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Category Archives: classic rock

When Harry Met Sally….Jack & Diane

Pick your clever song or film reference for the new celebrity romance of MEG RYAN and JOHN “COUGAR” MELLENCAMP?!?!?!

"...two American kids doin' the best they can"

I did not see that one coming.  

For me, this is right up there on the level of

Eddie Van Halen & Valerie Bertinelli

Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin

Jennifer Anniston & John Mayer

Heather Locklear & Tommy Lee

Julia Roberts & Lyle Lovett

I really don’t “get” these romances.  Are they real?  How do they meet?  How do they all fit in one bed?  I mean, a man, a woman and two HUGE egos can get crowded.

Anyway, back to the celebromance du jour.  I know that I am a cynic, but I have always thought that Meg Ryan is not the apple pie, sweet girl next door that she plays in every movie she’s been in.  Besides, I LOVE Dennis Quaid and I think there was more to that story than we were privy to.  (Can you say Russell Crowe?) 

And, John Mellencamp?  Well, while his music brings back great high school memories, I always thought he was a bit of a tool when he feigned selective amensia regarding the toolish “Cougar” adjective that he threw around in the 70s and 80s and the way he’s tried to be the Midwestern Bruce Springsteen.

 

R.I.P. Bob Bogle

bob bogle

 

 

Bob Bogle, lead guitarist for the legendary surf-rock band, The Ventures, lost a battle to leukemia at the age of 75. 

Considered pioneers of hard guitar laced, instrumental “surfer” rock of the very early 1960′s, The Ventures are the guys responsible for such surf-rock staples as:

  Wipeout

  Perfidia

walk-dont-run-the-very-best-of-the-ventures

Perhaps their most well known “hit” was courtesy of Steve McGarrett:

  Hawaii Five-O Theme

However, the genesis of surf-rock actually started with the Tacoma, Washington band’s release and hit of Walk, Don’t Run in 1960.

Typical of musical kun-NECK-shuns, Walk, Don’t Run was actually a cover for The Ventures.  The song was originally done by the one and only Chet Atkins. 

One of the bandmembers had been listening to the guitar impresario and it was decided to update Walk, Don’t Run to their signature sound.  The rest is history.  The Ventures (and Bob Bogle) were signficant influencers to many rock legends to come.  In 2008, they were indcuted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Bob Bogle was too ill to attend.

  John Fogerty induction of The Venture  into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2008

So, a tip of the hat to one of the guitar legends of rock.  May he rest in peace.

 

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40 years ago today, Sgt. Pepper…

Well, wrong album…right group.

beatles_get_back_small

That’s right.  Just over 40 years ago, The Beatles recorded Get Back with a B side of Don’t Let Me Down as part of the new album that would become Let it Be.  To commerorate their collaboration with Billy Preston, they headed for the roof of the Apple Building at 3 Savile Row in London to perform a few numbers off the anticipated album.  Of course, cameras were rolling in anticipation of a clash with police, however the appropriately civil bobbies would not provide that satisfaction.  “Just shut down the noise, please”, after 42 minutes of Beatlemania.

The Beatles hadn’t performed live together since 1965, so I can imagine the startled passersby and rooftop audiences’ glee in the impromptu and one of a kind “concert”.  It also marked the beginning of the end for the most prolific band ever.  Less than a year after this dramatic rafter jam session, the fab four were individually persuing music down four separate paths.  

But for one dreary, London afternoon The Beatles made the world right and exciting.  Where is this kind of musicianship and desire to share new music from artist to fan, today?  I would love to see/hear John Mayer do a rooftop concert somewhere in Brooklyn…with Eric Clapton…in that Captain’s suit.  Ok, I digress…

The Beatles were originals and perhaps it’s just impossible to re-capture their spirit and connection to fans.  Only Paul and Ringo are left to tell the tales of the rooftop, now, as John and George are gone, as well as the great Billy Preston, who famously played the organ on Get Back. (He is left of, and behind, Paul.)

40 years.  I remember my parents talking in those increments and never being able to comprehend that time span.  Now…I see.

