Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Conversation with Michael Lanning


Vocalist and actor Michael Lanning has been entertaining audiences since the age of nine. He has worked with a Beatle while singing lead for Jiva in the 1970s, written songs for the likes of Dave Edmunds and the Stray Cats, starred in Tony-nominated Broadway and Tour musicals, and for a six-year span was a featured vocalist for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Now at the age of 60 years young, Michael is preparing the release of his first ever solo album. As he and I sat down to talk, Michael honestly, passionately, and at times hysterically, shared some stories of the great times in his rich and varied musical history, as well as his exciting current and future plans.
 

Dan Roth: I wanted to begin by asking you about Jiva (pronounced "Gee-Vah") - your band from the '70's. Where did the name come from?

Michael Lanning: Jiva? It's a Hindi word, which literally means ,"That which breathes". It is commonly used in Hindu mythology and Hindu religion to signify the common soul of the common man.

DR: George Harrison eventually signed you to his Dark Horse label. How did you attract his attention?


Album cover of Jiva's album with Dark Horse
ML: Myself, Jim Strauss, Mike 'Reedo' Reed and Tommy Hilton had put this band together literally to pay a phone bill. [laughs] We had a $150 phone bill and this place in San Bernardino called the Family Dog was going to pay us $280. So we put a bunch of tunes together and it stuck! We started writing songs and next thing you know we were playing clubs in Los Angeles and we were getting a following. Alot of us were followers of Prem Rawat.  Personally, I've been doing his meditation now for almost forty years. 

We were starting to get noticed by record labels after we put our first record out, called "By His Grace". "By His Grace" was produced by Chet McCracken, Jay Lewis and Rusty Buchanan.  We had about fifteen labels interested in us at the time, as we were doing showcases around L.A.  Linda and her sister Olivia Arias, who later became Mrs. George Harrison, were friends of ours and they turned our record on to George. George loved the record and he came to a place called the Topanga Corral to hear us perform. He said he loved our songs and loved our energy and he pretty much signed us on the spot. Our music was really a joyous celebration of the universe and our place in it and George just fell in love with the band.  He hired Stewart Levine who had produced the Jazz Crusaders and Minnie Riperton to be our main producer, and George served as our Executive Producer. 

Jiva with George Harrison (June 1975)

DR: And Gary Wright (of "Dream Weaver" fame) played keyboards on this record.

ML: Yes! What a sweet, sweet guy. He was a follower of Paramahansa Yogananda, as was George. And through his friendship with George, became a follower of the Self-Realization Fellowship. Gary was this great keyboard player, tasty as hell. It was right when he was blowing up that he came in and played keyboards on our record.

Paul Bass, this great keyboardist from the band Ivory also came in and played keyboards on "Take My Love" on that album. 

DR: Did you tour behind this new record?

ML: We toured with Fleetwood Mac in 1975 on that first Stevie [Nicks] and Lindsey [Buckingham] tour. We watched their album go Gold while we couldn't find our records in the stores. A&M were pissed at George because they thought he was dragging his feet by not handing in his first album for Dark Horse/A&M, all the while George was sick. A&M wound up suing him and our band got lost in the shuffle.

I will say this about the Mac: They were genuinely sweet to us. They really treated us like royalty. They put our equipment in their crew bus when they could. They were always taking us out. They used to stand in the wings and watch us. John McVie in particular would come up to us and say "You really had 'em tonight". We were like "What are you talking about? You guys are kicking our ass! You guys are fantastic!" [laughs]

Touring with Donovan was fun.  With him, we were both his opening act and his back-up band!

DR: Did you guys have a single off the album?

ML: There wasn't a hit single, but we were getting airplay across the country in some major breakout markets. Birmingham, Austin, Atlanta, Athens Georgia were all playing our record, but A&M would not promote the record. Ya know, most bands think they have "made it" when they get their big record deal. Just because you get signed does not mean that you are going to be a big star, that's just the beginning of the process. And nowadays, its even worse. It's just bullshit. You got people like Nicki Minaj making decisions on who's a good singer?! Are you kidding me?!

DR: Did you stay in touch with George Harrison after your time with him and his label?

ML: Yeah. When George and Olivia moved into their new house, George had cut out the photo of me from the cover of the Jiva album and put it on his mantelpiece. This big granite mantelpiece and it was the only thing on there. Jim Strauss had stopped over there one day and saw it before I did, and he told me "George really loved you, Michael". I was really touched.

