Contact: Or Follow On Twitter @TimDavidHarvey

Friday, 28 September 2012

GETTING OUT HIS OWN WAY-An Interview With Tyrese Gibson

An Open Invitation.


What more can we say? To be on top of your game in the entertainment industry is one thing, but to be at the top of four games is just incredible. When someone has versatile and diverse talent in two fields like say a Frank Sinatra, or a Dean Martin did, or a Harry Belafonte everybody credits the singer/actors as being a double threat. Still, recently triple-threat territory has been traversed by the likes of the multi-talented actor, singer and comedian Jamie Foxx who really is everything entertainment...but then there's someone else. Someone who dominates the industry across the board. That someone is Tyrese Gibson.

Ever since this 'Baby Boy' got film credits and record deals after catching a bus for a commercial and singing about Coca Cola, this model talent has kept on top of his game all whilst keeping it real and never selling out. Right now Tyrese is in England's capital London following the Olympics keeping a Heptathlon of events on the go. You can currently find him with multi-talented likes of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, The Rock, Ludacris, Sung Kang and more revving up 'Fast Six', the latest in the full throttle 'The Fast and The Furious' franchise. Still, even though he's hard at work you can best believe he doesn't stop motoring on when he heads back to his trailer.

It's almost like he's trying to best his career year of 2011. A year which saw 'Fast Five', the latest in the 'Transformers' series (his 'other' big franchise pictures) and just a few more things. Those things being an inspiring, New York Times best selling book ('How To Get Out Of Your Own Way') which has made it into the hands of everyone from Will Smith to Michelle Obama and a new album. Did we forget to mention this Grammy nominated, platinum certified star was a force in music too? After all it's his singing on a bus which has ensured he will never have to ride on a bus again. Reference his critically acclaimed book to see just how far the man who now "just pulls up in a McClaren" has come.

He's making it all look too easy. Last year-after his self-titled debut and more classics like the '2000 Watts' juggernaut and the breakthrough 'I Wanna Go There'-Tyrese released his fifth and arguably best R&B album 'Open Invitation'. A classic which ignited his independent imprint 'Voltron Records' to rave reviews and hit singles like 'Too Easy' (with 'Fast' co-star Ludacris in tow), the sublime 'Stay' and the hands down 'Nothing On You' to join an all killer no filler record. This was the 'Sweet Lady' singers first release since his ground-breaking double disc set 'Alter-Ego'. An album which showed both sides of his musical personality.

To follow his classic R&B side, Gibson gave us his rap alter-ego, Black-Ty with the singers most diverse and bold work to date. Last month we we're reintroduced to Black-Ty via the free 'Invisible Bully-The Lost Tapes' mixtape. A more than generous offering of 53 tracks, that already broke download records just days after its release. The inspired Tyrese and Black-Ty look to double up again on the forthcoming 'Black Rose' album (oh and that's coming with another book too). That will come in between all the other movie deals and projects this multi-skilled man looks to offer up in-between tweeting and video and audio-tuning inspiration to his two million plus Twitter followers.

Tyrese looks to get even more numbers out of his collaborative projects too. We haven't even begun to mention his next book 'Manology' with Run-DMC legend Rev Run or the legendary legacy he looks to make with fellow kings of R&B, Tank and Ginuwine with the supergroup TGT and their album due next year. Did we forget anything? Movies, books, R&B and rap, that's four. That's a quadruple talent. It looks like Tyrese Gibson is working this year to make next year even better than his last. What more can we say? Maybe it's time to hear from the man himself?

We caught up with Tyrese in London.

"Every single day I just try my best to be the best version of me I can be. That's pretty much it. I think we're all a gift and some people don't recognize their own gifts and that's why they don't use them and some people want to give up on their gifts and the timing, the energy and like these random kind of stars line up. Then you start paying attention to you gift and work hard to elevate it to another level. So you know its kind of the gift that keeps on giving. You have a gift and you're not afraid to use your gift."

Q. So Tyrese it's safe to say you've been a busy man of late, your looking to make next year even better than your last. Where do we start? How you doing?

Everything is alright man. You know just taking it all in. You know what I've up to you've seen it on Twitter.

Q. Paris!


Q. Getting into a bit of trouble?

Just a little bit,

Q. Nothing you can't handle?

I got it all covered.

Q. You've been in London for awhile now filming how are you enjoying this city and country?

Its cool man you know I don't go out as much as I should. There's a lot of history and architecture out here. You know I'm still trying to get adjusted to the time zone 'cause we're 8 hours ahead of L.A. but you know it’s been good man. We getting a very, very big movie shot and everyone's enjoying themselves, the cast, the energy is right we just having a good time. It's beautiful.

Q. Your return to the 'Fast & Furious' franchise really has helped re-energise the series. What's it like to be properly back in the driving seat?

Well you know I think its very powerful to be part of such a huge cast, but yet Justin Lin and the writers as well as us-I don't want to discredit the work we've put in-we've all figured out a way to coexist and we've all figured out what we individually bring to this franchise. Nothing that I'm doing will remind you of Vin, nothing that Dwayne is doing will remind you of Paul, nothing that Ludacris is doing will remind you of Sung or Gal. I mean everybody is playing their role and it’s very incredible to be part of this process you know. If it was horrible I'd tell you but it’s been very powerful to be a part of this franchise.

Q. What can you tell us about 'Fast Six' and the location of London? A lot of people have wanted me to ask you about a tank on the motorway. I was thinking TGT, like what's Tank doing on the motorway.

Well a lot of the tank stuff has been happening in Austria I think or Oslo, I believe, don't quote me but they've been doing a lot of second unit stuff out there with a whole other crew. Doing a lot of big action, so a lot of the tank stuff has been going on over there. I haven't done anything with a tank. Shit the car that Dwayne drives looks like a tank but he hasn't done anything with a tank. I got a big action sequence coming up with a tank but I haven't got to that yet.

Q. Can you share with us some of your favourite memories and experiences being a part of the 'Fast Five' and '2 Fast, 2 Furious' movies?

You know I feel very honoured to be a part of this franchise you know if it was a guest appearance or a leading role I'm just very grateful man. I mean there are so many actors, so many actresses out there and the fact that we've been chosen to be a part of this is an honour man. It's beyond amazing. I didn't look at it as replacing Vin or out-doing him or out-shining him. I just look at it as sometimes you lose a team member and you got to pick up the pieces and keep on moving and the movies have got to be made regardless of who's in them and whatever happens behind the scenes you have to keep it moving. Keep it going and that's what happened with '2 Fast'.

Q. It's hard to believe it's been ten years since '2 Fast 2 Furious'.

Shiii...10 years?

Q. Yeah I was 16/17.

You where 16? How old are you now?

Q. 27


Q. Ludacris had the 'fro, you where wearing the Allen Iverson armband.

You know I had Allen Iverson say to me; "yo I love you man, as soon as the movie came out my kids went to see it and they saw you rocking the wristband man and I became their favourite dad for like a year" because I wore that 'The Answer' wristband. You know things that you think nobody would notice. I'm also the biggest Allen Iverson fan whether he's in the NBA or not. He's a legend. He's on fire man. He reminds me of Derrick Rose, just that fire just so aggressive going to the basket and always smooth at the end. Like (mimics a lay-up) 'heeeey'.

