Wednesday, December 31, 2008

VIDEOS: Savoy Brown: British Blues Legends

Hi all.

I've just come across some really great videos of one of my favourite 60s and 70s British blues bands: Savoy Brown. With Kim Simmonds and his blistering guitar work, this stuff is really worth listening to. Enjoy!

Poor Girl:

Looking In:

Hard Way To Go:

Louisiana Blues:

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thelonious Monk: One Of The Pioneers Of Bebop

From amongst all the jazz legends and pop legendary pianists, Thelonious Monk is most known for what can be called 'straight forward jazz'. Born Thelonious Sphere Monk on the 10th of October 1917, Monk began playing the piano at the tender age of nine. Most of what he knew on the piano was self taught in addition to the tricks he learned while slyly dropping in on his elder sister Marian's piano classes and a little formal training.

He dropped out of Stuyvesant High School where he was doing his schooling to start playing the piano professionally. He toured with an evangelist for whose meetings he played the church organ. In his later teens, he got gigs playing jazz piano. He was the house pianist at a club - Minton's Playhouse - in the early 40's. His influences at the time were most the stride pianists of the era - Duke Ellington, James P Johnson and the likes.

His trademark style of playing was something that he polished incessantly during the cutting competitions that took place at the club late at night featuring all the piano greats of the time. His stint at Minton's Playhouse brought him in touch with the other exponents of Bebop - Charlie Christian, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Kenny Clarke. It is this period of time that the bebop style of playing was created . He influenced the the bebop style of playing so much that he has arguably been referred to as the founder of bebop.

Monk then moved on to playing for groups. His first ever studio recording was made featuring the Coleman Hawkins quartet in 1944. He became the leader of the Blue Note three years later. His recordings with Blue Note displayed his penchant for coming up with composing music with strong melodies. The same year saw his marriage to Nellie Smith, with whom he had two children. His son TS Monk was born in 1949. He is a jazz drummer, composer and band leader. His daughter Barbara was born in 1953.

In 1951, Monk ran into trouble with the police. A car in which he and fellow pianist Bud Powell was found to contain narcotics. During the trial against Bud Powell, he refused serve as witness testifying against Bud Powell. As a result, his New York City Cabaret Card was taken away by the police. Thus not being able to play in New York where there was liquor being served. He continued to play in other places though.

He continued recording, touring and composing. After his contract with Blue Note Records lapsed, he moves to prestige records. At Prestige, he recorded some not-so-successful but critically acclaimed albums with Sonny Rollins on saxophone and Art Blakey on drums. It was around this time that the famous Christmas Eve sessions were recorded which were released in the form of the two albums - The Modern Jazz Giants and Bags Groove and Miles Davis - both of these by Miles Davis.

He visited Europe in 1954. He went to Paris to record and perform. He met jazz patron and member of the Rothschild family, Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, with whom he struck a friendship that lasted his life long.

Though Monk was well recognized in jazz circles by his contemporaries and the jazz audience , his records didn't sell as well. He shifted from Prestige Records to Riverside Records, who bought out his contract. In an effort to get the masses in tune with his style of music (which was thought to be too difficult at the time for the average listener), Riverside asked him to record an album two album of his own versions of the jazz standards of the time.

Thus Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington was released with the intention of increasing Monk's market. The album has Duke Wellington's tunes redone by Monk for which he had to study Duke Ellington's pieces from scratch. On his next release, Brilliant Corners, he got a chance to actually record his own tunes. Expectedly the title track of the album was so difficult that it had to be put together from a total of three takes. Sony Rollins accompanied him on the album.

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Classic Rock Legends

The Unsung Greats of Classic Rock by Matthew Kepnes

Classic rock is a term used loosely to describe the albums released in the early to late 70's by artists which have become legendary and therefore 'classics".

Most of these albums/artists were highly original and would become influential on many other bands for generations to come. No matter what era you were born in since the 70's almost ANY band you listen to would have been influenced by artists and bands from this era. So even if you are now only in your teens and you find you favorite band sounds "totally original" you can bet your bottom dollar that they were influenced by someone from this era ( even if they don't even know it!).

The seventies was a great era for music because it truly was a ground breaking time for original music. Nothing was copied, or rehashed, everyone had their own sound even though, as always in music, the 70's was a continuance and evolution of music from the 60's, but it matured more fully in the 70's.

Bands and artists such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix , Free, Allman Brothers, Queen, Black Sabbath, Cream, David Bowie, Status Quo are all examples of acts who made their start in the 60's but found their sound and style in the 70's, and therefore gave rise to many other bands who then added their own flavor to these styles.

Lesser known bands such as Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, Grand Funk Railroad, Scorpions (who became quite huge in the 80's), and Thin Lizzy are worthy of mentions but would not necessarily be known as legends, where as other acts such as Queen became absolutely huge and remain so to this day.

It is the same with "guitar heroes". Almost every guitarist no matter what age has heard of or has listened to Hendrix, Clapton. Jimmy Page etc but there are other extremely talented and influential guitarists who are less well known that should be in the legend status as well. Two such examples are Richie Blackmore from deep purple and Michael Schenker from UFO. You will find some modern players such as Kirk Hammet and Dimebag Darrel were heavily influenced by Michael Schenker, but Schenker has not really achieved "god like" status such as some of his contemporaries like Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton.

I could go on for hours about classic rock and there are hundreds of excellent albums that are still available today, (and some fine ones deleted) but some songs and albums rate a special mention for their guitar prowess and are worth your time to have at least a quick listen.

Here's a quick list or lesser known gems of classic musical genius that are worth a listen.

Deep Purple
Guitarist: Richie Blackmore
Choice albums: Made in Japan and Deep Purple in Rock
Songs: Highway Star, Child in Time

Some of the most blistering guitar work you will ever hear recorded in the early 70's and held the Guinness Book of Records title as the loudest recording ever made!

Guitarist: Michael Schenker.
Choice Albums: Phenomenon and Force It.
Songs: Rock Bottom

One of the most exciting and dynamic solos ever recorded, he was about 18 at the time!

FREE: (later to become" bad company" another excellent act!!)
Guitarist: Paul Kossof
Album: Best of Free
Songs: All Right Now, Fire and Water, .Mr. Big [live]

Simplistic and slow style excellent natural tone, all feeling!!! A Les Paul plugged straight into a marshal, no pedals and no tricks.

Guitarists: Andy Powell & Ted Turner
Choice albums: Argus and There's The Rub

Excellent melody and twin harmony lead breaks, copied by many acts since! Very complex arrangements.

I know I have missed many other guitarists and bands here, but the thought is to give an idea of the amount of unearthed 'gems' there are to be heard apart from the obvious legends!!

Matt is a guitar enthusiast who lives and breathes anything guitar related. He's been playing for a long time and loves talking about guitars with everyone. You can find him frequently playing on his porch. Check out free tips, online lessons, and a guitar forum at Axebay- Used Guitars.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Secret Number of Sergeant Pepper

The Secret Number of Sergeant Pepper by Robert Paterson

One time when we had not very much to do, and we were feeling very bored, and we REALLY wanted to know just what the answer to it all was, all of a sudden someone turned the album cover of the Sergeant Pepper album upside down.

With the cover in that position, it was easy to see that the word BEATLES when viewed upside down, made a seven digit number. The number was 5371038.

A couple of the digits had to be fudged a little bit to make them be numbers but don't forget that at the time we were quite used to the idea of trying to interpret strange shapes and colours and configurations of patterns which might or might not contain some cosmic message relayed from another dimension. It just went with the territory. And also, as you can see from the picture of the album cover, the word is constructed in a flower bed so the letters are not too rigid.

The next logical thought was that it might be a secret telephone number which you could call and get the lowdown on all the Beatles mysteries, such as, was Paul really dead, who was the walrus, does Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds really stand for LSD, what is the meaning of number 9, and a host of others.

But not only those mysteries. What if the secret number was channelled in some way, perhaps from a neighbouring galaxy, or from a non-physical dimension of the space-time continuum. In such a case, the Beatles and their album art designers might be unaware that they were being used as a medium. What if you could phone up and get the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything?

Naturally we tried London first, since the flower bed looks like it might have 01 next to it, which at that time was the London area code. No luck. Then we tried Liverpool, of course. Then New York (the Big Apple) and then Los Angeles that centre of fantasy. All drew a blank.

Which was a pity, because it had seemed such a great idea, and it might have been cool to know every secret there was to be known! Incidentally, numerologists may like to know that when you total the digits, you get 27, and when you total those digits in turn, you get the number 9. How amazing is that?

We couldn't help feeling that there might still be an area code out there, and that it might still be available to reveal its secrets to those who find it.

