googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners

The TOONERS' FORGIVING YOU Valentine Day's Single

L.A. Band The Tooners’ new single, “Forgiving You“, may be a backlash of the #MeToo Movement in that it’s a song about the joys of make-up sex.


Watch The Tooners' Forgiving You video HERE.
Written and co-directed by Ben Warner

Influenced by the tongue-in-cheek rock of The Mothers Of Invention, Alice Cooper and the risqué lyrics of 80s New Wave bands such as The Knack, The Tooners’ songs aren’t afraid to explore some dark themes. Included on their forthcoming fifth full-length CD are songs written for the new James Bond movie, No Time To Die, (recently released as a single) and a song written as the theme for a television series about a hunter of Cryptozoological creatures in the Old West called Strange, CA.

Also released on Valentine’s day, 2020, The Tooners’ latest single “Forgiving You” sounds upbeat and catchy but beneath the surface lurks the dark side of passion. Possessiveness and sexual control are at the heart of the power pop hit about a man who “forgives” his lover for real or imagined transgressions mainly in order to initiate “make-up sex.”

https://youtu.be/LzqG8QeMhaE
Listen to the Forgiving You single HERE.

One way to re-kindle passion in a relationship is to have that relationship threatened. “I can’t miss you if you don’t go away” is an old joke that is only half kidding. Another old saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” is a warning that regret often follows a breakup caused merely by romantic apathy and that the emotions that loss stirs burns hotter than the original flame of love. Those with a tiny bit of imagination may prevent real pain by simply taking a few moments to ponder what life would be like if their relationship did come to a close. How would you feel, jokes aside and after whatever feeling of exhilaration newfound “freedom” may invoke, if you found yourself suddenly alone? Sure, this fear of the unknown is often blamed for keeping people in abusive relationships that should have ended long before the hope that the significant other will eventually change (improve, cease and desist, etc.) but in the case of an otherwise stable and loving relationship that has perhaps just grown a bit stale over time, riding out a rough patch may not only be the smart move but also the easiest. Many couples will tell you that their arguments are less actual disagreements than rituals actually meant to raise their emotional levels to the point where a sexual fire can be ignited.

 The Tooners' Theme To A Dream full length CD,

However, these days it seems as if a little imagination can create monsters that can find materialization into our physical reality. A woman may seek to fully experience her own femininity by allowing a man to sexually dominate her in an appropriate setting, thus more fully appreciating the “weaker” sex aspect of her sexuality, but that decision needs to be hers, alone. Surrender, in this case, is not a weakness but a strength. Unfortunately, men are often incapable of picking up on the subtleties of sexual communication and that can sometimes lead to the headlines about Harvey Weinstein and Jeffery Epstein (and many others) that are making news today

“Forgiving You” is the latest single from The Tooners, the band that brought you “The Babysitter”, “Womanizer” and “Got Off You.” from their last CD, Underground Comix. They may or may not be symptomatic of the toxic masculinity running rampant in today’s society but there sure seems to be an audience out there for them.

https://youtu.be/AfHPNOoEaJE
Listen to The Tooners' Underground Comix HERE.

The TOONERS' James Bond Theme Song

The L. A. rock band The Tooners have released a new single that is their original take on a theme song for the upcoming James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig. No Time To Die is the 25th James Bond movie and will hit theaters this coming April. However, The Tooners’ song No Time To Die will probably not be heard in the film.

The Tooners' No Time To Die lyric video.

Although the band members and the song’s co-writers Neal Warner and Greg Piper are life-long Bond fans, their Bond theme is actually more inspired by shock rock group Alice Cooper. Also fans of the movie franchise, the original lineup of the band Alice Cooper wrote and recorded the song The Man With The Golden Gun as a proposed theme song for the film of the same name starring Roger Moore as secret agent 007. The producers of the Bond films felt using pop acts such as Paul McCartney, Carly Simon and Lulu (who sang the actual theme song for The Man With The Golden Gun) for the movie theme songs was appropriate but a hard rock band such as Alice Cooper didn’t fit the James Bond image and the song was rejected. The band went ahead and released it on their 1973 album Muscle Of Love anyway.

