All posts by Dustin Brown

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Robby Krieger from the Doors at Cadillac Zack’s Blues Party and Jam at the Maui Sugar Mill

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — Los Angeles, California — Monday, June 5th, 2023 — The Maui Sugar Mill in Tarzana, California was the place to be this last Monday for Cadillac Zack’s Blues Party and Jam. The Hollywood Press Corps had top photographer Ellen Zuckerman there to catch the action.

Robby Krieger (L) with Lance Lopez (R) at Cadillac Zack’s Blues Party and Jam. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman for the Hollywood Press Corps

Robby Krieger from The Doors sat in with Lance Lopez and an amazing backing band. The backing band is one of the top blues backing bands  featuring Michael Leasure on drums, Danny Avila on bass and his dad Sammy Avila on keyboards.

Robby Krieger sat in at Cadillac Zack’s Blues Party and Jam in Tarzana Ca at the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman for the Hollywood Press Corps

These guys all have played with Walter Trout in the past and they put on an incredible live performance that is unmatched. Michael Leasure has been the drummer in the world famous Walter Trout Blues Band for 14 years. He plays with a stunning intensity.

Drum legend Michael Leasure. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

Danny and Sammy Avilla create an incredible rhythm section. The jam after the show is run by legendary bass player, Michael B Holden (Buddy Miles, Tom Morello).

Lance Lopez(L) and Danny Avila (R) Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

The jams feature everyone from professionals to amateurs. Cadillac Zack has been presenting the best lives blues in Southern California since 1992. For upcoming show check out; Cadillac Zack Presents

Dan Rothschild on bass (Heart, Beck & Sheryl Crow)

Dustin Brown

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(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — Los Angeles, California — Thursday, February 28th, 2023 — Chuck Wright and company were back at the Whiskey for the Ultimate Jam on February 28th and the lineup was insane. This was a dedication to the “Red Rocker” himself ~ Sammy Hagar. There was so much music and so much jamming. It went on until morning. 

Orinathi (L) with Chuck Wright (R). Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

Starting out in the early hours of 8:00PM, Gain of Function got things going. Michael Stone on bass, Sean Topham on drums and Pharaoh Barret singing. This housebound for the night was Chuck Wright, Joe Travers from Frank Zappa’s band,Brandon Paul from Lizzy Borden,Chris Turbos from Boys of Summer, John McCloy from the Contenders, and the very funny (I think) Hal Sparks hosting. 

Susie Major ~ Founder and lead singer of the Rag Dolls. The ultimate all female Aerosmith tribute band. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

Susie Major from the Rag Dolls sang one with powerful vocals. Next up was a band from Northern California called Red Voodoo Band. Everyone was into these guys. One of the big moments of the night was Orinathi. She pulled out all the stops with a sick version of Rock Candy that featured Tracii Guns, Kenny Arnoff, Chuck Wright, and Mijenko Matijevic. Amazing performance.

Pauly Z (L) with Dave Amato (R) from REO Speedwagon. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

Kenny Arnoff (drummer) stayed on and was joined by Sean Mcnabb (bass) from Quiet Riot (after Chuck), Chris Turbis (keys) from Mr Crowley, and Dave Amato from REO Speed-wagon (lead guitar) and the amazing Paul Zablidowsky, AKA Pauly Z, sang “I Can’t Drive 55” and blew the lid off the place.

Sean Topham from Gain of Function. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

Matt Starr (drums) from Ace Freely Kiss Army fame, brought home the UJN 2023 vibe. Also Greg Coates, Mike Vanderhule, Patrick Kennison (Lita Ford) to play a Van Hallen tune from the Hagar era. 

Red Voodoo’s Andrew Edwards on bass. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

Next, more Van Hallen. Hal Sparks (lol) on vocals, Jeff Page, Caleb Rapoport. And Sean Mcnabb played “Right Now”. Very powerful. Great tune. Scott Coogan from 6ft Nurse sang and played drums. Amazing performance. 