You can read more by Robert Paterson on and on

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Paul McCartney's Premature Death

The Rumour About Paul McCartney by Robert Paterson

Here's a little snippet to tell you about the "Is Paul McCartney dead?" debate that took place back in the 1960s. I've written about this elsewhere, but I thought I would now give a bit more detail about it.

Around the late 60s, after the Beatles had stopped touring as a band, a rumour started going around that Paul McCartney had died, possibly from a drug overdose, and that the man you saw in the pictures and film news footage was a look-alike. One version of the story claimed the man was Paul's brother, or his twin brother.

There were various opinions as to why the death of Paul should have been hushed up, if it were true. Whatever these reasons might be, many people claimed to have found hidden clues which served as evidence to back up the story. There were many of these clues on the Sergeant Pepper Album, but also elsewhere.

Here are some clues from Sergeant Pepper. Cover of Cover via AmazonOn the front cover is a flower bed with the band standing behind it, along with pictures of famous people from history. One of the clusters of flowers is in the shape of a guitar. The shape is that of the unusual "violin bass" that Paul always played on gigs, and it is in the left-handed position (Paul is famously left-handed.) The idea being that the flowers look like those on a grave.

The Sergeant Pepper album was one of the first to be packaged in the "gatefold" format, meaning that the cover opened like a book or a gate, showing a wide angle inside picture. On this picture, you can clearly see that Paul is wearing on his upper arm a black badge carrying the letters O.P.D. These letters are apparently used in hospitals and elsewhere to stand for "Officially Pronounced Dead."

On the back cover picture, Paul is shown facing away from the viewer while the other members face the camera. On the cover of the Abbey Road album, Paul is the only band member to have bare feet. Cover of Cover of Abbey RoadSome people saw bare feet as symbolic of death.

Some claimed to have found audio evidence in certain song tracks, notably in "Revolution 9" and "Helter Skelter" from the White Album by using electronic filtering techniques. The famous run-out groove on Sergeant Pepper was said to contain a secret message when played backwards, and the same was said about certain sections of "Revolution 9." The Beatles were known to enjoy experimenting with reverse over-dubbing, as in, for example, the George Harrison guitar solo in "I'm Only Sleeping" from Revolver, so it was natural that people would try to look for less obvious examples.

Well, the rumour eventually blew over, as do all rumours once they have run out of new evidence to support them. One possible explanation is that the whole thing was some private joke or hoax started by the band themselves, just for fun. Or perhaps it was giving a more artistic message. Because before all this happened, the Beatles had announced that they had tried the drug LSD, and Paul described the experience he had as being very profound. He claimed that he had come face to face with God while under the influence of the drug. This could be viewed as a type of "died and went to heaven then came back to tell the tale" experience. In those circumstances, it might well be artistically viable to hint at the death of the old self and a birth of the new.

The Beatles themselves were never forthcoming with explanations whenever the media questioned them about these speculations. This was quite right, artists should not need to explain their artistic creation, if it is complete it can stand alone by itself.

The most probable explanation is that all these "clues" were just coincidences which people seized on and tried to make something out of them which was not really there. It is a familiar media trick nowadays, but it was not so common at that time.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Evolution of Reggae Music

Reggae Music's Illustrious Ancestors - Mento, Ska & Rocksteady by Theresa Goodell


Jamaica's original rural folk music, called mento, is the grandfather of reggae music and had significant influences on the formation of that genre. Jamaica's "country music" was inspired by African and European music as well as by American jazz and featured acoustic guitars, banjos, bamboo saxes, hand drums and marimbula (large thumb pianos) also called rhumba boxes, which were large enough to sit on and play. There were also a variety of hand percussion instruments like maracas. Mento's vocals had a distinctly African sound and the lyrics were almost always humorous and happy. Everywhere people gathered you could find a mento band and there were many mento and calypso competitions throughout the island. Mento also gave birth to Jamaica's recording industry in the 1950s when it first became available on 78 RPM records. Mento is still around today.

Before World War II, calypso from Trinidad and Tobago had made its way into Jamaica's music and, although quite different, the two were often confused. Jamaica's own calypso artists performed alongside its mento artists throughout the island, for locals and tourists alike. A calypso craze swept the U.S. and U.K. in the late 1950s as Harry Belafonte came onto the scene. Many of his songs were actually mento but they were more often described as calypso.

After the war, transistor radios and jukeboxes had become widely available and Jamaicans were able to hear music from the southern U.S., particularly jazz and rhythm and blues from some of the greats like Fats Domino and Jelly Roll Morton, and records flooded into the island.

And then, in the early 1960s, came American R&B. With a faster and far more danceable tempo, the genre caught on quickly in Jamaica. Attempting to copy this sound with local artists, Jamaicans added their own unique twists, blending in elements of their Caribbean heritage, fusing it with mento and calypso and jazz, to create a unique genre heavily driven by drums and bass and accented with rhythms on the off-beat, or the "upstroke". This purely Jamaican genre dominated the Jamaican music scene at the time and was known as ... ska.


Coinciding with the festive mood in the air when Jamaica won its independence from the U.K. in 1962, ska had a type of 12-bar rhythm and blues framework; the guitar accented the second and fourth beats in the bar, essentially flipping the R&B shuffle beat, and gave rise to this new sound.

Because Jamaica didn't ratify the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works until 1994, Jamaican musicians often created instrumental ska versions of songs by popular American and British artists; copyright infringement was not an issue! The Skatalites re-made Motown hits, surf music and even the Beatles in their own style. The Wailers' first single Simmer Down was a ska smash in Jamaica in late 1963/early 1964 but they also covered And I Love Her by the Beatles and Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan.

Although the sound system concept had taken root in Jamaica in the mid 1950s, ska led to its explosion in popularity and it became a major, uniquely Jamaican, industry that continues to thrive today. Enterprising DJs with U.S. sources for the latest records would load up pickup trucks with a generator, turntables, and huge speakers, and drive around the island blaring out the latest hits. Essentially these sound systems were like loud mobile discos! DJs charged admission and sold food and alcohol, enabling them to profit in Jamaican's unstable economy. Thousands would sometimes gather and sound systems became big business. Amidst fierce competition, Clement "Coxsone" Dodd and Duke Reid surfaced as two of the star DJs of the day. Reliant on a steady source of new music, these two superstars began to produce their own records, ultimately becoming Studio One (Dodd) and Treasure Isle (Reid).

Other important ska producers were Prince Buster, whose Blue Beat label records inspired many Jamaican ska (and later reggae) artists, and Edward Seaga, who owned and operated the West Indies Records Limited (WIRL) in the 1960s but went on to become Prime Minister of Jamaica and leader of the Jamaican Labour Party in the 1980s.

As Jamaicans emigrated in large numbers to the U.K., the sound system culture followed and became firmly entrenched there. Without the efforts of a white Anglo-Jamaican named Chris Blackwell, the rest of the world might not have come to know this Jamaican brand of music. Blackwell, a record distributor, moved his label to the U.K. in 1962 and began releasing records there on various labels, including the Island label. His early artists included the Skatalites, Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley. Blackwell's international breakthrough came in 1964 when his artist Millie Small hit the U.S. airwaves with My Boy Lollipop.

Back in Jamaica, as American R&B and soul music became slower and smoother in the mid-1960s, ska changed its sound and evolved into... rocksteady.


Songs that described dances were very popular now in the U.S. and U.K, as well as Jamaica. In the U.S., we had The Twist, The Locomotion, The Hanky Panky and The Mashed Potato. One popular dance-song in Jamaica was The Rock Steady by Alton Ellis. The name for this entire genre may have been based on that song title.

The only noteworthy difference between ska and rocksteady was the tempo. Both styles had the famous Jamaican rhythm guitar complemented by drums, bass, horns, vocals and a groove that kept you on your feet moving, but the drum and bass are played at a slower, more relaxed, pace and the rhythm is more syncopated.

Rocksteady arose at a time when Jamaica's poverty-stricken youths had become disillusioned about their futures after Jamaica gained independence from Britain. Turning into delinquents, these unruly youths became known as "rude boys". Rocksteady's themes mainly dealt with love and the rude boy culture, and had catchy dance moves which were far more energetic than the earlier ska dance moves. Many bass lines originally created for rocksteady songs continue to be used in today's Jamaican music.

As a musical style, rocksteady was short-lived, and existed for only about two years. Some of the more well-known rocksteady artists were Alton Ellis, Justin Hinds and the Dominos, Derrick Morgan, The Gaylads, The Kingstonians, Delroy Wilson, Bob Andy, Ken Boothe, The Maytals and The Paragons.

Continuing to evolve, Jamaica's musical tempo slowed, bass patterns became more complex, and the piano gave way to the electric organ, giving birth to... reggae, which eventually became the most popular music genre in the world!

