Sunday, July 31, 2011

VIDEO: Free - All Right Now: RARE

Hi Everyone,

Here is an interesting, and very rare clip of Free released Circa 1969 performing All Right Now (live) brought to you by frozenfish91. Released in Australia in black and white. My favourite clip by this band and highlights Paul Kossoff's signature vibrato. Best lead ever done by Kossoff!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Woburn Abbey Festival 1967 - Festival of the Flower Children

Hey readers!

Dig this! This is some original footage from the 1967 Woburn Abbey Festival of the Flower Children brought to you by: rockvideos

It's an 8MM film - a direct transfer from the master 8MM reel. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

VIDEO: The Doors - Love Me Two Times - Live 1968

Hi everyone,

Just thought you might enjoy a Doors classic - Love Me Two Times. This clip was filmed during The Doors 1968 European tour in the cities of London, Stockholm, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

NEWS: Mick Jagger's SuperHeavy Supergroup to Drop Album in September

Mick JaggerCover of Mick JaggerFrom

Universal Music will release the album from SuperHeavy, a group featuring Mick Jagger, Eurythmics founder Dave Stewart, singer Joss Stone, composer A.R. Rahman and reggae artist Damian Marley. No exact release date is set, but Universal Republic will handle the United States and A&M will handle the rest of the world.

An official release said the album will be unveiled in September; the first single is titled "Miracle Worker" and the five stars will be recording a video for the track. Jagger and Stewart co-produced the album.

Video: Introduction to SuperHeavy

Recording in various studios around the world - France, Cyprus, Miami, India - the majority of the tracks laid down over three weeks in Los Angeles earlier this year. The quintet wrote 22 songs in their first six days together. The term "SuperHeavy" was inspired by Muhammad Ali.

Jagger and Stewart had worked together on the 2004 soundtrack to the film "Alfie," and Stewart produced Stone's last album. Both wanted to bring in a Jamaican musician and Damian Marley entered the picture with his rhythm section, bassist and composer Shiah Coore and drummer Courtney Diedrick. They met Rahman while recording in Los Angeles.

According to the band's bio, SuperHeavy came together after Jagger and Stewart wondered what a band of musicians from different genres would sound like. Jagger had his doubts it would come together.

One of the first on the album is Jagger singing in Urdu. He takes lead on Rahman's song "Satyameva Jayate," which translates to "the truth alone triumphs."
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

VIDEO: Tommy Bolin with Zephyr - Texas Pop Festival 1970

Hey y'all, dig this!

This is a rare video featuring the genius of Tommy Bolin. If you don't know Tommy, he is simply one of the greatest guitarists ever! Plainly and simply!

Here are the footnotes from YouTube, brought to you by JohnnyVisionquest:

This footage has been seen elsewhere with audio dubbed in from the first Zephyr album. This version has the audio dubbed from a live tape labeled Ebbets Field 1971, a song called "Goin' Home" (otherwise known from Woodstock in the version by Alvin Lee and Ten Years After).

As noted by one observant historian on the Bolin Board forum, the ending riff of this live song reappeared "more famously" on the classic album Spectrum by Billy Cobham, the acknowledged inspiration for Jeff Beck to explore Jazz fusion music in his own recordings.

Zephyr 1971:

Candy Givens vocal
David Givens bass
John Faris keyboards
Bobby Berge drums
Tommy Bolin guitar
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Yardbirds - 5 Best Songs

The Yardbirds, 1966. Clockwise from left: Jeff...Image via WikipediaBy Lando Frock

The Yardbirds had three of the hottest English guitar players of the 1960's: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Each man's peak of musical influence in the band was distinct, and each era pushed the boundaries of rock music.

Eric Clapton's era could be described as a mixing of straight blues and English rave-up. Jeff Beck's run retained the blues influence, yet mixed in elements of jazz and new sounds like the fuzz box. Jimmy Page took up the rains and brought in a powerful psychedelia and riffy style - still honoring the blues root - which of course lead directly to Led Zeppelin. That's quite a legacy for a single band.

Here I have assembled The Yardbirds 5 best songs. These are the ones you absolutely must have with you the day you get stuck on that desert island.

Too Much Monkey Business

During the Clapton era, the band's focus was on "pure" blues. Their set consisted of a collection of manically performed covers. They take this song by Chuck Berry and throw it down fast with swagger to spare. Eric Clapton, barely 18 years old, delivers a solo with authority and taste.

Here 'Tis

This is a good one for speed freaks. Here 'Tis fakes like it's going soft for about 5 seconds before it blasts of into blurry fast, jittering intensity; the gold standard of the rave up. It's blues alright. The song was written by Bo Diddley. But this interpretation sets it on fire.

Over Under Sideways Down

What an amazing style shift from the 'speed blues' of Clapton to Jeff Beck's strutting riff on Over Under Sideways Down. This song has all of the Jeff Beck elements: hooky fuzz riff, swinging rhythm, and a touch of space. It's a poppy tune, but the little bluesy elements like the double stop bends under the chorus give it a richness that makes the hair stand up. Genius!

What Do You Want

Another from the time of Beck. It takes the pop sensibility and also brings back a bit of the rave up craftsmanship of their earlier sound. Sprinkle in some feedback and spider legs guitar solos and get an infectious romp that won't let you sit still

Little Games

By the time Jimmy Page took over the band was all but burned up. From this difficult time springs Little Games. Of the songs on the album of the same name this song is like a telescope looking into a nearing future called Led Zeppelin. A lot of Page's signature sounds are being born here and his genius is already quite apparent.

Whether you agree with my picks for their 5 best songs or not, The Yardbirds were totally unique from beginning to end. Even when they were "blues purists" they still did it their own way. There are some great bands these days who invoke the sonic fire of old school bands like The Yardbirds - but do it in their own way. I'm very excited about a cookin' 3 piece called The Lovely Savages.

Get their blistering EP 'YES' for FREE at:
If know you're going to like it!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

VIDEO: The Doors - Love Me Two Times (minus Jim Morrison)

Hi all,

Thank you to Cherokee Billie for alerting us all to this great version of "Love Me Two Times" live in Germany in 1972 - after Jim Morrison died! Very rare indeed! Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Robben Ford Guitar Clinic Review - 14th March 2010

Miles Davis et Robben Ford in 1986 at Montreux...Image via WikipediaBy Clinton Carnegie

Jet-lagged and appearing a little surprised at the unusually vociferous welcome at his sold-out guitar clinic, Robben Ford strapped on his black Sakashta and plugged straight into a Fender Super Reverb amp.

And for the next hour and a half, he proved once and for all that tone comes from the head, heart and hands. The man exudes soul. Describing his style as 'freeform but with a method', Robben began by talking about his early years studying the saxophone. Growing up in the small town of Ukiah, CA, he listened to the local radio station, KUKI, "or kooky", as he says with a laugh.

His parents also joined a record club, where he was exposed to Ravel's Bolero and Dave Brubeck's Take 5. Listening to saxophonist Paul Desmond on Take 5 made him want to play the alto. Playing the saxophone for 11 years, Robben learned to read music, but admitted that his reading skills did not transfer readily to the guitar.

Teaching himself to play the guitar was a far more intuitive process, he states, and he learned by listening to the first Paul Butterfield Blues Band album featuring Mike Bloomfield. Listening intently to Bloomfield's playing proved to be a major turning point, and for a while Ford reckons he sounded a lot like his hero.

Having become a household name himself, and a guitar hero to many, Ford non-chalantly described his style as a combination of folk-blues and jazz., a musical fusion that has served him well. Elaborating further, Ford emphasized the need to experiment and make mistakes in order to develop a personal style. Likening his approach to being very similar to fingerpainting on the guitar, he was emphatic that music should come from a place of feeling and not just from technique.