Singer Dino McCord from Red Voodoo at Ultimate Jam Night at the Whisky. Photo by Ellen Zuckemran

Next was Ricky Bonazza ( Butcher Babies) on bass, Jake Faun (Winger) on guitar, Mike Vanderhule on drums played Bad Motor Scooter. Top notch performance. 

Guitarist Davin Loiler at Ultimate Jam Night. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

Ultimate Jam favourite August Zadra performed to everyones amazement. He’s currently playing with the Dennis DeYoung Band. Always a favourite at the Whiskey. Gregory Alan Coates played with Steelhead guitarist Uros Raskovski, Coogan, Vanderhule, Rivetskull and Chad McMurray on Vox. The backing vocals really make Ultimate Jam with Linn Holmstedt, and Katriona Lehman Lorme. James O’Brien does an incredible job as the sound man. Thanks to everyone at the Whisky for supporting Ultimate Jam and see you at the next one!

Hal Sparks
August Zadra
Chuck Wright
Hal Sparks

Dustin Brown

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(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — Los Angeles, California — Thursday, March 9th, 2023 — Renowned producer, engineer and musician Warren Huart has spent decades honing his knowledge and skills in the craft of recording. Through his TEC Award-winning Produce Like A Pro educational channel on YouTube (with an audience nearing 700,000 subscribers) and his online Produce Like A Pro Academy and Pro Mix Academy, he shares that knowledge generously. Now, Huart and co-author Jerry Hammack (also a producer, mixer, recording artist and the author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling series The Beatles Recording Reference Manuals) have released Home Studio Recording, The Complete Guide – a comprehensive and up-to-date reference for current music production paradigms.

Sound Engineers Jack Douglas(L) and Warren Huart (R) in the studio

Three years in the making, Home Studio Recording is a 450-page compendium of practical, applicable information that covers studio archetypes, home studio creation and optimization, the stages of production (preproduction, recording, mixing, mastering and release), the gear and techniques needed at each stage, and the roles of producers and engineers, plus legal and distribution considerations at the release stage.

Warren Huart, renowned by hundreds of thousands of online followers for demystifying audio, has teamed with co-author Jerry Hammack to develop the definitive and comprehensive reference text for contemporary music production

As a leader in the progression to the new production norm, Huart is ideally positioned to advise the modern engineer on how to succeed and excel. “I started touring professionally at 16 years old as a musician. I was literally the musician that was recording his own demos, then recording his own band, and eventually recording major label artists on gold and platinum projects. I’ve worked in the big studios, but I’ve always owned a home recording studio. The way I came up was the non-traditional way, and it’s now the only way.” Working in home studios is no longer a compromise. “I’m still working in traditional studios,” says Huart, “but 95% of my work is in my home studio. And that is true with every single producer and engineer I know. It’s just a reality.”

Author, Musician, Producer, and Mixer Jerry Hammack in his studio

“Jerry also began his own self-taught audio path at 16, and along with production, he brings deep experience with independent distribution,” says Huart of his co-author. “His Beatles series is the go-to reference for engineers and producers who want to know ‘How did the Beatles get that particular sound?’ on any song they recorded. Together, we spent three years ensuring that Home Studio Recording, The Complete Guide truly is complete and accessible for engineers and producers of any skill and knowledge level. We included information based on our combined experience and perspectives and insights gathered from Produce Like a Pro interviews and conversations with hundreds of the best producers and engineers in the world. In a single volume, we cover everything that every recording text talks about and more, modernized, with real world context.”

Home Studio Recording can be read end-to-end as a logical progression for building a sweeping recording knowledge base, or, by way of its exhaustive index, it can provide immediate answers to burning questions in the heat of production. In the title’s foreword, legendary producer Jack Douglas says that in Home Studio Recording, “you will find nearly all there is to know about the recording of music and the art of sound. Warren and Jerry generously share their years of experience, philosophy and mental preparation, giving both the newcomer and the working producer/engineer incredibly valuable and practical information. This book will reside on my shelf alongside the other classics: George Martin’s Sound Pictures, Al Schmitt’s On the Record, and Geoff Emerick’s Here, There and Everywhere.”

