Sunday, September 27, 2009

NEWS: Goodbye Crackernight: Latest Release from Justin Sheedy

Hi all,

One of my long time readers, Justin Sheedy, is also a really terrific author and his latest book "Goodbye Crackernight" has just been released. Here's an email he sent me to tell us a bit about what's happening.

"At long last, my new book, "Goodbye Crackernight", is on sale on bookstore shelves and online and selling fast. Please click on the link below for details:

If it's not on the shelf in your favourite bookstore, you can simply ask over the counter for them to order it in for you, which they can do so easily.

I am currently giving thanks to Saint Cyril, Patron Saint of Finally Getting What You Want After a Very Long Time.

I also thank all of you, hope you enjoy "Goodbye Crackernight".

Yours sincerely,

Justin Sheedy.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jimi Hendrix - Innovator and Link in the Chain of the Fading Blues Legacy

By Norman Sheppard

It has been 40 years since Woodstock - 450,000 hippies in a field in an era of dark suits, crew cuts and mass production. I was watching the footage of Hendrix at the Woodstock Festival and was dumb founded. I have been a guitar player for 35 years and it was so odd to see this long dead, 25 year old kid, playing such familiar licks and doing such familiar moves. The oddity was that these licks and moves were familiar only because I've seen them a million times from a million other guitar players. They were all doing Hendrix.

The blow away is the fact that Hendrix didn't have Hendrix to copy moves and licks from. Is Hendrix the one who invented this stuff? Keeping in mind the fact that the technology necessary to capture a performance was not widely available until the 40's and wasn't used as such until much later, we just don't have all the information to know for sure.

I've seen Hendrix before in movies and listened to his music extensively when I was younger but I didn't have the perspective I have now. After playing in bands and seeing hundreds of different guitar players, listening to the greats like Stevie Ray Vaughn and watching master performers like Prince, the sounds and guitar riffs and fancy moves like playing behind the head and such, its all Hendrix.

In fact one can barely bend a string or sustain a note, use feedback or a wah wah pedal or strike a rock guitar pose without doing some form of Hendrix. Half of Princes cool guitar hero moves and posses are totally Hendrix. Stevie Ray Vaughn is just one of hundreds of guitar players who were quite obviously influenced heavily by Jimi Hendrix. Randy Hansen dresses like him, plays lefty and does nothing BUT Hendrix. I think it's great. I will put forth that Stevie Ray Vaughn was truly exceptional, original, and did much more than just Hendrix but the fact remains, if you play rock guitar it is awfully hard to NOT do Hendrix.

Its hard to believe he didn't even make it past the age of twenty seven. He only made four studio albums - Are You Experienced? Axis: Bold as Love, Electric Ladyland, and The Cry of Love. There was the Band of Gypsies record but it was a live performance. There were of course all the compilations after he died.

Granted, there were many unreleased studio cuts that he never put to vinyl and lots of other live recordings like the Monterey festival but really, he only put out four records. Even so, after hearing him play, and keeping in mind the context of his musical era, its no wonder how such a small quantity of music became such a huge influence on his peers as well as on future generations.

To put things into a better perspective lets not forget the fact that Jimi Hendrix was a musician in a time when media was just taking hold. Elvis, the Beatles and all those early rock musicians were all able to record their music and release it into the masses at large. There were movies as well. As an audience, even 40 years later, we have the benefit of these mediums to witness and learn about them.

So who did Hendrix learn from? Did he invent all those cool moves and guitar hero poses? Well, yeah, some of them, but he did not invent all of it. There was a huge population of blues and jazz musicians before the "British Invasion" some of which are better known than others but none of which were recorded and filmed as extensively as the rock and rollers in he 60s. These are the guys that Hendrix listened to and saw live and like every musician since the beginning of time he incorporated his favorite moves and riffs into his repertoire then made them his own.

There were plenty of flamboyant performers like Charlie Payton, Son House, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters who were huge influences on Jimi Hendrix. Recordings of these early blues-men are very rare today which makes it that much more difficult to see the tie in to Hendrix. Today we have only a handful of living guitarists who can be considered Blues Masters. However this may not be the real situation. With the advent of the internet and the (illegal) free download, making a living playing blues guitar is just not possible. Most likely there are hundreds if not thousands of awesome players out there that no one will ever know about because there's just no money in it.

Find out more about the blues and get your first blues guitar lesson at Blues Guitar Lesson.

Article Source:

The Beat of the Beatles Goes On

By S. L. Robertson

The Beatles, a band whose inception occurred almost 50 years ago, are still relevant today. Starting out in Liverpool, England, 1960, with members Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Pete Best and George Harrison, the band created a compelling sound with incomparably youthful appeal. As their fame caught fire, Best was replaced by drummer Ringo Starr and the rest, as they say, is history.

The bright, pop tunes, sweet, simple lyrics and engaging harmonies that defined that band's first forays into the limelight, with the boys sporting sleek bob hairdos and slim, matching suits, gave way to harder rock riffs, deeper, more introspective prose and the hippy attire, and hairstyles, of the times. Topic matter in their songs transcended from puppy love and girls to gurus, yogis and psychedelia.

Their music evolved, exploring various genres and their lives shifted and altered, eventually drifting apart. Each of the internationally famous band members carried on to find their own individual avenues of success in the years following the band's 1970 break up.

Paul McCartney (b. June 18, 1942) proved to be the most successful businessman of the lot, though after the tragic passing of his wife and partner, Linda Eastman McCartney, some suggest the terrific sense he so consistently displayed in professional matters wasn't always well exercised in his personal realm.

Ringo Starr (a.k.a. Richard Starkey, b. July 7, 1940) has probably been the least heard of in post-Beatles years, although he too has achieved a rather respectable degree of continued accomplishment.

The late George Harrison (February 25, 1943 - November 29, 2001) was exceptionally prolific with his music and created hit after hit, both as a solo artist and also in wonderful collaborations with friends who proved as fantastically talented as Harrison himself. With Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison, Harrison's Traveling Wilburys put out a charming handful of late 80's hits.

John Lennon (1940 - 1980) was never far from the public eye, as he and spouse Yoko Ono seemed always to be engaging in some sort of news-worthy act or protest up until the time a crazed gunman ended the famed Beatles' life, barely two months after his 40th birthday.

Today, oh so many years later, we still find modern musicians emulating the Beatles' style. Current groups strive to match the magical quality of the band's early harmonies. To site just one recent example, Melbourne, Australia's group 'Jet' has been hitting the airwaves since 2003 with a sound that is more often than not distinctly Beatle-esque. Fashions have even turned full circle (at least once, maybe twice) with youngsters again sporting the skinny, leg-hugging trousers that were popular back in the Beatles' earliest days.

Dare we guess that, no matter how many decades may pass, the Beatles' legacy will carry on long after the remaining band members have passed from this earth, well after the last of the screaming girls who once wept while watching them in concert has left our world. Paul, George, Ringo and John will live on in the memories of their music and the bands who continue to find inspiration in the indelible notes the Beatles have left to us.

Authors Sam Robertson and Kate Kelly enjoy writing on numerous human-interest topics, including entertainment, health and relationship issues. With decades of literary experience and plenty of publications between them, they offer a wealth of expertise and intriguing perspectives.

Article Source:

The Four Previously Unreleased Mono Mixes in the Beatles in Mono Remastered CD Box Set

By Jackson Weinheimer

The Beatles in Mono box set includes the first release of many of The Beatles original mono mixes on CD but it also actually is the first time some of these mixes have ever been released in any format (including vinyl!).

The White Album

When The Beatles self titled double album (AKA The White Album) was released in 1968 mono was being phased out and stereo was becoming the only way albums were being released.

As the US was further ahead in this transition than the UK this lead to a situation where in the US only the stereo mix of The White Album was released (previously both mono and stereo mixes were released) but in the UK both mixes were released.

What this means is that the mono mix of The White Album included in The Beatles in Mono box set is actually the first time that it's ever been released in the US in any format.

Four Previously Unreleased Mixes

There are also four songs included in the box set (as a part of the Mono Masters double disc compilation) which have never before been released in any format anywhere. These four songs were the four new Beatles songs included on the 1969 album Yellow Submarine which was only released in stereo. Because it was only released in stereo, the mono mixes of those four songs were shelved until now.

The rest of the Yellow Submarine album (the George Martin instrumentals) was only mixed in stereo so the album as a whole is not included. Instead, these four songs were added to the Mono Masters non-album tracks compilation.

The previously unreleased Beatles songs are the mono mixes of these four songs: "It's All Too Much," "Hey Bulldog," "All Together Now," and "Only a Northern Song."

Buy The Beatles Mono Box online 24/7/365 while it is still available.

The Beatles Mono Masters includes the four previously unreleased mixes and it's only available as a part of the box set, it cannot be purchased individually.

Article Source:

John Lennon Makes Gibson Guitar History

By Brenne Meirowitz

Interested in what kind of guitar some of your favorite musicians play, well then here is a bit of Gibson Guitar history for one of my favorite artists, John Lennon. Early pictures of the Beatles in their infamous Cavern Club days portray a rather and rough band of Teddy Boys, sporting leather motor cycle jackets, tight jeans, and fifties style pompadour hair styles - not the iconic, clean cut mop-tops created by their manager, the late Brian Epstein.