My girlfriend, who later became my first wife, and I used to go to his house, have dinner with him and hang out. We would sing songs like "Norwegian Wood" and George would pull out his sitar. George was such a sweetheart and was so open. He would say, "I can't wait til your rich and famous so I can hang out with you" [laughs] and I would say, "George we're hanging out right now!" [laughs] He was such a great soul.

One night he and Olivia had us over for Indian food. We had to sit on the floor to eat it - we were sitting on banana leaves - eating with our fingers, doing it Indian style, and George cooked it all for us. He really learned how to prepare Indian food very well. Those days were so much fun.

DR: So your next album wasn't on Dark Horse?

ML: Our third album, "More Grace", was another independent release, and it was sort of a Jiva "Unplugged" record produced by Stephen Barncard. Stephen was an audio genius. He produced the Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Crosby & Nash - he has done so much. He recently found the original 8-track tapes and transferred and remixed them and made them available on Bandcamp.

DR: The harmonies on this album are fantastic.

ML: Dan, the one thing I love more than anything else about music is vocals together, whether in harmony or unison - just gives me goosebumps. To hear the Beach Boys sing without vibrato in unison - there is a song of theirs called "Kiss Me Baby" - [sings Please Don't Let me Argue Anymore] and they all sing it together in unison. It is just so gorgeous. And the Beatles, same thing. George always got stuck with the middle harmony. He always would tell us "That's the hardest one to do." [laughs]

DR: And then your fourth and final album with Jiva was on Polydor?

ML: After "More Grace" we got noticed by David Chackler and Stuart Alan Love. And we released what was to be our last album, "Still Life" with Polydor. That album was produced by Stephen Barncard, who we insisted upon, and Stuart.

 DR: I really enjoy "Face the Light" from that album.

ML: Thank you. Me too. [laughs] It was kind of my answer to Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run". I am a huge Springsteen fan.

DR: Did you tour for the "Still Life" album?

ML: We did a hometown gig with Atlanta Rhythm Section and Chuck Leavell's Sea Level and then we toured with Rockpile in 1978-79.

DR: So four albums, four record labels. Who owns the rights to everything? Any chance these will all be officially re-released?

ML: The rights? I have no idea. [laughs] It's a little frustrating. The two independent records are ours. The Polydor and Dark Horse albums I am not sure. We go to the Strawberry Music Festival each year, and last year filmmaker Billy Marchese started a documentary of the band, telling the story of the "More Grace" album, and it's going to burgeon into this full-fledged Jiva documentary and what we want to do is coincide that with the release of a Jiva Box Set. The set would include all four records and outtakes, of which we have a few.

DR: Are you still in touch with your band mates?

ML: Oh yeah! All the guys. I love 'em. We've been mates for years. Tommy Hilton is one of my oldest and best friends. I always have a good time with him whenever we get together.

Jiva in 1977:  (L-R)  Thomas Hilton, Mike 'Reedo' Reed, Michael Lanning, Patric Pearsall, Steven Halter

DR: When you perform solo these days, do you still throw in any songs from your Jiva era?

ML: There's a couple I do that pull out of the Jiva catalog, like "Alone with You" and "Hey Brother". I would need a whole band to do songs like "Face the Light" or "Something's Goin' On Inside, L.A.".

DR: When did the band call it a day?

ML: By late '79 it was over. I was 27 years old, had a 1-year old son and no prospects. So, I went back to school, took refresher music courses, a poetry course and started getting into drama.

I was thinking I might get into doing jingles, but that didn't start until 1985, '86. I had a real nice 12-year run with that. I did three dozen national radio and TV spots in that time. Chevy Heartbeat of America, Mr. Goodwrench, Albertsons, [sings Sizzler...sounds good]. You name it, I sang it. I was with Snickers for two and a half years [sings There's a hunger inside you...]

Reedo, Patric Pearsall, and I formed a new rockabilly, cow-punk band called "Randolph Scott".  The band also included Jimmy Hilton (Tommy's younger brother) on keys and vocals and Kasey Alsbury on guitar and vocals.  We released one 4-song EP in 1983.

DR: So when you were touring with Rockpile, is that when you got to know Dave Edmunds?