This inspired the independent band The Tooners to record their own Bond theme inspired by Alice Cooper’s initiative and even the Salvador Dali inspired look of their song’s logo has an Alice Cooper connection as Alice Cooper, the man as opposed to the band, is the only rock musician known to have ever collaborated with the surrealist painter.

No Time To Die is also included on The Tooners' full length CD, Theme To A Dream, available everywhere starting April 1, 2020.

Star Wars vs The Wizard Of Oz

Has anyone ever noticed that the original Star Wars: A New Hope is a total rip-off of The Wizard Of Oz? First, there is the Wizard. In Oz he is a kindly, protective sage whose goal is to return the lost little girl to her home, far, far away. In Star Wars Obie wan Kenobi is called by Luke Skywalker's uncle Owen "a crazy old wizard", has enough technological and metaphysical knowledge as to be undifferentiated from magic and who takes on the quest of seeing that Princess Leia gets home to her home planet.

Leia is, of course, Dorothy Gale in this analogy. A young lady in battle against an evil that has her outmatched but has such a drive to "go home" that nothing can stop her. She is assisted by her little dog, Toto, who at one point actually runs off to fetch help. Toto is to Dorothy what R2D2 is to Leia. The brave and helpful yet speechless characters also both have four letter names where the second and fourth letter (or digit) match. 

The Tin Woodsman is naturally C3P0, an android who values intelligence, the Cowardly Lion is Chewbacca who is neither cowardly nor a lion but is an animal character rather than a human and is physically intimidating until you get to know him and the Wicked Witch of the West, the very epitome of evil, dressed all in black, with an army of lackeys (flying monkeys and guardsmen) and with the ability to fly is basically a female Darth Vader.

This leaves only the Scarecrow unaccounted for. Is Han Solo the Scarecrow? He has been called "scruffy looking" which certainly can also describe a scarecrow. He is Leia's love interest and although I wouldn't go so far as to suggest a romantic aspect to Dorothy and the Scarecrow's relationship it did always bother me that at the end of her time in the land of Oz, when she's saying goodbye to her new friends as she's about to board the hot air balloon (air/space travel) for her journey home to Kansas, she whispers to the Scarecrow "I think I'll miss you most of all". WTF Dorothy? What an insensitive thing to say right in front of the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion. They risked their lives for you too. Is it because out of the three of them the Scarecrow is the only one who wears pants so she thinks that maybe he has something functional in there? The Cowardly Lion is an animal after all and the Tin Woodsman clearly is smooth as a tin can, literally, down there. At least Dorothy didn't kiss her brother.



Leave your comments below and tell me I'm wrong. Go ahead, I dare you.

The TOONERS' THEME TO A DREAM CD

Today, April1, 2020, is the official release date for The Tooners' fifth full length CD, Theme To A Dream. It may be the last Tooners CD in that we have now recorded and released virtually every song the band has ever written. If there is ever a follow up it will have to be written from scratch. The only time we've ever recorded an album from scratch was Ripped. Every other Tooners CD, Rocktasia, The Haight and Underground Comix were compiled of songs written years before the recording of the CDs, usually with songs taken from our live sets. Now all those songs that the band has written over the years have been recorded and distributed out on the ether for all the world to hear, or ignore, as apparently is the case.

Theme To A Dream CD.

Theme To A Dream is the third in a trilogy of albums that were compiled from a list of over thirty old songs separated into three distinct albums according to subject matter and overall musical vibe. When a songwriter writes a Pop / Rock tune it can usually be classified into one of three categories;
1. HITS: upbeat, catchy tunes that might appeal to one or more of the various radio formats.
2. DEEP CUTS: more "artistic" or experimental songs that may be longer than the standard three minutes playing length, have changes in tempo, mood or format and
3. FILLER: or what the late, great John Lennon called "crafted songs", the songs that are written because songs were needed and not because they came from any sort of inspiration.
There are a couple different types of "inspiration" as well. There is the inspiration where your hands suddenly and unexpectedly play a phrase or a riff that then leads to the completion of an entire song and the inspiration that comes when an event or memory or maybe just a feeling compels the writer to write a specific song in order to memorialize the event, person, place or thing that inspired it.

