Friday, May 23, 2008

Dylan Music!

Bob Dylan's Discography - Where To Start! by Frederick Haring

Bob Dylan, like great Scotch-is an acquired taste. Yes, his voice is "nasally." Yes, his inflection is odd. Yes, he can be hard to understand and way off-key. Yet, his sound, his instrumentation and above all his songs can be salvation to the ears of those who learn to appreciate him. Yet, his discography is over 30 albums deep. People looking to discover Dylan don't even know where to start when attempting to listen to him. Sure, you can pull out a Greatest Hits album but that will only give you the same songs you already hear on the radio-"Like A Rolling Stone" and "Rainy Day Women #12 and #35." Thus, to truly appreciate Dylan it makes sense to listen to his best albums from start to finish. So, what album should you start with?

For the new Dylan listener we recommend you start off with Bringing It All Back Home. Why? Well, it's got a little something for everyone. There's straight up rock and roll: "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and "Maggie's Farm." There's acoustic folk: "Mr. Tambourine Man", "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue'--Each with Dylan signature harmonica shreds. There's a bluesy rocker, "Outlaw Blues", and even a few comedic songs like "On the Road Again" and "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" which are sure to warm the first-time listener up to Dylan's wry sense of humor.

The other alluring tracks on this album are addictive, stream of consciousness songs such as "It's All Right Ma, I'm Only Bleeding" and "Gates of Eden." These songs have the ability to hit the virgin Dylan ear like a Mack truck--pounding home his ability to say the right thing at the wrong time-with a cynicism and sincerity that is mesmerizing. We challenge anyone to listen to this album all the way through at least 5 times in a two-day period and not think: "This guy ain't so bad after all! What else can I listen to?"

Submitted by Frederick Haring. For a more in-depth look at Bob Dylan's discography please check out:

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A Tribute to Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan-A Friend of Mine Part I by Shaun Everitt

Never have rules mattered so little, have so many boundaries been overcome, has such a lonely furrow been ploughed as with the incomparable Bob Dylan. Lyrically prophetic, musically dynamic and incredibly prolific, Bob Dylan never bows to fads or fashions, never strays from his own private path and never lets anybody into his poetic mind. He leaves us to muse over his storybook lyrics, trying to extract meaning and message, whilst he tips his hat, gives a small smile and retreats back to his mysterious world to deliver another small piece of genius to us. He doesn’t court publicity, he doesn’t crave fame, he believes he is like the rest of us, only a pawn in their game. Bob Dylan doesn’t pretend he has the answers, he doesn’t act like a savior, he is just trying to make his own way in the world, he just happens to be a living legend, that is all.

For over forty years, Bob Dylan has been making albums. From 1966’s Blonde on Blonde, to his latest album, Modern Times, his vigor has never waned. It would be possible to interchange any song from these albums because Bob Dylan doesn’t change. He is like the tide, it wouldn’t matter if we were here or not, it would still go in and out, and Bob Dylan would still write his music. Bob Dylan can’t make a bad album because he defines what is good and what isn’t. He can’t hit a bum note or make a duff rhyme for one simple reason, Bob Dylan is a law unto himself. If Bob Dylan writes a song, it’s because it means something, not that he’d ever tell you what that is, he doesn’t work to a timetable. If Bob Dylan has 8 songs, he’ll release an album with 8 songs on, or wait until he has 10. He won’t release substandard material, he won’t waste words. Yet Bob Dylan songs aren’t like you might expect, for a man who says little in the public eye, his songs are sprawling vistas of rich colourful lyrics. His storybook style begs you to believe every word is true, and owing to the mystery of the man, they could well be.

The thing about Bob Dylan is that he’s every bit as relevant as he was forty years ago. This article has so far avoided clichés and the author is well aware that this is such but Bob is different. Bob Dylan isn’t telling us about the trials of youth or the tribulations of love, he doesn’t want to tell you how to feel. His songs are like an arm around the shoulder, to let you know that he has been there and that he ‘feels you brother’. Some would argue that Bob Dylan has never been relevant, obviously the author disagrees with this but owing to the sense that Bob has always been the same, he must be just as irrelevant now as he was in the sixties (sic).

Situated somewhere between the dream world and the waking one, Bobs songs are a buffer, they stop you despairing, an airbag against the confusion and injustice in the world. Some people (mainly acid fried hippies and the sensationalist media) thought that Bob was like a messiah. They were convinced that he knew the truth, that somehow he was holding it all back and that he was selfish for doing so. But Bob Dylan isn’t a messiah, he isn’t even a saint, I bet he doesn’t even wash every day, he isn’t perfect. But his interpretation of the world is such that you can almost believe he is from a higher place. Romantic tragedy is his forte, tales of the underdog, victories in unlikely places and trials of the soul are what he knows.

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Three More Great Les Paul Gibson Guitarists

The Axemen of the Legendary Gibson Les Paul Guitar by Robin Piggott

The Les Paul has become synonymous with not only The Blues but with the Development of many facets of Rock music for well over fifty years! It first saw the light of day in 1952 with the "Gold Top" and has progressed through many incarnations to the present day. There is not a guitarist in the world that would pass up the opportunity to own and play the greatest Guitar of all time! Most players of note have owned a Les Paul at some stage of their careers; some continue to play no other instrument.

The shape of the Les Paul has remained very much the same throughout its long life with just a few variations from time to time in the early years. The double cutaway version of the Les Paul Special was perhaps the only real deviation from the traditional shape. It was a less expensive model and came and went in 1959. Of course when the resurgence of interest in The Gibson Les Paul came about in the early to mid nineteen sixties, Gibson were forced to reintroduce all models and have continued to reissue the most popular instruments to this day.

It would be fair to say that the renaissance of the Gibson Les Paul can be attributed to and traced back to just one Band that saw the light of day in 1962/3 as the British Blues Boom, as it became known, gathered momentum. Who are we talking about? Well none other than the most blueswailing Yardbirds. This Band produced arguably the three best known and most influential Blues and Rock Guitarists to ever play a Les Paul.

They don't need any introduction because just about everyone on the planet who hasn't been asleep for the last forty years will have heard their music.

All now in their Sixties, and as legendary as the Guitar they helped to promote Eric, Jeff and Jimmy single-handedly took the sixties by storm, turned it on its head and produced some of the most memorable music that has ever been recorded. While doing all of this they encouraged countless thousands of budding Guitarists to take up the challenge and today we have the most diverse musical scene that couldn't possibly have been imagined forty years ago!

Eric Clapton first started with a Kaye guitar, moving onto a Fender Telecaster before discovering the Les Paul with which he made his reputation. Actually it is just a little over three weeks to the fortieth anniversary of the issue of the Album that started it all.

The 22nd July 1966; the Producer Mike Vernon, the Engineer Gus Dudgeon; the Record Company Decca...the band John Mayall with Eric Clapton; the offering..."Bluesbreakers".