Home Studio Recording, The Complete Guide, is available now via and Amazon for $59.99 (USD) in softcover and $69.99 (USD) in hardcover

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at

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Give Back Through Music at the World Famous Comedy Store

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) SUNDAY, MARCH 26TH ~ The Hollywood Press Corps covered the Give Back Through Music event at the Comedy Store in Hollywood this last Sunday night. This was a cool event that benefits the homeless. Funny comics, amazingly talented musicians and a large group of people looking to laugh all came together in swanky West Hollywood. We had the entire Comedy Store to ourselves. This event will fund local charities in Los Angeles. Upward Bound House, which provides housing and help for the homeless, will recive funds from tonight’s show. 

Marc Reiser (L) and Fabrizio Grossi (R) from Give Back Through Music. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

The comics were top notch and we were all so lucky to be watching comedy AND live music at the Comedy Store. The host of the evening was Ben Gleib. This guy is funny. He does a combination of “aging LA hipster” jokes mixed with “old married guy” observations. He spent a lot of time doing “crowd work” which involved instulting the creator of the TV show “Deal or No Deal” who was sitting in the front row. Ben introduced all the comics and the bands. For comedy there was Kira Soltanovich, Brad Williams, Jessica Michelle Singleton and Chris Riggins.

MC Ben Gleib. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

On the musicians side, there were so many famous people. There was Stephen Perkins, Derek Day, Alvino Bennet, Nalle Colt, Chris Wyse, Ed Roth, Alex Alessandroni, Garrett Holbrook, Scott Coogan, Eric Bradley, Carmine Rojas, Terry Ilous, Simone Sello, Fabrizio Grossi, Dennis Jones, Rob Mcdonald and Raymond Johnson. 

Jessica Michelle Singleton at the Comedy Store. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

Jessica Michelle Singleton came out and did a “sexy blonde girl on the Sunset Strip” routine. She got a lot of laughs and set the tone for the evening which was – Anything Goes. Chris Riggins, AKA the Door Guy at the Comedy Store, was very funny and brought the cool guy vibe. Brad Williams has the dwarf comedy locked up. Just off his stint in Vegas as the lead comic at Mad Apple ~ Cirque Du Soliel, Brad had everyone laughing. 

Kira Soltanovich doing her Gentle Parenting is Bullshit routine. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman for the Hollywood Press Corps

All the comics are such pros and handled the crowd easily. It was a fun event because it was for a good cause and there was comedy and music. The music was amazing with each group taking three songs and throwing down their big numbers. Stephen Perkins looked really good sitting behind the drums. So many of us were connected to him via Zoom during the pandemic. It’s good to see him in person. 

Fabrizio Grossi from Soul Garage Experience on bass and Stephen Perkins from Jane’s Addiction on drums at the World Famous Comedy Store. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

Give Back Through Music is the non profit founded by Breck Philip, Fabrizio Grossi and Marc Reiser. Their mission is to produce exclusive music and comedy events that connects fans to charities in Los Angeles. The Hollywood Press Corps looks forward to covering more events produced by Give Back Through Music.   