QKeeping it basketball, you're from L.A. does that make you a Lakers fan?

Oh absolutely.

Q. Me too (we shake hands) we got a good team this year.

Dwight Howard and who else did we just get Steve Naaaash from Arizona, Phoenix Suns right? Yeah.

Q. Still, that's another blog. Keeping it on screen, in 2011 you had a big year with 'Fast Five' and 'Transformers-DarkOf The Moon'. Any plans for more 'Transformers' or other pictures in the pipeline?

You know I don't really know how this 'Transformers' thing is going to work out man. You know the idea of not being a part of something I helped build really hurts man. I just hope Michael Bay decides to figure out a way to make it work. You know Shia has gone public and clearly said he's not interested, in a different space as an actor and doesn't want to come back and do 'Transformers'. I just hope Michael specifically figures out bring some of the other parts back. They're in the middle of production and tweaking the script and doing everything else they're doing. I hope they call and say 'hey we figured something out' I don't know. But Michael Bay created my character out the clear blue sky. My character didn't really exist at all. As a matter of fact a lot of people don't know this but Michael actually wanted me to play the role Bernie Mac had in 'Transformers 1' but then when we hung out more he just created Robert Epps out the blue and put me in this crew with Josh Duhmel, you know Lennox. I just hope he figures something out and we can move from here.

Q. Speaking of Shia thanks for the 'Lawless' recommendation that could be the film of the year?

(Nodding) Shia is a motherfucker (in a good way) man.

Q. This is the burning question I've been meaning to ask you; who would really win arm-wrestling out of you and The Rock?

I don't know. I think I would definitely give it my best shot you know what I'm saying. I'd go all out. I don't know if I could take him out but I'd try.

Q. Is he brave enough?

I don't know if he'd actually do it. But I'd challenge him to it.

Q. You could take Paul Walker  (in an arm wrestle)though right?

Yeah, I could prob...yeah.

Q. You could definitely take me.

More than likely, yeah.

Q. From 'Baby Boy' to now could you share with us your favourite movies that you've been a part of? A personal favourite of mine is 'Four Brothers' you all really brought it with that one.

You know I’m going to be honest man. At this point my favourite movies tend to be the experience you know what I’m saying. The ones that I have fun while we're making them. 'Baby Boy', 'Four Brothers' man we laughed all day everyday, all four of our personalities man. Mark, Andre, Garrett we laughed so freaking hard. I wonder if we actually had a gag reel, we cracked so many jokes it was unbelievable. You know for me nothing compares to the outcome of Transformers, the special effects and the way Michael Bay moves that camera. There's no comparison. I just hope you know it works out.

Q. Speaking of 'Transformers' I love that scene when that building in Chicago snaps in half and you're all sliding down it, how much of that was C.G and how much was real?

That was all the combination of reality and C.G. we where sliding down the side of something. It wasn't quite that building but it was something. If you get the Blue Ray, you'll see the making of how it happened. It's pretty elaborate.

Q. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker aren't the only guys your teaming up with in music you've just made your group with Ginuwine and Tank official with Atlantic Records. What can you tell us about that and the forthcoming album?

You know it's a passion project and I don't really know if anybody see's how big this will really can be the way I do. Ginuwine and Tank can see it but I don't even think they see what I see as far as how big this can go. Right now when it comes to fans because of social media fans are spoilt and they have access to their favourite stars in a way like never before in the history of fans and stars. Also iTunes has single-handedly outside of Napster contributed to creating a shift in a major way in what we call the music business. As we all know iTunes created the lazy feeling of 'I don't feel like going to four or five different record stores to buy an album now I can just click a button and have it'. So therefore all of the traffic that was physically moving into the record stores like Virgin and Tower Records is gone. All these music companies aren't where they used to be. We're talking about full on music stores that have been shut down. A few of them still exist but for the most part their wiped out because the convenience of itunes, great for them, bad for the music business. Then you have chains like Walmart or Target, where if they where just in the music business they'd be wiped out but because they have 75 to 1000 options of things beyond C.D's and DVD's that you can buy then it becomes a one stop shot. So as crazy as an analogy that is that's why TGT makes all the sense in the world, because you got me, you got Ginuwine, you got Tank. We're all young legends in the music business so to speak individually but the idea that it becomes a one stop shop where you can get all these different flavours and colours and energy musically. It's going to contribute to the game in a major way. Where you can get everything you want to experience musically in one concert and one album. I'm not saying that me, Ginuwine and Tank are Walmart or Target but you get everything in one store and that's what makes us the R&B Avengers.

Q. I’m loving the logo, it’s like something out of ‘Tron’.

My man.

Q. You guys work very well together and have a great chemistry especially on tracks like the 'Please Don't Go' and the Let Me Grind' remixes, as well as 'One Night Stand' and 'Can't Blame You'. What do each of you bring to TGT and what influences and inspiration can you bring from both Ginuwine and Tank

Basically what I'm getting out the fans right now they want more. They want more. If you think about Young Money, if you think about people with clicks of talented artists and they're all touring together everyone realizes the power of combining the energy and effort. If you look at the success of 'The Avengers' it just goes to show you. All of the stars and the comic book characters have had huge success on their own and it's the ultimate fan experience to get Superman's biggest fan and Iron Man's biggest fan in the same row. They would probably decide they don't want to coexist in one theatre but because all of their favourites are in one movie that's why they're here. That's what we are. I've tweeted a picture of the three of us and said 'ladies just pick one' and they'll say 'Tyrese is my number one hands down, I like Ginuwine or Tank but they can't touch him', or 'Tank all day or every day, end of story. I got love for y'all but Tank is my baby' and it's the same for Ginuwine. You know it's arrogant to assume that fans of Ginuwine and Tank will love me too, but you know what? They will love me because now we're all in the same movie. You can come to the concert to see Ginuwine but they got to see me. I'm not sharing any of these screams, I'm not sharing any of these photo-ops. I'm stingy. They getting screams over me I ‘aint having it.

Q. Ginuwine say's he's Wolverine and Tank's the hawk so which Avenger are you?

I'm Iron Man. I'm Iron Man. Only because-damn this just hit me right now thank you-because I'm a very shrewd businessman. I think compared to Ginuwine and Tank's personality I'm the one that has the strongest bottom line. I'm very aggressive about everything and anything I do. That's just it man, that's where I'm at with it.

Q. Is it safe to assume that Tank will be manning some of the production? With the three of you already you have enough people but who are you looking to work with on the album? Maybe Tank's protégé Kris Stephens?

Yeah, I like her as a songwriter a lot but more importantly as a person. She's very very sweet, she's been to the house with Tank a few times while we where doing R&B boot camp. I told Tank she should be writing on the album.

