Fireworks

Rob McKenzie

Fireworks & Rocktopia Books Editor
Rob McKenzie
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I am an assistant editor for Fireworks Magazine looking after the ´Bookmark´ page which handles reviews of music related books. My role started officially in Issue 62 and I am very pleased with how it has gone so far and love the eye-catching layout produced by James Gaden. I have very quickly got involved in the book publishing business and am now on the reviewer lists of most of the major book publishers and in contact with the writers themselves such as Martin Popoff and Neil Daniels.

My involvement with Fireworks predates this recent role. In 2008 I interviewed Russ Ballard and hawked the article around. Dave Ling suggested Bruce Mee may be interested and it ended up in Issue 38. I then did a series of unsolicited interviews that Bruce kindly included in subsequent issues. With my feet a little bit under the table I then volunteered to do some album reviews under Paul Jerome Smith and before I knew it I was a staff writer. With Paul´s support, I started reviewing music books, which I have always been interested in, and created the ´Bookmark´ feature.

I was born in 1965 in Harrow, Middlesex and little did I know at the time I already had rock connections! Roger Glover went to my school, The Who first gigged in The Railway pub next to Harrow & Wealdstone station and my friend´s mum went out with Charlie Watts from the Stones! Most importantly though, Neal Kaye´s Heavy Metal Soundhouse played every Friday night in North Harrow from about 1980 to 1983. Kaye singlehandedly championed rock with his well-attended discos even in the punk years and supported Iron Maiden, Praying Mantis etc. from the start. I knew that when watching Rainbow and Judas Priest in 1979 on Top Of The Pops, that Rock was for me (before that it was all a 70s musical haze although I remember liking Slade and Sparks). What great luck it was for me to have Neal Kaye´s Soundhouse to go to in my teenage years with its awesome sound system and light show. It was a full-on indoctrination to Rock and it was the best possible way to hear songs for the first time (OK, apart from live!). So, to this day, Rush´s ´Xanadu´, Meatloaf´s ´Bat Out Of Hell´ and Deep Purple´s ´Burn´ instantly remind me of the beer-stained North Harrow pub hall (sadly now a block of flats!).

As for playing instruments myself, my mum and dad bought me a piano and I had lessons from the age of 7. I did all the classical stuff as well as Ragtime and then discovered Billy Joel who I am still a big fan of. About sixteen years ago, it dawned on me that if I liked Rock, I should learn the guitar. It´s taken a long time and quite a few lessons but I am not too bad now. I would love to shred but I naturally revert to a more bluesy or classic rock style. Anyway, I will keep trying.

My musical tastes are categorised as follows: anything from the Deep Purple family tree, Bruce Springsteen and associates (Southside Johnny, Little Steven), Todd Rundgren & Utopia, Magnum, most 80´s metal and anything to do with Jim Steinman. My writing at Fireworks has increased my appreciation and knowledge of many facets of rock and so I now add Harem Scarem, Danger Danger and Rage Of Angels to my list of likes.

Outside Fireworks, I am a Management Consultant and live in Little Chalfont, Bucks; Ozzy Osbourne lived here until recently and David Coverdale lived in the next road back in the 80s. My wife Karen supports my music passion (and my guitar playing!) and in particular likes Aerosmith and most types of Rock in small doses. She does sing well and will occasionally knock out the odd song! Our daughter Fiona plays the saxophone and our son Ross plays the piano. They both like music, I am proud to say it is proper music where people play the instruments, but not in the Fireworks envelope – just yet!

ROB McKENZIE

Rob's TOP 5 BANDS:

1. Rainbow
2. Utopia
3. Deep Purple
4. Magnum
5. UFO

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Latest Message: 3 weeks, 4 days ago
  • Rocktopia Te : @kbm1983: Currently, all orders have to be be processed manually. This could take a few hours. Sorry for the delay, you shoulkd have received a mail containing download instructions by now. @ all: Pls. do not worry in case you see a PayPal transaction error message. Your order was received, pls. do not order the magazine twice. Many thanks for your understanding!
  • kbm1983 : Hi, I bought #91 earlier today but its still not in my downloads. Can you check it out please. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @ Man Shaped Wolf: You should have received a mail containing download instructions yesterday. Sorry for the delay!
  • Man Shaped W : Hey, same as defron but for 91 :) excited to read our review
  • Berny : @Defron: Can you pls. check your mail? Many thanks, B. :)
  • Defron : Hi guys. Bought #90 couples of hours ago but still not in my downloads . Can you check pls regards Ro
  • Berny : @SoCal Rocker: Welcome back! There are 50 free issues of Fireworks Magazine for you (and of course all other Rocktopians) to download. Check out the news on the frontpage. Stay happy, safe & healthy. Best wishes to California!
  • SoCal Rocker : Hello from Burbank CA, I had to change my name and PW. How's anyone doing?
  • Rocktopia Te : @davidputnam: Could you please check your email? Many thanks & best regards, RT
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90 and received paypal receipt, but cant find in downloads. Please advise.
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90, but cant find in Downloads. i have the paypal receipt.
  • Berny : @rarock: Glad we were able to sort this out. Thanks for your purchase!
  • rarock : Hi there. I have similar problem with Issue 90, payed by Paypal, but doesnt show in Orders or in Downloads. Thanks for help
  • KI2000 : Thanks Fireworks Magazine and Rocktopia!
  • Hysteria : WOW! Thanks to the Fireworks Team for this AMAZING offer. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!! \m/ \m/
  • Rocktopia Te : Check out the Fireworks Magazine Corona quarantine give - away!
  • Johns Band : Royal Hunt new concept album in the works to be released in 2020.
  • Berny : @WardyS1: I will contact you by e - mail.
  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
  • Rocktopia Te : @tomandpam: Hope this is now sorted and you were able to download the magazine
  • tomandpam : I ordered a download of #90 and it's not in my orders and I have the PayPal receipt. Can you help with this? Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Apologies for my late reply. Could you please contact me directly at «email» ? Many thanks in advance!
  • zom414 : Trying to change my password but the security question won't accept my answer, can you help?
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???

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Quote of the day

"An album without a hit single is like a girl with a real short mini-skirt, [but] wearing underwear." (Gregg Giuffia, House Of Lords) - Quotes collected by Dave Ling (www.daveling.co.uk)

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