This album affectionately known to all serious players as the "Beano" album didn't set the record stores alight but showcased a legend in the making. Actually Eric was something of a legend already at this time with "Clapton is God" graffiti appearing all over London. A few months later a new Rock Monster came into being as Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker teamed up with Eric to form another legendary band that were to set the wheels (and the World) on fire so to speak with ... Cream.

Jeff Beck had taken over the Lead Guitar slot in the Yardbirds after the hasty departure of Eric Clapton who had left the band to join John Mayall. Jeff often played a Fender Telecaster and went onto make the Les Paul his favourite guitar for recording purposes. While not reaching quite the broad adulation that E.C. has achieved, Jeff Beck none the less has been a pivotal Guitar playing pioneer who is revered to this day.

Jimmy Page of course became probably the most commercially successful of the threesome with his groundbreaking Led Zeppelin. He was already a very much in- demand session player before he joined Jeff in the Yardbirds.Often he managed 10 sessions per week and all at the tender age of 19! His Custom Les Paul with three pickups and a bigsby tremolo unit, kind of matched his black hair and his persona. The hair incidentally had not yet reached the flowing curly locks of the Led Zepp era...a trade mark which he was to wear for several decades.

Three Giants of Music...

Three Blues Greats...

Three Masters of the Greatest Guitar of all time...

The Gibson Les Paul.

The author, while a Gibson owner and fanatic for over thirty years recently picked up his first Les Paul in one of London's most famous musical instrument shops in the West End. Macari's is well worth a visit if you are a guitar freak and the staff there are as good as you will find anywhere!

Robin Piggott is a Driving Instructor in Ireland who brings four decades of experience to his Astral Driving School based in Limerick. His newly refurbed web site due to launch in a few days can be found at Here you can find a treasure trove of everything for the Learner Driver and also pages for the visitor who is contemplating Touring Ireland by Car. In the meantime why don't you pay a visit to and pick up a mini course on How to pass your Driving Test First Time.

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British Blues

First a Trickle then a Flood.The Birth of the Blues in Britain by Robin Piggott

Chris Barber’s Jazz Band with the beautiful Otillie Patterson on vocals brought the sound of New Orleans to British traditional Jazz buffs in the late fifties and early sixties. This was just the beginning of a wave of new sounds that culminated in what came to be known as the British Blues Boom! On Banjo was the great Lonnie Donegan who became the Godfather of Skiffle a year or two later. All of the early musical melting pots were springboards for the next generation of musicians and within a couple of years the Music scene was to change forever.

My first exposure to the blues was on Barber’s wonderful L.P. New Orleans Joys. I forget all the titles now but the haunting sounds stirred up strange sensations and led me a few years later to a life long passion for the Blues as I am sure it did with many young kids at the time.

The year 1962 saw the birth of several Blues gigs in London Clubs, notably the Famous Marquee which made its home in Wardour Street, Soho. The great Alexis Korner was to prove to be a nursery slope for what was to come. Cyril Davies on Harp, Dick Heckstall- Smith on the most wailing of saxophones, Mick Jagger (yes that one!) on vocals to name but a few. I guess that first Album recorded live at the Marquee…Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, started the trickle which very rapidly gathered momentum and soon the Blues was the talking point of all young music heads.

Playing at the Marquee shortly after, in 1963 was the man destined to become the Godfather of British Blues… John Mayall…. John’s famous band, The BluesBreakers went onto fame and fortune as many musicians joined and left in quite a procession over the next couple of years. John celebrated his 70th Birthday a couple of years ago and is playing as well as ever. This gives lie to the notion that life is over at forty and its all downhill from there on. The list of John’s protégées is a who’s who of the music business; a good proportion of whom are still playing today. John McVie, co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood, Jack Bruce of Cream, Eric “Slowhand” Clapton, Peter Green, Aynsley Dunbar, Mick Taylor and many more.

The band that I believe was the turning point at this time was undoubtedly The Yardbirds, whose incredible energy and enthusiasm were absolutely unparalleled on stage. My first exposure to this Juggernaut was on a Monday morning at school one time when some friends told me about this amazing band that they had seen at the Marquee who had a Guitarist that was simply unbelievable. The Year was 1963, the man in question (well he was only 18 years old!) was Eric Clapton.

The Legend was already underway at this stage and I believe Eric was responsible for the huge interest brewing in the Blues in Britain as the Yardbirds became household names on the R n’ B circuit. Many Guitars were sold at this time as young bloods attempted to emulate Clapton, some with success and many without. Probably one reason for the upsurge in Guitar bands as opposed to wishy washy pop sounds of the time was the discovery of the almost forgotten Gibson Les Paul which produced the sound closest to the Chicago Blues of a decade earlier. Eric’s use of this instrument took the Blues to a new height and no-one could escape the flood that was on the way. With the Yardbirds there was a mix of Gibson and Fender guitars in use. Eric initially played a Fender Telecaster with Rhythm Guitarist Chris Dreja using the Gibson 335, but the favourite in years to come particularly in ’65 and ’66 was the Les Paul.

In 1963 one of the first Bluesmen to arrive on this side of the Atlantic for a Tour was the legendary Harp player Sonny Boy Williamson who recorded a wonderful live album with the Yardbirds that was not released for several years. The restrained backing that the band provided to Sonny Boy showed them to be tight and controlled but Keith Relf the Lead singer and Harpist was a little put out at having to take a back seat to the Master during the gig. Many more Blues legends toured Britain and Europe in the following years which not only revitalised their own flagging careers but gave the budding white Blues players a chance to learn from the Maestros. These include Howling Wolf and the legendary Son House who had been a contemporary of Robert Johnson in the nineteen thirties. The author was privileged to see Son House play in London in 1970 shortly before he died. He was very frail but he certainly could make that National Steel Guitar sing sweetly!

The Album that preceded the Flood was of course the 1966 rendition by John Mayall entitled simply “John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton” recorded on the Decca label .This album marked the first vocal airing by Slowhand and he chose Robert Johnson’s “Rambling on my Mind” as his debut. The interrelating of Mayall’s gutsy Barrelhouse Piano together with Eric’s Les Paul and his tentative vocals, wrote a piece of Blues History that day in the studio. That Album sums up for me not only the musicianship involved and the passion of the music but the very essence of the British interpretation of the Blues. I have listened to this song so many times now since the first momentous day that it came through the speakers and every time it’s hard to keep the emotions steady.

The Robert Johnson Legacy forms an integral and vital part of the Birth of the Blues in Britain and is responsible for the undoubted vitality of today’s thriving Blues scene on both sides of the Atlantic. There are no Blues Bands past or present who do not owe a debt to Robert Leroy and his magic. His genius and virtuosity with the bottleneck will live forever!