Q. Can we expect to hear that friend of yours Black-Ty guest featuring on the album?

We'll see what happens. Right now Black-Ty is chilling waiting to be unleashed on this 'Black Rose' album. You know I'm full throttle right now.

Q. With that in mind congratulations on the huge success of your 'Invisible Bully' rapping mixtape how does it feel?

It feels great man. We're well over a million downloads right now. You know it's been about three or four weeks since it dropped. I think we're well over 2 million downloads if you really think about it, because outside of the DUBCNN download, people have created their own sites and tweeted the shit out. So the downloads are pretty endless. It was just my way of reintroducing Black-Ty. It's like Chris Rock said it best "you don't want to be the first black man to do anything". Of course I wasn't the first R&B singer to rap its happened plenty of times before. I think when I did it, itwas so full on, it wasn't a gimmick, I wasn't like me fucking around it caught a lot of people off guard. It messed a lot of people up. Now all of sudden you got Chris Brown, Trey Songz, you got Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and a bunch of different R&B stars rapping and they got alter-ego names. So for me I'm not looking at it like them trying to be like me but I will say I was the first one to jump into that world and make people think it's possible to fall all the way in love with an R&B singer and then listen to them rap at the same time. I will also say a lot of rappers have cleaned up their looks and image. If you where at home watching 106 & Park on mute you wouldn't know who's singing or rapping, because everybody looks the same. Everyone’s got the sexy girls in the video. R&B singers are wearing the big chains, the big earrings with the fancy cars and all the girls.

Q. I think what sets you apart is the concept rap songs. Like 'Lost With Guns' over Jay-Z's 'Lost One' or the 'Alter-Ego' one where you go back and forth with yourself. Where do you draw that creativity from? The acting maybe?

That's some other shit man.

Q. 'Alter-Ego' started it off with a great mix of tracks like 'One', 'Roses', 'Come Back To Me Shawty' and 'Fly Away' and now another double rap and R&B album 'Black Rose' will come next fall. It's early days yet but what can you tell us about the new album?

Well you know this word just dropped on me right now. I am on a mission to takeover emotions. That's what I'm on. So there is a lot of emotional outlets. You weren’t feeling that way till you heard that song. Or you weren’t feeling that way to you went to see that movie. Or you weren’t feeling that way, or considering those things until you read that book. So I'm on a mission to takeover emotions and you can't just do it through music you have to do it through as many areas as possible and so I'm very grateful that people have given me emotional access to them and ama ride this shit all the way out. Ama keep going.

Q. We can't not talk about 'Open Invitation' and the tracks 'Stay' and 'Too Easy'. We thought your previous work was classic but you really knocked it out the park with this one. First off congratulations, how does your return to music feel? I guess that so called expert that said you couldn't sell independently is on his own now

You know its so good man. I think more than anything I came into it very confident but equally as insecure because a lot of people are very consumed in other people’s opinions. What they should do, how they should do it, when they should do it and if they should even do it at all. I've decided all of a couple of years ago ama live my damn life. I'm not going to base what is successful in the eyes of the world to what it is successful to me. What's successful to me is I had a vision, a concept and idea and I got it out of my heart, out of my mind and I put it out there. When you release it to the world then people will decide whether to show up or not. You can't give power to the numbers. What is successful is getting it out. For you to have an article or a vision or a story in your mind Tim and it stays in mind because you're allowing people not showing up, paying for your hotel room or committing to interviews with the Lakers or whatever the fuck it is. You can't give them power because they're diminishing the gift and they don't even know they're wiping you out. They're just doing what they do. "Oh we where going to send you but now we're going to go with someone else", then you decide to shut your whole fucking career down and they don't even know they wiped you out, "oh shit I took him out". They don't know, but you know. I didn't know my album was going to sell the way it did 400,000 plus thousand. I didn't fucking know, but it happened, I went all out. So this TGT album....we're going to do our best album...period and when we hit the road motherfuckers better get ready. That should be the headline (taps table) motherfuckers.better.get.ready.

Q. What's it like working with someone like Ludacris both in movies and music?

I love Ludacris man. Ludacris is a good man. That's what I have to say about him. He is a good dude man for real. I hope to be friends with Ludacris for a very long time. We may never do another movie or record together...I hope we do, but that's my friend hopefully for a long time. He's a gift.

Q. You say your latest video is your greatest. You had a great time it looks filming 'Too Easy' and have acted alongside some leading ladies recently too but what remains your favourite video you have done?

I love the 'Stay' video because of my girl Taraji and you know this 'Best Of Me' video is going to take me to another level.

Q. How about your own favourite guest features your spot on the posthumous 2Pac album was truly inspired?

Yeah you know what scary man is. I don't know what's about to happen bro. This dude knows me (points to his friend G. Flowers) no two days are ever the same when you're around me. It's always some other shit. This is what's scary-in a sarcastic way-about my life is that this is normal for me. When other people come around and respond to me like "oooh shit" I realise it's not normal and the thing is it's not that I'm taking any of my blessings or access for granted. In the midst of everything I'm forever grateful for what's happening but this is my world and you come into my world there's a likelihood that you're going to be exposed to some life changing shit. And where not just talking about hanging out with stars, but where talking about one person who is literally involved in at least 12 or 15 different world simultaneously on an extreme level. I'm liable to be hanging out with Michael Bay and get a text from Vin Diesel. I'm in my back yard with Martin Luther King's son and daughter and Will Smith, Vin and Paul Walker are sitting to my right, the King kids to my left. I'm hanging out with a fucking holiday. Ooh shit, what the fuck? Like this is normal. It's some other shit man and they don't come to my house for like an hour, motherfuckers come to my house like 14, 15 hours straight. Me and Vin Diesel are in our house playing basketball in my backyard for like 6 hours, drink in hand. Vin comes to my house and buys me Starbucks (mock voice) "Hey Ty, (holds up cup that I brought him) I brought you some Starbucks". Like what the fuck is going on right now, I'm telling you man. It's some other shit I never take it for granted. Here I am man. The only Olympic game I go to I get on the phone I have a conversation with Elaine Wynn, the first lady of Las Vegas from the Wynn Hotel. She invites me to the Olympics. We have dinner, I bring her to the set the next day. She invites me to the Olympic Games. I have the best seats in the house. I get Vin to come down, Ludacris was there, he ended up blessing my whole friends with tickets to the game, that's why I love Luda man he's just a giver and I'm here to witness the American basketball team win the gold medal and whup some ass. With Elaine, Vin, Ludacris and everyone and their momma. Like, what is going on right now. I could of paid to go to the game but the way I went was on some other shit and that's my world man. That's my world bro and that's my shit.

Q. Even Jamie Foxx should be jealous of you.

Jamie ‘aint jealous of me. There are definitely some worlds that Jamie needs to jump into. Jamie's got so many stories to tell.

