, Queensryche, Saxon, Skid Row, Y&T, UDO, Kix, Danger Danger, Richie Kotzen, D∙A∙D, Pat Travers Band, The Quireboys, The Wildhearts, Rose Tattoo, Killer Dwarfs, Vain, Bullet Boys, Faster Pussycat, Jetboy, and the list goes on…


More good news? Even if you’re not on MORC you’re going to have plenty of chances to see dUg in action this year. And recording of the NEW KING’S X RECORD gets underway.

The boat returns to Miami on Mar. 1. Two days later Doug takes the stage in Pompano Beach, Fla., as part of the 2019 Experience Hendrix tour, wrapping Apr. 6 in Wallingford, Conn., at which point he rejoins Ty and Jerry in the studio to begin making their first new music together in more than a decade.

dUg takes a brief intermission in the first part of May from crafting new King’s X to roll with 3rd Ear Experience from New Orleans (May 1) through Texas, Arizona, and California. 3EE is a desert jam collaboration led by dUg’s long-time friend Robbi Robb. The two first met when both were on Megaforce and have had overlapping musical journey’s ever since (as chronicled in ‘What You Make It’).

And finally, King’s X leaps back into live action with a string of northeast dates at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ; NYC’s Gramercy Theatre; and the Tail Winds Music Fest with The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Black Stone Cherry, Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime, and Sass Jordan.


Enjoy the rock! Enjoy the read!

Komatsu – ‘A New Horizon’

The super massive mothersludgers from Eindhoven returned last year with their latest full-length offering on Argonauta Records.  The album titled “A New Horizon” is a fantastic slab of stoner rock heaven.  Mo Truijen’s (guitar/vocals) voice is majestic and powerful as it soars over dense layers of massive groove.  The instrumental track – “Surfing A Landslide” is a moody psychedelic number that takes the listener on a hazy and heavy ride of epic proportions.  The track sequencing alternates beautifully between mid-tempo stompers (“Infected”, “Komatsu”, “I Got Drive”) and slower doomy songs (“10-4”, “Love Screams Cruelty”, “A New Horizon”).  Arrangements are clever and captivating.  Great melodies and memorable hooks that keep the listener engaged.  The tones are thick and heavy yet capturing an astral airy vibe at the same time.  In a genre that can seem over-saturated at times, KOMATSU offers the right amount of character, grit, musicianship, and song writing prowess to distinguish themselves.  All killer and no filler.  Crank this record to 11 and rock the fuck out. – Aamir Hydari

I agree fully with Aamir and would add that every one of these songs is a multi-layered feast for the ears. Little weirdnesses abound but never intrude (or get hokey), pulling you in further the longer you listen. Sometimes it’s spooky. Sometimes it’s spacey. But it’s always HEAVY.

Check the album out here.

And the rest of Aamir’s list here.

King Chiefs – ‘Blue Sonnet’

My friend Aamir put out his annual Top Albums list late last year. I’m finally making my way through them and was so impressed by his first selection I’ve decided to share it here.

King Chiefs – Blue Sonnet (Roosevelt Row Records) – Hands down my favorite release of the year.  Power, beauty, soul, fuzz…it’s all here.  See my write-up on this awesome band here – 

‘Blue Sonnet’ is the Phoenix-born but San Diego-based band’s second album, following 2015’s ‘Tomorrow’s Over’ (released as Chiefs). ‘Blue Sonnet’ was produced by Landmine Marathon guitarist Ryan Butler at his Arcane Digital Recording studio in Chandler, Ariz.

You can listen to and buy the record here:

Like what you heard? Check out Aamir’s full list.

dUg Pinnick’s Grooviest Tracks

Happy 2019! Last year was big for King’s X, marking the 30th anniversary of its ‘Out Of The Silent Planet’ debut. The band book-ended the occasion with dates in its home state of Texas, including a sold-out Jan. 19 stop at Trees in Dallas. Touring between the Texas runs brought King’s X through Arizona, California, Nevada, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania (a Sellersville sell out!), with Milwaukee and Chicagoland wrapping up the year.

Word began to emerge in August that King’s X first new album since 2008 would be recorded in 2019. Recording plans became more tangible when King’s X’s signed to Golden Robot Records, an Australian super-indie spearheaded by A&R legend Derek Shulman. A February 2019 release of ‘King’s X: The Oral History’ was also announced.

In the meantime, work started on a King’s X documentary. A film crew followed the band through Texas, shooting many old haunts and talking to friends and associates from the early days. Doug is excited about the project, describing it as a deep—sometimes almost too-close-to-the-bone—dive into what has made King’s X the band it is.

Between all this, Doug could be forgiven for letting his non-King’s X work slide. But 2019 will see him not only hitting the road as part of both Experience Hendrix and 3rd Ear Experience but finishing new solo material, new KXM, and new Grinder Blues.

It’s with an eye to this end of Doug’s musical life that I’ve put together a bracket comprised of Doug’s non-King’s X music. Unlike last year’s King’s X grid, I didn’t have a method in developing this one. I included the songs performed on the Texas Poundation tour, figuring those were Doug’s favorites from his solo career, but otherwise just chose the tunes I liked best.

Just like last time, however, my hope is that the ‘tournament’ will provoke some great conversation and provide an opportunity to listen to some tunes we might not have heard in a while or, for some of them, maybe even ever.

The new year is here. Let the fun begin!dug bracket