The TOONERS Rocktasia Remastered
 
 The first of the three albums recorded pulling from the collection of songs written over the course of decades is The Haight. It is The Tooners' album of more adventuresome tunes. Several are over four minutes in length with one or two over five minutes. The more exploratory and ethereal mood of the music led to the lyrics being about beliefs, some religious, some metaphysical, some with a Huckleberry Finn sense of adventure about them.

The TOONERS The Haight

The second album, Underground Comix, is in keeping with The Tooners' penchant of writing music to accompany other forms of media. Where Rocktasia was a collection of songs meant to eventually be the soundtracks to animated films, The Haight was inspired by the book of the same name and shares the same cover art.
Ripped mimics the soundtrack to a "Disney style" animated movie and accompanying storybook, Underground Comix is an album of songs that musically illustrate particular underground comic book stories


And now comes Theme To A Dream, the title inspired by the fact that there are two "theme songs" on this CD. No Time To Die, released as a single as well as included on the album, is a song not so much about the latest James Bond movie with which it shares a title but more about the various fan theories about James Bond that have been circulating on the Internet for years. Another theme song, Strange, CA, is a theme song for a proposed TV Western about a hunter of Cryptozoological animals in the Old West written by Benjamin Warner and currently under option by a television production company in Hollywood. Other songs, although not blatantly theme songs, certainly sound like they could/should be; I Don't Wanna Work (Pleasant Valley Monday) is a song inspired by the Monkees' hit Pleasant Valley Sunday where a garage band is heard by a home owner who is outside to mow his lawn. I Don't Wanna Work takes the point of view of one of the garage band musicians who years later finds himself in the position of the suburban home owner and ponders why and how he ended up back where he came from when he was, at one time, certain his life was going to take him far away as a rich and famous rock star. A theme song for a lot of us. The song Coronado could be a travel spot theme song for the Southern California resort and Hail The Rock & Roll Band is a shout out to the original Fab Four who started it all. The second single from the album is Forgiving You. A sweet love song that on closer listening reveals some rather subversive lyrics.

And thus we have reached the end of our musical journey. There may be more music ahead but as of right now there is nothing from the past from which to pull which is both a little frightening and yet exhilarating.

The TOONERS' R- Rated Album

The Tooners are truly a "multimedia" Rock & Roll band and most of their released CDs are in one degree or another soundtrack albums. Their CD Rocktasia Remastered consists of songs that were originally conceived as being accompanied by fully animated 2D music videos, hence the reference to Disney's animated music masterpiece Fantasia.Their CD, The Haight, is loosely based on the novella of the same name (available on Amazon.com) and the CD, Ripped, was conceived as a soundtrack to a "Disney" style animated musical and the songs are sung as the character in the story, a modernized version of the Washington Irving classic Rip Van Winkle. It also has an accompanying storybook.

https://youtu.be/AfHPNOoEaJE
Listen to The Tooners' Underground Comix CD HERE (if over 18)

Their CD, Underground Comix, as the title implies, consists of songs written to add a musical accompaniment to an "underground" comic book. Underground comic books or "comix" were published from 1967 to 1974 and were noted for being artistically individualistic and completely uncensored. Originally a product of the Hippie Movement out of the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco during the "Summer Of Love" of 1967 and starting with the Robert Crumb creation, ZAP, they went nationwide until the advent of the Xerox photocopier made it possible to flood the market with inferior product which eventually killed said market.

The Tooners' Punk Opera.

The CD cover of The Tooners' Underground Comix CD lists the songs as "Comic 1 - Womanizer" which consists of eight songs that loosely tell the tale of a guy who is born to be a womanizer and in the end is alone in a bar deciding to stay there and drink until he can figure out why his wife/and/or girlfriend has left him. "Comic 2 - Punk Opera" is a story of a boy who becomes abusive and belligerent after adopting a "Punk Rock" lifestyle and ends up paying the price for it and a printed mini-comic is included with the CD. "Comic 3 -  When The Moon Is Full" is about a horrific act of gang violence.