Visit for loads of information about Jamaica, its history, its food, travel information, reggae music, its artists, and resources for locating those hard-to-find collectibles in the genre.

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A Tribute to The Jimi Hendrix Experience

The Jimi Hendrix Experience by Billie Chainey

A friend of my named, Bob, was staying in Los Angeles in the spring of 1968 when I was seventeen years old. Bob asked me, "Would you drive me to a rock concert at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, California? I'll pay for the gas and buy you a ticket to the concert if you'll take me."

"Sure", I replied, "Who's playing?"

"It's a really far out guy named Jimi Hendrix. He's the most bitchin dude I've ever heard. His group is called The Jimi Hendrix Experience."

"I've never heard of him, but that's okay I always like to see the latest rock-and-roll. I'll need to get a map to figure out how to drive there. That's a really long drive and will probably take about two hours. "

Bob was ecstatic; "Far out, I will score the tickets right away. Later."

That week I spoke to a friend of mine named Clay and told him, "I'm going to be taking my friend Bob to a concert out in San Bernardino to see some guy named Jimi Hendrix."

Clay exploded with, "You've got to take me with you. I just love Jimi Hendrix's righteous music. I'll buy a ticket and help pay for the gas if you will take me?"

"Solid," I replied, "I always like going to a concert with a lot of people. So get your ticket and meet at my house this Saturday. I'm sure Bob will have no problems about your jamming with us."

"I'm stoked. Catch you on Saturday," Clay said.

The three of us gathered at my house early that Saturday afternoon, Bob had brought his 35 mm camera to record the event. We set out for our rock concert journey in my 1967 lime green Ford Mustang. Bob kept stating over and over, "Hendrix has just got to play my favorite song "Purple Haze" it's the grooviest song I've ever heard. I can't wait for you to be able to hear that song."

Many hippies with their long hair, beads, feathers, leather and non-conformist attitude of peace and love, were gathered outside the Swing Auditorium, which looked like a high school gymnasium building. The three of us were far from being hippies; we were middle class not willing to live the free lifestyle, usually drug laden, that so many flower children were involved in. It was a typical rock concert to me except it was taking place in a very out of the way location; I was use to concerts taking place in Hollywood. My main concern at that moment was remembering where the car was parked so we could find it quickly after the concert.

The three of us entered the auditorium and were disheartened to see that it was open seating. There were no assigned seats so it was a free-for-all on where you sat. I really hated this type of concert seating because if you got up to go to the bathroom you would lose your seat or your place in the crowd. The auditorium had space for about 1000 people. Bob said, "I want to get as close to the stage as possible. Let's make a beeline to the front of the stage." I looked up and noticed a poster hanging next to the stage. It was a picture of a young black man with crazy hair, looking very arrogant and sexy. I only liked rock-and-roll music so I was beginning to think that I was going to hear black soul music.

There were folding chairs surrounding the outer perimeter of the stage. Toward the front of the stage there was no chairs, it was just an open floor for people to stand on. Bob led the two of us to the very front of the stage, pushing and shoving whoever was in his path. I was glad that there were two young men with me so that I would not be beat up or hassled by the fans. I knew that mild hippies could go berserk without too much provocation from my previous experience of being attacked, trampled by fans, and beaten up by police at previous concerts. It was impossible for us to talk because of the loud noise of the crowd. We staked out our positions at the front of the stage.

The fire marshal came out and made an announcement, "This concert is going to be canceled due to the fire hazard of so many people unruly in this auditorium. If you don't sit down immediately we will close down this concert."

Suddenly this black man came on to the darkened stage and yelled into the microphone, "Shut the fuck up, I want to play." The entire auditorium went silent and everyone sat down immediately. "Who was that?" I couldn't see who it was because of the darkness on the stage; I had never heard anything like this being said to an audience before.

The fire marshal came back and said to the crowd," OK because you're all cooperating we will let this concert continue."

The lights came on the stage; there were already musical instruments set up just waiting for the performers to bring them to life. The crowd started going crazy with excitement. The three of us were being pushed very hard into the wall of the stage. The stage was approximately five feet high and I felt like a tomato being squished against the stage, I couldn't get any closer unless I was on the stage. I was slightly separated by a few feet from Bob and Clay, but they were still within eye contact, it reassured me to see their faces as any moment I could be pushed down or trampled by the body's pushing me into the stage.

From offstage came these two white men with crazy Afro's looking like tendrils reaching into the universe, one sat at the drums, the other picked up a bass guitar to play. The anxiety of the crowd increased when out came the same black man I had seen on the poster. "So this is Jimi Hendrix," I thought to myself. He was wearing maroon colored velvet pants with an embroidered jacket, beautifully spaced out hair and carrying a white guitar. He was smiling and spoke to the crowd, "Good evening everybody, it's really cool that you all shut up so I could play. I just want to groove with you this evening. So let me just, ah, get you experienced." I recognized the voice as the one who had said earlier "Shut the fuck up I want to play".

The moment Jimi strummed the first note of the guitar the audience went crazy with excitement and I realized I was not going to see a Motown soul artist. I maintained my place next to the stage as the audience was so entranced by the music they were no longer pushing and shoving. Jimi started playing a song called, "Fire". The sounds emanating from his guitar were like a foreign language to me, mysterious, beautiful, different and dangerous. Jimi contorted his face with each chord movement; it was like seeing the chords even if you didn't know them. The music was so loud it physically penetrated my body. It was as though I had become the instrument that he was playing. I was moving to each sound he made without any control of my body.

The next song he played changed my life forever; it was called "Purple Haze", just like Bob had promised it was one of the greatest songs I had ever heard. During this number the time came for his solo, Jimi started playing the guitar with his teeth! Jimi didn't miss a single chord, the music was perfect. Never had I seen anybody play the guitar with his teeth. I was mesmerized by this performance. Next he flung his guitar behind his back and continued to play, never missing a note, his face was ecstatic. I did not know any of his music so each song was a revelation to me. To my left I saw Bob clicking away on his camera-taking photograph after photograph.

Just when I thought I had seen everything Jimi surprised me further, during the song "Are You Experienced?" Jimi started his solo and went down on his knees with his guitar between his legs, moving it back and forth along his crotch, simulating masturbation. I had never seen anything like this in my life. I couldn't believe what he was doing in front of the crowd of people. It was as though his own music sexually stimulated him. When Jimi had finished the masturbation simulation he stood up and went over to the large speakers with his guitar in front of him. Jimi started slamming his body and the guitar up against the speakers as though he was having sex with them, never missing a chord of music. The more intense the music became the faster and harder he slammed into the speakers, it was as though the music was both ecstasy and agony for Jimi.

My body continued to vibrate as Jimi played on for the next 45 minutes. I could not consciously think as the music played, every fiber of my brain was filled with music the likes of which it had never experienced before or since. There were moments in the music where I felt like I was falling backwards in time, and then Jimi would propel me forward into outer space. It became evident why the group was called "The Jimi Hendrix Experience"; there was no way you could listen to the music without experiencing your life differently from that point on.

When the concert was over Jimi said to the crowd, "It was really groovy tonight, I'm glad I was able to share my music. I wish you all peace and love." When he exited the stage the entire auditorium went ballistic begging him to come back, which he did. His encore was the climax of the evening for me, as he played "The Star Spangled Banner" unlike any version I had ever heard before. I could just feel the bombs bursting in air and the bullets flying by, as the sounds emanated from his guitar. How this one man captured the sound of war in his guitar was amazing, the mark of a true genius.

Jimi blew kisses to the audience as he and his band exited for the last time. He left like he entered, smiling. This man seemed to truly love what he was doing at that moment. I was still feeling stunned by this experience when Bob and Clay joined me. They were just delirious about the music. As we were exiting the building there were vendors selling two different albums by Jimi Hendrix. I had to purchase the albums right then and there; I did not want to go home without being able to take a part of that experience with me.

My ears were still ringing from the vibrations of the music. The three of us were very quiet on the drive back home. We were just letting what had happened to us absorb into our beings; we each knew that we had been changed by this experience. We would never view the world and our surroundings the same after this. You cannot go back to being a regular high school kid when your whole body just went through an alignment that none of your peers had ever witnessed or felt. Jimi Hendrix said it best when he stated that once you heard his music "You'll never hear surf music again". Meaning that you cannot go back to the easy California lifestyle when new sounds and vibrations have expanded your mind as well as your body.

This point was brought home to me the next day. I took my two prized Jimi Hendrix albums to my girlfriend Donna's house so she could hear the incredible masterful music I had just been enlightened by the night before. "You're really going to like this musician. He is like nothing you have ever heard before. I can't get over this concert," I told her while placing the album on the record player.