Robin Piggott is a Professional Driving Instructor in Ireland, with a lifelong obsessional passion for the Blues. He treasures his Gibson as much as his Motor and just can't make up his mind which is number one! Please visit his web site and blogs for a mix of Motor and Musings designed to help Beginner Drivers and those visiting Ireland.

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    Some Underground Blues?

    The Best Classic Rock and Blues Albums You Never Heard Of by P Hershon

    If you love classic rock and the blues, the chances are good that you never heard of most of the groups and the CDs in this article, which are amongst my favorites. I love discovering overlooked groups and these stick immediately too mind. My only criteria was that they had to be groups that most people in the US never heard of, only one album per group, and no "Best Of" albums (with one exception). Some groups like The Blues Band & Cuby and the Blizzards, are well known in their own countries, but not as well known in the US. The albums are listed in alphabetical order by group, album title, CD company and the year the album was originally recorded.

    Bacon Fat "Complete Blue Horizon Sessions" Sony 1971

    An American Blues group led by Rod Piazza performing Chicago Blues with a wonderful dirty grimy authentic sound. This is actually a compilation album with alot of live stuff added.

    Blonde on Blonde "Rebirth" Phantom Sound & Vision 1970

    Great songs and incredible lead singing by Dave Thomas whose voice sounds like a Welsh operatic Roy Orbison playing with a great rock band.

    Cuby & the Blizzards "Tripping Thru A Midnight Blues" (Three Originals) Universal 1968

    Legendary Dutch blues band featuring the excellent English vocals of Cuby (Harry Muskee) and the incredible tasty lead guitar of Eelco Gellng who was asked to replace Peter Green in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. This is the blues, baby.

    Betterdays "No Concessions" Aftermath Records 1994

    White boys rock the blues. The Betterdays were a 60's English blues band that reunited in the late 90's to record their original act in the studio because other then the odd single, they had little recorded for posterity. This is crisp retro 60's British Blues band R&Bperformed like there is no tomorrow.

    Blues Band "The Official Bootleg Album" BGO 1979

    Probably the best known of all the bands here, featuring ex Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones on vocals & Harp, Tom McGuinness on guitar as well as Dave Kelly on slide guitar and vocals, this is their debut and best album, featuring uptempo Chicago Blues done in English style with incredible energy.

    Complex Way We Feel Wooden Hill 1971

    The first of our Zombies sounding groups, which is meant as a great compliment. This group had incredible originals and a great keyboard player as well as wonderful harmonies. This group recorded a previous album with even better material but unfortunately the recording quality was very poor due to a screw up by the place they pressed the original record up which is why I am recommending this album instead because of its much better audio quality.

    Dr. K's Blues Band "Rock This Joint" Akarma 1968

    There's an amazing groove to this album that I can't quite put into words. Led by one time John Mayal Bluesbreakers member Geoff Krivet on lead guitar. Dr. K on piano and Eric Peachy on drums, they sound sound like what the Band would sound like if they were a 60' s British Blues Boom Band playing Chicago Blues and someone lit a firecracker in their asses!

    Forever Ember "Love Cycle" Wooden Hill 1969

    Imagine a poor man's Zombies doing a poor man's "Odyessy and Oracle" and I mean that as the highest compliment. These were originally a private recording by these guys who never knew how great they were done using non state of the art equipment but still sounding great.. If you're a Zombies fan you'll have to get this. One of the sweetest sounding albums. The strange thing is, according to the notes, they barely performed any of these tracks live. Great keyboards, lead vocals, vocal harmonies, original songs, the works.

    Jerusulem "Jerusalem" Universal Japan 1972

    One of the heaviest greatest riff rock albums ever. Imagine Deep Purple without keyboards which mught be attributed to the fact that Ian Gillian produced this hard rock masterpience. Absolute balls to the walls rock with great vocals, guitar, great originals, everything.. These guys should have been stars.

    Jodo "Guts" Lion 1971

    Heavy 1971 Cream like Heavy Superb Blues Rock. They sound like Cream would sound like if they had Randy California, RIP, of Spirit on Guitar and vocals instead of Clapton.

    Killing Floor "Killing Floor" Repertoire 1969

    Imagine Led Zeppelin played the blues while on amphetamines. These are the blues played with adrenaline the likes of which have never been heard before.

    Mahogany "Mahogany"

    Great riffy tight UK blues rock, really nice original melodic bluesy songs with great lead guitar by John Mackay on guitar and vocals and some really tasty harmonica by Steve Darrington. These guys look the Carpenters but rock steady. Originally recorded in 1969

    Otis Spahn Bigggest Thing Since Colossus (Sony) 1969

    Otis Spahn is backed for the entire album by Fleetwood Mac's classic blues line-up of Peter Green and Danny Kirwin on guitar and John McPhie on bass, produced by famous Blues Producer, Mike Vernon. All tracks were recorded in a single take with no overdubs and the playing is hot and incredible.

    The Sorrows "Take A Heart" Castle 1968

    This is incredible Garage Rock freakbeat style done by a legendary 60's English rock group that never came over the US. Every track on this album is perfect, fantastic drum beat, the bass plays the perfect notes, the guitar drives and the singer is great as are the songs. "Take A heart" is considered a classic and "She's Got the Action" is a pounding freakbeat and "We Should Get Along Fine" is one of the sweetest songs ever.

    You Can find Almost any New and Used CD at the lowest prices as well as great Home Audio Equipment including speakers, home theater systems, receivers, etc at my Ecommerce Store

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    A Tribute to Joni Mitchell

    The Genius of Joni Mitchell by Jon O'bergh

    This is the third in a series on great artists.

    Joni Mitchell rode to popularity during the folk music revival of the 1960s, but her music grew far beyond the confines of that genre in the ensuing decades. Even today, in a song like "If I Had a Heart" from Shine, her music retains roots in the strophic structure that characterizes folk music: instead of "verse / chorus," there is a series of verses ending with the same lyric. A good example of this pattern is "Amelia" from Hejira, where the hook that ends each verse is "Amelia, it was just a false alarm." (Sometimes, as in "If I Had a Heart" or "Court and Spark," Joni adds a contrasting bridge section.)

    Whereas folk music traditionally sticks with simple chord progressions, Joni is harmonically adventurous with unorthodox guitar tunings, expanded chords and interesting chord progressions. In the 1970s her music took her closer and closer to jazz. At first, she would sneak in a jazz standard on an album: "Twisted" on Court and Spark, "Centerpiece" (with Joe Sample on piano) embedded in another song on The Hissing of Summer Lawns. Before long, she was writing her own jazz-inflected tunes like "Blue Motel Room" and "Jericho," followed by the album Mingus, a tribute to the legendary jazz bassist Charles Mingus, who had called upon her in the last months of his life to work on a musical version of T.S. Elliot's Four Quartets, a project which ultimately was scrapped but served as the catalyst to the album.