ML: Yes. Dave is a sweetheart, one of the gentlest hearts. I've been a fan of Dave ever since I first heard "I Hear You Knocking" coming over Radio Luxembourg when I was in Sweden. I've been a fan of his from 1970 on. And I used to think "Wouldn't it be a coup if I got a Dave Edmunds cover at some point in my life?" And now were really good friends and he wound up recording three of my tunes.

DR: I was going to ask about that. He did "Beach Boy Blood (In My Veins)", "Everytime I See Her" and "Falling Through a Hole" all written by you. When you wrote these songs, did you write them with Dave in mind?

ML: "Fallin' Through a Hole" was the first one. George Harrison was working with Dave for a song on the Porky's Revenge! soundtrack, and I got a tape of about five songs to Linda who was going to see them in Hawaii. Dave listened to the tape and picked "Fallin' Through a Hole" to do, and came back and asked if I could do anymore. So Rick Bell and I co-wrote "Everytime I See Her" and Dave flipped over it. He wound up doing both of these on his Closer to the Flame album.
A few years later, I was meeting him for lunch and he had the Beach Boys' Sunflower album playing. I found out then that he was such a Beach Boys fan like I was, so when I gave him a tape of some demos, I told him to listen to the last song on there, which was "Beach Boy Blood (In My Veins)" and he flipped over it. He recorded it and released it on his Plugged In album.

DR: And you also wrote a song that the Stray Cats recorded.

ML: "Cry Baby". Dave had it on hold for himself actually, and he made the mistake of playing it for Brian Setzer. Brian really wanted to do it with the Stray Cats and Dave agreed to let them do it as long as he got to sing a verse and trade fours with him on guitar. So that's what happened - Dave sings the third verse and between the second and third verses Dave and Brian trade fours on guitar.

DR: Dave was producing their album at the time?

ML: Yes. He really has made his name as such a great producer. He also was the musical director for the first two or three Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction concerts. Of all people, he really deserves to be in that Hall.

DR: You mentioned Rick Bell earlier. You guys have written songs together for quite some time.


Michael Lanning and Rick Bell

ML: Rick is from Philadelphia and he had this band in the '70s called Wire & Wood. Rick moved his band out to L.A. and we used to put our band together and do Beach Boys songs at gigs. That's where we first met. Rick and I became fast friends and stayed in touch, and eventually started writing songs together. We wrote a song for the movie Cocktail, which was supposed to be on the album but arrived a day late so it wound up being a 28-second sound cue in the movie, which was really disappointing. [laughs] We also did songs for Baywatch and Zapped Again, wrote "Cry Baby" and "Every Time I See Her" together, and then did our own album as It's Only Roy.



 DR: Art is on Vacation. That's a fun album.


"I'm Not You" by It's Only Roy


ML: I personally think it's a masterpiece - I just love that record. 

We had a run-in with Paul Allen of Microsoft. Rick and I were going to call our band 'Grown Men' and Paul had a group that he was calling 'Grown Men' that were trademarked three weeks before we trademarked ours. We couldn't find his trademark. So he sicced his lawyers on us with a cease and desist letter. Paul was just a stinking asshole about it. He was just a jackass. He just pretends to be a musician, were real musicians. So in the end, we decided to take the high road and say "no hard feelings" and we sent him a copy of the record and tickets for our show in Seattle. No response from Paul whatsoever.

DR: How did you wind up working with playwright Frank Wildhorn?

ML: It's going to be 18 years this March, that I have been working with Frank. I was originally doing demos for him for his show called The Civil War. Frank had gotten something like a thousand tapes in a shopping bag and picked Gene Miller's, another amazing singer, and mine. The two of us played the Southern and Northern Captains. Anyway, vocal contractor Bobbi Page, an amazing singer herself, calls me up one day and says "This guy Frank Wildhorn wants to meet you and do this musical about the Civil War". I said "Wildhorn? What kind of name is that?" [laughs] Then I realized the connection as he had the Jekyll & Hyde musical doing the national tour before it went to Broadway. And I thought "The Civil War? How the hell are they going to do this? Is it going to be Lincoln in a top hat tap dancing across the stage singing "Emancipation Proclamation..." ? [laughs] You know what I mean? But when I heard the first song that I ever sang for him called "Brother My Brother" I was hooked. I thought "Oh my God. This guy is the real deal. "

DR: The Civil War went through several incarnations, and you were involved in all of them. From Houston -

ML: We did the original production at the Alley Theatre in Houston, which was one of my favorite productions we've ever done because it was basically a song cycle with a little bit of dialogue. It was mostly telling the story in song.

