A debt of gratitude to everyone involved in my weekend at the Sonic Temple Festival. The artists include Disturbed, Papa Roach, Ghost, Bring Me the Horizon, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Chevelle, The Struts, The Hives, The Interrupters, The Glorious Sons, Palaye Royale, Halestorm, Tom Morello, Parkway Drive, Beartooth, Avatar, Starset, Bad Wolves, Badflower, Killswitch Engage, Architects, Fever 333 and others I’m forgetting as I’m running on fumes. Thanks to the tour managers, label staffs, crews, techs, security, drivers and additional people who make rock shows run behind the scenes. Props also to the people from both DWP and Mapfre Stadium for the hospitality. Major kudos to the hardDrive Radio crew including Paul Spagna and James Shefferman for being the boots on the ground while Bill Powell handled tech and social media offsite. Finally, the biggest thanks go to the fans who come out to slog thru the heat and rain to bring it all to life. Let’s do it some more!
One of the most legendary music festivals on the planet returns! It’s Rock Fest in Cadott, Wisconsin and Lou Brutus is back as host!
The sick lineup runs July 18th thru July 20th. It includes Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, Evanescence, Mastodon, In This Moment, I Prevail. P.O.D., Lacuna Coil, Red Sun Rising, Three Days Grace, Killswitch Engage, Asking Alexandria, From Ashes to New, Shallow Side, Rachel Lorin, Skillet, Starset, Of Mice & Men, Static-X, Dope, and too many more to mention!
Along with his stage duties, LB will be backstage interviewing the artists and in the photo pit capturing images. Be sure to find him for limited edition Brutus Rock Fest items!
Tickets are on sale now and available here. See you there!
Tonight I’ll be attending the 93.3 WMMR Philadelphia 50th anniversary staff reunion. I can safely say that my life would be nowhere without that radio station. My entire career has been built upon a few lucky chances connected to WMMR, a radio station I grew up on in Central New Jersey.
As a teen, I worked theatre sound and lighting at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. It was a fun job and one of the shows we ran was a multi-media extravaganza called “The Rock N Roll Time Machine.” As my sound booth was in the audience, folks would often ask questions after the show. One day, a gentleman began enquiring about the rights to the clips in the program. When I mentioned he sounded like he was in the music biz, he introduced himself as Rod Carson from WMMR. I swear to God that at that moment a voice in my head said, “Opportunity is knocking. Open the door.” I told Rod I listened every day, that I was on my college station, and that I’d love to get my foot in the door. He graciously gave me his card, writing the name Bev Rohan on it. He said to call her and they’d see about an internship. I got it.
The internship was to be three months but they liked me and I interned for over a year before corporate said, “You can’t have him work for free anymore!” I left for several months but after a Grateful Dead show at the Spectrum one night, I stopped by to visit Pierre Robert who was then doing the overnight shift. John DeBella came in to set up his morning show and while he was prepping the phone rang. It was his producer calling in sick. John slammed the phone down and said to Pierre, “I gotta get a real producer for this show!” I jumped up and said, “Hi, John! I’m your new producer!” He laughed and said, “You got balls, kid. Go sleep on the couch and I’ll take you to breakfast when I get off the air.” We ate, talked, and a week later I quit college to move to Philly to start the job.
A few months into the gig, the program director gave me the Saturday night graveyard shift. I wouldn’t be on the air, I’d just be running pre-recorded shows. However, the extra money and responsibility were very welcome. Several weeks later on one of those shifts, the hotline rang. It was Larry Richman who was the DJ due to be on the air at 9am when the recorded shows ended. He said he was sick and likely wouldn’t make it in. I panicked. What would I do? I called the program director George Harris but he was away for the weekend. I then called APD Joe Bonadonna. “Joe, it’s me! Larry’s not coming in and we’re going back live soon. What am I supposed to do?!?!?!?” He very calmly said, “Sounds like you’re getting your big break. I’d tape it if I were you.” Then he hung up. After fighting back the urge to pee in my pants, I started to get organized. When the station went back live at 9am the first song was Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” I taped the couple of hours I did before Larry limped in and played it for George the next day. He said, “You sound really good. How would you like some regular weekend shifts?”
And that’s how my career began. Instead of working at small market stations, I started at one of the greatest broadcast outlets in history. I was a teenager rubbing elbows with Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, and the members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. All because of blind fucking luck.
I don’t know who my guardian angel is, but I sure do appreciate them.
And I appreciate my years at WMMR. Whether as an intern, a morning show producer, a weekender, or when I returned in the 90’s as a full-time DJ. It’s an amazing place with amazing people. I will be forever indebted to them for taking my under their wing and teaching me the craft. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone tonight.
Like a Nigel Tufnel guitar amp, Rock On the Range has now gone to 11.