Stephen Perkins from Jane’s Addiction. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman
The Dennis Jones Band. Rob McDonald on bass and Raymond Johnson on drums. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman for the Hollywood Press Corps 2023

To donate to Give Back Through Music, click HERE

All photos by Ellen Zuckerman

Ben Gleib ~ photo by Ellen Zuckerman
Chris Wyse from Owl, Ozzy and Ace Freely. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman
Brad Williams slaying at the Comedy Store. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman
Terry Ilous sings with Carmine Rojas on bass. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman
Ed Roth on keys. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman
Chris Riggins also known as the Door Guy at the Comedy Store had everybody laughing. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman
Rob Mcdonald (L) on bass, and Raymond Johnson (C) on drums and Dennis Jones (R) on guitar. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at

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(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — Los Angeles, California — Saturday, February 11th, 2023 — The Hollywood Press Corps was at the opening night and red carpet for Garbo’s Cuban Lover on the east side of Los Angeles in the Boyle Heights Arts District. Theatre goers and media were eager to see the play written, produced and starring the amazing Odalys Nanin.

Mercedes de Acosta

Mercedes was a beautiful Cuban woman and she loved beautiful starlets of the day. Just to name a few, Pola Negri, a famous Russian ballerina, the dancer Isadora Duncan, Marlene Dietrich, Tallulah Bankhead and many, many others. In a letter from Isadora Duncan to Mercedes, Isadora wrote,”Mercedes, lead me with your little strong hands and I will follow you to the top of a mountain.” 

The amazing cast of Garbo’s Cuban Lover a play by Odalys Nanin. Photo by Dustin Brown for Hollywood Press Corps 2023

Nanin really does a master class in theatre acting. She expertly explores the huge appetite Mercedes de Acosta had for not only physical relationships, but amazing correspondence between Mercedes and her lovers.

Mercedes de Acosta had a long on again, off again relationship with Greta Garbo and Marelen Dietrich. Nanin imagines the passionate lesbian love Mercedes had. Mercedes was a rising screen writing star in Hollywood super producer Irving Thalberg’s world. Unfortunately, Thalberg died unexpectedly from pneumonia in 1941. After that Mercedes stopped writing for the pictures in Hollywood and moved to New York City to work in publishing.

Lydie Denier (L) with Odalys Nanin (R)

Mercedes was a playwright, a poet and a screenwriter for MGM. She was known for wearing mens suits and Talulah Bankhead called her, “Countess Dracula”. Nanin plays her with an Edward G Robinson energy. The play is written well and moves really well. The play has clever scenes that use blocking effectively. There is rowing scene between Mercedes and Garbo that is clever. 
The play covers Mercedes life until she gets passes. Nanin imagines the final scene between Mercedes and Greta Garbo. It ends with Garbo saying, “I just want to be left alone.” That got a big laugh from the Garbo fans. 

Lydie Denier looking very Greta Garbo

Lydie Denier as Greta Garbo is a fine performance. How does one get the deep voice and one word responses of Greta Garbo right? Lydie gets Greta’s humor and speaking rhythm. Lydie also looks gorgeous as a Scandinavian in the costumes she wore. She has the Garbo vibe and she has a pro Theatre Actors energy. She carefully but purposefully puts out a complicated Garbo who keeps coming back to this one woman (Mercedes). 

Kesia Elwin plays a flirty and fun lover to Odalys’ Mercedes

Kesia Elwin as Isadora Duncan portrays the American dancer so well with dancing and fun energy. She shows the passion between Duncan and Mercedes. Isadora Duncan is such a great figure in American history. Kesia brings out the playful soul of Isadora.

Kate Patel as Marlene Dietrich is wondeful. A tall beautiful blonde woman, Kate, seemed to be exploring lesbian love on the stage and all that comes with it. I could see her assessing her own relationships (whatever those are) to get to a passionate moment between the lovers. The Dietrich scene at the end had Kate bringing out maximum Dietrich. The German accent, the story of Dietrich hooking up with Garbo. It is old news now, but that was a big Hollywood secret that only came out in the 1980s. I would love to see Kate Patel in a Sam Shepard play like Fool for Love. 

Lydie Denier as Greta Garbo (center)
Kate Patel as Marlene Dietrich

Skip Pipo as Irving Thalberg is great. Skip has a familiar, Hollywood’s Golden Age sort of look. Thalberg was a mystery and died so young. It’s hard to get a feeling for what Thalberg was really like.