She sat quietly through the first two songs before she exclaimed, "Turn that music off. It sounds like Martian music." She wanted her music to be simple and uncomplicated. I now resonated to a different vibration. I knew I was not the same young girl I had been before. My change was mirrored to me by my girlfriend's reaction. My consciousness had been altered forever by the magic of Jimi Hendrix's music.

Cherokee Bille

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INTERVIEW: Bobby Pickett (of Monster Mash fame)

The Original Monster MashThe Original Monster Mash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Halloween's "Monster Mash" - It's Bobby Pickett Time by El Jay Alexander

This interview was part of a series done as a sideline to a family trip. At that time, I had no idea I had come upon a bevvy of oldies music performers in a tiny town on the Mississippi River. I quickly took advantage of it and I secured multiple interviews.

The scene was Trempealeau, Wisconsin, late evening. Outside the great Mississippi River flowed, unmindful of the chaos going on along its banks.

Inside the historic Trempeleau Hotel, I sat at a table and watched the mass confusion. All around me people pushed and shoved, trying to get a glimpse of, and, if they were really lucky, a word and an autograph from their favorite oldies star. As a reporter, I'd been there awhile and had already met a good many of them, so I just waited for the fervor to die down to get into some more interviews.

In the midst of it all, Bobby Pickett walked by, leaving the autograph tables set up at the end of the room. He was tall, big, and grayish blond. We exchanged some innocuous comments and I asked if he would talk with me.

The only place that wasn't lined with people and noise was the performers' travel bus, so we went there. Once inside, it was a different world. I had seen these buses on TV, say, when a newscaster interviewed a performer who wouldn't fly . . . but I'd never seen one up-close-and-personal, and certainly not from the inside. It was, literally, a moving air-conditioned mini-hotel.

I had met Bobby earlier in the evening, in the same bus, while interviewing Tiny Tim. At that time, Bobby sat quietly in the corner listening and grinning at some of the wild things Tiny Tim said. Because of their many travels together, Bobby wasn't surprised at Tiny Tim's habit of putting "Miss" in front of my first name.

So as Bobby offered me a seat now, he teasingly called me "Miss Linda." Here was a man who'd had one major hit in his life, MONSTER MASH, yet as long as there was a Halloween, it was a certainty that Bobby Pickett would live on. Some folks knew his name, fewer knew his face, but when he opened his mouth and began to sing that song, he was instantly recognized. This fact appealed to me. It was grand-scale notoriety without excess hassles.

I asked about his background.

"Gosh," he answered, "I started doing impressions, a five-minute sketch on monster movies, in the fifties. On my way back from Korea on a troop transport ship, I sang with a group. There was a guy who did this thing to horror movies. He did Boris Karloff, and I thought I did Boris Karloff so much better, so I," he shrugged, "picked his brain. I asked where he got it and he said he ripped it off from Jack Carter. I told him then that I'd feel free to rip it off from him!"

He laughed heartily. "So I did. I left the Army and did these talent contests and always won. I went to Hollywood because I wanted to be an actor. Ironically, I ran into four guys from my hometown in Massachusetts. They were forming a singing group and I said I had experience. I started singing with them and one of the tunes we did was LITTLE DARLIN.' In the middle of that is a monolougue, so I asked the leader if I could do it as Boris Karloff. Every time, the audience cracked up.

"One night after a gig, he said we should do a novelty record with my Karloff voice, something like PURPLE PEOPLE EATERS. I said I wasn't interested; I was leaving the group to pursue my acting career, ya da ya da."

Bobby made a face. "A year went by and nothing happened in terms of that, so I called him and said I wanted to write that song. In May of 1962 we won't MONSTER MASH, in about three hours. We only knew one person in the music business, Gary Paxton, and we took it to him. He wanted to produce it and later in May we did it. In less than two hours, tracks were down. In two days, it was done."

At this point, his expression was of remembered disbelief. "I didn't think it would go anywhere. I said I wanted a few copies because I had friend who loved Boris Karloff, then I left. I had no idea it would catch on. I just thought it was something to do." The amazement became more evident in his friendly eyes. "But within eight weeks it was Number One."

I added that it had never been forgotten since.

"It was a shock!" he agreed.

Did it amaze him still, to this day, to be somewhere around Halloween, and hear it played?

"Not anymore. My dad says I've become the Guy Lombardo of Halloween. MONSTER MASH is the National Anthem of Halloween." He grinned, pure mischief in his features." So now I kind of expect it and get upset if I DON'T hear it."

We talked for a good deal of time in that trailer, sitting on the banks of the Mississippi. We discussed his life when his hit song isn't providing his bread and butter, and he informed me that, finally, he has been able to work at his first true love, acting. In the sixties, he did a lot of episodic TV. Now he lives in Boston, is single, and acts regularly with Nick's Stage One Theatre.

Bobby Pickett was such a pleasant man. The perfect gentleman. Of all the interviews I did that evening, he was undoubtedly the most enjoyable. After all the years of hearing the MONSTER MASH, it was a joy to learn that the person behind that voice seemed as down-to-earth as Mom, Apple Pie, AND Chevrolet.

My hat's off to you, Bobby Pickett! It's time again to do THE MONSTER MASH. Every year at this time, Miss Linda will remember our interview.

El Jay Alexander - AUTHOR'S NOTE, 2008: Bobby Pickett died on April 25 of 2007. The man behind the Monster Mash has been silenced in life . . . but he lives on every October! I still think of you, Bobby, when I hear your infamous song!

El Jay Alexander, enjoyed the entertainment scene of the 'seventies. After doing the hustle, watching the Mod Squad, and listening to the Monkees and the Herman's Hermits on her Duster's car radio, El Jay grew up to interview and write about the people who engaged her imagination . . . those entertainers. These days, she sometimes does the entertaining herself through her own writing. El Jay appreciates all the reprints, as long as this bio box is included.

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Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) and Comfortably Numb - The Meaning of the Songs by Pink Floyd

Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) And Comfortably Numb - The Meaning of the Songs by Pink Floyd by Ameen Jabbar

So you have heard about the songs, Another brick in the Wall (Part 2) and Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd. They are both terrific songs which come from the album 'the Wall' and are both itching to be played, especially with the great guitar solo of Comfortably Numb. Great! But maybe you can learn about what the songs are actually about. Well.. Lets get started.

Album 'The Wall'

The Wall was made in 1979 and is heavily inspired by Roger Water's experience in life, his parents and how he sees life in society. That is generally what both of the songs are about. However I shall explain in more detail.

Another Brick In The Wall (part 2)

Another Brick in the Wall Pt 2 was written by Roger Waters and started off by the fact that his mother was so obsessed with education. This is combined with his views of education and how he felt, himself and others were treated whilst attending school. With the bricks in the wall being that all students were perceived as the same, with nothing, and that they were being molded into society. You can see this in The Wall movie when students are passed along a conveyor belt and immediately dropped into a molding container. The graphics are quite intriguing I have to say. The views of this person, Roger, is portrayed as the character, Pink as seen in the movie.

The song was made as a single when Bob Ezrin approached the band with his view of including children singing in the background stating that it will become a potential hit when released. So the band approached a school in Islington and successfully acquired some students to sing in the background, "We Don't Need no Education". As we might have guessed, Roger Waters was extremely satisfied. When released, Another Brick In The Wall ended up as a hit single and it spent 8 weeks in the Billboard number 1 spot in the US and appeared number 1 in the UK too.

Comfortably Numb

The lyrics of Comfortably Numb refer to The Wall's character Pink, arguably Syd Barrett. Pink Floyd's former leader who is a burned out and drugged rock star who has passed out in his hotel room, being too drugged to perform. Because of what happened to Syd Barrett, the founder of Pink Floyd, many believe that the song and character was influenced by him. The verses, sung by Waters, are the words of the doctor treating Pink, while the chorus, sung by Gilmour, is Pink's vision and thoughts whilst he is passed out answering questions about his feelings and reactions, etc, to treatment of being revived from his idle state. But answering only to himself.

There were many debates and arguments between Waters and Gilmour over the song with issues concerning the drum rhythm and Roger's lyrics and probably most of the song. There were many arguments between the two during their times and Comfortably Numb boasts much of these arguments.

What makes this song fantastic is the long and spine tingling guitar solo at the end. It just makes your day listening to it. It is personally the best guitar solo I have heard by a great guitar player, David Gilmour.

As of many, you may have listened to Another brick in the Wall (part 2), due to it being released as a single. I really recommend that you listen to Comfortably Numb too as it is more of a meaty song as many will agree.

To read more or to see Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 and Comfortably Numb song lyrics, or even to learn how to play these songs on your guitar then go to

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A Tribute to Third World: Reggae Masters

Reggae Ambassadors - Third World by Theresa Goodell

With a distinct sense of purpose, Third World, rightfully dubbed The Reggae Ambassadors, will celebrate its 35th anniversary in December, 2008! Another of my very favorite reggae bands who I have enjoyed live on many occasions, Third World is one of the longest-lived reggae bands of all time.