The esteemed rock fest returned again to Columbus OH and Brutus continued his streak for attending each of them. With the exception of some hairy weather which caused him to cower like a drowned rat in the bowels of Mapfre Stadium, it was a splendid time for your friend and humble narrator. Lou connected with a long list of artists including Avenged Sevenfold, Alice in Chains, Godsmack, A Perfect Circle, Stone Sour, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Stone Temple Pilots, Bullet for My Valentine, Underoath, Asking Alexandria, I Prevail, Greta Van Fleet, Trivium, Red Sun Rising, Atreyu, 10 Years, New Years Day, Miss May I, Tyler Bryand & the Shakedown, Wilson, From Ashes to New, Like A Storm, Shaman’s Harvest, The Fever 333, Stitched Up Heart, Shim, and too many more to mention.
Watch Lou’s socials for exclusive vid of the interviews as well as his backstage photo portraits.
Many thanks to the artists, crews, management, record company folks, catering, and security as everyone does their jobs very well. Special thanks the staffs of AEG and Danny Wimmer Presents for having Brutus back. Extra thanks to Paul and James of hardDrive Radio for the selfless logistical support. Finally, a great debt of gratitude to those of you who came out to support live music.
Hope you bought a t-shirt, too! To see a video overview of LB’s adventures go here.
The 2018 Major League Baseball season is underway and LB returns for his eleventh year as on field photographer for SiriusXM Sports.
HIs first game for the year was at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD. However, the horrible spring weather led to postponements at games in both New York and Washington, DC. Coming up, Lou has games on his schedule in Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia, and both the Yankees and Mets in New York City.
Brutus often combines Rock N Roll with baseball on his travels. When you see him hosting and photographing a concert festival, you can bet he’s also shooting any nearby baseball games, schedule permitting.
Rock Fest WI returns for 2016 and Brutus will be back to host! The festival goes from July 14 thru July 16 and is again in Cadott, WI.
The three-day festival this year features Slipknot, Alice In Chains, Hollywood Vampires, Five Finger Death Punch, Marilyn Manson, Breaking Benjamin, Rise Against, Bullet for My Valentine, Skillet, All That Remains, Scott Stapp, In This Moment, Sick Puppies, Highly Suspect, Saint Asonia, Nothing More, Red Sun Rising, Like A Storm, Stitched Up Heart, Art of Dying, Wilson, Wayland, and a ton of others.
It’s LB’s third time as host. Along with his duties as emcee, he’ll also be interviewing and photographing.
The producers of Rock Fest said, “We are honored to welcome Lou Brutus back to our stage. His listeners travel from all over the country to join him here and revel in his love of music. His decades of adventures in the Rock world have made him a living legend.”
Special Edition Brutus merchandise by Dirtbag Clothing will be available exclusively at the festival.
Get info and tickets at Rock-Fest.com.
It was back to the tour life for LB as he traveled the road with Slipknot, Lamb of God, Bullet for My Valentine, and Motionless in White for the final eight days of the Summer’s Last Stand Tour. Traveling onboard on of the band buses, he was given unfetterd access to photograph the groups both onstage and and off for the gigs Phoenix, Albuquerque, Austin, Houston, and the tour closer in Dallas. While in New Mexico, he also did an exclusive, in-depth interview with The Clown. Many thanks to the bands, crews, and fans for all of the love.
Brutus will once again hit the road with Slipknot, traveling with them for the final week of their “Summer’s Last Stand Tour” which also features Lamb of God, Bullet for My Valentine, and Motionless in White.
Lou will join up for the Saturday August 29th gig in Phoenix AZ, moving on from there to Albuquerque NM, Austin TX, Houston TX, and the final stop of the tour in Dallas TX.
During the traveling, Brutus has promised to bring his cameras so he can take and post photos city-to city.
To get info on the tour including ticket info, merchandise, and band bios, hit the official Slipknot site here.
The 4th of July weekend will find Brutus back in Chicago at Soldier Field for the Fare Thee Well performances by the surviving members of the Grateful Dead.
Lou was actually at Soldier Field on July 09, 1995 when the Dead made their final appearance with lead guitarist Jerry Garcia who passed away a few weeks after the the concert.
Though it surprises some, LB is a grizzled veteran of over 125 Grateful Dead shows including his very first when the band played in his tiny hometown of Englishtown, NJ.
It’s a return to the legendary ROCK FEST in Cadott WI for Lou Brutus! He’s been invited to once again host the main stage, July 16th thru the 19th.
The lineup this year includes Avenged Sevenfold, Shinedown, Judas Priest, Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin, Bush, Hinder, Killswitch Engage, Pop Evil, All That Remains, Finger Eleven, Adelitas Way, Black Stone Cherry, Jackyl, Nothing More, Starset, Islander, Nickelback Shamans Harvest, New Medicine, Coldspell, Bobaflex, Royal Bliss, Otherwise and many others. Over 50 bands in all!
Tickets are going fast and are available at Rock-Fest.com.
Brutus is printing special guitar picks, pins, and stickers for the event which he’ll be handing out for free. Be sure to find him and say, “Hey!”