Character actor Skip Pipo

Skip portrays Thalberg as a busy producer who works with the all top actors. Skip also keeps the action going by playing other characters. I did a double take as I thought Skip was John Mahoney from Fraiser. 

Bruna Bertossi in a funny dance sequence during Garbo’s Secret Lover

Bruna Bertossi as Poppy Kirk gets some of the biggest laughs when she’s flirting with Mercedes. Bruna brings fun and sexy to the play. She is a beautiful International fashion model and has comedy acting chops too. Myeva Surjik plays Salka Viertel. This role is important to the plot as Mercedes life pivots around Salka’s actions.  Myeva does a good job playing Mercedes’ nemesis.

I saw Phil Sokolow at the red carpet and we both agreed that Garbo’s Cuban Lover is a fun journey and a good play. I think it’d make a great movie with a young Cuban actress and Phill suggested Ana De Armas which is a great idea.

Myeva Surjik, Bruna Bertossi and Kate Patel
Odalys Nanin on the red carpet. Photo by Michele Marotta

 The play runs at Casa 0101 until February 25th. Follow this link for tickets.

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at

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Pasadena Comic Con 2023

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) ~ Pasadena Comic Con brought to you by the team behind the world famous Power Morphicon returned to the Pasadena Convention center last weekend with an all-star list of celebrities.

Alyson Sullivan (Wild Force). Photo by Alex Kluft

To name a few appearances: the original Tinkerbell Margaret Kerry, from the original One Hundred and One Dalmatians Mimi Gibson (Lucky) and David Frankham (Sgt. Tibbs), Rocky Horror Picture Show’s Barry Bostwick (Brad Majors), Ed Begley Jr., Ryan Hurst (Sons of Anarchy), Shazam! Star Michael Gray, and wrestling legend Honky Tonk Man. 

Eric Bauza ~ Stimpy from Ren & Stimpy. Photo by Alex Kluft

This show wouldn’t be complete without a few Power Rangers like Johnny Young Bosch (MMPR/ZEO/Turbo), Jason Faunt (Time Force), Richard Horvitz (Alpha 5 voice), Alyson Sullivan (Wild Force), Liana Ramirez (Beast Morphers), Dwayne Cameron (SPD/Operation Overdrive/Dino Thunder/SPD),Brennan Mejia (Dino Charge/Super Dino Charge), Romy J. Sharf (Alpha 5 Suit Actor), and prop master Mark Richardson.

Derek Riggs creator of Iron Maiden’s mascot, “Eddie”.
Jeep from Steven Spielberg’s massive blockbuster, Jurassic Park. Photo by Alex Kluft
EBJ ~ Photo by Alex Kluft

There were also a few voice actors/actresses to beloved childhood favorites Barney The Dinosaur (Bob West), Gir from Invader Zim (Rikki Simons), Courage the Cowardly Dog (Marty Grabstein), Eric Bauza (Looney Tunes), and Boo from Monsters Inc. (Mary Gibbs).

Ninja Turtle ~ Photo by Alex Kluft

Any good comic convention needs a few artists and none other than Scott Shaw, Larry Houston, Derek Riggs, Chuck Patton, Steven E. Gordon, and Steve Nazar. 

We look forward to next year’s Comic Con!

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at

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(Hollywood Press Corps) The Metal Hall of Fame’s annual gala was at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills. Host, Eddie Trunk, emceed the event and walked the red carpet before the show. There were hundreds of fans who came to see the event. One couple taking photos on their iPhones came all the way from Fort Worth, Texas just to see the show. There were also people who came all the way from the United Kingdom! Metal Hall founder, Pat Gesualdo posed for photos outside the event. This event was totally sold out and standing room only. The red carpet had so many iconic people from the world of Metal. Inductee Chris Impellitteri took photos out front and played a cool three song set on stage including the hit, “Balls to the Wall.” 