When asked about his practice schedule, Ford replied that he practiced intensely at first. He joked that he learned his very first 'hip' blues chord from looking at the picture on the cover of the first Paul Butterfield Blues Band album where Mike Bloomfield was holding down a dominant 9th chord.

After that early epiphany, Ford decided to bone up on his chordal knowledge. Laughing, he recalled getting a hold of Mel Bay's Jazz Chords Vol. 1 book and started to use the jazzier chord voicings he learned when he began playing with Charlie Musselwhite. To demonstrate, Ford then launched into an elaborate jazz-blues progression throwing in a multitude of chord substitutions into mix.

Delving into his improvisational approach, Ford described how he learned a few scales and some standard bebop licks, and boiling everything down to ii-V progressions. Ford assured his audience that the language of music was actually very simple, and how, literally, it could all be learned in a few weeks.

Emphasizing the need for simplicity and the importance of finding one's own voice, Ford proferred that although musicians dilligently transcribed and learned Herbie Hancock and John Coltrane licks, it rarely evolved into finding their own voice. Doing it his own way, he says, has kept him unique.

Asked about his current amplification setup for tours, Robben expressed his preference for Fender Super Reverbs, explaining that his setup when he was with Jimmy Witherspoon's group consisted of a Gibson L5 archtop into a Super Reverb amp. With good speakers and matched tubes, the Super Reverb, he says, is his favorite.

When asked about pedals and effects, Ford was emphatic that they hindered one from finding one's own sound. Not having pedals when he started out, he states, enabled him to work on his tone and he encouraged every guitar player in the audience to do away with pedals, for at least a while.

Delving into his sophisticated soloing style, he spoke about his fondness for the diminished scale, which he learned from jazz guitarist Larry Coryell when Ford was19 years old. Coryell described it to him as the half-tone/whole-tone scale and Ford started practicing it immediately and making up a few of his own licks. He says he could instantly hear that the b9 on the dominant 7th chord reminded him of some ideas jazz trumpeter Miles Davis used in his own playing.

After a tasty demonstration of some lines that outlined the changes to a blues progression perfectly, Robben explained how the diminished scale acted as a transition to the IV chord in a blues. Elaborating further, he talked about finding the common tones in the diminished scale that moved seamlessly to the next chord and how they could be used in soloing when going to the IV and the V chord as well.

Concluding his guitar clinic, Ford shared his philosophy of music and playing the guitar, "Ultimately music comes from inside you, not from outside yourself. It's translated through you - it's intangible and I'd like to help people bridge that gap."

Clinton Carnegie is a music educator, jazz-rock guitarist and recording artist. He has two fusion guitar instrumental albums to his name, Say What You Mean and Santiago. His music blog can be found at

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

NEWS: Beatle George Harrison Has a New Documentary

Hi readers,

Here's an interesting announcement from Retro:Kimmer at:

Using rare and unseen photos and footage (including unreleased Beatles footage), Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese traces the life of George Harrison. Coming this Fall.

To coincide with the release of the film, in late September, Abrams Books will publish Olivia Harrison's George Harrison: Living in the Material World, a personal archive of photographs, letters, diaries and memorabilia from George's life.

Read the full announcement.

Friday, July 15, 2011

VIDEO: A Journey Through the Hippie Era by Robert Piser

Hi everyone,

Another great video - it's put together by Robert Piser, and is a wonderful journey through the hippie era.

Robert Piser is a working artist, living in Los Angeles. He works as an art director and scenic artist in film, music videos, commercials and photo shoots:

Enjoy the journey!

Hippie from robert piser on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

VIDEO: Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton - Can't Find My Way Home

Hi everyone,

Here's a fantastic version of the old Blind Faith track "Can't Find My Way Home". This version is from the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival, and features Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton, with Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall - a great line-up. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gregg Allman: Living Proof of Music's Healing Power

Gregg Allman at New Orleans Jazz FestImage via WikipediaBy Andrew Dobbie on Yahoo News:

LONDON (Reuters) - Gregg Allman is a believer in the healing power of music.

Barely a year after undergoing a liver transplant, the veteran American musician is back on the road with his regular band, looking a little frail but in good voice and excellent spirits.

The Gregg Allman band kicked off a European mini-tour at London's Barbican Center Friday, with two further UK dates scheduled plus more in Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany before they head home next month for a lengthy tour of the United States and Canada.

The backbone of their set is a series of songs from the album "Low Country Blues," his first record for 14 years.

It was released in February to critical acclaim and commercial success to match, debuting at No. 7 in the U.S. Billboard chart.

Diagnosed with hepatitis C and advised he needed a new liver, Allman decided to go into the studio to record an album of songs by his blues heroes, before going under the surgeon's knife in June last year.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Top 5 Bob Dylan Songs That You Should Know About

Cover of "Freewheelin'"Cover of Freewheelin'By Jim A. Byrne

Who doesn't know Bob Dylan?

Even if you are not a music aficionado, you know him too well. He is an iconic songwriter-singer who made America's greatest songs for nearly four decades. He depicted America's rich and highly-faceted culture through his piano, guitar and harmonica. Best known for his nasal voice, Bob Dylan songs derived his early influence in Woody Guthrie.

This iconic figure has written hundreds of songs. While his song list goes on and on, here are the top 5 Bob Dylan songs of all time:

1. Desolation Row - this came from his album "Highway Revisited" and was the final track on this album; featuring an electric guitar. According to Dylan, this song has a minstrel tone that gained its inspiration from the carnival singers in blackface.

2. Masters of War - came from the album "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan." This song has an endless appeal because of its versatility and was considered as his greatest social commentary.

3. Like a Rolling Stone - This song was first released as a single and is considered as Dylan's most recognizable songs.

4. Subterranean Homesick Blues - Dylan's very first Top Billboard Hit from the album "Bringing it All Back Home." This is one of his songs which feature the electric guitar as well.

5. Visions of Johanna - From the album "Blonde on Blonde," this song was said to be inspired by Joan Baez, who the songwriter was dating at the time the song was released. One of the Bob Dylan Songs that mirrors his life as he entered New York City.

As for Bob Dylan albums, here are my top 3 picks:

1. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan - this is one of the Bob Dylan albums that is hard to forget - one of his most groundbreaking creations. Considered as the very 1st statement of Dylan's recording career, the songs on this album are mainly responsible fro putting Dylan in the map. One of the songs that stood out in this album is "Blowin' in the Wind," and this collection is distinguished by love songs such as "Girl from the North Country" and poetic protests such as "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall." On Freewheelin", Dylan catapulted from the Woodie Guthrie influence of his debut album, and showed himself to the world as the groundbreaking songwriter-singer he has since proven to become.

2. Highway 61 Revisited - most Bob Dylan albums have rock-infused songs where he grabs the rock and roll's baton. This one-of-a-kind compilation includes timeless folk-rock classics such as "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Desolation Row" both considered as one of his best songs. If you are looking for an album with some of the most distinguished rock and blues licks ever placed on vinyl, you won't be disappointed with this one.

3. Blonde on Blonde - this album was created in a studio in Nasville with musicians that are very accustomed to country music. Yes, Highway 61 has made Dylan a path forger and trendsetter in the modern folk-rock sound, however, Blonde on blonde was a more decisive compilation when it comes to Dylan's newfound relationship with the new sound. His imagery-laden loquacious poetry has become more harmonious, and his synergy with the Band has reached new heights.

These are the songs of Dylan no music collection should be without - all from one of the greatest dynamic artists in modern American music.

