Its “Easy” You Never Cut the Guitar Solo!

What are you thinking?!

I was watching  NBC’s Today show this morning with my 3 year old daughter. Legendary singer Lionel Richie was the featured performer. His second song was “Easy” …(Like Sunday Morning) a mega hit from his days in the Commodores. Being the guitarist that I am I grabbed my daughter from her morning play routine and said you have to listen to this guitar solo!

She patiently sat on my lap as I kept telling her here it comes! If you’re not familiar check out the video to hear the solo which starts at 2:47. It’s not the most technically demanding solo but it is iconic.

Back to the story…as my daughter appeases me and waits for the guitar solo that I am building up…Here it comes! Here it comes!

THEY CUT IT OUT!!! What the heck? That’s like peanut butter without jelly, Abbott without Costello, breathing without air!

I need answers, you don’t cut out an iconic guitar solo!! Even my wife knows you don’t get out of the car until the guitar solo is over…I am guessing it was a time thing for the show.

Here is the sadly ironic part, half an hour later they had an extended segment with the most ridiculous looking dude who is a profession air guitarist.

I know not everyone’s life is governed by guitar solos but C’mon NBC!

Football Anyone?

Can it really be? Football season already?

In light of how absolutely pathetic and boring the Padres have been this year San Diego fans are definitely ready for some football…even if it is a meaningless preseason game.

Here is the Charger Fight Song to get you in the mood!

American Idol Live! Tour, San Diego Concert Review -July 26, 2012

Let me say I do watch American Idol. I didn’t see the first five years or so but every season since I have, but I never vote.  Growing up a rocker into Van Halen, Zeppelin, Judas Priest, etc., it is a bit out of my element.  However, when my wife’s cousin Mary (of Mama Mary) got tickets and asked us to go I was actually pretty excited. Maybe even a little afraid that it would be a cheesy pop concert but I was excited to see the show and hang out with Mary and her husband.

The kids did not disappoint!!

My fears that it might be a Brady Bunch Popfest were unfounded. Surprisingly, as well, the stage setup was not beastly over powering the singers. With all the hype Idol brings I expected a huge overbearing scene. It was, however, state of the art and perfect for letting the singers do their thing.

So here are some of my thoughts on the show…keeping in mind that I am a guy that loves music but not usually into vocals so much.

The Good!

First of all let me say there was no pitchiness Dawgs!

All the girls sounded amazing! So much serious musical talent for such young musicians. They don’t just sing but use their voices as instruments.

Highlights included;

Elise Testone’s version of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love.  Since I usually go to rock concerts it was a chance for me to feel in my element and rock out a little.

Erika Van Pelt, nailed Pink’s Glitter in the Air!

The duo of Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh hit some serious harmonies together and their musical phrasing was impressive! Their respective solos were great as well.

Very cool to see San Diego native Jessica Sanchez return to a hometown hero’s welcome. Sixteen years old are you kidding me? That girl can flat out sing!

On the boys side I would have to say my biggest surprise of the night was Colton Dixon. He sells it out! There is a difference between good singers and good singers who put their heart into it, good job my man!

Phillip Phillips, what can you say? First of all he was my pick from day one of the auditions when he sang Michael Jackson’s Thriller. All bragging aside he like Colton, but even more so, has stage presence, a great voice and likeability.  I would say he even stole the hometown crowd away from Jessica, a bit.

But the best singer of the night maybe one of the best ever is Joshua Ledet!!!! The boy can SANG! I said it not sing…SANG! His version of James Brown’s It’s a Man’s World was PHENOMENAL. Regarding my earlier statement that I like to attend concerts of musicians over vocalists does not APPLY to Joshua. Not sure what else to say but AMAZING!

The Not So Good?

Deandre Brackensick with his super falsetto and Heejun Han with the sweet crooner voice just did not quite live up to the others…keep at it though guys!

The flow of the concert was also a little off especially in the first half. I think it is just the nature of the show not being one recording artist and their own fans creating a bond.

Valley View Casino Arena…come on San Diego we can do better than that worn down piece of junk! I remember seeing shows there in the 80’s and it was not a great venue then…lots of memories though.  And sorry to Valley View…everyone is San Diego just calls it the Sports Arena!

The Must Be Mentioned!!

The band! Yeah, believe it or not there are real musicians backing these kids up and they have the best backing them up. Flawless rocking out in the band and some great guitar work throughout the show but most notably on Testone’s version of Whole Lotta Love…Don’t forget these guys!!!!