From left to right: Ahmet Zappa, Oni Logan, Wendy Dio, Rudy Sarzo and Doug Aldrich. Photo by Alex Kluft

The heavy metal band, Raven, was goofing around the red carpet and being vey Spinal Tap like. On stage, they showed off their amazing chops with killer vocals and shredding guitar. The Gallagher brothers are Metal icons and a lot of fun to watch. Dee Snyder said that years ago, metal bands like Metallica would open for Raven. Dee said that it was a real honor to get to see Raven play.

The Gallagher brothers from Raven. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman for the Hollywood Press Corps 2023
Mark Gallagher from Raven. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman 2023
John Gallagher from Raven photo by Ellen Zuckerman
Dee Snider from Twisted Sister. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

Dee Snider and Twisted Sister ~ holy crap! Dee Snider just blew everyone away. Watching Dee front Twisted Sister is an amazing experience. Dee gave everything in just three songs. He’s so gracious as a frontman. He includes the fans and is a songwriter who really thinks about the words he sings. At one point, Dee made a comment to an eager fan in the front row who was filming with his iPhone. He said, put the phone down and stop posting for a second! It was all in good fun and everyone in the joint was on their feet cheering on Twisted Sister. There was a rumour going around that this is Twisted Sister’s last performance but I seriously doubt it. Bass player Mark Mendoza played down thick amazing bass licks.

Jay Jay French ~ Metal Hall of Fame Inductee from Twisted Sister. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

Jay Jay French, guitar player for Twisted Sister told a funny story. He said that back in the beginning of Twisted Sister, they were on tour in England and this one kid would show up at every show. He said the kid was really annoying. On one stop of the tour, nobody showed up! And right before they were going to start playing in an empty concert hall, in walks that kid and boy we’re they glad to see him. Then, after the show, he overheard the T-shirt guy selling the kid a t-shirt and the t-shirt guy didn’t even know who the band was. So the kid told him ~ it’s Twisted Fucking Sister!!! The whole place started cheering. Dee then took over and said ~ That’s why I don’t let Jay Jay say anything! Everybody laughed. Dee then brought out the heavy armour with We’re Not Gonna Take It and blew the roof off the place. Everybody was ready to keep going for an hour or two! Really was an incredible performance.

Dee Snider ~ Photo by Ellen Zuckerman
Twister Sister ~ Dee Snider and Mark “the Animal” Mendoza on bass. Photos by Ellen Zuckerman for the Hollywood Press Corps 2023

Adam and the Metal Hawks did an amazing three song set that was a blend of Zeppelin meets AC/DC. Lots of potential and sounded great.

Adam Ezegelian from AMH. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman
AMH Photo by Ellen Zuckerman
Ryan Daversa ~ Bass player for AMH (Adam and the Metal Hawks). The future of Metal. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman
John Barry guitarist for Adam and the Metal Hawks. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman
AMH ~ Adam and the Metal Hawks. Photos by Ellen Zuckerman for the Hollywood Press Corps 2023

The next and final act was Doug Aldrich (Dead Daises) with Keith St John, Rudy Sarzo and Joe Torres. Lots of fun with that classic metal sound. 

Doug Aldrich from Dead Daises. Photo by Alex Kluft

Rudy Sarzo from Quiet Riot and Ozzy. Photo by Alex Kluft

Excellent host Eddie Trunk. Photo by Alex Kluft
Inductee Chris Impellitteri. Photo by Alex Kluft
Lou Gramm from Foreigner on the red carpet. Photo by Alex Kluft

Lou Gramm from Foreigner gave a touching thank you speech. He told a funny story about shooting pool with John Lennon and Phil Spector in New York City at the Recording Factory when John Lennon was recording his oldies record. 