When Epstein, then a young music store retailer first heard the Beatles in 1962, their sound was as rough and unpolished as their instruments. With great vision, and as a condition to manage the group, the young Epstein made the brilliant decision to have the group replace their leather jackets and jeans with the now iconoclastic Beatle suits and neo-Arthurian hairstyle. Along with the wardrobe makeover, came a musical makeover, which meant not only a modified sound, but also new instruments.

In Lennon's case, it was a new Gibson J-160E guitar - a Lennon legacy and a very special chapter of the Gibson guitar history. Several colorful myths surround Lennon's guitar; one is that it was purchased with the help of Epstein as co-signer, a second that Epstein bought one each for John and George, and lastly that John nicked it from George. However, the model Gibson J-160E and other Gibson guitars figure much more prominently in the commercial Lennon - Gibson guitar history, than in the Harrison legacy.

Apparently so attached to his Gibson J-160E, rather than replace it, in 1967 Lennon had the veneer repainted in a colorful psychedelic design. Around the time of his marriage to Yoko Ono, Lennon had the guitar stripped down to its original finish, but then proceeded to decorate it with caricatures of himself and Ono on the guitar's body during their 1969 "Bed-In for Peace."

Today, Gibson Guitars along with the endorsement of Lennon's widow offers a replica of the Gibson J-160E, aptly named The Gibson John Lennon J-160E Peace guitar. The Lennon replica looks almost identical to the original guitar - featuring a rounded shoulder body design, a Sitka spruce plywood top; its back and sides are made of mahogany. Gibson can proudly boast that their guitar produces a full-sounding balanced tone with warm, rich lows tones, and crisp, presence-laden highs.

But, wait - there's more to the Lennon association in Gibson Guitar history! In 1999, Epiphone reproduced the natural finish Casino guitar, which Lennon played in the Live in Toronto Concert, naming it the John Lennon Revolution model. A second edition of Lennon's Gibson Casino guitar was reissued as the John Lennon Epiphone Casino, similar to George Harrison's sunburst model.

Are you still waiting? Yes - there's more to the Lennon-Gibson Guitar history saga! Another Gibson homage to Lennon is the Lennon's Junior, which was issued in 2007. The guitar is a modified 1950s Les Paul Junior, which Lennon played at the 1972 Madison Square Garden concert, where he and Yoko reunited. The original, the Gibson P-90 guitar, was finished with a tobacco sunburst and wraparound tailpiece. Lennon had it sanded down to its natural mahogany, and replaced one of the pickups with a Charlie Christian one. Later, he had the wraparound tailpiece replaced with a Gibson tune-o-matic bridge and stop tailpiece.

So, if you are a collector, musician, Lennon fan, or even all three, now you too can own a small part of the Lennon - Gibson Guitar history by visiting a Gibson Guitar store or by ordering online on their website.

Written by, Brenne Meirowitz, B.A., M.S., M.A. This article, John Lennon Makes Gibson Guitar History
was written while researching information for the Gibson Guitar Stop.

Article Source:

While George Harrison's Used Gibson Guitar Gently Weeps

By Brenne Meirowitz

Used Gibson guitars can fetch a whopping return on investment, especially if owned or associated with a famous musician. Take for instance, George Harrison's crimson red 1957 Les Paul Standard - renamed 'Lucy' by Harrison after the redheaded comedian, Lucille Ball. Originally, given to him as a gift from Eric Clapton in August 1968, the guitar made auction history when Christies sold it for $567,500 in December 2004.

Clapton had purchased the used Gibson guitar at Dan Armstrong's guitar shop in New York City. You can hear it being played by George in the Get Back (Let it Be) sessions - particularly on songs later compiled for the Beatles Abbey Road album, the White Album sessions, and notably in solos such as "Not Guilty" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Additionally, 'Lucy' was played in the promotional video for "Revolution."

However, the provenance of Harrison's 'Lucy' is not as neat as first presented. Prior to Clapton acquiring the guitar, it passed through the hands of the Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian and then Rick Derringer. Derringer claims that he had it refinished at Gibson's Kalamazoo factory. So, here comes the catch; Derringer claims that the guitar he sent off to Gibson's was a late-'50s Les Paul Goldtop.

According to factory records, the serial number on the rear of the instrument's headstock #7-8789 does indeed correspond with the Goldtop that was shipped from the factory in December 1957. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Derringer stated that after the instrument was refinished, it "just didn't feel the same ... it had changed into an altogether different guitar."

Additionally, according to experts, George's 'Lucy,' cite that the style and typeface of the serial number do not match other instruments of the same vintage. Furthermore, several years after Clapton gave the guitar to Harrison, John Sebastian is photographed in a 1971 picture holding the Goldtop! Apparently, whatever the provenance of George's used Gibson guitar really is, its value to him, and later on to auctioneers, did not diminish, as demonstrated in the burglary and kidnapping story of 'Lucy' to follow.

In the early 1970s, the infamous used Gibson guitar was stolen from Harrison's home in Beverly Hills, where it is reported to have been kept under the rock legend's bed. Sometime thereafter, it ended up for sale at the Guitar Center in Hollywood, where it was sold for $650! Sometime after returning to his native Mexico, the purchaser, also a musician, was contacted by a Harrison representative, requesting that the guitar be returned to Harrison - 'Lucy's' rightful owner.

Eventually, the crimson red 1957 Les Paul Standard was returned to Harrison, but only after the kidnapper was rewarded with a '58 sunburst Les Paul and a Precision bass. George, commenting on this very distressing experience stated, ['Lucy'] "got kidnapped and taken to Guadalajara and I had to buy this Mexican guy a Les Paul to get it back." George's beloved Gibson used guitar remained in his collection until his premature death from cancer in 2001. She was one of several Gibson guitars that Harrison owned.

Written by, Brenne Meirowitz, B.A., M.S., M.A. This article, While George Harrison's
Used Gibson Guitar Gently Weeps was written while researching information about Gibson Guitar Stop.

Article Source:

All the Flowers Have Gone - A Personal Tribute to Mary Travers

By Karen Haney

Tonight I ask, where have all the flowers really gone? Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary passed away Wednesday night, at the age of 72, from leukemia at a hospital in Danbury, Connecticut.

An American treasure, an icon, a idol to my generation - Mary was the female singer-songwriter of the trio Peter, Paul and Mary, along with her male counterparts Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey. They began in 1961 at The Bitter End ( for those of you who don't recognize the name, this is a popular folk music spot in New York City's Greenwich Village).

The group was the inspiration of manager Albert Grossman, who was looking to create a folk-song super group, while he also managed the chart topper, Bob Dylan. Grossman's idea certainly was a good one as Peter, Paul, and Mary came to symbolize folk music in America for so many of us in the 1960's and from then on.

The trio became one of the most successful folk music groups, singing classics like "500 Miles", "Leaving on a Jet Plane," "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" They also performed the epic song of an era and a cause "If I Had a Hammer" at the 1963 March on Washington, DC, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech was delivered. Peter, Paul and Mary also won five Grammys and had 13 Top 40 hits.

Their songs crossed generations. "Puff, the Magic Dragon" often said to have veiled messages about drugs and marijuana, they admitted long ago what it really was about...A DRAGON! And children know and cherish this song to this day.

To me, Peter, Paul and Mary were my college years' anthem. As college students, torn between preppy fraternities/sororities and burning our bras/draft cards, we lived for their music and the beads around our necks. After seeing them live on campus at Florida State University during my freshman year in the mid-sixties, we walked home to our dorms and gathered in stairwells with our guitars as we often did.

The stairwell had groovy echoes that allowed our voices to sound so much better - especially for me on the top floor, needing all the help I could get! That night, however, as we strummed, picked, and sang about dragons, flowers, and hammers, little did we know that Mary had been rushed to our modest infirmary.

The campus grapevine worked mysteriously however, so we quickly found out, and rushed there to gather with candles and hold our breath waiting for word. Mary had collapsed from exhaustion was the report we were given, but the rumor alleged (and I say RUMOR) that she had had a miscarriage.

Their music and Mary's singing in particular peppered my life on into my early adult hood. Traveling after college to Canada with my best friend, my cousin, and his best friend, it was PP&M or John Denver on the 8 track!!! This was a high flying joyful trip - take it for whatever you wish it to mean - to me that trip was unadulterated bliss!

Little did I know then that I would lose not only that best friend but also my cousin both to brain cancer all within these past few months. So it is almost not surprising or astonishing in some ways to me that Mary Travers has now died of cancer and lost to all of us as well. Not surprising, but oh so heartbreaking.

Tonight, I will probably dust off my old guitar to pluck away at what John Denver taught me in his rendition of "This Old Guitar" that:

"This old guitar taught me to sing a love song

It showed me how to laugh and how to cry

It introduced me to some friends of mine

And brightened up some days

It helped me make it through some lonely nights,

Oh, what a friend to have on a cold and lonely night"

John Denver, also gone now, made a hit some years later of Peter, Paul and Mary's 'Leaving On a Jet Plane", one of my favorites.