    A fine example of Joni's subtle genius with the traditional folk song format is the hauntingly poignant "Furry Sings the Blues" from Hejira, a paean to a vanished musical era in Memphis. The song is structured in four verses:

    intro music
    Verse 1
    Verse 2
    Verse 3
    Verse 4
    outro music

    What makes the form distinctive is that each verse is comprised of three phrases rather than the typical two or four. And rather than end each verse with the repeated hook - "(Old) Furry sings the blues" - she places it at the beginning of the third phrase. She also rhythmically varies how she sings the hook. In the first verse, she sings "Furry" on the downbeat; in the second verse, she syncopates "Furry" by stretching the two syllables over the downbeat; in the third and fourth verse, the downbeat falls between "sings" and "the blues." She sings the hook a fifth time to bring closure at the end of the fourth verse, and here the downbeat falls between "Old" and "Furry." These differences are subtle, but they make the music less predictable than it would otherwise be. There are other subtle variations as well, as when she sings the line "carrion and mercy" in Verse 2, or in the irregularly phrased interludes between each verse.

    Joni's lyrics are famous for their poetry, but it is the interplay between the lyrics and the music that raises her art to the level of genius. The music of "Furry Sings the Blues" has a haunted, languorous quality that evokes the ghosts and faded storefronts of the song - listen to how she draws out the word "ghosts," then drops the pitch on "history falls." In "Car on a Hill," the melody of "I watch for judgment anxiously" is set to a repeated ascending scale and pitched high, rising into falsetto, mimicking the growing sense of anxiety as she waits for her lover to arrive. When she sings "waiting for a car climbing, climbing, climbing the hill," the three repetitions of "climbing" underscore the repeated hopefulness and frustration as each car turns out not to be the one. Or take the humorous non sequiter "I was raised on robbery" in the song of the same name that evokes a voluble, aggressive woman. These are all subtle choices she makes, but they enhance the emotional power of the music.

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    Sunday, May 18, 2008

    The 1960s: The New Revolution?

    Sixties: The Decade of Rebellion by Phil Edwards

    It is safe to say that in the sixties everything changed: society, fashion, music, art, media, everything was impacted. It was a time when everyone truly believed they could make a difference, when it seemed as if the world had limitless possibilities and a few people trying really hard, willing to sacrifice everything, could change the direction of everything.

    And it proved the power of believing in yourself. Ordinary people did change things, extraordinary things like the attitude of society at large, like the way people viewed war and music and art. Student protests, often led by folk musicians, helped lead to the demise of the Vietnamese War, helped make social consciousness and equality for all a living fact, helped people really achieve the freedom that America and the West have always striven for. It was a remarkable time, and no wonder that many people look back to it as a time of dreams and passion.

    Social Activism, Celebrities, and Music

    Rock music became its own genre in the mid-1950s. Less than ten years later, the Beatles burst onto the music scene, the vanguard of a revolution in music. Parents hated them, sometimes even worse than they hated Elvis. But the kids loved them, and would buy anything with a picture of John, Paul, Ringo, or George. Their innovations paved the way for later artists, both British and American: the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Doors, The Mamas and the Papas – dozens of legendary bands have the Beatles to thank.

    By the middle of the decade, the Beatles were writing songs about social issues, like war and loneliness. And other bands followed suit. There was a lot to write about; in the United States, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was leading American Blacks to unheard-of levels of social equality, and soon the British would put special military troops in Northern Ireland to quell the unrest there, leading to nearly-open guerilla warfare with the IRA. Women all over the world were following a movement to equal rights. And anti-war activists like Jane Fonda were making a name for themselves, both famous and infamous.

    Food: Trends Good And Bad

    Though founded much longer ago, McDonalds and other fast food restaurants grew into a major power in the food industry during the 60s, probably driven by the high energy of the time coupled with an increasing dependence on automobiles as a means of transportation. At the same time the stuff that’s bad for you became popular, other people began to realize that you really are what you eat. Because of new age conservationist movements, those people began to eat healthier: whole grains, organic foods they grew themselves, and semi-vegetarianism, vegetarianism, and vegan lifestyles.

    War: What Is It Good For?

    You can’t talk about the sixties, the decade of peace, without talking about war. Particularly, you have to look at the Vietnamese war. The US entered the country in Southeast Asia in the early 1960s at the request of the French – who subsequently abandoned the war. And America’s presence in Vietnam grew, gradually forcing a draft of the very young men who were just discovering the dizzying freedom the sixties ushered in. The result? An impressive increase in the numbers of young people going to college, and an equally impressive increase in the number of young men moving to Canada.

    But why was this war so different from Korea, only about ten years earlier? The simple answer: television. Reporters with cameras covered the bloodiest parts of the war, capturing the pain on both sides in film. And those films made their way to broadcast television, which for the first time could be found in half or more American homes. It was difficult to watch the images of war without being moved, and it was a real shock to teenagers and young adults who had never known the touch of violence before.

    But there was another kind of war going on, a social war. Blacks in America were discovering their power, partly spurred by the thought of the draft and partly by the energy of the decade carrying them forward. Women throughout the world were discovering not only their political power, but the social freedom brought about by a little pill – the birth control pill. For better or worse, relations between the sexes would never be the same.

    Sixties Fun, Games, and Fashion

    Toys were undergoing change, too. Physical games, like Frisbees and Twister, became very popular indeed. Boys began collecting Matchbox cars, the latest rage; and the self-image of little girls everywhere was changed as Barbie dolls, Sindy dolls, and other anatomically correct dolls that weren’t baby dolls entered their pink frilly rooms.

    Older boys were finding they had much more to look at than ever before. Girls’ skirts moved from the near-ankle-length full skirts of the fifties to the short – shorter – shortest skirts of the sixties. Short skirts and midriff-revealing hipster jeans also made it important that as little cellulite as possible showed – girls could no longer wear industrial-strength girdles. The most effective way of getting rid of cellulite? Be as thin as possible. The other problem with changing clothes was that if you used garters (or suspenders, if you’re in Britain) they showed under the short tight skirts. The answer? Pantyhose, an invention of the devil.

    Inventions and Innovations

    Computers also moved from being a scientific curiosity to a genuine industrial innovation; punch cards and tape were the programming tools of the time – until the integrated circuit, the precursor to today’s microchips. This innovation led to the development of the hand-held pocket calculator by Texas Instruments, though calculators did not come into general use until the early seventies. But the world didn’t understand how much science and technology was really going to change their lives – until Neil Armstrong spoke to the world from the surface of the Moon in 1969. It was a fitting end to a remarkable decade.

    Phil Edwards is a writer in London, a product of the 60's baby boom and author of, and Health Tips

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    A Tribute to John Lennon

    John Lennon: He Asked To Give Peace A Chance
    By Robert Benson

    He dreamed of world peace. He was an artist, poet and an outspoken voice of the hippie generation. He was an influential musician, a peace activist, an absent father and a devoted lover and husband. He abused alcohol and drugs, sneered at normality, yet took time off from his rock and roll career to raise his son. But most of all, he was a Beatle. He was and still is, John Winston Lennon.