Since these songs are the musical equivalent of uncensored underground comix, the CD cover also includes a Parental Warning label stating that the contents are for those 18 years of age and older.

ENGLISH BOB Rides Again

There's a new animated music series from the award winning animation director Neal Warner (IMDB.com) and the award nominated musical director Greg Piper (Just Imagine, A Day In His Life, Rock & Roll Rehab) called ENGLISH BOB. English Bob is an "Outlaw" Country band coming to the end of the trail that's pooled their resources and bought a music store where they're forced to interact with a new breed of young Modern Country artists.

The show's been presented as an animated "Country Monkees" in that the various band members are young (for Baby Boomers), zany (grouchy) and don't play their own instruments (as they are cartoon characters). Much of the interplay has a Millennials versus Boomers dynamic and the show has been conceived as a way to introduce new Modern Country acts that "guest star" as cartoon versions of themselves.

(CLICK on COMIC to see best on mobile device)

The comic strip version of the show has been made available to Country Music and Western Lifestyle oriented publications and blogs.
(CLICK on COMIC to see best on mobile device)
Look for English Bob to come on tour to a TV screen near you soon.
   

The Tooners' "Celebrity Friend" Tommy Chong wishes Jerry a Happy Birthday

Happy birthday and retirement from his "day job" to The Tooners' fine guitarist, Jerry Strull.

Just imagine (plug) if Jerry's "day job" had been playing guitar all these years! He wouldn't be playing with The Tooners now, that's for sure.
  The Tooners' "Celebrity Friend" Tommy Chong wishes Jerry a Happy Birthday.

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"Ripped" by The Tooners

The Tooners | Ripped Open
This is a work of fiction loosely based on the short story, Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving.

The Tooners 10 song soundtrack to the tale of Rip Van Winkle!
Read book & listen to soundtrack here:
https://unsigned-records.com/thetooners/ripped/

BUY the CD-RP and book here: 
https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/thetooners17
Only $14.99 … an original, unique gift!

- aspiring to recreate a “Disney” style animated movie if produced by a NeoClassic Rock Band.



The TOONERS' The Haight CD


Last year, 2017, Greg Piper of The Tooners and I decided to put together a set of songs we could play on acoustic guitars and get some gigs playing coffee houses because we were bored and our drummer moved to Idaho. Going back through Greg's cassette collection of songs he recorded as demos for our old band Womanizer back in the 80s, we noticed that if put the songs in the order in which they were written, the ten songs that were originally rejected by the band for being too "soft" (romantic), actually did a real good job of telling the story of Greg's early relationship with his future wife. It seems he tended to write what he was going through at the time, his personal journal, and he and Jacki's meeting, romance and breakup, before reconciling two years later. After we released his songs as his solo CD by Gregory Shane Piper, called "Born To You", we went through both of our old song collections to see what else we could rerecord and press up before we forget about them entirely.

https://www.amazon.com/Born-You-Gregory-Shane-Piper/dp/B078FHJKNM/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1540058667&sr=1-1&keywords=Gregory+Shane+Piper


What we discovered listening to these old songs, some dating back to our high school years, is that they divide into two very separate categories. The first category consists of songs inspired by New Wave bands such as Elvis Costello and The Knack who had very catchy, Sixties British Invasion style Pop Rock but with very sexual and subversive lyrics. In the Sixties lyricists had to put their nasty jokes and sexual innuendo "between the lines". In the Eighties they were the lines. Our New Wave / Hard Rock band, Womanizer, specialized in "naughty" songs although we always felt they had a sense of humor about them. The other group of old tunes could only be categorized as odd. These were our "arty" tunes that tended to be a bit more experimental musically, and lyrically unique. Most of them didn't fit in with our live set although we did release three as singles with animated videos over the years and four of them were included in our live multi-media stage show, Rock & Roll Rehab.