Jim Byrne is a musician and recording artist who has been writing songs for over 30 years. As well as writing songs for his own Folk and Country Blues albums he has written songs with other people including the pop star Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet and Jazz singer Carol Kidd MBE.

Visit Jim's website for more tips and to download two of Jim's latest songs for free:

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Monday, July 11, 2011

The Yardbirds: Anatomy Of A Year With Jeff Beck In 5 Songs

Jeff BeckCover of Jeff BeckBy Lando Frock

Jeff The Engineer

In 1965 Eric Clapton was devoted to what he considered unadulterated blues. He was not interested in being part of the Yardbirds' forays into pop music and left the band. Clapton suggested Jimmy Page as his replacement who, happy doing session work, in turn recommended his friend Jeff Beck.

Beck only recorded one album with the Yardbirds. Aptly released as 'Yardbirds in the UK. It was later released as 'Over Under Sideways Down' in the US, and thanks to a doodle of the recording engineer by rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja, it also came to be known as 'Roger The Engineer'.

Though Beck was the only new member, the record could have been a different band entirely given how much their style had evolved from the blues tribute days with Clapton. Gone were the thrusting rave ups of Bo Diddley and other standards; all of 'Roger's' songs were original. The new sound did retain plenty of blues influence, but also introduced a snappy, curt guitar sound, soaring vocals and quirky interludes bordering on the psychedelic. Beck also added spice with a new device: the fuzz box.

While 'Roger The Engineer' was a wholly different animal from the Clapton years, a number of songs really capture Jeff Beck's contribution, and in some ways presage the directions he would go with his solo career.

Over Under Sideways Down

The Beck sound was on full display on the record's second song. Opening with the unforgettably hooky fuzz riff it's instantly clear why this song was a hit. Nice doses of backbeat rock, with Jeff's reverse bent chords under the middle "Hey!" sections, a touch of psychedellia, and back into the hook. A great song that perfectly encapsulates the sound of Jeff Beck era Yardbirds.

The Nazz Are Blue

Though cribbing a well-known blues riff for intro and standard 5 and 7 rock for the verse, the song showcases distinctively Beckish sounds during the break down. Most notably hauntingly sustained bends and his special way of glissing and shaking solo notes and intervals. If that weren't enough, Jeff sings this one.

Jeff's Boogie

On the surface this tune sounds like a straight up blues configured instrumental jam. But the collection of breaks could serve as an encyclopedia of Beck's early repertoire of signature licks and tricks. You get the fast, stair-stepping runs, the funky bent chords, the pretty Les Paul harmonized riffs, harmonics, the kitchen and the sink.

He's Always There

Blending quirky arrangement, pop leanings and almost psychedelic backup vocals, 'He's Always There' has a sound all its own. Beck's lonely fuzz counter melody is very cool and lends the song an ominous feel. The outro solo almost suggests Steppenwolf.

What Do You Want

This is one of the most endearing tracks on the record. The rhythm guitar and drums are clearly connected to the band's earlier sound, but the arrangement is all pop. The fuzzy bass sounds fresh today. Beck's rapid riffs are perfect punctuation, and his feedback and sustain riffs take the song out leaving us wanting more. The recipe is perfect on this one.

And Jeff Boogies..

Jeff Beck wasn't a member of the Yardbirds long before he sauntered off on his wiggy solo career. But his contribution to The Yardbirds in that short time was huge. His creative aesthetic dovetailed well with the rest of the group and produced some intriguing and influential music - not to mention a number of hit singles! The most lasting effect of Beck's Yardbirds could arguably be said to be a sound that sent them careening into the arms of Jimmy Page.

There are some great bands these days who invoke the sonic fire of old school rock and roll - but do it in their own way. I'm very excited about a cookin' 3 piece called The Lovely Savages.

Get their blistering EP 'YES' for FREE at:

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Great Bob Dylan Turns 70

Cover of "Times They Are A-Changin"Cover of Times They Are A-ChanginBy Jon B White

Bob Dylan has now reached the milestone of his 70th birthday. Born on May 24th, 1941, in the scruffy city of Duluth, Minnesota, Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman) has gone on to spark new genres of music (folk-rock and country-rock) and revolutionise songwriting.

He first came to prominence in 1963 with his second album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan which offered such epochal songs as Blowin' In The Wind, Masters Of War and A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall. Inspired by the likes of Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams, his lyrics in Freewheelin' were highly political and led to Dylan being dubbed as a protest singer by many.

A surge of similarly styled songs soon hit the British charts and come October 1965 there was a scattering of protest songs in the national charts; songs such as Too Many People by The Hollies which addressed the problem of over-population and It's Good News Week by Hedgehoppers Anonymous which confronted issues on nuclear war and birth control. However, his influence on protest songs was relatively short-lived compared to the impact of his lyrical styles.

In early 1964, Dylan released The Times They Are A-Changin' which showcased the work of a matured songwriter greatly inspired by poets such as Keats and Rimbaud. It was more literate and evocative than his previous offerings and had a profound effect on popular music.

In 1965 came Highway 61 Revisited and the single release of Like A Rolling Stone which is widely championed as one of the best singles in the history of popular music; breaking the barrier of the traditional three minute pop single and, of course, we can't forget the innovative Blonde on Blonde in 1966 which cemented Dylan's reputation as a genius of the times.

From the mid 60′s onwards there was a sizeable shift from frivolous and superficial lyrics to more contemplative, introspective and poetic offerings and this was largely down to the splendour of Dylan's lyrics. His talent influenced copious numbers of artists including musical giants The Beatles who, in 1965, released the more insightful Rubber Soul which was lyrically more complex than their previous releases. John Lennon had even started mimicking Dylan's casual delivery in songs such as You've Got to Hide Your Love Away and Yes It Is.

'Vocally and poetically, Dylan was a huge influence' Paul McCartney

As the years progressed, Dylan's lyrics became slightly more surreal and enigmatic but they never lost their potent essence and such was his refusal to be pigeon holed, Dylan consistently re-invented himself.

Having already given fresh breath to the protest movement, revived folk music, re-invented the singer songwriter genre and sparked folk-rock, in the 1970′s he helped give rise to country-folk and in the 80′s and 90′s (though he occasionally floundered), he still inspired and surprised his fans. In 1989 he was inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame and in 1990 Dylan was named a Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Art et des Lettres, France's highest cultural honor.

His records still sell by the truck-load, he still inspires and moves people and his concert tickets still sell like hot cakes. Happy Birthday to a legend.

Jon White is the founder of - a ticket exchange aimed at music fans who wish to buy or sell concert tickets.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Yardbirds: Anatomy Of A Rave Up In 5 Songs

Cover of "Five Live"Cover of Five LiveBy Lando Frock

Introducing Eric "Slowhand" Clapton

Eighteen year old Eric Clapton joined The Yardbirds in 1963, blew the doors off the London blues scene, and moved on in 1965 just as they had their first hit single. It was during this time that he was given his nickname "Slowhand" - which was a goof on the fact that he actually played quite fast. Indeed quite a few of the early Yardbirds live recordings display some of the fastest playing around.

One could easily have termed it 'speed blues', but the phrase on the street for this bombastic style of blues was 'rave up' - the sound of the Clapton era. Clapton's Yardbirds style ferocious rave ups again and again on their classic record 'Five Live Yardbirds'.

Five of the ravest cuts from 'Five Live Yardbirds' are Too Much Monkey Business, Respectable, Pretty Girl, Here 'Tis, and Who Do You Love. They run the gamut from cooking swagger to full on jittery rave up - often within the space of a single song. These are classic blues and rock songs given the Yardbirds treatment and taken to a new landscape.