Twisted Sister ~ Photo by Alex Kluft
Twisted Sister ~ Photo by Alex Kluft
John Gallagher from Raven. Photo by Alex Kluft
Mark Gallagher from Raven ~ Photo by Alex Kluft
Stunt guitar master Steve Vai speaking at the ceremony. Photo by Alex Kluft
Raven ~ Photo by Alex Kluft
Adam Ezegelian from Adam and the Metal Hawks. Photo by Alex Kluft
Guitarist for AMH Johnny Barry. Photo by Alex Kluft

The Hollywood Press Corps looks forward to future Metal Hall of Fame Events.

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at

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Give Back Through Music Launches with an Event to Help Homeless Families in Los Angeles

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) Los Angeles, CA, February 7th 2023 ~ Give Back Through Music is a new non profit setting out to empower music fans to embrace the art of giving. They are producing music events that provide fans with exclusive access to immersive experiences with the artists. Proceeds from these events will help to fund local charities in the Los Angeles area that focus on initiatives that advance human and animal welfare. 

Stephen Perkins from Jane’s Addiction. A new nonprofit is holding its first event at the Comedy Store in Hollywood, to benefit Upward Bound House. Photo by Alex Kluft

The first event will benefit Upward Bound House, which provides aid and housing to homeless families in Los Angeles. The music and comedy show will feature five bands and several comedians, at the Comedy Store in Hollywood on February 19th.

 Artists performing include Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction, Porno for Pyros), Nalle Colt (Vintage Trouble), Chris Wyse (The Cult, Hollywood Vampires, Ozzy Osbourne, Ace Frehley), Carmine Rojas (David Bowie, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart) and many others. In connection with the event, the charity is auctioning musical gear and memorabilia donated by artists including Stephen Perkins, Steve Lukather and Steve Vai.

Chris Wyse from Owl, Ozzy and Ace Freely. Photo by Alex Kluft

 It’s co-founders Breck Philip, Fabrizio Grossi and Marc Reiser have planned their nonprofit for three years, however were delayed because of the pandemic. “We’re excited to gather our friends and supporters to launch Give Back Through Music while raising money for an important group of people here in L.A.” says Grossi, president, a touring musician and producer himself,  who will be performing at the event. 

“This is the first of four events that Give Back Through Music is currently producing” says Philip, who is busy gathering initial sponsors interested in helping the new charity as it launches. “We’re fortunate to work with an expansive and diverse group of musicians who are eager to give back to the community”. Tickets to the event can be purchased at:

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at

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(HOLLYWOOD PRESS COPRS) — The 16th Annual Slack Key fest was Sunday, January 15th, at the Redondo Beach Performance Art Center. The South Bay is lucky to have both the Performing Arts Center and The Slack Key Fest. It was such a great lineup. Fans of the soundtrack of the Decendants movie with George Clooney were in for a treat as this concert featured the top master players in Hawaiian music. This concert is the number one slack key guitar event outside of Hawaii.

Amazing line up at the Southern California Slack Key

From the smooth playing of Jeff Peterson to the harmonies of Makaha Sons, this was a great day for Hawaiian music. Slack Key guitar is named because the strings are tuned differently than standard running. Sonny Lim explained that he thought it would be easier to strum the guitar tuned open but soon found out that it’s actually much more complicated. Sonny went on to play in a style that sounded like four guitars playing at once while he sang in Hawaiian.

The Island Market Place was able to set up outside between the rain storms. Lots of cool mementos and aloha shirts, ukulele and tiki vendors. It’s been raining for the last couple of weeks. Like Kimo West said, “No rain, no rainbows” 

Bryan Tolentino (L) with George Kuo (R) Photo by Dustin Brown for thew Hollywood Press Corps 2023

The concert started with all the musicians on stage. So many legendary players on stage like a big Ohana (family) get together.  A professional set designer has fashioned an amazing set. With all the Grammy nominated and legendary players, there’s no way to rank them.

