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 week ago
  • 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 ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • 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!

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Quote of the day

"We’re better than Metallica. We’re better musicians, better players. Put it this way, they can try to walk onstage after an Iron Maiden show if they want.” (Bruce Dickinson, Iron Maiden) - Quotes collected by Dave Ling (www.daveling.co.uk)

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