Too Much Monkey Business

The record starts with the classic Chuck Berry song 'Too Much Monkey Business'. This is a good one to jog too. Right away they employ the classic Yardbirdism of turning the guitar solos into whole band high intensity blasts of raw blues plasma - classic rave up. Young Mr. Clapton busts solos that are amazingly precise, and driven - the perfect foil for the rests in the verses.


Penned by the Isley Brothers, The Yardbirds make it their own. The intro slides in and drops a hint at the double time rhythm coming down the pipe. Clapton's guitar solos begin with tasteful restraint. The steam starts to build in the 2nd half of the song when they drop into a shuffle verse of Humpty Dumpty then over the wall with blurring hands shaking the rhythm nearly to death before they drop out with a classic slow blue exit

Pretty Girl

The boys treat this Bo Diddley classic fairly straight - at the beginning anyway. Introduced with a loose swagger, by the time the choruses kick in things start to fly. Again displaying their trademark of laying down a nice riff, then cranking it up, letting it back out, then really pouring it on rave up style.

Here 'Tis

You can't get more rave than this. Another Bo Diddley tune, 'Here 'Tis' opens up and burns from start to finish. This is blues rave up at its most intense. Built furiously up and up again and again, then dropping the whole shebang into Jim McCarty's drum break. You can almost hear the audience trying to catch it's breath while Keith Relf begins his warning "There's more... There's more... Here it comes... Here it comes..." Then slamming back in with Eric's blazing riff trading with Samwell-Smith's stomping bass. They build it back up one last time and a halt on a dime. What an ending!

Who Do You Love

Yet another Bo Diddley verse. This one was added to the record as a bonus track for the 2003 re-release and it fits right in. The track fades in fast and furious before pulling back to make room for walking 47 miles of barbed wire. Things chug along nice and smooth for a bit, then almost sneaking into the rave up. Each time through the cycle the fevered strumming peaks higher until the final fade. A great version, and a great bonus to the record.

Fast Train To God Status

It would not be until he left The Yardbirds and hooked up with John Mayall and the Blues Breakers that London tube riders would see the writing on the wall proclaiming "Clapton Is God".

But you can hear his train rolling into the station at full speed with The Yardbirds on 'Five Live Yardbirds' as well as 'For Your Love', 'Sonny Boy Williamson and The Yardbirds' and the American compilation 'Having A Rave Up.'

After Claption left and was replaced with Jeff Beck (and Later Jimmy Page) the band explored new and exciting sonic directions, but their stamp on the rave up sound would become history.

There are some great bands these days who invoke the sonic fire of old school rock and roll - but do it in their own way. I'm very excited about a cookin' 3 piece called The Lovely Savages.

Get their blistering EP 'YES' for FREE at:

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Friday, July 8, 2011

The Life and Death of Duane Allman . . .

Duane AllmanCover of Duane Allmanby Retro:Kimmer at:

One of the most tragic losses the rock music industry experienced was the death of Duane Allman in 1971. He barely got started and was taken in a freak motorcycle accident after leaving a birthday party for Linda Oakley. Duane hit the back of a big truck with his Harley Davidson Sportster... The bike landed on top of him and they both skidded across the road.

Duane Allman invented his own style of slide guitar by using a glass medicine bottle over his ring finger while playing. A lot of musicians adopted Duane's technique...

Lucky for me I happened to be living in Columbus GA 1969-1971. My friends and I hopped a bus and went to the Atlanta Underground on Peachtree St. just to hang out. We would pick up copies opf The Great Speckled Bird and underground newspaper that we sold to kids at school.

To learn more about Duane Allman's life and lots of other interesting snippets, go to:
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Who Buried Paul McCartney: The Story Swept the World 1969

A magazine exploiting the rumourImage via WikipediaHi all,

Great story here (as usual) from Retro:Kimmer, talking about the great "Paul McCartney is Dead" saga. There's lots of great detail, so I hope you enjoy it.

The “official” PID story: Paul was killed in a car crash November 9, 1966 and was replaced by look-alike William Campbell.

This rumor first began in October 1969, when clues allegedly planted by the Beatles themselves began to be uncovered. In October 1969, a Detroit disc jockey (WKNR FM), Russ Gibb, received a call from a listener (“Tom”) insisting McCartney was dead and suggesting he play the Beatles’ song ”Revolution Nine” backwards. Gibb did, and heard “turn me on dead man, turn me on dead man.”

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Best Joe Walsh Album

So What (Joe Walsh album)Image via WikipediaBy Grant Gerbov

Joe Walsh's magical music career has spanned well over four and a half decades. Between his stints with the James Gang and the Eagles, Walsh hit a productive and artistic peak in the early 70's with the release of: "Barnstorm" (1972), "The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get" (1973) and "So What" (1974). "So What," the best Joe Walsh album, is the crowning gem of this tremendous trio.

Composition, performance, and production are the three primary elements that separate "So What" from "Barnstorm" and "The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get."

Seven of the nine compositions on this album are some of Joe's best work. While "Barnstorm" and "The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get" contain some great tracks, the sum of the songs on these two albums don't hold up as well.

"Welcome to the Club," has some of Joe's best guitar chord work coupled with some of his better lyrics. Great drum work dominates on this track as well. "County Fair'" glides the listener through a sonically enchanted journey, highlighted by Joe's reverse recorded guitar solo. "Falling Down" features vocal arrangements that remind me of Brian Wilson's best work.

All of these great tracks are supported by superior performances by the assembled musicians along with Joe Walsh unique guitar work. In addition, "So What" contains fantastic backing vocals by Randy Meisner, Don Henley and Glenn Frey of The Eagles, along with J.D. Souther and Dan Fogelberg. Their work alone sets "So What apart from other Joe Walsh efforts.

This is by far the best produced Joe Walsh album. Producers: Joe Walsh, John Stronach, Bill Szymczyk and Engineers: Al Blazk, John Stronach, Bill Szymczyk, crafted a record that is cleanly mixed with a distinct separation and definition of sounds while incorporating innovative techniques such as Joe's reverse recorded guitar solo on "County Fair." The arrangements and use of synthesizers and strings are complex, but never give the listener the idea that the music is over-producer or that the producers are "reaching" for something that isn't there. Concurrently, Joe Walsh's voice never sounded better than it does on these tracks.

Most importantly, there is also a greater depth of emotion on "So What," exemplified by "Help Me Through the Night" and "Song for Emma." Emma was Joe Walsh's four-year old daughter. She was tragically killed in a traffic accident by a drunk driver while her mother was driving her to preschool. Joe dealt with this tragedy by composing a very moving and spiritual ballad that in very few words captured the beauty, uncertainty and mystery of life.

If you don't have "So What" in your CD or record collection, you are missing an album that stands well, the test of time.

If you enjoy listening to Joe Walsh songs as much as I do, check out the title track to Kerry Leigh's new album, "Anger Grows." You can download a free MP3 of the track at:

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

1969 Woodstock: 3 Days That Made Music History

Cover of "Woodstock - 3 Days of Peace & M...Cover via AmazonBy Jim Serf

Woodstock was the brainchild of four men. Micheal Lang, Artie Kornfeld, Joel Rosenman, and John Roberts. Roberts and Rosenman took care of the financial responsibilities. Lang had the experience as a promoter. He had already organized and promoted the largest musical event thus far on the east coast, 'The Miami Pop Festival'.

The four men had originally envisioned a small recording studio in Woodstock, New York, but the idea evolved into the large outdoor music festival it became. Known as Woodstock, the festival would actually take place 43 miles away in the township of Bethel, N.Y. Exact geography placed the site at at Max Yasgur's dairy farm, a 600 acre piece of land just outside Bethel.

