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1994.01.28 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Rock and royalty

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Post by Blackstar on Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:21 am

1994.01.28 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Rock  and  royalty 1994_041
1994.01.28 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Rock  and  royalty 1994_042


Rock and royalty

Guns N' Roses put Joe Rock and Skyliners hit back on the charts.

By Ed Masley

Charles Manson isn’t the only one enjoying an unexpected career boost courtesy of Axl Rose these days. Pittsburgh’s own Joe Rock could be looking at his first serious chart run in well over a decade now that noted doo-wop enthusiasts Guns 'N Roses have chosen to release a less-than-definitive remake of' ‘Since I Don’t Have You” as their latest single.

Taken from what is being marketed as the band’s tribute to their, uh, punk rock roots, “Since I Don’t Have You” was the second most-added song at Top 40 radio for the week ending Jan, 22, according to Radio & Records, an industry trade publication.

Originally a hit for Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners way back in 1959, “Since I Don’t Have You” has all the makings of a classic heavy metal power ballad. Perhaps singer-songwriter Don McLean sensed this when he, too, scored a decent-sized hit with the song as recently as 1981.

Either way, Rock is glad to be back on the charts, even if the record does stink. “This is a 35-year-old song and here it is on an album that’s double platinum already,” Rock says, speaking by phone from Nashville, “Certainly it’s a kick. It’s a real kick.”

Speaking of kicks, how about that wacky Axl Rose character sticking the big daddy of all cuss words smack dab in the middle of Rock’s greatest hit — and for no apparent reason, either? “What does that mean?” Rock asks, sounding more than a little bewildered. “I guess it means something to them, because they always want to be pushing the envelope and flaunting it in the face of society.” Heck, Rock himself admits to thinking it was pretty cool the first time he got away with using the word “damn” in a song.

And even if he is an obnoxious, foul-mouthed poser, Rose is making the guy a whole lot of money. Having never masterminded a bizarre string of brutal slayings that would shock the nation and in many ways come to symbolize the dark underbelly of the Woodstock generation, Rock gets to keep his royalties. Even so, the veteran hitmaker swears the cash reward is only half the thrill.

“It’s not about the money,” he insists. “It’s the fact that people of that ilk would still say ‘Hey, it’s all in the song,’ because as far as I'm concerned, it is. I don’t know what it says to me, but it certainly is a great tribute to the song.”

And that, my friends, is only the beginning. As far as Rock is concerned, this could very well represent the dawn of a whole new era in local music, one in which area songwriters could expect to one day quit their day jobs and maybe even buy one of them newfangled food processors or something. “Maybe somebody else in Pittsburgh will write a song now that, somebody famous will take to the charts,” Rock says. “I’d like to see that.”


Caption: Axl Rose added a profane twist to “Since I Don’t Have You.”


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