Q. More importantly from your self-titled debut to now what remains your personal favorite album and song?

My favourites are the ones I love listening to as well as performing. When you experience the reactions of the fans to the songs. The feeling you get when you're on stage, when I do 'Stay' it's bar non. 'Stay', 'Sweet Lady', 'How You Gonna Act Like That' these are records that are going to be around for a long time. When they come on in concert it's like some shit you'll never see, it's like the Holy Ghost. When the intro for 'Sweet Lady' comes on (mock sings and cheers) I don't even know if they're in church yelling like that. If it looks like when these songs come on it takes these peoples problems away.

Q. Is it safe to say in five or ten years that 'Stay' could be as big as 'Sweet Lady'?

It's already there. It is and I'll tell you why. First of all 'Sweet Lady' technically is not as big a song as 'Stay'. 'Stay' was number one for eleven weeks'. 'Sweet Lady' got to number 3 but it still did a lot for women’s confidence and is a classic record that everyone loves. 'Stay' is a record that's going to be around for a long time. It's pretty scary.

Q. Although you're all different. The thing you Tank and Ginuwine share is that you represent that more mature side of R&B, singing about themes like settling down instead of the throw away stuff that won't be around in years. Can you tell us more about what sets you apart? 

You get in the vocal booth you put your heart on the mic and you just hope people can relate and identify to what it is. Whenever you do anything and it comes from your heart it's going to find hearts and connect with hearts. This is why Autotune-even though I've used it a couple of times- with Autotune there's a disconnect because you can't feel peoples soul sounding like a robot. People can't connect to that. So you know that's it on that.

Q. Is TGT going to follow in the footsteps of the classic nighties R&B acts like 112 or Jagged Edge and even going further back then that Boyz II Men, Blackstreet, etc.?

I don't really know if we can be compared to anybody. Naturally because Gearld Levertt, Johnny Gill and Keith Sweat did LSG before. We don't even compare to them. Now the concept of three solo artists doing a three can be compared, but they where a much more mature and older demographic. We're young gunners. We about to get that...

Q. Maybe you represent that mid-point-because you're all in your thirties-bridgin the gap between the younger and more mature generations?

The thing is we just don't compare. If you heard our songs there's some other shit going on right now dawg. It's not fair that this TGT album sounds this good. It's not fair. Because this isn't coming from an arrogant place I'm just speaking facts. Like if you look at all three of us that's going to get women to show up but it's not FAIR that our music sounds this good. It's almost expected that the three of us getting together with all this much hype, we'll end up getting together and doing an album that is trash and horrible. But this shit sounds SO good it's scary.

Q. You guys on Slim Thug's 'Let Me Grind' remix and 'Please Don't Go' and you're duet with Ginuwine on 'One Night Stand' have already shown great chemistry and am sure we can expect more.

Yeah it's definitely way different then that.

Q. All this hard work has really paid off congratulations on the success of Voltron Records and your recent award nominations? How does all this feel? I guess it motivates you to just keep going? 

You know what it's one of them things where you put your best foot forward and the rest is on God and the fans. You know I worked my ass off on that 'Open Invitation' album and I had to remove the spirit of doubt. You can't go into anything having any type of doubt in yourself. You have to just say 'fuck it, if nobody is checking for this, that's what it is'. People said, there where comments like 'this is not todays R&B', 'this is like R&B of the nighties' 'R&B is very different these days'. Well R&B today ‘aint selling. So what's missing is the R&B you used to love, the albums you used to love where you could press play and listen to top to bottom. Albums these days sound like mixtapes because they have 12 different producers and I wanted to get back to the formula. Like when Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis did Janet Jackson's whole album, like when Jermaine Dupri did Usher's whole album. This is the formula. All the Wyclef and Lauryn Hill albums.

Q. Like Timbaland producing Brandy's 'Afrodisiac' which was easily one of the best R&B albums of the last ten years.

I don't know if that was her best. When she got with Rodney Jerkins for the 'Full Moon' album that was way better in its entirety. They where classic fucking albums. One producer, one batch of songwriters and just take flight. For me that's the formula.

Q. Which artists past and present influence and inspire you?

People compare me to other artists and I listen to a lot of other artists. I don't get into the vocal booth to purposely sound like anyone else. I'm just me you know. Just me man at all times and I'm a self confessed weirdo. It always has such a negative connotation but I think weirdoes are the most forward thinking individuals. You know I've tweeted this before. There is no such thing as thinking outside the box in my mind there isn't a box. I'm on some other shit. I've left earth a long time ago. I'm on Google maps. Motherfuckers looking up at me, everybody down there doing the same shit, I'm on some other shit.

Q. Of course music and movies aren't your only fortes. You recently penned a very inspiring book 'How To Get Out Of Your Own Way' which congratulations was a New York Times bestseller. Can you describe what its like to inspire your fans in a different way and reach an even wider audience?

You know it's the most amazing thing man. First of all the timing of releasing that book was very important. Because there's a lot of people with the gift of the gab who just know how to talk a good game. You know people in the world respond to success. Statistics, numbers, results. I've never claimed to be the biggest star in the world. Nor do I think I'm interested. I don't like the pressure that comes with being a fucking megastar. Barely can move anywhere, can't go anywhere without being recognized, everyday, all day. It becomes this non stop feeding frenzy that becomes too much. I don't know if I want that always, always. So you know I just want to do me and be me and however far that goes and takes me, I'll take it.

Q. And now the 'Black Rose' book is coming with the double album what can you tell us about that?

'Black Rose' is in the embryo stage and where going to get that book in motion I'm very excited about that. I'm going to fly the woman who I wrote 'How To Get Out Your Own Way' to London so we can just try and get into it. It's going to be one of those real game changers. I'm excited. 'Black Rose' is going to be scary, that's going to be one of those books that have a flow and an energy to it like 'woo'. It's going to fuck people up.

Q. Is that what some of the video blogs you've posted on Twitter have been for?

We used a lot of that content for the 'Manology' book. Whenever I did a video these two girls that are beautiful would transcribe that and we'd use it for the book.

Q. You inspire a lot of people and we thank you but in and outside your industries who inspires you we know your close with R. Kelly, Will Smith, Michael Jordan and the Obama's?

You know I'm inspired by a lot of different people man in a lot of different areas. I'm inspired by people who think outside of the box. People who are unapologetically, boldly, doing their motherfucking thing period. Like, just do your thing. I'm a force I believe that, like the size of this building can't handle my thoughts. That's how I rock. I'm a giant in my mind that's how big my spirit is. If you don't have this type of mind state you're just average and I'm not average. So Denzel, Oprah, Will Smith, Steve Jobs, R. Kelly, Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, I mean I just saw that trailer for that movie 'Lincoln'. Are you fucking kidding me son!? I'm ready for that Dr. King role because of that trailer. I got a lot to do. Let me tell you something man my biggest fear is dying. I don't fear anything but death and they say you don’t fear death and I'm not afraid of dying because of death. I'm afraid of dying because I got a lot to do man. I can't do shit if I'm gone. I don't want to die. That's why I'm kind of like a hypochondriac, as soon as I find myself under the weather man I go straight to the doctor. Fuck that. I'm feeling something in my chest (taps veins in his arm) man hook me up. Something ‘aint right. C'mon man.