Criticized by reggae purists as too commercial, this legendary group of talented musicians manages to remain popular with their international audiences because their inventive music is always fresh and creative. They take risks and experiment, stretching the basic foundation of roots reggae. It is this imagination, and their superior capabilities to make music in its various forms (reggae, R&B, funk, pop, African, Latin, rock, dancehall and even rap) that inspires and endears them to their fans around the world.

Unlike many of the self-taught greats of Jamaica's reggae scene, some of these guys actually had classical and quite diverse music training. The group was founded in 1973 by Michael "Ibo" Cooper (born January 14, 1955, in Kingston, Jamaica), a policeman's son who received formal training on a variety of keyboard instruments at Kingston's Royal School of Music, and Stephen "Cat" Coore (born April 6, 1959, in Kingston), whose father served as deputy prime minister of Jamaica and who first learned to play stringed instruments from his renowned music teacher mother. He was trained at Forster Davis School of Music in Jamaica where he gained a reputation as a prodigy for his amazing talent on the cello. Both artists had played individually on the Kingston reggae circuit but first worked together when they joined the successful Kingston group, Inner Circle, in 1968.

Deciding to strike out on their own, Cooper, Coore and Inner Circle's vocalist Milton "Prilly" Hamilton completed their band with Richie Daley, a self-taught bassist. They recruited drummer Carl Barovier (who was replaced by Cornel Marshal) and percussionist Irwin "Carrot" Jarrett who had extensive professional experience with concerts and TV. Third World made its live debut with a performance at Jamaica's independence celebration in 1973.

Third World made a name for itself on the Kingston club scene as a fully self-contained band; a rarity because most labels in Jamaica were operated by sound systems while Third World had all its own musicians on hand. They did this so they could perform wherever they wanted rather than constantly scrambling for musicians or a sound system to support their singing. But this made it difficult to land a record deal so they toured England where the reggae sound was becoming popular, and released their debut single Railroad Track in 1974, subsequently signing a deal with Island Records. Island sent them on a European tour as the opening act for Bob Marley & the Wailers.

1976 saw the release of Third World's self-titled debut album which included a cover of the roots classic Satta Massagana by the Abyssinians. Their follow-up was 1977's 96° in the Shade, which introduced their new drummer, Willie "Roots" Stewart, and a new lead singer, William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke. That title track is an all-time reggae classic and the album was a huge critical success.

But Third World's breakthrough popular album was 1978's Journey to Addis, which featured a funkified reggae cover of Now That We Found Love by the O'Jays. The single was a crossover hit that grabbed listeners who didn't normally buy reggae albums. Along with the follow-up single Cool Meditation, Third World was launched to international stardom when they hit the US R&B charts and the British pop Top 10.

After releasing three more albums with island, Third World moved to Columbia in the early 1980s, believing they would get more attention if they weren't competing with Island's star act, Marley. While with Columbia they released 5 albums over the next 7 years, with significant success on the U.S. and U.K. charts. About this time they began collaborating with Stevie Wonder, who helped them develop their crossover sound. Reggae was popular with mostly white audiences in Britain and America and Wonder's support helped them gain the ear of black audiences as well, hitting the US R&B charts in particular.

Third World's success continued through the 1980s and into the 1990s with several label changes (CBS, Mercury) and the release of many more albums with crossover hits that reached the R&B, pop and dance charts and added to their international stature. Jarrett left the band during this time and was replaced by Rupert "Gypsy" Bent III. In 1997, founding member Cooper (replaced by keyboardist Leroy "Baarbe" Romans who was later replaced by Herbie Harris) and Stewart (replaced by drummer Tony "Ruption" Williams) also departed.

Sometimes accused by critics of being sell-outs, Third World wanted to make their music accessible to wider audiences - to represent common people all over the world, not just in their own country. They challenged the limitations of their genre and were the first reggae act to add funk and use a synthesizer. They had one of the first commercially successful fusions of reggae and rap. They were instrumental in popularizing dub poetry, which became the basis for dancehall. And they forayed into American hip-hop.

The reggae-hip-hop combo breathed new life into reggae in Jamaica and abroad. The talented Third World musicians have always been innovators, refusing to limit the infinite possibilities of their music. If you want to hear just one beautiful piece of music, listen to Cat Coore's performance on the cello on Symphony Rastafari.

Awarded the Medal of Peace by the United Nations for their contributions to African causes, they were invited guests at a tribute to Nelson Mandela in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1990. They were awarded the keys to the City of Key West, Florida. And just this month (October 2008), they were honored with 6 official proclamations from the City of Los Angeles, the Governor's Office of the State of California, the California State Senate, and the Mayor of Los Angeles, at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, California in celebration of the group's 35th anniversary. In addition, each member of the group was presented with his own plaque honoring him with the 2008 Jazz at Drew Lifetime Achievement Award.

Third World continues to evolve and to tour worldwide. Currently back in the studio working on their 20th album, they plan to end 2008 with a big anniversary celebration in December down in Jamaica. Keep them coming - I, for one, can never get enough!

Check out Third World's official website at:

Visit for loads of information about Jamaica, its history, its food, travel information, reggae music, its artists, and resources for locating those hard-to-find collectibles in the genre.

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Led Zeppelin Reunion?

Public Say NO to Led Zeppelin Reunion Tour by Ed Vinicombe

I love Led Zeppelin as much as the next guy. I wasn't even born into the era of Led Zeppelin but they are still one of my favourite bands of all time. They have written songs that will truly stand the test of time there is no doubt about that.

Former band promoter to Led Zeppelin has questioned as to whether there is any genuine reason to why the band should get back together for a tour in 2008. Harvery Goldsmith told a crowd at the MusExpo conference in London this week, "I certainly don't think they should do a big tour because I can't see the point of it", "I think that some of the band really want to go out on tour and do it and other members of the band need to understand why they're doing it, and if there's no compelling reason to do it, they shouldn't".

Harvey Goldsmith was reacting to statements released by bassist of the band, John paul Jones, confirming that he, Jimmy Page and John Bonham's son Jason were rehearsing with a view to do some live gigs. I would absolutely love led Zeppelin to get back into live performing, they are a band that I have always wanted to see and now the chance is so near it almost feels un-real. To see them live would be amazing. Harvey Goldsmith has brandished the idea as 'wishful thinking' yet I remain in hope that this tour will happen. All I can do now is keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best!

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1960s Rock 'n Roll

Move Over! It's the 1960's and Here Comes Rock 'n Roll! by Ronnie Slade

By the time album sales overtook singles in Britain and America in 1967, the LP's principal purchasers were teenagers and the prevailing repertoire was pop and rock - not the soundtracks, Broadway show scores and easy - listening favourites of the 1950s. Indeed rock-band recordings from the last third of the 1960s account for more than half of the decades best sellers.

This dramatic turn of events owed much to The Beatles, whose arrival supercharged both the business engine and the aural aesthetic of popular music. Armed with new resources and inspiration, late-1960s musicians embarked on artistic ventures undreamed of only a few years before. These albums contained much highly innovative music and the freedom from prior restraints generated such musical milestones as Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced? and Van Morrison's Moondance.

The massive commercial success of rock led to the development of whole new sub-genres, each sparking its own hugely popular works. Led Zeppelin helped create the heavy metal genre and bands such as Blood, Sweat and Tears and Chicago experimented with brass-assisted rock.

So great was the young public's appetite for the new music that a fresh radio format, FM, emerged to expose the wealth of releases that could not be accommodated by AM Top 40 stations with their restrictions on record length and subject matter. Further fallout from the album-rock era was an increased attention to packaging, which can be seen on the rich diversity of designs featured in the Top 20. Another expression of this trend could be seen in the development of the promotional music video. The Monkees' musical success was increased by their frequent appearances on television.

Later 1960s non-rock artists benefited greatly from the expanded album-buying market, especially if they had some connection to the rock audience. Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison and At San Quentin are a case in point. The singer's iconoclastic stance and irreverent material drew fans from the college crowd as much as it did older country fans, which helped boost sales of Folsom past the 3 million mark.

The new album format provided pop musicians with a whole new palette in which to work. In 1959, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reported total phonograph-record sales of $603 million. By 1969, these sales had reached almost $1.6 billion. The sales figures for the decade suggest that in the 1960s the public's musical expectations were being met, regularly and richly. The fact that so many of the albums of the 1960s continue to be bought today - in many cases by members of generations unborn at the time of the records' initial release - says even more than the statistics.

For a great selection of 1960s music please visit our site at and take yourself back to a place in time!

Thank you for reading - Ronnie Slade.