In May of ’69, both of these songs would be on the charts, with Get Back at #1.

  Get Back

  Don’t Let Me Down

To view the Rooftop Concert in its entirity, click here.

 

One If by Land, Two If by Sea…

The Lads arrive in New York, 1964

Forty five years ago today, the American music scene was forever changed.  The first on-slaught of the British Invasion arrived in the form of the Fab Four, those crazy, lovable long hairs from Liverpool.

I Want to Hold Your Hand was #1 in the U.S. when The Beatles landed at the newly-named JFK airport for their first foray on American soil.  Within a few short months, The Beatles would hold the top 5 spots on the Billboard charts — a feat that had not been achieved before and likely never will be again. 

While the The Beatles were accustomed to the foolishness of European teenagers, they anticipated a much more sedate audience from the prim and proper American youth.   Likely the biggest misunderestimation of their careers.

  The Beatles arrive @ JFK

  Press Conference & Crowds

The Beatles took America by storm.  After the infamous press conference, they were on to experiencing New York City and to the Ed Sullivan Show.

   The Beatles debut on American Television via The Ed Sullivan Show — February 9, 1964  (The end shows the group taking in some music & dancing at a NYC club)

Can you see/hear the Buddy Holly influence?  Master showman, Sullivan, ingenuously had The Beatles both open and close the show to keep viewers the entire hour.  It worked.  The Ed Sullivan Show garned the largest T.V. audience to date.

After NYC, the lads moved on to D.C., where they played the Washington Coliseum on February 11th:

   I Saw Her Standing There

   Long Tall Sally

The next night, they were back in NYC to play the legendary Carnegie Hall.  The Beatles then traveled down to Miami Beach where Ed Sullivan had deftly booked them for their farewell performance before departing for Britain.  Out of the Deauville Hotel, The Beatles….

  The Beatles, breaking the previous record for T.V. viewing that they had set the week before

Just three short months removed from the horror of the JFK assassination, The Beatles brought a welcomed, exciting diversion that helped Americans briefly forget about their sorrow and troubles.  They brought fun, pleasure, and hope.  Hope for a new generation. 

 

 

NOTE:  Some of the videos are long, but if you have time please listen to the end…there are some gems there.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 7, 2009 in classic rock, on this day, the beatles

 

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Mad as Hell…

Ok, here’s the deal…here’s how I feel today:

  Peter Finch in Network

I’m tired.  Exhausted even.

I’m sick of worry.  I’m sick of people taking advantage of others.  I’m sick of senseless crimes that basically go unpunished.  I’m sick of doing the right thing while others go through this life using and abusing the civility and politeness of others to enrich themselves with little or no regard for the affect on others.  I’m sick of paying the freight for others who choose not to help themselves.  I’m sick of being prudent in my finances by being frugal and others live high on the hog while my “investments” dwindle to nothing, endenturing me into my senior years just to pay the utility bill.

The new President might be the cure, but I’m not going to be patient.  While I know it takes time to right the ship, I want to see progress.  I want to see the stock market going UP each day.  I don’t want to pay additional taxes or more insurance or higher health costs with high fuel costs and lower property values.  Put simply, my pay just doesn’t increase at the rate that all of this is increasing, so I’m basically walking backwards. 

We’ve worked hard.  We’ve sacrificied.  We’ve saved.  We’ve lived by the law.  And, for what?  To sit on the sidelines and watch others who have done none of this walk away scot free with a pile of money with the final insult of us paying the bill for it.  Parents are killing their children and instead of swift and just punishment, we make excuses, protect their rights and create a society of allowance.

I’m nauseous.  Where is the balance?  Where is the moral outrage?  Where is accountability?  Is there simply no more structure in our society?  Everyone just do what you want with little or no consequence?

I’m pissed.

  We’re Not Gonna Take It, The Veronicas

 
 

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Happy Halloween, Peeps!

BOO!!!

Happy Trick or Treating on this glorious Fall day! 

Check out last year’s Halloween Mix if you need some tunes. 