The words say so much to many but especially to me and especially tonight. My guitar and the music associated with it- the music of Denver, and Joan Baez, but mostly Peter, Paul, and Mary spoke to me in those years and in years since and until this very day. Their music taught me how "to laugh and how to cry". And tonight I cry. I cry for a loss of a great lady who meant so much to so many. But I also know her music will live on and that has to bring us all some peace as peace is what Mary advocated all her life and would want that to be her legacy.

I hope you get pleasure from a couple of Peter, Paul, and Mary's songs....and my favorites! Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and if you have some time, listen to some of this wondrous music, you'll be glad you did.

And I will leave you with the words Mary sang in "Leaving On a Jet Plane"

"Now the time has come to leave you

One more time let me kiss you

Then close your eyes, Ill be on my way.

Dream about the days to come"


Karen D. Haney, Author/Developer of BOOKIN' WITH BINGO (, reviews books and interviews authors for her book blog. Reading and writing are her passion.

Article Source:

A Legendary Beatle - George Harrison

By Shawna S. Ruppert

George Harrison was a member of the most important musical group of the twentieth century, and it would be impossible to discuss George Harrison trivia without mentioning The Beatles. Along with Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Ringo Star, Harrison was one of the members of the fab four, the group that launched Beatlemania and some of the most enduring hits to ever be released.

Their music changed rock and roll, changed the way music was recorded, and totally changed the way that musical groups would stand in the eye of the public at large. Harrison was the lead guitarist of the band.

To start when discussing George Harrison quiz questions The Beatles must be looked at. He was not one of the primary song writers in the band, John and Paul were those, but they Beatles did record several songs written by Harrison, some of which remain among their most popular even today. "Here Comes The Sun" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" are among two of his most well known that he wrote for the band.

George Harrison trivia should mention that he also had both a successful solo career and a successful stint in a second band that he helped form, The Traveling Wilburys. The Wilburys are a fascinating piece of musical history, and are probably the best example of a "Supergroup" a band comprised of musicians who had all been previously famous in their own right. The Wilburys were comprised of Harrison, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan, and recorded their first album in only two weeks and released it to immense popularity. They would release two albums with this lineup, and one more after the death of Orbison.

A George Harrison quiz should also mention his friendship with Eric Clapton, one of the most storied friendships in musical history. The two were fast friends for many years, and Clapton was invited to play guitar on one of Harrison's tracks for The Beatles, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and the two proved how deep their friendship ran when even after Harrison's first wife left him for Clapton they remained fast friends.

Harrison died in 2001 after an ongoing battle with cancer. The official diagnoses was lung cancer, and he had previously struggled with cancerous episodes in both his throat and his brain. He believed the cancer to be caused by his smoking from when he was younger.

Masters of Trivia is a website dedicated to trivia games and quizzes that cover several different areas of interest. The various trivia questions available on the site can be easily accessed and played by going to

Article Source:

The Beatles Remastered Past Masters & Mono Masters

By Jackson Weinheimer

For someone who doesn't know The Beatles history it would be easy to dismiss the "Past Masters" and "Mono Masters" compilations because they contain only non-album songs. After all, if the songs were really good then they would have made it on the albums, right?

No! Not right at all. The Beatles actually thought of their singles and their albums as completely different entities. This is a much different approach than is common today when singles are basically just tracks from the album (used as sort of an advertisement for the album as a whole).

Many of their albums actually contain no songs that were released as singles at all and many of their most famous songs were never included on any official UK album.

Perhaps the best example of this singles and albums as different entities approach is that on the exact same day Rubber Soul was released in 1965, the "We Can Work It Out"/"Day Tripper" single was also released (those two songs were not included on the album!)

The Past Masters double disc compilation includes all of the band's non-album tracks released from 1962 through 1970 including huge hits like "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Paperback Writer," and "Hey Jude," great b-sides like "Rain," "This Boy," and "Old Brown Shoe," and rarities like the German language versions of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You."

The Mono Masters double disc set is basically the mono mix version of this compilation although the track listing is slightly different (on disc 2, disc 1 is exactly the same) because some of their later singles were never mixed in mono (for example: "Let It Be").

Mono Masters also includes the four new Beatles songs that were included on the Yellow Submarine album; "Hey Bulldog," "It's All Too Much," "All Together Now," and "Only a Northern Song." Why? Because the Yellow Submarine album was not included in The Beatles in Mono Box Set since the rest of the album (the George Martin instrumentals) were never mixed in mono.

What's really remarkable about those four Yellow Submarine songs being included on mono on the Mono Masters set is that they are previously unreleased (on any format) because that album was only released in stereo so the mono mixes had been locked up in Abbey Road Studios for 40 years until The Beatles Mono Box Set was released on September 9, 2009.

The Beatles Past Masters is available both individually and as a part of the Beatles in Stereo Box Set.

But Mono Masters is only available as a part of The Beatles Remastered Mono Box.

Article Source:

Simple Guitar Lessons With the Beatles

By Keith Dean

Once again, the music world has turned its attention on The Beatles. The new video game featuring the Fab Four and the re-release of the newly mastered Beatles collection have served to focus the spotlight back on the music of the boys from Liverpool.

As a guitar player, the study of Beatles songs could literally be a full time endeavor. A close listen to their music reveals a variety of influences in writing styles. Traces of blues, country, pop, early rock, middle eastern and classical can be heard in their tunes, and efforts made by guitar students - of any generation - learning Beatles songs, would be time well spent.

Lennon and McCartney were arguably one of the greatest songwriting duos in history. From the love songs of McCartney, to the prolific message oriented songs of Lennon - the pair have penned tunes that will go on to live for ages. In addition, George Harrison and Ringo Starr went on to become accomplished writers in their own right.

The beauty of the Beatles music lies largely in its simplicity. Even a new guitar player will quickly ascertain that the chord progressions of their songs are not typically overly complicated or hard to play.

But, although not difficult to execute, there were strokes of genius in the structure of their chord progressions. The fluidity from verses to choruses, and the interesting twists that bridges took - were at times, brilliant. And the brilliance resides in the absolute simplicity of it all.

Lyrically their songs followed the same course. Solid hooks with highly sing-able, and remember-able melodies permeated the Beatles early music. Even later, throughout the "psychedelic" years - as the progressions became more complicated, as songs took on multiple meters and rhythmic patterns (as though a number of songs were "pieced" together), and lyrics became more nonsensical - the overall theme always seemed to revert back to the "simple".

Guitar players of later generations that became fixated on speed and flash - influenced by the VanHalen's and the Yngwie's of the day - would be well served to take a deep breath and ingest the slow meanderings of George Harrison on the fret board.

His easy going, melodic solos were such a tasteful compliment to the simple chord progressions of Lennon and McCartney, that they often went un-noticed by the guitar playing community - and Harrison's style is still largely underrated and underestimated.

Guitarists and songwriters of all ages can learn some good lessons from the simplicity of the Beatles songs. The fact that their music is ageless, and as popular today as when it was first recorded, is a testament to the power and beauty of keeping things "simple".

Over 40, 50, 60? For Free Video Guitar Lessons designed for Active Adults go to

Keith Dean is founder of and a 30 veteran of stage and studio. He toured extensively as a road musician throughout the US and Europe, was a former lead guitarist for Jason Aldean and has shared stages with Little Big Town, Wild Rose, Winger, Confederate Railroad and more. He is a published songwriter, owned and operated a successful music store, and has instructed numerous students in guitar.

Article Source:

Learning Guitar With the Beatles

By Keith Dean

There seems to be yet another resurgence in the popularity of the Beatles. I say "yet another" because, since the mid-eighties, there have been new Beatles explosions every decade or so. Recently, the launch of a new video game, of which sales are skyrocketing, and the re-release of the complete Beatles catalog, all digitally re-mastered have served to expose the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo to another whole new generation.

And for those of us who can still remember listening to "Love Me Do" through the scratchy speaker of a transistor AM radio, all this Beatles hoopla opens a floodgate of memories and re-ignites our passion for the Fab Four.

One of my earliest childhood musical memories was listening to my mother's 45 RPM record of "I Want to Hold Your Hand". And I have admittedly been a die hard fan ever since. Years later, when I started playing guitar, it was a natural gravitation toward learning the songs of the Beatles that - in retrospect several decades later - had a profound effect on my playing and songwriting.

A beginning guitar student could do a lot worse than strive to learn the music of the Beatles. With styles ranging from the simplicity of the early Liverpool days, to the psychedelic orchestrations of the latter years, there is a wealth of guitar chords, progressions, lead licks, and song structure to be gleaned from a study their music.

Whether your parents let you stay up late to watch the "British Invasion" on Ed Sullivan, or you are hounding your parents to buy you the re-mastered collection - guitar players of all generations would be well served to devote a good portion of study time to one of the most legendary groups in modern history - The Beatles.

Over 40, 50, 60? For Free Video Guitar Lessons designed for Active Adults go to

Keith Dean is founder of and a 30 veteran of stage and studio. He toured extensively as a road musician throughout the US and Europe, was a former lead guitarist for Jason Aldean and has shared stages with Little Big Town, Wild Rose, Winger, Confederate Railroad and more. He is a published songwriter, owned and operated a successful music store, and has instructed numerous students in guitar.