DR: There was also the national tour, the Broadway production, the Gettysburg "For the Glory" production, Ford's Theatre. You played the Northern Captain in all of them. What was it about that role?


Michael Lanning and Gene Miller as
opposing officers in The Civil War
(photo by Eduardo Patino)
ML: The songs for one thing. The songs I got to sing were just amazing! "Northbound Train", "Brother My Brother", "Judgment Day", "The Glory". There is just so much great, great music in there.

DR: Which incarnation did you think worked the best?

ML: We did an incarnation at Ford's Theater and I think that was my favorite. We did a really good version of it at the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, Vincent Marini directed it, and that was a good incarnation of it. I think my personal favorite was Jeff Calhoun's production at Ford's Theatre. Part and parcel because of the setting. It was so amazing. Here we are at Ford's Theatre talking about the Civil War where Lincoln himself was assassinated. How much better can it get?

DR: In 2011, you also wound up back on Broadway with Frank once again in Bonnie and Clyde.

ML: Yeah, that was alot of fun. Sadly, that only lasted two months on Broadway ,which I was really upset about.

DR: You had two songs as the Preacher in Bonnie & Clyde?

ML: It's funny, when we did it in La Jolla, I only had "God's Arms are Always Open" and then Frank pulled me aside the beginning of the next year and said, "I wrote you another song and it starts the second act" and that was "Made in America"!






DR: With your extensive rock and stage experience, you seemed to be a natural fit for what the Trans-Siberian Orchestra was starting to do on stage. How did you get in on the ground floor with them?

ML: Dave Clemmons, who had casted The Civil War and was one of the top casting directors in the city, was casting for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in 2000. I came in for my audition for Paul O'Neill and had one of the worst auditions of my life. I put the music for "Try a Little Tenderness" in front of the piano player and he was just mangling it. I asked him if he knew Joe Cocker's "Feelin' Alright" and he didn't. So I got behind the piano, plunked out the 2-chord version of "Feelin' Alright" and sang it and Paul flipped. I was in.


DR: Which songs did you perform with them?


Michael Lanning and Al Pitrelli with TSO
(Photo courtesy of Brian Reichow)
"Three Kings & I"  Live 2001
ML: I started out doing "Prince of Peace" but they gave it to a girl the next year. I had three songs on the first tour including "Good King Joy" and "Three Kings and I (What Really Happened)" and that's when Al [Pitrelli] and I would have so much fun with it where he would play a guitar riff and I would sing it back to him, and then I would sing a riff and he would play it back to me and he would go high and I would go high, and he would just mug and it broke the audience up.

It was my idea to then to break into Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". We had eight strings on board and I thought why the hell not just do a left turn and make the audience go nuts for 18 bars and then pull it back into the song. We would also do it with ZZ Top's "La Grange" in Texas [sings Rumor spreadin' a-'round in that Texas town...] and the audience would go apeshit.
 
DR: You also did the Beatles classic "With a Little Help From My Friends" with them. 
 
ML: Yeah, that was after my son had passed away. That was one of his favorite tunes as a little kid. He used to make me play it over and over again. That and "Have a Little Faith in Me" was a tune he loved. And he loved the group Incubus that was from his high school. We played them all at his wake. For that year, I wanted to sing "With a Little Help From My Friends" as a tribute to my son. Well, Paul O'Neill had this ridiculous idea to do [sings We come from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs flow]

DR: The Immigrant Song

ML: Right, Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song". It was too high for me, and it didn't work. It went over like a lead balloon. So every time Paul was out of town, we would do "With a Little Help From My Friends" and it brought the house down. So the others in the cast finally ganged up on him, and told him "Your idea wasn't working and Lanning's idea is bringing down the house", so we got to do it for the rest of the tour.