    Born in Liverpool on October 9, 1940, John Lennon was shot to death on December 8, 1980 by a fanatical fan. The world mourned his death as millions grieved for the man who was the heart and soul of the world's best rock and roll band, the Beatles.

    He had an unusual childhood, shuttled back and forth between his mother Julia and her sister Mimi. John eventually spent his formative years with his aunt Mimi and Uncle George and as Mimi recalls, “His mind was going the whole time, and it was either drawing, or writing poetry, or reading.”

    Yet, he was an unruly, stubborn and a disobedient, troubled youth. He failed at art school, yet swore to his aunt that "one of these days I'm going to be famous and you'll be sorry.” John had a premonition of things to come, as he knew he was a bit different than most people. As he looked back, he explained: “I always knew I was going to make it, but I wasn’t sure in what manifestation. I knew it was just a matter of time.”

    There are many words to describe John Lennon. He called himself a leader, yet did some of his best work alone. He was an alleged wife beater, very outspoken, often putting out controversial quotes to the media; either to make a point or just to be outlandish. But when he spoke, people listened. The Beatles pushed musical boundaries further than any other group. They quit touring. Their last concert was in San Francisco at Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966. They were that big. But, John thought that the concerts had just become a freak show, no one could hear the music and the only reason to be the Beatles was to make and play the music.

    The decision to quit touring also came on the heels of one of the most controversial quotes in rock and roll history. In an interview, John made the mistake of saying that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. This quote caused quite a backlash with Beatle boycotts and public record burnings. Their manager, Brian Epstein, immediately arranged a press conference and John reluctantly apologized and said what he said was wrong. Could any another person have said something like that and then go on to even bigger stardom?

    He was a partner with his boyhood friend, Paul McCartney and together they left a musical writing partnership and a legacy that are unequaled to this day and may never be. The Beatles, with their producer George Martin, changed music in dramatic fashion, with studio techniques that had never been attempted.

    They pioneered the concept album with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which the editors of Rolling Stone magazine list as the greatest rock album of the rock era.

    He had the attention of our government with his antiwar protests and at one point was under FBI investigation. He sang of love and peace and living in harmony, with all people coming together as one. There are some who called him a genius. He could be nasty, resentful and meanspirited. He fought his demons and it seems he was winning, until December 8, 1980.

    We can only recall his career, from the beginning, until the end and who doesn't know the story about the four lads from Liverpool. He was part of the group that changed rock and roll music history.

    We can only wonder what John Lennon would be doing if he were alive today. How active would he be in promoting world peace? Would he still be creating wonderfully crafted rock and roll songs? All we can do is Imagine, and that is the shame of it all.

    Copyright 2006 Robert Benson

    Robert Benson is a Beatles fan and has written an e-book about vinyl record collecting called "How To Start A Vinyl Record Collection". For more information, please visit his web site:

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    A Personal View of the Hippie Era

    The Wisconsin Music Scene 1968-1975 From My Eyes
    By Teddy Mueller

    I came back to tell you about the music scene in Wisconsin from my eyes, it was an exciting time. It's hard to know where to start. The Beatles came in '64, I saw the Doors at the arena '67, Cream, Hendrix, and the Allman Brothers played the Scene, which was run by Benadetta Balistrieri in the late 60's. The Midwest Rock Festival was coming to State Fair park in '69 with Blind Faith, Joe Cocker & the Grease Band, Jethro Tull, along with my favorite local groups Soup and Ox. This was an era of excellent music feeding the souls of the young...!

    Leading to '68 there were CYO dances where bands had a chance to play along with the Strobe, and other clubs. We had the Messengers, the Destinations, the Corporation, the Baroques, the Sidewalk Skipper Band, the Skunks, Tony's Tygers, the Robbs, and don't forget about the Goodwill Industry building on N. 92nd, it held 1200 people and we always filled it. There were other great bands that would soon arrive on the scene. The first Summerfest that I can remember '68 was on the hill with the stage at the bottom of the Art Center on Lake Dr, New Colony Six, and many classic Rock groups. This is what I had scene leading to '69, those were the best days of my life (name that song?)! The music leading up to '68/'69 was just incredible. You had the Byrd's Mr. Tambourine Man, Eight Miles High, the Temptations, the Jefferson Airplane,Paul Revere & the Raiders with Kicks and Good Thing, the Young Rascals-they had a ton of hits,Wilson Pickett, Smokey, the Supremes. You have to remember back in those days music was the most important thing in our lives and we could listen to Pop, Hard Rock, R&B, Soul, Blues, Jazz, and Country. We could listen to all of it and be cool...! We actually need to bring music back, but not this processed garbage. Back to the real stuff... I can't list all the great songs for there are to many, I'll get a few in though. The Lovin Spoonful, the Yardbirds- Shapes of Things WOW, Donovan, the Stones, the Kinks-Who'll Be the Next in Line,You Really Got Me, Dedicated Follower of Fashion, classic, the Animals-Don't Bring me Down House of the Risin Sun, the British Invasion in general. Do you realize they got American blues records off the ships, put their twist on it and sold it back to us. How many of you knew that? Music feeds the soul....anyway it comes! These were all my influences too, along with Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, Howlin Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson.

    I had been playing drums now 6 years, heavy practicing. I joined my 1st group "the Epilogue" with Dale Peterson from the Chessman, they rehearsed a couple blocks away from me. They were great, we played rock, blues, pop (British Invasion pop). I started to learn how to perform my music, not just play it, I was hooked, no turning back now! I continued to play out and practice. I was offered a job with a group called "Prism", I was thrilled. We had a girl singer so we played a wide range of material from the Jefferson Airplane to Billie Holiday with Jim Appleby on guitar. Later that year Rick Cier one of the finest keyboard players in town joined us. Eventually things fell apart as happens in rock bands, drugs, alcohol, and just plain personalities. I had met a guitarist who was starting a band Jeff Dagenhardt, the band "Comus". He played with all the blues greats Sam Lay, Muddy, everyone, I was honored. That lasted a year, I was offered a gig with a group called "Short Stuff" they were the best blues band in town and I was 16. Junior, the keyboard player used to drop me off at high school, looking back what a time. My family was very supportive as long as I got the grades. They did hold that over my head, No Grades-No Music...! I learned so much from Junior and Kenny Berdall. Jimmy Liban only did a few shows when I was in the group and he moved to Nashville. Jimmy is a great talent. I hear Junior does a Little Richard impersonation in Vegas. He does look just like him. Junior Luv ya Bud. Same to you Jimmy and Kenny! I was getting more into Zeppelin and heavy blues. A band called "Tongue" was looking for a drummer. They played heavy blues. I was the 54th drummer they auditioned and I got the gig.