Article Source:

Woodstock 2009 - 40th Year Anniversary

By Gregory Ortel

The traditional music festival famously known as Woodstock will be celebrating its 40th year of existence. The free concert which is being attended by thousands of fans is gearing up for another explosive one time concert this coming October 25th 2009. Fans are as excited as ever before because of the many surprises that will surely come their way.

The 40th year anniversary of Woodstock is going to be in collaboration with the Polish equivalent of Woodstock known as Pryztanek. From the time that Woodstock festival has started, there are many people that have been following the event. Up to now, many are excited because for sure, Woodstock will be performing another once-in-a-lifetime on-stage act of rock and roll.

Unlike any other rock and roll activities and concerts that have been shown in different parts of the world that featured many diversified rock and roll bands and artists, Woodstock focuses on the non-drug motivated concerts. Hence, Woodstock's following and fans have been increasing with each passing day and many people are really looking forward for the announcement of succeeding events and concerts.

First time in the history of rock and roll music that fans would stay for 3 days for what seemed to be a rock and roll camp. Woodstock has changed the misconception of rock music. It basically signifies that even in the midst of loud music, screaming and singing of rock music, peace can still be attained to its highest level.

So, if you are looking for another blast in rock and roll music and to actually be a part of history, then Woodstock is a place to be. Added information on the upcoming 40th year anniversary of Woodstock will be posted here in the days to come so please stay in tuned. Let's rock and roll!

Gregory has been involved with internet marketing for over 10 years. Not only is he a stay-at-home dad, but he is into building web sites and blogs. You can also check out his latest experiment at bicycle water bottles which reviews and lists the best water bottles for riding bikes. I know, it's basic.

Article Source:

The Fania All Stars - The Most Influential Group in Salsa Music

By Hector Aviles

The Fania All Stars made Salsa popular around the world in the 1970's. They could fill stadiums and arenas everywhere they went. They played a big part in the huge success Salsa enjoyed during the 1970's. Below I'll share with you my favorite Fania All Stars recordings, which I recommend you add to your music collection.

Fania All Stars Early Live Recordings:

The Fania All Stars early "live" recordings were some of their best work, with the exception of their forgettable very 1st recording, "Live at the Red Garter" (1968). Some people loved the uncontrolled jams that were recorded in the album, which includes probably the only appearances in the Fania All Stars by Tito Puente, and Eddie Palmieri. Still, no lasting hits came out of it.

The "Live at the Cheetah" recording (1971) was a totally different thing. Fania applied what they learned in the 1st recording, and came with a full line-up of stars, ready to rock the Cheetah. This, in my opinion, was their best work ever. The music sounded as powerful as it ever did, a showcase of what salsa should sound like. The arrangements, most made by Bobby Valentin, were superb.

The musicians were truly All Star; the percussion had Ray Barretto (congas), Orestes Vilato (timbal), and Roberto Roena (bongo). For the subsequent albums Orestes was substituted by Nicky Marrero, an exceptional musician as well. But Vilato played his heart out in this recording, and you can hear his timbal highlight almost every song. You could tell he and Ray Barretto were band mates, as they play each other perfectly in solos and improvised cuts during a song. Barretto didn't hold back either, and made the conga be felt at every opportunity. And as far as Roberto Roena in the bongo and "campana" (cow bell), I have just two words; "Ponte Duro"; amazing!

The rhythm section had Larry Harlow on piano (Richie Ray played it in "Ahora Vengo Yo" to accompany his singer Bobby Cruz), Bobby Valentin on bass, and Yomo Toro on the Puerto Rican "cuatro" guitar. In the wind section you had Barretto's Roberto Rodriguez, Dominican Hector "Bomberito" Zarzuela, and Larry Spencer in trumpets, and Barry Rogers, Reynaldo Jorge, and Willie Colon on trombone!

You couldn't assemble a better wind section in Latin music (perhaps with the exception of adding Panamanian trumpet player Victor Paz, who participated in the 1st recording, and would have been welcomed back), and it shows. They sound so harmonic and powerful, you would think they've been playing together since 2nd grade.

The singers were the best of what was out there, before all the band-singer splits started to occur. Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez, Hector Lavoe, Ismael Miranda, Adalberto Santiago, Cheo Feliciano, Santos Colon, and Bobby Cruz. All excellent signers, but in my opinion, Pete "El Conde" and Cheo Feliciano where the highlights, with their performance on songs "Macho Cimarron" and "Anacaona" respectively, as well as their "soneos" on the all-singers songs like "Estrellas de Fania" and "Quitate Tu".

I can't think of a single off song in this recording. All songs are a joy to listen, even the Intro and Closing themes, and all made radio hits, even when they were much longer than what was the normal 3-4 minute playing time in radio. The public in the Cheetah got very much into it, dancing and doing "la clave" in a couple of songs.

I think it's evident this is my personal favorite Fania All Stars recording, and no true salsa-lover should be without this 2-CD set (or LP's, as the case may be) in their collection. In my opinion, this recording is one of Salsa music's standout classic hit recordings.

"Latin-Soul-Rock" (1974) followed the Cheetah recording. Talk about going from way high to way low. Here the Fania started showing its intent to crossover, and do more than "Salsa Dura". A good product of that was the version of "El Raton" with Cheo Feliciano singing his Joe Cuba Sextet hit, with Jorge "El Malo" Santana (Carlos Santana's brother) on the electric guitar. This was the song that sold most for this recording. Fania brought as guest, African saxophone player Manu Dibango, and had some fusion songs in there of some interest, but this was not what "salseros" were waiting for in the Fania All Stars' next recording.

The Fania All Stars made up the lost ground with the double album "Live at Yankee Stadium" (1976), which provided another "home run" after "striking out" with "Latin-Soul-Rock". The funny thing about this album was that most of it was not recorded at the Yankee Stadium, but at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan. The Yankee Stadium concert was ill-planned, and resulted in an early melee which caused severe destruction to the stadium and forced the cancellation of the concert. Emusica, the firm which purchased the rights to the Fania collection a few years ago, recently released the original "live" recording of the San Juan concert of 1973.

You can confirm in the original recording that some songs were "re-touched" in the recording studio, with some songs "re-touched" more than others. Hector Lavoe's "Mi Gente" was kept pretty much as it was originally recorded, where as Ismael Miranda's "Que Rico Suena mi Tambor" had most of the "soneos" re-done, for good reason (the original "soneos" were very repetitive).

All in all, this Yankee Stadium recording is a good recording by the Fania All Stars. The end product had good songs with good arrangements. Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz start showing their religious devotion on "Hermandad Fania", while the addition of veterans Celia Cruz, Justo Betancourt and Eddie Palmieri's Ismael Quintana were welcome additions to the singers' star-line-up. That meant Cheo Feliciano didn't get much chance to sing on this recording.

Good recording, but a lot more "scripted" than the Cheetah. The music still sounds powerful, but not electrifying. This recording doesn't has the magic of the Cheetah, and not all songs are as strong. You can hear the Cheetah double-albums back-to-back, and at the end, feel like starting all over again. When playing the Yankee Stadium double-albums back -to-back, you start to feel hints of boredom at some point. Much of the music just sounds the same. The Cheetah music had changes in pace or style (son montuno to guajira, to rumba, back to son), which made every song "fresh".

I still recommend buying this "Live at Yankee Stadium" double-album. It does have some great songs, with the outstanding "Mi Gente", where the public does "coro" to Hector Lavoe (with a good home theater or head phones, you feel like in the middle of the concert in this song) and the trombone solos of Barry Rogers and Willie Colon add the cherry in the top. Other notable songs are "Pueblo Latino" by Pete "El Conde", "Bemba Colora" by Celia Cruz (a bit too long for my taste), and I like Justo Betancourt's "Echate pa'lla". There is also the "descarga" "Congo Bongo" with Mongo Santamaria, and Ismael Quintana's "Mi Debilidad".

Fania All Stars - Studio Recordings:

The Fania All Stars then decided to do some studio recordings. Their first one, which is my 2nd favorite Fania All Stars recording, is "Tribute to Tito Rodriguez" (1976). In this recording, Fania found the "original formula" again. This recording has a powerful sound, mixed well the rhythm of the songs, and brought back the full All-Star singers line-up, with then newcomer Ruben Blades filling in for Celia Cruz. The young Panamanian did superbly in his Fania All Stars debut, with "Los Muchachos de Belen" which has a very strong mambo, anchored by the trombone section of Barry Rogers, Reynaldo Jorge, and Willie Colon. Ruben's soneos are right on; he sings his heart out and aces the song.

The rest of this superbly well recorded album is not to be dismissed. It opens with a "bolero" medley of 3 of Tito Rodriguez's favorites; "Inolvidable, "Lo Mismo Que a Usted", and "Tiemblas", interpreted by Cheo Feliciano, Chivirico Davila, and Bobby Cruz respectively. Cheo Feliciano is a bolero master and delivers exceptionally in "Inolvidable"; Chivirico comes back after appearing at the Red Garter with Armando Manzanero's "Lo Mismo Que a Usted", and Bobby Cruz, another maestro of the bolero, shines in "Tiemblas". Ismael Miranda does a good interpretation of "El Agua de Belen", and I love Justo Bentancourt's superb interpretation of "Cara de Payaso", Hector Lavoe's fine-tuned voice in "Cuando, Cuando, Cuando", and Ismael Quintana's fresh interpretation of "Fue en Santiago". Then all singers come together to pay homage to Tito Rodriguez in "Vuela la Paloma".