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A Tribute to Van Morrison

The Life and Music of Van Morrison by Russell Shortt

Van Morrison was born on 31 August 1945 in Belfast, Ireland. As a young teenager he was involved in numerous bands including the Sputniks, Midnight Special, Deanie Sands and the Javelins and the Monarchs. After leaving school he played with the Harry Mack Showband and the Great Eight with his friend and some time mentor Geordie Sproule.

At the age of seventeen he embarked on a tour of Europe with the International Monarchs, when he returned to Belfast he reunited with Geordie Sproule and played with him in the Manhattan Showband. He later joined Brain Rossi and the Golden Eagles as a blues singer but left before long to set up an R&B club at the Maritime Hotel, needing a group to perform at the club, he joined with members of the Gamblers who changed their name to Them.

Them had a number of successful chart hits including the rock standard Gloria, subsequently they went on a tour of America but became involved in a dispute with their manager, Decca Records' Phil Solomon over revenues paid. Morrison teamed up with Bert Berns, recording the song Brown Eyed Girl for Bang Records which reached number ten in the US charts in 1967.

On the death of Berns, Morrison began recording for Warner Bros. and his first album with them was the classic Astral Weeks. He released the album, Moondance in 1970, it was critically acclaimed and was a commercial success. Over the next few years he released several acclaimed albums, 1972's St. Dominic's Preview saw a return to the less accessible, innovative style of Astral Weeks. In 1973 he formed The Caledonian Soul Orchestra and embarked on a three month tour of the States resulting in the live double album, It's Too Late to Stop Now, it has come to be regarded as one of the greatest live rock albums of all time.

In 1974, he released the album Veedon Fleece, initially it was poorly received but it proved to be a slow burner and is now viewed as one of his best works. For three years after Veedon Fleece, Morrison released nothing, he stated that he needed a break after ten years from the music business. He returned on Thanksgiving Day, 1976, performing at a farewell concert for The Band, the event was filmed and formed the basis for Martin Scorcese's 1978 movie The Last Waltz. Morrison released the albums A Period of Transition, Wavelength and the much lauded Into the Music at the end of the seventies. Much of the music that Morrison would release in the eighties focused on spirituality with the albums Common One, Beautiful Vision, Inarticulate Speech of the Heart, A Sense of Wonder and No Guru, No Method, No Teacher.

In 1988, he released an album with the Irish group, The Chieftains called Irish Heartbeat which contained a collection of Irish folk songs. His 1989 album, Avalon Sunset featured the hit duet with Cliff Richard Whenever God Shines his light and the top-selling ballad Have I Told You Lately. The early nineties were a very successful time for him, with three Top Five UK albums, The Best of Van Morrison, The Best of Van Morrison Volume II and Too Long in Exile.

In January 1993, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he did not attend the induction ceremony becoming the only artist ever to do so. His albums of the mid nineties, Days Like This (1995), The Healing Game (1997) and Back on Top (1999) sold well but received mixed reviews. In 2002 he released the critically well received Down the Road, which gave him his highest US chart position since his 1972 work, St. Dominic's Preview, he followed this with the 2005 hit album Magic Time. In 2006, he released a country music album, Pay the Devil, it debuted at number twenty-six on The Billboard 200.

Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland.

Article source: Russell Shortt,

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What Else Happened (Musically) in the 1970s?

Punk, New Wave, Dance, Disco, Soul and Reggae - It's All Here - The 1970s! by Ronnie Slade

In terms of the range and variety of music, the decade to which Lennon referred was anything but a drag. The 1970s were a boom period on both sides of the Atlantic, both for the creative output of artists and musicians and for the fortunes of the music industry itself. Record Sales, both albums and singles, were growing beyond executives' wildest forecasts. More music was being made available than ever before; newer styles and fresher, more innovative sounds were coming to the fore. Punk, new wave, progressive rock, soul, reggae, dance and disco; they all either burst onto the scene for the first time in the 1970s or, if already established, were developed, enhanced and improved.

Having seen the ideals of the "peace and love" era amount to little, people approached the 1970s hoping for positive developments. Many looked to the music to provide the answers - or at least a distraction from the real world. People wanted music to reflect the times in which they lived but they also wanted to use it as a soundtrack to having a good time.

In the 1970s heavy rock came into its own, thanks largely to British bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and the Ozzy Osborne - fronted Black Sabbath. Led Zeppelin accounted for 64 million album sales in the 1970s - with each of the seven albums the band released in the period topping the charts in the UK and getting a Top Two placing in the US.

But there was more to the UK's rock invasion of the US than a bunch of galvanising riffs and heavy bass lines. Pink Floyd captured fans everywhere with their deeply constructed compositions, heaping electronic sounds onto guitars and keyboards.

Other bands whose high production values were matched by their ability to turn out albums full of searingly good songs included the Anglo - American Fleetwood Mac. Rumours became a Number One album in the US and the UK and went on to become the second - biggest selling long - player of the decade. Smooth rock was also a forte of the Eagles. At the outset the band had a distinctly country vibe, but as the albums came and went they developed a sharper sound, nowhere more evident than on their career highlight, Hotel California.

All in all, it can be argued that the 1970s witnessed a greater breadth and variety of music than any other period before or since. Certainly the evolution of music during this time - the speed with which it changed throughout those ten years - resulted in a great swathe of different sounds. There was, after all, a time before radio formatting took hold of the airwaves and established creative ghettos. It was a time when an album could work its way up the charts and build upon a groundswell of support. When all is said and done, the 1970s were indeed a golden age for popular music in all its many forms.

Thank you for reading. Why not browse our site for a vast and well-priced selection of 1970's music? Oops! I forgot to mention Motown!

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OPINION: The Music that Influenced the Hippie Generation

Baby Boomers And Music - Reasons They Never Forget Rock And Roll by Abhishek Agarwal

When the music gets too loud there is a problem for baby boomers. Baby boomers were part of a generation in music that defined so much of what is heard now. There are covers done by bands and rappers that borrow hooks from songs from the 60s and 70s. Baby boomers don't need to cover their ears when they hear the music of today, but embrace what their generation did for modern music.

When baby boomers were growing up, music was an important part of society. Icons were first taking form such as The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. Music was about life and changes. Music had meaning and reached into the heart and soul of the baby boomers. Not much has changed in that respect. Baby boomer musicians are still creating songs about getting older. However, the music still stays the same. Baby boomers can rock out and enjoy the music now just as they did when they were younger.

The rock and roll lifestyle wasn't always glitz and glam. The 60s saw the demise of several rock icons. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Freddie Mercury all succumbed to the lifestyle. There deaths were just as much as a part of the culture as any other thing that happened in that time. They went too far and took the rock and roll culture to a further point. Their music is still celebrated and looked upon as unique, trendy and still remains current to this day.

Baby boomers learned how to move on because it doesn't pay to wallow in sadness. Musicians from that time are still making music. The Rolling Stones recently went on a tour that was one of the most successful in the country. They made money while young and old rocked out to their music. Music of the baby boomer generation transcends different cultures. Take at look at Aerosmith or Bob Seger. These are all musicians that maintained over the years and continue to rock even into their later years. Just because you're old doesn't mean you aren't allowed to have fun. Baby boomers will argue they deserve it most because they have created a culture that won't soon be forgotten.

Rock and roll isn't just about the music though. Rock and roll is about an attitude. It's a way of life. A life the baby boomers exemplify. They live life to the fullest, doing everything they can and never getting cheated. However, the ones that took this attitude too far are the ones that suffered. If you look at baby boomers and all they have done in life, you see this attitude. They have worked in the best jobs, enjoyed life by going on great vacations and have bought the best things life has to offer.

Rock and roll is about not selling out. That is why rockers have great contempt for anyone they have deemed a sell out. This doesn't change with age. Baby boomers still aim to have fun even though their lives have gotten busier and they have more responsibilities. The more work they have to do just means a bigger reward in the end.

For baby boomers who have forgotten that lifestyle, there is still time to get it back. Throw on an old record or put on the classic rock station. You can even check out your grandson's collection. There might be a band that reminds you of your youth. You will be able to listen to the bands and be reminded of the days that once were. Remember rock and roll is here to stay. You can always be a part of it.

Abhishek has got some great Baby Boomer Secrets up his sleeve! Download his FREE 97 Pages Ebook, "All About Baby Boomers" from his website Only limited Free Copies available.

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Comfortably Numb Tabs - A Guide to Playing It!

Comfortably Numb Tabs - A Guide to Playing It! by Ameen Jabbar

Personally, Comfortably Numb is one of the greatest songs because of its outrageous guitar solo at the end. In this article, I shall show get you started on one the Comfortably Numb tabs, the first solo called the Intro solo.