Kamuela bringing on Makaha Sons
Kamuela  Kimono at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center for the 16th Annual Slack Key Festival. Photo by Dustin Brown for the Hollywood Press Corps 2023

The event was emceed by Kamuela  Kimono. He was accompanied by his son little Ka’ihi Kimono. Kamuela is from the Grammy nominated band Hoku. He sang a number at the festival that featured Hawaiian yodelling which is very rare and hard to do. It sounded amazing and was full of aloha spirit. Kampala is a teacher at Windward University on Oahu and teaches a variety of music classes there. He has a very fun, Hawaiian personality on stage.  He pulls off the sort of corny but the style the people love in Hawaiian music. His son Ka’ihi represents the future of Slack Key guitar and he is a fine player and singer.

From left to right, Sonny Lim, Kimo West, Bryan Tolentino and Jeff Peterson

 Kimo West is know as one of the all time greats of Slack Key. Also called Ki ho’alu in Hawaiian, Kimo has all kinds of stories and songs that make you feel the aloha. Sunny Lim was on the stage quite a bit playing electric bass, and of course guitar. Sonny is from the Big Island and is sort of a living legend.

Sonny’s dad was a Paniolo or cowboy back in the day and his dad was also a well known  musician. Sonny worked on Parker Ranch on the Big Island which was a cattle farm started by John Parker in 1788. I’ve seen Sonny play in Maui in Napilikai and he always plays soulful rich tones. He can really play guitar so masterfully. He also sings in Hawaiian which is like upper level slack key. 

George Kuo(L)

The amazing and extremely talented George Kuo played a real nice set with Sonny on bass and the legendary ukulele player Bryan Tolentino. George Kuo is considered one of Hawaii’s premier slack key players. He plays naheahe style which is sweet and soothing.

George has a real upbeat way of working with other musicians. It’s really amazing to watch him play his double neck guitar. He was so happy and carefree. Everyone was having such a good time. 

Kainani Kahaunaele is a mele or a Hawaiian song enthusiast. She is such a positive force for Hawaiian history and education. Her most recent recording is called “Waipunalei” won seven awards. Jeff Peterson gave an amazing performance. I was lucky enough to see Jeff play in Maui and I always play his music when Im driving around Maui so it always takes me back. Makaha Sons are such a strong musical force for Slack Key music and Hawaiian music. Their melodies come from an era and an ancient way that has existed on Hawaii for hundreds of years.

Mitch Chang from Kala Koa

Mitch Chang, the festival producer and and creator said a few words on stage. It’s just really so amazing to have a Slack Key festival right here in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Mitch also organises the Los Angeles Guitar festival and the Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival Visits for upcoming event Information. The Hollywood Press Corps Looks forward to next years festival!

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at

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(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) Pasadena Comic Con is the premier comic convention in Pasadena, featuring over 60 AMAZING guests and over 100 exhibitors offering a wide variety of vintage comic books, toys, memorabilia, and more!

When: Sunday, January 29th from 10am to 5pm (with early bird admission at 9am)

Where: Pasadena Convention Center, 300 Green Street, Pasadena CA 91101

Meet special guests including Barry Bostwick (Brad from Rocky Horror Picture Show), Nicole Kang (Poison Ivy from the Batwoman TV show), Jay Fotos (DC Comic Creator/Artist), Johnny Young Bosch (Power Rangers), Bonnie Gordon (Star Trek Prodigy), Kirk Thatcher (Muppets writer/director), the puppeteers who brought you Baby Yoda to life in The Mandalorian, Bob West (voice of Barney the Dinosaur), Scott Shaw! (Comic Creator and penciler), Gigi Edgley (Farscape) and many more! 

The event will feature a wide variety of comic book artists, voice actors, Disney actors, animators and more.


10 am General Admission $12.00 advance tickets $15.00 at the door 

9 am Early Bird $20.00 advance tickets $25.00 at the door

For more information, please visit the website at or contact us at “”. We appreciate your help in spreading the word about the Pasadena Comic & Toy Show.


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Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at

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