Make sure you stay safe and beware THE BOOGIE MAN….Bad ’70s clothes can be hazardous to your health.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on October 31, 2008 in classic rock, halloween, holidays

 

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ABBA vs. Journey

In the previous post’s comments, one reader who shall remain nameless (but has the initials Shrew) indicated that ABBA and Journey would provide the same level of pain if used for torture by 24-hour repetitious saturation.

Now, you might be able to put the two groups on the same level as far as clothes go, but hey, it WAS the ’70s. No-one was immune….

However, musically, ABBA and Journey are on two, totally different planes. ABBA was 70s Pop at its finest, whereas Journey was 70s Rock at its finest. As a newly minted teen in the mid to late 70s, Journey was my generations’ Rolling Stones. ABBA was fun, but Journey was serious stuff. I give you Exhibit A…”name” songs.

ABBA’s Fernando:

versus Journey’s Oh, Sherry:

While ABBA’s song is decidedly feminine and light; Journey’s is studly and full of hard-beat.

Exhibit B…Geography songs

  Waterloo

vs. the great Journey’s City Lights

While ABBA evokes thoughts of 9th grade American History and Napoleon, Steve Perry is putting you on Fishterman’s Wharf in San Fransisco.

Exhibit C…Biggest Hit

  Dancing Queen

vs. the great Journey’s

  Don’t Stop Believing

‘Nuff Said.  Rawk on.  BTW, DSB was my class song….GEAUX SPARTANS!

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not reference the Music Maven favorites of both.  From ABBA

  The Winner Takes It All

vs. the great Journey’s….

  Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’

Feel free to make your own comparisons, add to either or just comment.  I am SOOOOOO looking for dialogue.

PEACE.

 

 
 

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The Fool on the Hill

Artist(s): The Beatles

Released Date: November, 1967

Album: Magical Mystery Tour

Songwriters: Lennon/McCartney

Length: 3:00

Background: McCartney as stated that he wrote this with the Mahareshi Yogi in mind. The hill that Paul is standing on overlooks Nice, France.

Day after day alone on the hill
The man with the foolish grin
is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
And he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

Well on the way, his head in a cloud
The man of a thousand voices
is talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him
Or the sound he appears to make
And he never seems to notice

But the fool on the hill
sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

Oh, round, round, round, round, round
And nobody seems to like him
they can tell what he wants to do
And he never shows his feelings

But the fool on the hill
sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

Oh, round, round, round, round, round
And he never listen to them
He knows that they’re the fools
But they don’t like him

The fool on the hill
sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

Oh, round, round, round, round, round
oh

 

Music Maven Monday

Here’s a few of my favorite tunes for your Monday…

Cool Change, Little River Band

French Waltz, Nicolette Larsen

Sweet Memories, Irma Thomas & Allen Toussaint

Time is On My Side, Irma & Allen again (because once just isn’t good enough)

A Real Mutha for Ya, Johnny “Guitar” Watson

Have a great week!

 

Colette’s Corner: Shining a Light on Early Mick & The Boys

In the era of reunion tours and with the resurgence of “classic” artists like Van Morrison and Neil Diamond, Martin Scorsese’s Shine A Light has resonated among die hard Rolling Stones’ and younger generations enamored with the band that has had such an influence on the last 40 years of Rock & Roll.

Perhaps it’s that today’s music is much more contrived and manufactured, but it seems that there is a desire among music listeners to get back to that raw, unbridled performance sound that The Stones typify. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, The Stones have done something that few Rock bands have been able to do — stay relevant throughout their 45-year “tour”. Led by the irrepressible 64 year old, Sir Mick, The Rolling Stones are truly timeless in bridging generations of Rock & Roll aficionados together.

Colette’s most recent submission concentrates on the early Stones and their musical ascent to the court of Rock & Roll royalty:

The new Rolling Stones film by Martin Scorsese gives a bracing account of an (unusually) intimate Rolling Stones concert at the Beacon Theatre, with a quick glance back to the saga of this amazingly hardy, influential and iconic band.

I can’t help recall, though, what the Stones were like when they first scored big during the early 1960s. And I’ve retrieved some telling clips to illustrate the first major phase of their career.