The festival took place on the weekend of August 15, through August 18, 1969. During the off-on rainy weekend, 32 acts performed live in front of a staggering, 500,000 people. It was also the subject of the documentary movie, "Woodstock" released in 1970. Rolling Stone magazine listed the event as one of the '50 Moments that Changed the History of Rock 'n' Roll'.

Signing on the various acts that were to perform on the venue proved to be challenging. Many local small-name bands quickly jumped on board, but the one local big-name, promoters were hoping to get was Bob Dylan. They had their fingers crossed that if they held the concert in his backyard, the renowned musical poet would, 'come out and play', however this never happened. Another dissappointing no-show would be Joni MItchell, who wrote the song 'Woodstock' to commemorate the event.

Creedence Clearwater Revival was the first big-name band to sign on to the event. According to CCR drummer, Doug Clifford, "once Creedence signed on, everyone else fell in line". True or not, the artist in the mainstream of music at the time would eventually sign up for the festival. Acts like Joan Baez, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Arlo Guthrie, and Janis Joplin, along with a host of other headliners, were going to bring in the crowds. This may have worked a little too well, however.

Good intentions aside, promoters were planning on making some dough during all this. Tickets were for sale before the concert at $18 (about $105 in 2009). Tickets were $24 for all three days for attendees who showed up at the event. Tickets were for sale at record stores only or through the mail via a P.O. Box at Radio City Music Hall.

With 186,000 sold beforehand, promoters estimated approximately 200,000 people showing up at the gate. Woodstock famously became 'a free concert' when that estimated number swelled to half a million strong! This sudden influx of people onto this small rural area wreaked havoc on the traffic system. Law Enforcement's only choice had to greatly relax their traffic codes and let things naturally flow until it was back to a normal state.

Another problem was the rain. It had caused the dirt roads and fields muddy and difficult to get around in. Also, because of the gross underestimation of the crowd number, sanitation, first-aid stations, and food vendors found themselves completely unprepared. Facing all of them was a food shortage, unsanitary conditions, and an overcrowding situation that probably would have spelled doom for most concerts and large outdoor shows.

Remarkably, things remained (for the most part), calm and peaceful. Most folks were making the best of it and enjoying the music. Even so, on Sunday morning, Governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller called concert organizer, John Roberts and told him he was strongly considering calling up 10,000 National Guardsmen to police the situation. Fearing this may cause violence, Roberts successfully persuaded the Governor to stand down the troops.

Woodstock was unbelievably peaceful and trouble free, however there were a few incidents, including two recorded deaths. One was what appeared to be a heroin overdose and another was a freak accident, when a tractor ran over a festival goer, sleeping in a nearby hayfield. Also, there were two births. One occurred in a car stuck in traffic and the other at a hospital after the delivering mother was airlifted from the festival grounds.

Despite all the craziness and walking the fine line between success and total disaster, Woodstock,for most attendees, did what it was supposed to do, capture the sprit of the '60s. The whole thing must have dumbfounded some, disgusted others, and made the rest wonder at it all.

Afterwards, Max Yasgur, who owned the land, spoke of the event very fondly of the event, saying that the possibilibily of catastrophe was always there but instead it became about peace, love, and music. Finally stating that "if we join them, we can turn those adversities that are the problems of America today into a hope for a brighter and more peaceful future..." I figure at the rate we're going, we need a Woodstock every two years.

Performing artists

Thirty-two acts performed over the course of the four days:

Friday, August 15
Richie Havens
Swami Satchidananda - gave the invocation for the festival
Bert Sommer
Ravi Shankar
Tim Hardin
Arlo Guthrie
Joan Baez

Saturday, August 16
Quill, forty-minute set of four songs
Country Joe McDonald
John Sebastian
Keef Hartley Band
The Incredible String Band
Canned Heat
Grateful Dead
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Janis Joplin with The Kozmic Blues Band
Sly and the Family Stone
The Who began at 4am, kicking off a 25-song set including Tommy
Jefferson Airplane

Sunday, August 17 to Monday, August 18
The Grease Band
Joe Cocker
Country Joe and the Fish
Ten Years After
The Band
Blood, Sweat and Tears
Johnny Winter featuring his brother, Edgar Winter
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Jimi Hendrix

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Monday, July 4, 2011

INTERVIEW: Mark Lindsay: Paul Revere and the Raiders - Charismatic Superstar , One-on-One

Just Like Us!Image via WikipediaBy Ray Shasho

Paul Revere and the Raiders heroic Lead Singer/Songwriter/Producer - Mark Lindsay has impacted the music world in so many memorable ways.

Mark's voice and persona with The Raiders made him a 60's and 70's icon and a mainstay on classic hits radio. Not only did he obtain legendary status with the band, he was the object for affection for the world's school girl population. Mark Lindsay's alluring smile, handsome profile, and mop-top dew with his long trademark ponytail (que) were on the front cover of every teen magazine around the globe. And forget about those redcoats from England that called themselves The Beatles, Mark Lindsay and the Raiders were True Blue Patriots for American Rock and Roll.

Mark Lindsay will once again be singing those timeless Paul Revere and the Raiders megahits on The Happy Together Tour 2011. Headlining this year's tour is The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie ("It Ain't Me Babe", "Happy Together", "She's My Girl"). Other legendary performers on the tour are The Association ("Windy", "Cherish", "Along Comes Mary"), The Grassroots ("Let's Live for Today", "Midnight Confessions") and The Buckinghams ("Kind of a Drag", "Don't You Care", "Susan").

The tour will be stopping at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Tuesday July 19th. All these GREAT performers on one exciting bill, and reminiscent of the American Bandstand, Where the Action Is, Hullabaloo and Shindig TV show lineups of the 60's.

Paul Revere and the Raiders produced hit after hit throughout the 60's and early 70's, memorable classics like "Kicks", "Steppin' Out", "Hungry", "Good Thing", "Just Like Me" and "Indian Reservation."

Mark Lindsay is a Florida native now. And thanks to Jeff Albright from the Albright Entertainment Group, I was able to speak with both Mark Lindsay and Mark Volman of The Turtles last week. The interview with Professor Volman will be following this article. And now here's my interview with Mark Lindsay. Mark's a Singer/Writer/Producer/Hitmaker and Legendary Frontman of Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Hi Mark, thanks for spending a few moments with me today. How are you?

"I'm great Ray. Where are you calling from?"

I'm calling from beautiful Bradenton, Florida.

"Well hey; I'm sitting in Florida right now. We're over near Jupiter and we're actually living in Florida now. I've been married to Deborah for twenty years and in that twenty years we've lived in Idaho, Oregon, Arizona, California, Maui, Nashville, Memphis, upstate New York and Florida. So we've lived in all four corners of the country and Hawaii and I like Florida the best. Florida's cool, where else can you get summer 365 days a year, although it might get cold at night. I think we're both lucky to be down here."

What was living in Hawaii like?

"Except for the ocean breeze that blows pretty much all the time in Maui, the weather is pretty much exactly the same. We lived there for eight years and lived about two miles down the road from George Harrison as a matter of fact. We had three acres right on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It was great except we had a full time gardener, between him and the two of us; we'd be out there three days a week just beating down the bushes. So it got crazy but it was fun."

Let's talk about The Happy Together 2011 tour. It recently celebrated its 25th anniversary right?

"I was on some of the first ones and they put me back on the tour last year. We've got great reviews and we're back again this year. I love it, it's so much fun, you get to hear so many great songs and see all the guys, and it takes you back my friend, it takes you back. You're gonna' see a giant slice of the charts from the 60's and 70's and a lot of hits!"

