‘Dogman’ dominates Round 1 of King’s X song clash

The first round of ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’s’ effort to determine the most beloved King’s X song ever is complete, and what a ride it was!

Of 32 remaining songs from the original pool of 64, fully one-quarter (8) are from ‘Dogman.’ The next highest contributor was the band’s debut with 5 songs. ‘King’s X’, ‘Gretchen Goes to Nebraska,’ and ‘Faith, Hope, Love’ each tallied 4. The last 7 were divided between ‘Please Come Home…Mr. Bulbous’ and ‘Ear Candy’ with 2 a piece and ‘Tape Head,’ ‘Black Like Sunday,’ and ‘XV’ with a sole representative making the cut. ‘Manic Moolight’ and ‘Ogre Tones’ got skunked.

There were even two ties. ‘Chariot Song’ (from ‘King’s X’) and ‘Move’ (‘XV’) finished in a deadlock, as did ‘Sometime’ (‘Ear Candy’) and ‘What Is This?’ (‘OOTSP’). Some participants voiced their surprise at the strong performance of the more recent song in each matchup. To my mind, however, the newer numbers’ live strength (and frequent performance in the case of ‘Sometime’) provided a nearly deciding edge.

To break the ties I engaged the King’s X Musical Appreciation Society because, like, who else!? The rematches in the new venue saw the more seasoned material win easily, advancing to the Round of 32.

The passion of King’s X fans was evident throughout Round 1.

‘Flies and Blue Skies’ vs. ‘A Box’ pitted two of the band’s most atmospheric classics against one another. ‘Flies…’ won (55% to 45%), but fan comments included:

“It’s like picking your favorite child. So many great memories made while listening to either of these songs” and “Flies…gives me chills – ‘There is life / There is death / And the difference between either one / Is one single breath.’

The opposite end of the spectrum weighed in with: “Can’t believe this result. ‘Flies…’ is a bottom 5% song for me.”

Another voter noted the superior quality of the demo version of ‘A Box’ from Doug’s ‘Songs From the Closet’ release on Molken.

‘Fool You’s 58% to 42% win over “I’ll Never Get Tired of You’ also generated a lot of discussion.

“Didn’t think I’d pick a ‘Dogman’ track over a ‘Faith Hope Love’ track, but here we are,” said one. Another remarked, “This is a tough one. I’m saying FY for raw power. The other is kinda sappy,” prompting the response, “I like the sappy one because sappy works if it’s honest. And the song has special meaning for me.” Others heralded the personal meaning of both songs, one describing ‘Fool You’ as the best dUg vocal ever.

But perhaps the biggest stunner of all was ‘Black Like Sunday’s 54% to 46% win over ‘Freedom.’ The shock was instant and strong: “I can’t believe this.” “This is a shocker.” “Seriously?” “Wow. Just wow. What a result. Just flabbergasted. Although, to clarify, I don’t dislike the winner. Just…” “I like BLS a lot, but Freedom is just an all-out better tune.” “Freedom is a MUCH better song.” “Freedom is much better. Oh well.”

To all of which I remind, this is an effort to determine King’s X most BELOVED song ever, not it’s best. The latter task would be truly impossible.

In that vein, some of my favorites also took a beating. My choice came up short in all the contests below:


Bebop 14%, She’s Gone Away 86%

67 10%, King 90%

Vegetable 44%, Move Me (Parts 1 & 2) 56%

Lost In Germany 52%, Fall On Me 48%

Out Of The Silent Plant 56%, Groove Machine 44%

Mr. Wilson 19%, It’s Love 81%

Marsh Mellow Field 16%, The Train 84%


And if Round 1 had some tough matchups, wait ‘til you see some of the pairings in Round 2. People are already talking up the ‘Summerland’ v. ‘Goldilox’ tilt—pitting perhaps the band’s two most iconic songs against one another—and that’s just one of many choices sure to bend the grey matter of even the most devout fans.

Let’s get back to it!

Hard copy and Kindle editions of ‘What You Make It’ are available NOW on Amazon.

Hard copies are also available at Barnes &

King’s X most beloved song ever

Let the games begin!

Much of the fun I had writing ‘What You Make It’ was getting to talk to Doug about songs he wrote and/or recorded and the albums on which they appear. Some he liked at the time but isn’t so fond of now. Some he didn’t like that much back when but have since grown on him.

King’s X has a devoted following. It’s fans love talking about their own favorite songs. And with so much great material to choose from such conversations can be very wide-ranging!