Tyrese thank you it's been an absolute pleasure and really appreciated. I remember Ginuwine wrote in the thank you's of his 'Senior' album that "the game owes you". Things really are paying off now, I guess good things really do happen to those who work hard and patiently. I guess you won't have to sing 'Taking Forever' that much anymore hey!

Saturday, 22 September 2012



The Songbook Must Go On.

You know Bob Dylan is the greatest, American singer/songwriter of this, or any generation. That's because his vastly epic songbook outweighs even the pages of the Sinatra's and Marvin's of musics legendary legacy. Today only the blue-collar hard-work of 'The Boss' Bruce Springsteen could one day possibly go spine to spine with the journals of Dylan's legendary lyrics. Even in these 'Modern Times' an aging Bobby is still 'Together Through Life' with music, bringing the deep and dark, decadent age-old classics later in his life like Johnny Cash's 'American Recordings' with Rick Rubin (arguably-even with all the 'Ring Of Fire' greats before him-his best work) did. Now like Shakespeare, America's bard writes his latest, greatest, lasting sonnet with the 'Tempest'.

This monster album has it's own sinking ship too in the 14 minute, epic title-track of Titanic proportions. Dylan gives us his own account of the disaster with his haunting and harrowing, worn and weathered vocals. The man that once held a banner proclaiming 'I Can't Sing' stirs the echoes of the spirits with the texture of his taught and traditional singing style. Dylan rows throught the lyrics "The pale moon rose in its glory/Out on the Western town/She told a sad, sad story/Of the great ship that went down/T'was the fourteenth day of April/Over the waves she rode/Sailing into tomorrow/To a golden age foretold" with a chilling account. It paints a unique picture that even the blockbuster effects of modern-day cinema couldn't canvas. Even the James Cameron film that made Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet famous is absorbed here. The tides are a'changing on this one as Dylan takes a sink or swim concept and survives head and shoulders above the water and the rest. '

Tempest' would have served as the greatest climax to its own story if it wasn't for the classic closer 'Roll On John'. Mixing heartfelt tributes and homage paid lyrics, like "Shine your light, move it on, you burn so bright, roll on John/From the Liverpool docks to the red light Hamburg streets/Down in the quarry with the Quarrymen" Bob's ode to Lennon is as beautiful as the late singers life message as all he heeds is love. Bringing the 'Tempest' to peace the only man that can claim to have as much of an influence on Rock N Roll music as The Beatles rolls out his best as John lives on. It all comes together perfectly over record. Now let's stop playing Tarantino for a second and take it back to the beginning of the record for a man that could have called it a one-of-a-kind career 34 incredible albums ago but still keeps rolling out the stone cold classics.

The wind of the album begins with the blowing of the 'Duquesne Whistle' and it's inspired, instrumental opening before 'Soon After Midnight' evokes the tranquil, still beauty of the mid-nite hour as our man marvels over his muse. As Dylan sings "I'm searching for phrases/to sing your praises", even in the simple, most straight-forward way, no one puts word together like Bob. The seven minutes of 'Narrow Way' take us on an long but upbeat journey of the good ole days of music before the shorter 'Long and Wasted Years' gets deeper and darker as it gets straight to the point.

There's blood on the tracks with the chilling 'Pay It In Blood' and the 'Scarlet Town' letter as these two brooding, back-to-back numbers get bold and brilliant for the count. Matching the tone of the red tinted, photographic artwork of the Pallas-Athene Fountain from the front of the Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna the texture of these tracks covers the albums themes well. With red-room like, chilling darkness this is a murderous vision of blood-soaked, Hitchcock penmanship proportions. If music was cinema (and this albums already making soundtracks) this would be the best picture.

Muddy Waters would be proud of 'Early Roman Kings' as Dylan's murky voice flows magnificently over the dun, dun, dun, dun of the classic blues riff, before the heaven sent, silver tongue of 'Tin Angel' leads to the closing tracks of this album that could mark a new start in this old mans career. This storyteller begins again with tense, taught tales whether your sitting comfortably or not. If you though the beautiful dedication of 'Together Through Life' from the artwork to the master song strokes was something special than wait until you hear and see 'Tempest'. This is no 'Romeo & Juliet' style, back on the classic muscle car entwined embrace however. It's something much darker and dedicated. Still hate has no home here no matter the critic, as Dylan lives and battles on he shows his career is nowhere near deaths door. He will not go down with this ship. If this ten-track 'Tempest' is Bob Dylan's final act then it's a valiant one. TIM DAVID HARVEY.



Back To Earth.

Dave Matthews and his band of brothers are back. One of America and the worlds best groups in the studio and on the stage are back in concert, jamming together on a new album. The family unit has been through tough times as of late, tragedy came before their last, great album 'Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King' and they recently took some time off on the road, but it wasn't long before one of the United States most fondly familiar and well traveled bands would return home. With 'Away From The World' Dave Matthews Band come back, going back to the drawing board, back to the basics and back to the 'Lillywhite Sessions' as 'Before These Crowded Streets' producer Steve Lillywhite help the band find that old sound for their new record that is classic DMB.

So classic DMB that this album has shot straight to the top of the charts thanks to the reawakening of the groups revered legacy on singles like the magnificent 'Mercy' and the beautiful, singled-out 'If Only' which was released the same day as the album. The album comes together with the big trumpet into of 'Broken Things' which shows the live band set apart from the rest are back where they belong with a track tailored for the stadium sound. This leads to the happy upbeat, very, very good 'Belly, Belly Nice' which is classic contagious Dave energetic enthusiasm.

'Away From The World' however for the most part is a gentle acoustic record that the likes of Tim Reynolds would be proud of. This slow burner is not a somber affair however, it's 'Sweet' like the tracks of the same name and the Winter warmer 'Snow Outside' made ready for the coming fall as dave Springsteen's "You are like a secret garden/as I shuffle through this broken town/Think of you and you are all around me/like the sky when the sun's going down/I want to tell the whole wide world/I see how love can light your soul" this Autumn. Dave gives credence to the clearwater tranquil side of his bands revival and modern rock hasn't sounded this atmospheric and alive for the dead time of years. The guitar strings are getting plucked with a passion Rodrigo Y Gabriela would be proud of on 'Gaucho' .

The Dave Matthews Band make even more of a mark on 'The Riff' as Dave sings to the title harmonizing "Sitting in a box / away from the world out there," asking "Please don't ever leave me alone in here" before coming off the shelf with a great concept pleading "take me out/shake off the dust/shake off the fear". It's classic songwriting from Matthews as he collects his talents together. 'Belly Full' is another great which comes from the bowels of traditional DMB. This band have stomached the hands of time and show they can still go deep inside for songs that sound like they're a new band.

A new band sitting pretty on top of the charts with songs that take them higher like the upbeat 'Rooftop' and the ten minute shy epic 'Drunken Soldier' which could be taken with a movie soundtrack with all it's swaying and epic instrumentation. The one man named band with all the instruments are back after their time away and the world is glad to see them. There are no records quite like DMB ones and with this album they craft another classic that will go down instantly with a form fondness in the legacy of the groups memory lane. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 14 September 2012



Battle Tested & Reborn.

Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas. The make and break of Sin City whatever is on the cards. If you take the atmospheric, lonesome desert strewn, deserted highway to where everyone comes to win or go home in the boulevard of Sinatra city you may pass 'Sam's Town', some 'Hot Fuss' and 'Sawdust' and all the records over a 'Day & Age' that turned our travel companion soul soldiers to the brightside. As you see the lights come into view from the neon fog someone should tell you about 'Flamingo'; the street, casino and sensational solo house that our man behind the steering wheel Brandon Flowers built caught in the career/hiatus 'Crossfire'. Still, now everyone is back together for this classic American car ride as the four strong horse power Killers are 'Battle Born' with the new record to tune your car stereo to.

On this journey these boys where born to run and just like Springsteen armed with leather and American muscle arguably one of the best bands are tougher than the rest. As the 'Flesh and Bone' of the synth, string and sing strong beginning can attest as Flowers blooms and bares it all. The single strong, chart ascension of these Killers doesn't wilt either with the young love, Boss-esque 'Runaways' on radio replay. It hits you like a lightening bolt, as our driver tells us "Blonde hair blowin' in the summer wind/A blue-eyed girl playing in the sand/I'd been on a trail for a little while/But that was the night that she broke down and held my hand/The teenage rush, she said, 'maybe I'll just runaway, we got time/Well that ain't much...We can't wait 'til tomorrow" you won't want to go back.

And these road warriors have everything for this heartland, Nevada flag flying trip by way of Nashville too. From the guitars to the drums and keyboards. The eighties sound of 'The Way It Was' echo's the times and years of their last trip, while the "I don't want your picture on my cellphone/I just want you" sing-along of 'Here With Me' comes across more catchy than corny as our boy Brandon shows us the range of his vocals. It's only a short and sweet 'Matter Of Time' before these worn-boot tested band meet the 'Deadlines and Commitments' perfectly before hitting us hard and proud with 'Miss Atomic Bomb' which sweeps in like 'The Rising Tide' washing us with explosive rock.

The 'Heart of a Girl' keeps us back on the right beat and lonely scripture street of Flowers engraved legacy from the concrete. The legend laments "Looking out my window/An angel in robes appeared and nearly pulled me apart/A million miles of freedom, a million miles of road/But I still don't know where to start" on another this generation classic. 'From Here On Out' this life reflecting journey of love and light versus love and loss becomes the soundtrack of your senses as it becomes just you and the music.

It looks like Brandon Flowers' solo 'Flamingo' ride has given this band a new direction of decadence and depth. One full of bright and loud neon synth and lonesome, remote desert scenes. The biggest but still quite underrated act out of modern day American right now 'Be Still' on deep, atmospheric cut after cut. You may be lucky enough to get an even sharper sound and image from the rear-view of the 'Prize Fighter' and other boxed bonuses to carry you home but just like the title of this trip these 'Battle Born' Killers leave us alive with introspective inspiration and influence. This band been through battles, but they've won the war and now in this labour of love they're reborn. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Thursday, 13 September 2012


To mark the release of Tyrese's new rap mixtape 'Invisible Bully-The Lost Tapes' by his alter-ego Black-Ty and the announcement of his Rap/R&B double album 'Black Rose' coming next year, this weeks 'Tape Deck Shuffle' is a Tyrese/Black-Ty special. Side A is R&B, Side B, Rap.


ONE-First and foremost the biggest, best hit.

SWEET LADY-The track that made Tyrese's career really sing, like stepping on a bus for Coca-Cola.

TAKEOVER-Current album favorite off 'Open Invitation' and exactly what this multi-talented, multi-platinum star is doing. "I'm a show you that I'm that man".

STAY (REMIX) Featuring FAITH EVANS & RICK ROSS. Bang the Bad Boy, 'Warriorz' bottles together. It's the remix of Ty's latest, greatest hit.

I'M SORRY-Those who ever doubted this versatile, incredible talent owes an apology.


ROSES-The track that confirmed it, Black can rap.

TAKING FOREVER-the original rap before Black-Ty. Tyrese's lament to trying to succeed and the blocks in the way of the road...well he's finally made it...and made it big.

BABY GIRL Featuring GLENN LEWIS-Over Timbaland style baby beats, the star of 'Baby Boy' gets devoted with Glenn Lewis.

FLY AWAY Featuring KURUPT-With his West Coast partner in rhyme, Tyrese asks for inspiration and gives it back on a make or break track.

ALTER-EGO Featuring TYRESE-And finally he collaborates with himself as the two Alter-Ego's off the original double album go to war, split over personality. Peace guys together you both shine. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


It's been 16 years since we saw 'Better Days' , 'R U Still Down'?


On September 13th, 1996 Tupac Shakur tragically died as the result of his injuries after being shot on the Las Vegas strip after a Mike Tyson fight. 16 years later we mourn once again the loss of the greatest rapper/poet/prophet/activist of our generation, which today still feels as raw as the moment the unbelievable news broke. After mourning and blasting 'Staring Through My Rearview' as loud as we can out our cars (I see you), we look back and celebrate the man's life because even after 16 years we can't and won't forget.

16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget about the greatest rapper of all time. Sure when your asked 'Who's the greatest MC'? You may reply 'Biggie, Jay-Z or Nas' but you know in the history of hip-hop there's been no one quite like 'Pac and there will never be another like him. As iconic in African-American culture as Michael Jordan. As iconic in music as Kurt Cobain or Marvin Gaye. From recited lyrics to tattoo's, T-shirts, posters, murals and the most evocative of memories. From every fan, the real G.O.A.T, Tupac lives.

16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget about the music. The sound from '2Pacalypse Now' to right now. From the old school to the new. From Digital Underground's to time on Death Row. The 14 studio albums, 6 recorded before his death, 8 posthumous. How could we even miss a beat? From the club to the church and from the streets to the graves, Shakur lamented it all. He inspired, he showed love for his mama and he fought with the best and came out on top. Tupac could give it to anybody in so many ways, 'How Do You Want It?'

16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget about 'All Eyez On Me'. An instant and timeless classic. Most artists these days would fall short on recording a double album (even Jay and Nas have found it tough) but obviously Tupac had a lot to say over two books after coming out of prison. You wouldn't be blamed if you confused 'All Eyez On Me' with his 'Greatest Hits'. What other rap album could boast as many diverse and prominent rap classics as 'Ambitionz Az A Ridah', 'All About You', 'How Do You Want It', '2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted', 'Life Goes on', 'California Love (Remix)', 'I Aint Mad At Cha', 'Picture Me Rollin', 'All Eyez On Me' and so much more. No wonder 'Pac had everyone's ears as well as eyes.

