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The Mad Dog Blog: Holiday Rock Classics

GSTV’s in-house Brit rundowns the best in holiday rock hits


By the Mad Dog


Well, its that time of year again – have you sent your letter to Santa yet ? The festive season seems to start earlier every year but I reckon I experienced a record-breaker this year when I went into a pub in England on October 8th to find they had already put up their Christmas tree !! Jeez, my tan has barely faded from summer……I awarded the bartender “Premature Man of the Year”.


Having just read a recent article from the splendid team over at Classic Rock magazine, I now know that all I want for Christmas is……a hit single !


2013 is the 40th Anniversary of Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody – you’ve all imbibed of the Christmas spirit at the office party and jigged, arm in arm, with that tinsel-decked, honey Mummy from the typing pool to that one. Apparently, Slade’s Noddy Holder and Jimmy Lea stand to rake in around £800,000 in royalties this year alone from that one song.


The next three Christmas hit single revenue-generators behind Slade so far in 2013 alone are The Pogues – Fairytale of New York (£386,000), Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You (£347,000) and Wham – Last Christmas (£300,000). Try telling Shane and Noddy that Christmas isn’t about commercialism ! My own personal festive favourite happens to be from around that era – check out Mud’s “Lonely This Christmas”.



By the way, never be one to let a good bandwagon slip past you without tying a gift horse to it and staring it in the mouth…..join the Facebook campaign to get AC/DC’s Highway To Hell to the Christmas number one spot in the UK. Download it from a UK site between 15-21 December - 153,000 Facebook followers to date. Lets rock !


As we ring the changes on a rockin’ good year of great new music and nostalgia tours, don’t let your Yuletide season get bogged down with Nat King Cole and other hotel elevator-type Christmas hits. Want to know what Lemmy, Doug Aldrich, Doro Pesch, Bumblefoot, Kenny Aronoff, Billy Gibbons, Alice Cooper, Billy Sheehan, Ronnie James Dio, Rudy Sarzo, Michael Schenker, Joe Lynn Turner and Marco Mendoza along with others all have in common – apart from being in some of the best rock bands over the years ? Well, they all appear on Christmas compilation album “We Wish You A Metal Christmas And A Headbanging New Year”. Get that on and blast the foam off Granny’s egg-nog before Christmas dinner.


Not to be outdone, the glam boys from Warrant, Enuff Z’Nuff and LA Guns all take a romp through the seasonal classics on “We a Wish You A Hairy Christmas”. And who knew that Rob Halford, the less hirsute screamer of Judas Priest fame, did a Christmas album called “Winter Songs” in 2009 (well, that was just as the financial crisis was taking hold so it was probably a case of “needs must when the devil rides…..” as they say in the North Pole).


In fact, they’ve all been at it at some point. Tom Petty (Christmas All Over Again), Extreme (Christmas Time Again), Smashing Pumpkins (Christmastime), Chris Cornell (Ave Maria), Jonny Lang (Santa Claus Is Back In Town), Eve 6 (Noel ! Noel !) and Powder (Christmas Don’t Be Late) all feature on “A Very Special Christmas Compilation”. And don’t forget, The Darkness’ very tongue-in-cheek seasonal ditty “Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)”.



So, it turns out Christmas music can be cool ! My good California mate, John “The Driver” Stoesser – who runs an exemplary luxury sedan town car service in the Newport Beach area ( – produces a very cool Christmas compilation every year for his clients and friends. Favourites of mine include The Killers (Great Big Sled), Mark Knopfler (The Ragpickers Dream) and, of course, the hilarious Bob Rivers – Chipmonks Roasting On An Open Fire.



There you go – hopefully I’ve rescued you from Dean Martin/Frank Sinatra hell during this holiday season. Have a good one and don’t forget, although Santa only comes once a year, when he does – he fills yer stockings.


Whatever your persuasion – Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas (apologies if I missed you out).


Mad Dog.

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