To celebrate both the book and Doug’s fans I’ve assembled a bracket to help determine the most beloved King’s X song ever. This isn’t meant to be definitive (how could it be with one person deciding which songs to include?!), just a fun pastime to encourage discussion.

I included both my personal favorites and songs others seem to like a lot even if they’re not high on my list. I thought about seeding the songs but decided that would add one layer of subjectivity too many, slanting proceedings too far in the direction of my own likes and dislikes. Instead I put the 64 songs I decided to include in a randomizer and placed them in the bracket you see here in the order it generated.

Now it’s time for you to get your favorites to the top! I plan on having one poll each day on ‘What You Make It’s Facebook page until the whole bracket has been completed and the most beloved song ever is crowned. Life being life I might miss a day here and there, but since it’s all for fun anyway, no biggie.

Please share at will. The more King’s X fans we have participating the more representative the outcome will be.

‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ is available NOW!

‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ Available NOW!

June 18, 2018
Houston, Tex.


What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’
Available NOW!

A comprehensive telling of the Doug (dUg) Pinnick story – from childhood through King’s X and beyond – written with his full cooperation.

‘What You Make It’ was released 10 days ago and reader response has been fantastic and worldwide. Most who have taken the plunge into Doug’s life have been from the US and UK. But readers in Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Australia, and Norway, among others, have also checked in, reflecting the breadth of love for Doug and his main band, King’s X.

Here are just a few of the reactions so far:

“The book provides an intimate look into what shaped [Doug]…it paints a wonderful picture.”
— J. Martin

“OG Nightmare, yo.”
— Wally Farkas

“Wow. Just…wow. Brutally honest, just like the man himself. Wonderfully written. No wonder he authorized it.”
— F. Padilla

“…so many details and fascinating stories…a candid, incredible book.”
— D. Collins

Hard copy and Kindle editions of ‘What You Make It’ are available NOW on Amazon.

King’s X is in great live form this spring, with Doug himself saying “we’ve been having a special time lately.” Find out for yourself:

June 28 The Met; Pawtucket, RI

June 29 Toad’s Place; New Haven, Conn.

June 30 Tupelo Music Hall; Derry, NH

[Watch highlights from King’s X in action at Trees, Dallas, January 2018]

 [Photo: dUg & the Texas Poundation, Trees, April 2015]
Chris Smith
4008 Louetta Rd, Suite 115
Spring, TX  77388


Anthony Bourdain

I was on my way out the door this morning when Cindy called me back upstairs. She wanted to share the news with me. Anthony Bourdain was dead. By suicide. At age 61.

My guts hurt and my eyes filled. Thirty minutes into my commute Soundgarden’s ‘Blow Up The Outside World’ came through the stereo. It was all I could do to not pull over.

I didn’t know Chris Cornell. But I did have the good fortune to spend 2-3 days at a time in his company on a couple of occasions, and if I was forced to use only one word to describe him it would be ‘gentle.’

The word I would have chosen as recently as this morning for Bourdain would have been ‘alive.’ And I just assumed that would always be the case.

I’ll cop to it. In my time as an adult male there has only been one counterpart who I didn’t actually know that I looked at and thought to myself: ‘That’s it! This is the guy. HE is who I want to be.’ I’ve felt that way for more years than I can remember.

Now, like so many others, I sit and wonder.

But the exposure was long enough. His impact on me will last.

[Photo: Four of the five books on my nightstand when I woke up this morning (and for years prior) Out of shot, Vonnegut ‘Breakfast of Champions’.]

‘What You Make It’ Doug Pinnick bio worldwide release June 8

June 6, 2018
Houston, Tex.


‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’
Worldwide Release, June 8, 00:00 GMT

A comprehensive telling of the Doug (dUg) Pinnick story – from childhood through King’s X and beyond – written with his full cooperation.

 A little more than 30 years after King’s X made its UK debut at the Marquee Club, Soho, London, hard copies of ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ will be available via at midnight London time, Friday, June 8, 2018.

The UK-centered release time not only pays homage to the historic bond between band and country but makes the book available for order in the US at 6 pm CDT, Thursday, June 7!

Examples of hard rock musicians who’ve appealed to multiple generations are pleasantly frequent. Examples of such musicians who simultaneously straddle the black and white worlds, the gay and straight worlds, and the Christian and secular worlds are much less so.

Doug (dUg) Pinnick—bassist, vocalist, songwriter, frontman, and focal point of King’s X—is that rare musician. His story is equal parts rock n’ roll survival and personal evolution. Sometimes these paths support one another, more often they clash. Their ultimate resolution is not just Doug’s story, or a musician’s story, it is a universally human story.

