King’s X hitting Texas, Milwaukee, Chicagoland

What better way to celebrate the return of cold weather than to rock!?

King’s X evidently agrees, booking a series of Texas and Milwaukee-Chicagoland dates sure to please both dedicated fans and any newcomers looking for shelter.

The fun kicks off with a homecoming show south of Houston at Scout Bar on Nov. 30. Upping the ante for this one is Beaumont-Houston powerhouse Peace and The Chaos: Blake Sticker, Kenneth Q. Turner, Lenwood Sonnier and Wally Farkas. Those last two names should already be familiar to any King’s X fan, but the other fellas are going to blow your mind. You ain’t seen sangin’, slangin,’ and bangin’ like this in I don’t even know how long.

S-O-U-L Power Rock!

Peace and The Chaos are the flag bearers of this newly (like right this second) established genre. See them first so you can spread the word and be cool like that.

The Texas swing continues with stops at Canton Hall (Dallas) and Come and Take It Live (Austin). PATC will be on the Austin bill but not Dallas. They will, however, be playing a FREE 5 pm set at Good Records in Dallas before the King’s X action kicks off.

It’s a Saturday (Dec. 1). You hearing me? Go. To. Both!

Dec. 6-9 brings King’s X shows in Milwaukee (Shank Hall), St. Charles, Ill. (Arcada Theatre), and Chicago (Reggie’s). The Arcada show features guitar wizard Vinnie Moore (UFO, Alice Cooper, Vicious Rumors) as support, creating a muso’s dream bill.

Get your tickets to any and all of these shows below. Then keep scrolling for a taste of what you’ll be experiencing once you’re there!

11/30/18 – Houston, TX – Scout Bar –
12/01/18 – Dallas, TX – Canton Hall –
12/02/18 – Austin, TX – Come and Take It Live –

12/06/18 – Milwaukee, WI – Shank Hall –
12/07/18 – St. Charles, IL – Arcada Theatre –
12/09/18 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s –

Excerpts from ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’

“One of the stops on the road with [Morgan] Cryar in 1984 was Sulphur, La., where Dane Sonnier had a 10th grade English teacher who knew he and Lenwood (then 13) played guitar and told them about the show. Dane and Len’s parents bought them tickets. They had good seats in a little theater and even as a backing musician, Doug’s stage appeal was inescapable. After performing, the band came out to talk with the audience. Dane met Doug and the two struck up a conversation, exchanged addresses, and became pen pals. Doug’s mail to Dane would be addressed to Dane “The Child Prodigy” Sonnier and encouraged his pursuit of music.”

“The seeds of branching out [for ‘Strum Sum Up’] were sown when Doug initially returned to the 10 songs that hadn’t been used for ‘XV’ to finish them. He’d always found his guitar playing sloppy and wanted to hear what the songs would sound like cleaned up. The whole process was also taking a lot longer than he wanted. He called Farkas, who at the time was living just down the street from Doug at Ty’s house.   Farkas went to Poundhound [studio] to lay down some tracks. Doug showed Wally how to play the parts, then hit record. “We knocked out all the guitar parts, double-tracked and everything, for an entire album’s worth of material in a day,” remembers Farkas. When Doug played them back, listening to just Farkas and the drum machine, he was blown away. There was life to his solo music, and all it took was a real guitar player!”

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

You can also buy the hard copy through Barnes & Noble.

“Not your generic ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll’ biography designed to cash in on some nostalgia. Smith has done a superb job capturing the life of [an] iconic and respected musician.” –

“Smith manages to cover a lot of ground and provides an insight into one of the best musicians of our time. [‘What You Make It’] is highly suggested if you are a fan of King’s X or Doug Pinnick.” – Read, Rock, Repeat

“This isn’t a eulogy to a ‘big time Charlie’ rock star. Rather, the book tries to explain the journey of a man who looks to music to save him from a certain amount of life confusion. It’s atypical, which is surely a good thing in these days of formulaic, plodding biogs…. Smith writes with knowledge and enthusiasm.” – Rock Candy









King’s X Most Beloved Song Ever: ‘Over My Head’

Back in July, to have some fun with Doug’s wonderful fans, I set up a 64-entry bracket to determine King’s X’s most beloved song ever. And after 10s of thousands of votes cast, the winner is: ‘Over My Head’!

This outcome will likely not come as a surprise to anyone who has seen the band live, ‘Over My Head’ having long held a place of honor near the end of a King’s X set. The band regularly extends the song past the 10-min mark, Ty and Jerry holding down the groove while Doug calls the congregation together for a combination sermon and sing-along.