"Tribute to Tito Rodriguez" is another recording that should not be missing in your collection. It has great songs, great performances, powerful Fania All Star sound, and a great recording job done at the studio for a clear quality sound.

"Havana Jam" (1979) was the Fania All Stars last recording of the '70's. This was a live concert in Cuba, in which the Fania All Stars shared the stage with other American artists like Billy Joel, Rita Coolidge, Kris Kristofferson, and with the participation of Cuba's Irakere and Orquesta Aragon, in what was classified as a "cultural exchange".

The Fania All Stars Crossover:

Starting in the late 1970's and throughout the 1980's, the Fania All Stars worked very hard at crossing over to Latin Jazz, Jazz, and even Rock in order to attract a wider audience. Most of these crossover recording were forgettable. These recordings started in the late '70's with "Rhythm Machine" (1977) and "Spanish Fever" (1978). The album "Cross Over" (1979) was actually NOT a cross over recording, but rather the 1st pure "salsa" album since the Tito Rodriguez one. Why the called this one "Cross Over" beats me, but it is a decent recording, with Salvador Cuevas taking over bass duties for Bobby Valentin.

The 1980's were mostly devoted to cross over recordings, with some exceptions of "Lo Que Pide la Gente" which highlighted Hector Lavoe's "El Rey de la Puntualidad", where Hector made a self-mock of his infamous tardiness to gigs.

One of my favorites albums from this cross over recordings, was "Rhythm Machine". Besides having Ruben Blades super-hit "Juan Pachanga", the other jazzy songs are pretty decent, anchored by the trumpet (and arrangements) of Puerto Rican maestro Luis "Perico" Ortiz. Perico is a natural for jazz, being jazz one of his musical loves, and it shows in this recording. Perico's arrangements mostly tend to have either elements of jazz or of "big band". His own band had a very powerful "big band" sound, with very jazzy arrangements.

The Fall of the Fania All Stars:

The 1980's and the cross over attempts weakened the Fania All Stars in particular and Salsa music in general. The cross over attempts were understandable, given the popularity and commercial success Rock and Disco were having during this period. Fania was trying to ride that wave of commercial success in any way it could. The strategy didn't work. Perhaps it would have made more sense to keep the original concept and evolve the sound (as with the Tito Rodriguez album).

The prestige of having participated with the Fania All Stars never died. To this date, musicians who played with the Fania All Stars have that as a golden star in their resume. The Fania All Stars travelled all over the world, even making recordings in Africa (for the Mohammed Ali -George Foreman fight in Zaire) and also in Japan and Cuba. The visited Europe and South America frequently. They spread the gospel of Salsa, and people were receptive to it. Because of that, salsa is listened and danced to all over the world.

My Favorites (summary):

The good Fania All Stars recordings are in the early to mid 70's, as I mentioned above. If you like dancing or listening to real salsa, my best recommendation is "Live at the Cheetah" and "Tribute to Tito Rodriguez". You can't go wrong with these recordings, with the "Live at Yankee Stadium" in a close 3rd. If you come along some of the cross over albums, just make sure you reset your expectations before purchasing.

I also recommend two of the Fania All Star movies, as they show more than just the music. One if "Our Latin Thing", which opens with Barretto's theme "Cocinando", an nice "Latin Jazz" tune which became very popular at the time. The film highlights the concert at the Cheetah, but also shows life in the Barrio of New York, and the role salsa played in that neighborhood at during those years.

The other film I recommend is "Salsa". In this documentary, Gerardo Rivera narrates the history of Salsa, from the early influences of Latinos in the music scene of the United States, to the Fania All Stars and El Gran Combo. Good informative documentary, with not that much music ("Mi Gente" by the Fania All Stars, and "Julia" by El Gran Combo are the musical highlights).

The Fania All Stars were a game-changer for Salsa music, and perhaps Salsa music owns its durability to the solid foundation this group provided during the pivotal years of the early 1970's. This group wrote many golden pages in the history of Salsa.

This article on The Fania All Stars is part of a series of articles regarding Salsa Music Ups and Downs. You can read those articles in my blog at:

Hector Aviles is the editor of, a blog for the informed latin music fan.

Article Source:

The Duane Allman Story

By Ricky Sharples

Duane Allman has been dead since 1971 but his influence on guitar players lives on. The Duane Allman story is about doing what you do to the best of your ability under all circumstances. There are many recordings of classic rock songs that feature Allman as a session player and it seems that his contribution helped make these tracks immortal.

Of all of Duane Allman's guitar work for other artists, the most well-known is his playing on Layla by Derek And The Dominoes. Eric Clapton jumped at the chance to get Duane into the recording studio with him when he was due to record Layla. For his part, Allman just wanted to be a witness to a Clapton recording session, but Eric insisted that there would be a role for some Duane Allman guitar playing on this album. Allman never followed up on his contribution to Eric Clapton's band by touring with them, but he was able to appear at a few of their concerts.

It is part of rock guitar folklore that Duane Allman taught himself to play slide guitar when he was laid up with the flu. He was listening to a Taj Mahal album and decided that he wanted to learn to play Statesboro Blues by Blind Willie McTell. Not having a regular guitar slide to use, he emptied the bottle of Coricidin he had at his bedside, removed the label and began his career as a slide guitar player. Statesboro Blues became part of The Allman Brothers Band's play list and the pill bottle became Allman's permanent guitar slide, as it did for many other guitarists.

Duane Allman's first work as a session guitar player was on Wilson Pickett's Hey Jude. His work on this track was what brought him to Eric Clapton's attention and also made him an in-demand session player for popular artists of the time like Clarence Carter, King Curtis, Aretha Franklin, Otis Rush, Percy Sledge, Johnny Jenkins and Boz Scaggs. While we are on the subject, one of Duane Allman's standout tracks was Loan Me A Dime on Boz Scaggs first album. If you have never heard of it, it is worth looking for.

The Allman Brothers Band gave Duane another outlet for his creativity without the constraints of playing for another artist. Duane died shortly after the band's third album went gold. The band is still playing to the present time.

Do you want to learn to play the guitar? Learn How To Play A Guitar For Free is a constantly updated blog which contains all the resources you need for: learning to play solo guitar, how to learn guitar chords, how to learn to read and play easy acoustic guitar tabs, finding a free online guitar tuner, looking for free guitar lessons online, and how to learn guitar scales.

Article Source:

Believing Malcolm X Taught Himself is a Huge Mistake

By Derek Lavelle

You'll be surprised to discover that Malcolm X was not self-taught but became interested in reading and writing because of a phenomenal educational program intended for prisoners all across the country. Elijah Muhammad, the leader of Nation of Islam created a mail campaign that gave money to prisoners that would write a one page letter to him.

Imagine in the 1940s, illiteracy in American prisons was possibly 60 percent or higher with many people never attending school in those days. So writing a one page letter was no small task for many in those days. Malcolm X himself had finished the 8th grade, but admits that he was so ashamed of that one page letter he wrote to Mr. Muhammad that he wrote it over and over about 25 times before he sent it.

In order to improve his penmanship Malcolm began copying words out of the dictionary. But the words became so fascinating to Malcolm that he copied the whole dictionary. As Malcolm's vocabulary grew so did his thirst for reading. Malcolm admits that books opened a whole new world to him. In the Autobiography of Malcolm X, he says:

"Let me tell you something; from then until I left that prison, in every free moment I had, if I was not reading in the library, I was reading on my bunk. You couldn't have gotten me out of books with a wedge... Months passed without my even thinking about being imprisoned. In fact, up to then, I never have been so truly free in my life."

The autobiography of Malcolm X is a great book that proves what reading can do for anyone anywhere - even in prison. However if Malcolm X was writing to you today instead of me, I know he would encourage every man and women to go to school and utilize the educational opportunities that he and others, black and white (yes whites too) fought and died to give to you.

I'm sure he would not want you to make the same mistake he made of going to prison only to learn that your mind and your time is a terrible thing to waste.

Derek Lavelle was once a promising boxer that began learning the whole Nation of Islam story while in a boxing camp named after Muhammad Ali called M.A.P.S (Muhammad Ali Professional Sports). It was at MAPS in 1981 that Derek met older, original Nation of Islam men that had remained loyal to Elijah Muhammad during Malcolm's exodus.

These men loved Malcolm, but they blamed him for allowing himself to be used by the FBI to split the nation. He has compiled the whole story and written a book titled " Malcolm X: The Mistakes of a Fallen Muslim." The purpose of this new book is not to bring Malcolm X down, but to show how his mistakes led to his becoming the only civil rights leader to die at the hands of Black on black homicide.How using his image is hurting us today.

