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: 1 day, 4 hours ago
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
  • Berny : @yvesrock: Apologies for the troubles. I've just sent you an email.
  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves

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Quote of the day

“One thing I’m proud of it that we never became housewives’ choice. You can’t iron to Iron Maiden.” (Dave Murray, Iron Maiden) - Quotes collected by Dave Ling (www.daveling.co.uk)

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