Alright, there’s my thoughts. I am going to go read Mama Mary’s blog  for her thoughts and you should too!


Click here to view the American Idol Live! Tour Setlist

A Musical Tribute to the 2012 Olympic Games in London

Can you believe the Olympics are finally here? You might not have noticed the pre-coverage going on EVERY SINGLE DAY for the last several months….if you don’t own a TV, computer or radio that is. But, if you didn’t then you wouldn’t be reading this now would you!

I have come up with a musical tribute of sorts to pay homage to the London Olympics starting this evening.  This was meant as a light-hearted musical tribute with a touch of humor and cynicism thrown in for good measure.

So without hesitation here is the list….LET THE GAMES BEGIN!



Sweet Emotion – Aerosmith

Controversial Olympic Logo

Rapture – Blondie

Victory is Won – Santana

Shinning Star – Earth Wind & Fire

Nobody Does it Better – Carly Simon



Cry Baby Cry – The Beatles

Last Child – Aerosmith

Last In Line – Ronnie James Dio

The Party’s Over – Willie Nelson

Dammit – Blink 182



Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles

Sunshine of Your Love – Cream

Mr. Blue Sky – E.L.O.

Anything by K.C. & The Sunshine Band

Sunny & 70 – Slayen & Fox Guitar Duo (Pardon the shameless plug!)



The Rain Song – Led Zeppelin

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head –  B.J. Thomas

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 – Bob Dylan

Have You Ever Seen the Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival

One Rainy Wish – Jimi Hendrix



Fast as a Shark – Accept

Iron Man –Black Sabbath

Big Shot – Billy Joel

Bad to the Bone – George Thorogood

One – Metallica



Run Like Hell – Pink Floyd

Long Distance Runaround – Yes

Runnin’ Down a Dream – Tom Petty

Running Wild – Judas Priest

The Long Run – The Eagles


REGARDING THE CHINESE ‘WOMAN’ ATHLETES (Yes I know this isn’t nice but kind of funny)

Three Times a Lady – The Commodores

Dude Looks Like a Lady – Aerosmith

Inject the Venom – AC/DC

(reference to steroids etc-which unfortunately may apply to many athletes in the games)

Lola –The Kinks



Heart of Gold – Neil Young

Golden Lady – Stevie Wonder

Silver & Gold – U2

Maxwell’s Silver Hammer – The Beatles

😦 Honestly I could not think of one song with bronze in the title…but does any one really care besides the athlete’s families?



Thriller – Michael Jackson

Skin O My Teeth – Megadeth

Heartbreaker – Led Zeppelin

Ain’t That a Shame – Cheap Trick

Nothing I Can Do About it Now – Willie Nelson

Well there it is a musical tribute to the upcoming Olympics.  Out of full disclosure, every song here is in my ITunes library. For those of you looking for new music I strongly recommend you give a listen to any and all songs listed!

Also, this post was inspired by a fellow blogger’s. He is always a great read…be sure to check him out Every Record Tells a Story.

Here is to a safe and exciting Olympics in the true spirit of sport!!


Our music is based on 12 notes!

That’s it!

No more!

“12 Notes & the Truth!,” this blog,  focuses on everything those 12 little notes offer.

These 12 notes not only make up the music of every band and artist we listen to but make the world go ’round, as well.

“12 Notes & the Truth!,” will cover anything and everything in music that strikes a chord

with myself and hopefully you, as well!.

Guitar music, pop styles, jazz, classical and the social issues attached to them all will be featured in the blog.

Expect a little high brow education,  low brow comedy and anything between that helps convey the world of music

in my head. Of course I will let you know what I am up to from time to time, as well, performances, projects, etc.

You can follow the blog:

from this site or on

Facebook: Mike Slayen Studios

Twitter: @mikeslayen

However you do follow come back early and often to check out “12 Notes & the Truth!” and feel free to comment on the posts.

From one music lover to another I will try to live up to these 12 notes and their truth.

RIP Donna Summer “Queen of Disco” but Much More

Another loss in the music world today with the passing of Donna Summer known as the Queen of Disco.

Although Disco was her claim to fame she deserves more credit for being a great singer and song writer as well.

I recently wrote about listening to music with my mom including while driving around town in the family’s Chevy Impala. I’ll never forget there was a local station 13K ,an AM sister station of KGB FM 101, who used to play Top 40 and in the 70s that definitely meant they were playing Donna Summer as we cruised around town. I will forever be thankful of soaking up her songs in my brains musical hard drive!