                  "With a Little Help from My Friends"  Live 2004
 

I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back. The next year he changed it up and took out anything that Pitrelli and I were doing that was so much fun. Year after year, Paul would put his greasy fingers on it and make it more and more of what he wanted it to be, or what he thought a rock and roll tour was supposed to be. If something's not broke, well you sure gotta fix it! [laughs]

I was also the go-to guy when someone couldn't perform. There was a time when Tony Gaynor had a death in his family -we were in Boise - this was in '02 or '03 - and I had to step in and be the narrator. I also stepped in for Rod Weber and Jill Gioia over the years.

DR: Their shows certainly grew in popularity quite a bit in the six years that you were with them.  What do you think made the TSO tours so successful?

ML: The personalities were what made the initial group, especially on the West Coast touring group. We were characters and we had a lot of fun and it translated on stage. In the signings afterwards fans would always say, "It looked like you were having so much fun up there" and that's because we were! We were having a shitload of fun!  Everybody loved each other and we were all getting along and it showed. We were having the best time, goofing around, being silly, and Paul came in and stepped all over it. Which is really sad, because now it's nothing but lasers and fire. What do lasers and fire and giant cranes have to do with Christmas? Like a stuck pig, he bled all the fun right out of it.


DR: The early West Coast cast is really revered by fans.

Michael Lanning with TSO
(Photo Courtesy of Brian Reichow)

ML: Ya know, Al Pitrelli and I had that bit together and we were always mugging and challenging each other, making the audience laugh. Tommy Farese was just a nuthouse - he was so much fun. He was the emcee and he started introducing me as "The Most Soulful White Man on the Planet" - that's where I got that moniker from. And Tony Gaynor with his very droll delivery of the story and Bart Shatto as the bum singing "Old City Bar". It was really something - it was really a special thing.

Funny story about Bart. He would get his make-up and wig on and get dressed up as a bum for "Old City Bar" and he used to stay in character and wander around the arena and pick through trashcans. I used to tease and screw with him because he would not break character. I used to point him out to the arena security, telling them "That guy shouldn't be here, you gotta kick him out". [laughs] One time we were in Portland and he was literally being escorted out by security - he had this wild-eyed look as he was looking back at me and still not breaking character. At the last possible moment, I finally told the security "Hey it's cool, he's in the band." I love Bart; he is such a sweetheart.

When it was fun, it was the best.  They were some of the best years I had performing.  Especially with Al Pitrelli, Jane Mangini, John O. Reilly and Steve Murphy on drums, Johnny Lee [Middleton] and the cast of singers - it was so much fun, so healthy.  We created such a good vibe on stage, and that translated to the audience.
 
The last two weeks of the last tour I did with them, Pitrelli would get calls from Paul O'Neill every other night with these insane directions of minutiae, telling him to tell me not to swirl the mic on this part of the song, tell Michael not to take the microphone off the stand in this part of the song, tell Michael this, tell Michael that. I am a professional, I know what I'm doing and I have been doing it successfully for years with this show.  "Don't take the microphone off the stand in this part of the song"?!  Dude! You're just trying to hassle me. It's not all about you, Paul!

DR:  You sang "Christmas Dreams" on TSO's Lost Christmas Eve album.  Can you tell me a little about the recording of this song?
 

 "Christmas Dreams" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra; Michael Lanning - vocals

ML:  [laughs]  It was laborious.  That is the best way I can put it.  It took me about four months to do that one track.  Paul kept on having me come in once or twice a week and work a little bit of it at a time.  It must have been at least fifty takes!  I listen to that performance now, and as much as people like it, I listen to it and cringe because I can hear the forced nature of it.  And even that synthesized piano on a sequence track, it's the same thing every time - it's sequenced and it drives me nuts.  [laughs]  The performance is overwrought and I didn't want it to be like that.  I am a natural singer and I wanted to sing it naturally so it was a little disconcerting for Paul to come in and over-produce me.  I like to call those kind of people "reducers".



Michael Lanning with TSO
(Photo Courtesy of Charlie Gow)
I don't mean to badmouth Paul all this time; it's just irritating to me that I got shafted.  Everybody that got fired was shafted.  Because we helped him build that railroad, and that's the thanks we get?  You're going to fire us after that?  How dare you!

The same thing happened with Jill Gioia.  She is an amazing singer!  She got a stint on CBS's Rockstar Supernova - she was one of the ten finalists.  She was let go the same year I was.  They didn't want anyone approaching some kind of familiarity or fame.  Paul couldn't handle that.  He didn't want anyone's name above the title or anything like that, which is fine.  But don't be such a megalomaniacal fool that you have to fire people because they are getting too popular.

