Dion ­ "Dion Live In Concert" (Image Entertainment) 60 mins. DVD US 2004
The man has still got it ! Dion's in fine form & voice here in a mix of recent live concert material interspersed with live solo acoustic performances, remembrances & insights shot in a TV studio. They consist of short bluesy tunes of Dion playing guitar with his personal insights of specific tunes and events. Like doing American Bandstand, 50's rock and roll music, etc. Amongst the highlights, besides doing all of his hits and a couple of his more recent tunes, is a fine version of Fats Domino's "Blue Monday" and the classic "Walking Blues." I liked the effect of old B&W footage of Dion segueing into color of the man today in concert. Particularly touching are his personal thoughts of being a part of the 1959 Winter Dance Party with Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper, which took the lives of those three stars on that fateful plane ride. His being pretty close to getting on that plane and choosing not to had a profound effect on him. An exciting extra is the very cool B&W vintage clip of Dion's American Bandstand performance of "Ruby Baby." Other extras are more Bluesy solo acoustic TV studio outtakes of "Dropdown Baby", Sonny Boy", and Worried Blues." Available from www.image-entertainment.com (Steve Elliott)

"John Kay & Friends Live At Renaissance Center" (Rainman/Blue Storm) DVD US 2004
A full length recent concert shot in Dickson, Tennessee from Steppenwolf's founder/lead singer done in conjunction with his recent solo album, "Heretics and Privateers." It's all well recorded & shot. Similar in format to a PBS presented TV concert. Predominately, an acoustic unplugged band concert except for the next to last three tunes, which are done entirely electric. Highlights include Willie Dixon's "Down in the bottom" & "Hoochie Coochie Man," "Heretics and Privateers," "Meet me in the bottom" and "The Back Page." Bonus material includes a current interview of John talking about the differences between his solo & Steppenwolf careers, standard biography, solo discography, and lyrics for all the live show's songs. I particularly like the concert footage in which John Kay simply sings solo with his own simple acoustic or steel guitar accompaniment or when his band is more subdued. This is a fine addition to any Steppenwolf fan's collection. (Steve Elliott)

Suzi Quatro ­ "Leather Forever: The Wild One Live" (Image Entertainment) DVD US 2004
This review was particularly hard for me as I love Suzi Quatro's rocking early '70's UK singles, for which we all know and love her for. This new DVD represents Suzi Quatro today performing in a 45-minute concert filmed in 2003 in Stuttgart, Germany. It was produced and directed by Vicki Blue, ex-bassist of the-Runaways , a band very much influenced by Suzi Quatro, especially Joan Jett. What is distressing for me about this DVD is that Suzi has lost the high end of her voice, preventing her from shouting n' singing all those classic tunes in the same register and with the same power as on the old records. It's a real heartbreaker to hear her cracking in places here & there. However, Suzi still looks great and performs with the same passion she always has. There are occasional vintage visual sprinklings of the young Suzi. Her current band is a typical oldies-type outfit with horns that adds nothing in the way of an edge or interest to her music. Most of her old hits are here, "Can the Can," "48 Crash," "The Wild One," "Devil's Gate Drive," "Stumblin' in" and "Glycerin Queen," to mention a few. Particularly touching, though, is Suzi's brief radio excerpt tribute to her original producer the late, Micky Most. The only bonus feature is a video for a new lightweight pop song. Unfortunately, "Why do Rainbows Die," isn't very memorable. For hardcore Suzi Quatro fans only. (Steve Elliott)

The Runaways ­ "Edgeplay: A Film About The Runaways" (Image Entertainment) DVD US 2005
First film made on California's legendary 70's teenaged all girl band, The Runaways now produced by 2nd ex-Runaways bassist, Vicki Blue. Perhaps the first well known all girl-band to gain fame, if not fortune, in the U.S., they would have their greatest success in Japan. The band straddled the fine line between garage and hard rock on their first album, eventually giving way to hard rock for subsequent efforts. All the original members are interviewed giving honest accounts and featured extensively except for one glaring omission. And that's Joan Jett who, surprisingly chose not to participate in this documentary, reportedly after seeing an early cut of this film. Thus, their best-known original songs are not heard on this film's soundtrack since they needed her fifth vote for final approval. Also interviewed is original manager, Kim Fowley who supplies his usual entertaining remembrances. The whole story is told here: the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's very well made and really tries to be as definitive as possible. Considering the prior mentioned omissions, this documentary DVD is more of a three star item than the vs. that it could've been a five star in a rating system. Until another more inclusive film with all five members involved comes along, this will have to do for now. (Steve Elliott)