Before I explain to you the one part of the Comfortably Numb tabs, it is important to practice properly. Go through this tab or any other tab slowly taking the tab apart and practice. Remember to get it right without rushing as 'Speed is the bypass of Accuracy'.

Here is the start of the tab which is played in B minor.

Comfortably Numb Tabs Intro Solo - Play it yourself

1. Using your index finger, place your finger on the E thinnest, 10th fret.

2. Quickly slide up or play the 14th fret on the same string and add vibrato.

3. Play this same note on the 14th fret, but this time muted the string with right hand.

4. Play this same note again on the 14th fret then perform a full string bend then release the bend. This is bending the string upwards.

5. Quickly, perform a full string bend on the B string, 15th fret adding some vibrato.

6. After, play the note on the same string 15th fret, then again same string, 14th fret twice. Play string G, 14th fret and play string D, 14th fret sliding down two frets. finally, play the 12th fret on string D. Add some vibrato.

7. Perform a string rake on the last 3 strings and then bend the thinnest E string and the release the bend.

8. Then quickly bend the B string, 15th fret.

9. Play the 15 fret on string B, then 14th fret, same string.

10. Play the 14th fret, string G and 14th fret string D.

11. Perform a half bend at the 11th fret on string D followed by playing the 9th fret and then the 7th fret all on the same string. Finish with some vibrato.

Go through this slowly and accurately until you get it perfect. To get the similar tone as David Gilmour's it is best not to use excessive distortion and aim for a nice bluesy sound. So, I recommend you add some compression, sustain, medium gain, reverb and delay to get close to Gilmour's sound.

Until next time have fun playing!

If you would like to play the rest of the Comfortably Numb tabs or other tabs, and also get hold of your FREE Pink Floyd tabs guide, please visit

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Acid Rock - A Psychedelic Genre

Acid Rock Music - A Blast to the Past by Ian Pennington

Most people have heard the term Acid Rock Music. Many of them have listened to it. If they've lived their childhood in a house with parents from the 1960's and 1970's it was probably their cradle music. A few of them may have even spent some of those teenage years of theirs lounging around the house and classroom in passed along Grateful Dead Tee Shirts, ripped jeans, and experimenting with some old records of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. When they were your age...

What they may or may not know is that this music was created for experimentation, of the drug induced variety. It is a trivial fact that most of the artists who wrote these songs were under the influence of acid at the time. Thus the penned name Acid Rock Music came to be. If they were not then the people who were listening to it were. With songs like "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane and group names like Bubble Puppy, it was easy to see the attempt at recreating the tripping experience. There was a long list of groups and bands honoring their musical genre. A few more examples are 13th Floor Elevators, the Blue Magoos, the Bermuda Triangle band, Zakary Thaks, Foghat, and Molly Hatchet.

Pay Tribute to the Music...Man.

Acid Rock first started making its appearance in the sixties. It carried on a long line of hits and wonders through the eighties. The Grateful Dead gained popularity in and around 1969 and continued on to the end. They still have an avid fan base. At one point the rock sensation The Beatles, a British group popular with the main stream, tried a bit of psychedelic acid rock their selves. The genre had then reached a whole new level.

Time for Some New Threads

From the music came the style. Out were their parent's conservative dress and in came the hippie. Jeans, crazy colored tee shirts and long hair dominated the Acid Rock Music generation. They were all about those other realities instead of the one they were in. People shopped at stores called Mr. Fish and spent their nights with friends getting high. Rock on!

Acid Rock Music is a definitive aspect of the sixties and seventies generation. From this came the Hair Metal of the eighties and the hard and alternative rock of today. It was the music that your parent's parents hated just like your parents hate yours. It is a musical experience grounded in drug use. Confusing phrases, wild rides, and colorful beats, the music is a trip within itself. No one can say for certain however, just how enjoyable it would be unless you understood the phrase 'being under the influence'.

Ian Pennington is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about
acid rock music, please visit The Musical Planet for current articles and discussions.

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Hotel California Words and Guitar Chords

Hotel California Words and Guitar Chords by Ricky Sharples

After many years Hotel California is still a classic. The words and chords are sought after items by guitar players young and old. Below are the words to Hotel California with the chord names inserted into the lines in brackets to avoid the complications we often get trying to publish lyrics and words together in articles. So the name of the chord actually appears just before the word where the chord change occurs. If you are familiar with how the song sounds, it will not be a problem.

Once you have learnt the chords and can sing and play them at the same time, I advise you to practice until the song is second nature because you really should try doing some improvising or at least writing your own solo to go with this song.

The chords you are going to be using are:

B minor which is (from sixth string to first string) 2 2 4 4 3 2

B minor seventh 2 2 4 2 3 2

F sharp 2 4 4 3 2 2

A major 0 0 2 2 2 0

E major 0 2 2 1 0 0

G major 3 2 0 0 0 3

D major x 0 0 2 3 2

E minor 0 2 2 0 0 0

Bm, Bm7 and F# are all barre chords at the second fret. Here are the words and chords:

(Bm) On a dark desert highway

(F#) cool wind in my hair

(A) Warm smell of colitas

(E) rising up through the air

(G) Up ahead in the distance

(D) I saw a shimmering light

(Em) My head grew heavy

and my sight grew dim

(F#) I had to stop for the night

(Bm) There she stood in the doorway

(F#) I heard the mission bell

(A) And I was thinking to myself

this could be (E) heaven or this could be hell

(G) Then she lit up a candle

(D) and she showed me the way

(Em) There were voices down the corridor

(F#) I thought I heard them say

(G) Welcome to the Hotel Cali

for (D) nia

(Em) Such a lovely place

such a (Bm7) lovely face

(G) Plenty of room at the Hotel Cali

for (D) nia

Any (Em) time of year (any time of year)

you can (F#) find it here

(Bm) Her mind is Tiffany twisted

(F#) she got the Mercedes bends

(A) She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys

(E) that she calls friends

(G) How they dance in the courtyard

(D) sweet summer sweat

(Em) Some dance to remember

(F#) some dance to forget

(Bm) So I called up the captain

(F#) "Please bring me my wine."

(A) "We haven't had that spirit here since

(E) nineteen sixty-nine"

(G) And still those voices are calling

from (D) far away

(Em) Wake you up in the middle of the night

(F#) just to hear them say

(G) Welcome to the Hotel Cali

for (D) nia

(Em) Such a lovely place

such a (Bm7) lovely face

They (G) livin' it up at the Hotel Cali

for (D) nia

What a (Em) nice surprise (what a nice surprise)

bring your (F#) alibis"

(Bm) Mirrors on the ceiling

(F#) the pink champagne on ice

And she said (A) "We are all just prisoners here

(E) of our own device

(G) "And in the master's chambers

(D) they gathered for the feast

(Em) They stab it with their steely knives, but they

(F#) just can't kill the beast

(Bm) Last thing I remember, I was

(F#) running for the door

(A) I had to find the passage back

to the (E) place I was before

(G) "Relax" said the night man

"We are (D) programmed to receive"

(Em) "You can check out anytime you like, but

(F#) you can never leave"

There are many versions of Hotel California, including parodies, and I suggest you listen to them all. To move on and make Hotel California or any other song your own, you need to get over it. Get it out of your system. Listening to many different versions will help with this as will intensive practice. Three very differing examples are by The Gipsy Kings, The Cat Empire and a solo acoustic guitar version by Hank Marvin with some very nice licks.

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.

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OPINION: How Pink Floyd's Lyrics Affected my Life

Pink Floyd Lyrics - How They Can Heavily Inspire You! by Ameen Jabbar

You might guess that Pink Floyd are a well respected band. The extremely wise and well educated Pink Floyd lyrics specially blended with their spine tingling music is what makes them so indulging and unique. However, I will discuss how Pink Floyd's lyrics played a major part of my life.

First of all Pink Floyd started to change my life rapidly. After listening to their music it firstly inspired me to take up guitar at the age of 20. Throughout this period, I continued to listen to the music of Pink Floyd and discovered more and more intriguing Pink Floyd lyrics. Each album had its own special blend of lyrics. One of the best albums for its lyrics is Dark Side of the Moon which talk about politics, life and death which are described with singing out a real life event, An example comes from the song Time with the lyrics:

"Digging around on a piece of ground in your home town...and then one day you'll find 10 years has got behind you".

This describes that human could be doing anything with his time and then suddenly 10 years has passed by like you haven't realised because it come along very quickly. Pink Floyd's lyrics are not always complex, it is just the way they are brought together and its context. My view is that each great line of Pink Floyd lyrics always matches up with something, or some aspect of life. A great example is the lyric line:

"A quiet desperation is the English way"

This is my view of any major english sport or contest such as England Football team or Olympics that has a huge involvement with the English public. With fans watching, holding their breath and anxiously awaits victory.