I was a top 40 radio deejay back in the late 70's/early 80's and then MTV and video wiped out the radio star.

"Then the web wiped out the record. It's all digital, it's all downloads and unfortunately there's a lot of piracy. But the kids today, it's a whole new generation, you got a kid that's 12 or 13 years old and he just doesn't understand why he can't hack in and download stuff because it's there and so why can't you get it."

When I grew up, it was all about listening to your favorite deejay and finding out what the hit songs were. If you liked what you heard on the radio you ran down to the record store and bought the 45 record. Then you usually bought the album.

"Yea, it was fun. I love vinyl, as a matter of fact I'm working on a project now and we might end up putting it on vinyl as well because there's a whole new market, kids are discovering the fact that vinyl sounds a hell of a lot better than digital."

I miss that echo effect sound from all those classic 45 records. I'm not sure if we'll be able to ever master that wonderful sound ever again. Jim McCarty of TheYardbirds agreed with me when I spoke with him several weeks ago, that magical sound on those early records can never be duplicated.

"Well a lot of it had to do with the live chambers. CBS records in Hollywood where the Raiders cut most of their stuff, they had two special echo chambers that were just ... well you've heard Simon and Garfunkel, Raiders, it all sounded great. Capitol Records had these echo chambers designed by Les Paul as a matter of fact. Yea all that stuff - Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys they all sounded great. I have a lot of my old equipment, a lot of the same equipment that I used back in the 60's and I can get pretty close but you cannot duplicate that echo. However a friend of mine has gone around and sampled a lot of the old chambers so he can get like 99% of the way there. It's an all new technique though."

There seemed to be a lot of pressure on those artists back in the 60's, pressure to get a hit record on the radio along with a grueling touring schedule and constant TV appearances.

"I joined my first band when I was like 14 years old and formed the Raiders with Paul when I was like 17 or 18. So I've been on the road all my life and for some strange reason I still like it. I guess I've never grown up. That's what's so good about The Happy Together Tour; we're back on the road again. You mentioned McCarty, we were lucky we had the show Where the Action Is. It was a great way to debut your record and everybody saw it at once. Although we did tour, there was like several years there where we were on the road like maybe 200 nights a year."

Do you think it was that kind of discipline that made the 60's music scene so great?

"I don't know if it was the discipline or the sheer joy of playing rock and roll. I remember my first record contract; I would have paid them a nickel a record, you know? Anything to make music, and it wasn't about the bucks it was about playing music, and being on TV, and playing in front of crowds."

Yea, what was the fame like Mark; I remember your picture being plastered on the front cover of every teen magazine around?

"It was a funny thing, in my mind there were two Mark Lindsay's. There was one guy that was on TV and then the magazine's and stuff, and then there was the real me which I knew wasn't like that guy. I was kind of having a hard time putting the two together. Inside I was kind of this shy kid from Idaho but when I got on stage everything changed."

I think many of us kids identified more with bands like the Raiders and Turtles because you were one of us. You were "American" bands.

"Well, we were the American Revolution."

And you wore that que or ponytail.

"And you know I wish the heck that I had put a Copyright on that because just think how many Hell's Angels would have been paying royalties right now."

Are you still sporting the ponytail (que) or is it a thing of the past?

"It's come and gone about four different times. I've grown it and cut it off. Right now I don't have it, I cut it off about three years ago but who knows I may start growing it back again, it comes and goes."

I wanted to ask you about a song you did in 1966 called "Little Girl in the 4th Row" from The Midnight Ride album, was there actually a girl in the fourth row that you were singing about?

"Being on tour and you look out at the audience and there'd be this babe, you know? But you know that there was no way in the world that you'd ever be able to meet her, you can see her out there, but like as soon as the show was over BAM -you were on a bus or a limo or whatever to the airport or wherever you were going and never stick around, so it was kind of like one of those things. Then Mark began to sing some of the lyrics to the song, "Maybe someday you'll be closer than four rows away."

So you never actually got to meet her Mark?

"Well actually I did, believe it or not in Buffalo New York in 1967 there was this priest that come up before the show and after a soundcheck before the show curtain opened. He said, 'Mark, I'm kind of the unofficial greeter here, there's these little girls that are sitting out here that would love to meet you.' So I said, 'Sure bring them on back.' So there were three girls that came back, and one of them was really- really cute, she had these cat eye glasses and there was this instant attraction, and I thought wait a minute this girl is 14 years old this is not going to happen. So I gave her a rose and a kiss on top of the head and that was it".

"Fast forward to the 80's, I'm in this meeting in Beverly Hills to do this commercial for this big corporation and appear at one of their functions. And I'm there with this gal and one of the guys from the agency. And this girl and I just hit it off instantly, and we're sitting there laughing and the guy says, 'Well I might as well leave; it's obvious that you two know each other.' And I said, 'No-no, we've never met,' and the girl said, 'Actually we did meet many years ago but you wouldn't remember it.' I said, 'When did we meet?' She said, 'Buffalo in '67.' I said, 'You're the girl that I gave the rose to.' And I ended up marrying her."

You're kidding me?

"Nope, that's my wife now."

Wow, what a great story Mark.

"Oh yea. It was right, we were like star-crossed lovers. It was meant to be but it was just too early the first time around."

That is amazing.

"My life reads like a novel and so I'm working on a book."

Yea, I did hear that you were working on a book. As a matter of fact my first book was released recently - it's called Check the Gs - The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business. How far are you along in your story?

"Well you know I'm almost done, I've written it and rewritten it three or more times and I've been working on it for 10-15 years. But what happens is every time I get almost finished, I start reading it and I say no, no, no, that's not the way it really happened, I'm trying to make myself look too good here, this isn't really real. So I go back and write what really happened without really stretching the fabric over the real stuff you know? So as I've done that several times and maybe as I get a little older I get a little more honest with myself. So I'm really getting close to the truth now and the truth reads better than fiction."

Are you writing this totally on your own or getting some help with it?

"No, I'm doing it myself. Actually a couple of years ago I sent a couple of chapters to a publisher and I said maybe I need some help with this, and they no, no, no, we love your style just keep doing the way you're doing. They wanted to make a deal but I said I'm not ready yet."

Eventually, like I did, you're going to say enough, it's ready, I'm done.

"Well, when it's right it's right! It's like writing a song, I'll work on it in my head -and it's amazing back in the day I use to write a song and that's it great -spitted it out you know. Now I work a little harder on them and just keep working on it until I start taking things out and when I start taking things out I figure it's time to stop."

My book took two years to write and I look back and say where did those two years go? My mind was totally focused at that time on the story.

"It's a consuming art but it's worth it. And when you get through it you've got something you can look at for the rest of your life."

When we leave this planet, well... you already have your legacy; I guess I'll have mine with my book.

"No, I'm still working on mine; I've got a lot more stuff to do. I kind of hit a renaissance period and I've written more songs in the last eight months than in the previous eight years. And I've got a couple projects going, can't really talk about them but one of them if it happens, will fulfill my horoscope".

"Back in the 60's, Gloria Stavers, you mentioned 16 Magazine; she was the editor of 16, she gave me for my birthday one year my horoscope by Linda Goodman, a private horoscope right, and it predicted that you were going to end up with the mansion up on the hill, and sure enough I shared this big mansion with Terry Melcher, and about a sports car in the garage and I had the red Ferrari in there but she said these things will not make you happy you're going to want more, you're going to move on past this and do all these things and then become more famous then you ever thought you could. But it won't make you happy".

"But much later in life you're going to have a second career that's going to be so phenomenal that it will almost out eclipse your first career entirely. You'll be known by millions more people. So I'm working on that and so if that comes true then there you go. And if this project works, that can happen, but I can't say anything more about it than that, but wait and see."