https://www.amazon.com/Official-Rock-Rehab-Members-Guide-ebook/dp/B0054EQ5NI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1540057917&sr=8-3&keywords=Rock+%26+Roll+Rehab
 We decided to take these oddities and put them together in an album of their own. When we did this we discovered something very similar to the Born To You album; they appeared to tell a story. When we recorded The Tooners' Rocktasia CD we were aware that each of the songs illustrated a different emotion, anger, fear, love, lust, grief, etc. With this new collection of old songs it seems each song is about a particular belief and together they tell the story of one man's spiritual journey through life, told backwards. 
There are two ways of telling a story. Imagine you meet someone on the street you haven't seen since high school and he asks you to tell him what you've done since then. You can either start at the beginning and tell him what you did right after you saw him last and progress forward to the present time or you can tell him what your situation is like now and then tell him what led to that, and what happened before that, and what led you to that situation, and so on. Telling a story backwards has one advantage in that it has a definite ending which is actually its beginning. Telling a story from the past to the present only presents a temporary finish since it will continue on into the future, hopefully.

And so our new album, The Haight, is a story told backwards. Mainly because the music flows better with the songs in this order. The inspiration for the record comes from a book I wrote a while back called The Haight.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1448645697/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

I had what I thought was an interesting idea concerning religion and I wanted to express this idea but who am I to espouse a philosophy? I'm a cartoonist, animator and rock musician, why would anyone be interested in what I have to say? But maybe if I didn't say it, maybe if someone else, someone more interesting, said it people might like to hear it. I thought of the various context in which these ideas might be expressed, naturally, and I decided these thoughts could best be expressed by a stoner. That way if he seems too far out it's simply because he's tripping. Also, my friends and I, although a few years too young to have been actual hippies, were of that mindset and totally into the cultural scene as it was happening back in 1967. I may have been a junior high school student and living in Los Angeles at the time but I was also a guitarist in an "Acid Rock" band, an Underground cartoonist and psychedelic poster artist. My friends and I all played in Rock bands, had long hair, wore Beatles boots, corduroy flares with wide belts, Cossack shirts and lovebeads. We were what was called "Weekend Warriors". And so I wrote a book of fiction, semi-autobiographical, about a group of hippies living in Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love called The Haight.

The Tooners' The Haight CD HERE.

My fascination with hippies goes back to the actual hippie movement and decades before I wrote the book I wrote a song about an old hippie looking back at the hassle his parents gave him when he wanted to visit San Francisco on his summer vacation from school. This is one of the old songs we decided to include on the new CD and I renamed it The Haight as it also seemed to tell the story of the main character in the book, told from his perspective of being much older and remembering his youth. The following is the "story" of the CD The Haight.

#1. NOTHINGNESS - This song starts the CD and begins the character's reminiscence. He is a grandpa now, fifty years since The Summer Of Love, and is tucking his young grand daughter into bed for the night. As did his parents, and a lot of parents in the 1950s, he recites a popular bedtime prayer; "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep, If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take". What an awful thing to make a child say before going to sleep! "If I should DIE before I wake!" But to his surprise this prompts the little girl to ask him a question, "What happens to me when I die?" Although this is a common question young children have, it catches him off guard as he believes that is something her parents or clergy should be asked. He blurts out an answer that he himself hasn't ever fully realized he believes. A question that is at its basis; is there a survival of personality and awareness after death or is there nothing after death? His spontaneous answer is that Consciousness did not evolve from physical reality, as we're taught in school, but that Consciousness creates physical reality. As author Eckhart Tolle says, paraphrasing Seth in the Jane Roberts books, "You can't lose your life, you are life". To his amazement the little girl seems to instantly grasp this concept, a concept he himself doesn't fully understand fifty years on, when she uses video games as an example. This was the song I initially wrote to express this idea before I wrote the book and it has since been developed as a concept called Biocentrism.



Now let's go to the last song on the CD and progress forward. This is going forward in time according to the story but backwards according to the song order.

#9. THE HAIGHT - In this song a man is remembering the time when he told his parents he was going to visit San Francisco for his summer vacation in 1967 and their surprisingly extreme reaction. His adventure in Haight-Ashbury begins his lifelong spiritual journey. This song represents Utopian-ism.