Article Source:

The Beatles Remastered Stereo CD Box Set Review

By Jackson Weinheimer

Is this new box set really worth getting? Are these newly remastered Beatles CDs really that much better than the old Beatles CDs that most Beatles fans have been listening to for the past 20+ years? In a word: Yes.

I don't think most people really realize how poor the sound on the old Beatles CDs is until they get a listen to these new remastered CDs that are included in The Stereo Box Set. These new remasters reveal new details and allow all of the glory of this music to really be heard as it was really meant to be heard. It's like watching a movie on HD after you had only see it before on a funky old VHS tape.

The Drums

Perhaps the biggest difference can be heard in the drums. On the old CDs, Ringo's drumming was often buried in the mix and difficult to really hear. Now you can really hear the drums so much more clearly and they are allowed to propel the songs forward much more so.

The Bass

Probably my favorite thing about these new remasters is how much more well defined and fuller the bass sounds. This is such a great thing because Paul McCartney's bass parts on most of these songs were absolutely fantastic. McCartney is my favorite bass player of all time and you can hear his amazing playing more clearly than ever before on these new remastered CDs.

The Vocals

The Beatles had a lot of harmonies in their music and now finally with The Beatles Stereo Box Set you can hear each part of those harmonies clearly.

Buy The Beatles Box Sets online 24/7/365.

Another Beatles Remastered Stereo Box Set review.

Article Source:

Is Eric Clapton God?

By Chris JW Adams

Many people consider Eric Clapton to be the best guitarist in the world. Eric himself being a very humble man would say "he just enjoys playing the guitar". If you ever see films about the music of the sixties and seventies you will always see the graffiti that say's "Eric Clapton is God". One thing is for sure, Clapton has got the highest profile over any other guitarist in the world.

Clapton is a great blues player with a wonderful feel and beautiful tone but technically speaking there are many guitarists that would come to mind. Andy Timmons is perhaps the most versatile and Steve Vai is perhaps the best known of the many so called shredders. David Gilmour is perhaps the most tasteful with a great style of his own where space is a key element. Brian May is known for big harmonies and his home made guitar that he made at school. Then of course there is Hendrix who many would say is God also.

Also one may consider the classical players like Segovia but many would say that this is a different instrument. I am a grade 8 classical guitarist myself, I would say that it is the same instrument but there are many differences in the way that you play, the control and use of right hand techniques are very different from electric guitar.

So is Eric Clapton God? I would say that Clapton has had a tough life with a lot of struggles and tragedy but you can still go and see him today in concert. Eric Clapton may not be God but he certainly is a legend.

Chris Adams has been playing guitar for over thirty years and has enjoyed 12 number ones at various download charts including and

Chris Adams Myspace page.

Article Source:

Pink Floyd: Still Topping the Charts‏

by Jimmy Cox

Pink Floyd began as an English band in the late 60s, and they became known for extremely thought provoking songs, experimental music and outstanding live performances.

Today this group of musicians is known to be one of the most successful rock bands in history with sales of more than 200 million albums throughout the world. Almost half of the record sales have been in the United States where Pink Floyd merchandise has become highly collectible.

Syd Barrett headed the group during their psychedelic 60s stage, but was eventually replaced with bassist, David Gilmour. When Gilmour joined the ranks this English group soon gained worldwide visibility with "Dark Side of the Moon" which was released in 1973.

Even today this album remains one of the most popular of all the group's recordings. The single, "Money" in the 1973 album, "Dark Side of the Moon", would help propel the album to Number One status in the US. It also stayed in the list of Billboard top 200 albums for 741 weeks. Today there are almost a quarter million sales of this one album which makes it one of the history making albums of all time.

Pink Floyd is actually a recreated band that first formed in 1964. Some of the former names of the group were the Screaming Abdabs, Sigma 6 and the Meggadeaths. Although the band was becoming extremely popular in their native UK, their fan base in the US began when they toured with Jimi Hendrix. While their music is unique and enthralling it is the tours and live shows that have attracted even more attention.

The group stages explosive and visually creative live performances that feed all of the senses. They use pyrotechnics, smoke, psychedelic art patterns and high tech audio to deliver lavish and elaborate spectacles. Pink Floyd is known for producing some of the most unusual live stage shows that contain giant inflatable balloons, multi colored lasers and other special effects.

They had a show in 1977 with the In the Flesh tour that used inflatable Nuclear Family balloons to show Mom, Dad and 2 children. One of the most well known productions is the one the group has staged for their album, "Another Brick in the Wall". This massive performance is the one by which all rock shows will forever be measured.

Some of the best known of the Pink Floyd releases include "Animals"; "The Wall"; "Ummagumma": "Dark Side of the Moon" and "Wish You Were Here". Along with great videos the group has an amazing amount of Pink Floyd merchandise that fans avidly collect. Some dedicated souls have compiled photos, albums, hats and programs from every concert the group has performed.

In 2005 Pink Floyd gave a performance at the London Live 8 Concert venue. This was the first time that Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason had performed together since 1981 and it was a smashing success.

Since 2005 the Pink Floyd band has been inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame and they have received many additional honors.

At the present time there are no plans for any tours, but you never can tell what the future holds for these incredibly gifted performers. Even without active tours the demand for Pink Floyd merchandise and albums will no doubt remain very high.

For The Latest Range Of Pink Floyd Merchandise

Roger Daltrey - Going Solo

by Brent Warnken

Roger Daltrey of The Who fame has recently signed up for a solo concert this fall, titled Use it or Lose it. It is a fitting title, as The Who's reunion concert remains unsettled and Daltrey knows all too well that maintaining one's fame isn't just about special commercial performances and that the show - his first since 1985 - will help "to keep my voice in trim, so I'll be ready. Those songs demand a lot of voice!"

While he prepares vocally for a reunion concert with a solo jaunt, the effort won't nearly be as demanding as the one that sees him fronting The Who of "Behind Blue Eyes" fame. "I thought it'd be nice to play smaller, more intimate venues," he says on his website.

"I look forward to getting back to that. I want to give people a good night out. The economic situation being what it is these days, I think that's what they want: to go out and feel they've had a good jolly- up."

The two month tour kicks off October 10 at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, British Columbia and will visit Los Angeles' Orpheum, Baltimore's Lyric, Denver's Paramount Theatre and several House of Blues and Hard Rock Cafes. If you want to see this legendary vocalist perform live today, get those Roger Daltrey tickets today online.

It's too long to wait for a Who return, which might finally come to fruition next year, so Daltrey has "put a little band together," he says to Rolling Stone. "I'm going back to where it all began," where he plans on bringing aboard Simon Townshend, Pete's brother, in a concert extravaganza through late November. Though the set list has yet to be finalized, 'different versions of Who songs," like an acoustic of "Who Are You," might make an appearance ("Strip away the synthesizers and it's a blues songs," he continues).

"The show has to be a journey. An enjoyable journey or it could be a bumpy ride!" The efforts are all in practice as the rest of Who's team gears up for next years' concert, a set that has already earned some brief concept. "I'd like to do a stripped down show - no staging, no big production, just play the bloody music," he admits. "The music is timeless."

His first solo stint since 1985, Daltrey often tends to accompany his own licks with tunes from Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Queen and others. His first solo set came in 1973 with the self-titled Daltrey, a serious departure from typical Who sound via writer Leo Sayer. Though the group reunited again two years later, Daltrey still had time to record a sophomore album, Ride a Rock Horse, alongside the Who's The Who by Numbers.

He continued to work on a solo career while simultaneously leading the Who, releasing 1977's One of the Boys, 1984's Parting Should be Painless, 1985's Under a Raging Moon and more. Talking to Uncut Daltrey says "...a musical note is the meaning of life. We're not giving up. I mean, as well as being a backdrop for people living, we might as well be a backdrop for people dying. We've all got to go at some point."

This article is sponsored by StubHub is a leader in the business of selling, as well as sports tickets, concert tickets, theater tickets and special events tickets.

The Beatles In Mono Review

by Jake Topp

Most of The Beatles albums were originally mixed in mono back in the 1960s because at that time stereo was actually considered to be little more than a "fad." I know that's hard to imagine now when stereo is the way everyone listens to music (well there is 5.1 which is similarly looked at as a fad today, but unlike stereo - it hasn't really got the attention of the average listener).

The stereo mixes for their songs were little more than an "afterthought" in comparison to the time and energy they spent on getting the mono mixes just right (after all, most of their listeners at the time were listening to the mono mixes) up through Magical Mystery Tour.

With The White Album they began to pay more attention to the stereo mixes as well (and The White Album was actually only released in the US in stereo). And by the time they got to their final three albums (Yellow Submarine, Let It Be, & Abbey Road) they were only mixing in stereo as mono was effectively dead.

When The Beatles catalog was put on CD in 1987, they decided to put the stereo versions on CD rather than the mono (as obviously in 1987 stereo was the standard). This made it very difficult for Beatles fans to hear the original mono mixes, especially as vinyl was phased out and it became harder to find the original Beatles mono vinyl LPs. It should also be noted that new stereo mixes were made for Help! & Rubber Soul so the original stereo mixes for those albums were not put on CD.