Tell me a little bit about Terry Melcher, he was an important guy in the 60's wasn't he?

"Terry was really the sixth Raider, if you listen to any of the songs up to the first record that I produced which was Too Much Talk; before that Terry was on every Raider record. We'd finish a song and he and I would go back into the studio later and he and I would mainly do the background. He had this great high sounding voice and it just blended so well. He was a big part of the Raiders sound. He was real instrumental in helping the Raiders in becoming the hitmakers they were and I really miss him, he's gone now."

He left us much too soon, didn't he?

"Sure did, the last four or five years before he died, I said come on Terry let's get back in and write something, let's do something again, and he said, well...I don't know. But his last big song was "Kokomo" (The Beach Boys), he's all over that for sure."

Yea, Terry Melcher was instrumental to so many important bands - including The Beach Boys and The Byrds. When I attended broadcasting school back in the late 70's, all my instructors were deejays with illustrious broadcasting careers and they all had Dick Clark stories. What was it like to work with Dick Clark?

"Well, he was totally professional. When the camera would come on or the Microphone would come on and he would be all smiles. He was very much a professional and if something didn't go his way you knew about it. But he got done what he wanted done and done his way and it sure worked for him."

So Dick Clark was also instrumental to the Raiders success right?

"Well sure, he had an idea for Where the Action Is; he hired us for the pilot because we worked very cheap, and when he sold the idea to ABC he hired us for a thirteen week period. He knew how visual we were right and we would work cheap, and he told me years later, 'You know what? I thought I'd hire you guys for thirteen weeks and whenever the show took off I'd hire a real band.' So they liked what they saw and by the end of that thirteen week period we had become that real band. We were the house band for almost three years."

You guys cranked out some hits man, but what really amazed me is that "Indian Reservation" was your only Number One hit?

"Yea, even "Arizona" which was up to where it made platinum but not Number One. But we did have some gold records, it was the only Number One and the funny thing is it was suppose to be a follow up to "Arizona." It was a Mark Lindsay record, I produced it and I usually didn't produce myself, Jerry Fuller did, and when I got through with the record Jack Gold said, 'Why don't you put it out as the Raiders, you produce the Raiders and they need a hit.' So we put it under the name of the Raiders and it became the biggest selling hit in the history of CBS records."

Any regrets for calling the band Paul Revere? (Keyboardist Paul Revere Dick continued to tour without Mark using the Raiders name).

"In the beginning, way back to the beginning before we got on CBS, we signed our first record contract on a little label called Gardena and the owner said, 'You got to sign the contract and sign your full legal name,' so my full legal name is Mark Allen Lindsay and I signed my name and then everybody else signed their name and Paul's name was signed Paul Revere Dick, that was his full name".

"Then he looked over at us and said, 'Paul Revere...Paul Revere, Paul Revere, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait ... a ... minute! That's a great gimmick. I mean the Downbeats are okay but Paul Revere now that's a hook. Everybody knows Paul Revere's ride come on.'"

"He said, 'I'm going to call this band Paul Revere and the Nightriders or something' and Paul especially hated it because he'd been teased all his life in school about, 'Hey Paul Revere - where's your horse?' So he just dropped his first name Paul and went by the name Revere Dick. But when our first record came out, our first record said Paul Revere and the Nightriders. And although the name (using Paul Revere) did cause some confusion but it's probably a lot like The Dave Clark Five where Mike Smith was the lead singer and Dave Clark (the drummer) was the name of the band."

There are so many bands running around out there without the original lead singers anymore.

"Well, what are you going to do ... what are you going to do? But when you see the Happy Together tour you're going to see the real deal here, I've sang every hit that Paul Revere and the Raiders ever had. And Mark and Howard from The Turtles, if they're not the real deal then I never saw one."

I'm really looking forward to the show, and I'm hoping to get a pass to cover the show from backstage. I want to take a lot of pictures.

"Tell them Mark said that they'd better do it or I won't do "Kicks."

I'll definitely tell them that. My favorite Paul Revere and the Raiders tune has always been "Good Thing."

"Yea we'll be doing that, I love that tune, when we do it on stage it sounds just like we did on the record. The guys in the band all sing like birds or The Byrds - I'm not sure. But I do my best to make the stuff that we do sound like in the day or better you know. So there you go."

You've always had a great voice and your voice today sounds like your only 35 years old and it appears that you take really good care of yourself (Mark is 69 years old).

"Well, I walk six miles a day; I get up around three or four in the morning and out by sunrise. That's where I write, I'll be on the trail. I try to eat right and exercise another hour when I get back home. So when I went in for a checkup recently my doctor said, 'Whatever you're doing don't stop it' (after getting a recent physical his doctor said you could be 25 years old)."

After Paul Revere and the Raiders you worked as an A&R executive with United Artist Records?

"Yea, I thought I was qualified, I'd been an Artist, Producer, Writer, a Publisher, so I thought I knew how to pick songs and it was a lot of fun and I did pick some hits. I had a great run there until Capitol bought the company and just like a radio station, somebody came in and said okay we've got your job now."

What kind of hits did you pick?

"The first project that they gave me was the City to City album by Gerry Rafferty. They said, 'Any hits on here?' I said, 'Well, let me take it home and I'll let you know.' So I went home over the weekend and came back and said 'Okay, Baker Street is a monster, it's going to be about a million-seller, it's way too long but we can edit it down. And they said, 'What's the next connection?' I said '"Right DownThe Line," not as big as "Baker Street" probably won't sell quite a million - maybe eight hundred-nine hundred thousand, and the third single should be "Home And Dry" maybe three hundred-four hundred thousand but that's about it.' And they said, 'You're on!'"

"So we released "Baker Street" and nobody's playing it. So I went to Charlie Minor, the head of promotions and said, 'Let me sit in your office, when you make all these calls to the stations and I'll get on the extension. Ask them if they're on it yet and, if they're not, why they're not playing it. Don't give them reasons to play it. Ask them why they're not playing it.' So he did and I listened and wrote down all these notes".

"One station said, 'Well, the guitar is a little too raucous for our format.' Another said, 'That sax thing shouldn't be at the front, it should be at the end.' And so on and so forth. I had a little studio in my house. I went home, got out a razor blade and made 17 different custom edits for these 17 stations. I threw them on Charlie's desk on Monday morning and said, 'Okay, send these out and ask them why they won't play them now.' And I guess maybe they were so flattered that we'd made a custom edit for their station - now, with digital stuff, of course everybody makes their own custom edits. But they had said, 'We'll take you on temporarily,' so when that happened they said, 'Okay you got the gig.'"

Do you still talk with Paul (Paul Revere Dick) at all?

"We talk occasionally; we haven't played together for years. You guys are always asking me would you ever do something together and there was awhile when I'd say no but nowadays I don't give a crap you know, why not? It might happened, it might not, if it does fine, if doesn't that's cool too."

It seems like Paul's version of the band took a totally different direction with more of a comedic flare, almost like a lounge act.

"Paul is a great natural comedian; when he grew up his heroes were like Danny Kaye and the Marx Brothers and people like that. And he just loved comedy. Now he's got a band and he does comedy bits and they play the hits and it's entertaining but it's not the Raiders that I remember. But as long as he's putting people in the seats he's doing the right thing."

Mark, I want to thank you so much for spending some time with me today, and I look forward to meeting you in person backstage at The Happy Together show at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on July 19th.

"I look forward to meeting with you Ray, thank you."