The victory is also appropriate given the bracket’s mission: to find King’s X’s MOST BELOVED song. ‘BEST song’ is a category that can be debated forever, with a tournament attempting to address the topic likely doomed to failure from the start.,

‘Over My Head’ beat out Gretchen Goes to Nebraska album-mate ‘Pleiades’ for the top spot, 56% to 44%.

The 64 songs selected were a combination of the band’s most popular, its live standards, fan favorites, and my own favorites. I briefly considered seeding the entries, but decided that could slant the contest too much towards my own preferences and put them in an online randomizer instead.

As it turned out, I’m pretty sure ‘Over My Head’ had this from the beginning.

Enjoy a few different performances of it at the end of the post, starting with the studio version from ‘Gretchen Goes To Nebraska.’


“Back in Katy after the tour, Doug and Ty started songwriting, Sam cautioning the band about the potential for a sophomore slump. “We can’t have that,” he said. “You got great acclaim on the first one, and everybody’s expecting the second one to be crap. I want to hear everything you’ve got.”

The band pulled all its demos, going back years. Among them was a 2-track recording of ‘Over My Head’ Doug had made using a microphone, a tape player, and a recorder. He had faced the speakers toward each other to record one another, used a Mattel drum machine, and wrote the whole song, almost just the way it came out in the finished version. Doug didn’t like it. He thought the chorus didn’t go anywhere and that the song as a whole didn’t work.

He had thrown it in a pile with the rest of his perceived misfires and there it sat until Sam’s demo roundup.

When Doug heard it start as he was playing his songs for Sam, he moved to skip it, describing it as “a piece of crap.”

“No,” said Sam, “let’s hear it.”

Ty, Jerry, and Sam all loved it.

Doug still didn’t like the song, but took their word regarding its qualities and moved on.”

Excerpt from ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick”









King’s X Most Beloved Song Ever: Sweet Set List 16

We’ve narrowed it down to the Top 16 most beloved King’s X songs ever! A bracket of 64 has been cut 75% by your votes, leaving the cream of the crop.

The choices are going to border on the impossible this time around, so I decided to have a little fun before getting back for the grudge matches.

Sixteen songs make a good rock set length in 2018. These are the 16 songs King’s X fans love most and I decided it would be cool to try and make killer set list from your choices. The results are below. I also found clips of each for your listening pleasure.

The more observant among you will note there are 18 songs on this list.

I took the liberty of re-adding ‘Pray,’ which didn’t make it out of the Round of 32, because it’s my favorite, it’s my setlist, and you guys got to pick all the rest of the songs!

The night also ends with a cover as the extra-special, set-closing, crowd-won’t-stop-cheering second encore. Not sure this is something King’s X has made a habit of (‘Manic Depression’ maybe?). But again, it’s my setlist and I think they’d do a great job with the song I’ve chosen. Just imagine it with the King’s X twist, Doug’s voice and bass tone, Jerry’s drums, Ty going off playing both the keyboard and guitar parts on his axe….it’d be awesome!

Let’s rock!



We Were Born To Be Loved

Black The Sky

We Are Finding Who We Are

It’s Love



Flies & Blue Skies


Out Of The Silent Planet


What Is This?

Fool You



Over My Head


Neven Been Any Reason (Head East cover)


Good night!

————————- says ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ is “not your generic ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll’ biography designed to cash in on some nostalgia. Smith has done a superb job capturing the life of [an] iconic and respected musician.”

Buy it here!

King’s X playing NYC, Asbury Park, Sellersville, Amityville

King’s X is playing a last batch of summer dates between now and the end of August in the northeast US. Dates include Sony Hall at Times Square in the heart of Manhattan, the iconic Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, and home-away-from-home, the Sellersville Theater 1894. Doug’s bass rig will also be exorcising any demons remaining in Amityville along the way.

It was a busy spring for the band, which performed regularly April-June, and after laying low for July the quartet of shows below is at hand. Tickets are available in the links.


Aug. 22 Sony Hall, Times Square, Midtown Manhattan, NYC

Aug. 24 Stone Pony, Asbury Park

Aug. 25 Revolution Bar & Music Hall, Amityville, NY

Aug. 26 Sellersville Theater 1894, Sellersville, Pa.


December dates have been announced so far for Chicago and Milwaukee. Details will no doubt be posted at

Watch ‘Black Flag’ from King’s X Nov. 22, 2016, show in Sellersville.


Jon Zazula attended the ‘XV’ tour stop in Sellersville, Pa., sitting in the next to last row. He hadn’t seen the band in at least 5 years and when they broke into ‘Pray’ Zazula was blown away. “It reaffirmed my belief that this was one of the greatest bands that ever lived,” he says. “That song kills me.”

—Excerpt from ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’

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

You can also buy the hard copy through Barnes & Noble.


‘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!]