I'm telling you all of this because I think it's important to understand the context in order to get why The Beatles In Mono is so exciting to most serious Beatles fans. For the first time their original mono mixes are available on CD. And for good measure they also have included the original stereo mixes for Help! & Rubber Soul so that all of the original mixes of The Beatles albums are now available on CD, finally.

Listening to these albums in mono for the first time like I have been doing over the past week is fascinating. I'm a younger Beatles fan so I only previously knew the stereo mixes. To hear the original mono mix of albums like Revolver & Sgt. Pepper is really very interesting for me. Some of these mixes are much different than the stereo mixes. The best examples of that may be on Sgt. Pepper where there's a lot more effects on the vocals in the mono version of the album (making it more "psychedelic" in some ways) and also the song "She's Leaving Home" is sped up in the mono version.

I definitely recommend the mono box to all Beatles fans. Not only are a lot of these mono mixes "interesting" and the way they were "originally meant to be heard" but in some cases they are clearly superior to the stereo mixes because some of The Beatles stereo mixes are panned in such a way that they can be difficult to listen to. This is particularly true with a lot of The Beatles earlier albums. In fact I think most Beatles fans will think the mono versions of most of their early songs are better than the stereo versions.

In short, this mono box set is a "must buy" especially because it's being made in limited quantities and there's no telling how many copies they will make before they stop making them. These will become collectors items. And I haven't even mentioned the awesome packaging. I'll let you find out about that for yourself when you get your order in the mail.

Jake Topp recommends that you buy The Beatles In Mono online:

Why I Love The Beatles in Stereo Box Set‏

by Jake Topp

The most important thing about The Beatles In Stereo box set to me is how great these 16 CDs sound. They are a huge improvement in sound quality over the old CDs which were first released in 1987. But the great sound quality isn't the only great thing about the set.

There's also the completeness of it. It includes every album the band recorded and released from 1962 to through 1970. On top of that there's the fantastic packaging which is also a huge improvement over the old CD packaging. Plus there's an exclusive DVD which contains a documentary on the making of each of the band's 13 albums.

Audiophiles will be happy to know that the mastering job done on these CDs was not oppressive. They were not limited to death and these CDs do not participate in the "loudness war" which is destroying the sound quality of so many CDs these days. Yes, these CDs are louder than than the 1987 CDs but it's not at the expense of the dynamics.

And I think all Beatles fans will be very pleased by how "warm" and "clear" these CDs sound. They managed to really get the mastering just right because not only did they make them a bit louder (which is nice) but they also managed to capture more of the original "analog warmth" from the tape machines than they did with the old CDs. According to Paul McCartney these new CDs sound like "being in the studio with the band." He thinks it's the best The Beatles have ever sounded, and I agree.

While keeping that "warmth" they also managed to make each instrument and each vocal part sound more distinct! This is really a great feat because often times when a CD is made more "clear" it's at the expense of some of the ambiance that makes the record sound good in the first place. But with these remastered stereo CDs (and there are 16 total discs in the set) they really were able to get the best of both worlds.

There are plenty of sounds in these recordings that I'm really hearing for the first time clearly even though I am a huge Beatles fan who has listened to all of their albums on many occasions. Possibly my favorite example of this so far is the percussion in "I'm So Happy Just To Dance With You" (from A Hard Day's Night.) It really jumped out at me as soon as I put the new remastered version of the song on, but I had never really noticed it in all of my times of listening to the old version.

Another great example of how much better the new remastered CDs sound is "Long Long Long." In fact when you first get this box set on, I'd put that song on first because it should really blow your mind and get you excited about hearing the rest of the set!

Jake Topp recommends as the best music blog for Beatles fans to read.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Ultimate Christmas Gifts For Beatles Fans (Beatles Stereo Box Set, Mono Box Set, and Rock Band)

By Johnny Moon

Three Perfect Christmas Gifts For A Beatles Fan

Christmas (and birthday) shopping for Beatles fans just got a lot easier. As of 9/9/9 there are now three amazing Christmas presents that any Beatles fan would be thrilled to receive.

The Beatles Remastered Stereo Box Set

Every song The Beatles recorded and released from 1962 through 1970 is included in this box set on CD. Everyone agrees that these new remastered stereo CDs sound far better than the old Beatles CDs that most Beatles fans already own.

Counting the documentary DVD (which has a short "making of" documentary on each album) this box set includes 17 discs in all.

I actually think this is a good gift even for The Beatles fan who already bought this box set themselves. Many may love to have an unopened "back-up" in case they become difficult to find in the future (which is very likely).

The Beatles Mono Box Set

This is particularly well suited for really serious Beatles fans. And it's also a great "investment" opportunity because these are being made in limited quantities and they are likely to actually climb in value over the years.

The Beatles Rock Band Video Game

This game is compatible with the Nintendo Wii, the Sony PlayStation 3, and the Microsoft XBox 360. So they will need to have one of these gaming systems in order to play it. If they don't yet have a video game system you could really splurge by buying them a Nintendo Wii (my favorite) and the "bundle" version of The Beatles Rock Band (which includes all the instruments they need to play it).

Buy The Beatles Box Sets.

Buy The Beatles Rock Band.

Article Source:,-Mono-Box-Set,-and-Rock-Band)&id=2897732

Three Christmas Present Ideas For Beatles Fans - Stereo Box Set, Mono Box Set, and Beatles Rock Band

By Jackson Weinheimer

Christmas shopping should be easy if you have a Beatles fan in your family. Why? Because on 9/9/9 three awesome new Beatles products were released and any one of them would make a great gift for any Beatles fan.

The Beatles Remastered Stereo Box Set

Every album The Beatles released from 1962 through 1970 and the Past Masters double disc compilation set which includes all of the non-album songs from that period.

This is a great gift even for fan that already owns all of their albums on CD. Why? Because these albums have been remastered and they sound significantly better than the old CDs because of it. The drums and bass in particular really sound much better.

The Beatles Remastered Mono Box Set

Most of The Beatles songs were originally mixed in mono and now for the first time you can hear those mono mixes on CD. They've also been remastered for excellent sound (captured from the original analog tapes).

This set is particularly perfect for the really hard core Beatles fan. And because these are being made in a limited number I wouldn't be surprised if most fans wouldn't mind having a second copy even if they already own one! This is a true collectors item.

The Beatles Rock Band Video Game

You should be aware that someone would need a Wii, PS3, or XBox 360 in order to play this game. But you should also know that this game isn't just for those who like video games. In fact, I hate video games - but I still love playing Beatles Rock Band. It's awesome.

Buy The Beatles Box Sets.

Beatles Stereo Box Set Review.

Article Source:,-Mono-Box-Set,-and-Beatles-Rock-Band&id=2921400

The Beatles Mono Masters Double CD Compilation Set Includes Original Mono Mixes of Non Album Songs

By Johnny Moon

The Beatles Non-Album Songs

These days most bands put all of their best songs onto their albums and they definitely include their hit singles on their albums! But in the 1960s The Beatles actually thought it was "cheating their fans" to put their hit singles on their albums (they figured their fans already bought those singles).

This may be a foreign concept today, but at the time it made sense. But the key point is that many of The Beatles greatest hits (along with some really cool b-sides) never made it onto their albums.

The CD Era

In the late 1980s The Beatles had their catalog pressed onto CD and to solve the problem of the non-album songs the "Past Masters" compilations were created. There was a volume one which included earlier songs like "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" and there was a volume two which included later songs such as "Hey Jude" and the fast radio single version of "Revolution" (which is much different than the slower version heard on The White Album).

The Beatles Remastered Box Sets

On September 9 of 2009 The Beatles entire catalog was re-released on CD. Remastered (for far superior sound) versions of their stereo mixes were made available both for individual purchase and as a part of a Beatles Stereo Box Set, while the original mono mixes for their first 10 albums were made available only as a part of a Beatles Mono Box Set.

Mono Masters

The Mono Masters double disc compilation mirrors the Past Masters double disc compilation found in the Stereo Box Set. The big difference is, of course, that the Mono Masters set includes the mono mixes while the Past Masters set includes the stereo mixes. Another difference is the Mono Masters set is only available as a part of the Mono Box Set, not for individual purchase.


There are some differences in tracklisting because the band stopped mixing in mono towards the end of their career so there were no mono mixes of some of their songs to include. Also the Mono Masters version includes the four new Beatles songs ("It's All Too Much," "Hey Bulldog," "All Together Now," and "Only a Northern Song") that were on the Yellow Submarine album because the album as a whole (maybe because the George Martin instrumentals were only recorded in stereo? I'm not sure) was not included as a part of the Mono Box Set.

Buy The Beatles Mono Masters as a part of The Beatles Mono Box Set. This set is not available for individual purchase nor are any of the other discs in the Mono Box Set.

Article Source:

The Easiest Guitar Song in the World

By Keith Dean

You don't have to take guitar lessons very long before you realize that many of the hit songs you've heard on the radio over the years, are actually composed with only a handful of chords.

That revelation tends to shock many new guitar students, previously under the impression that most popular music is complicated and musically out of reach.

The fact is that the three chord song form is one of the most common in modern music. From blues to rock to country to pop, three chord songs are everywhere. For a beginning guitarist this is great news. It means that the newbie only has to learn a few basic open chords, and will have everything they need to play a ton of popular songs. Today we will make it even easier by learning the "easiest guitar song" in the world!