Consider the context and contradictions of their emergence.

They were coming up right alongside the Beatles. In fact, the Stones and Beatles were good buddies and friendly rivals, who clubbed together and swapped women and songs. But they had very different images, ironically so.

The Rolling Stones, led by the well educated (London School of Economics) and upper class Jagger, were considered the scruffy, surly rock outlaws, rebels with a sex appeal that was raw and dangerous. The Beatles, conversely, all grew up working-class in a tough section of Liverpool, but were considered the “nice boys” — the mop-top teddy bears any mother would welcome if a daugher brought one home. In reality, they were hard-driving party-dogs too as they rode the wave to fame.

And hough they shared some influences, the Stones were obviously very different musically than the Beatles.

The Beatles were rockers with an exquisitely melodic and romantic side, and a love of vocal harmony a la the Everly Brothers. The Stones had just one main vocalist and were steeped in down ‘n dirty blues and raunchy R & B. Like a lot of British kids of that era, they worshipped Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and other gritty Chicago bluesmen.

Before the Beatles became their own composers, they were doing a lot of Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly covers. The Stones, before the Richards-Jagger songwriting collaboration got in gear, were covering Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.

As I kid, I recall the aura of something thrillingly, mysteriously dark and nasty about the Stones. But they were far less theatrical than now. I saw the group at DC Stadium in the mid-sixties, and Mick (dressed in a loud houndstooth jacket) wasn’t dancing around — mostly just leering at the audience with that sensual full-lipped I-dare-you-gaze and singing, sometimes with a tambourine or a little bit in-place Jame Brown-style footwork. Here’s some of my early favorite Stones tunes:

— “Have Mercy”

— “The Last Time” — on the TV show “Shindig”

— “Time is on My Side” — from “Ed Sullivan Show” (Irma Thomas made it a hit first)

Some of their best ’60s covers:

— “Little Red Rooster” (written by Willie Dixon)

— “How Strong My Love Is” (a great tune made famous by Otis Redding, who would return the favor by brilliantly covering the Stones’ “Satisfaction”)

One rap on the Stones was that they were male chauvinist pigs, to use a quaint old expression. Unlike the Beatles songs of romantic love and yearning, the Stones have a huge back log of tunes about bitchy broads, kinky sex and transgressing social norms.

These songs drew a lot of flak when they came out for taunting or outright dismissive treatment of women. Are they sexist? In my opinion: sure, but they’re really more about sexual and soical gamesmanship. They’re nasty, naughty, twisted fun, in a way no other band in the Top 40 could get away with at the time:

— “Under My Thumb” — with the late Brian Jones playing a great marimba riff

— “Get Off Of My Cloud” — the ultimate kiss-off song

— “Play With Fire” — one of my old faves

Overall, the Stones were the most sexually explicit mainstream band of the ’60s. They mocked the Sullivan show for censoring the lyrics in one lusty hit, and put out the great sexual/social frustration anthem of the age:

— “Let’s Spend the Night Together”

— “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”

You’ll notice in that 1966 “Satisfaction” performance, Mick was starting to dance around more. Gradually, he added a lot more stage shtick — which he was mocked for at first. Some of it was ridiculous — wearing a devil’s cape to sing “Sympathy for the Devil,” etc. In some ways, I actually prefer the Mick who just scorch-eyeballed the camera, rocked out in that sultry voice and made all the little girls go outta their head.

Just for fun, here’s the ultimate Beatles vs. Stones comparison, on “I Wanna Be Your Man” (a Lennon-McCartney tune, written for the Stones) — two of the greatest bands ever, both completely valid on their own terms:

— “I Wanna Be Your Man”

Thanks for another solid contribution, Colette.

I just have to add one to the “trashy women” songs that for me, is one of those generation defining songs.

Honky Tonk Women

Can’t wait for Shine A Light to come out on DVD to experience the richness of Scorsese coupled with the “enthusiasm” of The Rolling Stones. To start my long holiday weekend, I think I’ll crank up Paint it Black.

 
 
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