The power of these lyrics inspired me to attend music college and write songs in a similar context to Pink Floyd. Now, these are the songs that are admired by numerous people...they say music is powerful! and it certainly is with this band. If this has an effect on me it can certainly happen to you too.

If you would like to view examples of Pink Floyd lyrics and their songs descriptions or gain more information on these lyrics feel free to visit:

Created by Ameen Jabbar

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Get Ready for the Release of a New Beatles Track

New Beatles Track? by Tanya Grovenors

"Carnival of Light" - a 14 minute experimental track from The Beatles could finally be released next year as Paul McCartney has finally gone public in saying that he is considering releasing the track. The record "Carnival of Light" is completely experimental and was made in the height of The Beatles psychedelia inspired phase. Originally it was considered to be to adventurous for mainstream audiences but that is all about to change.

In the 40 years since the tracks initial recording, "Carnival of Light" has acquired near mythical status among Beatles fans who argue that the existence of the track provides evidence of the band's experimental ambitions beyond what their record label and the public were demanding.

The mythical track features distorted guitars, discordant sound effects, a church organ and gargling interspersed with McCartney and John Lennon shouting random phrases like, "Barcelona" and "Are you alright?".

To release the track would require specific consent form John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono and George Harrison's widow, Olivia Harrison to release the track. There is no doubt in my mind that the release of this hidden track would spark millions of sales across the globe as anything associated with the Beatles would immediately gain cult status. One could only imagine how much money they would reap from the sale of this unheard of track. It would be absolutely fantastic to see an unreleased Beatles track in the shops. One can only hope that McCartney will get the consent he needs to release this potential master-piece!

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ALBUM REVIEW: Taj Mahal - Maestro

Taj Mahal - Maestro by E. F Nesta

Maestro is a look at 40 years of Taj Mahal's friends, family, influences, and danceable music.

Maestro: Scratch My Back, Never Let You Go, Dust Me Down, Further on Down the Road, Black Man, Brown Man, Zanzibar, TV Mama, I Can Make You Happy, Slow Drag, Hello Josephine, Strong Man Holler, Diddy Wah Diddy.

Personnel: Taj Mahal: Vocals, Guitar, Ukulele, Harmonica, Banjo; Deva Mahal: Background Vocals; Phantom Blues Band: Larry Fulcher: Bass; Tony Braunagel: Drums; Johnny Lee Schell: Guitar; Mike Finnigan: Keyboards; Joe Sublett: Tenor Saxophone; Darrel Leonard: Trumpet; Los Lobos: David Hidalgo: Guitar; Cesar Rosas: Guitar; Louie Perez: Jarana; Conrad Lozano: Bass; Steve Berlin: Organ; Cougar Estrada: Drums; Angela Wellman: Trombone; Ben Harper: Vocals; Band: Jason Yates: Keyboards; Michael Jerome: Drums, Percussion; Jesse Ingalls: Bass; C. C. White: Background Vocals; Pebbles Phillips; Background Vocals; Jack Johnson: Vocals; Ziggy Marley: Vocals; Rudy Costa: Alto Saxophone; Carlton Sanat Davis: Drums; Michael Hyde: Keyboards; Tracy Hazzard: Backing Vocals; Takeshi Akimoto: Guitar; Angel Roche: Percussion; Paul "Pablo" Stennett: Bass; Angelique Kidjo: Vocals; Toumani Diabate: Kora; Bill Rich: Bass; Kester Smith: Drums, Percussion; Bassekou Kouyate: Ngoni; Debra Dobkin: Percussion; New Orleans Social Club: Ivan Neville: B3 Organ; George Porter: Bass; Leo Nocentelli: Guitar; Henry Butler: Piano; Raymond Weber: Drums; Mick Weaver: B3 Organ; Billy Branch: Harmonica

Taj Mahal Maestro is a celebration of 40 Years of music and marks Taj's first U. S. release in five years and his debut release on the Heads Up label. Maestro brings together four decades of music, four decades of scouring the world and melding musical influences, four decades of digging into the depths of melody and rhythm, and four decades of friendships, respect, and collaboration. Staying true to his belief that music should be danceable, Maestro will definitely have you rolling up the rug.

Maestro is like a twelve act play telling the story of Taj's 40-year musical journey. The lead track is the cover of Scratch My Back, written by James Moore and made famous by Otis Redding. Taj, at an early age, was a member of the opening band during an Otis Redding concert and as Taj states regarding Otis, "his fiery stage performance grabbed me," and in his cover of Scratch My Back this influence is heard through his commanding vocals with the assistance of the Phantom Blues Band. The journey continues from his time in Hawaii with Taj on Ukulele along with help from family in the form of backing vocals from his daughter Deva Mahal as they perform their co-written Never Let You Go, with friends from the band Los Lobos.

Long time friend Ben Harper joins Taj as they scratch out Ben's song Dust Me Down with the support of a Who's Who of musicians (Jason Yates, Michael Jerome, Jason Mozersky, Jess Ingalls, C. C. White, and Pebbles Phillips). Taj's Further on Down the Road welcomes Jack Johnson on vocals to complement Taj on vocals, harmonica, and banjo along with the Phantom Blues Band. From the 1970's comes Black Man, Brown Man written by Taj from his Caribbean, African, Latin, and reggae influences and he is accompanied by Ziggy Marley and his band. Turning to another chapter of his life and music is the African track Zanzibar that Taj co-wrote with Angelique Kidjo and features Toumani Diabate playing the kora, a 21-string harp from West Africa.

The spirited whiskey blues track TV Mama reunites Taj with Los Lobos; the track I Can Make You Happy follows with Taj's gritty vocals belting out "I can make you happy, I can make you sad," with the backing of the extraordinary New Orleans Social Club. The track Hello Josephine is a tribute to Fats Domino and he is backed again by the New Orleans Social Club.

The release includes a couple more Taj tracks, Slow Drag an Appalachian backwoods song with Taj on banjo, and Strong Man Holler with Taj's deep soulful blues vocals. Maestro saves the best for last with the cover of Diddy Wah Diddy as Taj's vocals and harmonica along with the Phantom Blues Band are on fire with this roadhouse track, and true to his belief, you will be dancing.

E.F Nesta is the owner, contributing writer, and Publisher of Luxury Experience Magazine (

Luxury Experience Magazine is a monthly magazine that features experiential editorials on luxury products and services; we do not book reservations or sell products on-line.

Luxury Experience Magazine's mission is to provide experiential editorial exposure on luxury products and services, and introduce brands and products to an audience across 80 countries.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Beatles - The White Album

The Beatles' White Album - 40 Years Later by Johnny Moon

The Beatles released their only self titled album on November 22, 1968. The Beatles was also their only double album. It became known as The White Album due to it's almost entirely white cover (except for the title "The Beatles") and the fact that it can be confusing to refer to a self titled album.

So how does it sound now that it's 40 years old? To my ears it sounds just as fresh as it did when I first heard it. I wasn't yet born in 1968 so I don't know how it sounded back then but I do know it sounded brilliant when I first heard it in 1996 and I know it still sounds brilliant today. In fact I think it sounds even better as songs like "Savoy Truffle" which I wasn't able to get into originally I now enjoy.

I think that's the thing that really sets The White Album apart: The fact that the album is still growing on me 12 years later. Most albums one gets sick of after hundreds of listens but not The White Album. The incredible variety in the styles of the songs on the album (with songs as diverse as "I Will," "Helter Skelter," & "Revolution #9") helps to keep it so fresh. But of course variety of styles wouldn't mean much if the songs weren't any good. But of course these songs are very very good.

And unlike most Beatles albums, it isn't filled with the kind of "everyone has heard them 87 million times" songs (see The Beatles 1 collection) that can sometimes actually break up the flow of an album. As excellent as songs like "Blackbird," "I'm So Tired," "Dear Prudence," and "Happiness is a Warm Gun" are, they are not really heard very often except within the context of this album and I think that adds to the enjoyment of the album.

Sure there are a few of those "everyone has heard them 87 million times" songs on the album (see "Back in the USSR" and "ObLaDi ObLaDa" for a couple of obvious examples) but they only make up a few of the 30 tracks on the album. I think that's part of what keeps the album sounding so fresh in comparison to the other Beatles albums.

Revolver is another Beatles album that benefits from the fact that while it's songs are extremely good, they aren't found on a lot of "Greatest Hits" collections (save "Eleanor Rigby" and "Yellow Submarine.) And don't get me wrong, The White Album is not The Beatles only great album, it's one of many great albums by the band (see Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, Abbey Road, Rubber Soul, Magical Mystery Tour, A Hard Day's Night...) but for me it is the greatest of the great.

Happy birthday to The White Album! It still sounds as good today as it did the day it was released!

CLICK HERE - November 22, 1968. Learn more about The White Album and buy related items online.

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