    "Tongue" was where I wanted to be. They already had a great following. We played great shows, we would show up in Eagle River WI, there would be a stage and 3,000 people waiting for us. We had a road crew Bunny, Rube, and eventually Woody to, all we had to do was slam two beers and go play. They set up the equipment and tore it down when we finished, on to the next town. We traveled in a limo, life was the best! This went on for 4 years. Colorado, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, we played mostly, also we built quite a following. We were in Hollywood for the 1st time staying at the Tropicana and I forget the name of the restaurant downstairs Al's I don't remember, but the best burgers. We were recording at Hollywood Central Studios, we would eat at Southtown, a soul food place on Wilcox. Going back to the studio I was with John Rhys who owned the studio and was producing us, and I saw this beautiful black woman, now I am only 17. I said wow look at her, John said look at her feet, I said what...? Look at her feet, well they were so big they were hanging over the shoes. John said Teddy look and learn, that is not a woman, that is a man dressed as a woman, well needless to say when I see a woman the first thing I do is look at her feet, have sine 1972. That night we went to the Whiskey and I could'nt believe it the Who were there, and later that night we ran into Keith Moon at Denny's on Sunset. For a kid 17 that was exciting. Our album never was released do to legal problems, for you young players have attorney's on your side.

    We played Denver on the way back home and that is where I met Bobby Barth who later we would start "AXE". He was such a great songwriter, I loved his material. So back to Milwaukee. The fun places to play now were the Stone Toad, Teddy's, the Electric Ballroom, the Saloon, the Alternate Site at the lakefront and more in Milwaukee. Wisconsin had a great music scene. "Tongue" played the same places as Styx, Reo Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, Clicker, and Luther Allison W/ my buddy Jimmy Solberg an incredible blues guitarist. Music in Wisconsin was smokin'. Headliners, the Nitty Gritty in Madison, The Barr in Oshkosh and Eau Claire, the London Inn, Lord Jefferies pub Eau Claire, the Modernaire Bar in Eagle River, the Rathskellar in Fondy plus all the festivals. I will never forget we were coming through Tennessee and bought 1/2 a truckload of fireworks and on Sunday after a killer show Sat. night, we woke up loaded up a row boat and hid it until dusk. We said Hop who was the owner, check this out, we had pushed the boat out shot a flair at it, it blue like Mt St. Hellens. Fireworks were flying everywhere, I still can't believe the men in blue never came...? Then there was Pine Point in Menomonie, and a ton more. We had all kinds of places to play. Again Music helped the soul...! Many groups went on to big things I wish Doug Yankus from Soup did not pass away(what a talent), Jon Paris from Ox went on with Johnny Winter and many others. If your in NYC go see Jon on monday nights at BB Kings in Times Square he hosts the evening. Don't forget the Bull Ring and Sweetbottom, Daryl joined Genesis. Tongue broke up, I moved to L.A. (see L.A. '75-'76) We had wonderful music here and it continues, we'll get into the 80's next time, fasten your seat belts for that one. Let the Music comeback....See you soon.

    Teddy Mueller started his career as the drummer for classic rock band Axe, touring with Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Iron Maiden, Joan Jett, Alice Cooper, and many, many more, Teddy has been around the world playing his drums and played for crowds of over 50,000 people! Since then, Teddy is a voting Grammy member as well as working in the retail business environment as manager and district manager for major retail companies. To learn more about Teddy Mueller, visit his website:

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    Sunday, May 11, 2008

    A Tribute to the Rolling Stones

    The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World
    By Christina Dee

    The Rolling Stones is an internationally acclaimed English band. First introduced in the U.S. on their American tour in 1969, the band is recognized as one of the most successful and longest-running groups in music industry. The Rolling Stones have produced and performed 40 years of impressive, captivating music. Originally the Rolling Stones was a rock and roll, rhythm and blues band, but later they switched to blues, psychedelic, country music and even reggae.

    The Formation of the Rolling Stones

    Harmonica player and guitarist Brian Jones formed the band around 1962. As the leader, Jones recruited Mick Jagger for vocals, Ian Stewart for piano and Geoff Bradford for guitars. Jagger invited Keith Richards to join the band. The Rolling Stones' original lineup also included Dick Taylor for bass and different drummers, such as Carlo Little, Tony Chapman and Mick Avory. Since Bradford was not pleased about playing rock and roll, he immediately left Rolling Stones and was replaced by Bill Wyman. Taylor also left to attend art school and was soon replaced by Charlie Watts. When The Beatles heard about Rolling Stones, they helped the new band to get in touch with famous manager Andrew Oldham. George Harrison even contacted Decca Records to get the Rolling Stones to sign a record deal.

    Rolling Stones Albums that Became Legendary

    The Rolling Stones' first album, entitled "Rolling Stones (England's Newest Hitmakers)" under Decca Records was released in 1964. It was then followed by a UK tour that gave way to a new rhythm and blues style. The follow-up album, entitled "The Rolling Stones No.2," still included cover songs. Around 1963, the Rolling Stones toured the U.S. after the Beatles' introduction to the British Invasion. There the Rolling Stones received their first big hit with "Time is on my Side." However, in June 1965, the band released their third album, "Out of Our Heads," which featured the "Satisfaction" U.S. song cover that gave way to the band's hit-making streak.

    In 1966 the album "Progression" was released, featuring compositions of Richards and Jagger. However, the 1967 "Between the Buttons" album clearly demonstrates the major influences of the band's contemporaries like The Kinks and The Who. After the release of the "We Love You" single, Rolling Stones then released "Their Satanic Majesties Request," which became criticized for riding with the Beatle's mania. On the "Beggars Banquet" album, the Rolling Stones came back to their original rock and roll sound, despite personal tension between Richards and Jones. In June 1969, however, Jones was forced to leave the band for good after continuous absences from recording sessions. He was replaced by Mick Taylor for guitars. Jones drowned on his home pool two days before the Rolling Stones' performance at Hyde Park Concert.

    In 1969 Rolling Stones ended their contract with Decca Records and set up their own recording company. "Sticky Fingers" of 1971 and "Exile on Main St." were released after Mick Jagger left his hometown. Even after Jagger and Richards had separate social lives, the album "Goats Head Soup" was released in 1973. While Jagger and Richards would continue their power struggle for years, they eventually patched things up and buried the hatchet upon the release of the "Steel Wheels" album in early 1989.

    Rolling Stones continued to produce amazing rock and roll music without too much controversy on albums like "Voodoo Lounge" of 1994, "Stripped" of 1995, "Bridges to Babylon" of 1997, "Forty Licks" of 2002 and "A Bigger Bang" of 2005.