#8. I'M HIGH - Apparently his parents had something to be worried about. In this song he discovers psychedelic drugs which open his mind to deeper realities. This song represents Shamanism. See the I'm High video HERE.

#7. THE CATACOMB - Shortly after the Hippie Movement of 1967 and perhaps in some measure because of it, Christianity developed a youth movement known as the Jesus Freaks. Many young people, like our hero, looking for answers, turned to mainstream religion in the late 1960s and early Seventies after drugs proved not to be an answer but indicated that a deeper knowledge is available. The early Christians were similar to the Hippies in that they were both seen as a group persecuted for their beliefs and driven underground for their safety. The Hippie term "underground" as applied to the press, music, film, etc. is derived from the early Christians being forced into the catacombs under Rome for protection. Literally "underground". This song represents mainstream religion, particularly Christianity.



#6. I WISH YOU'D LOVE ME - Although it sounds like a love song it could be about a girl's devotion to a religious leader such as Jesus or a cult leader of which there were many in the Sixties and Seventies. Our hero is getting disillusioned by religion at this point mainly because of what he sees as mindless adoration for "leaders" especially when they infringe on his own would-be relationships. This song represents cults and hero-worship.


 #5. SEANCE - Rejecting mainstream religion leaves a spiritual void and with psychedelics proving there is in fact something out there, our hero sees Spiritualism as a more direct and personal connection to the eternal. This song represents Spiritualism




#4. GROWING OLD - Eventually the system of science and modern Humanism fights back and any notion of an afterlife, alternative dimensions of reality or Heaven and Hell is dismissed as old fashion superstition. However, between the personal, subjective mystical experiences our hero has already had in his life thus far and the bleak, depressing reality Humanism offers, he chooses to venture on. This song is about Humanism.


#3. FAITH HEALER - The New Age Movement began in the Sixties with the promise that modern science and technology wouldn't disprove religion or render it obsolete but rather would prove its validity by proving its concepts and beliefs scientifically. Although that promise still holds true, the "truth" is, as to be expected, extremely complicated and difficult to comprehend. The New Age Movement soon resorted to the usual dogma and ritual to which other religions de-evolved. Instead of the years of study necessary to understand the concepts behind the New Age Movement, one could simply wear a crystal necklace or a pyramid hat. It became like mainstream religion when it reduced Transcendental Meditation to simple prayer, mantras became hymns and to be a "Christian" meant going to church and giving it money. Today, to begin to understand the concepts behind the original New Age Movement, one would need to take graduate courses in Quantum Physics. This song is about our hero's ultimate disappointment in the New Age Movement.



#2. DRAWINGS FROM MY MIND - After decades of Spiritual adventurism our hero comes to understand that although what one's religious beliefs are is extremely important, personally, as such believes greatly influence our own perceived experience such as expecting to go to a Heaven or a Hell, ultimately the TRUTH is the TRUTH. It may be a arduous journey having to navigate through our own preconceived beliefs but eventually what will be, will be. Eventually the monk sitting on a mountain top contemplating his own navel will, if he does in fact achieve self realization, realize that life is not meant to be spent on a mountain top. As bleak, dangerous, depressing, fruitless and meaningless life may appear at times, it's supposed to be experienced in its fullness. The meaning of life, what the reason is for virtually ANYTHING that happens to us, good or bad, is for one reason; TO SEE WHAT WE'LL DO. Our hero's grand daughter is right. We're like characters in a video game. We are ultimately here to play the game, to have the experience that is our life, NOT to figure out how the game is programed or how the computer works. This song represents the state of mind of someone who has learned that eventually the journey leads to a destination and that destination is to be fully focused in the HERE and NOW. It is every day reality.


These songs are written by Neal Warner (Nothingness, Faith Healer, Seance, The Catacomb, I'm High, The Haight) and Greg Piper (Drawings From My Mind, Growing Old, I Wish You'd Love Me) and performed by The Tooners: Greg Piper, Neal Warner, Buzz Brissette, Jerry Strull and Pat Mehan with Susie Piper, Al Weiss, Michael Montrose, Gareth Fishbaum and Davey Justice.