I don't make that statement based on any official claim or scientific research. It's solely based on the fact that in my 30 years as a gigging guitar player I have played a million three chord songs, a half a million two chord songs - but rarely a one chord song!

But here it is, the song is called "Coconut", and was made popular in 1971 by Harry Nilsson. The most famous line in the song is "you put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up...". This song has been re-recorded by several artists so chances are you've heard at least one of the versions.

There is one chord in this song, C7. That's it!

Here's the way it can be played:







The best way to play this is to hold your hand in a C7 chord in the open position.

Then play the root note, C (3rd fret of the 5th string) followed by the notes of the C7 chord as indicated.

Next, using your 3rd finger, but still keeping the C7 chord positioning, play the G note on the 3rd fret of the 6th string, followed by the notes of the C7 chord as indicated.

This is a common "alternating bass" pattern that you can use for many songs.

The whole song is played simply by holding the C7 chord position and alternating the 3rd finger between the bass notes on the 3rd fret of the 5th string and the 3rd fret of the 6th string. Easy!

Actually, the hardest part of playing this song is also the easiest because holding your hand in the same position for four and a half minutes can get tiring after a while.

So now, even if you only know one chord on the guitar (C7), you can play a complete song from beginning to end!


Over 40, 50, 60? For Free Video Guitar Lessons designed for Active Adults go to:

Keith Dean is founder of and a 30 veteran of stage and studio. He toured extensively as a road musician throughout the US and Europe, was a former lead guitarist for Jason Aldean, and has shared stages with Little Big Town, Wild Rose, Winger, Confederate Railroad and more. He is a published songwriter, owned and operated a successful music store, and has instructed numerous students in guitar.

Article Source:

Paul McCartney's Long and Winding Road Leads to Fenway Park in Boston

By Betsy Hijazi

When I look at the big picture and consider that The Beatles broke up before I was born, I find it surreal that I've just attended a Paul McCartney concert, here in Boston at Fenway Park.

When I was growing up, The Beatles were still popular, I suppose just as they are today. Through strife, conflict, individual achievement, politics and even death, The Beatles, the group, its members and their music have endured for 40+ years. Everyone knows The Beatles, and each generation for the past 50 years has been touched by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr or George Harrison, someway, somehow.

I grew up singing Beatles songs. I never owned a Beatles album, but I sang their songs, just as I sang songs from Wings and John Lennon. I was very much aware of who they all were.

It's odd, though, to think that I was just 11 years old when John Lennon was killed. I remember his death like it was yesterday, and yet I was so young. Nearly 30 years later, John's music is as important and poignant as it was in the 70s. Who hasn't wished his words true, "Give Peace A Chance"? And in the 80s when his son Julian Lennon became a music sensation, who wasn't constantly reminded of John every time they heard Julian's voice or saw John in his son's face?

In the 80s, Ringo Starr seemed to be everywhere. He collaborated with other musicians and later became an actor and voice actor for the popular children's series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. Since the late 80s, Ringo has toured with his band called Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band, which has included various famous band members over the years.

In the late 80s, George Harrison formed The Traveling Wilburys with music legends Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison. The Traveling Wilburys had two successful records. Sadly, George passed away in 2001.

So here we are, 40 years after The Beatles went their separate ways, and Paul McCartney is touring the U.S. Never did I think that in my lifetime would I have the opportunity to hear him sing live.

The rumor that Paul McCartney would play Fenway came about 2 months ago, and shortly thereafter, tickets went on sale. Luckily, I was still able to purchase one when I found they had gone on sale a couple days after the fact. He had not sold out!

However, price was important; I was NOT going to shell out $250 for a field seat. Love McCartney, but no way would I pay that! I did, however, get a great seat at a reasonable price. The only bad thing was that my camera wasn't powerful enough for great video or photos. But what I do have makes for nice memories!

The song I anticipated hearing the most was Jet. I've always loved this song and it was the 2nd song Paul McCartney sang! It was a great way to start the show!

Paul sang non stop for 2 1/2 hours, which was unreal! Most of the songs were under 3 minutes, so he sang a LOT of songs! I didn't know about a third of the songs, but they were all great!

One of the best moments of the concert was when Paul introduced Blackbird. He told the audience the meaning behind it, which I had never heard. And as he sang it, the whole audience at Fenway sang with him. To hear 40,000 - 50,000 people singing was eerie, and it was amazing.

Paul was funny, and he connected well with the audience. He joked about how when The Beatles first came to the U.S., they couldn't hear themselves sing because the girls were screaming so loud! On cue, the ladies in the audience screamed and Paul said he still can't resist it! How surreal it must be for him!

Paul sang some of my favorites, Band on the Run, Hey Jude, Let It Be, and Yesterday. Really though, aren't they all our favorites? Just about every McCartney, Wings and Beatles song makes you feel good!

Paul also sang Day Tripper, Drive My Car, Eleanor Rigby, Got to Get You Into My Life, I Saw Her Standing There, Lady Madonna, Long and Winding Road, and My Love. Paul sang Back in the USSR, and then commented that it doesn't even exit anymore.

Paul also combined A Day in The Life and John Lennon's Give Peace a Chance, and he paid tribute to George Harrison by telling us how he played Something on George's ukulele, and then sang a cute acoustic version of it before the band came in and played the familiar album version. The song was accompanied by a montage of photos of George that played on the screens at the back of the stage.

Rocking it out, Paul and his band performed Helter Skelter, and the highlight of the night was the performance of Live and Let Die, which was accompanied by unexpected pyrotechnics and fireworks! The song was fabulous, and the fireworks blasted twice during the show! It was awesome!

Paul McCartney sang at least a dozen more songs that I don't recall. He was incredible. Paul performs with a great band too! They are all rock and rollers for sure! The drummer is a beast! And the lead guitarist is all over the stage.

McCartney even paid tribute to Jimi Hendrix, playing one of his tunes and telling us a story about a time when they jammed together. McCartney's band knows how to rock and it was pretty cool to see them all play another legend's signature piece.

It was amazing to attend this Paul McCartney concert. At 67, he has as much energy and life in him as he did in the 60s, perhaps even more now! I'm grateful that I was able to participate in such an historic event.

The Beatles seems like a million years ago, true history. But there before me stood this man, this icon and music legend, singing songs from his music catalogue 45 years in the making, and I loved every moment of it. I hope he's around for years and years, and that I get another chance to see him!

Betsy Hijazi's articles can be found at

Article Source:

Bruce Springsteen - Bruce's Best Wisdom and Social Commentary‏

by Brent Warnken

Bruce Springsteen has been one of the most recognizable figures in rock and roll for the better part of three decades, and his fame has spread beyond music. Credited with working for the campaigns of Democratic senators John Kerry and Barack Obama, Springsteen is now one of the most famous celebrities associated with mainstream liberal politics.

Springsteen hasn't shied away from giving his views on the world. Here are a few of the best Bruce Springsteen social commentaries and words of wisdom. He might just share a bit more with you if you see him in concert with Bruce Springsteen tickets, available online. Quotes are attributed to Bruce via the famous quote website BrainyQuote.

"Blind faith in your leaders, or in anything, will get you killed." Bruce Springsteen might be in the Democratic camp when campaign season hits, but apparently he doesn't have an overwhelming faith the leadership, or in anything in general. While the death part of the statement is a little heavy, and perhaps too extreme, the point is clear - your faith in something or someone ought to be informed and open, not closed-off to the idea of an alternative.

"I can sing very comfortably from my vantage point because a lot of the music was about a loss of innocence, there's innocence contained in you but there's also innocence in the process of being lost." This is a heavy quote to lift, but then again the Boss can get intellectual at times. While being "lost" might imply a departure from the path, a straying from the natural order, it's also a very common experience, one that's usually not altogether purposeful. That is to say, oftentimes you get lost, you don't loose yourself on purpose. In that respect, you're an innocent victim of being lost.

"In America everything's about who's number one today." Bruce gets a little political in this quote. Is he tapping into his common man, working stiff, Joe Six Pack persona? It might be that Springsteen is talking about the advantages of being rich or powerful, that you get "everything." One interesting facet of this quote is the final word, "today." It seems to imply that being "number one" is a very temporary and fleeting quality, here today and gone tomorrow. Is this true in America, do the winners change places with the losers from day to day?

"Success makes life easier. It doesn't make living easier." Bruce Springsteen seems to think the same thing that the late Notorious B.I.G. used to sing about: "More money, more problems." We're assuming that by success Bruce is talking about a a common benchmark of success, money. While money can pay the bills, too much money can create more problems than it solves. Of course, only a rich person would think this way. Perhaps it's better to think of success in another way. Your success in life ought not to be defined by a number on a bank receipt.

When you're watching Bruce Springsteen perform on stage, make sure to pay close attention to the things he says between songs. He's been from the bottom of the barrel to the cream of the crop, and everywhere in between, so he has a lot of wisdom to share with anyone who is eager to listen.

This article about was written by Brent Warnken in association with, a leader in the sports tickets, concert tickets, theatre tickets and special events tickets market.