Telling Doug’s tale requires also telling that of King’s X, and ‘What You Make It’ goes further into the details of this beloved band’s evolution than any work so far.

Those who can’t wait to get their physical copy of ‘What You Make It’ (or just want an e-copy as well) can pre-order NOW for Kindle by clicking here.

(Watch King’s X in action at Camden Electric Ballroom, London, January 2009, as recorded for the band’s ‘Live Love in London’ DVD here.)

 Photo: The late, great Jimmy Bain, King’s X bass tech Kolby McKinney, and dUg; 2002 on tour with Dio and Hammerfall.
Chris Smith
4008 Louetta Rd, Suite 115
Spring, TX  77388


King’s X – ‘It’s Love’ (“Remastered”)

DrTomoculus has cast his remastering ear in King’s X direction, having a go at adjusting the UK 12” vinyl 45 RPM single of ‘It’s Love’ (b/w ‘We Were Born To Be Loved’ and an extended ‘Six Broken Soldiers’).

He describes this effort as a draft version, intended to demonstrate where the songs could be taken. I hear the biggest difference in the vocals.

For the true tech heads out there Tomoculus includes a detailed gear rundown and finished audio file specs.

[I don’t cover third-party remasters in ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick,’ but there’s lots of other good stuff in it and you can preorder it NOW for June 8 release!]


King’s X ‘Ogre Tones’ tour

Twelve years ago King’s X performed at the Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth, Tex., touring in support of ‘Ogre Tones,’ the band’s debut record with InsideOut Music and producer Michael Wagener.

This run started Apr. 4 at State Theater in St. Petersburg, Fla., ran through Canada, and included a stop two nights later (May 28) at The Engine Room in Houston (set list below).

Sooner Or Later
A Box
Over My Head
Black Flag
We Were Born To Be Loved
Over My Head

Enjoy a performance of ‘Over My Head’ from the Tallahassee, Fla., date that year.

[‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ is available for pre-order NOW…tour stories included!]



King’s X – ‘Fade’

One day I’ll get older
Then it will be over
Want to live a long life
Like there is no next time

The second song on 1998’s ‘Tape Head.’

Track 1, ‘Groove Machine,’ gets all the attention as a frequent set opener, but that lead off lyric is tough to beat.

[Read about ‘Tape Head’ and all the other King’s X records in ‘What You Make It,’ available for pre-order NOW.]

Ultraphonix – ‘Walk Run Crawl’

George Lynch and Corey Glover are both icons of the rock and metal worlds. And, lucky us, they’ve got new music out. Together! Ultraphonix—a four-piece featuring Lynch, Glover, drummer Chris Moore and bassist Pancho Tomaselli—have released a video for their first song ‘Walk Run Crawl,’ taken from debut album ‘Original Human Music’ out Aug. 3.

You can read more about the band and preorder the album here. The video is below.

This is vital, catchy hard rock, picking up where Lynch left off in KXM (he just keeps getting better) and featuring an inspired and important lyric.

Speaking of KXM, both Lynch and Glover appear multiple times in ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ available for preorder on Kindle NOW, with hard copies out June 8.


Peace and The Chaos

Peace and The Chaos released its second record May 11, celebrating with a show at Rockefellers in Houston sandwiched between The Sonnier Brothers Band and Louisiana Yard Dogs. PATC’s set was a triumph, the crowd singing at full enough throat to be audible onstage during ‘Life’ from the band’s self-titled debut.

For those not familiar, Peace and The Chaos is a Houston/Beaumont blues and soul-based rock band that blends a good-time attitude with stellar musicianship and songs that are both memorable and meaningful.

Blake “Billy Beaumont” Sticker is the guitarist/vocalist/frontman. His affable stage presence belies a guitar approach that is simultaneously frenzied and emotive and a strong, smooth voice as comfortable crooning as belting.

Sticker, drummer Kenneth Q. Turner and bassist Lenwood Sonnier formed Peace and The Chaos more than 4 years ago, woodshedding for a year and half perfecting the material before playing out for the first time. Guitarist Wally Farkas is the band’s newest member, his full-volume 70s classic-rock riffing and full-pimp stage presence gelling perfectly with Sticker.

The band has made videos for three of their best: ‘Enemy’ from the debut and ‘Ms. Jones’ and ‘Remembrance’ from ‘…Black Heart.’ Between the three you’ll get a great feel for what this band is about. I urge you to have a listen.

[Also, you can read about Lenwood and Wally’s adventures with Doug Pinnick in ‘What You Make It,’ available for Kindle pre-order NOW, hard copy released June 8]