Order my new book called Check the Gs - The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business. Order your copy NOW at -You'll LIVE it! You can contact Ray Shasho at

Ray Shasho was labeled 'Rock Raymond' in high school after demonstrating his obsession for rock music. Shasho was a Top40 radio deejay in the late '70s and early '80s. He's attended hundreds of rock concerts and has rubbed elbows with some of rock's legends. Ray is also the author of a brand new book called Check the Gs - The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business. Ray's book is available to order at Ray resides in Bradenton, Florida - home to many "classic rock" artists. You can contact Ray at

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Beatles Arrive In America!

The Beatles wave to fans after arriving at Ken...Image via WikipediaBy Gianni Truvianni

Before I start this article, I would like to say that I have never really been much of a fan of the kind of music which is commonly known as "rock and roll" or popular music yet I do find some of it along with its stories fascinating. It being with this in mind that I wish to share this particular story about The Beatles's first trip to the United States.

It was in 1964 that The Beatles first arrived in America, landing in New York's international airport which had recently had its name changed from Idlewild Airport to John F. Kennedy. It being upon arrival that the four members of the Beatles were met with literally thousands of screaming fans who simply could not get enough of their rock and roll idols yet I; for my part when I saw the video many years later asked one question.

How did all those fans manage to find out the exact time and flight on which the Beatles would be arriving? It giving the appearance that they must have had some connection to the Beatles themselves or some sort of inside information as to their schedule; which told them at which gate at the airport to wait at.

It was however many years later while working in a brokerage firm in New York that I found out that the chaotic scene at the airport caused by the arrival of the Beatles arrival had not been an accident of any kind. It in fact having been a radio station which was responsible. It being a particular radio station (not mentioned by the person who told me the story) which made an announcement which went along the following lines.

"The rock group the Beatles will be arriving today at Kennedy airport but we urge all Beatle fans not to go to Kennedy airport to receive the Beatles. The airport will be very crowded and this will create problems for not only the Beatles but for other travelers therefore please avoid Kennedy airport at (they gave the time of arrival) and please above all avoid gate (they gave the gate number) if you must go to Kennedy airport. The Beatles are arriving on Panam flight number (they gave the flight number) but please do not go wait for them because this will only crowd up the airport."

This of course being a message which more then encouraged people to go to JFK airport and wait for the Beatles though it was presented in a way that perhaps playfully tried to get the opposite result. The radio announcer clearly using what could be hailed as reserve psychology which apparently worked as thousands went to JFK to greet the Beatles in what become a historical day in rock and roll music.

My name is Gianni Truvianni, author of many an article to be found on the internet along with the book "New York's Opera Society". My works also include the books "What Should Not Matter", "Love Your Sister" and several others which still remain unpublished though I am presently looking to change this.

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

3 Essential Ska Records - A History Lesson In Ska

The Specials performing at Brixton Academy, Lo...The Specials - Image via WikipediaBy Jorge Orduna

People of all ages can enjoy the great sound of ska music. Finding out which records to purchase, however, can be a bit of a daunting task. With so many different bands, and albums released to the general public for the last half century, some music fans could be lost in the record store, but there's hope for a brighter future.

After some careful research, this list came to being, and can help people of all ages get into the mighty music that is a close relative to reggae, and stands alone as one of the enduring styles of music for all ages. The following are 3 essential ska records to learn about the history of the genre.

Trojan Ska Rarities Box Set

50 tracks across 3 compact discs, with every band that made a difference in the musical creation of this genre can be found on this box set. The Trojan Box Sets are often times rare and hard to find, but for those that are willing to drop upwards of $30 on each set, bliss comes quickly. No other compilation of music can truly be recommended for this genre, outside of the Trojan brand.

This Is Ska

A more modern take on the musical form from Jamaica is found on this compilation, and while it is not quite as massive as the aforementioned, it still packs a punch. This two-disc collection of ska music contains tracks from The Specials, The Selecter, Judge Dredd, The Heptones, Bad Manners and so many more. The two-tone artwork is a dead giveaway to the contents found on the 2-disc set.

Best of Ska

54 tracks from all over the world, makes this set a must own. This set of music will create a foot tapping chorus line for anyone listening. Some of the bands featured include Madness, Rico, Desmond Dekker, The Maytals, Special AKA, The Melodians, The Swinging Cats, Carlos Malcolm and so many other big names in the genre, than most other collections. This amazing set rivals the aforementioned, but stands alone as a stand-alone option to collect.

The preceding was 3 essential records for anyone looking for a history lesson in the genre of ska music. Not everyone can appreciate the horn sections, bass lines, and great tonality that comes from this brand of music, but for those that can, the jazz notes transcend all others, creating a noise that is infectious.

Sir Jorge is the author of casketsalesman, a blog dedicated to media reviews and random rants about pop culture.

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Friday, July 1, 2011

The Best 5 Guitar Solos Of All Time

Jimmy PageCover of Jimmy PageBy Jim J Ward

In reality the selection procedure of the best guitar solos ever is a very personal thing, which naturally will vary from person to person. Nonetheless, this is my take on it and all carried out with the fullest admiration for any guitar solos which I have overlooked, or didn't consider to be in my best 5 list. So let's begin:

5. Although the track was not necessarily my kind of music, this particular guitar solo gained legendary status. The band was the Carpenters, the power ballad was Goodbye To Love, and the guitarist was Tony Peluso. This specific solo was extremely melodic and constructed brilliantly. Peluso put to use a Gibson 335 with humbucking pickups and created a great 'distorted sound' throughout the solo.

4. At number 4 we have the astonishing Dave Gilmore's dazzling solo on the Pink Floyd track Comfortably Numb. This solo was traditional Gilmore in that it was melodic, tuneful and superbly woven together. This solo possessed Gilmore's trademark Stratocaster sound with echo and reverb all over it. Altogether an outstanding piece of guitar playing.

3. How could I have a best 5 electric guitar solos list but without the inclusion of Jimi Hendrix somewhere. Not every Hendrix song was my cup of tea but Little Wing showcased Hendrix at his very best - the solo was a work of art. Hendrix's guitar playing and also the sound was so much his own that he managed to get a characteristically Hendrix sound whether or not he utilised a Gibson guitar with humbucking pickups, or his standard Strat with single coil pickups.

2. Well I guess this solo needed to be somewhere on the list and for me it is number two. The track is Stairway To Heaven and the guitar player is Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page. This was among those superb solos that built and built, with the ideal degree of improvisation around the original melody. This might be just about the most widely known electric guitar solo of all time. It was however, not played on Page's infamous Gibson Les Paul Standard but on a Fender telecaster. When delivering this track live Page consistently used his Gibson SG double neck, allowing for him to cover the 12 string and the six string elements of this track live on stage.

1. Well it was nearly impossible to decide between Page's Stairway To Heaven and the Eagles' Hotel California, but the solo on Hotel California just pips it for me. In reality, this is somewhat unjust as there's more than one guitarist taking part in this, but it is nonetheless an absolute lesson in how to constructa guitar solo. Joe Walsh and Don Felder rebound off of each other brilliantly as this solo develops. It's virtually as if whatever one can do the other one does better, but the truth is they interact in perfect harmony and their two styles and electric guitar sounds mix flawlessly. That unquestionably vintage Les Paul Sound with just the right quantity of drive is all over that specific guitar solo, complete class.

So there you have my best 5 solos. Where may you ask is Lynryd Skynyrd's Free Bird, or what about Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton or Brian May? Like I said, it is a personal thing and if I did the list in two weeks time it may well be totally different. All good fun though.

Jim Ward is a guitar fanatic and often writes about various aspects of the electric guitar. For great information on guitars, guitarists and excellent electric guitar pickups he recommends visiting:, and for a first class information on Les Paul guitars he suggests

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