DR:  Around that time, you also were involved in Dee Snider's Van Helsing's Curse project?

ML:  Yeah, that was fun.  Pitrelli brought me in on that one.  I just did backgrounds but that was alot of fun.  It was nice meeting Dee because he seems like such a crazy-ass guy and he is just that normal dude!  [laughs]

DR:  You currently have a crowd-funding campaign happening to launch a solo album.  What took you so long to finally release your first solo album?

ML:  I don't know, actually.  It's a live album, culled from two of my performances at The Bitter End - two of the best performances I've ever had with my band family.   It's basically me and my guitar - there's one song where everybody else joins in.  It just happened to be two magical nights.  Eleven songs are on it, nine of them are mine that I wrote.  Jennifer Grais wrote this beautiful, amazing song called "Woman in the Moon" and Jimmy 'Jo Joy' Hilton wrote this Irish-type tune called "Whistle in Me Walk".
 
You know, I do it all, I've been an actor - I've been on Baywatch, and ER - but all I've ever really wanted to do - my biggest passion - is to play my own music in front of my own audience.  As much as I love Wildhorn and other things I've done, this is something I always have wanted to do.

I'm going to do a CD Release Party show at The Bitter End, where the CD will be included in the ticket price, so everyone that attends gets a copy of the CD.  The majority of the money raised from the crowd-funding will go towards promotion to get the word out.

DR:  Seems like you stay pretty busy.  What's next for you?

ML:  I still want to work on a studio album as a solo record.  I did an EP a few years ago with the 9th Avenue Drifters and we want to do another record.  Rick Bell and I want to another It's Only Roy album.

I've been working with Frank Wildhorn again; I am doing a reading for him right now called Excalibur, based on Sir Thomas Mallory's King Arthur. I am playing Hector, Arthur's adopted father.

I'll be at the Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina later this month doing a tribute to Neil Diamond.

I'm also back working with Tommy Farese and the guys with Kings of Christmas.  I've already recorded a couple demos, and we will hopefully be touring this Christmas.  It will be great to go out on tour with those guys again; it will be like old times.  And then the Bonnie & Clyde national tour should be starting up soon.

What some friends of mine and I want to do is put on a tribute to Joe Cocker's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" album and have a full band and do a benefit show, maybe for The Actor's Fund, and have a full night of songs from that album.  That is one of my favorite live albums - so many great songs.
 
DR:  Of all of the many projects that you have been involved in, many of which we have talked about tonight, which would you like to be most remembered for?

ML:  Probably the Jiva days.  Looking back, we were really ahead of our time.  We were a spiritual band, talking about meditation at a time when no one, except for George, was talking about it. We spoke about things that were poignant and deep.  Now our songs are getting noticed on YouTube.  There are bands that are doing covers of our songs.  There is a real resurgence happening with Jiva.

DR:  Any shows over the years that really stand out to you over the others?

ML:  Yeah, with TSO - the third and fourth tours were really so memorable and fun - the connection that we had with the audiences was just so great.  That and the Ford's Theatre Civil War shows.  And there were some memorable shows  Jiva did with Fleetwood Mac.

DR:  You are a pretty open book, but let's wind this up by you telling me something that most people wouldn't know about you.

ML:  One of things people might not know about me is that I've been a martial arts expert for half my life.  I studied Tai Chi for about three years and I studied Aikido for about fifteen years.  After studying Tai Chi for a few years, I really embraced Aikido, which is really about a re-direction of energy and you can use it in everyday life -it's almost meditative like Prem Rawat's Knowledge.  It's very useful - I've only had to use it three times in my life.  Aikido really taught me how to defend myself in a non-destructive way.





For more information:

Michael Lanning:   http://michaellanning.com/
                             http://mlanning.blogspot.com/
                             https://soundcloud.com/#michaellanning-1

Jiva:  http://original-jiva.bandcamp.com/
It's Only Roy:  http://www.itsaboutmusic.com/itsonlyroy.html
Frank Wildhorn:  http://www.frankwildhorn.com/
The Kings of Christmas:  http://www.thekingsofchristmas.com/
Trans-Siberian Orchestra:  http://trans-siberian.com/
TSO Fan Site/Message Board:  http://trans-siberianexpress.com/