16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget about 'California Love'. A club banger so classic the love for the West Coast dedication never dies. Hate it now if you dare but what other hip-hop club classic stands the test of time? Even these days with ipod's, music downloads and throw away rap club bangers that saturate the music market 'California Love' still makes noise. To all the DJ's out there, you could throw this record on at any point in the night and people will go as crazy as the first time it dropped. What other record does that these days?

16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget that when 2Pac was 'Against The Odds' and everybody he made one of his best albums in 'Me Against The World'. From 'If I Die Tonight' to 'Outlaw' Shakur showed everyone that he found his own. With timeless rap records like the title track, 'So Many Tears', 'Temptations', 'Dear Mama' and 'Death Around The Corner'. Tupac proved that if anybody in hip-hop had a songbook as impressive and as big as Bob Dylan's it was him.

16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget about Makaveli and 'The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory'. Tupac's album under the name Makaveli was released just months after his death and is his most compelling and haunting set. We heard him 'Bomb First' and then after saying a 'Hail Mary' we learned how 'To Live & Die in LA', 'Against All Olds'. All throughout this we learned how passionate and determined this young man really was and ultimately we learned how tragic a time this was.

16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget that not only was Tupac a brilliant rapper but a brilliant poet also. The lyricist and artist was 'The Rose That Grew From Concrete'. Even though Tupac came from dark times his words where still a thing of beauty giving light to ugly truths. We could see the 'Pride Of A Panther' and the blues of a thug. Most importantly though we read between the lines and saw the man himself as he put himself out there on paper. Resulting in something truly inspirational. Real 'Poetic Justice'.

16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget about the acting. Whether 'Above The Rim', 'Gridlock'd' or with a little 'Juice' the always genuine and intense Shakur proved he could be a legend in two games like Pee Wee Kirkland. Even when 'Pac shared the screen with talent at the level of Tim Roth, Omar Epps and Janet Jackson he was still the films silver lining. Most rappers appear in movies because they can. Tupac was a bonafide actor however, he appeared in movies because he could.

16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget the great life of one the most influential and inspirational figures of the 90's. 16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget about the tragic death of this man. Taken way before his time, I guess the good really do die young. 16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget however that resurrected through his music Tupac Shakur lives on in our memories and through speakers, every time we bang out 'Can't C Me' and every time we knock 'Rebel Of The Underground'.

16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget about the lessons learned. What he taught us through his music and what we learned after his death. We'll never forget what we learned after his and The Notorious B.I.G.'s murders. We'll never forget how he 'Let The Knowledge Drop' and how he told us that 'Life Goes On', but we will still, always remember.

16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget about the inspiration that this man brought. He spoke to everyone from the projects to the high-rises. He spoke about everyone, every injustice he saw, telling us "unless we're shootin, no one notices the youth". Through everything though 'Pac recognized the forgotten youth, telling us that 'Brenda's Got A Baby' and being there for everyone when no one else was. Telling us to 'Hold On, Be Strong' and to 'Keep Ya Head Up'. Even with our backs against the wall Tupac told us "Through every dark night; theres a bright day after that. So no matter how hard it get; stick your chest out; keep ya head up.. . and handle it". Even if we were against the world Shakur was right there with us.

16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget about the influences this man has had on music and youth. Whether they look like it or not every rapper in one way or another has taken a page out of Tupac's rhyme book for inspiration. From Ja Rule to Kanye West, East, West and Dirty South . Half of these rappers wouldn't even be around without the influence and inspiration of Tupac, he paved the way. Sure one day one of these new up and coming rappers will join Eminem and out-sell this West Coast icons 75 million albums but believe me know one will touch as many people as Tupac Amaru Shakur.

This is because 16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget about the legacy left by this larger than life figure. The legacy that lives through his mother Afeni Shakur, through the 'Tupac Foundation', through his statues and countless murals and through his music. The music that grows day by day as new generations pick up copies of 'All Eyez On Me', or as the hundreds of remaining 'Pac lyrics are released. Through the music we'll always picture Tupac 'rollin' and 'As The World Turns' we'll never move on without him.

16 years, 16 more and forever more won't make us forget it's 'All About You' 2Pac, Rest In Peace, we'll never forget.

Monday, 10 September 2012



Onwards & Upbound.

If you happen upon Andrew Jones and Liz Owen, 'Just By Chance' then you will be lucky enough to see two strong, singer/songwriters who make just one amazing acoustic duo. This hard at studio work, ready to radio play, internationally known pair of folk singers have the pop sensibilities to chart a new ground of success and it all starts with the eagerly awaited release of their first full length, debut album 'Upbound'. A ten track record that looks to design this bands bright future and take them higher.

The great group have spent the last two years gigging and recording and have reaped the benefits of the seeds they have planted and sowed. Whether it be from the reception of their cult favorite 'Lavender Infection' to their introduction on Tom Robinson's 6Music show. Or their warm 'Walking In A Winter Wonderland' cover on their indie label 'Searching For Dandelions' Christmas album to their supporting acquisition of an opening slot for Joan Armatrading at the Liverpool Philharmonic this fall.

Now after last years 'Four Steps Forward' EP (featuring the beautiful and bold 'Believe Me' and 'Learn To Crawl' and two more tracks found on this release) Owen and Jones take ten more tracks forward on 'Upbound'. An album as together and incredible as the two album-titled songs. 'Upbound' rises perfectly along with the second, guitar only part that is instrumental to the pairs versatile success.

Following the amazing artwork off their E.P., JBC cover the canvas of their new release beautifully. The only thing that is more artistic is their sound as they package themselves perfectly. This promising promotion is nothing however compared to the genuine spirit of this real pair who afford more than those other acts who just look to sell out. Hopefully this album will sell well on iTunes and Amazon, either way this release exists as great music forever and regardless and a turning point for the pair.

With extended play favorites like 'Walking Tall' and 'Let Them Be' Andy and Liz's reputation and record play looks to grow. Still, it's when you put the headphones and delve deep into this decadent and delightful disc that you hear just how good this band can get. 'Pick You Up' is the deepest devotion. The pair harmonize a beautiful hook, singing "I'll pick you up/what have we got to lose/waiting at you door/I'll give you time to tie your shoes" on a track whose lyrics are both the type most singer/songwriters would love to pen themselves and most couples would love to hear from each other. Tattoos' ink more signature styling of this acoustic act, leaving us with a lasting impression of perfect production and wonderful writing.

It only gets better as it gets deeper. What more can be said about the emotional resonance of Liz's lament 'Since You Left'? Which right here will go down as a 'By Chance' classic. This track is tears falling beautiful and as Liz bares her heart and soul over this song, Andy provides beautiful background vocals that are both subtle and sublime. 'Ghosts' is haunting and powerful, while 'Savior' comes at the right time with the sort of heroic acoustic guitar plucking that Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds live at Radio City Hall would be proud of.

The honest but upbeat 'Shame On Me' rounds everything off perfectly on a groundbreaking and breakthrough first release. It's only going to get better and more deserved for Andrew Jones and Liz Owen. This perfect pair have put out a 10 track, 10 out of 10 record. Can you imagine what they've got next? Whatever it is and whatever will be, this is no illusion. Together this group are just that good and it's not by chance. It's meant to be. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012



Sweet Emotion.


"Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile.” We’re not quantified; there’s no chart of desire. When the roaring flames of your heart have burned down to embers, may you find that you have married your best friend. Hunch, conjecture, instinct…a blind allegiance to anything can get you killed, and always remember…sing as though no one can hear you; live as though heaven is here on Earth."

And so begins the greatest, most inspiring, 'live by these words' intro and the autobiography of one of the greatest Rock N Roll frontmen ever for one of the greatest bands of all time (if at times both a little too underrated and undervalued even with all their critical and commercial success). With the moves like Jagger, the swagger of Freddie, the charm of Michael Hutchence, the charisma of Prince and all the one of a kind, in a million traits that make him uniquely who he is the great Steven Tyler and his awesome American band Aerosmith have given us some of the best rock music from 'Dream On' to 'I Don't Want To Miss A Thing'. It's about time beyond the press and beyond the stress we got a little insight and some of the greatest Rock N Roll tales from the horses lips.

"It's like Vuja De, and that's when the miracle're trading faces, places, spaces, and graces,"

Read how Steve lays it down with sweet emotion, coming together in unjaded devotion. This memoir is one for the memory banks, existing in moments across the pages that will keep you turning like the band keeps rolling (there's a new studio album due very soon). Honest, heartfelt, poignant and perfect, this book is a classic. A lot of times these days-especially with disappointing autobiographies-you want to finish as quickly as possible and move on to something else.

"I've been...New Orleaned, collard-greened, Peter Greened and tent-show queened; woke-up-thus-mornin'ed and given' you a warnin'ed, Seventh sealed, cotton field; holler-logged and Yeller Dawged; sanctified, skantified, shuck-and-jived, and chicken fried; black-cat boned, rollin' stoned, and cross-road moaned; freight-trained, achin-heart pained, gris-gris dusted, done got busted..."

Not with this beautiful beast, you won't be able to put this animal down as you slowly absorb yourself in each chapter and their hilarious names (for reference 'Ladies and Genitals, I'm not arrogant, I'm just ego-testicle'). You'll want to get to the end of pages as quickly as you turn and burn through the paper, but when you do your disappointment will lie with the fact that it's over. Steve Tyler 'Jerry Maguire's' you on this one. He has us at the semi-prologue. SHOW US AN AFTERWORD!

"Not so in the woods. In that silence I heard something else there, too. I lost all that mystery when I was on drugs."

It's the vivid way he writes that really draws you into his Rock N Roll world, painting pictures like the pretty as a picture photo album middle. It's more than a fly on the wall experience, or a journalist on a tour bus one. It's more like you're on stage right there next to him from his country beginnings to taking over the whole, wide world. Sure this isn't Shakespeare (it's Steven) and at times our Boston boys frontman comes across incoherent but it's always, always inspired.

"And just then, the highway opened up-right at the junction, right at that spot on the highway where you see the skyline of Boston, and you go, "What!?" Because it suddenly goes from trees, woods, and crickets to cars flashing by and skyscrapers and apartment buildings...Just at that moment, I went "Oh, s***, the city""

His stream of consciousness flows like the purest water. Now that's what makes it just a great read. Plus unlike most fake memoir's at least you know its really him, writing beautifully from the paper to the spine, the woods to the stadiums with all his terrific Tylerism's. Telling us about his trips with L.S.D. (Lead. Singer. Disorder) and his golden rules including getting "nekkid". Most of all with all his fame and the great places he's seen this confident but humble straight-shooter tells us like it is with no chaser "New York City was filled with very odd folk-which I loved". Boom! Now I'll drink to that.

"My relationship with Joe is complex, competitive, fraught, really sort of fascinating in a hair-raising kind of way."

Of course everything from Aerosmith to American Idol is touched upon these pages but nothing brings more unflinching depth and honest beauty then his relationship with his family and his band and his friend and brother from another Joe Perry. Through the thickest and the thinnest these acid twins have bonded no matter how caustic the times or tides. It's an inspiring story that holds influence. It comes apart over the pages and comes together in real life. These guys who grew up on The Beatles are Rock N Roll survivors like Springsteen...tougher than the rest.

"First it' "Hey, jaded!" Which later on in a magic moment turns into "Hey, ja-ja-jaded," which puts it in a very rhythmic meter with a four-four time signature. It's a picture of my temperament set to music"

Not only that Tyler takes us vividly and coherently through the process of songwriting from the scraps of paper, right through to the melody and the final song. From 'Cryin'' to 'Hole In My Soul' the lyrics-which are just as quotable as the book itself-are all laid out bare and beautifully. These prose give further proof that in front of all the left behind critics, Steven Tyler is one of the deepest, greatest and again most underrated writers around. This is a songwriting master, detailing his craft. Take note. It might be time to really appreciate him. It doesn't get much more brutally truthful with all the comforting introspection than this.

"And everybody I know said the same thing except the one person that I wanted to say it to me, and she left me. So it's really lonely being who the f*** I am"

From the births and the marriages to the divorces and deaths it's all detailed here. The chapters of drug taking may be abusive and hard for some to take but there's substance behind the style Steven's writing. He gives honesty without asking for sympathy and still we feel sorry for a man so thankful. A man who was-at a time-so broken-hearted. It's just in the way he walks the walk and talks the talk. He just writes this way. It's the word of a lesson learned teacher that never turns preacher. It a frank but fantastic, dark but delightful reading experience that tells you all about life as you set out yours.

"'Hole In My Soul' was playing...Chelsea and Taj walked into the studio with Teresa. I looked over and I said to them, "Good night, Chelsea. Good night, Taj". Its whispered at the end of the track."

After all isn't that what autobiographies and memoirs of a life's story are supposed to do? It's clearly not all about him as he shows love and devotion to all those who helped him get to the place he is now from his parents to his kids. He even praises the ex's who he says would never give him "accolades"...hey, we all know the feeling. With some beautiful secrets shared outside the family, Tyler keeps it relative and real with what's most important.

"Liv called me and said she got offered a part in a movie with Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck...Little did I know that Kathy Nelson, who was picking the music, would put it in the same Jerry Bruckheimer movie, Armageddon, that Liv was talking about."

The good times roll with the rock legend as he details his legacy. It's a refreshing read from a man who's personal life has been trashed by the press badly with little respect for the good...pardon me the great in him. The man who gave Aerosmith it's wings affords both sides of the coin for your dollar here. From breaking down rap/rock and cultural barriers with Run-DMC, walking the way for this generation to blowing up the world with 'Armageddon's' (Rest Peacefully Michael Clarke Duncan) 'I Don't Want To Miss A Thing' Tyler stands by it all for better of worse like he does with his band, his family and his fans. It doesn't come more devoted than this and to you Steven for the record on book or wax we thank you. The noise in your head broadens us. Thanks for bothering.

"I may not have been quite sure of what I was doing, but I was on to something. Just saying..."