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    A Tribute to Led Zeppelin

    Led Zeppelin - Legendary Rock Performers of Yester Year
    By Christina Dee

    A group of youngsters in England formed a rock band of the genre of heavy metal band in October 1968. The band soon proved its mettle and had a meteoric rise in performance and popularity in the arena of rock music. Its forte was in arcane lyrics coupled with a sensation-causing play of guitars - in particular in the magical hands of Jimmy Page - amidst screaming vocals of notable singer Robert Plant.

    In the world of rock music, Led Zeppelin could not sustain itself and the band was short lived. After the death of one of its founding fathers, the band was dismantled in 1980. The work of the band, though, spanning just over a decade, carved out a special niche in the history of rock music as innovators.

    Who Was in the Band?

    The band consisted of the following members:
    1. John Bonham
    2. John Paul Jones
    3. Robert Plant
    4. Jimmy Page

    Even before being christened Lead Zeppelin, later on re-christened as Led Zeppelin, the band produced its debut album in an incredible time span of less than 30 hours. The work was so meritorious and stunning that it attracted the attention of Atlantic Records in the United States, eventually leading the band to enter into a contract with them before the end of 1968.

    This early success prompted the band to undertake a tour of United States during the beginning of 1969. This unique opportunity enabled the band to release their debut album, adopting the eponymous title "Led Zeppelin." The album became so popular in U.S., it found a place in the top 10 of sales in the U.S. market. During 1969 Led Zeppelin extensively toured in the U.S. and England.

    Success Came Quickly, and So Did the Albums

    After the resounding success of their debut album, the band brought out another album, "Led Zeppelin-II," by the end of 1969. Quite predictably, the second album hit the market and created an unprecedented success in capturing the top slot.

    In the following year, the band released its third album, entitled "Led Zeppelin-III," which was also proved to be popular. The group released an untitled album in November 1971 showcasing diverse forms of its music and unmistakably showing its fixation with folk tales and mythology of Britain. Led Zeppelin released its fifth album, breaking the box office record held by the Beatles. The band released a double album in 1975, which lived up to the expectations of the successes of its earlier albums. Their next album was released in 1979, catching the imagination of music lovers and recording the number-one position both in the U.S. and the UK.

    Always a Fan Favorite

    1. Stairway to Heaven
    2. Whole Lotta Love
    3. Dazed and Confused

    These innovators of music, soon after its formation, established themselves a worthy place in the firmament of the world of music and soon rose to astounding heights, winning a place in the hearts of millions of rock music lovers worldwide.

    If You're After Led Zeppelin Merchandise.

    We've got the largest range of rock, punk,
    metal and goth merch available online. Get
    everything from studded belts to wristbands.


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    Neal Cassady - Looking back on the Beat Generation

    Neal Cassady - Beat Generation Hobo
    By Dennis Siluk, Ed.D.

    Born 1926, died 1968, 41-years old. Best known for being an icon of the Beat Generation, nothing wrong with the Beat Generation, but with some of the deadbeats from that generation, and he is one. He met Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, in 1946, at Colombia University (and later on would be in Jack's books as one of his characters, 'On the Road'). Anyhow, he would receive an elegy by Ginsberg after his death, but what I want to dig out of this essay, is his essence.

    He had an on and off relationship with Ginsberg for some twenty years; similar to Peter Orlovsky's. He is even mentioned in Ginsberg well known book 'Howl,' which is in my opinion, not worth mentioning, but I did, didn't I. He got married and hand children, bisexual, and settled some fifty-miles outside of San Francisco. Funny, now that I think of it, I was in San Francisco in 1968-to-1969, the year he died. He served time in prison, and used some drugs along the way (not uncommon for that time). He is also mentioned in several other books of his day, along with "Hell's Angels," and "Visions of Cody."

    But what did he write to make his name? Actually this guy shows up in 19-books, by well known writers, and four movie films, and I think they are making a movie of him to be released this year, 2008. But what did he write? He even lived with the 'Grateful Dead' and he was put into a song, "The Other One," but what did he write? Kesey wrote a short story of him, after he died. Thus, he was well liked, and well known to a certain group of that day, which started at Colombia University. He died of a bad cold, after coming out of the rain, he went into a coma, and that was that-the hero died of a cold; and wrote nothing, nothing that I know of.

    See Dennis' web site:

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    Friday, May 9, 2008

    ALBUM REVIEW: Eric Clapton - Me and Mr Johnson

    Eric Clapton Me And Mr. Johnson Blues Music CD Review by Clyde Lee Dennis

    I can describe the latest release from Blues sensation Eric Clapton for you with just one word… Outstanding!

    The CD launches with an outstanding track, When You Got A Good Friend, that I anticipate will be heard on radio stations everywhere, and deservedly so. It really is a very nice track.

    Blues music fans will recognize some of the well known contributors on the project including Andy Fairweather-Low and Billy Preston plus a few other notables as well.

    Listen to this CD and I believe you’ll find there's not much to dis-like about it. The songs are inspired, the production is simply outstanding, and Eric Clapton is clearly in top form. So much so that if you're even mildly into Blues music you'll enjoy this album.

    While this entire album is outstanding some of my favorites are track 1 - When You Got A Good Friend, track 4 - Me And The Devil Blues, and track 11 - If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day.

    My SmoothLee Bonus Pick, and the one that got Sore [ in "Stuck On REpeat"] is track 10 - Come On In My Kitchen. Outstanding!

    Me And Mr. Johnson Release Notes:

    Eric Clapton originally released Me And Mr. Johnson on Mar 30, 2004 on the Reprise label.

    CD Track List Follows:

    1. When You Got A Good Friend
    2. Little Queen Of Spades
    3. They're Red Hot
    4. Me And The Devil Blues
    5. Traveling Riverside Blues
    6. Last Fair Deal Gone Down
    7. Stop Breakin' Down Blues
    8. Milkcow's Calf Blues
    9. Kind Hearted Woman Blues
    10. Come On In My Kitchen
    11. If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day
    12. Love In Vain
    13. 32-20 Blues
    14. Hell Hound On My Trail

    Personnel: Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar); Andy Fairweather-Low, Doyle Bramhall II (guitar); Jerry Portnoy (harmonica); Billy Preston (keyboards); Nathan East (bass); Steve Gadd (drums).

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    Saturday, May 3, 2008

    Jim Morrison - The End

    Jim Morrison, of The Doors, Strange and Controversial Death
    By Jonathon Bates

    Jim Morrison was born James Douglas Morrison on December 8, 1943, in Melbourne, Florida. His father was an Admiral in the United States Navy. His family moved around due to his father's job and position in the Navy. Morrison's father was a strict authoritarian figure. Perhaps this had an influence on Jim Morrison's rebellion that he reflected later in his music. Jim Morrison attended St. Petersburg Junior College and Florida State University, both for a year. Morrison then moved to the West Coast to study film and theater at UCLA in 1964.

    He became obsessed with the poetry of William Blake and the writings of philosopher Frederich Nietzsche. He gradually lost interest in school and drifted away to finally write his own poetry. Morrison soon began experimenting with drugs, particularly LSD. Morrison impressed several people at that time and decided to form a band. Two of his band members were recruited from the Psychedelic Rangers. Robbie Krieger and John Densmore joined Morrison and The Doors was created. The name was Jim Morrison's idea. He got the idea from The Doors of Perception, from Aldous Huxley's book on mescaline.

    Jim Morrison began his singing career fairly shy as a front man. He would avoid eye contact with his audience and sometimes sang with his back turned to the audience. He soon came out of his shell and began performing as the Jim Morrison we all know.

    The Doors rose to stardom in 1967 with their debut that began a string of hit songs and headlines in the news. Morrison's anti war antics were loved by many, but hated by some. Especially, due to his father's position as an Admiral in the U.S. Navy. In fact, Jim Morrison was closely watched by the United States Government because he was related to a figure of a high status the US Government. His relationship with a US Admiral, his father, made him a "potential threat" to US intelligence at the time.

    Jim Morrison was also known for drunken outbursts of behavior with frequent loss of his temper. He began performing with erratic messages to include profanity and innuendos of sex, to provoke frenzied reactions from his audience.

    Law enforcement officials were frequently seen at concerts and often arrested Morrison on obscenity charges, which were usually later acquitted. The Doors also retreated into the studio, where they created works like LA Woman and the hard rocking Morrison Hotel. Morrison often retreated to Paris to unwind and write poetry.

    Jim Morrison founded Zeppelin Publishing Company with the help of the legal department of Warner Brothers Pictures and Atlantic Records. Jim Morrison was also known for his very high IQ. Perhaps this was another reason why he was considered a potential threat to US intelligence. Interestingly, Morrison founded Zeppelin Publishing Company right before the rock band Led Zeppelin became famous. At the time, everyone knew who The Doors were, but Led Zeppelin was not well-known yet. Zeppelin Publishing Company was chartered, only to be shelved and later revived.

    Jim Morrison encompassed a baritone voice that was dark and erotic. His poetic lyrics along with his voice, helped skyrocket The Doors to be one of the most talked about, controversial, and theatrical acts of our age.

    Their popular hits of the 1960s included Light My Fire, Hello I Love You, Don't You Love Her, and many more. On March 1, 1969 Jim Morrison and The Doors were booked for a concert in Coconut Grove, Florida. Morrison's flight was held over in New Orleans, and he spent much time in the airport bar, drinking heavily.

    By the Time Morrison arrived on stage, he was barely able to stand. In front of the screaming crowd of over 13,000 people, Morrison briefly exposed himself. Law enforcement officials were pressured by Miami area residents to issue a warrant for his arrest. Morrison later turned himself in to the FBI and went on trial on August 12, 1970.

    Jim Morrison eventually withdrew from his own band to write poetry in Paris. He increased his drug and alcohol use, and was found dead in his bathtub on July 3, 1971. He was said to be the victim of an apparent heart attack. He was only 27 years old. Jim Morrison was then buried at the Pere-Lachaisse Cemetery, in Paris.

    There is much controversy over his death because of the surrounding circumstances at the time. Following his death, there was a series of bizarre and strange events. People call them strange coincidences. For example, there was a three-day news blackout in the media. His death was not reported until the funeral was over. Robert Hillburn of the LA Times wrote about Morrison's obituary. He titled in article "Why Morrison -- News Delay?". He ignited a controversial spark that since has not dimmed.

    Since Morrison's death, there have been rumors and myths of Morrison being spotted in strange places around the world. The most likely place he would be is Paris, France. However, there have been stories of sightings of Morrison, and even claims that he may be living in the Pacific Northwest. He is said to own a ranch there, and living peacefully in seclusion.

    As highly unlikely it is for Jim Morrison to still be alive, stranger things have happened in our history. It certainly sparks the imagination of this Doors fan, and other music lovers around the world.

    Jonathon Bates is a reporter and researcher of past myths and legends of Rock and Roll, and publisher for various news programs and publications. His weekly column can be read at:

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    A personal view of Jimi Hendrix

    Jimi Hendrix Biography And Top 10 Songs
    By Andy Jackson

    I have listened to Jimi Hendrix since I can remember and he was probably the first person I ever wanted to be when I was a kid. I love the guitar but I can play it about as much as I can walk on the moon. When I was much younger I attempted to take guitar lessons, but I didn't have my own guitar and had to use my dads. The problem with that is, I'm left handed and my dad right handed and so we had to keep switching the strings about which my dad moaned at. There was no way I could play the guitar left handed like Jimi so I eventually gave up and decided to appreciate the guitar skills in others and focus my energy on other things.

    Jimi was born on November 27th 1942 in Seattle, Washington and is remembered as one of the greatest guitarists of all time (the greatest to me). Jimi first became famous within the USA (his home country) and ended his career in London, England. Jimi made success in the US when he performed at the Monteray Pop Festival in 1967, he later headlined at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. Jimi had many influences to his music, including Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Curtis Mayfield and even Pete Townshend (The Who) and was also influenced by his Native American heritage.

    Over the years Jimi helped to revolutionize music by developing several guitar techniques (using overdriven amplifiers to produce guitar feedback), and was one of the first performers to use stereophonic and phasing effects in the recording studio. Jimi is also well known for his flamboyant dress sense and stage performances.

    Jimi was found dead in the basement flat of the Samarkand Hotel in London (I went to see for myself on a visit) and the cause of death was said to be he had died by drowning on his own vomit after drinking red wine and taking several sleeping pills. The circumstances leading upto Jimi's death still remain somewhat a mystery and the details vary from report to report.

    Jimi was inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame in 1992 and holds many other achievements such as Melody Maker' pop musician of the year 1967 and 1968, Rolling Stone Magazines number 1 of their 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time, and also has his star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

    Jimi released several studio albums (some notable ones being Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, Rainbow Bridge and Electric Ladyland) and has also released several live albums (Band Of Gypsys, Isle of Wight, and Bleeding Heart to name a few). Some of Jimi's most popular singles were: Hey Joe, Stone Free, Purple Haze, All Along the Watchtower, Foxy Lady, Voodoo Child and Little Wing.

    There have been many artists and bands who have covered Jimi's songs over the years (The Cure - Purple Haze, Stone Free - Eric Clapton, Bold As Love - The Pretenders) and there have been also several tribute albums released in his honor.

    My Top 10 Jimi Hendrix Songs are:

    01. All Along The Watchtower
    02. Hey Joe
    03. Purple Haze
    04. Voodoo Child
    05. Crosstown Traffic
    06. Little Wing
    07. Stepping Stone
    08. Look Over Yonder
    09. Izabella
    10. Spanish Castle Magic

    View the full blog for my top music reviews of bands songs and artists and share with me your comments and your top songs.

    Andy Jackson


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